Written by Jess Farrelly
Over the past few years I have dedicated many of my waking hours, as well as my time and energy, to seeking the truth to inner peace. I have done extensive research into the field of meditation and mindfulness having completed yoga teacher trainings, become a Smiling Mind Ambassador, educated both adults and children in the importance of meditation and yoga, explored Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and volunteered my time as an educator exploring different cultures in Peru, East Timor and Cambodia.
It was not until 2017, however, during my year abroad that I was introduced to Vipassana meditation in Myanmar and learnt the real meaning of inner peace and the power of meditation.
When I arrived in Myanmar, I arrived at the pagoda with only a small backpack. I was meditating eleven hours a day, sleeping on a wooden slat under a mosquito net and spent ten days with no technology or communication with anyone else.
Still with all these limitations it was truly the happiest I had ever been in my life as I learnt to live with no attachment to family, friends and possessions and became grateful for all the things that I had.
During my experience I got lost in my own thoughts and I found answers to many of my life’s questions, which I knew nobody else could answer. Slowly my attitude started to change towards everything.
When we are born, we are taught to think, behave and tackle situations in a certain way. People around us share their knowledge depending on their own personal experiences, but this is only a snapshot of their own personal perspective.
By practicing and learning about Vipassana I realised I was opening the doors of knowledge that existed within me and within all of us and everybody can open these doors if they choose to listen to their bodies, their minds, their emotions.
For me this was like giving birth to myself. Everything I was searching for – happiness and peace, I found them within. I realised that as we get older and our lives become busier and we take on more responsibilities, we become more out of touch with what we are feeling in the present moment and become less attuned to a holistic way of living. We lose touch with how our body is feeling and what it needs, how our emotions impact us and the negative implications this has on our health, wellbeing and our spirit.
It was definitely one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences I have had to date, and I will always consider it a huge turning point in my life.
I feel that for myself, that I have found the key to my own happiness and by clearing my mind, connecting to my body, discovering my spirituality and finding that balance, I have unlocked the secret to inner peace.
I highly recommend Vipassana to everyone and anyone who wants to reconnect to themselves. I’m not going to lie – it is tough, mentally and physically challenging (to say the least!) There’ll be times when you are in so much pain and discomfort that you’ll want to leave the place screaming, however I encourage you to stay and carry out the 10 days.
In this you will learn the most valuable lesson which is to learn to disassociate yourself from pain and discomfort and to accept and surrender to it. This teaches us that pain, suffering, emotional upheavals, are all a part of life. When we learn to accept this fact, we can live in peace and harmony.
The next Retreat will be held at our new Bend of Islands Studio. For more information contact Jess Farrelly on 0423 227 350 or firstname.lastname@example.org