I did a Vipassana Meditation Course almost 10 months ago now. For those who don’t know about it, it’s a FREE 10-day meditation course happening at different times all throughout the world. The course consists of pretty much living like a monk, meditating all day long following the technique passed down from the Buddha himself.
It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.
During the course, we heard recorded evening lectures from Vipassana founder S.N. Goenka. The lectures themselves were incredible and one of my favorite parts of the day.
In those lectures, S.N. Goenka tells stories of people whose lives changed as a result of Vipassana. Alcoholics who could now quit for example. People cured of life-long illnesses (himself included). Violent prisoners hugging their guards and asking forgiveness from their victim’s families, etc.
While I enjoyed these stories, I did not see myself as someone who would change as a result of taking this course. Don’t get me wrong – I felt INCREDIBLE afterward. Calm and full of love. But I’ve felt that way before from different retreats and things I tried – I knew it wouldn’t last long-term.
And while I was able to keep this feeling with me and meditate for a few weeks after the course, life took over and I actually fell really out of balance.
Yet, looking back, the seeds of Vipassana were planted inside me. I just needed to be in a place where they could grow. That place ended up being Alaska, where I spent the summer. I was finally able to have a pretty calm two months, mostly by myself (nobody to throw me off balance), with incredible air, wildlife (bears!), berries growing around me.
Finally, in Alaska, my mind became calm and I could meditate again. I also practiced yoga, mindfully, and cooked and lived in accordance with the Ayurveda lifestyle.
I was able to work through my food issues. If there was one thing that Vipassana helped me through, it is definitely this. During the course, I was able to observe my hunger and learn that it is very temporary. A little gas feeling that goes away.
Previously, I would let that feeling take over me. Yell and get angry at anyone in my way (sorry ex-boyfriends!).
Fixing my food issues has led to a domino effect. I lost a lot of unhealthy weight, but mostly eating healthy, mostly vegan food at proper time intervals, allowed my brain fog to clear. I was finally, after three years of wandering around aimlessly, see exactly what I needed to do.
Less than a month after Alaska, I have changed my life drastically. In a way that I really needed to. I’m settling in my new apartment in Albuquerque waiting to devote a whole year of my life to studying Ayurveda and living mindfully.
I’m excited to be on this amazing new journey, observing along the way.