I have recently attended 10 days noble silence meditation retreat called Vipassana Meditation. In this article, I’ll share my detailed experiences about My transformative Vipassana meditation Journey with you. This involves my experiences, learnings, observation, Knowing Spirituality in more depth, self-discipline, training your mind, controlling your mind and body, winning over pain, everything is energy and waves, and much more.
What is Noble Silence means?
No talking. No Mobile, No internet, No gestures. No eye contact. No physical contact. No reading. No music. No writing. No electronic devices. No lying. No killing. No running. No physical exercises. No stealing. No sexual activities. No intoxicants.
What is Vipassana?
Vipassana, which means seeing things as they are, is one of the world’s most popular meditation techniques. It was supposedly taught by Buddha himself in India more than 2500 years ago.
Today, the technique of Vipassana is taught in 10-day courses all over the world. The classes are entirely free of charge. Donations from old students meet all expenses – people who went through a course before experienced the benefits and wish to allow others to benefit.
The worldwide centers are built, maintained, and run by an organization founded by the recently deceased S.N. Goenka. The organization is non-sectarian and welcomes people from all faiths and backgrounds.
How have I got into Mindfulness to Meditation?
Spirituality is one of my core values. I read spiritual books, practice meditation, and watch many videos to grow my knowledge of spirituality. Also, At Salesforce, I am currently India lead at the interfaith-based group within Salesforce called Faithforce. I run the Art of Mindfulness program as part of VTO to promote mental wellbeing with the practical aspect of mindfulness. Salesforce has excellent support to have the freedom to practice mindfulness at work as we have a mindfulness room at work where employees can go and practice meditation during the work. I am so grateful to be a part of Salesforce, which helped me take step one level up in contemplation to take ten days off and attend the Vipassana meditation course.
Attending the Vipassana course was an accident for me.
I had applied for this course to check if I will get confirmation. I was not aware of the course and never met the people who have done the Vipassana or introduced this course to me, so not sure about attending the course.
Being father and husband, it is never easy to leave the family for ten days and no talk, especially during the COVID times where the situation is not so good outside. When I got a confirmation call from the Vipassana center, my first response was, “Sorry, I can not attend this course for ten days as I have so many things are going on. Can you please cancel my registration?”. The person said, ” Please don’t cancel overcall; you may reply to the confirmation email for cancellation later.” Since then, I was not feeling like canceling my registration from inside. Somehow universe supported me to make everything align in my path so I can attend the session.
What I Learned from Vipassana Meditation
Vipassana meditation is the intersection of the two above points: sharpening of the conscious mind to sense the subtlest possible sensations and equanimous observation—without reaction—to all sensations. Through this method, one can fully accept what is, and thus, be ultimately at peace.
A new habit, change the pattern.
Every day, a bell rang outside my door at 4 am, reminding me that it was time to wake up and ready for meditation despite the darkness. This course has been designed with much strictness to time, We get three breaks, but the rest need to do meditation at Dhamma Meditation halls. It becomes a habit to wake up early and have breakfast at 6:30 am, lunch at 11:00 am, and dinner at 5:00 PM, making a whole new routine for my body. Eventually, it becomes a habit.
Quiet The Mind
When you do 10 hours of meditation for ten days with complete silence, you only have the choice to listen to yourself. As the ultimate goal of vipassana is self-liberation, you will learn during the whole program. This is a state of total awareness and recognition of your true self. I feel much relaxed and deep knowledge of myself even after returning from the vipassana center. During the first few days of meditation practice called Anan Panan, My mind was with many thoughts that did not settle down, but my focused meditation practice helped me be aware of the thoughts.
I have started observing my concentration has improved very much. I can focus on some work more focused even though there are many disturbances around me. I found that I have build strength and discipline of the mind.
As I begin to discipline the mind, I also strengthen my resilience – as I was able to not focus on pain in my legs while sitting on the Asana continuously. Meditation teaches me how to detach your thought from any feelings and sensations which mind creates for you to react. Not to respond to any thoughts and to have the feeling of observation on those painful feelings helped strengthen my resilience to the situation.
Live In The Present Moment
Along with this sense of inner peace comes an undeniable feeling of unconditional joy.
Even after coming from Vipassana, I feel more comfortable while working, eating, sleeping, etc. In Vipassana, we follow “The Middle Way.” While there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ path to follow, the goal is to raise your awareness and become more mindful of your thoughts and experiences in the present moment.
When you center into The Now, you live from a state of joy, bliss, love, and light. Vipassana is balancing your mind and body with breathing. It connects with you internally so that you can observe your thoughts with body sensations.
Why should you do it?
It’s a great tool to manage addictions or to help you deal with a significant change in life. For me knowing myself deeper and have clarity in my life was the most important benefit.
The journey you go on will be your own. But I think one we all need at some stage in our lives to bring us back to a state of equilibrium.
Meditation can help provide the mental strength to regain control and bring you back to the present. Vipassana is going in at the deep end, but I think it is what we need to give us time to reflect and to practice meditation away from our busy lives.
The Vipassana meditation is free, including all accommodation and food, but there is an expectation to donate at the end, of course – whatever you feel comfortable paying. The idea is to cover the cost of the next person.