20 day

andy selznick, modified 1 Month ago.

20 day

Posts: 6 Join Date: 10/4/21 Recent Posts
hello

as a life long meditator who practiced TM for 15-20 years and Vipassana for 15-20 years, I am ready for a twenty day vipassana course (goenka). However, I have only completed two actual 10 day courses and have not completed all the pre-requisites. I am super tempted to lie on the form and do the 20 day. On one hand, I really am qualified and ready and on the other I do not meet their stipulated pre-reqs and, of-course, lying on the form goes against the precepts.

thoughts? please also share your meditation experience so I can absorb the context better.

thank you
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
If that's the worst lie you've ever told then you're probably headed for a fairly decent rebirth. Been meditating for 3 years.
a selz, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 6 Join Date: 10/4/21 Recent Posts
thank you! that was along the lines of what i was thinking. am guessing that the reason for the pre-reqs is to make sure one is committed and will stay the duration, will not have an adverse psychic reaction, and will not disturb others. and, so in spirit ...
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Smiling Stone, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hello Andy!

Just be aware that it is a little bit more than lying on a form. on this form, you should indicate an AT that you know pretty well, and he will interview you (usually by phone) to check that you meet the prerequesites... And you also have to name each retreat you've attended, with the theacher that was conducting it. So you'll have to elaborate quite a bit... a bit too much according to me if you've only attended two retreats (you also have to have served one course, it's usually there that you wil get more contact with a teacher that might follow you in your long course application).
I don't know how much they will check the retreat information on the form, but there are programs now that make it easier.
All this, of course, having nothing to do with your meditation expertise!

My two cents anyway
with metta
smiling stone

Edit : you can find some info on my practice here  : some views on the technique in the Goenka tradition
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 52 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Hi Andy

When you work closely with a teacher (or group of teachers) who have a system, they will usually insist that you follow a set pattern of practices, closely in line with their instructions. Depending on the degree of experience and depth and breadth of insight and current skills, they may make some tweaks that are personalized to your practice. The reason they have this insistence of technique and experience and their 'rules' is usually because then your practice and development of wisdom will follow a pattern that they can recognize, understand and guide you further. This is not usually done out of a spirit of sectarianism but from a desire to be of the maximum utility to you. Their knowledge is of the most use to you in a retreat like setting or a structured program when you follow their designed program.

I am not familiar with goenka ji's organization or his methodology precisely. But my guess is that these requirements and rules of their originate from this purpose. Maximization of utility of the system, the teacher and institutional knowledge for the benefit of the participants. I am under the impression that by calling people ATs and forcing a rigid strcuture goenka ji has in effect rendered his org and his teachers into puppets with no creativity whatsoever - but the system and the organizational knowledge - within a rigid system - still remains.

You can say - screw the system - I will use the retreat and guide myself - nothing wrong with that. But all the lying and scheming that we sometimes do may sit in the back of our mind and create unnecessary additional stress.

Long story short, if you don't fit the criteria of a particular retreat - don't go there. 

Meditation experience - 5 years, zero retreats.
a selz, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 6 Join Date: 10/4/21 Recent Posts
@smiling-stone: Largely, I love the practice but am cautious around people, their rules, and judgments. I appreciate your feedback.

@adivader: thank you for the logical breakdown and clarity. to your point, these rules got installed and got even firmer over the years. goenka-jis groups o of the 70s took smoke breaks and played games rather than maintain silence in the evenings - or so I have heard from someone who was there.


i suppose i am ok with doing any 20 (or even 30) day sit. I do appreciate the 1/3 anapana and 2/3 vipassana formula and if someone else offers it without the rules that would be ideal. any suggestions of places for that would be appreciated. self-retreats are not for me emoticon
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 1031 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
What is it you are so attached to that you would lie to obtain it?

Why do they have the prerequisites? 

​​​​​​​Why do you think those reasons don't apply to you?

How much time and effort would it take to fulfill the prerequisites?

Can you ask for an exemption?

Would you be able to concentrate during the retreat or would you be obsessed with the lie you told and would that interfere with your meditation?

Maybe you should find a different school of meditation if you disagree with the rules of the Goenka school and if it seems to force you to break the precepts?


If I knew someone lied to me, I would I would not trust or respect them. If I want to respect myself and deserve to be respected and trusted by other people I have to live honestly. If you want to be the kind of person who knows they don't deserve to be trusted and respected, then it's okay to lie. Otherwise don't lie.

Living with integrity is more important then awakening. In fact strictly speaking, by some definitions of enlightenment you can't be awakened if you aren't honest.

Meditation (https://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/) is the eighth step of the eight fold path,  the eight fold path is part of the the fourth noble truth, the four noble truths are the last stage of six stage gradual traing. The second stage of the six stage gradual training is virtue which includes the five precepts.   Anyone who thinks it's okay to lie to satisfy their attachments isn't ready for the last step of the last truth of the last stage of Buddhist training, they need to get back to basics. If TM and Goenka haven't worked for you, maybe you should try something else?
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Be careful not to be too hard on yourself!

Ajahn Sumedho, Intuitive Awareness
When I was a young monk, I used to pride myself on how well I kept the Vinaya discipline, that I was really, really good with the Vinaya. I really understood it and I was very strict. Then I stayed for a while on this island called Ko Sichang off the coast of Siraja with another monk. Later on this monk told somebody else that I didn’t keep very good Vinaya. I wanted to murder him! So even Vinaya can be another form of the self-view — “How good a monk am I?” Then somebody says “Oh, Ajahn Sumedho is exemplary; a top-notch monk!” and that’s wonderful. “He’s a hopeless case; doesn’t keep good Vinaya” and I want to murder. This is how untrustworthy the self is.
a selz, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 6 Join Date: 10/4/21 Recent Posts
thank you jim smith and george S

will be good to hear of a place/center/retreat that offers 10 days of anapana followed by twenty of vispassana. it could be anywhere in the world. i will check and see about exceptions but jumping hoops and making myself more visible in the process seems counterproductive.
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 2111 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
It might be interesting to meditate on this issue, asking yourself what emotions do you feel in the body when you contemplate telling this lie? (or getting caught for telling it) It feels like it might be significant for you ...
a selz, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: 20 day

Posts: 6 Join Date: 10/4/21 Recent Posts
indeed. thank you.

any pointers to a 30 day without such pre-reqs would also be appreciated.