I had done a meditation similar to the Vipassana Meditation a few years earlier, as well as been through a lot of therapy involving bodily sensations, so feeling my body, and what was going on inside, was not a new thing to me. However I had never spend this much time doing it, and never been this focused before, so I got a lot deeper than I had before and started sensing some quite amazing, and surprising, things.
My entire upper body felt like it was sunburned. It seemed to correspond well with the fact that what the Ayurvedic doctors call “pitta” was too high. Pitta, for those who don’t know, is one of 3 different body constitutions. We all consist of all 3 (vata, pitta and kapha) body constitutions, or dosha as they would call it. Pitta is the fire element and is connected to skin and anger (and tons of other things) and when it’s out of balance it can increase skin problems and make one more agitated (as well as a lot of other things) which was clearly some things I was struggling with. Dry skin and acne had been a problem for me for years. Several Ayurvedic doctors had, independently, come to the same conclusion, and when I read about it and heard about Ayurveda it was clear, even for me, that my pitta was way off balance. Looking at the things that caused too much pitta and the things that would lower it made it crystal clear that I did basically everything wrong. My diet and life style, my thoughts, even my previous work, was all pitta provoking. Now, it seemed that I could actually feel how my body was burning up from the inside. I wasn’t sunburned, and hadn’t been in direct contact with the sun on my upper body for quite a while, yet it felt like a sunburn. It was fascinating for me to experience, first hand, how we can really feel a lot more about what is going in our bodies than we think, but because most of us are used to ignore our body we also stay ignorant about it.
At several times the pounding of my own heart felt unpleasant. It was as if it was going way too fast and pounding way too hard. It evoked some anxiety, but when I put my hand on my chest, it felt normal. Even though everything seemed normal I still felt uneasy, anxious and worried. I was afraid something was wrong, I feared for my health. It wasn’t the first time I had this experience, only this time it was much more subtle. Years prior I had had an anxiety attack, the only one ever, as far as I remember, that had felt exactly the same, just much, much more intense. Normally I never really worry about my health, because I’ve, fortunately, never had any serious physical health issues and I hardly ever get sick. I can go for years at a time without getting a simple cold or food poisoning. I may get a headache when I have bad hangovers, but once I drink enough water and get some more sleep, it goes away. I’m very blessed health wise. But that is also why it was so strange to be worried about. So, the fear was probably rooted in something else.
I talked to the teacher and he asked if I was afraid of it. I told him I was and then he explained that I had to just let it be without averting it. So I focused on the sensations and tried to observe my emotions, without reacting to anything or trying to change anything.
So close now. I just had to get through this day and then it would be the last day. We would also be allowed to talk again. The reason you are allowed to talk, on the last day, is to make people ready for getting back to the outside world. Even though it’s only 10 days it can still be too much to handle to go directly back to daily life – especially in a country as hectic as India.
The guy who had made weird noises and with his eyes rolled back suddenly fell to the floor while weeping and begging, “Take me, take me!” and, “Why won’t you take me?” Most people were looking at him, while looking surprised, including me.
Over the course of the last couple of days I began feeling a very intense pressure in my head. The more I focused on it the more I learned about it. It wasn’t just a general pressure in my skull, but at several specific spots. I counted 8 to begin with, but later pinpointed a few more. At the same time it also felt like a headache, or perhaps even a concussion, because if I kept focusing on these spots I started getting nauseous. At some point I started noticing how my tinnitus, which I have suffered from for as long as I can remember, became louder whenever I focused on one of these specific spots. I was also able to feel how they all connected to my ears as well as one specific spot in the back of my head. A place where I have a small bump, which came after I was hit with a brick when I was around 4 years old. (I threw the brick myself. It was just how I entertained myself back then.) Obviously the sensations must have been there all along, I had just grown used to it, so I didn’t notice it.
To me, this was a profound experience. I likely found out the cause of my tinnitus after approximately 30 years – just by sensing my body. It strengthen my belief that we really can sense a lot of the issues we have, and perhaps even cure them. But because we choose to ignore most of what we sense, we stay ignorant about what goes on in ourselves.