Lore: I don’t want to admit my doubt goes beyond the script, so I start a new chapter and give up the old manuscript
—- Sharing on the 3-day retreat (3R3), 2015/04/18 ~ 20
It has been more than one year since last time I attended a full 3-day retreat. One year flew by so fast when I paid careless to my life. Right at the beginning of the retreat, the teacher advised us seriously, “Make every second count!” The similar reminders had been preached for countless times, but it was until this time I decided not making excuses, not leaving the ground for retreat.
I used to doubt selectively instead of facing every mind movement and doubt on it, and in fact I was not completely unconscious about this. Before the retreat started, the teacher reminded me to be aware and face every me.
The teacher showed me the “enlarge that second” gesture first time on Saturday morning. I felt anxious, and I was not sure whether I understood her nor was I sure whether I could practice accordingly. But Linda told me I needed not to analyze my situation, and all I needed to do was “Just do it!”
So I followed my teacher’s instruction, trying to “enlarge every second”, trying to find out what happened before I went blank and came back to ask “What is no self?” It turned out that I did not capture any blankness and the moment before the blankness because I was so careful about every moment that I did not go blank at all.
Also because I was so focus, I suddenly found that my behavior of “go blank>> fall asleep>> come back to ask ‘what is no self?’” was just meant to comfort my mind. It is a behavior that I want to re-control the situation when the entire world is totally messed up. The reason that I want to control is because I don’t want to admit that my doubt that I have worked so hard on now goes beyond the script that I have written for it. “I” do not accept this kind of change, so I turn to the next page, start a new chapter, and give up all the old manuscript.
When I understood my thoughts and behaviors, I decided to put more efforts on watching and doubting “Is this me no self? really no self? no self?” when I found I went blank or felt drowsy instead of tearing the previous pages, abandoning the previous chapters, or ignoring my previous efforts. I meditated in this way when the situation was still in control, but when I encountered difficult situations or when I was challenged by things that I was so unwilling to accept, my old habits came back. Saturday evening when my leg trembled unconsciously, I tried to hold my body to fight against the movement because I knew I would felt the pain if the trembling continued. I mainly focused on fighting against my body; the doubt became the secondary thing, not even mention to “enlarge that second”.
When I wandered leisurely on the grass slope and enjoyed the sunshine after weeding the grass in the garden on Sunday, Linda asked me, “What’s in your mind when you were lifting your eyebrows and making funny face?” I answered, “My leg hurts. I tried to make pressure on another part to see if it would ease the pain”. Just like fighting against the trembling, lifting my eyebrows was such an invalid movement. I just repeated my old habits, I didn’t practice in the right way, and I was not aware of this until the teacher pointed it out. I was regretful and decided to seize the opportunity and practiced well in the afternoon.
In the middle of the second session, when I focused on “enlarging that second” and watched the every detail in that second, it seemed that I was afraid of missing any part of it. Linda walked by me and said, “ It is just you don’t know what no self is.” Suddenly I recalled, “Hey, this is the point. The point is I don’t know what no self is!” It was until that moment I started to doubt “What is no self?” and I doubted on every “I” that I was aware. After that session, the teacher blamed me, “Why did you wait there until I shouted at you?” Suddenly I realized, “Oh, this is the method!” The teacher stared at me with her wide eyes and reminded me again, “Now you know the method. You continue to move on!”
Continuing my practice consistently, the most achievement was I found that I could even face the pain! In the later part of the 2-consecutive sessions on Sunday and Monday, the leg pain came to me. It still hurt very much, I still struggled in my mind, and my neck and shoulder still felt stressful, but I could doubt from my heart spontaneously. “Right now at this moment, I felt very painful. Is this pain no self? Is this struggling me no self? Is this tightened me no self? Is this winking me no self? Is this me who is making funny face no self? Is this me who is looking forward to Linda’s end up bell no self? Is this me who is comforting the disappointed me no self? Is this me who is about giving up everything but could not just let it go no self?” Before, whenever the pain came to me, I just wanted to run the time faster and hoped to end up everything quickly. But this time I could slow down, a little bit slower than the ordinary speed, to watch things in every second and to doubt on the mind movement that I was aware. Onto the 3-consecutive sessions in Monday afternoon, the pain reached its extreme. The teacher’s words that “every second count!” made me choose to continue.
So that the pain is just the pain, even it is so painful still one could doubt. It is until this time I experience this simple thing by myself. **** check more Students’ Sharing ****