Goenka came from a family of Indian extraction, but was born in 1924 in British Burma, a Theravada Buddhist culture. Goenka studied another 14 years under U Ba Khin while conducting business in Rangoon and supporting his family of six sons. Five centuries after the Buddha, the noble heritage of Vipassana had disappeared from India. This idea that meditation was what mattered most among the Buddha’s teachings, combined with the notion that it was open to all, detached such practice from any particular tradition. Goenka tied this conception of an unchanging technique as the quintessence of Buddhism to a highly standardized method of instruction.
Goenka’s transformation of vipassana into a standalone movement has had a profound effect on general conceptions of Buddhist practice in the modern world. Erik Braun is the author of The Birth of Insight: Meditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw, which will be published by University of Chicago Press in November. I am grateful to Goenka for dedicating the end of his life to the freedom of sufferingof others-when I do Metta I have always sent some his way. So grateful for Goenkaji's crystal clear, life-changing teachings and his loving heart and compassion that freely gave the seed of Dhamma to so many.
Goenka made an invaluable contribution to bringing meditation into prisons around the world. One of our main goals here at Meditation Techniques, is to offer all different kinds of meditation.
In Vipassana meditation, the unique feature is to observe oneself at the level of sensation. Another way to describe what happens is that meditation is a stormy, colorful, highly-personal creative effort.
So the process varies from person to person and is filled with daydreams and fears but also the meditative emotions of calming, soothing, cessation of that mental instability.
If you wanted Vipassana meditation techniques explained, I think this article is a really good start.


Seeking a cure for his debilitating migraines, Goenka consulted the lay meditation teacher U Ba Khin at his International Meditation Center (IMC) in Rangoon in 1956.
Indeed, although there are hundreds of assistant teachers throughout the world who lead courses with the help of volunteers, even today the main sources of instruction during retreats are videotapes and audio recordings by Goenka himself. In the 1970s this drew many Westerners on the “hippie trail” and increased Goenka’s popularity and renown. By presenting meditation as a universal art of living, Goenka enabled practice to further permeate societies as a secular technique, especially in Europe and North America. I have been practicing meditation with various Buddhist groups in many traditions and am a psychotherapist.
The integrity of the Goenkaji's discourses and of the Assistant Teachers & servers has had a lasting an profound effect on my life.
In the 1970s this drew many Westerners on the “hippie trail” and increased Goenka’s popularity and renown." In fact, there were charges for the direct costs of providing courses (never for the teaching or other service) in the early years, at least until 1974 - something which Goenka later called a mistake. Paul Fleishman explains his views on the Vipassana meditation techniques he learned from SN Goenka. So in meditation, first, one is cultivating a capacity for self-observation with increasing ability, and as one develops this ability both in body and mind, one begins to observe universal principles in the context of one’s own mind and body. Goenka, leader of an enormously popular worldwide insight meditation (vipassana) movement, died on September 29 of natural causes in Mumbai, India.
While U Ba Khin refused to teach meditation for the purpose of curing headaches, the teacher’s demeanor nonetheless impressed Goenka. Just as Goenka stressed that vipassana, as a technique, was applicable to people of all faiths (or none), he also insisted that it was fully available to people living in the everyday world. A commitment to never charging fees for courses, in addition to a highly standardized form of practice, supported his vision for accessible meditation. Some Westerners who took courses would go on to become influential meditation teachers, including Joseph Goldstein and Sharon Salzberg, founders with Jack Kornfield of the Insight Meditation Society (IMS). His later efforts, such as founding a research institute to study vipassana’s social effects and, in 2002, touring 35 North American cities to spread the word about meditation, further reinforced the popular message that meditation is nonreligious.


Instead Goenka advices you to question everything and only believe in what you experience in your body. I think you didn't give Vipassana a real chance, you didn't keep your promises and you distracted other students. Fleishman has to say so that you really see how vipassana meditation techniques are explained.
We also send regular updates, inspiring quotes, and new guided meditations to you regularly. In 1969, having been designated a teacher by U Ba Khin, he emigrated to Mumbai, India, and began to teach meditation there full time, first to his family but soon to others as word about his teachings spread. Goenka’s organization of courses, shaped by his teacher U Ba Khin, influenced the structure of retreats in the West at IMS and elsewhere, with alternating periods of personal and group practice and periodic group interviews by teachers. His practical presentation has influenced many, particularly in the West, to see vipassana as essentially about one’s current life and how it is lived.
Meditation was, he realized, the way to cleanse the mind, to let light in and clear away the vermin. I do go to IMS and was able to sit with Ruth Denison who also had Ubakin as a teacher and because I went to goenka first for the foundation I was able to experience her teaching in a deeper way. Vipassana was not part of a religion, then, but a nonsectarian technique available in the here and now to help all people, whether Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or anything else. You wasted your time by doing your own style instead of giving the Vipassana technique a chance. You might want to do some googling as there are some very well researched.critiques of goenka's organization.



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