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original vipassana teaching - Dhamma Wheel

original vipassana teaching

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nick9tap
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:59 am

original vipassana teaching

Postby nick9tap » Tue Sep 07, 2010 8:08 am

Hi, I have been taught vipassana meditation by Goenkas team. I understand that the 10 day couse his organization teaches comes from Burhma and originally was longer than 10 days. The organisers believed that 10 days was the minimum they could condence the course into. I am particlary interested in the original courses taught in Burma in particular the duration of Metta compared to Vipassana practices in the original course. [ie: Goenkas team teach us to balance 50 minutes of vipassana with 10 minutes of Metta. Was this ratio the same as in the original courses.Can any one help me?

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Ben
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby Ben » Tue Sep 07, 2010 10:02 am

Hi nick and welcome to Dhamma Wheel!

Depending on who you study under, one's practice is going to take slightly different forms.
The students of Mahasi Sayadaw, I believe, start with Metta Bhavana before then moving on to a form of vipassana that is a little different to that which SN Goenka teaches. A good way to look at vipassana meditation is to look at it as an exercise that helps to cultivate that special wisdom known as 'vipassana'. For some people that is going to involve observing the rise and fall of the abdomen, and for others, such as the students of SN Goenka and others,it will involve the observation of vedana (sensation). And for others - something else.
As for the provenance of SN Goenka's method, he cites that it comes from U Ba Khin. U Ba Khin got it from Saya Thetgyi. Saya Thetgyi was a student of Ledi Sayadaw. As for the particulars of how much time one spent on one technique before moving to another - I think that has been lost in the sands of time but I suspect it may have been a little different for each individual. Early next year I intend to visit the Ledi Monastery north of Monwya and I hope to be able to ask some questions regarding the practices taught by the Sayadaw.
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

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

nick9tap
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:59 am

Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby nick9tap » Wed Sep 08, 2010 8:08 am

Thanks Ben for that. Part of he reason for me asking is that the fist time I was taught a buddhist meditation
I t went a bit like this- Sit in a comfortable but upright position [to avoid going to sleep] focus on the breath then count 10 of your exhalations if you loose count then start again. When you have counted to 10 consecutive exhalations turn your attention to the inhalation and count ten consecutive inhalations, if you loose count start the count again. When you have completed counting the inhalations you have completed the first part of the meditation. The second half of the meditation is as follows. Remain sitting and focus your attention on yourself and give your self love, this might or might not be difficult for you , if it is difficult then just do as you can and think love to yourself [and remember the centre for love in the human body is around the heart area. Focus this love for yourself for a few minutes, then stop and focus your attention on someone or group of people you like of the same sex [we don’t want to start drifting of into sexual fantasies while we are meditating], and again give love to them, do this for a few minutes then stop, and replace the person or people you like as the object with a person or group of people that you feel neutral about, again , direct your love towards them for a few minutes. When you have finished replace this person or group of people with someone or some people that you dislike and again for a few minutes direct your love towards them. That is the end of the meditation and has 2 half’s, one half focused on the self and one half focused on others. The reason explained to me at the time was that the 2 halves helped to achieve balance.
Comparing the above practice with Goenkas , where the meditator practises 50 mins of vipassana and just 10 mins of metta [and I have observed that many if not most practicioners barely manage 5 mins of Metta] , has got me wondering whether Goenkas method is that balanced and doesnt over empasize the individual at the expence of the development of compassion.
It has been explained to me that Goenkas 10 day course is a condenced version of the origial method handed down from the historical Buddha, and is designed for the western practicioneer. How may I find out what the original course was? Maybe someone high up in the Goenka hier-archy can tell me?

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mikenz66
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:08 am


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Ben
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby Ben » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:22 am

“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) • •

e: [email protected]..

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mikenz66
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Location: New Zealand

Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby mikenz66 » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:40 am

In addition to Ben's excellent post, Patrick Kearney http://www.dharmasalon.net/Audio/Audio.php comments on meditation retreats in some of his retreat talks. While he teaches Mahasi style, the principle is the same, since he's talking about Burma. As I recall, his explanation is that retreats of a few days to a few weeks were an early 20th C innovation in Burma specifically designed for lay people (who had to work most of the time...).

Mike

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retrofuturist
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby retrofuturist » Wed Sep 08, 2010 9:46 am

Greetings,

Welcome to Dhamma Wheel.

:buddha2:

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

nick9tap
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Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2010 7:59 am

Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby nick9tap » Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:12 am

Thanks everyone for your replies.
Its not that Goenkas method wasnt beneficial for me , nearly all meditation is benificial in some way for some thing. what irks me is the lack of social work, social empathy and social activism.
and I am wondering that there is a link between this lack of social activism and the lack of compassion building exercises within buddhist meditation.
Maybe its just me , but shouldnt we be getting out on the streets demanding the abolition of money?
how much misery and suffering should our people suffer from its tyranny?
how can I not suffer when those around me suffer so
I am well fed but my wealth is dependent on those that are forced into hunger by a currupt economic system.
I love my people i can not idly watch them suffer and I can not hide away pretending I need to reach some state of enlightenment that might or might not exist before I can do something.

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pilgrim
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby pilgrim » Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:26 am

Perhaps it should be considered that while upon observation, all the drivers on the road generally drive using the same set of skills, they all learn to drive in a great multitude of ways.

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mikenz66
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby mikenz66 » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:26 am


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bodom
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:51 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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bodom
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Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:18 pm
Location: San Antonio, Texas

Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby bodom » Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:54 am

To study is to know the texts,
To practice is to know your defilements,
To attain the goal is to know and let go.

- Ajahn Lee Dhammadharo


With mindfulness immersed in the body
well established, restrained
with regard to the six media of contact,
always centered, the monk
can know Unbinding for himself.

- Ud 3.5


https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html
http://www.ajahnchah.org/

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Cittasanto
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Re: original vipassana teaching

Postby Cittasanto » Thu Sep 09, 2010 11:06 am



He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them.
But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion …
...
He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them … he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.


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