Jan 31, 2009

My Vipassana Retreat

The new year started on an excellent personal note - i finally managed to make time (ten days) for Vipassana meditation retreat; something that i was mulling on for almost a year. The break finally came on January 1, actually i had to break away from the usual busy schedule to create space for this.

What got me there was my initial curiosity about meditation, something i had never done in even a half-serious manner. The closest was some Pranayama, which it turns out is somewhat a mechanical exercise, compared to serious meditation. And what i discovered during those ten days was immensely beneficial - several a-ha moments, the biggest being that this technique opens up an entire new world to you, one in which everything from the breath to the body, thought, feelings are all facets of a single reality. Digging deeper into this reality will take you to THE ultimate (whatever it is). I feel like a new born in this path, and am no where qualified to even contemplate what that later stages are. The key as they often say during the course is to take it easy (be 'Equanmious and Aware'), whatever may happen.

Of course it was not easy staying away, being cut off for those ten days - no telephone, no blackberry, no reading, no writing, no television, no newspaper/magazines, no internet, no going out etc. Oddly enough it was also liberating in a way though the pain of staying away from the family and being incommunicado was pinching. But having made it through, one feels one is ready for anything!

Ushering in Obama

It so happened that after two and a half years I made a trip to the United States of America, the night before Obama's swearing in as the US President. What a momentous occasion - though none of the post election frenzy was evident, one could clearly feel the after effects and the optimism with which this nation is looking forward to his rule. When checking into a Manhattan hotel near Times Square at midnight, the hotel receptionisits both Afro-American were unusually kind and saying that in Obama's rule all good things can happen.