Author Topic: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?  (Read 8121 times)

Umati

How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« on: March 06, 2013, 05:07:32 PM »
Hi all!
I've been doing anapanasati for the last 4 months. I do it as vipassana rather than samatha, that is concentrate on actual sensations rather than the concept of breathing. It feels like by now momentary concentration is strong enough to allow for vipassana to actually start reprogramming the mind. After my 30min sessions the mind feels stronger, more stable and less willing to react with cravings/aversions to whatever is happening.
My question is how fast this reprogramming is actually working. How fast the results spread to the experiences of the everyday life (stress reduction, eradication of past trauma effects and complexes).  Assume two sessions, 1hour each, per day and abidance with the code of moral discipline.
Thank you for the answers!

garyblackhouse

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2013, 06:10:26 PM »
I'd say answers vary from each individual. I found the notes on neurophysiology on this forum very interesting and research into this may give you more of a technical answer.

From a personal perspective:
I'm about 10 weeks practicing Vipassana now, 2-3 hours a day when possible. At least 1 on a busy day. My transformation in this time has been significant, I went from unmotivated and unlovable along with addictions to drugs to contentment and a certain sense of love for life again. I'm almost surprised at times with my attitude toward interacting with people. Before I wore a brave mask, now it's off and I can breathe. Not getting carried away though, just being in the moment, I'm a new-comer to Vipassana so there's a long way to go. One must continue to not have goals for creating results and simply let them come naturally.

Sidenote: This week I have the flu, interesting to observe this also and understand it's nature, calming the mind through meditation to inspect a fever has given me some ease this week.

Peace.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2013, 06:47:08 PM »
There's no straight linear path for this, results can be measured in months, years, or decades.

I'd say the day you don't feel the need to ask this sort of question means you've progressed a fair way.

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2013, 03:42:56 AM »
during the time of buddha many got enlightened with in a day or in a moment as they were ready for it.
we might take millions of lifes, who knows.

it all depends on our past collection of sangharas.

brdlo

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2013, 12:27:58 PM »
Hi all!
I've been doing anapanasati for the last 4 months. I do it as vipassana rather than samatha, that is concentrate on actual sensations rather than the concept of breathing. It feels like by now momentary concentration is strong enough to allow for vipassana to actually start reprogramming the mind. After my 30min sessions the mind feels stronger, more stable and less willing to react with cravings/aversions to whatever is happening.
My question is how fast this reprogramming is actually working. How fast the results spread to the experiences of the everyday life (stress reduction, eradication of past trauma effects and complexes).  Assume two sessions, 1hour each, per day and abidance with the code of moral discipline.
Thank you for the answers!
Try not to think about these issues. You (or your mind) are wondering how long it takes to see the results, and therefore you are creating pressure on yourself, as a result of a mind activity. These expectations are itself harmful, try to relax.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2013, 12:30:29 PM by brdlo »

J0rrit

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 12:02:19 PM »
I'd say answers vary from each individual. I found the notes on neurophysiology on this forum very interesting and research into this may give you more of a technical answer.

Where can I find these? I have searched them but didn't find them... I am very interested in the neurophysiology (going to study Neurobiology),

Thanks in advance,

greets

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2013, 09:26:35 PM »
Some really good answers here. As others have said, it depends on the person - some people get noticeable results within weeks or months, others (like me) need years and the benefits can be very subtle. Some changes that come about may even appear negative at first, as you move out of delusion into reality. Also, as DT said, it's not a linear progression, you may feel you're going backwards sometimes. It's not like taking a course at university, and it's really important to break out of the mindset (conditioned into us by modern society) of seeing dhamma as just another means of "self-improvement", and wanting things to happen quickly.

From my own modest experience, two things have been very important. First, whatever you do, always keep up a daily practice, even if sometimes it's only one short sitting and even if you feel you're not "progressing". Don't pack it in when it seems like it's too hard or no use, only to come back to it months later - continuity is really important. Second, let go of all expectations and just do the practice. Craving for results will send you in the opposite direction.

All the best.

windaub

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 03:48:45 AM »
I'm not sure that the daily practice have to be a rule. I mean if you force yourself to sit down and meditate each day, even when you really don't want to do that, it can only be counter-productive and generate frustration. We are not perfect and we can't be equanimous each second of our lives, and if you sit down and meditate when you can't help having aversion for doing it, you sure won't be better after it. Sometimes (I can only speak for myself here) I prefer just to become aware of this aversion and not feel guilty about it. If I feel guilty because I don't want to meditate, I will generate new sankaras.
And I really think the point in all this practice thing is only to be present, to be aware of what is, and that you can do without sitting or without doing any kind of fixed practice. Just be there and aware, seeing things around you without labelling each one of them with your thoughts.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 07:49:58 AM »
Anecdotally I would have to say frequent practice yields far greater results than sporadic.

windaub

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 11:05:13 AM »
Yes I agree with you, but I think forcing yourself to practice when you don't want to does the opposite. And  also sitting down isn't the only way to practice there are infinite ways, or one, being aware.

brdlo

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 01:26:57 PM »
Yes I agree with you, but I think forcing yourself to practice when you don't want to does the opposite. And  also sitting down isn't the only way to practice there are infinite ways, or one, being aware.
agreed with this. Our ego excepting something great from meditation and that have negative effect on our way to become free. We should try not to force our-self... 

Dharmic Tui

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 08:52:06 PM »
I would politely disagree with you both. I don't think you can cherry pick when to sit based on when is right for you, part of this is about accepting things as they are, not waiting for conditions to be perfect. Also I don't know about you guys but some of my more insightful sittings have come from times when I have been reluctant to sit, and some of my less fruitfull sittings have manifested from instances where I was keen as a bean to do a sitting. I believe you need to sit under a full range of circumstances to get the most from this.

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 08:53:12 PM »
Yes I agree with you, but I think forcing yourself to practice when you don't want to does the opposite. And  also sitting down isn't the only way to practice there are infinite ways, or one, being aware.
agreed with this. Our ego excepting something great from meditation and that have negative effect on our way to become free. We should try not to force our-self... 
Well I'm certainly no expert, just speaking from my own limited experience here. But as I understand it, if sitting generates aversion, then rather than just avoiding sitting we should bring awareness to that aversion. Isn't this the whole point of meditation? If we only sit when it feels easy and avoid sitting when it all becomes too hard, aren't we simply continuing our usual patterns of behaviour - chasing the pleasant and avoiding the unpleasant? When I used to allow myself not to sit whenever I didn't feel like it, my practice inevitably became less and less frequent and eventually stopped completely for months at a time.

And I really think the point in all this practice thing is only to be present, to be aware of what is, and that you can do without sitting or without doing any kind of fixed practice.
I agree that bringing awareness into everyday experience is the main point, but personally I have only been able to do this effectively following a year or more of continuous daily meditation. That's why they call it "practice" I suppose - it's training your mind, developing new habitual thought patterns to help you become more fully aware in your everyday life.

redalert

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 10:00:49 PM »
I would politely disagree with you both. I don't think you can cherry pick when to sit based on when is right for you, part of this is about accepting things as they are, not waiting for conditions to be perfect. Also I don't know about you guys but some of my more insightful sittings have come from times when I have been reluctant to sit, and some of my less fruitfull sittings have manifested from instances where I was keen as a bean to do a sitting. I believe you need to sit under a full range of circumstances to get the most from this.

^good posting

garyblackhouse

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2013, 09:01:03 PM »
Where can I find these? I have searched them but didn't find them... I am very interested in the neurophysiology (going to study Neurobiology),

Thanks in advance,

greets

Hey JOrrit, front page: http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/page,10.html I found this reading very worthwhile when I joined the forum, it's short but descriptive. I'm sure you'll find more and more on the subject around the web.

Also, I agree with Dharmic. There's a difference between forcing yourself to practice and waiting for the force of nature to propel you into the "right mood" to practice. Though perseverance is a better word than force, remain equanimous and aware with the first and results may come.

Peace.

Falkov

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #15 on: April 29, 2013, 04:16:12 PM »
There's practice - in safe controlled environment, then there's the real event- very dynamic, chaotic like real life.   I normally practice as closet to the real thing as possible, ready for challenges. 

biswa

Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #16 on: May 01, 2013, 11:08:56 AM »
Meditation should not be goal oriented or result oriental.
As Atisha says: ABANDON ALL HOPES OF RESULTS. This is the key.
The Mind is always looking for results as the ego is Result Oriented.But we should be more inclined to sitting and be aware in the moment than to watch the results or in a sense progress in meditation.
It does not come easily as from personal experience i can say that we look for results but when we let go the result oriented approach then we can progress better(Here also the results are coming into picture but we are not concerned with it).
Secondly as far as sitting is concerned,daily sitting is very important.
From personal experience,i can say that if we miss the daily practice,then slowly we are going to miss the whole practice and coming back to practice is much more difficult than continuing in the practice.
Here also I quote one of Atisha Words: ALWAYS OBSERVE THE THREE GENERAL POINTS.
Out of the Three Points, The First Point is regularity of meditativeness.

Metta,
Biswa

Matthew

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Re: How fast does vipassana yield practical results?
« Reply #17 on: May 01, 2013, 02:19:45 PM »
Hi all!
I've been doing anapanasati for the last 4 months. I do it as vipassana rather than samatha, that is concentrate on actual sensations rather than the concept of breathing....

Complete misunderstanding/wrong view. Anapanasati includes elements of Shamatha and Vipassana fruition, always has and always will.

EDIT: to clarify: concept is thought, unless thought is the object of meditation then if thought is prominent and you are engaging with it (beyond observation) then you are not meditating. Anapana always includes mindfulness of the sensations in the body and always results in the dual fruition of Vipassana and Shamatha. Shamatha has nothing to do with the "concept of breathing", nothing at all.

The text linked here may clarify some confusion:

... I am very interested in the neurophysiology (going to study Neurobiology),...

Hey JOrrit, front page: http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/page,10.html I found this reading very worthwhile when I joined the forum, it's short but descriptive. I'm sure you'll find more and more on the subject around the web.
...
« Last Edit: May 01, 2013, 03:11:36 PM by Matthew »
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