MYOB - Vipassana Meditation

The Ancient - Modern Way of getting things in order mentally, emotionally and physically

I had to ask myself what was my intention behind giving myself the biggest boot camp of my life?  And in a flash I knew; I just wanted peace. Peace from the disorder of mind moving from one thought to the other, especially as my thoughts were to do with everyone else’s lives. It dawned on me that I needed to rearrange the priorities in my life and let go of the rest. I needed clarity and order. I needed to MYOB myself.

Vipasssana Meditation, is one of India's most ancient techniques which was taught more than 2500 years ago. It advocates a universal remedy to alleviate stress by applying an age old wisdom into our lives; to see things as they really are.

So what is this ‘no frills’ retreat that promises to relieve you of your mental and physical malaise. Stress and dis-ease whether emotional or physical stems from the deepest recesses of the mind. It made sense that ten days of silence, ten days of introspection in the Vipassana method might help. This method of meditation includes explicit instruction from S.N Goenka as taught in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin as Buddha’s dharma.

Yes there are spas, with the luxuries of massage, sauna and steam rooms and whatever treatment that fits your bill. Temporary makeovers to make us feel better and then lo and behold, we need to do it again and again; the quick fix to getting your health in order and I for one am a sure advocate. Only I realized that it doesn’t get to the source of your dis-ease of a busy mind. It may aide in short term relief but masks the route cause, which ultimately is the source of all recurring tensions.

It reminds me of my friend, a book keeper who claimed that MYOB simplified her business life and if only her personal interactions could be as simple too. MYOB is a popular accounting software and operations systems incorporating client and workflow management. It clearly clarifies your business not only to you but all to understand without conflict....Personally I don’t use it myself but my friend insisted that I try it. “Why can’t life be as ordered and easy,” she sighed. Well it made sense and got me thinking.

As I see it, management of one’s mind flow could also, be clarified for effective and efficient performance.  The overload of information and fast communications that we consume starts to clutter and obscure our minds and can deprive us of our primary function of intuitive intellect, a natural order for leading your life in a mindful and caring way with as little conflict as possible.

‘Mind Your Own Business’, literally, seemed like a good theme and focus for me to take to my very first Vipassana Meditation course. It was time to get my own operations systems in order. ....The three platforms of body, mind and spirit.

Within the discipline and routine of sitting through the 10 hours of daily meditation, it soon became obvious that there was no comfort to hold onto anyone else’s story or business, when my own business, my own self was being shoved into the background. . I kept repeating to myself “mind your own business.” Yes, I had a mantra but ultimately even that I had to let go of. What am I avoiding?  This is already a reflection of my daily mode of thinking.

Our first instructions were to use the tools of self-observation and witnessing all that was arising on these three platforms that made up who you are. How?  By not attaching to any thought as they enter to distract you.  What you are dealing with is only what you yourself have created.  Oh my, ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’ became a glaring reflection each time.

The MYOB reminder helped me through some of the most gruelling moments of discomfort, not just in the physical body but old emotional wounds, and opinionated analysis all culminated to divert me from the deeper underlying issues that needed to surface and be released. Each session was different, with many layers of mind unfolding. And eventually all you could do was to mentally surrender, give up through the utter exhaustion of trying to intellectually work it out!

Once, as I felt myself letting go of trying to maintain the perfect sitting pose, the perfect breath, how blissful it was to feel the pain and tension that was being held in the body finally release its gripping tentacles. Each aching twinge, a mirror of accumulated mind stuff residing within the body not moving and remaining objective to these resistances we can purge the negativities as they arise to consciousness; the key, acceptance and awareness - In other words, no labelling of sensations arising on three platforms, whether it is good or bad.

What I personally experienced was that my physical body began to feel lighter and lighter and the subtle, energy body soared like a bird, yet felt like a gentle stream rushing through the veins. The psyche’s work flow management became simply ordered and I realised that we all hang on to too much, attach too much importance to our ideas and opinions. The ego is big and bold and attachment is a big issue to deal with but with the MYOB reminder, the idea of the personal me detached and that helped to lighten the load - one more physical resistance, one more emotional, mental attachment is realised and then the shadowy burdens began to dissolve. I felt grateful for my 30 years of experiential yoga philosophy. It helped me clear the obstacles of mind a lot more easily.

Towards the end of the ten days I could feel the physical body free from the shadows of tension; it felt as light as a feather yet robust energetically. Thoughts and ideas you believed were so important become distant and not so important, the mind became uncluttered and as they say ‘as sharp as a tack’. Beauty was visible in the tiniest, speckled leaf, the termite ridden tree trunk and even a dirty, old water tank, I passed by on my daily walks. On completing the Vipassana retreat there was a certain freedom felt within, the mind seemed to reflect the Buddha’s empty bowl, resonant and receptive and a deep calm became my anchor as I approached the outside world.

Bhavathu Sabbe Mangalam...’May all beings be happy’. These are the words that were chanted at the end of every meditation session; a promise of liberation and freedom from self. Realization begins to cultivate self- awareness and equanimity deep within and reflects back into your daily life. Reactions take second place as the calm mind makes way for intuitive action in a mindful and caring way. And like MYOB when your own business is in order it is less likely to attract conflict within the world around you. Minding your own business makes room for understanding the underlying truth within the emotion, thought and the personal desires that make us who we are. And it’s at this point that I experienced the exchange of my personal Passion making way for Compassion for all beings.

By Filomena Aversa
(Dip. IYAA; Cert. WUTIF Cosmic Healing 1)
The Dance of Life: Connecting, Sharing & Loving