Just interested in hearing any feedback about my personal statement. I have already submitted the statement after having it reviewed/edited by a lot of people. I decided to post it on this site because I am now wondering if this was a good or bad statement in hindsight. Thank you.
Day Ten: I looked at my peers and noticed expressions of relief and bliss tinged with exhaustion. Having seen this look before on the faces of runners crossing the finish line of a marathon, I understood the extent of my accomplishment. I had survived what felt like the equivalent of preparing for and running a 20K. Reflecting on the last discourse from my instructor, S.N. Goenka, I realized the previous ten days had instilled in me the ability to overcome any obstacle and to see adversity for what it truly is: impermanent.
The Vipassana Meditation course is designed to transmit experiential knowledge of truth by providing the student with an opportunity to directly experience this truth within the framework of his or her own body. Once experienced, this truth provides insight into the causes of misery and suffering, and gives the student the ability to overcome these causes. The student learns to see things as they really are. Miraculously, all of this wisdom is transmitted in the short span of ten days.
In the end, after hours of rigorous meditation and comprehensive instruction from my teacher, I came to the realization that the cause of misery is universal. All emotions, positive or negative, are a mental reaction to a pleasant or unpleasant sensation on our body. Misery and suffering occur when we subconsciously perceive these sensations as permanent, and choose to identify with them by allowing our mental state to constantly fluctuate as they arise.
By grasping this truth after many hours of painful meditation, I understood how futile and maddening it was to allow these fleeting sensations to affect the balance of my mind. This profound realization has since given me the ability to remain equanimous regardless of the sensations being produced within the framework of my body. As a result, I am now able to make decisions with a balanced state of mind instead of the prevailing emotional reaction at the time, and the overall quality of my life is beginning to noticeably improve.
My understanding of human nature was furthered even more by my fellow meditators. Talking with the other students at the end of the course, I discovered I was surrounded by the most diverse and intriguing group of people I had ever come across. This diversity ranged from a vegan heavy metal drummer to an Icelandic psychotherapist looking to incorporate the teachings of Vipassana into his therapeutic philosophy.
Listening to their course experiences led me to a life-altering realization: no matter how different people may seem, we are all searching for some form of truth that reconciles our lives with the rest of the world. Becoming aware that others have the same questions as I do about the origins of human suffering has transformed the way I relate to individuals. I am now able to connect with others in a way that pierces the surface of everyday conversation, and resonates with their deeply embedded inquisitions and core perceptions of the world. This has expanded my compassion for others, as I now see in them the same earnestness of conviction in search of philosophical truth as I find within myself.
Goenka told us on day one that Vipassana Meditation is not an intellectual game, but rather an exploration of truth requiring mental discipline and strength of will. I found success only after enduring hours of painful meditation, and overcoming the urge to give up and leave on various occasions. My approach to law school is the same: it is not merely an intellectual game, but rather an opportunity to grow from the knowledge I gain through hard work and perseverance.
Goenka’s final piece of advice was to observe how others fight to overcome struggle, as this will help uncover more universal truth. There is no better avenue for me to fulfill this final step than to be able to fight injustice and defend those who struggle against it. I know the training required to accomplish this can only be found at a school with a competitive environment such as that offered by the (Insert School).