Hi Folks,
I haven't posted here for awhile as I"ve been busy moving house and changing 
jobs yada yada.. However, during that time I managed to do a 10 day Vipassana 
course. Wow! I would recommend everyone interested in meditation to try this 
course if they can - the reward is well worth the 10 day investment! It's very 
strict - no talking or communicating with other people whatsoever; no phones; 
no reading or writing material; wake up at 4am and lights out at 9pm; last meal 
is at 11.30am; meditation time in total is 10 hours per day and 3 of those 
hours you must try not to move AT ALL.. not a finger! The aim of this is PAIN. 
But by experiencing this pain and discomfort in your own body one can 
experience true equanimity for yourself rather than vicariously thru reading 
about it in a book etc.

 I can see how some people might criticize such a tough regime but it works and 
is the nearest a lay person will ever get to living like a monk. I used to 
believe that the mark of an Enlightened person lies in the number and depth of 
the spiritual experinces they had. Not so. I had countless 'spiritual' highs 
myself on the course, but you come to realise that these are actually quite 
natural biological/mental states (probably endorphins/serotonin)  and nothing 
mystical at all. Buddha felt so to - read the sutras). The trick is not to 
become attached to these blissful states as they are impermanent. Likewise, 
don't avoid the pain (sometimes I sat as long as an hour and a half and the 
pain is INTENSE!!) because this too is impermanent. Nothing spiritual to it at 
all. And the truth of this is that people of any faith can practice (a muslim 
breath is the same as a christian breath). If anyone is interested I would be 
willing to answer any questions about my

Oh by the way, just for JMJM and Edgar - the Tao that can be named is not the 
real Tao.



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