In January, I attended a 10-day Vipassana training in Ras Al Khaimah, Dubai. Vipassana is a form of meditation founded in India during the time of the Buddha. Vipassana is one of the most widely practiced forms of meditation, performed in 55 different languages in 200 centers around the world. The recently deceased S.N. Goenka teaches people meditation techniques through videos.
What good are 10 days of isolation from the rest of the world? Numerous studies have been conducted on the benefits of continuous meditation.
I also discovered 7 benefits after going through this experience myself.
1. Develop consciousness
If you are not consciously aware of what is happening in your life, there can be no talk of change. During the training, we woke up at 4 in the morning and went to bed at 10 in the evening. People have a lot of time to think about themselves. During this time, you begin to think about your pros and cons. Most importantly, there is plenty of time to meditate. In this way, you begin to understand your emotions more and more.
2. Stay calm and peaceful (Equanimous)
No matter what happens to you, being able to stay calm (without reacting) is one of the basic ideas taught by Vipassana meditation. Calmness is accepting whatever it is, good or bad. So when you have a good experience, you learn not to stick to it and not to avoid bad experiences. You understand that you have to accept everything as it is.
They are not allowed to use, read, or write to any electronic device during these 10 days. It is very difficult for this person. However, as a result of this method, it is possible to focus on meditation, avoiding distractions. Because he does not receive any new information, his thoughts slow down and deeper meditation takes place.
In his lectures, Goenka says that these 10 days are like a brain operation. During the 10 days I spent, I received minimal external stress. Every day we were taught how to remain calm in the face of various events. At the same time, we learned not to react emotionally to stressful situations.
For 10 days, it was as if I was out of the world, and I lived the emotions I had for a whole year in a compressed version of that time. Knee and thighs ached from sitting, it was very difficult to stay quiet for hours. As the day goes on, you discover how many beauties there are in your life. When you live like a monk, you see how insignificant he is in his daily life. Not being able to talk reminds you of all your friends and family, you begin to know the value of all the wonderful people in your life. You realize that when you meet your friends in the future, you will no longer be stuck on your phone.
4. Learn to make mistakes
You always make mistakes during meditation. The goal is to focus on breathing. This method can calm the brain. But it is impossible not to think until you reach the peak of perfection. This peak is the peak of calm. Practicing daily meditation makes a person strong-willed and persistent in his work. Recognizing that it is normal to make mistakes and continuing to do so will help you to cope with life’s mistakes.
Everything you know, including yourself, and everyone will grow old and die over time. This applies to all people in your life and everything in your hands. We are constantly reminded of this for 10 days. By thinking that our lives are constantly flowing, we learn not to be attached to the people and things in our lives. With that in mind, we can also be more receptive to difficult times, knowing that they are temporary.
5. More broad perspectives
Every evening we were shown Goenka’s conversations on the screen for an hour, and that was the biggest entertainment of the day. We eagerly waited to hear a human voice in the evening =) In one of the 1-hour stories, 6 blind men touch different parts of an elephant. So the king instructed the six blind men to touch different parts of the elephant and describe what it looked like. He says that touching an elephant’s foot resembles a pillar, touching its tail with a rope, touching its trunk with a branch of a tree, touching its ears with a fan, touching its belly with a wall, and touching its teeth with a strong pipe.
After listening carefully to each one, the King says:
You are all right. Each of you touched on different parts of the elephant, so you expressed different opinions about it. In fact, the elephant looks like everything you say at once.
This story leads to the idea that meditation helps people look at events from a broader perspective. Instead of looking outside for the source of the problems you find, you will see that they are all inside you. After that, you will take responsibility for your life.
6. Increasing efficiency over time
During the training, for the first time in my life, I slowed down and learned to listen. Until then, my brain was always full of “what should I do” thoughts. After this experience, I realized that I actually had enough time during the day, but I missed that time. Now I focus on 2-3 main things during the day, and I completely forget about the rest. When I see my work, living in the present helps me to focus more deeply. As a result, I can finish my work faster and with better quality.
7. Increase activity
Sitting for 10 hours a day is a pain in the body. Many suffer for the first few days. During the last two days, my legs have become more comfortable as my body gets used to it. In fact, you can sit comfortably for a long time by building a barbell, keeping your back straight, and touching the ground where your knees and spine will end.
In this article, I tried to share with you my experience, the results of which I am satisfied. You too can take time to be alone and find the answers to the questions that are important to you, who you are, and what you want out of life.