Vipassana meditation is from the Vedic tradition. It helps one to realize that the present moment is the only true reality. There are many approaches to this awareness, but Vipassana is a very effective one. Vipassana means clear insight, or an understanding of the world without ego. Usually this requires one to do three things with their awareness in order to strip away all the layers of dross and nonsense that keep us from having ‘clear insight.’
- Experience Reality As It Is
- Focus in Reality As It Is
- Let Go of All That is Not Reality
All Eternity Awaits You
Hidden in every moment is an eternity. The now is completely devoid of Past and Future, which, in the Vedic understanding of time, don’t really exist. Einstein and his compatriots would agree. We all have our stories about what our life is, and why it is the way it is. This is the first problem. Usually our story is about our wishes and dreams for the future (not seeing life as it truly is) and about our hurt or pain over an unrealized dream in the past (also not seeing life as it truly is). This means we are constantly avoiding the now moment, where these states of anxiety and frustration, longing and attachment cannot coincide.
Change Your Story to No Story
When you practice Vipassana, you are in effect, changing your story, or letting it go. When thoughts aside form the now moment arise, you just set them free. They may be an emotion like fear or frustration, anger, jealousy, grief, greed, angst, etc. You just see them for the ‘story’ they are, without giving them any weight and bring your attention back to the now moment. Usually these feelings are associated with an image, a sound, a sensation, a smell, a taste – any one of the five senses can instigate the projection of consciousness into the past or future. The trick is to train the mind to become ever-present. When we let go of our version of reality, we can see, if only for a brief moment, what underlies all this fantastical dog and pony show. We begin to notice, while being present, that all we need, all we are, all we will become is here now. In Sanskrit this is called Sat Chit Ananda.
How to Practice Vipassana?
When you practice Vipassana meditation you will simply sit in a meditative yogic posture, and begin to focus on your breath. This is one of the easiest tactics, although you can also use a sensation, an emotion you are presently feeling, etc. Although the sensations and emotions will pass just from giving them pure attention, so you can start with those and go back to the breath as your practice evolves. Everytime your attention strays from your object of meditation (the breath, sensation or emotion) you will simply bring it back again to that very thing. It is easy, but, so challenging. Vipassana (clear insight) gets better with practice.
Benefits of Practicing Vipassana
When you begin practicing consistently, you can look forward to more emotional intelligence. You will not have to feel like having a complete temper tantrum before noticing that there is an emotion arising. Just giving pure awareness to what is, now, is very smart. It is from this place of emotional intelligence that you will start to make wiser decisions about everything in your life. You will feel less drama in everyday life. You can just pay attention to emotions when they do arise and not give them the opportunity to ‘stick.’ You can just remember that they are like clouds passing over the sun. When you bring your attention to the now – they will simply keep moving across the sky. You will also enjoy a different perspective than most and enjoy greater relaxation and better health as your body learns to turn off its fight or flight mechanism and just experience the now moment. With dedication and perseverance, Vipassana will deliver you from your memories and angst about the future. This is one of its biggest secrets.