Vipassana meditation is a technique that liberates you from all suffering by providing a tool which will free you from the three causes of all our problems: craving, aversion, and ignorance.
This meditation tool was the same one used by Gotama the Buddha 2500 years ago and yet most Buddhists don’t even know about the technique.
As this incredible tool, that helped thousands of people reach the state of full liberation, what lost in India within a few hundred years of the Buddha’s death. Luckily for the world, the pure technique of Vipassana meditation was preserved, protected, and meticulously handed down from teacher to student for 2,500 years in Burma (Myanmar).
It is only in the last few decades that the technique has been brought back into India and spread worldwide.
How I was Introduced to the Technique
I first read about this technique in an article online and I have to admit that at first I was not convinced. How could someone claim to have the actual tool of liberation from Buddha and be able to teach it to me?
Before Vipasanna had heard about other techniques and programs with big claims but none of them could deliver quite the way that this one claimed to. Vipassana also claimed to be a tool where every step of the path is scientific, experienced directly within the framework of my body, and actually would help me to overcome my addictions, aversions, psychosomatic illnesses, and work on my ignorance.
It sounded incredible and honestly, too good to be true until I saw the one little detail: the course is free. That is right, this 10-day course which also feeds and houses you is entirely paid for by previous students who found so much benefit in what they experienced there that they donated in a 100% pay if forward fashion. My session would essentially be a gift from another student.
My Husband and I Signed up Right Away
With that knowledge, my husband and I quickly signed up for the next available class. Since I work online surrounded by electronics I was ecstatic to go into this totally silent, electronic free meditation retreat where I would be guided through some incredibly deep inner work.
I am going to admit that I was a little nervous. Even though my husband would be there, they keep the men and women apart to minimize distractions. I would have to give 100% of myself to the tools being taught, eat a vegetarian diet, and purify myself on a deep level.
I have to say this 100+ hour meditation retreat isn’t for everyone and yet I feel that if someone had the strength of will they would agree that it was one of the best things they had ever done.
Vipassana is the Best thing We had Ever Done
In my opinion, Vipassana is one of the quickest and longest lasting transformational experiences on the planet. It was so well organized and following the simple rules, such as no lying (easy when you can’t talk), no stealing, no killing (easy on a vegetarian diet), started to make so much sense.
Don’t worry, you can talk to the management if you need any help and the teachers are there to help if you feel confused about the technique. After only a few days of being there, I started to feel a lot different.
For example, I started to feel lighter and common daily issues in my life such as back and joint pain started to fade in a way where it didn’t phase me anymore. If I did feel pain it didn’t hurt or hinder me like it had before the retreat.
My husband, who had been nearly deaf in his right ear since he was in the military, regained his hearing. Somehow during all the mental cleansing and rewiring his hearing had returned and is still working great. After over ten years of being nearly deaf, it was quite the tear-jerking experience to be able to hear so many new things again.
Though Vipassana doesn’t claim to miraculously heal and major illnesses, many minor issues, emotional unbalance, and psychosomatic conditions will resolve themselves as a side effect of the technique.
Justin, my husband, also used Vipassana to overcome his smoking addiction. One of the major focuses in Vipassana is overcoming cravings which can really help those who have stopped smoking, overeating, drinking, or other addictions and yet still feel a pull to do them.
Is Vipassana right for you?
While attending the 10-day course you will not be permitted to have tobacco, alcohol, or narcotics. If you are on antidepressants or other psychoactive medications you will need to either work with your doctor to get off of them or get special permission from the teacher to attend.
Though Vipassana could, in fact, be the best thing for you to overcome these issues the course is very intense and the management and teachers are nonprofessional volunteers that aren’t trained to handle major emotional or mental illnesses.
To be honest with you, I have been down many of these roads and even though Vipassana is one of the best things I have ever done in my life it is also one of the hardest.
If you bring nothing else with you, go with a strong determination that no matter what, you will make it completely through the course.
Since you are able to talk on the last day, everyone I talked to agreed that it was an incredible experience and that they are so glad they did it.
Don’t take my word for it, check out their website, watch the Dhamma Brothers documentary (on Netflix) (youtube), and experience it for yourself. Then when you have experienced it for yourself you can pay it forward in love to the next class.