Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:00 pm

Sunlily wrote:
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.

Definitely is your experience, for me was completely different. And if in the course you only continued reacting with disliking or aversion towards chanting or anything else, then you don't understand nothing about what the practice really is.
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
User avatar
vidar
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:37 pm

vidar wrote:Definitely is your experience, for me was completely different. And if in the course you only continued reacting with disliking or aversion towards chanting or anything else, then you don't understand nothing about what the practice really is.


It is quite possible to have a preference for silence rather than being chanted at in Hindi (a language I have absolutely no knowledge of) or Pali (without translation) without being accused of aversion or a lack of understanding. I am afraid to say that the idea of 'magical words' or should I say 'creating good vibrations' does not really sit well with me. The phrase 'creating good vibrations' is used often by Mr Goenka in the discourses. The Buddha never made such claims, the Buddha seemed to generate goodness through his teachings which were understood by others and not through special chanting or languages that were unintelligible to his audience. I can deal with a small amount of chanting in pali (with English translation) morning & night but beyond that it begins to strike me as a rather fruitless exercise. Being heavily involved with Tibetan Buddhism in my early years, I have seen the utter ludicrousness of large groups of westerners chanting & being chanted at, in a language totally alien to them and totally believing that this is a mystical language bringing its blessings. If it was a sutta being chanted in English THEN I could believe its effects, not through the language but through its MEANING.

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.
Brizzy
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby David2 » Sun Jan 29, 2012 1:49 pm

Brizzy wrote:If it was a sutta being chanted in English THEN I could believe its effects, not through the language but through its MEANING.


Of course old students can study what the chanting means, so they will also benefit of the meaning of the chanting in their following courses.

The advantage of chanting not in English but in Pali and Hindi is obviously that the meaning of the suttas and the traditional chanting does not change (through translation).
David2
 
Posts: 930
Joined: Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Sun Jan 29, 2012 4:56 pm

It is quite possible to have a preference for silence rather than being chanted at in Hindi (a language I have absolutely no knowledge of) or Pali (without translation)...

The long chant is only in the morning not all day. If anyone has a “preference for silence” he/she can meditate in the pagoda cells or in his/her room during the day.
...without being accused of aversion or a lack of understanding

Continuing reacting with aversion towards chanting or anything else instead of try to maintain equanimity shows a lack of understanding of the technique and the instructions given in the discourses.
I am afraid to say that the idea of 'magical words' or should I say 'creating good vibrations' does not really sit well with me

Goenkaji never said that his words are "magical".
The phrase 'creating good vibrations' is used often by Mr Goenka in the discourses.

Really? The phrase 'creating good vibrations' is used "often" in the discourses? I don't remember, maybe I missed that part.
The Buddha never made such claims, the Buddha seemed to generate goodness through his teachings which were understood by others and not through special chanting or languages that were unintelligible to his audience

The discourses with the Dhamma teachings and the meditation instructions are given in a language intelligible to the audience not in pali or hindi. And by the way you hardly are an authority in what the Buddha taught or not.
Being heavily involved with Tibetan Buddhism in my early years, I have seen the utter ludicrousness of large groups of westerners chanting & being chanted at, in a language totally alien to them and totally believing that this is a mystical language bringing its blessings.

There is nothing mystical in Goenkaji chants and certainly he never said that the chanting will help you to become liberated. Liberation comes only with your personal effort, as he says:

“Dhamma is Dhamma only if it makes us self-reliant. So it is the duty of every Vipassana teacher to teach people to become self-reliant. "Attā hi attano nātho" You are your own master and no one else. "Attā hi attano gati" You make your own future, both wholesome and unwholesome and also the state of full liberation beyond all conditioned states. If you understand this properly, no teacher will be able to harm you in any way. Then if any teacher says, "Sit in front of me for one hour, I will give mettā and suck out all your sins," you will get up and walk away because you don't want this kind of mettā.”
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
User avatar
vidar
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:13 pm

vidar wrote:Definitely is your experience, for me was completely different. And if in the course you only continued reacting with disliking or aversion towards chanting or anything else, then you don't understand nothing about what the practice really is.

sometimes being with the aversion is the practice, and it can be very useful, there is Dukkha and it is to be apprehended, so maybe your understanding is at fault, not that of others.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Sun Jan 29, 2012 5:24 pm

Cittasanto wrote:
vidar wrote:Definitely is your experience, for me was completely different. And if in the course you only continued reacting with disliking or aversion towards chanting or anything else, then you don't understand nothing about what the practice really is.

sometimes being with the aversion is the practice, and it can be very useful, there is Dukkha and it is to be apprehended

So you're saying that one must continuing reacting with aversion?
so maybe your understanding is at fault, not that of others.

Maybe, although I doubt of the understanding of somebody who says "Didn't know my earlobes could fit into my ears and help block out sound until I did this course."
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
User avatar
vidar
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 29, 2012 6:47 pm

vidar wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
vidar wrote:Definitely is your experience, for me was completely different. And if in the course you only continued reacting with disliking or aversion towards chanting or anything else, then you don't understand nothing about what the practice really is.

sometimes being with the aversion is the practice, and it can be very useful, there is Dukkha and it is to be apprehended

So you're saying that one must continuing reacting with aversion?
so maybe your understanding is at fault, not that of others.

Maybe, although I doubt of the understanding of somebody who says "Didn't know my earlobes could fit into my ears and help block out sound until I did this course."

one can have aversion for along time, so long as there is dosa there is the possibility of aversion at some level if something for whatever reason provides a foothold for it!
and do note they did not say they ran out of the room screaming, or anything of the sort, shows some patient endurance, the foremost austerity, and will come in useful when it is needed. this is a gradual path and knowing Dukkha is just as much part of it as any other, not that there aren't other things to do in that regard.
however, did you ever think that they were joking about the ear thing?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:23 pm

At the root of the aversion to the chanting is the belief that "this should not be happening", if one didn't have this belief then the aversion wouldn't grow. For example a large flock of birds could be making just as much noise as the chanting but nobody would create as much aversion to that because everybody knows this is natural and beyond our control.

Goenka retreats are like the McDonalds of the retreat world, you can attend a retreat anywhere in the world and know exactly what you are going to get, unlike McDonalds though where you can take the pickles out you can't do this with a Goenka retreat. So if you can't cope with the chanting don't sign up for another retreat.

If you do sign up for a retreat then you know you are going to be meditating at times when the circumstances are totally quiet and other times when it's noisy, the mind settles much more easily when it's quiet but meditating when it's noisy builds strength of mind and an ability to meditate under a variety of circumstances. The ability to meditate under a variety of circumstances is a good skill to have, if you have to wait until conditions are perfect your meditation practise will be much poorer, if you have to learn this at home it will be harder than if you learned it on retreat.

I've done a lot of retreats in SE Asia and in many centres there are loudspeakers, music, dogs, roosters, spitting monks, and all manner of noise throughout the day, I can assure you Goenkas chanting is quite sublime by comparison.
"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
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1944
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:30 pm

:goodpost:

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7613
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:39 pm

Cittasanto wrote:one can have aversion for along time, so long as there is dosa there is the possibility of aversion at some level if something for whatever reason provides a foothold for it!

you're right, but I never said that one must not feel aversion, what I said was that if aversion or craving arises due to unpleasant or pleasant sensations/sounds one must be aware and try to maintain equanimity.
and do note they did not say they ran out of the room screaming, or anything of the sort, shows some patient endurance, the foremost austerity, and will come in useful when it is needed. this is a gradual path and knowing Dukkha is just as much part of it as any other, not that there aren't other things to do in that regard.
however, did you ever think that they were joking about the ear thing

Yes I know it was a joke (a bad one), but if they say that the aversion towards chanting caused that they missed out on vipassana and "wasted 10 days of they time",I suppose they didn't understand the instructions correctly.
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
User avatar
vidar
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby vidar » Sun Jan 29, 2012 7:55 pm

Goenka retreats are like the McDonalds of the retreat world, you can attend a retreat anywhere in the world and know exactly what you are going to get, unlike McDonalds though where you can take the pickles out you can't do this with a Goenka retreat. So if you can't cope with the chanting don't sign up for another retreat.

Well said Goofaholix :clap:
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
User avatar
vidar
 
Posts: 71
Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:38 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:23 pm

vidar wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:one can have aversion for along time, so long as there is dosa there is the possibility of aversion at some level if something for whatever reason provides a foothold for it!

you're right, but I never said that one must not feel aversion, what I said was that if aversion or craving arises due to unpleasant or pleasant sensations/sounds one must be aware and try to maintain equanimity.

Why must they? there is more than equanimity in the practice, I believe they done well getting through the parts they didn't like, and managing the aversion the best they could and then going back for more! this is their first one or two goes at intensive retreat. I know people who lasted only a few days and left.

and do note they did not say they ran out of the room screaming, or anything of the sort, shows some patient endurance, the foremost austerity, and will come in useful when it is needed. this is a gradual path and knowing Dukkha is just as much part of it as any other, not that there aren't other things to do in that regard.
however, did you ever think that they were joking about the ear thing

Yes I know it was a joke (a bad one), but if they say that the aversion towards chanting caused that they missed out on vipassana and "wasted 10 days of they time",I suppose they didn't understand the instructions correctly.

Well I though it funny, just thinking of a person in front of me tucking their ears inside out is a funny thought!
but they may of needed something else to help them, not everyone needs group instruction and maybe some one on one assistance may of been better?

I was in a 2week full group practice period of a three month retreat having panic attacks and had to be offered permission to not attend afternoon sits, (heaven forbid I requested to attend a 10day+ retreat after that!) so I didn't get any benefit out of that in the same way some may expect or believe a retreat experience should yield fruit, but it was still beneficial, maybe time and perspective are needed to see it, or not? but no need to say they didn't understand, maybe their experiance wasn't the norm, but maybe they need assistance seeing the benefit of it.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
Upāsaka Cittasanto
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
User avatar
Cittasanto
 
Posts: 5751
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:31 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:36 pm

David2 wrote:
Brizzy wrote:If it was a sutta being chanted in English THEN I could believe its effects, not through the language but through its MEANING.


Of course old students can study what the chanting means, so they will also benefit of the meaning of the chanting in their following courses.

The advantage of chanting not in English but in Pali and Hindi is obviously that the meaning of the suttas and the traditional chanting does not change (through translation).



I am sorry but at my time of life learning the dhamma is enough without having to learn another language. Also how can one actually benefit from hearing the original pali without somehow translating it?

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.
Brizzy
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:38 pm

vidar wrote:
It is quite possible to have a preference for silence rather than being chanted at in Hindi (a language I have absolutely no knowledge of) or Pali (without translation)...

The long chant is only in the morning not all day. If anyone has a “preference for silence” he/she can meditate in the pagoda cells or in his/her room during the day.
...without being accused of aversion or a lack of understanding

Continuing reacting with aversion towards chanting or anything else instead of try to maintain equanimity shows a lack of understanding of the technique and the instructions given in the discourses.
I am afraid to say that the idea of 'magical words' or should I say 'creating good vibrations' does not really sit well with me

Goenkaji never said that his words are "magical".
The phrase 'creating good vibrations' is used often by Mr Goenka in the discourses.

Really? The phrase 'creating good vibrations' is used "often" in the discourses? I don't remember, maybe I missed that part.
The Buddha never made such claims, the Buddha seemed to generate goodness through his teachings which were understood by others and not through special chanting or languages that were unintelligible to his audience

The discourses with the Dhamma teachings and the meditation instructions are given in a language intelligible to the audience not in pali or hindi. And by the way you hardly are an authority in what the Buddha taught or not.
Being heavily involved with Tibetan Buddhism in my early years, I have seen the utter ludicrousness of large groups of westerners chanting & being chanted at, in a language totally alien to them and totally believing that this is a mystical language bringing its blessings.

There is nothing mystical in Goenkaji chants and certainly he never said that the chanting will help you to become liberated. Liberation comes only with your personal effort, as he says:

“Dhamma is Dhamma only if it makes us self-reliant. So it is the duty of every Vipassana teacher to teach people to become self-reliant. "Attā hi attano nātho" You are your own master and no one else. "Attā hi attano gati" You make your own future, both wholesome and unwholesome and also the state of full liberation beyond all conditioned states. If you understand this properly, no teacher will be able to harm you in any way. Then if any teacher says, "Sit in front of me for one hour, I will give mettā and suck out all your sins," you will get up and walk away because you don't want this kind of mettā.”



Maybe in your experience one can escape the chanting, bit in mine it is piped through the buildings.
It is a common practice for people to be accused of lack of understanding or having aversion, when those same people raise concern or issue with others religious beliefs. It would be better if those concerns were addressed or debated rather than cast aspersions.
If you cannot remember that Mr Goenka talks about creating good vibrations through chanting and that it is his role as a teacher to do this and we should not worry our heads about it, then you cannot remember you did indeed miss that part.
As for being an authority on what the Buddha did or did not teach, you may be right. I only have the suttas, teachers and my own discernment to guide me. If I get it wrong it is my fault.

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.
Brizzy
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 8:39 pm

vidar wrote:
Goenka retreats are like the McDonalds of the retreat world, you can attend a retreat anywhere in the world and know exactly what you are going to get, unlike McDonalds though where you can take the pickles out you can't do this with a Goenka retreat. So if you can't cope with the chanting don't sign up for another retreat.

Well said Goofaholix :clap:


I'll have mine to go.

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.
Brizzy
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Anagarika » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:07 pm

The whole idea of these lengthy Goenka retreats is interesting. I know that many have benefited greatly from completing the retreats, and others have had different experiences.

Having not attended one, I can't really have an opinion. A Thai monk with whom I was meditating did suggest that the Goenka path was not what he, the Bhikkhu, considered a proper practice of meditation as he saw it being taught within Theravada practice. I believe he saw these Goenka retreats as being akin to a marathon that people enjoyed completing for the sake of the experience. I know that he very much did not consider them to be part of the Dhamma practice that he was teaching.

Another of my teachers has commented that in Thailand, chanting is popular with the public, and that the public will attend the Wat for an evening of chanting, but that to get them to attend an evening of sitting meditation is much more difficult. Perhaps Goenka adds the Pali and Hindi chanting as a way to romanticize or energize the experience.

The hard part of practice is the meditation. It is also the beautiful part, the calming part, the insightful part.

I'd love to run a 26.4 K marathon just to say that I did it. But at the end of the day, if 20 minutes of walking meditation allows me to be just a little kinder, a little more compassionate that day, then the 20 minutes works for me.

Again, what works for others is always interesting to hear, and that's why I'm glad for this forum.
User avatar
Anagarika
 
Posts: 611
Joined: Thu Sep 22, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:19 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:The whole idea of these lengthy Goenka retreats is interesting. I know that many have benefited greatly from completing the retreats, and others have had different experiences.


Lengthy? 10 days is hardly lengthy when you consider the task being undertaken is awakening.

BuddhaSoup wrote:Perhaps Goenka adds the Pali and Hindi chanting as a way to romanticize or energize the experience.


That's the only conclusion i can draw, it seems to not fit with the importance he places on what he is teaching being non-sectarian/religious.
"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
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1944
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Ben » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:21 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:The whole idea of these lengthy Goenka retreats is interesting. I know that many have benefited greatly from completing the retreats, and others have had different experiences.

Having not attended one, I can't really have an opinion. A Thai monk with whom I was meditating did suggest that the Goenka path was not what he, the Bhikkhu, considered a proper practice of meditation as he saw it being taught within Theravada practice. I believe he saw these Goenka retreats as being akin to a marathon that people enjoyed completing for the sake of the experience. I know that he very much did not consider them to be part of the Dhamma practice that he was teaching.

I would say that your Venerable friend may be mistaken with his impressions of a ten-day course in the Goenka tradition. The real marathon is maintaining practice in daily life. Certainly some people go for "the experience", but for others it is the establishment of their practice and subsequent retreats are a merely an opportunity to practice deeply for a period of time. Also, you will find that within Myanmar what is taught by SN Goenka at his centres is considered mainstream Theravada.

Another of my teachers has commented that in Thailand, chanting is popular with the public, and that the public will attend the Wat for an evening of chanting, but that to get them to attend an evening of sitting meditation is much more difficult. Perhaps Goenka adds the Pali and Hindi chanting as a way to romanticize or energize the experience.
Despite how it has been characterised in this thread by those who have a negativity in relation to SN Goenka, there is little chanting in a ten-day course. As others have noted if one were to spend any time near a monastery in Myanmar they would find that the chanting and instruction in Pali and Burmese goes on almost continuously from 3.30am to 11pm at night.
Durng one of SN Goenka's ten-day courses: apart from about one hour in the morning, the remainder of the chanting is interspersed during the day and would not total more than half an hour in total (1.5 hours per day). The reason why chanting is there is partly traditional but also to help create a meditative ambiance.

The hard part of practice is the meditation. It is also the beautiful part, the calming part, the insightful part.
I agree.


kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Heraclitus


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16145
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:28 pm

BuddhaSoup wrote:The whole idea of these lengthy Goenka retreats is interesting. I know that many have benefited greatly from completing the retreats, and others have had different experiences.

Having not attended one, I can't really have an opinion. A Thai monk with whom I was meditating did suggest that the Goenka path was not what he, the Bhikkhu, considered a proper practice of meditation as he saw it being taught within Theravada practice. I believe he saw these Goenka retreats as being akin to a marathon that people enjoyed completing for the sake of the experience. I know that he very much did not consider them to be part of the Dhamma practice that he was teaching.

Another of my teachers has commented that in Thailand, chanting is popular with the public, and that the public will attend the Wat for an evening of chanting, but that to get them to attend an evening of sitting meditation is much more difficult. Perhaps Goenka adds the Pali and Hindi chanting as a way to romanticize or energize the experience.

The hard part of practice is the meditation. It is also the beautiful part, the calming part, the insightful part.

I'd love to run a 26.4 K marathon just to say that I did it. But at the end of the day, if 20 minutes of walking meditation allows me to be just a little kinder, a little more compassionate that day, then the 20 minutes works for me.

Again, what works for others is always interesting to hear, and that's why I'm glad for this forum.


Now thats not fair!

There should be rules about posting a polite, gentle and balanced posting like yours immediately after my little rants. :heart:

It makes me look bad :tongue:

Metta

:smile:
Ignorance is an intentional act.
Brizzy
 
Posts: 138
Joined: Sun Oct 30, 2011 7:58 am

Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Sun Jan 29, 2012 9:37 pm

There is a clip of Goenka chanting here (I haven't embeded the clip because I think it possibly shouldn't be on youtube):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpklk6FuGsM
Ben what is he chanting here?
He has a fairly traditional rythem at times but it is also rather idiosyncratic. I am actually rather a fan of chanting :) .
User avatar
Mr Man
 
Posts: 1294
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2011 8:42 am

PreviousNext

Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: VinceField and 4 guests