The following is the introduction to an eleven part series titled "How To Meditate: Instructions to Free the Mind and the Heart" by Peter Williams, a Buddhist Meditation and Dharma Leader based in Boulder, CO.

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Vipassana, also called insight or mindfulness meditation, is a common sense technique that helps you live a happier and fuller life by paying attention to the present moment. The technique, although based in Buddhist teachings, does not require you to become a Buddhist to practice it. In fact, Buddhism is ultimately compatible with any faith you may already have. Buddhism does not require you to adopt a new set of beliefs. It just asks you to check out the teachings and see if they work in your life.

What is Buddhism? At its core, Buddhism is a teaching on realizing the deepest possible happiness. We all want to be happy, it is our birthright. But, says Buddhism, we look in the wrong places; we look for it in experiences and events and relationships that are all subject to change. All these things can provide us with much happiness, but a happiness dependent on conditions is ultimately unreliable because all conditions change. What is most amazing to me about the discoveries of the Buddha is that he discovered a happiness that is free of conditions, that does not depend on anything. The Buddha called his discovery nibbana (nirvana), a happiness so profound that it transcends, while still including, all the ordinary ups and downs in our lives

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