Why go on an insight meditation (vipassana) retreat?
What are the benefits?
I received an email from a student of journalism asking me two questions about insight meditation retreats. Based in Sydney, Australia, the student wrote that she was preparing a feature article on meditation.
Here are her two questions.
From your own experience, what makes new students initially seek out the practice of Insight Meditation (Vipassana)?
What might new students expect to gain from Insight Meditation?
Here are my two replies:
There are different reasons for people come to retreats to explore Insight Meditation
To learn to handle stress, unhappinesss and physical pain
While inwardly well adjusted, there is a sense there is something more to life than consumer goods, career and personal success
Have an interest in spirituality and its spirit of enquiry rather than formal religion with its sets of beliefs
Curiosity about meditation, mindfulness and going deep within.
Inspiration from the Buddha’s life story and Buddhist values
Authentic interest in core themes such as enlightenment, emptiness and non self.
How can students benefit from insight meditation (benefit rather than gain)?
Reduction of stress, depth of calm and equanimity
Insight into themselves, experiences and life, itself.
Appreciation for clarity, greater inner reliance and a new sense of purpose
Being in the company of like-minded people on retreats and benefit from teacher and teachings.
Love of meditation, stillness and silence
Access to a depth of truth and realisations.
She kindly emailed to thank me for my response. She added: “I hope to attend my first Vipassana course this year, once I complete my degree.”
I hope her article encourages readers to go on a meditation retreat. I hope readers of this blog check out a retreat to book into. The benefits could last a lifetime.
Some might say for lifetimes. The Buddha has wisely expressed provisional views about that!
May all beings be free from stress
May all being live with wisdom
May all beings know an enlightened way of life