When you stop identifying with thoughts, fluctuations of mind, then there is Yoga, identity with Self, which is samadhi, happiness, bliss, ecstasy.
The focus of the month is silence. And through Vipassana courses, I had experiences of being silent for 10 days at a time. In those spaces of silence, a lot can happen, and in no particular order, these are my personal breakthroughs:
1) While seated in what is supposedly deep meditation, I couldn’t stand myself. I hated that I was there and I wanted to run away. I wanted to escape. I asked myself why I subjected myself to such torture. I questioned what sitting with my physical aches and pains had to do with enlightenment. I decided at one point that I was going to be done with meditation, not outwardly because I didn’t want to appear like a quitter, but that I would go through the motions but I’m not buying into this whole meditation act anymore. As soon as I’m out of the course, I would be done. This breakthrough made me realize a few things: From what do I wish to run away? From whom do I want to escape? Why is it that I am so uncomfortable with myself?
2) Having decided I wasn’t really going to meditate— but that I was only going to pretend— I allowed my mind to wander far and wide, to wherever it wishes to go, uncontrolled and unguarded. And it did go to different places. At one point it landed at this place where I thought, I’m ready to let it all go. The anger that I felt, the grudges I still kept, the pain I harbored— what is the point of still carrying them? I could let it go and be free of it all. And I did just that. In that meditation hall, without having to call anyone I haven’t spoken to in years, without a confrontation or a conversation, I forgave everyone and everything. I started over, clean slate.
3) The last breakthrough happened only a split second, but it was distinct and unmistakeable. In the depth of the silence of not only the outside world but also of my internal landscape, it felt as though “I” disappeared and melted into everything else. There is that sense of oneness, that I am not separate from anything. This was something I experienced even before I encountered the yoga practice, before I knew about yoga sutras, and yet it is precisely the experience of Yogas Citta Vrtti Nirodhah.
In your own practice, allow silence to take you places you haven’t explored before, perhaps to make peace with that part of you that wishes to run away, perhaps to find forgiveness, perhaps to catch a momentary glimpse of enlightenment.