Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Brizzy » Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:36 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote:The view that jhana is not an integral part of the path to liberating insight is half right, simply because these statements are founded upon a wrong view of jhana. Right jhana is part of the path. We cannot cherry pick parts of the path just to suit our selves.
But, of course, it all depends upon what is meant the word jhana. Fortunately, I know of no meditative tradition within the Theravada that rejects right jhana.


I really fail to see the problem, right jhana is the jhana as described in the suttas. If people want to play linguistic games with the suttas to redefine jhana or take commentarial versions of right jhana as their standard then that is their prerogative. If one gives precedence to the suttas without reference to the later interpretations, one can then compare ones own experience with what the Buddha said. If your experience matches up to the suttas then you will know you are on the right track, if your experiences don't match up then the question to be asked is.... 'why'?
I know one or two traditions that do indeed reject right jhana, they do this by their vocal warnings of the 'dangers' and the unnecessariness of jhana and their redefinition of what the Buddha considered 'right' and what they consider nearly right 'access to rightness'. I think it is a strange situation where the noble eightfold path can be so readily redefined.
I come from the viewpoint that the suttas give a fairly clear idea of what the Buddha said. This I believe is true, despite certain issues that may arise due to translation. The suttas have a cohesion and 'taste' that shines through and cannot be hidden by the odd disagreement of translation.

Metta

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:00 am

Brizzy wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Brizzy wrote:The view that jhana is not an integral part of the path to liberating insight is half right, simply because these statements are founded upon a wrong view of jhana. Right jhana is part of the path. We cannot cherry pick parts of the path just to suit our selves.
But, of course, it all depends upon what is meant the word jhana. Fortunately, I know of no meditative tradition within the Theravada that rejects right jhana.


I really fail to see the problem, right jhana is the jhana as described in the suttas.
Except what that means in actual practice is described differently by different people.

If one gives precedence to the suttas without reference to the later interpretations, one can then compare ones own experience with what the Buddha said. If your experience matches up to the suttas then you will know you are on the right track,
When one looks at the "vipassana jhanas" that comes out of the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition that is what one sees, and the nice thing about it, it is not a matter of just trying cobble together what the suttas say, it is something that is grounded in terms of actual practice that fits neatly with what the suttas say.

I know one or two traditions that do indeed reject right jhana, they do this by their vocal warnings of the 'dangers' and the unnecessariness of jhana and their redefinition of what the Buddha considered 'right' and what they consider nearly right 'access to rightness'. I think it is a strange situation where the noble eightfold path can be so readily redefined.
Your disgruntlement with the Burmese vipassana tradition is well known here, but unfortunately it is not well grounded in the a knowledge of the actual traditions that you have shown.

I come from the viewpoint that the suttas give a fairly clear idea of what the Buddha said. This I believe is true, despite certain issues that may arise due to translation. The suttas have a cohesion and 'taste' that shines through and cannot be hidden by the odd disagreement of translation.
In other words, as you admit here, there is room for differences of opinions.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:02 am

Let me add a further coimment to this:

Brizzy wrote:The view that jhana is not an integral part of the path to liberating insight is half right, simply because these statements are founded upon a wrong view of jhana. Right jhana is part of the path. We cannot cherry pick parts of the path just to suit our selves.
This comment really has not a thing to do with anything that Samvega posted.
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: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Brizzy » Thu Mar 15, 2012 6:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:Let me add a further coimment to this:

Brizzy wrote:The view that jhana is not an integral part of the path to liberating insight is half right, simply because these statements are founded upon a wrong view of jhana. Right jhana is part of the path. We cannot cherry pick parts of the path just to suit our selves.
This comment really has not a thing to do with anything that Samvega posted.


Samvega wrote..............

The reason that Jhana alone is not sufficient by itself for liberating insight is because by its nature of restrictive focus, it inhibits the passive observational qualities of broad awareness needed to become aware of those qualities of experience that lead to insight. This shouldn't be contrued to say that Jhana is detrimental, however, because the abundance of evidence indicates that in fact the opposite is true.


The jhana experience described above is not the experience of jhana as described in the suttas, it is a concentration. Now, to achieve the jhana as described in the suttas, one is already applying the dhamma as taught in the suttas. Why is jhana chosen as specifically insufficient for liberating insight when one could choose right view or right intention or right speech or right action or right effort? Do you get my point? They are ALL necessary.
Personally, I would rather cobble together the suttas to come up with answers, rather than cobble together the commentaries.
How do the 'vipassana jhanas' fit nicely with what the suttas say? I would have thought that the suttas descriptions of jhana fit nicely with what the suttas say(and the nice thing about it is, it is............'something that is grounded in terms of actual practice that fits neatly with what the suttas say.'

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Spiny O'Norman » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:06 am

Brizzy wrote:I know one or two traditions that do indeed reject right jhana, they do this by their vocal warnings of the 'dangers' and the unnecessariness of jhana and their redefinition of what the Buddha considered 'right' and what they consider nearly right 'access to rightness'. I think it is a strange situation where the noble eightfold path can be so readily redefined.


I find this strange too. And the jhanas are mentioned so often in the suttas that I find it hard to believe they aren't important.

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Brizzy » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:40 am

Spiny O'Norman wrote:
Brizzy wrote:I know one or two traditions that do indeed reject right jhana, they do this by their vocal warnings of the 'dangers' and the unnecessariness of jhana and their redefinition of what the Buddha considered 'right' and what they consider nearly right 'access to rightness'. I think it is a strange situation where the noble eightfold path can be so readily redefined.


I find this strange too. And the jhanas are mentioned so often in the suttas that I find it hard to believe they aren't important.

Spiny


Yes, it is indeed strange. The frequency of reference to jhana within the suttas is part of what I mean by 'the cohesion & taste' of the dhamma, found within the suttas. Now, there are many modern day teachers who I admire, who put their own 'spin' in explaining the dhamma. What they do not do, is redefine the sutta teachings beyond recognition and introduce concepts that are outside of sutta/vinaya. When reading forums like this, I sometimes wonder if Buddhaghosa is not more venerated for his precision in teaching 'straightforward' dhamma than is the Buddha himself. The Buddha seems to be portrayed (often by implication) as a less than adequate teacher. The Buddha was the peerless teacher, he does not need his teachings redefined.

Metta

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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby bodom » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:42 am

Here is a short 7 minute talk from Bhante Gunaratana that may be of interest:

Why do some teachers warn about practicing jhana?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41NpmB2le3I

:anjali:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Satipatthana: The direct path to realization

Postby Brizzy » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:36 pm

bodom wrote:Here is a short 7 minute talk from Bhante Gunaratana that may be of interest:

Why do some teachers warn about practicing jhana?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41NpmB2le3I

:anjali:


Good talk, but then I think Bhante Gunaratana is awesome. Especially awesome is that he has changed his teachings over the years to reflect his own experiences and understanding of the suttas. To be able to re-appraise his own practice and teachings the way he has done is truly inspiring.

Metta

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Re: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Mar 15, 2012 12:55 pm

Brizzy wrote:Samvega wrote..............

The reason that Jhana alone is not sufficient by itself for liberating insight is because by its nature of restrictive focus, it inhibits the passive observational qualities of broad awareness needed to become aware of those qualities of experience that lead to insight. This shouldn't be contrued to say that Jhana is detrimental, however, because the abundance of evidence indicates that in fact the opposite is true.


The jhana experience described above is not the experience of jhana as described in the suttas, it is a concentration. Now, to achieve the jhana as described in the suttas, one is already applying the dhamma as taught in the suttas.
There is nothing wrong with what Samvega wrote, given that in light of the suttas, it is true. Jhanas by themselves will not bring insight and jhanas also, as the suttas plainly state, can the basis for wrong view.

Why is jhana chosen as specifically insufficient for liberating insight when one could choose right view or right intention or right speech or right action or right effort? Do you get my point? They are ALL necessary.
Of course they are all necessary. Maybe the problem is that is because jhana can be difficult to cultivate and maybe it is that they have greater potential far more than the other factors of going wrong.

Personally, I would rather cobble together the suttas to come up with answers, rather than cobble together the commentaries.
While the commentators do not always get it right, I would look to them first before I would look to someone who does not read Pali, whose meditation experience is limited, etc.

How do the 'vipassana jhanas' fit nicely with what the suttas say? I would have thought that the suttas descriptions of jhana fit nicely with what the suttas say(and the nice thing about it is, it is............'something that is grounded in terms of actual practice that fits neatly with what the suttas say.'
Again, the problem is whose interpretation of what the suttas say? Yours? Do you read Pali? Have you read the whole of the Canon, working with it in terms of meditative practice? Also, you -- again -- rather neatly miss the point of the vipassana jhanas.

.
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: Objection to the Views of Venerable Analayo

Postby Brizzy » Tue Mar 20, 2012 1:29 pm

tiltbillings wrote:While the commentators do not always get it right, I would look to them first before I would look to someone who does not read Pali, whose meditation experience is limited, etc.

.


Who is this person?

When did the reading of Pali become a requisite for following the 8 fold path?

As for the vipassana jhana's - yes I admit to confusion. Especially when something called 'nana knowledges' is overlaid onto something called 'vipassana jhana's'. I look to the suttas most days and have not found them yet.

As regards the rest of what you say, it is the same arguments that we have both repeated ad nauseum.

Metta

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