What is Vipassana?
“The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results. There are no charges for the courses – not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit.”
“The elements of an emotion never to be admitted” – Ayn Rand
That’s how Ayn Rand wrote a perfect sentence to describe my experience with Vipassana Ten-Day Course, in one of her greatest works, Atlas Shrugged [page 315].
It was monsoons, July 2017 – when I was in Himachal, organizing The Lost Tribe Art Festival – Mountains 17. I knew I had to visit Ladakh anyhow, so I planned way in advance. It was difficult for my parents to agree for me to go on a solo trip, all the way to the highest altitude of the world – 18000 ft! So I decided to find a more valuable reason.
Having wished to attend a Vipassana Course, I signed up for a 10-day course at Dhamma Laddha Vipassana Meditation Centre in Youknas, on the way to a small village called Saboo in Ladakh [you can check all the course schedules here]. Of course, people thought I was crazy to take up a course that involved ten days of silence and no mobile phones, no writing or reading, no eye contacts, no expression at all. However, all I had in my mind was to be able to live longer in Ladakh and I could give up anything to experience the silence of starry nights.
I think Anjuna is such a nice place to grow up in. The beauty that lingers on the roads of Anjuna, the familiar Hello’s from my most frequently visited breakfast spots to unfamiliar Hello’s who seemed friendly enough. Every day is a celebration, here. While the grandmothers here make their own coconut oil,
For me, it has become a ritual to go on a trip after the semester ends. So we knew we had to go somewhere, and we decided to go to Varkala. We booked our train tickets from Calicut and caught it at 10pm on a thursday. The minute we got into our coach, I passed out with the showering breeze on my face. I almost sleep climbed the upper berth later, which I cannot recall.
When I wrote my last post, realization struck me like a magic wand that words of a traveler can inspire even a couch potato to switch off that TV/Laptop/PC and go outside and explore. I consider this post as a part of the charity work I do. Social work is not just helping slum children how to read and write, not just campaigning about ‘Say No to Drugs’, it is also to inspire people to wander, to get lost,