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Dhamma for Disciples of Goenkaji's Vipassana II


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#1 RobertK

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 08:30 AM

QUOTE
the host of my website has unexpectedly closed it down. Now I put it up here:

Vipassana Inquiry

Wolfgang

Dear Wolfgang,
We can use this thread to discuss any points you made in your website.
Robert

#2 RobertK

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 06:02 AM

Hi wolfgang,
The advertsing for Goenka courses stresses 'non-sectarian'.
So it was interesting to read on your site that Goenka people seem to be just as - if not more so- than any other Buddhist group.
Robert

#3 Wolfgang

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:03 PM

Dear Robert,

Isn't it just natural that a Dhamma teacher, who talks a substantial amount of his discourses about 'universal'- and 'non-sectarian' Dhamma - still has somehow to struggle with exactly this issue?

However, I would never put Goenka disciples into the same 'ole category. Then say that they are even worse than this superficial category.

Just as I try not do put Abhidhamma people in a similar category - because some of them seem really to believe the study of Abhidhamma is the only way for all kind of personalities!


As one response to my side said:

QUOTE

Your kick-out is for me only one step on the long way of the natural process of the dissolving of an institution.

When an institution becomes bigger and bigger than there is a need to formulate more and more rules to conserve the essence. By this the original idea loses the freshness and people who like stiff rules dominate the institution by the time. Finally the essence is lost and some people will relaunch the original idea.

When Goenka is dead there will be a lot of changes.


Here is one random example from e-sangha, how one could perceive it:

QUOTE

I have just came from a Goenka 10 day retreat. What I like to say is this.

It is not as bad as some people claim it to be. Sure it is basic and probably not harsh enough for people with decades of meditation experience, but for newbies it is really good.

It was NOT strict as I expected it to be. Watches were not forbidden, deodorants were not forbiden, the schedule was VERY LIGHT. The fact that your keys are taken from you IS a very important symbolic action to make you sit through 10 days. Also there were periods of meditation as long as 2 hours (4:30-6:30 for example) and if you want to do Jhana (secretly then you can) I was not allowed to enter the meditation hall only during interview times.

I found the staff not to be super happy, but not sad either. This is a good thing as showing any extreme emotions may be suggestive of something.

The boundaries of the camp did not surprise me at all. After all, many New Agers may participate in such a camp and walk off into the lake to met "Jesus". Even though I would say people practice non goenka stuff, they were not kicked off and I didn't see any antagonism. The instructors didn't seem to be super obsessive when it came to people leaving the hall during the discourses.

While I do not approve of some aspects of Goenka's teaching, I think that his course is valuable to start with.

BTW, I recently dropped from one cult and the thoughts of cultism was deep on my mind. However I did not see any major elements of a cult in Goenka's course.

I strongly recommend this course to start with.


Kind regards...



#4 RobertK

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 01:25 PM

Dear Wolfgang
Yes that is a good point. The Goenka organisation is so huge that it probably needs a strict structure to keep things in order.
Robert

p.s. Would you like to post extracts from your site here so we can discuss them further?

#5 RobertK

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 07:54 AM

Dear Wolfgang
I saw on your site you wondered about other teachers of the U Ba Khin method including Robert Hover. His website is

http://www.imhealing.com/index.htm

Robert

#6 Wolfgang

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Posted 08 July 2006 - 12:58 PM

Dear Robert and all others,

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 7 2006, 09:54 AM) View Post

... you wondered about other teachers of the U Ba Khin method including Robert Hover.

many thanks for the link, I was really shocked! - I didn't know, should I laugh or cry? How far can one move from Dhamma after a life of practice, I thought. Hover already in the seventies wrote wired stuff, but that should not become worse. Now, at least, it becomes understandable why Goenkaji would separate from him.

Hover is known as the ballistic-missile engineer in Goenka's 10-day course discourses. Goenka tells the story that he was send by Sayagyi U Ba Khin to check how Robert Hover was doing in his meditation cell. Sri Narayan Goenka was quite surprissed, as he saw Hover standing up side down on his shoulders, violently shaking with his whole body. U Ba Khin allegedly only laughed and added, it would be OK, let all his sankharas come out. ...the strong sankharas of one who constructed ballistic missiles for atomic bombs...

After trying to read Hover's website (I only flew it over - his writing style is really deterring) and that those 4-5 westerners were authorized to teach by Sayagyi U Ba Khin after a meditation period of only 1 1/2 month in the case of Hover (3 1/2 in the case of Ruth Denison) and with only as little Dhamma as such short times permitted to receive personal instructions - it was really U Ba Khin who was too eager about choosing his western propagators - I think now (Beside, of course, authorization to teach the Dhamma to laypeople is itself a invented tradition. Begun by Aggamahapandita Ledi Sayadaw - when he authorized Saya Thetgyi)

I feel as if I have been lucky now - that Goenkaji's video tapes were the teacher who introduced me to Dhamma. (beside my deep gratitude to Goenkaji for him being the person intruducing me to Dhamma. Of course, via tapes is not what I idealy expected) Goenka, even as a convinced Hindu, at least did some homework. As also Aggamahapandita Rewata Dhamma personally confirmed to me. They knew each other from Burma and when Rewata Dhamma left Burma - Goenkaji allegedly came with questions and met for some private lessons with him. (Goenkaji also assisted U Ba Khin for 17 years translating for Hindi-disciples and received trained in teaching)



I always thought it natural that those figures, who had the charisma and power to ignite a spreading Vipassana tradition, like Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw or Sayagyi U Ba Khin, where followed by lesser successors - like Venerable U Pandita and U Goenka - who both seemingly simplified the teachings of their own teachers. Now I am no more sure about that.

In U Ba Khin's tradition I had this impression because I read reports of personally tutored disciples. For example in: 'Theravada Meditation', The Buddhist Transformation of Yoga, by Winston L. King (Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi) in the Chapter, 'Contemporary Theravada Meditation in Burma' (page 126).

Where Van Amersfoort (according to Hover authorized to teach Vipassana too, and as I deduce from this book's acount, after only 3 days of meditation!) relates how he was personaly guided by U Ba Khin.

A Quote from this book: Notwithstanding the creation of an U Ba Khin tradition, U Ba Khin's methodology is more difficult to describe prescribe precisely than some other teachings because he never wrote out a detailed manual and he was not a narrow traditionalist - though he was a completely devout Theravada Buddhist in thought and feeling. As a pragmatist he perceptively adapted his method to the needs and characters of his disciples. This, plus his immense charisma, yielded a "method" that, although generally in the vipassanic mold, was more of a master-disciple personal relationship than a cut-and dried technique.

- So different from Goenkaji's streamlined Video-tutorial. -


In respect to Mahasi's tradition I had this impression, because one German disrobed bhikkhu, authorised by Venerable Mahasi to teach (who allegedly only authorised Pali speakers) had told me - that the labeling, for which this tradition is so well known for, actually was thaught in a very subtle manner. Giving only, maybe 5 percent of one's attention to it. However, later teachers, as allegedly Venerable U Pandita, had droped such subtleties.

Everyone please understand that I never took any course in any of Mahasi's succeding traditions, so this could be completely wrong. But maybe one of the Venerables here, who have experiences with Mahasi's traditions, would have the kindness to correct me? I would appreciate that gratefully.


In this respect there is an anecdotal story of a layman and personal disciple of Venerable U Rewata Dhamma (authorised to teach shortly before U Rewata's death). In which Ven. Rewata went back to Burma after many years and visited and payed respect to his former teacher, Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw.

Ven. Mahasi, allegedly asked Ven. Rewatta Dhamma how his teaching is doing. And Ven. Rewata answered: Fine, but that he had to admit to his respected teacher that he no more thaught exactly the method he had received from his teacher. Venerable Mahasi allegedly only replyed not to worry, that with his teaching it had been similiar in respect to his teacher's method.

Thanks in advance for any corrections. Kind regards,

Wolfgang

#7 RobertK

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:43 AM

QUOTE
Hover is known as the ballistic-missile engineer in Goenka's 10-day course discourses. Goenka tells the story that he was send by Sayagyi U Ba Khin to check how Robert Hover was doing in his meditation cell. Sri Narayan Goenka was quite surprissed, as he saw Hover standing up side down on his shoulders, violently shaking with his whole body. U Ba Khin allegedly only laughed and added, it would be OK, let all his sankharas come out. ...the strong sankharas of one who constructed ballistic missiles for atomic bombs

Dear Wolfgang,
Your post has so many interesting points. I look at them one by one.
There is an idea put forward about using up "sankhara', is that something mr. Goenka teaches? Anyway it is not one I see in the texts.
There is no beginning to samsara, all of us have been made an infinite number of kamma. The idea that they could be somehow 'used up' sounds like the hindu/jain idea of doing austerities to bring an end to kamma. Not orthodox Theravda.
Robert

#8 RobertK

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 03:57 AM

QUOTE
After trying to read Hover's website (I only flew it over - his writing style is really deterring) and that those 4-5 westerners were authorized to teach by Sayagyi U Ba Khin after a meditation period of only 1 1/2 month in the case of Hover (3 1/2 in the case of Ruth Denison) and with only as little Dhamma as such short times permitted to receive personal instructions - it was really U Ba Khin who was too eager about choosing his western propagators - I think now (Beside, of course, authorization to teach the Dhamma to laypeople is itself a invented tradition. Begun by Aggamahapandita Ledi Sayadaw - when he authorized Saya Thetgyi

Ledi Sayadaw was a brilliant monk. He did however have some controversial writings.
Anyway where is the evidence that he taught this method where one concentrates on a point at the top of the head and once you feel sensations there sweep the body. As I understand it Mr. Goenka claims that this crucial method of vipassana was lost and then recently 'rediscovered'.. How likely is that? You would have thought that if the Buddha taught it, and it was the 'real' method to attain nibbana, he would have taught it again and again. How did the monks come to omitt it at all the councils. It is a very easy technique to remember and do. Would it not have pride of place in the Tipitaka?

Again you may have heard of Mogok Sayadaw, he was Ledi Saydaws most famous pupil and as his biography says
QUOTE
the great Ledi Sayadaw's Abhidhamma legacy came to be handed over to Mogok Sayadaw, who thus became the nation's leading Dhamma-kahtika Sayadaw in one great leap.

But Mogok sayadaw considered trying to find vedana at any one place wrong.
QUOTE
http://web.ukonline..../tdaing3.htm#21
Mogok Sayadaw

It is important for the Yogi to contemplate on Vedana where and when it arises. It has been a general practice to fix it on the chest or on the head but Vedana; appears anywhere in the body at an appropriate time, so it cannot be said that this sort of practice is right. It is like aiming an arrow at a wrong target. It may be said that nobody can make any agreement with Vedana. Nobody can fix Vedana in any particular place. It will arise where there is Phassa preceding. When a Yogi finds and believes that the Vedana he meditates on in one moment is the same one in another moment, it must be said that he has a long way to go. ..
It is important for the Yogis to remember that Vedana is not to be sought after purposely.

Robert

#9 RobertK

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Posted 09 July 2006 - 04:18 AM

Dear Wolfgang,
I like the way you really consider and try to see the weaknesses and strenghts of this tradtion that you have been with for so many years.
However, you are rather quick to suggest that the Abhidhamma is somehow different, or not as useful, as the Suttanta, maybe you even feel that it is not Buddhvacca. Can I ask why you would give so much validity to recent teachers, and apparently less to the Third basket of the Tipitaka?
You mention also Mahasi sayadaw on your site, and I think you studied with Pa Auk?
I assume you know about the difference of opinon betwen the two schools?
In fact the Mahasi people put out a book severely criticising Pa Auk Method. I am not trying to say who is right in their dispute, but want to suggest that these are times when we should by our own refuge and take refuge in the Dhamma (as elucidated in the Tipitaka). Taking refuge in a modern teacher/method is not the way, I think.
But I think you know this, as you say on your website.
QUOTE

http://vipassana-inq...de/_htm/vip.htm
Blind Beliefs:
In my case, on the contrary, I have to put Sutta and Vinaya below S. N. Goenka - and surrender to him completely (over and above my surrender to practice exactly according to the meditation instructions) - even if he holds different views to the Sutta or Vinaya of the Buddha ?


It is not difficult to make Dhamma seem straighforward and easily within anyones grasp. As you say to on the website, "reach the unthinking masses" . But Dhamma is not easy, it is sublime, it takes a SammasamBuddha to explain it.

This doesn't mean not respecting modern teachers, but we have to be ready to look directly and long and with piercing wisdom- and even be disappointed in some of them, if we really want to know what is the way.

Robert

#10 Wolfgang

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 05:48 PM

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 05:43 AM) View Post
Dear Wolfgang,
Your post has so many interesting points. I look at them one by one.
There is an idea put forward about using up "sankhara', is that something mr. Goenka teaches? Anyway it is not one I see in the texts.
There is no beginning to samsara, all of us have been made an infinite number of kamma. The idea that they could be somehow 'used up' sounds like the hindu/jain idea of doing austerities to bring an end to kamma. Not orthodox Theravda.
Robert

Dear Robert,

I agree with you that shankaras are as immeasurable as previous births and simply impossible to 'work out'.

However this idea of using up accumulated shankaras Goenka somehow connects to the idea - besides its probable Hindu background - that someone progressing in Dhamma, for example a Sotapana, can no more be reborn in states of woe. Therefore, such gross kamma which could have led anyone to the lower planes - according to this logic - would have been 'worked out'. At other times Goenka also likens this work-out of shankharas to the encounter with Mara.

What actualy can happen following Goenka's instructions: One can not help but see the impermanent nature of shankaras, and that does help. (I'm speaking of myself only)

Kind regards

#11 Wolfgang

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:10 PM

Dear Robert,
QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 05:57 AM) View Post
Ledi Sayadaw was a brilliant monk. He did however have some controversial writings.
Anyway where is the evidence that he taught this method where one concentrates on a point at the top of the head and once you feel sensations there sweep the body. As I understand it Mr. Goenka claims that this crucial method of vipassana was lost and then recently 'rediscovered'. How likely is that? You would have thought that if the Buddha taught it, and it was the 'real' method to attain nibbana, he would have taught it again and again. How did the monks come to omitt it at all the councils. It is a very easy technique to remember and do. Would it not have pride of place in the Tipitaka?

Robert

Just as unlikely as the assumption - that when the Buddha talked about four pillars of mindfulness - he actually meant only one. In my eyes this just puts the communicative skills of the Buddha down to such an extent, as if he could not express what he meant (?) (as also a few strange commentaries do - in my eyes only)

Again, most will oversee such putting down of the Buddha - in face of increased wholesomeness of their minds.

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 05:57 AM) View Post
Again you may have heard of Mogok Sayadaw, he was Ledi Saydaws most famous pupil and as his biography says: QUOTE
.. the great Ledi Sayadaw's Abhidhamma legacy came to be handed over to Mogok Sayadaw, who thus became the nation's leading Dhamma-kahtika Sayadaw in one great leap.

Biographies are most suspicious to me. Be it of Ven. Mogok Sayadaw or Saya Thetgyi.

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 05:57 AM) View Post
But Mogok sayadaw considered trying to find vedana at any one place wrong: QUOTE .. Nobody can fix Vedana in any particular place. It will arise where there is Phassa preceding. When a Yogi finds and believes that the Vedana he meditates on in one moment is the same one in another moment, it must be said that he has a long way to go. ..
It is important for the Yogis to remember that Vedana is not to be sought after purposely.

Sorry in advance for my disrespect, which is nevertheless directed only towards how Mogok Sayadaw statement is placed out of its context here:

Why anyone would want to fix vedana? Certainly no one who aims at seeing the impermanent nature of vedana.

Phassa and vedana arises and passes at any place in the body at any moment! So why would anyone have to seek it?

In my life before I started practice I puposely only seeked to avoid the ever-present reality of vedana!

Regards, ..

#12 Wolfgang

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Posted 19 August 2006 - 06:43 PM

Dear Robert,
QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 06:18 AM) View Post
However, you are rather quick to suggest that the Abhidhamma is somehow different, or not as useful, as the Suttanta, maybe you even feel that it is not Buddhvacca. Can I ask why you would give so much validity to recent teachers, and apparently less to the Third basket of the Tipitaka?

Because reading Abhidhamme made me not understand anything, and I repeatedly pointed out that I do not generalize this to mean the same for everyone.

Because through such recent teacher I started to understand what Mahayanist would call Buddha Nature: Anicca, Dukkha and Anatta of every dhamma as they appear in the present. Be it conceptual-, ultimate-, abhidhamma- or everyday reality.

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 06:18 AM) View Post
You mention also Mahasi sayadaw on your site, and I think you studied with Pa Auk?
I assume you know about the difference of opinon betwen the two schools?
In fact the Mahasi people put out a book severely criticising Pa Auk Method. I am not trying to say who is right in their dispute, but want to suggest that these are times when we should by our own refuge and take refuge in the Dhamma (as elucidated in the Tipitaka). Taking refuge in a modern teacher/method is not the way, I think.
But I think you know this, as you say on your website.

Dear Pha Auk Sayadaw was at one point as young and missionary to promote 'right view' too (as you still are - dear Robert. Replying your recent posts I almost started to feel as if I would be interrogated). - No wonder Pha Auk Sayadaw became criticized. - One effect of his youthful fever was that he was prohibited by the Myanmar Dhamma Police (Religious Council) to publish any of his books in Myanmar.

You are one of the few who really read my site, so you do know I only took refuge in the Buddha and not in a contemporary teacher!

QUOTE(RobertK @ Jul 9 2006, 06:18 AM) View Post
It is not difficult to make Dhamma seem straighforward and easily within anyones grasp. As you say to on the website, "reach the unthinking masses" . But Dhamma is not easy, it is sublime, it takes a SammasamBuddha to explain it.

This doesn't mean not respecting modern teachers, but we have to be ready to look directly and long and with piercing wisdom- and even be disappointed in some of them, if we really want to know what is the way.

Robert

Exactly. That's why I took refuge to the Buddha, the Dhamma and the Sangha. And not to books written after the Buddha. However, as always you are free to take refuge wherever you wish. Disappointment is just a vedana too which - until now - always had to past. That's the way - for me.

Many goodwishes ..

#13 Bhikkhu Pesala

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 03:13 PM

Not wishing to get involved in any controversy, I offer the following advice from the Venerable Mahāsi Sayādaw's Discourse on the Mālukyaputta Sutta.

Failure to Meditate on Mind Objects While Knowing
“Dhammam ñatvā sati mutthā, piyam nimittam manasi karoto.
Sārattacitto vedeti, tañca ajjhossa titthati.”

“Having thought of a mind object, one loses mindfulness.
Getting involved in the attraction of it, one feels the onset of desire that tries to imbibe it.”

Here, the term ‘dhamma’ - mind object, is not used in the abstract sense. It relates to the six bases of eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and mind. It creates the idea of male or female. It embraces the material qualities of life and nutrition. It includes all concepts of humanity or divinity, and all animals such as cattle, etc. It includes all inanimate object such as pots and pans, and buildings like houses. All sense-objects, whether real or imaginary, are dhammas. When ordinary individuals see things that exist in nature, they recognize them by concepts as trees, forests, and mountains. Those who are accomplished in knowledge by comprehension (sammasana-ñāna) and knowledge of arising and passing away (udayabbaya-ñāna) often see visions of deities, Arahants, and Buddhas, and other objects that are real flesh and blood. However they are seen, whether by the eye or the mind’s eye, the subject develops attachment or aversion to them in accordance with his or her feeling about them. Once these feelings arise, he or she becomes forgetful of the Dhamma, ingesting or imbibing what he or she thinks about. Then defilements arise. This is explained in the following stanza.
“Tassa vaddhanti vedanā, anekā dhammasambhavā;
Abhijjhā ca vihesā ca, cittamassūpahaññati.
Evamācinato dukkham, ārā nibbāna vuccati.”

“A multitude of passions such as covetousness and rage, springing from ideas, torments one who takes a firm hold of it, with the result that his mind becomes burdened with vexation. Therefore, nibbāna remains remote from one who would rather carry the burden of suffering than practise meditation.”

Meditating on Mind Objects Brings Nibbāna Near

The preceding stanzas show the darker side of life for the meditator. There is a brighter side, though, which is given in the following stanza.
“Na so rajjati dhammesu, dhammam ñatvā patissato;
Virattacitto vedeti, tañca nājjhossa titthati.”

“Passion remains undeveloped in him who recollects with mindfulness the idea he has known.
Thus freed from lust, he refuses to imbibe it.”

Here, ideas or dhammas - mental objects are not ultimate realities, but concepts (paññatti). However, mind-consciousness itself is an ultimate reality. It comprises thoughts and ideas created by the mind object. It appears, and disappears the next instant, so is impermanent. When a meditator visualises an object and notes it with mindfulness, it disappears as soon as it is noted. What actually happens is the disappearance of mind-consciousness that constitutes mind (nāma). As the observer is intent upon the object, he or she loses sight of the citta or nāma created by it. As he or she notes it like this, no attachment arises. In other words, mindfulness dispels lust or passion. In such circumstances consciousness just occurs, it does not go beyond that. This is in accordance with the instruction, “Viññatam viññānamatta bhavissati - when you know, just know it.” If one fails to meditate on the mind object, feeling tends to incite defilements.
“Yathāssa vijānato dhammam, sevato cāpi vedanam;
Khīyati nopacīyati, evam so caratī sato.
Evam apacinato dukkham, santike nibbāna vuccati.”

“On thinking of a mind object, a meditator just knows it and just feels that he knows it, without conceptualising it. With this, suffering ceases. One who practises in this way is said to be near to nibbāna.”

Any idea must be noted as soon as it is formed so that the inclination to defilements has no opportunity to arise. When the defilements cease, kamma and results also cease, and that momentary cessation rewards the meditator with momentary bliss (tadanga nibbāna).

It should be noted that nibbāna is within easy reach of everyone who practises insight meditation. Conversely, it remains remote from non-meditators.

#14 Guest_Scott Duncan_*

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 03:47 AM

Dear Venerable Pesala,

Thanks for the post, I find it thought-provoking. A question:

QUOTE
“On thinking of a mind object, a meditator just knows it and just feels that he knows it, without conceptualising it. With this, suffering ceases. One who practises in this way is said to be near to nibbāna.
Any idea must be noted as soon as it is formed so that the inclination to defilements has no opportunity to arise. When the defilements cease, kamma and results also cease, and that momentary cessation rewards the meditator with momentary bliss (tadanga nibbāna).


Is the highlighted portion, assuming that "meditator" is meant conventionally, another way of describing the arising of pa~n~na?

Sincerely,

Scott.

#15 RobertK

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 04:17 AM

QUOTE(Wolfgang @ Aug 20 2006, 03:10 AM) View Post

Why anyone would want to fix vedana? Certainly no one who aims at seeing the impermanent nature of vedana.

Phassa and vedana arises and passes at any place in the body at any moment! So why would anyone have to seek it?

In my life before I started practice I puposely only seeked to avoid the ever-present reality of vedana!

Regards, ..

Dear Wolfgang,
Good to have you back posting! I agree, but don't you think 'sweeping' the body is looking for vedana?
Robert

#16 Wolfgang

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Posted 21 August 2006 - 07:23 PM

Dear Robert,

QUOTE(RobertK @ Aug 21 2006, 06:17 AM) View Post
I agree, but don't you think 'sweeping' the body is looking for vedana?
Robert

It's propably more attempting to run away - but Dukkha always catches up.

Well, if you don't divert yourself with books about stories of being caught up by Dukkha. Which really does help to avoid being caught up by Dukkha!


********


Dear Venerable,

so true:

QUOTE
"Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.

"When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."


Attached File  0.gif   5.11KB   64 downloads

Of course, not for us - so stupid, silly, later & lower born, bare of accumulations, wasted, lost, deluted, damned ...

... my God, how hollow Mara can get!

#17 RobertK

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 08:27 AM


QUOTE
Buddha
Profound is this doctrine, hard to see, hard to comprehend, calm, excellent, beyond the sphere of reasoning, subtle, intelligible only to the wise.


QUOTE
Goenkahttp://www.events.dhamma.org/eng/2002/tour-report/July-29-Aug-15.htm
In the television interview he exhorted viewers to come and give Vipassana a try. “Don’t be afraid. Come and see for yourself. It is not a cult or a ‘foreign’ faith. It is a simple mental exercise that keeps the mind healthy and happy.”



#18 Wolfgang

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 12:07 PM

Dear Robert,

QUOTE
Wolfgang, post Jun 3 2006, 08:29 PM, Post #1:
.. I hope I made it clear enough that I consider it urgent for students of Goenka to inquire and to discuss the Dhamma of the Buddha.
And not to badmouth Goenkaji's Vipassana-organization with others, who never had any experience with it.

These where some of the words with which I introduced myself on this Forum. Of, course you are nevertheless free to question, criticize and attack S.N. Goenka to your hearts content. However, you also told me that you never have done a Goenka 10-day yourself. So this - in the end - just remains your contempt.

A Disciple of Goenka reading your posts, who had benefited by this practice - and be it meanwhile only mental-health wise - will not understand your antagonistic approach towards this tradition. Therefore, I recon, their benefit of reading your posts drops to naught - compared to - if you would not led shine through your adversity to Goenka. But instead would point it out, in which of Goenka's views, in your opinion (about the practice you would have had to experience it yourself), the danger of perverting the Dhamma into 'Wrong View' is given.

Then we could really inquire into these views and then - I am sure - also Goenka Students would get interested in this subject. Meanwhile, if this present style remains, you only will have - as one reply to my website meant - 'a bunch of immature people looking up to you, saying "yes, he does have a point."

However, what is the point to receive agreement with persons of the same faith? - With which you anyway agree? Warning about dangers which your 'follower in faith' anyway will never concern - because by such a adverse attitude only few persons will agree to stay communicating with followers of your faith - those few, who don't mind adversity.

And with me - here the only practitioner of Goenka's tradition which stays discussing (not that there would not be enough other practitioners of it on this forum, but I guess they stay away just because of the above reasons) - your attitude makes my the advocate of this very tradition - because of your ridiculing of it.

Goenka was the person who brought me to the practice of Vipassana and to a real start in 'right view' - moreover, to my taking of refuge in the triple gem. And for that alone I will forever pay my respect to this man from Bombay! (even though I do really criticize some of his limited business-man ways of propagating the Dhamma)

I think there are many here who agree with us about the importance of 'right view' - using your terminology - abhidhamma - who came to perceive its priority, just as me, through an initial 10-day course in Goenka's tradition. As for example, Sukin.

It's really up to you if you continue to use this discussion time only for your self-satisfaction - or if you would like to have others (than those of your only true faith) benefited. Or, don't you? Do you just want to argue for argument sake, so that those who don't want to get involved in a controversy stay away?

It’s up to you,

My best wishes to everyone on any path - or none at all. And that those who follow a path discern wisely which activity is on or off of that path. metta

#19 Wolfgang

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 12:25 PM

Dear Robert,

... I just wanted to add: Please criticize me, my views and opinions - and I will happily respond. Of course, I am aware that I am not as attractive as Goenka to argue about. However, I don't want to remain just Goenka's defender further on, in this thread. For that you would have to find one more representative of Goenka's tradition than me.

Just as you said in the beginning of this page:

QUOTE
Dear Wolfgang,
We can use this thread to discuss any points you made in your website.
Robert


Kind regards, ..

#20 RobertK

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Posted 27 August 2006 - 03:32 AM

Dear Wolfgang,
I don't think I was ridiculing Goenka, maybe you can be specific?

Anyway from now we can stick strictly to what you say on your website.


You say:
QUOTE

Wolfgang:
I do not understand why Goenkaji makes it so complicated by simplifying it. Why does he teach advanced practice to beginners - why is he teaching beginners practice to the advanced ? Could anyone help me understand this paradoxical guidance ? Is Goenkaji secretly fond of Koans ?


I am not sure about all this, but I do feel that any simplification of the teachongs risks people misunderstanding them.
Robert