Have you ever signed up for something, let’s say a 10 day silent meditation course, and woke up on day 2 to realize that you actually just meant to sign up for the silent bit and that the whole meditation bit was more of an afterthought? Which is unfortunate because in actuality this course is all about the meditation not the whole silent bit.... ? Yah... me too. So you know what I did? I very rationally told myself all the reasons why it was okay for me to not meditate during all of the scheduled times since that’s clearly not why I came or the part that I needed. I would just rest into the silence and take the parts I needed from this experience and leave the rest. Brilliant.
Have you ever been completely sure that you knew exactly what you need for yourself in a given time and place, only to be metaphorically slapped in the face on the night of day 2 by your teacher, that can clearly read your mind and understands your soul, who gently and lovingly shows you that you’re actually full of shit? Yah... me too. So you know what I did? I started meditating during all the scheduled times because that’s clearly why I came, to fully experience it. All of it. Exactly as it was not how I wanted it to be. Brilliant.
Now - in case I’ve completely lost you - I just returned from my first Vipassana course. & whoa.
Vipassana means “insight” & it’s the meditation technique that was taught by Siddhartha Gautama, aka Buddha, and has been passed down through the years by a line of teachers.
Insightful certainly describes my experience. It is quite amazing what you hear in silence. Especially in those first few days. As I would walk through the woods, or watch the kangaroos eat, or sit on my meditation cushion, my brain was exploding with inspiration! I had at least 9 brilliant new career paths presented in my thoughts. Different ways to approach my current business. Creative projects I wanted to start. Skills I wanted to learn. Habits I was going to start. I felt awesome and ready to grab life by the horns. If only I could just write down these brilliant ideas... but we weren’t allowed any writing materials. So then my brain just went into memorization mode; I was just visualizing me writing the list so that I could take a screenshot of my brain. Eventually, with no new stimulation my brain got too tired and bored with this task, and I could finally settle into a different kind of silence. The “being” kind, instead of the “doing” kind.
You know, that’s where the real magic happens. In the being. Where you can feel the woods around you, and feel the rhythm of how the sunlight gives way for the moonlight, and feel the alert calmness of the mama kangaroo with a babe in her pouch. Being. When it becomes not so much sounds of silence but rather vibrations of silence. It’s the simplicity. It’s the law of nature. Humans always seem to complicate things; why? Even more than that we’ve learned to distrust simple things. I find this highly unfortunate. Simplicity opens doors. It invites clarity. Simple does not mean it’s not challenging - in fact, a lot of simple things are extremely challenging. But in my experience, it’s always worth it. It lets the magic flow...
But don’t take my word for it - go be. & find out for yourself. ❤️
End note - if you want to find a Vipassana course near you, click here. I will tell you that this technique has been the only one that has inspired me to maintain a home practic before, which has never happened in the 7 years I’ve been meditating, and trying a number of methods.