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To note or not at goenka retreat

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To note or not at goenka retreat
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10/29/15 10:05 PM
Hi, first time posting on here, glad this space exists to hopefully get some suggestions for my practice.  I'm preparing to go on what will be my second 10 day goenka retreat this January.  I've been meditating for around a year, following my first goenka retreat. At first I stuck with the exact body scanning technique taught in the course.  About six months ago I began mixing in some noting, based mostly on the mahasi sayadaw technique. Little by little I've used the scanning less and the noting more. In fact I really haven't been doing scanning at all these days.  I feel noting adds a depth to my practice,  dealing with a wider range of sensations, feels more grounding, but I do think I'm still experimenting. My question is how to proceed preparing for and during the retreat, where the scanning technique is taught daily and other methods are discouraged. I want to be true to the evolution of my personal method but I wonder if going against instruction will be counterproductive. Trying to translate instructions to be applicable to a different method seems like it would waste mental energy, communication with the teachers sounds difficult, and the basic dishonesty of pledging to do one thing yet doing another is troubling. Mostly I want my practice to maintain forward momentum. Hoping others with more experience in either of these traditions would care to weigh in with their thoughts. Also ideas on alternate venues for retreat would be appreciated. Thanks!

RE: To note or not at goenka retreat
Answer
10/29/15 10:53 PM as a reply to sam kunkel.
Hi
I am going to a Goenka retreat next week. Initially my intention was to use the time to aim for first 4 Js. But now, I have decided to follow the instructions 100%. As soon as I made up my mind, all sort of mind fuck just evaporated. This decision also helped me drop all expectations from the retreat.
Thanks

RE: To note or not at goenka retreat
Answer
11/1/15 11:05 AM as a reply to Sanjay.
sanjay put it well.  i always felt dishonest when contemplating other practices after promising to lay aside other practices for the period of the goenka retreats.  this burdened my post-catholic concience to a point where practice was sub-optimal.  the technique never resonated with me while noting did, and does.  i do home retreats now.

have a great retreat whatever you decide.

cheers

RE: To note or not at goenka retreat
Answer
11/1/15 4:36 PM as a reply to sam kunkel.
sam kunkel:
Hoping others with more experience in either of these traditions would care to weigh in with their thoughts.
This has been discussed many times....try googling -
site:http://www.dharmaoverground.org goenka noting

from a previous post -
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: To note or not at goenka retreat
Answer
11/1/15 5:19 PM as a reply to sam kunkel.
Hi Sam!

you can get a lot from doing a goenka retreat, even if you feel you prefer another technique. 

it's quite humbling to simply forget your plans, forget your ideas about techniques, and simply follow the instructions. 

you are told when to get up in the morning, when to eat, and very clearly how to practice a meditative technique. you can enjoy the sense of reliquishing control.

i would suggest simply doing that. if you have any sense of guilt it will, as tom mentions, get in the way of practice. 

if you do decide to do that, then you might see yourself thinking "maybe this is a waste of time" or "i should be noting". you'll feel some resistance. observe that resistance and return to the technique. 

i think of course that in relality there is often a bit of a mash up. that's only natural and normal and don't worry too much about it.