Vipassana Meditation is a guided spiritual meditation for diving into the consciousness towards a more subjective view of the realities of life.
A clear mind opens up the gateway to a happy life. Thoughts can overwhelmingly cloud the mind, taking its focus away from what really matters: the present.
With the pandemic and increasing threats of climate change, the world’s current situation can make it difficult to steer away from thinking of the uncertain, hence, why there has been a surge of depressive and anxiety disorders in 204 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Vipassana is one way to free your mind from the worries of yesterday, today, and the future—a boot camp of some sort to ease down the mind’s need to create drama.
In this article:
Understanding Vipassana Meditation
Buddhist philosophy introduces two kinds of meditation that call for an assortment of varying techniques. One trains the mind to only focus on one matter, a prayer or an image. The other uses the mind’s ability to conjure awareness and turn it into a shovel to break through turmoil.
In the Pali Canon, or the oldest collection of Buddhist literature, these techniques are called Vipassana and Samatha.
Samatha quiets the mind through concentration, such as canceling all thoughts as you focus on your breathing or reciting a mantra. Meanwhile, Vipassana, or “observing reality, as is” in Sanskrit, is more of an organic approach that focuses on your thoughts and teaches you how to view them without judgment and what if’s.
Vipassana can be a guided spiritual meditation that lets you weigh in on the physical attributes that usually play with your thoughts and slowly chips them away like a block of wall that prevents you from seeing your actual ability to accept and tolerate life as it is.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is not only an exercise for the mind. It is a mind and body experience that imposes holistic benefits that can benefit your overall health. After all, your thoughts can hold so much power over your wellbeing if you allow them to be.
Here are some benefits that you could reap after training and clearing your mind:
1. Reduces anxiety symptoms
Scientists from the University of Montreal observed that meditation inhibits a surge of feel-good chemicals in your brain that neurons can feed on. These chemicals also boost serotonin levels.
Dr. Avdesh Sharma’s Meditation: The Future of Medication supports these claims, saying that meditation helps “increase[d] serotonin and decrease[d] levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
Serotonin is the body’s happy hormone, and it is responsible for regulating your mood, feelings, digestion, and eating habits. With the help of meditation, like Vipassana, you can boost your serotonin levels to help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression, especially ones that are caused by stress.
2. Better sleep
If you have ever wondered why it takes hours for you to drift off to sleep, then maybe your mind is full of mental stimuli. Your tossing and turning, worrying about tomorrow’s tasks, and revisiting scenarios or memories before bedtime fuel your mind, making it anticipate being awake rather than sleeping, or what we call conditioned arousal.
For Neil Stanley, sleep expert and author of How To Sleep Well, “the absolute prerequisite for sleep is a quiet mind.” So, if you are planning to have better sleep, practicing Vipassana helps recondition your mind to see your bed as it is, which is made solely for sleeping and rest.
3. Lower blood-pressure
Dr. Khushboo Thakker Garodia, a Stress Management Expert, writing in Your Story, says that “stress causes a rise in cortisol,” which are stress hormones. Increased blood pressure happens when your adrenal glands send out cortisol in your bloodstream, causing your arteries to narrow down and stimulating the heart to pump more blood.
When you accept the realities of life subjectively, without any judgment, through Vipassana meditation, you lessen your worries and anxiety. It then helps reduce symptoms of stress, including an increase in cortisol levels, hence lowering blood pressure.
4. Stronger immune system
Dr. Garodia also notes that higher cortisol levels can cause weakened immunity. The experts at Ask The Scientists also support this, noting that “elevated cortisol suppresses your immune system by reducing the production of white blood cells,” especially when you have chronic stress.
White blood cells are the body’s army against threatening bacteria and diseases. Without them, it will be hard for you to find and eliminate germs, making you more prone to infection.
So, if you are currently under stressful situations that bring too much anxiety in your life, try meditating to clear your mind because dwelling on uncontrollable things impairs the mind more than any disease.
5. Fewer headaches
Other than serotonin, Dr. Sharma’s Meditation: The Future Medication also notes that practicing mindfulness aids in increasing endorphins, which are the body’s natural pain relievers. Harvard stresses that endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers.
Endorphins are literally the morphine that our body produces naturally. These hormones are released in the same part of the brain that meditation stimulates, hence elevating its natural analgesic properties.
Stress, anxiety, worrying, and overthinking are only some of the factors that can trigger tension around your head and cause headaches. So, yes. Overthinking and a clouded mind does cause headaches. Psych-retreats like Vipassana are great guided spiritual meditations that can help lessen your headaches.
Practicing Vipassana allows you to see how your thoughts come and go, like waves on a sea of consciousness. It will keep you from dwelling and staying attached to them, preventing you from overthinking everything your mind might say, hence lessening your worries. Along with its notable health benefits and ability to improve one’s quality of life, it is not far-reaching to say that Vipassana meditation can also help you live a longer life.
Vipassana Meditation For Beginners
Another quality that makes Vipassana different from all other forms of meditation is it is a psyche-retreat or a 10-day meditation retreat where you cannot speak or make eye contact with anyone. You usually take the course in a secluded location close to nature.
However, not everyone can have the luxury of taking a 10-day break from their busy lives, and not all can afford the courses. For beginners, you can find a couple of guided spiritual meditations online for Vipassana.
Here is an example:
Once you get the hang of the basics, you can modify it to your preference or whatever works out for you. But here is a friendly reminder before you start: do not come in with expectations. Allow your mind to be taught what it needs to know, let go, and trust the process.
Getting a meditation timer like the Vipassana Meditation Timer app can elevate your experience so you can keep track of your progress. It is the top application enjoyed by more than 100,000 users.
The Vipassana Meditation Timer
You can find Vipassana Meditation Timer on your device’s app store. It lets you have the luxury of a personal guided spiritual meditation at your convenience and assists you in your Vipassana journey.
With a simple user interface, it provides a straightforward approach that will not distract beginners and long-time practitioners during their sessions. Unlike other apps, there is no pause option within the app, which is excellent to ensure that you can focus on finishing your meditation—a crucial factor in the exercise.
Vipassana Meditation Timer also gives you the freedom to choose and upload your alarm sound notice if you happen not to favor any of the in-app options. This adds a more personal touch to your experience.
A Buddhist practitioner created Vipassana Meditation for other aspiring fellows who wish to reap the practice’s benefits and help them meet their unique nature and give assistance to reclaim their connection to the source.
*A portion of the revenue collected from our application goes to help the less fortunate in Nepal.