pátek 26. dubna 2013

Vipassana meditations

Budhism knows six hells. I personally visited every single one first day of my Vipassana course. I had no idea that it will be much worse than that. If you have no experience with mediation you expect temple, monks, founding your inner self at the sunrise and so on. Cruel reality of concentration camp is then shock you are struggling to recover from. I have to say I met people who did Vipassana and were just excited about that and recommended them to everyone. After all I personally followed such recommendation from one couchsurfer. This is subjective view of someone who wasn't prepared and was sure, that he is clearly not the right person for such stuff, but who decided to suffer till the end whatever it will be.
Ten days Vipassana course in Dharma Shringa centre is located in Nepal north from Kathmandu, just at the entrance to Shivapuri national park. Mediatations were part of one month trip across Nepal with my friend Víťa [Veeta]. Both of us had no experience at all and just the draconian rules terrified us, but we were dedicated to give it a try. Needless to say we didn't underestimated anything. Last day we got high and drunk as dogs, send last chaotic and confusing postcards to our friends and second day we registered in Vipassana office in Kathmandu. Departure was delayed so we found nearby restaurant where we quickly tuned ourselves up with 6 big cans of San Miguel beer. Then we happily signed many papers some of them giving our full consent that they can take and keep our passport, wallet, mobile phone and camera for ten days and we cannot leave for the same period. Then buses take us north to the Dharma Shringa centre. We slept the whole trip and when we woke up it was already night and we realized that we are in some sort of detention camp, with many brick buildings, small square and paths connecting the buildings and halls. First disappointment was that we can get nowhere near the temple. It was forbidden area. When we deposited our wallets, passports etc. we went to dining hall for a dinner. Inside dinging hall was a shelf all round the walls and you are sitting looking straight into the wall. Because one of the rules is that you couldn't communicate with anyone in any way. If you are there with friend they will separate you. Others rules are: "Ten days you cannot talk, no alcohol, no drugs, no sexual activity and very strict schedule:

4:00 am  -------------------  Morning wake up bell
4:30-6:30 am  -------------   Meditation (2h)
6:30-8:00 am  -------------   Breakfast
8:00-9:00 am  -------------   Meditation without single movement(1h)
9:00-11:00 am  ------------   Meditation (2h)
11:00-12:00 noon  ---------   Lunch
12noon-1:00 pm  ------------  Rest and instructions
1:00-2:30 pm  -------------   Meditation (1.5h)
2:30-3:30 pm  -------------   Meditation without single movement (1h)
3:30-5:00 pm  -------------   Meditation  (1.5h)
5:00-6:00 pm  -------------   Tea
6:00-7:00 pm  -------------   Meditation without single movement (1h)
7:00-8:30 pm  -------------   Discourse (1.5 h)
8:30-9:00 pm  -------------   Meditation  (0.5 h)
9:00-9:30 pm  -------------   Private questions regarding technique
9:30 pm  ------------------   Retire to your own cell -- Lights out.

Altogther you spend 12 hours meditating or listening to discourse sitting on meditation pillow. I can assure you there is not a single position where you won't feel pain or get some comfort. Try sitting in a lotus position  for 1 hour and you will get idea what it could be like after 12 hours. In the end of the day you are crazy with pain but you couldn't fall asleep on your concrete bed with thin and hard mattress. In the morning you actually feel worse. This is physical pain, but what you can hardly understand is what happens to your mind if you are locked inside your own head for ten full days. You cannot communicate, you cannot read, write, do anything meaningful which means you are left only with yourself. You will open all locks inside your head and the ones you want to keep locked will unlock themselves in form of terrible nightmares when you finally fall asleep. Time just stops there. Every hour has sixty minutes, every minute has sixty seconds and every second lasts forever. One day there equals one year outside. 

Now you have an idea, so let go through the quotes and dreams of person with number 1H7R14B (me).

Day 0.
  • My roommate Omar is terribly snoring. Earplugs doesn't help. This will be hell.
Dream: We are meditating in the hall and I feel that it lasts too long. I want to tell teacher that it is a lunch time, but I am forbidden to talk. Suddenly we hear gong. I swear in my mind because this is gong for afternoon session which means that we missed the lunch. I am so angry and the gong is louder and louder. 
I woke up and realized it's 4 am and this is wake up bell. Omar is already dressed up and left without even looking at me. My hungry stomach makes rumbling sounds and I go to first two hours session after which we will be served breakfast.

Day 1.
  • Budhism knows six hells. I personally visited every single one first day of my Vipassana course.
  • “Be Happy” signs everywhere face to face to bare reality have the same level of cruel irony as “Arbeit mach frei” in Nazi concentration camps.
  • Omar struggles on meditations. When we had an opportunity to meditate in our cell in the afternoon he entered the room and when he saw me really meditating there he left immediately. I probably scared him with my dedication.
  • Whenever I see my friend Víťa in his prison dress, bending in the corner of dining hall and hungrily swallowing his bowl of rice I always remember that good friend will visit you in prison. Best friend will be there with you.
  • Omar disappeared. I cannot fall asleep. Being in cell alone will be even worse.
Dream: We have dead body in our car. Someone shoot him in front of our eyes. But we are not really concerned and drive around the city. Crazy lady started panicking when she saw the dead body in our car and wanted to escape in her car. My friend blocked her and I am explaining to her son, that this is not the right behaviour, that you should call police and my friend is already calling them. Then we have problems to explain to police why we were driving with a dead body in our car for so long without actually calling them.
There is fire in a tenement house where my grandma lives. I see naked girl I know from Trutnov and she explains to me that she was taking shower when the fire started. I am looking at her naked body and she smiles and says: "It worked for you, didn't it." I nod and smile back.

Day 2.
  • Today I understand why Buddha is still smiling. If I would invent such cruel thing and make people to do it voluntarily I will be laughing all the time.
  • They are giving us balanced diet suitable for meditation. Well, meals are really balanced. With rice. Rice is well balancing every single meal.
  • My neighbor in meditation hall is still loudly shuffling and snuffling. I am trying to find cosmic balance and accept every human being as Buddha teaches us, but it is harder than you may think.
  • By the end of the session I decided to suffocate him with a sitting pillow. Oh I wish you could EVER experience that level of enlightenment, cosmic balance and inner peace I felt when I came to that conclusion. "Don’t worry, snuffle again you bald bastard. It’s last time in your life anyway!"
  • “You will meditate in the hall as there is a better atmosphere.” I am still trying to figure out what they meant with that. People coughing every 15 seconds? All the sneezing? Or that loud farts all around? Probably it is that hammer and concrete drill outside.
  • It was easy for Buddha when he was meditating under a tree in open air far from everyone else. I would like to see him reaching enlightenment on this therapeutic session for tuberculosis patients with gases.
  • If you cannot swallow the pill of Chondrotinin at once, split it to half (medicine to treat joints).  Bah. I am swallowing three at once without even blink of an eye.
  • I still could not believe that Víťa jumped me on this meditation bait. Naive good ol’fellow.
  • Today they told us, that it doesn’t matter how hard we will work. If we wouldn’t follow the rules like no alcohol in our whole life, we cannot reach enlightenment.  Quote from Red Dwarf just pop out in my head:  “Sorry, sir, we seem to have wandered into the wrong hobby group, we'll leave immediately.”
Dream: I met my former boss from VOLNY with another italian guy. They are working on something big but they don't let me to participate. Then I see my boss with that other guy running through old warehouse. I call him and he approaches me and bend under the iron construction between us and suddenly point gun on me and very seriously tell me that he will kill me if I ruin it. I am totally surprised and terrified. I wouldn't ever expect this from him. They run out on some bridge and throw boxes in air. They are laughing and shouting that this will be big but controversial. There are flags everywhere and ropes going down the bridge and many boats and everyone is excited. I see my two friends on one of the boats, they are completely drunk they hold bottle of alcohol and laugh like crazy. I suddenly know that the bridge is full of explosives. I shout on them that they must leave immediately. They laugh and jump into the watter. I hear my boss saying he doesn't understand why it didn't work. Suddenly I hear explosion but it is only firework in huge TV across the river. I jumped into the water and shout on my friends that we have to leave now! Suddenly we are on the sand bank drinking and smoking happily but I again get that terrified feeling and I urge them again that we have to leave and get as far away as we can.

Day 3.
  • That terrible moment, when you realize that that friend of yours, who told you that on Vipassana meditation he has the same feeling like on drugs was clearly taking WAY different shit than you do.
  • I discovered few new hells Buddha didn’t bother to ever mention.
  • When I see that miserable shadows of human beings who use to be happy careless travellers, I decided that I will stay here the whole 10 days. I want to see this show to its bitter end.
  • Third day I had the biggest crisis. It was getting only worse ever since.
  • It’s starting to be double beautiful.
Dream: Terrible nightmare where I try to finish some unfinished stuff in my life and it almost ends up with my violent death. I woke up terrified, covered with sweat and with cca 300/min heartbeat. Half of the day I felt strong pain in my chest. I decided to quite, because I can manage physical pain, but if I die in my dreams I will die in reality as well. Next night I sleep with my headlight on.

Day 4.
  • I think that they may have lied to us in one or two things in that propagation leaflet.
  • This morning I am freezing and Víťa has second luxurious blanket. I have a strong suspicion he has got an access to black market with warm blankets. I need to get one too.
  • Lentil soups, bean sauces and other legumes are starting to take the toll. Now I understand why lighters are forbidden here. One spark and the whole Dhamma Hall would explode.
  • I am shitting bricks.
  • I realized how smiley person I am. “Be happy” signs everywhere and I am the only one smiling.
  • “You have to formally ask me in an ancient language to reveal you the secret of Vipassana meditation” – or, or we can just simply google it, right?
  • We were so worried about Annapurna that we completely forgot about meditations and it just blew straight into our faces.
  • Silence, starvation, no drugs, no alcohol, no reading, no writing and no sexual activity are terrible things, but letting someone spend time on toilet without a smartphone is probably against Geneva Conventions.
  • There are series of mourning ceremonies in my bowels for every extinct strain of brewing yeast.
  • Laxative would be the absolute last thing I would ever pack for a trip in Asia.
  • Now its officially one hour I am trying to take a shit. But I finally understand what they exactly meant with “balanced diet suitable for meditation”.
  • I started privately call my noisy neighbor “The Shuffler”.
  • Regarding exploration of my body using solely my mind I am doing great progress. For example I realized using only my mental sensing powers that I need to shave my balls and that I have full bladder.  Celebration of this undoubtful success lasted only till I found out that we cannot leave hall for next 30 minutes.
  • Mastering your own mind is a kid’s play compared to mastering your own bladder.
  • I am master of my bladder! I am master of my bladder!
  • I've got a warm blanket.
I am terrified to fall asleep. When I finally fall asleep I had my first vision. Compared to dreams it's completely different. I always see only one place. Colors and everything are very clear. I hear voice and I talk to it. It always makes perfect sense while dreams are messsed up and I always remember it vividly.
Vision: Sunset over the lake which is stretched as far as I can see. Dark, blue-black surface is disturbed with many small waves. Close to me is wooden rowboat looking black against orange sunset. Everything is looking very calm. Suddenly I realized that my breath pattern is different and my eyes are quickly moving.
Me: My breath pattern changed, my eyes are moving, I am dreaming.
Voice: Yes, you are.
Me: But now, when I realized it, it will woke me up.
Voice: Probably yes.
Me: How can I ever sleep again?
Voice: You will have to learn it again.
Me: Well, thank you very much!

And I woke up. I am trying to fall asleep again for good one hour.

Dream: I see plain and my boys are playing there. But somehow I know it is just a dream. I see three kings going down the plain. They have turbans on their heads. One approaches my older son and takes bomb out of his basket and tries to tie it on my son. "This is enough!" I shout and woke up. I close my eyes again and I see door frame filled with black. Terrible creatures are coming out of the frame. I open my eyes thinking "This was enough!" and I turn on the light. I close eyes and see the same plain but three kings are burned down with strong sunshine which sets them on fire, then I see the door frame and fire flames are burning down the creatures. I happily fall asleep.

Day 5.
  • Our life is already filled with joy from early morning. This morning for example, I was happy that despite the pain in the whole body I can almost walk again.
  • “Today you have to stay in one position without a single movement or sound for one full hour.” Ha! You are going to hell Shuffler!
  • Today I quickly ate my lunch to save some time to take a shit. Mind you we have only 2 hours lunch break.
  • When you fucked-up big time – just smile. I think I am totally getting this Buddha guy.
  • “If you will stay for full 10 days I promise you that Vipassana will be an experience you will remember your whole life.” I totally believe this. I think that even sixty years old me will wake up in the middle of the night sweated and terrified that I am back in this Sing Sing place.
  • Shuffler got a wooden stool. Another thing to make disturbing noises with and soon evidence no.1 in a murder trial.
  • I’ve got bored with exploring my body part by part so I started to experiment with getting boner purely by redirecting blood flow without thinking any dirty stuff. I know very well that I am entering seriously advanced field here (and something what is strictly against everything they teach us), but after all I have great deal of experience with this particular organ.
  • It’s more difficult than I thought – not thinking any dirty stuff and after five days without masturbation it is actually quite painful. Luckily they taught us how to get your mind under absolute control.
  • It’s useless. Rest of the session I am thinking dirty stuff.
  • When I see everyone approaching meditation hall slowly like old cheese smell I don’t think that anyone here is really keen to get enlightened.
  • But everyone is out sooner than gong bell finishes its first spin.
  • Shuffler knocked up the wooden stool and all pillows fall on a ground with loud “THUD” at the very moment I was almost reaching meditation nirvana. Rest of the session I am thinking about all possible ways to kill him.
  • Either Víťa got significantly better in his meditation skills, or – and this is more plausible – he learned how to sleep straightened up.


Vision: The same lake and the same sunset with the rowing boat in front of me slightly rocking on small waves.
Me: I saw this lake already yesterday.
Voice: That lake was always there.
Me: Why lake?
Voice: Because it is nice and calming scene.
Me: Where are all the nightmares?
Voice: On the other side of this lake.
Me: Why I would ever want to get there?
Voice: Because there is your home and you will always come back home.

Vision no.2: It's dark. I see stairs outdoors edged by low wall. I more sense than see that some cool dude is sitting on the wall and I know inside me that this is my guardian angel. He is lightly swinging his legs and smiles.
Me: You have fun, do you? This time we fucked up.
Angel: Don't worry, you will make it.
Me: I am worried about Víťa, how he is taking it.
Angel: He is fine. He has his happy crocodile philosophy. He is not over-thinking stuff as much as you do.
Me: Sometimes I think that it is just his mask for outer world. Inside he is struggling as everyone else.
Angel: You may be right.
Me: Sorry for drinking that tap water in Kathmandu.
Angel: It was OK, you saved yourself with your beer. That camera was much more daring act. In these countries people lose stuff they actually guard, not to mention something they will forget somewhere in the middle of the night.
Me: I know. Sorry. Please watch Víťa for me.
Angel: It's not necessary, he has good dude.
Me: Where is he?
Angel: Totally wasted. He is sleeping now. We party hard ever since they locked you here.
Me: You don't look drunk.
Angel: I am used to it, people can hardly tell by now.

Day 6.
  • I just hope Víťa will ever talk to me again.
  • I can hardly crawl up the stairs to my cell. I am seriously considering an option to sleep outside. Anyway there are just few things harder than mattress on my concrete bed.
  • It has been six days and I haven’t seen single enlightened person yet. I cannot wait till the end when they will just shout: “Bazinga! Fooled you! – but shhh, don’t spoil the fun and send here others.”
  • I realized I can hardly meditate without people around me coughing, sneezing, snuffling and loudly farting. I bet I will be regularly reaching ectasy in public transport during winters.
  • Today we have been served lassie (fermented milk) for lunch. My bowels started celebration dance already at the moment they spotted it on a serving table.
  • Víťa is already eating on the ground. It’s going quickly downhill with this boy.
  • Worst of all were afternoon’s 4 hours lessons of nothing.
  • I’ve had enough and I would finish at this very moment, but I don’t want to spoil it for Víťa, who is for sure having a great time here.
  • Be fucking happy!
  • But you don’t understand all the fun we have here. Today – for example – I’ve had hours of fun watching if minute hand can outrun second hand on my watches. The second hand always won but there will be rematch tomorrow.
  • You have had never seen so devastated crocodile (Víťa’s nickname). There are brief moments when I have a slight doubt that he may not totally enjoy the time here.
  • Today during discourse they told us that due to this Vipassana meditation we may lost our desire to drink alcohol. No-one ever scared me so much. I am seriously considering to quit as I am still fine right now.
  • These courses should be compulsory for people complaining about their lives. They would quickly change their minds!

Day 7.
  • It’s all in their bad spelling. If they would spell Dhamma HELL properly it would save a lot of confusion.
  • I cannot help it, but when I see all that miserable faces around me I have to laugh all the time. Maybe others privately call me “Smiling Budha” but more likely “Crazy Mental”
  • Impression of a detention camp is increased by “dead souls”. Your neighbor starts having problems, shuffles, sleeps on courses and then once he doesn't come. And next day his pillow and his number are missing. No-one says anything, no explanation. People around you just disappear. 
  • Except Shuffler. That bastard is a tough fellow.
  • I made loads of stupid decisions in my life, but idea to go here is going straight into my personal top ten.
  • Today I formed an ancient sculpture of women from a rice mash on lunch. I really need sex by now.
Dream during lunch break: I am at university somewhere in Asia. I managed to pick-up nice Asian girl. I am stranger in here so she is taking me to some Chinese bistro. I am ordering food and she sat at the table. I remember saying "and coke" when waiter suddenly take frying pan and hit it with hammer. Dong...g...g.. the sound is bouncing through the restaurant and I don't understand what is happening. He raised hammer again and hit the pan. Dong....g...g.. and I suddenly realize that my breathing pattern is different which means I am dreaming and this is the sound of wake up bell. "Noooo!" I moan and look at the girl who looks terrified and then just gives me very sad look and disappears. I woke up in my cell and hear that Dong...g...g sound of bell. I put on my shoes and with total resignation I slowly go to Dhamma Hell.
  • Today I found two peanuts in that handful of puffy rice we get for dinner. I am still so excited about it and I still have this warm memory of the morning on 5th day when they served momo instead of rice for a breakfast.
  • I really don’t have desire to drink alcohol. I am getting worried.
  • Second hand on my watches won again. I think there is some monkey business going on.
    Vision: Green meadow with forest on sides. Against the sun I see small toy plane. The one which propeller is run by twisted rubber. 
    Voice: You see that plane?
    Me: Of course, it's kids toy. What about it?
    Voice: That rubber running the plane is a human's mind and the rest is human's body. If the rubber is new, you can twist it as much as you want again and again and the plane flies. As time goes the rubber wears off and can hardly run the plane, but also the wings and propeller wears off so even if the rubber will still work, it won't fly or at least not properly. But many people stop twisting the rubber long before it wears off.
    Me: You are trying to tell me that I can still twist it as much as I want?
    Voice: You have wings. Fly!
    Minute of silence and I just watch the toy plane flying in front of sun.
    Me: You know, if I now think about using the rubber.
    Voice (angrily): You really need sex.

    Day 8.
    • Eighth day. The mood is improving. I even didn’t cry for that long yesterday’s night before I fell asleep.
    • Every time during my evening walk I appear alawas from different direction to the main square where everyone is devastatedly sitting and in my mind I yell “Surprise motherfuckeers!” and then laugh like crazy.
    • If I think about it, they hardly call me “Smiling Budha”
    • I still have no desire to drink alcohol. It is for sure I will be crying again tonight.
    Dream: Empty city square in the night.  Ales and Marcela are sitting at one garden table in front of the Pizzeria with many beers on the table.
    "Have one, if you want," says Ales.
    "I can't".
    "Of course he can't, he is doing that meditation stuff. You should know that," says Marcela in her typical way.
    "Whatever my son," says Ales and drinks his beer. I watch how the golden goodness disappears from the glass and smile.
    "I finally want one and I am thankful for that," I say.

    Dream 2: We are moving stuff from my granddad's garage. It's full of junk but Víťa is excited about everything. I know he shouldn't work too hard because there is something wrong. Then I realize he has burns on his leg but he doesn't care. Suddenly we are in my grandma house and Vita brings some sealed box and says that this is for us and he is going for the others. I know he shouldn't with his leg, but he wants to. When he lefts we open the box and see it is full of pealed oranges his mother gave him to get better. And he gave them to us...

    Dream 3: We are driving horse carriage with Víťa on forest trail and we see an old granny with a basket. We stop and ask her if she wants a lift.
    "That's so kind of you boys." she thanks us.
    I look at her suspiciously and ask her: "Isn't this that classic I am old and weak granny and meanwhile you want us to carry something really heavy?"
    "You betcha!" she says with sparkle in her eye and already tows two huge sacks with chopped wood and bind them to our carriage.
    We go again and I ask her: "Aren't you worried that they will rip?"
    "Don't worry my son, they are good sacks," she answers happily.

    Day 9.
    • Everyone is out there travelling and we are just sitting here meditating.
    • “This Vipassana course will help you to get out of misery.” – Well thanks, but actually I was not experiencing any misery BEFORE I’ve got here.
    • I have to admit that this meditation is delivering some results. Take Shuffler for example, when I look at him – that bastard – sitting next to me in his noisy polyester jacket I think I am not going to kill him after all.
    • I will just wound him a bit.
    • A bit more.
    • First seven days me and Víťa were avoiding each other like we had plague. But last two days we were sitting next to each other during the dinner. Maybe we will be friends again.

     I fall asleep during afternoon meditation for a while and I had this dream:  Open air music festival. It’s getting dark and band is performing on the stage. Loads of people sit on the grass and clamp hands in the rhythm of the tune. I look next to me and there is Shuffler sitting and clamping hands. We smile on each other and suddenly everything feels so all right.
    • I woke up and thought that this place is seriously messing up my mind.
    • Don’t worry. Be happy!
    • This is second time of my stay here, when I need to tighten up my belt.
    • I’ve got full scale meditation orgasm. System overload level over 9000. But honestly I am not sure if this was worth all the pain and misery.

    It’s night. Me and Víťa are laying on porches outside the meditation hall. Everyone else left. I am silently watching half moon on the sky and cloud changing from dragon to swan to flower.
    I suddenly hear Víťa's voice:“I have to tell you, I am really grateful that you were here with me.”
    “We will talk tomorrow.” I answered and he later told me that he started panicking because he spoiled the whole "no talking" rule and I am now angry with him.
    But after short while I added with trembling voice:
    “You have no idea how happy I was that it was you who was here with me” and after another silence I said: “No-one will ever understand.”
    • Today I even didn’t waited to reach my cell and started crying straight at last group session.
    • Tomorrow we can talk again. I am looking forward to that like to well chilled golden lager with creamy snowy head after a long hot summer day.
    • Yes, my desire to drink alcohol is luckily back. Life is great again.
    • At first I wasn’t really happy that we have only cold showers here, but now after 9 days with no sexual activity I am actually grateful for that.
    • My only worry is that if I will have wet dream tonight it will be straight into my best and only sleeping bag.
    • Better took two boxers for tonight, just to be safe.
      Vision: Mountains with snow tops. Shaky trail leading up on the closest one. On the right side is nice and straight road. I feel that someone is watching me.
      Me: I understand this. Now I can pick, can I?
      Voice: Exactly.
      Me: But I want to see world from tops of that mountains.
      Voice: Then you will have to pass even that deep dark valleys.
      Me: Now I believe I can make it.
      -Minute of silence-
      Me: Look, you are me, aren't you? I am telling this stuff to myself.
      Voice: No, you are someone else.
      Me: Will I ever hear you again?
      Voice: I was always here.
      Me: How come I never heard you before?
      Voice: Because you were talking all the time.

      Dream: The same huge mountains with snowy tops and small village with bell tower on the base of one of the mountains. We are flying dragons. Me and Víťa. I hear the sound of wind in leather dragon's wings and I can feel the cold wind on my shoulders and face. I am over excited. Vita stands up on his dragon and yells merrily. His green blanket with black ornaments waves from his shoulders. I stand up on my dragon as well and yell on Víťa: "No-one will ever believe us!"
      "Hell yeah!" he yells back, gets on his knees and takes his dragon down in wide spirals to that village. I lay down on mine and take him straight down to catch him. "Beware of the bells!" I yell and he nods that he understands. But the moment I thought about the wake up bell I realized that my breathing patter is different and I realized that I am sleeping. "OH FUC..." I started swearing and my dragon disappeared under me and I woke up with strong twitch. Half of my body was out of sleeping bag and I was cold. I crawl back into sleeping back and tried to get back into the dragon dream. With no luck.


      Day 10.
      • According to my dreams I am really looking forward to our mountain trip.
      • Shuffler didn't come to meditation session this morning. I hope nothing happened to him.
      • "Vipassana is the biggest gift you can ever give to anyone." I think that Víťa can thank me later.
      ***************************************************
      This is it. Here my forbidden notes end.
      We were so happy when we could talk again. We hug each other several times as like we were trying to make sure we will never lost each other again and we talked, talked and talked till late night. 

      Day 11 (departure).
      „I think we should burn this place down anyway. So I would sleep better,“ I say to Vita.
      "Hell yeah! And saw the soil with salt!" he agrees.
      "Plow over," I finished and we both laugh while bus is taking us back to Kathmandu. In few hours other bus will take us to Besisahar where our adventure will continue.
      "We have to remember the sheer horror of this place, as I can already feel it, that all the bad memories are going through my hands like sand, we have to never forget, or we will be destined to repeat our mistakes!" I added determined to never ever come back again and never ever meditate.

      ***
      Afterword
      It took me half a year to realize that this retreat has actually great impact on me and my mind and that meditation really has a lot of benefits for oneself. I started meditate slowly again, first in 15 minutes sessions and now I can do easily full hour. Like you treat your body in a gym or by doing sport or jogging, you should give the same attention to your mind. I never ever felt that level of rest of my mind as I did during the retreat and now I can distantly touch that during my meditating sessions. My mind is always full of buzz and stress and thoughts and meditation brings so much needed peace. Plus Vipassana connects your conscious and unconscious mind which helps you deal with stress, anger, sadness and other feelings which can easily overwhelm the mind and last but not least it taught me that I should not let unfinished things in my life. That if it is important, but not urgent, you should do it anyway, as it sits in back of your mind and stress you out, even though you are not consciously aware of that. So to your question. Would I recommend Vipassana? Yes, definitely yes, but expect the worst hell you could imagine and be aware that it will be even much worse than that. Your ego will do everything to get you out. It will tell you that this is clearly not for you, you are not the right person, you will hate everything and everyone. You will think after few days, that you already learned what you need and the rest is only for the slow ones. You could finish by yourself later. Some other time. Now you have better things to do and you know better how to live your live. Because the whole thing is nothing less than the biggest test of your will and ability to finish something you originaly decided to do. Good luck. http://www.dhamma.org/ 

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      1. Oh my god, that was hilariously written!All jokes aside though, I am also thinking of going to the Dhamma Shringha in Kathmandu next month. This story really makes me doubt it. Apart from the rigid rules, how were the facilities? Do you know how they were for women? Is it with one rommate or more? Was it clean? How about the bathrooms? is there some privacy? I know its a lot of questions but it would help me out a lot.

        Thanks again!
        Sarah

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        1. Sarah, just reading your questions, I am not sure, that you should go. You have doubts about these little mere important things while you should focus on the meditation part. It's proper hardcore, I read later somewhere that Vipassana is an extreme sport among meditation practices (but also very highly regarded). This is not a retreat for western travellers to experience some spiritual adventure. I made that mistake myself, although I made it through and now I am even slowly finding my way back to meditations. You have NO idea how hard it is. You will be so beaten down that you wouldn't care a least bit about bathrooms or dormitories. But needless to say, for asian standards all facilites are clean, food is good, some cells are for 2 people some are for up to 8 - you have no say where you will sleep. The worst what can happen to you (and happened to me) that you will end up alone in the cell. With all the privacy, but also with all your thoughts, fears and nightmares.
          You should be highly determined because this will be one of the biggest task you will ever encounter in your life. But if you will use your time wisely and stay till the very end, it will be beneficial for you and for sure very deep and strong experience.

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      2. Thank you very much for your answer. Now that I think about it, it is indeed irrelevant. I'm aware it is hard work, and after reading your reply, I was doubting to go. I'm currently in Bangladesh for an internship and I have 4 weeks to travel after this.I wanted to start with ten days Vipassana and then see the rest of nepal, Malaysia and Indonesia. I just don't wnt to sit there meditating and thinking damn what a waste of time, I could have traveled ten days more.
        BUT, nevertheless, I decided to do it. After 6 months of Dhaka, Bangladesh the silence of the Kathmandu center will do me good, or maybe not, but at least I tried. I'm very determined to do it.

        Thanks again for your reply, your blog was very funny. The things that cross your mind during ten days of isolation and silence!

        Sarah

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        1. That's the spirit! Just be prepared, that you will be bored as hell, angry, in pain and your mind will tell you hundreds of objective resasons, why this is not for you and why you are in the wrong place. After the course I read that this is your Ego worried about loosing the grip. Don't fight it. Calm it down. It doesn't need to be worried. Will be still there, but you both will be stronger after this. That's for sure. And if you take friend with you, this will create bonds like nothing else.
          And it is actually good idea to start with Vipassana, because at least few weeks after this experience you will see world very differently. Please, let me know how it was. Good luck!
          Sabeka!

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