Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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fijiNut
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by fijiNut » Wed Oct 27, 2010 10:26 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ben

I was referring to the use of the term Bhanga in a way not denoting but causing confusion with the commentarial bhanga nana. Hence the pseudo-gold analogy, if that is the case, could be quite dangerous.

with metta
Hi RYB,
I agree with Tilt, I would definitely appreciate a discussion on the term bhanga across different 'vipassana' lineages;
The point is not to be confrontational but to be discussed with mutual respect and compassion to help straighten views, so the earlier this is done, the more beneficial it is for everyone's practice.

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christopher:::
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by christopher::: » Wed Oct 27, 2010 11:47 pm

Jack wrote:
smokey wrote:I have a question. Does anyone on this forum have any insight knowledge gained with vipassana? I know that the first insight knowledge is discrimination of mind and body, has anyone gained that knowledge? Please do state and describe your insight knowledge.

With Metta - smokey
================
I am able to discriminate between body and mind. At times I get glimpses of anatta. I don't know what else to add.

I disagree with the idea that we shouldn't talk about the progress of our attainments. Otherwise people are left with the impression that nobody gains by Buddhist practice. I remember one of the first dhamma talks I heard. The monk talked about his sole objective was to reach enlightenment. Someone in the audience then asked if he was enlightened. He said no. Nobody left that talk with any indication that this monk gained anything by his years of practice and life of austerity.
I think there's a big difference between describing insights gained from practice and making claims about attainments. In my view the best teachers (and dharma friends) are those who lucidly describe their insights into the mind in such a way that those of us who haven't yet come to those insights gain a better sense of what to "look for" ... kind of like a guide on a mountain path who points out the various insects, birds and plants that surround hikers.

If your mountain guide is bragging about his Ph.D. in botany and the books he's written his instruction is pretty much useless, but if he keeps your attention focused on the path and its surroundings his words can be very very helpful.

Few of us here have a comparable Ph.D. in the dharma, but if you've been practicing for many years, even decades, chances are you've gained some hard-won insights into the workings of your own mind that could be helpful to others.

:group:
"As Buddhists, we should aim to develop relationships that are not predominated by grasping and clinging. Our relationships should be characterised by the brahmaviharas of metta (loving kindness), mudita (sympathetic joy), karuna (compassion), and upekkha (equanimity)."
~post by Ben, Jul 02, 2009

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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Sanghamitta » Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:02 am

In a nutshell one of the problems is not simply describing first hand knowledge of the fruits of practice, as Christopher says above. We wouldnt after all go a physician who refused to talk about his qualifications.
The problem arises when westerners in particular get their heads into the whole "ariya" concept.
To a degree which is marked and partially unconscious we have been conditioned to strive to become top banana. This can set up a whole counterdrag to Dhamma practice.
The going for refuge is the door of entrance to the teachings of the Buddha.

Bhikku Bodhi.

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tiltbillings
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Oct 28, 2010 9:10 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Hi Ben

I was referring to the use of the term Bhanga in a way not denoting but causing confusion with the commentarial bhanga nana. Hence the pseudo-gold analogy, if that is the case, could be quite dangerous.

with metta
And for those of use who are not familiar with these term and issues, please be kind enough to explain them.
rowyourboat, would you be kind enough to respond to this.
>> 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

rowyourboat
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by rowyourboat » Sat Oct 30, 2010 9:31 am

Well Tilt, Fijinut, others,

It is basically that Bhanga nana, is a specific insight knowledge that arises after a set and distinct sequential series of developments occur in the mind. This is like saying you got to have enough strength to run 30 meters before you can run 50, 80 or 100. The strength to run, progressively longer distances develop progressively. To say that you will run 100meters before you can do 30 or 50 is not meaningful.

There is a set of 'purifications'/visuddhi (developments of the mind) one must go through to develop bhanga nana.

They are
Sila visuddhi- development of good basic morality/precepts- ie 5 precepts
citta visuddhi- development of samadhi to a hindrance free level or 1st jhana.
ditti visuddhi- seeing everything naturally in terms of nama and rupa (mental and material contribution in every act of perception). Nama-rupa paricceda nana (delineation of mental and material components of perception) arises at this level.
kankhavitarana visuddhi- the development of 'overcoming doubt'. This occurs with seeing how nama and rupa are causally related and arise in a causally related manner. The further development at this stage is seeing anicca, dukkha and anatta by seeing those very same effects as impermanent, therefore unsatisfactory, and due to all these reasosn nonself. ie- doubt about it overcome
Paccaya-pariggaha nana- insight knowledge of understanding causality arises in this stage
sammassana nana- insight knoweldge of seeing all things (perceived in the immediate environment and not- through inference) as anicca, dukkha, anatta arises at this stage

udaya-vyaya nana- insight knoweldge of arising and passing away (immature stage)- along with the pitfalls of the vipassana sub-defilements

maggamagganana dassana visuddhi- where one develops the mature knoweldge of arising and passing away and understands where the true path lies

patipadanana dassana visuddhi- further development of the true path. This is where bhanga nana arises.

Now these are natural, set developments of the mind as much as the second jhana follows the first. You cannot devise short cuts to it as that would be impossible.


I will write more later.

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:06 am

Bhanga nana-To see cessation of rupa and nama through observation of rising and falling.Gaining knowledge that arising and ceasing are not stable or continuous-there is nothing to hold on to.
Is rising/falling always there?
Do your hands feel light or heavy?
Do your hands feel so light they're not even there?
Do parts of your body disappear?

Maybe this helps.I hope so.I am not sure if this is the same description as Bhanga as described by Sri Goenka,as that practice of vipassana is not the one that I practice(Mahasi)and will leave it up to others who know this technique to say.
With metta
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Ben
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Ben » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:25 pm

Hi Bhante,
Its very similar - almost identical.
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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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:29 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Bhante,
Its very similar - almost identical.
kind regards

Ben
Hi Ben.I figured it probably was,just didn't want to comment on something I wasn't sure about. :smile:
With metta
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

rowyourboat
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by rowyourboat » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:30 am

Now the visuddhi- Purifications are meant as sequential developments of the mind. An important aspect of them is that you cannot get to the following one before completing the previous one. This is nicely depicted by the 'relay of chariots' simile from where this process is mentioned. That is, a person must catch one chariot and using that chariot, get to the next one. Using a series of chariots in this way, this person completes the journey. It wont be possible to get to a chariot which is further away, without using the chariot which is designated for a particular leg of the journey.

'The relay of chariots'

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

So the person must be keeping at least the 5 precepts to a quite good degree ('not splattered, not torn', etc)

Then this person must have consitantly good samadhi which is free from hindrances most of the time, if not the first jhana. In fact I have never seen anyone complete the vipassana nanas without completing the first jhana. This maybe to do with characteristics of the individual which give rise to both (viriya, right view, saddha etc).

There will be no bhanga nana without having these first.

with metta

RYB
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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Ben
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Ben » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:36 am

Hi RYB,
rowyourboat wrote:There will be no bhanga nana without having these first.
Umm...
According to who?

Could you please say a little more with regards to the provenance of the view that bhanga-nana is dependent on attainment of the visuddhis?
Thanks

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..

rowyourboat
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by rowyourboat » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:54 pm

Ben wrote:Hi RYB,
rowyourboat wrote:There will be no bhanga nana without having these first.
Umm...
According to who?

Could you please say a little more with regards to the provenance of the view that bhanga-nana is dependent on attainment of the visuddhis?
Thanks

Ben
Oh.. did you think this was my personal opinion? :jumping:

Enjoy:

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/bm7insight.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:smile:

with metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha

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mikenz66
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 8:55 pm

It would be interesting to hear from someone who had extensively practised in Goeka-ji retreats and also Mahasi-style retreats whether Goenka is really addressing the same thing.

Certainly the sequence described in the Visuddhimagga, and summarised by Mahasi Sayadaw http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has
5. Knowledge of Dissolution (bhanga-ñāna) http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progres ... issolution" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
as following on from other stages, in particular Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away (udayabbaya-ñāna)

The question in all of this (which I have no idea of the answer) is how linear it is. Sayadaw U Pandita characterises this progress as "Vipassana Jhanas" http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... hanas.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Talks by teachers such as:
Joseph Goldstein http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?q ... ana+jhanas" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Steve Armstrong http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/170/? ... ana+jhanas" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
seem to describe these as things one can cycle up and down through, not necessarily a linear progression.

My impression (and minor experience) is that the Mahasi-style instruction does tend to give a reasonably linear progression (though one definitely tends to "fall back" at the end of a retreat) that seems fairly in line with the observations in the Commentaries of how the progression happens. Perhaps other techniques lead to a slightly different progression.

Certainly I had that "body disappearing" thing on my only Goenka retreat three years ago (and it was quite disconcerting at the time ---not just some little hint, it really felt gone...). With the Mahasi technique that I normally use I haven't got quite that effect. I do, however, get what I sometimes describe as "objects breaking up as if under a flickering fluorescent lamp" effect instead... I put these differences down to the way one is taught to pay attention under the two systems.

As you can see from the non-technical language, I'm not an expert at either of these systems. I would be interested to learn more without the discussion descenting into negativity about either practise.

:anjali:
Mike

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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Sun Oct 31, 2010 11:41 pm

mikenz66 wrote:It would be interesting to hear from someone who had extensively practised in Goeka-ji retreats and also Mahasi-style retreats whether Goenka is really addressing the same thing.

Certainly the sequence described in the Visuddhimagga, and summarised by Mahasi Sayadaw http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progress/progress.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; has
5. Knowledge of Dissolution (bhanga-ñāna) http://aimwell.org/Books/Mahasi/Progres ... issolution" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
as following on from other stages, in particular Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away (udayabbaya-ñāna)

The question in all of this (which I have no idea of the answer) is how linear it is. Sayadaw U Pandita characterises this progress as "Vipassana Jhanas" http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pan ... hanas.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Talks by teachers such as:
Joseph Goldstein http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/96/?q ... ana+jhanas" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Steve Armstrong http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/170/? ... ana+jhanas" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
seem to describe these as things one can cycle up and down through, not necessarily a linear progression.

My impression (and minor experience) is that the Mahasi-style instruction does tend to give a reasonably linear progression (though one definitely tends to "fall back" at the end of a retreat) that seems fairly in line with the observations in the Commentaries of how the progression happens. Perhaps other techniques lead to a slightly different progression.

Certainly I had that "body disappearing" thing on my only Goenka retreat three years ago (and it was quite disconcerting at the time ---not just some little hint, it really felt gone...). With the Mahasi technique that I normally use I haven't got quite that effect. I do, however, get what I sometimes describe as "objects breaking up as if under a flickering fluorescent lamp" effect instead... I put these differences down to the way one is taught to pay attention under the two systems.

As you can see from the non-technical language, I'm not an expert at either of these systems. I would be interested to learn more without the discussion descenting into negativity about either practise.

:anjali:
Mike
Hi Mike.In the Mahasi Lineage it is certainly seen as being linear.One nana following on from the next as our awareness increases from course to more subtle awareness.I personally have felt my body disappearing ,at other times I have become so light,both in walking and sitting meditation that it has felt like I am levitating(I haven't been)I do know the experience you describe in regards to the flickering neon light.I get that fairly often.Not sure what to call it,but I guess it does show that this thing we call my body is not as solid as we might think.
Again I cannot answer in regards to the Goenka method and will leave that up to the people who have practical experience with those retreats.
With metta.
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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Ben
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Ben » Mon Nov 01, 2010 4:38 am

Hi Matheesha,
rowyourboat wrote: Oh.. did you think this was my personal opinion? :jumping:
No, I was pretty confident that if it wasn't Vism, then it was an interpretation based on the Vism. While I am familiar with many parts of that text, the section on the visuddhis is not a part that I am overly familiar with. My interest is whether the visuddhis condition the nanas. Thanks for the link, I'll postpone downloading the document until after my internet speed resumes.

Hi Mike and
Nanadhaja wrote:
mikenz66 wrote:It would be interesting to hear from someone who had extensively practised in Goeka-ji retreats and also Mahasi-style retreats whether Goenka is really addressing the same thing...
...Again I cannot answer in regards to the Goenka method and will leave that up to the people who have practical experience with those retreats.
During the ten-day course, Goenkaji does talk a little bit about bhanga-nana and the way its presented is a progression. The words he uses when contextualizing bhanga-nana:
There may be different points from which to begin the practice, but no matter what the starting point, a meditator must pass through certain stations, certain experiences on the path to the final goal. These experiences, essential to the practice of Vipassana, are described in the sentences repeated at the conclusion of each section. The first such station is that in which one experiences arising (samudaya) and passing away (vaya) separately. At this stage the meditator is aware of consolidated, integrated reality in the form of gross sensations within the body. One is aware of a sensation, perhaps a pain, arising. It seems to stay for some time and ultimately it passes away. Going further beyond this station,one penetrates to the stage of samudaya-vaya, in which one experiences arising and passing away simultaneously, without any interval between them. The gross, consolidated sensations have dissolved into subtle vibrations, arising and falling with great rapidity, and the solidity of the mental-physical structure disappears. Solidified, intensified emotion and solidified, intensified sensation both dissolve into nothing but vibration. This is the stage of bhaªga—dissolution—in which one experiences the ultimate truth of mind and matter: constantly arising and passing away, without any solidity. This bhaªga is a very important station on the path, because only when one experiences the dissolution of the mental-physical structure does attachment to it go away.
-- Discourse Summaries
He mentions bhanga-nana a couple of other places during the ten-day course discourses and instructions but framed as a warning that the seemingly pleasant experience can be a trap.
My memory of the 20-day discourses is a bit faint as i was exhausted by that time of the evening but I don't have strong recollections of him giving more detail of bhanga-nana. And we don't have a transcript of the long courses that has been made available to students which I could check.
I hope that helps.
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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Phra Chuntawongso
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Re: Vipassana - Insight Knowledge

Post by Phra Chuntawongso » Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:58 am

Hi Ben.I'm guessing that there are more similarities than there are differences in the 2 methods being discussed.
Same goal.
And crawling on the planets face,some insects called the human race.
Lost in time
Lost in space
And meaning

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