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Free e-Book explaining the philosophy and methodology behind Vipassana meditation in Buddhism


Well-Known Member
A free pdf e-book explaining the philosophy and methodology behind Vipassana meditation in Buddhism, by S.N.Goenka and William Hart.


Some insightful sayings from the book....

As soon as one desire is satisfied, we generate another. The object is secondary; the fact is that we seek to maintain the state of craving continually, because this very craving produces in us a pleasurable sensation that we wish to prolong.

Aversions and cravings can never be wholesome. They will always make you tense and unhappy.

Craving becomes a habit that we cannot break, an addiction. And just as an addict gradually develops tolerance towards his chosen drug and requires ever larger doses in order to achieve intoxication, our cravings steadily become stronger the more we seek to fulfill them. In this way we can never come to the end of craving. And so long as we crave, we can never be happy.

It is impossible to commit an unwholesome action—to insult, kill, steal, or rape without generating great agitation in the mind, great craving and aversion. This moment of craving or aversion brings unhappiness now, and more in the future.

When mental objects—thoughts, ideas, imaginations, emotions, memories, hopes, fears—come into contact with the mind, sensations arise. Every thought, every emotion, every mental action is accompanied by a corresponding sensation within the body. Therefore by observing the physical sensations,we also observe the mind.

Then how is one not to make oneself unhappy? How is one to live without suffering? By simply observing without reacting: Instead of trying to keep one experience and to avoid another, to pull this close, to push that away, one simply examines every phenomenon objectively, with equanimity, with a balanced mind.

A sensation appears, and liking or disliking begins. This fleeting moment, if we are unaware of it, is repeated and intensified into craving and aversion, becoming a strong emotion that eventually overpowers the conscious mind. We become caught up in the emotion, and all our better judgment is swept aside. The result is that we find ourselves engaged in unwholesome speech and action, harming ourselves and others. We create misery for ourselves, suffering now and in the future, because of one moment of blind reaction.

But if we are aware at the point where the process of reaction begins—that is, if we are aware of the sensation—we can choose not to allow any reaction to occur or to intensify.

We observe the sensation without reacting, neither liking nor disliking it. It has no chance to develop into craving or aversion, into powerful emotion that can overwhelm us; it simply arises and passes away. The mind remains balanced, peaceful. We are happy now, and we can anticipate happiness in the future, because we have not reacted.This ability not to react is very valuable.

By developing awareness and equanimity, one can liberate oneself from suffering. Suffering begins because of ignorance of one's own reality. In the darkness of this ignorance,the mind reacts to every sensation with liking and disliking, craving and aversion. Every such reaction creates suffering now and sets in motion a chain of events that will bring nothing but suffering in the future.

When we are aware of the sensations within the body, and at the same time maintain equanimity, in those moments the mind is free.

Balance of mind is always helpful and will give the best results.

Progress is measured according to whether you develop equanimity.

By observing every sensation with equanimity, we gradually weaken and destroy the tendencies of craving and aversion. When the conditioned responses of a certain type are eradicated, one is free of that type of suffering. And when all conditioned responses have been eradicated one after another, the mind is totally liberated.

When the mind is calm and balanced, whatever decision you make will be a good one. When the mind is unbalanced, any decision you make will be a reaction. You must learn to change the pattern of life from negative reaction to positive action

The highest quality of the mind is equanimity based on full awareness of reality.

~ The Art of Living. Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N.GOENKA


Well-Known Member
An insightful website detailing answers by S.N.Goenka to frequently asked questions on Vipassana and Buddhism.

A Store-House of Answers by Mr. S. N. Goenka | Vipassana Research Institute

S.N.Goenka was the disciple of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, the Burmese teacher and authority on Vipassana meditation, and who was the first Accountant General of Burma and an influential leader of the Vipassana movement.

Today, Vipassana courses, in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, are held at 341 locations in 94 countries, of which about 202 are permanent Vipassana meditation centres. Goenka was an invited speaker at the Millennium World Peace Summit of Religious and Spiritual Leaders on 29 August 2000 at the General Assembly Hall of the United Nations in New York City.

Goenka was able to bring Vipassana meditation courses into prisons, first in India, and then in other countries. The organisation estimates that as many as 10,000 prisoners, as well as many members of the police and military, have attended the 10-day courses.

Vipassana Meditation Courses For Correction Facilities – Dhamma.org