Stage one:

Methods: visualizing the full moon, and the simultaneous visualization of two directions.

In order to prepare one’s mind for more advanced teachings, the practice of Vipassana is essential. The two best methods are visualizing the full moon, and simultaneous visualization of the two directions.

When visualizing the full moon, we place an image of the full moon in our thoughts and focus on that. But if we let the image sit in our heads our vital energy will rise and this can lead to headaches as well as other problems.
So to prevent this we engrave the image firmly into our lower abdomen, our TanJeon, and keep our thoughts from straying from this image. Even with the image in our TanJeon, it is possible to become too tense and this will prevent us from keeping a constant lucid image. On the other hand, we must not fall into darkness or sleep. We must be relaxed but we must always maintain a clear vivid image of the full moon.

It is easy to look in one direction, but to visualize the two directions simultaneously, we must depend on our mind’s eye. No matter how sleepy or distracted we are, this is a very powerful method that will require us to focus and relax our minds.
Instead of seeing what is right in front of our eyes, we need to try to focus on what is both in front of us and behind us simultaneously. Not only is this practice very efficient at expanding one’s meditation, people also find that it can help with panic attacks, depression, and insomnia.