Week 7 - Overview of the Meditation Practice

This week we listened to a talk by Gil Fronsdal called “Overview of the Meditation Practice.”  In it Gil gave a brief history of Vipassana meditation and went into some detail about both the Mahasi Sayadaw and Goenka techniques.  He talked about Vipassana, or Insight Meditation, being all-inclusive, nothing is left out.  Here are the questions and practices for this week.

Questions

1. Other than breathing, what do you use as your anchor?  Possibly discuss techniques.

2. What are your opinions on the Goenka and Mahasi styles of meditation? Which do you prefer?

3. What seems to be your biggest obstacle when you are meditating? Maybe discuss the most common place you get lost in thought

4. What doubts do you have about the long term benefits of practice?

Practices

1. Gil recommends an easygoing attention on the quality of your mind. What are you really trying to do?  Hold on to a feeling?  Achieve a state of bliss?  Examine the quality of the mind without judgement/criticism.

2. Loud noises or consistent distractions are common in meditation. Instead of wishing they weren't there, BE with them. Those distractions are as much a part of reality as everything else (Mahasi Practice)

3. Practice body scanning. starting with the top of the head, slowly bring your attention to each part of the body, all the way down to your toes (Goenka Practice).