Danger of Vipassana

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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Individual » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:42 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Well, so long as nobody tries to learn Vipassana from someone like Elizabeth Hillstrom, there is no problem.

And if anybody does, they are already screwed.

So, where is the problem? Because she's giving a different opinion?
It is not just a differing opinion, it is an attack.

It is? Well, that explains why you're being so defensive. :)
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 02, 2010 11:43 pm

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:Well, so long as nobody tries to learn Vipassana from someone like Elizabeth Hillstrom, there is no problem.

And if anybody does, they are already screwed.

So, where is the problem? Because she's giving a different opinion?
It is not just a differing opinion, it is an attack.

It is? Well, that explains why you're being so defensive. :)
Cute, like a lot of your stuff. Cute, but not really accurate.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Maitri » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:57 am

I've read similar ideas before. What is the old Christian adage.. "An idle mind is the devil's plaything". The notion of meditation as "letting something in" all stems from the notion that they think spirits and demons are trying to crawl into our noggins at all times.
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Ben » Wed Nov 03, 2010 3:03 am

Maitri wrote:I've read similar ideas before. What is the old Christian adage.. "An idle mind is the devil's plaything". The notion of meditation as "letting something in" all stems from the notion that they think spirits and demons are trying to crawl into our noggins at all times.

And I would have thought there would be much more interesting places to hang out!
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Individual » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:47 am

Ben wrote:
Maitri wrote:I've read similar ideas before. What is the old Christian adage.. "An idle mind is the devil's plaything". The notion of meditation as "letting something in" all stems from the notion that they think spirits and demons are trying to crawl into our noggins at all times.

And I would have thought there would be much more interesting places to hang out!

That's probably because of the human point-of-view.

An analogy: If you had the opportunity to feel what it's like to be your favorite animal for a day or to go on vacation to any city in Australia, which would YOU find more interesting?
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Ben » Wed Nov 03, 2010 5:43 am

Hi Individual,
Individual wrote:An analogy: If you had the opportunity to feel what it's like to be your favorite animal for a day or to go on vacation to any city in Australia, which would YOU find more interesting?

Hmm...that's easy!
Hanging out with my daughter in Melbourne, who I haven't seen for nearly a year, I think I would find far more rewarding and interesting than a day as an animal.
"One cannot step twice into the same river, nor can one grasp any mortal substance in a stable condition, but it scatters and again gathers; it forms and dissolves, and approaches and departs."

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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:28 am

Sanghamitta wrote:And the hands on instruction ?

And the answer to the above question ( where Individual did you receive hands on instruction in Vipassana ) is ?
I am assuming that as you see yourself able to proffer advice/opinion on the subject that you have received at least a minimal degree of actual instruction.....?
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby pilgrim » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:50 pm

I'd like to hear elizabeth's opinion of glossolalia... :juggling:
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby rahula80 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 12:54 pm

Hi,

If it is an attack, what would be the defence?

If Hillstrom misrepresent a very fundamental aspect of the practice, please point out what she misrepresent and correct it.

In addition, here is her criticism of Yoga; the very sensation of unity with the outer
world can be a result of distorting the sense of perception:

"In addition to the enhancement of boundaries in our visual systems, we have a built-in, highly
developed tactile sense of the boundaries of our own body. This sense is apparently maintained by
the continual flow of sensory information from the surface of our skin (feelings of touch, pressure,
stretching of skin and muscles, and the like). If experiencers' awareness of the flow is significantly
reduced, as it is during sensory deprivation and other altered states, they could easily conclude
that their body boundaries were suddenly dissolving or that they were expanding or merging with
other objects, even with God or the entire universe. Other features of the unity experience may be
due to the fact that experiencers are in an altered state and realize that they have just reached a
highly prized and hard-won goal. Acting together, these factors could produce profound feelings
of reality, sacredness, ultimate meaning, bliss and ecstatic sensations throughout the body (p.
126)."
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:09 pm

The point is Rahula80 she applying a critique of one world view using criteria from another world view.
Her critique might be entirely consistant with the Judeo Christian world view, but takes its position from such an entirely different world view from that of Buddhadhamma that there are no points of contact or comparators. We cannot readily straddle two such incompatible views of life without risking falling between two stools.
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 1:21 pm

Kare wrote:To me this looks more like speculations than science. What empirical basis has she for her critizism?

I looked this book up on Amazon, and found some interesting comments:

"This author is a Christian who fully recognizes the veracity of the Bible and the existence of Satan, and she doesn't hesitate to point to possible demonic involvement when she thinks it's appropriate."

"Elizabeth L. Hillstrom draws on biblical teaching and the latest scientific research to explore claims of near-death experiences, mystical healings, communication with spirits, altered states of consciousness, Eastern meditation, UFO encounters, and more."

http://www.amazon.com/Testing-Spirits-Elizabeth-L-Hillstrom/dp/0830816046/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1288710359&sr=8-1-spell

Therefore I am not sure how seriously we should take this kind of critizism.

As Kare pointed out above.
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby rahula80 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:09 pm

Hi Sanghamitta,

Which worldview against which worldview? Christianity against Buddhism, or Science against Religion?

Hi pilgrim,

Well, like many other Christians, she is critical of glossolalia.

"Unusual effects, like automatically assuming difficult yoga postures, the inability to control or stop
the kundalini process, speaking in unlearned languages, temporary manifestations of clairvoyant
abilities and the like, certainly suggest that something supernatural is afoot. There are parallels
between kundalini symptoms and symptoms that are currently associated with demonized states,
including deranged thinking, emotional extremes (deep melancholy, ecstasy), trancelike states or
periods of unconsciousness, apparent seizure activity, and unusual pain unrelated to illness and
injury (p. 128)."

She has got one journal paper:
Strong commitment to traditional Protestant religious beliefs is negatively related to beliefs in paranormal phenomena
Psychological Reports 2000 Feb;86(1):183-9.
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 2:35 pm

Rahula80 She is critiquing Buddhism from a Christian viewpoint...which is an exercise in pointlessness. unless the idea is to cause people to abandon Buddhism in favour of Christianity...which is presumably her aim.
Which brings me to a personal question why have you posted this and why in the Theravada Meditation forum ?. I strongly suspect that the views of a Christian who thinks that such "eastern" stuff is inspired by the devil is both of little interest to most Buddhists and is in fact unanswerable. She is either right in which case we should join her in church, or she is wrong, in which case who cares ?
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby rahula80 » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:05 pm

Hi Sanghamitta,

The answer is found in your own comments, as well as my reply to tiltbillings.

> unless the idea is to cause people to abandon Buddhism in favour of Christianity...which is presumably her aim.<

I hope to prevent this, by prepare or formulate a ready answer / response to criticism against Buddhism.

Maybe, I posted in the wrong place. I chose here because the criticism is about meditation.

Regards,
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Sanghamitta » Wed Nov 03, 2010 4:22 pm

Do you actually think that Buddhists on this forum are going to read her stuff and rush out of the Wat singing Onward Christian Soldiers Rahula ?
As with your posts on Earthquakes, giant fish etc I wonder of it is your own doubts you are addressing...which is fair enough by the way...
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby rahula80 » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:19 pm

Hi Sanghamitta,

Probably, not this forum. But probably Buddhist elsewhere, those who is encountering evangelist, for example. Or Buddhists who is doing comparative religion.
Or those who have doubts, probably due to other religionists' influence.

Regards,
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Individual » Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:29 pm

We should e-mail Bhikkhu Bodhi so he can write a scathing criticism.

Then we can paste the URL to his article on Buddhist forums throughout the internet

To counter other religionists' influence, we could also draw up pamphlets and distribute them on the street, maybe??

I have a loudspeaker I could use
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Vepacitta » Thu Nov 04, 2010 5:08 pm

Please don't bother Bhante with this sort of stuff.


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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby rahula80 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:42 am

Hi,

Let's come back to the issue at hand, avoiding ad hominem argument.
If her description of Vipassana is wrong, please mentioned what is it she said that is wrong.
I hope this request is not too much.

Regards,
Rahula
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Re: Danger of Vipassana

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 06, 2010 5:51 am

Rahula, haven't you practiced vipassana?
If so, you could very easily build a response.
I also recommend that you go back to the comments that Sanghamitta wrote regarding approaching vipassana from a Christian (fundamentalist at that) viewpoint. She's spot on the money.
kind regards

Ben
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