~ Sanjay

I have previously talked about morning meetings and the role they play at C3SLD. There are two other activities that are common to C3SLDers. One is the RTL workshops that comprises Levels 1 and 2, SDGs and PC Training. The other is 10-Day Vipassana courses. Youth at C3SLD are all required to attend at least one 10-day course with subsequent 10-day courses being optional (though highly encouraged) based on the individual’s own perspective, needs and observations.

Sanjeev sets an example by attending one 10-day course every year. And it is now almost a cliché` that every time, he returns from one such course, he is bursting with ideas and insights on how C3SLD can do more and do it better. One such idea was that for one week (which turned into two weeks after the week was up), we would replace the usual routine of morning meetings with Vipassana for the entire week. This was the schedule for the 2 weeks

Monday – Friday

  1. First 5-10 minutes: Short discussion on some Pali terms, some detail regarding the technique, posture, intentional breathing, review of the insights from discourses of the previous day, etc
  2. First 30 minutes: Anapana/Vipassana
  3. Next 30 minutes: GoenkaJi’s discourses
  4. Last 5-10 minutes: Video of one of the old students at the conclusion of a 10-day course regarding why they keep coming back for more 10-day courses

Saturday: Half day Vipassana course from 8:00 AM – 12:45 PM with a 20-30 minute break for breakfast

Here I will share my own perspectives about this break of routine. Generally, I sit daily for an hour at the very least. The first hour is a breeze while I really struggle to make the next hour. We can say that Monday to Saturday, I manage about an hour and 20-30 minutes on average and with the 4 hours on Sunday, I am able to average a little less than 2 hours/day over a period of a week. 

However, these two weeks, because there was Vipassana every morning, meditating 2 hours a day was a breeze. The one hour I was able to sit by myself with ease and the next hour with the youth at C3SLD. Group meditation is always easier than sitting individually and being able to sit with the group really made 2 hours/day very easy. So, since I was able to sit 2 hours each day for the entire week, and with the two half day courses, it amounted to an average of a little more than 2.5 hours per week.

What changes did I see in myself during this week? Here were all the mundane benefits/changes I saw these two weeks

  1. I usually struggle to exercise, however, this week, I was able to exercise every day for atleast an hour, either resistance training, or stretching, or Asanas or light movements and even some sports.
  2. Much enhanced concentration and efficiency when working
  3. Sometimes I joke (it may not be a joke) that I really moved to C3SLD because it would prevent me from whiling away my life in net surfing. This is something I still struggle with, though a lot less than 3 years back. However, this week, it was much diminished. I just did not feel like surfing the net at all. It felt much more fitting to take a walk, breathe the fresh air, stare at the trees or enjoy the scenery.
  4. I also had several insights about how I can live a healthier life. I will have a post on this after 6 weeks if these insights really help me.
  5. Much less getting carried away by my background conversations during walks or down time. I was able to detach from my background conversations, just allowing them to play themselves out without getting involved in them
  6. Able to wake up every single day before the crack of dawn, and wake up feeling refreshed. Sleep time was diminished from an average of 7 hrs/day to 5.5 hrs/day, a gain of 1.5 hours every day just from sleep.
  7. Was exquisitely and deliciously tired around 9:00 PM everyday. Body was tired but mind was fresh.

             All in all, a wonderful two weeks. Something I will remember years from now. I wish this could continue, but as an organization, we have a multi-disciplinary approach to personal development and personal growth such as book reading, RTL sessions and Learning sessions which we cannot neglect or ignore or reduce. Therefore, I feel very grateful for these two weeks. I feel very grateful that they happened and I feel very grateful for whatever caused Sanjeev to do this.

            I cannot wait for Sanjeev’s insights and changes he brings about when he returns from his 20-day Vipassana course.