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UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel

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RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/1/19 8:16 PM as a reply to This very moment.
Thanks for sharing that.

The Goenka tradition really needs to address this issue. You see, this person went from 15 min. meditation a day to an intensive 10-day retreat withh 11 hour per day. Some may be ok doing that and even successful, but it can be a risk. 

I really think the best situation is when one has a one-on-one teacher one can touch base with, and develop a personalized program of meditation, suited for the person. No one-size fits all format. This would avoid lots of trouble.

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/2/19 6:09 AM as a reply to Ben V..
+1

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/4/19 7:12 AM as a reply to This very moment.
I think I was on the very same retreat: my first, and I enjoyed it. I don't have a background of psychosis, and at times in the past I've done many hours a day of meditation, so I always felt I'd probably be able to manage myself. I really do appreciate the opportunity of the Goenka retreats and will likely go again, but it was very clear from the outset that any support from the AT or helpers would be non-existent.

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
Answer
1/4/19 11:50 AM as a reply to This very moment.
Yeah, my wishes that the Goenka tradition would upgrade itself in various ways are long-standing and oft-stated here and other places. There is a lot to be said that is good about Goenka, but their failure to properly acknowledge and normalize the dark side of things, the lack of individualized support, the lack of appreciation of the maps (both high and low, A&P and DN), and the fact that so many people cross the A&P on their technique (which is really good for that) and then fail to handle the DN well (particularly as a 10-day retreat is so good for getting people above the A&P just in time for them to return home to their lives and then crash later shortly thereafter), etc. are all well-known. A reasonable number also crash towards the end of the retreat in various ways, as is well-attested to here on the DhO. In fact, in my more cynical moments, I speculate that the DhO gets half of its membership and lurkers from people who had some variant of this happen to them on Goenka retreats and went looking for explanation and support that they couldn’t find through that organization. Truly, this is now how or why I wish the DhO to be as popular and long-lived as it is.

Unfortunately, the structure of the organization is entirely designed for stasis rather than innovation and reform. This at once provides it an institutional grade of stability yet prevents it from realizing important structural problems and fixing them appropriately. Every tradition has its problems and shadows, and this is one of the key ones of the Goenka tradition. It is ironic that one of the key structural components that has made Goenka such an institution paradoxically has helped to make the DhO one as well, but not for reasons that anyone would wish. May this change in ways that are skillful and of benefit to practitioners.

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/4/19 1:10 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
So for someone who has already crossed the A&P, is there a point to going to a Goenka retreat at all?

I have never been to a retreat, and there is a Goenka retreat available nearby for free. Complicated food intolerances have kept me from going.

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/4/19 1:32 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
So for someone who has already crossed the A&P, is there a point to going to a Goenka retreat at all?

I have never been to a retreat, and there is a Goenka retreat available nearby for free. Complicated food intolerances have kept me from going.

Never been to a Goenka retreat myself, but plenty of others have gotten a lot out of them. They're less than ideal for a lot of reasons, but the price is right and it gives people the opportunity to retreat when they might not otherwise be able to. It is my understanding that people have gotten at least to stream entry on Goenka retreats and this is a guide written by a DhO person on getting to stream entry during a 10-day Goenka retreat (I haven't read this closely myself but others have said they found it helpful). So yes there is a point in going even if you've already crossed the A&P.

RE: UK Goenka bad experience with comments from Daniel
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1/4/19 2:00 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thanks! I’ll give it a shot then.