Back to Sensations

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Back to Sensations

Postby SamKR » Wed Oct 28, 2009 4:57 am

Many weeks ago, I said somewhere in this forum that I left Goenkaji's method of observing sensations and switched to mere anapana sati meditaion (as followed by many Buddhist traditions). It was mainly because I found the Goenka method to be different from what the suttas emphasize.
But now I am back to sensations partly because I could not leave observing sensations (I found the method very powerful), and partly because I now find the observation of sensations a key point of Mahasatipatthana sutta (different interpretation of the sutta).
This instability may be because of my wavering mind (a kind of weakness?), but I hope I will stick to one method now. I would love to read your comments and suggestions.
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Re: Back to Sensations

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:04 am

Greetings Sam,

I believe Goenkaji's method is an entirely valid and prescriptive technique by which to perform the mindfulness of feeling component of the Satipatthana practice detailed in the suttas. It is one of many techniques by which the Satipatthana method can be practiced.

Metta,
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Re: Back to Sensations

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:11 am

Hi Sam
I disagree, it doesn't indicate a weakness of mind!
Sometimes we need to go away from something to gain some perspective in order to rediscover it.
Vedananupassana is a profoundly powerful technique - as is the samatha variant of anapana-sati. They both have a place and a purpose. The type of anapana that you learn under Goenkaji is excellent in developing single-pointed concentration which is beneficial in developing awareness of sensation. And vedananupassana is excellent for observing the anicca characteristic of the phenomenology of sensation. it is in effect a mind-training that will help you to develop that 'clear seeing', that 'special vision' of vipassana.
I've been practicing under Goenkaji for a long time, so feel free if you have any particular issues. Sometimes its worthwhile going over them if you don't have regular contact with other practitioners or assistant teachers.
metta

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Re: Back to Sensations

Postby SamKR » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:49 am

Please delete this...I had double posting
Last edited by SamKR on Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:51 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Back to Sensations

Postby SamKR » Wed Oct 28, 2009 5:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Sam,
I believe Goenkaji's method is an entirely valid and prescriptive technique by which to perform the mindfulness of feeling component of the Satipatthana practice detailed in the suttas.

Ben wrote:Vedananupassana is a profoundly powerful technique - as is the samatha variant of anapana-sati.

I could be wrong, but my new interpretation of the Mahasatipatthana Sutta is that observing sensations is particularly related to Kayanupassana (at least for the beginners; later they may add observing feelings ("not of flesh") too, I guess).
retrofuturist wrote:It is one of many techniques by which the Satipatthana method can be practiced.

I also think the same.
Ben wrote:Hi Sam
...is excellent for observing the anicca characteristic of the phenomenology of sensation. it is in effect a mind-training that will help you to develop that 'clear seeing', that 'special vision' of vipassana.

Can I add "anatta" too? Because I find more comfortable to observe sensations and body with the focus on anatta.
Ben wrote:I've been practicing under Goenkaji for a long time, so feel free if you have any particular issues. Sometimes its worthwhile going over them if you don't have regular contact with other practitioners or assistant teachers.

Nice to know that you are follower of Goenkaji's method for a long time. I will surely come up with questions.
Thanks.
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Re: Back to Sensations

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 28, 2009 6:15 am

Hi Sam
Absolutely you can add 'observation of the anatta characteristic'. For many beginners, the anicca characteristic is more readily accessible. Awareness of anatta, for most, comes later. But if that is where you are at, well and good!
And I welcome any questions you may have now or in the future!
All the best with your practice!
metta

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