1-day Vipassana retreat, Saturday May 30th 2015

meditation During October 2014 I did my first ten day retreat at the Dhamma Sobhana Vipassanacenter in Ödeshög, in Sweden. It was an intense and interesting experience that i may write more about in another post.

Yesterday there was an opportunity to do a one day retreat here in Gothenburg, and I ceased it. I got up early (05:30) but had not slept enough unfortunately, so my number one issue became sleepiness. It made the Vipassana part really difficult (systematically surveying your body of sensations over and over again), and I often defaulted to the Anapana (breathing focused preparation for real Vipassana work).

If you don´t know what Vipassana is (insight meditation by means of disciplined attention to the physical sensations) is, here´s a description of the Vipassana technique as taught by S.N. Goenka.

The retreat was free, and generally this tradition has; a pay-what-you-can/want policy I really like. Of course they must cover their expenses like everyone else, but this is how they have grown over the world from the days when S.N. Goenka started it! It just works. You can always make a direct donation to the center if you want. The place where it was held, was thanks to a woman in the Gothenburg group with connections to this facility. Thank you!

On my way there, I saw a parked car striped with a slogan “A new start” (in swedish though). I found it a fun little synchroncity.

Resistance is futile!

It´s an understatement to say that that I felt resistance today. Not directly from the start, but as the sleepiness began to grow I began to dream, sitting there. The aching legs thankfully got “worse” and helped me stay awake (mental suffering is optional). I remebered that it took me about two to three days to be more comfortable with the sitting itself from the October retreat. But, I was there, I showed up and added to the possibility to be better at keeping a daily practise. This is hard for me. I see two possible solutions.

1. I go through with at least a 20 day retreat sometime (to build a habit) or
2. I let it grow slowly over time (which is how it´s going right now)

Vipassana versus psychotherapy

Lastly, I just found a video with a working psychotherapist returning from an Indian Vipassana retreat, confirming my own intuitions on the effectiveness of meditation practises (and Vipassana-similar types in particular).

“I actually feel guilty going home, being a talk therapist when I see how helpful this can be.”

Vipassana “Inspiration” from Albert Alba Sultanov on Vimeo.

Facebook rant

It made me write this, on my facebook page (feel free to friend me, if you resonate with the content of this blog):

“I actually feel guilty going home, being a talk therapist when I see how helpful this can be.”

Finally! A working psychotherapist returning from an Indian Vipassana retreat, confirming my own intuitions on the effectiveness of meditation practises (and Vipassana-similar types in particular).

This type of work (universal non faith based tehcniques) goes way deeper and is much more effective than our poor western conscious mind (talk based) psychotherapy. She spoke of ten days equal to five years of talk based therapy!

When I got to my (first) ten day retreat in October last year, I finally got an explanation of the strange physical symptoms I feared were neurological, that were triggered by my “self medication” meditation practises (sensations of vibrations in various parts of the body etc). In reality I had, unknowingly tapped into (small parts of) the techniques of the Buddha himself.

Conclusion? The body is wise, if you give it time and space. Shut up and listen! Your mind has very few real solutions. And you have more issues than you know and so do I.”

Psychotherapy is really like a stone age device in comparison.

And yes, this all connects to the theme of the Consciousness Continuum. The non-physical part is just a part of it, although it´s on a big picture level.

Thanks for dropping by, and please comment on your own meditation experiences!

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1-day Vipassana retreat, Saturday May 30th 2015

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