Returned today from a 10 day Vipassana meditation near Yosemite. Ten days of absolutely silence and disciplined introspection. Going over the sequence of events...
First, three days of anapana breath, silencing and focusing the mind. Didn't know it was so noisy in there. Didn't know I could tolerate that much physical pain (sitting still for 12-14 hours a day is excruciating!).
Then five days of ferocious deep surgery. Had this been an ER, the first few days would have seen blood dripping off the walls, shrieking demons writhing about, Fire and brimstone, military on standby. A third of the doctors and nurses dead and defiled, and another third unconscious or driven insane. Those that remained? Patiently, persistently, calmly cleaning up my mess. Observing, uprooting, breathing, observing uprooting breathing. Lather rinse repeat. Soon the ER was an efficient sankara eviscerating machine.
Final days phased indiscriminately between two states: 1) a deliciously tranquil/wholesome lightness of being, and 2) an incessant and overwhelming erotic appetite. Absurdly inappropriate circumstance for such thoughts, made worst as I had developed a major crush on an adorable and slightly flirtatious co-meditator.
What Would Buddha Do? Probably not what I did: In these final, countless moments of wandering mind, I subjected her to such elaborately lascivious scenarios... Had she known my mind, would she have recoiled in shock and horror, or pulled me into the woods for a live demonstration?
Fortunately, she had left her mind-reading pendant back in the room that day. The integrity of the event was maintained, untethered libido notwithstanding.
Never in my life have I experienced such hard work, such condensed evolution, such a rewarding practice. But what exactly did I exhume and revive from the recesses of my psyche? You’ll know when I do.
Timetable for Total Enlightenment®: Not anytime soon.