Self transformation through self examination
I attended my first Vipassana 10-day course in March of 2005 at the Alliston, Ontario location. At that time I was going through some dramatic changes in my life. Vipassana meditation offered a powerful tool to manage the challenges I was experiencing, and learning to balance my mind by seeing situations as they really are, not how I would like them to be. Rather than viewing my life through a veil of my own perceived reality, with the daily practice of Vipassana meditation, I am better able to simply look at a situation without reacting strongly to a variety of unruly emotions.
Prior to attending my first 10-day retreat, I had tried various other forms of meditation ranging from guided meditation to chakra meditation to simple one pointed meditation. All of these other techniques of meditation can be very helpful to a person in terms of focus sing the mind to allow for a break from the constant activity that it endures every day. However, what the technique of Vipassana offers is a profoundly lasting shift that pulls deep seated issues from the root. This scientific process ensures these “issues” will not grow to become unhealthy to both the person and the people around them. By simply observing the mind-body connection from an experiential vantage point, the mind becomes well trained. With regular practice, controlling thoughts and reactions becomes second nature, and as a result we have more freedom to be happy, more energy to give of ourselves, and less need to escape because we see the interconnectedness of all things.
One of the many things that impressed me about Vipassana, as taught by S.N Goenka, is that there are more than 130 centers world wide that are run solely by donation from student ‘servers’ who have taken at least 1 10-day course and have benefited from the technique. These ‘old students’ wish to share their time, through volunteering at the center, or their money by donating to their center. There is no profit made at any of the centers, and all money donated goes to expanding worldwide, and daily maintenance of the centers. The courses are available free and/or by donation to anyone, regardless of financial situation when they follow the strict guidelines for the 10-day course.
Having attended several 3-day and 1-day courses, as well as serving several as donation, I sat my 7th 10-day course in 2016. I hope to sit a 20-Day course in 2018! Although I have gone back again and again, this course is likely the most difficult inner journey I have endeavoured in my life. Having said that, after completing each course, the level of pure joy and peace that I have felt is second to nothing. Talk about a natural high!
The Vipassana 10-Day course is well worth the time and effort involved. It changed my life in wonderful ways.
This article is the most comprehensive explanation about Vipassana meditation I have yet to read: http://www.boloji.com/spirituality/090.htm
To find out more about the 10-Day Vipassana course and dates of courses visit: www.torana.dhamma.org