Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 2:15 am

Hi RYB,

I'm still not completely sure why you are using the existence of a particular document as a criterion. Such documentation may well exist within Goenka's organisation. Sayadaw Mahasi's Progress of Insight was, according to the introduction, originally intended simply to guide his assistants.

Furthermore, there are many meditation teachers who do not make much use (if at all) of the Visuddhimagga progress map.

I think that it is quite reasonable to say something like:
"I'm following teachers who use this map and this approach, so I'm not going to worry too much about those who don't, and I can't really comment on their approach."
But you seem to be going much further and saying:
"Teachers who don't provide this specific map in a way that is satisfactory to me are not teaching correctly."

There may be other reasons for doubting whether particular teachers are teaching correctly. They might, for example, make claims that are in blatant contradiction of the suttas. It could be useful to point that out. But to dismiss someone for not talking enough about the insight maps seems a little odd. It's not something that teachers would normally spend much time discussing with their students in any case.

:anjali:
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:15 am

My teacher is better than yours. So there!!!
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby pt1 » Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:32 am

mikenz66 wrote:Furthermore, there are many meditation teachers who do not make much use (if at all) of the Visuddhimagga progress map.

Hi, do I remember right that the insight-knowledges framework is essentially based on the Relay of the chariots sutta MN24, which lists 7 purifications, which is then expanded on in Patisambhidamagga (listing some 50+ knowledges I think), and then Visuddhimagga and the old commentaries further elaborating on these two? Is there perhaps an explicit mention of the insight-knowledges framework in some other place in the three pitakas?

Further, having read through this thread, there are many people here claiming one or another insight-knowledge attainment. If I remember right, there's an old commentary that discusses the knowledges (maybe it's even in the Visuddhimagga, can't remember) and says that anyone beyond second insight knowledge is already a cula-sotapanna (sp?) - someone assured of becoming a sotapanna (at least) by the end of the same life... My initial reaction therefore to the various claims here was to post a few :bow: and congratulate you on a job well done, but as customary nowadays, would also like to caution to study the old texts carefully so as to make sure that what is happening is really happening in terms of attainment of this or that insight-knowledge.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby parth » Thu Dec 30, 2010 4:36 pm

PT1 wrote

anyone beyond second insight knowledge is already a cula-sotapanna (sp?) - someone assured of becoming a sotapanna (at least) by the end of the same life...


My understanding is that Cula Sotapanna status assures next life as human / human plus at a place Vipassana is practised, rest depends on one's practise.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:31 pm

Would someone in the know about these matters know whether Goenka has a document for his assistant teachers regarding the insight knowledges?

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby parth » Sat Jan 01, 2011 5:29 pm

Dear RYB

You wrote

Would someone in the know about these matters know whether Goenka has a document for his assistant teachers regarding the insight knowledges?


Since am not an assistant teacher and therefore I do not know of this firsthand but my understanding is that people are made teachers only when they have exhibited their sincerety towards the meditation path and have sat and served on several courses including 30/ 45/ 60 day ones.

I think my friend RYB, you are exhibiting an obsession towards finding what might be wrong / incomplete with Goenkajis method. While there are cases where Mahasi sent over people coming to him to Sayagi U Ba Khin due to language issues. Probably showing mutual respect that they had of each other's methods.


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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby pt1 » Sun Jan 02, 2011 7:21 am

parth wrote:My understanding is that Cula Sotapanna status assures next life as human / human plus at a place Vipassana is practised, rest depends on one's practise.

Well, there are differing interpretations. E.g. Ledi Sayadaw from Manual of light:
Cula-sotapanna or the Virtuous One
To understand Dependent Origination or to gain Knowledge in comprehending the Law of Causality enables one to discard the three aforesaid Wrong Views of No-cause, Unjustified Cause of Creation, and misleading belief in past-kamma alone. In fact this Knowledge equips one to be a virtuous one, ever freed from the ignoble destinies of the Four Lower Worlds, a Cula-sotapanna, a future-stream-winner' - so the Commentaries say. Hence a goal well worth striving for.

There are other interpretations that equate cula-sotapanna even closer to the faith-follower and dhamma-follower who do seem to be assured of attainment in the same life (e.g. SN 25.1). In any case, this is the Visuddhimagga bit I was referring to:
XIX, 26. For this is said: 'Understanding of discernment of
conditions thus "Ignorance is a condition, formations are
conditionally arisen, and both these states are conditionally arisen
is knowledge of the causal relationship of states' ...
27. When a man practising insight has become possessed of this
knowledge, he has found comfort in the Buddhas' dispensation, he has
found a foothold, he is certain of his destiny, he is called a
'lesser stream-enterer'.

So, regardless of how we interpret "he has found a foothold, he is certain of his destiny", nevertheless, insight developed to this stage seems to me already like a really, really big deal. Anyway, for those who'd like more info on insight knowledges, Visuddhimagga chapters 18-21 deal with it in detail.

Further, I had another look at Patisambhidamagga, and the "Treatise on knowledge" of the first division is actually organised in chapters where each chapter corresponds to one of the insight-knowledges (73 in total in fact!). So it seems like it might be a good source of info for those who wanted more detail, and it's a pity there's no English translation of its commentary, which probably provides yet more detail. I've heard there's a Thai translation though, if you can read Thai...

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby legolas » Sun Jan 02, 2011 10:02 pm

tiltbillings wrote:My teacher is better than yours. So there!!!


Or, my nanna is better than yours!
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Mon Jan 03, 2011 7:15 pm

legolas wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:My teacher is better than yours. So there!!!


Or, my nanna is better than yours!


Or, my perception of your perception of you is better than yours!
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby ansdkant » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:07 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Smokey

I know many many people who have gained this insight knowledge! It is the first one and not that difficult to gain insight into. You CAN do it with the help of meditation teacher who teaches insight meditation.

here are some clues:

moments of experiences are discrete, not continuous

every moment of experience contains a material component and a mental component

rupa: patavi,apo,tejo,vayo, nama: phassa, vedana,sanna,cetana, manasikara

the point of this insight is to understand that even a single moment of experience is made up of multiple mental and physical components- there by fracturing reality- actually seeing this, not just knowing

this is the first blow to breaking and dismantalling ignorance or avijja, hence letting go when all the reference points collapse and the drawbacks (adinava), the unsatisfactoriness is seen.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby ansdkant » Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:11 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Smokey
I know many many people who have gained this insight knowledge! It is the first one and not that difficult to gain insight into.


No doubt. Absolutely agree.

Hi Smokey,

This can be know by yourself. You can see it by yourself.

It was last 20 years ago, when I was 17, the time I didn't know much how to meditate or how to watch mind properly, but I did exactly what meditation teacher said. It was in Mahasi Meditation Center, Rangoon, Burma.

The day after 15 days of start meditation, I was in sitting posture, noting the touching of my lower hand palm and upper hand fingers as usual. Suddenly one friend appearing in my mind and she calling me by my name. Once I heard it, I felt great sorrow with big regret knowing she is making a big mistake calling me. At that moment there's no persons or he or she or dog or Peter. In fact, it can not define that is me nor that is "Ansdkant". It exists only physical object and knowing object at that point. Not me at all. Not me any more.

The same time, I felt all I believed before are just fakes they can not exist there. Everything/Everyone lied to me. But I don't know who lied to me for what. I felt with deep sorrow, sadness and lot of regrets with tears from my eyes. I can not stop crying, because that idea is absolutely true and it's make me frighten as every time my mind though about it. My identity was gone. "I" is nothing, it's just a consequence of not knowing the reality. And also I don't know about crying but except deep regrets. And I don't know what to do next either. I lost everything. I can't find anywhere that I have to tell "I am". Big loser.

It's like a feeling of someone who facing a Big Earthquake that he never experienced before. Everything he believed/accepted like even earth (he even never think about Earth that support him always till just before he experiencing the earthquake) also not a real one. It can be destroyed or unstable at any time. His parents also can not help him out at the time of earthquake. Even animals (dogs/cats) and all livings are so frightened and don't know what to do next.

That feeling is so deep. Life change experience. Once after that moment, my believe is so dare, even I can bet my life if someone force me to discard that reality. Also I start believe in Buddha with deep heart. He was right. He told the truth. He really existed on this planet. No doubt at all.

Later I understand, this experience is just a start in my journey, I found a lot more interesting thing in Vispassna Meditation.

PS: Those kind of shocks can be encountered in somewhere along the way in Vispassna. It's not a strange thing or wonderful thing. When later shocks I encountered after some years, I am not frighten like first time.


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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:36 pm

Hi Ansdkant,

Yes, the Truth can be shocking, especially if the dhamma has not been 'well penetrated in terms of views'. The same thing happened to a couple of my friends when they understood Anatta, while doing vipassana on a retreat with Ven Amathagavesi. Other nanas like bhanga nana, bhaya and aadinava are even more unsettling, if there is little preparation. It is indeed seeing the truth in this way that leads to 'unshakeable faith' (aveccapasada) in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. This is quite a different aspect of the dhamma than what is 'advertised'- as you have experienced it is not all 'mindfulness, bliss and beyond'.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby PeterB » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:54 pm

For me it was REALLY getting anicca...I was left shaken and disoriented. I later found out from Ajahn Amaro that there is a Pali name for that condition..he was pleased because he had just learned the term for it a day or two earlier...its something very long in Pali. It took a while to integrate what I had glimpsed.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:39 am

And I still am in the process of integrating it.
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Sun Mar 06, 2011 6:37 pm

Yes, it is a difficult one. Often it is best attempted in a retreat setting with teachers who can individually guide you in this type of thing. It is often painful- but the result can send shoch waves through your samsaric journey- remember, the Buddha said in the Velama sutta that watching impermanence even for a moment if more powerful and beneficial than giving dana to a sammasambuddha or any other great thing you could think of.

http://www.vimokkha.com/velama.htm
“…and though he built a monastery for the monks, the fruit of sincerely taking refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha would have been greater.”

“…and though he sincerely took refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma and the Sangha, the fruit of sincerely undertaking the Five Moral Precepts would have been greater.”

“…and though he sincerely undertook the Five Precepts, the fruit of developing (concentration on radiating) metta, even for just to the extent of a whiff of scent, would have been greater.”

“…and though he developed universal lovingkindness, the fruit of cultivating the awareness of anicca-even for the moment of a finger snap-would have been greater.”

"This was said by the Blessed One, said by the Arahant, so I have heard: "Remain focused, monks, on the foulness of the body. Have mindfulness of in-&-out breathing well established to the fore within you. Remain focused on the inconstancy of all fabrications. For one who remains focused on the foulness of the body, the obsession with passion for the property of beauty is abandoned. For one who has mindfulness of in-&-out breathing well established to the fore within oneself, annoying external thoughts & inclinations don't exist. For one who remains focused on the inconstancy of all fabrications, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises."


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... ml#iti-085


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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby ansdkant » Mon Mar 07, 2011 4:43 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ansdkant,

Yes, the Truth can be shocking, especially if the dhamma has not been 'well penetrated in terms of views'. The same thing happened to a couple of my friends when they understood Anatta, while doing vipassana on a retreat with Ven Amathagavesi. Other nanas like bhanga nana, bhaya and aadinava are even more unsettling, if there is little preparation. It is indeed seeing the truth in this way that leads to 'unshakeable faith' (aveccapasada) in the Buddha, Dhamma and Sangha. This is quite a different aspect of the dhamma than what is 'advertised'- as you have experienced it is not all 'mindfulness, bliss and beyond'.

With metta

Matheesha


Hi RYB;

For me, I knew this is not seeing Anatta(true Anatta) but that's Nar-ma-ru-pa pri-say-da nanas only. Later when we saw everything is disappearing as soon as they are coming, then another version of shock and fear coming, feeling that there's nothing can be last, even in a fraction of a second. Big lost again.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Mar 08, 2011 5:36 pm

Hi Anskandt,

Ah, now that sounds like bhanga nana. Somebody gave this graphic similie of having no place to keep your foot on, because everything was fracturing and breaking away into dust.. :thinking:

It is said the is someone see nama-rupa paricceda nana properly, they will understand anatta. I haven't come across the notion that there are degrees to understanding anatta.. and on reflection I wouldn't rule it out, but most of the time you think there is a self or don't.
:anjali:
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby ansdkant » Wed Mar 09, 2011 4:06 pm

Hi RYB;

I used to watch what is happening at moments as I go by Cab or MRT in everyday. At some point of when good Samardi enough, I usually see those are destroying and nothing is left. If I watch them more closer, it's more obvious. Other time than those time, I always feel self/not very sure what state of mind I got.

So my answer is I didn't see it in most of the time, only see when there balanced/good Samardi is arrived.

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 09, 2011 5:14 pm

Yes, that is correct. There can be no panna without samadhi. If the duration of what you saw was relatively short, it might even be a stage of udaya-vaya nana, difficult to say without having you in a retreat and me following you up daily :tongue:

In any case, it sounds quite good. You should go on a proper vipassana retreat, in the future. Don't put it off!

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