Hi! i wanted to mention the stuff that Goenka said wasn’t accurate translation or not word of Buddha, the little that i know.
now bear jn mind that i think the centers are great for humanity and Mr Goenka is doing great work giving people the opportunity to sit quietly and practice observing with equanimity.
I am bringing this up so that people who take his course don’t believe 100 percent the philosophy but check for themselves the teachings as the way Goenka teaches would stop one from reaching final goal. In what way? in anapanasati he says that when sensation of breath dissapears then to just breath harder but in the sutta the rapture and bliss leads to jhanas etc. He says when there is tranquility to observe the tiny movements, which encourages too much activity of the mind. If one just stays still with equanimity then jhanas may develop and then with that clear mind free of hindrances one gains the liberating insights.
Bhikkhu Sujato wrote a great essay “swift pair of messengers” that talks in length about the whole vipassana misunderstanding. Buddha said they always go together Samatha and Vipassana.
so it’s good. i used to volunteer heaps at the centers and i still think it is good they exist yet I do wish we can delete some things he says as it will keep people stuck in samsara. Hopefully the sincere students will come on sutta central and discover the words of the Buddha by excellent translator Bh Sujato.
ok some things that come to mind.
So Buddha didn’t talk about Kalapas.
no Bangas in suttas
sankharas dont rise to surface like he says they do.
we can’t just run through a store of sankaras. it doesn’t work like that. Buddha didn’t teach that.
only path is 8fold path. not satipatthana. that’s just a mistranslation
we can’t be aware of subatomic particles. Our sensory receptors do not have a receltive field that is small enough. Our mind creates a representation of the world including a representation of our body so we can never know what is going on in the physical realm including our body, just our mental representation of it. It is science. Ask any neurologist how the brain works
I think this teaching is absent not only in the the book mentioned but also in the Commentaries and manuals of Ledi Sayadaw.
Yes but that is not the purpose of his course. He is not teaching concentrations. Yes you are right…entry into concentration starts when breath disappears(but Goenka asks to be aware of sensations of body after breath instead of going in between). He doesn’t want people there to end up in jhanas and enjoy them. He wants them to observe sensations.
That being said it’s upto individual. We are free to think that his technique is inadequate or not.
When one enters jhanas I don’t think one can know impermanence of jhanas easily. Instead one starts to lose himself and keeps experiencing that. Do you think it will be easy to ignore such great and subtle happiness born of concentration? For me I don’t think it’s easy. In other words I am saying that if one wants to practice through progressing concentrations/jhanas…one needs the ability to stay neutral so that transition from 1st concentration to next concentration will be possible and practitioner would actually progress further instead of staying in first one. But for those who enter concentrations first time get stuck there usually… I don’t think it is easy to stay neutral so that one would go progressively in higher concentrations instead of just staying in first concentration and ultimately see nibbana afterwards in the end. I believe this is what you are talking about and certainly it seems a lot harder! Atleast for me it won’t be easy and I am happy with it. I believe Goenka does not advises that so that it will be easy to see glimpse of nibbana directly. I am just saying my point of view ok.
My grandmother had severe spondylolisthesis (gap and dislocation in vertebrae). Doctor said surgery is needed otherwise self healing not possible. Well because my grandmother practiced vipassna-insight, she actually ended up self-healed. she practiced it for more than year. I mean we all including doctor were in shock that such kind of healing is very rare. There was no surgery required and she became completely well! So what Goenka teaches maybe inadequate but it certainly do have healing properties. I am lucky to witness it before my eyes! My grandmother practices it daily and whenever she gets time.
My teacher said jhanas/concentrations are part of 31 realms of existence. I am sure you might also agree with it. But that vipassana-insight meditation takes one beyond 31 realms of existence directly. I am not saying it is the only correct pathway. There are many ways. Even through jhanas one might reach nibbana. One can go beyond 31 realms through all the jhanas also. But I am sure it will be little bit harder. I also believe it will be easier to experience all the jhanas progressively for someone who has the ability to stay neutral and leave present sensation, and this ability can be developed through Vipassana-insight technique.
Oh I didn’t know that. I would love to check that article out. I searched on web but couldn’t find it. Can you please share link for that? Thank you.
Do you have experience? I am genuinely asking ok. I haven’t had any such experience though. Well I don’t even practice Vipassana-insight right now so I can’t say sankharas definitely don’t rise to surface. But I believe they do, based on whatever experience I had when I attended that course.
Why do you think that? I believe our mind does not have ability. If we practice maybe we can.
Have you ever experienced goosebumps? I believe there is certain relationship there. Goosebumps occur when we are so overwhelmed by any feeling or when we suddenly get excited. I think that can be sankharas rising to surface. I also think whenever some people in the times of Buddha used to attain stream-entry after hearing only single stanza from lord buddha, maybe they used to experience sankharas so severe that in an instant they would lose attachment to everything and even for a moment would get glimpse of nibbana as a result attain stream-entry. Although all of it is just speculation but that’s what I think.
Neurologist may even deny divine eye which many practitioners may possess. I believe yes we cannot know what is going on in physical realm of let’s say our body. But if we condition our mind maybe we can. Just as having divine vision seems impossible for general human being but I am sure you know that some monks or spiritual practitioners actually possess that so in same way I believe we can see sankharas if we change/improve our state of mind.
one cannot get stuck in jhanas. the whole point which I am trying to share is that merely observing sensations in the body cannot get you liberated. You need to practice the whole 8fold path which includes jhanas. anicca wisdom comes after that.
what Goenka teaches is helpful as being aware of the present moment, sweeping the attention through the body is helpful but it is false when he says one can reach nibbana that way keep practicing but Goenka’s method doesn’t go deep enough:)
you are fortunate you came across this forum and this site as you are lucky you have access to the Buddha’s teachings which will get you liberated take it as a synchronicity and good kamma
remember it is the whole Noble Eightfold path that is the only path to Nibbana.
Not only the body sweep.
Goenka wasn’t enlightened. He said so himself in second to last discourse of his Satipatthana course.
Have confidence in the Buddha instead. You got here now is your opportunity:)
I’ll try to find a Dhamma talk that explains what I’m trying to say. later when i have time.
Yes I am fortunate and lucky just as we all here are!
Maybe It is due to the result of our former good karmas that we have not parted from dhamma even in this life. May all of us end rebirth in lower realms forever!
Sure No rush.
I don’t practice it right now. Maybe I will in future.
Nice exchange of thoughts!