by Jack Kornfield

In every generation, there are a few visionary and profound masters who hold high the lamp of the Dharma to illuminate the world. Like the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh, Ven. S.N. Goenka, was one of the great world masters of our time. Brilliant and charismatic, tireless advocate for the transformative power of meditation practice, supporter of retreats encouraging hundreds of thousands to have a direct experience of wisdom, founder of 172 meditation centers worldwide, and man of virtue, samadhi and understanding, Goenka has passed away at age 90.

He always taught meditation as an inner exploration, urging students to simply “Come and see for yourself”. Born in India and trained in Burma, Goenka was an inspiration and teacher for Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, Ram Dass, Daniel Goleman, and many other western spiritual leaders.

His style of Vipassana practice, awareness of the breath and mindful awareness of the vibrations and energy field of the body brings deep understandings of impermanence, inner purification and freedom. This practice has been used in health care, prisons, schools businesses and meditation centers across the globe.

From Spirit Rock and the whole movement of the Dharma in the west we offer bows of gratitude and respect for all he has offered, prayers of blessings for him and continuing appreciation for all who follow his example in Dharma practice and selfless service.

(originally posted at

  • Jillian Grandell

    “May all beings be liberated”

    • Tom in Seattle

      May all beings enjoy real peace, real happiness, real harmony.

  • SherLizza

    Goenkas greatest asset: Making it possible for everyone to attend and offering
    the 10 day silent retreats on a donation basis, so people – like me –
    with a minimum income can still be present at a retreat.
    This way of attending a course has been going on for decades now, and it WORKS, more and more centers are being founded.
    A good example how to spread dhamma, that should find a following.
    Unfortunately retreats and developing oneself spiritually have become yet another way of business.
    Big Thank You to Goenka to offer retreats on a donation basis.
    Bhavatu sabba mangalam

  • Nishant

    Correction: Goenka ji was born in Burma not in India