Sunday, September 13, 2009

Vipassana Retreat, Installment 8

WEDNESDAY, JULY 8, 2009. 8:10 AM
            I had my on-line session with Shinzen last night.  I meditated on POSITIVE  IMAGE, visualizing the (Place of Perfect Peace) I had created for myself from elements of dreams/meditations a few years back. I tried to visualize specifically where on my (Inner Mental Screen) the image of the PoPP appeared, but it seemed to arise all over and nowhere simultaneously. I couldn’t perceive it as a concrete image on my INM, except if I relaxed. Then I seemed to be seeing it, or, at least, whichever detail I happened to be “zooming in” on. But I wasn’t observing the PoPP from afar; I was inside it. I dived into the pool, swam under the waterfall, into the grotto and lay on the cool black sands before I dove back in the pool, swam back into the open and lay atop the cement levee, a quarter inch of cool water running over its top as the dappled sunlight through the overhanging branches fell over me. “Does that count as IMAGE?”, I asked Shinzen when he called to check in 45 minutes later. He said that was perfect since it was mostly visual. (If you say so…)
He suggested, just for fun, that I try concentrating on positive TALK, IMAGE, and FEEL simultaneously, making the three aspects congruent, and left me to my own devices for about 10 minutes. All I could come up with was a sexual/romantic fantasy about Ed Asner in his role at the TV character, Lou Grant. (Ed was my first big crush as an adolescent.) When Shinzen checked back in, I told him that all I’d been able to come up with for my meditation was a sexual fantasy. He objected that was all wrong for the kind of program he was teaching, but said the fault was his for not being more specific. Apparently, sex fantasies aren’t appropriate subjects for mindful meditation. (If you say so…)

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