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Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy

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Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
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1/6/09 4:17 AM
Forum: Maps of Meditation

I have been practising in the Goenka tradition for 8 years now and I only recently came across this website and Daniel´s book (thanks to Buddhist geeks). I really am amazed at how helpful it has been to read all the posts and maps of meditation. I have felt somewhat lost in many ways due to the lack of talking about meditation experiences. When working in the Goenka centres, you shouldn´t talk about your own experiences. Sayagyi U Ba Khin is quoted as saying that one´s own meditative experiences are to subtle to discuss. It was quite frustrating not knowing what I was experiencing. Most instruction was just to ¨keep observing sensations equanimously¨. This is fine but I think I have been in Dark knight terriotry for the past 8 years without knowing what was happening. Just seeing the maps presented by Daniel is a great relief to know where I may be on the path and it has given me much enthusiasm to continue. I have one question though. Being new to the terminology used here concerning the AV experience, I was wondering if anyone with experience with the Goenka tradition knew if when he talks about a student attaining ¨ Bhanga¨ or dissolution, is this considered the AV ? Becasue whenever I experience it, some pretty hairy stuff comes up and its all dark misery craving sensations for me.

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
1/6/09 4:29 AM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
Hi Nick,

Glad to see you on here!

Though I don't know a ton about the significance that Goenka puts on "dissolution" I have heard enough about it to suspect that what he means by dissolution is exactly what is meant in the progress of insight by the 1st stage in the dark night, called dissolution. The experience follows the A&P (quite closely) and is literally of experience phenomena rise and fall so quickly that things feel as if they're dissolving or disappearing. All sorts of difficult emotions and mind states tend to follow this, as quite frankly it isn't that pleasant. That sounds like it matches up with your description of it.

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
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1/6/09 6:00 AM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
Thanks for that! I figured my experiences matched that part of the map. I tend toexperience the dissolution state a lot in every sit. And I have constantly brought up real nasty stuff for the past 8 years. At times I thought I was losing it. Especially when I wasn´t in the safe confines of a meditation centre. Worse yet when I was out working in the world and having to be equanimous with a lot of darkness. Goenka goes on to explain that when one experiences dissolution that very ¨deep seated kilesas come up the surface¨ . Sleeping difilements or as he puts it bhava-sankharas. The ones that come up at the moment of death and give you a push to the next life so to speak. I gather that all of what he is talking about matches all the dark knight territory. This seems to be the whole goal of at least a 10 day course....to reach this stage becuase he goes on about it enough times. Thanks for the clarification. It helps!
Metta!

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
1/6/09 7:22 AM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
Yeah, that's my impression to. Unfortunately, that's where things get really slippery, and I often wonder if the Geonka method and retreats are as helpful as they could be at getting people through the dark night and to stream-entry. Or, if they're more like the McDonalds of meditation methods, getting you in the door helping you cross the A&P and then leaving you there without sufficient theoretical models and/or guidance.

Anyway, seems like you're on the right track now. emoticon

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
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1/6/09 1:27 PM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
Yeh, I think it definitely gets you in the door, makes you take the red pill and then there´s no turning back. But if you don´t continue on in the tradition sitting longer courses where Goenka talks in a little more depth about what you are doing then you could just as well become a chronic dark nighter (sounds like a great name for a superhero)...as I feel I did become. So I´ve been looking for a source of information for so long to give me a clue as to where I am . I think the lack of talking about these meditative experiences , attainments and maps etc has kind of fostered the idea that attaining even stream entry is for some far off lifetime, perhaps when Metteya comes around. ISo I feel very grateful to all those involved in DO for giving me the much needed kick in the arse back into hardcore practise with some renewed enthusiasm. Thank you! Metta!

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
1/9/09 1:06 AM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
I learned vipassana in one of the Goenca centers and crossed A&P only after 8 years of practice (or maybe I did also before but less intense 'so I didnt recognize it.as I crossed it).first I thought it is bhanga but it didnt match discription-not nice and pleasant but pretty intense and breathholding.luckely I read Daniel's book right after crossing this event and understood what it was.shortly after this I did fell for few minutes some very suttle flow of vibrations all through the body-like A&P on minimal volume-was it bhanga-who knows.but my question is -I m planning next ten days course for march this year-most probably I ll bounce around the same field or there is a chance to cross it and go forward?emotionaly the dark night didnt touch me much-little depression in the beguining'and I stay on very simple sensate level and see difficult stuff coming up as pressures and other unpleasant sensations arising and passing in the chest area.I had some reobservation experience few month ago-very painfull-blowing my teeth out like pop corn and shortly after that I tryed to meditate one evening liyng doun and suddenly found myself constantly mooving like snake-and just couldnt stop-like catatonic agitation.all that was during couple of month after last retreat and now I just sit,again quietly,observe as much as i can and started to see sounds and thoghts as vibrations.whats next?on what to put attention?

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
1/9/09 9:17 PM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
I agree with Vince that Goenka does get a lot of people above the A&P but leaves many stranded there, though the same could be said of many traditions, and is in some ways just a common occurrence that is not necessarily one traditions fault but something inherent in the fact that getting to stream entry can sometimes be tricky. I get emails relatively regularly stating the same thing from frustrated meditators of not only Goenka but also other traditions. Now, it is true that there are good things about Goenka, but this debate has been hashed out elsewhere.

My take on things is this: if you learn the maps, understand the vipassana jhanas, learn to recognize the traps, take what is good and notice where the Mahasi kids and the Goenka kids agree (Three Characteristics), and learn to go on retreats with the benefit of that additional heads up and technology, then it is probably possible to take advantage of the good aspects of Goenka (donation-based, widely available, strong discipline), and fuse it with the good stuff from Mahasi (the best maps ever, excellent diagnostic criteria, a profound understanding of the fine-points of the path stripped of dogmatic crap, and strong advice on technique, etc.).

As to what to put attention on, I tend to recommend vibrations wherever found, watching for the shifts that make these wider and watching for the phase and frequency changes that occur so as to not get stuck, and a basic emphasis on watching as much of the thing come and go as possible, to gradually include all of space and everything in it, realizing the odd shifts that happen in the transition from 2nd to 3rd to 4th vipassana jhanas, as describe in my book and elsewhere. That said, you can do this with body scanning, breath, choiceless awareness, or other objects, as it is more of a meta-perspective on these more specific techniques and focuses.

Helpful?

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
1/10/09 12:45 AM as a reply to Nikolai Stephen Halay.
thank you a lot again 'Daniel for the proper guidance.I ll try to do my best on the next retreat.right now it seems like the inertion of last retreat is over-the push forvard that lasted still couple of month after retreat stoped and I m at the same area every sit-able to sit longer again,perseive vibrations finer than before and not moving from there.no more frequent headdrops,no more intensive thinking prosess,no more obsession with posture-just some stupid filling sometimes when I try to concentrate in my daily life-I cant do that-cant bring myself together(not always)-has it something to do with meditation?

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
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4/16/10 7:14 AM as a reply to Vincent Horn.
I am desperately trying to figure out, at least approximately, where I might be on the map, and am especially keen know whether I have yet to enter the Dark Night.

Vince suggests that dissolution is a sign of the first stage of Dark Night. I am pretty certain that I haven't yet experienced total, full body dissolution/ bhanga. Does this mean that I have very likely not yet entered the Dark Night?

RE: Goenka terminology and DO terminolgy
Answer
4/16/10 8:12 AM as a reply to lena lozano.
Lena: Seems like equanimity to me: during the equanimity stages, the hard-core suffering tones down, and I am left in a kind of dumb state with slippery attention. I got in and out of equanimity many times before stream-entry. To go from equanimity to stream-entry, you make your attention wider and wider and wider (include space, include the whole body at once, see everything appear and disappear at once), and then perceive the three characteristics in the whole wide field of attention all at once, repeatedly, with no strain. Eventually this happens by itself, and then you just loosen up, let go, and bzzt, nirvana. It will feel "right."