During the Thanksgiving weekend and following week, I attended a 10day Vipassana meditation retreat. It was 10days of meditation all while observing "Noble silence", which means NO talking. I was fine without talking for 10days, but I missed reading and writing a lot. I often write in a journal, and it was difficult to stay present with myself for 10days straight without the journaling as an outlet for things that were coming up for me. But that was the point of depriving the students of all forms of external distractions. We were not allowed to have pen, paper, books, music or distractions of any kind. No cell phones, Internet, or any communication with the outside world. This is to create an environment where the student can maintain focus on themselves, the present moment, specifically their physical bodies. It is an experiential learning on how to stay in your body and therefore in the present moment...from moment to moment for 10 days.
It was one of the best and most difficult things I have ever done. I left there a new person however, and more grateful than ever for the opportunity to be alive and have a body which can experience all that life has to offer. It was truly exhilarating to drive a car, turn music on, and talk to family and friends the day I left....I felt high on life. Amazing and highly recommended to anyone who is able to meditate for extended periods of time.