Tomorrow morning I go to sit. I will drive away from my beautiful life and place a cushion on the floor. I will enter the practice of noble silence (no talking, reading, writing, eye contact, or touch) and Vipassana (insight in to the true nature of reality/ a special way of seeing) for 10 full days. I sit like this every year or two and many students ask me why?
I notice when I sit still that my inner world emerges. This world cannot be compared to my outer life. It is not an external thing, like the way I fumble around in the world, or the way I look, or the way I talk, but an inner landscape that flowers like a garden in the spring.
My inner world is perceptible with a quiet mind and not at any other time. For me, I can only tend to this landscape when I am not distracted by the other world (“the world of women and wine” as Rumi would say.) I need to be alone and silent to see it.
Many teachers I have met say that when I learn, when I really learn, there will be no difference between the inner and the outer world. Some days I think I can taste this, like Umami, but most days, no. I have to sit.
I also notice when I sit, that the ever-changing universe is perceptible within my body. Cells, like stars, are born, live a life, and then pass away miraculously. I can only know this when my mind points in.
Much of my life is running here or there, I often miss the slow and leisurely turn of the day, but when I sit, I can feel my heartbeat and the circulation of life water, each swallow is like a drink of god.
When I sit I can feel my breath, every breath, the teeniest tiniest natural breath and then when my breath is disturbed by the mind, by a thought or a memory, it becomes harder or faster, it changes. I notice the change and I am aware of my thinking and my feelings, and my Self.
I notice when I sit that I am more space than matter. I have felt space in my body and the way the small particles move around and re-arrange themselves to make my form again and again.
When I sit, I experience my inner world, which cultivates free and easy thinking, a sort of holiday mind. I experience my participation in life and my willingness to be here. Everything is fresh and new: me, you and everything we do not know.
See you in 10 days. xxoo