Most people associate meditation with sitting quietly for 20 or 30 minutes, silently focusing and gaining a new awareness of oneself. This can be a challenge in itself, so how do you think you’d handle 10 straight days of it? Now what if there could be no eye contact with others, no phones or internet, no reading or writing, sometimes no moving at all? Welcome to Vipassana meditation.
Yvonne Moran spent six months traveling through India and thought a Vipassana retreat sounded like the perfect way to unwind. But in fact, she says, “The idea of meditating with no contact with the outside world for days on end on the sultry, tropical island of Sri Lanka might sound heavenly – but it proved to be the toughest thing I’d done in years.” Read about Yvonne’s first course of Vipassana meditation in this article by The Irish Times.
The 2,500-year-old Vipassana meditation is universally applicable and non-secular. It teaches through your body’s sensations to see things as they really are.
By neutrally observing the changing nature of body and mind; of observing how the body’s sensations continually change, meditators learn the nature of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
Eventually, you become more able to note the body’s pleasant and unpleasant sensations (pain or tension from sitting in one position, for example) without craving or aversion – without having to change your position to alleviate the discomfort, realising that it is temporary and not permanent.
Yvonne writes that she was exhausted after her course of Vipassana meditation, but that she felt more positive, more patient, lighter. And she continues her practice since returning home.
There is great emphasis on preserving the Vipassana technique as it was originally created. Courses are not taught commercially, but instead offered free of charge, with no one involved receiving any compensation. There aren’t any charges – not even the cost of room and board. Instead, all expenses are paid by donors who have completed a Vipassana course, felt its benefits, and want to share the experience with others.
Have you experienced a Vipassana meditation retreat?
Bugel yves says
I have dicovered Vipassana four years ago and that change my life. It is a deep and marvelous tool to access to real peace, real harmony and happyness.
I was attrated by the fact that it’s not a religion with beleives, that it’s free so you give what you want or can at the end of the course if you feel something positive arrived. But the most important too me is that you have the result here and now. No philosophy, no dogma, just the reality as it is inside of you. I encourage friends to make a try and they all thank me even if it’s a hard process when you do the first course! but you have to work hard to your own liberation, nobody can do the job for you!
I hope that more and more people will experience it and get the first step on this wonderfull path
Thank you for your comment – very nicely said! Everything we have been told about Vipassana is similar to your experience. The course is difficult, yes, but life changing!
K RAJA says
I had the great fortune & gift in 1989 of attending a 12 day Vipassana Meditation Camp at Igatpuri, India led by Guruji Satyanarayan Goenkaji. It was a great experience & every thing about it was ‘here & now’ in nature. I totally stopped consuming Non Vegetarian food without any difficulty as the practice in the camp was itself sufficient to melt away the conditioning within me which triggered the craving for such food at regular intervals. I have to admit that I have not been able to reap the full benefit as I have not been meditating regularly. On the contrary, I have had to face numerous avoidable issues in my life. I wish I had regularly meditated and followed the simple principles taught by Goenkaji.
I absolutely love Vipassana meditation. It has helped me so much to relieve some of the stress and anxiety going on in my life due to difficult personal relationships. Keep up the good work!