Yes, here it is; the technique we've all been waiting for, Vipassana. I took my first Vipassana Course in April/May of 2009, it was challenging, enjoyable and rewarding. However, it wasn't until 6 months later looking back on how happy I was becoming that I was able to recognize the turning point. The Meditation Retreat. I decided to go back, which I did just this Sept/Oct and was so blown away by the confirmation that I decided to fully commit to the technique. Now that I have realized what dhamma has done for me, I just want to share it with the world! Hence this blog, other than telling my friends and family I wish to bring it to the attention of the light family. If even one person reads this and looks into it, then I will be very pleased.
May all people be free from misery. May they enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness. :)
Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam
What is Vipassana?
Let's start with what Vipassana is not:
It is nota rite or ritual based on blind faith.
It is neither an intellectual nor a philosophical entertainment.
It is not a rest cure, holiday or an opportunity for socializing.
It is not an escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
What Vipassana is:
It is a technique to 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 themselves and society.
For 10 days a student agrees to follow the morality precepts, maintain noble silence, and meditate diligently as instructed. It is not a vacation, it is for those who are willing to work to purify their mind of negativities. The first 3 days are mental conditioning in which a student learns to practice Anapana, a technique to concentrate the mind. On the 4th day students get their first taste of vipassana which they work patiently on for the rest of the duration of the course. On the 10th day students learn mettapana.
For anyone with any questions about how the technique works, or about the course, or anything at all please ask! This technique has helped me so much, done me so much good, I just want to share it with the world! So many wonderful benefits. :)
No Problem, Glad I Could Help :)
October 13, 2009, 2:08 am
Yeah, well I like to think things happen perfectly, you probably got the exact amount of exposure that you needed before you were ready for the full deal. :)
I had a harder time adjusting this second time around, as I am also a night owl. However, I find that vipassana is surprisingly tiring, as it really is a working technique and not a relaxation technique like so many others. I wouldn't worry about it either way, as long as you do your best you'll get what you need to out of it. :)
Awesome about the Synchs! Signs are always nice, I hope you do follow through with it, its a real challenge but the benefits even of just the 10day course are noticable. Keep me updated if you go, I'd love to hear about your experience! :D
Thank You For Your Reply :) I
October 12, 2009, 11:43 pm
Thank you for your reply :) I actually understand the whole thing faaar better now. I learnt what I do know about it at a work trial, and no doubt had I stayed I would have learned more (and maybe if i'd known more at the time about this, I would've stayed on longer, but such is life).
I know there is a centre not far from here and that when the time comes it may well be the place where I go. Was it hard to get into the routine of the camp, or did you find you settled in quite quickly? I am the worst of night owls (I have "delayed sleep phase syndrome") and I would be concerned that my inability to sleep at the correct times would lessen what I could get out of something like this. I know the discipline of a centre such as this would help me greatly but I certainly do not want to find myself unable to make the most of the opportunity and wander through the days as if in a daze.
This practice has popped up so many times this year that I feel I can no longer allow myself to not take action on it, synchronicities indeed! It is very good to know more about what is being presented to me, and thank you for I feel I can make better decisions about this now.
October 12, 2009, 10:52 pm
Awesome, I'm glad your considering giving it another shot! I'll do what I can to explain more :)
How I found Vipassana:
I found it through intention and synchronicity. I was dying for either some solitude or the physical/verbal company of people I could relate to, you know, conscious people with spiritual interests and such (Not much of that where I'm from). I had a group on facebook called the Quest for Truth, and shortly after my decision to get out there (within the week I believe) someone joined my group. He was extremely open and talkative about his life's adventures (which were quite amazing to hear about, some I even had a hard time believing) and during our second conversation he told me "there is a meditation camp in alberta in april, I think you should go" and that it was very intense and difficult but if I had the will to stay and work hard for 10days it would do amazing things for me. So, not willing to miss an opportunity, especially one that was so synchronistic (I'm virtually broke and the course is totally free) I booked it up and went. :)
The Daily Routine:
4:00 am Morning wake-up bell
4:30-6:30 am Meditate in the hall or in your room
6:30-8:00 am Breakfast break (fruit, toast, and oatmeal generally)
8:00-9:00 am Group meditation in the hall
9:00-11:00 am Meditate in the hall or in your room according to the teacher's instructions
11:00-12:00 noon Lunch break ((a different vegetarian meal everyday))
12noon-1:00 pm Rest and interviews with the teacher (freetime-ish)
1:00-2:30 pm Meditate in the hall or in your room
2:30-3:30 pm Group meditation in the hall
3:30-5:00 pm Meditate in the hall or in your own room according to the teacher's instructions
5:00-6:00 pm Tea break ((fruit, tea, and lemon ginger water generally))
6:00-7:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
7:00-8:15 pm Teacher's Discourse in the hall
8:15-9:00 pm Group meditation in the hall
9:00-9:30 pm Question time in the hall
9:30 pm Retire to your own room--Lights out
The philosophy behind Vipassana, in my own words:
In terms of philosophy I feel the point of Vipassana is to come out of it! In terms of searching for truth, most of us are stuck at the intellectual level, which is a great step unto itself but has become a block in our seeking of wisdom. There are 3 types of wisdom, which are:
Suta-maya panna: Wisdom gained by listening to others, be it through reading or verbalization. This kind of wisdom is based mostly in emotion, a trusting of the source to be accurate and honest.
Cinta-maya panna: Intellectual understanding. This kind of wisdom comes through reason and critical analysis.
Bhavana-maya panna: Direct Experience. This first-hand experience is TRUE wisdom.
An analogy given by Goenka during one of the discourse videos:
1. A man goes into a restaurant, he sits at a table and is given a menu. He reads the menu, 'ah yes, these entres sounds very delicious'. This is suta-maya panna.
2. He orders a meal, and as he is waiting he is looking around the restaurant. Everyone who came in before him are eating, they look extremely satisfied and happy with the food. 'It must be delicious, because all of these customers seem quite pleased with their meals'. This is cinta-maya panya.
3. His meal arrives, and as he takes his first bite, he has direct experience! Now he KNOWS the food is delicious! This is bhavana-maya panna.
Anapana and Vipassana are techniques to work with the Truth first-hand and get this direct experience that is true wisdom, higher than emotional or intellectual understanding. :)
I Have Been Introduced To
October 12, 2009, 12:00 am
I have been introduced to Vipassana this year and have held a strong interest in it. I was offered an opportunity to attend one of these courses earlier in the year and due to other circumstances had to decline. I was wondering if you could speak more of the course itself- how you found it, the daily routines and a little more about the philosophy behind it? I had read information but I find it easier to truly understand hearing it in other peoples words.
I truly enjoy working with the Vipassana way, however my previous training made it harder than I thought to fall into it fully. You have reminded me enough to give it another go and see where I end up with it :)