The Buddha said that our mind is everything as we become what we think. To control our fickle mind with its endless stream of thoughts we need to practice a meditation technique like Vipassana or Zen to get inner peace and serenity.
Research has proven that insight meditation can help to improve our physical and psychological health.
But while meditating many beginners face obstacles that hinder their progress. In this article we reveal the need for Vipassana meditation and how to focus while practicing it.
Importance of Vipassana Meditation
Negative emotions like anger, greed and hatred stress our mind and body. In fact, our mind can be compared to a record player as it keeps playing the same thoughts repeatedly. To top it, the modern obsession with multi-tasking adds to the woes. More than ever, it has become important to learn to relax and live wisely in the present moment.
Vipassana meditation helps us realize the true nature and abilities of our mind. Regular practice will help us to become aware of negative feelings as they arise and uproot them. Slowly we learn to practice mindfulness while doing mundane daily tasks. Gradually we can gain freedom from negativeness and attain lasting happiness. Here’s how to get started.
How to Focus in Vipassana Meditation
To start, we need to realize that it is hard to pay attention. We need to build our concentration and awareness simultaneously to achieve success in maintaining mindfulness.
Focus on only one thing and pay full attention to it. It is natural for the mind to wander. Do not get frustrated; bring it back gently and slowly to the task at hand. With practice, you can become aware of the moment when your thoughts begin to scatter. Push them away and focus on mindfulness.
It is important for the practitioner to beware of negative emotions like jealousy, aversion, hatred, lust and greed. These feelings lie buried inside us and they keep popping up to disturb our inner peace.
Practicing mindfulness can help us overcome these mental states. An untrained novice would fall prey to their negative feelings when they arise. But a trained meditator will be more alert and not let negativeness conquer their mind. Thus focusing on mindfulness can help us gain freedom from attachments and human weaknesses.
Importance of Right Thinking and Right Living
To improve focus and concentration, one should practice a strict code of discipline that includes abstaining from killing, stealing, telling lies as well as consuming intoxicants. This will help to make the mind pure and noble, and free from unnecessary distractions. A moral and upright lifestyle is thus essential to make progress in meditation.
Steps to Focus in Vipassana Meditation
Start by paying attention to your normal inhalations and exhalations. If your mind strays, simply note the feelings and return to focusing on the breath. Then start scanning your body and notice the sensations such as cold, warmth, pain, itching, hurting etc. Simply observe them passively, make a mental note and move on.
Mindfulness consists of noticing transient sensations in an unattached manner. This helps us overcome aversion to unpleasant phenomena. We begin to see things as they really are impersonal and impermanent.
Do not run away from unpleasant feelings or repress them. Simply acknowledge them in an objective manner and turn your attention to the next sensation. With constant practice, we can gain freedom from delusion, greed and hatred which will end all our mental suffering. Do not worry about the past or the future.
Focus on staying in the present moment and being mindful of physical sensations and mental states. When we understand ourselves better, we will be able to understand others well too.
Benefits of Focusing
To reap rich benefits, make it a point to practice Vipassana meditation for a few minutes every day. With diligent effort you will be able to overcome all obstacles and roadblocks in your practice. Within a few weeks you will notice tangible benefits such as greater productivity, better emotional health, improved relationships and many more.
Vipassana is an easy yet effective technique to attain lasting inner peace and spiritual joy. There are many types of meditations in Buddhism including Zen. But Vipassana is almost unique as it improves both awareness and concentration.
Learn the proper technique from an expert teacher and then implement our tips on how to focus in Vipassana meditation to meditate more deeply and progress smoothly to attain physical, psychological and spiritual balance and wellbeing.