mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
SarathW
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by SarathW » Sat Dec 13, 2014 11:36 pm

Hi Mike
I think in walking meditation you can't move from Vitakka stage.
It is not a complete substitute for breath meditation.
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by mikenz66 » Sun Dec 14, 2014 1:52 am

Hi SarathW
I'm not sure what what you mean by "Vitakka stage". Is it roughly momentary or access concentration"?

My understanding is that neither walking or focussing on the details of the breath, or motion of the abdomen, will lead to an absorption-type jhana, if that's what you mean. It seem that a stable, "conceptual" object is required for that level of concentration. However, absorbed jhana is not the aim of this mode of practice. The aim is the momentary concentration on the arising and vanishing of objects as in the sutta extracts I quoted above: http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 40#p321631. Jhanic concentration "that, when developed & pursued, leads to a pleasant abiding in the here & now" is covered in the part of AN 4.41 that I didn't quote.

:anjali:
Mike

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ihrjordan
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by ihrjordan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:42 am

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Last edited by ihrjordan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:45 am, edited 1 time in total.

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tiltbillings
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:23 am

ihrjordan wrote:I agree with what Sujato says in this video, and now I also see more drawbacks in the form of arguing over techniques...it's silly and unnecessary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY if we stuck with the meditation described in the suttas (Anapanasati) etc.
Now, there is the problem, isn't it? How we follow the descriptions is going to require that we develop techniques based upon our interpretations of the suttas in question.
rather than traditions that were created 60 years ago in Burma based on commentaries we wouldn't have these problems
That is utterly hilarious. We will just have problems based upon any number of interpretations developed in the 21st century.
it's essentially a marketing tool which is devised in order to mass produce meditation to people unwilling to change their lifestyle.
And what kind of changes in lifestyle are absolutely, completely totally required, according to your interpretation of the suttas??
>> 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

SarathW
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by SarathW » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:45 am

Here Ven. Sujato says something interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY

- If you have only a hammer as you tool, the whole world appears to you like nails.
- If you go to Mc.Donalds expect to get a Mc.Donald
- He criticise the people who are claimed to be Sotapanna but do not even observe the five precepts.
I am not sure whether Ven. Sujato's comments reflect the true nature of these two great traditions.
But he give some food for thought.

:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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mikenz66
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:49 am

ihrjordan wrote:I agree with what Sujato says in this video, and now I also see more drawbacks in the form of arguing over techniques...it's silly and unnecessary https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY if we stuck with the meditation described in the suttas (Anapanasati) etc. rather than traditions that were created 60 years ago in Burma based on commentaries we wouldn't have these problems...js
As far as I can see the Goenka and Mahasi approaches are just ways of implementing what is explained in the Satipathana Sutta and various other suttas. Similarly other modern teachers and commentators, such as Sujato, Brahm, Thanissaro, etc, etc, give us their way of understanding and implementing the instructions of various suttas.

So, naturally, I agree that there is no need to argue. The only thing I do argue with is any claim that one of these modern teachers has an interpretation that is any "better" or "more original" than any other...

:anjali:
Mike

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tiltbillings
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:58 am

SarathW wrote:Here Ven. Sujato says something interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY

- If you have only a hammer as you tool, the whole world appears to you like nails.
Or you might make this.

Image
I am not sure whether Ven. Sujato's comments reflect the true nature of these two great traditions.
Likely not.
>> 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: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:01 am

SarathW wrote:Here Ven. Sujato says something interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY

- If you have only a hammer as you tool, the whole world appears to you like nails.
- If you go to Mc.Donalds expect to get a Mc.Donald
- He criticise the people who are claimed to be Sotapanna but do not even observe the five precepts.
I am not sure whether Ven. Sujato's comments reflect the true nature of these two great traditions.
But he give some food for thought.
I've had quite a lot of instruction from unknown teachers who teach based on variations of the Mahasi approach. I've not encountered the sort of things he describes (going without sleep for days, overestimating attainments, etc).
However, it seems likely from various reports that such things do happen with some teachers of various backgrounds.

:anjali:
Mike

SarathW
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by SarathW » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:10 am

tiltbillings wrote:
SarathW wrote:Here Ven. Sujato says something interesting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3tUCtwmVGY

- If you have only a hammer as you tool, the whole world appears to you like nails.
Or you might make this.

Image
:clap:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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ihrjordan
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by ihrjordan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 2:41 pm

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Last edited by ihrjordan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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VinceField
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by VinceField » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:34 pm

ihrjordan wrote:But that's just it, there isn't a need to develop techniques "based on the suttas" when it specifically and concisely tells you how to meditate in those same suttas
Hmmm. Do the suttas specifically and concisely tell you how to meditate? I believe the lack of detailed instructions is the reason why every teacher has his own particular methods carrying out the instructions and cultivating the states described in the suttas. If the suttas' instructions were specific and concise, there would be no need to develop unique strategies for the meditation. There is obviously that need.

As an example, the Anapanastai sutta instructs, "I will breath in sensitive to the entire body... I will breath in calming bodily formations." Alright, so it tells you what to do, but it doesn't tell you how to do it. It doesn't explain in what ways to think or how to move your awareness to achieve the goals of sensitizing to the body and calming bodily formations, and so these two instructions can be carried out in a potentially infinite number of ways.

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ihrjordan
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by ihrjordan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:51 pm

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Last edited by ihrjordan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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ihrjordan
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by ihrjordan » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:08 pm

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Last edited by ihrjordan on Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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VinceField
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by VinceField » Wed Dec 17, 2014 5:58 pm

ihrjordan wrote: I do see where you're coming from, but as you will see in my post below not whole heartedly. I can understand a teacher giving his or her students different skillful means of getting their mind to focus on the breath such as saying "Buddho" or "1,2,3.." and even controlling the breath at first, but these techniques in question go down another path than that of mere ways of teaching. They surreptitiously hold themselves to be higher than other traditions all the while thinking they're are practicing the True way, whether they admit to it or not, (with of course some exceptions).
None of the teachers that I follow believe that their particular method is superior to others. In fact, they admit that there are other just as valid skillful means for achieving the same states of mind. Of course, the fact that some teachers feel their method is superior to others does little to negate the fact that interpretations and developed strategies are necessary for taking on the Buddha's meditation instructions.
As an example, the Anapanastai sutta instructs, "I will breath in sensitive to the entire body... I will breath in calming bodily formations." Alright, so it tells you what to do, but it doesn't tell you how to do it.

You don't know how to breath? If you know what a "formation" is than you can find a way to calm it with the breath...
It's clearly not an issue of knowing how to breath. The issue is that there are instructions that are not explained in detail:

Breathe in sensitive to the entire body... it doesn't explain how to go about thinking and moving your awareness to gain this sensitivity to the entire body, so the practitioner has to develop their own strategy or follow the method of a practiced teacher, the latter probably seeming like a better option for most beginners due to lack of personal experience and faith in their teachers' experience and wisdom.

Breathe in calming bodily formations... it doesn't explain how to calm bodily formations, so a strategy is needed for accomplishing this that is not provided in the sutta itself. Sure, you can find a way to calm it, but again, this way is not detailed in the instructions.
It doesn't explain in what ways to think

Refer to my first post
how to move your awareness to achieve the goals of sensitizing to the body and calming bodily formations
I mean you can only get so specific before it's just assumed to be common sense.
The point is that the details are left up to interpretation. I don't believe there is much to debate here.

Take care

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mikenz66
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Re: mahasi vipassana vs goenka vipassana

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:30 pm

Clearly triumphalism exists, and we see it in posts on this forum (see below) but most of the teachers I've encountered (from various schools) are like the one's Vince describes:
VinceField wrote: None of the teachers that I follow believe that their particular method is superior to others. In fact, they admit that there are other just as valid skillful means for achieving the same states of mind.
I certainly don't find such triumphalism helpful:
ihrjordan wrote:I can understand a teacher giving his or her students different skillful means of getting their mind to focus on the breath such as saying "Buddho" or "1,2,3.." and even controlling the breath at first, but these techniques in question go down another path than that of mere ways of teaching. They surreptitiously hold themselves to be higher than other traditions all the while thinking they're are practicing the True way, whether they admit to it or not...
Unfortunately, this appears to be just another example:
ihrjordan wrote:Again, the clear knowing or "Vipassana" comes about almost naturally by focusing on the breath. The difference is that of a Clockwork orange and it's natural, organic counterpart; They both might taste good (Bring results) but one is more natural and bound with less mechanization (Blasting everything out of your mind with labels) and as a result of eating healthy (Developing Tranquilty and Insight in tandem) you wont get the Norovirus (Go crazy from suffering)
:anjali:
Mike

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