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Vipassana Meditation


Vipassana Meditation

Vipassana means to see things as they really are. This group is for the primary purpose of discussing your experiences, questions, and insights with Vipassana meditation as taught by S.N. Goenka.

Members: 15
Latest Activity: Jan 2, 2012

Discussion Forum

Equanimity 4 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Jeanne Nov 2, 2009.

The Buddha and Modern Science 2 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Ron Alexander Nov 1, 2009.

Bodhisattva in metro - video 1 Reply

Started by Elizabeth Feisst. Last reply by Elizabeth Feisst Oct 6, 2009.

Right Thought 2 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Ron Alexander Sep 15, 2009.

True Middle Path

Started by Ron Alexander Sep 13, 2009.

Ten Days of Silence for Peace of Mind 2 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Ron Alexander Sep 12, 2009.

The Dhamma Brothers 2 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Ron Alexander Sep 3, 2009.

Praises for Vipassana Meditation 9 Replies

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Ron Alexander Sep 1, 2009.

In Search for Stillness - Monkey's Mind or Monk's Mind? 1 Reply

Started by Ron Alexander. Last reply by Elizabeth Feisst Aug 29, 2009.

Comment Wall


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Comment by Ron Alexander on May 3, 2010 at 7:01am
The Paradox of Freedom - Why Meditate?

In preparation for the Oneness Blessing, that I have been writing about, it is imperative to quiet the mind. To stop most of the chattering going on that we are so used to. There are many ways to meditate, and I enjoy them - mantra, pranayama (heavy controlled breathing),chanting sacred words,sutras(sacred movements of the hands and fingers mostly) closely watching a sunset, a candle or another physical object, walking in complete awareness, etc. Most meditations have a combination of several of them.

In my search from freedom - mostly from my self-critical inner voice and outer restrictions, I have rebelled from authority, becoming a "peace, love and flower child", from there to a pot-smoking "hippie" rebel. After my dear younger brother was killed in Viet Nam, I sailed away for geographical freedom. All of these were escapist-type hedonistic attempts at freedom, with still serious efforts to be free of that self-abuser inside - my Dad's voice - "you will never be any good, worthless.", my Mother's voice - "Ronnie is my little doctor. & that is one, two..." (at "three", I would be subject to my Father's belt-beating).

In the Oneness Movement, emphasis is rightly put on self-acceptance - "love must begin with loving yourself."(Sri. Bhagavan"). In my attempts to accept myself, I have found that Vipassana Meditation has been the best for me. I became enamored with Vipassana by watching a documentary of these prisoners for life in a Alabama prison. They experienced a Ten Day Vipassana Meditation Retreat, the first step for Vipassana students. It is called "The Dhamma Brothers". Dhamma is the Pali (Buddha's language) word for the Sanskrit "Dharma". I would recommend, at least, looking up the trailor of the film on Google or You Tube. After ten hard days, these prisoners became some of the freest men I have ever seen. I was very impressed by the teachers, who were locked up with the prisoners for the 11 days (ten full days of silent meditation and instruction). So I decided that I wanted to experience these ten days also.

So I went on line and was delighted to find a new Vipassana "Retreat" in Jesup Georgia. And to top it all off, it was free. At that time, it filled the bill for my desperate attempt at real freedom from my negative thinking. "All that we are is the result of what we have thought." Buddha

And here is where "the paradox of freedom" comes in. I kept wanting to leave the strict pure silence (no form of communication allowed except for a few minutes with the teacher a day, and to ask for something essential from a volunteer server), the ten to eleven hours of meditation per day - holding your body as still as possible. You are closely watched by the teachers for any signs of disturbance in your sitting. To end the long day (awakened at 4 AM) there is a two hour discourse by the teacher on the meaning of Vipassana Meditation. It would seem that with "freedom", I could just get up and leave, however my goal is to "free my mind of the tensions and prejudices that disturb the flow of everyday life." Of the self-abusing critic & other-abusing judge in my mind. So the paradox is that to find True Freedom - 'freedom of all suffering, purity of mind and enlightenment" - I needed discipline, self-control. As a youth I had rebelled against the type of abusive belt-beating "discipline" administered by my ex-marine Dad. Then in my spiritual seeking, I realized the root word of discipline is "disciple". Now I am a disciple of Goenka, the recognized Master Teacher of Vispassana and all of his teachers who he has appointed. To make a long story shorter, I am going back to a Silent Vipassana Retreat to realize more "True Freedom" and resultantly experience more "True Oneness." Metta (May All Beings Be Happy)!

Comment by Ron Alexander on April 11, 2010 at 8:02pm

. . . a generous heart, kind speech and a life of service are the things which renew humanity . . . The Buddha
Comment by Jeanne on April 10, 2010 at 4:17pm
The feeling is mutual, Ron, thank-you for your kind words.
Comment by Ron Alexander on April 9, 2010 at 7:46pm
That writing is beautiful brilliant, Jeanne I copied it and added to my Jeanne, the Wisdom Teacher quotes. You are such an affirmative ally! I really appreciate you, and I must be doing something right myself to have such an honor, in the Spirit of Oneness, ron

Comment by Jeanne on April 9, 2010 at 8:35am
it seems we are forever going back and forth...
with the either/or.
Such is the beauty of the middle path
it is receptive to both light and dark, cold and hot, male and female...
and always seeking balance.
We modern folk are not even close to a state of balance... we ingest polluted air, water, food and chaos daily. And accept conclusions based on theory... not direct experience - which we mistrust... it is without data. We are walking, talking blobs of confusion, spouting half-truths.
That said... I was long confused - about the role of the warrior in this culture. A culture that makes them both heroes and villains. ...more of the either/or. It was upon learning about Tecumseh and the Shaolin monks, that I found a middle place to balance such a controversial matter.
I'm just trying to say that right and wrong doesn't have an edge we cross, knowing we are one or the other...
but rather gradient shades of light and dark.
and circumstances.
and love to consider.
and monks don't serve familial love, but rather, a greater, grander,
more pervasive form of love
Comment by Ron Alexander on April 9, 2010 at 6:58am
Actually, it was a Egyptian who Moses (when he was young) killed, and I never got the motive or that there was any retribution or remorse. Then again, I have never studied the Bible extensively. If anyone knows any better enlighten me.
I guess I was defending Buddha some - "All that we are is a result of our thought." And that includes our physical. So Vipassana meditation is really good for healing the body also.
Comment by Ron Alexander on April 8, 2010 at 8:03am
Well, Moses got away with murder in the Bible - probably because he killed an "Arab." Never heard anymore about that - no regret, repentance, anything that I know of...but I am no Biblical scholar.
dr.mike, what I learned was the importance of "equanimity" (again Jeanne has a good answer to that discussion above) and the "middle road" - acceptance of what there is, observing it and letting it go. Here is another of our Vipassana Wisdom-holder's quotes (luv ya Jeanne), which reminded me of the excellent doc. (I am going to order it): speaking of 'bolting'...

I was thinking about how often people think that 'bolting' sankara as an expression of freedom... and yet, we can see that it is actually a reaction to trying to maintain the status quo,,, it is resisting change and growth.

taking on the yoke of discipline seems to be the way toward freedom... toward liberation. whereas bolting, escaping, running away, avoiding... are all part of maintaining the chains of enslavement to ignorance.

The other day someone said they couldn't see the benefit of sitting still and not moving a muscle... the old me might have tried to explain or persuade... but with vipassana... I've come to learn that if the seed of interest is there, if the karma of that person is ready, they will respond with interest. So I simply agreed that the daily zen is life itself.

My initial reaction upon hearing about the 10 days of silence necessary to fulfill a vipassana course was "whoa! people are really serious". My meditation experience prior to vipassana consisted of driving long distances through city traffic to go and sit in someone's living room, meditate, break bread and share community. It gave the worthwhile lift I sought, but only touched the surface of my wounded soul.

Vipassana cut through to the roots of the wounds... and they were able to dissolve and float away... good-bye little fears and phobias, your work
is done.
Metta, ron
Comment by Jeanne on April 8, 2010 at 6:10am
I fell asleep during the film... but did see the part about naming his child, Fetter. ...and then abandoning him. However, I would question how much a prince's involvement in his child's upbringing is. His son was most likely looking forward to a similar sheltered childhood as his... surrounded by nannies and attendants.
Seems familial responsibilities and concerns take a back seat to spiritual enlightenment... but... IMHO, in the world of the unenlightened, being a good parent is as good as it gets.
Comment by drmike on April 7, 2010 at 10:58pm
What a great video on the Buddha. I did not know his mom kicked the bucket within the week of having him. Nor that he was a prince, and fell off a roof making whoopee....I suppose by today's standards they would be calling him a dead beat dad, by calling his kid "ball and chain." HA!

But really very insightful and well produced, I am sure glad they had captions for the Dalai Lama though...HA!

What did you learn that was new? What are your thoughts? Would love to hear them.

Best, Mike
Comment by Ron Alexander on April 7, 2010 at 3:14pm
Thanks alot, drmike. Out here, it is on at 7pm. I have been putting the word out.
Metta, ron


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