The Missing Link

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.


This entry was posted in Personal Experiences by Ryan Shelton. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ryan Shelton

While I'm currently married to a beautiful woman while teaching physics at Padua Academy, these descriptors fail to capture the totality of my adventurous life. I have hiked over 1700 miles, traveled to 5 continents, managed a bakery, started a meditation center, counseled troubled teens, attended Duke, UNC, and Harvard, protected forests as a wildland firefighter, volunteered thousands of hours with Americorps, rafted the Grand Canyon, SCUBA dived on the Great Barrier Reef, and continues to find new adventures. I hope my writing encourages you to pursue your dreams and be the best version of yourself while supporting your communities to work together to solve the current challenges in our world.

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