Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Jeremie » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:09 pm

Hello,

I intent to go on Vipassaná retreat. I am seeking a place with an environment suitable for meditation and with serious teachers speaking English.
In Burma, due to the fact that this country is to my knowledge the best place for it, and besides I have been learning Burmese for 3 years..
I went last year but I would like to find a better place than the one I was.

Can someone who knows about this recommend me a good meditation centre?


Thanks
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:26 pm

Jeremie wrote:Hello,

I intent to go on Vipassaná retreat. I am seeking a place with an environment suitable for meditation and with serious teachers speaking English.
In Burma, due to the fact that this country is to my knowledge the best place for it, and besides I have been learning Burmese for 3 years..
I went last year but I would like to find a better place than the one I was.

Can someone who knows about this recommend me a good meditation centre?


Thanks

I have heard good things about the Mahasi Meditation center,in fact this is where my Sayadaw and his Sayadaw both trained.
There is also the Chanmyay yeiktha that has a couple of centers.Google meditation centers in Myanmar for links and contact details.
With metta.
I forgot to say that there are also Goenka centers in Myanmar.I believe that Ben has been to some retreats in Myanmar and is going again soon.If this is the type of vipassana you are after then Bens your man.The ones I mentioned are both Mahasi(one being obvious by the name)and I have no first hand knowledge of them.
Can you tell us which center you were at that you didn't find particularly good and what it was that made your stay not so good.
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:35 pm

http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm

I think this is the website.

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Nov 06, 2010 2:45 pm

rowyourboat wrote:http://web.ukonline.co.uk/buddhism/mahasi.htm

I think this is the website.

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Matheesha

Thanks RYB.
The other one is http://www.chanmyay.org
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Nov 06, 2010 7:01 pm

I'd recommend Shwe Oo Min http://sayadawutejaniya.org/

Where did you go last time?

What was it about the place you went last time that makes you feel you need to find something better?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Jeremie » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:07 pm

I know the branches you mentioned. I just ask if someone knows a precise address to go.
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:18 pm

Goofaholix wrote:I'd recommend Shwe Oo Min http://sayadawutejaniya.org/

Where did you go last time?

What was it about the place you went last time that makes you feel you need to find something better?


Hi Goofaholix

Sayadaw U Tejaniya seems to teach Samatha/samadhi, according to my understanding of the term.

http://sayadawutejaniya.org/wp-content/ ... /8_tej.pdf

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby bazzaman » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:35 am

.
Last edited by bazzaman on Mon Feb 14, 2011 12:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:10 am

bazzaman wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:
Goofaholix wrote:ote]

Hi Goofaholix

Sayadaw U Tejaniya seems to teach Samatha/samadhi, according to my understanding of the term.

http://sayadawutejaniya.org/wp-content/ ... /8_tej.pdf

with metta

Matheesha


I think that U Tejaniya Sayadaw would probably not agree with your understanding of the term "samatha/samadhi".
The "method" he teaches is referred to as "cittanupassana"; and is one of the four foudations of mindfulness in the Satipatthana Vipassana "method".


Hi bazzman

I agree with you that it is cittanupassana- but satipatthana methods give rise to both samatha and vipassana. Cittanupassana is most likely to give rise to samatha.

Vipassana can be identified if the method gives rise to vipassana nana (insight knowledges) and not otherwise. Since there is no mention or even a hint of vipassana nana in Sayadaw U Tejaniya's teachings it leads me to the conclusion that he is teaching samatha/cittanupassana as you say (and his descriptions of the fruits of the practice fall squarely in the samatha camp).

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:38 am

rowyourboat wrote:Vipassana can be identified if the method gives rise to vipassana nana (insight knowledges) and not otherwise. Since there is no mention or even a hint of vipassana nana in Sayadaw U Tejaniya's teachings it leads me to the conclusion that he is teaching samatha/cittanupassana as you say (and his descriptions of the fruits of the practice fall squarely in the samatha camp).


You're joking right? Sayadaw U Tejaniya's teaching are all about developing insight, where do you glean the idea there is any interest in samatha?

In fact having practised the two main other burmese vipassana techniques beforehand, compared with my experience of the approach Sayadaw U Tejaniya teaches, I'd now be more inclined to consider them samatha on changing objects rather than true insight techniques.
Last edited by Goofaholix on Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Moggalana » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:45 am

Meditation in Southeast Asia from http://www.retreat-infos.de with addresses (in English): http://www.retreat-infos.de/Download/RFAE2010.pdf
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby cooran » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:11 am

Excellent Moggalana! Thank you!

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:59 pm

Hi Goofaholix

'Right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration come under the aggregate of concentration'.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#visakha

"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

— SN 45.8

He talks of curiosity- of mind states- but that is pretty mundane. There is no talk of vipassana nana.

I might be mistaken but I would be interested in seeing anything he has said/written about vipasana nana.

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sat Dec 04, 2010 7:28 pm

rowyourboat wrote:He talks of curiosity- of mind states- but that is pretty mundane. There is no talk of vipassana nana.

I might be mistaken but I would be interested in seeing anything he has said/written about vipasana nana.


Right effort, right mindfulness, & right concentration are taught by all teachers.

Your understanding of the definition of vipassana nana might be different from mine but I've heard his teaching first hand, read his books, listen to his mp3's (most aren't available on his web site) and it's all about vipassana, I struggle to think of any time he has encouraged samatha.

So are you saying to you investigation of body sensations, breathing, rising falling etc is vipassana but investigation into feeling and mindstates is not?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:09 pm

I've listened to some of Sayadaw U Tejaniya's talks (though since they were given in Burmese then English I wouldn't like to do that a lot) and it seemed very vipassana oriented. Steve Armstrong (who has also trained with U Panditata) mentions him quite a lot in his talks in a vipassana context.

Mahasi-style teachers such as Armstrong, Goldstein, Kearney only occasionally mention the insight nanas, so sampling a few talks is unlikely to give a complete picture.

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:27 pm

Hi Mike

I dont know if you know this but there is a qualitative difference in what people like Joesph Goldstein talk about. It is the shift in emphasis, their style -something which is difficult to express really... that lead me to my observations. With some people you know instantly that that person has been through the vipassana nanas by what they communicate when they discuss the dhamma. With Samatha teachers it is also distinct in the way they talk about the dhamma. A more concrete way of noting the difference is reading what they have said (if anything at all) about vipassana nana. Sometimes there is a grey area (a superficial one at least) where samatha teachers are simply talking about anicca, dukkha, anatta ..because they have to at some point... There is a lack of depth and it smells of old manuscript rather than personal experience..

In any case I am fairly sure that my observations on the matter are 'on the money'. It is the difference between a teenager talking about the hardships of having to earn a living vs a jobbing dad talking about it.

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:31 pm

Hi Goofaholix,

I know many teachers teach right effort and right mindfulness- the point is that these are the foundation practices for both vipassana and samatha. For vipassana to get off the ground there must be sustained, persistant awareness of the impermanence of stimuli arising in the 6 sense bases. Everything else falls into the samatha samadhi camp.

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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:30 pm

rowyourboat wrote:I know many teachers teach right effort and right mindfulness- the point is that these are the foundation practices for both vipassana and samatha. For vipassana to get off the ground there must be sustained, persistant awareness of the impermanence of stimuli arising in the 6 sense bases. Everything else falls into the samatha samadhi camp.


Indeed, and what makes you think SUT does not teach sustained, persistant awareness of the impermanence of stimuli arising in the 6 sense bases?
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby Goofaholix » Sun Dec 05, 2010 6:39 pm

rowyourboat wrote:I dont know if you know this but there is a qualitative difference in what people like Joesph Goldstein talk about. It is the shift in emphasis, their style -something which is difficult to express really... that lead me to my observations. With some people you know instantly that that person has been through the vipassana nanas by what they communicate when they discuss the dhamma. With Samatha teachers it is also distinct in the way they talk about the dhamma. A more concrete way of noting the difference is reading what they have said (if anything at all) about vipassana nana. Sometimes there is a grey area (a superficial one at least) where samatha teachers are simply talking about anicca, dukkha, anatta ..because they have to at some point... There is a lack of depth and it smells of old manuscript rather than personal experience..

In any case I am fairly sure that my observations on the matter are 'on the money'. It is the difference between a teenager talking about the hardships of having to earn a living vs a jobbing dad talking about it.


And you are able to judge this reading someones teaching on the internet?

I'd have to say having sat retreats or heard dhamma talks under several Burmese teachers an old manuscript certainly he is not. I got to the stage where I felt Burmese Mahasi teachers only really had one dhamma talk which they kept repeating over and over, but I'm grateful for what i learned from them and certainly wouldn't be so disrespectful as to formulate that into a judgement along the lines of "There is a lack of depth and it smells of old manuscript rather than personal experience".
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
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Re: Where practicing Vipassaná in Burma?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Dec 05, 2010 8:39 pm

rowyourboat wrote:There is a lack of depth and it smells of old manuscript rather than personal experience..

In any case I am fairly sure that my observations on the matter are 'on the money'. It is the difference between a teenager talking about the hardships of having to earn a living vs a jobbing dad talking about it.
Interesting what seems to be implied here, but interestingly these comments are suggesting something about you. Do we want to go there?
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