What it is that one needs the most to thrive in today’s complex and continuously changing world? Education, opportunity, will, practicality, positivity? All of that, yes! But there is something one needs to bind all of these characteristics together. And it’s mental and physical fortitude. As an entrepreneur, I was constantly questioning myself at the beginning of my career. I had enormous shoes to fill in and the ideologies I was brought up with were often too much to carry, amidst the stress.
While facing this struggle of knowing the right way but finding it hard to travel through, I was introduced to Vipassana- the oldest Buddhist meditation practice and in its own right , a sea of knowledge of self-realization. Practicing Vipassana helped me to understand how seeking and finding peace of mind can lead one towards enlightenment and true strength of self. As I was beginning to delve into meditation today, I remembered my first experience with Vipassana.
As I recall the whole process today, I can see how structured my ascension was although at that time I was confused. I would like to share my experience with you and will truly hope , it helps you to take the path of emancipation.
The Preparation and the Struggle
Vipassana means “ Insight” , a journey of self- discovery, a process of purifying your mind. And when I was asked to free my mind off of thoughts and fix my attention towards the flow of breath and sensations in my body, I never thought it could be an imposing challenge. But, as I started trying to calm the voices, the flow of memories, choices, emotions in my mind, I met resistance.
It was exactly as if my mind had its own agenda and was not beholden to me in any way. It felt like it had a lot of things to figure out and doesn’t want to stop at any cost. And each time I tried to calm my mind to listen to my body and reconnect the two, I was faced with the question: what is to gain from this? It’s that moment when I realized that the truth of things can only be revealed when perceived through a calmer mind. I felt that- better decisions, freedom from stress, better life and work balance had always been within my reach if only I had learnt to calm my mind and see things clearly.
And at that moment the realization invoked Silence in my mind.
The Silence and the Senses
A silent mind is unshrouded by confusion and chaos. Silence can make one extremely focused while removing occurrence of tunnel vision. However, it is also extremely hard to maintain. Although, my realization of how a calm mind can help me achieve more led to silence, I soon found it very challenging to stabilize this state. As memories started pouring in like a cascade of images and sounds, I started looking for a way to remain silent inside.
At that moment, I started sensing my body reacting to a much calmer breathing technique that I was following. As I focused more and more to the tingling sensations in my body, I fell into a deeper sense of calm, while feeling wholesome and happy somehow! The outside noises started fading out and I started to feel warmth inside. Cool air caressing my skin and the sound of my own breathing played a rhythm I came to cherish. And the urgency of acting on the work list that my mind had prepared was ultimately lost.
What I learned through Vipassana is how strongly tethered my actions are to the ideologies and ideals I was taught. With the shroud of confusion and stress lifted, I calmly focused on my goals in life and learned from my every experience that empowered and enriched me to move forward.
I like to call it enlightenment, what I received from my first experience with Vipassana. I know it would have been impossible for me to achieve that without Vipassana. However, I also feel it is a journey and I have only taken the first few steps towards goals that I cannot even comprehend. The knowledge of self through mediation and gaining higher levels of focus, instincts through clarification of actions and higher perception of experiences can help you to create a healthier, stress free and better life.
And what is surprising to me is that the idea of a better life always changes as you gain more and more experience with Vipassana. Every time I engage in meditation now I feel happy to gather that my own mind can be my primary access to enlightenment. This feeling makes me feel contented, kind, humble, and open to the world.
And I sincerely hope Vipassana will have similar life changing effects on you. The only thing desired is your sincere effort, which will take you to a path of “ Freedom”.