I just finished a vipassana retreat and well, I am still confused with just observing and feeling, and holy **** that was a h**** of an experience.... a-bomb (more bad then good, but we all need it, I felt pain from others in distance, and well I need this pain to project later on metta bavahna, but annicca,annicca,. The day I left (today) I was crying and well spotted a sensation in the throat, observed it, crying, don't even know why, should I look for the why? And is the crying equanamously crying, or was I? Didn't feel like doing stuff for 3 hours. Is that generating new sankaras? Or it's just old sankaras coming up? It like a bad sensation makes me forget ANNICCA, but a good sensation makes me more ANNICCA... I mean I am still confused if I am allowed to get angry and observe, then cry and observe, and being sure that, I am equanimous.... I do not want to read books anymore on this lol, I had enough, so I continue the body scan, I mean I keep calling the people from vippa... and everytime everything is different, and I am confused with the emotions....

Thanks to anyone who can clarify and guide me better on the DHAMMA!

Love to you all! May you all remain equanimous! alexei

2 Answers 2


Did anyone advice you to focus on the five and the eight precepts once you end the retreat? Following the precepts is an important part of any meditation. When you are fully grounded in the precepts your intentions are skillful, as you can break a precept only intentionally. It gives you the inner resolve as you will do no harm to any being by killing, stealing, engaging in illicit sex, lying, or by taking intoxicants. Such a person is always mindful and alert. Then you can continue to practice the meditations that you’ve learnt like staying with the breath without any ill effects.

Meditation retreats are rather regimented. By that I mean very strictly organized or controlled. As a result, a lot gets left out in that approach. So it is not so healthy. That is why I asked you whether anyone adviced you to focus on the five and the eight precepts. A retreat does not help in the whole mind training and being heedful. That is why you are going through all these emotional ups and downs as you have not developed the strengths to overcome such emotions. You should have developed the ability to say NO to such negative states of mind. A sense of hiri-ottappa (a sense of shame – but NOT in a negative way) accompanied by mindfulness helps you to overcome such. I do not think that at the retreat any emphasis was given to the five Sekha strengths. One who has the ability to develop and live in association with the five Sekha strengths and does not abandon them, have the ability overcome such situations. The five Sekha strengths are a must for everyone in this path. They are… Saddha (Confidence), Hiri (shame), Ottappa (fear), Viriya (energy) and Panna (wisdom). These strengths helps you to weather any emotional waves you go through.

‘Sankhāra’ means intention (volitional effort). So as I said at the outset, your intentions needs to be skillful. An intention occurs according to what we perceive - about a figure that is recognized. Likewise, intentions occur about sounds, smells, tastes, and contacts that are recognized. When a mind’s thoughts are perceived, intentions occur according to those thoughts. All these intentions that are formed in various ways are Sanskhāra Upādānaskandha. So you are correct in identifying with sankhara.

  • so... try and follow the precepts by always witnessing and observing of sensations in the body? No matter how painful they are, I mean will there be a time, even in the most holy moly times, I will be able to keep my equanimity and remember annicca?
    – kernx
    Aug 1, 2016 at 13:45
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    The most helpful initially is the practice of the four satipatthanas, or establishings of mindfulness. Being ardent, alert, & mindful , helps keep the negative emotions at bay. You begin to develop an inquisitive attitude, to better understand as to why you feel, what you feel at a given moment. Then you get a clearer sense of what’s actually going on. For any building, you need a proper foundation. The precepts are this foundation. The 'Sekha' powers are the next important thing if you want to go further in this Dhamma Path. Without it you cannot go far. The gift of forgiveness too helps. Aug 1, 2016 at 13:54
  • last question, I don't know why its called insight meditation, but from feeling different stuff, I come to why it is like this and why I am like this, which answers many questions in society is that truth or its just intellecualisations? Like I get images sometimes with feelings and just observe them, but still continue to feel the sensations, like I had insight of what really "pure love is" and how it is covered up by por******* which aversively affects people in a bad way and relationships. any inisght on that my friend?
    – kernx
    Aug 1, 2016 at 15:44
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    I understand @kernx. Porno is a difficult one for all. So pervasive. This mainly concerns right livelihood. porno or alcohol brings many dangers. But takes long to get rid of. Only short term cure is reflecting on the foulness of the body and then dozing off with a pure mind. This is really sensual "fever". But we are laymen. For a bhikkhus it is an offence. I think that Ananda Sutta – Leading to Awakening will help you. mahamevnawa.lk/ananda-sutta-leading-to-awakening This is how one should practice breathing meditation according to the scriptures. Aug 1, 2016 at 16:05
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    @kernx, when a person is learning to ride a bicycle for the first time, or learning to swim, how would one go about it? You have to first take baby steps. In meditation too you have to take baby steps - not just for a few weeks, but for many months. Even if you meditate for a couple of minutes, or a couple of seconds, pat yourself in the back. In this Dhamma Path it is not the rabbit who wins the race, but the Turtle/Tortoise. So never criticize yourself. Always find some good to congratulate self - like when doing 'Vipassana' for a couple of seconds only each day. Aug 4, 2016 at 1:24

You just finished a retreat. Give everything time to settle down. Currently, you are taking it all far too seriously.

Obviously, you had an arduous experience. Tears of relief; possibly some catharsis. There is no need to be concerned.

Give 'anicca' ('impermanence') a long term view; such as one month for those 'sankharas' to settle down.

'Sankhara' does not (exclusively) mean 'intention'. 'Sankhara' is any kind of mental formation, including non-intentional or automatic instinctual emotions.

For example. when the mind goes into 'shock' due to an accident, this is not intentional.

Similarly, during an intense retreat, emotions will arise that are not intentional.

It appears that a few emotions, more or less, is not going to increase or reduce the sankharas stored within your mind in any significant way.

I suggest, for the next few weeks, to forget the teachings you heard & return to some ordinary activity, particularly some physical exercise to burn off & settle the emotions & hyperactivity.

  • Yes, but I can't use exercise to numb the pain, its the same with drugs or alcohol, its just covers it up as I understood, like mast***** to cover up repressed love feelings which is completely wrong, I want to be there and not want it to change, because it's annicca right? but why forget the teachings, after all, I want my OLD sankharas to start surfacing and being Eradicated ( Arnold Accent). Like Vipassana is very important to me, I noticed how it I am with people, and I love not being jealous, not , can you give me more insight please!
    – kernx
    Aug 1, 2016 at 13:42
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    I suggested to forget the teachings until your mentality settles down. You can think about the teachings at a later time. It sounds like your mentality was in a very sensitive state due to the intense Goenka retreat & was overly influenced ('brainwashed') by the teachings heard during the retreat. As for your life, in general, if you want to improve your life, simply practise the whole Buddhist path, which is morality, concentration & vipassana. The path is gradual & takes time. Thus, as I suggested, settle down from your current overexcited state so you can patiently & trustingly practise. Aug 1, 2016 at 20:30
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    – kernx
    Aug 1, 2016 at 20:44

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