Vipassana meditation is a simple and practical way to achieve true peace of mind. The word “vipassana” means “to see things as they really are”. This is a rational method of cleansing the mind.
In Sanskrit, the word “vipassana” is translated as “meditation of insight” and “vision as it is”. In order to cleanse the mind of everything superfluous that interferes with self-knowledge, practice is to immerse oneself in a special meditative state. It helps us to learn to know our “I”, to reject everything superfluous, which prevents us from feeling inner harmony.
Although Vipassana is part of the Buddha’s teachings, it contains no religious or sectarian colour, and can be practiced by people of any origin. This simple technique does not require the help of a god, spirit, or any other external force, but depends on our own efforts.
The Vipassana technique works on the basis that all people have the same problems and presents a pragmatic method that can eliminate them. To be aware of the present moment, you need to be here and now in the highest degree, to be aware of what is happening in the body and mind at the present moment. At that moment, you don’t remember the past and you don’t expect the future. The previous breathing is in the past, the next breathing has not yet occurred, only the present breathing (sound, movement) is real.
Understanding Vipassana meditation
Man is an emotional being and, therefore, emotions and feelings accumulate in him. Over time, they can cause diseases that can only be cured by getting rid of negative emotions. Vipassana helps to deal with “old” experiences and helps to stop accumulating new ones. How to do it?
- Get rid of the external stimuli.
- Calm your mind.
- Learn to contemplate their emotions and feelings, but not respond to them.
- Realize everything that once worried and contributed to the emergence of experiences.
Vipassana meditation makes clear how close the connection of mind and body is. During practice, you should focus on mental state and physical sensations. Three effective methods can be used for this, it is better to start doing them one at a time and practice them separately.
Awareness of movement and thoughts.
By mastering this technique, one can learn to be fully aware of one’s own actions. Absolutely any movement must be conscious. The feeling of mechanical conducting must be completely eliminated. You must understand that a hand or a foot obeys you, moves according to your will. This method may seem somewhat naive, but in fact it is very effective.
By practicing this technique, you abandon unconscious actions. You must control how you straighten clothes, place things and clean the house. Only after you have accomplished your body, can you realize your mind. You need to get rid of the need of evaluating thoughts and emotions. You just need to see them. The third step after body and mind awareness will be awareness of your mood.
Observation of the upper lip and nostrils.
Anapana is a very ancient method of meditation. It consists of letting the attention rest in the natural flow of breath. Breathing is one of the natural processes of our body and in anapana we use it as a support for attention. This technique is designed to ensure that you observe your sensations when you inhale and you exhale, when the air fill and gradually leave the body. You realize that when you inhale, you feel cold in your nostrils and when you exhale, you feel heat on your upper lip. Anapana aims to exercise the mental concentration muscle, and as we deepen, the mind becomes more and more precise and subtle, refining our capacity for observation.
The movement of the abdomen means the movement of the vital force. In this case, the observation is made precisely for the stomach, since there is a navel, which is a source of vital energy. Gradually, as you watch the movements of your abdomen, you feel thoughts and emotions diminish, you don’t stop you from feeling your “self”. Tips for this practice:
- Keep your head straight, looking forward and down, looking about 20 centimetres from your body.
- You can close your eyes to avoid interruptions.
- Draw attention to your belly, in the area of the abdomen.
- Breathe normally, without forcing your breath.
- Watch the sensations of your body breathing.
- Keep the mind attentive to the breathing process, to the sensations involved in the ascent, middle and end of the ascent of the abdomen, as well as in the descent, middle and end point of the descent.
Even though these processes are described in this way, they should not be divided, but felt as a full conscious movement. Keeping attention on discovering each stage leads to a mind too focused on schematizing the process and not on breathing itself.