That is the meditation that has made more people in the world enlightened than any other, because it is the very essence. All other meditations have the same essence, but in different forms; something nonessential is also joined with them. But vipassana is pure essence. You cannot drop anything out of it and you cannot add anything to improve it. Vipassana is such a simple thing that even a small child can do it. In fact, the smallest child can do it better than you, because he is not yet filled with the garbage of the mind; he is still clean and innocent.
You can choose which one suits you the best.
Walking, you should walk with
awareness. Moving your hand, you should move with awareness, knowing
perfectly that you are moving the hand. You can move it without any
consciousness, like a mechanical thing. You are on a morning walk;
you can go on walking without being aware of your feet. Be alert of
the movements of your body. While eating, be alert of the movements
that are needed for eating. Taking a shower, be alert of the
coolness that is coming to you, the water falling on you and the
tremendous joy of it .... Just be alert. It should not go on
happening in an unconscious state.
And the same about your mind: whatever thought passes on the screen of your mind, just be a watcher. Whatever emotion passes on the screen of your heart, just remain a witness - don't get involved, don't get identified, don't evaluate what is good, what is bad; that is not part of your meditation. Your meditation has to be choiceless awareness.
You will be able one day even to see very subtle moods: how sadness settles in you just like the night is slowly, slowly settling around the world, how suddenly a small thing makes you joyous. Just be a witness. Don't think, "I am sad." Just know, "There is sadness around me, there is joy around me. I am confronting a certain emotion or a certain mood." But you are always far away: a watcher on the hills, and everything else is going on in the valley. This is one of the ways vipassana can be done.
And for a woman, my feeling is that it is the easiest, because a woman is more alert of her body than a man. It is just her nature. She is more conscious of how she looks, she is more conscious of how she moves, she is more conscious of how she sits; she is always conscious of being graceful. And it is not only a conditioning; it is something natural and biological.
As the breath goes in, your belly starts rising up, and
as the breath goes out, your belly starts settling down again. So
the second method is to be aware of the belly, its rising and
falling. Just the very awareness of the belly rising and falling...
And the belly is very close to the life sources because the child is
joined with the mother's life through the navel. Behind the navel is
his life's source. So when the belly rises up, it is really the life
energy, the spring of life that is rising up and falling down with
each breath. That too is not difficult, and perhaps may be even
easier, because it is a single technique.
In the first, you have to be aware of the body, you have to be aware of the mind, you have to be aware of your emotions, moods. So it has three steps. The second sort has a single step: just the belly, moving up and down. And the result is the same. As you become more aware of the belly, the mind becomes silent, the heart becomes silent, the moods disappear.
at that extreme - the other polarity from the belly - feel it from
the nose. The breath going in gives a certain coolness to your
nostrils. Then the breath going out ... breath going in, breath
going out .... That too is possible.
It is easier for men than for women. The woman is more aware of the belly. Most men don't even breathe as deep as the belly. Their chest rises up and falls down, because a wrong kind of athletics prevails over the world. Certainly it gives a more beautiful form to the body if your chest is high and your belly is almost non-existent.
Man has chosen to breathe only up to the chest, so the chest becomes bigger and bigger and the belly shrinks down. That appears to him to be more athletic. Around the world, except in Japan, all athletes and teachers of athletes emphasize breathing by filling your lungs, expanding your chest, and pulling the belly in. The ideal is the lion whose chest is big and whose belly is very small. So be like a lion; that has become the rule of athletic gymnasts and the people who have been working with the body. Japan is the only exception, where they don't care that the chest should be broad and the belly should be pulled in. It needs a certain discipline to pull the belly in; it is not natural. Japan has chosen the natural way; hence you will be surprised to see a Japanese statue of Buddha. That is the way you can immediately discriminate whether the statue is Indian or Japanese. The Indian statues of Gautam Buddha have a very athletic body: the belly is very small and the chest is very broad. But the Japanese Buddha is totally different; his chest is almost silent, because he breathes from the belly, but his belly is bigger. It doesn't look very good because the idea prevalent in the world is the other way round, and it is so old. But breathing from the belly is more natural, more relaxed.
In the night it happens when you sleep: you don't breathe from the chest, you breathe from the belly. That's why the night is such a relaxed experience. After your sleep, in the morning you feel so fresh, so young, because the whole night you were breathing naturally ... you were in Japan!
These are the two points: if you are afraid that breathing from the belly and being attentive to its rising and falling will destroy your athletic form... men may be more interested in that athletic form. Then for them it is easier to watch near the nostrils where the breath enters. Watch, and when the breath goes out, watch.
Any one will do. And if you want to do two forms together, you can do two forms together; then the effort will become more intense. If you want to do all three forms together, you can do all three forms together. Then the process will be quicker. But it all depends on you, whatever feels easy.
As meditation becomes settled, mind silent, ego will disappear. You will be there, but there will be no feeling of "I." Then the
doors are open. Just wait with a loving longing, with a welcome in
the heart for that great moment, the greatest moment in anybody's
life - enlightenment.
It comes ... it certainly comes. It has never delayed for a single moment. Once you are in the right tuning, it suddenly explodes in you, transforms you. The old man is dead and the new man has arrived.