Vipassana Meditation by S.N Goenka (Intro/Part 1)

I picked up this book from the library a couple of months ago. Took down a couple things I found quite relatable, wanted to share them here.

Dhamma; The Art of Living

“Liberation from suffering, Liberation from misery”
“Start within, work from within”

The key and most important thing is to practice being a good human being.

Q: You talk about conditioning. Isn’t this really a kind of conditioning of the mind, even if a positive one?

A: On the contrary, it is a process of DE-CONDITIONING. Instead of imposing anything, it automatically removes unwholesome qualities so that only wholesome and positive remain.

Q: To remain happy and peaceful even when confronted by the suffering of others- isn’t that sheer insensitivity?

A: Being sensitive to the suffering of others does not mean that you must be sad yourself. Instead you should remain calm and balanced, so that you can act to alleviate their suffering. If you also become sad, you increase the unhappiness around you; you do not help others, you do not help yourself.

When natural understanding develops, it can help to destroy all previous conditionings.

Q: Why don’t we live in a state of peace?

A: Because wisdom is lacking. A life without wisdom is a life of illusion, which is a state of agitation, of misery.

Q: What is the purpose of life?

A: To come out of misery. A human being has the wonderful ability to go deep inside, observe reality, and come out of suffering.

‘Positivity’ is the real nature of the mind. When the mind is free of conditioning, it is always full of love-pure love- and you feel peaceful and happy. If you remove the negativity, then only positivity, purity remains.

Q: I was wondering whether there are people who cause suffering for us?

A:Nobody causes suffering for you.’ You cause the suffering for yourself by generating tensions in the mind. If you know how not to do that, it becomes easy to remain peaceful and happy in every situation.

Q: What about when someone else is doing wrong to us?

A: You must not allow people to do wrong to you. Whenever someone does something wrong, he harms others and at the same time harms himself. If you allow him to do wrong, you are encouraging him to do wrong. You must use all your strength to stop him, but with only good will, compassion, and sympathy for that person. If you act with hatred or anger, then you aggravate the situation. But you cannot have good will such person unless your mind is calm and peaceful. So practice to develop peace within yourself, and then you can solve the problem.

To be continued………