Insight into the depth of our mind

Many people often feel disturbed, not happy, and yet there are no apparent problems in their lives. We should be ok, but we are not. This is the signal to have some real deep insight into ourselves. Insight meditation or Vipassana is the one original meditation which the Buddha taught. Unlike Samatha meditation, which is for calming the mind, Vipassana meditation is to see what is bothering us inside, so that we are able to remove them and not suffer again.
  1. In practicing vipassana, we practise awareness and equanimity, both wings which will give us our balance
  2. We practise seeing reality as it is
  3. We practise to realize impermanence
  4. Our practice leads to cleansing of the depths of our mind
  5. There are two foods which keep us living, food for the body, and sensations, which feed the mind
  6. It is similar to fasting, when the body then accesses the fat that has been stored; in practising vipassana, we access our sanskaras (impressions left from past experiences).
  7. If we just let go, and do not react to these impressions, finally the storehouse will be depleted, and we shall find our mind becoming clearer.
  8. This is a simple explanation of how we can start vipassana meditation. Relax the different parts of your body. Then start breathing in and out normally. This will help calm you down. This is samatha meditation to reach Samadhi(calm abiding). You are looking into the impermanence of each breath.
  9. Meditate on the qualities of the Buddha and this will stabilize your mind. This also helps you reach deeper calm.
  10. Breathing in and out normally, be mindful of what’s happening at the level of your nostrils.
  11. As distracting thoughts or noises come up, just note them, saying to yourself, “thought” or “noise”, and let go. You are building up awareness and equanimity, not getting disturbed.
  12. Then when you are ready, you start being more mindful of your breath, noting how it moves, its length, its temperature, where it touches…
  13. Finally with each practice, you let go of the past impressions, you are purifying your mind, which then becomes clearer and clearer.


Cleaning up after the floods

Ouma, cette première page de notre blog t’est dédiée, comme promis. Tu étais déjà partie quand le flash flood, qui a causé la mort et la souffrance de beaucoup de gens, a frappé l’Ile Maurice. Voici un résumé de notre lecon et nos réalisations.

In his very first teaching, the Buddha spoke of the four sufferings in life; birth, ageing, sickness and death Land of the Healing Buddha focuses on helping those who want to remove the suffering caused by physical, mental or psychological sickness or unease.

The Buddhist health system is based on Asian (Indian and Chinese health philosophy) where our body is seen as a network of channels which transport blood and qi-energy, just like the canals and rivers of a country. Our country was hit by a disastrous flash flood last February where 10 people lost their lives and many others lost all their belongings. We shall look into the causes of the flood, examine our own inner channels, seek a parallel between the two and extract lessons to keep our inner world healthy.

When obstructed, there is disaster or sickness. In Buddhist medicine, most of the obstructions start in the mind, and are therefore psychological.

After a disaster, we spend a lot of energy and money to get back to normal (doctors, medicine, sorrow). Very often the damage is irreversible (e.g. paralysis). We should therefore diligently unblock all our psychological obstructions before the next one strikes.

We should be mindful of the small signals in our body. We should be aware that “with the flutter of a butterfly’s wings, there may be a hurricane coming up on another side.” Practicing mindfulness will help us to stay alert, note any fluctuations in our systems and take appropriate action before it is too late. We get so lost in our thoughts that we find it difficult to snap out of it. One simple way of doing so is to focus on our breathing. Each time we find ourselves drifting, getting back to our breathing and observing its pattern will help us to steady the mind.

Indeed, we often build up lots of thoughts in the mind, which we think are developing our mind but which are in fact obstructing our energy flow and making us sick. It is therefore essential to cleanse our mind.

One easy practice to cleanse the mind is by setting yourself the task of writing down what you can remember in each year of your life. After writing down at least 2 pages for a year, you can let go, by burning these pages. You can clear further by reciting and visualizing the Vajrasattva mantra “Om Vajrasattva Om”.

At the moment, there is a lot of physical cleaning going on all around the island. Learn to move with the present flow, and do your own spiritual cleansing. Imagine asking the Buddhas, your spiritual protectors, your ancestors, to bless you in this purifying enterprise which will also benefit your families, friends and all in your environment.

After removing the gross defilements obstructing your system, you will have a clearer mind, and will be able to handle safely and with confidence any upcoming destabilizing situation.