Vipassana meditation is the practice of self-observation, in order to see things as they really are. It is a technique discovered by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha, and passed down from the original instructions in Pali, unchanged and free of the promotion of any religion, rituals or culture of any kind.
After 45 rotations around the sun, I’ve started to notice patterns in my life. Things that went exceptionally well, but did not continue on as I had hoped were so disappointing. Other things that went amiss seemed to perpetuate misery, and seemingly indefinite sadness. I started to wonder why the things I valued, my pursuits and talents were not better received and more successful, like I had hoped. Most of all I wondered why some people in this world seemed able to create such misery for myself and others.
What I’m learning is that we alone are the cause of our own suffering and joy in this life which is constantly changing. This journal is primarily about the act of sitting for Vipassana and things that occur to me while observing the changing nature of my body, my life, my city, my planet, ad infinitum. It is also about art, which is in a sense, about creating and making “permanent” something beautiful. These two pursuits generate a somewhat heady juxtaposition. Just like it is both a sad and beautiful world simultaneously: art (permanence) and life (change) must coexist. What is not permanent is anicca: arising and passing. Since nothing is permanent in this universe, all is anicca.
This journal called “Anicca” contains my own interpretations and experiences of Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka and the Vipassana Research Institute to whom I am most grateful for sharing the wisdom of the ages and a technique of meditation that is my first and likely last. In this journal, I am in no way accredited by or speaking for anyone formally associated with the Vipassana Research Institute or S.N. Goenka.
With loving kindness,
Jon Lybrook – June 2012