Question: What is Vipassana?
This is a meditation technique based on a method of Gautama the Buddha. It is thousands of years old and at this moment in time, it is also the hottest thing in town. The essence of Vipassana is to sit silently and watch - your breath, your body sensations, your feelings, your thoughts and the sounds from outside. Whatever is happening you just watch it and include it in your meditation.
My understanding is that Vipassana is just plain and simple. It is a method or system that brings about a state of presence. In essence it is just witnessing: witnessing the body, witnessing the breath. In fact it is a witnessing of any present moment, sensory experience that brings us into THIS VERY MOMENT. And it does this without any razamataz. There are no theories, no chakra journeys, no energy levels to move through: it is simple. We are either present or we are not.
Question: Why are you drawn to Vipassana?
I often feel overwhelmed by the avalanche of information from all my technical devices and by the speed of modern life with its constant noise all around. I literally crave for inner and outer silence. My personal longing, to truly connect with myself and to find my true nature, is stronger then ever.
By coming to a rest, watching and staying in silence I find an incredible and very nourishing counterbalance to this craziness of the outside world. Another incentive for me is to find a way to watch and befriend my Mind. A 10 Day Vipassana Retreat is not like sitting for an hour in the morning. It is a journey, a very deep process. Some people feel it is not enough to just eat healthy. They want to do a detox once a year or every few years. A Vipassana Retreat is a bit like that. It is a detox for the Mind.
There is something deeply satisfying about the Vipassana experience. There is a certain sense of rightness about it. And this sense of rightness seems to transcend all other considerations, it just leads me on. It leads me on like a moth to the flame. It is simple, it is direct and it is a cornerstone of life. When I walk past Buddha Hall and the Vipassana meditation is happening, I immediately feel the tangible silence emanating like a silent song calling to me. The subtle joy of this silence becomes bigger than me. I am left wanting more, wanting to immerse myself in the experience again and again.
Question: How is Osho Vipassana different from any other Vipassana?
Osho has this insistence that meditation should not be a deadly serious matter, but something juicy and enjoyable. He often combines music with meditation - so it does not become too dry. In the Osho Vipassana Retreat we include Dynamic Meditation, Kundalini and Evening Meeting in the process.
Under 'Osho's words' on this website we have put some quotes from Osho - so you can read up on it. Basically he wants people to throw out their craziness and repressions. He wants them to sing and dance and laugh, because only then they are able to sit silently. Without these active parts of the meditations, he says, people will not grow, only their spiritual ego. It makes total sense to me. Anybody who has done the active Osho meditations knows how freeing they are, how they unburden the mind and function like medicine. And if someone has not experienced it - this is the perfect opportunity.
I can only go on what Osho says about this and on my own observations. Osho Vipassana does not happen in isolation: there is a whole energy field supporting it. And neither did Buddha’s Vipassana happen in isolation.
While Buddha’s energy field was alive it centered around the concept of Nothing-ness and No-self. It had a certain negation to it. This quality gave a direction that Buddha used to support his Vipassana. It was useful to his work. But the network around Buddha has faded away over time to leave just a dry technique.
Osho’s energy field on the other hand is centered around living life to the full, not repressing but expressing. Until such a time that one can easily sit silently without being distracted by the world of over riding desires. This quality supports Osho’s use of Vipassana. Another difference seems to be that there is less concern about the technique itself and more emphasis on the essence of the technique: AWARENESS.
Question: Can you tell us some more about how this retreat will be run?
Anekant and Satsanga:
The retreat has a very structured timetable that is set around the three main meditations: Osho Dynamic, Osho Kundalini and Evening Meeting. In between there will be hourlong sittings and walking. The first hour of sitting in the day has an Osho quote (audio) for guidance. A Vipassana Retreat is done in silence and all extraneous accessories such as mobiles, computers and books will be put aside. The event will be held in Osho Afroz and at the end of the season. This provides a sheltered environment that is supported by the seasonal change of the surrounding nature. For a more detailed schedule check out 'Program'.