S.N. Goenka

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Have you taken an S.N. Goenka 10 day meditation course?

Yes
27
32%
No
31
37%
Who is S.N. Goenka?
1
1%
I've taken several
14
17%
I've served A 10 day course
7
8%
I've completed the Satipatthana course
4
5%
 
Total votes: 84

Orbiting-Awareness
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S.N. Goenka

Postby Orbiting-Awareness » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:12 pm

Hello everyone. I'm curious as to how many people here have taken the Goenka 10 day course, and possibly discuss some of the Pro's and Con's of the course.

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Ben
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Ben » Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:28 pm

Just to be clear, one can select multiple options on the poll.
One can't serve on a course unless one has sat a course (within the last 12-month period).
The Satipatthana Sutta course has a prerequisite of having sat three 10-day courses and having maintained practice and the precepts for 2 years.
The poll doesn't include an option if one has sat or served a long course (20-day, 30-day, Teacher Self Course, 45-day, 60-day, 90-day) The long courses also have pre-requisites which include the maintenance of practice, precepts and the number and type of courses sat and served.

My own experience since 1985:

Sitting
24 x 10-day courses
1 x Satipatthana Sutta course
1 x Teacher Self Course
1 x 20-day course
Numerous shorter courses for old students

Serving
6-7 10-day courses
30-day course
45-day course
Numerous short courses
Group-sit coordinator for 4 years

kind regards

Ben
“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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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cooran
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:19 am

Yes, I've completed several 10 day courses in Queensland and Tasmania.
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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David N. Snyder
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:27 am

Ben wrote:My own experience since 1985:

Sitting
24 x 10-day courses
1 x Satipatthana Sutta course
1 x Teacher Self Course
1 x 20-day course
Numerous shorter courses for old students

Serving
6-7 10-day courses
30-day course
45-day course
Numerous short courses
Group-sit coordinator for 4 years


Hi Ben,

:clap: Very impressive!

Out of curiosity, when Goenka-ji does pass away, is there any indication yet who would lead the Vipassana Meditation Centres or be the spiritual head? Of course, hopefully that will be a very, very long time from now so that he can continue his long life and benefit all of us.

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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby fijiNut » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:50 am

Since Nov 2008
Sat 3 x 10 days Courses
Organized and served 1 course
(inaugural Fiji Vipassana 10 day Course http://www.fj.dhamma.org/os/2009Course_CorpusCristi_TeachersCollege/ old student user name and password required :tongue: )

Looking to do Satipatthana Course in Nepal (Dhamma Janani) in December 2010 ..

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Ben
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:23 am

Hi David

As for my retreat experience - its not as impressive as it appears. Remember, I've been doing this since 1985 which equates to roughly 1 ten day course per year. And there were periods where I could sit and serve more intensely and there was a period in the middle where I completely abandoned my practice.

I know Goenkaji is preparing for his passing. I know he has in mind one of the senior ATs as his successor - but I don't know who that is. He aludes to how things will be after he dies in an interview he did for Tricycle magazine a couple of years ago. (see attached).
I also think he's passing might be sooner than we would all like. He's been suffering from Diabetes for many years and he is getting on (mid to late 80s in age). He's no longer allowed by his doctors to do any overseas travel and he has retired from teaching and can no longer sit his 'Teacher Self Course, and there are some indications that he is preparing for death. Indications of this has been the build of the Global Pagoda, the Yatras to Burma and the "Gratitude Gathering" occuring at the Global Pagoda 9.30AM Sunday (Mumbai Time) to express his gratitude to his first students (pre 1983).
Received this morning:
-----------------------------
Dear Vipassana meditator,
The Gratitude Gathering at the Global Pagoda will be held on Sunday, 17 January, 2010.
A live webcast of this event will start from 9.30 AM Indian Standard Time ( GMT +5.30), 17th January 2010 and continue upto 5 pm. There will be a 2 hour break in the middle where there will be a photo slideshow, some discourses etc. to fill the time gap. Here is a link to a list of the times around the world that correspond to the Jan 17th 9:30am IST start time:
http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/f ... =44&sort=0
You can view the live webcast by visiting
http://www.dhamma.org/os (username-xxxxxxxx; password-xxxxxxxxx). You will find that the topmostlink takes you to an explanation of the event and the webcast links.
The webcast will be recorded and be available for viewing on the Global Pagoda website after the event as well.
Please inform the students and centers in your area of this historic event.
To change your subscription details visit this page
-------------------------------

Hi FijiNut
Good luck with your Satipatthana Sutta course. They're a little different to the ten-day courses as they are 'quieter' without the agitation of new students.
My own aspiration is to sit the 30-day course this year. Work and family permitting, of course!
metta

Ben
Attachments
tricycleinterview.pdf
(855.33 KiB) Downloaded 306 times
“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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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David N. Snyder
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:58 am

Hi Ben,

Okay, thanks for that report and sorry to hear of Goenka-ji's health problems. Much metta to him! :bow:

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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:26 am

Greetings,

The aforementioned webcast will also be available at http://www.vridhamma.org/webcast.aspx

Metta,
Retro. :)
"When we transcend one level of truth, the new level becomes what is true for us. The previous one is now false. What one experiences may not be what is experienced by the world in general, but that may well be truer. (Ven. Nanananda)

“I hope, Anuruddha, that you are all living in concord, with mutual appreciation, without disputing, blending like milk and water, viewing each other with kindly eyes.” (MN 31)

Never again...

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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:28 am

Hi Ben
What is a teacher self course?
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Ben
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Ben » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:22 pm

Hi Manapa

A self course is a retreat one does on one's own. One spends one third of the time practicing anapana (samatha variant) before moving on to vedananupassana (vipassana) following the same timetable and maintaining the eight precepts. One does it without access to a teacher. The Teacher Self Course (Teacher's Self Course) is when Goenkaji would do his own retreat and he would invite old students to participate in the self course with him. So back when I did the TSC in 1989, it was at the main centre, Dhammagiri at Igatpuri in Maharashtra state. For the vast majority of my time I sat in a meditation cell in the pagoda and just followed the same timetable as a normal course. One didn't actually see Goenkaji as he was in his residence on site, however he was also meditating in a cell in the pagoda with the rest of us while we were there.
Back in 1989, the TSC was 15 days. Up until recently when Goenkaji was still doing his TSC, it was 45 days in duration. The TSC is still being conducted but it is with one of Goenkaji's semior assistant teachers.
The qualification for attending a TSC are:
- Must be a serious old student who is playing or likely to play an important role in the spread of Dhamma.
- Must be practicing Vipassana exclusively (not practicing any other meditation techniques).
- Must be maintaining a daily practice of two hours per day.
- Abstaining from killing, sexual misconduct, intoxicants and keeping other precepts to the best of one's ability.
- Admission subject to Goenkaji's discretion. Above requirements may change annually. Check with local Areas Teacher for current requirements.
I think there's also a requirement that one meets the pre-requisites for the 45 day course as well, which are:
- Must be a serious old student who is committed to this technique.
- Restricted to ATs and those involved with Dhamma service.
- Must have sat at least seven 10-Day courses with Goenkaji or one of his assistant teachers.
- Practice this technique exclusively for at least last 3 years.
- Must have sat at least two 30-Day Courses.
- Maintenance of daily practice of two hours per day for at least 2 years.
- Abstaining from killing, sexual misconduct, intoxicants and keeping other precepts to the best of one's ability for one year minimum.
- At least six months gap since last sat a long course.
- Ten day interval between long course and any other course.
- Spouse must be supportive of partner sitting long course.
- For first 45-Day course, at least one regular 10-Day course must have been sat after first 30-Day course.
- All confirmations provisional until day 30.
kind regards

Ben
“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

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Cittasanto
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Cittasanto » Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:35 pm

Chears it was the teacher part which put me off the scent!
the most I've ever done is 90 days solo retreat, although not with any group.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:00 am

Eventhough the thread is a little bit dated, I wish to add my information.
So far I have not practiced any other tradition, started Goenka five years ago when I was 20 years old.
Till now I completed six ten days, two Satipatthanas, one twenty day, a couple of three days and one seven day self retreat (wich was insanely beautiful).
I also gave service quite a lot, couple of ten days, special ten day, one long course and two or three times Satipatthana.
My relationship to Goenka is sometimes stronger and sometimes weaker, the last time I stayed in a center for a longer time was last summer in Taiwan. Right now I plan to sit a ten day and serve one in this summer and maybe do a thirty day course next year. But that depends on the situation with my girlfriend, as our future is not sorted out yet. If we will split (wich I feel is unavoidable), than I will of course have to wait with my long course a little bit longer. But thats how things are...
Daily practice remains strong though, doing 3 hours every day and back in the days when I was living alone this could rise up to 4 oder 5 hours easily. I miss those days, no need to worry about money or any other bigger problems.
Sometimes I have to remember Ajahn Chah. Why not just drop the hot coal? Much easier than waiting until it turns cool. :)

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Spiny Norman
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Spiny Norman » Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:01 am

Cittasanto wrote:the most I've ever done is 90 days solo retreat, although not with any group.


I once did a 60 day solitary, I didn't want to leave at the end though. ;)
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:31 am

Cittasanto, Spiny Norman: As you both have done solitary retreats, did you organize them by yourselves or did you go to a place wich is offering the possibility of doing solo retreats and just stayed there for the time?

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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jul 25, 2015 11:43 am

Dhamma_Basti wrote:Cittasanto, Spiny Norman: As you both have done solitary retreats, did you organize them by yourselves or did you go to a place wich is offering the possibility of doing solo retreats and just stayed there for the time?


There are retreat centres offering solitary retreats, but I used places I heard about via the Buddhist grapevine. The 60-day solitary was in a caravan in the corner of a cow field on a farm ( I talked to the cows! ), one of the shorter ones I did was in a ramshackle cottage next to some spooky woods, it had no running water but plenty of rats. ;)

One option might be to house-sit while a friend or family member is away, preferably in a different area where you don't know anyone. Or if you can afford it just hire somewhere in a remote location, as you would for a holiday.
"I ride tandem with the random, Things don't run the way I planned them, In the humdrum."
Peter Gabriel lyric

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Dhamma_Basti
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Re: S.N. Goenka

Postby Dhamma_Basti » Sun Jul 26, 2015 1:06 pm

Yes thank you for the advice. Actually I did a couple of solitary retreats in my old flat when my flatmate was not there (wich was quite often), so I could do my own sitting every couple of weeks, but never more than 4 or 5 days in a row. Actually I find it very tough to stay focussed when you are still in your own environment with all the facilities and people in easy reach. I do remember that I always unplugged the phone and Internet, turned of the bell and informed my close familiy and friends that I am not yet dead, just not available for a while. ^^
Yeah as you suggested the caravan, I might try camping the next time... With enough food and fuel for the stove it should not be an issue to keep it going for two weeks and even the european forests over enough possible space for that. :)


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