What is Vipassana?

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills. This non-sectarian technique aims at total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation.

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on deep interconnection between mind and body through physical sensations, that continuously condition the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory process that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind, full of love and compassion.

The Tradition

Since the time of Buddha, Vipassana has been handed down, by an unbroken chain of teachers – pupils. Although Indian by descent, Mr S N Goenka was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar). While living there he had the good fortune to learn Vipassana from his teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin for fourteen years. Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. Since then he has taught hundreds of thousands of people of all races and all religions in India and all over the world.

The Courses

The technique is taught in ten-day residential courses during which participants follow a prescribed code of discipline, learn and practice to experience beneficial results.

The course requires serious work. It is taught step by step in 10 days. Hence, you are not allowed to leave the course halfway without consent of the teacher.

No person involved in teaching Vipassana receives any material remuneration. There are no charges for the courses – not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to benefit from it.

It is unrealistic to expect all problems to be solved in ten days. Within that time, however, the essentials of Vipassana can be learned so that it can be applied in daily life. The more the technique is practiced, the greater the freedom from misery, and the closer the ultimate goal of full liberation. Even ten days can provide results which are vivid and obviously beneficial in everyday life.

All sincere people are welcome to join a Vipassana course to see for themselves how it works and to measure the benefits. All those who try it will find Vipassana to be an invaluable tool with which to achieve, and share true happiness with others.