What is Vipassana?
‘Vipassana’ means “to see things as they really are.” Vipassana is one of the
world’s most ancient techniques of meditation which was rediscovered about 2500
years ago by Gautam Buddha. Here it is very essential to mention that it’s not
associated to Buddhism, Hinduism or any other religion.
out, it is a totally scientific technique of self-observation. It focuses on
deep interconnection between mind and body. It is an observation based
self-explanatory journey in which you feel (not learn) the nature of your mind
how it regresses, how it produces sufferings and how after practising Vipassana
this super self-consciousness leads to a life characterized by increased
awareness, non-delusion, self-control and more importantly peace.
in my last post after suffering from depression (chronic unhappiness) and
living in denial for a long time, finally I accepted it. As it is rightly said,
“Acceptance is the most important step for your problems.” Perhaps because then
we are ready to talk about it openly and the same happened with me. Although, I
had been hearing about Vipassana for a long time but I never thought I would go
for it. Reasons were countless—
This sounds too hectic; I won’t
be able to make it.
I can’t afford to have a 10 days
break in a row.
I don’t need that, this isn’t my
I have never done one hour
meditation in my life how I am supposed to meditate 10 hours a day.
What is the sense in being silent
for 10 days?
more and they all sound absolutely sensible and logical then. But I have
acknowledged the seriousness of the problem and there is a saying which has
always helped me in taking big steps in my life—
your life, lying on a bed in some hospital, when you’ll look back you’ll regret
more on the things you haven’t done in your life rather than the ones you
About the ten days course
many centres of Vipassana throughout the country and most of them offer the 10
days course. You can register for it on their website www.dhamma.org. This whole
cycle of teaching Vipassana techniques works on donations given by past
students for the future ones. Thus, there is no charge for the course, for
accommodation and for your daily meals.
stay at their centres for all ten days. You have to live in complete seclusion
from the outer world. You have to maintain complete silence for first 9 days of
the course. For the people who are attending for the first time there will be
meals three times a day, morning breakfast, lunch and evening tea with snacks
but no dinner. About 10 hours of meditation is the part of the daily routine.
You are allowed to ask your doubts to your teacher.
silence and such high level of self-discipline were the different world things
for me before attending this session. Frankly speaking, I wasn’t sure whether I
would make it or not. But as Sachin sir rightly said “Environment is stronger
than will.” The environment there was so conducive that it made all this much
easier to follow. Let me divide my experiences in two parts—
days silence’ for sure it was the biggest challenge for anyone like me who
loves to talk. Besides it, I was never convinced for the logics behind the
concept of silence. I remember, once when Sachin sir took me to an Ashram near
Herbertpur, where the Guruji was silent for years. Most of my questions were related
to the silence only. But its rightly said, “experience is far more explanatory
than debates.” Now after going through it I realized how amazingly silence
itself can solve many of our daily life sufferings and how it is the first step
in controlling our mind, our endless chain of thoughts and constant worries
which spirals us down to sadness, anger, hate and all our sufferings.
course duration is divided into in two parts:
days): It is better known as ‘Mindfulness’ in western countries and nowadays
it’s a very famous practice there. In Anapana you try to concentrate on your
‘natural’ breathing. You are advised here not to modify your natural way of
breathing while practising it.
very helpful in following three things —
Sharpen my mind
Learn to live in this moment
Keeping your mind thoughtless
days): Recently, I read a very good book about mindfulness by Jon Kabat-Zinn
(thanks to JP Sir). Since, practising mindfulness is getting very famous in
western societies I have heard a lot about it recently. But I must say what I
experienced in this 10 days session is beyond just mindfulness. Vipassana deals
with very depth of our mind.
practising it I experienced how my mind and body is so deeply attached to each
other and how do they function together. How my mind has become the master of
this amazing machine and how it controls and reacts to each little activity in
each little part of it. I also experienced the auto pilot mode of my mind and
how it ruminates between past and future. How it relates and creates an
explosion of thoughts from a minor incident and then how it constantly worries
about its own created thoughts or mind events. I also have experienced how our
body reacts with a sensation to each and every thing happening around us or in
our mind and how our mind develop craving or aversion for such every little
sensation which results in sufferings. Above all I also experienced the law of
how to see things objectively and how to see your thoughts as a mind events and
how sometimes just observing your thoughts objectively can solve the problem
itself. Here it is very important to mention that many of these things I tried
to explain here were known to me intellectually for a long time. But trust me,
experiencing them and feeling it all happening inside me was totally a
different world thing.
How does it relate to my stammer?
definition of stammering, “Stammering is what you do when you try not to
explains almost everything about my stammer. For me stammering has always been
a struggle with myself. A struggle before speaking the word (whether I’ll be
able to speak it!). A struggle while I am in a block. A struggle after I
stammered where I didn’t want to.
so long if I could learn to be just in the moment 100% and stop worrying for
future and stop relating it to the past, my struggle with my stammer would have
stopped. Intellectually it always sounds so easy but it is very-very difficult
to be in the moment completely.
Vipassana teaches you to be in the moment without being judgemental. Stammer
too has become an inseparable part of our mind and body. When we try to speak
it’s not just our speech but our whole body and mind caught in the act
stammering. While practising Vipassana you learn to observe each little
sensation in your body without being judgemental to it. Sensations create
thoughts, thoughts create worries and worries create struggle and sometimes
just watching the sensations without judging them can be the solution. Our body
creates many visible and non-visible sensations while we stammer and if we
could be aware of these sensations it can be a way out for our struggles with
stammer. Stammering also creates very strong aversions with our past
experiences. Vipassana also helps us in getting rid of it.
best to explain my experiences but still I know it very clearly, what I have
experienced there is literally impossible for me to convert it into the words.
If you want to know what I am talking about, you have to go there and
experience it yourself.