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Thread: Insight/Vipassana guided meditations

  1. #1

    Insight/Vipassana guided meditations

    I was introduced to Insight/Vipassana before Zen, and both "speak to me" after all these years still.

    Back in '08 or '09, I started using the Salzberg & Goldstein "Insight Meditation in-depth correspondence course" intended to be a distance study taking up to a year to work through. I never completed it, because I began to focus more of my attention on shikantaza.

    But here lately I've just been doing both (not at the same time, obviously). Part of the Insight course is a bunch of roughly 45-minute guided meditations that are essentially the same experience as sitting with a vipassana (or zen) instructor briefly chiming in from time to time, which is how I first learned to do all this years ago.

    Anyone else have experience and/or informed opinions about this approach? In a group this size, I assume a handful of you have at least been exposed to it.

    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.

  2. #2
    The best teaching on Vipassana/Theravada style meditation that I found is by Daniel Ingram in his book "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha". This is a very practical, no-nonsense book that tells you everything that you need to know about this form of practice. I really loved it when I read it. I didn't take it up though as I found Shikantaza to be much more natural and closer to my heart.


  3. #3
    I had the big boxed set of their correspondence course, all the lessons at one time, and I never got through it either. It just didn't do it for me. Ultimately, I have decided that I am too lazy to do that much work. I prefer to just sit.
    Neika / Ian Adams

    寧 Nei - Peaceful/Courteous
    火 Ka - Fire

    Look for Buddha outside your own mind, and Buddha becomes the devil. --Dogen

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Neika View Post
    Ultimately, I have decided that I am too lazy to do that much work. I prefer to just sit.
    haha same here too. The Vipassana style of monitoring all those different sensations and noting down three qualities seems to be "too much doing" for me. Just Sitting appears much more natural. But that book is definitely a good read whether you want to practice or not.

  5. #5
    It's definitely additional work(/effort), but I have found it to be effort well invested.

    Sent from my SCH-L710 using Tapatalk 2
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.

  6. #6
    Member Geika's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    San Diego County, California
    Reminds me of when I downloaded Paramahansa Yogananda's Kriya Yoga lessons instead of buying them from the SRF center that I live twenty minutes from. I wanted to know what I was in for before I spent the money. Thank goodness I didn't buy them! So much work for several years! So many daily exercises and duties and prayers and restrictions. A lot of it still stays with me, though. However, I am not cut out for that kind of practice!
    迎 Geika

  7. #7
    After a few weeks of knocking the dust off the old CDs, I have about concluded (if only for now) that having devoted myself to the language and approach of this style of shikantaza, the old Insight approach to sitting doesn't seem to speak to me the way it once did.

    When I first started learning to practice back in the 90s, the differences between shikantaza and some of the other (Insight/Vipassana, "mindfulness" a la Thich Nhat Hanh, and the like) were too subtle for me to really pick up on. But now I think maybe while there are some core teachings & concepts woven through the differing approaches, settling into one approach to practice at a time may have some particular merit.

    Who knows, though?

    For now, I think I'll continue just sitting and see. I can say that sitting down with the CDs got me back into the habit for sitting down for longer periods again. Much of my zazen has consisted of sessions more to the tune of 25 minutes of zazen, a bit of kinhin, 25 more of zazen, etc. Now I'm sitting for longer periods, which I find agreeable.
    Diligently attain nothing. Sort of. Best not to over-think it.

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