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How to prepare for Goenka 10 day j m m 1/17/14 4:52 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day bernd the broter 1/17/14 5:10 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day j m m 1/17/14 5:32 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day bernd the broter 1/17/14 8:24 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day j m m 1/18/14 9:43 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Andrew Mayer 1/20/14 12:47 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day tom moylan 1/20/14 5:02 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Dream Walker 1/20/14 11:03 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day j m m 1/21/14 12:25 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Andrew Mayer 1/21/14 5:37 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day tom moylan 1/25/14 9:18 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day J C 1/30/14 1:21 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Andrew Mayer 1/31/14 7:51 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day J C 1/31/14 7:57 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day tom moylan 2/1/14 7:19 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Nikolai . 2/1/14 6:00 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day J C 2/2/14 12:00 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day J C 2/2/14 12:02 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Bailey . 2/2/14 11:44 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day J C 2/2/14 1:15 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Monsoon Frog 3/16/14 8:17 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Dream Walker 2/2/14 3:16 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day j m m 2/6/14 5:32 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Dream Walker 2/6/14 6:05 PM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Chris G 3/16/14 9:16 AM
RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day Conal 6/3/17 4:25 AM
How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/17/14 4:52 PM
Hi,
I have signed up for a Goenka 10 day that is on in April. I have been practicing sporadically for the last year or so using a mixture of techniques mostly focusing on the breath and some metta. About an hour a day on average I'd say. Basically I'd like to spend the next 3 months preparing as best I can so as to get the most out of the retreat (which will be my first retreat).

Any advice would be appreciated.
Metta

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/17/14 5:10 PM as a reply to j m m.
Probably you won't need this, but here's something that helped me:
read some criticism about the Goenka tradition before (about both the negative and the positive side of the tradition & technique). If you don't do this, you might be so swamped by all the weirdness, that you lose faith right in the middle of the retreat. Which would be a shame because the retreats are really a good option for serious practice.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/17/14 5:32 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
HaHa don't worry anything like that will just go in one ear and out the other...the chance the go on a ten day retreat will be well worth , i'll stick it out till the end for sure...and advice on what I should be focusing on at the moment? Concentration or mahasi or metta?

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/17/14 8:24 PM as a reply to j m m.
I have no idea if some preparatory practice is helpful for the retreat. I don't think it's necessary since the retreat setting will take you in deep meditation very fast in a way that daily practice can't really emulate.

But here are two more thoughts on this:
1. Really take time to relax before the retreat. Quoting Bhante Sujato: "it would be best, if you could all lie on the beach for 5 days before the retreat.".
On my last retreat, I ruined the first 1,5 days of it because I wasn't properly relaxed and basically slept over the first 1,5 days...

2. As you probably know, Goenka retreats involve a lot of sitting. Maybe it's a good idea to already get used a bit to that beforehand. Lots of pain will still remain, but I doubt it's helpful to make the thing more excruciating than necessary.
If you find that you have lots of pain while sitting, it may be helpful to work on your sitting posture. This may change a lot, although it can be really difficult to find out how to sit in a better way. Methods such as Feldenkrais help greatly with that, but are hardly related to meditation. When asked, some Goenka teachers don't have more helpful things to say about pain than "this is normal, it's your sankharas coming to the front". (If you find yourself in that situation on the retreat, I would ask for a chair btw...)

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/18/14 9:43 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
OK thanks that makes sense, I'' try and get in2 hours a days sitting between here and then and see what happensemoticon

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/20/14 12:47 AM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:
...and advice on what I should be focusing on at the moment? Concentration or mahasi or metta?


I'd suggest of that list, metta is what I'd choose. Goenka reallly asks that you give his method a try while you're there. It's hard to feel honest in action jf you're not practicing their technique while you are taking their hospitality.

Personally it wasn't the most powerful technique I'd ever tried—Mahasi has brought me a great deal more insight. But I'm grateful for the retreat: it taught me how much intensity and focus I was capable of. It's a gift I'm still thankful for 18 months later, even if I don't ever go back.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/20/14 5:02 AM as a reply to j m m.
Howdy,
first of all consider yourself very fortunate to have this opportunity. it is a really powerful chance for real progress.

i love retreats and there are two resources which have helped me more than any others in preparing for retreats i have taken and these are:

Tarin's - ReformedSlackersGuide

and

Nick's - SE on Goenka Retreat

Berndt's very practical advice about getting your body used to LOOONG sits is very important. In addition to that, I find that doing stretching, especially light yoga, helps with this. The advice about reading up on the criticisms of the retreats may be helpful by reducing the surprise factor but for my money the fundamental question is this:

'will I follow Goenka's advice and method exclusively and entirely or can I allow myself to "tweak" his method based on others' advice or my own experience'.

If your chosen center has dormitory sleeping arrangements you might think of earplugs if you are a light sleeper otherwise the suggested list of things to bring supplied by the center is adequate. Don't leave early, no matter what!

tom

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/20/14 11:03 AM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:
Hi,
I have signed up for a Goenka 10 day that is on in April. I have been practicing sporadically for the last year or so using a mixture of techniques mostly focusing on the breath and some metta. About an hour a day on average I'd say. Basically I'd like to spend the next 3 months preparing as best I can so as to get the most out of the retreat (which will be my first retreat).

Any advice would be appreciated.
Metta


unless you are a vegetarian already----> BEANO!!!!! adding gastrointestinal unease and gas to the mix might not be the best for your concentration...although the arising and passing away is distinct (ouch...triple pun!!).
Butt seriously folks....
there is a lot of great conversations about this in past threads.
Google ---> site:http://www.dharmaoverground.org Goenka
Good luck,
~D

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/21/14 12:25 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hey thanks for the replys...
Ya I really should have thought of googling dharmaoverground.org Goenka seems a no brainer with hindsight!!.

I'd suggest of that list, metta is what I'd choose


Can you explain why? I am doing about a half hour of meta a day at the moment along with hour or so samatha and hour yoga...should I do all metta instead?

The advice about reading up on the criticisms of the retreats may be helpful by reducing the surprise factor but for my money the fundamental question is this:

'will I follow Goenka's advice and method exclusively and entirely or can I allow myself to "tweak" his method based on others' advice or my own experience'.


I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/21/14 5:37 PM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:

I'd suggest of that list, metta is what I'd choose


Can you explain why? I am doing about a half hour of meta a day at the moment along with hour or so samatha and hour yoga...should I do all metta instead?


You may be overthinking your prep, but the yoga is definitely going to help!

To me, it really comes down to how interested you are in following Goenka's instructions directly. Of what you listed, metta is probably something that aligns most closely to his system, while (ironically) also being something you won't be practicing directly while you're there. But as a *very* new student I found some of my biggest breakthroughs coming in the area of concentration, gratitude, and loving kindness. Heading into the experience in that state should put you in a good position to reap those benefits.

That said, I'm sure your experience will be different.


I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


If I was going to go again, I'd definitely not follow their strict top to bottom experience of the body. I practiced body scanning for over a year after the retreat, and I definitely found that I was getting far better results once I personalized and played with the the order (and the size) of the areas of the body I was scanning.

Also, They're very focused on beginners only doing surface scanning. I wish I had been told to try more penetrative awareness earlier in the experience, but again, your mileage may vary.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/25/14 9:18 AM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:

I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


In goenka's courses he is adamant that one follow his instructions exclusively and it is expected that once you commit yourself to his donation based course that you will give his method an exclusive try for the time you are there. i took that promise seriously in my first two retreats and felt guilty on my third retreat because i decided to do noting. that guilt was not helpful to my practice.

most of the other rules have to do with getting along in a group or are things like "noble silence" which help foster an atmosphere of renouncement and are generally helpful.

there are some aspects of the course which border on cultish activity, in my book, which grated on me but i tried to just look at them as an additional price of admission.

i would not suggest to you to break his rules but if for instance i see nothing wrong with doing stretching or yoga in the pauses between sits to alleviate the stress of long sitting although that is on his list of things not to do.

in any case enjoy your retreat its a precious gift to yourself.

tom

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/30/14 1:21 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
j m m:

I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


In goenka's courses he is adamant that one follow his instructions exclusively and it is expected that once you commit yourself to his donation based course that you will give his method an exclusive try for the time you are there. i took that promise seriously in my first two retreats and felt guilty on my third retreat because i decided to do noting. that guilt was not helpful to my practice.



I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/31/14 7:51 PM as a reply to J C.
J C:

I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?


They definitely don't do that.

You have to sign up to meet with the teachers, and they seem hell-bent on saying as little as possible even when you do.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
1/31/14 7:57 PM as a reply to Andrew Mayer.
Andrew Mayer:
J C:

I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?


They definitely don't do that.

You have to sign up to meet with the teachers, and they seem hell-bent on saying as little as possible even when you do.


Awesome! So I could just go, not meet with any "teachers," ignore all the stupid instructions and just note, and there'd be no problems?

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/1/14 7:19 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:
tom moylan:
j m m:

I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


In goenka's courses he is adamant that one follow his instructions exclusively and it is expected that once you commit yourself to his donation based course that you will give his method an exclusive try for the time you are there. i took that promise seriously in my first two retreats and felt guilty on my third retreat because i decided to do noting. that guilt was not helpful to my practice.



I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?


call me silly then. no, you won't get caught. you could, and perhaps should just note your ass off morning til night. that's what i do when i self-retreat.

best of luck

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/1/14 6:00 PM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
J C:
tom moylan:
j m m:

I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


In goenka's courses he is adamant that one follow his instructions exclusively and it is expected that once you commit yourself to his donation based course that you will give his method an exclusive try for the time you are there. i took that promise seriously in my first two retreats and felt guilty on my third retreat because i decided to do noting. that guilt was not helpful to my practice.



I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?


call me silly then. no, you won't get caught. you could, and perhaps should just note your ass off morning til night. that's what i do when i self-retreat.

best of luck


Speaking as one who has used and abused, my recommendation is to do a Goenka course following the course rules to the tee without mixing or doing other techniques. If you have not gained the physical subtlety that the sweeping technique can cultivate, I recommend doing so rather than not. This is an ideal level of discernment to progress rapidly via noting later on post-course. Give the technique a try first before completely bypassing it. You will develop a good level of physical discernment if so which will serve you later on when you commit to noting. You can really get something out of the technique if suitably motivated. Though little notes here and there can help the sweeping method be more effective when the mind wanders away from the object. I would often use the scripting notes of "equanimity and awareness" whenever my mind was caught wandering from the object of meditation. This is the main obstacle to any technique, not catching when the mind starts identifying, wandering, getting caught up in some phenomena (either neutral, unpleasant, pleasant, doesn't matter), rather than becoming aware of it, noticing it.

If you get good at the sweeping method, and simply catch when the mind wanders whether due to dullness, aversion or craving, you will develop a healthy does of meditative skill that will serve you well with any direction you chose to take post-course.

And just to be clear I only used and abused after 15 x goenka course, doing it to the tee. The only obstacle I found to get to 1st path (as talked of here) in those 15 courses and 8 years of sweeping method practice, was not knowing what to do with my incessant wandering, identifying, embedding mind when getting into 11th nana territory. Learn to catch the wandering mind (whether it wanders towards or away from or into dullness it doesn't matter) and the technique will serve you well in future when moving post-1st or even on the course, who knows?

My 2 cents
Nick

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/2/14 12:00 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nick, my goal is to get to stream entry as quickly as possible. Do you think that body scanning will be as likely to get me to stream entry on a retreat as noting will?

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/2/14 12:02 AM as a reply to tom moylan.
tom moylan:
J C:
tom moylan:
j m m:

I'm not adverse to breaking a few rules if it is to my benefit and I suppose noone has to know at the retreat! Do you have any suggestions of any beneficial changes I could make to the instructions?


In goenka's courses he is adamant that one follow his instructions exclusively and it is expected that once you commit yourself to his donation based course that you will give his method an exclusive try for the time you are there. i took that promise seriously in my first two retreats and felt guilty on my third retreat because i decided to do noting. that guilt was not helpful to my practice.



I'd be interested in doing one of goenka's courses and just noting the whole time. Other than the guilt (which seems silly to me) was there any problem with doing noting there? Was it obvious or did it come up at all that you weren't doing what they said? Do they meet with you regularly and ask you questions about what you're doing?


call me silly then. no, you won't get caught. you could, and perhaps should just note your ass off morning til night. that's what i do when i self-retreat.

best of luck


I apologize. I didn't mean to offend or insult you... I'm not one to talk; I have lots of anger and other silly emotional reactions. At least yours is based on wanting to keep an agreement.

I just don't think it's anyone else's business what I do in my head.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/2/14 11:44 AM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:
Hi,
I have signed up for a Goenka 10 day that is on in April. I have been practicing sporadically for the last year or so using a mixture of techniques mostly focusing on the breath and some metta. About an hour a day on average I'd say. Basically I'd like to spend the next 3 months preparing as best I can so as to get the most out of the retreat (which will be my first retreat).

Any advice would be appreciated.
Metta


There are different categories of sila transgressions. Out of all the types of transgressions, breaking Dhamma sila is one of the worst. As is the nature of transgressions, the penalty reflects the type of infraction, meaning in some way or another your dhamma will suffer. Practicing noting at a Goenka meditation center is breaking Dhamma sila. It is messing with the vibrations of the center and because the transgression is happening in this Dhamma environment the consequences are multiplied.

Would the ends justify the means? Would it be best traveling faster with what some believe to be a stronger technique? I don't know, but I do know that if it were me I would follow the Geonka instructions (exactly emphasized) even if I thought noting was stronger.

good luck

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/2/14 1:15 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
Bailey .:
j m m:
Hi,
I have signed up for a Goenka 10 day that is on in April. I have been practicing sporadically for the last year or so using a mixture of techniques mostly focusing on the breath and some metta. About an hour a day on average I'd say. Basically I'd like to spend the next 3 months preparing as best I can so as to get the most out of the retreat (which will be my first retreat).

Any advice would be appreciated.
Metta


There are different categories of sila transgressions. Out of all the types of transgressions, breaking Dhamma sila is one of the worst. As is the nature of transgressions, the penalty reflects the type of infraction, meaning in some way or another your dhamma will suffer. Practicing noting at a Goenka meditation center is breaking Dhamma sila. It is messing with the vibrations of the center and because the transgression is happening in this Dhamma environment the consequences are multiplied.

Would the ends justify the means? Would it be best traveling faster with what some believe to be a stronger technique? I don't know, but I do know that if it were me I would follow the Geonka instructions (exactly emphasized) even if I thought noting was stronger.

good luck


Thanks for bringing this up. I have been reading about this issue and thinking about sila, and it is my belief that it is not breaking sila to note at a Goenka center. Interfering with others' experience by distracting them would be breaking sila, but what I do in my own head does not affect others' experience. I don't see any way that my thoughts could "mess with the vibrations" of the center. Me noting does not cause anyone else any harm. I don't believe sila is based on obedience; following instructions is not necessarily the right thing to do. I have a responsibility to do what I believe is right for my own enlightenment and for others, for the good of all beings.

I could be wrong about this but these are my thoughts at the present time.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/2/14 3:16 PM as a reply to Bailey ..
The combo approach seems ok to me. In the goenka tradition you're noticing (noting) the sensations of the body. First on the surface of the skin then deeper into the body. If your mind wanders to the other senses note it and move back to body. The alternative is to get lost in the content of whatever. Would that not be following instructions ? What is not worthy of not noticing?
good luck
~D

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/6/14 5:32 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
The combo approach seems ok to me. In the goenka tradition you're noticing (noting) the sensations of the body. First on the surface of the skin then deeper into the body. If your mind wanders to the other senses note it and move back to body. The alternative is to get lost in the content of whatever. Would that not be following instructions ? What is not worthy of not noticing?
good luck
~D


I have the feeling that this is what I'm gonna do. It seems like a good idea to give the goenka style a fair go but I don't see the problem with noticing a few other phenomena besides bodily ones if they become predominant.
Thanks to everyone for the advice.

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
2/6/14 6:05 PM as a reply to j m m.
j m m:
Dream Walker:
The combo approach seems ok to me. In the goenka tradition you're noticing (noting) the sensations of the body. First on the surface of the skin then deeper into the body. If your mind wanders to the other senses note it and move back to body. The alternative is to get lost in the content of whatever. Would that not be following instructions ? What is not worthy of not noticing?
good luck
~D


I have the feeling that this is what I'm gonna do. It seems like a good idea to give the goenka style a fair go but I don't see the problem with noticing a few other phenomena besides bodily ones if they become predominant.
Thanks to everyone for the advice.

I would be so radical as to notice the 3 characteristics in the sensations every once in a while too. The sensation is not me, doesn't satisfy and is not permanent. I believe Goenka mentions all three during his talks.
Good luck,
~D

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
3/16/14 8:17 AM as a reply to J C.
J C:
Bailey .:
j m m:
Hi,
I have signed up for a Goenka 10 day that is on in April. I have been practicing sporadically for the last year or so using a mixture of techniques mostly focusing on the breath and some metta. About an hour a day on average I'd say. Basically I'd like to spend the next 3 months preparing as best I can so as to get the most out of the retreat (which will be my first retreat).

Any advice would be appreciated.
Metta


There are different categories of sila transgressions. Out of all the types of transgressions, breaking Dhamma sila is one of the worst. As is the nature of transgressions, the penalty reflects the type of infraction, meaning in some way or another your dhamma will suffer. Practicing noting at a Goenka meditation center is breaking Dhamma sila. It is messing with the vibrations of the center and because the transgression is happening in this Dhamma environment the consequences are multiplied.

Would the ends justify the means? Would it be best traveling faster with what some believe to be a stronger technique? I don't know, but I do know that if it were me I would follow the Geonka instructions (exactly emphasized) even if I thought noting was stronger.

good luck


Thanks for bringing this up. I have been reading about this issue and thinking about sila, and it is my belief that it is not breaking sila to note at a Goenka center. Interfering with others' experience by distracting them would be breaking sila, but what I do in my own head does not affect others' experience. I don't see any way that my thoughts could "mess with the vibrations" of the center. Me noting does not cause anyone else any harm. I don't believe sila is based on obedience; following instructions is not necessarily the right thing to do. I have a responsibility to do what I believe is right for my own enlightenment and for others, for the good of all beings.

I could be wrong about this but these are my thoughts at the present time.



From the Goenka course admission terms and code of discipline:
"The other rules should also be carefully read and considered. Only those who feel that they can honestly and scrupulously follow the discipline should apply for admission." [original text in bold typeface]
"Students must declare themselves willing to comply fully and for the duration of the course with the teacher's guidance and instructions; that is, to observe the discipline and to meditate exactly as the teacher asks, without ignoring any part of the instructions, nor adding anything to them. This acceptance should be one of discrimination and understanding, not blind submission. Such confidence in the teacher and the technique is essential for success in meditation."

"All other meditation techniques and healing or spiritual practices should also be suspended."




The Goenka course is freely given but it comes with certain clearly expressed terms.

Allow me to kindly point out that you are intending to deceive. Your reasoning is that since no one else will know and you will not get caught, it's therefore not a problem to act deceitfully, as long as you believe that you can personally benefit from it.

Where does such a perspective begin and where does it end?
How do you expect that cultivating deceit will be a valuable quality as you walk on a path which has as it's method and goal the refinement and purification of one's mind? What makes you believe that you'll make progress and arrive at anywhere worth being if the means are fundamentally at odds with the desired goal?
What sort of enlightenment are you after?

Our world is full of takers. We are full of greed and dominated by our cravings. Here's a rare opportunity to spend 10 days purifying your mind and improving yourself. Why poison it at its roots because of past behavior patterns? Why not really try to benefit yourself and see what, if any, impact there is on your practice and personal development by cultivating - at least provisionally - the jewel-like transformative nobility of personal integrity?

Why not see this retreat as a extremely valuable and unusually rare opportunity to try to explore being honest for 10 days, to be truthful with yourself for ten days, to make an earnest effort not to lie, scam, or steal?

Perhaps this attitude reflects one of the dangers of a certain type of Western dhamma by overemphasizing only a few spokes of the wheel and ignoring the others. How's a wheel out of balance going to roll straight and smooth? It's called the Noble EIGHTFOLD path and it's unlikely one will travel far down the path without keeping all the spokes in tune.


“I have a responsibility to do what I believe is right for my own enlightenment and for others, for the good of all beings.”


By cultivating your capacity to deceive and lie?
By cultivating rationalization?
A couple weeks back I read Bill Hamilton’s book Saints and Psychopaths wherein he writes: ‘That reminded me of a saying attributed to the Buddha, “There are no limits to the evil that a liar can do.” ‘

“I just don't think it's anyone else's business what I do in my head.”


Exactly. Karma**.
In the effort to eradicate our suffering, each of us is the prime beneficiary of his own integrity.
You may discover that cultivating such integrity will improve whatever meditation style you happen to practice.
(I'm not developed enough to know if and how such intentions manifest beyond oneself, for example 'messing with the vibrations' of the meditation center ... although men wiser than me have said that everything is interconnected).


“Nick, my goal is to get to stream entry as quickly as possible. Do you think that body scanning will be as likely to get me to stream entry on a retreat as noting will?”


Exactly what kind of stream are you looking to enter?
The East River?

Buddhism gets a little scary when most of the modern stream enterers are liars, thieves, rapists, alcoholics, and murderers.

Just kidding of course.

The hyperbole is for the sake of driving the point home, which applies equally well to myself.

All my questions above are purely rhetorical ....my roundabout way of saying that the discipline of practicing sila is often very difficult, but balanced cultivation is always beneficial to one's progress. One way to prepare for the retreat is to have as clean a head as possible going in regarding your intentions, resolve to make a sincere and serious effort to honor the five precepts during the ten days, and commit yourself to meet the high standards of discipline and effort that Goenka expects. He and/or his teachings may be stupid or they may not be, but why prejudge it based on others' experience? Have your own experience: resolve to keep an open mind and to learn something. I like Nick's advice.

Off my soapbox ;p

Wishing both JC and JMM a hugely productive and rewarding retreat with whatever techniques(s) they happen to use!



** "Every moment of our lives represents the causal consequences of, inter alia, all of our prior actions. No action 'lies dormant' waiting for its consequences to emerge. Nor does any action somehow become "canceled" when some salient consequence is noticed. There is no accounting kept, and no debit and credit system, either from the causal or the moral point of view in the continuum of human action and experience. Rather, at each moment we are the total consequence of what we have done and of what we have experienced. And the only sense in which some past action may determine some future reward is one in which that past action, as well as other conditions, have determined a state now that, together with other future conditions, will determine that reward. Mutatis mutandis, of course, for negative consequences. This sober empiricist account of these matters forms the basis for Mahāyāna moral theory and its account of the nature of soteriological practice."

The Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way, Nāgārjuna's Mūlamadhyamakakārikā, translation and commentary by Jay L. Garfield, Oxford University Press 1995, p.238

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
3/16/14 9:16 AM as a reply to j m m.
1. Follow Nikolai's advice: he is quite experienced in this tradition.

2. To prepare physically, do some regular yoga or lots of stretching. The course is very physically demanding. It doesn't include walking meditation, only lots and lots of sitting. Practice sitting for at least one hour at a time without moving, at least twice a day. Learn some stretches that help you with this -- I find the pigeon pose is useful (google it).

3. Be well-rested when you show up. They give you only limited time to sleep.

4. When you're there, it's fine to do some stretching if you have private quarters or can do something innocuous mostly out of sight from others. But don't do extreme yoga poses where others can see you (standing on your head and so forth), it will only distract and disturb other people. (And it's against the rules anyway.)

5. If you want to get a head start on meditation, practice concentration on the sensations that make up your breath in the area of your nostrils. Observe them very carefully, calmly, and continuously as possible. You can learn the body scan method while you're there.

Have fun!

RE: How to prepare for Goenka 10 day
Answer
6/3/17 4:25 AM as a reply to j m m.
On my last Goenka retreat I did a lot of standing meditation in my room and found it a lot easier than sitting meditation, so I would recommend it.  I stand up most of the day at work though so I am used to standing for long periods of time.

Walking in the woods during breaks is allowed in the centre I attend (Dhamma Dipa, UK) and I would recommend doing so to keep your body in a reasonable condition.  Also, stretching is important.  I'm sure lots of people are put off meditation by feeling that they have to sit in a rigid and painful pose to do so, but it is not necessary.  In our Western civilisation sitting crosslegged is unusual and so most people find it difficult, at least initially.  They will usually provide a chair at Goenka Centres if you ask for it, but the default is that you sit crosslegged.  I can see the advantage in that you don't fall asleep, but that is true of standing/walking meditation also.

I never found sleep much of a problem, as you can catch up, if necessary, in the fairly long breaks during the day.

Conal