Vipassana meditation is the ultimate expression of the well-known Socrates’ dictum, which you’ve probably heard of: “know thyself!”. Also known as insight meditation, the Vipassana meditation practice heightens your sense, calms the mind, purifies your soul and helps you gain wisdom.
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Vipassana Guided Meditation – How it all Started?
Vipasana meditation was first used by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago. This ancient guru discovered that the cause of suffering in the world can be eradicated as long as people can see their true nature and are willing to take a peek inside their souls.
Buddha believed that human happiness does not depend on how good men and women are able to manipulate their circumstances. Instead, happiness can be attained when one sees truly for who he or she is.
How does Meditation Vipassana work?
Vipassana is a non-sectarian meditation technique whose aim is the total eradication of any mental impurities present in the mind. Meditation Vipassana has the potential to liberate the mind by focusing on the deep interconnections between your body, mind and soul. This is a self-exploratory, observation-based journey to the roots of your being.
All the scientific laws that operate your feelings, judgments and sensations are taken from darkness and brought into the light through Vipassana meditation. By getting to know you more intimately, you start to better understand how your suffering and all those painful external factors are changing your life for the good. Your life becomes characterized by an increased self-control, awareness, non-delusion and peace.
This meditation technique has been passed down to us through the hands of many teachers and gurus. The current teacher in this chain has both Indian and Myanmar roots. S.N. Goenka, born and raised in Burma, Myanmar, has learned how to practice the Vipassana meditation technique from his teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, a member of the chain of teachers established by Buddha himself.
Since 1969, S.N. Goenka has taught hundreds of thousands of people how to reap the benefits of Vipassana meditation and how to Vipassana meditation the right way. This meditation technique is presented during a 10-days Vipassana retreat, usually at a Vipassana meditation center. Each participant is required to follow a certain code of discipline and get enough practice in order to enjoy the benefits of this type of meditation.
The course where you learn how to practice Vipassana meditation requires hard work. You can’t just expect to reap the benefits of Vipassana until you have spent at least 10 days practicing it and knowing it inside out.
How to Practice Vipassana Meditation
After practicing this type of meditation for more than 6 months now, I can state that it was extremely hard in the beginning. In comparison with mindfulness meditation or yoga, Vipassana requires much more concentration and an extra level of focus and dedication.
There are three main steps that you will need to follow if you want practice Vipassana the right way.
- Abstain from sexual activity, intoxicants and lying, at least during the period of the course. This is a very important code of moral conduct that, if followed, will calm the mind and give you the peace you need to reap the benefits of Vipassana meditation.
- Discover how to master the mind: the second step towards a complete and fulfilling meditation experience is learning how to fix your attention on what’s inside rather than what is outside. You will learn how to focus on your breath, control your thoughts and observe the sensations within your body.
- Discover the true meaning of love and kindness: the third step in the process of guided vipassana meditation is learning how to become kind towards others and be happy with what you have.
The entire practice of Vipassana is like a training regimen, but instead of growing your muscles, you are actually developing your mind. Due to the fact that this practice has been found to be highly effective and extremely helpful for both men and women, there is a lot of emphasis being put on preserving its original, unspoiled form. Because of this, Vipassana meditation is not offered commercially, but only taught for free in vipassana meditation centers.
If you are looking for a vipassana meditation centre, you can look online for meditation centers in your location. For instance, if you live in New York City, you can google “vipassana meditation nyc” and you will get a several resources where you can discover the upcoming events along with opened meditation centers all across the Big Apple.
To experience all the benefits of Vipassana meditation, you need to continue practicing this technique on your own. At a meditation center, you receive the proper guidance and care to start meditating. However, you need to continue applying the essentials of Vipassana in real life. The more you practice this technique, the better you feel and the greater the freedom from daily misery and unhappiness.
Vipassana is not an ancient form of escaping from reality. On the contrary, this technique represents the ultimate confrontation with the stark, naked reality. This is a democratic method that can be used by people of any religion, social status or age.
Insight Meditation and Concentration
Vipassana meditation techniques can be categorized into two main types: insight meditation and concentration meditation, or tranquility. While in the concentration practice you need to focus your whole attention on an object until your mind enters a deep trance or state of stillness, the insight meditation requires you to cultivate wisdom by developing systematic mindfulness.
The insight meditation teaches you how to let go on things, while the tranquility enables you to focus on objects and thoughts. While the path to concentration gives you a short-term calmness, a state of bliss and ultimately psychic powers, the calm path to insight helps you attain wisdom and permanent freedom from any type of suffering.
How to do Vipassana Meditation – Tips and Tricks
This type of meditation can be easily performed while sitting on a chair or while sitting cross-legged. For starters, find a quiet place where you can spend at least 15 minutes in silence. Ensure no one will disturb you there. Remove your shoes and choose loose clothing.
After you sit down or on the chair, gently put your hands on your lap. You can either put each one of them on one lap or put them together. Close your eyes and start focusing on your breath. If you are doing concentration meditation, you should start to focus on a certain object. You can either choose an external object or you can start focusing on your abdomen, your hands or any other visible part of your body.
If you are doing insight meditation, keep your eyes closed and focus on your breath. In both cases, let your mind wander and let calmness and happiness wash over all your body. Start focusing on the good things in your life and begin taking control over yourself.
From this point on, you can use various techniques and methods to calm your mind and get deeper into meditation.
Benefits of Vipassana Meditation
This meditation technique is extremely beneficial for both the mind and the soul. The number of benefits of this type of meditation is astounding. Additionally, there are many Vipassana meditation instructions available online, which means you can learn it from the scratch all by yourself.
In case you need aid, you can always find a Vipassana meditation free class in your city or in a close location where you can find a meditation center. You can also look online for Vipassana meditation reviews and learn more about how this meditation could help you.
To take things to the next level, download a Vipassana meditation technique pdf and have your own meditation guideline right on your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
Now that you know how to practice Vipassana meditation and you are aware of the main Vipassana techniques, let’s look at the 15 most prominent benefits of this Buddhist meditation technique.
- You finally get it: Vipassana meditation helps you understand the truth, maybe for the first time in your life, both theoretically and practically. Before practicing this type of meditation, I did not fully understand who I am and what my place on this planet is. After practicing Vipassana for six months, I reached a much deeper understanding of the Universe and I’ve finally found my place in the grand scheme of things.
- You start sacrificing things: once you start practicing Vipassana, you become more interested in the greater good of all and you start to see the whole picture. Personally, I was quite selfish before and I was not able to see more than my own good. However, after the first session, I noticed how I’m being changed from the inside out.
- You gain a deeper desire to learn about truth: Vipassana awakens that hidden desire within yourself to start learning more about what truth is. You are not happy anymore by just knowing the truth is out there somewhere, but you strive to know it. You will start reading more and more without getting bored, because this desire to find the truth will be insatiable.
- Improves memory: an unexpected benefit of this Buddhist meditation practice is the fact that you will be able to remember things of your past clearly and you will stop confusing things.
- Cultivate morality, wisdom and a keen sense of justice.
- Cultivate excellence in life: you will stop being that mediocre person. Instead, you will strive to be better in everything you do, and you won’t stop until everything is perfectly set in place.
- You start to understand the fundamentals of life and you begin to discover a whole new world you didn’t know it exist before.
- You stop being stuck in mundane concepts and activities and you begin to accomplish extraordinary things. By practicing the concentration practice of Vipassana meditation for long enough, you might get to a level reached by only few people alive. At that level, you will be able to move things with your eyes, levitate or even go through fire without being touched by it.
Of course, you need years of meditation experience and a sense of calm you can’t find in the Western civilization. Nevertheless, it is not impossible to reach this level if you live in a quiet location. A famous speaker, Tony Anthony, has released precious information about meditation in “Taming the Tiger.”
Two times number one martial arts fighter in the world, Tony was taken to China by his grandfather and thought all the secrets of meditation and kung fu. He was able to go through fire, list heavy objects and even levitate. However, he seldom slept at 40 Fahrenheit, without eating or drinking water for days. That’s probably something you are not willing to do just to experience some psychotic powers.
- You start to love those around you and be compassionate when they go through struggles and problems.
- You become more grateful for what you have and you gain a renewing feeling of gratefulness.
- Enables you to discover different levels of happiness, while letting go to sorrow, despair and lamentation.
- You become much more powerful when sickness or viruses attacks you. Your health is improved and your whole body becomes much more resistant to external threats.
- Gain wisdom: one of the most important benefits of Vipassana meditation is the level of wisdom you attain. When you meditate, your body relaxes like never before. Your mind begins to wonder far away, and you begin to realize that there are many aspects you didn’t know about the world surrounding you and about yourself.
The more you practice Vipassana meditation, the wiser you become. You start to understand the battles we each face and you begin to look for methods to overcome the problems you are dealing with.
- You become more virtuous, well-behaved, civil and cultured.
- Fix bad attitudes: lastly, when practicing Vipassana meditation, you start to get rid of those bad attitudes that have dragged you back for so long. You become free of any addiction and you finally get to live each day at its fullest. You can now enjoy life like never before.