Posts tagged s.n. goenka
6 Things I learned as a Vipassana Server

I recently became ill (and am still recovering) while working abroad, and needed to center and heal ASAP. My brain automatically brought Vipassana to mind, because as a student, I experienced sheer peace and happiness from the practice. 🧘🏻‍♀️However, I wanted to be on the other side, I wanted to serve at a course this time. I happened to be en route to Dallas, TX, and was able to locate a center just 45 minutes outside of the city. I contacted them and applied to serve between the courses, as well as partly during a course.

I was so humbled when I was accepted to serve. 🙏🏽As a student, I didn’t realize how much work the servers had on their shoulders, and how happy they were to be serving (the courses are donation-based after all). I also didn’t understand how the center functioned behind boundary lines. As a server, you are there to offer your services, your time, energy and to send Metta (loving kindness) to all of the students sitting at the course, without expecting anything in return. You are there to ensure the students’ needs come first, and that they feel as comfortable as possible to have a successful sitting. I learned that everything in a Vipassana course is set up for a reason, and it made me appreciate the practice even more.

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Vipassana Day 2: Know Thyself (a 12-day Journal of my Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat Experience)

Well, I woke up multiple times throughout the night, and was officially wide awake at 3 AM. I never thought I would look forward to a 4 AM bell, but I really did. It was barely audible when it finally went off. If you didn’t read yesterday’s entry, this twin bed is anything but luxurious, and I would recommend bringing a mattress pad, if you ever attempt your own meditation retreat. The pillow I brought from parent’s home was shaped weird, totally wrong for me, and killed my neck. Since I was up super early, and wasn’t planning on going to the hall to meditate, I decided to use this Korean foot softener concoction that I would have to leave on for two hours while I ‘meditated’ before breakfast. While ‘meditating’, I fantasized about having to clean the communal bathrooms/showers on Day 6. At least I will have something to do, I thought. When I was finished meditating, I decided to re-organize everything I brought with me, because why not? As far as clothing is concerned, I definitely didn’t bring enough for the occasion. Typical me. I guess I will HAVE to hand wash my clothing at some point then. Bummer. As for spa products, I was excited to finally have time to use a deep conditioner in my hair, and take advantage of using face masks. I was also excited to find time to do my stretches and physical therapy exercises. Everyday, I plan to use all of the above, in addition to use a deep conditioner for my feet, oil pull (coconut oil? oops), cleanse and exfoliate my face, brush and floss my teeth multiple times a day, etc. Self care meets boredom FTW.

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Vipassana Day 1: Registration Day aka Welcome to Dhammaland (a 12-day Journal of my Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat Experience)

For some strange reason, they don’t count Registration Day as Day 1. My mom was so kind as to drive me all of the way to Joshua Tree for the retreat, and used every minute to convince me everything was going to be ok… It was a lot of “I can’t do this” and a whole lot of “Well, I’m not turning around” from my mom. En route, I was experiencing symptoms of a UTI. I didn’t know if it was psychosomatic or whether is was the real real, so we stopped by a sketchy gas station to purchase some cranberry juice. I kept thinking it probably wouldn’t do anything with the amount of sugar in it. Do you like cranberry juice in your sugar? We decided to have my Last Supper, or Last Lunch in this case at Sister’s Natural Café in Joshua Tree, which is a favorite of mine in the area. They have vegan/gluten free options galore.

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Intro to Dhammaland - The Happiest Place on Earth: A 12-day Journal of my Vipassana Silent Meditation Retreat Experience

For many years, I wanted to complete a 10-day Vipassana retreat. Why? Because I wanted to know myself in the truest sense. I spend so much time avoiding myself, and trying to fill up my time with every activity in the book so that I do not have to hang out alone. Despite this proclivity for self-avoidance, I truly wanted to find out the root of my anxiety, my chronic guilt, and to finally understand my impulsiveness, my indecisiveness, and my need to keep busy with a million things to feel happy, to feel ‘satisfied.’ I know I am literally the grandmaster at avoiding myself, which is why I thought a retreat, where just me, my ego, and potentially the dark night of my soul could get together for an overdue intervention. The thought of being alone for 10 days in silence simultaneously excited and scared the shit out of me. Hence I chickened out twice before, and gave up my spot to someone I thought would be a more worthy goer. Plus, I was not ready! I had to take the time off work, financially prepare myself, etc etc etc. Finally, I convinced myself that there was no more avoiding. I had to do it.

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