McMindfulness meditation dangers

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:02 pm

Hmm. This is from the article:

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.


He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly. Or they are not unfamiliar with Buddhist ideas in the first place.

It's why anecdotes are useless as data. Variables like this aren't controlled for.
    "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 6:13 pm

daverupa wrote:Hmm. This is from the article:

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.


He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly.
You don't know that, and the he is a she.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

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

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I don't see any distinction.

Everything you experience is not-self... you have been experiencing not-self since the day you were born (and potentially beyond that). Experiencing dhammas that are not-self doesn't bring enlightenment, it is discernment of those dhammas as not-self which brings enlightenment....

Sorry, I should have used a smiley and saved you some typing... I was quite aware that you were making a distinction based on clever word play. :reading:

Now, can we get past terminology and back to the question of how McPractitioner and BudPractitioners experience/discern/whatever anatta? And how to progress based on that...
Chanmyay Sayadaw wrote: '... Sometimes though I control my foot, the foot doesn't stay with the ground. It lifted by itself. Sometimes it pushed forward very long. I couldn't control it. Then sometimes it's getting down by itself. So my meditation is getting worse and worse. What should I do?' Then eventually he said, 'I think I have gone mad.' ...
http://buddhanet.net/vmed_4.htm

The Buddha wrote:"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html

The Buddha wrote:[7] "'The perception of not-self in what is stressful, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has transcended pride, is at peace, and is well-released. If, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is not devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has not transcended pride, is not at peace, and is not well-released, then he should realize, 'I have not developed the perception of not-self in what is stressful; there is no step-by-step distinction in me; I have not arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there. But if, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has transcended pride, is at peace, and is well-released, then he should realize, 'I have developed the perception of not-self in what is stressful; there is a step-by-step distinction in me; I have arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there.

"'The perception of not-self in what is stressful, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

:anjali:
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:57 pm

I am sorry to butt in, Gentlemen, but is it really controversial that people have insights that are compatible with the Dhamma without ever having heard of the Dhamma?

I mean there are even the self-awakened ones, so why not the many more self-progressed-along-the-path-to-awakening-ones? Especially when exposed to parts of Dhamma?

To me this is completely self-evident. Is this what the debate is about or have I missed something again?
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:11 pm

Greetings Dan,
Within the tradition, there can be no self-awakened ones unless one is referring to Sammasambuddhas and Paccekabuddhas who arise at the time when a Buddha's dispensaton has not arisen in the world or after it has been completely forgotten. Since we are at the beginning of the second Sasana of Gotama Buddha, there can be no self-awakened ones let alone sammasambuddhas and paccekabuddhas.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:55 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:Hmm. This is from the article:

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.


He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly.
You don't know that, and the he is a she.


The point is that this could explain it, and hasn't been ruled out.
    "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 mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:01 pm

Dan74 wrote:I am sorry to butt in, Gentlemen, but is it really controversial that people have insights that are compatible with the Dhamma without ever having heard of the Dhamma?

I didn't think so. Especially when said people are following instructions derived originally from Dhamma teachings, so various Dhamma ideas will probably be transmitted implicitly.

It seems odd to me that on the one hand Dhamma is commonly said to involve investigating for oneself, but that on the other hand some progress (we're not talking about awakening here, we're talking about very small steps) towards understanding the Dhamma is not possible unless one grasps all of the technicalities.

As I have said several times, the interesting question to me is:
What would need to be added to make the participants of such programmes "Dharma Practitioners"?

For the sake of argument, I'll throw out this opinion:
    Entry-level Dhamma Practice would add a few sessions discussing Noble Truths, Aggregates, Characteristics.
    [And Sila, but that's not specifically Buddhist.]

:anjali:
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:21 pm

It always astounds me that with all the stories of arahats who awakened with minimal instruction, with all the historical examples of highly cultivated moral and wise people that had never heard of the Buddhadhamma, there seems to still be an insistence that without the proper textual basis you cannot get anywhere.

To say that solid textual basis is preferable in most cases needs no argument but to maintain that anything short of that will never lead to any progress on the path is incompatible with the evidence, IMO.

Quite the contrary, I would argue that very little is needed in order to lay proper foundations for practice. Ethics, Dependent Origination, Meditation Instuctions with advice not to attach to anything that arises can already take people far along the path and some even manage with less. They work out the rest as they go along.
_______________

Ben, what is the source of this view that you stated above? Canonical or postcanonical?
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:13 am

Dan74 wrote:Ethics, Dependent Origination, Meditation Instuctions


Very good. Here we have Sila, we have Panna, we have Samadhi.

For morality and meditation, I expect there's a nuanced variability of which much may be of benefit. But other than the SuttaVinaya, I don't see Panna.

sabbe sankhara anicca
sabbe sankhara dukkha
sabbe dhamma anatta


Where else can such a thing as this be found?
    "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 Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:16 am

Same place the Buddha found it - insight.

But I am not talking about liberation even, just progress.
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:16 am

Hi Dan
Its canonical. There is a sutta where the Buddha says that there is no awakening outside of the Buddhadhamma. If I get time later I'll try and hunt it down for you.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Alex123 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:30 am

Dan74 wrote:It always astounds me that with all the stories of arahats who awakened with minimal instruction, with all the historical examples of highly cultivated moral and wise people that had never heard of the Buddhadhamma, there seems to still be an insistence that without the proper textual basis you cannot get anywhere.


The orthodox interpretation is that those people were very highly developed, had great merit and accumulation. They needed a tiny bit more of personalized instruction before they would Awaken. They were gifted (due to high accumulations) like Mozart was gifted at music.

Those brief instructions were enough for them, but not necessary for ordinary folks like us.

http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:09 am

Thanks Ben! I know this teaching and to me it is not saying the same thing as your earlier post.
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:49 am

No worries, Dan.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:44 am

And my suggestion above: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10148&view=unread#p155604 wasn't that practitioners need no exposure at all to the Dhamma. I was suggesting, based on my experience and observations of others, that the amount of theory one needs to practise effectively is quite small, as long as one has some competent guidance.

:anjali:
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:03 am

I agree, Mike, and also with Alex's statement above which is at least very plausible.

Basically we all have quite different kamma and different obstacles/fetters/defilements, hence different medicine and different dosage needed to treat the disease.

I have deep misgivings about mcmindfulness taught by those with little wisdom and appreciation of the Dhamma. But small doses of the Dhamma administered skilfully can have profoundly beneficial effects, I feel.
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Oct 24, 2011 6:20 am

Dan74 wrote:I have deep misgivings about mcmindfulness taught by those with little wisdom and appreciation of the Dhamma. But small doses of the Dhamma administered skilfully can have profoundly beneficial effects, I feel.
Invite Shonin back here to participate in this thread, given that he is quite knowledgeable about therapeutic mindfulness practice. I would very much welcome his input.
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

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

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:51 am

Hi Dan,

Dan74 wrote:Ben, what is the source of this view that you stated above? Canonical or postcanonical?


Here it is:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .vaji.html
The Lion's Roar

61. And the Blessed One spoke, saying: "In whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, there is not found the Noble Eightfold Path, neither is there found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, or fourth degree of saintliness. But in whatsoever Dhamma and Discipline there is found the Noble Eightfold Path, there is found a true ascetic of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness.[54] Now in this Dhamma and Discipline, Subhadda, is found the Noble Eightfold Path; and in it alone are also found true ascetics of the first, second, third, and fourth degrees of saintliness. Devoid of true ascetics are the systems of other teachers. But if, Subhadda, the bhikkhus live righteously, the world will not be destitute of arahats.


Many thanks to Mike who assisted me with locating the sutta quote.
kind regards,

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:31 am

Thank you, Ben (and Mike) for the quote.

It raises several questions for me.

1. Are we talking about ascetics of the first degree of saintliness when we say that people can make progress in the Dhamma with mindfulness training? That's setting the bar pretty high...

2. If we are talking about ascetics with at least the first degree of saintliness and the Noble Eightfold Path is needed, then Bahiya received it in very abridged form. Perhaps it is not needed literally but needs to be developed and implemented which can happen from some equivalent instruction, from past cultivation and present insight, etc?

3. It doesn't say that self-awakened ones cannot happen until the Buddha's teaching has died out, nor that people cannot arrive at the Noble Eightfold Path on their own and attain some level of cultivation.

PS Tilt, I've PMed Shonin. It would be interesting to hear of his work and perspective on this, I agree.
Last edited by Dan74 on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:37 am

Greetings Dan,

Re: #2, the Buddha's brief instruction effectively taught Bahiya idappaccayata (this/that conditionality) and sabbe dhamma anatta... principles which are the heartwood of the Dhamma.

In that connection, see daverupa's post above - viewtopic.php?f=16&t=10148&start=80#p155609

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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