Thursday, January 4, 2007

Meditation Course

Things have gotten busy so I haven’t posted in a while. I’m going to try and catch up in small spurts. Right after my last posting, my partner Sky Blue and I (yes, that’s his given birth name) drove the trusty band van up to Boston. We spent the night at a co-op there, two houses with a large garage and a garden/lot in Jamaica Plain. The main house was totally amazing and beautiful—3 floors, each with a kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms. The place was full of amazing art work, interesting reading material, and very sweet folks. It was super late by the time we got there but our host still cooked us up some spaghetti and a few of us sat around chatting late into the night about music versus speech as a form of communication, the importance of urban communities and the state of the world.

Tuesday morning we drove to Shelburne Falls, MA to begin a 10 day meditation course taught be Master Goenka, a Burmese businessman who has started Vipassana meditation centers all over the US and the world ( I was definitely feeling nervous and resistant, and it didn’t help when they commandeered my violin upon arrival and sent me back to the car to deposit any books, paper, pens, or pencils. I’ve sat long, silent meditation courses before, but this was my first time at this more rigid center. Despite my resistance and fears, that evening, I resolved to submit to this new and different technique and give it a full and fair chance.

The basic technique is to sit and pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out of your nose, then after developing concentration for 3 and half days, the instruction shifts to doing scan of the body, feeling any sensations that arise on each body part and noticing the sensations with equinimity. Sounds simple enough, but try doing this for 10 days straight….It was quite a challenge. But, I’ve been practicing some form of Vipassana meditation for nearly 3 years now, and I felt ready for the challenge. The intensity and simplicity of the technique allowed me to go much deeper into the silence, into myself, and into the sheer physicality of my being than in my previous experiences. I had a number of breakthroughs around things that I’ve struggled with, and I also found it very satisfying to use my mind to explore my body in this way. I even came to some large life conclusions/decisions, namely:

--When I’m done traveling and exploring, I want to move to a medium sized city on the west coast, live in a coop house and go to massage school.


--I want to keep being involved with Sky in a big way

Some of the deeper physical/emotional work that happened was around my relationship to my sexuality, which has been a point of growth and struggle for many years. This time it was around the ways that I still rely on my sexuality, (namely being attractive to men and sleeping with them) as a self-esteem booster. I began realizing that this manifests itself in a lot of the small and subtle in which I interact with men, even those I’m just meeting casually for the first time. I came away with some resolve to shift this, and work towards interacting with all people from a stronger and more independent, self-loving place.

So much intense emotional work, of course I was totally antsy to talk and reconnect with Sky after those 10 days! We finally got to see each other on the 10th day, though we were still prohibited from touching. It was very intense, we were both quite giddy and nervous after all that time quieting our energy. Of course, we ended up having the Big Relationship Processing conversation right away (I couldn’t wait a moment longer), but it was pretty quick and painless. Sky has been very interested in moving to the West Coast, as well, and we also about what it meant to be more committed primary partners. It felt so good to be with him and talk with him after 10 days of one sided conversations in my head.

more to come soon...........!