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IMS,Ajahn Chah, Mahasi Sayadaw,Ba Khin & Goenka, Kornfield - Dhamma Wheel

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

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
upekkha
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:41 am

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:

upekkha
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Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:41 am

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:

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

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

• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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

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


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

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

With metta,
zavk

upekkha
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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.

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

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

Last edited by zavk on Sat Jan 08, 2011 10:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
With metta,
zavk

PeterB
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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:

Parth
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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

Parth

upekkha
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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.

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

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


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

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


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cooran
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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

with metta
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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cooran
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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
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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

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

With metta,
zavk

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

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


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

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



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