It is now almost one year ago, that I attended my very first Vipassana course. Time to reflect on a couple of things: Do I still meditate? Would I do it again? Has it made a significant difference in my life? So let’s start…
Even though the course setting is the same for every Vipassana Course across the world, the experience each and every student is unique. So please note that whatever I have experienced is solely my own personal experience and can and shall in no way be compared to anybody else’s experience or feelings toward a Vipassana Course.
The 10 days Vipassana Course were all in all very challenging and extremely tought but in hindsight, I cannot think of any other experience ever made that allowed me to learn and grow so intensively in such a short period of time. Read the full article on my experience here.
What I think today
Even after a year of my Vipassana experience, I am certain that this has been the biggest challenge of my life so far. Even though I have experienced a shift in my meditation practice and some major benefits thereof, I still remember the sharp pain in my hips, legs, back… well, basically the entire body, or how I struggled with eating no dinner or the meditation practice itself. Yet, the positive aspects of my experience are far more predominant – especially after one year!
My Meditation Practice Now
I continue to follow my daily meditation practice as good as I can. I had to learn to be more flexible and compassionate with myself, though. In the beginning of 2018, I got to a point, where my practice turned into a heavy responsibility and instead of giving me the feeling of ease and calmness throughout my day, I beat myself up when I didn’t sit long enough or even not at all. I even went through a time of not sitting in meditation for several days. While I enjoyed this break to explore other practices more deeply, I felt guilt around it. This had to stop!
Now, meditation is still an integral part of my morning practice but in terms of time I check in with myself first and then set the time for anything between 5 and 30 minutes. If I can’t find the stillness in the morning, I sit in the evening – so what? Staying flexible with whatever comes up makes life so much easier… even when it comes to the meditation practice.
Would I do it again?
Hell, yeah! In fact, I would love to plan my next Vipassana experience for 2019. The only objection here, it should not be in Germany but somewhere sunny and maybe more tropical? Why? Well, even though you spend the entire day sitting in meditation with your eyes closed, I personally noticed how much my environment affects my mood and Germany in November does not really do the trick for me. That’s why I would love to combine my next Vipassana experience with a trip to a more warm and sunny country.
Have I experienced any differences at all?
‘Remain perfect equanimity.’
That sentence continuously pops up in my head and whenever it does, I try to tune in, look inward and take a deep breath. That alone already helps me most of the time to recenter and realign my thoughts and actions. In other words… I think I became a littke more chilled.😎 While I cognitively understood the idea of equanimity, it is through the steady practice of Vipassana Meditation that I have experienced it on a physical, corporial and mental level. And that makes all the difference!
I feel much more connected and centered within myself. Of course, this thing called life can be challenging from time to time, yet I have something to turn to: my meditation practice. Something that gives me a feeling of steadiness and safety in the midst of life. I believe that this is not just a benefit for me alone, but also for those around me. With growing self-awareness and knowledge about myself, comes a more considerate and often kind behavior. I think that many of my fellow humans might appreciate that.
Wow… by merely writing these lines, I realize how filled with gratitude I am. Not just for my Vipassana experience one year ago, but for the practice of meditation itself!
Love and Light,