The moment I graduated from kindergarten of Zen, I got so proud of myself that I immediately wrote a blog about my first ever Vipassana experience in 2018. You can read the full story here. I published this article on December 16, 2018 at my blog spot but I’m going to republish it here just for you!
If people think that this 10 days silent meditation is easy and people just do that for fun then I beg to disagree. I have experienced this meditation practice twice already and I still think it’s hard.
This is definitely not for mentally lazy people since this military-style boot camp requires a strong amount of determination and will power.
However, I can say that the difficult part is only in the beginning. If you really want to do it, not that you’re doing it out of curiosity only, feel the whole process from start to finish.
So what made me decide to do it? Will I acquire any benefits from this activity? I’m fond of talking with people, will I be able to survive this “silent” meditation? Will I starve myself to death?
Do you have any idea what food are you only allowed to eat? I don’t think so.
Enough with the what ifs and allow me to share with you my unforgettable plus wonderful journey.
Are you ready? Here we go.
WHY I DID IT?
Two years ago a friend mentioned this and I thought “no talking for 10 days? Nah-ma-stay-at-home, I’ll pass”. I wasn’t ready back then, but the seed had been planted.
Few months ago another friend mentioned this to me again, something in my heart told me to go. “Don’t do research, don’t check reviews, don’t find excuses, shut up and just sign up, just go!” My heart said.
Ok. There I was, checked myself into the meditation centre in Healesville, wondering what the f*ck? Can I even do this? Is it a nice & relaxed yoga retreat holiday? (No, I was so wrong, this is like going to the hyperbolic time chamber from Dragon Balls Z, you go in for 12 days, like 5 years of a monk’s life, we should all get a PHD in meditation, it’s f*cking tough.)
WHAT’S THE END GOAL?
To live a harmonious life:Live with inner peace, spread the love to all beings.
To embrace change:Life has ups & downs, but how you handle your emotions is the key to happiness.
To be aware, alert and stay equanimous:Good things bad things they come & go.
To break out of misery:Realized that your life today is the sum of your thought pattern of the past 30+ years, how to control your own mind is the key to change your reality.
How to break the blind reactions when facing any situations:Agreeable or not agreeable, be the master of your own life.
When making decisions or do any actions in the future:
Be aware that you don’t harm/hurt anyone, including yourself and all other living things, human or animals.
Head to the enlightenment direction:
Stay with the path to the truth, eventually you will be a loving person
To remove your deepest darkest emotions:
Totally cut out from the root, in the physical form, from your body.
To train your mind, work out for the brain, to have a strong will power.Learning to acknowledge and accept without judgement.
Learning to focus your attention, to be here and now.
Learn how to welcome greater awareness, clarity and acceptance into your life and celebrate the beauty of living with mindfulness.
WHAT’S THE FOOD LIKE?
They are very simple home cooked vegetarian meals, prepared by the volunteers, freshly cooked daily.
At first I thought “what do you mean by No meat? Not even eggs? And only one breakfast + one lunch + afternoon fruit a day, no dinner? No mocha? How can I survive?”
Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the meals and ate way more then my normal portion and probably put on weight! That’s why I power walk a lot.
Okay I get it, but how about if I love food, when I eat one bowl of yum I’m happy, I eat two bowls then I’m double happiness right?
One day the meal was just super delicious, I have gone for a second. Even though I was almost 89% full, I thought, just one more little spoonful please, taste so good.
As soon as I finished that extra bite, holy sh*t I am now 118% full! So I went for a power walk to shake it off. Nah, I couldn’t move, belly’s too full. How about I go take a nap now? Went back to my room. Nah, too full I couldn’t sleep.
So I just try so hard to slow walk for 45 mins, basically to kill time, let the food digest, and had a full belly in the next group meditation sitting. I suffered for 1.5 hours, and lost my inner peace. Cuz I was craving for an extra bite that my body didn’t need.
Here’s another lesson learnt. Few days later I had the most yummy orange cake ever!
I wasted time on thinking about if I should have another piece or not, and forgot to enjoy the cake that was on my hand!
I closed my eyes, on that warm sunny spring afternoon, with cool breeze blowing, the sounds of nature, the trees, the birds, the insects… warm sun on my face, sipping a nice cup of sage tea, i enjoyed every last bite of the remaining orange cake, with tears all over my face and a big smile by myself LOL
I was so glad to be alive, can experience this amazing orange cake, I have everything that I need.
HARDEST PART OF THE TRIP?
I thought not being able to talk for 10 days, no phones, no internet, no electronic devices, no books, no music, no reading or writing materials was the hardest part. No they weren’t that hard.
I thought being able to sit still for one hour was the hardest part… No it wasn’t.
The hardest part was to be honest with myself, face my own fear, and physically sit through some intense pain in my body.
This is an intensive heart surgery, toxics that has been buried deep since childhood (or even from your past life time) must come out to the surface in order to release them and heal your heart again, it’s a painful process but necessary.
You can never be free if you keep running away from your dark side, avoid any challenges or distract yourself and think they’re gone. They’re still there, in the deepest place in your mind, and you know it.
This 10 days meditation course is not for everyone.
If you are a quitter / if you think you are busy / if you think you can’t do this / if you think you can’t stay silence for 10 days / if you think you can’t live without smoking alcohol drugs phones music /
If you think you are not strong enough, then just don’t, this is not for you. They sold out in an hour, please don’t waste the space.
One girl in front of me, I didn’t see her anymore from day one evening, she didn’t even make it to the 1st discourse (audio story time).