Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vipassana: Reflection

Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam/May all beings be happy.

In one of the discourses, the teacher mentioned how, once you've experienced the benefits of Vipassana, all you'll want to do is tell people about it. People who love to talk will want to give lectures and people who love to write, will want to write about their full experience. Either way, you just want to get the word out about how rewarding Vipassana is. Turns out, he was completely right.

What I like most about the experience is that I still feel like myself. You know how when Christians get saved, they're all "born again" perfect, rehabilitated angels for about a month, and then they go back to their own ways? No judgment here, but getting saved sets such a high bar. Being human, you're naturally going to relapse. After coming home, I really did think at one point I'd come home all Zenned out, weirdly peaceful, and zombie-like. But to my surprise, and my family's, I was more chatty than ever, and still the same me. The only effect its had is that I'm calmer. I feel like my mind was purified of alot of negativity's I've accumulated over the past few years and that's just amazing to me. Things that I swore I'd never get over, resentments I'd thought I'd die with, grudges that I didn't even know I was holding--gone. And what's left is a calmer, more peaceful me.

The coolest part about all of it is that Vipassana can be practiced by anybody. Because the technique is common in the Buddhist religion, I was sure that some cult-ish things would sneak up somewhere in the discourse, but it was just the opposite. The whole thing is completely free from sectarianism and religion. It's practical and reasonable, the science of the relationship between mind and matter. It's a lifestyle, not a rite or ritual, so any religious beliefs you have are unaffected. You don't feel like you're being brainwashed or anything bizarre like that. You're just learning a simple technique that will liberate you from the bondage and attachment to negative things in your life.

The most amazing thing? It was completely FREE. For ten days, I stayed at the lovely facility, had healthy and delicious meals, was completely accommodated of everything thing I needed (forgotten toiletries, clothing, linen, meditation cushions, etc.) without a cost to me. The whole thing is run by volunteers and donations. Each course costs over $10,000 but we are asked to pay nothing. Only after you've done a 10 day course, are you "allowed" to donate. You can't help but want to after realizing how beneficial and rewarding it is. And also realizing the fact that this entire operation is run all run in the spirit of compassion. A true desire for others to experience what you have. To achieve the same happiness you have. It all kind of recharges your hope in humanity and makes you want to contribute. I already have plans to volunteer for a course in August.

There are about 400 centers in the whole world. You can take your first course anywhere, as long as you have a way to get there. Check out http://www.dhamma.org/ for information on locations and schedules.

But as a final review, I just have to say that taking to this course was probably the best decision I've ever made in my entire life. I learned so much about myself, how I think, and why I've been unhappy. I learned how ignorant and prejudice I can sometimes be without even realizing. By becoming aware of your body, you become aware of your heart and soul. It makes you take a close look at yourself in the mirror and forces you to face your demons. Once you get to the root of things, your finally able to make amends and start anew. You literally purify your mind and heart of deep-seeded negativities that prevent your current happiness. After learning this technique, I can confidently say that I fully intend on continuing the practice. I can already see how it's benefiting me already and I want to see how much progress I can make.

I hope that someone who has read this post can sense my peace and happiness, and will at least consider applying for a course. Anyone who's still skeptical, I don't blame you. Even for me, it's still a lot to take in and I can tell it'll take a while to truly get back into the swing of things here at home. But the way I see it is, it can't hurt to give it a try. Seriously, it can't. There's no attempt to convert, no in-your-faceness about it. Just a true desire for to teach others a technique that will ultimately liberate them from all misery and unhappiness.

Really and truly, I know everyone could benefit from Vipassana. It really isn't about not reacting to the disappointments in life, but about not letting things get you down so much that they make you miserable. If you ask me, that's a pretty reasonable way to live.


Jaded said...

Awesome. It sounds like you've benefitted from this a great deal!

Video Vix[o]n said...

sounds like you got a lot out of it...

i think thats the main issue with secular religions, that you seem to loose yourself into it, but just the point of cnnecting more with yourself and what's around you... makes too much sense.

YoungBlackBeauty said...

Thanks so much Bloggal for posting this. I really glad you gave such a detailed accounted because it really inspired. I feel like clarity and a piece of mind is something I def need right now. I'll do more research and see if I can do this as well.

VanB said...

Wow. your experience sounds absolutely amazing... I learned about Vipassana in a Religion, Health, and Healing class that I took, but I didn't realize it's effects were soo positive. I think I will look into taking a course.

unequivocal difference said...

How wonderful!

Clearing/cleansing experiences (of the mind, body, or otherwise) are so great.

Your recount to try and not let things in life get you down, as well as the person being in charge of their happiness, is a wonderful reminder for those who have not and may not go through Vipassana.

Good for you!

Bloggal said...

@ jaded: yes, i did get A LOT out of it lol. it was a really great experience.

@ videovixen: "the point of cnnecting more with yourself and what's around you... makes too much sense"

EXACTLY. you realize that YOU have the power to solve your own powers. things you don't want to happen will sometimes indeed happen. you have no control over that. but what you DO have control of is the way you react to life situations. it's crazy how something so simple took me so long to figure out.

@ youngblackbeauty & vanb: go for, ladies! it was definitely a liberating experience and, as it's free, you have nothing to lose. email me if you want more info: riprue@yahoo.com

@ unequivocal: detoxes are great. we get so backed up with toxins (mind and body) that we NEED to every once and awhile.

and yes, it's my hope that, for people who never get a chance to go to a center, at least get that simple reminder that we determine our own happiness.

Anonymous said...

awww man that was absolutely awesome, very very cool

Experience is the best teacher. said...

Yay! Great post. I'm glad it was beneficial. You had me considering it... Then I remembered the bugs. We'll see how brave I can be by the end of the summer...

triesti said...

sadhu.. sadhu.. sadhu

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