I always had been thinking why do people meditate? At first when it catch my interest I saw a person on some video and what I saw was a person who just sits with closed eyes, do nothing, than stand up happier and more harmonious and than says how good was his or her meditation! And for me back than it looked like the most unproductive time spending! I was something like: “What? Instead of doing something useful you suggest me to sit calm with closed eyes? and how is it going to help me in life?”
Than I decided to give it a try, cause it looked like every second person I meet meditate, and I didn’t try yet! But first I need a proof a scientific proof that it will work! So I started to read books, articles from healthy online magazines and there are few medical researches that proof positive changes on the physical and mental levels of our bodies. For example this one, by famous Dr. Mercola: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/07/12/how-meditation-changes-your-brain.aspx
Or this one by “Psychology today”: http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200304/the-benefits-meditation
And I though: “OK, it is obviously worth to try! People become happier, cut their stress in half and become more focused on whatever they are doing for living”.
But then the next question appeared: “There are so many techniques! Which one is the one that will bring the most benefits?” I decided to try to meditate myself at least 15 minutes a day and I chose the most plain kind of meditation: just sit straight, relax all your body and concentrate on your breathing and don’t think about anything. And it worked! Partially… I did it for about a year and a half but always had a feeling that this is not it yet, there are ways to improve! Well the most difficult part was “don’t think about anything” You try yourself! Just now close your eyes and don’t think about anything for a minute! Just a minute!
See what I’m talking about? Our brain is crazyyy! Even if you thought you are normal! As soon as you close your eyes millions of thoughts are entering your mind and don’t let you relax! You understand on your own experience, on your own body how stressed you are, how your head is constantly trying to think of many things in the same time! And you expect to be happy and live in harmony? And concentrate at work, on people whom you love, your hobbies? Ha!
So I started to make a search how can I find a true and the only correct way of meditation? And my prayers were answered (as usually, and I’m very thankful for that)!
A friend of mine (she also meditated about 15 min. a day) sent me a link where she went for 10 days and as soon as I read it I got a thrill allover my body! Like someone gave me an electroshock! This is it! Thats the answer on my prayers! I must go there no matter what! And the best part this is completely FREE!!!! It is based on donations only!
It was a 10 days silence meditation! Its called “Vipassana meditation”. Here is a link: http://www.dhamma.org/
Before I came there I wanted to see if I can be completely silent for 10 days, it was like a challenge for me! What if I go “ku-ku”? Well silence was actually the easiest part, it helps you to relax and stay away from worrying what to say, what people will think, etc. all this garbage that we have in our mind that constrain us from concentrating and do what we really want to do!
Now why you cannot talk for this time you are there?
Because this whole thing is like a “deep operation” on your mind. And when you have a deep operation you need a clean environment! That is why you need to stay there for 10 days, where you will only concentrate on purifying your mind. And you don’t have to do anything else! There are people there who will take care of you, just because they love people and want them to get the same wisdom and liberation from sufferings they got. They will cook for you, provide you with a room, clean after you! There is also simple and beautiful nature, fresh air and clean water! Its so peaceful, so relaxing, so harmonious…
So why can’t you talk? Because one of the rules is to abstain form telling lies! And a lot of people even if they don’t lie at least they like to exaggerate. But its also a lie! And any lie is poisoning your mind! You have to stay away from it at least for these 10 days to get this technique properly!
During these 10 days you will learn to see things as they really are! Not the way you see them from your perspective, distorted by your emotions, thoughts and fears, but the way things really are! We people put meaning in everything we see! Its unbelievable! Someone looked at you in a strange way and you decided for yourself: “What a mean person! Why did he look at me this way?” You don’t know what is in people’s head! What if this person had gas and he was trying to hold it, and you made all this story on your head already!
In this 10 days you will learn how to eradicate your mental impurities and it will liberate you from your sufferings. “Vipassana is a way of self – transformation through self -observation”! You will learn how to discipline your mind, how to live live consciously, aware, balanced and happy. You will learn how whenever difficult situation comes in your life to not react on it, but observe it, and it will give you balance and ability to take the best decision. It gives you tools and during this 10 days you will extensively practice how to use them.
Why can’t we get all these techniques from reading books? Because reading is a theoretical part of learning anything in live, vipassana teaches you experiential way of learning! You will learn everything “on your own skin” and that is why you will not forget it it! Its like when you was a child and if you ever burn yourself you learn “on your own skin” I better don’t do it again!
After these 10 days you really come back transformed and happier and full of love to life, to people. And there will be a transitional time in your life right after the meditation when same stress triggers will appear, and you might not remember in the beginning how to go through it and might even react on them same way like you used to do, but then you will remember a new way you learned, and next time you will do better and better, and your mind will be calmer and calmer. It is all practice. You’ve lived your life whatever years and did things your old way that obviously didn’t work that well, and caused you a lot of troubles, and now you got the new tools to live a better life, to enjoy every moment of it, and you need time to adjust yourself to this new tools and it might take longer than you expected and you will still be able to remain calm and happy and harmonious.
I would totally recommend it to any person I know, that I want him or her to be happy, to be free from sufferings, to live in real peace, in real harmony.
“MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY”! S.N. Goenka
If you decide to register you might see that there is a long waiting list. Don’t get discouraged. Put your name on waiting list or on the next available session, a lot of times the place might get free the last moment and you can go earlier. But even if not remember that everything comes to your life in a perfect moment when you need it the most! So whenever you will go - it is the right time for you!