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MEDITATION: Budha Revolutionized Life With Vipassana And It Can Work For You Too

Sitting silently in meditation, we learn to accept the deepest truths about ourselves and working within the framework of the body, thoughts and emotions.   The mind may be in a whirlpool at times, but resisting the details and remaining calm and detached, we watch each  wave or sensation arise and subside. Vipassana contains nothing of a sectarian nature and can be accepted and applied by people of any background, irrespective of his or her religion, race, gender, colour or caste.

By Zile Singh

“ What is this life, if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare.” – William Henry Davies

There are chaos and confusion all around.  There is a reason for this.  Unprecedented material comforts and cut throat competition together with the perpetual struggle for existence, if we call this as living is  not a living in its real sense.   Life has become a perfect vehicle for stress, strain, anger, jealousy, hatred and greed.  We have no time to sit and bathe in a pool of  silence.  Tsunami-force type  changes characterize our times. Our minds are clouded with a storm of  suffering and negativity.   Is there any respite in this storm?  Do we bend or break?  No, there is a remedy for it. Vipassana Meditation is one of such remedies. It is a practice of experiencing  a change – face to face with full understanding – moment by moment.  It is a journey into a fascinating realm of feelings, thoughts and action.

Vipassana, the Buddha discovered it, almost 2500 years ago, attained enlightenment using it and made it the essence of his teaching, which spread throughout the Indian sub-continent and then to neighbouring countries.  It is a straightforward, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy, useful life.  In Pali, the old language of India, “Vipassana” means to see things in a special way – that is, as they really are, not just as they seem to be.  It is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation.

“A man may conquer a million men in battle, but one who conquers himself is indeed, the greatest victor” – Dhammapada.

Although Vipassana has its origin in India and has been preserved in the Buddhist tradition, it contains nothing of a sectarian nature and can be accepted and applied by people of any background, irrespective of his or her religion, race, gender, colour or caste.  Its approach is practical, rational and scientific – an objective investigation of our own mind and body, free from any ritual or blind faith.  Our problems are universal and the solution must likewise be universal.

Sitting silently in meditation, we learn to accept the deepest truths about ourselves and working within the framework of the body, thoughts and emotions.   The mind may be in a whirlpool at times, but resisting the details and remaining calm and detached, we watch each  wave or sensation arise and subside.  The basic principle is that everything  in the universe is “impermanent”, including our sensations of  cravings and aversions.  Things are changing within  a fraction of a second.  It has been scientifically proved that thousands of cell die and reborn  each second in our body.   Vipassana  is looking deeply for a catch and  it is so simple, pure and logical.  Everything passes away, even pain and pleasure. The only thing you have to do is to observe and stay equanimous.  So why to be  sad.  If you are sad, observe the sadness.  We have a craving  for pleasant sensations and an aversion for unpleasant sensations.  By the practice of  Vipassana we come to a conclusion that neither of them, craving or aversion is going to be permanent, but will evaporate gradually.  So why not stay neutral and observe the reality of their  arising and passing away.  And the energy that is involved in stress and strain  will start becoming your grace and your beauty.  Meditation brings you in the present moment.  Any moment you want to use it, it is available.

The Code of Discipline for a 10-day residential course is to be away from any contact with the outside world, i.e. no phone, no television, no reading or writing.  A Noble Silence has to be observed.   One cannot talk with fellow meditators or anyone else even through body language except with the Teacher, and that too only related to the Meditation.  Also, who attend a Vipassana Course must conscientiously undertake the following five precepts for the duration of the Course: To abstain from killing any being; from stealing; from any sexual activity; from telling lies and from all intoxicants.  It is not advisable to leave the course mid-way.   During the Course, it is essential that all forms of prayer, worship or religious ceremony – fasting, burning incense, counting beads, reciting mantras, singing and dancing etc., be discontinued.  This is just to give a fair trial to the technique of Vipassana in its purity.  The experience tells that Ten days is certainly a very short time in which to penetrate the deepest levels of the subconscious  mind and learn how to eradicate the complexes lying there.

The foundation of the practice is Sila – moral conduct.  Sila provides a basis for the development of Samadhi – concentration of mind; and purification of mind is achieved through Panna – the wisdom of insight.  “The goal of Meditation is not to control your thoughts, it is to stop them  to control you”.

The Courses are  on  a voluntary donation basis.  There is no compulsory fixed fee.  For more details and registration, visit:  www.surbhi.dhamma.org

Mr. Zile Singh is much respected Link Columnist, writer, a Vipassana Meditator and has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Human Rights.  He can be reached at zsnirwal@yahoo.ca

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