Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was taught in India more than 2500 years ago as a universal remedy for universal ills, i.e., an Art of Living.
For those who are not familiar with Vipassana Meditation, an Introduction to Vipassana by Mr. Goenka & related videos and Questions & Answers about Vipassana are available.
Vipassana focuses on helping you become aware of, and understand the inner workings of your mind- particularly about thoughts, feelings and sensations, and the process through which our mind categorizes these experiences as pleasurable or painful.
In effect, your brain is a machine, with programming. When you understand that programming, you can change it, and literally feel differently about the experiences in your life. See Mike's cold showers article at right for an example of this.
Key Things to Know
- The initial course is 10 days long, and there are centers all over the world, including Auckland, NZ
- There is no cost required for the course, and you are fed and housed for free.
- You will have no phone, Internet, TV, radio, music, or even conversation during this time.
- The process focuses entirely on creating an environment where your full attention is focused inwards, on your thoughts, feelings and sensations - learning how they emerge, process, change, and react.
- There is no cost, however after the course it's encouraged that you donate to help others. The cost for a student to attend is roughly $250usd, so this is a good donation cost for you to pay it forward and enable the next student to go.
- After the course, you are invited to 1-day courses, since you know the process.
- The servers and assistants in the center are all volunteers- you can also do a stint as a server or cook in future sessions if you like to contribute that way. They will teach you everything you need to know.
BROJO Member Perspectives
- Do it. I waited for about 10 years after I first heard of Vipassana, before I first did the course. It felt hard to find the 10 days, life is busy. Make that time. It has been one of the best experiences I've ever had.
- It was also incredibly difficult at times, particularly around day 3. Your body and mind will rebel at the sitting still doing nothing. I am probably a bit ADD and love my coffee and exercise, and I had none of these.
- The experience is explained to you during the course, like slowly peeling an onion. It was amazing to me how consistent the explanation was with where I was in my self-discovery. Like they could see inside my head.
- At first, the isolation is just weird. No talking, no touching, no eye contact. Soon though, I discovered that the world inside me is a universe that is bigger, and more interesting, than the universe outside of me. That's difficult to explain, and must be experienced.
Talk to Mike, Bob, and other BROJO members who have tried Vipassana to learn their experiences and the benefits & challenges they faced.
Emotional peace. With practice, you begin to recognize that emotions are neither good nor bad, they are just sensations to be observed. You don't need to react to them, and Vipassana gives you the tools and practical understanding of how to do that.
General control over your physical sensitivity. As part of learning how to control your reactions and awareness levels of your bodily sensations you develop the ability to manage how things feel physically. For example, cold showers can feel refreshing rather than painful. You can even improve your awareness of sensations such that smells, tastes, sexual touch, can all be amplified.
The Art of LIving - Vipassana Meditation