This Too Shall Pass: 11 Vipassana Meditation Experiences
Vipassana is one of the most ancient meditation techniques, tracing its roots down to the Buddha and beyond. It is said that Siddharta Gautama re-discovered it and became enlightened by practicing it.
Simple, but not easy
Despite the Buddhist background, the practice is not connected to any religion. The practice is basically limited to observing the breath and bodily sensations as they are in each given moment. Vipassana is a process of introspection which sharpens awareness and encourages the meditators to reflect on the fact that all things in life are impermanent. As such the practice is very simple, but not easy.
Vipassana courses are run on a donation basis. Donations are accepted only from students who completed at least one 10-day course. The idea is to give according to your means with a sincere wish to help and support others.
The main feature of the training is equanimity: Experiences and sensations arise, stay and pass away. As you sit in meditation, there is nothing else to practice than to observe whatever happens without any cravings, aversions and judgements. The basics of Vipassana are taught at a 10-day residential course following a very rigid schedule:
Another idea of Vipassana is that it is practiced in isolation. Therefore each 10-day course includes nine days of complete silence. Any form of communication and interaction apart from check-ins with teachers should be avoided. There is no physical exercise apart from walking around the area of a Vipassana center during breaks (if you wish so). The diet is vegetarian, with approximately 19 hours of fasting after lunch until the next morning (There is an afternoon tea break, serving cookies or fruits for new students.).
Imagine a Vipassana course like a fitness boot camp, but instead of your muscles you train your mind. And you train it 11 hours a day, which is very hard. Here are 11 experiences I made during my 10-day Vipassana course:
Did you ever attend a 10-day Vipassana course yourself? Are you planning on doing so in the future? I would love to hear your thoughts and share experiences! Got questions? Contact me!