Metta Prayer and other quotes of wisdom – In the memory of Mr. S.N. Goenka

I learned about Mr. S. N. Goenka when I wanted to learn the Vipassana Meditation technique. His teaching method and the meditation technique was the best I learned in my life.

About S. N. Goenka

Some background about Mr. S. N. Goenka, from the Dhamma website:

s.n goenkaAlthough Indian by descent, Mr. Goenka was born and raised in Myanmar (Burma). While living there, he had the good fortune to come into contact with Sayagyi U Ba Khin and to learn the technique of Vipassana from him. After receiving training from his teacher for 14 years, Mr. Goenka settled in India and began teaching Vipassana in 1969. In a country still sharply divided by differences of caste and religion, the courses offered by Mr. Goenka soon attracted thousands of people from every part of society. In addition, many people from countries around the world came to join courses in Vipassana meditation.

Over a period of almost 45 years, Mr. Goenka and the teachers appointed by him taught hundreds of thousands of people in courses in India and other countries, East and West. Today, meditation centers established under his guidance are operating in Asia, Europe, the Americas, Africa and Australasia.

The technique taught by S.N. Goenka goes back two and a half millennia to the Buddha. The Buddha never taught a sectarian religion; he taught Dhamma – the way to liberation – which is universal. In the same tradition, Mr. Goenka’s approach is totally non-sectarian. For this reason, his teaching has had a profound appeal to people of all backgrounds, of every religion and no religion, and from every part of the world.

Mr Goenka, died on 29 September 2013 (aged 89) in Mumbai, India. Continue reading

How to be ready for your first 10 days Vipassana Course

meditating-buddhaIf life puts Vipassana in your way and you are considering to take the course, then it is best to read a little about the technique, and how to be prepared mentally and physically so that you can complete the 10-days course.

The purpose of this article is to tell you, from my own experience, what should be known before hand, what mental attitude to adopt, and any other aspects that can help you. It is a bit of a long read, but I think it is worth it especially that you are considering to take this life changing meditation course.

The advises below do not follow any specific order, but all of them are essential points I discovered when I took the course. Continue reading

The young professor and the old layman

On board of a big ship a simple old man met a young professor and they started to have conversations along the journey. Every night the man came to the professor’s cabin, trying to learn something from the learned man.

On the first night, the professor asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Geology is?’
‘Oh, Professor Sir, I never went to school, I know nothing about Geology. Could you tell me what it is?’ replied the man.
‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what geology is. It’s the science of the earth. You’ve wasted a quarter of your life.’ said the professor.
The old man felt so sad, if the professor said that he wasted a quarter of his life than it must be true.

On the second night, the two men met again and the professor asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Oceanology is?’
‘Professor Sir, I am just a simple man, I don’t know that Oceanology is. What is that sir?’ replied the old man.
And the professor said: ‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what oceanology is. We are sailing and you don’t know the science of the sea. You’ve wasted half of your life.’ The old man felt so sad, so incredibly sad, he just found out that he wasted half of his life.

On the third night, still eager to learn, the old man came to the professor’s cabin and was asked: ‘Old man, do you know what Meteorology is?’
‘Professor Sir, you know I am just a simple man, I don’t know that Meteorology is.’ reply the old man.
‘Oh, poor old man, you don’t know what geology is; you also don’t know what oceanology is. And now you don’t know what meteorology is. It’s the science of the sky and the weather. You’ve wasted three quarter of your life,’ said the professor.
The old man felt so sad, so incredibly sad, he just found out that he wasted three quarter of his life.

On the fourth night, the old man ran into the professor and start asking: ‘Professor Sir, Professor Sir, do you know swimmology?’
‘Old man, I know a lot of things, but I’ve never heard of swimmology. What is that?’ replied the professor.
‘Do you know how to swim, Sir?’ Asked the old man.
‘To swim? I didn’t have time to learn how to swim; I was busy learning other things. I can’t swim,’ said the professor.
‘Oh poor professor, you’ve wasted all of your life. If you had known swimmology, you could have swim to the shore because the ship is sinking now.’ said the old man.

Origin: Dhamma 10 days discourse by S.N Goenka