Goenka Vipassana: Day 1

48/72 minutes transcribed

Table of Contents

How the technique wants you to work

The first day is over. You have nine more left to work—to work very hard. To get the best result of your stay here, you have to work very hard—diligently, ardently, patiently; but persistently, continuously. It is your own hard work which will give you the best fruits of your stay here. Nothing else—your own hard work. From morning, four/four-thirty to night, nine/nine-thirty, you have to keep on working very diligently, continuously.

Of course every evening, from one to one and a half hours, there will be these dhamma talks. And understand they are not for any kind of intellectual entertainment. They are just for you to understand the technique—what it is, how you have to work. Without understanding the technique, although you may work very hard, very diligently, you may not work properly. And if you don’t work properly, you can’t expect the results, the good results, that everyone gets by practicing this technique. So these evening talks are to understand how this technique wants you to work, and then work accordingly.

Awareness of natural breath

You have started your work observing respiration: the incoming breath, the outgoing breath, as it comes in naturally, as it goes out naturally. This is not a breathing exercise. You are not supposed to control your breath, not supposed to regulate your breath. This is not the practice of what is called pranayama where it is necessary to regulate the breath. Different techniques have different peculiarities, specialities. We are not here to condemn other techniques, but while you are here give a fair trial to this technique. You are here to give full justice to this technique. You must understand the speciality of this technique, the peculiarity of this technique, and adhere to this peculiarity and work exactly as this technique wants you to work.

Don’t try to regulate your breath, natural breath. If it is deep, you are aware, it is deep. If it is shallow, you are aware, it is shallow. If it passes through the left nostril, you are aware: It is passing through the left nostril. If it passes through the right nostril, you are just aware: It is passing through the right nostril. If it is passing through both the nostrils simultaneously, you are just aware: Passing through both the nostrils simultaneously. And so on.

Don’t interfere with the natural flow of the breath. Let nature play its own role. And your role is: just observe. Just observe the reality as it is, not as you would like it to be, but as it is. This is the speciality of this technique. You start by observing the breath as it is: pure breath, bare breath, nothing else but breath.

The reason of your discomfort

I know with the experience of thousands of students who come to the courses that the first day is a difficult day. Some complain about pains in the leg or ache in the back or headache or this discomfort or that discomfort. Natural. One basic reason is that your body and your mind, both, have become prisoners of their own habit pattern of life. Now you are doing something to which they’re not accustomed. So they start resenting, they start revolting. The body starts revolting: I don’t like it. The mind starts revolting: I don’t like it. So you feel very uncomfortable. Natural. But that is one reason, a minor reason.

The major reason of your discomfort is this technique itself. Because you have started working exactly as this technique wants you to work, these difficulties, discomforts, inconveniences have started manifesting themselves. Because you have started observing natural breath, normal breath, bare breath, nothing but breath.

Observe breath with no verbalization or visualization

There are many techniques where along with the awareness of the breath, you are asked to recite any word mentally—recite a word, a mantra, a phrase, keep on repeating it mentally, keep on repeating it mentally. Mental verbalization.

It helps. I know with my own experience—because I have passed through that process and I also heard from many others who have this experience and therefore I accept it—that if you add some word and start repeating it, any word, along with the awareness of breath, your mind calms down easily, it gets concentrated easily.

Similarly, there are techniques where along with the awareness of the breath one is asked to visualize, imagine, a shape, a form. A shape or form of this god or that goddess, founder of this religion or that religion, in whom you have great, deep respect and devotion. You keep on imagining that shape, that form—and again you will find your mind is getting concentrated, concentrated easily; your discomforts are passing away, passing away; mind is quietening, becomes more and more tranquil, gets more and more concentrated.

Knowing this with my own experience and also the experience of so many others and yet I say: don’t use any verbalization, don’t use any visualization. Just observe the breath, bare breath, nothing but breath.

Samatha is not the final goal

Why? There must be some valid reason for that. And there are valid reasons. To understand that, first it should be clear as to what is the goal of this technique of meditation. What is the aim?

If the aim of the meditation was to get the mind concentrated, to calm down the chattering mind, well certainly one must use some kind of verbalization or some kind of visualization or imagination. Nothing wrong.

But so far as this technique is concerned, concentration of the mind, quietening the mind, is just an aid, a means. This is not the final goal. The final goal is to purify the mind—and purify the mind not just at the surface level, but purify the mind at the deepest level, the root level. To change the behavior pattern of the mind, the present behavior pattern, which keeps on remaining agitated, agitated all the time.

Accumulation of character armor

Something unwanted happens in the life—and they keep on happening—one starts tying knots, starts building up tensions, starts generating negativities. Something wanted doesn’t happen in life—some obstacle has come—and again one starts tying knots, building up tensions, starts generating negativities, anger, hatred, ill will, animosity, etc. etc. Tying knots, tying knots all the time. One has become a bundle of knots, Gordian knots. So tense. The entire physical structure, so tense. The entire mental structure, so tense. At times at the surface level, you try to relax—try to relax your body, try to relax your mind. It is helpful, but you never know that at the depth level, there’s a constant tension going on, constant agitation going on. Because constant tying of knots is going on, constant generating of negativity is going on, that makes one so miserable, so miserable.

This technique will help you

How to come out of this misery? This technique will help you—to go to the depth of the reality of your mind and matter structure and realize the truth about it. And understand at the experiential level how and where you have started generating negativity, how and where you have started multiplying the negativity. That means you have started generating your misery and started multiplying your misery. You must go to the source of your misery, then only it will become possible for you to come out of this habit pattern where out of ignorance you don’t want to remain miserable, you don’t want to multiply your misery, and yet you remain miserable, and yet you keep on multiplying your misery, because you are ignorant of what is happening deep inside. You don’t know! This technique will help you.

Experiential vs intellectual knowing

All the saints and sages and seers of the past have said, “Know thy self! Know thy self!” They became saints because they knew themselves. They passed through the process of exploring the truth about oneself.

Know thyself not merely at the intellectual level, that won’t help. Know thyself at the actual level. That means the experiential level.

What is this to which I say “I,” “I,” “I”?

This corporeal, physical, bodily structure?

This mental structure?

The combination of the two?

Is this “I”?

Tremendous amount of attachment towards this physical structure, the mental structure, by identifying oneself with it as “I,” “I.” And the resultant misery. When you identify yourself with the matter and the mind, and you develop attachment towards it, you start becoming tense, you start tying knots, and the misery starts. To accept it merely at the intellectual level or even to accept it at the devotional level, because an enlightened person has said so, doesn’t work.

At the actual level! You have to explore the truth—the reality—of your entire being. The mind. The matter. From the surface level—the apparent, grossest level—going deeper, deeper, deeper, subtler, subtler, subtler, subtlest level. This technique will help you to explore the truth of the entire field of matter, to explore the truth of the entire field of mind, at the experiential level.

Breath is the ultimate experiential level object-of-investigation

If someone wants to realize the truth at the experiential level one has to work within the framework of the body not outside. So the technique will help you to explore the reality within the framework of your own body. And respiration, the breath, will be a very important tool for you.

Pure breath, bare breath, as it is.

God-forms and -names are not universal

One reason why we do not want you to have any verbalization or visualization (of course a minor reason, but still an important reason) is that when you verbalize you generally use a name, name of this god or that god, this goddess or that goddess, founder of this religion or that religion—and then you get involved in a particular religion, in a particular sect. And the technique wants you to work at the level of universal truth.

The entire technique is free from sectarianism. Universal! If you use a vision, an imaginary vision, a shape, a form—of this god that goddess, founder of this religion, that religion—again, you get involved with a particular organized religion, a sect. Everyone cannot practice. Those belonging to that particular sect will practice that way, [but] it won’t be universal.

Understand: our misery is universal. The malady is universal. When someone generates negativity, anger, or hatred, or ill will; passion, fear, ego; any negativity—one becomes tense, becomes miserable. This applies to everyone. When you generate anger, what label can you give to this anger [so] that now this anger which has arisen is a “Christian anger” or this is a “Jewish anger” or a “Hindu anger” or a “Buddhist anger” or an “American anger” or an “English anger” or a “Russian anger?” Anger is anger!

And the misery that one experiences because of this negativity, again you can’t label it a “Hindu misery” or a “Muslim misery” or a “Christian misery” or a “Jewish misery.” Misery is misery. Universal! The malady is universal. The remedy has to be universal. Sectarian remedy cannot help.

Present-moment presence (truth) is universal

Therefore one very important requisite of this technique is that every step that you take on this path from the beginning until you reach the final goal, every step must be with the truth, the truth, the truth. The truth that you experience. The truth that you experience at this moment. Like this from moment to moment, from moment to moment. Whatever truth manifests itself within the framework of your body—the truth pertaining to this physical structure, the mental structure—you just keep on observing, observing, observing. This is universal! Same with everyone! Until you reach the final goal.

Don’t mix up with any belief or dogma or cult or philosophy of this tradition or that tradition, however correct they may be, however true they may be. The reality that you have not experienced is no reality for you. The reality experienced by an enlightened person the Buddha, or say a Christ, or say a Mohammed—is the reality for those people, not for you. When you reach the stage and realize for yourself it becomes a reality for you, not ’til then.

Buddha Tech: Dissecting real experiential presence

So work with the reality that you experience, directly, within the framework of your body, from moment to moment, from moment to moment. The breath that you are experiencing from moment to moment. Breathing in: this is the reality of this moment. Breathing out: reality of this moment. If it is deep, it is deep. [If] it is shallow, it is shallow. Then it is a universal object, not a sectarian object.

You can’t say the breath that is coming in is a “Hindu breath” or a “Christian breath” or an “American breath” or a “Russian breath.” [Just] breath—breath coming in, breath going out. The object is universal truth.

Gross, subtle, subtler, subtlest, nirvana

If you keep on working with universal truths, the technique is such [that] it will keep on taking you from very solidified, intensified, apparent truth of the surface level. And you will find how day to day, as you are here for ten days, day to day—piercingly, penetratingly, piercingly, penetratingly, dividing, dissecting, disintegrating, dissolving—you are moving towards subtler reality, subtler reality. Day to day you will be moving from the gross, to the subtle, the subtler, the subtler. And certainly this technique will take you to the stage where you experience the subtlest truth. The subtlest truth pertaining to the matter—at the experiential level. The subtlest truth pertaining to the mind—at the experiential level. The subtlest truth pertaining to the mental contents—at your experience level.

And then a time will come when you will explore the entire field of mind and matter, [and] you will be able to transcend that field. And experience something which is beyond mind and matter.

No words can explain what it is.

It has to be witnessed, to be experienced.

The ultimate truth.

And the whole process is a process which will make you realize the truth about your own self. Know thyself! The process of knowing yourself becomes a process of knowing the law, the nature, the universal law of nature. Then you start understanding the universal law of nature as you experience the truth within yourself.

The universal law which governs the entire universe—animate, inanimate—which is applicable to everyone, everything. That becomes so clear.

Universal law: punishment is just mechanics

This universal law punishes us as soon as you break the law. Anyone who breaks the law is punished then and there. And when we start living in line with the law as the law wants us to live, this very law starts rewarding us.

This will become so clear.

Present-tethered awareness lets you see to the bottom

Exploring the truth about yourself, the physical truth, the mental truth, the combination of the two, the interaction going on every moment. When you keep on observing it, observing it—as this technique wants you to observe properly without mixing up anything—everything will become so clear.

The nature will start revealing itself. The entire law will start revealing itself. The truth of the world, the universe will become so clear. The law of the universe will become so clear.

And then it will become so easy to live in line with this law, as the law wants us to live. And the life will be full of happiness, peace, harmony. Not just at the surface level of the mind, the entire being—mind and matter, the combination of the two—will be full of peace, harmony, happiness. This is the goal of this technique. Not that in ten days you will reach the final goal, but within ten days you will grasp the technique how to work, how to work to explore the reality within yourself—moving step by step, step by step, always from the gross reality towards the subtler, subtler, subtler.

To see deeply—be passively alert and stop positing

Without mixing anything else with it. The truth as you experience—from moment to moment, from moment to moment. And for this, to start with the breath is a very important tool.

If you mix up some verbalization with it or visualization with it, as I said, the concentration will become very easy. True. But as your mind gets concentrated with the verbalization with the visualization, you forget all about the breath. Your mind gets concentrated, you start experiencing peace at the surface level of the mind, [but] then the whole process of exploring the truth pertaining to your self from the surface to the depth is lost. Because the tool is lost! Pure breath, bare breath, was an important tool, with the help of which you could have gone much deeper.

Therefore don’t miss this tool, at least at this stage. Later on you will get some more tools which will help you to go deeper. Now, breath is very important for you. Bare breath, pure breath.

Knowledge via maps

Like you want to explore the truth about your body. What one knows about one’s body? One may have read books on physiology or anatomy and might have seen charts, this or that. That doesn’t mean that you know. You don’t know at the experiential level. It is just an intellectual game.

Knowledge via voluntary muscle control

At the experiential level, you know so little about your body. You know something about the external organs, the limbs the eyes, etc. How they work, how they function. They work according to your wishes, according to your desires, according to your commands. If you want your eyes to get open, it opens up. Closed, closed. Your hands raised. Your leg move. Whatever wish you have, according to that, these limbs, these organs, outside, they start working.

99% of selfing is unintentional

But how about organs inside? The heart, the lungs, kidney, liver, etc. They don’t work according to your wishes, your desires, your command.

If you give a command to your heart, “Stop beating,” it won’t stop. If you say, “Slow down,” it won’t slow down. If you want it to become fast, it won’t become fast. You have no command over it. You have no control over it.

What to talk of these big organs inside! The entire material structure the physical structure the corporeal structure is made up of tiny little atoms, subatomic particles. And every particle has some activity or the other, every moment something is happening there. You are not knowing because you are not experienced. This technique will help you to experience that. But, you have no control over that. It is just happening, naturally.

Oh, so you not know something about this physical structure at the surface level, at the external level, where things happen intentionally as well as unintentionally. But you know nothing about things which are happening inside unintentionally. They’re just happening. You have no control over them.

“Oh other bank, please come here!”

The enlightened one found a tool with the help of which you start experiencing the reality within the framework of the body. Inside—what’s happening. This tool [is] the breath.

Like someone living on this bank of the river more or less knows about the reality of this bank of the river because this person has lived there or is living there. Someone else crosses the river and goes to the other bank of the river and returns. And speaks very highly of the other bank, “Oh wonderful, wonderful!” And one feels like enjoying it, witnessing it. But one sits at this bank of the river—with folded hands, moist eyes, choking voice. Starts praying, craving, crying,

Oh other bank, please come here! Oh other bank, please come here, I want to witness you! I want to enjoy you! I won’t come there. You come here.

Whole life this person may keep on crying. It doesn’t happen, can’t happen. The only way for someone to witness the truth of the other bank is to leave this bank, cross the river, and reach the other bank. So simple.

Breath is a bridge between intentional and unintentional

You require a bridge, which connects this bank with the other bank, with the help of which you can enjoy and witness the other bank. This breath works like a bridge. This known field of your physical structure, the breath, connects the known field of this physical structure to the unknown field, where things are happening just naturally.

It connects them. This is one activity of the body which works both ways. Intentionally, as well as unintentionally. You want to have an intentional breath, a deep breath? Yes, you can have it. You want to have a shallow breath? You can have it. Even if you want to stop breathing, maybe just for half a minute, you can stop breathing. You don’t give any orders or command to the breath. Naturally, it will be coming in, going out, coming in, going out.

So it works both ways. That is why you make use of the breath. And with the help of the breath, you go to the other shore, the other bank of the reality of this physical structure.

Breath awareness lets you seep into the unintentional

And this is what you’ve started doing. During these ten days, many more realities pertaining to your physical structure will manifest themselves. Accept them only when you experience—not because of these discourses, not because your teacher says so, not because any particular scripture says so, not because a scientist says so, not because the enlightened one Buddha says so. Your own experience. With your own experience—moment to moment, moment to moment—the breath will help you.

Breath also indicates mental state

And very soon, you will start understanding that the breath also helps you, to explore the mental field.

And easily it will look [like] the breath is a physical function—coming in, going out. But very soon you start realizing it has got so much to do with the mind. And it has got so much to do with the mental impurities, the defilements, the negativities. As you practice, you will start realizing that when your mind starts rolling in any negativity—anger, hatred, ill will, animosity, passion, fear, anything—the respiration, the breath, loses its normality. It is no more normal. It becomes slightly hard. It becomes slightly fast. And when that particular negativity has passed away, you find the breath has again become normal.

Your breath is strongly related to your mind also, and the mental negativities also. It will become clearer and clearer. And you are here to go to the source of your problem, your day-to-day problem—that means the origin of your negativities. This breath will help you at the mental level to go to the depth of your problem where the negativity arises. It will help you to explore the reality about your mind also.

Reducing scope of physical awareness transitions it to the mind

At the material level you will just observing the whole way the breath coming in, the breath going out. Coming in, going out. Passing through left nostril, passing through right nostril, passing through both the nostrils. Deep, shallow, whatever it is—you’re observing it. That was your observing the truth about the physical structure.

Tonight, tomorrow whole day, you will start experiencing the truth about the physical structure at a little subtler level, deeper level. It is there all the time, but you never experienced it. Now you will start experiencing it. Understand the exploration at this stage is just small area. You have to explore the reality within this limited area, with the base of the upper lip covering the entire area of the nostrils. You are keeping your attention at the entrance of the nostrils and the passages inside the nostrils. The breath passes over this area and you are aware of it.

Now within this limited area, see if the area is smaller, you will notice that because you are working on a smaller area your mind is becoming sharper and sharper, subtler and subtler, sharper and sharper. More and more sensitive. Starts feeling subtler realities. If you have bigger area to work upon, the mind does not become sharp so easily. That is why the enlightened one wanted you to work on a small area. After one or two days, you will narrow down this area also. Narrower the area of your awareness, sharper the mind is bound to become. Mind becomes sharper and sharper, to feel subtler realities.

Tonight and tomorrow you will start feeling—you might have started feeling even today—you will start feeling the touch of the breath. Touch of the incoming breath, touch of the outgoing breath. Anywhere within this limited area. Not necessary it should touch everywhere. Anywhere on the inner walls of the nostrils, or maybe on the outer rings of the nostrils, or maybe on the area below the nostrils above the upper lip. Within this limited area anywhere you feel the touch: you are just aware. Do nothing.

The whole technique is just be aware, just be aware. If you feel a touch, you are aware, “There’s a touch.” If you don’t feel, you don’t feel. You’re just aware the breath coming in going out. But give importance to the touch.

And then you will notice day after tomorrow, you have started feeling still subtler reality, and the day after still subtler reality, like this you will move from the gross reality, to the subtle reality, the subtler, the subtler, the subtlest. Pertaining to this corporeal body. And so also pertaining to the mind.

The wandering mind

Today nobody told you to observe your mind, but unintentionally you started observing your mind. You will notice what kind of mind I am carrying. You are asked to observe your respiration. You observe hardly two respiration and gone—this mind is gone somewhere!

And after a long time you realize, “Oh! Where it is gone? I was here to observe my breath!”—and again you bring it. Again after one or two breaths, gone somewhere.

Again you realize and bring it back. And not only that, when you find this mind wandering again and again, a flickering mind, you feel so agitated.

What kind of mind I am carrying! It cannot work this ordinary work just to observe. It has nothing to do—respiration is there!

It’s not a breathing exercise that you get fatigued because of that. It is there! And your job is just to observe. It’s just happening—you’re sitting on the bank of the river, the river is flowing. What you have to do?

And still, it cannot do even this easy job. You feel very frustrated. You generate agitation, irritation. Oh, no, no—then you are going against the technique.

This is your old habit pattern of the mind: that when something unwanted happens, you react. You react with irritation, with agitation, with negativity and this is what you have started doing.

Now you want the mind to get concentrated—and look it is not concentrated, so you start reacting. Oh, no, no, no. The technique wants you [to] just accept the fact: “Mind has wandered away. At this moment the mind has wandered away.” Smilingly accept it, “Wandered away. So what? The breath is still there. I come back to breath.”

Come back to breath. Again it wanders away. Again come back to breath.

Very soon you will realize that as soon as you accept the fact the mind has wandered away, you won’t have to pull it back to the breath, it just comes. It will come automatically. You just accept the fact, “Mind has wandered away”—enough. It will come back to the breath.

So you started observing your mind, the nature of your mind, it keeps on wandering. What a fleeting mind, a flickering mind, a wandering mind.

Past and future: zones of ignorance

Another reality: where does it wander? Oh, so many objects! You can’t keep a diary. You’re not allowed to keep a diary here, but even if you were allowed, not possible for anyone to keep a diary where it wandered.

Every moment, it is somewhere in the sky, or somewhere in another world altogether. You can’t keep a diary. But still, carefully, if you notice, you will find there are only two fields, only two fields for this mind to wander: The field of the past memories, the field of the future.

A memory will arise in your mind, this memory or that memory. At this moment, this memory. Later on, maybe some other memory. But some memory.

It so happened it so happened. Oh! So-and-so insulted me in the past. So-and-so abused me. At that time I didn’t know what to do. Now this fellow insults me—I will retort like this! I will reply like this! I will do like …

And start rolling in future. And you keep on rolling in future, rolling in future. Again, suddenly a thought of the past comes. And you start rolling in the past. Again, you jump to the future. And you keep rolling in the future, …

Ah! This is the habit pattern of my mind. It keeps on rolling in the past or rolling in the future. It does not want to live in the present. Does not want to live in the present.

And one has to live in the present. How can you live in the past? The past is gone forever. You cannot buy back the moment that has gone away. You cannot buy back it and relive giving all the dollars of the world. Impossible. It is gone forever. And future is future! Unless it becomes present, you can’t live. You have to live in the present.

And look what sort of mind which does not want to live in present. Oh! That is the reason why it remains so agitated. It does not know the art of living. And the whole technique teaches you the art of living—how to live in the present moment. Even a few moments you get, when you are with the respiration. This is the moment, the reality of this moment. The breath coming in, the breath going out. And all other moments when you were rolling in the past or in the future, was the result of the habit pattern of the mind.

Craving and aversion: motives of ignorance

Another reality will become clearer and clearer. While it wanders in the past, it wanders in the future. What kind of thoughts? Again—two kinds of thoughts. Two patterns: pleasant, unpleasant.

When it rolls in the past memories, the memory may be pleasant memory or unpleasant memory. When it rolls in future, the thought of the future may be pleasant or unpleasant. So either it is pleasant, or it is unpleasant. And you will notice that when it has started rolling in something pleasant, of the past or of the future, then a part of the mind has started reacting,

Ah, I like it! Ah, wonderful! This should happen again and again! Oh, wonderful, wonderful!

This liking, liking. It turns into craving, craving. And it turns into clinging, clinging. And you don’t know how you’ve lost the balance of your mind. You have become unbalanced, you have become miserable, because you have started craving, you have started clinging. Similarly, when the mind starts rolling in a thought, unpleasant, of past or future, you will notice a part of the mind will start reacting,

I don’t like it! I don’t like it!

And this “Don’t like it! Don’t like it!” very soon turns into aversion, hatred. And again you notice you have lost the balance of your mind. You have become very agitated.

Ah! This is the present behavior patterns of my mind. It keeps on reacting with craving, clinging, aversion, hatred—which in the language of the days of Buddha was raga. And dvesha, aversion.

So all the time: craving, aversion, craving, aversion. Therefore, all the time agitated.

Madness: no awareness of motive, no sequence of thought

Why this craving? Why this aversion? Because one does not know what is happening deep inside. The surface level of the mind remains busy with the outside objects. And one does now know the depth of the mind, where craving arises, where aversion arises, where agitation arises, where misery arises. This is what is called ignorance, moha.

And also, moha, ignorance. The mind is so ignorant. At times you will notice how ignorant the mind is. A thought arises in the mind—past or future, doesn’t matter; pleasant or unpleasant, doesn’t matter—a thought has arisen in the mind. And before even one sentence is over, some other thought has started. And before on sentence is over, some other thought has started. Irrelevant thoughts. There is no sequence of thoughts.

And this is madness. What else madness can be? When he says somebody [is an] insane person [or] a mad person, this person is mad this person is insane because this person has no sequence of thoughts.

An example. An insane person, hungry from last four days, you feel compassionate, you offer him a plate full of food. Very happy, he sits down because he’s hungry. He takes just one morsel of the food and before this morsel reaches the mouth, his thought pattern has changed. Now he starts thinking,

I am in a bathroom, I am taking bath, and this is a soap cake.

He starts rubbing it on his body.

And before that is over, another thought starts coming,

This person who has come is my enemy. And he has come to kill me. And before he kills me, I should kill him. And how to kill him? Oh, these are the hand grenades! I throw and he will be dead!

He throws away whole food.

This is a mad person, insane person. He has got no sequence of thought.

Everyone will realize how insane one is. You have no sequence of thoughts. One thing starts and then suddenly something else will start and then suddenly something else will start. Madness. And this is called moha, ignorance. One ignorance is that you don’t know what is happening. One ignorance is that there is no sequence of your thought.

Goal: real happiness

Well, even if there’s a sequence of thought, you don’t know how you’re generating negativity in your mind and how you’re generating misery. This will become clearer and clearer at the experiential level as you go deeper, as you go deeper. The interaction of the mind and the matter will become clearer, clearer, clearer. And you have to work for that. Work in the way that this technique wants you to work. Then the work will become easy.

Not to condemn any other technique, whatever you were practicing in the past, don’t condemn it. You were involved in rites or rituals, religious ceremonies—don’t condemn. But for these ten days you have come here to give a fair trial of this technique, to get best result of your ten day [investment].

To give ten days of the life—for a householder—is not easy. Multi responsibility of the householder. And to leave all that aside and then just come here to explore what is this breath, what is this body, what is this mind … what’s the purpose? A very important purpose, which helps you—to learn the art of living. How to live peacefully and harmoniously. Peace and harmony within, and how to generate nothing but peace and harmony for others.

Now when you generate negativity, you become miserable. Everyone who generates negativity [is] bound to become miserable. And one does not keep this misery limited to oneself. When you generate negativity and become miserable you start throwing this misery on others. You make the entire atmosphere around you so tense. Anyone who comes in contact with you at that time becomes tense, becomes miserable.

This is not the proper way of life. The art of life is missing. And Vipassana will teach you art of life. A way of life, a proper way of life, a code of conduct. How to live peacefully, and harmoniously within. And how to generate nothing but peace and harmony for others. And that is possible only when you explore the truth of the nature—the nature, the present nature of your own mind and matter, the nature of the law of the universe. All that has to be experienced. Then you will find a change has started coming in you, a change for better. For which you have to work hard.

And for that there are certain important advices, some warnings for you. So that you make best use of your next nine days.