Vipassana Meditation Day 1

Satya Narayan Goenka, also known as S. N. Goenka, was the foremost lay teacher of Vipassana meditation of our time. He was the foundational teacher of Jack Kornfield, Joseph Goldstein, Sharon Salzberg, and many other people that have appeared on these pages.

His ten day vipassana meditation course is responsible for the popularity and growth of the vipassana meditation expansion in the West. The pioneering work of Jack Kornfield and others has really paid off.

Recently, two friends of mine did the ten day course Vipassana Meditation Course offered by Goenka’s followers. This has inspired me to look into it in detail. I’ve started by reading Goenka’s book, The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka, and now these videos.

My wife did the course in 1971 and my daughter did it in 2011. I am seriously considering doing it at one of the centers in California.

The video is from the Dhamma Discourses (dharma talk) of Vipassana Meditation day 1. In it, Goenka talks about mindfulness of breathing. He advises not to use a mantra or a visualization, but to stay focused on the breath.  He says, “Just observe the breath, the bare breath, nothing but breath.”

This first dharma talk is about the first and second exercises from the Four Foundations of Mindfulness taught by the Buddha, consisting of 16 exercises. I am very familiar with Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh‘s rendering of the Four Foundations of Mindfulness.

The first exercise, according to Thich Nhat Hanh is to be aware of the in breath and aware of the out breath. He says, “Breathing in, I know I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.”

The second exercise is to recognize a long in breath as a long in breath and a long out breath as a long out breath. Also to recognize a short in breath as a short in breath and a short out breath as a short out breath.

Simply be aware of your breathing without adding or taking anything away from it. No words, No images. Just breathing.

Don’t you think this is a wonderful way to get your start in a daily meditation practice? What do you think about this?

The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka


William Hart

A full-length study of the teaching of S. N. Goenka, prepared under his guidance and with his approval. Useful for meditators and non-meditators alike. This was the first book to appear in English that accurately describes the practice of Vipassana a… [Read More…]

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