The most essential part of Vipassana meditation is the breath and the process of watching the breath. Many of us live our lives these days without proper breathing, which means we do not have much vitality or prana energy or vibrancy. And meditation does require tremendous energy and no dullness and sleepiness. A daily dose of Vipassana helps us becoming more energetic, aware and alert, and less sleepy and sluggish. But, one has to remember “never too much”. Vipassana should be done, especially as far as watching the incoming and outgoing breath is concerned, not more than an hour or two, and also not in the night time, because doing this you may have a sleepless night.
Osho points out: That’s why many Buddhist monks who do Vipassana start suffering from insomnia. I have come across many people who were suffering from insomnia because they were practicing Vipassana and they were not aware of it. If you watch your breath, it destroys your sleep. So to my sannyasins, I say: never practice Vipassana for more than two or three hours a day; and those three hours should be between sunrise and sunset, never after sunset. If you practice Vipassana in the night you will disturb your sleep, and to disturb sleep is to disturb your whole body mechanism. Happy Ho organizes best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR area in India.
Osho gives another example: One monk from Ceylon was brought to me. For three years he had not been able to sleep. A sincere-monk… that was his problem. Thinking that Vipassana was so great, he was practicing it day in, day out. Even when he was in bed feeling that no sleep was coming he would practice Vipassana. Now if you practice Vipassana in bed, it is impossible for sleep to come. Sleep never comes to a person who is becoming very alert of the breath. You can try it — if you need insomnia you can try it. To watch the breath is the best way to destroy sleepiness in you because breath is life and sleep is death; they are antagonistic to each other.
We need to remember that sleep needs that we forget all about our breath. When we are not paying attention to our breath and simply relax, only then sleep happens. Otherwise, the continuity of attention on the breath will not let us have a sound sleep. This problem does happen to the Vipassana meditators and having no sleep in the night spoils their daily life. I remember one friend from Vadodara called me and said that after doing Vipassana daily, I have lost all interest in my life, what can I do now. This happens to many people who continue their practice even when they should be sleeping in night. Most of the people in the world are already suffering because of so many problems, let us not make Vipassana into another problem. Natural sleep is a must for the meditators, it is a small death, a tiny death — and beautiful death because it gives us rest, deep relaxation, and next morning we will come out of the death chamber fresh, younger, rejuvenated.
Vipassana meditation can make the meditator very serious and grim–and people are already so serious. It would be a crime to add more seriousness to this wounded world. So, a meditator need not be serious. Yes, he or she can be sincere, but not serious. Meditation should enrich life and make people happier, healthier and naturally playful, embracing life and living it with the totality of their body, mind, and soul. Life should not be dry or dull–it should be juicy.
So, we need to say goodbye to the traditional method of Vipassana, it does not suit the modern man. It is a very cold, dull and dead way, and because it is cold it takes a longer time – perhaps a few lives to become awakened.
Osho concludes: I want Vipassana to be a warmer path; then it becomes a short cut. When there is music and your whole body thrills to it, and when there is song … although you are sitting, in a subtle sense there is a dance in you. You cannot remain unconscious; you have to become more watchful. And if you can start living moment to moment in different ways – but always total – Vipassana will happen to you more easily than you can conceive because you have never seen anything happening so easily, without effort, on its own accord. You can force yourself to sit in silence and remain awake. I don’t teach that kind of Vipassana. I teach a vipassana that follows you like a shadow, as a by-product of your total living.