10 Lessons Learned from 100 Hours of Meditation

Props to my brother who asked if I was like Ron Swanson meditating, which led to this meme.

10 Lessons 10 Days

#1 Vipassana 10 Day Courses Are Hardcore

There was no easing into the course.

#2 Not Talking, Not Writing, Not Reading Are Easy

If you read my other post “Why I’m Going Silent for 10 Days”, you’ll know that during the retreat you can’t talk, make eye contact, read, write, do yoga, go jogging, eat snacks outside of scheduled times, etc etc. It sounds miserable.

#3 Meditating For 10 Hours A Day Is Hard

No bones about it, 10 hours a day meditating is a long time. Some sessions were blissful, some were ridiculously boring, some were filled with terrible nerve pain.

#4 Nature Is Awesome

While I was living in my inner world, I took extreme delight during my walks to the meditation hall and on our 1/4 mile trail during breaks. I connected with rabbits, hummingbirds, dragonflies, cacti, the wind, rocks, lizards, some sort of pigeony looking bird, and trees. I spent at least 10 minutes one day watching ants building a new ant pile. Sound really boring? I actually found myself filled with joy and wonder.

Some of the many nature photos I took on Day 11 when I got my phone again.

#5 Our Minds Are Wild

When you are absolutely quiet and not taking in a lot of information you realize how totally unsettled our minds usually are.

#6 Our Brains Are Fascinating

Brains are what are recognizing sensory information and our minds are interpretting it into a story.

#7 Our Bodies Are Amazing!

Not sure how I missed this in my research on this meditation course, but you spend 6 days doing a body scan, which is Vipassana meditation. And while that sounds ridiculously boring, WOW OUR BODIES ARE FASCINATING.

Selfie time, Day 11 when I was released into the wild. Badass background courtesy of Joshua Tree National Park.

#8 We Create Our Own Reality

This is a deep topic not really fit for my listicle write up. But, yeah I already kind of believed this, and now I totally do. At some point I felt like I was able to reframe my reactions to all events, positive or negative and for a few moments I got to some deep level of true inner peace.

#9 We Can Totally Rewire Our Brains

If you had told me on Day 8 that we were actually part of a Jedi Mind Training Course To Rewire Our Brains, I would have believed you.

Me, to all my thoughts & attachments (retreat only, see lesson #10).

#10 BUT…We Have To Practice

I got to some deep insights on this retreat. Related to my own reactivity, my relationship with trying to control time, my work purpose, and my emotions. I felt lighter, more powerful, and way more peaceful after 10 days.

That book won’t do you much good! Practice in advance might :)



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maria bridge

maria bridge

Writing on meditation, behavioral psychology, and applied ethics. Stanford MBA, Bain alum, certified Koru Mindfulness teacher.