Vipassana - Dr. AxeWhen We talk about meditation, there are many ways to do it. What is the Much like mindfulness meditation, it involves training one’s head through the conclusion of specific exercises to increase awareness of one’s personal experiences. Vipassana means “to see things as they are.” This clinic called an”art of living” dates back at least 2,500 years to ancient India. Vipassana meditation method (also called”insight meditation”), and how does it differ from other forms? Although this kind of meditation is in practice in the U.S. since the 1960s, in the past few decades, the prevalence of Vipassana meditation retreats and classes has skyrocketed. Thousands of individuals attend Vipassana classes annually in hopes of”seeing the real nature of existence,” better handling anxiety, also Improving wellness, productivity, relationships, and their attention.

What’s Vipassana Meditation?

Vipassana is a kind of mindfulness meditation that is modern-day. You pay attention to sensations happening inside your body while practicing. Techniques involve focusing on a single thing non-judgmentally, while Vipassana techniques involve exploring the qualities of consciousness, self, and perceptions of things. What is Vipassana’s Objective? It’s meant to help”eliminate mental impurities” and enhance happiness through self-observation and consciousness. There are several principles of Vipassana meditation, according to scriptures: You notice your mind produces emotions, ideas, and judgments. Meditation’s Vipassana faculty has a lengthy history in India.

Vipassana is believed to be the cornerstone of the traditions of Buddhist meditation.

Kinds of Techniques

Vipassana is a meditation technique that is non-sectarian/non-religious. What occurs in Vipassana?

It has been the predominant form of Buddhist meditation in areas of Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka today. Practicing this technique is believed to lead to a protected link that was mind-body and self-transformation by showing certain truths.

After evolving and being handed by many educators for many centuries, finally, the practice became more mainstream with assistance from many prominent teachers in India, such as those called S.N. Goenka and Sayadaw U Pandita.

These teachers started growing following in the 1960s and’70s, at which stage they trained so the method could go on to people living in the West and the East, others to become teachers.

  • Kayanupassana (continuous mindfulness of the body)
  • Vedananupassana (constant mindfulness of feelings)
  • Cittanupassana (constant observation of the mind)
  • Dhammanupassana (constant mindfulness of mental processes)

Wondering what the difference is between Vipassana and transcendental meditation (TM)?

As explained above, Vipassana has more in common with mindfulness, as it involves returning your attention to an object in your awareness (breath, body, sounds, etc.). TM, on the other hand, uses a specific mantra, or music, as the “anchor” of your attention.

According to TM theory, repeating your mantra over and over helps naturally calm the mind and allows it to settle. Both have similar goals and benefits, such as improving focus and managing stress.

How to Practice It

How is Vipassana meditation practiced? It’s been described as an observation-based, self-exploratory journey.

Practicing doesn’t require any guided meditation-videos, apps, teachers, or scripts, although these can all be very helpful when getting started.

Here’s a basic overview of how you can practice Vipassana meditation:

  • Choose a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted, whether inside your home or even outdoors in nature. Sit in a comfortable position, such as on the floor or a cushion, with your legs crossed if that feels OK. Keep your head lifted straight up, and your spine erects to prevent slouching.
  • Image your muscles relaxing as you breathe at a reasonable pace.
  • Choose an object to focus on, such as your breath and the physical sensations it produces, especially in your abdomen. The inspiration is usually the focal point of meditation because you always have access to it, and it’s continuous.
  • While trying to keep your attention fixated on your breath, observe and explore how your mind wanders. Return your attention to the physical sensations of your breath each time you notice it has gone elsewhere.
  • You can practice “naming” what’s going on in your awareness to help sharpen your focus. You do this by naming the sensations you’re feeling or by calling what your mind is doing when it loses focuses. For example, you can silently say to yourself “planning” or “belly falling.” Any sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations in the body, mental images, or emotions can be all named since all of these are part of your experience.

It’s common for beginners to learn this meditation method by attending a Vipassana retreat, typically a 10-day residential retreat that may involve remaining silent (not speaking out loud to others) the entire time. During Vipassana meditation retreats, participants learn the basics of the method under guidance by a teacher.

Where can you find a Vipassana meditation center in your area or somewhere to attend a retreat?

One of the most popular Vipassana meditation centers in the world is the Insight Meditation Society (IMS), a nonprofit organization located in Barre, Massachusetts, that was opened in the 1970s. It was founded by several students of the Theravada meditation tradition: Sharon Salzberg, Jack Kornfield, and Joseph Goldstein, all of whom still Today teach thousands of people meditation every year.

Health Benefits

1. May Help Boost Concentration/Focus

Although it’s most common to meditate while sitting in silence, there are many ways to practice and dozens of variations. No matter which specific techniques you find most helpful, the real point is to become more mindful and aware throughout your day.

You can practice being present while doing just about anything — exercising, walking around, working, cooking, showering, etc. Therefore, technically, there are many ways to meditate.

How does Vipassana meditation boost concentration exactly? It helps train you to keep your awareness (or consciousness) from becoming diffused or dispersed by fleeting thoughts.

One study showed that it could increase the frequency of being in a “flow state,” in which you are fully immersed in an activity and undistracted.

No matter what you’re doing, if it helps you focus on the task at hand, you may want to try labeling these activities as you do them.

2. Can Help Manage Stress and Anxiety

Recognizing that your thoughts and emotions are only temporary and always changing is one way to realize that nothing will last or feel bad forever. This can help reduce the stress associated with ruminating thoughts and negative experiences, including physical symptoms that chronic stress contributes to.

Research shows that mindfulness-based meditation practices help stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, leading to a relaxation response and recovery from the flight or fight response. It can contribute to physical health improvements, including reduced chronic pain, fewer tension headaches, improved digestion, and reduced blood pressure.

In one study published in 2015, researchers examined the effects of a Vipassana course on subjective stress, well-being, self-kindness, and trait mindfulness. They found that six months after completing the course, the majority of participants experienced improvements in stress and well-being scores, likely because of increased mindfulness skills.

Although study results have been mixed, some research suggests that insight meditation practice can also improve the ability to cope with PTSD and a reduction in related substance abuse.

3. Can Improve Decision Making and Reduce Habitual Behavior

Studies suggest that meditation can help reduce anxious or depressive thought patterns that contribute to habitual negative behaviors and quality of life. By being present, we can observe our thoughts and actions from a distance, giving us higher power to make informed choices rather than impulsive, destructive decisions.

A 2016 study found that when participants attended a one-month Vipassana retreat, a significant percentage experienced improvements in mindfulness, well-being, and personality traits — including being more cooperative, less harmful toward others, less reward-dependent, and more self-directed.

A separate study revealed evidence that adults who were trained in meditation improved their ability to delay gratification and experienced a decrease in impulsivity. According to a 2010 survey, a Vipassana practice can help reduce alcohol and substance abuse due to the positive effects it has on certain parts of the brain related to executive functioning.

4. Can Be Done Anywhere (Including While Sitting, Laying or Exercising)

Not only can you practice insight meditation and mindfulness while sitting or lying, but you can also practice this method as a form of active meditation, such as when walking or exercising. Beginning practice with walking meditation or something productive like gentle yoga is recommended to help the body and mind settle more quickly.

No matter how you choose to practice or what activity you’re doing, you keep your mind on all of the sensations you’re feeling.

Conclusion

  • Vipassana is the oldest form of Buddhist meditation. It’s also called “insight meditation” and works by improving awareness and focus on the present moment, including the breath and bodily sensations.
  • The meaning of Vipassana is “to see things as they are.” The purpose is to recognize the impermanence of all things and how each person deals with hardships and unsatisfactoriness. By paying attention to how thoughts and sensations are always changing, you can find freedom in the fact that nothing lasts forever.
  • While you can begin practicing on your own, one of the best ways to learn this method is to attend classes or a retreat at a Vipassana center. You can also use guided meditation apps and videos available for free online.

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