Sometimes things occur when you expect them the least. Who would have thought that I would have a broken arm once again after a period of 9 years! At least not me. But then it happened. I broke my left elbow a little less than 2 months back for the second time. Thankfully, my arm is no longer on cast (plaster). However, I am currently undergoing excruciatingly tedious and painful physiotherapy sessions that render me feeling feverish all day long.
Now you must be wondering as to why I am writing this post despite having painful episodes at the moment. Let me take this opportunity to thank a dear blogger whom I have been following for a pretty long time. He managed to write a blog post today despite his age, today’s ruthless weather and the ever unpredictable power cuts in Nepal. If this elderly gentleman who likes to be called “Dai” (elder brother) could muster enough strength to go about his Christmas shopping in this weather and also write about it, why couldn’t I?
So let me share with you the things I did to distract myself from being worried about my broken arm.
After reading an insightful article on Huffingtonpost.com one day, I decided to try at least as many of the 40 self-kindness advice the article recommended. I like No.6 especially for its emphasis on watching our self-critic from pressurizing ourselves too much for everything and anything. I am trying to keep a balance to everything that’s going on within me ever since I got the fracture so that I do not end up hating myself for all the things that did not go well in my life.
Of the things that I could do during the time my arm was on cast was join the online Oprah and Chopra 21-day meditation experience which spanned from 3 to 24 November 2014. I am most thankful to Chopra Meditation Center for holding this event which coincided with the time when I needed it the most. The discourses given by Oprah Winfrey and Deepak Chopra were amazingly thought-provoking and very enlightening. I wish to apply each day’s mantra and teaching to my every day life.
I remember posting this on my Facebook timeline right after the fracture:
“It’s such a debilitating experience to have an arm broken and then having to face the fact that it has to be plastered for 6 long weeks“.
For once it was debilitating, but later on when I thought about it long and hard I realized how hard it must be for people without limbs, I consoled myself that it’s just a matter of time.
Sometimes when we are weak physically, our minds tend to wander so much that we think only of the negative. I believe that we should not let our inner critics berate ourselves for all the things that went wrong. Just relax and love ourselves.
[Image credit: daniellelevynutrition.com]
“I want to get out of here”.
These were the very words that hovered over my mind constantly for the first three days of the Vipasanna meditation. I could feel severe pain on my right shoulder blade while sitting even in the most comfortable position (for Vipasanna one does not need to be in a certain standardized posture. Any posture that is comfortable to you, you can assume that posture).
As the almost horrifying three days subsided, we entered into the real Vipasanna where we had to concentrate on our bodily sensations, be aware of them but not react to them at all. And as we used to be in the process of feeling the sensations in our body, the meditation would be punctuated by sudden (for me it was always alarming) chanting of mantras (in Pali language) by Sri Satya Narayan Goenka.
As days passed by, I thought I was the only one who was sent to Sunyagar (meditation in complete isolation) one day for my own imagined reasons. I had this feeling that perhaps it was my waywardness, or not practicing Arya Maun (Noble Silence) and simply laughing or smiling at my co-Sadhikas orSadhaks. I thought I was being sent to solitary confinement and remembered Nelson Mandela who was imprisoned for 27 years. To my utter amusement, I discovered that I wasn’t the only one who was put in Sunyagar. It is their ritual there at Vipasanna that people are sent to these cells for an hour or two to meditate in complete isolation and pitch darkness. For me, it was far from complete isolation. I mean, who could be in peace and not have horrific imaginations when put in a dark cell not even 8 sq. feet!
My genuine feelings
Sitting down for hours at a stretch in meditation was the most painful experience for me. We could barely change our positions or posture, close our eyes and meditate. For the most part, my mind (a monkey mind) wandered far and wide rather than being aware of my bodily sensation at the current point of time.
Anyway, Vipasanna did teach me a lot of things and helped me re-discover things that I used to hold in my sub-conscious mind.
The fact that Vipasanna follows the rule of nature inspired me a lot. I, too, am a person who regards nature as the supreme “commander” (for lack of a better word) and Dharma is simply following the rules of nature and nothing more or less than that. So, the ten days at the center reinforced the beliefs already existing in me, gave me a new vantage point to look at life and transform myself into an entirely different personality. It taught me even-mindedness both in pain and in gain.
Vipasanna, to my humble opinion, is something which every individual should do at least once in her or his lifetime. It’s definitely a unique experience, if not a life-challenging one.
Sab ka mangal, mangal, mangal ho!“ (I wish only the best for all)