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Joined: 2/27/2010
Msg: 26
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Vipassana MeditationPage 2 of 5    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
I don't focus, I just open up and allow my being to be shared, tingled, tuned, passed through, swelled, lifted, made buoyant... My breathing is like not breathing but almost a giving it up and sharing as if I stopped fighting for life and peacefully drowned.

No control. No ego. Allowing the energy to find it's way, through me around me...

I don't know what to call it, so I call it Ekawa

Always done outside, body exposed to the elements. In fresh water or sea or on the earth, air all around.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 27
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/9/2013 10:01:33 AM
See that's awesome, I think there are many ways to meditate.. and all are beneficial :)

So I applied for the next retreat in April, but I haven't received acceptance yet (although a friend of mine did after just two days!) and the teacher who lives a province away, called to ask questions about my application.. sounds intense!

I'm betting it's because I admitted I still practice kundalini yoga/meditation. They like to keep their style pure and unmixed. Hopefully they still let me in though.
Joined: 10/20/2012
Msg: 28
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/13/2013 4:30:12 PM
yes have a pal who does the 2 week retreat each summer yes i have some info on the prison program Vipassana love to pass it on to you.
Joined: 10/20/2012
Msg: 29
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/13/2013 4:35:35 PM
do follow the middle road beauty road pureland school of buddhism too quan shih yin quiet heart meditation too heart diamond lotus path too .
Joined: 10/20/2012
Msg: 30
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/13/2013 4:36:45 PM
Qi gong daoism too to empty the empty pure emptiness
Joined: 10/20/2012
Msg: 31
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/13/2013 4:37:33 PM
to slow the fast mind and body down the chinese call the restless monkey mind. wu wei no me .
Joined: 10/20/2012
Msg: 32
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/13/2013 4:40:32 PM
my qi gong teacher taught to smile with the heart the inner smile to use the mind to correct the mind.. TCM when i was at a buddhist mountain in china my chinese guide told me the red characters written on the face of the buddhist mountain said a buddhist saying..... to clean the heart and wash the mind.... so simple yet so hard
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 33
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/14/2013 3:59:20 PM

yes have a pal who does the 2 week retreat each summer
Where is that at? The longest option locally for me is the 10 day retreat. I have heard that some people travel to do longer retreats though.

Do you practice this style of meditation yourself?

yes i have some info on the prison program
Have you seen the documentaries on it?

There are two (that I know of) in the works in Canada, I asked about starting something local on my last retreat, will do so again during my next one in April.

Btw... for anyone who has a regular practice and a smart phone, insight timer app is absolutely amazing. I seriously couldn't live without it anymore!
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 34
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/25/2013 11:24:16 AM
^^ I'm curious what all of that has to do with meditation?
Joined: 2/14/2013
Msg: 35
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/25/2013 4:32:23 PM

Within my first couple weeks of meditating, I got to the point where my whole body would tingle intensely and I felt like I didn't weigh anything.

Sounds like you were beginning to have an OOB experience but you freaked and snapped back.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 36
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 2/26/2013 8:25:57 AM
^^5 of them, wow! I'm curious, were any particularly more powerful?

I spoke with some of the old students and they practically all said that the first was the most intense.

I can't wait to serve! I would have this time, but feel I need to ground myself in the practice a bit more before I serve as some kind of an example to others.

I find the two, one hour sits a bit too much.. with shift work and being a single mom, so I do a half an hour daily. I figure as long as I have a daily practice, I can at least build on it later.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 37
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/1/2013 4:26:21 AM
What I found boring, were the three days of anapana.. I had no idea that a new technique would be taught eventually, so I imagined the rest of my time being consumed by nothing but incessant nostril breathing, and it made me want to scream!! Lol.. especially when people around me decided to fart..... kinda difficult to be equanimous about that!

I felt really vulnerable after, but totally renewed. I just wish that I didn't have to go home to a bunch of negative experiences. I wasn't really prepared for that and it brought me down fairly quickly. I'm hoping for a different after-experience this time.

Although, I suppose that isn't very equanimous of me, lol..

Did you notice changes/upsets in your life following the retreats you did?
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 38
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 9:10:49 AM
Thanks for sharing that Sure Dance :) Some people always talk in such totally glowing terms... you know, like 'when I got home, I fell into my most perfect job and everything has been just wonderful since!' And that is how it is presented in Goenka's talks too. I mean that's great, I'm happy for them, but it most definitely wasn't my experience. And I realize it isn't all that good to compare, but it's still nice to hear from others who didn't fall into their perfect life immediately after their first 10 day retreat, lol..

I didn't fight with anyone after, probably because I was so vulnerable.. everything hit me way harder emotionally than it would normally have. I guess because my ordinary defence mechanisms were down. I suppose in that sense it was a good thing, to learn to deal with things as I truly am. Not hiding behind intellectualizations or whatever else.

I'm not going to pretend it was easy though. So equanimous or not, this time around I'm hoping for a smoother entry back into life!

Even this whole dating thing... seem really foreign... like it's a waste of time.
I've been there for a long time really, am just now coming out of it.

There comes a point when, due to personal experiences, there is no more stopping not without feeling that something was left unfinished.
I've been meditating daily (barring a couple missed days here and there) for over a year now. It's not something I could just stop. And I plan to do retreats (and serve) regularly. I can't imagine life without it anymore.

People have asked me how I have benefitted from it, and it's really difficult to explain or quantify. But the best I can say is that I just feel more ME... more in touch, in the flow.. the efforts are most definitely worth it.
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 39
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 2:27:54 PM

Live the moment
without expecting results from the moment.
when you can do that....
you will be free.

If we told you to expect this or to do that
on your spiritual path
it would not be useful to you.

Sometimes meditation brings me inner peace.
Sometimes it's just inner noise.
Kindof like when I wake up.
Sometimes birds are singing.
Sometimes I wake up to annoying car alarms.

Being indifferent to either
allows me to enjoy whatever the day brings.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 40
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 2:46:55 PM
^^ But Stray, it was me who was talking about expectations, not him, lol.. and I acknowledged my lack of equanimity in that desire as well.

I can't help wanting a smoother transition back to the world after my upcoming retreat. But hey, you don't always get what you want, and I'm willing to accept that too. It's not like you can fight reality.. for long, lol..
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 41
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 2:54:44 PM
It's easy to be spiritual on top of the mountain of bliss.
Less so in the valley of annoying people always stepping on your toes.

but when you feel the joy in both places,
you are there.

The retreat is not your practice.
Your day2day is.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 42
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 3:15:04 PM
And yet, my feelings remain the same..... despite your admonition of them, lol.. :)

Have you ever done a retreat Stray Cat?

If not, it's quite an experience and tends to alter your day2day in very unexpected ways.......
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 43
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 3:34:07 PM
You know I have not.
(from other threads)

So I just work on my daily stuff.
All I can do.

Glad you can bring joy back from the mountain.
That is the whole point.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 44
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 3:39:47 PM

All I can do.
Joined: 7/12/2006
Msg: 45
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/4/2013 9:26:27 PM
I am not enlightened so am not an authority on Freedom
or Liberation.
However I am told that the moment you think you have it known
or defined....
keep looking cus you do not.

The hardest part of my own mediation(other than leg cramps)
Is letting the moment arise on it's own.
Without needing it to be bliss or peace.
This or that.
Just let it be.
Just dissolve into it.

Sometimes when I get there....
I think neato!
and that blows it.
I am back at the beginning.

I guess that is why it is called a meditation practice.
If we were perfect in it,
we'd be a Buddha already.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 46
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/5/2013 8:36:32 PM
^^ Well said.

The retreats are REALLY intensive. The 'acceleration' happens quickly and needs a 'solid stable base' (Sila) and continued practice to maintain it. For me I feel that it's just a matter of proper intention, if that makes any sense. Though I am not 'enlightened' I am certainly much lighter than I was when I first started this journey.
Once again I agree. I had already been meditating daily for almost a year and had done another much longer meditation retreat prior to the vipassana one, but it still stirred a bunch up. I can see now how it was like the tower card (tarot reference).. where everything false comes crumbling down all at once. Kind of like Kali energy at play.. savagely ripping your ego attachments to shreds.. with love :)

I see it's necessity now, so I suppose there's no sense hoping for a gentler trip back into life..

Do you find it got lighter and lighter each time?
Joined: 1/29/2013
Msg: 47
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/5/2013 9:44:57 PM
Hi, I've been studying Theraveda Buddhism & doing vipassana meditation for a few years. In other words, I'm still a rank beginner. You did the Goenka retreat? I've heard good things about it, I passed though. My teacher is Gil Fronsdal from IMS. You can find it online at Insight Meditation Center. They offer a 6 week intro course that I've done 3 times, mostly because it's the only online course they offer and I live about 1000 miles away. I hope to get down there for a proper retreat this summer.

I've listened to lots of teachers who teach in prison, sounds scary to me. There is also a thread of hospice work in my particular tradition, I'm afraid I'll be asked to do that one day, I really hope not I don't think I could take it.

I also studied, and continue to practice to this day, shamata meditation. I've heard many vipassana teachers play it down, and 2 of my vipassana mentors kind of scolded me for it but I don't care, 2 teachers I love very much, Jetsun Kandro & Victoria Austin, taught it to me and I will continue to do it until the day I die, or until it unfolds into complete vipassana practice, whichever comes first.
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 48
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/5/2013 10:02:11 PM
^^ Well hey, if you are interested in something more local, you can't get any closer than this:

And I highly recommend the course, the fact that it's free doesn't exactly hurt either. The food is also absolutely fantastic!

I worked at a jail for a few years, and enjoy working with that population for some reason, so being an assistant teacher or something for a course at a prison would be awesome to me. Obviously I have a ways to go before I get to that point, but it would make me very happy.

I've never heard of shamata meditation.. what does that entail?
Joined: 1/29/2013
Msg: 49
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/7/2013 9:20:31 PM
Hi, Yes I believe that's the Goenka retreat. I looked at it, even signed up and packed a bag and went, but I backed off before it started. At that time I was already involved in the Tibetan tradition and the only reason I wanted to do the vipassana retreat was because it was local and free. When I came up against it though I found I wasn't entirely comfortable with that so I gave it a pass.

I'm sure you can get to be a teacher if you want. Lots of people do and some don't take all that long. I think it just depends on the person.

Shamata meditation is kind of a component of vipanssana meditation, although it can be a path all it's own. IMO you can't do vipassana meditation without some degree of shamata. My teacher supports that, although I've also heard him say that some other teachers don't. It's also called concentration or tranquility meditation. I think that if you don't know what's meant by concentration it can be hard to see how it equates with tranquility, or at least it was for me, so that's the best place to start.

Concentration in this context is not the laser focus we usually think of as concentration. Rather it is the gathering of oneself into the moment, as opposed to having ones thoughts scattered about in the future or the past. So concentration here means paying attention to what is happening here and now without the mind wandering off into thoughts of the past or future.

Shamata meditation is the training on how to achieve that. We do that by very simple means. Of course this is meditation, you can't do it when you're walking on a treadmill or watching tv. You have to sit quietly in an upright posture on a cushion or chair or bench or whatever, as for any form of meditation. Shamata proceeds very simply, just by focusing on the breath at the end of the nostrils. The initial instruction is to count the breaths, each out breath counts as one. We count to 21, first counting to 10, then 11. If we lose count, the instruction is to start over. Once we can count 3 or 4 cycles of 21 without losing count we can stop counting and simply follow the breath. This is a bit different from vipassana, In vipassana meditation there is a much broader awareness, in shamata the awareness is deliberately limited to the breath. Anything that is not the breath is abandoned without examining it or getting involved. So it is very simple, however, a lot more easily said than done! This is the *very* short description of shamata. I've been doing it for a long time and I have a pretty regular practice, however I am not by any means an expert and I am not a teacher. This is my standard disclaimer, as a Zen student I'm always the first to admit I don't really know much about anything, although if it helps at all I'm glad to contribute what I can.

I first learned shamata from Victoria Austin, who is a Zen master. She explained that zazen, the meditation practice of Zen, is the union of shamata and vipassana. I had been trying to learn zazen for a long time without making much headway, and the instruction for shamata was the first time zazen actually made any sense to me. Later on I got some more instruction in shamata from Jetsun Kandro, who is a teacher and translater in the Tibetan tradition. That was a little over 6 years ago. Since then I've been learning vipassana. I've found that the practices of shamata and vipassana aren't so different from one another, even though the instructions aren't the same, the way it unfolds is still organic in either case. These days I pretty much think meditation is meditation, if you're following the breath then whatever happens is whatever's going to happen. If you hit the jhanas then great, if not then call it vipassana. That's a shamata joke. :)
Joined: 7/5/2011
Msg: 50
Vipassana Meditation
Posted: 3/8/2013 9:35:52 PM
Sure Dance:
Vipassanna has turned my attention toward Buddhism.
As it has for many, and I can totally understand why. But not so for me, it just isn't what I am drawn to deep down I guess. I tend to collect the nuggets of truth that resonate, and leave the rest.

So what pulls you toward meditation?
For me meditation is about removing that which clutters my spirit, so that I may grow ever closer to God..

Not that I was ever separate ;)

Hi, Yes I believe that's the Goenka retreat. I looked at it, even signed up and packed a bag and went, but I backed off before it started. At that time I was already involved in the Tibetan tradition and the only reason I wanted to do the vipassana retreat was because it was local and free. When I came up against it though I found I wasn't entirely comfortable with that so I gave it a pass.
May I ask what it was that made you uncomfortable?

While it may be local and free, it is still a highly valuable experience. At least, it was for me. In fact, I gained things from it that I wasn't able to get to during a month long retreat in India. Not to belittle the importance of my time there.. because it was truly life-altering. It's just that the vipassana retreat offers something that I highly respect. Which is why I'm going back for round two.

Thanks for the explanation of shamata.. it sounds very similar to anapana.. except for the counting. Unless I am missing something?

These days I pretty much think meditation is meditation
I agree, but different methods can definitely produce a different feel while you are in it. Sometimes even a different after effect.

I have a way different meditation when I chant, or do a more active kundalini meditation.. then when I practice vipassana. And it depends on my mood which I prefer. I'll also admit too, that the thought of leaving other types of meditation permanently behind feels practically impossible at this point. Yet that does seem to be something the vipassana community (at least Goenka's) encourages. Strongly in fact.
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