The Art of Living

Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S. N. Goenka
Narrated by: William Hart
Length: 5 hrs and 9 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (372 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This is the classic introduction to Vipassana meditation: a full-length study of the teaching of S. N. Goenka, prepared under his guidance and with his approval. Useful for meditators and non-meditators alike. This was the first book to appear in English that accurately describes the practice of Vipassana at length for the general reader. It includes stories by Goenkaji as well as answers to students’ questions that convey a vivid sense of his teaching.

©1987 William Hart (P)2011 William Hart

What listeners say about The Art of Living

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Life Changing

This is a superb book, a life changer for me. It may be a little easier read in the written form than the audio, at least in part due my needing to stop reading and ponder several ideas here. The concept of sitting meditation and buddhist psychology and thought is by no means new to me, having studied it for decades. But this particular presentation was stimulating, not just to the mind, but to the spirit. Nothing to do with religion, just the development of relationship with the entire universe, presented in a very down-to-earth form.
Highly recommended!

12 people found this helpful

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great book, low quality recording.

I listened to this book before a silent mediation retreat and it helped me so much! I love the concepts. the audio recording is low quality, like a tape from the 80's has been transferred over, and the bell that indicates the end of a chapter is deafening, but other than that, it is a great book!

9 people found this helpful

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Excellent. Practical

This book isn't a manual on living. It is an exposition on the central role of Vipassana meditation to the practice of Buddhism and the living of a sane and fulfilling life.

I found that listening to it gave me a new perspective on life. This new vantage point allowed me to have greater equanimity toward my impulses and manifested itself as what one would probably recognize as will power.

If the above was all I got, it would have been worth my time. The wisdom is succinct and penetrating. However, this is only a description of, and the theory surrounding and behind, the actual practice.

To be clear: it IS NOT a "guide to Vipassana". It's not a manual at all. It is probably invaluable if you are considering actually taking the 10 day course in Vipassana. It is worth it if you never intend to take the course.

I reccomend it highly. I hop this helps you.

6 people found this helpful

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Quite scattered

There are a few good parts in this book, but if it is your first book on meditation there are many better to choose from.

the book focuses too much on the retreats in the beginning, then becomes preechy - literally classifying what is right and wrong.

5 people found this helpful

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Excellent

I love this book. if you are interested in learning "insight meditation" then this is one book you must listen to and read. It's especially nice to actually hear S. N. Goenka teach at the beginning of each chapter.

4 people found this helpful

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you will want to listen to this more than once

I listen to this several times so that I may pick up finer points of what is being said. It helps me with my understanding and with my practice. Definitely one of the top books that I use.

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Good to get an idea

It’s ok as an introduction to vipassana, but it feels quite short and at the end starts getting a bit more complicated, and it ends!
Also, the recording is not very good.
The content itself is meaningful, though. And it’s useful to understand a bit what to expect from a vipassana retreat.

2 people found this helpful

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Helpful, Insightful and Entertaining!

The clearest and most engaging book on Vipassana I have listened to so far. It doesn't give concrete practical details about Vipassana meditation, but it gives a comprehensive explanation about its intention and its purpose, which had been hard for me to grasp before this book.
Goenka's wise, funny anecdotes, which are inserted between chapters, are a real treat!

1 person found this helpful

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The Practice Is Thoroughly Explained

The main components that comprise Vipassana Meditation and Buddhism are presented and explained excellently. The Four Noble Truths, The Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, The Three Characteristics of Existence and more are discussed and integrated in a clearly understandable manner. How craving and aversion arise as well as the ignorance that allows them to continue are brought to light. One also is shown how to eliminate them with mindfulness, concentration, and equanimity. The strokes are broad and the finer points are easily uncovered. If you're already practicing this audiobook will reinforce the Buddha's teaching. It explicitly shows that the path to Nibbana is within one's reach. If you're new to the practice this audiobook will encourage you to practice diligently, wholeheartedly. Nibbana can be realized here and now. Practice to achieve it. It'll be more than worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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In the heart of the practice

Having been immersed in the practice of Vispassana Meditation in Myanmar (Burma) for the past two years I fully appreciated this excellent informational of the practice from a Western perspective. Mr Hart displays an astounding understanding of an intricate and ancient practice. I am on my second read.
Dr Sharon Caulder
USA

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Mason
  • 03-24-16

very well written and easy to understand

loved this book. written with the lay person in mind. very well researched and obviously from the mind of a knowledgeable man. I would recommend this book to all.

4 people found this helpful

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  • D S.
  • 11-26-13

Just Brilliant!

This is an excellent audio book for those interested in any kind of meditation and Vipassana meditation. for beginners and advanced level. Very well written and narrated.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-20

The Art of living

One of the best books I have ever read or listened to. Good for both pre and old students of Vipassana. Quite technical though so possibly quite challenging. I highly recommend it to all Spiritual people.

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  • Kishore Shah
  • 06-19-19

Vipassana By Goenka

Life changing !
Clarity of subject matter and lovely narrations by Shri Goenka and William Hart.
Will listen again and again,
Deep gratitude to Shri Goenka
Kishore
London

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-13-18

I am most grateful.

An invaluable tool to keep my vipassana meditation practice on the right path. Superbly narrated. I am most grateful.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-20-18

Just read it

Everyone should read or listen to this book so much truth. I’ve already recommended to many

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-19

A wonderful insight into Vipassana and living harmoniously with oneself

Sadhu, sadhu, sadhu.

Love returning to this book. Great gems to be found each and every time. Thanks you William hart for putting together this insightful book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ANGELA GOODWIN
  • 10-03-19

It’s been my “bible” since first publication

Vipassana changed my life. Real peace. Real happiness. Learned how to come out of perpetual misery by understanding and integrating human suffering. At each stage of my life I gain new insights new techniques that shatter old beliefs of living in the 21st century.
This is no self help book to “try”, it requires genuine persistent, commitment and rewards are real.
The understanding of what it means to be human is reflected all around us. This understanding brings real compassion real peace and deserves to be shared over and over to bring about more peace in the world.

2 people found this helpful

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  • mathew broster
  • 02-08-19

great book - gave great info on vipissana

brought me right back to when I recently partook in a 10 day vipissana retreat


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  • bernadette
  • 11-05-16

Clear and helpful

I listened to this before, during and after a 10 day vipassana course and realised how well written it is and therefore helpful to give a framework to this precious experience.

2 people found this helpful