Unorthodox Vipassana

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby PeterB » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:48 pm

Aloka wrote:
PeterB wrote:For whom Tilt ?
You had better tell THEM that. They would gently and politely beg to differ.
I must have attended several hundred hours of teachings by various Forest Ajahns including Ajahn Sumedho and I dont recall them referring to the Suttas at all.
Perhaps they are not Theravada . Seriously. And if they were not considered so I dont think they would lose sleep.


That hasn't been my experience Peter and Ajahn Sumedho often refered to the Four Noble Truths in the talks I attended last year.

I went to a talk given by Ajahn Amaro a couple of weeks ago and he made several references to suttas. I also listened to one of his MP3 talks a couple of days ago and he mentioned 4 suttas.

Clearly the 4NB truths have their origin in the Suttas...They dont in isolation constitute a discourse on the Suttas. They are the very core of Buddhist experientialism. They represent what is experienced.
I apparently need to say again..I have not said that Ajahn Chahs Forest Monks never refer to the Suttas. What I am saying is that I personally have heard hundreds of hours of talks by various of them in which no mention of the Suttas was made.
I have also heard talks in which Sutta references were made..but invariably they were to illustrate an essentially pragmatic point.
Last edited by PeterB on Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby kirk5a » Tue Sep 27, 2011 9:57 pm

nathan wrote:hi Kirk5a

There are a variety of views within Theravada schools of thought about the significance of the various terms which are proximate to or synonymous with nibbana. The way that I have come to understand the related issues is that the unbinding and release that occurs with the complete extinction of clinging to the dependently compounded aggregate conditions is accomplished largely through discernment, revulsion, disenchantment, dispassion, renunciation and abandonment of any and all forms of clinging to the aggregate conditions and that the kind of comprehensive discernment involved in this work is sufficiently supported by the calm and concentration established within the first jhana.

Hi Nathan
Thank you for sharing your understanding. Much appreciated. :anjali: From my perspective this is all mostly academic, except that if all this jhana experience WAS an essential matter, then it would seem quite important to seek out a teacher along those lines. However, such teachers seem to be exceedingly rare, from what I can gather from what they say and descriptions of their meditation technique.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby nathan » Wed Sep 28, 2011 12:10 am

kirk5a wrote:Hi Nathan
Thank you for sharing your understanding. Much appreciated. :anjali: From my perspective this is all mostly academic, except that if all this jhana experience WAS an essential matter, then it would seem quite important to seek out a teacher along those lines. However, such teachers seem to be exceedingly rare, from what I can gather from what they say and descriptions of their meditation technique.


It would appear so as those who give instructions in the development of insight greatly outnumber those who also give instructions in the development of concentration beyond that sufficient for progress in the development of insight. There are doubtlessly advantages for the development of insight in developing concentration further such as indicated in what I have explained previously when discerning the specifics of the aggregated conditions which compound as the consciousness aggregate and comprehending directly that these are also characteristically anicca, dukkha and annata. This particular area of insight into the consciousness aggregate readily does away with any basis for inclinations to entertain notions such as buddhanature or primordial consciousness or pure consciousness and or any other misconceptions of any sort of eternal characteristic of consciousness. Similarly the realization of the cessation of feeling and perception results in the capacity to advert to the knowledge of the deathless or unconditioned dhamma and this does away with any inclination to view nibbana or unbinding as leading to annihilation. The realization of the cessation of feeling and perception also does away with any inclinations to both to view any and all conditions as substantial things and or to view the unconditioned as a substantial thing. Similarly the realization of the cessation of feeling and perception leads naturally to the right understanding of the voidness or emptiness of all dhammas and to more readily and naturally abiding in that same appreciation.

It is likely the relative rarity of these specific kinds of insights and the knowledge of this realization or at least the rarity of occasions when these insights and the knowledge of this realization are shared which has led to the arising and the persistence of various notions such as pure consciousness or eternal citta and so forth even within various Theravada lay and monastic communities. Unfortunately, apart from these kinds of direct insights and understandings there can only be the acceptance or rejection of the same understanding as presented within the Tipitaka or by others with the understanding among those who have no such insight and understanding. So for many this is the disadvantage of the rarity of these kinds of insights and the knowledge of this realization, that these kinds of understandings become lost and misunderstanding and confusion, delusions and ignorance become more predominant, even at times among those with knowledge of the Buddhadhamma.

There is nothing else hidden and there are no other teachings required beyond those given and the prerequisite conditions detailed in the sutta discourses which are necessary for the development of concentration and for establishing the jhana and little more of merit beyond the already readily available additional comments from those teachers who do give this kind of instruction today regarding the techniques suitable for developing concentration and jhana. The greatest obstacles to success in the development of concentration to the fullest extents in our times are the conditions, internal and external in which human beings today find themselves. Given an adequately quiet environment and a sufficient commitment of time and energy most people will make very good progress by devoting themselves to the development of concentration full time for several months or years. This is also predominantly true of insight practice which progresses much more rapidly when one devotes oneself to the practice full time every day for many months or years. Apart from this kind of commitment it is very much more unlikely that a person will develop insight to the extent that path and fruition knowledge arises. So it is that single minded devotion and commitment to the path of practice is what is essential, regardless of whether it comes to involve limited or extensive development of concentration and regardless of how long it takes to establish gnosis to one extent or another.
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}
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby hoshin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 12:32 pm

"When I'm concentrated enough, I focus my awareness on [...]"
"Then I try to stay on it as much as I can, without paying attention to the thoughts."
"I try to be [...]"
"I try to keep [...]"
"Can you call this vipassana?"


I don't think so. Vipassana has nothing to do with "I try to be, I try to stay, without paying attention to...". Vipassana is paying attention to every prominent object in the four bases of mindfulness (body, feelings, mind, mental objects), from moment to moments. Though some vipassana methods are paying more attention to one basis (mind or feelings, for example) amongst the other, Vipassana is not "voluntarily direct our attention to one object and trying to stay in one state". This has more to do with Samatha meditation (maybe)...
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:01 pm

Hoshin I wish you posted more frequently..
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby hoshin » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:17 pm

I'll try, I'll try! :hug:
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Re: Unorthodox Vipassana

Postby PeterB » Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:19 pm

:anjali:
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