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Vipassana: The art of letting go
by Y.L. Reyes on February 6th, 2014

After entering the terrifying age of 30 and with memorable triggers of a miserably failed marriage, twice a broken heart and a career in a coma, I began walking the necessary path of self- reflection and mindfulness. 
During my twenties, I never paid much attention to spirituality. Like any 20 something year old, I firmly believed I knew everything about the world and went on to make all the mistakes in the book. I will switch between ecstatic happiness and deep depression on a monthly basis while rejecting the clear signs that only I was responsible for these moments and only I could change the outcome.

My 30's came, inmediately followed by what I would like to call "the dark ages" and I suddenly found myself looking inside and hearing a desperate and terrifying cry for help. I began going to therapy, reading books and meeting people who gave me the much needed help and insight I needed and the teachings required to choose the path of happiness.

During my search, I found one of the most ancient forms of sitting meditations, believed by its followers to be created by the Buddha: Vipassana. After a quick Google search, I found one life changing definition: "practice of self-transformation through self-observation and introspection to the extent that sitting with a steadfast mind becomes an active experience of change and impermanence”, or simply: "insight meditation".

These words came to me with the strength of a beautiful hurricane and within two weeks I was registered in the next course and had taken holidays from work to attend. The dates: Christmas day 2009 until January 5th, 2010. As an extreme christmas lover, the  holidays were days I usually spend partying; but sadness was always present. These ten days were at that moment scheduled to be spent in a small town without contact from the outside world, with a strict vegetarian diet, no celebrations and in absolute and utter silence. It was a drastic change for me but all these rules didn't scare me, affect me or change my mind in any way... I was ready.

The experience altered my life. Within those ten days, amidst moments of frustration, anger, joy and peace, the simple practice of focusing on your breath erased every wrongful belief from my past. While every thought I ever had went through my head, I simply meditated, observed the pain or thought and let it go as it came; this, I learned, is the basic practice of Vipassana.

After the retreat I went out into the world with a smile. I now understood and accepted my responsibility in my own happiness; anything that comes from outside, an insult, pain, a fight, a smile, only you can allow it to enter and only you can allow it to hurt. In life just as during the mediation if you only watch the outside factor and let it go with high spirits, you will remain, always, at peace with yourself.

Vipassana taught me to let go with the most beautiful consequence: true happiness. If you are interested in learning more about this practice, you can check for more information. 

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