Vipassana, the so called Art of Living according to S.N.Goenka is a mediation technique that helps making peace with what is and ‘seeing things clearly, as they are’.
10 day silent meditation retreat can be attended all over the world for free on a donation basis. In my opinion definitely an experience to have made once in a lifetime. Here are my thoughts and feelings of it, only a couple of days after having completed my first Vipassana:
Just returned from the 10 day Vipassana meditation course. Now I am enjoying together with my friends beautiful Bali. I think I am going to need some more days to digest the experiences of those very last days. One thing is for sure: I am coming out of this course as a happier, healthier and more balanced person.
So what is this Vipassana course about? Basically you learn there how to find the peace and harmony within each and everyone of you. To many of you it seems to be pritty extreme to stand up at 4 o’clock in the morning, sit all day, not talk, not eat after lunch and be restricted in some more ways. But accepting these regulations for 10 days, leading the life of a monch or a nun, living there just through the kindness of donations from previous students. This makes your ego become less dominating. You realize how you crave for things in your everyday life that you don´t necessarly need. One often thinks ´I need to achive / experience / have etc. this and that thing and only then I am going to be happy and satisfied!´. But you will be never really satisfied for a longer time because there´s this other thing that you need next. Like a vicious circle.
Actually one needs very little if you realize that you can only experience true happiness and peace from deep within. This may sound a bit hippy-style but it is that way (at least for me). So how does sitting and meditating all day help with that issue? Actually you learn through this to observe, to surrender and furthermore you learn not to react blindly to any feeling, sensation or thought that pops up. These things get triggered by our environment and interactions with other people. And they feel so real that you think you cannot not react to them. Mostly we suffer. because someone or something hurts our ego or doesn´t answer our expectations. But if you learn to observe first the breath, the sensations on the body which go together with any emotion that one has, then only we will be able to see things as they really are – not as we would like them to be.
This realization can be quite uncomfortable and even a bit painful. But on the long run it makes you free – free from all worries and fears that things just happen to you and you can´t do anything against them- free from all anger and negativity that one might accumulate over the years and free from all ego and selfishness that makes you feel separeted from other human beings.
But there are many other ways to come to this conclusion. For me it is mainly my yoga practice that helps me to realize these things each and every day. Things around us change, even we change – every moment. It is not as if we were born and then, suddenly, after several decades we are old and grey. Each and every second of our lives we have the decision to make a change. So next time you are angry or sad, just hesitate for a moment and ask yourself why you feel this way. Then you probably think ´because of what he or she did or said´ or any other reason. But ultimately we are the ones that hurt ourselves and make us suffer if we bring the past into the present over and over again.
So enough now, I don´t want to lecture or bore you. Just wanted to share these thoughts with you. All in all, I can recommend to EVERYBODY joining one of the Vipassana courses that are run on donation basis all over the world (it’s truly a unique experience, not only for Yogis) or start to practice yoga or simply start leading a more peaceful and harmonious life – letting go of all grudges from the past, living our lives from moment to moment to moment …