Vipassana, which literally means “to see things as they are,” is one of India’s oldest meditation techniques. It was rediscovered approximately 2500 years ago by Gotama Buddha, who taught it as a universal solution for universal illnesses, i.e., an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the complete removal of mental impurities, as well as the utmost enjoyment that comes with full emancipation.
Vipassana is a method of self-improvement based on self-observation. It emphasises on the profound interconnectedness between mind and body, which may be immediately experienced by paying attention to the bodily sensations that shape the body’s life and constantly interconnect and condition the mind’s life.
Mental impurity is dissolved through this observation-based, self-exploratory trip to the common root of mind and body, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.
It becomes evident what scientific laws govern one’s ideas, feelings, judgments, and sensations. The nature of how one grows or regresses, how one causes suffering or frees oneself from suffering is known via direct experience. Increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control, and calm become hallmarks of life.
The History of Tradition
Vipassana has been passed down through an unbroken chain of instructors from the time of Buddha to the current day. Mr. S.N. Goenka, the current teacher in this chain, is of Indian heritage but was born and reared in Burma (Myanmar). He had the wonderful fortune to acquire Vipassana from his instructor, Sayagyi U Ba Khin, who was a high-ranking government official at the time. Mr. Goenka settled in India in 1969 and began teaching Vipassana after fourteen years of training with his guru. He has educated tens of thousands of individuals of all races and religions in both the East and the West since then. He began appointing assistant teachers in 1982 to help him fulfil the increased demand.
The entire exercise is essentially a mental workout. Vipassana can be utilised to cultivate a healthy mind in the same way that we use physical exercises to improve our physical health.
Because the practise has been found to be truly beneficial, much focus is placed on conserving it in its original, authentic form. It is not supplied for a fee, but rather as a free service. There is no monetary compensation for those who participate in its teaching. There are no fees associated with the classes, not even to pay the costs of food and lodging. All expenditures are covered by donations from persons who, after completing a course and experiencing the advantages of Vipassana, want to help others do the same.
The effects, of course, come gradually as a result of persistent practise. Expecting all problems to be fixed in ten days is unreasonable. However, in that time, the fundamentals of Vipassana can be taught and utilised in daily life. The more the technique is used, the more freedom from misery is gained, and the closer one gets to the ultimate objective of complete release. Even ten days can provide changes that are noticeable and useful in everyday life.
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