Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

Ron Alexander

After I returned from a ten day silent Vipassana Retreat, I have been asked "Why would you even want to be in silence for ten days?" That was a good question. I would have thought it crazy, if I had not seen the "Dhamma Brothers" documentary, about the amazing transformation of lifer prisoners (some convicted murderers), after they spent ten days of silent Vipassana Meditation.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and was started by Gautama Buddha 2600 years ago. "...Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any 'ism'. He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is, by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when the wisdom arises-the wisdom of observing reality as it is-this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action-action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others." S.N. Goenka "The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation".

Science also supports the premise behind the Buddha’s meditation, as can be read about in Tolle’s books –specifically identifying with inner space (formlessness) instead of form.

Daily eleven hours of meditating was not easy, many times I felt like just bolting. However, I am glad I didn’t. I am meditating more and more effectively experiencing much more peace and joy.

Goenka advises practice – “persistence, and you will succeed." Also, we are to end each sitting with a ‘Metta’ (Loving Kindness) prayer:
May all beings be happy, be peaceful and be free!”

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Replies to This Discussion

speaking of 'bolting'...

I was thinking about how often people think that 'bolting' sankara as an expression of freedom... and yet, we can see that it is actually a reaction to trying to maintain the status quo,,, it is resisting change and growth.

taking on the yoke of discipline seems to be the way toward freedom... toward liberation. whereas bolting, escaping, running away, avoiding... are all part of maintaining the chains of enslavement to ignorance.

The other day someone said they couldn't see the benefit of sitting still and not moving a muscle... the old me might have tried to explain or persuade... but with vipassana... I've come to learn that if the seed of interest is there, if the karma of that person is ready, they will respond with interest. So I simply agreed that the daily zen is life itself.

My initial reaction upon hearing about the 10 days of silence necessary to fulfill a vipassana course was "whoa! people are really serious". My meditation experience prior to vipassana consisted of driving long distances through city traffic to go and sit in someone's living room, meditate, break bread and share community. It gave the worthwhile lift I sought, but only touched the surface of my wounded soul.

Vipassana cut through to the roots of the wounds... and they were able to dissolve and float away... good-bye little fears and phobias, your work is done.
This is a post on the Meditation group:
Joan Gregori said: Ron, silence for ten days--eleven hours a day? Sounds a bit long to me as I'm still trying to meditate for 3 min.! :)

I know--persistence, right?

Hi Joan, you still identifying as a "crone to the bone"? I hope so, I love you guys! I think my determination to last for ten days in silence meditating 11 hours per day, was part of my Divine Inheritance from my Mom. I really started seeking for answers when she shockingly pretty much left me out of her will. I had spent alot of time with her during her last seven weeks in ICU, where she could not speak, and felt blessed to be with her when she passed Dec. 24. I know I healed my relationship with her. During that time of grace, I was also blessed to have not known, that she had changed her will in 2006, until this Feb. when the will was read. At first, I was in a state of shock and turmoil at the perceived rejection (I was the only remaining son of 5), that I even thought about committing suicide. Then I started writing about it (you may have seen some of my poems?), and going to every healing workshop I could find, plus I have a great Unity minister/counselor/teacher. I found a sound healing workshop very helpful, and there a respected psychic/minister said she saw Archangel Michael knighting me during the healing. So I went into some indepth study of angels, and still am. Interestingly, during Mom's stint in ICU, I asked her to please send my guiding angels, if she could not come back herself. So I am considering Archangel Michael part of my divine inheritance.
However, this ten days of silence with Vipassana meditation has been my greatest spiritual advance, and I am pretty sure I will stick with it from now on!
much metta, bubba aspiring to be a Buddha, ron

By the way, after growing up with a Marine father, I rebelled against "discipline" until someone pointed out the root word: "disciple".



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