10 Reasons to Try 10 Days of Silent Vipassana Meditation

By on January 18, 2016 in Wellbeing on the Road with 8 Comments

10 Reasons to Try 10 Days of Silent Vipassana Meditation feature

I first heard about 10 day silent Vipassana meditation courses when I was travelling in New Zealand back in 2008.

These free guided meditation courses offer 10 day experiences of near continuous meditation and silence in dedicated centres around the world.

At that stage, aged only 23, the idea of 10 days of silence seemed just a little too daunting and difficult.

However, the notion of a Vipassana Meditation course lodged in my brain and, after meeting more and more people over the years who had visited and benefitted from the experience, I grew increasingly determined that one day I would also try 10 days of silent Vipassana meditation.

That day came in when I was travelling in Ecuador back in 2012.

Finally feeling as if I was at a place in my life where I could reasonably give this Vipassana meditation stuff a go, I signed up for a 10 day course.

Scared as I was, I had a distinct sense that I just had to bite the bullet and dive, headfirst, into the unknown.

And what a relief I did.

Since that first experience almost 4 years ago, I have sat a number of further 10 day Vipassana meditation courses, as well as volunteered on others. Meditation has now also become part of my daily life and I am so grateful for the stabilising and enriching qualities it has brought me.

So, in view of spreading the joy, here are 10 reasons I think everyone should try 10 days of silent Vipassana meditation…


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#1 Vipassana Meditation is Free and Open to All

Cotopaxi Ecuador

The 10 days of any silent Vipassana meditation course are part of a guided process through which you learn a certain method of mediation.

This method of mediation is strictly non-sectarian and open to anyone of any religion, race, gender or sexuality.

The non-denominational set of principles it employs are universal and no in way part of any dogmatic organisation seeking to convert you or fool you.

Vipassana Mediation courses are free and rely solely on the donations of old students.

 

#2 Courses Take Place Around the World

Hinterland Sky

Vipassana meditation courses take place all over the world meaning you can participate in one just about anywhere.

The schedule for the 10 days are exactly the same no matter where you sit your course, as is the technique.

Bilingual courses are also run in lots of different speaking countries – this how I sat my course in Ecuador – and, as the courses are conducted in near silence, so long as you can understand the guided instructions, there is no need for you to communicate with anyone else.

This makes a Vipassana Mediation course a great thing to try while you are travelling.

In fact I know of many people, myself included, who have travelled and participated in many courses in many different centres around the world.

 

#3 They are Conducted in Safe and Caring Environments

Vipassana courses are usually conducted in established centres or other peaceful and secure locations around the world.

Normally situated in quiet and rural areas, the centres are great environments for contemplation and reflection.

Although you are in silence for the majority of the 10 days of a Vipassana meditation course, there is always a pastoral team of volunteers there to ensure your well-being throughout the experience.

You are able to speak with any of these people at anytime should you have any issues or problems.

 

#4 10 Days of Silence Allows you to Challenge Yourself

Beach Yoga

The secure environment provided by Vipassana meditation courses makes them an excellent place to push yourself beyond your comfort zone – knowing you are still safe and cared for.

Don’t worry if 10 days of silence scares you – it does most people.

Acknowledge that fear and harness your inner courage by signing up to try something difficult and different.

You’ll probably be amazed by your success.

 

#5 It Grows Confidence in your Abilities

Doing something that scares or challenges us often helps us grow.

Discomfort isn’t always something to be avoided, especially if it is experienced in a healthy and aware way.

Sitting through 10 days of silence at a Vipassana meditation course might seem an impossible task.

However, when you surprise yourself by doing just that, your sense of achievement will show you just how capable you really are.

I can’t tell you the amount of people I see at the end of the 10 days with huge smiles of satisfaction on their faces.

Challenging yourself can massively boost your self-esteem and self-confidence.

 

#6 It Helps Effect Changes you Desire in Life

Trees

The self-assurance you glean from setting yourself a goal – like remaining silent for 10 days – and meeting it, can’t help but get you thinking about what else you are capable of achieving.

Harnessing this awareness of your own abilities can be a potent catalyst in changing unwanted habits in your life or adopting new patterns of behaviours you may want to effect.

Whatever your goals are, sitting through 10 days of a Vipassana meditation course will give you the power to believe they are possible.

 

#7 Vipassana Mediation Courses Help you Switch Off the Mental Chatter

With 10 days of focusing your mind and not really interacting with others, it’s no surprise that the stream of constant thoughts we experience every second of every day, starts to slow down.

As a result, you start to experience fleeting mini-moments of true calm and peace.

This can be a very liberating sensation, allowing you to dumb down those negative thought patterns, to-do lists and unnecessary anxieties we all suffer from.

To lose these, even for a mini-moment, can grant you a sense of clarity that is far more productive in life than any mental checklists.

 

#8 It Gives you Time to Focus on Yourself

Sunshine Beach Moon

Focusing on just yourself for 10 days may sound selfish, but actually it’s likely to do you, and those around you, the world of good.

We all get times when we feel lost, confused or down – and often our families and friends bear the brunt of this.

Having an extended period of time in your own isolated world can, ironically, be a grounding and stabilising experience.

Helping you out of an emotional rut you may be stuck in or giving you some fresh perspective, it can bring a new focus to your state of mind.

 

#9 10 Days Can Help you Bring Calmness into your Daily Life

In my experience (which you can read more about here), the benefits of Vipassana meditation aren’t just limited to a 10 day course.

The refreshing perspective they have shed on my life beyond this, and where I’m headed, has penetrated my everyday reality too.

I’ve found this to be increasingly true now that I’ve built a daily meditation practice into my morning routine.

It may involve setting the alarm clock a bit earlier, but it’s worth it for the way it grounds me during the day and helps me weather the storms of life with a greater balance of mind.

Such practice would have been impossible for me without learning the Vipassana method of meditation and having 10 days in which to silently learn to establish this technique had greatly helped me.

 

#10 It Makes you Grateful for What you Have

After all, there’s nothing quite like getting away from it all to develop in us a deep sense of appreciation for all we have.

You have a lot of time in 10 days of silence to think about what you are “missing out on” in the real world and therefore how fortunate you really are.

10 days of silence gives you a new perspective on what a beautiful world it can be and just how lucky you are. Coming out of silence you repeatedly feel a renewed sense of gratitude for life in general.

So if this isn’t enough to convince you to try 10 days of silence Vipassana meditation, then I don’t know what is!

Please be aware that these 10 reasons are taken from my own personal experience and are not certified or guaranteed outcomes.

To found out more about 10 day silent Vipassana meditation Courses visit dhamma.org.

 

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About the Author: Creator of Big World Small Pockets, Stephanie Parker is a budget travel addict! Originally from Jersey in the Channel Islands, Stephanie backpacks the world collecting tips, advice and stories, to share with a smile .

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There Are 8 Brilliant Comments

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  1. Great post! There was, maybe still is, a little place in the center of Amsterdam to practice Vispassana meditation, it is one of the things I miss about living in Amsterdam actually!

    10 days sounds intense, but I can imagine the benefits, thank you for posting this information! Something to check out in the future.

  2. JC says:

    Hi Steph, thanks for sharing! Planned to do mine in August in Nepal! A quick question, would you recommend me to do it in a small centre (with 35 capacity) or a big centre (with hundreds of capacity)? Thanks!

    • Steph says:

      Great to hear you are going for it! The external dynamics of the centre where you sit a course make no difference – it’s all about the centre within!! Enjoy 🙂

      • JC says:

        Understood. On the other hand, I am a bit worry with the weather. If it is hot and humid, I am not sure how long I can sit still without moving around. Now I am choosing between Kathmandu or Pokhara, both are in Nepal.

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