did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby nathan » Mon May 11, 2009 9:37 am

Hello everyone
:anjali:
FWIW. I had the occasion to briefly meet Robert, among others, while in Bangkok. To me he appeared quite thoughtful and sincere in his concerns regarding the teachings, whatever these concerns may be in particular. I do not honestly know what his thinking about anything actually is as we did not have much time to discuss things.

I have also given up posting here and I thought I should just take a moment to make clear here why this is so.

It is not in any way out of a dislike of Dhamma Wheel or any of it's membership. I maintain much fondness for the site, continue to read many of your posts and I very much hope that it will continue to grow in every way, will shed ever more light on the BuddhaDhamma in the internet era and that the happy Theravada fellowship here will continue. It is my thinking that all successful long term relationships require boundless goodwill, patience, humility and even 'sacrifice' or 'forgiveness' if you prefer.

As I do intend to return to a very serious focused meditative practice and to pursue my monastic aspirations with strong energy in the time to come I think it is now time for me to set aside the presentation of views or thoughts or opinions of all kinds entirely. It is important to the way that I undertake my own practice of the Dhamma to simply wholeheartedly attend to a pure practice in complete conformity to the instructions of my chosen teacher(s) and in complete harmony with the given community I dwell in and to set aside my own thinking about this and that entirely. At some future time, if and when it is again appropriate, I will again consider what it would be that I might say about this or that; if for instance, I in turn am asked to teach this or that, or to take responsibility for this or that.

I wish all of you the very best in all of each and every one of your steps on the path towards true understanding, purity and freedom.
:anjali:
metta & upekkha
nathan
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon May 11, 2009 9:39 am

Thank you for 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.

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Wed May 27, 2009 8:32 am

Chris wrote:The topic is "did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation".


I have been wondering about the fundamental difference between shamata and vipassana. I used to think that the first was about developing concentration and the second about developing insight, now I am not so sure. The Sattipattana Sutta for example appears to teach observation and awareness of body and mind. Any thoughts?

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby MMK23 » Wed May 27, 2009 2:26 pm

Rick O'Shez wrote:
Chris wrote:The topic is "did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation".


I have been wondering about the fundamental difference between shamata and vipassana. I used to think that the first was about developing concentration and the second about developing insight, now I am not so sure. The Sattipattana Sutta for example appears to teach observation and awareness of body and mind. Any thoughts?

Rick


Rick, these are great thoughts, and I admit they've been on my mind for a while now, and I'm not so close to resolution as I'd like to be :-) I think my first thought is that there is no easy dichotomy between a binary of meditative theory - samatha and vipassana. Such a binary is simply not canonically or commentarially supported, in my readings. However, if we have an expectation of two types of meditative practice - samatha and vipassana, and we read particularly the commentaries, it is easy to come to a conclusion that BUddhaghosa's treatment of samatha and vipassana is contained in part 2 and 3 of the Visuddhimagga, and that these are sorts of manuals for these two types of meditation. I suspect that the utility of samatha and vipassana is not in any meditative practice, but is instead as factors to develop to attain towards liberation. I think it is impossible, for example, to categorise the jhanas as samatha or vipassana, but it is possible to anticipate the jhanas cultivating both samatha and the preconditions for vipassana. The Satipatthana Sutta seems to be an excellent example of this, and I think I read a great book by Ven. Analayo discussing exactly this once (I'll try to find out) - satipatthana cannot be easily categorised as either or, but instead seems to issue in the family of cultivations necessary to enlightenment.


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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby cooran » Wed May 27, 2009 10:23 pm

Helllo all,

A few bits and pieces to read - for your delectation:

Necessity of jhanas: panna-vimutto and sukkhavipassako
Thread begins with:
"There is a somewhat controversial question on whether jhanas are
necessary for the attainment of Arahantship.
One of the issues is the interpretation of "pa~n~naavimutto" or "one
released through wisdom". Please tell your opinion on the passage
below."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pali/message/3512

The Jhānas and the Lay Disciple According to the Pāli Suttas - Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
Excerpt:
"The famous Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta declares, in its conclusion, that all those who earnestly dedicate themselves to uninterrupted practice of the four establishments of mindfulness are bound to reap one of two fruits: either arahantship in this very life or, if any residue of clinging remains, the stage of non-returning. While several exercises within the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta are certainly capable of inducing the jhānas, the system as a whole seems oriented towards direct insight rather than towards the jhānas.[40] Thus this opens the question whether the Satipaṭṭhāna Sutta might not be propounding a way of practice that leads all the way to non-returning, even to arahantship, without requiring attainment of the jhānas. "
http://www.buddhanet.net/budsas/ebud/ebdha267.htm

Interview with Nina van Gorkom
When you write about the development of vipassana, you don’t speak about concentration methods or sitting practice.
Vipassana, insight, is actually panna (wisdom) which has been developed to clearly understand realities as they are, as non-self. It is not some special practice, it is not sitting or breathing. If one wishes to induce calm by sitting one still wants to get something. There is subtle clinging which can pass unnoticed. The aim of vipassana is to have less ignorance of realities, including our defilements, even subtle ones. Therefore it can and should be developed in daily life; any object can be an object for mindfulness and understanding.
But can’t sitting quietly be an assistance for mindfulness to arise?
Even mindfulness is anatta, non-self, it cannot be induced just by concentrating or trying to be calm or by sitting quietly. The conditions for mindfulness to arise are listening to the Buddha’s teaching, discussing, considering and pondering over realities. And it develops by studying realities as they appear in our daily lives. Some people find it difficult to accept that one cannot force sati to arise, and they wonder whether this means idleness. The Buddha taught us to develop all good qualities, such as generosity and metta, along with right understanding. It is understanding, actually, that should be emphasized.
Nevertheless, the Buddha taught concentration practices such as anapanasati--breathing mindfulness. Doesn’t that suggest that they are important?
We read about this in the scriptures because in the Buddha’s time there were people who were able to concentrate on the breath. This is a very subtle rupa, which is produced by citta. It is most difficult to be aware of breath, before one knows it one takes for breath what is something else, air produced by other factors, not breath. The commentary to the Kindred sayings V, The lamp, states that only Maha-Purisas, the great disciples can practice it in the right way. Thus, the Buddha did not teach that everyone should practice it. To those who were gifted, who had the accumulations to do so, he taught it. He explained that there is no self who is breathing, and that breath is only rupa.
How should we practice vipassana?
The situation is not: that a teacher tells you first what to do, that you "practise" together, that you do this, then that, at a certain time, in a special place. There is no rule, there is no special technique. In fact, we don’t use the words practising vipassana, but rather: developing understanding of realities little by little, and that, quite naturally, in daily life. We should see the advantage of understanding different realities, different momentary conditions, to realize that there is no "me" who is developing but that wisdom gradually develops. That this development can only happen if the right conditions are present. It can’t occur because of wanting or forcing or pretending to ourselves that "we" are making progress. However, understanding will gradually grow if there are the right conditions. It is anatta, not controllable by any self.
http://www.abhidhamma.org/interview%20with%20nina.html

metta
Chris
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby PadmaPhala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:11 am

jcsuperstar wrote:vipasanna is very popular, but is it a method taught by the buddha? is there a sutta where the buddha teaches vipasanna the way he teaches anapanasati
or is this a modern method?


which buddha?
Tathāgātha Shakyamuni taught vipassana as explained in sutra pitaka... but tathagatha didn't taught vipassana meditation;
jhāna and samatha are advanced meditations that are nurtured/come-from anapanasati... vipassana meditation? vipassana samādhi?
nah, tathagatha didn't taught vipassana samādhi.
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:29 am

From Questions and Answers

Panditārāma Sayādaw has become perhaps the foremost and most successful among many Myanmar Sayādaws teaching vipassanā who have won world-wide renown. When Sayādaw came to the Kuala Lumpur monastery where I was, I took the opportunity to put Mary Shimoda’s questions to Sayādaw. Firstly,

"Did the Buddha not attain Buddhahood through ānāpānassati?"

"Ko Hla Myint," the Sayādaw replied, "You have not studied the scriptures with the necessary attention to detail. It is true that the Buddha-to-be attained pubbenivasanussati-abhiñña (Knowledge of Former States of Being) and dibbacakkhu abhiñña (the Divine Eye of Omniscient Vision) in the first and second watches of the night through ānāpānassati. But in the third and last watch of the night, the Buddha-to-be was no longer absorbed in ānāpānassati, but had turned his great intellect to the doctrine of paticcasamuppāda, or Dependent Origination. ‘Through ignorance are conditioned the sankhāras, the rebirth producing volitions or kamma-formations, and so on.’ Then, just before the break of day, while meditating on the five khandhas, the physical and mental phenomena of existence, the Buddha-to-be attained arahatta-magga, arahatta-phala, and the Omniscience of the Buddha, the Supremely Enlightened. Thus, Buddhahood was won not through ānāpānassati, but through mindfulness on the physical and mental phenomena of the five khandhas."
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 11:47 am

What role did jhana play, Bhante?
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 12:57 pm

Bhikkhu Pesala wrote:
"Thus, Buddhahood was won not through ānāpānassati, but through mindfulness on the physical and mental phenomena of the five khandhas."

Greetings Bhante, just a quick question, doesn't Anapanassati already include both serenity/samatha (1st to 3rd tetrad) and insight/vipassana (4th tetrad)?
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:26 pm

The purpose of concentration (jhāna) is to dispel the hindrances.

The Fourth Tetrad

Two methods: How to Proceed to Insight

Mindfulness of respiration may be used for either tranquillity or insight. Other objects included in the Satipatthana Sutta, such as contemplation of the four elements can also be used as a basis for developing concentration. The five aggregates should be contemplated to develop insight.

The Direct Practice of Insight
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby santa100 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:41 pm

Thank you Bhante. :anjali:
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby daverupa » Fri Jun 29, 2012 3:01 pm

:anjali:

:meditate:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Fri Jun 29, 2012 5:33 pm

I have heard some say that the Satipatthana sutta's common refrain of "having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief" refers to dispelling the hindrances by entering jhana. Is there any substance to this claim that one cannot reach "Nibbana-level" mindfulness of the four foundations without first obtaining jhana?
Gain and loss, status and disgrace,
censure and praise, pleasure and pain:
these conditions among human beings are inconstant,
impermanent, subject to change.

Knowing this, the wise person, mindful,
ponders these changing conditions.
Desirable things don’t charm the mind,
undesirable ones bring no resistance.

His welcoming and rebelling are scattered,
gone to their end,
do not exist.
- Lokavipatti Sutta

Stuff I write about things.
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Skeptic » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:10 pm

Is it possible not to attain jhana when seriously practising vipassana?
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:28 pm

Skeptic wrote:Is it possible not to attain jhana when seriously practising vipassana?
It is always the question: What is meant by jhana?
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
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby reflection » Fri Jun 29, 2012 6:37 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Skeptic wrote:Is it possible not to attain jhana when seriously practising vipassana?
It is always the question: What is meant by jhana?

and by vipassana ;)
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 8:55 pm

LonesomeYogurt wrote:I have heard some say that the Satipatthana sutta's common refrain of "having overcome, in this world, covetousness and grief" refers to dispelling the hindrances by entering jhana. Is there any substance to this claim that one cannot reach "Nibbana-level" mindfulness of the four foundations without first obtaining jhana?

This is discussed in the Commetary:
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... wayof.html
"Having overcome" refers to the discipline of knocking out an evil quality by its opposite good (that is by dealing with each category of evil separately) or through the overcoming of evil part by part [tadangavinaya] and through the disciplining or the overcoming of the passions by suppression in absorption [vikkhambhana vinaya].

So, it seems to be saying that jhana (absorption) would be useful, but not essential.

:anjali:
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby pegembara » Fri Jun 29, 2012 10:35 pm

There are many places in the sutta where he taught "vipasanna", only he didn't call it vipasanna.


“The monk who has retired to a solitary abode and calmed his mind, who comprehends the Dhamma with insight, in him there arise a delight that transcends all human delights.

“Whenever he sees with insight the rise and fall of the aggregates, he is full of joy and happiness. To the discerning one this reflects the Deathless.”

~ Dhammapada 373-374


“Bhikkhus, visible-forms are impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen with right wisdom as it really is thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Sounds are impermanent… Smells are impermanent… Tastes are impermanent… Tactile-objects are impermanent… Mind-objects are impermanent. What is impermanent is suffering. What is suffering is non-self. What is non-self should be seen with right wisdom as it really is thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’

“Seeing thus, bhikkhus, the instructed noble disciple has revulsion towards visible-forms, has revulsion towards sounds, has revulsion towards smells, has revulsion towards tastes, has revulsion towards tactile-objects, has revulsion towards mind-objects. Having revulsion, he becomes dispassionate; Through dispassion [his mind] is liberated. When it is liberated there is the knowledge ‘It is liberated.’ He knows ‘Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived, what is to be done has been done, there is nothing more beyond this.”

~ Saṃyutta-Nikāya, Saḷāyatanavagga, Saḷāyatanasaṃyutta, Sutta 4


“In what respect, bhante, is a lay-follower accomplished in wisdom?”

“Here, Mahānāma, a lay-follower is wise; he possesses the wisdom that is directed towards rise and passing-away, which is noble and penetrative, which leads to the utter destruction of suffering. In this respect, Mahānāma, a lay-follower is accomplished in wisdom.”

~ Saṃyutta-Nikāya, Sotāpattisaṃyutta, Sutta 37

“And what, bhikkhus, is the development of concentration which when developed and cultivated leads to the destruction of the taints? Here, bhikkhus, a bhikkhu dwells contemplating rise and fall in the five-aggregates subject to clinging: 'Such is materiality, such is the arising of materiality, such is the passing-away of materiality; such is feeling, such is the arising of feeling, such is the passing-away of feeling; such is perception, such is the arising of perception, such is the passing-away of perception; such are mental-formations, such is the arising of mental-formations, such is the passing-away of mental-formations; such is consciousness, such is the arising of consciousness, such is the passing-away of consciousness.' This, bhikkhus, is the development of concentration which when developed and cultivated leads to the destruction of the taints.”

~ Aṅguttara-Nikāya, Book of the Fours, Sutta 41
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Postby Spiny Norman » Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:18 pm

reflection wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Skeptic wrote:Is it possible not to attain jhana when seriously practising vipassana?
It is always the question: What is meant by jhana?

and by vipassana ;)


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