Meditation: Silence is Golden

Have you ever fantasized about completely escaping the noise of the city and having no access to any distractions—books, writing materials, television, computers, cell phones?  Have you ever wanted the noise to stop so you could just hear your own voice?  Maybe you think that to achieve this you would have to travel to Nepal or Tibet? Well, look no further becuase your silent retreat can be found right here in Egbert, Ontario. You will hear nothing but silence (besides the trees rustling and birds singing).  Find this at the Vipassana Meditation Centre.

These centres exist all over the world but I was thrilled to discover a location so close to Toronto. 

This is by no means your typical vacation destination. Meditation is surprisingly harder than one would think—much harder. The schedule at Vipassana was strict with almost ten hours devoted to meditating, a morning wake-up call of 4am and bedtime at 9:30pm.  A vow of what they call ‘Noble Silence’ is taken for nine of the ten days.  This means absolutely no talking except potentially on brief occasions to the teacher that guides you through the meditation process.

At the retreat, you are taught a simple meditation technique which allows you to tap deeply into your subconscious.  For most people, this is a very profound experience.  It is said that this technique is how Buddha found enlightenment.  Although it is a Buddhist based concept, it’s completely non-sectarian and all people are welcome to attend the course, regardless of religious beliefs.

The course is ten days long.  This may seem excessive but after going through this journey, you come to realize that this length of time is needed to develop the technique and receive the benefits.  Once the ten-day course is completed, shorter courses of one and three days are available.

Now you might think this retreat would be outrageously expensive, after all you are given ten days of lodging, fed three meals a day, and taught a technique that will help transform your life.  The cost is nothing.  The course it absolutely free and run entirely on donations by others who have taken the course and benefitted from it.

Vipassana means to see things as they really are and I know personally that I moved through many deep-seated issues.  There was no one telling me what to think or how I should deal with problems. This retreat taught me how to look closely at myself and come to my own conclusions. The meditation process taught me that there are easy and straight forward ways to work through these issues.

This course would certainly not be for everyone but I did find being in a beautiful, serene setting and hearing nothing but nature extremely restorative.

It is not necessary to be familiar with meditation, I wasn’t, but it was a challenge to sit for that many hours without prior practice.  It became easier as the days went on.  The technique I learned was invaluable and something that I will continue to use throughout my life.  I felt like I left a hundred pounds of baggage in Egbert – and I’m not talking about my Louis Vuitton luggage set.

To learn more about Vipassana Meditation and the ten-day courses they offer please visit http://www.dhamma.org/ It might just change your life.

About The Author

Nicole Fairbairn

Nicole Fairbairn spent most of her adult life in Vancouver but decided to make Toronto her home four years ago and she’s loving every minute of it. She began writing for fun and it’s turned into a great passion. She’s an avid supporter of the arts and enjoys experiencing the many wonderful cultural events this city has to offer. When she’s not writing, Nicole enjoys reading, ice skating, salsa dancing, travelling and hanging out with her cat. Favourite Place in Toronto: Distillery District with its beautifully restored Victorian buildings, great cafes, stunning galleries, hip boutiques and vibrant theatre scene.

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