Now that there is more time and space between me and the Vipassana retreat, I have a better understanding of why so many consider this meditation technique life changing.
For me, the single most important lesson learned during the retreat and ongoing meditative practice is a lesson that I use multiple times a day. In fact, I use regularly this lesson in my life coaching.
For the last many years, I've held a philosophy about personal development; first comes awareness, then comes behavior change. [I know this is a very western way of thinking.]
Now, thanks to Vipassana, I've further developed this philosophy.
What I learned from Vipassana was that I was missing a step, and the beauty that comes from that missing step.
As I mentioned in my last post, Vipassana forces you to confront your limitations. We all have them, even Superman.
One can't jump from awareness to behavior change without acknowledging those limitations. Doing so leads either to ignorance or repression. Let's agree that both of those are undesirable patterns.
What I was missing in my growth philosophy was that I had to accept where I was at (or where someone else was at, or where our country is at). Acceptanace is the fountain of forgiveness. The the spring of compassion. The the volcano of true love.
But acceptance - like forgiveness, compassion, and love - is easier said than done. That's where the meditation technique specifically taught during the Vipassana retreat comes into play.
How Vipassana Meditation Leads to Acceptance
Without going into too much detail (after all, you don't have 10 days right now, do you?), the essence of the Vipassana meditation technique is a body scan that goes from head to toe. During this body scan one is to treat all sensations equally. Pain, tingling, hot, cold, numbness, pressure, throbbing, tickling... all are to be equal.
The magic of this technique is that by repeatedly observing sensations, not judging, and moving on, one automatically begins building the muscle of acceptance.
Once this acceptance muscle is developed, it can be applied to emotions, situations, relationships, and even personal finances.
I know because I consciously use some form of acceptance every day. I teach my clients how to use it for themselves, their employees, or loved ones. I work to further strengthen acceptance through my meditation (or my Netflix binging).
Acceptance. Something so simple, yet so powerful. So universal, yet so local.
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