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Excerpts from the media about S. N. Goenka and Vipassana Meditation.
|Media Interviews of S.N. Goenka|
Shambala Sun, Sep 2001
What is the relevance to world peace of a meditation technique, which seems like a very personal thing?
Shambala Sun, Sep 2001
"...what I am teaching is universal. Anybody can practice it, from any religion or tradition, and they will get the same result... My teacher never asked me to convert to a religion. The only conversion is from misery to happiness."
Tricycle, Winter 2000
"The whole process is one of total realization, the process of self-realization, truth pertaining to oneself, by oneself, within oneself. It is not an intellectual game. It is not an emotional or devotional game.... It is pure science."
Newsweek, Sept. 18, 2000
"The Indian government is impressed by the results at Tihar (India's largest prison with 11,000 inmates where regular Vipassana courses are taught) -- and has asked all the prisons in the country to introduce meditation. Tihar officials admit that the idea doesn't always work; some prisoners quickly drop out of the meditation courses, unable to withstand the rigors. But those who persist are thankful."
Society, March 2000
From Davos to Delhi, when Dr. S.N. Goenka speaks, the world listens. This Vipassana teacher was invited as a speaker to the World Economic Forum (WEF) held this year at Davos, Switzerland. Now, after addressing decision-makers at more than three WEF sessions, Goenka will be addressing India's powers-that-be, when he arrives in Delhi in the second week of March. An insight into how Vipassana is being increasingly accepted as a way out of discord by people around the world….
Jetwings, March, 2000
“No religious dogma is taught here, but a way of life, how to live peacefully and harmoniously. Vipassana has nothing to do with organized religion, rites or rituals and is the observance of reality from moment to moment. The technique developed from the Buddha’s search to end suffering, and the conversion involved is from misery to happiness, bondage to liberty and ignorance to enlightenment. Anybody can do it.”—quote from S.N. Goenka
Times of India, February 2000
Who would expect a session on spirituality to be conducted at a meeting of global leaders from the fields of politics, business, and the media? However, the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF), which was held at Davos, Switzerland, from January 27 to February 1, saw several sessions devoted to topics pertaining to spirituality. S.N. Goenka, founder of over 75 centers all over the world and a teacher of Vipassana meditation, was invited from India to deliver talks on the subject.
“Practiced today by millions of people in more than 80 countries worldwide, Vipassana—which means “to see things as they really are”—trains the mind to observe the constantly changing nature of bodily sensations and thoughts. Unlike most religions, including many Buddhist practices, Vipassana includes no worship of a god, deities, or living gurus. The essential message is that real suffering does not arise from the experiences we have but from our reaction to them.”
“This unique 2500-year old technique of self-observation smashes self-deceptions and delusions. It trains one to live in reality. Everyday life and human relationships get better. The ‘art of living’ people call it."
ASIAWEEK, February 1995
Warden Kiran Bedi found that after instituting a range of improvement programs for inmates, something was till missing.…Vipassana, says Bedi, made the difference. “It made them at peace within themselves.” Bedi has made Vipassana a regular part of Tihar’s program, and the Indian government has recently adopted it for prison rehabilitation programs throughout the country.
The China Post, July 1995
Although believed to be the same as taught by the Buddha, Goenka's Vipasssana instruction is totally secular. People from many different religions take the courses, he says, citing the example of a Catholic priest who is one of his assistant teachers. “It is an art of living,” Goenka says. While in Taiwan, Goenka will meet with Buddhist leaders and lecture in a prison. Meditation programs introduced into Indian prisons have provided one of the most convincing illustrations of Vipassana's effectiveness, with many prisoners previously considered “incorrigible” becoming completely reformed as a result of taking the course.
Swagat, September 1992
Do you want to learn to meditate? There is no mystery involved and no bogus mysticism. Like singing, dancing or playing chess it is a technique which is learnt step by step, whose mastery, even partial, bring enormous benefits. American executives are drilled in its merits, western sportsmen use it for concentration, and for us common folk it can be a source of tranquility, the lever to a better intellectual and spiritual approach to life.
Community Endeavor, February, 1991
“Vipassana is a very practical meditation technique that removes the mental complexes we all have through the process of observation.….Vipassana is not a religion. In fact your belief system is irrelevant to the practice of this technique. Whether you are a Roman Catholic, Muslim or an atheist, its purpose is to make you a better human being.”
Yoga Journal, September/October 1989
Next to the Dalai Lama, S.N. Goenka may be the Asian Buddhist teacher best known in the West. Several prominent American teachers have studied with him; he makes periodic visits to Europe, Australia and the United States; and hundreds flock each year from all over the world to attend his ten-day and one-month meditation courses…
East West Journal, December 1982
Vipassana, or “insight” meditation was developed by Gotama Buddha in India several centuries before the birth of Christ. Today, thousands of people from diverse religious and cultural backgrounds, including hundreds of Christian priests and nuns, are counted among those who have learned this ancient technique from S.N. Goenka, a native of Burma who teaches in India and the West. “Buddha was once asked by some people what is our real welfare? He replied that the best welfare is to reach a stage where I can keep the balance of my mind in spite of all types of vicissitudes, the ups and downs of life. I get pleasant situations or painful situations, I get victories or defeats, I get profits or losses. I get good names or bad names—I'm bound to face all these things. But can I smile in every situation?”
The Santa Rosa Press Democrat, August 27, 1987
“The stress that we generate, the tension that we build up, the knots that we keep on tying are all done inside by us,” Goenka said. “This technique helps you observe how your body and mind is reacting to situations outside