Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jan 27, 2012 11:14 am

David2 wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
vidar wrote:If somebody feel aversion towards Chanting the best thing to do is maintain equanimity
Do you mean just observe the aversion and work with that (focusing on the mind space and thought proliferation)? Or should one return to the object of meditation, be that anapana sati or focusing on physical sensations in the body?


You should continue your meditation if aversion arises.

You are observing the aversion when you are observing the sensations in the body.


Do you mean the thoughts of aversion? Creating a large field of mindfullness which encompses mind and body? How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby David2 » Fri Jan 27, 2012 4:51 pm

Mr Man wrote:How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?


Focusing on the chanting is certainly not wrong either..
I would say try out what works best for you.
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:41 pm

Mr Man wrote:Do you mean the thoughts of aversion? Creating a large field of mindfullness which encompses mind and body? How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?


That wouldn't be vipassana, vipassana techniques ask you to observe sense contact through the 6 sense doors, so instead of focusing on sound you observe the process of hearing, you observe what's happening within your own mind body process.

This is an important distinction.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:49 pm

Goofaholix wrote:vipassana techniques ask you to observe sense contact through the 6 sense doors, so instead of focusing on sound you observe the process of hearing, you observe what's happening within your own mind body process.

This is an important distinction.

Is that different than "just the heard in the heard" ?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 27, 2012 6:59 pm

kirk5a wrote:Is that different than "just the heard in the heard" ?


No, that's what I'm talking about, otherwise it would be "just the sound in the sound".
Last edited by Goofaholix on Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:20 pm

Goofaholix wrote:No, that's what I'm talking about, otherwise it would be "just the sound in the sound".

So you see a difference in practice between "just the heard in the heard" and "just the sound in the sound" ? What is that difference?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby daverupa » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:27 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:No, that's what I'm talking about, otherwise it would be "just the sound in the sound".

So you see a difference in practice between "just the heard in the heard" and "just the sound in the sound" ? What is that difference?


It seems to me that "heard" involves the coming together of sound, ear, and vinnana. Strictly speaking, "just the sound in the sound" isn't a possible percept.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:34 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:No, that's what I'm talking about, otherwise it would be "just the sound in the sound".

So you see a difference in practice between "just the heard in the heard" and "just the sound in the sound" ? What is that difference?


Sound happens out there, hearing happens within ones mind and body.

If you focus on sound you'll get caught up in imagining where it is happening, what kind of bird is making it etc.

If you observe hearing you'll observe the process of contact, perception, feeling, and fabrication etc all happening within the mind body process.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby kirk5a » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:45 pm

Goofaholix wrote:If you observe hearing you'll observe the process of contact, perception, feeling, and fabrication etc all happening within the mind body process.

So what?
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Jan 27, 2012 7:50 pm

kirk5a wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:If you observe hearing you'll observe the process of contact, perception, feeling, and fabrication etc all happening within the mind body process.

So what?


That's the practise.

Suffering arises within the mind body process not within sound, you can observe the beauty of the melody of birdsong and imagine how lovely that bird is but unless you notice the process that is going on in the mind and body as a result of that you won't have learned anything about the mind.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jan 27, 2012 8:07 pm

Goofaholix what do you focus on to "observe hearing"?
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Fri Jan 27, 2012 9:25 pm

Mr Man wrote:
vidar wrote:If somebody feel aversion towards Chanting the best thing to do is maintain equanimity
Do you mean just observe the aversion and work with that (focusing on the mind space and thought proliferation)? Or should one return to the object of meditation, be that anapana sati or focusing on physical sensations in the body?

I mean just observe the sensations in the body and maintain the equanimity if aversion arises, and if you are incapable to do that then you go back to anapana-sati and just observe the breath, or at least that's how I have understood.

:anjali:
All the world is on fire, All the world is burning, All the world is ablaze, All the world is quaking. That which does not quake or blaze, That to which worldlings do not resort, Where there is no place for Mara:That is where my mind delights. (SN 5.7)

By degrees, little by little,
from moment to moment,
the wise purify themselves,
as a smith purifies silver.
—Dhammapada 239
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Fri Jan 27, 2012 10:22 pm

vidar wrote:I mean just observe the sensations in the body and maintain the equanimity if aversion arises, and if you are incapable to do that then you go back to anapana-sati and just observe the breath, or at least that's how I have understood.



Thanks for the reply, that's how I would imagine one would implement the U Ba Khin method as well. :anjali:
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jan 28, 2012 1:21 am

Mr Man wrote:Goofaholix what do you focus on to "observe hearing"?


Focus and observe are two different things, focus is attempting to hone in on something to the exclusion of everything else whereas observe is more inclusive and more open to whatever arises.

We don't focus in insight meditation, we observe. So we observe hearing the same as we observe sensations in the body, and the feeling tone, and the arising and passing away.

So when sound is noticed you observe what happens in the body and mind, notice hearing has happened, notice the feelings that arise pleasant unpleasant or neutral, the sensations in the body that may arise as a result, the thinking that may arise as a result.

It makes not difference what the sound is, it's what happens within the mind and body as a result of the sound that is of interest.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:43 am

Goofaholix, When we practice the U Ba Khin method, the same mental faculty that is developed in Anapana Sati is brought to "Vipasana". The focus is sometimes narrow (like focusing on the soles of the feet) and sometimes it is widened to take in the whole body etc.. Sometimes it is fairly active and sometimes more passive but it is still the same mental faculty.

When I said "How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?" what do you think I meant?

:anjali:
Last edited by Mr Man on Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 28, 2012 12:19 pm

Hi Gregor,
I have never done any Goenka retreats, but maybe another experiance may go someway to give a context/perspective of 'anoyance' of it?
Repetition is common in my experience, sure the exact same talks would/could grind a nerve or two, but there is benefit in it, particularly in this instance.

it gives time to capture the whole of the context/nuances of meaning, many teachers say the same thing over and over again, it is common, they only teach one thing, and may use different ways to do this, and this has its benefit, but Goenka naturally can not be everywhere at once, so the recordings are used.
the plus side is that you can hear what is being said in a new light, with further experience, and hopefully a more refined sense of the practice.
I heard of one person hearing a sutta being read out, it said
in the seen there is only the seen
(it is in Ud2.10 I think??
but he understood
in the scene there is only the scene

completely misunderstanding it, but he did have quite an interesting insight.
there is also a practice which I engage in from the christian tradition known as lecio devinia (spelling??) or devine reading, and I gleam new information on every reading of a text over the space of a week or month that I am using a text. the repetition can be an object for watching both the mind and strengthaning Satisampajana, mindfulness & clear knowing, just the same way as watching the breath is. and as you have to hear the same thing in two languages there may be a nuance in a word not in the other which could be good to explore.

The Chanting can be dull (I dislike the morning chanting myself as it is a short version of the evening chanting, although I preferred the alternative version for the morning) and one can think of many ways to escape the repetition of saying something particularly if you don't understand it, but one can also look at the meaning of what is being said and focus on what the meaning means to you, like what is it to be the perfectly enlightened one, who actually are the sangha to me, or who is my sangha, and why is the Dhamma complete in the Beginning middle & end/how is it practised rightly? [edit = also chanting can help with breathing, as in the long and short breath of the anapana practice instructions found within the suttas, and chanting has its own tradition, mantra recitation, or mantra yoga, and even the nada yoga, or sound of silence found in other Buddhist circles & also taught by Ajahn Sumedho is related to this.
but from a textual point of view the section of the Satipatthana sutta known as clear knowing (after the posture section) is directly part of the practice you have had discomfort with.

Like I said I have not done a goenka retreat, and know people here and elsewhere have benefited from them, but there is a way of attending anything which can make it beneficial or not.
Hope this Helps
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jan 28, 2012 7:00 pm

Mr Man wrote:When I said "How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?" what do you think I meant?


I think you meant exactly what you said, sound happens outside the body so to focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates is to take the attention to an object outside the body which is not consistent with the technique.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Sat Jan 28, 2012 9:36 pm

Goofaholix wrote:
Mr Man wrote:When I said "How about focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates?" what do you think I meant?


I think you meant exactly what you said, sound happens outside the body so to focusing directly on the sound of the chanting as it resonates is to take the attention to an object outside the body which is not consistent with the technique.


Our experiance of sound is always within the body/mind. The sound comes to us. It makes contact with our eardrum. Without that contact there is no experience of sound. We cannot listen to the source of a sound. I think you are trying to create a difference where there isn't one. With respect.
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Jan 28, 2012 10:27 pm

Mr Man wrote:Our experiance of sound is always within the body/mind. The sound comes to us. It makes contact with our eardrum. Without that contact there is no experience of sound. We cannot listen to the source of a sound. I think you are trying to create a difference where there isn't one. With respect.


I think you'd best experiment to see if there is a difference between placing your attention internally or externally, in my experience in meditation subtle differences of emphasis make a big difference. I think it's pretty common when for people when they first hear the instruction to use sound as a meditation object to place there attention out there where the sound is coming from.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Sunlily » Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:19 am

ertner wrote:wow... it was great reading all these responses. i just came back from my first course two days ago and
have to admit that Goenka's chanting (his english instruction as well) was the absolute number one reason that i feel as though i missed out on vipassana completely and might have wasted 10 days of my time... it was far, far, far too distracting for me and it prompted me to do anything BUT focus on becoming established in the practice.
:goodpost:

I am so very relieved to hear this as my experience and feelings were exactly the same,
Didn't know my earlobes could fit into my ears and help block out sound until I did this course.
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