Free Your Mind: Practice Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana meditation is a widely used relaxation practice that can be done easily by beginners, with great results!

| March 2014

  • Vipassana Meditation Statue
    Any form of meditation that resonates with you—whether guided, mantra, movement, and so forth—will definitely be of benefit.
    Photo by Fotolia/TMAX
  • Book Cover of Indie Spiritualist by Chris Grosso
    “Indie Spiritualist,” by Chris Grosso, explores the benefits and diversity of spirituality.
    Cover courtesy Beyond Words Publishing

  • Vipassana Meditation Statue
  • Book Cover of Indie Spiritualist by Chris Grosso

After years of heavy addiction, Chris Grosso found himself literally on his knees, utterly lost and broken. Grasping for life, he needed to find a new path, one that went beyond conventional religious or spiritual doctrineone free of bullshit. Indie Spiritualist (Beyond Words Publishing, 2014) empowers readers to accept themselves as they are, in all their humanity and imperfect perfection. In this excerpt learn the basics of vipassana meditation, a simple relaxation practice that can be done by anyone and in any setting.

Vipassana Meditation

Besides being asked, “What’s an Indie Spiritualist?” the second most common question I’m typically asked is “What type of meditation do you practice?”

While I personally practice many different types of medita­tion—never feeling like I have to stay within the confines of only one tradition—I typically respond with vipassana, as I’ve found it to be the most universally applicable form of meditation around. Any form of meditation that resonates with you—whether guided, man­tra, movement, and so forth—will definitely be of benefit.

I adore meditation because there are countless ways to meditate, with no particular style being any better than another. It’s all about what resonates with you. You can find many free guided medita­tions online by searching Google or YouTube, as well as by visiting your local library. Most meditation practices are to spirituality what Bob Ross was to painting—very laid back and go with the flow. And while your practice may not provide you with happy little trees, it will over time create a greater sense of peace, clarity, and serenity in your life, and that’s sorta like happy little trees, right?

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Through years of drug addiction, I did considerable damage to myself, resulting in heavy bouts of depression and anxiety. For years, I relied on antidepressant and anti-anxiety medications to keep me in a somewhat balanced state, but after cultivating a dedicated meditation practice I eventually found myself at a place where, under doctor supervision, I was able to taper off the medication and no longer needed it.

Let me make it perfectly clear, however, that there is absolutely nothing wrong with taking prescribed medication for conditions like anxiety, depression, and so forth. I recognize that they were very nec­essary in my life at that time, as I was very chemically off-balance. There is nothing unspiritual about taking prescribed medication when needed, because our own mental and emotional well-being must come first before we can truly help others.

4/13/2015 8:54:14 AM

I feel better just having read this and practiced the methodology along the way. Question: what do you suggest about eyes? What should they be doing?

4/6/2015 7:26:23 AM

I have been a meditator for over twenty years and concur with the observations put forth in this article. My meditation training and experience arose out of the Christian Contemplative tradition - specifically The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. The Christian tradition has a wide range of mostly forgotten meditation practices that Andrew Newberg has shown are as effective as Eastern practices in helping to heal, bring peace and facilitate transformation and recovery. I share these practices with my clients and students and through my on-line virtual church. Lauri Lumby, MATP

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