How to practice Vipassana meditation at home
A meditation in which a person gives close attention to each sensation continuously through which he/she can see the true nature of existence is known as Vipassana Meditation. It is also known as insight meditation. It is believed that Buddha himself taught this form of meditation. Even though specific forms of meditation practice may vary, yet it is the basis of all traditions of Buddhist meditation.
In this article we will know about the method of breathing meditation. Breathing doesn’t depend on any religion. It’s common in all human being. So, anyone belonging to any religion can practice it. In this meditation we deal with air coming in and out of lungs and along with it we also deal with the feelings of energy that course through the body with each breath. Once you learn to become sensitive to these feelings and let them flow in a smooth and unobstructed way, you can help the body function easily and can also give the mind a hand to deal with pain. So, let’s see how to practice Vipassana meditation at home.
To begin with Vipassana meditation, first sit comfortably in a balanced position. Don’t lean backward or forward or right or left. Close your eyes and say to yourself, “May I be truly happy and free from suffering”. Reflect on what true happiness is and where it can be found. A few moment’s reflection will make you realize that it can only be found within yourself in present moment.
Now clear your mind by first developing good will for your own self and second by spreading the goodwill to others. Tell yourself that all living beings, no matter who they are, no matter what they have done to you in the past – may they all find true happiness. Once your mind clears up in this way, you become ready to focus on the breathing.
The next step to practice Vipassana meditation is to bring your attention to the sensation of breathing. Focus on any spot in your body where the breathing is easy to notice and the mind is comfortable in focusing and take in long breaths and take out the air in long exhalations. You can focus on your nose, chest, abdomen or any other spot with which you are comfortable.
Focus on that spot and notice how your breath comes in and out. Let the breath flow naturally and savour it as if it is an exquisite sensation that you want to prolong. If in the meantime your mind wanders off then don’t get discouraged. Bring it back each time it wanders away and eventually it will listen to you.
You can also experiment with different kinds of breathing. If long breaths feels comfortable then keep doing it. If not, then you can try short breathing, fast breathing, slow breathing, deep breathing, shallow breathing etc. Choose the rhythm which feels soothing to your body and keep doing it.
Now move your attention to notice how breathing feels in other parts of your body. Start by focusing on the area just below your navel. Breathe in and out, and notice how that area feels. If you don't feel any motion there, just be aware of the fact that there's no motion. If you do feel motion, notice the quality of the motion. If there's tension, think of relaxing it. If the breathing feels jagged or uneven, think of smoothing it out.
Now move your attention over to the right of that spot to the lower right-hand corner of the abdomen and repeat the same process. Then to the lower left-hand corner of the abdomen. Then up to the navel... right... left... to the solar plexus... right.. left... the middle of the chest... right... left... to the base of the throat... right... left... to the middle of the head.. Continue doing it over the head, down the back, arms and legs to the tip of your fingers and toes.
Now return your focus to any one spot that you have already covered. Let you conscious awareness spread to fill the entire body from head to toes so that you are like a spider sitting in the middle of a web. Try to keep your awareness expanded like this as its tendency is to shrink in a single spot. Also think of your breath coming in and out of your entire body and through every pore. Let your awareness stay right there for a while as if you have nowhere else to go and nothing else to think of. Then gently come out of meditation.
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