When you read this, I will be in Kintamani the volcanic mountains of Northern Bali, Indonesia. The vipassana meditation retreat I have traveled to attend is a 10-day silent retreat where you wake at 4am and meditate for 10 hours per day without contact with the others present or the world outside. There are no distractions, no exercise, no books or writing, no eye contact.
‘Silence to the mind is like sleep to the body’
When the turbulence of distracting thoughts subsides and our mind becomes still. A deep happiness and contentment naturally arise from within.
That’s what I’m chasing…
Here is how Vipassana is described:
‘It is a technique that will eradicate suffering. It is a method of mental purification that allows one to face life’s tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way. It is an art of living that one can use to make positive contributions to society.
Vipassana meditation aims at the highest spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment.
Its purpose is never simply to cure physical disease. However, as a by-product of mental purification, many psychosomatic diseases are eradicated. In fact, Vipassana eliminates the three causes of all unhappiness; craving, aversion, and ignorance. With continued practice, the meditation releases the tensions developed in everyday life, opening the knots tied by the old habit of reacting in an unbalanced way to pleasant and unpleasant situations.’
All my suffering patients need this. I need this.
I’ve spent 20 years learning about the mind-body connection , my thesis in 1997 was on psychoneuroimmunology – the power of the mind to control the nervous and immune system. I have danced with my mind, in learning, awareness, growth and letting go of love.
But harness it, and have a strong disciplined meditation practice? Oh, no way – it has eluded me .. the monkey. It’s far too strong, and often I think it has too much say in our life.
It is time to put it back in its correct place.
I am certain it won’t be comfortable or easy, but I’m curious and it has been whispering to me for many years.
Here is a journal excerpt of my meditation practice last year –
“Intention – I want genuineness, sense of self, peace.
Beginning of my new meditation practice – my whole right side is stiff, leg, scapula, neck jaw shoulder eye forehead hip. No structure, struggle to stay, breathe in and out – trying to get away.
Feeling the energy in my Solar plexus chakra – yellow diamond gold. 3rd Manipura. Perfect description of my ills source of emotion, self-identity, anger frustration, controlling, digestive disturbance, decisions, and trust self.
Seeing the sunshine, the yellow, the fields of gold.”
So you see from this journal rambling.. there is no wrong or right way to meditate. Most will think that they can’t meditate or are doing it wrong.
Just start. Give yourself 10 minutes a day.
Try the following apps/ links for guided meditations some are free.
Be well in peace,