Vipassana meditation basics

Vipassana is an insight into the true nature of things; seeing things as they are. The path that leads to this insight or realization is awareness or mindfulness. It is exclusively found in no other religion rather than Buddhism. In this meditation, four objects are considered for the concentration of mind:

  • body
  • feelings
  • thoughts
  • mental states

Vipassana practice is to use these four objects for the development of concentration, mindfulness, and insight or understanding of yourself and the world around you.

It offers the most simple, direct, and effective method for training the mind to meet daily tasks and problems and to achieve the highest aim: liberation.

It is safe for all types of characters and a harmless way to train the mind. You can use this method anywhere at any time, in a busy office, or in the quiet of a peaceful night.

The task is to develop awareness or mindfulness. Awareness is paying bare attention to an object. This means you simply observe an object without judging it or thinking about it. Awareness is simply observing of giving close attention without making any judgment of thinking.

To achieve insight, so that you can understand the real nature of anything. Physical and mental healing is merely a byproduct of this meditation.

 

Who will need this?

a) People who think they are sufferers because of relational problems with friends, family, colleagues, and society;

b) People who want to purify themselves and want to start new lives;

c) People who want to heal their migraine and similar diseases

d) People with mental problems like aggressiveness, lack of confidence, phobia, and other stuff.

Remember one thing! If you are not a sufferer, if you don’t want a change, you will not realize the purpose of this meditation. This meditation will give you insight, the cause of suffering will be revealed and the mind will be peaceful ever since.

If you want to do meditation only for supernatural purposes, Vipassana meditation cannot help you to achieve this. You will need other meditations that build up super concentration.

 

Requisites of a meditator

The five most important requisites for a meditator who wants to practice Vipassana meditation for the achievement of supreme bliss are as follows:

a) A qualified teacher

b) A firm determination

c) Good discipline

d) Real honesty

e) Persistent diligence

 

A qualified instructor

A qualified instructor is a person who has himself practiced Vipassana meditation thoroughly and has acquired a very sound experience of meditation. The meditator should see and relate to the instructor very often about his experience of the meditation.

During the interview, the instructor can guide the meditator on the correct method of meditation. If the meditator is discouraged due to lack of progress, the instructor must give him some words of encouragement.
If such an instructor is not available, then you must follow the guidance given here.

 

A firm determination

Not all meditators have firm determination to achieve insight. With insight, the mental impurities of greed, hatred, and ignorance can be uprooted. It is not an easy task to achieve these insights. Only meditators with firm determination will have the ability to attain mental purification.

 

Good discipline

For best results, it is recommended that one seeks training at a proper meditation center. From the time the lessons in meditation begin until a meditator leaves the center, he will have practically no time to attend to external activities.

Those who enter into a meditation center usually get up very early in the morning and practice meditation for many hours. This insufficiency of sleep, under normal circumstances, may affect the health of a person. But it does not affect the practicing meditator, because of his mental concentration.

 

Real honesty

In describing his experiences to the instructor, the meditator must be truthful. He must tell only the facts, good or bad, which the meditator has definitely experienced. If he does not have mental concentration, or if he loses his confidence in meditation, he must reveal it.

There are some meditators who have learned about meditation either from others or from books. During the interview with the instructor, they may relate these facts as if they are their own. This kind of untruthful dealings must be avoided at any cost.

If the meditator does not tell the truth to the instructor, the latter will not be in a position to help him. The meditator must relate only what he has experienced during meditation and not what he imagines he has experienced. He must, therefore, be able to examine himself mindfully.

 

Persistent diligence

As has been pointed above, the task of uprooting desire, hatred, and ignorance is not an easy task. It requires unflagging effort, patience, strong determination, devotion, and understanding of the real purpose of the meditation.

How to practice Vipassana meditation

There are some basic steps to start doing this form of meditation.

  • Sit in a quiet place in a fairly dark room
  • You need to be undisturbed for at least 20 minutes
  • Keep your head and spine straight
  • You may sit on the floor or on a chair if needed
  • Close your eyes
  • Start focusing on your breathing
  • Observe the length of each breath – whether short long or heavy. Do not judge or try and control your breathing
  • The key to Vipassana meditation is to act as a neutral spectator to your breathing
  • Try to avoid your thoughts from being distracted
  • In the beginning, your thoughts may get distracted. Just gently shift your focus back to the breathing
  • With practice, you will be able to focus on the breathing for long periods without distraction
  • If questions and thoughts do arise, do not attend to them during the meditation
  • Only once the meditation is over-focus on these thoughts

 

How to do Breath meditation

The relaxation techniques of meditation breathing are based on the practice of traditional Buddhist Vipassana meditation, where you focus on breathing to get away from your thoughts and become more relaxed.

It’s important to realize that you don’t have to worry about reaching enlightenment to enjoy the advantages of deep breathing meditation. Practicing a brief Vipassana session every day to alleviate stress and unwind the body is what most practitioners aim for.

 

Breath Meditation steps

1. Find a fairly dark, calm, relaxed place to meditate. This will make it easier to concentrate on your breath. Avoid distractions and seat yourself in a comfortable position, holding your back straight with your shoulders down and back. Loosen up your extremities and begin by breathing slowly and serenely.

2. Pay attention to your breath and avoid thinking about anything else. Don’t let your mind stray to other thoughts that may try to enter your consciousness and cause distraction. Rather, whenever a thought pops up to let it go and put your focus on the simple act of breathing in and out.

3. If you have trouble staying focused, notice how your breath feels when it travels across your skin located under the nostrils and above the upper lip. How does it feel? Do you feel the oxygen circulating throughout your body?

4. Don’t force breath meditation if you find concentrating difficult – steady and slow your breathing and watch what it does to your body without thinking too hard about the speed of the breath. Try not to lose concentration, but if you do just allow the mind to enter back into the meditation experience naturally.

5. If your mind starts overthinking accept it and quickly return back to your breath and how the airbrushing against your skin feels. When you first begin meditating your mind will have a tendency to wander and fill up with thoughts. As long as you understand that it’s natural for the mind to drift without being overly concerned about it, you’ll be able to remain focused.

6. Continue to guide your thoughts back to your breathing every time the mind drifts, but don’t dwell too long on the fact that you have let your mind wander. Just remain aware of your breath and continue to meditate.

7. Experiment with various types of breathing until you find meditation techniques that you like. If long breathing isn’t your forte try short breathing, fast breathing, slow breathing, deep breathing, or shallow breathing. To keep your thoughts in check more easily you have to discover a breathing pattern you can use. The method differs depending on the person.

Breath meditation is beneficial for soothing the mind and calming the body. It can also help people with pain or illness because it teaches you to better control your body by harnessing the power of your mind.

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