By Ben Pauley
My spiritual life started just a few years again while backpacking round Canada – an unusual place to find a excessive religious path which was to alter my life eternally for the higher. I went there seeking fun, pleasure and adventure and after many highs and lows I discovered I used to be looking for the wrong things in all the unsuitable places. Canada is a land of maximum magnificence and after six months I had seen it all; the wonderful wildlife, the stunning mountains and the grand forests which shield hundreds of unpolluted rivers and streams. I keep in mind climbing for three days on Vancouver Island, a world class hiking paradise which is closely shielded from mining and logging and thinking to myself; I’m still not completely satisfied. I keep in mind climbing a distant mountain in Alaska, getting to the top and seeing essentially the most magnificent awe-inspiring view of the Skagway river meandering by a deep forested valley, sliding past the historic gold rush city of Skagway and eventually discovering its manner into the clear glowing blue ocean. Nonetheless I had an underlying craving for something extra. I used to be nonetheless completely unhappy.
I believed, possibly if I was in love right now I might feel satisfied but deep down I knew otherwise having been in love before and still feeling insecure, so attached and tense, at all times hoping it will by no means finish and always fearing that it some day would. Maybe I need social gathering I assumed, perhaps that will knock me out of this stupor, so I travelled to Dawson City which in summer time stays mild for twenty-four hours – plenty of time to party and lucky for me there was a 3 day music pageant. Fortunate because after three days of feeling like I had made a incorrect determination I decided to try one thing totally different. One thing that might make me really feel steady, safe and balanced. My quest for journey had ended and my quest for peace had begun. It was time to learn to meditate.
I first heard about Vipassana meditation about two years earlier whereas in Copenhagen. I overheard somebody speaking about it and the only factor I bear in mind was her saying “it’s ten days in silence and all you can do is meditate and stroll across the garden”. It didn’t interest me at all however for some reason it caught in my thoughts. The next time I heard it on an organic farm close to Montreal from an elderly man and a young couple who have been volunteering there. He had been helping to cook the vegetarian meals for some Vipassana courses being taught in American prisons. When he told me more about it and I told him it sounded like fun he was fairly amused. ‘I’ve searched for fun my entire life and this is much a lot better” he stated. Right here was a person so at peace with himself and although I used to be tempted I nonetheless did not join a course. It was solely after the adventuring described earlier that I made my way right down to the Vipassana centre in British Columbia to expertise something that was to vary my life endlessly for the higher.
I knew it could be a challenge for me and it was. Sitting still for 10 minutes was troublesome for me beforehand and at Vipassana I was required to take a seat for over ten hours a day without any distractions – no studying, no writing, no music and no talking. Starting time was 4:30 am, I was only allowed to eat fruit after noon and the only form of exercise was strolling. Despite my issues the trainer Mr S.N Goenka stated all these rules are designed for the scholar to get essentially the most profit so I surrendered, put my scepticism aside and labored according to the timetable and guidelines. I labored laborious and by no means missed a meditation session. The meditation corridor was so nonetheless and at occasions it felt like there was no-one else in the room regardless of it being crowded with 70 individuals. I was amazed by everyones discipline, quietness and consideration for others. Those who have been late for a session would tiptoe into the room so as to not disturb everyone else. This brought inside me a sense of respect for others after realising that I had spent most of life in a selfish existence, only consi