Vipassana: Ten Days Of Silence

“I believe in morality, which is doing right no matter what I am told… Not in religion, which is doing what I am told regardless about what is right.”


Meditation is not for me. At least that is what I found myself thinking at the end of day four as I fell asleep on my knees, exhausted and in physical pain, during the last hour of meditation. I had just spent the day sitting on a cushion supposedly concentrating on my breathing, but in reality, all I could think about was how much my hips, knees, and lower back hurt. And I still had six more days to go. Quitting wasn’t an option, I am too stubborn for that, but I certainly couldn’t figure out why everyone has always had something positive to say about vipassana, a ten-day silent Buddhist meditation course. Granted, the food was delicious, but still not quite worth getting up at four a.m. every morning to start a full day of fidgetless sitting (well, as fidgetless as I could manage at least).

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Vipassana: Ten Days Of Meditation

“The art of being happy lies in the art of extracting happiness from common things.”

Ten days of complete silence, stillness, and meditation. That is how I will be starting out the New Year this time around, and I really couldn’t think of a better way to do so. Vipassana, the meditation course I will be taking part in, is sort of like the ultra marathon of meditation. The word vipassana means “insight into the true nature of reality,” and the goal, as stated by the founder of this technique is, “the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.” It is a self-exploratory journey between the mind and body that is suppose to “dissolve mental impurities,” and leave you feeling balanced and free. Though it is a Buddhist technique, they are very explicit that this practice is non-sectarian and that everyone is encouraged to participate no matter what religious or meditative background you happen to come from.

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