Who attends Vipassana Course and Why?


When I wanted to register for 10-day Vipassana course, I was wondering what kinds of people attend this course. During the first 9 days, we weren’t allowed to speak to anyone so I didn’t get a chance to know the background of by batch mates. On the 10th day after culmination of noble silence, I spoke to a few people in the batch. I was astonished at the diversity of people and their motivation for doing this course. To maintain confidentiality, I will not mention their names in this article. I want the readers to understand and admire the motivation of these participants.

  • An Ophthalmologist with 20 years of experience and currently practicing in Goa. A lot of his friends from medical fraternity have undergone the course and they highly recommended him to attend the course. This doctor wanted more balance and equanimity of his mind
  • A retired bank officer from Kerala came to know about the course recently from his friend and attended the course in Bangalore to explore. He is planning to attend another 10-day course in Nepal this year. His motivation was peace of mind and finding serenity in his life
  • A BPO employee who is moving to Finland next month to pursue MS in Computer Science. His focus was readjusting his life style and come out of the nightmares of working in night shift for 4 years
  • An SAP Consultant, who had had health issues and his primary goal was to regain his health through meditation
  • An investment consultant with a thriving practice in Bangalore; who was there to pursue peace and tranquility. He liked the course and wants to attend another course in March 2015 with his wife
  • A garment factory employee; he had no specific goal. He wanted to experience this course once in his lifetime
  • An IT professional who is currently on a sabbatical and looking for new opportunities. This man wants to come out of depression and his mental demons. He is currently on medication for his depression. I really admire his courage to take action towards changing his life. He has a loving wife and two lovely kids
  • A professor from a reputed Engineering college in Bangalore, his goal was to gain a new perspective to his life and build a better relationship with his wife
  • Business Development Manager of a famous advertisement company, his mentor asked him to attend this course. He wanted to attend this before getting married 🙂  since it’s very difficult to get a 10-day break after marriage. (Oh! boy I am grateful to my wife Anusha)
  • A Government employee from Bellary, he attends this 10-day course every year. This is his 8th course! Mind blowing…
  • An HR Manager of an IT company who is based in Kerala. He wanted to experience this 10-day course from a long time. He is very keen on spirituality and meditation. He is an active volunteer with Ramakrishna mission
  • Manager of a bank, who has gone through a strained relationship with his wife and they have decided to separate officially and waiting for the court settlement. His focus was mental peace and understanding himself through self-observation
  • An IT evangelist with 25 years of stellar track record and patents, currently on the board of a few IT companies in Bangalore. He is also pursuing PhD in Organizational Behavior. His American friend visited him in Bangalore last month and he inspired him to attend this course to undergo serious self-inquiry.

 There were many more like this, NGO workers, retired bank employees, teachers, business owners, working professionals etc.

Why did I attend the course? I know this question is lingering in your mind and let me help you with my answers.

When I heard about this course, the 10-day noble silence and other rules impressed me and created a desire in me to experience the silence for 10 days. I thought this course also helps me become a better listener and do a better job in my coaching practice. Honestly I am reaping more benefits than I anticipated to harvest. I plan to write another article after 21 days to share my experiences (I want the changes to sustain and become second nature before writing that article).

When people contemplate on attending Vipassana, one becomes inquisitive to know what kinds of people attend this program and what do they seek in this program. I hope this article helps them understand and appreciate the diversity of their fellow travelers in the path of self-discovery.

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