Meditation retreat: In pursuit of peace and happiness

In times of great stress or adversity, it’s always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive. That is what I did to overcome the tough time in my life. A close friend Saurabh Devnani introduced me to a meditation practise called “Vipassana.” And I must admit that it has changed my life and perception of happiness.

Vipassana is an ancient Indian meditation practise in which the practitioner focusses on the sensation of the body and tries to learn the virtues of life through experiences. Nowadays, this course is taught via the audio and video tapes of S.N. Goenka, the oldest and most experienced practitioner of this form of meditation in the country. The best and the most difficult part is that during the course of 10 days, one has to observe silence. 

The major takeaways from this course are as follows:

1) Awareness

The meditation practise taught me to be mentally aware of the surroundings and embracing the changes without accepting or rejecting them. I realized that miseries are caused because we don’t adapt. I came back richer and happier, endowed with the gift of an equanimous and balanced mind.

2) Compassion

I had grudges and ill feelings against so many people. But by the tenth day, it had all vanished. I happened to forgive all of them. It brought a lot of peace. I can relate to the sorrow and happiness of all the people around me. I discovered a fountain compassion for all the living creatures of the world.

3) Love

It is an oft-used word, but it seldom understood. This feeling is not limited to our partner or our parents or someone close to us but is being in love with everything that surrounds us. It is like enjoying the sound of the leaves or the pleasant breeze or the work that you are doing at present (like reading the article). This course helped me realize the beauty of every moment and the joys it brought forth.

4) Tranquillity

The unrest within oneself needs to be dealt deftly so that one stays focussed and performs better. Otherwise, one tends to get distracted easily. The instructions and guidance of the teachers at the meditation course helped me to focus and take charge of my thoughts and as a result, I can now perform better at work.

There are many feelings that I am unable to express as they cannot be explained but only experienced. I practise Vipassana when I am disturbed or feel anxious about things around me. Here I think it is pertinent to mention that the common notion that “meditation is only for those who are suffering from some mental illness or depression or are old enough” is a fallacy. I believe it is for everyone irrespective of their present state of mind, and this course is not limited to any age group or any particular religion. One should remember that life is like a “sine curve”, it fluctuates from peaks to bottoms. So be ready for facing any situation without getting affected by it. I will sincerely advise all of you to practise Vipassana.

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