We all come across a situation, when some thing that we desire does not happen. I was also one of those millions who tried his best at everything but faced continuous failures. One day, I was so frustrated that I decided not to desire anything in life, taking a cue from Buddhism (according to my limited knowledge of Buddhism).
Few days later, I came across the Vipassana course. I applied for a course to find out if it could solve my problems.
There, I was taught that life is to accept whatever is thrown at us. My teacher told me that Buddha never asked to leave our desires, he simply said that desires lead to sorrows. Vipassana helped me to realise what Buddha actually taught. It made me realise from where my pain was being generated.
Our life is beautiful, it’s a journey with parts of happiness and sorrows, but human nature is to be stuck with only pleasant situations and we want the happiness to be continued. We like to be attached to things that make us happy.
I was totally against such teachings, at first. I came here, to Vipassana centre, for peace and happiness but they were saying, these things are not permanent!
Life has ups and downs, and Vipassana is an art of living to balance life and to live life with peace in every situation. The peace gives happiness, and it is within ourselves, but we search for it in different ways in the outer world.
Vipassana in Pali language is called insight. It explores the truth by working within the frame work of our own body. Vipassana was discovered by Buddha, but it doesn’t belong to Buddhism; it’s a non sectarian; every one from any religion, any race, any one, can practise this.
If we want to take the course, we should adopt their strict rules. It’s a 10 days residential course. We may call this a scientific technique rather than meditation. There are lot of misconceptions that it belongs to a particular religion but Vipassana, as taught by S.N Goneka, has nothing to do with any religion.
They say, Buddha is an enlightened man, not a god! And, it was taught in a pure way. You won’t find any images of Buddha or any Gods in any of their centres. First important rule is to follow noble silence; we are not allowed to talk with co-meditators, but we can talk with teachers and volunteers. We need to live with the five percepts of Buddha’s teaching for 10 days, to make us strong in the technique. By observing noble silence, our mind is settled slowly. One day they would reveal why they asked to maintain silence.
For the first three days, there is “Anapana”. Anapana is the observation of your breath coming in and going out. This is to make us more concentrated. And then, they will teach Vipassana techniques. We need to observe all sensation in our body. There is 10 hours of meditation every day. And 3 group sitting sessions. For one hour, we are not allowed to move our body, and we should maintain the posture what we chose at the onset; this is called Adhitthana (meaning, strong determination, in Pali language). We are not allowed to react to any sensation, whether it’s pleasant or unpleasant or pain. Our job is to observe and not to react.
Our job is to observe and not to react.
At this moment, I thought of running away. I had come to forget my pain but I was asked to observe the pain in my body. I was very confused, but I had a determination not to leave half way.
I planned to stay in my room without going for the training sessions. But we were closely monitored by the volunteers and we were pushed to the training centre from our residences, every day. I had no option but to try, and I tried my best to remain calm.
Surprisingly, the technique started working. And it changed my life completely. I can feel that my pain is still there, but my mind is not reacting to it. I was reminded what Buddha had said,”pain is certain, but suffering is optional”. Our old mind pattern always reacts to pain.
Vipassana made me realise, we are conditioned to react with pain from our birth. Our old mind is to crave for pleasant feelings with an aversion for unpleasant feelings. Vipassana teaches us to balance the mind and to move forward, and to accept the present moment whatever it is; and it teaches the truth of impermanence law that nothing is permanent. By learning these techniques, we can balance happiness and sorrows; we accept every thing with equanimity.
These were some points from my experience. To learn it properly, and to balance your life you should go for 10 days course to realise the truth within yourself.
You can apply through internet and there is no course fee for this course. Their principle is that they are teaching Dhamma, and Dhamma should be free. We can give donation but not considering that we stayed 10 days and had food, but to enable the the accommodation and food of other people. One another reason why they are not charging for the course is to reduce our ego, as we are living the life of a monk for 10 days by the charity of other’s money, so our own donation would be for others
At the end, they teach “Metta bhavana”, which is a meditation for the happiness, peace and harmony for others. A great way to end your course.
For more details check out their website : https://www.dhamma.org
(Edited by Hoboist)