Author(s): William HartDownload
The Ancient Meditation Technique that Brings Real Peace of MindVipassand-bhavand, “the development of insight,” embodies the essence of the teaching of the Buddha. As taught by S. N. Goenka, this path to self-awareness is extraordinary in its simplicity, its lack of dogma and, above all, its results. The Vipassana technique can be successfully applied by anyone.Based on the lectures and writings of S. N. Goenka–and prepared under his direct guidance–The Art of Living shows how this technique can be used to solve problems, develop unused potential, and lead a peaceful, productive life. It includes stories by S. N. Goenka, as well as answers to students’ questions, that convey a vivid sense of his teaching.S. N. Goenka’s Vipassana courses have attracted thousands of people of every background. Unique among teachers of meditation, Goenka is a retired industrialist and former leader of the Indian Community in Burma. Although a layman, his teaching has won the approval of senior Buddhist monks in Burma, India, and Sri Lanka, a number of whom have taken courses under his guidance. Despite his magnetism, he has no wish to be a “guru” –instead he teaches self-responsibility. This is the first systematic study of his teachings to appear in English.
Some Reviews: 222 in Goodreads.com
He spoke only a few words, but those words contained the entire teaching: “In your seeing, there should be only seeing; in your hearing nothing but hearing; in your smelling, tasting, touching nothing but smelling, tasting, touching; in you cognizing, nothing but cognizing.” When contact occurs through any of the six bases of sensory experience, there should be no valuation, no conditioned perception. Once perception starts evaluating any experience as good or bad, one sees the world in a distorted way because of one’s blind reactions. In order to free the mind from all conditioning, one must learn to stop evaluating on the basis of past reactions and to he aware, without evaluating and without reacting.
I have heard a lot about Vipassana mediation which created a great interest in me to know more about it & luckily I stumbled upon this book at a friend 19s place. All my doubts about Vipassana are cleared & I am looking forward to join the course. This book is a must read for people who have heard a lot about Vipassana but are under great doubts like, if they should go for it & will they be able to do it. It also gives a very clear picture of this form of mediation to the readers. You can get a good idea about Vipassana meditation through this book but this book is not a guide for meditation. It would be better to learn it under a teacher trained in Vipassana meditation rather than just reading & trying it all by yourself. So people who want to read this book thinking it to be a guide for self learning without a trainer, it could be dangerous. There are courses conducted & one who is interested can enroll to seek the true benefit
This book is a good compilation of the dharma talks given by S.N. Goenka in his 10-day Vipassana course. Best to read this only after one has completed the Vipassana course rather than pre-empting it.
More important than reading about meditation is actually practicing it. Here’s some links for information on Vipassana:
S.N. Goenka’s lectures are also available on YouTube
Key message = awareness + equanimity
I found the parables particularly memorable:
To walk the Path to Rajagaha
Buddha and the Scientist
Seed and Fruit
Pebbles and Ghee
Crooked Milk Pudding
2 Rings: this too shall pass
Nothing but Seeing
3 Sons and 3 Bottles of Oil
Summary: We can obtain real happiness, have a peaceful and joyful life, remain serene, poised, calm and balanced at all time, achieve liberation from all sufferings by observing ourselves, which starts from observing the natural breath to prepare the faculty of calm and sharp mind, then observing the mind and matter from gross level to subtler level, observing sensation without reaction, then we can experience the truth of impermanence and stop the madness of attachment thus bring the end of suffering. By self-observation, we can stop the conditioned reaction and start the mindful action, stop to be driven and start to drive, stop being a slave and start to be the master of our own life.
This short book covers most of what’s said during the evening discourses at Goenka-style 10-day meditation courses. If you haven’t been through one of these courses, the book can serve as an introduction to the technique and to Buddhism in general. The writing is very direct and simple, while still getting to heart of the issues of Buddhism. The cost of the directness and simplicity, however, is that it skips over nuances of Buddhist theory and practice, and presents only one viewpoint as if it is the only that exists. For these reasons, I wouldn’t recommend the book as an all-purpose guide to meditation or Buddhism, but it does well both as a refresher after you’ve taken a meditation course and as an introduction to Goenka’s style of Buddhist teaching.
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