*The Buddha did not teach 'Buddhism' * Why no fees charged for Vipassana *Application for Vipassana courses *Beneficial power of Metta *Anapana for children
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Jan 23, 2014

Live in the Present Moment, Live in Reality

(From The Munificent Nature of Dhamma and other articles in Vipassana Research Institute newsletters) 
Idaṃ pure cittamacāri cārikaṃ,
yenicchakaṃ yatthakāmaṃ yathāsukhaṃ.
Tadajjahaṃ niggahessāmi yoniso,
hatthippabhinnaṃ viya aṃkusaggaho.
This mind that wanders wherever it wishes, desires, wherever it sees pleasure, I will first make it steadfast. I will train it thoroughly like a mahout with a goad trains a wild elephant.
Dhammapada 326

To live in the present moment is to live in reality. Moments that have passed are no longer real, only memory. Similarly, moments yet to come are unreal; you can only have expectations, fears and hopes of the future.

Living in the present moment means to be fully aware of whatever you experience at this very moment, now - by objectively observing the reality within yourself.

Pleasant, unpleasant memories and hopes, insecurity, fears of the future takes you away from reality of the present moment. This wandering habit pattern of the mind causes problems.

A life not lived in reality, i.e, in the present, is a life of delusion. Delusions defile the mind, causing difficulties in life. 

The wandering, impure mind leads to suffering anxiety, tension, dissatisfaction and frustration.

Strong determined efforts are needed to change this habit pattern of the mind. Stop the mind constantly wandering into the past or future. You train your own mind to remain in reality of the present.

A Vipassana meditator become aware how much the mind rolls in thoughts – past or future. Thoughts are agreeable or disagreeable. You  relish agreeable thoughts, disagreeable thoughts causes suffering. But a Vipassana meditator is with reality when the mind is with sensations, or the natural breath - not with the mind wandering in thoughts.

Sometimes before a thought is completed, another thought arises. Before that thought is completed, a third thought arises. Thoughts arise without sequence or meaning.

An example: 
Out of compassion, someone serves food to a mentally ill person who is very hungry. He accepts the food and feels very happy. But before he eats, he thinks -"I am in the bathroom, and this is a cake of soap," and he rubs the food over his body. Then another thought arises-"This person before me has come to kill me. Let me kill him first. How can I kill him? These are hand-bombs..." So he throws the food. No sane sequence of thoughts. No reality. Such a person is called mad.

A Vipassana meditator realizes how a wandering mind too suffers from a similar mad habit pattern of rolling randomly in thoughts of past or future – generating craving or aversion, and becoming restless, agitated, unhappy. 

The wonderful practice of Vipassana enables us to live in the present moment. 

Be master of this present moment, and be master of your future. 

Attā hi attano nātho, attā hi attano gati. 
You are your own master, you make your own future

Every thought arises with a sensation in the body, a pleasant or unpleasant bio-chemical reaction. The deepest part of the mind – where conditioning takes root – is constantly reacting to these sensations, and has nothing to do with objects in contact with sense organs.

By bare observation of sensations, without blindly reacting with craving and aversion, the mind starts getting purified at the deepest level. 

There is no more ego ' I ' of the observer, only the observed. Only the phenomena of mind-matter, at level of sensations, arising, passing away. 

This is Vipassana - the Buddha’s unique, infinitely beneficial discovery: blindly reacting to bodily sensations is real cause of our suffering, not external objects, persons, or happenings. The real cause of happiness or misery is within, not outside.

Vipassana is objective awareness of constantly changing bodily sensations, from moment to moment. 

By experiencing this inner reality of sensations arising, passing away, Vipassana trains us to be aware – with equanimity - of the true, impermanent nature of things, every moment. This is  experiencing impermanence or anicca (*), the practice of Vipassana.

For a relative beginner of Vipassana, there may be only a few moments of remaining purely in the present, not rolling in thoughts of past or future. The mind is fully concentrated in the truth of the present moment – at the level of physical sensations. No delusion, no ignorance. 

A moment of purity from Vipassana practice has a strong impact on old impurities accumulated in deeper levels of the mind. Accumulated impurities and this moment of purity come in explosive contact as negative and positive forces - like eruption of a volcano within. As a result, some deep-rooted impurities may surface as various physical or mental discomforts - such as pain in the legs or in the head, or fear or agitation. What seems a problem is actually signs of progress in meditation. When cutting open an abscess, pus is bound to surface. Similarly, during this Vipassana surgery of the mind, some underlying pus is coming out of the wound. Although unpleasant, this is the only way to get rid of the pus, to remove impurities that for long are cause of one's misery.

By working correctly - exactly according to instructions received during a residential Vipassana course - initial difficulties gradually fade away. 

Vipassana is training for the mind to be balanced in all situations. Equanimity is purity. And purity of the mind is real happiness in life.

With longer periods of continuous awareness of sensations with equanimity, the Vipassana practitioner gradually becomes free from fears caused by attachments, lust, craving for sensual pleasures. You free yourself from reacting to memories of the past and anxieties of the future. Gradually, the mind becomes calm, peaceful and pure - by living in this moment.

Living in the present moment, by observing impermanence of sensations, is living without fear, anxiety.

This present moment is nothing but a child of past moments. Whatever we are now, at this present moment, is nothing but sum total and result of our accumulated past actions, or kamma.

Whatever one has done in the past is done. Start again.

Become master of the present moment. Try not to generate a single moment that brings misery. 

The future is child of the present moment. When the present moment is full of wisdom, the future will be full of happiness.

For the mind to be still, in the present moment, the body has to be perfectly still during Vipassana practice. No small, impulsive movements of the body. 

Develop this mastery of the present moment, by objectively observing sensations arising and passing away, moment to moment. 

The mind has to be fully attentive to subtler sensations continuously,  their arising and passing away, without interruption of thoughts, for longer periods. This is Vipassana. 

This does not mean that Vipassana practice makes you forget the past completely or lose capacity to plan for the future. Oh no! After one learns this art of living in the present, you can easily recall things of the past consciously, when needed, and more effectively make wiser decisions about the future.

With deeper peace and happiness through Vipassana practice, we feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude.... but this gratitude is true gratitude only when one works hard to acquire the same qualities of purity and compassion. Such a practical gratitude does not become blind devotion, blind belief, nor turn into bondage; it becomes a factor of enlightenment. This factor of enlightenment makes the mind tender, which greatly helps in further process of purification through Vipassana.

You become not only happier and more peaceful, but also become an instrument for serving others in Dhamma, so others too can work for their own happiness.

May the munificent, benevolent, universal nature of Vipassana practice reach all suffering beings, thereby bringing peace, happiness and liberation.

May all beings be happy!


Jan 1, 2014

How to Reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India

All are most welcome to visit the Global Vipassana Pagoda, to immensely benefit from practicing Vipassana - and experience the true work and purpose of human life.
Vipassana is for all (*1). 

Visiting the Global Pagoda is free of charge. No entry fee. No charges for the tour guide. 

Timings: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm.
Open all days, including Sunday.
(Ferry Timings: Every 15 minutes from Gorai Jetty. Last ferry to Global Pagoda leaves at 5.25 pm)

* Drinking water, clean wash-room facilities available in the Global Pagoda premises.

* The Food Plaza serves quality vegetarian food at economical prices. Catering for large groups of visitors can be booked at 022-3374 7536.

* Non-commercial photography is permitted - with the understanding that there can be no copyright to any image of the Global Vipassana Pagoda. Visuals are to be made freely available to all for non-commercial use. (* For any clarification, please contact Global Vipassana Foundation, Mumbai, India, Telephone: 91 - 22 - 33747501; Email: pr@globalpagoda.org)

Global Vipassana Pagoda
* Vipassana students - those having completed a 10-day Vipassana course in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin - are welcome to meditate in the Dhamma Hall of the Global Pagoda.

Reaching Global Vipassana Pagoda by Road from Mumbai City / Domestic Airport / International Airport / Railway Stations in Mumbai

Pre-paid taxi services are available at the Mumbai domestic and international airports. Ask  for "Global Vipassana Pagoda" or "Essel World". The Global Pagoda is adjacent to Esselworld Park in Gorai island.

From Bhayandar suburban railway station , Western Railway line (third station after Borivali, from Churchgate station), exit on the western (left) side of station, and take Mira-Bhayandar Muncipal Transport (MBMT) Bus No 4  to Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai.(This is considered the best, more economical option to take to Global Vipassana Pagoda)  

From Borivali Railway station:
A major station in the Western Railway, Mumbai, Borivili is also well connected by Maharashtra State Transport Buses from Thane, Navi Mumbai & Mumbai cities. Please exit from the western side of the station (from Churchgate, the exit is on the left). You can walk to Chandavarkar Road (towards the pedestrian skywalk) which is perpendicular to the railway line on the North End of the station. Shared auto-rickshaws (tuk-tuks) are available., or please take BEST Bus no. 294 and 247 to Gorai Creek (Also known as Gorai ‘Khadi’ in local language). Shared auto rickshaw to Gorai Creek fare is approx Rs 10 (with three other passengers), and can be about three times that amount for single hire.
The Gorai jetty for the ferry to Global Pagoda is about five-ten minutes ride from Borivili  station (3.8 kms).
The return fare for the Esselworld ferry is Rs. 50/- per person.
Using public transport from Churchgate (South Mumbai), the total return fare cost for train, shared auto-rickshaw / bus and ferry would be approx Rs 120 (approx US$ 2).

Other Bus Numbers to Gorai: From Kurla railway station (West) - 309 L; From Mulund station (West) - 460 L;From Ghatkopar Bus Depot - 488 L (please re-confirm before boarding bus)

Driving From Mumbai Airport (domestic and international): 
  1. Reach Western Express Highway and go North towards Dahisar/Borivali/Ahmedabad.
  2. Cross the Dahisar Toll Booth and keep going straight.
  3. When you reach the Mira-Bhayandar crossing, turn Left towards Mira-Bhayandar. The crossing has a Shivaji statue positioned at the centre.
  4. Keep going straight till you reach Golden Nest Circle. At the Golden Nest Circle, take a left turn and stay on the main road.
  5. Keep going straight till you take a hard right turn at the end of the road. This point will come after Maxus Mall, which comes on your right. After the hard right turn, take a left at the T point   junction.
  6. Keep following directions to Esselworld or Global Vipassana Pagoda from this point forward.
  7. When you reach the Esselworld Parking Lot, go ahead a few metres and take a right turn towards Esselworld. Tell the guard at the security post that you want to go to the Pagoda.
  8. Keep going straight till you reach the Helipad. At the Helipad, take a right turn to the Global Pagoda Road through the Sanchi Arch.
The Pagoda is about 42 km from the Domestic Airport Terminal.
    Inside the Global Pagoda dome. An architectural wonder as the world's largest stone structure without supporting pillars. This unique Dhamma hall can seat over 8,000 Vipassana students, in group meditation sittings and one-day refresher courses.

    Driving to Global Vipassana Pagoda from Thane / Nashik / Igatpuri / Pune / Navi Mumbai
    Reach State Highway 42 / Ghodbunder Road from NH3 (Agra Road) / Old Agra Road / Eastern Express Highway.
    • Keep going on Ghodbunder Road till you reach NH8, Mumbai Ahmedabad Highway.
    • At the Ghodbunder Junction (Sai Palace Hotel), take a left turn towards Mumbai city.
    • Keep going straight till you reach the Mira-Bhayandar crossing (Shivaji Statue).
    • Take a right turn towards Mira-Bhayandar.
    • Keep going straight till you reach Golden Nest Circle. At the Golden Nest Circle, take a left turn and stay on the main road.
    • Keep going straight till you take a hard right turn at the end of the road. This point will come after Maxus Mall, which comes on your right. After the hard right turn, take a left at the T point junction.
    • Keep following directions to Esselworld or Global Vipassana Pagoda from this point forward.
    • When you reach the Esselworld Parking Lot, go ahead a few metres and take a right turn towards Esselworld. Tell the guard at the security post that you want to go to the Pagoda.
    • Keep going straight till you reach the Helipad. At the Helipad, take a right turn to the Global Pagoda Road through the Sanchi Arch.
    • The Pagoda is about 22 km from the Ghodbunder Junction.

Vipassana students meditating inside the Global Pagoda dome
* Google Map Road directions to Global Vipassana Pagoda, from your location in Mumbai 

Have a happy, most beneficial visit to the Global Pagoda - and a life filled with pure happiness.
For more details, assistance:
Global Vipassana Pagoda
Telephone: 91 22 33747501 (30 lines)
Email: pr@globalpagoda.org

Pagoda Address:
Global Vipassana Pagoda
Next to Esselworld, Gorai Village,
Borivali (West), Mumbai 400091

Postal address:
Head Office Global Vipassana Foundation
2nd Floor, Green House, Green Street, Fort
Mumbai – 400 023
Telephone: +91 22 22665926 / 22664039Fax: +91 22 22664607
Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre
Inside Global Vipassana Pagoda Campus
Next to Esselworld, Gorai Village,
Borivali (West), Mumbai 400091
Tel: [91] (22) 3374 7519Fax: [91] (22) 3374 7518
Email: info@pattana.dhamma.org

Online application for 10-day Vipassana courses
Dhamma reasons why no fees are charged for Vipassana courses - including for boarding and lodging
 Rare opportunities to earn and share merits participating in Global Vipassana Pagoda projects

*(1) Buddha: Super Scientist of Peace. Part-1 of Most Compassionate, Most Revered Sayagyi U Goenka's address to the United Nations, New York, 2002.