According to recent reports, the number of mental health cases has been on a rise for the last two years. This is owing to two main reasons: a major shift in the living style of the current population and a rise in the importance of mental health among the youth.
The pandemic and the lockdown forced us to live in isolation where we were not able to make ourselves feel better with temporary distractions. Going to a restaurant or spending 3 hours in a movie theatre to feel happy were no longer feasible options.
A general realization was that happiness comes from within and not from any outside material or experience. People became more conscious about their mental health and incorporated activities like Yoga and Vipassana meditation into their daily lives.
Vipassana is a form of meditation that helps a person to get an “insight”. According to Vipassana teacher G.D Goenka, even when a person is calm and positive from the outside he can have suppressed emotions in the subconscious mind. An activity like Vipassana helps one to address these emotions and harness them to achieve a positive state of mind.
“How to not misinterpret its effects”
To become fully enlightened one has to transcend the boundaries of mind and matter. Meditation is one of the tools that can help one to align their energy with the energy of the universe. This does not mean that a 10-day Vipassana retreat will solve all your problems. Many people think of meditation as a crash course that leads to an instant state of happiness when in reality it is a continuous process.
Many Vipassana practitioners did not see any significant change in their lifestyle after their first retreat. It was only when they carried on with the process even after leaving the centre. They observed gradual escalations towards calmness and satisfaction.
What changes to expect?
According to research done by S.S Joshi on “The Effect of Vipassana on the Work Environment”, Vipassana students and their colleagues agree that there has been an improvement in the atmosphere of the workplace. He mentions that the reasons may be different for different people.
“A general observation of all employees is that those who are practising Vipassana are clearing paperwork daily, with less pending work, showing that they have better concentration and work faster. They have given up the habit of cigarette and tobacco smoking, “adds Joshi.
Rajat Khare an investor has been practising mindfulness meditation for over a decade. “For beginners, Vipassana meditation can be physically as well as mentally taxing – from focusing on your breath and scanning your body to ignoring any discomfort. Gradually, what you will come to realise is that, throughout the entire process, you are training your mind to observe your anxiety and worries more objectively,” said Khare explaining the challenges faced by the beginners.
The fruits of Vipassana or any other meditation can only be reaped with consistency. It is not a product that you can buy nor a state of mind that can be achieved in a few days. The transformation to a state of “content mind and aligned energies” happens gradually and one has to remain patient with the process.
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