vipassana craziness

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Mr Man
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by Mr Man » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:02 am

Ben wrote:
Mr Man wrote:One ot the things I really liked about U Ba Khin tradition retreats was the feeling that I was really doing work.
And what is the difference between U Ba Khin (IMC) tradition retreats and SN Goenka tradition retreats?
I think they are essentially the same.

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Ben
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by Ben » Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:12 am

That is right, they are.
I had the great good fortune to spend an afternoon with Sayagi U Ba Khin's son and his wife in Yangon two years ago and some time at IMC Yangon, VMC Dhamma Joti, Saya Thet gyi's meditation centre at Pyawbwegyi and Ledi Sayadaw's meditation cave on the banks of the Chitwin River near Monywa. It gave me an invaluable insight into the 'tradition'.
kind regards,

Ben
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by mikenz66 » Wed Dec 12, 2012 1:09 pm

convivium wrote:
even hardline Sutta-based teachers like Taan Geoff say that Goenkas sweeping techniques are in line with the Buddhas approach to meditation... ardency, mindfulness and alertness. although i dont know much about the format and theories, or anything beyond the technique it self.
it's strange that you would mention ajahn thanissaro as a justification for goenka. he would never recommend goenka retreats to anyone.
Not strange at all. In the following passage Ven Thanissaro discusses several modern approaches (including his own, since the third seems to be the one he seems to teach), and how he interprets them:
Thanissaro Bhikku wrote:These points may be illustrated with some meditation techniques that are currently popular in the West: In a "mental noting" practice, mindfulness is a matter of remembering to keep up the noting, alertness means seeing whatever phenomena arise to be noted, and ardency is a matter of sticking with the noting relentlessly and being ever more quick and precise in one's alertness. In terms of the factors constituting jhāna practice, the mindfulness and alertness here would be related to directed thought, ardency to singleness of preoccupation, while alertness aimed at evaluating the results of the noting — and ardency in keeping the "pressure" of the noting just right — would be related to evaluation. If this practice is then conducted in line with the texts, it should reach a stage where the mind settles down into the singleness of the first jhāna. Then the meditator would be encouraged to stop the noting, so that the mind could engage in the subtler mindfulness and alertness leading to the second jhāna.

In a "scanning" or "body sweep" practice, mindfulness means remembering to stick with the process of scanning the body, while alertness would mean seeing the subtle sensations of the body being scanned. Ardency would mean sticking with the scanning process and trying to be ever more sensitive to the subtlest sensations. As in the previous case, these activities are related to factors of jhāna, and the process, if conducted in line with the texts, should culminate in a state of full-bodied singleness, at which time the motion of the scanning can be brought to stillness, and the mind can enter deeper concentration.

In "breath" practice, mindfulness means keeping the breath in mind as the theme of the meditation, alertness means being sensitive to the sensations of the breath. Ardency means sticking with the process relentlessly, as well as taking up the stages of "training" [§31; III/E], in which one tries to be aware of the entire body with each in and out breath, and to let the breath sensations grow calm. In terms of jhāna factors, mindfulness would be related to directed thought, alertness to evaluation, and ardency to singleness of preoccupation. As awareness fills the body and the breath grows calm, one's alertness stays steadily with the breath, and the mind enters the singleness of jhāna. At this point, one no longer needs consciously to direct the mind to the breath or to enlarge one's awareness any further. Thus the mind, as above, can develop subtler mindfulness and alertness to enter the second jhāna.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/auth ... part2.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by Monkey Mind » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:10 am

Mr Man wrote:Monkey Mind, It's not just the "technique" as such but the emphasis on the "technique" and structure, which I think are worth exploring.
Do you propose that meditators should not utilize a technique? That does not seem congruent with what most meditation teachers in the Theravada tradition seem to be advocating.
Also I find Ideas like "Anapanna was doing its work and bringing the gross level impurities to the surface" (from the OP) odd.
I don't understand what you are suggesting here. Do you propose that meditators wouldn't notice major or subtle changes as a result of practicing meditation?
"As I am, so are others;
as others are, so am I."
Having thus identified self and others,
harm no one nor have them harmed.

Sutta Nipāta 3.710

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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:28 am

Greetings,
Monkey Mind wrote:Do you propose that meditators should not utilize a technique?
This question would probably be a bit more interesting if "should not" were replaced by "need not"...

:stirthepot:

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: vipassana craziness

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:35 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
Monkey Mind wrote:Do you propose that meditators should not utilize a technique?
This question would probably be a bit more interesting if "should not" were replaced by "need not"...

:stirthepot:

Metta,
Retro. :)
As has been pointed out, one is going to use a technique. It may be borrowed from someone else's interpretation of the suttas, or it may be of one's own devising.
>> 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: vipassana craziness

Post by SamKR » Thu Dec 13, 2012 6:22 am

tiltbillings wrote:As has been pointed out, one is going to use a technique. It may be borrowed from someone else's interpretation of the suttas, or it may be of one's own devising.
Agree.

A technique means "a method of accomplishing a desired aim". Every practicing Buddhist uses a technique whether he/she calls it a technique or not.
Some techniques are systematic while others may not be. A technique may be devised by someone else and then practiced by many people in almost same way; or it may be devised by an individual and practiced only by him/her or a small group of people.

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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:34 am

Greetings,
If you accept samma sati as a technique then i accept the necessity of a technique.
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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tiltbillings
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:41 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
If you accept samma sati as a technique then i accept the necessity of a technique.
Metta, Retro.
The question is, of course, how one understands "samma sati" and then how one tries to put it into practice. Even among the sutta-only-ists there is certainly considerable variation on both accounts, which is to say that one develops a technique based upon one's understanding.
>> 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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Mr Man
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by Mr Man » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:19 am

Monkey Mind wrote:
Mr Man wrote:Monkey Mind, It's not just the "technique" as such but the emphasis on the "technique" and structure, which I think are worth exploring.
Do you propose that meditators should not utilize a technique? That does not seem congruent with what most meditation teachers in the Theravada tradition seem to be advocating.
As I said it's the emphasis. structure and context and keeping it all in perspective. My perception is that sometimes a technique can be over empowered. We think that by performing a certain technique the work is being done - like a mantra were the sacred sound is said to be actually performing the transformation. That technique is put into a context and structure which creates a certain situation.

The above quote from Ven Thanisaro is interesting as it gives the sweeping technique a context which is, in my opinion, slightly different to how it is taught or perceived in the U Ba Khin traditions.
Also I find Ideas like "Anapanna was doing its work and bringing the gross level impurities to the surface" (from the OP) odd.
I don't understand what you are suggesting here. Do you propose that meditators wouldn't notice major or subtle changes as a result of practicing meditation?
I don't perceive Anapanna as an agent for "bringing the gross level impurities to the surface". I think the whole retreat package is what really causes a lot of the things to come up on retreats and that needs to be acknowledged (not a specific practice doing it's work). I don't really go with the idea that it some kind of deep work is being done in an intense and specific time frame although it can seem like that.

I would add that I am not trying to discourage any particular practice. I'm just sharing my thoughts and exploring. To me a benificial use of retreat practice could be to provide a grounding in the Eight fold path.

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tiltbillings
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:39 am

Mr Man wrote:As I said it's the emphasis. structure and context and keeping it all in perspective. My perception is that sometimes a technique can be over empowered. We think that by performing a certain technique the work is being done - like a mantra were the sacred sound is said to be actually performing the transformation. That technique is put into a context and structure which creates a certain situation.
Do you know all this from direct experience?
>> 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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Mr Man
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by Mr Man » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:54 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:As I said it's the emphasis. structure and context and keeping it all in perspective. My perception is that sometimes a technique can be over empowered. We think that by performing a certain technique the work is being done - like a mantra were the sacred sound is said to be actually performing the transformation. That technique is put into a context and structure which creates a certain situation.
Do you know all this from direct experience?
Yes

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tiltbillings
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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by tiltbillings » Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:55 am

Mr Man wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Mr Man wrote:As I said it's the emphasis. structure and context and keeping it all in perspective. My perception is that sometimes a technique can be over empowered. We think that by performing a certain technique the work is being done - like a mantra were the sacred sound is said to be actually performing the transformation. That technique is put into a context and structure which creates a certain situation.
Do you know all this from direct experience?
Yes
Of course, there is nothing is one's practice that is not susceptible to this problem.
>> 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: vipassana craziness

Post by mikenz66 » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:02 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,
If you accept samma sati as a technique then i accept the necessity of a technique.
Metta, Retro.
Well, that brings up a good point. How is samma sati to be cultivated? In the absence of a clear explanation of that [something more specific than "by following the instructions in the satipatthana sutta"], I would personally discount any criticism of "techniques".

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: vipassana craziness

Post by robertk » Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:34 am

check out this thread
http://www.dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.ph ... 5&start=40" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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