Idea for building a Happy World (using Anapana) Edit
Anapana (awareness of breathing) is the first step of Vipassana Meditation, which results in a concentrated and peaceful mind. This exercise can even be done by kids of 8 years.
I feel that Anapana should be integrated with school education. It can impart moral values to children at an early age very effectively. It also helps students become more intelligent and sharp. So, it is extremely valuable for students.
If we integrate Anapana with education, I am sure we will have much better world citizens, who will build a happy world. This integration is very easy. Anapana exercise will just require 10 to 20 minutes per day!
Anapana has tremendous potential and results in making the mind very concentrated, happy, and creative. Anapana results in betterment of the mind. Mind is the root of all actions and achievements. Hence, Anapana achieves improvements in all spheres of life. Some specific advantages of Anapana are given below
1) Concentration of mind increases
2) Awareness and Alertness of the mind improves
3) Mastery over the mind improves
4) Memory becomes very sharp
5) Decision-making power improves
6) Self-confidence increases
7) Agitation, fear, tension, nervousness and stress decreases
8) Capacity to work increases
9) Better performance in studies, sports and extra-curricular activities
10) Ability to understand and express increases
11) Mind becomes healthy, wholesome and strong
12) One becomes full of good wishes for others
More and more schools have already started imparting training of Anapana to students. Vipassana centres around the globe offer such courses for individual children and schools. Kindly refer the links http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/index.html and http://www.vri.dhamma.org/anapana/school.html
I am listing some more links which shed more light on what Anapana can do for children/students.
http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/edu1.html http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/child.html http://www.vri.dhamma.org/research/94sem/child2.html
Kindly feel free to contact me for any clarifications/comments/suggestions/criticism.
Wishing You a Happy and Noble World,
Vikas Nagpal (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Vipassana : The Path of HappinessEdit
If end of suffering (or unconditional happiness) is the goal, Vipassana Meditation is the path to be taken.
It is a well-defined, well-detailed, do-able by you and me, and logical path, and is the teaching of Lord Gautam Buddha. As we know, Buddha had a similar task at hand - understanding and eradicating suffering.
There are three parts of Vipassana
1) Sila : One becomes a noble person in speech and deeds
2) Samadhi : Concentration : One takes control over the mind and has the capacity to focus it entirely on a chosen object.
3) Panna : Wisdom : One gets experiential wisdom of the mind-body process. This is different from heard or intellectual wisdom, which is typically somebody else's wisdom inherited by one. It shatters so many conditioning, mis-concepts, pre-judices etc.
Vipassana is essentially the Noble Eight Fold path discovered by Lord Buddha. It has three sub-parts : sila, samadhi and panna.
Pointers for Intellectual Wisdom
1) A book titled "The art of living" by William Hart (Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka) Publisher : Vipassana Research Institute. (The Hindi books "Dharma : Jeevan Jeene ki kalaa" and "Nirmal Dhara Dharam ki" are also enlightening books)
2) The starting article http://www.dhamma.org/art.htm
4) A wonderful FAQ : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/general/question.html
5)Lot of articles : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/archives/index.html (Do away lot of false/ignorant conditioning of the mind)
6) VRI Publications : http://www.vri.dhamma.org/publications/publist.html
7) Links on Anapana (which is very effective for children and students)
8) Links about Vipassana and Anapana : http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Why_Vipassana/links
Pointers for Experiential Wisdom
One needs to attend a 10 day concept+practice course offered by S.N. Goenka and his teachers, in many locations World-wide.
Some facts about Vipassana
1) Vipassana is not for any sect, religion or isms : A christian will become a good christian. A Buddhist will become a good Budhhist. A Hindu will become a good Hindu. A XYZ will become a good XYZ
2) Vipassana says nothing good or bad about any religion, be it Buddhism, Hindu-ism, Sikh-ism, XYZ-ism
3) Vipassana neither says that God exists, nor denies it. It says nothing in this concern. It is universally applicable, for believers-in-God, and for non-believers-in-God. It is for rich, poor, educated, illiterate, all colors, all castes, all humans.
4) Vipassana is based on truth, on the reality. It requires no belief. Come and Experience and See for yourself, inside yourself. The reality, we live in, is apperant reality. Ultimate reality is very different, and need not be told/read. It can be experienced, if you practice.
5) Benefits are here-and-now. At each step, you get a reward.
6) You do not have to sacrifice the worldly life at all. A family person becomes a good family person. An Employee become a good employee. A citizen becomes a good citizen. A human becomes a good human.
7) Do not try to do the Meditation after reading a book, or hearing from another student. The first experience of Vipassana must be in the 10-day course. This is because, there is only one correct way to do a thing right, while there are ten thousands ways of doing a thing wrong. Ofcourse, at intellectual level, you can read/discuss to any depth. But, do remember that it is experiential wisdom which helps finally. Intellectual wisdom acts just like an inspiration (and is very important in that sense. Most of the people fail, because they never take the first step, due to conditioning/ignorance/...)
8) Many methods exist to clean the conscious mind. But the sub-conscious mind does not think. It just feels, reacts and creates defilements/impurities. Vipassana goes to the depth of sub-conscious mind too, and cleans the entire mind. Cleaning the conscious mind at intellectual level, and keeping the sub-conscious mind is like sitting on a sleeping Volcano.
For More Details
1) You can contact any Vipassana Center
2) You can contact me at email@example.com. Your comments,suggestions, clarification-requests are welcome.
Wishing You a Happy and Brilliant Mind,
Vikas Nagpal (firstname.lastname@example.org)