Friday, September 18, 2009

Vipassana Retreat, Installment 13

THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009, 5:45 AM

            I didn’t make it to the Zendo until 5:38 AM, too late for the 5:30 AM chanting session. I had thought I might be able to get in; things rarely seem to start on time around here. However the red light (on the molding between the wall and floor next to the Zendo door) was lit. As I looked down at the light, I heard the clacking of the wooden stick against the wooden “bell” as Shinzen beat out the time of the chant on the other side of the closed door. (We chant “Ohm Mani Padme Hum” (“The Jewel in the Lotus”), with a beat on each syllable, very slowly at first so that each syllable takes all of one’s breath, then more and more rapidly so that the entire mantra is said in one breath. It is quite energizing and all consuming.) Yet I couldn’t hear the chanting at all. This is very odd, especially given how thin the walls seem to be around here.   

THURSDAY, JULY 9, 2009, 9:05 AM

At yesterday afternoon’s First Timer session, we were instructed to note our emotional centers as a means to getting in touch with FEEL. I found my emo centers “lighting up”, so to speak, as I focused on them, especially the centers at my throat and face. This was odd, since I was feeling pretty emotionally detached.
A few hours later, I had the insight that my emotional centers seemed to map out pretty directly onto my chakras. I’m missing emo centers in my second and seventh charkas, and have 3 centers in my sixth. Other than that, there seems to be some sort of correspondence. And why do my face and throat centers activate every time I focus on them?v

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