Many of you might have heard about the vipassana meditation technique and some of you might be practicing it as well. Under the guidance of Mr. David and the YogiLab team, I recently attended an online meditation tour for ten days to learn the vipassana meditation technique. Although I was not able to complete the full course, the time that I spent meditating was a very calming and peaceful experience.
Vipassana, which means to see things as they are, is a technique introduced to us by the Buddha as a way to understand our inner self. Annapanna, which is a technique we learned in the first few days of the course, is said to be the method by which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It is a simple yet a very difficult thing to practice. The only thing we had to do is focus on our breath and observe its incoming and outgoing. Not controlling the breath, just observing it. It is not as easy as it sounds but it surely is worth learning.
One analogy, our instructor gave which I really loved was that our mind is like an untrained dog, which gets carried away towards smallest distractions. Just like a dog runs towards one things to other to smell it and we have to pull it back to make it walk on a straight path, similarly, our mind has a tendency to move in all the directions when prompted with a small distraction and its the duty of our conscious brain to pull it back on the path we want to focus. In our normal lives, we usually just let it go in every direction unrestricted, but by practicing Annapanna, we actually are training our minds and pulling it back to focus on our breath. Again it is not as easy as it sounds but what is interesting is to see what these thoughts are that our mind moves towards frequently.
The ability to focus on our breath helps us with the Vipassana technique as it is about focusing on the sensations that we feel in our body. Another thing that I learned is that the pain that we felt during the meditation sessions taught us something very important. Although pain is just a sensation in our body, we push ourselves away from it because we do not treat a sensation as a sensation and attach a meaning to it. A negative emotion that we do not want to feel. This is the reason the cases of alcoholism and use of drugs has gone up. Instead of dealing with the pain and finding solutions, we cling on to options that give us a temporary relief from that sensation. Sitting in pain still trying to focus on the breath or a sensation in some other part of the body other than the part that was having a pain, taught me the skill to keep my focus on a single point. It is not ignoring the pain, it is acknowledging it and accepting it and then getting back to the thing we need to do.
Anger and frustration, which are again sensations, come up every now and then. Sometimes, every minute felt like a constant battle with the urge to get up and leave the meditation and I admit that i did sometimes lose the battles, but some of those battles that I won made me feel thrilled and stronger because I was learning to fight my urges or sensations to be able to direct my mind to the thing I wanted it to do rather than being controlled by it. I was learning to be on the driving seat rather than being at the mercy or my surrounding and my mind.
I would certainly want to complete the full ten days of this course sometime and would encourage all the readers to participate in it, not with a religious perspective, but as a psychological perspective. A skill that we can practice our whole life, irrespective of our religious beliefs and practices. The schedules planned by the YogiLab team are very flexible and can be inculcated with a busy schedule as well. I personally had a great experience.
Kudos to Mr. David the YogiLab team.