Author Topic: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC  (Read 5999 times)


Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« on: May 20, 2012, 06:16:16 PM »
Hello to all on VipassanaForum -

It's great to be here and I look forward to participating.

Having meditated a number of years, I discovered Vipassana about a month when I saw the The Dhamma Brothers film on Oprah's Super Soul Sunday.  Immediately I wanted to try it, but fearing my aching knees would keep me from getting on the floor at a 10-day Vipassana course and from sleeping on a low cot, I downloaded Goenka's The Art of Living, bought his Evening Discourses and tried a self-course at home.  All went well until day 4 when I became certain I didn't really understand the Vipassana technique for focusing on the body. I found a local group who gave me some help at a price I doubled as a donation (apparently they expected another donation at the end). By Day 6 I realized it wasn't working so I stopped. Now I'm inquiring at both a Goenka retreat and IMC International in MD.  Can anyone compare these two or are their approaches and results essentially the same?

May we be well, happy and safe.



Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2012, 10:14:50 PM »
Hey GrandmaBuddha,

Great to have you here  :)

I have only practised in the goenka tradition so I'm afraid I can't really make a comparison. What techniques have you practised before?

and results essentially the same?

What results exactly are you looking for?



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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2012, 04:00:59 AM »
Welcome GB,

Used to have said knee problems with traditional sitting, not anymore since i found out sitting on a chair works just as well. I agree that finding a good teacher would be very helpful but they are not easy to come by; maybe if you tell us in which area you are looking for a retreat, someone with experience in that area can offer some advice.

Practice at home is also very good, even when things don`t seem to go your way. Maybe some of the best results come from the manner we respond to those very times when things don`t go our way. :)
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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2012, 11:41:40 AM »
Hello GB, welcome. Both Global Vipassana Foundation (Goenkajis') and IMC follow Sayagyi U Ba Khin's tradition, so, you would more or less find the same approach in both. I wouldn't recommend a novice to Vipassana learn Sayagyi U Ba Khin's method through self-course. The best and safe approach is to attend a retreat. Advanced Vipassana practitioners do self-course from time to time, but only when they have learned all aspects of the theory and practice of Vipassana. You may want to try attending a retreat in IMC. IMC retreats are less rigorous than those of GVFs. If you find that the technique is helpful to you, you may eventually try attending GVF retreat.
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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2012, 08:29:48 PM »
Hello GB - welcome to the forum.

Could ask your question again in the "practice, meditation and the path" board please so the discussion doesn't get lost in space!


EDIT: To save duplication I just moved your OP and the responses here. Please let me know if you want the name of the thread changed.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2012, 09:32:23 PM by Matthew »
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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2012, 05:37:45 AM »
Thanks all for the replies and to Matthew for moving the thread here.  Prior to my self-try at Vipassana, my meditation practice consisted of hodgepodge I like: pranayama, followed by chakra clearing using chants then usually primordial sound meditation.  It benefited me tremendously and along the way I had an absolutely extraordinary spiritual experiences which convinced me to go "all the way." So now I'm like the Buddha seeking final enlightenment and looking for my Bodhi tree.

Goenka's The Art of Living is one of the sanest books I've ever read.  Looking forward to the end of study, the end of thinking, and the constant experience of pure being.  Somehow it doesn't feel far away.

By the way, anyone ever had headaches after a few days of Vispassana?



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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2012, 06:18:24 AM »
The technique has a way of bringing out old diseases and ailments to the surface. So, it is not uncommon that practitioners report head ache, knee pain, other joint pains, slight nausea etc. In a retreat setting, you will get ample guidance to learn how to deal with symptoms like these.
Let's go beyond this illusion, shall we?


Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2012, 05:19:32 AM »
Thanks, Vivek.


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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2012, 02:24:31 PM »

I have been to both retreats. I have been going to Goenka Jee for over six years and attended IMC last december.

Time table and structure of both the course are same.

Only noticable difference I found was that IMC is much much much more relaxed and offers a lot of flexibilty like at Goenka Jee's, you are encouraged maintain Addithana (strong determination) after the 4th day for an hour, 3 times a day. But there was not mention of this at IMC. Also, both the centres observe noble silence for 10 day period but IMC limited right speech is permitted. Finally, the food is luxurious food because they say if good food is provided, meditation will be better as the craving for food will be less.

One final point, volunteers were allowed to smoke outside of the centre.

Where as at Goenka jee, the whole atmosphere is very strict and draconian.

Personally, both the courses were very beneficial. I have learnt determination, dedication, devotion and discipline when I first started Vipassana (Dhmma Shringa) in Nepal and have learnt to apply these principles in more relaxed manner from IMC

Hope that helps.


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Re: Knees, retreats, Goenka and IMC
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2012, 05:28:45 AM »
You know, there is 12 weeks Online course in the tradition of Mother Sayamagyi (IMC). I done it. Good for people that never meditated before but also refreshing for strong meditators. The course in run by Andrew Quernmore @ Vipassana Fellowship. Next course will start in September 2012.


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