Vipassana meditation

Entrance to the Prachenburi Vipassana Meditati...

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I just spent 10 days on a Vipassana meditation course. It was, without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life. Beautiful in its simplicity, the technique was easy to learn. Clear instructions and helpful teachers took the confusion away. The clarity I experienced was most welcome.

I had no idea how easily my mind wandered off and how much I have struggled to stay focused. An early school report said that I was “easily distracted”. Sharpening the mind showed me how dull and distracted it had become. I realised how much time has been spend thinking about future scenarios that have never come to pass and agonising over past mistakes. Vipassana has shown me how to retain a sense of equanimity and not get caught up in the minds escapades.

The really beautiful part of the practice was how it opened me up to release a plethora of miseries. I was shown my suffering and how it was related to various beliefs I had become attached to. Letting go of these attachments came with a lovely sense of liberation.

According to Vipassana, misery comes about through cravings for pleasant sensations and aversions to unpleasant ones. People become miserable wanting a feeling if it feels good and wanting it gone it makes them uncomfortable. Addiction falls into both categories. People use whatever they need to use to feel good or to stop feeling uncomfortable. Drugs, gambling, sex, food, grog and work can all be used as distractions from uncomfortable feelings like anxiety. The power of feelings are lost once they are seen for what they are, sensations.

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