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Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting - Page 7 - Dhamma Wheel

Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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beeblebrox
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby beeblebrox » Mon Jan 30, 2012 1:58 pm

I think some people in here could do well to learn how to recognize dukkha... study it, its origination, its cessation, the way leading to that... it's an important part of the practice. Did anyone in here get that skill from the chanting?

Slow Learner
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Slow Learner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 2:23 pm

this thread may have already gone beyond this point, but while I personally enjoy the chanting on these courses, I share Brizzy's interest in how the emphasis (small, medium or large) on "vibrations" in Goenka's teaching fits into traditional Theravada dhamma. I've attended several courses and served others, and while I can't say for certain how many times Goenka mentions it in his dhamma talks, it's something that I've heard referred to regularly by Assistant Teachers and long-term students. I've never encountered this teaching elsewhere so would be grateful if someone could explain its relation to traditional dhamma.

Metta,

Tim

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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 30, 2012 3:36 pm


Slow Learner
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Slow Learner » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:34 pm


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Mr Man
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Mr Man » Mon Jan 30, 2012 4:42 pm


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Monkey Mind
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:35 pm

If I understand correctly, chanting in that tradition is reserved for someone who both practices strict sila and has and advanced understanding of Pali. There are other teachers in that tradition who have been given permission by Goenka-ji to do the chanting themselves in courses, instead of using the audio tapes of Goenka-ji chanting. In that tradition, many of the meditation centers offer Pali courses, and they also offer an online Pali learning center. So in theory, any lay person could develop the ability to be a "chanter", but it requires a lot of training. I have also heard (from eye-witness testimonial), that in some centers a visiting bhikkhu might be invited to do the chanting.

I have also heard that paritta is a common practice in Burmese monasteries, believed to be the origin of this specific meditation practice. I am told that there is a deeply rooted belief that such chanting affects the "energy" or "vibrations" of the people who participate in the paritta and the places where the paritta is conducted. Before I attended one of these courses, I would have said "hog-wash". (See Tilt's comments above about Westerners applying their own cultural context to Buddhist practices.) Having attended a few, I am willing to concede that there might be something to the practice. Whether science or just "feel good", I find it very relaxing and soothing on one hand but it helps me stay awake during long sits on the other.

Now, Goenka-ji chants both in Pali and in Hindi, and some of his chantings are poetry of his own creation. At first I was very concerned about this (I am ever-vigilant towards "cult-like" behavior.) However, I have grown to accept this as a symbol of Goenka-ji's dedication, and not in anyway sinister.
Last edited by Monkey Mind on Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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

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Monkey Mind
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jan 30, 2012 10:44 pm

It has already been said but warrants repeating: most of the group sits are conducted in silence, except for a brief moment of chanting at the beginning and end of the sit. There is a period between 6 am and 6:30 am when Goenka chants the entire time, but this an "optional" sit and a student can choose to sit in his/ her meditation cell.

The translations to all of the chanting is available on-line, or in a book or mp3 downloadable video that can be purchased. So there is absolutely no mystery behind what the chanting means. If you have seen the movie "Dhamma Brothers", the assistant teacher makes a special effort to educate the prisoners of the meaning of the chanting BEFORE they agree to participate in the course, i.e. informed consent of the practices before a person signs up.
"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

Brizzy
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:19 pm

Ignorance is an intentional act.

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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Goofaholix » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:25 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:25 pm


Brizzy
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Brizzy » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:33 pm

Ignorance is an intentional act.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:41 pm


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Monkey Mind
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Monkey Mind » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:44 pm

"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

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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:51 pm


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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:55 pm

Two post have been moved to the "efficacy of chanting" thread. They are off-topic here.

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=11332

hermitwin
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby hermitwin » Thu Feb 02, 2012 5:41 am

I am well aware of Goenka's stature.
I am not saying this to condescend Goenka.
However, if you get to listen to his actual chanting, it is nothing like what monks chant.
To me, it was indeed distracting and distressing.
I maintain that an experienced monk should listen to the recording and give us his opinion.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:22 am


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Dan74
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Dan74 » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:45 am

It's kind of funny that SN Goenka's idiosyncratic chanting has generated a long thread and so much controversy. Maybe he just likes to chant? I mean even great teachers can be cut some slack for such harmless little foibles and quirks, right?
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby Ben » Thu Feb 02, 2012 6:55 am

“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 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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tiltbillings
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Re: Goenka retreat- aversion towards Chanting

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:07 am



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