A vipassana meditation retreat is a free 10 days silent meditation retreat. They say vipassana meditation is the meditation style the Buddha taught.
Yes, silent. No talking. No written word. No eye contact. No gestures. No smart phones. No music.
There are 10, 1 hour sits per day. Spaced out with short breaks for eating, walking around outside, or more meditating.
There is no communication. All activities are notified by gong. When we eat. When it’s time to head to the meditation hall. When it’s time to eat. There are 2 meals and a snack for first timers every day. The vegetarian meals change daily and are served buffet style.
The retreat is backed by the donations of those who completed it.
There are centers all of the world. Vipassana meditation center, in 29 Palms California, is where I began my meditation practice and it has paved the way for my enjoyable daily meditation practice.
It has been a few years since I have experienced the retreat. Now I acknowledge it has changed my life in many ways. Here are 5 ways experiencing vipassana meditation retreat changed my life
- No more monkey mind – In my experience, this is a wonderful reason for meditating. Before starting vipassana meditation my mind seemed to constantly skip around. It felt like my mind had a mind of it’s own, Was I thinking it or was it thinking me. After finishing vipassana meditation, we have 100 hours of logged silent meditation experience. Now, it seems, I can focus as I wish upon anything I wish. My mind now seems to work with me in unison.
- I am more mindful of my thoughts – All information we perceive filtered through our judgments affects the way we feel. I now observe information and sensations in a more calm and equanamous way. Circumstance and sensations seems to affect me less and are seem easier to let go of.
- I am more mindful of every moment – In vipassana we do our best to observe every moment by observing our breath. We acknowledge the qualities of it. We allow it to be the way it is. In my experience, judgments of any moment seem to form samskara within us.
- I make less judgments of myself and others – As we observe our breath many sensations, thoughts, and feeling may arise. Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. In my experience, judgments of myself, circumstance, or others seems to weigh me down.
- I am more aware of my sensory input – During the vipassana meditation course we sit in silence for days. We are outside of our normal routine. Our only objective is mindful observation. I realize how much the input we experience imprints upon our thought waves. What we focus on grows.
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