Vipassana Meditation: A new way of life

Agrita Chhibber
Centuries ago, Buddha made a six year exhaustive research that every data the mind receives through the sense doors evokes a sensation on the body, and you unknowingly react to it in impulsiveness. All the emotions like anger, horror, sadness, depression, bring sensation to the body. Every moment your subconscious mind is producing unwanted reactions that force you to change your behaviour and actions. We are constantly reacting to various sensations that our body keeps feeling, and at times they may be pleasant that makes you smile or they can be unpleasant that makes you feel anxious or uncomfortable.
In order to deal with these sensations, Buddha gave the world a word “Vipassana” a great technique to stop this cycle of impulsive reactions. Vipassana or vipayan means, special-seeing. The Pali Canon describes it as one of two qualities of mind which is developed (bhvan) in Buddhist meditation, the other being samatha (mind calming). The true meaning of Vipassana is to gain insight into the true nature of reality. This meditation helps you to detox.
It is a ten day course where you need to sit for ten hours a day to realize and gain insight to what all you are reacting to. What is causing you to react in a particular way? A lot of times those sensations that your brain triggers is not the result of exact current scenario or the person standing right in front of you. It’s all the amalgamation of your past experiences and expectations related to future. In today’s scenario people have burdened themselves with huge work load or it would be right to say they deliberately drown themselves in this ocean of work, so that they can find some sort of escapism from their miseries. Until and unless you don’t really make an effort to sit and make a truce with the situation, those pangs of pain will keep coming in waves. In current scenario of lockdown you can start this practice with time limit you are comfortable with.
“I have been practicing Vipassana mediation for about 15 days. This technique was suggested to me by one of my friends. I personally feel that during this lockdown period we don’t have much to do in our daily routine, due to this our brain constantly craves for stimulations. It “likes” something and “dislike” something else. It feels the need to read the news, play online games, scan instagram feed, or else watch a tv series. It is constantly thinking, and obsessively judging everyone for everything. It reaches the peak when it starts judging itself, hating itself, and gets annoyed at self, and reeling from inner pangs of shame and resentment. I started doing this mediation, in which we have to sit for atleast 20 minutes a day and concentrate on our breathing pattern. For the first few days it was a bit difficult because I kept getting obsessive thoughts abouts my past or I would start fantasizing about my future. So as they say “the thing that hurts you the most is your own untamed mind and the thing that helps you the most is your own disciplined mind”. So, gradually I started getting better in this practice, my thought process was getting better and clearer. I started spending my day mindfully, my sleep pattern also changed. I started taking accountability of what condition I am into with utmost gratitude. I hope to continue this technique throughout this lockdown period atleast, and even make this a part of my life.”an honest experience of a beginner shared by Ajitesh.
Even, in places like Tihar Jail this practice was made mandatory. The reason why it was made compulsory was criminals were being released after long sentence and still they were committing crimes that brought them back to the prison cells. And of course authorities wanted a permanent solution to this problem, and a disease can only be removed when the roots are cut. When physical sentence or treatment failed to improve them a serious measure was adopted and that was of soul searching to gain insight through meditation program called Vipassana.
The purpose of this meditation is to observe all the emotions objectively. People see emotions flowing, a minute ago they experienced something else from what they are experiencing right now, without giving any reaction. A person learns a lot more when he/she experiences on the own. This meditation has a practical approach, where you are not taught and asked to follow instead you are told to experience and then decide for yourself. Experiences leave a deeper impression on one’s mind and it is a basic human nature to believe what they have experienced. And this meditation tells you about the impermanence of these emotions and makes you more aware not to give a blind reaction in any situation.
“I am doing vipassana for about 20 days, I got to know about this meditation technique while reading a certain blog online when I was searching for ways to calm my mind. In this technique you need to focus on your breathing pattern and just calmly observe your thoughts by not indulging in them. First few days were very tough for me as it was very hard to keep myself focused on my breathing for a long time as an unlimited number of thoughts always distracted me. It was also very hard for me to keep myself seated for straight 20 minutes as sometimes I felt sleepy while doing it, initially it was a painful experience, but as they say, big rewards always come after painful experiences, so after about 10 days of constant meditation daily for 30 to 40 minutes I started feeling the changes. I felt more clearheaded throughout the day my mind became a little bit more conscious about the things around me and is now more focused than before. After doing it regularly for about 15 days, I don’t feel sleepy anymore while practicing it and it is not as painful as it was used to be. Now, I have much better control over my breathing pattern, and I am even planning to inculcate it as a habit in my daily life 20 minutes session in the morning and 20 minutes session in the night. I am starting to feel more positive and optimistic. I think that it is just the beginning, looking forward to my days with vipassana meditation and what wonders it can bring into my life. Happy meditating.”a wonderful experience shared by Ratnesh (student). I hope these experiences pushes you to try Vipassana meditation.
The idea is to Observe, there is absolutely no need to Express or Suppress. Let the emotions and sensations flow. Vipassana can be made a part of daily conscious living too. Whenever a situation pops up that needs your reaction, just don’t fizz out like coke, wait for sometime and let it all settle down. The immediate urge should be calmed although I believe at times it may seem impossible, but a conscious effort should be made and eventually it shall become your way of life and will save you from falling prey to a lot of problematic situations.