Thanks for the book suggestion! Mindfulness/meditation have definitely kept me going, though not specifically Vipassana. Actually, the reason it's been exhilarating is the fact that never before have I been so present in the world around me. And with the ability to be present has come an awareness of all the dissonance that was in my head before and the ability to rise above all the useless thoughts - do you know what I mean? Alan Watts videos on YouTube have also helped alot, because he's been putting into words some of the realisations that I've had. Ironically recently I've noticed that my interactions with people are way easier and enjoyable for both parties (most of the time).
The problem? Well, firstly it almost hurts my brain because it's like really knowing the world, while also being aware of how very, very little I know and how little the people around me know. An actual, slight physical pain. Becoming aware of how many possibilities there are out there, and beyond all the usual societal rubbish, how possible they are. So why shouldn't I just get on a bus and go? My intuition says that not only is it possible, in the end, maybe its sensible. This is what I'm reading as Se's desire for adventure.
So while I'm content and happy with the present moment most of the time now, there's something missing. No matter where I go or who I'm with there's this desire to be somewhere else that just won't go. While I feel like I know a lot about the world, suddenly I'm aware that I'm just an idiot who knows nothing. My friends and family mean the world to me but in reality they're just people. Anyone of them could walk up to me, now, and tell me they're leaving forever and I'd just hug them and say 'Good luck and good bye.'. That emotional connection to them seems so small and pointless in comparison to the universe.
-Sigh- this all reads like common sense. I have so many questions but I know none of the questions matter so to even begin to get them out of my head is impossible.
When you describe your struggle, you know you're describing being human and prone to escape. Of course you want to run back to your imagine: Fun, lively, safe, all yours... I know!
I was meditating today in my yoga room. Really ill, and almost talked myself out of sitting for 30 minutes--didn't have energy for range-of-motion or a shower before (or after) so I asked, "What's the priority?" And I said, in my head obviously, "Meditation," so I made myself go in, simple set up, in the dark, Dollar Store timer set for 30 minutes.
Then, the nausea started. Next came the thoughts and I'd say "Discursive" back to my breath; next thought, "Imaginary, future," back to my breath. Then I got a charlie horse in my right foot, and that I had to do something about so I only moved enough to ease it--I don't reposition myself during meditation, and I started sweating.
This went on... and I blamed myself for wanting it to end, noted "Self-condemnation, discursive thought" back to breathing.
So I hear a lawn mower coming close, up against the back of my yoga room, really loud. More nausea, then chills, discursive thoughts, imagery, noting, back to the breath.
I came closer than I ever have to getting up but I said, "You get up once, it'll be easier next time," note: Discursive thought. Back to breathing.
Lawn mowing kept up, around and around, closer then fading...
Next came weed whacking actually up against the room. I noted, "aversion, anger," back to the breath. Thought, "Maybe I didn't set the timer. Oh, you know you set it--you can remember the beep. Noted discursive thinking" back to breathing.
Good god, a couple times I wanted to laugh till I cried.
Finally the beep of the timer, rubbed my eyes, eased up off the cushion, mindfully put away my quilted rug that goes under it, got my flip flops on, left the room...
Best meditation session ever in terms of staying put, getting back to my breathing, noting whatever came up, and damn I'm glad for "impermanence" in this sense as two days ago I had the easiest, most focused session, which felt great but did it do me as much good?
My job is to sit, breathe in and out, note what comes up, go back to breathing.
And I thought at one point, but especially after, "This is why people work so much, go to school, parties, play video games, surf the Net, go on trips, get massages, have sex, eat in favorite restaurants, read and write and think... You name it, we indulge, chase or work to avoid it, because to know ourselves really?!?
We don't want to; we weren't trained for it; our Monkey Minds rebel; and we have a lot of incentive and company conveying, "Enjoy yourself!"
As Bhante Gunaratana, Vipassana teacher writes, the beginning of an exercise before we sit;
May I be well. May I be happy. May no harm come to me. May I meet with spiritual success..."
Then finishing it all, going each in turn, desiring the same for teachers, parents, friends, the disinterested, the unfriendly, and all beings.
That's what I'm working with, and what's working on me, now.
Boring in the usual sense; exciting when I look with a different perspective--one I am not used to using but will grow more and more familiar as long as I plant my behind on the cushion and my attention on my breath...
I want to face myself with all the pain, anger, impatience, fear, and all the rest with awareness of how much I live in my imagination "more" than I want to run away; not a lot more:
Just enough. That's all. And that'll do.
Peace to you,