Wednesday, December 25, 2013

365 Inspirations—359: Silent Night: Heading off to a 10-Day Meditation Course

Northwest Vipassana Center in WA State
“Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.”—Sylvia Boorstein

Today I'm leaving the world of mass communication behind. I'm heading off to CA at 11:00AM for a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation course.

I've written many posts about Vipassana and you can find out more about the retreats I participate in here.

I've practiced Vipassana as taught by S.N. Goenka since 1996 and although I've done long, silent meditation courses of 20, 30 and 45 days in the past, theses days I try to maintain a daily meditation practice and do at least one 10-day course a year. Sometimes I'm not always able to do it.

For the past two years, I've only been able to attend three-day courses at the center in Washington State, so this will be my first full course in a long time.

I used to be super ambitious about meditation and then I realized that that sort of defeats the purpose which is to simply be aware no matter where you are or what you are doing.

I used to be on committees, serve on courses a lot and do all that I could do.

Now I realize that my goal is just to feel my breath and be aware anywhere and everywhere. I try to maintain a daily practice too, but it's not always easy.

What I've found is that meditation is happening all the time, all we have to do is drop into it. Meditation courses just help to remind me of what is always there, I just have to make the choice to tune in.

So I'm making that choice.

I'm heading off to 10-days of silence again. No phones, no internet, no writing, no driving, no talking—just me and my breath.

I will let you know how it goes.

Would you ever consider going to a silent meditation course for 10-days?


  1. thanks for sharing this, i do some days think of a course like this but i don t feel ready yet

  2. I hope you have a wonderful time at your meditation course. A wonderful tie as in a time of wonders.

    I share your concern that we live in a world of too much noise, and too little silence. I hope both of us can change that a little bit this year. But a ten-day retreat is a bit of a stretch. For, me the starting point would be ten minutes, then building up to ten hours.

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

  3. I can hardly imagine 10 days! There was I a time in my life when I could without a second thought, but these days I'm so wired and connected. I will be giving this a lot thought. With a New Year upon us, this may be a good start with an unconnected day or two of meditation! Best wishes!