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Doctrinal backgrounds of Vipassana-meditation

Insight in current methods and according to canonical sources

R.C. van Oosterwijk

ISBN-13: 9789491431098

Publication year: 2012

Publication type: Book

Pages: 161

Cover: Softcover

Format: 17 x 24 cm

Price excl. VAT: 18.40

Price incl. VAT: 20.06

Vipassanā-meditation (or practice) has become popular in South East Asia and the West. However, these practices aiming at reaching insight are taught in many varieties. The focus of this book is on the doctrinal sources of a number of vipassanā-practices.

Part one considers a number of methods by modern teachers and scholar-monks about vipassanā-meditation, and compares these with the canonical Pali discourses they refer to.In Part two the author analyses which principles related to insight and practices to develop insight have been widely accepted in the Pali discourses. Futhermore, a comparison with some discourses available in English from Chinese versions is offered.

This study is written for those who have a practical or theoretical interest in meditation techniques such as mindfulness and vipassanā. In particular participants in retreats, who note that many different methods are taught, will find this a useful book.

René van Oosterwijk recently studied Languages and Cultures of India and Tibet at Leiden University and more Buddhology with Bhikkhu Pāsādika (Prof. Bangert) in Marburg. For this research, the author has extensively studied the sources and also acquired practical experience in several Thai monasteries.



Chapter 1   Introduction 7
1.1  Meanings and popularity of vipassanā-meditation 7
1.2  Goal and questions for research 8
1.3  Plan of this book 9

Chapter 2 Interpretations of vipassanā-meditation  11
2.1  Current ideas of teachers about the concept of vipassanā-meditation 11
2.2  Summary of the methods of teachers of vipassanā-meditation 32
2.3  References to sources about insight meditation by scholar-monks 33
2.4  Summary of the methods of the scholar-monks 47

Chapter 3 Recent teachings about Vipassanā-meditation compared with Pali suttas 49
3.1  Analysis of the teachings and related suttas 49
3.2  Analysis of methods by scholar-monks 76
3.3  Conclusions on the comparison of Vipassanā teachings with Pali suttas 83
3.4  Conclusions on the working hypotheses  85


Chapter 4  Insight according to suttas in the Vinaya and Sutta-Piṭaka 89
4.1  Insight in the Vinaya (Mahāvagga) 89
4.2  Selection and discussion of suttas 91
4.3  Conclusion on the development of vipassanā in Pali canonical sources 119

Chapter 5    The development of vipassanā in some Āgama-sūtras compared with the Pali 125
5.1  Mindfulness to develop insight in Chinese and Pali discourses 125
5.2 Insight in the Madhyama-Āgama and the Majjhima-Nikāya 130
5.3  Insight in the Ekottara-Āgama and the Aṅguttara-Nikāya 137
5.4  Conclusions on some Chinese and Pali texts related to insight 140

Chapter 6    Summary and conclusions 143

References  149

Explanation of references to Pali discourses 149
A  Primary sources 149
B  Secondary sources 151

Abbreviations 155

Glossary of Pali and Sanskrit terms 157

Index of teachers and scholar-monks discussed, by section 161

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