- “The only conversion involved in Vipassana is from misery to happiness, from bondage to liberation.”
- “Grasping at things can only yield one of two results: Either the thing you are grasping at disappears, or you yourself disappear. It is only a matter of which occurs first.”
- “Peace and negativity cannot coexist just as light and darkness cannot coexist.”
- “The whole point of Vipassana is to decondition the mind so that one can live a happy life. A life full of love, compassion and good will for all.”
- “Removing old conditionings from the mind and training the mind to be more equanimous with every experience is the first step toward enabling one to experience true happiness.”
- “Work diligently. Diligently. Work patiently and persistently. Patiently and persistently. And you’re bound to be successful. Bound to be successful.”
- “Our suffering stems from ignorance. We react because we do not know what we are doing because we do not know the reality of ourselves.”
- “For real happiness, for real lasting stable happiness, one has to make a journey deep within oneself and see that one gets rid of all the unhappiness and misery stored in the deeper levels of the mind.”
- “One who has love and compassion with a pure heart experiences the Kingdom of Heaven within. This is the Law of Nature, or if one would rather, God’s will.”
- “The mind spends most of the time lost in fantasies and illusions, reliving pleasant or unpleasant experiences and anticipating the future with eagerness or fear. While lost in such cravings or aversions, we are unaware of what is happening now, what we are doing now.”
- “So long as one as one keeps on generating negativities such as anger hatred, ill-will, animosities, etc. the stock of unhappiness keeps on multiplying.”
- “We cannot live in the past; it is gone. Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp. We can live only in the present. If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future.”
- “If we can develop the ability to be aware of the present moment, we can use the past as a guide for ordering our actions in the future, so that we may attain our goal.”
- “The most striking aspect of this description of a human being is not what it concludes but what it omits.”
- “The silence and the continuous meditation on the breath causes the mind to begin to feel physical sensations in the body at a much more subtle level than it has ever felt in the past.”
- “So long as there are unhappiness and misery in the deeper levels of the mind and so long as unhappiness is being generated today this stored stock is being multiplied and all attempts to feel happy at the surface level of the mind prove futile.”
- “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 operate on the unthinking assumption that the person who existed ten years ago is essentially the same person who exists today, who will exist ten years from now, perhaps who will still exist in a future life after death. No matter what philosophies or theories or beliefs we hold as true, we actually each live our lives with the deep-rooted conviction, ‘I was, I am, I shall be.”
- “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.”
- “Rather than converting people from one organized religion to another organized religion,” said Mr Goenka, “we should try to convert people from misery to happiness, from bondage to liberation from cruelty to compassion.”
- “There cannot be peace in the world when people have anger and hatred in their hearts. Only with love and compassion in the heart is world peace attainable.”
- “The observation of the physical sensations without reaction during Vipassana meditation produces a remarkable effect. It causes the old stored-up past conditionings such as anger, hatred, ill-will, passion, etc. to come to the surface of the mind and manifest as sensations. Observation of these sensations without any reaction causes them to pass away, layer after layer. Your mind is then free of many of these old conditionings and can deal with experiences in the life without the colour of past experiences.”
- “Let us focus on the commonalities of all religions, on the inner core of all religions which is purity of heart. We should all give importance to this aspect of religion and avoid conflict over the outer shell of the religions, which is various rites, rituals, festivals and dogmas.”
- “All persons must be free to profess and follow their faith. In doing so, however, they must be careful not to neglect the practice of the essence of their religion, not to disturb others by their own religious practices, and not to condemn or belittle other faiths.”
- “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… in those moments the mind is free. Perhaps at first, these may be only a few moments in a meditation period, and the rest of the time the mind remains submerged in the old habit of reaction to sensations, the old round of craving, aversion, and misery. But with repeated practice, those few brief moments will become seconds, will become minutes, until finally the old habit of reaction is broken, and the mind remains continuously at peace. This is how suffering can be stopped.”
Keep in mind that equanimity is most important for you. The type of sensation you feel doesnot matter.
Whenever a deep-rooted sankhara comes to the surface, it will produce a particular type of sensation, but don’t assume that every sensation you feel is because of a sankhara.
When you are meditating, it is true that most of the sensations are because of sankharas, but there are many other causes for sensations to arise.
Whatever the cause, if a sensation occurs and you don’t generate a new sankhara, the purpose is served: naturally the old accumulated stock will start to come up to the surface of the mind and be eradicated.
Q: How can professionals, who have less time, practice meditation?
A: Meditation is all the more important for professionals! Those who are householders, who have responsibilities in life, need Vipassana much more, because they have to face situations in life where there are so many vicissitudes. They become agitated because of these vicissitudes. If they learn Vipassana, they can face life much better. They can make good decisions, right decisions, correct decisions, which will be very helpful to them. For professionals, executives, and other people with responsibilities, Vipassana is a great boon.
Source: The Gracious flow of Dhamma, for details visit: www.vridhamma.org
A beginner who starts on the path has to work. You are being taught to reach the stage that is without “I” (anattā), and when there is no “I” there is no doer. But if we say there is no “I” in the beginning, you could become confused and think you do not need to work. You must first understand, “Well, I have to take steps on the path.” A time will come when you understand, “There is a path but there is nobody to walk over it, there are only steps being taken on the path.” That stage has to come naturally. If the “I” is still there in you and you try to impose a feeling that the “I” is not there, it is not helpful.
That is why the Buddha’s teaching is to work first with anicca. When you get established in anicca, then dukkha will naturally become clear to you, and you will understand that however pleasant a feeling may be it passes away. If you develop attachment to it you will become miserable. So misery is inherent in even the most pleasant experience. Understanding of dukkha becomes more and more predominant once you are established in anicca. When you are established in anicca and dukkha, then the third stage—an understanding of anattā—develops, and you think, “What is this phenomenon? Where is ‘I’? Things are just happening, there is just a flow of mind and matter interacting.” When the “I” dissolves at the experiential level it is helpful. An imposed conception of anattā will not help. That is why the Buddha never advised us to start with anattā . Start with anicca,then dukkha will follow, and anattā will develop.
When Ramana Maharshi spoke of no doer, he spoke of anattā, the third, final stage. He must have reached that stage, so naturally he spoke about it to people who he felt were developed. But it does not mean that a beginner should start working in that way.”
– SN Goenkaji
From “For the Benefit of Many”
1. I am in a business where I could be my breaking sila. I know enough not to be involved in a business that is going to harm anyone. For instance, making missiles is certainly going to harm people; I obviously won’t do that. But what about the gray area where I am building a third-party product and I really don’t know where itÂ’’s going to end up. If I know it is going to be used to kill people, then it’s obviously not good. When I don’t know, then what?
You manufacture a knife and people use it to cut vegetables. But if someone uses it to murder somebody, thatÂ’s not your responsibility. If you sell a knife that you know is going to be used to kill somebody, then it’s wrong; otherwise, you have no intention of harming anyone.
2. So, as long as you don’t have the intention.
Goenkaji: Yes, that is more important.
3) Investing in the stock marketÂ—is that harmful or it is okay? Because my gain may be a loss to someone that I don’t even know.
Goenkaji: Well, if your intention is to harm somebody, then it is wrong. If you are just trying to earn some money, there’s nothing wrong in that.
But whatever you earn, then you have to pay attention to how you are using it. If it is just to inflate your ego—look, I am wealthier than everybody else, I am one inch taller than everybody else—then it is madness; those earnings are not helpful to you. When you earn money, that money is coming from the society; so it is your duty to share with the society. If you have that sort of volition, then earning is not bad. A householder has to earn. You are not a monk.
4) But somebody may begetting hurt.
Goenkaji: Well, you can’t help that. You are just trying to earn money. If you make use of this money in a properway,there is nothing wrong. Your intention is not to harm anyone. If you do something intentionally to hurt somebody, then it is wrong.
I repeatedly warn students that Vipassana is not intended for the enjoyment of pleasant sensations, but despite my advice some of them make that their aim.
They think, I must get a free-flow of very pleasant vibrations.
If I’m not getting it, I’m not progressing.” They are completely wrong.
The equanimity you have developed is the measure of your progress.
The Buddha explained: To dig out the stock of your sankharas of craving, make use of the pleasant sensations;
to dig out the sankharas of aversion, make use of your unpleasant sensations.
Both types of sensation are equally important as tools to help us eradicate the deep-rooted sankharas that we have accumulated.
If you ignore this advice and instead feel depressed with gross sensations and elated with pleasant ones,
you are simply repeating what you have been doing your whole life and for so many lives.
In the name of Vipassana, you have started playing the same game.
I must progress on the path and also encourage others to come to the path and progress on it.
You progress only when you maintain your practice morning and evening.
If you take courses, whether of ten, twenty or even thirty days, and you miss your daily meditation, you will not really benefit.
A course ought to strengthen your practice, your understanding of Dhamma at the experiential and intellectual level.
But only applied Dhamma will give real benefits.
If you do not practice morning and evening every day, you will notice that real progress is missing.
Morning and evening sittings are very important.