Author Topic: Bhanta Vimalaramsi  (Read 20998 times)

Mindfullness

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Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« on: June 06, 2011, 10:29:34 PM »
This book is an excellent explanation of the difference between the form of Vipassana that many teachers have made popular(i.e. Goenka) and the one that the Irreverent Buddhist has explained on this website. It also has what an accompanying video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3529760254352711693#

Matthew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 11:39:04 PM »
Thank you Mindfulness - a very helpful video.

Matthew
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Mindfullness

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 11:45:48 PM »
No problem--I think the accompanying book is even better because it explains even more thoroughly the difference between the Goenka-version of Vipassana and what the Buddha actually said in his suttas. I wonder why there are so many monks--at least in the west--who teach Vipassana the same way Goenka teaches it!?

Morning Dew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 10:02:56 PM »
This teaching is GOLDEN  :)

I kind of follow it but tend to miss the part to RELAX before letting go of the thoughts and then JUST THEN go back to the meditation object the whole body breathing without bringing back to the breath the tension thinking creates.

What a GEM :D thank you soooo much for posting this Mindfulness my dear friend.

May we all be happy may we all be free from suffering

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2011, 02:10:03 AM »
No problem--I think the accompanying book is even better because it explains even more thoroughly the difference between the Goenka-version of Vipassana and what the Buddha actually said in his suttas. I wonder why there are so many monks--at least in the west--who teach Vipassana the same way Goenka teaches it!?

It might be a while before I can read the book or watch the hour long video.   Would anyone care to summarize what those differences are?

Mindfullness

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 02:33:05 AM »
This teaching is GOLDEN  :)

I kind of follow it but tend to miss the part to RELAX before letting go of the thoughts and then JUST THEN go back to the meditation object the whole body breathing without bringing back to the breath the tension thinking creates.

What a GEM :D thank you soooo much for posting this Mindfulness my dear friend.

May we all be happy may we all be free from suffering

Thank you for the kind words! I think by watching the video and reading the book, the differences between the "Goenka" vipassana and what was actually taught by the Buddha becomes really clear. I'm glad the video helped you!

Morning Dew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 07:12:05 AM »
Jhana4 all you have to see is the first 20 minutes of the vid

Be well

thelastrich

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 02:40:58 PM »
Very recommendable. I follow his instructions from the very beginning of my meditation:
http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,1297.msg10010.html#msg10010
This is the post where I recommend his book.

There are also more videos on his page:
http://www.dhammasukha.org/espanol/Estudio/videos.htm  <-- These are subbed in Spanish, audio in English. There are also subs in German, French, etc.

And here, you can watch their last talks:
http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/video-index.htm

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 10:06:05 PM »
This book is an excellent explanation of the difference between the form of Vipassana that many teachers have made popular(i.e. Goenka) and the one that the Irreverent Buddhist has explained on this website. It also has what an accompanying video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3529760254352711693#

I just watched this video.  I would recommend that everyone here make the hour to watch it.  It will be worth it.

FYI, the gist of the video is that the way meditation is taught in the suttas is different from the way meditation is taught in the commentaries and by many meditation teachers.   Venerable Vimalaramsi claims that the instructions in the suttas have more benefits and the video is about walking you through those instructions.

The instructions he is referring to in this video can be found in this sutta:

The Greater Exhortation to Rahula.  In this sutta the Buddha gives his son, Rahula, meditation instructions.

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2011, 10:13:43 PM »
I watched Venerable Vimalaramsi's video.   I didn't see what he had to say as being at odds with the way S.N. Gonenka via his videos teaches meditation at his retreats.   Goenka's retreat videos outline Dependent Origination and they teach the students to cut the cycle short in between contact and desire.  The videos explain that the way to do that is to simply be aware of the desire, while trying to be equanimous.

That is what Venerable Vimalarmsi is instructing people to do, with the difference being that he is focusing much more on how to be equanimous.

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2011, 10:24:18 PM »
I could relate very much to Venerable Vimalaramsi's video.

A major problem I had for a long time was trying to make something happen.  I would sometimes get wired after meditation and not be able to sleep as a result.  I would also find myself tensing up my facial muscles like Ven Vimalaramsi's students.

I was lucky enough to stumble across a booklet by Ajahn Brahm in a temple library, where he wrote that meditation is about letting go.    Changing my attitude that way made all the difference.

Basically, meditation is supposed to be a relaxation exercise.   Even absorption meditation. 

You don't force the mind onto an object,  you let go, relax away the distractions and let the mind fall into concentration.

I

Matthew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2011, 10:47:27 PM »
I watched Venerable Vimalaramsi's video.   I didn't see what he had to say as being at odds with the way S.N. Gonenka via his videos teaches meditation at his retreats......

Watch the first ten minutes again and please retract this statement. clue: NO NOSE
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Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 12:11:45 AM »
I don't see the nose as being a big thing.   I think fostering the attitudes of letting go of distractions and relaxation are the big things.    I try to set my awareness in my nasal area and I get deeply relaxed doing that + the attitudes.

Mindfullness

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 02:18:01 AM »
I don't see the nose as being a big thing.   I think fostering the attitudes of letting go of distractions and relaxation are the big things.    I try to set my awareness in my nasal area and I get deeply relaxed doing that + the attitudes.

Jhana, concentrating on any part of the body--tip of the nose, area below the nose, abdomen--is wrong, because this is practicing concetration meditation. If you read the book, it goes into this more detail about this(even though it is a very short book), and how the Buddha was actually against this kind of concentration meditation.

Matthew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 02:33:47 AM »
Mindfulness,

Rather than "wrong" it might be more accurate to say "unhelpful". I had arguments about belly vs nose with some former Goenka student members until I went back and read the Suttas - at which point I firmly rooted my practice and advice in whole body awareness and relaxation - the two key points.

Goenka method hardly encourages relaxing with three days of intense nose awareness as the start.

Jhana4,

The nose isn't a "big thing" but concentrating on it is truly problematic. Here is why.

Warmly,

Matthew
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 02:39:59 AM by Matthew »
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Andrew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2011, 03:26:25 AM »
Concentrate on relaxing your nose if it is tense, then move onto your tense brain, then your big toe, and your arse is also very important to be relaxed, not too relaxed though, that isn't good at all (very smelly, which will lead you back to the nose, somewhat ironically)!


Mindfulness!! not Spaced-Out-Full-ness!

Big difference.


Good post Mindfulness. I love saying that word, Mindfulness. Now was it Mindfulness posting that or Mindfulness?

A
getting it done

Matthew

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2011, 03:31:47 AM »
Better to start with the toe ...
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Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2011, 03:56:54 AM »
If you read the book, it goes into this more detail about this(even though it is a very short book), and how the Buddha was actually against this kind of concentration meditation.

The book is 168 pages.  I don't enjoy doing that much reading via PDF files.   Do you know if paper copies are available anywhere?

Mindfullness

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2011, 05:07:08 AM »
I think you would have to buy the book through amazon.com or some other site like it. Sorry  :(

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
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    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2011, 05:22:22 AM »
If you read the book, it goes into this more detail about this(even though it is a very short book), and how the Buddha was actually against this kind of concentration meditation.


The book is 168 pages.  I don't enjoy doing that much reading via PDF files.   Do you know if paper copies are available anywhere?

use Opera to read it to you?
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Matthew

  • The Irreverent Buddhist
  • Staff
  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
    • Getting nowhere slowly and enjoying every moment.
Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2011, 05:26:29 AM »
Very recommendable. I follow his instructions from the very beginning of my meditation:
http://www.vipassanaforum.net/forum/index.php/topic,1297.msg10010.html#msg10010
This is the post where I recommend his book.

There are also more videos on his page:
http://www.dhammasukha.org/espanol/Estudio/videos.htm  <-- These are subbed in Spanish, audio in English. There are also subs in German, French, etc.

And here, you can watch their last talks:
http://www.dhammasukha.org/Study/video-index.htm

Wish I'd paid more attention to your post. Just been checking out his summer retreat schedule. Thanks for the links.

Matthew
~oOo~     Tat Tvam Asi     ~oOo~    How will you make the world a better place today?     ~oOo~    Fabricate Nothing     ~oOo~

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2011, 12:51:02 PM »
I searched on this monks name on another forum.  Many people don't like his views as he has said things that seem to be unsubstantiated and he has said some wacky things ( like he could cure himself of AIDS ).   No doubt, a portion of that is likely due to him kicking sacred cows.

I've seen people pick apart what Ajahn Brahm has had to say in regards to doctrine.  Some of those criticisms may be right, but hi tips for meditation work well for me and have produced good results for other people as well.

I've always found the ideas of using the meditation instructions in the suttas to be interesting.  However those directions seem to me to be intentionally vague ( probably for good reasons ).  As far as exactly what to do seems open to interpretation.   Are the directions in the anapanasutta  linear steps or a mix?   Is it all passive observation of phenomenon while focusing on the breath or is "he trains himself" about the meditator trying to intentionally induce states of mind and body?   How does the meditator handle distractions and problems?  My guess is that was left up to the Buddhas students to apply the teachings in other suttas on their own, but I don't know.

In any event monks teaching meditation from the suttas is not new.  For example, the author of the classic "Mindfulness In Plain English" had to learn meditation from the suttas himself.  He didn't have a teacher.

It comes down to different interpretations.

So, as someone who is not an expert I'm always interested to hear other meditators ideas.  Vimalaramsi's ideas are interesting enough for me to explore and nothing he has had to suggest I haven't heard from other meditation teachers so I will likely explore what he has had to say further.

I'd like to hear about the experiences of anyone who has strictly applied his method over the long term.    What have you gained from that practice that you weren't gaining with other techniques?   

Masauwu

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2011, 03:11:59 PM »
So many different interpretations, even different translations of the suttas, and everyone thinks he got it right and the others didn`t quite get the true meaning... This is overwhelming. So many experienced and respectable teachers that can`t agree on a simple thing? Even if you say bypass the teachers and go straight to the suttas, whose translation is the right one (that being a translation of an older translation)? And so on.

I am just a beginner so please disregard my rambling, but i tried focusing more on the relaxing component the last few sittings and i found it counterproductive, dulling the awareness. I think relaxing is a very dangerous word to use in instructions, mabye it`s the opposite of restlessness and there`s something inbetween them on the middle of that scale that is the right answer; a neutral calm of sorts. Of course i could be doing it wrong and missing his point.

Also, not every person is the same - maybe someone needs a higher dose of relaxation to get his/her formula right, others (myself included) need a higher dose of concentration and so on. This meditation business sounds a lot like alchemy.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 03:14:51 PM by Masauwu »
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thelastrich

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2011, 04:10:16 PM »
In the book of Vimalaramsi you can read the sutta before the explanation of his meaning.
Then you can agree or disagree with the explanation.
Personally I agree, and for now It worked very well for me.

Jhana4

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Re: Bhanta Vimalaramsi
« Reply #24 on: June 09, 2011, 04:13:40 PM »
This is overwhelming. So many experienced and respectable teachers that can`t agree on a simple thing?

It is not a simple thing.  You can find several free translations of the Anapanasati Sutta via Google.  Most translations very similar.  The sutta itself seems to (perhaps deliberately) vague.   So, interpretation is needed.

Quote
I am just a beginner so please disregard my rambling, but i tried focusing more on the relaxing component the last few sittings and i found it counterproductive, dulling the awareness.

Relaxation isn't exclusive with being alert.  Relaxation  isn't the opposite of being alert.   Relaxation isn't numbing or subduing.   The goal is to be relaxed and alert at the same time.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 04:17:24 PM by Jhana4 »