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Be careful if personal or family background of bipolar
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 29, 2014 02:01AM



And if you are doing well on prescribed medication, never, under any circumstances, stop using it when on any retreat.

If you are on psych medications, do not stop using them during the retreat.

If they give you static about it -- get out of there.

If it is that important to go without caffeine, the Vipassana people
should give you sufficient advance notice so you can wean yourself
from the stuff well before the retreat begins. Expect killer headaches
and nausea. Better to go through that before the retreat.

(Have a safe place where you can get some peace and quiet during the worst
of the withdrawal.)

If want to do a Vipassana retreat, and not give up caffeine, that is your decision as an adult. Everyone else should butt out.

Bring your own caffeine suppply when you go on retreat.

Passports or ID.

Give them a paper copy of those documents and hang onto the originals. You did not commit a crime, so no need to submit to jailhouse treatment.

Plus if you decide to leave, you can get up and do so without having to ask
your jailors/gaolers for your passport and listen to them spout the party line.

Ditto for your telephone. Keep it and do not give it up.

Have phone numbers for some trustworthy friends to come collect you if
you decide to leave before the ten days are over.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 05:19AM by corboy.

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Dont go right into world after leaving retreat
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 11, 2015 09:17PM

Vipassana has powerful side effects. One had best
spend the next few days to week with reliable friends.

Two days after the narrator left completed a Vipassana retreat in India, he left that controlled environment, in the state of trust engendered by that

If one is given an anesthetic at the dentist before a tooth extraction, you are urged to have a friend or family member drive you home -- never to drive home on your own.

After letting one's guard down enough to view and extract one's reactive mind states, one should be in care of reliable friends. Dismantling one's ordinary caution during a10 day silent retreat, then walking right out into
the noise of every day life -- especially India -- is high risk.


I was travelling around India when I got spiked with LSD. I went into psychosis, was beaten up by the police, and left to die without food or water in an old fashioned lunatic asylum. AMA (Ask Me Anything)


unique Experiencesubmitted 9 months ago by digitalordead

During this time I was 21 and travelling around india on my own. I was on a 2 day train journey when some locals befriended me and offered me a piece of fruit to eat. I ate it, not knowing that it had been spiked with hallucinogenic drugs.

I didn't realise I was on anything; all I knew was that the walls were starting to melt and people started to turn into snakes.

I descended into psychosis and I was arrested for acting erratically. I was beaten up quite badly and, as it was a poor part of India, I was thrown into an old fashioned lunatic Asylum that was built during the 1800s during British rule.

I was thrown into a cell and the door was slammed shut. I wasn't given any food or water and I was left to die.

Due to a fortunate twist of fate I was rescued 4 days later.

I spent some time in a hospital recovering from the events. After a year off, I returned to university to complete my degree in economics.

It was during that year that I made a feature film about being spiked and entering psychosis. It is ultra low budget, and was made for £10. You can watch it here (excuse my shoddy acting!) It does not tell the India story as we didn't have the resources; that is the focus of the next project.

With my filmmaking and my campaign work I've tried to make my message clear; mental illness can happen to anyone, it's nothing to be scared or ashamed of and in the right circumstances it can be overcome.

Evidence: []

Opening of the Film: []

Among the many excellent responses to 'digetalord's' story, DL replied to some

These may be contributing factors to his having let his guard down.


[–]oldspice75 11 points 9 months ago


Who beat you up? Do you remember that?

What injuries did you sustain?

Do you think you were left alone with no food or drink for four days deliberately or as an oversight? And how were you rescued?

What kind of meditation were you seeking in India?



The meditation I was looking for was Vipassana meditation; buddhist meditation where you stay in silence for 10 days. It was really relaxing, if not a bit boring at times.

I can remember feeling incredibly happy and trusting after it...

and then 2 days later the incidents on the train happened...

Ahh thank you, I appreciate your support. These events happened in 2010, and I had a copy of Lonely Planet and during the first month of my travels I read it nearly every day. I was also very skeptical of locals and scared of being scammed and ironically at one point a strange man offered me some tea on the street and I can remember thinking 'no, it could be drugged'....

By the end of the second month in India, I felt much more at ease, and much more trusting of people.. In fact, I actually felt in many ways that I could pass of as a local (I'm half indian myself)... I think it was because I became so trusting and eager to fit in that I didn't suspect the people on the train and didn't think twice about sharing some food... So I definitely agree with you that it's important to be wary of people and the dangers that are there... and Lonely Planet is the best!

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Actual truth revealed when you seek 2 leave early
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 11, 2015 09:57PM

Put Goenka and cult together in Google slot and punch. See how much comes up.


Anyone thinking of trying a vipassana course should know whether they risk scolding, marginalization, and shame trips if they decide they wish to leave before the course is over.

Your human rights do not cease just because you join a meditation course.

IMO, anyone who dismisses this assertion as the manifestation of diseased ego is a jailor at heart -- and not to be trusted.

"When you decide to leave is the point when you can see the whole structure of power behind the smiling and loving face of the curse."


Note this fine distinction.

When permitted to leave -- you've departed according to the rules, at the end of the stipulated ten days.

When, on the other hand, you decide, for yourself, to leave -- that is, to follow your own rules, not Goenka's rules -- that is when the smiles stop and the scolding begins.



— August 24, 2013 at 7:56 am

Dear Matt
Thanks for your answer.
I’m no expert on vibrations, but I didn’t come to Vipassana for vibrations, nor was Vipassana advertised as a vibrations therapy. All I expected was pure meditation and silence. Nothing more. For people who are into vibrations, the chanting of Goenka may be a rewarding experience. For me and for many of the 70 people who took part in the course, it was pure torture. I found that people who felt the same often had quite a lot of western musical training (I come from a family of classical musicians).

Concerning the notion of sectarianism, I have found enough examples of ex-Vipassana disciples to feel confirmed in my observation that it has unhealthy sectarian tendencies. Perhaps you are limiting your observations to those people who simply like the wrapper and therefore can more easily enjoy the contents?

You’re basing your claim that Vipassana is “scientific” upon a definition of science which, although it is not completely false, is definitely not the common understanding of the term. The great majority of people with some scientific education will not expect a “scientific” teaching to try to teach them that they are made of fire, water, earth and air, and that the subtle sensations they are feeling by means of their nervous system is actually a direct experience of each and every subatomic particle of their body… Trying to sell this as “scientific” in front of a western audience seems misleading and ignorant to me.
Best regards,


Luna de mar

— July 13, 2014 at 3:37 am

Vipassana has noting to do with science, I’m a former chemist an I took the course just by curiosity, I’m not unhappy, I don’t need to believe, and I like to understand how the world works. So the first days there I was ok, I agree that the morning chanting was a torture but fortunately you were not obligated to be there. I was very happy that they try to explain as much as possible of the basis of the technique, but that was until the 4th day.

Then I start to relate the pain with a bad position during the meditation and not because of trauma, so I watched the other people around me and realize most of them have a bad position, and that is very irresponsible they could give you a guide of good or bad positions, or also do some exercise to led your body meditate for hours, but I didn’t panic for that I believe when once you get used to the position be aware of your normal body sensations can even warning you to a disease.

But then I continue with the course and when I listen the explanation of the subatomic particles I was shocked, I did not expect an explanation based on neutrons, protons, electrons or quarks but the explanation of the sensations was complete product of the imagination and nothing to do with science.

I realize that they play that game of use scientific words or scientific reasoning to justify something has nothing to do with science, and that is very very dangerous because there are two facts, people associate science with something good because science has improved the human life (that is not completely true) and on the other hand most of the people do not understand science, so is very easy to get confused. But I still don’t panic, I just believe it is has to be a reasonable explanation for all the feelings I have, so I break the rules and I started to think, what is happening with my body, are all this sensations are real or just created from my brain.

My answer is it could be both part created part real, I don’t have Internet to do research, so I start using my body and I start focusing to feel what I wanted to feel, and you can do it. In fact when the professor asks to you what you are feeling, I realize must of my partners were being victims of their brains. So next question why your brain is able to produce some sensations, the answer is easy because you are able to produce substances like neurotransmitter, than could make you have some sensation (just like drugs, in fact some drugs have a really close chemical structure to neurotransmitters). Maybe your traumas could be stored in neurotransmitters, I don’t really now the brain is really complex and it is not my speciality, also I didn’t do experimenters to prove what I say, there were just my reflections during the camp. The point is it could be dangerous for people with a little disorder in the brain, such a strong experience could detonate different types of mental disease like psychosis.

I did not have trouble with the meditation, but I start had trouble with the Goenka discourse, because it was religious and with a manipulative trend, so I started to feel really uncomfortable, and I decided to leave.

When you decide to leave is the point when you can see the whole structure of power behind the smiling and loving face of the curse. There you are exposed to a psychological pressure, in a place you don’t know, with people you don’t know, not excercise, not talk, not read, not write, and better not think so in that point of vulnerability the only voice you hear is the voice of the teacher Goenka, in that point your brain are very receptive.

I suggested to stay in the course without listening the discourses, and that is not an option.

So everything you here there is a Dogma, so yes it is a religion. You can not question Goenka, well you can do it just if you want to see how the teachers lose their equanimity, and I perfectly understand that in the end they are just persons like me, so why you have to treat them like superiors, or do everything they say without questions, well it is because is a Buddhist religion with a strong cult to Goenka.

I still believe that Vipassana experience could be really helpful for some people, but the people should be warning it is a religion. For the rest of my experience, the people were very nice, they led me to take the bus safe and then ask me please call when you arrive home, they are really good people, with good intentions.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/03/2017 05:06AM by corboy.

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Re: Goenka Vipassana Cult
Posted by: Ananda ()
Date: April 01, 2016 07:48PM

There was an interesting Radio 4 programme about meditation and some of the unpleasant side effects. It was made my Jolyon Jenkins. He starts talking about 10 day retreats and people suffering panic attacks and other psychological problems. He doesn't mention Goenka but I think that's what he's talking about.

I'm not sure about the 'boot camp' approach to meditation. Especially when it involves lack of sleep. Also, it does seem that you're not told in advance that you have to hand over your keys and mobile till the end of the 10 days.

Does Goenka teach just meditation on breath + scanning the body?

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Re: Actual truth revealed when you seek 2 leave early
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: September 08, 2016 03:55AM

Very recently I tried a ten-day Vipassana course, and left on the afternoon of the fourth day. It was too overwhelming, too disorienting for me.The managers strongly tried to persuade me to stay and make a stronger effort to complete the course, and I was told that I'd not be allowed to try again someday. In other words, the window of opportunity is now closed for me, (at least during this lifetime). That's not right. That's the psychological equivalent of condemning somebody to the fires of Hell. Manipulation through fear. My experience with Vipassana was not good.

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Re: Goenka Vipassana Cult
Posted by: newamsterdam ()
Date: September 15, 2016 12:13PM

I went in early 2002

while initially there was some good in the practice like being able to fully address my more negative qualities I did have a time where i completely woke and found myself...quite a strong experience.

Truth is I had people from a new age hippy cult connected to my boyfriend that followed me there and was doing bizarre stuff like singing and chanting while sitting behind me so that everyone thought it was me, anyways the 2nd time I went back it was a complete disaster the teacher was a psycho and displayed his pen that had a lions club international seal on it and the centre on vancouver island is holding day sittings at the secret society hall the eastern star female masons lodge

they do things there like post a sign please do not point feet at teachers without explaining it so that it creates an imprint in the mind every time you point your feet at somebody you think of vipassana... I think when he regurgitates his meals after the chanting that he is cursing everyone with his low regurgitation -the food starvation has you willing to accept anything and the teachers sit on boxes (dias)

now with me it is paradoxical because yes I did find myself and my meditation practice (I practice a different -my own- meditation these days) but there were servers that said goenka was god

and I had a breakdown about day 6 and everyone mocked me for it said I was not accepting the meditation fully

People would never understand that you were soul harnessed by a cult and programmed how could one ever relay that to somebody ?

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Re: Goenka Vipassana Cult
Posted by: nicola ()
Date: October 02, 2017 10:29PM

I'd like to add my two cents here.

Having completed now a total of four courses I can say that I've never heard any of my coursemates say a bad word against it. One said it was a little overwhelming. Thats it.
(She is always bubbly when we speak too.)

It was my first real introduction to meditation.

I've no doubt that some teachers can be a little over-arching but that is not their remit.

Each course I've not sat still if I choose an uncomfortable posture, I never felt so pushed as too have a wish to leave & when strong anxiety came along i went outside or to my room if it was not a group sitting. (Only once in a group sitting sesh did this occur. A server followed me out & asked if i was ok.)

The tecnique itself has brought me twice to meditations deep enough to physically release long standing tensions that were up until then persistant knots in both the shoulder & the neck. Yes, a physical long standing pain just unraveled through meditating with this tecnique. Not once but on two seperate occasions.
The first one had been there 3 years, the second one 2 years.

Numourous other little pains got smaller & many insights have come about too.

In Goenka's discourses he makes fun of himself at one point saying 'everyone thinks everybody else should change, not me i'm perfect' & several times makes reference to when you go home you are your own master.
& that the buddah said to question & only
believe from your own experiance.

If you aren't comfortable surrendering, don't!
If you are in too much pain to complete an hour's sit, change the position!

I don't agree with all he says. So i take out the 'black stone' & gain a good tecnique given freely with what i have no doubt is given with a very deep motivation of helping as many people as he could by shareing in the best way he knew how.
For me it's been a way of allowing the subconscious room to heal itself from the various moments that were too traumatic to fully process as they occured.

Its one of the most effective & best ways I've found to do so. & the insights that came from it has altered my world-view & made sense of things that previously eluded me.

Keep your head your own & be aware that you may not agree with everything. (I don't!)
But nonetheless the method has given me a whole lot & i've nothing but gratitude & warmth for the man who made the centres to learn it possible.
He is not perfect, neither are the teachers. Neither are most of us.

& i'm sure there are other effective methods out there, this is the best i've found so far though.

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