Part of a pm I sent to Sameer:
I think its best you get your advice from an assistant teacher or area teacher. As you develop on the path, you will get to a stage where you will be required to make a choice between vipassana as taught by SN Goenka in the tradition of Sayagi U Ba Khin over anything else you have been doing.
Unless you are at the stage of doing a long course, then the advice that may be consistent with that from an AT is that so long as you do not mix the technique of vipassana with pranayama or yogic meditation, then that should be fine. However, I could be corrected and an AT may advise you to either do vipassana or yogic meditation/pranayama but not both but asanas are fine.
Something else I want to comment on:
Matheesha wrote:Maybe there are difference of view, in the two practice- one is to escape samsara, the other is to be unified with brahma, if I am not mistaken.
I don't know much about yogic or hindu forms of meditation but I think Matheesha's point is valid in that there are very many forms of meditation and not all of them are complementary. In discussions with assistant teachers within my tradition one of the major issues of students having explosive episodes on courses is when, against all advice, they continue with their previous practice while doing vipassana on a ten-day vipassana retreat.
Tilt wrote:What you do at home should be a problem, but I'd be interesed hear what Ben or any one else who knows more has to say.
As I mentioned above, until one gets to the stage of doing a long-course, there isn't a problem. However, as one progresses, one does get to a point where the teacher insists that a student dedicate his life to practicing exclusively within the tradition. I got to that point shortly after my first course. I had a deep sense of recognition and 'home-coming' and I knew it was it for me. Even during a lengthy period where I turned my back on the Dhamma, I knew I would always go back, and I wasn't interested in studying under the guidance of any other teacher except Sayagi U Ba Khin and SN Goenka.
In that situation, then doing the physical aspects of yoga is fine, its the meditative aspect of yoga which a 'serious old student' would be a little lairy of doing. And that is not to suggest that there is anything wrong with yogic meditation or any other form of meditation, for that matter. I know for myself that life is short and I want to concentrate on practicing under the guidance of my teacher. After two and a half decades, my confidence in the efficacy of this particular tradition is unshakable.
I hope that is of benefit.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725Compassionate Hands Foundation
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