Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

Re: Daniel Ingram

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:16 pm

We've had various threads on this subject:

http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 43&start=0
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 43&start=0

As I said here:
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 266#p47734
mikenz66 wrote:... as far as I can tell, Daniel's advice agrees with the advice of my (Mahasi style) teachers, and my experience with that sort of practise. So, actually, nothing particularly radical, but very direct.

I'm not particularly interested or concerned about discussing who is or isn't at any particular stage. However, Daniel's advice and maps are basically what you can read in the Visuddhimagga or Mahasi Sayadaw's books such as The Progress of Insight http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html or U Pandita's books or talks by Joseph Goldstein or Steve Armstrong. Where he differs from those teachers I take him less seriously.

Basically all teachers I pay much attention to (such as the above) state, at least by implication, that they have experienced at least some of the steps in the maps that they talk about.

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10660
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Daniel Ingram

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:26 pm

Above the above listed threads that deal with Ingram, this one

viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3266

probably is the best of the bunch, plus this one

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=843
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19899
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Daniel Ingram

Postby Sekha » Sat Feb 27, 2010 12:25 am

There must be something wrong with the search engine on this forum. It did not find anything with the keyword 'ingram'.

And actually there are many threads about him already. :roll:
Where knowledge ends, religion begins. - B. Disraeli

http://www.buddha-vacana.org

As a sweet-smelling and beautiful lotus flower may grow upon a heap of rubbish thrown on the highway, so also, out of the rubbish heap of beings may appear a disciple of the Buddha, who with his wisdom, shines resplendent in wisdom. -/ Dhp 58-59
User avatar
Sekha
 
Posts: 751
Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 12:32 am
Location: French Guiana

Re: Daniel Ingram

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:53 am

Dukkhanirodha wrote:There must be something wrong with the search engine on this forum. It did not find anything with the keyword 'ingram'.

And actually there are many threads about him already. :roll:

I tend to distrust forum search engines. Most of them don't seem to work as advertised.

I just use Google to search anything. E.g.
Code: Select all
site:http://dhammawheel.com ingram

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ah ... =firefox-a

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10660
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Daniel Ingram

Postby jcsuperstar » Sat Feb 27, 2010 2:57 am

i played around on his web board for a bit, not posting or joining but just reading, and never really came away with anything. i was hoping someone there had some insights or tricks in meditation i hadnt been formally taught or just stumbled across on my own. but didnt. but who knows if its different for others, i mean not everyone reads the same books or has had the same teachers.
สัพเพ สัตตา สุขีตา โหนตุ

the mountain may be heavy in and of itself, but if you're not trying to carry it it's not heavy to you- Ajaan Suwat
User avatar
jcsuperstar
 
Posts: 1915
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 5:15 am
Location: alaska

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby Freawaru » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:46 am

David N. Snyder wrote:
I agree. Never mind the possible truth to the concept that a lay person who becomes enlightened must ordain or die in 7 days (from commentaries, not suttas);


But "going forth", i.e. becoming a bhikkhu does not necessarily imply doing so socially. In the suttas a "bhikkhu" refers to an inner change rather than a social one:

But he that overcomes all flaws,
both great and small, entirely and
completely, such one is verily a Bhikkhu.


Not merely from receiving alms is one a Bhikkhu.
The one attached to forms and rituals is not
truly to be regarded as a Bhikkhu.

Whoever drops both good and bad action,
lives celibate, walks through the world aware,
untouched and clever, such one is indeed a Bhikkhu.
...


Arahatship has something to do with awareness and liberation:

For him who has completed this journey.
For him who is untouched by any pain or sorrow.
For him who is in every-way wholly freed.
For him who has broken all chains.
For such one, no Suffering is ever Possible!

Those who are aware will not to cling to any house.
Home after home they leave, like swans that take
off from many various lakes.


and of not collecting new kamma (aka, leaving no trace):

No accumulation = No trace:
Who neither have any store of unripened results,
nor any store of physical matter;
Who is released into the uncaused & signless void;
Verily, they leave no trace, even as a bird fly through air.


of controling the senses:

One whose senses have been guarded & calmed,
like horses well tamed by the trainer, whose pride,
conceit & mental fermentation are all uprooted,
Even the Divine Devas love such one.


of conquering:

The one who does not desire anything,
but directly know even the uncreated;
not satisfied such one breaks off any
possibility for rebirth by swallowing
what he has made. Such one is the Supreme!
- A Courageous Conqueror ...
http://what-buddha-said.net/Canon/Sutta ... tm#Chapter VII The Arahat - Arahanta


And so on.
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:00 pm

Since this is the Dhammic-Free-for-All, let me venture a quote.

The Complete Enlightenment Sutra says (paraphrase from memory) "Any realization without establishing morality first will only serve Mara."

Indeed unless the grasping onto the self is severed how can there be true realization? And if it has, then at the very most there may be some residual karmic pattern which the arahat can attend to with mindfulness.

So I don't see how morality can really be an issue for the arahat.
Last edited by Dan74 on Wed Mar 03, 2010 12:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
_/|\_
User avatar
Dan74
 
Posts: 2701
Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:12 pm

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:01 pm

Freawaru wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
I agree. Never mind the possible truth to the concept that a lay person who becomes enlightened must ordain or die in 7 days (from commentaries, not suttas);


But "going forth", i.e. becoming a bhikkhu does not necessarily imply doing so socially. In the suttas a "bhikkhu" refers to an inner change rather than a social one:


Hi Freawaru,

Regardless of your interpretation of what entails a bhikkhu, the suttas are clear that an arahant does not engage in sexual intercourse:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Even anagamis (non-returners) have eradicated all sense pleasures, how much more so and important for the arahants.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8209
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby Kenshou » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:25 pm

This whole non-dual arahatnship thing strikes me as iffy. I don't think that it's that the traditional arahant -cannot- do these things, and that the "real" kind Ingram thinks he is can, it's that since the arahant know that certain actions, thoughts, etc., lead to craving and suffering, he/she's mastered the ability to diffuse/avoid them. Sure, they have the physical and mental potential to have sex and to lie or whatever, but because they know that things like this only really lead to suffering and clinging and more suffering, they don't have any inclination to engage in them. Once someone clearly sees how everything in this conditioned world of ours is inconstant and leads to dukkha, I don't know how in the world they would be able to re-engage in delusion that they are not anicca and dukkha (and then fall into desire for them).
Kenshou
 
Posts: 1029
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 12:03 am
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby Freawaru » Wed Mar 03, 2010 1:01 pm

David N. Snyder wrote:
Freawaru wrote:
David N. Snyder wrote:
I agree. Never mind the possible truth to the concept that a lay person who becomes enlightened must ordain or die in 7 days (from commentaries, not suttas);


But "going forth", i.e. becoming a bhikkhu does not necessarily imply doing so socially. In the suttas a "bhikkhu" refers to an inner change rather than a social one:


Hi Freawaru,

Regardless of your interpretation of what entails a bhikkhu, the suttas are clear that an arahant does not engage in sexual intercourse:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Even anagamis (non-returners) have eradicated all sense pleasures, how much more so and important for the arahants.


Hello David,

When sati-sampajanna is stable to a certain degree this effect already shows, even more so in vipassana: One is not absorbed into the mind- and body-processes but observes them in a detached way. A "bhikkhu" is always described as someone whose sampajanna (awareness) is stable and can be used. He sees and knows, he is aware. This specific awareness generates a distance to all physical and mental processes, one is not identified with them any more, one discerns them as "this is not me, not what I am". Even when the body and mind processes of such a person are busy with sense pleasures, can one really say that such a person is engaging in them? I don't think so. The eradication you speak about refers to the absence of these dhamma inside the awareness not of the absence per se. An arahant does not work, not because he feels he is too holy to do mundane tasks but because his mind and body are so tamed that they do the work without him, he is just aware. He is the handler, not the elephant. And the elephant can still reproduce biologically.

So, yes, it is a matter of interpretation. Interpretation based on sampajanna is different than interpretation not based on it.

Think of this sutta, describing the difference between an uninstructed ordinary person feeling pleasant feelings and an aryan feeling pleasant feelings.

When feeling a pleasant
feeling, he (the aryan) feels it as if detached, remote & alien. it. When feeling a painful feeling,
he also feels this as if detached, remote & alien. If he feels a neither-painful-nor-
pleasant feeling, he feels even that neutrality as if something detached, remote & alien....
This, bhikkhus, is called a Noble Disciple, who is released from birth, aging, and death!
http://what-buddha-said.net/drops/II/Bo ... eeling.htm


So yes, the mind- and body-processes of a person who is aryan can engage in sense-pleasures of all kinds, but still he feels them all as if detached, remote and alien. Not me, not mine, not what I am. Can one say of such a person that *he* is engaged in sense-pleasure? I say: no!
Freawaru
 
Posts: 489
Joined: Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:26 pm

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Postby Nibbida » Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:56 pm

Despite the understandable objections raised here, I found parts of the book to be useful & straightforward in it's explanations. I was less concerned with his presentation than my own judgmental attitude about it.

At the risk of getting Mahayana here:

Therefore, when enemies or friends
are seen to act improperly
be serene and call to mind
that everything arises from conditions.

Shantideva, 6.33
"Dispositions of the mind, like limbs of the body, acquire strength by exercise." --Thomas Jefferson

Facebook Meditation Page: http://snurl.com/yoga9vipassana
User avatar
Nibbida
 
Posts: 461
Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 3:44 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby nathan » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:25 am

The DharmaOverground forum is in it's second incarnation now and no longer at the wetpaint site.
If you would like to take anything related to meditation or attainments up with Dr. Ingram directly you can do so at his forum here:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/

At one point there was a long dispute between the Mahasi types vs. the Non-dual types and most of the non-dual people split off to this forum here:

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/

In the earlier version of the DhO I spent some time discussing a variety of things with the members but over the last year, in it's new format I haven't been involved with the forum except for one occasion where I was specifically asked to comment.

I find most of the criticisms on the more general buddhist forums, criticisms of Daniel's book and his claims to be largely what one would expect from Theravada buddhists and I'm not surprised at any of it. Personally, I don't care if people call themselves arahants or not and I don't care if people want to criticize those claims or not. Daniel has stated that he is making the claims he makes as an attempt to encourage other people to practice diligently and that may have been beneficial for some people. Obviously, for more conservative people, who probably predominate amongst serious students of Theravada, some of what he has to say about liberalizing the idea of what arahats are like is going to be considered unacceptable.

I have questioned Daniel and others about this liberalizing thinking about arahats and I haven't really received much in the way of a satisfactory answer. I have tried to make the point that if you are not prepared to accept the traditional sutta based interpretation of what an arahat is in it's entirety then you are devaluing the term and it becomes largely meaningless. The general drift of what people who focus predominantly on meditation practice have to say is that in practical terms the way that things change internally are not quite the same as how things are more superficially presented in the more traditional terms.

My thinking about all of this controversy is that while meditation is central to the path it is not the whole of what constitutes mature wisdom. In my thinking discipline applies to both virtue and meditation and that together these lead to dispassion. One does not become less passionate about sex, for example, by continuing to have sex, one becomes dispassionate about sex by no longer having sex, thinking about sex and even by becoming revolted by the thought of engaging in sex. So, imho, wisdom is more than disciplined meditation, wisdom applies to the whole of life, both internally and externally. As I see it, that is the real shortcoming of the suggestion that various degrees of meditative experience alone is the measure of one's liberation from ignorance and freedom from being and becoming.

I'm supportive of the main intention in what Daniel and others are doing, which is to encourage very open discussions about meditation practice and meditation experience. I would also like to see more open discussion of that and I agree that the whole subject could use a lot of demystification and clarification. I also agree with more conservative thinkers that it is beneficial to find qualified teachers of meditation. For some people teachers within the traditional settings can be found to be not very helpful when it comes to discussing the ongoing difficulties people can encounter in their meditation practice and many more people do not have access to any good teachers on a regular basis. In that context meditation practice forums like Daniel's have proven to be very helpful to some of the people who have participated.

What is often encountered in more mainstream forums like Dhamma Wheel ( which I find to be among the best at present and this is not intended in any way as a criticism of this forum or any of it's participants ) is that in the course of discussions of subjects like the phenomena related to the stages of insight, jhana, cessation and the like it is often difficult to separate a discussion of the subject of meditation from a discussion of the status of those who are willing to address the subject from an experiential pov. It happens with enough frequency that it becomes effectively impossible to discuss meditation and the objectives of meditation in anything but the most vague and general terms. Attempts to bring more clarity to the subjects can easily deteriorate into arguments about the status of those participating in the discussion.

I don't have any problem with having very conservative Theravada views about the four types of noble persons, I also have very conservative Theravada views on this. At the same time I do not think it benefits anyone to shift discussions of meditation practice and experience into arguments about either overt or implicit claims about attainments. I think it would benefit everyone a great deal if the two subjects could be kept apart.

I think, with the benefit of a few years hindsight, Daniels attempt to put all the arguments about arahatship aside by simply claiming to be an arahat has been, in the context of the Theravada community as a whole, a failed experiment. In the context of the small sub-set of people who are much more focused on meditation in practice, it has been much more of a success. Probably, everyone has gotten what they want out of this at this point. Those who are more interested in condemning people for making this or that claim of attainment of one kind or another have been able to continue to do so in general Theravada forums like this one and those who are more interested in open discussions about meditation practice and experience are much more able to do so in forums like Daniels and others of that sort.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
nathan
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby BlackBird » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:41 am

nathan wrote: At the same time I do not think it benefits anyone to shift discussions of meditation practice and experience into arguments about either overt or implicit claims about attainments. I think it would benefit everyone a great deal if the two subjects could be kept apart.


Image

Thanks for pointing that out.
(Guilty as charged now that I think about it.)
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta
User avatar
BlackBird
 
Posts: 1861
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 12:07 pm
Location: New Zealand

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby altar » Fri Apr 16, 2010 1:45 am

:anjali:
User avatar
altar
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 6:24 pm
Location: Monterey, MA

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby smokey » Sat Apr 24, 2010 10:36 am

Would an Arahant write a book? I seriously doubt Ingram is an Arahant, I read his book a little bit and I do not sense wisdom in his words.
User avatar
smokey
 
Posts: 115
Joined: Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: Budaševo, Croatia

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:21 am

Thanks Nathan,
nathan wrote: I also agree with more conservative thinkers that it is beneficial to find qualified teachers of meditation.

Speaking as someone at least moderately conservative in these matters, my observation is that such teachers that I have experience with are (having a Mahasi background like Daniel) quite consistent with him. As I've said before, Daniel says and claims little that you won't find in books books and talks by Mahasi Sayadaw, U Pandita, Joseph Goldstein, etc. He just tends to put it more bluntly, partly, I suspect as a bit of a "wind up", and brings in a few other contexts. I find that bluntness quite helpful at times. Those teachers I mentioned (and many others I could name, and teachers I know personally) are, of course, quite clearly implying that they are rather far along the paths themselves (otherwise what they say would make no sense - see for example the last section of Mahasi Sayadaw's "Progress of Inisight" http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html#Conclusion), they just don't express it so bluntly.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10660
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 25, 2010 4:53 am

mikenz66 wrote:Mahasi Sayadaw, U Pandita, Joseph Goldstein, etc.
Those coming from the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition would, however, not agree with Ingram's take on the arahant as we see in this quotation:
Here are a number of bogus myths and falsehoods about arahats, each of which violates one of more of the First Principles in addition to simply being untrue:
1.Arahats cannot lie.
2.Arahats cannot have erections or have sex.
3.Arahats would never do drugs or drink.
4.Arahats cannot kill anything ever.
5.Arahats cannot state they are arahats.
6.Arahats must ordain within 7 days of becomming an arahat in the Buddhist order of monks or they will die.
7.Arahats cannot think the thought "I am an arahat."
8.Arahats cannot feel the following emotions: lust, hatred, irritation, restlessness, worry, fear, pride, conceit, desire for the formless realms, desire for the formed realms, or any other "bad" emotion.
9.Arahats cannot like music or dance.
10.Arahats love forests.
11.Arahats cannot have jobs or normal relationships.
12.Arahats do not really exist today.
13.Arahats must work hard to maintain their understanding, and it is this that makes them unable to do so many things. http://www.interactivebuddha.com/arahats.shtml
See my fuller comment on this: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3717&p=48308#p48308
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19899
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Apr 25, 2010 5:37 am

tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Mahasi Sayadaw, U Pandita, Joseph Goldstein, etc.
Those coming from the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition would, however, not agree with Ingram's take on the arahant as we see in this quotation:...

Yes, I agree with that. I think it's a little pointless speculating, but if I were to speculate, I might speculate that Daniel's level may be lower than he thinks it it...

I'm merely observing that his practical advice is very much in line with what I've gleaned from other sources.

Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10660
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Apr 25, 2010 6:52 am

mikenz66 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:Mahasi Sayadaw, U Pandita, Joseph Goldstein, etc.
Those coming from the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition would, however, not agree with Ingram's take on the arahant as we see in this quotation:...

Yes, I agree with that. I think it's a little pointless speculating, but if I were to speculate, I might speculate that Daniel's level may be lower than he thinks it it...

I'm merely observing that his practical advice is very much in line with what I've gleaned from other sources.

Mike
For all of that, I guess I'd look elsewhere for guidance.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19899
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram - Dhamma book written by arahat?

Postby nathan » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:36 am

There is another way to look at this whole dynamic though, where someone says "I think I am an arahat" and the response can as easily be. "Oh that's interesting, what makes you think that?" Which is actually an interesting conversation that you can have with someone. Opposed to that there is the non-existent conversation about what an arahats experience is like that everyone is forever excluded from because we refuse to believe that anyone would admit it. It seems to me to be an unrealistic pedestal to put up for people, an attitude that isn't even minded and mature about the way it sees the world. Not unusual or out of place in the ever deepening cynicism and skepticism of the present times. On the other hand it seems that by making various kinds of explorations of the real fruits of the path off limits to discussion pushes an otherwise very transparent way of looking at things back into the same closets of mysticism that I would rather leave behind.

Again, I don't care who says they are an arahat or not. Like some of the others who I think have taken the path to heart, I find it more effective if I don't strive to become anything; man, frog, arahant, puffy cloud. I have found conversations with people that feel some measure of accomplishment of one kind or another in their practices can be encouraging and I have had some opportunity to compare a variety of different kinds of mental qualities and processes and so on. It can be interesting, it might not be. Depends on the individual. I don't feel a need to take sides on any of these kinds of controversies but I prefer openness and transparency to the extent that it is possible with these kinds of things because I think that is the direction where true understanding can develop. Maybe I would rather take an interest in a hundred arahants that fail to meet everyones expectations (like that could ever be hard) than never actually explore such things. But in this regard, certainly, to each his or her own. Be well.
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
nathan
 
Posts: 692
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:11 am

PreviousNext

Return to Open Dhamma

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: chownah and 12 guests