As meditation goes mainstream—a $1 billion industry with apps like Headspace and Calm—silent retreat vipassana is attracting more and more people. These ten-day silent meditation retreats—where participants can’t read, write, speak, or use technology—have become increasingly popular. While the meditative practice of Vipassana is not easy, those who make it through can learn incredibly valuable lessons about thought and emotion.
Vipassana is a form of mindfulness meditation in which students observe the sensations in their body and their surrounding environment, without reacting to them. It’s a powerful way to observe the dynamic nature of reality, which can help you understand that everything is impermanent and changing. Whether you’re experiencing a pleasant or unpleasant feeling, it can teach you to accept and let go.
A Journey Within: Exploring the Profound Benefits of Vipassana Silent Retreats
During Vipassana, you’ll follow a strict schedule and stay in a simple, rustic setting. Depending on the location, accommodation options vary—some centers have private rooms while others are more communal. Many courses are booked months in advance, so it’s best to reserve a spot early.
For days one through nine, you’ll observe “Noble Silence,” which means no talking (even charades) and no eye contact with other participants. Any questions or comments can be asked during the morning Group Process sessions, but otherwise you’ll remain silent. This can be challenging for new meditators, especially those who aren’t used to sitting for such long periods of time. However, it is a necessary part of the process. You’ll also be required to adhere to certain rules, including zero contact between men and women.