Vipassana – “seeing things as they really are”

Vipassana, which means seeing things as they really are, is a path of self-transformation through self-observation. It is a way of direct realization, by entering into the true nature of reality. Direct knowledge is a reminder of “what we really are.”

It is a path of extraordinary self-knowledge through its simplicity, through the lack of any dogmatism, but above all, through its results. The Vipassana meditation technique can be successfully used by people from all socio-cultural backgrounds.

It is very similar to the Anuttara Fundamental Meditation in Abheda Yoga.

Vipassana, in the ancient language of India, means “inside.” It is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching, which says that by exploring the inner world you get to the truth. It has been transmitted over many generations and gives exactly the results described by the Buddha.

After many years spent in deep meditation, the Buddha realized that attachment and desire lead to unhappiness. He believed that enlightenment or “Nirvana” occurs when man’s mind feels compassion, lack of attachment, and is focused on the present moment. The Buddha has spent his entire life teaching others how to free themselves from suffering and live a life of compassion, fearlessness, and joy.

Vipassana meditation was rediscovered by gautama Buddha, more than 2500 years ago, and was taught by him as a universal remedy , which aims to totally eradicate mental impurities, resulting in the highest happiness of total enlightenment and liberation. It is taught as an “art of living”.

Practicing Vipassana we getto

we understand the laws that govern our thoughts, feelings, judgments, and sensations. We understand how suffering occurs and how we can free ourselves from it. In this way, our life comes to be characterized by increased awareness, lack of illusions, self-control and peace.

Contemplating impermanence helps us to know the true nature of reality. When we observe our thoughts, we identify with the observer, we can discern between illusion and truth, and we come to live spirituality in the midst of life. In order to find out the truth we need discrimination, not to rely on fleeting things, to put first what is incorruptible, that is, to relate to the Self. By constantly discriminating between what we feel and the outside world, life is becoming more and more fulfilled.

The book ” The Art of Living – Vipassana Mediating as taught by S. N. Goenka

The technique is presented very well in the book that has as its title the very purpose of the practice “The Art of Living”.

The book is based on the speeches and writings of Mr. S.N. Goenka and was born under his personal guidance. When it appeared, in 1987, it was the first effort to accurately describe his teachings to the general public. Both Mr. Goenka’s stories and his answers to students’ questions were included, and the book vividly reflected the spirit of his teaching.

He was not interested in having his stitches written or in advertising himself. He relied on the oral transmission of the practice and stressed that the most important thing is that the technique is practiced seriously.

Currently, The Art of Living has been translated into over 20 languages.

In Romania, Vipassanā meditation courses have been organized as taught by S.N. Goenka since 1993 under the aegis of the Vipassanā Romania Foundation.

Courses

Classes are held in a secluded, quiet place where learners have the opportunity to disconnect for 10 days from the outside world, from any duties or worries. They must avoid any contact with others, talk only the strictly necessary and only with the people from the organization and stay as long as possible in the meditation.

With the help of focusing attention on the inner world, one then begins to observe the changing nature of the whole existence, of the universal truths: impermanence, suffering and attachments. It is precisely this awareness through direct experience that constitutes the process of purification, of freedom from suffering and the knowledge of happiness and peace.

There are three steps of training:

1. Compliance with the disciplining code

This simple code of moral conduct serves to calm the mind, which would otherwise be too agitated to execute the task of self-observation.

This Code of Discipline contains the following principles:

  • refraining from killing any living organism
  • stay away from stealing
  • Sexual misconduct should be absolutely prohibited
  • make sure you don’t use the power of language in the wrong ways
  • no intoxication agent is tolerated

2.Developing some control of the mind

It is practiced to focus attention on the flow of breathing, how air enters and exits through the nostrils, observing thoughts and sensations throughout the body, understanding the nature of their impermenity and developing ecuanimity by learning not to react to them.

From the fourth day the mind calms down and is more focused, more able to carry out the practice of Vipassana.

3.Meditation of love full of goodwill

In the end, on the last full day, the participants learn the meditation of love full of goodwill or goodwill towards all, through which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings.

Progresul on the way knows 3 stages:

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  1. Learning the technique – how to do it and why
  2. Putting it into practice
  3. Penetration, using the technique to pierce the depths of the inner reality

During the 10 days of the course, the essential elements of Vipassana can be learned, so that it can be applied in everyday life. Even after the 10 days of the course, obvious results may appear, but the more the technique is practiced, the greater the liberation from suffering and the closer the final goal of total liberation.

A special emphasis is placed on keeping the technique in its original, authentic form. That’s why you don’t make a deal out of handing it over, it’s offered for free. No person involved in the surrender process receives any material remuneration or reward. There are no fees for courses , not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are covered by donations from people who, following a full course and experiencing the benefits of Vipassana, want to give others the opportunity to benefit from them as well.

There are a series of similarities between Vipassana meditation and Zazen

– are done by observing the process of breathing, thoughts and emotions
– identification with the observer is sought
-they are done in silence- in Vipassana the silence is kept throughout the withdrawal period

What is different between the two techniques:

in Vipassana discrimination is made and attention is paid to the observation of sensations
– in Zazen it is facing the wall, in Vipassana it is done anywhere
– in Zen it is done with open eyes, in Vipassana with eyes closed
– in addition, at Zen we have attention in Hara and we refer to a Koan.

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