Vipassana meditation technique was discovered by Buddha over 25 centuries ago. It was passed on and taught by many teachers since then and has benefited numerous people from all walks of life.
In 1985 Mr. S.N Goenka, an Indian descent Burmese teacher established Vipassana research institute in India. His efforts popularized vipassana meditation technique and currently his 10 day meditation retreat programs are practiced in 94 countries at more than 341 locations.
Vipassana meditation is also called insight meditation and sensory meditation. As it requires one to look inwards and observe the physical sensations caused by emotions.
Put simply, we need to observe the feelings of pain, happiness or angst as a watcher without involving in them. This creates self awareness which leads to serenity, peace and compassion.
Benefits of Vipassana meditation technique
Equanimity means to stay poised in happiness and sadness. It doesn’t mean that you do not feel anything but the reactions are controlled and subtle.
The joy to stay connected with oneself is sweet and pure. It’s the ability to analyse unworthy sensations and let them pass that increases happiness and improves overall life quality.
Increased concentration and focus
Mindful mediation techniques such as Vipassana helps us concentrate on the task at hand wholeheartedly by filtering out unwanted thoughts. But this requires at least 6 months of daily meditation practice.
Better physical health
Scientific studies suggest daily meditation improves not only mental health but also digestion, skin health and chronic pains.
Vipassana meditation is about letting go the sensation of cravings, it thereby helps in getting rid of unhealthy addictions too.
Better stress management
The insight meditation technique makes one realize the impermanence of thoughts. This practice quiets the mind, reduces anxiety and brings inner peace.
Vipassana meditation technique is an inward journey it creates awareness about oneself. You understand yourself better which ultimately helps in analyzing the reaction to things that don’t really matter. Consequentially, awareness leads to poise and tranquility.
How to practice vipassana meditation
For beginners it is advisable to practice with a coach or meditation teacher. But its not a pre-requisite as vipassana is a self observation technique and can be practiced by oneself.
- Sit in a quiet room without distractions.
- You can sit on a floor mat with legs crossed and spine erect.
- If the above position is not comfortable due to health reasons you can sit on a cushion or a chair as well.
- Shoulders should not slouch. Chin Slightly tucked in, to align the head with spine.
- Do not start the practice in a rush, Make sure there’s enough time to meditate.
- Initially you need to focus on the breath. Feel the sensation of air coming in and out of your nostrils.
- Next step is to focus on physical sensations such as itching and other mild discomforts, just observe the sensations and let them pass.
- Similarly focus on the emotions and thoughts that arise and let them go without engaging.
- The mind will wander but bring it back to breathing sensations gently. Do this for few weeks for 20-30 minutes twice daily.
- With daily consistent practice you will understand the mind-body connection. Gradually self control, serenity, and focus will increase.
Vipassana is a secular meditation technique and can be practiced by people from all races, diversity, and religion. It has amazing mental and physical health benefits that improve overall life quality.
To practice at a Vipassana meditation center make sure to understand their code of discipline and rules beforehand.
Vipassana needs commitment and effort. Though many people feel enlightened and liberated but Its hard for some to follow through full 10 days, as its a silent practice with no outside contact. None the less, you can try it at home and feel the positive change within few months.