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Into the true nature of reality. Vipassana

"Meditation has been laid stress upon by all religions. The meditative state of mind is declared by the Yogis to be the highest state in which the mind exists. When the mind is studying the external object, it gets identified with it, loses itself. To use the simile of the old Indian philosopher: the soul of man is like a piece of crystal, but it takes the colour of whatever is near it. Whatever the soul touches ... it has to take its colour. That is the difficulty. That constitutes the bondage."

Swami Vivekananda

The word meditation is derived fr om the Latin meditari meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder" and mederi meaning "to heal".

The Sanscrit origin of this word medha - means "wisdom".

At the heart of meditation is mind concentration on a definite object, sound, image or breathing. Also it can be dynamic meditation, when free movements are made with special music. In meditative state of mind practician devotes to meditation object entirely. Due to keeping away fr om existent reality, all his attention is concentrated on one thing. Mind dose not jump here and there, but it is pointed in one direction fully.

In this article we will view vipasyana or vipassana - canonical type of meditation in the Buddhist tradition.

Vipassanā means insight into the true nature of reality. The goal of this practice is to open the Supreme Wisdom. At first, this practice is a way to see the essential nature, develop "superior seeing". Futhermore, it is possible to see previous lifes and understand the goal of present life. It sounds alluring, how can we get such results?

At first sight, the method looks rather simple: cross you legs, straighten the back, put hands together and close eyes. In fact, when you make first try of meditation, you face with some problems. It is not so easy to bend your legs, the back is not straightened. And eyes are running always exploring neverending mind stream.

And even if you seat not so bad - to stay in such position at least half an hour is really difficult. After all, the fair question appears: is it necessary to excruciate yourself so much? Why not to seat on a chair or lay on a sofa and meditate as much as you want?

There an important think you shoud know. So-called " clarification" can come exactly after all these efforts. The overcoming cleans illusions about yourself and about the world.

Somebody can say: It is easy to sit a caple of hours with crossed legs comparing to Life-time. Every day we throw away much more time: sitting in social net, in front of TVscreen, in metro or traffic jam. However, does the comfort bring us to understanding our soul and world around?

We even dont remember what did we do all this time. In other words, we can remember: "I was watching some movie". But what exactly we were doing that moment: how we were sitting, with whom we were talking, how we were breathing, what we were thinking about... Nothing... Though if something gave us any trouble, we will remember that fact for sure.

When a human endures an ascetic - he is more awaked, concentrated. His mind is not wandering. Besides, overcoming with ascetic cleans karma. Oum.ru has a lot of intresting information about this subject. Also, you can go to one of my previous article: " About karma nature. Karma and karmic relations". Exactly difficulties show the great value of the result. Fruit of our labors . As the knowledge of the world shows: the more efforts, time and money we put in something - the more we appreciate it.

But, it is not enough to fix attention on yourself. It is necessary to open mind even deeper, look inside, digress from outside factors. In Yoga Sutras of Patanjali this phase is called Pratyahara - the fifth element among the Eight stages of Patanjali-s Ashtanga Yoga. In Buddhist practice such mind concentration is named Shamatha.

There is a famous biddhistic image showing the Path of mind while Shamatha practice. We can see at first a monk chasing an elephant. The elephant is attracted by a monkey. As they are moving along the path, animals colour progresses from black to white. At the end monk is sitting on the elephant and they are flying over the rainbow. The elephant represents the mind. The monkey means distraction or mental agitation. The monk means practice. The flyght symbolizes the transition from Shamatha to Vipasyana.

Shamatha is a labor of reducing the amount of thoughts gradually, diverting attention from the external world with sounds, smells, body discomfort. That is the path of achievement calm mind. And then Vipasyana comes fluently.

Shamatha is the practice of mind Calming .

Vipassana means Pure mind.

Vipassana doesnt mean absence of thoughts. All time the arful mind is searching any ways to catch your attention. Its important not be involved into the thoughts, but see wh ere they start and wh ere from they grow. What kind of destination they have. Exactly thats why vipassana helps to find deep reasons and the true motivation of different actions.

We are unravel the clew with goal to see what is behind our way of life. Thanks to this practice we can become firmly convinced in right and disappoint in wrong. We can learn to distinguish seeds and rubbish.

Vipassana helps to find yourself. At the end you understand: there is no point to think out, to lie yourself. As a result you admit guilt in all past mistakes, in all moments when you were guided by the egoism motivation. Step by step all these understandings are coming. Occasionally it is not so pleasant. Still, exept disagreeable feelings and shooting truth, pure vision starts to appear. Its important not to fix on negatives, but to find it and let it go. In that way the cleaning of mind takes place.

Best way to practice is to start it under the direction of the teacher or master. Always people with expirience can clarify some special moments and answer appearing questions.

At presant time the most popular are two courses: Goenka Vipassana and "Dive into Silence" bu Oum.ru club.

There are special terms of retreat: silence vow, taking part in meditation sessions and observance of established order of the day. As well as participants refuse any bad habits, refuse from the violence in any forms including eating animals and the last but not the least: you refuse any other activity exept the practice while hole retreat ( 10days useally ).

The main difference between two courses is that, Goenka vipassana doesnt include any practicec except meditation. Also they ask you not to have incoming information: you cant use computer, books. Oum.ru course gives you four hours meditation session every day and two hours hatha-yoga lesson, one hour concntration on spiritual image and one hour Mantra Om practicing. Also pranayama and reading developing literature are recommended. Two hours evrery day are provided for these practices. Oum.ru also advises not to connect with outside world - so mobile phones better to turn off, too.

It is important not to get out of course earlier. The programme is planned in special way, the optimal duration is required. During this time you can not only see the results of practices, but save them.

I took part in vipassana retreat by Oum.ru twice. I can tell, my life really improved thanks to this course. I found the answers for many questions, came closer to understanding my place in this incarnation. I met people with whom I have a lot in common. If you ask me if I do advise this course and what kind of people I do advise it: I will say: Of course, I do advise it to everyone. Such retreats open eyes on yourself and world around. They help to look with new eyes on absolutly everything, change your attitude to life, wake up your inside Wisdom. The Wisdom, coming from life to life with you.

And also, you might think, that meditation is something "not native" to your culture, something from Tibet or India. To tell the true, we can meet such type of practice almost in all religions. So, vipassana is actual to people of all confessions and ideologies.

Incerely I advise you to try yourself in vipassana. Ten days is nothing comparing to hole life time. While the results will stay with you for few next lifes for sure.