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An Update on Vipassana Meditation

I felt it important to briefly talk about Vipassana Meditation since I took part in the course 5 months ago. I didn’t just learn Vipassana for those 10 days but was determined to bring it into my daily life… I did just that for 2 months – making sure I was meditating first thing in the morning for 1 hour followed by another hour in the afternoon/ early evening. It made me so proud to be able to stick to a routine but also feel a passion to continue what I learned.

Then I slightly let it slip, allowing ‘life’ to get in the way and I lost my hard core determination! At first I panicked, then I realised Vipassana is all about letting go of aversion and attachment so you can see things as they really are. I had to let it go and accept life’s nature of being impermeable. It was fantastic to see this and empowered me. In the past I lived in a world of attachment, believing any failure was for life, or being a certain way would be forever if I didn’t fix it NOW. So to accept that nothing is forever and to keep the intention of returning to full time meditation has kept me alive and kicking – with difficulty- but I’m clearly so much stronger than before Vipassana.

My step-father has also completed the course in May and my mother is presently on the course. This is even more amazing because the more people around you try it out and practice it, the more strength, love and insight floats around in your environment. It’s not essential and I didn’t force them, they were curious and amazed at the changes in me.

Apart from all the above, certain painful reactions I used to have still haven’t returned from being hyper sensitive to noise to anxiety in my chest. I keep having a memory jog of how I used to be 5 years ago and it shocks me how I have changed. For me the depression, stress and process of reacting badly to the environment around me (especially living in London) forced me to want to change and try and see things differently. Vipassana was invaluable in the process and I’m forever grateful plus hope to continue this for life.

Another great thing is the group sittings which take place across the UK and world. I go to a regular sitting in the centre of London which is free to attend and for those who have completed the 10 day course. A group sitting is very refreshing and also great if, like me, you aren’t managing the full hour anymore. There is a tape played with S. N. Goenka during the sitting which personally I love to listen to!

I’m off to Jaipur next week and will be looking into Vipassana Mediation there – the home to this wonderful scientific technique. If you’re ever there check out, www.thali.dhamma.org and they have info on there for 3 day course, 10 day course, teenage course plus where group sittings take place. It’s so refreshing to see how this technique is as popular in India as it is in Europe and beyond. There’s also plenty of opportunities to serve (be a volunteer during the course).

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