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Hello all

Do you think it's a good or bad idea to go to s Goenka retreat and basically ignore their Vipassana instruction and just practise Shamatha?
Would love to get your views about it.
Also another thing, I use to love the Goenka discourses, do you think they are still valid for the Shamatha way?

with Metta
I always mix the two, Shamatha first (say, mindfulness of breathing) followed by Vipassana after the mind has calmed down somewhat. Since nobody can see into your mind you can do what you like. I used to go my own way most of the time at the Buddhist centre, unless there was a guided meditation or Puja.
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Book Recommendations / Ray Long
« Last post by Timo on August 01, 2019, 08:35:24 AM »
Good morning, everyone,
Being new I may have missed it but I am surprised not to see "Ray Long" among the authors selected on the forum.
It is true that his approach is very anatomical but I think it is an interesting notion to understand yoga and meditation:)
Here's a link of all his books, enjoy!
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=ray+long+yoga&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
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They make you promise to use only Vipassana and no other technique. If you can live with that then I don't see why it would be bad. I myself haven't kept all my promises. One time, I kept a notebook to take notes, for example.

I can't say much about Mr Goenka's discourses. Sometimes I find a contradiction between what Goenka says and what some other people. For example, Goenka says "man ko vash mein karo" which to me translates to "Try to control your mind". Some others say "Don't try to control your mind."

I don't know if intuitively they mean the same thing. I don't know if concentration and focus is all that important in Shamata meditation.
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Hello all

I learned the Goenka style of Vipassana  many years ago and been practicing it on and off since then. recently I discovered on this site the Shamatha Vipassana way and it clicked with me. I been practicing it since then and I wish to continue doing so.

Now I would like to go for a short retreat as I have some time on my hands but there are no places that offer Shamatha Vipassana retreats around here. my only option is to go to a Goenka retreat center.

Do you think it's a good or bad idea to go to s Goenka retreat and basically ignore their Vipassana instruction and just practise Shamatha?

Would love to get your views about it.

Also another thing, I use to love the Goenka discourses, do you think they are still valid for the Shamatha way?

with Metta
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: concentration and awareness
« Last post by Goofaholix on July 27, 2019, 08:24:40 PM »
It sounds like you are trying to control awareness, probably moving it from object to object and concentrating on one object at a time.  Some meditation techniques promote this but it's only really suitable for retreat practice.

Awareness works automatically, it allows anything in, all you have to do is notice awareness is working and that will strengthen it.

Awareness is like a floodlight, it saturates everything in it's field, it sounds to me like you are trying to operate it like a spotlight moving from object to object concentrating on one at a time.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: concentration and awareness
« Last post by stillpointdancer on July 26, 2019, 12:27:56 PM »
As I meditate regularly Im slowly changing:  becoming more aware all the time or by default. Im not used to it yet but gradually  (I hope) i will come to appreciate this a way of life. One thing im currently struggling with is being more aware and its effect on my concentration. For example when reading a book you want to be fully engrossed in the story,  Lately while reading i become more aware of myself  doing tbe act of reading then this newfound awareness distracts me from the book and i have to take some effort to get back into the story. I think this is the same problem  thats causing my sleep difficulties. Im starting to fall asleep but then im aware of my changimg mental state and this wakes me up. So..... will this be resolved as i become used to this way of life, or am i doing something wrong or is there a better way of handling this? Thanks

Everything changes, and meditation brings about changes too. I consider myself lucky in that I got into meditation as a student, not through Buddhism or even meditation practice, but through relaxation tapes (I'm that old) which helped you improve in some way (they left a gap to include what you wanted improving in your life). I started to use them to sleep when in the middle of exams. When I started to experiment with insight meditation it meant that I already had lots of relaxation practices and even 'fun' meditations to call on when things started to happen.

The same goes for when I eventually started Buddhist practice. When the going got rough I could always use past practices, either during meditation practice at the Buddhist centre or at home when going through tough times. Even now I can play one of those relaxation tapes in my head, "You are feeling sleepy..." and be asleep in a couple of minutes. As Buddhists we need the practices which are designed to keep us safe mentally as we work through those designed to move us on.
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / concentration and awareness
« Last post by mobius on July 26, 2019, 01:31:05 AM »
As I meditate regularly Im slowly changing:  becoming more aware all the time or by default. Im not used to it yet but gradually  (I hope) i will come to appreciate this a way of life. One thing im currently struggling with is being more aware and its effect on my concentration. For example when reading a book you want to be fully engrossed in the story,  Lately while reading i become more aware of myself  doing tbe act of reading then this newfound awareness distracts me from the book and i have to take some effort to get back into the story. I think this is the same problem  thats causing my sleep difficulties. Im starting to fall asleep but then im aware of my changimg mental state and this wakes me up. So..... will this be resolved as i become used to this way of life, or am i doing something wrong or is there a better way of handling this? Thanks
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Meditation, Practice And The Path / Re: Hello, I am new to meditation.
« Last post by chin on July 25, 2019, 10:19:29 AM »
If it's Vipassana (or its precursor, Anapana) you want to practice, then the idea is to just observe the breath as it comes and goes naturally. You may notice that as soon as you start observing the breath, it changes - it becomes longer or shorter, lighter or heavier, ... If this happens, just observe that it has happened and try and notice the inner mechanism that causes it to happen.

As for breathing through the nose or mouth, I don't recall if any specific instruction is stated about this. But I would say just go with whatever happens naturally.
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HI Finnur,

Welcome to the forum.
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Hi everyone,

My name is Finnur and I’m very happy to be on this forum.

After dabbling in meditation for several years I did a 10 day Goenka-Vipassana retreat last May and have been keeping up the two hours a day so far.

Looking forward to hearing of other people’s experiences.
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