Mass Producing Meditators
In this episode of Buddhist Geeks, Vince talks with Theo Horesh and Duff McDuffee, two SN Goenka practitioners. They discuss the effects of what can be called the mass production of meditators. They also explore the differences in using a single technique or multiple techniques for realization.
You can listen to Part 1 in my post here.
Theo and Duff raise some good questions in this interview. I thought it was interesting when they compared Goenka's approach to that of a fast food franchise or Henry Ford's production line. The interviewer compared the vipassana technique to what he heard Bikram say about how he styled his yoga on the McDonald's model of fast food production.
While I'm not a vipassana junkie, I believe that a committed yoga teacher who is walking the spiritual path, regardless of tradition, should do at least one vipassana retreat. You will explore places of yourself that you have never explored before! I have only done one 10 day retreat, but I plan to do at least one retreat a year, even if it is only a three day one.
In October I am starting Spirit Rock's Mindfulness Yoga and Meditation training. I am committed to this program until 2009. I am very excited because this training is the first of its kind, a ground-breaking program that incorporates classical yoga and Buddhism. From the website:
...an experiential grounding in an integrated yoga and vipassana practice that can nourish practitioners in their daily lives; a solid understanding of the entwined history, philosophy, and techniques of both yoga and Buddhism; and the foundational skills and understanding necessary to practice yoga--and for teachers to teach it--in a way that embodies and facilitates a deep understanding of core Buddhist principles such as mindfulness, lovingkindness, compassion, equanimity, and the interdependence of all life.
According to the website, "a good portion of the retreats will be spent in silence, following a full schedule of seated and walking meditation. The daily schedule will also include approximately 2.5 to 3 hours of yoga asana and pranayama." Can't wait!
What is so exciting about this program is the chance to study with the "biggies" of the Western Buddhist and yoga world such as Jack Kornfield, Phillip Moffit, Tias Little, Stephen Cope, Judith Lassater, Jill Satterfield, and even Dr. Dean Ornish, among others.
This is the type of program that I have been looking for as long as I've been a student/teacher, and when I read about it, I jumped on it immediately, no hesitation. I am honored and grateful to be accepted into this training.