A New Understanding

By Naveen from Mumbai, Inda

Vipassana was an eye opener. It was an amazing , out of life experience for me. It was as if the locked door of knowledge was opened. While I write this I would confess that to put my thoughts on paper will not be easy and may not be understood by many, because Vippasana is not something that can be spoken and heard and understood. It is about experiencing it by each person for himself/ herself and developing an understanding on their own. The teachers only teach the method of practice and once you start practicing it and you understand the concept, life changes totally. Mind settles down, world becomes a beautiful place, you start relating to all natural things around yourself and start understanding reality. All my questions have started getting answered now. I have realised the futility of so many practices and habits that I had been following from childhood. It is all about the mind – body interaction and how the ego and habits cloud a human beings mind and do not allow him/ her to observe reality. Again, for a person not into spirituality, these words may seem to be heavy and unrealistic, that is why I had clarified earlier that this is an experiential thing which cannot be explained in words and understood by listening or seeing others.

I had never read our scriptures namely “Vedas”. “Bhagwad Gita” etc. earlier. However, after doing Vippasana, I started reading the “Bhagwad Gita” and all that is written there and what I experienced started to match and correlate beautifully. This was a magical thing for me. I started joining the dots. I joined Bhagwad Gita sessions and discussed Vippasana with quite a few people. I found that most people with whom I spoke, seemed to be really interested in listening to me and when I started telling them about Vippasana and the knowledge that I had gained, I went on for 1 -2 hours and they were all ears. This was true with my friends, my aunt etc. but not with my parents and some other people. I tried to talk to them, but they used to feel and tell me that what I was doing and practicing is not possible by all and it is very difficult for a normal person to practice all this. Initially, because of my ego, I started arguing with them, and then when I introspected by doing Vippasana, and understood my mistake. I am supposed to be equanimous in all situations, so I needed to accept the reality. This is experiential learning and their mind was not yet ready to experience this. So I stopped arguing and just followed my practice regularly. Every person has to realise it for himself and only when he/ she will have a desire to seek knowledge about self, have questions to be answered will the doors of knowledge open. In this fast paced world, not many have the luxury of spending time with themselves, so it is a difficult proposition.

Bhagwad Gita understood by me after Vippasana was an amazing experience. It is a great book to have and read daily as every time you read it, new depth of understanding happens. The best part is that now, it is no longer about ” Krishna” and “Arjuna” but “Self” and “consciousness” and therefore the logical answers that I was searching for are all available and as it gets deeper and deeper with more practice, more clarity starts coming on the answers. Unknowingly, attitudes and habit patterns in life have also changed for the better. My wife says that I am no longer insecure and take things calmly and have completely stopped shouting at children when I teach them. ( earlier, I used to get worked up if they don’t understand after two-three times of explanations). When I shout at them sternly , I do it with a calm mind with an aim to stop them from doing wrong. The state of mind is the most important thing and learning to accept yourself and the weaknesses after observing them is the key to conquering those very weaknesses. That is how nature is, the more you accept it after observation, the weakness starts reducing on its own. This is a beautiful game of your mind and thoughts and Vippasana is a methodology to play this game and learn as you play.

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About Ryan Shelton

In March of 2010 I discovered a path to peace and happiness through a 10-day Vipassana meditation course in the tradition of S.N. Goenka. After establishing my personal practice, and witnessing how it changed my way of life, I'm now curious to explore how the growing community of meditators can help to support each other and make the world a better place.
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