Making the commitment to complete a 10-day meditation course is a major commitment. Making the jump from completing a 10-day course at a meditation center to integrating a daily practice with life is even harder. This dhamma lifestyle is very different from my pre-Vipassana life, and that transition can be overwhelming. The reality is, sitting two hours a day isn’t just a 14 hour weekly commitment. It’s not like taking a college course that you can plug in and out of as you like. Committing to a daily practice is committing to a new way of life.
So what are the supports in place for this transition? From my perspective, they’re very limited. If you’re lucky, there is a weekly group sitting within 30 minutes that fits into your schedule so you can share your meditation practice with other Vipassana practicioners on a regularly basis. Unfortunately, the chances aren’t great, and the group sitting probably draws 3 to 5 people. You are very lucky if one of those 5 people can relate to your pre-Vipassana life. So what other supports are out there?
There must be a way to support more people through this transition. I often wonder if it’s just a matter of patience and persistence. On the scale of 3 years, it seems like nothing will change, but if I extend my vision to 30 years, the number of people who have completed a 10-day course and who are aware of its benefits will have multiplied several times. As this collective awareness grows, establishing a daily practice will become easier. But this still leaves me wondering if there is more that we can do to help. Any ideas? Time to meditate.