Goenka technique

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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Ben
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by Ben » Fri May 27, 2011 1:46 am

Hi DL
danieLion wrote:Thankx guys. What y'all wrote and the acesstoinsight link are very clarifying especially the FAQ question "Is Vipassana the same as Theravada?" at http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... #vipassana" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.

Are there advantages to retreats instead of daily "vipassana"? Does "mindfulness" meditation fit into all this or not.

Thanx again.

DL
In my experience, retreats are invaluable. They give a depth of practice, some supervision and lots of instruction and they generally make the daily practice easier to get established.
Mindfulness (Sati) is both a component of samatha and vipassana practice. Modern mindfulness practices are actually (mainly) derived from the Burmese Satipatthana/Vipassana 'traditions'.
kind regards

Ben
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Monkey Mind
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by Monkey Mind » Fri May 27, 2011 2:39 am

DL- I had been meditating for years before my first 10-day. The benefit I received on the 10-day by far exceeded any meditation experience (or all of them) before this. There is something to be said about an environment that minimizes worldly distractions for 10 days. It was also the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

PeterB
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by PeterB » Fri May 27, 2011 7:15 am

Early on in my first ten day retreat I received instruction which corrected misplaced effort of several years standing.
That would not have happened by trial and error, I don't think without experienced input it would have happened at all.
Goenka or Mahasi are only understood experientially, no book, video or discussion can obviate that.

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:25 am

I'd only been meditating for about a year before I went on a Goenka retreat, but since it was about 2-3 times as long as any previous retreat, it certainly had a huge positive impact on my practice. The strict way retreats are organised means that one can be much more silent and focussed than some other options I've tried.

And, as Peter says, the instructors can be very helpful if there are problems...

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by PeterB » Fri May 27, 2011 7:27 am

Even problems one didn't know one had Mike but which had been impacting one's practice... :smile:

danieLion
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by danieLion » Fri May 27, 2011 7:56 am

thanx again everbody. Does anyone do suttanta method retreats?

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 8:24 am

danieLion wrote:thanx again everbody. Does anyone do suttanta method retreats?
You'd have to define what you meant by "Suttana method". Since I see little in the way of "method" in the Suttas, as I explained above, I don't find it a useful concept. But of course that's just my impression...

The teachers who say they base their teachings largely on the Suttas actually teach quite a variety of different methods.
For example Ajahn Brahm teaches quite a different approach to Ajahn Tiradhammo and some of the other Ajahn Chah students. This is not a criticism. The point is that those teachers, along with Goenka and various other modern teachers, interpret the Suttas based on wisdom gained from their teachers, their own experience, and the experiences of their students.

That's why their teaching is effective, and why I'd recommend any of them... They know what they are talking about because they have the experience.

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Mike

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 8:29 am

Hi Peter,
mikenz66 wrote: And, as Peter says, the instructors can be very helpful if there are problems...
PeterB wrote:Even problems one didn't know one had Mike but which had been impacting one's practice... :smile:
Sure. Those are the most dangerous ones.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by danieLion » Fri May 27, 2011 8:41 am

mikenz66 wrote:
danieLion wrote:thanx again evebody. Does anyone do suttanta method retreats?
You'd have to define what you meant by "Suttana method". Since I see little in the way of "method" in the Suttas, as I explained above, I don't find it a useful concept. But of course that's just my impression...
I just meant what retrofuturist wrote above. didn't mean to confuse.
Last edited by danieLion on Mon Jun 18, 2012 1:43 am, edited 2 times in total.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 27, 2011 8:55 am

Greetings danieLion,

Mike's not confused - that's just not his approach.

I did like your question though, and I'm interested to hear if anyone responds... I don't know of any, myself.

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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Re: Goenka technique

Post by tiltbillings » Fri May 27, 2011 9:08 am

danieLion wrote: but I am also interested in the "suttanta" method and ways of deepening practice at home to at least approximate retreat like conditions
Whatever method you opt for, it is going to take a great deal of work. Also, I have no idea what is meant by the "suttanta" method. It really does not exist. What exists are various ways of putting the sutta teachings into practice as we find with the Goenka and Mahasi Sayadaw methods and others.
>> 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

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 9:14 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: Mike's not confused - that's just not his approach.
Naturally, I beg to differ. My approach is based very solidly on the Satipatthana and other Suttas. (As Tilt has often pointed out by reference to various Suttas).

There, of course, a number of interpretations of how to practise according to the Suttas (which personally I don't see as a problem, ---- different approaches seem to suit different people at different times, which is presumably why there are so many different meditation objects mentioned in the Suttas).
retrofuturist wrote: I did like your question though, and I'm interested to hear if anyone responds... I don't know of any, myself.
Are you saying that no-one I mentioned above teaches according to the Suttas?

:anjali:
Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: Goenka technique

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 27, 2011 9:28 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:Naturally, I beg to differ. My approach is based very solidly on the Satipatthana and other Suttas. (As Tilt has often pointed out by reference to various Suttas).
That's good to hear, I wasn't suggesting otherwise.
mikenz66 wrote:Are you saying that no-one I mentioned above teaches according to the Suttas?
No, I wasn't suggesting that either.

To quote something I've said previously in relation to the suttanta approach, "The Sutta Pitaka becomes the basis for instruction and other sources (e.g. teachers, commentaries) have value to the extent that they illuminate rather than obfuscate what is contained in the Sutta Pitaka. The results may end up being similar to that of Mahavihara Theravada (as one would hope) but it's a different process of getting there."

So, in other words, someone follows the sutta as their primary instruction, rather than following a teacher's method, derived from the suttas.

To quote again, this time from thereductor, "I was thinking that we often lose sight of how the canon and the Theravada are related. That is, the Theravada is a supplement to the canon, and not the other way around. So where a mode of practice can be effectively defended with canonical material it should be considered as valid. To insist that such a position is invalid because it runs counter to the tradition is, to me, the making of inappropriate strife. And while I do concur that the canon is not the most detailed manual, I hold that the details within its pages are sufficient for completion of the goal. Whether or not a particular practitioner can ferret out the information and act on it to the degree necessary to accomplish the goal is a matter of personal conditioning."

Anyway, to tie this back to discussion on the Goenka technique, as I said earlier, I do not see it as being inconsistent with the suttas.

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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Re: Goenka technique

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 27, 2011 9:32 am

So what you're suggesting a preference for a no-teacher approach?

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: Goenka technique

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 27, 2011 9:35 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:So what you're suggesting a preference for a no-teacher approach?
It's taking the Buddha as one's teacher, and regarding others as kalayana-mittas who may be able to render assistance in the teacher's absence.

Taking "no teacher" would not be in accord with the Triple Gem refuge.

“That which I have proclaimed and made known, Ānanda, as the Teaching and the Discipline (Dhamma-Vinaya), that shall be your Master when I am gone” (DN 16).

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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