My year at a Vipassana Center. Part 8 Lessons from the practice.

Most of the lessons I learnt from Vipassana was through service. It is during the day to day activities that I could see the value of the practice. However, whatever was visible in the day to day life, came directly from the practice.

During the hours of silent focus and concentration, our subconscious intelligence surprises us with insight and detail we could never find by just sitting and thinking.

Albert Einstein says: “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant…..(We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.)”

During the practice your life starts unfolding like a beautiful flower dropping old leaves, that are now making way for even more fragrant, fresh and vibrant new growth.

You find new truth in old beliefs, you drop your insecurities, you see your reactions and laugh at how dramatic your behavior is most of the time. You forgive, astounded at why forgiveness is even necessary. Why do we hold on to beliefs in the first place that needs forgiveness?

During the practice you find the connection that we all have with one another – all people, also all things. We find that we are not alone, that we are connected, that truly you love everyone and that everyone loves you…when you allow them to.

When I decided to join the center for an extended period of time, my relationship with my family was not great. I felt resentful towards my siblings. I was resentful towards my parents. I was called irresponsible, foolish and selfish for choosing this path, yet within just a short few months, and without much communication between us, all these relationships started to flourish. I have a very good relationship with my whole family and we often spend close time together. When you start allowing yourself to feel love and understanding, those around you do to. The honest truth is that most people aren’t conscious or interested enough to counteract your vibe, so we may as well make the best of it.

(Of course the topic on toxic relationships can be discussed further and in depth with regards to the above statement, but that is for another.)

The practice of Mettā – loving-kindness at the end of each meditation sitting is probably to most transformative healing tool that exists. Much of our lives are spent in worry or fear, but having just a few moments of projecting wholesome thoughts and wishes to all areas of your life, and the lives of others, in a very focused way, is simply the ultimate way of transformation for me.

One of the insights and experiences that has come directly from the practice, which has helped me over the years and still does, is that in a life with many choices and possibilities you only ever need to be sure of one thing. You simply need one thing to anchor and focus on, and the next step will reveal itself.

We don’t need to be able to have it all figured out. Life is a made up of moving particles, with so many different possibilities, but we need to make the commitment to one thing at any given moment. This one thing may be affirming your love to your dog, your parents, your home; it may be affirming your job title or your week-end plans, or which through road you’re going to turn off in. The firm grounding in just one thing will reveal the rest. At least, this is how it has always worked out for me.

Much love.

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