I’m going to a Vipassana Meditation Retreat next week and I’m feeling anxious and serene about it, at the same time, which is something unique.
Vipassana is a meditation technique and in these retreats, we’re supposed to meditate for 100 hours in 10 days, and to be immersed in silence. We’re not allowed to talk to anyone except our teacher; no phone, no internet (for 10 days!!!), no books, no notebooks, no music, no nothing, no way to get out of the retreat local. It’s a confinement (voluntary) in order to face yourself like never before, in way that couldn’t be possible in our daily lives.
When I set myself up to do this kind of things — like when I did my 108 sun salutations… — I usually have a very particular inner chat that comes and goes, until I finally do it. It’s a little bit like this:
“Why are you doing this, Andressa? Why can’t you be just normal? A normal person. ‘Normal’ people don’t spend 10 days in total silence, in a strange place, with strange people, in silence. Why can’t you just have fun, use your life time to do more productive or enjoyable things?”
When I have this kind of inner conversations, it’s tough to reply. I actually don’t know what to say. In the bottom, I’m trying to use the best I can my time on this Earth, and have not a lot of certainty about how to do this exactly, so, I try to follow a path of self-knowledge.
I also love to meditate, and I do it almost daily. It’s no torture to me. The tough part is to be 10 days without working, because I won’t be able to do anything there, but to meditate. For a freelancer this is a lot of time, doing nothing and earning nothing. 10 days without a book, without TV (yes, I like it), without people I love and trust.
Another point is that I must sleep in the same room with other people I don’t know, the bathroom is shared, the meals are collective, like a school … or a prison.
Talking about prison, what made me want to do Vipassana was a video, which showed incarcerated men in India doing Vipassana and changing their lives. I thought “Wow, if it’s done such a great good for these men, in such a difficult life circumstance, imagine how good it can be to me!”
I don’t know if you follow my logic (or lack of), but it seemed so miraculous. And yoga teachers and practioners have done it and liked it, so, I wanted to do it too.
Sometimes I ask myself if this longing for a spiritual practice and a spiritual life is just an attempt to be “the good girl” for the image I have of God. I’ve been doing a lot of therapy lately and I can’t help but analyse every move I make.
Vipassana by Vipassana
This is a description I found about the technique in the Vipassana’s website:
” It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.”
I always wanted to have this “full control” over my life, but the more I try to control it, the messiest it becomes. I might be holding on to my own beliefs and it might be limiting me, so, I’m hoping this retreat can help me to “break free”.
I’m also moving to my first apartment (I already have the keys!!!) and everything is changing around me, and that makes me feel edgy, like freaking out at any moment. And by freaking out I mean colapsing and crying for no apparent reason.
I think that it’s a moment of change, and if I really do the work, I can really transform my life for the better. Vipassana might help me in this sense.