As for my retreat experience - its not as impressive as it appears. Remember, I've been doing this since 1985 which equates to roughly 1 ten day course per year. And there were periods where I could sit and serve more intensely and there was a period in the middle where I completely abandoned my practice.
I know Goenkaji is preparing for his passing. I know he has in mind one of the senior ATs as his successor - but I don't know who that is. He aludes to how things will be after he dies in an interview he did for Tricycle magazine a couple of years ago. (see attached).
I also think he's passing might be sooner than we would all like. He's been suffering from Diabetes for many years and he is getting on (mid to late 80s in age). He's no longer allowed by his doctors to do any overseas travel and he has retired from teaching and can no longer sit his 'Teacher Self Course, and there are some indications that he is preparing for death. Indications of this has been the build of the Global Pagoda, the Yatras to Burma and the "Gratitude Gathering" occuring at the Global Pagoda 9.30AM Sunday (Mumbai Time) to express his gratitude to his first students (pre 1983).
Received this morning:
Dear Vipassana meditator,
The Gratitude Gathering at the Global Pagoda will be held on Sunday, 17 January, 2010.
A live webcast of this event will start from 9.30 AM Indian Standard Time ( GMT +5.30), 17th January 2010 and continue upto 5 pm. There will be a 2 hour break in the middle where there will be a photo slideshow, some discourses etc. to fill the time gap. Here is a link to a list of the times around the world that correspond to the Jan 17th 9:30am IST start time:http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/f ... =44&sort=0
You can view the live webcast by visitinghttp://www.dhamma.org/os
(username-xxxxxxxx; password-xxxxxxxxx). You will find that the topmostlink takes you to an explanation of the event and the webcast links.
The webcast will be recorded and be available for viewing on the Global Pagoda website after the event as well.
Please inform the students and centers in your area of this historic event.
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Good luck with your Satipatthana Sutta course. They're a little different to the ten-day courses as they are 'quieter' without the agitation of new students.
My own aspiration is to sit the 30-day course this year. Work and family permitting, of course!