Vipassana 10-day Silent Meditation Retreat is like Elective Surgery

I had never heard of Vipassana. But when soulsister J mentioned an 11-day silent meditation retreat, where we don't talk to anyone for 10 days straight, I was sold! Like moth to light, kid to candy. I signed up for the upcoming retreat in 2 weeks, was waitlisted, then immediately accepted because LOTS of people back out at the last minute. LOTS.

We woke up at 4am, meditated, had breakfast, meditated, had lunch, meditated, took a tea break, meditated, listen to daily discourses, meditated, then went to bed at 9pm. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

It was easier and it was harder

This was my second Vipassana retreat in 6 months. During the first retreat, I sat for 25min before my entire body started to ache. During this one, I sat for 50min before the full body ache set it. Hey, progress is progress!

It was easier because instead of learning and practicing a new technique, I was just practicing the technique.

It was harder because the inner crap that I eliminated last time (yay!) made space for much deeper inner crap to surface this time (crap!).

It's like Elective surgery

Many have asked me about such an extended silent retreat. It's like elective surgery: you know you don't absolutely need it, but you also know that it could significantly enhance your quality of life.

Elective Surgery Vipassana Meditation

Step 1: Anesthesia (no pain)
Step 2: Physical surgery (no pain)
Step 3: Recovery with pain killers (no pain)
Step 4: Recovery without pain killers (mild pain)

Step 1: No anesthesia (pain)
Step 2: Spiritual surgery (much, much pain)
Step 3: Recovery without pain killers (mild pain)

It's like childbirth & Mental Olympics

Yes, there's pain. But these disciplined spiritual training are like childbirth, after a while you forget how much it hurt and want to do it again. I sure did.

Vipassana was like training for the Mental Olympics. You aim to sit on a cushion for a continuous hour without generating movement or thoughts.

  • For me, at 50 min, the body pain always kicked in. I started very quiet Lamaze breathing "f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck, f*ck" to try to reduce the pain.
  • But then... I remembered to be non-reactive, so not to multiply the pain. So I chanted "pain, pain, pain, pain, pain" hoping that naming the sensation would reduce it.
  • But then... I remembered not to use words, so not to dilute the practice. So I switched to "ow, ow, ow, ow, ow."
  • But then... I remembered not to qualify any sensation as good or bad, to remain equanimous. So my mantra became "it'll pass, it'll pass, it'll pass."
  • But then... I remembered to always tell the truth. And the truth was an anger bomb of, "F*ck this shit, I paid for this?!?"

So much for enlightenment.

The Restless Died

My inner Perfectionist was dying inside, knowing that she couldn't do the meditation perfectly.

My inner Restless was also dying inside, knowing she couldn't escape anywhere else.

And on the 8th day... boom, both of them died! :O Somebody pop a champagne! They're dead, dead!! And I'm freed!

Death is Good for Business

Do you have any idea what a business sans Perfectionist and Restless is like? Within 4 weeks:

  • Re-branding is 90% complete, when it's been stalled at 65% for a year
  • The Overachiever Personality Test is complete, when it's been stuck at 90% for 7 months
  • 14 Secrets Happy Overachievers e-book is complete, when it's been floating around for 6 months
  • Waiting list for Mastermind is at 116% capacity, when it was empty 4 weeks earlier

Dear Universe, so you're saying that the best thing for my business is to allow shadow parts of myself to die?

I did NOT see any of this coming: the deaths, liberations, full system reset from life, and the ease in actualizing desired results. Thank you Vipassana for the  many-in-1 benefits!

With infinite grace,

xo, Ella

(First Published feb 8, 2017)



Having navigated 131 countries, 87 emotions, 46.5 traumas, and 16 careers, Ellany Lea inspires and guides phoenixes, overachievers, entrepreneurs and wayshowers to live fierce, fulfilled and free.