Reply To: Goenka´s Vipassana



We’ve had quite an extensive discussion about Goenka’s technique, but I just read Lal’s wonderful post about vēdanā and would like to add a little more. The post is in the “Living Dhamma” section:

Jumping right to the end of the post, Lal summarized vēdanānupassanā as:

• vipāka vēdanā needs to be experienced with upekkha.
• Samphassa jā vēdanā are the ones to be stopped.
• Nirāmisa vēdanā are the ones to be cultivated.

The first bullet practically describes the whole Goenka’s technique.

The technique does not work with Samphassa jā vēdanā because they are considered to be “reflected” in vipāka vēdanā (2 sides of the same coin). To experience vipāka vēdanā with upekkha is to indirectly experience Samphassa jā vēdanā with upekkha.

Nirāmisa vēdanā are not considered at all. Based on my understanding of this technique, here’s my speculation: all of vēdanā is to be transcended. Vipāka vēdanā, gross and subtle (such as bhanga described by Nikita) arise and pass away, and seeing this fully is seeing anicca. And transcending vēdanā (arising/passing) is to see nibbana (non arising / non passing). Saying this is somewhat like saying to get rid of all vēdanā (as Lal pointed out in the post that some people believe this), I think.

Finally, one question about the post: what about vēdanā arising from mind input? Does it also start as upekkha vēdanā, and then (for a normal human) turn automatically into dōmanassa or sōmanassa vēdanā?

Thank you!