Lately I have found that besides sitting twice a day i like to add a third session, usually shorter.II do this in general during the weekends when I have more time available. That extra session it’s usually the best one in terms of stability of my practice and getting closer to some form of equanimity. However, I started to think recently that we can also crave our practice of Vipassana. In fact, in those days in which my schedule does not allow for me to sit twice a day (2 or 3 days every month due to work commitments) i feel very frustrated. I know i should be trying to adapt my practice to the context in which i’m operating at any given time. For example, if i’m in a business meeting i could focus on my bodily sensations and my breathing. But i rarely do that Frequently i get irritated wishing i could be home to practice. Clearly i need more practice, but the fact is that Iam sometimes, CRAVING for my practice.Let’s suppose that i could choose to drop whatever i’m doing and go to meditate right away. Would not that be giving in to my cravings?.
If the case would be the opposite, let’s suppose you have the time to practice but you don’t do it because you don’t feel like, you are tired, etc. That’s clearly giving in to your AVERSION.
So i wonder sometimes how to apply equanimity not just in meditation but in my daily life.
And i realize that it is not simple to act based on the concept of a pure and right action.
I wonder if anybody else struggles with these concepts.
One last question: isn’t the desire to be liberated a form of craving? i guess not, but i’m not sure i know why. Maybe one day i will know why!!
5 thoughts on “Craving for Vipassana Practice?”
craving for liberation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ananda
Anand craved for liberation before first council. The day before start of council, in the morning he lied down with his mind in present and realised that he was craving for liberation. This moment of purity liberated him and he became part of council.
Thank you guidosetton. This is a reflective, meaningful post. Your questions might even be best proposed to an assistant teacher in this tradition. But here are some of my personal understandings anyway — so read my thoughts skeptically is what I’m saying.
These questions are rather familiar to me and these days I look to the first discourse given by the Enlightened One, The Dhammacakkapavattana Sutta. Here, in the first words of his, the Buddha propounds so many important words to his upright followers — to people who are experiencing the truth within themselves.
In experiencing deep, pleasant, calm, subtle sensations any cravings which begin are synonymous with suffering/unsatisfactoriness. I personally view cravings as unwholesome, mental formations (sankharas). So when they arise, seeing that they stir up blinding mental states, it becomes very difficult for me to observe bodily sensations. To me this proves why it is incredibly challenging and requiring of a firm mind to transversing the landscape of suffering.
Dukkha samudaya — Any object of craving is suffering/unsatisfying AND the craving itself is suffering/unsatisfying so declares the Buddha in this first Discourse. Mentioned are the three main forms of cravings as cravings for sensual pleasures, cravings for sustained/everlasting “I”, and cravings for liberated states. All these OBJECTS of craving are suffering/unsatisfactoriness and the craving itself is suffering/unsatisfying. I easily lose the wisdom of anicca, dukkha, and anatta in the present moment when these mental formations arise in me.
But I’m finding that if I’m scanning the body, as Goenkaji taught us, and the mind is taken away to thoughts about liberation, thoughts about this sensual object, or about living on forever, I try to rescan the body as quickly as possible to re-associate with the wisdom of impermanence, suffering, and/or not-self. Per my own experience, this helps me put a rapid end to ‘rolling’ into craving for any objects and toward the craving itself.
Again this is all subjective and by no means am I even close to being qualified to talk about this. I really think you’d be better served to speak to someone further practiced than myself, someone in a distinguished role who can respond directly to the context of your inquiries.
At any rate, best of luck and continued practice, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year, in any position of the body! 🙂
Take care of yourself happily!
once we do long course following becomes easy and part of day to day life:
At any rate, best of luck and continued practice, moment by moment, day by day, week by week, year by year, in any position of the body!
Certainly, craving is misery. Even craving for wholesome things is misery. But isn’t craving for wholesome things so much better than craving for what is unwholesome? Isn’t craving to meditate better than craving for power or women or money or fame or any number of things? Certainly, this is progress my friend. Look back to things you used to crave for and see how far you have come. Rejoice in this my friend. But in the rejoicing, also continue to strive to come out of all craving. Certainly, a day will come when you will meditate because it is the wholesome thing, the wise thing, the wonderful thing and not because you crave for it. But even so, you must rejoice at how far you have come while continuing to strive to go even further.
Here is a story my meditation teacher told me:
“There was a monk, who was extermely eager to be enlightened. He did sit in the Dharma hall all day long and meditated. He did that week after week, month after month. One day, the Master came to the Dharma hall and sat down. The monk now wanted to impress the teacher and was even more serious and eager with his meditation. Eyes closed, very upright position. This went on for some time, and then the monk became very curious to see what the Master was doing. So he opened his eyes a little, and he saw the Master rubbing a stone. This irritated the monk a lot, so he could not meditate any longer, and he asked the master, what he was doing. So the Master said: “I am rubbing this stone so that it becomes a diamont.” “Well”, the monk said,”You can rub this stone for ages, it will not turn into a diamond.” And the master replied:”And sitting in the Dharma hall for ages will not bring you enlightment”.”
Meditation is not confined to the dedicated practice sessions, the whole life should be meditation. The practice test is out there ….. This sounds clever, and I know, how difficult this is …..