LonesomeYogurt wrote: tiltbillings wrote:
Mike wrote:On what do you base this assertion? My experience of retreats practising this method is that quite a lot of tranquillity is built up. Certainly, the Visissudhimagga/Ajahn Brahm level jhanas are not normally encouraged, but the level of concentration normally encouraged is non-trivial in my experience.
And this really cannot be over-emphasized.
It's definitely non-trivial, and it's not Wrong Concentration; and if you are following the "Vipassana Jhana" model, then that's fine too. All I'm saying is that Jhana is a fundamental part of the Buddha's path, and relegating it to this "warm-up" position gives an emphasis to insight that I think is unwarranted.
It's hardly a "warm up". One could just as well say that the standard sutta approach: "Go through jhanas then turn the mind to insight":
"With his mind thus concentrated, purified, and bright, unblemished, free from defects, pliant, malleable, steady, and attained to imperturbability, the monk directs and inclines it to the knowledge of the ending of the mental fermentations. ...
as in MN 27
is the "warm up" model.
Approaches such as taught by Mahasi involve the development of strong levels of mindfulness and concentration as a basis for insight, which is what I take the point of Jhana to be. Since the concentration that the Mahasi approach involves is comparable to some of the "Sutta Jhana" models taught by some teachers, I don't see any particular disrespect the development of concentration, and, of course U Pandita discusses specifically the importance of the development of the Jhana factors in his "Vipassana Jhana" chapter here
It's common for "sutta jhana" teachers to quote suttas such as MN111 MN111
, which seems to be talking about building insight and concentration together, to argue that the extremely deep levels of jhana are not necessary. Those approaches don't seem so different from U Pandita's description of "vipassana jhana". In fact, I've found that sutta quite valuable in my retreat practice:
MN 111 wrote:... 'So this is how these qualities, not having been, come into play. Having been, they vanish.' He remained unattracted & unrepelled with regard to those qualities, independent, detached, released, dissociated, with an awareness rid of barriers. He discerned that 'There is a further escape,' and pursuing it there really was for him.
I think that these suttas are a wonderful resource for practice...