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How To Change Your Life in Just 10 Days

VIpassana Pagoda meditation Centre

Recently I did an incredible trip. A trip I always wanted to do, to a place very close to my heart. Literally, close to my heart.

It was a 10 day trip, away from the various sounds of frequent notifications, away from the beep, the chirp, the whistles, away from the noise pollutions of nearby city, away from reading, writing and talking. It was a trip made in Complete Silence to the depths of my own mind.

I did a 10 days Vipassana meditation.

What is  Vipassana

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

In my humble understanding, it is a 10 days meditation course, done in complete silence, where you get to experience oneself, first through the breath and then through various physical sensations.

Also what I love the most about Vipassana is that, it is free from any labels. It doesn’t belong to a specific religion, community, sect, god or anything. Vipassana teaches a universal path to enlightenment.

This technique was taught by Gautama Buddha. It doesn’t mean that it belong to a religion. “This is a non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.”

Discipline

This intensive meditation requires a lot of discipline and dedication. 10 days of noble silence is not as easy as one might think. Noble silence includes, not talking to fellow meditators, no gestures, not even an eye contact. And meditate or rather sit at a place for hours is also not easy as it sounds. A weak mind might want to run away from such a situation.

Also you have to follow a 5 precepts. During the period of the course, one has to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, speaking falsely, and intoxicants.

Daily schedule

The day starts at 4am. Gong will be sounded at 4am. And the meditation starts from 4.30 am.

Vipassana Daily Time Table
Vipassana Daily Time Table

This is how a day during Vipassana course looks like.

Food

If you are still ‘worried’ about food and other things during this meditation course, a healthy vegetarian food is provided for everyone. As one is going there to meditate and not for a culinary journey, one might not find what they ‘craves’. Hopefully at the end of this course, when one learns more about oneself, he/she will be free from all cravings 😉

Accommodation

Very neat accommodation with attached bathroom is provided on twin sharing basis. Bed, pillow, bed sheet, pillow cover are provided. Men and women have separate living quarters. Also as per the discipline and rules, Complete segregation of men and women is to be maintained.

Experience

This is a step by step meditation technique. I have never attended a meditation course or class before. Also never been able to meditate not even for a short time. But the silent environment and group meditation helped me to focus on the one aim- to try and meditate properly. And the step by step approach, starting with concentrating on breath and then narrowing down the point of concentration further, also helped me.

Maintaining noble silence for 10 days wasn’t a problem for me. But not everyone would share this same feeling as mine. I could see the happiness at the end of the course, when finally everyone was allowed to speak. I guess many of them were waiting for that moment to break the silence.

But this silence gave me a lot of good things. Ideas and positive thoughts were the first thing that I noticed, when I was maintaining the silence. They were flooding my mind. Even though I could not meditate properly because of these  thoughts, I was happy that my thoughts were happy and inspiring.

The only problem I had to face was not food, not accommodation, not the discipline, not the noble silence, not ‘no reading no writing ‘ rule, but the difficulty to quiet my mind and to concentrate on my meditation. It was a great experience when I accepted the fact and let go the frustrations of not being able to concentrate properly.

Effects

Thousands and thousands of people have benefitted from this technique in this modern days. This technique will help one to understand more about oneself. Through self discovery, one finds the root causes of their problems and thus becomes a better person. This meditation technique is taught even in the prisons and helping a lot of prisoners in various prisons in various parts of the world. This technique is changing their lives. If such deep-rooted hatred can be influenced, this technique must be effective.

Teachers

Since the time of Buddha, Vipassana has been handed down, to the present day, by an unbroken chain of teachers. Although Indian by descent, the current teacher in this chain, Mr. S.N. Goenka, was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar). While living there he had the good fortune to learn Vipassana from his teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin who was at the time a high Government official. After receiving training from his teacher for fourteen years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. Since then he has taught tens of thousands of people of all races and all religions in both the East and West. In 1982 he began to appoint assistant teachers to help him meet the growing demand for Vipassana courses.

How much will it Cost?

All courses are run solely on a donation basis. All expenses are met by donations from those who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the same opportunity. Neither the Teacher nor the assistant teachers receive remuneration; they and those who serve the courses volunteer their time. Thus Vipassana is offered free from commercialisation.

Now What do you think?

I know you are too busy in your life and can’t  get a 10 day off.  Meetings and appointments are important, deadlines are deadly, commitments cannot be broken.

Yes, you have been living that life for long enough. All you need is just 2 weeks from your life. What if the years to come will change for better? Why don’t you just try?

How to try?

Vipassana centres can be found all over the world. If you are lucky, you can find centre very near to your place.

You can find all the locations from this link : Locations

All you need to do is, find if there is any ’10 day course for the new students’ near your centre. If there is one, apply for it and register yourself. Once you register, wait for the starting day of the course , and reach there in the afternoon on that day. You really need not have to carry anything except a few pairs of loose clothes and toiletries. Probably a water bottle too.

All your electronic gadgets, books, writing materials, pen paper, notebook etc have to be deposited with the management on the First day itself.  After that you will live the life of a monk/nun for the next 10 days and practice Vipassana.

So If you think you have a strong mind to follow the discipline,  if you have at least 12 days to spare from your busy life, do experience this amazing technique.

Bonus Point

Depending upon the centre, one get to meditate in the cells of beautiful Pagoda like this.

VIpassana Pagoda meditation Centre
VIpassana Pagoda : meditation Centre

For more/all information : Vipassana International Website

PS: I’m sorry for the missed comments, delayed replies and not going through your post during this time.

trablogger
Photographing the journeys to recreate the Travels to take you for a virtual Photo walk.
http://www.trablogger.com

137 thoughts on “How To Change Your Life in Just 10 Days

      1. On a serous note, I had subscribed to your blog using email…but not getting notifications for the past few months … don’t understand why because I didn’t unsubscribed it to my knowledge.

        1. You have a proper website, right? ‘.com’ one. It happens at times in those self hosted websites. Try unfollowing and following again. I am not updating regularly. That could also be a reason for not getting any updates 😉

  1. Vipassana sounds interesting. Is this kind of yoga? What happens after you complete the course? Can you practice it on your own or some specific setup required? Hope you don’t mind answering so many questions in one comment 🙂

    1. Vipassana is meditation. After you finish the course you go home 😛 If you are asking about certificates or anything, there aren’t any. Once you finish the course, you will know how to do this meditation technique, which you can do at home without any specific setups. Just need to find some time for doing it. They advice 1 hour in the morning and night. Anyway at home, you are the boss. You can decide and do accordingly. Hope I answered all your questions 😉

  2. Hey Ruth, good to see you again after a long time 🙂 Yea, I miss too, our collaborative work. Glad you read it. It was a great experience for me. Maybe you should also try and make me proud 😀
    Do keep in touch 🙂

    1. I am sure that it will be the best decision you can ever make and this is going to be the best experience so far in your life 🙂 So why don’t you just try it

  3. I love this idea. Thank you for sharing your experiences in such great detail. You answered many of the questions that popped up in my head when I read of your trip. I have never considered anything like this before but I would now.

    1. Hey Jenny, Glad you enjoyed this post. Thank you for reading and leaving a very thoughtful comment. So are you ready for your meditation retreat yet?! 😀
      I hope you can find a centre near your place.

    1. Thank you so much Jason, for reading. Now I am super sure that you read a lot of blogs! Yes, I had a great ‘self time’. Would you be interested in trying it?

        1. haha.. I wasn’t sure if you were being sarcastic or telling me the truth. Anyways I am sure this will help you. And probably can give you a new perspective 🙂

    1. Yes, it sounds wonderful. And it is really wonderful as well. So you have found a place near you. Maybe the ringing in your ears wont disturb you anymore after you go there. Why don’t you just try? What if it changes you for better?

  4. It must have been an impressive experience! You made me want to try… for that time when I can take 10 days off again (I just started working again…).
    It sounds amazing! You must be feeling so light and calm now.

    by the way, no need to apologize for not having had time to answer your emails. You were doing something MUCH more important for you.

    1. Yes, indeed a wonderful experience. I’d be glad if you try and let me know about your experience 🙂 Definitely there are some subtle changes in me. Glad you could understand that I was away and doing something important for me 🙂
      Thank you so much for reading.

  5. Well done! I have lots of colleagues who did it in India and Thailand and they were litteraly transformed. So at peace, relaxed, and they look radiant, really. Not for me though, 10 days is simply impossible. I wanted to go for 2 days, but they told me that you must do the 10 before. Maybe later, when the kids will be grown up, at their young age I would be too worried to leave them for so long.
    In Thailand, they also had a “variety” of those 10 days. Instead of the traditional meditation, they were given clay to let their creativity express itself. Loved this idea.

    1. Good to know about some more positive results of this meditation. Yea, I can understand your situation. Well they have the shorter days course only if you completed the initial 10 days course. Well I am sure you can find some other commercialised meditation packages for 2 or 3 days in Thailand and similar places. Well I do agree with the fact that meditation can be of any other form. I do consider photography and driving one another form of meditation 😉

      1. In Thailand it was free as well, all imported from India, teachers as well. They also do it in jails, for prisoners and guards .Isn’t it a great initiative ? Another Indian team,. Initially the Thai authorities were pretty reluctant . Then they saw the results: far less violence, less frustrations as well. Again very impressive

        1. I guess you have found the Vipassana centre in Thailand then. And you are talking about Vipassana. They are doing it in the prisons all over the world now. Maybe you can think of incorporating Vipassana in any of your projects.

          1. Of course! I take it very seriously, it’s a lifestyle, not just a diet. That’s why I ll do the 10 day (in due time ;)) but won’t settle for something easier or shorter . Quality comes with a price, that’s how you really appreciate it, don’t you think?

          2. If you are planning to do Vipassana from a Vipassana centre, then you don’t have any other option 😉 YOu have to do the 10 days course first, no shorter courses.
            And yes, quality comes with a price 🙂

    1. Yea, I am sure the centre near your place is also very beautiful. The walkway was just beautiful here in my centre. I am happy to hear that. So when are you going to do it?

  6. 11 to 12 hours of meditation daily for 10 days, oh my god! You did achieve something more great…congratulations for that. And thank you for sharing it, I didn’t knew there is a centre here in Lucknow too, I am going to try for sure! 🙂

    1. I think it was 8 hours per day. Well it is not continuous meditation. There are break in between each sessions. You don’t know yet, you can also do this. This isn’t really an achievement. But if you do this on your own, then one can call it as an achievement.
      Thank you for going through the post. I will be very glad if you try it from your nearest centre 🙂 Do let me know your experience once you done it

  7. I have been meditating for a few months myself and have found it to be very helpful. Although I have never done a straight on 10-day course (which I think would be very interesting), just being aware of what your mind is thinking and learning to control my thoughts has been an amazing journey. I have written about the mind in my reflections and it is also the focus of my next writing project.

    1. Good to know that you are self motivated and meditating. Of course, this course is going to be very interesting for you. Do share the link here, if you don’t mind.
      Btw update your gravatar/ profile with your new blog name.

  8. Congratulations !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Conquering the constant fightings in the mind is ….( difficult is too simple word) …. A mere Thanks won’t suffice for sharing the link…. But still, Thank you 🙂

          1. Hmmmmm…. A Sadhu with a lota and a stick and a bunch of cameras 😀 Jus kidding… But yeah, if you think hard on it, it will be a new way of life, more peaceful I believe 🙂

          2. This sadhu can replace the stick with a tripod. And this Sadhu doesn’t have a bunch of cameras 😉 Who knows, maybe modern sadhu’s might have territory invasion problems and all sort of troubles 😉

          3. Seriously !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Btw do you know very soon even Sadhus will have identity cards in order to stop frauds 😛

  9. I am curious to try this one. I am not big on talking, I like solitude and quiet but Im sure my mind would be the most difficult to control. A female blogger I am following also just completed a 10 day course. The words she used to describe her feelings and sensations during and after the experience was beyond imagine. Congratulations! I thought you are still in Dubai. 😉

    1. Do try before your curiosity kills a cat or two 😛 I am sure, I can also lure you in with words about ‘out of the world’ experience and stuff. But these experiences can change from person to person. Even though you are going there to eradicate your miseries, these expectations of amazing experiences might lead one to disappointments and to further miseries, when one cannot experience their expectations. So better go without any expectations and experience it.
      But I am definitely interested in reading that blog post. Care to share the link?
      Well now you know that I am back from Dubai 😉 Thank you for reading 🙂

      1. I will, someday… I think my stars are telling me to because you are the second person I know in a span of a couple of months who has done it. For sure, I don’t want to be killing any cats just to experience out of this world bliss! 😉
        This blogger that I was telling you about did not write a post about it (yet?) but I found it on her Facebook page. I am not sure if this link is clickable but just click away…
        https://www.facebook.com/infinitesatori/photos/a.390398197656751.103607.220385941324645/1045166415513256/?type=1&theater

        1. I was also waiting for that someday. I first heard about it while travelling. Then the main highlight was ‘its free’ to try. Then again I heard from a fellow traveller. She wanted to try it. Then the key words was it is “freeing” from worries. And the third time when I was stuck somewhere with no plans, I myself told about it. And luckily there were a course available the next week itself. Now you are waiting for your third reminder 😉
          Satori. Yea, I am also following her through my page. But didn’t read this story. Thank you for finding the post and sharing.

          1. The power of three. Yes, I believe in that too. Who knows, when I least expect it, I may hear of Vipassana again and then, it is time…
            So you are following Satori too? She is my biggest female travel blogger inspiration. 🙂 Her words and photos are just too beautiful and magical!

          2. Third time is the charm 😉
            Yes, I am following her, but not a avid follower like you. I like her images and words. She already has this spiritual side in her. No wonder, she had an amazing experience at Vipassana. She indeed is an inspiration 🙂

          3. Like you said, everybody coming in shouldn’t have any expectations and coming out, I’m sure everyone has varying degrees of powerful experiences as well. Yes, Satori is my “girl crush” not in the physical way but in the artistic, creative and spiritual way. 🙂 If there is such a thing!

          4. At the end of the course, if you really followed it, you will be free from all cravings and aversions 😀 So no more expectations and disappointments 😉
            Haha.. She is your girl crush. Cool

          5. My question is are you supposed to follow through and apply all/part of what you have learned in the course? Or can you just consider it a learning experience and go on your normal merry human way? If you don’t apply the teachings in your day to day life, then what use is this 10 day silent retreat? (apart from maybe shedding a few pounds from eating vegan food) I am not planning on converting to Buddhism but if you are a Christian, will it not contradict with some of your beliefs? Just a few thoughts I have tonight while we are at it

          6. You are supposed to practice what you have learned. Otherwise what Is the use of it. Do you think, you can unlearn everything that you have learned through all these years, in just 10 days and free from all your worries?! That is not going to happen in any extreme cases. But you are free to follow it or forget it when you come back from the course. Once the course is finished, you are on your own, and no one will be there to check if you are meditating or not. So in order to continue it, you need to have a great self discipline.
            Maybe you should read the post and the go through the main website. This course will not change any one into any religion. This meditation concnetrates on your breathing and physical sensations. Nothing religious is involved. Just because it was taught by Buddha, it doesn’t make anyone a Buddhist. Also if you think your belief can be changed and turn you into Buddhist in 10 days, you should worry about your ‘faith’ 😛 As far as I understood, this technique doesn’t contradict with any of your beliefs. But during these 10 days you have to completely devote yourself in this technique. No rites, rituals, religious chanting are not allowed. Just concentrate on yourself as it is. Did it answer your thoughts?

          7. If the experience is that powerful enough and you let it consume you, then I believe anything or anyone can influence or change a person. Sometimes all it takes is just one moment to have a mind altering experience. But then again, it varies from person to person.
            I don’t have much information about this practice to form my own conclusions hence, my random questions. As for converting into another religion/belief/way of life in ten days or more, a lot of people have different reasons for doing so and it is not in our place to judge. I am not speaking specifically for myself but in general. Everyone is seeking something/someone to help them achieve that balance in life. Some people find it, some don’t. It is what it is. Thanks for taking the time to answer some of my questions! Pretty interesting discussion we had there. 🙂

          8. This is one such mind altering thing, if done sincerely and properly. Well I will try to give you a small intro to this technique. In this technique, you don’t chant, verbalise or imagine anything, You are supposed to be aware of your physical sensations, it can be itching, pulsating, vibrating, or even the out of the world tingling sensations 😀
            So it doesn’t advocate any belief system while you are meditating. You are just concentrating on yourself.
            Indeed, everyone is seeking something. That is why there are a lot of followers for each of the Gods and human gods out there. After all it is all about your faith in certain belief system. You are free to choose it 🙂

        1. haha.. you can do it. You just need to try it. If I can, you too can. You are just imagining that you cant do it. Just try if you have time and there is a centre near your place. After all it is free to try 😉

  10. Oh, what a wonderful retreat!!! I’ve done a week, before, and hope to begin to take one day a week for myself, to be away from it all, in whatever kind of meditation comes draws me in on that day.

    Thank you for this most wonderful post!

    1. That sounds nice. I guess we all need some silence at times to refresh and recharge ourselves. Hope you are going to do the secret spot meditation as it is already spring. 🙂

      1. Yes, I definitely like the quiet times. 🙂 When the rains stop, and the temperatures are a bit warmer. Yesterday we didn’t even get out of the 30s (and it’s almost May!), and over night in the upper 20s. But very soon – the forecast is showing 60s and even 70s this week coming. Then I’ll be out communing with the Green Ones! 🙂

    1. Thank you for reading 🙂
      Changes? Well I think they are subtle changes. A 10 days can sometimes bring profound change, but didn’t happen to me. But I think now I am more open to changes than before. Well these experiences can differ from person to person. So you need to experience it yourself. Your experience is your truth 🙂

  11. a 10-day Vipassana meditation, what an achievement! Understanding oneself could be a step to accept oneself. Thank you so much for sharing your special experience with us. Enjoyed the reading.

          1. haha… good question. But how do I know if others were sleeping when I, myself was asleep 😛
            Well if someone is feeling drowsy during the meditation, they can take a break for a few minutes and come back and resume the session.

  12. Hey Jithin,

    Congratulations on your accomplishment…it is a feat of discipline and endurance. One wonders what creative thoughts flooded your mind and when we shall see more of the ‘rewards’, ‘fruits’ and ‘visions’ stemming from your silent labours 🙂

    I have managed 5 days solely by myself and without the phantom-like presence of others and can report back about ‘receiving’ degrees of creative success…but to push that to 10 days is something quite different altogether. Maintaining that level of intimacy with the body and mind is an unprecedented achievement for the layman but no doubt it was incredibly fulfilling. I’d be delighted to know what mysteries your mind encountered, and/or resolved, and what insight into deeper and more perplexing states of being you reached en route to Nirvana?

    Namaste

    DN – 26/04/2015

    1. Dewin,
      Thank you so much for your yet another insightful feedback 🙂
      Well I am working on those creative thoughts, hopefully you all will get to see it soon. If you are able to control yourself all by yourself, it is even more amazing feat. Now that is self discipline, and I don’t think I can do that like you did. But sure I can try it. I am sure, you can push it to 10 days.
      I don’t think I had any profound thoughts. But I had too many inspiring thoughts, more than a normal day. As we were not supposed to record/write anything, I forgot many of them! 😀 I suggest you to try it. Because I believe you will benefit more than me 🙂

      1. Hey Jithin,

        Thank you, you are most welcome J I am always entertained when visiting, and leaving a comment is the least I can do in return for the enjoyment that you provide…and that also your delightful comments.

        In much the same way as you have discovered, the stilled mind (when or if it is achieved…and mine flutters around most of the time like a manic butterfly!) brings forth many wondrous thoughts and ideas: notions that seem to have no origin or destination other than to exist in the ephemeral moment. I found that recalling these thoughts is troublesome in that they were never ‘captured’ and referenced in the first place so finding them again is tricky. However, during the following months I found ‘new ideas’ miraculously developing in response to external stimuli such as sights, sounds, locations, people, circumstances and situations, all seemed to trigger moments of insightful creativity. At the time I did not give my thoughts much credence, ideas come and go all the time, but upon deeper reflection, I came to understand that these ideas were already present in my mind and were seemingly just waiting for the right opportunity to be born. It felt a little like that feeling of deja vu, which one experiences sometimes when arriving at a ‘new’ location and being convinced one had been to that place before. Now then…given your propensity for travel and the natural way you have with people, I would be very surprised indeed if you didn’t find similar triggers forming around you very rapidly. From my own experience, I might advise you to not dwell on the technicalities or viability of the ideas you have come to you, nor deliberate at any length on them un-necessarily, just go with everything you think of and leave no stone unturned! Within the chit-chat of your mind, and within the images you will take, will be those that formed when you meditated for the 10 day period, and it will seem like a revelation of sorts! And I hope it feels as magical and uplifting for you to experience this as it did for me…don’t be surprised if from that moment onwards things are never quite as they were before…you will find yourself one step ahead of where you think you are, and much further down the road than you had ever imagined… 🙂

        I’ll look forward to viewing your forthcoming posts and sharing the enjoyment of your work with your appreciative readership.

        Walk tall and be at peace 🙂

        Namaste

        DN – 27/04/2015

        1. You just gave me a new insight and inspiration to continue my meditations and to pursue those creative ideas that popped up during those days.

          I am glad that I am talking to someone who experienced similar things and I could relate with you. And also you can understand me.

          I am also waiting to see how your miraculously appeared creative ideas, taking the final shape. Well I had deja vu at times even before the meditation. But after the meditation, I haven’t really noticed any major ones.
          Like you said, I am going to trust my intuitions and those ideas and start working on them more religiously. I might not appear in the blog though. But I will definitely let you know about it. Thank you so much for the inspiration, Dewin 🙂

          1. Hey Jithin,

            Maybe I am a merely a trigger and the inspiration is entirely yours and yours alone 😉

            I spent three years working on and off with a professional photographer specialising in low-light and night photography: the experience, and the friendship, whilst compelling and rewarding respectively, provided opportunity to gain valuable insight into the disciplines, motivations, underlying determinations and practical/technical competence required by a photographer to achieve success. That we shared commonality in our interests – my work is based on manipulation and transformation of digital imagery, primarily photographs – helped enormously to enhance the experience for each of us I think. Perhaps that is why in addition to being entertained by the aesthetically pleasing and rich commentary, I can relate to your work more readily from different perspectives and enjoy the creative process with you. Of course, there is great diversity, individuality, objective and purpose in the methods and motivations of every creative mind and one couldn’t begin to unpack those variances with any degree of certainty, however, the underlying personality and characteristics of those impelled by nature to create and express and externalise thought may be generalised, as Carl Jung proposed in his emphatic writing. Should you be interested in reading more, and keeping it all WordPress, a good summative article is available at: http://visionaryfictionalliance.com/2014/10/06/carl-jungs-portrait-of-the-visionary-artist/

            With regard to the experience of deep and sustained meditation…perhaps it is the case that all minds, being interconnected through the One source have the capacity and capability to experience the creative vision equally. The externalisation of these thoughts does not lie solely with the creative artist, but may also be expressed through a multitude of deeds and endeavours in all walks of life with equal merit and with equal fulfilment. I recall a conversation with a colleague at work who once remarked, ‘I wish I was creative, it must be amazing’. To which I replied, ‘through love you conceived and gave birth to a child, you brought a life into this world…isn’t that the ultimate creative endeavour?’

            Namaste

            DN – 29/04/2015

            P.S: Sincere thanks for generous and thought provoking comments on my Blog. I hope to reply very shortly.

            Mi casa es su casa 🙂

          2. Thank you so much Dewin. It is always a pleasure receiving your feedback and tough for me to reply to your intellect. 3 years association of a digital artist and a photographer sounds amazing. It must be very creative period for sure. Thank you for sharing the article. Most of the things flew above my head, I have to admit 😀
            Of course, the going to the depth of mind could possibly helped me to tap to the creativity of the infinite intelligence to which we all are connected. So I guess bringing a new life to this world is also part of such a creative endeavour itself. Thanks again for the thoughtful feedback 🙂

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