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Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing

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Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing
anatta no self shane wilson meditation complete humanity elena
Answer
11/23/11 12:53 AM
Helping Shane Wilson was an honor. Shane is an ordained Buddhist minister and meditation teacher. He is a very humble man, and extremely open about this work with me - he feels that bringing traditional meditation path with direct pointing will help many practitioners to realize Anatta - no-self. He is helping his students now with classical meditation instructions and direct pointing.

Today I want to introduce you to Shane Wilson, his new video, and his article about the benefit of Direct Pointing in realizing anatta: Theravada meditation teacher Shane Wilson: Finding Freedom

RE: Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointin
Answer
11/23/11 3:45 PM as a reply to Elena Joy.
If he's a Theravada teacher who's authorized to teach then, as far as I know, he should have attained to 2nd path and so would have had insight beyond what you're talking about here if it were the case. Ordination doesn't confer attainment any more than a priesthood in Catholicism does so I don't see how the mention of either of these points, i.e. his apparent teacher status and ordination, differentiates him from any average joe off the street who gains some insight into anatta.

I have no issue with talking about attainments, or even your own interest in telling people how you led someone to some insight or another, but I still find your insistence on talking up the meditative background that certain of your 'students' claim to have, and in some cases I find them highly questionable, and how they only came to this realization via direct-pointing to be no more than self-aggrandizing, belief-enforcing advertisement for a technique which, while admittedly useful for some, is certainly not a one-stop shop for enlightenment.

Tell people about your successes if you feel it necessary by all means, I agree that people knowing this is possible can only be a good thing, but don't frame it as if you're doing something more powerful than the dhamma or that your technique leads to enlightenment 'cause it absolutely does not.

Edited to add:

Just in case this comes off as me doing some sort of belief-defense exercise or being harsh, insulting or whatever, I'd like to emphasize the fact that I have no issue whatsoever with the direct-pointing technique or with Elena. I didn't write this post as an angry response or as an excuse to support some belief or another, my reasons were as follows :-

1. The person who Elena led/pointed towards this insight into anatta does not appear to be able to legitimately lay claim to the title "Theravadan meditation teacher" and so Elena's mention of such previous experience, which is something common in the last few posts she's made linking to her blog, is unwarranted. In keeping with the RT philosophy, it is mentioned so that a comparison between direct-pointing and other meditative traditions can be made with direct-pointing being presented as more efficient, effective or more likely to lead to enlightenment than vipassana or any other dharma-based techniques.

2. Direct-pointing can be an effective technique for gaining insight, no question about that.
Does it consistently lead to Paths? No.
Could it possibly lead to Paths for some people? Probably.
If that's the case then the technique should be able to stand on its own without having to play it off against techniques which have been tested and verified repeatedly, and proven to be more effective with more consistency.

3. Dharma passion. I've seen the way to end suffering and it's not direct-pointing. Admittedly this is purely subjective and based on my own experience 'cause someone might just crack it by approaching it that way, I don't know this to be a fact and so I remain open to the possibility.

4. Elena is good at what she does, I think she's a genuine person who is also passionate about putting an end to suffering and I have respect for the fact that she's stuck by what's worked for her. What I don't get is why there always needs to be some "Roshi Who Meditated For 60 Years in a Cave Gets Enlightened Through Direct-Pointing" or "90 Year Old Grandmother Practiced Vipassana Since She Was 3 And Only Got Insight Through Direct-Pointing" especially on a forum like this one where people who've gone at these practices hard for a long time and know that they're reliable, clinically precise and repeatable. Like I said, talk about how you helped people get some useful insight which made their lives better, that's wonderful and it's great that you're so committed to it, but, personally, I see no value in framing it in the way you do as it adds nothing to the value of the work you're doing.

Hi, Tommy, it's not about me at all. Sorry you see it like this. I am not framing or not framing, I am just writing the experience. It may seems like to you, but it's just a view. And this post was about Shane and his message, if you listen to his video to the end - there you hear him saying "Practice does not stop. Seeking stops...." That message at the end was very powerful, in simple words, nothing special, everybody say similar thing, but for me the way he presented was penetrating.

What is really make me joyful is the fact that this went off line. Direct pointing went off line with several teachers, like Shane and others (some from Theravada, some from non-duality). There are people who do direct pointing retreats, face to face guiding people. This is really worth of rejoicing. One of the teachers in France Laurent Levy just finished his 5 day retreat. 20 people saw that there is no separate entity behind word "I". Shane Wilson finished 3 day silent retreat where he was talking about anatta in a more direct way then before, pointing people to see.

Tommy, see that some of the people are more inclined to share then others. Those who do not share are just fine, as those who do share, and share a lot, like me. There is no really a difference, it is not "somebody" choice really. And so the way I share is the way I can, the way it flows. I don't see anything bad in it. I know it can come across as the view you presented, but if i start to think about it, how to frame it so not to offend everybody or etc, then I loose inspiration.

Framing may evolve with time. Right now there is no really active defensiveness from non-duality world, as before, so it did change already in some way. There is nothing for me in this, except spreading the message that this seeing is available, and it's available now, for those who are ready to see.

RE: Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointi
Answer
11/23/11 4:43 PM as a reply to Elena Joy.
Hi, Tommy, it's not about me at all.

At no point did I say it was.

Sorry you see it like this. I am not framing or not framing, I am just writing the experience. It may seems like to you, but it's just a view.

Nothing to apologize for, I'm curious about your reasons for "just writing the experience" with the headline "Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing" when the person does not appear to have the attainments required to claim to be a teacher. As for framing, I use this term to refer to the way in which you present the story and how your describe it in terms of the conceptual framework used by the RT/direct-pointing crew i.e. that direct-pointing is more effective than meditation, that meditation is not required for enlightenment, that insight into anatta constitutes enlightenment etc.

And this post was about Shane and his message

So why introduce the story with "Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing" if it's about Shane and his message?

"Practice does not stop. Seeking stops...."

I disagree, particularly when we're talking about an insight into anatta which, unless he got MCTB 4th path in that instant, is available to anyone willing to examine their immediate sensate experience. The "insight problem" may stop, although this only really happened at MCTB 4th path for me, but the seeking continues in a completely different way once you know that this is not the end.

That message at the end was very powerful, in simple words, nothing special, everybody say similar thing, but for me the way he presented was penetrating.

You were affected by it, that's fine and dandy, but what he says still remains questionable in terms of facts.

What is really make me joyful is the fact that this went off line. Direct pointing went off line with several teachers, like Shane and others (some from Theravada, some from non-duality). There are people who do direct pointing retreats, face to face guiding people. This is really worth of rejoicing. One of the teachers in France Laurent Levy just finished his 5 day retreat. 20 people saw that there is no separate entity behind word "I". Shane Wilson finished 3 day silent retreat where he was talking about anatta in a more direct way then before, pointing people to see.

If it works, great. I'm all for pragmatism and doing what works. What I'd really like to know though is what these people did with that insight into anatta?
Are they still seeking?
What practices are they doing now?
If 20 people got this insight, what does that actually mean in real terms?
What is it that is so miraculous about direct-pointing that makes it worth talking up and giving it undue weight, while ignoring the effectiveness and reliability of vipassana properly performed and observation of the three characteristics rather than only anatta?

Insight into anatta is one thing, the realization of it and the eradication of the entire sense of being is something very different.

Tommy, see that some of the people are more inclined to share then others.

I don't understand your reasons for making this statement. Perhaps you're ignoring the fact that I spend quite a substantial amount of time on these forums, and also elsewhere in real life, helping people with their practice by offering advice based on my own practice. I also maintain a blog talking about pragmatic dharma, make videos and spend pretty much all of my time on dharma-related activities in one way or another. I don't do this to talk myself up or anything, like you I am genuinely interested in helping people although I see no reason to post about my apparent "successes" with people as the act of helping is reward enough.

Those who do not share are just fine, as those who do share, and share a lot, like me. There is no really a difference, it is not "somebody" choice really

This is completely unrelated to anything in the response I left.

And so the way I share is the way I can, the way it flows.

Again, the response was no criticism of your style of writing.

I don't see anything bad in it. I know it can come across as the view you presented, but if i start to think about it, how to frame it so not to offend everybody or etc, then I loose inspiration.

It was nothing to do with your style of writing, only your decision to headline the thread with "Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing". I never said anything was "bad", merely inaccurate and not based on fact. You're not offending me and you'd likely find it rather difficult to do so.

Framing may evolve with time.

Could you explain what you mean here?

Right now there is no really active defensiveness from non-duality world, as before, so it did change already in some way. There is nothing for me in this, except spreading the message that this seeing is available, and it's available now, for those who are ready to see.

So you live in an abiding non-dual awareness now? Would you mind describing it, please? I'm genuinely interested to know if you've attained MCTB 4th path through direct-pointing and how you went about as there may be a useful method there, and seemingly not one which uses direct-pointing as the only technique.

I understand that there is nothing for you in this, I never said that and if my comments have been misconstrued then allow me to apologize. Once again I will repeat the one major point that my entire post, and sizeable portion of this one, was trying to address: Why do you choose to headline threads with things like "Theravada meditation teacher on Realising Anatta through direct pointing" when the person involved is not qualified, in terms of attainments at least, to declare himself to be a teacher? Also, why do you always use this same approach when posting i.e. the mentioning of someone's apparently flawed practice history which ends up with them only gaining insight via direct-pointing?

If you could answer those two questions for me and put aside this idea you've got that I'm criticizing your writing style then perhaps we could both learn something from it. One more thing I'd like to mention is that you seem to think I'm still under the illusion of there being an "I", if you believe this to be true then I invite you to open a thread and liberate me on this site. I will participate honestly and follow your instructions to the letter if you choose to take me up on this.

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