"See Reality as it is. Accept Reality as it is"
Vipassana is a meditation technique which allows one to Realize the reality of their whole being through Inner Observation.
The word Vipassana(Pāli) means insight. The technique allows one to develop the insight or otherwise known as "Self-Knowing" through observing Reality as is.
The ability to see Reality as is, is one of the most powerful catalysts for Self-Transformation. Because through it, Self-Knowing is developed. One will be able to Know Oneself from experience i.e. to Know the causes of one's Sufferings from internal experience. That is why the technique is highly recommended here.
In terms of history, Vipassana is a self-transformative technique created and taught by Gautama Buddah and it is not affiliated with any religion. Gautama never intended to start a religion so this technique was not passed down through books, but rather transmitted orally from generation to generation.
The meditation technique has spread on a widescale with the help of S. N. Goenka .
These days, to formally learn the meditation technique will require one to take a 10 day course in one of the Vipassana Meditation Centers (link below). Each day involves around 10 hours of meditation with video discourses at the end of the day with Goenka ‘s own interpretation on what Vipassana is about.
This article will look at some key points of Vipassana and the ways in which one can use it as a catalyst for Self-Transformation. To learn the technique, one can enrol in a course (links provided below).
More information about Vipassana can be found on the Vipassana Website.
If you wish for an online Vipassana Course, I have created a Self-Transformative 22 day Vipassana course where each day you will understand more about yourself with guides on how to apply what you have learnt each day into your life
My course is called The Creator's Meditation. Alternatively I have many other free guided meditations on the Course page of this website which I highly recommend especially for those who have never meditated before. Practising meditation daily will help you to ground your mind, which is important to have especially if one decides to venture into the intensive 10 day Vipassana Course.
Vipassana In Depth
This article will look into the effectiveness of the technique in relation to transforming one's sufferings.
Please take into consideration that the following article is based on my own personal opinions of the technique. This article is mainly written to talk about how one can best use Vipassana to accelereate their journey of Self-Transformation.
The Vipassana technique created by Buddah is a pure and perfect technique.
It can be used to not only develop the Complete Knowing of The Self, but also it can be used to Transform all forms of Sufferings.
The technique in itself is effective. However, because the original teacher is no longer here (Buddah passed away more than 2000 years ago), it is inevitable for problems and confusions to arise when is taught by different teachers.
The teaching is still been taught in a very traditional way where the students are thrown into the sea to learn how to swim. Such method of teaching can be frightening, especially to the students who have never swam before. So taking a course such as this which requires 10 hours of meditation a day can be a bit intense and daunting for those who have not done any spiritual practices before.
The more one is grounded, the easier one will benefit from the 10 days course. So it's important to practice grounding oneself before taking a course such as this, not necessarily but ideally for a few years, otherwise one will react too much in the sittings and learn very little, which is what usually happens, and this experience can dissuade people from continuing the practice after the course. So it is a good idea to practice a few years of grounding practices such as Ashtanga yoga before coming to a course like this. Or incorporate meditation into one's life so at least come to the course with a firmer mind.
However, if one wishes one can still take the plunge and gain benefits from the technique. In sitting for 10 days and observing the world within, one will inevitably reap some benefits such as becoming more in control and aware of their inner world which can lead to a higher sense of well-being and energy throughout the day.
Personally I believe Vipassana is a powerful and life-transforming practice. I have done about 5 Vipassana sittings already and each time I have come out more enlightened than before.
In this section we will look at some important aspects of Vipassana which are not clearly covered in the course.
1. Intention To Just Observe
To the mind, the practice can seem boring, especially when one has to repeat the practice 10 hours a day. So it is natural for the mind to want to escape reality and experience something extraordinary.
It's important to overcome this desire of the mind, because when we have the attachment to wanting to experience the extraordinary then this will go against the whole practice of simply observing reality as it is.
So before each sitting, one can get into the right state of mind by declaring to oneself "I'm here just to observe, not to experience pleasure or aversion, whatever comes will come. This often is discussed in the courses at the end of the day but it's something that one can easily forget to do. It will take a few days for the Mind to reach the state of Stillness, but by constantly reminding ourselves of the intention to simply observe will help to accelerate this progress.
2. High Energy
To get the most out of Vipassana will require a person to have a high level of energy. This is because the practice requires one to be awake and focused on what is happening in every moment. If you are only half focused or half asleep then you will only reap half of the benefits, because most of the time you will not be meditating, actually you can simply end up wasting a lot of time fighting the urge to fall asleep. So it's a good idea to eat well and be physically fit.
A tip to maintain high energy during the Vipassana sitting is to rest in between each sitting. I usually take a light walk or just lie down on the bed.
3. Completing The Practice With Life
The primary goal of Vipassana is not just about overcoming one’s Negativities within the practice, but it is about overcoming one’s Negativities after the practice and in every moment of our waking or sleeping life.
Thus one needs to be aware that life is the bigger practice. Unfortunately the life portion of the practice is not well covered in the course so the students will have to develop their own wisdom in this area and can use this website to fill the gaps.
4. Transforming The Sufferings
What is not taught in the modern Vipassana discourses is that to truly release ourselves from our Sufferings will require us to address the Seed Cause of our Sufferings. Most students think that if they simply meditate through their life then one will be liberated from their Sufferings because somehow the "Sankartas" will evaporate.
Through the practice one can surely become masters at controlling their negative reactions, but without developing the wisdom to transform the seed it will simply turn into a game of stopping the reactions whenever they come.
Wisdom is needed to transform the seed, and the state of equanimity produced from Vipassana is a great state of mind to nurture such wisdom. What kind of Wisdom? It will always be about Self-Acceptance. Naturally it can come with time through the practice, and much of it can be cultivated through life experiences, but when you know the type of wisdom you need in life the more effective you will be able to cultivate it. So always remember the importance of Developing Self-Acceptance in life.
Path Of Creator
Vipassana In Relation To The Path Of Creator
It is important to realize that there are people who have become liberated from some of their Sufferings not from spiritual practices but from simply going through life experiences. For example, there are people who are able to let go off their addictions, and their greed, to overcome anger and become compassionate from going through certain experiences in life.
There are also people who have overcome their anger issues or fears in such a way. From this perspective, one could say that "Spiritual Practices" such as meditation is not necessary for Self-Transformation. But without practices such as Vipassana, one can progress very slow indeed, so these practices are "necessary" if one wishes to accelerate their progress.
Now let us look at the difference between Vipassana and the Path Of Creator. I have to stress that I am talking about Vipassana as taught by Goenka rather than Buddha's original teachings because no doubt Buddha would have taught it differently as no two teachers teach the same.
Difference between the Path Of Creator and Vipassana
Overall, there's really not much difference in terms of what the end goal is for both paths - they are one of the same which is to aim for total liberation - so both practices are compatible with each other and can help each other to thrive. The only difference is in the way the process of Self-Transformation is delivered.
The Universal Nature of the Mind is such that when you experience any states of Self-Rejection, then you will experience suffering. To liberate one from their sufferings, it is then necessary to transform Self-Rejection towards Self-Acceptance. There are no ways around this
In Vipassana, maintaining the state of equanimity towards pain and pleasure is essentially the same as developing Self-Acceptance. Because in that state, the Self is in Acceptance of what is happening in that moment, by letting the realities come and go rather than reacting to it with distortion. So this is a great practice to have for anyone who wishes to liberate themselves from suffering.
However, in saying that, within the world of Self-Transformation the results are determined by the "intention" of the practitioner. This is not much stressed in the discourse. So different students will yield different results, because one may hold the intention to aim for equanimity in different ways, i.e. aiming for equanimity to escape the aversion or the craving. One may even aim for equanimity for the sake of instructions, or on the condition that things will eventually change i.e. anitya. When one aims for equanmity with such drives or conditions, one is not transforming the deepest part of the mind. However in saying that, one can still yield great results such as calming the mind, reacting less, mastering the mind and overcoming one's addictions to a degree, so this can still drastically change one's lives.
For those who aim for equanimity with the simple intention to just accept the reality as is will yield the greatest results. Because that intention will naturally make one realize why one cannot simply accept the reality (i.e. of others, oneself, of the moments, of the physical conditions...of everything) and this will help to transform the mind to let go of old beliefs which have been stopping one from doing so. This is how Suffering is transformed at the seed level. So it's important to keep the intention pure and simple. To develop Self-Acceptance unconditionally, rather than to Accept Reality only on certain conditions such as the condition that it is always changing.
Through the intention of developing Self-Acceptance, it will also help the essence of the practice to flow into one's life where one will naturally learn the importance of developing Self-Acceptance towards oneself and others.
The Teaching on this website also does not dwell on Karma or Sankartas because one can end up blaming the past for one's Suffering. When one does this, one can end up with the belief that just by practising Vipassana one's "sankartas" are being erased, and not realizing that results are determined more by how you practice it rather than how much you practice it. It is by developing Self-Acceptance that the Negative Distortions / Negative Ideas or otherwise known as "Sankartas" can be transformed and released.
It's important to develop the wisdom of the importance of Accepting all there is even if it doesn't change. This is how one can develop Self-Acceptance at the deeper level of the mind and liberate oneself from one's Sufferings. Developing this wisdom will also allow you to learn how to use life experiences to aid you on your journey of Self-Transformation. Without this wisdom, one will not know how to use life experiences to catalyze Self-Transformation. You can use the Catalysts section of this website to discover how different life experiences can be used to accelerate Self-Transformation.
Difference between the Creator's Meditation and Vipassana
I wanted to create a meditation practice that can help people to achieve the same Self-Transformative effects as Vipassana so I created the Creator's Meditation.
Because Vipassana is already a technique that is pure and perfect, the Creator's Meditation uses Vipassana as the basis of the technique without modification to the foundation. The difference however is in the way that it is taught and the graduating structure of 22 days.
The Creator’s Meditation is a 22 days course with a guided meditation lasting between 30 minutes - 1 hour. At the end of each lesson there will also be a short talk about how to apply what one has learnt in life so that one can apply what they have learnt in their life. The life section is very important because life will always be the bigger practice.
The actual Vipassana course on the other hand is a 10 day, 10 hour a day course which is can be quite intensive. But the 10 hours a day will allow one to go deeper and deeper into one's Mind if one can maintain the state of Stillness rather than the state of constant reaction.
Although The Creator's Meditation uses Vipassana as a basis, I cannot say that it is the same teaching as the Vipassana taught by Goenka. What you learn here will be different from what you learn at the Vipassana centre.
Although 22 days can seem a bit long, but the short practice will allow one to step into the water at a safe pace. The Creator's Meditation is not perfect, purely because the teacher (myself) is not there to guide the students, and hopefully this website will fill that gap somewhat. Ideally I would have made the course a 2 years course with instructions for students to ground themselves with some intense long sessions in the 22 day course, but that's not realistic as no one would then dare to even take the course.
I would suggest once the Creator's Meditation is taken and practiced for a year, one can then go apply for a course in Vipassana so one at least have an inkling of what is going on as they will be able to go deep into the mind in the 10 days retreat.
However, if one has the courage one should apply for Vipassana straight away because it is rare to have such a great opportunity to spend 10 hours a day with yourself. And when one is in a Vipassana course, one should do their best to drop all other spiritual practices, including what is said here, and to just listen and go through the experience without expectations. Simply follow the teachings that is given there at the center and allow your inner wisdom to naturally flow from within in the 10 days of sitting.
Develop Experienced KnowledgeApply for a course in Vipassana below.
The Creator's Meditation / VipassanaLink here
The full course of The Creator's Meditation requires 30-60 minutes of practice each day for 22 days. This will allow you to learn the fundamentals of the mind. This will also help those who wish to reap the most benefit out of the Vipassana course.
However the recommendation here is that if one has the time, to simply apply for the Vipassana course first to develop experienced knowledge of the practice without judgement or any expectations then come back to the Creator's Meditation to fill in any gaps if one desires.
An even better recommendation is to start practicing meditation for a while to ground oneself before venturing into the intensive 10 day Vipassana course. One can also practice yoga to ground oneself. The more one is grounded when attending the Vipassana Course, the more one will be able to reap the benefits from the 10 days sitting. And there are a lot of free meditation practices that you can try on the website to help you to become more and more grounded.
Courses On Vipassana
"The technique of Vipassana Meditation is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results. There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to also benefit."
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