SN Goenka’s Dhammagiri Vipassana International Academy, IgatpuriThe Path: Discovered by the Buddha, Vipassana is a process of observing breath to calm the mind and heighten awareness so you begin to see things just the way they actually exist.The Starting Point: The 10-day Vipassana course at Igatpuri can be quite challenging as the meditation techniques and discipline follow the original teachings of the Buddha. You live in complete silence (you can’t even use sign language or make eye contact), you abstain from eating after midday, follow a vegetarian diet; avoid sex, intoxicants, and comfy beds. Once you’ve done the basic 10-day course, you can move to more advanced ones. There is no fee, but you can make a donation if you have completed a 10-day course with SN Goenka or one of his assisting teachers.The Destination: To achieve mindfulness and equanimity. They particularly explain that ‘equanimity’ does not mean a chilled out or indifferent attitude. Rather, it means an attitude of not interfering with the operation of the six senses. For example, if you have a sensation in your knee and it’s painful and it wants to spread, you let it spread. Why? Because you discover that it is precisely the interference with that sensation that causes suffering, not the sensation itself. Equanimity is radical permission to feel. A similar approach is applied to purifying yourself of stress or other negative aspects of your life. They believe that if you have a negative emotion or thought, and you told it to go away, you’re engaging with it, thereby giving it power/energy and allowing it to stay alive. Instead, you stand and observe it simply as it exists, and let it play out till it runs out of its own energy.