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Goenka and actualism

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Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 5:36 AM
Hello everyone.

i am interested in actualism or more concretely in perfect, absolute, unequivocal peace of mind and actualism seems to be the only vehicle that can deliver that without exceptions. this said i can't apply the method successfully. i stumbled upon TJ Broccoli's posts about Goenka style Vipassana/Actualism and they really clicked with me, because the only success i had(not too much of it though) with stopping the repression of my feelings/alleviating bad moods came through observing the sensations themselves as nonreactively as possible. reading her posts and other people's posts here(Tarin and S K Dunning) i gather that vipassana investigation and particularly the more physical style of Goenka(coupled with his emphasis of equanimity in every moment) develops skills which are very beneficial to actualism practice and in the case of Jill indistinguishable from actualism practice. For the moment i find this type of inquiry to be the right fit for me(conceptually and to some level experientially).

so what is the problem:
-time: i study in a university now(started recently) and the first available time for retreat i will have is 7 months from now. as far as i can see the Goenka method is to be learned on retreat. so what would you suggest to do until then. reeaaly dont want to waste this time. i recon that i will be able to devote two hours+ a day to practice and want to know what is the best way to use this time.

-dark night: i read a big part of MCTB including the chapters on the stages of insight and am really not sure that university is the best time to experience the DN( although i'm aware after university life does not become easier/less busy). honestly i am always very gung-ho(to the point of preachyness) about what i do and thus i may take practice/the DN too seriously.

i will appreciate any time someone donates to answer my post but if its not too much i would be really happy if the Broccoli gal (absolutely no disrespect intended) responds.

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 9:30 AM as a reply to do i know.
here is a guided body scan meditation from ayya khema that I use sometimes

http://ayyakhematalks.org/Media/Contemplations_and_Guided_Meditations/Guided_Sweeping_Meditation_part_by_part_from_GG9608.mp3

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 9:47 AM as a reply to do i know.
do i know:

-dark night: i read a big part of MCTB including the chapters on the stages of insight and am really not sure that university is the best time to experience the DN( although i'm aware after university life does not become easier/less busy). honestly .


University and DN really don't mix well but it all depends on how much elbow rooms you have. If you aim for the best grades possible, to be in the DN can surely be a problem since there can be a lot of confusion, memory issues, etc. You find yourself either in some awful stage where cognition is almost fine, or some tranquille/equanimous stage where you can barely do simple cognitive task.

Life is actually more easy after university since you have much more freedom to craft a life that fits your needs. You don't have to get that huge morgage. People choose to make their life hard.

I recommended to my girlfriend to go on a meditation retreat this summer and she crossed the A&P after 5 days (Mahasi-style is quite effective at that) and now she is in equanimity unable to work or her PhD. Sure, she is not upset after me everyday like before, which is nice, but now she is condemned to walk this path.

There is surely safer practices out there that don't involve playing with attention too much in a way that could get you in the DN. How much there is a risk to cross the A&P without intending to is something that is worth to be discussed.

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 10:57 AM as a reply to Simon T..
Thanks for the link Adam.

Thanks for the info Simon, i feared that is the case with the interaction between dark night and academic pursuits. unfortunately i cant risk my studies and thus i'm gonna take the advice that a lot of accomplished practitioners on this forum seem to have embraced in order to make significant progress:
"figure it out for yourself".

maybe that is what everyone does at some point between beginning and arriving.

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 12:13 PM as a reply to do i know.
Hey, do i know,

do i know:
i am interested in actualism or more concretely in perfect, absolute, unequivocal peace of mind and actualism seems to be the only vehicle that can deliver that without exceptions. this said i can't apply the method successfully


Why's that? What are you struggling with?

Have you read and applied this article?

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 1:08 PM as a reply to do i know.
There is also the option of dedicating yourself to the practice full time, get enlightement, then go to university. Did you consider that?

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 5:21 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
for reasons above my head halting university and then going back is not an option. it is now or never type of situation. and where i live never is not pretty.

as to my struggles with the method:
very often i cannot confidently answer haietmoba i.e. i cannot see how i am feeling. i am denying the feeling or fighting it and its very hard to just feel. i can discern that that is in fact what i am doing but trying to stop doing it doesn't alleviate the problem and often worsens it. now, as i understand the method it relies on a positive feedback mechanism with the positive being the inclination to feel felicity more and more with what the method requires(dropping beliefs and whatnot - essentialy being less you from a certain point of view) being the price for said felicity. but with no felicity there is no reward and only frustration.

now what i think may be a solution is trying to develop attentiveness( which as i understand it is observing how i am experiencing this moment equanimously) without necessarily trying to change the way i feel. that should work on two fronts
1) i will gather enough information so as to be more willing to change for my own benefit
2) that is the direction of how attention seems to work when it is not/less being clouded by affect
the main problem with this kind of practice for me is the equanimity, how to develop it without the "sugar cube" felicity provides.
so steadily going is the only option for me as far as i can see.
any thoughts?

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/25/13 5:42 PM as a reply to do i know.
do i know:

very often i cannot confidently answer haietmoba i.e. i cannot see how i am feeling. i am denying the feeling or fighting it and its very hard to just feel.


I think I see what your coming from. For me, the difficult in seeing feelings part was what I called in another thread "the guardians at the gates": shame, pride and guilt are identity-produced feelings that come from some kind of belief.

For example:

- Feeling superior causes pride ("I'm pretty good on this, this feeling can't be true")
- Feeling inferior causes shame ("Wow, I'm so lame that I feeling this")
- Taking business too serious causes guilt ("All this sucks, it's all my fault!")

Those feelings lead to repression, despair, or evasion, and therefore I was disabled to begin with the sincere investigation of the feeling in question.

My advice would be: try to find if there are some of these feelings (or meta-feelings) blocking you and why (identity wise).

do i know:

now what i think may be a solution is trying to develop attentiveness( which as i understand it is observing how i am experiencing this moment equanimously) without necessarily trying to change the way i feel.


I think I've had a similar problem. What I think could help you is that you analyze how are you analyzing your experience and relation to people, things and events.

Is your judgement coming from morals/ethics or from distinguishing between fact and belief? Try to emphasize the latter approach in order to finally see the silliness/futility of having to feel this or that way in the first place. This way, the effort that takes you to "change the way you feel" will be significantly less and less as you progress.

Hope this helps somehow.

Regards,

Felipe

RE: Goenka and actualism
Answer
1/26/13 1:56 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
Thanks for the advice. I will respond in here because we are talking "pure" actualism now.