Dhammapunna and Dhammaananda

Offering courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by S.N. GOENKA

What is Vipassana?

Mini Anapana for all

Click here to practice/download Mini Anapana
  • Participants can be anyone above 10 years of age.

  • This is to be played in a quite hall or room suitable for meditation (Avoid places exposed to wind & open air from outside)

  • Participants must agree to stay for the entire session observing nobel silences & should maintain segregation of males & females with no physical contact

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  • If you have question regarding Vipassana pls call @ 020 24468903/020 24436250
  • or mail @ info@punna.dhamma.org

Vipassana Meditation

The technique of Vipassana is a simple, practical way to achieve real peace of mind and to lead a happy, useful life. Vipassana means "to see things as they really are"; it is a logical process of mental purification through self-observation.

From time to time, we all experience agitation, frustration and disharmony. When we suffer, we do not keep our misery limited to ourselves; instead, we keep distributing it to others. Certainly this is not a proper way to live. We all want to live at peace within ourselves, and with those around us. After all, human beings are social beings: we have to live and interact with others. How, then, can we live peacefully? How can we remain harmonious ourselves, and maintain peace and harmony around us?

Vipassana enables us to experience peace and harmony: it purifies the mind, freeing it from suffering and the deep-seated causes of suffering. The practice leads step-by-step to the highest spiritual goal of full liberation from all mental defilements.

How to Learn Vipassana?

To learn Vipassana it is necessary to take a ten-day residential course under the guidance of a qualified teacher. The courses are conducted at established Vipassana Centres and other places.For the duration of the retreat, students remain within the course site, having no contact with the outside world. They refrain from reading and writing, and suspend any religious practices or other disciplines. They follow a demanding daily schedule which includes about ten hours of sitting meditation. They also observe silence, not communicating with fellow students; however, they are free to discuss meditation questions with the teacher and material problems with the management.

There are three steps to the training. First, the students practice abstinence from actions which cause harm. They undertake five moral precepts, practicing abstention from killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct and the use of intoxicants. The observation of these precepts allows the mind to calm down sufficiently to proceed with the task at hand. Second, for the first three-and-a-half days, students practice Anapana meditation, focusing attention on the breath. This practice helps to develop control over the unruly mind.

These first two steps of living a wholesome life and developing control of the mind are necessary and beneficial, but are incomplete unless the third step is taken: purifying the mind of underlying negativities. The third step, undertaken for the last six-and-a-half days, is the practice of Vipassana: one penetrates one’s entire physical and mental structure with the clarity of insight.

Students receive systematic meditation instructions several times a day, and each day’s progress is explained during a taped evening discourse by S.N. Goenka. Complete silence is observed for the first nine days. On the tenth day, students resume speaking, making the transition back to a more extroverted way of life. The course concludes on the morning of the eleventh day. The retreat closes with the practice of metta-bhavana (loving-kindness or good will towards all), a meditation technique in which the purity developed during the course is shared with all beings.

Historical Background

Vipassana is one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques. It was rediscovered 2500 years ago by Gotama the Buddha, and is the essence of what he practiced and taught during his forty-five year ministry. During the Buddha’s time, large numbers of people in northern India were freed from the bonds of suffering by practising Vipassana, allowing them to attain high levels of achievement in all spheres of life. Over time, the technique spread to the neighbouring countries of Myanmar (Burma), Sri Lanka, Thailand and others, where it had the same ennobling effect.

Five centuries after the Buddha, the noble heritage of Vipassana had disappeared from India. The purity of the teaching was lost elsewhere as well. In the country of Myanmar, however, it was preserved by a chain of devoted teachers. From generation to generation, over two thousand years, this dedicated lineage transmitted the technique in its pristine purity.

In our time, Vipassana has been reintroduced to India, as well as to citizens from more than eighty other countries, by S.N. Goenka. He was authorized to teach Vipassana by the renowned Burmese Vipassana teacher, Sayagyi U Ba Khin. Before he died in 1971, Sayagyi was able to see one of his most cherished dreams realized. He had the strong wish that Vipassana should return to India, the land of its origin, to help it come out of its manifold problems. From India, he felt sure it would then spread throughout the world for the benefit of all mankind.

S.N. Goenka began conducting Vipassana courses in India in 1969; after ten years, he began to teach in foreign countries as well. In the thirty-five years since he started teaching, S.N. Goenka has conducted many ten-day Vipassana courses, and trained over 800 assistant teachers who have conducted many courses worldwide. In addition, many Centres have been established in India for the exclusive practice of Vipassana. Centres for exclusive practice have been established across the world as well. The invaluable gem of Vipassana, long preserved in the small country of Myanmar, can now be practiced in many places throughout the world. Today ever-increasing numbers of people have the opportunity to learn this art of living which brings lasting peace and happiness.

In the past, India had the distinction of being regarded as a World Teacher. In our time, the Ganges of Truth is once again flowing out from India to a thirsty world

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