Episode 3 – Daniel Ingram Interview

An amazing interview with Daniel – really enjoyed this one! We were particularly blown away by his insights into the Goenka vipassana tradition, and why they don’t use the meditation maps. Goenka retreats were pivotal for both me and Jasmine, so it’s amazing to hear stories about his initial training, and why the retreats downplay or ignore ‘dark night’ or ‘dhukka nana’ phenomena (difficulties that can emerge during meditation).


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Topics

  • 3:24 – Practice and framing. How one begins on the adventure of meditation. Starting a practice during COVID-19 lockdown?
  • 6:00 – Daniel Ingram’s practice day to day. Morality, concentration, wisdom
  • 10:50 – Fire Kasina technique & history
  • 13:30 – Meditation and scary events. Demons!
  • 19:00 – Magical practices, grimoires, entities in the practice and traditions
  • 20:15 – Loving kindness meditation (metta) origins
  • 22:00 Loving kindness towards entities
  • 23:00 Fire kasina & necessity for theory and roadmap
  • 24:00 Bill’s memories – encountering an entity in teenage years
  • 27:15 Bill reflecting on how this impacted practice
  • 29:50 Is any dose of meditation safe? Considering the Therevadan maps. Chapter 30 MCTB.
  • 38:00 Use of maps and how they’ve helped Ingram, benefits
  • 41:00 Daniel challenges others to bring forward insight on maps
  • 41:48 Why Therevadan maps are so useful. Possible drawbacks and why some people don’t like the insight maps
  • 44:42 Benefits of maps for meditation.
  • 46:00 Why does the Goenka meditation tradition not use the maps technology that is available? Why do they keep their students in the dark about it? #dhamma #vipassana
  • 48:00 Maps and how they script meditation experiences and paths
  • 52:50 Sayadaw ‘Noting’ practice
  • 54:47 Inside story on Goenka’s training and practice with Sayagyi U Ba Khin – along with fellow students Ruth Dennison, and Robert Harry Hoover. All were taught from the Visuddhimagga in very individualised ways. Goenka went on to teach the version he learnt, without the differentiation he’d received. The Visuddhimagga has many techniques for different types of people. When the students went on to try and teach together, they rapidly clashed as they realised they were all teaching different things!
  • 56:48 Goenka did not have ‘dark night’ problems (dhukka nanas) – so never included warnings about them or help to navigate them in his teaching! With him around – and his warm, encouraging presence, his students didn’t run into so many problems.
  • 59:00 This difficulty of making any changes to the Goenka institution
  • 1:00:02 – The Fire Kasina – why did it get lost and why is it not more popular?
  • 1:10:10 Fire Kasina for beginners, and on retreat
  • 1:14:00 Bill & Jasmine’s ambitions for the podcast & current practice
  • 1:24:00 Scripting and the Jhanas
  • 1:29:50 Daniel’s thoughts on having a meditation teacher and how to find the right one.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this one so do please email or leave us a comment below!

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4 Comments

  1. Lovely to hear the Dharma .
    Daniel is so educated and thankyou to 2 host s also.

  2. This is an insightful conversation with an important selection of topics; it’s weird that meditation challenges of this sort are not discussed as often. I appreciated that you openly shared your personal experiences, and the discussion on Goenka was particularly validating. A question came up after hearing what Daniel thinks about having a teacher: is it important to stick to one tradition, or could it be useful to explore many practices, whether from within Buddhism or from other traditions altogether? Perhaps you’ve discussed that in a previous episode or would be interested in taking it up in a future one or sharing your thoughts here. Cheers.

    • Hey great to hear from you L!
      In my experience, a broader view can be helpful – but it’s good also to really dig into a practice that you find resonates. Yeah a good topic for future discussions!

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