Its been 2 months now since completing the 10 day Vipassana meditation course in Sri Lanka. High time I gave some thoughts on this technique, and how I’ve faired since coming out of the jungle and into the ‘real’ world.
Raising the bar – boredom tolerance and focus levels go through the roof! No doubt. Doing a body scan for up to an hour a time really is boring. Lets not kid ourselves here. But like any form of practice, the more you do, the easier it becomes. And for several days after coming out of the centre, I was able to stare out the window for hours, content at just watching the world go by. Focussing on single tasks at a time, and without any need for constant mental stimulation. I was content with doing nothing, which is a satisfying way to be, when there is nothing to do.
Real life woes – the minimum 2 hours a day practice they recommend after completing the course, lasted a grand total of…….0 days. Its just not practical or plausible unless you’re (a) completely settled, (b) have several hours every day to spare, and (c) want to somewhat waste those hours doing something incredibly boring. I would rather walk around a park or watch an amasing documentary if I’m completely honest. And thats the rub of it, for me. Trapped in a box, yeah, sure, I’ll do a couple of hours of Vipassana. But when there’s Netflix and chocolate ice-cream in the freezer, theres no contest.
To look within – many of the benefits I felt coming out of the centre have faded, and disappeared. Like the heightened ability to focus and concentrate for long periods at a time. But the core, fundamental concept of Vipassana has stuck. And grown strong. And that is to focus on myself. To constantly check in, and take care of numero uno. Something which has really helped me, and continues to help me to this day.
So even though I have moved on to different types of meditation, with more and less success, I am truly grateful to have experienced Vipassana. For the raw challenge. For the lessons it has taught me about myself. And for making it clear, that I hold all the answers.