I happened to share a ride with an American friend one evening. She pumped the accelerator so hard that I lost speech till we reached half-way to our hotel. She realized my state of panic and explained that all her colleagues drove this way due to day-long stress at work. I immediately realized the amount of stress generated in a normal business life. Meditation comes on handy to reduce this stress. One type of meditation practiced since more than 2500 years is Vipassana. Vipassana Meditation benefits on wellness includes realizing what life is actually is. We discuss more about this type of meditation technique down-below.
The word “Vipassana” literally means to see as they really are. It was practiced and perfected by Buddha to keep the mind in a harmonious state with nature and thereby at peace. In modern times, it has regained popularity with various Vipassana Meditation Centers established around the world. The course is generally for 10-days and completely in-house. Vipassana Guru S.N. Goenka explains that an in-house course is extremely important although the instructions are quite simple, as practicing Vipassana needs a surrounding to reap any benefit. This practice needs a Teacher who has himself walked the path. Also, it claims to change the way you live life – a life now free of pain and stress.
Types of Meditation
Meditation is an activity of focusing. The focus objective may be external or internal. Beginners meditation practice is based on focusing on external objects like a candle or any other object. Whereas internal focus may be in your breath or navel rise and fall which mature practitioners graduate it to the thoughts.
The various types of meditation are broadly categorized as per the process of external or internal focus. Mindfulness meditation focuses on your own internal thoughts as it passes through your mind. It is best when practicing on your own without help of a teacher. Spiritual meditation focuses on attaining spiritual peacefulness. This meditation is practiced with the objective of connecting with Creator and generally practiced with incense sticks or aromatic oils in the surrounding. Focused meditation is practiced with focus on an external or an internal standalone object – a burning candle or the Sun with closed eyes as discussed in my previous post.
One interesting meditation type is the movement meditation. It is practiced while walking or running or during any movement. Mantra meditation is using a chant to focus on and meditate. Transcendental Meditation is the most scientifically studied meditation and is a one-step-up of the Mantra Meditation. One can customize the wordings of the chant in this type of meditation.
Vipassana Meditation Benefits is due to its success is detaching from your thoughts of pain. This works to keep your mind in a more harmonious and peaceful state.
Vipassana versus Mindfulness
Vipassana and Mindfulness are both meditation technique focusing on your thoughts. Both train your subconscious mind to attain a stress-free and peaceful life.
However, Vipassana is a very structured program. It begins with an oath on five aspects – not stealing, not to speak lie, not to kill any living being, not to get into any sexual misconduct and not consuming any intoxicants. It is always practiced under the guidance of a Teacher who has already walked the path. Mindful Meditation can be practiced on your own.
The key difference between the two types of meditation is that Mindfulness focuses on thoughts but Vipassana teaches you to be non-reactive to the painful demands of the body. In case, you are focusing on your navel and there is an urging demand to itch due to a mosquito bite, you ignore the demand to itch and focus back on your navel. That way, the urge to itch goes away on its own.
Vipassana is a very specialized technique of meditation. Buddha attained enlightenment practicing this meditation. His followers are known to follow this technique in their everyday life. However, practice of Vipassana is secular and everybody and anybody can practice it to reap the intended benefits.
What to Expect in Vipassana
Vipassana has been practiced by Buddhist monks since the days of Buddha. In modern times, Vipassana Meditation centers provide a guided course to anybody who wants to reap the benefits. It is said that you will be enlightened to practice Vipassana only when your time comes. I hope that it is time for you as you are reading this article.
Benefits of Vipassana
Vipassana benefits includes aloofness from your painful thoughts. Your minds is so conditioned in the 10-day course that you make it a way of life. Rightly said, Vipassana is not only a meditation technique but ‘The Art of Living”. You are no more troubled by the painful thoughts which occur due to ups and downs of life.
On practicing Vipassana, your mind become serene and peaceful. The reactions to pain are controlled and works to alleviate the pain itself. Life is now devoid of pain and thereby stress. This goes a long way in attaining overall wellness.
Besides, Vipassana begins with the oath on five aspects. You practice this on a pure mind. Hence, aloofness from painful thoughts is more easily controlled.
In my earlier article, I had stressed the need of meditation specially for millennials. Any type of meditation contributes towards lowering stress of everyday life. Since stress is a major reason for many lifestyle diseases, any type of meditation contributes towards your overall wellness. Vipassana is claimed to be not only a meditation technique but a way of life.
(To read the article on Meditation and Wellness click here.)
This article on Vipassana was triggered by one of the reader’s question on my earlier article. I noted that many of us are not aware about this type of meditation which has many benefits on wellness. Hence, this article should be treated a primer on what Vipassana is.
As it cannot be practiced on its own, I will not recommend trying it by yourself. But if any of you have experience with Vipassana, do leave your comments in the comment box below. Our community of wellness freaks will be happy to read first-hand experiences on this structured meditation.