Picture made in Sikkim, India. May 15, 2019.
"Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. It is far better to take things as they come along with patience and equanimity.” - Carl Jung
Last May I was blessed to experience a 10 day Vipassana meditation course in the beautiful environment of Sikkim in India. It was quite last minute, but I couldn’t let this opportunity go and I had no idea what was waiting for me.
Without any preparations in a sudden I needed to stop talking for 10 days, since Vipassana is the practice of silence in body, speech, and mind. I wasn’t allowed to have contact with the outside world. Books, phones, watches and pencils needed to be collected in the beginning and left behind in a small bag. Everybody in the course lived according to a strict schedule, running from 4:30am to 9:30pm. But most important was the practice of 10 hours of vipassana meditation every single day.
Vipassana meditation is the practice of equanimity (remaining undisturbed by pain, emotions, or other phenomena that cause imbalance in the mind). You are practicing to neither being attached to what is making you feel really amazing, nor to push away very uncomfortable feelings. By being aware of the natural breath and by practicing concentration and focus, the changing nature of body and mind can be observed. Universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness can be experienced.
In these ten days, I went all over the place. From complete happiness to absolute anxious and painful moments. But, as soon as I stopped clinging to nice memories, and I didn’t reject the pain in my body, a sudden unexpected and overwhelming feeling arose. There wasn’t anything to think about then to experience, but only that moment.
In the break I went outside the meditation hall to walk around in the outside air. In a sudden the mountains were one with the trees and the clouds in the sky. The flowers in the garden were enthusiastically talking to me with their radiant and explosive colors.
Even though, I saw the same flowers and mountains already earlier that week, they changed and seemed to be completely new and alive. During these ten days, to be completely social distanced from the chaotic outside world and to communicate with no one, gave me so much knowledge. Things which I otherwise wouldn’t have discovered. We are capable of so much more than we think. It is our mind restricting us from what we actually are and what we are able to experience.
For more information on Vipassana (or send me a PM): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWJoRcIV8f4-UqkitR_gZNw