Daniel Ingram Interview

Daniel Ingram is author of Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha and a leading proponent of Buddhism as a practical path to enlightenment in this lifetime.  He’s played a key role in keeping Buddhism vital and accessible while also grounded in the core teachings.  If you’re on a Buddhist path or thinking about exploring such, you’ll be well served by this interview of Daniel Ingram.

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Selected Links and Notes from this Episode

  • The beginnings of Daniel Ingram’s spiritual search in his teenage years. [5:50]
  • Spiritual experiences at three years old, as well as Daniel’s experience attending a Quaker School. [7:00]
  • The impetus to begin formal meditation practice. [11:00]
  • Friendship with Kenneth Folk. [11:50]
  • The two main traditions that Daniel Ingram followed in his spiritual search — Christopher Titmus and crew, and Mahasi Sayadow — and an impressively quick recitation of nearly every retreat he attended including the Bhavana Society (Theravada Buddhism), and dashes of Kadampa Buddhism and Vajrayana. [13:30]
  • A key divergence among the traditions Daniel practiced occurred in their relationship to “the ten defilements.” Daniel found the Vajrayana model of dealing with negative emotions more optimal for awakening than the Theravada model. [19:31]
  • The meditation Daniel teaches is “relentlessly Thervadan,” but he does not use all of their maps. [22:20]
  • What’s the deal with Daniel calling himself an “arahat” and ia Enlightenment the end of the search? [23:55].
  • The distinction between Arahatship and Buddhahood. [28:55]
  • Radically restructuring his life to fit his spiritual search. [31:54]
  • Does following Daniel’s book, Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, lead to enlightenment? Also, the high success rate of Mahasi Sayadow insight retreats. [32:46]
  • Is there a danger that following a detailed map will lead to imaginary experiences? No, because doing the practices is a self-correcting process.  [34:55]
  • Common traps on the spiritual search. Daniel’s book and Jack Kornfield’s A Path with Heart do a nice job outlining the stages of the path.  [42:42]
  • The “shadow side” of practices and how friends can help us see them. [49:00]
  • The Dharma Overground — a place for Dharma discussion with talented and experienced students and teachers. [54:20]
  • If one is tired or fidgety, how do they adjust their energy level during meditation? [1:02:00]
  • The phenomenon of Buddhist groups who don’t talk about attaining Enlightenment and how the Dharma Overground was formed to address this. [1:11:15]
  • Daniel’s view on rebirth. In short, awaken now rather than wait! [1:15:30]
  • Daniel’s list of places to go on retreat: Panditarama Lumbini, MBMC, Tathagata in San Jose, IMS in Massachusetts.    [1:16:30]
  • “Not to get all woo-woo,” but a quick word on Transmission. [1:20:00]
  • A list of useful books: Mindfulness in Plain English, A Map of the Journey, A Path with Heart, The Buddha’s Path to Deliverance, Visuddhimagga, Vimuttimagga, Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhana and Vipassana, In This Very Life : The Liberation Teachings of the Buddha, and Daniel Ingram’s favorite, Practical Insight Meditation. [1:20:30]
  • “I like to keep money and the Dharma as far away as possible from each other most of the time.” [1:28:07]
  • And one last book… A Comprehensive Manual of Abhidhamma (Vipassana Meditation and the Buddha’s Teachings). [1:33:00]
  • Daniel Ingram’s website is IntegratedDaniel.info

3 thoughts on “Daniel Ingram Interview”

  1. Just pointing out a mistake, sorry: the audio is an interview with Eddie Traversa, not with Daniel Ingram.

    1. Hi Antonio,
      I think you’re too fast for me! I was likely still editing the page. I didn’t realize anyone could find it yet since I haven’t link to it on the podcast page. All the audio links should be updated now.

  2. What an inspirational guy! Incredibly busy, as most people are nowadays, but still finds time to help others. It’s refreshing to hear from a Buddhist master that says that full realization is possible in this lifetime. Thanks for creating this Shawn, I appreciate your website and the work that goes into it.

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