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Nov 24, 2009

Global Pagoda One-day Course with Goenkaji

A special one-day Vipassana course with Principal Teacher Sayagyi U S.N. Goenka is being held on 20 December 2009, Sunday, (from 11 am to 4 pm) in the main dome of the Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India. Goenkaji will be present at the Global Pagoda during this course.
For registration for the December 20 one-day course, kindly contact telephone: 9892855692 / 9892855945 / 022- 28451204 / 022- 28452238
Or, please e-mail: global.oneday@gmail.com or globalvipassana@gmail.com;
N.B: Registration for the above course is compulsory.
[One-day courses are only for students who have already taken a 10-day Vipassana course, as taught by Sayagyi U S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. New students may kindly contact a convenient Vipassana course centre to register for a residential 10-day Vipassana beginner's course.]
Note: Students may register or update their mobile phone numbers and e-mail Ids at the above contact address so that they can be informed of future programmes.

* Directions to reach Global Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai
*Global Pagoda Development Projects

Nov 19, 2009

Global Pagoda and Happiness Re-Charge

As an objective matter of fact, never before in this world has there existed a beneficial facility such as the Global Pagoda. Never before has there been a vast, pillar-less meditation hall such as the inner dome of the 325-feet tall Global Pagoda, in which thousands of people can practice Vipassana, nature's most powerful reality-check, and share the happiness gained with all beings.

One-day, refresher Vipassana courses are held at the Global Pagoda every Sunday, for those who have already completed a ten-day Vipassana course. (registration for the one-day courses, and more details can be requested from info@pattana.dhamma.org or tel: 91 - 22 - 2845 2261 )


View of inner dome Dhamma Hall of the Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai, India

Batteries, vehicles and the human body can do with periodic re-fuelling. But the mind needs constant re-feulling of reality every moment. Or, it falls into the sufering of ignorance - of not knowing what is really happening within at the deeper levels of interaction of body and mind. Vipassana gives the mind a priceless life-time training to be with reality as it is, from moment to moment, and free from delusions and apparent realities that cause problems. One starts with a residential ten-day beginner's course, gives a minimum of daily two hours practice, and continues with atleast one 10-day course a year.

Group sittings and one-day courses are held in various locations in India and worldwide for Vipassana students, to help stay strongly with Dhamma, the natural, universal path of pure happiness and sharing this happiness with all beings. There isn't any work more beneficial than serving in whatever way one can in this Dhamma path of liberation from misery.

Principal Vipassana teacher Sayagyi U Goenka says:
With Vipassana, how can there be sorrow in our lives? Sorrow is caused by one's own defilements, not by external events. An external event has occurred, we do not generate a defilement, we do not become miserable. An external event has occurred, we generate a defilement, we become miserable.
We are responsible for our misery.

Unfavourable external events will continue to occur and if we are strong and do not generate defilements, our lives will be filled with happiness and peace. We do not harm others; we help ourselves and help others. Every meditator should understand that one has to meditate regularly so that one is happy and peaceful for the whole life. All those who have come on the path of Vipassana should understand that they have received an invaluable jewel.

The Importance of Daily Meditation

by S. N. Goenka

(The following has been translated and adapted from a discourse by Goenkaji to about 5,000 Vipassana students at University Ground, Nagpur city, India, on October 8, 2000.)

My dear Dhamma sons and Dhamma daughters,
I am very happy that we have sat together and practised pure Dhamma. Meditating together is of great importance.


Sukho buddhānam uppado (Happy is the arising of the Buddhas in the world
Sukhā saddhammadesanā (Happy is the teaching of pure Dhamma)
Sukhā sanghassa sāmaggī (Happy is the coming together of meditators)
Samaggānam tapo sukho (Happiness is meditating together)

Two thousand six hundred years ago, Gotama Buddha arose in this country and taught pure Dhamma resulting in great happiness for the world. People started living in accordance with this teaching. They started meditating together just as we have done today: there is no greater happiness than this.

If one meditates alone, one becomes liberated from mental defilements and becomes truly happy. But when Dhamma brothers and sisters sit together and meditate in such large numbers, if someone's meditation is a little weak, it is strengthened because the meditation of others is strong and the entire atmosphere is charged with Dhamma vibrations.

Whenever possible, meditators should have joint sitting at least once a week. If in the past week anyone's meditation has become weak, it is strengthened by the group meditation and he is able to face the vicissitudes of life for the whole week with renewed strength.

Every meditator has to develop the strength to face the ups and downs of life. For this, it is necessary to meditate one hour in the morning and evening daily, to meditate together once a week, and to take a ten-day course at least once a year. Then we will keep progressing on the path of Dhamma.


Householders face many difficulties, many obstacles. What to speak of householders, even those who have renounced the household life tell me that they are not able to meditate regularly. But we must not give up in spite of all difficulties; we must meditate daily, morning and evening.

We do physical exercise-yoga, jogging or walking - to keep the body healthy and strong. Otherwise, the body becomes weak and diseased. In the same way, it is even more necessary to keep the mind healthy and strong.


The mind is more important; one should not allow it to become weak or diseased.

Vipassana is exercise of the mind. Meditating morning and evening makes the mind strong and healthy; it is not a waste of time. We live in a complex and stressful world. If the mind is not strong, we lose the balance of the mind and become miserable.

Those who do not know pure Dhamma, who have not learned this meditation, are unfortunate. But those who have received this benevolent teaching and are not using it are even more unfortunate. They have found such a priceless gem but have discarded it as if it is a useless pebble. What can be a greater misfortune?

It is a matter of great fortune to be born as a human being. Only a human being can become introverted and eradicate mental defilements from the depth of the mind. This work cannot be done by animals or birds or reptiles or insects or other lower beings. Even a human being cannot do this work if he does not know this technique.
One gets a human birth, finds such a wonderful technique, learns to use it, benefits from it, and still discontinues the practice. What a misfortune! A bankrupt person finds a treasure. And he discards it and becomes bankrupt again. A hungry person gets delicious food. And he discards it and becomes hungry again. A sick person finds medicine. And he discards it and becomes sick again. Very unfortunate, indeed! One should not make this mistake.

Sometimes meditators come to me and say: "I have stopped meditating. What to do, I am so busy." It is a poor excuse. Do we not give food to the body three-four times a day? We do not say, "I am such a busy person, I don't have time for food today."


This meditation that we do every morning and evening makes the mind strong. And a strong mind is more important than a strong body. If we forget this, we harm ourselves. We should never make this mistake. Even if there is too much work, we must do this exercise.

Sometimes it is not possible to meditate at the same place at a fixed time. Though desirable, it is not a must. What is important is to meditate twice in twenty-four hours. In rare circumstances when one is not able to sit with closed eyes, one may meditate with open eyes; sitting with others with the mind directed inwards. We should not make an outward show of meditation; the others need not know that you are meditating.

We may not be able to meditate as well as we could have done while sitting alone with closed eyes, but at least we have calmed and strengthened the mind a little. Without regular practice, the mind becomes weak. A weak mind makes us miserable because it reverts to its old behaviour pattern of generating craving and aversion.

We have got human birth. We have come in contact with this wonderful Dhamma. We have developed faith in this technique because we have benefited from it, and yet, we have stopped meditating. Let us not be heedless.

We are not doing anyone a favour by meditating twice a day. "Our teacher has told us, so we are doing it." 
You are not doing your teacher a favour; you are doing yourself a favour. This is such a great teaching. When one starts feeling sensations on the body, understand-the door of liberation has opened. A person who cannot feel sensation on the body is unfortunate; the door of liberation has not opened for him. And when one learns to remain equanimous to the sensations, not only has the door of liberation opened but one has entered it and has started walking on the path of liberation.

In Vipassana we experience different types of sensations on different parts of the body and maintain equanimity towards them. A wise meditator understands from experience how the practice benefits one in daily life. Every step taken on this path takes one closer and closer to the final goal. No effort is wasted; each effort bears fruit.
Lack of awareness of sensations takes us on the path of misery. Blind reaction to them out of ignorance results in misery, deep misery-dukkhasamudayagāminīpatipadā. Awareness of sensations and equanimity towards them takes us on the path that leads to liberation from all suffering-dukkhanirodhagāminīpatipadā.

If we experience sensations and react to them-react with craving to pleasant sensations and with aversion to unpleasant sensations-we are on the path of bondage. This is the teaching of the Buddha; this is the enlightenment of the Buddha.

At the time of death, some sensation will arise, and if we are not aware and react with aversion, we will go to lower planes of existence. But a good meditator who remains equanimous to these sensations at the time of death will go to a favourable plane. This is how we make our own future.


Death can come at any time. We do not have an agreement with death that it should come only when we are ready. We are ready whenever it comes. This is not an ordinary technique. It is a priceless gem that can liberate us from the cycle of birth and death and can improve not only this life but also future lives ultimately leading to full liberation.

"But we do not have time. We have too much work." We squander an invaluable jewel by making these excuses. Whenever there is sorrow or despair or dullness in daily life due to any reason, this technique will help us. Just understand, "At this moment there is sorrow or despair or dullness in my mind," and start observing breath or sensations.


The external reason is not important. Vedanā samosaranā sabbe dhammā. Whatever arises in the mind is called dhamma. A sensation arises on the body with whatever dhamma arises in the mind: this is the law of nature. The mind and the body are interrelated. When a defilement arises in the mind, some sensation will arise in the body. Whatever sensation arises in the body at that time is connected to the defilement in the mind. This is what the Buddha taught.

One understands that there is a defilement in the mind and observes sensation in the body. One practises this thoroughly, not just once or twice, but again and again-every sensation is impermanent. So the defilement that is connected to it is also impermanent, how long will it last? We are observing sensations and also observing how long the defilement lasts. It becomes weak and ceases, like a thief who enters a house, and finding that the master of the house is awake, runs away.

Take the example of anger. When anger arises due to any reason, one understands, "At this moment there is anger in the mind. Now let me observe what sensation has arisen in the body." It does not matter what is the cause of this anger. One is observing sensation and understanding that it is impermanent. This anger is also impermanent. It would have increased and overpowered one completely. Now it becomes weaker and weaker and passes away. It is such a great benefit.

No matter what defilement arises, whether lust or egotism or envy or fear or anything else, one does not get overpowered by it. Now that we have learnt this technique, we have learnt the art of living. All that we have to do is to accept, "This defilement has arisen. Let me face this enemy. Let me see what is happening in my body. It is impermanent, anicca, anicca (impermanence / change)." The enemy starts getting weaker and runs away.

Defilements will keep coming throughout our entire life, sometimes for this reason, sometimes for that reason. When you become fully liberated from all defilements, you will become a fully liberated person, an arahant. At present, that stage is far away. Now in ordinary life, one has to face these difficulties. We have found a very effective weapon in the form of these sensations. No enemy will be able to overpower us for the whole life, how will it overpower us at the time of death? It cannot overpower us. We are the masters. This is the technique for becoming our own master.

We have learned the art of living. How can there be sorrow in our lives? Sorrow is caused by defilements, not by external events. An external event has occurred, we do not generate a defilement, we do not become miserable. An external event has occurred, we generate a defilement, we become miserable.

We are responsible for our misery.

Unfavourable external events will continue to occur and if we are strong and do not generate defilements, our lives will be filled with happiness and peace. We do not harm others; we help ourselves and help others. Every meditator should understand that one has to meditate regularly so that one is happy and peaceful for the whole life. All those who have come on the path of Vipassana should understand that they have received an invaluable jewel.

May all beings be happy, be peaceful, be liberated.


[ One-day courses are only for students who have already taken a 10-day Vipassana course, as taught by Sayagyi U S.N.Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. New students may kindly contact a convenient Vipassana course centre to register for a residential 10-day Vipassana beginner's course.]

* Vipassana meditation courses worldwide, course venues, online application for beginners' 10-day residential Vipassana courses
* Directions to reach the Global Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai
* Global Pagoda developmental projects

Nov 12, 2009

Global Pagoda: the Value of Dhamma Service

The Global Pagoda is a testimony to the persistent, selfless Dhamma service of many for over a decade. Voluntary Dhamma service is an essential part of growth in Dhamma through Vipassana - the universal, practical path towards freedom from all suffering. There is no greater joy and happiness than in sharing with all beings the merits one has gained, by sharing without expecting anything in return.

The following is based on a talk given by Principal teacher of Vipassana Sayagyi U S.N. Goenka for ten-day students in Kathmandu on 15 April 2000:

You have completed a ten-day Vipassana course. But this is not enough. Now you have to learn how to apply it in your day-to-day life. When you go out, you will have to face the world. And whatever equanimity you have learned here, see that you apply it in your life in spite of all the difficult situations. You know, and I also know, that the world is such that it is so difficult to maintain equanimity in life. But this is what you have to learn.

For that, one important way is that you learn to apply equanimity in an atmosphere of a Dhamma centre where a course is going on. You can come for some time whenever you are free and give service, ten days of Dhamma service. The atmosphere here is definitely better than the atmosphere outside. Outside, the entire atmosphere is full of negativities. Here, the students who come will also generate negativity time and again. But the atmosphere will not be so strong. You can face it. So first, you learn in a Dhamma centre how to remain equanimous dealing with people who are generating negativity. This is a training ground for you.

And moreover, you will not be serving the entire day. Whenever you are free, you have an opportunity to meditate. This is how you will strengthen yourself.
Besides this, there are many other benefits of giving Dhamma service. One important benefit is that you will develop your pāramīs. It is only your pāramīs that will take you to the final goal. And you get a good opportunity here while you are serving people to develop your pāramīs.

One pāramī you will develop is mettā. Whenever you serve people, naturally you generate mettā for them, love and compassion for them. And that helps you to develop your own pāramī of mettā.

Another important pāramī, especially for a householder, is the pāramī of dāna. It is a very important pāramī. When you give dāna of money and of other things required by people in the world, this is good. But here the dāna is the dāna of Dhamma, the greatest dāna in the world.

Why is it the greatest? Because the law of nature is such that whatever the seeds you plant the fruit will be exactly according to that and multiplied. When you give food to somebody, then in return when the time ripens, you will get food in bigger quantities.

You are now joining a course to give Dhamma. Of course, the teacher gives Dhamma. And it takes time for someone to reach the stage of becoming a full-fledged teacher or even an assistant teacher. But still you can be a partner in this Dhamma service, in this dhamma-dāna.

Understand, a teacher cannot give dhamma-dāna unless there are proper facilities. So those people who are helping to construct proper facilities are also partners in giving Dhamma. Similarly, Dhamma cannot be given if the management is not proper. So those who are managing a Dhamma course are also partners in dhamma-dāna. And so also, Dhamma cannot be given unless there are good Dhamma workers to help. So, you are also becoming a partner. And you get the benefit of this.

And I know, from my own experience, how much benefit one gets. From the time I finished my first course until I was appointed a full-fledged teacher after fourteen years, I kept going to my teacher and to the centre to give Dhamma service. I benefited immensely.

Similarly, the students who give Dhamma service keep on reporting to me that, "By giving one ten-day Dhamma service, I received so much benefit."

When you plant the seed of Dhamma and giving the dāna of Dhamma is planting the seed of Dhamma you receive a large quantity of Dhamma in return for yourself. Your Dhamma becomes stronger and stronger. This is a very good benefit you are going to get by giving Dhamma service.

Another big benefit is that you get so much satisfaction. When you received Dhamma, so many Dhamma workers served you. Now you feel that you are paying your debt of gratitude by serving other people in the same way. "Others have served me. Now I better serve others." This is a great satisfaction.

Another great satisfaction is that at the end of serving a course, you will feel so much joy. And this is not ordinary joy. This is a very sublime joy, muditā, sympathetic joy. You notice when people join the course, their faces are full of melancholy, sadness, having this kind of misery or that kind of misery. But on the tenth day, when they leave the course, there is a glow on their faces, so much happiness and so much joy. And when you generate sympathetic joy, you also become so happy. This is a great advantage of Dhamma service.

Dhamma is not only for your own liberation. Of course, the teaching of the Buddha is that you liberate yourself, but at the same time, you help others to get liberated. And you are doing the same thing by giving Dhamma service. You are trying to liberate yourself from misery and you are helping others to get liberated from misery.
Therefore, I keep on advising my students that they must find time to give Dhamma service for at least one ten-day course. As you find time to take your own ten-day course, similarly it is very important to give service for one ten-day course.

At times, you cannot find ten days. All right, then serve as many days as possible. Maybe during the weekend you can come for two days. You may discuss this with the management, and if they agree, you can come for two or three days or even one day and give service. Service is always good for you.

May you all develop in Dhamma, get established in Dhamma, for your good, and for the good of so many others. May you all keep on growing in Dhamma, may you all keep on glowing in Dhamma.
----
N.B: Vipassana students are generally permitted to offer dana (donation) of Dhamma service after completion of three 10-day courses.
Dana of money and kind can be offered by any grateful student at the end of a Vipassana course, provided if he or she has benefited from the path and shares the volition that others too should likewise benefit and be happy.

* Vipassana meditation courses worldwide, course venues, online application for beginners' 10-day residential Vipassana courses
* Directions to reach the Global Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai
* Global Pagoda developmental projects

Nov 3, 2009

Getting to the Global Pagoda, Mumbai, India

Global Pagoda timings: 9.00 am to 7 pm. There is no entry fee

How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Gorai / Borivali, Mumbai, India


The Global Pagoda can be reached overland by car, as well by ferry. Pre-paid taxi services are available at the Mumbai domestic and international airports. Ask for "Esselworld", if "Global Vipassana Pagoda" draws a blank stare.

From Mumbai Airport:
One can drive directly to the Global Pagoda from the airport.
Driving to the Global Pagoda: Please take the Western Express Highway upto Dahisar. After crossing the Dahisar Toll Booth, take a left to the Mira-Bhayander Road. From there on, follow the road signs to Esselworld. On reaching Esselworld, please drive upto the main gate and request the security guards to guide you to the Pagoda site. Cars can also be parked at the Gorai jetty, before taking the ferry to the Global Pagoda.

This link gives more driving details on the road route to the Global Pagoda, from a recent visitor.

Hiring a car for airport pick-up to Global Pagoda:
Request the taxi driver to take you to Esselworld. The approximate fare should be Rs.500 ( 7 Euros, US$ 10) to Rs 700 (10 Euros, US $14) for a non-air conditioned taxi. The approximate driving time is about 1.5 hours. Private taxis and vehicles can be hired from many car rentals in Mumbai. Rates may vary.
Many Vipassana students make use of the services of private taxi operator Mr Jagdish Maniyar. Contact : Tel (Res): 91-22-26391010 or cell phone 09869255079.e-mail: traxtravels@hotmail.com As of November 2009, Mr Maniyar charges Rs 1,550 (approx 22 Euros, US $33) for airport pickup to Global Pagoda (inclusive of road taxes). From airport to Dhamma Giri Vipassana centre, Igatpuri, he charges Rs 2,550 (36 Euros, US $54).

From Borivali Railway station:
From Borivali Station (Western Railway, Mumbai) please use the western exit gates of the station (for the train from Churchgate, the exit is on the same platform, to the left). One can take Bus number 294 or hire an auto rickshaw (tuk-tuk) to Gorai Creek. The bus fare is Rs. 6 and auto rickshaw fare is approx Rs. 25 (approx US $0.50) to Rs 35.
For the auto-rickshaw, please take one heading to your right, after crossing the road from the western exit of the railway station. The Gorai jetty is approximately 10-15 minutes-ride from Borivili station. Please take the ferry for Esselworld from Gorai Jetty. The return fare for the ferry is Rs. 35/- per person.
On arrival at Esselworld, you will see directional boards to take you to Global Pagoda. The Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre is less than five minutes walking distance from the Esselworld Jetty gate.

Prefer a shorter sea trip? One can take the more frequent (and humbler) ferry to Gorai Village (Rs 5 one way - actually it's only a jetty, the village is not in visible distance). From there, shared autorickshaws (Rs 15 a seat, or Rs 40 for 3 passengers) and the more quaint horse-drawn carriages (Rs 10 a seat) are available for a nice ride to the Essel World entrance through the flat landscape of marshlands. The Global Pagoda, a brief walk from the gates, is of course visible throughout the 10-minute ride from the Gorai Village jetty.

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)


Wishing you a very happy and most beneficial visit to the Global Pagoda.

For any further details and assistance, please contact:

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

For sending any post/courier, please use this address:

Head Office Global Vipassana Foundation
2nd Floor, Green House, Green Street, Fort
Mumbai – 400 023

Telephone: +91 22 22665926 / 22664039
Fax: +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 7519
Fax: [91] (22) 3374 7518
Email: info@pattana.dhamma.org

* Vipassana meditation courses worldwide, course venues, online application for beginners' 10-day residential Vipassana courses

* One-day Vipassana courses at Global Pagoda (for those who have completed a 10-day Vipassana course)

New website of Global Vipassana Pagoda