A human life is extremely short compared to the life of the celestial beings Devas and Brahmas. Although it is very short, this life is the one that offers the best opportunities for the realization of Nibbana, the state of total liberation from suffering. The best way to reach this supreme state is through Vipassana meditation . In this article we will talk about this important meditation practice of Buddhism.
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What is Vipassana meditation?
Vipassana meditation is an important tool to transform the mind, whose consciousness is attracted by physical and conceptual sensory experiences. Through Vipassana meditation, we learn to focus the mind inside , avoiding constantly being behind the objects, the senses or the external factors to which we are normally exposed.
In this way we learn to maintain a constant state of alertness to the presence of the mind in order to bring out the awareness of our state of mind in neutral. This state is free of afflictions originated by memories, thoughts of the past or conceptualizations, reflections on the future, worries, fears or expectations.
Practice of Vipassana meditation
It is only through the practice of Vipassana , that the human being can get rid of the impurities inside him that keep him in the miserable planes where pain predominates; These impurities refer mainly to the lobha: desire, dosa: anger and moha: ignorance. At the same time, the human being finds the perfection of concentration and wisdom, the ideal state to experience it . Therefore, when in human terms one seeks to obtain maximum benefit, this is possible through the practice of Vipassana meditation.
Origin of Vipassana
It comes from Sanskrit Vipasyana and is one of the oldest meditation techniques that exists. This technique was propagated 2,500 years ago by Gautma Buddha, who helped eradicate the great universal discomfort that human beings expressed from the beginning of time. The term Vipassana is an original Pali word, meaning vision or seeing things as they really are .
Purpose of Vipassana meditation
The purpose of Vipassana meditation is to purify the mind by eliminating old habits and negative thoughts. It is a fantastic technique that takes the individual to unexpected levels of understanding and that allows him to have some distance with his emotions for a better control of himself. Vipassana also helps to develop compassion, which is very important in order to understand others and situations of daily life, in a neutral and objective way.
What is this meditative practice?
This Vipassana meditation therapy , also known as a vital spiritual practice, consists of a 10-day retreat of continuous sessions and 10 daily hours, based on a code of discipline or moral conduct that each candidate must fulfill with the clear objective of obtaining most of the benefits of the course. This teaching is a totally free non-profit activity. The fundamental idea is to make a display of its great benefits to eradicate the physical anguish of people through a spiritual connection .
During this time the participant is limited to many actions, among the most relevant, are not to use speech, or read, or write, nor can sex, or lie; it is a therapy where it is only about maintaining a deep relationship with oneself.
How is the Vipassana 10-day therapy
To help stay balanced during long session hours, the participant must perform a previous exercise consisting of one hour of walking meditation . At the beginning of the therapy, the participant should make sure to find a comfortable position, sitting in the position of lotus flower , with the back completely straight and let the breath flow naturally when inhaling and when expiring with the eyes completely closed, avoiding as much as possible, the sudden movements.
The first three days of therapy , apply to deep concentration to achieve peace of mind. The only thing the participant should do is listen to the silence and focus attention on a small area under the nostrils and the upper lip to achieve concentration, but always vigilant of what happens at all times, since this is a meditation observational; perhaps during the exercise, at some point, an emotion related to the unpleasant memory of anger or very pleasant memories is expressed; in any case, the individual must abandon the thought of the expressed emotion and refocus the attention on the small area under the nostrils and upper lip and concentrate again on what happens in the moment.
The senses of the human being, in general, are perfectly developed, this would be the most complicated step to master, since any noise, smell, sense or thought would easily divert the participant’s attention.
Therefore, the idea of focusing the mind in the area below the nostrils, concentrating and visualizing in our mind the inflow and outflow of the air, is what will allow us to find the ideal state of Vipassana meditation .
This therapy consists of ten hours the first three days , within which are the pauses with walks, time to feed, and so on. Even so, this may seem like a long time to anyone, but while the mind is centered and calm, time simply does not exist, because it is not present and therefore does not disturb concentration; The only risk is to cling to any thought in the meditation period. At the end of each session, this therapy generates intense emotions in the individual for having managed to develop an inner dialogue with himself.
The Vipassana meditation continued for the fourth day meeting at that level attention refocuses on the small area under his nostrils and upper lip and then throughout the body, focusing on each area, abdomen, hands, legs, feet, etc. The process continues the next day until the end of the retreat, where attention is focused on the sensations of the whole body, managing to bury in the subconscious, the reactions caused by numbness, stiffness and even of itching in some parts of the body .
In case some factor of distraction is frequent and it does not stop completely, the mind must be aware of it and if it must make some movement, it will decide it first in its mind and it will decide to make the movement focusing the concentration in that act, avoiding always react impulsively The same will happen when there are thoughts about future plans, or conversations with someone in the mind, analysis or reflections. The mind must always be aware of each of these sensations, observe them and make them part of the observation meditation and when they disappear, return to the state of concentration in the breath.
These sensations can observe that the body is in motion in the transience of life and are not observable in a normal state of consciousness, because the mind is not fit enough to grasp this perception of depth. In summary, the body will experience many internal sensations during the days that the meditation takes place . The important thing is not to reject, nor repress, nor erase, any of these sensations, but to make them parts of the meditation process by means of the present consciousness. In this way we will achieve conscious control of our mind.
This experience is personal and can not be described, as it can lead to misunderstandings.
When the 10th day of the session arrives, the vocal cords of the individual are completely numb, having avoided speech during that time . Day 10 is a transition to meet again with the modern accelerated world. During that time, the only contact should be the teacher or administrator responsible for controlling the group of meditators. This part of the session often represents a shock to most practitioners as they face their normal life again .
What is the learning that Vipassana meditation leaves behind?
These sessions of only 10 days do not completely eliminate the bad habits learned for so many years, in fact, 10 days is a very short period if you want to reach the deepest levels of the unconscious . The success of this day, lies in the continuity of the regular exercise of Vipassana meditation , which should be practiced every day, one hour in the morning and one hour in the evening. However, at the end of the retreat, the participant can perceive the purity developed during the course and manifest it with noble acts towards others and with the desire to apply good deeds.
Some people who have already practiced this discipline, meet frequently to maintain the technique. In cases where the individual can not maintain a regular practice, the recommendation is to make a withdrawal at least once a year.
Vipassana meditation is a way to achieve inner peace , if you want to maintain that level of peace, it is necessary to practice this discipline either alone or accompanied. An experience of ten days of Vipassana meditation, allows the encounter with the inner self and with the true nature; it is a self-learning that helps to understand the unconscious reactions at the root of one’s own suffering.
Practice of Vipassana meditation today
In the past, Vipassana Buddhist meditation was achieved very easily, it only required keeping silent, observing the mind. For men and women of antiquity, it was not so difficult to achieve a state of optimal relaxation because the way of life was very calm and natural.
This Western discipline has spread throughout the world, however, at present, observing the mind is not an easy job , since it is overloaded with impurities, caused by the same hectic pace of life that we carry most of people.
Many aspirants who initiate the practice of Vipassana fall asleep almost systematically, this happens because in view of the fact that it is a meditation that takes place in silence and completely relaxed, the mind receives the message that it is time to sleep. But contrary to this, Vipassana is not a dream, but mindfulness .
The practice of Vipassana is difficult for many people when they initiate , since the incessant flow of our thoughts arises with more force than usual, especially at the beginning. The most advisable thing for people who call attention to Vipassana meditation and who have never started in any of these disciplines, is to put into practice first some kind of active meditation such as dance, or catharsis (emotional expression) with the idea of going exercising the mind and preparing it for something more intense like Vipassana. It is also advisable to accompany these therapies with other practices, such as massages, holistic treatments, alternative therapies, etc. In order to be able to start in Vipassana and be able to take advantage of all its benefits.
Who can practice Vipassana?
Even though it is a Buddhist technique, Vipassana meditation is a discipline that can be practiced by anyone of any religious belief, color or social status, without fear of facing any conflict related to the dogma they profess to have. Currently, there are many people of different religions and races who have already practiced this discipline and the reason that motivated them have been the same everyday problems that all human beings face and therefore, they try to try new tools that help them to eradicate all those sensations.