DreamBliss

This experience of deeper and fresh wounds on my return

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I returned from a 10-Day Vipassana Retreat a few days ago. Some of you may have been waiting for some sort of status update from me. I am struggling with what I want to say. I will attempt some words here with this post, and you can read my initial impressions at my blog:

https://blisswriter.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/my-initial-thoughts-on-my-10-day-vipassana-retreat/

 

I will focus on how I feel, right now, in this moment. I am feeling anger, frustration, hurt and weariness. The best way I can describe my experience since my return is that it is like I have been given a treatment that makes me feel far worse than the disease.

 

I knew, after the first day, that this was not the place for me. This was not what I needed at this time, and it especially was not what I wanted. I chalked it up to what I was told, everyone wants to quit on the first day, and I am an especially stubborn bastard. Plus SNG, in that first video discourse, alluded to anyone who leaves as being weak minded. So that was a challenge, as he intended it to be.

 

The feeling that I did not belong there remained, becoming especially apparent again after the 4th day, but again I stuck with it, because everyone quits on the 5th and 6th day too. By the 8th day I was feeling deeply hurt inside, I was depressed and melacholy, but I stayed because now it was a matter of pride to see this through, to be able to tell others I made it through rather than have to say I qut within sight of the finishing line. The stupid things we do for or out of pride...

 

Since I have been back I have felt especially raw. I feel worse than before I left. Sometime midway through the course I cried a lot before bed, tossing and turning, not able to sleep. I had this strong feeling that I could not kill myself. I had these reasonas why, never mind the bullshit SNG teaches. I had my own reasons. But I don't feel that anymore, I just have this memory, this echo.

 

My whole life has been like this stupid course, it really has. I have kept myself going out of sheer stubbrness and pride, for no other reason. I am halfway through it now, the finish line is still not in sight. Yet I will keep going even though I don't have a single, solitary reason to do so.

 

At the risk of sounding like a complaining, spoiled whiny little brat I have to say that this experience is not one I wanted. It could be argued that it may be needed at some time in my life. If this is so, I doubt very highly it was at this time. What I wanted, and what I think I needed, was a loving, supportive healing experience. I needed to recover. I needed clarity, space an a chance to get my feet under me, pull myself up by my bootstraps. I received some clarity, I received space. But I feel as if I have been further smashed into the ground by the sheer weight of all the shit I am forced to carry.

 

In a year or less I will not have a place to live. I look around at other people, and they seem to have it figured out. They have jobs, have started families. It is a complete mystery to me, like a painting I just can't figure out or a code I can't decipher. As if there was a class but I never got the notice, never took it, now I have am F in "Getting Out On Your Own."

 

I simply can't and won't do work that does not interest me, and I would prefer that I enjoy it. I simply can't and won't live my life alone. I am weary in body, mind and soul. I feel like I have been run through a meat grinder, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiriitually.

 

I have no intention to ever return to one of these so-called "retreats." There is nothing there for me. In fact, I suspect there is nothing in this entire world for me. But that is a pretty stupid thing to say when I have seen so little of it. I guess we can add immature and naiive to my list of flaws. Fine.

 

Just going to focus on helping my grandma get her stuff packed up, getting her moved out. See where my parents end up, test the fleece (referring to the Christian Bible, Gideon I think), see what employment or education opportunites are available. Already looked pretty well into the education side of things, not much there. But I won't close myself off, at least not yet. I will remain allowing, open and receptive.

 

Once everyone is moved out and my work here is done I will make a decision as to what to do next. If there is nothing in this area for me, or that appeals to me, I am leaving. I will attempt to see a little of the world before I declare I don't belong in it. The Universe doesn't make mistakes, right? If I am here, there must be places where the puzzle peice that is my life can snap into.

 

I am just about out of what little hope I could scrape together. Yes, I gained much from going to the course. I will not deny it. Deep stuff worked through, habbits broken. Sure. But if you keep thrustig the metal into the fire, beat on it, heat it, beat on it,. and never cool it, that metal will loose all its durbaility and strength. Everything and everyone requires some sort of rest. Nobody goes in for heart sugery and brain surgery at the same time. At least as far as I know. Recovery is needed. But I am denied this, and as a result I am growing weaker.

 

I have words yet to say to one person in particular here, but I still have to work on them. I don't think I have much else to say here at Dao Bums. I will watch this thread. But I am tired of words, I am tired of a computer being my only link to any kind of social interaction. I am especially tired of help that is not really help at all, yet still I am expected to show appreciation and gratitude. I am supposed to be thankful for all the pain the advice I folowed brought to me. I am supposed to be gracious, motivated by love. Able to smile even as you punch me in the face.

 

I am so far from being any kind of holy person like that it isn't eve funny. I will leave these superhuman abilities to the Buddhas out there. I am comfortable saying I am the furthest thing from any holy, wise spiritual master. I won't deny my weakneses, and I will claim my strengths, such as they are.

 

Don't expect much activity from me around here for a while. Please accept my apologies in advance if I hurt or offend. It is very hard for the bear that has been seriously unjured to not want to maul anyone who passes by. Just treat me like a wounded, dangerous animal and don't take anything I do or say personally. I appreciate it. Understand that I am in a lot of pain right now, and these words are insufficient to describe the levels. I am alone and hurting, angry amd frustrated. Be patient with me.

 

There will be no other updates for a while. But I have have more to say about the retreat, and will post that at my blog.

Edited by DreamBliss
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Life can offer some sensory perception. The interpretation of sensation as good or bad remains the exclusive choice of a single consciousness.

 

Lay down the concept of expectation for experience. Lay down expectation for a given quality of life standard.

 

In laying these things down, one becomes free to embrace continously manifesting reality with unbreakable peace, unbreakable contentment, unbreakable appreciation of this moment of Now.

 

Each being is as trapped/doomed/victomized by its reality as it believes itself to be.

 

At this moment, you are only a choice in state of mind away from unlimited peace and indescribable bliss. It is equally a choice to choose a state of non-bliss, but this choice is pointlessly incompassionate to yourself who deserves your love more than anyone.

 

Unlimited Love,

-Bud

Edited by Bud Jetsun
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Dreambliss? I'm perfectly ok with a 'f*ck you' if that's where you are and what you need to say right now... really. Pretend I'm any and everyone who has expected you to think, see, feel other than how you do. Pretend I'm every pithy substanceless response you've ever read. Write me hate mail. But most of all just keep letting it out... until there isn't anything to let out anymore.

 

I'm here, but I'm only a straw dog.

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Hi DreamBliss,

I'm here also.

I don't know what to offer but some of my time if you think it would be of any value.

I wish you well.

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I'm sure you know this, but when you quiet the mind, sometimes the dark whispers get loud, real loud.  They were always there, but now they're loud.  They'll fade, but for now, they will give you something to work on. 

 

Starting and getting through what you have, means that you are strong.  Strength is good so is endurance.  True endurance means knowing how to rest.  Sometimes it's between rounds, sometimes its between strokes.  So, rest a little bit.  Create a little peace for yourself, a little bit. 

 

We rest, regroup and come back stronger or at least with a new strategy.

 

Yours

Michael

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Hi DB. I'm also here and available and wish you well. :)

 

For me the key sentence from your blog post was 'This ‚Äúretreat‚ÄĚ is not, in any way, shape or form a retreat.' I think your expectation of what a retreat is about was very different from what a vipassana retreat is about - perhaps 'expedition' would be a better word! Had I known you were planning going to a vipassana retreat, I would have strongly advised against it.

 

Vipassana isn't meant to help with life situations so much as reveal the fundamental structure and nature of experience (impermanence, etc), which can be a very rough ride. Vipassana is more useful for people who are at a calm place in their life, emotions and thoughts and want to challenge their deepest ideas and attachments around stuff like their sense of self, so as to awaken.

 

A qigong retreat, or perhaps a retreat emphasizing metta, would have been much more helpful to you: 'What I wanted, and what I think I needed, was a loving, supportive healing experience. I needed to recover. I needed clarity, space an a chance to get my feet under me, pull myself up by my bootstraps.' I hope you find the recovery you need DB.

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I do too, but have little hope I will. I just don't even have the willingness to try to make something happen anymore.

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What were you hoping to get out of it?

 

Edit on post below 

Edited by Jetsun

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What I wanted, and what I think I needed, was a loving, supportive healing experience. I needed to recover. I needed clarity, space an a chance to get my feet under me, pull myself up by my bootstraps. I received some clarity, I received space. But I feel as if I have been further smashed into the ground by the sheer weight of all the shit I am forced to carry.

Again, you need to actively self-heal a multitude of "lower chakra" blockages before you attempt upper-level spiritual work like meditation. You must advance, before you can retreat.

 

Otherwise, you are just trying to spiritually bypass them (escapism). Which is just a long exercise in futility,...in case you haven't noticed yet, lol...

Edited by gendao
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At the risk of sounding like a complaining, spoiled whiny little brat I have to say that this experience is not one I wanted. It could be argued that it may be needed at some time in my life. If this is so, I doubt very highly it was at this time. What I wanted, and what I think I needed, was a loving, supportive healing experience. I needed to recover. I needed clarity, space an a chance to get my feet under me, pull myself up by my bootstraps. I received some clarity, I received space. But I feel as if I have been further smashed into the ground by the sheer weight of all the shit I am forced to carry.

 

Ah I see you already answered my question. Sorry.

 

I have done both meditation retreats and healing retreats and courses. Meditation retreats are hard, you are forced to face yourself, your karma all alone , Adyashanti says when he first started doing retreats his personal mantra was always "never again, never again, never again" and on one of his retreats he completely gave up and left, yet he says that was one of his best ever retreats and continued to go back.

 

Personally on my first meditation retreat I had very difficult moments , but the Vipassana sounds particularly intense and difficult especially on the physical level, I wouldn't do it like that personally. The healing courses I have done have been very nurturing and have helped clear things out which has made doing the meditation retreats much easier. If you want to get such nurturing I recommend going to see Amma http://amma.org/meeting-amma/north-america , you are unlikely to find any better nurturing anywhere than there. Also for healing I recommend seeing a Vortex healing therapist or do a course in it. Since doing these things myself I have found the meditation retreats far easier and less overwhelming. 

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My whole life has been like this stupid course, it really has.

 

 

 

That was my experience with vipassana too -- just like real life, only worse. I once walked out of a months-long silent retreat to go get pepperoni pizza in a nearby town. I also wrote a letter complaining about the no masturbation rule, a letter which our teacher, Joseph Goldstein, read aloud and addressed in a dharma talk. Let¬īs just say I didn¬īt win the Most Likely to Reach Enlightenment in This Lifetime award.

 

I don¬īt have any advice to pass along other than I know how hard those so-called "retreats" can be. Hope you feel better soon and find the kind of healing and support you are looking for.

 

Liminal

Edited by liminal_luke
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I do too, but have little hope I will. I just don't even have the willingness to try to make something happen anymore.

 

One thing has occurred to me that I'd like to relate.

I've been traumatized on a few occasions - chemical, emotional, psychological.

Spiritual trauma is particularly devastating.

 

The one thing that has helped me to stabilize and begin re-integration is connecting with nature.

You mentioned remaining "open" in your OP.

I'd suggest you consider spending some time in nature and opening to the elements.

They are the greatest source of healing, IMO.

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I simply can't and won't do work that does not interest me, and I would prefer that I enjoy it.

 

I don't mean to be an ass, I understand you're having trouble but this is probably the biggest thing holding you back. Sometimes we have to do shit we don't wanna to get by. Would you rather be homeless? I was pretty close to it again this year because I felt like you do. Now, I'm working and while it bores me, doesn't interest me, and is far from enjoyable I do not have to worry about eating, a place to stay, or enjoying social life with a wider circle. Money helps sometimes - it's only a tool and to use it you sometimes have to make sacrifices.

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That was my experience with vipassana too -- just like real life, only worse. I once walked out of a months-long silent retreat to go get pepperoni pizza in a nearby town. I also wrote a letter complaining about the no masturbation rule, a letter which our teacher, Joseph Goldstein, read aloud and addressed in a dharma talk. Let¬īs just say I didn¬īt win the Most Likely to Reach Enlightenment in This Lifetime award.

 

I don¬īt have any advice to pass along other than I know how hard those so-called "retreats" can be. Hope you feel better soon and find the kind of healing and support you are looking for.

 

Liminal

 

This really made me laugh man, thanks. I know exactly where you are coming from too...

 

Pizza and masturbation, the best friends a single man can have...

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Thanks for posting.

 

I remember my first Vipassana retreat, pretty dark times! 

 

Sometimes words can't reach us,

but later on,

the storm will change,  

and spring will arrive.

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I don't mean to be an ass, I understand you're having trouble but this is probably the biggest thing holding you back. Sometimes we have to do shit we don't wanna to get by. Would you rather be homeless? I was pretty close to it again this year because I felt like you do. Now, I'm working and while it bores me, doesn't interest me, and is far from enjoyable I do not have to worry about eating, a place to stay, or enjoying social life with a wider circle. Money helps sometimes - it's only a tool and to use it you sometimes have to make sacrifices.

 

It is far easier to be who soceity,

Says you should be,

 

And to do what soceity

Tells you to do,

 

Than to simply and truly,

Be you!

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Thanks for posting.

 

I remember my first Vipassana retreat, pretty dark times! 

 

Sometimes words can't reach us,

but later on,

the storm will change,  

and spring will arrive.

 

 

THIS!

 

No ... I am not going to cane you anymore .... your first post about yourself here , reads a bit like my first responses to you on this forum .  

 

I am not going to offer platitudes  BUT ... it is not at all impossible that this situation ( home, life, career, residence, etc ) is going to force the next stage of your individuation process ....    the 'Universe' does that sometimes. 

 

It could well be the  start of  vast new potential unfolding.   Like I said before 'throw yourself in the river' and  you never know where you will end up.

 

For some reason I want to tell a story here :

 

I have a mate who is an importer from China , he met an Aussie Chinese guy and they did this business deal together and it worked out quiet well. My friend thought maybe they could do more. He commented to him that he has done well for himself in business and seems to have it all sorted; nice house, car, business money and nice Aussie wife.

 

The Chinese guys told him "Oh yes ... now ... but not before ."

 

"What do you mean ?"   (Thinking the guy, like many Australians,  had Chinese parents and probably grew up here with the advantages most Australians have ).

 

" I lived in China to the age of about 30 ... I was an accountant in a small firm. One day, walking home from work there was a protest in the street. I changed my route to avoid it, but the police attacked them and dispersed them and people were running everywhere, I got caught up in it and arrested. I said. no I am accountant on my way home from work, they said, no you are a protester ... many of the protesters are accountants and other workers. So they took me away and put me in a political prison somewhere, I wasnt even sure where. 

 

Then there was a riot in the prison, again I didnt want to get involved, but I caught up in things again. They just started shooting people, I got one in the leg but I played dead.  They moved the bodies , with me now pretending to be one of them outside the prison and I thought I may be able to escape if I keep still and I had to hide amongst a pile of corpses. 

 

They took them and me to a nearby rubbish dump and when dumping the bodies I must have passed out.  I think there then was a big storm, and stuff from the dump got washed into a nearby river, I remember waking up in the water, lying on top of something floating and the storm and rubbish and bodies around me in the water.  I swam over to something else floating that seemed  more stable and climbed up on it and passed out again.  I woke up later and I was floating in the ocean ... eventually a boat from another country picked me up. I ended up in the Philippines, got into the refugee program and many years later ended up in Australia. I did a business course to catch up and match my qualification with Australian standard and got a job. Then I got married and we saved up and then  I started my own business .... and now ... here I am . 

 

 

Hang in there !   It is just as likely that something great will happen as well as something not great .... I mean, as you know, I am not one to sugar coat things with affirmations of it will all be fine .... definitely  cathart , release, bitch and shout as you need ... but dont get totally negative about amazing new potentials 

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It is far easier to be who soceity,

Says you should be,

 

And to do what soceity

Tells you to do,

 

Than to simply and truly,

Be you!

 

Actually, it isn't easier; my job has become ... my practice. And apparently I still need a lot of that. I recently told a coworker that if I can't remain centered when life throws drama into the mix - I'm not 'there' yet. There are lessons and reminders everywhere.....

 

********

 

The center remains... if only we can remember it. It's not a hoping you will be ok. It's a knowing you will be when you decide that's what you want.

 

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There are always options out there if you just look around. You only feel like you can't climb out of that hole because you're too busy thinking about how high the walls seem to be. Get climbing and really set your mind on achieving goal after goal, then before you know it, the hole will have been filled in with your own success.

 

I know how hard it is in that mindset, feeling hopeless, useless, defeated, exhuasted, in need of help and like the world has let you down. But at the same time you probably know that nobody else can help you, often pushing help away, because only you can get yourself off of your own ass. Finding that motivation is the hardest step, and then keeping it going. It takes plenty of practice before it feels less stressful/opposed to who you are.

 

Also, although we often complain of the world and being forced into work for a system we want no part in...in truth, while it's far from perfect, we've got it pretty easy right now. You're not IN the food chain for starters.

 

Trust that everything works itself out in the end, and that it's ok to feel like shit sometimes. Not everything is for everyone, but don't give up on trying.

Edited by Silent Answers
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Hey DreamBliss,

 

Sounds like you were having a tough ride. I feel with you. But as you wrote on your blog:

 

"You may have habitual thought patterns, a term SNG uses, and Vipassana is good for going deep, bringing the garbage to the surface, and clearing it out."

 

Now, it's a typical reaction that when the garbage is brought up and out, we feel like garbage ourselves at first. I hope that by time you will start feeling some benefits you got out of the thing.

 

That said, there are as many varieties of spirituality as there are ideas and needs regarding it. And I am sure there are workshops and the like more in keeping with what you envision, and where you can meet like minded individuals. Costs may be a factor, but, well, if you are meant to go to a place, count on the Universe to help you out. :)

 

I may have mentioned it before... I would strongly recommend to you participating in a Silva Mind Control seminar. The name of this method was not chosen very well, imo. What you are learning to "control" is your own mind, that is, to give it a direction towards what you want in life by means of positive affirmations and visualizations. You also learn about connecting to your guides, invoking helpful dreams, some psychic techniques, and so on.

 

The whole course is extremely uplifting. It will give you a bunch of very practical methods and pretty amazing insights into your true potential as a spiritual being in a physical body, immadiately. Of course, to hone the skills you have learned will be a matter of practice and time.

 

I am not sure what the current curriculum looks like, exactly. When I did the seminar some 25 years ago, it was four full days of lectures and guided meditations - sitting comfortably on chairs. :D It could be repeated as often as one wished at a low price. I repeated it once. What I learned continues to be immensely helpful for tackling life's challenges. Needless to say, I have greatly expanded on the original material meanwhile.

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As I write,I watch the galahs and sparrows,gathering the scattered seed thrown to them.

They seem happy getting by on what the world offers to them.

 

Thankyou DreamBliss,the path is yours,may your journey continue.

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