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Friday, September 16, 2011

After Onam comes... SILENCE

It was such a coincidence that the Dutch girl, Anna, who I was doing the truck ‘performance’ with, had been to many of these meditation courses before and she was going to one, only an hour from the ashram, this Saturday. It was the same course I actually wanted to do last year before leaving India, but time hadn’t permitted. Now, it felt to be the right time.

So, on Monday I applied for the course and Tuesday I got accepted. That’s when I knew I was leaving the ashram. Was it a rash decision? Not at all. I could’ve mulled over the decision for days, and not have made anything happen. But I made it easy on myself for once… Niamh, you want to leave, you’re free to be and go wherever you choose, and you choose to do a 10-day meditation course. So go for it.

Wednesday morning it was packing time. I said my goodbyes. In many ways I was sorry to leave the people. They all gave me so much and made the 10 intense days into an unforgettable time. Gemma from Australia, Heather from England, Eoin from Ireland, Meri van Spain, Denise from Canada, Anna from Holland, Elodie from France, Renate from Holland… I’m happy to have met them all :)

Where did I go? I went to Trivandrum (the nearest city to the ashram). I’m here now, staying in a private, secluded guesthouse. It’s absolutely gorgeous, old fashioned, so ‘granny like’, but clean, quiet… and even though it’s in the middle of the city, there’s green everywhere. How did I find out about this place? Anna had been here before and asked the owner if I could stay here until Saturday morning. And I was more than welcome.

So, we’re here now, the 2 of us. There’s only one other guest, a lady from England. On Saturday morning Anna, Denise (another girl from the ashram) and I are going to go the 10-day meditation course. I know it’s going to be tough. For those who know more about meditation, the name VIPASSANA might ring a few bells. What does it entail? Basically it’s a silent meditation retreat. We’ll be sitting on a cushion, for 10 hours a day (with breaks in between) in total silence… no communicating, no reading, no writing... (so it wouldn’t really matter if I went there alone, cause we’ll all be secluded in our own little heads, during those 10 days). A bit extreme, most will say, and many who have done it, say it’s the hardest thing they’ve done in their life. And not everyone completes the course; you’re able to leave any time you want. But, that’s not me. I’m going to start it and I’m going to finish it.

I’m delighted right now to have 3 days in between the ashram and the course. This gives me some time to rest. It’s a brief pause to write and to sit on this veranda and try prepare myself for what’s to come. But then again, I don’t think I can really prepare myself… maybe just clear my mind of all the writing I need to do. I think the only thing I can do, is go into the 10 days with an open mind… and total acceptance of the fact that I’ve chosen to do it.

For now, this will be my last update for the next 2 weeks. The course ends on the 28th. And I’m not too sure how much I’ll be willing to write, straight afterwards. Who knows… All I know is, my silence will be in many forms; all for the good of me… Be thinking of me!!!!! I’m sure you will all be going through my mind at some stage or another.

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