As you will see below, we have many options available to learn this type of meditation. There are booklets in many translations, as well as an excellent YouTube channel (updated often). Of course you are more than welcome to ask any questions in our international community.
What is TWIM
TWIM stands for Tranquil Wisdom Insight Meditation. It is being taught by Buddhist monk bhante Vimalaramsi. Nowadays there are also many experienced teachers that will coach you, free of charge.
TWIM meditation uses the four Brahma Viharas. These are more commonly known as Loving-kindness or Metta, Compassion or Karuna, Empathetic Joy or Mudita and Equanimity or Upekkha.
Difference with other practices
This meditation practice bases itself on truly releasing and letting go of hindrances. It doesn’t suppress them in any way. The Buddha stressed mindfulness and Jhanas should be practiced at the same time!
You’ll start to experience lasting personality changes and it doesn’t even take that long. Mental problems like anxiety, depression, traumas, irritability and even PTSD, start to lessen quite soon. This is because the root causes are being addressed.
Insight and Serenity yoked together
TWIM meditation teaches you how to be mindful of whatever arises, while simultaneously entering into a state of collectedness.
Here, you gently release any type of craving. You will let go of the commonly known five Hindrances; lust, anger, restlessness, sloth & torpor and doubt. But other emotions like fear and jealousy are being addressed as well.
Practice TWIM no matter whether you are religious or an atheist. You don’t even have to become a Buddhist! The Buddha was not interested in making us ‘Buddhist’. He taught one thing, and one thing only;
How to recognize and make an end of suffering
This is what you will learn in practicing TWIM meditation. This method guides you through the entire Noble Eightfold Path.
While this practice leads to the four stages of Nibbana, there is no need to wait until that happens. It lessens grief and distress bit by bit, starting from day one.
Does the transition from the first to the second jhana happen automatically, or does one make a conscious change?
It’s a bit of both, because this is explaining the transition between the first level of meditation and the second. The jhanas – the levels of meditation – are a road map that the Buddha gave us. If we use Right Effort, if we use Wise Practice – Samma Vayama – we will go through these states naturally. But to be aware and to understand them, will help us as well to understand how to practice. Then, there is more confidence and we understand where this is going, instead of constantly wondering.
At the beginning, there will be thinking, there will be imagining. It might be that you are using this to bring up, for example Joy, or an uplifting object, because when the mind is uplifted and happy, it is aware. The nature of a joyful mind is to be aware and not overexcited, just uplifted, just happy.
When this happens, as you continue calming down, letting go – whatever your object of meditation is, whether you’re using the Loving-kindness, the Compassion or the Satipatthanas – it will calm down. The thinking and the reflection will naturally become too coarse for the mind. The mind will start to really collect and gather, and these thoughts and imagination will feel like restlessness a little bit more. So, naturally, that is simply your wisdom, your discernment that is getting sharper and sharper. And the mind is taking more delight, more freedom in not thinking.