One of the most profound experiences I had in recent years occurred while I was sitting on a 20-day silent vipassana retreat in New Zealand two years ago. This was a full-on retreat for 'serious old students' where I spent approximately 15 hours of my 16 waking hours on the cushion and attempted to maintain awareness during sleep. Most of my time I spent in a meditation cell.
About half-way into the retreat I had done six days of samadhi and several of vipassana. My teacher uses a simile and describes the mind sharpened by way of samadhi and then cutting through the defilements in vipassana. Its spot on with my experience. Vipassana has been a formidable weapon in rooting out, facing down and eradicating some of my darkest demons. What I did not expect at around 10 days in, was that the cool all-seeing equanimous gaze that I had developed, would turn in and scrutinize whether what I was doing was of any benefit, whether my teacher was genuine and whether the Dhamma was just a distraction. I could see it all, all my fears my dreams, my hopes, my veneration for my teacher and the Buddha, nothing appeared opaque or resisted my gaze. It was an excoriating experience. Some of the conclusions I came to was that if it benefited me now and inthe past, then I should continue until it ceased to be of benefit. And secondly I felt that my experience, in a way, validated the efficacy of the Dhamma. I felt relieved that the method I used to investigate my reality investigated the efficacy of my practice, rather than leave me tunnel-visioned about the Dhamma.
So I don't think Genkaku is being disrespectful, dispariaging or disingenious. I've known Adam a number of years and I know no one more sincere in their practice. What I believe Adam is doing is reminding us that words themselves only point to the reality that they are employed to represent. Be forever heedful of what is actually there and what are merely fabrications.
“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
(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •