10 days in Noble Silence practicing and learning Vipassana meditation technique for 10+ hours a day… Think you could do it? I did. And I am here to tell you that ANYONE who sets their mind to it can too. While this article is partially for me to further process the experience it is also to share it. And maybe to send to all my family members so I don’t have to repeat the story 50 times… 😉
In complete honesty, an experience like this is incredibly hard to put into words and share entirely. It is very personal, very special, and very hard to find words for at all. However, because I did this course partially to write about and because I am up for the challenge I will do my best to write as in depth as I can about as much as I can.
It is not always pleasant, peaceful, or fun. A family member (jokingly) called it a nap festival, but let me assure you it is continuous work. It is not always easy and there will be a time or two you will want to quit. In some moments you will just be done and, those moments will pass. The overall experience is beyond worth every not so great moment. That, in particular, was something helpful for me during those unpleasant moments. “The experience will be so much more valuable if you play it out all the way,” is something I told myself a few times.
The only way I can properly describe my experience in its entirety is to compare it to the scene in the original Charlie & The Chocolate Factory when they take a trip down the river and through the tunnel. The song they are singing is about the unknown and the scene itself is trippy, uncomfortable, a little foreign, but at the same time you kind of like it. Overall, the experience was a lot like that for me.
Everyone going through this 10-day journey experiences very different and very similar things, learning very different and very similar lessons of life. While you can’t speak to the people around you, you create beautiful unspoken bonds and something as simple as the exchange of a gentle smile can bring abundant light to your day. Tiny things like the quote on your tea bag each evening grow profound joy and gratitude.
The entire experience is incredibly humbling – and coming home is even more so. For me, things that had once been an annoyance became sweet and their presence was missed. I found gratitude for them, and peace with them.
Everything worth putting your energy towards in life deepens greatly within. I can’t explain what that really means or how that would manifest for anyone else. It just has to be experienced.
And I can’t put to words where that depth is within or what it will be of. I have experienced a few things, and those all rooted into peace, but who is to say what that will realize as for you. For a writer like myself, it is very hard to not (yet) be able to find words, especially to feel like ,Abe the words don’t even exist… Perhaps that is one of my lessons, and there lies the continuous mystery of life and adventure of swimming within.
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