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Vipassana meditation: what is it and what benefits does it bring?

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Meditation is an activity that more and more people practice, and it has been shown that it has numerous advantages for those who carry it out.

Although there are numerous types of meditation from various cultures, some of the most popular are those from the Eastern tradition. One of them, originally from India and which in turn serves as the basis for other current practices such as mindfulness, is vipassana meditation.

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What is Vipassana meditation?

Vipassana meditation is a type of buddhist meditation (Although of Hindu origins) originally from India, which tradition considers was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha after centuries of loss. It is one of the oldest forms of meditation known, and is based on personal purification and transformation through self-observation. In fact, Vipassana roughly means seeing things clearly or as they are.

We are facing a type of meditation that is based on the enhancement of concentration and attention to one's own being

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, focusing first on the breath to later delve into the sensations of the body and mind. It is necessary to take into account that this meditation, although it has relaxing effects on those who practice it, it does not focus on numbing the organism but on facilitating the connection between the body and the processes mental.

Vipassana meditation has been expanding to the rest of the world, with various centers and retreats that teach it for free. As the residue of religion is still very present in many of them, generally in these centers a previous period of ten days without killing is usually required, steal, have sexual relations and consume psychoactive substances, and during the duration of the course the subject must not speak, read or write, or communicate. The individual is asked to be completely self-centered.

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As practiced?

Once seen what it is, it is relevant to know how it is practiced. To begin with, heThe person sits on the floor, initially cross-legged and with a straight back. (although the specific posture may vary or it is even possible to sit in a chair if we have health problems that require it). It is not essential to close your eyes, although it makes the process easier.

After that, you should start trying to achieve a state of calm, through breathing. We must focus on following the flow of air when inhaling and exhaling and the sensations it generates, trying not to dwell on other elements that can distract. It is not about forcing the breath but about focusing on observing how it occurs. This process is known as anapana, and its main objective is to sharpen consciousness and calm our mind.

Once this is done, little by little we will notice the sensations, perceptions, thoughts and emotions that surround us, it is important not to focus and work on them but simply observing how they arise and pass. This aspect is what is called Vipassana meditation per se, in which we are going to go from head to toe throughout our body to observe the different sensations of each part.

Concentration focuses on each body regionwithout operating on it. There is no judgement, not even labeling or reflection, just observation. It is about witnessing what goes through our mind and body without interfering with it. This aspect is much easier said than done. If we stop observing to take action on any of the elements, it is advisable to return to breathing.

After the body comes the mind: we can go observing our thoughts and emotions, without judging them, just letting them flow. We can also focus on what surrounds us, feeling the different sensations such as temperature, light, smells or touch. In different courses that teach this technique, they also add part of metta meditation, in which the subject who meditates first cultivates love for himself and then expands it towards others.

Advantages and benefits

The practice of Vipassana meditation generates different benefits for those who carry it out. Not surprisingly, it is a type of meditation that has existed for almost three millennia.

On a mental level, those who practice it mention feeling a enhancement of your powers of observation and a higher level of peace of mind and relaxation. It also improves states of anxiety by allowing you to observe situations more calmly, and facilitates an improvement in mood. On the other hand, it helps us identify ourselves and give a less exaggerated tone to the importance of our thoughts.

Vipassana meditation is also associated with lowering blood pressure, by reducing states of anxiety. It decreases the heart rate and helps us to have better control of the respiratory tract. It reduces the importance we give to pain, both physical and mental, and contributes to knowing ourselves better. ourselves, what motivates and hurts us, to better understand and accept our emotions negative.

vipassana and mindfulness

Vipassana meditation may seem exotic and strange to part of the population, but It is true that it is a way of meditating that has generated different techniques that are very popular today from today. We are, in fact, facing the type of meditation on which a technique as well known today as mindfulness.

This technique, like Vipassana meditation, is based on conscious attention to our body and the present moment, avoiding automatic action. The focus on the here and now that this technique allows allows us to be much more aware of our being, and has shown to be useful both at a general level and in subjects with different problems such as anxiety, depression, pain disorders, post-traumatic stress and disorders obsessive

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