Months ago, when I learned that my application to attend Vipassana, a silent, 10-day meditation retreat, had been accepted, I was certain I'd come away from the experience ready to write for days about my insights.
And while I was there, I often wished for a pen and paper to document my shifting thoughts and feelings. Yet, I have come to realize that Vipassana is a technique not to be captured in written or spoken word. It's an experience of self-discovery, self-awareness, and experiential wisdom that cannot truly be understood by anyone until he or she has gone through the process.
I have realized that for me, Vipassana was not simply a 10-day silent meditation—it's a way of living. And so, while I know that my words will not come close to explaining the tremendous power of this technique, I will share a few thoughts, with the deepest wish that you feel inspired enough from this small glimpse into my own experience to find the opportunity to discover it for yourself.
Here are 14 things I learned from my experience attending Vipassana:
1. There is tremendous clarity to be found in silence.
2. We talk far more than is necessary.
3. We become lost and caught up in the sound of our voice and the voices of others.
4. If we practiced more self-awareness we would remain more aware of the true intention behind, and power of our words, which would allow us to speak less, hurt less and give more.
5. Slowing down is the only way to experience now.
6. Now is a feeling, a sensation, a presence that is tangible if you slow down long enough to feel it.
7. Extending goodwill and loving kindness to all beings is fostered through experiencing your true nature.
8. To cling to or try to control anything is futile, let go and allow life to unfold natural.
9. Trust in the universal, natural law; Dharma.
10. To hold on to anger, fear, hurt, resentment, pain or ill will only causes suffering – everything arises and everything passes away.
11. To stand with strong determination in a place of Metta (loving kindness for all beings) will not make you a doormat, rather it will provide you with the strength and clarity necessary to take right action.
12. You are the master of your own mind; give yourself the gift of experiential wisdom.
13. Every moment is new.
14. This will also change.
Cat O'Connor is inspired by yoga, writing & all experiences that nourish the body, mind & spirit. Through her experiences as a yoga teacher (RYT-500) at her studio in Orillia, ON Nourish Yoga & Wellness Studio, as well as offering retreats throughout the world, Cat has come to realize, it's really ALL yoga. She is beyond grateful to be able to share her life passions with others with the intention of bringing yoga and a higher level of happiness to as many people as possible. Join her in Tulum, Mexico in Feb. 2017 for the 2nd annual Nourish Your Life Yoga & Wellness Retreat, a truly magical experience!