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In this article I will share with you an unique and exceptional experience, the Vipassana meditation retreat.
I experimented this during 10 days in Burma, 10 hours meditation a day, 100 hours in total.
WHAT IS VIPASSANA ?
It's a meditation technique, one of the oldest in India, used by Siddhartha Gautama 2,500 years ago to reach enlightenment.
Vipassana means to see things as they really are and not as we would like them to be.
This technique, non-sectarian, is a real art of living with the aim of eradicating all mental impurities and achieving the true happiness that results.
During these 10 days, I followed the teaching of SN. Goenka who has spent his life teaching and spreading this technique in countries around the world and especially in France.
The follow-up of this teaching is free, all the expenses (housing, food) being covered by the donations and by the generosity of the volunteers.
I learned the teaching of the Dhamma, this way is the universal law, the law of nature. It consists of 3 pillars that were taught to me during these 10 days:
– Sīla : Morality
These are the 5 precepts to respect: do not kill any living creature, do not steal, do not have drifting sexual practice, do not lie and have bad thoughts / words, do not consume intoxicants (alcohol, drugs, ...).
– Samādhi : Concentration of the mind
Here we learn to sharpen our mind like a razor blade with a cutting edge more and more accurate. For this, we use Anapana meditation which consists of focusing on his breath, on a smaller and smaller area.
– Paññā : Wisdom, spirit purification at the deepest level
It is developed through the practice of meditation, the observation of our bodily sensations from head to feet.
This is why Vipassana exist, to practice seeing reality as it is, observing our bodily sensations, our breathing, with all equanimity.
Indeed, since our youngest age we react to different situations of life in many ways. If this situation is pleasant we will bring attachment, pleasure and sometimes addiction. On the other hand, if this situation is unpleasant, we will run away from it, experience pain, fear.
Whereas everything in our world is impermanent (Annicca in Pali). Indeed, we live, we die, like everything that surrounds and composes us. We are composed of the same elements present in nature, water, earth, air and fire.
Moreover, by using a microscope, by zooming more on our skin for example, we find that what we perceive with our eyes, is only a set of molecules that live and die at every moment, the impermanence in the pure state.
If we learn to observe reality as it is, by observing our impermanent bodily sensations and training our mind not to react if these sensations are pleasant or not, in time we deliver our spirit from our deep-seated sufferings (Saṃskāra in Pali) and we do not generate new ones every day.
WHY DID I FOLLOW THIS KIND OF RETIREMENT ?
– First reason : functioning of the mind.
I wanted to understand more about how our mind works, how to control it, purify it, learn and understand new things.
Having already learned about hygienism, how our body works, how to feed it so that it works optimally, how to protect ourselves from the poisons of our modern society, how to cure our symptoms in a natural way without disturbing the laws of the living.
Vipassana's teaching in addition to my knowledge of hygienism allows me to have an understanding of the human being as a whole.
– Second reason : in my activity context.
Throughout this experience, I hung in difficult moments thinking of my current customers and future people that I could help with my knowledge. Actually as a life coach, I have to develop his perseverance skills in order to always take care of my customers.
– Third reason : I no longer believe in chance.
When I left France for Thailand, in February 2019, my ambition was to hold a meditation retreat for a few days in a monastery in Thailand, in order to understand more about the monastic life and to go out once again my comfort zone.
Chance always doing things well... The person who was close to me on the plane to go to Thailand told me about this meditation technique, he also realized two retreats of 10 days in 6 last months in Thailand. When I was in Chiang Mai, a French entrepreneur friend, Fabien Delcourt, was also going to realize this great experience, it reinforced my choice and motivated me more than ever. This friend has also done a Vipassana podcast, he makes more podcast on the business, the mindset, I strongly encourage you to follow him, I will put you the link of his podcast in description. Currently his podcasts are only in French langage.
A yes I was going to forget, importantly, we often have to book 3-4 months in advance this kind of meditation retreat, I had to leave Thailand for visa reasons, you can not stay more than 6 months in the country, you must then leave the country and return by air. Coming soon to 6 months, I had the choice to go to Laos or Burma, the two closest countries to Chiang Mai. Laos does not currently have any Vipassana centers, I had the choice of Burma, where a miracle 10 days retreat was going to take place in a week and a half and there were still places available for new meditators, my Vipassana adventure began at this moment.
Some small anecdotes:
Two days before leaving the hostel where I was staying in Chiang Mai to go to Burma, one of the employees had shown me a live ceremony from Bangkok where the King of Thailand was rewarding the most famous Vipassana monks.
I met one of the meditators of this Vipassana retreat, 5 days before the beginning of the internship in Yangon in Burma, I was about to leave Chiang Mai by bus, arrived in the waiting area, as often a lot of people were focus on their phones, it was the only person to look away with a quite remarkable concentration. So I naturally asked him if he was going to follow a meditation retreat, it was the case and in addition to the same place as me, we made exactly the same trip at the same time...
HOW DID THESE 10 DAYS GO ?
I did these 10 days at the Dhamma Joti Meditation Center in Yangon, in Burma.
Here is the schedule I followed during this retreat :
- 4:00 : Morning wake up.
- 4:30 to 6:30 : Meditation in the hall or in his room.
- 6:30 to 8:00 :Breakfast break.
- 8:00 to 9:00 : Group meditation in the lobby.
- 9:00 to 11:00 : Meditation in the hall or in his room according to the instructions of the teacher.
- 11:00 to 12:00 : Lunch break.
- 12:00 to 13:00 : Rest and interview with the teacher.
- 13:00 to 14:30 : Meditation in the hall or in his room.
- 14:30 to 15:30 : Group meditation in the lobby.
- 15:30 to 17:00 : Meditation in the hall or in his room according to the instructions of the teacher.
- 17:00 to 18:00 : Tea break.
- 18:00 to 19:00 :Group meditation in the lobby.
- 19:00 to 20:15 : Teacher's speech in the hall.
- 20:15 to 21:00 : Group meditation in the lobby.
- 21:00 to 21:30 : Period for questions in the hall.
- 21:30 : To retire to his room. Turn off lights.
As well as the rules that I had to respect in the center:
Do not speak (noble silence)
Do not cross the look of other meditators
Do not use phone, computer
Do not read, write
And the precepts :
All those taking a Vipassana course must conscientiously commit to the following five precepts for the duration of the course:
1. Refrain from killing any living creature;
2. Refrain from stealing;
3. Refrain from any sexual activity;
4. Refrain from lying;
5. Refrain from any intoxicants.
Old students (those who have already taken a course with S.N. Goenka or one of his assistants) are expected to observe three additional precepts:
6. Refrain from taking food after noon;
7. Refrain from any sensory distraction, makeup and clothing;
8. Refrain from using high or luxurious beds.
In the same way as fasting for the body, the fasting of the spirit can only be achieved by stopping all new entries in our minds.
I made sure to remember me the main points in order to count you this exceptional experience that I lived this year 2019.
I take a taxi from my hostel and go to the Dhamma Joti center in the north of Yangon, I start to realize more and more that the time has come for me to experience this adventure.
I register at the office, put my valuables in a locker, my phone and my wallet are deposited in a special pocket, in exchange I am given a number that I should carefully keep, this number is 47. Interesting in numerology, I realize that 47, 4 + 7 = 11, this number is sacred it symbolizes energy and spiritual awakening, it starts well.
I enter the part of the center where I will make this retreat and discover a pleasant place, peaceful, the vegetation is lush, but the place is very wet, there are many mosquitoes.
I discover my room, we are two per room, the comfort is basic but it will be enough for me, still having the right to speak I take this moment to learn more about my neighbors.
My roommate is an Argentinian, he has half shaved head, this is the first time I see a person with a haircut like that, I do not judge him, but it's still the only person having a physical appearance as original of all meditators.
I meet other meditators, there are people from all around the world: Ireland, China, United Kingdom, Argentina, Switzerland, Italy, California, Spain, France (a French from Lyon, the city where I live and where I am born) and 3/4 of Burmese.
We are in total 120 people, men and women are separated for all the moments.
I keep with me a bottle of water that was given to me by a volunteer, on the label it is written "Life for Life", significant enough, even more in an internship like this one.
There is a big reverse osmosis water filtration system at the entrance to the Dhamma Hall, I smiled, this reminds me of the system I used in my apartment.
We take the first meal all together, we discuss, get to know each other, then we attend SN Goenka's introductory speech in the Dhamma Hall, this place is loaded with positive energy, actually so many meditators have come through here, I feel a sense of calm.
The Dhamma Hall floor is carpeted, before entering we must leave our flip flops, the name of each of us is written on a floor label in front of each traditional meditation cushion. This room is huge, really, at the moment when the professor made his entrance, the young Burmese begin to bow on their knees, making touching their foreheads against the ground, he bows three times, a mark of respect towards him.
I set up the little alarm clock I bought in Yangon for tomorrow's alarm clock.
It is 4 o'clock, I hear the beep of my alarm clock, and the gong, it's nice this noise, really, I decided to shift the time of my alarm clock 5min, in case in the next days my alarm clock could not wake me.
4:30 am, the time of the first meditation in the Dhamma hall, next to me is the only French guy from Lyon and a Switzerland guy from Geneva.
We begin by practicing Anapana, we must focus on our breath, given the early hour, I'm relaxed enough, but I admit it's hard to focus on my breath, my mind is thinking about past and future things.
It is difficult for me to sit for a long time, it's only been two hours and I already feel pain in the back, it starts well.
The first songs of Goenka are quite disturbing, I did not expect at all that.
From 9 to 11h, I decided to go to meditate in my room, my neighbor had the same idea, I said to me : "Maxime you rest 5-10min and then you meditate in a sitting position", finally I fell asleep, my neighbor too , the 11h gong wakes up us.
In the restaurant too we each have our position, I eat in front of a white wall, I start to analyze the people eating. When I eat I feel my chewing, the fact of not talking and focus on the present moment makes me perceive feelings that were unknown to me until now.
The day passes, the return to my room is a little weird, I walk close to my roommate without being able to talk to him, we take our shower one by one.
I think of my dear ones, we continue the Anapana meditation, this time we have to focus our attention on the entrance of the nose.
I feel pain in the legs, my mind is a little less dispelled.
During the day, I share the tiger balm I bought in Yangon with my neighbors, French and Swiss, they appreciate this attention.
At 5pm we can drink a ginger tea at the restaurant, palm sugars are also available.
Since 4-5 days I did not go to the bathroom, I begin to realize that I will have to find a solution.
In the night I wake up at 1:30 in the morning with intense pain in the intestines, I can not go back to sleep.
4am, I hear the gong, I only slept 3h, the pain is still intense, I get up I explain the situation to the volunteers and go back to sleep a few hours.
On the way back the pains become stronger, my head starts to spin, I sit, take my breath and slowly return to my room.
I think I'm at the limit of bowel obstruction, I do not have castor oil to purge me and my condition does not allow me to go to ask a laxative.
I ate a rather spicy dish the day before to create a stir in my intestine, that's what happens but nothing comes out, the sensations are more and more unpleasant, fever rises and persists.
I start going to the bathroom around noon, what a relief !
I think that changing the environment and being in such a new situation for me, plus focusing on my breath, completely blocked my digestive processes.
The fever as for it continues, I must have more than 40 °, I can not get out of my bed. Volunteers come to check my health, I explain that I need a cloth soaked with water and ice to put on my forehead. There is no ice in the center, one of the volunteers brings me a bottle of ice water.
The fever is so strong and constant that I suspect dengue, there are so many mosquitoes here...
My neighbor comes back from classes, organizes all his things to change rooms, the organizers do not prefer to take risks, as I understand, before leaving he looks at me and gives me a big smile of compassion.
The end of the afternoon approaches, my fever begins to fall, I would stay almost 10 hours with a fever bedrock, what a story.
I decided to get up and go listen to Goenka's speech the day before, actually there was a problem with my headphones and I could not listen properly.
One of the volunteers who helped me in my room, even bordered me, brings me bananas with bread and jam, I thank him but I can not eat, my health is still complicated to manage, I feel nauseous and I do not want to eat. I leave this food in my room.
I talk with the teacher and explain what happened, he said « You are a life coach, you must be strong and stay. » I approve his words, but even with all the will of the world, with such a fever, it was impossible for me to do my best. I explain that I am a fighter and nothing can stop me, I will do my best to return as soon as possible. I ask the professor that I am served ginger tea and lemon squeezed in a glass of fresh water, I know what I must do to help my body with natural cures.
I go to the restaurant to drink this, on the return it is almost impossible for me to walk, I think the lemon has an effect on my liver, I have no energy to carry my legs, I have to sit down and regain strength every 20m.
I can reach the Dhamma hall where I will stay a few hours until the end of the day, we continue Anapana practice, today we must focus on a small area under the nose and feel the air passed on. I feel very tired but the meditation allows me to relax and focus my attention to positive things.
I will have fasted all day, I remember the volunteers who came to see me several times a day, help me, what a story, I go to bed saying that tomorrow I would be present again at all courses, fever is no longer present.
The gong sounds, 4am, I still feel bloated, I go to the bathroom several times before classes start.
Today is the first day of the Vipassana meditation technique, I decide to completely resume the lessons despite my condition which is still a bit fragile.
Today we no longer analyze our breath but our bodily sensations from the bottom of our nose to the top of our head.
The day is long to pass because I have little strength, but I hang on.
I decided not to go to the 5pm break, and to take advantage of this time to rest in my room.
In the evening, after SN Goenka's daily teaching hour, I always enjoy this moment, it's a kind of learning of the essential things in life that allow me to understand more about what I surrounds me and on past events of my life.
In order to change my mind, I clean part of my bathroom, the sink was really dirty, I also wash my clothes, I start again on a good base.
I wear the traditional Burmese longyi, it is a set of several pieces of fabric knotted together, serving as both pants, belt, or towel. Some women even use it as a baby carrier or a bag, so many ways to use it! The longyi can be of many colors, but is usually quite dark, in shades of blue, purple or red, and is worn by the whole family.
So I wear longyi as pants with a shirt, I bought these clothes for the occasion, in a small market in Yangon.
Volunteers see me coming, I'm dressed in traditional dress, they appreciate, they tell me I’m look nice with big smiles.
Today we must focus our attention on the whole body, from head to feet, side to side. I feel a big energy, I feel more flexible.
I'm going to break my 48 hour fasting, when I go back to the restaurant I see a beetle sitting on my shirt, I do not chase it, this is a sign, as you may know it's the sign of the resurrection.
At the lunch time my sensations are increased tenfold, meditation and calm make me feel intense sensations.
I thank the volunteers by joining my hands, I express a deep compassion for this moment.
New rules are now in place, we must practice meditation "strong determination" (adhiṭṭhāna in Pali), it is a meditation of one hour where we are in lotus position and must make sure not to move. We will do this three times a day, in the morning, at the beginning of the afternoon and at the end of the day. On a sign I see a definition of this meditation, it is also explained that the goal is not to torture us, but to progress internally, if we had to move due to sensations really too unpleasant, not to lament and try to reduce the number of changes position little by little.
The time has come to realize this meditation, I am determined not to move whatever happens, I condition myself like a lion, I am on the starting line of a long race, I will not crack. The hour passes with difficulty, arrived 30-40min, I feel intense sensations in the groin and knees, but I can manage, the end of the meditation is a real deliverance for meditators, 5 minutes break, to walk with difficulty and drink a well deserved glass of water.
Like every night, we listen to Goenka's speech about life, always very inspiring.
I sleep only 3 hours, I feel a great power in me.
C’est toujours un plaisir d’entendre le gong, je sors plus tôt de mon chalet et marche avant le début des méditations.
I feel like a monk, with my traditional outfit, the longyi. The fact also to greet with a nod, hands joined at each entry into the Dhamma hall the volunteer who stays posted to welcome us before each meditation, in this exceptional place, these are unique moments, really.
Today we will focus on the sensations from head to feet, scanning our body on both sides at the same time, I feel a little more my bodily sensations, as well as more subtle vibrations.
There are only 5 days left, or 50 hours of meditation. 😀
I remove the cushion that held my back.
During breakfast, I always analyze the habits of other meditators, they mostly eat sandwich bread containing gluten and being very sweet. They eat their fruits last, while by the time all the ingested food is digested, a lot of the vitamins and minerals in the fruits will not be absorbed by the body, because of the body heat.
I use the tiger balm again because I feel intense sensations in my legs.
Some new students are gone, we call old students those who have already followed this 10 days retreat.
After each hour of meditation without moving, the 5 minutes of break are a real deliverance, it is however not much thing, to walk, drink water, but when one feels sensations as intense, that one has the impression of being a true slave, I assure you that these small moments of break are very appreciable.
Today is a symbolic day, the famous figure 7, this figure that has so many meanings, including the 7 human chakras, for Egyptians this figure symbolizes eternal life.
The meditations today will be focused on the analysis of our feelings, from head to feet and feet to head, we also use the free flow, a flow sweeping the whole body in a fast way and specifies at a time.
I decide to remove a meditation cushion, I have only one large square cushion and a small rectangular cushion folded in two on which I sit. Being lower gives me even more intense sensations, in the groin and knees, I still continue to hold the meditation for an hour without moving, despite my feelings.
The new meditators can now meditate alone, we go to the temple located at the top of the center, it's a large circular room, divided into several small spaces, one of the volunteers shows me my room in the temple, it must be 4 m2, I really feel like a monk, the places are so full of history, I really feel in another world.
During periods of classical meditation, where we can move, I put myself very little in the position of the lotus, I save my body for the 3 meditations without movements.
As soon as I can I take breaks to sleep 30-45 min, I feel that my body needs it.
After the evening meditation of "strong determination", during the 5min break, I will walk a little behind the Dhamma hall, I see on the lotus flower fields bright flying insects, I had never seen this before, only in some animation movies, it looks like a dream really.
I express a lot of compassion for my family, my friends, I understand more and more their reactions, their suffering.
I put my alarm clock earlier, 3:45am, I'm up and ready to live this experience fully.
Today, we will focus on internal bodily sensations from head to feet and from feet to head.
I feel more intense sensations, this surgery of my mind surprises me day by day, I am really experiencing unique moments in my life.
It remains now 3 days, the time passes more and more quickly now, a certain routine was put in place.
I appreciate the moments in the individual rooms, I told myself that there are only two days left to continue cleaning my mind. Indeed, on the tenth day, we will again have permission to speak, so that the return to active life is not too disturbing.
The Swiss guy close to me leaves the center, a pity I would have liked to know more, I express compassion for this person.
It is always a pleasure to eat this vegetarian food, the flavors are truly exceptional.
I feel that my posture is becoming more straight, my breathing and my breath is improving.
I always wake up at 3:45am, I feel that my body needs less rest, the morning walk is a good habit to start the day of meditation.
Today, we are again analyzing our inner bodily sensations from head to feet and from feet to head.
The hours of meditation follow one another, habits are there.
It is the famous day so long awaited, I will finally be able to exchange with the other meditators.
We analyze our body as the day before, however today we are learning Meta meditation, this meditation is about kindness, it is a way to share our well-being, happiness, energy to the world, so that people are delivered from their sufferings and also reach levels of consciousness allowing them to achieve full happiness. The teacher tells us that after each meditation session of 1 hour without moving, it is strongly recommended to meditate 5 minutes using this technique, to share our test also, all this positive energy to the service of others.
At 11am for lunch time, we can finally talk again, I get to know many people, everyone is unanimous this experience is unique and the most beautiful of our lives.
I meet people with different profiles, entrepreneurs, employees, student working on a vacation / work visa abroad, a Harvard architecture student.
It's a deliverance for us, the real smiles are really beautiful to see, as well as everyone's laughter.
I explain to my French friend the health problem that I met and why I could not be present for a day.
I completely clean my bathroom, it was really dirty, there were traces of mold on the walls, I told myself that the next meditators will be delighted to enter a bathroom as clean.
I store my stuff, get my phone and wallet with the famous number 47. 😉
As a reminder, in numerology, 47 = 4 + 7 = 11, this number is sacred, it symbolizes energy and spiritual awakening.
I give a wooden watch of my Infiny Wood brand to each person who came to help me when I was sick. The simplicity and kindness of the Burmese really touches me. The two men are surprised and each of them gives me something in exchange later. A T-shirt to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Vipassana Meditation Center and a traditional sling pouch, both featuring the famous Dhamma Wheel. I thought to buy them, so I would not need to spend money on that and could give more money for my donation. One of the two volunteers shows me my wrist and says: "But you do not have a watch anymore?" At that moment he wanted to give me his own watch, I explain to him that I have several models in my bag.
It the departure day, this experience was long, painful, but has brought me so much. As always, when a situation is difficult to live in life we learn a lot, what a life lesson !
We spend the last hours meditating, we do a Meta meditation, the atmosphere is really unique and charged with positive waves, more than 100 human beings are spreading love, kindness at this moment, it's really beautiful.
The teacher explains that in the same way that a physical training for our body, our spirit must be regularly trained in order to develop its capacities, its wisdom, for this he advises us to meditate 1h the morning and 1h the evening by using the Vipassana method "strong determination" and add 5 minutes of Meta meditation at the end of each session.
Jeremy the French guy coming from Lyon explains to me that he was professional footballer before and that he felt more difficulties to follow this meditation retreat than his trainings. We talk about our respective situations, he explains me run several companies, have more money, but now he really wants to enjoy the present moment.
Indeed, we can not predict anything in this world, everything is impermanent, our whole body is in constant change. We also talk about our previous love relationships, we are unanimous on the fact that a passionate love is not the solution and brings a deep suffering following the events, to have more compassion for his / her partner seems to us more appropriate now.
I take advantage of this free time to talk with other people, having already been in Boston we talk about the Harvard campus with the student in architecture, he explains the life of the campus. I talk with people who have already done Iron Man (big triathlon), they tell me that Vipassana is in mind what the Iron Man is to the body, they advise me to try this experience.
We take group photos with the girls, who for the first time can be close to us, we were separated during the whole retreat.
It’s time to leave this atypical place, charge energy and positive emotions, I share a taxi with Thomas the New Zealander I met in Chiang Mai on the waiting area of the buses.
BACK TO CIVILIZATION
The return to classical life is weird, I had lost the habit of hearing so many noises, people talk to each other, live.
I arrive at my hostel, once the check-in is done, they show me my bed, my roommate is from India and is a teacher of Vipassana, the famous coincidences.
I use my phone, it's really weird to use a touch screen, I see things in slow motion. I turn on my laptop and I do a big cleaning in my mails, I unsubscribe to many newsletters.
I take the time to go to the park, to walk in the street, to observe.
I realize my first meditation alone in my bed, I use my pillow as a meditation cushion, I feel intense sensations.
THE NEXT DAYS
I wake up at 4:30am, I meditate from 5am to 6am then going back to sport, after 10 days break, I am delighted to resume this routine. I do a street workout at the park located 5 minutes walk from my hostel, I feel good feelings during training, I live once again.
I am begin to write the important points that I am going to share from this experience, these 10 unique and so beneficial days must be shared with the greatest number of people.
I feel that my work capacity has clearly increased, I am completely focused on what I am doing.
In the afternoon, I go back to the park to continue writing all that I experienced during this experiment, two Burmese students approach me and ask me if we can speak English together, after 10 minutes they propose me follow them in their school, I spend 3 hours talking with forty students.
The opportunity for me to learn more about Burmese culture, I really like the sharing of cultures, simple and authentic moments.
At the end of the day the teacher invites me to come back the next day, he wants to offer me a traditional breakfast with the students.
The next day at 9:30am I'm at school, I bring bananas for students. The teacher this time gives me a microphone, I introduce myself and answer the students questions, the opportunity for me to share their keys of understanding from Vipassana and my past experiences, this knowledge can help them later, one more good time spent in this school.
In total I spent about ten hours with students during three days, on my last day in Yangon students propose to guide me to visit their city, we go to different markets and temples, it was a unique moment of sharing.
WHAT CHANGES HAVE I SEEN SINCE THE END OF THIS RETREAT ?
I feel a certain overall well-being, my mind is much less agitated than before, when I'm doing something I'm completely present, talking with someone, writing, reading, thinking, I'm fully focused on the present moment and my capacity for work is increasing from days to days. I also sleep less than before, the fact of reaching faster a deep sleep is a significant factor.
Although some changes can be felt after this retreat, 10 days are only an introduction to this art of living, you will need as well as for the training of your body, train your mind regularly to develop his abilities, his wisdom . We were advised to meditate 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the evening using the Vipassana method "strong determination" and to add 5 minutes of Meta meditation at the end of each session. It's up to you to compose with your schedule, even if you can only do 30 minutes per session, it's always better than nothing.
Keep in mind that every day you feel emotions, have thoughts, feel sensations, these meditations will be a tool allowing you to no longer have a dispelled mind, to free you from your suffering rooted deep in your mind and to be able to control your mind when an intense emotion impacts you, it is a sacred ally for the life.
WHAT I COULD RECOMMEND TO YOU
Just to try it out, it's totally free, there are centers all around the world, just plan it a little in advance, there are often 3-4 months of waiting. Learning Vipassana meditation technique is done in 10 days, it is the minimum required to understand all the basics.
To book a retreat you simply have to use the following link.
On my side, I realized this retreat at Dhamma Joti.
If you want to live a traditional experience, out of the ordinary, I highly recommend this center, it is one of the first centers of Vipassana meditation in Burma that was founded by S.N Goenka in 1993.
It is not necessary to have done hours of meditation before, I met several people who had never meditated. For my part I meditated since 2018 for 10 minutes a day, which is tiny contribution to the 10 hours daily.
Tips : Think of buying a big pot of red tiger balm, to wear loose clothes, the longyi is for me by far the most comfortable. Take a little digital alarm clock with you (you will not have a noise problem like that).
It only remains for you to try now, I guarantee you, really, it is for me the most beautiful gift that you can do to you. We are too much habit of trying to change things outside while if we do not change anything inside ourselves, we will remain a prisoner for life of our inner sufferings and slave to our spirit.
To conclude, this Vipassana meditative retreat experience has been without doubt the most beautiful experience of my life. As always in life, the most complex situations to live are those that bring us the most benefits. Today I can only approve this art of living and recommend it to the greatest number to help simply.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY
« May all suffering beings in the world understand the Dhamma, may they practice the Dhamma,can they implement the Dhamma in their daily life and get out of all the anxieties of an impure spirit, full of negativities. May all enjoy the peace and harmony of a pure spirit, of a spirit full of compassionate love and kindness towards other beings. »
– S.N. Goenka –