S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
skandha
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by skandha »

There has been some discussion about 'vibrations' in what Goenka teaches. However this is actually not the most important thing. Goenka always warns his students not to play the game of sensations (from the vibrations i.e. arising and passing away). The yard stick is actually how you are able to stay equanimous when facing any kind of sensation, whether pleasant or unpleasant.

The most important part of what Goenka teaches is summarised in the Mangala Sutta, "When faced with the vicissitudes of life, one’s mind is unshaken,
sorrowless, stainless, secure—this is the highest welfare."

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Dhammanando
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by Dhammanando »

skandha wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:43 pm
There has been some discussion about 'vibrations' in what Goenka teaches. However this is actually not the most important thing. Goenka always warns his students not to play the game of sensations (from the vibrations i.e. arising and passing away). The yard stick is actually how you are able to stay equanimous when facing any kind of sensation, whether pleasant or unpleasant.

The most important part of what Goenka teaches is summarised in the Mangala Sutta, "When faced with the vicissitudes of life, one’s mind is unshaken,
sorrowless, stainless, secure—this is the highest welfare."
The commentaries take this verse as a description of how the minds of arahants (and only arahants) naturally are.

Is this what Goenka teaches too? Or is he teaching that non-arahants should endeavour to maintain their minds in this state? If so, then it would render the whole verse redundant for it would in effect reduce it to one of the lower blessings, namely, khanti, which was already covered in an earlier verse.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

skandha
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by skandha »

Dhammanando wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 12:41 am
skandha wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:43 pm
There has been some discussion about 'vibrations' in what Goenka teaches. However this is actually not the most important thing. Goenka always warns his students not to play the game of sensations (from the vibrations i.e. arising and passing away). The yard stick is actually how you are able to stay equanimous when facing any kind of sensation, whether pleasant or unpleasant.

The most important part of what Goenka teaches is summarised in the Mangala Sutta, "When faced with the vicissitudes of life, one’s mind is unshaken,
sorrowless, stainless, secure—this is the highest welfare."
The commentaries take this verse as a description of how the minds of arahants (and only arahants) naturally are.

Is this what Goenka teaches too? Or is he teaching that non-arahants should endeavour to maintain their minds in this state? If so, then it would render the whole verse redundant for it would in effect reduce it to one of the lower blessings, namely, khanti, which was already covered in an earlier verse.
Yes, this is the state of the arahants and from what I understand he emphasizes this quality of the arahants a lot. Things like nibbana dhatu, sensations, vibrations are secondary. Right from the start in the training, even for non arahants, he emphasises the state of equanimity whilst watching sensations in formal meditation and also in everyday life. Of course it won't be perfect but the training always goes back to this point of equanimity with the help of various strategies like tranquilizing (of the five hindrances) and seeing/understanding the workings of change (anicca).

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DooDoot
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

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SteRo wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 9:00 am
What is "transcendental meditation"?
TM was practised by Prudence Farrow; resulting in this famous 1968 Beatles song (but composed after the 1966 Beach Boys Good Vibrations).

There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by DooDoot »

skandha wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:43 pm
There has been some discussion about 'vibrations' in what Goenka teaches.
These 'vibrations' sound like 'sankhara' rather than 'vedana'. Past actions based in thinking create residual formations stored in the nervous system, often contemporarily called 'stress'. These vibrations experienced when calming the breath & body appear to be 'sankhara' rather than 'vedana'.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

skandha
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by skandha »

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:36 am
skandha wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 11:43 pm
There has been some discussion about 'vibrations' in what Goenka teaches.
These 'vibrations' sound like 'sankhara' rather than 'vedana'. Past actions based in thinking create residual formations stored in the nervous system, often contemporarily called 'stress'. These vibrations experienced when calming the breath & body appear to be 'sankhara' rather than 'vedana'.
When sankhara arises, vedana will usually be around. In the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition the focus is primarily on vedana as it is thought that it is easier to work with the more obvious vedana than the subtle sankhara. Sankhara and vedana are both vibrating, everything is vibrating, anicca.

Interesting point of correlating sankhara to the nervous system.

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Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta »

.


Vibrations encompassing quite a few scenarios of teachings/meditations:

Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:04 am
.




Vibrations, vibrations...


  • As soon as a sight comes to the eye, or a sound to the ear, an aroma to the nose, a taste to the tongue, or a tactile sensation to the body, the mind is what knows. Things vibrate right to the mind. Just this is enough to give rise to an understanding.
    • In Simple Terms: 108 Dhamma Similes
      by Ajahn Chah translated from the Thai by Thanissaro Bhikkhu



  • The human body as a mere conglomeration of the elements of solidity, fluidity, heat and vibration; the inevitability of old age, sickness, death and of the separation from all we love...

    ...

    His mind was now able to go beyond the barriers it had erected for itself, and he was able to investigate the four elements of solidity, cohesion, vibration and heat that constitute the physical world, as well as both the true and conventional nature of reality.
    • stillness flowing: The Life and Teachings of Ajahn Chah



  • When contemplation of the body ensues in perception of its unattractiveness, or of its constituent elements of hardness, cohesion, temperature and vibration [1] then that is meditation.
    • Dhamma Teachings of Looang Boo Sim Buddhacaro
      by Looang Boo Sim



  • Now, you can reflect on the conditions of the body and mind and concentrate on them. You can sweep through the body and recognise sensations, such as the vibrations in the hands or feet, or you can concentrate on any point in your body.
    • Ajahn Sumedho - Mindfulness: The Path to the Deathless



  • Mentally I create an aura of loving-kindness around me. By means of this aura, I cut off all negative thoughts, hostile vibrations. I am not affected by the evil vibrations of others.
    • Buddhism in a Nutshell
      by Narada Mahathera



  • When one projects this total wish for others to dwell happily, free from hostility, affliction and distress, not only does one elevate oneself to a level where true happiness prevails, but one sets in motion powerful vibrations conducing to happiness, cooling off enmity, relieving affliction and distress.
    • Metta: The Philosophy and Practice of Universal Love
      by Acharya Buddharakkhita



  • ii. the water-element, cohesion, building matter into mass;
    iii. the fire-element, temperature either hot or cold, maturing;
    iv. the air-element, motion, vibration.
    • Saíyutta Nikáya: An Anthology Part I
      byJohn D. Ireland






  • Ajahn [Ajahn Brahm] stoked up the good vibrations in our "Dhamma Living Room" with a long, peaceful group meditation.
    • Post-Vassa News From Anukampa Bhikkhuni Project
      Newsletter # 25  November 2019



  • By reason of the absence of close or repeated contact [apaccamatthatta] of mind with matter this happens. Tension, oscillation or vibration of mind is quicker than that of matter, seventeen times.
    • The Way of Mindfulness: The Satipatthana Sutta and Its Commentary
      by Soma Thera



  • Animals know and fear a man who has fear while they are aware of the peaceful vibrations of the fearless meditator.
    • Forest Meditations: The Verses of the Arahant Talaputa Thera
      translated from the Pali with some reflections by Bhikkhu Khantipalo



  • Many instances in the Buddha's life illustrate the fact that the peaceful thought vibrations of the Buddha produced salutary effects, so much so that the intoxicated elephant Nalagiri and the wild Angulimala were completely subdued.
    • The Heart Awakened
      by Eileen Siriwardhana



  • Full awareness will extend up to their end phase: to their last vibrations and reverberations.
    • The Power of Mindfulness: An Inquiry into the Scope of Bare Attention and the Principal Sources of its Strength
      by Nyanaponika Thera



  • If you do this once or twice daily, your horizon will widen. You will find yourself directing these vibrations to all beings and non-beings who have entered your consciousness, without exceptions.
    • Beginning Insight MeditationAnd Other Essays
      by Dorothy Figen

:heart:
.


🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

Self ...
  • "an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" :D ~ MN22

skandha
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by skandha »

@Sabbe_dhamma_anatta,

One from the Buddha,

Sabbo pajjalito loko, sabbo loko pakampito
All the world is ablaze, All the world is quaking (vibrating).
SN 5.7

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DooDoot
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by DooDoot »

skandha wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 3:51 am
When sankhara arises, vedana will usually be around. In the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition the focus is primarily on vedana as it is thought that it is easier to work with the more obvious vedana than the subtle sankhara.
To me, the above sounds like the opposite of reality; unless the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition is practicing self-mortification. As I previously posted:

1. Past kamma causes stored sankhara vibrations, which emerge into consciousness when consciousness does the work of "delving" into the body during the calming process.

2. These vibrations are not "vedana". Vedana can arise as a reaction to these vibrations but the vibrations are not vedana. The vibrations are subtle hindrances. (Note: AN 10.61 says: What is the nutriment for the five hindrances? It should be said: the three kinds of misconduct).

3. The only time "vibrations" refer to vedana is when the sankharas are significantly calmed; causing rapture (piti) to manifest. What vibrates at this stage is rapture, which is a vedana. But in the preliminary stage of calming & purifying the breath & body, the vibrations are subtle hindrances, which are sankhara (mental formations).

4. However, the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition does appear to focus on attempting to observe painful feelings, which sounds like self-mortification. Such painful feelings (vedana) are certainly a more gross (& more defiled) object of meditation than the vibration of the sankhara I am referring to. However, in the Buddha's teaching of stream-entry meditation, painful feelings are not a landmark meditation object. The Buddha's meditation refers to calming the breathing until rapture arises. In addition, when breathing is properly calmed, pain is no longer felt in the sitting posture. The idea that "painful feelings are easier to work with" is obviously not true. Dwelling in painful feelings means the Middle-Way the Buddha taught as meditation has not even started. The Middle-Way the Buddha taught culminates in blissful jhana (rather than the painful feelings of the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition).

5. The U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition appears to be another contrivance contrived from the contrivance called the Satipatthana Sutta. The Satipatthana Sutta, being merely an extensive list of various teachings, does not actually describe the fruition of the Path. Yet the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition appears to have literally regarded the Satipatthana Sutta as the fruition of the Path; thus believe painful feelings should be experienced after the calming of breathing. But the Buddha did not teaching this. The Buddha taught:
After his meal, returning from his alms round, he sits down, crosses his legs, holds his body erect, and brings mindfulness to the fore.

Abandoning covetousness with regard to the world, he dwells with an awareness devoid of covetousness. He cleanses his mind of covetousness. Abandoning ill will & anger, he dwells with an awareness devoid of ill will, sympathetic with the welfare of all living beings. He cleanses his mind of ill will & anger. Abandoning sloth & drowsiness, he dwells with an awareness devoid of sloth & drowsiness, mindful, alert, percipient of light. He cleanses his mind of sloth & drowsiness. Abandoning restlessness & anxiety, he dwells undisturbed, his mind inwardly stilled. He cleanses his mind of restlessness & anxiety. Abandoning uncertainty, he dwells having crossed over uncertainty, with no perplexity with regard to skillful mental qualities. He cleanses his mind of uncertainty.

Having abandoned these five hindrances — imperfections of awareness that weaken discernment — then, quite secluded from sensuality, secluded from unskillful qualities, he enters and remains in the first jhāna: rapture & pleasure born of seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation....

MN 38
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/paticcasamuppada
https://soundcloud.com/doodoot/anapanasati

skandha
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Re: S.N. Goenka says: only use one kind of meditation...why?

Post by skandha »

@DooDoot,

The U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition does not practice self-mortification by deliberately choosing painful sensations. The training is to systematically observe all sensations throughout the body whether pleasant, unpleasant or neutral. Most important is to observe the changing nature of the sensations with equanimity, and not to react with craving and aversion.

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