My plan was to go again… I was planning to go to Belgium on my second Vipassana course.. I’d go and be silent for 10 days, no eyecontact or touching anybody or allow someone to touch me...
Can you imagine on going to such centre and submit yourself voluntarily for ten days?
My plan was to go meditate again according to the Goenka theory. The way Buddha has done it and got his enlightment… Goenka has made a ten day course for us and I would go again! In december 2016 I did it for the first time in Chennai, India and now I would go to Belgium.
I can imagine that you are thinking; you must have gotten a great feeling after that first 10 days? Yes, I had!! In the days and weeks after those ten days I started to feel the difference in me. I felt better and more relaxed. I felt that I could react to things better and more easy where I before reacted in a forced way.
But I’ve got a long way to go..
I do think that everybody has certain blockages you’ll know about, you know how to life with them and intergrate them. So they don’t bother you in your daily life but it makes you a slightly different person or at least a different person you’ld be in a life without those blockages.
And that’s exactly why I go again!
Lessons I learned before – Vipassana
Lessons… Not only for daily life
also to get through those 10 days 🙂
The first lessons I learned before are that we are all the same at the point that we all go through the same difficulties during the 10 days. During the 10 days silence… During the 10 days that we actually shouldn’t be thinking about anything buat actually start thinking about everything… even the things we didn’t even knew anymore..
Most important lesson of Goenka is: all feelings come and go. During the meditation is the most important thing that you observe your body and the sensations it gives you. Be in contact with that and be in the present. There is nothing more important at this point, it is you and your body.
Observe your body, without judgement. If you feel a sensation, an itchy feeling or a tingling feeling, observe it to the fullest. Don’t judge it, don’t think it is an irritating feeling, don’t scratch it away.. The sensation will fade in the end and you need to go on observing your body.
This is such a great lesson also in daily life
also to get through these 10 days 🙂
Everybody has the same kind of difficulties
Lessons I learned before
Every day, at the end of the day, we got an instruction video, a lesson taught by Goenka himself. The instruction video has been made by him and he is telling the story…the lessons.
- Tip: if you want to go try it already or at least look at some of the lessons Goenka has to teach you can see them here on YouTube
I really was surprised that the video’s really answered my questions of the day.. the questions that bothered me the most, or the pains that haunted me were always answered. Twice a day you have the oppurtunity to ask your teachter a question. This is mostly a one on one talk. I almost never had a question because of the instructions and the lessons in the evening time. I had new energy to get through the night and to start meditating again the next day with newly build energy 🙂
A really good way to end a tough day!
The fases we all go through
I also learned we all go through the same lessons. We don’t differ to much from eachother, we humans are so much more alike then we mostly think… or maybe would like to think..
The mind and the body gives us all the same experiences.
Lessons I learned before
Day 1 and 2 were really difficult, my mind was flying all over the place. I couldn’t really feel my body. I was so distracted by my thoughts which took me to all kinds of happy thoughts or the most negative ones.. I got the best ideas for the future… Like: I will react like this the next time (With negative thoughts) or when I go on after this 10 days I’ll go and do this… or that… (Nice and Positive memory)
Your brains are so inventive to let you not be in the present
On day 1 I sometimes was thinking about something else for at least 10 minutes.. On day 2 I got more control over that.. I mostly felt it after a minute or even seconds that I was letting my mind go wander off and getting away from my meditation.
I do felt great about that, I felt like I had progress. But what happened then? I got lots of pains in my body. My neck will get painfull when I experience stress, the origin in that is an accident 25 years ago. So I got my neck starting to tease me. I also get pains in my hip and my knee.. some kind of cramp and muscle ache..
My body is revolting!
I was angry on everything and everybody, I was very irritated…
So many feelings were distracting me. I was also happy that I got to experience them, that I was working on myself.. That I would have such good experience afterwarsds.. But I was so angry and irritated because I had the feeling they didn’t understand me.. I asked for a seat for my back because everything started to hurt by now. My muscles were totally strained from bottom till my neck…
The teachter told me to give it some more time. It would pass.. Also this was a psychological distraction.. But I only thought.. You don’t know me.. You don’t know about my accident.. I really have this pain.. And I felt it more and more… I couldn’t sit anymore, I couldn’t think of anything else anymore… I was only working on processing the excrutiating pain…
I had a very difficult day.. The Fourth day…
I really had the feeling I wouldn’t be able to sit through the next 6 days..
Untill the realisation hit me that it really was a distracting of my mind and so the first lesson came back and I got through it.. Everything comes and goes…nothing is forever!! It were the toughest days but I got through. I could concentrate really good in the days to follow, I got a hold of the concentration for a longer period and sometimes really had the feeling of working on my meditation and on some pains… I was going somewhere!!
I started to feel better
it felt like some kind of victory!
In those last days I could really work; like really meditate. I could hold my concentration for an extended period. I could dive in deeper on those physical sensations. I had some difficulties with sitting still for an extended period but I didn’t worry that much about it. I replaced my leg slowly and later maybe another leg for a bit. I didn’t got to me, I didn’t felt uneasily by it.. And most important I didn’t got irritated by it.
Lessons I learned before I went in for a second time…
One of the lessons I learned before
The Noble Silence is not the toughest part…
Still that is the first thing everybody says. I couldn’t be quiet that long. 10 days not talking?? I couldn’t be quiet for a minute so to speak. But if everyone is quiet…nobody is talking…nobody is looking at you and inviting you to speak to them…
The Noble Silence gives so much. The most important thing of these days and that you do it yourself… Don’t go reflect on feelings of others; what do you feel, how do you experience things?
Your experiences are unique but also universal…as I said before. We all go through the same moments, we all have our difficulties and tough moments. But they are our own moments and difficulties, they are our own unique experiences that make those moments our own moments. If you would go and reflect with others you will get lost on your own unique path. You will doubt your own path..
Everyone needs to walk their own path
every path is unique
I wrote this blog just before I went to Belgium..
I went to Dhamma Pajjota in Dilsen
So I was facing another 10 days and really felt really exciting again. Would it be easier because I knew what happened to me the last time? Or would the same traps get me again, will my mind and body distract me again in those first 4 days? Or can I shorten that time? Will the ten days feel longer or shorter?
There is a different challenge, I will not go as a first timer anymore.
What will that mean for me?
As a student you need to obey some rules and sign them on forehand, the most important ones are:
- to obstain from killing any being;
- to obstain from stealing;
- to obstain from all sexual activity;
- to obstain from telling lies;
- to obstain from all intoxicants.
Most of the rules should be obeyed all of the time to have a good society.. Rule 3 is an exeption ofcourse 🙂 Rule number 1 is one of the reasons I started to be a vegetarian last year. I do eat some meat every now and then but most of the time I don’t. I call myself a flexitarian.
Next to those rules there are some extra rules for the returning student. I need to obey them too this time.
- to obstain from eating after midday;
- to obstain from sensual entertainment and bodily decorations;
- to obstain from high or luxurious beds.
I am really curious about the bed I will get. Do I get a really thin matrass? Make up and jewelry is not a big problem for me, I don’t wear that much anyway. No food after midday is not a problem too I think. The last time in Chennai I didn’t feel like I really needed it. We had some puffed rice and a banana with some sweet chai. I really miss the chai still… it was my quilty pleasure.. I took an extra cup all the time 🙂
Lessons I learned before
And in every course there are servants, the person that will give you your food and help you with all kinds of problems. You need to avoid any physical effort. When a student has some questions about the housing or such problems you can ask the servant. In India it was more about the toiletpaper and those kind of things. She always waked us with a bell while she was walking the premises. She was also the one who brought me my seat when I had the excrutiating pains 🙂
I was about to go as a servant this time but at the very last moment there were enough.. That will be a challenge for a next time.. #meditation #servant #Vipassana
The schedule of Vipassana Course worldwide
I studied this board multiple times every day in Chennai – India
Have you ever thought about the fact that we are so busy in this society with our body that we tend to forget the mental part of ourself?
We are all active and trying to be and stay healthy….
But what about the mental part?
How do we keep that healty and sane?
I have never translated my first blog about the 10 days in Chennai, for now google translate can help a bit? I will some day translate it 🙂
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I hope you love this world as much as I do!!
Jacomijn is a police officer from The Netherlands who loves to show you how to travel the world Safe, Healthy and Active!! Safe and Healthy Travel is a MUST!