Unread post by Volo » Tue May 26, 2020 2:29 pm
It’s interesting to compare this article with his other work “The Ancient Roots of the U Ba Khin Vipassanā Meditation”: the first is about Ingram’s interpretation of Mahasi method, the second – about Goenka method, which Analayo probably likes.
In his “The Ancient Roots of the U Ba Khin
Vipassanā Meditation” Analayo tries to prove authenticity of Goenka’s method starting with a sentence, found in some Chinese sutra of obscure school affiliation (sentence is about practicing 3rd step of ānāpānasati as awareness of the whole physical body. Doesn’t seem to be exactly what Goenka teaches, but ok).
Then he assumes that this sutra could have reached not only China, but also Burma. You might wonder, why does he think so? It’s simple: it was translated in Chinese by Kumarajiva! (Yes, that is his explanation, although he doesn’t explain why other hundreds or thousands of sutras translated by Kumarajiva didn’t reach Burma). Then it should have been preserved for almost two thousands years by some obscure Burmese monks, till it was taught by U Ba Khin.
And conclusion, which is my favorite: “Thus the ancient roots of the vipassanā meditation taught by U Ba Khin appear to reach back even two thousand years into the history of Indian Buddhism”. 😆 Neat, isn’t it?
So, when we need authenticity we are ready to believe in all that, and it “doesn’t seem to be far-fetched” as he says. But when not, then we will meticulously analyze each sentence in Ingram’s book, including descriptions of his dreams. I’m not a fan of Mahasi or Ingram (I’ve read only two or three pages from his book), but for me this is just another example of pseudo non-prejudice of buddhologists.