In response to “treat it like a black stone” or “just observe”

Written by Dan Kaminsky There are, at this point, a few very predictable responses to certain types of concerns being raised.  And those responses are valid.  There is a ton of wisdom in observing your own baggage and working to not be consumed by it. Yet, I think those responses aren’t always appropriate. Often, when …

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Is Old Student Dialogue Helpful?

Open discussions are rare in the Goenka tradition for good reason. The tradition's focus is on encouraging people to meditate, and intellectual discussions can lead to confusion and doubt that detract from the personal journey experienced on the cushion. There's also the problem of determining who is advanced enough in their development to share their …

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Is Goenka Vipassana Universal?

Goenka seems to present two different paths. First, he shares that sila (morality), samadhi (concentration through breath awareness), and panna (wisdom through body sensation awareness) are the three universal components of the path towards ultimate truth. Second, he shares that the ultimate goal is to liberate the mind from the cycle of birth and death. …

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3 Challenges I’ve Faced in Goenka’s Vipassana

Written by Dan Kaminsky Hello! My goal with this blog post is to lay out some of the challenges I have faced after ten years in the Goenka tradition. I would like to preface these challenges by saying that these critiques are coming from a place of gratitude and understanding of the immense benefits I …

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The Next Generation of Goenka Meditators

50 years ago, S. N. Goenka started teaching Vipassana to a new generation of meditators. Thousands of his inspired pupils became meditation teachers, carrying his instructions around the world. Now seven years after Goenka’s death, there is an entire generation of Goenka followers that never met him. The first generation of Goenka students have become …

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Set your mind to it.

Following is a line from the 1981 Hindi movie Umrao Jaan, from the song Dil Cheez Kya Hai. It's one of my favorite quotes. मुश्किल नहीं है कुछ भी अगर ठान लीजिये। Pronounced: Mushkil nahi hai kuchh bhi agar thaan lijiye. Translation: Nothing is hard if you commit to it.  I often tell myself and complain …

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