Vipassana session at Great Lakes


Vipassana introduction session was organized at Great Lakes on 31st of August. Garvita Tanwar of the 2008 PGPM batch was instrumental in organizing the session. The guest speakers Mr Santanam (Assistant Consultant, TCS, Chennai), Mr. Prashanth (CEO & MD, Akmin Technology [P] Ltd.), Mr Aravind (M Sc, IIT Madras, Founder MOTHER, a social organization) and Mr Vinayak, Manager, Dhamma Setu (Vipassana Centre, Chennai) briefed young managers on how, meditation techniques can help keep a balance in stressful work-life situations. The impact of Ms Kiran Bedi’s mention of the Vipassana way of meditation during the SWIM event had created a lot of interest in the session.
The session began with the introduction to Vipassana. Mr. Santanam explained that Vipassana (Pali word), meaning seeing things as they really are, is one of India’s most ancient techniques of meditation. This was rediscovered by Goutama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for all ills, i.e., as an ‘Art of Living’.
A Video, about application and relevance of meditation delivered by Mr. Satya Narayan Goenka at Harvard Business School, was shown. Mr. S. N. Goenka is recognized for bringing the Vipassana meditation technique to India from Burma. The video highlighted the importance of a calm and controlled mind in today’s competitive and challenging environment. Elaborating the non-sectarian technique, which aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation, he emphasized that all the issues/diseases which one comes across are psychosomatic in origin. They can be cured by making the mind purer by the medium of meditation. The scientific laws that operate one’s thoughts, feelings, judgments and sensations became clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace. Not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is Vipassana’s purpose.
After the video, as one of the exercises to get an insight into the way mind works, participants were asked to close their eyes and observe their natural breathing pattern for 5 minutes. Then Mr Santanam asked participants to share their experience. Great Lakers shared that it is difficult to concentrate on the breath even for small durations, that the mind is always wandering and it is difficult to control it. He then pointed that if by any tool we can control the mind, then we will be able to effectively modulate personal as well as professional environment.
Further, Mr Santanam explained Vipassana as a way of self-transformation through self-observation. The technique focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. Another session of observing the breath for five minutes was conducted a while later, wherein Great Lakers tried to concentrate more. Many Great Lakers were able to observe their breath for the full five minutes.
Towards the end, Mr. Prashanth shared his experiences of how this meditation technique had helped him gain self control and peace of mind. He shared his professional experiences where in the beginning his personality started getting affected by the surrounding work pressures which soon began affecting his personal life as well. He emphasized that things started changing once he came in touch with this technique, almost 18 months back. He also mentioned examples in great detail on how application of this technique to his personal life and in his organization had helped him gain personal satisfaction. Lastly Mr Vinayak briefed the students about the activities that are done during 10 days Vipassana course. He also shared how thousands of people are benefited by practicing the technique across the world.

Students at Great Lakes exhibited great enthusiasm to know more about the technique as was seen in the question and answer session. In the end, a significant number of participants expressed interest in participating in the meditation course.
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One Response to Vipassana session at Great Lakes

  1. Sachin says:

    Bravo…!!! we all loved tht session….nice article dude..

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