Experiences of Lifetime

The gifts people bestow on you by introducing you to new experiences are the best gifts. Sometimes even they are unaware that they have given a gift of a lifetime to someone. Now that I think of about my choices or my favorite things in retrospect, I feel that not all items are mine, somehow they were given or lent to me to be experienced by others.

I became curious about Harry Potter when I saw my crush in school reading it, I was fascinated by the cover, but more so I was curious what exactly was he reading and when my brother’s friend lent me the series, I was blown over. I moved on from that crush long ago but never from that book.

Then in college, I met H, who is a very close friend of mine, who introduced me to music. Music didn’t mean much to me until he gifted me a CD with a vast collection of great music. Those songs are still my go-to songs.

My best friend M introduced me to great food, and she is that one person with whom I have so many firsts when it comes to food. We have explored so much from high-end restaurants in Canaught Place to the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, which smells like a heaven of food.

Another guy whom I met in a college club while doing my masters introduced me to my favorite author, Orhan Pamuk. Reading Pamuk opened a whole different world for me. Reading became more than just a hobby from then on. I can never thank him enough for this gesture.

And then I met someone who gave me, my favorite movie — the Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind. I have professed my love for this movie so many times, but this is one movie that introduced me to the depth of my emotions. I persuaded my brother to watch it, and then we ended up discussing it for hours. I think that is the most extended discussion we ever had about art. Yes, I am in depth of this person for all the experiences.

I have come to realize that people move in and out of your life, and you get used to their presence and absence. And somehow, life goes on. But it’s the experiences they give you that become part of your soul. The soul that’s eternal even if you leave this body of yours. So thank you, everyone, for marking my soul with a great experience.

On last note sharing my favorite quote from the movie, which is taken from the beautiful poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope.

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world, forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.”

PS: I haven’t included everything here. Today it was just about the small things.

Before venturing into the journey of Vipassana

vipassana

16th June 2018,
Seven days before the final day

Today, exactly a week before going for vipassana meditation, I am writing this piece to capture my emotions before venturing into something so new and different in my life. I have tried various meditative forms before, some with trained people following a discourse, some by reading multiple books on mediation, and some with the help of youtube videos and music. Though this is my first time going into extreme isolation to try mediation. It is going to be tough to follow a strict regime, but the toughest part would be observing total silence, as you all know I am a very loquacious person. There are days when I feel very anxious about the whole process, but then the eternal optimist inside me comes to fore-front and eases my uneasiness. When I first told my parents that I would be going for this program, my mother’s reaction was why don’t you come home instead of going for the program. And I had to explain to her that I need this program to get closer to my inner self. My husband is pleased that I have finally decided to go because it’s been more than four years that I have been thinking about doing it. I am not sure what I am trying to get through it, but I am hoping that it will bring something to my personality not immediately but in a longer time span. I love the different reactions that people give when I share my plan with them. Most people think I won’t be able to do it because they think I can’t curb my desire to speak. But then they don’t know about my willpower. My brother keeps poking and saying that I will come running back within first three days and I keep reminding him that I am not someone who runs away from situations and that I never leave things in the middle. I think this is making me more determined to try my best for those ten days. I think I will do fine there.

22nd June 2018,
A day before the D-Day.

I am feeling a bit nervous right now because of all the traveling and packing. But I am feeling much calmer inside regarding my stay for the program. I somewhat feel exactly same as I thought 2-3 days before my wedding day. In India, Wedding functions start 2-3 days before the wedding, so the only time you get for your self is before all the hullabaloo begin. I am ready to go with the flow, and I am not assuming or expecting anything out of my stay. I am not thinking or visualizing my visit there. I am a planner by nature and try to imagine my things in my head before I plunge in for anything. But there are instances in my life, or I must say the most significant events of my life are the ones where I didn’t plan anything. I must say I have enjoyed those moments when I haven’t prepared much or when I have gone with the flow. Broadly I am happy to get away from the chaos of life, especially on the work front. I haven’t taken any break from work since December, so this is going to be a change. I am looking forward to whatever the program has to offer me. I and my husband, frequently discuss his experience in 2016 for the same program. He keeps telling me that it might happen that I don’t feel anything at all in the program or I might struggle a lot during the process, the primary thing is not to get frustrated by the circumstances and the struggle. The only note in my head is “Don’t Quit.” And for the rest, time will tell 🙂

23rd June 2018,
D-Day

I am late as per my set standard time for the new journey. I am in total anxiety, and I fret all way long that whether I will be able to reach on time. If you don’t know by now, that let me tell you that I am genetically clocked to be punctual. It’s in my blood. Hence I reach every single place before time, and I dislike being late for an appointment or journey. Looking out of the window, I think of the voyage within that I have taken so far in search of my inner self and then my thoughts wander on to the upcoming Odyssey of next days. Will I able to reach my spiritual home, whether this time I will find what I am looking for through this mediation program. I am sleepy also because at this hour on the weekend I am sprawling on the bed with my books, but here I was traveling miles for the wisdom of words taught by a man 2500 years ago. We get stuck in some traffic, and I realize that maybe this time I am going to arrive late for this new venture. But we get out of it in time, and we are again on the highway, I realize I haven’t spoken a word since we left home, and it hit me, that after all keeping noble silence for ten days won’t be a problem. There will be much more significant challenges than that in this journey. After I a while I hold my husband’s hand and drowse off on his shoulder, realizing that I will be missing this warmness in the upcoming days. And when I woke up, he informs me that we are almost there and in few minutes we enter the premise of Vipassana Center in Markal, Pune. When I got out, I realized, I am finally at peace.

To be Continued ……

PS: I will be sharing some more blogs about my recent Vipassana meditation experience. Keep reading all the blogs I would be sharing in next few days regarding my whole experience. Your comments are appreciated, feel free to leave your feedback.