Spiritual Enrichment

Vipassana 十天內觀禁語靜坐營

What is Vipassana? (中文版故事寫在照片之後)

I went to a 10-days Vipassana Silence Meditation Retreat at North Fork, California in the end of October.  I would like to share my personal experiences and thoughts here.  You can google it to see experiences from others.

It was interesting how I signed up and attended this retreat.  I went to see an old friend in June who I haven’t see for three years or so. During our conversation, he mentioned that he has attended Vipassana 7 times in 4 years and he is going again in October which is a bilingual session (English and Mandarin that is offered once a year), and he recommend me to attend because it helps him a lot in many ways.  Few weeks later when I flip through my photos on my phone, I realized that someone else has told me about it years ago because I took a photo of a marketing piece of the Vipassana that has their contact info on it.

I totally forgot about it until now.  So I looked at it as a sign that I should really look into it this time.  In the end, I did submit my application and got accepted.  This retreat is totally free for everyone because someone else who donate money.  It’s a donation based and you can only donate if you have attended at least one 10-days retreat.  It has a long waitlist and people do drop out in the middle of the retreat so please take it seriously.

Personally, I don’t meditate in a regular daily basis so I really don’t know what I got myself into until I got there.  Stay silent, no eye contact or interaction with others wasn’t hard for me.  I kind of like the quiet time.  By the third day I can sit very still for one hour and not eating dinner but I want to leave on the fourth and sixth days . . . .and you wonder why?

All the chanting, English+Chinese instructions and discourse are all done by recording which is about 5 min long.  The chanting is in Sanskrit or Hindi, the English has a heavy Indian accent and the Chinese has Mainland Chinese accent plus the Chinese translation delivery has totally lost the original personalities, sense of humor and the temperature of the voice.  Moreover, they play the recording in the beginning and in the end of every hour meditation.

Guess what??  It play 11 times a day!!!  I was so turn off by the recording.  I want to skip the recording but can’t.  I especially hate to listen to the Chinese instructions and the discourse.  I want to switch to the English, and ask the assistant manager but her response was no, it’s better to stay in Chinese since it was my first time. Since I offer someone a ride from the Bay area and I didn’t want to leave him there so I stay through.

By the 11th day early morning (the day we are leaving), after we finished our last Chinese discourse, assistant teacher let us go into the meditation hall to watch English discourse video.  Wait a second, the English discourse is using videos??  This was my first time listen to the English version of the discourse, and got to see Mr. Goenka, and what a big difference did it make!!!!  He was funny and loving.  Even it was the last 5-10 min of the video but I was ended up in tears.  What the hell that I listen to the Chinese for that 10 days and totally disconnected when I should have listen to the English and have a totally different experience.

So seriously, If your English is good enough, I would recommend you to take the English one.  If your native language is something else, look up the website using your native language, google search some youtube videos, get familiar with some keywords that are in your native language, then I think you will be just fine with English.  I wish I have done that before I went because I would have a totally impression and experiences for the 10 days.

One good reason to take the bilingual retreat is the food.  They do offer some Chinese food such as porridge, rice, veggie, tofu, rice noodle, hot soup, etc for breakfast and lunch; otherwise, I think the standard meals would be oatmeal, cereals, toast, instant coffee and tea for breakfast, and salad for lunch.

If you are not a regular meditators, maybe you want to attend shorter one such as 3 days or 5 days with other organizations just so you get used to the idea of meditation.  “Sitting Still” for an hour long is harder than you think, let alone that you need to do that 5 times a day or more.

By the day three, I am fine without eating “dinner” (fresh fruits and tea) because I don’t feel hungry.  However, from the day four, I slept until 6:30 for breakfast because I was so tired.  Go figure.

I am back from the retreat for two months now and I wasn’t able to continue to meditation in a daily basis. I guess it will be on my 2019 resolution wishes!!!  LOL

* * * * *

Now, let me share some logistics (besides what they say online or in email) with you so you can be more prepared for your retreat.

I went in the end of October in North Fork, California.  The weather was nice, 46F to 80F, no rain.

> I would suggest to have boonie/bucket + down vest during the day, and beanie + down jacket at night and early morning because it’s cold from your dorm to the meditation hall or the dining room during the 5-10 min walk. And it will get colder as day goes on.

> Bring a indoor flip flop.  The dorm is carpeted in the room and the hallway but tiled in the bathroom.

> Bring a Thermos if you want hot water.  All the water in the dorm is drinkable; however, you only get hot water during meal time in the dining room. You can bring a kettle if you really need a lot of hot water per day.

> Make sure your flashlight is bright.

> They have hair dryers in the bathroom

> In the bathroom wall, there are different signup sheets for shower time/shower room, and cleaning day.

* * * * *

A typical daily schedule:

4:00am Wake-up Bell call

4:30-6:30 Meditation in your room or in Meditation Hall or Pagoda Cell

6:30-7:15 Breakfast

7:15-8:00 Break

9:00-9:00 Group sitting in the Meditation Hall*

9:00-10:00 Meditation in your room or in Meditation Hall or Pagoda Cell

11:00-11:45 Lunch

11:45-1:00 Break

1:00-2:30 Meditation in your room or in Meditation Hall or Pagoda Cell

2:30-3:30 Group sitting in the Meditation Hall*

3:30-5:00 Meditation in your room or in Meditation Hall or Pagoda Cell

5:00-5:30 Tea and Fruits (Dinner)

5:30-6:00 Break

6:00-7:00 Group sitting in the Meditation Hall*

7:00-8:15 Teacher Discourse* (English and Mandarin in two different rooms)

8:20-9:00 Group sitting in the Meditation Hall*

9:00-9:30 Q&A or retire to your room

10:00 Lights Out

 男女的住宿, 用餐, 活動範圍完全分開/ Men and Women has separate dorms, dining room, walking area.

每天要走的路/You walk on this path few times a day

如果下雨, 就建議穿雨鞋了.

女生宿舍之一/one of the dorm

有三間廁所, 三間浴室/ 3 toilets and 3 showers in the dorm

男女共修/分二邊坐的大禪堂/ Meditation Hall, men and women sit on different side

Pagoda 小觀房的外觀, 裡面有很多小隔間, 獨立空間打坐.

什麼是內觀? Vipassana 台灣內觀中心. (聽說台中要關掉了, 那就剩高雄)

我十月底去North Fork, CA參加一場十天的內觀禁語禪修營, 這次會去是因為一位三年沒見的中醫朋友強烈推薦, 他四年內已經去了七次, 他說對他幫助很大, 所以鼓勵我考慮參加. 後來我才發現, 數年前已經有朋友告訴過我, 只是我當時沒放在心上.  這次大概是時間點對了, 因為我真的報名也被接受參加了.

我平常沒有固定打坐冥想, 都是想到才做, 所以完全沒有心理準備實際上每天要打坐五次以上, 每次一小時會是什麼樣的挑戰和感覺. 後來發現, 維持不動的一小時打坐是可以訓練而習慣的, 但我非常不習慣, 而且後來非常抗拒排斥的, 是每小時打坐時間的前後五分鐘所聽的錄音帶.

英文的指導是葛印卡先生所錄製, 中文版另有他人直接翻譯後錄製, 而我不習慣印度口音很重的英文, 也非常受不了冷硬死板的中文直譯的聲音和內容, 因為英文版的原音起碼很有溫度, 很有感情, 很有幽默感, 而中文的完全失去那個原味.

痛苦的是, 每天要聽十一次的五分鐘錄音帶, 內容大同小異, 但一樣痛苦, 我反感到很想離開, 後悔當初幹嘛不報英文版的就好. 不過報中英雙語營的好處是食物, 因為參加的華人多, 所以他們有特別準備一些稀飯, 米粉, 豆腐, 熱湯, 炒菜等, 不然的話, 早餐可能就是麥片或玉米片, 咖啡, 午餐就是沙拉.

晚上的開示, 中文和英文是分開在二個不同空間, 我到 “最後一天” 才知道, 原來英文的是看錄影帶, 所以他們看得到葛印卡先生實際說話的樣子, 我才真正感受到他的慈悲關愛, 當他說 “May all being be in peace, happy, liberate. 願一切眾生安詳, 快樂, 解脫”, 我的眼淚忍不住流下來, 而我們中文的還是聽錄音帶, 常常聽到我睡著. 你無法想像那二者的落差之大, 讓我後悔不已啊!!!

我強烈建議, 如果你的英文程度還行, 建議你是先在網上找Youtube, 看一些影片, 弄懂一些關鍵字, 你就直接參加英文營就好, 我覺得那個體驗會好很多.  如果你平常沒有打坐冥想的習慣, 建議先去參加其他三天或五天的暖身一下, 一下子參加十天的, 需要毅力和決心.

我回來二個月了, 完全沒有繼續打坐, 我看把它列入2019年的新年新希望吧!!! LOL

* * * * *


古老的印度留給世界兩種實踐方法。一種是體能鍛鍊的瑜伽體位法(Asanas) 以及調息法 (Pranayama) 來保持身體健康;另一種則是内觀(Vipassana),心的訓練以保持心的健康。任何宗教信仰的人都可以學習並實踐這兩種方法。同時,人們仍可安詳與和諧地遵循自己的宗教信仰,完全不需要改變,改變信仰往往是產生緊張與衝突的主要因素。除非内心能獲得安詳,否則世界和平無法實現。焦躁不安與安詳和諧無法共存。要獲得内心安詳的一個方法就是內觀,這是非宗派、科學的,以成果導向來自我觀察與了解實相的方法。修持這個方法,能在經驗上體驗身心是如何相互影響。 每次當負面情緒自心中產生,比如焦慮, 生氣;身體上便會升起不愉悅的感受。而内心產生無私的愛、慈悲與善意時,整個身體就滿溢著愉悅的感受。修持内觀也體驗到,心的作用引導著身體和言語上的行為,從而决定了行爲的好壞。心是最重要的,這也就是爲什麽我們要找到實際可行的方法來使内心安詳與純淨。

Books, Self-Improvement

50 Self-Help Books Classics

This is an index of 50 self-help books that we consider classics — the ones that you should probably consider reading in your lifetime. These are some of the most influential self-help books around that have been read by millions of people — and helped many of them.

Self-help books are popular for a reason — they are an inexpensive way to try out something different in your life, or look at something from a different perspective. Change only happens when not only do we want to change, but we also have the right tools in order to implement effective change. Self-help books can provide those tools (but you’ll still have to provide the motivation yourself).

These self-help classics stand the test of time when it comes to good self-help books. While not every self-help book will help everyone who reads it, they do help the majority of the people. Not only do you have to read the book, though… you need to put the ideas in the book into action in your every day life. This takes time and patience, as change doesn’t happen in people overnight.

These self-help books were collected from recommendations from psychologists, therapists, and other mental health professionals, and cover the gamut of topics from general personality, to relationships, depression, and more.

The 50 Best Self-Help Books

The list below is not in any particular order. Remember, a book can provide you the outline for change, but ultimately it is up to you to put that change into practice in your own life.

1. “Flow” by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

2. “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey

3. “The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have” by Mark Nepo

4. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman

5. “Psycho Cybernetics” by Maxwell Maltz

6. “Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time” by Brian Tracy

7. “How Good Do We Have to Be?” by Harold Kushner

8. “Getting Things Done” by David Allen

9. ”How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie

10. “Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation” by Dan Siegel

11. “The Highly Sensitive Person” by Elaine Aron

12. “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment” by Eckhart Tolle

13. “Mind Over Mood, Second Edition: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think” by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky

14. “10% Happier” by Dan Harris

15. “The Road Less Traveled” by M. Scott Peck

16. “Triggers: Creating Behavior That Lasts” by Marshall Goldsmith

17. “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl

18. “Courage to Change” by Al-Anon Family Groups

19. “The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself” by Michael Singer

20. “The Four Agreements” by Janet Mills

21. “The Feeling Good Handbook” by David Burns

22. “Happy at Last” by Richard O’Connor

23. “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… And It’s All Small Stuff” by Richard Carlson

24. “Beyond Blue” by Therese Borchard

25. “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande

26. “The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse” by Dan Allender

27. “The Power of Your Subconscious Mind” by Joseph Murphy

28. “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn

29. “A Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Workbook” by Bob Stahl and Elisha Goldstein

30. “Unlocking the Secrets of Self-Esteem: A Guide to Building Confidence and Connection One Step at a Time” by Marie Hartwell-Walker

31. “Grieving Mindfully: A Compassionate and Spiritual Guide to Coping with Loss” by Sameet M. Kumar

32. “Waking the Tiger: Healing Trauma” by Peter Levine and Ann Frederick

33. “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg

34. “Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality without Religion” by Sam Harris

35. “The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan

36. “Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success” by John Maxwell

37. ”Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success” by Adam Grant

38. ”Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi

39. “Willpower” by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney

40. “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway” by Susan Jeffers

41. “The Seat of the Soul: 25th Anniversary Edition with a Study Guide” by Gary Zukav

42. “Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius

43. “How to Survive the Loss of a Love” by Peter McWilliams and Harold Bloomfield

44. “The Power of Vulnerability: Teachings of Authenticity, Connection, and Courage” by Bene Brown

45. “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathaniel Branden

46. “Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life” by Henry Cloud

47. “The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work” by John Gottman

48. “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead” by Sheryl Sandberg

49. “The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want” by Sonja Lyubomirsky

50. “Codependent No More: How to Stop Controlling Others and Start Caring for Yourself” by Melody Beattie

Books, Self-Improvement

愛在頭腦靜止的時候現身 – 洪仲清臨床心理師 


























當下的釋放: 解身體的痛,療心裡的傷。釋放的盡頭就是愛

Health & Beauty, Self-Improvement


耶魯教授桑托斯教導全球的學生,如何透過科學 享受快樂生活

快樂時刻開始,請教您 快樂的第一步是什麼?

快樂的第一步是了解哪些我們以為怎麼做就會快樂的直覺是錯的,因為研究顯示, 如果你想快樂只要”改變心態”


代號Psyc 157的”心理學與美好生活”(Psychology and the Good Life),六天之內湧進1182名大學生選修,等於每四位耶魯生 就有一人選修這門課,創下耶魯史上最多人選修,最受歡迎的課程







在朋友臉書上看到這篇 “張曼娟:其實無所事事,也是享受生活” 的文章, 看到不同朋友的留言, 讓我覺得有趣. 基本上分二派, 有家累的和單身的.

已婚有孩子的朋友基本上認為這樣的生活是不可能的, 只有單身的人才能這麼爽快過著 “無所事事, 享受生活”. 但是, 這是真的嗎?



我覺得作者所要表達的, 是一種生活的心態. 給自己五分鐘喝杯茶放空, 或者做Meditation, 就算你有老公小孩, 應該也可以做的到啊, 只是你自己願不願意給自己這樣的時間做這樣的事. 多數人會覺得這就浪費了五分鐘, 但是, 這五分鐘真的是浪費嗎? 我覺得多數人並沒有好好照顧自己, 說好聽是把家人的需求放第一位, 但是, 如果你沒有照顧好自己, 不管是心靈上或身體上, 你如何去照顧家人呢?

這幾年我看了很多心靈成長和心理學的書, 有一些不斷出現的共同點, “你無法給別人你自己沒有的東西” 就是其中之一.

當你無法或不願意給自己五分鐘的時間放空或打坐靜心, 你也就不可能願意給別人這樣的時間去做這樣的事. 如果你無法給自己犯錯的機會, 你也無法接受別人犯錯. 如果你對自己沒耐心, 你也無法耐心對別人. 如果你不去照顧到自己的需求, 你也無法好好照顧到別人的需求而不抱怨. 換言之, 當你照顧好自己, 你打從心底的開心, 你自然就能帶給別人開心而不需要刻意做什麼, 或者你所做的一切變得甘願, 而且你的開心會去影響周遭的人.


就像你如果沒有經歷過老公外遇, 離婚, 有憂鬱症, 你無法體會或理解對方的感受. 就像我沒有經歷過懷孕, 生產, 養育的事, 我永遠無法真正理解或體會.

其實她文章中提到許多事, 都是在幫助我們用不同角度去看事情, 例如加拿大的老人怎麼看待老年生活, 怎麼處理與孩子的關係, 怎麼讓自己把重心放回到自己身上, 光是這點, 很多台灣人就做不到, 放不下, 想不開啊.

過 “好的生活” 到底要多少錢才夠? 那就看你對 “好生活” 的定義是什麼.

有些人覺得隨便泡杯茶, 坐下來休息五分鐘, 就算好生活.

有些人覺得茶具要講究, 茶葉要頂級, 所以忙著工作賺錢去買好茶具和好茶葉, 卻捨不得給自己五分鐘享用, 因為覺得時間浪費了.

有些人覺得住豪宅, 開名車, 用名牌, 小孩上名校, 就算好生活. 但家裡空蕩, 家人關係緊張冷淡, 因為都只專注在努力賺錢/唸書上, 沒時間全家人坐下來吃頓飯, 聊一聊今天發生的事, 家就像個旅館, 只是晚上睡覺的地方, 家人之間的關係比室友還不如.

有些人覺得有的吃住, 家人健康, 每天可以和家人說笑, 感到那份親情, 就算好生活.

這些差異, 也不能說對錯好壞, 就是不同角度看事情罷了. 不過, 你是否有停下腳步, 抬頭看看, 你的生活是你要的嗎?


*沒有一種人際關係能夠隱藏寂寞。所有的人際關係都如此的薄弱、脆弱。你在內心深處很清楚:即使你身在人群之中,你也是和一群陌生人在一起。對你自己來說,你也是個陌生人。—— 尼采

* 對自己好一點,那是會跟你在一起最久的人。 ​​​​——蔡康永 ​

* 人生而自由,卻無往不在枷鎖之中。—盧梭

* 人生的質量不是與我們來到這個世界的時間成正比,而是與我們享受到的快樂成正比。——梭羅

* 美好的將來不必宏偉而華麗,也不必是大跨步或飛越。絕大多數成長,其實是很多小步累積的結果;關鍵在於你的腳步不停。——丹•蘇利文《終身學習》

* 如何遇見不要緊,要緊的是,如何告別。有些人,沒有在一起,也好。當回憶時,心裡仍舊生出溫暖,那終究是一場「善緣」。——秋微《莫失莫忘》 ​​​​

* 我從來都無法得知,人們是究竟為什麼會愛上另一個人。我猜也許我們心上都有一個缺口,呼呼往靈魂里灌著寒風,我們急切需要一個正好形狀的心來填上它,就算你是太陽一樣完美正圓形,可是我心裡的缺口,或許恰恰是個歪歪扭扭的鋸齒形,你填不了。——毛姆 ​

* 人啊不必太渴求風光。因為沒有人可以風光一輩子,等那天你不紅了,總有大把人來說你淒涼,結果連你自己都覺得慘淡。—陳文茜

* 人有一種可怕的慾望,想窺探別人內心,傳遞自己的恐慌,為別人同自己一樣悲傷恐懼而感到安慰,想要操縱別人,在得知別人受到自己影響時的自鳴得意。這些都是難以啓齒的、我們心中的惡魔。—— 帕慕克 ​