Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
starter
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Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby starter » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:47 am

Hello Teachers/Friends,

I happened to read the following paragraph in Living Buddhist Masters (by Jack Kornfield):

"It’s difficult for a person who is well developed in samatha to advance in vipassana. The only way to help such a person is to teach him to lean on his leg of mindfulness as well." -- comment made by one of the chief teaching disciples of Sunlun Sayadaw [but I don't believe this is Sunlun Sayadaw's opinion since he practiced samadhi earnestly to my understanding of his biography].

In addition, Adjahn Naeb commented that it's wrong practice to develop samadhi instead of insight; Buddhadasa Bikkhu also mentioned it's not necessary to gain samadhi for vipassana -- the normal concentration is sufficient (as I understood from this book).

It seems to me that quite some vipassana masters are kind of against samatha practice, which is different from the Buddha's teaching in general. I wonder if what they stated above is true or not.

Metta to all,

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Ben
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby Ben » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:55 am

Greetings Starter

If you take any comment out of context then it is very easy to come to the impression that this or that teacher has a distorted teaching. The important thing is to choose a teacher or method that you find agreeable and to stick to it for a year at least to see if it gives benefit.
I heard my own teacher say that some people who advance through the jhanas are difficult to teach vipassana to. That is because the experience of the high jhanas are so sublime and pleasurable that it would appear there is no incentive to practice vipassana. So instead, he teaches samatha and vipassana together. At the beginning there is a little more emphasis on vipassana but as one matures a little, there is a little more focus on developing jhana.
kind regards

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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bodom
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby bodom » Sat Apr 09, 2011 12:57 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

fabianfred
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby fabianfred » Sat Apr 09, 2011 1:31 am

In the story of the life of LP Jaran, abbot of Wat Amphawan, Singhburi he says that when he was studying Vipassana at Wat Mahachart his old teacher LP Sodt, the Abbot of Wat PakNam, who developed the Dhammakaya system, also came to study Vipassana there. He was troubled at first by constant 'Nimitr' (visions) because the Dhammakaya system teaches one to visualise and attain Nimitr. His teacher at Wat Mahachart, LP Chadock, told him to note 'seeing....seeing' whenever the nimitr appeared so as not to get caught up in them, just acknowledging them and going back to mindfulness of the breathing. They went away and he was able to then make rapid progress.
Dhammakaya is a concentration technique, not Vipassana, and thus cannot lead one to Nibbana without changing to Vipassana. LP Sodt was aware that he only had a few years left, time to progress himself to Arahant, but not enough to gain the experience to start teaching Vipassana at his temple. He also knew that his followers would destroy evidence of his having studied Vipassana and carry on teaching Dhammakaya.

pegembara
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby pegembara » Sat Apr 09, 2011 3:55 am

And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

starter
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby starter » Sat Apr 09, 2011 4:11 pm

Hello Teachers/Friends,

Many thanks for your very helpful advice and info. I understand now why it could be difficult for one well developed in samatha to advance in vipassana. Probably it's better to develop up to Upacara Samadhi with piti and sukha (about equivalent to suttana's 1st jhana to my understanding), the process of which is a training of mind to establish mindfulness and clear comprehension while abandoning the hindrances which interrupt the mindfulness.

Metta to all!

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:anjali:

rowyourboat
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby rowyourboat » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:17 pm

With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby starter » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:11 pm


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kirk5a
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby kirk5a » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:00 pm

"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

starter
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby starter » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:30 pm

Hello Kirk5a,

Your kind help is very appreciated. I guessed "anything" would include both the conditioned and unconditioned. As to the sentence "Thus, even though Nibbāna, being imperishable and the highest bliss, is not impermanent or suffering, it still cannot be identified as a self", I tend to think that it's not a matter of individuality, but a matter of conceit -- we should not conceive nibbana as "self".

Metta to all,

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kirk5a
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Re: Difficult for one developed in samatha to advance in vipass?

Postby kirk5a » Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:57 pm

"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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