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RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS

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RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS End in Sight 6/11/12 11:24 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Fitter Stoke 6/11/12 11:17 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/11/12 4:56 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Jeff Grove 6/12/12 9:45 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS . Jake . 6/11/12 4:31 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS (D Z) Dhru Val 6/11/12 9:08 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS fivebells . 6/11/12 11:12 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Daniel M. Ingram 6/12/12 1:27 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Daniel M. Ingram 6/12/12 1:34 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Bagpuss The Gnome 6/12/12 4:45 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Fitter Stoke 6/12/12 5:40 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/12/12 10:33 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Fitter Stoke 6/12/12 10:36 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Fitter Stoke 6/12/12 11:04 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/12/12 2:54 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS Fitter Stoke 6/12/12 5:32 AM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS fivebells . 6/12/12 2:59 PM
RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS (D Z) Dhru Val 6/12/12 10:18 PM
If you found this teacher's feedback to be harmful and / or hurtful, why don't you email the teacher (or IMS) and let them know, in a positive and constructive way (i.e. without gratuitous name-calling)? Presumably they care about helping retreatants, but how will they find out that their feedback isn't as helpful as they think unless they are made aware of those cases in which it isn't?

EDIT: I removed my repetition of the inflammatory language as well.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/11/12 11:17 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
If you found this teacher's feedback to be harmful and / or hurtful, why don't you email the teacher (or IMS) and let them know, in a positive and constructive way (i.e. without gratuitous name-calling, such as your use of "shitbird" in this post)? Presumably they care about helping retreatants, but how will they find out that their feedback isn't as helpful as they think unless they are made aware of those cases in which it isn't?


I think you're right on both counts (I removed the more inflammatory language).

By the way, just because I posted this here, that doesn't mean I don't intend to contact the teacher or IMS. My purpose in putting this here was to (a) collect my thoughts and (b) let yogis here know how this practice is perceived. I don't think anyone should go to IMS or any retreat center and expect to be received a certain way, but I think it's fair to let folks know that there are at least some teachers who paint with that kind of broad brush.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/11/12 4:31 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
There seems to be missing context to this thread. Is there any way to recap the relevant bits in a non inflammatory way? Or else perhaps delete the whole thread since it seems like it's hanging in space without the context emoticon

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/11/12 4:56 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Fitter Stoke:
End in Sight:
If you found this teacher's feedback to be harmful and / or hurtful, why don't you email the teacher (or IMS) and let them know, in a positive and constructive way (i.e. without gratuitous name-calling, such as your use of "shitbird" in this post)? Presumably they care about helping retreatants, but how will they find out that their feedback isn't as helpful as they think unless they are made aware of those cases in which it isn't?


I think you're right on both counts (I removed the more inflammatory language).

By the way, just because I posted this here, that doesn't mean I don't intend to contact the teacher or IMS. My purpose in putting this here was to (a) collect my thoughts and (b) let yogis here know how this practice is perceived. I don't think anyone should go to IMS or any retreat center and expect to be received a certain way, but I think it's fair to let folks know that there are at least some teachers who paint with that kind of broad brush.


Hi Fitter,

If anyone lets a volitional sentiment (such as insult or superiority) cling tenaciously to their perception, they are fettered, encumbered/cumbersome, quarrelsome, divisive etc and have the Sattipathana Sutta to refer to for their own help with their own stress and regret as a motivator.


The criteria for deciding what is worth saying
[1] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial (or: not connected with the goal), unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[2] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, unendearing & disagreeable to others, he does not say them.

[3] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, but unendearing & disagreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them.

[4] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be unfactual, untrue, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[5] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, unbeneficial, but endearing & agreeable to others, he does not say them.

[6] "In the case of words that the Tathagata knows to be factual, true, beneficial, and endearing & agreeable to others, he has a sense of the proper time for saying them. Why is that? Because the Tathagata has sympathy for living beings."

A high standard. So, perhaps that individual is peer among those of us who have spoken wrongly.

I'll use this time to say the following about the DhO:
It is free and holds no debt thanks to the founder; Gotama also did not charge money for teaching and advocated against debt. This preserves the site from many trappings, such as dogmatic adherence for fear of alienating a funding base and self-possessed sororal and/or fraternal entrenchments of power.

It welcomes a broad school of thought and strongly encourages practice that works.

It does not have any one teacher, it has open-sourcing, which sources many suttas from Mahayana and Theravadan traditions; thus, a person cannot become reliant upon a teacher here and, without any expense to themselves (again, like the Buddha practiced), is encouraged to acheive self-reliance, nibbana, through practice.

The founder shares pretty openly as far as I can tell, expresses mistakes if he feels it is apt, and openly works at his own practice: this is useful role-modeling.


To be rejected or insulted by an organization... wasn't Thich Naht Hahn thrown out of the Buddhist Church of Vietnam when it was convenient for the Church to do so? His right speech was redeemed in his lifetime, a good fortune for those who exiled him, maybe.

. Jake .:
There seems to be missing context to this thread. Is there any way to recap the relevant bits in a non inflammatory way? Or else perhaps delete the whole thread since it seems like it's hanging in space without the context emoticon
. Jake .:
There seems to be missing context to this thread. Is there any way to recap the relevant bits in a non inflammatory way? Or else perhaps delete the whole thread since it seems like it's hanging in space without the context emoticon


I am interested in this as well.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/11/12 11:12 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
I'm interested as well. But I'm pretty sure it's a defilement that I am. emoticon

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 1:27 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
Hmmm....

Being one of the named people on this thread, I went looking for the original and didn't easily find it.

Did it get deleted?

Anyway, anyone want to recap or point me in the right direction so I have something beyond a vague idea of what is being talked about?

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 1:34 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Interestingly enough, and perhaps related, though I relate by inference as much as anything else,

I just had a conversation with Gil Fronsdal who had contacted Willoughby Britton about people practicing in what he felt were imbalanced ways at Spirit Rock based on MCTB, though examples were vague and I had a hard time getting specifics.

I will post something about that conversation with I have more time, but it seems that there are some waves, which I would guess are some mix of good and bad, and the question becomes, in very general terms:

How to get the good results of very diligent, well-done practice without the bad sides, such as creating divisions in communities and pissing teachers off, creating harsh or rigid identities around goals, as well as freaking out?

Obviously this is a work in progress...

Daniel

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 4:45 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Does "unbalanced ways" = "report DN-like phenomena to the teacher"?

My (admittedly somewhat limited) experience has been that once teachers get a whiff of this kind of thing you're told to ease off, take a break, relax a bit...

It often seems like getting past the A&P is seen as a bit of a dhamma disaster...

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 5:32 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Folks, I apologize. I went back to edit it and tone it down (I was still a bit hot around the collar when I wrote it) and accidentally deleted it. I've posted here maybe twice before and wasn't being very mindful of the controls. Didn't realize until now.

Basically, I went in to have a very sensible conversation with a teacher about what felt like a path moment, and this guy decided I was one of "Daniel Ingram's students" and that my practice might be veering off into "dangerous" territory. I explained I was not "Daniel Ingram's student" (and am not sure such things exist??). He seemed to be having a lot of trouble with the fact that my practice was very good (in his opinion) but that I was interested in figuring out whether I had a fruition.

It was really frustrating for me on a lot of levels, I did not yet feel ready to write a letter to IMS, and so I vented online. Still not sure whether that was appropriate, but people seem interested now.

I could repost the whole thing if you want. If so, should I start a new thread (and someone can delete this one), or just tack it on to the bottom of this?

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 5:40 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
I was never told to dial back my practice, even after I described the results in detail, though aside from the one teacher's comments, it's hard to tell if they knew what I was doing or not. I was also pretty matter of fact in my description and didn't come in with crazy eyes or anything.

One person in my group showed up in dark night (by my inexpert estimate) and appears to have gotten A&P previously by practicing in another tradition. Everyone else in my group was in 2nd or possibly 3rd nana at most, and there were a couple people obviously spinning in content and not even up to Mind & Body. My teacher, who was also with me on the retreat, said that it didn't seem like any of the people in her group of "advanced" yogis (people meditating 10+ years?) had crossed A&P. That leaves me with the impression that the majority there are not up to A&P - which is so strange to me on a number of levels.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 10:33 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
that my practice was very good (in his opinion) but that I was interested in figuring out whether I had a fruition.
Well, in your own view, perhaps the practice has been useful thus far and perhaps it has allowed a fruition? It seems that people in this community do experience over months of practices (often nine months to a year) beneficial changes in behaviour and practices, and this is the benefit of study and practice.


_________Back to the topic___________

There is simply no need to discuss one teacher's personal volition. It is their volition, their action, their process. The Maha-mangala Sutta is clear about the mind becoming untouched by the eight vissitiudes (gain and loss, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and blame, joy and sorrow.

I DO understand being disturbed by such moments, especially when one is on a week or more retreat. Being on retreat specifically causes great mental attention and, thus, sensitivity. This helps a person return home and continue with an improved understanding/practice.

So when a teacher - someone with temporary authority over your time and experience (as many beginners naturally will feel and believe and trust) - says something personal and inappropriate such as willful and unnecessary gossip, then it can be very unsettling. "How is this person a teacher? Why are they paid to do this?", "What is Gotama's teaching/path if this person is his teacher?" etc.

And this causes a student/potential students to consider the institution that authorizes the gossiping teacher.

Generally, it is common for teachers to see things differently and to teach differently. Some are very wise about not making needless comments, let alone gossip. Others, like me and perhaps this teacher and anyone else who may identify with having learned some of their skillfullness through some of their unskillfulness, experience directly that ill-will, conceit and ignorance are not the first fetters to go.


Edit: I do not see the point in reifying heresay and another's alleged willful wrong speech in this forum. I do see that specific people directly involved may want to discuss. That's just me.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 10:36 AM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy steger:
that my practice was very good (in his opinion) but that I was interested in figuring out whether I had a fruition.
Well, in your own view, perhaps the practice has been useful thus far and perhaps it has allowed a fruition? It seems that people in this community do experience over months of practices (often nine months to a year) beneficial changes in behaviour and practices, and this is the benefit of study and practice.


_________Back to the topic___________

There is simply no need to discuss one teacher's personal volition. It is their volition, their action, their process. The Maha-mangala Sutta is clear about the mind becoming untouched by the eight vissitiudes (gain and loss, good-repute and ill-repute, praise and blame, joy and sorrow.

I DO understand being disturbed by such moments, especially when one is on a week or more retreat. Being on retreat specifically causes great mental attention and, thus, sensitivity. This helps a person return home and continue with an improved understanding/practice.

So when a teacher - someone with temporary authority over your time and experience (as many beginners naturally will feel and believe and trust) - says something personal and inappropriate such as willful and unnecessary gossip, then it can be very unsettling. "How is this person a teacher? Why are they paid to do this?", "What is Gotama's teaching/path if this person is his teacher?" etc.

And this causes a student/potential students to consider the institution that authorizes the gossiping teacher.

Generally, it is common for teachers to see things differently and to teach differently. Some are very wise about not making needless comments, let alone gossip. Others, like me and perhaps this teacher and anyone else who may identify with having learned some of their skillfullness through some of their unskillfulness, experience directly that ill-will, conceit and ignorance are not the first fetters to go.


Edit: I do not see the point in reifying heresay and another's alleged willful wrong speech in this forum. I do see that specific people directly involved may want to discuss. That's just me.


Katy, I've read this about four times now (and read the edits once), and I am having a really difficult time discerning what you're trying to communicate to me.

Given the summary I posted above in response to Daniel (which you're replying to here), should I or should I not repost my original message? Does it sound like the content of what I was saying is something that belongs on dharmaoverground or not?

Metta,
F-S

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 11:04 AM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Kenneth Folk asked me to post it at KFDh. If anyone wants to read it, it's here.

Again, sorry for the confusion with the deletion, and my apologies if the content of the post was unwelcome.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 2:54 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
Hi Fitter -

Let's see if I can be easy to understand and useful. Thank you for the invitation to try again.

Honesty is a positive attribute. Indeed, honesty is a virtue, because it is needed especially when dishonesty and/or concealment of wrong action/wrong speech arises.

Given the summary I posted above in response to Daniel (which you're replying to here), should I or should I not repost my original message? Does it sound like the content of what I was saying is something that belongs on dharmaoverground or not?
It can be useful to honestly recount an event, particularly one that is giving rise to stress.

Here is how I think your event can be beneficial, whether or not you wish to make it public (where you will receive the attention and feedback of others):

1. satipatthana --- one of the oft instructed teachings of Gotama for those who seek nibbana: taking up the event to the best of our ability with mindfulness for how personal realities are constructed based on aggregates (body/mind/feeling/dhammas) , such as
- sensation arising in the aggregates (were the five senses detecting actuality with sensations pleasure, neutrality, or displeasure? Was mind sensing displeasure, neutrality, or pleasure at the outset, middle and end of the interaction?

- then perception (recognition/familiarity-categorization) arising in the aggregates: such as anticipating one's interview with the teacher based on the state of pleasure, neutrality, or displeasure at the outset, middle and/or end of the interaction; were eyes recognizing (apperceiving) visible objects in a specific way based on a displeased/neutral/pleased manner (e.g., apperceiving a snake when there is only rope); was hearing apperceiving (recognizing/categorizing) sound in a displeased/neutral/pleased manner (e.g., pleased by the sound of this voice/voices/some voices); was taste recognizing a specific taste one a displeased/neutral/pleased sensation; was mind apprehending the actuality of "the teacher" as an assumed entity (assuming the person as "some kind of teacher", versus observing the person as they are actually arising and passing during the interview*) based on a displeased/neutral/pleased sensation at the outset, middle and/or end of the interaction, (aka: coloring the mind's recognition, as well as influencing events to some degree, with a prior-now-habitual "(I recognize) recognition of this kind of teacher"-perception, which recognition is displeasing/neutral/pleasing?)

- volition: adding volition to the perception (for example, adding to displeasure "feeling indignant", or adding to pleasure "feeling gratified", or adding to displeasure "feeling used by a needs-to-vent teacher", or adding to displeasure "feeling disillusioned of a reputed institution and the 8-fold path", or adding to pleased perception the volition "feeling desire for a good teacher/sangha", or adding volition to a pleasing perception "feeling superior to this teacher"*, etc)

Many many many perceptions and volitions may arise in every micro-moment. The aggregates compose what is "me".

2. As challenging as the above may seem, insight develops through satipattana.
- awareness of constantly changing (even condensing, reifying) sensation, perception(familiarity/categorization) and volition is obviously part of mindfulness meditation: steady, equanimous (non-judgmental) investigation of the four foundations leads to insight (e.g., was the teacher/was I in poor health and thus operating from displeasing tactile sensations/unfit perception, which displeasures and recognition of unfitness influenced volitions (e.g., grouchiness, envy, etc); did the teacher/institution have signs of non-practice/Wrong Speech/Wrong Action/Wrong View, but which I missed because I saw a name and assumed a reputable institution, thus absorbing pleasing sensation (reputation = good place to go), creating "pleasing perception" without mindfulness of my assumptions, upon which I grew a volition of desirous expectations; was my practice so pleasing that I brought my volitional conceit into interview and watered an ignorant/ill-willed seed in the teacher?*

*Here, I do want to say, you are the student and the teacher and institution are rightly accountable to a highly accomplished standard of 8-fold practice, which they set themselves by charging money versus accepting donations as renunciant non-householders (who maintain their standards through vinaya and scrutiny, but also with some issues arising)

Insight is also not a permanent entity; insight is also not inherently free from stress.



3. Mindfulness (satipatthana) and insight are not easy for newbies like me, simply because it takes practice and there is countering a good deal of well-established habit. One needs to have good equanimity and a modicum of concentration available. You know, I cited Thich Nhat Hahn as being ousted by the Buddhist Church of Vietnam for his opposition to the war, it has occurred also to me over the years that that ousting may have been the Church leaders' insight that more monastics would survive and fewer citizens would be harmed by effecting his exile. I do not know. For the same war, Maha Ghosananda was sent out of Cambodia to study. I have no insight into these events, but I can see how effortful insight and mindfulness are in a simple transgression (perhaps a teacher gossiping, perhaps a student affronting), and how, ultimately, self-reliance, nibbana, is not, per se, a life of pleasure perception nor bliss. It is seeing things as they are, always, and being unbound from that while being a part of that. (This is why sometimes fear comes and goes during the practice in different degrees: It is almost natural to recoil from that kind of freedom. On the other hand, the freedom to act without stress and with some knowledge...has samadhi to it. I digress and risk speaking beyond my more familiar terrains.


So, I think it is safe to recommend that you:

practice satipatthana,
study your insights, and
speak honestly (if you choose to speak) and not harshly (harshness has limited and questionable utility, from my personal experience)


Best wishes and thank you. It is not an easy experience for those of us who are lower on the fetter chain, and I think several people experience this, even in renunciant communities, and institutions often struggle to deal with wrong action/wrong/view/wrong speech internally as well. At least in its ubiquity, it is easy to have some metta in however you proceed.

edit: a few edits to clarify #3
edits: *
edit: had to reverse "apprehend" and "apperceive", still a habit!
edit: woohoo: major oversight --- I have combined perception and sensation in rushing, so: corrections!

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 2:59 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
It’s like every compliment was slightly backhanded, perhaps condescending, and every criticism was pulled back as soon as I even gestured in a questioning way toward it. Overall, his response left me feeling disempowered, without a real opportunity to respond or even learn anything.

Again, yeah, being told “no, I don’t think your experience was a path moment, sorry,” stings one’s pride a bit (especially when you’re a relatively inexperienced yogi who still relies to some degree on the approval of people he admires).


If you are doing insight practice, it is the teacher's job to point out the things you are not seeing, and this will probably make you uncomfortable. His response doesn't reflect on the framework, and it doesn't actually reflect on your worth as a human being. He's pointing out that you are using this notion of "attainment" as crutch for a conception of yourself. If he didn't take you down a peg on this, it would reflect badly on him as a teacher. The notion of attainment may have powered your practice up to this point, but it is clear that you don't need it anymore, and he's doing you a big favor by trying to help you let it go.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 9:45 PM as a reply to Fitter Stoke.
This provides insight into a cause of suffering, part of the process that make up the self, the identity. We identify with a group, view, culture, belief etc and anything that is different from that held belief is percieved as an assualt on your self which will be defended. Anything other then this belief is a danger to a continuation of this self image.

RE: The reputation of the “students of Daniel Ingram” precedes them at IMS
Answer
6/12/12 10:18 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
Hi just read the long post on Ken Folk's site, here are a few points:

1. The definitions of the Paths are not set in stone

Ledi Sayadaw popularized Burmese Vipassana in its current form. No one really knows exactly what the Shakyamuni Buddha taught, even if they outright claim to be the original teachings.

There is an emerging consensus on DhO and the broader pragmatic community, that there are attainments that other schools (eg. Dzogchen) offer different realizations that perhaps have even less suffering than the Arahatship described in the MCTB. My own experience suggests this to be the case.

Second even within the Theravada community, Daniel Ingram is a controversial figure, primarily due to his claim of Arahatship.

To me 'Arahat' is just a word and Daniel precisely defines what that claim entails (and what it doesn't) in the MCTB, in a very modest and down to earth fashion. And the book does an excellent job walking the practitioner to the specific attainments defined in the book. As such it is probably the most valuable resoruce and a major turning point in my practice, but then again I am a 'student of Daniel Ingram', lol.

To others the word 'Arahat' and other attainments are fairly sacred. They view Daniel's usage as a watering down of the Buddhist dharma. Which is an understandable position as well.

Also after a while the no-difference between enlightenment and samsara stuff starts ot make sense, some might be tempted to disregard all their previous experience, and just take this as the absolute truth. Doing means a greater focus on morality over attainment.

My speculative suggestion that your teacher may well have been aware of some of these issues. I have no experience with the IMS, and am just posting to give you a sense of perspective.

There is also a possibility that your teacher was responded that way based on some dogmatic view on talking about attainments.

2. Attainments, Maps, and Motivation

Personally as a naturally skeptical person, I would have never taking the leap of faith to devote the kind of time and effort it takes to this stuff unless the maps and practices laid out int he MCTB worked as advertised.

It is nice to be able to get some sense that one is progressing, particularly in the difficult stages like the dark night.

Daniel talks about not getting attached to the maps quite a bit in the book, but I think there is a normal human tendency to grasp at such things, happens to me all the time.

On the flip side moralistic approach it is all well and good to talk about compassion, and morality, but for somethat is embroiled in stress and suffering this stuff has little value. I mean everyone is taught about honesty and compassion as little kids, and yet we still seek out spirituality.

So I just default to the old saw 'whatever works'. If the maps help, use them. If not, screw them. The point here is to have a peaceful mind.

3. Congrats and Beware

- Congrats on the path attainment.
- Do send feedback to the IMS
- Beware of your own grasping tendencies.