Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. Long lost to humanity, it was rediscovered by the Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana means insight, or seeing things as they really are. It is a process of purification through observation. In Vipassana meditation, one begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind. With sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of our bodily sensations and the continuous stream of thoughts in the mind. This often leads to an experience of the universal truths of parinmavada, or constant change. This realization by direct experience leads to purification. It is a universal remedy for universal problems, and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be practiced freely by everone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and it will prove equally beneficial to one and all.
What Vipassana is not:
It is not a rite or ritual based on blind faith.
What Vipassana is:
It is a techique that can eradicate suffering.
It is a method of mental purification which allows one to face life’s tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way.
It is an art of living that one can use to make positive contributions to society.
Vipassana meditation aims at the highest spiritual goal of total liberation and full enlightenment. Its purpose is not to cure physical disease, however, as a by-product of mental purification, many psychosomatic diseases are eradicated. In fact Vipassana can eliminates the kleshas, or our obstacles for happiness: raga (attachment to pleasure), dvesha (aversion to pain), avidya (wrong-seeing/misperception), asmita (ego) and abhinivesha (fear of the unknown). With continued practice, the mediation releases tensions developed in our everyday life, opening the knots tied by the old habit of reacting in an unbalanced way to pleasant and unpleasant situations.
Although Vipassana was developed as a technique by the Buddha, its practice is not limited to Buddhists. All human beings share the same fundamental problems, and a technique which can eradicate these problems will have a universal application. People from many religious denominations experience the benefits of Vipassana meditation, and find no conflict with their own faith.
In Yandara’s coming 300-hour advanced teacher training, we will enjoy a deepening into the transformative art of Vipassana meditation!