Try not to freak out.
That pretty much sums it up.
I know, I will seek comfort in the good old metaphor to begin my journey of recording this experience.....
Vipassana is akin to childbirth. You have heard so much about it and done some research so when the time comes there is a bubbly, slightly fearful anticipation fizzing around in your stomach.
You arrive, take stock of your surroundings and then basically get to work....this work is sometimes slow, sometimes fast, can be boring when time becomes a snail, exhilarating when interior worlds start to open. You have a-ha moments as clear as diamonds and slide between consciousness and unconsciousness on a moment to moment basis.
You have people around supporting you with food and words but really, the nuts and bolts job is entirely up to you.
It is incredibly painful. I mean physically, what did I do to deserve this, oh my god make the pain go AWAY kind of painful.
It is exhausting.
It is savagely beautiful and full of calm waters and raging rivers all at once.
It is an ordeal.
You come out lighter and smiling, with a new gift cradled in your arms. A gift that needs your loving and compassionate attention all day in order to flourish in this mad world.
What a gift.
I will write more over the next few weeks about the whole trip (!) and share some photos, but for now, I sit and breathe and feel....the freaking out has passed.