did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 08, 2009 3:52 am

Greetings,
robertk wrote:Anyway the comment in my post above about the teacher who claims vipassana is a 'simple mental technique' comes from Goenka. Now if you agree with him please discuss or show evidence from the teachings.
Even two years after attending my one and only Goenka course, I can still remember the sound of him repeatedly reminding us, "anicca, anicca, anicca".

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri May 08, 2009 4:00 am

Robert: Without right view at the level of pariyatti - correct theroretical understanding- there can be no direct experience.
That does not say much about the efficacy of the practice.
You are asking me to list specific vipassana teachers? Could I ask why ?
You speak of unnamed vipassana teachers in a general way and you speak about them in a negative way, which has the effect of tarring them all with your aspersions. If you mean specific vipassana teachers, you should say so.
Anyway the comment in my post above about the teacher who claims vipassana is a 'simple mental technique' comes from Goenka. Now if you agree with him please discuss or show evidence from the teachings.
In a sense, present-moment awareness practice is a simple technique, but I suspect there is far more to what he teaches than just that, though I am no Goenka expert. Others here can speak more directly to that. Any other naughty vipassana teachers we should know about?
>> 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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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by Jechbi » Fri May 08, 2009 4:01 am

Hello Robert,

As a preface that I hope will not be off-topic: It is very difficult to have this discussion in this particular forum, because this is a specialized forum for Classical Theravada, but you are attempting to discuss one way in which some of that tradition is manifesting itself in the present day. If you wish to try to discredit Goenka, I would argue that this is not the correct forum in which to do so. But of course that is up to the moderators to decide.

Earlier in this thread, you made this statement:
robertk wrote:I believe little can be done to help anyone who thinks they are 'doing' vipassana, the attachment runs too deep usually.
There are several problems with this statement. One is that it ignores the fact tha the term "vipassana" is used to mean more than just one thing. You are correct that "doing" vipassana is not a correct notion if one is using the term "vipassana" in the way that you are using it. However, when one uses the term "vipassana" in the context of what is commonly referred to as "Vipassana Meditation," then it may be correct to discuss whether one is "doing" the technique or not. I hope this response is on-topic in this forum.

Another problem with your statement is that your contention that "little can be done to help" individuals who do this technique because "the attachment runs to deep usually" appears to me to be a cynical disregard for the core teachings of the Buddha that individuals are not beyond hope of making better kamma and practicing the 8fold path, even if they have not perfected sublime right view. Indeed, until we have attained to the fruit of arahantship, we will not have perfect sublime right view. I believe this viewpoint is supported in many teachings, such as for example throughout the Sammaditthi Sutta, and I'm sure you will be more adept than I am in finding more.

Another problem is that you presume to see into the hearts and minds of Vipassana meditators, and to know their kamma. I hope it goes without saying that such a claim contradicts any classical teaching.
robertk wrote:Anyway the comment in my post above about the teacher who claims vipassana is a 'simple mental technique' comes from Goenka. Now if you agree with him please discuss or show evidence from the teachings.
Goenka is using this phrase "simple mental technique" in the context of using the term "vipassana" as it is used when talking about "Vipassana Meditation." Goenka is not describing Vipassana in its classical sense as "a simple mental technique," as you erroneously contend.

I believe the burden is on you, Robert, to show in the teachings where it is prohibited to use the term "Vipassana" in any other way than that which you wish it to be used, namely, as a noun synonymous with true insight.

I have done my best to keep this post on-topic within the framework of this particular forum, and at the same time address some of your comments. My apologies if this post falls short in that regard.

Metta
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Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri May 08, 2009 4:10 am

As a preface that I hope will not be off-topic: It is very difficult to have this discussion in this particular forum, because this is a specialized forum for Classical Theravada, but you are attempting to discuss one way in which some of that tradition is manifesting itself in the present day. If you wish to try to discredit Goenka, I would argue that this is not the correct forum in which to do so. But of course that is up to the moderators to decide.
Will probably need to separate this sub-discussion out, putting it into its own thread in the "free-for-all" section.
>> 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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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 08, 2009 4:43 am

Greetings,
robertk wrote:I believe little can be done to help anyone who thinks they are 'doing' vipassana, the attachment runs too deep usually.
I wonder if this isn't akin to the conversation going on elsewhere about rebirth, and whether someone needs to give caveats about anatta everytime they mention rebirth in order not to be falling into the fallacy of wrong view regarding the self.

Is anyone "doing vipassana" anymore than they're being "reborn in hell"?

Is this simply a case of stated versus unstated assumptions?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by retrofuturist » Fri May 08, 2009 4:48 am

Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:
As a preface that I hope will not be off-topic: It is very difficult to have this discussion in this particular forum, because this is a specialized forum for Classical Theravada, but you are attempting to discuss one way in which some of that tradition is manifesting itself in the present day. If you wish to try to discredit Goenka, I would argue that this is not the correct forum in which to do so. But of course that is up to the moderators to decide.
Will probably need to separate this sub-discussion out, putting it into its own thread in the "free-for-all" section.
In the meantime, I'm going to move this to the Meditation Forum.

Jcsuperstar ~ let us know if you object to this and would like it moved back. What is your preference? Are you specifically and exclusively interested in the Classical Mahavihara perspective, as embodied within the commentarial tradition?

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by tiltbillings » Fri May 08, 2009 4:55 am

Good move.
>> 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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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by pink_trike » Fri May 08, 2009 4:55 am

robertk wrote:
I believe little can be done to help anyone who thinks they are 'doing' vipassana, the attachment runs too deep usually.
I'm curious...what is your opinion of the many teachers who offer this practice? Are they also attached too deeply? Should we dismiss their training, qualifications, ,and assessment of current conditions that leads them to make a decision to offer this practice in these times, to modern minds? Does a narrow interpretation of "Vipassana" cancel out the skillful means of countless teachers?
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by mikenz66 » Fri May 08, 2009 5:20 am

While I obviously disagree with Robert (otherwise I wouldn't keep doing Mahasi-style meditation with my teachers) I do think he makes a cruial point that it is very easy for meditation to become oriented towards a self and involve a lot of desire and clinging.

I had some thoughts on this issue here: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=1151" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Mike

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by zavk » Fri May 08, 2009 5:32 am

Mike's post reminded me off this essay by Christopher Titmuss, 'Has Vipassana Reached the End of the Road?', which I stumbled across a while ago. I think it connects with some of the themes raised in this thread and also in Mike's own thread.

I'd be interested to hear what fellow 'vipassana' meditators have to say.

Moderators: Do you think this is worth a thread on its own? It kinda straddles both this one and Mike's.
With metta,
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by Individual » Fri May 08, 2009 7:01 am

jcsuperstar wrote:vipasanna is very popular, but is it a method taught by the buddha? is there a sutta where the buddha teaches vipasanna the way he teaches anapanasati
or is this a modern method?
I think that suttas aren't a sufficient source to describe traditional Theravadin meditation. Meditation is such a complex and personal thing that writing instructions about it would not be practical or useful. Even some of the suttas suggest that early monks were separated into jhana (meditation) monks and "dhamma-devotee" (scripture studying) monks. So, the oral traditions and practices of Theravadin meditation developed over time are just as important as scripture, in my opinion, and certainly legitimate.

Basic descriptions of the Buddha's meditation teachings are found in the Tipitaka, but more detailed descriptions are not, hence the need for a meditation teacher.
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by robertk » Fri May 08, 2009 12:28 pm

Jechbi wrote:Hello Robert,

robertk wrote:Anyway the comment in my post above about the teacher who claims vipassana is a 'simple mental technique' comes from Goenka. Now if you agree with him please discuss or show evidence from the teachings.
Goenka is using this phrase "simple mental technique" in the context of using the term "vipassana" as it is used when talking about "Vipassana Meditation." Goenka is not describing Vipassana in its classical sense as "a simple mental technique," as you erroneously contend.



I:
I actually have no idea of the difference that you mention above. Vipasssana is insight leading to nibbana and it is thus the highest level of buddhist achievement. I contend that it is not a simple mention exercise and I cited the Buddha's
word that it is difficult and profound. If however I am wrong and vipassana is something other than insight and if it is indeed a mental technique - then this would be news to me.Please cite the evidence.

Now one further thing, I have conceded on several threads on esangha that this mediation may have many benefits. It may make all who practice it calm and loving and law abiding. Indeed even transcendental meditation has been proven by science to make its practioners into better beings all around. This I am not disputing. What I am suggesting is that my reading of the texts does not have people doing special techniques and then claiming vipassan insight. Now when people make special claims of high levels of achievement in Buddhism at times someone needs to call them out. This unpleasant task seems to have fallen my way but it has also been suggested by participants on this thread that I am 'obssesed' and carrying out a 'bizarre vendetta' and I was told to 'get a grip" .
'Please moderators do decide whether you want me to continue writing on this thread or not?

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by robertk » Fri May 08, 2009 12:59 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
Robert: Without right view at the level of pariyatti - correct theroretical understanding- there can be no direct experience.
That does not say much about the efficacy of the practice.

?
Is this meant to disagree with what I said? In that case you disagree with the Theravada position .
Neither among a hundred bulls, nor among a thousand, will even a single bull ensure the continuance of his line in the absence of a cow. Even so, neither among a hundred bhikkhus intent on insight, nor among a thousand, will even a single bhikkhu penetrate the noble path in the absence of pariyatti.

Marks are engraved in rock to show the location of buried treasure; for as long as those marks endure, the treasure is not reckoned as lost. Even so, for as long as pariyatti endures, the Teacher’s Dispensation is not reckoned to have disappeared.
(Manorathapūraṇī i. 92-3, Translted by Dhammanando

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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by Cittasanto » Fri May 08, 2009 1:17 pm

Hi Robertk
have a read of Tilts Signature may give you an idea of what he meant
robertk wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Robert: Without right view at the level of pariyatti - correct theroretical understanding- there can be no direct experience.
That does not say much about the efficacy of the practice.

?
Is this meant to disagree with what I said? In that case you disagree with the Theravada position .
Neither among a hundred bulls, nor among a thousand, will even a single bull ensure the continuance of his line in the absence of a cow. Even so, neither among a hundred bhikkhus intent on insight, nor among a thousand, will even a single bhikkhu penetrate the noble path in the absence of pariyatti.

Marks are engraved in rock to show the location of buried treasure; for as long as those marks endure, the treasure is not reckoned as lost. Even so, for as long as pariyatti endures, the Teacher’s Dispensation is not reckoned to have disappeared.
(Manorathapūraṇī i. 92-3, Translted by Dhammanando
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Re: did the buddha teach vipasanna meditation?

Post by jcsuperstar » Fri May 08, 2009 1:31 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
tiltbillings wrote:
As a preface that I hope will not be off-topic: It is very difficult to have this discussion in this particular forum, because this is a specialized forum for Classical Theravada, but you are attempting to discuss one way in which some of that tradition is manifesting itself in the present day. If you wish to try to discredit Goenka, I would argue that this is not the correct forum in which to do so. But of course that is up to the moderators to decide.
Will probably need to separate this sub-discussion out, putting it into its own thread in the "free-for-all" section.
In the meantime, I'm going to move this to the Meditation Forum.

Jcsuperstar ~ let us know if you object to this and would like it moved back. What is your preference? Are you specifically and exclusively interested in the Classical Mahavihara perspective, as embodied within the commentarial tradition?

Metta,
Retro. :)
i'm cool with it, i had put the question here to make sure that any answers came from before the modern movement, and i think i got that.. lets see where this goes, might be productive.
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