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The Art of Living:: Vipassana Meditation Paperback – 30 Dec 1988

4.7 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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  • The Art of Living:: Vipassana Meditation
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  • Discourse Summaries: Talks from a Ten-day Course in Vipassana Meditation
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  • Meditation Now: Inner Peace Through Inner Wisdom
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Product details

  • Paperback: 171 pages
  • Publisher: Embassy Books (30 Dec. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8188452130
  • ISBN-13: 978-8188452132
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.2 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,946 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
I CANNOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK HIGHLY ENOUGH!

For those new to Buddhism, this slim volume is the best concise, non-sectarian, comprehensive introduction I've found in twenty years.
Answers the "basic" questions about such topics as: morality, training the mind in concentration, "what causes unhappiness?", "what is Mindfulness meditation?", "how can it help me?". No history or cultural baggage, just the fundamentals.

- I literally buy this book in volume quantities several times a year so I can give it away to people who are curious about Buddhism!

(For more detailed info on meditation theory and instruction, I highly recommend "Mindfulness in Plain English" by Venerable Henepola Gunaratana).
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Format: Paperback
Please note: this is not a religious cult or phoney spiritual entertainment, this technique is a strictly practical & non-sectarian form of meditation.

If you've already experienced a 10 day Vipassana meditation course, this book will be a helpful & exhaustive reminder of many of the topics covered in Goenkaji's evening discourses. The book is divided into 10 well-structured chapters covering a particular aspect of the Art of Living: each contains a main text, a Q&A section with Goenkaji and a story depicting the lesson.

If you haven't yet taken a course, this book may represent a useful introduction to what this meditation technique is all about. Although - as Goenka himself says - reading about it without practicing is a bit like reciting a doctor's prescription over & over without actually taking the medicine.

I would strongly recommend giving this technique a shot. Even if you're the sort of person who wouldn't normally venture into this kind of activity (such as I was), the benefits in daily life are astounding.

Be happy!
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Format: Paperback
This meditation can free you from migraine, as the teacher S.N. Goenka's own experience proves the happiness one may benefit from the meditation practise. It encourages you to attend a practical 10 day course which is well organised and charges no amount from the student. A spirit motivated by conviction in dhamma and an international academy in bombay establishes itself to be a professional body in offering courses in vipassana and dhamma. If one visits the main centre in bombay, one can meet the principal teacher S.N. Goenka and see that his work is really commentable. One can sense his compassion and sincerity in his efforts to help people, and you can feel immeasurable happiness in seeing how he helps immates , prisoners who suffers so much mental agony by introducing meditation and how they are transformed after the noble dhamma is taught and practised. They return to society to become good people The art of living mindfully, by focusing on one's breathing and comtemplation of feeling are just some of the foundation of mindfulness so much exphasized in ancient buddhist texts. It is not a book written to just impress the general reader of any of its organised theory, but one of direct experience and aim at to encourage practical aspects of meditation. This book has no sectarism and it brings you to realise the nature of your own physical and mental structure, by observing ones bodily sensations. It is said that one can understand the emotional aspects of human and attain wisdom and compassion when one penetrates the true nature of ones aggregates, through mindful introspection . For example, a meditator contemplating of the sensations of his body experiences pain, happy and neutral sensations.Read more ›
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This book is a fairly succinct introduction to the ideas and belief system of Vipassana mediation. I think it is mainly useful as a primer for those considering taking part in a 10-day Vipassana retreat, which I haven't done myself. However, it is not a substitute for talking to people who have been on it themselves. It is perhaps the course textbook, but you would also want to hear about the students' experiences.

The book is not a manual on how to do Vipassana mediation. (Sources on the internet and books like Osho's Meditation do give specific instructions on Vipassana mediation technique, though I couldn't vouch for their authoritativeness.)
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Format: Paperback
First, a very wee bit about me: before learning the meditation technique taught by the Indian-Burmese meditation master S. N. Goenka, I'd practiced in other traditions for more than 15 years and completed many long retreats. Initially, I only attended a Goenka course because the 10-day retreat was offered for free (I'm a frugal sort of guy). But I left with a priceless gift, convinced this type of meditation truly works better than other kinds.

To call it a "Goenka course" is actually a little misleading since it suggests that Goenka invented this type of meditation. He didn't. He learned it in Burma, where it is believed that over the millennia Burmese monks and meditation teachers have preserved the exact method the Buddha himself used. Whether or not this meditation technique is truly the Buddha's original practice, doesn't really matter much; once you try it, it is so powerful, you're likely to see how this approach can truly free us from negativity.

Spread almost solely through word of mouth, Goenka's courses are now offered on every inhabitable continent on the globe. According to the independent Buddhist magazine Buddhadharma, each year an estimated 100,000 people take a Goenka course. This means he has probably taught more people Buddhist meditation than anyone in history--including the Buddha himself! (Admittedly, the comparison is a bit silly since the Buddha wasn't able to offer retreats via audio and videotape.)

It's worth noting, that although a layman, Mr Goenka, who is independently wealthy, has never made any money from teaching Buddhism. As already noted, his famous ten-day meditation courses are offered for free.
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