Vipassana Meditation: Brain-Body Integrative Wholeness

"In the sweet territory of silence we touch the mystery. It's the place of reflection and contemplation, and it's the place where we can connect with the deep knowing, to the deep wisdom way."

Angeles Arrien quoted in The Millionth Circle by Jean Shinoda Bolen

Vipassana translates into Insight.  In practicing vipassana meditation we apply insight into our thinking.  We observe the pondering’s of the mind by applying a reflective awareness in the process of focus.  We become mindful of our thoughts while creating an awareness of the felt sense body which is like an antenna taking in information.  Utilizing reflective insight we become more aware of our thinking and its relationship with the correspondent feeling tones within the body.

Insight Mediation is a participatory observation of the mind that is adding reflective awareness into the meditation practice.  We become more aware of our own internal process; how we sense, think and feel through participatory awareness and observation.

We all seek joy and happiness, yet typically we will employ the same analytical process over and over believing this will end our pain and discomfort.  Scientific evidence reveals that reflective insight utilizing experiential body awareness will change our thinking patterns.

Harmonizing Mind & Body
Body-Mind Meditation

Insight allows us to see the extremes our minds create around desires, dislikes and confusions.

Have you ever noticed that when you do receive the object of your craving or desire, it’s only a momentary joy or happiness?  Its not ultimately changing how you think and respond to life.

What are you observing?…Your looking at yourself.
What you see depends on how you look.

OPENNESS AND INSIGHT

"If we imagine that our mind is like the blue sky, and that across it pass thoughts as clouds, we can get a feel for that part of it which is other than our thoughts.  The sky is always present; it contains the clouds and yet is not contained by them.  So with our awareness. It is present and encompasses all our thoughts, feelings, and sensations; yet it is not the same as them.  To recognize and acknowledge this awareness, with its spacious, peaceful quality, is to find a very useful resource within.  We see that we need not identify with each thought just because it happens to occur.  We can remain quiet and choose which thought we wish to attend to.  And we can remain aware behind all these thoughts, in a state that offers an entirely new level of openness and insight."

Ram Das

Read Jerry's story "Choice" about choosing our perspective.

Rules for Meditation: From the book, “Mindfulness In Plain English” by Bhante Gunaratana with a few Rik Center interjections.

  1. Don’t expect anything.
  2. Don’t strain.
  3. Don’t rush.
  4. Don’t cling or don’t reject anything.
  5. Let go, relax, flow with everything.
  6. Accept everything and anything that arises
  7. Be gentle and kind to yourself
  8. Investigate yourself/Question reflectively: 
    OH! This thought is sad. This thought is happy.  Oh, now frustration...continue practicing this way.  I feel scared and afraid, observe the thought and bodily response… so forth and so on.  Can you let it go and move on and return to noticing the breath?  Your beginning to awaken to the truth of how the mind works. It runs here, it scurries over there, then back over here again, it’s everywhere.  In beginning to notice all these thoughts constantly arising you are becoming aware of how the mind chases itself and your noticing the physical impulsive patterns that are correlating to this constant energy flow.
  9. View all problems as exciting new challenges
  10. Don’t ponder over thoughts.  Become of aware of the minds constant “rehashing and rehearsing.”
  11. Don’t dwell upon contrast/don't judge.  Take the observer stance of noticing without judging your thoughts of either being right or wrong, or perhaps a grasping to the thought or your aversion to it.

Remember we are not the same, our experience of life is uniquely different from others. So the journey of a vipassana meditation practice may look different from someone else’s.  You do not have to be someone else and they do not have to be you.

WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT,
REJOICE IN THIS AWARENESS!

"The silence is there within us.  What we have to do is to enter into it, to become silent, to become the silence.  The purpose of meditation and the challenge of meditation is to allow ourselves to become silent enough to allow this interior silence to emerge.  Silence is the language of the spirit. "
— From John Mains in Word in