Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

On the cultivation of insight/wisdom
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mikenz66
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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by mikenz66 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:47 pm

budo wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:08 pm
Imho it's pretty easy to troubleshoot your own technique, progress and direction.
...
- Following the breath vs staying at the nose vs "just knowing"
- Posture
- Left leg over right leg, or right leg over left leg
- Focusing on the visual nimmita or moving attention to piti sukha
...
Sure. You need to make up technique (or, more commonly, read/hear from others) and refine it (with or without the help of others). I'm not aware of the things you mention having any detailed treatment in the suttas...

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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by budo » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:20 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:47 pm
budo wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:08 pm
Imho it's pretty easy to troubleshoot your own technique, progress and direction.
...
- Following the breath vs staying at the nose vs "just knowing"
- Posture
- Left leg over right leg, or right leg over left leg
- Focusing on the visual nimmita or moving attention to piti sukha
...
Sure. You need to make up technique (or, more commonly, read/hear from others) and refine it (with or without the help of others). I'm not aware of the things you mention having any detailed treatment in the suttas...

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Mike
What I did was I read a bunch of books on Jhanas and samadhi and compared all of them, and then tested them out and used process of elimination to see what worked and what aligned most with the suttas. I also sought out other people who had also practiced the jhanas and we traded tips, obstacles, reviews, etc..

Helping eachother attain something and trading tips is a way more productive use of a community than arguing over what is real or not real, true or not true, and instead the focus becomes what yields results and what doesn't. That way you have less people spending years theorizing and not getting anywhere, and instead a shift to actionable steps.

That's probably as good as it gets in this day of age, theorizing and philosophizing is a hobby of its own and people can spend their whole lives talking about something without actually achieving anything.

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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Aug 08, 2018 8:03 pm

budo wrote:
Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:20 pm
Helping each other attain something and trading tips is a way more productive use of a community than arguing over what is real or not real, true or not true, and instead the focus becomes what yields results and what doesn't. That way you have less people spending years theorizing and not getting anywhere, and instead a shift to actionable steps.
I certainly agree with that. That's how I find real-life interaction works almost all of the time. Unfortunately, on-line conversations often get derailed by statements such as: "That can't possibly be useful because I can't find it described in detail in an early buddhist text with Pali, Sanskrit, and Chinese parallels..." :tongue: Or insistence that one particular approach works, and the others don't.

On the other hand, I have sometimes found detailed analysis to be very helpful, when it is done well, and without a point-scoring agenda. For example, I've found Ven Nananda's comments in his Nibbana Sermons and Meditation Manuals, extremely helpful in tuning parts of my meditation approach. [Ven Nananada practiced and taught a Mahasi-based approach, but with considerable emphasis on anapanasati and clearly had a deep understanding of the Commentaries - though of course he disupted some of their conclusions...]

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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:48 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:47 pm
Sure. You need to make up technique (or, more commonly, read/hear from others) and refine it...
Is there any sutta evidence for this approach?
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:47 pm
I'm not aware of the things you mention having any detailed treatment in the suttas...
Often there is a very good reason for that.
SN 56.31 wrote:Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, "What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the simsapa forest?"

"The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the simsapa forest are more numerous."

"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.

"And what have I taught? 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.

"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.'"
Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:57 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:48 am
Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:47 pm
Sure. You need to make up technique (or, more commonly, read/hear from others) and refine it...
Is there any sutta evidence for this approach?
Of course. See, for example, https://suttacentral.net/an4.94 and the many discourses that describe how a student is trained by either the Buddha or another teacher.
And, also see the Vinaya.

As far as I can tell from the suttas, noone, apart from the Buddha, gets awakened without some training.

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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:02 am

Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:57 am
many discourses that describe how a student is trained by either the Buddha or another teacher.
Trained in the Dhamma, or trained in technique? It was the latter I was enquiring upon.

Thanks.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"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: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:50 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:02 am
Greetings Mike,
mikenz66 wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:57 am
many discourses that describe how a student is trained by either the Buddha or another teacher.
Trained in the Dhamma, or trained in technique? It was the latter I was enquiring upon.

Thanks.

Metta,
Paul. :)
Technique, or details if you like. As in the sutta I linked to or in the Anapanasati sutta, where the monks spend months being instructed by senior monks before the Buddha's discourse.

As Budo said earlier, developing jhana, for example, will, for most, require working out some more details than are in the suttas, which is close to zero.

Mike

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Re: Will Goenka and Mahasi traditions change...

Post by markandeya » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:51 am

Anjali
"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.
This is quite easy to understand, but always language will fail us on one level. When one does formal meditation, or sutta study there is only the meditator and the one who is reading. Inside of the process or experience there will be so many micro level experiences that only the reader of the sutta and the meditator will experience for themself. We all have unique conditions, not any two of us are the same experience, we all have unique features, experiences and perceptions. We cant actually share and discuss those micro experiences as they they are far to subtle, to try and mold everything into one experience and doctrinal understanding is not wise, but yet underneath it all there is a certain objectivity, a common shared experience.

A simple example for reflection is if one eats an apple, can we really describe exactly the taste and the experience, we could comment on the some of the universally accepted facts, an apple is green and red, inside are pips, its often either sweet or slightly bitter. But then other apples maybe just red, or just green, some with more sweetness or some more bitter, so there is really no shape or taste to an apple. Some may not like apples, if someone has never seen an apple they might not think it exists until they eat it. But somehow we have developed through language and experience a way to talk about apples and we all know what an apples is. no need to go into all the micro details, just eat it mindfully, and experience, no need for any outside verification from anyone, if others dont like or cant understand, will it stop another person from eating apples.

Another example is a colour, a simple objective colour that we see everyday like red. Try and explain that colour to a blind person, how can you do it, but if one has sight ts easy to see red, to study red, to work with red, to fit into designs, the colour red is unlimited in how it can be used and applied within the colour schemes of life. So may things within experience are just apparant here and now but explaining all the micro details and every single individual experience is just impossible.

Often in text study the language is coded in a such a way that all the micro details are condensed into grammar, when codes are cracked by reflection and application then the code break opens and far more comes out than just simple compound syllables of the letters. None of that can really be explained, although its not abstract, it gets shared and understood in other forms of communication beyond ordinary appearances.

The sound of silence perhaps.

:anjali:

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