Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

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Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby bodom » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:50 pm

I am looking into attending a 10 day course in the near to distant future and am looking for suggestions for resources, both online and book form, that will give me a good grasp of how to practice Goenka's technique. I am also wondering if it is possible to start learning and practicing Goenka's style on my own before attending the retreat so as to get an idea of what to expect? Or should I just wait to practice until the actual retreat? Thanks in advance.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Moggalana » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:59 pm

There is a book called The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation: As Taught by S. N. Goenka written by William Hart. It isn't a detailed how-to though. More like a general outline of Goenka's approach. There is also a book written by Goenka himself: Discourse Summaries: Talks from a Ten-day Course in Vipassana Meditation. I haven't read that one though. If you look on the internet, you can find the video and mp3 files of a whole 10 day course. But I guess they are normally not intended to be shared to people who haven't done a course.
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Sanghamitta » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:23 pm

Just a suggestion Bodom. Dont read up too much ahead of time. Just do it.
I am quite sure that you wont regret it.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Monkey Mind » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:52 pm

Personally, I think if I had some advanced knowledge of the technique I would have been second-guessing either myself or the process. So going into it unaware was a good plan for me. I did wish I had some basic education in Pali chanting and terminology before my retreat. I think you have that covered, from your posts.

The only other regret I had: I wish I had packed a sports injury pack: ibuprofen, ace bandage, tiger balm, etc. Never thought that I could injure myself meditating, but whacked my back 3 days in.
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Ben » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:30 pm

Hi Bodom
Sanghamitta wrote:Just a suggestion Bodom. Dont read up too much ahead of time. Just do it.
I am quite sure that you wont regret it.


This is excellent advice.

If you go to the website: www.dhamma.org you'll find some introductory material.

Just a few points:
- The manner of instruction is gradual, so you get slightly different instructions each day. It does take some time to develop mental sensitivity before moving onto the main meditation technique of vipassana (vedananupassana).
- The ten-day course is really an (introductory) ten-day course designed for the newbie. On more than one occassion, SN Goenka says This is the kindergarten of Dhamma! and This path is so long, and you've only taken the first step.
I'm happy to answer any questions you might have and, of course, you are welcome to contact me by pm.
Metta

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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Modus.Ponens » Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:17 am

My only mistake on the retreat was to sleep after lunch because of not having my sleeping schedule ajusted to the retreat schedule. So I felt sleepy during the afternoon and awake at sleeping time. So my advice is to ajust your sleeping schedule in acordance.

May you have a wonderful experience bodom :smile:
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby bodom » Mon Jul 05, 2010 3:24 am

Thanks everyone for the suggestions, recommendations and encouragement. :smile:

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby Sanghamitta » Mon Jul 05, 2010 7:29 am

I hope that you will share your experience with us afterwards Bodom.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:34 am

Greetings Bodom,

If you've read the Satipatthana Sutta, which you have, then you've read all you need to know about it beforehand.

The method is simply a way to do vedananupassana (after a few days of anapanasati).

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: Questions on Goenka technique and retreat

Postby bodom » Mon Jul 05, 2010 6:22 pm

Hi Sanghamitta

I sure will. Ive been wanting to do a retreat for so long and im really hoping I will have the opportunity. I have some obstacles, time off from work, daycare etc. to deal with first but I am determined!

Retro

I am certainly familiar with Satipatthana and have done body scanning practice before so this is not entirely new ground for me to cover.

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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