McMindfulness meditation dangers

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:Are you sure? Sounds like a speculation to me.

Sounds like sutta to me.

MN 117 wrote:"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."

Metta,
Retro. :)
Actually, that does not support your speculation.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:42 am

OK Tilt, fine.

:|

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:49 am

mikenz66 wrote:seem to be bringing up at least some of the same things you'd expect in a Buddhist context (insight into anatta, etc...).


I wonder if the spectrum of these spontaneous insights, when recorded, would in any way map onto the mistaken "insights" recorded in the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1)... it might be where Right View comes in as an essential component of Buddhist bhavana, as retro suggests, since meditation was an extant practice in the Buddha's day.

Otherwise, what else differentiates the Buddha's bhavana teachings from others of his milieu? Rupajhana?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:52 am

retrofuturist wrote:OK Tilt, fine.
Of course it is fine.

For Bahiya, a non-followwer of the Buddha, the Buddha did not lecture him on Right View. He gave him a very basic, stripped down practice, which was enough for him to gain awakening:
Ud 1.10 PTS: Ud 6
Bahiya Sutta: About Bahiya
translated from the Pali by
John D. Ireland
© 1998–2009
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html



"Herein, Bahiya, you should train yourself thus: 'In the seen will be merely what is seen; in the heard will be merely what is heard; in the sensed will be merely what is sensed; in the cognized will be merely what is cognized.' In this way you should train yourself, Bahiya.

"When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

Now through this brief Dhamma teaching of the Lord the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth was immediately freed from the taints without grasping. Then the Lord, having instructed Bahiya with this brief instruction, went away…
..

"Bhikkhus, Bahiya of the Bark-cloth was a wise man. He practiced according to Dhamma and did not trouble me by disputing about Dhamma. Bhikkhus, Bahiya of the Bark-cloth has attained final Nibbana."

Then, on realizing its significance, the Lord uttered on that occasion this inspired utterance:

Where neither water nor yet earth
Nor fire nor air gain a foothold,
There gleam no stars, no sun sheds light,
There shines no moon, yet there no darkness reigns.

When a sage, a brahman, has come to know this
For himself through his own wisdom,
Then he is freed from form and formless.
Freed from pleasure and from pain.
This inspired utterance was spoken by the Lord also, so I did hear.
Fine, indeed.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:57 am

Hi Dave,
daverupa wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:seem to be bringing up at least some of the same things you'd expect in a Buddhist context (insight into anatta, etc...).


I wonder if the spectrum of these spontaneous insights, when recorded, would in any way map onto the mistaken "insights" recorded in the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1)... it might be where Right View comes in as an essential component of Buddhist bhavana, as retro suggests, since meditation was an extant practice in the Buddha's day.

Otherwise, what else differentiates the Buddha's bhavana teachings from others of his milieu? Rupajhana?

Yes, that would be interesting. What seems to be clear is that it is possible to get to this "dissolution of self" stage without knowing any "theory". What Kelly seemed to be saying in her interview was that her students are then lost as to how to interpret those glimses of insight. And presumably, left to their own devices, they would come up with all kinds of views that were "wrong view" from a Buddhist standpoint.

:anjali:
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:00 am

Greetings Tilt,

Who says "Right View" necessitates being lectured?

The Buddha's instruction to Bahiya was based on Right View, namely,

"When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

Now through this brief Dhamma teaching of the Lord the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth was immediately freed from the taints without grasping.

Note, Dhamma teaching (i.e. based in Right View), not McMindfulness.

There is no Buddhist meditation without Right View.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:12 am

Hi Dave,
I think a modicum of right view exists when there is awareness of one's own suffering and that engaging in practice may be of benefit.
Hence, those people engaging in Dr McGonigal's programs were experiencing some benefit and some reported insights. How one progresses on the path from then on, I think, will depend on how attuned the program is with the Dhamma and traditional Dhammic practices. Though I am sure Dr McGonigal is well aware f those issues.
kind regards

Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

Who says "Right View" necessitates being lectured?

The Buddha's instruction to Bahiya was based on Right View, namely,

"When, Bahiya, you are not 'with that,' then, Bahiya, you will not be 'in that.' When, Bahiya, you are not 'in that,' then, Bahiya, you will be neither here nor beyond nor in between the two. Just this is the end of suffering."

Now through this brief Dhamma teaching of the Lord the mind of Bahiya of the Bark-cloth was immediately freed from the taints without grasping.

Note, Dhamma teaching (i.e. based in Right View), not McMindfulness.

There is no Buddhist meditation without Right View.

Metta,
Retro. :)
Uh huh. What is interesting here is that you seem to be arguing that conceptual thought is a(n absolute?) necessity for awakening. What the Buddha is telling Bahiya is what will happen "when in the seen just the seen." "When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that. . . . .' If the practice -- "when in the seen just the seen" -- is efficacious, whether or not the Buddha tells one what will happen as a result of doing the practice, doing the practice should lead to the result the Buddha described.

Now, if the instructions are given (that are consistent with the Dhamma), followed carefully, and the person has insight, is it Dhamma teaching or McMindfulness? Is the insight into anicca, dukkha, and anatta valid or a great big phony bunch of baloney?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:08 am

tiltbillings wrote: What is interesting here is that you seem to be arguing that conceptual thought is a(n absolute?) necessity for awakening.

Yes, that is, in part, the issue I was trying to get at with the topic:
Are suttas necessary to practice meditation? viewtopic.php?f=17&t=10071
tiltbillings wrote: What the Buddha is telling Bahiya is what will happen "when in the seen just the seen." "When, Bahiya, for you in the seen is merely what is seen... in the cognized is merely what is cognized, then, Bahiya, you will not be 'with that. . . . .' If the practice -- "when in the seen just the seen" -- is efficacious, whether or not the Buddha tells one what will happen as a result of doing the practice, doing the practice should lead to the result the Buddha described.

And, in fact, that's the way most Buddhist teachers I know of approach Dhamma. They give instructions and then give guidance based on what the students experience.
tiltbillings wrote:Now, if the instructions are given (that are consistent with the Dhamma), followed carefully, and the person has insight, is it Dhamma teaching or McMindfulness? Is the insight into anicca, dukkha, and anatta valid or a great big phony bunch of baloney?

Cleary it's Dhamma teaching if it results in Right View.
But that may well not happen without follow-up support, as discussed in the talk.

:anjali:
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:19 am

mikenz66 wrote: Cleary it's Dhamma teaching if it results in Right View.
But that may well not happen without follow-up support, as discussed in the talk.
That raises an interesting question. Does the insight one has have to be bottled in the proper container for it to Dhamma?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:34 am

tiltbillings wrote:That raises an interesting question. Does the insight one has have to be bottled in the proper container for it to Dhamma?


AN 8.53 wrote:
"As for the qualities of which you may know, 'These qualities lead to dispassion, not to passion; to being unfettered, not to being fettered; to shedding, not to accumulating; to modesty, not to self-aggrandizement; to contentment, not to discontent; to seclusion, not to entanglement; to aroused persistence, not to laziness; to being unburdensome, not to being burdensome': You may categorically hold, 'This is the Dhamma, this is the Vinaya, this is the Teacher's instruction.'"


:candle:
Last edited by daverupa on Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:35 am

Greetings,

This idea of stumbling across Right View by doing some kind of mindfulness activity, is putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion.

As Daverupa said above, meditation was already prevalent at the time of the Buddha, but other meditation methods (so deep even, that they led to formless realms) were insufficient. It is quite obvious from the Buddha's teaching what was lacking in them...

AN 10.103 wrote:"In a person of wrong view, wrong resolve comes into being. In a person of wrong resolve, wrong speech. In a person of wrong speech, wrong action. In a person of wrong action, wrong livelihood. In a person of wrong livelihood, wrong effort. In a person of wrong effort, wrong mindfulness. In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.

"This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success."

So much for "techniques" and "methods" practiced in the absence of Right View then.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:38 am

AN 8.30 wrote:
'This Dhamma is for one who is modest, not for one who is self-aggrandizing. This Dhamma is for one who is content, not for one who is discontent. This Dhamma is for one who is reclusive, not for one who is entangled. This Dhamma is for one whose persistence is aroused, not for one who is lazy. This Dhamma is for one whose mindfulness is established, not for one whose mindfulness is confused. This Dhamma is for one whose mind is centered, not for one whose mind is uncentered. This Dhamma is for one endowed with discernment, not for one whose discernment is weak.'
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:49 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

This idea of stumbling across Right View by doing some kind of mindfulness activity, is putting the cart before the horse, in my opinion.
"Some kind of mindfulness activity." How about using the method taught by the Buddha: "in the seen just the seen"? The point is that doing the practice may lead to insight into the impermanance of all conditioned things. So, if it does, that is not not Right View at least to some small extent?

As Daverupa said above, meditation was already prevalent at the time of the Buddha, but other meditation methods (so deep even, that they led to formless realms) were insufficient. It is quite obvious from the Buddha's teaching what was lacking in them...
It seems that some sort of mindfulness activity was what was unique to the Buddha's mix of meditation practices.

AN 10.103 wrote:" In a person of wrong mindfulness, wrong concentration. In a person of wrong concentration, wrong knowledge. In a person of wrong knowledge, wrong release.

"[b]This is how from wrongness comes failure, not success.
"

So much for "techniques" and "methods" practiced in the absence of Right View then.
But without actual insight, all we have are conceptual bits to hang onto, while the reality is that we are still bound by regarding things in terms of a self.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:01 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:"Some kind of mindfulness activity." How about using the method taught by the Buddha: "in the seen just the seen"?

I'm not critiquing the Buddha's instructions to Bahiya - I'm critiquing McMindfulness, and explaining why, in the context of the Dhamma, it neither gives rise to Right View, nor Right Release.

tiltbillings wrote:The point is that doing the practice may lead to insight into the impermanance of all conditioned things. So, if it does, that is not not Right View at least to some small extent?

Right View is as the Buddha defined it. I've never seen the Buddha say, "From Wrong Mindfulness, comes Right View" and neither have you.

tiltbillings wrote:It seems that some sort of mindfulness activity was what was unique to the Buddha's mix of meditation practices.

Yeah - it's called Right Mindfulness, and Right View is the forerunner.

tiltbillings wrote:But without actual insight, all we have are conceptual bits to hang onto, while the reality is that we are still bound by regarding things in terms of a self.

As per the earlier quote, ""One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:13 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:"Some kind of mindfulness activity." How about using the method taught by the Buddha: "in the seen just the seen"?

I'm not critiquing the Buddha's instructions to Bahiya - I'm critiquing McMindfulness, and explaining why, in the context of the Dhamma, it neither gives rise to Right View, nor Right Release.
It does not claim to; however, it seems that some individuals who are practicing this are getting some results that are interesting and seem to be genuine insights, in Buddhist terms, but then the issue is, without a context in which to understand the insights things can get bollixed.

tiltbillings wrote:The point is that doing the practice may lead to insight into the impermanence of all conditioned things. So, if it does, that is not not Right View at least to some small extent?

Right View is as the Buddha defined it. I've never seen the Buddha say, "From Wrong Mindfulness, comes Right View" and neither have you.
There is Right View and there is Right View. It depends, and you just dodged the question.

tiltbillings wrote:It seems that some sort of mindfulness activity was what was unique to the Buddha's mix of meditation practices.

Yeah - it's called Right View.
Right View is some sort of mindfulness activity?

tiltbillings wrote:But without actual insight, all we have are conceptual bits to hang onto, while the reality is that we are still bound by regarding things in terms of a self.

As per the earlier quote, ""One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."
Cannot really abandon wrong view until one has some sort of actual insight. Wrong view is not just matter of conceptualization, nor is Right View in terms of actually abandoning wrong view just some sort of conceptualization.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:32 am

Greetings,

tiltbillings wrote:It does not claim to; however, it seems that some individuals who are practicing this are getting some results that are interesting and seem to be genuine insights, in Buddhist terms, but then the issue is, without a context in which to understand the insights things can get bollixed.

If the insights are devoid of any appropriate context or understanding, what could make them supramundane "insight"?

tiltbillings wrote:There is Right View and there is Right View. It depends, and you just dodged the question.

So you say. As I've said repeatedly already (and am not inclined to repeat it to you beyond the traditional third time), it is, as mentioned above in the suttas quoted above 1) iterative (i.e. run and circle) , and 2) with Right View as the forerunner to Right (anything else)

tiltbillings wrote:a) Right View is some sort of mindfulness activity?...
b) Cannot really abandon wrong view until one has some sort of actual insight.


Again, see the "run and circle" quote. If you don't accept the quotes, then fine.

tiltbillings wrote:Wrong view is not just matter of conceptualization, nor is Right View in terms of actually abandoning wrong view just some sort of conceptualization.

Right View itself is a matter of conceptualization (what else could a "view" be?), and it's the fulfilment of the full Noble Eightfold Path (not the Ignoble Onefold Path of Wrong Mindfulness) that transforms Right View into to Right Knowledge... but again, Right View is the forerunner. Again, see the "run and circle" quote.

It perplexes me that you regard my statement "There is no Buddhist meditation without Right View" as speculative in light of the above.

"McMindfulness" or "Just mindfulness" is a sham Dhamma. That is not what the Buddha taught.

As for the supposed dangers of McMindfulness, I don't care to speculate - I am a follower of the Buddha, not other religionists or secularists.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 23, 2011 4:52 am

Hmmm....

Retro I think one of the issues is that some of those who begin to practice "mcmindfulness" are encountering experiences that appear to be genuine products of Buddhist meditation. Where it seems to fall apart is that there is not the knowledge there in the instructors, if there is any support at all. As I said earlier, when one begins one's practice 'career', right view just need be the awareness of suffering and supported by the confidence that practice will lead to a reduction of suffering. This point seems to supported by Dr McGonikal (?) and anecdotal experiences I have heard about.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:05 am

Greetings Ben,

To quote from the OP's link...

People are doing Tonglen, which can be a very challenging practice, the practice of giving and taking, taking in people’s suffering and giving back compassion. And other practices that are very powerful. And even though we have made the program secular in the core content, I’m finding that people are coming back and reporting experiences that I only know how to respond to with Buddhist ideas. People coming in who are reporting what is essentially the dissolving of the self, the sense, that rigid sense of the self, the personality, the ego. People are spontaneously experiencing this when they do the practices and they aren’t necessarily deeply disturbed by them but they don’t understand what’s happening.

I imagine a similar thing happens to people on a certain Facebook page who follow the "method" or "technique" pronounced by their teacher, without paying adequate regard or attention to the Dhamma (i.e. Right View, Noble Eightfold Path) he is endeavouring to teach them. Change a few words in the above quote, and it might explain what you recently encountered on Facebook...

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 5:06 am

This thread has brought up some intriguing issues.

One interesting issue that it brings up for me is which "trappings" are truly needed for effective Dhamma practice, and which of them are specifically Buddhist?

For example, I would argue that good progress is difficult without good sila, but Buddhism hardly has a monopoly on that.

And many would argue that there is a bunch of Asian cultural trappings that they can do without.

But how much theoretical knowledge in terms of Noble Truths, etc, is actually necessary to get properly established? As Ben says, it probably isn't all that much...

:anjali:
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