Tuesday, October 8, 2013

S N Goenka

Very saddened to hear today that S N Goenka passed away last week on September 29th, 2013

It was August 2005 when I did my first Vipassana 10 day course. I have never done one after that but have been invariably in touch with the practice.

I remember the 10 day course that I did, it was in Pune. I was at my sneezing best. And since I got in the course at the last moment, I got a bed in a large dormitory. It being rainy season, dampness was everywhere and life was pretty much hell.

Getting up at 0430 AM in the morning and cold shower. Meditation till late evening.
Every evening, I felt like running away. It was an overwhelming task even when I had come mentally prepared for it. Even when it was not allowed some people did talk to each other. I remember one such conversation. A man was talking about how this was his 3rd Vipassana. On the 1st camp that he attended he had jumped over the wall to escape.

Sitting crossed leg for so long was gruesome. I could not manage to sit up straight. I would have back aches 15 mins in to the practice. I understood the technique, but I could not make the best of it. It was impossible to maintain the equanimity. It was so easy to get jumpy.

But the technique I thought was awesome. Besides being non-sectarian , it made a lot of sense. I sensed this was something so fundamental that everyone should know about it.

About a month back, my parents gave me this 10 CD discourse of S N Goenka. It was the same content that was played every evening during the 10 Day camp. I recently finished listening to it.,but I did not know about his death until today.His discourses are very simple, unassuming and simplified for the common man. Never called himself a spiritual guru and never let anyone treat him like one. Its hard to not stop smiling when listening to S N Goenka.

Its hard not to feel love and gratitude for Mr Goenka.     

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