My Vipassana Meditation Experience
My Vipassana Meditation Experience was many things. It was amazing, challenging, fun and insightful. Prior to attending the 10-day vipassana retreat, I was already meditating for about 1 year. I knew what I was getting myself into, or so it seemed.
I had sufficiently prepared myself mentally and read the daily timetable just so that I could familiarize myself with the process. I knew that meditating a total of 10 hours per day would be a challenge. In addition, wake up time was 4 am which I knew was going to be a large hurdle since I am not a morning person.
Moreover, the Vipassana meditation experience does not allow you to bring snacks, cell phone, laptops, books or notepads. You need to check all of these things in before the retreat begins. I knew this was going to be the biggest obstacle for me. Since I am virtually always with my smart phone and love my late night snacks and can’t sleep without them.
The vipassana meditation technique is a great way to meditate. I learned the body scan technique in depth from this retreat and started to apply it more to my daily meditations.
Vipassana Meditation Experience Technique
The body scan is basically meditating with your eyes closed and scanning your body from top to bottom. Durin the scan you might be at your shoulder area and you are supposed to notice your shoulder and anything that comes up.
Whether it be an emotion or feeling of stiffness. You could also feel heat or cold, numbness or feel nothing. The point is to just have awareness with each part of your body and to remain in equanimity. Equanimity is a termed popularized by Buddhists. It is something of great value to an individual once achieved. Basically, what it means to me is that you remain in a state of awareness not effected by positive/negative feelings or thoughts.
In this state, nothing rattles you. You are undisturbed. This does not mean you ignore all the important things in your life. It simply means that you are the seer. You are the awareness that is looking at the things, thought and emotions of your life. This is what the body scan method is all about.
It was quite interesting for me to see that people who were brand new to meditation were able to last 10 days at the Vipassana meditation experience retreat. On the other hand, a total of 8 people out of 50 did leave at some point during the retreat for various reasons. It was also intriguing that most of the people that left were guys. I guess women won that battle, ha.
Well fast forward about 2 years and I can still say that I use the techniques and experiences I learned at the Vipassana retreat. I do mix the with other meditation techniques I learned along the way as well. And I must say that listening to the discourses by Goenka was phenomenal. The clarity and depth with which Goenka goes into about meditation and life, in general, was nothing short of amazing.
The discourses alone with worth the Vipassana Meditation Experience but adding them with the real experience of meditating for 10 hours per day just hammers home the ancient wisdom of this practice.