Vipassana Meditation and its Benefits

 9291393_m

Vipassana meditation is an ancient technique, which the Buddha practiced on his journey to enlightenment.

The objects of Vipassana meditation are thoughts, emotions and sensations throughout the body. When practiced with persistence, it can impact your life in a number of positive ways. The key benefits of Vipassana meditation are as follows:

Development of wisdom

A unique effect of Vipassana is it enables you to understand and experience the Law of Impermanence in action. This law states that everything is changing. Nothing lasts. This is true in our outer world. For instance, you buy a piece of clothing. Your wear it and wash it over again. All the time it is disintegrating.

The Law of Impermanence also applies to our inner world and our thoughts, feelings and sensations, which emerge, stay for a while and then pass away. By meditating on the arising and passing away of mind-body phenomena, one develops true wisdom of what is going on inside them.

Witness how suffering is caused

Related to the point above developing wisdom, by practicing Vipassana meditation, you also experience how you are responsible for your own suffering. When you become attached to your thoughts, emotions and feelings, you suffer. For instance if you have an unpleasant thought, you will resist it and become uncomfortable. On the other hand, if you have a pleasant thought, you will enjoy it. However, it won’t last for long. As soon as it passes, there is potential for you to suffer again as you may become frustrated.

Non-attachment

Through practice of Vipassana, you learnt to develop non-attachment to your thoughts, emotions and sensations. You know that whatever arises in you will pass away, anyway. By understand and experiencing this, you will become less and less attached to your mind-body phenomena. You will learn how to stop creating a false Self, which happens through attachment. By meditating on non-attachment, over time you will experience reduced stress and become less agitated.

More present moment living

By observing your thoughts, emotions and sensations objectively, you are living in the present moment, as you are not getting caught up in the contents of your mind-body phenomena. You’re just a detached observer. This is true living in the moment.

How to do Vipassana meditation

When first starting out with Vipassana, aim to meditate for 20-30 minutes a day in one sitting. A basic outline for Vipassana meditation in the S.N. Goenka style is as follows.

1. Sit in a quiet place, cross-legged on a meditation cushion or a pillow. If it’s too uncomfortable to sit like this, you can also sit upright on a chair. Close your eyes.

2. Starting at the top of your head in the centre of it, observe sensations arising and passing away, objectively, without getting attached to them. These sensations could be prickling, tickling, heat or cold spots. If it’s a pleasant sensation, just observe it without labelling it as being pleasant. If it’s an unpleasant one, do the same. Don’t react to it. Just observe it. Continue observing such sensations working your way down all over your body, your arms, chest, abdomen and your legs, until you reach the tips of your toes. Once you reach your toes, go back the other way from your toes to your head, observing sensations, arising and passing away.

3. As you’re observing sensations, if a thought or emotion arises in you, just observe it objectively, without becoming attached to it. For instance, if a pleasant emotion arises, don’t become attached it. On the other hand, if it is an unpleasant emotion arises, just observe it objectively. Maintain complete balance of your mind.

My friends, it’s over to you:

• Do you practice Vipassana meditation? If so, please share your experiences with the technique.
• Do you practice any other forms of meditation? If so, what are your experiences with them?
• Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.

 

41 Comments
  1. id like to try this type of meditation
    sounds so peaceful

    1. Hi Farouk,

      It’s great to hear from you, my friend. How are you? Hope you’re well.

      Indeed, I definitely recommend giving Vipassana a try. Peace is one thing it will definitely create in the life of the meditator.

      Have a great week. 🙂

  2. Hiten,

    I have heard about Vipasana..However, never thought it is as simple as this to put into reality..

    Thank you so much Hiten.How often do you practice this and what are the benefits you have seen in yourself..

    One other meditation that I can recommend is Gibberish…It has worked wonders for me.

    1. Hi Rafi,

      It’s good to hear from you, my friend! Hope you’re well.

      Indeed, the actual practice of Vipassana is not as simple as I’ve covered in the post. It is a practice, which requires guidance, patience and persistence.

      Currently I practice Vipassana for half an hour every day. The benefits I have experienced are pretty much the same as I covered in the post. The main one for me is developing true non-attachment to my thoughts, feelings and sensations. When I just observe what is arising and passing away in me, objectively, I can see the ego for what it really is – false and fragile and only has power when I associate with it.

      I loved the type of meditation you included in your comment! Indeed, Gibberish sounds like a fantastic one! I get to practice this type during improv classes!

      Thanks for leaving your comment and have a great week!

  3. Dr Hiten,
    Everything that we experience in life we experience through our mind. When we don’t understand how our minds work we can get confused and suffer. Meditation is about investigating and learning to understand the mind.
    I don’t believe in medication but after reading this post, I will definitely try How to do Vipassana mediation. You have provided simple guide on this.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Seun,

      Ah, I loved what you wrote in your comment, my friend!

      You summarised the essence of meditation, brilliantly. I can so resonate with what you said about how we get confused when we don’t understand how our mind works. This is so true.

      Indeed, Vipassana is one technique to help a person do this. There are many others, too. If you do give this type of meditation a go, please let me know how you get on.

      Have a great week!

  4. Hi Hiten,

    This is a wonderful post about Vipassana meditation, which I’ve only heard about but never got down to read or understand much about it, nor practiced it. I guess there are so-so many various ways that one can meditate, and unless someone shares their personal experience or has practiced one of the ways, it becomes tough to really know what we should practice.

    Speaking of which, I normally practice Transcendental Meditation, which I learnt from my Dad as he’s reached the Siddhi state, and I’ve seen how it’s changed him, as well as helped in his health. This kind of meditation also doesn’t require much to be done, though like most meditation it works well if you have a teacher or someone to guide you through it. It’s mainly about letting your thoughts cross your mind…they will come and as they come…so will the go…just be in the moment and let them come and go. Soon, you will experience the moment when there are no thoughts…just nothing…and that is the moment of bliss. Just makes you feel so light, good, and rejuvenated. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing this with us, and reminding me to get back to mine too. Have a nice day ahead 🙂

    BTW – Don’t tell me you came up with yet another eBook on Vipassana Meditation as I see on the right side in your numerous list of books! You simply amaze me with your writing speed dear friend 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post! What you wrote about the different types of meditation and it not always being easy to determine, which ones to practice is so true.

      You are right. We only usually get to learn about various techniques after people share their experiences with them. I think if one is interested in meditation, it worth trying out 2-3 different techniques to see which one suits the person the most, in terms of helping the individual and also fits in with the individual’s personality.

      Ah yes, I remember you talking about your Transcendental Meditation practice and how your dad is also a practitioner. It is amazing how he has reached the Siddhi state. This is such an advanced state and must having changed his perspective of himself and the world, considerably. Thanks for explaining how to practice this technique. What you wrote reminded me a little of mindfulness meditation, where one observes their breathing, going in and out. Of course, by doing this, thoughts will arise. When this happens, one just observes the thought arising and allows it to pass away, before focusing again on respiration.

      Yes, I also have a title on Vipassana, Harleena! 🙂 Thank you so much for leaving your wonderful comment! I really appreciate it. It was delight to see on FB this morning, too!

      Enjoy the rest of the week! 🙂

  5. My husband has attended several Vipassana courses at Dhammagiri and tells me it has helped him immensely to be calmer and more in control (most of the courses were attended before marriage). I cannot bring myself to go for the 10-day complete silence course – it somehow does not appeal to me. But I do like the way you have simplified the practice to share here. So much more practical and doable – even by me! Thanks, Hiten.

    1. Hi Corinne,

      It sounds like Vipassana really had a great impact on your husband. I would love to do a course at Dhamma Giri.

      Ah, I can so connect with what you said about 10 days of silence not appealing to you. When I went on my first course, I found the silence so difficult to adjust to, for the first few days. In the outside world, I always look at people, smile and say hello. During the course, I was finding it difficult to get used to the silence and lack of interaction. I kept on looking at other meditators, hoping to get some type of response; even some type of acknowledgement through the eyes. Of course, I never did! As I got more into the course, it wasn’t a problem anymore.

      I’m really glad you liked the post, Corinne and I appreciate you leaving your great comment!

      Have a good week!

  6. Hey Hiten,

    I don’t practice Vipassana meditation. However, I take time to calm my mind to think and reflect. I have found great value in thinking and calming my mind. Great thoughts!

    1. Hi Dan,

      It’s always great to read your comments! There is always a sense of a calm and collected attitude in your words. I love it!

      Thank you commenting and showing your support. I really appreciate it. 🙂

      1. Thanks man, yes I’m a calm and relaxed person. I’m glad it shows through in the comments I leave. Glad to support you!

  7. Hiten – This was a wonderful and refreshing article to read, after all the tech stuff I read through my morning 🙂

    Now, i really need to do some VM ( as you know it) to cleanse my mind and soul.

    Wow, you do have a line of ebooks written, it shd be so gratifying to have published so many. Do you publish them directly over to amazon or any other sites?

    Have a great week ahead.

    1. Hi Praveen,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the article! I can appreciate what you mean regarding reading a peaceful piece after doing technical work!

      Are you a Vipassana meditator? How long have you been meditating for?

      Indeed, I really do enjoy writing ebooks! Regarding your question, currently I list with Amazon, distribute to places Like B&N and Apple through Smashwords and also list some of my titles with Pothi.com and Infibeam in India.

      Hope you’re having a wonderful week, Praveen!

  8. I have heard of Vipassana but never practised it. Now that you have mentioned it, I might try it out. I wonder how hard it is to practice it. Plus, I am not sure if I will be able to do it because I have low concentration span. But nonetheless, sounds like a great technique to dissociate or non-attach yourself from thoughts, emotions and sensations.

    1. Hi Shalu,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend! It’s really good to hear you’re thinking about giving Vipassana a try. I can appreciate the point you made about concentration span. I guess through practice of such types of meditation, one can observe just how easy it is for the mind to get distracted. By just observing such things in an objective way, one’s concentration span over time will increase.

      You are lucky as you’re based in India. There must be so many opportunities to practice different types of meditation!

      Hope you’re having a good week.

  9. This is wonderful information Hiten. I meditate regularly – creating quiet space to detach and feel that incredible oneness of all. Some days of course are easier than others, but the outcome always bring an inner peace that I feel is home. Thank you for sharing your insights and encouraging us all in our meditation practice. I have always wanted to try a 10-day Vipassana meditation at one of the designated sites. I know it would be life altering… so I feel your article is well timed for me 🙂 Thank you!
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      I’m really glad you liked the information in this post! It’s great to hear you’re a fellow meditator, too.

      I can really resonate with you said about feeling that amazing sense of being one with all, and also what you said about it being easier to mediate on some days than others. I think it was the Dalai Lama who was once asked a question about whether there were some days when he found it difficult to meditate. He replied by saying there certainly were and this meant he had to meditate double the amount!

      I do recommend a 10 day Vipassana retreat if you can get to one. It is life changing, as you stated.

      Thanks so much for leaving your great comment, Karen! 🙂

  10. I must confess I’ve never tried meditation of any kind, but reading your article made me want to take a closer look at the practice. This will probably sound odd to many people, but I enjoy quiet – when I say that I mean I rarely listen to music and can’t remember the last time I turned on a TV. I live in a very rural area and I love the sounds of nature and when I have free time I read.

    1. Hi Marquita,

      What you wrote in your comment is just great. It seems like you spend a lot of time in a meditative state through being surrounded by peace and quiet, and around nature.

      Thanks very much for sharing your experiences!

  11. Hello Hiten, Interesting post my friend. I’ve never tryed meditation but I bet it clears the mind.
    I think doing stuff like this would help you stay focus and allow you to produce more content..

    Thanks so much for a great read..

    1. Hi Rob,

      I’m really glad you found the post interesting.

      Indeed, meditation is an excellent way to help to clear the mind. You’re right about it helping one to stay more focused, too. Meditation does help to increase one’s focus and concentration.

      Thanks so much for commenting my friend and for showing your support.

  12. I tried a form a yoga for spell and found it quite meditative and calming. But I’ve never tried actual meditation before. I think I’d enjoy it, if I could just get myself to sit down and give it a shot. It seems there’s always something else to be done though.

    Now that I see my thoughts in writing, I just realized what a horrible excuse that is. Meditation just made my “to do” list.

    Thanks Hiten!

    Cheers!

    1. Hi Trevor,

      It’s great to hear from you, mate!

      Yoga is another excellent way to meditate and create peace in one’s life. I went to a class yesterday. I find it hard to get into a yoga practice at home though. I can do this much easily with meditation as it requires little space, and I can just sit on my meditation cushion. I’ve got a hunch that you would enjoy meditating. If you do give it a go, please do let me know how you get on.

      Ah, yes, it’s great how you were able to pick up the excuse in your thought and deal with it! Thanks very much for sharing this experience!

      Thanks a lot for commenting, too. Hope you’re having a good week. I can’t believe it’s Thursday already.

  13. Hi hiten,

    I never heard about that kind of meditation before but it seems to be good to calm urself.

    Thnx for sharing.

    1. Hi Rupali,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend!

      Indeed, Vipassana is a wonderful technique to help a person become more calm and to increasingly live in the present moment.

      Thanks very much for your comment!

  14. Hi Hiten

    Interesting article. I have not tried this type of meditation. I like the idea of observing sensations. It is another way to stay in the moment. I will give it try. Thank you!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I’m really glad you found the article interesting.

      Indeed, such sensations are always there. However, usually in normally consciousness when we’re thinking and are caught up in daily activities, we don’t really notice them. Vipassana allows a person to become conscious of such sensations and then the meditator just observes them arising and passing away, without judgement or attachment. Hope you find it to be a useful and interesting practice!

      Have a great weekend. 🙂

  15. I’ve never heard of this and have never done it. I do meditation in the mornings. It’s just a short breathing exercise, where I sit quietly and deep-breathe. I also am concious about what’s going on in my body and in my mind and try to get rid of the stuff that’s unhelpful to me.

    1. Hi Anne,

      The type of meditation you do sounds great. Is it where you observe your breathing going in and out, and if you have any thoughts, you just bring your focus back to your breathing? I love this type of meditation.

      Thanks very much for sharing your experiences with meditation and how it helps you.

      Have a great weekend!

  16. Thanks for sharing this article Hiten on Vipasana meditation. There’s a lot of benefit to this meditation. I went to a 5 day silent retreat in the US for a vipasana meditation. It was a silent retreat which was quite a challenge for me – well, that and the full day meditation. When I came out, I felt like I was hyper-aware of everything going on around me. We were mindful throughout the day – walking, eating, and during the meditations themselves. Quite intense.

    Since that experience, I’ve done breath-observation/meditation which I do quite regularly. Meditation is a great way to calm the mind, calm one’s thoughts and be more focused in life. And always helps with creativity as well, I’ve found.

    1. Hi Vishnu,

      Ah, your 5 day silent Vipassana retreat sounds amazing! It’s great to hear there are 5 day courses in the States. In the UK there are mainly 10 day and 3 day ones for Vipassana. I can relate to what you said about the silence and the full day meditation being challenges. I was the same. I would get excruciating pain in my legs. I then started to dissociate from the pain (“not me”, “not mine, “not eye”) and like magic, over time, the pain would go away.

      I can also relate to the point you made about being hyper-sensitive when you came out! It’s an amazing feeling, isn’t’ it?

      It’s great to about your regular respiration breathing practice. I find this type is so good for living in the present moment. And you’re right; meditation also helps one with creativity. It’s like we spend more time in the present moment and so allow ideas to emerge more spontaneously.

      Many thanks for sharing your experiences with meditation, Vishnu! 🙂

  17. I have been seriously considering Vipassana meditation. The only thing preventing me from doing a Vipassana course is time. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  18. I must thank corinne for linking this page to me ! you have presented very well about this meditation, I have been through this meditation before my marriage, and ofcourse, it did a lot of good to me. I learnt this art and practiced it, then came marriage, children and career, i could not really spare an hour. Now I have learnt sudarshan kriya recently and am practicing everyday for 30 minutes.

    I still hope to get back to vipassana, as it made a lot of difference to me, thank you for sharing !

    1. Hi Janet,

      I’m so glad Corinne referred you this page. It’s wonderful to connect with you.

      Thanks for your feedback on this post and I’m glad you liked it. It’s brilliant to hear about your experiences with this type of meditation. Indeed, like you I used to practice it for one hour a day. I used to do so for two hours a day, when I first got into it. However, as a lay person, it is difficult to find this amount of time. Therefore, these days I practice it for 30 minutes a day.

      I’ve never heard of Sudarshan Kriya. I will find out more about it. Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving your comment! 🙂

  19. Such an interesting type of meditation. I would love to try this sometime. I have been meditation for several month now and i thnk it is not bad to try on this. I will see which ever between the two i can find true peace and mindfulness meditaion. Thank you so much for sharing this post.

  20. Vipassana meditation is one that brings higher enlightenment in our personal world, allowing for reflection and a sense of peace that can not be found elsewhere. Thank you for sharing this fantastic article!

  21. Hi Hiten,

    You are doing a great job by sharing & motivating for Vipassana.
    This is really for the benefits of many.

    No words can explain the benefits, when I look back my journey of 22 years
    practicing Vipassana Meditation and applying in day to day life.

    One may explore more :

    http://www.facebook.com/VipassanaJaipur

    Wishing warm metta from the pink city of Jaipur.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge