I know this may sound counter-intuitive: simplify-vipassana course.
Vipassana is a well known meditating technique, and the basic course- the entrance gate to the world of vipassana so to speak- is the 10-day course, which is many things, but simple -isn’t one of them.
Having said that-
I am a huge believer in planning ahead, the reason being I have a tendency to get a bit nervous when stepping out of my comfort zone, hence my 5 tips, that I gathered after a lot of thought.
#1: Be prepared to get emotional. really intensely emotional.
I think I spent the better part of my 10-day course simply sobbing.
Granted this was an intensely emotional time for me- I turned 50 during the course and was highly invested in my retirement -which occurred 6 months later.
I was going through a really rough patch emotionally, and this has, naturally, affected my relationship with my partner and my general wellbeing.
But- I believe almost everyone that dives into this meditating technique and gives it a true chance, especially in the welcoming and enabling atmosphere created in the vipassana centers, having to remain silent with no escape for the senses- no reading, no writing, no listening to music, scrolling the phone or watching tv, will have a strong emotional reaction at some level.
And this is fine.
It is a sign you are working and making progress.
taking on your biggest fears, regrets, and anxieties.
Don’t be afraid of this emotional rollercoaster.
Wellcome it-as a necessary part of your path.
#2: Bring comfortable-wide- light- cotton -plain -easy to wash clothes.
You are bout to sit and meditate in a hall for most of your waking hours- that is from 04:30 to 21 -with rest periods.
You will want to be comfortable.
Remember- you are not in fashion week in new york. no need to change every 3
#3: Layers are the way to go.
I don’t know what it is like in other centers, but I believe the general rule of thumb applies everywhere.
You are , as I said, about to sit for many hours in a meditation hall full of people.
Chances are it won’t be cold in the hall, plus you have your shawl with you-and- in my experience- although you are not working out in the usual physical sense, you are most definitely working very seriously emotionally, and the chances are you won’t feel cold.
Layer up- meaning- bring a cotton t shirt0 and build p from there- depending on the area and the season.
I wouldn’t recommend bringing only heavy wool sweaters- you might find out the hall is airconditioned and you will be immensely uncomfortable and will have nothing to do about it.
#4: Drink a lot of water and tea, and eat a lot of fruit and fiber.
Sitting still for 10 days does not do wonders for your bowels, I can tell you that.
Try to eliminate the consequences by drinking a lot of fluids, and when you pick your food- make a point of choosing more fruit and high fiber food. it might help. a little.
#5: Take some of your rest time and use it to walk around, and do some serious stretching in your room.
If you are used to a non-sedentary lifestyle- and even if you lead a sedentary lifestyle- your body will have difficulty to adapt to those long hours of sitting still.
Rest is super important- as you are going through that emotional rollercoaster, but- your body will be ever so thankful if you stretch your limbs and walk around at least 30 minutes every day.
Here is my previous post telling my vipassana story.The birthday presents I gave myself-part 1
And my second post- telling about my 13 days as a dhamma worker: 13 days as a dhamma server in a vipassana course: what?? ( no preaching or missionary wisdom included)
I guess you can tell I really like this technique.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.