Buddha taught Vipassana for free to all who cared to practise it 2,500 years ago. Today, the Alberta Vipassana Foundation is teaching this technique for free to all who are determined to give it a try, to see for themselves how it works and to weigh the benefits.
Vipassana in Pali means "insight" to see things as they really are and it has been described by S.N. Goenka as "an art of living." It is a way of self-transformation through self-observation and self-reflection. Its unique quality is non-sectarian, non-religious and it must be taught entirely for free...
...On the evening we arrived, the practice of Anapana meditation was taught. It entails observing the natural breath coming in and out of the nostrils without regulating or changing the breath.
The following two days, we continued to observe our normal breathing as we learned to let our minds become calm, sharp and sensitive.
On Day 3, everyone had to work on normal breathing while paying close attention to any sensations in the small area between the nostrils and the upper lip.
Day 4 was Vipassana day, spent simply observing sensations throughout the body from the top of the head to the tips of the toes -- the whole body. The goal was to understand the impermanent nature of these sensations while developing equanimity by learning not to react to them.
From Day 5 to Day 9, we were not allowed to open our eyes, arms or legs in all three, one-hour group meditation sessions. This was called The Sitting of Strong Determination. We continued to observe sensations, piercingly and penetratingly sweeping through each and every part of the whole body.
On Day 10, we learned loving kindness meditation to develop our noble qualities and share them with all beings. Noble silence was lifted after morning group sitting.
In essence, our cravings and aversions come from the experience of body sensations. Sensations arise when a sense object comes in contact with sense doors. People do not crave chocolate, but the decadent taste sensation that arises from eating it.
The teaching is to feel the sensation and yet not to relish it; to remain equanimous and detached from it. By mastering this, we come out of old habits that create bondages and misery for ourselves. It is a practice of letting go.
The practices for the first three days remind me of contemplative talk about "breath prayers." If contemplative "Christians" haven't yet adopted most or all of these practices, it's only a matter of time until they do. Camp Kasota, where this practice is taught, is owned by the hopelessly apostate United Church of Canada. If you go to the site mentioned at the end of the article, put a "www." in front of the url. If you type "dharma" instead of "dhamma," you'll end up at a similar site in Massachusetts.