Many of you have asked about my experience at Vipassana Meditation
Centre during the Christmas period and I thought much about how to put the
silence into words.
Just to set the scene for those of you unsure of the conditions of the
challenges faced, here are the vipassana 10 day rules:
1) No talking
2) No contact with either sex ( male and female areas were completely
3) No eye contact
4) No reading/writing/electronics/phones or contact with the outside world
5) 2 Vegetarian meals per day
6) No exercise/yoga etc., light walking only
sessions there was 1 hour of determined meditation, which meant no moving
for the 1 hour
My Taxi driver on the way in gave the soundest advice - after 30 vipassanas(!)
his advice was Firstly - Don’t leave and Secondly - Don't leave!
The daily schedule was the same everyday, as little distraction as possible so
you could fully be with yourself and only yourself.
4am - morning bell
5-6pm Tea break
6-9pm Evening discourse and meditation
9.30pm - Lights out!
Day One - Ahhhhhh lovely, No phone, quiet, sleep, sleep , sleep
Day Two - Arrrrghhhhh No phone! Oh its sooo noisy here, noise noise noise -
why is it so loud? Where is that noise coming from, buzzing buzzing buzzing?
it's everywhere I go! I cant get away from it..... oh... its in my head....
Day Three - Pain, Pain oooo So much pain! Want to move - oh why cant we
move - anger, noise, irritation, oh so itchy - is that a bug crawling across my
face, not allowed to move ..... fight fight fight., fight??....... Surrender.....
Day Four - Bliss, quiet, calm,......... Anger? ... ANGER!! Cant sleep Cant sleep
Day Five - Pain?? What is this Pain?? No one else looks like they have pain,
I'm guessing the culture, job, voice and thoughts of the other meditators. The lady sitting behind me always looks so comfortable, she almost has a campsite type set up for meditation! So much equipment ... jealousy?
Day Six - No Pain??? Now what? bored bored bored. I know I can hand wash
my clothes! LOL, ah yes, that’s something to DOoooo!
Day Seven - Space... nurture, choice, clean, eat slowly, move consciously,
see clearly. BE.
Day Eight - What Day is it? Did Christmas happen? What is Christmas really?
Nothing changed here... the trees look the same - how they move gracefully
with the wind and turn their faces to the sun. There is no time here, just the
rise and fall of the sun, like a giant breath in and a giant exhale at the end of
Day Nine ... On this day I am actually really unsure if its the last day or not!
Trying to count out in my head but have lost track. Decide to let go of the
need to know and enjoy the simplicity of each moment. In that instant my
body and mind returned to one place, a place of stillness and calm. I noticed
today how quickly my finger nails and hair had grown and how clear my skin
seems. I'm aware that my old twitches and habits have subsided and a feeling
of ease reigns. M E D I T A T I O N .
Day Ten! A Blissful morning meditation, I can feel the higher vibrations in the
room as we send out happiness and love for every living being. Today, after
morning meditation, we are allowed to talk to each other yet I found I wanted
the quiet for just a little longer and stayed in the meditation hall. Eventually ....
I open my mouth to speak ...... after a croaky start this very strange voice
comes out... whose voice is that?! It most definitely is not the one I've been
listening to in my head all week! As we all share our experiences, it was no
real surprise that we had all been on the same journey and all felt like we
must be the only one with pain, questions and resistance. A solid lesson
once again in the unity of mankind. We are essentially all the same.
The Journey back......On the train into Sydney I notice just how noisy our
world is and how jam packed we fill our lives with 'stuff', doing and having.
The art of simply 'Being' has somehow gotten lost. I resolve to sit in meditation daily to nurture the seed that had being planted in the vipassana centre and to bring the fruits of that meditation to the studio and to the people in my life for the benefit of all.