Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
Babadhari
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Babadhari »

History records the names of neither these teachers nor their students. But there is proof that the technique was preserved in its pristine purity: About 125 years ago, an extremely intelligent and hard-working young bhikkhu, Ledi Sayadaw, had become proficient in the study of pariyatti. He went on to learn the technique of Vipassana still being taught in the caves of the Sagaing Hills; and after mastering the technique, he began to teach it to others. His vihara (monastery) in Ledi village near the town of Monywa. There he meditated most of the time and taught the other bhikkhus. At other times he travelled throughout Myanmar. Because of his mastery of pariyatti, he was able to write many books on Dhamma in both Pali and Burmese languages. Thus he strengthened pariyatti, and at the same time he kept alive the pure tradition of patipatti by teaching the technique of Vipassana to a few people.
http://www.globalpagoda.org/myanmar-mai ... ine-purity
Venerable Analayo wrote:
. U Ba Khin (1899-1971) learned vipassanā meditation from U
Thet (1873-1945), whose teaching activities took place with the support of
the famous Burmese scholar monk Ledi Sayadaw (1846-1923).2
Beyond
that, no further information seems to be available from Burma. In spite of
this paucity of records from Burma, however, there is evidence that this
meditation practice reaches far back into the history of Indian Buddhism.
It is this evidence for “the ancient roots of the U Ba Khin vipassanā
meditation” that the present article intends to explore..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... “experience the whole body” while breathing in and
breathing out,3
the Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra instructs that awareness should
be developed in the following way:
念諸息遍身, 亦念息出入, 悉觀身中諸出息入息, 覺知遍至身中乃
至足指遍諸毛孔, 如水入沙, 息出覺知從足至髮遍諸毛孔亦, 如水
入沙.
Mindfulness [during] all breaths pervades the body, [while] being as
well mindful of the out- and in-breaths.4
Completely contemplating the
inside of the body [during] all out-breaths and in-breaths, awareness
pervades and reaches inside the body up to the toes and the fingers
and pervades every pore [on the surface of the body], just like water
entering sand, aware from the feet to the hair [while] breathing out
[and in], pervading every pore as well, just like water entering sand.5
The Dhyānasamādhi Sūtra’s presentation of the implications of the
injunction to “experience the whole body” is closely similar to the position
taken in the U Ba Khin tradition, a position that differs from the traditional
explanation given by the commentator Buddhaghosa
Ancient Roots of U Ba Khin Vipassana Meditation
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Anagarika
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Anagarika »

kitztack wrote:its interesting how the most well known insight techniques practiced in the west deviate or evolve if you will from the Canonical teachings. these practices are being adapted and merged with cognitive behavioral therapy, life-coaching,even with angel-healing in some new world schools(!). were the Buddha here today what practice would he describe for my over-stimulated mind?
i shall never know, but i dont think they should be stripped from their Dhammic context void of precepts and underlying philosophy.
I feel this is a good point you're making, and a hot topic among the "western mindfulness" community (whatever that may be). As Dr. Ron Purser has argued, mindfulness may be taught to army snipers to make them more efficient killers. The argument becomes that mindfulness taught without its wisdom and ethical foundations (ie Right Mindfulness) is a corruption of what the Buddha taught, and a perversion of what mindfulness practice was intended to be. Unfortunately, the west is grabbing on to mindfulness in a similar way that it grabbed on to yoga some years ago, and is turning it into an instant feel good productivity tool, stripped of its ethical context.

As for the issue of whether colonialism spurred the foundations of the Burmese Vipassana movement, these articles are very interesting. I take a very stodgy approach, that being that foundational in the Eightfold Path is the idea of sutta jhanas' samma samadhi : Right Concentration. I'm riding the single gear bicycle vs. the VW Beetle just because it's the way travel was taught in the 'old school.' I'm a boxers vs. briefs kinda guy. :) Is the western Vipassana (or dry insight) practice good or better? I'm not sure, but feel that it's very good that the Burmese monks taught an important sutta based practice that was open and attractive to the laity, and that may have preserved meditation (and Buddhism itself) when it was in danger of being eradicated by Xtian missionaries in Burma and other Buddhist countries. Any traditional, authoritative vehicle that helps people gain insight and places them on the path to release is valuable.
Babadhari
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Babadhari »

were it not for attending a Vipassana course in the SN Goenka tradition some years ago, i and many others might have no direct meeting with the Dhamma of the Buddha in this lifetime, Taking precepts for ten days and experiencing the positive impact to be had on one's life was invaluable.
I see almost every day how mindfulness techniques help friends and family members suffering from anxiety and cravings of different sorts. Hopefully by experiencing the positive effects mindfulness they will develop an interest in the origin of these techniques and discover the Dhamma for themselves.
had the Buddhhas profound teachings been lost through the course of time who knows how much more corrupted and violent might this planet be now
Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion.
Aflame, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs ......

Seeing thus, the disciple of the Noble One grows disenchanted. SN 35.28
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Anagarika
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Anagarika »

kitztack wrote:were it not for attending a Vipassana course in the SN Goenka tradition some years ago, i and many others might have no direct meeting with the Dhamma of the Buddha in this lifetime, Taking precepts for ten days and experiencing the positive impact to be had on one's life was invaluable. I see almost every day how mindfulness techniques help friends and family members suffering from anxiety and cravings of different sorts. Hopefully by experiencing the positive effects mindfulness they will develop an interest in the origin of these techniques and discover the Dhamma for themselves. had the Buddhhas profound teachings been lost through the course of time who knows how much more corrupted and violent might this planet be now
:goodpost:
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Mkoll
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Mkoll »

kitztack wrote:were it not for attending a Vipassana course in the SN Goenka tradition some years ago, i and many others might have no direct meeting with the Dhamma of the Buddha in this lifetime, Taking precepts for ten days and experiencing the positive impact to be had on one's life was invaluable.
I see almost every day how mindfulness techniques help friends and family members suffering from anxiety and cravings of different sorts. Hopefully by experiencing the positive effects mindfulness they will develop an interest in the origin of these techniques and discover the Dhamma for themselves.
had the Buddhhas profound teachings been lost through the course of time who knows how much more corrupted and violent might this planet be now
:goodpost:

A lot more of :jedi: and less of :heart:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
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gavesako
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by gavesako »

Some photos of the monastery of Ledi Sayadaw in Burma:

http://burmadhamma.blogspot.com/2014/02 ... day-9.html
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

Access to Insight - Theravada texts
Ancient Buddhist Texts - Translations and history of Pali texts
Dhammatalks.org - Sutta translations
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Sokehi
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Re: Colonialism as foundation for the Vipassana Movement

Post by Sokehi »

It's not always the "west" that gets dhamma wrong or uses it for weired or even violent purposes.

Don't forget the Samurais or the Kamikaze Pilots, the whole involvement of Zen Buddhist Priests and Monks within the second world war, supporting the armies, teaching sunyata just to get better suicide bombers.
Get the wanting out of waiting

What does womanhood matter at all, when the mind is concentrated well, when knowledge flows on steadily as one sees correctly into Dhamma. One to whom it might occur, ‘I am a woman’ or ‘I am a man’ or ‘I’m anything at all’ is fit for Mara to address. – SN 5.2

If they take what's yours, tell yourself that you're making it a gift.
Otherwise there will be no end to the animosity. - Ajahn Fuang Jotiko

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