Poll

What is the tradition of your meditation practice?

1.) Ven. Achaan Chaa Thai forest tradition: a few meditiation retreats - or having maintained daily meditation sittings for at least 1 year.  
2.) Ven. Achaan Chaa Thai forest tradition: 1 meditation retreat of a few days - or trying to maintain daily meditation sittings.  
3.) Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw tradition: a few meditation retreats - or having maintained daily meditation sittings for at least 1 year.  
4.) Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw tradition: 1 meditation retreat of a few days - or trying to maintain daily meditation sittings.  
5.) Sayagyi U Ba Khin tradition: a few meditation retreats - or having maintained daily meditation sittings for at least 1 year.
6.) Sayagyi U Ba Khin tradition: 1 meditation retreat of a few days - or trying to maintain daily meditation sittings.  
7.) Other tradition: a few meditation retreats - or having maintained daily meditation sittings for at least 1 year.  
8.) Other tradition: 1 meditation retreat of a few days - or trying to maintain daily meditation sittings.  
9.) No meditation practice yet.  
10.) None of the above - please explain.  

Author Topic: What are our colors?  (Read 8051 times)

pamojjam

What are our colors?
« on: November 17, 2008, 12:27:34 PM »

Out of recent discussions about different approaches I would be interested how many members of this colorful community are practicing one of the main Vipassana traditions today. To subsume I simplifed them where there seemed to have similiarities. If this short discription would do injustice please feel free to elaborate. I hope it is understood that this is intented only to increase mutual understanding.

metta..


Here the options in detail (with links to a Wikipedia article on the teacher and the website of the tradition):

1.-2.) Ven. Achaan Chaa - Thai forest tradition: various meditation practices depending on the teacher (Ven. Achaan Sumedho, Ven. Achaan Thanisaro, etc.)

3.-4.) Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw - tradition: Anapana, Samadhi and Vipassana initially at the rising and falling of the belly (Ven. U Pandita, Joseph Goldstein, etc.)

5.-6) Sayagyi U Ba Khin - tradition: Anapana or Samadhi at the nostrils, Vipassana initially with body sensations (Mother Sayamgyi, SN Goenka, Ayya Khema)

7.-8.) Others: please let us know about and its teacher.

9.) No meditation practice yet.

10.) None of the above - please explain.
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 08:04:04 PM by pamojjam »

Flipasso

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2008, 02:44:31 PM »
I practice according to Henepola Gunaratana's Mindfulness In Plain English. Don't know which tradition he belongs to, but I'm prety sure that it isn't U Ba Khin, or Mahasi.
I've practiced in and out for 2 years now and experimenting different techniques including purely samatha techniques.
I restarted Meditation practice about 2 weeks ago, and am currently focussing on the Samatha part before going into the Vipassana.
Could anyone tell me which tradition does Henepola Gunaratana belong to??

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2008, 07:21:22 PM »

Hi Filipe,

I made a very gross division between the 3 most accessible Vipassana traditions, and left those who are taught in only one place out. In my opinion they all decent from the one tradition of the Buddha. But there are too many teachers of Vipassana with slight distinctions in their approach, and a complete list would have become very long. Therefore I limited the differentiation here between the 3 biggest: Achaan Chaa, Mahasi Sayadaw, and U Ba Khin - which each tradition maintaining meditation centers in 4 continents: Asia, Australia, Europe and America. In Africa a few are starting too.

The Sri Lankan monk Ven. Henepola Gunaratana Mahathera is teaching since 1968 in the states. He wrote the very recommendable book: "Mindfulness In Plain English",  which is widely read by practitioners of all traditions. I read it many years ago and, if I remember it right, he is teaching Vipassana at the nostrils. But without the body sweeps.

Therefore I would have choosen 'Others'. But I also wouldn't take a poll too serious, your answer is much more to the point.

kind regards..
« Last Edit: November 17, 2008, 09:44:13 PM by pamojjam »

mettajoey

  • If you follow the standard allowable path, you'll get standard allowable results
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Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2008, 01:11:35 PM »
Hi Pamojjam,
No colors for me, I'm an Independent!  :)
My practice is mindfulness of breath and deepening understanding of feelings and emotions, Vipassana, Zen, Yoga, long walks and weight training.  My main teachers are Joseph Campbell, Gautama, Jesus, Gil Fronsdal, Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rumi, my girlfriend, all the folks on this site and the many people I see each day.  The list is endless.
I'm thankful for this practice, what it has done for me and for the people in my life.

 
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

Green Tara

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Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2008, 01:44:28 PM »
Hi Pamojjam,
No colors for me, I'm an Independent!  :)
My practice is mindfulness of breath and deepening understanding of feelings and emotions, Vipassana, Zen, Yoga, long walks and weight training.  My main teachers are Joseph Campbell, Gautama, Jesus, Gil Fronsdal, Goenka, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rumi, my girlfriend, all the folks on this site and the many people I see each day.  The list is endless.
I'm thankful for this practice, what it has done for me and for the people in my life.

Me too, it is easier to quote yours joey than to type the whole thing again.

Note:  mine is without the weight training and the girlfriend
Tara  :)
"Samsaric beings! Cling not to worldly pleasures.  Enter the great city of liberation”

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2008, 02:12:27 PM »

Thanks for your answers, Joe and Tara.

Good to hear of all your teachers. And you're so right - if we aren't open to learn each moment something new, there isn't much learning happening elsewhere.

I meant my question more from the sitting-practice point of view. Where it mostly happens by itself that certain meditation instructions have been found doing something - for which gratitude can become one expression of. And this gratitude could also naturally be directed to a particular teacher of one practice traditions, from whom one received those instructions from. Though one still learns from all others and without lessening the gratefulness.

For me this was definitely caused by the meditation instructions of Satya Narayan Goenka. As much as I tried the path of Jesus before, I only ended up suppressing all my negative emotions completely in the name of love (due to me misunderstanding). Only by really facing my demons in Goenka's retreats - then taken to further solitary practice on the cusion - they have finally lost their hold.

And through this direct gratitude I connected and could take refuge in the triple gem.

kind regards..

mettajoey

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Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2008, 02:25:32 PM »
Hi Pamojjam,
I refer to the historical Jesus, not the religion that was developed around him, or by him.  His message was loving kindness, his words were manipulated but one can still find the truth by listening carefully if they wish.
Honestly, what I mentioned is my practice.  To me it is very important to not attach to forms and be open to experience.
Warmly,
The best type of meditation is the one that you'll do

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2008, 05:08:26 PM »

Hi Joe,

Honestly, what I mentioned is my practice.  To me it is very important to not attach to forms and be open to experience.

Sure, the whole practice can't be defined to the time on the cushion only.

For example, an integrated 8-fold path has to encompass all thoughts, words, deeds and livelihoods - and certainly doesn't only consists of the time on the cushion alone, which I asked for in this poll. But without it, in my experience it also would be really difficult.

And it's this necessary part - Vipassana - I speak here of, where a feeling of gratitude to a particular teacher due to having received from him/her some instructions doesn't has to mean that one attaches to its form, or become closed to other experiences - but even the contrary. At least for me it is this way and the cause for all my gratefulness. And I'm always interested to hear from others.

For hearing, exploring and being open to such different ways - even if they might seem very alien at first - this post and poll was meant for.

kind regards..
« Last Edit: November 18, 2008, 05:09:44 PM by pamojjam »

Paul

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2008, 10:50:26 AM »
All I can say is my life is my practise; in living I stay with what happens, letting the thoughts come and go and use the breath as a kind of anchor.  I get some times when I can privelege practice; in these times I meditate and/or do yoga.  When I meditate I don't follow any particular method, I just don't attach to thoughts and watch the river of my life flowing in front of me.   In yoga I follow the method of BKS Iyengar.  I certainly feel an immense gratitude to all those people who have taken the time to transmit this knowledge, whether it be by books, speaking or just by being present.

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2008, 12:43:18 PM »

Thanks Paul,

for explaining about your practice - specially after hearing lately only little from you. And that you're well.

If I remember it right, some time ago you started with a Vipassana 90 day online course, also with awareness of breathing, and sat a first zen meditation retreat this summer with monastics?

Would you like to elaborate a bit how those two factors would have played together, if so, to where you see your privileged retreat practice (due to demanding family live) now?

kind regards..



PS: your word remind me very much of the recommendable book 'Snow in the Summer' by Sayadaw U Jotika.
When I meditate I don't follow any particular method, I just don't attach to thoughts and watch the river of my life flowing in front of me.
Though I haven't found the whole book online, there are some mp3 available. (I haven't heard them and would appreciate any feedback, if someone finds the time)

PS-PS: found it: http://www.buddhanet.net/snow.htm
« Last Edit: November 19, 2008, 01:41:30 PM by pamojjam »

Paul

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2008, 01:52:20 PM »
Hi Pamojjam,

What an excellent memory you have, and thank you for being so attentive!  I started meditating with the online course, then this summer I went on a Zen meditation retreat with a monk whose affiliated with Plum Village.  I guess they played together perfectly - the 90-day online course enabled me to start meditating in a structured way while being available for my family, which was necessary.  Then since the beginning of this year I've been sitting with a Zen-oriented shangha once a week, and it was with this sangha that I went on retreat this summer.  As my concentration and ability to sit in a posture got better from the structured way in which I had learned to meditate online (awareness of breathing, body sweeps, the 4 boundless abodes) I learned to let go of the structures themselves and just meditate without structure or method, as I described in the posting.  No one tought me this, I just picked it up from meditating with the sangha who meditate in this way, and then went much deeper into it on the retreat.  As for the retreat practice, I don't have any fixed one.  I will take any possibility that intuitively feels right (family permitting!) but right now I hope I will have either the opportunity to meditate with the sangha and same Zen monk (they sit with him every year) or practice a week's yoga with our yoga group (which is very much like a sangha). 

Thank you for the mp3 link, I will listen to it at home.

Do you still go on self-retreats in the mountains? 

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2008, 02:19:49 PM »

Great to see your live with practice going so well - and thanks for the very detailed response again.

Yes, it was also for me being trained in a striktly structured retreat environment which allewed me to do completely without. I seems to me that going to extremes, at times, would make it easier to find a healthy middle way later on.

Other than you, I haven't found a practicing Sangha in rural Austria where I live to connect with. Also trying to integrate all the other factors of the noble 8-fold path of a layman - which I had neglected by giving emphasis to practicing in retreats only - took up most of my energy in recent years, with not much left for retreats. Which I spend mostly in the comfort of IMC-Austria.


Paul

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2008, 03:06:31 PM »
I seems to me that going to extremes, at times, would make it easier to find a healthy middle way later on.

Definitely.  I don't think anyone can teach us very much apart from method when we embark on this path.  We have to find our own way, and we start blindly feeling our way around in a new environment, sticking our feet into muddy puddles and our hands in fires, and little by little we get an idea of the whole environment and start knowing where were going.

It sounds healthy that you are integrating the 8-fold path as a layman in your life. I know that I got slightly blinded by and attached to meditation and only paid lip service to the less glamorous elements of the path until life demonstrated that I had created a new self as a 'meditator' and thus was no more liberated than I was before.   Then the meditator died too and then I started being more aware :)

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2008, 04:10:56 PM »

Again you remind, me of 'Snow in the Summer', where on the back-cover 5 points of this book are summarized:

* There can be no cut and dried formula for everybody. People are unique. So there should be flexibility.

* Mindfulness is part of our nature. It can be developed naturally with ease.

* Please don't condemn greed, pride, anger, and so on. You can learn quite a lot from them. You cannot grow up unless you know about them very well.

* You know that if you are not living fo something meaningful your life is meaningless.

* No body and no place is perfect.  :)

Paul

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #14 on: November 20, 2008, 09:39:28 AM »
Excellent quotes, I like the sound of this book!
« Last Edit: November 20, 2008, 09:39:52 AM by Paul »

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #15 on: November 21, 2008, 07:51:12 AM »

Hi Joe,

Hi Pamojjam,
I refer to the historical Jesus, not the religion that was developed around him, or by him.  His message was loving kindness, his words were manipulated but one can still find the truth by listening carefully if they wish.

For me the historical Jesus isn't really accessible (just as the historical Buddha isn't) - but only his teachings, as in the new Testament and the living example of followers in loving kindness. And me not being able to live from what I understood from these two sources without a substantial amount of suppression of all emotions which opposed 'loving kindness' - is what I could overcome with Vipassana meditation practice only. After such a breakthrough the teachings of loving kindness by Jesus also did make more sense again - but without confusing to whom I actually owed that particular breakthrough.

The difference between these two teachings of Vipassana and the teachings of Jesus have been for me:
- The approach to experience and meet all defilements till the experience of loving kindness was possible - not only despite, but due to experiencing their inherent suffering - even because of them.
- And mere book knowledge, which only helped to suppress defilements in my case.

Nevertheless, from the perspective now it appears that the teachings of Jesus did provide a substantial basis, namely Sila on a superficial level, in which the seed of Vipassana could give much more fruits. But despite creating a good precondition for Vipassana, it also caused much unnecessary suffering to me. By only fighting the 'ego', but not giving the kind of ease experientially seeing through it's essencelessness would have.

So, if you feel free to elaborate, what was it that helped so it has been possible for you not to make the same mistake of idealizing out of mere book knowledge - as it happened in my case with Christian teachings?

kind regards..


one.love

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2008, 07:23:40 AM »
I have affirmed a meditation practice i will be trying my best to keep up with a daily meditation practice, and would some day like to take part in a meditation retreat. I do not possess the knowledge of where or how to participate in these retreats. Any adive would be greatly appreciated.

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #17 on: December 03, 2008, 02:06:47 PM »

Hi Corey,

here the world buddhist directory of many Dhamma centers around the world. Usually you join for a number of days in silent meditation.

kind regards..

one.love

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #18 on: December 03, 2008, 10:46:34 PM »
Muchly appreciated, it is to my convenience that there actually happens to be a location only an hour away from where i will be moving in two months which gives me much time to practice my mediatation techniques. Though I feel i may still be nervous as ive never entered such a place. I hope i can keep my manners well so to not offend anyone.

pamojjam

Re: What are our colors?
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2008, 06:42:10 AM »

Of course, there are very different Dhamma communities with very different codes of behaviour. Therefore you might want to find out about those differences beforehand and if they would also facilitate your meditations.

But as a newcomer you will find that most of the times oldtimers wouldn't expect you to behave anyway. And any challange you might cause, will be well received.

 :)

 

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