“Vipassana” is one of the oldest meditation methods in India. After being lost for a long time, it was rediscovered by Buddha Shakyamuni more than 2,500 years ago. In recent years, Vipassana meditation has gradually become popular in China. The main reason is that everyone wants to have a peaceful inner world. But there are still some problems that beginners are easy to encounter that need to be reminded everyone. I hope these little suggestions of mine can make everyone who is ready to learn Vipassana go more smoothly and experience the beauty of Vipassana.
(1) Emphasis on daily meditation practice:
We hear a lot of advice about “mindfully” experiencing the little things in life, and this is really important, especially as everyday life brings us more awareness. However, if you want to truly appreciate the benefits of meditation you must make your daily practice more formal. Set aside a special time each day for Vipassana, and try to choose a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed.
(2) Start with Vipassana Breathing:
Breath is the meeting point of body and mind. Breathing deeply lowers your heart rate, fully activates your parasympathetic nervous system, and relaxes your scalp and brain. Before closing your eyes, allow yourself a few minutes to refocus on what you were just doing. If you find it difficult to sit down and get into Vipassana, try slowing down for the first 15 minutes. Be gently aware of your breath, body and thoughts. Vipassana breathing is a great start to get you into a meditative state.
(3) Find a teacher:
Vipassana meditation is ultimately a very personal inner journey, but it is important to find a professional teacher to guide you when you first start practicing. When you first start to Vipassana, there will be a lot of emotions and feelings, some of which you cannot bear alone. At this time, the companionship and guidance of the teacher is very important for you, and can help you find the direction as soon as possible.
(4) Vipassana is for “awareness” not “how to get out”:
We often hear or see propaganda stating that the purpose of Vipassana is to “quiet the mind.” But I think a better phrase would be “stay here in a quiet way.” Similarly, many new practitioners of Vipassana meditation believe that the purpose of meditation is to focus without distraction. In fact, a more accurate way to think about it is when you are aware that your thoughts have drifted away, or when you are trying to bring your attention back to the point of your attention, don’t judge or criticize yourself, just quietly stay aware.
(5) You have to know that it’s impossible to clear your mind:
The purpose of meditation is not to think about nothing, but to change the relationship between you and your thoughts. That way you won’t be stuck in them any more. There has been a lot of research showing that Vipassana can have a huge healing effect and reduce the distraction of negative and useless thoughts, but that doesn’t mean you should stop thinking. If you start Vipassana with the purpose of “clearing all distractions”, you will be disappointed because the more you suppress your thoughts, the more and more disturbing thoughts will come to your mind. After such a bad experience, you may easily give up doing Vipassana.
(6) Make sure your body is comfortable:
The most important piece of advice is to make sure your body position is comfortable. Don’t punish yourself with an uncomfortable posture, just to make sure your body will cooperate with your meditation. Body and mind are intertwined, and only when your body is in balance can your mind enter a state of balance.
(7) Gently relax your focus:
While you will need to work hard to create the right time and place to meditate, your approach should be lighthearted. Let your attempts and efforts go lightly and effortlessly with minimal effort as what is going on. Gently focus your attention on your breath or instructions, allowing your brain and mind to naturally enter a meditative state and immerse yourself in a richer self-awareness.
(8) Keep smiling:
A gentle smile will enhance your experience, a frown will not. Gently relax the corners of your mouth and smooth your forehead. If you find that your attention wanders too far or gets too caught up in your feelings, gently relax your neck and shoulders, adjust your sitting position, and smile gently again.
(9) Start with a small goal:
When you are first engaged in vipassana, even a few minutes of vipassana can make you feel worse. Meditation is not an endurance test. You need to set a reasonable time schedule for yourself and work hard to stick to it. Don’t have the “don’t start if you don’t get the best” mentality. You want to meditate for 20 minutes, but right now you can only afford 10 minutes of uninterrupted time, so immerse yourself in the 10 minutes of Vipassana. Don’t avoid daily practice just because you don’t have an “optimal” environment or schedule.
(10) Rationalize your expectations:
Vipassana meditation is something worth a lifetime of experience and training. Of course, there are some benefits that are easy to reap, but they also take longer to achieve. If you have high expectations, then you may feel disappointed and negative emotions will force you to give up. So give yourself some time, adjust slowly, and establish a training pace and frequency that suits your rhythm.
END: Vipassana is the easiest but also the hardest method of meditation.
Vipassana meditation is just being aware and remaining a bystander, so it’s simple. But it is also the most difficult, because our mind is always expecting some predetermined result. We must constantly strive to break this habitual reaction, and this effort is the process of Vipassana. Vipassana is the only way humanity can discover itself. Correct perception and feeling lead to correct actions, which are actions derived from love and compassion, and this correct perception will guide the way to the end of suffering.