Vipassana meditation is an ancient Vedic practice that is based around a few simple breath techniques. It has become popular over the last few years thanks to the teachings of S.N. Goenka and his style of silent meditation retreats taught throughout the world.
In this post I’ll explain how to do vipassana meditation and give a few tips for any beginners who are just starting out.
You can also learn more in this post on getting started with meditation.
How To Do Vipassana Meditation
The Vipassana Breath Technique for Beginners
While the essence of Vipassana cannot be condensed into a single breath, there is a very simple technique that lies at the heart of this style.
The core Vipassana breath technique is simply to inhale and exhale through the nostril, becoming aware of the point at which the air enters and leaves your body.
It is important to understand that the main focus here is not the breath itself, but rather the awareness of the breath. The common Vipassana exercise of focusing on the entry and exit point of your breath is designed to help you develop a strong sense of convergent focus, or a focus restricted to a specific action and reaction in the body.
This practice underlies many different forms of breath. The point of practicing it in the Vipassana tradition is to use the nostril as a gateway to a higher sense of concentration, which will, in turn, allow you to begin to release your attachment to your thoughts and ego. As you expand your practice, you can then use other breath techniques to raise your energy and experience more enlightened states of being.
How To Find a Silent Vipassana Meditation Retreat
If you want to take your meditation practice to the next level, dhamma.org compiles a complete list of ongoing vipassana retreats. They offer programs beginning with a 10-day silent retreat, along with other options for more advanced students.
All courses are free, with a donation asked upon completion of the program.
Or, read more about how to prep for a silent meditation retreat.