Help Your Mind Connect With Your Body Through Vipassana
Today’s materialistic world offers us almost everything, but inner peace. We often hear people say they have family, wealth and a good job, yet they feel empty. In a quest for inner peace, a lot of people look for various ways to satisfy themselves, but not many know it lies within themselves and can only be achieved through practicing meditation with consistency.
One of such meditation is Vipassana. It is an old Buddhist meditation technique that means insight – inner view. Breathing is the primary object of this meditation and it is a gradual process of an ever-increasing awareness of one’s self.
What is insight meditation?
Mushtaq Jindani, a Vipassana mediator and a teacher by profession, says that insight meditation focuses on developing the skill of observing reality as it is. Overtime, it also leads to purification of mind.
Those who complain about the feeling of emptiness should know that there is a need to understand that there is more to life than just this mundane existence, says Jindani.
“There are two types of people who look for a way to get out of the feeling of emptiness. Some seek help from philosophy but they don’t get the answer. Others meditate and are able to find inner peace,” he adds.
Jindani has been practicing forms of meditation for the last 40 years but started Vipassana in 2012 and it helped him get stable mentally and physically. “There is a material and a spiritual side of life and in order to understand the latter we have to practice meditation every day because inner peace is achieved with consistency and once it is achieved, the feeling of emptiness goes away.”
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Finding inner peace through Vipassana
In search of inner peace, many people struggle. Ishrat Saleem, who works for an embassy in Islamabad, was struggling for years but in 2013 she signed up for a 10-day course on Vipassana in Maryland, the US.
For the first three years, she meditated daily for two hours but now she meditates for 30 minutes almost four days a week. “Earlier, I easily became anxious. I was looking for something that will help me become more grounded and meditation teaches us to be patient as we spend time with ourselves,” she says.
Saleem recalls that over a decade ago, she learnt about 10-day Vipassana courses through the internet. But only when she went to the US to study, was she able to join a course being offered in Maryland.
“It was challenging to spend all day in silence, practicing meditation but I loved it. The practice made me calmer and helped me connect with myself. I started knowing myself,” she says adding that Vipassana teaches us the art of living and this practice validates everyone’s experience.
Parvez Iqbal, who is a retired government official also practices Vipassana, says he had been practicing Islamic meditation for almost a decade but started practicing Vipassana four years ago. “We are unaware of techniques and discipline of Islamic meditation but Vipassana has a clear guideline and technique, which makes its practice easier.”
Vipassana helps us understand our minds better, says Iqbal. It has three main purposes:
- We find out our own reality – who we are.
- We come to know about our sufferings and that they are not permanent.
- We become non-self and get rid of our personal pride and ego.
Due to our routine and mundane tasks we are unable to focus on our body, but when we sit to meditate and focus on our breathing we understand the nature of our mind.
“When our body and mind coordinate, the low feeling and anxiousness fade away. When we come to know these sufferings are temporary, we overpower it. We don’t rely on anything and this comes with meditation when we learn the concept of impermanence. It makes our mind equanimous,” says Iqbal.
Vipassana has a lot of centers across the world. There is, however, no center in Pakistan and most Pakistanis go to Thailand for a 10-day course. There is no fee for the course and you spend your days in complete silence.
You are not allowed to communicate with anyone. You are not allowed to take any gadgets, including a mobile phone, or even a book because you have to only be with yourself and make an effort to connect with yourself. There are teachers to help you with the process.
What works in the favor of this form of meditation is that it doesn’t conflict with any religion and so has a significant number of meditators across the globe.