Prem Arpana describes with gratitude, how, despite many ups and downs, his commitment to meditation has transforned his entire life…
It’s so unusual for me to be this clear about beginnings, about cause and effect, but I can write with clarity regarding deciding to explore Vipassana in London, either at the end of “83 or early in “84. and the effect that had on me initially.
I’m fairly certain at this moment I’d become semi-consciously frightened of meditating because of the trauma of doing TM for that year before I took Sannyas, although I had, in fact, after that was over, thrown myself into Osho’s meditations, which really suited me.
I’m not entirely clear why but I was feeling really stuck after my relocation to London, started to think of meditating again, although only because I felt that was my only option to get myself out of feeling so up against a brick wall. I opened an Osho book where I immediately read about him telling a guy to meditate every day, so I decided to explore Vippassana breath watching, even though I had the idea that was the wrong meditation (which was me all over at the time) and as a result I felt unconsciously defensive about not doing the correct meditation for years.
More to the point, despite this nonsense, I committed myself to doing so no matter what I went through, until I couldn’t do so any more, which actually took me a year, and then I began to go into kundalini every day, until we stopped wearing the mala and red, followed by a lengthy spell of daily dynamic.
Even more to the point. I committed myself to this even if I was feeling tortured or miserable, uptight or off kilter, although I qualified that eventually by allowing myself to quit only when I was feeling upbeat. This worked for me, I kept it up till that daily practice fell away by itself and I moved on to the next phase.
Had a really wonderful honeymoon period, began to flow through life, all my relationships in the widest sense became so harmonious, couldn’t put a foot wrong…Then the shit hit the fan, culminating in lying in bed in the early hours, wide awake, and sinking into an abyss of horror and fear, feeling the weight of London falling on me…
So eventually, I literally ran out of the flat to pace the huge open concourse at Euston station until dawn, and until I calmed down; then over the next few weeks kept going, despite still freaking out so badly.
began to assimilate this daily practice into my life, as this was a lesson I needed to learn, that this could happen. And from then on if I started anything new there would always be a honeymoon period followed by the shit hitting the fan…But I have never looked back, have finished whatever I’ve started, which has been multiple projects along with Osho’s meditations, until I couldn’t any more.
This actually continued as a way of life after we stopped wearing the malas and red clothes. And one of the side-effects of doing this is that pretty much everything I’ve committed myself to from then on has affected me as if I was meditating, including always the ‘shit hits the fan’ phase after the honeymoon.
So much of this was connected to an encyclopedia of ideas I had about all that was wrong with me, but by erroneously setting out to fix all those failings I’ve had an incredibly interesting, rich, learning by trial and error life since, even more than before Sannyas.
And I’ve also realised all I needed to fix, let go of, was all the erroneous ideas I had about myself, which were mostly negative.