I remember the first time I went to Wednesday Meditation. How am I going to last the hour? I had even emailed Nipun with this concern. “Don’t worry, an hour doesn’t seem that long”…yaa right.
I drove down with people I didn’t know before then, but I figured hey I can be sociable, I’m sure the hour drive won’t be that bad. Halfway through the drive, the conversation came to a close and there was silence. I recall feeling like I should say something, there was something stifling about the silence, but I couldn’t think of anything to talk about. Lil convos started here and there, but there were distinct silences. I was the only one who was uncomfortable with these periods. We made it to the house and were early. “Great, I have to meditate for longer than an hour…” I stalled as much as possible. You can go to the bathroom first, I insist. I made it through 40 minutes of meditation and then the time passed with every minute being an eternity…when was it going to end. It def was the people and the conversations that happened afterwards that made me want to come back more than the meditation itself.
Fast forward 3 months
The rest of the Wednesdays weren’t so bad. Typically at 45mins, I couldn’t concentrate anymore. The Gayatri Mantra and controlling my breath simultaneously only kept me focussed for so long. Interesting thought now in retrospect. It wasn’t that bad trying to concentrate when using the gayatri mantra. My mind didn’t wander that much especially while I was “in the zone” (ie not the first 5 mins or last 15 mins). That experience contrasted starkly with my experiences with Annapanna (one of the three techniques taught at Vipassana) and Vipassana. As mentioned in my previous post, my mind went on walks MANY times, especially during those first few days of the meditation retreat.
And with respect to silence.
Now I’ve come to appreciate silence. It’s no longer suffocating, but rather a moment to sit quietly and go within. Interesting how much a person can change in a few months/ 10 days.
Silence. Aum begins and ends with silence. I remember reading that once.