This article is a piece in a series of articles about out what each style of meditation ‘does’ for the mind.
Many people want to know, ‘but, which style of meditation is right for me?’
Here’s the answer in a nutshell: The meditation that you do is better than the meditation practice that is ideally recommended by top coaches and CEOs.
We all differ in our ability to focus and clear the mind. Meditation is simply focusing and clearing the mind.
The meditation style that helps you ‘feel’ better, calmer and clearer in the mind is the right one for you. Even if it means sitting with your teacher and just feeling calm because she exudes calmness and peace. Don’t stop thinking! Instead practice meditation.
Maybe that is what you need right now and that is ‘good enough’. Instead of wanting to be perfectly transcended, focus on noticing your mind. Even a little bit of meditation adds up pretty fast.
Vipassana is a style of meditation taught by the Buddha (the master of enlightenment as it were). It requires concentration and focus and that ability strengthens over time with the practice. Instead of distracting the mind from unpleasant feelings and judgements, Vipassana shows the mirror to the mind to correct itself. Ever noticed what happens when you look into a physical mirror? That’s what happens energetically when you practice Vipassana.
If you don’t approach your negative, fallible side with loving kindness, Vipassana can give some terror. Here you are, trying your best to be happy, and there’s the mind beneath the surface and it says how sad you actually feel, how angry you were in that minute, and how plain uncomfortable you are with feeling all this.
Sometimes people start crying. That’s the good news, because it means you were able to feel something that wanted to be felt and acknowledged. It isn’t about you, but about a feeling that you had. Other times looking at what they actually feel can mean wanting to run very fast and hard in the other direction to the addiction. The addiction could be anything, from religious suppression to infatuations. Stay here, the wave passes, leaving you feeling wonderful. Every time you notice how strong you really are, you get stronger also. That’s how the mind works—through validation and attention.
Most of us live in a constant state of infatuation or revulsion. Either you ‘love’ someone or you ‘hate’ them. This is common among all humans. It isn’t good for us to have such swings in feelings dictating our life. Therefore we need meditation. Meditation is meant to empty the mind of all thoughts whether revulsion or infatuation. In the gap or the silence between thoughts we learn to connect to the witness or the observer mind. With regular practice, the observer becomes more and more identified with your concept of yourself. It also helps enhance your focus and acts like a tune up your brain, and that means thinking longer and deeper about a problem and not giving up. It is great for geeks of all ilks!
Being able to stand outside yourself and see what is going on in the moment, is a sign of intelligence. Being aware of your whole mind—and what you are thinking lets you become skillful with your intention and behaviour. You can thus avoid a lot of failures. Some of the intelligence is simply learning about how people react to you at an emotional level. You may have no idea that being straightforward would upset people, but your practice of Vipassana makes you self aware that you can notice other people’s non-verbal cues. You may not realize that your tone of voice is passionate and thus people think that you are angry at them, whereas your anger may have nothing to do with them! You may realize that someone operates from a constant feeling of envy, because they feel less than others all the time.
Most people avoid problems because meditation helps them become more aware of the impact their words have on others. But that is simple relationship or emotional intelligence, and being self-aware helps people to be at peace when they witness other peoples emotions.
Vipassana practice is to have direct self-awareness. It is the most important form of meditation, as it allows the emotional brain to develop—which is often over controlled or out of control. Most of us don’t learn this skill as kids and we struggle to have appropriate or right emotion. People’s emotions cause most of the problems for themselves and others—but the important thing to know is that we all have them. Thus becoming responsible for your feelings—your energy as it were, can help all relationships.
Even if you are responsible about the energy you give to others—others may not be so self-aware. They may have no idea how much their depression, their negativity is visible. For sensitive people such as empaths and psychics, seeing emotion is as easy as seeing someone’s nose or outfit.
Super Sensitive People and Vipassana
The challenging thing for super sensitive people is how to move around the world, when there is no skin as it were, between others and self? Being an empath means, being able to feel exactly what someone is feeling. Now, this is again why Vipassana is hugely important for empaths.
When empaths practice Vipassana meditation, they notice all the feelings in their being—and realize eureka, this isn’t my stuff but stuff I picked up because of empathy!. Vipassana helps ground your sense of self firmly, strongly into your body and behind your eyeballs.
For highly creative and empathetic people (right brained peopel) vipassana is not as much fun as creative visualization. In fact the effort of focusing and paying attention can be tough. Yet, doing this can be highly rewarding when it comes to relating with others who may be less sensitive.
Note: I look forward to hearing about your practice and experience of meditation always! Please sign up on my blog for announcements about online coaching and other great tools and kits for your practice of meditation and ways to interact with me via social media. Click on the facebook button to connect with me via facebook.
May you have happiness, peace and love as your companions for this journey of self-discovery.