Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Whether you're exploring Buddhism for the first time or you're already on the path, feel free to ask questions of any kind here.

Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Nosta » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:19 pm

According to the reading below, it seems that Acess Concentration (upacara samadhi) is not useful in the path of Dharma, since Buddha dont speak about it on his discourses. The same about Vipassana.

http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/accessconcentration.htm

Right about in the end of the text you can read the following conclusion:
"But not a single sutta discusses access concentration, nor do they refer to insight (vipassana) as a practice path, nor do they suggest deep stages of absorption (jhana) are to be avoided, thus should we conclude that the commentaries are in error on these topics."

What do you think about this?
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jikan » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:20 pm

Before we bring up counterexamples to this writer's claims, let us consider the source:

Arahatta (enlightened, mystic) Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle, a 4th Wheel Buddhist tradition. He is a fully kundalini awakened (completed) and self actualized contemplative


I suspect that one will have an easier time finding suttas & sutras in which the Buddha describes the benefits of concentration (dhyana) than "self-actualization."

from: http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/jhanananda.html
Thanks to the help of generous sponsors (most of them from DharmaWheel), I'm doing a Vajra Armor (Dorje Kotrab) self-retreat this summer. May the merit be yours!
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4985
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Nosta » Mon Jul 01, 2013 6:44 pm

I didnt knew the author...indeed, it seems that he is not a serious person.

Even so, is it true that Buddha never spoke about Vipassana Meditation neither upacara samaddhi?
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jnana » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:30 pm

Nosta wrote:Even so, is it true that Buddha never spoke about Vipassana Meditation neither upacara samaddhi?

The suttas mention the development of vipassanā in a number of places, usually occurring together with samatha. For example, AN 2.30:

    These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Tranquillity (samatha) & insight (vipassanā).

    When tranquillity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.

    When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.

As for differentiation between momentary samādhi (khaṇikasamādhi), access samādhi (upacārasamādhi), and fixed samādhi (appaṇāsamādhi), this is unique to the Theravāda commentaries and these terms are not explicitly mentioned in the Pāli Suttapiṭaka or the Abhidhammapiṭaka.
Last edited by Jnana on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Nosta » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:32 pm

Well pointed ;)

Thanks!
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jikan » Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:44 pm

Jnana wrote:
Nosta wrote:Even so, is it true that Buddha never spoke about Vipassana Meditation neither upacara samaddhi?

The suttas mention the development of vipassanā in a number of places, usually occurring together with samatha. For example, AN 2.30:

    These two qualities have a share in clear knowing. Which two? Tranquillity (samatha) & insight (vipassanā).

    When tranquillity is developed, what purpose does it serve? The mind is developed. And when the mind is developed, what purpose does it serve? Passion is abandoned.

    When insight is developed, what purpose does it serve? Discernment is developed. And when discernment is developed, what purpose does it serve? Ignorance is abandoned.

As for differentiation between momentary samādhi (khaṇikasamādhi), access samādhi (upacārasamādhi), and fixed samādhi (appaṇāsamādhi), this is unique to the Theravāda commentaries and these terms are not explicitly mentioned in the Pāli Suttapiṭaka or the Abhidhammapiṭaka.


:good:

I believe this usage extends beyond the sutta commentaries and into instructions for practice. I don't have the text at hand, but I do remember reading this in Buddhaghosa's Path of Purification, for instance. Masters such as Achaan Chah used this language.

I think there's a continuity here between this and Mahayana understandings of shamatha and vipashyana at a practical level, even though the terminology differs.
Thanks to the help of generous sponsors (most of them from DharmaWheel), I'm doing a Vajra Armor (Dorje Kotrab) self-retreat this summer. May the merit be yours!
Jikan
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4985
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 5:04 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jnana » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:09 am

Jikan wrote:I believe this usage extends beyond the sutta commentaries and into instructions for practice. I don't have the text at hand, but I do remember reading this in Buddhaghosa's Path of Purification, for instance. Masters such as Achaan Chah used this language.

Yes, references to momentary samādhi, access samādhi, and fixed samādhi are fairly common in Theravāda treatises and are commonly used in practice instructions in various Theravāda practice lineages.

Jikan wrote:I think there's a continuity here between this and Mahayana understandings of shamatha and vipashyana at a practical level, even though the terminology differs.

Sure, the development of śamatha and vipaśyanā are features of Mahāyāna meditation systems that evolved from Sarvāstivāda (and Yogācāra) sources, and these Abhidharmas have a developmental structure that is similar to the Theravāda Abhidhamma in some respects (the Sarvāstivāda Dharmaskandha-śāstra and the Theravāda Vibhaṅga likely go back to a common source).

It's been pointed out by some scholars that the systems derived from the Sarvāstivāda place somewhat more emphasis on the development of śamatha and the union of śamatha and vipaśyanā. However, all of these traditions agree that at the time of attaining the path of seeing both śamatha and vipaśyanā are present together.
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Son of Buddha » Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:41 am

Nosta wrote:I didnt knew the author...indeed, it seems that he is not a serious person.

Even so, is it true that Buddha never spoke about Vipassana Meditation neither upacara samaddhi?


oh no he is dead serious.
wether he is what he claims he is......dunno
User avatar
Son of Buddha
 
Posts: 853
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:48 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:29 pm

Nosta wrote:"But not a single sutta discusses access concentration, nor do they refer to insight (vipassana) as a practice path, nor do they suggest deep stages of absorption (jhana) are to be avoided, thus should we conclude that the commentaries are in error on these topics."

What do you think about this?


Doesn't surprise me at all. Typical Theravada view. For them all the mahayana writings (like the heart sutra) are apocryphal. If it's not on the Pali Canon, then the Buddha did not say it, and thus it is not Buddhism. We're heretics, to some degree. And vajrayanists, absolutely crazy. And the "Hinayana" word, a terrible insult. Sometimes i feel sad for this, because i know some people totally focused on Theravada, that have a great capacity that would otherwise help them understand the later Turns of the Wheel (2nd and 3rd), but they opt to shun Mahayana and Vajrayana because of these kind of prejudices.

That's why we have "Dharma Wheel" and "Dhamma Wheel" as separate forums, otherwise it would be WAR in every thread :rolling:
Last edited by flavio81 on Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 5:33 pm

The quote was written by a "Jhanananda"

About Jhanananda

Arahatta (enlightened, mystic) Jhanananda (Jeffrey S. Brooks) is a self-ordained Western Buddhist monk in the Great Western Vehicle, a 4th Wheel Buddhist tradition. He is a fully kundalini awakened (completed) and self actualized contemplative


Self-ordained, in the "fourth" turning of the dharma wheel (!!), "fully kundalini awakened"... And i stop there, don't need to read more. As for the website quoted (Great Western Vehicle), a look at its forum tell us what are they interested in: Out of body experiences, "clari-audience", glossolalia, meditation-induced euphoria, spontaneus movement, "shamanic shamanism" (?!)...

Spiritual materialism, in short.

http://fruitofthecontemplativelife.org/forum/index.php

I wouldn't care too much for what they think about vipassana.
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Nosta » Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:51 pm

Flavio, the author attacked (among other things) the Vipassana, and thats a Theravada teaching.
User avatar
Nosta
 
Posts: 675
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:01 pm

Nosta wrote:Flavio, the author attacked (among other things) the Vipassana, and thats a Theravada teaching.


I thought vipassana (as a practice, 'vipassana meditation', not as a result or consequence) was outside orthodox or 'classic' Theravada. In any case, as a practice, is not mentioned on the classic sutras.
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jnana » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:03 pm

flavio81 wrote:Typical Theravada view.

No, it isn't. It seems to be meant as a criticism of the Theravāda, esp. the Theravāda approach of bare insight.

flavio81 wrote:I thought vipassana (as a practice, 'vipassana meditation', not as a result or consequence) was outside orthodox or 'classic' Theravada.

"Vipassanā meditation" is just a translation of vipassanābhāvanā, i.e. the cultivation or development of vipassanā.

flavio81 wrote:In any case, as a practice, is not mentioned on the classic sutras.

Sure it is. The sutta already quoted in this thread explicitly mentions that vipassanā is to be developed (bhāvita) in order to develop discernment and abandon ignorance. The process of development is also explained in AN 4.170, and further commented upon in the Patisambhidāmagga. And the last tetrad of the Ānāpānassati Sutta (MN 118) is an example of the sequential development of contemplation (anupassanā).
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby flavio81 » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:06 pm

Jnana wrote:
flavio81 wrote:Typical Theravada view.

No, it isn't. It seems to be meant as a criticism of the Theravāda, esp. the Theravāda approach of bare insight.

flavio81 wrote:I thought vipassana (as a practice, 'vipassana meditation', not as a result or consequence) was outside orthodox or 'classic' Theravada.

"Vipassanā meditation" is just a translation of vipassanābhāvanā, i.e. the cultivation or development of vipassanā.

flavio81 wrote:In any case, as a practice, is not mentioned on the classic sutras.

Sure it is. The sutta already quoted in this thread explicitly mentions that vipassanā is to be developed (bhāvita) in order to develop discernment and abandon ignorance. The process of development is also explained in AN 4.170, and further commented upon in the Patisambhidāmagga. And the last tetrad of the Ānāpānassati Sutta (MN 118) is an example of the sequential development of contemplation (anupassanā).


Thanks for the correction Jnana. I'm on a small (but fervient) Theravada facebook group and some of them were claiming that vipassana meditation wasn't part of what the Buddha taught and things like that. I got really confused, to be honest.
User avatar
flavio81
 
Posts: 164
Joined: Thu Jun 27, 2013 5:25 am
Location: Lima, Peru

Re: Acess Concentration and Vipassana not advised by Buddha?

Postby Jnana » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:31 pm

flavio81 wrote:Thanks for the correction Jnana. I'm on a small (but fervient) Theravada facebook group and some of them were claiming that vipassana meditation wasn't part of what the Buddha taught and things like that. I got really confused, to be honest.

Yeah, there are some people who have been saying this sort of thing in recent years, largely, I think, as a reaction to the Burmese Vipassanā traditions that emphasize the Abhidhamma and Visuddhimagga in their approach.

Some of these same naysayers seem to also be of the opinion that anything that isn't explicitly stated in the Pāli suttas should be discarded because it isn't the word of the Buddha. Therefore, the entire Abhidhammapiṭaka and Theravāda commentaries and treatises should be dismissed outright (as well as all other Buddhist traditions). But what they fail to recognize, in part, is that the Pāli suttas were never meant to be systematic expositions, and they aren't meditation manuals either.
Jnana
 
Posts: 1106
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 12:58 pm


Return to Exploring Buddhism

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests

>