Yoga and Vipassana

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Vipassana Retreat


I have attended full 10 days S N Goenka affiliated Vipassana retreat. It went fine with me regarding food and staying. But I would like to share few observations about the other side of Goenka Vipassana for the benefits of others. Goenka Vipassana is much different from the actual Vipasssana meditation advocated by masters like Buddha and others. Vipassana was never a case of hypnosis. It was a technique for spreading loving kindness and harmony in life.

If you ever studied the basics of hypnosis or hypnotism, by attending this vipassana retreat you will understand it is a clear case of hypnotism. You may see in wikipedia, where it is said hypnosis “is composed of a long series of preliminary instructions and suggestion”. Goenkas vipassana retreat is really a long ten days hypnotism series.

Again wikipedia mentioned“contemporary research suggests that hypnotic subjects are fully awake and are focusing attention, with a corresponding decrease in their peripheral awareness”. The initial four days of the retreat are kept for focussing attention.

James Braid in his hypnotism process clearly mentioned that “The patient must be made to understand that he is to keep the attention steadily fixed on the object”. In the retreat Goenka in his very long and deep drawn out voice will repeatedly ask you to put your attention in your nostril area.

About four days you have to do that. It will make your conscious mind to surrender to his suggestions. If you are not alert it will kill your awareness. Your mind will be the play ground for others. Particularly, in the evening, when your mind is soft and vulnerable, SN Goenka’s recorder CD will insert some deliberate junks in your mind. Of course, some people put fingers on their ear to stop listening Goenka’s voice. But when your mind is soft you cannot be in a position to put your fingers on your ear.

According to Goenka “views suggesting that all other religions and sects and are incorrect, and the only correct path is Goenka affiliated Vipassana” is ridicules. How can he claim this is the only method for enlightenment?

In this Goenka vipassana retreat many people suffer pain and frustration. There may be little bit joy after pain due to secretion of Endorphin hormones. Stress and pain are the two most common factors leading to the release of endorphins. Endorphin generates some joy and act similarly to drugs such as morphine and codeine lead to addiction or dependence.
Often it is observed that Goenka vipassana retreat is like addiction. Modern research proved that emotional pain can become an addiction. This type of addiction doesn’t win again for a long time. They’ll keep trying, potentially ruining your life.

Author: Simon Wan

I enjoy every moment of my life. I like yoga and meditation.

3 thoughts on “Vipassana Retreat

  1. Hi Simon,

    Nice posting. Vipassna is a great tool for getting happiness in life.
    I agree with you, daily about 15-20 minutes vipassana meditation is good enough.

    I have also attended the 10 day vipassana retreats of Goenka one. It went OK with me. The volunteers are very helpful. I observed the painful faces of the old vipassana teachers. You are correct pain addiction is part of Goenka vipassana.

    I prefer home based Vipassana meditation.


  2. Hey Wan,

    Great Blog. The blogs should be like that. It should be honest and courageous. Your blog gives a correct picture about vipassana meditation of Goenka. Many people are facing addiction problem with Goenka Vipassana. Vipassana is for creating deep understanding and love. It should not be for temporary pleasure. Sangita is correct, when she says about the painful faces of the old teachers. Of course there are many other good Vipassana courses, may not be so popular, which are good enough.

    Bye Keep writing!!

  3. Wan,

    There are many Vipassana retreat meditation. It is a kind of meditation, where you need silence. You need your daily food supply. In that context Goenka Vipassana is good.
    However, the Goenka is dead-against ritual and beliefs. Particularly he is against the beliefs of God. On the contrary, in the evening as well as during lunch time and tea brakes Goenka is using the recorded Pali chantings to mesmerize the mediators. The voice of Goenka is horrible. It looks, the voice is not normal, it is a voice of a magician. It has some purpose !!. May be for developing addiction to those chanting.


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