Vipassana 08-19.11

The first day after I had gotten back to Auckland from the Vipassana my mind was all groggy. Emotions coming from everywhere and it didn’t take much for the tears to start falling. I felt SO much gratitude to have been given the opportunity to learn the technique, to have taken the time for myself to do it and for holding out during the 10 days.


I had booked a shuttle that would pick me up from Auckland and drive me, with fellow meditators, to the centre about 1 hour north of Auckland. You could tell that everyone was really excited and nrevous I think, seeing as it was complete silience for most of the drive. Once there we were separated boys and girls straight away, with registrations in different areas of the dining hall. Once again we were asked to read through the code of conduct to truly realize what we were agreeing to. Many people sign up for the retreat without acctually knowing what they are commiting to. During 10 days you are NOT to make contact of any kind to you fellow meditators (eye, body, sign or oral), you are not to kill any living creature, you are to stay for the whole 10 days, you are to honor the schedule and not be late. These are some of the rules. My greatest fear coming there was the spiders. Since the grounds was a bird sanctuary, there was alot of spiders, and having signed that I could not kill one freaked me out a little bit. The first night I dreamt about spiders crawling on me and thought I saw a big one in the room. But nothing. I was lucky! Most of the girls had had bigger spiders in their rooms. I was, however, extremly careful with keeping doors or window open too long.


The day schedule was:

4am Wake-up bell

4.30-6.30am Meditation

6.30-.00am Breakfast and rest

8.00-9.00am Meditation

9.00-11.00am Meditation

11.00am-1.00pm Lunch and rest

1.00-2.30pm Meditation

2.30-3.30pm Meditation

3.30-5.00pm Meditation

5.00-6.00pm Tea and fruit

6.00-7.00pm Meditation

7.00-8.15pm Discourse

8.15-9.00pm Meditation

9.00-9.30pm Bedtime


Day 1 was more or less just pain. Pain in my knees, in my legs, in my hips, in my back, in my neck and in my head. I sat in my bed after tea thinking: What the hell did I get myself into? What am I doing here?


My mind was everywhere but in the present. It was so hard focusing on what we had been told to do. I had heard, before coming to the retreat, that the pain increases every day up to some time between day 5 and day 7. With this in mind I was determined to make it to day 7 at least.


On Day 2 I started feeling panic. I was feeling like I was in a prison, and all I wanted was to get out. I was dreaming of how I would sit at Starbucks with the biggest size of Cappuccino finishing my book and planning for my next destination. I think that those thoughts saved me there. I started doing a list in my head where I would cross out each day that I had made it through.

The pain kept getting worse and worse, and would up untill day 5 when I asked to move to the wall. At this point my back was in constant pain; when I was sitting, walking, laying down… Nothing worked. And with the knowledge that my discs were already in bad condition I decided it wasn’t worth it incase something might make it worse.

On day 6 or 7 the pain actually went away. It was an amazing feeling being free of the aching I had felt for almost a week. My headaches stayed with me for the whole time though. Apparently this is a common thing when you force your brain to be in the present. It really just wants to wonder in the future or the past, never the present.


On day 10 we were once again allowed to talk to each other, as preparation for what was to come the day after when heading out into the real world again. It freaked me out a bit. Being quiet was the easiest thing, according to me. It was really nice just listening to the birds, the water running and the wind in the trees. I also loved waking up early and walking to breakfast just as the first strands of sunlight hit the trees on the grounds. Just the most beautiful thing ever.


All in all, I had the worst time ever and it was so much harder than I could ever had imagened. BUT coming out from it, it was also the most amazing thing I have ever done. Being able to learn an amazing technique with the purpose of being happy. Realizing I can see results in myself already after just 10 days. Not a miracle, but still results.


S.N Goenka said something in one of the last discourses we had that stuck with me. He said: Don’t expect miracles now and don’t be dissapointed if you still react to the emotion you feel. If you only react 1 time out of 10 differently, you have still improved 10%. That is alot! Remember that!

And he is right. We are too hard on ourselves, expecting miracles, when 10% is really a great deal. Maybe a couple of times later, that 10% has turned into 20% or maybe even 30%. That means that you are happy 30% more than before.


With the knowledge of the technique I am much more aware of myself and how I react and of others and why they act the way they do. It is amazing! As I said earlier, I am so greatful. I think everyone would really benefit from learning this technique, but it is really important that it is not forced on anyone but that they take it in their own pace. Or else they will just leave the center and not being able to take advantage of what is taught.

2 Responses to “Vipassana 08-19.11”

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Så grymt! Riktigt kul att du nu kört ett retreat. Jag kan verkligen känna igen många av de känslor du beskriver. Helt magiskt. Man blir sugen på en ny 10-dagars när man läser och känner de känslor man har kvar i kroppen ifrån sitt egna retreat. Och jag kan intyga att det är en teknik som alla borde lära sig. Det ger en verktyg för livet som ger dig mer glädje och harmoni i kroppen/själen och även mer närvarande i nuet. ??

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