meindzai wrote:Mukunda wrote:Brizzy wrote:Goenka talks about past actions rising to the surface. His concentration technique is aimed specifically to induce sensations, rather than tranquility.
I was never taught to induce sensations, but rather to observe their arising. Perhaps therein lies the problem.
Exactly. Buddha's problem with the Jains was that by practicing self mortification, they were just creating more kamma in the process.
i.e. if I hit you in the face with a shovel, that's an unwholesome action, which will ripen at some point for me. (For you it's your bad kamma ripening, so...you're welcome?)
But hitting my*self* in the face, whether that is the ripening of unwholesome kamma or not, is kind of pointless, because all I've done is create more unwholesome kamma by doing the action.
I believe it's that simple. Sitting in mindfulness and observing sensations, feelings, etc. isn't anything like this shovel-face-hitting-asceticism (or any kind of asceticism - same thing). The Goekna method, as far as I know, is adopted from Satipatthana - nothing ascetic in there.
The whole practice is designed to produce unpleasant sensations. It is your "Attention" that is proliferating these sensations. If you turned your attention away from these unpleasant sensations, towards something wholesome, then the sensations would subside.
That is not to say that unpleasant sensations do not appear in Right Meditation, it is just that one does not go looking for them in order to impose an "equanimous" mind upon them & thereby eradicating past kamma. Goenka will often explain that these "Gross" sensations are "DEEP, DEEP" sankharas from our past, rising to the surface to be eradicated.
This idea of "one pointed" concentration is strange. We learn from the Buddha that everything is change and we are then told to "FIX" our minds on one "POINT". So in an ever changing world we are told that we can come to understand this world, by grimly trying to fix our minds statically. Now this would produce an enormous internal struggle (pain ) but if we are bloody minded enough we can come through it, and the brief abscence of the pain is great and then we "Start Again"
The idea of a collected mind, as found in the suttas is a mind that is together & powerful - in tune with the body and is malleable enough for vipassana (a happy mind ). The one pointed mind sounds more like a "Hindu Oneness" approach rather than Buddha Dhamma.
People are told to develop equanimity to painful sensations - all that is being developed is willpower/strength of mind. If people developed a happy mind, this would lead into equanimity. Goenka puts it the other way round "Be equanimous - it will lead to happiness!" The Buddha teaches, to develop a joyful/happy mind and this leads to equanimity. Its a really important point, it is very easy to fool ourselves and take willpower to be equanimity. Equanimity is the profound jhana within which the Buddha encourages his monks to make a breakthrough (any jhana will do), it is not a mind state that can be "set up" it has to be developed and developed through jhana.
Goenka will often tell the tale of a weapons engineer who developed guidance systems for missiles. His sankharas/kamma were so bad he was jumping about his cell through the heat & pain of his evil past. Does this not sound a little like Nigantha asceticism. Does any of this sound like the Buddhas explanation of how kamma works?
People on the thread seem to object strongly to my views on Goenka Vippasana and I can understand why. However, if people are so sure of the truth of this practice and it is truly the Buddhas Dhamma, why is there no trace of it in the suttas?
Words & meanings can be changed & stretched, and people may point to the satipatthana sutta, but the satippathana sutta does not promote this technique. Goenkas technique produces a very strong & hard mind, that can overcome pain through vigorous exertion - mindfulness is produced, but look at the Buddhas explanation for this "type" of practice :-
This sutta describes a "Goenka Approach" to mindfulness, which the Buddha ultimately rejected in favour of the beautiful memory from his childhood under a rose-apple tree.