With all the intellectual quarreling about different religions and philosophies, I was drawn to the universal nature of Vipassana. Regardless of your background or beliefs, observing the breath and scanning the body while living a moral life seems to help everyone reduce their agitation. These components of Buddha’s teachings – sila, samadhi, panna – seem to be universal and are easy to explain. Things get muddy when you state that the end goal is Liberation or Enlightenment. These end goals fundamentally disagree with religions outside of Buddhism. Liberation includes the belief that there is no god or afterlife and there is reincarnation. This also promotes the idea that life should be about meditating and everything else is unimportant. Despite never meeting someone who is liberated, or experiencing for myself that reincarnation is the truth, I’m being asked to accept this blind faith. Before I know it, I’m back in the intellectually quarreling about different religions and philosophies. For these reasons, I’m not comfortable pursuing Liberation.
I am much more comfortable with the pursuit of unconditional love. Most religious leaders embody the qualities of unconditional love and teach us to live with unconditional love. What fascinates me about Vipassana is that it’s the one technique I’ve found that helps me to develop more unconditional love. I want more people to develop unconditional love, so I want more people to meditate. The 10-day course is awesome, but I don’t think you need to sit a 10-day course to start meditating, and I feel like the more access people have to 10-day course meditators the better. It also seem important for established meditators to learn how to succeed in the world and inspire others with their journey. I want to keep meditating and keep connecting with others in a universal way. If I keep growing in unconditional love, everything else should work itself out.