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

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

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

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:51 am

Dear Kenshou,

As per my understanding, Buddha only talked of vipassana (insight) meditation for attaining various maggas and he himself also attained nibbana through the same path and taught that.

Can you indicate any sutta where Buddha taught anything other than Vipassana for liberation. Why I spoke of samadhi for jhana was because techniques such as samatha were taught for that and there are a lot of people who confuse jhanas with maggas. Jhanas do not automatically lead to nibbana, yes they can help significantly but, if and only if one practices Vipassana.

Regards & Metta

Parth
Sambodhi in Oz
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:53 pm

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

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:44 am

Ajahn Chandako said ‘’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.’’
viewtopic.php?f=35&t=6748#p108372
---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 ---
User avatar
cooran
 
Posts: 7755
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

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

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:50 am

Greetings,

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:My advice to people in these confusing times would be to listen to and learn from as many teachers as possible, and do your homework by reading the Suttas.

It's advice I took - thanks as always, bhante.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
 
Posts: 14770
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:52 am

cooran wrote:Ajahn Chandako said ‘’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.’’
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 48#p108372
Dry insight is pretty much a comnmentarial construct. Vipassana as it is taught in the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition is not so dry as the commentaries would have us believe.


And as we have seen repeatedly in this forum, and it gets played out elswhere, what jhana means is not always cut and dry.
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
User avatar
tiltbillings
 
Posts: 19892
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

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

Postby upekkha » Sun Jan 09, 2011 8:58 am

Dear Parth,

As I said previously, your posts seem to be SN Goenka discourses copy-pasted, again :)

So yeah, maybe Buddha taught 'Vipassana' as a means to liberation, but 'Vipassana' does not mean 'body-scanning technique as taught by SN Goenka'.

If you one day decide to do some reading outside that specific tradition you will find that there are many skillful means for mental development and they can be complementary, rather than mutually-exclusive (as it is seen in the Goenka organizations).

And coming back to the topic of this post - Thats what the IMS centre was and is all about, different practices in traditions coming together, and those who teach and practice there have found it to be very beneficial for their practice.
upekkha
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:41 am

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

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:54 am

Dear Upekkha,

You wrote:

Dear Parth,

As I said previously, your posts seem to be SN Goenka discourses copy-pasted, again

So yeah, maybe Buddha taught 'Vipassana' as a means to liberation, but 'Vipassana' does not mean 'body-scanning technique as taught by SN Goenka'.

If you one day decide to do some reading outside that specific tradition you will find that there are many skillful means for mental development and they can be complementary, rather than mutually-exclusive (as it is seen in the Goenka organizations).

And coming back to the topic of this post - Thats what the IMS centre was and is all about, different practices in traditions coming together, and those who teach and practice there have found it to be very beneficial for their practice.


1. Well nothing in my last post which came in from any discourse, from experience / reading of Suttas yes but not discourses.
2. Well it is NOT a 'maybe', Buddha taught 'Vipassana' as the means to liberation. This should be spelt out clearly so that people who read at large are not misguided. Further, within the Vipassana teachnique as taught by Goenkaji, any serious practioner who puts in enough focus, effort will and can experiance each of the nanas as outlined in the suttas be it Bhanga, Bhaya and so on so forth.
3. I do not doubt that there are several skillful means for mental development - maybe hundreds, but none except Vipassana can lead to liberation, concentration yes, supernormal powers yes, past life regression yes but not liberation. This is because for liberation you have to go inside the depth of so called self and will have to observe the arising and passing away inside this body and the mental structure. Yes some of these techniques maybe complementary to Vipassana, no doubt , jhana development can be condusive if directed properly but, jhana development should not become the aim, which many times it becomes. Further which of them are complementary and which are not is difficult to say.
4. different practices coming together, sounds very nice (something like a confuence of streams) but, the problem is it can lead to the purity of the main technique getting lost, mixing vipassana with certain pranayams one can get a feeling of very pleasent sensations and can feel that things have become very beneficial but actually they get lost, same with reiki/ pranic healing etc. One might feel that he is doing a great service but would sooner or later end up mixing all these techniques - making it a dangerous concoctation.

Plus when you discuss this maybe, you do not realise how important vipassana is & what it can do and therefore, cannot appreciate what can get lost if this technique looses its purity. Thats all.

Metta

Parth
Sambodhi in Oz
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:53 pm

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

Postby upekkha » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:03 pm

Parth,

The main point I'm trying to make is: Buddha taught many, many ways to develop 'Vipassana' (insight, clear-seeing, etc) - so Vipassana is not just one technique of body-scanning (as taught by SN Goenka).
upekkha
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Jan 23, 2009 7:41 am

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

Postby zavk » Sun Jan 09, 2011 12:06 pm

Hi Parth, and others involved in the foregoing exchange,

It appears to me that Goenkaji's approach to the Dhamma has touched you deeply, Parth. Your commitment to preserving his approach is no doubt sincere and admirable. However, as the others have pointed out with references to various alternative interpretations--all of which can be traced to canonical sources--there is no self-evident way of securing Goenkaji's interpretation as the one, true 'authentic' one. This is NOT to say that it is 'false' or 'wrong'. Nor is this to say that it doesn't work. Nor is this to cast doubt on Goenkaji's character or intentions. As I see it, the others are simply trying to point out that Goenkaji's interpretation is ONE amongst other possible interpretations. To this extent, it is certainly a plausible one which can be backed up by reasonable arguments and evidence that it is in line with the Buddha's teachings and that it works. However, the same can be said of the other approaches.

Because of the benefits you have derived from the practice, it is clear that you wish to preserve the integrity of Goenkaji's approach and prevent any misunderstanding or adulteration of his technique. This is fair enough. Because this is a public forum, it is important that you make things as clear as possible so that others (especially newcomers) reading this would not misunderstand things. But likewise, the others are doing the same. They offer alternative interpretations of the practice maybe because those other approaches have helped them better understand the Dhamma. Perhaps like you, they also wish to minimize misunderstanding in a public forum such as this--it seems to me that they want to make it clear that there are various and equally plausible ways of approaching the Dhamma, to encourage others to investigate the Dhamma for themselves--this is a good thing, isn't it? Ehipassiko?

If you are familiar with the Monty Python skit about the argument clinic.... what I see in the previous few posts is not so much a clarification of an argument but the 'automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes.' Where one party has presented reasons for their position, the other party has simply contradicted that position by stating the opposite: 'no it isn't'. This sort of argument, if we can call it that, will only end up in a continuous cycle of birth and rebirth.

This post is not directed at anyone in particular. Regardless of which side you take, you no doubt feel strongly about the need to clarify things and to prevent any misunderstanding. In a public forum like this, it is certainly important that we do so. However, both parties have already clearly stated their position and have provided ample reasons and evidence for their position. It may be the case that some newcomers may read this thread, but perhaps we should give them credit and assume, on good faith, that they have the critical ability to investigate and consider Goenka's interpretation or any other interpretation on their own. The way I see it, newcomers to the Dhamma tend to be drawn to it because they already have a curious and inquiring mind--they tend not to take things for granted and appear willing to investigate for themselves. This was certainly the case for me, and I assume it was and still is the same for you.

So why not trust that those reading this thread (newcomers or otherwise) have the same critical abilities as ourselves to decide for themselves? Maybe I'm being overly optimistic about others. In any event, I choose to assume the best of others (whoever these 'others' may be) rather than assume that they are unthinking, because this decision allows me to cultivate wholesomeness--this is my commitment to Right Effort. On this note, why don't we leave this discussion as it is, lest it inadvertently generates feelings of unwholesomeness in the participants and readers?

I think it is not inappropriate to paraphrase Goenkaji here. Based on what I've heard and read of Goenkaji (in the video discourses and books), when confronted with people who have their own views on things, he would very likely say (with a big warm smile on his face), 'OK, if this is your decision, be happy.' We've seen different positions in the previous posts. How about we leave this as it is and follow Goenkaji's advice, 'Be Happy'?

:anjali: :smile: :group:
With metta,
zavk
User avatar
zavk
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

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

Postby Sambodhi in Oz » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:16 pm

Dear Upekkha, Zavk and other friends,

Zavk, many thanks for your kind posting, I think I need to clarify few things,

1. I agree Buddha used various variants as the starting points depending upon the emotional / psychological status of an individual and at no point did I say that this was not so. The mere point I was making was on mixing say Vipassana with say concentrating on a candle light could turn into an entirely different meditation which people would think is Vipassana. If this happens it would be disastrous. Further, at no point did I say that Vipassana as taught by Goenkaji was and is the only path, yes Vipassana with its variants (say mahasi method, as taught by Sayagi U Ba khin/ Goenkaji) is the only path and each of these variants I think merge at some station say Udaya vyaya nana / bhanga nana and should come under the gambit of satipatthana sutta.
2. My 2nd point was Goenkaji is rigid on discipline not because of his conservative hindu background (which is beyond my capacity to comment) but because he understands the value of jewel he is handling and wants to pass it on in its full purity to each participant across continents and time.
3. My 3rd point was on people wanting to make Dhamma contemporary, with utmost humility and folded hands I request people to not to try and do so, it already is contemporary, the greed, anger, lust we have today is no different from what a person felt thousands of years ago and it erdicates these just as it did centuries ago.

Beyond this, as Zavk suggested, I leave it as how Goenkaji might do it, Metta with a big smile.

Regards
Parth :smile:
Sambodhi in Oz
 
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Nov 10, 2009 1:53 pm

Previous

Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest