Vipassana meditation

About 2500 years back, Lord Buddha re-established the Vipassana meditation techniques. Vipassana meditation helps effective utilization of mental energy and life force. It brings calmness, happiness and harmony in life. The life energy is not wasted or escaped in the continuous waves of thoughts. True Vipassana meditation provides enough energy to tackle all the problems of our everyday life. In the book Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Lifestyle, the Himalayan meditation master Sri Amit Ray of Uttarkashi, explained Vipassana meditation is an ongoing creative purification process. Observation of the moment-to-moment experience cleanses the mental layers, one after another. Vipassana is searching deeply within, the deeper realities of all experiences. …. Vipassana arises as you pay awareness to the inner and outer experience unfolding at the present moment. Vipassana is not associated with any rigid formula or methods. Whenever you are aware of your mental or physical feelings like tension in the muscles, movement of limbs, stiffness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop special understanding of realities.”

Benefits of Vipassana meditation:

The rewards of meditation of Vipassana are many. It develops patience and liberates from all secondary and the dependences. The achievements of Vipassana can be felt to even the very first meeting. In the Pali language Vipassana means looking from the other side of the river.  In Vipassana, you have to think beyond ten-day Vipassana retreat. Objective of Vipassan is to go beyond suffering, beyond the cycle of birth and death.

When you are aware of tension, movement, tautness, heat or cold, you have begun to develop special close understanding. Vipassana meditation strengthens digestion and keeps us free from toxins that clog the body’s channels and prevent the flow of vital energy in the body.

Hindrances in Vipassana Meditations:

There are five hindrances. First is sensual desire, it is the greatest hindrance to Vipassana, practice. Aversion or anger is the second hindrance. Sloth and torpor is the third hindrance. restlessness and worry is the forth hindrance. Skeptical doubt and criticism is the fifth and the last hindrance.

Rapture in Vipassana Meditations:

Mystical bliss, joy and rapture is part of integrated yoga and vipassana. When the mind is concentrated, purified, bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable and steadies this positive joy arises.

Vipassana Beyond Suffering:

If you practice Vipassana from a true master, you will never feel pain during the practice and after the practice. You will be always filled with joy and exhilaration. Your body will always feel cool, calm, and comfortable. You will always feel great love in the heart region. You will be at extreme mental balance and finally mind itself will come to a complete stop.

Vipassana meditation
Vipassana meditation

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Yoga the art of opening the tenth gate (dasam duar) the Crown Chakra

According to yoga physiology our “prana” the life force energy escapes the body through the nine openings to perceive the world and immerse the consciousness in duality. However, if one can open the tenth gate, he /she can achieve enlightenment. The tenth gate is at the top of our head at the crown chakra. When the frontal area of the brain is activated and supplied with large amounts of high grade of energy, there is an awakening to a higher state of consciousness, which is called the Oneness State.

tenth gate

But looking at the nine openings we also know there is a tenth. And the tenth opening in a baby is called the anterior fontanel. As the baby develops this soft spot of the head closes and the skull bones knit tightly together. So in yoga physiology, a tenth hole is there from birth, but it closes. The key is to have a spiritual practice which withdraws the prana from the openings and closes those nine gates. It has to be achieved so you can redirect the flow of life force energy to move upwards and unlock the tenth gate.

Crown chakra is the source of unlimited pure physical energy. Purification of the this chakra creates space in the lower physical body and activates the sahasara chakra. The detoxification of lower impure physical body and activation of higher sahasara chakra completes the circuit between the two and the energy starts to flow.

The steps to open the crown chakra are as follows:

First concentrate on your forehead (3rd eye area), then to your pineal gland and finally your crown chakra.

1. Breath in

2. Begin to exhale and chant AhhUuuMmmmmmmm… feel the vibration of mmmmmmm throughout the body.

3. Concentrate and feel the vibration in your 3rd eye

4. Concentrate and feel the vibration in your pineal gland

5. Concentrate and feel the vibration in your crown chakra

Some of the beneficial effects that will come on the way, by which you will know that you are progressing.

  • You will feel fresh and relaxed.
  • Experience a sense of inner peace.
  • Develop a cheerful and caring attitude.
  • Being able to focus on anything for longer period.
  • Being surprised at the clarity and depth of your understanding.
  • Finding the world more beautiful.

Chakras

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Many Paths one Goal: Yoga and Vipassana

Vipasana means observing the movements of body and mind in a systematic manner as they are in the present moment.  It is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India before the birth of Goutama Buddha. Goutama Buddha re-established its importance of this path to get freedom from human suffering. The three foundations of vipassana are sila, samadhi and panna. Which means:

Sila :  Moral conduct

Samadhi: Observation and Witnessing

Panna: Wisdom of the ultimate.

Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, is well known. There are one hundred and twelve methods in Vijgana bhairaba, vipassana is one of them. Theravāda vipassana teachers like Mahasi Sayadaw emphasize the importance of examining the kalapas as a means to gaining insight.

Great Vipassana master Sri Amit Ray who wrote,  “Yoga and Vipassana: An Integrated Life Style” , combined the vipassana and the eight limbs of  Patanjali’s yoga as follows:

  1. Yama and Niyama: Self Discipline and morality
  2. Asanas :  Observation of the movement of the body postures
  3. Pranayama : Observation of  the breaths
  4. PratyaharaObservation of the senses
  5. Dharana : Observation of the thoughts, the movements of the mind.
  6. Dhyana : Witnessing the feelings of the pain and pleasure
  7. Samadhi : Union with the ultimate

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Frank Boccio, in his book  Mindfulness Yoga, agrees. “Patanjali talks about asana as stability and ease,” he mentioned, “and when that happens, there is the dissolution of the sense of separation, an overcoming of the pairs of opposites. That’s the whole practice right there: People feel more able to sit with whatever is arising.”

Click here to know more about the essence of yoga and vipassana.

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Steps to Integrate Yoga and Vipassana

Virtue, Morality, Compassion, Loving kindness is foundation of both yoga and vipassana.

You must give due attention to these aspect always.

Some of the simple initial steps for integrating yoga and vipassana are as follows:

  • Do free hand exercises (Asana) for one hour in the morning every day.
  • Do simple pranayam ( Vital energy channel purification process) for 30 minutes ever day after Asana.
  • Observe your breathing patterns from your nostrils
  • Put awareness on different componentss of your body from head to toe. For example, start from your eyebrow then come to forehead, then nose, ears, hands and in this way carry on till you reach your toes.
  • Observe sensation of each part of  your body. Avoid reaction to the sensations.
  • Do not pay attention to any one part of your body for a longer time
  • Do this observation activity daily at least  for 30 minutes.

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