Dhamma Projects: with the aim to discuss, document, celebrate and where possible enable activities that integrate the practice and principles behind Vipassana out of the centre and into the world of the householder we invite you to read a conversation of sorts between two meditators:
1. What is your understanding of Dhamma?
Dhamma is simply the law of nature, the reality of how things truly are.
2. How does it manifest itself in your day to day mundane life?
I feel like Dhamma is present everywhere all the time, the question is whether I’m listening. There appears to be an abundance of chaos everywhere I look, but when I’m able to listen inside of myself, the world becomes really simple. The problem is that I’m not a very good listener! So I oscillate between simple and peaceful when I’m tuned into Dhamma, and reactive and agitated when I’m not.
3. Is Vipassana meditation just about exploring and mastering our inner world?
I feel like Vipassana is much more passive then that. The second I try to master something I separate myself from it and try to create some sort of victory over it. In my experience, Vipassana is more like communion between everything inside and out. Instead of trying to explore and master, I’m usually just trying to accept.
4. From your experience, is it possible to integrate what we experience and learn on a course at a Vipassana centre to external activities, out of the centre and in the ‘real’ world?
Absolutely. If there is no integration of my practice with my ‘real’ world I would have quit shortly after my first course. My practice challenges me to be a better person in every moment and every situation I face in the day. The key to maintaining this connection is my daily sittings. Every morning and evening I practice being present and aware on the cushion so I can improve my ability to be present and aware throughout the day. This helps me to be peaceful and compassionate with the people in my life.
5. What Dhamma projects would you like to see happen?
Vipassana mediation is hard. While some people are strong enough to maintain their daily practice, most old students I’ve met find this nearly impossible. Almost every person I know with a daily practice had at least one meditating friend who helped them get there. I would like to see more of these human connections for support, and I think these connections need to go beyond just sitting together. There needs to be a ‘real’ world bond as well because this practice should be about connecting with the world in the right ways, not isolating yourself from it. Meditating can be scary, vulnerable, and confusing at times and it helps to have friends to talk with about it. I wish I had more ideas beyond that but I’m not sure that there is an easy answer.
Dhamma Projects: Can we ask you similar questions? Do you know someone we could approach to ask similar questions? Would you like to join Dhamma Projects and interview someone you know or write about your experience of integrating your Vipassana practice to your daily life? We would love to hear from you, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org