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Seeking Advice
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9/3/15 6:18 AM
Hey my name's Dominic, 21 years young and seeking some advice..

Had an experimental drug phase when I was like 17-18, done my first 10 day vipassana cours when I was 18, my second when I was 20, served this year february and did a 10 day course myself at home after that.

In january I went to Peru to do ayahuasca and san pedro for spiritual growth, and after I came back and also done the service+selfcourse I had stopped smoking weed (did that since I was 16 more or less on-off with maybe 1-3 weeks inbetween breaks, to keep it healthy ^^) and excessive video gaming, simply because I realized it was just distracting myself and a form of escaptism.

Last 6-7 months went smooth, meditated 2-3 hours a day, did a 1-3 day course whenever I felt I needed to refresh or get momentuum again. At some point I got into the observer mode and could hold it for longer periods (in case I didn't miss daily sittings).

Glad school was over, got an education which I dislike right now and I'm searching alternatives.. so I saved up money to get some space and travel and meditate more intensly. That was the plan.

So I got unexpectedly (not so, but a bit) fired two months ago, which felt like relief anyway, but I wanted to stock more money.. got enough tho at the time being. Since then tho my daily routine kind of slipped, I have trouble getting back into it, as well as getting back into that high-energy state, or atleast some form of motivation or get-going style of being. I found myself escaping back into video games and smoking weed here and then (1-2 times per month in social environments, no big deal at all), sleeping too long or too little, eating too much or trying to fill me with food .. a degression I'm quite sad about. My metta got really heart-warming and present (as in 'really being there') these few months, but now to a "try-hard" condition and "pretend as if" again. Heart center closed again.

So basically, through this stressful, result and outcome dependend work for hours on and off past months, I kinda slipped back in that "to become" mode and mind pattern accompanied by old habit patterns;  out of my "I am" observer mode.

So I now have to make decisions. The last few weeks I failed to make retreats on my own (1-3 days) to get back there and although 1 or 2 hours anapana worked, on hour 2 or 3 I would give in to cravings (play games) or anything else that "seemed better to do" or distract me from myself, as mentioned already.

Despite this I kept to my plan anyway, got the saved up money, got the OK from the association to have someone live in my appartment for 6 months and pay me the monthly costs.. got that handled and intent to fly to India for 6 months (got that idea after serving for 10 days, when I noticed how well grounded I was.. also stopped smoking when I got out when I observed my craving.. and after some intensification, it dissapeared.. yey.)


I want some change obviously. Lasting, long-term change. Maybe - despite these experiences in the past months that were quite a step forward in my books - I also fear change or fear taking the right steps.

I now set circumstances in motion and am a free man so I can basically do whatever seems productive in my stage of development.

I e.g. thought about attenting a Sathipathana Sutta course in India near Delhi (where I will fly to first) near the Himalayas on the 15th November (I will attend a 10 day course here from 21 Oct to 1 Nov and fly to India the following days) and maybe attend a 3 day course that is on the way and from the 8th to 11th or so.. then I may just journey ost-southward down, a mix out of serving courses, sitting courses (mostly 10 days, because, I got 6 months to do so) and traveling through india, meeting places and people (I am also quite introvert, so I also intent to free myself and get the freedom to express myself  freely in a way that I was used to it as I remember when I was a child).. maybe even find some inspiration in terms of what I want to do to earn my living without feeling I prostitute myself for money.. as that's one decision I gotta make at some point too, and here comes my feelings and worries:

The worry or anxiety that I am wasting my time, literally. That I should do something "BETTER, REAL or PRODUCTIVE" (I don't need someone to tell me the inherent flaw in the idea of "better, real or productive", it's just natural thoughts and feelings arising I am facing at the moment I need advice on, without further investigation as I'm very well aware of that). Kind of thinking "sitting there gets you no-where".. or.. now-here, depends, LOL.

And also the worry or anxiety that I am WASTING MY TIME in terms of "I will come back and nothing will have changed because I will not have changed or I may just fall back in old habit patterns and not be strong enough to sustain the change through every-day-living and the same surroundings. So, just land where I am now.

The down to earth worry that I will straight "go under" in india: not knowing where to go, what to do, despite me finding the right places, the right people, or finding and getting to the centres etc.pp.

The worry is this fucking right? Is it really the right thing to do? Back to "am I wasting my time", but from another perspective. Does this lead somewhere?

As I move more south-ward, I get closer to Ashrams, where I may intent to live for some time also, where I can stand up, meditate the morning, then go out and meet places and cities; which would be a good way beside service to combine mindfulness in everyday life; which is my goal.. my goals not living in monastery, else I'd just become monk. That easy. Integration is the motto here.

I'm obviously not sure what I want or whether what I intend is the right thing to do or if its a fruitful thing to so. etc., so I'm doubtful right now. Lack faith or the ambition to "just jump into the water and trust I can swim".

So in consideration of all this wall of text, a few directing words, perspectives or aspects I didn't consider yet, some encouragements, own experiences or.. surprise me!.. would be really appreciated.


Love

Dominic

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 2:07 AM as a reply to Dominic P..
Would it be fair to sum up your wall of text like this:?
I'm young, finished school and have a complete professional training, although in a field I don't like, but which is good enough to get some money from for now.
I have no idea what to do with my life (aka welcome to your twenties) and that freaks me out.
I have some unhealthy relationship to drugs and video games, but it's getting better, i.e. I'm letting go these things increasingly.
I have found the Dhamma. Awesome stuff. I really want to do this, and it shows because otherwise I wouldn't be doing intense solo-retreats (This is really hard and the ability to pull that off is not at all to be taken for granted!).
For some reason I keep citing Fight Club.
I want to go to India because... don't know.
If that's accurate, here's some ideas:

1) You have great circumstances to really go deep into the Dhamma. They won't get better. You aren't bound by debt, family, a job or illness/disability. Great. Go for it. Rejoice about that possibility and enjoy your unique journey.

2) Don't beat yourself up around not pulling off all the self-retreats you envisioned. This is hard and a progressive endeavour. You're getting there step by step.

3) Get into a monastery or retreat center or other spiritual community and do a long retreat or shorter retreats with breaks if that's too demanding.

4) A note about the Goenka tradition: their organization is very effective, the Dana system awesome, and the technique very suitable for some people. They also indulge in neurotic crap and have a very limited view of the Dhamma. The Buddhist traditions offer much more than a single technique.

My own serious meditation training started with a Goenka retreat. Although it was highly impressive I had some intuition that there might be something better for me. So I meditated in Ajahn Tong's tradition and it seemed much more suitable for my mind. Several courses later I concluded that I was highly imbalanced. I have been practicing Metta since and don't regret it. I assume that I will do more such changes in the future.

Take-home message from that digression: Don't assume that teachers from any single tradition know what's best for you. Don't believe anyone proclaiming "this technique is best for everyone at all times". Possibly they only know their own tradition and don't recognize its limits and shadow sides. Do some shopping-around. Get some experience. If you embark on a longer meditation retreat, you want to make sure you're not wasting your time. My impression is that too many people get stuck in Goenka's tradition and its dogma without getting anywhere. However, if Goenka is really for you, return there.

5) Going to India sounds like this huge spiritual adventure. The journey may be cool or not, but I would say that your first priority is to get some good meditation training foundation. Maybe you needn't go to India for that, maybe not even abroad. If you do, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. may be even better.

6) I assume you haven't read MCTB yet. Do so. It gives some very valuable context to meditation experiences and dispels lots of myths. Take part I from the MCTB2 draft.

All the best.
Oh, and stop the drugs. lol.

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 6:55 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Thanks for the reply! Summary is OK :-P; I cut it shorter myself now. TBH tho, from Bernd the Brot I'd have expected something more like "Where am I? What the hell am I.. who are you? Stop reading these forums. Turn off. now. GO TO BED! How to get out of here? A here. One moment.. I'll just click X.. ah, goddamned -.- You think it's funny watching some bred stuck in an internet forum, do you? TURN.OFF.NOW.!" Or something along these lines haha. Anyway!


If that's accurate, here's some ideas:

1) You have great circumstances to really go deep into the Dhamma. They won't get better. You aren't bound by debt, family, a job or illness/disability. Great. Go for it. Rejoice about that possibility and enjoy your unique journey.

Yeah well, I kinda set the circumstances in motion for that.

2) Don't beat yourself up around not pulling off all the self-retreats you envisioned. This is hard and a progressive endeavour. You're getting there step by step.

I don't quite doubt my capability to do it, but rather whether -doing it- in the first line is the "right" thing to do. Is fruitful. etc..


3) Get into a monastery or retreat center or other spiritual community and do a long retreat or shorter retreats with breaks if that's too demanding.

Any suggestions? My thought is kinda "pilgrimaging" from one 10 day course to the other (in india there are tonnnsss of centres) What's "long retreat" for you? In Vipassana tradition e.g., they'd demand quite something for you do attend e.g. 20 day retreats. Not to speak of 30 or 45 days.

4) A note about the Goenka tradition: their organization is very effective, the Dana system awesome, and the technique very suitable for some people. They also indulge in neurotic crap and have a very limited view of the Dhamma. The Buddhist traditions offer much more than a single technique.

My own serious meditation training started with a Goenka retreat. Although it was highly impressive I had some intuition that there might be something better for me. So I meditated in Ajahn Tong's tradition and it seemed much more suitable for my mind. Several courses later I concluded that I was highly imbalanced. I have been practicing Metta since and don't regret it. I assume that I will do more such changes in the future.

Take-home message from that digression: Don't assume that teachers from any single tradition know what's best for you. Don't believe anyone proclaiming "this technique is best for everyone at all times". Possibly they only know their own tradition and don't recognize its limits and shadow sides. Do some shopping-around. Get some experience. If you embark on a longer meditation retreat, you want to make sure you're not wasting your time. My impression is that too many people get stuck in Goenka's tradition and its dogma without getting anywhere. However, if Goenka is really for you, return there.

I like pragmatism. What helps is good. What's effective is good. When I first did Vipassana, I loved it from the pragmatic point of view. It does what it says, that's about it. I also was very much turned off by the dogmatic-like site of it. That was really a hindrance for me and kept me distanced from it as an organization, religion or sect kind of.. I'm quite allergic to dogma, -schisms, -isms and so on. So, I have no problem leaving these aspects aside and just taking the practise for my good. I get the background knowledge from whereever I need it and take it as I see fitting. I engage only in this meditation technique (for obvious pragmatic reasons) for day-do-day practice and read different spiritual teachings and teachers if and when I need to (e.g. Osho, Eckhart tolle etc). I'll resist dogma to death, some of my main principles since childhood. So I guess I'm really just fine with Vipassana tradition, because from the pragmatic point of view, it just really shines IMO. I don't like Goenka demanding it's "the only way" beside other stuffa s well. Doesn't stop me from getting the fruits of the practice tho I guess?

If that was your concern? I'm more the guy that warns people from the pitfalls of dogma than stepping into it myself, really.. but one shall not praise the day before the night. (Actually, maybe one should, out of gratitute :-P but wouldn't fit here as equation would it ^^)

5) Going to India sounds like this huge spiritual adventure. The journey may be cool or not, but I would say that your first priority is to get some good meditation training foundation. Maybe you needn't go to India for that, maybe not even abroad. If you do, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. may be even better.

Doesn't india have "enough" requirements for that, despite of any requirements being quite secundary I guess when it comes to meditation, since, becoming an unattached, compassionate observer should in the long run not be bound on outer circumstances, obviously. And to the extent it is bound to circumstances, india seems good enough to provide for, with all the centres there etc.. Also, main reason beside that was because it is cheap. I'm not rich and may just have enough money for these 6 months in a more cheap country like india, living "low standard", not demanding much luxury anyway. Healthy diet and shelter is fine.

6) I assume you haven't read MCTB yet. Do so. It gives some very valuable context to meditation experiences and dispels lots of myths. Take part I from the MCTB2 draft.

I'll look out for that.

All the best.
Oh, and stop the drugs. lol.

I'm not highly involved anyway. Or involved at all at the moment lol. I think when it comes to substances one has to take responsibility. Use or abuse, but it's your failure. But that's another topic I guess.

Thanks for answering ! :o)


RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 8:52 AM as a reply to Dominic P..
Hey Dominic, a word of caution.

You seem to be equating Goenka with vipassana. If this is the case, read on emoticon

What Goenka taught is one particular style of vipassana, called "U Ba Khin body scanning", very definitely *not* "THE Vipassana tradition", as if it were a proper name. Vipassana is not a tradition, it is a practice.

There are hundreds of ways to do this practice in Theravada, Mahayana and Vajrayana budshism. Many of these styles are very different from what Goenka taught. And yet they are still called vipassana (Pali, vipaśyana in Sanskrit).

In his Dhamma talks, Goenka tried to sell the idea that only he taught vipassana, which is very dishonest and borderline cultish. I say cultish because it has the implicit goal of limiting your language to prevent you to think certain thoughts - like Newspeak in that famous "Nineteen Eighty-Four" (1984) novel by Orwell, if you have read it.

Many people I have happened to meet bought that lie, and that is a shame.

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 12:23 PM as a reply to Dominic P..
Dominic P.:

Integration is the motto here.




Hi, Dominic,

This theme of integration has been coming up a lot for me recently, so I'll offer my two cents' worth.

Once I read a Hazrat Inayat Khan book. He was talking about doing things that simultaneously accomplish an outer objective and an inner objective. The outer objective would be to improve your outer life in some way. The inner objective would be to do this in a healthier way than you ever have before, in a way that improves over your old patterns.

I must say, going to an ashram in India just to hang out for a while sounds like you're repeating old patterns. But I may be wrong here. You're the best judge of that.

What do you think?

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 1:05 PM as a reply to Dominic P..
Dominic P.:
Thanks for the reply! Summary is OK :-P; I cut it shorter myself now. TBH tho, from Bernd the Brot I'd have expected something more like "Where am I? What the hell am I.. who are you? Stop reading these forums. Turn off. now. GO TO BED! How to get out of here? A here. One moment.. I'll just click X.. ah, goddamned -.- You think it's funny watching some bred stuck in an internet forum, do you? TURN.OFF.NOW.!" Or something along these lines haha. Anyway!
Haha, no one picked me up on that one yet. I didn't know that the word of the bread hat spread beyond the borders of Germany. And those damn short arms are really much too short to open all these Dharma books...
(Now that you cut that shorter, I actually miss the Fight Club quotes o_O )

2) Don't beat yourself up around not pulling off all the self-retreats you envisioned. This is hard and a progressive endeavour. You're getting there step by step.

I don't quite doubt my capability to do it, but rather whether -doing it- in the first line is the "right" thing to do. Is fruitful. etc..

Yes, your situation is really paradoxical. On the one hand you have the determination to do a 10-day self-retreat. Basically no one does that, and I mean it. It's hard. I take that as a sign of how much you're already in this game.
On the other hand, you have doubts about why you want to do all of that.
My guess is that you have a very disempowering attitude, influenced by Goenka's limited emotional range model and Eckhart Tolle's (and others') "do nothing, enlightenment is already here"-model. You claim that you're not taken in by Dogma, but being confronted with mainly those models leads to devastating confusion. (I'm speaking here from "Been there, done that." (; )
I could rage on and on about that, but since Daniel has already done that, just go and read MCTB.
Spoiler: Enlightenment is possible, and not that rare. The Buddhists have figured it out. It's a solved problem. Goenka, Osho and many others are quite misleading about it for various reasons.
Here are its chapters about those 2 models:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+The+Emotional+Models/de
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+The+Nothing+to+Do+and+You+are+Already+There+Schools/de

Also you talk a lot about this "observer mode". Whatever that is, it's likely you being confused due to mixing in Osho/Tolle's teachings with Vipassana. This will get you nowhere.

3) Get into a monastery or retreat center or other spiritual community and do a long retreat or shorter retreats with breaks if that's too demanding.

Any suggestions? My thought is kinda "pilgrimaging" from one 10 day course to the other (in india there are tonnnsss of centres) What's "long retreat" for you? In Vipassana tradition e.g., they'd demand quite something for you do attend e.g. 20 day retreats. Not to speak of 30 or 45 days.
'Long retreat' means as long as you want it to be (;
It would be foolish to just jump into a 3-year retreat without proper training, so start with a reasonable amount. Since you've already done 10-days without problems, more is certainly possible.
The restrictions you write about are merely an idiosyncracy of Goenka's tradition. IMO there's only one good reason to endure their annoying bureaucracy: If you're sure that their approach works great for you and you really want to do those 45-days-retreats.
Just a comparison: In the Ajahn Tong tradition (a Vipassana approach even more intense than Goenka), the introductory course lasts 21 days. This is totally doable for a beginner.

4) A note about the Goenka tradition: their organization is very effective, the Dana system awesome, and the technique very suitable for some people. They also indulge in neurotic crap and have a very limited view of the Dhamma. The Buddhist traditions offer much more than a single technique.

My own serious meditation training started with a Goenka retreat. Although it was highly impressive I had some intuition that there might be something better for me. So I meditated in Ajahn Tong's tradition and it seemed much more suitable for my mind. Several courses later I concluded that I was highly imbalanced. I have been practicing Metta since and don't regret it. I assume that I will do more such changes in the future.

Take-home message from that digression: Don't assume that teachers from any single tradition know what's best for you. Don't believe anyone proclaiming "this technique is best for everyone at all times". Possibly they only know their own tradition and don't recognize its limits and shadow sides. Do some shopping-around. Get some experience. If you embark on a longer meditation retreat, you want to make sure you're not wasting your time. My impression is that too many people get stuck in Goenka's tradition and its dogma without getting anywhere. However, if Goenka is really for you, return there.

I like pragmatism. What helps is good. What's effective is good. When I first did Vipassana, I loved it from the pragmatic point of view. It does what it says, that's about it. I also was very much turned off by the dogmatic-like site of it. That was really a hindrance for me and kept me distanced from it as an organization, religion or sect kind of.. I'm quite allergic to dogma, -schisms, -isms and so on. So, I have no problem leaving these aspects aside and just taking the practise for my good. I get the background knowledge from whereever I need it and take it as I see fitting. I engage only in this meditation technique (for obvious pragmatic reasons) for day-do-day practice and read different spiritual teachings and teachers if and when I need to (e.g. Osho, Eckhart tolle etc). I'll resist dogma to death, some of my main principles since childhood. So I guess I'm really just fine with Vipassana tradition, because from the pragmatic point of view, it just really shines IMO. I don't like Goenka demanding it's "the only way" beside other stuffa s well. Doesn't stop me from getting the fruits of the practice tho I guess?

If that was your concern? I'm more the guy that warns people from the pitfalls of dogma than stepping into it myself, really.. but one shall not praise the day before the night. (Actually, maybe one should, out of gratitute :-P but wouldn't fit here as equation would it ^^)
I'm not speaking about the Dogma. I'm concerned with the technique.
Firstly, let me clarify this: Vipassana, as neko rightly says, is not a method or a tradition. It is a quality of mind. It is "clear seeing", and that happens when you apply methods that support its emergence. There are lots of different techniques, all of them built to primarily cause Vipassana. Those are often called "Vipassana meditation" as shorthand.
Secondly, from your writing it's not at all clear what you think that Vipassana actually does, other than that you think "it does what it says". So let's assume that you have no idea what this is about other than "collecting equanimity and observer mode(dafuq?)". This sort of confusion will derail your practice and faith and therefore will stop you from getting the fruits of the practice.
Thirdly, there are also some approaches that don't emphasize Vipassana as a starting point too much. Pa Auk Sayadaw and Ajahn Brahm and lots of others come to mind. Now, don't fall into analysis paralysis and try to figure out which is the absolute best thing to do. Instead, go and get some experience. Then, follow your intuition and go deeper.

Don't just stay with Goenka because you're already there. It may be just right for you, but how would you feel if after 5 years you find out that a different approach works much better for you? Since you didn't talk much about actual insight (only Equanimity and observer mode instead), I do suspect that another approach may work better for you. If you want my 'story': I found Goenka highly efficient. I got out there and was in rock-hard equanimity for 2 weeks. Lots of emotional stuff cleared out. Lots more concentration. I was signed up for the next course 1 day after that. But I didn't really get what this 'Anicca' really meant in practice, which Goenka kept talking about on and on. So I almost assumed it wasn't that important. But this is misleading because it is recognizing the 3Cs (Anicca and the other 2) which leads to awakening. Then I took Ajahn Tong's tradition's basic course and really understood it there. Lots of people had that experience. For others, noting does nothing. You may also happen to be a natural at concentration and find that the Vipassana-emphasizing ways don't actually suit you that well. Whatever. Go and see for yourself.

5) Going to India sounds like this huge spiritual adventure. The journey may be cool or not, but I would say that your first priority is to get some good meditation training foundation. Maybe you needn't go to India for that, maybe not even abroad. If you do, Burma, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. may be even better.

Doesn't india have "enough" requirements for that, despite of any requirements being quite secundary I guess when it comes to meditation, since, becoming an unattached, compassionate observer should in the long run not be bound on outer circumstances, obviously. And to the extent it is bound to circumstances, india seems good enough to provide for, with all the centres there etc.. Also, main reason beside that was because it is cheap. I'm not rich and may just have enough money for these 6 months in a more cheap country like india, living "low standard", not demanding much luxury anyway. Healthy diet and shelter is fine.
LOL. Yeah, all these monastics are just stupid. It's really not necessary to build a silent retreat center, may as well go and meditate on a construction site. They only built those monasteries because they like fancy houses with coloured rooftops. And they only go on multi-year retreats because they have social anxiety and don't want to talk to other people. LOL OFF.
Don't mix up the process (meditation training) with the result (compassion, ability to apply it everywhere.), although there's a lot of overlap. And drop that observer talk already.
I've never been to south-east/middle asia, but my impression was that most of Theravadan Buddhism is located in Burma, Thailand and Sri Lanka, with Goenka in India being a major exception. We have a Wiki and lots of old threads about retreat centers and monasteries in all those countries, so this might be a good starting point. Maybe India is just fine, but don't rule out these other possibilities beforehand.

Thanks for answering ! :o)

You're welcome. And something with the quotations is fucked up. hm.
Now I'll have some bread ;)

Edit: Also I really envy your situation. I only found the Dhamma some years later than you did, and just jumping off and going on long retreats without restrictions won't be possible for some time.

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/3/15 4:24 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
@Neko

Am aware of that, yes. Vipassana is a methods product; and goenkas product are methods, so to speak :-P So he basically claims to own the methods product? I guess he also is human and hence not perfect then mh.

@Derek

That's a good way to define integration to some extent.

"I must say, going to an ashram in India just to hang out for a while sounds like you're repeating old patterns. But I may be wrong here. You're the best judge of that."

I don't quite see how that is repeating old patterns. It's basically meant as an transition between retreats where you can basically put all your focus on your meditation and everyday-life where you have to deal with a bunch of other things (earning money/business/household/family/circle of friends etc), where everything is basically full of distractions. Being in an ashram for some time, starting the days early and the evenings with few hours meditation, while spending the day with things other than sitting silently, but still maintaining your stream of awareness (excuse my terminology if it's not clear as to what I mean by this) with-in and with-out during daytime activity, as a passage from retreat/monastery style to "normal" householder-lifestyle. Kind of how giving service is meant to teach you this in Goenka tradition. Stay attentive and aware of anicca at all times.

I didn't mean anything else with "integration", especially not "hanging out repeating old habit patterns" lol. Since I havn't been to an ashram yet and just heard about it, there you have my intention; if it fits with the reality of ashram-everyday-life (although I assume you can decide that) or not is another thing. I assumed it is an for-this-purpose-friendly environment. Is it? Someone has experience there?

How have you come to the topic of integration, whats your take on it personally and how could you, well, integrate integration so far so to speak? :-) Besiege me with your insights and attempts for shall they enlighten my path and keep me from failure.
 
@Bernd
I'm from austria, hence the bread is familiar to me :-) .. but if you miss fight club quotes, then consider, everything you own, ends up owning you.

About "observer mode". The act of observing something as it is, with no interpretation, with no aversion or clinging, the act of observation in that sense is "seeing things as they are" which is the meaning of vipassana and vipassana the desired goal of practices and methods taught by e.g. Goenka, that would be my best guess. What Goenka teaches us is right concentration ("right" in the sense of just being aware without liking or disliking, and being able to stay with that awareness for extented periods of time, goal is of course to stay forever, not?) so we can observe bodily sensations as they are, without our mental layers of clinging or aversion laid upon then, without reacting to them according to old conditionings, slowly changing the old habit of.. and well, simply observe. Observer mode hence is.. I don't see no problem with that terminology.

Another mode may be the "auto-pilot-mode", the "automatically react to everything according to your past experiences and conditioning, whether you liked/disliked something in the past, whether something was pleasant, or traumatic, unpleasant".. in contrast to "observer".. well, again, just terminology. Don't hang me on that ><

I feel different teachings are complementary. I liked listening to Jiddu Krishnamurti, really, who basically tells you that meditating will lead you nowhere, because, who is it that is meditating? It's you, and it's nothing "you" could "do", as it's nothing you could be "doing" either, too, anyway. In the act of being meditative there is no "you", because that implied divination between "you" and an object...so according to Jiddu.. it's all idiotic. It's opposed to choiceless awareness, which for him is .. and it’s nothing you can „do“ or „practice“ or get „established“ in.. you see, on the apparent level, things may have the potential to confuse, and they are so contradictory.. as in Eckhards "everything's fine already.. you just can't see it" versus other teachings.. But teachings are just that, maps. Maps for you. You have to take every map on its own. You can't take map one, go half the way, and then take another map and keep going the other half according to the second map. You have to take every map on its own.. Atleast that's how I feel and that's my take on that. Saying "but this map says this and that map says that.. i dont even.. what the.." is kind of symptom of basic lack of understanding of maps; could you say it that way?

About "insight", anicca etc.. To actually get (so sorry for that termonology lol) into "observer", you have to always keep in mind that everything's changing.. otherwise, how could you start letting things be as they are which "then" leads to simply being observative? Otherwise you wouldn't come into this "mode" of observation, but just "fuck it" whenever times get rough or get super involved in bliss and then get super mad when it's over with blissfulness (these the two extremes, with of course much in between and left and right and so on).. so basic understanding and applying of these 'truths' is kind of.. a necessity, for getting into and maintaining said observativeness (Doesn't mean it's easy tho, of course. Another topic..). Goenka would say "keep moving through the body whatsoever, understanding the law of nature, impermanence, annicca..".. just another terminology, really.


Ok I see.. I found it quite very bureaucratic and strict in goenka tradition in terms of 20, 30 days retreats etc.. He himself says that 10 days is the minimun to get at least some benefit and that its because "people nowadays dont have more time".. yet again, to sit 20 days, you have to meet this long list of conditions to participate.. mh.

And I didn't mean to say monastics are stupid.. just pointing out that it's not much of a difference if a meditation center is in india or burma or in my country, as you suggested it "would be better to maybe to go thailand/burma/etc.".. main point was that it doesn't seem so important where you meditate, really.. That these setups and environments with silence etc. are beneficial, I think thats beyond all question.  And by "outer circumstances" I meant of course, maybe as an ideal, that one should be able to maintain his practise - once he is well established - more independently of the outer circumstances. E.g. a starter will want to meditate inside for mindfulness meditation, outside he won't really feel his breath.. someone more experienced and grounded may as well meditate outside. For someone more experienced outer distractions become less of a harm for the practise.

I kept in mind that you miss fight club quotes, hence, only after we've lost everything, are we free to do anything. So, give up your attachments. :-P

Got the book you mentioned on my kindle and like it so far, I feel it will be very help and insightful, thanks for the tip.

Really, I don't feel confusion is my dilemma. During my journey with ayahuasca also, lots of questions have been answered and insights gained, that I could barely put into words.. what means barely.. I can not put them into words lol.. I'm basically just searching for the right way of living now. I had to fight with undecisivness and lack of intent for some time tho, and with letting my practice slip, old doubts came back again obviously (which undecisivness and lack of intent are a symptom of, too).

But this "right way of living" feels really like walking a tightrope.  A thin one. It needs your constant attention, effort and determination; will and discipline. I guess I already answered some questions for myself already and need to face my doubts and concerns more directly to overcome them and step forward. Guess I'll take a bath in them then :-D And just go for it. Part of the journey ahead is probably also meant to strenghen my willpower and sense of self, as in, less habitual, more centered. Sounds like a start, intention-wise.

ps: no need to envy my situation, for every situation bears the fruit of .. I shall stop now lol becomes ridicilous.

Thanks so far, gnight for now :o)

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/4/15 8:13 AM as a reply to Dominic P..
Dominic P.:


@Derek
Besiege me with your insights and attempts for shall they enlighten my path and keep me from failure.
 


Wow, you have more confidence in my insights than I do! emoticon

RE: Seeking Advice
Answer
9/4/15 9:02 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Hi Bernd the broter:
You're welcome. And something with the quotations is fucked up. hm.
Now I'll have some bread ;)
To make your own quotations type:

At the beginning of the quote type (in line, what is in quotation marks below):
1- "["
2- "quote"
3- "]"
aka: bracket "quote" close-bracket

At the end of the quoted material type (in line, what is in quotation marks below):
1- "["
2- "/"
3- "quote"
4- "]"
bracket slash "quote" close-bracket