Introduction to Vipassana Meditation

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This video has 4 sections in it.
1. Introduction to Vipassana - 17 min
2. The Compass - Children Learn Vipassana - 11 min
3. The Great Global Pagoda - 17 min
4. Hill of Dhamma - 17 min

1. Introduction to Vipassana
The technique of Vipassana is a simple, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy, useful life. Vipassana means "to see things as they really are"; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation.
From time to time, we all experience agitation, frustration and disharmony. When we suffer, we do not keep our misery limited to ourselves; instead, we keep distributing it to others. Certainly this is not a proper way to live. We all want to live at peace within ourselves, and with those around us. After all, human beings are social beings: we have to live and interact with others. How, then, can we live peacefully? How can we remain harmonious ourselves, and maintain peace and harmony around us?
Vipassana enables us to experience peace and harmony: it purifies the mind, freeing it from suffering and the deep-seated causes of suffering. The practice leads step-by-step to the highest spiritual goal of full liberation from all mental defilements.

2. The Compass - Children Learn Vipassana
Mastery over the mind is important in all human activity and purification of the mind is essential for true peace and happiness. School is an appropriate place to introduce this to children. Children can learn the first step of Vipassana--the technique of Anapana--at an early age.
The technique of Anapana is a simple and practical way to achieve mastery over the mind and lead a happy, wholesome life. Anapana means observation of natural, normal respiration, as it comes in and as it goes out.
Observation of breath is an ideal object for meditation because it is always available, non-sectarian and natural. It is also a truth pertaining to the self and closely related with the mind. Anapana is in this way, different from techniques based on artificial regulation of the breath. There are no rites and rituals involved in the practice of Anapana.
Anapana is the first step in the practice of Vipassana Meditation. Vipassana means, "to see things as they are". Vipassana is India's most ancient meditation technique, rediscovered by Gotama the Buddha nearly 2600 years ago. Vipassana is a universal, scientific and non-sectarian method towards purifying the mind. It is the practical essence of the teachings of the Buddha, who taught Dhamma - the Universal Law of Nature.
The ideal time to begin the first steps of this mental training is in childhood. Besides helping children to calm and concentrate their minds, Anapana helps them to understand themselves better and gives them an insight into the workings of their own minds. They develop an inner strength that helps them to choose right and appropriate actions over wrong actions, control and become master of their own mind.
Anapana provides them with a tool to deal with the fears, anxieties and pressures of childhood and adolescence. Because of its simplicity, children find the technique easy to understand and practice.

Course Format
To learn Anapana it is necessary to take an Anapana Course under the guidance of a qualified teacher.

There are two steps to the training
In the first step the children make a conscious effort to abstain from all kinds of unwholesome actions. They undertake five moral precepts: practicing abstention from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and use of intoxicants. The observation of these precepts allows the mind to calm down enough to proceed for the next step.
Next they learn & practice Anapana meditation-- focussing attention on the breath as it comes in and goes out naturally.
The entire teaching in all these courses is conducted through audio & videotapes of Vipassana Acarya, Shri SN Goenkaji who reintroduced this teaching in India and many other countries. Each course is divided into small sessions of 30-40 minutes which includes both practice and understanding of the theory. Residential courses also include games and other creative activities. However more time is allocated to the practice of the technique.
The course concludes with the practice of Metta-bhavna (loving kindness or good will towards all) in which peace and happiness gained during the course is shared with all beings.
Course Eligibility & Duration
Anapana courses are held regularly at permanent Vipassana centers and rented sites in different countries for children between 8 to 16 years. Generally separate courses are organized for age groups 8 to 12 years and 13 to 16 years. The courses are of different duration to suit every section of the society. Residential courses are for 3 or 2 days. There are also non-residential courses for 1 or 2 days. Children have to stay within the course premises for the entire duration of the course. They are also expected to refrain from all kinds of religious practices or other disciplines for that period. Girls and boys stay separately at all times during the course. To participate in the course children undertake to observe five precepts as mentioned above and observe course related disciplines.
Anapana courses are also being conducted at various Institutions like Schools, Orphan Homes, Homes for the Blind, Juvenile Homes, etc. at their request and subject to certain formalities for the benefit of their children.
[b]Continuing the Practice after the Course[/b]
Continuity of practice is essential for children to get the true benefits of the technique. It is therefore recommended that the child be given an opportunity at home to continue practicing Anapana for a short period of 10 -15 minutes each day, after the course. They can also be encouraged to attend refresher courses.
Course Fees
All courses are run solely on the basis of voluntarily offered donations. There is no fee charged. The courses are financed by donations from the students who have completed a prior course and wish to share the benefits they themselves received by giving donations for the students who come after them.
For more information on Children's courses, please contact the nearest Vipassana Center
3. The Great Global Pagoda
The Global Vipassana Pagoda was inaugurated on Feb 8th 2009, by President Pratibha Patil in the presence of dignitaries from all over the world.
The Global Vipassana Pagoda is a monument of peace which aims to spread teachings of compassion and non-violence propagated by the Buddha and to promote the practise of Vipassana,
The tall pagoda building looms majestically over the GVF complex, spread over 13 acres of lush greenery, near picturesque Gorai in northwest Mumbai, barely a kilometre from the Arabian Sea.
The stone structure, which has a 280-feet diameter and is 325 feet tall, has the original bone relics of the Buddha - donated by the Sri Lankan government and the Mahabodhi Society of India - enshrined in the central locking stone of the dome placed above the Dhamma Chakra.
Built of Jodhpur stone, the Pagoda was designed by and constructed using ancient Indian construction techniques using interlocking stone. No cement or steel has been used with an idea to increase the longetivity of construction.
Designed by Indian architect Chandubhai Sompura on the lines of the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar, the Global Pagoda is a hollow structure, having a dome of 280-ft diameter. Below it is a massive 6,000-sq pillar-less meditation hall which can accommodate 8,000 meditators at a time. The Pagoda has already hosted a few one day courses attended by over 8000 meditators.
Combining ancient building principles with modern techniques of construction, Sompura finally guided a structure using the 'interlocking principle of construction' for the huge stones - each weighing around 600-700 kgs. The entire structure has consumed over 2.5 million tonnes of Jodhpur stone. Unlike cement and steel structures, the use of stone and lime mortar gives it strength and longevity, it ensures that the structure becomes more stable with increased height and weight placed on it as the stones grip each other more rigidly to defy gravity. It is expected to last for more than 2,000 years.
The pagoda, a dream project of Principal Vipassana Teacher, S.N. Goenka, has been constructed mainly with donations received from former students and devotees around the world. The people of Myanmar donated the marble used for the flooring and the umbrella placed atop the pagoda. The people of Thailand donated the golden paint typically used in pagodas, which is not available in India. In addition, a student's family donated the land while other past students of Vipassana and others contributed around Rs.800 million to construct the entire structure..
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, Goenkaji expressed gratitude towards the country of Myanmar which preseved not only the Words of the Buddha but also the Practice in its purest form for 2 millenia.

4. Hill of Dhamma
The main centre at Dhammagiri, Igatpuri, Maharashtra offers 10-day residential courses to students interested in learning Vipassana Meditation.There are more than 100 centres spread round the world where Vipassana is taught in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, as taught by S.N.Goenka. 
Vipassana meditation is the essence of what the Buddha practiced and taught. It is a simple, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy useful life. Vipassana means 'to see things as they really are'; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation. Vipassana does not encourage people to withdraw from society, rather it strengthens them to face all the ups and downs of life in a calm and balanced way.
To learn Vipassana, there are three steps to the training. First, students practice Sila - abstaining from actions which cause harm. They undertake five moral precepts, practising abstention from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying and the use of intoxicants. The observation of these precepts allows the mind to calm down sufficiently to proceed further.
Second, for the first three and a half days, students practise Anapana meditation, focussing attention on the breath. This practice - Samadhi - helps to develop concentration and control over the unruly mind.
These first two steps - of living a wholesome life and developing control of the mind - are necessary and very beneficial. But they are incomplete unless the third step is taken : purifying the mind of underlying negativities. The third step undertaken for the last six and a half days, is the practice of Vipassana : one penetrates one's entire physical and mental structure with the clarity of insight.
For more information please visit: and or[/url]

Be Happy! 

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