For those who don't know what vipassana meditation is, it's a 10 day course where you cant talk to any one, or even make eye contact with anyone else. Writing material, phones, religious material, computers and anything else that has a hint of fun in it is banned. You meditate from 4:30 am till 9:30 pm with only a few hours break during the day. For me the silence was some thing I was looking forward to, the sitting cross-legged for umpteen hours a day was not… But nonetheless I decided to give it a go. Leaving Robyn and Gypsy behind I jumped on a local bus and headed out to Dhammagiri. The center is stunning to say the least, with an epic mountain as the back drop. I couldn't think of a better, or more peaceful place to be quiet for 10 days. Without going into too much detail, just let me say that the course is like a roller coaster of emotions. One day you love it the next you hate it and want to leave, you are happy and content followed by angry and emotional with a dose of breaking down for good measure then back to being ecstatically happy. And all this you deal with in silence, some times sitting in a hall with 300 other people and sometimes you are in small dark little cells. I know, I’m not exactly painting a good picture of it, but at the end of the 10 days I had learnt more about myself than in 34 years of life. I came out of it with a new outlook on the world and on my own self as well. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.
And the cost of this course you may ask… well that's the crazy thing… it’s free… Yep free! You don't pay a cent, actually they won’t let you pay if it’s your first time. They feed and house over 600 students per course and they rely on donations from older students to cover the costs. Sounds crazy and like something that would never work? … Well you’re wrong. They have over 50 centers all over the world. Their only goal is to spread the concept of taking away the misery of your mind and to help everyone to find their inner happiness.
Would I do it again?
Maybe in a few more years I’ll do it again. I feel like I need time to work on the new tools I’ve been given first.
Would I recommend other people to do it?
If you want to learn about yourself and are interested in looking within yourself instead of externally and materially, then absolutely!
It truly is a tough, but amazing experience and I would recommend it to every one!