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DW Position on Goenka vis-a-vis Theravāda

Posted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:21 am
by retrofuturist

There have been some comments lately from various members to the effect that because Goenka wasn't Theravadin, his teachings shouldn't be regarded as such, and should therefore be relegated to "Connections With Other Paths" status.

However, this is not going to happen.

Goenka was a lay student of the U Ba Khin, a layman who was formally asked to teach meditation to others by Burmese monk Webu Sayadaw. What is taught as "the Goenka method" is the method learned from U Ba Khin, who in turn learned it at a retreat conducted by a lay disciple of Burmese monk Ledi Sayadaw. Goenka popularized and propagated this method he inherited, transposed it into a retreat format, and exposed it to a multitude of people.

Goenka also referenced ideas and concepts found in the suttas and the commentaries throughout his lifetime. Any perceptions that his teachings or technique may be contrary to Theravada or the teachings of the Buddha does not warrant exclusion, particularly when many Theravada Buddhists integrate the Goenka / U Ba Khin vipassana method as part of their practice. Whilst his teachings, technique and legacy are not excluded from the Theravāda sections of this forum, they are not immune from critical examination either.

Unless what is said above can be factually disproven (inbox me), Mr. Goenka and his teachings remain applicable and relevant to discussion here at Dhamma Wheel.

Paul. :)