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Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats

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Having recently completed a 2-month Mahasi retreat in Panditarama Lumbini, after having practiced in the Goenka tradition for around 8 years, I wrote a comparison which I would have liked to have read many years ago.
Here it is: SN Goenka vs Mahasi Sayadaw Vipassana Retreat Styles 

Feel free to give feedback on it.

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
5/30/16 1:29 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Hey, thanks for sharing! 

Could you share a bit more about what is taught in the 20+ day and satipatthana courses in the Goenka tradition? I have been wondering for  long time about whether the stages after Dissolution are described there and how the instructions change (if they do) during DN and EQ.

Also, does he ever discuss Cessation/Fruition and paths?

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
5/30/16 1:44 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Thanks so much, Yadid.  Very informative.

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
6/3/16 2:29 PM as a reply to neko.
Howdy Yadid,

Great article!  Very informative.  I’m relieved to read that Panditarama seems to be a bit more lax in with the rules, and that the meditation instructions are tailored to the practitioner.

Hello neko,

I’ve only sat a few standard 10 day retreats, where he only hints at the DN and cessation.  Being steeped in the MCTB / pragmatic  / Mahasi maps, I’ve been on the lookout for any kind of foreshadowing. On day 8 or 9, he says something like “even after bhanga nana, very deep rooted sankaras can be shaken lose by this technique [of body sweeping / fast scanning].  These deep rooted sankaras may manifest themselves as blind areas, blank areas, numb areas, or even gross solidified intensified sensations, or even pain.”  This seems like a vague warning about the DN.  I would guess he’s vague to avoid scripting/structuring experience around expectations.  This is from memory, so not an exact quote.  Earlier, I think, day 4 or 5 (?) he mentions that at some point the whole of the mental and physical structure must disappear—this is the only allusion to magga/phala that I’ve noticed.  Other than this, there’s a lot of “but you’re not at this point yet…” and “you can’t do this yet” type of disempowering rhetoric.  I wish I could tell about the longer courses, but I don’t meet the rigid entrance requirements.

All the best!

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
6/3/16 6:46 PM as a reply to neko.
For what it's worth, on my second (only 2 so far) Goenka 10-day, I asked the assistant instructor if they talk about Stream Entry, do they teach to attain it.

He answered "When you are ready for a 20 day retreat, we will teach you about the Ten Paramis.  That will lead you to stream entry".

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
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4/12/18 1:38 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Hey Yadid, 

The link doesn't work for me, it says that the IP address can not be found.  I'm considering trying the same thing and going to Panditarama after having practiced a lot in the tradition of Goenkaji and would love to hear your opinion on the technique, the atmosphere and the teachings.  

With warm regards,

MangalaMula

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
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4/13/18 2:17 PM as a reply to Mangala.
It looks like it's available on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine

https://web.archive.org/web/20170902095720/http://www.mindfulfriend.co.uk/2016/05/vipassana-retreat-styles-sn-goenka-vs.html

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
4/15/18 8:00 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Thanks for sharing this article. INteresting points you mention. I also sitched from the Goenka to the Mahasi style many years ago. Another difference that had appealed to me in the Mahasi is that all six sense-doors are used for developing one's meditation. It felt more natural to me as a method, and more prone to see the 3cs in ll aspects of life. But the Goenka method made concentration aspects stronger. Early IMS teachers also found this difference in their students. Those that practiced in Goenka style developed deeper concentration more quickly, whereas those practicing Mahasi style developed wisdom more quickly.

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
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4/15/18 9:27 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Thanks for this excellent comparison. I found the Goenka retreat early on in my career to be an excellent "boot camp" for establishing excellent sitting habits, sila, etc. Recently as I've been dusting off the Mahasi noting practice and, more recently, anapanasati and sweeping at times, I'm seeing the different benefits of these practices. Doing 2-5 hours per day while working in the world makes progress slow so can't wait to do retreats again. Personally I find the "turn it off on command" time limit of the Goenka-style retreats to be a problem. I was fine but I know others who suffered greatly by having to stop in the middle of very disturbing stages. I value both however.

RE: Mahasi retreats VS. SN Goenka retreats
Answer
4/28/18 8:13 AM as a reply to Caleb R T.
Caleb R T:
It looks like it's available on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine

https://web.archive.org/web/20170902095720/http://www.mindfulfriend.co.uk/2016/05/vipassana-retreat-styles-sn-goenka-vs.html



Sorry!
New website, just re-posted it here:

SN Goenka vs Mahasi Sayadaw Vipassana Retreat Comparison