Is there somewhere I can read about the Goenka method in detail? I have been reading a summary of his discourses and a sort of body scan is implied but no specific detail.
Myotai wrote:Thanks, but with a new baby at home taking myself off for 10 days isnt going to happen any time soon...
the insight meditation taught by the Indian S.N. Goenka (1924), a
disciple of the Burmese meditation teacher U Ba Khin (1899-1971),
began to spread around the globe and has by now
become what probably is the most widely taught form of insight
meditation world-wide. This meditation tradition centres on
observation of bodily feelings. The practice of contemplating
feelings is based on the previous development of a foundation in
mental tranquillity through mindfulness of breathing, to which in
a standard ten days retreat the first three days of practice are
dedicated. Subsequently, feelings are observed through a
continuous scanning of the body in the up and downward
directions, leading to a penetrative awareness of their changing
nature at increasingly subtler levels. Eventually, such practice
leads to an awareness of the entire spectrum of body and mind in
a constantly changing flux. (Analyao,dynamics of insight)
pilgrim wrote:Dr. Lin: "By observing our bodily sensations how can we eradicate our defilements and change our habit pattern? Isn’t it easier to practise by observing our mind directly and not let unwholesome thoughts arise?"
S. N. Goenka: "Purifying the mind by changing the thoughts from unwholesome to wholesome is certainly a good practise. This was taught by many other teachers before Buddha and after Buddha. But this is not the depth of Buddha’s teaching. It is difficult to observe the mind but easy to observe the sensation which is nothing but the manifestation of the mental state at any given moment. "
I have difficulty with this instruction. When anger or whatever emotion arises in me, I think I feel it as a mental presence, not as a sensation on my body. Goenka advises one not to look for a corresponding sensation to the mental state. In which case, how does one become aware of all sensations on the body ? I do not doubt that there would be changes to sensations in the body, but this is so subtle that it appears to me to be easier to be aware of the mental state instead of sensations.
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