The Vipassana Meditation Community farewelled a great spiritual leader. 

Satya Naranyan Goenka, who taught the world Vipassana, a meditation techqnique that goes back to the Buddha and has been passed down by an unbroken chain of teachers to Goenka to the present day, took his last breath on the 29th of September 2013.   
See things how they really are
Vipassana means 'to see things as they really are' and is one of the most ancient techniques of meditation. 

I myself have concluded three Vipassana meditation retreats, where I had the opportunity to quieten and to go deep, which always lead me to generous revelations followed by fundamental changes in my life. Changes to the better.

During a 10-day retreat the meditation technique will be taught in the traditional way and (to my first surprise) with an initiation. It is passed on by your teacher who leads you in and through the practice. 

Vipassana focuses on the deep interconnection between your mind and body. You will be silent, undistracted from books, electronically devices or your own writing, because this is what it's all about. 

I always suggest everyone I know to do it at least once in her life: It's only 10 days! Just you, your breath and your being-humaness.

Understandably, there is a lot of hesitation going to the unknown for 10 days. In case you don't know if a 10-day retreat is something for you, here are 3  tips how you can easily get into it: 

  1. Almost every town and city has places that offer meditation courses or evenings. Have a look in the newspaper, google it or ask your yoga teacher. 
  2. Begin with a half day or one day yoga and/or meditation retreat and you will see, it won't kill you to get into a simple, calm and healthy rhythm. 
  3. Continue with a weekend retreat. This will help you to get a feel of how it is to dedicate a few days only to yourself. To relax and stay, rather than run away. 

There is nothing to do than to be yourself. Undistracted and mindful. 

Vipassana is like a holiday from life. Which could sound a tad negative to you, yet, even though you have a beautiful life, sometimes it is good to step back, breathe and look from a birds eye perspective, undisturbed and peaceful. 

Goenka and other teachers, for example Goenka's own teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin,  made these meditation retreats accessible to everyone and the wonderful thing: they are all completely donation-based. What you pay is a donation to maintain the retreats for all future students. Isn't it wonderful? A kind of sustainable meditation practice, helping you to contribute for the future a peacful mind. 

Our suffering stems from ignorance. We react because we do not know what we are doing, because we do not know the reality of ourselves. 

The mind spends most of the time lost in fantasies and illusions, reliving pleasant or unpleasant experiences and anticipating the future with eagerness or fear. While lost in such cravings or aversions, we are unaware of what is happening now, what we are doing now. Yet surely this moment, now, is the most important for us. 

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp. We can live only in the present.

 If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future. 

But if we can develop the ability to be aware of the present moment, we can use the past as a guide for ordering our actions in the future, so that we may attain our goal.

S.N. Goenka

Do you want to learn more? 
This here is a great overview of all aspects of Vipassana meditation.  
Watch this video, where Goenka gives an introduction to the meditation and here your can find Vipassana meditation retreats near you!  

May all beings be well, happy and peaceful...

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