No books, no writing materials, no music, no jewellery, no computers, no phones, no religious objects (rosaries, crystals, mala’s, talismans etc.); simple, modest and comfortable clothing – no sleeveless shirts, tight-fitting clothing or anything above the knee. No eating after midday. No talking – only noble silence.
The five precepts for vipassana are:
- to abstain from killing any being (cue insect repellent)
- to abstain from stealing (stealing what? Food? Someone else’s insect repellant?)
- to abstain from all sexual activity (this should be a cinch)
- to abstain from telling lies (well, we can’t talk, can we? But we can still lie to ourselves, and that’s just silly and pointless)
- to abstain from all intoxicants (apart from some emergency pain relief, this one’s easy because I rarely drink alcohol and never take drugs I’m not prescribed to take. Speaking of which – I have SO much medication to take with me. Ten days can be a long time in the life of a C.F’er and transplant recipient)
And so for the next ten days I will sit (literally) in silence and mindfulness with my suffering. As much as I’m ready, I’m quite terrified and don’t think you can ever prepare for ten days of silent meditation. I’m feeling calmer than I was this morning. For some reason – and there is a reason – some things just went wrong this morning, but the day has panned out splendidly.
As for the next ten days, I can feel a shift already. It’s going to be messy, beautiful, bloody hard work (physically and mentally) and every soul in the room is going to go to some dark places, and come out the other side with peace and purity. That is the hope, although I’ll have to hand over my expectations when I walk through the door.
It’s time to get out of the city and into my head. Naaaaaaamaste!!!!!!!