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Disconnect to connect- My Vipassana Odyssey

Part 1 –  The quest to seek answers from the outside

When was the last time you woke up at 4 am in the morning to the sound of a gong or a rooster crowing surrounded by mountains? When did you spend a night away from the hustle bustle of the city life? This scenario might sound rather unfamiliar to all of us living in the UAE, and it did to me as well, until I got a chance to experience it myself first-hand.

Last year, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit and turned our lives topsy-turvy, we all looked out for different ways to cope. While some of us adapted to picking up new hobbies, others found this to be the perfect time for much needed self-introspection.

The Buddhist technique and practise of Vipassana was introduced to me by a dear ex-colleague and a friend few years ago and as I recall, it sounded very fascinating to me. I knew I was going to try it someday, just didn’t know when to be exact.

The only thing I remembered at that time was that Vipassana is a meditation practice or a retreat that requires you to spend 10 days away from your routine, at a center or an ashram, where you completely disconnect from the outside world.

The time when I made the decision of taking this step, I was battling constant emotions of feeling lost and was overwhelmed by everything that was happening around the world. I couldn’t think of a better time to take the plunge and put things into perspective.

This is the story of how I got introduced to Vipassana. In the next blog, I will share how this journey further evolved.

Zainab Chakkiwala is Social Media Manager at Cicero & Bernay Public Relations, an independent PR agency headquartered in Dubai offering new-age public relations consultancy to the UAE and across the MENA region. |