15 Oct Meditation for 6 days isolated in a dark and silent bunker
When this article is published, I have spent two out of six days in a pitch black and silent bunker in Holland. We will be about 40 people sitting there in meditation. We must not say a word to each other and there’s a cord that leads to the bathroom with knots so that we know how to get back to our place. Once a day there in someone with night-vision goggles giving us food. And this I have paid money to do. Do you feel tempted?
It may sound like hell on earth, and now when I’m writing about what is to come, I wonder of course how it will be. It is a course that aims to achieve peace of mind to get to a clarity like never before, and from that state receive insights about what I should do with my life. “Finding your life’s purpose” the course is called. My teacher says it’s fine to do it a week alone in nature as well, given that you have the discipline to hour after hour meditate on the question “What should I do with my life.”
For my part, I wanted to test this retreat. I have been doing meditation for several years now, but never in such a dedicated way. Two hours straight is probably the most I’ve sat in meditation so far. I chose between this course and a 10-day Vipassana meditation. It may be helpful to have some guidance in how to meditate I reasoned. Plus it’s hard to discipline if I am alone. When there are no mobiles, things to do, other people to take into account and not even light and sound – then you will see who you really are. Alone with yourself. Does that sound scary? It is understandable, but at the same time I guess we want to live our lives without being afraid of what’s inside of ourselves.
According to the course material everyone’s experience is individual, but there is also a pattern. The first day you sleep almost all the time. We are really stressed out and our bodies need rest, that’s why it can take at least a weeks holiday before we feel well-rested. Day 2-3 you get to, if you have not done this before, hear for the first time how chaotic your thoughts really are. They jump back and forth, loosely associated with each other without any clear direction. “That’s a rumbling in my stomach. How long since I ate? I long for spaghetti. Like the one I had in Italy last summer. What a lovely beach it was there in Sicily. The girl who was selling ice cream was really hot. Wondering if I could have slept with her if I had tried.” Here’s how it sounds quite often, we are basically unaware of it and believe in our thoughts. Or maybe it is just me being schizophrenic. 😉 More and more often, I laugh to myself when I hear what is going on up there in the head. That voice is crazy! This is what my teachers calls the monkey-mind. The only thing that separates us from the lunatic who talks aloud to himself in the park, is that we keep our thoughts to ourselves.
In the darkness and silence you will hear it clearly, but at the end of day 3 the voice usually calms down. It becomes quiet. During the last two days it is common for the participants to alter between deepest peace, happiness and sharp insights. Many experience deep and long satoris. It becomes clear which thoughts are constructive and only those you follow. This my teacher calls “working-mind”. There may come a clear vision about new opportunities for a another career, to give your gift to the world. I have heard from many who have done this retreat that it is among the most beautiful and deepest experiences they have ever been through. To rest for such a long time in the deepest peace can give a new foundation for ones life. Certainly there is a resistance they say, but it is worth it many times over. Maybe it’s something for you?
Either way, it will be very exciting. Six days of my life, I can sacrifice. Maybe I’ll get some good insights on how I can develop the blog to make it even more worthwhile and interesting for you readers. I’ll be back!
Read about how it was here.