Last June,same day I did something remarkable that I will remember for the rest of my life.I attended a 10 days long Vipassana(Meditation) course at Dhammagiri,an International Meditation Center which is in Igatpuri, a small hill station near Nashik in Central Railway.The location is easily accessible by road, just 2 hour drive from Mumbai.
What is Vipassana(Little info what actually the thing is)?
Vipassana in easy words means to see things as they are. It is also one of India’s most ancient techniques of Meditation. It was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills. Vipassana is a technique in which you train your mind & thoughts to be in your control. Buddha got enlightenment by meditating for a prolong time. What we are taught here as starters is to keep on observing our body. In the 10 day course you meditate 10-14 hours a day,8-10 hours for pregnant females(Yay!! for time relaxation).Mainly it starts from observing your breath and then the whole body. It seems very easy when I write but being a first time Vipassi(Meditator),it was very difficult to concentrate cause our mind is programmed to wander in unwanted thoughts when require them to be quite the most.One has to make Dhammagiri there home for the 10days(12 actually including the travel).First day which is usually used up for checking in, room allocation and last day is kept for Mangal Maitri, yes we can start speaking or talking(whatever you want to use) on this day and make friends of whose you were only staring faces for 10days.
My Experience(What I actually did):
My whole family is into Meditation from a very long time except me. I being the most bothersome kid never obeyed to parents and hence used to skip participating in such mind bothering practices. Once revoltingly Mom asked when are you going to do it and I wittingly answered “I will do it when I will be pregnant”. And finally the day arrived where there was no escape route and had to give up not obeying Mom and to go to attend the course.
I was not confident of completing the course as it demanded complete aloof from the outside World. No cell phones, no television, No news paper and most important observing the course in complete silence not even hush-hushing with your roomie.
It was a challenge in itself from me to myself to complete the full course. After reaching there,at the end of first day I gave a thought to myself, I had 10 whole days just for me.No distractions. To think of life,past..present..future and to the life I was making inside me.I had known(actually overheard) that doing Vipassana during pregnancy was something special and that it improved the connection between Mother & Child.Believe me, At the end of 10days,I actually started to feel my baby more and where exactly he was positioned in my tummy.Also the technique of controlling mind & body helped me to overcome my fear of giving birth of which I was petrified of since beginning.
Attention & Care:
The management at pays special attention to Pregnant females.Ladies till 29th week of pregnancy can attend the course. Rooms with best location,closer to meditation hall & lunch halls are kept specially for pregnant and old Vipassi. Also a physician is available at the center 24*7 in case of any emergency. The food is served only one time in day i.e lunch,a simple vegetarian diet apart from breakfast which is served twice.But again pregnant females are provided with both lunch & dinner along with two times breakfast.
So I would request you all at least once in your lifetime,should attend this course and observe the difference in yourself.The course is attended and can be attended by each and everyone among-st us. The old and young,men,women,handi-capped(special care and attention for such Vipassi’s), pregnant females.Men & Women have separate hostels and dining halls. The places are so discrete, that Men and women cannot see each other.
It’s a technique of doing meditation that is taught here, it has nothing to do with a Person’s ethnic orientation. Also meditation is not practiced by Buddhists only,each and everyone who wants to start Meditation or to learn Meditation are welcomed with open arms at Dhammagiri.
Please do contact in case of any questions or queries.