Category Archives: Personal Experiences

One-degree Warmer

“Did you sense the air you breathed out was one degree warmer than the air you breathed in?” On the 3rd day of a Vipassana mediation course, we focused on sensations of the tiny area between nostrils and upper lip. … Continue reading

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My Vipassana Catholicism

I come from a devout Catholic heritage and navigating my spiritual/religious identity over the years has been a rich and complex journey. One of the more interesting turns was my discovery a few years ago that my Vipassana meditation practice … Continue reading

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Effects of Music and Dance on Meditation

I went to a 5 Rhythms dance about 2 weeks after sitting a 10 day course.  The 5 rhythms is a free form dance style developed by Gabriel Roth which takes dancers through 5 distinct rhythms of flowing, staccato, chaos, … Continue reading

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“Don’t use your meditation practice to harm yourself, only use it to help yourself.”

Do you know about Dr. Paul Fleischman’s recent Old Student talks? The title of this blog post is a quote from one such talk, available for streaming audio or download by old students on the website pariyatti.org. You can link … Continue reading

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Success vs. Love

One reason I believe daily meditation is hard is because it’s not simply about setting aside time in your busy day to sit. It’s about actively shifting the way you live your life. For decades, most of us have been … Continue reading

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Vipasssana Mediation vs “USS Callister” Episode of Black Mirror

“USS Callister” is the 1st episode of the fourth season of the Netflix TV show Black Mirror which debuted on 29 December 2017. The episode follows Robert Daly, a reclusive but gifted programmer of a popular online game who is bitter … Continue reading

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Is This the Path?

When my practice starts to feel stale, or rote, or like a chore, it’s time to ask myself again—is this the path I want to walk? I need to dig deep and remind myself why my Vipassana meditation practice is … Continue reading

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Community Building Through Insight Timer

Insight Timer is a great free app used by over 3,000,000 meditators. The app supports many different traditions by giving access to many different teachers and their teachings. I use the app because it allows me to log my daily … Continue reading

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Wings of Desire-a Great Dhamma Movie

There’s a great Dhamma movie called Wings of Desire that I highly recommend, it came out in 1987.   After finishing Peace Corps Sri Lanka in 1996 and sitting and serving  in India and Nepal, I came back to Sri … Continue reading

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How Do We Live Loving Lives?

Since the first talk to my high school classes titled Are We Living Loving Lives? was well received, I gave a second talk that linked meditation to a life centered on truth and love. You can see the presentation slides here … Continue reading

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These books gave me insights to sign up for a 10-day Vipassana meditation

Solid evidences from neuroscience support that meditation not only reduces stress, but also changes the brain; i.e. meditators had more gray matter in the frontal cortex, which is associated with working memory and executive decision-making. According to Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist … Continue reading

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Re-establishing my daily practice

I am now several weeks into re-establishing my consistent practice of meditating 2 hours a day. Mostly, this was a personal decision motivated by my desire to re-center myself in Dhamma, but there is a bit of added motivation in … Continue reading

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My Humble Authentic Voice

Goenka’s stories and discourses are so good that for years I found myself using his language and sharing his stories in casual conversation as if they were my own. Vipassana was so novel and different from anything I had ever … Continue reading

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Away with snarkiness

I’ve been thinking about a comment on a blog I came across recently (okay, it’s Rivers Cuomo’s website…see my last post, lol :). Anyway, the comment was in response to a post by Cuomo about the benefits of Vipassana meditation … Continue reading

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A Missed Opportunity?

As the mindfulness movement grows, I wonder if the Goenka organization is missing an opportunity to lead. While focusing on preserving Goenka’s teachings and enforcing the 2 hour a day minimum, teachers from other traditions have shown that as little … Continue reading

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Weezer

I found myself Googling Rivers Cuomo, the Weezer guitarist, last night after a friend recently mentioned that he is a serious Goenka Vipassana meditator. I knew that at one point, but had forgotten. Let me just say that after visiting … Continue reading

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Love and Truth in My High School Classroom

With mass shootings and teen suicide on the rise, there is a need to discuss what is important in life, and what is not. Most of us are running around trying to accomplish short term goals not realizing that our … Continue reading

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Purpose in Life

I’m at a juncture in my life, re-evaluating my career direction. At a deeper level, I am really re-examining the question what is my fundamental purpose in life? The instinctive rote answer, the one I long ago arrived at, is … Continue reading

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People Can Change

Vipassana has a special message to share with the world; People can change. Youthful optimism transforms into frustration, stubbornness, and pessimism with age as individuals repeatedly run into the same barriers in their efforts to make the world a better … Continue reading

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I Believe

Dreams are a funny thing. When I believe my dreams are possible, I’m willing to sacrifice everything and work tirelessly to achieve them. When I submit to the struggles of life, I escape the difficulties through sensual pleasures and surrender … Continue reading

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Social Creatures

Meditating daily is great, but it’s not enough to be a healthy human being. SN Goenka made an amazing contribution to our planet by helping to spread the practice of Vipassana around the world, but after your 10-day course you’re … Continue reading

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Seeking Dhamma Wisdom

by Anonymous I’ve been around awhile – growing older and more comfortable with the process of living. I’m still unsure of exactly who I am but as I sit Vipassana courses I realize my uncertainties are less important than my … Continue reading

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Time with a Western Forest Monk in Sri Lanka

      I served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in a rural village near Tissamaharama in southeast Sri Lanka between 1994 and 1996. I feel fortunate to have been sent to a Buddhist country as that was my first … Continue reading

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Dhamma at Work

By Maria D’Souza I’m navigating some challenging circumstances at work, which I’ve been viewing very negatively. As a result of these circumstances, I’ve strengthened my meditation resolve and have returned to regular daily sitting recently. Such a difference it makes! … Continue reading

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Entrepreneurship as a Meditator

I practice acupuncture and while there are a few paid positions here and there, most practitioners run their own practices. I have run my practice for the past 9 years and have earned my living while supporting my two daughters. … Continue reading

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Balance

While meditating 2 hours a day for 6 years, I adopted some unhealthy patterns. I exercise less, spend less time developing relationships, go on less adventures, and I’m more passive when facing life’s challenges. By surrendering to dhamma, I surrendered … Continue reading

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Yoga as a Support for Sitting

I’ve practiced yoga for many years and have found it to be very complimentary to vipassana. I’m lucky to have a studio just 2 minutes away and have been pretty consistent this last year and a half. Goenkaji had talked … Continue reading

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Devika Patil

Introduction by Ryan Shelton: I met Devika through a mutual friend at Dhamma Delaware shortly after her first course. She started getting involved with dhamma service immediately and we became friends through our service together. It has been exciting to see … Continue reading

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Beyond Pleasure and Pain

Nibhana sounds awful. Why would I want to strive for a state beyond mind and matter? Isn’t that simply non existence? Why am I supposed to believe that this state is blissful? Couldn’t it just as easily be hellish? The … Continue reading

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What Happens at Death?

I was inspired to share this article written by Goenkaji which describes what happens at the time of death. Reading this always brings the reflection that we could die at any time (Maranasati) and is a reminder to pay attention … Continue reading

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