Observing Heat

 

WOW! I am not sure I have sweat as much in the past 3 years that I have in the past day.

Vipassana is the observance of the reality as it is…and in the 10-day course with Goenka, he tries to make it very clear that you are here to obsevre EVERY and ANY sensation…AS IT IS…whatever it is. In one of the discourses he tells a funny story about a man who meditating away in his cell, strips down to his skivies, and as the teacher comes around asking if he is observing any sensation, he responds…”no, no sensation”…and what about your clothes?? he responds … “well it is quite hot in here” …and to the student’s utter dismay, the teacher responds that heat is a sensation, so just observe…

And I can tell you that heat IS a sensation…a drippy, wet, full body sensation…

I have not experienced India this hot before and I hope that soon Fall will fall … or maybe Mumbai is just a hot box and Pune will be cooler?? Fingers crossed or I may just melt away.

Anyway..besides all that sensation, my first days here at Dhammalaya, the Global Vipassana Pagoda have been lovely. I am well taken care of, the food is delicious, and in prefect Dhamma fashion, there is a definite “if you build it they will come” mentality. The pagoda is huge and probably would seat the promised 800,000 meditators, but I can honestly say I would not want to be in there when and if that ever happens. Amidst the servers putting cushions out to welcome a full house, I have been only one of a few daily meditators within the pagoda space, and it is warm enough. Also, the acoustics are fascinating! They may change with the place full of warm bodies, but almost empty it is an interesting experinece of echos from every direction.

And yes, there are “corporeal relics” of the Buddha encased somewhere within the pagoda roof, but if that is supposed to make a huge difference in my meditation, it is so far lost on me. Every Dhamma space does grow a “vibe” that can be felt with the more people meditating within the space…that I have felt. But I am, to say the least, a bit skeptical about what fingernails, eyelashes, or whatever is up there are to be vibrating for me to become closer to enlightenment. And, maybe that is more a reflection upon my lack of advancement on this path, and not the fault of any of the Buddha’s bits.

Finally had my first chai…sooooooo goooood…a very pleasant sensation of heat in my belly…

In perfect India fashion, there is always something under construction and something being prepared for a celebration…Sunday is the anniversary of SN Goenka’s passing (the teacher of this lineage of Vipassana), so there will be a larger group assembled. But, I will be off to Pune…

All in all, I am glad I took this side trip to see this wonder. It is interesting to me that people do seem to come to just see the building…there is this slightly awkward encased viewing area for non-meditators that comes a little way into the pagoda. But unlike a temple, this is not a place for worship, it is a place of practice, so I hope that all who come to the building are also drawn to the practice of “seeing” themselves more fully as well.

Be Happy. Be Peaceful. Be Liberated.

 

 

 

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