farmer wrote:Thanks for posting this. It is a great introduction for people (like me) who know the Mahasi Method only as a caricature.
You are welcome. The caricature is unfortunate and we see a lot of that here, especially when it gets into the false dichotomy of jhana vs vipassana.
At one point, Kearney says "the problem with technique is that it can be done very mechanically in a deadening way." This has always been my impression of the Mahasi Method. From the talk, it is clear that Kearney uses the method as a framework within which meditators can creatively develop a balance of samadhi and investigation. He emphasizes that there is no simple one-size-fits all method, and that meditators have to develop their own feel for what will work for them. Is this how most Mahasi lineage teachers teach? Is Kearney representative or an outlier?
The good teachers, such as Joseph Goldstein and other IMS teachers, teach much the same. The late Munindra-ji, an Indian teacher trained by Mahasi Sayadaw and very traditional in his approach, taught much the same.
I know what you mean by "done very mechanically in a deadening way," but these the teachers that I worked with emphasized keeping the practice "light and easy." When done properly it is very dynamic, very alive, but any practice is going to go through peaks and troughs, which is why working with a good teacher is necessary, especially in the beginning.