Self courses

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Self courses

Postby wizi » Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:09 am

As old students in the Goenka tradition, could we conduct an auto-regulated self course for the 3 days without an Assistant Teacher's presence? Could one of our senior old students play the audio tapes for the 3 day course? Or if the audio tapes can only be played by an AT, could we just have a self course following the time-table of the 3 day course without the chanting and taped instructions?

Any advice on this would be appreciated.
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: Self courses

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:35 am

Hi Wizi
This is something that should be directed to your assistant teacher or area teacher.
Depending on where you are, self courses may not be encouraged and instead you will be encouraged to attend a regular three-day, ten-day or other course instead. In the event that you don't have a regular courses close to where you live - you may be given approval to do the course on your own - so long as you have done one ten-day course and established in your practice. But its imperative you discuss options with your assistant or area teacher. Be also mindful that a self-course will be orders of magnitude more difficult as you are going to be relying on your own adhitthana to motivate you to follow the timetable.
Wishing you the very best,

Ben
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Re: Self courses

Postby Modus.Ponens » Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:07 pm

Hello.

Doesn't Goenkaji speak of 10 day self retreats during the retreat _ probably in the end?
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"
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Re: Self courses

Postby Ben » Tue Oct 11, 2011 7:24 pm

Yes he does. But those discourses are nearly 30 years old now and he has since made a change to the policy with respect to self courses.
As per my earlier post.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

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Re: Self courses

Postby wizi » Thu Oct 13, 2011 11:28 am

Thx Ben, you are right.. i did follow up your advice and checked with our ATs and there are strict criterias for self-courses and registrars will have to carefully examine the applications and refuse anyone who does not fulfill the requirements, which are the same as those wishing to sit a self-course of any length of time at a center. Even though the self-course is not at a center, similar requirements should be adhered to.

These requirements are :

- 3 ten day courses
- daily practice
- no mixing of techniques since last course
- keep all 5 precepts to the best of one's ability
- AT's permission required
- advise weak students to sit 10 day course, longer than 10 days not permitted, regular course disciplines applies


Does anyone know of any Goenka courses held with the ATs via Skype?

Why am i asking all these you might ask? Well, financially it's really expensive to fly in ATs to conduct short courses.. so we are just exploring the possibilities before we decide to do 3 day courses back-to-back with 10 day courses..

:anjali:
All beings like yourself are responsible for their own actions. Suffering or happiness is created through one's relationship to experience, not by experience itself. Although I wish only the best for you, I know that your happiness or unhappiness depends on your actions, not on my wishes for you.
May you not be caught in reactivity.
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Re: Self courses

Postby Ben » Thu Oct 13, 2011 12:05 pm

Hi wizi,
wizi wrote:Why am i asking all these you might ask? Well, financially it's really expensive to fly in ATs to conduct short courses.. so we are just exploring the possibilities before we decide to do 3 day courses back-to-back with 10 day courses..

I think this is a problem everywhere - whether it is a lack of local ATs or local servers. In Australia, we fly servers to different course centres who don't have enough servers for a course to function. But every community that now has a course centre was in a similar situation to yourselves. That is, courses conducted at gypsy camps until there is a critical mass of local serious old students who serve as appointed assistant teacher or othr capacity to ensure local courses. And once you've got that critical mass then eventually the centres follow.
I haven't heard of an AT conducting a course via skype but I think you should be directing that enquiry to VRI.
kind regards,

Ben
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

- Hereclitus


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