Last week we looked at Samatha meditation. This week we’ll review Vipassana meditation and how it differs from Samatha meditation. As you will recall, Samatha meditation focuses on calming the mind, whereas Vipassana meditation focuses on clearing the mind and developing insight. The goal of Vipassana is not meant to bring about immediate change or alteration, but simply to gain better understanding and awareness. That’s not to say that no changes or alterations occur through Vipassana meditation. In fact, quite the opposite. With continued Vipassana meditation your entire world view changes. You are better able to accurately view and interpret situations while remaining emotionally separate from them. You are better able to see how your views and emotions affect and skew your interpretations of situations. You are better able to accept realityfor what it is, rather than frantically trying to change or rage against it. You are better able to just be. Unlike in Samatha meditation, in which your frontal lobes may remain engaged to an extent as you focus on or even count your breaths, in Vipassana meditation you learn to turn those frontal lobes off, if you will, so that you can go inward, to the very depths of your inner being. As you might imagine, Vippasana meditation is harder to do.

Wait…. meditation has something to do with neurology and vice versa? You betcha. Now, normally I spare you from my obsession with the brain and how it influences human behavior, but every once in awhile you have to pay the toll. Actually, I just realized that next week is the first of the month. Let’s change that to your rent is due!

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