Vipassana Meditation and Diabetes (10 day silent retreat)


#1

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anybody here has done a 10 day Vipassana meditation retreat ? Would love to hear your experiences

I’ve done two so far and will planning to do a third sometime in the future. I could not recommend it enough, especially for type 1 diabetics. I still meditate for one hour every 2 days (or everyday if I can).

When I went, I made sure the staff knew I had to have my sugar meter and my glucose close by and this made the retreats a smoother experience for me. I found that in the first three days of meditating, I had to reduce my basal by at least 30% even though I was eating fairly carb-heavy meals.

Having done it for a long time, I find that I have little to absolutely no anxiety, have a greater quality of life, and don’t find that the fluctuations in sugars affecting my mood as much. I also find that I deal with the “diabetes fatigue” much better.

But anyways, anyone done it? Would love to hear some experiences!

Ala


#2

You’ve written in another thread that your total daily dose (TDD) of insulin went down when you participated in these courses. Did you sustain that reduction in insulin? Could you, if you don’t mind, share what your TDD was before and after you introduced meditation into your daily routine?

I recently purchased a Muse device. It includes a band that hugs the forehead and an app combined with headphones to provide an audio feedback. This feedback is comprised of muted and pleasing forest and wind sounds, including birds. Here’s the website for Muse. My only connection to this firm is as a customer.

Can you describe the Vipassana meditation method and what studying this method is like?


#4

Hi Terry,

I don’t mind sharing at all. I was wondering about getting the MUSE headband myself, but decided not to invest in it after doing Vipassana (not saying its not a great product, but I didn’t find that I needed any guidance after Vipassana). When I went to my second retreat, my dosage was the following (for non-first time students, we don’t technically get dinner but rather have hot lemon water, but I still had to take slices of bread to my room to eat before bed to try and prevent night time lows WHILE I WAS REDUCING MY INSULIN):

First Day of Retreat
19u Tresiba once daily
5u Fiasp per meal (roughly 45 - 60 carbs per meal)

5th Day of Retreat
13u Tresiba once daily
3-4u Fiasp per meal (still keeping to same carb amounts)
I should note here that you are not allowed to do ANY exercise of any type during a retreat, so these drastic changes had nothing to do with exercise (and to the best of my knowledge, diet)

10th Day of Retreat
11u Tresiba once daily
3-4u Fiasp per meal
I had to reduce because I was waking up low almost every night even though I still ate 10g carb (1 slice whole wheat bread) before bed.

Today
I do an hour of yoga almost daily, practise martial arts on non-yoga days and meditate for 1 hour every 2-3 days and take
14u Tresiba and around 3-4u Fiasp for my meals (keeping to around 50g carbs per meal).

The Vipassana method is just a body-scanning technique where you feel every sensation in the body. You start the retreat by learning the Anapana technique (concentrating on the breath for the first 4 days) before transitioning to Vipassana. It is definitely a tough experience but the amount of insight gained and the aftereffects of the retreat leave lasting changes and positive impacts across all parts of my life, which is why I continue with the method.

Sorry for all the text, just wanted to be as detailed as possible. I take more insulin today than I did then even though I am much more physically active. I am interested to go on much longer retreats (20 or 30 days retreats) to see how that impacts my sugars.
Hope this helped.

Ala


#5

Hi Ala, can you please tell us which Vipassana retreat center did you go to? I am new to Yoga and Meditation and I have only been in the Rocky Creek retreat center and I enjoyed it, but it was not a Vipassana one. I am looking forward of hearing your recommendation and I may consider and visit it soon.


#6

Hey Emily,

The first time I went to vipassana it was in Dhamma Torana (which was near a small town called Egbert in Ontario, Canada). The second time was in Dhamma Pajotta in Belgium. You can find retreat centres nearest to you on google maps as well since they are all over the world.

Ala


#7

I see. Thanks for the fast answer.