10 Things I Learned from 10 Days in Silent Meditation

On Sunday, April 3rd, I emerged from a 10-day silent meditation (called Vipassana meditation).

In addition to no talking, there was:

  • No cell phone.

  • No reading.

  • No writing.

  • No exercise.

  • No eye contact with others.

The intention of these boundaries is to remove all external stimulation.

  • We slept in tents for 11 nights.

  • We woke up everyday at 4am.

  • We had 2 meals (vegetarian) before noon every day, and fruit at 5pm.

Here are 10 things I learned from that experience:

  1. Above all else, the most difficult thing in the world is sit completely still…alone…with only your thoughts…your feelings…your pain…your urges…and NOT REACT. Just observe.

  2. All suffering comes from either CRAVING or AVERSION.

  3. CRAVING is an attachment, a clinging to objects of desire, feelings, people, status, money, power etc. And when we don’t have these objects of our desire, we suffer.

  4. Whatever you CRAVE THE MOST, will scream at you relentlessly when you first remove all external stimulation and deprive yourself of the object of your desire (food, caffeine, sexual stimulation, being busy, exercise, social interaction etc.)

  5. AVERSION is resistance to anything we deem unpleasant, painful, disappointing, scary, etc. And when these things happen to us, we suffer.

  6. IMPERMANENCE. The Law of Nature is such that everything is impermanent. Life gives way to death…only for new life to emerge. Seasons change. Feelings arise, fall, evolve again in this direction or that…and so on. Therefore, to cling to what is constantly changing only brings suffering.

  7. Pain is inevitable. Suffering is most definitely a CHOICE.

  8. A periodic DIGITAL DETOX is a must for reducing stress and heightening focus on what’s most important. No technology, no media. Minimum of 48 hours for any meaningful impact.

  9. If I were to meditate 15 minutes a day, every day, for the next 400 DAYS, I would still fall short of the 100+ hours of meditation time from these past 10 days.

  10. All of my biggest, best and BOLDEST ideas come during meditation. I generated some 7-figure ideas during those 10 days. And you can hold me to that 

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Amy Merrill