Are you willing to sit in misery to get yourself out of misery? Over the last 12 days, 24 July to 4 Aug 2019, 36 of us did!
Though not all of us were trying to come out of misery, but all of us definitely swam in misery of pain during the process.
It is popularly known as the 10 days Vipassana Meditation Retreat.
111 hours of meditation within 11 days! This is going to be my meditation project for this year.
The retreat was held in Sarimbun Scout Camp in Singapore.
“Let’s see what unique encounters and experience will manifest in this retreat!”, CURIOSITY and not mere misery evoked me to sign up for the retreat.Why I wanted to attend this retreat!
My expectation: I wanted to do this, as I had always encounter unique awareness experiences and learnings during focus meditation. My interest in meditation started back in 2012.
My Meditation Experience
In 2012, my “accidental find” on youtube on meditation sparked my journey. The 10 minutes Chakra Meditation brought heightened awareness of my senses, particularly of smell and intuition. The pain on my back sprain was gone after a few focused intention meditation.
In 2016, I wanted to re-kindle the climax of meditation. I spoke with a friend, who recommended the 8 days day retreat with Bodhi Meditation. I was introduced to “Kuan Yin meditating on lotus meditation”, mantra meditation and visualisation meditation. The 20-45 minutes meditation brought heightened awareness of soul purpose. Premonitional events in the retreat led me the spontaneous past life regression, that eventually led me to my journey to re-discover hypnotherapy and past life regression.
So, now, in 2019, I heard about Vipassana Meditation some time ago, and decided that it would be my next destination for my next memorial encounters with meditation. I had no particular expectation. I left it to the universe. Though, secretly I thought dancing in the universe while bursting into atomic particles would be a good bonus for my 111 hours of retreat for self-work.
These, however, were my initial concerns. Surprisingly, I sailed through the retreat with no issues related to these initial concerns.
- 1.Waking up before 4am for 2 hours meditation before breakfast!
- 2. Breakfast at 6am, Lunch at 11 am and the final meal of the day is fruits at 5pm!
- 3. Possible rat visit in the sleeping dorm due to the secluded, ulu area of stay during this retreat. I am no fan of rodents.
- 4. No access to mobile phone, lap top, internet, Netflix or any type of modern “survival tools” for any sane person in this technological time and age. We could not even bring along writing materials.
Instead, these were my concerns during the stay.
- Boredom in the long hours of observing my respiration, focusing merely on my nostril diaphragm and body sensory scan.
- Fear of the lizards crawling on the wall of the meditation hall next to me.
- Fear of the lizards visiting me in my room while I sleep.
- Missing my love pillow at home.
What I got out of the Meditation Retreat?
- The bite marks and itchiness from mosquitoes on the peak of my nose, my hands and legs
- The pins and needles sensation that I occasionally experience on my body is supposedly good sensation
- My fear for lizards manifested into my learnings to be much more empathetic and understanding (than I thought I already am) to those who is suffering from pain and ailments
- An understanding of Vipassana Meditation and more
My best encounters during the retreat is NOT its techniques, but the living proof of it.
The manifestation of non-obligatory service from Teresa, Mary, Boon, Priscilia, Loke, Mrs Radhi, Mr. Goenka & many other volunteers who served us like “their children”. Without expecting any returns, they served us throughout the 12 days to make our stay there pleasant, in order for us to benefit from the retreat.
Will I continue to practise Vipassana?
When the purpose is a noble one, every meditation will reap reward for its meditators.
I do not believe in one size fits all phenomenon.
Mr Goenka, the teacher and founder of global Vipassana Centers promoted using one meditation technique to reap peak performance.
True that! However, every meditation has its awareness focus. Meditation techniques are usually chosen by the seekers based on the status of their state of mind and focus of awareness.
Regardless, I continue to be an avid fan and supporter of harmony, peace and happiness to humanity.
Every meditator seems to be experiencing pain and aches at different parts of the body. Personally, I felt that the pain and numbness felt in different parts of our body are a revelation of the issues that are affecting us at the point of meditation.
The emergence of the pain gives us the potential possibilities to sit through them and letting them go.
Vipassana focuses on equanimity. The technique of mentally sweeping through the respiratory and body to acknowledge body sensory. It is good as it is easy and involve no thinking.
The mundane action of body sensory and its pain, numbness and strong tingly sensation that one has to endure, may one way or another trigger thoughts and memory.
The teachings of Vipassana meditation are noble with focus awareness on equanimity. It emphasizes that one should NOT be attached to both, good or bad feelings or things to avoid cravings and aversions.
Meditators who experience emotional outbursts from memory recalls, are told to ignore the emotions and continue to re-focus back to sweep through their body sensory. This may pose as a block for those who needed emotional release at that point of time, in order to continue.
Other Meditation Techniques
Chakra Meditation focuses on self-healing. The technique requires one to visualise the color of the different chakras and its balancing, cleansing and re-energising of the chakras (energy centers of the body)
Bodhi Meditation focuses on overall well-being. The technique requires one to re-enact Kuan Yin meditating with the help of guided visualisation.
Mantra Meditation focuses on the words and vibration of the mantra to evoke any healing needed for the body, mind and soul.
The best always unfolds for me. As I continue my journey, I see no harm for me to understand the other types of meditation and how each techniques can help cater to the needs of each individual, based on the status of their state of mind and focus of awareness.Meditators & Techniques
In this retreat, like any other meditation retreats, I continue to encounter meetings with old friends from the past to complete our agreements to support each others’ growth, knowingly or unknowingly.
To find out more about Vipassana Meditation Retreat, check out their website here.
Why would one go through misery to come out of misery through this retreat? Here are some of the responses to why they signed up for this retreat. In fact, a few of them are returning meditators, who had completed more than 2-6 times of the same retreat.
- “I wanted to manage my anger.”
- “I wanted to manage my anxiety.”
- “I had migraine issue.”
- “I had family issue.”
- “I wanted to find my purpose in life.”
- “I wanted to do this before I am too old.”
- “My trusted friend recommended me to come.”
- “Only one! To get people out of my misery!”
Check out how to heal through meditation and the signs of metaphysical manifestation of suppressed negative emotions through pain in the different part of the body.
When you sit through the hourly or two-hourly meditation sessions, the sensation of pain and numbness are felt in the body parts or emotions/feelings that require healing.