Vipassana Insight Meditation is the basis of all the traditions of Buddhist meditation. It is the practice of constant close attention to sensations, through which one can see the true nature of existence. The most interesting fact is, many believe that this practice is taught by the Buddha himself. What do you think about it? Do you want to try this technique?
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In order to practice this meditation, the Buddha recommends a forest place under a tree or any other very quiet place. During practice, the meditator should sit quietly and peacefully with his legs crossed. If a person has some problems and can not sit with crossed legs, he should pay attention to other sitting postures. For example, if you have back trouble, you can use chair to practice this meditation: sit with your back erect, at a right angle to the ground, but not too stiff.
Many people wonder why it is so necessary to choose a position for meditation. Everything is very simple – to achieve peace and tranquility, you must be sure that your body is at peace. Therefore, it is understandable why you should choose a specific position that will be convenient for you for a long period of time.
#1. After you have chosen a convenient position, close your eyes and place your attention at the belly. You have to breathe normally, not forcing your breathing or not slowing it down. Just a natural breath.
#2. While breathing, you will become aware of certain sensations as you breathe in and the abdomen rises, and as you breathe out and the abdomen falls.
#3. Sharpen your aim by making sure that the mind is attentive to the entirety of each process. Be aware from the very beginning of all sensations involved in the rising. Maintain a steady attention through the middle and the end of the rising. Then be aware of the sensations of the falling movement of the abdomen from the beginning, through the middle, and to the very end of the falling.
#4. Your awareness should be continuous and thorough. You should try to be aware of each of these movements from beginning to end as one complete process, as a whole.
#5. During this meditation practice, you need to have both effort and precise aim so that the mind meets the sensation directly and powerfully.
#6. One helpful aid to precision and accuracy is to make a soft, mental note of the object of awareness, naming the sensation by saying the word gently and silently in the mind, like “rising, rising . . .,” and “falling, falling. . .”
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#7. If you notice that your mind begins to wander, start watching it. Be aware that you are thinking.
#8. Note the thought silently with the verbal label “thinking”, and come back to the rising and falling.
#9. The fact is that no one can remain perfectly focused on the rising and falling of the abdomen forever. Other objects inevitably arise and become predominant. Thus, the sphere of meditation encompasses all of our experiences: sights, sounds, smells, tastes, sensations in the body, and mental objects such as visions in the imagination or emotions. When any of these objects arises, you should focus direct awareness on it, and silently use a gentle verbal label.
#10. During sitting meditation, if another object impinges strongly on the awareness so as to draw it away from the rising and falling of the abdomen, this object must be clearly noted. For example, if a loud sound arises during your meditation, consciously direct your attention toward that sound as soon as it arises. Be aware of the sound as a direct experience, and also identify it succinctly with the soft, internal, verbal label “hearing, hearing.” When the sound fades and is no longer predominant, come back to the rising and falling.
#11. When using the labeling technique, your goal is not to gain verbal skills. Labeling helps us to perceive clearly the actual qualities of our experience, without getting immersed in the content. It develops mental power and focus.
#12. Thanks to Vipassana Insight Meditation, you will find a deep, clear, precise awareness of the mind and body. This direct awareness shows us the truth about our lives, the actual nature of mental and physical processes.
#13. After the end of the hour, you need to finish meditation, but do not forget that it can be done continuously throughout the day.
#14. When you get up from sitting, you must note carefully, beginning with the intention to open the eyes: “intending, intending”; opening, opening.” Experience the mental event of intending, and feel the sensations of opening the eyes. Continue to note carefully and precisely, with full observing power, through the whole transition of postures until the moment you have stood up, and when you begin to walk.
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#15. Throughout the day you should be aware of all other activities, such as stretching, bending your arm, taking a spoon, putting on clothes, brushing your teeth, closing the door, opening the door, closing your eyelids, eating and so forth. All of these activities should be noted with careful awareness and a soft mental label.
#16. Do not forget to maintain continuous mindfulness throughout your waking hours. Do not think that this is difficult, because it is just sitting and walking and simply observing whatever occurs.
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