What Is Vipassana Meditation?
Vipassana, the most ancient technique of meditation in India, was practiced by Lord Gautam Buddha. Vipassana meditation is a simple technique and logical process to achieve mental peace. Vipassana allows you to lead a happy life by purifying the mind through self-observation.
When we suffer from frustration, depression, agitation, and disharmony, we share them with our friends, families, and neighbors. As we are social beings, we will interact with others. Thus we spread disharmony around us. Is this a proper way to live? We can’t live peacefully this way. But what we all need is inner peace, and peace within ourselves will help us maintain harmony around us.
Your mind will get purified; get rid of all kinds of sufferings by performing Vipassana. This technique helps you to achieve the highest spiritual goal, which is nothing but full emancipation from all mental disturbances.
The Tradition Of Vipassana Meditation
Vipassana meditation had been taught and practiced since the time of Lord Gautam Buddha. So Vipassana is considered the oldest Buddhist meditation technique. The teachings of the Vipassana meditation technique have been transferred from Gautam Buddha to the present teacher Mr.S. N. Goenka via an unbroken chain of teachers. S. N. Goenka, an Indian by descent and a Burmese by birth, received the teachings regarding the Vipassana meditation from Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
He learned this technique for fourteen years. After that, he came to India and started preaching the teachings of Vipassana in 1969. People of all races, castes, and religions all over the world became his disciples. From 1982, he appointed assistant teachers to teach the Vipassana courses.
What Are The Benefits Of Vipassana?
The benefits of Vipassana include health benefits and spiritual benefits.
Health Benefits: Vipassana meditation increases concentration, controls your emotions by reducing emotional reactivity, reduces the impact of negative thoughts on you, reduces your personal biases, and increases insight into the reality of the mind.
Spiritual Benefits: Vipassana meditation differentiates between real phenomena and mental phenomena. Thus you realize that your thoughts are not real. And you come to know the true nature of reality. You will be able to explore your mind. This technique creates insight into inner working. For example, at the time of cooking, you will be mindfully aware of the process of making food. The continuous practice of Vipassana may lead you to the path of enlightenment.
Why Should You Learn Vipassana Meditation At Home?
Learn Vipassana meditation at home. Why? Most of the external stimuli like loud voice, neighbors, kids, smells and the constant noise of the busy city affect you at home. We know, Vipassana teaches how to reduce emotional reactivity. We must meditate at that place, where there are many external stimuli. Thus we can train our minds effectively.
Lord Gautam Buddha used to meditate in the forest, in the village where there were distractions. The only way to explore your mind is to meditate at places where you live your real-life everyday. Practicing Vipassana at home is more effective than practicing it at the Vipassana retreat. There are certain myths related to Vipassana, you can find those here.
What is Anapana?
Anapana is the first phase of the technique of Vipassana meditation. The observation of natural, normal breath is called Anapana. Anapana aims at increasing concentration of mind. Anapana offers tools to control fear, pressure, and anxieties of all age groups. Through Anapana meditation, the restless mind comes under control and can be drawn back to a specific object. It acts as a means, not the end. Through Anapana, your mind gets calmer and you will be able to practice Vipassana meditation. Mr. S. N. Goenka opened the doors of Anapana to everybody to teach initial steps to the path of Dhamma.
How To Do Vipassana Meditation At Home Tips
You may practice Vipassana Meditation at home also.
- Close your eyes sitting in a comfortable place
- Inhale and concentrate on your abdomen.
- Breathe normally and try to feel the sensation of breath in your body.
- Be conscious of the rise and fall of your abdomen and thus the entire breathing process.
- After 25 mindful breaths, feel the sensations of the breath in your abdomen.
- Inhale and exhale with both body and mind
- The breathing process takes place in three steps- inhale, pause, and exhale. Focus on the entire breathing process as one movement.
- You must focus on the breathing process naturally without forcing your mind
- To maintain focus on the entire breathing process for longer periods can be challenging. In this case, say to yourself, ” Let it be”
- Your mind may get diverted, may create thoughts at the time of Vipassana meditation. It is quite challenging to maintain 100% focus on the breathing process. No worries. Just guide the mind back to the breathing process by concentrating on the rising and falling of your abdomen.
Suppose you are performing Vipassana meditation at home. Suddenly, your doorbell rings. You will lose focus on the breathing process. When this takes place, mindfully observation and labeling the event creates insight into the reality of the event. You will recognize the real nature of external stimuli i.e. sound. Then you return your focus to the breathing process.
If any physical problems arise at the time of meditation, label them by describing the feel of sensation. If any thoughts come into your mind at the time of meditation, label them as a mental image.
At the end of Vipassana, open your eyes slowly and say ‘opening, opening’.
The modern world has witnessed developments in many fields like science, technology, medical science, agriculture, etc. But all these developments are superficial. War, poverty, terrorism, drug addiction, epidemics, and environmental disaster are the causes of the sufferings of the inhabitants of the earth. Is there any way to get rid of these problems? Is there any method to free humankind from the crisis and to create a secure environment? Yes, there is. Vipassana is the method that will lead you to freedom from all sufferings.