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August 7, 2020

Benefits of Vipassana

Naresh KC and Kamal Raimajhi

Vipassana Hall. Photo from: www,shringa.dhamma.org

There is no dearth of his enthusiasm and energy although he has crossed 73 years of his life. His daily hectic routine begins at 4 a.m in the morning and ends by 9:30 p.m in the night time. Vipassana is the main secret of Meghraj Gyawali of Kapilvastu behind his jest and jeal who was once sick with illness and physical fatigue.

Gyawali says his activeness of life and political activism since 2020 BS was all possible because of Vipassana (meditation).

“Since I have no heavy workload of the party, I am engrossed in the treatment of my soul and mind only,” says Gyawali.

Gyawali who contested as a candidate for constituent assembly election in 2063 from Kapivastu constituency no 3 had plunged into Maoist insurgency since 2057 BS. Disease had captured his body as he roamed from one village to another in a famished state. But he never disclosed his discomforts to his party.

He says, “Revolution was greater than hunger at that time. So, I did not care about my hunger. However, I felt that the party deviated from its main path after the Chunbang meeting.

I felt a sense of frailty as I felt that the party was taking the wrong path. My disease worsened. I met comrade Prachand in Jumla and headed to India for treatment”.

Gyawali who visited India and Nepal’s various hospitals since then did not recuperate from his illness. He then came to Lumbini and started practicing Vipassana (meditation). He was sad about visiting the Lumbini for the first time. But he did not renounce the vipassana camp.

He recounts his days of Vipassana, “I was surprised on the 8th day. I realized that I got some power from the inner consciousness. Then I did Vipassana on the 9th and 10th day. Since then I have been attending this camp regularly”.

He recounted his discomfort he felt at the beginning of the Vipassana in the following lines.

Gyawali has attended the Vipassana camp for 45, 30, 20,10, and 9 days who had been associated with the doctrines of Marxist education, explanations, analysis, and synthesis for a long time in his life.

He says that all his health-related problems have disappeared after he attended these Vipassana camps. His body once was not even able to withstand the long hours of Vipassana and his ailment never got better from the treatment of medicines.

Ram Prasad Pandey of Navalprasi says that Vipassana has given him freedom from his deep-felt mental illness. He had suffered from a big problem of depression. Medicinal treatment from several places proved futile and Vipassana finally cured him of his mental depression.

“Now, I am completely free from all kinds of diseases. I am safe and sound now. I don’t have to take any medicines,” said he.

Pandey who is chairman of Private Boarding Schools Association (PABSON) of Province 5 said that Vipassana has become the best useful means for spiritual, mental, and physical benefit.

“Vipassana may be very useful for teenagers because they are not very much involved in worldly attractions. They can abide by the panchasheel. It makes attention more effective,” says he.

Prakash Pandey of Argakhanchi, who gained knowledge for the first time in attending the Vipassana camp now, has enhanced his knowledge by attending ten day’s camp.

He says, “I used to be hesitant to speak before others. But now I can argue with logic confidently. My behavior is changed. I can handle any type of problems that may come in my daily life”.

Radha Devi Gaudel of Rupandehi, Nayamill who attended the camp from Srawan 1 to 10 days, her mind is happy. In her first camp only she had felt the happiness of mind.

Like Gaudel, Saiman Chetri studying in class 11 in Butwal Everest  Boarding School has also completed a ten days camp. She says she was sent to this camp after her elder sister attended the camp earlier.

She said, “It was difficult at the beginning. But I kept sitting by closing my eyes for ten days. My mind always remains unstable. But now I realize that my mind is stable”.

Monk Siri Bajir who teaches Buddhism at Lumbini Boudha University said, Vipassana is useful to know about rare invaluable life and focus on subjects with the neutrality of consciousness.  He said, “Vipassana is a means of making others happy by being oneself happy through purification of one’s consciousness”.

The camp organizer Pitambar Subedi said as many as 296 Vipassana camps have been held in Lumbini. More than 12,000 people have participated in these camps. The camps organized within the premises of the Lumbini Development Trust also include Satipathan camp and executive camps, where camps for 10 days, 20 days,30 days, 45 days, and 10 days are held.

What is Vipassana meditation?

With the development of modernity, mental tension increased rather than a physical one in human beings. Various mental deviations started cropping up in the human world. In ancient times also man used to purify the soul by engaging in mediation or Vipassana. However, the modernity gradually discouraged all such practices. As a result, various people have started seminars, meditation camps in the name of religion, community, and doctrines.

According to Narayan Agrawal of Lumbini Vipassana center, Vipassana meditation begins with control of natural respiration to control of changeable events attacking our body and consciousness with neutrality and wisdom.

Chairman of All Nepal Monk Federation, Bhikshu Maitri Mahasthavir said that Vipassana significantly helps the mind to concentrate by dominating the conscience that helps liberate humans from worldly desires, hatred, and love.

Similarly, the teacher of Vipassana, Sumanta Raj Neupane of Lumbini Boudha University said, Vipassana helps you to realize about yourself, to realize truth related to subjects.

Vipassana is a method of purifying one’s soul said Acharya Yogendra Tuladhar of Lumbini Vipashana center, Dhamma. He also said it is an active practice to liberate conscience prone to tension and solve problems of daily life.

He also said monks and nun who follow panchsheel get freedom from hatred, communal feeling, and ethnic egotism and finally helps in leading a creative life.

Vipassana is necessary because it keeps your mind stable and keeps a watch upon activities of your body. Kayanupasna (for the body), Vednanupasna (for emotion), Chitanupasna (for conscience), Dhammanupasna (for religion and especially to see) are practiced in Vipassana meditation.

Though Vipassana is done in the camps under the guidelines of the Vipassana gurus, yet it can be done in one corner of the hours by closing eyes with the cross-legged position with breathe taking in and taking out. Besides, you have to see your body from head to toe and toe to head which calms your mind.

Vipassana practice, method, and schedule

Satya Narayan Goyanka (SN Goyanak) has given an invaluable gift to humanity by reviving the practice of Vipassana which Gautam Buddha used to follow and had almost disappeared.

To participate in this method you need to participate in ten days of camp. Vipassana based on guru-disciple tradition is practiced around the world at various centers with almost the same method. This method requires the first ten days of camp to be held.

The participants of these camps at first must go through the center’s panchsheel and asthasheel. Panchsheel includes abstaining from violence, theft, no feeling of lust towards women, not speaking lies, and not indulging in drugs.

Likewise, asthasheel means, in addition, to following panchsheeel, not taking any food after 12 p.m, no decoration of the body and no entertainment, and not using highly comfortable seats.

After following panchsheel and asthasheel, three days are devoted to the practice of respiration. In this practice, the air going and going out of the nostril can be felt through the mind.

On the fourth day, the Acharya makes participants go through Vipassana which is practiced for the next ten days (RSS).

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