Lisa: There was so much pain, I cannot think of anything except “This is no-self? How is it possible?”
—- Sharing on the 3-day retreat (3R3), 2015/04/18 ~ 20
Friday evening, before 3-day retreat started, Linda was talking to us one by one. She told me to prolong the time of asking and make it the mainstream of thoughts.
Saturday morning, I felt drowsy and was reminded by the incense board for a few times. While my mind was drifting away with wondering thoughts or drowsiness, I asked, “The I that was thinking (or drowsy) is also no-self. What is no-self?”
While talking to Linda in the afternoon, I said my drowsiness was getting better. When my awareness was drifting away, I would ask “The I that was drowsy (or losing awareness) is also no-self. What is no-self then?” Linda told me to be aware what was the state when awareness occurs again. Was it fear of other emotion, etc.? And then just to ask “This (fear, ect.) is also no-self, what is no-self?
During the session in the afternoon, I was continue to ask and be aware like what Linda said. I found that once I got fuzzy and about to lose awareness, I would remind myself to watch it. After drifting away, when awareness suddenly appear, I have awared that my mind was confused, didn’t know what had happened and where I had been. So I asked, “The I who was confused is also no-self, so what is no-self?” I felt the awareness was like a reminder. The one who was reminding is “I”, the one who was reminded is also “I”, and they are no-self. “What is no-self?”
Linda told us to “open up” the awareness more, continue to ask based on each moment, “This, no-self?” I was doing so, and were able to ask continuously. During one session, I didn’t take the break and was continue to sit and ask. Gradually, my foot was getting hurt. It was really painful. Very painful! I still continued to ask “This, no-self? What is no-self?” A thought came up to me, “Already told you that this is no-self. Why you dare not to face it!’ But there was so much pain, I cannot think of anything else except “This is no-self? How is it possible? I don’t understand. I can’t get it.”
After the session was finished, during the bread, I felt I was such a fool. Since it is no-self, why couldn’t I just face my pain? On the contrary, I was trying to reject and ran away from it?
In the evening, Linda asked us to share our “successful experience of the day”. I didn’t know whether I should call it a “successful failure” or “a failed successful experience”.
Sunday afternoon, in one session, I felt foot pain. Because of my previous experience, I decided to face my pain this time. I had another experience on Friday: I felt foot pain in the sitting, so I kept on relaxing my leg. Then I realized, my relaxation was out of trying to resist my pain. I “don’t want” the pain. Therefore, while I felt pain on Sunday afternoon, I gave up resistance, just kept on asking “what is no-self?” I want to experience the pain itself. And then, as if I was dissolve into the pain, the sensation of pain suddenly disappeared. And I felt the power of compassion was so strong that I can’t help crying. Thus end the session.
During the break, Linda said we may go outside to take a walk but don’t drop the question. I walked down the lawn and saw the wired shape of Jesus on the wood cross. I did feel the love of God is such a great love. And I burst into tears again.
In the sharing session on last day, when I talked about this experience, Linda asked me whether I was keeping on asking and doubting at the time. Then I realized I didn’t ask “This, no self? What is no-self?” at the moment while I had the feeling. Although I had asked the question while I was drinking during the break, while seeing the wired Jesus statue and had that feeling, I still didn’t continue to ask. Now I realized, this is what Linda emphasized: “To continue!”. I felt I am such a fool, again. And I have to admit I am easy to hold on to the wonderful feeling of beautiful things. I should have continuously ask based on those feelings.
Monday afternoon, there were three consecutive sessions. I kept on awaring and asking “What is no-self?” The one with this thought is I, with that thought is also I, and they are no-self. What is no-self？ A thought came up, “Who are you?”
While doing massage, I felt funny. It was like you were trying to search for the thief in a dark room. Suddenly you saw the one who was carrying the flashlight, yet you don’t know who that is. So you surprisingly asked: “Geez, who are you?”
The next session, it was like I was asking toward that person “What is no-self?” I was asking anxiously in the beginning, and turned into begging-kind-of-asking later on. There’s no answer. While doing massage, I realized I was asking with a seeking mind. How would it be possible to get the answer? So I soften down and asked “what is no-self?” slowly. During the sharing, Linda said, “Then you were not doubting, not asking based on that moment. Indeed! I also know Jeremy would say, I told you not to ask it as an object. Right. **** check more Students’ Sharing ****