Who am I? What am I? What have I taken birth for? Who is God? Who is the Supreme Power which controls all beings?

        These are some of the common questions which haunt every mind and these can be answered only when the body, mind and soul are in complete harmony. The body is inert, the soul is eternal and the mind is the link between the two. The mind never dies. One has to concentrate on the mind to find the link between the body and the soul. Mind is the most powerful tool and control of the mind is essential to achieve anything in life. All religions deal with control and proper orientation of mind.

        From time to time we all experience agony, agitation, frustration and disharmony. We distribute our sufferings to others because we want to live peacefully. We crave to live peacefully with ourselves as well as with others but are unable to. How to attain this peace? Vipassana enables us to experience this peace and harmony.

        Vipassana is to see things as they really are. Buddhist in origin, it is the most ancient technique of Meditation. This was rediscovered by Gautama Buddha more than 2500 years ago. Vipassana brings about holistic healing, not merely healing the body of the diseases, but eradicating the suffering of the mind. It helps to throw out the negativities from the mind and brings about positive thinking. Vipassana brings about self-transformation through self-observation, by focussing on the interconnection between the body and the mind. One has to first concentrate the mind on the breath and then turn by turn on each and every part of the body.

        Vipassana is a ten-day residential course because it takes at least three days before the mind is ready to start vipassana. The first step is to calm the mind by abstaining from negative thoughts and actions like speaking untruths, intoxication etc. The second step is to control the mind and fix it on the breath -- both on inhalation and exhalation. It is only on the fourth day that the mind is clear and more focussed-- ready for vipassana, observing sensations throughout the body, understanding their nature and learning not to react. Half an hour sessions are allotted every day to give instructions and to clarify doubts. Apart from this each one has to remain in their own allotted place. The entire practice is a mental training. For this purpose the location has to be secluded and complete links from the outside world is cut off, even no communication with fellow participants is permitted. No reading or writing is permitted and no religious or other spiritual practices allowed. It is a rigorous and demanding daily schedule with ten hours of meditation.

        One has to observe total silence during the complete period of the course, because only through silence the mind initially gets agitated and all the negativities stored in, will come out in different forms such as physical discomforts, emotional outbursts, irritation and even stopping the practice and withdrawing . These discomforts are expected to be out of the system to a great extent in a period of approximately three days' time. Then only the real vipassana can be practiced. THE TOTAL SILENCE. When I say total silence , the silence of the body as well as the mind. If the mind does not go into silence , one cannot achieve the results of vipassana in the right sense. The body is always silent, it is the mind that creates the waves, hence it is the mind that has to go into silence and into harmony with the aathma. The food also plays a vital role in the pattern of our thinking. The living pattern of being in a hermitage in the natural environments will help us bring our true nature in self. All these are to help us know the true self of us and once we know the true self, there remains the total peace, happiness and harmony.