NEWS
[Essay to attend the International SATI(Vipassanā) Workshop 2020]
Archna Mavi, University of DELHI
31/03/2020


Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa.

The International Sati (Vipassana) workshop 2020 were held at Bodhgaya(India) .

This workshop was supervised by Buddhagaya International Sati School ( Mula Sangha) and hosted by department of Buddhist Studies (University of Delhi).

The original Buddhism and the sati (vipassana) were created by the Buddha under the Boddhi tree around 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills. i.e., an art of living.

Sati (Vipassana) which means to see the things as they really are, is one of the India’s most ancient techniques of meditation.

The reality is as it is, you can’t change it any way, nor would you expect it some other way.

The reality is as it is now, you don’t dream of what you felt some time in the past, nor do you expect ‘things’ to happen in the future.

The past as well as the future is unread, those are in your mind. You create all the past and the future when you slip away from the reality at the present moment. Your breath (as well as sensations) is here and now, and this is where you should live!

The sati (vipassana) expanded throughout the world ever since and now has huge support in western countries as well as in its traditional asian birthplace. It has contributed enormously to the happiness of millions of people.

As I have attended this International sati (vipassana) workshop 2020 at bodhgaya, so I can share my views on it. we started sati (vipassana) by 4:30am after chanting of Buddha dhamma . we were used to do walking sati first and then asked to observed our breathing during sitting sati. This kind of sati is termed as ‘Anapanasati’.

We are not supposed to regulate our breath. We should just concentrate on the natural breathing . At times we are also suggested that if we can’t feel our breathing, then we can take a few deep breaths to feel our breathing, and if some kind of sound disturb you then naming three times hearing ,hearing, hearing in your mind and then we come back to the natural flow of breathing. According to tradition, ‘Anapanasati’ was originally taught by Buddha in several suttas including the ‘Anapanasati sutta’.

While practising Anapanasati, you should sit with your legs crossed and your spin erect, erect but not rigid. Keep it straight and relaxed. Keep the mind peaceful and relaxed . relax this is very important. In the initial phase, I experienced lot of problems.

I couldn’t sit for 1 hour at a stretch. I used to open my eyes after 30 minutes of sati, at another point, I often used to make some facial expressions while doing sati, whenever I sit for sati , many of my past negativities crop up in my mind and create some turbulence in my internal dialogue.

And then by practising sati I soon overcome all my strong reactions towards the disturbing thoughts and eventually I was able to avoid all the unwanted facial expressions which I used to make out of habit and I learnt to prolong my meditation and remain in my meditational seat for one hour continuously and feel peaceful inside the body. Before we could break our sitting sati, we had to perform a special type of meditation knows as metta bhavana which means loving kindness meditation.

It is a meditation where a specific chanting is done to show our gratitude and love towards all living being. It is short meditation we share our inner virtues with others and known as sharing metta.

The practice of sati is a mode of purifying mind. It is certainly not easy for a new follower to practice sati. It will need a lot of patience and persistence on this part. In a way it is like taming a wild animal. It does not happen overnight. Furthermore, merely understanding the method to tame a wild animal does not tame the animal.

One has to work on it, with utmost patience. Similarly understanding the basics of sati (vipassana) is not adequate to change the default setting. One has to practice vipassana, and keep on practicing it long enough to change the default setting. But yes some fruitful results like peace of mind unforeseen so far start appearing soon enough. Thus understanding theory behind sati (vipassana) is essential but vipassana is more about practice.

We were asked to feel the sensations of our body sharing from top of head and moving down and feeling sensations on our face, ears, throat, chest, hands, stomach, legs and finally feel sensations on the top of our toes. There would be times when you start feeling pleasant sensations and there would be times when you feel unpleasant sensations.

Sensation can be of any type, it can be heat , cold, vibrating sensations etc. At times, we may feel some sensation in the form of discomfort arising because of keeping our body still for a long period of time.

Whatever sensations we feel, we must keep in mind that they are all ephemeral or evanescent by nature and should not develop any kind of craving or aversion towards any kind of sensation. When we start feeling unpleasant sensations we form an aversion towards it and it becomes our samsara.

Again a wise man knows that it is also a passing phase and should view the unpleasant sensations with equanimity and balanced mind. For successful sati (vipassana) , we also need to follow the 5 principles which are termed as ‘panchsheelas’ and these are:

  1. No killing

  2. No stealing

  3. No sexual misconduct

  4. No lying

  5. No intoxicants


If you break any of the sheelas, your mind is bound to get agitated and you cannot do progress in sati(vipassana).

This is what vipassana teaches us-to view all the experience of life with equanimity, knowing that it is all the passing phase of life and one should not develop any kind of attachment in the form of aversion or craving.

As far as practice is concerned, we have to practice this meditation by keeping our body as still as possible. And then only we will be able to feel the subtle sensations of our body.

After attending this international sati (vipassana) workshop 2020, I feel blessed to be a part of this workshop. I always felt greater joy and peace of mind. I always felt relief from the negativities of my past and found my mind becoming more stable, more peaceful and more concentrated.

here I learnt whatever is happening in reality is the truth at this moment. Start to learn to accept this truth. Be peaceful with this. You cannot change it. To accept the truth means you are happy with whatever might be happening. Learn to remain choice-less. This will make you peaceful.

You don’t have to achieve anything! Sati (Vipassana) is not about achieving, it’s about knowing!

May all beings be happy!

“Bhavatu sabba mangalam”.

Archna Mavi
NEWS
[Essay to attend the International SATI(Vipassanā) Workshop 2020]
Archna Mavi, University of DELHI
31/03/2020


Namo tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammasambuddhassa.

The International Sati (Vipassana) workshop 2020 were held at Bodhgaya(India) .

This workshop was supervised by Buddhagaya International Sati School ( Mula Sangha) and hosted by department of Buddhist Studies (University of Delhi).

The original Buddhism and the sati (vipassana) were created by the Buddha under the Boddhi tree around 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills. i.e., an art of living.

Sati (Vipassana) which means to see the things as they really are, is one of the India’s most ancient techniques of meditation.

The reality is as it is, you can’t change it any way, nor would you expect it some other way.

The reality is as it is now, you don’t dream of what you felt some time in the past, nor do you expect ‘things’ to happen in the future.

The past as well as the future is unread, those are in your mind. You create all the past and the future when you slip away from the reality at the present moment. Your breath (as well as sensations) is here and now, and this is where you should live!

The sati (vipassana) expanded throughout the world ever since and now has huge support in western countries as well as in its traditional asian birthplace. It has contributed enormously to the happiness of millions of people.

As I have attended this International sati (vipassana) workshop 2020 at bodhgaya, so I can share my views on it. we started sati (vipassana) by 4:30am after chanting of Buddha dhamma . we were used to do walking sati first and then asked to observed our breathing during sitting sati. This kind of sati is termed as ‘Anapanasati’.

We are not supposed to regulate our breath. We should just concentrate on the natural breathing . At times we are also suggested that if we can’t feel our breathing, then we can take a few deep breaths to feel our breathing, and if some kind of sound disturb you then naming three times hearing ,hearing, hearing in your mind and then we come back to the natural flow of breathing. According to tradition, ‘Anapanasati’ was originally taught by Buddha in several suttas including the ‘Anapanasati sutta’.

While practising Anapanasati, you should sit with your legs crossed and your spin erect, erect but not rigid. Keep it straight and relaxed. Keep the mind peaceful and relaxed . relax this is very important. In the initial phase, I experienced lot of problems.

I couldn’t sit for 1 hour at a stretch. I used to open my eyes after 30 minutes of sati, at another point, I often used to make some facial expressions while doing sati, whenever I sit for sati , many of my past negativities crop up in my mind and create some turbulence in my internal dialogue.

And then by practising sati I soon overcome all my strong reactions towards the disturbing thoughts and eventually I was able to avoid all the unwanted facial expressions which I used to make out of habit and I learnt to prolong my meditation and remain in my meditational seat for one hour continuously and feel peaceful inside the body. Before we could break our sitting sati, we had to perform a special type of meditation knows as metta bhavana which means loving kindness meditation.

It is a meditation where a specific chanting is done to show our gratitude and love towards all living being. It is short meditation we share our inner virtues with others and known as sharing metta.

The practice of sati is a mode of purifying mind. It is certainly not easy for a new follower to practice sati. It will need a lot of patience and persistence on this part. In a way it is like taming a wild animal. It does not happen overnight. Furthermore, merely understanding the method to tame a wild animal does not tame the animal.

One has to work on it, with utmost patience. Similarly understanding the basics of sati (vipassana) is not adequate to change the default setting. One has to practice vipassana, and keep on practicing it long enough to change the default setting. But yes some fruitful results like peace of mind unforeseen so far start appearing soon enough. Thus understanding theory behind sati (vipassana) is essential but vipassana is more about practice.

We were asked to feel the sensations of our body sharing from top of head and moving down and feeling sensations on our face, ears, throat, chest, hands, stomach, legs and finally feel sensations on the top of our toes. There would be times when you start feeling pleasant sensations and there would be times when you feel unpleasant sensations.

Sensation can be of any type, it can be heat , cold, vibrating sensations etc. At times, we may feel some sensation in the form of discomfort arising because of keeping our body still for a long period of time.

Whatever sensations we feel, we must keep in mind that they are all ephemeral or evanescent by nature and should not develop any kind of craving or aversion towards any kind of sensation. When we start feeling unpleasant sensations we form an aversion towards it and it becomes our samsara.

Again a wise man knows that it is also a passing phase and should view the unpleasant sensations with equanimity and balanced mind. For successful sati (vipassana) , we also need to follow the 5 principles which are termed as ‘panchsheelas’ and these are:

  1. No killing

  2. No stealing

  3. No sexual misconduct

  4. No lying

  5. No intoxicants


If you break any of the sheelas, your mind is bound to get agitated and you cannot do progress in sati(vipassana).

This is what vipassana teaches us-to view all the experience of life with equanimity, knowing that it is all the passing phase of life and one should not develop any kind of attachment in the form of aversion or craving.

As far as practice is concerned, we have to practice this meditation by keeping our body as still as possible. And then only we will be able to feel the subtle sensations of our body.

After attending this international sati (vipassana) workshop 2020, I feel blessed to be a part of this workshop. I always felt greater joy and peace of mind. I always felt relief from the negativities of my past and found my mind becoming more stable, more peaceful and more concentrated.

here I learnt whatever is happening in reality is the truth at this moment. Start to learn to accept this truth. Be peaceful with this. You cannot change it. To accept the truth means you are happy with whatever might be happening. Learn to remain choice-less. This will make you peaceful.

You don’t have to achieve anything! Sati (Vipassana) is not about achieving, it’s about knowing!

May all beings be happy!

“Bhavatu sabba mangalam”.

Archna Mavi
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