vipassana craziness

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:22 pm

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What you say makes my point: it is a matter of interpretation and then it becomes a matter of how that interpretation is put into practice via whatever technique one devises.

If you see the necessity to devise a technique beyond what is said, then that is what you see. It is not for me to say that you should see otherwise.

Just be cognizant that there's quite possibly four people so far in this topic (MrMan, daverupa, robertk, myself - I'll allow them to correct me if I'm misrepresenting them) who do not seem to see such a necessity.... therefore, whilst you're as entitled to your "point" as the next person, just be aware that it's not (and need not be) ubiquitously accepted as fact.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


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One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:34 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:What you say makes my point: it is a matter of interpretation and then it becomes a matter of how that interpretation is put into practice via whatever technique one devises.

If you see the necessity to devise a technique beyond what is said, then that is what you see. It is not for me to say that you should see otherwise.
It is not a matter of my devising a technique beyond what is said, it is simply looking at what you have said, and looking at the interpretation and technique you have presented.

therefore, whilst you're as entitled to your "point" as the next person, just be aware that it's not (and need not be) ubiquitously accepted as fact.
Well, yes, of course. That is the point I have made. It is a matter of how one interprets the texts at hand, what one thinks they are saying and based upon that how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 12:03 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It is a matter of how one interprets the texts at hand, what one thinks they are saying and based upon that how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary.

In that case.....

Mr Man wrote:Tilt, do you think the Buddha taught the "technique"?

tiltbillings wrote:The Buddha taught no technique, which is why there are various differing techniques developed to put the Buddha's teachings into practice.

...what is it about Goenka, Mahasi etc.'s teachings that makes them "techniques" as opposed to what the Buddha taught, which you say is not a technique? Where do you (non-arbitrarily) draw the line?

What is it that is missing (deficient?) in the Buddha's guidance that requires it to be necessarily converted into a vipassana "technique" by someone?...... and how is what vipassana teachers as Goenka, Mahasi etc. say any less subject to your "how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary" criteria than what the Buddha said?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 14, 2012 1:25 am

Hi Paul,

retrofuturist wrote:What is it that is missing (deficient?) in the Buddha's guidance that requires it to be necessarily converted into a vipassana "technique" by someone?...... and how is what vipassana teachers as Goenka, Mahasi etc. say any less subject to your "how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary" criteria than what the Buddha said?


There isn't anything deficient in what the Buddha taught.
What is apparent is that there is not a lot of specifics with regard to meditation practice. For example - there is material in MN10 regarding vedana as meditation object (amongst others), and the nature of vedana and what can be observed from them, but there is little on how one observes.
As I have mentioned before, technique is just skillful means or in Ledi Sayadaw's words "exercise" to help one cultivate particular mental qualities and habits. Whether the fine detail is derived from a living tradition that has practiced the same thing continuously for hundreds or thousands of years, analysis of the commentarial sources or is found in the writings of later teachers or inferred directly from the suttas themselves - its unimportant. The important things are: - is it in keeping with what the Buddha taught?, and 2. Does it give results?
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:17 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It is a matter of how one interprets the texts at hand, what one thinks they are saying and based upon that how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary.

In that case.....

Mr Man wrote:Tilt, do you think the Buddha taught the "technique"?

tiltbillings wrote:The Buddha taught no technique, which is why there are various differing techniques developed to put the Buddha's teachings into practice.

...what is it about Goenka, Mahasi etc.'s teachings that makes them "techniques" as opposed to what the Buddha taught, which you say is not a technique? Where do you (non-arbitrarily) draw the line?
The point is that the development of a "technique" is based upon how one understands what it is that the Buddha taught and how that might be put into practice.

What is it that is missing (deficient?) in the Buddha's guidance that requires it to be necessarily converted into a vipassana "technique" by someone?......
I don't think there is anything deficient in the Buddha's teachings, nor do I think it what he taught must be necessarily converted into a "vipassana technique," which is not something I have said at all.

and how is what vipassana teachers as Goenka, Mahasi etc. say any less subject to your "how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary" criteria than what the Buddha said?
That is the whole point: it is not "any less subject" to '"how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary" criteria than what the Buddha said.' What the Buddha said is always going to be interpreted by those who engage it. It is simply the nature of the beast. Are you arguing that there is only one objective truly true invariant understanding of what the Buddha taught?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:It is a matter of how one interprets the texts at hand, what one thinks they are saying and based upon that how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary.

In that case.....

Mr Man wrote:Tilt, do you think the Buddha taught the "technique"?

tiltbillings wrote:The Buddha taught no technique, which is why there are various differing techniques developed to put the Buddha's teachings into practice.

...what is it about Goenka, Mahasi etc.'s teachings that makes them "techniques" as opposed to what the Buddha taught, which you say is not a technique? Where do you (non-arbitrarily) draw the line?

What is it that is missing (deficient?) in the Buddha's guidance that requires it to be necessarily converted into a vipassana "technique" by someone?...... and how is what vipassana teachers as Goenka, Mahasi etc. say any less subject to your "how one opts to try to put that into practice. And all that is going to vary" criteria than what the Buddha said?

Metta,
Retro. :)

Hi Retro,

As I said, Robert is quite clear on what he advocates. Which is that any sort of sitting or walking meditation with the idea of building mindfulness is wrong view, and so on (no need to elaborate on the thread he linked to). This gives a clear basis for interesting and useful discussion, even if we don't actually agree.

As I said, if someone (not just yourself, but some others posting on this thread) are unwilling to explain what they actually advocate doing, I see little basis for discussion, and I find it very difficult to take their criticisms of Goenka or others seriously.

:anjali:
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:03 am

Greetings Ben, Tilt, all,

Ben wrote:What is apparent is that there is not a lot of specifics with regard to meditation practice.

That is a noteworthy observation from which any number of differing conclusions could be drawn... guided as I am by the Simsapa Sutta, my conclusion is more likely to lean towards the inconsequentiality of them.

Ben wrote:For example - there is material in MN10 regarding vedana as meditation object (amongst others), and the nature of vedana and what can be observed from them, but there is little on how one observes.

Not to be cheeky, but unless someone born handicapped, all people are born experiencing the six consciousnesses, and don't need specific instruction on how to observe these things - they are present, that is what makes them vinnana. However, for clear seeing of any experienceable dhamma (and the Satipatthana Sutta is comprehensive in that it provides at least one possible frame of reference for every experienceable dhamma), we need only perceive them as they truly are (i.e. how the Buddha explained them to be), not perceiving them otherwise... and in doing so, avoid appropriating anything in that loka, as per the instruction in the oft-repeated Satipatthana Sutta refrain. Such perception doesn't even require a given "meditation object" - merely a frame of reference amenable to accurate perception of whatever is loka. I appreciate that's quite a radical position for a Theravada orthodoxy that stresses satipatthana-vipassana as the means of cultivating insight knowledges, but I think it holds its own.

Ben wrote:As I have mentioned before, technique is just skillful means or in Ledi Sayadaw's words "exercise" to help one cultivate particular mental qualities and habits. Whether the fine detail is derived from a living tradition that has practiced the same thing continuously for hundreds or thousands of years, analysis of the commentarial sources or is found in the writings of later teachers or inferred directly from the suttas themselves - its unimportant. The important things are: - is it in keeping with what the Buddha taught?, and 2. Does it give results?

Agreed - each person can reflect on that for themselves, though as Robert said in the other topic, "to find which is right, one has to learn what wisdom really is, and what the real conditions for such wisdom are."

tiltbillings wrote:What the Buddha said is always going to be interpreted by those who engage it.

Yes ~ there are even interpretations of the interpretations of the interpretations. My preference is to minimise the interpretations, rather than argue...
tiltbillings wrote:...that there is only one objective truly true invariant understanding of what the Buddha taught

Yet, the Dhamma is the truth and there is none higher. There are many ways in which that truth may be expressed, and various skilful means of varying efficacies by which it might be known.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:10 am

retrofuturist wrote:]
Not to be cheeky, but unless someone born handicapped, all people are born experiencing the six consciousnesses, and don't need specific instruction on how to observe these things. However, for clear seeing of any experienceable dhamma (and the Satipatthana Sutta is comprehensive in that it provides at least one possible frame of reference for every experienceable dhamma), we need only perceive them as they truly are (i.e. how the Buddha explained them to be), not perceiving them otherwise... and in doing so, avoid appropriating anything in that loka, as per the instruction in the oft-repeated Satipatthana Sutta refrain. Such perception doesn't even require a given "meditation object" - merely a frame of reference amenable to accurate perception of whatever is loka. I appreciate that's quite a radical position for a Theravada orthodoxy that stresses satipatthana-vipassana as the means of cultivating insight knowledges, but I think it holds its own.
The problem with what you saying is here is that you really are leaving a great deal left unsaid, so it really does not tell us anything of substance as how this "radical position" manifests as a practice.
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:14 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:As I said, if someone (not just yourself, but some others posting on this thread) are unwilling to explain what they actually advocate doing, I see little basis for discussion

I would suggest that Robert, myself, daverupa and possibly others have in fact done this now and in the past. See the paragraph above starting with "Not to be cheeky..." and you'll see one from me.

Yet, if it is assumed that (to quote Robert) "some technique is one of the conditions", there is bound to be confusion when technique is not discussed, let alone acknowledged.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:17 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:The problem with what you saying is here is that you really are leaving a great deal left unsaid, so it really does not tell us anything of substance as how this "radical position" manifests as a practice.

You just do it as you live, I don't know what else you want.

It doesn't require any specific "doing"... you just perceive according to Right View, instead of perceiving according to Wrong View.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:23 am

retrofuturist wrote:
It doesn't require any specific "doing"... you just perceive according to Right View, instead of perceiving according to Wrong View.
And how does one "just perceive according to Right View?"
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:30 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:And how does one "just perceive according to Right View?"

I could point to any number of suttas (e.g. Bahiya Sutta, Satipatthana Sutta, Maha-cattarisaka Sutta and I will find more if you actually want to see them) but I suspect that no matter how many I present, you'll still be asking "how", because the "how" you have come to expect goes beyond what and how the Buddha of the Sutta Pitaka taught.

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:38 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:And how does one "just perceive according to Right View?"

I could point to any number of suttas (e.g. Bahiya Sutta, Satipatthana Sutta, Maha-cattarisaka Sutta and I will find more if you actually want to see them) but I suspect that no matter how many I present, you'll still be asking "how", because the "how" you have come to expect goes beyond what and how the Buddha of the Sutta Pitaka taught.
Interesting that you are telling me how I think, without actually asking me, but also interstingly you are not really answering the question I have put to you.

Basically, what you seem to be saying here is that these texts can only be understood in one way which, if understood that way, would be the unquestionable way of understanding the Buddhas teachings. You seem to think that I do not correctly undestand the Buddha's teachings, but you are interstingly unwilling expound on how one should correctly understand these texts. So, tell me, show me, what I am missing here.
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:09 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Basically, what you seem to be saying here is that these texts can only be understood in one way which, if understood that way, would be the unquestionable way of understanding the Buddhas teachings.

No, but there is one underlying meaning and intention behind what the Buddha taught - the truth of the Dhamma that the Buddha wanted to put into words. It would be folly or political correctness to think that all interpretations of the Buddha's teaching that have arisen over time are equally good representations of that Dhamma.

tiltbillings wrote:You seem to think that I do not correctly undestand the Buddha's teachings, but you are interstingly unwilling expound on how one should correctly understand these texts. So, tell me, show me, what I am missing here.

I already have. You found that "a great deal [was] left unsaid", as if there must necessarily be something more to it. Some extra level of prescriptivity that needs to be expounded and elaborated - perhaps, simply, there's not?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:22 am

retrofuturist wrote: It would be folly or political correctness to think that all interpretations of the Buddha's teaching that have arisen over time are equally good representations of that Dhamma.
That is not a claim I have made, even remotely.

tiltbillings wrote:You seem to think that I do not correctly understand the Buddha's teachings, but you are interestingly unwilling expound on how one should correctly understand these texts. So, tell me, show me, what I am missing here.

I already have. You found that "a great deal [was] left unsaid", as if there must necessarily be something more to it. Maybe there's not?
Well, you already have, but I must have missed it, being rather thick and all. Or you are purposefully being cryptic. I have asked you to elucidate your point of view, but it is still unclear what you mean by: It doesn't require any specific "doing"... you just perceive according to Right View, instead of perceiving according to Wrong View.


we need only perceive them as they truly are (i.e. how the Buddha explained them to be), not perceiving them otherwise... and in doing so, avoid appropriating anything in that loka, as per the instruction in the oft-repeated Satipatthana Sutta refrain. And one does this how?

When do you know when one has Right View? And just how does one "you just perceive according to Right View?" Simple questions for trying to understand your point of view.
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:38 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:That is not a claim I have made, even remotely.

I didn't say it was. It was the caveat condition for my "no" response.

tiltbillings wrote:Well, you already have, but I must have missed it, being rather thick and all. Or you are purposefully being cryptic. I have asked you to elucidate your point of view, but it is still unclear what you mean by:

It doesn't require any specific "doing"... you just perceive according to Right View, instead of perceiving according to Wrong View.
...
we need only perceive them as they truly are (i.e. how the Buddha explained them to be), not perceiving them otherwise... and in doing so, avoid appropriating anything in that loka, as per the instruction in the oft-repeated Satipatthana Sutta refrain.

And one does this how?

It's a matter of "not doing" (i.e. not accumulating, not seeing them as self, not seeing them as I, not giving rise to sankharas based upon avijja), rather than a matter of "doing". The "doing" in the "not doing" cannot be explained because it is not done.

tiltbillings wrote:When do you know when one has Right View? And just how does one "you just perceive according to Right View?" Simple questions for trying to understand your point of view.

The answers, straight from the teacher...
DN 22 wrote:"And what is right view? Knowledge with regard to stress, knowledge with regard to the origination of stress, knowledge with regard to the cessation of stress, knowledge with regard to the way of practice leading to the cessation of stress: This is called right view."

AN 3.65 wrote:"When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them."

MN 117 wrote:"One tries to abandon wrong view & to enter into right view: This is one's right effort. One is mindful to abandon wrong view & to enter & remain in right view: This is one's right mindfulness. Thus these three qualities — right view, right effort, & right mindfulness — run & circle around right view."

MN 2 wrote:"The well-instructed disciple of the noble ones... discerns what ideas are fit for attention, and what ideas are unfit for attention. This being so, he does not attend to ideas unfit for attention, and attends [instead] to ideas fit for attention... He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: identity-view, doubt, and grasping at precepts & practices."

SN 55.3 wrote:You should further develop six qualities conducive to clear knowing. Remain focused on inconstancy in all fabrications, percipient of stress in what is inconstant, percipient of not-self in what is stressful, percipient of abandoning, percipient of dispassion, percipient of cessation. That's how you should train yourself."

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:55 am

retrofuturist wrote:It's a matter of "not doing" (i.e. not accumulating, not seeing them as self, not seeing them as I), rather than a matter of "doing". The "doing" in the "not doing" cannot be explained because it is not done.
Well, mindfully watching the rise and fall of the six things is very much not doing. Looks like you are doing vipassana after all.
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:57 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Well, mindfully watching the rise and fall of the six things is very much not doing. Looks like you are doing vipassana after all.

No one said it was otherwise.

MN 48 wrote:'When I cultivate, develop, and pursue this view, I personally obtain serenity, I personally obtain Unbinding.'

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:07 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Well, mindfully watching the rise and fall of the six things is very much not doing. Looks like you are doing vipassana after all.

No one said it was otherwise.
Okay, but then given that I really do not understand you earlier comments and objections about the vipassana practice discussed above.
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: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:08 am

Greetings Tilt,

tiltbillings wrote:Okay, but then given that I really do not understand you earlier comments and objections about the vipassana practice discussed above.

Which objections?

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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