Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Birth of InsightMeditation, Modern Buddhism, and the Burmese Monk Ledi Sayadaw$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Erik Braun

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226000800

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226000947.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

The Birth of Insight

The Birth of Insight

(p.122) Five The Birth of Insight
The Birth of Insight

Erik Braun

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines works on meditation by Ledi Sayadaw to show his vision of meditative practice, grounded in features described in earlier chapters. Ledi popularizes practice for all people, whatever their station in life. He uses basic Abhidhamma study as the basis for meditation, stressing fundamental doctrinal categories, particularly the four elements of earth, fire, water, and wind. This approach simplifies practice, because such learning is sufficient for “dry insight meditation” (sukhavipassanā) that requires no prior “calming meditation” (samatha). Meditation becomes a practice that one can do in the midst of lay life. Abhidhamma emerges in the analysis as the factor that explains the birth of mass insight practice in Burma as nowhere else. In Ledi’s vision, the pursuit of awakening is part of modern lay life, and this fact reflects a Buddhist modernity that sees no conflict between religion and the modern world.

Keywords:   popularization, meditation, Abhidhamma, Simplification, four elements, dry insight meditation, calming meditation, mass insight practice, Buddhist modernity

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.