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What Is Vipassana Meditation?

Vipassana meditation technique is one of the numerous ways of performing meditation, but what makes it unique from other forms of meditation?

This technique is said to have originated from ancient India more than two millenniums ago, and it stands for “viewing things as they appear”.

Vipassana Meditation is all about improving the consciousness of happenings surrounding the participant by drilling one’s mind with specific training. This procedure is identical to mindfulness meditation.

The wide acclaim of Vipassana meditation is depicted by the numerous amount of people in the USA who attend these classes annually to improve their state of well-being despite the increasing costs for the courses.

What does Vipassana Meditation Entail?

According to renowned print media in India, Vipassana is arguably one of the oldest multicultural Buddhist meditation techniques said to exist till this day.

The main aim of Vipassana is to enable the participant to attain a high level of mental purity as well as achieve serendipity via the dual means of introspection and perception.

The study of this technique is said to unveil hidden knowledge about the existence of humans through the process of both an inner metamorphosis and a powerful connection between the mind and the body.

This high level knowledge is attained once benevolence can be discerned as well as the participant been able to have a deep understanding of ephemerality coupled with the innate dissatisfaction experienced by most individuals.

So, what occurs in Vipassana meditation?

While performing Vipassana, every sensation happening around one’s body is observed, and this is why this type of insightful meditation is usually said to be an ancient type of present-day mindfulness.

This form of meditation entails intense concentration on the present moment despite the mind’s tendency to wander and distract someone up with an array of thoughts and emotions.

Types of Techniques

In India, the Vipassana School of Meditation has long since existed in ancient times and is even said to be the bedrock for Buddhist meditation. In fact, in countries like Cambodia, LaosMyanmarPeninsular MalaysiaThailand, Vietnam, and some regions in Sri Lanka, Vipassana meditation is primarily the dominant form of Buddhist meditation.

A few decades ago, renowned tutors like S.N. Goenka and Sayadaw U Pandita started to aid in making the practice quite popular by helping to train followers who became quite adept at learning and subsequently teaching the method to new followers particularly those residing in the east and west.

Samantha, which is a popular mindfulness meditation method, is one of the essential core parts of the many types of meditation with Buddha inspiration, and it’s a technique that pays close attention to observing a single object with broad-mindedness. Vipassana, also known as Insight, which has been aptly described in this article is the second crucial element is all about exploring the attributes of self as well as the awareness and discernment of objects.

According to ancient writings, Vipassana meditation has a number of concepts amongst which include:

  • Kayanupassana (continuous mindfulness of the body)
  • Vedananupassana (continuous mindfulness of feelings)
  • Cittanupassana (continuous observation of the mind)
  • Dhammanupassana (continuous mindfulness of mental processes)

One significant contrast between Vipassana and Transcendental Meditation is that Vipassana has more to do with Insight on an object in one’s consciousness. At the same time, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) utilizes sound as the focal point of one’s observation through both meditation modes are also alike in that they have the sole aim of increasing the level of concentration of the participant as well as maintaining stress levels.

How to Carry Out Vipassana Meditation

Performing Vipassana meditation does not need any elaborate nor tortuous method of study to get started, though, at times, guidance may aid in reaching this goal.

Below is a brief but lucid guide on performing this technique;

  • A serene environment without any disturbance is essential, as any environment with distractions will be quite inimical to the progress of the participant. The sitting position is necessary, and the participant can sit anywhere so long as the spine is kept straight with the head adequately faced directly.
  • Take in breathe at a normal rate while tension in the muscles is imagined to be reduced.
    • Most times for meditation, the breath is the object selected as the center of attraction due to it being both uninterrupted and omnipresent.
  • Detach and discern how the mind drifts while at the same time monitoring your breath. A quick recollection should be done back to your breath and the feeling it gives once the mind has wandered off.
  • As said earlier, intense concentration is essential, and this can be aided by labeling whatever thought is occurring or whatever experience one is feeling at that particular point in time. No matter how absurd or weird this is, just label them.

During the Vipassana retreat, which typically lasts for more than a week, participants are tutored by an instructor on the meditation basics, and sometimes they may not even exchange words with each other throughout the whole duration of the retreat.

Where are places in your area or a close-by retreat where you can attend Vipassana meditation?

The Insight Meditation Society (IMS) founded by Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein, all scholars of the Theravada model of traditional meditation who still lecture thousands of people annually, is a pretty famous center for Vipassana meditation. The IMS was established in the 1970s, and it was not set up as a business organization.

Advantages to health

Attentiveness is increased

There are countless ways of performing meditation and not just sitting in silence, which is usually the default pose seen in books or videos for meditation. There is no standard way of practicing meditation. Each individual should find what works best and adhere to it as the main goal is to improve focus and attain a higher level of consciousness every day.

Research has shown that the Vipassana technique aids in improving attentiveness and maintain a high level of intense concentration. One way the participant can do this is by naming and labeling whatever experience one is feeling at any point in time.

Vipassana Meditation can lead to reduced stress and anxiety levels

Insightful meditation can help reduced stress caused by depressive thoughts and sad experiences as it helps the participant in realizing that everything in life is vanity, and nothing will ever be the same.

Further studies depict that meditation based on awareness studies and practices leads to a less tense and more relaxed reaction in do or die affairs due to a heightened state of consciousness that positively affects the nervous system. This heightened awareness is of considerable benefit in enabling the smoother running of bodily functions.

After some critical research, it was observed that most partakers experienced an upswing in welfare, most likely due to increased awareness after six months of concluding a Vipassana course. This study was carried out in 2015 by researchers to observe the outcome of insightful meditation on several traits of a person.

Arguably studies have shown that Vipassana mediation aids the participant in enhancing the capacity to deal effectively with PSTD as well as losing the grip of addiction to a dangerous substance.

Can Enhance Decision Making and Reduce Chronic Behavior

Research has shown that been meditation can aid in lessening the effect of melancholic or gloomy moods that inhibit the enjoyment of a healthful lifestyle in that as we have been made more aware of the surroundings we can see and put a halt to such destructive tendencies

In a Vipassana retreat that lasted for a month in 2016, research showed that a large number of partakers showed an improvement in awareness, as well as more positive behavior towards themselves as well as other people.

In 2010, another study carried out showed that participants learning meditation learned how to break from the stranglehold of harmful vices affecting the body, thereby helping to weaken the grip of addiction on users suffering substance abuse.

Any environment is good while a wide variety of poses can be utilized

As depicted earlier, one can perform meditation while performing a variety of tasks and not just by laying or sitting down. It is usually suggested that for learners, doing something active while meditating aids the body and mind relax properly. The most important thing is your mind should be focused on whatever sensations is currently been felt despite performing any task

In Summary

  • Vipassana meditation, also known as insightful meditation, is an ancient form of Buddhist meditations, and it is utilized to aid the increase in consciousness and to maintain a focus at an exact point in time.
  • The main goal of Vipassana is for the individual to recognize ephemerality and also depict how to deal with his innate dissatisfaction. Vipassana gives the user a higher level of discernment and attainment of benevolence with the realization that everything is just vanity.
  • There are several easy ways of learning Vipassana meditation, amongst which include the utilization of technology by using phone apps customized for mediation or free videos on the internet. The best way, though, especially for beginners, is to enroll in a Vipassana mediation center for classes or at a retreat.

Sources:

https://www.headspace.com/meditation/vipassana

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vipassan%C4%81

https://www.dhamma.org/en/about/vipassana

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