Benefits of Vipassana

Translated from the Thai teachings of Phra Dhammadhirarajamahamuni (Jodok Nyanasiddhi PDh. 9)

In the Tipitaka, the word “anekasahassa” is used, which means that cultivating Vipassana insight has literally thousands of benefits, thus making it impossible to list them all. The following is but a short list of examples of the benefits of Vipassana meditation:

  1. It brings one to understand the truth, both theoretically and practically, on a deeper level, for instance understanding mind, matter, the three characteristics, rapture, happiness, etc. as they really are.
  2. It gives the mind stronger motivation, effort, patience and contentment than before.
  3. It makes the mind able to sacrifice much more for the greater good of all, working without worrying about fatigue, happy to work, just the opposite of before practicing meditation.
  4. It makes one want to learn about the truth, reading books and listening to teachings more and more without feeling bored.
  5. It allows one to explain the truth much better and in greater precision than before, because one is able to explain theory, practice and fruition, each being more profound than the last, just like the great ocean.
  6. It improves recollection and memory, allowing one to memorize things well, not forgetting or confusing things that one has committed to memory.
  7. It is great wholesomeness, creating goodness every moment in which one commits to practicing or teaching someone else.
  8. It makes one not negligent, because one is recollecting of both, body and mind most of the time.
  9. It means the cultivation of morality, concentration and wisdom according to the Buddha’s teaching.
  10. It means following the middle way, the eightfold noble path.
  11. It means following the one way, that way which has no other.
  12. It means cultivating excellence in this life, preparing one for death before one has to die.
  13. It makes one smart, understanding the fundamentals of reality, and understanding the fundamentals of everyday life better than before.
  14. It allows one to realize supramundane reality, not being stuck in mere concepts and constructs, which are merely the playground of worldlings.
  15. It makes people love one another, live in harmony together, be comfortable and friendly with each other, just like close relatives.
  16. It makes people kind and compassionate towards one another, caring, sympathetic, rejoicing and congratulating others when good comes to them, not bearing jealousy towards each other.
  17. It makes people people, better than people, more outstanding than people, more exceptional than people, more noble than people. It makes people special.
  18. It stops people from oppressing each other, competing with each other, and envying or withholding from each other.
  19. It makes people easy to admonish, not conceited or opinionated, not holding themselves up or being arrogant.
  20. It brings people to know themselves, knowing how to maintain themselves on every occasion.
  21. It sets one firmly in gratitude and appreciation, making one grateful and appreciative.
  22. It causes people to reunite, because of lowering their respective egos and opinions allowing them to live together in harmony and peace.
  23. It purifies one’s thoughts, speech and deeds, making one respectful, cool and calm.
  24. It allows one to obtain the seven types of happiness – human happiness, divine happiness, meditative happiness from insight, happiness from the noble path, happiness from the fruit of the path, and happiness from nibbana, according to one’s own practice or according to one’s own particular character and level of excellence.
  25. It allows one to escape sorrow, lamentation and despair of all kinds.
  26. It gives one the wisdom to overcome suffering in both body and mind.
  27. It causes people to walk the right path, to know the right way to live their lives, to not get lost, intoxicated or negligent.
  28. It enables one to attain the noble path, noble fruition and complete and final freedom from suffering.
  29. Even if one practice only until basic or beginner knowledge, if one works hard to keep it up and practice again and again, it can still protect one from the danger of states of loss.
  30. If one practices until attaining udayabbayañana, seeing nāma-rῡpa arising and ceasing, seeing the three characteristics clearly 50%, one is said to be someone who has an exceptional life. It is held that if they die on that day, they are still better than someone who never practiced but lived for 100 years.
  31. If one doesn’t yet attain the noble path, fruition and release in this life, it will be a condition for attainment in future lives as follows:
    • If one develops insight in the first stage of life, from 7 to 25 years, it will be a condition for attainment in the middle stage, 25 to 50 years.
    • If one doesn’t yet succeed in the middle stage of life, it will be cause for attainment in the last stage of life, 50 to 75 years.
    • If one doesn’t yet succeed in the last stage of life, it will be a condition for attainment in the maraṇasamaya, the time of death.
    • If one doesn’t yet succeed at the time of death, it will be cause for the mind to be pure and be born in heaven, as accords with Pāli saying “citte asaṅkiliṭṭhe sugati patikaṅha” – when the mind is undefiled and pure, a good rebirth is to be expected without a doubt. Once born in heaven, it will be support for allowing one to hear the truth before the end of the Buddha’s dispensation when the bone relics of the lord Buddha will come together as one Buddha image and expound the truth for 7 days and 7 nights. Listening to and practicing the teaching at that time, one will attain path, fruition and release then.
    • If one doesn’t yet succeed then one will be born in time for the Noble Lord Metteyya or a disciple of his or one will attain the state of private enlightenment in a suññakappa, a world period without a perfectly enlightened Buddha, realizing path, fruition and release privately.
  32. It causes defilements – greed, anger, delusion, conceit and views, etc. to decrease.
  33. It makes one totally and completely mindful, just like a car with good brakes.
  34. It improves memory, allowing one to study well, and is a great benefit for students and scholars.
  35. It can cause sickness and disease of all sort to disappear.
  36. It causes one to be born in heaven.
  37. It gives one firm and lasting faith and conviction in the triple gem.
  38. It is helpful in regards to governance, in that those who have obtained training in Vipassana are easily governed, not making trouble for their peers or society at large.
  39. It protects against stupidity, since mindfulness is the tool used to fix delusion, which is stupidity, since delusion is indeed the most important kind of stupidity that exists in every individual.
  40. It makes one mindful in daily life and also at the time of death.
  41. It makes people virtuous, cultured, civil and well-behaved; most practitioners will come to keep five precepts strictly at all times.
  42. Students with poor memory or who do not well at school will find their memory improve and that they do much better at school as a result of practice.
  43. It is very good for fixing bad attitudes; those who used to be foolish unruly, once they have gone through the practice of Vipassana meditation will once again behave themselves well.
  44. Once one has good concentration one is assured good mental health.
  45. It can be rightly said that one has paid homage to the Lord Buddha by way of the highest form of homage, according to his own words “even if the four assemblies (monks, nuns, lay men and lay women) take to paying homage to us with flowers and scents of all sorts, it is still not said to be true homage to us: as for those assemblies who have practiced the dhamma in order to realize the truth, only they can be said to have paid us true homage”.
  46. It can be rightly said that we have worked together to preserve the good dhamma so that it doesn’t fade away.
  47. It can be rightly said that we have worked together to spread the Buddha’s teaching, making it flourish and become well established for a long time to come, following the Lord Buddha’s reflection that “truly, for as long as these four assemblies continue to pay homage to us through the practice, so long will our teaching flourish like the full moon floating clearly in the middle of the night sky”.
  48. It can be rightly said that one has seen the Lord Buddha, since one has seen the truth, as the Lord said, “one who sees the truth see me; one who sees me is said to be the one who sees the truth”.
  49. It can be rightly said that one has undertaken a great and powerful heap of goodness as the Lord said, “O monks, when one is to speak of a heap of goodness, one must speak of the four foundations of mindfulness in order to be said to be speaking correctly”.
  50. It can be rightly said that one has done away with doubt about whether the noble path, noble fruition and release still can be attained in this day and age, according to the Lord Buddha’s words, “O Subhadda, as long as they who see the danger in samsara practice correctly together, this world will not be void of enlightened beings”.
  51. It can be rightly said that we have practiced according to all three parts of the Lord Buddha’s teaching, vis. the Vinaya, the Suttanta and the Abhidhamma, as was said, ”truly, the three parts of the Lord Buddha’s teaching in their entirety – that is, not leaving out one word that was passed on by those who have spread the Buddha’s teaching – can be summarized under a single teaching: to not be negligent.” And the heart of not being negligent is to never be bereft of mindfulness. And one who cultivates the four foundations of mindfulness is the very same one who is practicing Vipassana meditation.

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