Gotami Vihara Society Malaysia News August 2014 – Cushion-less Meditation

by Darshani

I was at Ayya Santini, one of our Advisors’ centre at Wisma Kusalayani, Bandung, Indonesia for the samaneri ordination on 15 July 2014 and stayed on for a 10 days self-retreat.

At Wisma Kusalayani, a very simple schedule is kept for all self- retreatants. Two hours of meditation in the morning, two in the afternoon and another three hours at night. All sitting meditation – no walking meditation allow during these times. In the evening, we have dhamma sharing with Ayya Santini. In between, we helped out in meals preparation, upkeep of the centre and our own self practice.

One of the most challenging aspects of the meditation sessions is not the number of hours but to meditate without a cushion. I was so attached to having a cushion to lift my bum slightly when meditating that when Ayya Santini said that we should all meditate without a bum-cushion, I was ‘lost’. The kilesa of greed – of needing a bum-cushion, hatred – of not having a bum-cushion and delusion – of only being to meditate with a bum-cushion; kept arising at every sitting.
How attached are we to our habits that a simple change can cause untold suffering! Until I could let go of the habit of having a bum-cushion, only then could the mind starts to settle. What an incredible lesson in attachment and letting go!

Chanting also without cushion!

Chanting also without cushion!

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