Friday, March 13, 2020

Four Foundations of Mindfulness Sutra (video)

Ven. Vimalaramsi (DSMC); Dhr. Seven, Pat Macpherson, Ashley Wells (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly

The Satipatthana Sutra as interpreted by Ven. Vimalaramsi
The discourse on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness (MN 10) is here tackled by an unpleasant and disregarded American monk who trained in Burma for many years: Ven. Vimalaramsi recorded this on August 19, 2019.

These instructions have been the source of much consternation and debate. They are not obvious but rather the subject of considerable debate and interpretation. The Buddha sets out four pillars or foundations -- a fourfold setting up of bare awareness -- in two major discourses.

This maverick monk, who sounds full of himself, gives a different perspective on what he thinks the Buddha taught. He looks at this sutra in a way that leads to the development of what he calls his own method, "TWIM" (tranquil wisdom insight meditation) and his 6Rs.

This sutra is said to lead to the highest attainment of the spiritual life, nirvana. But the breath meditation (anapanasati) taught in this and other sutras is taught in a slightly different way than is practiced by most meditators who follow the commentaries. Adding the step of tranquilization, Ven. Vimalaramsi claims, makes all the difference in the result.

Visit him in Annapolis, Missouri to find out. Dare to question the opinions and views he clings to, and see his true colors, which appear to be very angry, annoyed, and condescending. "Enlightened master" or "egomaniac" who misses the point of Buddhist practice? (Any Buddhist practitioner might be enlightened, because enlightenment purifies view not personality; we keep our quirks and customs). We apologize for presenting him to any viewers offended by this monk's sometimes off-putting manner.

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