Meditation retreats have become increasingly popular in recent years. While considerable effort is put forth by the organizers of these retreats, oftentimes meditators have not adequately prepared, nor do they have a plan for how to best benefit from their experiences afterwards. While the teachers often are incredibly experienced, they may not empathize with the specific trials of modern urban life – its chaos and neuroses abound. If you are someone who’s grown up in such a world, learning about the journey through the first ten-day meditation retreat that changed my life can be helpful. This book is the first in a series written to appeal to those interested in the benefits, with full disclosure on my mistakes, what I wish I knew, and an in-depth look at why it was the most life-changing event I’ve been fortunate enough to experience.
While this series may be applicable to many forms of meditation retreats, it is catered specifically to Vipassana meditation, as taught by S.N. Goenka. This is the meditation technique said to have been practised by Gotama the Buddha, liberating him from suffering and allowing him to achieve enlightenment. I spent ten days in the California desert learning the practice of Vipassana – a technique to see things as they really are, not as they appear to be.