‘You are not alone’ ‘We are the same’
There were three meditation sessions daily, at 7o’clock in the morning, at 12:30, and lately at 7 o’clock in the evening at the Sunlun Meditation Centre, 7th Mile. The people could come at the time they liked and practiced meditation there. At every session, we had to sit cross legs and breathe hard in and out for 50 minutes. During that 50 minutes we must mindful on the touch of the air on the nostril. After breathing session, we stopped suddenly and completely on an inhaled breath. At that time we still our body sit and watched sensation of pain, cramp, ache and numbness, heat or cold which had arisen in the body for another 50 minutes. During that session we must mindful on the most painful area with much awareness. For those total 100 minutes we must sit still and do not open our eyes.
(‘Girl, sit on one mat instead of 3 mats. Do not put your scarf under your knee. And think about your dad, etc.’) (Drawing by Maung Yit)
I tried to go to do meditation at the morning session at Sunlun monastery. We sat on a mat at the place we liked. There were several people around me. All were coming here to do the same practice that we would like to do. No one forced us to be here, right? There were meditation masters who watched us strictly. I was scolded at least 3 times in my life by one of meditation masters because of what I did he did not like.
Here, I would like to share my experiences, I called ‘my adventures’ …..
Sometimes ants and mosquitoes troubled me during the time of meditation. If they bite me, I felt so hurt and painful. Sometimes an ant was walking around my body especially on my neck and my face. My mind was following its footsteps until disappeared. I heard Sunlun Sayadaw U Wara said to His yogis that we would have to give loving kindness to ants or mosquitoes when they were biting us. I said to it, ‘Take my loving kindness, and leave me alone. Go on, go on, bite bite as you like. You know I could not move and beat you right now. I don’t know how many ants and mosquitoes I beat in my life. That’s your revenge, huh?…. etc..”
(‘Bite, bite as you like. You know I cannot beat you now!) (Drawing by Maung Yit)
Sometimes I coughed. I could not help coughing when it happened. I heard Former Sunlun Sayadaw U Vinaya said to me while I was coughing during the time of meditation. ‘Keep your mind on the area of your itching.’ Mindful on the neck where it itched on an inhaled breath and not let couching out. It was not easy. If you happen coughing in the middle of the meditation, you can try it. You will see it was difficult and hard. But this is the best way to stop coughing quicker.
(Former Sunlun Sayadaw U Vinaya.)
(‘Mindful on the sensation, not pain. Mindful on the sensation of pain, ‘ Sunlun Sayadaw U Wara.)
Sometimes the weather was so hot and I was feeling miserable during the time of meditation. I sat tight and was sweating all over my body. I heard Sayadaw U Wara’s speeches, ‘… hotness, or cold….. Mindful on the sensation….’ ‘‘…… you do not notice the pain because you change position all the time. But if you stopped and stayed still, the pain appeared. Here you built up your pain by doing meditation. When the pain comes, be mindful on the sensation of pain. If you know the touch and mindful on the sensation, it is Vipassana. Try and hard.’
(My Chinese friend in front of me sometimes switched her fan during the time of meditation. I would like to say her, ‘Thank you, I too was comfortable by cool air from your fan.’) (Illustration by Maung Yit)
(My Chinese friends, two lovely sisters sat beside me sometimes used their spray or chalk to avoid ants and mosquitos before the time of meditation. I would like to thank them, ‘It really works! Because of you, the insects also cannot come near me.’) (Illustrated by Maung Yit.)