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Interest in a thread to study Tiantai samatha vipasyana?

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Interest in a thread to study Tiantai samatha vipasyana?

Postby Huifeng on Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:46 pm

Is there any interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā? ie. the text 小止觀 (Xiǎo Zhǐguān).

We can use the PDF files found at the Kalavinka site (or people can buy a copy from Amazon if they like, it's relatively cheap).

Go through the text chapter by chapter, section by section. It's quite short on the whole, so we can cover a lot without need to skip any major parts at all.

Any interest?

~~ Huifeng
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Dan74 on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:00 pm

I read this text from Kalavinka's translation probably 8 years ago. I thought it was an amazingly detailed and lucid text, but could only take in so much then.

Would love to go through it with you, Sifu.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Carol on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:02 pm

Yes. Very interested in what I've read/heard of Chih-i.

Thanks.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby christopher::: on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:22 pm

I'm also very interested, Venerable. But I could not find a title that corresponded exactly to your description. Do you mean the first text linked The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyana Meditation?

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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby MattJ on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:23 pm

I'd love to.

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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby PeterB on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:08 pm

Count me in...

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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby fukasetsu on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:48 pm

Huifeng wrote:Any interest?


I'm in. :)
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Hoja on Sat Aug 27, 2011 3:49 pm

I'm in.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby chicka-Dee on Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:35 pm

I'll definitely take a look! Sounds like a wonderful opportunity. With thanks.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby klqv on Sat Aug 27, 2011 5:45 pm

yeah!! i had signed up for a tendai retreat but it was in a different country and i didn't go in the ends...
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby klqv on Sat Aug 27, 2011 6:36 pm

do you mean the essentials text?

i have read it and it seemed very straightforward - for a reading group? there's a couple of paragraphs toward the end on emptiness and the conventional which are far more challenging and would seem to require some ingenuity or at least more reading...
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Huifeng on Sun Aug 28, 2011 3:57 am

Hi,

Okay, that was a mighty quick and enthusiastic response from everyone!
I was kind of thinking to myself - "So, how many people do we need to reckon it worthwhile?"

Yes, the text in question on the Kalavinka site is:
The Essentials of Buddhist Meditation: The Essentials for Practicing Calming-and-Insight & Dhyana Meditation

There are actually a couple of different PDF sources on the Kalavinka site:

The "Front Matter" can be found here.
Then, the link I gave previously, from the first title here.

By the way, el Gatito, you mention that you have a copy that was available on the net. Just to let you know, apart from my link above to the Kalavinka site, any other versions that are online are taken from much older, draft versions of the text. So, please use the Kalavinka site ones instead. I know this for a couple of reasons: Ven Dharmamitra has communicated to me a few times about "rogue" versions online, and he would prefer people not to use them. And also, the style of "pinyin" that you used is obviously the old CTTB style, which Ven Dharmamitra does not use, he uses standard Hanyu Pinyin.

I just noticed that each of the PDF files, one per chapter, start pagination from "1", so we'll have to be careful with the referencing.
The actual printed book is very useful, because it is Chinese (both simplified and traditional characters) and English translation on facing pages.
So, I think that it may be best to reference the Chapter, then the section within that. Should be fairly clear.

I'll post a cut-and-paste of the section of the translated text, and then provide some further details on it. The details may include a bit of history, some notes about the Chinese terms, references to other sutras, sastras, and whatever. And of course any key points for their application. Then we can discuss it for a while, giving everyone time to input, before we move on to the next section of the text.

Just wondering about the pace of progress. The whole text has 10 chapters, some shorter and some longer. However, while it would be nice to finish the whole thing, we don't need to. This is because the content gets deeper and deeper, and if we don't have the earlier stuff in hand, then the later stuff will be more and more abstract and beyond us. So, let's just see how it goes, huh?

Any further comments, thoughts, etc. before we get into it? I'll start in a new thread, but we can use this as a preparation thread to sort out what we want to do exactly.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby klqv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:22 am

further thoughts... will we be practicing this type of meditation or is this purely scholastic??
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Huifeng on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:46 am

klqv wrote:further thoughts... will we be practicing this type of meditation or is this purely scholastic??


I don't know - will you practice this meditation or not?
It's not as though I'm going to come to your house to check up on you!
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby christopher::: on Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:47 am

:lol2:

Thank you Venerable!! For your time, effort and generosity.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby klqv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:05 am

Huifeng wrote:
klqv wrote:further thoughts... will we be practicing this type of meditation or is this purely scholastic??


I don't know - will you practice this meditation or not?
It's not as though I'm going to come to your house to check up on you!

:lol2: i suppose so - but it was more a question about what others were going to do and what the suggest? i suppose yes to both...
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Huifeng on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:10 am

klqv wrote:
Huifeng wrote:
klqv wrote:further thoughts... will we be practicing this type of meditation or is this purely scholastic??


I don't know - will you practice this meditation or not?
It's not as though I'm going to come to your house to check up on you!

:lol2: i suppose so - but it was more a question about what others were going to do and what the suggest? i suppose yes to both...


Basically, my attitude is that we are going to read and study a short but pithy meditation instruction manual that has been one of the most important influences on Buddhist meditation in China, Tiantai and Chan, and others too. It gives specific details on how to prepare for meditation, and how to do meditation itself. It's the same basic set of instructions that I've used for a large number of meditation classes and retreats, though in the Chan hall we don't use the "text" per se, I just teach each of the points from my understanding and practice of the contents.

How does that sound? Or, should I come on over to your house after all ...? :PP:
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby christopher::: on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:15 am

Well, I for one plan to try everything when instructions are given to us for specific meditation approaches and exercises. It will be very interesting to see how that works out, given that we are not in the same room with you. One possibility (if the need arises) is that you make a few quick demonstration videos (like this) as well when something like posture comes up where we really need to "see" how to do something "correctly"...

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Last edited by christopher::: on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby klqv on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:19 am

oh yes i remember that - that it's used by chan people.


you use all the text in your classes? i remember some finer points about breathing that i never encountered in chan before. just in general, it seems like it adds to the descriptions of zazen i've seen before. not to mention the more soteriological stuff.

i am pretty sure that most tendai practitioners see a big difference between zazen and tientai samatha vipassana, i guess is what i mean. not disagreeing with you - just explaining where i was coming from.
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Re: Interest in a thread to study Tiantai śamatha vipaśyanā?

Postby Huifeng on Sun Aug 28, 2011 5:26 am

christopher::: wrote:Well, I for one plan to try everything when instructions are given to us for specific meditation approaches and exercises. It will be very interesting to see how that works out, given that we are not in the same room with you. One possibility (if the need arises) is that you make a few quick demonstration videos (like this) as well when something like posture comes up where we really need to "see" how to do something "correctly"...

:Namaste:


Hi Chris!

Yeah, I thought about things like that.
Though, there aren't that many parts where we need to 'see' stuff, really.
Let's see how it goes...

~~ Huifeng
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