10 Easy Steps to Practice Vipassana Meditation at Home

Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana meditation is a great way to heal your mind and learn to live a life of calm and tranquility. It is more of a lifestyle change than it is a meditation exercise. Vipassana meditation is one of the oldest meditation techniques from India and was only just rediscovered about 2500 years ago. It has since been taught traditionally and, in most cases, for free because the practice is meant to be sacred. Once you learn the basics, it is possible to continue on your own.

What are 10 steps to practice vipassana meditation at home? Practicing Vipassana meditation at home can be difficult due to the everyday distractions we encounter. The most important thing to remember in Vipassana meditation is the mindfulness of our body and breathing. Everything else is the preparation and preservation of our meditation.

1. Prepare Yourself

2. Find a Quiet Place to Meditate

3. Set a Designated Time for Meditating

4. Find a Comfortable Seating Position

5. Use your Breath to Find your Present Moment

6. Close your Eyes and Take Notice

7. Keep your Mind Clear of Any Thought

8. Be Mindful of the Changes That Happen

9. Catch Yourself When your Mind Strays

10. End Your Vipassana Meditation the Right Way

Getting to know the practice of Vipassana meditation more intimately is extremely important when learning how to meditate correctly. If done right, Vipassana meditation can first increase your mindfulness and with time will change your life. This type of meditation practice will help you to be able to see this with wisdom and tackle the unpleasant things that happen upon us. It teaches us to be able to see things without biases and handle the unpleasant thing that happens.

Vipassana Meditation at Home

There are 10 steps to practicing Vipassana meditation. It might seem overwhelming, but if it is taken one step at a time, the practice will begin to come easily. And if it is practiced regularly it will become second nature to keep your mind focused and you will be able to meditate for longer increments. Vipassana meditation is meant to change your life. And if you let it, it will change your life for the better. Mastering this meditation just takes time and practice. 

1. Prepare Yourself

The first thing you will want to do is prepare your mind and body for meditation. A lot of people do not think this step is important because it is something that we do every day. But making sure that you are clean and comfortable will ensure that while meditating no smells or itchiness will distract you while you try to focus. One small itch can turn into an adjustment which can turn into more distraction. It is important to prepare correctly to avoid the distractions. 

Showering to get off any dirt or sweat is not necessary for every meditation session you have, but for the most important daily meditation sessions, it can benefit immensely. Wearing comfortable clothing while you meditate is also very important because if you are uncomfortable you will have a harder time focusing on the meditation. For example, it is not ideal to wear a tight pair of skinny jeans and a leather jacket during your meditation. You would likely be too uncomfortable.

2. Find a Quiet Place to Meditate

This is very important to consider. Unless you have spent the majority of your life practicing Vipassana meditation, distractions come easily. Even those that have mastered the art can be distracted momentarily. So, finding a quiet room in the house that is free of distractions will save you much time as well as assist in making sure your journey to a more peaceful life is successful. Meditation requires quiet and concentration. Doing this in a loud atmosphere would be difficult.

Much like the sand on the ocean floor, when the tide is strong the sand gets swept up, but when the sea is calm the sand settles to the bottom. It is the same thing with vipassana meditation. The longer you allow yourself to sit calmly and relaxed, only focused on your body and your breathing, the more your burdens will settle. By practicing the type of meditation, you will be allowing yourself to break from the worry and stress and instead be mindful of your life.

3. Set a Designated Time for Meditating

Not only is it important to designate a specific time of day for meditation, but it is important to set a timer for your meditation session. Starting off slow is the best way to ensure you are getting the most out of Vipassana meditation. Many people start with 20 minutes of practice every day. When you are able to sit in meditation for 20 minutes without getting distracted or having pain, you will be able to increase your time. Soon enough you could meditate all day if you wanted.

A lot of meditation retreats will teach you to begin meditating before the sun even comes up. They will often wake you up around 4 o’clock in the morning so that you can practice meditation and breathing before the day starts. You do not have to do this at home, but usually, the best time to meditate and center your mind is either the very beginning of the day or the very end. In some cases, it is good practice to meditate twice a day anyway, but it is all up to your discretion. 

Vipassana Meditation

4. Find a Comfortable Seating Position

It is important to find a sitting position you are comfortable in. This is important because it prevents adjusting throughout the meditation exercise. No matter how you choose to sit, sitting in one position for long periods of time has been shown to cause mild pain. Pushing through that pain is a key factor in how far you will go in your journey of Vipassana meditation. Finding a good position is important because you will be in that position for a long period of time.

Posture is also important, so any sitting position you choose, be sure to practice good posture. In many cases, you will have the option to use cushions, pillows, or even benches to aid in your comfort. The idea is not to torture yourself; it is to notice the pain and push through it. So, comfort is key. The meditation bench is especially helpful for those who battle chronic pain or have trouble sitting in one position for long periods of time. 

5. Use your Breath to Find your Present Moment

Your present moment is what you are currently experiencing. That means that the breath you are breathing and the warmth of the sun on your face is your present moment, free of any distracting thoughts and stress in your life. To find your present moment you need to first focus only on your breathing. With this, you will be able to watch your body mindfully and take note of its movements and sensations. Your present moment is where you will stay during the session.

It might be difficult to find when you are first starting your Vipassana meditation journey. And it will be easy to lose for even the most experienced meditators. There is no harm in getting distracted from your present moment as long as you know how to get back to it. When it comes to Vipassana meditation, practice almost makes perfect. And once you figure out how to find your present moment it will be easier for you to stay there and find it in a moment of distraction. 

6. Close your Eyes and Take Notice

Once you find your present moment, it is only a matter of breathing and staying mindful. Close your eyes, relax your body while continuing to sit in your comfortable meditation position. While you breathe in a relaxed manner, this is when you should begin to take notice of everything that is happening to your body. The air entering and exiting your nostrils and the movement of your abdomen from the breath filling your lungs. This is where you meditate. 

It will be easy for your mind to stray without you even noticing that you are doing it. Self-discipline is a trait that is learned, and it will take practice. You will need to keep reminding yourself to stay on track during meditation. It might become frustrating, but in a moment like that, it is vital to remember why you are practicing Vipassana meditation. This meditation technique is meant to teach you emotional restraint, and that will be a good time to practice it.

7. Keep your Mind Clear of Any Thought

Instead of thinking about whether or not you turned the coffee pot off or what you should cook for dinner, take a moment to stop worrying. Stop the racing thoughts that fill up your mind for the rest of the day and instead focus on clearing them. Let your mind be blank and put your focus on the sensations you are feeling throughout your body. There is plenty of time to worry about everyday worries when you are not meditating. For now, focus on your breath and your body. 

Vipassana meditation will teach you self-awareness in ways you never would have been able to expect. The more you practice, the more you will learn things about yourself that will help you become a better you. While you meditate and restrain yourself from distracting thoughts and activities, you will become aware of the aches and pains in your body that go away on their own. You will find a peace in your soul that you didn’t know was there, and that is the ultimate goal.

8. Be Mindful of the Changes That Happen

The longer you sit and meditate correctly, the more you will begin to realize your body is experiencing some changes as well. As you continue to focus on your breaths and movements, your muscles will begin to relax. Your mind will follow right behind it and the mediation will not feel so forced. Not only that but your breathing will also slow to restfulness. With mindful concentration, you will begin to see visible changes in your body and your mind’s restfulness.

The longer you sit without any movement, you will discover that your body and brain have the ability to endure pain without really caring about it. It is the ability to learn to live with natural and harmless pains including emotional pain. The physical and emotional pains that we feel on a daily basis come and go as they please. This is something you will begin to notice during your Vipassana meditation journey, and you will learn to control at least your emotional pains. 

Vipassana Meditation

9. Catch Yourself When your Mind Strays

It is easy to get distracted while you are meditating, especially in your own home. The neighbor dog barking or the doorbell ringing could take your focus away in a split second, and then you will have to start again. In these moments you will need to practice control over your mind and find a way to get your focus back on your breathing and your body. There are many techniques to find your present moment again, but for now, we will just start with 5 different options. 

Count to 10

Counting can be extremely helpful when you are fighting to find focus or trying to relax. Counting to 10 on each inhale and then again on each exhale, will help you find your focus on your breathing again. You can also count each inhale and exhale until you reach 10, and then start over. This technique forces you to focus on your breathing instead of your surroundings.  Then it will help you gain your focus on the meditation session and allow your body to relax. 

Connect the Breaths

When you are breathing in a relaxed manner there is often a pause between each inhale and exhale. To connect your breaths, you will need to focus on getting rid of that pause. To do this it takes focus because breathing without pause is not how your body naturally wants to breathe. This technique is not dangerous in any way and it allows you to mindfully see that your inhale and exhale are now one breath. And ultimately it will give you your concentration back. 

Fix your Mind

To fix your mind on a sensation happening to your body you will be able to focus on the mediation instead of whatever is distracting you. For example, by noticing the sensation of your inhale and exhale on your nostrils you will be distracted from your distraction. Another thing you can focus on is the rise and fall of your abdomen as your breath. Fixing your mind on meditation is essentially distracting yourself from your distraction by using meditation. 

Focus Like a Carpenter

When a carpenter is getting ready to cut a piece of wood, he will usually draw a line from the beginning of where he wants to cut, to the end. By using this technique more metaphorically than literally, you will have better luck keeping from distraction. Keep your mind on that line. The beginning of the line is the beginning of your meditation session. By staying on the line from point A to point B, you will get to the end without causing any jagged lines or rough edges. 

Let Your Mind Be a Gatekeeper

Similarly, a gatekeeper only has one focus and that is to only notice who comes and goes through the gate. If you take the responsibility of a gatekeeper and apply it to yourself during your meditation, you will only have the responsibility of worrying about what breaths enter and exit through your nose. If you are focusing on only these breaths, you will have a better chance of keeping your mind from any and all distractions. If you become distracted, it will center you.

10. End Your Vipassana Meditation the Right Way

When you are done with your meditation session you will need to end it correctly. Opening your eyes and jumping up when you are done is not the way to do it, and if you have been meditating for hours then you will probably fall right back down because you will not be able to feel your legs. When you are done meditating, you should come back to reality slowly. You will need to open your eyes in a slow manner while you tell yourself that you are opening your eyes.

The key is to stay mindful of your body for the entire process, and that even includes the end of the meditation session. By staying mindful of the occurrences in your body even at the end of your meditation session, it will make it easier for you to stay mindful throughout the day. You will be able to practice parts of the technique after your meditation session without dedicating an entire day to it. An example is practicing control of your emotions in a high-stress situation. 

Check out this video explanation of Vipassana meditation:

Try to Continue Practicing Mindfulness

Vipassana meditation does not only need to be practiced in the peace and quiet meditation room in your home. It is completely possible to continuously practice it throughout the day and is actually highly encouraged. To do this you will need to practice mindfulness of the events that take place throughout the day. Instead of just going with the motions you will want to actually notice what is taking place. And instead of doing a million things at once, focus on one at a time.

By practicing Vipassana meditation throughout your daily life, you will learn to dedicate your mind to one task at a time. By focusing on only one thing at a time, you will be providing the best results you can. The same goes for any emotional strains you feel throughout your day. A messy divorce, a vengeful ex, or a stressful work environment are no matches for Vipassana meditation. With some practice and a few moments of quiet mindfulness, you will learn to overcome all of it. 

It Will Not Be Easy

Vipassana meditation is not as easy as sitting crisscross applesauce in deep thought for however long you want. Keeping your mind focused on the meditation without letting it stray is just the beginning of the battle. It can also be extremely painful to sit in the same position for so long, especially for those that have preexisting conditions and chronic pain. Vipassana meditation helps people learn to notice these pains as well as the almost nonexistent sensations we never really paid any attention to. 

Once you are able to notice the pains and sensations separately, you will be able to observe them and understand them. It is not an easy task to sit through such an experience without reacting, but it is said to give you some perspective and aid in improving yourself. It is important to only practice Vipassana meditation if you are meditating. If you mix this technique with others, even if they were helpful in the past, you will not be able to devote yourself to the session. 

It is a battle of the mind and, if you are doing it right, you are essentially battling yourself. You will not be expected to sit for hours on end with a blank mind and no pain when you first begin, because it takes practice. And when you are able to effectively ignore the pain until it goes away on its own is when you know you are finally making progress is the art of Vipassana meditation. 

What Can Vipassana Meditation Do for You?

Meditation and its benefits have been studied and recorded for years. And the benefits of meditation are extensive, and some are actually surprising. Meditation has been shown to not only improve your immune system but also reduce inflammation and improve posture if done correctly on a regular basis. It is proven to have many other positive health benefits and is often recommended by doctors and psychiatrists in special cases. 

Vipassana meditation has also shown to improve emotional and mental health by decreasing depression, anxiety, and stress. By practicing this meditation technique, you will have the opportunity to explore yourself and the emotions that you feel. It will help you improve your happiness while you decrease any negative emotions you feel. In turn, this will improve relationships that you have with friends and family.

With a better mental health, you will be able to explore more friendships and expand your social circle. This will ultimately aid in any feelings of loneliness you have, which will result in an even better mental health. It all comes full circle. You will have more self-control and it will increase your ability to concentrate and regulate your emotions. On top of all of those benefits, meditation has been shown to increase creative thinking and improve memory and focus.

Conclusion

Vipassana meditation is an art and a lifestyle. It is a beautiful belief that will help you get to and stay the best person you can be. You will be able to be mindful of your body and your mental state, it will teach you to practice kindness and compassion, and in the long run, it will teach you how to deal with the stress of life. Even better, the best thing about Vipassana meditation is that it is not something that you have to force. All you need to do is follow a few simple rules:

  • Abstain from killing
  • Abstain from stealing
  • Abstain from sexual misconduct
  • Abstain from intoxicants

Now unless you are a rebel and you live a life of excitement and adrenaline; these rules should not be too hard to follow. Most of them are already laws that are illegal to break. These rules are the foundation of Vipassana meditation, and the foundation needs to be strong before you can build on it. If you do not live by these rules then ultimately this type of meditation will not work for you. These foundational rules are to help you keep a clear conscience and a light soul. 

One thing that is important to note is that the 10-day silent Vipassana retreat is irreplaceable. The teachers are masters of the art and can teach you more than an online article ever could. These are just the basics of the practice, but if you ever have a chance to go to a Vipassana retreat, you are not likely to regret it. You will be able to learn from materials from influential meditation teachers that have done nothing but practice and teach Vipassana meditation. 

This meditation technique is not one to take lightly. Not only is it extremely hard to endure in the beginning days of practice, but the payoff is extensive and well worth it. Once you know how to practice this legendary technique, you will begin on a journey to a lighter soul and a happier life. Vipassana might be one of the toughest meditation techniques out there, but it has easily some of the greatest results.

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