Difference mindfulness, insight and vipassana

Difference vipassana, insight meditation and mindfulness

Mindfulness, insight meditation and also vipassana are becoming more known and more often practiced. What a difference with about 10 years ago! Personally, I think it’s a great development that, for example, more companies are also offering it to their staff more often.
Perhaps you have also taken a course or retreat. Or you are interested, but you are not sure what suits you best and what each of them entails.
In this blog I will try to clearly state what the differences and similarities between the three are.

Similarities between vipassana, mindfulness, insight meditation and mindfulness meditation

All are about increasing your awareness, and gaining more insight into yourself. When you become more aware of yourself, and more insight into yourself, you can make choices and decide whether or not to change something.
Another similarity is the practice of non-judgment; not to yourself, others and your environment.
Relaxation and peace of mind are more the result of your practices, but not the goal in itself.

In all these 3 types of practices, it is not about getting an empty head and having no more thoughts, but rather to become aware of what is simply there.
Whatever thoughts, feelings or sensations there are, they are not suppressed, but experienced, accepted, so that you can then let them go.

In short, what is what?

Vipassana is also known as Insight Meditation, based on the ancient training of awareness and insight. 
The more modern Insight meditation is also called mindfulness meditation and more adjusted to our modern western society.  
And mindfulness is a comprehensive training that includes meditation as part of the practice of awareness.

What is Vipassana meditation?

Vipassana (in Pali)  or vipaśyanā  (in Sanskriet)  is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. It is the practice to see things as they really are. It involves concentration on the body or its sensations, and the insight which this provides. It is the kind of style the Buddha used, to reach enlightenment and then taught to others.  It involves the teachings of the 4 noble truths and the eightfold path with the ultimate goal of achieving nirvana.
You can do vipassna meditation sitting, walking, standing and laying down.

During your meditation you are continuously practicing to observe, to be aware what’s arising in the present moment; what you feel, hear, smell, think. To accept what is. Without judgment. And to let go of what you were aware of.
Within Vipassana meditation you use the movement of our belly is our anchor. Every time you notice your mind wanders, due to a thought, a sound, an emotion, a sensation in your body, you make a mental note of what is, and then go back to the movement of the belly; to be aware of the rising and falling of the belly. 
You keep doing this over and over again. It helps you focus and to come back to the present moment.

What is Insight meditation or Mindfulness meditation?

The more modern insight meditation, or mindfulness meditation stems from the traditional vipassana. It also focuses on awareness, attentiveness, acceptance and insight, but without the ancient teachings of the eightfold path and the ultimate goal of achieving nirvana. During the meditation you focus on experiences in the here and now (such as your breathing, movement of the foot, sounds, thoughts, feelings) and appoint them. And be alert when your mind wanders and bring it back to the present. You learn to really be present in the moment and to worry less about the past or the future. This practice helps you develop a different attitude about unpleasant experiences and helps to break negative thinking and thought patterns.
Mindfulness meditation and insight meditation can be done standing, sitting, walking and laying down, but also during all kind of daily activities, from driving your car, doing the dishes to listening to music. 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is about self-awareness; you practice to focus your attention on the present moment and to have an attitude of openness and acceptance to whatever is happening. It is about becoming more aware of yourself, others and your environment. All without judgement.
Also mindfulness is about waking up to ourselves, becoming grounded in who we are and who we are not, so that we can connect more effectively with other people and live a more socially influential life, what is a more meaningful life.
Self-awareness comes through self-control, self-discipline and lots of practice.
A training is pretty practical and includes theory, assignments and exercises, including mindfulness meditation. 
For more information kindly have a look at mindfulness training 
If you like to know more about the background of mindfulness, in a previous blog I wrote about the origin of mindfulness. 

Get started with mindfulness and meditation

Today there are many types of ‘Insight, Attention, and Awareness training’; many different types of meditation, non-religious mindful techniques and, for example, awareness therapy. There is not one right way, but just different forms, just like there are different kinds of teachers. Perhaps it is best that you intuitively notice what best suits you. Be critical, but without criticism and with an open mind, it’s all about gaining more insight into yourself.

Combine mindfulness with vipassana and/or insight meditation

Sometimes sitting still and meditating can be quite difficult: your head is busy, your body hurts. But don’t be too hard on yourself either. Yes, it’s normal for meditation to be challenging, but pushing too hard isn’t the answer either.
Taking a walk, taking a shower, listening attentively, being aware of what you eat, all these exercises can also have a very calming effect on you and increase your focus.

Training and workshops in mindfulness and meditation

I provide individual and group workshops and training. This can vary from one-hour sessions to a workshop of weeks.
Depending on the time and type of program, more background information is provided, exercises are done, assignments are given for home plus guided meditation sessions.
Emphasis on specific topics can be implemented, like stress reducing or communication.
If you are interested, you can contact me directly or have a look first at the pages about yoga and meditation and mindfulness training

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Hi, my name is Jolinda, and I work as a holistic health practitioner.  I provide yoga and meditation classes and massage and Reiki treatments,  mindfulness training and happiness coaching,. 
With my blogs I hope to inspire you to make positive changes into your life. For more ideas and tips check out my page Jolindas inspiration.  Free trainings and videos you can find at free downloads and videos
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