Vipassana vs Theravada

Theravāda in the 21st century - modern applications of ancient wisdom

Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:48 am

Ben wrote:Hi Pilgrim,
pilgrim wrote:Don't forget the thousands of Vipassana practitioners . Which side of the fence do they fall in?


Realistically, we are Theravadin. What we practice is considered to be mainstream Theravada within Myanmar. U Ba Khin described what he practiced and taught as Buddhism as did Ledi Sayadaw before him.

If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck then I think its probably a duck - even if that duck says its not a duck.
kind regards,

Ben

I'm kind of curious about the distinction between Vipassana and Theravada in general. I only recently noticed the distinction. The local "vipassana" group seems to be a group the Theravadans who heard a little too much of the Mahayana criticism of Theravada (too many rules) and decided they need a different name. This is a simplified statement, but it somewhat describes what I have noticed so far. Really, what is the difference between a Theravada group and a Vipassana group? I understand technically vipassana means insight and is a sliver of the path of Theravada, but in practice, the groups seem almost synonymous (based on my limited expose to the local vipassana meditation group that mostly follows a Theravadan approach, with emphasis on Thai Forest style meditation but with plenty of theory including some modern psychological perspectives).
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby cooran » Thu Dec 22, 2011 9:24 am

Buckwheat said: Really, what is the difference between a Theravada group and a Vipassana group?


Vipassana is a meditation technique - a tool to use when practising to see things as they really are. Vipassana can be practised by people of all religious faiths.

‘’Everyone faces the problem of suffering. It is a universal malady which requires a universal remedy, not a sectarian one. When one suffers from anger, it's not Buddhist anger, Hindu anger, or Christian anger. Anger is anger. When one becomes agitated as a result of this anger, this agitation is not Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim. The malady is universal. The remedy must also be universal.
Vipassana is such a remedy. No one will object to a code of living which respects the peace and harmony of others. No one will object to developing control over the mind. No one will object to developing insight into one's own nature, by which it is possible to free the mind of negativities. Vipassana is a universal path.’’
http://www.dhamma.org/en/art.shtml

Theravada practitioners may 'use' vipassana as a practice, but this is only part of the Dhamma taught by the Blessed One.

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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Zom » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:13 am

Really, what is the difference between a Theravada group and a Vipassana group?


As I see it from my contacts with vipassanists (that of Goenka) - the difference is enormous.
I would not call any of them to be "a buddhist" (and they don't consider themselves "buddhists" either).
Among them there are a lot of those with completely wrong views. Still, they feel themselves fine in "Vipassana".
For my opinion this is the result of wrong approach in teaching Buddha Dhamma - that is - picking out only bare meditation methods.

About a year ago I posted some information about the Noble Eightfold Path in Goenka's group in largest russian social network - and I was shocked when they deleted it and explained that "this have nothing to do with Vipassana" :shock:
Last edited by Zom on Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby DarwidHalim » Thu Dec 22, 2011 10:19 am

Zom wrote:
Really, what is the difference between a Theravada group and a Vipassana group?


As I see it from my contacts with vipassanists (that of Goenka) - the difference is enormous.
I would not call any of them to be "a buddhist" (and they don't consider themselves "buddhists" either).
Among them there are a lot of those with completely wrong views. Still, they feel themselves fine in "Vipassana".
For my opinion this is the result of wrong approach in teaching Buddha Dhamma - that is - picking out only bare meditation methods.


How well do you know about bare meditation method?

How do you do your vipassana meditation? Please don't describe how do you do the Samantha meditation. Only the Vipashana.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Buckwheat » Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:52 pm

Thanks for clarifying. I think I see your point. The local vipassana group is fairly true to Theravada, with the addition of some modern psychological perspective and an emphasis on meditation, in part because they are influenced by Thai Forest approach. I did not realize there are large groups that are removed from the Theravada traditions and only use the meditation technique. Thanks.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Zom » Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:16 pm

I can't say this about all groups. I speak only about those cases which I met. I also know people who came to Theravada via Goenka's retreats. But they are few (I can recall 3-4 such cases, while many thousands participate in this movement). But generally I think the major point here to look at - is the interest in buddhist texts. If people who practise this or that kind of meditation are interested in them - this is good. If they deny them as something not essential and speak only "about meditation" - these are usually far from Dhamma.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Dec 22, 2011 8:14 pm

Zom wrote:As I see it from my contacts with vipassanists (that of Goenka) - the difference is enormous.


Actually I'd say the opposite is true, the difference between meditation oriented Theravadins and insight or vipassana meditators is not that great.

I'm happy to attend retreats or meeting of either or both, from what I've seen a lot of Theravadin monks don't really see the distinction and are happy to teach or coordinate activities with insight meditation groups.

Sometimes the rituals and Asian superstitions that exist in Theravada get a bit much for me, sometimes the notions of "it's all about me and my personal dramas" which is more prevalent in insight meditation gets a bit much for me.

Ultimately the meditation practise is the same, when you have confidence in that then the differences of emphasis of different groups seem unimportant and I've benefited from both.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby vidar » Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:47 pm

Zom wrote:
Really, what is the difference between a Theravada group and a Vipassana group?


As I see it from my contacts with vipassanists (that of Goenka) - the difference is enormous.
I would not call any of them to be "a buddhist" (and they don't consider themselves "buddhists" either).
Among them there are a lot of those with completely wrong views. Still, they feel themselves fine in "Vipassana".
For my opinion this is the result of wrong approach in teaching Buddha Dhamma - that is - picking out only bare meditation methods.

About a year ago I posted some information about the Noble Eightfold Path in Goenka's group in largest russian social network - and I was shocked when they deleted it and explained that "this have nothing to do with Vipassana" :shock:


Really? how strange :thinking: . Goenka has always given a clear explanation of the Noble Eghtfold Path in different places , for example in the Discourses of the days two and three in the 10 day courses:

(...)
The path of Dhamma is called the Noble Eightfold Path, noble in the sense that anyone who walks on it is bound to become a noble-hearted, saintly person. The path is divided into three sections: sila, samadhi, and panna. Sila is morality--abstaining from unwholesome deeds of body and speech. Samadhi is the wholesome action of developing mastery over one's mind. Practising both is helpful, but neither sila nor samadhi can eradicate all the defilernents accumulated in the mind. For this purpose the third section of the path must be practised: panna, the development of wisdom, of insight, which totally purifies the mind. Within the division of sila are three parts of the Noble Path:


(1)Samma-vaca--right speech, purity of vocal action. To understand what is purity of speech, one must know what is impurity of speech. Speaking lies to deceive others, speaking harsh words that hurt others, backbiting and slanderous talk, babbling and purposeless chatter are all impurities of vocal action. When one abstains from these, what remains is right speech.

(2)Samma-kammanta--right action, purity of physical action. On the path of Dhamma there is only one yardstick to measure the purity or impurity of an action, be it physical, vocal, or mental, and that is whether the action helps or harms others. Thus killing, stealing, committing rape or adultery, and becoming intoxicated so that one does not know what one is doing are all actions that harm others, and also harm oneself. When one abstains from these impure physical actions, what remains is right action.

(3)Samma-ajiva--right livelihood. Everyone must have some way to support himself and those who are dependent on him, but if the means of support is harmful to others, then it is not a right livelihood. Perhaps one may not oneself perform wrong actions by one's livelihood, but encourages others to do so; if so, one is not practising right livelihood. For example, selling liquor, operating a gambling den, selling arms, selling living animals or animal flesh are none of them right livelihoods. Even in the highest profession, if one's motivation is only to exploit others, then one is not practicing right livelihood. If the motivation is to perform one's part as a member of society, to contribute one's own skills and efforts for the general good, in return for which one receives a just remuneration by which one maintains oneself and one's dependents, then such a person is practising right livelihood.

A householder, a lay person, needs money to support himself. The danger, however, is that earning money becomes a means to inflate the ego: one seeks to amass as much as possible for oneself, and feels contempt for those who earn less. Such an attitude harms others and also harms oneself, because the stronger the ego, the further one is from liberation. Therefore one essential aspect of right livelihood is giving charity, sharing a portion of what one earns with others. Then one earns not only for one's own benefit but also for the benefit of others.

If Dhamina consisted merely of exhortations to abstain from actions that harm others, then it would have no effect. Intellectually one may understand the dangers of performing unwholesome actions and the benefits of performing wholesome ones, or one may accept the importance of sila out of devotion to those who preach it. Yet one continues to perform wrong actions, because one has no control over the mind. Hence the second division of Dhamma, samddhi-developing mastery over one's own mind. Within this division are another three parts of the Noble Eightfold Path:


(4)Samma-vdyama--right effort, right exercise. By your practice you have seen how weak and infirm the mind is, always wavering from one object to another. Such a mind requires exercise to strengthen it. There are four exercises to strengthen the mind: removing from it any unwholesome qualities it may have, closing it to any unwholesome qualities it does not have, preserving and multiplying those wholesome qualities that are present in the mind, and opening it to any wholesome qualities that are missing. Indirectly, by the practice of awareness of respiration (Anapana) you have started performing these exercises.

(5)Samma-sati--right awareness, awareness of the reality of the present moment. Of the past there can only be memories; for the future there can only be aspirations, fears, imaginations. You have started practising samma-sati by training yourself to remain aware of whatever reality manifests at the present moment, within the limited area of the nostrils. You must develop the ability to be aware of the entire reality, from the, grossest to the subtlest level. To begin, you gave attention to the conscious, intentional breath, then the natural, soft breath, then the touch of the breath. Now you will take a still subtler object of attention: the natural, physical sensations within this limited area. You may feel the temperature of the breath, slightly cold as it enters, slightly warm as it leaves the body. Beyond that, there are innumerable sensations not related to breath: heat, cold, itching, pulsing, vibrating, pressure, tension, pain, etc. You cannot choose what sensation to feel, because you cannot create sensations. Just observe; just remain aware. The name of the sensation is not important; what is important is to be aware of the reality of the sensation without reacting to it.

The habit pattern of the mind, as you have seen, is to roll in the future or in the past, generating craving or aversion. By practising right awareness you have started to break this habit. Not that after this course you will forget the past entirely, and have no thought at all for the future. But in fact you used to waste your energy by rolling needlessly in the past or future, so much so that when you needed to remember or plan something, you could not do so. By developing samma-sati, you will learn to fix your mind more firmly in the present reality, and you will find that you can easily recall the past when needed, and make proper provisions for the future. You will be able to lead a happy, healthy life.

(6)Samma-samadhi--right concentration. Mere concentration is not the aim of this technique; the concentration you develop must have a base of purity. With a base of craving, aversion, or illusion one may concentrate the mind, but this is not samma-samadhi. One must be aware of the present reality within oneself, without any craving or aversion. Sustaining this awareness continuously from moment to moment--this is .

By following scrupulously the five precepts, you have started practising sila. By training your mind to remain focused on one point, a real object of the present moment, without craving or aversion, you have started developing samadhi. Now keep working diligently to sharpen your mind, so that when you start to practise panna you will be able to penetrate to the depths of the unconscious, to eradicate all the impurities hidden there, and to enjoy real happiness--the happiness of liberation.

Real happiness to you all.



(...)
Within the division of panna fall two more parts of the Noble Eightfold Path:


(7)Samma-sankappa--right thoughts. It is not necessary that the entire thought process be stopped before one can begin to develop wisdom. Thoughts remain, but the pattern of thinking changes. The defilements at the surface level of the mind start to pass away because of the practice of awareness of respiration. Instead of thoughts of craving, aversion, and delusion, one begins to have healthy thoughts, thoughts about Dhamma, the way to liberate oneself.

(8)Samma-ditthi--right understanding. This is real panna, understanding reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.
(...)



Maybe the "Noble Eightfolt Path" that you put in that russian social network was something that had nothing to do with Dhamma.

Best wishes,
All the world is on fire, All the world is burning, All the world is ablaze, All the world is quaking. That which does not quake or blaze, That to which worldlings do not resort, Where there is no place for Mara:That is where my mind delights. (SN 5.7)

By degrees, little by little,
from moment to moment,
the wise purify themselves,
as a smith purifies silver.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Ben » Sun Dec 25, 2011 9:02 pm

Well said, Vidar.
Like Goof, I believe the differences to be superficial.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Skeptic » Mon Dec 26, 2011 2:22 pm

I see these 'distinct' groups as being nothing more than different type of Theravada, even those which claims to be non-sectarian.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Dec 26, 2011 5:09 pm

Burmese Vipassanā is sectarian of Theravāda. As a contemplative practice taught by the Buddha it is nowhere to be found.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Zom » Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:25 pm

Ultimately the meditation practise is the same


The views, on which the meditation is based, makes this huge difference. As the Buddha said: From wrong views comes .... wrong mindfulness, wrong samadhi :reading:

So when make judgements, we should look not on meditation techniques - but exactly on the views of practitioners 8-)

Goenka has always given a clear explanation of the Noble Eghtfold Path in different places , for example in the Discourses of the days two and three in the 10 day courses:

(8)Samma-ditthi--right understanding. This is real panna, understanding reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.



And that's it? Is that all that he said about the Right Views? How about the explanation of kamma, about rebirth? That is, actually, an important part of this factor. And I wonder, why does he place the most important factor to the very end of the Path... while Buddha puts it in the very beginning :spy:

Maybe the "Noble Eightfolt Path" that you put in that russian social network was something that had nothing to do with Dhamma.


Really? Actually as you see this Goenka's version of the Path differs from Buddha's one ,) And I posted original version.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby vidar » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:17 pm

And that's it? Is that all that he said about the Right Views? How about the explanation of kamma, about rebirth? That is, actually, an important part of this factor.

He gives explanations about kamma, rebirth and many others aspects of the Path in the other discourses along of the 10 day course like in the day four and five when he explains the Law of kamma, the Four Noble Truths, etc., however, rebirth is not something you necessarily have to accept, not even if you identify yourself as a buddhist. But I suppose you know that, don't you?

We must also take into consideration that the 10 day courses are only a introductory course, "the kindergarden of Dhamma" as Goenkaji says.

And I wonder, why does he place the most important factor to the very end of the Path... while Buddha puts it in the very beginning

Precisely because is the most important factor of the Path he explained at the end and gives the greatest importance over the course.

Really? Actually as you see this Goenka's version of the Path differs from Buddha's one ,) And I posted original version.

Actually I see that the Goenka's version of the Noble Eightfold Path is no different at all from Buddha's one. :reading:

Best Wishes
All the world is on fire, All the world is burning, All the world is ablaze, All the world is quaking. That which does not quake or blaze, That to which worldlings do not resort, Where there is no place for Mara:That is where my mind delights. (SN 5.7)

By degrees, little by little,
from moment to moment,
the wise purify themselves,
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:18 pm

Zom wrote:The views, on which the meditation is based, makes this huge difference. As the Buddha said: From wrong views comes .... wrong mindfulness, wrong samadhi :reading:
Zom, I think its incredible that you feel qualified to judge that what a respected teacher is teaching "wrong view" based on your own incomplete knowledge of what he teaches and your own predelictions of what you think qualifies as authentic Dhamma.

Zom wrote:So when make judgements, we should look not on meditation techniques - but exactly on the views of practitioners 8-)
This is just a recipe for ill-informed judgementalism and appealing to your own biases. If we use the same logic then anyone who misrepresents the teaching of the Buddha (intentionally or unintentionally) means that the Buddha is to blame.

Goenka has always given a clear explanation of the Noble Eghtfold Path in different places , for example in the Discourses of the days two and three in the 10 day courses:

(8)Samma-ditthi--right understanding. This is real panna, understanding reality as it is, not just as it appears to be.



And that's it? Is that all that he said about the Right Views? How about the explanation of kamma, about rebirth? That is, actually, an important part of this factor. And I wonder, why does he place the most important factor to the very end of the Path... while Buddha puts it in the very beginning :spy:
Here, again, you display your very real lack of knowledge of what he teaches.

Maybe the "Noble Eightfolt Path" that you put in that russian social network was something that had nothing to do with Dhamma.


Really? Actually as you see this Goenka's version of the Path differs from Buddha's one ,) And I posted original version.
[/quote]
Because he talks about the last path factor first? You are kidding me, right?

ancientbuddhism wrote:Burmese Vipassanā is sectarian of Theravāda. As a contemplative practice taught by the Buddha it is nowhere to be found.

Mahasatipatthana sutta.

kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby ancientbuddhism » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:20 pm

Ben wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:Burmese Vipassanā is sectarian of Theravāda. As a contemplative practice taught by the Buddha it is nowhere to be found.


Mahasatipatthana sutta.



It is a claim that satipaṭṭhāna is, in part, representative of the Burmese vipassanā tenet system, and this is fair enough where the later finds support in satipaṭṭhāna. But this is a specious claim when it is used to further another claim that Burmese vipassanā is the Buddha’s teaching. However, vipassanā can be found in the Buddha’s teaching, working along with other factors conducive to knowledge and wisdom:

“Dveme bhikkhave dhammā vijjābhāgiyā. Katame dve ? Samatho ca vipassanā ca. Samatho bhikkhave bhāvito kamatthamanubhoti ? Cittaṃ bhāvīyati. Cittaṃ bhāvitaṃ kamatthamanubhoti?Yo rāgo, so pahīyati. Vipassanā bhikkhave bhāvito kamatthamanubhoti? Paññā bhāvīyati. Paññā bhāvitā kamatthamanubhoti? Yā avijjā, sā pahīyati, rāgupakkiliṭṭhaṃ vā bhikkhave cittaṃ na vimuccati. Avijjupakkiliṭṭhā vā paññā na bhāvīyati. Iti kho bhikkhave rāgavirāgā cetovimutti, avijjāvirāgā paññāvimuttīti.

“Bhikkhus, there are two states conducive to contemplative-knowledge, which two? Calm and Insight.

Bhikkhus, when calm is developed, what is the benefit of this undertaking? The mind is developed. When the mind is developed, what is the benefit of this undertaking? Desire is abandoned.

Bhikkhus, when insight is developed, what is the benefit of this undertaking? Wisdom is developed. When wisdom is developed, what is the benefit of this undertaking? Ignorance is abandoned.

Bhikkhus, defiled by desire, the mind is not released; defiled by ignorance, wisdom does not develop.

Bhikkhus, therefore with the absence of desire there is the mind-release; with the absence of ignorance there is wisdom-release.

–A.N. 2.1.3.11(31) (Vijjābhāgiyā Sutta)


And all of these factors can be found in the Buddha’s teachings on one contemplative effort where ānāpānasati, which is the support of satipaṭṭhāna, leads to the fulfillment of satta bojjhaṅga and vijjāvimuttiṃ. (S.N.5.10.2.3. Ānanda Sutta)
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Ben » Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:51 pm

ancientbuddhism wrote:the Burmese vipassanā tenet system

I've never heard of the Burmese vipassana tenet system.
Perhaps you could do us the favour of explaining what you mean by this statement.

ancientbuddhism wrote:However, vipassanā can be found in the Buddha’s teaching, working along with other factors conducive to knowledge and wisdom

And that is what I, and others, have been saying.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby chownah » Tue Dec 27, 2011 2:14 am

It is a claim that satipaṭṭhāna is, in part, representative of the Burmese vipassanā tenet system, and this is fair enough where the later finds support in satipaṭṭhāna. But this is a specious claim when it is used to further another claim that Burmese vipassanā is the Buddha’s teaching. However, vipassanā can be found in the Buddha’s teaching, working along with other factors conducive to knowledge and wisdom:

I don't know the intended meaning behind this text but I think that a reading of the words presented tends to confuse two different meanings of "vipassana"....one meaning is "insight" and the other meaning is "a method of meditation whose goal is to produce insight"......and in this thread there seems to be yet a third meaning with is "a Buddhist sect who believe in the practice of a type of meditation whose goal is to produce insight"...........it seems that the non-specific use of the term "vipassana" is creating a proliferation of meanings which I'm sure that many of us can understand and disentangle but it seems that this thread is evidence that some are getting the different meanings confused.
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby ancientbuddhism » Tue Dec 27, 2011 4:58 am

Ben Wrote: I've never heard of the Burmese vipassana tenet system.
Perhaps you could do us the favour of explaining what you mean by this statement.


Call it by its various dīpanī or kathā if you like.

Ben wrote: And that is what I, and others, have been saying.


I’m not sure if you, I ‘and others’ may be just talking around each other. The OP referenced vipassanā as mainstream Theravāda, that ‘U Ba Khin described what he practiced and taught as Buddhism as did Ledi Sayadaw before him.’ The Goenka system does claim a teaching lineage going back to the Buddha. The distinction that I made is that 19th century Burmese vipassanā cannot be found in the Buddha’s teachings. That Burmese vipassanā claiming support from the suttas is one thing, but to back-read its tenet system into the suttas is quite another.

chownah wrote: I don't know the intended meaning behind this text but I think that a reading of the words presented tends to confuse two different meanings of "vipassana"....one meaning is "insight" and the other meaning is "a method of meditation whose goal is to produce insight"......and in this thread there seems to be yet a third meaning with is "a Buddhist sect who believe in the practice of a type of meditation whose goal is to produce insight"...........it seems that the non-specific use of the term "vipassana" is creating a proliferation of meanings which I'm sure that many of us can understand and disentangle but it seems that this thread is evidence that some are getting the different meanings confused.


The confusion is when there is a conflation between the context of vipassanā in the nikāyas, and later Burmese Vipassanā. Vipassanā still means clear-seeing, intense-seeing or ‘insight’ if you like, although our rendering the word into a common language is best when it is unpacked exegetically by both consideration to its context in the nikāyas and practice; and this distinct from the later accretion under its name.
Katamo ca bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo: samatho ca vipassanā ca. Ayaṃ vuccati bhikkhave asaṅkhatagāmī maggo.

“And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Calm and insight. This, bhikkhus, is called the path leading to the unconditioned.” SN. 43.2 – Samathavipassanāsuttaṃ

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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby Ben » Tue Dec 27, 2011 5:45 am

ancientbuddhism wrote:
Ben Wrote: I've never heard of the Burmese vipassana tenet system.
Perhaps you could do us the favour of explaining what you mean by this statement.


Call it by its various dīpanī or kathā if you like.

I don't call it anything. Purely for the purposes of discussion, the teachings of various Burmese Vipassana teachers have been described as "Burmese Vipassana". By describing it as a 'tenet system' as you have, you infer something monolithic - which it isn't.

Ben wrote: And that is what I, and others, have been saying.


I’m not sure if you, I ‘and others’ may be just talking around each other.

That is a matter of opinion.

The OP referenced vipassanā as mainstream Theravāda, that ‘U Ba Khin described what he practiced and taught as Buddhism as did Ledi Sayadaw before him.’
And as I have said here and elsewhere - it is regarded as mainstream by the vast majority of Buddhists in Myanmar. And I have it on some authority - regarded as mainstream within Thailand. Perhaps even Sri Lanka.


The Goenka system does claim a teaching lineage going back to the Buddha.

And there is nothing unusual with that claim.


The distinction that I made is that 19th century Burmese vipassanā cannot be found in the Buddha’s teachings.
As you have already stated, vipassana is found in the Buddha's teaching. The fact that certain "insight exercises" were later developed to facilitate the arising of vipassana, I think, is not important.

That Burmese vipassanā claiming support from the suttas is one thing, but to back-read its tenet system into the suttas is quite another.
I am beginning to wonder whether your use of the use of the term "tenet system" is to cast negative aspersions on something you don't like. Since you have used the term several times in this thread I would appreciate it if you could tell us what this tenet system is. Especially since it has never been defined nor discussed in any literature that I have ever come across. Please feel free to provide textual support.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: Vipassana vs Theravada

Postby cooran » Tue Dec 27, 2011 6:14 am

Hello ancientbuddhism, Ben, all,

''Tenet System'' does seem an unusual term to introduce into a discussion on a Theravada list.

My understanding of the term is that, in religion, a tenet can be a central belief or doctrine that is proclaimed to be true without scientific proof.

I don't think this could be applied to tried and tested methods of meditation.

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