Hi Robert,robertk wrote:DAN74Dear DanThe danger of practice which is not rooted in deep mental cultivation that is usually had during long retreats, IMO, is that it is superficial and does not withstand strong blows. It is easy to feel that the practice is on track, easy to be a nice enough guy, untroubled and often moved to kindness, when life is relatively trouble-free and settled. But when you are suddenly afflicted by chronic pain, you loved ones seem to turn on you, your job is gone, your routine is upset, the clinging that hitherto was subtle and invisible becomes manifest.
thanks for reading my long post. Just thought I would respond to this and also reply to some of the comments from some other members (not you)suggesting that Sujin and her students make no efforts.
Now I dont meditate at all-in the formal practice sense- nor does Nina van Gorkom or Sujin Boriharnwanket.
Sujin is now 86 years old: last year she went with many students on three overseas tripes to India , poland and Vietnam. On each of those trips everyday she was meeting for hours with Buddhists- those who accompanied her and from the 3 couuntries- to discuss details of Dhamma. I have known her well for 22 years now and honestly she seems to get stronger and stronger every year.
Nina van Gorkom, (now 85)flew out from holland last year to join the Vietnam trip and is now writing a new book on it. Last week while visiting her husbands grave (passed away last year) she slipped and broke her hip. She is in hospital but continuing to work on it and in great spirits looking forward to leaving hospital and flying out to Bangkok for a month or two in a few months.
If you wanted to refer to me though the casual obsever mights see some signs of laziness especially in comparison to those amazing women.
On the otherhand, to be honest I have been around Buddhist for 30 years now, I just haven't seen either in Bangkok or eleswhere much proof of your statement that it is the people who do the long retreats who have the real deal and that people like Nina or Sujin, or even me if I can be so conceited , who are superficial.
I know of serious meditators I have met who later come into strife in their lives and some even give up Buddhism altogether
But this is all hard to know. Just my superficial observations.
To be clear - I have my biases but as I said before I am in no position to judge yours, Sujin Boriharnwanket's or Nina van Gorkom's practice, nor do I have any basis to denigrate it. Like I said in my post:
What I tried to share throughout this thread (among other things) is what formal practice has meant to me. For my part if you don't see the value of meditation, that's fine. It's a funny thing that while your group feels that meditation is for the especially gifted, I feel that meditation is for the especially deluded, who need the space and silence in order to face the ignorance and see through it.I marvel that your group is able to find so much sustenance in the study and contemplation of the teachings without the need to meditate. I hope that your insights are genuine and deep and you will spread wisdom and compassion around you wherever you go.
Well, each to their own.