Vipassana: the Buddhism ancient meditation technique
You just heard of this Vipassana, a ten-day meditation retreat and you found it interesting? Have you been considering this option for a while now and you are about to make your decision? Or maybe you have never heard about it until this moment. In any case, here you can find a summary of what is this meditation technique.
Nowadays, with all the self-knowledge buzz, Vipassana became famous worldwide and thousands of people start the famous ten-day retreats every week.
These retreats, which could first be found in Sri Lanka and Southeast Asia, are now available in many Western countries as well. Vipassana can now be considered one of the most famous meditation techniques. Here’s what it is all about.
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The roots of Vipassana
The clear awareness of reality and the true nature of existence.
Vipassana is part of the Buddhism tradition, and it is the oldest meditation technique, with 2500 years. Vipassana comes from Satipattana Sutta, a discourse that is believed to be from the Buddha himself, where we can find the foundations of mindfulness.
Therefore, Vipassana is considered an ancient and codified system of training the mind.
Vipassana: the insight
Have you noticed that, even though everyone is talking about Vipassana, no one really shares the method?
Vipassana is a very well preserved tradition, which has been preserved from being commercialized. Since a lot of commitment is necessary to go through the whole process of Vipassana, the retreats are being preserved as the only way to hand it down to nowadays.
Vipassana and Samatha
There are two main meditation techniques in Buddhism, which are distinct.
Samatha consists of concentration and tranquility and is the most emphasized system, and the one the is widely used in other meditation systems as well.
Vipassana is different. It aims to set us free from the curtain of illusion that exists between us and the reality. Therefore, Vipassana means to see things as they really are, or in other words, the clear awareness of reality and the true nature of existence.
The method of Vipassana
As mentioned before, the method of Vipassana consists of a ten-day retreat where the teachings are handed down to the meditators who join these retreats. Not only to survive the ten days requires a strong commitment, but this is also a technique to live by.
Only a strong commitment to the practice can result in the cut off of the curtain of illusion mentioned before. Years of practice can lead to the so aimed liberation.
The retreat consists of three steps:
The first step consists of a commitment of abstaining from killing, stealing, sexuality, lies, and intoxication, the moral code that brings the necessary peace of mind to proceed with the process.
In the first days, the meditators are also conducted to concentration meditation techniques, with the goal of calming the mind.
In the second moment, we begin the observation of sensations by scanning the whole body. This observation requires a non-reactive attitude and complete stillness. The idea is to understand the nature of sensations and to develop equanimity.
The last step consists of a loving and kindness meditation, sharing this experience of love with all the living beings in the world.
The reviews and experiences of those who have tried Vipassana are intense, and many people give up during the process. Even though we are probably never ready for such a strong experience, make sure it’s the right moment in your life, before you embark on this adventure.
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