Day Three Discourse

The Noble Eightfold Path: panna-received wisdom, intellectual wisdom, experiential wisdom--the kalapa--the four elements--the three characteristics: impermanence, the illusory nature of the ego, suffering--penetrating through apparent reality The third day is over. Tomorrow afternoon you will enter the field of panna, wisdom, the third division of the Noble Eightfold Path. Without wisdom, the path remains incomplete.

One begins the path by practising sila, that is, by abstaining from causing harm to others; but although one may not harm others, still one harms oneself by generating defilements in the mind.Therefore one undertakes the training of samadhi, learning to control the mind, to suppress the defilements that have arisen. However, suppressing defilements does not eliminate them. They remain in the unconscious and multiply there, continuing to cause harm to oneself. Therefore the third step of Dhamma,panna: neither giving a free licence to the defilements nor suppressing them, but instead allowing them to arise and be eradicated. When the defilements are eradicated,the mind is freed from impurities. And when the mind has been purified, then without any effort one abstains from actions that harm others since by nature a pure mind is full of goodwill and compassion for others. Similarly, without any effort one abstains from actions that harm oneself. One lives a happy, healthy life. Thus each step of the path must lead to the next.Sila leads to the development of samadhi, right concentration;samadhi leads to the developments of panna,wisdom which purifies the mind;panna leads to nibbana, liberation from all impurities, full enlightenment.

Within the division ofpanna fall two more parts of the Noble Eightfold Path:

(7)Samma-sankappa--right thoughts. It is not necessary that the entire thought process be stopped before one can begin to develop wisdom. Thoughts remain, but the pattern of thinking changes. The defilements at the surface level of the mind start to pass away because of the practice of awareness of respiration. Instead of thoughts of craving, aversion, and delusion, one begins to have healthy thoughts, thoughts about Dhamma, the way to liberate oneself.

(8)Samma-ditthi--right understanding. This is realpanna, understanding reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.

There are three stages in the development of panna, of wisdom. The first is suta-maya panna,wisdom acquired by hearing or reading the words of another. This received wisdom is very helpful in order to set one in the proper direction. However, by itself it cannot liberate, because in fact it is only a borrowed wisdom. One accepts it as true perhaps out of blind faith, or perhaps out of aversion, in the fear that disbelieving will lead one to hell, or perhaps out of craving, in the hope that believing will lead one to heaven. But in any case, it is not one's own wisdom.

The function of received wisdom should be to lead to the next stage: cinta-maya panna,intellectual understanding. Rationally one examines what one has heard or read, to see whether it is logical, practical, beneficial; if so, then one accepts it. This rational understanding is also important, but it can be very dangerous if it is regarded as an end in itself. Someone develops his intellectual knowledge, and decides that therefore he is a very wise person. All that he learns serves only to inflate his ego; he is far away from liberation.The proper function of intellectual understanding is to lead to the next stage;bhavana -maya panna, the wisdom that develops within oneself, at the experiential level. This is real wisdom.

Received wisdom and intellectual understanding are very useful if they give one inspiration and guidance to take the next step. However, it is only experiential wisdom that can liberate, because this is one's own wisdom, based on one's own experience.

An example of the three types of wisdom: a doctor gives a prescription for medicine to a sick man. The man goes home, and out of great faith in his doctor, he recites the prescription every day; this is suta-maya panna. Not satisfied with that, the man returns to the doctor, and demands and receives an explanation of the prescription, why it is necessary and how it will work; this is cinta-maya panna. Finally the man takes the medicine; only then is his disease eradicated. The benefit comes only from the third step, the bhavana-maya panna.

You have come to this course to take the medicine yourself, to develop your own wisdom. To do so, you must understand truth at the experiential level. So much confusion exists because the way things appear to be is totally different from their real nature. To remove this confusion, you must develop experiential wisdom. And outside of the framework of the body, truth cannot be experienced; it can only be intellectualized. Therefore you must develop the ability to experience truth within yourself, from the grossest to the subtlest levels, in order to emerge from all illusions, all bondages.

Everyone knows that the entire universe is constantly changing, but mere intellectual understanding of this reality will not help; one must experience it within oneself. Perhaps a traumatic event, such as the death of someone near or dear, forces one to face the hard fact of impermanence, and one starts to develop wisdom, to see the futility of striving after worldly goods and quarrelling with others. But soon the old habit of egotism reasserts itself, and the wisdom fades, because it was not based on direct, personal experience. One has not experienced the reality of impermanence within oneself.

Everything is ephemeral, arising and passing away every moment--anicca ; but the rapidity and continuity of the process create the illusion of permanence. The flame of a candle and the light of an electric lamp are both changing constantly. If by one's senses one can detect the process of change, as is possible in the case of the candle flame, then one can emerge from the illusion. But when, as in the case of the electric light, the change is so rapid and continuous that one's senses cannot detect it, then the illusion is far more difficult to break. One may be able to detect the constant change in a flowing river, but how is one to understand that the man who bathes in that river is also changing every moment?

The only way to break the illusion is to learn to explore within oneself, and to experience the reality of one's own physical and mental structure. This is what Siddhattha Gotama did to become a Buddha. Leaving aside all preconceptions, he examined himself to discover the true nature of the physical and mental structure. Starting from the level of superficial, apparent reality, he penetrated to the subtlest level, and he found that the entire physical structure, the entire material world, is composed of subatomic particles, called in Pali attha kalapa. And he discovered that each such particle consists of the, four elements--earth, water, fire, air--and their subsidiary characteristics. These particles, he found, are the basic building blocks of matter, and they are themselves constantly arising and passing away, with great rapidity--trillions of times within a second. In reality there is no solidity in the material world; it is nothing but combustion and vibrations.

Modern scientists have confirmed the findings of the Buddha, and have proved by experiment that the entire material universe is composed of subatomic particles which rapidly arise and pass away. However, these scientists have not become liberated from all misery, because their wisdom is only intellectual. Unlike the Buddha, they have not experienced truth directly, within themselves. When one experiences personally the reality of one's own impermanence, only then does one start to come out of misery.

As the understanding of anicca develops within oneself, another aspect of wisdom arises:anatta, no "I", no "mine". Within the physical and mental structure, there is nothing that lasts more than a moment, nothing that one can identify as an unchanging self or soul. If something is indeed "mine", then one must be able to possess it, to control it, but in fact one has no mastery even over one's body: it keeps changing, decaying, regardless of one's wishes.

Then the third aspect of wisdom develops:dukkha, suffering. If one tries to possess and hold on to something that is changing beyond one's control, then one is bound to create misery for oneself. Commonly, one identifies suffering with unpleasant sensory experiences, but pleasant ones can equally be causes of misery, if one develops attachment to them, because they are equally impermanent. Attachment to what is ephemeral is certain to result in suffering.

When the understanding of anicca,anatta, anddukkha is strong, this wisdom will manifest in one's daily life. Just as one has learned to penetrate beyond the apparent reality within, so in external circumstances one will be able to see the apparent truth, and also the ultimate truth. One comes out of illusions and lives a happy, healthy life.

Many illusions are created by apparent, consolidated, integrated reality--for example, the illusion of physical beauty. The body appears beautiful only when it is integrated. Any part of it, seen separately, is without attraction, without beauty-asubha. Physical beauty is superficial, apparent reality, not ultimate truth.

However, understanding the illusory nature of physical beauty will not lead to hatred of others.As wisdom arises, naturally the mind becomes balanced, detached, pure, full of good will towards all. Having experienced reality within oneself, one can come out of illusions, cravings,and aversions, and can live peacefully and happily.

Tomorrow afternoon, you will take your first steps in the field of panna when you start to practise Vipassana. Do not expect that as soon as you begin you will see all the subatomic particles arising and passing away throughout the body. No, one begins with gross, apparent truth, and by remaining equanimous, gradually one penetrates to subtler truths, to the ultimate truths of mind, of matter, of the mental factors and finally to the ultimate truth which is beyond mind and matter.

To attain this goal, you must work yourself. Therefore keep your sila strong, because this is the base of your meditation, and keep practicing Anapana until 3 p.m. tomorrow; keep observing reality within the area of the nostrils. Keep sharpening your mind so that when you start Vipassana tomorrow, you can penetrate to the deeper levels and eradicate the impurities hidden there. Work patiently, persistently, continuously, for your own good, your own liberation.May all of you be successful in taking the first steps on the path of liberation.

May all beings be happy!

Universal definition of sin and piety-the Noble Eigbtfold Path: sila and samadhi

The second day is over. Although it was slightly better than the first day, difficulties still remain. The mind is so restless, agitated, wild, like a wild bull or elephant which creates havoc when it enters a human dwelling-place. If a wise person tames and trains the wild animal, then all its strength, which has been used for destructive purposes, now begins to serve society in constructive ways. Similarly the mind, which is far more powerful and dangerous than a wild elephant, must be tamed and trained; then its enormous strength will start to serve you. But you must work very patiently, persistently, and continuously. Continuity of practice is the secret of success.

You have to do the work; no-one else can do it for you. With all love and compassion an enlightened person shows the way to work, but he cannot carry anyone on his shoulders to the final goal. You must take steps yourself, fight your own battle, work out your own salvation. Of course, once you start working, you receive the support of all the Dhamma forces, but still you have to work yourself. You have to walk the entire path yourself.

Understand what is the path on which you have started walking. The Buddha described it in very simple terms:

Abstain from all sinful, unwholesome actions,perform only pious wholesome ones,
purify the mind;this is the teaching of enlightened ones.

It is a universal path, acceptable to people of any background, race, or country. But the problem comes in defining sin and piety. When the essence of Dhamma is lost, it becomes a sect, and then each sect gives a different definition of piety, such as having a particular external appearance, or performing certain rituals, or holding certain beliefs. All these are sectarian definitions, acceptable to some and not to others. Dhamma, however, gives a universal definition of sin and piety. Any action that harms others, that disturbs their peace and harmony, is a sinful,unwholesome action. Any action that helps other, that contributes to their peace and harmony, is a pious, wholesome action. This is a definition in accordance not with any dogma, but rather with the law of nature. And according to the law of nature, one cannot perform an action that harms others without first generating a defilement in the mind--anger, fear, hatred, etc.; and whenever one generates a mental defilement, then one becomes miserable, one experiences the sufferings of hell within. Similarly, one cannot perform an action that helps others without first generating love, compassion, good will; and as soon as one starts developing such pure mental qualities, one starts enjoying heavenly peace within. When you help others, simultaneously you help yourself; when you harm others, simultaneously you harm yourself. This is Dhamma, truth,law--the universal law of nature.

The path of Dhamma is called the Noble Eightfold Path, noble in the sense that anyone who walks on it is bound to become a noble-hearted, saintly person. The path is divided into three sections: sila , samadhi ,and panna.

Sila is morality--abstaining from unwholesome deeds of body and speech.
Samadhi is the wholesome action of developing mastery over one's mind. Practising both is helpful, but neither sila nor samadhi can eradicate all the defilements accumulated in the mind.For this purpose the third section of the path must be practised: panna,the development of wisdom, of insight, which totally purifies the mind.

Within the division of sila are three parts of the Noble Path:

(1)Samma-vaca--right speech, purity of vocal action. To understand what is purity of speech, one must know what is impurity of speech. Speaking lies to deceive others, speaking harsh words that hurt others, backbiting and slanderous talk, babbling and purposeless chatter are all impurities of vocal action. When one abstains from these, what remains is right speech.

(2)Samma-kammanta--right action, purity of physical action. On the path of Dhamma there is only one yardstick to measure the purity or impurity of an action, be it physical, vocal, or mental,and that is whether the action helps or harms others. Thus killing, stealing, committing rape or adultery, and becoming intoxicated so that one does not know what one is doing are all actions that harm others, and also harm oneself. When one abstains from these impure physical actions, what remains is right action.

(3)Samma-ajiva--right livelihood. Everyone must have some way to support himself and those who are dependent on him, but if the means of support is harmful to others, then it is not a right livelihood. Perhaps one may not oneself perform wrong actions by one's livelihood, but encourages others to do so; if so, one is not practising right livelihood. For example, selling liquor, operating a gambling den, selling arms, selling living animals or animal flesh are none of them right livelihoods. Even in the highest profession, if one's motivation is only to exploit others, then one is not practicing right livelihood. If the motivation is to perform one's part as a member of society, to contribute one's own skills and efforts for the general good, in return for which one receives a just remuneration by which one maintains oneself and one's dependents, then such a person is practising right livelihood.

A householder, a lay person, needs money to support himself. The danger, however, is that earning money becomes a means to inflate the ego: one seeks to amass as much as possible for oneself, and feels contempt for those who earn less. Such an attitude harms others and also harms oneself, because the stronger the ego, the further one is from liberation. Therefore one essential aspect of right livelihood is giving charity, sharing a portion of what one earns with others. Then one earns not only for one's own benefit but also for the benefit of others.

If Dhamma consisted merely of exhortations to abstain from actions that harm others, then it would have no effect. Intellectually one may understand the dangers of performing unwholesome actions and the benefits of performing wholesome ones, or one may accept the importance of sila out of devotion to those who preach it. Yet one continues to perform wrong actions, because one has no control over the mind.

Hence the second division of Dhamma, samddhi-developing mastery over one's own mind. Within this division are another three parts of the Noble Eightfold Path:

(4)Samma-vdyama--right effort, right exercise. By your practice you have seen how weak and infirm the mind is, always wavering from one object to another. Such a mind requires exercise to strengthen it. There are four exercises to strengthen the mind: removing from it any unwholesome qualities it may have, closing it to any unwholesome qualities it does not have, preserving and multiplying those wholesome qualities that are present in the mind, and opening it to any wholesome qualities that are missing. Indirectly, by the practice of awareness of respiration (Anapana) you have started performing these exercises.

(5)Samma-sati--right awareness, awareness of the reality of the present moment. Of the past there can only be memories; for the future there can only be aspirations, fears, imaginations. You have started practisingsa mma -sati by training yourself to remain aware of whatever reality manifests at the present moment, within the limited area of the nostrils. You must develop the ability to be aware of the entire reality, from the, grossest to the subtlest level. To begin, you gave attention to the conscious, intentional breath, then the natural, soft breath, then the touch of the breath. Now you will take a still subtler object of attention: the natural, physical sensations within this limited area. You may feel the temperature of the breath, slightly cold as it enters,slightly warm as it leaves the body. Beyond that, there are innumerable sensations not related to breath: heat, cold, itching, pulsing, vibrating, pressure, tension, pain, etc. You cannot choose what sensation to feel, because you cannot create sensations. Just observe; just remain aware. The name of the sensation is not important; what is important is to be aware of the reality of the sensation without reacting to it.

The habit pattern of the mind, as you have seen, is to roll in the future or in the past, generating craving or aversion. By practising right awareness you have started to break this habit. Not that after this course you will forget the past entirely, and have no thought at all for the future. But in fact you used to waste your energy by rolling needlessly in the past or future, so much so that when you needed to remember or plan something, you could not do so. By developing samma-
sati, you will learn to fix your mind more firmly in the present reality, and you will find that you can easily recall the past when needed, and make proper provisions for the future. You will be able to lead a happy, healthy life.

(6)Samma-samadhi--right concentration. Mere concentration is not the aim of this technique; the concentration you develop must have a base of purity. With a base of craving, aversion, or illusion one may concentrate the mind, but this is not samma-samadhi. One must be aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion. Sustaining this awareness continuously from moment to moment--this is .

By following scrupulously the five precepts, you have started practising sila. By training your mind to remain focused on one point, a real object of the present moment, without craving or aversion, you have started developing samadhi. Now keep working diligently to sharpen your mind, so that when you start to practise panna you will be able to penetrate to the depths of the unconscious, to eradicate all the impurities hidden there, and to enjoy real happiness--the happiness of liberation.

Real happiness to you all.
May all beings be happy!

10 Day Vipassana Course Discourse Summaries

Vipassana discourse summaries, in the words of Mr. S.N.Goenka , explain in
precise manner the purest form of vipassana meditation .The following
discourse summaries for 10 days vipassana meditation course; merely
explains to beginners what vipassana is , how it is rightly practised and what is done everyday in ten days meditation course . With little understanding
and application of mind the results of this unique and one of the most ancient
forms of meditation would be self evident to a true seeker of truth.

The meditation practise is for 10 days , but discourse is given on eleventh
day on completion of ten days practise to guide the meditators to take on the
practise from there to their own respective lives independently , the masters
are always present; to guide the meditators whenever they encounter any
difficulties in regular meditation practise in their daily lives , but primarily
true dharma does not make u dependent upon others but independent , and
with this objective in mind the eleventh day discourse is aimed at guiding the
independent meditation practise by the meditators in their routine lives once
they leave the meditation centre's campus .During the 10 days course one is
strictly not allowed to leave the meditation centres' campus in any; condition
and is bound in a strict schedule of 4 am to 9 : 30 pm with regulated diet and
has to commit to speaking truth at all times and being honest to make the
meditation a success . Their are certain regulations that a sadhaka commits
oneself to before entering the meditation course which are for the benefit of
the sadhakas themselves .

Readers are advised beforehand that reading and intellectualising the 11
days discourse summaries is no substitute for actual practise of vipassana
meditation .And If one tries to practise by oneself without appropriate
guidance by the trained and realized masters the results can be harmful and inconsistent with what has been promised by the correct practise of
vipassana meditation. Readers are humbly requested not to limit oneself to
reading and discussions of the meditation pratice , but to follow accurately as guided in the vipassana meditation 10 days course and achieve the self transforming results .

A step towards true freedom

"Liberation can be gained only by practice, never by mere discussion," S.N.
Goenka has said. A course in Vipassana meditation is an opportunity to take
concrete steps toward liberation. In such a course the participant learns how
to free the mind of the tensions and prejudices that disturb the
flow of daily life. By doing so one begins to discover how to live each
moment peacefully,productively, happily. At the same time one starts
progressing toward the highest goal to which mankind can aspire: purity of
mind, freedom from all suffering, full enlightenment.

None of this can be attained just by thinking about it or wishing for it. One
must take steps to reach the goal. For this reason, in a vipassana course the
emphasis is always on actual practice. No philosophical debates are
permitted, no theoretical arguments, no questions that are unrelated
to one's own experience. As far as possible, meditators are encouraged to
find the answers to their questions within themselves. The teacher provides
whatever guidance is needed in the practice, but it is up to each person to
implement these guidelines: one has to fight one's own battle, work out one's
own salvation.

Given this emphasis, still some explanation is necessary to provide a context
for the practice. Therefore every evening of a course goenkaji gives a
"Dhamma talk", in order to put into perspective the experiences of that day,
and to clarify various aspects of the technique. These discourses, he warns,
are not intended as intellectual or emotional entertainment. Their purpose
is simply to help meditators understand what to do and why, so that they will
work in the proper way and will achieve the proper results.

It is these talks that are presented here in condensed form.

The eleven discourses provide a broad overview of the teaching of the
Buddha. The approach to this subject, however, is not scholarly or analytical.
Instead the teaching is presented in the way that it unfolds to a meditator: as
a dynamic, coherent whole. All its different facets are seen to reveal an
underlying unity: the experience of meditation. This experience is the inner
fire that gives true life and brilliance to the jewel of the Dhamma. Without this
experience one cannot grasp the full significance of what is said in the
discourses, or indeed of the teaching of the Buddha. But this does not mean
that there is no place for an intellectual appreciation of the teaching.

Intellectual understanding is valuable as a support to meditative practice,
even though meditation itself is a process that goes beyond the limits of the
intellect. For this reason these summaries have been prepared, giving in brief
the essential points of each discourse. They are intended mainly to offer
inspiration and guidance to those who practice Vipassana meditation as
taught by S.N. Goenka. To others who happen to read them, it is hoped that
they will provide encouragement to participate in a Vipassana course and to
experience what is here described.

The summaries should not be treated as a do-it-yourself manual for learning
Vipassana, a substitute for a ten-day course. Meditation is a serious matter,
especially the Vipassana technique, which deals with the depths of the mind.
It should never be approached lightly or casually. The proper way to learn
Vipassana is only by joining a formal course, where there is a
suitable environment to support the meditator, and a trained guide. If
someone chooses to disregard this warning and tries to teach himself the
technique only from reading about it, he proceeds entirely at his own risk.

Fortunately courses in Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N.
Goenka are now held regularly in many parts of the world. Schedules can
available online.The summaries are based primarily on discourses given by
Goenkaji at theVipassana Meditation Centre, in Shelburne Falls,
Massachusetts, U.S.A.during August 1983. An exception is the Day Ten,
Summary  which is based on a discourse given at that Centre in August 1984.

While Goenkaji has looked through this material and approved it for
publication, he has not had time to check the text closely. As a result, the
reader may find some errors and discrepancies. These are the responsibility
not of the teacher, nor of the teaching, but of myself. Criticism will
be very welcome that might help to correct such flaws in the text.

May this work help many in their practice of Dhamma.
May all beings be happy.

Sayings of the Buddha and his disciples that are quoted by Goenkaji are
taken from the Collections of Discipline (Vinaya-pitaka) and of Discourses
(Sutta-pitaka) of the Pali canon. (A number of quotations appear in both
Collections, although in such cases only the Sutta references are given here.)
There are also a few quotations from post-canonical Pali literature. In his
talks, Goenkaji explains these passages more often by paraphrase than by
word- for-word translation from the Pali. The intention is to give the essence
of each passage in ordinary language, stressing its relevance to the practice
of Vipassana meditation. Where a Pali passage appears in the summary, the
explanation given is that of Goenkaji in the discourse on which the summary
is based. In these documents, in the section of Pali with English
translation, an attempt has been made to give more exact renderings of the
passages quoted, still emphasizing the point of view of a meditator. In the
text of the summaries, the use of Pali words has been kept to the necessary

Day One Discourse

Initial difficulties--the purpose of this meditation--why respiration is chosen as
the starting point--the nature of the mind--the reason for the difficulties, and
how to deal with them--dangers to be avoided.

The first day is full of great difficulties and discomforts, partly because one is
not accustomed to sit all day long and to try to meditate, but mostly because
of the type of meditation that you have started practising: awareness of
respiration, nothing but respiration.

It would have been easier and faster to concentrate the mind without all
these discomforts if, along with awareness of respiration, one had started
repeating a word, a mantra, a god's name, or if one had started imagining
the shape or form of a deity. But you are required to observe bare
respiration, as it naturally is, without regulating it; no word or imagined form
may be added.

They are not permitted because the final aim of this meditation is not
concentration of mind.Concentration is only a help, a step leading to a higher
goal: purification of mind, eradicating all the mental defilements, the
negativities within, and thus attaining liberation from all misery,
attaining full enlightenment.

Every time an impurity arises in the mind, such as anger, hatred, passion, fear
etc., one becomes miserable. Whenever something unwanted happens, one
becomes tense and starts tying knots inside. Whenever something wanted
does not happen, again one generates tension within.Throughout life one
repeats this process until the entire mental and physical structure is a bundle
of Gordian knots. And one does not keep this tension limited to oneself, but
instead distributes it to all with whom one comes into contact. Certainly this is
not the right way to live.

You have come to this meditation course to learn the art of living: how to live
peacefully and harmoniously within oneself, and to generate peace and
harmony for all others; how to live happily from, day to day while progressing
towards the highest happiness of a totally pure mind,a mind filled with
disinterested love, with compassion, with joy at the success of others, with

To learn the art of living harmoniously, first one must find the cause of
disharmony. The cause always lies within, and for this reason you have to
explore the reality of yourself. This technique helps you to do so, to examine
your own mental and physical structure, towards which there is so much
attachment, resulting only in tensions, in misery. At the experiential level one
must understand one's own nature, mental and physical; only then can one
experience whatever there might be beyond mind and matter. This is
therefore a technique of truth-realization, self-realization, investigating the
reality of what one calls,oneself'. It might also be called a technique
of God-realization, since after all God is nothing but truth, but love,but purity.
Direct experience of reality is essential. "Know thyself'-from superficial,
apparent, gross reality, to subtler realities, to the subtlest reality of mind and
matter. Having experienced all these, one can then go further to experience
the ultimate reality which is beyond mind and matter.

Respiration is a proper point from which to begin this journey. Using a self-
created, imaginary object of attentions word or form-will lead only in the
direction of greater imaginings, greater illusion; it will not help one to
discover the subtler truths about oneself. To penetrate to subtler
truth, one must begin with truth, with an apparent, gross reality such as
respiration. Further, if a word is used, or the form of a deity, then the
technique becomes sectarian. A word or form will be identified with one
culture, one religion or another, and those of a different background
may find it unacceptable. Misery is a universal malady.The remedy for
this malady cannot be sectarian; it also must be universal.Awareness of
respiration meets this requirement. Breath is common to all:observing it
will be acceptable to all. Every step on the path must be totally free from

Breath is a tool with which to explore the truth about oneself. Actually, at the
experiential level, you know very external appearance, the parts and functions
of it that you can consciously control. You know nothing of the internal organs
which operate beyond your control, nothing of the cells of which the entire
body is composed, and which are changing every moment. Innumerable
biochemical and electromagnetic reactions are occurring constantly
throughout the body, but you have no knowledge of them.

On this path, whatever is unknown about yourself must become known to
you. For this purpose respiration will help. It acts as a bridge from the known
to the unknown, because respiration is one function of the body that can be
either conscious or unconscious, intentional or automatic. One starts with
conscious, intentional breathing, and proceeds to awareness of natural,
normal breath. And from there you will advance to still subtler truths about
yourself. Every step is a step with reality; every day you will penetrate further
to discover subtler realities about yourself,about your body and mind.
Today you were asked to observe only the physical function of respiration, but
at the same time, each one of you was observing the mind, because the
nature of the breath is strongly connected to one's mental state. As soon as
any impurity, any defilement arises in the mind, the breath becomes
abnormal-one starts breathing a little rapidly, a little heavily. When the
defilement passes away, the breath again becomes soft. Thus breath can help
to explore the reality not only of the body, but also of the mind.
One reality of mind, which you began to experience today, is its habit of
always wandering from one object to another. It does not want to stay on the
breath or on any single object of attention: instead it runs wild.

And when it wanders, where does the mind go? By your practice, you have
seen that it wanders either in the past or in the future. This is the habit pattern
of the mind; it does not want to stay in the present moment. Actually, one has
to live in the present. Whatever is past is gone beyond recall; whatever is
future remains beyond one's reach, until it becomes present. Remembering
the past and giving thought to the future are important, but only to the extent
that they help one to deal with the present. Yet because of its ingrained habit,
the mind constantly tries to escape from present reality into a past or future
that is unattainable, and therefore this wild mind remains agitated,
miserable. The technique that you are learning here is called the art of living,
and life can really be lived only in the present. Therefore, the first step is to
learn how to live in the present moment, by keeping the mind on a present
reality: the breath that is now entering or leaving the nostrils. This is a reality
of this moment, although a superficial one. When the mind wanders away,
smilingly, without any tension, one accepts the fact that, because of its old
habit pattern, it has wandered. As soon as one realizes that the mind has
wandered, naturally, automatically, it will return to awareness of respiration.

You easily recognised the tendency of the mind to roll in thoughts either of
the past or of the future. Now of what type are these thoughts? Today you
have seen for yourselves that at times thoughts arise without any sequence,
any head or tail. Such mental behavior is commonly regarded as a sign of
madness. Now, however, you have all discovered that you are equally mad,
lost in ignorance, illusions, delusions-moha. Even when there is a sequence
to the thoughts, they have as their object something that is either pleasant or
unpleasant. If it is pleasant, one starts reacting with liking, which develops
into craving, clinging-raga. If it is unpleasant, one starts reacting with
disliking, which develops into aversion, hatred-dosa. The mind is constantly
filled with ignorance, craving, and aversion. All other impurities stem from
these three basic ones, and every impurity makes one miserable.

The goal of this technique is to purify the mind, to free it from misery by
gradually eradicating the negativities within. It is an operation deep into one's own unconscious, performed in order to uncover and remove the complexes hidden there. Even the first step of the technique must purify the mind, and this is the case: by observing respiration, you have started not only to concentrate the mind, but also to purify it. Perhaps during today there were only a few moments when your mind was fully concentrated on your breathing, but every such moment is very powerful in changing the habit pattern of the mind. In that moment, you are aware of the present reality, the breath entering or leaving the nostrils, without any illusion. And you cannot crave for more breath, or feel aversion towards your breathing: you simply observe, without reacting to it. In such a moment, the mind is free from the three basic defilements, that is, it is pure. This moment of purity at the conscious level has a strong impact on the old impurities accumulated in the unconscious. The contact of these positive and negative forces produces an explosion. Some of the impurities hidden in the unconscious rise to the conscious level, and manifest as various mental or physical discomforts.

When one faces such a situation, there is the danger of becoming agitated,and multiplying the difficulties. However, it would be wise to understand that what seems to be a problem is actually a sign of success in the meditation,an indication that in fact the technique has started to work. The operation into the unconscious has begun, and some of the pus hidden there has started to come out of the wound. Although the process is unpleasant, this is the only way to get rid of the pus, to remove the impurities. If one continues working in the proper way, all these difficulties will gradually diminish. Tomorrow will be a little easier day more so. Little by little, all the problems will pass away,if you work. Nobody else can do the job for you; you have to work yourself.You have to explore reality within yourself. You have to liberate yourself.

Some advice about how to work:

During meditation hours, always meditate indoors. If you try to meditate
outside in direct contact with the light and wind, you will not be able to
penetrate to the depths of your mind. During breaks you may go outside.
You must remain within the limits of the course site. You are performing an
operation on your mind; remain in the operating room.

Resolve to remain for the entire period of the course, no matter what
difficulties you may face. When problems arise during the operation,
remember this strong determination. It can be harmful to leave in the middle
of a course.

Similarly, make a strong determination to observe all the discipline and rules,
of which the most important is the rule of silence. Also resolve to follow the
timetable, and specially to in the hall for the three one-hour sittings of group
meditation each day.Avoid the danger of overeating, of allowing yourself to
succumb to drowsiness, and of needless talking.

Work exactly as you are asked to work. Without condemning it, leave aside
for the course period anything that you may have read or learned elsewhere.
Mixing techniques is very dangerous. If any point is not clear to you, come to
the guide for clarification. But give a fair trial to this technique; if you do so,
you will get wonderful results. Make best use of the time, the opportunity, the
technique, to liberate yourselves from the bondages of craving, aversion,
delusion, and to enjoy real peace, real harmony, real happiness.

Real happiness to you all.
May all beings be happy!

Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are, is one of India's most ancient techniques of meditation. It was rediscovered by Gotama Buddha more than 2500 years ago and was taught by him as a universal remedy for universal ills.
This non-sectarian technique aims for the total eradication of mental impurities and the resultant highest happiness of full liberation. Healing, not merely the curing of diseases, but the essential healing of human suffering, is its purpose.

Vipassana is a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion.

The scientific laws that operate one's thoughts, feelings, judgements and sensations become clear. Through direct experience, the nature of how one grows or regresses, how one produces suffering or frees oneself from suffering is understood. Life becomes characterized by increased awareness, non-delusion, self-control and peace.

Since the time of Buddha, Vipassana has been handed down, to the present day, by an unbroken chain of teachers. Although Indian by descent, the current teacher in this chain, Mr. S.N. Goenka, was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar). While living there he had the good fortune to learn Vipassana from his teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin who was at the time a high Government official. After receiving training from his teacher for fourteen years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. Since then he has taught tens of thousands of people of all races and all religions in both the East and West. In 1982 he began to appoint assistant teachers to help him meet the growing demand for Vipassana courses.

The technique/Courses
The technique is taught at ten-day residential courses during which participants follow a prescribed Code of Discipline, learn the basics of the method, and practice sufficiently to experience its beneficial results.

The course requires hard, serious work. There are three steps to the training. The first step is, for the period of the course, to abstain from killing, stealing, sexual activity, speaking falsely, and intoxicants. This simple code of moral conduct serves to calm the mind, which otherwise would be too agitated to perform the task of self-observation.

The next step is to develop some mastery over the mind by learning to fix one's attention on the natural reality of the ever changing flow of breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils.

By the fourth day the mind is calmer and more focused, better able to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself: observing sensations throughout the body, understanding their nature, and developing equanimity by learning not to react to them.

Finally, on the last full day participants learn the meditation of loving kindness or goodwill towards all, in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings.

The entire practice is actually a mental training. Just as we use physical exercises to improve our bodily health, Vipassana can be used to develop a healthy mind.
Because it has been found to be genuinely helpful, great emphasis is put on preserving the technique in its original, authentic form. It is not taught commercially, but instead is offered freely. No person involved in its teaching receives any material remuneration.
There are no charges for the courses - not even to cover the cost of food and accommodation. All expenses are met by donations from people who, having completed a course and experienced the benefits of Vipassana, wish to give others the opportunity to benefit from it also.

Of course, the results come gradually through continued practice. It is unrealistic to expect all problems to be solved in ten days. Within that time, however, the essentials of Vipassana can be learned so that it can be applied in daily life. The more the technique is practiced, the greater the freedom from misery, and the closer the approach to the ultimate goal of full liberation. Even ten days can provide results which are vivid and obviously beneficial in everyday life.

You may apply for a Vipassana meditation course by completing and submitting an application