What is Vipassana Meditation and What Are the Benefits?

Vipassana meditation is a centuries-old practice that's still valid today. Discover how you can improve your life through conscious breathing and mindfulness.
What is Vipassana Meditation and What Are the Benefits?

Last update: 09 August, 2021

Vipassana meditation focuses on transforming the perception we have of the world around us. Through conscious observation, people who practice this discipline reach a better understanding of their reality. Particularly, they improve their ability of introspection and concentration.

This technique aims to help you observe things as they’re happening. Also, it helps you learn to avoid the biases and judgements that may exist in everyday life. In other words, you can achieve peace and balance between physical and mental health through neutral evaluation of events, instead of making judgments.

What is Vipassana meditation?

This way of meditation is the oldest that exists. However, it’s still popular around the world. People have been practicing Vipassana meditation for more than 2500 years on a global scale since Buddha popularized it. Today, mindfulness incorporates aspects of this practice to benefit those who practice.

Generally speaking, Vipassana meditation is about acquiring an optimistic perception of life. By learning to connect their mind with their body, people reach a state of contentment and peace; they feel comfortable with their existence and can search for better solutions to everyday problems.

The idea is to find a couple of minutes each day to apply this form of meditation and take the fast and safe route to self-evaluation. As we begin to incorporate the habit into our lives, we’ll see how our vision of the world starts to change.

We recommend that you always choose the same time to practice this. For example, doing it every night before you go to bed is a good idea. Specialists have proved that meditating at night helps you sleep and improves your rest.

close up of a woman's hand and knee whilst she sits on the floor meditating
Vipassana meditation helps to change the perception of those that practice it. The objective is to help people see situations more clearly.

What are the benefits of Vipassana meditation?

As we’ve already mentioned, the main benefits of Vipassana meditation are reaching an elevated state of mental peace along with a better sense of introspection. However, there are also other benefits that we’ll take a more detailed look at below.

1. Improve your observation ability

Remember that looking isn’t the same as observing. When we begin to meditate consistently, we strengthen our ability to go beyond what we see. This doesn’t mean just sitting alone looking into your own eyes; it’s more about detailing and interpreting what we’re seeing to reach an accurate observation of reality.

2. Facilitate relaxation

After a stressful day, meditation helps to reduce your levels of stress. For that reason, we recommend you meditate before going to bed. However, you can also practice this at any time; for example, when you get home from work or school.

3. Improve your mood

Stress is one of the factors that can cause outbursts of rage. Bearing that in mind, meditation also has a positive impact on maintaining your good mood. This isn’t just because it reduces your levels of stress, but also because it helps you to regulate your emotions through self-discovery.

4. Reduce your levels of anxiety

When we learn to evaluate our realities from a more optimistic perspective (without losing sight of the facts), anxiety begins to significantly reduce. This doesn’t mean that we become eternal optimists, but rather that we begin to see events less catastrophically.

5. Reduce your blood pressure

One of the main benefits for your physical health is reducing your blood pressure. Of course, this is related to the other benefits we’ve already mentioned; by reducing stress and anxiety, and improving your mood, your body will also benefit. Remember that your mind and body are connected.

6. Strengthen your intrinsic motivation

When beginning to meditate, we’re going to feel rewarded by all of the personal benefits that we receive. It’s then logical that our motivation to meditate will constantly increase, and not because we’re paying to do it, but because it’s genuinely something that we enjoy.

How to practice Vipassana meditation

The main thing that you need to do to practice this kind of meditation is to find a state of tranquility through your breath. Some people tend to close their eyes, but this isn’t an essential step. The idea is to concentrate on the process of inhaling and exhaling air in a controlled way.

We should be careful that we’re not breathing in a forced way. The main objective is to feel like your breath has a relaxing effect on your body. Eventually, you’ll start to breathe naturally but without losing your initial rhythm.

As we advance with these steps, we’re going to notice how our thoughts, perceptions, and some emotions that form part of our lives arise. Before anything else, you have to avoid compartmentalizing or making judgments on these. We should just allow them to naturally flow and fully feel the effect.

During the time the meditation lasts, we can focus our concentration on specific parts of the body. For example, in the chest, to feel how our heartbeat begins to synchronize with our breathing.

woman meditating in her home sat on the floor with her eyes closed
A calm place away from distractions will help you practice this kind of meditation.

Is it a good idea to meditate in the company of other people?

When we begin working with Vipassana meditation, it’s best to do it alone. To start with, this is because the presence of other people may be a distraction factor, which would considerably reduce our concentration.

However, once we have mastered this technique, it’s fine to do it collectively.

We recommend you practice group meditation with people that are also advanced in this technique. It’s also a good idea to ask for advice from those who have been practicing the discipline for longer.

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