Vipassana The Start


To Vipassana:

Wednesday 7th June 2017 I left home at 12.30 p.m. and drove the 2.5 hours across Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire and into Herefordshire, all gorgeous and green and hilly, a beautiful drive and arrived at the Dhamma Dipa mediation centre at 3 p.m. and registered after reading the things I would be giving up, Phone, Contact with world for 10 days, meat, talking, physical contact, eye contact, body gestures, female contact and late stays in bed as would be up for 4 a.m. starts !!

I signed anyway, turned phone off, took off rings, put them and wallet and car keys in the safe, and moved into my cell, a room with a single rail with 5 coat hangers, a thin open to air shelved cupboard, a single bed with mattress and a side table, the room was 8 foot by 6 foot-ish.

The two loo’s and two showers were down the hall of this wooden single story building and shared with 19 others.

I moved in, taking shoes off at the door and putting in the rack as per the sign’s instructions.

I had my own sheet and duvet cover and pillow case, a double set for a single bed. I put these on the bed and duvet and pillow. Placed alarm clock on the table, set for 4 a.m. and then unpacked and had a wonder around the enclosure, the perimeter had signed saying ‘no Male Students Pass Here’, so I could see my world had shrunk to a small area within the larger11-acree site. You can see the centres throughout the world at

I was in room A3, the next scheduled event was 6 p.m. for a talk, 7 p.m. dinner and 8 p.m. course starts and then Noble Silence started, no physical contact, eye contact, gestures, no talking, act like you are a monk!!Β  I had purchased Tia fisherman pants (think baggy) for sitting down and meditating, as found my jeans cut off blood supply, so I looked more fisherman than Monk πŸ˜‰

The 6 p.m. talk was read by the centre leader and told as useful stuff about the centre and then the divider went across, the males sat one side and female the other and that was the last real glimpse of females for the next 10 days.

The meal was vegetarian and so were all meals from then on, with dairy free too.

I’d been to the Tony Robbins event in Excel London a month before and one of the leaders looked like Mr Motivator at 35 and it turned out he was 63 !! I thought right I want what he has and he shared his diet, so I gave up in May 2017, Red Meat, All Dairy, All Alcohol, Coffee, Sugar and ‘bad’ fats and lost 5 KG πŸ˜‰, so was accustomed to the diet and the food tastes superb throughout the stay.

The 8 p.m. meeting in the large hall had us all seated I was C8, in rows, the ladies were on the right side the guys left as you looked at the front of the hall, we were 200 strong. I was hushed, apart from nervous coughs and sneezes and sniffs, and the shuffling to get comfy on the cushion and mat on the carpeted, yet hard,Β  floor.

We had an introduction to the teachers and sat for our first meditation – bit painful and fidgety on my part.

9:30 Bed and 4 a.m. the Gong went off, one of the ‘old students ‘ [ means you already did one 10 day sitting ] volunteered to wake the whole 100 men up with the gong, he went from barn to barn, some were old stables and barns converted, I was in a new block πŸ˜‰.

I actually woke up at 3:45 a.m. and felt great, the place had a chilled energy to it.

I showered and was ready for the 4.30 a.m. in the hall, and so my days repeated themselves over the next 10.

3.45 a.m. Wake up ( though I did wake up 3 times at 1.30 a.m. and stay alert until 3.45 a.m. ! )

4.00 Shower, Loo, and I gave up shaving for the 10 days

4.30 a.m. Meditation

6.30 a.m. Breakfast ( Porridge and fruit, toast and tea )

8.00 a.m. Meditation

11: a.m. Lunch time ( Rice, Vegetables, Soup all tasty and filling –Β  and pudding sometimes – best was the Apple Crumble and custard ;-)) – I made the mistake of once filling up the stomach, you won’t do that again, sitting cross-legged in the hall for hours with the stomach full results in some pains you would rather not have and trying to stop the gas escaping is a pain too !! πŸ˜‰

1 p.m. Meditation

5 p.m. Tea break ( fruit x 2 and Tea ONLY)

6 p.m. Meditation

8.30 p.m. Disco that’s what I heard, the Discourse was a video session from the 1990’s of teacher Gogenka { ) explaining in detail the work done and to be done and lots of really amusing stories.

9.30 p.m. Light out.


On day 10 we did do something different!