Vipassana: The Essence of all Meditations
Updated: Aug 22, 2022
Vipassana is an ancient meditation, re-discovered, & preached by Gautama, the Buddha in 2550 B.C.E. A connoisseur of peace, Buddha transcended the realm of mind, and attained “nirvana” or “enlightenment”.
“Vipassana is the essence of all meditations” – Osho.
A curious agnostic, I believe something when I see it from my eyes, feel it in the depths of my soul, figure it out through rational mind. So, I took Vipassana meditation course as a scientific experiment on myself, a challenge to conquer, a test of my extremes.
That’s when I landed in Jaipur!
Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Center Jaipur, Rajasthan, India
Located at a distance of 15 Kms from Jaipur airport, the Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Center is easy to reach from station and airport. A 10-day residential course, a group of dedicated volunteers, veg wholesome meals, the simplicity of 10 days routine is a window to simplicity of the technique.
What is Vipassana meditation? Is it for me?
The word “Vipassana” means to “see things as they are, not as they appear to be” or “to see clearly” in Pali language. I’ve been lucky enough to attend the course thrice. A lot of people ask me if it is for them. Well, put simply, there’re three things that you need to consider if you want to go ahead.
An open-scientific mind that is ready to explore a new idea:
My rational mind never agrees with traditions or conventions.. The technique doesn’t require you to do so… The high-point of Vipassana? Equanimous observation of reality, as it is. No visualization or verbalization. No chants, no mantra, and no dress code…No mention of God, soul, or religion… An open mind is all you need.
Fear not, no one is going to “convert” you ! It ain’t a religion! 🙂
Intense curiosity & a sense of respect for meditation and spirituality:
A curiosity for spirituality, life, & mind is how I landed there. So, can you! Don’t go if you want to convert it into another social media debate between your beliefs & Buddhism. It isn’t about Buddhism. It is a technique that came back to India through Mr. S.N. Goenka in 1969, after it vanished from India, few centuries after its re-discovery by Gautama, the Buddha.
Adherence to the strict “The Code of Discipline”:
The toughest, yet, most challenging part is adherence to “The Code of Discipline”. A 10-day routine, noble silence, abstinence from liquor, sexual conduct, purely vegetarian meals, starting the day with a wake up bell at 4:15 AM, can get a little intimidating. But the code of discipline is important. It is a part of the whole process.
The Technique of Vipassana Meditation:
Noble Silence: 10 days “moun”: Silence of speech, mind, and body.
A technical summary: Technically, Vipassana is simple. Observe the breath (Anapana)… Become aware of wandering thoughts… Focus back on breath… Slowly, the focus is shifted onto body parts…Equanimous observation of sensations that erupt in each body part…
The technique becomes challenging when one has to do it more than 10 hours a day, for 10 days, with a light stomach, and a smile on the face. 🙂
The physical discomfort due to posture or continuous sitting is where the path of Vipassana begins! So, if you go, persist till the end, and give it your best shot.
To me personally, a course in Vipassana is a soulful inner journey:
The first three days are tricky… As thoughts engulf the consciousness… By the fourth day, the burden we call “thoughts”, begin to shed their weight… Mind is conditioned to be reactive… A student of Vipassana slowly learns to observe, rather than react to action happening outside and inside. It is almost like the law of Physics: every action has an equal and opposite reaction… No reaction breaks the cycle of thoughts!
Vipassana is just a blissful journey towards attaining “Bodhi”, or “awakening”.
If I may say so, Vipassana to me is a “fresh awakening”, a “rebirth”, a “renaissance of mind”!!!
A click to remember on the last day of Vipassana course!
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