10 Learnings From 10 Day Vipassana Course.

I just returned from a Vipassana meditation retreat few days back.

And such a gorgeous experience it was.

Vipassana means insight. It means seeing things as they really are. The meditation technique is the essence of the teaching of Buddha, re-founded again in India and the world by Siddhartha Gautam after it was lost amidst 2,500 years of civilization. (For more details– http://dhamma.org/)

There is noble silence throughout. Noble silence? Complete silence of body, speech and mind. You can’t talk. You can’t gesture. You can’t read. You can’t write.

You just meditate.

You’re on your own, quite literally.

Initially, I wished I could document my experience with a pen and paper, as and when it happened. But, Vipassana is not about that. It is about self discovery, it is about experiencing.

I’ll try to jot down things, I learnt. So that, you can know and probably, you might just go for this. You want to. Trust me.

1. Silence is golden. And scary. We talk too much, connect too much and live in amidst of deep noise. And then suddenly when you’re thrown into complete silence, it will be scary. But hands down, this will be the most beautiful part of the entire thing. That is if you follow.

2. Slow down. Nothing will happen. Your life will completely slow down there. You’ll be in the now. In the moment. I watched sunset and sunrise, every single day. And it was so gorgeous. Living in now is beautiful. We all need to slow down and live more in now rather than the past and the future. Just slow down.

3. Ego is the ultimate evil. Remember this. Our pride, our ego, our possessive nature, our deep attachment towards ourself  and things is the root cause of everything horrible that has ever happened to you. While doing Vipassana, at least on some levels, you’ll see through that. And it’ll hurt. But it’ll be worth it.

4. What happens hardly matters. How you react does. Throughout our life, things will happen. Good things, bad things,blissful things and horrible things. They don’t make you happy or sad– how you react does those things. If you can learn to control your reactions, you have just learnt life.

5. Trying to control events is futile. And a waste of time. I have written about it before and it just got reaffirmed– trying to control the events or what happens is a tiresome and a futile exercise. You won’t be able to control, you’ll react negatively and you’ve just created an endless cycle– a horrible, endless cycle.

6. What is, is. We either glorify too much or we underestimate. We have always been taught things that way. Learn to observe. To see things as they are. If it is a rock, it is a rock. If it is a flower, it is a flower. What is, is. This forms the crux of the technique– to see things as they’re. Not one scale up, not one scale down, just as they are.

7. Equanimity. Total and complete equanimity. We’ve been brought up in an environment, where you jump with joy if something good happens and generate an emotion of greed and whenever something horrible happens, we generate anger. As per the technique, this behaviour is the cause of all the pain. Be in the moment. Take it in. But with the essence of equanimity.

8. Changing, changing, changing. Everything arises and passes away. While doing Vipassana, you learn through experience that everything arises and passes away. It comes and goes. It comes and goes. Eternal process, that is. What point of clinging? Let go of your anger, resentment, fear, greed. They only cause suffering and they’re bound to pass.

9. Look within. Experience. Don’t just believe. Experience. Turn your attention from outside to inside. Everything is fine outside. The problem is you and your reactions. So, work within. And don’t just believe a thing. Know it. Through experience. Rest forms of knowledge might just come and pass away. This will stay.

10. Until you know yourself, you can’t do anything for others. If you do the technique right, you’ll experience the oneness with everyone. The universal oneness that is there in each and every being. And if you even get a hint of that, you’ll be kinder, more loving, more caring and more compassionate. Know yourself, first. Rest shall take care of itself.

Go there. Just go. Take ten days out, without excuses and go. You’ll love it, it might be scary at first and for certain other points. But it is worth, every moment of that thing.

Go there. Love. Be awesome.

And fly, for anyone’s sake. Get the hell out and fly.

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13 thoughts on “10 Learnings From 10 Day Vipassana Course.

  1. Hey Hardik
    What a lovely and inspiring post! I did a ten-day Buddhist retreat but not S.N. Goenka’s Vipassana. I’ve heard it’s hard and scary especially sitting for 12 hours! The one that I went for was lighter because we didn’t sit for that long and we were allowed to write and read Dharma books.
    Everyone who’s tried Vipassana says it’s an amazing experience. And I salute you for going for it especially at 20! Although I’ll admit, I did mine when I was 20 too! 🙂 I’d like try Vipassana this time but I’m afraid (no writing or reading allowed!). I’m most afraid of fear! Chancing upon your post makes me want to let go and give it a shot. But every time I think about how strict Vipassana is, I feel hesitant to register. Your post has certainly got me thinking and I’d like thank you for that.
    I hope your life’s filled with joy and bliss!

    • I know right?

      It is indeed tempting. But once you go there, you realize that silence and equanimity are perfectly ordinary thing.

      They are just lost in the chaos, our society has become. Everyone must try this at-least once.

      Thank you for an insightful comment! Keep reading and cheers!

  2. I’ve been thinking about doing a second vipassana meditation retreat. Then I stumbled upon this post. Your words have inspired me 🙂 perhaps the universe’s way of telling me to go. Thank you 😉

    • Hey, Erin! Ah, yes. Even I plan to go there every once a year either as a attendee or a helper. But that environment is a beautiful one to rejuvenate yourself.

      Anyway, I am glad my words could inspire you! Have a good, good experience over there. 🙂

  3. I love the concept of minimalism. It is so refreshing in the age of materialism and abundance. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  4. Oddly enough, this “silence” and “solitude” has become a central factor in my life since I became ill. Sometimes, I adore it. Other times it is depressing. I do thank you for the uplifting and positive perspective.

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