6. Vipassana. Addhitana

by HelluvaGirl

Disclaimer: This is a personal experience of a novice in Vipassana, presented as a series of insights, not an attempt to render advice or explain the technique in full extent, and should not be taken as guidance or a comprehensive course report. 


On the fourth day, we begin to practice the real Vipassana. For two hours straight, we sit addhitana – a meditation of strong will, during which one is determined to not move, change position, open their eyes, arms and legs.

This is the time I scream fuck it, I’m outta here! in my mind, terrified of the intensity of sensations I am supposed to merely observe. 

A couple of women faint. One throws up. A guy makes a run to the convenience, having briskly whispered something to the Teacher.

What is it about the challenge of observing our mind and senses, and not getting in their way, that makes us flip out? I know inertia; I realise habits are a powerful driver. And yet, I could have never expected such physical reactions. I mean we are not brainwashed, we don’t actually do anything, just sit and observe our pain and our pleasure with ideally the same acceptance. No craving, no aversion. Why does it feel like there’s suddenly an avalanche inside, set loose after a lifetime of orchestrated puppet show of thoughts, reactions, intentions, roleplaying?