While many of us are fortunate to be with family members in this lockdown, many of us are not. Many of us are forced to get into real physical isolation. All of us who live alone or those who never got an opportunity to reach back home.
This isolation has the support of smartphone and internet for many of us. However, isolation has always been different and unique.
am a social person and I love to be around people. So, for most of my life, I never went into so called isolation. However last year I went into a planned isolation.
I went for a 10-day Vipassana meditation. This is a special meditation and soul-searching journey, where you go into a unique kind of Isolation.
Now the question arises that why I went for it in the first place?Creativity has been an important part of my life and it has helped me to write many poems in past. But from last few years, I was missing my creative side. I guess, I was too occupied with work to stop and admire the world around me.
I heard this somewhere, “Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges, so relax”. And I really wanted that mental detoxification.
Vipassana meditation is not an easy one to finish. Many participants leave the camp in 3 to 5 days. We must follow strict discipline of the ashram, which includes getting up at 4 am every day.
I adapted to the Vipassana way of life in stages. Each stage has its own moment of truth. Sharing them below
Getting over Nomophobia – My biggest concern while planning for the retreat is how I will manage without my phone.
Smartphone is so deeply ingrained in our lives, that we can’t imagine a life without them. This has gone so bad that this phobia has got a name now – “Nomophobia
Wikipedia says, “Nomophobia occurs in situations when an individual experiences anxiety due to the fear of not having access to a mobile phone.”
It was not an easy thing to leave your phone, to say the least. What would happen to all those notifications and action on different social platforms?
It was overwhelming to start with, but I prepared for it. Assigned some ongoing business transactions to my colleague in office and scheduled an email auto-responder.
Once I submitted my phone on the ashram counter, I was free. I felt light and relaxed. To my surprise I only missed my phone for the next 10-12 hours. Post that it was all ok. I felt like I am back to my school days when there were no mobile phones around.
Getting into Noble Silence – This was the big one. You have to literally keep your mouth shut – “All the Time”. Not only keeping quiet is needed, what we follow in Vipassana Ashram is “Noble Silence”.
- No looking in the eyes
- No passing a smile to others
- No hand gestures
- Look at the ground while walking
- No singing or humming
Sounds boring! Yes, it is for a maximum of 2-3 days. Then you sink in the real depth of silence and start understanding the power it brings along with it.
When the words and noise settle down, we start listening to ourselves, we start understanding ourselves and our lives. Then we truly start loving ourselves.
Settling down the mind – Now, this was the trickiest one to accomplish. Once the meditation starts in the ashram, we begin with simple breathing exercise to settle down our mind and thoughts. This may sound easy, but it is the toughest one to crack.
The more time we spent working on it, the more difficult it gets. They say, the mind is like a wild monkey that hates to stay at one place. It keeps jumping from one branch to another all the time.
To me, it initially felt something impossible to achieve. I was almost giving up on day 4. And then it happened, I went in for a deep meditation for almost an hour. This was powerful, very powerful.
The power of getting into the real stage of awareness. Such awareness is rare to find. All credit goes to silence again.
Taking a deep dive – After 6-7 days of this lifestyle and meditation, some participants achieve a higher state of deep mediation.
A state that is higher than the popular Alpha state. This is where we start feeling vibrations in our body. We start noticing the sound of our organs and feel them as well.
We start understanding the truth of mortality and get a chance to communicate with our subconscious. I am not finding words to explain this state well. I must say that it’s a very psychedelic state. State of pure awareness.
This state of mind is so blissful that we don’t want to come out of it. In fact, when the silence was broken on 11th day, I was not feeling like speaking or chatting with people around. I was in love with my silence.
I knew how much hard work was needed to reach there and experience the true power of silence.
So, while we are forced in an Isolation because of this pandemic, we can all use this wonderful opportunity to get into real isolation.
Take a deep dive in your consciousness and find the power we need to solve most of the challenges of our lives.