Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation


Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation

Vipassana is one of the oldest forms of meditation. The term ‘Vipassana’ comes from Sanskrit, an Indian language. It literally means ‘insight’ or ‘exceptional comprehension’. The word also means “looking at things as they are.”

Furthermore, it exists as an integral part of the meditation practiced by Buddhists – the followers of Buddha – monks. According to these monks (and their faith), Vipassana is one of the two grades of mind that one can develop through meditation. The other one is ‘Samatha’ which translates to ‘the calmness of mind.’

Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation
Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation

When Did ‘Vipassana’ Come Into Existence?

Surprisingly, the origin of Vipassana has always been controversial and subject to numerous debates across the world. However, it is a wide belief that this ancient form of meditation is older than 2,500 years.

If historians are to be believed, Vipassana was first introduced and taught as a remedy for universal maladies in India. Historians also believe that:

  • People stopped practicing meditation during the 10th century.
  • It was, however, reintroduced with modifications in the 18th century in Myanmar (Burma).
  • Meditation caught global attention in the 19th century during the American Vipassana Movement.

The Vipassana Movement

This movement was primarily aimed at popularising the latest teachings and practices of the ‘concerned form of meditation’ because they were not really popular at that time. Some more information about this movement is as follows:

Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation
Vipassana: One Of The Oldest Methods Of Meditation
  • The movement started somewhere in the 1950s.
  • It started in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
  • The movement gained popularity (across the world) through some American Buddhist teachers including Tara Brach, Joseph Goldstein, and Jack Kornfield.
  • Apart from having Buddhist and non-Buddhist wisdom, the movement also involved science and poetry.

How This Form Of Meditation Benefits You?

Vipassana can help you in many different ways. Some of those ways are as follows:

  • A person can purify their mind as well as soul by practicing this form of meditation on a regular basis.
  • This practice helps to build concentration and regain the focus of the mind.
  • According to Sri Lankan Buddhist monk Henepola Gunaratana, Vipassana is directly linked to Sattipathana Sutta, which is a method of mindfulness, taught by Lord Buddha himself.
  • “The main objective of this meditation form is realizing the truth of dissatisfaction and impermanence,” says Gunaratana.
  • Buddhist monks, along with other people, practice this form of meditation in order to train their minds.
  • Experts say that this form of meditation makes a person explore their own life as well as experiences in a better way.

Why And How To Practice This Form Of Medication?

  • Overstressed people should practice Vipassana as much as possible for it is one of the best remedies (for stress).
  • People with uncontrolled negative thoughts should practice it.
  • Whosoever remains in search of mental peace should try it without any delay.
  • People who want to get rid of worldly vices like anger, greed, fear, delusion, lust, etc. should become a practitioner of Vipassana.
  • Somebody who wants to understand the true meaning of life should go for it.
  • Like any other form of meditation, Vipassana should also be practiced in silence and solitude.
  • Dawn (early morning) is the best time of the day to practice this form of meditation.
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