Well I am just back from the retreat and it was an amazing experience. EXTREMELY difficult from a mental standpoint and the way the course is administered. I benefited greatly from this experience but as time passes wonders if it needed to be so intense and abrupt in its delivery with the strict code of conduct. In order for it to reach the masses of people that it should, i think it could be more gentle and compassionately given. I wouldnt wish what i went through on anyone i love. I happen to be or proved to be strong enough to make it but I definitely think they should ease up on some of the rules. Adapt them. This is not however many hundreds of years ago.
I thought it was strange. Male teacher was so dark/gloomy and solemn and even was driven to anger at one of the students who was breaking noble silence. During Goenka's entire discourse, where he gives wonderful funny stories to deliver the technique, teacher never once reacted. Goenka and this teaching talk about how the final goal is joy and compassion etc....yet there is not an aire of love in the air. In fact a dark cloud follows the group for most of the course, as they all try to get through. You can feel the mental anguish and angst in the air. Then to say....ok....everyone eat together,, live together, but dont look at each other, no smiles of encouragement, etc,,,////
Even after noble silence is broken, not supposed to shake hands or anything.....that is silly and not very compassionate......by day ten course is done mostly....people have suffered through a rough time, happilly discussing the past days yet no one is allowed to congratulate one another with a simple handshake? In defense of the organization and course, you are not held against your own will but they do try to convince you to stay. Also many people reported extreme desire to leave, and not sleeping.
Sleep deprivation, no human contact, stay in your room, nothing to do.... expected ten hours a day of meditation is way too much for even a person of reasonable mental condition....
Overall i learned a great deal that i will continue to learn from...i have already started watching the discourses again and find them to be the best part of the whole experience. Still undecided and confused about the need for the level of rigidity in the course structure. Several people left. Several got sick and could not sleep. It is certainly like torture. Self inflicted from the standpoint students chose to go. But guilt of leaving and influence of staff, provide another level of a prison type feeling. Bottom line they break you down, and then again, and again ,,,,luckily the discourse hit the mark every time.....
i think the explanation of the sensations in the body could be more clear....he dispels any doubt with all other topics by coming at them from different angles....but never hits the sensations in a way that people can relate to what he means.....when i am at my closest subtle level of full body/sweeping sensation it is because i became in tune with the body and a kind of feeling of density of space the body occupies, but "sensations" gives a general and vague sense of what is meant.
The repeating of many of the phrases, gets to be very irritating, but if u are really getting the lesson, you remain equanimous.
I gained ALOT and am very grateful, but think a suggestion box or move to adapt course slightly, might be in order.
i made it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thank you for info here......