Last December 26, I entered a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation retreat. We woke up at 4am, meditated, had breakfast, meditated, had lunch, meditate, took a tea break, meditated, listen to daily discourses, meditated, then went to bed at 9pm. Supercalifragilisticexpialiawesome!
It was easier and it was harder
This was my second Vipassana retreat in 6 months. During the first retreat, I sat for 25 min before my entire body started to ache. During this one, I sat for 50 min before my body started to ache. Progress!
It was easier because instead of learning a new technique and practicing it, I just practiced it. But it was harder because the inner crap that I eliminated last time (yay!) left space for much deeper inner crap to surface this time (crap!).
It's like Elective surgery
Many have asked about this extended silent meditation experience. The best I can do is compare it to elective surgery: you know you don't need it, but you also know it could significantly enhance your quality of life.
- Step 1: Anesthesia (no pain)
- Step 2: Physical surgery (no pain)
- Step 3: Medication during recovery (much pain)
- Step 1: No anesthesia (no pain)
- Step 2: Spiritual surgery (much, much pain)
- Step 3: Liberated (no pain)
It's like childbirth & Mental Olympics
Don't be dissuaded by all this talk of pain though. It's like childbirth: after a while you forget how much it hurt and want to do it again. I did. Lol!
She said f*ck it and she lived happily ever after.
Vipassana was like training for the Mental Olympics. You try to sit on a cushion for a continuous hour without moving any part of the body and without a single thought.
- At 50 min, the body pain always kicked. I started Lamaze breathing "f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck" to try to reduce the pain.
- But then... I remembered to be non-reactive, so to not amplify pain. So I chanted "pain, pain, pain, pain, pain" hoping that naming the sensation would reduce it.
- But then... I remembered not to use words, so to not dilute the practice. So I switched to "ow, ow, ow, ow, ow."
- But then... I remembered not to qualify any sensation as good or bad, to remain equanimous. So my mantra became "it'll pass, it'll pass, it'll pass."
- But then... I remembered to always tell the truth. And the truth was, "f*ck this shit, I'm moving and walking outta here!"
So much for enlightenment.
She Died, THey died
The above cycle repeated itself over, and over, and over, and over...
My inner perfectionist was dying inside, knowing that she couldn't do the meditation perfectly.
My inner restless shiny-squirrel was dying inside, knowing she couldn't sit still doing the same boring thing over and over.
They were dying... And on the 8th day... they died! Both of them died :O.
Somebody pop a champagne! They're dead!! I'm freed!!! It was the eeriest feeling.
Death is Good for Business
Do you have any idea what a business sans perfectionist and sans shiny-squirrel is like?
- Re-branding is 90% complete
- The Overachiever Personality Test is complete
- 14 Secrets Happy Overachievers e-book is complete
- Waiting list for Mastermind is at 116% capacity
- Readership jumped from 5,000 to 7,000!
... all within 3 weeks!
Universe, what you're saying is that the best thing I can do for business is to let parts of myself die?
Vipassana blessed my business with 5 unexpected gifts:
- Total liberation from perfectionism
- Total freedom from shiny-squirrel restlessness
- Mental endurance training
- Full system reset from life
- Such ease in actualizing desired results
Practice what works for you. And ideally, practice a technique that gives you multiple-in-1 benefits!