The hardest thing I have ever done in my life

What could that be? Dear reader I am about to bring an entire new world to you:

What is the hardest thing I have ever done? 

I volunteered as staff on a 9 day Vipassana Course.

What is Vipassana

Vipassana is a method of meditation. To be precise it is the method with which Bhudda finally reached enlightenment after trying out so many other techniques.

I regularly take a 9 day meditation courses for my own health. It gives me so much benefits that you cannot imagine. It slows you down, it cleans your mental shit, it brings up your health and your "issues" and gives you a chance to work on it.  It makes you much stronger and able to deal with your  emotions in a better way. I never missed a meditation since I started in February 2015!

If you want further info, please contact me directly, I won't go much deeper into it here.

Volunteering at a Vipassana course

After my own course in March 2016 I volunteered to stay in the Vipassana centre for another course. In total I stayed almost one month .. note: mostly in silence and no internet or phones.

That was my first time volunteering and I hit the jackpot: Course manager position.

->That is the toughest, hardest with most responsibility and least sleep and rest time. I hardly slept at all. I went to bed the latest and woke up the earliest.

The manager is responsible for everything and takes care of every member in the course, sits next to the teacher and also does translations during lunch break. The manager is responsible to have all members participate at the meals (fasting is not allowed), to overlook the entire situation, to spot funny things, to get lost members, crying ones, getting the dietary needs from the kitchen, ringing the gong every f.. hour and making sure everybody comes to the meditations. She sleeps with one eye open and usually gets woken up at night if a member has trouble, cries, feels uneasy.

It´s no walk in the park. I would love to do it again, but I don't think I have the stamina for this again.

Every free minute I had I would go to the shared volunteer room (no single room for the manager)  to get a minute-sleep with the alarm in my hand. As soon as I feel asleep, the thing falls to the floor and I woke up. It made a difference. Any free minute: sleep and rest your body.

I lost a few kilos during that month in the centre as there was hardly any food and mostly not for gluten-dairy intolerant people like me. It was really tough to run on low fuel. I ran on white rice and rice cakes with peanut butter (if there was any).

What the volunteers do - also the kitchen workers - is giving up yourself completely and entirely to serve. That is what it is called when you sign up. You SERVE. After completing this 9 days I finally understood what it means to serve. You serve 100%, 24h a day, unconditionally.

View when you sign up for a course

Giving a donation is easy, but giving 10 days of your life in such circumstances is a truly tough thing. Go do it if you feel fit enough.

READ THIS: If you ever go to a Vipassana centre PLEASE make sure you bring a few tablets of chocolate to the volunteers. They will greatly appreciate it. (We are not allowed to eat away the students food and only get when everybody else has eaten)

I thank the person who told me about Vipassana: Leo form Brönnöysund which hosted me via Couchsurfing. Thank you Couchsurfing!