Rahul Gandhi attributes lack of fatigue to Vipassana; know this meditation technique

Rahul Gandhi was recently questioned by the Execution Directorate (ED) for 50 hours over five days in a money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper. Referring to the long hours of interrogation, Rahul said the agency officers even questioned him about the “secret” behind his patience and energy. The answer, Rahul said, was Vipassana, as he addressed workers and leaders across the country gathered at AICC headquarters.

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“They asked me not to leave the chair, to sit for hours…. (said) don’t get tired, we’re tired. They asked me for the secret of my energy,” said the congressman from Wayanad in Kerala.

Here’s everything you need to know about practicing meditation

One of the oldest meditation techniques, Vipassana takes its name from a Buddhist term that can be translated as “insight”. The mindful meditation practice is to observe one’s thoughts and emotions as they are, without judging or dwelling on them.

“Vipassana is a 10-day meditation course offered at Vipassana centers/pagodas. It is a technique transmitted from generation to generation by Gautama Buddha. Vipassana is pure meditation and is not affiliated with any religion or ritual. It is not about becoming a monk and giving up worldly pursuits, but about living in equanimity and being at peace with life. It is taught for free and the Vipassana centers operate on a donation basis,” said yoga teacher and therapist Priyamvada M. indianexpress.com.

Devotees offer their prayers at the Global Vipassana Pagoda in Gorai where a 21-foot statue of Lord Buddha donated by the Myanmar government has been installed (Express Photo by Mahendra Parikh)

The first step in Vipassana is to observe your breath. “When your mind becomes sharp and sensitive enough to observe your bodily sensations, you experience the mind-matter connection. In other words, how your thoughts create sensations in your body. Your thoughts are the basis/foundation of this how you feel,” she said.

As part of the course, you must meditate for 10h30 a day, preferably in sukhasana (folded legs and straight back).

“You cannot speak with another meditator or even have a casual conversation with the teacher/volunteers. You can approach the teacher for advice on technique or discuss logistical issues with the volunteers later” , said the expert.

What happens in such sessions?

You must follow the principles of Dhamma/Dharma, the universal law of nature. Moreover, it involves walking the noble eightfold path, broadly categorized into Sila (morality), Samadhi (concentration) and Pañña (wisdom, insight), yogini Ira Trivedi explained.

According to Trivedi, this mental training has three stages in total.

* The first step is to practice Sila (morality). It involves refraining from actions that cause harm. They adopt five moral precepts, refraining from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and consuming intoxicants. If followed closely, it helps the mind to significantly calm down and prepare for the next step.

*The second stage lasts the first three and a half days. This requires practicing Anapana meditation, which focuses attention on the breath. This practice helps to develop Samadhi (concentration) and take control of the unruly mind.

*The third step is the most important. This has been going on for six and a half days. This involves the practice of Vipassana. It is there that one penetrates one’s entire physical and mental structure with the clarity of Panna (wisdom, insight). It helps purify the mind of underlying mental impurities.

“Results will only come gradually through continued practice. The ten-day training aims to learn the essentials of Vipassana so that it can be applied in daily life,” Trivedi said.

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