The gift of Vipassana

By Ayesha Chopra

May 2014

What the enlightened preach, Vipassana helps us experience, by giving us a technique to remain aware, without attachment to the pleasant, or aversion toward the unpleasant, says Ayesha Chopra

why vipasana

One day during his recent visit, my son Sameer said, “Ma, J. Krishnamurti used to say that meditation is an ongoing moment to moment thing. That there was no need to formally sit down to meditate in a special posture at a set time and place. And Mooji says that there is no need for deliberate, strained observation; that observation and witnessing happen spontaneously all the time.”

“Yes, that’s right,” I nodded.

“So why practice Vipassana?,” he asked.

Sameer is a product of Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh, run by the J. Krishnamurti Foundation India. Spiritual curiosity first sprouted in him when he was still in school but grew strong about seven years ago after he attended a 10-day Vipassana meditation course. The spiritual master who appeals to him the most these days is Anthony Paul Moo-Young, affectionately addressed by all as ‘Mooji’.

My interest in spirituality had sparked in my 20s, when I read J Krishnamurti’s Commentaries on Living. For years I absorbed every word written by him sponge-like. Over the years that spark turned into a flame that continues to burn bright, and now consumes a major part of my attention and time.

Discovering Vipassana

When Vipassana happened to me around the turn of the century, my excitement knew no bounds. I felt I had come full circle in my spiritual explorations. I was discovering experientially in Vipassana what I had understood merely intellectually from J. Krishnamurti’s teachings and philosophy.

Now, reflecting on Sameer’s question, ‘Why Vipassana?’ a number of thoughts flash through my mind.

When spiritually evolved people such as J Krishnamurti or Mooji, glimpse the ultimate truth, they are naturally driven to share their knowledge with others. It becomes their single-pointed purpose in life to awaken people to the truth about existence. The manner in which they express it reflects their own experience and the way they themselves realised it, which is often different for each.

When JK asked us to
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Comments [ 12 ]


But what is the purpose when we stop being active or helpful/productive to our full potential ..while we just keep doing nothing than just enjoying on other people's productiveness. What about "Maanava Seve Madhava Seva" -

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Thank you very much.. I have been reading and seeking the same masters JK, Goenka, etc.. just one 10 days sitting.. but very significant.

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saraswathi narayanan

I have not done a vipassana course but I did a similar one called 'Samyama'which was also intense and powerful enabling us to be totally present.The basic lesson to be learnt here is that as humans we have to rise above the material and find the true purpose of our existence. Away from the noise of the world, with thoughts for company we come face to face with ourselves and that is an experience each person should undergo.

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Bala Parmar

Savita mam i would like to knowore about meditatoonthanks.

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ashok mehta

Ms. Ayesha Chopra has written a beautiful article, which helps beginners in Vipassana practice. I've also been practising this technique since 2010, but some of the things she has written have really clarified my doubts. Most of the techniques these days help to improve your concentration power, or even result in a level of tranquility of mind, but the most important part is often ignored, that is the inner cleansing at the deeper levels of mind, which is what Vipassana does. Pl. my sincere thanks to the author for this wonderful article. Ashok Mehta.

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Vasudev Nair

Respectable Madam, The foremost and utmost important question in this process of inquiry is that, what are we searching for and what for we are searching? If we don't have a definition and description about the GOAL we are groping in the dark for an abstract purpose and goal. When I started the search, when I was in Mumbai in the eighties, there were so many school of thoughts helping you to get a glimpse of the state of bliss through various methods. It was when I listened to Swami Dayanand ji I realised one thing that it is your EMOTIONAL MATURITY that is what it counts for a peaceful co-existence in this world. After so many years of experience in and through the transactions and transformations of life and regularly writing in the Speaking Tree columns I have come to certain conclusions based on the observable facts of this life. 1. THE UNIVERSE IS AN EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS WITH PURPOSE IN A BASIC STATE OF EXISTENCE IN AND THROUGH A PAIR OF OPPOSITES WITHIN A NATURAL LAW OF TRANSACTION AND TRANSFORMATION FROM A ROUGH AND TOUGH TRANSACTION TO A SMOOTH AND SOFT TRANSACTION LEADING TO THE BASIC STATE OF SILENCE. 2. All the phenomenon as appearances are only expressions of the basic state itself, in itself, for itself. They have no independent or individual substantiality, identity or existence other than the basic state. When a phenomenon is reduced to its fundamental essence, there’s only the basic state and nothing else. As long as we don’t see that everything rests within a basic state, we can never go beyond our self-limiting ideas about who we are and what for we are here in this world. 3 IT IS PERTINENT TO NOTE HERE THAT, ALL THE CONCEPTS AND CONCLUSIONS ARE NOT DEVELOPED BY HUMAN SPECIES, BUT DEVELOPED BY THE "PROCESS WITH PURPOSE", THAT IS THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION IN AND THROUGH A HUMAN LIFE FORM. 4 Religion: A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. {"ALL RELIGIOUS OR INDIVIDUAL ATTEMPTS TO PROVE SUPREMACY OVER OTHERS IS AN ACT OF SEPARATION FROM THE WHOLE AND IS A DENIAL OF THE ONENESS OF THE CREATION AND IT IS A HUMAN NATURE TO PROVE ITS SUPREMACY OVER OTHERS"} Vasudev Nair When we understand the purpose of an individual human life is not to attain a state or condition to be achieved by an effort, but consciously participating in the "PROCESS with PURPOSE" that is, CAUSE & EFFECT, with the privilege to CHOOSE the PURPOSE, which influences the PROCESS for evolution, there remains no goal to be achieved, but a relentless participation in the process with purpose is the only possibility. DESTINY IS, ASSUMPTIONS AND PRESUMPTIONS OF AN UNKNOWN, BORN OUT OF THE FEAR OF THE UNKNWON, THAT IS THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF THE GAME OF THE INDIVIDUAL CRAD HOLDER. THE INDIVIDUAL CRAD HOLDER HAS NO CHOICE BUT TO PLAY THE GAME. THE FREE WILL, THE PRIVILEGE OF A HUMAN BEING, IS TO CHOOSE THE PURPOSE OF THE GAME THAT IS EITHER THE CONSIDERATION OF AN INDIVIDUAL WIN OR LOSS WHICH IS AN UNCONSCIOUS PARTICIPATION, OR A CONSCIOUS PARTICIPATION AS AN INDIVIDUAL PLAYER IN THE SCHEME OF THE GAME TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE SMOOTH FLOW OF THE GAME WHICH HAS NO END. These concepts, theories or postulations are developed through me for presentation in words and an effort of this individuality to consciously participate in the creative process of evolution. With thanks and regards Vasudev Nair

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Ramdeo Choudhary.

The article is interesting and fully supportive of what Lord Shrikrishna has spoken more than 5000 years ago. The objective as written: "Nivanna, Moksha, liberation from the cycle of birth and death, purification of mind by eradicating sanskar." This is precisely what Gita broadcasts. To realise these objectives Vipasana system is one of the many forma of meditations: Rajyoga, Kriya-Yoga, Sudarshan-Kriya and many more. All of them have evolved from the central theme of Gita as experienced by personalities and giving different names and illustrations there of. If one looks in every system one finds the common denominator being experience with the truth. Under the light of the truth one gets the art of discrimination and calmness. When I sit before my Guru in Himalaya, without any effort mind goes in meditation completely or vaguely aware of the presence of our body-mind complex. He says and perhaps many system says that this realisation is limited. The perception that : " Entity referred to as "I" has no reality of it's own". If it has no reality of it's own the who " Allows the process of letting go set in"? " but understanding and surrendering ro the laws of nature is relatively easy part, the harder part has been to embrace the----------". Who embraces? In short we have to accept the Bhakti part as an inseparable as outlined in Gita. We are spark from the complete called Krishna or whatever name you give. "I" can not be dissolved in any kind of enlightenment but can be dovetailed in the service of Krishna thereby becoming HIS servant of the serrvant and perhaps the outcome of meditation will be ripe and mature with guaranteed Moksha or liberation to "I". Lifelong the complete subordination to the wishes of Krishna has to be maintained. Once we keep Krishna in the centre we can draw numerous concentric circle of realisations, enlightenment and joyfulness while working and accepting the realities of World. The net advantage is we live joyfully without worldliness. Either you live in presence, or observe your natural flow of breath non judgementally, or do an intense breathing experiencing it go through your plexus or fix your attention in between your eyebrows, or chant OM, all the processes are to calm the mind and enjoy the beauty and glory of Krishna surrendering fully at HIS lotus feet. In this way you will not be able to accumulate any Sanskar further and also dissolve your previous Sanskar under the piercing rays of Gyana and stabilising forces of Bhakti. Finally on leaving this body this "I" will go directly to the Kingdom ofKrishna called GOLOK DHAM, for which Krishna has given ample descriptions in GITA.

Vasudev Nair

Respectable Sir, A fundamental question: Is there a definition of ORIGIN & PURPOSE of CREATION in any scriptures? IS it a one stroke creation or a process of evolution? Any conclusive answers to these questions? Please enlighten me as am ignorant of these answers to the questions. Thanks and regards Vasudev Nair

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Denis Khan

Breath is the psychic umbilical cord that binds us to our Creator. We were created before the world began (Ephesians1:4). If we choose to be bound by traditional beliefs, we will be unable to discover our inner beauty & spirituality. The greatest journey is the journey inside us where God Resides in our hearts. The mind is everything. What we think we become. Focusing on the perfect peace of Christ, or an enjoyable project, can help us to access the Theta brainwave state, which is a level where we are most likely to receive creative inspirations and spiritual breakthroughs. The invisible things are clearly visible…There is no excuse. (Romans 1:20). –Prateep Philip

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Dear Readers, If you would like to experience the benefits of Vipasana, please do try the one conducted by Sri Goenka. The main centre is based out of Igatpuri and they have branches all over the world. Ths Vipasana foundation initiated by Goenka ji is completely non-profit therefore the stay and all other expenses are taken care of. In case you would like more details, please let me know..Thanks, savita

Mustafa Daudi

I would like to learn the Vipasana Technique. Please inform me nearest centre as i reside at Bilaspur Chhattisgarh.

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Ultimately such experiences, as exciting they are at first and first can be a really long time, are terribly frustrating in the end. The self is described in the Vedas as personal and individual, with the qualities of " sat cit and Ananda " Full of bliss, eternal and full of knowledge. That is the permanent unchanging nature of the individual self. Here the author has adopted the view that this reality is an illusion and he tries to accomplish enlightenment by denying the individual self. His attempts will be all in vain, because the Bhagavad Gita states that the self the Atma or soul, can never be destroyed cut into pieces, dried out by the wind,moistened by water, nothing at all can destroy the eternal soul. No weapon, no thought process, no meditation can achieve the annihilation of the self. Therefore the I will always be present, in the present. A person will always temporary experience an inquiry state of nothingness created by the mind, but he will always come back to the experience of I. His meditation week always fail because the Atma he himself is indestructible. The attempt to finish it, thinking that is the way to stop all suffering and karma, is a complete waste of time.

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Heart warming and beautifully expressed. As a spiritual seeker and aspirant, I am at a stage looking for an understanding, a meaning and purpose for my life, and as a means to such an approach, have heard, and read about Vipassana and experiences of various. The Author was so very true when she said that everyone's experience is different and not to be compared or bench marked, since each one of us must have to travel on this spiritual journey and road on our own individual strength and steam with commitment and dedication, to reach the final destination. I intend to register for the Vipassana course but am amazed at how difficult it is for a new comer to get a seat / register at any of the Vipassana Centers in the country, not because of any bureaucratic hassles,but being all filled up well in advance or open for only experienced Vipassana meditators. Would be grateful if Life Positive can please guide and help me in getting a slot at a Vipassana Center so can register immediate. Thank you for the help and a lovely sharing on Vipassana.

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Before reading the article, I thought the writer may be explaining the technique of vipassana in the article. But that is not there. Secondly, the article can be read by human only, neither animals, nor spirits. Then the need of asking for the calculation (i.e. 2x6= ?)?

Life Positive

Thanks for your views. The article is about the about the author's experience with Vipassana - you could find more articles about the technique itself in our website. Re: calculation, this is to prevent spam..

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