Meditation Forum

Vipassana Meditation Forum => Under The Banyan Tree => Topic started by: James the Giant on February 27, 2010, 09:47:44 PM

Title: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: James the Giant on February 27, 2010, 09:47:44 PM
I understand Goenka, Mother Sayama, and Saya U Chit Tin were all taught Vipassana by Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
Then Goenka established his Dhamma centres internationally, and Sayama and U Chit Tin taught at the International Meditation Centre in Burma, and later around the world.
How do the methods and teachings of these closely-related groups differ?  Are there any differences?

I've done a couple of 10-day Goenka Vipassana courses, and I'm curious to see what other students of U Ba Khin teach.
Thanks!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 28, 2010, 10:52:54 AM
Pamojjam is the resident expert in such matters ... I'll let him tell you the intimate details.

Welcome to the forums.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: James the Giant on February 28, 2010, 05:36:58 PM
Thanks for the welcome!  Great and very nice polite forum you have here.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 28, 2010, 07:04:34 PM
Thanks for the welcome!  Great and very nice polite forum you have here.

Thank you. I think that we concentrate on practice and do not get into intellectual debate too much helps a lot in keeping things real.

I do know that Goenka does not teach according to the instructions of Sayagyi U Ba Khin - but really I don't know the exact details. As I say Pamojjam is familiar with these subjects in great depth and I defer to his wisdom on this issue.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Jhananda on March 01, 2010, 04:16:35 AM
My first 10-day meditation retreat in 1975 was led by Robert Hover, who was authorized to teach by U Ba Kin at the same time Goenka, Ruth Denison, Mother Sayama and one other were authorized. I have sat meditation retreats led by Robert Hover and Goenka students. I have also taught myself Pali and translated major suttas, including the four sati suttas. I found the meditation method, as described by Robert Hover and the one Goenka student reflected what is described in the Kayagata-sati Sutta (MN 119) “Mindfulness of the Body” (http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Phala_Nikaya/kayagatasati.htm); however, they did not mention that sutta.  Now the question that arises is, why does Goenka, U Ba Kin and the one Goenka student I sat a retreat with, not mention the Kayagata-sati Sutta (MN 119) “Mindfulness of the Body” (http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/Phala_Nikaya/kayagatasati.htm)? 

Considering that jhana was not mentioned within a Goenka/ U Ba Kin/ Robert Hover/ Ruth Denison context until after 2000, whereas it is the definition of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path, it is possible that jhana was demonized within an orthodox Buddhist context?  I believe it was.  This suggests that Goenka/ U Ba Kin/ Robert Hover/ Ruth Denison know nothing about jhana.  If so, then it means they know nothing of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path.  If so, then it means they do not understand the dhamma as the Buddha taught, because the Buddha taught a Noble Eightfold Path, not a 7-fold path.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: dhruv on May 02, 2010, 05:52:42 PM
more details please, anyone? and I dont understand the concept of jhana. i've felt rapture and bliss meditating in a goenka retreat using his method. not the same thing?
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on May 05, 2010, 03:20:59 AM
Hey, I just wanted to mention my interest in this question.  I think its a pretty misleading to say that "Goenka does not teach according to the instructions of Sayagyi U Ba Khin." From what I have read, Goenka varies a bit, but really no more than any student does as he or she begins to teach in the lineage of their teacher. In essence, the practices of U Ba Khin and Goenka sound pretty darn similar to me.

But I would love to hear more about what it was/is like for students to sit with the other teachers authorized by U Ba Khin. If anyone has had such an experience. please share. :)  I suspect there would be many people fascinated to hear about it.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: pamojjam on May 06, 2010, 01:53:48 AM
Hi everyone,

more details please, anyone?

you can find some informations and my own experiences in these threads:

http://vipassana.awardspace.info/forum/index.php?board=7.0 (http://vipassana.awardspace.info/forum/index.php?board=7.0)

Regards..
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on August 07, 2010, 11:12:47 PM
The actual course content of both these teachers is very similar. 

In a nutshell: We take the triple gem.  We surrender to the teacher and the Buddha for protection and guidance.  We establish our sila by taking and strictly keeping the five precepts (noble silence is observed).  Then we establish samadhi by practicing anapana meditation. (Every time we breathe in, we know that we are breathing in.  Every time we breathe out, we know that we are breathing out.  We keep our attention focussed on the spot at the rim of the nostril or on the upper lip - the place where the air touches as it enters and leaves the body.  We do this and nothing else.  If our mind wanders, we bring it right back).  After three or four days, with samadhi firmly established, we begin to develop panna by practicing vipassana meditation.  We do not extend the practice of anapana to the extent where we reach jhana.  Experience has shown that excellent progress into insight can be made with access concentration.  The deeper absorbtions with their bliss- though most execllent in other contexts - can in fact be something of a distraction when first learning vipassana.  The technique for practicing vipassana as taught by Sayaji U Ba Khin and his appointed teachers involves moving the attention through the body part by part, feeling sensations and knowing anicca.  After a little while the observations extend to encompas everything within the field of conciousness.  The constant knowing of anicca leads to a deep, non-intellectual understanding of change.  This then leads to a profound insight into dukkha and anatta.  There is a lot more detail, but that's it in a nutshell.

Where the various teachers appointed by Sayaji differ is in their teaching method.  The Goenka strategy seems to be by far the strictest - work, work, work.  Everything and every aspect of the course  is very controlled, at least in my experience.  If you thrive with this level of discipline then you might find this method suitable.  (Personally, I can't stand it!).

Mother Sayamaji and her appointed teachers are much more gentle and laid-back.  It's up to you to make the effort - there will not be a man with a clipboard ensuring that you attend the early-morning sitting!  With all teachers (in my experience), the noble eight-fold path is strictly followed.  I am profoundly grateful to all of them (especially Saya John Coleman, my first teacher).
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on August 12, 2010, 12:09:01 PM
Scrodulartum,
I would be very interested to hear about your experience sitting with Saya John Coleman. I have heard he is now retired from teaching at the IMC Italia. I haven't sat a course with him but I heard from others he is fantastic. I read his 'Quiet Mind' book, truely inspiring reading. Is it true he starts Anapana with following the rise and fall of the belly, Mahasi style, before leading students to focusing on the spot under the nose? Does anyone know if he has discourse summaries such as Goenka and Sayama has, to summarise Coleman's discourses? Has anyone sat with Coleman who can tell me more details about him?
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on August 12, 2010, 07:21:28 PM
Hi Torgeir
It was my good fortune to sit four or five 10-day courses with Saya John Coleman, in the early 1980's.  At this time he used to teach at the International Meditation Centre at Splatts House in Wiltshire, UK.  To answer your specific question about his teaching of anapana, he never - to my knowledge - taught his students to observe the rise and fall of the belly.  However, on one of his discourses, he did relate how he himself learnt anapana.  He recalled that his first teacher did instruct him in this method, but it didn't suit him at all.  He then moved on to Sayaji U Ba Khin's establishment in - as it was then - Rangoon, where he learnt the method that I outlined in my original post.

You heard from others that he was a fantastic teacher, and I fully agree with them.  He is a large American man.  He worked for the US government intelligence services and it was in his travels in this regard that he became exposed to the teachings of the Buddha. 

He has a huge personal warmth and is a wonderful teller of tales.  His discourses in the evening are usually impromptu recollections from his past and often have the students rolling with laughter.  He presents the teachings in a way that brings out the best in his students - me at any rate.  At the end of each 10-day course he finishes with a metta meditation.  This is a truly wonderful experience - I'm sorry I can't describe it - he seems to convey a huge amount of compassion and loving kindness through the own warmth of character.  Thank you, John Coleman.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on August 12, 2010, 09:29:20 PM
Please see attached four small photos:
Sayaji U Ba Khin, Sayaji U Ba Khin with John Coleman at IMC Rangoon, John Coleman and Mother Sayamaji.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on September 02, 2010, 07:21:38 PM
Scrodulartum, My sincere thanks for sharing your experiences with Saya John Coleman. It was great to read, and very inspiring. :)

KN
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on September 05, 2010, 09:37:00 AM
Hi everyone,

more details please, anyone?

you can find some informations and my own experiences in these threads:

http://vipassana.awardspace.info/forum/index.php?board=7.0 (http://vipassana.awardspace.info/forum/index.php?board=7.0)

Regards..

Hey Pam,

Didn't expect you to spam your own forum in response :D

Hope all is well with you.

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 05, 2010, 10:33:47 PM
Thanks for the great description of John Coleman's courses, Sclrodulartum. It is truly unfortunate but I have heard Saya John Coleman is not teaching anymore due to injuries he sustained after an accident. So it's all the more valuable to hear your description. It would also be extremely valuable as a historical document to have those anecdotes and stories from John recorded in video, audio and text. Goenkaji's students have long seen the value in this, just about everything he speaks in public is carefully recorded, and has been since at least the 1980's. I wonder if there are any recordings or texts available from John Coleman's speeches or public discourses. Does anyone know?
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on November 05, 2010, 11:57:05 PM
I can only add that he recounted many of his experiences in his book 'The Quiet Mind'.  This is still available.  I've just checked Amazon here in the UK and they have four copies at £8.99. 
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: siddharthgode on November 06, 2010, 08:15:58 AM

Considering that jhana was not mentioned within a Goenka/ U Ba Kin/ Robert Hover/ Ruth Denison context until after 2000, whereas it is the definition of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path, it is possible that jhana was demonized within an orthodox Buddhist context?  I believe it was.  This suggests that Goenka/ U Ba Kin/ Robert Hover/ Ruth Denison know nothing about jhana.  If so, then it means they know nothing of the 8th fold of the Noble Eightfold Path.  If so, then it means they do not understand the dhamma as the Buddha taught, because the Buddha taught a Noble Eightfold Path, not a 7-fold path.


why do you always blame them for not using jhana. dont get me wrong but u r very much addicted to jhanas man.

my experience is stop worrying about methods, its a thought game. stop thinking...... its just a loop , will not lead anywhere. just sit , different methods doesnt really matter for a beginners , we r too into ego game n always like to compare n feel satisfied that we r doing right.

am i right? because im also a newbie :)
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 06, 2010, 09:48:02 AM
Yes, I have read the Quiet Mind. Inspiring book.
There is also some great information about Coleman on the IMC Italia website. Even a brief recording of John's metta meditation.
Too bad there aren't any discourse summaries of Coleman's courses available.

About this thread's title, differences between teaching styles of U Ba Khin's heirs, I came across the following from a book called Dancing in the Dharma. Although it is mainly discussing how Ruth Dennison's approach to teaching differs, it inevitably touches on some of the differences between U Ba Khin's other student-teachers--Sayama, Goenka, John Coleman, Robert Hover, and Ruth.

"..As one old student put it, '[Ruth Dennison] was considered not serious. If you were a serious vipassana student, you did not sit with Ruth.'
... The letter that had been sent by Robert Hover's students to the Vipassana Newsletter describing Ruth's innovations to practice struck a sour note with traditional teachers and students.
...»[Goenka] said to me, 'Ruth, I hear you are teaching Zen together with vipassana and you do seem to go on a different track. Maybe this is not the right time for a meeting.'
...letter of July5, 1978, described how John Coleman, the British Dharma heir of U Ba Khin, had found it necessary to invent new methods for teaching westerners, rather than sticking with the framework of the 10-day retreat developed by U Ba Khin.
...The controversy reached all the way to Burma, to U Ba Khin's successor, Sayama, and her husband U Chit Tin. Not only Ruth, but all the other western Dhamma heirs of U Ba Khin were viewed with disapproval by Sayama. Even Goenka, who purports to teach exactly as U Ba Khin taught, ultimately came into conflict with Sayama.
...Finally, in early 1980, Ruth received an ultimatum from Burma.
...Ruth opened the letter from the IMC in Rangoon. Sayama spelled out her requiremets. She said, 'If you don't give up walking meditation, give up your body movement that we hear you are doing, your mixing Zen practice in, then you are not belonging to our lineage.' And Sayama also cited Ruth's teaching both men and women, which she had been forbbidden to do."

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 06, 2010, 09:56:01 AM
continued:
...[Goenka] said to me, 'Ruth, I hear you are teaching Zen together with vipassana and you do seem to go on a different track. Maybe this is not the right time for a meeting.'
...letter of July5, 1978, described how John Coleman, the British Dharma heir of U Ba Khin, had found it necessary to invent new methods for teaching westerners, rather than sticking with the framework of the 10-day retreat developed by U Ba Khin.
...The controversy reached all the way to Burma, to U Ba Khin's successor, Sayama, and her husband U Chit Tin. Not only Ruth, but all the other western Dhamma heirs of U Ba Khin were viewed with disapproval by Sayama. Even Goenka, who purports to teach exactly as U Ba Khin taught, ultimately came into conflict with Sayama.
...Finally, in early 1980, Ruth received an ultimatum from Burma.
...Ruth opened the letter from the IMC in Rangoon. Sayama spelled out her requiremets. She said, 'If you don't give up walking meditation, give up your body movement that we hear you are doing, your mixing Zen practice in, then you are not belonging to our lineage.' And Sayama also cited Ruth's teaching both men and women, which she had been forbbidden to do.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 06, 2010, 09:59:42 AM
And there is more about the separation between the Burmese heirs lead by Sayama / U Chit Tin, and the various western student teachers. One has to be good at reading between the lines, because diplomacy is the lingua franca when these student-teachers only very rarely talk about each other. The following is from the IMC Italia website, translated from Italian:

"Thus the IMC-UK was born, which gave rise to the Splatts Residential House, of which John Coleman was President until 1985. In that same year, John Coleman resigned from his presidency of the Centre, thus causing a de facto separation with the IMC in Rangoon, which had after the death of Sayagyi U Ba Khin been under the direction of his Burmese disciples. Sri Goenka had also passed through a similar separation. .."
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 06, 2010, 10:06:53 AM
And from one of Goenka's stories in the Vipassana Newsletter, we can glean how this separation between IMC  / Sayama / Burmese on the one hand, and SN Goenka on the other, might have happened. Again, we must know how to read between the lines. Notice how skillfully important names are left out in some places, and not in other places. Goenka explains:

"I was on a world tour to conduct courses. When I reached Japan, an important person spread the rumour by phone that revered Sayagyi U Ba Khin had withdrawn his blessing and support to me; and that he would not even give mettā to me in courses. This message made everyone nervous. I too felt that if this is true, I should not conduct any more courses. I felt that all courses in Japan and elsewhere should be cancelled and I should return home. We were staying in Dhamma daughter Sachiko’s home. This unpleasant news has been spread by what seemed to be a reliable source. According to this news, since I was no longer a teacher in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin, Sachiko could have told us to leave but she didn’t.

John Beary proposed to all the assembled meditators that the next course should not be cancelled, and that the message may just have been spread out of ill will. He suggested that the course should be held and if mettā is found to be weak, then only the remaining courses could be cancelled. The course was conducted and it was very successful.

Everyone said that the mettā was even stronger that before. I am grateful to John Beary who ensured that the course was not cancelled. Otherwise, future courses would have stopped. Because of the success of this course, everyone including me was convinced that Sayagyi’s mettā and blessing were definitely with me. Future courses continued to be held successfully without any obstacles. Whenever I recall this incident, I am filled with boundless mettā."
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 06, 2010, 10:24:00 AM
We must keep in mind that the incidents mentioned above happened around 30 years ago. These days all the involved participants are either very old or have already long since passed away: U Chit Tin & Robert Hover.

It is important to document the past, to get a better understanding of what the practice of Vipassana is really all about, but history is also easily misconstrued by later generations into something which it was not.

It reminds me of an incident in the world of yoga, where a meeting was arranged between the leading proponents of two popular yoga systems, who each had a large following of yoga students around the world. Each camp of students claimed their teacher was the best, teaching the true yoga lineage, and enmity between students of the two camps followed. In the end, it turned out the two old men had a very amicable meeting, greeting and treating each other like old friends who had never even been separated. The students were perplexed that the old guys didn't have anything bad to say about each other, let alone get into a fistfight. All learned an important lesson.

We can all try to learn this important lesson.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on November 06, 2010, 01:31:40 PM
Well said, Torgeir.  Sayaji U Ba Khin established a particular method of teaching.  If others decide to change or amend his method to suit local times and conditions, then there is nothing wrong with that.  However, they can no longer claim to be teaching the pure U Ba Khin method.  If Ruth Dennison incorporates dance into her teaching method then this might be excellent, and we now have the Ruth Dennison school.  But this is not the Sayaji U Ba Khin school.  When Sayamaji pointed out to Ruth that by making this alteration in the teaching method she could no longer claim to be teaching as a member of the U Ba Khin lineage, this did not imply any ill-will between the two.  It was merely a statement of fact.

Sayamaji is now 82 years old, and not as sprightly as she used to be.  However, she still is the principal teacher at IMC UK ( http://www.internationalmeditationcentre.org/introduction.html (http://www.internationalmeditationcentre.org/introduction.html) ), ably assisted by her assistant teacher Roger Bischoff, where 10-day courses in the U Ba Khin tradition, are taught each month.  So, it's not too late to taste the pure dhamma!  Next course 19th Nov to 29 Nov 2010.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: siddharthgode on November 06, 2010, 04:00:38 PM
We must keep in mind that the incidents mentioned above happened around 30 years ago. These days all the involved participants are either very old or have already long since passed away: U Chit Tin & Robert Hover.

It is important to document the past, to get a better understanding of what the practice of Vipassana is really all about, but history is also easily misconstrued by later generations into something which it was not.

It reminds me of an incident in the world of yoga, where a meeting was arranged between the leading proponents of two popular yoga systems, who each had a large following of yoga students around the world. Each camp of students claimed their teacher was the best, teaching the true yoga lineage, and enmity between students of the two camps followed. In the end, it turned out the two old men had a very amicable meeting, greeting and treating each other like old friends who had never even been separated. The students were perplexed that the old guys didn't have anything bad to say about each other, let alone get into a fistfight. All learned an important lesson.

We can all try to learn this important lesson.

this explains everything !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 06, 2010, 06:48:22 PM
methods differ dependent on the student and their own understanding/ability.  

This is interesting, please note the I mentioned is not me!......lol!!

A friend of Robert Hover wrote:

Quote
Concentration can be defined as the ability to keep your focus on a single object for an extended period of time. Awareness can be defined as the ability to let your attention move from object to object without getting seemingly stuck on any specific object of attention.

As you can see, these seem like completely different skills, or completely different states of being.  And yet when you read the literature about meditation, each of these is sometimes held out as a goal.

In fact, here's an interesting story to distinguish between the two. I was given a copy of some letters that were written between a Burmese meditation teacher named U Ba Khin and one of his Western students, the wife of a diplomat, named Mrs. King.  Ba Khin had written the letters to Mrs. Kane to help her with her practice when she returned to America after having meditated with him in Burma. And in the letters, he gave her very explicit instructions about how to develop concentration so that they would be able to communicate telepathically so that he could continue to help her advance in her meditation practice.  Now, I'm not going to argue  about whether or not telepathy is possible or just magical thinking; the important part of the story is the next part.

I showed these letters to a friend of mine named Robert Hover.  Robert was one of the first Western meditation teachers. In fact he was one of the people, who was asked by U Ba Khin to take over his particular Buddhist meditation lineage — an amazing request considering that Robert was not Asian, nor was he raised Buddhist.

When Robert read these letters, he called me and expressed his amazement, saying that he didn't even know that Ba Khin knew about these particular concentration meditation techniques.

I was somewhat stunned to hear him say that. I asked him, "You were supposed to take over the lineage for this teacher.  How could you not know this?" He answered, "I don't have the skills of concentration that Mrs. King had and what's amazing is that, because I don't have those concentration skills,  these issues and teachings never came up in my conversations with my teacher.

Obviously, this speaks quite highly of Robert's teacher, someone whose understanding of meditation was skillful enough that he could tailor his meditation teachings to each individual student.  And as I've gotten to know many of his other students, I have similarly found that each one of them learned something slightly different from the other.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on November 06, 2010, 08:55:13 PM
I just wanted to say that, once again, I'm loving this thread. Seriously. Its fascinating to read, touching on information that is hard to ordinarily find. So, thanks to all the contributors!

With metta,
KN
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: scrodulartum on November 06, 2010, 09:18:24 PM
Hi notsure

It would indeed be interesting if you could scan in your copies of these letters and post the images on this forum!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 06, 2010, 09:45:20 PM
Hi, maybe I didn't make it clear, but in the above post I was quoting someone else.  That's why i said the 'I' mentioned wasn't me.....hehe...forgive me if this wasn't clear.  I'll add quote marks!! 

There is a publication, now out of print and which I don't have a copy of,  of the letters between U Ba Khin and Mrs King.  I can not recall the title but it is something simple like " The letters between U Ba Khin and Jocelyn King". 

The story I was relating to above was told by a close friend of Robert Hover.  Hover himself taught as U Ba Khin instructed him and he also taught in his own way, still based on what U Ba Khin had taught but using his own terminolgy, a good read would be Hovers book 'Internal Movement Healing'. 

A book worth reading which recounts one students experience in the 70's with all the teachers mentioned in this post and tradition, especially Hover, Goenka and Mother Sayamagyi would be Eric Lerners 'A Journey of Insight Meditation'......very good, informative and entertaining read!!
 
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 06, 2010, 09:49:55 PM
I was unable to modify my first post and add quote marks...

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 06, 2010, 10:17:13 PM
Here is a very interesting and worthwhile link that not many people I know have come across.  It is an article by John Coleman with excerpts from U Ba Khin and Webu Sayadaw.

I have never sat with John Coleman so can not comment on his approach.  I spoke with him on the telephone a few years ago whilst in Thailand where I believe he still conducts courses from around December to April.

I have had great fortune to sit courses with Mother Sayamagyi and stay at IMC UK and I have also attended Goenkas courses, conducted by assistant teachers.  Both teach the same technique, with small variations.  I personally experienced with Mother Sayamagyi emphasis on the importance of a calm, tranquil mind, free from hinderances in order for insight to develope......which is also Goenkas way and many other teachers way but you feel this more with Sayamagyi.....right attitude!!


  

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 06, 2010, 10:18:28 PM
hahaha...silly me.......forgot the link!!!

http://www.saladhamma.org/pdf_files/Now.pdf (http://www.saladhamma.org/pdf_files/Now.pdf)

Keep knowing anicca!!!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on November 06, 2010, 11:44:49 PM
I was unable to modify my first post and add quote marks...



You have an hour to modify posts.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: notsure on November 07, 2010, 12:22:42 AM
cool...thank you
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on November 07, 2010, 03:59:43 AM
np. If you ever need a post edited or removed later you can ask - though the general policy is not to. I can add the quotation marks if you send me a PM with the post you want edited indicating how.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 07, 2010, 10:04:15 AM
I understand Goenka, Mother Sayama, and Saya U Chit Tin were all taught Vipassana by Sayagyi U Ba Khin.
Then Goenka established his Dhamma centres internationally, and Sayama and U Chit Tin taught at the International Meditation Centre in Burma, and later around the world.

A LITTLE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
In 1969, Sayagyi U Ba Khin authorized 6 of his western students to teach on his behalf. U Ba Khin had previously authorized S.N. Goenka and some of the members of the Vipassana Research Association at IMC Rangoon, including Mother Sayama. The following is a little historical background to U Ba Khin and his teaching-students, some of whom really took his mission upon themselves and made it their life project to teach Vipassana as he had wanted. The author is U Chit Tin:

"As soon as his health improved, [Sayagyi] led two missions to Mandalay [where S.N. Goenka comes from] and Maymyo [in upper Burma] to teach Vipassana to the local students. He was assisted on these two missions [in 1967] by his Assistant Teacher, [Mother] Sayama Daw Mya Thwin, by me [U Chit Tin], and by Mr. S.N. Goenka and his wife, Mrs. Illaichi. These trips were the forerunners of teaching missions outside IMC-Rangoon, both at home and abroad.
....
"By the time Sayagyi retired from official assignments in 1965, he had laid a firm foundation for his second objective: to revive Buddhism in India [by introducing Vipassana to the Hindu community in Burma] and spread it to other countries. He had thoroughly coached his Assistant Teachers and trained the members of the Vipassana Research Association to teach meditation. He also commissioned the following foreign disciples and entrusted them with the Dhamma-duta work in their respective countries:

Authorized by a letter dated April 23, 1969:

       1. Dr. Leon E. Wright, PhD., Professor of Religion, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
       2. Mr. Robert H. Hover, La Mirada, California, U.S.A.
       3. Mrs. Ruth Denison, Hollywood, California, U.S.A. (to teach women only).
       4. Mrs. Forella Landie, British Columbia, Canada (to teach women only).
       5. Mr. John E. Coleman, Maidenhead, Berks., U.K.
       6. Mr. J. Van Amersfoort, The Hague, The Netherlands.

Authorized separately in July 1967, when a ten-day meditation course was conducted [for the Hindu community in Mandalay] with guidance coming from Sayagyi in Rangoon:

       7. Mr. S.N. Goenka, Bombay, India.

In Burma, the ten members of the Vipassana Research Association assisted Sayagyi in his teaching, and in particular, [Mother] Sayama Daw Mya Thwin, me (U Chit Tin), U Tint Yee, U Ba Pho, and U Boon Shain. When he taught members of the Indian community in Burma, especially the Hindus, his disciple Mr. S.N. Goenka helped him by translating to Hindi for several years. .."
...
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 13, 2010, 01:19:49 PM
In summary, here's the short answer to the question in this thread:

Technically speaking there is no difference between Goenka's method, the IMC / Mother Sayama's method, and Vipassana teacher U Ba Khin's method. Looking at what people who have taken courses with these two of U Ba Khin's student-teachers have reported, here in this forum and elsewhere, we can reasonably conclude it is the same method that is being taught.

The apparent difference lies in the discourses and in the presentation, which inevitably reflects the personality of the presenter. But no difference in technique. They were trained thoroughly as Vipassana teachers by U Ba Khin for many, many years, and each know in detail the ins and outs of U Ba Khin's method. They also used to assist together on U Ba Khin courses. Mother Sayama assisted U Ba Khin when Goenka took his first course. They are indeed brother and sister in Dhamma.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on November 13, 2010, 01:23:58 PM
So why don't these two Vipassana organizations run courses together?

For about a decade after U Ba Khin's death, they taught courses amicably and interchangeably. Goenka in India and Mother Sayama in Rangoon and later in the UK. They did not make a distinction as to what it was they taught, just ''in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin''.

Then, for whatever reason, they separated their respective sprouting Vipassana organizations, and started organizing Vipassana courses distinct from each other.

One can only speculate as to the reasons why this separation happened.

One reasonable speculation is that in the Burmese / IMC camp, Buddhism as a religion and culture is / was something they had grown up with and are / were very proud of belonging to. Buddhism as a religion is very strongly ingrained in Burmese culture. Within that context, Vipassana is seen as the practical aspect of Abhidhamma, the highest teaching of the Buddha-Dhamma.

Whereas Goenka distanced Vipassana from the name Buddha-Dhamma. Rather, he emphasized that Vipassana is Dhamma, purely Dhamma, taught by the Buddha. It is universal and has nothing to do with belonging to any particular religion or culture. Buddhism as a cultural phenomenon comes under blind faith, blind belief, which is what the Buddha was trying to guide people away from.

Sounds like irrelevant semantics, but to some it is an important distinction.

Goenka's position could possibly have been viewed unfavorably by some Burmese traditionalists.

Then again, who knows.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on February 01, 2011, 06:38:11 PM
Hi everybody who are still interested about the question

I was only at Goenka's 10days course and I received a confirmation letter from IMC. They want to bring my alarm clock.
It is a surprise. I was in India and I can not imagine that we had alarm clocks, there was silent, really. Despite there was 18 girls sleeping together. Only a bell was to wake up, to meditate or to eat, I did not have my watch. It was nice. 

Take care
Ivana
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 01, 2011, 07:12:32 PM
A LITTLE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
.....
       1. Dr. Leon E. Wright, PhD., Professor of Religion, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
       2. Mr. Robert H. Hover, La Mirada, California, U.S.A.
       3. Mrs. Ruth Denison, Hollywood, California, U.S.A. (to teach women only).
       4. Mrs. Forella Landie, British Columbia, Canada (to teach women only).
       5. Mr. John E. Coleman, Maidenhead, Berks., U.K.
       6. Mr. J. Van Amersfoort, The Hague, The Netherlands.
       7. Mr. S.N. Goenka, Bombay, India.[/color]

A little more historical background ....

Those teachers highlighted above in crimson have been kicked out of this lineage. It is therefore certainly not sure that anyone can claim they all teach the same thing.

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 01, 2011, 08:41:56 PM
...
Buddhism as a cultural phenomenon comes under blind faith, blind belief, which is what the Buddha was trying to guide people away from.
...

Torgeir,

You are not in any position to make such a claim. Much of what is called Buddhism today - particularly in Aisa - meets this criteria.

However, Western Buddhism is much more a grassroots movement of meditators - and is propelled more by empiricism than blind belief - exactly in line with the Buddha's teachings.

In the Dhamma,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on February 08, 2011, 05:29:09 AM
Those teachers highlighted above in crimson have been kicked out of this lineage. It is therefore certainly not sure that anyone can claim they all teach the same thing.

My understanding was that Goenka was authorized by U Ba Khin, and retained that authorization until U Ba Khin died. Thus, I don't think it is accurate to say that he was kicked out of his lineage. Goenka undoubtedly had a "falling out" with Sayamagyi, and is thus no longer affiliated with IMC, but I don't see how that constitutes getting "kicked out of this lineage."  (unless there is more to the story, TIB?)

As for why Goenka fell-out with Sayamagyi, I can only repeat what I've heard/read on the Goenka side. The story goes that Goenka objected to IMC's practice of  "suggested donations" and the practice of teachers receiving dana. Of course, that is just one side of the story.  Somehow, I bet there is more to it than that!

With metta,
KN

  
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 08, 2011, 09:52:37 AM
Sayamagyi is the Dhamma heir/lineage holder of U Ba Khin. Falling out with the lineage holder ends connection.

I'm sure you are right there is more to the story.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 08, 2011, 07:40:33 PM
I have the impression that Goenka's teacher was a lay person, like Goenka.  His teacher got the method from Burmese Buddhist monks.  Am I correct?

If so, what do the monks call it?

It doesn't seem right to call it "Goenka's Method" if he didn't invent it.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 08, 2011, 10:45:50 PM
Goos point Jhana4
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on February 08, 2011, 11:02:26 PM
Agreed. I don't think anyone really calls it "Goenka's Technique" or "method" except for those of us on this forum, as a way of distinguishing it from other types of "vipassana."

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 09, 2011, 12:08:40 AM
I'm enjoying the agreement, but I'd still like to know what the proper name for the technique is -- what the Burmese Buddhist monks who have been practicing it for centuries call it.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on February 09, 2011, 12:55:21 AM
Vipassana!  HA. ;D
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Jhana4 on February 09, 2011, 12:46:55 PM
I'm not sure that is right.   "Vipassana" very roughly, translates to "insight into the way things are".   The word does not refer directly to a specific technique.   "Meditation" is an English word which doesn't mean the same thing as the Pali word "Bhavanna", which means "to draw out, to develop".

Goenka calls the method "sweeping", which may be a crude translation for a Burmese or Pali word.

I don't know.

However calling "sweeping", "vipassana" is like calling every kind of exercise "aerobic exercise" and expecting all classes in it to be taught by the same person in the same way.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on February 09, 2011, 03:38:33 PM
Vipassana is not a meditation technique. Anyone who says they are doing "Vipassana meditation" is mistaken. They may be undertaking mindfulness or "Sati" practices aimed at developing Vipassana or insight, but this is different.

Vipassana is a fruit or "Phala" of meditation/mindfulness/or "Sati" in Pali. By repeatedly being mindful (remembering) one starts to develop insight into "how things really are" - Vipassana, having first created enough distance between arisings and your habitual way of seeing them.

Bhavana means "to cultivate", hence "Metta Bhavana" practice is the practice of cultivating or, as Jhana4 says "draw out, develop", Metta.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: kidnovice on February 09, 2011, 05:41:53 PM
Its true that according to how the Buddha used the term, "vipassana" is not a practice so much as a fruit of sati--an insight into how things are.  But Jhana4 asked what the Burmese Monks called the practice.  I don't know for sure, but I still think those silly monks called it "vipassana!"

Mahasi Sayadaw definitely used the term in this way, though his meditation instruction was quite different from the one taught by U Bah Khin. I believe Ledi Sayadaw also used the term "vipassana" like this (but I'm not sure).

IMHO, I think "vipassana" may be one of those terms that has shifted its meaning over the years through common usage. Specifically, I've noticed that "vipassana meditation" (or rather, "insight meditation") has become a broad term that generally refers to a practice emphasizing insight into the three characteristics: impermanence (anicca), non-identification (anatta), and suffering (dukkha).


Goenka calls the method "sweeping", which may be a crude translation for a Burmese or Pali word.

I don't know.

However calling "sweeping", "vipassana" is like calling every kind of exercise "aerobic exercise" and expecting all classes in it to be taught by the same person in the same way.

Goenka doesn't call his method "sweeping." Indeed, "sweeping" is just one way of moving awareness through the body. If that is all a practioner does, Goenka would say that person is NOT practicing "vipassana."  Indeed, he actually discusses people who get so caught up in the sweeping that they end up playing "games of sensations."

What makes the practice "vipassana" is that you are developing insight into the 3C's. This is why Goenka keeps saying, "Anicca!"  He wants you to gain insight into that aspect of your experience. Goenka's approach is great for cultivating that insight, but other practices have proven just as effective. Of course, I wouldn't expect Goenka to acknowlege that, but I still love the big guy! :D

Metta,
KN
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: torgeir on February 11, 2011, 01:23:24 PM
I'd still like to know what the proper name for the technique is -- what the Burmese Buddhist monks who have been practicing it for centuries call it.

 
How about asking a Burmese monk?

There is a Burmese monk (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uwunnathiri.org%2F) living and practicing in Norway -- of all places. He hails from the same lineage as Goenka and Mother Sayama: that is, the Saya Thet / Ledi Sayadaw lineage.

The Vipassana technique kept alive in Burma for centuries can be traced back to Ledi Sayadaw, the earliest named teacher of Vipassana. Mahasi Sayadaw, Pandita, U Ba Khin, Goenka, Sayama, and many other modern Burmese style meditation teachers can trace their lineage back to the Ledi. Before him, the names are obscure.

Ledi had many student-teachers. He went against tradition and authorized at least one layman to teach Vipassana, as it was--and still is--called in Burma.

This lay-teacher, Saya Thet, was a wealthy farmer, who in turn had many student-teachers. Again going against tradition, he taught Vipassana to many monks, as well as lay-people.

Traditionally in Burma, the monks should be the preservers of the Buddha's teachings. The tradition stated that no monks should learn Dhamma from lay-people, and especially not Vipassana, which in Burma is considered the peak of the Buddha's teaching, the practical Abhidhamma, considered the Buddha's highest teaching.

Ledi Sayadaw's lineage is not a stranger to controversy, having switched back and forth between monks and laity a number of times, and meeting its fair share of criticism over different issues at different times and places. What seems at the surface to be controversial issues surrounding the Vipassana tradition in this day and age on the web and elsewhere, is really nothing but additional amusing anecdotal trivia in the grand scheme.

Some of Saya Thet's students he authorized to teach. One was U Ba Khin. That part of the story is well documented.

Less well known is that one of Saya Thet’s monk-Vipassana-teachers in Burma has a living tradition now extending to Norway.

Why Norway? Well, it is due to the sticky political situation in Burma, and Norwegian sponsored Radio Free Burma through political connections to the Norwegian Nobel-committee, who at one time awarded the Burmese democracy movement leader Aung Sun Syu Kyi the Nobel Peace prize, etc. Norway hosts a number of political refugees. Some of them happen to be Burmese monks. So it is both complicated and straight forward.

Check out a link (http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uwunnathiri.org%2F) to a web site dedicated to the Norwegian-Burmese Vipassana-monk. Please bear in mind the google translation is far from perfect, but at least one can glean a rough idea of what he is all about:
Hardcore Vipassana.

If anyone reads the details, they can see he includes Anapana + Body sensations + lots and lots of Metta. He calls it Vipassana.

If there still is any confusion about Vipassana, one can try and contact him and ask directly. He knows.

The teaching of the technique has crossed back and forth between monks and the laity at different times. U Ba Khin understood that Vipassana taught by a buddhist monk would not be accepted in Hindu dominated India, hence Goenka plays a very special role in the proliferation and popularity of this lineage, first in India, and later from there to all around the world.

From the growing popularity of Goenka’s teaching in India, Vipassana significantly proliferated in the west via hippies and backpackers travelling India in the 1970’s. They eventually travelled back home to help establish Vipassana in the west during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

Goenka is now widely respected and revered in ultra-buddhist Burma, also by Burmese monks. There are now 6 Vipassana retreat centers in his style in Burma, and popularity remains high. There is a number of monks sitting nearly every course, and there is also a number of monk assistant teachers. They all call it Vipassana.

They should certainly know.


------------
Original link in Norwegian (http://www.uwunnathiri.org/).

Google translation (http://translate.google.com/translate?js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&sl=no&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.uwunnathiri.org%2F&act=url) into English.





Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on March 14, 2011, 06:28:42 PM
Hi Sangha
I am just back from IMC 10days Vipassana course. I can see different easy at my body. After 10 days my body is changed about 5  kilograms. When I was at Goenka in India I loose my weight. When I came from IMC UK I have five kilograms more. Please see picture of small example of food from  IMC.

Regarding teaching there is huge different with an attitude to students. If you are at Goenka you are afraid that not to be in a meditation hall on time. If you are at IMC they advice you to sleep, if you are tired.

If I compare meditation it is same only with small detail. Goenka try to do some extra feeling sensation  from head to feed as water is poring. But generally it is same.

Notice about nose to Matthew. I asked my teacher if it a notice about nose and he told me there is in Pali language "in front of him".

Take care
Ivana



Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: rideforever on March 14, 2011, 07:08:46 PM
Ah yes,  I can see this course seems to be a very serious and beneficial one for the advanced meditator, and I am booking onto the next one. ;)

yum
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Morning Dew on March 14, 2011, 08:35:30 PM
I could do anything for a piece of that Strawberry cake, even to concentrate on the nose if they would ask me to  ;D

Welcome back Ivana  :)

C h e
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Vivek on March 15, 2011, 03:45:58 AM
Wow, is that the food they serve for the course?! Gotta say, IMC rocks! ;)
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ramelec on March 15, 2011, 08:05:38 AM
Do they get the money donation from those great food  :D
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on March 15, 2011, 06:56:00 PM
....
Notice about nose to Matthew. I asked my teacher if it a notice about nose and he told me there is in Pali language "in front of him".
.....

Of course he said that, he has been raised in a confused tradition - he is referring to this phrase: "Putting mindfulness to the fore, .....".

Now what makes more sense to you as a meditator:

1) "Putting mindfulness to the fore" means paying attention to your nose; or

2) "Putting mindfulness to the fore" means establishing yourself in mindfulness (i.e. consciously bringing it to the front of your experience/awareness).

?

Had the Buddha meant "nose" he would have used the word "nose". The Buddha used metaphor a lot but if he wanted to say nose he would have said it, not "in front of him" because he did not use metaphor superfluously and he used it to clarify and not to confuse. To refer to the nose other than by using it's name is not rational as it only leads to confusion. Not anywhere in the Suttas, except where he is discussing the sense of smell and the nose as the organ of cognition of smells, does the Buddha refer to noses.

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Morning Dew on March 15, 2011, 07:52:39 PM
Quote
Not anywhere in the Suttas, except where he is discussing the sense of smell and the nose as the organ of cognition of smells, does the Buddha refer to noses.


Fasten your seat belts here comes the NOSE again  ;D ;D ;D

Just joking just joking!

I agree that it doesnt matter what the object of observation is only that it is observed mindfully and not by FOCUSING on it as like burning a hole in the NOSE with forced concentration  ;D 

The reason I felt something missing in Ki-breathing was that in Ki-breathing one focuses on the lower Tanden and by creating this fabrication one misses to REALISE the actual trouble maker  ;)  the SELF!

Che
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on March 15, 2011, 08:43:16 PM
Dear Mathew and Che
I wanted to do something for good but it seems I did more harm. I made effort to ask my teacher and it is all. The most important if method of awareness of breathing around the nostrils and on the upper lip is a good technique for well being of people.
Take care
Ivana
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Morning Dew on March 15, 2011, 09:21:32 PM
Quote
I wanted to do something for good but it seems I did more harm

You did no harm Ivana  :)  and no harm was felt  :) I feel we all talk about the same thing just a little different  :)

Friendly Che
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Matthew on March 16, 2011, 09:17:58 AM
Ivana,

You did no harm. It does interest me whether you think 1) or 2) is the more clear explanation of "putting mindfulness to the fore"? (fore means front).

Warmly,

Matthew
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: nibs on March 16, 2011, 11:37:35 AM
The reason I felt something missing in Ki-breathing was that in Ki-breathing one focuses on the lower Tanden and by creating this fabrication one misses to REALISE the actual trouble maker  ;)  the SELF!

Hi Che,

What is "the SELF" in your experience?

nibs
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Morning Dew on March 16, 2011, 12:01:04 PM
Ignorant/habitual/ culturaly conditioned phenomenon we also call ego, always Atracted to desire and aversion.
A phenomenon thriving in daydreaming, not that happy when the light of awareness shines on it. A sum of chemical reactions causing sensations which can trigger reactions if not mindfuly observed.

It is not the one farting on the cushion that i am sure of :D

C h e
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Stefan on March 16, 2011, 02:14:51 PM
That's a little bit confusing to me. I use "ego" for what Che describes, but I use "self" for the true being, the real existence (without subject). In my understanding, "self" is the truth within us. It is what "I" am when seen as "I" really am ...
Ah, words, they drive me nuts sometimes.
But no words, no forum ...
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: nibs on March 16, 2011, 03:09:44 PM
That's a little bit confusing to me. I use "ego" for what Che describes, but I use "self" for the true being, the real existence (without subject). In my understanding, "self" is the truth within us. It is what "I" am when seen as "I" really am ...
Ah, words, they drive me nuts sometimes.
But no words, no forum ...

If you look close and long enough, there really isn't anything there to call ego, self, true self, this, that, something, anything, nothing or  subject. It is all inferred through more thought which can be seen as just more object. Everything that arises to be directly experienced is objectifiable and everything can be boiled down to the 5 skhandas as objects arising and passing away. There ain't no subject. Any subject is just another inference and thus another object. Objectify the supposed concrete subjective self and you will see that what was thought (inferred) to be the subject, is actually just another object and cannot be a "self" as a"self" is supposed to be the subject , right? This is my subject to change opinion and experience. ;)

http://www.naturalawareness.net/skandhas.pdf (http://www.naturalawareness.net/skandhas.pdf)

As far as i can see, the sense of (illusory) self is just a bunch of sensations and images being misread as a separate entity and those sensations can be objectified. No-one home but a bundle of habitual tendencies.

Try this little exercise to see it in action:

Stay with an area of sensations/vibrations somewhere on one foot. Stay there for as long as you can with ALL attention focused on those sensations/vibrations WITHOUT the attention shifting elsewhere. I bet you any money you wont be able to. When I do this, I feel these subtle and sometimes almost undetectable shifts of the attention back to the sensations in the middle of the head that seem make up a sense of seperate observing self and then back to the area on the foot.

Pay attention to how this happens. Pay attention to how the attention will flip back and forth between the focus on the area on the foot and then to the centre point of a supposed observing self; being in the head, maybe feeling like it's behind the eyeballs or the eyeballs themselves or a particular space in the head area. The shifting back and forth at a very fast, and at first, undetectable rate, is what is creating the illusion of a sense of "I" being the observer observing the sensations elsewhere in the body. What is really happening is that the sensations that are being read as "I" are being sectioned off from the rest of sensations and only "appearing" to be what is conscious of all the rest of the sensations on the body. It happens too fast for us to figure it out without some Vipassana time where it becomes clearer and clearer what is happening. These sensations Of "I" are just more sensations presenting themselves as more objects. They're just misread as a subject.

This quote by an anonymous advanced yogi explains it better: "The sense of "I" presents as if it were a perspective that sensations take, as if sensations were being funneled towards or through it. But this "funneling towards" perspective is illusory when taken to be something more than phenomenology; "I" is just one more thing that presents itself to awareness, one more thing being looked at. In other words, when the thought "I" arises, what arises is an experience that presents as this kind of funneling of sensations."

Fun little insight games.

nibs
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Stefan on March 16, 2011, 04:01:10 PM

If you look close and long enough, there really isn't anything there to call ego, self, true self, this, that, something, anything, nothing or  subject. It is all inferred through more thought which can be seen as just more object. Everything that arises to be directly experienced is objectifiable and everything can be boiled down to the 5 skhandas as objects arising and passing away. There ain't no subject. Any subject is just another inference and thus another object. Objectify the supposed concrete subjective self and you will see that what was thought (inferred) to be the subject, is actually just another object and cannot be a "self" as a"self" is supposed to be the subject , right? This is my subject to change opinion and experience.


thanx for your post, it is very interesting. I agree with you.
But if it comes to "there really isn't anything there to call ego, self, true self, this, that, something, anything, nothing or subject" (signed by me), it is always interesting to add: "there really isn't a thing like a cushion to sit on", still we manage to feel comfortable on our cushions while meditating ...  ;D

anyway, my post was not so much about the true nature of "self" and "ego" (the "true nature" is more a verb than a subject as far as I understand it), but I wanted to point out that in a discussion like this, the core-words are used differrently by different posters. If we are discussing stuff that is illusionary, then we shouldn't complicate things by using keywords without description.
Your question to Che (what do you call "self") was very helpful in a practical way ... Che's answer gave me the key to understand what he was talking about ...  ;) ....

Metta!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: rideforever on March 16, 2011, 04:20:52 PM
Hey, I was just thinking about the skandhas yesterday (I'm reading the Heart Sutra - the five heaps are empty etc... - by Osho of course), and I was wondering how we come to be in the situation in the first place.

I was thinking that our awareness is naked, empty of anything, and it finds itself within a process we call man (the process being composed of the sub-processes of the skandhas) ... and the awareness being like a mirror sees all this stuff going on (thought, perception etc...) and thinks oh, I am this process.  An empty mirror reflects these processes and the mirror thinks - oh this must be me.  Because it can't directly see it's nakedness it's emptiness, it mistakes what is being reflected in it as itself.

Wow, that's so crazy.  I can't believe this could be me - I grew up watching hollywood films and thought that was life ... and now I am an empty mirror and nothing else is me.  wtf, feel angry scared worried

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: chintan on March 18, 2011, 03:20:40 AM
When I was at Goenka in India I loose my weight. When I came from IMC UK I have five kilograms more. Please see picture of small example of food from  IMC.

Welcome back Ivana - I myself have been missing from the forum due to too much work, financial year closure. I am really intrigued at the spread on offer - any reason for it? Would have been really interesting if they had two tables one with IMC food and one with the Goenka style food and the practitioners had to choose :).

Metta
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on March 18, 2011, 08:16:04 AM

[/quote]

Welcome back Ivana - I myself have been missing from the forum due to too much work, financial year closure. I am really intrigued at the spread on offer - any reason for it? Would have been really interesting if they had two tables one with IMC food and one with the Goenka style food and the practitioners had to choose :).

Metta
[/quote]
Dear Maun
I asked my teacher at IMC regarding same question. I received reply that Sayagyi U Ba Khin had first question  "How was food?" It could be as Che told "I could do anything for a piece of that Strawberry cake".
Have a fun
Ivana
My opinion a middle way is the good way.
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Stefan on March 18, 2011, 08:55:48 AM


It could be as Che told "I could do anything for a piece of that Strawberry cake".
My opinion a middle way is the good way.


To be honest, to me those cakes don't look like the middle way, but like the whole highway back and forth ...

Metta to you!
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: Morning Dew on March 18, 2011, 01:19:21 PM
Both the Middle Way and less desire for chees cake comes into manifestation from the sitting practice and not from the intelect saying so :)

At this time i would still do anything for that cake :D but this too shall pass ;)

Note! I am at our Vipassanaforum Retreat Center (my summer house) just arrived and planning to make a carrot cake mmmmmm :)
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on March 18, 2011, 07:20:23 PM


It could be as Che told "I could do anything for a piece of that Strawberry cake".
My opinion a middle way is the good way.


To be honest, to me those cakes don't look like the middle way, but like the whole highway back and forth ...

Metta to you!

Stefan I have to agree. Cakes at IMC are not a middle way. During meditation, in my stomach were cakes and in my mind were again cakes and I was upset,  hard to meditate.
Take care
Ivana
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: NickAWilson on March 21, 2011, 01:36:16 PM
I presume they had non-sweet food also Ivana?

I'm there next month. Though since my acceptance letter I've not heard anything from them so I'm hoping it's all in hand....

Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: ivana on March 21, 2011, 02:28:21 PM
I presume they had non-sweet food also Ivana?

I'm there next month. Though since my acceptance letter I've not heard anything from them so I'm hoping it's all in hand....

Hi Nick
There have a lot of different food but no meat. If you recieve an acceptance letter,I think all is OK. I recieved an e-mail as reminder to go 2 days before my start.
Take care
Ivana
Title: Re: How does Goenka's method differ from the IMC and Mother Sayama's?
Post by: NickAWilson on March 21, 2011, 02:43:24 PM
Brilliant. Thanks Ivana. That puts my mind at rest!