Dr. Paul R. Fleischman is a retired psychiatrist with 41 years of experience. He is a Vipassana teacher and an eloquent writer and orator. He has written articles in a number of scholarly journals like Landscape, Nature and The Yale Review. The American Psychiatric Association honored him with the Oskar Pfister Award (an honor for those who have made significant contributions to the field of religion and psychiatry ).
Dr. Paul R. Fleischman is of the opinion that ‘ Meditation is a form of self observation. that it is ‘a Compass and a Path’, which at its root, ‘gives us internal guidance about how to live.’
Many people decry Meditation as staring at your navel. they see it as a form of self absorption and is for selfish people, a narcissistic activity. Dr. Paul R. Fleischman gives a good analogy to show the fallacy of this view. His analogy is :- “I’d been through medical school and I’d say that when you’re in medical school, you go in a room, you close the door and you don’t come out for four years. But no one says that’s selfish. Everyone knows that it is preparation to do something valuable for society. It takes four years and it’s not selfish. So I if I meditate every day for two hours, why is that hard to understand? That’s preparation for the rest of my day – it’s a self education and one that you want to renew everyday. Because this tendency towards falsely identifying with the kaleidoscopic activity is so strong that continually educating the self becomes the most important thing.”
“First off, I’d like to clarify that whenever I talk about meditation, I’m really talking specifically about my own experiences with a technique called Vipassana, which I learned in 1974 from Mr. S.N. Goenka, and have been teaching since 1986 under his guidance.”
What Dr. Paul R. Fleischman says of Vipassana meditation is that ‘the unique feature is to observe oneself at the level of sensation. So in meditation, first, one is cultivating a capacity for self-observation with increasing ability, and as one develops this ability both in body and mind, one begins to observe universal principles in the context of one’s own mind and body.’
“Peace in the world cannot be achieved unless there is peace within individuals.” by S.N. Goenka sums up the view hold by those who practise Meditation very nicely.
The impression one gets after reading Dr. Paul R. Fleischman’s article is that he is a very genuine practitioner and he has deep personal experience gained through deep practice.