SN Goenka - Theravada Dhammaduta extraordinaire

Organisational work, teaching, Sunday school syllabus, charitable work, outreach, sharing of resources, artwork, etc.
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pilgrim
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Re: SN Goenka - Theravada Dhammaduta extraordinaire

Post by pilgrim » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:42 am

thepea wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:31 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun May 13, 2018 9:15 pm

Who are "you Buddhists"? We've both attended Goenka's Vipassana retreats, and both on a website that is avowedly for Buddhist topics. Whence the label?
“You buddhists” are the ones who need to have everything in the CORRECT box. It is clear from mr Goenka and stated many times that he is not teaching Buddhism. But Buddhist mistakenly wish to lump this teaching into theravaden Buddhism. Because there are “some similarities” there are an incredible number of subtle differences which seperates this organization from theravaden Buddhism.
It would make more sense and be more accurate to create another dhamma wheel for this organization separately rather than trying to force it in with theravaden Buddhism.
There is a huge difference between the vihara I would attend and the Goenka Courses people attend.
The walking like a duck and quacking like a duck must be a duck is an incredibly ignorant and disrespectful view.
At every Goenka retreat, participants take the 3 Refuges, reciting Buddham, Dhammam Sangham saranam gacchami three times. In the Mahanama sutta, AN 8.25, the Buddha says " inasmuch as one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, has gone to the Sangha for refuge; in that way, Mahanama, one is a lay follower (upasaka/upasika)."

Ethnic languages like Thai still use this term - Upasaka. But in modern convention lay followers of the Buddha are called Buddhists by English speakers. One can say, that after the retreat ends, one is no longer a Buddhist. That may be true, but for those who consider themselves to be continuing the practice after the formal 10 day retreat, even if they think Buddhists refer to the others, they continue to be Buddhists themselves.

Goenka divorces his teachings from the ritualistic Buddhism that is common. I think that is very skillful of him. But Buddhism is a very wide term and ritualistic Buddhism, while it may be the most common, it is not the only kind of Buddhism.

thepea
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Re: SN Goenka - Theravada Dhammaduta extraordinaire

Post by thepea » Tue Jan 29, 2019 2:47 am

pilgrim wrote:
Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:42 am
At every Goenka retreat, participants take the 3 Refuges, reciting Buddham, Dhammam Sangham saranam gacchami three times. In the Mahanama sutta, AN 8.25, the Buddha says " inasmuch as one has gone to the Buddha for refuge, has gone to the Dhamma for refuge, has gone to the Sangha for refuge; in that way, Mahanama, one is a lay follower (upasaka/upasika)."

Ethnic languages like Thai still use this term - Upasaka. But in modern convention lay followers of the Buddha are called Buddhists by English speakers. One can say, that after the retreat ends, one is no longer a Buddhist. That may be true, but for those who consider themselves to be continuing the practice after the formal 10 day retreat, even if they think Buddhists refer to the others, they continue to be Buddhists themselves.

Goenka divorces his teachings from the ritualistic Buddhism that is common. I think that is very skillful of him. But Buddhism is a very wide term and ritualistic Buddhism, while it may be the most common, it is not the only kind of Buddhism.
Again, “you Buddhists” want to put everything in s box and label it Buddhism.
Goenka does not teach Buddhism nor did the buddha.
They teach the dhamma and this is completely different to Buddhism.
I’m not even sure what a Buddhist consists of?

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Dan74-MkII
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Re: SN Goenka - Theravada Dhammaduta extraordinaire

Post by Dan74-MkII » Tue Jan 29, 2019 8:59 am

What pilgrim says above sounds very reasonable to me. "You Buddhists" or "you non-Buddhists" are complimentary boxes, both of which are occasionally useful but more often abused, IMO.

Thankfully Buddhism and even Theravada Buddhism is a very broad church. Some folks seem to pretend that Theravada is simply a continuation of the Buddha's dispensation, but it is much more than that. The last 100 years or so have seen a wonderful burst of activity in Theravada, with inspiring teachers sharing the Dhamma in heart-felt idiosynchratic and profound ways. To me it seems almost inevitable that when one truly processes and lives the Dhamma, it will express itself in a unique way rather than some sort of a facsimile of the Suttas. Not at odds with the Suttas, but a living unique expression of the truths and the pointers and the skillful means they contain.

So SN Goenka expressed the Dhamma is his unique way that has brought it to the thousands in the 10-day retreats, prison programs and other outreach. There may well be room for criticism, but overwhelmingly, I would say Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! :bow: :bow: :bow:

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pilgrim
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Re: SN Goenka - Theravada Dhammaduta extraordinaire

Post by pilgrim » Tue Jan 29, 2019 9:08 am

Vipassana in Mongolian prisons - a 2018 documentary with English subtitles.

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