Friday, January 29, 2010

some notes

Here some small notes that i made the past weeks since i'm back from the forest and back on retreat.

The wasps in the door, short story: they had two entrances, one into the room one to the outside. I just plastered the whole to the inside with earth. Done.

The monk in versace slippes wants to be a venerable: hehehe. What would you say if a monk wearing versace slippers stands in front of you moving from one foot to the other saying: i'm a venerable too, you know, nobody treats me like venerable, but i'm monk, 15 years experience, i'm a venerable? I omitted the sentence: then behave act and think like a venerable, and released a compassionate soundin: 'oh'.

Kilesas, fears, anger, in this retreat everything comes up up strong. moments of peace only while sweeping.

No more pindabat in the kitchen. I was quite upset when i heard first that ajahn wanted me to go to the diningroom, but then he said, go there with your bowl you can take food and then go to your room to eat.
Well, going with bowl to the diningroom as mae chii is kind of, let say it neutral, something new. The first day people jumped out of my way and waied with palm together when they saw me, some whispered 'bhikkhuni', while the real bhikkhuni was already sitting at the table.
The other mae chiis put food in my bowl, served me and off i went. The second day people brought their camaras and took pictures, from the third day on it became routine. Now i go first to the diningroom for the blessing, then kitchen for food and then eat in my room. Men, the monks were staring at me ... As if i were a calf fromm the moon. Incredible

I mentiond whats gping on in the diningroom during report to ajahn. I said 'for me its no problem when people stare but i don't want the monks or bhikkhuni make feel when i come and am treated like a queen.' 'When it's not a problem for you then there is no problem.' was his short answer.

Saranee left, she said, 'i should not give you samaneriordination, it's not good for you, i have a bad reputation and you are a better monk then i am.'

Statements: a day before ajahns birthday, the room was full of monks, a layman who works in the kitchen came, went down to the knees and offerd me food in the middle of the diningroom then a young girl came running followed by an elder woman.

There is nothing worth clinging on to it. Not even dogs. Which doesn't mean i can't feel love for it.

Birthday, ajahn tong was here. I did chanting for a.s. Wrong in the first verse, wanted to give up but catched myself and continued chanting. Instead of 'Buddha' i realesed something that sounded like 'dubba'. Shock. For a break of a second i felt so much pressure that i wanted to stop and run away. My mind run wild, i know the chant sleeping, so relax and just do. My voice sounded more firm from than on.

A day later a man came and said my chant was so beautiful and moving, he had tears in his eyes.

Meanwhile everybody got used to the nun with the bowl. There was no uproar but there must have been discussions. Usually ajahn comes very late to the meals if he comes, twice he came so early that he could observe the offering chantings and blessings. I sat in meditation while the mae chiis and yogies chanted the taking 5 precepts for the donators and the offering chant and then chanted the blessing first silent with the monks and then with voice the nuns and yogies. I thought if i go with my bowl i cant chant the offering chant for myself ...
I was not rebuked and keep doing as i did. Slowly the tension is getting out.
I had the question in mind for those who thought what i do is not proper: 'where does it hurt?' but i didn't say anything.

Was told to have some metta for myself.

Am very, very tired. Don't want to meditate at all. More effort, ajahn sais, i don't have more. It's already expired at 2 in the morning when my first alarm rings. Sometimes i get up sometimes i hear '5 minutes' later the 3 a'clock alarm. When i get up then, i don't have metta for anybody.

Crisis: woke up thinking 'i will never become an arahant' and wanted to stay in bed all day long. Told it ajahn, he laughted 'so you know that you're not an arahant'? Funny bone, this ajahn.

Report with bhikkhuni, reflect on the 32 perfections of the buddha or concentrate on a point in my body, she recommends. Thats like a holiday after 2 years and 4 months observing the rising and falling of the abdomen for several hours per day.

Boooooring, since 2 years and four months noticing rising and falling of the abdomen, lifting and putting of the foot. Boooring, boring.

Fears, pains, anger, it comes in waves. When i'm short before finding some peace in my mind, i find an excuse to escape mentally.
I'm sleeping 5 or 6 hours and am extremely tired. Willpower is not strong.

Some moments of clearness but most times i have a numb mind, can't note well.

Pain, feet and legs are hurting so much that i wanted to give up. I told ajahn, i skipped some walking sessions cause of the pain, i wanted to move to a kuti with a wooden floor, wanted to run away, made constructionplans, travelplans etc. Later i knew that i'm just trying to escape from the present moment that sacres me so because there is no room for 'i' and 'mine'.
Ajahn just said: 'it's mental pain, not physical, get over it. Work more. More efford'. He's a real funny bone, did i mention that?

Trying to find equanimity, i found out that only indifference comes up, no real peace and letting go. There is this inner discussion about going to america or sri lanka. 2010 shall be the year of my bhikkhuni ordination, will this happen when i go to america? I have no more patience to sit here on the cushion and lose time. Then later anger about all this thoughts and hussle and knowing that ordination comes when time is ripe, no need to force things. When i'm about to calm down, pamm! Thoughts: yes but i want ... I need, i must ...
Silly nun.
Next round walking - walk it through.


Víglaský said...

Interesting. Very good blog.

Anonymous said...

Being attached to anything, even to only having only 4 or 5 hours of sleep, goes against the Buddha's teaching. Being numb, not thinking clearly, are symptoms of sleep deprivation and are not because of lack of will-power, but rather is a very real physical concern. Equanimity is having a balance between too much sleep and not enough sleep; it is not judging yourself in any way.

phalanyani said...

Dear anonymus
Thank you for caring. I almost could hear my brothers voice saying these word so I received them with loving feelings and without thinking any bad. And you are right in all points, in worldly terms, but:
If you asked me, I would say, I’m not at all attached to sleeping 4 – 5 hours. Commonly we sleep six hours as a monastery rule and I do so when I’m not in retreat, more, when I’m sick. It’s not my idea.
It is part of the retreat to sleep little and from a certain point on not at all for some nights, usually 2 – 3. Now it happens that I do many retreats because one does not become enlightened just by wanting it. There is work to do and I’m kind of old already. Unfortunately I need more then to hear just one word of Dhamma to become an arahant, it must have been easier in the Buddha’s time.
The Buddha recommended 4 hours sleep and he himself did not sleep more then 2 hours, which I tried for a week, it’s possible. Not lying down for sleeping is one of the ascetic practices and good for an exceptional situation like a retreat. And one falls asleep sitting
The mind needs time to get used to it and the strong ego arises that says: “sleep, you need it.” But after some days, depending on the effort and concentration, between one and three days, the mind does not need to have more sleep. These days are difficult and one has to develop patience and equanimity in addition, otherwise one might just go to bed. The mind is going through different phases in this time, with all the symptoms of sleep deprivation, like hallucinations, sleeping sitting, falling asleep while walking etc., but when one is willing to go through all this, then … it suddenly it’s easy. The body might need a rest, but sleep is not really needed. One is fresher, happier and clearer than after the best ever sleep and more relaxed and better than after a day in a Spa.
Some people can do with little sleep for all life [I personally know one], I can’t yet. That’s why I have to go through this process again and again. In the forest it was easier, there was not so much noise and distraction as is here and I hadn’t had this “becoming Bhikkhuni urgency”. With a peaceful mind it is certainly much easier, mine was not quite peaceful when I started the retreat.
The Buddha had six years of ascetic practice before he found the middle way and became enlightened. So he had developed will power, effort, concentration and all the other paramis. One cannot expect to get somewhere close to deep, life changing insights without developing them as well and without giving up being attached to some views about sleep and body.
The body is the vehicle that might carry the mind to freedom from suffering, so I care for this vehicle an maintain it strong.