By Devika Patil
19th December 2016 evening : I receive the acceptance email for a 10 day course starting 21st Dec at Dhamma Siri, Texas. I am a little tense with last minute travel but I really want to attend the course to let go of the passing year in peaceful way. I book my tickets, packed my bags, and left the next morning. A very nice gentleman contacted me offering the ride to SVMC, just few hours before my flight. I was touched by his gesture to accommodate my bizarre flight timing and hotel checkout time. It reminded me of Paulo Coelho’s quote from the Alchemist: “When you want something, all the universe conspires to help you achieve it”.
31st December 2016, Metta Day : I listen to the experiences of fellow meditators while having lunch. All their stories end with same gist – “We are so grateful we got chance to learn this technique and so happy that we invested our vacation time in learning Vipassana.”
Suddenly an idea strikes which I share with the group – “Most of us might have spent New Year’s eve partying, how about ringing 2017 with meditation at midnight.” The group seemed to like my idea but I was not sure if they would join in.
Nevertheless I left my door open at 11.30 pm. Everyone in the group showed up at my dorm and we did a 30 min mediation followed by Metta. All the girls were quite happy and filled with pure joy.
Of all the New Years I have celebrated , this was the most peaceful one. It made me feel ready for 2017 – to embrace the things that might change, to learn to make best use of time, to let go of the unpleasant memories of 2016, and to fight very hard to remain in the present. As the quiet night drifted by, I fell asleep thinking the quieter you become, the more you can hear