S.N. Goenka’s Vipassana Meditation

The method of meditation taught and made widely known by S.N. Goenka is better known as the Vipashyana method. In the Pali tradition, it is also known as Satipatthana where we place our focus on nothing else except the breath. In the Sanskrit or Nalanda (commonly known as Tibetan) tradition, Vipashyana is the other half to Samantha meditation. In mind training, or lojong, these two are  necessary for progession on the path.

The first thing you need to keep in mind is that Goenka’s Vipassana Meditation technique is not new and if you watch the videos available on Youtube especially the Discourses of Day 1, Day 2 and so on, he will say again and again that what he’s doing is merely being a voice for what the Buddha taught 2,500 years ago and which still remains as one of the simplest yet most profound technique you could ever find that will bring you true joy and peace.

You will also find this technique mentioned in the ancient text known as the Vigyana Bhavana. It is said that the Buddha learned this technique during his wandering days and with just this one simple technique attained enlightenment. Which is also why the Buddha has promised that anyone who is willing to do the arduous inner work would also attain the same in one’s present incarnation. You don’t have to wait or postpone it to a future incarnation if you are willing to accept that it takes heart-breaking hard work now.

At the end of each day of the 10-day course, Goenka shares with you the Dhamma behind the technique. That way you will get a marvellous connection of ‘theory’ and the ‘practical’. Throughout all his discourses, Goenka reiterates that he is not there to convert you to Buddhism. He is merely sharing with you a precious gem that is non-sectarian. And we totally relate to that. Buddhism is not a religion but a science and art of mind training that can benefit anyone and everyone of any chosen faith.

If you understand the Buddha’s teachings and why he is only keen on teaching the end of suffering, you will come to see that the root of all our problems come from a self-centeredness that is not inclined to be inclusive. That’s human nature, yes, but also an ineffective way of living that brings no true joy or peace. Rather, it is the other way around. If you lived according to the universal law of causality, you will find that positive returns a positive while a negative returns a negative. This is the essence of the Buddha’s teaching. It undergirds everything the Buddha has taught starting with the Four Noble Truths and the 8-fold Noble Path. You reap what you sow.

And if you asked us what’s it like, this Vipassana Meditation as taught by Goenka, our answer would be this: it’s going to be the most amazing inner journey of your life. All that’s required of you is your courage to sit and go within. Your life will be changed forever if you are open, willing and flexible enough to flow with the course. The things you learn about yourself and how your mind works, who is the real puppeteer and why you face the problems you do in your life, all these will show up and you will gain a clarity that nothing else will give you. It’s definitely worth it.

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