Author Topic: No visible results of Vipassana  (Read 4152 times)


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No visible results of Vipassana
« on: November 07, 2014, 01:58:03 AM »
I am a newbie to Vipassana because I finished my first retreat in August 2014. After I came back I diligently practice meditation at least once a day for an hour. I read a lot on this subject and consciously do my best to apply Ms. Goenka suggestions such as: I do not react to provocations, arguments, do not gossip and criticize people, do not provoke people myself, or react with anger, and restrain myself from hurting people emotionally. That is on conscious level. To achieve it I strongly control myself.

As for body scanning for sensations during meditation I haven't notice slightest improvement in my emotional and physical feelings. I still live in my misery of worrying, being afraid, being angry and impatient. I guess two months of meditation is not much considering my lifetime thought pattern that I need to change or discard. I cannot help myself but to crave for liberation, equanimity and awareness that has been promised by Vipassana. There should be no judgement and right or wrong way of practicing it but I still think that maybe I do something wrong or not do something that I should.

I wonder how other people progress in their practice of Vipassana.

Welcome any comments or sharing experience in this matter.


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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2014, 02:18:26 AM »
Meditation is a funny thing: we do it without attachment to the results, while all the time keeping an eye on what we perceive to be results!     ;)

I am not familiar with Goenka's teachings so cannot comment specifically on the method you are using. For me if there is a lot of conscious effort to control oneself, this is running counter to meditation, which is simply about becoming more aware, really seeing into what is there.  As we truly see what we are doing, and see that it is no longer serving us as we thought it was, the behaviour usually falls away.  But this does take time as you say, two months is not long at all, especially after a lifetime building the other habits.

Do you think it might be possible that you are doing everything, including the sitting practice, with a view to achieving something?  This can be subtle, but when it is there really detracts from simply sitting with what is without judgment.  Sometimes we even need to sit with that with acceptance - simply sit with our strong desire for something to change as a result of our practice.

If you are meditating regularly you are doing yourself a service. Just as a seed can grow for some time in the ground before anything is visible above the ground, our practice builds our ability to be with what is with awareness and without judgment slowly over time.  If we plant a seed in the ground then every day pull the dirt back to see how it is doing, whether it is growing, we are more likely to kill the plant than nurture it, and it's the same with our meditation practice.  We just water the seed (meditate each day) and watch what happens, including watching when we are impatient for results.  :)

Remember to bring compassion and kindness to yourself for your patterns, they served you at one time, or you wouldn't have adopted them.

Dharmic Tui

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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2014, 03:00:43 AM »
Two to three months to see radical change and undoing decades of indoctrination is a lofty aspiration. It can take years for insights to be made and mental patterns reconditioned. Letting go of obtaining some fixed point where you're all "fixed" is part of the process.


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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2014, 10:21:49 AM »
The results I experienced were largely qualitative and seemed most evident to me after about 9 - 12 months of consistent practice. I noticed other things in the 3-6 month period too
Follow your nose


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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2014, 11:40:27 PM »
Thank you everyone that responded to me with your valuable insight and shared experience. this forum is the second greatest thing after Vipassana retreat that happened to me recently. I love then honesty and openness of most of the posts. Not to mention about so much great advice.

I think you've mixed up morality with control here. We can be aware of these things and try our best to refrain from them, but I think it's more important to just be aware of the ways we react, instead of trying to control it. There will come a point where the pain, the embarrassment, the anger, through awareness, will become so sickening, that we just have no more room for it in our life.

You are right Tobin.  It is better to observe my reaction and be aware of it than control it. I am doing it also.  but I need to restrain myself from taking my frustrations and emotional distress on other people. And that takes lots of control at least at the beginning of my Vipassana journey. I also believe that by not reacting I am developing different habit of communicating with people. Eventually it might become my second nature. I am not sure whether this technique on conscious level is also recommended but my usual habit of reacting with anger, resentment and judgement already makes me sick and I felt that I needed to do something about it. I am also meditating every day for an hour so I practice Vipassana on unconscious level too. Thank you for your remark though. I will pay more attention to being aware of anything that goes through my unruly mind.


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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2014, 11:58:13 PM »
I don't know what happened to Tobin's post. It disappeared. Maybe I did something wrong while cutting and pasting a quote.


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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2014, 10:06:42 PM »
I don't know what happened to Tobin's post. It disappeared. Maybe I did something wrong while cutting and pasting a quote.

No, you did nothing wrong Gasteria. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to present advice but it comes across as babbling, so I delete it thinking no one else has had a chance to read it yet. :P I'm glad you got something out of it. Don't give up, you're doing great!

Just A Simple Guy

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Re: No visible results of Vipassana
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2014, 01:08:04 AM »
Let me first set the table.

A thought arises. Perhaps out of the blue or perhaps because of a perception of people, places, words, actions, behaviors or events.  This thought produces another thought followed by another and another, building a story and leading to an emotional response. Perhaps the emotional response only manifests as inner feelings of misery, worry, fear, anger, impatience. Perhaps the emotional response drives us to lash out at others in some way. Oftentimes we are barely (if at all) aware of the thought train, the narrative it builds or reinforces, or its connection to our emotional response as it's in progress. After some period of time we might put it all together, but it's usually well after the fact. Then we might experience guilt because we feel we overreacted.

That being said, here's my take on where meditation comes into play.

I find meditation helps bring awareness closer and closer to the trigger, be it a thought, sensation, noise, smell, etc. This provides the opportunity to derail the ensuing thought train before it balloons into a big narrative and overly emotional response.

I vary my sittings between focused awareness of breath and open awareness. The exercise of attending awareness slowly helps me become aware I'm not attending closer and closer to the loss of attending. The fruit of the practice is eventually it carries over into all aspects of life. The same should be true of Vipassana.

My own experience is this facilitates non-reaction in an organic fashion as opposed to an attempt to control something I'm not even aware I'm doing.

I think I first noticed the fruits of my practice in after several months. Small things like being less frustrated by traffic, less annoyed by certain people, less stressed by some aspects of work, etc.

This is my take and perhaps it has some relevance to your OP. I certainly welcome any and all feedback.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2014, 01:15:27 AM by Just A Simple Guy »
“Research your own experience. Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee


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