Most associate meditation with sitting in one’s living room for 20 to 30 minutes, silently cultivating a deep and meaningful relationship with oneself. A challenging practice in itself, how do you think you’d handle 10 straight days of it? Now add in no eye contact with others, no phones or internet, and no reading or writing. What about now? Welcome to Vipassana meditation.
If you’re interest is piqued, checkout this recent Irish Times post on Yvonne Moran, a dedicated meditator who thought that spending time in Sri Lanka on a Vipassana meditation retreat would be the perfect way to unwind after her trip to India. Boy was she surprised.
If you’re familiar with Vipassana meditation, you know how grueling and life changing a practice it can be. According to Moran, her first few days were spent in extreme discomfort. Eventually, however, she began to comprehend the gifts of this type of meditation practice.
The 2,500-year-old Vipassana meditation is universally applicable and non-secular. It teaches through your body’s sensations to see things as they really are.
By neutrally observing the changing nature of body and mind; of observing how the body’s sensations continually change, meditators learn the nature of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
Eventually, you become more able to note the body’s pleasant and unpleasant sensations (pain or tension from sitting in one position, for example) without craving or aversion – without having to change your position to alleviate the discomfort, realising that it is temporary and not permanent.
Those meditating become more balanced and learn not to react immediately to everyday life’s perceived pleasant and unpleasant events. It enables them to face life with more equilibrium, knowing that nothing is permanent and that everything passes.
Get more information on Vipassana meditation and read more of Moran’s story here.