Rocky, But Beneficial

I just completed my third 10-day Vipassana course a couple of days ago. It’s hard to believe that I’m a legitimate old student now—I remember regarding the old students with great awe during my first course three years ago. And yet, I am still such a fledgling on the path. I still looked with awe at the old student in front of me in the first row, who sat serenely like a statue of Buddha throughout every single sitting—and even the discourses!! I’m not there yet.

This course was tough. I brought much more agitation and reactiveness to this course than either of my first two courses, due to significant stress in my work life and personal life in recent months. (Not surprisingly, the increased stress coincided squarely with the dwindling and near complete evaporation of my daily practice…) My mind was, indeed, a wild and untameable elephant.

Ultimately, though, while I doubted my progress at various points during the course, in the end I was certain of my benefit. My equanimity has grown. I am relieved, and my faith strengthened that continuity is, indeed, the secret to success, in the words of Goenkaji.

I am back on the wagon. Now back home, I successfully sat my two hours today, and my compass in life feels decidedly realigned. Work and personal life stressors are shifting in the right direction. Dhamma works.

Hang in there, folks!

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This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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