An introduction to the introduction of Vipassana meditation, beginning with the Anapana breathing technique. Calm your raging mind, bring center to the present, and prepare for an impermanent glimpse at the consciousness of impermanence.
"Everyone seeks peace and harmony, because this is what we lack in our lives. From time to time we all experience agitation, irritation, disharmony. And when we suffer from these miseries, we don't keep them to ourselves; we often distribute them to others as well. Unhappiness permeates the atmosphere around someone who is miserable, and those who come in contact with such a person also become affected. Certainly this is not a skillful way to live.
We ought to live at peace with ourselves, and at peace with others. After all, human beings are social beings, having to live in society and deal with each other. But how are we to live peacefully? How are we to remain harmonious within, and maintain peace and harmony around us, so that others can also live peacefully and harmoniously?
In order to be relieved of our misery, we have to know the basic reason for it, the cause of the suffering. If we investigate the problem, it becomes clear that whenever we start generating any negativity or impurity in the mind, we are bound to become unhappy. A negativity in the mind, a mental defilement or impurity, cannot coexist with peace and harmony.
Vipassana is such a remedy. No one will object to a code of living which respects the peace and harmony of others. No one will object to developing control over the mind. No one will object to developing insight into one's own nature, by which it is possible to free the mind of negativities. Vipassana is a universal path.
Observing reality as it is by observing the truth inside—this is knowing oneself directly and experientially. As one practices, one keeps freeing oneself from the misery of mental impurities. From the gross, external, apparent truth, one penetrates to the ultimate truth of mind and matter. Then one transcends that, and experiences a truth which is beyond mind and matter, beyond time and space, beyond the conditioned field of relativity: the truth of total liberation from all defilements, all impurities, all suffering. Whatever name one gives this ultimate truth is irrelevant; it is the final goal of everyone.
May you all experience this ultimate truth. May all people be free from misery. May they enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness.
MAY ALL BEINGS BE HAPPY."
In our introduction to Vipassana at Borderland, we do not seek to teach the concept in full. It is impossible to do so, and can only confuse. But, we can present a hint and a glimpse.
Instead, we begin with the beginning - calming the mind.
The technique demonstrated, called Anapana, constitutes the first 3 1/2 days of a 10-day silent Vipassana meditation course.
This is an essential skill that can be and should be applied in day to day life. When you're stressed out. When something is painful. When you need to stay grounded. Ahead of sleep.
In our four hour morning session, we'll run a proposed timetable:
- Anapana breathing and 40 minute meditation session
- Another round of Anapana breathing meditation
- Sharpening the mind in a third, shorter session
- An introduction to the concept of Vipassana and observing the sensations in the body
- A final 60 minute meditation session - particularly useful for former students
- A tasty organic vegan Indian meal, the same recipes as from meals at Dhamma Arunchula ten day Vipassana meditation courses
- Questions, Answers and Reflections.
In between each round is a short break for reflection.
During the four hours, we will observe noble silence. This is where you may not speak to one another, no need for glances, or any form of communication. The focus remains within the self, reflections of the self, observations of the self.
We observe the five Vipassana precepts:
to abstain from killing any being;
to abstain from stealing;
to abstain from all sexual activity;
to abstain from telling lies;
to abstain from all intoxicants.
May all participants take with them even a little sliver more of inner peace, and consider a 10-day Vipassana course of their own.
Recent students of Vipassana, we seek to share the idea to all willing, fulfill a 10-day silent Vipassana course. With experience and the afterglow from ten days in Tiruvannamalai, southern India this past March. As for Buddha, he is you.
- Past Vipassana students are invited to act, inspired by their own past servers
- Regular meditators are invited to meditate among our group
- Fans of Indian food with a flair for simple cooking can help prepare the customary meal and lemongrass tea.
- Any willing observer keen to know a little bit more about Vipassana, or anybody seeking to clear their own heads, do come
- A suitable, shady camp to host us!
We are preparing a vegan, ideally organic, meal based on the same recipes served to us at our recent 10-day Vipassana course in Tiruvannamalai, India. Lemongrass tea was also a daily highlight! This to accentuate the authenticity of the experience at Borderland.
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