I still remember this adventure like it was yesterday. It has been one year to date. 10 days of Silence.
Not just silence but no writing, reading, no technology, no dinner just a piece of fruit and tea at 5pm, back to basics and back to simplicity. Where you don’t know about the outside world or on the news at all, all you have to do is focus on within. Within where everything you can control everything from the way you act, the way you think, the way you do things, the place where you can change your whole life but yet a lot of us including myself was still look externally for that. To have the best of the best, to constantly crave and want more and more and where nothing ever seems to make us just happy.
I remember when I first announced I was doing this so much fear from others came out, like what how are doing to do that? Not talk? ‘I couldn’t do that’ why would you do that? Your crazy!! But yet it was the best experience of my whole life to date. I could have easily listened to the fear of others and of course I had my own doubts but it felt so right and no mistake about it, it was so right. 4:00am wake up to 9:00pm lights out, sitting upright and meditating. Or should I say observing breath and body sensations. Sounds crazy. But yet I honestly can say it changed my life.
[The actual Vipassana Experience 15th July 2015]
I remember the day I was told about Vipassana Meditation three and half years ago. How could you do it? Sit in silence, not being able to write, read or talk? I was the same and then I started with the excuses- I have so many commitments; people are relying on me here. Now I look back and I realize that all these “commitments” were just excuses. If you really want anything in life you will do whatever you can to do it. Three and half years later, I did it!
I got to a point in my life where I was sick of blaming other people. I had to start playing above the line. We have heard it before whether in work or school. But I seriously had to start playing above the line. How much longer could I blame other people, my current situation or even bad weather for my unhappiness. I mean really would I ever be happy. During May 2015 I had a light bulb moment I decided right then and there I would stop all my pity excuses to why I couldn’t do things and just start doing them. I reliased today life is too short not too. What about materials? Every week you see a new gadget, a new handbag, a new something! I saw myself craving more and more of everything. Not as much materialistic but more in personal relationships. It was like I could never be happy unless I had this “thing” perfect in my life. The funniest thing about it is even when you get this “thing” you still want more. MORE MORE MORE. It had to stop. I did not want to spend another day longer being unhappy. It was time for me to apply and to start this process of Vipassana cleansing: Cleansing and purifying the mind no matter what comes up. It was winter, cold and freezing.
So I booked it!
I remember frantically googling any more people who had blogged or commented about it, trying to search for different experiences. Little did I know that everyone’s experience is different? Its like everything in life we all see the world so differently. As Goenka would say ‘We have all different shades of glasses on”
So there I was the 15th July it started with registration and supper, into our first meditation in which from there the 100 people would vow to silence, no reading, no writing, no exercise, no coffee, no stimulation what so ever, and only 2 main meals per day and then a piece of fruit and tea at 5pm and that was it. I remember thinking oh this is so exciting! It seemed simple enough.
But then Day 1 started. The dong went off at 4 am which was not a problem for me, my normal work day I am awake at this time, grumpy and feeling sorry for myself but that’s the time I wake up. So there I was walking into the hall for my first meditation observing just breath, not controlling breath just observing it. That’s when it started my head, everything ran through it, my life from start to finish and then back to the start, then every person I knew whether they were good friends or people that I found mistreated me. Everything was running through my mind. I said what they said to do which was just to come to breath, which seemed simple enough. After breakfast we started in our first group sitting, my body started feeling it by then, I could not
stop moving I sat in about 20 different positions but could not push pass the pain that landed in my back. It was excruciating like someone had punched me 50 times in the back. I remember thinking standing on my head would be easier then sitting here for the next 10 days 12 hours a day. By lunch my head was pounding and nausea set in, I couldn’t believe how early I was already reacting. During the evening meditation I was honestly going to pull the pin, but I put it into perspective of life. Am I always going to run away from anything that hurts or isn’t what I wanted? This is why I am here. To push pass fear, anger, asseverations.
Every evening we had a discourse, and Goenka the teacher was shown on the projector and he always had a way of saying things that made me more motivated to continue. He said a few people leave the first day because first day we get to the wound and we open it and puss starts coming out which could be in the form of headaches, pains, and nausea. There were around 5 people who left on the first day. Of course I stayed, day two had to be better. And it was. My mind was still sorting through the junk of the pass, and I did keep trying to pull away from it. Day three my mind was getting sharper, I stayed focused for longer and I could listen and feel the sensations of breath. My mid back was still in pain and I contemplated getting a seat which some had got but I gave it one more shot and by that evening I could actually sit there for one hour cross legged without moving. I couldn’t believe it. Everything he was teaching us mind over matter, was coming to life. From day four onwards we learnt more about seeing reality as it is, but within our own framework of the body, in this way it will teach your conscious to not react every time with your unconscious mind. They were called ‘Sakkara’s’ coming out. It was such an experience, I felt like I finally connected with me, and every step I took I was with me, I was not thinking about the past, future or things I had to do. I was just there with me.
was tough for me, they said day two and six but mine seemed to be days one and seven. I am sure everyone’s experience was different. It was tough in a way I wanted to run away from some thoughts, but knew running away from my problems once again would never solve them. I made it pass that day and then it became a breeze. I completed the ten days and have found a tool for the rest of my life. A tool that makes me feel so good, where I am with me, and overcoming obstacles of life. I came back and the first two days I was on a complete high. I was tested on the third night back with a tragedy. But I feel so grateful that I had learnt this before. The universe definitely aligned for me. Misery is awful, and we all go through it in our lives, if we can prevent the simple things in life, like not worrying about what has not happened or might never happen and just live in the now, we would all be so happy. Even simple things in life that I am guilty of stressing over or being upset about, just to see things as they are. IE; the weather, we cannot change it we do not have control over it. I use to spend most winters miserable about the fact it was cold and rainy but now I learnt to embrace it, embrace that it is colder, embrace every single part of hot or cold. Its nature, and that’s the most beautiful thing about it. Life becomes so much more beautiful.
The news is a sucker for this; so so much misery on the news. I rarely ever watch the news, or listen or read it. We can’t change what’s going on and there is so much sadness in life. I find we spend our days completely scared and worried living in fear when we could make a difference to others by starting to live more in love. Sharing, caring and loving.
The biggest key points it has taught me a year on now is that everything in life comes and goes. EVERYTHING is impermanent. When something great happens now, I just observe it and feel that goodness but don’t let it be my be and end all. Where you constantly crave more and more of that feeling, then when we don’t get it we become miserable. When something that makes me sad, angry or uncomfortable happens just observe it without reacting. Not every time I am perfect at just observing without reacting. But I do allow the tears to flow, but I also know that this is just what’s happening now and is completely impermanent. There is so much that this course has taught me. I am the girl with a 1000 different things running through my mind, I am a complete and utter monkey mind, I now use daily meditation and mindfulness whether I am just driving, sitting or working to start slowing down my mind which creates so much more clarity and insight to where and what I actually want to be doing. I would recommend Vipassana in a heartbeat. Many say they cannot sit in silence, but I can promise you that you all can, and it is a beautiful experience to actually start being with you. How much longer can we live without actually just being?
I see it so often people in fear of being out of their comfort zone, in fear of what may happen that actually hasn’t happened yet. Since we were youngsters 👭 we were engraved with different fears which limit who we truly could be, our potential and our purpose. After Vipassana I look at it as what’s the worst that could happen. If I am not going to die from it, then why not?
Life is to short not to do things that are a bit out there. Especially when they feel so right to do Limitations are set by our own
fears and thoughts. Cleanse yourself from the fears and thoughts and become limitless.