McMindfulness meditation dangers

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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mikenz66
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McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 5:42 am


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tiltbillings
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:00 am


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Ben
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Ben » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:09 am

I couldn't agree more, Tilt.
As you may know I have been a very interested observer of the mindfulness in psychology and education for a number of years.
I think that the whole mindfulness movement is good in the way that it is making meditation a mainstream activity. The downside, and its a huge downside, is that often what is often being taught is so removed from certain important contexts that the practices can be vehicles of harm. I have heard anecdotes of people engaging in secularised vipassana practice only to have some deep rooted negativity manifest in their mind and then find themselves without the support of a teacher/guide or co-practitioners.
But of course, I could just be looking at things through the prism of my own prejudices and conceit.
kind regards,

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

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mikenz66
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:16 am


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:10 pm

A similar discussion came up a few weeks ago in my sutta study class.

Many of us started off with the local branch of a group that follows a monk who strongly emphasizes mindfulness in a way that the groups in his name seem to present mindfulness as an end in itself.

We all agreed that had some good in it ---- getting people to see things they usually don't.

However, we all agreed that robbed mindfulness of much of its power.....that many more benefits could be had by emphasizing to be mindful of just a few things like the 3 marks of existence instead of getting lost blissing out on noticing the bubbles in the dishwater or the taste of an apple.

Learning samatha with mindfulness to watch strong feelings come and go and seeing that all feelings are impermanent, for yourself, directly......is immensely healing.
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 22, 2011 3:26 pm

There's probably a useful distinction to be made between the benefits of making meditation an accepted, even common, cultural practice, and teaching Buddhist bhavana. They aren't necessarily the same, nor do they necessarily blend into one another. It might be the case that many of those looking for a mindfulness-based practice are wholly uninterested in the Dhamma, and are instead simply looking for a stress management tool to add into their lives.

If teaching Buddhist bhavana, it is my opinion that it shouldn't capitulate to the common denominator of stress reduction - those sorts of classes are a dime a dozen, and Buddhist bhavana offers something more comprehensive given that its methodologies are underwritten by the Dhamma.

Furthermore, I'm in favor of a Western/American iteration of the Dhamma, one which can stand on its own among the extant cultural iterations (such as the Sri Lankan, Thai, and Burmese iterations). The Secular and Rationalist approaches are a component of this, as IMS and CIMC and Spirit Rock attest.

As I see it, the primary problem going forward is going to be how the Vinaya becomes integrated into the burgeoning American/Western iteration exemplified by these communities.

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 7:35 pm


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:17 pm


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:52 pm


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby daverupa » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:04 pm


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:05 pm

I haven't been to IMS either (I once was driven past Spirit Rock in the way to a beach, but I don't think that counts either).
However, I haven't noticed any significant difference in Dhamma as represented by talks I've heard from IMS stalwarts, such as Joseseph Goldstein, and what I've learned at an "Immigrant Temple". Which isn't surprising seeing as one of the "products" of IMS was the book "In this very life", based on U Pandita's lectures there.
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pesala/Pandita/

In any case, what I was trying to discuss in this thread was meditation taught with no mention of Buddhist concepts whatsoever, and how it was interesting that a teacher involved in one of those organisations found that various issues (such as anatta) popped up apparently spontaneously.

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 22, 2011 9:20 pm


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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:06 am

Greetings,

There is no Buddhist meditation without Right View.

Beyond that to "McMindfulness", I'm not qualified, nor particularly interested to speculate.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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tiltbillings
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby tiltbillings » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:29 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:32 am

"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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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mikenz66
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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby mikenz66 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:34 am

Hi Retro,

That's the interesting point. Where does this "right view" come from, how unique is it, how much do you need, and at what point does lack of instruction in it block progress?

In the Canon it is said that some attained stream entry with very little instruction
Sariputta for example: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... saristream

Though the meditation techniques being taught are not taught with any formal Buddhist explanation, they are Bhuddist-derived teachings, and seem to be bringing up at least some of the same things you'd expect in a Buddhist context (insight into anatta, etc...).

:anjali:
Mike

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Re: McMindfulness meditation dangers

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Oct 23, 2011 12:38 am

Greetings Mike,

I think the "run & circle" indicates mutual reinforcement and iterative development of those components, where Right View is the central anchor.

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)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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