☸️ Buddhist Meditation

"Observing without judging is the highest form of human intelligence." - Jiddu Krishnamurti 

(Buddhist) Meditation is not how you think it is like

A few days ago, I talked to a friend with whom I recently attended a Vipassana Meditation course about an hour's car drive north of Vienna.

Before learning about (Buddhist) meditation and practicing it, I thought meditation made you relaxed and focused. Seeing pictures of people meditating looks so calm and peaceful.

A man sitting on a rock meditating in a peaceful and quiet landscape
How I imagined meditation would be like

Well, I was wrong. Maybe it looks like this from the outside. But not from the inside... 🧘🏼‍♂️

a person trying to ride a big and muscular bull
What meditation actually feels like

My body data, measured by the Oura Ring Gen3 confirmed my assumption.

My stress levels while meditating 10 hours a day were alternating between Stressed and Engaged. (learn more on how Daytime Stress is measured)

Daytime Stress Charts varying between Elevated and Stressed
Daytime Stress on the First 2 Days of the Vipassana Course (see more at the end of this newsletter)

On the first few days, we were "only" practicing Anapana Meditation (observing the breath to calm the busy mind).

Try Anapana Meditation for 10-minutes to calm down the mind.

🗼 Awareness and Equanimity: The Fundamental Concepts of Meditation

Awareness: [...] means to maintain awareness of reality, whereby the true nature of phenomena can be seen. - HandWiki, Philosophy: Sati (Buddhism)
Equanimity: It is “a state of mind that cannot be swayed by biases and preferences” [...] an “even-mindedness in the face of every sort of experience, regardless of whether pleasure [or] pain are present or not” [...] This state of equanimity manifests as “a balanced reaction to joy and misery, which protects one from emotional agitation” - Moving beyond Mindfulness: Defining Equanimity as an Outcome Measure in Meditation and Contemplative Research

If you want to integrate Anapana Meditation into your everyday life, you can focus on your breathing whenever you think of it.

I try to do this when an unpleasant thought arises. I notice that the immediate action of the mind is to get rid of the unpleasant thought/feeling. Getting back to just the feeling of the breath moving inside and outside the nostrils calms down the mind.

By getting back to the feeling of the flow of the breath, again and again, we transform the habit pattern of the mind. From stress and agitation to a calm and relaxed mind.

🧘‍♂️ Wise words of my Vipassana Teacher

My Vipassana meditation teacher told me that by attending these meditation courses, you learn that no matter how bad a situation is, it passes.

But you really have to experience it to understand it. If you "sit through" these feelings calmly and with equanimity, you realize you have gained something like a superpower.

🌱 Eradicate the source of Suffering: Craving and Aversion

Why Craving Will Make You Unhappy

What happens after you have experienced a feeling of subtle, relaxing, and pleasant sensations?

You suddenly crave this feeling. Living in the past, thinking about what life would be like if you could just have this feeling right now. Just for some time.

Experiencing that any sensation (pleasant, neutral, or unpleasant) arises ...

passes away ...

arises ...

passes away ...

will help to observe it as it is. Because you know that everything is impermanent.

Source: Vipassana Research Institute - This is the Way to End Dukkha

Why Aversion Will Make You Unhappy

Observing bodily sensations with interest, objectively, like a doctor examines the wound of a patient gives you the ability to see the sensations as they are.

Pain isn't one big chunk of a single emotion, but it is different every single time. Changing from moment to moment.

⏲️ Goenka Meditation Timer: How I currently track my meditation

The App Goenka Meditation Timer has excellent features where you can:

  • see the daily streaks you have successfully meditated
  • practice guided Vipassana meditations from live Vipassana courses
  • listen to Beginner Meditations with Anapana instructions
3 screenshots from the App Goenka Timer showing practice sessions completed and audio vipassana meditations
Goenka Timer App

🍎 Goenka Timer for iOS

🤖 Goenka Timer for Android

💻 Goenka Timer on the Web

💥 New! Shortform MASTER GUIDES: the most helpful and vital information from books on a specific topic summarized in a short guide

Whether you are looking for information on how to learn anything, control your focus, change your habits, or Negotiation 101, Shortform has excellent guides.

Like the Master Guide Choosing a Meditation Practice.

The Master Guides: Choosing a meditation Practice
The Master Guides Series by Shortform

Want to learn more, faster....and help support my newsletter?

If you join Shortform using my link, you get a 20% discount, and I get a kickback.

Have an equanimous week! ⚖️

xx Lukas

Further statistics measured by my Oura Ring during the Vipassana Course

Stressful day feature
Daily Stress level on the day Vipassana Meditation was introduced
4h of stress, 30min relaxation Oura Chart
Day in the life of meditating 10 hours a day

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