Author Topic: Utter beginner  (Read 14926 times)

indium

Utter beginner
« on: March 07, 2009, 05:30:36 PM »
OK. i apologise if this is in the wrong place, like the title says, i'm not at all sure about what i'm doing!
I've been wanting to learn Meditation for several years but all my solo attempts simply end up in me falling asleep. Though i have found the Meditation at the end of yoga classes doesn't have that effect. I stumbled across the 10 day retreat courses from  S.N. Goenka's centres. I live in the middle of nowhere so any course i do would have to be residential and this is the only one i've found that i can afford (and even this is pushing it). I was thinking about taking one of these but i'm not sure. I want/need to do something to give me more control over my mind and emotions but would this be too hard core to start with? Is there a less intense version available somewhere? Should i take the fact that i'm finding my self obsessing over the trivial practicalities of the course(how do i get there, do i have to share a room, can i still take my medications etc) rather than the big scary bits( 4.am, no food, no books, no mobile, no escape etc etc) as a sign that i'm not ready or serious enough for it?

i know this isn't a  S.N. Goenka forum and that's the point, i would kind of like an impartial answer rather than a 'its great. it'll change your life' one. Is there anyone here who's been to the hereford  S.N. Goenka centre- dhamma dipa- that can answer my trival questions so i can see if answering them helps me make a decision.

thanks in advance :)

frepi

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2009, 06:04:41 PM »
There are many Goenka tradition practitioners here along with other vipassana traditions and I am pretty sure that there are other meditation tradition practitioners also. So yes you are at the right place.
As a Goenka vipassana practitioner, I can only encourage you to go to one retreat. You should not regret this. It is tough but definitely worth it. You will come out of it with a clearer knowledge of what meditation is, without the romantic and false conceptions that are often seen. You will get a glimpse of what kind of tricks your mind plays on you and this is always good to know.
The room will be shared, this is the case for new students. I don't know what kind of medication you take but you should follow the doctor's instructions. Do observe the instructions given at the beginning of the course, the most important being not to take intoxicants. Some people went through pretty nasty experiences when mixing meditation and drugs. Please feel free to ask any questions you have, all will be answered with the best of our habilities, without judgment.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 03:42:58 AM by frepi »

pamojjam

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 03:48:33 AM »

Welcome Indium,

... but would this be too hard core to start with?

Everyone is different and only you can know yourself enough if it would be too hard core for you. And that only after having done one.

However, there is still also the vipassana meditation tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin - the teacher of SN Goenka where he originally learnt vipassana meditation:

http://www.internationalmeditationcentre.org/

From there Goenka took the 10-day retreat format and due to standardization it became much more what could be call 'hard core' now.

However, even at IMC's you have the oportunity to sit together with other meditators in the hall from 4:30 onwards, usually have to share a room with other meditators - and certainly aren't encouraged to stop with any medication you've been prescribed - but talk with the present teacher about it beforehand.

But the probably biggest differences between IMC's and Goenka's centers are:

- there is a suggested donation of £240 at IMC-UK
- though as a beginner you should start on the first day, you can leave on any of the following days and aren't scared that it would be harmful to you, if you would leave earlier (as in Goenka courses)
- meditation breaks are much longer, and with difficulties you are usually asked to relax and take a break
- as long as you don't disturb others you wont be disciplined (trivial examples: taking a run or having a cigarette away from others - something which would never be allowed in a Goenka center)
- teachers are accessible at almost all the times (and not only a single opportunity to meet the teacher privately during lunch break - or whenever you're in serious trouble already)
- teachers are much more down to earth, don't get there food served like celebrities - but serve themself together with other meditators and wash their dishes themself
- beginners have 2 regular interviews in the meditation hall daily - and not as many in 10 days only
- no video discourses in the evenings - but at about 5:30 (when you're about to fall asleep again ;-) and 18:00 read by the teacher from the book 'Knowing Anicca and the Way to Nibbana' (by Sayagyi U Chit Tin, published by the International Meditation Centres in the tradition of Sayagyi U Ba Khin)
- though I consider the food at Goenka's appropriate - the quality and varity at IMC's is really a treat. Not eating in the afternoon is a personal and voluntary choice
- you are not asked to sit completely still for 1 hour 3 times a day from day 3 onwards, but only not to leave the hall during these group sits

I've been to Hereford too. Due to standardisation it runs in exactly the same strict way as any other Goenka Center around the world.

Either way, really everyone started this kind of meditation as an utter beginner, there is simply no way to prepare for the 8 to 10 hours sitting daily - than to sit for that long. And not only on your first course.

hope that helps a bid further,

all the best with you decision


Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 07:56:26 AM »
indium,

I have not attended a Goenka course. There are points on which I feel strongly these courses are misleading, having analysed the content, style and reports from around the internet.

That is not to say that going on a Goenka course will not help you but in my opinion there are better ways to start.

You could attend some time on retreat at Amaravati Buddhist centre which is not all far away from Hereford. I can not remember the costs but they are quite low and you can just go for a weekend or a few days for the first time, tell them you are a beginner meditator and would like some instruction from a monk or nun and the chance to do some sitting practice.

If you are near the Southwest I thoroughly recommend doing a one week retreat at "The Barn" on the Sharpham estate near Totness. It is very low level - a mixture of silence for half of the day with three one hour sittings and some work in the organic vegetable garden. Taken in a small group you cook and share meals together with the managers of the barn and speakers from SharphamBuddhist College and elsewhere come in and give a couple of talks during the week. It really can help you get a taste of the self-connection that meditation brings. The costs are negotiable if your finances are short - i.e. they have bursaries.

The other possibility is to start yourself. There is a very helpful book called Mindfulness in Plain English linked from the Dhamma Library section if you search. It's available as an e-book so you can download it, start learning and practicing.

This you can do today !

That way you will already have established some base in meditation before going to any retreat. You can start meditating twice a day for as little as ten minutes (but more is more useful 1/2 hr minimum is good).

There is also a thread here called "meditation for beginners" which describes a basic Shamatha (calming) and Vipassana (insight) meditation approach from which you could gain the knowledge to start a practice routine.

There is one thing in meditation that is very important: being in it.

Matthew
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 08:24:56 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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upekkha

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 08:04:24 AM »
hi indium,

i've been to the hereford centre and I found it absolutely beautiful..
it is very nice there this time of year, and the course i attended was very helpful,

i would highly recommend this course for beginners, as I attended it as a beginner aswell, and it is in no way too harsh or too hardcore for most people.
if you decide to attend it, you will be taken care of by caring people.

anyway, it is good ofcourse to hear other people's opinions before deciding (though I didnt know anything besides being told "go, its good for you." and i did, and it was!) - though make sure to take what people say with a pinch of salt, since every person is different and has much different views on issues such as this, but in general, if you must listen to what other people experienced in these courses, try to actually see what is universal - and also understand that those who have never attended such courses, do not know the actual experience and are actually speculating based on different things.



enjoy!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 08:09:24 AM by upekkha »

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 08:21:30 AM »
also understand that those who have never attended such courses, do not know the actual experience and are actually speculating based on different things.

upekha,

I plainly stated at the start of my post I have not been to a Goenka course. I plainly stated "There are points on which I feel strongly these courses are misleading, having analysed the content, style and reports from around the internet".

This is not speculation, this is analysis and there is a difference. Please refrain from trying to put down other peoples' posts based on  your own bias. To call my post speculation is an ad-hominem attack - you accuse me of speculating whilst you actually have no idea yourself what research and analysis I have done and are thus nothing more than a speculator yourself.

Do not undermine other people with your words in a backhand manner like this please - it is not beneficial speech. If there are specific points you wish to raise with someone do so directly with reasoned thinking, not speculative passive-aggressive insults. We have been down that road before and it is not a good one.

Thank you,

Matthew
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upekkha

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 09:27:56 AM »
hi Matthew,
no harm intended, though I do believe this is speculation,
just like one can speculate about enlightenment all one wants but until one reaches there it is still within the realm of speculation.

just like I'll speculate how Norway looks like, and I've never been to Norway,
i might have seen pictures of Norway, people from Norway, books on Norway, but once i'll get there I'll probably realize most of what I thought of how Norway feels like is wrong.

so - before I got to Norway, I'll start telling people: 'hey, I've seen pictures of Norway, read books on Norway, met people from Norway, and i must say, it is a horrible place! i don't recommend you going there'.

same way on this topic in my opinion :)

please dont take me the wrong way i don't mean to offend you.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 10:15:00 AM by upekkha »

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 10:01:44 AM »
Repeating crap still makes it crap. That isn't an opinion.

To expand on that I have never put my head in an oven but I know for certain it is a bad idea so your Norway analogy doesn't work. Less than 5% of people return to a Vipassana course again. No one knows for sure except the Goenka people but that is a fair probability of being about the number.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 05:43:49 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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pimpoum

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 05:14:18 PM »
When are you going indium? I'm going to do my first retreat in April, and it will be in Hereford!

indium

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 05:30:54 PM »
i'm still vacillating about whether to go or not! I have had nightmares about it so that's not a good sign. do they search you on the way in and remove all contraband?  ;D.

Plus, from what I've read, if I fill in the form honestly they'll only tell me to come back when i'm not taking medication. I might take a rain check on it and come back if i manage to get a job where i can afford it (train tickets to get there and the like) and not lose money taking time off to go to it. But i am still contemplating it

pimpoum

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2009, 06:10:46 PM »
Wow, nightmares...now I feel like I'm taking the thing a bit lightly. I know it is hard and that but I have absolutely no reference point about how hard it could be apart from my daily practice which I enjoy a lot, so I don't really think about it. I guess I'll see when I'm there...I'll post about here my newbie's experience

frepi

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2009, 06:40:20 PM »
i'm still vacillating about whether to go or not! I have had nightmares about it so that's not a good sign. do they search you on the way in and remove all contraband?  ;D.
This is a clear sign that you should go. You are starting to fantasize and that fear will grow unless you kill it by facing the truth.

Plus, from what I've read, if I fill in the form honestly they'll only tell me to come back when i'm not taking medication.
I do not think this is true. You should tell them what kind of medication you take. This is just normal. If you become unconscious for any reason and you need to go to the hospital, they have to be able to tell the doctor what medication you take. This doesn't give them the right to force you to stop taking your drugs. I was taking medication when I went to both retreats. The teacher knew it and encouraged me to keep on taking them. I would have kept on taking them even if he had said otherwise: it is none of his business.

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2009, 07:24:15 PM »
indium

Roughly where are you in the UK? I'll have a look and see what is useful near you.

Yes they take any contraband when you enter - unless you sneak it in. If the medication you are on is psychotropic and you have a mental health diagnosis then you could discuss this with the Hereford centre if you want to go there and they may or may not accept you.

However, I would strongly warn against attending a Goenka retreat anyway - if this is the case - there are better places to do a retreat, especially your first.

Matthew
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mettajoey

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2009, 10:42:08 PM »
i'm still vacillating about whether to go or not! I have had nightmares about it so that's not a good sign. do they search you on the way in and remove all contraband?  ;D.

Plus, from what I've read, if I fill in the form honestly they'll only tell me to come back when i'm not taking medication. I might take a rain check on it and come back if i manage to get a job where i can afford it (train tickets to get there and the like) and not lose money taking time off to go to it. But i am still contemplating it

Hi Indium,
Interesting nick.

At the Goenka retreat I attended I was not searched, lol.  They do ask you do not bring certain things in but in my experience I felt the demands were fair and helpful to the process.  Normal medication should not be a problem and I found the volunteers to be very accommodating.

I too wanted to learn a good meditation technique and indeed you will.  Just the experience of the silent 9.5 days is an very interesting ride.  Thousands of people do it and have an intense experience.  You will want to flee by the third day (all of us did) but you'll really miss out if you go. 

Cost was a big factor for me as well, so that's why I went to the Goenka retreat.  The people were great during my time there and I went back a sort time after to serve on a 3-day.  That happened to be over Thanksgiving here in the States and turned out to be one of the most memorable Thanksgivings I've ever had.  The folks serving really clicked as a unit and we got many compliments about the food.

Good luck on your path anyway you decide to go.

Warmly,
-Joe


The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

indium

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2009, 11:47:58 PM »
indium

Roughly where are you in the UK? I'll have a look and see what is useful near you.
I'm in the north of scotland. the only one i know of up here is http://www.meditateinscotland.org/

Quote
If the medication you are on is psychotropic and you have a mental health diagnosis then you could discuss this with the Hereford centre if you want to go there and they may or may not accept you.
Yup. long term mental health issues, one of the things i want to try and make easier with meditation. I do think asking for that sort of info on their part is...well...quite frankly none of their beeswax.


frepi

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2009, 12:25:36 AM »
... Less than 5% of people return to a Vipassana course again. No one knows for sure except the Goenka people but that is a fair probability of being about the number.

This observation has no value unless you can compare it with another type of meditation that:

1. Draws approximately the same numbers of beginners per year
2. Beginners come the the same geographic areas as the ones attending Goenka's retreats
3. Beginners come from the same demographic as the ones attending Goenka's retreats

5% might not be such a small group after all if compared to other meditation traditions.  Besides, Goenka aims ordinairy people, not those who aim to become monks or nuns. A lot of people will have their fill after one course.

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2009, 01:24:41 AM »
indium

Roughly where are you in the UK? I'll have a look and see what is useful near you.
I'm in the north of scotland. the only one i know of up here is http://www.meditateinscotland.org/

Quote
If the medication you are on is psychotropic and you have a mental health diagnosis then you could discuss this with the Hereford centre if you want to go there and they may or may not accept you.
Yup. long term mental health issues, one of the things i want to try and make easier with meditation. I do think asking for that sort of info on their part is...well...quite frankly none of their beeswax.

Indium,

I'll have a look and see what I can discover - there is a lot more out there. EDIT: Ok the site you linked to is the New Kadampa Tradition which is rejected by the whole of the rest of Tibetan Buddhism and most mainstream Buddhism. I do not know them personally but people I know who have visited have not come back with great reports. If any of the Samye Ling sites listed on this link are near you they would probably be more useful:

http://www.samyeling.org/index.php?module=Pagesetter&tid=2

I understand not even the Dalai Lama's books are allowed to be read by Geshe Kalsang Gyatso's students, his method is the "only way" and you are not allowed to follow any other teacher or teachings.

When it comes to the medication/psych issue, I'm sorry but must disagree - they are not wrong to take this attitude. I have seen plenty of people go totally doodle ally in meditation centres including a "renowned British Buddhist and psychotherapist", several times published, who went screaming loony. Meditation has been a great part of a hard healing journey for me and it can be for you - but a gentler technique is needed than Goenka.

Any retreat is an intense mind altering experience and I would be cautious in recommending a Goenka retreat for anyone - even without mental health issues. People kill themselves on these retreats at times and the quality from centre to centre and course to course can be extremely varied with some assistant teachers very skilled and apt whilst others have been described as robot like and lacking empathy.

However, if you do a Goenka retreat you will be getting up at 4 or 5 am for ten days, remaining in total silence, except for listening to Goenka for one hour a day on a video, and spending an inappropriate amount of time meditating.

It is much wiser to take a slow approach to learning meditation, in your own home, using "Midfulness in Plain English" as your guide. There is an online and pdf version linked from the library section you can download it and start reading and meditating for free. Then perhaps go to a more established tradition than Goenka and learn Vipassana and build on what you learned at home.

I would definitely not recommend Goenka retreats for people with mental health issues and neither does the Goenka organisation.

Quote
People with serious mental disorders have occasionally come to Vipassana courses with the unrealistic expectation that the technique will cure or alleviate their mental problems. Unstable interpersonal relationships and a history of various treatments can be additional factors which make it difficult for such people to benefit from, or even complete, a ten-day course. Our capacity as a nonprofessional volunteer organization makes it impossible for us to properly care for people with these backgrounds. Although Vipassana meditation is beneficial for most people, it is not a substitute for medical or psychiatric treatment and we do not recommend it for people with serious psychiatric disorders.

Matthew
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:59:58 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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frepi

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2009, 01:59:36 AM »
I agree with Matthew on that. Goenka's meditation retreats should not be used as an alternative to psychiatry. It is clearly written in their web site. Meditation is a form of auto-brainwashing. The washer has to be relatively stable way for the washing to be done correctly. Goenka's retreat are tough and uncompromising. This is not a place where you'll find support. They are meant to make you feel alone so you can't run away from yourself. Though I enjoyed this situation a lot , I see how it could become very frightening for some.

I would choose a smoother path instead. Start by yourself, slowly. Talk to your therapist about it if you have one.

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2009, 02:23:19 AM »
There is also a 90 day online course that costs $125 BUT if you haven't got the money they will do a discount for you.

http://www.vipassana.com/course/app.php

:)
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 02:24:11 AM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
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upekkha

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2009, 02:39:25 AM »
Repeating crap still makes it crap. That isn't an opinion.

To expand on that I have never put my head in an oven but I know for certain it is a bad idea so your Norway analogy doesn't work. Less than 5% of people return to a Vipassana course again. No one knows for sure except the Goenka people but that is a fair probability of being about the number.

Jeez matthew,

I feel like you're taking this extremely personal,
All I was stating is that one cannot judge things such as these without trying them man!

If you really want to sway people away of something that might be the best thing that they ever discovered (their own minds), you should atleast just attend one 10 day retreat yourself,  and you don't have to start being all aggressive about these things, stating things are crap, trying to rebunk what is being said.. using weird analogies ("stick your head in an oven"? what is that) i thought this is a place for serious, compassionate, real and mature discussion, and not a playground to get upset in.

I think its seriously missing the point when you start taking things to aggressive lines in a place which fosters the practice of dhamma, of kindness and good wishes.

If your aim is enlightenment, Goenka courses sure take you closer to that goal, with no doubt.

you can read negative reviews on the web all you want, but from the experience of countless thousands of people, most say that it has been a very good experience, even if only 5% come back for more courses (you might want to look up something more official like the VRI or something, so lets leave this statistic in its own realm - speculation or hearsay).

I am not saying that you cannot personally think its crap, thats seriously fine, and matters nothing to those who take advantage of these opportunities for serious meditation practice, but truely, you will never know unless you try!

you've been meditating for many years haven't you? how do you find this discussion has helped your own practice?

may you read this post and see it in a compassionate way of telling you to wake up to reality.

[by the way, im seriously not relating to anything to do with mental illness and taking intensive retreats, and i also think that is probably not a good idea, so we agree on this one atleast :)]
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 03:06:58 AM by upekkha »

Matthew

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Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2009, 08:54:09 AM »
Repeating crap still makes it crap. That isn't an opinion.

To expand on that I have never put my head in an oven but I know for certain it is a bad idea so your Norway analogy doesn't work. Less than 5% of people return to a Vipassana course again. No one knows for sure except the Goenka people but that is a fair probability of being about the number.

.....

All I was stating is that one cannot judge things such as these without trying them man!

As you are unable to judge things without trying them, then try putting your head in the oven with the gas on and tell me how the experiment goes.

I do have the ability to judge some things without trying them because I have the frames of reference needed to do so.

Not taking this personally - merely stating that repeating the same argument is pointless. Goenka will not take you to enlightenment. You all go on about the thousands of people who take the course. Where are the enlightened products of this manufacturing line?

In manufacturing there are a few points at which things largely go wrong: bad materials or bad design or processes. I know the "many thousands" of people who took a Goenka course are all fully capable of waking up completely, so bad materials can not be blamed.

However not one of the followers of Goenka, after decades of teaching, has reached the point where he can turn off the VCR with Goenka on. This is cultism and spiritual failure and marketing of a guru. My last word on the subject because I do not want to degenerate into another long debate. My view is Goenka's method, logic and understanding of his own realisation are deeply faulted and this shows in the many issues that arise around him and his school and courses which have been debated at length.

And if his method really works, my petty little views will be water off a ducks back to the Goenka practitioners. Failing that learn to live with the fact that some people have grave reservations about this man. If your confidence in him and his method is so strong and it works you will not find yourself attached to it and wishing to defend it. You can just ignore me.

Some of the Buddha's followers gained full awakening in days. Says it all - he was teaching something very different to Goenka, who though he says he is not teaching "Buddhism", clearly is trying to, but just says he is not because of the political expediences of Indian culture.

Matthew
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upekkha

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2009, 11:42:10 AM »
Mate your post is seriously big and i find it extremely off topic,

I seriously didn't wish to have a "is this the Buddha's path to enlightenment" discussion, because you are not an enlightened master, and also have not tried this method so you are judging it based on your limited experience,

all I am saying is that in order to seriously judge this technique, and realize what it is, you must try it,
obviously that's up to you, but you are instead again and again discrediting something which might just be something very good, and if you look a bit into the Suttas you will see that there are karmic consequences to such maligning,

A humble person would not criticize harshly other people practicing, especially if he has very limited experience with what they practice, and also did not ever try it for himself!


Again, to make this point clear: I don't care what you say about Goenka, it is definitely not important for those who are and will benefit from his teaching, but for your own good - examine your own fat ego which keeps telling you that you know everything about the Dhamma, about meditation, and that you are fit to criticize one of today's most respected Vipassana meditation masters.

If you are not at least a stream enterer, or even better, an arahat, you are certainly not fit to examine these things by your own limited experience, but in your case its even sadder, because you never even tried to experience his teaching first hand. (by the way, using the anonymity of this forum, you will probably not believe this, but I have spoken to several people who have entered the stream, or have even went beyond that to higher levels of enlightenment, and have meditated in this way. some of them only started with body scanning and moved on to more 'free-awareness', and some meditated just with body-scanning and later expanding awareness to the other 3 foundations. What the Buddha discovered is right here for anyone to discover, by seeing closely and continuously as possible the 3 characteristics of every mental and physical phenomena, and THAT is Vipassana, no matter who teaches it, Goenka, or anyone else.)


In regards to 'this technique will not take you to enlightenment', again, your ego seems to make you blind to the fact you have never tried it and are judging it without any experience, and you know what I think about that.

Matthew, to make this absolutely clear to you - this has nothing to do with whether the meditation technique taught by Goenka is good, or not good, it is about your lack of ability to realize that you are not fit to judge these things by mere reading or hearsay, and if you think you do, that's quite a delusion!

So instead, I'm just trying to help you see your own fault, for your own good, and I will not be helped or harmed by this.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 12:06:18 PM by upekkha »

frepi

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2009, 01:17:05 PM »
i'm still vacillating about whether to go or not! I have had nightmares about it so that's not a good sign. do they search you on the way in and remove all contraband?  ;D.
This is a clear sign that you should go. You are starting to fantasize and that fear will grow unless you kill it by facing the truth.

Plus, from what I've read, if I fill in the form honestly they'll only tell me to come back when i'm not taking medication.
I do not think this is true. You should tell them what kind of medication you take. This is just normal. If you become unconscious for any reason and you need to go to the hospital, they have to be able to tell the doctor what medication you take. This doesn't give them the right to force you to stop taking your drugs. I was taking medication when I went to both retreats. The teacher knew it and encouraged me to keep on taking them. I would have kept on taking them even if he had said otherwise: it is none of his business.

I agree with Matthew on that. Goenka's meditation retreats should not be used as an alternative to psychiatry. It is clearly written in their web site. Meditation is a form of auto-brainwashing. The washer has to be relatively stable way for the washing to be done correctly. Goenka's retreat are tough and uncompromising. This is not a place where you'll find support. They are meant to make you feel alone so you can't run away from yourself. Though I enjoyed this situation a lot , I see how it could become very frightening for some.

I would choose a smoother path instead. Start by yourself, slowly. Talk to your therapist about it if you have one.


Hum.. talk about self-contradiction

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Member
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • Buddhism is a practical psychology and philosophy, not a religion.
    • If you cling to view, you must know this limits your potential.
Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2009, 01:31:58 PM »
Mate your post is seriously big and i find it extremely off topic,
...
So instead, I'm just trying to help you see your own fault, for your own good, and I will not be helped or harmed by this.


1) Your first complaint is something you are indulging in.

2) You know nothing about me, my practice or level of realisation.

3) Look within.

4) Have you tried the oven experiment? I ask for your own benefit. If you are incapable of understanding the teaching that metaphor represents and the way it demolishes your argument, I apologise and will try another:

5) When someone tells me they are going to sell me a horse and they turn up with a chicken I can spot the difference. I never owned a chicken or a horse in my life.

Matthew
« Last Edit: March 10, 2009, 01:35:55 PM by The Irreverent Buddhist »
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

indium

Re: Utter beginner
« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2009, 03:07:26 PM »
well that's certainly given me a lot to think about.

for the record both my Psychiatrist and my therapist think learning meditation would be helpful to me. I'm just trying to find a way that's practical for me. After having tried on my own and with several online methods and gizmos i think that i do need to be taught, it seems to be something that i find difficult to learn. Even if its just someone who prods me awake every couple of minutes!

Thank you for the list of more local centres. At the moment they're way out of my budget but who know what the future may bring

 

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