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Vipassana – the path of self-discovery

Talking about meditation, it is practiced all over the world today in different forms and types. There are nine main ones, which include mindfulness, spiritual, centering, movement, mantra, transcendental, progressive, loving-kindness and visualization meditation. However, the main objectives of each practice may be different. Its basic goal remains the same. Attaining peace of body and mind. To provide relief from stress and work pressure. Meditation brings a person on the path of harmony and relaxation. Although it is an ancient tradition and has been practiced for centuries in most religions. Even today it is an equally popular practice to calm one’s mind.

What is Vipassana (Vipassana)

Vipassana (vipassana in hindi) is a Pali word. The word Vipassana means ‘insight’ or ‘clear seeing’ or ‘special vision’. Vipassana is related to Buddhism. Apart from being ancient, it is equally relevant in the present. It is described as one of two qualities of mind (bhāvana) developed during Buddhist meditation. The second is equanimity (i.e. calmness of mind). In other words, Vipassana Meditation means seeing things as they really are. Vipassana meditation is one of the oldest forms of meditation given to the world by Lord Buddha about 2500 years ago for the treatment of universal disease. Vipassana meditation provides relief from mental pain (Vipassana Meditation for Relaxation) and gives complete freedom to the mind. As a result it provides pleasure to the mind and brain. It is a simple method of self-change through introspection.

Vipassana focuses on the deep interconnectedness between mind and body, which can be experienced by focusing on real vibrations. It is a self-discovery journey based on one’s own observation towards the common ground of body and mind, which in turn removes mental pollution to bring out a balanced psyche full of affection, love and compassion.

In the present era, people are so engrossed in their daily activities that they are unable to pay proper attention to their health. As a result, many types of health problems increase. In such a situation, physical and mental fatigue will naturally cause trouble. Although people take many measures to avoid this, but meditation is the only method through which a person can make himself happy and happy and can avoid diseases. Vipassana meditation has great importance in this. This method has been adopted by our sages since ancient times.

Association with SN Goenka and Vipassana
Meditation is usually not tagged with a first person i.e. singular. But Vipassana Meditation is known as A N Goenka Meditation in India.

Satya Narayan Goenka (S N Goenka, Practices) was born in Myanmar (Burma). This place is one of the largest sites of Buddhism. He had the opportunity to come into contact with Sayagi U Ba Khin, the Accountant General of the Union of Burma and Buddhist spiritual leader. He received Vipassana training under him for 14 years. After that he settled in India in 1969 and started teaching Vipassana to people. Very soon this education spread rapidly in every part of India and abroad. People started getting attracted towards this meditation. After that Goenka and the teachers he selected changed the lives of thousands of people through their teachings of Vipassana. Presently the learning centers established under the guidance of SN Goenka are functional across the world including Asia, Africa, America, Europe and Australia. In the educational centers established by them, mainly the ‘Path of Liberation’ is taught.

Form of meditation – Vipassana

Vipassana Meditation includes the principles of ‘Dhamma’. This is considered a universal law of nature. This meditation, suggested by Lord Gautam Buddha, mainly involves morality (Sila), concentration (Samadhi), and wisdom or insight (Panna).

Vipassana is a gentle but thorough meditation. If a person wishes to practice this form of meditation, he or she must undergo a residential course of ten days under the guidance of a qualified guru in established Vipassana centers at other designated locations. The person who undertakes this education has to abstain from all other contacts with the outside world for the entire duration of the course. During this period, other activities like reading, writing, mobile phones, internet, daily religious practices and others are prohibited. A person participating in Vipassana Meditation Self course needs to follow this. Apart from this, the participants taking education are required to maintain silence. They are also not allowed to interact with fellow members. However they are allowed to discuss any concerns related to focus or content with the teacher or management respectively.

The training involves three phases. The first practice is sila or morality. It involves abstaining from all actions that cause harm to oneself and others such as murder, theft, sexual misconduct, lying and use of any intoxicant. One has to keep all these away from oneself.

Following these principles helps in calming the mind. The second part of the training, the first three and a half days, is breathing. The purpose of which is to maintain concentration of mind. This is also called Anapana meditation. Which helps in developing Samadhi or the state of concentration and gaining control over the disturbed mind.

These first two steps are important and extremely valuable in continuing a healthy life and gaining control over the mind. Yet this training is incomplete without the third phase of training. In the third stage of training the mind is cleansed of mental impurities. The third and final step towards learning is the practice of making way for clarity of insight as well as one’s complete physical and mental configuration. Participants receive structured meditation instructions several times a day during the course. On the last day of the course a record of S N Goenka is specially played for the participants. Which contains details of the entire practice.

For the first nine days of the course, participants are taught to remain completely silent. On the tenth day, participants talk among themselves about general life changes. On the morning of the eleventh day, there is the concluding ceremony of the Vipassana Meditation course, in which the practice of Metta-Bhavana takes place. Which means love, kindness and goodwill towards everyone. Once the course is completed, the person can practice Vipassana meditation at home or any other place of choice and comfort. There is no age limit or any other specific criteria to learn Vipassana Meditation (Vipassana Meditation for Beginners). Anyone and everyone who wants to gain insight into themselves can practice Vipassana meditation.

Benefits of Vipassana Meditation

Practicing Vipassana Meditation provides many benefits. Most importantly, this meditation helps in relieving stress by calming the mind. It gives a strong stimulus to the mind along with a feeling of patience and satisfaction. Vipassana meditation allows one to understand things better and with more precision. Like other meditations, Vipassana meditation also reduces stress, reduces anxiety, improves mental anguish. It also increases mindfulness. Improves brain plasticity i.e. flexibility towards positive thoughts, helps in treating addictions. Cures the problem of insomnia and depression along with improving physical health.

And then a new journey begins
With this meditation technique (Vipassana Meditation Techniques) one gains knowledge or insight about oneself and stronger control over thoughts and emotions. Being in control of emotions and thought process not only makes the person practicing it better, stronger and happier but also brings many positive changes to the people around.