McMindfulness meditation dangers

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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daverupa
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 3:02 pm

Hmm. This is from the article:
And even though we have made the program secular in the core content, I’m finding that people are coming back and reporting experiences that I only know how to respond to with Buddhist ideas.
He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly. Or they are not unfamiliar with Buddhist ideas in the first place.

It's why anecdotes are useless as data. Variables like this aren't controlled for.
  • "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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tiltbillings
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 6:13 pm

daverupa wrote:Hmm. This is from the article:
And even though we have made the program secular in the core content, I’m finding that people are coming back and reporting experiences that I only know how to respond to with Buddhist ideas.
He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly.
You don't know that, and the he is a she.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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mikenz66
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:32 pm

Hi Retro,
retrofuturist wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:I don't see any distinction.
Everything you experience is not-self... you have been experiencing not-self since the day you were born (and potentially beyond that). Experiencing dhammas that are not-self doesn't bring enlightenment, it is discernment of those dhammas as not-self which brings enlightenment....
Sorry, I should have used a smiley and saved you some typing... I was quite aware that you were making a distinction based on clever word play. :reading:

Now, can we get past terminology and back to the question of how McPractitioner and BudPractitioners experience/discern/whatever anatta? And how to progress based on that...
Chanmyay Sayadaw wrote: '... Sometimes though I control my foot, the foot doesn't stay with the ground. It lifted by itself. Sometimes it pushed forward very long. I couldn't control it. Then sometimes it's getting down by itself. So my meditation is getting worse and worse. What should I do?' Then eventually he said, 'I think I have gone mad.' ...
http://buddhanet.net/vmed_4.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Buddha wrote:"Bhikkhus, form is not-self. Were form self, then this form would not lead to affliction, and one could have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.' And since form is not-self, so it leads to affliction, and none can have it of form: 'Let my form be thus, let my form be not thus.'
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .nymo.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
The Buddha wrote: [7] "'The perception of not-self in what is stressful, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said. In reference to what was it said?

"When a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has transcended pride, is at peace, and is well-released. If, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is not devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has not transcended pride, is not at peace, and is not well-released, then he should realize, 'I have not developed the perception of not-self in what is stressful; there is no step-by-step distinction in me; I have not arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there. But if, when a monk's awareness often remains steeped in the perception of not-self in what is stressful, his heart is devoid of I-making & my-making with regard to this conscious body and externally with regard to all themes, has transcended pride, is at peace, and is well-released, then he should realize, 'I have developed the perception of not-self in what is stressful; there is a step-by-step distinction in me; I have arrived at the fruit of [mental] development.' In that way he is alert there.

"'The perception of not-self in what is stressful, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit. It gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its final end': Thus was it said, and in reference to this was it said.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
:anjali:
Mike

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Dan74
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 8:57 pm

I am sorry to butt in, Gentlemen, but is it really controversial that people have insights that are compatible with the Dhamma without ever having heard of the Dhamma?

I mean there are even the self-awakened ones, so why not the many more self-progressed-along-the-path-to-awakening-ones? Especially when exposed to parts of Dhamma?

To me this is completely self-evident. Is this what the debate is about or have I missed something again?
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Ben » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:11 pm

Greetings Dan,
Within the tradition, there can be no self-awakened ones unless one is referring to Sammasambuddhas and Paccekabuddhas who arise at the time when a Buddha's dispensaton has not arisen in the world or after it has been completely forgotten. Since we are at the beginning of the second Sasana of Gotama Buddha, there can be no self-awakened ones let alone sammasambuddhas and paccekabuddhas.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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daverupa
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by daverupa » Sun Oct 23, 2011 9:55 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
daverupa wrote:Hmm. This is from the article:
And even though we have made the program secular in the core content, I’m finding that people are coming back and reporting experiences that I only know how to respond to with Buddhist ideas.
He then says they are having profound experiences of Buddhist ideas. I think they are having fairly neutral experiences, and he is salting the mine unknowingly.
You don't know that, and the he is a she.
The point is that this could explain it, and hasn't been ruled out.
  • "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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mikenz66
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:01 pm

Dan74 wrote:I am sorry to butt in, Gentlemen, but is it really controversial that people have insights that are compatible with the Dhamma without ever having heard of the Dhamma?
I didn't think so. Especially when said people are following instructions derived originally from Dhamma teachings, so various Dhamma ideas will probably be transmitted implicitly.

It seems odd to me that on the one hand Dhamma is commonly said to involve investigating for oneself, but that on the other hand some progress (we're not talking about awakening here, we're talking about very small steps) towards understanding the Dhamma is not possible unless one grasps all of the technicalities.

As I have said several times, the interesting question to me is:
What would need to be added to make the participants of such programmes "Dharma Practitioners"?

For the sake of argument, I'll throw out this opinion:
  • Entry-level Dhamma Practice would add a few sessions discussing Noble Truths, Aggregates, Characteristics.
    [And Sila, but that's not specifically Buddhist.]
:anjali:
Mike

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Dan74
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Dan74 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:21 pm

It always astounds me that with all the stories of arahats who awakened with minimal instruction, with all the historical examples of highly cultivated moral and wise people that had never heard of the Buddhadhamma, there seems to still be an insistence that without the proper textual basis you cannot get anywhere.

To say that solid textual basis is preferable in most cases needs no argument but to maintain that anything short of that will never lead to any progress on the path is incompatible with the evidence, IMO.

Quite the contrary, I would argue that very little is needed in order to lay proper foundations for practice. Ethics, Dependent Origination, Meditation Instuctions with advice not to attach to anything that arises can already take people far along the path and some even manage with less. They work out the rest as they go along.
_______________

Ben, what is the source of this view that you stated above? Canonical or postcanonical?
_/|\_

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daverupa
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by daverupa » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:13 am

Dan74 wrote:Ethics, Dependent Origination, Meditation Instuctions
Very good. Here we have Sila, we have Panna, we have Samadhi.

For morality and meditation, I expect there's a nuanced variability of which much may be of benefit. But other than the SuttaVinaya, I don't see Panna.
sabbe sankhara anicca
sabbe sankhara dukkha
sabbe dhamma anatta
Where else can such a thing as this be found?
  • "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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Dan74
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:16 am

Same place the Buddha found it - insight.

But I am not talking about liberation even, just progress.
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Ben » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:16 am

Hi Dan
Its canonical. There is a sutta where the Buddha says that there is no awakening outside of the Buddhadhamma. If I get time later I'll try and hunt it down for you.
kind regards,

Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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Alex123
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Alex123 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:30 am

Dan74 wrote:It always astounds me that with all the stories of arahats who awakened with minimal instruction, with all the historical examples of highly cultivated moral and wise people that had never heard of the Buddhadhamma, there seems to still be an insistence that without the proper textual basis you cannot get anywhere.
The orthodox interpretation is that those people were very highly developed, had great merit and accumulation. They needed a tiny bit more of personalized instruction before they would Awaken. They were gifted (due to high accumulations) like Mozart was gifted at music.

Those brief instructions were enough for them, but not necessary for ordinary folks like us.

http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/individu.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
"Life is a struggle. Life will throw curveballs at you, it will humble you, it will attempt to break you down. And just when you think things are starting to look up, life will smack you back down with ruthless indifference..."

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Dan74
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Dan74 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:09 am

Thanks Ben! I know this teaching and to me it is not saying the same thing as your earlier post.
_/|\_

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Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by Ben » Mon Oct 24, 2011 2:49 am

No worries, Dan.
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com..

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mikenz66
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Post by mikenz66 » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:44 am

And my suggestion above: http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... ad#p155604" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; wasn't that practitioners need no exposure at all to the Dhamma. I was suggesting, based on my experience and observations of others, that the amount of theory one needs to practise effectively is quite small, as long as one has some competent guidance.

:anjali:
Mike

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