Introduction, development and ending – what’s this Vipassana about?
I have already written here about the beginning of my adventure with Vipassana meditation on a 10-day silent meditation course. What Vipassana taught me is certainly patience and discipline, both physical and mental, but the beginning was completely different…
1st stage, or how not to give up…
The first 3 days in silence and about 10 hours of meditation daily were not benevolent to me, there was a huge pain (knees and spine) from continuous sitting on a small square, which becomes your only space for hours. In addition to the physical pain, thoughts were intensified when I wanted exactly the exact opposite result. On the very first day I wanted to give up, on the second day my thoughts about leaving this place appeared several times per hour, I was frustrated and resigned, that I had signed up for something that I was not able to pass.
My dad drove me to the course and it was him (of course, except my cousin who told me about Vipassana) I felt anger with – how on earth could you leave someone in this place. The first stage of anger appeared by imagining my reactions when my dad will come to pick me up. I saw myself arguing with him about everything, including the fact that he would not bring chocolate for me, which I was thinking about all the time.
The whole course was dedicated to my mother and I think it was one of the reasons why I decided to stay and give it a try.
Mind variations and irresistible desire to sleep – stage 2
On the 4th day, the proper practice of Vipassana began and 3 hourly sessions every day I meditated in stillness. Every hour was a huge challenge to my body, so I came up with everyday intentions to ease my effort. On the day dedicated to my goddaughter, they prepared my favorite soup – cabbage soup, so I laughed to myself that she brought me a nice surprise. On the day of my sister-in-law, as a supplement to dinner, I got pickles – my joy was enormous. There was another problem though – lack of sleep. From the day 4 my mind was so sharp that I could not sleep. On the course, you can talk to the teacher (every day from 12 to 1 pm there were 10-minute sessions, in the order according to the list) and the manager (in case of a health problem or other issues). I talked to the teacher who told me that the problem of insomnia affects many students and it’s best just to focus on the movements of my body. If it does not help, just do not get angry – because it could get even worse. The advice did not help me much, so at every possible break (e.g. eating breakfast within 10 minutes instead of 1 hour) I dashed to the room to take a nap. Emotions towards dad also changed a bit – now it was indifference and the vision of spending the way back in the back seat without saying a word.
Stage 3 – let it all finish finally (with a smile on my face)
If you think that day by day it was getting easier – nothing further from the truth. The whole course was not an easy experience for me, but I MADE IT and on the last day the time came when you could talk to others. Some preferred to remain silent, others began to describe their experiences with joy. I only had a vision of my dad’s arrival and a great joy at the thought of telling him everything. Some take a long time to return to reality, for me it was much faster – as I started to speak right away, I could not stop.
Easy and more difficult moments of Vipassana – seen through my eyes.
There is no single list of tips on how to go through the Vipassana course. For me it was one of the most intense experiences in my life and it brought me an unexpected change – I QUIT SMOKING, without any help, problems, standard behaviour of a smoker overcoming an addiction and it lasts for over 11 months!
WHAT WAS EASY FOR ME:
- hours, type and frequency of meals (the body gets used to it very quickly)
- waking up at 4 am
- noble silence and avoiding any physical and eye contact with other people
NO CIGARETTES (I did not have any need to smoke)
WHAT WAS HARD TO OVERCOME:
- getting rid of nicotine from the body (smokers who quit smoking know what I’m talking about)
- constant fatigue (physical exertion – pain in the knees and spine, numbness in the legs), lack of sleep from the day 4 for several nights
- incoming ideas (also the business ones) that I was not able to write down (I kept repeating them in my mind for the next days, not to forget – I MADE IT)
The Vipassana course is available in many locations around the world, all information about places and dates of the courses are here: https://www.dhamma.org/en/index
If you are missing information about the course and have additional questions, write to us.