Is this a fair critique of goenka?

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hermitwin
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by hermitwin »

Bikkhu Pesala, thank you for your reply.

Would you consider goenka followers a cult ?

Here are some of his talks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ii9vjW9BwU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqEWTlaweaM
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tiltbillings
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by tiltbillings »

hermitwin wrote:Bikkhu Pesala, thank you for your reply.

Would you consider goenka followers a cult ?

Here are some of his talks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ii9vjW9BwU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqEWTlaweaM
What in particular in these talks is concerning you?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723
hermitwin
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by hermitwin »

The main purpose of this thread is to hear alternative views.
I have personal friends who are followers of goenka. They have discussed with me at length about why they feel goenka is the best.
I have attended the 10-day goenka retreat.
I have also learned meditation from other teachers.
I am interested to hear from people who has experiences and can compare and contrast the goenka style and other styles.
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Ben
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by Ben »

Everyone's experience will be different. One approach may suit one person and another approach - someone else.
It's not a failure of a particular approach but rather an artefact that we are all different.
If SN Gienka's approach does not suit you - then practice under the guidance of another teacher. In fact, that is exactly what SN Goenka instructs his students.
With metta,
Ben
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pilgrim
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by pilgrim »

Goenka's advice, given in one of his talks, in regard to such a predicament would be to take and medicine and get cured and stop arguing whose doctor or prescription is better.
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Mr Man
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by Mr Man »

hermitwin wrote:The main purpose of this thread is to hear alternative views.
I have personal friends who are followers of goenka. They have discussed with me at length about why they feel goenka is the best.
I have attended the 10-day goenka retreat.
I have also learned meditation from other teachers.
I am interested to hear from people who has experiences and can compare and contrast the goenka style and other styles.
In my opinion it is very is distinct and idiocentric. It would bear very little relationship to the lay and monastic way of practice of the English speaking branch monasteries of Ajahn Chah for example (in my opinion). In my opinion it is cultish. At the same time no doubt it has offered a great deal to a great many and has been a conduit.
hermitwin
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by hermitwin »

The wrong prescription could kill you. lol.
alan
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by alan »

It's way too long and there are some odd phrases, but I'd have to say yes, it is fair. Corresponds to my experiences and observations.
hermitwin
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by hermitwin »

Thank goodness , I managed to find someone willing to critique goenka.

During this retreat I did not find SN Goneka's talks particularly insightful nor did they stray beyond the average of what is typical of any Theravadan Buddhist or Insight Meditation Society ten-day retreat. His discourses covered the basics of Buddhist philosophy, which included the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path, the Precepts and the basic techniques of breath observation, as well as sitting, and walking meditation, moment-to-moment mindfulness and later on body-scanning, which is how Vipassana meditation is typically practiced within a Theravadan context. His talks did not cover meditative absorption (jhana) at all, even though the jhanas are a central theme in the Discourses of the Buddha.

http://greatwesternvehicle.org/criticism/goenka.htm
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Zom
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by Zom »

Here we have an excellent article with Goenka methods / retreats critique, written in Russian, but doubt I have a desire to translate it into English 8-)
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mikenz66
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by mikenz66 »

Hi Hermitwin, see this thread on Jhanananda's blog: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=10330

:anjali:
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hermitwin
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by hermitwin »

Nobody is free from critiques, not even the Buddha, Ajahn Chah or Mahasi Sayadaw.
We should examine the validity of the critcisms instead of shooting the messenger.
Any teacher worth his salt should be able to withstand criticisms.
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pilgrim
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by pilgrim »

That's true. However you started the thread saying you'd like to hear views on Goenka, but it seems you are more keen to push your views. If you had been more upfront to state your views and to invite feedback, there would have been greater clarity overall.

Edited..
Last edited by pilgrim on Tue Dec 16, 2014 7:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tiltbillings
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by tiltbillings »

pilgrim wrote:That's true. However you started the thread saying you'd like to hear views on Goenka, but it seems you are more keen to push your views. If you had been more upfront to state your views and to invite feedback, there would have been greater clarity overall.
Thankyou. That reads to be an accurate reflection of the OP.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723
Sanjay PS
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Re: Is this a fair critique of goenka?

Post by Sanjay PS »

hermitwin wrote:Nobody is free from critiques, not even the Buddha, Ajahn Chah or Mahasi Sayadaw.
We should examine the validity of the critcisms instead of shooting the messenger.
Any teacher worth his salt should be able to withstand criticisms.


It is strange that you mention such . A good many majority of people who have done courses under Goenkaji have come to truly understand , the Buddhas Teaching , Venerable Ajahn Chah and Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw's Teaching, which are all just but the same, the blessings of Lord Budhha in urging us to realize , annica , dukkha and annata , of life and living . Goenkaji , like all meaningful Teachers , has been an untiring advocate in repeating that Dhamma is only Dhamma , when it has the property of withstanding investigation . Everyone is encouraged to realize time and often " atha hi athano natho , atha hi athano gathi " ( one is one's own master , one makes ones own future ).

And about criticism , its just not limited to our own doubts , but so also people from other religions and quarters who have attacked the methods and teachings . But as you have rightly said , any Teacher worth his salt , would withstand the criticisms and continue on regardless . This has been made amply clear by the spread and reach that has been unparalleled . I am deeply grateful to Goenkaji , for his untiring efforts , unbounded compassion , but for the purity and its sincerity of purpose , i would have missed out in understanding the greatness of Lord Buddha , the Nobles ones ; Venerable Ajahn Chah , Venarable Mahashi Sayadaw , Sayagi U Ba Kin , Sayagi Thetgi , Venerable Webu Sayadaw , Venerable Ledi Sayadaw and the many other stars in the galaxy of Dhamma , whom i may not know of. There is only but one refuge , the refuge in the Buddha ; there is only but one refuge , the refuge in Dhamma ; there in only but one refuge , the refuge in the Sangha. By truly revering the Triple Gem , we come to understand little by little that the mind behind our actions is chief and is our real refuge and inheritance from time immemorial . Without the faith in the Triple Gem , this understanding would have remained as just another brick in the wall.

These are wonderful pictures that i thought of sharing :-)
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