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The Discourse Summaries

by S N Goenka

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“Liberation can be gained only by practice, never by mere discussion,” S N Goenka has said. A course in Vipassana meditation is an opportunity to take concrete steps towards liberation. In such a course the participant learns how to free the mind of the tensions and prejudices that disturb the flow of daily life. By doing so one begins to discover how to live each moment peacefully, productively, happily. At the same time one starts progressing towards the highest goal to which mankind can aspire: purity of mind, freedom from all suffereing, full enlightenment.

 

None of this can be attained just by thinking about it or wishing for it. For this reason, in a Vipassana course the emphasis is always on actual practice.

 

Given this emphasis, still some explanation is necessary to provide a context for the practice. Therefore every evening of a course Goenkaji gives a “Dhamma talk” in order to put into perspective the experiences of that day, and to clarify various aspects of the technique. These discourses, he warns, are not intended as intellectual or emotional entertainment. Their purpose is simply to help meditators understand what to do and why, so that they will work in the proper way and will achieve the proper results.

 

It is these talks that are presented here in condensed form.

 

Contents: 

  • Day One Discourse: Initial difficulties; the purpose of this meditation; why respiration is chosen as the starting point; the nature of the mind; the reason for the difficulties, and how to deal with them; dangers to be avoided
  •  Day Two Discourse: Universal definition of sin and piety; the Noble Eightfold Path: sīla, and samādhi
  • Day Three Discourse: The Noble Eightfold Path: paññā; received wisdom, intellectual wisdom, experiential wisdom; the kalāpā; the four elements; the three characteristics: impermanence, the illusory nature of the ego, suffering; penetration through apparent reality
  •  Day Four Discourse: Questions on how to practise Vipassana; the law of kamma; importance of mental action; four aggregates of the mind: consciousness, perception, sensation, reaction; remaining aware and equanimous is the way to emerge from suffering
  •  Day Five Discourse: The Four Noble Truths: suffering, the cause of suffering, the eradication of suffering, the way to eradicate suffering; the chain of conditioned arising
  •  Day Six Discourse: Importance of developing awareness and equanimity towards sensations; the four elements and their relation to the sensations; the four causes of the arising of matter; the five hindrances: craving, aversion, mental and physical sluggishness, agitation, doubt
  •  Day Seven Discourse: Importance of equanimity towards subtle as well as gross sensations; continuity of awareness; five ‘friends’: faith, effort, awareness, concentration, wisdom
  •  Day Eight Discourse: The law of multiplication and its reverse, the law of eradication; equanimity is the greatest welfare; equanimity enables one to love a life of real action; by remaining equanimous, one ensures a happy future for oneself
  •  Day Nine Discourse: Application of the technique in daily life; the ten pāramī
  •  Day Ten Discourse: Review of the technique
  •  Day Eleven Discourse: How to continue practising after the end of the course
  •  Pāli Passages: Quoted in the Discourses with English Translation
  •  Glossary of Pāli terms
  •  List of Vipassana Meditation Centres
  •  Publications of VRI

 

 





Detailed Product Info:

Title: The Discourse Summaries
Author(s): S N Goenka
ISBN: 8174140239
Year of Publication: 1987
Bibliographic Information: 95 pages, 211mm x 138mm
Format: Soft Cover
Language: English
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