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.