In the previous article on Buddhist Meditation I described about three types of meditations and I explained only the first kind among them. That means “Samata Meditation”(Concentration meditation). In this article I hope to explain about “Vipassana Meditation”(Insight meditation).
What is Vipassana Meditation
For 45 years following his Enlightenment until his passing away, the Buddha’s sole objective was to teach trainable beings how to attain the three essential of Dhamma, Those are,
- Refraining from evil
- Cultivating good
- Purifying the mind
In here, to purifying the mind, we may learn and practice meditation. The major types are Samata Meditation and Vipassana Meditation.
Vipassana meditation is totally different from other styles. It needs to be fully understand. The original language of Theravada literature, in Pali, it is called Vipassana meditation as “Insight”. Therefore, it is concern as the study of life.
Samata meditation consider as “Concentration” or “tranquility”. It leads the Mind to rest, focused only on one item and not allow to wander. According to previous article, If you meditate, you might focus on your breathing and excluded all other thoughts and perceptions from your consciousness. That result is a state of rapture which lasts until you meditate ends the session of sitting. It may beautiful, delightful, meaningful and alluring, but only temporary.
Vipassana meditation addresses the other component insight. In here you may use your concentration as a tool by which your awareness can chip away at the wall of illusion that cuts you off from the living light of reality. That’s why it can be consider as the study of life.
Vipassana meditation is a gradual process of ever-increasing awareness into the inner warring of reality itself. It takes years, but one day you chisels through that wall and tumbles into presence of light. It’s called Liberation, and permanent. This Liberation is the goal of all Buddhist systems of practice.
Only from a Buddha
After the Enlightenment, on one occasion, the Gautama Buddha was dwelling at the foot of a banyan tree by the bank of Neranjana River. He thought a way to teach his disclosures to the world. He realized the path of purity. His path is to end the sorrow and lamentation. To realization the Nibbana. For that, his way was the “Four Foundations of Mindfulness.” But in his moment, the Buddha had a hesitate to how he teaches this purifying path to the world. He knew that such a teaching cannot be communicated to others in wordy.
The heavenly king Brahma sahampati, understood the Buddha’s thought at the time. He appeared in front of the Buddha by vanishing from the Brahma realm. He invited Buddha to preached his teachings to the world.
“All the blessed ones who have seen the cessation of the birth and the overcoming of birth, who have paved crossed over the ocean of suffering by this way. All those in the future will also cross over by this way. And that blessed one in the present time has crossed over by this path. This path is the Four Foundation of Mindfulness”
The Four Foundation of Mindfulness teaches vipassana meditation
Vipassana meditation has originated from the “Sathara Satipattana Meditation”. The Satara Satipatthana Sutta is in the Majjhima Nikaya of the Pali canon. And the long discourses called the “Maha sathipattana sutta”. It is in the Dhiga nikaya of the Pali canon. The difference is the latter has an extended description on the four noble truths. Therefore, following all categories of Four Foundations of Mindfulness include in Vipassana meditation. It is not just only Breathing Exercise. It is beyond that.
Four foundations of Mindfulness
1. Kayanupassana: contemplation on the Body
- Anapana pabba- Section on In and out Breathing
- Iriyapatha pabba- Section of Postures
- Sampajanna pabba- Section on clear understanding
- Patikulamanasika pabba- Section on contemplation of impurities
- Dhatumanasika pabba- Section on contemplation of Elements
- Navasivathika pabbsa- Section on nine stages of corpses
2. Vedananupassana: contemplation on Feelings
3. Cittanupassana: contemplation on the Mind
4. Dhammanupassana: contemplation on Dhamma
- Nirvana pabba- section on Hindrances
- Khandha pabba- section on Aggregates
- Ayatana pabba- section on Sense Bases
- Bojjhanga pabba- section on Enlightenment Factors
- Sacca pabba- section on Noble Truths
- Dhukkhasacca pabba: section on the Noble Truth of Dukkha
- Samudayasacca pabba: section on the Noble Truth of the Cause of Dukkha
- Nirodhayasacca pabba: section on the Noble Truth of Cessation of Dukkha
- Maggasacca pabba: section on the Noble Truth of the Path Leading to Cessation of Dukkha
As The Buddha says,
“This is the ‘one way’ path is for the desired destination. That is for the purification of beings, to overcoming sorrow and lamentation, for the disappearance of pain, grief and deletion and for the attainment of super mundane path-the true way for the realization of Nibbana.Sathara sathipattana sutta
As I mentioned in above, The Sathara Satipatthana means the four foundations of mindfulness. Therefore, with focus on its intent and the spiritual gains that can be had from the Satipatthana Sutta practice. The Buddha has recommended the practice to Satipatthana to beginners. As well as advanced practitioners and Arahats among the cultivators of Satipatthana. When the beginners embarking on Satipathtana practice, the discourses stipulate a basis in ethical conduct and the presence of a “Straight” view as necessary foundations.
The Vipassana practice’s object is based on Satipatthana, is to learn to pay attention. Vipassana is from of mental training that will teach you to experience the world in an entirely new way. That’s why it’s consider as a process of self-discovery. It’s a participatory investigation in which you observe your own experiences while practicing in them and as they occur. This experience would be viewed with a focused and concentrated mind, disaggregating it to its components to see what they really are and understanding the true nature of the experiences.
Four Noble Truths
The Buddha’s teaching is to purify our mind via the Four Noble Truths. Realize that the suffering, cause of suffering, the cessation of suffering and the path leading to cessation suffering. Therefore it is worth if you can refer the Four Noble Truths and Three characteristics of existence existence before meditation. This Truth is the Foundation of Mindfulness in Vipassana meditation.
Once the four noble truths have been thoroughly realized, our minds will be purified and enlightened and we will attain the extinction of suffering, Nibbana.
This is the only way to eradicate suffering, purify the mind and make people free from rebirth and attain to the ultimate truth of Nibbana.
That’s why Vipassana meditation is not a technique for closing the eyes and seeing magnificent sights or attaining psychic powers. It also solve the complex problems of life and leads to perception of the truth.
The more we reflect on our life and the more we learn about our problems, the more can we reach a solution totally and clearly by ourselves, within our own minds.
It is the light of darkness
Vipassana meditation leads us to the brighten path from the darkness. And it makes us free from unskillful habitats such as lack of mindfulness, which arouse from ignorance.
From the moment we begin to practice mindfulness it is as if a candle were to be light in our lives, a candle that shines in our lives at all times.
Once we begin practicing vipassana meditation, this small candle starts to grow brighter end brighter, until we are able to see the truths that had previously been obscured.
Happiness comes from inner peace. If your mind is peaceful, the quality of our daily life improves significantly. We are able to focus on daily events, make wise decisions and aren’t negatively affected by challenging situations. Therefore, Vipassana meditation is basically a method for working on the mind.
I hope to see you in next article on the first section of Four Foundation of Mindfulness (Vipassana Meditation) of Anapanasati or Mindfulness of Breathing. Let’s practice each Meditation sections step by step. Stay with me.
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“All phenomenon are impermanent. When one sees this with wisdom, he returns away from suffering. This is the wat to purification”