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founded by S. N. Goenka in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin

 

 

 

 

 

Experiences of Business Executives

I  am a businessman and I  use cost-benefit analysis,  consideration  of  trade-offs  etc.  for  making  decisions.  When  we  have    a  limited  amount  of  money  and  we  have  to  decide  where  to  spend   it,  we  figure  out  where  it  will  give  us  the  most  benefit  and  even  save us money in the future. Similarly, when we have a limited amount of  time,  we  should  figure  out  where  the  time  spent  will  give us the maximum benefit  and  even  save  time  for  us  in  the  future.  I  have received many practical benefits from Vipassana. I  do   not   easily  get  upset,  irritated  or  angry;  if  at  all,  only  rarely  and  only  for    a short while,  so  I  do  not  waste  time  on  these  things.  If  I  am wavering  on  some  decision,  "sila"  and  "dhamma"  show  me  the  way.    I am more aware of my responsibilities. I am  more  effective  as  a manager. People take  us  more  seriously  when  we  tell  them  with  a cool and calm mind rather  than  when  we  shout  at  them  in  temper about what they have done wrong and what they should do to  redress it - whether they are our employees or our children. Experiencing  such  benefits,  I   find  time  for  Vipassana,  even  though  my   time   is   always   in   short  supply.

-Dr. Roop Jyoti

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Though affected greatly by the ten-day course I  did  in 1984,  sad  to  say,  I  did  not  pursue  the practice.

Fortunately in 95' Madhusudan Mor revived my enthusiasm. I attended a four-day course with Dr. Asha Kapadia followed by another ten-day course. Needless to say I am benefiting immensely. I am a much quieter, wiser and more fulfilled person.

In my coaching in the Empowerment programmes, I lead here and abroad, I far more effective as I am able to bring sharper distinctions of the mind in  focus  from the insights I've had in my Vipassana practice. I recommend it as a most fruitful practice in all my courses.

-Khursheed Merchant
Universal Vision of Learning

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In these modern times, the true wealth of a nation is gauged by the mental health of its people. Without improvement at the individual level, it is not possible to think of human development and individual development is possible only by purification of mind and its intelligence. This can be done only with concentration, discipline, devotion, dedication and faith as practised by the Vipassana institute in its courses.

-D.P.Garg
Principal, Agri.Coop. Staff Training Institute, Bhopal

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This course has been very good for reducing tension and self improvement and the mind becomes very peaceful as a result. It is a very complete and practical technique which no science had discovered till date. It inspires one to lead a pure life and one feels that it will increase one's dakshata. We are grateful to those officials who arranged this programme so that we could end our mental tension. We hope there will more such programmes in the future.

-Dr. Dinesh Kumar Gupta
Ayurveda Treatment Officer, Sahaya Bhopal

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In 1984, I was introduced to this ambrosial and highly beneficial technique. Since then I have been associated with it. In this camp I have had a few spiritual experiences. With the help of Anapana meditation my concentration has increased, the period of concentration also has increased.

By observing my bodily sensations with great awareness, equanimity and continuity, I managed to remove my negativities to a deeper extent.

Apparent  benefits

1. Concentration  was increased.
2. Proper awareness was established.

-Dr. N. K. Prasad
Kushiram Ayurvedic Institution, Bhopal

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My name is Kalburgi Srinivas. I am a professor at the University of Regina in Canada. I am now a foreigner in this country, where I was born and raised. India is a country where for centuries foreigners have come for its gold or golden ideas and thoughts. I too am such a foreigner now, who has come to collect golden ideas, noble thoughts for improving management and for transformation of organisations.

In this present environment, which is very complex, turbulent and competitive, and creates a lot of anxiety in organisations, you may say, "Why would anyone want to come to India to learn about management unless he wants to learn about the corruption, and organised gang management in Mumbai? This was a subject raised yesterday by Mr Khairnar." At other levels, those of you who have tried to get a telephone connection or get LPG gas or have chanced to go to a court of law, obtain a train ticket or even to seek admission for your child to school will have experienced a lot of frustrations. So that is the management system we have in this country.

Then what am I doing here? There are four premier schools of management in India, Indian Institutes of Management. I have been to all of them. I could not find anything "Indian" about them—maybe because they feel that India has nothing to teach in terms of management.

While Indian organisations and Indians as a whole are not known for their task accomplishment, the Indians who have gone abroad are all hard-working, creative, intelligent, entrepreneurial, and highly successful—so much so today, the ethnic community that is most affluent in the United States is our community, the South Asian community. So what is the problem? The problem does not appear to be in the genes that are in the South Asians.

Recently, however, practicing managers in India have taken to making indigenous experiments to "Indianise" their management. Not Indian professors, but Indian managers. Some of them have been tremendously successful in economic terms. And this is the India I came to study.

For the past five months it has taken me from one uplifting, from one up-ending, from one pleasing experience to another.

I studied various spiritual movements and was impressed with their work. These techniques have been helping many executives and managers to look inward, to look inside themselves. Some remarkable changes are taking place in some of the organisations following this value-based management. I have also seen some eclectic experiments.

Now I have discovered Vipassana. It’s a powerful technique to bring about transformational change in persons and through persons, in organisations. At least three organisations I have visited incorporate the technique in their way of working.

So there are many positive examples that we can be proud about which I’ll be taking back with me. I’m not denying the existence of the India that Mr. Khairnar described yesterday, but that degraded India exists more because of the silence of good people like us. Let’s recall the Gandhian movement which succeeded only because more and more people stood up to the authorities. They had to pay a price, yes, they paid it, and we may also have to pay a price to bring about dharmic rajya again. I have a few more comments but I am pleased about the fact that I was here, that I have been here, and what I have seen. And rest assured that I’ll be back again in order to experience myself, going deeper into myself because I still have to learn a lot of things about myself.

-Professor Kalburgi Srinivas, Canada

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Let me make some suggestions based on my involvement with work organisations. One plea for action is to develop new dharma-based organisations. This means that we need to translate the four good qualities about which the Buddha spoke—compassion, loving-kindness, sympathetic joy and equanimity—to the workings of organisations themselves. "Sympathetic joy" has recently reappeared in organisations in an interesting way. This has come about through the Japanese influence and it is now quite common in India to talk not of satisfaction but of delight, not only amongst customers but also amongst employees. Many organisations in India are now measuring their effectiveness not only by financial results, important though these are. Profits are not now the direct concern of top management; they are more concerned about how to create delight for customers and high satisfaction for their employees. They realise that if these matters are attended to, then the financial results will follow.

In organisations, we need to pay attention to at least three aspects: the structure, the processes and the practices operating within each organisation. For instance, most organisations today, especially newly created ones, must pay attention to ecology, how the campus is created. Dharma-based organisations must examine their physical structure, which should reflect some of the values shown in the Dharma. The campus itself should be inspiring and should indicate and thus communicate the kind of values the organisation has.

Then there is the organisational structure itself. So if, for example, we have metta as the basic foundation then the structure must be non-hierarchical. By contrast, if the organisation is deeply hierarchical, it will be difficult to practice the principles of loving-kindness. Most organizations today are concerned about this sense of equality and togetherness, and pressure is coming from another angle (again the Japanese influence) but I think the Indian experience has shown that it is possible to have non-hierarchical organisations and still get results.

Then, as far as organisational procedures are concerned, there are exemplary things happening in India, where organisations are adopting the traditional Dharma way of decision-making. For instance, in one well-known industrial company the main decision-making council consists of people from all parts of the enterprise, including the workers having the longest service, also the best workers, as well as the managers. The decisions made by this council are binding on the management, so they cannot ignore it.

I would recommend a book by Silvera titled Human Resource Development—the Indian Experience, in which he cites many examples of how Indian values are being inculcated in organisations.

Then when we look at the personnel practices in organisations we should examine whether such practices accord with the principles of Dharma and what new practices may need to be evolved. In the Human Resource Development Academy, which is a voluntary non-profit organization, we are already examining the kinds of values depicted, and I think for the future we might also include a Dharma perspective so that we can communicate what kind of values the various practices reflect. For if practices are based on those values which we wish to inculcate, we will have value-based organisations rather than the belief, or the myth, that management can be value-free. Serious analysis and conscious commitments are required to establish and maintain such value-based, Dharma organisational practices.

The individual should be at the centre of all these deliberations. Vipassana has a particular role here as one of the ways of helping people to examine themselves, based on experience, which is more important than the knowledge we receive from others. However public talks and seminars in which people share perspectives can also play their part. Positive experiences generate positivity. Then there is the service orientation, doing something good for humanity and the wider society. These values should be inculcated not by preaching but by ensuring that they are pragmatic in nature and assist the organisation to achieve its goals.

Finally there is the role of the guide or "mentor" as modern management describes it. Those who have been initiated in Vipassana, for example, and have developed in wisdom, not necessarily those holding hierarchical positions, can become informal leaders in the organisation: they can support others to gain strength in Dhamma—young people, for instance, who may be very bright but at the same time vulnerable.

An experienced and respected mentor can do much to inculcate values in a way that cannot be achieved by more formal means. Let us also then develop the role of mentors in our organisations to provide the necessary guidance and inspiration.

Professor Udai Pareek, Jaipur

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It is a technique to identify truth and  falsehood,  a  technique which prevents one from going astray so that he   may proceed on the path to experience the Ultimate truth. It keeps one away from selfishness and towards humanity. Every person should undergo this technique in order to be a better human  being.

-Shri Vivek Nema

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There is no technique at present, other than Vipassana, to take  one  to  the  path  of  full enlightenment.

Though I am a medical practitioner for quite some time, I have no hesitation to say that through this highly scientific technique, I have been able to realize the truth to a certain extent pertaining to mind and matter by observing sensations with equanimity. I have been able to overcome certain  impurities. I am highly grateful for the technique which helps to overcome the maladies.

-Dr.  Ramesh S. Shah
Cardiologist, Ahmedabad

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After doing a number of Vipassana meditation courses, a highly scientific and beneficial process, I am convinced and have recommended to my family members, friends, and students and they have undergone the courses and enjoyed them. I am benefitted in a number of ways, like more peace and tranquility in facing life, better relationship with people and improved efficiency in my profession namely - teaching.

I am sure, by practicing Vipassana daily and regularly I will be able to eradicate all impurities and march towards the goal.

-Principal  Dr.P.G. Patel
Ahmedabad

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After doing about four Vipassana courses with my family, relative and few friends, we have all found the technique very useful.

I got mental peace. Strictness has been changed  to  Karuna. It has improved the balance of my mind to a great  extent. It has improved my health too. Vipassana is a mighty weapon which certainly helps to march towards 'mukti'. It's an art of living.

-Principal H. S. Shah
Ahmedabad

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The training programme organized by the Academy of Administration from 15/2/97 to 26/2/97 on Vipassana appears to me very much useful for future working in the department. The course develops concentration of mind, self confidence and to take decision in the right direction. It will also increase the efficiency and discipline in day to day working.

-A. S. Dighe
Chief Engineer (D) NVDA

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I have undergone different types of meditation camps and I have found that Vipassana meditation course is the most useful in all respects, as they are organized in a disciplined way with suitable environment. This technique has helped me in conquering injustice, ego, hatred, fear, sexual exploitation etc. This has given me added self-confidence and courage to live as a good citizen in society with peace of mind. My entire family has done Vipassana courses and have benefited from them.

Vipassana is truly priceless.

-Professor Dr. Savitriben Vyas
Ahmedabad

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QUOTES FROM PAST EXECUTIVE COURSE PARTICIPANTS

“Vipassana leads to clearer thinking and clear thinking is good for business.”
- L. Freese, Vice President, Freese & Nichols, Inc., Fort Worth, TX

“After the course, I am more tolerant, empathetic towards others.”
- B. Houlihan, Partner, Stoll, Keenon & Park, Lexington, KY

“I have become more efficient than ever”
- D. Lai, President, Sun Chemical Supply Co. Ltd., Taiwan

“The course has profoundly changed my life.”
- M. Schaffer, President & CEO, Global Tactics, Spokane, WA

“After the course, I have better ability to cope with stress, better concentration, and higher energy level.”
- Previous Executive Course participant

“I have grown in equanimity”
- P. Gysi, Marketing Director, Switzerland

“Am calmer, less reactive, less irritable, more focused!”
- C. Moe, Principal, A&M Business Interior Services, St Croix, MN

“More relaxed, do not get angry, good listener, and performance is excellent along with productivity.”
- S. Soni, Medical Director, Northern Cancer Center, Dixon, IL

“Most valuable thing that I learnt was that there is an ancient, simple way to achieve happiness and serenity that really works.”
- C. McGuire, Consultant, New York, NY

“Less stress: not attached to the actions of others, so I don’t create conflict by responding negatively.”
- S. Clute, Attorney, Richmond, VA

“Continued improvement! Calmer in the face of client anxiety and market conditions.”
- N. Stevens, Vice President, Sales, Reber/Russell Company, Boulder, CO

“The most important thing that I took away from the course was surrendering to the process and letting it unfold – contrary to my business training (attack mode).”
- N. Stevens, Vice President, Sales, Reber/Russell Company, Boulder, CO

“Vipassana is an art of living through continuous self improvement. It has helped me immensely in adverse conditions being tolerant to others and taking action as opposed to blind reaction.”
- R. Vaid, Partner, Pacesetter Capital