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Meditation Retreat: Day 8

Note*
This is part of a multi-part posting about the 10 day Meditation Retreat I participated in. The names of the people I met have been changed, but for the most part, this is all as true as my biased and faulty memory can recall. I will not be describing the actual teachings/technique, not because I'm not allowed, but because I can't do them and you justice. If you would like to learn more about, you can go to Vipassana Meditation website

Sensation or No
The 4am going went off and I rolled around in my sleeping bag some more. After seven days, I it had become well ingrained in me that I was making my own choices. And what I had learned was that the gongs always seemed to go off 15 minutes in advance of when I really needed to be anywhere and I had plenty of time to roll around in my sleeping bag, brush my teeth, wash my face, get dressed, look at the moon, before shuffling off to meditate in the pre-dawn.

Meditation had been going pretty well, but I had started to notice some odd sensations occurring. My nose had been going numb from the sides for the past couple of days, and I was getting some headaches. I had initially thought these sensations were a psychosomatic expression of some sort generated by the intensive self investigation that the retreat was engendering. I spent most of that morning just observing the sensations (or lack of). Finally, I realized that the headaches were eyestrain. I had developed a bad habit of moving my eyes while meditating, even though my eyes were closed the whole time. 10+ hours of daily meditation for multiple days coupled with this bad habit were finally showing in some nasty eyestrain. And for some reason, this was accompanied by this odd numbness on the sides of my nose. I wasn't sure why, but I could remember one thing that seemed relevant. Compression of the optic nerve can result in the flattening of the nasolabial fold (that would be the two lines that run from the side of your nose down to the sides of your mouth ). This can sometimes look like Bell's palsy (a type of facial paralysis).

I suppose this would be an appropriate time to place a pithy quote. something about the effects of education, or a little knowledge being dangerous. Or maybe just a question like "how the hell did you know that?". yeah - I dunno.. don't you ever get bored sometimes? anyway, back to the story...

going on the assumption that my bad meditation habit was causing the numbness, I spent the rest of the day working on my meditation technique. And yes, lunch that day was great.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 19, 2008 1:45 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Meditation Retreat: Day 7.

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