Vipassana Meditation – An Effective Technique Taught by Gautam Buddha

Author: Himanshu Ranjan


Vipassana meditation is a powerful technique to understand the reactions that our mind-body complex produces in response to sensory as well as other subtle forms of inputs. We are constantly bombarded with all sorts of audio, visual, sensual, and emotional inputs through our five sense organs. Our body easily associates with all of these inputs without discrimination or reacts to them despite them being not beneficial at times. Vipassana meditation is a subtle process that requires us to observe those subtle reactions as well as their transient nature.

During Vipassana meditation which is generally a 10 days session, one needs to observe complete silence. One also needs to follow the five precepts – no killing, no stealing, no lying, no sexual misconduct, and no intoxicants. Every day one has to meditate for close to eleven hours and listen to discourse to understand why they are doing what they are doing!

For the first three days, one needs to focus on just the incoming and outgoing breath. The breath touches the nostrils and one can feel these sensations to keep their concentration. At times, when the mind wanders the moment it becomes aware of it, one needs to again concentrate on the incoming and outgoing breath without any regret. The breathing should be ordinary and without effort, as one breathes usually.

By the end of the third day, one has meditated for about thirty-three hours just on the incoming and outgoing breath. This makes the mind so calm and thoughtless. That experience can only be felt.

By now our mind has become so sensitive and has been prepared to focus on the next steps of the meditation process. For the next seven days, one has to just look at the sensations that happen inside our body. These subtle sensations could range from sensations of heat (hot or cold), itching, throbbing, pulsation, vibrations, pain, pleasure, and so on. Slowly and slowly one needs to just observe these sensations in their body parts but are not supposed to react to them. One then finds that no matter how strong these sensations were they disappeared on their own. They were transient. It also strengthens the capacity of the mind to observe the inputs and sensations that happen within our body without reacting to them. One important point is one may get a blissful pleasurable experience too but one needs to consider it as any other sensation and not react to it.

Breathing is a process that continues from birth to death. Vipassana meditation is deeply connected to this process. It calms our mind, makes it sensitive enough to observe the inner processes that happen when we gather inputs from our five senses. It also strengthens our inner mechanism by understanding their transient nature, by keeping aloof our spirit by just observing but not reacting to them. Most of the problems that arise in the world are due to reactions to certain inputs and lack of a well-thought response. Vipassana meditation works on these mechanisms to respond to situations and not react to them.

It is also equally important to practice Vipassana meditation for some time on a daily basis. Otherwise even after attending such an intense process for ten days it can get washed away due to the way our mind-body complex is designed. Someone who practices Vipassana meditation on a daily basis understands in a better manner the message of Gautam Buddha who taught this effective meditation technique to his fellow disciples. In the end, experience wins over words.


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