No contact with outside world and no talking with anyone for 10 days. 10.5 hours of Meditation per day. Total Isolation. If you want to make a start towards cleansing your mind and root out miseries from your life, if you want to take control of your mind, this is the first step you must take.
There will be many rough patches in the way, but if you have strong determination, you will find a way through to the end. And this is just the beginning. The real efforts start from here. There is no stopping now. You have learnt a technique, now you have to practice it everyday and master it.
After my first 10 day Vipassana course, I have come out purified, cleansed, refreshed and totally charged mentally. For me, It was difficult than I had thought it would be. On many sessions I had excruciating pain in my back, on 2nd and 5th day I was watching tears rolling down my cheeks with detached attitude, on 6th night I couldn’t sleep a single minute. But I persisted. I stayed till the end. This had not been possible if it had not been Vipassana. It made my mind stronger. Many people worry that this course will make them detached from everything and make them an emotionless person. But let me assure you that this is not at all true. If you decide to take this course, you are not taking a risk, you are taking a step towards purity and equanimity.
I decided to attend this course at one of the Dhamma Meditation Centres first time in 2012 and finally after 3 years I could attend it. The main reason being I couldn’t get consecutive 10 days leave from my job. And now that I left my job on 30th June, the first thing I did was to go for the course on 1st July!
Right from the childhood we are taught everything about the world around us. The whole education is mostly focussed on outer world (except Psychological studies off course), but nobody teaches us how to cleanse our mind, how to keep it pure, how to keep it completely in our own control, how to keep ourselves focussed. Right from birth we are told to follow some traditions based on “religion” in which we take birth, but we don’t know completely why we are following certain things. We do no know what true “Dharma” is, and when we know it, we realize it’s the laws of nature that make up the true Dharma and nothing else.
So what’s exactly this about?
Vipashhyana is a technique of cleansing our mind and getting rid of our miseries, taking mind in our total control, and all this simply through observation of our breath and different sensations arising on our body. It gradually removes all the diseases of our mind, and makes us calm and equanimous. Other benefits? Increased focus, increased efficiency in work, lesser anger, lesser grief, lesser misery, lesser attachments, lesser cravings. After all, craving gives birth to grief, right?
Vipashyanna was practiced by Siddharth Gautam and through Vipashyanna only he became Buddha. The key here is to understand everybody can become “Buddha” by practicing Vipasshyana.
How’s the course structured and what is the time table?
Vipasshyana needs to be practiced everyday without fail, and to reach “Free state” (Mukt awastha), for years. But to learn the basic technique, at least 10 days are required to understand it thoroughly. As you go on perfecting it, you can take advanced courses.
The rules are and they have to be strict.
1. No speaking for 10 days i.e. Arya Maun. You can talk with Guruji or Sevak if you have any questions.
2. Only veg food.
3. No food intake after 5.45 pm.
4. No contact with outside world, no phone, no newspaper.
5. No reading, writing.
6. No actions that will distract others.
Time-table is as follows:
4 am – Waking up
4 – 4.30 am – Freshen up
4.30 – 6.30 am – Meditation
6.30 – 7.15 am – Breakfast
7.15 – 8 am – Rest/Bath
8 – 11 am – Meditation (5 min break allowed after first one hour)
11 – 11.45 am – Lunch
12 – 12.30 pm – Individual meeting with Aacharya (Guruji)
12.30 – 1 pm – Rest
1 – 2.15 pm – Meditation
2.15 – 2.30 pm – Rest
2.30 – 5 pm – Meditation
5 – 5.45 pm – Snacks
6 – 7 pm – Meditation
7 – 8.30 – Discourse by Respected S.N.Goenka ji
8.30 – 9 pm – Meditation
9 – 9.30 – Question Answer with Guruji
9.30 – Sleep. Lights Off.
For first three days, “Aanapan” will be taught… i.e. concentrating on your breath. From 4th day onwards, Vipasshyana will be taught – watching sensations on all over your body through various ways, without judging or categorizing them as pleasant or unpleasant.
What did I discover about myself?
For past 8 years I have struggled hard and fought with myself trying to keep myself peaceful. The basic reason I had to attend this course was to find permanent solution for this. And I think I have got it!
In the process of examining myself, my breath, bodily sensations, I have realized that the things that I thought I had made peace with, are still deep rooted in my mind and they had/have (not sure yet!) just been wrapped over by outer apparently peaceful mind. They are still very very strong. Using Vipassana I can take and throw them out one by one gradually. This is logically the correct way. There is no point running away from miseries by pretending that you have made peace with them.
I have learnt to be more alert about my thoughts. I have been more knowledgeable about the reason of my miseries. I have been more watchful of myself. When I was a child, my anger was out of the charts. I realized about it in my teenage. In my 20s, I started to take efforts to control it and got some success. With Vipassana, I think I will never be even as least angry as I have ever been!
What is the truth of our miseries?
Whenever we become miserable, our naturally tendency complies us to associate our misery with an external thing (a person or an event). With Vipassana, you will understand that the reason of our miseries are not outside, but inside us. Our deeper mind is so full negativity and diseases, that whenever an external event happens, we grow this negativity in ourself, we react to it. But if we remove all this from our mind, there won’t be nothing in our mind to catch the fire even someone throws fire at us!
Vipassana will show you all your negativity and diseases of mind, and it will also show you the way to throw them out of your mind, and make your mind purer!
Who should attend this?
Any person above 20 years of age can attend and in my opinion must attend! This will probably change your life. I have seen 20 year old students and 80+ year olds in the same course with me!
Need more info?
For registration and more information you can visit http://www.dhamma.org
Don’t run from yourself. Be brave and clean your mind. The operation of mind has to be done by self and without anesthesia. But it has to be done! Don’t curse the world for your miseries. The reasons of your miseries are not outside, but inside you. Find them, remove them and keep the mind clean. Be in tranquility and equanimity! Be happy!