is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:18 am

SamKR wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
So, as a matter of clarification, you are saying that the sweeping technique is not a vipassana practice
It is no more or no less a vipassana practice than any other activity

Any other activity? :shock:
Well, sweeping is just a technique out of many; U Ba Khin tradition chose to use sweeping (which is only one aspect of U Ba Khin method). What is more important is whether there is cultivation of understanding about Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta, and whether there is reduction of Raga, Dosa, Moha, and if this is being achieved how is this practice no more a vipassana practice than any other activity? Do you think that Goenka teaches just to sweep without any understanding about anicca?
It is the context of an activity. We can add the context of the three characteristics on to any activity. As you say "What is more important is whether there is cultivation of understanding about [i]Anicca, Dukkha, Anatta,". I don't think Goenka teaches just to sweep without any understanding. He gives the technique a framework. a context.

SamKR are you a Goenkaji student? Why does Goenkaji not want his students to do walking meditation? Are students discouraged from practicing techniques outside of the techniques taught by Goenka even if they are bona fide Theravada techniques??
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:24 am

Mr Man wrote: Why does Goenkaji not want his students to do walking meditation? Are students discouraged from practicing techniques outside of the techniques taught by Goenka even if they are bona fide Theravada techniques??

Back on E-Sangha someone gave a link to Goenka's reasoning, which was along the lines of wanting to pursue subtler sensations. I must admit, I found it difficult, since all previous retreats I'd done had half&half walking and sitting. Do other U Ban Kihn students also discourage walking?

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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:34 am

Mr Man wrote:.

SamKR are you a Goenkaji student? Why does Goenkaji not want his students to do walking meditation? Are students discouraged from practicing techniques outside of the techniques taught by Goenka even if they are bona fide Theravada techniques??


Well, if you attend one of his retreats, he does tell his students what to focus on while walking. It becomes more prominent during the long courses. As it is explained during the ten day course, the purpose is to get established in the theory and the practice, and so, the main focus will be on sitting meditation. And remember, he says himself that the ten day course is the "kindergarten" of Dhamma, and a "gradual path". More detail and changes to meditative practice are revealed during the long courses. And as for not allowing students to practice methods outside of the tradition, it's because what he is offering is instruction in one particular approach. It is an intense, immersive experience. Further, no one there is qualified to either instruct nor assist someone doing anything else.
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:20 am

Mr Man wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Answer questions, show evidence, instead of running away from the requests for them.


I do answer questions. show evidence, explain my position etc. look back over the thread.

It took a page for you to show what you meant by isolation, and by that point your explanation had already been said to be applicable to any teacher.
then the fallacy* comments start (I don't see the relevance; you just want to argue) when you can not explain away the rebuttal, and then act like it never happened.

Tilt essentially made this prediction at the start.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:55 am

mikenz66 wrote:The talk by Ven Analayo that I linked to above: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 31#p223731 has some interesting comments about some of the various strands that have become popular in the West (Mahasi/Goenka/Pa Auk), and discusses some aspects of the rise of lay meditation in Burma, starting with the time of Ledi Sayadaw.

The introductory retreat talks by Patrick Kearney discuss the lay movement with a different emphasis (which is understandable, since Patrick was a monk in Burma and has a lot of experience teaching a Mahasi-based approach): http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/audio.html

In the above talk Ven Analayo says that he currently does a body-sweeping technique, but with emphasis on the elements than the U Ban Kihn/Goenka vedana focus. He also has an interesting article about the U Ban Kihn/Goenka approach:
http://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg. ... ations.htm
50) "The Development of Insight – A Study of the U Ba Khin Vipassanā Meditation Tradition as Taught by S.N. Goenka in Comparison with Insight Teachings in the Early Dis­courses", Fuyan Bud­dhist Studies, 2011, vol. 6 pp. 151–174. download


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Thanks for the links, Mike. I listened to most of Ven Analayo's talk yesterday, which was interesting. I wondered where he had learnt the sweeping technique.
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby mikenz66 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:56 am

Hi Ben,
Ben wrote:Well, if you attend one of his retreats, he does tell his students what to focus on while walking.

I don't recall anything specific about walking (and it was something I was certainly listening out for, since it's so crucially important to my practice) but perhaps what you mean is that it would come under observing sensations/vedena in whatever you are doing, which I think was talked about at the very end of the retreat. (I probably am not recalling that too well, since it's several years ago.) There was certainly no instruction to go and deliberately spend time doing walking meditation, the emphasis seems to be on sitting so that one can observe very subtle sensations. It did seem to be really effective at achieving that.

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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Ben » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:00 am

Hi Mike
Its in the second half of the retreat and possibly closer to the end.
You are right, the instructions are not detailed because the focus is on sitting meditation. He does say that one should observe the dominant sensation of the moving part of the body during walking.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:14 am

Cittasanto wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:Answer questions, show evidence, instead of running away from the requests for them.


I do answer questions. show evidence, explain my position etc. look back over the thread.

It took a page for you to show what you meant by isolation, and by that point your explanation had already been said to be applicable to any teacher.
then the fallacy* comments start (I don't see the relevance; you just want to argue) when you can not explain away the rebuttal, and then act like it never happened.

Tilt essentially made this prediction at the start.


Cittasanto, I really don't want to, and don't feel I should have to keep going back over the earlier parts of this thread again and again. I'm not here just to justify every word I say and that is not what I see as the point of the discusion but if you read not the next post (after I first mention isolation) but the one after that I elaborate.

It is my perception that you just want to pick at everything I say. Not just on this thread. I would kindly ask that you take a step back
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:23 pm

Cittasanto wrote:Answer questions, show evidence, instead of running away from the requests for them.

Mr Man wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
I do answer questions. show evidence, explain my position etc. look back over the thread.

It took a page for you to show what you meant by isolation, and by that point your explanation had already been said to be applicable to any teacher.
then the fallacy* comments start (I don't see the relevance; you just want to argue) when you can not explain away the rebuttal, and then act like it never happened.

Tilt essentially made this prediction at the start.


Cittasanto, I really don't want to, and don't feel I should have to keep going back over the earlier parts of this thread again and again. I'm not here just to justify every word I say and that is not what I see as the point of the discusion but if you read not the next post (after I first mention isolation) but the one after that I elaborate.

It is my perception that you just want to pick at everything I say. Not just on this thread. I would kindly ask that you take a step back

can you answer any of the question I asked you?
instead of throwing your perceptions and personal opinions around answer the questions as has been requested (see first quote) or don't respond at all.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:47 pm

Cittasanto wrote:can you answer any of the question I asked you?
Look back over the thread.
Cittasanto wrote:instead of throwing your perceptions and personal opinions around answer the questions as has been requested (see first quote) or don't respond at all.
It is my prerogative to answer or not answer, post or not post.
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:35 pm

Ben wrote:
Mr Man wrote:.

SamKR are you a Goenkaji student? Why does Goenkaji not want his students to do walking meditation? Are students discouraged from practicing techniques outside of the techniques taught by Goenka even if they are bona fide Theravada techniques??


Well, if you attend one of his retreats, he does tell his students what to focus on while walking. It becomes more prominent during the long courses. As it is explained during the ten day course, the purpose is to get established in the theory and the practice, and so, the main focus will be on sitting meditation. And remember, he says himself that the ten day course is the "kindergarten" of Dhamma, and a "gradual path". More detail and changes to meditative practice are revealed during the long courses. And as for not allowing students to practice methods outside of the tradition, it's because what he is offering is instruction in one particular approach. It is an intense, immersive experience. Further, no one there is qualified to either instruct nor assist someone doing anything else.


Hi Ben, What are the changes to the practice which are later revealed? There is a quote from Sayagi U Ba Khin in Jack Kornfields book "Living Buddhist Masters - "with the awareness of the truth of anicca and or dukkha and or anatta.he develops in him what we may call the sparkling illumination of nibbana dhatu a power that dispels all impurities or poisons -the product of bad actions,which are the sources of his physical and mental ills.In the same way as fuel is burnt away by ignition,the negative forces[imputities or poisons]within are eliminated by nibbana dhatu which he generates with the true awareness of anicca in the course of meditation.the process of elimination should go until such time as both the mind and body are completely cleansed of such impurities or poisons." Jack Kornfield refers to nibbana dhatu as the "agent or mode of purification" does this all fit in with how Goenkaji teaches? Would penetrative insight a be substitute term we could use for nibbana dhatu or is nibbana dhatu something more from the perspective of your tradition?

I also believe that there is some kind of view about purity of energy within the tradition, which would explain the reluctance to share meditation facilities or to sit/practice with those from other traditions within the Theravada, is this correct? If it is so do you think it ij just a cultural thing, which has come out of Myanmar with the practice or is there more to it?

With New Years Metta
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:08 pm

Mr Man wrote:
Cittasanto wrote:can you answer any of the question I asked you?
Look back over the thread.

OK so after checking SEVERAL times previously and again stop asking and show the goods.
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15528&start=20#p223720
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15528&start=40#p223734
viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15528&start=40#p223742
You have not shown why you believe the body sweeping has "wrongly" become synonymous with vipassana. But you have said they have become synonymous, including "wrongly" only shows your opinion of the connection you think the two have, yet there is no demonstration of them being synonymous.

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15528&start=40#p223935
you have repeatedly claimed Goenka is isolationistic, yet after a page of discussing it and my explaining they are no different to anyone else, your only evidence was that they don't want the technique taught in a place that is eclectic. you haven't shown they are different from other groups here.
Teachers who led retreats in the Monastery I was at, always were from the circle of monasteries in some way.
But your responce to my dealing with this point was Ad hom. viewtopic.php?f=14&t=15528&start=20#p223721

Cittasanto wrote:Instead of throwing your perceptions and personal opinions around answer the questions as has been requested (see first quote) or don't respond at all.
It is my prerogative to answer or not answer, post or not post.

if you are not interested in discussing something you say make it clear from the start or don't complain when questioned about what you say. in other words "don't step up to bat, then cry about having the ball thrown at you."
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Jan 01, 2013 8:23 pm

Cittasanto wrote:You have not shown why you believe the body sweeping has "wrongly" become synonymous with vipassana."
And the thing is that 'body sweeping has "wrongly" become synonymous with vipassana' certainly is not true in the States.
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: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Mr Man » Tue Jan 01, 2013 9:53 pm

Cittasanto wrote:, yet there is no demonstration of them being synonymous.

1)"By the fourth day the mind is calmer and more focused, better able to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself: observing sensations throughout the body, understanding their nature, and developing equanimity by learning not to react to them."
From http://www.dhamma.org/en/vipassana.shtml
2)To quote tiltbillings "So, as a matter of clarification, you are saying that the sweeping technique is not a vipassana practice" from this I infer that he believes it is (synonymous).

Cittasanto wrote: you have repeatedly claimed Goenka is isolationistic, yet after a page of discussing it and my explaining they are no different to anyone else,
But they are different. I don't agree with your explanation.
Cittasanto wrote: Teachers who led retreats in the Monastery I was at, always were from the circle of monasteries in some way.
But the abbot is happy to go and teach at IMS Barre. I don't imagine that he believes he is performing the "work of Mara" when he teaches there. They are also happy to have monks/teachers from outside there circle teach there.

Cittasanto wrote: in other words "don't step up to bat, then cry about having the ball thrown at you."
A rather strange an analogy in my opinion.
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Billymac29 » Tue Jan 01, 2013 10:26 pm

But the abbot is happy to go and teach at IMS Barre. I don't imagine that he believes he is performing the "work of Mara" when he teaches there. They are also happy to have monks/teachers from outside there circle teach there.


I think this is Mr Man's main point (although I could be totally wrong)
Mr Man may be looking at the vipassan movement in the US being that associated with the original Insight Meditation team (as I call them) from the Insight Meditation Society:
Salzberg, Goldstein, and Kornfield being the biggest names. (others like Boorstein, Brach, and Fronsdal...etc)

I think what Mr Man is trying to say is that teachers from different practices and lineages frequently talk and give instruction at these places. I have seen Thai tradition, Bhikkhus from the Mahasi tradition, Ven Analayo, Zen practitioners, Tibetan Rinpoches, and many other lay and monastic teachers all give talks and instructions at these palces.

And I'm guessing Mr Man is saying that Mr Goenkaji does not give talks at these insight places. Which I do not think he does.


As a side note, body sweeping is practiced in other lineages (some not even Buddhist). I was first taught body sweeping from a Tibetan monk.

may all be well
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby alan... » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:22 pm

all this talk about "body sweeping"...

am i wrong in thinking this has it's roots in the "foulness of the bodily parts" (head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones...) section of satipatthana? why all the debate?
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:45 pm

Mr Man wrote:1)"By the fourth day the mind is calmer and more focused, better able to undertake the practice of Vipassana itself: observing sensations throughout the body, understanding their nature, and developing equanimity by learning not to react to them."
From http://www.dhamma.org/en/vipassana.shtml

By this logic Anapanasati is synonymous with vipassana, as is any other meditation technique taught. They use a particular techneque as a foundation to build vippassana upon, and the underlined (particularly the bold words) do not support your clam. Rather your quote fits the description (in italic) written just a moment ago in this post.

2)To quote tiltbillings "So, as a matter of clarification, you are saying that the sweeping technique is not a vipassana practice" from this I infer that he believes it is (synonymous).

You understood this differently and in line with the underlined part earlier. Although you did misunderstood "And the "isolation" has been explained." for an acceptance; for some reason missing the quotation marks.

It seams you have a conclusion and are forcing things to fit so as to be evidence, rather that seeing facts and forming a hypothesis based upon them.

Cittasanto wrote: you have repeatedly claimed Goenka is isolationistic, yet after a page of discussing it and my explaining they are no different to anyone else,
But they are different. I don't agree with your explanation.

then to continue with the part you snipped out.
"your only evidence was that they don't want the technique taught in a place that is eclectic. you haven't shown they are different from other groups here."
but I will correct this
you havn't shown they are different from other groups in any way other than a not agreeing with mixing up styles. which considering the new age mix&match blunders that have happened, it is understandable.

Cittasanto wrote: Teachers who led retreats in the Monastery I was at, always were from the circle of monasteries in some way.
But the abbot is happy to go and teach at IMS Barre. I don't imagine that he believes he is performing the "work of Mara" when he teaches there. They are also happy to have monks/teachers from outside there circle teach there.

He had in the past, but that doesn't negate what I have fully expressed regarding this isolationist claim as far as you are able to show.

Cittasanto wrote: in other words "don't step up to bat, then cry about having the ball thrown at you."
A rather strange an analogy in my opinion.

as with many things you don't show why it is and snip context that helps explain it.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby Cittasanto » Tue Jan 01, 2013 11:48 pm

alan... wrote:all this talk about "body sweeping"...

am i wrong in thinking this has it's roots in the "foulness of the bodily parts" (head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, sinews, bones...) section of satipatthana? why all the debate?

it could have its origin in a number of places from the first four parts of the anapanasati method in the satipatthana sutta, the 32 parts, the decaying body, the feelings tetrad...
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
With Metta
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Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby SamKR » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:17 am

Mr Man wrote:
SamKR are you a Goenkaji student? Why does Goenkaji not want his students to do walking meditation? Are students discouraged from practicing techniques outside of the techniques taught by Goenka even if they are bona fide Theravada techniques??

I have done a few Goenka courses. I am not aware that Goenkaji does not want his students to do walking meditation. During the courses I heard him saying that while doing everyday activities including walking we should be aware what we are doing (walking etc.) and also observe sensations/anicca related to those activities. Thus walking meditation is included though most of the time students do meditation while sitting. Personally, I like the fact that he gives emphasis to sitting because it becomes much easier to develop the sensations-resolving-power of mind while sitting still.
In my opinion, old students are discouraged from practicing & mixing other techniques because of many reasons: Mixing the techniques may confuse the mediator or a teacher while diagnosing the stages of practice; it may sometimes even harm the student himself. Furthermore, Goenkaji gives emphasis to keep the purity of the technique for a long time to come, and so discourages to add or subtract anything from the teachings. It does not mean that other methods within Theravada are inferior.
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Re: is vipassana the main stream everywhere or just in the west?

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:29 am

Hi Sam,
SamKR wrote:In my opinion, old students are discouraged from practicing & mixing other techniques because of many reasons: Mixing the techniques may confuse the mediator or the teacher while diagnosing the stages of practice; it may sometimes even harm the student himself.

As I said, most other teachers do this to a certain extent. Teachers (of anything) build up a repertoire of the various things that can come up in their students, and what advice may help. It is likely to be much more difficult to figure out where someone is if they are doing a practice unfamiliar to the teacher.

:anjali:
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