Vipassana

The path and practice of insight through mindfulness meditation
  • Tricycle Community 6 comments

    The Right to Ask Questions Paid Member

    The practice of the dharma is learning how to live, and this is both hard and joyful work. Practice makes extraordinary demands of us. It requires that we take nothing for granted, that we accept nothing on faith alone. If we practice with diligence and honesty, then we must question everything about ourselves; we must challenge our most basic beliefs and convictions, even those we may have about the dharma itself. Of all the teachings of the Buddha, the Kalama Sutta is one of my favorites precisely because it encourages such rigorous inquiry into our beliefs. Indeed, if Buddhism were not infused with the spirit of this sutta—a spirit of questioning, of critical examination—I’m quite sure I would not have a meditative practice today. More »
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    Superscience Paid Member

    S. N. Goenka has been teaching Vipassana meditation for thirty-one years and is most widely known, perhaps, for his famous introductory ten-day intensive courses, which are held free of charge in centers all around the world, supported by student donations. Born in Mandalay, Burma in 1924, he was trained by the renowned Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Ba Khin (1899-1971). After fourteen years of training, he retired from his life as a successful businessman to devote himself to teaching meditation. Today he oversees an organization of more than eighty meditation centers worldwide and has had remarkable success in bringing meditation into prisons, first in India, and then in numerous other countries. The organization estimates that as many as 10,000 prisoners, as well as many members of the police and military, have attended the ten-day courses. More »
  • Tricycle Community 31 comments

    Does Race Matter in the Meditation Hall? Paid Member

    In late spring, Tricycle contributing editor Tracy Cochran met with Vipassana teacher Gina Sharpe for a frank discussion on race and the dharma. Sharpe is co-leader of the People of Color retreat, a semi-annual gathering that has drawn plenty of attention—and some criticism—since it first appeared in retreat catalogs in 2003. Sharpe, who serves on the boards of Insight Meditation Society, in Barre, Massachusetts, and New York Insight, in New York City, was interviewed at her home in northern Westchester County, New York. More »
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    Q&A with Douglas Phillips Paid Member

    I’m sitting every day and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. What should I do? Ideally, teachers respond not just to the question but also to the person asking it. We would want to know more about how long you have been sitting every day and for how long you sit. What happens during your meditation, and how have you worked with it? What motivates you to practice, and is your practice really designed to get you where you want to go? Does this question of getting somewhere arise only in regard to sitting or in other aspects of your life as well? Does it arise from an intelligence that points to something that needs to be changed, or is it indicative of a more chronic tendency toward doubt and self-judgment? More »
  • Tricycle Community 10 comments

    Only the Practice of Dharma Can Help Us at the Time of Death Paid Member

    Throughout our lives, our body has been our closest companion. At times it has seemed to be who we are. We have spent hours washing and cleaning and clipping and oiling and combing and brushing, taking care of our body in all kinds of ways. We have fed it and rested it. We might have had differing attitudes toward it, sometimes loving it and sometimes hating it. But now this closest companion, which has gone through everything with us, will no longer be here. It will no longer take oxygen. It will not circulate blood. This body that for so many years was so full of vitality will be lifeless. It will be a corpse. The first Panchen Lama says it well: “This body that we have cherished for so long cheats us at the time when we need it most.” More »
  • Tricycle Community 3 comments

    The Sure Heart's Release Paid Member

    JACK KORNFIELD was trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India. After majoring in Asian Studies at Dartmouth, in 1967 he went to Thailand with the Peace Corps looking for a Buddhist teacher. Upon his return, he earned a doctorate in clinical psychology. In 1975 he co-founded the Insight Meditation Society, based in Barre, Massachusetts, which widely influenced the practice of Vipassana meditation in North America. In 1986 he became a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. Today he lives nearby with his family and is devoted exclusively to teaching. His books include Seeking the Heart of Wisdom, A Path with Heart, and Teachings of the Buddha. After the Ecstasy, the Laundry will be released by Bantam Books in June. This interview was conducted at Spirit Rock by Helen Tworkov. More »