Are you looking for a way to improve your meditation practice? Perhaps you’ve heard of Vipassana meditation and are curious about whether taking an online course would be beneficial.
That’s a common question per se. Almost every Vipassana meditation beginner has this on his mind, especially with all the online courses around being promoted to them.
(Disclaimer: Frankly, I always prefer learning from a guru in person. Only go for those online courses if you cannot afford to join an ashram or don’t have access to a nearby worthy meditation center.)
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of Vipassana meditation online courses to help you decide if one is right for you.
Is meditation suited for online learning?
There is no definitive answer to this question since everyone learns differently and what works for one person may not work for another.
Some general subjects that are well-suited for online learning include mathematics, science, languages, and computer programming.
These subjects often lend themselves well to written or video instruction and can be easily accessed via the internet.
Additionally, there are often online resources available to supplement learning in these areas.
For example, if you are studying mathematics, you can access online calculators and graphing tools to help you visualize concepts.
Science learners can take advantage of online simulations and experiments. And language learners can find many online dictionaries and grammar resources.
In my opinion, almost any subject, and that includes meditation too, can be learned online if you are willing to put in the effort and seek the right resources.
Especially when we are living in the 21st century, where the e-learning market size surpassed USD 315 billion in 2021 and is projected to observe a 20% CAGR from 2022 to 2028.
However, some things need to be kept in mind.
Meditation requires both mental and physical discipline, so it is important to find an online teacher who can provide clear and concise instructions.
Additionally, since meditation is an internal practice, it is important to have a good support system in place.
For example, you might want to find a local meditation group or Sangha that you can meet with in person to discuss your practice.
Or, you might want to find an online community of meditators that you can connect with virtually.
Finally, it is important to be patient and consistent with your practice.
Learning meditation online (or anywhere, for that matter) takes time, effort, and discipline.
If you are willing to put in the work, you can absolutely learn Vipassana meditation online.
Best online resources for Vipassana meditation
Insight Meditation Center (IMC)’s online course:
The Insight Meditation Center (IMC) is a community-based meditation center dedicated to the study and practice of mindfulness, ethics, compassion, loving-kindness, and liberation. The heart of all IMC activities is the practice of Insight Meditation, also known as mindfulness or Vipassana meditation. The founder of IMC is Gil Fronsdal, a senior teacher in the Insight tradition.
IMC’s vision is to provide a simple and quiet environment where the contemplative life can be developed and protected amidst the complexities of urban living. IMC aspires to offer teachings and practice opportunities that complement Insight Meditation in supporting a balanced spiritual, family, and social life from a Buddhist perspective. IMC is an all-volunteer organization, offering all activities, including residential retreats, free of charge.
They have a few online courses that you may want to check out.
Vipassana Fellowship’s online course:
Vipassana Fellowship offers online meditation courses that have been helpful to meditators around the world.
The main text is based on a tried and tested format, providing a practical introduction to Theravada Buddhist techniques of tranquility and insight.
The course is designed primarily for beginners, but it is also suitable for experienced meditators who wish to explore different aspects of the tradition.
The focus is on creating a sustainable and balanced meditation practice that can be easily incorporated into daily life.
The course is led by Andrew Quernmore, an experienced meditation teacher with over 35 years of personal meditation experience.
Throughout the 10 weeks, participants will have access to the Course Campus, where they can engage in discussion forums, receive feedback from the instructor, and access course materials.
MindEasy’s online Vipassana meditation course:
MindEasy is a meditation app that aims to make online meditation more personal and accessible.
The app features a library of meditation courses, taught by qualified teachers from a range of backgrounds such as Marissa (best-selling author on Amazon), Nadine (mindful as ever), Gia (a Reiki practitioner and an astrology expert), Ollie (a monk from a Buddhist monastery), Nathen (on the art and science of sounds), and Uma (a specialist on Yoga Nidra).
MindEasy also offers a premium online course on Vipassana meditation for those who want to take their meditation practice to the next level.
In this Vipassana meditation class, you will learn the ancient techniques involved in Vipassana, as well as the theories and ideas behind it. This is a unique 22-day course that will teach you how to create your own authentic meditation practice. By taking this course, you will experience all the benefits of one of the oldest meditation techniques in the world.
In just 30 minutes a day, you can gain clarity, peace, and focus. Vipassana is traditionally taught using two different techniques: Anapanasati (mindful breathing) and Vipassana (insight).
In the first part of the course, you will learn Anapanasati which involves following your natural breath in order to quiet your mind and improve focus. Once you have mastered this, you will move on to the second part which is Vipassana. This part of the course will help you develop a gradual understanding of the true nature of human experience by focusing on physical sensations.
Each meditation session will be accompanied by an audio lesson about incorporating Buddhist traditions into your daily life. By the end of this course, you will have everything you need to know to start your own Vipassana meditation practice.
The app is free to download and use, and is available for both iOS and Android devices. The company tagline is “…Like having a meditation retreat in your pocket.”
Honestly, there are many great online options for learning about and practicing Vipassana meditation. Each course has its own unique approach and benefits, so it is important to choose the one that is right for you.
With a little time and effort, you can easily find the peace and clarity that you seek.