My Trip On 10 Days Of Silence At A Vipassana Meditation Retreat
Oh man. Where to begin? Maybe the “why” would be a could place to start. : )
Immediately, when I would tell people that I was going on a 10 Day Silent Retreat, their reaction was: “WHAT? WHY!” + then most said: “I could never do that.” Honestly, that was one of the reasons I wanted to go on Vipassana… to prove to myself that I could do it [hello ego!] + check it off on my spiritual bucket list [lol, I don’t have this… but if I did, Vipassana would have been on there].
I’ve also had so many friends who have gone on it before who raved about it, + said it was one of their best experiences. I even have a few podcasts episodes where we talk a ton on Vipassana — here + here + here.
In 2018, I knew 2019 was going to be the year I experienced Vipassana… + so I signed up with Isaac for a retreat in Wisconsin in March. Really didn’t think too much of it until the day of the retreat on our 5 hour drive up there…
Half through our drive, I started getting butterflies: “Are you getting nervous?” “Yes.” Even if we wanted to turn around, we couldn’t — we were carpooling with someone we had just met. Deep breaths. Embrace the butterflies.
I read a ton of blog posts prior about people’s Vipassana experience. It’s not recommended to do that, since you’ll create expectations… but hey, I’m a curious girl. I remember one review said: “It wasn’t the most transformative experience I’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the hardest experience I’ve ever had.” + I remember thinking: “Awe, that’s a bummer. 10 days of silence for not THE BEST (or THE WORST) experience?!” Ironically, that’s how I felt after coming out of the retreat… leaning even more on the: *Did I experience this correctly? I feel like I didn’t release any traumas?*
To give you a sneak peek into my experience, even though I didn’t come out of Vipassana saying: “EVERYONE NEEDS TO DO THIS! THIS IS AMAZING!” [which I thought would be the case] — I did leave feeling inspired to further my meditation practice to 30 minutes + 20 minutes a day, have so much more awareness on my reactions, + created a stillness inside that I want to continue to foster. It was unbelievable to not have my phone for 10 days, + I want to integrate way less phone time in my daily life, while still maintaining a social media presence. Also, I have so much focus!
More to come in future posts… just wanted to say: I’m alive! + I’m SO HAPPY to be out of “meditation prison” ; ).
Love to you all + thank you to everyone who prayed for me during the retreat! ++ Elisabeth