Abandoning hindrances

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:34 am

Brizzy wrote:Hi mike

"As Tilt says, there is nothing contradictory. Noting is just a training technique to focus on the object. Walking slowly is another possible training technique."
My point is that these training techniques are not found in the suttas and since these training techniques form the basis for the Mahasi method, I dont think they can be casually overlooked. As far as your quote from MN10 goes, my point is that the bhikkhu is involving the thought/reflection/contemplation process and not just employing bare awareness as is often taught.


However, "bare attention" is quite capable of bringing one to 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.



AN IV.24
Kalaka Sutta
At Kalaka's Park
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

On one occasion the Blessed One was staying in Saketa at Kalaka's park. There he addressed the monks: "Monks!"

"Yes, lord," the monks responded.

The Blessed One said: "Monks, whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & priests royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know. Whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & priests, their royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That I directly know. That has been realized by the Tathagata, but in the Tathagata1 it has not been established.2

"If I were to say, 'I don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a falsehood in me. If I were to say, 'I both know and don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be just the same. If I were to say, 'I neither know nor don't know whatever in the cosmos... is seen, heard, sensed, cognized... pondered by the intellect,' that would be a fault in me.

"Thus, monks, the Tathagata, when seeing what is to be seen, doesn't construe an [object as] seen. He doesn't construe an unseen. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-seen. He doesn't construe a seer.

"When hearing...

"When sensing...

"When cognizing what is to be cognized, he doesn't construe an [object as] cognized. He doesn't construe an uncognized. He doesn't construe an [object] to-be-cognized. He doesn't construe a cognizer.

Thus, monks, the Tathagata — being the same with regard to all phenomena that can be seen, heard, sensed, & cognized — is 'Such.' And I tell you: There's no other 'Such' higher or more sublime.

"Whatever is seen or heard or sensed
and fastened onto as true by others,
One who is Such — among the self-fettered —
wouldn't further claim to be true or even false.

"Having seen well in advance that arrow
where generations are fastened & hung
— 'I know, I see, that's just how it is!' —
there's nothing of the Tathagata fastened."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

1. Reading tathagate with the Thai edition.

2. I.e., the Tathagata hasn't taken a stance on it.



SN 35.95
Malunkyaputta Sutta
To Malunkyaputta
Translated from the Pali by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu PTS: S iv 72
CDB ii 1175
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Then Ven. Malunkyaputta, who was ardent & resolute, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One: "It would be good, lord, if the Blessed One would teach me the Dhamma in brief so that, having heard the Dhamma from the Blessed One, I might dwell alone in seclusion: heedful, ardent, & resolute."

"Here now, Malunkyaputta: What will I say to the young monks when you — aged, old, elderly, along in years, come to the last stage of life — ask for an admonition in brief?"

"Lord, even though I'm aged, old, elderly, along in years, come to the last stage of life, may the Blessed One teach me the Dhamma in brief! May the One Well-gone teach me the Dhamma in brief! It may well be that I'll understand the Blessed One's words. It may well be that I'll become an heir to the Blessed One's words."

"What do you think, Malunkyaputta: the forms cognizable via the eye that are unseen by you — that you have never before seen, that you don't see, and that are not to be seen by you: Do you have any desire or passion or love there?"

"No, lord."1

"The sounds cognizable via the ear...

"The aromas cognizable via the nose...

"The flavors cognizable via the tongue...

"The tactile sensations cognizable via the body...

"The ideas cognizable via the intellect that are uncognized by you — that you have never before cognized, that you don't cognize, and that are not to be cognized by you: Do you have any desire or passion or love there?"

"No, lord."

"Then, Malunkyaputta, with regard to phenomena to be seen, heard, sensed, or cognized: In reference to the seen, there will be only the seen. In reference to the heard, only the heard. In reference to the sensed, only the sensed. In reference to the cognized, only the cognized. That is how you should train yourself. When for you there will be only the seen in reference to the seen, only the heard in reference to the heard, only the sensed in reference to the sensed, only the cognized in reference to the cognized, then, Malunkyaputta, there is no you in connection with that. When there is no you in connection with that, there is no you there. When there is no youthere, you are neither here nor yonder nor between the two. This, just this, is the end of stress."2

"I understand in detail, lord, the meaning of what the Blessed One has said in brief:

Seeing a form
— mindfulness lapsed —
attending
to the theme of 'endearing,'
impassioned in mind,
one feels
and remains fastened there.
One's feelings, born of the form,
grow numerous,
Greed & annoyance
injure one's mind.
Thus amassing stress,
one is said to be far from Unbinding.

Hearing a sound...
Smelling an aroma...
Tasting a flavor...
Touching a tactile sensation...

Knowing an idea
— mindfulness lapsed —
attending
to the theme of 'endearing,'
impassioned in mind,
one feels
and remains fastened there.
One's feelings, born of the idea,
grow numerous,
Greed & annoyance
injure one's mind.
Thus amassing stress,
one is said to be far from Unbinding.

Not impassioned with forms
— seeing a form with mindfulness firm —
dispassioned in mind,
one knows
and doesn't remain fastened there.
While one is seeing a form
— and even experiencing feeling —
it falls away and doesn't accumulate.
Thus one fares mindfully.
Thus not amassing stress,
one is said to be
in the presence of Unbinding.

Not impassioned with sounds...
Not impassioned with aromas...
Not impassioned with flavors...
Not impassioned with tactile sensations...

Not impassioned with ideas
— knowing an idea with mindfulness firm —
dispassioned in mind,
one knows
and doesn't remain fastened there.
While one is knowing an idea
— and even experiencing feeling —
it falls away and doesn't accumulate.
Thus one fares mindfully.
Thus not amassing stress,
one is said to be
in the presence of Unbinding.
"It's in this way, lord, that I understand in detail the meaning of what the Blessed One said in brief."

"Good, Malunkyaputta. Very good. It's good that you understand in detail this way the meaning of what I said in brief."

[The Buddha then repeats the verses.]

"It's in this way, Malunkyaputta, that the meaning of what I said in brief should be regarded in detail."

Then Ven. Malunkyaputta, having been admonished by the admonishment from the Blessed One, got up from his seat and bowed down to the Blessed One, circled around him, keeping the Blessed One to his right side, and left. Then, dwelling alone, secluded, heedful, ardent, & resolute, he in no long time reached & remained in the supreme goal of the holy life for which clansmen rightly go forth from home into homelessness, knowing & realizing it for himself in the here & now. He knew: "Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for the sake of this world." And thus Ven. Malunkyaputta became another one of the arahants.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Notes

1. It is possible, of course, to have desire for a sight that one has not seen. Strictly speaking, however, the desire is not "there" at the unseen sight. Rather, it's there at the present idea of the unseen sight. This distinction is important for the purpose of the practice.


". . . the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." U iv 1. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .irel.html


Not the thought of imperanence, not the comtenplation of imperanance, but the direct seeing, perception of, the rise and fall of '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,' Ud 10.
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 14, 2009 11:52 am

Brizzy wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote:Where exactly is the technique of walking super slow taught or "noting"?


So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?


Hi

Not exactly spelt out? It is not even mentioned. As far as cultivating mindfulness and concentration... well that depends a lot on how you define Right mindfulness and Right concentration. Remember I am only interested in how they are defined in the suttas(thats who).


You did not address the point I raised: So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem?

And your basis for determining how things are "defined" by you? You have suggested that the Mahasi Sayadaw mrethod is mind numbing; your basis for such a claim?
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:34 pm

Hi tiltbillings

You misunderstand. "(thats who)" refers to the suttas not me. :smile: The suttas define what mindfulness and concentration is, nobody else. My basis for such a claim as "The Mahasi Sayadaw method is mind numbing" is personal experience. You suggest I did not address the point you made, I intimated that what people develop using their "methods" should be compared against the suttas. If Right mindfulness and Right concentration are developed by these methods, then their is no problem. However, what develops from these methods does not seem aligned to what is defined by "Right" in the suttas.
As for your sutta examples you give... It is a bit like the Vajrayana tradition where you take the result of the path as the starting point. The Buddha is saying how things should be undertaken by one who is advanced on the path, where discernment and attention may be all that is required. However for the most part the Buddha taught the path from beginning to end and it would be pointless to begin meditation with the "bare awareness" method. :smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Wed Oct 14, 2009 1:45 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Brizzy wrote:"As Tilt says, there is nothing contradictory. Noting is just a training technique to focus on the object. Walking slowly is another possible training technique."
My point is that these training techniques are not found in the suttas and since these training techniques form the basis for the Mahasi method, I dont think they can be casually overlooked. As far as your quote from MN10 goes, my point is that the bhikkhu is involving the thought/reflection/contemplation process and not just employing bare awareness as is often taught.

Who is being casual here? Can you point to some statement by Sayadaw Mahasi that contradicts the Suttas? It's not really possible to discuss statements like: "as is often taught".

If you're going to completely disregard the Commentaries and modern teachers then interpretation of the Suttas becomes quite open. You can probably conclude whatever you want because the instructions in the Suttas are not particularly specific. From passages like the following it seems clear that much more detailed instructions were delivered personally, and I would presume that the commentaries have recorded many of those.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"As for the individual who has attained neither internal tranquillity of awareness nor insight into phenomena through heightened discernment, he should approach an individual who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment... and ask him, 'How should the mind be steadied? How should it be made to settle down? How should it be unified? How should it be concentrated? How should fabrications be regarded? How should they be investigated? How should they be seen with insight?' The other will answer in line with what he has seen & experienced: 'The mind should be steadied in this way. The mind should be made to settle down in this way. The mind should be unified in this way. The mind should be concentrated in this way. Fabrications should be regarded in this way. Fabrications should be investigated in this way. Fabrications should be seen in this way with insight.' Then eventually he [the first] will become one who has attained both internal tranquillity of awareness & insight into phenomena through heightened discernment.


Metta
Mike


Hi
If I am to be censured for the statement "as is often taught", what of your statement "the Suttas are not particularly specific" Why are the suttas not specific? Some people look for a technique that takes away all need for thought and reflection? The vast majority of sutta literature is plainly understandable and the idea that it is not, would portray the Buddha as a poor teacher. Obviously a part of the sutta literature is aimed at wiser people and monks at that. Also there will exist one or two suttas that are of a debatable origin, but the vast majority is of one flavour and one drift. :smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 14, 2009 2:56 pm

Brizzy wrote:Hi tiltbillings

You misunderstand. "(thats who)" refers to the suttas not me.

You were not particularly clear and you have not given us your basis for how you interpret the suttas and why we should take your interpretation over anyone else's.
The suttas define what mindfulness and concentration is, nobody else.

I have seen nothing in the Mahasi Sayadaw teachings that contradict the suttas, and you have not shown anything that has.
My basis for such a claim as "The Mahasi Sayadaw method is mind numbing" is personal experience.

My personal experience, which includes a number of three month intensive retreats, suggests very much the opposite.
However, what develops from these methods does not seem aligned to what is defined by "Right" in the suttas.

So you claim, but not that you have shown.
As for your sutta examples you give... It is a bit like the Vajrayana tradition where you take the result of the path as the starting point.

Not at all. The methodology taught by Mahasi Sayadaw and U Pandita, which is consistent with these suttas, starts from the beginning and cultivates the concentration and mindfulness necessary for the Path, and it is all within the broader context of the Eightfold Path.
However for the most part the Buddha taught the path from beginning to end and it would be pointless to begin meditation with the "bare awareness" method.

Not that you have shown. Again, the Mahasi Sayadaw teachings are clearly within the framework of the Eightfold Path.
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:09 pm

Brizzy wrote: Why are the suttas not specific? Some people look for a technique that takes away all need for thought and reflection?

Thought and reflection have a place within the Path, but mindfulness practice is the core.

. Also there will exist one or two suttas that are of a debatable origin

Which might they be?
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Jechbi » Wed Oct 14, 2009 3:51 pm

Hi Brizzy,

Just to interject, I support your effort to undertake a sutta-based approach to practice that works for you, and I congratulate you for skillfully discerning that the "modern" approach you tried did not work for you. That's great!

I think we all can agree that different people get different results even when they do the same practice we ourselves do. We're not all the same. Depending on past and present kamma, these techniques of observing body sensations, observing the breath, sharing metta, etc., might be more well-suited for some people than for others, right?

In my opinion, Brizzy, you might find it more rewarding for yourself personally and for others if you could express your dissatisfaction with other methods in terms that support your fellow practitioners and provide them with encouragement. I find a huge amount of resonance in the suttas for the particular technique that I have been taught. My sitting practice makes the sutta teachings vividly personal and real for me, in a tangible way. You can do what you want, but personally, it's helpful for me if people provide encouragement. If it happens that someone feels I would benefit from criticism of my practice, I'd like to hear that criticism in a caring way, not in a way that is dismissive of my practice.

Of course this is an Internet discussion board, so we can't have too many expectations ...

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:16 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote: Why are the suttas not specific? Some people look for a technique that takes away all need for thought and reflection?

Thought and reflection have a place within the Path, but mindfulness practice is the core.

. Also there will exist one or two suttas that are of a debatable origin

Which might they be?

Hi

I have stated that the description of Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration can be found in the suttas. The definitions given in the suttas do not align with such ideas as momentary concentration. How do you define mindfulness and concentration?
As far as which suttas I think are debatable... well MN24 is rather a strange one. Nowhere in the whole sutta canon is this representation to be found and its tone and narrative is distinctly different from the rest of the Majjhima Nikaya.
:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:29 am

Brizzy wrote: I have stated that the description of Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration can be found in the suttas.

Okay, but what descriptions? And how do they make your point? You done a lot of "I have stated this, I have stated that," but you have not shown that what you state is so.

The definitions given in the suttas do not align with such ideas as momentary concentration. How do you define mindfulness and concentration?

Show us. What the definitions? What is momentary concentration? I'll be happy to define mindfulness and concentration, but at this point it is incumbent upon you to make your point first, given that you are the one who made the opening claims.

As far as which suttas I think are debatable... well MN24 is rather a strange one. Nowhere in the whole sutta canon is this representation to be found and its tone and narrative is distinctly different from the rest of the Majjhima Nikaya.

That is quite a subjective assessment.
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:37 am

Jechbi wrote:Hi Brizzy,

Just to interject, I support your effort to undertake a sutta-based approach to practice that works for you, and I congratulate you for skillfully discerning that the "modern" approach you tried did not work for you. That's great!

I think we all can agree that different people get different results even when they do the same practice we ourselves do. We're not all the same. Depending on past and present kamma, these techniques of observing body sensations, observing the breath, sharing metta, etc., might be more well-suited for some people than for others, right?

In my opinion, Brizzy, you might find it more rewarding for yourself personally and for others if you could express your dissatisfaction with other methods in terms that support your fellow practitioners and provide them with encouragement. I find a huge amount of resonance in the suttas for the particular technique that I have been taught. My sitting practice makes the sutta teachings vividly personal and real for me, in a tangible way. You can do what you want, but personally, it's helpful for me if people provide encouragement. If it happens that someone feels I would benefit from criticism of my practice, I'd like to hear that criticism in a caring way, not in a way that is dismissive of my practice.

Of course this is an Internet discussion board, so we can't have too many expectations ...

Metta


Hi
I am sorry if you find my criticism uncaring. I do not mean to be, the internet is never a good expression of ones real intent. :smile: However just because people are attached to certain views and ideas (as I am attached to mine :cookoo: ) should not be a reason for silence, if one thinks that certain aspects of the Dhamma are being changed and other aspects ignored. I am not a good communicator via internet or telephone for that matter, so I again apologise if you think my criticism was to strong. This however is a wonderfully free thinking forum "The Dhammic Free For All", so whilst people should never be personally abusive or aggressive, by viewing such a site you should be ready to have your own ideas and views challenged. I personally find my own views challenged continuously by such statements as "the suttas arent clear" or "the Buddha didnt give clear meditation or jhana instructions". Such statements are continuously repeated, which I find an afront to my faith in the Buddha and the Buddhas efficacy. The answer is to keep on practising and learning and if I ever come across a coherent and convincing argument that the suttas supported "modern vipassana" techniques then I would have to abandon my views on them. :smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 1:46 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote: I have stated that the description of Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration can be found in the suttas.

Okay, but what descriptions? And how do they make your point? You done a lot of "I have stated this, I have stated that," but you have not shown that what you state is so.

The definitions given in the suttas do not align with such ideas as momentary concentration. How do you define mindfulness and concentration?

Show us. What the definitions? What is momentary concentration? I'll be happy to define mindfulness and concentration, but at this point it is incumbent upon you to make your point first, given that you are the one who made the opening claims.

As far as which suttas I think are debatable... well MN24 is rather a strange one. Nowhere in the whole sutta canon is this representation to be found and its tone and narrative is distinctly different from the rest of the Majjhima Nikaya.

That is quite a subjective assessment.


Hi
Actually you first brought up the subject :-
"So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?"
You claim the technique cultivates mindfulness and concentration. It is really incumbent on you to define your understanding.

As far as the sutta MN24 goes...yes that is a subjective assessment.

:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:21 am

Brizzy wrote:
Hi
Actually you first brought up the subject :-
"So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?"
You claim the technique cultivates mindfulness and concentration. It is really incumbent on you to define your understanding.


Given that you before that comment claimed that it is the suttas to which you point, you made this statement:
Brizzy wrote:Where exactly is the technique of walking super slow taught or "noting"?
to which I responded with:
So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?


You brought up the criticism of the Mahasi Sayadaw technique first, to which I respnded. It is incumbent upon you to do the initial heavy lifting here of explaining and supporting your position, if you are serious about a dialogue. At best all we have gotten is your opinion, without any supporting discussion or evidence, that the suttas do not support the Mahasi Sayadaw teachings.

As far as the sutta MN24 goes...yes that is a subjective assessment.
And you have given us no reason to take it seriously.

The answer is to keep on practising and learning and if I ever come across a coherent and convincing argument that the suttas supported "modern vipassana" techniques then I would have to abandon my views on them.
The real problem here is that you have given us is ungrounded criticism and opinion without any supporting discussion from you for it. I am still waiting for you to present your position in terms of actual texts quoted and discussed as to how they support your claims.
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: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Jechbi » Thu Oct 15, 2009 3:40 am

Hi Briz,
Brizzy wrote:... by viewing such a site you should be ready to have your own ideas and views challenged.

Naturally. But to me it seems as though you are saying that everyone should reject certain practice methods that you personally found to be unsuitable for yourself. So this does not seem to be a way of encouraging others. It seems as if you are putting yourself into the position of a teacher, but your lesson plan is: "Give up what you're doing, because you're completely wrong."
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:38 am

Hi Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote: My basis for such a claim as "The Mahasi Sayadaw method is mind numbing" is personal experience.

Did you discuss this "mind numbing" experience with your teacher?

Metta
Mike
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Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote:
Hi
Actually you first brought up the subject :-
"So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?"
You claim the technique cultivates mindfulness and concentration. It is really incumbent on you to define your understanding.


Given that you before that comment claimed that it is the suttas to which you point, you made this statement:
Brizzy wrote:Where exactly is the technique of walking super slow taught or "noting"?
to which I responded with:
So, because it is not exactly spelled out in point by point detail in the suttas something that cultivates mindfulness and concentration is a problem? Says who?


You brought up the criticism of the Mahasi Sayadaw technique first, to which I respnded. It is incumbent upon you to do the initial heavy lifting here of explaining and supporting your position, if you are serious about a dialogue. At best all we have gotten is your opinion, without any supporting discussion or evidence, that the suttas do not support the Mahasi Sayadaw teachings.

As far as the sutta MN24 goes...yes that is a subjective assessment.
And you have given us no reason to take it seriously.

The answer is to keep on practising and learning and if I ever come across a coherent and convincing argument that the suttas supported "modern vipassana" techniques then I would have to abandon my views on them.
The real problem here is that you have given us is ungrounded criticism and opinion without any supporting discussion from you for it. I am still waiting for you to present your position in terms of actual texts quoted and discussed as to how they support your claims.


Hi

I can see you are not going to give on this, so my understanding of mindfulness is :- "And what bikkhus, is the faculty of mindfulness? Here bhikkhus, the noble disciple is mindful, possessing supreme mindfulness and wisdom, one who remembers and recollects what was done and said......." Samyutta Nikaya 48 10(10) Analysis.
Concentration.....Same sutta describes Right concentration as jhana.

As far as MN24 goes, what is not subjective is that the material in that sutta is not formulated in such a way anywhere else in the suttas. Do you not find that in the least bit odd? Since that particular sutta is the framework of the visuddhimagga.

You say my criticism is unfounded, well since the modern practices seem to be based on later material, I am struggling to find any sutta material that could validate such techniques.

Since I have offered up a couple of answers, could you explain how, you understand mindfulness and concentration?
:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Thu Oct 15, 2009 8:28 am

Jechbi wrote:Hi Briz,
Brizzy wrote:... by viewing such a site you should be ready to have your own ideas and views challenged.

Naturally. But to me it seems as though you are saying that everyone should reject certain practice methods that you personally found to be unsuitable for yourself. So this does not seem to be a way of encouraging others. It seems as if you are putting yourself into the position of a teacher, but your lesson plan is: "Give up what you're doing, because you're completely wrong."


Hi

I am not telling people to do anything. I am merely offering my opinion. If our beliefs are challenged, then this is sometimes a good thing. The one thing that such challenging, can accomplish is to spur us on to investigate more. If we feel we dont need to investigate, because we "know" then that is also good and we would not feel upset if our views and opinions are challenged.

:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Sanghamitta » Thu Oct 15, 2009 10:03 am

Can I ask you a completely open and unprejudiced question Brizzy. What was/is your motive for your post ? Its not a trick question.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.
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Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Jechbi » Thu Oct 15, 2009 4:03 pm

Howdy Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote:If our beliefs are challenged, then this is sometimes a good thing. The one thing that such challenging, can accomplish is to spur us on to investigate more. If we feel we dont need to investigate, because we "know" then that is also good and we would not feel upset if our views and opinions are challenged.

If my language in any way conveyed that I am "upset," that was a misfire. I'm not feeling upset. It's sometimes difficult to discuss differing viewpoints on print-based boards like this, because people are constantly assuming that the other person is feeling upset when there is disagreement. Rest assured, that is not the case here, and thanks for your concern.

A few thoughts: With regard to MN24, the purifications also are mentioned in the Dasuttara Sutta in the DN, so their inclusion in MN24 is not without precedent. You are right, though, that (according to the footnote in my translation) these seven purifications are not analyzed as a set anwhere else in the Nikayas, but that the sevenfold scheme forms the scaffolding for the Visuddhimagga. This footnote doesn't go so far as to suggest a forgery, however, if that's what you're suggesting. Although it seems as though we ought to keep an open mind about these things.

On the subject of sitting techniques, it seems clear to me that there are many examples in the Suttas of individuals engaged in sitting practice, and the Buddha praising that. (Here, for example.) And there are examples in the Suttas of individuals approaching learned monks for guidance in matters pertaining to the Dhamma. So it seems natural to me that today, lay people such as ourselves would approach those of more advanced learning for guidance in matters pertaining to the Dhamma, such as whether sitting practice is appropriate and, if so, how to engage in it. All of this seems to be in accordance with what we find in the Suttas.

But I find no Sutta material to validate your practice of putting yourself out as an authority in opposition to Dhamma teachers including venerable monks. If we are going to follow the example of the Suttas very strictly, then I would ask you to examine your own approach to Dhamma instruction here in this thread in the same manner. Can you find me some examples in the Suttas of lay followers challenging the instructions of venerable monks, and of those lay followers interpreting the Buddha's teachings to give instructions to others, and the Buddha praising that? Because it seems to me that you have a double standard here: You're asking for a strict Sutta validation of specific sitting-practice techniques to justify engaging in them, but you do not seem to worry about having a strict Sutta validation of your own interpretation technique before engaging in it.

Metta
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:01 am

Jechbi wrote:Howdy Brizzy,
Brizzy wrote:If our beliefs are challenged, then this is sometimes a good thing. The one thing that such challenging, can accomplish is to spur us on to investigate more. If we feel we dont need to investigate, because we "know" then that is also good and we would not feel upset if our views and opinions are challenged.

If my language in any way conveyed that I am "upset," that was a misfire. I'm not feeling upset. It's sometimes difficult to discuss differing viewpoints on print-based boards like this, because people are constantly assuming that the other person is feeling upset when there is disagreement. Rest assured, that is not the case here, and thanks for your concern.

A few thoughts: With regard to MN24, the purifications also are mentioned in the Dasuttara Sutta in the DN, so their inclusion in MN24 is not without precedent. You are right, though, that (according to the footnote in my translation) these seven purifications are not analyzed as a set anwhere else in the Nikayas, but that the sevenfold scheme forms the scaffolding for the Visuddhimagga. This footnote doesn't go so far as to suggest a forgery, however, if that's what you're suggesting. Although it seems as though we ought to keep an open mind about these things.

On the subject of sitting techniques, it seems clear to me that there are many examples in the Suttas of individuals engaged in sitting practice, and the Buddha praising that. (Here, for example.) And there are examples in the Suttas of individuals approaching learned monks for guidance in matters pertaining to the Dhamma. So it seems natural to me that today, lay people such as ourselves would approach those of more advanced learning for guidance in matters pertaining to the Dhamma, such as whether sitting practice is appropriate and, if so, how to engage in it. All of this seems to be in accordance with what we find in the Suttas.

But I find no Sutta material to validate your practice of putting yourself out as an authority in opposition to Dhamma teachers including venerable monks. If we are going to follow the example of the Suttas very strictly, then I would ask you to examine your own approach to Dhamma instruction here in this thread in the same manner. Can you find me some examples in the Suttas of lay followers challenging the instructions of venerable monks, and of those lay followers interpreting the Buddha's teachings to give instructions to others, and the Buddha praising that? Because it seems to me that you have a double standard here: You're asking for a strict Sutta validation of specific sitting-practice techniques to justify engaging in them, but you do not seem to worry about having a strict Sutta validation of your own interpretation technique before engaging in it.

Metta


Hi

I hope I am not having double standards. I do think it is important though, that we are independent minded and are ready and willing to investigate. Just because tradition says so or such and such teacher says so, does not mean we should not compare their teachings to the suttas for authenticity. The idea of "the guru is always right" is a dangerous one to hold. As far as my ideas or observations go, that is all they are. I am not saying that they have to be right. I am stating Dhamma as I see it and I am voicing my own doubts on the validity of certain teachings. It is all my views (baggage) and I am surprised that you think I am trying to be a teacher :smile: As far as the idea that my interpretation of technique is not validated by the suttas.......I dont see anything in my post that is not at some level accepted by most monks. I personally have drawn inspiration from Bhikkhu Thanissaro and Bhante Vilaramsi. All monks are worthy of respect and those in the Mahasi tradition appear to be strict followers of the Vinaya, which in itself makes them righteous monks. My thoughts are that tradition/time/politics has changed and altered important parts of the original teachings of the suttas. The suttas are for the most part clear/lucid and coherent teachings that speak for themselves. Can I ask you a question? Have you read many suttas?
:smile:
Brizzy
 

Re: Abandoning hindrances

Postby Brizzy » Fri Oct 16, 2009 1:07 am

Sanghamitta wrote:Can I ask you a completely open and unprejudiced question Brizzy. What was/is your motive for your post ? Its not a trick question.


Hi
Thanks :focus: I had almost forgotten what my initial inquiry was. How do meditators in the Mahasi and Goenka tradition "abandon" the hindrances?
:smile:
Brizzy
 

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