Author Topic: Law of Attraction - Vipassana  (Read 8471 times)

sage

Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« on: April 17, 2012, 03:06:41 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I have been practicing vipassana with S.N. Goenka for 5 years now.  I did several retreats in past years and I do sit daily at least an hour. 

I am recently involved with an law of attraction group and getting really confused how the philosophies of two things contrast each other. And therefore I am confusing myself It feels. As law of attraction asks to have a strong desire for the things to attract to our lives, in vipassana there does not seem to be any desires or wants, but only observations.

I would appreciate any feedback and/or insight in this matter!

Vivek

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 04:06:15 PM »
LoA works on the assumption that all the goodies in life are "out there" in the world, and you have to set your mind with proper visualizations etc, to "attract" them to your life. So, you don't have millions of dollars, or the fancy car, or the big house, because something is inherently wrong with your thinking. So, you have to set your thinking straight and "magic" will happen. Personally, I don't subscribe to this view. To me, it looks like magical thinking.

Any way, the point is, LoA is all about desiring and going after what we desire. While, Vipassana is about observing the mental-bodily processes to attain the state of desirelessness, or perfect peace. So, there is your confusion. I am not saying that worldly prosperity is bad, it's just that LoA's stress on strengthening one's desire for things in order to attain them, just does not ring true to me. There is not enough concrete proof that people have become successful solely by applying the teachings in LoA.

 If you want to learn more in the domain of achievement/success, then Jack Kanfield, Michael Neill and Chris Payne are good teachers to look for. Their teachings are more down-to-earth and practical, and you will also not feel that you are going against Vipassana or something.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 04:08:51 PM by Vivek »
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

Matthew

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 05:12:01 PM »
Here's what you need to know about "law of attraction" or "The Secret" groups:

Secret secrets of THE SECRET revealed
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Quardamon

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 06:24:54 PM »
Hello Sage,

You say: "And therefore I am confusing myself It feels."
, although you know perfectly well what is really confusing you:
"law of attraction asks to have a strong desire for the things to attract to our lives, in vipassana there does not seem to be any desires or wants, but only observations."

So, it is a really existing contradiction that is confusing you. You are not confusing yourself.

Keeping this clear helps to avoid making the confusion all too important. You are not confused, but the visions behind vipassana and Laws of Attraction contradict one another.
So pick your choice.

In the 1970-ies we had the "Laws of Manifestation", taught at the Findhorn community in Scotland. In that view,
- you would only ask for what you needed
- you would visualise it as good and precise as you can,
- making your wish or prayer at the same time
- then let go of the desire and even all thoughts of what you had wished
and finally
- if you did not get it within a reasonable amount of time, take that as the feedback of the universe: probably you needed something else.   :angel:
So it was magical thinking in a more elegant coat than what I read about The Secret or Laws of Attraction.

Now I am going to say something from a different point of view:
You see how the philosophies of two things contrast with each other. So you are forced to choose, or to drop both.
Somehow, it is in the character of any philosophy and religion to want you (and anyone) to choose. An other possibility that I see, is widening the philosophy when really needed.
Like with: "if you did not get it within a reasonable amount of time, take that as the feedback of the universe: probably you needed something else."
When I do vipassana on the cushion, I do not only sense my body and thoughts and emotions, but also my aura - not systematically, but it happens. I never asked permission to do that. I mentioned it to my last teacher casually, and he accepted the fact casually. I widened the scope of my awareness because I needed to. (The feelings were simply there. The only other option was to actively deny them existence. Which has the willing-quality of magic, not the acceptance-quality of vipassana.)
 
I am convinced, that magical thinking is also part of human life. There is a lot of magical thinking around on what an enlightened person can do, for instance, or on what it would bring to society if more people would meditate.

Well I will stop now, otherwise I would go on and on.

Be well.

PS: How is this, that for the first time I see, that the spelling checker wants to change "vipassana" in "assassinate" ???    Weird.  :-[

Masauwu

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 07:50:05 PM »
As law of attraction asks to have a strong desire for the things to attract to our lives, in vipassana there does not seem to be any desires or wants, but only observations.
Tonight in the ring, wearing the blue shorts, it's the dhamma with its 4 noble truths; in the opposite corner, wearing the red shorts, it's the "law" of attraction. :)

The dhamma tells that craving leads to suffering, while the "law" of attraction promotes craving. You`ve tested both paths, the choice is yours.
The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

sage

Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2012, 09:36:01 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I wasn’t thinking of quitting Vipassana at all. Goenka slightly touches on the subject towards to end of his courses on how after the course some of the student’s lives are going to change or improve for better and all. Honestly, I have been looking forward to those magical moments…however, they never seem to happen to me.  :) I guess I wanted dwell on that little bit through LoA.  I know it sounds like clinching, but actually for me it was more like exploring what else we can create with our amazing minds.

And therefore I confused myself more.  :)

Quardamon – I loved your approach. Thanks again everyone. 

Andrew

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2012, 02:01:01 AM »
if you put LoA into practice in the direction of dhamma, in the manner of thinking thoughts about how it may be to be free and happy without conditions, and seeing what you could do now to bring that about, then went about doing that enough, you may find getting to the cushion and remembering to pay happy attention a little easier.

It will save you heaps on books too, just read the back cover in the book store; there isn't much more to the philosophy than 'think about what is important to you alot and eventually you will get off (or on) your arse and get it done'  :P
getting it done

frepie

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2012, 02:37:51 AM »
Goenka slightly touches on the subject towards to end of his courses on how after the course some of the student’s lives are going to change or improve for better and all.

Practicing mindfulness meditation changes one's life but usually not in the ways expected.  Vipassana or any kind of meditation will not bring you wealth (unless you write books like Tolle), or cure diseases or make you hover a few centimeters above your meditation cushion.  It will change your outlook on life, whatever life may bring.  That particular message of Goenka can be misinterpreted as a promise of objective transformations in the practitioner's life when in fact these changes are subjective.
Meditation makes me angry...

sage

Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2012, 02:21:24 PM »
Frepie, my last course was two years ago; it has been a while and I may not be remembering it correctly. However, If I do, Goenka mentions - some of the students might be promoted at work and such… A work promotion is a pretty worldly, objective thing.

Again, my whole adventure is not about promotions, more money, a red sports car or anything in that nature. May be the real question in my case is I might be having trouble bringing the success I have on the cushion to life. Yes, I do get sounds in my right ear during and sometimes outside of meditation; I do get those flash light experiences. I am amazing on the cushion most of the time.  :)  I do practice a Buddhist meditation, but end up living a life of a humanbeing in a pretty competitive workplace full off angry and hostile human beings, for instance.

Now as I think and write about it, it seems I was actually trying to find ways to make that gap between cushion and real life little smaller.

Vivek

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2012, 03:35:51 PM »
"Success" in the cushion and success in the world, two entirely different things. Visions, great experiences etc on the cushion, not viable indicators of success in Vipassana. Goenkaji does mention positive, worldly benefits that practitioners get, but those are just the by-products of a wholesome living. Such benefits will come in its own time, the more we hanker for them or worry about them or brood over them, the more they will remain away from us. So, let go, relax, and observe.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?

michael4422

Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2012, 11:06:15 PM »
I think you can both grow in the direction of Vipassana and also utilize the LoA. Certainly not WHILE doing Vipassana :)

I still live in the world with desires. I don't think there is anything wrong with knowing what I want in life and learning how to change my brain state to more likely get that.

I'm going to revisit a favorite book of mine called the Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard.


frepie

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2012, 12:29:24 AM »
The LoA is basically the innate early childhood desire to have control over all that surrounds us.  When a baby is born, he (or she or it) cannot make the difference between himself and the outside world.  As he grows older, this separation gets clearer and clearer but this primitive desire remains unsatisfied. 
But thinking that you can shape the world so it fits your desire is a dead end. If the LoA would exist,  how come there is still war in Iraq, Afghanistan? Is it because they in reality desire war?  How come there are still occupied territories in Palestine?
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 03:19:29 AM by frepie »
Meditation makes me angry...

michael4422

Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2012, 09:22:20 PM »
I think the LoA has nothing to do with making the outside world conform to your wants and wishes. There is no magical component with the LoA. The LoA changes your brain and your focus so that you may see opportunities and things that you wouldn't have before. They were there all along but until you changed the way you thought they were "invisible" to you.

Matthew

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    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 09:29:17 PM »
I think the LoA has nothing to do with making the outside world conform to your wants and wishes. There is no magical component with the LoA. The LoA changes your brain and your focus so that you may see opportunities and things that you wouldn't have before. They were there all along but until you changed the way you thought they were "invisible" to you.


There is no magical component to LOA however there is a component which makes it contrary to vipassana/mindfulness work: It is working on unconscious levels to meet your worldly desires, whilst mindfulness work is about bringing the unconscious into consciousness and undoing the habitual nature of these worldly desires.
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

DarkNightOfNoSoul

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Re: Law of Attraction - Vipassana
« Reply #14 on: April 19, 2012, 09:47:41 PM »
I think the LoA has nothing to do with making the outside world conform to your wants and wishes. There is no magical component with the LoA. The LoA changes your brain and your focus so that you may see opportunities and things that you wouldn't have before. They were there all along but until you changed the way you thought they were "invisible" to you.

I think that's probably your personal interpretation of the LoA. If you watch movies like "The Secret" and "What the Bleep", and read the various books on the LoA, they clearly claim that through the power of quantum woo, the universe will provide you with whatever it is you desire. "Consciousness creates reality" and all that.

If you really could obtain everything you desire and keep it permanently, that would be great, and there would be no problem. In reality, we usually fail to obtain what we want, and even when we do obtain the desired object, it's temporary, and we will eventually lose it. Therefore, there is suffering embedded in our desires. The wise approach is not to keep chasing those desires, but to step back and examine the reasons we have those desires in the first place.

 

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