Archive for September, 2010

From Living Dharma: Teachings of Twelve Buddhist Masters by Jack Kornfield:

A Western monk once asked permission of his forest teacher to journey to Burma to try the intensive meditation systems of several other well-known teachers. Permission was readily granted. After several years he returned to his first teacher.

“What did you learn?” the teacher inquired.

“Nothing,” answered the monk.


“Nothing that is not already around, that was not right here before I left.”

“And what have you experienced?”

“Many teachers and many meditation systems,” the monk answered. “Yet, the more deeply I penetrated the Dharma, the more I realized there was no need to go anywhere else to practice.”

“Ah, yes,” replied his teacher. “I could have told you that before you left, but you could not have understood.”

I’ve always liked this story.  It certainly reflects my experience with vipassana teachers from related traditions, such as those of Burma and Thailand.  The Insight Meditation teachers I listen most to are influenced by Burmese teachers such as Sayadaw U Tejaniya, so that is the practice that I follow.  I see the various lineages as different flavors of the same teachings.

Or, in other words, the grass is just a different shade of green.  And all green is beautiful.


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