This is such a unique path. It’s so different from anything else I’ve experienced in the West, and the insights are so subtle. In the beginning, this can feel like a lonely path with little support. I was the first person in my family to take a meditation course, and 2.5 years later, I’m still the only person in my family to take a course. I had two friends take courses before I took a course, and no more of my old friends have decided to take a course. So I haven’t received much support from people who have been in my life for a long time.
More recently, I have become friends with many meditators. Like any new relationship, these friendships have taken time to grow, but there is something very special about sharing this practice with a friend. Do you remember when you were a kid and you and your best friend created your own language of inside jokes and mannerisms? That’s what having a Vipassana friend is like. You can talk about dhamma right in front of other people and they have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s like you have a secret connection.
I guess my advice is, don’t spend too much time trying to convince your friends and family to take a course. Everyone is always excited to tell their friends about their 10-day experience, but I don’t hear many stories of groups of friends attending courses together. This is a difficult path, and committing to 10 days of silent meditation is both hard and intimidating. If you’re looking for support, seek out other meditators. It might take time to develop new friendships, but it’s worth it, and your old friends and family will still be there in their own way. The support you need is out there. You just need to go find it. Time to go meditate.