Vipassana Diary : Code of Discipline

Vipassana is a technique that helps eradicate suffering. It is a method of mental purification which allows one to face life’s tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way.

Now, this process of self-purification by introspection is certainly not an easy journey. Also ten days is certainly a very short time to penetrate the deepest levels of the unconscious mind and learn how to eradicate the complexes lying there. But nevertheless, it is a sufficient time to learn the technique.

To learn about this mental purification process one has to follow the code of discipline.

As I mentioned earlier, following are the rules the students have to follow :

  • No talking, touching or eye contact with other students
  • Men and women students are segregated at all times
  • No intoxicants, sexual activity, stealing, telling lies or killing
  • No reading, writing, electronics or any other means of communication or entertainment
  • Strict adherence to the Vipassana method of meditation so that we could give it a ‘proper trial’ during these 10 days (this included religious rites, praying, etc.)
  • Most important of all, to finish the 10 day course

I had virtually no issue with any of these rules. I was perfectly at peace with myself and did not even had the desire to talk to anyone. I did talk to my teacher everyday for I had a lot of queries.

But I did break this noble silence. There was this young girl who travelled with me to the Vipassana centre. We got talking en-route and got to know a bit about each other. On day 1 of the course, I saw that she missed a few sessions and when she did come, she looked unwell.  Then I overheard the teacher and the attendants talking about her health. She didn’t look well on day 2 and noticed her absence in some more sessions. On day 3, when we were walking back to our rooms after lunch, I asked her about her health. As she was speaking to me, there were tears in her eyes. I half hugged her.

Later on, I was thinking about my actions and reasoned that it comforted her, so it was ok to break a few rules, once in a while.

As we were busy from 4 in the morning till 9 in the evening, there was no desire for doing anything else but crash on bed and sleep. I didn’t think about reading books or watching TV or missed social media. I realized that all the restrictions and a hectic schedule were needed to create the optimal meditation environment.

Absence of distractions does pull you deeper into yourself. Silence and being left to one’s own thoughts really forces you to focus on your feelings without reacting to them. Also, since there was nothing to distract my mind, I was able to be in the present and experience my state of mind and emotions and understand myself too.

Not every meditation session was intense. There were times when I felt sleepy or bored or distracted or plain uncomfortable.  I did check with my teacher about this and was told that it was all normal. If we observe these unpleasant emotions mindfully, gradually we’re able to let go of them sooner. And I practically saw this happening to me.

One thing is very clear that to walk and grow on this spiritual path, one has to work very hard. And the thing is that one has to learn by their own efforts to arrive at their own realizations. No one else can do this for them. Therefore, this form of mediation will suit only those who are willing to work seriously and observe the discipline.

What did I learn from these 10 days of solitude? Stay tuned for the next  chapter of the Vipassana Diary.

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