Breaking the Silence – My first Vipassana Experience

How does a kangaroo meditate?

It’s been a week since I’ve returned from a ten day Vipassana course. It was held at Pomona, up at the Sunshine Coast in Queensland. The place was beautiful and not only that, kangaroos were living with us as well! Or should I say we were living with them, depends on how you look at it.

We couldn’t write during the whole course so on the last night I just let it all out and couldn’t stop writing. Here is here is small part of it.

Our mind is used to thinking all the time. Most of our thoughts are memories of the past, thoughts or concerns for the future, aversion thoughts- things we dislike and even craving thoughts.

In this ten day course you learn how to take control over your mind by focusing on the ‘here and now’- your breath and later on you observe the sensations in your body. It’s not easy controlling your mind, as it’s used to thinking all of the time and when you fight it, it can be stubborn.

You also learn to become aware of everything you do- eat, walk, lay down in your bed. I really enjoyed experiencing that. You literally stop thinking and start observing your body. Nine days out of the ten are kept in silence and on the tenth day, you feel amazing.

Although I was frustrated most of the time with my meditations and the fact that I couldn’t stay focused, I had a few fun and even funny moments. Not to mention the kangaroos which were very entertaining and once I had a kangaroo scratching itself outside my window, when I was supposed to practice my meditation. Now how can you concentrate that way? 🙂

During the ten days I had a soundtrack playing in my head. Songs came and went like I swallowed a broken radio. The first song I had in my mind was “Enjoy the Silence”. I went to take a shower and there was a queue of other girls waiting. But I could only hear silence. And the sound of running water, of course. There wasn’t any girl-talk, no “bla-bla” like you always hear in the ladies showers.
I felt like I really enjoyed the silence. And then the song began playing in my head, just like in the movies, at the right moment. There were lots of other songs playing in my head, most of them about not giving up. When the teachers started talking about sensations, I started listening to “New Sensation” by INXS. And then I started to hear the song we chose for our first dance, playing in my head constantly during my meditation! I was afraid I will start hating that song: “No! Back to ‘New Sensation’! Back to’New Sensation’!”

One of the songs that were playing I didn’t recognise straight away, so I waited a bit, like with the radio until I heard myself say: “Right! It’s a Beatles song!”

I feel I learned so much for how to maintain a calm mind, live your life the way you should, happy. Since I’m back, I’m much more relaxed than I used to be, I understand everything can change in life, so I try not to expect anything so I won’t be disappointed. I try not to take things too seriously and become upset. Why should I?

5 years ago, a guy I knew told me about this course. He said it could be good for me before meeting a partner for life. I agreed, it sounded like something I should definitely do so I applied, but a few weeks before the course I got cold feet and cancelled. Now, years later, I have a partner and I decided it could be a good opportunity to finally do it before the wedding, before we start a family.

Usually in life we meet someone, we fall in love and everything is so perfect, we feel so happy, we’re so high above. And then when we land back to Earth, we are back to our old selves, with all our problems and burdens. But now we have a partner, so not only we make ourselves “Les Misérables”, but we make our partner miserable too. And then we have kids… Eventually we’ll ask ourselves: “What happened to us?We used to be so in love”.

I believe it’s never too late to “fix” your life. It’s better now than never. So if you’re considering taking the course, just do it! And if it’s the first time you hear about it, read some more about it and when you’re ready- go for it! Gain your life back!

The course is free. It’s run only by donations from old students, who want to let other people find this brilliant life changing experience.

The course is not easy; it’s lots of hard work. But life is harder. Besides, if it’s hard, it only means that it’s doing something. Just try and experience every moment of the course as it is. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t focus on your meditations. And don’t you dare to leave! The tenth day is the most important day before returning to reality.

It’s so interesting to see what happens to you in these ten days. And what you receive in return for your hard work- inner peace, tranquillity, it’s worth every minute of it!

So now I’m ready to plan the wedding with a calm mind. 🙂