Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Thank You S.N. Goenka

Sculpture by Kimber Fiebiger
     A great contributer and teacher of Vipassana meditation, S.N. Goenka, died a couple of days ago. He was 90 years old. I feel fortunate to have attended a 10 day meditation just last month, using his technique and guidance. His talks (via video) were incredibly inspiring, always leaving me with a beaming smile. One night he mentioned, "Buddhists are not afraid of death." They considered death to be a promotion. How wonderful it is to think about him moving onto his promotion now. May all beings be happy, peaceful, liberated. This was his greatest hope, and the purpose of vipassana meditation.

Goenka spent his early life preoccupied with money and business, which he remembered as the years of greatest discontent. In a search for migrane headache relief, he was led to vipassana meditation. The practice changed him profoundly. He dedicated the rest of his life sharing the teachings and practice of meditation. He wasn't interested in plaques, statues, or applause of any kind. He wasn't interested in living a life fulfilling his egoic needs. Some might imagine him to be dry or dull? Although he was serious about his practice and dedication to mediation, he had an instinctive sense of humor (of the side-splitting variety). He lived peacefully and undoubtedly departed in peace. 

The shortness of our life span can be mind boggling. When we live mindfully in the moment, there is nothing else we need to do. Life is being met and lived. When we sit in silence with our ever changing selves, we learn to be present for all aspects of our precious lives (death included).

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