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re. Vipassana Advice - Dhamma Wheel

re. Vipassana Advice

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PeterB
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re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 8:39 am

Can I suggest that if a member offers advice on Vipassana they should be prepared to give information on where they learned and from whom ?
I really don't think that DW should be encouraging D.I.Y. Vipassana.
We live in an age where Vipassana is widely taught and available.
I think it sensible that advice should come exclusively from those who have had formal hands-on training in Vipassana.
At least to beginners degree.


:anjali:

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retrofuturist
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:07 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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retrofuturist
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:10 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:17 am

In the case of established members I have no problem with that Retro.
I guess my concern is those newer members who log onto , for example, the Vipassana Bhavana sub forum and are offered advice from those who more established members strongly suspect have no hands-on instruction in the sphere themselves...
It seems to me that such inquirers could at best end up having their time wasted.
Vipassana above all practices needs specific and personal instruction.

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mikenz66
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:23 am

Hi Peter,

I would certainly ignore advice from someone who had had no instruction. And I would hope that members would not give advice on things that they have no experience with. However, there are all kinds of difficulties in formulating policies in this area:

1. Some members don't appear share that view.

2. How would you propose to enforce such a policy? There are thousands of competent teachers out there, most of whom none of us have ever heard of. So how could you possibly check?

I happen to have done some short retreats or one-day workshops with well-known, or reasonably well-known (as in, you could find some of their talks or writings on the internet) bhikkhus. However, those who I have really spent time with, and who have therefore taught me much more than the "famous" ones would be totally unknown to anyone else here.

:anjali:
Mike

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:33 am

In the end Mike it would be a matter of trust. Trust that if someone was asked that they would tell the truth, or simply refuse to answer. Which as Paul says would lead one to ones own conclusions.
I am not suggesting a photocopy of a framed certificate. Just an indication that a given response isnt a result of simply reading something and passing it off as informed and experiential, when it is simply opinion. Or the result of responding through boredom.
Some indication that the person has actually practised Vipassana with instruction.
I think one could just about get away with learning Samatha from written instructions or a video. Although that is not advisable...Vipassana ?....No.

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Ben
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 19, 2011 9:58 am

Hi Peter,
As Mike said I think its going to be a difficult thing to administer.
From my own point of view I think its easy to tell who has actual experience and those who don't. Some of the attitudes that are captured in the suttas that Paul reproduced are a good rule of thumb. For those of us who have been around for awhile we know who is reliable and who is not.
And I think overall we get an abundance of established practitioners who are only too keen to provide advice.
Again, from my perspective I tend to think a bigger issue is when someone is looking for advice with regards to a particular approach to vipassana and a well-meaning and knowledgeable member answers without realizing the OP is seeking advice specific to a particular practice/tradition context and the OP gets advice inappropriate to their needs. What to do? I'm not sure but we're talking about it.
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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:11 am

I am not underestimating the difficulty in deciding what if anything the Forum's role should be here.
But I have concerns and wanted them on record..


:anjali:

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Ben
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby Ben » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:14 am

Hi Peter,
Yes, your concerns are definitely noted. We are discussing them in the public suggestion box with the membership and privately in the Admin forum amongst the Mod/Admin team.
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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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bodom
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby bodom » Wed Oct 19, 2011 11:48 am

This is why, for the most part, rather than give personal opinion on practice, I find it more useful to point someone back to the suttas or provide quotes from a qualified teacher.

:anjali:
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/

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 12:09 pm

I dont tend to quote Suttas myself because I am always conscious of translation and interpretation issues...which is not a criticism of those that do.
My own usual response repeated ad nauseum, is to point them to their nearest Vipassana centre.
I dont see that as a lesser answer in terms of the forum.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:37 pm

I am concerned if this leads to one more section like the Discovering Theravada section where everything is moderated. In the discovering theravada section it makes some sense, as people are defenitely new (although I'm not entirely a fan of it). But in the others it makes no sense to restrict posts or this forum loses interest.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 1:44 pm

It might gain interest for anyone looking for an informed answer rather than an opinion.

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Modus.Ponens
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby Modus.Ponens » Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:04 pm

It might. But have you thought about what this forum would be without opinion?

Besides, the mods admins are not arahats (AFAIK!), so how would they decide which was right and which wasn't in the dificult points of vipassana instructions? If even Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw had different opinions regarding vipassana, how can a non arahat decide what is to pass and what not? No need to create a "vipassana police".

I think it's up to each one to decide for themselves what to practice. People are grown ups so they can take care of themselves in this respect. There's no need for "baby sitting" in this forum.
He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 3:12 pm

It depends what we are talking about.
Opinions are good. People should be encouraged to express them.
However Vipassana meditation is a very specific set of skills and is, or should be, tailor made not off the peg..
In other words opinion is of little value when discussing specific techniques..
One particular type of approach to Vipassana might suit more than another, but even that is not a matter of opinion or whim but should be ideally talked through with an experienced teacher....and practised in a way that is consistent to itself. To that system.
It doesnt need an "arahant"..it needs someone who knows more than we do and can give hands-on instruction.
In my view this forum is potentially a good way to communicate data ABOUT Vipassana meditation...what, where, when, who,but neither this or any other online forum should attempt to replace hands on instruction.

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kirk5a
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby kirk5a » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:13 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

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 4:36 pm

For the purpose of this discussion those mediation practices as taught by the Goenkaji, Sayadaw and related schools. In other words those practices commonly understood to the the topic when the phrase Vipassana ( often with a capital V ) is mentioned on this forum.
My purpose was not to debate the relative merits of various meditative practices, But rather to request that should inquiry take a specific form, for example if advice concerning Vipassana is sought that any advice forthcoming should be in accord with accepted forms of Vipassana as taught...for example in Goenka or Sayadaw centres.

Whether this accords with a scholastic or pedantic definition of vipassana is of no interest to me.
Whether it accords to the cerebrations of Thanissaro Bhikkhu is of no interest to me.
What goes on at your local centre is what is of interest to me.

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Mr Man
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby Mr Man » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:13 pm

Hello
I think that there is a problem with making something into something "special" when it really isn't that special. Making it esoteric when it really isn't. Do I need to show my credentials for this view :tongue: .
I'm sure that most people who are serious in learning a meditation technic will try and seek out a "teacher" rather than basing there practice on what they read on a forum.
If they do follow any of the advice that may be available on Dhamma Wheel what is the worst that could happen?

PeterB
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby PeterB » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:39 pm

If I was sure that the majority who are interested in Vipassana but had no experience would seek out their local centre I would not have bothered to post the OP.

The worst that could happen is that a lot of people would wander around in circles for a while and then ditch the practice...It happens.
It is not esoteric. It is a skillset that needs to be learned properly.

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kirk5a
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Re: re. Vipassana Advice

Postby kirk5a » Wed Oct 19, 2011 5:42 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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