|Posted by Jamie Sparks on February 12, 2012 at 9:55 PM|
I attended my first Vipassana meditation a couple of years ago for my birthday. This was a conscious intention to explore and observe myself more deeply and experience 10 days of an inward journey. An amazing amount of insight can be gained in practicing nothing but meditation for 10 days. Here is some of the basics of Vipassana style meditation.
Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living.
This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the result being the highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose. Through our developing awareness, we can begin to look at things as they really are, thus discovering their true nature.
Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
For more on Vipassana and courses in the area, see the website: http://www.dhamma.org/
A wonderful documentary about Vipassana meditation techniques in the prison system is The Dhamma Brothers. Here is the link to the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zA8XFEyeMi8
BASICS OF VIPASSANA
The basic starting point of Vipassana meditation is to keep the attention on the natural rhythm of the every changing flow of the breath entering and leaving the body. In your comfortable seated position, let your eyes close and begin to notice your breath. More specifically notice the breath entering and leaving the body through the nostrils. Connect with the sensations of the breath in the nostrils and at the upper lip. If the mind wanders, observe and bring yourself back to the breath. Let go of trying to control the wandering ever thinking mind, and just observe when it wanders and moves into thoughts. Gently bring yourself back to the breath and notice the physical sensations of the breath. With time and practice, we are able to observe our thoughts, rather than react, and more peaceful states of mind can be experienced.
A 10 day course greatly expands on this basic meditation, guiding you into how to connect with your entire sensory essence, down to the organs. I find this to be a very powerful meditation and is the basic one I come back to over and over again. I highly encourage allowing yourself the opportunity to attend a course if you are able. It can be very transormative.