VRI’s endeavour is to provide scientific basis for establishing the several beneficial effects of practicing Vipassana on the health (physical and mental) of practitioner’s – adults or children in addition to specially challenged individuals such as drug addicts, prisoners, and people suffering from psycho-somatic diseases such as hypertension. Further this includes proving how this technique of Vipassana is a very effective tool for attitudinal change, management of stress and strain and for instilling in a person such qualities as compassion and equanimity and to promote integrity and efficiency in the discharge of one’s duties and responsibilities.
Study of Effects of Vipassana Meditation on the Body and Mind
VRI, in close collaboration with the Vipassana International Academy (VIA), Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri, has been studying the effects of Vipassana meditation on the body and mind of an individual. VIA conducts regular practical courses and students of various age groups irrespective of caste, creed, colour, sex and nationality participate.
The Dissemination of Research Findings and Publication of Relevant Literature of Vipassana in Hindi, English and other Indian and foreign languages are an ongoing process. A large number of books & CDs are published by the Institute. Today, a vast treasure of knowledge and information based on direct experiences of the meditators is available on the working of the Mind-Body phenomena. VRI aims at transmitting this to the world community. It has started doing it with the use of full - fledged E.D.P centres fully equipped.
The four areas identified for research and study effects of Vipassana Meditation are:
- Social Change
- Organisation and Management Developments.
Studies have established its beneficial role as a positive mental health measure in various psychosomatic disorders, personality disorders, besides, alcohol and drug abuse & addiction. Numerous anecdotal case reports of persons suffering from various health disorders, both physical and mental, are available pointing out the therapeutic efficacy of Vipassana. Besides, the technique has found ready acceptance with the healers of diverse disciplines, such as, Yoga, Naturopathy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Allopathy, etc., as it is free from dogmas, based on experience and focussed on relief from human suffering. However, it needs to be emphasized that any such health benefit is considered to be just a by-product of this profound technique of mental purification. The practice of Vipassana does hasten the healing process but more importantly, it transforms one’s approach to life and its vicissitudes. One learns to face all sickness and suffering with equanimity; the healers too augment their ability to be a professional anchor to the sick in the tumult of their lives.
Vipassana being a scientific and secular technique, has been found to be an ideal instrument to develop the emotional and spiritual dimensions of a child’s personality, allowing him to grow into a balanced, confident and happy human being. Children courses are being conducted in India since 1986 and over the years, they have continued to gather momentum both here and abroad.
Many scientific studies have been carried out on the positive impact of Vipassana on one’s personality and interpersonal relationships, etc. Research conducted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences has established that Vipassana meditation increases persons’ control of their emotions resulting in a reduction in feelings of anger, tension, hostility, revenge and helplessness. Drug addiction, neurotic and psychopathological symptoms also get diminished. In addition, prison inmates practising Vipassana meditation have shown an increased willingness to work, to participate in other treatment programmes, to abide by prison rules and to co-operate with prison authorities. The striking example of Dhamma Tihar has attracted many prisons all over the world to use Vipassana meditation as a tool for rehabilitation. The study conducted under the auspices of the University of Washington indicates a significant decrease in recidivism of the jail inmates practising Vipassana. The Jail Personnel of the North Rehabilitation Facility (NRF) in Seattle, Washington found that those who complete the Vipassana course are calmer, better disciplined and more reasonable. The result of all these researches is that Vipassana is now being practiced in prisons in USA, Spain, Mexico, Thailand, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
Organisation and Management Development
With an increasing demand from professionals in various fields and government officials and white collared workforce a course was designed to specially cater to the demanding and stressful lifestyles of a professional career. This has been well received by high-ranking government officials and business executives. Since 2003-04 more than 800 personnel have been trained in Vipassana under this programme. It was held in Mandarin language for Taiwanese and Chinese countrymen. Addressing this segment of the population through such courses and analyzing the results in this vast field of corporate management is an ongoing effort by VRI. Many management institutes like Symbiosis and Sadhana Institute of Pune have made 10-day Vipassana course as a part of their curriculum.
The Government of Maharashtra has been a pioneer in introducing Vipassana to State Government officials since 1996. Since 2003, the government has been granting commuted leave of 14 days to attend a Vipassana course to all employees of the state government. Organisations such as Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB), Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (YASHADA), Pune have also followed suit. The recognition of the good effect of Vipassana by the Government of Maharashtra is so evident that Courses for children are included in its Mumbai schools as part of activity.
The Government of Maharastra has passed a resolution vide GR No Sankirn 2011/296/11/se-3 on 5th Oct 2011 with regard to conducting of Anapana Courses for school children of Maharastra.
Under this resolution, all schools in Maharastra have been asked to conduct One-day Anapana meditation courses for their children studying from Standard 5th to Std 10th.
The schools have been asked to take assistance from VRI for conducting of these courses.
The aim is to impart the training to over two crore children across the state.
Index of Research Papers on the Application of Vipassana in Daily Life
Relationships & Daily Life
Society and Environment
Psychology and Psychiatry
Vipassana in Jails and effect on Inmates
Vipassana in Government
Buddha:The essence of His Teaching -Vedana and Sampajanna
Seminars Conducted by VRI
From time to time, VRI sponsors international seminars on various aspects of the research work as it applies to the actual experience of Vipassana. It features an opportunity for the participants to participate in a 10-day Vipassana course after the presentation of the seminar papers and this experiential aspect has proven to be popular as well as beneficial. In a very tangible way, the practice of meditation throws light on the research presented in the papers. It gives an opportunity for the participant to experience what was presented in the seminar.
Below are reports of some of the seminars held.
Vipassana-Addictions & Health: Seminar held at Dhamma Giri from 28 Nov to 9 Dec, 1989
The Importance of Vedana and Sampajanna: Seminar held at Dhamma Giri in February 1990
Vipassana, Its Relevance to the Present World: Seminar held in 1994 at IIT New Delhi
Dhamma, Its true nature: Seminar held at Dhamma Giri from 6th to 8th May, 1995
To download the Quarterly Research Journals of VRI, please click the links below: