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Jun 24, 2011

The Dhamma Protection - One's Real Life Insurance Policy

(from original article 'Dhamma - Our Shield' by Sayagyi U S.N Goenka in 1982 issue of Vipassana Newsletter.)

Remaining anxious about the future has become human nature. To have a pleasant and secured future, one seeks the refuge and beneficence of various mundane and supernatural phenomena. But apart from Dhamma, Truth, there is no refuge nor any other power which can really shield us, which can really secure our future, which can free us from all our anxieties about the future.

The Dhamma that shields us is the Dhamma that we develop within ourselves, the Dhamma that we apply in our lives. This is the shield of Vipassana practice - experiencing the truth of impermanence, every moment. This purity developed within alone fully secures our well being. 

The Dhamma that arises and develops in someone else is of little importance to us unless it becomes our own. Dhamma developed in others can at best show us the path and inspire us to develop the same in ourselves by lighting the torch of insight and truth within us so that we may live the life of Dhamma ourselves. This means that taking refuge in Dhamma is actually taking refuge in the experiential wisdom developed within through Vipassana meditation. This really helps us, protects us.

Pagoda of Dhamma Giri as it was in 1982....

..... Pagoda of Dhamma Giri now (in the foreground are individual meditation cells)

Hence the Buddha has said Attasammapanidhi Ca, etammangalamuttamam—that is, our greatest good lies in directing our attention properly towards our own selves. This is taking refuge in the truth within. If we take refuge in some imaginary external power and direct our attention towards it this can only make us dependent, weak and insecure by entangling ourselves in more and more delusions.

When we direct our attention properly towards our own self, i.e. through Vipassana practice of observing the continuously changing bodily sensations, we start purifying ourselves and thus start developing Dhamma within ourselves. This Atta-Sarana (taking refuge in yourself) is Dhamma-Sarana (making Dhamma your island) and vice versa.

Atta-Dipa (becoming an island to yourself) is Dhamma Dipa (making Dhamma your island) and vice versa.

In every time of trial, every moment of travail, we have to awaken the Dhamma within us and through our insight we become an island unto ourselves so that our lives find a secure mooring.

The best thing for us to do to ensure our well being is to 1) remain in wisdom (panna) - i.e, with equanimity be aware of the sensations that arise with every thought; 2) with control of our minds, keep our Sammadi (concentration) sharp to continuously observe subtlest of sensations and 3) by restraining actions of mind, body and speech, to be established in sila (morality). Sila, sammadi and panna support and develop each other.

The Dhamma protects us and shields us in our lives in the same proportion through the Dhamma we have acquired : as we get established strongly in sila, sammadi and panna, become more awakened to it, and as we apply Dhamma more in our lives.

It has been well said by Lord Buddha “Dhammo have rakkhati dhammacarim”—i.e. Dhamma automatically protects the one who practices it. So for complete protection now and for the future let us light the torch of Dhamma within us (by observing arising, passing of bodily sensations), let us keep this torch lit (by maintaining continuity of this awareness of sensations). Let us protect this torch of Dhamma and Truth to keep it shining. In this lies our well-being, in this lies our protection, in this lies our good.

May All Beings Be Happy! May All Beings Be Liberated from All Suffering !

                                         Activating the protection of Anicca in Everyday Life


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* Vipassana meditation courses worldwide, course venues, online application for Vipassana courses
* Directions to reach Global Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai

Jun 20, 2011

Global Pagoda One-Day Vipassana course on July 17, 2011

A special one-day Vipassana course will be conducted at the Global Vipassana Pagoda in presence of Sayagyi U S.N. Goenka on 17 July 2011, Sunday.

Registration for the course is to be kindly done in advance (in order to make prior arrangements for lunch etc for students).

(One-day courses are only for students who have already taken a 10-day Vipassana course as taught by Sayagyi U S.N.Goenka *)

Contact for registration for one-day course at Global Pagoda:
Mobile no.: 98928-55692, 98928-55945;
Tel: (022) 2845-1170, 3374-7543, 3374-7544
Email registration: oneday@globalpagoda.org

Online registration: http://www.vridhamma.org/1-Day-Course

May all beings sitting and serving this Vipassana course experience all the infinite benefits of Dhamma, be happy, peaceful and be liberated from all suffering.

For more details on one-day courses at Global Pagoda with Sayagyi U Goenka: http://www.vridhamma.org/1-Day-Course-At-Pagoda


* Please Note: [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 meditation centre worldwide to register for a residential 10-day Vipassana beginner's course.]
* One-day course is also held every Sunday in the main dome Dhamma hall of the Global Pagoda, for Vipassana students.

* Vipassana meditation courses worldwide, course venues, online application for Vipassana courses

* Dhamma service opportunities at Global Pagoda
* Directions to reach Global Pagoda, Gorai / Borivili, Mumbai
* Earning boundless merits through Dhamma dana for Global Pagoda

Jun 16, 2011

Recent Photographs of Global Vipassana Pagoda

(updated January 6, 2012)


Global Vipassana Pagoda, steps leading up to main entrance

December 23, 2011. Photograph by Ashok M.Karnad. More Global Pagoda photos from this Picasa Album

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Myanmar Gate, seen from atop main entrance steps to Global Pagoda

Photograph by Ashok M.Karnad. More Global Pagoda photos from this Picasa Album

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Global Pagoda, seen from near Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre

December 23, 2011. Photograph by Ashok M.Karnad. More Global Pagoda photos from this Picasa Album


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View of Global Vipassana Pagoda from ferry
Photo by Adi, October 9, 2011
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Global Vipassana Pagoda as seen from the Borivili National Park, Borivili (East).

Photograph taken on October 4, 2011. From mumbai-eyed.blogspot.com
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The Myanmar Gate entrance to the Global Vipassana Pagoda. The entrance, under construction, is similar to the entrance to Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri, and is built as a Dhamma symbol of gratitude to Burma that preserved the teaching of Vipassana in its purity for over 2,000 years.

Photography by Ramachandran K, September 1, 2011. More Global Pagoda photographs in this Picasso Album

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Vipassana meditators inside the Inner Dome Dhamma Hall of the Global Pagoda. An architectural wonder as the world's largest stone dome without any supporting pillars, the Global Pagoda Dhamma Hall can seat around 8,000 Vipassana students at a time.

(Photograph from Afternoon Despatch & Courier, June 6, 2011. Article A Monumental Wonder )

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Art Gallery of the Global Pagoda : Containing the world's single largest collection of paintings on the life of SammasamBuddha Gotama. The beautiful, intricate paintings are by leading artists from Burma and India.

(Photograph from Afternoon Despatch & Courier, June 6, 2011. Article A Monumental Wonder)
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Bell Tower of the Global Pagoda
(Photograph by Ambar Sexena, April 26, 2011. More Global Pagoda photographs from this Google Picasa Album )
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Global Vipassana Pagoda at night

( Photograph by SajeevKumarC, May 8 2011 )

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Global Pagoda as seen from the ferry jetty

(edited) Photograph by Mary Koliva, February 25, 2011
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Main Entrance to Global Pagoda

(Photograph by Joe Ravi, January 8, 2011, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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Motif of Global Vipassana Pagoda, by artisans from Burma
(Photograph by Joe Ravi, January 8, 2011, CC-BY-SA 3.0)

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Centre of the ceiling of Inner Dome Dhamma Hall of Global Pagoda. The Dhamma Wheel marks the spot where the Sammasambuddha Gotama's bone relics are preserved

(Photograph by Joe Ravi, January 8, 2011, CC-BY-SA 3.0)
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For More Photographs of the Global Vipassana Pagoda :
http://globalpagoda.blogspot.com/2011/02/global-pagoda-recent-photographs.html

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Jun 10, 2011

The Beneficial power of Anicca

by Sayagyi U Ba Khin

(This year marks the fortieth anniversary of the passing away of Sayagyi U Ba Khin. He died on 19 January 1971. The Global Vipassana Pagoda was built as one of the three Dhamma projects to commemorate the birth centenary year of Sayagyi U Ba Khin in 1999. (*1)

Sayagyi U Ba Khin's following discourse in English was particularly for his Western students. After his death, the discourse was published under the title "T
he Essentials Of Buddha Dhamma In Meditative Practice, by Sayagyi U Ba Khin". The following is an excerpt published by the Vipassana Research Institute:

Let me now deal with Vipassana meditation from the point of view of a householder in everyday life and explain the benefit one can derive from it-here and now-in this very lifetime.

The initial object of Vipassana meditation is to activate the experience of anicca in oneself [the wisdom of impermanence that a Vipassana practitioner experiences in the arising and passing of bodily sensations] and eventually to reach a state of inner and outer calmness and balance. This is achieved when one becomes engrossed in the feeling of anicca within.

The world is now facing serious problems, which threaten all mankind. It is just the right time for everyone to take to Vipassana meditation and learn how to find a deep pool of quiet in the midst of all that is happening today.

Anicca is inside of everybody. It is within reach of everybody. Just a look into oneself and there it is-anicca to be experienced. When one can feel anicca, when one can experience anicca, and when one can become engrossed in anicca, one can at will cut oneself off from the world of ideation outside. Anicca is, for the householder, the gem of life, which he will treasure to create a reservoir of calm and balanced energy for his own well-being and for the welfare of society.

The experience of anicca, when properly developed, strikes at the root of one's physical and mental ills and removes gradually whatever is bad in him, i.e., the causes of such physical and mental ills.

This experience is not reserved for men who have renounced the world for the homeless life. It is for the householder as well.

In spite of drawbacks which make a householder restless in these days, a competent teacher or guide can help a student to get the experience of anicca activated in a comparatively short time.

Once he has got anicca activated within, all that is necessary is for him to try to preserve it; but he must make it a point, as soon as time or opportunity presents itself for further progress, to work for the stage of bhaṇgañāṇa (knowledge of bhaṇga)-the third level of knowledge in Vipassana. If one reaches this level, there will be little or no problem because he should then be able to experience anicca without much ado and almost automatically. In this case anicca will become his base, to which all his physical and mental activities return as soon as the domestic needs of daily life for such activities are over.

However, there is likely to be some difficulty for one who has not reached the stage of bhaṇga. This will be just like a tug-of-war for him between anicca within, and physical and mental activities outside. So it would be wise for him to follow the motto of "Work while you work, play while you play." There is no need for him to be activating the experience of anicca all the time. It should suffice if this could be confined to a regular period, or periods, set apart in the day or night for the purpose. During this time, at least, an attempt must be made to keep the attention focused inside the body, with awareness devoted exclusively to anicca.

That is to say, the awareness of anicca should go on, from moment to moment, so continuously as not to allow for the interpolation of any discursive or distracting thoughts, which are definitely detrimental to progress.

In case this is not possible, he will have to go back to respiration-mindfulness, because
samādhi is the key to the contemplation of anicca. To get good samādhi, sīla (morality) has to be perfect, since samādhi is built upon sīla. For a good experience of anicca, samādhi must e good. If samādhi is excellent, awareness of anicca will also become excellent.

There is no special technique for activating the experience of anicca other than the use of the mind adjusted to a perfect state of balance, and attention projected upon the object of meditation. In Vipassana the object of meditation is anicca, and therefore in the case of those used to focusing their attention on bodily feelings, they can feel anicca directly. In experiencing anicca in relation to the body, it should first be in the area where one can easily get his attention engrossed, changing the area of attention from place to place, from head to feet and from feet to head, at times probing into the interior. At this stage, it must clearly be understood that no attention is to be paid to the anatomy of the body, but to the formations of matter-the kalāpas-and the nature of their constant change.

If these instructions are observed, there will surely be progress, but the progress depends also one's pāramī [the disposition for Dhamma development from the accumulation of merits of good deeds in the present and past] and devotion of the individual to the work of meditation. If he attains high levels of knowledge, his power to understand the three characteristics of anicca [impermanence], dukkha [suffering] and anattā [no 'I' of egolessness] will increase and he will accordingly come nearer and nearer to the goal of the ariya or noble saint-which every householder should keep in view.

This is the age of science. Man of today has no utopia. He will not accept anything unless the results are good, concrete, vivid, personal, and here-and-now. When the Buddha was alive, he said to the people of Kāḷāma: "Now look, you Kāḷāmas. Be not misled by report or tradition or hearsay. Be not misled by proficiency in the scriptural collections, or by reasoning or logic, or reflection on and approval of some theory, or because some view conforms with one's inclinations, or out of respect for the prestige of a teacher. But when you know for yourselves: these things are unwholesome, these things are blameworthy, these things are censured by the wise; these things, when practiced and observed, are conducive to loss and sorrow-then do you reject them. But if at any time you know for yourselves: these things are wholesome, these things are blameless, these things are praised by the wise; these things, when practiced and observed, are conducive to welfare and happiness-then, Kāḷāmas, do y, having practiced them, abide."

The time-clock of Vipassana has now struck-that is, for the revival of Buddha-Dhamma Vipassana in practice. We have no doubt whatsoever that definite results would accrue to those who would with an open mind sincerely undergo a course of training under a competent teacher-I mean results which will be accepted as good, concrete, vivid, personal, here-and-now-results which will keep them in good stead and in a state of well-being and happiness for the rest of their lives.

May all beings be happy and may peace prevail in the world.
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(*1) The other two Dhamma projects are Dhamma Tapovana Vipassana centre for long courses and Sayagyi U Ba Khin Vipassana Village, a private residential facility for Vipassana students. Both are adjacent to Dhamma Giri, Igatpuri, near Mumbai, India.

For original article
The Essentials Of Buddha Dhamma In Meditative Practice, by Sayagyi U Ba Khin
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* How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India

* 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)

Jun 1, 2011

How to reach Global Vipassana Pagoda, Mumbai, India

Everyone is welcome to visit the Global Vipassana Pagoda.
Visiting the Global Pagoda is free of charge. There is no entry fee.
Timings: 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
(The last ferry leaves Gorai jetty to the Global Pagoda at 5.25 pm)

* Vipassana students - those who have taken one or more 10-day Vipassana courses as taught by Sayagyi U S.N.Goenka - are permitted to meditate inside the main dome Dhamma Hall of the Global Pagoda.

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. The Global Pagoda is adjacent to Esselworld Park.

Reaching Global Vipassana Pagoda by Road from Mumbai City / Domestic Airport / International Airport / Railway Stations in Mumbai
  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 statue of Shivaji Maharaj 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.
Hiring a car for airport pick-up to Global Vipassana Pagoda:
Private taxis and vehicles can also be hired from many car rentals in Mumbai, besides the airport pre-paid taxi service. 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. As of February 2011, Mr Maniyar charges Rs 800 ( approx US $17, 13 Euros) for airport pickup to Global Pagoda (inclusive of road taxes). From Mumbai airport to Dhamma Giri Vipassana centre, Igatpuri, he charges Rs 2,550 (approx US $56).

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 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 signs guiding to take you to Global Pagoda (which anyway is too big to be missed !).
The Dhamma Pattana Vipassana Centre is less than five minutes walking distance from the Esselworld Jetty gate.

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)