Vipassana is my primary and preferred method of meditation. But that’s a strange and unfamiliar word for many people. It is a word from the Pali language that means something like “insight” or “clear seeing,” or seeing the “true nature of reality.”
It comes through the Buddhist tradition, and dates back millennia. I learned it first primarily through some books, such as Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana, Waking Up by Sam Harris, and 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I also attended a couple 10-day silent meditation retreats, one at the beautiful Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center, and the second with the Goenka Vipassana organization, which was more like an austere monastic course of instruction and initiation into vipassana, but was quite transformative for me. I believe Goenka was also a teacher of Ram Dass, Joseph Goldstein, Jack Kornfield, Dan Goleman, and Sharon Salzberg, who all helped bring this meditation technique to the West. Through this, and many hundreds of hours of meditation, I have come to deeply value this technique or “method” of meditation, which I do believe brings real insight into the Divine nature, even of God.
Which is why I was thrilled when my good friend Jory Pryor asked me if I would like to be the voice for a podcast episode on vipassana in a new podcast he helps produce called Methods. This podcast introduces many different contemplative practices from many different traditions in the style of a guided meditation, one method per episode, so you get direct practice of that style as you listen. It’s a great idea for a podcast, because there really are hundreds of different practices, and becoming familiar with them and finding one that works for you can be a gargantuan task.
I’m honored to be able to voice this episode on vipassana, which is the first guided meditation I have recorded. I’m not sure I have the voice for such guidings, but I gave it a go. The text was provided by Jory and Methods, which I reviewed. The episode is only 15 minutes long, and I think it is a great introduction to this traditional and popular form of meditation.
If you like this episode, I invite you to subscribe to the Methods podcast on Stitcher, Google Play Music, Apple Podcasts, or even in the Insight Timer app, if you use that for timing, logging, courses, and guided meditations. You may also follow Methods on Facebook.
Have a listen, and let me know what you think. Of course, this is only an introduction to vipassana, but really the instruction is quite simple, it is the practice that takes much time to master. I am far from mastering it myself. What questions or comments do you have about vipassana?