What Is Vipassana Meditation And What Are Its Benefits? January 30, 2017

Do you think you are unable to be happy nowadays? Have ysou found negativity and sadness dominating your life? Owing to the mechanical lives most of us lead today, there is no wonder being happy has become difficult.

So, is there any solution? Well, there is! We are talking about vipassana meditation here! Would you like to know more about it? Go ahead with your read!

What Is Vipassana Meditation?

Nowadays, a lot of people, including corporate professionals, businessmen, housewives and even students resort to this type of meditation to find relief from the complexities and negativities of life. Made popular by S.N. Goenka, Vipassana meditation helps people stressed with various problems of life find a means to become calmer and more composed. It helps you find the inner peace and get a better understanding of your soul.

You need not belong to any specific race or religion to practice this form of meditation and get its benefits. There are no hard and fast rules or any eligibility required to try this form of meditation. It is basically a Buddhist meditation technique which trains the mind and motivates it to seek the truth from ignorance and become aware of the limitations that give birth to negativity in the first place. It requires you to become aware of breathing and sensations in and around the body. Becoming self-observant is not easy by any means, and the initial stage may seem to be difficult. However, the results are worth the efforts!

[ Read: Vipassana Meditation- Its Procedure And Its Techniques ]

The Need Of Patience And Persistence:

Like any other form of meditation, Vipassana requires patience to get the benefits. You will be required to practice the meditation regularly to reap the benefits. Besides, for most people, observing sensations around without reacting to them can be quite tough. The result may be slow to pour in, as some devout followers say. The initial days can seem frustrating and you may feel it is not working out for you. However, with persistence and practice you will slowly be able to perceive the changes in you. You will gain better control of your mind, particularly when stress inducing things and incidents take place.

The Basics Of Vipassana Meditation:

Vipassana meditation is said to be an age old and pure meditation form which was practiced by no other than Gautam Budhha, 2,500 years ago. It has been passed down from the ancient teachers to later generations, over the ages. The typical course for this lasts for 10 days. In this period you get to learn the technique and get the preliminary polishing for your mind.

You have to abide by some restrictions for these 10 days and no lapse is allowed. This may sound rather rigid to you, but as the saying goes – no pain, no gain, isn’t it? The beginners can opt for the 10-day course, but there are advanced courses for experienced practitioners which comprise of 30, 45 or 60 days.

While you follow the 10-day course, you cannot:

  • Talk to anyone
  • Take part in leisure activities like internet or watching TV
  • Play games
  • Use mobiles
  • Go outside the Vipassana center for any need

You are also required to follow a strict schedule for the period for waking up, taking food and meditation. After the 10 day period, you will witness changes in your thinking process, perspectives, and life will seem different to you.

While following the course, you will get guidance from qualified instructors. They may not accompany you throughout the day. It may so happen, their messages and instructions will be conveyed to you and other followers at the end of the day. This will help you gather how much you have progressed or what are the areas where you still need to improve.

Who Should Practice Vipassana Meditation?

This meditation is available for literally everyone. However, people who tend to gain the most from it are:

  • Those with relationship problems
  • Those dealing with excessive career stress
  • People living with a tormented past
  • People searching for inner peace and solace from the complexities of life

How To Practice Vipassana Meditation:

The method can vary from one center to another in terms of duration of the meditation, but the core process remains the same. The basics are:

  1. You will need to sit in a quiet room. The position should be cross-legged.
  2. You can use a meditation cushion. If it seems difficult you may also sit on a chair, upright.
  3. The eyes should be closed.
  4. Start observing sensations arising from your head.
  5. You should observe sensations of various types, but do not get attached to them.
  6. The sensations can be of various types and they may seem to be working way down the body.
  7. While observing sensations, the mind may feel emotions. You need to observe emotions neutrally and try not to get attached to them.

Advantages Of Practicing Vipassana Meditation:

1. Getting A Better Understanding Of Negative Emotions:

At the core of Vipassana, there is observation that happens in an objective way. You will undergo plenty of sensations and feelings while practicing the technique. As you keep on observing those sensations and emotions, you will slowly get a better understanding of them. You will be able to fathom why some emotions may make you lose control. When you achieve that, you will also learn how not to get affected by them. In other words, it helps you control the mind and various emotions better. You will also be able to evade negative developments in life that are triggered by failure to rein in your emotions and activities spurred by negative feelings.

2. It Is Not Costly And Doesn’t Come With Conditions:

One big advantage of Vipassana meditation is that you do not have to spend much money. Across the world, you can find Vipassana centres that welcome women and men from various races, age groups and religions. Foreign citizens are also welcome to try this meditation. While you are undergoing the course, you are not going to face any discrimination on the aforesaid grounds. At some centres, you may make a donation, but there is no compulsion for it.

3. Staying Without Talking Is Not That Tedious:

A lot of people shy away from trying Vipassana, primarily because they think staying 10 days without talking is just not possible. There are others who think it will make life miserable for them! However, those who have followed the technique have said it is actually less difficult than what is generally perceived by people. The initial 2-3 days may seem tough for you, but after that silence seems like bliss and you get habituated to it. They also say, after some days into the course, they do not feel the urge to talk much.

4. No Religious Or Cult Related Stuff:

It is true that this Vipassana meditation technique is said to be introduced by Buddha and his disciples. However, there is nothing like you have to be a Buddhist to follow and practice this technique. In fact, people from various religious faiths and even atheists have tried it successfully across the world. You don’t have to preach sermons and neither anyone is going to give you sermons! The concept of Vipassana is to reach salvation without worshipping any external form. This makes it a more open and flexible form of meditation.

5. Getting Disciplined:

While practicing this form of mediation does not require you to be a pro at rocket science, it does require you to maintain certain disciplines. During the course, you need to wake up and sleep at a specific time and the same thing holds true about the hours of meditation and the meals you eat. When you adhere to this schedule and discipline, it brings order into life and eradicates signs of chaos and irregularity.

6. It Shows You The Way To Be Happy:

If the initial hardships like not talking or eliminating the leisure options of life sound harsh to you, consider what you will get in return. As a matter of fact, you resort to amenities and luxuries in life like the TV, internet, boozing, and think if these will make you happy. The truth is these facilities and amenities will offer you temporary comfort, but not happiness. They also create cravings for new needs.

Vipassana, on the other hand, shows you the way to happiness. The happiness which does not need anything external or conditional, improves your state of mind in the long run.

7. It Makes You Wise And Aware Of The Role Of The Impermanent:

When you follow this form of meditation with consistency, your level of wisdom goes up several notches. It helps free up your mind from the strings of negativity and stress that prevent objective thinking. The meditation makes you perceive the reality that nothing is everlasting in the world. Anything you buy or attain is subjected to decay and eventual impermanence. The same thing can be said about human feelings and emotions too. You will learn the way to let go of emotions and feelings of negativity that cause stress in life. Eventually, when you feel the universality of impermanence, you will stop getting affected by things that can impact you adversely. You will also realize hardships are not everlasting, either.

8. Getting Away From Diversions And Toxicity:

You need to detox your body with specific foods and beverages from time to time. The same thing is also required for the human mind, but few actually do anything about it! The Vipassana meditation actually offers you ways to detox your mind and improves the way you live. You are required to stay away from devices and services that can make you neck deep in thoughts. You are not subjected to radiation as using mobiles and TV is prohibited. Neither can you access internet which can bring in various thoughts in mind, including the negative ones. The distractions are effectively eliminated from life when you practice the course. Your mind gets fewer chances to be bogged down by negativity as it is.

9. Better Conflict Resolution:

Practicing this guided Vipassana meditation helps you deal with conflicts in life better and reach resolutions easily. As it is, people end up making mistakes in life often because they cannot deal with conflicts. Taking an unbiased and neutral view of a situation seems a tough choice for the majority. However, when you practice Vipassana meditation, dealing with conflicts becomes simpler. You can take a neutral and objective view of things and taking the right decision becomes easier.

10. Better Efficiency At Work And Improved Personal Relations:

The long term benefits of Vipassana meditation can be felt both in the professional and personal lives. After practicing this meditation for some time, you become calmer and mentally matured. This enables you to avoid many of the problems in your professional and personal life. You tend to get less agitated by unexpected developments at the workplace, for example. You can also cope with career stress and untoward developments. This eventually helps you focus on work and you can avoid getting affected and distracted by others and various work related factors. You can succeed in achieving your career goals better.

Similarly, trying this form of meditation helps you improve personal relationships to a great extent. You can gain better control of your reactions and behaviour in stressful situations at home. You can therefore control stressful and tense situations before they assume serious proportions. This helps you enhance quality of personal relations with your spouse and other members in the family.

Now that you know how to do Vipassana meditation, let us know if you’ll give this a try. And let us know what you feel about this post. Leave a comment below!

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  • http://www.stylecraze.com/ StyleCraze

    Thanks for your feedback Kranthi :-) Do come back and share your experience with us !!