Yuval Noah Harari on Vipassana, Reality, Suffering, & Consciousness

Rashid Kapadia

World renown and trailblazing historian and author (Sapiens, Homo Deus, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century) Yuval Noah Harari was a speaker at the India Today Conclave (March 9, 2018). This is a small clip where he discusses his experience with Vipassana and also some discussion on Reality, Suffering, and Consciousness.

SOURCE
Nationalism in the 21st Century - Yuval Noah Harari at the India Today Conclave 2018
https://youtu.be/8x3zaIYrHTs

SIDE-NOTES:
I attended my first Vipassana 10-day course in Jan 2018, in Kaufmann TX.
* I agree with Harari's statement "It is the least dogmatic thing I ever encountered in life."
* Like Harari I want to continue with "practicing Vipassana meditation to see reality more clearly."

Some Vipassana / Meditation related Documentaries / Talks that I've watched:
1. Doing Time Doing Vipassana. Tihar Jail in India.  https://youtu.be/WkxSyv5R1sg. The segment from minute 18:00 to 19:45 was pivotal in persuading me that something very important is happening, and that the Vipassana Technique—spread widely through the teaching and practice of Vipassana Meditation—has world changing potential.
2. Dhamma Brothers. Alabama jail. https://youtu.be/3-Za3YXpfCY. 
3. Changing from Inside. Correctional Jail. Seattle. https://youtu.be/P9sRWtA89CI
4. Vipassana Meditation Experiences. https://youtu.be/q5bpNAAOSgk
5. Giving Service, Getting Dhamma. https://youtu.be/dPUeJKS3BlM

50-Years of Vipassana
1. The Rise of Dhamma (50-Years) https://youtu.be/Dj2Lqg7FUak
2. From Myanmar to the World: Part 1 - Overland to India https://vimeo.com/380890115?fbclid=IwAR3zRGSGMKRdykX7Meikt5YNACN2LohOVZX-hokGpRplrGVxEZsoCs8-BUE

TED Talks directly related to Viapassana
1. Eilona Ariel: Vipassana Meditation and Body Sensation. https://youtu.be/ixu4Kd5R1DI. 
2. Jenny Phillips: The Only Way Out is In. https://youtu.be/150cqgYh8sQ

3 good TED talks on meditation
1. Nick Seaver: The Gift of Silence. Large Scientific Study. https://youtu.be/mpqrO2agOTs
2. Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes.https://www.ted.com/talks/andy_puddicombe_all_it_takes_is_10_mindful_minutes
3. Amisha Jha. Neuroscientist. Studying a wandering mind. https://www.ted.com/talks/amishi_jha_how_to_tame_your_wandering_mind

2 Documentaries on The Buddha
1. The Buddha (Full Documentary) https://youtu.be/EDgd8LT9AL4
2. "The Buddha" A Segment from the "Story of India" Documentary Series, by Michael Wood for BBC & PBS. https://youtu.be/pdfuFSSKjIA

Vipassana practice core = Continuous awareness of physical sensations, without reacting

Every sound, vision, taste, smell, everything, that contacts the body instantly produces some sensation.
The technique focuses on natural physical sensations as the crucial link between mind and body, the key to understanding human behavior.

* Through Vipassana one realizes that one’s own attitudes and addictions, suffering and happiness, are not caused by the outside world.
* It is the reactions to pleasant or unpleasant sensations the world evokes within the body, that dictate one’s actions, and conditions the mind.
* By watching the physical sensations accompanying these emotions, and by understanding their impermanent nature, one can actually start changing the habit of blind reaction.
* Between the two poles of expression and suppression, lies a third option, mere observation.

Reminds me of the quote: “Between Stimulus and Response There Is a Space. In That Space Is Our Power To Choose Our Response” Perhaps Vipassana meditation can give me more—quantity & quality—access to this space.

Brief Description of Vipassana:
* Vipassana is an ancient meditation techniques. The word Vipassana means seeing things as they really are.
* It is the process of self- purification by self-observation.
* One begins by observing the natural breath to concentrate the mind.
* With a sharpened awareness one proceeds to observe the changing nature of body and mind and experiences the universal truths of impermanence, suffering and egolessness.
* This truth-realization by direct experience is the process of purification.
* It can be freely practiced by everyone, at any time, in any place, and will prove beneficial to one and all.

What Vipassana is not:
* It is not a rite or ritual based on blind faith.
* It is neither an intellectual nor a philosophical entertainment.
* It is not a rest cure, a holiday, or an opportunity for socializing.
* It is not an escape from the trials and tribulations of everyday life.

What Vipassana is:
* It is a technique that will eradicate suffering.
* It is a method of mental purification which allows one to face life's tensions and problems in a calm, balanced way.
* It is an art of living that one can use to make positive contributions to society.

I decided to keep a video-log of my Vipassana voyage, one video every 3 - 6 months:

Playlist URL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5NrTvkfGpg&list=PL_xUb-mxY20FO7E0mBGANzNdGbAbZXQdM

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