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Vipassana

I'm back! It was 10 days well spent. Got a much needed break from the hustle-
bustle of Mumbai, to be with myself for a chane. I uess e!erybody deser!es
this time to oneself, to reflect, introspect and finally conclude that you are
responsible for 100" of the problems you ha!e. #ou reali$e that 100" of the
solutions to your problems also lie within you.
%ame back feelin more peaceful and positi!e. I am not sure what people
know or, for that matter, want to know about &ipassana. 'ut I let me o ahead
and detail what I e(perienced.
)he course aims at puttin you on a path of self-disco!ery and correction with
the final ob*ecti!e of makin you a more sensiti!e, sensible, eo-less, balanced
indi!idual who is able to take the ood and bad life has to offer, with
e+uanimity.
#ou start after takin an oath to not speak for the duration of the course. It is
not normal silence, it is called 'noble silence'. #ou do not communicate
!erbally, throuh actions, in writin, not e!en usin your eyes. #ou are not
e(pected to look anybody in the eye, eyes ha!e to be downcast all the time.
-alfway throuh the course the silence really hits you.....
.dditionally you also aree to /and thankfully, only for the duration of the
course01
10 not kill any li!in creature
20 abstain from lyin /not !ery difficult as you are not talkin 1-0
30 abstain from stealin
40 abstain from se(ual acti!ities /se(es are sereated, so !irtually impossible0
50 not use any into(icants.
)he course itself is !ery practical in nature and aims at e(periential learnin.
)he day starts early, at 4100 am, which is wake-up time. .t 4130 am you start
meditatin and this oes on till 6130 pm, with short break for breakfast/7130
am0, lunch/11100 am0 8 tea/5100 pm0. )here is no dinner. In the first 2 days,
you reali$e 2 thins 9 one, that you ha!e a subconscious mind /or unconscious
mind0 that is nothin better than a *unkyard, and, two, it is not in your
control.
'y the end of the first 4 days, all you manae to do is to et your mind to focus
on what you want it to. )hen you use this heihtened awareness to probe into
yourself o!er the ne(t 7 days. #ou are trained to look at yourself ob*ecti!ely 9
at a physical le!el, as you meditate, you feel pleasurable as well as painful
sensations all o!er the body. #ou are e(pected to deal with both kinds of
sensations with e+uanimity:e+uipoise:indifference, bein the obser!er. )he
underlyin concept is that e!erythin in life is impermanent, so learn to deal
with hihs 8 lows with a smile, ob*ecti!ely.
.lthouh the course is based on certain 'uddhist concepts, it is dealt with in
an irreliious, secular fashion. I had Muslims, ;ikhs, <ains, =arsis and
%hristians in my roup, all of whom en*oyed the course. &ipassana centers are
spread all o!er the world, check out www.dhamma.or
In the e!enin are the discourses. #ou hear ;hri Goenka*i>s !iews on !arious
aspects of life throuh the .& presentation that lasts about an hour. ?ith the
deep silence that you e(perience throuhout the day, the ears are dyin hear
and the mind is thirstin to absorb any new thouht. )hat is precisely when
the discourse hits you, riht between the eyes, and the loic sinks in. @othin
you>!e heard before prepares you for thisA.this is like the first raindrops
hittin parched land after a lon season of drouht.
Bn the whole, it is somethin I recommend e!eryone to o throuh - it is only
10 days in a whole bi lifetime. If introspection is Ca look in the mirror>, this is
a full lenth one!
- S P