IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby upekkha » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:20 am

Here's an interesting article by Jack Kornfield about the establishment of IMS in Barre, MA, the first centre to offer teachings from many lineages, not just one.
http://www.spiritrock.org/download/BDH. ... nfield.pdf

A quote from the article:
"When we started IMS, it was primarily a
Mahasi-oriented center. I brought in the flavor of
Ajahn Chah as well. But because Joseph (Goldstein) and Sharon (Salzberg) had done most of
their practice through the Burmese lineages of
Mahasi Sayadaw and of U Ba Khin, and we shared
this training, this is mainly what we taught. From
the very beginning we offered the practices of
both Mahasi Sayadaw and U Ba Khin, with Ruth
Denison and John Coleman leading retreats. We
also asked U Ba Khin’s great disciple Goenka if
he would come and teach, because Joseph, Sharon, and others were very devoted to him. He
responded in a letter saying, “If you open a center
and have more than one lineage teaching there,
it will be the work of Mara, and it will be the
undoing of the dharma.” Goenka’s teacher U Ba
Khin believed this. However, his letter came the
day after we signed the mortgage– fortunately, it
was too late.
In fact, opening the center felt like good karma
or grace, like we were being carried by the dharma"

Enjoy :namaste:
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby upekkha » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:25 am

An interview of Dipa Ma by Jack Engler, another interesting article.
http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/27ienW/ww ... page%3D0,0
"Question:What happened this time?
Dipa Ma: I completed the first course of practice [i.e., experienced enlightenment or “First Path” in Theravada practice]. It took about six days. After three months, I returned to the center at Munindraji’s urging to practice for Second Path. This time it took about five days. [J.E.: In accordance with Theravada custom, Munindraji stopped me from asking Dipa Ma about her practice for Third Path. She later told me it isn’t talked about because very few people reach it.] [For more on the “paths,” or stages of enlightenment, see the interview with Jack Engler".

Enjoy :namaste:
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby upekkha » Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:29 am

A recent article by Jack Kornfield called "Enlightenments". In this article he compares the different views / practices / experiences of enlightenment in different traditions (Mahasi Sayadaw, Ajahn Chah).
http://www.inquiringmind.com/Articles/E ... ments.html

"When I returned to practice in Ajahn Chah’s community following more than a year of silent Mahasi retreat, I recounted all of these experiences—dissolving my body into light, profound insights into emptiness, hours of vast stillness and freedom. Ajahn Chah understood and appreciated them from his own deep wisdom. Then he smiled and said, “Well, something else to let go of.” "

Kornfield concludes in a very optimistic tone: "The Buddha declares, “If it were not possible to free the heart from entanglement, I would not teach you to do so. Just because it is possible to free the heart, there arise the teachings of the Dharma of liberation, offered openhandedly for the welfare of all beings.”
Aim for nothing less."

:namaste:
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:22 am

upekkha wrote:“If you open a center and have more than one lineage teaching there,
it will be the work of Mara, and it will be the undoing of the dharma.” Goenka’s teacher U Ba
Khin believed this.
Wow! Maintaining the authentic tradition is one thing, but “the work of Māra” to teach more than one tradition in a meditation centre? Unless it was named as the "International Mahāsī Meditation Society," I don't see why there should be a problem with holding retreats by teachers from Ajahn Chah's tradition or the U Ba Khin tradition, or Zen or Tibetan teachers for that matter. Just be careful to describe things accurately when advertising a retreat. If it is a Mahasi retreat, then make sure the teacher is qualified, and don't teach anything from other traditions during that retreat.

Divisiveness and sectarianism is the work of Māra. Be loyal to your own tradition by all means, but do also show due to respect to other traditions. My advice to people in these confusing times would be to listen to and learn from as many teachers as possible, and do your homework by reading the Suttas. When you find a teaching that works for you, then work consistently with that teacher or tradition, but don't ever stop listening and learning.

Correctness of the Method

People come to practise satipatthāna meditation in your centre with full confidence in you. So it is vital that meditation instructors should teach, instruct and guide the meditators precisely and fully to enable them to attain concentration and insight. You must instruct them correctly in the Mahāsī meditation method in accordance with the Mahāsatipatthāna Sutta to attain the seven purifications (visuddhi) and the sixteen insight knowledges (vipassanā-ñāna) from analytical knowledge of mind and matter (nāmarūpa-pariccheda-ñāna) to reflective knowledge (paccavekkhana-ñāna), by contemplating the physical and mental phenomena at the moment of their occurrence.

I have heard that some branch centres are teaching all kinds of meditation methods, though they named their centres as Mahāsī meditation centres. That is very unscrupulous. I would like to warn them through you, that as the name indicates, they should teach the precise and correct Mahāsī meditation method only. I would also like to convey my advice for them to scrutinise and assess the progress or otherwise of their meditators closely and carefully in accordance with the sermon on the progress of insight meditation, and to give methodical guidance correctly and precisely.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby PeterB » Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:35 am

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
upekkha wrote:“If you open a center and have more than one lineage teaching there,
it will be the work of Mara, and it will be the undoing of the dharma.” Goenka’s teacher U Ba
Khin believed this.
" Wow! Maintaining the authentic tradition is one thing, but “the work of Māra” to teach more than one tradition in a meditation centre? Unless it was named as the "International Mahāsī Meditation Society," I don't see why there should be a problem with holding retreats by teachers from Ajahn Chah's tradition or the U Ba Khin tradition, or Zen or Tibetan teachers for that matter. Just be careful to describe things accurately when advertising a retreat. If it is a Mahasi retreat, then make sure the teacher is qualified, and don't teach anything from other traditions during that retreat.

Divisiveness and sectarianism is the work of Māra. Be loyal to your own tradition by all means, but do also show due to respect to other traditions. My advice to people in these confusing times would be to listen to and learn from as many teachers as possible, and do your homework by reading the Suttas. When you find a teaching that works for you, then work consistently with that teacher or tradition, but don't ever stop listening and learning. "


Sadhu ! Thank you Bhante. Two essential points imo. " work consistently with that teacher or tradition " and " dont stop listening and learning ".
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby zavk » Fri Jan 07, 2011 12:02 pm

PeterB wrote:
Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
upekkha wrote:“If you open a center and have more than one lineage teaching there,
it will be the work of Mara, and it will be the undoing of the dharma.” Goenka’s teacher U Ba
Khin believed this.
" Wow! Maintaining the authentic tradition is one thing, but “the work of Māra” to teach more than one tradition in a meditation centre? Unless it was named as the "International Mahāsī Meditation Society," I don't see why there should be a problem with holding retreats by teachers from Ajahn Chah's tradition or the U Ba Khin tradition, or Zen or Tibetan teachers for that matter. Just be careful to describe things accurately when advertising a retreat. If it is a Mahasi retreat, then make sure the teacher is qualified, and don't teach anything from other traditions during that retreat.

Divisiveness and sectarianism is the work of Māra. Be loyal to your own tradition by all means, but do also show due to respect to other traditions. My advice to people in these confusing times would be to listen to and learn from as many teachers as possible, and do your homework by reading the Suttas. When you find a teaching that works for you, then work consistently with that teacher or tradition, but don't ever stop listening and learning. "


Sadhu ! Thank you Bhante. Two essential points imo. " work consistently with that teacher or tradition " and " dont stop listening and learning ".


I must say that I've had to question what I've learnt/read/heard about the U Ba Khin/Goenka approach to the Dhamma. They were my entry point into the Dhamma, and as far as I can tell, if their approach suits your disposition, following it consistently would certainly work. It worked for me, and it still does. However, with the ever-changing circumstances of my life-practice, I no longer follow their approach exclusively. Nevertheless, I remain deeply grateful for what I've learned through them.

In any case, I'm guessing that, for various reasons, there might've been some miscommunication between Kornfield and Goenka way back in the 1970s. Perhaps Kornfield didn't get a chance to fully explain that he woud honour the integrity of each approach? Or it could be the case that back then Goenka was still a relatively new teacher (as far as I'm aware he only began teaching in around 1969) who, having largely learnt and taught the practice in an Asian context, couldn't yet anticipate the different needs and requirements of a Western audience? In any case, this is not to defend Goenka nor am I suggesting that he is beyond reproach.

What I wish to share is Goenka's account of a meeting he had with Mahasi Sayadaw. I think Mahasi Sayadaw wanted to have a chat with him. Goenka mentioned how he was initially quite nervous about meeting this esteemed meditation master as he didn't want to inadvertently offend the Ven. should he be asked about his own practice. Turns out Mahasi Sayadaw was indeed curious about his practice, and when asked, Goenka simply repeated what he had been taught. Apparently, Mahasi Sayadaw just listened attentively, without interruption or criticism. Goenka said that he came away from that meeting with deep respect for Mahasi Sayadaw.

Sorry I can't tell you off the top of my head where I read this. It was something I read while serving at a Vipassana course, and there were several books from the library that I perused on and off over the course of ten days. I'm guessing it could be the collected writings of U Ba Khin's and/or Goenka's journal. Ben might be able to clarify things when he gets back.

In any event, whether it was a miscommunication or not, these sort of conundrums (re: the boundaries and authority of different schools and traditions) are likely to happen in contemporary times, as the Dhamma becomes more and more widely available in various detraditionalised and secularised forms. But this is not an issue unique to the IMS or Goenka--it's really an issue that Buddhism on the whole must address as it attunes itself to contemporary needs--though having no 'official' affiliations to any specific Buddhist lineage or Sangha, this issue might be more acute for groups like the IMS or for individuals who choose to adopt a more open-ended approach to their practice. On that note, Ven. Pesala's advice definitely bears repetition. Thank you.

:anjali: :) :group:
With metta,
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby upekkha » Fri Jan 07, 2011 3:32 pm

Hi Zavk,

I also read that particular short essay on the "Sayagyi U Ba Khin Journal".
Specifically, I remember SN Goenka wrote that he was afraid that Mahasi Sayadaw might offer him to try his technique.

I also hold no bad feelings against Goenka and am very grateful for the practice and conditions offered by the organizations he set up, though there is something about that religious Hindu mentality of "one-guru" - "one technique" which seems to be detrimental to progress. SN Goenka was a very religious Hindu before he became a Vipassanist (for lack of a better word:), therefore he still carries this mentality with him, and that is apparent in the organizational structure and rules in the Goenka centres.
It usually suits those who wish to follow one teacher exclusively with a kind of blind religious devotion and adherence to rules, while some people find it great for a certain period of time and then expand their horizons.

Nowadays I view practice techniques as 'tools' which are great, and one's 'yogi-toolbox' is great when it has more than one screw driver.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby PeterB » Fri Jan 07, 2011 5:34 pm

I learned both Goenka and Sayadaw and I am very grateful to both.
I think that is increasingly a common scenario.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby zavk » Sat Jan 08, 2011 8:42 am

upekkha wrote:Specifically, I remember SN Goenka wrote that he was afraid that Mahasi Sayadaw might offer him to try his technique..

SN Goenka was a very religious Hindu before he became a Vipassanist (for lack of a better word:), therefore he still carries this mentality with him, and that is apparent in the organizational structure and rules in the Goenka centres.
It usually suits those who wish to follow one teacher exclusively with a kind of blind religious devotion and adherence to rules, while some people find it great for a certain period of time and then expand their horizons.


That's right. I thought it was really nice of him that he didn't want to have to say no to Mahasi Sayadaw.

Now that you mention it. I suppose it is not unreasonable to speculate that Goenka's upbringing and family/cultural background had strongly influenced his approach towards Dhamma practice. For someone like him--who grew up in a tight, affluent Indian community to become a globetrotting industrialist by the 1950s (and who participated in the shift in Burma from colonialism to postcolonialism no less)--he must have been instilled with very strong conservative or traditional values. I'm not using the word 'conservative' in a derogatory sense here. I'm using it in the sense that as a conservative, Goenka is someone who strongly wishes to conserve or preserve or uphold certain traditional values. And I think there's something honorable about that, even if it can sometimes rub people off the wrong way or cause misunderstandings.

So yeah, his family and cultural background could be contributing factors. Though, I'd say that his regimented approach could be very effective without necessarily inducing blind devotional fervour. Take for instance Ben, who has been following the practice since the mid-80s. I probably shouldn't speak about him in his absence (my apologies Ben when you read this), but having interacted with him face-to-face, I'd describe him as someone who is 'straight down the line'-and I say this as a compliment and with utmost respect. I don't think Ben is someone who has blind devotion or who blindly adheres to rules. The strict, disciplined style of Goenka is exactly how I imagine the Dhamma resonates with Ben: straight down the line. (And for those of you here who are familiar with Ben, wouldn't you say that he is 'straight down the line'?)

But I get your point about how it can attract people who may have a tendency to be swayed by rules and unquestioning devotion. It doesn't help that with the way the organisation is spread out across the world, the only contact (if we can call it that) that most people would have with Goenka is via books, pictures and videos.

PeterB wrote:I learned both Goenka and Sayadaw and I am very grateful to both.
I think that is increasingly a common scenario.


In the first one and half years or so, when I was trying to establish myself in the Dhamma and before I attended my first Goenka course, I would attend a weekly group sit run by a Sayadaw from the U Pandita-Mahasi lineage. Incidentally, the Sayadaw is called U Pandita too! Then, after sitting my first Goenka course, I kept with that approach for several years. But in the last two years or so, I've come to adopt a more relaxed approach. This was prompted by my stay at a Forest Hermitage. Staying at the hermitage, I did not have to follow any strict timetable or instructions, and the one recurring question that the abbot would ask me was 'How are you keeping?' This made me realise that Dhamma practice is really not just about sitting, that it need not be segmented or compartmentalised. It made me realise that I had been too caught up in regimentation and expectations. For me, I can get quite caught up by projections about time. So it really freed up my practice to be in an environment where the concept of time (and timetables) reveals itself to be quite patently arbitrary!

So, without really planning for it to be so, I've sort of moved through the three lineages (Mahasi, Goenka, Ajahn Chah) that the IMS teaches. I recently began to visit again the Dhamma centre I used to go to for Mahasi meditation, and they now have a visiting monk from the Forest tradition. So things have somehow coincided nicely for me. Oh, and I should add that reading Ven. Analayo's book on the Sattipathana was a real eye-opener! It really explicated how each of the foundations of mindfulness really fold and unfold onto one another. His interpretation of the sutta really demonstrated that even if I choose to focus on one of the foundations, I'm not really cut off from the others.

Anyway, re: the topic of this thread... Depending on the circumstances I'm in, I find myself turning to each approach at different times. Sometimes I find it helpful to note thoughts, feelings, movements, etc... sometimes I find it helpful to scan the body.. at other times I find it helpful to just rest in general mindfulness. But of course I don't try to mix them up as such; I don't try to note and scan the body at the same time--that would just be confusing! In response to day-to-day scenarios, I turn to different approches to help me maintain continuity of practice (thanks to Goenkaji for burning this into my mind!). But having said that, I probably wouldn't be able to do this if I hadn't followed the one approach for a sustained period of time. And who knows, my life-practice might soon change such that I would again have to limit myself to one approach. Until then, I exert what effort I can to maintain continuity (sometimes the gaps in continuity are rather big, I must admit :embarassed:).

:anjali: :smile: :group:
Last edited by zavk on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby PeterB » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:27 am

My expience is very similat Zavk.

:anjali:
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby parth » Sat Jan 08, 2011 2:51 pm

Dear Friends,

I think the concern of Goenkaji is with keeping Dhamma pure and prestine, it earlier got lost (esp Vipassana technique) to India maybe because people mixed it with other rites / rituals / other techniques which led to the practise loosing its benefits for people and therefore got lost. I personally think that Dhamma (vipassana technique - which is the heart of Buddha's teachings) is pure in itself. The Dhamma is 'Akaliko' (meaning timeless) and does not need to be made contemporary. When so called intelligent people try to make it contemporary they contaminate it and therefore destroy it and I guess that is what Goenkaji fears.

Goenkaji's courses have a tough regimen / discipline not because he hails from a conservative hindu family but, because he understands what jewel 'vipassana" truely is and it needs to be protected and passed on to each next person in its prestine beauty and purity, I think that is his concern not "one guru- one technique" or maybe so but, that guru was and is Buddha and teaching Vipassana which is part of the eight fold noble part and is complete in itself.

If one practises Vipassana truely you would realise that it is actually a debt, a debt which just cant be repaid all that you can try and do is keep it prestine and pass on to next generation. Each one of us is extremely fortunate to have been born at a time when this technique is available in its purity for practise, please do not make it contemporary.

Metta

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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby upekkha » Sat Jan 08, 2011 4:44 pm

Zavk,
Great post, nice to read about your practice history. It seems you are quite open-minded and thats great.
By the way, I've heard that this "Sayadaw U Pandita Jr" is a great teacher, he taught a guy I know who was sitting a retreat in Malaysia.

Also, what do you mean by "straight down the line"?

Parth - It seems like you copy-pasted SN Goenka's words as your own ;-)
Vipassana is not one technique, the Buddha taught many techniques to liberation. There is not just one technique called 'Vipassana' which involves scanning the body, therefore this 'Purity' argument is kind of silly, since Goenka only upholds one technique he holds sacred, and dismisses the rest of the techniques / practices that the Buddha taught.
Check out the Visudhimagga for example - Kasina practices involve visualization - something SN Goenka forbids strictly.
So yeah, Dhamma is great, but it is not just about one technique and teacher.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby parth » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:19 pm

Dear Upekkha,

You Wrote:

Parth - It seems like you copy-pasted SN Goenka's words as your own
Vipassana is not one technique, the Buddha taught many techniques to liberation. There is not just one technique called 'Vipassana' which involves scanning the body, therefore this 'Purity' argument is kind of silly, since Goenka only upholds one technique he holds sacred, and dismisses the rest of the techniques / practices that the Buddha taught.
Check out the Visudhimagga for example - Kasina practices involve visualization - something SN Goenka forbids strictly.
So yeah, Dhamma is great, but it is not just about one technique and teacher.


As per my understanding and have read several texts Buddha taught one technique "Vipassana" for liberation, yes for Jhana there were several including Kasina meditation. Goenkaji to my understanding does not forbid it but does not encourage this either, because in his method Jhana is not a goal in itself but a help for the main goal (achived through anapana meditation path) - wisdom through Vipassana.

As far as liberation is concerned it IS one technique - 'Vipassana', yes for Jhana, past life regression and similar things several, but they take u elsewhere not to liberation, for liberation it is ONLY Vipassana ie Insight Meditation.

I say this not out of arrogance / mine is better than yours approach, but with full Metta to you,

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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby Kenshou » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:17 pm

As per my understanding and have read several texts Buddha taught one technique "Vipassana" for liberation

As far as liberation is concerned it IS one technique - 'Vipassana'


I'm afraid not, and Upekkha is correct. A broad reading of the sutta pitaka will confirm that there are a variety of techniques and approaches presented. While they are often rather similar and overlapping since they all have the same end goal in mind, there isn't really a single homogeneous "vipassana", to say nothing of Goenka's method.

I'm not saying that the Goenka method is defunct or anything like that, though. If anything there's room for a variety of methods to be valid.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:40 pm

Hello all,

This might be of interest:
One Tool Among Many - The Place of Vipassana in Buddhist Practice by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

EXCERPT:
Vipassana is not a meditation technique. It's a quality of mind — the ability to see events clearly in the present moment. Although mindfulness is helpful in fostering vipassana, it's not enough for developing vipassana to the point of total release.
Other techniques and approaches are needed as well. In particular, vipassana needs to be teamed with samatha — the ability to settle the mind comfortably in the present — so as to master the attainment of strong states of absorption, or jhana. Based on this mastery, samatha and vipassana are then applied to a skillful program of questioning, called appropriate attention, directed at all experience: exploring events not in terms of me/not me, or being/not being, but in terms of the four noble truths. The meditator pursues this program until it leads to a fivefold understanding of all events: in terms of their arising, their passing away, their drawbacks, their allure, and the escape from them. Only then can the mind taste release.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... etool.html

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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 08, 2011 9:56 pm

And a little more:

EXCERPT from A HONED AND HEAVY AX - Samatha and Vipassaná in Harmony ... by Ajahn Chandako

The Original Teachings
Interestingly enough, it seems as if the Buddha never taught a way of Dhamma practice that would correspond with what we know of today as vipassaná meditation. As far as we know there was originally no path of dry insight. In the entire collection of teachings there is hardly a single reference to vipassaná where it is not conjoined with either samatha or jhána. For example:
a) Right view is assisted by five factors in order for it to mature in the liberation of heart by wisdom: virtue, learning, discussion, samatha and vipassaná. MN 43.14
b) For one who has brought the Noble Eightfold Path to fulfillment, 'samatha and vipassaná occur in him yoked evenly together.' MN 149.10
c) Venerable Sariputta´s method of attaining arahantship is described as insight into stages one by one as they occurred (anupada dhamma vipassaná). It sounds like insight only, but the states that he was contemplating were the factors of the first though eight jhánas and the cessation of perception and feeling. MN 111.2,3
d) 'And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Samatha and vipassaná.' SN 43.2
e) The dry-insight practitioners trace their roots to a sutta in the Anguttara Nikaya where Venerable Ananda outlines the four ways one may attain enlightenment. The first is the standard pattern of samatha leading to vipassaná leading to realization (magga phala). The second is vipassaná leading to samatha leading to realization. The third is jhána and vipassaná alternating, which deepens jhána and then leads to realization. The fourth has to do with overestimation of one's meditation experiences and correcting it, resulting in realization. There is no path mentioned of vipassaná leading straight to realization. To the contrary, the message seems to be that different meditators will have different inclinations, but only when samatha and vipassaná settle into a healthy balance will realization occur. A 4.170

Other examples in the Pali Canon which indicate the inseparability of samatha and vipassaná include:
a) The peak of vipassaná, the insight into and realization of Nibbána, is described by the Buddha in many places as:
'This is peaceful. This is sublime. That is, sabbe sańkhára samatha, the samatha-ing of all conditioned phenomena.'
b) For one who has attained the peak of samatha (nirodha samapatti or sańńavedayitanirodha), upon emerging from that state of deep samádhi it is impossible that they do not gain the insight resulting in the third stage of enlightment (anagami).
c) The liberation of mind (ceto-vimutti), which refers to jhána, and liberation by wisdom (pańńa vimutti) are two aspects of one and the same realization of arahantship.
d) ´And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Samádhi with the placing and holding of attention (first jhána) Samádhi without the placing but with holding of attention Samádhi without the placing or holding of attention.' (second jhána) SN 43.3

'And what, bhikkhus, is the path leading to the unconditioned? Emptiness samádhi. '(suńńata samádhi) SN 43.4
Although there is no evidence in the suttas for equating vipassaná with the four focuses of mindfulness (satipatthána), the vipassaná school tends to look to these suttas for inspiration. The Mahasatipatthána sutta however, outlines the jhánas in full detail. The suttas also state that satipatthána should be undertaken after the mind is freed from covetousness and grief for the world (abbijja-domanassa). This term is a synonym for the five hindrances. For the mind to be purified of the five hindrances for long periods of time requires pretty good samádhi. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that the satipatthána suttas were originally simpler and intended to be practices for developing samádhi more than insight.
http://www.what-buddha-taught.net/Books ... armony.htm

with metta
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby Taco » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:20 pm

There seems to be good scholarly information regarding the history of vipassana meditation in this book article:

"The Origins of Insight Meditation" by Lance Cousins
http://books.google.com/books?id=_B73f0ZajeQC&pg=PA35

You might need to reload the page when using the above link and unfortunately you can't see all the pages. :(
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby zavk » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:21 am

upekkha wrote:By the way, I've heard that this "Sayadaw U Pandita Jr" is a great teacher, he taught a guy I know who was sitting a retreat in Malaysia.

Also, what do you mean by "straight down the line"?


Sayadaw U Pandita Jr has a good sense of humour. He has a Dhamma centre not too far from where I live and still runs the weekly sit, though I haven't seen him in awhile. Perhaps I should attend one of the sits.

''Straight down the line': Based on my impression of Ben both online and offline, he strikes me as someone who knows very clearly his responsibilities as a Dhamma practitioner, as a Vipassana student, as a husband, as a parent, as a member of his community, as a DW moderator, etc... And within the scope of those responsibilities, he does what is required of him to fullfil them, no 'buts' no 'bull': straight down the line.

Hope that makes sense. I'm sure many are like that too. I try to be but I am prone to distraction and procrastination; I tend to take many detours rather than straight down the line. I mention Ben because it relates to the discussion about Goenka's Vipassana. I hope he'd would forgive me for being so presumptuous as to speak about him in his absence. :)
With metta,
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby parth » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:06 am

Dear Chris , Kenshou,

Just to clarify few points, if you read my post what does it say ?
....and teaching Vipassana which is part of the eight fold noble part and is complete in itself.


The noble eightfold part consists of sila, samadhi and panna (wisdom). One has to complete the requirement of all these three parts, its like a three legged stool (to use a similie given by Goenkaji and even if one leg of it breaks the stool will fall). Therefore in no way I am saying that samadhi is not important, it is important but as a tool, as a tool of taking Vipassana forward, thats it, yes if somebody has love for supernormal powers (which on its own do not lead to nibbana) its another matter.

You may also note that each of the eight jhanas and sila were things that were available and practised even before Buddha's birth. Sage Asita-deval who came to see his father on Bodhisattas birth was supposed to be a eighth Jhana realised saint, but as per the tales is supposed to have cried realising that he would have extinguished his life before the bodhisatta became Buddha and he would miss the chance of attaining nibbana.

Buddha himself learned eighth jhana from Alara Kalam but that did not lead to even stream entry forget becoming a Buddha. It was only when he rediscovered Vipassana and practised the same that he attained Nibbana and became Buddha. Even Alara Kalam supposedly never could attain nibbana / learn vipassana because he had died by the time Buddha realised nibbana and had taken birth in Arupa Bramha Loka where practising Vipassana is supposedly not possible and therefore is probably still in samsara.

The point I make is yes samadhi is important but, on its own it will not take you there, infect a lot of places it is stated that for stream entry and sakadagami magga jhana is not needed and, is required only from Anagami magga onwards.

Further Kenshou as per my understanding the four satipatthanas are also essentially one if practised properly.

Concluding I repeat, In no way am I saying that samadhi is not needed or is a competing practise to Vipassana, all that I am saying is that it is needed but, as a tool, a tool for taking Vipassana practise forward with proper concentration.

Hope have clarified, Metta

Parth.
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Re: IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield

Postby Kenshou » Sun Jan 09, 2011 6:51 am

Parth, I did not say anything at all about samadhi/jhana/etc in my post.

As Upekkha previously said:
Vipassana is not one technique, the Buddha taught many techniques to liberation. There is not just one technique called 'Vipassana'...

And that's all I was commenting on.
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