What Is Insight (Vipassana) Meditation?

Insight or Vipassana mediation is a form of mediation that was devised more than 2500 years ago by Gautama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism. It is based on the principle of mindfulness that not only helps to bring peace and clarity to our lives but also helps lead the mind towards a more spiritual path.

Although Vipassana Meditation has been one of the central teachings of Buddha, you do not have to be a practicing Buddhist to experience its benefits.

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Insight Meditation is increasingly being used in many Yoga classes as it is one of the most powerful and beneficial forms of meditation.

How Is Insight Meditation Performed?

The best way to learn any form of meditation is to learn it directly from a teacher or Guru. Many Yoga classes now offer lessons in Insight Meditation. Once you have learnt the basic techniques you can also perform Insight Meditation from the comfort of your home. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

It is a good idea to define a time and place when you will carry out mediation. Let all your friends and family know about it and ask not to be disturbed. The setting where the mediation is performed also plays an important role. Choose a quiet, well ventilated room where you will not be disturbed. The best time to meditate is in the early morning or evening.

Although the lotus posture is the most popular posture for practicing Insight Meditation, it can also be practiced while sitting on a comfortable upright chair. Sit with your back straight and chin tilted very slightly down. Place your hands on your lap, palms facing upwards. You should initially start by meditating for only fifteen minutes. As you gradually build up your confidence and stamina you can increase the time spent on Insight Meditation.

Once you are seated in a comfortable posture close your eyes and gradually focus your mind on the different parts of your body. Feel the different sensations that your body gives you and gradually make your body relax.

Another technique is to focus on your breath. Feel every breath of inhaled air as it travels from your nostrils to your lungs and then feel the same breath as it is released from your lungs and exhaled back out through your nostrils. Both of these are calming techniques that allow the mind to come into a meditative state. Although your mind will initially have a tendency to wander, with a little patience and practice you can master the intricacies of Insight Meditation.

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