Day 8 (Panic at Dhamma Giri)

9
Feb
2007

I wake up resolved to go to the teacher and tell him I want to leave. I am feeling very short of breath and panicked. During the group meditation I really start to have an attack.

Then something amazing happens. I resolve (using the technique) to deconstruct the fear and loathing and just look at the bodily sensations. What does the rapid heartbeat FEEL like? What does the shortness of breath FEEL like? The more I do this, the less panicked I feel. The more the boogieman goes away. By the end of the session, I feel downright giddy with having slayed the beast. I tell Tim our teacher about it and he says that it is a very good sign, that my old “sankaras” are being eliminated. Whatever, I’m just happy.

Throughout the day I notice a greater and greater degree of equanimity with my pain, and sitting through the hourlong sessions keeps getting easier with the pain receding into the background noise of all body sensations. I am more and more able to feel both subtle and gross sensations in the same sitting.

This is the greatest lesson of this course: That our fear and aversion of the sensations is far worse that the actual sensations themselves. Just analyse and observe, calmly and objectively, and one will be set free. It really takes a lot of training to get to that point, but it is doable.