I blogged about my Vipassana experience 2 years ago – this is an update.
For the first year I meditate for about 30 to 45 minutes daily – in the morning (it is the only time I can meditate – after that, the inner dialog is too distracting). Gradually I skip some mornings and meditate for shorter periods of time: I am wondering if my practice will peter out and die? Then, last summer I am going through some health challenges – GI issues. It occurs to me that in my meditation practice (which includes a body scan to feel the energy in various parts of the body), I should be able to detect where/what the problem in my GI tract is. With this as a focus during my meditation, I sense that my colon is blocked in a particular place. I massage the area – which feels good but does not alleviate the symptoms. My doctor is recommending a colonoscopy; I decide to go ahead with it and indeed, he finds an obstruction. To explore the nature of the obstruction, a MRI is recommended – I go ahead with it and the MRI confirms it: the guess is that my colon is twisted or otherwise blocked. Is it the same area I identified during my meditation? It’s not conclusive, but my gut (ha!) feeling is that I identified the area/obstruction correctly; however, I am now on the western medicine tract and a barium enema is next. Surprisingly, it indicates no obstructions – now the guess is that the enema straightened out the obstruction. My GI tract improves – although very slowly.
Back to Vipassana: I now meditate regularly and currently, I miss only once or twice a week. Why the change? Is it because of all these medical procedures? It certainly appears to be a significant factor: the intense physical experience of the various medical procedures has made the body scanning of the Vipassana practice feel more relevant. On the other hand, it’s hard to sort out all the variables – eg, the mediation practice is such an integral part of my morning routine: I get up before anyone else does, make coffee, make a fire, empty the dish rack, then sit down to a cup of coffee in the dark – and FEEL myself: in the dark, with my brew, wake up to a new day, and then meditate. It feels so right.
I still wonder exactly what benefits I derive from my meditation and/or my morning routine. Why do I meditate more regularly some times than others? Mostly, I feel that something is lacking – when I don’t do the practice. But what exactly is it? I can’t really verbalize it.
I wonder whether I would be meditating now if I had not experienced the GI issues; in any case, I am happy to be back in my practice (and my GI tract feels much healthier).