RandomToolGuy

Vipassana combined with other techniques for spiritual enlightnment

21 posts in this topic

Hey,

I just came home yesterday from my second 10-day Vipassana-retreat. There are a few questions however, that I haven't been able to receive nuanced answers from through the vipassana-community, including the assistant teachers.

1. How can Vipassana be combined with other enlightenment techniques? Self-inquiry, kriya-yoga, kundalini-yoga?
2. The concept of perfect sīla (morality) seems to be of utmost important to the teachers of Vipassana. The claim seems to be that the right form of Samadhi (samma samadhi) cannot be achieved without perfect sīla. This includes only having sex with one partner and not using any drugs (including psychedelics). I'm having a really difficult time accepting that Vipassana can only be used to achieve effective results if one abstains from using psychadelics.

I'd love to hear some thoughts about this!

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Yep, that's pretty much the mainstream consensus on the matter, you won't hear anything else from any responsible teacher. There are other paths of course, like that of the Shaman, Ceremonial Magick, or staying within the Eastern context, Tantra and whatever it is that Aghoris do. These are however believed to be more dangerous than traditional paths. 

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@RandomToolGuy No dogma

Every schools has its dogma. Even in Toaist and Buddhist Qigong they historically disagreed in many things regarding sex, drugs, etc. 
 

However, each simply has pros and cons. A lot of these people are dogmatic and simply have only tried their own methods.

Edited by Thought Art

 "Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

                            ◭"89"

                  

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4 hours ago, RandomToolGuy said:

Hey,

I just came home yesterday from my second 10-day Vipassana-retreat. There are a few questions however, that I haven't been able to receive nuanced answers from through the vipassana-community, including the assistant teachers.

1. How can Vipassana be combined with other enlightenment techniques? Self-inquiry, kriya-yoga, kundalini-yoga?
2. The concept of perfect sīla (morality) seems to be of utmost important to the teachers of Vipassana. The claim seems to be that the right form of Samadhi (samma samadhi) cannot be achieved without perfect sīla. This includes only having sex with one partner and not using any drugs (including psychedelics). I'm having a really difficult time accepting that Vipassana can only be used to achieve effective results if one abstains from using psychadelics.

I'd love to hear some thoughts about this!

It's simply not true. You can combine techniques & the only time when morality could slow you down is if immoral behavior clouded your mind therefore worsened your concentration. Which CAN happen but it should be up to you to notice which actions hinder you and which don't.

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Also, God is perfect morality. 
 

Your morality is relative. For some people having sex with multiple partners like many tantrics and sex shamans… and for others using psychedelics are very moral indeed. 


 "Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

                            ◭"89"

                  

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Another thing is to remember there are many different spiritual technologies. People will find what works for them and get the results those have to offer. 


 "Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

                            ◭"89"

                  

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So I just received this response from one of the Vipassana teachers:

"If Vipassana is mixed with other techniques, it will work less or not at all. The Buddha's path to enlightenment is complete. To get the best results from a technique (not only Vipassana but all serious methods) one must focus on it completely, with soul and heart. Otherwise it will be watered down and fragmented. If you want to mix and match techniques, I would suggest stopping Vipassana altogether. There is, of course, nothing wrong with experimenting to find a technique that suits you. But the recommendation is that the sooner the better choose a technique, Vipassana or some other path, and practice it with soul and heart. Then you take care of this precious life in the best way."

Trying to research on my own, I find that a lot of people seems to be advocating a mix of Vipassana & Self-inquiry for example. Vipassana as the foundational core and self-inquiry for the more straightforward "dynamite" path. 

Any thoughts on this?

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@RandomToolGuy they are just being dogmatic.  Vipassana is useful and it can be combined with other practices. Most people won't succeed with just one practice. 

Just do the practices you're drawn to diligently and don't worry about the dogma. Come to your own conclusion.

Part of the fun of this work is setting your own path ;)

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@RandomToolGuy It’s historically wrong what they say.

You won’t get a fully balanced and integrated spiritual practice with only one technique. 
 

If you look at what Buddhism actually is… and it’s history you see that there were many different schools, different interpretations and different practices. These technologies developed over time and there was always long in fighting amongst Buddhist/ toasit schools.

Nothing wrong I think with going deep into vipassana. Just ignore the bullshit dogma. 

Edited by Thought Art

 "Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

                            ◭"89"

                  

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Psychedelics can definitely be worked with vipassana, and this can actually improve sila for some people ironically. 
 

If you want to know “how” to do it, it’s pretty simple. You just do vipassana and the other techniques or do vipassana at the same time as another technique or on psychedelics. A lighter dose of psychedelics is recommended though. I would say think of the psychedelic as a bit of lubrication for your awareness to respond to the vipassana technique. I’d only use a lighter dose as otherwise it’ll probably just be a trip rather than effective vipassana. 


“Any kind of consciousness whatever, whether past, future, or present, internal or external, gross or subtle, inferior or superior, far or near — a disciple of mine sees all consciousness as it actually is with proper wisdom thus: ‘This is not mine, this I am not, this is not my self.’” - the Tathāgata

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Google Rak Razam - Bridging Heaven 


 "Unburdened and Becoming" - Bon Iver

                            ◭"89"

                  

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12 hours ago, RandomToolGuy said:

So I just received this response from one of the Vipassana teachers:

"If Vipassana is mixed with other techniques, it will work less or not at all. The Buddha's path to enlightenment is complete. To get the best results from a technique (not only Vipassana but all serious methods) one must focus on it completely, with soul and heart. Otherwise it will be watered down and fragmented. If you want to mix and match techniques, I would suggest stopping Vipassana altogether. There is, of course, nothing wrong with experimenting to find a technique that suits you. But the recommendation is that the sooner the better choose a technique, Vipassana or some other path, and practice it with soul and heart. Then you take care of this precious life in the best way."

Trying to research on my own, I find that a lot of people seems to be advocating a mix of Vipassana & Self-inquiry for example. Vipassana as the foundational core and self-inquiry for the more straightforward "dynamite" path. 

Any thoughts on this?

Have one main practice and try to find the best combo possible. Maybe if they combined techniques they wouldn't have to spend decades to get mediocre results (ie. most monks etc).

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On 9/20/2022 at 4:00 PM, Thought Art said:

Google Rak Razam - Bridging Heaven 

Wow that's really cool, thanks for the suggestion!!

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@RandomToolGuy

Reading you, I would say that you already know the answer: these people are narrow-minded, dogmatic, profoundly mistaken and pompously stupid.

Even so, meditating for 10 days is a great achievement.

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On 21/09/2022 at 0:00 AM, Thought Art said:

Google Rak Razam - Bridging Heaven 

great recommendation! 

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On 21/09/2022 at 0:00 AM, Thought Art said:

Google Rak Razam - Bridging Heaven 

Just listened to a podcast about Bridging Heaven.  Important work they are doing.

 

Thanks again for the recommendation 

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On 9/19/2022 at 11:41 PM, RandomToolGuy said:

If Vipassana is mixed with other techniques, it will work less or not at all.

Lol

And if you masturbate you will make baby Jesus cry.

Bro, start thinking for yourself.

You can Awaken and be a rapist. I don't recommend it, but it is possible.

Conflating Awakening with moral perfection is one of the greatest errors in spirituality.

Edited by Leo Gura

You are God. You are Truth. You are Love. You are Infinity.

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They often say that because they expect you to use vipassana 24/7 to erase the thinking patterns when you are not using your mind for anything else. The idea behind that is to prevent your mind from giving automatic reactions.  But you can still use it to get insights and break some thinking patterns.

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The purpose of vipassana is to develop sensory clarity and to reduce clinging.  As clinging to various sensations is ground down (which can be done at deeper and deeper levels as clarity increases), the "speed" with which sensations are noticed in awareness may increase dramatically.  It's like reality gets lubed.  Clinging is let go by noticing the 3 characteristics - impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self.  Put simply, self and resistance/clinging (and suffering!) are dependently originated, meaning one arises in response to the other.  Vipassana deconstructs the resistance side of this (while self-inquiry and do nothing both deconstruct the "self" side).   They are mutually supportive.  Either can be taken all the way, but I personally think meeting in the middle is the best path.

As equanimity deepens, self (and thus suffering) decreases.  Awakening becomes likely as space is created between awareness and its contents, but this initial awakening will need to deepen substantially to reach the major milestone of true Anatta (no-self in ALL sensory perception, including time, space, distance, etc., EVEN awareness itself).  The deconstruction to reach anatta is subtle and deep, and will take years of careful practice for most.  Anatta is a massive achievement, but there are subtle aspects of enlightenment that deepen this realization.  These essentially include emptiness and luminosity--on the one hand truly dropping the "thingness/inherent existence" of all things, and on the other the shining forth of love, interconnection, and vivid aliveness in every moment of experience, with no boundaries or borders to be found anywhere.  It all becomes one ineffable unspeakable Thisness.

As far as suffering goes, Anatta is basically the end of that.  Descriptions in words fail very early on in this process, so realize this is not a conceptual dogma but really just a general pointing map for the path.  Seeing That Frees is a wonderful guide to much of this, but really understanding how all the practices relate to each other is a larger work of integration, and you'll need to branch out to many teachers and methods to put it together yourself.  

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On 9/19/2022 at 11:41 PM, RandomToolGuy said:

So I just received this response from one of the Vipassana teachers:

"If Vipassana is mixed with other techniques, it will work less or not at all. The Buddha's path to enlightenment is complete. To get the best results from a technique (not only Vipassana but all serious methods) one must focus on it completely, with soul and heart. Otherwise it will be watered down and fragmented. If you want to mix and match techniques, I would suggest stopping Vipassana altogether. There is, of course, nothing wrong with experimenting to find a technique that suits you. But the recommendation is that the sooner the better choose a technique, Vipassana or some other path, and practice it with soul and heart. Then you take care of this precious life in the best way."

Trying to research on my own, I find that a lot of people seems to be advocating a mix of Vipassana & Self-inquiry for example. Vipassana as the foundational core and self-inquiry for the more straightforward "dynamite" path. 

Any thoughts on this?

You should look into Shinzen Young’s work. Teaches vipassana without the dogma and imo way more effective than the Goenka approach. The specifics for why this is the case are nuanced, deep, and a little beyond a simply reply. I highly would suggest you look into the unified mindfulness system though. The fundamental shifts happening as a result of the goenka body scanning technique needed for liberating insight are not specific to vipassana or Buddhism.

That being said, you’re still doing great work on the 10 day retreats. Dont doubt the power of the practice. Just doubt the dogma attached. 

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