S. N. Goenka: Notes – Day 1 Discourse
You will get the best results of your stay here, the better you work. You must work.
The art of living is missing. This will teach you the art of living.
Someone goes to the other bank of the river and comes back and says, it’s so nice.
One sits crying, craving, calling, “Other bank of the river, come to me. I want to see you.” Whole life spent crying, and it doesn’t work. One has to swim across the river to reach the other bank. So simple.
The breath is a bridge that will bring you to the other bank of the river.
A wonderful tool… Bare breath, nothing but breath.
Like someone is used to riding a black horse. Another comes with a nice white horse, and says, “Try this horse.” He says, “Okay, I will, but I will keep one foot on my black horse and one foot on the white horse.” Similarly, more dangerous, is putting one foot in one boat and another in another boat. More dangerous is mixing the techniques.
Counting, repeating a word, helps the mind get concentrated, but don’t miss breath. Breath was a very helpful tool to go to the depths.
Know thyself, not only at the intellectual level.
They became saintly people because they knew themselves. Know thyself, not only at the intellectual level.
And not because Buddha says so, or another says so.
Their truth is not your truth.
You must walk on the path. Each moment, with your reality.
What does one know about the body?
One may have read books on anatomy, but you don’t know it experientially.
Oh, so there are things on my body that I am not aware of…
Ignorance. You don’t know what is happening deep inside. Knotted from the habit patterns of the mind.
You start reaction.
The body starts reacting. I don’t like it.
The mind starts reacting. I don’t like it.
This I. Who is this I? This corporeal, physical structure? This flickering, fleeting mind? The combination of the two? So much attachment to this I. When there is attachment, there is bound to be misery.
Involuntary action and voluntary action.
Can you say to your heart, stop beating, or slow down, or speed up? No.
Your breath, you can stop it for a short amount of time. You can take a deep breath intentionally, or a soft breath intentionally. When you don’t give it any orders, it continues to come in and go out.
The mind can only go to two places.
The past and the future.
Oh, so that is why I am so miserable. I do not want to live in the present. So tangled, deep inside.
And it has only two qualities. Pleasant or unpleasant. Oh, this happened, and it feels wonderful. This should happen again and again. Craving. Clinging.
Unpleasant. Something happened and I don’t like it. Aversion, hatred.
The whole technique is just be aware. Just be aware. Do nothing. Just be aware.
As it is.
If you are tired, lie down for 5 minutes, aware of breath. No more. You are here to remain awake, every moment. Every moment is so precious.
When someone says something that is wholesome – good for oneself and good for others, you can say, “Sadhu.”
“Well said, I agree.”
Each one of you will realize how mad you are.
You have no sequence of thought. What else is madness?