Author Topic: Zazen Vs Vipassana  (Read 48528 times)

faltu

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Zazen Vs Vipassana
« on: April 10, 2010, 11:42:35 AM »
If you have practiced both, please explain what is the difference between the two.

Jhananda

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 05:03:49 PM »
They are both essentially the same in that they both begin with meditation upon the breath.  Zazen emphasizes meditation upon the breath at the belly; whereas most Theravadans tend to meditate upon the breath at the nose.  However, just a point, it is a myth that the Buddha taught a meditation technique that he called ‘vipassana.’

The real difference between Zazen practice and the typical “vipassana” is Zazen tends to be practiced in short sit sessions of about 20 minutes; whereas the “vipassana” schools tend to recommend 1 hour sessions. 

I have found short 20-minute meditation sessions tend to not result in absorption (jhana) whereas 1-hour meditation sessions are more likely to lead to absorption (jhana).

Best regards, Jeffrey

faltu

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2010, 07:18:04 AM »
Is there any online guide to learn Zazen correctly ? ???

Matthew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2010, 10:03:03 AM »
Another main difference is that in Shamatha-Vipassana meditation one is less likely to get struck in the back by a wooden paddle if one's posture is incorrect.

Zen came to Japan through China where it is called Chan, derived from the Sanskrit for meditation.

Frankly there is little difference in the practice, especially as to regards this forum. Zen emphasises practical experiential knowledge of meditation over intellectualising and discussion. So does this forum.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

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

Jhananda

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2010, 05:11:14 PM »
Zen came to Japan through China where it is called Chan, derived from the Sanskrit for meditation.
The etymology of the term 'Zen' is actually pretty interesting.  In the 1st century BCE the Pali canon was translated into Sanskrit in Persia.  At that time the Pali term 'jhana' was incorrectly translated as 'dhyana.'  In the 6th century the Sanskrit canon made it to China along the Silk Road where it was first transliterated into Mandarine as 'Ch'an.'  Then Buddhism moved to Korea where 'Ch'an' was converted to 'Son,' then Buddhism moved to Japan, where 'Son' became 'Zen.'  Along the way, the Pali term 'jhana' stopped being an ecstatic altered state of consciousness and became just a meditation practice.  Today most Buddhist priests interpret samadhi and jhana as nothing more than concentration. Such is the decline that we see in all religions from its ecstatic sources through pretentious priesthoods.

Best regards, Jhananda

Crystal Palace

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  • "Move on Bhikkus, Move On" - Buddha
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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2010, 05:23:22 PM »
Zen came to Japan through China where it is called Chan, derived from the Sanskrit for meditation.
The etymology of the term 'Zen' is actually pretty interesting.  In the 1st century BCE the Pali canon was translated into Sanskrit in Persia.  At that time the Pali term 'jhana' was incorrectly translated as 'dhyana.'  In the 6th century the Sanskrit canon made it to China along the Silk Road where it was first transliterated into Mandarine as 'Ch'an.'  Then Buddhism moved to Korea where 'Ch'an' was converted to 'Son,' then Buddhism moved to Japan, where 'Son' became 'Zen.'  Along the way, the Pali term 'jhana' stopped being an ecstatic altered state of consciousness and became just a meditation practice.  Today most Buddhist priests interpret samadhi and jhana as nothing more than concentration. Such is the decline that we see in all religions from its ecstatic sources through pretentious priesthoods.

Best regards, Jhananda

That's a very interesting bit of information that you have shared Jhananda. Thanks!

Warmly,
Crystal Palace
"Abstain from unwholesome actions,
Perform wholesome actions,
Purify your mind"

Buddha

Matthew

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  • Meditation: It's a D.I.Y. project.
    • KISS: Keep it simple stupid.
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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2010, 10:56:47 PM »
Zen temples in Japan are passed from father to son. In Tibet that happens too. In Therevadin countries the monks are no longer mendicants and separated from the people - and life - and see enlightenment in this lifetime as impossible as a result.

Western Buddhism is different. The majority are lay practitioners of meditation and we number in the hundreds of thousands. We make Guru's out of the few Eastern priests, lamas and monks who are around and can speak to us in English.

We waste time though, in these pursuits, as reality does not lay the other side of a long journey and much reading of other peoples attempts to describe the indescribable. You just have to stop right where you are and experience now. The Buddha had folk who followed his path and reached Arahantship (Buddhahood) in less than a week.

Warmly, in the Dhamma,

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

shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #7 on: June 26, 2010, 03:03:32 PM »
I lived in Japan practising intensive Zen (Soto) for 2 years in various monasteries, and also was a Vipassana monk for 2 years practising periods of intensive Vipassana.

In my limited experience both techniques, Zazen and Vipassana, are miles apart.

From the body posture to what one does with the mind.

Jhananda says both techiques are similar, with all due respect and in humility I strongly disagree.

The basic structures of both schools are so very disimilar.

Even on a very basic level they are so disimilar e.g. in Zen you never close the eyes, the posture is highly structured, you sit on cushions, the hands are held at the belly, there is a world of difference both in the superficial aspects and the deeper aspects too.

=

Matthew says Zen temples are passed from father to son, that does not happen in practise temples. In these temples the inheritance is gained through attainments.

Matthew also says in Theravada countris monks are no longert mendicants. I lived in Thailand for 4 years and other Theravada countries too.
Sorry to disagree but in Theravada countries the mendicant tradition is VERY active and VERY strong, and is practised daily in many places.

I know this because I lived there and experienced it. I have friends who lived in various Theravada countries as monks for many years. Also I visited Thailand recently on holiday.

=

With all respect and humbly I disagree with Matthew that we waste time on these pursuits.
My experience of people's descriptions of  spirituality is that they have been extremelly helpfull. Obviously there are unhelpfull descriptions and helpfull too.
Experiencing reality right here right now does not happen and there are real and genuine reasons for that.

Many people are carted off to hospitals by trying to gain liberation by force and in a hurry.

According to some teachers within Zen and Vipassana when we force things we also force the defilements to grow stronger too.









Morning Dew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2010, 04:07:02 PM »
Isnt Shikantaza and Shamatha-Vipassana the same?

Matthew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2010, 09:02:25 AM »
shendy,

Thanks for an interesting post.

The majority of Therevadin monks do not lead a mendicant life - they have a bed to g home to in a monastery. I know there are exceptions but they are that and not the rule.

And when it comes to trying to gain liberation through force anyone who has been around here for any length of time will tell you that I am often cautioning against it in all it's forms.

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

shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2010, 12:20:06 PM »
Hi Matthew.

Mendicant monks come in all shapes, it appears you are talking about the hard core crew, possibly dhutanga? those who dont have beds?

My experience of the dhutanga crew is that they are all too often socio phobic's and actually a bit nuts to be honest.

If you go to Theravada countries and actually live out there you may experience the hard core mendicantas as extremists in views and nature and in many ways unable to live peacefully with others.

The last visit to my temple one dhutanga monk returned from wanderings and people were afraid to contact him he was so nuerotic and angry.

You mentioned people achieving liberation in 1 week, during the time of the Buddha, to me talking about those time frames appear to be supportive of attermpting to force stuff. You say you caution against forcing development, but you talk about achieving in one week too and just stopping and being in the here and now. My understanding of your language is that is sounds rather supportive of the forced approach.

With all due respect Matthew, possibly you are giving mixed messages? I dont mean that disrespectfully just factually.




shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2010, 12:48:32 PM »
Matthew so much of what you say here is just not correct. Please see my responses marked *

In Therevadin countries the monks are no longer mendicants and separated from the people

*there are many monks who are mendicants and live seperate from the people, you personaly may not have experienced it but as I lived in Thailand for 4 years and was a monk for 2 I can assure you your statement is rather misleading. *

 - and life - and see enlightenment in this lifetime as impossible as a result.

*Sorry Matthew but again this in not corrrect. In Thailand it is a common philosophy about achieving liberation. I dont know where you are getting your information from but with all due respect I must infrom you on this issue you are completely mistaken. Honesty your statement is extremelly misleading. I mean this with all due respect to you. *

Western Buddhism is different. The majority are lay practitioners of meditation and we number in the hundreds of thousands. We make Guru's out of the few Eastern priests, lamas and monks who are around and can speak to us in English.

We waste time though, in these pursuits,

* Matthew since when do you have the all knowing mind to understand each person's make up? each person's kamma? that you know what is good for each and every person? You cant know this.

It appears to me you are talking dangerous stuff here. And very judgementaly. *

as reality does not lay the other side of a long journey and much reading of other peoples attempts to describe the indescribable.

*My god Matthew so now you understand ultimate reality too. hhhhhmmmm. you understand ultimate reality!
Really!
Excuse me for thinking you dont really know what you are talking about here.*

You just have to stop right where you are and experience now.

* Matthew how dare you tell people what they need to do. How dare you tell people what they need. That is such a dangerous thing to do.

Do you understand every person's make up? Every person's kamma? Every person's Vipakka?

No you cant!

What gives you the right to inform people what they need to do?*

The Buddha had folk who followed his path and reached Arahantship (Buddhahood) in less than a week.

* Matthew despite what you say about you cautioning against forced development you are using language here that suggests all one has to do is stop right where you are, and that possibly in a week one can be an Arahant.

You make it sound so easy.

Matthew get off your high chair.

If it is so easy are you an Arahant?

Are you liberated?

Why dont you stop right where you are?

Just stop!

Just remain still !

Be quiet !

Just do it!

Do what you are reccommending and see how easy it is!

There is one theory that says " Those who cant teach".

With the greatest of respect to you if you see your self as being able to teach, or to give advise etc my response, with the greatest of respect, to your suggerstions, is that some of your words are misleading and dangerous.

There are such things as fundamental Buddhists, as well as fundamentalist people in other religions.

Your words strike me as fundamentalist.

You know the nature of reality, if that is not fundamentalism then nothing is.

Stephen.





Morning Dew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2010, 08:17:57 PM »
At Jhananda oops I ment Stephen  :D

Since I am not Buddha nor Lao Tzu or any other enlightened dude I will try and answer by quoting one of them;

Quote;
Nothing in the realm of thoughts or ideologies is
absolute.
Lean on one for long, and it collapses.
Because of this, there is nothing more futile and
frystrating than relying on the mind.
...
Quiet your thinking.
Stop analyzing, dividing, making distinctions between
one thing and another.
Simply see that you are the centre of the universe,
and accept all things and beings as part of your
infinite body.

When you percieve that an act done to another is done
to yourself, you have understood the great truth.

(Hua Hu Ching v.42)

All you said to Matthew you very likely said to your own self ... but kind of over Matthew's back  ;D
Judge no one but your self mate :-) you might actualy discover that you are sinking deep into crap, and that might save your life ;-)

Remain relaxed :-)

shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2010, 03:09:37 PM »
My god didnt Hua Hu Ching talk a lot of rubbish.

Perhaps Hua Hu Ching had a instable mind which is why he was so critical of it?

Mind-Heart-Chitta can be a wonderful thing.

Shame Hua Hu Ching seems to have been unaware of that basic fact.

What a load of rubbish about judging on one but ourselves.

Discerning wisdom is rather important. Wise judgements are essential otherwise we eat poison and believe in all sorts of rubbish too.

shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2010, 03:26:24 PM »
Dear Fauto.

Re doing Zen correctly which you asked about.

If you enquire in your area see if there are any groups. Most groups are Soto, Shikantaza.

Without knowing you I would reccommend begining with Soto, it is less demanding.

In my experience learning Zazen on one's own is similar to learning to drive a car on ones own e.g. it can be done but it is much better learned with another/others who know how to drive.

In a group is much more powerful and generally speaking much better.

Learning to keep the eyes open takes time but is well worth the effort.


Morning Dew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2010, 07:12:29 PM »
Quote
In a group is much more powerful and generally speaking much better.

why is it better sitting in a group?

mik1e

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2010, 06:06:21 AM »
why is it better sitting in a group?

It depends on the group.

Each person in the group is, actually, the source of certain energy or, in another words, a resonator, producing some kind of vibrations.  These vibrations can be compared to sound. If people in the group are clean enough, their "sounds" are also "clean" and total collective field is powerful and harmonic, like very nice accord. This provides much more powerful effect than when the person meditates alone. If people are properly placed, this effect can be strengthen even more. Practicing in such group is really very useful.

But, if some part of people is not "clean" (their mind wonders, they generate "heavy" and "dirty" energies), than the collective field is like cloud or bog. This takes place if there are many beginners in the group or if people are self-focused. Such boggy-cloudy energies cover the group and provoke production of dopamine and oxitocin in practitioners' bodies, making accent on low-level vital energies, related to Svadhisthana (sexual center). This may feel pleasant and can be considered by participants as "collective progress". But, really, this is ego-strengthening situation. Unfortunately, this is what happens in most groups of "spiritual practice". It is better to avoid "practicing" in such groups.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 06:09:56 AM by mik1e »

shendy

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2010, 06:09:08 PM »
mik 1e

Please may I ask have you actually practised any Zazen in real life?

Having practised Zazen myself in The West and in Japan for some years, I have never heard of the type of description you give of energy and Zen groups.

I studied rather deeply some of Dogen's writings and lived with a man who translated the Shobogenzo from Japanese into English. I also recently read one of Hakuin's autobiographical books.
I have done Zazen in literally hundred's of different groups. If I may be honest with you I think what you say is your own fantasy.

I have never heard of your description and I seriously question it.

I am familiar with quite a few of the main traditions of Soto Zen and I practised extensively with a Rinzai monk too.

Are you really serious?






Morning Dew

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Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2010, 07:29:50 PM »
Shendy mate :) i am sure you know (after all these years of zazen and hanging around translators) that enlightenment means not being full of shit. Are you saying that you actualy achived enlightenment? :)

kind regards ;)

mik1e

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2010, 09:45:43 PM »
shendy,

Actually I described some of my observations during more than 20 years of practice. I did not say that I am talking about Zazen groups specifically.

In Zazen, the main problem (at least for beginners) may be not Svadhisthana (since Zazen is based on working with Manipura (hara) and, hence, its synergist -- Ajna), but Muladhara. But this problem is less actual if the technique is done properly, so I don't see any reason to discuss it here.

So, if we are talking about only Zazen group with well motivated and experienced participants, it really may be better to practice in group. But I know nothing about such groups in Russia or Ukraine :).

shendy

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2010, 04:42:15 AM »
No not at all. I achieved the Great Shitting.


shendy

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2010, 04:47:11 AM »
Thank you Mik 1e for clarifying that you have never done Zazen. I suspected that.

I appreciate your honesty. All we have is honesty. I appreciate yours. Honesty with honesty.

Honestly I say thank you for your honestly, 8:) smile.

Stephen.


shendy

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2010, 04:56:21 AM »
Morning Dew, your words about " being full of shit" seem angry. I hazard a guess that my words have pressed your buttons and that you are angry at me. 

Also your other post to me about my words to Matthew, seemed angry too.

Passive aggressive.

Are you full of shit yourself?

 


shendy

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2010, 05:05:26 AM »
Some things are just better done with other people e.g. growing up, socialising, and many other things, it is just the nature of things.

I strongly reccommend to do Zazen with others who are experienced.

On this issue I know what I am talking about as I have lots of experience.

If you try it in a group and then alone you will see the difference.

In Japan ( and according to video's and interviews on you tube, Korea too) in the begining Zazen is a group affair.

Truth is that on some things we need guidance. And with all due respect I suggest Zazen is one such thing.

Have you actually practised any Zazen yet? or is your question theoretical only?


Morning Dew

  • Guest
Re: Zazen Vs Vipassana
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2010, 08:11:39 AM »
Quote
you are angry at me.  

Not at all (did u miss all the smilies)! I find you very amusing! Would you like to be my Teacher, my Guru?

Quote
Are you full of shit yourself?

Well spotted, as you i too am not enlightened  ;D
i'll go and flush the toilet now  ;) who knows it just might awaken me. You can try it we might both discover the Truth this way lol

thanks for making me laugh!
take care now :)

p.s. It is hard not to notice an elephant entering the shop and nocking down all shelves lol
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 08:27:14 AM by Morning Dew »