"The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation" by Steve Weissman

Steve Anonymous, modified 5 Years ago.

"The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation" by Steve Weissman

Posts: 8 Join Date: 3/8/13 Recent Posts
The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation by Steve Weissman
2006. 21 pages.
Buddhist Publication Society Wheel 463

The author makes the case that Wise Reflection is a Buddhist meditation technique not commonly taught in the West and that Wise Reflection is an essential meditation technique.   He backes up his claim with copious sutta references that the reader can look up him/herself.  The author is a native English speaker who wrote this pamphlet in clear, non-stuffy, non-dry, down to Earth English.

I thought this pamphlet was flat out excellent.  I think anyone using Buddhism (or meditation) as a means towards living a happier life will find that it is well worth the read.
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Psi, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: "The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation" by Steve Weissman

Posts: 1095 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Steve Anonymous:
The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation by Steve Weissman
2006. 21 pages.
Buddhist Publication Society Wheel 463

The author makes the case that Wise Reflection is a Buddhist meditation technique not commonly taught in the West and that Wise Reflection is an essential meditation technique.   He backes up his claim with copious sutta references that the reader can look up him/herself.  The author is a native English speaker who wrote this pamphlet in clear, non-stuffy, non-dry, down to Earth English.

I thought this pamphlet was flat out excellent.  I think anyone using Buddhism (or meditation) as a means towards living a happier life will find that it is well worth the read.
Yes, Excellent Steve!!

Just adding content to thread.

Yoniso Manasikara

http://bodhimonastery.org/docs/novdec05bb.pdf

Psi
This is an excellent booklet about a very important topic. emoticon

However, it contains many errors, such as equating wise-reflection with vipassana; stating vipassana does not naturally arise from concentration; its view of anapanasati; & its view on Dependent Origination.

While the Buddha-To-Be certainly used a 'reflection' or 'reasoned examination' it his preliminary explorations into Dependent Origination (per SN 12.10), these were like 'groping-in-the-dark' and were affirmed by vipassana or clear-seeing (as opposed to wise reflection or active thinking). 

MN 19 well describes the practise of wise-reflection: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.019.than.html 

However, as eventually stated in MN 19: 

If I were to think & ponder in line with that even for a night... even for a day... even for a day & night, I do not envision any danger that would come from it, except that thinking & pondering a long time would tire the body. When the body is tired, the mind is disturbed; and a disturbed mind is far from concentration.' So I steadied my mind right within, settled, unified, & concentrated it. Why is that? So that my mind would not be disturbed.

Wise-reflection is a preliminary practise. Its place is the order of things is described below:

"In the same way, monks, when association with worthy people prevails, listening to the True Teaching will prevail. When listening to the True Teaching prevails, faith will prevail. When faith prevails, wise attention (yonisomanasikāro) will prevail. When wise attention prevails, mindfulness and clear comprehension will prevail. When mindfulness and clear comprehension prevail, sense-control will prevail. When sense-control prevails, the three ways of good conduct will prevail. When the three ways of good conduct prevail, the four foundations of mindfulness will prevail. When the four foundations of mindfulness prevail, the seven factors of enlightenment will prevail. When the seven factors of enlightenment prevail, liberation by supreme knowledge will prevail. Such is the nutriment of that liberation by supreme knowledge and so it prevails."— AN 10.61 & 62

Bhikkhus, as to internal factors, I do not see any other factor that is so helpful for the arising of the seven factors of enlightenment as this: careful attention. When a bhikkhu is accomplished in careful attention, it is to be expected that he will develop and cultivate the seven factors of enlightenment. SN 46.49

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CJMacie, modified 5 Years ago.

RE: "The Importance of Wise Reflection in Meditation" by Steve Weissman

Posts: 863 Join Date: 8/17/14 Recent Posts
re: Steve Anonymous (5/22/16 12:13 PM)1)

"The author makes the case that Wise Reflection is a Buddhist meditation technique not commonly taught in the West…"

This piece was published in 2006. The author mentioned 30 years experience (back to ca 1976), and teaches, with his wife, in Thailand. The overall message more or less lines-up with Therevada teaching, e.g. as in all the Sutta quotations.

It also abounds in simplifications (as Nicky points out -- 5/22/16 12:42 PM as a reply to Steve Anonymous) and straw-man arguments ( "The majority of experienced Buddhist meditators…”, " some people interpret…", " Some meditators wrongly believe…", etc.).

The statement from the OP (above), seemed odd, as yoniso manasikāra is prominent throughout the teachings of Thanissaro Bhikkhu, I've heard it from Shaila Catherine often, and also from Ven. U. Jagara – all Westerners. Just teachers I've been exposed to, a small sampling. It would seem that teaching along these lines is not so uncommon in the West – at least here in California, which is about as far west as one can go.

Overall Weissman's piece appears to be a kind of sales pitch, how he and his wife's teaching is so superior to so many others – lots of comparisons given as generalizations, documented only roughly as from his own experience, i.e.anecdotal. As such, it points out another subtle problem with dhamma teaching in the West – a tendency to frame in self-promotion. (To my mind that's when it's properly more 'dharma' and less 'dhamma'.)

2) Here's some research into the term 'yoniso manasikāra' (to expand upon the information in the link provided by Psi ("Wise Attention By Venerable Xin-xing"):

2a) From a nifty little software app "Pali Lookup" * :
manasikāra
– m. ideation, consideration
manasi
karoti manasi + kar + o – keeps in mind; thinks over

2b) From the PTS Dictionary: (p.559-60)
yoni
(f.) [Vedic yoni] 1. the womb. 2. origin, way of birth, place of birth, realm of existence; nature, matrix …
yoniso (abl) "down to its origin or foundation," i.e. thoroughly, orderly, wisely, properly, judiciously…
yoniso manasikāra
"fixing one's attention with a purpose or thoroughly," proper attention, "having thorough method in one's thought"


karoti
(p.197-8) on 198: 1. to build, erect 2. to act, perform, make, do 3. to produce 4. to write, compose 5. to put on, dress 6. to impose 7. to turn into 8. to use as 9. to bring into being … varied according to the word with which it is connected…
m
ānasaŋ + karoti -- to make up one's mind

* This software allows one to investigate the various inflections (different endings --declinations of nouns, conjugations of verbs) of Pali words, to be able to recognize root words from all the variants
"About Pali Lookup" – Pali Lookup version 2.0 – For Free Distribution Only Copyright @ 2002 Aukana Trust
The main dictionary used by the system is: Pali-English Dictionary Version 1.0 created by a group of foreign monks in Sri Lanka. It is an electronic, public-domain edition based primarily on the A.P. Buddhadatta Mahathera's Consice Pali-English and English-Pali Dictionary, expanded with a series of corrections and additions…"

btw: It runs only on Microsoft Windows platforms.

20160523 -- minor edits

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