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

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Steve James, modified 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 98 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 5316 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 158 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 439 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 4 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 456 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 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 456 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 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 456 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 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1530 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 899 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 5316 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1530 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 1 Month ago.

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

Posts: 1530 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 1 Month ago.

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

Posts: 1538 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 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 5316 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 3 Months ago.

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

Posts: 2437 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 4 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 52 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 4 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 4 Months ago.

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

Posts: 196 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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

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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 3 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 3 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 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

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Hyperbole much?
agnostic, modified 3 Months ago.

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

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Yeah you're right, probably just my overactive paranoid imagination
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

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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 3 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 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

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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 3 Months ago.

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

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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 3 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 3 Months ago.

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

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

Merry Christmas!
Sam Gentile, modified 3 Months ago.

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

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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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