10-day goenka retreat

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:17 pm

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


now, this is just getting silly.
You are the one that brought it up.

Item #4:

4. cool.
Gnarly, man.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 5:32 pm

is anyone else getting tired of this thread, or is it just me?
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:01 pm

delf7 wrote:is anyone else getting tired of this thread, or is it just me?
If you are tired of this thread, then don't post in it.

As for item #4, you wanted to agree to disagree, which is fine, but then you kept on posting stuff. If you do not want comments to your postings, then the best thing is: don't post anything and you'll not get comments.
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 mikenz66 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:35 pm

I'm hardly a "goenakaist". I've only done one retreat, and I prefer the Mahasi-style approach that my local teachers use. The method itself is a bit too rigid for my taste.

However, I don't see anything about the structure of a Goenka retreat that is at significant variance with other strict retreats. No talking, no reading, get up, practice, eat, practice, sleep. Difficult stuff, but very standard.

Personally, I'm pleased I did some less strict, shorter, retreats before the Goenka retreat. I actually felt very relieved on the Goenka retreat that the silence was kept strictly by the servers.

The point is, any intensive retreat will bring up a lot of difficulties. New meditators might consider starting with some shorter and/or less demanding retreats.

:anjali:
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:40 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:is anyone else getting tired of this thread, or is it just me?
If you are tired of this thread, then don't post in it.

As for item #4, you wanted to agree to disagree, which is fine, but then you kept on posting stuff. If you do not want comments to your postings, then the best thing is: don't post anything and you'll not get comments.


o.k., i'm pretty new to this forum, so excuse me for asking, but are you always this smug & childish?
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Mar 28, 2012 6:47 pm

delf7 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
delf7 wrote:is anyone else getting tired of this thread, or is it just me?
If you are tired of this thread, then don't post in it.

As for item #4, you wanted to agree to disagree, which is fine, but then you kept on posting stuff. If you do not want comments to your postings, then the best thing is: don't post anything and you'll not get comments.


o.k., i'm pretty new to this forum, so excuse me for asking, but are you always this smug & childish?
Which is, of course, not very helpful. I am trying to make sense of your question: "what happened to item 4 ?" Damdifino what you are trying ask here. It would help if you would be a bit more expansive.

Seriously, if you are getting tired of the thread, don't post in it. Complaining about it probably is not going to help.
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 Ben » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:24 pm

Hi delf,
delf7 wrote: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".


I am sorry you had a difficult course experience and felt compelled to leave. I feel somewhat responsible as I encouraged you on the public forum and also via pm to attend a ten-day course. However, I do believe I did indicate privately that the courses are not for everybody and that they can be difficult and hard work. If I did not, or if I did not make that point more clear - then I am sorry. Its something that I have reiterated many times publicly.
Also, see my earlier post where I detailed recently leaving a long course before the retreat finished. After being involved exclusively with the "tradition" for nearly 27 years it was the first time I ever left a course before its completion. For me, the difficulties that arose were too difficult to deal with at that point in time.
Whatever you chose to do in the future whether it is to attempt another 10-day course under the guidance of SN Goenka, or do something under the guidance of another teacher/tradition, I wish you all the very best.
with metta,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby delf7 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:44 pm

Ben wrote:Hi delf,
delf7 wrote: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".


I am sorry you had a difficult course experience and felt compelled to leave. I feel somewhat responsible as I encouraged you on the public forum and also via pm to attend a ten-day course. However, I do believe I did indicate privately that the courses are not for everybody and that they can be difficult and hard work. If I did not, or if I did not make that point more clear - then I am sorry. Its something that I have reiterated many times publicly.
Also, see my earlier post where I detailed recently leaving a long course before the retreat finished. After being involved exclusively with the "tradition" for nearly 27 years it was the first time I ever left a course before its completion. For me, the difficulties that arose were too difficult to deal with at that point in time.
Whatever you chose to do in the future whether it is to attempt another 10-day course under the guidance of SN Goenka, or do something under the guidance of another teacher/tradition, I wish you all the very best.
with metta,

Ben


thanx ben, all is fine.
as i've said in previous posts in this thread, i do not regret going, and i do not regret leaving early.
it just wasn't where i needed to be at that point in time.
however, i believe i did get some benefit from it. i learned alot from the experience.
you did tell me it was hard and you did voice concern that it may be too intense for a "rookie" such as myself, so don't feel that you steered me wrong. you did not. as i've stated before, my only regret is i should have done some more research on it before i decided to go. i look at it as just another fork in the road. took the left, should have turned right, ya know? good thing is i didn't get lost. i'm still on the path, no worse for wear.
thank you for your well-wishes.
metta,
delf
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ferox » Wed Mar 28, 2012 10:59 pm

mikenz66 wrote:I'm hardly a "goenakaist". I've only done one retreat, and I prefer the Mahasi-style approach that my local teachers use. The method itself is a bit too rigid for my taste.

However, I don't see anything about the structure of a Goenka retreat that is at significant variance with other strict retreats. No talking, no reading, get up, practice, eat, practice, sleep. Difficult stuff, but very standard.

Personally, I'm pleased I did some less strict, shorter, retreats before the Goenka retreat. I actually felt very relieved on the Goenka retreat that the silence was kept strictly by the servers.

The point is, any intensive retreat will bring up a lot of difficulties. New meditators might consider starting with some shorter and/or less demanding retreats.

:anjali:
Mike


that doesn't sound any different then the retreats I've done at the Bhavana Society, and I agree 100% that retreats like that bring up difficulties, but that is the whole point of the retreat, at least this is what I've come to find, so I don't know why someone might say otherwise.

at the Bhavana society retreats they do have dhamma talks, Q&A sessions, interviews, and optional yoga, and work periods, but otherwise its around 6 hours of meditation a day. no book reading, even buddhist ones, noble silence etc.


My retreat experiences are as this - 3 day dhamma retreat, 5 day meditation retreat, 7 day meditation retreat, all within the last year... I'm not sure if the OP has done retreats before but to jump right into a 10 day retreat has to be near insanity.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:43 am

Hi Ferox,
Ferox wrote: I'm not sure if the OP has done retreats before but to jump right into a 10 day retreat has to be near insanity.

Actually, its not!
The ten-day meditation course is actually an "introductory" course. For some people, its not suitable.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:45 am

Greetings,

My first retreat was a 10-day Goenka one - I didn't consider this decision to have been near insanity then, nor do I consider it such now.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby cooran » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:04 am

Hello all,

I think people can go to their first retreat with a mind full of wrong ideas about what it is going to be like.
A Retreat is a time of hard work to advance in the Dhamma.
A Retreat allows all sorts of kusala and akusala feelings, thoughts, imaginings, memories to arise in the first four or five days.
Peace often starts anytime from day 3 or 4 onwards.

Goenka is not my main practice, but I have been to a number Goenka retreats over the last 15 years and often have dosa arise due to the recordings. But I get over it, and take the benefits that come.

The best advice I've been given about the rough times during any Retreat is: ''Stay the distance''.

with metta
Chris
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ferox » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

My first retreat was a 10-day Goenka one - I didn't consider this decision to have been near insanity then, nor do I consider it such now.

Metta,
Retro. :)



lol... I'm just basing it after my experiences doing 5 and 7 days being rough, let alone 10. I'm sure I would of made it through a 10 day as my first.. but man... lol, hell I haven't even experienced one yet but at least I've been through enough retreats now to know what to expect.
-just one more being treading the ancient path of Dhamma-
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:07 am

Ferox wrote:I've been through enough retreats now to know what to expect.

They're all different!
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ferox » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:19 am

Ben wrote:
Ferox wrote:I've been through enough retreats now to know what to expect.

They're all different!
kind regards,

Ben



I meant in terms of what will arise within my own mind and body in terms of pains etc, sorry should of been more specific.
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:24 am

Ferox wrote:
Ben wrote:
Ferox wrote:I've been through enough retreats now to know what to expect.

They're all different!
kind regards,

Ben



I meant in terms of what will arise within my own mind and body in terms of pains etc, sorry should of been more specific.


That's ok, Ferox!
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Monkey Mind » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:34 pm

Prior to my first 10-day retreat, I had done 3 and 5 day retreats in other traditions, and therefore assumed I was "ready". Turned out that my past experience translated very poorly in regards to preparing me for the 10-day retreat, because it wasn't quantity of time on retreat but my faulty expectations that made it a difficult experience*. I really wanted to leave the retreat after the 3rd and 5th days, and if my car had been in the parking lot I would have just left without telling anyone. But a friend had driven me to the retreat and dropped me off, the retreat center was miles away from the nearest town, and a couple hundred miles away from where I live. (And I had turned in my wallet and phone to the retreat manager for safe keeping.) I am grateful for that, because Day 6 was a life changing event, and I have returned for several more retreats.

* What would have helped me to feel more prepared for the event? I knew very little about this type of retreat, and I read the introductory material with an almost lazy awareness. I wish I had watched the movie "Dhamma Brothers" before that retreat, and there are several other video documentaries out there about the 10-day retreats. I also wished I had spent more time practicing sitting on the floor (before the retreat I usually meditated on a chair or used a lot of cushions.) I wish I had been more honest in my retreat application about my physical injuries and mental health issues. (I didn't lie, but I omitted a lot of information.) Now when I attend retreats, I indicate in the retreat application that I prefer to sit on the floor, but sometimes I really do need back support. (And I bring my own back support, because it is customized to my needs.)
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby Ferox » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:12 pm

Monkey Mind wrote:Prior to my first 10-day retreat, I had done 3 and 5 day retreats in other traditions, and therefore assumed I was "ready". Turned out that my past experience translated very poorly in regards to preparing me for the 10-day retreat, because it wasn't quantity of time on retreat but my faulty expectations that made it a difficult experience*. I really wanted to leave the retreat after the 3rd and 5th days, and if my car had been in the parking lot I would have just left without telling anyone. But a friend had driven me to the retreat and dropped me off, the retreat center was miles away from the nearest town, and a couple hundred miles away from where I live. (And I had turned in my wallet and phone to the retreat manager for safe keeping.) I am grateful for that, because Day 6 was a life changing event, and I have returned for several more retreats.

* What would have helped me to feel more prepared for the event? I knew very little about this type of retreat, and I read the introductory material with an almost lazy awareness. I wish I had watched the movie "Dhamma Brothers" before that retreat, and there are several other video documentaries out there about the 10-day retreats. I also wished I had spent more time practicing sitting on the floor (before the retreat I usually meditated on a chair or used a lot of cushions.) I wish I had been more honest in my retreat application about my physical injuries and mental health issues. (I didn't lie, but I omitted a lot of information.) Now when I attend retreats, I indicate in the retreat application that I prefer to sit on the floor, but sometimes I really do need back support. (And I bring my own back support, because it is customized to my needs.)



In both retreats I've attended there was this "breaking" point, or maybe better referred to a climaxing point, that changed me as well.. thats what these retreats are so great for. After the first one I have faith now that I could do any length of retreat, no matter how much I make myself suffer because of pains and negative mind states that arise before I overcome them.

Thankfully though I have no real physical issues other then being a westerner who is not use to sitting on cushions for 6 hours a day, I too am a bit "lazy" at home, usually sitting on benches to meditate and such. The things a good retreat teaches us hehe :).
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Re: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby wizi » Sun Apr 01, 2012 6:55 am

A few years back when I was researching on IVF (assisted fertility) treatments on the web, I found many forums n blogsites where forummers posted negative commentaries about their experiences and their doctors. Similarly, when I was researching on SN Goenka Vipassana meditation retreats, I found numerous negative reviews and youtube videos about Goenka's retreats.

After my successful first cycle of IVF treatment where I now have a vivacious 3 year old, and after a successful completion of my second 10 day retreat with Goenka (while i was 6 months pregnant), I came to realization that those who have succeeded in attaining their goal of having a child through assisted fertility treatments and those who have succeeded in attaining a sense of inner peace as a state of mind through a meditation retreat would seldom ever go on a website to broadcast their success. They would be quietly enjoying the fruits of their labour.

Whereas those who have not succeeded in these respective endeavour would naturally feel the urge to broadcast their negative experience to the world-at-large because of their unrequited need.

So now when I get asked for advice on fertility treatments or a meditation retreat, my guidance is that the more you read on the web, the less empowering it gets. What you read out there on the internet is probably statistically askewed to those who have not been successful one way or other. The successful ones are all happily and quietly enjoying their fruits of success with no urge to ever have to shout to the world about their newfound happiness.

:namaste:
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: 10-day goenka retreat

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 01, 2012 7:24 am

Thanks wizi,

:anjali:
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