I quit my job and didn’t exactly know what I wanted to do. Right after I was freed from my responsibilities, I knew I needed to find clarity.
As is the case with most people on a soul-searching route, I was, curious too about meditation and wondered if it’ll help me figure out stuff (about life, career and everything else). And also, WHAT about it that people didn’t mind staying motionless for hours. (?!?!)
I was born a Buddhist but never really learned the teaching thoroughly. Hence, I never knew the role meditation play in the teaching, although it has gotten more popular with many successful public figures swearing by it. Oprah Winfrey. Leo Babauta. Assorted Hollywood celebrities.
What sparked my interest about meditation was a friend, who had gone for meditation courses several times now. He described it as life changing as many good things have happened ever since, though this sounds a little quixotic.
It got me REALLY curious. So, with an open mind, I proceeded to sign up. I didn’t have anything to lose anyway, as I would have already left my job by the time the course commences.
For the course, you might think that I had to travel to some place far (like…to India), set aside a few months and spent a few thousand bucks altogether? Nope.
The course I attended (called Vipassana Meditation), while originated from India, is today present in many countries around the world backed by its increasing popularity. My country (Malaysia) itself already houses 3 centres. So I didn’t have to spend loads of money I can’t afford.
Also, because of the teachers’ intentions of extending the benefits of Vipassana to the masses, there are no charges for the course. Yeah. No charges AT ALL. All expenses are covered by donations past attendees offered. Bodes well for a thrift like me :p. Despite that, I donated any way because of the good treatment and the invaluable experience I was given and that I sincerely wish Vipassana to be well supported so that it can continue helping others.
The whole course only took a short span of 10 days. So..people with tricky schedules, do not worry.
Personally, the course has given me an interesting experience, a learning that cannot be attained any other way. Although the course was not without challenges (I’ll write more about these in another entry), it calmed down the internal noises and has given me clarity and focus – which I very much needed. And I learned that meditation is more than sitting in silence; there’s a lot more that’s at work whilst meditating.
You can learn more about this at Vipassana’s official website.
If you have any concerns/queries prior to signing up, I hope they get alleviated/answered here.
More importantly, be aware of the “house rules” to be sure of what you’re signing up for. I heard stories of people going to the course NOT knowing the restrictions that they have to endure; they went crazy and made desperate “prison break” attempts. I’m not kidding and it’s not even funny.
In case you’re wondering, Vipassana is not just for Buddhists. Here’s an excerpt from Vipassana’s official website.
“The technique which S. N.Goenka teaches represents a tradition that is traced back to the Buddha. The Buddha never taught a sectarian religion; he taught Dhamma – the way to liberation – which is universal. In the same tradition, Mr. Goenka’s approach is totally non-sectarian. For this reason, his teaching has a profound appeal to people of all backgrounds, of every religion and no religion, and from every part of the world.”
Hope this helps and if you need further information, leave a comment. 🙂