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Insight Meditation

Have you ever thought about whether you are actually seeing things as they really are?  Have you given consideration to the real truth about life, or spent time in contemplation about what this world is really all about?  Insight meditation is a tool used to connect with the ultimate truth and to analyze with great deliberation the questions of mind and matter.

Why mind and matter?  What else is there to seek answers to?  As humans, we are all made up of mind and matter, and according to Buddhist traditional beliefs, insight meditation is the way to answer the questions and move along the path towards enlightenment.

For those who are new to meditation, simply the practice will be insightful and challenging.  When meditation skills become further developed and deeper rumination can be attained more easily, advanced techniques can be sought out.  Insight meditation will give you an opportunity and platform to ponder the questions of the dharma, which are believed to be like stepping stones to realization and higher consciousness.  Reflection, on mind and matter questions and answers is the purpose of insight meditation. 

Many Westerners go through their whole life never truly understanding meditation or experiencing the bliss of reaching trance states.  A common mistake people make is to confuse relaxation with insight meditation, when the two are completely different things.  Relaxation is a technique used to relax the body and clear the mind, where insight meditation is deeply spiritual, and something that needs to be felt to be understood.

Some explain their experiences with deep rumination, saying they feel as though they have no body and are only a single thought, whether focusing on their breath or a question.  They report reaching a point where there is no thought, no sound and no self, and then from deep within their subconscious mind they repeat their dharma.  Being completely happy to simply be, they relax, allowing their subconscious time for reflection.  After a beautiful period of the deepest possible relaxation and awareness, an answer will come.  Most people also report feeling ecstatic, like they have found the key to heaven with this answer and it is going to change their lives.  This is how people learn and evolve through insight meditation.

Regardless of your religion or beliefs, insight meditation is a fantastic way to get in touch with your subconscious mind.  There resides many memories and answers to questions we have on life, but you need to clear your mind to get to them.  Some people prefer to write their question on paper prior to their insight meditation and let their subconscious mind take care of it.

The best way to begin practicing insight meditation is to join a beginners Buddhist study group or meditation class.  You will be given questions as a group and will have time allocated for meditation and discussion.  There will be talks as well, and as you learn each dharma and allow yourself to be transformed by it, you will be coming closer and closer to that ultimate truth.

By Karen Basfield

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