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on August 29, 2017
I have and read many books on vipassana, and I believe this book has done more to advance my practice than any other I've read to date.

It, along with other materials I've encountered on the subject, has also helped me to understand the place of S.N. Goenka's teachings, and that where those teachings are is pretty much right where I want to be. Master Goenka didn't regard or convey the Buddha's teaching as a religion - just as the Buddha himself did not - but rather as the straightforward (though not always simple) system of applied psychology that it is. Goenkaji's approach honors the original teaching of the Buddha in its purest form without veering off into the murky waters of religious mysticism and misinterpretation that so many others seem to find it so difficult to avoid.

One of my favorite similes of his is that of the man who crosses the river to explore the far bank, then returns to this bank to tell the people of the wonders he found there. Goenkaji goes on to say that those who then sit down on this shore, and with clasped hands, moist eyes, and choking voice, cry out, "Oh other bank! Oh other bank, please come here to me! I so long to see you!" - such people will never reach the other bank. One must *apply* oneself; one must do the work; one must make the effort to travel to the far bank themselves; only then can one expect to see the result.

This is just what the Buddha taught.
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Top Contributor: Petson April 24, 2017
This is only for readers seriously interested in Vipassana. If you are, this ebook is like a present from Heaven.
It is non-sectarian. Though it is most likely that Buddhists will be intetested. The reading is easy to understand if you are already familiar with Buddhism and meditation. I am experiencing immediate relief of a lot of conflict and stress just from a couple if hours of study do far. If you are getting tired of sectarianism, comlicated formulas abd trying to believe things that make you feel sick (any religion) , you might want to check this out.
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on January 24, 2016
I have read/listened to many books about Buddhism; however, I found this book to have the most straightforward and practical explanation of the theory, having a small amount of nonessential content. Although I had been practicing for years before finding this book, looking back now, this book marked a tipping point in my practice when theory shifted into direct-experience. The book has become one of my favorites, I have re-listened to it many times and gifted it to those curious about the practice. If you are interested in the Buddha's path, I sincerely encourage you to read or listen to this book and hope it helps you on your path to becoming a Buddha.
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on August 14, 2017
If you have completed a 10-day Vipassana course, you are an "old student" and will be familiar with what Hart presents his book. I have found his way of presenting the material well laid out and true to the original content of the course. Reading this allows an "old student" to more deeply understand the process and its meaning. Of course, if you haven't completed a course, there is information that is helpful in understanding this practice of meditation and the original intent of Siddhartha, the Buddha.
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on April 19, 2018
If you have watched G. N. Goenka's videos on YouTube you will find a lot of the same material here. However the book does contain some interesting question and answer sessions and a bit more detail on the method. So overall it is worth getting to supplement your vipassina training.
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on December 4, 2015
Great Insightful Book. I more than halfway through it and I am enjoying every bit of it. It has changed my outlook on the world & life in general. I am a more relaxed person than I was before. I'm still a work in progress but no one is perfect and that's exactly what this book points out.
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on September 24, 2014
Been practicing Vipassana since 2005 and i read this a long time ago and had bought it for someone. The book is okay to wet your curiosity about vipassana, but after that, you really need to attend a 10-day course to understand it's potential at all. The courses are donation based, so no need feel obligated to pay more than you can afford. Spend 10 days studying your mind and body, in what better way can you spend 10 days of your life??
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on October 12, 2012
Okay.. Vipassana has been around for 3000 years, this book, not quite that long. A direct.. no hand waving guide to sitting. It takes a long time, you will often wonder if you are wasting your time. You are most definitely not. It will change who you are for the better. I would suggest a few sources, but this is strongly recommended. Mostly, just practice, practice, practice. Without a doubt Vipassana did save my life though a difficult stretch long ago.. this book was one of the things that got me there. Metta!
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on August 21, 2017
This is a great beginner's introduction to Vipassana meditation. Goenke presents a straightforward traditional form of Buddhism that may seem somewhat strict and by the book, but the essential points are right on. As a practitioner of Vipassana, I appreciated this read.
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on January 27, 2006
"The Art of Living" is an excellent introduction to Vipassana meditation. Prepared by William Hart and based on the lectures and writings of S. N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, it could easily be considered the textbook for Mr. Goenka's world-famous Vipassana courses.

Although Vipassana is primarily experiential, I consider the intellectual framework provided in this book as key to fully accepting the positive impact of the technique. As the saying goes, success happens when preparation meets opportunity. Here, in my opinion, are two key passages from the book:

"Every thought, every emotion, every mental action is accompanied by a corresponding sensation within the body. Therefore, by observing our physical sensations, we also observe our mind."

"We observe the sensation without reacting, neither liking it nor disliking it. It has no chance to develop into craving or aversion, into powerful emotion that can overwhelm us; it simply arises and passes away. The mind remains balanced and peaceful. We are happy now and we can anticipate happiness in the future, because we have not reacted."

You can access your mind through your body. By viewing and dissolving areas of blocked consciousness in our body we systematically de-condition our mind. The result is increased clarity, happiness, certainty and true self-expression. In a world not overly abundant in these qualities that's an excellent contribution to make. I have completed two 10-Day Vipassana courses as taught by Mr. Goenka and they were the most positive transforming experiences I've ever been a part of.

In The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, Eckhart Tolle says that we can use our inner body as an anchor to the Now. I agree. The menu, however, is not the meal. If you really want to anchor yourself to the "now" I recommend "The Art of Living" and the 10-Day Vipassana course it points to.
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