“For real happiness, for real lasting stable happiness, one has to make a journey deep within oneself and see that one gets rid of all the unhappiness and misery stored in the deeper levels of the mind.”—SN Goenka
Today my meditation teacher passed away. I started practicing Vipassana in the tradition of SN Goenka in 1996. This practice changed my life. I sat that very first course in Kathmandu, Nepal with my now husband, then monk, Yoon.
The first course was so hard for me, I did not think I could continue, but year after year, I returned to sit a 10-day silent course and even sat longer courses. I signed up last month to sit a 10-day course over Christmas in North Fork, CA. That's where I'll be on Christmas and it feels right, especially since my lovely teacher just passed.
I had the privilege of meeting SN Goenka when he was doing a North American tour in 2002. That was a very long time ago. I went to Canada with my best friend Lena and sat with many people for a one-day course. I was able to talk and ask him a question. I don't quite remember the question, but the answer was "to keep on practicing."
In 2007, I traveled to India for the Teacher's Self Course with my husband and once again had a chance to sit with my teacher.
I am so grateful for all the metta (loving kindness) he shared with so many people. I'm so grateful that I found meditation and was and am still able to practice it.
I've written many posts here about Vipassana meditation and the benefits. Here's one post I wrote after my return from a long course of 45-days which will give you an idea of the practice.
In my book, Lessons from the Monk I Married, I thanked SN Goenka for teaching me meditation.
Right now I feel like sitting down on my meditation cushion. I feel like that is the best offering I can give this wonderful man at this moment.