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My Three Days at Vipassana

I first heard about Vipassana from Rivers Cuomo, the lead singer for Weezer. He was explaining that despite being a rock star, he was celibate because of Vipassana. Powerful stuff, I guess. He raved about the benefits of it, although I don't remember exactly what he said anymore. It stuck in my mind, and over the years I thought about signing up, but something always seemed to be in the way of me leaving society for ten days to learn how to meditate.

The idea is simple and extreme, both of which appealed to me. You go to a meditation center in the middle of nowhere, agree to be silent and without any contact with the other world for ten days. Then, on a donation only basis, they teach you how to meditate, which you do for ten hours each day.

Finally, after knowing about it for five years, I signed up and went to a course. No notepads were allowed in, so this is reconstructed pretty faithfully from memory.

A Cure For Sleepless Nights

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Unfortunately, entrepreneurs, freelancers, artists, and creatives of all stripes have a dual-sided problem. When things are going great, it's hard to sleep! Your mind is racing, filled with great ideas and inspiration.

The flipside is no better -- haunted visages of worries and concerns feeling us up.

And when it happens, we're presented a dreadful choice: lie there in a frustrating unsleepable mood, or get up restlessly and push your sleeping hour back. Neither, frankly, are great options.

Then, I found a solution that's been one of the biggest gains to health and happiness I've discovered over the last year.

I took up a more serious meditation practice earlier this year in Japan. I set my goal very simply: just meditate five minutes per day. I don't focus on having a "great meditating session" -- often they go poorly -- but even the poor sessions teach me something.

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