Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Meditation, e.g. meditation postures, developing a regular sitting practice, skillfully relating to difficulties and hindrances, etc.

Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:31 am

Related to Ven V's instructions, It happens that I've been listening to this talk today:


At around 27:00 there is a discussion on dealing with things by relaxing the bodily tension. And at 36:50 he mentions smiling as a technique.

:anjali:
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Wed Jun 15, 2011 5:35 am

mikenz66 wrote:Related to Ven V's instructions, It happens that I've been listening to this talk today:


At around 27:00 there is a discussion on dealing with things by relaxing the bodily tension. And at 36:50 he mentions smiling as a technique.

:anjali:
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As i said, this nothing new, nor is it unique to Vimalaramsi'. i first heard this sort of instruction in the 70's from Mahasi Sayadaw trained teacher.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby thelotuseffect » Sun Sep 18, 2011 1:44 am

Bhante V's meditation and sutta teachings are quite sound. When I started out my understanding of Buddhism was confusing when I thought it was good. When asked questions I found I could not explain things well and often ran into conundrums. Following Bhante V's method and vocabulary definitions has helped me tremendously in linking suttas to meditation and bringing a new found confidence in my understanding. So as a Buddhist teacher he is really quite good despite his quirky personality.

The commentaries which most people start off with push us in a direction that is farther off than translations of suttas. The suttas are the closest thing we have to confirming that our practice is good and true. There are many different "enlightenments" out there that sure do feel good and liberating but the Buddhist goal is total and complete Awakening which the Buddha alone has laid before us (in the suttas). When you have a good confident understanding of the suttas (by knowing and practicing) and how they inter-relate then you can start reading commentaries as a helpful resource. Otherwise you will be left with a dim candle in a house of mirrors.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:33 am

thelotuseffect wrote:The commentaries which most people start off with push us in a direction that is farther off than translations of suttas.
And Vimalaramsi' alone has it right and all those others are just mindlessly pushing the commentaries and have no clue as to what the suttas say? Is that what you are saying?
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: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:35 am

... and welcome to the forum.

:hello:

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: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby thelotuseffect » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:50 am

tiltbillings wrote:
thelotuseffect wrote:The commentaries which most people start off with push us in a direction that is farther off than translations of suttas.
And Vimalaramsi' alone has it right and all those others are just mindlessly pushing the commentaries and have no clue as to what the suttas say? Is that what you are saying?



Hahaaha, no. I'm sure there are others. :stirthepot:
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2011 2:52 am

thelotuseffect wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
thelotuseffect wrote:The commentaries which most people start off with push us in a direction that is farther off than translations of suttas.
And Vimalaramsi' alone has it right and all those others are just mindlessly pushing the commentaries and have no clue as to what the suttas say? Is that what you are saying?



Hahaaha, no. I'm sure there are others. :stirthepot:
Have you read through this thread, looked at the links to the other discussions of Vimalaramsi?
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: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby alan » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:03 am

I get an odd feeling from watching this video. He seems to be pretending.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby thelotuseffect » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:05 am

No, but having done a retreat with the Venerable I can say it was a helpful experience for me. I do admit he has a bit of an odd character and says things I do not always agree with but his teachings on the suttas and about meditation are the best I've received so far.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 3:14 am

Thanks for reviving my thread.

I originally started the thread because I was intrigued by the video and was wondering how the rubber met the road with his teachings. Instead I got a lot of people posting factionalist gripes. I understand why they are offended, but I was curious about the results of that meditation, not the other stuff. You gave what I wanted, some feedback about the method from someone who used it. Thank you.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:13 am

Jhana4 wrote: Instead I got a lot of people posting factionalist gripes.
factionalist gripes. That is how you would characterize objections to his rather corrosive approach to other teachers and methods?
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: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:24 am

Jhana4 wrote:I originally started the thread because I was intrigued by the video and was wondering how the rubber met the road with his teachings. Instead I got a lot of people posting factionalist gripes. .

The problem is that it seems to be difficult to discuss Bhante V's teachings without having to contend with factionalistic claims (from him and others) that the rest of the Theravada tradition got it wrong.

It might be an interesting topic of discussion for another thread why a few teachers, and/or their supporters, generate such discord, whereas most don't. I don't recall anyone saying:
"Here's a teaching from Ajahn Chah, who is the only teacher worth listening to...".
Probably because Ajahn Chah (and any number of teachers) completely avoid an abrasive approach.

[By the way, Ajahn Chah is someone I respect but don't pay that much attention to.]

:anjali:
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby alan » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:30 am

He seems like a bad cartoon character. Hard to take seriously, and slightly pathetic.
What is a factionalist gripe? I might want to have one of those some day. Could come in handy.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:31 am

Greetings Mike,

Though I believe Ajahn Chah upset(s) Abhidhammists.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:43 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

Though I believe Ajahn Chah upset(s) Abhidhammists.

Metta,
Retro. :)
The chicken shit story?

On the other hand, I never heard of Ajahn Chah being repeatedly dismissive of other teachers, stating or implying -- dismissily -- that they got it wrong.
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: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:47 am

retrofuturist wrote:Though I believe Ajahn Chah upset(s) Abhidhammists.

I don't see that at all. You can find stories where people who either had too much or too little book learning were steered in the opposite direction. He is quoted as saying "the only book reading is the heart" to those thinking/studying too much and making comments about acting like a buffalo to those who thought too little. And clearly he had a deep knowledge both of theory and practice.

:anjali:
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:51 am

tiltbillings wrote:On the other hand, I never heard of Ajahn Chah being repeatedly dismissive of other teachers, stating or implying -- dismissily -- that they got it wrong.

I agree. What he did (and any good teacher does) was to point out where particular students were going wrong. That's completely different from criticising and/or dismissing other teachers.

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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:16 am

Greetings,

mikenz66 wrote:Ajahn Chah (and any number of teachers) completely avoid an abrasive approach

retrofuturist wrote:Though I believe Ajahn Chah upset(s) Abhidhammists.

mikenz66 wrote:I don't see that at all.

tiltbillings wrote:The chicken shit story?

Yes, that's the one Tilt.

I can't seem to find it online but meindzai recounts it here... "His teachings come across as very personal, rather than mechanical, and he seems to have really disliked Abhidhamma. (Comparing it once to going to a chicken shack and removing the shit rather than the eggs)." - viewtopic.php?f=24&t=7346#p116588

Anyway, as jhana4 said, he doesn't want this to be about sectarian factionalism.

:focus:

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby pegembara » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:20 am

[So now you see the differences. And you really see them because you are having the direct experience. You see them for yourself whether what I am teaching you is correct or not. By reading the suttas so you know what it says about each jhana, you know what the experience is. So you won’t have to believe me. I don’t want you to believe me. I want you to believe your own experience.] Bh V

[No one can know the Dhamma for another. We can chant, read, discuss and listen, but unless we watch all that arises, we will not know the Dhamma by ourselves. There's only one place where Dhamma can be known, in one's own heart and mind. It has to be a personal experience which comes about through constant observation of oneself. Meditation helps. Unless one inquires into one's own reactions and knows why one wants one thing and rejects another, one hasn't seen Dhamma.] Ayya Khema

["To be known by the wise,
each for themselves."] The Buddha
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.
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Re: Video: Meditation: Suttas vs Commentaries

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:48 am

retrofuturist wrote:Anyway, as jhana4 said, he doesn't want this to be about sectarian factionalism.
And as Mike says: "The problem is that it seems to be difficult to discuss Bhante V's teachings without having to contend with factionalistic claims (from him and others) that the rest of the Theravada tradition got it wrong. " The talks (videos) by him that have been posted here are interwoven with "sectarian factionalism":

Even today if you go to teachers of one-pointed concentration and ask them: “How does craving arise?” Or you ask them: “What is craving?” They can’t tell you. “Craving is desire.” “Let go of all desire.” [A gesture of” huh?] But they are serious; that is what they tell you. I know because I asked many, many very big monks this question and that’s the answer they give me. They don’t know how craving arises; they don’t know how to recognize it when it does arise; they don’t know how to let it go. Now, doesn’t that sound a little bit different from what I am teaching?

. . .

So, you have to understand I studied the Visuddhimagga for 20 years.. I have had very many intelligent teachers [dramatic hand gesture of dismissal]. viewtopic.php?f=33&t=7375&start=40#p117352
So the issue of "sectarian factionalism" is built into Vimalaramsi's teachings.
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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