Ingram, et al - "Hard Core Dharma" & claims of attainment

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Post Reply
User avatar
mikenz66
Posts: 16412
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:37 am
Location: Aotearoa, New Zealand

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by mikenz66 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:00 am

Personally I don't really care what Daniel claims to be. Other teachers I have experienced, read, or listened to, may or may not have some sort of attainments. I don't obsess about it. It seems pointless. I do know that my own teachers have experience with the things that come up for me, so they've clearly done some work on it...

Daniel's book collects together advice that I've mostly already heard elsewhere in a readily digestible (though sometimes annoyingly provocative) form. There are some useful little technical hints about how one might observed the three characteristics, which could have come right out of a talk by U Pandita, Patrick Kearney, etc. On a Mahasi or Goenka retreat you'll hear, if you pay attention, the exact same advice to: "Quit whining about your `stuff' and `just observe'". That's pretty much what my teachers will say (nicely) if I start conceptualising during a retreat interview.

Metta
Mike

User avatar
Guy
Posts: 762
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 4:05 am
Location: Perth, Western Australia

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by Guy » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:27 pm

Hi Mike,

As a general rule I don't care either whether a teacher is enlightened or not, that's not really the issue I was raising, if what they teach is useful to my own practice then I will take what they say to heart and if not then I will discard it. However, if someone writes a book where on the front cover they claim to be an Arahant I don't think they are really doing their cause of teaching Dhamma (if that is their cause) any favours. Maybe my thinking is wrong, but wouldn't it be better to not claim Arahantship and just teach rather than risk having to prove it?

With Metta,

Guy
Four types of letting go:

1) Giving; expecting nothing back in return
2) Throwing things away
3) Contentment; wanting to be here, not wanting to be anywhere else
4) "Teflon Mind"; having a mind which doesn't accumulate things

- Ajahn Brahm

User avatar
DNS
Site Admin
Posts: 11701
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, Estados Unidos de América
Contact:

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by DNS » Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:56 pm

Guy wrote: As a general rule I don't care either whether a teacher is enlightened or not, that's not really the issue I was raising, if what they teach is useful to my own practice then I will take what they say to heart and if not then I will discard it. However, if someone writes a book where on the front cover they claim to be an Arahant I don't think they are really doing their cause of teaching Dhamma (if that is their cause) any favours. Maybe my thinking is wrong, but wouldn't it be better to not claim Arahantship and just teach rather than risk having to prove it?
I agree. Never mind the possible truth to the concept that a lay person who becomes enlightened must ordain or die in 7 days (from commentaries, not suttas); just the fact that conceit is one of the final fetters to be relinquished is probably enough evidence to know that anyone claiming enlightenment is probably not enlightened.

In nearly every case I have seen where a lay person has claimed enlightenment, there has been a barrage of comments and challenges presented to the so-called enlightened person to which he (it is usually a 'he') responds with angry retorts and gets very defensive, often blowing his top off (with the keyboard). :tongue:

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by Ben » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:27 pm

Hi Accinteyo
The claim of arahantship leads me to consider whatever Ingram says with a grain of salt.
As Mike has indicated, Ingram may indeed be teaching standard Burmese Theravada, but i would hesitate to rely on it.
metta

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..

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by tiltbillings » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:32 pm

Type

Ingram

into the search function.

About three pages come back

Ven D's comment:

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f= ... caf#p10475" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=843" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
>> 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

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by acinteyyo » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:46 pm

Ben wrote:Hi Accinteyo
The claim of arahantship leads me to consider whatever Ingram says with a grain of salt.
As Mike has indicated, Ingram may indeed be teaching standard Burmese Theravada, but i would hesitate to rely on it.
metta

Ben
Hi,
I'm of the same opinion, Ben. After reading about 40 min. in this forum about Ingram, I consider those discussions not supportive for my practice and I'm not willing to go in for it. For me what I found is enough to know about.

best wishes, acinteyyo
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Abyss
Posts: 23
Joined: Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:22 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by Abyss » Sat Jan 16, 2010 9:04 pm

Mr. Ingram seems to be of the opinion that an arahat can still
feel the following emotions: lust, hatred, irritation, restlessness, worry, fear, pride, conceit, desire for the formless realms, desire for the formed realms, or any other "bad" emotion.
Source

So what's the point of becoming an arahat at all? But he also says that an arahat can still lie, so there is hope for us that he is just telling lies. :woohoo:

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20031
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:42 pm

Greetings Abyss,

Thank you for that... very to the point.

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)

yuuki
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:21 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by yuuki » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:20 am

In his book, Mr. Ingram states that non-duality models of awakening are "without doubt [his] favorite of them all." As indicated by Mr. Ingram, there aren't specific moral changes in a non-dually awakened person's capabilities (i.e. not being able to lie) or experience (not feeling sensual desire). I've watched youtube videos of a couple other people who claim non-dual awakening, such as Jeff Foster: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCGqQNUD2Dw" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

All of these people say that nothing really changes outwardly, except that there is a sort of disassociation from oneself. For my own part I haven't done much thinking about nibbana, but two descriptions stick out to me from the canon: the cutting of the fetters, and completion of one's task in this life.

There is one way of thinking about the fetters: cutting the fetter of ill will means that one no longer experiences ill will. Another way of thinking about it is that ill will can arise, but that one isn't attached (fettered) to the ill will, as if someone else is experiencing the ill will. I don't know for myself. I guess either interpretation sounds both reasonable and unreasonable to me.

As for completing one's task in life, it seems that the Buddha still did things and made mistakes (for example, gave Vinaya rules which were later repealed by himself) after his enlightenment. Mr. Ingram certainly makes it clear that living in the world, and sila practice in general, is still as tough as it was before his awakening.

I have to admit that I'd be a little disappointed if enlightenment was only the kind of disassociation from one's self that is expressed by Jeff Foster (although he seems like a nice person!). It also seems to me that there are far easier ways to non-dual awakening than the Buddhist way.

Mr. Ingram's method of choice is vipassana meditation. I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas and when I consider the method conceptually it seems that it leads precisely to the non-dual awakening mentioned above.

Couldn't the Buddha have just given Right Noting as the path and Non-Duality as his description of nibbana, if things were so simple (and had so few consequences)?

User avatar
retrofuturist
Site Admin
Posts: 20031
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 9:52 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Contact:

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by retrofuturist » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:35 am

Greetings yuuki,
yuuki wrote:I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas?
What about...?

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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)

yuuki
Posts: 25
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:21 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by yuuki » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:18 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings yuuki,
yuuki wrote:I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas?
What about...?

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)
Hey Retro. I'm not sure about the Satipatthana Sutta. I was hoping someone would comment rather on non-duality and nibbana. What do you think? :)

User avatar
Ben
Posts: 18442
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: kanamaluka

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by Ben » Wed Jan 20, 2010 6:20 am

Hi Yuuki, Retro and all..

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings yuuki,
yuuki wrote:I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas?
What about...?

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)
For clarification on this issue, may I point you towards:

- The heart of Buddhist meditation by Nyaniponika Thera
- Satipatthana: the direct path to realization by Analayo Bhikkhu
- Satipatthana Vipassana by Mahasi Sayadaw

These excellent manuals of meditation, which are also excellent scholarly works, should allay your concerns that the Buddha taught vipassana.
metta

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..

User avatar
tiltbillings
Posts: 23044
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 9:25 am

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Jan 20, 2010 7:19 am

yuuki wrote:In his book, Mr. Ingram states that non-duality models of awakening are "without doubt [his] favorite of them all." As indicated by Mr. Ingram, there aren't specific moral changes in a non-dually awakened person's capabilities (i.e. not being able to lie) or experience (not feeling sensual desire). . . . .

Mr. Ingram's method of choice is vipassana meditation. I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas and when I consider the method conceptually it seems that it leads precisely to the non-dual awakening mentioned above.
The late Austrian Hindu scholar and practitioner Agehananda Bharati stated in his book THE LIGHT AT THE CENTER that if you were a stinker before your enlightenment you would be a stinker afterwards, and this is from a man coming from a non-dual tradition. The Theravada and vipassana is not a non-dual tradition, nor is it a pluralistic tradtion.

Ingram is telling us a lot here. One thing he is telling us is that he disregards the Pali sutta tradition, which characterizes the arahant as one who is morally transformed. Moral transformation is something that is part of the practice leading up to awakening as it is a result of the awakening. He is also telling us that the basis of his “awakening” is not vipassana; rather, it is jhana, of which he claims to be a master.

Jhana experience has the capacity to mimic what one might think is awakening, the suppression of negative states of mind and jhana can give one “a sort of disassociation from oneself” or a disassociation from those aspects of oneself one finds problematic - a sort of “conversion experience” where one perceives oneself as radically changed. Jhana experience, especially spontaneous jhana experience, has that as a danger. While one, as the result of such an experience (or a cluster of such experiences), may now have a very different view and “understanding” of oneself, the stuff suppressed by the jhana experience(s) can - and will - come back, and thus we get this list:
Here are a number of bogus myths and falsehoods about arahats, each of which violates one of more of the First Principles in addition to simply being untrue:
1.Arahats cannot lie.
2.Arahats cannot have erections or have sex.
3.Arahats would never do drugs or drink.
4.Arahats cannot kill anything ever.
5.Arahats cannot state they are arahats.
6.Arahats must ordain within 7 days of becomming an arahat in the Buddhist order of monks or they will die.
7.Arahats cannot think the thought "I am an arahat."
8.Arahats cannot feel the following emotions: lust, hatred, irritation, restlessness, worry, fear, pride, conceit, desire for the formless realms, desire for the formed realms, or any other "bad" emotion.
9.Arahats cannot like music or dance.
10.Arahats love forests.
11.Arahats cannot have jobs or normal relationships.
12.Arahats do not really exist today.
13.Arahats must work hard to maintain their understanding, and it is this that makes them unable to do so many things. http://www.interactivebuddha.com/arahats.shtml" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
What this list tell us is that while one may imagine oneself awake based upon a profound and supposedly transformative non-dual experience(s), one has to also explain away, in terms of one’s new self-image, all the stuff that comes back after the effects of the jhana/conversion experience(s) wears off.

Mr. Ingram's method of choice is vipassana meditation.” Any methodology is susceptible to being twisted to meet one’s needs, which is why working with a teacher is important, but even that is no guarantee, which is why understanding that any experience is just another thing of which to let go.

As for the Mahasi Sayadaw style of practice, please take a look at U Pandita’s THE STATE OF MIND CALLED BEAUTIFUL, and Ven Nyanaponika’s THE POWER OF MINDFULNESS

I can't find its [vipassana] source in the suttas Do not confuse certain techniques with what is core to the vipassana traditions, which are found in such suttas as the Satipatthana sutta and the Bahiya Sutta and the Kalaka Sutta, and the perception of impermanence should be cultivated for the removal of the conceit 'I am.' For when one perceives impermanence, Meghiya, the perception of not-self is established. When one perceives not-self one reaches the removal of the conceit 'I am,' which is called Nibbana here and now." Ud 37 (4.1)
>> 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

User avatar
acinteyyo
Posts: 1690
Joined: Mon Jun 01, 2009 9:48 am
Location: Bavaria / Germany

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by acinteyyo » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:26 am

:goodpost:
Thag 1.20. Ajita - I do not fear death; nor do I long for life. I’ll lay down this body, aware and mindful.

Moggalana
Posts: 331
Joined: Tue Jun 02, 2009 11:31 am
Location: Germany

Re: Daniel M. Ingram

Post by Moggalana » Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:38 am

Ben wrote:Hi Yuuki, Retro and all..

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings yuuki,
yuuki wrote:I personally am a little hesitant to practice vipassana, because I can't find its source in the suttas?
What about...?

MN 10: Satipatthana Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Metta,
Retro. :)
For clarification on this issue, may I point you towards:

- The heart of Buddhist meditation by Nyaniponika Thera
- Satipatthana: the direct path to realization by Analayo Bhikkhu
- Satipatthana Vipassana by Mahasi Sayadaw

These excellent manuals of meditation, which are also excellent scholarly works, should allay your concerns that the Buddha taught vipassana.
metta

Ben
This might also be useful: http://theravadin.wordpress.com/2009/02 ... ana-lover/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 54 guests