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The Mind Book : Dhamma Giri to the Himalayas - A Vipassana Journey: Dhamma Giri to the Himalayas - A Vipassana Journey

By Putra, Himalaya

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Book Id: WPLBN0100750199
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
File Size: 2.31 MB.
Reproduction Date: 4/19/2024

Title: The Mind Book : Dhamma Giri to the Himalayas - A Vipassana Journey: Dhamma Giri to the Himalayas - A Vipassana Journey  
Author: Putra, Himalaya
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Psychology, Vipassana meditation
Collections: Authors Community, Psychology
Publication Date:
Publisher: Himalaya Putra
Member Page: Himalaya Putra


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Putra, H. (2024). The Mind Book : Dhamma Giri to the Himalayas - A Vipassana Journey. Retrieved from

A crisply written, one-of-a-kind book on the deeper working and nature of the human mind - the hidden depths holding the key to suffering and the way out of suffering. This is an intricate book on Vipassana meditation, the millennia-old ancient universal practice to knowing the reality of this 'I' , this changing mind-matter phenomenon. In a world ridden with increasing conflicts and confusion, Vipassana practice enables the clarity of mind and the wisdom needed for inner peace in the individual- and thereby a more peaceful world. The content makes the Mind Book a must-read for those wishing and willing to work hard for a better quality of life, and a happier world. Sweeping a wide canvas of millennia-old human history, the Mind Book contains striking insights and details of the emerging 'Mind Age' in the 21st century. The author explains how the state of our world depends on each individual, and the choices each individual makes. This off-beat chronicle offers life-changing perspectives on Vipassana meditation. Vipassana is the world's oldest method to purify and strengthen the mind. The Mind Book is based on the author's experience of 30 years of intensive Vipassana practice. Included are rare details from the author serving with the Principal Teacher of Vipassana Satya Narayan Goenka (1924 - 2013) - the meditation teacher to people in more than 100 countries. Circumstances rank this updated second edition of the 'Mind Book' as first of its kind in our world of millions of interesting books. The author Himalaya Putra's unusual life combines these elements: across three decades, periodically renouncing his livelihood as a successful independent journalist to serve as a long-stay Dhamma worker (volunteer) in Dhamma Giri (the world's largest meditation centre, near Mumbai, India); serving with the Principal Teacher of Vipassana S.N. Goenka for a decade; conducting Vipassana courses as a senior teacher until 2007; serving the premier 30-day Teacher’s Self Course (TSC) for six consecutive years; taking many long courses including two 60-day Vipassana courses. The author has now renounced the mundane world to serve the world - by now currently meditating in the upper Himalayas practicing Vipassana and Metta.

This is the corrected, updated, third edition of 'The Mind Book' published first in August 2023 (book ID 100304820, now deleted). The Mind Book exists to serve humanity. It is written particularly for Vipassana practitioners in more than 100 countries. The author gives them and future Vipassana practitioners never-before-shared experiences, and unique details of former Myanmar millionaire and Vipassana teacher S.N.Goenka's life. The Mind Book is for people of all national, cultural, economic, professional back grounds, religious and spiritual traditions. The Mind Book is destined to influence human history across the 21st Century and beyond. It will serve generations through Vipassana - starting with children now in schools in India and worldwide including Anapana meditation (preparatory exercise for Vipassana) as part of daily curriculum. Our world is awakening to the 'Mind Age' when unprecedented focus is on harnessing the power of the human mind. This is through the life-changing benefits and incredible power of a purer mind gained through the millennia-old Vipassana practice. Vipassana is taught free of cost in residential courses worldwide. More people in more countries are practicing Vipassana, the happy inner adventure into knowing the world within (Mind Age, Chapter 6). We gain life-changing insights, subtler realities of what is this mind-matter phenomenon ‘I’. Vipassana clears the mind; we need clarity in life – to achieve success, to deal with problems. If you like rational, self-dependent hard work to higher quality of life – at work, at home, to be in harmony with oneself and others – then The Mind Book is this universal path of reality calling you. It’s the individual choice to heed or ignore the call.

From The Prologue: The Law of Cause and Effect turns our thoughts, words, and actions into seeds of inescapable fruits - sweet or bitter. The Law of Cause and Effect rules the cosmos. Nothing can stop the consequences of what we think, say and do. So the wise take care to avoid harmful negative thoughts. Easier said than done, given the deep-rooted habit patterns of the mind. Vipassana enables the training to get rid of negative thoughts from the root-level of the mind. Thoughts become seeds of verbal, physical actions. But thoughts themselves have tangible effects. Be alert, aware of every thought arising in the mind. We then avoid the self-inflicted suffering of a disturbed mind, and avoid mentally harming others. *** In the cosmic interconnection of all beings, the Law of Cause and Effect weaves undercurrent patterns. Look closely and the interlinking patterns are there – not “coincidences”. We talk of “coincidences” only when unaware of the interconnecting patterns of cause and effect. Those seemingly random events, meetings with ‘strangers’, and happenings in life have reasons. The mind made penetratingly sharper with Vipassana practice remembers, connects the dots and sees the patterns. Nothing is random. Nothing happens “by chance”. *** Chapter 6, The Mind Age For a Vipassana practitioner working correctly, the 30-day and longer Vipassana courses become deep-rooted purification of the mind at a level unprecedented in a lifetime. Correct Vipassana practice brings beneficial changes in our personality. It strengthens character, increases harmonious interactions with others. We gain wisdom based on experience and develop a positive and reality-based outlook to life. Life gets better because the Vipassana practitioner changes habit patterns for the better. We reboot our way of thinking, making decisions, the choice of words, actions and interactions with others. With Vipassana (, we experience how the mind is not a fixed entity but a continuously changing process of interaction with matter. The body and mind are constantly connected. This is why the Principal Teacher S.N. Goenka said when addressing a conference of psychiatrists: “When I meet physicians, I request them not to ignore the mind; when I meet psychiatrists I request them not to ignore the body”. Vipassana is the practical, personal, internal study of the interaction of mind and matter at the deepest level. *** Chapter 1 This Moment The Vipassana practitioner starting on the path realises how the chattering mind continually, randomly, erratically wanders either to the past or future. The wandering mind rarely stays in the present moment. And this present moment, now, is the only reality there is. Feeling moody, depressed, sad, angry, insecure, fearful – disturbances arise in the mind rolling in thoughts of the past or future. For instance, someone said or did something that my mind evaluates as "disrespectful". The incident rankles in my mind for hours, days or longer. It happened once, but the mind not in the present moment replays, relives and reacts to that incident dozens or hundreds of times, or even across a lifetime. Something is yet to happen, but the mind imagines what could happen and reacts to non-reality - for what is yet to be or might never be. This present moment is all there is. The rest is either past or yet to be. Human suffering arises from the mind that is not in the reality of this moment. The mind rolling in the past or future will suffer. It's the law of nature. Wallowing in non-reality brings suffering. This is the reason for the Principal Teacher repeatedly urging meditators in Vipassana courses to be very alert, vigilant, every moment. "You cannot afford to lose a moment", we hear in the evening discourses. *** The 118 so far discovered chemical elements (or 119 with Ununennium) in the Periodic Table can combine to form more than 10 to the power of 60 (10 followed by 60 zeroes) chemical compounds. But among this astronomical number, only one combination of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom can form water. We cannot say scientists are dogmatic and narrow-minded for insisting there is only one formula H₂O for water. This is the law of nature. Likewise, Vipassana meditators use nature's only method to purify the mind at its deepest level, to be with the depth of the present moment. We objectively observe the arising, passing bodily sensations (Sampajañña). *** The mind that rolls in the dead past often rolls in negativity; we tend to morosely remember, brood, grouse or sulk over mistakes of people. Easily forgotten is the good he or she did – one big mistake and the angry mind boils, "I won't talk to this person again". But the mind that generates negativity becomes the first to suffer, like the bare hand that holds red hot coal embers is the first to burn. By being in the present moment, we live in a new moment. No more hugging the corpse of the dead past moment, and burning in its funeral pyre. Easier to forgive, forget and move on when the mind moves on with the new moment. We then live free and happy at this moment. And now is life. This is why the mind being in this present moment increases positivity and quality of life. Quality work too needs a concentrated mind resisting distractions. Successful people at work get immersed in the moment. *** On the Ionian Sea coast between Mediterranean Greece and Italy, the ancient city of Ephesus once flourished near what is now Selçuk town, in the İzmir province of western Anatolia in Türkiye (Turkey). There in Ephesus, about 100 years before Siddhatha Gotama was born, a wealthy aristocrat called Heraclitus lived and talked about the impermanence of all things in life. "No man ever steps in the same river twice," Heraclitus said. He saw the world as changing every moment, constantly in flux. His views were opposite that of another ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides of Elea circa 5th century BC. A wealthy aristocrat like Heraclitus, Parmenides believed in a fixed state of "being", a static universe. But like everything in the universe, the city of Ephesus succumbed to impermanence. Its mortal ruins are now a popular tourist spot as a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site. Ephesus was famous for its temple of the goddess Artemis, the Greek version of Diana - Roman goddess of the Moon. Very little is known about Heraclitus, though his statue now stands in the National Archaeological Museum of Naples in Italy. Humankind then and now does not like dealing with unpleasant realities like impermanence. We find uncomfortable facts hard to face or accept. Heraclitus was dismissed as a pessimist for saying nothing lasts forever. They called him the "Weeping Philosopher". From Heraclitus, Democritus, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, to Albert Einstein, Richard Feynman and Jiddu Krishnamurthi – thinkers, teachers, sages, scientists wondered, pondered, debated, studied and investigated questions of life. The remarkable genius Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) changed our world. But the deepest change, subtlest answers are within. The surface-level intellect has limitations. It cannot reach deeper levels of the mind. Correct Vipassana practice takes us to the depths of the mind, to the subtlest answers. *** Chapter 3 The Medium The significance and depth of S.N. Goenka's service to India and the world became clearer after I began serving under him. Being in the media profession where cynicism and skepticism are part of the work equipment, I had no blind respect for anyone. Among the reasons I chose to be self-employed was I did not want to be forced to call anyone "Sir". My ego was that big. But my respect for Goenkaji was from gratitude and experience. I was working with the most compassionate person I had known or heard about living in my lifetime. I was serving with a being who developed his mind to unusual clarity and power. I experienced Goenkaji’s extraordinary equanimity, humility and patience. He was the rare teacher who practiced what he taught. He was a one-of-a-kind human being. If Sayagyi U Goenka can be described in one word, this is the word: compassion. *** Chapter 4, Movie Like cinema halls worldwide, INOX at the CR2 Mall down the tree-lined avenue of Nariman Point in South Bombay sells entertainment with popcorn and slivers of enlightenment. Movies enable realizing how difficult it is to be with reality. The rare times I strolled into the Nariman Point INOX to see a movie (The Incredibles, Tintin – Secret of the Unicorn, Skyfall, Spectre) became subliminal awareness of illusions gripping us despite knowing these are illusions. Non-reality captures the mind. We know movies have actors, special effects and CGI (computer generated images) - except real-life stunts like Tom Cruise’s death-defying motorbike leap off a Norwegian cliff. Seeing cinematic non-reality does not stop emotional reactions. Audiences roar at the comedy, get angry with the villainy. Or feel sad, scared, cry, be thrilled, awed, inspired when transported into the make-believe world of the movies – or any work of fiction. From the earliest 5th-century dramas in the Theatre of Dionysus below the Acropolis of Athens, the audience chooses to suspend reality. We know but forget the frightened little girl alone in the poltergeist-haunted house has the director, gaffer, camera operators and technicians keeping her company. The movie watcher forgets the hero delivers scripted, memorized dialogue to the coy heroine. Remembering such reality spoils the fun. The problem comes when forgetting reality in life. Illusions in real life bring not fun but suffering. *** From the biased evaluations and perceptions of sañña, how often have we jumped to wrong conclusions about people and happenings. How often have illusions, delusions, assumptions and presumptions routinely destroyed good friendships, partnerships, relationships. The careless Vipassana meditator knows the reaction of like or dislike is only to sensations, but forgets this reality when it matters. Deep-rooted is the conditioning of the muddied mind, so full of manic tricks and self-deception. At times like a director or a scriptwriter creating scenes for the movie screen of the mind, we indulge in escapist fantasies totally removed from reality. As a Vipassana practitioner, I have to remember how the scriptwriter of real life is the biochemical flow of sensations arising and passing away within. The Law of Cause and Effect works as the director. Comic or tragic, happy or unhappy scenes appear as events in life, as fruits of one’s kamma. Such a “movie” starring kammas would rank low in ‘Rotten Tomato’ review ratings. People dislike being reminded of such realities. It kills the fun. *** Applying wisdom gained needs strong and right efforts (viriya) to be with the actual reality, and be free from enticing self-painted delusions. But real happiness – like all good things in life - does not come easy. It needs sustained and careful effort. But we do not like the painful, hard work. Vipassana is sometimes painful and often very hard work. Like lotus in the mud, memorable insights blossom sometimes in the entertaining muck of movies. Amid the usual carnage and gore of a Steven Seagal film ‘Marked for Death’ (1990), this gem of wisdom came from the dreadlock-haired, drug lord villain. He rolled his manic eyes and in Jamaican patois delivered my favourite movie dialogue: “Everybody want go heaven...but nobody wants to die!” We want the prize but not the process. *** Chapter 6, The Mind Age School student: What is the mind? Where is it? Acharya S.N. Goenka: "The mind is what feels. Wherever in the body you feel anything, the mind is there. This is what you understand by practicing Vipassana. You make an analytical study of your mind and matter, the interaction of the two. The mind is there in every atom of your body. "....The brain is a physical organ. As you deal with other parts of the body, you deal with the brain in the same way. Nothing special about the brain - but the mind is totally different. "In the West, all importance is given to the brain as if the mind is located here. No. The mind is everywhere in the whole body. So when practicing Vipassana, the meditator gives attention to the entire body." *** Chapter 7, Mettā The new student of Vipassana learns to practice mettā on Mettā Day, at around 10.00 am on Day 10 of a 10-day course. With mettā practice, we share the benefits from Vipassana with all beings. Mettā practice in Vipassana is not intellectual or imaginary, but generates actual, tangible vibrations of goodwill for others. This is more so with a family member who has passed away, like my good-hearted younger sister who died very young. She died during my 10-year absence from my biological family. I was told there was a peaceful look on her beautiful face when she died. Mettā can be more easily felt between two people mentally close to each other, whether or not related through family ties. For an experienced Vipassana meditator, mettā can be felt as vibrations at the top of the head – as a trickle, a flow, and then a waterfall of vibrations. Mettā intensifies as the meditator goes deeper into correct Vipassana practice. *** Mettā when practiced with a pure mind becomes the most beneficial force in our life. Mettā only works with a purer mind – after a strong Vipassana sitting. But even generating good wishes benefits us. We feel more peaceful. Vipassana practice goes deeper. Mettā reduces one's ego - the big cause of life’s woes. We stop generating negativity to others – the big cause of a disturbed mind. ---

Table of Contents
Prologue Chapter 1 This Moment … of being with reality … Pg 12 Chapter 2 Master Key … to real happiness … Pg 26 Chapter 3 Medium … to the inner revolution of freedom … Pg 42 Chapter 4 Movie … to going beyond apparent reality, Groundhog Day … Pg 66 Chapter 5 Mountains, Tapovan ... life in the Himalayas … Pg 79 Chapter 6 Mind Age … using the power of your mind … Pg 92 Chapter 7 Mettā …the most beneficial force in the cosmos … Pg 110 Epilogue


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