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Dhamma Wheel • View topic - Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby dumb bonbu » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:25 am

hi folk, in need of a little advice. first a bit of background info...i started reading the Pali Canon this year in the hope it would enrichen my understanding and appreciation of the tradition i practice (Jodo Shinshu, Pure Land) and in a way, it is doing. but i'm feeling drawn to Theravada the more and more i investigate. i'm going to take my time reading from both traditions and over the course of this year and next, visit temples and centers belonging to both traditions. i don't want to mix and match traditions but neither do i want to make any snap decisions, that's why i'm planning to take my time.

Vipassana, or indeed any form of meditation doesn't really play a role in Jodo Shinshu so as regards that, i'm at a total beginners level. and to tell the truth, i'm not 100% on whether i should begin at all without first attending some lessons. would it do more damage than good? but recently i've come to realise the sheer wealth of information out there, especially podcasts by quite respected figures (Bodhi Bhikkhu, Thanissaro Bhikkhu etc). i realise the best option would be to find a teacher and i would certainly intend to but to get me started maybe online podcasts and lectures could help.

what are people's views? is it best to wait until i can attend lessons (there's no centres near to where i live so i would have to book time off work and go somewhere for a few days, which i'm more than happy and willing to do) or is there no reason why i couldn't make a start where i am? or would that do more damage than good? any advice is much appreciated!
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.
MN 21
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:31 am

Greetings Dumb Bonbu,

It is best to go on a course, and spend some time giving it a go under the guidance of a teacher and/or a structured program. However, there is plenty you can do in the meantime.

Vipassana is generally based around the practices of the...

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

I very strongly recommend the text, "The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation" by Venerable Nyanaponika. You can't just read it online but you can buy it for a decent price at BPS ( http://www.bps.lk/ )

That said, there are also lots of free resources available on the net. The trap would be to try reading everything and thinking you need to do everything that each one says. There are different variations on the theme, and some you will find more useful than others.

Well that will do for now from me... unless you have any questions etc.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby jcsuperstar » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:45 am

if you like ajahn brahm he's got guided meditations you can get as mp3s from his site www.bswa.org
thats a simple way to start
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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
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby thecap » Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:48 am

Hello friend

Do not be afraid, just do it. These excellent beginner's guides are commendable:
Basic Breath Meditation Instructions by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby dumb bonbu » Wed Feb 04, 2009 11:28 am

cool, i'll make a tentative start then!

It is best to go on a course, and spend some time giving it a go under the guidance of a teacher and/or a structured program. However, there is plenty you can do in the meantime.


yes, this is what i'm hoping to do next year, this year however i'm going to be making several trips to Three Wheels in London which is Jodo Shinshu. i figure i need to explore both before i commit to one tradition, at the moment i'm in a weird kind of 'statis'...lingering between the two!

I very strongly recommend the text, "The Heart Of Buddhist Meditation" by Venerable Nyanaponika. You can't just read it online but you can buy it for a decent price at BPS


excellent! i'll order it next week when i'm in town, thankyou!

f you like ajahn brahm he's got guided meditations you can get as mp3s from his site www.bswa.org
thats a simple way to start


great! i'll check them out, i love listening to Dhamma podcasts!

Hello friend

Do not be afraid, just do it. These excellent beginner's guides are commendable:
Basic Breath Meditation Instructions by Thanissaro Bhikkhu
Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana


again, great! thanks everyone, i don't feel so apprehensive about getting started now i have pointers! any questions i have i'll be sure to ask. here goes nothing...watch this space! :thanks:
Monks, even if bandits were to carve you up savagely, limb by limb, with a two-handled saw, he among you who let his heart get angered even at that would not be doing my bidding.
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby bodom » Thu Feb 05, 2009 2:51 pm

I compiled this list for beginning vipassana meditators.

viewtopic.php?f=17&t=341

:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby Individual » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:38 pm

"Ehi Passiko" is a Pali phrase, said by the Buddha, which means "Come and see". This is the attitude that the Buddha taught us to have in accepting teachings of any sort. Irregardless of what the teaching is, who said them, where they come from, or how many people agree with them, we should accept the teachings only after investigating them through experience and self-verification which confirms that the teachings would bring benefit to oneself and others.

With metta :heart:,
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Re: Vipassana - to begin or not to begin?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Jul 08, 2010 2:06 pm

dumb bonbu wrote:hi folk, in need of a little advice. first a bit of background info...i started reading the Pali Canon this year in the hope it would enrichen my understanding and appreciation of the tradition i practice (Jodo Shinshu, Pure Land) and in a way, it is doing. but i'm feeling drawn to Theravada the more and more i investigate. i'm going to take my time reading from both traditions and over the course of this year and next, visit temples and centers belonging to both traditions. i don't want to mix and match traditions but neither do i want to make any snap decisions, that's why i'm planning to take my time.

Vipassana, or indeed any form of meditation doesn't really play a role in Jodo Shinshu so as regards that, i'm at a total beginners level. and to tell the truth, i'm not 100% on whether i should begin at all without first attending some lessons. would it do more damage than good? but recently i've come to realise the sheer wealth of information out there, especially podcasts by quite respected figures (Bodhi Bhikkhu, Thanissaro Bhikkhu etc). i realise the best option would be to find a teacher and i would certainly intend to but to get me started maybe online podcasts and lectures could help.

what are people's views? is it best to wait until i can attend lessons (there's no centres near to where i live so i would have to book time off work and go somewhere for a few days, which i'm more than happy and willing to do) or is there no reason why i couldn't make a start where i am? or would that do more damage than good? any advice is much appreciated!


I recommend you, in addition to what has been refered to, to have a look at the teaching of Sayadaw U Tejaniya from Burma. What he teaches is simple, practical and to the point, though for some it's not so appealing because it is too simple :) .

http://sayadawutejaniya.org/teachings/

All the best,

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