We felt that it is appropriate to share the experiences of a long term practicing Yogi.
The illness was debilitating and severe. The fever was intense hovering around 103 Fahrenheit. Pain and discomfort was part and parcel of the situation. The disease progressed till it was necessary to get admitted to a hospital.
Soon I was lying on a hospital bed – lying down in an unfamiliar environment. As humans we usually have a sense of control and even some power which gives us the feeling ‘I am in charge and Control’. That starts to rapidly diminish especially when we get really ill. Invariably the thoughts of death crops up. ‘Has the time to leave has really arrived?’
Laying on the bed I started to watch my thoughts first – The train of thoughts. Liking and disliking appearing as a reaction to thoughts was soon noticed.
Next I started to just watch the liking and disliking – as if those are individual pieces of clothing hanging on a line – just like cloths hung for drying after a wash. Soon the arising of liking and disliking diminished and altogether disappeared. Gradually even the Observer diminished and disappeared. The sense of ‘not me and not mine’ was there naturally – not as a part of a thinking process.
The mind started to go deeper and deeper settling down and calming down. I was fully aware, calming down and calming down. It was a deep and a spontaneous settling down into the moment. There was nowhere to go and nothing to achieve because;
The Journey is the Destination. The Journey is the Destination. The Journey is the Destination.
Looking backward I knew that the Path has been correct and also I will ultimately reach the final and complete cessation as explained by Ajahn Sumedho in his article given below;
Suffering Ends, by Ajahn Sumedho
Posted on 18 April 2014 by Buddhism Now
The third Noble Truth is the truth of cessation. Not only do we let go of suffering and desire, we know when those things are not there. And this is a most important part of meditation practice, to really know when there is no suffering. Suffering ceases and you are still alive, still aware, still breathing. It doesn’t mean that the world has ended, that everything has become blank; it means that the suffering has ceased. The suffering ends, and there is knowledge of the end of suffering.
If we don’t notice, we never know when there is no suffering. We only know when there is suffering — ‘I’m suffering.’ We react to it. Our memories tend to be about the extremely pleasant experiences, great successes, and so on, or great misery. We remember when we were very happy, successful, ecstatic, and when we were really down, and life was really painful. But we don’t remember when life wasn’t up or down; we don’t remember when there wasn’t any extreme. So memory itself tends to be the perceptions we form about extreme experiences. As we let go more and more of the heedless reactions, the grasping, then we find the mind that isn’t extreme. When we allow the world to be as it is — the sense world and so forth — we feel a sense of ease and peace. Even if things are not very nice, we can be at ease, and we can respond in an intelligent, gentle, kindly way, an appropriate way.
Cessation, then, is to be fully realized. In meditation, more and more one really sees what suffering is, its arousal, and the cessation of it. There is the knowing of it, what we call insight-knowledge. It’s not theoretical knowledge; it’s not symbolic knowledge; it’s a real insight — knowing from experience, from a clear understanding of the real thing.