Author Topic: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?  (Read 5695 times)

Krystal

  • Guest
First, thank you for being here. Thank you for specifically stating in your sign-up the distinction between SN Goenka and vipassana. Thank you to the people who mention their negative opinions about Goenka retreats and still continue their practice. It's really important for me to separate the practice from the man and to learn that his is not the only way. I will separate my experience and put that below my more immediate question to you all:

About six months ago, I started mixing anapana and vipassana meditation (as Goenka teaches) with a hybrid of metta and law of attraction style visualization and found very obvious results in what manifested in my day. I am inspired to hone my vipassana technique, which at this point in my path seems to be the best way to train my mind to focus.

I have tried to keep up on my one hour sits in the morning and evening for the last month, but am struggling to do even 15 minutes a day. How can I find the motivation to sit? I know it works and gives immediate results, but for some reason when it comes to the decision in the morning between sitting or having tea and browsing through my favorite blogs, the tea and computer win.

Feel free to stop reading here. :)

Krystal

======================================================
My experience with two SN Goenka retreats:

It's relieving, albeit somewhat shocking, to have the feelings I have about brainwashing, elitism, hypocrisy, and dogma validated by recently reading through other posts here and elsewhere on the net. I have tried two retreats, one about 4 years ago in California where I quit smoking (and it stuck) and one last month in Spain. During these retreats, I have learned a very useful technique. I loved the silence, the food, the strict schedule, and waking up every morning to a peaceful bell (and I did so with a smile on my face). I even embrace the challenge of sitting still for the hour and have found it to be very helpful.

My major resistance is when it comes to the talks. My first retreat, they rubbed me so wrong that I gave up trying to do the practice and allowed other things to occupy my mind and just enjoyed the silence and clarity of mind. I had some anger come up around feelings of taking part in a mass brainwashing, but mostly countered it with the thought that if there is going to be brainwashing going on, there are much worse things to be implanting into people's minds than equanimity and self-discipline. I do remember wondering on the 10th day, however, why anyone would ever do this twice and swearing never to return.

My recent positive experiences with meditation made me think that I might be able to work through the resistance I encountered previously, and I was inspired to try another course. During this second course, I again felt very at peace. I found the roots of a few minor but repeating negative manifestations in my daily life. I signed up to talk with the assistant teacher almost daily about the biggest question I had each day, something I didn't do at all the previous time and I realized the importance of doing this. I fell right into a headspace that was so clear I was able to consistently dialog with my internal guidance/wisdom voice, where normally that comes in fleeting feelings or a simple yes/no at most.

The 4th, 5th, and 6th day evening TV increasingly activated my anger. After the 7th day, the hypocrisy, although in itself is minimal, was enough to need an outlet for sorting through it and really figuring out what I believe instead of simply allowing this man's beliefs to penetrate into my mind when I'm most vulnerable to external input. As a writer, I find that the best way to do this is to write through everything. After talking to the manager and a special quick session right after the night talk with the assistant teacher, I was still not allowed paper and pen. Could I call someone I trust and sort through these issues that were coming up? No. The only thing I could do was talk to the assistant teacher, who was part of the system I was having issues with. So I left the night of the 7th day after a minor scene with one of the volunteers as I was trying to retrieve my cell phone and wallet. I did not tolerate being treated like a child who just needed a timeout very well.

I had tremendous clarity for the next few days I spent in a hotel. It's too bad they are that strict, because all I needed was a piece of paper and a pen to sort this out within myself.

I understand that writing and intellectualizing can be a major distraction from the meditation head space. So then, why is there a talk each evening that increasingly moves away from the practical details of the technique and into morality and living guidelines, which requires intellectual contemplation unless accepted with blind faith? I also understand that following the rules that have been passed down is important in preserving the discipline within a specific practice. So then, why is one of the precepts for older students blatantly impossible to follow? I certainly wouldn't consider my very comfortable mattress on the top bunk to be in line with "refrain[ing] from sleeping on high or luxurious beds."

These contradictions are hypocritical and only supports my suspicion that this is intentional brainwashing. Perhaps with good intention and even positive results in the world, but brainwashing nonetheless. I would never recommend it to anyone I respected as an individual human being with a desire to find their own inner wisdom and guidance.

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: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2010, 10:51:55 AM »
First, thank you for being here. Thank you for specifically stating in your sign-up the distinction between SN Goenka and vipassana. Thank you to the people who mention their negative opinions about Goenka retreats and still continue their practice. It's really important for me to separate the practice from the man and to learn that his is not the only way. I will separate my experience and put that below my more immediate question to you all:

About six months ago, I started mixing anapana and vipassana meditation (as Goenka teaches) with a hybrid of metta and law of attraction style visualization and found very obvious results in what manifested in my day. I am inspired to hone my vipassana technique, which at this point in my path seems to be the best way to train my mind to focus.

I have tried to keep up on my one hour sits in the morning and evening for the last month, but am struggling to do even 15 minutes a day. How can I find the motivation to sit? I know it works and gives immediate results, but for some reason when it comes to the decision in the morning between sitting or having tea and browsing through my favorite blogs, the tea and computer win.

Feel free to stop reading here. :)

Dear Krystal,

Welcome to the forums.

As you say, for you, the entertainment of sitting reading the computer wins out over meditation right now. It's not easy being a meditator and half the battle is actually doing it, getting your butt on the cushion.

Whether you achieve this will depend on how you are living your life off the cushion. Particularly mindfulness, focussed awareness as to why one is doing what one is doing, can beneficially be applied throughout the day. If you practice this you will become more aware of what draws you to distractions and ultimately of the inherent unsatisfactory nature of the "relief" they bring, which is temporary and feeds the need for more relief!

One of our members Crystal Palace summed up what could be considered a hard line to take in one's life off te cushion recently in a post. It's not a hard line, it's a line that holds you to practice and well worth considering:

Quote from: Crystal Palace

I too am in college and am currently living in a hostel. I can understand the problems you might be facing in trying to keep up the Dharmic life in the not so Dharmic environment of a college/school.

Here are some of the things I try to do to maintain my practice:

1. Left all social networking sites. They are not only big time wasters, but also huge playing fields for the ego. I remember in high school I would spend all the time on such sites. Once you get sucked in to them, its very hard to come out.

2. Keep socializing to an absolute minimum. In college it is very common to join XYZ club/society and then be involved in its day to day activities and politics. Its really useless.

3. Have a quiet room where I can practice meditation. Im grateful to my room mate in this regard, who I know from High school, that he does not listen to loud music or does other things that can become a distraction. We try to keep our room isolated so not many people come to our room otherwise in hostels its virtually like free entry and exit. Friends will come and go and come and go and it becomes impossible to have quiet time to oneself.

4. No intoxicants whatsoever. I have never really taken these so this one's not hard for me although again in college all this stuff is pretty common.

5. Keep a low profile. I used to be really extroverted in school and this can beome a real hindrance especially if girls are around and especially at this age, so this time in college, I didn't even 'build an image' that I knew would require a lot of time and energy to maintain.

6. Wholesome speech. This one's a real tester in college. Its very common to use swear words and just bitch about people and things. Its almost a fashion to use different and unique types of swear words but all of this can lead to breaking of sila on a daily basis, which is harmful for the practice. So I try to use no swear words at all and keep my talks to a minimum.

7. The issue regarding girls is a tricky one. While I understand girl chasing is a hindrance to the practice, I try hard not to have aversion towards them as well - that is I try hard not to deliberately avoid them. Ultimately even if you are looking for someone you would want to have a meaningful relationship and I have not found a single girl here who is interested in the Dhamma nor do I expect to. The girls here are just like the boys, to whom only the superficial relationships matter. So I feel that even if I can charm a girl she wouldn't be interested in the Dhamma and this thought puts me at ease in my behaviour around girls.

8. Only meaningful friends. In school I used to keep a high profile and virtually every person in my batch knew me. But in college I decided to interact with only those people who I thought would not hinder my growth on the path and although this means I have fewer friends I have much more meaningful relationships with them. 

9. Patience. Although we don't play music in our room, a lot of our neighbours play loud music. It can be disturbing especially if youre meditating, but I try to practice tolerance and patience whenever there's loud music being played and I reckon my ablilty to tolerate things has gone up because of that.

Therefore, although university has a higly undharmic environment, practice can nonetheless be continued if the determination is high. Comparing my life in school to my life in college, I feel more in control, peaceful and ultimately happy. Since I have seen the difference I am inspired to continue the Dhamma practice.

I want to leave you with a quote from the Dhammapada which has become a cornerstone in my attitude towards life.

Best Wishes,
Crystal Palace


Better than a thousand hollow words
Is one word that brings peace.
Better than a thousand hollow verses
Is one verse that brings peace.
Better than a hundred hollow lines
Is one line of the dharma, bringing peace.
It is better to conquer yourself
Than to win a thousand battles.
Then the victory is yours.
It cannot be taken from you,
Not by angels or by demons,
Heaven or hell.
Better than a hundred years of worship,
Better than a thousand offerings,
Better than giving up a thousand worldly ways
In order to win merit,
Better even than tending in the forest
A sacred flame for a hundred years -
Is one moment's reverence
For the man who has conquered himself.
To revere such a man,
A master old in virtue and holiness,
Is to have victory over life itself,
And beauty, strength and happiness.
Better than a hundred years of mischief
Is one day spent in contemplation.
Better than a hundred years of ignorance
Is one day spent in reflection.
Better than a hundred years of idleness
Is one day spent in determination.
Better to live one day
Wondering
How all things arise and pass away.
Better to live one hour
Seeing
The one life beyond the way.
Better to live one moment
In the moment
Of the way beyond the way.


Here he is applying the folds of the path which are not directly related to meditation but influence it. If you want to overcome the hurdles you are facing I would propose you also look honestly at the way you are living in other regards and see if there are things you are doing which encourage the wandering mind and reduce your focus.

I would also suggest you consider going back to the basics of Shamatha meditation as outlined in the Buddha's teachings,  on the subject and the practice of the four immeasurables in all your daily activities to set your mind constantly in the mood to meditate:

A basic understanding of meditation is that it:

  • firstly calms our body and mind through slowing down our habituated reactions and then;
  • allows us to develop insight to undo those habits and instead:

respond to life in a natural un-conditioned manner

The difference between a response and a reaction:

  • A reaction is habitual, conditioned and automatic: unthought and immediate.
  • A response is chosen from recognised and considered options: contemplated, which takes time.

Meditation in the Buddhist tradition largely falls into two kinds which are inseparable in practice. One practices both, beginning with calming the mind, through sitting and focussing on the bodily sensation and developing calm through breathing (this type of meditation is called Samatha (Pali) or śamatha (Sanskrit)) and is romanised as "Shamatha").

At the same time - and increasingly as your mind calms - you use that calm mind to gain "insight" or increase your awareness of how your body and mind function (this type of meditation is called Vipassanā (Pali) or vipaśyanā (Sanskrit) and is romanised as Vipassana).

In Shamatha the object of meditation is the breathing process and calming of body to begin - this is the most common and very effective as it joins body and mind at the same time as calming the mind. You can also use another internal or external object such as a candle or a visualisation of a Buddha or a mantra (repetition of words) - this is not really a good way forward however.

The Buddha taught "The Monk, putting mindfulness to the fore (being aware of or "watching"), breathes in aware of the breathe and calming the body, he breathes out aware of the breath and calming the body".

If you are like most of us from the modern world this stage will take a long time!

This watching or paying attention to needs to be focussed enough to maintain and increase your concentration whilst not being so forced as to deny whatever else is happening in your body and mind. In particular one still notices the thoughts that inevitably arise in the mind and feelings and emotions (which you will notice generally arise in the body) but one tries not to "get caught up in them" or "lost in them".

In practice this means that when the thought arises "Oh I have to go shopping later" you try to notice the thought then let it go, instead getting caught up in the usual tide of thoughts that follow "Oh I hate shopping. I must go though. We have no cheese. I want cheese on toast for dinner. I like cheese on toast".

Instead, you notice the thought, let it go, then gently return your attention to the object of meditation. Don't give yourself a hard time - at the beginning especially it is very hard not to get caught up in thoughts. The western mind is filled with guilt and self-criticism. Without being lazy, one must learn to accept with equanimity that this will happen, maintain enough discipline or "Shila" to keep going, and try not get caught up in chains of self -critical thought.

This process calms the mind, eventually staunches the flow of thoughts and you can reach a place of peace in your mind called calm-abiding or "Samadhi", or "One-pointedness". Thereafter the object of Shamatha changes.

It is important not to try too hard or you will actually end up hypnotising yourself into a kind of stupor or sloth or sleepiness instead of becoming more aware. Being a meditator is a personal journey and experience - no one can do it for you and neither can you "think yourself" or "discuss your way" into being a meditator. You have to sit - a lot.

Once calm abiding is established, and you have established at least the first four or eight bliss states or "Jhanas", the Vipassana part of being a meditator takes full effect.

With this calm and one-pointed mind one can focus on bodily sensations, patterns of thinking, feeling, perceiving and the stories we tell ourselves about "who I am". By seeing these for what they are we slowly unwind the habitual patterns that have accumulated in the subconscious mind over a lifetime and become fresh and free in our way of being and thinking.

We become what and who we really are - instead of the solid, habitual and conditioned set of reactions we are when we set out on this journey, we are awake to the moment and unprejudiced in every sense, seeing each moment in it's perfect glory and with untold compassion.

These conditioned reactions you call "Me", "I" and "Mine" are what Buddhists call "ego" and are a collection of habits of body, of perceiving, of feeling, of thinking and of storytelling.

These collections are called "heaps" or Skandhas" in Sanskrit.

Being a meditator is sometimes hard work and often boring. There is nothing in this world, however, that will give you greater control over your life than being in control of your mind: then it becomes a "tool to serve you" rather than a "wild tiger dragging you from here to there", as the Tibetan Masters like to say.

The only way to learn about meditation is to do it.

Just find a comfortable place to sit and relax. Take three deep breathes. Say "I shall relax". Breathe naturally, noticing the breath and the sensations in your body as you breath. Relax, with every breath develop calm and a sense of being happy in your body. Start there...

The most important aspect of meditation is what it does to you when you are not meditating!

Meditation changes you. When you change, so does the world around you. There is an important part of the puzzle that  has nothing to do with formal "sitting" meditation practice. This is Buddhist ethics called the "Brahmavihara" or "four immeasurables".

For those unfamiliar with the term (probably you if you are reading this introduction), the Bramaivihara are:

  • Metta/Maitri: loving-kindness towards all; the hope that a person will be well; loving kindness is "the wish that all sentient beings, without any exception, be happy."
  • Karuna: compassion; the hope that a person's sufferings will diminish; compassion is the "wish for all sentient beings to be free from suffering."
  • Mudita: altruistic joy in the accomplishments of a person, oneself or other; sympathetic joy, "is the wholesome attitude of rejoicing in the happiness and virtues of all sentient beings."
  • Upekkha/Upeksha: equanimity, or learning to accept both loss and gain, praise and blame, success and failure with detachment, equally, for oneself and for others; equanimity means "not to distinguish between friend, enemy or stranger, but regard every sentient being as equal. It is a clear-minded tranquil state of mind - not being overpowered by delusions, mental dullness or agitation.

- from Wikipedia.com

The Four Immeasurables are an intimate part of the path of being a meditator. They feed - and are fed by - one's personal meditation practice symbiotically.

Meditation "practice" is practice. The Four Immeasurables are the real thing.

They are a reflection of the quality of that practice, in terms of "off-the-cushion" change. That means how you manifest in the real world - the things you think, say and do. In promoting the attitudes they embody in one's life one will enjoy a less troubled and more peaceful mind and environment and thus place oneself in a position to get the most out of one's on-the-cushion time.

Tibetain teachers place great value on these qualities and also on conscious thought and reflection of such matters as another form of meditation - rather than only relying on Shamatha (calm-abiding) and Vipassana (insight) meditation.

In short I think a return to a more fundamental form of practice combined with honest self examination - and changing a few things based on that - is what will give you the motivation to sit.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jhananda

  • Guest
Re: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2010, 02:02:09 PM »
Hello Krystal, it sounds like you are reacting to the hypocrisy you found at a Goenka retreat, because you claim you are getting something out of the meditation practice.  I had the same problem when I was booted out of a Goenka retreat, then I got back to my home sangha and was treated like a pariah, then I was asked to resign from my board position for that sangha, after 12 years of membership.

So, I went searching for another sangha. When I could find no Buddhist priest, sangha or meditation teacher who valued my three decades of daily meditation practice and what I got out of meditation, I then went through a few years of realizing the depth and breadth of hypocrisy within Buddhism, which I found is just as hypocritical as I found Christianity and Hinduism to be.

I then read the suttas in translation and found some nagging feelings that the translations were deeply flawed, so I taught myself Pali and Sanskrit, and I realized that none of the highly respected meditation teachers could get much out of the practice of meditation with the translations so deeply flawed, and most probably did not meditate regularly and were part of a system that for two thousand years had appropriated, subverted and obfuscated the Buddha dhamma.  This means the sangha has been dead for more than 2,000 years.  So, be an island unto yourself, and get back on your cushion and practice meditation the way the Buddha actually taught it, and not how it has been misrepresented for thousands of years.

Be an island unto yourself
Maha-Parinibbana Sutta (DN-16)
33. "Therefore, ânanda, be islands unto yourselves, refuges unto yourselves, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as your island, the Dhamma as your refuge, seeking no other refuge.
"And how, ânanda, is a bhikkhu an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; with the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge?
34. "When he dwells contemplating the body in the body, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world; when he dwells contemplating feelings in feelings, the mind in the mind, and mental objects in mental objects, earnestly, clearly comprehending, and mindfully, after having overcome desire and sorrow in regard to the world, then, truly, he is an island unto himself, a refuge unto himself, seeking no external refuge; having the Dhamma as his island, the Dhamma as his refuge, seeking no other refuge.
35. "Those bhikkhus of mine, ânanda, who now or after I am gone, abide as an island unto themselves, as a refuge unto themselves, seeking no other refuge; having the Dhamma as their island and refuge, seeking no other refuge: it is they who will become the highest, [20] if they have the desire to learn."
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/pali/tipitaka/2Sutta-Pitaka/1Digha-Nikaya/Digha2/16-mahaparinibbana-e2.htm

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: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2010, 06:26:47 PM »
This place gives refuge to those who are earnestly walking the path. Some are in other Sanghas they find conducive to progress, many not.

Personally I have been a "member" of two highly dysfunctional Sanghas (not Goenkaji's), and find it is better to meet a variety of Buddhists and meditators with differing backgrounds, then relate to those I find help me progress on the path - whatever their affiliation.

Meditation or Buddhism share something absolutely basic - as Jhananda points out: it's a D.I.Y job.

If you don't "do it yourself", no one else will do it for you. This is also why endless debate is a distraction on the path and why this forum sticks to the practical side of helping each other with obstacles and understanding of putting the path into practice for oneself in ones life. Ultimately this is not a selfish endeavour but precisely the opposite. The further one progresses on the path the more self-less one becomes in daily life. Making space for the other comes naturally as one empties oneself of a lifetime of crap.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Krystal

  • Guest
Re: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2010, 09:12:56 PM »
I feel a similar disappointment to what I felt when I first came across the issues in Burma. I thought, "but it's a Buddhist country!"

What that did for me, however, was make me realize that no philosophy, no matter how pure its core, can be guaranteed to remain untainted from us humans and that I have to continually check in with my internal guidance to feel whether or not each aspect of what I am hearing/reading rings true for me. It is actually good to be forced back to this awareness. Perhaps I have been leaning too much on external teachings and expecting the discourses and retreats to take me to where I "should" be. I guess this last retreat did exactly that. :)

I'm glad to be here. I have more questions that belong in different topics. I have already gained a lot from the existence of this forum and numerous previous threads here, and I really appreciate your responses, so thanks again.

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2010, 07:42:59 AM »

I find it is better to meet a variety of Buddhists and meditators with differing backgrounds, then relate to those I find help me progress on the path - whatever their affiliation.


Matthew this is a very good approach and can be expanded to not just other buddhists but other religions as well. Narrowing yourself down strictly to one practice or school of thought can become a drawback if it is done at an early stage on the path.

I personally take a lot of inspiration from the Jain community here in India, and although there is a high deviation and corruption from the original teachings of Mahavira, concepts of non-violence, compassion, forgiveness and insistence on vegetarianism and simple diet are still particularly well enshrined in the culture. Where I do not find the Jain practices correct (especially the ascetic ones) I look upto the Hindu practices especially regarding yoga and pranayam (which I try to practice everyday for the sake of my physical health). I do not know much about Chrsitianity at this stage but would definitely want to read more about it.

In this way, I try to reduce my chances of falling into the trap of attachment towards a particular teaching and unwillingness to even discuss the positives of other practices. Lack of tolerance towards other teachings is symptomatic of a closed mind. Ofcourse, the ultimate yardstick to judge whether you are following the path correctly or not are the ones of humility, compassion and peace of mind. I would urge each person on this forum to consider this approach.
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Crystal Palace

  • Member
  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
    • Thai Forest Tradition
Re: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2010, 08:06:28 AM »

I have tried to keep up on my one hour sits in the morning and evening for the last month, but am struggling to do even 15 minutes a day. How can I find the motivation to sit? I know it works and gives immediate results, but for some reason when it comes to the decision in the morning between sitting or having tea and browsing through my favorite blogs, the tea and computer win.


Krystal,

It is highly tragic that you realize the importance of the Dhamma, are getting immediate results but are still not practising it. To beat this lethargy I would suggest a few practical tips:

If you are practising the Goenka technique, I would suggest you find out if there is a regular one day course in your city. Generally, there is one oneday course every week or month depending on the city. Attending these and meditating in a group is a good way to recharge the batteries and motivate oneself for the journey on the path.

If a one day course is not available find out if there is a regular one hour group sit. These are generally arranged at a fellow meditator's house in a small city where there is not a proper Dhamma centre.

If that's not the case or if you follow a different technique, see if there is anyone in your locality who also practices meditation. Then you can arrange your own weekly group sits together. It is great joy to meditate with Dhamma friends!

Remeber the time you fell sick. Were you not miserable then? If you are a man, imagine yourself getting bald. Whether you like it or not, it will happen. What will be your state then? If you are a woman, think of your beauty disappearing with age. How bad you feel then will be nothing compared to how bad you will feel when death will approach.

The best analogy I can give of our state is that we are all inside a car whose brakes have failed and it is travelling at 100 miles per hour towards a cliff. This cliff in your case and everyone else's is death. The only way you can get out is by jumping out of the car. In the process you might get hurt, but it will be far less a misery than falling into the cliff. Similarly the pain or boredom you encounter during meditation will be far less a misery than the sufferings of old age, attachment, ego and ultimately death.

Please do read this article that I have posted on this forum. Everytime I feel I have become lethargic or drawn too much into socializing, I read this and it sets the alarm bells ringing.

http://www.lamayeshe.com/index.php?sect=article&id=446

The point is not to scare you but to send home a cold fact: We will all have to die soon.

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Jhananda

  • Guest
Re: Reorienting myself after a Goenka retreat: how to find motivation to sit?
« Reply #7 on: February 28, 2010, 02:47:46 PM »
Krystal, I think it is good advice to seek out a local group and sit with them regularly, because it can help support our daily meditation practice. However, I believe we should also listen to the insight of our own intuition and follow its advice.  If you find the leader of an organization to be dogmatic or misinformed, and/or you find his support group cultish, then seek out a group that does not have these faults.  Instead, seek teachers who have an insightful understanding of the dhamma, and support groups that are tolerant, peaceful, open minded, and diligent in their study of philosophy and practice of meditation. 

If you cannot find such a group then start your own, because you may find that there are a number of people like yourself, who feel they want a better informed teachers and support groups (sangha).  This community here represents that kind of group, so does the Great Western Vehicle.  All one needs is a local meditation group that is aligned with such open minded and insightful understanding of the dhamma.

 

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