When students meet each other, one of the first questions they ask each other is if the other is a new student, and if not, how many retreats one has undergone. There is a visible humility in the other if one replies with a high enough number. Then the next question is where one has done the retreats. Some centers are considered better (having better “vibrations” or management) than others. The highest-ranking centers are in Igatpuri, Jaipur and
Sonepat. There are long waiting lists for Igatpuri and the Sonepat center is only for old students or for long courses. The Vipassana enrollment forms also ask this question (the number of courses). 11 They ask another curious question which will be dealt with hereunder.
It is considered significant if someone has done a course under the live guidance of Mr Goenka or his wife (called respectfully as Mataji). Again, it might be considered an important factor in one’s practice to have been taught by Mr Goenka and to have received his vibrations and goodwill in close quarters. ~
“A Critique of Vipassana Meditation as taught by Mr S N Goenka”, Harmanjit Singh, July 20, 2007
“Or someone might join a club, be initiated into a particular organization because he feels starved, worthless. The group is fat and wealthy and he wants someone to feed him. He gets fed and becomes fat as he expected, but then what? Who is deceiving whom? Is the teacher or guru deceiving himself, expanding his ego?
“I have such a large flock of followers who have been initiated.”
Or is he deceiving his students, leading them to believe that they have become wiser, more spiritual, simply because they have committed themselves to his organization and have been labeled monks, yogis, whatever titles they may have received?
There are so many different titles to receive.
Do these names, credentials bring us any real benefit?
Do they really?
Half an hour’s ceremony does not bring us to the next stage of enlightenment; let’s face facts.
I personally have tremendous devotion to and faith in the Buddhist lineage and the power of the teachings, but not in a simple-minded way.”
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”
I was initially asked to begin a series concerning Psytrance and the inherent cultism within it, however after much deliberation, it has been determined that series cannot be properly written until another form of cultism is addressed – Vipassana
This will be in two parts, as I realize it will be difficult to address this in one and maintain the attention span of readers, as the subject matter is vast.
Vipassana is a very artful approach to cultism.
It utilizes this myth that it is the meditation method the Buddha utilized to gain enlightenment –
“However, it is not Samatha meditation that is the most popular type of Buddhist meditation; the most widely used form today is Vipassana or Mindfulness meditation. Vipassana is also referred to as Insight meditation, because through its practice one is supposed to develop penetrating insight into the true nature of reality. Buddha explained that through Vipassana, which literally means through insight, one should gain the wisdom that brings you freedom from the blindness of ignorance.“
However, and here is where it becomes the artful manipulation that draws you in to cultism, the practice of how it is taught today is where it becomes the first steps into what becomes cultism –
“These days, Vipassana/Mindfulness meditation is practiced by the practitioner having the intention to be an impartial observer of some natural process occurring within his or her body, mind or emotions. For example, one is asked to just observe or be mindful of the rising and falling of the abdomen during the process of breathing, or to just impartially observe the incoming and outgoing of the breath itself.
Another popular form of this meditation is to mindfully observe the body in the natural act of walking or during the process of standing up or sitting down. The key element is to try to be continuously aware of whatever process is taking place without in any way interfering with or reacting to, either positively or negatively, the process that is occurring in the moment.
The idea is to try to be fully aware of the raw experience that is always happening and transforming by noting and letting go of each arising and subsiding sensation. This practice is supposed to bring one deep insight, perfect wisdom, into the ultimate reality of the true nature of existence in both its conditioned and unconditioned states.
Unfortunately, this attempt to develop and obtain Insight through the practice of trying to be an impartial observer is not a right method. The reason for this is that the impartial observer, which alone is capable of right mindfulness and genuine Insight, is the fully-awakened state of Nirvana Itself.
The true impartial observer is never the attention or mind that is attempting to watch a process. The reason for this is that this very attempt is a part of the process itself; it is not outside the process.”
~ Dr. Evan Finkelstein, “The Buddha’s Meditation”, Elephant Journal
Or, conversely, we can look at Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s very astute view of the exact same thing –
“We might attempt to imitate certain spiritual paths, such as the American Indian path or the Hindu path or the Japanese Zen Buddhist path. We might abandon our suits and collars and ties, our belts and trousers and shoes in an attempt to follow their example. Or we may decide to go to northern India in order to join the Tibetans. We might wear Tibetan clothing and adopt Tibetan customs. This will seem to be the
“hard way,” because there will always be obstacles and temptations to distract us from our purpose.”
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”
Now, and please correct me if I am wrong, but this seems to be more about self fulfillment than self awareness, about stimulus than about enlightenment, about, and I know we’ve been here before, THE “Id”!!
Or, as Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche would state –
“Ego is able to convert everything to its own use, even spirituality. For example, if you have learned of a particularly beneficial meditation technique of spiritual practice, then ego’s attitude is, first to regard it as an object of fascination and, second to examine it. Finally, since ego is seeming solid and cannot really absorb anything, it can only mimic.
Thus ego tries to examine and imitate the practice of meditation and the meditative way of life. When we have learned all the tricks and answers of the spiritual game, we automatically try to imitate spirituality, since real involvement would require the complete elimination of ego, and actually the last thing we want to do is to give up the ego completely.
However, we cannot experience that which we are trying to imitate; we can only find some area within the bounds of ego that seems to be the same thing. Ego translates everything in terms of its own state of health, its own inherent qualities. It feels a sense of great accomplishment and excitement at having been able to create such a pattern. At last it has created a tangible accomplishment, a confirmation of its own individuality.”
~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”
This dove tails nicely into another, more in-depth study and critique of the Vipassana practice, by Harmanjit Singh, which will be referenced exhaustively in this series –
“First of all, this is a dissociative meditation practice with the professed (intermediate) goal of making one the detached observer of phenomena rather than an involved party. This may sound fine to people ingrained in the eastern religions, as in eastern philosophies the world is considered a mirage or an appearance. The Self (or the Soul) is considered a non- material observational entity, whose liberation is sought from any link to this world of suffering towards a timeless, formless, sense-less world (called Heaven, Nirvana, the Void, etc.).
Mr Goenka is very emphatic in saying that most people, though they believe themselves to be neither the body, nor the carriers of the body, nevertheless are identified as being the body or as being the carriers of the body. His aim is to make this act of belief an insight, rather than just a belief, by actually helping people see the truth of the mind-body phenomenon. He does not, however, question or raise the issue of who or what exactly it is that is to be liberated?
The Soul that is identified with the body or which considers itself the body is sought to be liberated. But whether the Soul is real or illusory or not is not questioned. Only its identification is questioned. Mr Goenka repeat- edly claims that it makes no difference if one believes or does not believe in a Soul, but dissociative practices all implicitly believe in an entity (or awareness) which can be dissociated. Mr Goenka explictly discourages discussion about this topic.
As in all spiritual disciplines, the focus is on getting rid of the ego, or self with the small “s”, and becoming the All, the Complete, or the Self with the capital “S”. In Buddhist terminology, the journey is phrased in other terms, from Ignorance and Attachment to Liberation, but the essence remains the same.
Two thousand years of dissociative spiritual practices in India have chang- ed the psyche of its people so deeply that they genuinely consider this earth and the universe as a subjective creation with their only loyalty or faith (howsoever half-baked) in some God or in some other non-physical realm. Hence, they regard any occurrence in the outside world only with as much importance as it interferes with their own life. The awareness that there are other subjective entities, and the civic responsibility and order this awareness implies, is understandably absent in Indian society. The Indian psyche is already dissociated from the world to some extent.
Dissociative practices, which claim to make one the pure observer, are very attractive to the Indian mind, which finds suffering all around and wants an individual, solipsistic and non-material way to find happiness, howsoever illusory.
In modern psychiatry, dissociation is treated as a disorder. Depersonalization disorder is a specific illness under the category of dissociative disorders in the fourth edition of DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Man- ual, the world standard in psychiatry).
- Patients with this dissociative disorder experience episodes during which they feel detached from themselves. They may experience themselves or their surroundings as unreal. They may feel outside or lacking control of themselves. They retain awareness that this is only a feeling.
Diagnostic criteria for 300.6 Depersonalization Disorder
- A. Persistent or recurrent experiences of feeling detached from, and as if one is an outside observer of, one’s mental pro- cesses or body (e.g., feeling like one is in a dream).
The questions to ask are: Am “I” the problem for this body or is this body the problem for “I”? Do “I” need to get rid of any linkage to this body or does this body need freedom from the clutches of an ego entity or Being which calls itself the self or the Self.
Vipassana and other dissociative practices seek to get the body out of the way of “I” so that “I” can dwell in a body-less realm of peace and happiness. The problem of suffering is quite real. But the solution might be quite different than dissociating from this world.”
As it is now becoming a bit long, and I still have not gotten into the “reality TV” or “cultish” aspects of this, I will merely begin to illustrate the practice here. As one can see above, and I will admit this is skipping ahead in the critique, the practice, as it is taught, edges dangerously close to psychological disorder territory.
It seems to train one to become a sociopath, with no “attachment” to THEMSELVES, much less anyone else in their lives
I will admit, this is not my best work, however, the stage is set, preparing us for the next chapter, which will include a much further in depth dissection, as well as email exchanges between a blindly following vipassana convert, and myself, which is ironic, as this person spoke with such vitriol against christianity and catholicism, only to fall rank and file into not one, but SEVEN cults, incestuously intermeshed with one another.
Ironically the same number as “the seven deadly sins”……
- Effect of Cultism on Education (thespians2011.wordpress.com)
- Vipassana the difference between Knowing the path and walking the path (livingvipassana.com)
- On the road with the Buddha (livingvipassana.com)
- Vipassana meditation retreats: enjoy the silence (zenflash.wordpress.com)
- Vipassana meditation retreat in Maryland (wjla.com)
- Self-insight to healing (thehindu.com)
- Samatha and Vipassana (buddhajourney.net)
- (Video) “What About Me?” (lessthantwominutes.wordpress.com)
- Ceremony on protecting nationality, religion and Sassana held in Yangon (democracyforburma.wordpress.com)
- Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche’s Poem of Love (zazenlife.com)
26 thoughts on “Vipassana – Buddhist & Yogic cultism at its worst…..Part 1”
There is certainly some validity in these critiques, but none of what I’ve read here is even close to understanding what Vipassana is really like or what the people who come to a course learn, or what the people who have done it – or other meditative practices – for a long time are really like. These critiques – except for Trungpa, whom I highly respect and have studied a lot, including the book you reference – are all on some ethereal and theoretical level. And frankly, they don’t make a whole lot sense even there if you know anything about Buddhist practice or the sutras. Again, I agree that there are issues with Vipassana as a practice and as an organization, but you’re not touching on them! Talk to some real people about it if you want to do a critique, don’t just quote a bunch of academic crap. The fact is, this practice, and many other so-called “dissociative” practices, really help people to live more productive lives and deal with all those ego-based problems. If you read my post, you saw the part about ‘constant and thorough awareness of impermanence’ – this is not just theoretical, it’s deeply changing one’s perspective on all this material existence. Not dissociating from it or denying it or any of that, just seeing it very clearly as exactly what it is… which is very liberating.
I’m not into doing a lot of arguing or debating all this, which I see as just counter-productive, so don’t expect to hook me into that if you’re just trolling here. I just want you to think about this clearly and be sure you’re not just serving some other agenda… not sure what that would be, as I haven’t read anything else you’ve said, but it reeks of something. Mostly of narrow academia, but maybe there is another agenda…?
But please, keep reading Ryan’s blog, maybe you’ll get some better ideas of what we’re really about here.
Metta to you!
I will be touching upon the actual issues of the meditation itself in part two, which is being written and formatted now.
I elected to end the current entry where it was due to brevity.
The reality is humans today only have so much of an attention span, and this subject, and the critique that will follow, is Immense in it’s depth, therefore I began to merely set the stage. The next blog entry may be much longer than this one, or I may need to split this to three parts, instead of two.
HOWEVER, the error with Vipassana, which will be explained in the next entry, is the use of a BRAHMIN practice, being stated to be a BUDDHIST practice, which it is not, and then the Stockholm syndrome style collective narcissism it creates from there.
Again, it will be more adequately explained in the second entry, with more examples given, to illustrate this fact.
What is a life if you alienate everyone that actually cared for you to only associate with those that are within the same cult as you?
That is what Trungpa is stating, by the way, and what I believe you missed in his statements.
Why do we call out other cults, such as Scientology, however because this is supposed buddhist (It’s not. It has nothing at all to do with buddhism) this cult is “okay”?
I will state merely remain posted, subscribe, and see how this is fleshed out.
Sometimes it takes someone from the outside looking in to show those indoctrinated what they are willfully ignoring.
There is also a facebook page that touches on these subjects in a bite sized way – http://www.facebook.com/neonplasticlotus
Yeah, I guess only you Tibetan lineage folks are really “Buddhist.” Which is pretty ironic, actually. Just seems like a lot of semantic games to prove that yours is the only true practice. All of which is quite familiar to me… Why is it people can’t just do practices that are helpful and not have to be told what they should and shouldn’t do by someone else? See, that’s what you’re missing by not talking to actual people… this is a very helpful practice for many people. – Anyway, I don’t want to argue, as I said, but I’m not getting much out of this critique. But I’ll check out what else you have to say in Pt. 2.
The issue is that it’s NOT a “buddhist” practice at all.
It is based in the hedonism of the Brahmin, the same caste system the man credited as buddha sought to escape?
When buddhism became mahayana, just as the romans consolidated all religions into catholicism, for control of the masses, the ruling class, the Brahmin, also infected buddhism with the exact poison the buddha reached enlightenment to no longer be held by.
Knowing our accurate history is a very good way to understand motivations and intentions of practices.
Because the practice is NOT helpful, and there have been buried studies that show that, as well as the behavior of you, as I am encountering here, which actually SUPPORTS the original “cultism” argument.
Just came across this after my comment – it’s a pretty interesting critique of mindfulness meditation, and also very on target, in case you’re interested.
Mindfulness meditation and vipassana are not the same thing.
Not in the slightest.
If the two are being conflated, there is a grandiose error there.
I’m aware of that. Just that his critique of ‘mindfulness’ is much more to the point than your supposed critique of Vipassana.
You are attempting to compare apples and oranges, with a blog about mindfulness meditation to critique an admittedly incomplete overview of the cultism of vipassana?
That is a very poor way to debate.
And, I’m sorry, however every time you state “I’m not trying to argue….” I think of “Sorry, not sorry.”
Yet you quote this from someone – ““These days, Vipassana/Mindfulness meditation is practiced by the practitioner having the intention to be an impartial observer of some natural process occurring within his or her body, mind or emotions. For example, one is asked to just observe or be mindful of the rising and falling of the abdomen during the process of breathing, or to just impartially observe the incoming and outgoing of the breath itself.” Isn’t this conflating the two?
The quote you mention is still on the subject of Vipassana, while your’s was NOT.
It was literally excerpted from another critique of Vipassana.
I’m failing to see the relevance.
You really do need to be more informed on Vipassana if you’re going to critique it!
I will not even respond that.
I am approving the comment, for posterity, however I will not respond to baiting.
Actually, I am not interested in debating you, just trying to give you a little perspective that you seem to be lacking – and admittedly, it irritates me a bit to read someone purporting to analyze or critique something without really understanding it. Just as an example, your comment to me “What is a life if you alienate everyone that actually cared for you to only associate with those that are within the same cult as you?” shows you don’t really know Vipassana. For nearly all of the people who practice Vipassana, going to a Center is something they do once or twice a year. The rest of the year they live in the same place and with the same people as they were before, and some may meet once a week or once a month – in urban areas – with a group for meditation. So they idea that they belong to a cult that alienates them from those they care about is off the mark. A tiny percent of them go a Center occasionally for some period to do long-term service. A very tiny percent become assistant teachers, but even these still maintain a normal life with their friends and families… So I just don’t know what you’re talking about. Most of what you have said about Vipassana doesn’t ring true to my experience of it.
It seems one thing Vipassana has NOT taught you is HONESTY…..
Let’s address your response point by point –
1. “shows you don’t really know Vipassana.” – That’s what you took from that? You didn’t ascertain I may have a personal experience with it, that correlates to other similar experiences, most visible of which being the death that occurred in Arizona?
2. “they live in the same place and with the same people as they were before,” – Pardon? Is that not EXACTLY how cults operate?
3. “and some may meet once a week or once a month – in urban areas – with a group for meditation.” – Meditation is a SOLITARY process.
The error that has become rampant is “Guided” meditation (hypnosis. Funnily, Chuck Palahniuk did a great take on this in his novel, “Choke”, as an instructor led mastubatory fantasy….), and there is reason it is MEANT to be done ALONE.
When you are alone, the only thing you face is YOU, YOUR “self”, YOUR subconscious. When you have other fragile Ids doing the same practice with you at the same exact time, the Id has been given something to latch onto. It “knows” it’s not “alone”, and takes comfort in that.
You’ve not progressed, you’ve just learned a new trick.
That’s what the Id does.
You say you respect Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, however that is in the FIRST CHAPTER of “Cutting through spiritual Materialism”, which, if you read it, you obviously did not UNDERSTAND it.
The rest of your statements are as assumptive as number 1, therefore I know I am not speaking with a learned individual, and you are definitely not a dharma practitioner, as you are adversarial, and YOU are the one actually “trolling” at this juncture.
Do not lead off with, “I’m not interested in debating with you…” and then continue to make your point.
What you betray is a “need” for dominance, which you will not achieve here.
You are stating –
“You will listen to what I say and you will not respond or argue back with me”
– which is a behavior I see OFTEN from vipassana “devotees”.
And that’s the point – the practice has taught you to protect the group, protect the practice, take any critique of it as an attack to YOU PERSONALLY.
This is also known as “Collective Narcissism”
A directed enmity toward anyone in the “Out-group”
Need I say more?
Wait – not making sense of this. What about the part that says “alienate everyone that actually cared for you to only associate with those that are within the same cult as you”? How is that the same as maintaining all one’s old relationships and simply doing a different meditation practice? See the point I’m making is that no one I know in Vipassana has alienated those they care for, nor do they only associate with other Vipassana people. Is that clear? I mean, you just keep twisting what I say and painting me as some brainwashed idiot and saying unkind things about me and then claim I’m not a true practitioner… As for point 3, yes, most of the people I know do meditate alone most of the time. They meet occasionally, very rarely actually, to meditate for a few hours with others. That’s known as the sangha in most of the other Buddhism I’ve been involved in, so I just don’t get what you’re saying. Certainly doesn’t make it a cult. I am sorry if I seem negative or argumentative, but what you say doesn’t make sense in the context of my 40 years or so of involvement with Buddhism.
Let me be clear: I was very involved in Zen for a while, and have practiced Vipassana for 5 years and found it helpful, but I have always been able to keep a fairly detached perspective and observe it. Recently, the last year or so, I have had serious doubts about the practice, and now consider it as something I am involved in but not dedicated to and certainly not a “devotee.’ As I said in the beginning, there are issues, practical and theoretical, but it doesn’t seem to be the way you paint it. So I’m just trying to point out to you that if you want to do a serious critique you should get some better information, some more perspectives – because honestly, what you are describing seems like a different animal altogether.
So that you know I have no interest in whether you listen to this or not, and am not trying to establish ‘dominance’ or whatever unkind thing that was you said, I am out of this conversation. Whatever you do now you do without my presence or comment! Best of luck!
Let’s, again, look at this point by point :
1. “How is that the same as maintaining all one’s old relationships and simply doing a different meditation practice?” – But that’s not what you SAID, is it? It may be what you meant, however, it’s not what you SAID. Which carries over into point TWO….
2. “…and saying unkind things about me and then claim I’m not a true practitioner… “ – Pardon? An observation is now “unkind”? Your responses are the same trained responses I am accustomed to receiving from vipassana devotees, therefore it is of no fault of mine all of you speak from the same script.
That is what I have noticed vipassana devotees lack, and what it trains you to lack, due to the immense amount of “self” focus that is part of the practice.
You have forgotten others exist.
It has literally become all about YOU.
Empathy exists in that you are able to put yourself in the shoes of others, to be able to see THEIR perspective, as well as your own, as well as the ability, because you EMPATHIZE with them, to explain things in a way that ANYONE may understand it.
Empathy is also necessary for compassion, whether it be caring or ruthless (still caring, but in a “tough love” way) compassion.
I am noticing, in how you respond that that is what you lack.
You may “feel” you have it, however you do not.
You have forgotten it.
This is illustrated in your defensiveness, and I mean defensive in that you could have preceded with the fact you were no longer a devotee, but also that you could have stated everything you stated in a non-controlling way.
As for what makes it a cult, besides what I have already mentioned, you will see that in part two.
Your “I’ve no interest in debating with you…” while then proceeding to make your point, also betrays this, as I stated before.
You want to “Instruct” with no argument.
However you are not a “Faquir”. I know that method, and practice it daily. A faquir also would not have become defensive, and I truly mean you are defensive.
Did you MISS the line where I stated I have had several personal experiences with Vipassana ( “So I’m just trying to point out to you that if you want to do a serious critique you should get some better information, some more perspectives – because honestly, what you are describing seems like a different animal altogether.” ) or did you elect to IGNORE it?
You opened up a discourse. Expect to be disagreed with, process it, reply accordingly.
As for your 40 years in buddhism, I have 25 years, and never accept anything as gospel. I bother to question, as it is the way to learn, and as more research comes to light, that I always felt, and is now confirmed by the new research, I keep and open mind, consider it, and catalog it.
You’re open to NOTHING.
And you become defensive (cognitive dissonance) when you hear that research, as though you are “grasping” or “clinging” (are you aware of those concepts in buddhism????) to what you THOUGHT you “knew”.
As for the “sangha”, that is a western creation, to my knowledge, and one we created to become similar to a congregation, as our roots seem to be in the tribalism that came from paganism, that transferred into catholicism and christianity.
I don’t remember Bodhidharma being concerned with Sangha. Neither was, supposedly, Siddhartha himself.
So, why do we need to cling to a “community” to practice?
Yes, I feel you have “lost the plot”, as have the majority of those supposedly practicing “buddhism”, and yes, as a Karma Kagyu practitioner, I will counter it, initiate dukkha, and hope that it will cause you to reflect, review, and research what you “think” you “know”.
At any rate, I need to continue to format part two, therefore, good day. 😀
All this is very confusing. Vipassana has been practiced by Buddhist monks in Burma for centuries, yet you say it’s not Buddhist. Tibetan practice owes probably as much to Bon and Dzogchen as to Buddha, yet you seem to consider it Buddhist. Then you say something about when Buddhism became Mayhayana it became infected with Brahmin ideas… yet Vipassana is out of the Theravadin tradition, way predating Mahayana. You just don’t seem to have this stuff right, yet you’re presenting a critique. Again, I am not interested in debate, just in pointing out to you that you don’t seem to know what you’re talking about. Not that I really care, but then, you did reference my article, and sucked me into this… so I think unless there’s more here than meets the eye, I’m done with the conversation.
You really do not know your history, do you?
You only know the propaganda fed to you by Vipassana.
That much is obvious.
Are you aware that what you know of as Buddhism, and also Vipassana, was actually fed back to Asia by German and English romanticists?
Are you aware that even India really has lost track of their own spiritual practices, and thus even THOSE were fed back to THEM by English and German Romanticists, in an effort to halt western missionary practices attempting to convert them to christianity? Are you aware that even yoga was modified to absorb our christian belief system, to make it more palatable to the supposed western mind, therefore, again, the actual origin practices have been lost in the morass of a non-structured non-system that India really had no records of?
I feel YOU need to know more of what you speak of, before attempting to counsel ME.
Well… I’m really looking forward to reading about ‘Psytrance as Cult’ and would love to skype with you about it at some point. Very interesting idea!
As soon as I have completed part two of the Vipassana Blog, I will be going “full on” , 😉 , into the psytrance cults series.
That will be LONG.
So many conversations to include in that series.
Hi again. I am just dropping back in to say thanks for inspiring me to re-read _Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism_. Has been a number of years, and reading into it I see again how it describes much of my practice – still – very accurately, and am hoping to find a way out, or ‘step out’ as he says, of my great collection of spiritual practices. Maybe that’s why I ended up at this site…
Still don’t really get what you’re saying here, tho must admit, I couldn’t bring myself to read any more of your responses since I bailed. Even tho I do now see that maybe what I’m interpreting as unkind is just the Vajrayana way… crazy wisdom, all that. Again, I suggest you actually talk to some Vipassana people. In a non-attacking way, maybe? They’re not as you portray them.
The entire purpose of this site is a focus on spiritual materialism, it’s destructive nature & consequences, and a motivation to look at things with singular and critical eyes, versus the eyes of collective maya.
I do feel you keep missing that I have had MANY PERSONAL experiences with Vipassana devotees, one of which will be featured in part two, and thus I come from a background of knowledge of meditation, as well as experience with cult behaviour, Vipassana included.
I am, again, glad this was able to motivate you to read Trungpa again, with different eyes and understanding, and hope future blogs will do the same for others as well.
What is being practiced now as buddhism, due to the “new age takeover” of spirituality and yoga, and conflating two inherently different practices and belief systems, is no longer buddhism.
To ME, if it is to survive and evolve, it needs to break away from the obfuscation of maya it has become.
This is a post from David Chapman that I read a year or so ago, but had kinda lost, just popped up in my e-mail via a comments link, and re-reading it thought you might be interested. Similar to your ideas on vipassana as recent developments: http://meaningness.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/theravada-reinvents-meditation/
I will take a look.
I am always open to differing perspectives.
Thank you again, John.
I have looked at the link you have provided and am now re-editing my follow up blog to include information from it.
This may now become a THREE part blog entry.
Thank you, again.