Author Topic: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...  (Read 4098 times)

Dingo

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Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« on: September 19, 2016, 09:02:40 PM »
Hello all,

A couple of weeks ago I finished my first ten day Goenka course.
During the course I ran into a couple of 'problems'...

The first three  days... Anapana, I found it difficult to just observe the natural breath. As soon as I observed the breath it seemed to change / got manipulated, causing slight hyperventilation at times.

Is it even possible to observe the breath while leaving it totally alone?

Then from day four on... Vipassana, I had a hard time scanning the body without visualising or tracing with my eyes (closed).

A couple of sessions I (guess) intuitively changed from scanning / sweeping to just being aware of different areas of bodily sensations simultaneously then watched these areas grow and finally connect so I felt sensations all over the body. These were the deepest sessions I experienced during the course.

How does the above alteration sound? I'd like to know because this became my practice from day seven on and is how I currently practice at home twice a day.

Isn't it similar to Samatha?

Thank you!  :)












Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 09:28:55 PM »
Yes, concentration or attention changes the quality of breath. The more you concentrate more thin the breath becomes. Try to listen to an aeroplane sound far away. U automatically hold breath.That is why in concentration techniques some times breath almost dissapears. If you try to be just aware of the breath and not concentrate on it then you would be looking at it as it is.


About visualization of body parts yes even after 7 years of practise I still do this, if I want I can turn this off for some time but i decided it to be not important to give too much attention to this phenomenon as it doesnt really help me in my goal of removing mental impurities.

I would advice you to open up the entire outer body first by moving pure awareness part to part. Then being aware of the entire body (most of it) becomes easy. U can practice it off cusion.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 09:35:19 PM by siddharthgode »

Laurent

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Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 09:39:28 PM »
Hi Dingo,

What you described reminds me my own experience of Goenka's first course.
In my opinion, it is similar to samatha (if you mean the technique described on the main page of this forum) when you observe sensations in the whole body while observing respiration.

Teej

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Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2016, 05:20:35 AM »
I still do it until now -- visualizing my body parts being felt, or at least tracing the sensations going downwards or upwards. It will not hinder mental purification, right?

Laurent

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Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 10:08:01 AM »
It is a normal habit of the mind but shouldn't be deliberated. Sometimes, mind tends to visualise, sometimes it will be something else.
Do not visualise deliberately, but accept those experiences, whatever they are.
Mind will still, and purify, when you don't react with craving or aversion to whatever happens.
Good luck, friends.
Metta.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 10:11:34 AM by Laurent »

Dingo

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Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 05:43:42 PM »
...I would advice you to open up the entire outer body first by moving pure awareness part to part. Then being aware of the entire body (most of it) becomes easy. U can practice it off cusion.

Thanks,
Do you mean strictly off cusion? or also off cusion whenever during the day?

Hi Dingo,

What you described reminds me my own experience of Goenka's first course.

Thanks,
Most students I talked with on day ten found it difficult to scan without visualising or tracing, I guess it's a common problem then?

In my opinion, it is similar to samatha (if you mean the technique described on the main page of this forum) when you observe sensations in the whole body while observing respiration.

Yes, I mean as described on the front page of the site / forum.

Laurent

  • Member
  • don't feed the troll
Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 10:50:40 PM »
Hi Dingo,

What you described reminds me my own experience of Goenka's first course.

Thanks,
Most students I talked with on day ten found it difficult to scan without visualising or tracing, I guess it's a common problem then?

Hello,

Yes, it is normal. The important is to not deliberately visualise, but when images appear, let them appear.
If you have difficulties to feel sensations without deliberately visualising, try to stay a little time on a most sensitive area like hands or feets, and observe sensations there some time. It is helpful for the mind to "learn" to observe sensations directly as they appear, without producing any visualisation, though most of the time mental images of the area do appear.
After this, you should probably find easier to feel sensations over the rest of the body.
You can also enlarge areas if it is difficult to observe little areas (and the samatha technique described on the main page of this forum is then very similar to this vipassana, when you enlarge attention to whole the body)

Practice kindly. When you do not feel clear sensations, it is not important, the importance should be seen on being present to the moment and letting go any sensations and mental images, stilling the mind. We can regard it as a purification process. Mind attitude is the important thing and will progressively adjust to the right attitude. We should be patient and not nervous, relaxing and deepening.
To speed up the development of the mind right attitude, i suggest you to read suttas. Buddha has admirably expressed how a disciple should regard dhamma practice and his words are very inspiring whoever practice this meditation method.
I wish you could check yourself how true those words are when you will reach deep levels of meditation.

Good luck and much metta.


« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 10:54:01 PM by Laurent »

Dingo

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Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2016, 09:13:07 AM »
Hi Dingo,

What you described reminds me my own experience of Goenka's first course.

Thanks,
Most students I talked with on day ten found it difficult to scan without visualising or tracing, I guess it's a common problem then?

Hello,

Yes, it is normal. The important is to not deliberately visualise, but when images appear, let them appear.
If you have difficulties to feel sensations without deliberately visualising, try to stay a little time on a most sensitive area like hands or feets, and observe sensations there some time. It is helpful for the mind to "learn" to observe sensations directly as they appear, without producing any visualisation, though most of the time mental images of the area do appear.
After this, you should probably find easier to feel sensations over the rest of the body.
You can also enlarge areas if it is difficult to observe little areas (and the samatha technique described on the main page of this forum is then very similar to this vipassana, when you enlarge attention to whole the body)

Practice kindly. When you do not feel clear sensations, it is not important, the importance should be seen on being present to the moment and letting go any sensations and mental images, stilling the mind. We can regard it as a purification process. Mind attitude is the important thing and will progressively adjust to the right attitude. We should be patient and not nervous, relaxing and deepening.
To speed up the development of the mind right attitude, i suggest you to read suttas. Buddha has admirably expressed how a disciple should regard dhamma practice and his words are very inspiring whoever practice this meditation method.
I wish you could check yourself how true those words are when you will reach deep levels of meditation.

Good luck and much metta.

Thanks Laurent!

Definitely going to incorporate the above.

Teej

  • Member
  • Who are you?
    • Goenka
Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2016, 04:20:48 AM »
Thanks Laurent! I think these are helpful techniques. There are times that I couldnt feel my sensations and even Anapana for an hour still can't make me concentrate. Usually when I stopped practicing for a long time.

Do you get to practice twice a day? I am still having a hard time meditating day and night esp when I have a job.

Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2016, 08:56:26 AM »
Quote
Do you mean strictly off cusion? or also off cusion whenever during the day?
On cusion  is better an concentration would be high and body opens up faster. It is also important to practice off cusion, may be when u feel comfortable doing it.

Laurent

  • Member
  • don't feed the troll
Re: Goenka newbie experience and a couple of questions...
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2016, 12:27:49 AM »
Thanks Laurent! I think these are helpful techniques. There are times that I couldnt feel my sensations and even Anapana for an hour still can't make me concentrate. Usually when I stopped practicing for a long time.

Do you get to practice twice a day? I am still having a hard time meditating day and night esp when I have a job.

Hello Teej,

No i am not that serious in my practice.
Currently, i can say i practice 2 hours/day, sometimes more.
I reduced some useless activities and spend more time with rest and sleep.
It is worth it in my case.
But i have the advantage of living alone.
Obviously, long term practice is a good way, even when you are not hard practicioner, but you can go quicker when you are a disciplined practicioner.
I try to become this but it is difficult.
The important is you find peace and happiness with your practice!
« Last Edit: September 28, 2016, 12:31:35 AM by Laurent »

 

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