What is Mindfulness and what is Vipassana?

We spend our lives running away from what we don't like and holding on to what we like. But in reality this is a recipe that ultimately makes us unhappy because, willy-nilly, we have no control over external events. What we love is by its nature non-permanent and like all things, it is born, lives and dies, while what we hate sometimes parks itself in our existence and remains stationary for too long. Here is the nature of suffering, but here is also the 'cure'.

We can and must teach our minds that we can live with everything that happens to us and that this is the key to peace and well-being. With meditation, suffering begins to emerge and people who start practicing find that in reality the symptoms they wanted to heal from get 'aggravated' and they regret thinking that meditation doesn't work or isn't for them. Instead, it's just the opposite.


With practice, the suffering of being, which we repress with continuous distractions, begins to emerge and show itself, because we become aware of it. The aim is not to get rid of these unpleasant or painful sensations but to make friends with them. It is one of the most difficult things but it is also the bravest path and whoever undertakes it is rewarded beyond all expectations. Vipassana insight (clear vision of reality as it truly is and not as a mental construction) develops wisdom, not an intellectual wisdom, but an intuitive wisdom that the mind cannot understand at the cognitive level.

A wisdom that over time breaks those ancient patterns that keep us trapped. Meditation books are an invaluable resource but they cannot replace pillow practice because they describe other people's experiences. Your best teacher will always be your practice.