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Goenka Long Courses?

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Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/12/12 11:59 AM
Have you been on a Goenka long course?

I saw John White mention these in another thread earlier today and as I'm trying to plan out some retreats for this year it got me to thinking whether I should work on going on the required 5 x 10day courses + 8 day sattipathana in order to eventually do one.

Anyone care to comment on the value of these longer courses?

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/12/12 2:13 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
hi BTG,

i've sat 2 goenka 20 day courses. the first one was a bit rough because i was in a pretty heavy dark night at the time so i'm not sure if it was valuable or not. in the second one, a year later, i had a pretty major breakthrough which I doubt would have happened without the course. in the long courses the anapana period is longer - 7 days for a 20 day, 10 days for a 30 day (1/3 the course roughly). this alone is incredibly valuable imo.

One caveat however - if you're planning on doing noting practice, or some other non Goenka practice on a Goenka long course, this can be problematic and is something you really have to be clear about beforehand. Those courses are intense enough when you're following instructions.

This summer I did a goenka 10 day and did a fair amount of noting as well as AF practice. for the most part it was a great retreat but there was a short period near the end when I felt weird about it in that it didn't feel clean, or honest, or that maybe I was disturbing others on some level but apparently this was just me. After the course I approached an old student to tell him about Daniels book. Another heard me say"mastering the core teachings...", came up and said yeah i read that book too and my practice really took off. He noted during the course and didn't feel weird at all. His girlfriend also took the course, she also read the book. He told me friends who lived at one of the centers also read the book and were really into it.

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/12/12 3:10 PM as a reply to John White.
Thanks John.

I don't note. I was intending to complete 1st path on pure Goenka technique. I guess at some point I may have to rethink technique if I don't get SE but I don't think it will come to that. This technique seems to suit me quite well.

I like applying Daniels "shooting aliens" and stuff to this technique, and I like using the breath to be in the present during normal days (when I remember!) --i can't imagine going round noting all the time..

Interesting what you say about anapana. I cut a day off of that on my last course (non-goenka but same technique, they use 4 days out of 9) to cut to the vipassana more quickly. Strangely enough, it felt all wrong doing that. Just like you and noting.

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/12/12 5:11 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
sounds good. stream entry is definitely possible on a goenka 10 day. have you checked out this piece by nick?

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/12/12 8:48 PM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
I recommend checking out the long course application for the full list of requirements:
http://www.dhamma.org/en/docs/os/forms/LC_App.Letter.Write.pdf

I wanted to do a long course, but after reading it, I decided I didn't want to be that involved in the Goenka tradition, and I don't think I ever will be.

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/13/12 6:07 AM as a reply to Daniel Johnson.
John White:
sounds good. stream entry is definitely possible on a goenka 10 day. have you checked out this piece by nick?


I have indeed. Quite a bit of the adivce Nick has posted in the comments was made to me by Jill on this forum. It's a great article/guide and I'll be using it as my bible this spring when I go!



Daniel Johnson:
I recommend checking out the long course application for the full list of requirements:
http://www.dhamma.org/en/docs/os/forms/LC_App.Letter.Write.pdf

I wanted to do a long course, but after reading it, I decided I didn't want to be that involved in the Goenka tradition, and I don't think I ever will be.


Yep. I see what you mean. I don't mind that all so much though. Im not totally set on doing a Goenka long course by any means, but I will definitely sit one of the 10day courses to compare the difference with my current centre and if I get better results it will count toward a long course if I want to at some point.

The other option is a personal retreat which I would probably be more likely to do.

RE: Goenka Long Courses?
Answer
1/13/12 11:35 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
sounds like a good plan to me Bagpuss. if you have no problem with Goenka's approach, and with all the advice and wisdom from DhO and MCTB, I think you will find those course very valuable. I had a very hard time accepting Goenka's approach yet every course was amazing. I wouldn't worry about the long courses at this point, as it will take some time to fulfill the requirements, and by then you'll be much more clear about it. About the choice between a self retreat and an organized one - I just know for me that the anapana period as taught by Goenka, when samadhi is developed, without a doubt was the reason I had breakthroughs and made very good progress. There's no way I could do that on my own on a self retreat. anyway wish you the best on whatever you choose!