I wanted to write a blog post before I leave for my Vipassana. I thought it’d be a great way to look back after I *hopefully* complete the course. I also wanted to give a little back story on how and why I decided to do a Vipassana. Originally I wanted to write a very detailed post so I can always remember my thoughts and feelings before, but knowing me, I, of course, waited until last minute and am writing this at 11 pm the night before I leave (…and I have to wake up early). SO this is going to be brief, and it’s probably going to have a lot of grammatical errors, but I’ll at some point fix this when I have time.
How Vipassana was introduced
Back in March when I was on a tour in India, my tour guide, Bhagu, a few members on the tour, and myself were having lunch at our hotel in Varanasi. Bhagu mentioned to me that I should attend a 10 day, no talking meditation retreat. My first reaction was, “what? Why? Do I talk too much?” All he did was laugh and said I should try it. At first I thought that sounded crazy and questioned why anyone would ever willingly do that to themselves. After he told me that, I brushed it off and never thought about it again.
A week later, the tour ended and everyone on my tour left. I was left in Kathmandu, sad, crying, missing home, and felt really down. I felt lost, I felt rejected, I felt alone. When I couldn’t stop crying, I was so frustrated I was letting my feelings and emotions get the best of me. I was so happy and on cloud 9 the day before too.
The next day, I felt a little better and started realizing how frustrating it is that I allow my emotions to affect me so much. When things are great, I’m SO happy and I love life! When things are bad, I’m sad, depressed, upset – whatever emotion. I hate that I allow external things affect me internally so easily. Now, I’m not a moody person – I don’t want people to think I’m super moody and up and down all the time, because I’m not at all! But when I am sad, I let it get to me. I’m RARELY angry or mad, but I do get sad a lot (depression runs in my family). This was also one of the main reasons why I have avoided getting in a relationship with a man. I’ve allowed men to control my emotions so easily (more on that later).
How I decided to sign-up for a Vipassana
I remembered that meditation was proven to be so beneficial. I’ve never meditated before… okay, that’s a lie. I’ve tried 2 or 3 times with the Headspace App… and never tried again. After I remembered how beneficial meditation is, I remembered the meditation retreat that Bhagu told me about. I started doing some research about it, and found how beneficial it is for non-attachment. THERE IT IS.
From my understanding, Vipassana helps you learn about detachment and non-reaction. In that moment, I realized I attach my feelings and emotions on too many things. When good things happen, I’m happy, and when bad things happen, I’m sad. I wanted to learn how to not be so emotional and sad all the time. It was in that exact moment, I realized I wanted to do a Vipassana.
I texted my mom about it and her response was “Lol, you would be miserable. Be realistic, you don’t meditate” and then “Wtf. No cell, no internet, no talking? Kimmy, really? You can’t do that for 1 hour” Although she is VERY correct, I still wanted to. I laughed and screenshot it and sent it to a few of my friends. My sister-in-law and my friend replied back that they know people who’ve done it! Knowing that others have successfully done it gave me hope that I could accomplish it too. My sister-in-law was mentioning all the amazing benefits her boss has received from it and how much he recommends it. She even started a group chat with me and her boss so I could get all of my questions answered. After hearing all the benefits from someone who’s personally done it (Bhagu was SUPER vague about it), it made me realize I needed to sign up for it.
I did more research and found there was a Vipassana center in Kathmandu. The course was full, but the next course that was open ended after my visa expired. I started researching other centers in India and all the centers were full, and if it had an open course, it ended after my India visa expired as well.
Part of me wanted to do it in India because well Eat, Pray, Love LOL but then part of me wanted to do in America so I could feel a LITTLE bit more comfortable and have that sense of security.
I signed up for one in North Fork, California for July 24-August 4.
Okay, it’s late… and I have to wrap it up because I’m still not packed and it’s almost midnight. I wanted to include my thoughts though.
Ever since I found out in April, I’ve been very excited. I’m just SO sick of my own bullshit that I am so ready to go there. There have been a couple of more times where I’ve been super anxious or super sad about my life. I’ve been crying off and on over stupid stuff, and I keep finding myself being like WHY!? Why do I allow all these external situations and internal thoughts affect me so much? I am so ready for this and ready to learn how to not let anything affect me anymore.
Things I’m worried about:
- If I’ll be able to survive and make it
- If I’ll go crazy and want to leave. Will I be able to push through it?
- How will I be able to meditate 10 hours a day for 10 days straight when I haven’t even successfully meditated for 5 minutes?
- How will I get up at 4 am every morning because I love sleeping… I’ve been waking up at noon every day and I normally get 10-12 hours of sleep per night
- How will I last not being able to eat dinner every night? They just give you tea and fruit (old students only get tea)
- How will I be able to handle not talking, no eye contact, no body language/gestures, no reading, no writing, no exercising for 10 days straight?
- What will I do if I see a spider and I can’t kill it, scream, or tell anyone to get it out for me? Yes, that is a HUGE concern for me.
- How will I be able to physically sit all day every day for 10 days in a meditation pose? How will my knees do?
- How will it be being alone with my thoughts and I can’t escape or distract myself? (Also part of the reason why I am excited – I keep keeping myself busy and distracting myself with TV, social media, traveling, etc. and not wanting to work on myself – this has been an ongoing issue for me the past couple of years)
- And in general, just the unknown
I have massive anxiety about this retreat and I am honestly freaking the F out. I haven’t been able to sleep and have just a lot of pressure on my chest from the anxiety.
Well, I’ll add A LOT more when I get back (I took notes on what I wanted to add) because I am tired and need to finish my to-do list and finish packing. But I am really hoping I survive and make it out okay. I hope that I don’t try to leave and I don’t let my emotions get the best of me. I think the biggest obstacle for me is trying to be kind to myself. I am often extremely hard on myself and put myself down pretty frequently so I need to be kind to myself during this entire process (something I’m actively working on).
Alright, I’m signing out. Love y’all and please read this in a month or so as this is a horrible post (again, hard on myself) and I need to fix a lot of it!!!
WISH ME LUCK!!!!!!!!!