We are breathing because we are alive and because we are alive we breathe.
Breath is the only reality in our lives.If our breath ebbs we go. 2500 years ago Buddha discovered, that by merely focusing on our breath we are brought closer to our self and our awareness sharpens. This self observation completely alters and transforms us in the most positive way changes our thoughts, perceptions and beliefs.
This process of truthful and unbiased observation of ourselves is called Vipansna. Meaning seeing things as they really are. It is the process of self- purification by self-observation. One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind.With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification. The entire path (Dhamma) is a universal remedy for universal problems and has nothing to do with any organized religion or sectarianism. For this reason, it can be freely practiced by everyone, at any time, in any place, without conflict due to race, community or religion, and will prove equally beneficial to one and all.
Vipassana meditation aims at the highest spiritual goals of total liberation and full enlightenment. Its purpose is never simply to cure physical disease. However, as a by-product of mental purification, many psychosomatic diseases are eradicated. In fact, Vipassana eliminates the three causes of all unhappiness: craving, aversion and ignorance. With continued practice, the meditation releases the tensions developed in everyday life, opening the knots tied by the old habit of reacting in an unbalanced way to pleasant and unpleasant situations.
Although Vipassana was developed as a technique by the Buddha, its practice is not limited to Buddhists. The technique works on the simple basis that all human beings share the same problems and a technique which can eradicate these problems will have a universal application. People from many religious denominations have experienced the benefits of Vipassana meditation, and have found no conflict with their profession of faith.
Although Vipassana meditation is beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment is not recommend as an therapy for people with psychiatric disorders.
Additional information about Vipassana meditation and worldwide course schedules may be obtained from the Vipassana website: http://www.dhamma.org