As I mentioned in the previous post we were not too sure what to expect at all. Most intimidating being the thought of maintaining “noble silence” meaning no communication of any sorts nor reading, mobile phones or anything else that might distract our minds.
We arrived early morning in Dehradun by train, found the meeting point and soon arrived 15km out of town in a beautiful place in a secluded valley.
With us were about 50 people. Half Indian, half foreigners with a big group of Spanish native speakers. On day zero we chatted and got to know each other only to walk past one another in silence for the ten days to come.
4 am. The wakeup gong. It’s early, I mean, I used to go to bed at this time in my old life, but I feel good, having slept quite long as I didn’t sleep much on the train last night freezing my butt off. We’re in the North now and a bit up higher in elevation which makes a big difference. Finally we get to use our “Himalaya kit”. All the merino sleeping clothes and sleeping bags we drag around for months for no apparent reason 🙂
Nastya: It would be a bit boring to describe our daily activities, because we did not do anything special during the course. We woke up very early in the morning and were sitting cross-legged without moving most of the day. It seems to be an easy task, but it is not at all. The tricky part is to have your mind focused at every single second. This is the practical part. Nothing complicated. It is a very powerful technique. It gives you a chance to stay alone with yourself and listen to your inner feelings and sensations on the surface of the body. Observe and take a look at things objectively and see the things as they are, without judging, acknowledging their temporary nature. Example, if you sense an itching, leave it, it will pass without having to do anything.
10 days we were just with ourselves. Easy? Not every moment. Great experience. Once the silence was over I knew I would be happy to take a course again some time later. Not sure about Sascha, not talking and siting cross-legged seemed to be very challenging for him 🙂
Our fellow students Nicolas and Tince did a very great writeup of these 10 days at http://travelaroundtheyear.blogspot.com/2015/02/about-vipassana.html.
As we also had to turn in all electronics we have only a few pictures from day 0 and leaving day. The really nice photos you’ll see below are from our fellow student Tom, a film maker.
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