The Art of Living

S N Goenka vipassana meditation

“The only conversion involved in Vipassana is from misery to happiness, from bondage to liberation.”

“The first step toward emerging from suffering is to accept the reality of it, not as a philosophical concept or an article of faith, but as a fact of existence which affects each one of us in our lives.”

“Real wisdom is recognizing and accepting that every experience is impermanent. With this insight you will not be overwhelmed by ups and downs. And when you are able to maintain an inner balance, you can choose to act in ways that will create happiness for you and for others. Living each moment happily with an equanimous mind, you will surely progress toward the ultimate goal of liberation from all suffering.”

“Rather than converting people from one organized religion to another organized religion, we should try to convert people from misery to happiness, from bondage to liberation, and from cruelty to compassion.”

“Remaining in ignorance is harmful for everyone; developing wisdom is good for everyone… One must become a good human being; otherwise one can never be a good Christian, a good Jew, a good Muslim, a good Hindu, a good Buddhist. How to become a good human being —- that is most important.”

“To be truly religious we must develop the religious attitude: purity of heart, love and compassion for all. But our attachment to the external forms of religion leads us to give more importance to the letter of it than the spirit. We miss the essence of religion and therefore remain miserable.”

“Vipassana is the art of living. Not the art of escaping.”

“Learn to observe objectively whatever is happening. If someone is angry and tries to hide his anger, to swallow it, then it’s suppression. But by observing the anger, you will find that automatically it passes away. You become free from the anger if you learn how to observe it objectively.”

“When a problem arises in daily life, take a few moments to observe your sensations with a balanced mind. When the mind is calm and balanced, whatever decision you make will be a good one. When the mind is unbalanced, any decision you make will be a reaction. You must learn to change the pattern of life from negative reaction to positive action.”

“You must not allow people to do wrong to you. Whenever someone does something wrong, he harms others and at the same time he 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. But you cannot have good will for such a person unless your mind is calm and peaceful.”

“If there is no peace in the minds of individuals, how can there be peace in the world? Make peace in your own mind first.”

“The whole point of Vipassana is to decondition the mind so that one can live a happy life. A life full of love, compassion and good will for all.”

All quotes by S. N. Goenka

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