Going to the Depths of your Mind through Vipassana

Sometimes you need to be pushed to the edge to realign with your path. It had reached a stage where if I didn’t do anything about my emotional outbursts, I would have had a mental breakdown in my last trimester (it had nothing to do with third time pregnancy). I was deep down in the abyss, struggling to find inner peace, mental stability and engulfed in negativity. I was in a miserable state. 

Until one day my gynaec suggested that I go for Vipassana, now was the time and post delivery, it won’t be possible to go. That’s when I seriously considered going for Vipassana. I started applying at various Vipassana centres close by, and then got through the main centre in India.

I was looking forward to it. I went with an open mind, free from expectations, although I had heard a few friends mention it can get difficult, I wanted to have my own experience. So, putting all that aside, I went for it during my pregnancy. 

(Going for a 10-days Vipassana course is not a quick fix formula to completely transform you. It requires continuous inner work after the 10 days to see a change. After all, you are working on undoing years and years of conditioning and old behavioural patterns, it is not like stitching an old torn cloth, but fixing yourself piece by piece to make a beautiful quilt.)      

For those who aren’t aware about Vipassana, it is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills – an Art Of Living to live a moral, peaceful life, harmonious life. Vipassana is not a rite or a ritual, but a non-sectarian technique that aims for the total eradication of mental impurities, purifying the mind at the root level, and achieving full liberation of the mind.

In a nutshell, a 10-day Vipassana course entails giving up on your worldly pleasures, living in a simple room, skipping dinner, no mobile phones or usage of any media to avoid distraction, maintaining noble silence, avoiding any eye contact with other students and meditating for over 7 hours a day – which is the remedy to reach a higher state of awareness. 

So the journey began…

According to Buddhist wisdom, the foundation of Vipassana, originally meant “the law of nature” or “the truth.” is based on the below three practices ~

Sila (meaning discipline or ethical living) – To abstain from all sinful actions and not harm others. 

All who attend a Vipassana course must conscientiously undertake the following five precepts for the duration of the course:

    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.

Samadhi (meaning concentration)

Samadhi is to calm the mind through dedicated meditation practice. This helps to achieve peace as we are no longer controlled by our delusions and conflicting emotions.

Paññā (insight or wisdom)

Purification of the mind is Paññā when one experiences the truth within through meditation, it becomes clearer how we are controlled by our own mind and our conditioning. When we perform wholesome action by becoming aware of the behavioural patterns of the mind, we start enjoying the kingdom of heaven within us.

Here’s a day-wise account of my experience and journey practicing Vipassana –   

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Vipassana by Vrindavan Das

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