Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
zunor
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Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby zunor » Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:56 pm

Hello all, My name is Yuval and im new to your community
I am new to Buddhisem and Vipassana. About a month ago I was lucky enough to take a vipassana course (10-day in the tradition of Goenkaji and U Bha Kin). During this course I had a very intense expreince and got to new realisations of my life, I really feel that this course opened my eyes. I keep practising the technique everyday and i feel that it is still helpful.
After some internet research i found some information about other techniques of Vipassana-Bhavana in Theravada, like Mahasi Sayadaw technique. Many people wrote that the Mahasi technique has more benefits and easier to progress on the path. So i decided to take a look and read some books by Mahasi about the practical aspect as he see's it. I even tried Walking meditation and Mindfulness to breathing through the abdomen instead of the nostreals. I realize that to really try this method i have to take a course but in my country (Israel) the closet center to Mahasi tradtion is a center running by this teachers: http://metta.org.il/en/pages.aspx?CID=54

My questions are:
1. If i find Goenka's method helpful in my life should i go to try a course in the Mahasi tradition?
2. Is it recommended to mix the two methods? (like doing a morning session with Body Scan and later do a walking meditation with noting?)
3. In the Mahasi method when i dont understand if noting is really thinking about the word or just be aware of the object? (Example: walking each step is 'lifting' 'moving' 'dropping' should i mentally say lifting moving etc.)
4. The center that i linked you to (http://metta.org.il/en/pages.aspx?CID=52) teache's Mahasi tradition that went through Northern Thailand, Is it original Mahasi method?
5. What technique of Vipassana-Bhavana did Ledi Sayadaw teach? (body scan or noting or something else)

Thanks you all for your time.
Be Happy :)

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Goofaholix
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby Goofaholix » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:06 pm

1. I think it's important to try several methods so that you don't get stuck in a rut thinking it's the method that's important. What is important is developing the minds capacity to be present, aware, and equanimous and the method(s) are there to support that. When you get more skilled you'll naturally be able to do that and have less reliance on following a particular method.
2. No, don't chop and change, stick with one method for months or weeks and if you decide to change be clear about the reasons why and how long you want to practise it. Certainly don't mix and match when on retreat at a centre that specialises in one method.
3. Noting doesn't require a word, adding a word is labelling, do this as long as you need it as a support and then drop it when you find it clunky or unnecessary.
4. It's mostly the same but there are differences, western teachers of the method do it differently also, it's really the burmese teachers that are very strict on the methodology.
5. not sure.

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mikenz66
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:15 pm


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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:03 am

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


zunor
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby zunor » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:08 am

Thank you all so much, your comments are really helpful. After the Goenkaji course all the practise and theory seemed so simple but when i got to know the complications and different methods it became much more complicated haha (Sattiphatana Sutta has so many interpatetions). I have learned so much from Goenka and i appreciate him, his method and his discourses very much. All of his talks are very simple to understand yet has depth's, but this simplicity just dont give you any reason to think of something else. But know im starting to think "hey maybe there are better methods" which makes it more difficult to choose the Goenka method without knowing the other one's. On the other hand im afraid that getting deeper into other method's (like taking a course by Mahasi tradition) will give me more doubts and make it even harder to choose one method. Is there a real difference between the progress on both methods?
What should i do? If ill try Mahasi course will it help me decide which method fits me more or will it confuse me even further? and what are this other methods you mentioned "Thai forest tradition or Pa Auk Sayadaw's method."
While asking about mixing the methods i meant in my day-to-day life and ofcourse not on a strict course (like doing sitting sessions in Goenka's method and then in the rest of the day using Mahasi's one)..
I have tried a bit of Mahasi practise today and it is the only way i can keep my attetion in meditation while driving persay but its very fraustrating noting and labeling everything and also kind of the opposite of what ive learned (to be aware of sensations just as they are without labeling them).. How are those methods coming from the same close origin and yet are so different?
LonesomeYogurt, So Ledi Sayadaw method is to use noting and abdomen awareness?

If a teacher who has the expreince or someone who have been in my situation could just give me a strict decision on which method should i stick to or guide me on how to decide which one to choose it will be very helpfull because all this plurality of opinions is so confusing!


Thank you all for your guidance it is of great help to me!
:anjali:

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:03 am

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


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Ben
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:35 am

Greetings Zunor

Definitely try different approaches to vipassana if you want. But only try one approach at a time. That way you can assess for yourself which particular approach is most suitable to you.

With regards to Ledi Sayadaw, he is a teacher to both the Mahasi and U Ba Khin/Goenka traditions. His writings support both approaches to Vipassana.
According to the U Ba Khin/Goenka tradition, Ledi Sayadaw was Saya Thetgyi (U Po Thet)'s teacher. Ledi Sayadaw authorized Saya Thetgyi to teach and before the Sayadaw died advised his monks to learn meditation from Saya Thetgyi. Monks retreats are still held regularly at Saya Thetgyi's centre at Pyawbwegyi. What was passed down to Saya Thetgyi was passed down to U Ba Khin and through U Ba Khin to SN Goenka.
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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mikenz66
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:26 am


SamKR
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby SamKR » Sat Sep 29, 2012 6:58 am

No one method is "better" than another. But for an individual one method may work and another may not. If any method is working it's better to stick with it at least for sometime (at least 1 year regular practice, in goenka method).

zunor
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby zunor » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:16 am


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Ben
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby Ben » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:50 am

Greetings Zunor

Perhaps the path of least confusion for you is to practice what Goenkaji has taught you for at least a year and then try Mahasi-style Vipassana for a similar length of period. There are differences between the two approaches but they are superficial, they both lead to the development of vipassana (special wisdom).
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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Bhikkhu Pesala
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Sat Sep 29, 2012 1:50 pm

If it was easy to be free from confusion we would all be enlightened by now. There are as many opinions as there are Buddhists. You will have to form your own opinions about how best to develop your own practice and remove any doubts about the right method by careful reading and regular practice.
• • • • (Upasampadā: 24th June, 1979)

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LonesomeYogurt
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby LonesomeYogurt » Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:54 pm

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


User avatar
daverupa
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby daverupa » Sat Sep 29, 2012 4:03 pm


zunor
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Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 1:31 pm

Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby zunor » Mon Oct 01, 2012 12:06 am

So thank you all for these usefull comments it helped me to sort out my mind.
Im pretty sure that i will have some more "rookie's" questions in the near future haha but for the moment i will keep practising Goenka's meditation style.

Wish you only happiness :anjali:

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Ben
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby Ben » Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:55 am

“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]..

User avatar
mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:51 am


hermitwin
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby hermitwin » Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:27 am


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mikenz66
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Re: Some questions about the Vipassana-Bhavana traditions

Postby mikenz66 » Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:35 am



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