Author Topic: Leaving course  (Read 5651 times)

Silvia

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Leaving course
« on: January 01, 2011, 08:01:54 PM »
I am just coming out of a 4-day course from The Glind, in the Netherlands where I was rejected by the teacher Junger Stowasser.
I was not able to attend one class in the afternoon because of severe dizziness and headache which I have been suffering from before starting the course. And the teachter found that becasue I was not getting better it was best to leave the building on 1st January at 17pm from the centre located in the middle of nowhere.
So basically he was saying full of compassion (!) that a student who was sick had to leave the course immediately. And he did not care how that would have taken place. In other words Mrs Stowasser was dumping a dizzy student on the street because he was disturbin the other students by not being in the meditation hall.

I find this is an arguable point, besides he refused to take care of someone who could in principle not be able to walk home alone.

I am seriously thinking of putting this case in the hands of my lawyer.


Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Leaving course
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2011, 09:49:00 PM »
Hello Silvia,

What a weird way to start the new year!
I hope that you are home now, as I suppose you are.
And if the dizzyness and headache are still there, I hope you can give them the treatment they need. Of course you are angry with the behaviour that you sketch, and of course you are disappointed that you could not finish your course.
A lot of people on this forum have good experiences with Goenka retreats, and one or two had lousy experiences.
At the website of dhamma.org I see, that this course was for those who at least had done a 10-day retreat in the Goenka-system before. So I suppose you had an idea of what to expect, and i suppose you can handle this.
A lot could be said, but I will not - at least not in this moment.
I will just wish you a very good and fruitful 2011.

Be well,

Quardamon

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Leaving course
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2011, 10:31:53 AM »
Hello Silvia,

What a weird way to start the new year!
I hope that you are home now, as I suppose you are.
And if the dizzyness and headache are still there, I hope you can give them the treatment they need. Of course you are angry with the behaviour that you sketch, and of course you are disappointed that you could not finish your course.
A lot of people on this forum have good experiences with Goenka retreats, and one or two had lousy experiences.
At the website of dhamma.org I see, that this course was for those who at least had done a 10-day retreat in the Goenka-system before. So I suppose you had an idea of what to expect, and i suppose you can handle this.
A lot could be said, but I will not - at least not in this moment.
I will just wish you a very good and fruitful 2011.

Be well,

Quardamon

Well said Quardamon,

Welcome to the forum Silvia, you are far from alone in having had a negative experience such as this - and I agree it shows a total misunderstanding of compassion at work.

I have made your post and Quardamon's and my replies into a new topic so the other thread did not get all mixed up.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: January 02, 2011, 10:37:44 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Silvia

  • Guest
Re: Leaving course- Better: forced to leave the course by the teachte
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2011, 01:04:26 AM »
Hello,

Thank you for your replies, and for having found a more appropriate mess
I have to make clear that I have attended a 10-day course and I have served in another 10-day course. Both experiences very extremely positive, and I know you have to work hard to get out the best of it.
I am only puzzled at the idea that the teachter along with the manager (Jasmijn) was not showing any compassion at all at someone who was sick and could not arrange leaving the building with his/her means on that day. They totally lacked diplomacy as well as compassion in my view.
Nothing to say about the technique, becase it is unarguably effective. Sometimes are just the people around the guru/master that louse it up. It's their desperate attempt to imitate the enlightened that makes me sick. That's why I won't give up meditating, I will just steer clear from Vipassana centres.

Vivek

  • Moderator
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    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2011, 05:01:38 AM »
Sorry to hear about your experience, Silvia. I hope you are OK now. Probably it's best to stay away from such centres for a while and focus on practicing by yourself. As the Buddha says, you are your own master; you are your own refuge.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2011, 10:39:16 AM »
Hello Silvia,

I know the Goenka-style only from reading and a few DVD's. I get the impression that rules are held in high esteem in this system, because that helps to allow assitant-teachers to teach, which again helps to serve a lot of people.
Also I got the impression that Goenka gives the impression that his style is the only one worthy of the name "vipassana". Are you aware that there are other visappana centers and courses, also in the Netherlands? You can look around at http://www.simsara.nl and at http://www.ubakhin.net.

All the best,

Quardamon

PostScritum: Vivek, I like your Status: Trying hard to let all things take their natural course.

Vivek

  • Moderator
  • Staff
    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2011, 11:01:28 AM »
:) Hey, thanks Quardamon. Indeed, sometimes it's so difficult!
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2011, 11:13:55 AM »
:) Hey, thanks Quardamon. Indeed, sometimes it's so difficult!

There is an inherent contradiction in "trying hard" and "let things take their natural course" ... totally get what you're getting at though :) being true to the nature of now, trying not to get in the way of the flow.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2011, 11:15:08 AM »
.... I get the impression that rules are held in high esteem in this system, because that helps to allow assitant-teachers to teach, .......

My feeling is that the rules are held in high esteem because the teachers are neither allowed to teach nor capable of it.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Silvia

  • Guest
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2011, 10:14:27 PM »
Hello Quardamom,

I think we worship Goenka and his technique too much here. We have to go back to where we belong to, whether we like it or not: the earth. And live our lives as ordinary human beings.
We have to show compassion to our neighbours, enemies, tax office, politicians, even to the klu klux klan. I reckon this is what Mr Goenka keeps on teaching us. Right? That's what I am talking about!! You can't pretend to be a teacher if you fail to put this principle into practice whenever you have to face life's challenges!
Do you kick out someone in need of assistance in the name of the rules? What are we? Just another bureaucratic institution?
At least this is what I make out of Mr Stowasser behaviour. He's following the rules and not being a simple, compassionate human being as I would expect from someone who's called a vipassana teacher. What did he learn then? Just how to put on Goenka's CDs???

Sorry guys, but this mr teachter completely lacks common sense here.
Where are the values he preaches all the time?

We cannot keep on floating above this world and pretending is a paradise. Sometimes it is not! And we have to face it! Period.
How do you make it a better place then. What do you ACTUALLY do in the world to make it a better place.
Do you just stick to the rules???
Pretty shallow I'd say.

I am not going to any other Vipassana centre.
I believe I can be my own master, don't need these guys to teach me anything else.

Krishnamurti was right. There is too much ego on this planet.

« Last Edit: January 03, 2011, 10:22:26 PM by Silvia »

kidnovice

  • Member
    • Theravada: with nuts and bolts from Goenka-ji, and fine tuning from Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2011, 04:03:15 AM »
Silvia,

I'm really sorry to hear about your experience. Sounds pretty crappy! I've certainly noticed inconsistent quality amongst AT's (though the few authorized teachers I've met have been pretty awesome), and it seems like you encountered an extreme case.

I also have to say that I think its wonderful that you are channeling your energy toward strengthening your solitary practice. That is quite inspiring. Just keep in mind that there will surely come a time when you can once again benefit from community (or simply retreat). When that time comes, you may consider exploring other types of vipassana, a different Goenka center, or maybe even returning to the same center under the guidance of a different teacher.

When you have sufficiently cooled-off, you may also wish to send a polite message to the actual teacher in charge of your region, explaining what happened. It really was a terrible lapse in judgment to send you off, unsupervised, and uncared for. Negligence, pure and simple. You might be surprised by how responsive the teacher is. At the very least, he or she should be notified of this sort of thing.

With metta,
KN
May we cultivate the serenity to accept the things we cannot change; the compassion to change the things we can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

Vivek

  • Moderator
  • Staff
    • Advaita & U Ba Khin's tradition
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2011, 05:00:27 AM »
Quote
There is an inherent contradiction in "trying hard" and "let things take their natural course" ... totally get what you're getting at though  being true to the nature of now, trying not to get in the way of the flow.
Totally agree, Matthew. :) When I wrote that, I was aware of the inherent contradiction. Maybe  the "trying hard" is my major obstacle ;D
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Quardamon

  • Member
    • Teachers were: P.K.K. Mettavihari, Frits Koster, Nel Kliphuis. (In the line of Mahasi Sayadaw)
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2011, 12:43:36 PM »
Hello Silvia,

Sorry for responding so late.
I found myself being quite impressed with your anger, and hoping it would not be anger against me. For a good understanding: Not everybody here admires Goenka. I, for one thing,  mistrust S.N. Goenka seeing how he builds an imperium. But I do not want to judge too hard, after what Lokuttara wrote about him in a reaction to my post. (See http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,1259.15.html , 22 and 23 december.)
Matthew, the administrator of this site, disagrees with the meditation technique Goenka teaches.
And I personally do not stick to the rules, no. In the retreats I did I came to the conclusion that you get rules, yes. And they are there to help you. And when there comes a point that they violate your integrity, you are to trespass the rules. In other words: When there is a point that you see that sticking to the rules would make you a coward, you are to step forward and be bravehearted and stand for it. Tell the teacher that you broke the rules. To my experience, the teacher will check wether you are sincere, whether you are in one piece, and wether you are straightforward. I understand that that was more important to them than than simply sticking to the rules. (I am not saying they will change the rules for other persons. I am saying they can respect a decision.)
If you hoped I would join in your anger, than I will disappoint you. I am not in your position, and I will not write an angry or a kind letter to the teacher responsible for the region. I do regard your entry as a valuable one.

Well then, I stop here.
Be well,

Quardamon

nelcalb

  • Member
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2011, 04:34:09 PM »



b
« Last Edit: January 05, 2011, 04:46:19 PM by nelcalb »

maybeiam

  • Member
  • Nature is a beautiful peace to be
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #14 on: January 06, 2011, 02:48:27 AM »
Why accusing this persons and saying their names ?
dont do that.

Let it be ~~


« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 02:52:09 AM by maybeiam »
Bless you

budo

  • Guest
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2011, 05:06:01 AM »
It is sad that there are such strong contradictions. A religion or philosophy that emphasizes compassion can have the coldest people. I have met "Buddhists" that were extremely rude and despicable. At the end of the day, the labels mean nothing and are empty, e.g. Buddhist, Christian, Mormon, Jewish, etc.. you can find good people and bad people everywhere regardless of affiliation.

Do not let one experience speak for the whole. If that were the case for me, I would have abandoned Buddhism long ago.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2011, 05:08:11 AM by budo »

DuaneWhite

  • Member
Re: Leaving course
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2011, 10:46:20 PM »
Hi sylvia, i was there too the same time you were, and de glind just sucks. The one in belgium  is a real center

 

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