Saturday, November 29, 2014

Vipassanā- bhāvanā

Vipassanā- bhāvanā
The Practice of Self-Introspection into the Nature of impermanence and Egoless

“Atta-dīpā viharatha, atta-saranā, anañña-sarana. Dhamma-dīpā viharatha, dhamma-saranā, anañña-sarana.”
“Each of you, make an island of yourself, make yourself your refuge; there is no other refuge.  Make truth your island, make truth your refuge, there is no other refuge.” – Mahā -Paribibbāna Suttanta, Dīgha Nikāya, 16 

Every morning, I wake up early and practice Vipassanā- bhāvanā for one hour.  The Vipassanā method taught by S.N. Goenka (Vipassana Meditation Teacher, 1924-2013,) is unique and beneficial to all who practice it.  It is the essence of the teaching of the enlightened Buddha, the actual experience of the truths of which he spoke (sutta).  This technique is to experiment reality, as it is.  It is a systematic development of insight into the impermanent (anicca), suffering, and egoless (anattā) nature of the mental-physical structure by observing sensation (vedanā) within the body.

Every morning, I begin my day by sitting on a mat with the legs crossed, and back straight.  Then I place my hands on my knee and close my eye.  This sitting position helps centered my awareness and attention inward.  By using my body as my own laboratory, I want to investigate the truth within myself.  I start observing the reality within the framework of my body by paying attention to the breath – the subtle feeling of air moving in and out of the nose naturally. From observing respiration within the limited area at the nostril, I proceed to observing sensation throughout the body without reacting to it. However, I often encounter the conditioned reactions of gross, solidified, intensified, and pleasant and unpleasant sensations (such bodily pain and pressure).  I also experience the habit pattern of my restless mind, always wandering around, from one object and subject to another, rolling in pleasure, reeling in pain, yet constantly remaining agitating like a wild animal. On this path, whatever is unknown about myself must become known. The goal of this practice is to avoid reacting to the sensation by understanding the law of impermanence (anicca) – the constantly arising (samudaya) and passing away (vaya) of the gross and subtle sensations within my body.

Every morning, the present is most important in practicing Vipassanā- bhāvanā. Here-and-now, I work patiently and continuously to break the old habit of generating new mental reaction (sankhārā).  I seek to find the answers to the questions within myself.  My struggle with the here-and-now is worthwhile and it is nonetheless a struggle and one that I will never finish. If the present is good, I don’t need to worry about the future, which is merely the product of the present, and therefore bound to be good. I accept what is – reality as reality is to me now.  I breathe in, I breathe out and I let reality happen knowing every moment never hands me the same thing twice (anicca).  The important thing is to experience the truth directly – to look within, to examine myself at the experimental level. At the end of the hour, I also practice meta-bhavana (the systematic cultivation of goodwill and compassion toward others) to share the merits gained through Vipassanā - bhavana with all beings. I wish all beings be happy, be peaceful, and be liberated.

Every morning, I want to make best use of this wonderful opportunity to experience the law of impermanence and the concept of non-self (anattā) – the actual practice of observing the truth as it is in order to come out of all miseries, and enjoy real peace, real happiness, and real harmony.

Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam