Reply To: Goenka´s Vipassana


Thank you for providing a detailed account of your meditation experience.

1. As I have explained above, and in many posts, there is no question that breath meditation can help one to get to different types of samadhi and even jhana.
– However, breath meditation is not Anapanasati meditation taught by the Buddha. And any kind of jhana attained provides only temporary relief. That means it will not help reduce one’s hidden defilements (anusaya).
– The correct Anapanasati meditation will permanently reduce anusaya in steps. For example, the tendency to get angry can be PERMANENTLY reduced by the correct Anapanasati mediation.

2. Any type of meditation can calm the mind by focusing one’s attention on a single object. That can be one’s breath, a ball of clay (used in anariya kasina meditation), a statue of a religious figure (Buddha, Jesus Christ, etc.)
– That calming effect comes by not letting the mind wander around as it usually does.
– That “calming of the mind” can manifest as a lightness of the body, seeing various colors, lights, etc.
– Now, let me try to explain a fundamental issue that I may not have discussed in my previous comments on this thread.

3. One’s tendency to get angry WILL NOT reduce significantly (that is the example we took above) with those meditation techniques. It may seem that anger has subsided, especially if one regularly practices those meditation techniques.
– However, if one goes for an extended time without engaging in regular meditation sessions, one will see that the tendency to get angry will be back.
– That means those meditation techniques WILL NOT help reduce anusaya (hidden defilements).

Anusaya is a concept that is hard to understand for many people. It is closely related to one gati (pronounced gathi), which means one’s character/habits. The following posts may be helpful in understanding gati and anusaya (and asava, another related term).

The Law of Attraction, Habits, Character (Gati), and Cravings (Āsava)

Āsava, Anusaya, and Gati (Gathi)

Habits, Goals, and Character (Gati or Gathi)