While the present book was in preparation, its author, the Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw of Burma, passed away at the age of 78. Thus, unexpectedly — as death so often comes — this publication has turned out to be a memorial issue in honour of one of the outstanding contemporary teachers of Theravāda
Buddhism, especially in the field of insight meditation (vipassanā). It was not long before he passed away that the Venerable Sayādaw had conveyed his consent to a compilation of his thoughts and observations, chiefly on insight meditation.
The selections here presented have been taken from sermons of the Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw dealing with various Suttas (Discourses of the Buddha). The sermons had been delivered in the Burmese language and were translated into English by various hands. A set of seven books containing
these English translations was published in 1980 by the Buddha Sāsanānuggaha Organisation of Rangoon (Sāsana Yeikthā), which gave its kind permission for extracts from these books to be reproduced in the present anthology. These selections have been slightly edited, and references to their
sources are given after each extract. A short biography of the Venerable Author is also included here.
In issuing this anthology, it is hoped that the sayings will be found instructive and inspiring, and that they will stimulate the reader to take up earnestly the threefold cultivation of morality, meditation, and wisdom, reaching their culmination in liberating insight wisdom.
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