Meditation – the key to transformation?

Angela SykesI am super super happy as a space has just become available on the Vipassana mediation course for which I was on the waiting list! I have been a sitting a 10 day course for the past 8 years and expect I will keep on sitting them for the rest of my life (and the next life!) now as they are so beneficial to me in so many ways. Vipassana is the technique Buddha used to become enlightened himself and the technique he dedicated his life to teaching. The technique teaches you to observe the truth by witnessing and not reacting to inner sensations. The purity of the technique was lost after his death as people started to mix the technique with rights, rituals and other meditation methods, luckily a small group of monks who were well trained in the technique returned to Burma and passed the technique from teacher to student for almost 2000 years, this way the purity of the technique was preserved. It has been brought back to the masses in modern times through SN Goenka (who passed away only last year) and there are now centres all over the world (the UK has the biggest centre in Europe in Hereford). During the course you spend around 12 hours a day in meditation broken up over the day from 4.30am to 9.30 pm, there are breaks and two meals per day are served. It has become so popular that it is now difficult to get onto a course but instead of feeling frustrated I feel so happy as so many people will also be benefitting from this technique as I myself have! The most amazing thing happened to me when I did my very first course and knew nothing about meditation (I had maybe sat at the longest for 30 mins) ….I was sitting in meditation scanning my body as instructed and my inner voice was just continually chatting to me, it talked about the tension in my face and how I should maybe get a facial massage, my first love and how nice that was, it also kept reminding me how much I loved this music video and that music video, the list just went on and on and it never shut up! I then has a realisation…This voice isn’t telling me anything I need to know, this voice is trying to distract me away from meditation, this voice isn’t me…at that moment the voice was sucked away and all I felt was complete peace, presence and wholeness (yoga!!) I sat with that until I started to enjoy it…as soon as I ‘liked’ it (attachment)  I was sucked back out of my brief samadhi. So that was my first experience of ‘yoga’ in its truest sense.  Something quite magical happened to me which I did not notice until I was back in the regular world,  my inner critic was no longer there, the voice within which told me I was no good was now silent, no more ‘you can’t do anything right’ and ‘those people don’t like you’ and instead my inner voice tells me ‘well done for trying your best’ and ‘not everyone is going to like you but hey ho!’. For me this is the biggest and best gift yoga and mediation has given me because without my inner critic nothing can hold me back! The inner critic lies to us and meditation helps us to see the truth, when we begin to see the truth clearly the inner critic simply cannot exist anymore.  Start to mediate today and never ever look back.

Namaste Angela xxxxxx