Inspiring Quotes from Goenkaji
Someone may be just cleaning the toilet or sweeping the floor and yet the mind is suffused with love, compassion and goodwill to provide a clean and healthy environment in which to meditate. Such volition makes that service so wonderful! What is important is the quality of the volition of the one who is giving service.
March 3, 1987
The only motive for serving Dhamma must be one of compassion, a wish that more and more may benefit and gain happiness from Dhamma-bahujana-hataya, bahujana-sukhaya, lokanukanpaya. Whether you are a Dhamma teacher, assistant teacher, a trustee or a Dhamma server makes no difference at all.
We should not think that we become a Dhamma person merely by sitting in meditation for one hour and surveying the body from head to feet and feet to head. See, is there any improvement in the mind? Or am I just performing some ritual? Is the aversion in the mind diminishing or not? Is the jealousy in my mind getting dissipated or not? Is the feeling of superiority in my mind getting eroded or not? Is this manifesting in my life or not? One should reflect again and again, time and again.
The Buddha said that the eyes of those who work in the field of Dhamma should sparkle with love.
Rare is such a person who does good to others only for the sake of service, who does not have any desire to get something in return
The feeling of rivalry should not arise even a little bit. “Why was this work allotted to him and not to me? I am better suited to do that particular work. I have greater ability to accomplish this.” Such thinking is very dangerous. Whatever work is allotted to anybody, he should engage himself into that completely. Others should feel happy to see him doing service. All of us have to do our jobs, not generating rivalry or entering into competition with each other. We should not crave for authority. In the field of service there is nothing like authority. There is service only. When selfless service is done the benefits start flowing to people, and respect and honor follow as a corollary. The more one runs after honor or authority, the more one will stand deprived of the capacity to serve.
If you have to look at faults, then look at yourself. If you have to look at virtues, then look to others. If you do this you will keep progressing June,1999
The Importance of Centers
The Buddha spoke these words to the merchant who donated the first dwellings for meditation:
Sheltering and conducive to concentration
and insight, a place of meditation is praised
by the Enlightened Ones as the greatest gift.
Therefore a wise man,
Considering his own welfare,
Should build pleasant dwellings
in which those who have heard
much about the Dhamma
may stay and practice it.
Vinaya, Cullavagga V1.1 (147)
The following is a quote from Goenkaji:
Vipassana centers must always radiate love and goodwill so that all who come feel that they have entered a sanctuary of peace.
May each and every center become a true dwelling of Dhamma, in the shelter of which many may find the way out of suffering.
Building the Dwelling of Dhamma – S.N. Goenka
The following is a talk given by Goenkaji about the importance of centers. This is for all the trustees, but not for publishing just yet.
The hour of Vipassana has struck at many places throughout the world. For years, devoted students from many countries have worked hard to make the Dhamma available to others. Now, with the development of many centers around the world, their efforts are coming to fruition.
The establishment of centers marks a new stage in the spread of Vipassana. It is important to understand their significance. Centers for Vipassana meditation are not clubs designed for the enjoyment of their members. They are not temples in which to perform religious ceremonies. They are not places for socializing or entertainment. They are not communes where members of a sect can live in isolation from the outside world, according to their own particular rules.
Instead, centers are schools which teach one subject: Dhamma, the art of living. All who come to these centers, whether to meditate or to serve, come to receive this teaching. They must therefore be receptive in their attitude, trying not to impose their ideas, but rather, to understand and to apply the Dhamma that is offered.
To ensure that the Dhamma is offered in its strength and purity, there is strong discipline at the centers. The more carefully it is maintained, the stronger the center will be. Many ordinary activities are forbidden by the discipline, not because there is anything wrong with them, but because they are inappropriate at a center for Vipassana meditation. Remember, these are the only places where one can learn this type of Vipassana. The discipline is a way of preserving the unique purpose of these centers; it should be guarded carefully.
The foundation of the edifice of Dhamma that is being constructed at these centers is sila (moral conduct). Practising sila is the essential first step in a Vipassana course since, without it, meditation will be weak. It is equally essential that all who serve at the centers keep the five precepts as carefully as possible. The rule of Dhamma has been established at these centers, and there should be no killing on Dhamma land, no stealing, no sexual activity, no wrong speech, and no use of intoxicants. This will create a calm and peaceful atmosphere conducive to the work of self-purification.
With the firm base of sila, the practice of self-purification can proceed.
Keep in mind that this is the most important task at the centers– first, last and always. All who come to serve at them, even for a few hours, must not neglect their duty to meditate there as well. By doing so, the Dhamma atmosphere gets strengthened and support is given to the other meditators.
These centers are not, of course, the only places at which meditation and the teachings of the Buddha are practiced; but they are the only places devoted to this particular transmission of the teachings, to this particular form of Vipassana. They must be kept, at all times, specifically for this purpose.
The final essential part of the technique is metta, and this must be practised by all who come to the centers, whether to attend a course or to serve. For meditation and service to be beneficial, they must be performed joyfully, selflessly and lovingly. All tasks that are undertaken should be done with the volition: “May all beings be happy!” The centers must always radiate love and goodwill so that all who enter them feel that they have entered a sanctuary of peace.
May each and every center become a true dwelling of the Dhamma, in the shelter of which many may find the way out of suffering.