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:

  1. to abstain from killing any being (cue insect repellent)
  2. to abstain from stealing (stealing what? Food? Someone else’s insect repellant?)
  3. to abstain from all sexual activity (this should be a cinch)
  4. 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)
  5. 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!!!!!!!

16 thoughts on “Vipassana

    1. It is a luxury in these frenetic times which I am trying to make less frenetic (and succeeding – I think?) It’s going to be hard work, or perhaps it won’t be as hard as I think. Either way, I’m going in with an open mind to be still, to sit, to walk. Freedom indeed 🙂


  1. You are truly a brave soul! For some a retreat but for this ADD, it sounds terrifying… Fortunately, you will keep us posted as I am certainly not as brave. 🙂
    Bon courage et bonne chance!


    1. Merci, Lea! I don’t think it’s a ‘retreat’ by any means. It’s damn hard work and I know I’ll need every particle of my being to get through this. I think this is going to be harder than any surgery I’ve had, and that’s saying something. I’ll write about my experience upon my return 🙂 xoxo


  2. You can not prepare for a life changing thing, indeed. Per definition! 🙂
    PS: on my blog there’s an article (avec video) about my 10 day retreat – but you better not get too much information before.


    1. Thanks Thomas 🙂 Vipassana was about eighteen months ago now, can you believe? I was planning on writing about it, but it ended up being such an intense and intimate experience, and I’ve struggled to put it into words. I’d love to write about it one day so it can go in my memoir, but for now it’s a very private quest of the soul XO


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