Today I’m leaving lovely Seattle for ten days. I’m not going on vacation or to some place exciting or exotic. I’m going to Onalaska, Washington, halfway between Portland and Seattle. I’m going to the Northwest Vipassana Center, Dhamma Kuñja. I posted about Vipassana a couple weeks ago, and since then have felt called to go. Here is my post about Vipassana to jog your memory about the practice. Don’t worry! I have fun and exciting posts all lined up for the entire time. Stay tuned for amazing guest posts from my inspiring friends and fun tips for teachers, inversions, and more.
- to see things as they really are.
- (in Theravada Buddhism) meditation involving concentration on the body or its sensations, or the insight that this provides, inward vision.
- India’s most ancient technique of meditation, taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills.
Vipassana retreats are no joke. It is a ten day meditation described as a mental purification to eradicate suffering. The code of conduct prohibits talking, communication with the outside world, eating after midday, prayer, physical activity, music, reading, writing, and several other distracting behaviors. (Full code of conduct here)
. I’ve met three people in my life who have participated in Vipassana retreats, and all had amazing experiences. One described it as “the best and worst thing I’ve ever done to myself.”
A woman I respect and admire very much told me of how she focused on the spot between her nose and mouth intently for three days. One the third day, she could feel that spot, it’s energy became very vivid to her. She says she can always come back to it to ever since. A friend I met at Baptiste Level 1 training said by the last few days, he could sit outside and marvel at the world and hours would pass by that felt like minutes.
It’s clearly a transforming process, if not just radical. Vipassana meditation gives concrete results too- A prison in the south with one of the highest records of violence in the country ran a Vipassana retreat and had stunning results. You can watch the documentary on netflix, it’s called The Dhamma Brothers.
I’d love to experience a Vipassana retreat, but right now ten days seems like a huge amount of time for me to take from the world. Sad, I know. All the info about Vipassana here
, including if there’s one in your area. They’re run by donation only.
As you all must know by now, I am a huge Macklemore fan. Here’s his take on Vipassana.
“Yesterday, forget it
Tomorrow is, nada
The present is, right here, through the breath, watch it”
“Learnin’, yes, reflectin’ on what matters
People, permanence, lack of attachments
It’s space and time, a couple man-made distractions
The measure of a spirit that no human can ever capture”
“I don’t control life, but I can control how I react to it
Student of the breath, brick beats and balancin’
Desire versus truth until I finally find happiness”
Namaste, and you can expect a full report of my experience when I return!