Vipassana

The path and practice of insight through mindfulness meditation
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    Sweating in the Desert Paid Member

    In memory of Ruth Denison, one of the first female dharma teachers in the West, who passed away in February 2015 at the age of 92. Most old students could take you to a place at Dhamma Dena Desert Vipassana Center and describe a day—or days, or weeks—of labor. “I painted that roof, all afternoon one day in the hot sun.” “I dug out the cactus garden behind Ruth Denison’s kuti.” Ruth’s listing for the women’s retreat used to read “All women welcome for work and meditation” (my emphasis). More »
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    The Music of the Mind Paid Member

    In the Pali canon, the story is told of a king who hears a sound he has never heard before, and finds that sound to be “tantalizing, lovely, intoxicating, entrancing, and enthralling.” He asks about it and is told it is the sound of a lute. He then asks that this lute be brought to him so he can see what sort of thing it is. The lute is delivered to the king, who examines it with great interest. He takes the lute apart, piece by piece, until it is little more than a pile of splinters. He then declares disdainfully, “What a poor thing is this so-called lute.” Casting it aside, he asks, “Never mind this lute, bring me just the sound.” More »
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    An Interview with Paul McBain Paid Member

    Profession: Student/FilmmakerAge: 31 Location: Chicago, Illinois More »
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    A Story for Sophie Paid Member

    Can you really just see?” the Theravada monk had asked. “Can you just listen?” We had gathered on the porch of a farmhouse in upstate New York. The weekend retreat had ended and a dozen of us sat with the orange-robed Bhante from Sri Lanka sipping tea in the early spring sun. Sophie, a college student like myself, had complained of the tedious "labeling" in the Vipassana practice as a technique for paying attention. And so the monk had challenged her. "Try it," he had said. "Try right now, for one minute only to just be, no labeling, no 'you' watching your breath. No 'rising, rising of the abdomen,' no 'falling, falling of the abdomen,' nothing, just being. Right here. Right now. Forget one minute. Ten seconds. Try it for ten seconds. All of you. No labeling, but no thinking." More »
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    The Unfamiliar Familiar Paid Member

    "A fresh look and a fresh listen,” said Robert Frost of a good poem. “Read it a hundred times: it will for ever keep its freshness as a metal keeps its fragrance.” A poem may not show us anything new, but what we see, we see afresh, and what we hear, we hear anew. Frost was talking about the poem itself: what it presents, and the way it does it, should strike us unexpectedly.
 The English novelist and scholar David Lodge asked, “What do we mean . . . when we say that a book is ‘original’? Not, usually, that the writer has invented something without precedent, but that she has made us ‘perceive’ what we already, in a conceptual sense, ‘know,’ by deviating from the conventional, habitual ways of representing reality.” It is newness of seeing, rather than newness per se, that counts. More »
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    No Magic, No Miracle Paid Member

    Purify your mind. This is how you can help society; this is how you can stop harming others and start helping them. When you work for your own liberation, you will find that you have also started helping others to come out of their misery. One individual becomes several individuals—a slow widening of the circle. There is no magic, no miracle. Work for your own peace, and you will find that you have started making the atmosphere around you more peaceful—provided you work properly. More »