Venturing into Vipassana
Life Positive|August 2020
Venturing into Vipassana
Shiv and Savy describe their encounter with Vipassana which helped to bring a few undiscovered insights to the fore
Shiv and Savy

We, Shiv and Savy, are from a beautiful temple town, Trichy, and are seekers in the pursuit of gathering new experiences. We recently stumbled upon a Vipassana camp at Chennai and attended a 10day course.

The course was at the Thirumudivakkam campus on the outskirts of Chennai. From Tambaram bus-stand, we took an auto, and after a twenty-minute jumpy ride, we spotted a Pagoda which directed us to the campus. The registration process was simple: no elaborate forms with Adhaar card number or voter ID needed to be filled. The only question they kept asking was“Are you prepared to attend this 10-day course completely?”

We were put into rooms on a sharing basis with attached toilet/bath. Men and women were separated by a ‘Hadrian’sWall’ and were not to come into any form of contact for the next 10 days, even if they were members of a family.

Then came the ‘most unkindest cut of all.’ We were asked to relinquish our mobile phones, and reading and writing materials. On the appointed day, we assembled at the meditation hall (Dhamma Hall) and had to take the oath of silence.

The strict rules

We also had to practise the five precepts of sila (Buddhist word for ‘ethics’): 1) No stealing— how could we; all our valuables were already in the locker. 2) No lying—how could we; we were not even allowed to open our mouths. 3) No killing— how could we; we were only given satvik (conducive to spiritual practice) food, but we also had to be careful to watch our step when we walked lest we trampled on the snails that traversed our path. 4&5) No talking and no sexual immodesty— how could we and with whom; we were all members of the same sex.

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August 2020