disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.
amrad
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disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby amrad » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:38 pm

Im a lapsed meditator, and havent had a practice for years, until now. I just completed a ten day course at a Goenka center and during the sits had two rather odd experiences that I am hoping someone here could shed light on perhaps. During the second day of anapanna sati meditation I had a very intense small blinding white point of light that later exploded into a beautiful intensely bright turquoise light that filled my mind completely. When I asked the teacher what this was he said to simply ignore it and it would leave. The odd thing was I could tell when it would appear because my body would slump and my mind became enraptured by the sensation on my lower lip. It did eventually leave but took a lot of ignoring.
The second event happened during the vipassana body scan I noticed that my whole body was vibrating at the surface and as I concentrated more I had the feeling of small living things coming up and dying coming up and dying. As I became enthralled by this, and oddly saddened, my concentration improved and I noticed I couldnt feel my legs or arms even if I moved and made effort to touch them, it was all just this field of vibration that seemed to be a few inches long coating my whole body,i couldnt feel my body, but assumed it was there. I continued to scan and then, as if someone slapped me on the back of the head, I had the realization that I was about to explode. At this point I stopped the meditation and waited tell the session was over to talk to the teacher, who told me that this was just an experience and didnt mean much at all. Sooo Im a bit confused, this method is new to me.
I am however forever thankfull to all those that gave lovingly of there selves to feed us and look after us the whole ten days, and who sent metta to those of us who were learning the dhamma, and of course to Goenka.

Mawkish1983
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby Mawkish1983 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:53 pm

When meditating your thoughts do some weird things. I think the advice is good, just ignore it.

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daverupa
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby daverupa » Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:55 pm


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marc108
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby marc108 » Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:45 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

farmer
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby farmer » Thu Mar 01, 2012 10:14 pm


amrad
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby amrad » Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:20 am

What happened after you were able to successfully ignore the Nimitta?

well I continued to have good concentration but it seemed I had to put much more effort into it, where as before I felt like I just naturally feel into that state of rapture without much effort at all. Its like now its more forced.

nameless
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby nameless » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:10 am

From what I've gathered, teachers who class themselves as 'vipassana' can sometimes have a bias against jhana. However the fact remains that jhana is right concentration, which is a part of the eightfold path, and teachers like Ajahn Brahm and Ayya Khema teach about Jhana.

I suppose that since you signed up for the Goenka course, at least during the course it would be good to follow their instructions. But during your own meditation outside of the course it should be worthwhile to develop it further, and you might get more information from the works of the above teachers.

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Ben
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby Ben » Sat Mar 03, 2012 6:26 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]..

farmer
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby farmer » Sat Mar 03, 2012 7:12 pm


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Monkey Mind
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Mar 04, 2012 12:53 am

I've stated this elsewhere, but I am fond of asking meditators if they have experienced anything wierd. Maybe someday I will write a book. The experience in the OP is not at all atypical for 10-day retreats of any tradition. The instruction of "ignore it" seems wise.
"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: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby Brizzy » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:07 am

Ignorance is an intentional act.

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tiltbillings
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:27 am


Brizzy
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby Brizzy » Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:46 am

Ignorance is an intentional act.

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mikenz66
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:06 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:09 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:44 am


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marc108
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby marc108 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:17 am

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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tiltbillings
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:51 am


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marc108
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby marc108 » Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:42 pm

"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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tiltbillings
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Re: disturbing experience at a Goenka ten day retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:57 pm



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