S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

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S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:14 am

Image

:candle: :candle: :candle:

The purpose of this thread is to have a venue for posting about the great legacy this Dhamma master left us with and his great achievements with the Dhamma and spreading of the Dhamma. Feel free to post photos, stories, information about his success with propagating Dhamma, prison outreach, etc. Since this is in the Shrine sub-forum, all posts must be completely Respectful toward this great teacher and legend of the Dhamma. Any questions or critiques of his Vipassana techniques must be in other threads in other sub-forums, not here. Thanks for your cooperation.

Goenka-ji's main website:
http://www.dhamma.org/

Info about his passing from the dhamma.org website:
http://www.dhamma.org/en/passing.shtml

Dhamma Wheel thread about his passing on Sept. 29, 2013:
viewtopic.php?f=27&t=18744
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Bodhisurfer » Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:10 am

I just heard of his death yesterday. A truly great man and a sad loss. I have been so impressed and inspired by his almost 'secular' approach to vipassana. His organisations dana based approach to funding its courses
I took this from the Huffington Post this morning
'Indeed, the very notion that meditation may be practiced in a non-religious, non-sectarian way owes much to Goenka himself. Basically a rationalist and a pragmatist, Goenka emphasized that meditation was not spirituality and not religion, but more like a technology - a set of tools for upgrading and optimizing the mind....You don't have to believe anything, wear special clothes, or chant special words in order to calm the mind, improve memory, and attain the various other benefits of meditation.'

I'm thankful for his life
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 02, 2013 4:08 am

Remembering S.N. Goenka

Today we say goodbye to a teacher who had an immense impact on the world. S.N. Goenka was a pioneer in making Vipassana meditation widely available to a secular audience. Over 170 meditation centers have been established around the globe under his auspices. His legacy will resound indefinitely.

By learning to remain balanced in the face of everything experienced inside, one develops detachment towards all that one encounters in external situations as well. However, this detachment is not escapism or indifference to the problems of the world. Those who regularly practice Vipassana become more sensitive to the sufferings of others and do their utmost to relieve suffering in whatever way they can—not with any agitation, but with a mind full of love, compassion, and equanimity. They learn holy indifference—how to be fully committed, fully involved in helping others, while at the same time maintaining balance of mind. In this way they remain peaceful and happy while working for the peace and happiness of others.

This is what the Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any “ism.” He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rites or rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance, we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when wisdom arises—the wisdom of observing reality as it is—this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action—action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others.

—S.N. Goenka, “The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation”, from The Buddha is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom, selected and edited by Jack Kornfield

goenka.jpg
S.N. Goenka (right) with Munindra (center) and author/teacher Christopher Titmuss (left)
goenka.jpg (100.11 KiB) Viewed 2244 times


http://blog.shambhala.com/2013/09/30/re ... -n-goenka/
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Oct 02, 2013 8:12 am

Ben wrote:
Remembering S.N. Goenka

Today we say goodbye to a teacher who had an immense impact on the world. S.N. Goenka was a pioneer in making Vipassana meditation widely available to a secular audience. Over 170 meditation centers have been established around the globe under his auspices. His legacy will resound indefinitely.

By learning to remain balanced in the face of everything experienced inside, one develops detachment towards all that one encounters in external situations as well. However, this detachment is not escapism or indifference to the problems of the world. Those who regularly practice Vipassana become more sensitive to the sufferings of others and do their utmost to relieve suffering in whatever way they can—not with any agitation, but with a mind full of love, compassion, and equanimity. They learn holy indifference—how to be fully committed, fully involved in helping others, while at the same time maintaining balance of mind. In this way they remain peaceful and happy while working for the peace and happiness of others.

This is what the Buddha taught: an art of living. He never established or taught any religion, any “ism.” He never instructed those who came to him to practice any rites or rituals, any empty formalities. Instead, he taught them just to observe nature as it is by observing the reality inside. Out of ignorance, we keep reacting in ways which harm ourselves and others. But when wisdom arises—the wisdom of observing reality as it is—this habit of reacting falls away. When we cease to react blindly, then we are capable of real action—action proceeding from a balanced mind, a mind which sees and understands the truth. Such action can only be positive, creative, helpful to ourselves and to others.

—S.N. Goenka, “The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation”, from The Buddha is Still Teaching: Contemporary Buddhist Wisdom, selected and edited by Jack Kornfield

goenka.jpg


http://blog.shambhala.com/2013/09/30/re ... -n-goenka/


Thank you Ben .

It was very refreshing in reading what Goenkaji had to say about making awareness a way of life . Thank you once again.

I remember once when he had visited the centre at New Delhi , a few students fell to his feet for his blessings , immediately he chuckled by saying that he was an untouchable , and that there was no magic that he could do . Work out your own liberation was his advise .

The more we get established in Dhamma , that much more his words resonate with meaning and inspiration.

sanjay
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 02, 2013 9:58 am

Thanks Sanjay.
Your story reminds me of when I was residing at VMC Dhammagiri in 1989/90.
Goenkaji - despite his gregarious personality, was incredibly humble and self effacing. I could tell he really didn't like his students dropping to and touching his feet. If one of his western students were to do it - he wouldn't hesitate to admonish them.

I also remember sitting on ten-day courses with him in Australia. Back then, he would invite students to come to the front of the Dhamma Hall after 9PM and ask questions - in turn. Sometimes the questions were silly, or he would find something humorous about the question and laugh. But it was a laughter that was full of metta. Sitting in front of him and his wife and asking questions, I remember being suffused by a great river of metta.
He was an incredible teacher and I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet him, but also to sit with him and serve him.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Sanjay PS » Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:50 am

Ben wrote:Thanks Sanjay.
Your story reminds me of when I was residing at VMC Dhammagiri in 1989/90.
Goenkaji - despite his gregarious personality, was incredibly humble and self effacing. I could tell he really didn't like his students dropping to and touching his feet. If one of his western students were to do it - he wouldn't hesitate to admonish them.

I also remember sitting on ten-day courses with him in Australia. Back then, he would invite students to come to the front of the Dhamma Hall after 9PM and ask questions - in turn. Sometimes the questions were silly, or he would find something humorous about the question and laugh. But it was a laughter that was full of metta. Sitting in front of him and his wife and asking questions, I remember being suffused by a great river of metta.
He was an incredible teacher and I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet him, but also to sit with him and serve him.
kind regards,

Ben


The rarest of the rarest get to have this opportunity of serving alongside Goenakaji, Ben , and rarer still are those who go on to observe any doubt that may be cropping up on the teaching , the teacher or on oneself, as nothing but a play of sensations . Thus going on to become beacons of light and inspiration to those blinded with little dust in their eyes.

The first course which i took, was in March 1998 , and i had no idea what was Vipassana was actually about ( though i had cursorily read the Art of Living book ) , and had no idea whatsoever who Goenkaji was . In our room of 4 there was this christian missionary father , who mentioned to me on the zero day that Vipassana was Buddhism ( for some reason i choose not to run , and knew that this would not be true :) ) , and that the course was considered to be special since Goenkaji was to come in person and give Anapana, and would also then come on the final metta day.

The 10 days of my life was the most fascinating time ever, and i was left beyond words in realizing the practical result oriented path of Dhamma. I remember walking to and fro between the time available after the english discourse ended, to when the hindi discourse finished . It was during these ponderings that i decided that i must surely get married , so that i can share such a rare and beautiful jewel of Dhamma to my wife and children. Unfortunately i have not been a good Dhamma example to myself , hence , my family sees no reason to understand that suffering and happiness are one and the same , and are not two different rivulets.

I am ever grateful to Goenkaji that he gave his infinite compassion , and without doubt saved me from having doubts of the need of doing wholesome or unwholesome actions in life . I am eternally grateful and indebted . May i return even just a drop of this compassion by being a person of character and rectitude.

sanjay
Last edited by Sanjay PS on Thu Oct 03, 2013 5:31 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:27 pm

Inquiring Mind Journal
We would like to pay homage to S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) who died this past Sunday night. Inquiring Mind cofounder and Editor at Large writes:

It was a significant moment in the history of the Dhamma, that winter of 1971 in Bodhgaya, when S. N. Goenka began to teach his 10 day retreats in vipassana meditation, attended primarily by young people from the West. Most of us had come to India on a pilgrimage to check out the source of this ancient wisdom tradition that we had been reading about at college in paperback books; the writings of hip scholars like Alan Watts and the spiritual beatnik poets.
I attended my first meditation retreat with Goenka that winter, there at the Burmese Buddhist Vihara, where 30 or 40 of us had gathered, spreading our hippie backpacks and sleeping bags across the roof and through the garden; a new generation from the other side of the planet looking for liberation on the road; on the Buddha’s path.
Some have since called it “the meditation retreat that shook the world.” In spite of the fact that it was a somewhat random convergence of individuals, among those in attendance were Ram Dass and his entourage, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, Daniel Goleman, John Travis and others who would return to the West with the jewels of the Dhamma, beautifully polished and presented to us by Goenkaji, as we affectionately called him. That retreat helped to spawn many books and launch many teachers who would eventually help to create a spiritual revolution in the world.
Goenka was a worldly man and taught a straight-ahead Dhamma, perfect for Westerners, using science and common sense and lots of good humor. He used to say, “I’m not teaching Buddhism. I’m teaching the art of living.” He had an interest in theater and happened to have a lovely baritone voice. I will never forget listening to Goenka singing Buddhist chants to us in the early morning and evening, many of the melodies composed by Goenka himself. I can hear his voice mixing with the tinkle of rickshaw bells and the cries of street vendors just outside the Vihara.
Goenkaji’s love of the Dhamma was palpable, and we trusted him, and practiced hard with him, and under his kind gaze we also fell in love with the Dhamma. Although like many of us who attended those first retreats with Goenka, I went on to study with other teachers, I will always remember scanning my awareness through my body, focusing on the ever-changing physical sensations as Goenkaji chanted to us “Annica! Annica! Impermanent! Impermanent.” I will also remember his sincerity, his wonderful laugh, and his admonishment to us at the close of every sitting: “Be happy! Be happy!”
Goenkaji was a true master of the Dhamma, and his presence will be missed in the world.
Wes Nisker wesnisker.com
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby dagon » Wed Oct 02, 2013 12:53 pm

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:18 am

Shinzen Young on the influence of SN Goenka and Sayagi U Ba Khin on his teaching style:

http://shinzenyoung.blogspot.com.au/201 ... asses.html
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 03, 2013 7:20 am

Ben wrote:
Inquiring Mind Journal . . . Wes Nisker wesnisker.com
Thanks for that.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 03, 2013 8:25 am

You are welcome, Tilt.

Here is another interesting memorial, from Tricycle:

October 01, 2013
S. N. Goenka, Pioneer of Secular Meditation Movement, Dies at 90
Erik Braun

Goenka’s view of vipassana as an art of living extends to the very end of life, for to learn how to live is to learn how to die: “Vipassana teaches the art of dying: how to die peacefully, harmoniously. And one learns the art of dying by learning the art of living: how to become master of the present moment.”

Goenka is reported to have passed away peacefully in his home. That his life ended in such an everyday setting fits with his vision of meditation. “When your own death comes, observe it, at the level of sensations,” writes Goenka. “Everyone has to observe one's death: coming, coming, coming, going, going, going, gone! Be happy!”

-- http://www.tricycle.com/blog/memoriam-s-n-goenka
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:35 am

The link below opens into an inspirational speech given by Goenkaji in the year 2000 at the UN Peace Summit.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwV9wnBrZps
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:48 pm

A beautiful video titled " Pilgrimage to the Sacred Land".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=albRE0Gme94

Takes one through what Goenkaji cherished most , and shared with so many innumerable beings across the world tirelessly . As the video footage starts , the chant of homage paid to Lord Buddha by Goenkaji , is so powerful and deep , the heart vibrates in reverence.

An ever inspiring footage , in the galaxy of the shinning stars of Dhamma.

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:34 pm

How S.N. Goenka Changed My Life—And the Lives of Millions More

by Sharon Salzberg Oct 2, 2013 1:11 PM EDT

S.N. Goenka, who died on Saturday, embodied the teachings of the Buddha, yet insisted on a completely inclusive approach. We could use a man like him right now, writes Sharon Salzberg.

I met Goenka-ji in January 1971, when I entered a 10-day intensive meditation retreat he guided. I hadn’t meditated before for one single second. Goenka-ji himself fascinated me. He seemed so … whole. It didn’t look like he was shaped by the expectations of others. He talked freely about pain and suffering, yet seemed so happy. He posited a world where we grow closer to one another through our shared vulnerability to change and loss. He so much embodied the ancient teachings of the Buddha, yet insisted on a completely inclusive, secular, contemporary approach. The first night of the retreat he said, “The Buddha did not teach Buddhism, he taught a way of life.”

-- http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... -more.html
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 03, 2013 11:40 pm

To express gratitude to Pujya Guruji Shri Satya Narayan Goenkaji, there will be live webcasting on Sunday Oct 6th from 10 am to 2 pm. We will be uploading videos periodically every 20-30 mins.

Our youtube channel is http://www.youtube.com/VipassanaOrg

To express gratitude to Pujya Guruji Shri S N Goenkaji, a group sitting is being held at the Global Vipassana Pagoda on Sunday 6th, October 2013 from 10 AM to 2 PM. Guruji's relics will be kept at the Pagoda for this group sit. Registration is compulsory, call on 02233747501, 33747543, 33747544 or visit http://oneday.globalpagoda.org/ or sms on 9930399301. For Live Telecast, visit www.globalpagoda.org/gratitude
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby greenthumb » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:27 pm

I was able to sit and serve with SN Goenka back in the late 90s at a Vipassana California retreat. As a server in the kitchen we had a cozy little group that would meditate with our teacher and have questions answered as well. My eyes leaked every time I sat with him and I felt very shy, I could hardly introduce myself my voice decided to hide as well. It was kind of an overwhelming experience, even though I had many retreats under my belt by that time. I was glad I could hide in the soap bubbles whilst washing dishes most of the day. My first Dhamma teacher and my meditation teachers helped me save my life and I will always be grateful. That's what I told Mr Goenka, I think that's why my eyes leaked, tears of gratitude.
Form is like a glob of foam; feeling, a bubble; perception, a mirage; fabrications, a banana tree; consciousness, a magic trick this has been taught by the Kinsman of the Sun. Phena Sutta: Foam
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby dagon » Fri Nov 15, 2013 7:03 am

Hi All

This is a special website related to the courses in Vipassana Meditation as taught by Mr. S.N. Goenka that are conducted from time to time within prisons and other correction environments


http://www.prison.dhamma.org/

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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Sanjay PS » Thu Nov 21, 2013 2:00 pm

A full account of Goenakjis passing away , and the days there after is given below .




http://www.vridhamma.org/UploadNewslett ... 013-10.pdf


The Buddha said


Licchavis, the manifestation of five gems is rare in the world. What five? (1) The manifestation of a Tathāgata, an Arahant, a Perfectly Enlightened One is rare in the world. (2) A person who can teach the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by a Tathāgata is rare in the world. (3) When the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by a Tathāgata has been taught, a person who can understand it is rare in the world. (4) When the Dhamma and discipline proclaimed by a Tathāgata has been taught, a person who can understand it and practice in accordance with the Dhamma is rare in the world. (5) A grateful and thankful person is rare in the world. Licchavis, the manifestation of these five gems is rare in the world. ~~ AN 5.195 ~~
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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby Ben » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:04 pm

This is an excellent memorial piece published in Tricycle by one of SN Goenka's early western students.

http://www.tricycle.com/travel/8000-miles-india
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Re: S. N. Goenka (1924-2013) and his legacy

Postby PsychedelicSunSet » Thu Apr 10, 2014 4:28 pm

Ben wrote:This is an excellent memorial piece published in Tricycle by one of SN Goenka's early western students.

http://www.tricycle.com/travel/8000-miles-india



A wonderful read.


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