did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby robertk » Sat May 09, 2009 2:58 am

Ben wrote:Hi Robert
I disagree with your assessment of the technique that Goenkaji has propagated. I disagree with your statement that vipassana meditators either here or on e-sangha have claimed high attainments and I disagree with you with your statement
I believe little can be done to help anyone who thinks they are 'doing' vipassana, the attachment runs too deep usually.
.

IBen

Where did I ever say that people on esngha or here have ever claimed high attainments? What I am saying is that anyone who claims to have attained even nama-rupa parichedda nana, the first stage of insight, is claiming a high achievement. I have met and read of many (but not on esangha or dhamawheeel) who claim even more. Now as this is my last post on dhammwheel I apologize for not adding in 'most 'to my statments about the people who think they are having/doing/practicing vipassan becuase they can concentrate on a part of the body. Obviousdly some people are able to change. But I work out of an internte cafe most of teh time on a very tight schedule and sometimes write in a hurry.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby robertk » Sat May 09, 2009 3:09 am

Ben wrote:Hi Robert
Also, I agree with Jechbi with regards to your comparison of Goenka / Goenka's students with the Moonies. Such comparisons and other provocative statments do little for your argument.
Metta

Ben

Final post . I did not compare goneka with teh moonies. I was told by an esangha member that i should not speak anything about Goenka unless i was a past student. I used the example of moonies and my daughter to show that I could still have opinions even if I was not an ex moonie etc etc etc .
I don't have to study with Buddhadasa eitehr to write my post crtciining his beliefs. Or if I do please tell me why.
User avatar
robertk
 
Posts: 1290
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 2:08 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Ben » Sat May 09, 2009 3:54 am

Hi Robert

You're always welcome here. Even though I may disagree with your point of view regarding vipassana meditation and SN Goenka, I respect and welcome your opinion. You never fail to give me a great deal to think about whether it is in regard to the Abhidhamma, the Dhamma generally or whether it is related to the technique propagated by my teacher. Your presence here is an asset to Dhamma Wheel - not just to those new to the path but to those who are more experienced and those, like me, who may even disagree with you!

I also want to make it clear that the discussion of my teacher and Vipassana Meditation as taught by him is not a prohibited subject here at Dhamma Wheel. Criticism of the technique that my teacher has propagated is not breaking some unspoken rule. I just ask that criticism of a teacher's method is done with respect.

What I want to point out that is that for many of us who have practiced under SN Goenka, that our understanding which has been developed through the experience of meditation courses and/or sustained daily practice is as valid, even if different, from your point of view.
Metta

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16259
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 09, 2009 5:31 am

robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Robert: Without right view at the level of pariyatti - correct theroretical understanding- there can be no direct experience.


That does not say much about the efficacy of the practice.

?

Is this meant to disagree with what I said? In that case you disagree with the Theravada position .
Neither among a hundred bulls, nor among a thousand, will even a single bull ensure the continuance of his line in the absence of a cow. Even so, neither among a hundred bhikkhus intent on insight, nor among a thousand, will even a single bhikkhu penetrate the noble path in the absence of pariyatti.

Marks are engraved in rock to show the location of buried treasure; for as long as those marks endure, the treasure is not reckoned as lost. Even so, for as long as pariyatti endures, the Teacher’s Dispensation is not reckoned to have disappeared.
(Manorathapūraṇī i. 92-3, Translted by Dhammanando


I would be the last one to disparage study and learning the texts, but there is enough evidence of people, not followers of the Buddha, attaining a degree of awakening, such as Sariputta, based upon hearing a brief line of Dhamma, not even necessarily directly from the Buddha. So, careful study has not been an absolute necessity for initial insights. I suspect a person could come to some degree of insight by doing present-awareness practice - sati.

On the other hand the vipassana teachers with whom I have studied and practiced teach very carefully traditional Buddha-Dhamma. If a non-Buddhist, knowing nothing about the Dhamma, were to do a three month retreat at IMS, in addition to the practice experience, that individual would come away knowing a great deal in terms of practice, not just meditation, but sila, dana, and the Four Noble Truths.

I cannot speak for all vipassana teachers, but the ones I know teach Dhamma.
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: 19786
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby MMK23 » Sat May 09, 2009 11:56 am

I think some of the participation in this thread has been dangerously close to sectarianism/intellectual mob mentality. Before Ba Khin, Mahasi Sayadaw, SN Goenka, etc, a conversation about "doing vipassana" would have presented extraordinarily different view points to the ones clearly popular amongst some practitioners here. Robertk's views are neither exegetically or traditionally marginal, and the views he has expressed here may well be more representative of "lay buddhism" for a good part of the time since the Buddha's death. Yet here, his view is clearly radical, which to my mind implies that clearly Theravadin orthodoxy for most people participating in this thread has been shaped by a modernist discourse of meditation, which is remarkably for being reframed here as an appeal to the authority of the suttas. I think this is a very strange case of intellectual imperialism and if nothing else, I would urge participants to have a slice of humble pie before weighing in with the burdens of revisionist certainty and sectarian audacity. I say this with kindness as an appeal to a functioning way of having discussions about things. I would be most disappointed if more people other than Robertk feel marginalised in this forum simply for being Theravadin a way that the majority is clearly not.
MMK23
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Ben » Sat May 09, 2009 12:08 pm

Thank you MMK for your post.
Firstly, there is no sectarianism going on. And if anyone feels marginalised here at Dhamma Wheel, all they need to do is raise their concerns with me or one of my colleagues or the administrators. The only people who may have anything to worry about are those that behave in ways that are at odds with the terms of service. While I thought I made it very clear in my response to Robertk above, no one here is punished or singled out for his or her view.
Secondly, the thread had been moved from the Classical Theravada to the more appropriate Theravada Meditation forum.
Thirdly, there is no intellectual imperialism going on. We are merely having a discussion regarding Vipassana Meditation.
If you have any further concerns regarding this thread, please raise it with a moderator or an administrator.
Kind regards

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16259
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 09, 2009 2:50 pm

Hi MMK23,

I'm really glad to see your post, because I don't like it either if it looks like someone is being marginalized or treated unfairly. Please let me accept a piece of that humble pie, and to the extent that I have been a pariticipant in anything that even has the appearance of "revisionist certainty" and "sectarian audacity," I am troubled. This is unsatisfactory.

From my perspective, I welcome informed criticism of the Goenka-taught approach. I don't want to engage in a straw-man practice. I feel practice always can benefit from a more realistic, more thorough understanding of all of its components, including its potential and real weaknesses. So I take Robert's criticism very seriously.

But my impression is that Robert's criticism became not rational. This is not a personal attack on Robert. I also do things that are not rational, often without realizing it. Hey, we're all human. On a certain level, Robert probably thought he was really supporting Buddhadhamma by doing his best to discredit the Goenka-taught approach and other Vipassana Meditation techniques. But the way he did it was, in my opinion, troll-like, as if he was trying to provoke personal reactions. For example, in this thread, which is mostly unrelated to Vipassana Meditation, Robert offered this comment (emphasis mine):
robertk wrote:... I guess most of my asian friends know more about Dhamma than me. However, these people mentioned above don't go on 10 day meditation retreats etc. so I guess that makes them sub-par in many western Buddhist eyes. They do make lots of donations to various Dhamma activities too.

What's up with that? This is clearly a reference to a Goenka-style retreat (because anyone who has read Robert's posts knows that's what he's talking about when he discusses 10-day meditation retreats), and he's clearly implying that the individuals who go on such retreats regard others as sub-par. In other words, Vipassana meditators think they're better, according to Robert. At least that's how I think a reasonable person would interpret what he wrote.

This type of comment is sprinkled throughout the posts that Robert makes, as if he is obsessed. He seeks out opportunities to take potshots at what he views as the personality faults of Vipassana meditators.

Now I'm just an ordinary meditator, nothing special, and I'm not even a very good meditator. So I have to admit, I'm still ignorantly susceptible to this type of provocation. I do my best to work with that, because it's nobody's problem but my own. But in a forum like this, I think it's perfectly legitimate to point it out when a poster begins offering irrational criticism such as bringing Moonies into the discussion in a way that appears to compare Vipassana meditators with cultists, and like insisting on a narrow definition of the term "vipassana" while willfully ignoring that it has broader usages.

Please, MM23, feel empowered to criticize the Goenka-taught approach. Nobody here should feel marginalized or discouraged from participating. Personally, I view this as a safe place to say things sometimes that might be uninformed. Most of the folks here are relatively gentle in trying to clarify.

Metta
:smile:
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby cooran » Sat May 09, 2009 8:48 pm

MMK23 said: I think some of the participation in this thread has been dangerously close to sectarianism/intellectual mob mentality. Before Ba Khin, Mahasi Sayadaw, SN Goenka, etc, a conversation about "doing vipassana" would have presented extraordinarily different view points to the ones clearly popular amongst some practitioners here. Robertk's views are neither exegetically or traditionally marginal, and the views he has expressed here may well be more representative of "lay buddhism" for a good part of the time since the Buddha's death. Yet here, his view is clearly radical, which to my mind implies that clearly Theravadin orthodoxy for most people participating in this thread has been shaped by a modernist discourse of meditation, which is remarkably for being reframed here as an appeal to the authority of the suttas. I think this is a very strange case of intellectual imperialism and if nothing else, I would urge participants to have a slice of humble pie before weighing in with the burdens of revisionist certainty and sectarian audacity. I say this with kindness as an appeal to a functioning way of having discussions about things. I would be most disappointed if more people other than Robertk feel marginalised in this forum simply for being Theravadin a way that the majority is clearly not.

Thanks MMK.23
Jechbi said:
But my impression is that Robert's criticism became not rational. This is not a personal attack on Robert
yeah, right. :o
I also do things that are not rational, often without realizing it. Hey, we're all human. On a certain level, Robert probably thought he was really supporting Buddhadhamma by doing his best to discredit the Goenka-taught approach and other Vipassana Meditation techniques. But the way he did it was, in my opinion, troll-like, as if he was trying to provoke personal reactions.

Personal attack, false attribution of motives.

Jechbi - in my opinion, you turned the thread, which could have been an interesting discussion, into a personal disparagement of RobertK. Your original post was allowed to stand for hours until protest was made and it was removed from view - and then the thread was moved from the Classical Forum to suit the views and intentions of others.
Once again, in this post, you are playing the man, not the ball.

Chris
---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: 7718
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Ben » Sat May 09, 2009 8:56 pm

Hi all

I think its time we got back on topic.
Thanks for your cooperation.

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

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16259
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Jechbi » Sat May 09, 2009 11:03 pm

Yes, Ben, you're right. I wish to say, thank you Chris for the honest assessment. I can understand how it looks to you and others, and I take your words to heart.

Since my original post is no longer visible, people may have an incorrect understanding of what it said. In my opinion, it was respectful. I can understand why others might not have viewed it that way, however. I did not object when it was taken down. I also wish to note that I invited Robert on several occasions to PM me.

I fully accept this criticism, and I hope to be called out like this if I engage members in a way that seems inappropriate. We all come to this board with different expectations. I'm doing my best, and I'll try to do better.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby kc2dpt » Sun May 10, 2009 4:48 am

Someone asked if the Buddha taught vipasanna.
Someone (inevitably) answered 'no'.
Someone (inevitably) got upset at that answer.
Did anyone really expect something other than this to happen?
:coffee:
- Peter

Be heedful and you will accomplish your goal.
User avatar
kc2dpt
 
Posts: 956
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:48 pm

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Sun May 10, 2009 5:15 am

The sort of pointless "yes it is", "no it isn't" gainsaying that Peter refers to is, of course, the basis of the famous (to some people...) Monty Python Argument Sketch.

The Buddhist equivalent appears, for example, in DN 11:
"Whereas some priests and contemplatives, living off food given in faith, are addicted to debates such as these — 'You understand this doctrine and discipline? I'm the one who understands this doctrine and discipline. How could you understand this doctrine and discipline? You're practicing wrongly. I'm practicing rightly. I'm being consistent. You're not. What should be said first you said last. What should be said last you said first. What you took so long to think out has been refuted. Your doctrine has been overthrown. You're defeated. Go and try to salvage your doctrine; extricate yourself if you can!' — he abstains from debates such as these. This, too, is part of his virtue.


However, I think that it's useful to feel challenged about whether one's practise is going in a sensible direction... Or not...

Metta
Mike
User avatar
mikenz66
 
Posts: 10562
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Jechbi » Sun May 10, 2009 6:14 am

Hello Peter and Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:The sort of pointless "yes it is", "no it isn't" gainsaying that Peter refers to is, of course, the basis of the famous (to some people...) Monty Python Argument Sketch.

You mean like this?
appicchato wrote:FWIW...Buddhadasa Bhikkhu states in his book 'Handbook For Mankind' that the Buddha did not teach Vipasanna meditation, and that there is no mention of it in the Tipitaka...


Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:This is a matter of terminology only. Without any doubt, the Buddha taught meditation for the purpose of gaining insight and liberation, not for the purpose of gaining tranquillity or psychic powers. The progress of insight is referred to in the Rathavinīta Sutta.

The Satipatthāna Sutta teaches mindfulness meditation, and mindfulness together with concentration leads to insight (vipassanā), so we call it vipassanā meditation.

The Buddha never taught Buddhism either — he taught the Dhamma, but today we call it “Buddhism.”

I see nothing wrong with that type of back-and-forth.

I do not find it upsetting if somebody answers "no" when the question is posed, "Did the Buddha teach vipassana meditation?" I have no interest in trying to persuade people that I'm right and everybody else is wrong. I value a plurality of approaches in the Buddhadhamma, because I believe the Buddha taught to each disciple according to his or her leanings and capabilities. I regret that Robert has chosen to leave. I respect and value Robert's insights with regard to the Abhidhamma. I wish that we had all been in a room together in person during this discussion so that we could speak face-to-face, because I don't think this outcome was necessary. I accept responsibility for my role in this fiasco. I do not believe I was the only person objecting to Robert's conduct, however.

mikenz66 wrote:However, I think that it's useful to feel challenged about whether one's practise is going in a sensible direction... Or not...

Yes, I absolutely agree with this.

I invite anyone to PM me if there are concerns about me.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
User avatar
Jechbi
 
Posts: 1268
Joined: Thu Jan 01, 2009 3:38 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 10, 2009 6:23 am

Peter wrote:Someone asked if the Buddha taught vipasanna.
Someone (inevitably) answered 'no'.
Someone (inevitably) got upset at that answer.
Did anyone really expect something other than this to happen?
:coffee:


I can't get too excited about the question: "did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?" I get less excited by cranky dismissive responses, without back up, that really adds little to the conversation.

The "Vipassana" movement is fairly new, 1940’s to the 1950’s. This is nothing that is hidden or not talked about, but its founders’ Ledi Sayadaw and Mahasi Sayadaw were classically trained and I am sure they saw themselves functioning within what easily would be called “Classical Theravada” on this forum. I do not think that Mahasi Sayadaw saw that he was doing anything out of the mainstream of classical Theravada, even with his adaptations of meditation practice. And certainly his emphasis on laity doing serious meditative practice finds support in the commentaries.

I certainly cannot speak for all vipassana teachers, but the likes of Joseph Goldstein show a strong commitment to presenting the practice within the full contexts of the Buddha’s teachings.

Nothing is above criticism, but if there is to be criticism, let be carefully done without personal attacks; rather, let it be done with example and textual support. Also, the fact that a teacher might not cleave to every little bit of the tradition is not in and off itself a basis for dismissing what he or she has to say.
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: 19786
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby MMK23 » Sun May 10, 2009 6:43 am

The only point I want to make now is this: prior to the modernist vipassana revolution, much of what we take to be orthodox now would have been anything but. I don't think there is any evil in folks choosing what paths they want to take, and I for one am not going to try a propose a homogeneous Theravada magga. There is no shame in the fact that these movements are modern and recent and at their most legendary a "rediscovery" of a special technique passed through the Burmese masters originally from the Buddha. But if we imbue the orthodox with a particular value and then project that orthodoxy back through time, then we devalue 2 millenia of a diversity of magga and praxis philosophy.

Having experience with Mahasi style meditations, I don't find them to be evil or necessarily destructive. And at their best I found them revealing and beneficial. I moved away from them because I believed that for me they only reified my own sense of egoism and amounted to a sort of self-hypnosis. However, I believe these outcomes were relevant to my background, psychological, and mental effluent, and I certainly do not project that view with certainity on to any other practitioners of modern vipassana practices, many of whom have found the practices to be profoundly illuminating. I say this as a disclaimer, because I don't have an antagonistic view to these practices and I'm wary that some folks feel like they're under attack. You're not.

But to the simple question: did the buddha teach vipassana meditation? The short answer is no, as far as vipassana meditation refers to the modernist vipassana practices. But this leads to other questions,

Does vipassana meditation cultivate the Buddha's teaching?

Clearly the answer to this question is yes as far as the practitioners are concerned. And clearly this is not just an optimistic answer, but is an answer that pays serious attention to the Pali Canon and varieties of Pali exegesis.

Is vipassana meditation a serious and committed application of the noble eightfold path?

Clearly the answer to this questions is yes as far as the practitioners are concerned. And here's the rub: there's no shame in fresh interpretations of Buddhist praxis. The Buddha did not teach Buddhism, or probably a lot of what for 2 millenia has passed as Buddhism. "Buddhism" is the living tradition of trying to heed the dhamma of the Buddha. As Theravada Buddhists, we are committed to realising the lessons of the Buddhadhamma in the Pali Canon, those scriptures we hold to be the closest to the words from the Noble One's mouth. All Buddhisms, ever, are a serious and committed attempt to understand and realise the Buddhadhamma. This is why there is no shame in the reality that modernist meditative movements have no analogues for probably the best part of 2 millenia. What these practices are, are serious, committed, faithful, loving attempts to understand and realise the Buddhadhamma. And so in that sense they are exactly what the Buddha taught.
MMK23
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 10, 2009 7:04 am

But to the simple question: did the buddha teach vipassana meditation? The short answer is no, as far as vipassana meditation refers to the modernist vipassana practices.


It would probably have to be a qualified no. Over all, however, I do not disagree with the general thrust of your msg, though I do wonder how robertk would view it.

What these practices are, are serious, committed, faithful, loving attempts to understand and realise the Buddhadhamma. And so in that sense they are exactly what the Buddha taught.


Yes.
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: 19786
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby MMK23 » Sun May 10, 2009 8:08 am

tiltbillings wrote:Over all, however, I do not disagree with the general thrust of your msg, though I do wonder how robertk would view it.


I guess I should also say that I think that robertk's views on this matter also shouldn't be marginalised or shouted down. His concerns make sense to me and there are strong views throughout the history of Theravada that much mediation practice should only be attempted by the most serious and committed monks even to the extent of robertk's strongly held views which seem to me to be that meditation practice, as it were, is an exercise in self-delusion and self-aggrandisement. I think we can be big enough to allow and encourage a diversity of views, even if we clearly don't agree with them. I found most of the comments to robertk to be - by the letter - reasonable - but by their construction, their tone, and their stances, to be combative. I think sometimes we need to learn to just let things pass. If robertk had not been engaged with in that way, his participation in this thread would have either been put in context by the other posters, or robertk might have felt compelled to make his clase more clearly. In that event it would have been on the strength of his own contributions that his opinions would be measured. I think we need to cure ourselves of the necessity to combat and competition that modern lifestyles mostly imbue us with, and I think that starts with a basic assumption of pluralism in our Theravada communities.

I can't remember who said it, but it was on the topic of interfaith dialogue, and that the first step is the equal and legitimate right of all participants to bear witness to truth. Any forum or discussion of religious and truth matters can only ever be successful if all participants begin with the concluding belief that everyone, including themselves, is equally and fully capable of being witness to truth. The arguments, discussions, and contests, proceeding from that basis, will take a very different turn.

Just my two or so cents. :thanks:
MMK23
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Sun May 10, 2009 8:27 am

MMK23 wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Over all, however, I do not disagree with the general thrust of your msg, though I do wonder how robertk would view it.


I guess I should also say that I think that robertk's views on this matter also shouldn't be marginalised or shouted down.


I agree, but he has done himself no favors here.

His concerns make sense to me and there are strong views throughout the history of Theravada that much mediation practice should only be attempted by the most serious and committed monks even to the extent of robertk's strongly held views which seem to me to be that meditation practice, as it were, is an exercise in self-delusion and self-aggrandisement.


Of course the commentary to the Satipatthanasutta points to the laity being included in serious meditation practice.

I think we can be big enough to allow and encourage a diversity of views, even if we clearly don't agree with them.


Of course, though my question of what would robertk think was primarily in response to your comment: What these practices are, are serious, committed, faithful, loving attempts to understand and realise the Buddhadhamma. And so in that sense they are exactly what the Buddha taught.

I found most of the comments to robertk to be - by the letter - reasonable - but by their construction, their tone, and their stances, to be combative.


Probably no more than robertk’s own snarling tone; also, there is a history here from the Gray Forum that has gotten carried over.

If robertk had not been engaged with in that way, his participation in this thread would have either been put in context by the other posters, or robertk might have felt compelled to make his clase more clearly.


Maybe, but the history here is a problem. Even at best he has been less than expansive in the whys of his criticism of what he feels that goes against the grain of he hold to be so.

. . . I think that starts with a basic assumption of pluralism in our Theravada communities.


I would agree with that. Not a problem, but I kind of think that robertk might sort of in a way have a bit of difficulty with that.

Anyway, robertk is not here to defend himself, which is too bad, but you are correct, there is something to be learned from this.
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: 19786
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby MMK23 » Sun May 10, 2009 10:28 am

Hello again friends and sorry for flooding this topic for the time being :coffee:

tiltbillings wrote:Of course the commentary to the Satipatthanasutta points to the laity being included in serious meditation practice.


Of course - and this is why pluralism is so important. The Pali Canon is an enormous beast and just like all Theravadins through the ages, many of us are likely to come to equally meaningful but different interpretations. So, while it's my view, for example, that the emphasis for laity should not be meditation, I respect differing views in others.

Of course, though my question of what would robertk think was primarily in response to your comment: What these practices are, are serious, committed, faithful, loving attempts to understand and realise the Buddhadhamma. And so in that sense they are exactly what the Buddha taught.


That's a fair question, tiltbillings. I think it's evident that there's at least a strong possibility that robertk wouldn't agree with my view of vipassana practices that you've referred to. But it's a lot harder to be the bigger person when your views are clearly marginal. Robertk evidently had or has a bit of a complex about his Theravada being marginalised in these fora. As his position is clearly a minority position, I don't think it behooves us to pretend that his language may not have been confrontational, but it is fair for us to remember that in dealing with minority positions, those in the majority are speaking from positions of privilege, power, and dominance. It's also important to remember, I think, that views like robertk's are, historically speaking, on the decline, and I think it's reasonable to understand that people speaking from those places of increasing marginalisation may feel that they are on a sinking dhamma ship and everyone around them is too busy doing vipassana* to notice the corruption of the Buddhadhamma. * - an attempt at humour, please laugh along with me, it is not a shot at the vipassanists :-)

Probably no more than robertk’s own snarling tone; also, there is a history here from the Gray Forum that has gotten carried over.


Well, I've avoided the gray forum, so I guess I don't understand the history. It would be an added bonus for folks like me, without any history on that forum and its myriad dramas, if we were here to see a clean slate for the participants. What happens on the gray forum stays on the gray forum? Without the benefit of history, I read robertk's tone as desperate and clingy, rather than snarling. I don't think we have to take a pollyanna attitude here, indeed on an internet forum attempts at such are usually nonsensical, but we all snarl sometimes, and I think one of the ways that we can indeed stretch the breadth and depth of our discussions is to find productive ways to deal with snarling. What happens if we get a troupe of trolls and snarks?

Maybe, but the history here is a problem. Even at best he has been less than expansive in the whys of his criticism of what he feels that goes against the grain of he hold to be so.


I think this is a great point. Maybe this is a lesson for us all, when to disagree, to single out exactly what it is that is bothersome, and then use that in the discussion. Maybe an invitation - and a palpable sense of receptive audience - for robertk to expand upon his views - an invitation to start a thread around some of his core issues - etc etc. I don't know. I'm new here, I don't know the history, I'm liable from positions of ignorance to tend towards the pollyannaism that I don't think really works :-)

. . . I think that starts with a basic assumption of pluralism in our Theravada communities.


I would agree with that. Not a problem, but I kind of think that robertk might sort of in a way have a bit of difficulty with that.
[/quote]

Well I guess we could just try and set an example? Thanks for responding to my thoughts, tiltbillings, I really appreciate it.

MMK23

edit to fix quotes.
MMK23
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 2:38 pm

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby cooran » Sun May 10, 2009 10:59 am

I'm astounded at the continuation of personal remarks about a highly respected Dhamma-farer, by Moderators and member.

The topic is "did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation".
---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: 7718
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2009 11:32 pm
Location: Queensland, Australia

PreviousNext

Return to Insight Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 2 guests