Anger, Pride, Delusions, these are the afflictions which I have dealt with before so I don’t have a need to explain them now so I am going to jump right in to the heart of Buddhism here with heart of Buddhism. Buddhism can be explained in two words or three depending how you say it and the words are mindfulness practice or practice of mindfulness, that is essentially what the Buddha taught would lead to Nibbana (I’m using the Pali term for Nirvana to distinguish away from the band), the enlightened state of liberation, and this mindfulness practice can stop us from doing our habits of fear, not with bravery as that doesn't diminish the fear until later but with seeing how things are through meditation practice. Their are many forms of meditation some can take us into feelings of ecstasy, while others can bring us mastery over the body’s autonomic systems or temperature, but these are all practiced by many traditions not just Buddhists and were around before Buddha, the technique I’ll be talking about here is Vipassana or insight meditation as described in the satipatthana sutta foundations of mindfulness which is too long to put here but can be found quite easily on the web and there are many good books about this meditation, but here I will give a brief outline of what it is and how to do it.
Vipassana is basically looking at things the way they are not judging, not viewing them as self or not self just viewing them as they are and being aware of them as such.
I’ll look at Anapanasati meditation or mindfulness of breath meditation which is part of vipassana meditation. First you need a position be it crossed legged in the full/half lotus posture or kneeling with a bench as support, or even sat on a chair, all are good but we should remember that our back should be straight following its natural curve, and our head tilted forward, our eyes can be open or closed, but it is best that our tongs touches our pallet as this helps with saliva. Once we have chosen our posture and assumed it we need to scan our posture so that there is no unevenness or discomfort (remember that at first their mat be some discomfort with keeping your back straight), one you have scanned the body for tension and unevenness take a few deep breaths through your nose to clear the senses and getting use to sensations of air entering, and exiting the nostrils, now without trying to control the breath watch it, when we start out with this technique it can be useful to count the natural flow of breaths from 1 too 10 and back down from 10 too 1, counting each inhalation and exhalation as one full breath. When we start our practice we should pick a time of day we can stick to and a length of time of about 10-15 minuets and increase the length from their by 5 minuets once we can do the chosen length easily with fewer and fewer distractions.
There are many benefits to meditation people talk about like psychic abilities and levitation to name some of the more absurd claims, but their can be some mental and physical improvements such as better immune system and stress relief, better focus and calm but these are not guaranteed benefits and shouldn't be the main aim of our practice but rather the observation of the breath should be first on our mind.
Sometimes troubled thoughts can arise or other mental distraction but when these crop up we should bring our attention back to the breath.
I hope this blog isn’t to long and useful to anyone wanting to start vipassana meditation
At the end of the day I may be right, I may be wrong, but I share this hoping I am one or the other.