Vipassana or Jhana

Wet Paint, modified 15 Years ago at 8/31/08 11:11 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 8/31/08 11:11 PM

Vipassana or Jhana

Posts: 22924 Join Date: 8/6/09 Recent Posts
Author: Nirodha
Forum: Dharma Overground Discussion Forum

Hello all,

I just joined this forum out of curiosity. And, now I'm wondering - after reading several threads here - if this is the right place for me.

Therefore, I'll ask a very straightforward question and decide whether I'll stick around on not based on the answer I get: Are the majority of you here adherents to the Burmese Vipassana methods or do you subscribe to the model presented in the Sutta Pitaka?

Martin Mai, modified 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 1:30 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 1:30 AM

RE: Vipassana or Jhana

Posts: 0 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Welcome Nirodha,
personally I like the maps as they are used in the Theravada tradition because they help me practice in a straightforward and motivated manner. I did not read so many suttas until now but what´s confusing with them is that they mention the samatha jhanas when the progress of insight is deoicted. So the maps brought things into their places by differentiating between samadhi and insight.
But after all, the instructions for vipassana are very simple so if you just practice I think you will be fine. By the way, it won´t take long to get to know the maps so try it and then go for it (if your goal is enlightenment of course).
Be it vipassana or the jhanas, practice is superior to study. I hope you will stick around because there are some very accomplished practitioners here who can help you with your questions.
Best wishes,
Hokai Sobol, modified 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 1:55 AM
Created 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 1:55 AM

RE: Vipassana or Jhana

Posts: 4 Join Date: 4/30/09 Recent Posts
Hi Nirodha. First, the "Burmese methods" are one application of from a variety of methods presented in Sutta Pitaka, so these two are not mutually exclusive, because the latter includes the former. Also, this website is not confined to practitioners of Theravada. Though at many times discussion of vipassana may prevail, it is by no means the central point of interest. The crux of the matter can be found on the homepage, and in the "Imagine" thread (see bottom of homepage), and by this alone you should decide if this is the right place for you. But are you the right person?

You see, if you decide about this place, as you say, "based on the answer I get", then perhaps this is not the right place. We tend to uphold it's much more important what you bring and give, making yourself and your experience available to others, and starting with small steps to build good online and real world situations. So, basically it's up to you. Hope this helps.

Daniel M Ingram, modified 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 7:56 PM
Created 15 Years ago at 9/1/08 7:56 PM

RE: Vipassana or Jhana

Posts: 3265 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear Nirodha,

I really like Hokai's answer, but I'll add a few things...

First, I think it is a fair and good question. It is true that I, the founder of the place, am a big Mahasi Sayadaw fan, that my book, which is pretty vipassana/Mahasi heavy, has influenced a number of people here, and that there are a lot of vipassana types around. As mai88 points out, this set of concepts, language and techniques do help people, as they are really pretty good maps and ways to go. That said, they are not the only game in town, though a basic familiarity with certain terms does help people talk about things that are complex and subtle without having to redefine everything every time and reinvent the wheel.

I personally am comfortable with all sorts of conceptual frameworks, terms, some languages, and the like, but not everyone may be. What set of terms, concepts, paradigms and the like were you looking for? I think that the underlying point is to come up with ways to talk that help people actually get it, and the it they are trying to get is certainly not the property of any tradition.

Further, cross pollination between traditions and frameworks, when done well, can produce some very cool results, and I have drawn from a lot of traditions over the years to help keep things going deeper, as have many others here. You will find Zen people, Westery Mystery people, people with experience in Christian mystical traditions, and many others here, so tell us what you are looking for, and we'll see if we can send you in the right direction. One of the cool things about this site has been seeing people from various divergent backgrounds try to get on the same or similar pages and help each other to practice well.