Vipassana Meditation Master Acharavadee Wongsakon
It’s common for meditation practitioners to encounter this enormous pressure inside their minds while meditating: To quit or not to quit? To quit or not to quit?
This fierce conflict between the original, pure mind and the current mind, tainted with weaknesses and darkness, often occurs when the meditation reaches a crossroads stage. It’s the moment of extreme pain that can eat you alive, as well as the torrents of toxic thoughts and emotions coming out all at once. Suddenly, your mind is flooded with so much overwhelming hatred, anger, resentment, and agitation that you want to stop the meditation immediately.
When you are tricked into stopping the meditation, you are defeated in the war between equanimity and the army of Kilesa which tries to shake your focus. If you give up, you lose; if you push through, you win. It is the moment that your mind breaks through, uprooting and killing the impurities (Kilesa) in the mind.
Always keep in mind that the desperation isn’t yours; it belongs to the dark forces of Kilesa. To be able to pass the critical moment, the meditator’s mindfulness must be fully present and the mind resolute with unshaken equanimity. That’s how the soul can break free towards liberation. Otherwise, you will be trapped in the endless cycle of suffering.
The ability to boost mental power so that it can pass through resistance is achieved by the unifying power of mindfulness, concentration, equanimity, and perseverance. When Kilesa bombards you with unwholesome thoughts and deceives you into feeling hesitant, and if you allow the thought of “I’d better stop meditating now, and restart later,” your mind will become weakened.
When you feel physical pain, you can change your posture, but do it slowly while maintaining your attention on the focus point. For Anapanasati (Concentration of Breathing) meditation, keep focusing on the entrance of your nostrils.
Everyone has to pass that important minute in mind training. Once you get through it, your mind becomes stronger and accumulates more strength.
Buddhist enthusiasts usually prefer to read non-serious, light Dhamma articles with some food for thought, but beware of getting too familiar with learning Dhamma this way. It could weaken your mind and allow Kilesa to make you lose your perseverance in mind training, and make you think that it is okay anyway because you learn something in the end.
Although we have to train our mind, we must also find time to unwind. Strength cannot survive alone. Cultivate gentleness too, but not too much. Learn to find a middle ground where two sides mutually support each other.
As we live in an elusive world, we have distinct roles or duties to perform. Uniforms, suits, clothes, cosmetics, and hair styles should be applied when necessary and under social protocols, but these shells aren’t everything. They are a set of tools that enable us to survive without exerting too much pressure on ourselves and discomfort on others.