mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
MisterRunon
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by MisterRunon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:31 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:
MisterRunon wrote: Don't you think that's stretching it though? You could argue the same for Anatta and Annica. The 3 characteristics point to the same thing. What we are talking about is which characteristic that Goenka emphasizes more.. and I'm fairly certain that if you were to ask most Goenka students, they'd tell you that Annica stands out.
In fairness, I didn't pay as much attention to anicca during the retreat as it was mentioned. But even then I think that the major point is about dhukkha vs equanimity. But, as you say, it seems that some people feel one characteristic is more adequate for them. It might be that mine is dhukkha and yours is anicca.
I don't think Annica fits me better than the other 2 characteristics really. I'm not sure which one, if any, that I prefer over the other 2.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by alan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:40 am

Everyone has to master the basics, but for some people, to advance means making the experience real for themselves. My Goenka retreat was useful in some ways, but I left feeling squished by the technique. Sticking with that over and over, it seemed, was not the way to growth.
For me, being more actively involved with creating the meditation was the way to go.

MisterRunon
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by MisterRunon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:46 am

alan wrote:Everyone has to master the basics, but for some people, to advance means making the experience real for themselves. My Goenka retreat was useful in some ways, but I left feeling squished by the technique. Sticking with that over and over, it seemed, was not the way to growth.
For me, being more actively involved with creating the meditation was the way to go.
What's "creating the meditation" mean? I feel like Goenka's technique is actually more about creating the meditation.. and that's my main issue with the technique.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by alan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:56 am

It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed. No one there had any answers besides astonishing me for not staying correct with their strict interpretation of what should be done.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:22 am

MisterRunon wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
MisterRunon wrote: they'd tell you that Annica stands out.
Insight into one is insight to the others.
I can't really argue with that, but that's going off in a different tangent. The point I was discussing with Modus is which characteristic that Goenka emphasizes on the most.

Also, some people have certain proclivities with certain characteristics.. so I don't think it's necessarily right to say that one is the same as the others. I've read about people who find one characteristic more natural to them than the other 2.
Of the three characteristics anicca is the easiest to apprehend without getting lost in the sort thoughts and emotions that can accompany dukkha. It is not at all an unreasonable basis to work with.
>> 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

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:27 am

alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed.
You mean that that your self did not like it, so it came up with a creative way of justifying not doing it.
>> 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

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:31 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed.
You mean that that your self did not like it, so it came up with a creative way of justifying not doing it.
That seems rather uncharitable.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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tiltbillings
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:45 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:
alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed.
You mean that that your self did not like it, so it came up with a creative way of justifying not doing it.
That seems rather uncharitable.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Chafed, a bit of dukkha, and dukkha is when things are not as one wants them to be. In the context of a meditation retreat it might have been a good thing to experience the chafing. There might be something to be learned, or one can find fault, criticize and move on to something more creative. Hard to say where to draw a line here between giving into the self not wanting to be chafed and moving on to something more productive/creative, or staying with the discomfort. Always, however, the self is more than happy to undermine anything that threatens it, and it can be very, very creative in doing so. It is something that we all deal with to one degree or another all the time.
>> 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

MisterRunon
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by MisterRunon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:51 am

alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed. No one there had any answers besides astonishing me for not staying correct with their strict interpretation of what should be done.
Ah yes, the technique is certainly more rigid. Another metaphor would be another technique, such as Mahasis', being a swiss army knife that is multipurpose. Goenka's style is more of like having a hammer. It packs quite the punch, but it's not going to open your letter for you.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by alan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:54 am

Of course, any personal opinion can be described as selfish or unworthy, if one chooses to characterize it negatively. And anyone can do that. But is there any value in it?
I volunteered my impressions at a Goenka retreat for the benefit of those who might be wondering if it would be right for them. It wasn't to prove a point or make myself look good, but for the sake of others who might be asking the same question. AllI ask is that it is taken as an honest statement of my experience.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Fri Dec 12, 2014 3:56 am

MisterRunon wrote:
alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed. No one there had any answers besides astonishing me for not staying correct with their strict interpretation of what should be done.
Ah yes, the technique is certainly more rigid. Another metaphor would be another technique, such as Mahasis', being a swiss army knife that is multipurpose. Goenka's style is more of like having a hammer. It packs quite the punch, but it's not going to open your letter for you.
How far down the Goenka practice road have you gone? I am wondering if long-time student might not see t a bit differently.
>> 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

MisterRunon
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by MisterRunon » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:
MisterRunon wrote:
alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed. No one there had any answers besides astonishing me for not staying correct with their strict interpretation of what should be done.
Ah yes, the technique is certainly more rigid. Another metaphor would be another technique, such as Mahasis', being a swiss army knife that is multipurpose. Goenka's style is more of like having a hammer. It packs quite the punch, but it's not going to open your letter for you.
How far down the Goenka practice road have you gone? I am wondering if long-time student might not see t a bit differently.
About 18 months, 5 courses sat and 3 served. My opinion is just what it is though.. I'm not saying everyone else sees it that way. I have met a few students (while serving) who have been with his network for quite a long time, and to be honest, they don't seem to be doing better at all. One guy was throwing a tantrum and getting mad at every other server.. the funny thing was that he was the male manager. Another one was the kitchen manager, and she is still extremely cynical, negative, and skeptical. Maybe it has more to do with her than the network/technique, who knows.

To be fair, I know a few people who have had their lives changed thanks to Goenka and his contributions. I know of a couple who do a combined 20 10 day sits or serves per year.. and they're very well entrenched in the Dhamma. The problem is that they don't really know much outside of the Goenka bubble and take his word for Gospel. They are my friends, but I think the reason why it fits for them is that they don't like to ask a lot of questions (which is neither a good nor a bad thing to me). They are told what the rules are, and they just follow them.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by Sanjay PS » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:13 am

MisterRunon wrote:
alan wrote:It means responding to your needs instead of mindlessly sticking with the program. The Goenka people were adamant about not differing from the technique, which chafed. No one there had any answers besides astonishing me for not staying correct with their strict interpretation of what should be done.
Ah yes, the technique is certainly more rigid. Another metaphor would be another technique, such as Mahasis', being a swiss army knife that is multipurpose. Goenka's style is more of like having a hammer. It packs quite the punch, but it's not going to open your letter for you.[/quot

Well "opening the letter" will depend person to person :smile: For many it opens not just a letter , but a dam :smile: and this also holds true for other traditions , so long as there is no compromise on Sila Sammadhi and Panna . Neither being obssesed with Sila , nor being under the illusion that paying no importance to Sila , one can very well progress in Dhamma . As rightly described it is a middle path , but not a middle path that is to be suited to ones own convenience :smile:

As Goenkaji mentions , if you find one particular tradition suitable , then stick to it and make it a life long commitment , nothing to gain if one digs here and there all the time and keeps on just moving and testing . The purpose does not get served .
The Path of Dhamma

The path of Dhamma is no picnic . It is a strenuous march steeply up the hill . If all the comrades desert you , Walk alone ! Walk alone ! with all the Thrill !!

U S.N. Goenka

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by alan » Fri Dec 12, 2014 4:27 am

..
Last edited by alan on Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by badscooter » Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:19 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Billymac29 wrote:As for monastics, venerable Analayao stated that he practices the Goenka method as one of his meditation practices.

Kind regards
That's interesting. In the talks I've heard from Ven Analyo I recall him saying that he used metta as a daily practice and elements for formal sitting. However, it's been a while since I listened to them:
http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/208/
http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/439/

Perhaps of some relevance to the topic, the first link contains a talk, "Dynamics of Insight of Meditation", where he compares teachings on Satipatthana from Mahasi, Goenka, and Pa Auk. It's a nice presentation, but he didn't give the impression that he had personally practised any of them at great length at the time of the talk.

:anjali:
Mike
Yes that's correct Mike, I heard him say he uses metta as his main "samatha practice" instead of the breath. And he tends to keep that as his object of mediation throughout the day. But I have heard him also state that he does a body sweeping meditation quite like that of goenka.
I believe he states here http://www.wiseattention.org/blog/2012/ ... n-analayo/that he uses or used the goenka technique as one of the techniques for body contemplation.

kind regards
"whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon will be the inclination of one's mind"

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