I was searching for some type of meditation for a long time, especially after I started macrobiotics in 1993. It was something like a mission for me.
I tried several meditation styles and took classes and read books, but nothing really connected with me.
I heard about the 10-day silent meditation, but nobody seemed to know exactly what was and where it was. Back then there was no internet system to search for just about anything.
In July 2001, I was talking to a long-time macrobiotic friend in Massachusetts who, it turned out, had done this10-day silent meditation, called Vipassana medication. The more information I got, the more I felt this was the meditation I had been searching for. I contacted the Vipassana office in North Fork, California and made arrangements to attend when I came back to California.
Unfortunately, I did not make it back to California safely. I had a life-threatening car accident in Arizona on September 8, 2001. I was bedridden for a whole year, and then in a wheelchair for three years, so I was not able to sit in a normal meditator position. But my wish to meditate grew bigger, and I was determined to find a way.
I was able to go North Fork, California for my first Vipassana meditation practice on September 8, 2004, the very same day of my car accident. I felt as if I was going through a rebirth after having sustained the injuries and trauma. Recovery was not easy and took a long time, and it's hard to believe it has been 8 years since my first 10-day Vipassana meditation.
The meditation practice is to build muscle of my mind and deal with daily worries and other thoughts which come and go constantly. The practice is sit and close the eyes and simply see and/or feel as things come and go, which is not easy to do in our busy lives. My life has been very active, even with my injuries and bout of cancer in 1993. My husband Eric and I have been teaching and preparing vegan macrobiotic food, have published books independently and opened a vegan macrobiotic restaurant --Seed Kitchen-- in Venice, California in 2008.
The biggest challenge for me is to find a balance in dailylife. The Vipassana meditation has been helping me to balance out my life. I know things change all the time, and I am learning everyday to see the life as it is whether I can see it calmly, or not so calmly.
I have been able to take four 10-day courses so far and have been going to North Fork as often as possible for the last eight years, mostly to visit the Vipassana center. I just came back from a 3-day course, which I thought I was able to get much benefit out of because of its brevity, but I was wrong. Although it was short, it was the refresher that I needed. I am very grateful for the Vipassana meditation practice.
Once a month, I offer simple meditation space adjacent to our home office, so if any of you are interested in practicing, please join us.
This from Vipassana Meditaion website
The TechniqueVipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.
This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose.
Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
The scientific laws that operate one's thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.
Here website of North Fork Vipassana centerhttp://www.mahavana.dhamma.org/index.htm
International Vipassana website http://www.dhamma.org/