Silence is Golden: One Week Vipassana Meditation RetreatPosted: July 6, 2012
For my final week in Sri Lanka, I lived at Kanduboda Siyane International Insight Meditation Center. I had been looking forward to this retreat for some time, and was a major highlight of the trip for me. Under the tutelage of my wonderful and beautiful teacher, Rev. Wimukthi, and with the guidance of the Center’s head monks, I studied and practiced vipassana meditation.
Practicing vipassana, meaning “insight”, meditation has had a profound effect on me. I know I will always remember this one, simple week so fondly. The people that I met, the food I ate, my simple room… Sometimes when I close my eyes I can see it all so vividly still.
The Women’s Section of the Center was really all I saw, and it was so beautiful and serene. The ground is covered in rocky sand, which I grew to love during walking meditation; I loved feeling every grain and stone beneath my feet. Potted plants with exotic flowers line the paths. The area is so lush, fecund; there are even monkeys and vipers! The buildings and accommodation are delightfully simple. I remember looking at my fellow yogis, feeling so happy and at peace, and realizing “Who needs things? Who needs anything? These women are the happiest women I have ever met, and all they want is their own breath!” It was eye-opening.
At the Center, we were required to always stay in sati, which means to stay mindful and in the moment. Through focusing on living in sati for one week I was able to realize the constant flow and change of my emotions, my feelings, my aches or pains. When I am in sati, I worry about nothing, I am sad about nothing… I am not even happy about anything. I am completely neutral and it is invigorating. As sati quieted my mind, meditation became more natural for me. It is astounding how just sitting and being can seem so difficult at first! I was instructed to begin by counting my breaths, and then eventually by the end of the week I was able to sit, and breathe, and just be without a single movement for one full hour, multiple times a day. It surprised me; I was glowing.
There is so much about my experience and the Meditation Center that I plan to share with you, but there is also so much that I want to keep and treasure to myself. However if anyone has any specific questions, or is thinking about embarking on a similar experience, I would be more than happy to shine whatever light I can on the subject!
(May Triple Gem protect you)