Sunday, November 13, 2011

some more thoughts on stillness and support

Yesterday I rushed sweaty faced and anxious to morning meditation. I made it with a few minutes to spare, and ended up staying for the lecture after the intro (about continuity of practice). The speaker reminded us how important it is to sit with others for support. So often I give myself a hard time for not having the willpower to practice on my own, be it yoga, meditation or other daily disciplines. For weeks after the vipassana retreat I felt Goenka's disapproving finger wagging in my face, "you MUST practice a minimum of TWO HOURS a day or you will be in DEEP SUFFERING..." My daily 15 minutes were swallowed by guilt and a sense of failure (I'm so dumb for being so hard on myself). The most surprising part of that retreat? It was the lovingkindness meditation we did on the last day. This was supposed to be a soothing balm for all those hours of austere vipassana. Compassion? I've got this in the bag.... or so I thought. What welled up instead was a seething hatred for our teacher Goenka. A hatred for his preachy manner, his jowley face and the way he said "luuurve" like a seedy Barry Manilow. Roiling hatred for his strict demands, transparent Buddhist propaganda and most of all? For being right. Whew! I am searching for a gentler way. xo

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