What happens if you spend 10 days, 10 hours a day meditating with closed eyes in silence?
Silence not only surrounding you – silence also within you and your mind. I did a meditation program in Bogor, Indonesia. No communication allowed – talking, writing, listening to music, even gestures were forbidden. Complete segregation of men and women was to be maintained. I only brought what I needed for the time there: clothes, and a toothbrush. Even my wallet was put into the deposit for that period of time.
My cell had 5m² and one bed in it. Well, there were 5 pink hooks on the wall. I guess in those relations even a hook counts as furniture. My ceiling consisted of 15 white rectangles separated by grey lines. The bathrooms were outside and had cold water showers. 35 women and about 20 men attended the class. (I was able to count in one of the group sessions)
My day was structured by a gong ringing about every 1,5 hours.
This is how my days looked like:
|4:00 am||Morning wake-up bell|
|4:30-6:30 am||Meditate in the hall or in your room|
|6:30-8:00 am||Breakfast break|
|8:00-9:00 am||Group meditation in the hall|
|9:00-11:00 am||Meditate in the hall or in your room according to the teacher’s instructions|
|11:00-12:00 noon||Lunch break|
|12noon-1:00 pm||Rest and interviews with the teacher|
|1:00-2:30 pm||Meditate in the hall or in your room|
|2:30-3:30 pm||Group meditation in the hall|
|3:30-5:00 pm||Meditate in the hall or in your own room according to the teacher’s instructions|
|5:00-6:00 pm||Tea break|
|6:00-7:00 pm||Group meditation in the hall|
|7:00-8:15 pm||Teacher’s Discourse in the hall|
|8:15-9:00 pm||Group meditation in the hall|
|9:00-9:30 pm||Question time in the hall|
|9:30 pm||Retire to your own room–Lights out|
The goal of Vipassana Meditation is to liberate your mind from craving and abortion to come out of misery. This meditation technique is based on the Buddhist religion and is practiced by people around the world, no matter what religion they have. To achieve the goal of liberating the mind from misery one meditates sitting still and observing the body´s sensations. Doing that students shell find out that everything in life is impermanent. Every sensation is impermanent: it arises and passes away. Exploring impermanence students should develop equanimity. From day 1 to 3 students focus on their breath to clear their minds and practice awareness. On day 4 students learn the Vipassana technique. From day 5 to 9 students practice the Vipassana technique expanding their awareness to different parts of their bodies until they are able to be aware of the whole body. On the 10th day the noble silence ends and students learn an additional meditation technique. On the morning of day 11 the program is over and students leave the center.
To me not communicating for 10 days was harder than expected. It seems I am a very social human being and not smiling for such an amount of time makes me feel soulless and more like a zombie. I can not imagine a life without passion, love, hate, jealousy, abortion and craving. Therefore it took me 10 days in a meditation to find out that I am happy the way I am and that I don´t want to change my personality in order to be enlightened. Somehow I feel that is my personal enlightenment. My extreme meditation experiment was quite an experience and i´ll recommend it to all curious people.
Now I am on Bali getting back my tan.
Links to Vipassana Meditation: