In order to improve concentration in meditation, you are first started off with being instructed to observe your own breath.
The act of breathing is common to all humans irrespective caste, creed, religion or sex.
There is nothing in Vipassana that can be categorized as being sectarian or religious in any particular way.
Observing your own breath is the first baby step in starting meditation practice.
But then your own mind has …well a mind of its own. It starts wandering off in various directions and running through it own agenda.
As and when you realize that you are ruminating more than meditating, you are instructed to then calmly accept the fact that you have wandered away and come back to monitoring your breath.
If you find that the breath is hard to feel you are instructed to give a few sharp exhalations to make it acute and keep the mind locked there.
Most folks in the meditation hall have woken up at 4:15 am and are in place by 4:30 am.
Cuddled in warm shawls to keep the stiff breeze out. And the room is darkened to make it suitable for meditation. The pre dawn stillness prevails. Even the neighborhood cock has still not deigned it proper to start crowing.
It is calm and quite. 300 participants observing their own breath. Now and then you notice a few of them taking sharp breaths. You inwardly chuckle since you know that their mind has wandered away.
But there a few whose breathing soon turns into the more sonorous and soporific variety. Shattering the calmness of the room with its deep bass rhythm.
Giggles break out.
Mirth like meditation is common to all humans irrespective of caste, creed, religion or sex.
Venkat / Kanna