Vipassana part 2

Just back from my 2nd Vipassana course and few things have become very clear

– Without regular practice, Retreats done annually do not help – so friends keep pushing me to be at it

-Have you ever seen an old movie or re-read a book and felt that its a whole new message? Its possibly due to the changed “I”- the person who was reading the book has changed between the two sessions. Well, the reality is that the person is changing with each chapter, each page, each paragraph, each word & maybe each letter. Am not sure I have grasped this fully, but yes – its something which is becoming clearer…. one step at a time.

– The old phrase “Shraddha vanam labhte gyanam” – meaning only the devoted ones get the knowledge – is so much true when it comes to the journey within. Came across this guy from Latvia who was the most humble & devoted being I have ever seen in my life. His progress on this path was visible from the comforting & strong presence his being had over the whole campus.

Prayer Wheels

– Its not just you, but most others have an interesting chain of coincidences that lead them to this path. Like this French doctor, who almost died while trekking in the Alps. Decided this is his 2nd life and he will not puruse money or fame but devote it to helping others. When he recovered from the broken bones, he decided to travel & someone recommended India. He said- why not. Reached Delhi & didnt like it much, someone recommended Dharamsala up in the mountains, he said – why not? On the bus ride up here he met someone who told him about Vipassana and the center at Dharamkot- so he came up without applying to check at the center. Was on the waitinglist but unlike others, just waited through the whole registration process of confirmed students got over. One didnt turn up & guess who got the chance?

– The mind is the perfect bargainer- just like kids are. It will plead & beg and if you give in once, it will definitely come back with a bigger demand. Learn when to say no & mean it.

– Good advice is all around us. Its upto us to figure out what we do with it. My 1st course someone had recommended that I listen to the discourses in Hindi. I wasnt sure my Hindi was good enough & went through with the English ones. This time also one old gentleman, suggested the same thing  & fortunately I acted upon it. Trust me, for us Indians who carry a lot of baggage of religious beliefs, rituals, faiths etc the Hindi discourses, talk to us at a whole different level. If you plan to sit for a Vipassana course & understand Hindi- do the same.

– The world is learning Yoga, Meditation, Spiritualism etc from India. While some of them might be just getting a kick out of these experiences, its hard to ignore the vast number of foreign nationals who go through all kinds of trouble(coming and staying in India) to gain the knowledge that India has been carrying/preserving/growing for so many years. Only if we could see how close we were to some true gems of human civilization.

– We are not our bank balance, we are not our degrees, we are not the brands we live in or with. We are not even what we created or what we destroyed or even what we protected……