Vipassana meditation

Just before I went to the Vipassana meditation center, my friend send me the following message on Facebook: why are you nervous. This will be time for yourself ! This is on my bucket list. I want to do it too ! Thank to Melanie for this message. It has make me laught more than once while I was trying to meditate. Ya right, time for myself lololol. Vipassana, is not exactly what most people think. It has been one of the hardest thing I ever done in my life

Look at this picture lolol ! I was so happy when i got there. Hahahaha !!! At that time, i Had no idea about what i would going trhu lolol !

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I was really felling ready for this ! I told a friend: I’m so excited to begin the noble silence and begin, I’m feeling ready for this ! She had do previously a few and she said: Genevieve, you tell me after lolololol. Then I said: Ya ya ya. I thought biking solo had make me stronger. I thought this experience would help me to do a better intropection about myself. I knew It would be difficult but I thought after few days, I would get better and then, only by doing mediation, reach a kind of awakening HAHAHAHAHA. I though I would be full of energy after this those 10 days !

In the world, they are many kinds of mediation. The Vipassana mediation is based on the self-observation of the our body sensation’s. According to our teacher, it does not only relax you but it work on a deeper level. It allowed you to work on your unconcious mind. Any people who want to be introduce to Vipassana, must attend to a 10 days course.You cannot do a shorter term (new student).They are Vipassana’s meditation centers everywhere in the world. It has been introduced in some jails in India and in the USA. It is free for charge and based on donation.
For more details, have a look to this link (introduction and code of discipline): https://www.dhamma.org/en/about/code

Here is the map of the the center I went in Mandalay, Myanmar. During the 10 days courses, all the mens are separated from the womens.

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Here is a picture of my own private room. I had a toilet and a shower.

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Here is a picture of where I had my breakfast and lunch everyday. The food was good and it was a buffet type.

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Three times a day, everyone had to meditate in the Dhamma hall. The mens were sitted on left side and women on right side. Those 3 daily mediation sessions were called strong determination meditation. During this meditation, I was not allowed to move my foot and, to open my eyes and my hands. Every minutes at the end of this mediation seems as a hour. When finally you hear the singing few minutes before the endof the mediation, then you feel so happy again. Like a delivery ! 

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 At other times, I was allowed to meditate either in my room, in the Dhamma hall (group meditation or in individual cell (new students have been introduced to the cell only after the day 6). We had only 10 minutes in between each mediation. I was feeling as a robot. It was just enought time to go to toilet. Sometime, often… I was enjoying to lay down on my back under a big tree, trying to take adventage to those only few minutes I had for myself. This is crazy !

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Every night, between 19h 00 – 20h 15 (every night), we were listening a video of S.N. Goenka. Every students around the world are listening at the same video. Every night, I was so impatient to listen at his speech. I just needed to be reassured. I was so impatient that someone validates my emotions, put some words on my thoughts. Those videos were a wrap up of the day..to help us to understand each daily instruction. He was also given the instruction for the next day. After his speech, because his such a great men, his speech always gave me a little energy boost for the last 30 minutes mediation from 20h 30- 21h 00. Every night, at the end of his speach, It was always hilarious after 11 hours of constant mediation to hear him telling us on the TV: take rest for 5 minutes and start again. A never have been such disciplined in my life.

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Why was it that hard….first, here what was my daily schedule for 10 days:

4:00 am Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 am Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30-8:00 am Breakfast break
8:00-9:00 am Group meditation in the hall
9:00-11:00 am Meditate in the hall or in your room according to the teacher’s instructions
11:00-12:00 noon Lunch break
12noon-1:00 pm Rest and interviews with the teacher
1:00-2:30 pm Meditate in the hall or in your room
2:30-3:30 pm Group meditation in the hall
3:30-5:00 pm Meditate in the hall or in your own room according to the teacher’s instructions
5:00-6:00 pm Tea break
6:00-7:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
7:00-8:15 pm Teacher’s Discourse in the hall
8:15-9:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
9:00-9:30 pm Question time in the hall
9:30 pm Retire to your own room–Lights out
During, my stay, I was not allowed to communication with anyone (verbal and noun-verbal), to listen music, to write, to read. I was only allowed to speak if needed to the female’s coordinator and teacher. Not been allowed to communicate with anyone was very hard. I’m use too be alone. But, so many times, I felt the need to discuss with others about their experiences. I had some doughts about myself. Was I doing the good thing ? This was a totally new meditation’s technique. So many questions were running into my mind. I was not allowed to share it with anyone. But the teacher was right…When you start wandering about other and talk about your own experience, you are not living your own personal experience and maybe, this get you even more stress…

I had never realised that my mind was spinning that much ! So difficult to take the control of this wild elephant after so many years. My thoughts were always in the past or in the futur. And often, those thoughts were not positive. A lot of anxiety. This is not living the moment. I have realised that my mind is never calm and it maybe why sometimes I’m struggling with my energy’s level. Around days 7 or 8…I could not be in my head anymore. Laying down on my bed, looking at the wall for 1 hour after breakfast or lunch, I was so desperate to do other things to get out of my mind. This is why we are not allowed to listen music, read book..it would be too much easy to find a escape of our thoughts.

On day 2, in the morning, I was so good. The previous night, the teacher on the television had said day 2 and 6 were the most difficult. My morning meditation went fine. I felt full of energy and then…puffffffffff the afternoon got so bad. I was tired. It was hard to concentrate my mind. Then I start to think about the next other 8 days. I start panicking. Sometime, of course you cheat and look around when you meditate. Then, you see everyone in Bouddha’s posture, everyone look so serene, in peace. No one seems to suffer…of course, this is not the reality…This was like a torture. Sometime, I had some cold sweat. I was sometimes screaming in silence, almost having some panick attack. After day 2, everyone was looking so miserable. I COULD NOT understand why the old students were coming back. During meal times, you could observe it trhu out body postures. One day, one was facing each other and another day, the same person was not facing the other (I was doing that too) that was sitting at the same table. I was so confused because the aims of the Vipassna mediation is to make you more happy. I could not understand why everyone why looking so miserable. I could not get it ! At one point, this was reasuring me and make me felt better ! I was not the only one. Actually, I still don’t get it too much but….It is interresting that I have observed that the Myanmar’s people did not gave any particular signs that they were struggling. This does not surprise me. Our teacher explained us what was the universal causes of misery ( attachement, ego…). I always found along all those trips that Asian’s people seem more happy than western peoples. The Asian’s peoples do not have such a big Ego (I, mine) as we do, they don’t have so much attachement to material…They are living a simple life and are social people. They are not as individualist as we are. They seem to deal with negative situations in a better way than us !

On day 27, the noble silence have been break at 11h 00. Then, we were allowed to communicate with others. However, the strong determination’s mediation were still schedule in the day. I was happy to talk with the others and realise that I was not the only one who had struggle and not been able to always do what I should have been doing. It was nice to be reassuring that it is frequent that people are doing nightmares about death or murder. At around day 7 or 8, I dreamed that I had killed my friend’s son. This is terrible right ! When I woke up in the morning, I was not feeling good about it.

Along the 10 days, I never gain any energy. There is one morning, I never woke up, I never heard the bell. I was so exhausted ! Can you imagine doing mediation for 12 hours a day (plus, any new students had not any previous experiences) ?  I was onlysleeping 6 hrs a night. At home, I need about 9 hours. Someone came in my room at 5h 30 to woke me up. But, this was good because this 1h 30 extra hrs has help me. Between 4h 30 and 6h 30, I did my best mediation ! However, I know when you have a lot of experience, mediation give you energy.

Would I do it in couple of months ? no. However, I understand the benefit of mediation and I would like to include this into my daily routine. As my friend told me, meditation mean understand. It help one to control his mind, react to situation in a calm way and not always been in reaction. I’m such a emotive person. This would definitivly help me. However, I would maybe do it again in few years. It would be interresting to observe my progresses. However, to do so, I would need to start to meditate at home.

Here is what I learn from it. The real hapiness is within ourself and has nothing to do with the outside world. Having some dreams, achieving some goals are important. It make one fell more happy, help you to develop some strenghts but, this is not the real hapiness. The real hapiness is how one react to negative’s situations. Do you let your emotions taking the control over you ? We are 100 % responsable of our misery. One can be fully happy either surrunden by negative’s situations. You can only observe your body reaction without giving to it any importance. We have always the choice to react or not. However, this is not easy ! This is what I come to realise during those 10 days. I could have control my thoughts, my emotions, accept the situation and be happy. I have been so miserable ! Most of the new students thought just by sitting and doing mediation we would reach a kind of awakening !!! No, one have to work hard to be fully happy. What a hard work ! It totally make sence but…….This is why it is important to do this 10 days course and not just read about it. To really understand it, one have to experience it.

That look fun right ?!

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