vipassana craziness

Discussion of Satipatthana bhavanā and Vipassana bhavana.

Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:11 am

retrofuturist wrote: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. :)
Pick one.
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 5:13 am

Greetings Tilt,

I don't see one, which is why I'm asking.

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 5:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

I don't see one . . . .
Then we can let it go at that, but it good to see that since you are doing essentially vipassana practice that you have no objection to the Burmese practices used to teach vipassana -- not doing -- to the masses by using carefully crafted techniques to bring to life the Buddha'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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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:22 am

Greetings Tilt,

I only object when the Buddha's teachings as portrayed as not being sufficiently comprehensive in-and-of themselves for stream-entry and subsequent liberation... the notion that they somehow need to be elaborated on, built upon, or extended upon... or that they only show the results of the practice, and not what the practice actually is - as if the Buddha taught with a closed fist and we therefore need separate "techniques" (transmitted outside the scriptures) to achieve those results.

:buddha1:

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: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:33 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Tilt,

I only object when the Buddha's teachings as portrayed as not being sufficiently comprehensive in-and-of themselves for stream-entry and subsequent liberation... the notion that they somehow need to be elaborated on, built upon, or extended upon... or that they only show the results of the practice, and not what the practice actually is - as if the Buddha taught with a closed fist and we therefore need separate "techniques" (transmitted outside the scriptures) to achieve those results.
Thank gawd the Burmese vipassana founders did not do any of that.
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 mikenz66 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 6:34 am

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote: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.

Sorry, I understand Robert (who talks about no technique) and Dave (who talks about technique). But I really have no idea what you are talking about in the above. I guess I'll just watch for a while...

:anjali:
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:03 am

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, and I find it very difficult to take their criticisms of Goenka or others seriously.


Mike I advocate that we keep our "techniques" in perspective and that we see our practice as the entirety of our life.
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:09 am

Mr Man wrote:
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, and I find it very difficult to take their criticisms of Goenka or others seriously.


Mike I advocate that we keep our "techniques" in perspective and that we see our practice as the entirety of our life.

I certainly wouldn't disagree with that, and of course it's something that teachers like Goenka (actually just about any teacher I know of) also say.

:anjali:
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby Mr Man » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:12 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Mr Man wrote:
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, and I find it very difficult to take their criticisms of Goenka or others seriously.


Mike I advocate that we keep our "techniques" in perspective and that we see our practice as the entirety of our life.

I certainly wouldn't disagree with that, and of course it's something that teachers like Goenka (actually just about any teacher I know of) also say.



Mike, my reply to Monkey Mind shows my thoughts viewtopic.php?f=44&t=15291&start=60#p220592

I also think the exclusivism is somthing worth looking at.
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby daverupa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:04 pm

retrofuturist wrote:... possibly... daverupa... do[es] not seem to see such a necessity...


Technique is necessary, insofar as 'technique' means "a way of carrying out a particular task". If the task is "fill the horse trough with water", I can set up a bucket brigade, I can carry the water in buckets on my own, I can haul the trough to the river with a wagon, I can build an irrigation system, and so forth. All these techniques, and more, can accomplish the task - some ideas are bound to be silly or cause extra work and the like, but among the ideas which will render success will be those that are best due to the local environment. As the environment changes, so too will the list of best techniques.

Now, the particular task at hand is bhavana. Given this task, one must use a technique, and the fact is that the usefulness of a technique with respect to the Dhamma is less than ideal prior to the attainment of right view; removal of the hindrance of doubt (that is, doubt over what constitutes wholesome & unwholesome) is one aspect of this, which the suttas I quoted earlier address:

MN 101 wrote:And how is striving fruitful, how is exertion fruitful? There is the case where a monk, when not loaded down, does not load himself down with pain, nor does he reject pleasure that accords with the Dhamma, although he is not fixated on that pleasure. He discerns that 'When I exert a [physical, verbal, or mental] fabrication against this cause of stress, then from the fabrication of exertion there is dispassion. When I look on with equanimity at that cause of stress, then from the development of equanimity there is dispassion.' So he exerts a fabrication against the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the fabrication of exertion, and develops equanimity with regard to the cause of stress where there comes dispassion from the development of equanimity. Thus the stress coming from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the fabrication of exertion is exhausted & the stress resulting from the cause of stress for which there is dispassion through the development of equanimity is exhausted.


For "exert a fabrication", one can read "employ a technique". Disagreement over the details reminds me of one farmer saying "build your irrigation system to the north" where, in that case, there is a river coming down a mountain, whereas another farmer says "but there's a valley to the north where I am - so irrigation systems in the north never work".

We don't disagree on the task, do we? So, judge ones technique accordingly - the techniques of others can be analyzed for problems (the simple case of a technique of prayer to Odin is wrong effort running and circling around wrong view, for example; the case of formless attainments is a knottier issue) but if the task is getting accomplished, who can say anything about the technique?

AN 4.183 wrote:"When, for one who speaks of what has been seen, unskillful mental qualities increase and skillful mental qualities decrease, then that sort of thing should not be spoken about. But when, for one who speaks of what has been seen, unskillful mental qualities decrease and skillful mental qualities increase, then that sort of thing should be spoken about.

"When, for one who speaks of what has been heard... what has been sensed... what has been cognized, unskillful mental qualities increase and skillful mental qualities decrease, then that sort of thing should not be spoken about. But when, for one who speaks of what has been cognized, unskillful mental qualities decrease and skillful mental qualities increase, then that sort of thing should be spoken about."
Last edited by daverupa on Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:43 pm

daverupa wrote:. . .
Very definitely not a Image
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 daverupa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:53 pm

I'm not authorized to download that attachment. From a Buddhist perspective, that is awesome, but it means I only see the word "Image". It's sort of ironic.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:06 pm

daverupa wrote:I'm not authorized to download that attachment. From a Buddhist perspective, that is awesome, but it means I only see the word "Image". It's sort of ironic.
It is a the opposite of the smilely face icon thingie that says "good posting."
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 daverupa » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:20 pm

So it's not a good post? Alas. :embarassed:
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 4:27 pm

daverupa wrote:So it's not a good post? Alas. :embarassed:
No, no, no, no. It is very definitely not a bad post. What I was trying to do is a Buddhist via negativa way of saying that is very good, very clear, and thanks.
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 robertk » Fri Dec 14, 2012 5:34 pm

Thanks for this retro. :thanks:
retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Mike,

retrofuturist wrote:If you accept samma sati as a technique then i accept the necessity of a technique.

mikenz66 wrote:Well, that brings up a good point. How is samma sati to be cultivated?

To quote Robert from the aforementioned linked topic "Sati of satipatthana always arises with sampajanna, wisdom, and specifically wisdom related to anatta."

Note, that as Robert represents it, "wisdom related to anatta" is actually a cause or support for sati. Any "techniques" I've encountered tend to reverse that causality, and present "wisdom related to anatta" as an effect or consequence of the "technique", which for all intents and purposes is represented as a proxy for sati (or sometimes the entire N8P).

Personally, I don't see support for that reversal of cause and effect in the pre-commentarial scriptures - yet on the subject of contemporary vipassana it seems to be taken as a given - which can be somewhat alienating. That's not a criticism of "techniques" ~ just a questioning of the assumed contemporary position that mental cultivation necessarily depends upon them. As I understand them, "techniques" seem to be a methodological set of activities undertaken in the quest for this "wisdom related to anatta", whereas I see samma sati as the present mindful application of existing wisdom pertaining to anatta/dukkha/anicca etc. which, yes... can be learned from the Buddha from the suttas. It's a case of experiencing according to that tilakkhana reality... and simply experiencing life according to that reality doesn't seem to require any "technique" (or any intentional form of 'doing' for that matter) over and above samma sati. Have all 8 path components "samma" and the specifics of the activities being undertaken don't matter one bit.

Metta,
Retro. :)


To add some more. This path is profound and not quick, it is cira-kala-bhavana (long time development).
Majjima Nikaya 64, we read: "An untaught, ordinary person ... abides with a mind enslaved by adherence to rules and observances [silabbata-paramasa- pariyutthitena cetasa viharati]."
Unknowingly, almost all efforts we make in the spiritual realm are tied in with this fetter. It is good to know this, because this knowing will condition dhamma-vicaya(investigation of Dhamma/dhammas) with sammaviriya (right energy) to learn what the right way is.
Already there is avijja and when it allies with lobha there is no way out. Unless that is, the lobha and subtle selfview are seen as they are.

How subtle is it? Anguttara Nikaya (Tika-Nipata No. 128):

Venerable Anuruddha said to Venerable Sariputta, "Friend Sariputta, with the divine eye that is purified, transcending human ken, I can see the thousandfold world-system. Firm is my energy, unremitting; my mindfulness is alert and unconfused; the body is tranquil and unperturbed; my mind is concentrated and one-pointed. And yet my mind is not freed from cankers, not freed from clinging." "Friend Anuruddha," said the Venerable Sariputta, "that you think thus of your divine eye, this is conceit in you. That you think thus of your firm energy, your alert mindfulness, your unperturbed body and your concentrated mind, this is restlessness in you. That you think of your mind not being freed from the cankers, this is worrying in you."
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:04 pm

robertk wrote:Unknowingly, almost all efforts we make in the spiritual realm are tied in with this fetter. It is good to know this, because this knowing will condition dhamma-vicaya(investigation of Dhamma/dhammas) with sammaviriya (right energy) to learn what the right way is.
Already there is avijja and when it allies with lobha there is no way out. Unless that is, the lobha and subtle selfview are seen as they are.
And it is a good thing the Buddha taught a way out of this problem.
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 mikenz66 » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:40 pm

daverupa wrote:Technique is necessary, insofar as 'technique' means "a way of carrying out a particular task". If the task is "fill the horse trough with water", I can set up a bucket brigade, I can carry the water in buckets on my own, I can haul the trough to the river with a wagon, ...

Very clear. Thanks Dave...

:anjali:
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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby Ben » Fri Dec 14, 2012 8:54 pm

Thanks Dave, Robert, Mike, Tilt and Retro.
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


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Re: vipassana craziness

Postby Mr Man » Sun Dec 16, 2012 12:21 pm

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, and I find it very difficult to take their criticisms of Goenka or others seriously.


Mike, what were the "criticisms of Goenka" that you find difficult to take seriously?
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