Sutta Support for "Goenka's method" ?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Sutta Support for "Goenka's method" ?

Postby Dmytro » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:29 am

Hi Spiny,

Spiny O'Norman wrote:Thanks, that's interesting. I'm not sure what is meant by "perceptual image of air", could you say a bit more about this?


It's easier to do this that to explain.

In a few words - samadhi is when the totality (kasina) of perception is coloured by the basis (arammana) of concentration, as described in Kosala sutta:

"There are these ten totality-dimensions. Which ten? One perceives the earth-totality above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. One perceives the water-totality... the fire-totality... the wind-totality... the blue-totality... the yellow-totality... the red-totality... the white-totality... the space-totality... the consciousness-totality above, below, all-around: non-dual, unlimited. These are the ten totalities."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

For practical descriptions of how this can be done, in the case of air, see:

De-perception by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... ption.html

Anapanasati chapter of Vimuttimagga
http://www.archive.org/details/ArahantU ... reedom.pdf

One has to tune in the "airiness" of the air, and gradually spread it all over the body, as Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo describes:

"When you see that a nimitta has appeared, mindfully focus your awareness on it — but be sure to focus on only one at a time, choosing whichever one is most comfortable. Once you've got hold of it, expand it so that it's as large as your head. The bright white nimitta is useful to the body and mind: It's a pure breath that can cleanse the blood in the body, reducing or eliminating feelings of physical pain."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/lee/inmind.html

The initial perceptual image of the air, thanks to which such 'colouring' of the perception can be done, is called 'nimitta'. This term is mentioned in the suttas in the context of jhana, as for example in the Gavi sutta:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

and elsewhere - see the thread:
viewtopic.php?f=23&t=2770

Unfortunately, later the sense of the term 'nimitta' was pretty much lost. But it has been regained, for example, in the Pa Auk Sayadaw lineage.

This is not the only way to practice Anapanasati, but just the one devoted to samadhi practice.

The difference between samatha and vipassana practices of Anapanasati is explained on the page 23 of the book "In This Life Itself" by Ven. Dhammajiva:

http://www.vipassana.com/meditation/dha ... /index.php

Metta, Dmytro
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Re: Sutta Support for "Goenka's method" ?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Feb 17, 2011 12:14 pm

Dmytro wrote:Hi Spiny,

Spiny O'Norman wrote:Thanks, that's interesting. I'm not sure what is meant by "perceptual image of air", could you say a bit more about this?


It's easier to do this that to explain.


Thanks for your helpful reply, I'll investigate the links you've suggested.

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Re: Sutta Support for "Goenka's method" ?

Postby fijiNut » Fri Feb 18, 2011 1:54 am

There is an academic text which trawls through the Suttas surveying what the Buddha taught in regards to vedana (sensations/feelings).
(requires registration)
http://ses.library.usyd.edu.au/handle/2123/2075

Hope this is useful to the original post(er).
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Re: Sutta Support for "Goenka's method" ?

Postby Korpo » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:53 am

I remember reading somewhere that the Goenka method is meant to help establish awareness of the whole body over time, starting out with "doable bits" by passing from body region to body region. If awareness of the whole body would be the result of practicing this, wouldn't that count as progressing into becoming aware of all bodily fabrication, IIRC mentioned in the Anapanasati Sutta? The method would then not be described, but it would be one possible approach of how to practice what is laid down in the sutta.

Here:

He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'
(from: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.118.than.html)
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