Have you ever heard about Vipassana meditation?
Vipassana meditation is to see things as they really are. This is India’s one of the most ancient techniques of meditation that was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha.
Today it has been more than a month for me to have my first experience of Vipassana. It was quite early to share my experience at that time so I am posting now about it.
What did we do for 10 days in the Vipassana center?
We were in complete silence for 10 days. It was totally cut off from the outer world. We were not allowed to keep our phones, laptops, or any other gadgets with us. We were not allowed to talk, touch, laugh, or to make any form of interaction with each other. Only Satvik food was provided which being an Ayurveda practitioner I enjoyed a lot. Practicing only meditation for the whole day with 5 minutes of a break was a little challenging for me initially.
On the first day, I realized a funny thing about me that I can even talk to myself with so many unstoppable thoughts. Up to the last day, I came to know how to ignore such thoughts.
Overall it was an immensely beautiful experience for me. Everyone at home was asking about my experience. I was really confused to tell at that time what I earned from it. Yes, I was very calm and happy from within. But, the only thought was how will I react to life’s challenges now. When I came back to my normal routine I realized what I gained from Vipassana. I am more content now and don’t know why but there is something that keeps me positive most of the time. What is more than this that anyone can gain from it!! I will not say that I am completely perfect and Sadhu (saint) now but, yes whenever an unwanted situation comes I know how to ignore it and stay calm. I know I will achieve that level of calmness one day with the regular practice of Vipassana.
How did I decide to go for it and what challenges I faced before going?
My father in law and my maternal grandfather are practicing Vipassana for more than 7 to 8 years now. Listening from their experience and what changes family members felt in them after Vipassana was quite inspiring for me. So this thought of Vipassana was running in my head for one year. When I booked my session in November 2018 for the first time, it was rejected due to unavailability of seats. After that bookings were available in April. I was a little anxious about whether this thought will remain with me until April or not. But, I still stood determined and I didn’t let this thought go away from me. Finally, when I got a confirmation email I was extremely happy but a little nervous also. Nervousness was only about how to stay away from my family without talking for more than 10 days.
Above all, big challenges were that my mother got operated for her gall bladder stones just the day before I left for my course and another one was that my Wedding Anniversary was falling in between. These two were quite enough reasons for me to skip going for Vipassana. But, I was still having thought what if I don’t get a chance in my life again. You never know about the circumstances!! I was struggling with these thoughts. But, I gained the confidence to go was from my husband. I am thankful to my mother and husband for being that supportive.
How my family reacted and what was my take?
When I decided to experience Vipassana, everyone in my family was confused that why am I doing this. They were like, “You are very young to do this,” “Is everything okay with your life?” and blah blah blah. My take on this was that there is no age for such an amazing experience. No one should wait for a specific reason to go for it. I mean you should not wait for an extremely worse situation in your life to experience Vipassana. It’s just that when someone really wants to know about their inner self they should definitely take time out of their life and go for it. We never sit and think of how our minds are always in a process. Even when we sleep subconsciously we think and process dreams.
Reality Check for EVERYONE:
The big words and hashtags that we see, hear, and read, about meditation are nothing until we experience.
Do not go for words.
Go for the experience.
Do not just read and hear about others experiences have your own.
Do not go with the expectation of meeting a God, a Guru, enlightening experience or what you heard from others.
Go with no expectations and see what you feel.
Each person has their own kind of experience with Vipassana that we cannot compare with each other.
I opened my heart out to share my experience with you all so that somewhere in any corner of the world I would encourage anyone to have this wonderful experience. We can spend time and money on traveling, shopping, and other expenditures but still, we sometimes find reasons to be unhappy. But, nothing can stand in front of spending time and no money (because it’s cost-free) and get that ultimate amount of satisfaction, calmness, and happiness.
I wish and hope any of you who are reading this will go for this experience at least once in your life and achieve whatever you deserve and desire.
Dr. Avantika Thakur