i hitchhiked from a couchsurfing place in puhoi, where i stayed for three nights, to the vipassana retreat which is close to auckland.
it was one hour away from puhoi but the road was quiet and windy and mostly with gravel.
i got so lucky that the first car stopped. it was a 50 year old man and he even invited me to stay at their familys place after my
the retreat was not on the way where he wanted to go but he said he didn’t want to drop me in the middle of nowhere so he brought me all the way to the centre which was soo kind.
when i arrived there we had to give the teachers all our electronics, book, writing material, food, …
there where 50 girls and 50 guys who all did the 10 days retreat. most of them where my age and traveller as well. even the guys where young. i was surprised because i thought that i will be the only one who is young.
everyone of us got an own room, pretty cool because i thought that we have to stay in a dorm room.
we got a light supper and after it we were not allowed to speak anymore for the next 10 days. the first time we entered the meditation hall was 8 pm.
everyone sat next to each other with really little space between everyone. we all had a cushion and should sit cross-leged.
we had to focus one hour on the in and out-going breath. only the breath!
it was really difficult because there are so many thoughts coming in your mind but you shouldn’t give them attention.
i thought it’s a joke. only focussing on that .. i thought we get a lot of instructions what to do but it wasn’t like this.
the one hour of meditation felt like 5 hours 😀 maybe it’s a good training for me to reduce my impatience!
everyday at 9 pm was sleeping-time. i first had troubles to sleep so early but i got used to it fast.
the wake up call was at 4 am – sooo early!! then we should meditate from 4:30 to 6:30 am before we got breakfast. we could choose if we meditate in our own room or in the meditation hall.
i tried it in the hall but i almost fall asleep and i was always so hungry. i couldn’t concentrate at all. i only felt hungry 😀
i mostly missed the wake up call and slept straight until 6:30 am.
we got a huge breakfast buffet. it was so delicious. lots of good porridge and a big range of different kinds of bread. they always had dates, raisins and linseeds to add in the porridge.
from 8 to 9 am we always had a group meditation in the hall. we had to sit without moving and with our eyes closed. it was really difficult because i got soo tired everytime.
from 9 to 11 am we could mostly choose if we want to meditate in the room or in the hall.
at 11 am it was lunchtime. everyday we got different food but it was always vegetarian/vegan and indian. perfect for me!!
from 1 until 2:30 pm we could choose again if we want to meditate in the room or in the hall. i always stayed in the room.
from 2:30 to 3:30 we had another group meditation in the hall! it was often really hot at this time of the day and all i could concentrate on was the heat.
at 5 pm we got our „dinner“ and it consisted of only an apple and a banana. soo much!:P
i was so hungry all the time..
from 6 to 7 pm we had another meditation in the hall. it was a good time of the day, not so hot anymore and i could concentrate better.
after that we listened to an one hour discourse where the teacher told us about vipassana and the whole meditation thing.
from 8 to 9 pm we had a group meditation again and after it we went straight to bed.
on the first day we should focus on our in and out going breath, on the second day we focussed on the area the breath touches the skin. on the third day we had to focus
on the sensations we feel on the skin from our breathing. on the fourth day we should only focus on the area we feel when we breath out.
on the fifth day they thought us the vipassana-meditation technic.
it means that you should focus and feel sensations on every part of the body.
it was easy to feel all those sensations everywhere in the face. i felt tingling and prickling sensations in the face, fingers and feet. i felt pressure in my legs and in my back.
on my chest it was really difficult for me to feel a lot. my stomache always felt empty 😀
we also had a small walking track which took only 5 minutes. really really small. there were two little waterfalls and everyday when i walked the track the nature looked nicer and nicer.. i think it’s because you sharpen your mind when you meditate so you focus more on the little details.
another thing which was strange was that i normally i never remember my dreams but during those 10 days i could remember so much and i had so many nightmares. i dreamed every night that my parents died.
the frustrating thing was that i couldn’t speak with anyone about it & i didn’t have my phone to send my parents a message if everything is okay. i thought that i go craaaaazy 😀
on the second day during the discourse the teacher spoke about how difficult those 10 days are and they always mentioned the words: it’s like a operation of the mind.
i really thought about leaving because it sounded so bad. i didn’t want to become crazy after 10 days.
but i made it 😀 😀
on the 10th day after our meditation hour at 9 am we were allowed to talk again. it was soo cool and interesting to speak to all the other girls about their opinions and what they felt.
it’s by far the most difficult thing i have ever done in my life, but it was a great experience. i was sooo happy when the 10 days were over and i could finally listen to music again. there are those vipassana centres all over the world & they all run by donations. i might join another course somewhere else but just volunteering. that means you just do three hours of meditation per day and you are also allowed to speak and listen to music.