U Ba Khin

The Essentials of Buddha Dhamma in Meditative Practice

The Essentials of Buddha Dhamma in Meditative Practice

A profound essay of extraordinary conciseness, clarity and power, in which the teacher of S. N. Goenka sums up the technique of vipassana.

This short discourse was composed by Sayagyi U Ba Khin for his foreign students, who were not able to easily come to Myanmar for further practice and guidance. He recorded the discourse at least twice on early audio tape recorders. It was later transcribed and printed in various Buddhist journals where the editors gave it the title it has now.

This small book includes a life sketch of U Ba Khin and an introductory appreciation of his role in the modern dispensation of the Buddha’s teaching.

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About U Ba Khin

Ba Khin was born in Yangon during the British colonial rule in March 1899. In January 1937, Ba Khin met a student of Saya Thet Gyi. Thet Gyi was a wealthy farmer and disciple of the renowned master Ledi Sayadaw, who taught him anapana-sati, a form of meditation taught by the Buddha.

When Ba Khin tried it, he experienced good concentration, which impressed him so much that he resolved to complete a full course in vipassana meditation that Thet Gyi offered. Ba Khin progressed well and continued his practice during frequent visits to his teacher's center and meetings with Thet Gyi.

In 1941 he met Webu Sayadaw, a monk who was widely recognized as an arahant. Webu Sayadaw was impressed with Ba Khin's proficiency in meditation, and urged him to teach. The monk was the first person to exhort Ba Khin to start teaching.

In 1950 he founded the Vipassana Association of the Accountant General's Office where lay people, mainly employees of that office, could learn Vipassana meditation. In 1952, the International Meditation Centre (I.M.C.) was opened in Rangoon were many Burmese and foreign students received instruction in the Dhamma from Ba Khin. He was also active in the planning for the Sixth Buddhist Council known as Chaṭṭha Saṅgāyana (Sixth Recitation) which was held in 1954–56 in Yangon.

You yourselves must strive, the Buddhas only point the way

Buddha, Dhp 276