Today is a week since I’ve been back from Vipassana heaven. Reality sets in and now the real work begins. They suggested to continue Vipassana meditation for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening every day as the minimum to maintain the practice.
I thought to myself, that’s easy! After doing 10 hours a day for 10 days I can totally do this. I already knew I would wake up an hour earlier and stop doing some of the things I would do towards the end of the night.
And so it is. This whole week I woke up at 5am, did my one hour meditation before my 7am Yoga classes, and started my evening meditations at 9:30pm, after my evening yoga classes.
Let me tell you, there is a reason why they make it a silent course, and it truly needs to be experienced to be understood. Those 10 days in silence were so easy compared to now meditating after the noise of daily living is constant and unavoidable. My morning meditations are definitely easier than my evening ones. I even got so frustrated one night I stopped 30 minutes in and just went to bed.
Everyone that I spoke to about the course told me almost the same thing word for word – “OMG I would NEVER be able to do that, not speak, or write or read for 10 days? no way! “
Well, if starting a meditation practice is your goal, having that silent course experience is GOLD. For years I’ve “tried” to meditate with no real concrete guidance, I’ve followed guided meditations online and taken classes but nothing that stuck with me to make it a practice.
Having had those 10 days of noble silence experience made it totally doable for me to continue the practice no matter how hard it may seem this first week out, because ultimately I know from experience, that it will change, and it will get easier and more enjoyable.
One of the main teachings of Vipassana is anicca, meaning impermanence. Understanding that real wisdom is in recognizing and accepting that every experience in life is impermanent. With this insight we will no longer be overwhelmed by life’s ups and downs. The more I get to do my work the more I can retain an inner balance, the more I will naturally choose to act in ways that create happiness for myself and others. This is my WHY for showing up and doing this work.
It all comes down to doing the work, and re-member-ing your why.
My practice now becomes discipline in action. And discipline is truly expressed by my intention to stay present in each moment.
Here are a few quotes from S. N. Goenka that keep me going:
“If there is no peace in the minds of individuals, how can there be peace in the world? Make peace in your own mind first.”
“Meditation, if it is observed without craving or attachment, leads to purity. “
"Work diligently. Diligently. Work patiently and persistently. Patiently and persistently. And you're bound to be successful. Bound to be successful."
"The consequences of today are determined by the actions of the past. To change your future, alter your decisions today."