(version française plus bas)
Vipassana is the meditation technique that used Gotama Buddha to attain enlightment. The litteral meaning of vipassana is “to see things as they are”. To see things as they are, no as we would want them to be. To see the reality as it is. To see the truth, the universal truth.
It is the process of self-purification by self-observation. As we observe ourselves we observe the changing nature of our mind and body, and we experience the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
This is the process of breaking the old habits of the mind, which result either in craving or aversion, by developping equanimity with the understanding of the law of impermanence, anitya in sanskrit.
The foundation of the practice is :
– SILA : 5 moral conducts
- To abstain from killing any being (directly or indirectly)
- To abstain from stealing
- To abstain from al sexual activity
- To abstain from telling lies
- To abstain from all intoxicants
– SAMADHI : concentration of the mind
– PANNA : the wisdom of insight (the purification of the mind is achieved through panna)
In Gotama’s discovery, he found out that misery comes from 3 things : craving, aversion, and ignorance.
Why craving & aversion are a source of misery ? simply because of the law of impermanence. As everything, everything in the universe rises to pass away, it makes no sense to create one of those 2 reactions. When we are craving something, we have a high of joy when we have this something, and then the moment it’s over we feel bad. So we want it again, and then again we feel bad after. And so we find ourselves running after something that it meant to pass away anyway. The more attached we are to something, or someone, the bigger the misery will be when the object of craving will be out of our field. Think about your precious phone and that feeling when something happen to it. Think abour this body, how much attachment we have on it. This body, too, is meant to pass away. Why can’t we accapt that and be ok with that ?
Because of our ignorance. Not our ignonance as the intellectual level, but our ignorance at the physical level, the actual level, the experience level. And that my friends, is one of my biggest “revelation” of these 10 days.
When I arrived at the retreat, here was my mantra, or let’s say my intentions. I was repeating those words in my head over and over again :
Help me release what I need to release
Help me heal what needs to be heal
Help me understand what needs to be understood
Help me see what needs to be seen
Help me feel what needs to be felt
Help me experience what needs to be experienced
Help me open what needs to be opened
Help me do what needs to be done
Help me clarify what needs to be clarified
And I was walking on the walk path repeating those words, over and over again, and I could go on and on and on forever. I think I did that the first 2 days.
Also another thing I “asked” is to really integrate, on the deepest level, those laws of the Universe. I’ve been studied them for quite some time now. Some of them feel natural, but others seem to be shaking my deeply rooted limiting beliefs. And I want to change those limiting beliefs! I understand those laws, and I believe there are true, but I’m having trouble to really integrate some of them.
I truly believe that when you are aligned with the universe and if you work with the law, everything flows easily. I have plenty of adventures where I could really feel that, and this one (all this trip) is an amazing example too !! But still I know that there is some fields in my life where it feels like I’m not working with the law. Even though I understand it, I still feel like struggling, and I shouldn’t be. Nobody should. So there I was, asking myself to fill that gap or make that link that I was missing at some level.
And yet, here is my first reaction when I first heard about the 3 causes of misery : craving, ok I understand. Aversion, yes I get it too. Ignorance, oh I’m good with that ! This is the one thing I can check off the list. I mean with all the books I’ve read on the laws of the universe and all the work I did on spirituality and personal development and so, this one is clearly not a problem for me…
HOW FUNNY IS THAT ?!
Turned out, it was exactly THE ONE I needed to dive in !!
DAY 0 : arriving at the center in Joshua Tree
So guys, I you’ve read the story about how I got there, you can understand how excited I was when I arrived. After something like 48 hours with no sleep, traveling from Paris to San Francisco, San Francisco to Phoenix, Phoenix to LA, spending the night in LA, and getting on the road the next morning to Joshua Tree, I was totally exhausted, but incredibly happy to arrive. I was feeling so aligned with the Universe, so connected, and very grateful to be there. And, I was SO ready to be silent !
When you arrived at the center, the first thing you do is give away all your valuables. Meaning : your phone/money/passport and also, any books/reading material, any writing material, any food, crystals you might have, any object linked to rituals and stuff. It seems a little intense at first, but then you understand why. They really want you to practice ONLY their technique during those 10 days, so that you can evaluate the value of it at the end. (and not be confused about which one actually had that effect or this effect). That’s it, I’m taking my last picture, and I’m out of this world !
Also an other big thing is the separation of gender. They are really, really strict about his. The whole center is divided in 2, with one side for women, one side for men. Putting barriers even outside so we can’t even get close to the man kind. I was like Wow, this is retty intense ! I mean seriously, what do you think would happen ? (in my head). Like I really don’t think that being around men disturb me at all, I’m the kinda of girl who is barely looking at guys anyway…
And then the funniest thing happened : the introduction speech. All together, women on one side, men facing us on the other side, and the guy doing the speech in the middle. Really weird setting. Obviously the guys were soooo looking at us, and all of the sudden I caught myself like replacing my hair and asking myself stupid stuff like “do I look okay ? maybe I should put my hair like this or that way, oh, and I should re-arrange my top….” And then I realized… Damn it is just unconscious ! Even if i didn’t want to admit it as soon as there is guys around we just DO act differently. And even though I thought I didn’t care, there is still some judgement happening. You know you are being watch, you know you are being judge. And you also do it. Well, that’s the first lesson ! I realized afterwards that it was a HUGE RELIEF, this separation of gender, because I really didn’t have to think about how I looked or what I what wearing. I just realized how much of a constant pressure it is, actually. Because we couldn’t even eyes-contact each other, the pressure of judgment was completely OFF. And it was one of the BIGGEST RELIEF !!
What a beautiful first lesson !
The welcome speech is over, we are on for the first meditation. What they call the “Noble silence” is on ! Noble silence mean silence of speech, no eye-contact, no gesture, no communication of any kind. I go back to my room, ready to have some sleep. Reading the schedule for tomorrow, I tell myself : “4:30am – 6:30am meditation in the hall or in your room” well, the choice is easy to make, I’m totally gonna skip that one. No doubt here !
DAY 1 : I MADE IT HERE.
4am : the bell rings… oh my god, I’m so tired ! I can’t even open my eyes. Why are they doing this anyway ? I mean seriously, 4am is the middle of the night. As I told myself yesterday, there is NO WAY I am going into that hall to meditate. But still, this is why I’m here for, so I have to play the game. Let see if I can meditate in my bed.
I sat on my bed, the wall behind my back… What a joke !!! Honestly, I was more half sleeping than meditating, that’s for sure. I’m laughing at myself, this is kinda ridiculous.
The day goes on, and after the real first group meditation, I am so happy to see that I survived to an hour of meditation without too much of agitation. I had to move my head a little, my back a little, but no major movement. I feel pretty happy about that, even thought my head is totally wandering around, not really doing the exercice at all :/ (we are supposed to focus on the breath!)
The day continues, and meditation after meditation I can feel some tensions starting to wake up on the right side of neck. At the end of the day, this is just INSANE. I have never felt my neck and all of the muscles around the jaw so tense and so painful. I can barely move my head actually.
I’m not really surprised, because I didn’t really had any good yoga session the past two weeks. I was caught up into the preparation of this trip, everything was just so speed. Plus the long flights and crazy weird positions you take to creep some rest, it makes sense. But really, this intense ? it feels like I’m paralyzed on the right side. But every time I get out of the meditation hall, I feel the air, look at the beautiful sky, and remember how happy I am to be here and how crazy is this story. I feel totally in the right place, doing exactly what I need to do. Everything is PERFECT.
First day is over ! I can’t wait to get into that bed. I’m sure the neck tension will be over tomorrow.
DAY 2 : Light & happy… BUT OH THAT NECK !
5am : I open my eyes . Damn ! I didn’t hear the morning bell at all ! (it rings at 4am and 4:20am, but I guess I was far, far away ☺
To my biggest surprised, I feel really awake. Eyes wide opened. I actually feel good, light, and happy ! Which for me, rarely rarely happens in the morning. No kidding. Maybe it’s just the jetlag I’m thinking.
So, what should I do ? Should I stay in my bed and meditate ? yesterday was a total disaster though … or should I try the hall ? After all, I’m here for the experience. It’s not everyday that I will meditate this early. So, let’s go to the hall ! Let’s give it a try.
6:30am, I get out of the hall with a big smile : this has been the easiest meditation so far !
The day goes on, and it feels like the meditations are getting longer and longer, harder and harder to maintain as the day goes on. And that neck is still bothereing me. So tense! I try to stretch in between sessions but it feels that nothing would make it go away. I have never had that in my life. I can feel every tiny little muscle around the jaw being so rigid. It’s even deeper than yesterday I think. That’s pretty much all my mind is focusing on during every sessions.
OH MY NECK !! What does this mean ? What do I need to understand here ? This is crazy !
As we are being told to do, I am trying to observe those sensations, no matter how unpleasant they are, with an equanimous mind. Which means, I should be total neutral about them, so that they don’t take over my mind. Once you let your sensations take over your brain, you actually become the salve of your sensations. And that basically became the pattern of our minds ! We are so used to react to every sensations, and we ususally do not realize that it makes us miserable.
Back to that neck pain, another thing of course is the more you fix on the pain, the more intense it gets ! And as you are stuck here in this room, you have NO OTHER CHOICE but to face your challenge and see things “as they are”. Yes, there is some intense tensions here, but so what ? I’m keep telling to myslef : “just accept it, and let it go. It is what it is.”
Good thing is, as soon as I leave the hall, the beautiful outside surroundings is always here to cheer me up ☺ So I am still in this very happy mood, regardless the crazy pain. Did I alrealy tell you it was most intense tension I’ve ever felt ???
DAY 3 : THE TIME IS NOW
I’m awake again pretty early and I’m actually happy to go to the hall before breakfast. Again, it was a good one ! I mean, this very early practice is definitely the easiest one for me. I’m telling myself I have to stick to it and go every morning a little earlier, until I make it to 4:30am sharp. That’s a deal!
The day goes on, and I think the neck situation is a little bit better. But the relief wasn’t long… ohhhhh my god ! It feels like once something passes, another comes up. And this one is a real STRUGGLE : TIME.
Obviously, we have no idea what time is it when we are in the meditation hall. And, one hour is 60mins, nothing new here ☺ but 60 mins guys ! Do you have any idea how many thoughts we can have in 60 mins ? That’s insane. The first few minutes are usually fine, but soon I start asking myself : are we 30mins into the meditation ? Or 20 min ? I have no idea. I feels definitely like 30, or even 40min. But what if we are only 20 mins in ? OHHHHHH every time I was having such thoughts, all of the sudden I would feel a crazy heat coming up, like fire burning inside me. Impatience. Sweat. I could feel my heart beating faster, and all those things in a second. All of that agitation just because of one thought : what time is it ? when is it gonna be over ? How much there is still to go ?
Guys, that day was my biggest challenge. I had this heating/burning sensations many, many times in one hour of meditation. Everytime I was about to crack up and move, and everytime I had to refocus on the breathe. The now. This moment right here, right NOW. That’s all that matters. Until I was back to normal. And then it would start all over again. I have no idea how many times I went to this process in one hour, but enough to make me sweat like a good yoga class ! I know that I am the fire type, but it got even more obvious here!
When you read books on the present moment, like “the power of now” from Etckart Tolle for example, you usually understand the concept, at some level. At least that how I felt when I read it.
When you go through a hard time in your life, like going through a breakup, of dealing with the death of a loved one, memories of the past drives you nuts and the idea of future makes you anxious, you know you have to take it day after day. Then you have a little deeper understanding, I think, of this “power of now”.
And then, when you spend an hour spending every second of your time coming back to the NOW, you certainly have an even deeper understanding of that.
I’m telling you guys I have never understood it at such a deep level. This is what the teacher call “the experience at the actual level, the physical level”. You have to experience the law of the Universe “IN THE FRAMEWORK of your body” in order to really understand them.
Now I truly understand this power of now. This is what saved me! I couldn’t afford to think about the remaining minutes when I was into my meditation, otherwise I was literally freaking out. I had to come back to the present moment, every moment. And that’s how, breath after breath, I would make it through the hour.
What a powerful, POWERFUL lesson.
At the end of the day, after many hours of struggle, I was doing better. I would have less and less of those “heat” during the hour.
What a day !
DAY 4 : VIPASSANA DAY : PRESSURE IS ON
I’m so proud to stick to this very early practice. There is not a lot of people in the room, so it’s pretty quiet and I like that.
I feel actually good today. I mean my neck pain is pretty much gone, and I’m done struggling with the time ! So the meditations are getting easier. I have other pains coming up though, like the knees that are starting to bothering me, but I feel that I can manage.
So the morning is pretty good, and as I feel that it’s getting easier I’m staying even longer into the hall.
But the thing is I didn’t realized today was a special planning ! Today is actually VIPASSANA day, meaning we actually start vipassana only now. The first 3 days were just preparation with what we call Apana meditation (focusing on the breathe to develop the concentration of the mind, Samadhi).
As it is a special day, we are asked to stay 2 hours straight in the hall during the explanations of the teacher. When I hear 2 hours straight I suddently panicked again, because I thought that from now on it was gonna be 2 hours straight everytime ! (see how fast from one simple information we easily build up a whole story!). And all of the sudden the same heat/fire hits me again. As the explanations go on, I realize that actually I misunderstood. The teacher started to explain that from now on, we will practice ADHITANA, the sitting of strong determination for one hour straight. What does this mean ? it means that we make a priority now to absolutely not do any major movement for the whole hour of meditation.
Actually that’s was I was doing already since day 1. So I should be happy right ?
Well no, I had a complete different reaction to that. As soon as he said that, the pressure was on. Like if I was tested. I was afraid to fail (even though I was already doing it). I was afraid to be not good enough. This is not something new, I had that feeling during all my studies. I hate being tested. I loose all my capacity. It’s been like that forever ! even when I was very young, I was so scared of failing, sacraed of disapointing someone, and so on. THAT SHIT HAS TO STOP !
So I keep telling myself : I am doing that for myself. I have NOTHING TO PROOVE.
Over and over again, until the anxiety goes away. I can’t believe the pressure i put onto myself today, for really no reason. Just the fear of judgement. After a few hours of dealing with that, I think I finally got back to my senses. That mantra really helped “I am doing that for myself. I have NOTHING TO PROOVE TO ANYBODY.”
When I went to bed this night, I started to realize I was becoming very sensitive. I could feel A LOT of energy flowing in my body. It’s not a new feeling, but it’s a little bit more intense than usual. I kinda feel like I’m floating in the clouds, and I really like that ☺
DAY 5 : I GOT THIS
I totally got this. I passed through this time challenge, I passed through this outside pressure challenge, and no doubts now I can do the hour without moving a finger.
Pain is mostly in the knees those days, but I can manage. I feel like I GOT THIS !! I’m in a powerful mode. I’m confident. I feel good. Things are easier it seems.
We are half way through, and the words of the teacher resonning in my mind : “make best use of your time, the last remaining days are very important, make best use of your time”
I think I should go deeper now. I have to push myself a little bit more. I can’t stay in this comfortable “I got this” kinda state. It’s time to take a step forward ! So I will keep going earlier and earlier in the morning, staying longer when I can, etc.
DAY 6 : SO WHAT ?? !
I told myself I had to push myself a little bit more, so I’m trying 1h30 straight this morning before breakfast. And it went easily. I get out of the hall, starting to feel like well, so what now ?
Honestly, I’m starting to feel a little bored. Seriously, what now ? I mean I’m doing everything they ask, and well, I’m not sure I’m getting anywhere.
Also another thing is bothering me. So far I’ve seen a lot of people going through breakdowns, big time. Girls crying, guys freaking out in the meditation hall, it seems that there is a lot going on many of us. And I am just here, feeling like everything is normal. At first I was pretty happy, but now I’m doubts are taking over.
Is it not working on me ? How come I don’t feel anything deep like them ? Maybe I’m not working properly ? Maybe I’m doing something wrong ?
See how crazy this is ? I was actually looking for the breakdown, or something intense, just to prove that something was going on.
This is crazy how much we tend to always compare ourselves with others, and that’s one of the big reason why we are not allowed to talk. Because everyone has a very unique experience, and there is no meaning in looking for having the same experience as someone else !
But still, I guess it’s our natural behavior.
Anyway, the day goes on, still on this kinda down mode. It’s the first time since I’ve been here that I loose my super happy/excited mode.
But then something again happens : on my way to the tea break, at 5pm, the crazy full moon rises ! Incredibly big and gold like the sun, we are all watching a VIP show in silence and in awe with this amazing Nature. This is unbelievable ! I can feel her powerful energy. I feel that she’s here to cheer me up !! This show is just incredible and it reminds me all the magic of the Universe.
I’m back again, so grateful to be able to witness this beauty. I dedicace all my evening meditations to her, and it feels like she is giving me wings.
It’s funny because tonight’s discourse was about doubts that can come in and can be an ennemy to meditation. Excatly what I experienced today ! So I guess I’m in the right track, if there is one.
There is a lot a energy flow going on when I go to bed. So much that I feel my head spinning, but again, I like that ☺ I feel super safe and protected, I know the moon is right above my head. It makes me feel happy.
DAY 7 : FULLMOON HIGH
A little bit earlier every morning ! I’m up for a 1h45 meditation before breakfast. When I get up, the sky is still dark and the full moon is still here ! I feel that I’ve spend the night with here, haha. This is amazing.
I’m impressed, the 1h45 went good. A little long at the end, but I made it !
I get out of the hall, the sky is crazy PINK and the full moon is still here !! I’m in awe.
This is just amazing.
During the afternoon meditations, I’m starting to feel that “free flow” that the teacher has been talking about. As I passed the challenges from the first few days, I can now be more focus on the actual meditation technique.
Little by little the pains are dissolving, and sometimes I can feel the flow of energy being fluid throughout the whole body. I have to say, it’s a great feeling. But the teacher warned us not to be attached to that either !
I’m enjoying it anyway. Energy is flowing, pain is mostly gone, happiness is here.
During one of the breaks, I got back into my room. I’m lying there thinking about the surprise I made to my mum before leaving. I didn’t tell her I was gonna make the cover of Yoga Journal France on december 15th, I just told her to go check the stores on this day. So it is supposed to go out tomorrow. I can imagine how happy she’s gonna to be. I imagine her face when she will see it, and while I’m thinking about that I suddently feel a HUGE wave of INCREDIBLE HAPPINESS ! more than that, I have no words to express. It’s an explosion of JOY in my body. So much JOY that I can’t even contain it. My heart has never been so full. Like physically full. Again, I have no words to describe this feeling of wholeness. It was just incredible !
DAY 8 : 2H
This is it ! Today I am trying the 2 hours meditation. From 4:30am to 6:30am. I can’t even believe I’m doing this ! And the weirdest part is, I’m even excited about this !
I am sitting on my cushion at 4:30am straight and the game is ON !! 2 hours man, this is long… I’m feel ok, Some pain here and there, but I’m ok. I can do this, I know I can. I don’t have the time pressure, but still I’m waiting for it to be over. Time passes, and passes, and passes. Damn it’s long. No big struggle, but damn it’s long.
Finally, the ending chanting starts ! Halleluyah !! But still I know I have about 15/20 mins left. The pain is getting intense all of the sudden but I will stay no matter what !! Finally over, man I did this. This is CRAZY ! I DID THIS !
I get out of the hall, and there is an absolutely gorgeous pink sky ! Oh my God ! This like a “congratulations” ☺ I am so happy ! 2H ! 2H ! I can’t believe this !
I am super excited at first, but quickly I realize : you know what, after all, 1 hour or 2 hours, what’s the difference ?? More than that, I’m realizing now that I was actually craving the challenge ! That was my challenge, I wanted to test myself and see what I could do. I was craving the goal ! And now what ? I did the maximum that they allow us to do without a break. So now what ?
I’m realizing that now I’m finally breaking free from my own personal challenges. I’m finally free ! Free of the time pressure, free from the outside pressure, and free from my own personal pressure. I can finally sit there, without any goal craving. I think I’m finally starting to actually meditate ! Wow, this is another big lesson here.
I’m also starting to realize how important it is to go through the 10 DAYS ! It’s a whole process, and every day brings something new.
I can finally meditate in peace. It feels like it is the beginning of a complete new journey.
DAY 9 : BURNING SAMSKARAS
Definitely doing this 2hours again, 4:30am-6:30am. If I don’t do it, where I would do it ? Not for the challenge anymore, just because that’s why I’m here for.
The teacher has been talking about burning the samskaras. I’m familiar with this concept, as I learnt that during my time in India a few years ago. But again I realized that this was just an intellectual concept, until now. I think I’ve started to experience it yesterday, and today is getting more obvious.
The idea is simple, we are usually constantly reacting to our sensations : if pleasant, we react by liking it, then craving it. If unpleasant, we react with aversion. We keep reacting, and reacting, and that reacting behavior creates samskaras. Samskaras that we actually accumulate along the day, along the years, along the lifetimes. Some give this definition : a samskara is a “mental impression, recollection, psychological imprint” (source : wikipedia). It can be “good” or “bad”. It works both ways.
Only when we stop reacting, and stop creating samskaras, we can allow the old ones to come up at the surface and burn away. To understand this better, here is the example the teacher gave us : think about your body. Everyday you are feeding it. If you stop feeding it today, it’s not gonna die yet. It’s gonna start taking into your resources. And at some point, It will eventually burn all its resources and then die.
The same concept goes with the smakaras : as long as your accumulating samkaras, things go on. The day you stop creating samkaras is the day you allow old samakaras to get up at the surface. Then, If you have developed an equanimous mind, you will be able to watch that thing comes up at the surface and watch it pass away too.
I think that’s why a lot of stuff are re-appearing when we start this path. Whether you do yoga, or meditation, or just personal development, the beginning can be tumultuous. Because of everything that come up. And sometimes it can get confusing, cause obviously we start those activities to get better, and all of the sudden we find all those deep stuff coming up. So if that’s your case, don’t worry. It’s good ! it’s actually a good sign, a sign that you are doing the work. That’s why, I think, the beginnings can be uncomfortable. But remember, every effort you make on the path is good. It’s liberating.
Anyway, back to my experience. I think I have really experienced that burning fo the samkaras. At the beginning of the retreat, my mind was creating my struggles. It was so obvious, especially day 3 with my time struggle. My mind would generate a thought, and then it was starting to serie of reactions.
But the last day or so, my mind has been really calm. Not that I don’t have any thoughts, but I don’t have thoughts that disturb my mind anymore. I feel very at peace and very calm. And now I can see stuff coming up at the surface, and I’m balanced and detached enough that I can see the whole thing : I feel it coming, I know it’s not from my thoughts, I have no idea where it comes from, but I’m watching it, and I’m like wow, this is actually amazing ! That one time, I got a burning sensation coming from the belly up until my head. Something really, really hot. And I was just watching that, until it just disappeared ! Another time, I had some very strange sensation in my throat, really unpleasant actually. So intense that it would bring tears in my eyes, just because of the strong itching sensation. But again, I was able to watch it from the outside and watch it pass away. That was very, very interesting. I had this thing in the throat several times. I was amazed by the whole thing. This is really strange and amazing at the same time. I don’t know where it comes from, but I have a feeling it comes from far far away.
Also I was feeling lighter and lighter the last days. Physically lighter. I noticed I was walking differently. Or at least the sensations in my hips were different.
I think I do understand now, on a way deeper level, this concept of samkaras. It makes way more sense now ! Again, the experience at the physical level, the actual level. Everything makes much more sense !
DAY 10 : GRATITUDE
I wonder if I should go for the 2hours early meditation today. After all, I’ve done a good job, ans this is the last day. Maybe I can skip it ?
I decided to go anyway. Again, when I will have the opportunity to do that in the “real life” ? I’m going.
SO GRATEFUL I went ! I was the absolute BEST meditation ever of MY LIFE. INCREDIBLE. Not an ounce of impatience, not an ounce a pressure, no pain, I could have stay there forever. At least that’s how it felt ☺ I was here, I was in the now. I WAS, simply. An immense wave of gratitude envelop my body at the end. The first really tears came out. I couldn’t stop crying ! for the last 15 min, during the ending chanting, I was just crying. So much joy, so much gratitude, for this path. For every step I take, no matter how little it seems. I know that every step brings more freedom, more happiness. This journey guys, this is pure magic.
Later on today, the noble silence. I’m clearly not ready to talk again. I know it’s gona be crazy, and clearly it was. I didn’t talk at first, I went back to my room. Hearing all the girls telling their stories. It was a little bit overwhelming for me. I was good in my peaceful place. I finally ended up talking to a few people. It was good to exchange. We had such different experiences ! And as a teacher said, it’s a first step before going back to the “real world”. It’s good to see people smiling. Everybody is so happy and relieved ! We can feel liberation in the air. Lots of joy and happiness. WE MADE IT ! We all went through a deep journey.
I don’t know if I’m ready to go back to the world, but I’m happy to think that I’m going back to LA. This is the perfect place for me to process this experience. I’m getting excited to go back to my favorite places in Venice !
DAY 11 : WE ARE FREE !
This is it ! after the last meditation and the last discourse, we are free to go. What an incredible feeling of FREEDOM !
I’m getting a ride from a girl who was serving us at the kitchen. We decide to take some time in joshua tree, and we start with going for breakfast. She was dying for a coffee ! We got in a nice little place in Johua tree. LIFE AGAIN ! everything feels so good ! I mean music, people smiling, talking, LIFE !
We ride through the National Park, which is just amazing, I love it so much.
WHAT A CRAZY JOURNEY WE’VE BEEN THROUGH. I AM HAPPY, I AM LIGHT, I AM FREE. FELLINGS ARE AMPLIFIED. I SEE BEAUTY EVERYWHERE. I SIMPLY AM.
Im’ back in LA late in the evening, and the coming back is the whole new story …
Follow on to the next post !
But for now, here is what I want to say : every step on this path of self discovery is a BLESSING. No matter where you are on your path, if you want to go deeper, if you are willing to do the work, just GO ! Just do IT. Take that first step. Don’t wait until you’re ready, because really who is ready to sit 10 hours a day anyway ?
Of course, I think my experience of vipassana was pretty smoth because I’ve done a lot of work before. With yoga, hypnosis, and many other things. Who knows, maybe I did a lot of vipassana in my past lives ☺
But I’ve seen people from absolutely all kind of backgrounds. You don’t have to be a meditator to go there, you don’t need any requirement. Just your willingness to dive deep into yourself. It is accessible to all. The technique is pure, it is simple, it is universal. And that’s what I realy like about it. It is there, all we need is practice. It’s a long journey, but again every step is a step that brings you more freedom & more happiness.
“A journey of a thousands miles begins with a single step”
— Lao Tzu