I was a happy person before being introduced to Vipassana. I learned Vipassana at a tumultuous time in my life. From one perspective Vipassana caused me to fester in my miseries. Difficult memories and emotions would come up and I would simply be sitting with them. These difficult states would linger throughout my day and from the outside it may have appeared that Vipassana was causing me to be miserable. On the apparent level this was true.
Before Vipassana, I simply would have buried these negative emotions and moved on. I would have been able to find short term happiness much faster with this strategy, but it’s very clear to me that these buried emotions would be “sleeping volcanoes.” Whether it was one year, 5 years, or 30 years, these emotions would return to the surface and overcome my mind with misery.
Now that I’ve put in the time and energy to process through these negative emotions I’ve discovered a deeper happiness than I ever had before. In the past, happiness was always a fleeting experience that ebbed and flowed with the situations in my life. Now I’m learning to go to a deeper more stable place where my happiness can’t be dislodged. I know I will still encounter difficult emotions as I dig deeper into my mind, but I’m facing them on my terms now.
I know that as these sankaras are purified I’m tapping into the deeper peace and happiness in my mind. I’m tasting nibbana more and more fully every day. Maybe, with time, more and more people will notice the changes in my life as a positive. While I’m not as playful and energized as before Vipassana, my life as a whole is healthier, especially knowing that one by one I’m removing each sleeping volcano in my mind. Time to meditate.