Everyone should have an aim in life.
The best aim is to put an end to suffering.
The end of suffering means the end of craving,
which can only be eradicated by mindfulness.
The central teaching of Buddhism is mindfulness, which leads to insight. Insight removes craving and delusion, the causes of suffering, and so a diligent meditator enjoys mental peace. Ultimately, one can attain nibbāna — the end of suffering.
The practical teachings of the Buddha are open to all. Suffering is a universal affliction, craving and ignorance are universal traits, and mindfulness is a universal remedy. Mindfulness is the only way to identify and eliminate the causes of suffering.
In 1949 Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw was invited by Prime Minister U Nu, to be the teacher at a new meditation centre in Rangoon. From 1949 until his death in 1982, the Sayādaw worked tirelessly to promote mindfulness meditation. At the latest census there were over 300 branch Mahāsi Meditation Centres in Burma, as well as numerous international centres.
The Sayādaw lived an exemplary life. His priceless gift to the world was his precise and systematic method of insight meditation.
Bhikkhu Pesala is an English monk, ordained at Oxford by Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw in 1979 during the Sayādaw’s missionary tour of the West.
He has been four times to Burma to practise intensive meditation with senior disciples of Mahāsi Sayādaw.
He has edited many valuable books by Burmese meditation masters, to make their teachings more accessible to readers who are unfamiliar with Pāḷi technical terms.