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Meditation and Stress

Updated on December 24, 2010
The author on his year-long stay on MacQuaries Island in 1976-77.  He turned forty-one there.  At fifty he was introduced to Vipassana Meditation and has been practising twice daily for the past twenty-four years.
The author on his year-long stay on MacQuaries Island in 1976-77. He turned forty-one there. At fifty he was introduced to Vipassana Meditation and has been practising twice daily for the past twenty-four years.

The Vipassana practitioner can sense subtler sensations than the average man or woman

Welcome to Meditation and Stress. In this Hub I will attempt to explain how depression anxiety and stress, and anger and stress, can be alleviated by a technique known as Vipassana Meditation or Insight Meditation, as it is sometimes called.

There is a hypothesis that we live in a 'sea of thought.' That our particular interests and motivations are what bring the thoughts that we receive to our mind-brains. Whether or not this is true is by the way. But one thing Vipassana Meditators know, and know by experience, is that every thought we have is accompanied by an emotion and that emotion is registered as a feeling.

Where is it registered? It is registered in the only place it can be, in our own mind-body. I say mind-body , rather than just physical body - though it is certainly lodged there - because we are surrounded by a multitude of dimensions which could be called our mind-body. Commonly referred to as the human aura, these bodies are believed to be - and they can certainly be sensed by the Vipassana practioner - part of us. And it is in these , as well as the physical, that these feelings I previously mentioned are lodged.


Vipassana Meditation

What I am saying is that we are much, much more than the physical body we can see with our eyes. We are made up of layer upon layer of matter beyond the reach of most of our normal, everyday physical senses. However, by the daily practice of Vipassana Meditation, once one has become truly established in the technique, what is in these layers can be detected.

This detection happens as, in our stillness, what is held deep within these more subtler layers of ourselves rises to the surface . When it surfaces, we feel it as a sensation. We h ave sensations arising and passing away in quick rapidity in every part of our body . I am now of the opinion, after well over twenty years and maybe 20,000 hours of meditation, that we first of all rid ourselves of the sensations which are uppermost, that is, actually in the physical. When these are gone, more subtle sensations in the next densest layer (e.g. the bio-plasmic body) come up to pass away. And when they're gone, the next subtlest layer, and after that the next...and so on.


Depression anxiety and stress, anger and stress, are held within.

The point is there are layer after layer of something which belongs to us personally. If it were just one or two layers, we could rid ourselves of all of these sensations within a few weeks - certainly months. But it seems there are hundreds, possibly thousands of layers, each blending into the next.

It would be fair to say that if even a hundreth, or possibly a thousanth part of the pain we hold within was to surface all at once, the shock would probably kill us! Yes, there is, in my opinion, that much trauma, angst, fear held within.

The sensations are, of course, part of our mind-body makeup. They represent the contents of our mind - the subconscious mind. I could say that they are the emotional content, as feelings, of our subconscioius mind. And these feelings are the angst, the anxieties, the jealousies, the angers, frustrations, fears that are held deep within us and cause us most of our stress and anxiety.


Meditation and Stress - What happens with the Vipassana practitioner?

So what actually happens in Vipassana Meditation? What happens is that by quieting our minds, ceasing the verbal chatter, the analysis, judgements, etc. we allow the feeling content of the subconscious to rise, a little at a time, to the surface. What surface? What you might call the 'mirror' of the mind where it can be impartially observed by the real us, the Observer, the Witness, the Experiencer, of our lives.

As you may already be aware, every sub-atomic particle in our body is arising and passing away at an enormous rate. Atoms come into being and go out of being to replaced by identical atoms. The patterns which make up our cells, our organs, are also changing as these changes are taking place. With the acute awareness that this type of meditation brings, one is able to feel the changes taking place. And they are taking place. If they weren't none of us would every grow older.


Vipassana Meditation and Stress

So what has this got to do with depression anxiet and stress?

The technique is such that by witnessing the arising and passing away of these sensations, we are gradually and systematically ameliorating our stress. It is gradually, very gradually, passing away...arising within us and passing away into another form of energy in another dimension. We are ridding ourselves of it! 

The benefits of Vipassana are many. But certainly among them are the relief of stress affects

I do not intend to give a really full discourse on Vipasasna, or Insight Meditation, as it is alternatively called here. You can certainly find out more by checking for yourselves. But the only way you will experience this particular method of releasing stress is to actually take up the technique and practice it yourself.

The only way to realize and obtain the benefits of this technique is to practice it.

I hope this short introduction into this particular meditation technique and how stress affects can gradually attentuate if one practices it, has been of benefit.

I wish you well.



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  • primpo profile image

    Primpo 6 years ago from Brooklyn, New York

    I am working through this very issue, it is difficult to quite myself and be ready and relaxed, even though I know from experience that it's exactly what you need to do in order to make things work on a more positive level. I have a lot to learn, I look forward to reading more..