I took the plunge and signed up for a 10 day Vipassana meditation course at Dhamma Giri, outside of Bombay. This will be my second course (my first was back in Canada in 2003) and already the hellishness of sitting cross legged for ten days has started to creep into my head.
No reading, no writing, no eye contact, no phones, nothing...only you and yourself, alone, secluded. I remember how profound, painful and eventually liberating the my first experience was and am curious as to how this one will be different.
Briefly, the goal of Vipassana is the cessation of mental suffering by observing the impermanent nature of mind. Through this 'insight' we develop an equanimity towards pain and pleasure. This is done by a technique of scanning the body and experiencing the 'gross' and 'subtle' sensations within. Because the mind and body are inextricably connected; by observing the natural impermanence (coming and going) of both pain and pleasure in the body, we can also do the same with the mind; anger/happiness, frustration/calmness.
From what I remember its a lot of work, a tremendous amount of work,
But worth it.