Adhering to a simple but strict schedule. Day in and day out. 10-days of behavioral conditioning. Not the primary purpose. I don’t think. I consider it a welcomed after-effect. Nevertheless, my life has improved. How? I incorporated 6 life-changing Vipassana practices.
1. Practice Noble Silence.
My husband and I are opposites. I prefer silence. In contrast, he likes noise. Something has to be ON. Television, radio app on his phone, Instagram stories, Whatsapp status’. I experimented with noble silence before leaving for Vipassana. I did not talk between 10 AM and 4 PM. It worked wonders. I was super productive. I work more diligently. Last week, I completed 90% of the tasks I set for myself.
2. Focus on the Present
I have a tendency to self-sabotage myself. Checking email. Instagram. Facebook. WhatsApp. Marco Polo. Voice/text messages. Multiple browser pages open. Doomed. I’m trapped in social media, the world wide web, or applications for hours. It can lead to an unproductive day. Presently, I give every project my full attention. My phone is put on silent and away. “Do Not Disturb” is set on laptop notifications. One to two browsers are open. I’m fully present. And smashing goals.
3. Take Breaks to Rest
Burning the midnight oil? Working through breaks? It’s productive. Right? In actuality, it’s counterproductive. Vipassana encourages you to rest. I took naps during my breaks. Later, I began walking around the grounds. I sat on the porch. Admired nature. I felt energized. Despite, consuming fewer calories. Often, I was one of the first students in the meditation hall. Currently, I no longer fight sleep. I nap for an hour. Or two. Wake up. Resume working with more clarity.
4. Vegetarian Diet
The Indian cuisine was yummy to my tummy. And meatless. A fellow student pointed out, some meals were vegan. An exception was milk served with each meal. I’m not a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan. Yet? I like the benefits so far. Lesser calories. Frequent bowels. TMI. Meals do not always require cooking (ie. salad or honey, peanut butter, and banana sandwich). Meal preparation time reduced. Added bonus: Less clean up afterward. I really don’t like washing dishes.
5. Intermittent Fasting
The last feeding was at 5 PM. It was a snack. Cereal, fruit (banana, oranges, and/or apple), milk, and marsala tea. I expected to be hungry before breakfast at 6:30 AM. Not once did I experience hunger pangs. The food was delectable. I overindulged for the first couple of days. Overindulgence = miserable meditation. I began eating just enough to satisfy me. Not going back for seconds or thirds. Still, the last feeding sustained me until the following day. I pretty much adhere to this practice. With the exception of date night. Weight loss is a plus. Noticed by the husband.
6. Unplug for a Day
The world still functioned while I was away. Can you believe it? Oftentimes we think otherwise. Couldn’t be farthest from the truth. Self-reflection and external observation were heightened. I see disconnecting becoming the norm in today’s society. I’m getting a head start. My husband and I were forced to take the Sabbath as children. We’re taking it a step further. Powering off our technological devices to the world. No screen time. Benefits: Uninterrupted quality time with hubby. The day seemed longer. I slept until 10 AM. I read more intently. Deep, engaging conversations occurred. Life. Beliefs. Religion. Politics. Questions were asked. Questions went unanswered. I felt revived.
I’ll admit. My Vipassana experience was not ideal. On the last night, I was itching unbearably. I broke out into hives. Among other things during my stay. Despite, the discomforts I experienced. I left with 6 life-changing Vipassana practices.
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