Frequently asked questions
I cannot sit cross-legged on the ground. May I meditate anyway?
Of course. Vipassana may be practiced in three different ways: walking, sitting and lying down. Also, you may sit on a chair. Your posture should be primarily stable and comfortable, so you can easily concentrate on meditating.
Will I be put into a trance during meditation?
No, on the contrary. Vipassana is insight meditation (also called mindfulness meditation) and is practiced while concentrating, and fully awake. You focus on things in your body and mind that happen just at the given moment.
Can Vipassana meditation heal physical or psychological ailments?
Many of our miseries draw their energy from our inner restlessness and a lack of mental balance. Through Vipassana Meditation, you are able reach your inner spirit to then balance your mind and body. As a result, your self-healing power improves, your immune system is strengthened and bad physical and psychological conditions are suppressed. Vipassana is a superior form of preventive health care and assists you in urgent situations to improve your health. However, Vipassana should not replace a necessary visit to your family doctor.
Are there any limitations as to who should practice Vipassana?
No, except persons who are unable to follow spiritual philosophy. Vipassana teaches you awareness and serenity. Those wishing to learn must be able to follow instructions and understand why this is necessary.
Do I have to be a Buddhist to practice Vipassana?
Although Vipassana was practiced and taught by Buddha, it is a religion-free meditation and is accessible to all walks of life. There is no worshiping or prayer involved. We focus on cultivating human values, as we know them in all different cultures.
Do I need to meditate for hours on end? I do not have so much time.
You are not obligated to do anything. You practice Vipassana only for yourself and you are free to allocate as much time as you see fit. The important thing is that you just do it. Practicing on a regular basis is actually more important than the length of time you spend doing it. To start, I recommend practicing for ten minutes walking and ten minutes sitting. Just after a few days you will notice your progress, which might make you eager to do even more.
Do I need to wear special clothes?No, just wear clothes that are not too tight fitting and comfortable for sitting. Leggings, sweatpants, Thai fisherman pants and a t-shirt or sweater are ideal.