Vipassana or insight meditation is the training of a continued mild attention towards internal phenomena, in mind and body, that determine our choices. With this attention one can become more flexible in our habits. For this one needs concentration, as (important) choices in our life often are made during a fraction of a second. When these moments can be observed degrees of freedom will increase, enabling possibilities for creativity and empathy. While meditation can be seen as a life long path, during an intensive retreat one can make essential steps forward.
The method is simple and effective. One sits in a comfortable position, relaxed and dignified. The basic exercise is to observe the body, notably the rising and falling of the abdomen while breathing. Next one learns to observe and 'know' what the mind is attending to. If it is no longer doing the basic exercise, one knows this and also what is the nature of the 'distractor'. One then gently goes back to the basis exercise. This will give us a more clear picture of the conditionings we are subjected to. The conditioning often is mental and has an interaction within our body and behaviour. Considering distractors as impersonal energies we can learn, step by step, to domesticate these forces, resulting in greater flexibility. An important insight on the way is that we have no absolute control over our body and mind. This disillusion may be confronting at first, but will be liberating later. Developing an equanimous attitude, poised, and without hidden agendas, the meditator approaches clear insight and threefold peace: towards ourselves, others and the world.