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Meditation

Why Should I meditate?

We meditate to be happy.  With the help of a meditation practice, we learn to slow down and become observant of how we create our own suffering….either from scratch or, in reaction to the behaviour of others.  We learn to transform our distressing reactions.  We become more peaceful and content.  Happier.

How long should I meditate?

Regularity is more important than time.  A goal is to work up to 45 minutes a day. If you have the luxury to spend more time.....great!  And don't forget mindfulness during daily activities. This counts for a lot.

What is Vipassana Meditation?

There are 2 main aspects to meditation: stilling the mind and insight.  Vipassana means insight.  These 2 aspects support one another.  It's a misunderstanding to say you are just doing one or the other.  They are like 2 ends of a stick.  They occur together.  You can emphasise one or the other, but that is the most you can separate them.

Insight refers to seeing reality clearly: the 4 Noble Truths and the perceptions of inconstancy, unsatisfactoriness and non self.

I See/hear things when I meditate for a long time, is that normal?

Yes, this is normal.  Just ignore them.  Stay with your breath or the meditation object you are using.  You will waste time following these moving sensations or visuals.  They are harmless.

Can I levitate if I meditate long enough?

I don't know.  There are lots of stories from the time of the Buddha and I've spoken to a person who claimed he levitated during meditation.  But it's not important.  Yes, psychic powers may or may not develop as your meditation practice develops.  For teachers, this can help them to more effectively teach individual students.  But for the rest of us, they can be a hindrance.....distracting us from the main purpose of our practice.....to end suffering.