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Vipassana: A Way to Self-Transformation

''A way to change perception and see things as they really are''

A way to self-transformation through self-observation - an idea that allows you to be yourself in absolute silence for full ten days. The idea may sound challenging initially but those who followed it seriously indeed benefited in the long run. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It will transcend you on the path of self-realisation. Worth experiencing once in this lifetime.

About Vipassanana : It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art Of Living. This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.

The scientific laws that operate one's thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

The Courses : It’s a 10 day course and absolute silence is to be observed. During the course participants follow a prescribed Code of Discipline, learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results.

The course requires hard, serious work. There are three steps to the training:

1. To abstain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, speaking falsely, and intoxicants.

2. To develop some mastery over the mind by learning to fix one's attention on the natural reality of the ever changing flow of breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. By the fourth day the mind is calmer and more focused, better able to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself.

3. On the last full day participants learn the meditation of loving kindness or goodwill towards all, in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings.

One is not allowed to leave the course mid-way unless an emergency.

A short video about the observation of breath and bodily sensations in this technique is show at the centres to give a snap shot of what the program. The entire practice is actually a mental training. Just as we use physical exercises to improve our bodily health, Vipassana can be used to develop a healthy mind.

Of course, the results come gradually through continued practice. It is unrealistic to expect all problems to be solved in ten days. Within that time, however, the essentials of Vipassana can be learned so that it can be applied in daily life.

Costs Involved : It is not taught commercially, but instead is offered freely. No person involved in its teaching receives any material remuneration. There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to benefit from it also.

What to expect : It's not a regular meditation course. The day begins at 4:00 a.m. with a wakeup bell and continues until 9:00 p.m. There are about ten hours of meditation throughout the day, interspersed with regular breaks and rest periods. Every evening at 7:00 p.m. there is a videotaped lecture by the Teacher, S.N. Goenka, which provides a context for meditators to understand their experience of the day.

The teaching is given through recordings of S.N. Goenka, speaking in English or Hindi, together with a translation into a local language. Tape translations exist in most of the major languages of the world, including English. If the teachers conducting a course do not speak the local language fluently, interpreters will be there to help.

One cannot communicate with their co-meditators. However, students are free to contact the management about their material needs, and to speak with the instructor.

Also, no physical contact and no phones are allowed inside the premises.

Course Centres : Meditation centers are dedicated facilities where courses are held regularly throughout the year. Before meditation centers were established in this tradition, all courses were held at temporary sites, such as campgrounds, religious retreat centers, churches and the like. Today, in regions where centers have not yet been established by local students of Vipassana who live in the area, 10 Day meditation courses are held at non-center course sites.

The courses are running worldwide in regions such as Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, India, Latin America, Middle East, Myanmar and North America.

Courses are running across 66 centres in the states of Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Mizoram, Tripura, West Bengal, Sikkim, Delhi, Harayana, Himachal Pradesh, J&K, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.

Contacts : Visit this link for contacts:

Tips : Avoid carrying valuables. Take simple clothes along, which covers the body well.

Source / Review By : Pramugdha Mamgain Nautiyal


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