New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Steve James, modified 7 Months ago.

New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 103 Join Date: 2/15/19 Recent Posts
In this episode Daniel responds to Bikkhu Analayo’s article in the May 2020 edition of the academic journal Mindfulness, in which Analayo argues that Daniel is delusional about his meditation experiences and accomplishments, and that his conclusions, to quote, ‘pertain entirely to the realm of his own imagination; they have no value outside of it.’

Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

Daniel responds to the article’s historical, doctrinal, clinical, and personal challenges, as well as addressing the issues of definition and delusion regarding his claim to arhatship.

Daniel also reflects on the consequences of this article for his work at Cambridge and with the EPRC on the application of Buddhist meditation maps of insight in clinical contexts.




https://www.guruviking.com/ep73-daniel-ingram-dangerous-and-delusional/

Audio version of this podcast also available on iTunes and Spotify – search ‘Guru Viking Podcast’.



Topics Include:

0:00 - Intro
0:57 - Daniel explains Analayo’s article’s background and purpose
17:37 - Who is Bikkhu Analayo?
24:21 - Many Buddhisms
26:51 - Article abstract and Steve’s summary
32:19 - This historical critique
41:30 - Is Daniel claiming both the orthodox and the science perspectives?
49:11 - Is Daniel’s enlightenment the same as the historical arhats?
58:30 - Is Mahasi noting vulnerable to construction of experience?
1:03:46 - Has Daniel trained his brain to construct false meditation experiences?
1:10:39 - Does Daniel accept the possibility of dissociation and delusion in Mahasi-style noting?
1:18:38 - Did Daniel’s teachers consider him to be delusional?
1:23:51 - Have any of Daniels teachers ratified any of his claimed enlightenment attainments?
1:34:03 - Cancel culture in orthodox religion
1:38:40 - Different definitions of arhatship
1:43:08 - Is the term ‘Dark Night of The Soul’ appropriate for the dukkha nanas?
1:47:29 - Purification and insight stages
1:54:00 - Does Daniel conflate deep states of meditation with everyday life experiences?
1:59:00 - Is the stage of the knowledge of fear taught in early Buddhism?
2:09:37 - Why does Daniel claim high equanimity can occur while watching TV?
2:12:55 - Does Daniel underestimate the standards of the first three stages of insight?
2:16:01 - Do Christian mystics and Theravada practitioners traverse the same experiential territory?
2:21:47 - Are the maps of insight really secret?
2:28:54 - Why are the insight stages absent from mainstream psychological literature?
2:33:36 - Does Daniel’s work over-emphasise the possibility of negative meditation experiences?
2:37:45 - What have been the personal and professional consequences of Analayo’s article to Daniel?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 5756 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
In Daniel's thread about Analayo's article, he mentioned this interview, and this is how I replied to him there:

Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I watched it as it was being released on youtube and was very happy to see how exquisitely well done it was. Guru Viking is such an excellent interviewer - thorough and nuanced and so honest in his explorative stance. His questions were challenging, as he played the role of the devil's advocate with great competence, and you got enough space to address them all with the nuances that they deserve. It was like a thesis defence in Academia at its best. I have great appreciation for your straightforward and transparent way of adressing all points without any hidden agenda. It was great to get the proper context to the intricacies of this situation, how so many different tensions that go way back are all brought to the fore here, and how different logics are juggled with in ways that the main audience is likely to miss. I also very much appreciated the respect with which you presented Bikkhu Analayo's reasoning and from where he's coming despite this very odd situation where you are being deliberately and unfairly targeted in ways that are harmful not only to you but also to everyone who is in need of the work you are doing for the world without any personal gain. I hope this interview will get lots of attention with the kind of listening that it deserves and that it will help solve the situation. 

This interview is top notch. I highly recommend listening to it. 
Robin Woods, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 166 Join Date: 5/28/12 Recent Posts
....:

Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

.....
Jesus wept - it's like a f****ing kindergarten or something. I'm SERIOUSLY starting to wonder if there is something seriously wrong with the type of people who are attracted to Buddhism and intensive meditation (myself included obvs).
Robin Woods:
....:

Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

.....
Jesus wept - it's like a f****ing kindergarten or something. I'm SERIOUSLY starting to wonder if there is something seriously wrong with the type of people who are attracted to Buddhism and intensive meditation (myself included obvs).
I have yet to watch the entire interview but I had a similar reaction to this - the fact that the Mindfulness editors went out of their way to mention that "Oh, we're going to include Daniel's name in the article tag so that anyone searching for Daniel Ingram on Google will see this article"... just seems so out of touch and downright juvenile. 

First of all, does anyone see this article pop up when you search for Daniel's name? I sure don't... it's probably behind a paywall anyway.

I really don't think this article is going to have much of an impact, positive or negative, in the grand scheme of things, towards peoples' views towards MCTB or pragmatic dharma in general.  The self-righteousness and vast overestimation of their ability to influence the opinions of others is... well, telling.

FWIW I have been quite impressed with Daniel's response to all of this so far.  Hopefully we can end up taking something out of all this.  Certainly is interesting to get a look into the more fundamentalist/dogmatic wing of Buddhism.
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Laurel Carrington, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 441 Join Date: 4/7/14 Recent Posts
I tried too and got nothing. So maybe their attempts didn't work for them. 

I've been listening to the interview and I think it's a great response so far. I've also been following (and participating in) a Facebook post in Shinzen Young Mindfulness Community. The discussion is quite intense at times. Daniel has a lot of support out there. 
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Alan Smithee, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
If anything, this interview is a treasure trove of lucid and articulate responses to many of the arguments I've (and I'm sure, we've) heard/read even since find encountering MCToB, the DO, pragmatic/hardcore dharma practice, etc., from both critics and trolls. 

I recalled quote from Mao (but I couldn't find the exact one), something along the lines that you should be happy when they attack you because it means that you've become a credible, significant threat. I think it is a testament to Daniel's work, MCTOB, communities like DO and pragmatic dharma, etc., that even all these years later the ideas are still challenging and changing spiritual practice in this country (and maybe others, I don't know). 

When the time has come for certain ideas, attempts like these to stop them cannot reverse the course.   
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Brandon Dayton, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 480 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
I'm not sure who Analayo's appeal would work for. It's mostly based in some sort of textual or authoritarian appeal. Who in the Western mindfulness scene is going to weigh that against a pragmatic appeal? I'm sure I'm not alone in the experience of coming from a Western religious tradition (Mormonism in my case) and being fed up with appeals to authority and text. The misrepresentations of MCTB don't help. Anyone with access can easily verify Daniel's position.
Though we are getting into some speculative territory... HK, I think this is a valid scenario. (Though keep in mind this article is not available to the public, I would imagine most people on Reddit or elsewhere don't have access to the journal.)

Perhaps the MCTB progress of insight is not right for everyone, but it's a shame to think that someone who might have otherwise found some benefit was turned off by this or other articles.

I will make one generalization/observation though.  Smear campaigns are generally most effective in reinforcing peoples' pre-existing biases... 
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Brandon Dayton, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 480 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
Most of the posts are about morality, or fluff pictures of little home altars.
Many posts I've seen over the years are essentially "Hey, I decided that instead of being Catholic, I want to be Buddhist, what should I do next?" and the reply is often "Read this book by the Dalai Lama or Thich Nhat Hanh." 

Granted, we might not consider these folks to be a part of the "mindfulness scene" because they are really just religion hopping, but if they come across an ordained monk and scholar such as Analayo, they will consider his words to hold weight. If they see that Analayo thinks Daniel's claims are delusional, they won't even bother considering Daniel's opinions or what is written in MCTB.

There is that as well. I've seen many friends leave Mormonism, but they just want another dogma to replace their old one. Usually they do this weird thing were they turn science into their new dogma, but I have seen it happen with mindfulness as well (I think I was doing that to a degree until I stumbled on to MCTemoticon. Not like they are really in the market for awakening anyway.

It just seems like we're are past this era where you can scare people away from "dangerous" ideas. Zachary is right on the money about the Streisand effect. The cat is just way out of the fucking bag. We just aren't going to go back to a place where the POI becomes esoteric again. 

The only way this makes strategic sense is for orthodoxy is to pull a Mohammed Bin Salman, where you punish the heretics, but then implement the all of the reforms they are calling for. This has also been what has been happenning withing Mormonism where they excommunicate those calling for more openess about Mormon history, and then start publishing their own documents honestly detailing Mormon history.

I wouldn't be surprised if we start to see an increased transparency and ownership of the POI and awakening in the mainstream mindfulness community along with these attacks on pragmatic dharma. There comes a point where Spirit Rock can only field so many questions about the A&P before they have to start accepting that that's what practicioners want. Maybe that threshold hasn't quite been reached yet, but it's just a matter of time.
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Brandon Dayton, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 480 Join Date: 9/24/19 Recent Posts
On top of that, a lot of people hanging out on r/streamentry are also very critical of Daniel. It's a practice based page focussed on awakening, yet people want to criticize someone who has clear practice knowledge and has written and spoken about it extensively. The irony!

What is r/streamentry's beef with Daniel?
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Alan Smithee, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
Brandon Dayton:
On top of that, a lot of people hanging out on r/streamentry are also very critical of Daniel. It's a practice based page focussed on awakening, yet people want to criticize someone who has clear practice knowledge and has written and spoken about it extensively. The irony!

What is r/streamentry's beef with Daniel?

Well, I haven't spent that much time over there but I can tell you that if you are a TMI practioner and you post a question like, "I'm at stage 6 and I'm noticing dullness at the blah blah," that yogi seems to get a bunch of helpful responses. Whereas if you say, "I'm getting to Equanimity during my practices and I think I've had a few stream entry near misses. I've noticed flickering blah blah," that yogi seems to get a bunch of comments saying, "The whole map thing seems to be hurting your progress to me. Love, happiness, the current moment and ice cream. Thats a better set of things to let the mind chew on than 'path moments', blue belts and meditative 'accomplishments', imho" [NOTE: this is a real response I got to a question, by the way].

This is a gross generalization, and certainly does not apply to everyone or even most people over there, but it seems for some who practice TMI they feel the need to slag Daniel, I think because John Yates (the author of The Mind Illuminated) slagged Daniel, and for some there can be this samatha vs vipassana rivalry, and there are some who think you should start with lots of samatha before going into vipassana and believe that the Dark Night stages can be mitigated by solid samatha, thus slag Daniel because they feel he in effect created lots of Dark Night yogis by having them start vipassana with only access concentration as opposed to jhanas. This is interesting to me because I haven't really noticed many people who use MCToB as a guide to practice who feel the need to slag those who choose to start with samatha before transitioning to vipassana (like TMI practioners); like, that is just another approach to practice, like, go for it, why not, am I right? But there seems to be some animosity directed by some TMI practioners towards MCToB practioners. 

Again. I am not saying all, most, or even a significant percentage of TMI practioners slag MCToB practioners (or Mahasi practioners), but there are some and it can have a chilling effect. 

And then there are those who just troll the place. They usually say things like, "chill out, man! Just practice yoga," or "you are already awake. What's with all this over efforting," etc etc. 

All that said, I've gotten some really nice responses from many people, and by and large it is a good resource with yogis who have a pragmatic approach.  



shargrol, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 1574 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
I just want to say that r/streamentry isn't that bad. I'm a occasional moderator over there and by virtue of it being reddit it's a lot easier for people to do drive-by stupid comments, but most of the folks that regularly post fall into the catagory of:

"well Daniel is probably right but he's a little arrogant and goofy and TMI is an appealing framework but it doesn't offer much troubleshooting except "minimize dullness" and of course Culadasa disgraced himself so I don't know if I can trust him either and shinzens teaching changes all the time and adyashanti is too vague... so any practical advice would be appreciated".

emoticon
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Not two, not one, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 931 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Really nice job Steve. I always enjoy your work.

Deconstruction is interesting, but it is inevitably weak unless a competing set of theories is offered and subject to the same level of scrutinty. Without a competitive theoretical evaluation, deconstruction is not a scientific exercise but rather an entertainment.
 
Further when the attacked party is denied a right of reply, and there is a prima facie case that the publisher has violated their own policies, the result is a real blow to the credibility of the journal involved. The situation may also raise a legal weakness for Springer, as egregious violation of their own editorial policies will make it hard to assert proper governance processes, should these arise as an issue in the course of other disputes.

Also, journal readers aren't stupid.  :-)

Malcolm
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 5756 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I wish I could be as optimistic about critical thinking among journal readers. During my 19 years as a researcher I have noticed that there are mechanisms that work against it. I fear that most mindfulness researchers do not have the time to thoroughly investigate the different logics implied in different approaches to spot the selectivity and that they may not be aware of the tensions between different traditions or the many redefinitions of concepts that have been part of Buddhism all along. 

As for Mike's comment above on being on the side of truth, I'm saddened by how Analayo and whoever else was involved have gone to such an effort to prevent people from hearing different sides. 
shargrol, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 1574 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Very good interview and discussion.

It strikes me that buddhism wants to be both a religion and a practice --- and it is very tempting for monastics to play the religious card (either consciously or unconsciously) when their arguments/evidence about practice start falling apart.

(Very similar to how Catholism wanted to claim it explained the physical world, then make some arguments/evidence heretical -- earth around sun -- because it didn't match the belief.)

It's pretty clear that the monk-scholar is threatened and so he plays the "only particular buddhists have access to these trademarked experiences" card... but that is basically a belief system. It's fine to be dogmatic about a belief system because basically that's all that a belief system is. BUT as soon as buddhism is defined as a practice which yields results, that's when it enters the world of action and evidence. If they want to say buddhism is a practice, then it's disingenuous to cower behind a sacrosanct belief when the evidence doesn't go the way they like.

And yeah, it's very clear that he was misrepresenting MCTB through selective quoting. Frankly it's morally wrong, the monk-scholar should be ashamed.

I'm happy Daniel that you were able to respond in a way that addressed the matter directly and respectfully. Frankly, my first temptation would be less generous because of how transparently petty the article was.

Mike, I think you are right that in a sense this is the never-ending-never-changing-world of academic politics and that these kind of arguments will be around until the end of time. What is unique about this is an academic is picking on someone outside of academia --- isnt' that kinda odd? But I guess not, because the monk-scholar mentions that the reason he is writing is because Daniel is entering the academic world emoticon 
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 1574 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Yup, I pretty much agree Mike. Although i admit that I think Daniel is 1000x more honest/clear/forthcoming about his approach.


Out of curiousity Mike, where do you fall out in the "universality of meditation experience/progress" and "reality of the traditionally-defined arhat" goes? (Definietly no need to reply -- and maybe I would respect not replying most! emoticon )
agnostic, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 1879 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Mike Smirnoff:

Personally, I find it very hard to believe that sexual desire goes away for an Arahat. What is needed is thorough testing. This is what Ingram says in the interview -- and something I said in an earlier post here. I'd like to see a full monitoring of an Arahat's sexual desire. I also personally speaking find it hard to believe that householder's can't become arahats (or that, they will ordain within 7 days of attaining arahatship). Again, just my view. Thorough testing would be good.

Any chance the Bhikkhu or some of his Arahat friends would be willing to be hooked up to an EEG and other body monitors while streaming pornhub for a few hours to test the claim? Now that is a piece of research I would seriously consider donating towards.
emoticon 
Watching the interview at 3x speed (using a javascript console command) while he talks about high speed noting is notably funny.
Hector:
Watching the interview at 3x speed (using a javascript console command) while he talks about high speed noting is notably funny.

Hah! A little nugget in the thread!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 5756 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Bardo:
Hector:
Watching the interview at 3x speed (using a javascript console command) while he talks about high speed noting is notably funny.

Hah! A little nugget in the thread!

I thought so too. It put a big smile on my face. 
Tim Farrington, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Bardo:
Hector:
Watching the interview at 3x speed (using a javascript console command) while he talks about high speed noting is notably funny.

Hah! A little nugget in the thread!

I thought so too. It put a big smile on my face. 

note of caution: I suspect that Hector sees reality at 3x speed, so he is actually talking about 9x speed here.
2x video feels like normal talking, 1x feels really slow. 3x is just on the cusp of intelligibility, maybe when I can note 10 sensations a second it will become normal. Heck I'm still working on seeing vibrations at more than 5hz.
agnostic:
Mike Smirnoff:

Personally, I find it very hard to believe that sexual desire goes away for an Arahat. What is needed is thorough testing. This is what Ingram says in the interview -- and something I said in an earlier post here. I'd like to see a full monitoring of an Arahat's sexual desire. I also personally speaking find it hard to believe that householder's can't become arahats (or that, they will ordain within 7 days of attaining arahatship). Again, just my view. Thorough testing would be good.

Any chance the Bhikkhu or some of his Arahat friends would be willing to be hooked up to an EEG and other body monitors while streaming pornhub for a few hours to test the claim? Now that is a piece of research I would seriously consider donating towards.

It's only once every couple of months that I literally laugh out loud while reading something on the Internet. Thank you! Shinzen Young has said that a reasonable test of liberation would be to send someone to a Syrian torture chamber with blowtorches and waterboarding (he figures he'd be OK with it, after a bit of time to get used to it). The test described above sounds nicer. 
Steve James:
In this episode Daniel responds to Bikkhu Analayo’s article in the May 2020 edition of the academic journal Mindfulness, in which Analayo argues that Daniel is delusional about his meditation experiences and accomplishments, and that his conclusions, to quote, ‘pertain entirely to the realm of his own imagination; they have no value outside of it.’

Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

Daniel responds to the article’s historical, doctrinal, clinical, and personal challenges, as well as addressing the issues of definition and delusion regarding his claim to arhatship.

Daniel also reflects on the consequences of this article for his work at Cambridge and with the EPRC on the application of Buddhist meditation maps of insight in clinical contexts.




https://www.guruviking.com/ep73-daniel-ingram-dangerous-and-delusional/

Audio version of this podcast also available on iTunes and Spotify – search ‘Guru Viking Podcast’.



Topics Include:

0:00 - Intro
0:57 - Daniel explains Analayo’s article’s background and purpose
17:37 - Who is Bikkhu Analayo?
24:21 - Many Buddhisms
26:51 - Article abstract and Steve’s summary
32:19 - This historical critique
41:30 - Is Daniel claiming both the orthodox and the science perspectives?
49:11 - Is Daniel’s enlightenment the same as the historical arhats?
58:30 - Is Mahasi noting vulnerable to construction of experience?
1:03:46 - Has Daniel trained his brain to construct false meditation experiences?
1:10:39 - Does Daniel accept the possibility of dissociation and delusion in Mahasi-style noting?
1:18:38 - Did Daniel’s teachers consider him to be delusional?
1:23:51 - Have any of Daniels teachers ratified any of his claimed enlightenment attainments?
1:34:03 - Cancel culture in orthodox religion
1:38:40 - Different definitions of arhatship
1:43:08 - Is the term ‘Dark Night of The Soul’ appropriate for the dukkha nanas?
1:47:29 - Purification and insight stages
1:54:00 - Does Daniel conflate deep states of meditation with everyday life experiences?
1:59:00 - Is the stage of the knowledge of fear taught in early Buddhism?
2:09:37 - Why does Daniel claim high equanimity can occur while watching TV?
2:12:55 - Does Daniel underestimate the standards of the first three stages of insight?
2:16:01 - Do Christian mystics and Theravada practitioners traverse the same experiential territory?
2:21:47 - Are the maps of insight really secret?
2:28:54 - Why are the insight stages absent from mainstream psychological literature?
2:33:36 - Does Daniel’s work over-emphasise the possibility of negative meditation experiences?
2:37:45 - What have been the personal and professional consequences of Analayo’s article to Daniel?

Hi Dan..

Really like looking into your eyes in the video...

Are the maps of insight really secret?

Yeah...

right...
Gogglehead, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Post: 1 Join Date: 12/20/20 Recent Posts
Steve James:
Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

I wonder, did Daniel make a recording of the conversations with Analayo in which he said that ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again’ ?

I ask because according to Bhikkhu Sujato at Discourse Sutta Central, Analayo denies that he said this:

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/analayo-meditation-maps-attainment-claims-and-the-adversities-of-mindfulness/17144/113

Tuvok: Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

Sujato: I just emailed Ven Analayo to check whether this was correct. It is not. What happened was a meditation teacher sent Analayo a copy of Ingram’s book, apparently in the hope that he would write a critique. But there was no mention of “damaging credibility” or “making sure nobody ever believes you again”.


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chris mc, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 54 Join Date: 5/31/12 Recent Posts
Bhikkhu Analayo's article surprised me, I didn't think a Buddhist monk would be capable of dishonesty like this.  The big takeaway for me was that it strongly seems like Analayo doesn't have the insights or attainments that he is attacking INgram for claiming to have.  Analayo is using the suttas to take down someone with actual real world experience.

So this won't affect my pratice in any way but I found it eye opening, the whole thing has reduced my opinion of Theravada Buddhism.
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Alan Smithee, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 310 Join Date: 4/2/10 Recent Posts
I haven't read the article since it is behind a paywall but in the interview Daniel said that Analayo weirdly picked some great quotes from MCToB, so there will surely be people who are intrigued to read MCToB as a result. 

I have some political organizing background and one thing I was taught is that you should seek to organize/activate people who are already on the edge of your belief/program, etc. Remember that it was like when you first heard about Daniel's book, message, etc. It hit the mark because there was a readiness to hear that message. It provided guidance to questions and needs that were already resonating inside. 

In a weird way the text might expose some people to Daniel's book. There has never not been controversy regarding MCToB, Daniel himself, the DO, pragmatic dharma, etc. Thus, I'm not too concerned about the article's impact on the mediation scene. 

That said, I hope that it doesn't affect the organizing work Daniel is doing regarding the scientific study of mediation, etc. But based on the fact that Daniel has been quite open about his explorations of magical practices makes me think that this scientific organizing work doesn't require him to appear 100% respectible/conservative, otherwise he probably wouldn't be so open about what would likely be considered even more woo woo than mere meditative attainments. 
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Zachary, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 199 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
Alan Smithee:

In a weird way the text might expose some people to Daniel's book. There has never not been controversy regarding MCToB, Daniel himself, the DO, pragmatic dharma, etc. Thus, I'm not too concerned about the article's impact on the mediation scene. 


This was my thinking as well, I think Daniel's work could see a kind of Streisand Effect bump in the coming months as this unfolds, though it may also be that the sort of people that care at all about this sort of thing are already well aware of both Analayo and Daniel. 


By the way Alan, the article is available for reading (in a way sanctioned by the publisher) at the following link: 

https://rdcu.be/b4aDZ
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Lewis James, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

Posts: 155 Join Date: 5/13/15 Recent Posts
Gogglehead:
Steve James:
Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

I wonder, did Daniel make a recording of the conversations with Analayo in which he said that ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again’ ?

I ask because according to Bhikkhu Sujato at Discourse Sutta Central, Analayo denies that he said this:

https://discourse.suttacentral.net/t/analayo-meditation-maps-attainment-claims-and-the-adversities-of-mindfulness/17144/113

Tuvok: Daniel recounts that Analayo revealed to him that the article was requested by a senior mindfulness teacher to specifically damage Daniel’s credibility, to quote Daniel quoting Analayo ‘we are going to make sure that nobody ever believes you again.’

Sujato: I just emailed Ven Analayo to check whether this was correct. It is not. What happened was a meditation teacher sent Analayo a copy of Ingram’s book, apparently in the hope that he would write a critique. But there was no mention of “damaging credibility” or “making sure nobody ever believes you again”.



I am curious about Daniel's (or anyone else's) thoughts on this. Sujato seems to take the response from Analayo as fact (ie, Analayo says it didn't happen, therefore it didn't happen - why, because monks can't lie?). It's also unclear whether Sujato asked directly about the "damaging credibility" claims, or whether they were simply not mentioned in Analayo's reply.

It's difficult reasoning or having a conversation with the more religious folks in the Youtube comments, since there are implicit beliefs and assumptions and perhaps even a kind of fear over what they can or can't say or question, due to the authority of monks and their precepts.
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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It's very likely we will never be able to pin all of this down, and so we're left to choose a side, or not. I'm sure Daniel Ingram and MCTB are threatening to some, and I'm sure those who fear what Daniel stands for would like to "take him down." It's "the king has no clothes" on one side and "we must punish the heretic" on the other. I sense a quest for the safety of certainty in the latter, though. It's like anti-Buddhism, at least in the way I prefer to think of Buddhism - as an honest and serious investigation into the mind's workings, not as dictated belief.
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Lewis James, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Yes. I'm erring on the, err side, of not taking a side. I certainly agree that the orthodoxy is full of unexamined hypocrisies in the pursuit of purity. It's a shame that people in this community tend to be extremely open minded, without too much black and white thinking, and yet are disparaged and disregarded by those who claim religious superiority, but that's probably my bias too.

FWIW, Daniel has posted this in the comments of the Youtube video, showing some of the emails between himself and Ven. Analayo:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1oUl5ma28CsjNfEWyb7N6Jixt7LXXjb758msPbCIsx_8/edit
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

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Wow. Thanks for that Google docs link. There's a lot of material there to read through. Thank goodness I'm on vacation for a few weeks and so I may have time to read it all.

"Religious superiority"  emoticon

EDIT: I just found this quote from the Google docs link you shared, written from Analayo to Daniel Ingram:

If you were to stop using the insight knowledges for describing what you consider to be clearly recognizable standard clinical patterns, I would no longer have any objection. I am a scholar of Buddhist Studies and a teacher of Buddhist meditation, and it is from these two perspectives that I object. My objection is not against caring for the clinical needs of people; I only object to how this is done. 

This is very interesting, even revealing, of what's happening between these two. It's fine by Analayo to talk about insight experiences, in any manner, using any language, and any words, as long as it doesn't use terms from the Theravada texts. 
The material can say anything and be directly parallel, even the same, as what is described in the Theravada texts. There's no objection to studying, documenting, and maybe even teaching the path of insight as long as non-Theravada language is used.

That's my quick take, anyway.

Now - on to more reading.
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Siavash, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Chris Marti:
Wow. Thanks for that Google docs link. There's a lot of material there to read through. Thank goodness I'm on vacation for a few weeks and so I may have time to read it all.

"Religious superiority"  emoticon

EDIT: I just found this quote from the Google docs link you shared, written from Analayo to Daniel Ingram:

If you were to stop using the insight knowledges for describing what you consider to be clearly recognizable standard clinical patterns, I would no longer have any objection. I am a scholar of Buddhist Studies and a teacher of Buddhist meditation, and it is from these two perspectives that I object. My objection is not against caring for the clinical needs of people; I only object to how this is done. 

This is very interesting, even revealing, of what's happening between these two. It's fine by Analayo to talk about insight experiences, in any manner, using any language, and any words, as long as it doesn't use terms from the Theravada texts. 
The material can say anything and be directly parallel, even the same, as what is described in the Theravada texts. There's no objection to studying, documenting, and maybe even teaching the path of insight as long as non-Theravada language is used.

That's my quick take, anyway.

Now - on to more reading.

And putting it beside this quote:

2) None of the two teachers you mention has come out with claims anything close to what you have done. There is thus no need for me to target them indirectly. My concerns are seriously misleading descriptions of the insight knowledges, combined with false claims to high attainments, and mistaken allegations of the supposed dangers of mindfulness that are based on the two items just mentioned. This matches your case, not the others.


It seems to me that Analayo sees himself as the guardian of buddhist land, and is sitting there with his weapon, and will target and shoot any threat coming close to that world! And the threats are the "sacred words leaving the land and then wanting to come back inside"!
Wow, thanks for sharing that link. I'm glad Daniel made some of those email exchanges available to read, since there seemed to be some doubt or concern from some around the veracity of Dan's claims w.r.t. his interactions with Analayo.  Personally I saw no reason to believe that Daniel would lie about that stuff, just doesn't seem like something he would do.  But regardless, this exchange makes some things that I suspected more clear.

My initial reaction to this exchange is that Analayo comes across as very dismissive and condescending (which is no surprise, considering the overall tone of his original article). Especially in his responses at the beginning, for example;

"I read the first half of your writings and do not need any time to recover from that. I had expected something of the sort and have no problems with it. So if you are free we can meet tomorrow evening, Saturday 2nd of May, 7.00 pm my time (6 pm yours), by which time I will have read the other part of your writings"

The first half of the exchange the tone I get is just like: "oh, I already know what you were going to say, I don't need any time to prepare any of my answers because I already have them all, so sure, we can meet whenever you want, you're just some wacko anyway, I am infinitely smarter than you."

Daniel is always forthcoming about both his own perceived personality flaws and the amount of time he spends on the responses.  Whatever you think about him, he's not just some idiot.  But that seems to be how Analayo views him.

And then, when Daniel finally starts pressing him on some of the key issues, Analayo seems to flounder or dodge, only later to clarify himself, or say that he didn't understand the question, finally saying that he's just too busy to respond, and oh, now I'm going on a 3 month retreat, see you later!

I am aware that a lot of this may come from pre-existing biases, but I'm also aware that a lot of those biases are rooted in life experience, both in dealing with people as a consultant/project manager and technical analyst for the better part of a decade, and just general life experience.  And what this experience has taught me is that behaviour like this is generally a good indicator that this person doesn't know what the hell they are talking about.  Personally, I try to stay as far away from people like this as possible.  If Analayo truly is that clueless, it's kind of sad, but also a little bit frustrating, considering the position that he's in.
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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I'm certain of a few things here: 1) we're seeing only a small fraction of what's really happening between these two, and 2) it's easy for our own bias to help us choose a side and then read nasties into whatever the other side might have to say. Maybe these two people are actively seeking commonality. Maybe they're destined to become and remain enemies. It's certainly interesting to watch from afar, but it also makes sense to acknowledge what "afar" means.

I think both of these guys are leveraging their base. Analayo is using his academic history and rallying his base there. Daniel is using his medical/clinical bent, plus rallying his base of support here and elsewhere. In doing so, both are making it more difficult to communicate with each other to find common ground, if there is any to be found. They've left the library annex where they can talk alone and have entered the stadium, where we're all sitting with our respective sections, cheering and throwing things onto the field.
What's more interesting is what Analayo never attempted to rebute: Daniel's detailed description of The Three Doors. As far as I know, there's nothing closer to that in Buddhist texts (or am I wrong?) and that's what made Daniel gain credibility initially, despite the tongue in cheek tone of MCTB1. 

 
You're totally right. This was just my biased hot take... I hope it's wrong.
agnostic, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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It's interesting that in the first discussion on this topic Daniel referenced the persecution of the Quakers. I recall reading in MCTB that he attended a Quaker school. I'm worried he might be harboring some kind of persecution wish. It seems that something like this kind of reckoning has been destined ever since Daniel called himself an Arahant on the cover of MCTB. Bhikkhu Analayo strikes me as the kind of person who might take pleasure in watching a heretic being burned at the stake, metaphorically speaking. Please be careful Daniel!
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

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Hyperbole much?
agnostic, modified 7 Months ago.

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Yeah you're right, probably just my overactive paranoid imagination
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Chris Marti:
I'm certain of a few things here: 1) we're seeing only a small fraction of what's really happening between these two, and 2) it's easy for our own bias to help us choose a side and then read nasties into whatever the other side might have to say. Maybe these two people are actively seeking commonality. Maybe they're destined to become and remain enemies. It's certainly interesting to watch from afar, but it also makes sense to acknowledge what "afar" means.

I think both of these guys are leveraging their base. Analayo is using his academic history and rallying his base there. Daniel is using his medical/clinical bent, plus rallying his base of support here and elsewhere. In doing so, both are making it more difficult to communicate with each other to find common ground, if there is any to be found. They've left the library annex where they can talk alone and have entered the stadium, where we're all sitting with our respective sections, cheering and throwing things onto the field.

I see your point, but to be fair, wouldn't you agree that Analayo had already left the library annex when he published the article?
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

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By using the phrase, I meant the library annex to be a place where people who may disagree can talk privately, and that's really all I meant. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

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That's what I thought you meant. And the article was very public. 
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Chris Marti, modified 7 Months ago.

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Yep, the whole thing has blown up publicly. Are you in an argumentative mood today? How about this argument, then:

Merry Christmas, Linda!
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

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I think we are misunderstanding each other again. I just meant that Daniel didn't really have the option to do the private talking, since Analayo had already gone public. But nevermind. Getting into an argument is the last thing I want.

Merry Christmas to you too! emoticon
agnostic, modified 7 Months ago.

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Well to be fair, Daniel already went public 20 years ago when he called himself an Arahant.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 7 Months ago.

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So? There isn't any continuous and separate entity that can be an arahant, and arahanthood is empty. What's the big fuzz about? I don't get it. 
agnostic, modified 7 Months ago.

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The last thing I want is to get into an argument ;-)

Merry Christmas!
Sam Gentile, modified 7 Months ago.

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I found Daniel's response to be detailed and positive. I am not one who can write about their arguements in detail so I'll say this: I practiced Buddhism at IMS and Tibetan stuff for 7 years. Awaking/Liberation was denied extensively and said would never happen in this lifetime. Certainly no POI! No progress for 7 years. 

Then I find out about Daniel. He teaches me about a whole new way that emphaizes awakening. With him and my other teacher Abre Fournier I switch to Vipassana. This time I make progress among the POI.

I's Daniel book and his work that brought the Dhamma alive for people like me. I think his book and Pragmatic Dharma movement here on this site are a revolution from the old style Vipassanna that previals now in places like IMS. No woder they want someone to take him out. Awakening is real and anyone can achieve it. That scares all the vipasanna teachers.
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Sam Roff, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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It was clearly apparent that Daniel's interests in writing the book were for the awakening of all beings. While I had this opinion from reading his book, this interview made that ultra clear.  He has received tremendous benefit through his lineage, primarily Mahasi, and he wants to share his perspective while doing his very best to discuss limitations to his methodology.  For example, I've been re-reading the section on re-observation this morning on the stages of insight and I just love how he adresses the balance between dealing with content on an insight vs content level.  He's never 100% like.. YOU MUST DO PURELY INSIGHT OR YOU'RE A FAILURE.  It's always proposing his most rational and educated guess through his years of experience, while providing various alternatives (backed up by high end sources within the dharma/philosophy sphere) - essentially throwing the ball into your court.

It's interesting though, as I see Analayo's perspective.  The reason for the genesis of this article is through his paradigm, he see's Daniel's work as a threat and may be dangerous to all beings - tainting Buddhadharma.  That being said, as a scholar, it was shameful how some of the points in the book were utterly conflated.  I'm also of the opinion that there's too much attachment to the purity of traditional Buddhism.  Fuck man.  Perhaps it's Western bias, but the progression through science that Daniel is desperately trying to do just seems the way forward - for the benefit of all! 
Hottie in the Hottub all the way.  I wonder if that'd ever happen lmao.  The funny thing is, is it certainly has value.  The questions would be as to whether a traditional canonical Arahant would even do such a thing.  Would they be willing enough to set aside their conventions of what a emotionally pure being is for the progression of the benefit of all beings?  Or will they cling tightly to their emotional models in very un-arahant fashion as to not taint their precious BuddhaDharma?

Such a disheartening set-back for Daniel and his team of 50+.

Thanks again for your great interview Steve, great job on this one.  You provided Daniel a good place to start in getting his opinions out there. <3
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Richard Zen, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Absorbing interview!

It's disappointing because I like both guys, and I didn't pronounce Analayo right emoticon, but I'm more in the Daniel camp. Dark Night/Withdrawal Symptoms/Dukkha Nanas have patterns and they should be studied scientifically it probably has benefits in other areas like with drug rehab. The "I don't have hatred, but people will not believe you" is very troubling if true if this person is supposed to be a master. Is aggression in Buddhism just a repression that yields weird forms of projection and passive-aggressive lashing out to find relief for the undenied sadism? Anger is such a difficult emotion to use properly without being extreme or looking like a hypocrite.

I personally don't believe anyone is a pure perfect Arhat. As long as their stomachs growl then there is always a little craving left. I do believe that cravings decrease with practice, but it's a life long practice and many people actually don't want Nirvana. They just want more equanimity to integrate with the emotions to reduce the volume. In some ways it's a doorway for those wanting psychology. For others, the benefits are so enormous they don't want psychological overconceptualization to muddy the results.
Small Steps, modified 7 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Listening to the interview and reading through this thread is really like an exercise in rubbernecking. The supposed truth is out there somewhere, though I'm sure even that is subject to context, interpretation and re-interpretation.

I don't come down on either's side, since I don't personally know either person (though to my own small surprise rememberance, I have been in vicinity and physical proxmity of both, in times past). I think both gents' arguments and contributions have much merit though apart from that, each also seems like a character with his own foibles.

I wish for nothing but cordiality and accord to come of this. Also, if there was some real shadowy figure: the western Dharma teacher, in the mi(d)st, ordering virtual hit pieces to be written, let his or her name come to light. Sowing discord in/among the Sangha is truly a stain.
It really is 50 shades of bullshit. 

There is so much mis-information and conflation within Buddhism. So much makes so little sense. 

My personal feeling is someone should create a system independant of any formal Buddhist ties. It would solve alot of these issues.
Tom C:

My personal feeling is someone should create a system independant of any formal Buddhist ties. It would solve alot of these issues.
I thought that's what 'Mindfulness' was... but I guess not 'Mindfulness' the journal?  I too am confused.
I just wanted to say how much I appreciated, you doing this interview, Steve. It struck me as a difficult task to give voice to the position of an absent party, and I think you did an exceptional job. 
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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Martin
I just wanted to say how much I appreciated, you doing this interview, Steve. It struck me as a difficult task to give voice to the position of an absent party, and I think you did an exceptional job. 

Amen to this appreciation and gratitude, Steve. This is a fantastic performance, and you played your role as balanced and challenging enquirer beautifully and fruitfully, and kept your game face on throughout. I don't see how anyone could come away from this without realizing that Analayo is clearly correct, that Daniel is a dangerous and delusional man who has flushed the dharma down the toilet and ruined it for everyone. I was shocked, for instance, at 48:45, when Daniel put on his (not-orange) arahat wizard's robe. What incredible flippancy! What sheer existential goofiness! Daniel, do you not realize what is at stake here? This is serious shit, Sir. Where can I get one of those robes?

The more you know about religious history and the evolution of living traditions, the more this seems very much business as usual. For a fresh approach to What The Fuss Is All About to be targeted by those with deep investments in previous answers to WTFIAA is actually a healthy sign of having gotten to something potent, and I think Daniel has always been prepared, more than anyone I've seen, to take the inevitable heat that comes with presenting a genuinely effective new approach with grace. And as such things go, the Analayo/Ingram interactions are remarkably civilized, relatively speaking. As attempts to silence and discredit a heretic go, I mean. 
Thanks Tim for the motivation to finally get round to watching this.  The cloaking moment, yes i zoomed straight into it.Initialliy i had thought '"2 1/2 hours of stuff.... ", but when i did watch/ listen i actually enjoyed the lot so well done Steve.

I guess most people who subscribe have views one way or another before listening, so i thought why bother, i already have my views.


Yes i liked the robing moment (i don't care about clothes myself), but daniel was making a point.  At about 1:51:40 we get some really good role play ("me? no I,m not angry") and ummmm.... closer to the start there was a description of Analayo saying peace and love no i don't hate you I'm full of love, but I'm trying to trash your reputation.  Can't imagine a better description of passive aggression really, but that's the story from one side.  It's almost as if he said 'i'm just doing my job', no emotional affect, no morality.

Regardless... as the interview went on the headphones started slipping back and Daniel was turning into a vampire, possibly due to the short range of the webcam and the slight fish-eye effect.  Then after 2 hours the beard was growing and i was starting to see wolverine...

But never mind that. I did have a slight 'unfall' recently, while out walking a stag charged at me and i leapt out of the way into a ditch beside some timber, saw only what was sawn, heard only what was here, felt only what was stuck on my face.  So i guess I'm an arahat now, no I don't want to make a big deal about it, but hey, how do i volunteer for the 'hotttie in a hot tub' experiment?
More seriously....

it was apparent to me that Daniel was keeping his eye on the ball, Analayo is really a sideshow and what's more interesting is the science that can be done.

A team of 50 people, well that's expensive already, Daniel has previosuly mentioned MRI scans at vast expense and I wonder if research could not be done for less money? For example people have been diagnosed as Schizo for decades without the the use of scanners, how doid they managew to do that?.  If money has to be raised why does it have to be big money? Is there a way to investigate this stuff without super expensive equipment? what do the scans really tell you?

Is there anywhere online where this stuff is explained?
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 6 Months ago.

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This stuff is explained here: www.theeprc.org

S
cans are only one small part of the overall picture, and we are working with the people at GuidedTrack to figure out ways to do some less expensive survey work, but part of it is academic salary time, part of it is the cut that universities get, part of it is techs and research assistants, part is for other equipment, and it takes teams decades to do this stuff, will require hundreds of researchers, and that adds up. Qualitative data is very expensive to go through and make sense of. Phenomenology and taxonomy are similarly tedious. Longitudinal outcome studies, being basically like diet and exercise studies, require very large numbers of people and high quality data collection to tease out effects: all very costly. To do this properly simply will be expensive, but not nearly as expensive as, say, bringing a single drug to market through the FDA, which averages $2.6 billion. We could probably do the whole project very well for 1/10th to 1/5th of that. Still, if we want to know the role of medications in all of this, that is more money, but the pharmaceutical industry would probably pay for that, just have to watch the quality of the science when paid for by industry.
Daniel...

Thanks for the info and apologies for visualising you as a vampire (it was good at the time, but by now the experience has gone.... )

FWIW your link did that DhO thing of pointing back to itself

https://theeprc.org/ 

seems to work.  I will look at at it :-)

0.1 of the cost of a new drug sounds ok but $260M is a lot.  I had wondered about crowdfunding but it's just not in that ball park.

Two examples:

1) 'mybigtoe.com' aiming to prove if we are in a simulation or not, raised 250k and so far have spent a lot of time issuing podcasts and making teacups.

2) Gaudi's Cathederal in Barcelona, covering an entire city block, funded by public subscription. I visited some years ago, people said it looked nearly finished but the plans were a lot taller and yes it got a lot taller (3-4x).

So i think you're building a cathedral. Brave and worthwhile, but fortunately you are still young.

May you have success, May sucess be incremental and build on past efforts and provide benefits along the way, and May you and your colleages enjoy the whole journey.

And may you forgive my (and others') flippant remarks  ;-)
Tim Farrington, modified 6 Months ago.

RE: New Interview with Daniel about Bikkhu Analayo's article in Mindfulness

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genaro, amen to everything sober, substantial, and pertaining to the edification of all sentient beings, but credit where credit is due across the board: Daniel started the flippancy with that fucking robe. Still, may all sentient beings be forgiven.
agnostic, modified 6 Months ago.

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It would be interesting if someone asked Bikkhu Analayo for his opinion on Mahasi Sayadaw. It seems like he's the original heretic in this saga, redefining nibbana and arahant.
Sam Gentile, modified 4 Months ago.

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I mentioned, as an interesting aside, in my Emptiness Retreat Report, the Analayo was mentioned or quooted from like 50 times. He seems to be a hero of Guy & Sally Armstrong.

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