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Antsy to get to the meditation center Mari hurried me up, stating that "maybe we should take the photos on the way down, since there may be a meditation class starting at any minute". As politely as possible, using as little sounds as possible, Mari tried to inquire about the meditation classes. As unexpectedly as the first time, the monk appeared holding an umbrella and wearing two raincoats, one on top of the other. We entered a room that had benches along its walls and a large cement table in the middle of it. On my recent visit to Mumbai, I decided to visit a Vipassana meditation center, to experience this silence-based meditation technique. Over the past twenty years, I had many missed opportunities to experience this Goenka-branded Vipassana mediation, and despite my eagerness, somehow I never managed to get on the 10-day meditation course.
The shortest access to the meditation center is by a ferry, since it is located near water. Finally I managed to experience Vipassana meditationI had read about other people's Vipassana experiences, and my friend, who has attended many Vipassana courses, feels that he is a changed person thanks to Vipassana meditation. The Pagoda meditation center offers a short course for people like me who want to try Vipassana meditation but either cannot find the time, or are not too sure if it is for them.
So I decided to try that one out, and I highly recommend people to try it before committing 10 days to the full course. There are shorter courses, but they are available only to those who have completed the beginners' 10-day course. My experience with VipassanaWhen I expressed my desire to attend Anapana Meditation - the 30-minute Vipassana meditation, the friendly staff guided me to the small meditation hall.
As I waited in the small dome for my meditation, I hoped that I would be able to sit for the entire duration without getting uncomfortable because of my back pain.
He then switched on the audio recording which contained meditation instructions given by S N Goenka, the man who made Vipassana meditation popular in India and around the world. I will be very keen to attend the 10-day course, provided I can feel confident that my backache will not prevent me from sitting for up to 10 hours every day. How Does Vipassana Meditation Work?While speaking to a very informed staff member, I learned about the book "Vipassana Meditation: The Art Of Living" by William Hart. Based on my practice of Vipassana meditation at home, I can say that it is the most difficult form of meditation I have practiced - and I have tried many - from transcendental meditation to kundalini yoga, pranayama and mindfulness exercises. Is Vipassana Meditation Right For You?There are many benefits of Vipassana meditation - the most important being that it helps you achieve peace with yourself, by getting rid of aversion and greed.
The staff member told me that many people drop out on the first day, and very few are able to complete the 10-day course. Mental: to survive the 10 days with minimal human contact, and no television or technology.
Even if you are not able to meditate successfully, you will benefit much by simply being deprived of most distractions of modern life.
Where to find a Vipassana Meditation RetreatVipassana meditation experience is available to people around the world, without the need to travel to India, where it originated. What's your experience with meditation?Have you tried meditation - Vipassana or any other meditation? My other popular articlesGet Swimsuit Body With Apple Cider Vinegar DietMany readers shared stories of how they lost weight with apple cider vinegar. 101Ways2Life 24 months ago from Clean and Green New Zealand Author Yes, it is difficult but I am getting better. There were tea bushes on one side, various kinds of trees full of curious animals on the other.
I kept taking my hat off whenever the path entered a shady section and I'd put it back on under the direct sun.
A few more turns came and went and we finally came to a handwritten sign, that asked for silence, in front of a cluster of small houses in the midst of gardens. I thought that it'd be pretty funny to thank the monk and then just turn around and head back down the hill.

There were eagles circling in the updrafts, crows chasing one another across the hills, and chipmunks squeaking all around.
Along with Mari there was a woman and a man, sitting at one of the benches, a large thermos of tea placed on the table, accompanied with some crackers and a cat. There are many Vipassana centers in Mumbai, and I chose Global Vipassana Pagoda near water theme park Essel World.
The short course is merely a 30-minute guided meditation in the meditation hall at the Pagoda meditation center.
It's a shame that none of the Vipassana meditation centers allow you to experience the Goenka meditation in a course shorter than 10-days. The Pagoda meditation center is highly recommended in India, because that's the only air-conditioned center in the country where average temperature ranges between 95 to 105 degree Fahrenheit. Yes, there are two halls for visitors - small hall with a sitting capacity of 50, and a bigger hall (the main golden structure you see in photos) which is accessible only to former students - people who have completed the 10-day course. The largest dome contains the bone relics of Gautama Buddha enshrined in the central locking stone, making it the world's largest hollow stone masonry structure containing relics of the Buddha.
It was difficult to focus on the audio for two reasons - the dome structure ensured that the voice echoed.
For that, I have started practising Vipassana meditation every day at home, beginning with 20 minutes initially, and gradually increasing the duration. I will give myself six months, and if I feel confident, I will try to experience the 10-day meditation. This book provides introduction to Vipassana meditation, explains the right way to do Vipassana meditation, and answers frequently asked questions about Vipassana. It helps you to know that all our suffering is caused by our constant reaction to external stimuli. As the summer approaches, now is a good time get that perfect swimwear body with this easy-to-follow diet plan.Does apple cider vinegar work for hair loss?Apple Cider Vinegar rinse is a very useful treatment for hair fall.
The rationale was that in the shade, I am better off ventilating my head, while under the sun, the hat provided the benefit of shielding the rays.
At the moment, the light was right, the sky was full of pretty clouds, there were tea bushes and monkeys all around - this was the time to be taking photos, and so I did, for 1 minute longer. We made our way to what seemed like the "office" and ran into a proper monk - dark orange robe, shiny eyes, shaved head. Trying to maintain silence yet composing a murmur of a few gentle words turned out to be a tricky way to communicate. But to my surprise, the monk announced that in about an hour there will be tea served and welcomed us to stick around for that.
There was a hummingbird working the flowers of a fresh bush, bees buzzing around, and little homes barely visible amongst the heavy greenery, way down at the bottom of the hill, basking in the sun rays that were cutting through heavy clouds. As we sat around drinking tea and munching on crackers, the cat made its rounds, demanding some treats.
The cat, the meditators, the monks, the garden, the rain - it was all making me smile and laugh on the inside. He then provided housekeeping instructions about the meditation, how long it will last, what if we wanted to leave sooner, about listening to the recorded voice.
People have often experienced "sensations" throughout their body, like an electric shock, or positive vibrations, while doing the longer version of Vipassana meditation. Please share your experience with meditation, or if you haven't tried any meditation, what is keeping you from it? As we zigzagged up the hill, we came to a particularly beautiful view of the surrounding countryside.
And so we asked for the permission to walk around the gardens and take some photos, which he granted full-heartedly.
After some time, just to try it out, I closed my eyes and sank a little into my unconscious while envisioning my surroundings. This was just like in that problem of ferrying a goat, a wolf and some cabbage across a river in a canoe that only has enough space for one item.

It would periodically jump on and off the table as it pleased and even tried opening the jar of crackers. The monk that was trying to convince the cat that it's better to be on the floor than on the table noticed my expression and let out a laugh himself.
I am yet to experience any sensations, but I haven't tried meditation for longer than an hour yet. These are great tips about how to use ACV as hair fall treatment.Beautiful Skin With Apple Cider VinegarApple Cider Vinegar is very effective for skincare, removing acne and warts. But the idea of a specific "center" where one ought to sit down and do "meditation" kept fidgeting and would not settle down in the back of my mind. Plus there was a monkey sitting on top of a pole, apparently surprised by our presence and not knowing if sitting still is an effective strategy for hiding from us.
I had a feeling that he spoke English but chose to produce a lot more smiles and nods instead of words, since that's the thing to do when faced with American tourists, seeking instant enlightenment. I could still hear the little hummingbird purring nearby, there were birds singing a few trees down the hill, the little homes were also still there, way down at the bottom. As the sun-rays continued to play hide and seek with the clouds, a deep roar of a thunder echoed between the sky and the earth. At a stretch, I would have found it difficult to sit in Indian position (cross-legged) for more than half an hour.
Not that I am a meditation expert by any means but it seemed to me that any corner of a room should suffice for the purpose. The air was already heavily weighted with humidity and all it took was a little shakeup to cause a cascade of droplets lose their footing and tumble down the sky.
I was going to suggest that a better solution is for the monk to use the umbrella and let Mari and I use the raincoats (even if there are holes in the raincoats since we were partially wet already anyway). At some point another monk came by, stood by the table and politely motioned to the cat to come off the table. The cat may not have been amused but I had a wide smile on my face and felt very relaxed and calm at the same time.
Nevertheless, Mari was excited to check it out and I went along, entertaining the idea of seeing herds of serious monks, busy meditating. The monkey was not pleased by that at all and made its way down the pole, disappointed that the "sitting still on a pole" strategy did not work as intended. I pressured the guy a little further and he finally exhibited a calendar and indicated that the classes don't start for another month. In fact, it felt rather fresh and it was quite comfortable and relaxing to be sitting on that bench. In a period of about 20 seconds the first few drops turned into a wave of water crashing down on the hut's clay roof tiles. But in a place where smiles and nods are to be used more frequently than words, taking the time to explain it with the rain pounding down on us would have defeated the point of the exercise. The edge of the roof was extending just enough out to provide a bit of shielding for our bench, but not enough to actually keep us dry. So I smiled and waited a minute for the monk to return, hand me the umbrella and lead me across the garden to another larger hut.
Maybe there is actually something to it - tiring yourself out by walking up a hill then letting the beauty of the garden seduce you into a relaxed state of mind.
We were getting damper little by little but it didn't matter all that much since it was a warm rain. Unlike other meditations that may involve chanting, or focusing on something, this meditation doesn't involve any of that.

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