As anything in this non perfect world, there can be negative side effects of the Vipassana meditation technique too.
During the meditation, a Vipassana student receives fine (pleasant) or rough (disgust) sensations of the body. His/her main task is to stay indifferent to them. Just as a person sitting on the riverbank observes the river’s flow, this is the same way the practitioner of Vipassana should observe the flow of sensations of his body without any reaction to them, whatever they bring with — pleasure or disgust.
To stay indifferent to the body’s sensations is the biggest challenge for students, and, unfortunately, some people are becoming addicted to the sensations. If the sensation of the body is pleasant, they enjoy it. If the sensation is rough, they hate it. Coming back to the Vipassana courses to enjoy those sensations, the students receive extra negative karma, which course a delay of liberation.
Organization of the training
While there may be a lack of organizing and planning skills generally in India, the Vipassana course is organized very well.
There are ten full days in the training. You will come on the first day or “zero day” for registration, introduction lecture, and other practical things. One of those practical things is delivering your valuables and all communication means to storage.
There is a wake-up ring at 4 a.m. with a following ring of a servant at 04:25 a.m. The training starts at 4:30 a.m. sharp in the main meditation hall.
This is the most intensive course that I have ever attended. A training session lasts 12 hours per day. Ten hours is dedicated to meditation and two hours for a lecture. You will have a chance to ask questions from a teacher or an assistant teacher during lunch and before sleep.
You will have time for a nap after a breakfast and a lunch break. There are also additional five-minute breaks available after each one-hour meditation.
The ring for a sleep is at 9:30 p.m., and lights must be switched off.
Food is provided three times per day. It’s purely vegetarian, and legumes are served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Animal protein is available only in yogurt and hot milk with butter.
You can get drinking water from the big water tanks installed to the roof, however, the taste of that water is not the same as we are used to. Bottled water is available at your request, and you can pay for that at the end of the course.
The Vipassana retreat territory is separated in two main areas — one part with housing for women, and another part for men. The canteen has the same principle — men and women have meals in separate rooms.
You will be given a private room or a room with a roommate. The room is humble with a little window, two simple beds, and bathroom with toilet and a limited shower. There is no air conditioning, but a mechanical fan provides an air circulation. You have to have your own lock for the door of your room.
The course is available in English and Hindu. However, even if you know English very well, some words of the English vocabulary that are used in the Vipassana session might be unknown to you, and a misunderstanding of a word might lead to the collapse of understanding the concept of the whole lecture.
Many meditation centers offer language translation devices that are easy to use. Ask an administrator of the meditation center where you are planning to attend if they have an audio device in your native language.
*Note: This article is based on my personal experience and thoughts after my first 10-day meditation course of Vipassana, and is not presented to be an absolute truth. – Jacklyn A. Lo, Author of Redemption novel, http://rbjal.com/
Next article will tell about terms and conditions on the Vipassana retreat, costs of the training, some constrains and preparation for the meditation.
A few years ago, walking in the secluded forest, Jacklyn set a new, ambitious goal for herself― to make a feature movie.
Inspired, she started to write a script, which eventually became a thick novel. The theme of the novel, provided by Higher Consciousness, has made the story unique and unforgettable.
Jacklyn has a Master's Degree in Technology, an MBA in Finance, two years of High Astrology School, and years of self-study in New Age topics.
Currently Jacklyn lives in Europe.
Find more about Jacklyn: http://rbjal.com/about-author/