by Sayadaw U Silananda
Size: 5.5” X 5.6”
“Wherever I talk about Vipassana, I say Vipassana is seeing things in various ways, seeing mind and matter or mental and physical phenomena in light of their characteristics-seeing things as impermanent, as painful or unsatisfactory and an insubstantial or non-self. These are the three characteristics of everything that is in the world. We find these characteristics or these marks in very thing and every being’. – Sayadaw U Silananda.
What is meant by everything in the world? What is impermanent? How do we know that something is impermanent? What is it that is suffering? And what is it that is anatta, that is soulless? In this short essay, Sayadaw U Silananda explained the different aspects of “seeing” or understanding these characteristics.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda was selected by the late Most Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw of Burma to carry out the honourable task of spreading the Dhamma in the West, more than 30 years ago.
Today, the Venerable Sayadaw is the Abbot of Dhammananda Vihara in California and the Spiritual Director of the Theravada Buddhist Society of America, Dhammachakka Meditation Center, Berkeley and the Tathagata Meditation Center of San Jose. In Myanmar, the Venerable is also one of three spiritual directors (Ovadacariya Sayadaws) of the Mahasi Meditation Center in Yangon.
Born to a devout Buddhist family in Mandalay on 16 December, 1927, the Venerable received his early education at Kelly High School, an American Baptist Mission School for boys. In 1943, at the age of 16, he ordained as a novice monk and began formal religious training with his preceptor and other renowned monks. Full bhikkhu ordination followed in 1947.
The Venerable holds two Dhammacariya (Master of Dhamma) degrees and has taught at the Athithokdayone Pali University. He was an External Examiner at the Department of Oriental Studies, University of Art and Sciences in Mandalay, Myanmar. The Venerable was the Chief Compiler of the Tipitaka Pali-Burmese Dictionary and was one of the distinguished editors of the Pali Canon and associated Commentaries at the Sixth Buddhist Council held in Rangoon (Yangon) from 1954 to 1956. He is the author of seven Burmese Buddhist books and nine in English. Three of his English books had been translated into Chinese.
Well-regarded as a compassionate, knowledgeable and wise teacher, the Venerable Sayadaw teaches Vipassana meditation, Abhidhamma and other aspects of Theravadian Buddhism in English, Burmese, Pali and Sanskrit. He has led meditation retreats throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Europe.
In 1993, the Venerable was awarded the title of Agga Maha Pandita by the Burmese religious authorities and in 1999 the title of Agga Maha Saddhamma Jotikadhaja. He was also appointed as Rector of International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University of Yangon in Myanmar. More recently, in 2000, he was conferred Honorary Doctorate (D.Litt.) by Yangon University.