I must be in love!  It’s the middle of June, about 1o degrees, absolutely shitting it down, and I can barely contain my beaming smile as I skip through the puddles to the BANK!

Unconditional, no expectations – I get one email and there’s all this wonderful light bursting out of me!

When I think back to all those years of cringe-worthy torture, I daren’t believe that this type of love can exist.   Yet, I feel that I can be confident in this state – comfortable – because for the first time in my life – I feel in control of it.

“Anicca!  Anicca!”

Impermanence.  A true fact about nature is that everything in the entire universe is endlessly and constantly changing.  A person who is practicing Vipassana meditation is having a direct personal experience of the changing nature of one’s own mind, feelings and body.

“Equanimous.  Equanimity.  Remain equanimous”

To completely accept whatever you are actually experiencing, moment to moment: without a struggle to avoid or get away from painful experiences (mental, emotional or physical); without craving, grasping, or trying to hold on to pleasant experiences.

This light I’m experiencing right now – is fucking brilliant – but I know it will pass.  In fact, it’s already starting to fade, and I don’t mind at all.  I was feeling grumpy as hell this morning, and that passed too.  I think that maybe I’m really starting to accept this transient nature of our universe…and everything within it.  I sat with the revisiting pain of my right hip this morning, without disappointment, without resentment.  I adjusted my practice slightly…and have learnt to reign in that inevitable enthusiasm of suddenly breaking myself into lotus for the first time in my life!  : )

“Anicca!  Anicca!”

The bus journey from Bangkok to the Vipassana meditation retreat near Kanchunaburi, was very quiet indeed.  Having just got back from Burma the night before, I’d barely had time to unpack, and repack, let alone put much thought into what lay ahead.

What did lay ahead?  I wasn’t really sure.  It had been a spur of the moment decision back when I was in Koh Tao.  I was in that state of solitude, and I needed more of it, I was hungry for it.  Like I needed more time for everything to settle, like I needed to carve out some space for my body and being to heal.  I’d researched Vipassana, because that’s what Matthew had introduced us to, amongst other techniques, and it was the one that I struggled with most.   (A-Type/masochist???)

I knew we had to adhere to 5 precepts:

  • To abstain from killing any being.  (This includes ants and mosquitoes by the way…surprisingly difficult!)
  • To abstain from stealing.  (This includes NOT taking reams of toilet roll from the shared toilets when you’ve run out – also surprisingly difficult)
  • To abstain from sexual misconduct – meaning, at the meditation centre, to abstain from all sexual activity whatsoever.  (Considering that the women and men were segregated, and judging by the sample of men on the bus…I didn’t really think this would be a problem.  Oh how wrong I was!)
  • To abstain from wrong speech.  (Now this one WAS easy, because as of 7 pm on our first day, a short 3 hours after our arrival, we weren’t allowed to speak to anyone, at all – EVER!  Unless you made an appointment with the teacher…)
  • To abstain from all intoxicants.  (Puffed up with pride over this one.  4 months – cigarette free!  And to be honest – my alcohol intake had been nearly as virtuous).

I had thought about what this all meant, before I signed up.  Considered my commitment to it, and whether it was the right thing for me to do.  I’m new to meditation, and the longest session I’d done was that hour one afternoon, propped up against a post, imagining that the fan was going to fall out of the ceiling, crush me, and put me out of my misery.  Sitting on that bus…I suddenly started to feel nervous.

16th May, 2012

What am I doing?

What am I doing?

What am I doing?

Climbing up into the hills.  6 hour journey.


I’m scared of spending all this time with myself…