10-day goenka retreat

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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:06 pm

Brizzy wrote:The Buddha rejected forms of meditation that led to an unstable & tortured body (even if mindfulness was produced by that meditation). Couple this with a view of 'eradicating sankharas' which entails a 'reward' for the pain one sits through and a 'reward' for the joy one neglects.


well said! very well said!
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Buckwheat » Tue Mar 27, 2012 3:17 pm

:redherring: There is a difference between the ascetic seeking out painful, tortuous practices and sitting through pain. Seeking pain is indulgence in pain, thinking the pain will bring about spiritual progress. Sitting through pain is transcending the pain to focus on what is really important: what is suffering... cause... cessation... path...

I have never been to a Goenka retreat, but I see nothing to suggest the method involves indulgence in pain.

As for the "hypnotic" criticism, I have noticed that many Buddhist practices do seem geared toward a type of "brainwashing" by getting the person into a calm place of trust and then planting the dhamma deep inside a person's consciousness. However, this is not an evil thing. Our suffering comes from a deep seated ignorance and clinging, and the only way to eliminate suffering is to dig deep and replace greed, hate, and delusion with virtue, concentration, and wisdom. What is wrong with that? Why else sign up for a 10 day retreat? Of course, before and after the retreat, I think it's important to reflect on how such training affects a person, and to decide to move forward or try another practice.
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby amrad » Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:55 pm

I think a lot of the op's complaints come from the all to worldly practice of blaming others for our own failures. It would be interesting Breeze if your opinions would be the same if you would have buckled down to work and persevered to the end of the course.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:20 pm

amrad wrote:I think a lot of the op's complaints come from the all to worldly practice of blaming others for our own failures.


i wouldn't call leaving the retreat a "failure".
i think your reply comes from the all-too-worldly practice of thinking you know more about a situation than you actually do.
were you at the retreat in question?
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:42 pm

delf7 wrote:
Brizzy wrote:The Buddha rejected forms of meditation that led to an unstable & tortured body (even if mindfulness was produced by that meditation). Couple this with a view of 'eradicating sankharas' which entails a 'reward' for the pain one sits through and a 'reward' for the joy one neglects.


well said! very well said!
What is well said? About what?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:03 pm

delf7 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:. . .
You left after 5 days of a 10 day course, and you are blaming everyone but yourself, even though you claim you got some good out of the course. The problem may not be what you are saying but with what you are not saying. It happens. At least you want to entertain that possibility.


i'm not "blaming" anyone for anything. there is nothing to put any blame on. i have no hard feelings toward the retreat, those who run it or those who support it. nor do i regret attending. i also do not regret leaving when i did. sometimes you gotta go with your gut, and my gut told me "something ain't right with this place" so i bolted. or maybe, as i think tilt is suggesting, "i wasn't right for that place."
Sometimes you "gotta go with your gut." Maybe, but sometimes your "gut" is not a reliable source of information of what is actually going on around oneself and in one's self, and sometimes what one sees in one's surroundings is a reflection of one's own fears and anxieties. That is possible.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:46 pm

Brizzy wrote:The Buddha rejected forms of meditation that led to an unstable & tortured body (even if mindfulness was produced by that meditation). Couple this with a view of 'eradicating sankharas' which entails a 'reward' for the pain one sits through and a 'reward' for the joy one neglects.


I have not been on a Goenka retreat yet, so have not commented on this topic yet. But from what I have seen from others who have been, the teachings of Goenka-ji, the books he has written or were written by his students, and his videos; there is not any asceticism in that practice. Meditating for long hours is not asceticism and quite normal during a retreat.

But in any event, the Buddha did not reject all forms of asceticism. Monks and nuns are expected to eat their meals before noon and this can be done in two meals from dawn to noon or in the more advanced, slightly ascetic practice of One meal per day.

"I do not say householder, that all asceticism should be practiced; nor do I say of all asceticism that it should not be practiced" (Anguttara Nikaya 10.94).

13 ascetic type practices conducive for jhana attainments are listed at Therigatha 16.7
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:14 pm

if i found myself in the middle of a highway and there was a truck speeding toward me, my "gut" would tell me to get out of the way. so... should i get out of the way, or should i stand there and question if my "gut" is a reliable source of information? maybe that truck is only a reflection of my own fears & anxieties. anything is possible.

i guess what i'm not understanding about this whole discussion is why the pro-goenka faction here at dhammawheel cannot simply accept that his methods are not right for everybody and why the goenkaists say that those who do not buy into these retreats have somehow "failed". what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander. there are many teachers and many methods, correct? this rabid defense of goenka reminds me of the "born-again christian" mentality that there is only "one way" - that "my way or the highway" mentality which i think, if i'm understanding my reading correctly, goes against what the buddha taught.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby David2 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:41 pm

delf7 wrote:if i found myself in the middle of a highway and there was a truck speeding toward me, my "gut" would tell me to get out of the way. so... should i get out of the way, or should i stand there and question if my "gut" is a reliable source of information? maybe that truck is only a reflection of my own fears & anxieties. anything is possible.


Obviously, your life is not in danger if you stay until the end of a retreat... (at least not more than in every day life), so I don't understand this comparison. :shrug:
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:26 pm

David2 wrote:
delf7 wrote:if i found myself in the middle of a highway and there was a truck speeding toward me, my "gut" would tell me to get out of the way. so... should i get out of the way, or should i stand there and question if my "gut" is a reliable source of information? maybe that truck is only a reflection of my own fears & anxieties. anything is possible.


I don't understand this comparison. :shrug:


obviously.

it was in response to tiltbillings post. i failed to "quote" his post.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:28 pm

delf7 wrote:if i found myself in the middle of a highway and there was a truck speeding toward me, my "gut" would tell me to get out of the way. so... should i get out of the way, or should i stand there and question if my "gut" is a reliable source of information? maybe that truck is only a reflection of my own fears & anxieties. anything is possible.
One of the things the "gut" wants to do is preserve its "self." And one of the things the "gut" will do, to do that, is project onto its environment its fears, where faces look threatening or overly grim, etc.. Also, there is a significant difference between standing in the middle of a highway and being in a retreat that is uncomfortable.

i guess what i'm not understanding about this whole discussion is why the pro-goenka faction here at dhammawheel cannot simply accept that his methods are not right for everybody
They are not right for everyone, period. But what is interesting is that you, in your negative response to the Goenka retreat, referred us to an anti-Goenka blog of rather dubious character that holds that the type of practice is simply wrong. Also, there is at least one anti-Goenka-ist here who has been arguing that point. So, my point is, you may want to go back and look at how you came across in your initial post-retreat posting.

this rabid defense of goenka reminds me of the "born-again christian" mentality that there is only "one way" - that "my way or the highway" mentality which i think, if i'm understanding my reading correctly, goes against what the buddha taught.
Again, you might want to look at how you came across in your post-retreat posting here.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:46 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:if i found myself in the middle of a highway and there was a truck speeding toward me, my "gut" would tell me to get out of the way. so... should i get out of the way, or should i stand there and question if my "gut" is a reliable source of information? maybe that truck is only a reflection of my own fears & anxieties. anything is possible.
One of the things the "gut" wants to do is preserve its "self." And one of the things the "gut" will do, to do that, is project onto its environment its fears, where faces look threatening or overly grim, etc.. Also, there is a significant difference between standing in the middle of a highway and being in a retreat that is uncomfortable.

i guess what i'm not understanding about this whole discussion is why the pro-goenka faction here at dhammawheel cannot simply accept that his methods are not right for everybody
They are not right for everyone, period. But what is interesting is that you, in your negative response to the Goenka retreat, referred us to an anti-Goenka blog of rather dubious character that holds that the type of practice is simply wrong. Also, there is at least one anti-Goenka-ist here who has been arguing that point. So, my point is, you may want to go back and look at how you came across in your initial post-retreat posting.

this rabid defense of goenka reminds me of the "born-again christian" mentality that there is only "one way" - that "my way or the highway" mentality which i think, if i'm understanding my reading correctly, goes against what the buddha taught.
Again, you might want to look at how you came across in your post-retreat posting here.


1. the retreat was more than just "uncomfortable" - i found it to be potentially dangerous.

2. i refered to the blog in question because i thought it was a balanced, fair and well-written critique and not just some angry rant. but i do understand your point.

3. i never said those who support goenka were "wrong". i said it was wrong for ME. i believe i said something to the effect of "to each his own" on several occasions.

can't we just agree to disagree on this?
peace.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:54 pm

delf7 wrote:1. the retreat was more than just "uncomfortable" - i found it to be potentially dangerous.
Is it potentially dangerous for everyone or just you? And what exactly is the danger? Certainly dangerous to one's "self."

2. i reffered to the blog in question because i thought it was a balanced, fair and well-written critique and not just some angry rant.
Well, balanced? Probably not so much.

3. i never said those who support goenka were "wrong". i said it was wrong for ME. i believe i said something to the effect of "to each his own" on several occasions.
Well, then the danger is fairly limited to your perceptions and the internal circumstances in which you found yourself.

can't we just agree to disagree on this?
Okay.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby amrad » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:17 pm

The course schedule is made available in detail on line and you are asked if you have read and understood it when you apply. Once more when you go to register at the site you are asked if you understand the rules and you are urged to stay for the full ten days. The length of the course is also everywhere on their site, also the urging to stay for the full ten days is mentioned over and over again.
Now im not familiar with the particular site that Breeze went to,and it may be different. But my impression was that all courses run the same the world over.
Im low income as were most of those i met at the course. Most of us live in rural areas not cities, we have no access to Dhamma teachers or Theravada temples, and none of us could afford to pay for a retreat, regardless of methods taught.
Please keep in mind that many of us would never have had the opportunity to do a retreat if not for Goenka. That dosnt make us Goenkanites, it just makes us very thankfull.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:26 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:1. the retreat was more than just "uncomfortable" - i found it to be potentially dangerous.
Is it potentially dangerous for everyone or just you? And what exactly is the danger? Certainly dangerous to one's "self."

2. i reffered to the blog in question because i thought it was a balanced, fair and well-written critique and not just some angry rant.
Well, balanced? Probably not so much.

3. i never said those who support goenka were "wrong". i said it was wrong for ME. i believe i said something to the effect of "to each his own" on several occasions.
Well, then the danger is fairly limited to your perceptions and the internal circumstances in which you found yourself.

can't we just agree to disagree on this?
Okay.


1. i think the potential for danger is there for others, but for the sake of argument, we'll just say "just me".
2. we disagree.
3. correct, to a point. i do remain concerned about the negative effects of goenka's "technique" may have on others.
4. cool.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:43 pm

delf7 wrote:1. i think the potential for danger is there for others, but for the sake of argument, we'll just say "just me".
You are generalizing from a partial experience of a retreat that did not meet your expectations. The fair number of people I know who have done one or more Goenka retreats found them difficult, but certainly not dangerous. Also, the most difficult things I have been told about were those things projected outwards. In other words, dealing with the resistance of their own minds. It is easier to assume that a devil is outside one's self rather than take responsibility for for the stuff inside one's self.
2. we disagree.
We certainly do.
3. correct, to a point. i do remain concerned about the negative effects of goenka's "technique" may have on others.
You are hardly in a position to talk about these style of retreat from a basis of experience. You have had next to none.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:44 pm

amrad wrote:The course schedule is made available in detail on line and you are asked if you have read and understood it when you apply. Once more when you go to register at the site you are asked if you understand the rules and you are urged to stay for the full ten days. The length of the course is also everywhere on their site, also the urging to stay for the full ten days is mentioned over and over again.
Now im not familiar with the particular site that Breeze went to,and it may be different. But my impression was that all courses run the same the world over.
Im low income as were most of those i met at the course. Most of us live in rural areas not cities, we have no access to Dhamma teachers or Theravada temples, and none of us could afford to pay for a retreat, regardless of methods taught.
Please keep in mind that many of us would never have had the opportunity to do a retreat if not for Goenka. That dosnt make us Goenkanites, it just makes us very thankfull.


looks like you & i are of the same situation. i am not wealthy & i too live in a rural area with no access to buddhist teaching.
and, believe it or not, i'm thankful for the opportunity to attend. even tho i found it not to my likeing, it was beneficial to me in that the experience taught me to look elsewhere to find my way.
however.... regarding your statements about the wealth of information they give you before attending the retreat... they do prepare you in advance, but only as well as they want to, but there is ALOT they don't tell you as well. that is what concerns me.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:48 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:1. i think the potential for danger is there for others, but for the sake of argument, we'll just say "just me".
You are generalizing from a partial experience of a retreat that did not meet your expectations. The fair number of people I know who have done one or more Goenka retreats found them difficult, but certainly not dangerous. Also, the most difficult things I have been told about were those things projected outwards. In other words, dealing with the resistance of their own minds. It is easier to assume that a devil is outside one's self rather than take responsibility for for the stuff inside one's self.
2. we disagree.
We certainly do.
3. correct, to a point. i do remain concerned about the negative effects of goenka's "technique" may have on others.
You are hardly in a position to talk about these style of retreat from a basis of experience. You have had next to none.


1. o.k., whatever.
2. i'm getting the impression that "disagreeing" is something you really like to do.
3. i've only been shot in the leg once too, but i think once is enough to be qualified to have the opinion that getting shot in the leg might not be for everyone.

what happened to item 4 ?
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:50 pm

delf7 wrote:what happened to item 4 ?
Nothing.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:00 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:what happened to item 4 ?
Nothing.


now, this is just getting silly.
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