Coming up in early February, I’m going interstate to do something completely different to anything I’ve ever done – a 10 day meditation course in Vipassana meditation. I’m fearful, but also excited about doing it.
During this time, I will have no contact outside of the course and in fact will be observing “Noble Silence from the beginning of the course until the morning of the last full day”. As described on the Vipassana meditation website:
Noble Silence means silence of body, speech, and mind. Any form of communication with fellow student, whether by gestures, sign language, written notes, etc., is prohibited.
Students may, however, speak with the teacher whenever necessary and they may approach the management with any problems related to food, accommodation, health, etc. But even these contacts should be kept to a minimum. Students should cultivate the feeling that they are working in isolation.
Other requirements apply during the course. Here’s what the daily schedule looks like:
I did a beginner’s meditation course last year and I found it quite difficult. Turns out that stilling the waves of my mind is a bit like trying to solve a problem like Maria – “How do you keep a wave upon the sand?”
Vipassana? Well, that’s a different form of meditation to what I tried. I heard about Vipassana last year, when I saw a documentary about its use in a prison in Alabama. I picked up a brochure about Vipassana after the film. Later, I tried to convince myself to throw the brochure away. But I didn’t throw it away.
I know that there are webpages, YouTube videos, etc that discuss the Vipassana technique. In another move that’s quite unlike me, I have decided to not seek this information out, but to let myself discover Vipassana during the course itself.
I’ve told some people that I’m doing Vipassana. They have been surprised that I’m going to do it. I’m a bit surprised too. Doing Vipassana seems very unlike me. But it must in some way be like me because I really want to do it.