Ignorance of the people who misunderstand and then spread their misunderstanding to others as wisdom?daverupa wrote:So I wonder, where is this repetitive structure of misunderstanding coming from?
How many people who contest these jhana versus 'dry-insight' issues on internet are actually practicing anapanasati or vipassana daily? And how many can truthfully claim to have attained sufficient level of concenteration with anapanasati to even practice vipassana properly (observe sensations throughout the body, not just on skin)?
Reminds one of the blind men and an elephant.
As a student of Goenakji I personally do not find jhana and vipassana to be at odds, even though Goenkaji does not talk about about jhana (IIRC, could be wrong) in the 10-day course. Oh sure, when I first read about jhana, I felt that Goenkaji should have touched on that in his discourses. I felt as if something important had been left out.fivebells wrote:daverupa: Goenka practitioners don't know that.
But over time I realize that this was my own ignorance. The format and time limit of the course means that most people will not attain jhana in a 10-day retreat anyway. So instead of talking about a hard-to-attain state Goenkaji's teaching jumps to something students can experience: sensations. And how to work with these sensations to attain wisdom.
And just because Goenkaji does not elaborate on jhana in his 10-day course does not mean he is somehow opposed to the practice of mindfulness. In fact, during the course he emphasizes the importance of developing a strong, penetrating concenteration, and to come back to anapanasati whenever it becomes difficult to observe sensations without reacting. Goenkaji also clearly states how the 10-day course is a first step, a bare-minimum introduction to the path. Students can always come back for longer courses (in which there is discussion of jhana from what I have read online, although I have not taken part in a 20-day or longer course as yet).
So the broad framework of the teaching is solid. Live a moral life, develop concenteration, observe the truth (annica, annata etc). If some student feels a need for developing stronger concenteration, they can always practice anapanasati for months/years in their daily practice. Then they might attain jhana, or develop strong enough concenteration to practice vipassana in depth even without having attained jhana.