We went to a 10-day Vipassana meditation with my husband. You can check it out here: https://www.dhamma.org/.
What is vipassana meditation?
You move in for 10 days. You get breakfast and lunch … but not dinner, so you don’t disturb the meditation too much. The food is good, but every day is pretty much the same:
There is an alarm at 4 AM and the meditation lasts till 8 PM. There is one-hour breakfast and half an hour lunch break. You can enjoy a hour-long video teaching about the Vipassana meditation every evening.
Actually the meditation is very simple. During the first 3 days, you have to watch your breath, how the air flows in and out of your nose. You can observe every little detail of this: how cool or warm the air is, how it feels, how it smells, etc. It’s very simple, but it’s incredibly hard to just sit in one place and watch only one thing. You get so tired, you are happy to go to bed in the evening:
There is a new task from day 4: physical sensations should be observed. You scan your body from your head to your toes and notice whether you feel something like tingling, tickling, pain? This is what you practice here if you are able to observe things neutrally. So you should not label it immediately: “Oh it’s a nice feeling, could I have more like this?” “Oh that’s really bad, I want it to go away .” Human suffering arises because of how we look at things. Everything is labelled right away: this is good, that’s bad. There is too little contemplation in our lives, too little presence. Well now you can practice this for 10 days.
This meditation is based on the teachings of Buddha, so if you want to know more about Buddhism, I suggest to try this meditation.
What about suffering?
Right on the first day, I found myself in the deepest human suffering … my feet was terribly hurt as I had to sit on the ground. I thought something was wrong here, I will not survive this. The teacher could be consulted the next day. (You can not talk to anyone otherwise. 10-day silence: no internet, mobile phone, news, just your own thoughts)
I asked the teacher, “My legs are really hurt, what shall I do?” He smiled at me and said, “This is good for you.” I was surprised, I thought he misunderstood me so I repeated the question, “But my leg really hurts.” He looked at me wisely again and said:
“You can not eliminate the pain from your life.”
Oops, that’s right. Then maybe I can try to watch it. And really the pain has changed. Since I was not so against it, it was much more bearable. And by the end of ten days, I managed to get into a state when I did not even feel the pain at all.
Sit down and watch as the air flows through your nose for 5 minutes.
It’s not that easy, right? There are a lot of thoughts in our mind in 5 minutes. But by practicing, you can quiet your mind. It’s like muscle training. Your mind must get used to this new kind of thinking: not thinking. Practice makes it perfect.
And you experience the wonderful simplicity of existence.