During many years I loved eclecticism. And I still do enjoy switching from one type of exercise to another. It is not unusual for me to exercise with weights for half an hour and then do one hour of yoga. I really believe I benefit a lot from combining different practices, even alternating the order of the sequences.
However, when it comes to Meditation I believe in the opposite. I think we should stick only to Vipassana, just like they instruct us at the 10 days retreat. Of course that alternating with Annapana is totally fine, as I have discussed on a previous post. But I’m adamant about practicing only Vipassana with no add-ons, changes or modifications. The reasons why I believe that is so important to keep the practice “pure” are the following:
1) The power of the repetition. By doing two seating sessions every day, and applying always the same technique we get really familiar with our mind, with ourselves and the practice becomes a mirror of our spiritual, mental and psychological state. The only way in which this works is by using always the same mirror. Combining different techniques would be impossible to have any valid reference. This is similar to the experimentation of scientists in the lab. If they would change many factors at the same time, their results would be random and useless.
2) The growing increase of our perception: when I first started Vipassana ten months ago, I thought that at some point my practice would become boring. But I continuously experience new levels of sensitivity. I discover new and deeper sensations. And I can only know that I’m going deeper in my practice, precisely because I keep the practice constant and unchanged.
3) The technique has been practiced for hundreds of years and I think there’s some beauty in sticking to the same sitting that many others followed before us.
4)Finally, I believe that if we are trying to develop our attention and generate equanimity, makes sense to stick to the practice as it was passed to us without making changes that might diminish the benefits that we can receive. After all, changing something means giving in to a craving, to a desire to modify our reality and that would defeat the purpose of the practice!
So let’s keep it simple, let’s keep it pure.