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Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)

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Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Samvega 11/1/18 9:15 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) JP 11/1/18 10:32 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ward Law 11/1/18 11:42 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 11/1/18 5:50 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Tashi Tharpa 11/1/18 7:31 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/4/18 9:08 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ward Law 11/4/18 2:23 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 12/22/18 12:47 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Daniel M. Ingram 12/24/18 11:39 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris In Dhamma 12/31/18 2:54 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/31/18 10:03 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 11/2/18 6:15 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 11/2/18 7:01 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 11/1/18 8:53 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Pepe 11/2/18 7:30 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Alexey Ilyichev 11/2/18 10:10 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ben V. 11/2/18 5:33 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Samvega 11/3/18 1:14 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ben V. 11/5/18 7:46 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) T DC 11/2/18 11:37 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Richard Zen 11/4/18 5:46 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 11/5/18 5:37 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 11/5/18 7:40 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/7/18 2:03 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Richard Zen 11/7/18 9:12 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/8/18 5:17 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 11/8/18 6:19 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 11/8/18 6:58 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/8/18 7:40 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Richard Zen 11/8/18 11:56 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/13/18 4:20 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Pepe 11/13/18 6:54 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Karl Eikrem 11/13/18 10:26 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Pepe 11/13/18 4:48 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) tapihritsa 12/20/18 2:34 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ward Law 12/20/18 8:18 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/20/18 12:10 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/20/18 3:08 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) tapihritsa 12/20/18 5:00 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/21/18 5:34 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/21/18 7:28 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/21/18 9:18 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/21/18 9:21 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/21/18 9:25 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/21/18 9:53 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/23/18 7:51 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/23/18 8:25 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/23/18 10:41 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/21/18 11:17 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Noah D 12/21/18 3:36 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/22/18 8:13 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Noah D 12/22/18 3:18 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/23/18 7:57 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/20/18 11:49 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 11/13/18 7:08 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ben V. 11/9/18 5:06 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 12/22/18 3:24 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) tapihritsa 12/24/18 12:21 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Rednaxela 12/26/18 2:19 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/25/18 12:22 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Rednaxela 12/26/18 2:16 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 12/26/18 5:24 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/26/18 8:52 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/26/18 3:39 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/26/18 4:49 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/26/18 5:18 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/26/18 5:19 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/26/18 5:46 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 11:26 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/27/18 12:19 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 12:09 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/27/18 12:24 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 12:37 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/27/18 12:48 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 3:17 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 3:58 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/18 4:18 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 4:31 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/27/18 4:37 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/18 4:44 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/28/18 2:41 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/28/18 5:56 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 9:05 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 9:17 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ward Law 12/27/18 5:14 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 12/28/18 3:01 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/18 5:02 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 12/27/18 5:19 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 9:09 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/28/18 11:32 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 1:51 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/28/18 4:02 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 4:13 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jason Wong 12/28/18 8:48 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/29/18 5:44 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/29/18 11:33 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/30/18 4:57 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 12/31/18 1:45 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/31/18 8:41 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/2/19 3:25 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/2/19 7:03 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/2/19 7:29 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/2/19 7:54 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/2/19 8:59 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/2/19 7:57 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/2/19 8:45 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/2/19 10:11 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/2/19 9:01 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 1/2/19 7:06 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/28/18 4:24 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 12/28/18 1:25 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 12/28/18 1:48 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 12/28/18 1:48 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 12/31/18 11:22 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/2/19 12:59 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/2/19 1:31 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/2/19 2:53 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/2/19 4:18 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/19 4:37 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/2/19 5:46 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/19 3:16 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/3/19 6:37 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/3/19 3:52 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/4/19 6:30 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/4/19 6:58 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/4/19 7:49 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/4/19 8:55 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/7/19 8:15 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/7/19 8:25 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/7/19 9:05 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/4/19 7:35 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/4/19 7:20 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/4/19 8:45 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/4/19 11:22 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Daniel M. Ingram 1/4/19 12:14 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Daniel M. Ingram 1/4/19 12:17 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/4/19 1:54 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/5/19 9:50 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/5/19 9:58 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) shargrol 1/5/19 12:36 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/5/19 1:41 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 1/5/19 4:01 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/5/19 10:05 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 1/3/19 5:01 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/4/19 4:55 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 1/4/19 6:32 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/3/19 6:44 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Matt Perry Clark 1/3/19 3:17 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/3/19 11:42 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Ben V. 1/4/19 5:24 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/4/19 6:50 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Jehanne S Peacock 1/4/19 8:00 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 1/2/19 10:38 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/3/19 3:14 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/3/19 7:12 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 1/3/19 10:12 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/3/19 10:17 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) JP 1/3/19 10:14 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 1/3/19 10:32 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/24/18 12:04 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) tapihritsa 12/24/18 5:11 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/24/18 9:07 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Nick O 12/25/18 10:49 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 1/2/19 12:22 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/4/19 1:44 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/4/19 1:50 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Chris Marti 1/4/19 3:19 PM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Andromeda 1/5/19 4:25 AM
RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation) Kim Katami 1/5/19 5:01 AM
I wonder if there is any short cut to enlightenment, atleast the first stage of enlightenment (sotappana).
I went through this blog: www.en.openheart.fi
The author claims to have helped hundreds of yogis get awakened with a 98% success rate. That too in just a few days? Really? I mean, what the..!!
It looks so damn attractive for someone like me who's struggling in dark night for years.
Here I am, thinking of taking a sabbatical and go backpacking to Thailand or Burma in search of good practice and hopefully stream entry, even if it takes a year or so..
And here is this Author promising stream entry (aka 1st Bhumi opening) within days of practice!!
I couldn't push it aside either, as I didn't feel it was a complete scam.
I just started wondering if something like a short cut really do exist? I'm very scared to even start the practice, because the results look scarily quick! I'm just worried I shouldn't go crazy and unknowingly become part of a cult.
But I agree that I am quite attracted to try out the practice once, which he calls the two part formula aka open heart practice.
It looks like the Author (Kim) is quite a known face on this forum? But why don't I find many people talking about this technique here except for one person who's recommending it? Why haven't many tried it yet? Could you throw some light on this technique if you ever tried it once especially if you had an Insight meditation (Vipasana) history? Why did you feel the need to shift from Insight meditation and what did you gain through this practice?
I'm also wondering if these practitioners are confusing themselves the A&P phenomenon for actual awakening, considering how varied and vague the A&P can be.
This is definitely not put out in a bad intention, with all due respects to the Author. He looks like a good man to me. I'm just genuinely concerned and any help is appreciated. It's a desperate attempt of a dark night yogi to get done with this shit ASAP!

Thanks!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/1/18 10:32 AM as a reply to Samvega.
My general impression is that this is a situation where there's not much consensus on here about the accuracy of the attainment claims for Kim's students.   I think there are a few different reasons why this is the case, most of which generally apply to the question of how accurate it's possible to be with remote dharma diagnosis.

- Unless I'm missing something, there aren't any detailed practice logs being kept here by Open Heart practitioners other than Jehanne.  Diagnosing stream entry requires a fair amount of information about people's sits over the course of the weeks prior, in-depth discussion on the exact phenomenology of what happened when they think cessation occurred, and maybe even some information on how daily life and their regular perspective in the world changed between before and after.  Very few people, including me, post frequently enough to provide the necessary level of detail.

- It seems to take people several paths to have confidence in definitively saying that a certain event was fruition as opposed to a mimic for it.  So it's probably only DhO posters who're on at least third path who are going to be able to assess this.

- Kim's method of diagnosing path attainments based on assessing the energy body through pictures/videos of practitioners is non-standard, at least among the experienced pragmatic dharma practitioners here.  Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't -- this is probably something where we'd need him to teach Daniel Ingram or other experienced practitioners how he does it and have them tell us whether it lines up with their judgment.

- Most of us just have our own experience to go by, and are going to judge other tradition's maps and timetables accordingly.  So both "awakening is nearly impossible and takes your whole life" and "awakening is super-easy and you can do it in a weekend" don't line up with most of our experiences.

I haven't tried it, but the technique itself seems like it could be a useful technique, especially as a corrective to over-efforting in the dark night.  

I also think that this is a question that's going to continue until there's a large group of Open Heart practitioners who are also familiar with MTCB and The Mind Illuminated, who start regularly posting detailed phenomenomological practice logs, and who are very open to their Open Heart attainments being questioned or mapped differently.  

I'd encourage you to think seriously about how you feel about the technique and whether you'd want to be involved in Open Heart as an organization, rather than just about whether it can "get" you an attainment.  I personally really like the analytic framework by David Chapman in Approaching Aro as a guide to how to consider different spiritual traditions.  It's also a great example of how a non-traditional Tibetan Buddhist lineage can address outside concerns respectfully, and I'd love to see a similar effort by Open Heart.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 6:15 AM as a reply to Samvega.
Hi Samvega!


Samvega:

It looks like the Author (Kim) is quite a known face on this forum? But why don't I find many people talking about this technique here except for one person who's recommending it? Why haven't many tried it yet? Could you throw some light on this technique if you ever tried it once especially if you had an Insight meditation (Vipasana) history? Why did you feel the need to shift from Insight meditation and what did you gain through this practice?

Why more people haven't tried, that's a good question that I don't know the answer to emoticon There are some 60-70 people in the OH community who have found the practises to be very beneficial, many of them have had long practise histories before. I've been doing OH practises for around two years now. I started with trying out the 2PF. I did it for a few times, but atleast for me the feelings I had when trying to affirm the "I"-feelings were pretty mild, since I had seen through the self already (I was unsure and decided to go with modesty, no awakening, ready to give the 2PF a try). It turned out that my awakening had happened before, infact now I consider that it happened over 10 years ago.So I am not a good example of applying the 2PF strictly speaking emoticon But I've seen it work on others. Infact you might want to check some video testimonials of OH practicioners if you haven't seen them already. 

I had previous history (6 months?)  with vajrayana based group, and a couple of years of pragmatic dharma (MCTB-style) before I found OH. I was doing noting on daily basis. I was very interested on the OH methods and especially the 2PF at the time, since I was struggling with trying to understand "the I". The 2PF felt mostly similar to my noting practise except that the focus of attention was more directed at the feeling of me-ness. The other part of the formula, the I-less mode, was also relatively easy to obtain and recognise for me. Why I eventually shifted from insight/noting practise to OH practise, which is a combination of guru yoga and ati-meditation (=do nothing)  was that I noticed that it was bringing me forward on the path. I started to have shifts in my mental clarity that were permanent (in the sense that I'm still as clear in my baseline clarity as I was a year ago when I had my last really notable shift). Also sitting in meditation was now suddenly effortless. I found recently my old hand writteng logs from noting sessions and they were filled with teeth grinding and physical discomfort. Only rarely I had glimpses of something other than my noisy monkey mind. But now the baseline in the sits is always pleasant clarity. The standard oscillations are still visible though, so I do dark night. But the tension falls away almost completely once I sit to do my meditation.

I have a practise log here that you may want to have a look at. Another user here who is doing the OH practice is anj.

Samvega:

I'm also wondering if these practitioners are confusing themselves the A&P phenomenon for actual awakening, considering how varied and vague the A&P can be.

It's a valid concern, but I'm not thinking it's that. First of all, the clarifying effect on the mind has remained and not evaporated. I have not heard anyone mention that they would have slid back to their old modes. I don't remember the details, but atleast one OH practinioner's awakening had been confirmed in another tradition, I'd have to search a bit to find out which tradition it was. Also, in OH we are using a Bhumi mapping system, where somebody with experience at these things can look at the practicioner and see if they have awakened, as the I-tension is gone from their energetic expression. This is a bit of a controversal issue here... There is a Shinzen Young talk, where he explains seeing this photobook that apparently contained pictures of people who had lost the gripping hold of the I (they were homeless people if I remember correctly) and from the first look at this book he was able to see what was going on. When he told the photographer what he had seen in the pictures the photographer freaked out, because Shinzen was the first person to notice  the thing he had been photographing. I tried to contact Shinzen and bring OH and Bhumi mapping system into his attention, but it's unclear to me if he has seen the photographs of OH practicioners and wether or not he has a comment on them.

Edit: Just to clarify, when I mentioned doing guru yoga, I meant guru yoga on Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal, not Kim Katami

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/1/18 11:42 AM as a reply to JP.
Kim's method of diagnosing path attainments based on assessing the energy body through pictures/videos of practitioners is non-standard, at least among the experienced pragmatic dharma practitioners here.  Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't -- this is probably something where we'd need him to teach Daniel Ingram or other experienced practitioners how he does it and have them tell us whether it lines up with their judgment.
This claim has been a point of contention here, and it probably hasn't helped the credibility of the 2-part formula. As an aside from the main thread, I'd like to suggest that this argument has been focused on the wrong question: whether Kim or anyone else can read someone's attainments from a photograph. I can reasonably deny that a photograph contains any reliable information about the subject's inner state, with the exception of obvious transitory states such as anger or shock. I propose that what the photo actually does -- if one grants the premise that ESP is real -- is merely to provide a unique personal identity that the practitioner can focus on extrasensorily. This is similar to how a legitimate psychic picks up an identity from a physical object, such as a piece of jewelry. Of course, if one refutes the possibility of ESP, then one can continue to dismiss the photo claim as delusion.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/1/18 5:50 PM as a reply to Ward Law.
I'm wondering why a new member shows up about once a week here on DhO whose very first post is about Open Heart practice. Hmmm...

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/1/18 7:31 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'm wondering why a new member shows up about once a week here on DhO whose very first post is about Open Heart practice. Hmmm...
Hahaha! Karmic connection... 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/1/18 8:53 PM as a reply to Samvega.
A few months ago there was a short blurb written over at r/streamentry regarding Kim's method. It caught my attention as it was very similar to a technique I used to practice. I responded with the following:
....I developed a similar technique when I was first exploring insight practice. It was helpful for Mind and Body, Cause and Effect and Three Characteristics stages (to reference MCTB nanas).

  1. Find a knot or point of tension in the body, which was most of the time a negative emotion or feeling of aversion in the center of my abdomen.
  2. Focus on it until it would start to "unravel" and often drift outwards from the center.
At the end of the session, the knot would either be completely gone or have turned into a "cloud" that was perceived outside the body. I would also use self-identification location to find this knot. Where do "I" feel the sense of "I"? And go from there. After crossing the A&P, I dropped the technique as I didn't find it to be applicable...

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 7:01 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Samvega:

Why haven't many tried it yet?

I gave a lazy response on this particular question, but today I'm equipped with some more thoughts on this. What got me thinking was listening to this podcast where Michael Taft is interviewing Daniel Ingram. Starting around 37:33 minutes, Michael asks how Daniel got rid of the post-modern dickishness (haha. loved the question emoticon). In his answer Daniel explains how, after watching a particlarly devoted practinioner go about their practise and reporting the results to the retreat teacher, he realized that he had been intellectualizing too much at the expense of actually doing the practise properly. The explanation is only a couple of minutes long. This reminded me of the tendency to value intellectual considerations over practise. I would think it's especially prominent on discussion forums. So perhaps this in part explains why people haven't tried the method. They simply think about whether or not it could work but do not try and see.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 7:30 AM as a reply to Samvega.
Hi (my older account was PP, so I'm not new to DhO nor am I a OH member). I'm trying out 2PF nowadays. In a few days I will open a post with questions on Katami's formulas, as there are many details that are not clear enough. Perhaps, I'll add a practice log too. So far, in the first two days, it triggered A&P and the knot in the middle of the brain (Taoist's niwan) is clearly sensed. As far as I can see, the 2PF points to SE, albeit the depth of the shift is to be seen, taking in consideration Culadasa's stress on fighting dullness (a point tha OH members seem to be worried about too, as I read in another thread).

Regarding Open Heart self promotion in DhO, I would say that its model would please more easily in the taoist crowd (say thedaobums.com) and perhaps the main selling advantage I see is that it could work as a bridge between taoist and buddhist circles. 
 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 10:10 AM as a reply to Samvega.
Samvega:
I wonder if there is any short cut to enlightenment, atleast the first stage of enlightenment (sotappana).

Hi!

I wouldn't call that a shortcut, but rather a direct method. And I think it is real SE.

I practiced vipashyana for years. In 2016 I've read MCTB and started to take Kenneth Folk's lessons. I did 1 hour noting sits twice a day (Kenneth style) for about a year when I was introduced to Kim's guidance with 2pf. I think I was stabilized in the knowledge of equanimity by that time. It took me 1.5 months to cease, but it finally happened. I had quite clear cessations for some time after that. Well, first ones I didn't notice at all, but then repeated several times very clearly.

I also guided 10 people to SE. They were mostly beginners, who never practiced meditation before. The way I do it is:
1) Start with noting
2) Exchange meditation reports and feedback 3-4 times a week
3) Use my knowledge of nanas to make better sense of what's happening with the student and give precise recommendations
4) Get to the beginning of the knowledge of equanimity
5) Switch to the two-part formula

It took about 2.5 months on average for the payed students, and 5 for the free students. Interesting correlation, isn't it? ;) Well, the data is small still...

A few times I tried introducing people to 2pf earlier, but it didn't go well — at that stage studens were having difficulties following 2pf instructions correctly. I think it could probably be overcome by closer collaboration, but it is more comfortable to me to just allow more time with noting.

Concern about confusing it with A&P is a valid one, but I think I know how to differentiate it in a conversation. Some of my students claimed it was SE when they reported A&P. The key differece to me is how one is talking about it. When its A&P, it sounds like something grandeous and wonderful etc. Path attainment feels so ordinary that all of my students didn't notice anything special the day it happened.

For all of my students SE changed their normal perception over next 1-2 months. To me that's the most reliable criteria.

I also use photos to see if the first bhumi is opened. I see that what is described as SE in MCTB matches very well to how it reads in the reports when people open 1st bhumi with the two part formula.

I think there is a difference in how people experience SE depending on the method and previous experience. It seems that those who didn't have much practice before, get stronger DN's during the review stage. I think it has to do with the perfection process. According to OHBM opening is when the energy begins to flow, and perfection is further cleaning of that same place (cleaning karmic traces). Basically when you attain SE by noting, you clean more karmic traces before SE than by two part formula. And hence when you attain SE with two part formula, karmic traces surface more intensely afterwards. I don't have enough data to confirm that, it's a hypothesis.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 5:33 PM as a reply to Alexey Ilyichev.
Alexey, 

Your post is very timely for me, as it answers reflections and speculations I've had today. I started practicing the 2PF a few days ago, after reflecting a few days whether I`ll give it a try or not. I've been doing noting practice for many years, and my rough estimate (could be wrong) is that I have been lurking in equanimity for around two or three years. Feeling stucked there and also feeling sudden attraction to self-inquiry methods as a possible way to break through at this point. 

My gut feeling is that self-inquiry becomes quite relevant in equanimity nana, hence my attraction to 2PF nowadays. I have wondered how my noting practice could be integrated with the 2PF and reflected that perhaps noting until equanimity then switch to 2PF may be a good way to integrate the two methods in a powerful way. So I was delighted to read about your experience on this. 

For some who questioned this method above I think considering Kenneth Folk's model of 3-speed transmission (3 gears) to awakening may enlightened the discussion and questioning. 

Noting is first gear
The second part of the 2PF is in second gear category.

I've also reflected that noting seems to give a broader look at the elements of the mind, a slow but natural progression through various layers of the mind. A familiarization with all the intricate details of mind and how it works. 2PF seems like a method that quickly crashes right to the goal. Applying it in last few days, it got me to equanimity territory, or so it seems, with the occasional mysterious pulsing and vibration in the middle of the head.

This exploration is just beginning for me. I'm giving the 2PF an honest try for awhile. Maybe I'll post more about my explorations of this later in my log.
The principles of 2PF are in full accordance with Buddhist teachings IMHO, even though a different approach from satipatthana/noting at 6 sense doors.

Best wishes to all on the path.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/2/18 11:37 PM as a reply to Samvega.
To give Kim the benefit of the doubt, I know very little about the open heart methods.  I have seen numerous people posting on here that they found his methods helpful, or that they could relate to them possibly from other advita style practices they were doing.  There don't seem to be any harm in the methods.

However, there are no real shortcuts.  At best there are only practices and methods that optimize our progression in attainment.  The path is long and hard - this is the reality.  It doesn't have to take forever, and it is very possible make major achievements in a short period of time, say several years.  Immediate attainments are suspect however.  (JP said this very well - the middle ground consensus on here is that it both doesn't have to take forever, and isn't immediate.)

Personal story: I struggled for years with mainstream directionless, mushroom style Buddhist practice - in this time I made very little progress.  Then I found MCTB, and with a dedicated and clear technique, and a clear goal, I made very rapid progress, gaining stream entry in about a month.  After stream entry I found 'direct pointing' - at that time a marginally popular, upstart technique promising immediate results in awakening.  I went for it - the direct pointing folks soon confirmed that yes, I had awakened.  Nothing seemed particularly different, it wasn't the be-all end-all result I was looking for.  They told me oh ya, no worries, it will just deepen over time.  I'm sure however it would not.  I went back to MCTB and soon, with great dedication to practice, progressed to 4th path and beyond.

I see some strong parallels here.  The lesson is that achievement in meditation is like anything else in life - you get out of it what you put in.  Hard work and dedication pays off - immediate results are inherently suspect.  If the technique appeals to you go for it, try it out and see it if works for you - such is pragmatic dharma.  Don't sell yourself short though and get complacent just because someone tells you that you've awakened - the biggest pitfall on the path is that you become deluded into thinking you're done and then fail to progress.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/3/18 1:14 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben,

I’m glad its working out for you. Best wishes to you.
I somehow feel Alexey’s post highly suspicious. Don’t you? It looks like everything in the reply is made up stuff just to propagate Kim’s material, IMO.

Anyway, on the other hand, I’m definitely not disregarding the effectiveness of self-inquiry like or other advaita like practices. Rather I have serious speculation over the desperation Kim has in declaring his students ‘awakened’, within a week of practice for an hour daily. Also the 98% success rate and all those very-hard-to-believe stats.
Again, my question is not whether or not self inquiry practices work. I’m aware it’s been there since millenia and I have all respects for that. Rather my question is whether it works as scarily quick as they claim to be. Highly suspicious of transparency there. Doesn’t matter how good a teacher's teachings are, when it is a matter of credibility of the teacher.

I had only noticed Jehanne talking about 2PF here on DhO, no one else. And hence expected her to reply. But then again she says she was already a stream enterer when she took up this practice and that she has only seen great results in others. So thats about it. Thanks Jehanne, for pitching in. Appreciate your view.

I found Daniel’s post on this thread to be excellent. https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/4221305#_19_message_4217340

After seeing Nick O’s mentioning of r/streamentry, I came across this thread there where one mentions this: https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/9e4eva/practicea_rapid_path_to_awakening/

thomyor:
"I do have first hand experience with Kim; we exchanged emails in mid-2016. He was very pleasant, polite. We chatted for a while about different practices/methods, rigpa, dreams/sleep, role of lineage, etc.

My bullshit alarm went off particularly strong when he told me that three of his students reached '6th bhumi', which he said was equivalent to arahatship, in three years doing just 1-2 hours of practice a day. Either they're the most talented meditators this world has ever seen, or Mr.Katami is a huckster. Arhat after 3 years doing an hour or two a day? Sounds good!

Being polite doesn't make him not a huckster. It would probably be in my own interest to be supportive of Kim, seeming as he told be I was 'awakened for sure', but I can't in good conscience recommend him on the basis of my own experience with him, as well as the opinions of people I really respect.

Maybe his methods really do work, maybe he really did have all those visions like the Tertons of old, maybe Padmasambhava himself really did tell Kim he should go by Pema Rinpoche and found a new school of Buddhism called Pemako Buddhism. It's possible I suppose. Plenty of great Tertons have improved the lives of many many people; eg: Jigme Lingpa was a remarkable visionary, and his practices seem to work. So perhaps there is a non-zero possiblity that Kim is a genuine teacher. There is also a significant probability that Kim is a wrong'un and is fooling sincere practitioners who don't want to admit that it's too good to be true.

PS: It looks like Kim has taken down the page where he details the various visions he claims to have had, although it still says that "I've been called a dharma treasure revealer (tib. terton) and an emanation (tib. tulku) of a Tibetan dzogchen master by lamas of the nyingma tradition". I'd like to know which teachers have recognised him as a tulku & terton.

The terton thing is pretty batty, for those who aren't familiar with it, but they still have a certain way of doing things; usually the gTerma is practiced in secret by the individual who revealed/discovered it, for something like 18 years. Only when when they have practiced it for that long and they have ironed out the kinks, checked it works, then they start teaching it. There have been other modern terma, such as the Aro gTer, although that has been certified by some very key figures and the Aro lamas have a very clear lineage and thorough training.

PPS: I sincerely wish that his methods do work for those who do practice them. May they be of benefit!"

Pretty much cleared up questions, thanks y’all for participating. May we all find benefit in whatever we’re practicing!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/4/18 9:08 AM as a reply to Ward Law.
Ward Law:
Kim's method of diagnosing path attainments based on assessing the energy body through pictures/videos of practitioners is non-standard, at least among the experienced pragmatic dharma practitioners here.  Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't -- this is probably something where we'd need him to teach Daniel Ingram or other experienced practitioners how he does it and have them tell us whether it lines up with their judgment.
This claim has been a point of contention here, and it probably hasn't helped the credibility of the 2-part formula. As an aside from the main thread, I'd like to suggest that this argument has been focused on the wrong question: whether Kim or anyone else can read someone's attainments from a photograph. I can reasonably deny that a photograph contains any reliable information about the subject's inner state, with the exception of obvious transitory states such as anger or shock. I propose that what the photo actually does -- if one grants the premise that ESP is real -- is merely to provide a unique personal identity that the practitioner can focus on extrasensorily. This is similar to how a legitimate psychic picks up an identity from a physical object, such as a piece of jewelry. Of course, if one refutes the possibility of ESP, then one can continue to dismiss the photo claim as delusion.

You can reasonably deny it? How can you do that without making a huge leap from "I can't see anything" to "there is nothing to see". Sounds unreasonable to me. After having practiced the attainment-reading for a while in relation to guiding people to awakening, it is pretty obvious to me that there is a tension, a locking of awareness to the level of the eyes before awakening, that is no longer there after the "I" has been seen as illusory. And it doesn't seem to matter whether the awakening took place using the 2pf, or by some other method. Even Shinzen Young has mention this, so it is not something that Kim has made up:

I was at a student's house and I see this book. Its one of these photo books that people would put on coffee tables. What's interesting is that there's nothing by the photographer, the author of the book, but there is an intro, a preamble by Tony Morrison who is a fairly important person in the world of art and literature. This tells you that this is a significant book but there is nothing by the person who actually took the photos, in other words the photos have to speak for themselves. Its this huge book of photographs and I start to look through these photographs. These are all portraits and I'm like freaking out because its very evident to me what this book is about and I had never seen a book like this, ever. I go to my friend and say, ”This book is amazing!” and she says, ”The photographer, is a distant relative of mine”. ”Well, can you get his telephone number?”, I asked. We called him up and he was there. I told him what I thought his book was about and he freaked out. He said that I was the only person who ever understood what the book was about, of all the people that had seen it at exhibitions or whatever. The name of the book is A Kind of Rapture by Robert Bergman. He went through the rust belt of United States, the old decaying cities, photographing street people, who for whatever reason, usually a combination of hard life and physical, and mental illness, had been thrust into a no-self state, in other words, people for whom the blows of life had driven them to a rapturous no-self experience. He went around the country looking for those kind of people, catching them at the moment when they manifested the non-ego, that their hard life had taken them to. You know, if you see one or two pictures like that it doesn't have an impact like that but if you see 50 pictures like that, picture after picture after picture, then it hits you, what the whole thing is about. The reason why I thought they were so extraordinary is that althought there is a lot of books about enlightenment or no-self coming about through practice, and there are number of books written by people who have had spontaneous enlightenment experiences, what no one has looked at is this whole thing, this whole other aspect. In terms of a subject matter it is very unsual and the message is very unsual, and the medium is very unsual, instead of writing a book, talking about this phenomena, he shows it to you and you either get it or you don't. 

The quote is from this video (around 25 minues in): https://youtu.be/HGmU1oVroLM?t=1499&fbclid=IwAR2MuztNlOPwiYawTJeUhx0y01MnJ9WpRDjryNIb27EHKDK-QKi2U3MMfhU

As for Samvega's question of it being a shortcut, I don't think that word has ever been used by Kim himself. What the 2pf is a highly effective method, but the work still has to be done. The reason why it is so effective as to allow awakening to take place within a few days or weeks, is that the two steps of 2pf hits the nail on the head with regards to the mechanics of awakening.

Awakening, regardless of method, seem to take place when the artificial nature of "I" is seen clearly in contrast to natural open, selfless awareness. This is exactly what the two steps of the formula aim at from the start of the practice. Bring that together with guidance from a skilfull guide who has already awakened and you have a pretty solid base for reaching the insight fast. Common sense, really. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/4/18 2:23 PM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
I should say, rather, that I am skeptical that a photograph, by itself, contains sufficient data on which to base an evaluation. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/4/18 5:46 PM as a reply to Samvega.
To me, if there is any short-cut, it is that your habits change radically from a particular practice. That's the test. If your habits are still the same, then it's baloney, or you have lots of work to do still.

Also different habits, and different sides to our personality, need different practices. These practices change our habits slowly. 

The chance that you've done all the practices to their fullest extent in a few days is probably impossible. The people who have had quick attainments often can't tell you how they got theirs. It's quite possible that their brain shifted in a biological way from the practice that is unique to them.

The fastest way is getting the therapy, psychological study to accept your self and your weaknesses and still be okay with yourself. That does a lot already!

Learn to self-soothe independently from others, by talking nicely to yourself. Self-parenting. Then when you have a healthy sense of self, there's less resistance to work with in meditation, though there will still be lots of resistance. 

Consistent practice and acknowleding everything in your experience, while enjoying concentration practices to keep you emotionally fed, will help you stay present and not wander.

To me, Buddhist practice, and even when you gain major achievements in the paths, are a life-long endeavour when applying these insights in a MODERN WORLD. There is always more to learn, especially when dealing with toxic people and challenging situations like illness.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/5/18 5:37 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Building on what Richard said, it's important to think about what the short cut is leading to, much much more than trying to find the short cut method. If you have a clear goal, all of this stuff about meditation will make much more sense and our practice path will be much more obvious.

I'm going to suggest that the goal is basic sanity. Not being entrapped by limited development, reactive patterns, bad habits, repressive thinking, fantasy, infatuations, regressions. It means stepping out of the role of a child that is dependent on the parent, and becoming an independent adult. Awakening, both the first little steps and the last little steps, should always lead to greater sanity, well being, compassion, resilience, independence, and self-sufficiency. 

Methods and practices that say "hey, give up your critical thinking for a while, listen only to the teacher, report your findings using only our terminology, ignore things that don't fit the model" always seem to offer short term benefits, but in the long term, they trap you in dependence.

It's always fine to experiement with different methods -- but always keep your independence and personal power. And be sure to experiment with different psychological methods and theories. In many ways these are 75% of what it takes to awaken. It is very difficult to have a decent sitting practice if every time you sit you are retraumatized by old memories or are covering up the present moment with lots of fantasies and intellectualizing. That said, many "meditation methods" are basically psychological practices it's important to see that, too.

There are many things that can be "hacked" in spirituality -- you can give yourself interesting experiences through sleep or food deprevation, you can have odd catharitic moments by overstimulation and retraumatization, you can intellectualize developmental insights so that you can parrot the words without really being at that developmental level, you can be marketed or hypnotized or brainwashed into thinking and doing many things. The power of imagination and self-deception is amazing, too. It really is endless. It's a minefield.

But the nice thing is you really can't lie to yourself. If you let yourself relax and be at ease, you'll know if practice is really helping or not. Go to your body. Are you actually more relaxed and at peace? Or are you buzzy and frantic with lots of thoughts and ideas and ambition? How do you really feel about your self and the present moment. Is it simply so? Or is it a heroic adventure to greater and greater accomplishments and --- aha!, if this is the way your mind is going then your present self and the present moment is just a means to an future end and you really aren't able to be at home in the present moment. If you are always future oriented, you're not crazy but there is probably an aspect of basic sanity that is being overlooked. 

In terms of what it means to have these insights in a modern world, this paper does a great job of talking about adult development. You will notice that it sets a very high bar for adult development. Many of us never get close to the end stages and all of us over estimate where we are at! emoticon

[url=http://www.cook-greuter.com/Cook-Greuter%209%20levels%20paper%20new%201.1'14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf]http://www.cook-greuter.com/Cook-Greuter%209%20levels%20paper%20new%201.1'14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf

Looks like the link has trouble --- try googling "cook greuter nine pdf"

I'm pretty convinced that if people gave up on "enlightenment" and instead used enlightenment methods for "basic sanity" people would make much deeper progress.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/5/18 7:40 AM as a reply to shargrol.
So much good stuff has come up in this thread!  emoticon

shargrol:
Building on what Richard said, it's important to think about what the short cut is leading to, much much more than trying to find the short cut method. If you have a clear goal, all of this stuff about meditation will make much more sense and our practice path will be much more obvious.
I agree on your point here basically. I woudn't personally use the term shortcut for 2PF as Karl discussed in his post above. That term hasn't been used within OH, I think, but it has been added. Initially I did not want to nitpick on the choice of words, but it's true that calling it a shortcut gives it a bad name in the sense that you are describing here. Shortcutting sound suspicious and why should speed be a matter of concerns in psychological develpoment anyways? It sounds foreign if someone is advocating a form of psychotherapy that gets rid of your neurosis in a week. "Beware of unearned wisdom" as Carl Jung is quoted of saying. It's usually used in context of psychedelics but I could see it used in the context of some weird mind-technique too.

To understand what the 2PF is, one has to consider the unawakened mind. The classic example of an unawakened mind at work is shown in this (Not imaginary!!!) dialogue that I've witnessed
A: Hi there.
B: Hi, what's up.
A: Pretty good, what about you? It's such a nice weather today!
B: Yes indeed! Hey have you been working on that project we talked about last week?
A: Actually not so much, there was some complication along the way and we have to wait for some more information before taking any action. But I'm feeling positive about the project!
B: Ok, well, see you around!

Then person B comes to me: Did you see that see that? That guy is such a dick thinking he owns the world. Did you see how he was humiliating me??!
The problem is clearly, that person B is believing all his silly impressions and acting them out in the world creating pain in himself and everybody around him. I've pondered a lot what should be done to get people to realise the dynamics that are at play here, and how the concept of fundamental ignorance is played out here. How can you tell somebody to snap out of it when they don't understand that they are in it in the first place?

Various techniques that aim at becoming familiar with your sensory and mental events are directed to bring about this realization. They are good and they do work. But we have also many instances where people have done vipassana noting for years with no breakthrough. Or they have sat in zen monasteries years and years, not quite cutting through to the better side. 2PF is basically vipassana. The only difference is that instead of saying "just observe everything and as much as you can" it points one to look at the somewhat arbitrary feeling that is the source where the example in the dialogue stems from. It doesn't tackle anything other than the precious self that is in danger of being offended by all the spooks it is busy creating. When you learn to turn on and of this generator of useless personification, you see through the fact that it is empty of inherent existence. You become free of it's grasp because you have seen in your own eyes how this moster is operating and that it's just fluff and no substance. The classic vipassana can show you exatcly this. But it is really hard to be certain that the meditator is not leaving out some aspects of reality. In countless threads here I see Daniel Ingram and other explain again and again that people should look for this and that. I see what they are trying to say. But for me atleast it is difficult to follow that advice. It is much more easy for me to follow the instructions on the 2PF, while basically similar, have some difference aimed at helping point the attention to the right direction.

Goal of practise? Good point, not always easy to formulate. I don't remember what my goal was when I started getting interested in this stuff way back. I was just eagerly curious. I had not major existential problem. I just was sucked to the meditation literature like a moth to a lamp post. Currently my goal is to become free and to free others. I resonate strongly with the boddhisatva vow.

shargrol:

I'm going to suggest that the goal is basic sanity. Not being entrapped by limited development, reactive patterns, bad habits, repressive thinking, fantasy, infatuations, regressions. It means stepping out of the role of a child that is dependent on the parent, and becoming an independent adult. Awakening, both the first little steps and the last little steps, should always lead to greater sanity, well being, compassion, resilience, independence, and self-sufficiency. 
All this sounds good. Sanity is my favourite topic. The example dialogue above is a classic example of insanity. I have no real method to bring about sanity in people, except again and again talk sense and explain things and make them confront the situation from a novel angle that jolts them enough so that they see it as unnecessary behavior. This applies to friends who are not following any buddhist framework. With buddhist framework it becomes easier with various methods as these people have already accepted the paradigm that there is something to be gained from observing the mind. 2PF is useful for these kind of folks. If they have success with other methods, that's great. But if someone came for me for help and asked what they should do in order to espace their insanity, I would advice them to meditate like in the 2PF (as a rule of thumb. I'm perfectly capable of adjusting my advice, but it turns out I'm just a lay practinioner and I only know what has been useful for me. It is painfully obvious that other people do not enjoy all the same things I do. I've recommended MCTB to 3 people who were perfect candidates for it. None of them ever read it....)

shargrol:

Methods and practices that say "hey, give up your critical thinking for a while, listen only to the teacher, report your findings using only our terminology, ignore things that don't fit the model" always seem to offer short term benefits, but in the long term, they trap you in dependence.
I'm guessing that you are not bringing this up as a bad example from the worst method ever but are referring to your interpretation of 2PF/OH? I say your interpretation because this is not what I'm seeing at all. Do you wish to elaborate on this a bit? The 2PF guidance only last for a short while, and in order to conduct the discussion in a somewhat contructed manner maybe these sort of wordings are used, but that's it. It does not describe the attitude in general.

shargrol:

It's always fine to experiement with different methods -- but always keep your independence and personal power. And be sure to experiment with different psychological methods and theories. In many ways these are 75% of what it takes to awaken. It is very difficult to have a decent sitting practice if every time you sit you are retraumatized by old memories or are covering up the present moment with lots of fantasies and intellectualizing. That said, many "meditation methods" are basically psychological practices it's important to see that, too.
I agree with this. I've been sketching a post where I discuss psychological personality development and contrast that to meditative attainments. My current hypothesis is that they are largely one and the same. But that makes me actually more interested in how different meditative methods can help bring about personal development.  The theory of personal development by Robert Kegan is what caught my attention. David Chapmann wrote in interesting text about it. Here'e an excerpt, doesn't stage 5 sound an awful lot like having some solid insight on the higher paths?
Here systems are relativized. They move from subject to object, and
are subordinated to, and organized by, the process of meaning-making
itself. You are no longer defined as a system of principles, projects, and commitments. You have
several such systems, “multiple selves,” none of them entirely
coherent, and which have different values—and this is no longer a
problem, because you respect all of them.
Development beyond stage 4 is driven by seeing contradictions within and between systems. For stage 4, a system is justified by an ideology
that grounds out in some set of ultimate principles. When you realize
that the system doesn’t work as well as the ideology claims it should,
you look for an alternative set of principles. This can motivate
adopting a series of political or religious affiliations, each of which
seems at first to be right; and each of which eventually fails you.But at some point you realize that all principles are somewhat
arbitrary or relative.
There is no ultimately true principle on which a
correct system can be built. It’s not just that we don’t yet know what
the absolute truth is; it is that there cannot be one. All systems come to seem inherently empty.This uncomfortable midpoint of the stage 4 to 5 transition is sometimes called “stage 4.5.” Here it’s common to commit to explicit nihilism.
Understanding that there is no ultimate meaning, one comes to the wrong
conclusion that there are no meanings at all. It’s common to declare
that you are “beyond good and evil,” to adopt ethical nihilism.
That’s also possible at stage 2, where it can be sociopathic, and leads
to blatantly unethical actions. At stage 4.5, one retains the empathy
of communalism and the respectfulness of systematicity, so doing harm on
the basis of this theoretical nihilism is rare.
Eventually, one notices that meanings continue to operate quite well
despite their lack of ultimate foundations.
Systems re-emerge as
transparent forms. You no longer see by means of systems, but can see through
systems as contingent constructions that most people mistake as solid.

Stage 3 sees systems as unfair but unavoidable external impositions;
stage 4 sees them as rational necessities justified by ultimate
principles. Stage 5 recognizes that they are both nebulous (intangible, interpenetrating, transient, amorphous, and ambiguous) and patterned
(reliable, distinct, enduring, clear, and definite). Nebulosity and
pattern are inherent in all systems, and are therefore inseparable. This
becomes risible.
My current view is that models that try to predict things are always doomed to fail as they reach a limit to their applicability. So models are actually only descpitions. You use them as tools knowing that they will break after the third strike.
shargrol:

There are many things that can be "hacked" in spirituality -- you can give yourself interesting experiences through sleep or food deprevation, you can have odd catharitic moments by overstimulation and retraumatization, you can intellectualize developmental insights so that you can parrot the words without really being at that developmental level, you can be marketed or hypnotized or brainwashed into thinking and doing many things. The power of imagination and self-deception is amazing, too. It really is endless. It's a minefield.

But the nice thing is you really can't lie to yourself. If you let yourself relax and be at ease, you'll know if practice is really helping or not. Go to your body. Are you actually more relaxed and at peace? Or are you buzzy and frantic with lots of thoughts and ideas and ambition? How do you really feel about your self and the present moment. Is it simply so? Or is it a heroic adventure to greater and greater accomplishments and --- aha!, if this is the way your mind is going then your present self and the present moment is just a means to an future end and you really aren't able to be at home in the present moment. If you are always future oriented, you're not crazy but there is probably an aspect of basic sanity that is being overlooked. 
I should probably write about this in a separate post or in my log... In short I'd say this is very good advice. I've lost my desire for flashy things and mediative "experiences" along the way and are happy that they are not the focus anymore. I don't miss them at all. The current state of affairs is much nicer. Being honest and checking what is really going on with oneself is crucial. It's useful to have a balance in questioning yourself but also not treating yourself unfairly with undue suspicion. Middle way emoticon Darn hard to communicte! My deepest respect goes to all who have at some point been able to shed even the tiniest light on someone's path.

shargrol:

In terms of what it means to have these insights in a modern world, this paper does a great job of talking about adult development. You will notice that it sets a very high bar for adult development. Many of us never get close to the end stages and all of us over estimate where we are at! emoticon

[url=http://www.cook-greuter.com/Cook-Greuter%209%20levels%20paper%20new%201.1'14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf]http://www.cook-greuter.com/Cook-Greuter%209%20levels%20paper%20new%201.1'14%2097p%5B1%5D.pdf

Looks like the link has trouble --- try googling "cook greuter nine pdf"

I'm pretty convinced that if people gave up on "enlightenment" and instead used enlightenment methods for "basic sanity" people would make much deeper progress.


Thank you for the tip on the Cook paper. Seems like exatcly the thing I'd be interested in! Will check it out!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/5/18 7:46 PM as a reply to Samvega.
Hi Samvega,

I don't find it suspicious. But also, I'm not trying out the 2PF mostly for its claim to high success rate for 98% of people (although this certainly caught my attention), but mostly because the formula itself feels like they are indredients that make sense to where I am in my practice at this point. 

It seems like I may be lurking in equanimity (could always be wrong about this) but feeling like a todler learning to walk in it. The first part of the formula offers me some stabilization in samatha, which seems appropriate at this point because I have become a "vipasssanizing"machine in my practice and have been adviced on learning to soak a bit more in tranquility. The 2nd part formula is also a natural thing for me at this point, since in equanimity (or wherever I'm getting to in noting), the "feeling of self" seems to become more and more transparent, or the last thing to note in pealing this onion of the mind. So Alexey's post made sense to me in that regard when he mentioned noting till equanimity then switching to 2PF.

I'm taking this as an experiment as well, and don't feel like I'm getting caught in some cultish thing. I'm keeping the pragmatic spirit as well: see how this works.

At the end of the process I may share my experiences in my log with this method.

Shargrol:

Thank you for chipping in. Your advice is precious as always. I keep track of my goal, which is as Kenneth Folk, if I remember well, once described enlightenment: Unstickiness of phenomena in the mind. That's what I'm aiming at: being less and less "highjacked" by phenomena of body and mind: In the seen just the seen...etc

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/7/18 2:03 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
To me, if there is any short-cut, it is that your habits change radically from a particular practice. That's the test. If your habits are still the same, then it's baloney, or you have lots of work to do still.

Also different habits, and different sides to our personality, need different practices. These practices change our habits slowly. 

The chance that you've done all the practices to their fullest extent in a few days is probably impossible. The people who have had quick attainments often can't tell you how they got theirs. It's quite possible that their brain shifted in a biological way from the practice that is unique to them.

Nobody has claimed that the 2PF adresses all habits all all parts of the psychology of selfing in a matter of days. That would, as you say, probably be impossible. The 2PF adresses one habit and one habit only, namely the fundamental habit; the sense of subject-self or "I" that lies at the core of the selfing mechanism. When that habit, which previously was taken as something real, is seen as nothing but an habit - its binding power drops away and the practitioner can get down to business deconstructing the rest of the psychology.

This latter process seems to happen slowly, yes, while with initial awakening, it doesn't have to. When it comes to awakening it seems to be a matter of having precision tools in order to study the "I" and gain insight into its empty nature. In the cases where precision tools are lacking, wether awakening will happen or not seems pretty much a gamble. I say that on the basis of knowing several people who has spent decades of practicing serious Buddhist meditation only to awaken within a few weeks when given the 2PF. And while the practice before awakening was by no means a waste of time for them, nor was awakening the end of the work to be done, the first permanent insight into the emptiness of "me" was and is a game changer every time.  

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/7/18 9:12 PM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Karl Eikrem:
Richard Zen:
To me, if there is any short-cut, it is that your habits change radically from a particular practice. That's the test. If your habits are still the same, then it's baloney, or you have lots of work to do still.

Also different habits, and different sides to our personality, need different practices. These practices change our habits slowly. 

The chance that you've done all the practices to their fullest extent in a few days is probably impossible. The people who have had quick attainments often can't tell you how they got theirs. It's quite possible that their brain shifted in a biological way from the practice that is unique to them.

Nobody has claimed that the 2PF adresses all habits all all parts of the psychology of selfing in a matter of days. That would, as you say, probably be impossible. The 2PF adresses one habit and one habit only, namely the fundamental habit; the sense of subject-self or "I" that lies at the core of the selfing mechanism. When that habit, which previously was taken as something real, is seen as nothing but an habit - its binding power drops away and the practitioner can get down to business deconstructing the rest of the psychology.

This latter process seems to happen slowly, yes, while with initial awakening, it doesn't have to. When it comes to awakening it seems to be a matter of having precision tools in order to study the "I" and gain insight into its empty nature. In the cases where precision tools are lacking, wether awakening will happen or not seems pretty much a gamble. I say that on the basis of knowing several people who has spent decades of practicing serious Buddhist meditation only to awaken within a few weeks when given the 2PF. And while the practice before awakening was by no means a waste of time for them, nor was awakening the end of the work to be done, the first permanent insight into the emptiness of "me" was and is a game changer every time.  

It was a game changer for me as well, during the early days, but in the end I found that there was so much more to let go of and face, that through further development, the realization that the watcher can support a lot of the ego functions and be co-opted by superiority, was a reminder that this game changer wasn't even close to what I needed to learn. The mind blanks out very quickly and consistently throws curveballs all day, making a mockery of my insights.

Some of this you can see in Actualism, and in Daniel's post on MN 20:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

I needed to learn that as long as I follow and continue thoughts, I'm in the self and, barring some other major insights I haven't realized yet, the earlier realization doesn't mean much when I'm lost in thoughts. I have to look at these thought-feeling associations as "worlds" and pick and choose which ones to follow, which is like reminding me of those insights over and over again. In someways it gets me closer to stream-entry in that these thought worlds that I catch can be like all encompassing bubbles of experience, that includes the present moment, not just the past or future possibilities. The near future.

Thoughts are always looking for gratification of some kind (pleasure or superiority), whether I want them to or not. Superiority also being a pleasure when I gain an insight that I think will help my survivability.

MN 20 shows me how all pervasive the self is in phenomenological experience. It gloms itself to any experience, especially experiences that require more computation than watching the breath.

Without a cessation experience I'm still looking for more clinging lurking in my experience. Even stillness has plenty of thinking, but much less draining thinking than rehearsing, or trying to imagine perfect control of my future.

Anyways, all of us can think of "short-cuts" and feel the pain in such thoughts. If not careful it can increase chasing intentions that hurt. "Act now or you'll miss out on short-cut!"

For me it's still peeling an onion. Even deep equanimity needs lots of concentration to avoid posturing (reaction formations) in daily life. Without a lot of continuity with the breath it's not genuine. If someone makes fun of me or threatens rejection, I can still feel something.

There's still this sublte thinking that thinks it's observing other thinking (the self). Awareness watching awareness.

Though typing all this is really helpful. emoticon

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/8/18 5:17 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Karl Eikrem:
Richard Zen:
To me, if there is any short-cut, it is that your habits change radically from a particular practice. That's the test. If your habits are still the same, then it's baloney, or you have lots of work to do still.

Also different habits, and different sides to our personality, need different practices. These practices change our habits slowly. 

The chance that you've done all the practices to their fullest extent in a few days is probably impossible. The people who have had quick attainments often can't tell you how they got theirs. It's quite possible that their brain shifted in a biological way from the practice that is unique to them.

Nobody has claimed that the 2PF adresses all habits all all parts of the psychology of selfing in a matter of days. That would, as you say, probably be impossible. The 2PF adresses one habit and one habit only, namely the fundamental habit; the sense of subject-self or "I" that lies at the core of the selfing mechanism. When that habit, which previously was taken as something real, is seen as nothing but an habit - its binding power drops away and the practitioner can get down to business deconstructing the rest of the psychology.

This latter process seems to happen slowly, yes, while with initial awakening, it doesn't have to. When it comes to awakening it seems to be a matter of having precision tools in order to study the "I" and gain insight into its empty nature. In the cases where precision tools are lacking, wether awakening will happen or not seems pretty much a gamble. I say that on the basis of knowing several people who has spent decades of practicing serious Buddhist meditation only to awaken within a few weeks when given the 2PF. And while the practice before awakening was by no means a waste of time for them, nor was awakening the end of the work to be done, the first permanent insight into the emptiness of "me" was and is a game changer every time.  

It was a game changer for me as well, during the early days, but in the end I found that there was so much more to let go of and face, that through further development, the realization that the watcher can support a lot of the ego functions and be co-opted by superiority, was a reminder that this game changer wasn't even close to what I needed to learn. The mind blanks out very quickly and consistently throws curveballs all day, making a mockery of my insights.

Some of this you can see in Actualism, and in Daniel's post on MN 20:

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

I needed to learn that as long as I follow and continue thoughts, I'm in the self and, barring some other major insights I haven't realized yet, the earlier realization doesn't mean much when I'm lost in thoughts. I have to look at these thought-feeling associations as "worlds" and pick and choose which ones to follow, which is like reminding me of those insights over and over again. In someways it gets me closer to stream-entry in that these thought worlds that I catch can be like all encompassing bubbles of experience, that includes the present moment, not just the past or future possibilities. The near future.

Thoughts are always looking for gratification of some kind (pleasure or superiority), whether I want them to or not. Superiority also being a pleasure when I gain an insight that I think will help my survivability.

MN 20 shows me how all pervasive the self is in phenomenological experience. It gloms itself to any experience, especially experiences that require more computation than watching the breath.

Without a cessation experience I'm still looking for more clinging lurking in my experience. Even stillness has plenty of thinking, but much less draining thinking than rehearsing, or trying to imagine perfect control of my future.

Anyways, all of us can think of "short-cuts" and feel the pain in such thoughts. If not careful it can increase chasing intentions that hurt. "Act now or you'll miss out on short-cut!"

For me it's still peeling an onion. Even deep equanimity needs lots of concentration to avoid posturing (reaction formations) in daily life. Without a lot of continuity with the breath it's not genuine. If someone makes fun of me or threatens rejection, I can still feel something.

There's still this sublte thinking that thinks it's observing other thinking (the self). Awareness watching awareness.

Though typing all this is really helpful. emoticon

Yes, of course there is still a lot to be done after awakening. The selfing-mechanism has many more layers than its core. There's all kinds of stuff like you mention; object-selves such as self-based emotions, thoughts and feelings and subtle self-based mind states such as mental dullness and euphoria etc. Yet, that is sort of besides the point here. 

It's a bit like hitting puberty. Allthough it felt like it at the time, as an adult you can see that getting your first pubic hairs and a deeper voice doesn't mean your a man or a woman. Yet without it the initial release of hormones that instigates all the changes that occur in puberty, one is not going to become a man or a woman. Not in this life time anyways. What I mean is that, allthough it is not the end of the road (by far), awakening is absolutely essential in order to reach the higher levels of insight and eventually realising buddhahood. Without awakening one will not grow up. This is what makes it so important.   

And this is why it is so problematic when most traditions insist that in order to have this initial insight one has to undertake ardious mediation practice, spending contless hours in retreats etc. In Open Heart, based on our experience, (and I suspect this view is the source of OH-teachings being mislabeled as "sortcuts") we say that this is not the case. Insisting that it should take years and years is clearly a conclusion based on induction, and the same as insisting that all swans are white on the basis of having seen only white swans. It is ignorance. 

So, again, while deconstructing the entire psychology of selfing seems to take years of dedicated practice on and off the mat, awakening to the empy nature of the subject-self is quite straightforward given the right tools. The Two-Part Formula is such a tool and it is available for all. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/8/18 6:19 AM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Karl Eikrem:


And this is why it is so problematic when most traditions insist that in order to have this initial insight one has to undertake ardious mediation practice, spending contless hours in retreats etc. In Open Heart, based on our experience, and I suspect this view is the source of OH-teachings being mislabeled as sortcuts; we say that this is not the case. Insisting that it should take years and years is clearly a conclusion based on induction, and the same as insisting that all swans are white on the basis of having seen only white swans. It is ignorance. 

So, again, while deconstructing the entire psychology of selfing seems to take years of dedicated practice on and off the mat, awakening to the empy nature of the subject-self is quite straightforward given the right tools. The Two-Part Formula is such a tool and it is available for all. 

It's pretty clear that the traditions, all the way back to buddha, didn't think time was the critical factor. Basically everything from 7 days to 7 years is typical (as mentioned at end of satipatthana sutta).

Actually, I think the only real problem here is that OH, which is a new tradtion, uses terms like Stream Entry and Awakening in ways that are different from other older traditions. If OH said "initial glimpse into the empty nature of subject-self" there would be less confusion, right?

But I don't think that's what OH actually believes. My limited understanding suggests that OH does believe this initial glimpse is Stream Entry. And I think OH does believe that Theravadain 4th Path is much lower than the later Tibetain bhumis, etc. etc. 

There has already been a couple millenia of this kind of sectarian gamesmanship and no doubt it will continue to the end of time, so I have no illusions that it will be resolved any time soon. emoticon

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/8/18 6:58 AM as a reply to shargrol.
+1

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/8/18 7:40 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Sorry I’m on my phone and quoting doesn’t seem to work very well. 

Shargrol wrote:

It's pretty clear that the traditions, all the way back to buddha, didn't think time was the critical factor. Basically everything from 7 days to 7 years is typical (as mentioned at end of satipatthana sutta).


Allright. But where are all the effective methods? Why are not more people waking up?

Shargrol wrote:     

Actually, I think the only real problem here is that OH, which is a new tradtion, uses terms like Stream Entry and Awakening in ways that are different from other older traditions. If OH said "initial glimpse into the empty nature of subject-self" there would be less confusion, right?

This is simply not true. Awakening is neither a temporary glimpse, nor is it an energetic event.  

I, for one, had several glimpses, some lasting for minutes, some for for hours, in the years prior to awakening. These, allthough meaningful in many ways, did not have a permanent effect on the mind. Awakening does.

Rather than a glimpse, awakening is defined in OH as the first permanent insight into the empty nature of «I». It is the first lasting shift and, in my opinion, the entrance to the true Buddhist path. 

As for resolving the ongoing debate, I think it would be much easier if the parties started actually listening to eachother rather than reading their own opinions into the subject matter.  

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/8/18 11:56 PM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Those glimpses are initially important, but that's often the excitement that leads to boredom and disappointment when there's more work to do. The skills are compartmentalized. It will often take a lot of time even for those initial insights (months for 1st jhana for me) and a couple of years for the advaita vedanta awareness, when people are distracted by a modern technological environment.

Getting my 1st jhana was a BIG deal. It showed that meditation wasn't pointless or a waste of time like I was conditioned to think beforehand.

Then advaita vedanta was huge. Now it's all these microinsights that are cumulative and hard to explain to others and lead to people writing big books. emoticon

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/9/18 5:06 PM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Hello Karl,

 - "Allright. But where are all the effective methods? Why are not more people waking up?" -

Do you mean to say that there are no other effective methods? That satipatthana/vipassana, for example, as revived by the Burmese 100 years ago, are not effective? For example noting at the six sense doors? It seems to have work for many...

Open heart 2PF seems a powerful method (and I feel greatful to learn it) but the only one to make awakening possible?

I tend to think pragmatic dharma = Finding what works best for who and when.



RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/13/18 4:20 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Those glimpses are initially important, but that's often the excitement that leads to boredom and disappointment when there's more work to do. The skills are compartmentalized. It will often take a lot of time even for those initial insights (months for 1st jhana for me) and a couple of years for the advaita vedanta awareness, when people are distracted by a modern technological environment.

Getting my 1st jhana was a BIG deal. It showed that meditation wasn't pointless or a waste of time like I was conditioned to think beforehand.

Then advaita vedanta was huge. Now it's all these microinsights that are cumulative and hard to explain to others and lead to people writing big books. emoticon

I am not talking about jhanas, nor about glimpses or about any skills that need to be developed. I am talking about awakening from identificaton with the subject-I and nothing else. When the magic trick has been seen as just that - a trick - it is not possible to start believing in it again. It is a permanent and crucial shift in the mind. 

Ben V.:
Hello Karl,

 - "Allright. But where are all the effective methods? Why are not more people waking up?" -

Do you mean to say that there are no other effective methods? That satipatthana/vipassana, for example, as revived by the Burmese 100 years ago, are not effective? For example noting at the six sense doors? It seems to have work for many...

Open heart 2PF seems a powerful method (and I feel greatful to learn it) but the only one to make awakening possible?

I tend to think pragmatic dharma = Finding what works best for who and when.


No, I do not mean to imply that Open Heart is the only one to offer an effective method. I am in no position to claim such a thing. That being said, I have yet to see a tool such as the 2PF, which mechanically generates awakening regardless of previous experience if applied correctly, taught openly. If you have, please tell me. I'd be delighted!

What I meant was that it doesn't matter what the traditions say as long as it doesn't manifest as reality in contemporary Buddhism. Considering the millions of people who practice Buddhism today, when awakening is not happening on a grand scale, it is evident that most contemporary teachers do not give precise instructions on how to target the subject-"I" directly. Otherwise awakening would be as mainstream as mindfulness by now. 

I do not know a lot about the methods you mention. I did complete a Goenka-retreat once, so it is pretty clear to me that atleast his method is not very effective when it comes to awakening in particular. If it does happen while doing such a form of vipashyana (object-vipashyana, see below), it seems to happen by accident rather than as a result of clear instructions for how to see through the illusion. Same goes for any other retreat or Buddhist event I have ever attended. That is not the same as saying that these methods do not have benefit, just that they are not very effective in bringing about awakening. 

To me it really boils down to the lack of distinction between subject-self and object-selves. One can study different objects in the body-mind (thoughts, emotions, sensations) for a life time, and still not awaken to the emptiness of the subject-I who attaches to these objects. When it comes to awakening, the key is to study this sense of subject direcly in the context of spacious knowing-awareness. And that, for most people, takes very precise methodology. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/13/18 6:54 AM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Karl Eikrem:

When it comes to awakening, the key is to study this sense of subject direcly in the context of spacious knowing-awareness. And that, for most people, takes very precise methodology. 

Well, perhaps one of the issues of OH is that its methodology isn't precisely precise. You may think you have eliminated all tensions related to I-thought but  there may still be subtle tensions related to attraction-aversion. How you deal with that in OH? So you may need to already have a big deal of concentration skills to deal with this while resting in a spacious knowing-awareness. Or have a real intense practice if not, and stumble with Stream Entry by chance... Also, there's nothing said in OH about spaciousness fluctuation, say an Impermanence issue driven partially by Dukkha, which points to No-Self. IMO, unless all Three Characteristics are tackled, the 2PF may lead to an intense A&P experience, rather than to SE. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/13/18 7:08 AM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Karl Eikrem:
I have yet to see a tool such as the 2PF, which mechanically generates awakening regardless of previous experience if applied correctly, taught openly. If you have, please tell me. I'd be delighted!:




Watching the three characteristics through six sense doors as shown in MCTB worked for me (and seems like it for others here). I had practiced meditation for a couple years beforehand (lightly, blindly, without direction), which may have increased concentration, but no serious prevous meditation experience. 

Pepe

Also, there's nothing said in OH about spaciousness fluctuation, say an Impermanence issue driven partially by Dukkha, which points to No-Self. IMO, unless all Three Characteristics are tackled, the 2PF may lead to an intense A&P experience, rather than to SE. 

+1 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/13/18 10:26 AM as a reply to Pepe.
Pepe:
Karl Eikrem:

When it comes to awakening, the key is to study this sense of subject direcly in the context of spacious knowing-awareness. And that, for most people, takes very precise methodology. 

Well, perhaps one of the issues of OH is that its methodology isn't precisely precise. You may think you have eliminated all tensions related to I-thought but  there may still be subtle tensions related to attraction-aversion. How you deal with that in OH? So you may need to already have a big deal of concentration skills to deal with this while resting in a spacious knowing-awareness. Or have a real intense practice if not, and stumble with Stream Entry by chance... Also, there's nothing said in OH about spaciousness fluctuation, say an Impermanence issue driven partially by Dukkha, which points to No-Self. IMO, unless all Three Characteristics are tackled, the 2PF may lead to an intense A&P experience, rather than to SE. 

Have you read the instructions of the 2PF? How is it not precise when it comes to "luring" out the subject-I and then investigating it? 

As for eliminating all tensions related to attraction and aversion, is that a really criteria for SE? If anyone would claim such a thing after having their first permanent insight, I'd say they were full of shit. Fortunately, that is not what I gather from most peoples accounts online, and certainly we claim no such thing in OH.  

In my experience, after intial awakening, habitual mind tendencies such as attraction and aversion are very much still there, but it seen clearly that there is no central "I" "doing" them. They are experienced as mind objects playing themselves out within a greater context of space. Subtle mind states (alaya vijnana) also remains. In OH we mainly use tantric vipashyana (guru yoga, deity yoga) practiced in the context of non-meditation to deal with karmic mind objects and subtle mind states. 

Sorry, but the high-lighted text in your reply didn't make much sense to me. Could you explain what you mean please? 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
11/13/18 4:48 PM as a reply to Karl Eikrem.
Karl Eikrem:

Have you read the instructions of the 2PF? How is it not precise when it comes to "luring" out the subject-I and then investigating it?   
i have read the instructions. It's not precise in what to investigate once the tensions that refer to the subject-I fade. "Just keep at it" it's said in the dialogues with clients/students in the ebook. I would add "how the mind tries to jump into/become the arising thoughts?", "implied intentions?" (eg. expand spaciousness), "implied expectations?" (eg. watching how subject-I arises), "degree of dullness?" (a la Culadasa), "degree of attraction-aversion towards physical and mental phenomena?", etc. 

Karl Eikrem:

As for eliminating all tensions related to attraction and aversion, is that a really criteria for SE? If anyone would claim such a thing after having their first permanent insight, I'd say they were full of shit. Fortunately, that is not what I gather from most peoples accounts online, and certainly we claim no such thing in OH.  

In my experience, after intial awakening, habitual mind tendencies such as attraction and aversion are very much still there, but it seen clearly that there is no central "I" "doing" them. They are experienced as mind objects playing themselves out within a greater context of space. Subtle mind states (alaya vijnana) also remains. In OH we mainly use tantric vipashyana (guru yoga, deity yoga) practiced in the context of non-meditation to deal with karmic mind objects and subtle mind states. 
No one is saying to eliminate subtle tensions related to attraction and aversion, but to be aware of them (related to what I wrote above). To be able to be aware of awareness despite being agitated or calmed, energized or tired, emotional or even-tempered, etc. You don't have to reach SE to be able to do this, to some degree. Reading again my post, I see that my words might not have been clear enough.

Karl Eikrem:
Sorry, but the high-lighted text in your reply didn't make much sense to me. Could you explain what you mean please? 
Spaciousness changes, sometimes it's just inside the head, other times it expands out of the body. This expansion-contraction dynamic (Impermanence) may be best seen when a physical or mental phenomena arises or vanishes (Impermanence) and the subject-I reacts to it either by attraction or aversion (Dukkha). Once you see repeatedly how the subject-I arises, you get the insight into No-Self. If a method goes all the way towards deep relaxation (with some of degree of both investigation and concentration), it may well lead to an energetic experience were A&P and SE symptoms overlap somehow, but that doesn't guarantee that Dependent Origination will be seen.  

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 2:34 AM as a reply to Pepe.
Kim Katami is 100%  charlatan. He is not awakened. This guy is on a spiritual ego trip. He doesn't teach because he has wisdom, he teaches because he so dearly wants to be a guru, leader and a teacher. He hasn't subdued his ego. 

Maybe at one time in the past he was serious about the truth and spirituality, but he has lost his way big time. My guess is that he got frustrated after practising so arduously without actually finding anything. He got desperate and invented his own religion. It is hard to say if he sincerely and actually believes the things he say or is he intentionally just scamming people. 

Not everybody is destined to be a guru. Some buddhas will remain mostly unknown - some will teach publicly and be famous. It all happens by itself. Katami will never achieve enlightenment as long as he wants to be a teacher.

Also, he is quite worried about money and income. He doesn't trust the existence. If he has transcended his mind and body, why then is he so worried about the money? What difference does it make if you're poor or rich? Both will happen by itself. If you are beyond time, what difference does it make what happens in the future?

Did you know, that Katami has claimed to have written a book with Jesus?

The following bhumi analysis by Katami used to be on his website, but it was later removed - he said: "The episodes that concerned teachers of other schools than Open Heart have been removed" -- "Plus, there is always the factor that "Who does this guy think he is mapping such great saints!?"

Dalai Lama Bhumi 7/13 

Paramhansa Yogananda 1893-1952. Bhumi 6/13 
Ramana Maharishi, 1879-1950. Bhumi 3/13 
Papaji, H.W.L Poonja, 1910-1997. Bhumi: 1/13 
Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1895-1986. Bhumi: 4/13 
Mooji 2/13 
Eckhart Tolle 1/13 

What do you think? Is this correct? Also, every Open Heart practitioner - do you get the same results? What do you see? Also, what is your current bhumi level? Is it above 4? That would mean, that you are more evolved than Ramana, Krishnamurti, Mooji, Papaji and Tolle. Does that feel right?

Kim Katami doesn't like advaita vedanta.  
http://openheartopenheart.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-problem-of-ramana-and-nisargadatta.html 

I think he is afraid of advaita vedanta because it is too simple and absolutely uncompromising for him. He feels threatened by it. Probably he is afraid, that if he seriously lost his ego, then he would also have to abandon his plan to become an internationally recognized spriritual teacher - and who then would pay his bills and support his family?

It is a fair question, that: Can a false guru be of any use on a path to enlightenment? Maybe we get a guru we deserve. But if someone is actually serious in realizing the truth and achieving nirvana in this life, I strongly advice avoiding Katami. 

If some one is interested in self-inquiry, find out about Robert Adams for example. He always taught for free - as Ramana Maharshi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and Papaji also never asked for any money.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 8:18 AM as a reply to tapihritsa.
How do you know all this? It is one thing to claim he is deluded, based on his spiritual assertions, but how are you certain he is "100% charlatan"? If it is "by their fruits" that you know someone, what are the bad fruits in this case? Do you have equally penetrating insight into the fruits of the "list of great saints"? Tolle and Mooji?

I am not defending Katami or trying to start a debate; I am a skeptic, and skepticism does not choose sides. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 11:49 AM as a reply to Pepe.
Dalai Lama Bhumi 7/13 
Paramhansa Yogananda 1893-1952. Bhumi 6/13 
Ramana Maharishi, 1879-1950. Bhumi 3/13 
Papaji, H.W.L Poonja, 1910-1997. Bhumi: 1/13 
Jiddu Krishnamurti, 1895-1986. Bhumi: 4/13 
Mooji 2/13 
Eckhart Tolle 1/13 

Entertaining at a minimum, if true.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 12:10 PM as a reply to Ward Law.
How do you know all this? It is one thing to claim he is deluded, based on his spiritual assertions, but how are you certain he is "100% charlatan"? If it is "by their fruits" that you know someone, what are the bad fruits in this case? Do you have equally penetrating insight into the fruits of the "list of great saints"? Tolle and Mooji?

I like also to pay attention to how a thing is being sold, or recommended, or justified. Claims of almost perfect success are dubious. Excessive self-promoting is dubious. Claims of being "the best" or "the most" are dubious.

Awakening isn't a formulaic process. It's not a one size fits all endeavor. Look at all the practice logs online in all the various websites devoted to awakening in all the various traditions and this becomes obvious.

Caveat emptor.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 3:08 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
How do you know all this? It is one thing to claim he is deluded, based on his spiritual assertions, but how are you certain he is "100% charlatan"? If it is "by their fruits" that you know someone, what are the bad fruits in this case? Do you have equally penetrating insight into the fruits of the "list of great saints"? Tolle and Mooji?

I like also to pay attention to how a thing is being sold, or recommended, or justified. Claims of almost perfect success are dubious. Excessive self-promoting is dubious. Claims of being "the best" or "the most" are dubious.

Awakening isn't a formulaic process. It's not a one size fits all endeavor. Look at all the practice logs online in all the various websites devoted to awakening in all the various traditions and this becomes obvious.

Caveat emptor.

Agreed.

Buddhists in many traditions have been working to refine the techniques for awakening over thousands of years, and then there are plenty of other religious traditions out there that have been doing the same. If it were possible to come up with a technique that really is fast and reliably effective for the majority of people practicing it, then it seems logical that someone would have done it long before now and everyone would be awake. The spiritual marketplace is like any other: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/20/18 5:00 PM as a reply to Andromeda.
Here is some insights from Robert Adams about how to spot a false guru.


"Let's talk about the Satguru as compared to the Pseudo-guru. -- Is this person self-realized? -- I do not give opinions about other people. But there are signs, three basic signs, whereas you can tell a true Master from a false one. It helps to know these things. I only discuss things like this with my disciples and devotees.

The first thing to know about this: How you tell if a person is real, is by his teaching. Does he have his own teaching or are his teachings from the scriptures? There are no new teachings. If a teacher tells you :'I've had a revelation, I was picked up by a flying saucer and taken to a far away galaxy and they initiated me and told me to go back and save the earth. And they gave me a mantra that I want to share with you, gibberish, gibberish, gibberish, gibberish, gibberish, you say that twenty-five times and you become enlightened.'

So if a teacher tells you something like that, be careful. If a teacher has his own teaching be careful. But if a teacher confirms what has always been known. In other words, if a teacher lets you know, that you are the unblemished Self. That you are not the body or what appears to be, but that you are supreme intelligence, absolute reality, ultimate oneness, then you know you're on the right track because this is not new knowledge. This knowledge can be found in the Upanishads and the Vedas and in the ancient spiritual works. Never let a teacher tell you I've discovered my own teaching. That's one sign.

Another sign is: How a teacher lives personally. Investigate, find out. How does the teacher live apart from the teaching? When the teaching is over does the teacher meet certain friends outside and go to the nearest bar and get drunk? Does the teacher smoke ganja? Or go into all kinds of rituals? Find out how the teacher lives. Does the teacher practice the teaching 24 hours a day? Or only when he comes to class? What kind of life does a teacher live? Find out for yourself.

And the third point is: Does the teacher charge money for a class? Does he have a weekend seminar where he charges three hundred dollars and tells you you'll become enlightened over the weekend? Be careful. A true teaching never costs anything, it's always free, always, and money is never discussed. It is also true, that a Sage gives up everything in order to give the teaching to others. So his disciples and devotees take care of him. And that stems from the heart. But he never asks for money personally. He may ask to help a friend or somebody else, but never for himself."

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 5:34 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:
Chris Marti:
How do you know all this? It is one thing to claim he is deluded, based on his spiritual assertions, but how are you certain he is "100% charlatan"? If it is "by their fruits" that you know someone, what are the bad fruits in this case? Do you have equally penetrating insight into the fruits of the "list of great saints"? Tolle and Mooji?

I like also to pay attention to how a thing is being sold, or recommended, or justified. Claims of almost perfect success are dubious. Excessive self-promoting is dubious. Claims of being "the best" or "the most" are dubious.

Awakening isn't a formulaic process. It's not a one size fits all endeavor. Look at all the practice logs online in all the various websites devoted to awakening in all the various traditions and this becomes obvious.

Caveat emptor.

Agreed.

Buddhists in many traditions have been working to refine the techniques for awakening over thousands of years, and then there are plenty of other religious traditions out there that have been doing the same. If it were possible to come up with a technique that really is fast and reliably effective for the majority of people practicing it, then it seems logical that someone would have done it long before now and everyone would be awake. The spiritual marketplace is like any other: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 


It would be wonderful if world worked according to logic. Unfortunately the spiritual scene is not as pretty as one would like it to be. I've heard the weridest stories. Like Zen monks taking people in a retreat to the back room and performing some maneuvers and then telling the student that they have now achieved awakening but it shoudn't be discussed with anybody. All the students were taken to the back like this. And no difference was felt by the student that would make it plausible that awakening has happened. That's fucked up. There is enormous amounts of politics and trying to maintain one's position within established religigous circles. So I'm not that convinced that they always have the seekers best interest at heart.

As for the claim of effectiveness, how would you know without trying? As far as I know the people who have awakened through 2PF have experienced it positively and definitively. I for one cannot rule out the possibility of an effective technique emerging in this field. I still haven't seen large amount of people trying out the formula and reporting what they see. In medicine it is not unusual to have 100% success rate. Consider the abortion pill for example, prior to 8 weeks of pregnancy success is 98 to 100%. Sounds dubious but there is an underlying process that is targeted and the goal is achieved. Why would it be impossible to achieve the same in the field of spiritual matters? I admit that the path will be individual to each person, but why could the initial spark not be lighted with a certain technique?
And by the way, Kim doesn't claim that this technique is unique. He is hardly taking any personal credit for it. I see a lot of projection happening with this issue.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 7:28 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne S Peacock:
Andromeda:
Chris Marti:
How do you know all this? It is one thing to claim he is deluded, based on his spiritual assertions, but how are you certain he is "100% charlatan"? If it is "by their fruits" that you know someone, what are the bad fruits in this case? Do you have equally penetrating insight into the fruits of the "list of great saints"? Tolle and Mooji?

I like also to pay attention to how a thing is being sold, or recommended, or justified. Claims of almost perfect success are dubious. Excessive self-promoting is dubious. Claims of being "the best" or "the most" are dubious.

Awakening isn't a formulaic process. It's not a one size fits all endeavor. Look at all the practice logs online in all the various websites devoted to awakening in all the various traditions and this becomes obvious.

Caveat emptor.

Agreed.

Buddhists in many traditions have been working to refine the techniques for awakening over thousands of years, and then there are plenty of other religious traditions out there that have been doing the same. If it were possible to come up with a technique that really is fast and reliably effective for the majority of people practicing it, then it seems logical that someone would have done it long before now and everyone would be awake. The spiritual marketplace is like any other: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. 


It would be wonderful if world worked according to logic. Unfortunately the spiritual scene is not as pretty as one would like it to be. I've heard the weridest stories. Like Zen monks taking people in a retreat to the back room and performing some maneuvers and then telling the student that they have now achieved awakening but it shoudn't be discussed with anybody. All the students were taken to the back like this. And no difference was felt by the student that would make it plausible that awakening has happened. That's fucked up. There is enormous amounts of politics and trying to maintain one's position within established religigous circles. So I'm not that convinced that they always have the seekers best interest at heart.

As for the claim of effectiveness, how would you know without trying? As far as I know the people who have awakened through 2PF have experienced it positively and definitively. I for one cannot rule out the possibility of an effective technique emerging in this field. I still haven't seen large amount of people trying out the formula and reporting what they see. In medicine it is not unusual to have 100% success rate. Consider the abortion pill for example, prior to 8 weeks of pregnancy success is 98 to 100%. Sounds dubious but there is an underlying process that is targeted and the goal is achieved. Why would it be impossible to achieve the same in the field of spiritual matters? I admit that the path will be individual to each person, but why could the initial spark not be lighted with a certain technique?
And by the way, Kim doesn't claim that this technique is unique. He is hardly taking any personal credit for it. I see a lot of projection happening with this issue.

Yeah, I'm definitely in agreement with you that there's a lot of fucked up politics in spiritual scenes. That's why I work hard to preserve my independence as a practitioner and mostly avoid them, or at least carefully choose my involvement so as to limit my exposure to toxicity. But I think it's reasonable to assume that if a fast track to awakening with nearly 100% efficacy in a short amount of time could actually be developed, it would have been done long before now and the people who did it wouldn't hide it away in secret. Because if they had hidden it away, what kind of compassion would that be? IMO not the genuinely awake kind and not any kind I'm interested in.

"As for the claim for effectiveness, how would you know without trying?" This is a pretty standard marketing ploy for just about any kind of snake oil out there and I don't feel any need to try them all in order to evaluate efficacy. Also, in quickly looking over Kim's website and ebook, I agree with you that there doesn't seem to be anything really new there and while I'm sure his stuff has at least some efficacy since he's borrowing from legitimate traditions, I can't imagine any reason that the efficacy rate would be any better than the traditions he's borrowed from. I generally prefer to go to the original sources myself in my spiritual practice for many reasons. And when I need help, I prefer to consult with established teachers in those traditions who have both a deep love and respect for the practices nourished over many decades and also an appreciation for their limitations and risks. (None of them have claimed anything close to 100% efficacy and in fact they have all stressed the difficulty of the path even for those practitioners with significant talent, BTW.) My personal practice is already rich and fulfilling and so there simply isn't anything about Open Heart stuff that picques my interest, especially when there is just so much enticing material already on my very long reading list and time is precious in this short life. 

As for comparing spiritual practice to medicine, I question how useful an analogy this is. But even so, your statement that it is not unusual in medicine to have a 100% success rate is simply not true. Per Clinical Development Success Rates statistics from 2006-2015, only about 10% of drugs even made it past the first round of trials and that's just the first of 4 phases (which don't require anything close to 100% efficacy). A meta-analysis on the efficacy of common drugs found only "11 out of 17 showing a minimal clinically important difference." The placebo effect is extremely common in medicine but it doesn't mean the drug is actually doing what it is advertised to do. It would be very interesting indeed to investigate if someting akin to the placebo effect could be at work with spiritual practice, but this would be another conversation entirely.

"I admit that the path will be individual to each person, but why could the initial spark not be lighted with a certain technique?" We are in agreement here. Given the reports of people on these message boards, that initial spark can be lighted without any technique at all. It would seem that many people are just highly spiritually combustible and it doesn't take much. The hard part is growing that spark, and then continually growing that spark over a lifetime of practice. For this, there are no shortcuts. 

This is just my perspective. There are many paths up many mountains and everyone needs to figure this kind of thing out for themselves. I hope you and others make good choices that lead to good practice, whatever that entails.


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 9:18 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
In medicine it is not unusual to have 100% success rate.

Claims of success in medicine, an endeavor that is subject to far more process validation and hard verification than spirituality, do not transfer to this arena. Nor have I ever hear a reasonable, fact-based medical claim of 100% success. This comparison only sounds reasonable. It's not. It also plays into the descriptions of dubious claims that I posted yesterday - excessive claims of success. 100% success in the spiritual realm? Really?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 9:21 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
With regards to the medicine analogy, yes I understand that the analogy is nowhere near perfect. And I perfectly agree with Andromeda that most of medicine can't claim  such results. I work in the field and am familiar with statistics and how they choose what to report etc. Infact I think this only enforces the analogy because even with this being the case you can't deny the fact that some medicine (not sure I should call abortion pills medicine though...) works 98% of the time.  

But yes, I'm starting to get the feeling that saying some meditation method brings certain results might not actually be a good idea. I wasn't interested in OH because of this claim. I found other interesting aspects from it. 

To Andomeda mostly: I regretted saying that one should try stuff to make sure it works. It is kind of true, but obviously there isn't time to try all the stuff someone thinks you should try. Personally I pick the stuff I dedicate my interest (as we all) and put some effort in. I don't form all too solid ideas based on stuff I don't know quite well.  

"But I think it's reasonable to assume that if a fast track to awakening with nearly 100% efficacy in a short amount of time could actually be developed, it would have been done long before now and the people who did it wouldn't hide it away in secret. Because if they had hidden it away, what kind of compassion would that be? IMO not the genuinely awake kind and not any kind I'm interested in."
According to my understanding 2PF is akin to an old dzogchen method. Dzogchen is known to keep a wov of secrecy about its methods. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is it compassionate? Or is it just wise? I don't know.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 9:25 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
"But I think it's reasonable to assume that if a fast track to awakening with nearly 100% efficacy in a short amount of time could actually be developed, it would have been done long before now and the people who did it wouldn't hide it away in secret. Because if they had hidden it away, what kind of compassion would that be? IMO not the genuinely awake kind and not any kind I'm interested in."

If you think about advertising the 2PF in this light, you might consider it an act of compassion rather than something sinister, no?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 9:53 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne S Peacock:

But yes, I'm starting to get the feeling that saying some meditation method brings certain results might not actually be a good idea. I wasn't interested in OH because of this claim. I found other interesting aspects from it. 


So here's the thing I wonder about people making these great and obviously overstated claims in the spiritual marketplace--why are they doing it? I can think of a couple of possible reasons:

1. They don't believe their own claims, but they are making them to promote their brand. Well, ethics is very important to me and I don't want anything to do with hucksters who would deceive people. 

2. They actually believe their own hype and thus are deluded. This one is even scarier to me. Not deluding myself is also critically important to me and so I don't want anything to do with people who are deluding themselves. Especially spiritual teachers, because historically delusional spiritual teachers have gone catastrophically wrong.

Either way, it's a huge red flag and that's more than enough for me to Just Say No and be concerned for others who are quick to jump on the bandwagon. As you are in the medical field, you must surely know the physician's axiom: be neither the first nor the last to prescribe a new drug. It is not just efficacy but side effects that one must be concerned about, and you won't hear the full story about those until years after a new drug comes to market. As you say, spiritual communities are known for problems of toxicity and so I would want years of good evidence about the people involved before recommending it to others, personally.

And I'm not sure what exactly you're referring to as far as Dzogchen secrecy. I've got several books on Dzogchen with clear instructions and there seem to be plenty of teachers out there teaching it. My own vipassana practice evolved into Dzogchen on its own years ago, so it's not like it's a rare gem that can only be found in some secret cave somewhere--it's just a human thing, quite natural, and people have probably been discovering it and rediscovering it all over the world for millennia. Dzogchen, Mahamudra, Centering Prayer, the Theravada 4th samatha jhana with elements of the 5th and 6th--though dogmatists might argue this point, all these seem to be roundabouts in the same neighborhood to me. It's right there waiting for any one of us.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 11:17 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
According to my understanding 2PF is akin to an old dzogchen method. Dzogchen is known to keep a wov of secrecy about its methods. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is it compassionate? Or is it just wise? I don't know.


Jehanne, this, too, is misleading. Dzogchen and its methods is not a secret, You can buy hundreds if not thousands of books on how to practice Dzogchen. You can find hundreds if not thousands of teachers of Dzogchen practice methods and meditations. Try a Google search if you doubt this.

I'm sorry to be a killjoy here but you're only furthering my case that certain types of claims are to be taken with a grain of salt. Turning what is open and available (Dzogchen) into a mystery so that it can then be more favorably compared to another method that is new and far, far less time-tested, is just wrong.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/21/18 3:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
According to my understanding 2PF is akin to an old dzogchen method. Dzogchen is known to keep a wov of secrecy about its methods. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is it compassionate? Or is it just wise? I don't know.


Jehanne, this, too, is misleading. Dzogchen and its methods is not a secret, You can buy hundreds if not thousands of books on how to practice Dzogchen. You can find hundreds if not thousands of teachers of Dzogchen practice methods and meditations. Try a Google search if you doubt this.

I'm sorry to be a killjoy here but you're only furthering my case that certain types of claims are to be taken with a grain of salt. Turning what is open and available (Dzogchen) into a mystery so that it can then be more favorably compared to another method that is new and far, far less time-tested, is just wrong.


Thogal practice is half of Dzogchen & is kept secret fwiw.  Hard to find good sources for it in published books, online articles or through word of mouth.  Thogal practice is kept so successfully secret that most people think Dzogchen is all about choiceless awareness, rather than half about choiceless awareness & half about magic schoolbus style visions.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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12/22/18 8:13 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Thanks for the information, Noah. So... how did you find out about the magic school bus visions?

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RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/22/18 12:47 PM as a reply to JP.
JP:
My general impression is that this is a situation where there's not much consensus on here about the accuracy of the attainment claims for Kim's students. I think there are a few different reasons why this is the case, most of which generally apply to the question of how accurate it's possible to be with remote dharma diagnosis.

- Unless I'm missing something, there aren't any detailed practice logs being kept here by Open Heart practitioners other than Jehanne.  Diagnosing stream entry requires a fair amount of information about people's sits over the course of the weeks prior, in-depth discussion on the exact phenomenology of what happened when they think cessation occurred, and maybe even some information on how daily life and their regular perspective in the world changed between before and after.  Very few people, including me, post frequently enough to provide the necessary level of detail.

- It seems to take people several paths to have confidence in definitively saying that a certain event was fruition as opposed to a mimic for it.  So it's probably only DhO posters who're on at least third path who are going to be able to assess this.

- Kim's method of diagnosing path attainments based on assessing the energy body through pictures/videos of practitioners is non-standard, at least among the experienced pragmatic dharma practitioners here.  Maybe it works and maybe it doesn't -- this is probably something where we'd need him to teach Daniel Ingram or other experienced practitioners how he does it and have them tell us whether it lines up with their judgment.

- Most of us just have our own experience to go by, and are going to judge other tradition's maps and timetables accordingly.  So both "awakening is nearly impossible and takes your whole life" and "awakening is super-easy and you can do it in a weekend" don't line up with most of our experiences.

I haven't tried it, but the technique itself seems like it could be a useful technique, especially as a corrective to over-efforting in the dark night.  

I also think that this is a question that's going to continue until there's a large group of Open Heart practitioners who are also familiar with MTCB and The Mind Illuminated, who start regularly posting detailed phenomenomological practice logs, and who are very open to their Open Heart attainments being questioned or mapped differently.  

I'd encourage you to think seriously about how you feel about the technique and whether you'd want to be involved in Open Heart as an organization, rather than just about whether it can "get" you an attainment.  I personally really like the analytic framework by David Chapman in Approaching Aro as a guide to how to consider different spiritual traditions.  It's also a great example of how a non-traditional Tibetan Buddhist lineage can address outside concerns respectfully, and I'd love to see a similar effort by Open Heart.

Hi JP and thanks for a well composed post.

Before matters presented in the above post, I'd like to say that as there is much more to buddhism than the first shift/awakening/kensho, there is also more to Open Heart as a method. It's a small piece in a big puzzle. Just a reminder.

I've presented a lot of material reg. 2PF and awakening it generates. You can find them, for free, for example from Awake-ebook. Dialogues and photos in the book, gives the reader some sense what happens to these people.

In OH, we mainly use our own terminology, instead of theravadan or other, that has developed over the years. It's still based on common buddhist theory and meditative experiences but also has distinct features because we do some things differently. I am confident that this is one of the reasons why there seems to be a wall of sorts between traditional buddhists, as here, and those who in OH have had the experiences and know first hand what the terms point to.

I guess a lot theravadans consider cessation, if not the most important, then at least very important indicator of stream-entry, and the way how the analysis proceeds is to consider the specifics of the event. Because of the difference in the way we look whether or not the shift has occurred, I have never really looked it that way, although I know well what cessation is. I just don't look at it that way. My way of looking at it, is closer to rinzai zen-style, where the teacher asks the student questions and meters his or hers energetic feel, and a possible change in it. This is typical in rinzai zen. I guess all teachers use this to some degree, knowingly or unknowingly. The point is that there is not only one way to measure shifts that deal with lessening of self-based suffering.

The only reference I have seen about seeing attainments from photos, is from Shinzen Young. Here:

I was at a student's house and I saw this book. Its one of these photo books that people would put on coffee tables. What's interesting is that there's nothing by the photographer, the author of the book, but there is an intro, a preamble by Tony Morrison who is a fairly important person in the world of art and literature. This tells you that this is a significant book but there is nothing by the person who actually took the photos, in other words the photos have to speak for themselves. Its this huge book of photographs (indicates a large size) and I start to look through these photographs. These are allportraits and I'm freaking out because its very evident to me what this book is about and I had never seen a book like this, ever.

I go to my friend and say, ”This book is amazing!” and she says, ”The photographer, is a distant relative of mine”. ”Well, can you get his telephone number?”, I asked. We called him up and he was there. I told him what I thought his book was about and he freaked out. He said that I was the only person who ever understood what the book was about, of all the people that had seen it at exhibitions or whatever.

The name of the book is A Kind of Rapture by Robert Bergman. He went through the rust belt of United States, the old decaying cities, photographing street people, who for whatever reason, usually a combination of hard life and physical, and mental illness, had been thrust into a no-self state, in other words, people for whom the blows of life had driven them to a rapturous no-self experience. He went around the country looking for those kind of people, catching them at the moment when they manifested non-ego, that their hard life had taken them to. You know, if you see one or two pictures like that it doesn't have an impact like that but if you see 50 pictures like that, picture after picture after picture, then it hits you, what the whole thing is about. The reason why I thought they were so extraordinary is that although there is a lot of books about enlightenment or no-self coming about through practice, and there are number of books written by people who have had spontaneous enlightenment experiences, what no one has looked at is this whole thing, this whole other aspect. In terms of a subject matter it is very unsual and the message and the medium is very unsual. Instead of writing a book, talking about this phenomena, he shows it to you and you either get it or you don't.”


-Shinzen Young in Shaktipat or Energy Transmission in Buddhism, 25:00 minutes: https://youtu.be/HGmU1oVroLM?t=1499

Curiously Shinzen Young has a history in rinzai zen. He says at the end of the quote (underlined) that it is extraordinary to display enlightenment from a photo and states that no one has looked into this way. I have emailed Shinzen's assistant about this but I don't know if he ever got or read my email. Daniel said he'd like to join one of our retreats next year, so maybe he has some interest towards bhumi analysis.

Years ago when it occurred to me that awakening and post-awakening stages should by reason be detactable from a good photo, I didn't know whether it was actually possible or not. After many hundreds of photos and thousand live analyses, and many mistakes, it turned out to be. Before this thought ever occurred to me, I had done many years of healing arts, like shiatsu and reiki, as well as zen calligraphy, which all have the common denominator of reading or sensing subtle energy. I can understand how to someone who doesn't have any such experience all this can be nonsense, just like it is to most OH-practitioners in the beginning. Well, that also is a learnable skill and while myself I don't have a theravada background and am not fluent in using that terminology, some in our sangha do, and are working on their own texts and materials. Why so few OH'ers are in DhO, I think there are few reasons to this, which I won't list here, but just wanted to mention that in our sangha we have people who have focused on theravada practice for up to two decades.

I recommend reading MCTB to my students, because of it's general education, but like I said we don't use that method, nor use the techniques that people here commonly do. So there is a communication gap there, even if some OH folks showed up and were ready for the scrutiny of people here. A similar gap exists between hard ass rinzai zen teachers who demand demonstrations of shifts in traditional zen poems and abstract language. A similar gap could be if I started to demand a description of kundalini shooting up above the head and descending down to the heart, which is something that both buddhists and hindus mention, but perhaps not all students can detect, despite of theoretically knowing about it. Maybe it has been unskillful of me to present non-theravada style expositions on mostly a theravada influenced forum. 

I like David Chapman's expositions but I doubt I can ever produce expositions like his simply because I am not an intellectual, nor a native English speaker. My teaching-style and expression is work in progress. I am also aware that despite of my efforts in trying to be as polite and politically correct as possible, I don't always succeed but nevertheless at the moment I am happy that at least some get what I'm trying to say.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/22/18 3:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Thanks for the information, Noah. So... how did you find out about the magic school bus visions?

emoticon
I read it in a book!

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/22/18 3:24 PM as a reply to Samvega.
SamvegaI wonder if there is any short cut to enlightenment, atleast the first stage of enlightenment (sotappana).
I went through this blog: www.en.openheart.fi
The author claims to have helped hundreds of yogis get awakened with a 98% success rate. That too in just a few days? Really? I mean, what the..!!
It looks so damn attractive for someone like me who's struggling in dark night for years.
Here I am, thinking of taking a sabbatical and go backpacking to Thailand or Burma in search of good practice and hopefully stream entry, even if it takes a year or so..
And here is this Author promising stream entry (aka 1st Bhumi opening) within days of practice!!
I couldn't push it aside either, as I didn't feel it was a complete scam.
I just started wondering if something like a short cut really do exist? I'm very scared to even start the practice, because the results look scarily quick! I'm just worried I shouldn't go crazy and unknowingly become part of a cult.
But I agree that I am quite attracted to try out the practice once, which he calls the two part formula aka open heart practice.
It looks like the Author (Kim) is quite a known face on this forum? But why don't I find many people talking about this technique here except for one person who's recommending it? Why haven't many tried it yet? Could you throw some light on this technique if you ever tried it once especially if you had an Insight meditation (Vipasana) history? Why did you feel the need to shift from Insight meditation and what did you gain through this practice?
I'm also wondering if these practitioners are confusing themselves the A&P phenomenon for actual awakening, considering how varied and vague the A&P can be.
This is definitely not put out in a bad intention, with all due respects to the Author. He looks like a good man to me. I'm just genuinely concerned and any help is appreciated. It's a desperate attempt of a dark night yogi to get done with this shit ASAP!

Thanks!
Hello Samvega,

I believe some OH-practitioners have contributed to this thread but just to clarify that Two-Part Formula is not a short cut. Out of 138 guidances that I've given so far, many had to haul ass for more than two weeks, and when I say haul ass, I mean they were exhausted afterwards, although also greatly relieved. There has been few people to whom awakening dropped on their lap, so to speak. One lady in our sangha got the nickname Page 12, because she woke up by getting to page 12 of Awake-book. A few people woke up on first or second day of email guidance. These people got it easily, but most had to work hard, and I had to work hard to make them work hard. Getting awakened quickly in not unknown in buddhism. Particularly in zen buddhism, there are many cases who woke up on their first retreat.

Reg. the relation between dark night and awakening. Maybe Culadasa's approach does nullify all tough emotional rollercoasting, that I cannot confirm becaue I don't follow his system but I am not aware of any other system that accomplishes that. There are more and less smart ways of dealing with dark nights, but a single or even a whole bunch of shifts doesn't prevent that. In my view, one isn't free from waves, unless one is fully liberated, a buddha.

I have never promised awakening or stream entry. I have presented statistics, which as you can read from the book, does contain a fail margin of 2% within the first 100 cases.

You ask, "But why don't I find many people talking about this technique here except for one person who's recommending it? Why haven't many tried it yet?". DhO isn't the only place where 2PF and Open Heart is discussed. I can say that based on wesbite stats, roughly 15 000 people have seen the instructions but why only about 1% took it up (based on the number of guidances that I was asked to do), I can only guess.

Some people get really pissed off because we ask for financial compensation, that might be one reason. People reason that because it has a price tag, even when it's a sliding scale and one can still take it up if one doesn't have any money, it's a hoax because they think that real dharma doesn't cost money.

Another train of reasoning, that has been a huge surprise to me, is that buddhists of all traditions are so fixed with the idea that there is no technique that can literally generate an awakening and that there is no one size fits all technique for it, that it prevents them from taking a good look. I have come across and collected direct quotes from a handful of renown zen masters, who specifically deny such a thing but little did they know, like most other traditions.

Here is a teaching given by Daniel Brown, the author of Pointing Out the Great Way (mahamudra/dzogchen):

Now bring to mind your usual sense of self, your personal identity. You can evoke this and use it as an object of reflection. For example I would evoke Dan, Danness, and look squarely at Danness. The thing about self-presentation is that you can evoke it and you can observe it... So evoke your sense of self and observe it. Notice any personal characteristics you associate with that sense of self. Familiarise yourself with the target of your search... And now take your awareness... And let your awareness roam thought the regions of your body. See if you can find any thing in itself, any independently existing thing that is that personal identity, anywhere in the field of bodily experience. You have to actively search... And the more you search anything  independently existing, any thing in itself, the more what you search for will be seen from your awareness as unfindable.
Emptiness practice... is in the unfindability of the target... If you think you find the independent basis for that sense of self, if you
find any thing that's substantial, roam around in that area and break it down to smaller units of analysis... OK, now evoke your sense of self, your personal identity once again... Familiarize yourself with the target of the search. Evoke your personal identity and notice any personal characteristics you associate with that sense of self... Now, take your awareness and let it roam through mental content. Do you find any independently existing thing that is that self?... As you continue to search at some point there is a shift in your basis of operation. What remains right here is the awareness itself, no longer obscured by the empty construction of the personal identity. You open up to the level of awareness that is cleaned up of the cloud of self. And you start operating from that instead of operating out of self-mode.”
 

The quote can be found from ”Meditation on Insight Training or ”Emptiness” at
https://pointingoutway.org/meditations

Now, if you understand what is done in the two modes of the Two-Part Formula, you can see that it is almost the same instruction, with the greatest difference being that in 2PF one uses the affirmation of "me/I/mine", instead of one's own name, as in Brown's instructions. Personally, I find that Brown's instructions could be clearer but anyway.

If you wish to find out exactly how Brown learned this practice, and whether it is part of age old vajrayana tradition he is part of, you can contact him and ask. However, it is my understanding that techniques like this, and very similar to 2PF (that I didn't learn from any living teacher) has been taught and used within some traditions of Tibetan buddhism, particularly kagyu and nyingma traditions, for many centuries. Why they weren't shared openly with others, I don't know who made that call, but a lot of Tibetan buddhist teachings are guarded by a vow of secrecy.

The key point is that, like it or not, there is and has been for centuries specific techniques that do specifically generate awakening. They have been hidden away but existent nonetheless. I didn't know of such a thing during the first several years when I started practiting, and would have probably been keen to deny and fight for the views I had been fed with, but little did I know. And yes, I am happy to (again) say that I haven't invented anything new.

This bits are from an exchange with a teacher from Tibetan buddhist tradition, who shall go anonymous:

"
The equivalent to kensho in TB is known as sem-ngo tropa. Your style of teaching in the two-steps is almost the same as the one I use. I added something from you into a teaching in --- (on a retreat he taught). It works very well. Usually I introduce the questioning attitude with gentle presence, but this time I said to chant silently me-me-me, in their own language. Very good. What I shared in the retreat is the practice received from --- (his teacher, one of the most famous dzogchen masters of recent times) and other masters, which is pretty much identical with yours. The process of combining inquiry with simply resting is not common, most teach one or the other, but some of my teachers used it."

When you asked, "Could you throw some light on this technique if you ever tried it once especially if you had an Insight meditation (Vipasana) history?", I thought of one particular student of mine who practiced Goenka diligently for 20 years, and woke up with 2PF. I wish I had his written account but I don't, at least not this time. He has been one of the most enthusiastic promoters of 2PF since he woke up earlier this year.

I find that it is rather easy to discern between A&P and a shift. Well, we use bhumi analysis, along with verbal descriptions, which indicates that any bhumi center does not open up unless the student has had an insight, it only happens with an emptiness insight. These centers do not open through A&P-like experiences. Closedness and openness is the key discerning factor.









RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/23/18 7:51 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:

So here's the thing I wonder about people making these great and obviously overstated claims in the spiritual marketplace--why are they doing it? I can think of a couple of possible reasons:

1. They don't believe their own claims, but they are making them to promote their brand. Well, ethics is very important to me and I don't want anything to do with hucksters who would deceive people. 

2. They actually believe their own hype and thus are deluded. This one is even scarier to me. Not deluding myself is also critically important to me and so I don't want anything to do with people who are deluding themselves. Especially spiritual teachers, because historically delusional spiritual teachers have gone catastrophically wrong.

I see a third option. That information in distributed with good intentions and that there is actually something to that that could potentially benefit others.

Dzogchen secrecy is a difficult topic. Maybe it is not my plcae to speak of it. I grant that I have not been dedicating two years of my life into every possible dzogchen teacher out there. My impression is based on a few sources and the general vibe I've gotten from following certain discussion groups and their dynamics and a dozen of anecdotes.  I've been happy with my current OH practise, so I have not been looking for other teachings.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/23/18 7:57 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Turning what is open and available
(Dzogchen) into a mystery so that it can then be more favorably compared
to another method that is new and far, far less time-tested, is just
wrong.

Chris, see my response to Andomeda above. It was not my intention to make this kind of comparison.
At this moment I am unable to clarify this topic any more, let's see if I come up with something useful to say later!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/23/18 8:25 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne S Peacock:
Andromeda:

So here's the thing I wonder about people making these great and obviously overstated claims in the spiritual marketplace--why are they doing it? I can think of a couple of possible reasons:

1. They don't believe their own claims, but they are making them to promote their brand. Well, ethics is very important to me and I don't want anything to do with hucksters who would deceive people. 

2. They actually believe their own hype and thus are deluded. This one is even scarier to me. Not deluding myself is also critically important to me and so I don't want anything to do with people who are deluding themselves. Especially spiritual teachers, because historically delusional spiritual teachers have gone catastrophically wrong.

I see a third option. That information in distributed with good intentions and that there is actually something to that that could potentially benefit others.

Dzogchen secrecy is a difficult topic. Maybe it is not my plcae to speak of it. I grant that I have not been dedicating two years of my life into every possible dzogchen teacher out there. My impression is based on a few sources and the general vibe I've gotten from following certain discussion groups and their dynamics and a dozen of anecdotes.  I've been happy with my current OH practise, so I have not been looking for other teachings.

When people offer for-fee spiritual teachings and advertise them with success rates that are both implausibly high and impossible to independently verify, I think the intentions are at best very mixed and at worst greedy and deceptive. There are all too many vulnerable people desperate for transformation who are easily taken advantage of by such claims. Really, any spiritual teachings that come with statistics lead me to put my skeptic's hat on because genuine and meaningful spiritual development isn't something that can be measured. And have you ever heard the saying that there are lies, damned lies, and statistics? 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/23/18 10:41 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Adding to this since I'm in the mood for tilting at windmills today...

About the intention to "benefit" others: when spiritual teachings are for sale, or even given freely, in my opinion we should be very careful to see clearly what the aims of those teachings are before taking them up. The vast, vast majority of spirituality out there is basically nothing more than self-improvement because that is what there is a market for. People want less stress/anxiety, fewer negative emotions, increased bliss and mental clarity, more conventional happiness, etc.. And there's nothing wrong with any of that, but these things are NOT the same as insight into no-self. These may be the fruits of insight practice, but they are not the goal. In fact, chasing the fruits can be a major obstacle on the path because it reinforces the sense of a separate self. "What benefit am I getting from this? I want! ME! ME! ME!" This is transactional, not a cultivation of selflessness, and spiritual materialism if it can be considered spiritual at all.

This is what most people want and there is nothing wrong with teachers providing it. But if we might get similar "benefits" from a pill, a team-building exercise, an endorphin-filled gym session, an adrenaline-soaked skydive, a love affair, or a good dinner out with family/friends... well, what is it that we are really doing? I think as practitioners is it critically important that we take a long view and look very closely at both the teachings we utilize and where they come from.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/24/18 12:21 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Guided by his great and unerring scientific abilities Katami claims that Ramana Maharshi managed to evolve only to the bhumi level 3. 

So Katami is way more evolved than Ramana ever was? So probably Katami has even dozens of disciples who are also much higher than Ramana..?

I wonder, what do you think is the main reason that Ramana couldn't get past third bhumi? What advice would you give him? How would you guide Sri Ramana Maharshi to the fourth bhumi?

Also, what do you think, Mr Katami, what is the biggest reason for that it was so easy for you to go beyond Maharshi? And many of your students are also higher than third bhumi - is it because of your powerful shakti or is just the superior techniques that you have developed?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/24/18 11:39 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Hey, lots of points worth of comment in this discussion, but just to clarify one point, I hadn't intended to sit the retreat with Kim this summer, but was considering the possibility of meeting Kim in person this summer when I plan to be traveling around Europe for a while and Finland is much more of a treck than the UK, where I have other reasons to be this summer as well.

Just as he says he gets a lot out of photos, I get a lot out of meeting people in the flesh, and, as Kim has been a topic of discussion on this and other forums, wanted to know more for myself about him. Sorry for any confusion on that point.

More to post later, but holiday travels to see my family call, as it is Christmas Eve, and I have a Christian candle light service with my family to go to this evening, as is their tradition every year, and have about 4 hours of driving to do totday.

Joyous Saturnalia, everyone.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/24/18 12:04 PM as a reply to Samvega.
Let’s assume that there is a shortcut... I wouldn’t know, but I’ll assume that there is just for the sake of argument. Would that be a good thing? I’m not so sure of that. I’m not convinced that all people could actually handle awakening very well. It would entail a lot of temptations and a lot of influence over other people’s lives. Without sufficient morality training things could go very wrong. Maybe there is a shortcut to awakening, but I’m pretty sure that maturing psychologically as a human being is a rather slow process. If there is a shortcut to awakening, I sincerely hope that only people who are ready for it are invited to go through the program.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/24/18 5:11 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I would say that the only short cut is our willingness to let go of our ego and mental activity. The willingness to let go of the past and future, doership and identification with the body and thoughts. 

I don't think there is any technique for that. You can become very skillful with many techniques, but still retain your ego, maybe subtle "spiritual" ego - arrogant even. But you have to be willing to let go of your identity. I don't think that many people actually want real enlightenment. Rather they want their own version of enlightenment.

What's the point of any awakening if you still retain your ego? Either you have an ego or you don't.

Some say, that an effortless thought-free state is the highest you can get on your own. Your sadhana is over, because there is no one left to perform any sadhana. Then the beyond or Guru gives you the final push and you are liberated.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/24/18 9:07 PM as a reply to tapihritsa.
I share your belief that most people don’t want real enlightenment, because they are to attached to their personal investments in a self. Still, there ate enlightened people who make terrible mistakes, so apparently enlightenment is no one-and-for-all cure for that.

I don’t think it’s binary. The ego/self is a construct, but in order to live in this world we are stuck with it to some extent. We can be much less attached to it, but it is keeping us alive, isn’t it? If we want to experience things, this world is what we’ve got. We can create a more compassionate and skillful construct, but eliminating every construct of self would be equal to dying, wouldn’t it? There can be no nirvana on earth. There is no self as a separate entity that can be pointed out, but in order to be able to make a change in this world, we need to put that insight within brackets, so to speak. People are still starving. They are not really separate selves, sure, but most of them probably don’t know that, and telling them that their starving doesn’t matter would be privilege blind and extremely insensitive and disrespectfull and profoundly clueless. It does matter. This world may be a mere illusion, a hologram, a mirage, but it is what we’ve got. The non-dual reality is beyond experience.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/25/18 10:49 AM as a reply to tapihritsa.
tapihritsa:

What's the point of any awakening if you still retain your ego? Either you have an ego or you don't.



How are you defining ego in this context? Sense of self? 

I find the ego to be helpful, but in practice aim to shed away the parts of it that cause myself or others suffering. Along the journey of meditation practice, I've found my personality to become larger, more vibrant, humorous and confident but only because of the lessening need to identify with any "idea" of who I am. When there's less and less "self" to protect, one's personality is set free to flourish.         

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 2:19 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Hope this post is somewhat useful.

I have been on path for eight years with daily practice and retreats averaging 10 days a year. Started with two 10-day Goenka retreats then Shinzen young, Metta, jhana, Mahasi (who hated that I did Jhana) and Zen. Recently Mahamudra.

I applied 2PF with Kim’s guidance in November (successfully, of course). I took it seriously and felt I was not allowed to take it too lightly. I didn’t get the 2PF for a bit. For me, It was more about connecting with energies and effortless awareness then it was about sitting on the cushion for a set amount of time. The 2PF was perfect for me as I’ve had too much energy in my head for the last couple years and actually had to stop meditating for a few months.

Hope that helps and Merry Christmas

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/25/18 12:22 PM as a reply to Rednaxela.
I applied 2PF with Kim’s guidance in November (successfully, of course). I took it seriously and felt I was not allowed to take it too lightly. I didn’t get the 2PF for a bit. For me, It was more about connecting with energies and effortless awareness then it was about sitting on the cushion for a set amount of time. The 2PF was perfect for me as I’ve had too much energy in my head for the last couple years and actually had to stop meditating for a few months. 

How did it help you? What is "successful" about your use of it? I'm genuinely curious to hear from someone whose practice is centered on it.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 2:16 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
The successful comment was partly tongue in cheek , given the high success rate. Though, honestly, I was a bit terrified of being a 2 percenter.

In the end , Kim said I Had attained the first level before I had started the practice. Perhaps it wasn’t obvious as I had been stressing myself with work projects.

It helped me as the 2PF connected me with that effortless, energetic experience that Is always there but often out of my grasp. I thought it was great and a source of enjoyment just to connect with whatever experience I’m having, wherever I am. One of the more advanced meditators writes of upsetting people while staring out the window open eyed. I haven’t reached that level but maybe someday...

Seriously, I found it a new experience to the usual thirty minute sits, waiting for the bell. I’ve said all I want say here. I recommend trying it on for size.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 5:24 AM as a reply to Rednaxela.
I'm enjoying hearing about the specifics of people's practice.

A big challenge with listening/talking about different practices is we assume that the terminology we use will be understood by other people --- which is almost never the case. It's so much more clear to say things "now I'm able to enjoy sitting for thirty minutes and be present to what is arising" or something in plain language like that. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 8:52 AM as a reply to Rednaxela.
I’ve said all I want say here. 

Okay. To each his own but I was truly curious to know what the practice was like and how it helped you in more detail. I'm afraid this kind of reply will only reinforce what a lot of folks already think about the Open Heart model and practice.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 3:39 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I recently attained what I believe to be stream entry using 2PF. It took 12 days. My background was TMI practice for the last 2 years. I wrote up a "testimonial" of sorts which describes my past practice, my experience of awakening as well as a record of my correspondence with Karl who guided me. It contains detailed practice notes, I've posted it here. Hope this is helpful.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 4:49 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Hi, Jason.

I read through your document. Why do you believe you experienced stream entry? Can you explain in more detail? What's different about your moment to moment experience now as opposed to how it was before? How is your experience of subject-object different? I'm also very curious about the pictures. The lighting and the angle is very different between the two images so it's difficult to say anything about them other than that in the second one you appear to be trying to keep your eyes open wider, and you look angrier.

Oh, by the way, I notice that very often when the subject of Open Heart practices come up here on DhO random people show up to post positive things about the OH practices. Funny thing is, though, these people all seem to be posting for the very first time - the post count for their account is invariably "1", just like yours is - making me believe they have been asked to come here to post by someone else. Can you tell me if you were notified of this DhO topic and who asked you to post on it?

Thanks, Jason.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 5:02 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Thanks, Jason. I couldn’t read the whole document from my ipad, because the text was jumbled up in a weird way due to some technical issue, but the beginning was an interesting read. Dissolving tensions by focusing on them and surrendering to them can be intense emotionally and feel amazingly purifying. I know that from my own experience. I have a long way to go before awakening, though. Dissolving hundreds of such tensions in a short time span must have been quite the trip.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 5:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Haha, I definitely was not trying to keep my eyes open wider. I did notice they appeared wider right afterwards, it seemed like a tension in the middle of my head was gone that was causing my eyes to contract slightly. I think the effect has faded somewhat now but is still subtly visible.

Before the shift happened, when I brought up my sense of "I" using the affirmations or simply through intention, it was like I would get sucked into a spot of tension and was unable to see anything outside of it, like there was a wall in my mind. Eventually I could also choose to perceive from the "awareness side", in which I was aware of the rest of my body / other senses, with the spot of tension feeling like a blank space. But it was always one or the other in any given moment.

When I was looking at it closely, it was like the "I" spot was somehow "outside" my awareness, trying to own it, which was obviously impossible. Once I saw that clearly, the spot integrated with my awareness. It was like there was no more wall, no more "two sides". When I try to do the exercise now, some tension might appear from efforting but it doesn't feel separate from the rest of my awareness like it did before.

In my past TMI practice I have noticed what seemed to be a hard wall between "attention" and "awareness", I feel like this might be the same thing. They seem to be more integrated now. As a result, when I do TMI practice, effortlessness concentration is much easier. It seems easier to tune into the subtle energy body and release spots of tension, but I am not sure if this is due to the shift or just from my recent practice.

In my daily life I'm not sure how different my moment to moment experience is. Perhaps I am a bit more mindful or less reactive, but it is subtle. I feel like if I had not been explicitly bringing up the sense of self over and over again before, I might not have noticed the shift, but since I was it was a very obvious difference.


"Oh, by the way, I notice that very often when the subject of Open Heart practices come up here on DhO random people show up to post positive things about the OH practices. Funny thing is, though, these people all seem to be posting for the very first time - the post count for their account is invariably "1", just like yours is - making me believe they have been asked to come here to post by someone else. Can you tell me if you were notified of this DhO topic and who asked you to post on it?"

No one asked me to post, I just saw that Kim has posted some excerpts from this thread on his blog so I came to check it out. I post a lot on the TMI subreddit under "xabaddonx" so you can check out my post history there if you want some more background.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 5:19 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Before the shift happened, when I brought up my sense of "I" using the affirmations or simply through intention, it was like I would get sucked into a spot of tension and was unable to see anything outside of it, like there was a wall in my mind. Eventually I could also choose to perceive from the "awareness side", in which I was aware of the rest of my body / other senses, with the spot of tension feeling like a blank space. But it was always one or the other in any given moment.


Thanks, Jason.

Are you describing a sense of self in the first person perspective as is normally experienced and then as viewed from a third-person perspective, more objectively? It didn't require anything special or any meditation practice for me (or for anyone else I've talked to about this) to be able to perceive their own experience from a first or third person perspective. So again my question becomes "how is this different?"

In Theravada Buddhism, as you probably know from practicing TMI, the stream entry experience is not described in the same way at all, but rather is accompanied by a very deep experience of having no subject-object perception at all. Did anything like that happen to you?

Thanks for explaining how you found this topic.





RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/26/18 5:46 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
No I don't think that is what I am trying to describe. It is more like awareness that one experiences when "just being" contrasted with a tension that blocks out that awareness. I would not necessarily have conceptualized that tension as "me" (if I even noticed it) before, but once I had watched it for awhile I realized that it was the part of me that was trying to understand, trying to "get" experience.

At the moment that I felt the shift, this was what I perceived: I was focusing on that spot of tension intently and I seemed to enter into a "one pointedness" with it. There was only my awareness of it. I realized that it was not separate anymore from awareness.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 11:26 AM as a reply to Jason Wong.
At the moment that I felt the shift, this was what I perceived: I was focusing on that spot of tension intently and I seemed to enter into a "one pointedness" with it. There was only my awareness of it. I realized that it was not separate anymore from awareness.

So there was no period of losing your consciousness (I assume this is the same thing that you are referring to as "awareness") altogether?

My experience is that at the point of stream entry (Theravada first path) there is a total loss of all experience, attention and/or awareness - of having no subject/object awareness at all. Without that, I don't think we can call the experience stream entry, as this has been the definition of this event for several thousand years. It has been described this same way by thousands upon thousands of meditators.

So, I'm sorry to say, I strongly suspect your experience was something other than stream entry, certainly as it's described in Theravada Buddhism.

I do wish you the best in your practice. What's the next step in the OH model for you?

Thanks again for your explanations.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 12:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
It sounds like you are referring to a cessation. As i mentioned in the document, i experienced a cessation after a 10 day retreat in October of last year. However I did not notice any permanent change after that and I did not experience the emptiness of the personal self. My teachers told me that cessations, which are an insight into impermanence, may lead to stream entry, they may not or have to be repeated. It seems to me that the insight into impermanence must lead to an insight into emptiness / no self for it to cause stream entry. On the other hand, an insight directly into emptiness / no self as i experienced here should cause stream entry as that is the key insight for first path.

That is my understanding based on my knowledge of dharma theory. It seems like most people here gain stream entry through impermanence due to the technique MCTB promotes, so it would not be suprising for the experience to be different.

As for no subject / object, I am not a scholar but i don’t think this refers to cessation. Perhaps what is meant is not that one does not perceive subject or object, but instead that one does not perceive any subject / object duality. This seems like it is a way to describe no self and lines up very well with my experience. The “self” subject became an object in awareness, which is the real “subject”. It then became one with awareness so you could say there was only subject or there was only object, depending on how you define awareness. The distinction becomes arbitrary. I don’t know what else to call that but non dual awareness, nonduality of subject / object.

I am not sure if i will follow the OH model yet. The rest of the techniques are tantric and have more of a religious flavor that I have a hard time getting into. But i am giving them a shot since 2PF seemed to work. I am also continuing my TMI practice which seems much easier now.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 12:09 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Jason, you said this here the other day:

I recently attained what I believe to be stream entry using 2PF. It took 12 days. My background was TMI practice for the last 2 years. I wrote up a "testimonial" of sorts which describes my past practice, my experience of awakening as well as a record of my correspondence with Karl who guided me. 

Sorry for my confusion, but did you obtain stream entry twice - once on retreat and once using 2PF? Can you describe your first cessation?

Thanks!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 12:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
No, I don’t believe the cessation was stream entry. It was just a cessation.

I had been experiencing brief flow states on the retreat. On the plane ride home i was practicing choiceless awareness when there was a “blip” in my consciousness just for a split second, just a blank. When I came back there was a huge rush of energy. I felt very high and my entire experience entered into a flow state for about 10-15 minutes.

Also I made a large edit in the last post in an attempt to clarify terminology so please check that out.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 12:37 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
As for no subject / object, I am not a scholar but i don’t think this refers to cessation. Perhaps what is meant is not that one does not perceive subject or object, but instead that one does not perceive any subject / object duality. This seems like it is a way to describe no self and lines up very well with my experience. The “self” subject became an object in awareness, which is the real “subject”. It then became one with awareness so you could say there was only subject or there was only object, depending on how you define awareness. The distinction becomes arbitrary. I don’t know what else to call that but non dual awareness, nonduality of subject / object.

A true cessation is a very distinct, very obvious event. It's a total loss/lack of consciousness and of any awareness what-so-ever. Consciousness/awareness requires the existence of a subject and an object, however subtle one, the other or both may be.

Not-self (I prefer this language to no-self as I think it's more accurate) is the recognition that the self (I/me/mine) that we usually assume to be permanent and unchanging is actually impermanent and always changing due to circumstances (dependent on conditions is another way to say this). One can be very conscious and aware and recognize the reality of not-self.

So, cessation and the recognition of not-self are not the same things. These are actually not arbitrarily defined experiences.

I'm quite certain that you are aware of not-self. I'm far less certain that you've experienced true cessation, which is why I asked if you could please describe the actual event.

Thanks!


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 12:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Your description of not self, while true is just the impermanent attribute of it. The actual insight of not self that watching it come and go can lead to is that it is just another phenomenon, empty of inherent existence. I believe that is the requirement for stream entry.

The only other way i can describe the actual moment of cessation is that it was just a missing moment. Like my mind realized right after that something should be there, but wasn’t. However this didn’t lead to insight into not self, so no permanent shift occurred. Within a week after the retreat i was back to baseline.

IMO one can only know for sure if it is stream entry from the permanent effects. An experience is just an experience.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 3:17 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Jason, 

Your description of not self, while true is just the impermanent attribute of it. The actual insight of not self that watching it come and go can lead to is that it is just another phenomenon, empty of inherent existence. I believe that is the requirement for stream entry.

Jason, yes, the realization of not-self is the realization that the self is simply another object: not permanent, void of inherent, separate and permanent existence, which is another way of saying the self is empty. Every object, including the self, is empty of inherent existence. But that's not the requirement for stream entry. Again, stream entry requires that one has experienced a true cessation, which is the experience of no awareness, no consciousness, nothing. No thing at all. 

The only other way i can describe the actual moment of cessation is that it was just a missing moment. Like my mind realized right after that something should be there, but wasn’t. However this didn’t lead to insight into not self, so no permanent shift occurred. Within a week after theretreat  i was back to baseline.

Maybe you can describe the moments before the cessation? What was going on? What was your mind focused on? Again, cessation is not the same as the realization of not self. They are two different things.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 3:58 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
BTW - the changes folks see from cessation/stream entry are notoriously hard to track. I'm not sure looking for whiz-bang, permanent shifts is the right expectation to have. In my case, I had to keep practicing. I think that's true for most people. Stream entry is not our ultimate goal. It's an truly important step along the path but not the be-all and end-all, and certainly not where we should stop. I wouldn't characterize stream entry/first path as awakening. There's long way to go from there, and a lot of realization that is yet to come.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 4:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
What’s the difference between an unknowing event and a true cessation?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 4:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I'd say a cessation is but one kind of "unknowing event." In MCTB Daniel Ingram uses the phrase to describe a lot of things - any event that causes one to forget what happened for its duration, which could be anything from just spacing out to nirodha samapati.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 4:37 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Here's a place where Daniel describes what he means by "unknowing event":

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/283243

Some people, but certainly not everyone, can experience a pause, blip, glitch, gap-like thing, silence, black space, void-like depth, or something else like that at the bottom of the out breath at points during the A&P phase, as well as Dissolution, and some other transitions.

These non-Fruition but very hard to comprehend, often seemingly formless, sometimes seemingly timeless or severely time-distorted events can be confusing, particularly to people who know the maps and are wondering if they were Fruitions.

I have had numerous events like that along the way during various A&Ps, but definitely not all of them by any means, and some people never notice anything like that.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 4:44 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Right. I have had that, several years ago, and I’m certainly nowhere near stream entry. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 5:14 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
However this didn’t lead to insight into not self, so no permanent shift occurred. Within a week after the retreat i was back to baseline.
FWIW, this is consistent with Culadasa's statements that insight experiences do not always result in insight.


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/27/18 5:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris. I’ve done the 2PF with Open Heart and had some very nice results. I can see you are interested in people’s actual experience of the process so I’m happy to do my best to describe my experience if you would like to ask questions.

I’ve also not posted in here before but I’ve followed a number of threads about Kim Katami and I understand he has aroused a lot of scepticism on these boards. No one has asked me to come onto this thread, I just thought it would be helpful if more practitioners could describe their results from Open Heart and help clear up a few misconceptions.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 2:41 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
BTW - the changes folks see from cessation/stream entry are notoriously hard to track. I'm not sure looking for whiz-bang, permanent shifts is the right expectation to have. In my case, I had to keep practicing. I think that's true for most people. Stream entry is not our ultimate goal. It's an truly important step along the path but not the be-all and end-all, and certainly not where we should stop. I wouldn't characterize stream entry/first path as awakening. There's long way to go from there, and a lot of realization that is yet to come.

As a quick comment I'd say that calling it awakening is just semantics. What is meant by it in OH is that it is only a beginning on a long journey. I understand that some people and traditions use the term awakening ot refer to the ultimate final end point, which I think maybe would correspond to achieving rainbow body (?) and no-one is certainly claiming that here.
Chris Marti:

So there was no period of losing your consciousness (I assume this is the same thing that you are referring to as "awareness") altogether?

My experience is that at the point of stream entry (Theravada first path) there is a total loss of all experience, attention and/or awareness - of having no subject/object awareness at all. Without that, I don't think we can call the experience stream entry, as this has been the definition of this event for several thousand years. It has been described this same way by thousands upon thousands of meditators.

So, I'm sorry to say, I strongly suspect your experience was something other than stream entry, certainly as it's described in Theravada Buddhism.
I'm abit confused reading your comments quoted above, Chris. In some sense it seems to me that you are not putting emphasis on the permanent shifts in one's mind (disclaimer: I realize that not a year and a day has not passed at this time, but atleast the effects didn't stop 10 minutes after meditation) and tend to emphasize the memory of a cessation experience taking place. Am I missing something here?

In my view it is much harder to realize one has had cessation if the whole practice has not been about trying to hone one's mental faculties to catch that brief experience. Expecially if nothing fancy like bliss is expected to follow. The only memory I have of an experience that could have been a cessation happened years ago and it's just too damn ridiculous to me. I was at grocery store and was watching my stuff at the conveyor belt. Suddenly the bread was 15 cm further along that just before. I didn't notice anything else and I dind't feel like I was spacing out or lost in thought. A cessasion? According to what I read about it probably yes, but it just seems crazy to me! Also if I think about my current prractise doing ati yoga I find cessation hard to catch. I relax all effort and just be, basking in a graceful all encompassing totality. If there was a loss of conciousness there, how would I even notice? There is basically nothing changing there. I am all clear in the head but with no intentional focuse on breath or sound or feeling. Just everything dropped. I can't imagine how I would notice if there was a cessation somewhere there. Once in a session like this I experienced some widening from the top of my head, there seemed to be light cones going out on my sides and I felt elated and that lasted for a hour after the sit. It bore some striking resemblance to nirodha samapatti, so that is a working hypothesis for me. I did not, however, notice there being a loss in conciousness. Only that suddenly things started happening.

I tried to check MCTB for definition of stream entry. I didn't find it, but instead came up with a lot of other stuff that mostly seemed to emphasize the lasting effects and not cessation in defining stream entry in the theravadan four path model. Did you have a different definition in mind? And how do you reconcile with the fact that people's histories and capabilities tend to affect the way experiences are understood and communicated, especially including fast and subtle mental occurrences such as cessation? I think Daniel has written about this, but unfortunately finding a good quote when you need one is impossible!

Here's what I did find:
However, the core of the Theravada four-path model is the dogma that enlightenment involves progressively eliminating the ten defilements (also often called the ten fetters, and so this is sometimes called the “Ten Fetter Model”). In this model, stream entry eliminates the first three defilements: 1) skeptical doubt; 2) attachment to rites and rituals; and 3) “personality belief”, meaning belief in a separate, independently existing self.
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Stream entry does counter in some semi-intellectual way the sense that there is a permanent, separate self, though exactly how meditators know this is much more mysterious than at the higher stages of awakening, and the degree to which this is noticed varies depending on the practitioner. Regardless of the degree to which they notice it, it beats any understanding of this that is pre-stream entry. However, beware the pernicious descriptive fallacy that states that all stream enterers will describe their reality and realizations exactly as we imagine they should and thus automatically state that they are totally free of “personality belief”.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-theravada-four-path-model/

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 3:01 AM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Jason Wong:

Before the shift happened, when I brought up my sense of "I" using the affirmations or simply through intention, it was like I would get sucked into a spot of tension and was unable to see anything outside of it, like there was a wall in my mind. Eventually I could also choose to perceive from the "awareness side", in which I was aware of the rest of my body / other senses, with the spot of tension feeling like a blank space. But it was always one or the other in any given moment.

When I was looking at it closely, it was like the "I" spot was somehow "outside" my awareness, trying to own it, which was obviously impossible. Once I saw that clearly, the spot integrated with my awareness. It was like there was no more wall, no more "two sides". When I try to do the exercise now, some tension might appear from efforting but it doesn't feel separate from the rest of my awareness like it did before.

Hi Jason!
Nice to read such a detailed descriptions from before and after!

I tried the 2PF two and a half years ago for a few times. I thought at the time that I was not a stream enterer yet. When I did the "I" affirmations, I could detect a small tension in my neck and would not feel as free and cool as in the first phase of the method. There was nothing like being sucked into that spot and not seeing anything around it. The spot was definately not outside my awareness.

I was then confirmed by Kim to have been awakened already, which corresponded to my own view nicely. I had been super careful not to overcall attainments. I remember it took me months to understand what was said in MCTB about knowledge of mind and body. Then one morning on the bus it hit me that oh, this must be it then. It wasn't like I experienced it the first time, I just had trouble translating the descriptions into living reality. The written accounts tended to have this grandiosity in them that my simple mental movements ddin't. They were all humble and small and not at all strong or colorful. Now I know more about this having investigated the matter for years.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 5:56 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
I agree that the root problem is essentially semantics, but semantics is important if we're going to talk seriously about maps and models.
It's perfectly fine for Kim to say that students have opened the first bhumi in the model he created as that has a very specific meaning for him. Self-inquiry practices are great, time-tested traditional practices and so it's no surprise that people are finding openings via 2PF. But to say that opening the first bhumi is equivalent to stream entry (a Theravada term) is a big problem because it isn't clear that this is the case at all. Already in this thread, we're discussing two primarily Theravada systems with different criteria for stream entry--Daniel and Culadasa apparently don't totally line up on this one. As far as I can see, Kim hasn't made clear which definition of stream entry he is using nor made any attempt to verify that it is actually equivalent by discussing it with either of these teachers. So why use the term at all?

Historically, any time we start comparing systems things often get heated and unfortunately it tends to be the students who get caught in the crossfire. "Terminological appropriation" is problematic for a lot of reasons. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 9:17 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
I tried to check MCTB for definition of stream entry. I didn't find it, but instead came up with a lot of other stuff that mostly seemed to emphasize the lasting effects and not cessation in defining stream entry in the theravadan four path model. Did you have a different definition in mind? And how do you reconcile with the fact that people's histories and capabilities tend to affect the way experiences are understood and communicated, especially including fast and subtle mental occurrences such as cessation? I think Daniel has written about this, but unfortunately finding a good quote when you need one is impossible!

This is, I think, a good contextual definition of stream-entry from MCTB.ORG:

In the revised four-path model, stream enterers have discovered the complete discontinuity that is called Fruition and sometimes called nirvana (Sanskrit) or nibbana (Pali), as in texts such as the Abhidhamma. This is the first of two meanings of nirvana (with the other being the waking, walking-around, day-to-day experience of fourth path). Stream enterers cycle through the ñanas, know that awakening or some different understanding from the norm is possible, and yet they do not have such a different experience of most sensations from those who are not yet stream enterers. They may correctly extrapolate a lot of good dharma insights from momentary experiences, particularly far along in High Equanimity and the three moments before Fruition, but this is not the same as living there all the time. In fact, most stream enterers have a very hard time describing how their minds have changed in terms of their everyday perception except that they cycle and can understand the dharma in ways they never could before.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/a-revised-four-path-model/

I've tried to be as crystal clear as I can about what I know the experience of stream entry to be - this. To try to keep my discussion with Jason grounded I've been using a very simple and identifiable definition that is in the quote above: "stream enterers have discovered the complete discontinuity that is called Fruition.This is why I've been saying cessation, the requirement for stream entry as defined in Theravada, is a total loss of consciousness, containing no awareness at all. That was my experience, too, as was the fuzziness around experiences afterward, also as we discussed. Stream entry is a brief but very identifiable introduction to nirvana (or nibbana). 

BTW - the last thing I would call my own stream entry experience is subtle:

I'm reminded to ask folks here about a recurring experience that I have with some frequency. While observing an object in meditation - let's say the breath entering and leaving my nostrils - I perceive a slow building of energy and focus. The in breath starts to brings a very fine set of vibrations in the top of the head and an almost giddy mental feeling, sort of like a tiny whiff of laughing gas, that grows as the breath is drawn and until it is at its peak. The peak of the breath brings a sharp distinct break and when the outbreath starts that same energetic and finely vibrating giddy feeling resumes (this not a hyperventilation-like giddiness). Each successive breath slowly increases the intensity of these fine vibrations until a kind of crescendo is reached, at which point all the energy that has built up quickly flows to the observed object appears to merge with the object and then FLASH!, an image appears, a complex image, for just a tiny fraction of a second, after which everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING - winks out of existence. Pure pitch black silent nothingness ensues (no sound, no light, no feeling, no self, no perception of any kind) and lasts for a second or so. Then awareness reappears anew. The impression after the second or so of nothingness reminds me of the rebooting of a computer. Everything is turned completely off and then restarts.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 9:05 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Historically, any time we start comparing systems things often get heated and unfortunately it tends to be the students who get caught in the crossfire. "Terminological appropriation" is problematic for a lot of reasons. 

Yes. It would be great if we could easily match up every system and map or the various meditation practices, but we can't. It's nice when folks try not to misappropriate terminology yet we know it happens. People are excited and they want to share their progress with others. But, like Andromeda, I believe it is the students who end up confounded when System A uses the same terminology as System B, leaving no one more educated than before, if not just more confused about what's what.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 9:09 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
I’ve also not posted in here before but I’ve followed a number of threads about Kim Katami and I understand he has aroused a lot of scepticism on these boards. No one has asked me to come onto this thread, I just thought it would be helpful if more practitioners could describe their results from Open Heart and help clear up a few misconceptions.

Hello, and welcome, Matt.

Maybe you can weigh in on the discussion - what does OH define as "stream entry"? Is there a synonym in the OH practice that represents an analogous stage in practice, or is the term "stream entry" not analogous to any OH stages at all?

Thanks.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 11:32 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I think the definition of stream entry in MCTB is not necessarily something that is agreed on in the larger pragmatic dharma community. One of my teachers, Tucker Peck has explicitly stated multiple times that cessation does not nessarily mean one has attained stream entry. I think the issue is the conflation of different meanings of the term "nibbana/nirodha", as discussed in this post. Instead of a cessation, my experience seems more lined up with the other meaning listed on MCTB.org "the waking, walking-around, day-to-day experience of fourth path", which I take to mean a moment of completely nondual awareness.

It seems to me that a cessation only occurs if one is looking at experience through the lens of impermanence, since it requires a very high speed / frequency of mental processing to accidentally "land" on a moment where nothing is occuring in the mind. If one is looking through the lens of emptiness, one is more likely to end up with an experience of nondual awareness or "suchness". It seems like different types of practice cause different subjective experiences of fruition.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 1:25 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I’ve just tried to publish a lengthy reply but this site seems a bit clunky to say the least and it wouldn’t publish my reply, I couldn’t access earlier parts of the reply, I couldn’t copy it to republish it, I can’t find the draft I took and now it’s lost it entirely. I took me forty minutes to write and frankly I won’t write it all again for this site to waste my time. Duh.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 1:51 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
I think the definition of stream entry in MCTB is not necessarily something that is agreed on in the larger pragmatic dharma community. One of my teachers, Tucker Peck has explicitly stated multiple times that cessation does not nessarily mean one has attained stream entry. I think the issue is the conflation of different meanings of the term "nibbana/nirodha", as discussed in this post. Instead of a cessation, my experience seems more lined up with the other meaning listed on MCTB.org "the waking, walking-around, day-to-day experience of fourth path", which I take to mean a moment of completely nondual awareness.

Jason, you've gone from stream entry to 4th path! The conflating of terms has reached warp speed.  emoticon


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 1:48 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Sorry to hear that Matt. This forum software is the worst of all, have lost a few long posts myself. Maybe a shorter version? 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 1:48 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
I’ve just tried to publish a lengthy reply but this site seems a bit clunky to say the least and it wouldn’t publish my reply, I couldn’t access earlier parts of the reply, I couldn’t copy it to republish it, I can’t find the draft I took and now it’s lost it entirely. I took me forty minutes to write and frankly I won’t write it all again for this site to waste my time. Duh.

I'm sorry to hear that. Matt. I was looking forward to your comments.



RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 4:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, that is not at all what I mean. My belief is that the fruition experience through the lens of emptiness is just a brief glimpse of the state that an arahant lives in permanently. This is enough to only permanently see through the grossest level of self, identity view.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 4:13 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
Jason --

My belief is that the fruition experience through the lens of emptiness is just a brief glimpse of the state that an arahant lives in permanently. 


Thanks for the clarification! Sorry to have misinterpreted your comment.

But that has not been my experience. The fruition (also called cessation) experience is totally lacking any consciousness or awareness what-so-ever. That's certainly not the ongoing experience of someone who has attained 4th path in the Theravada system.

I think we're talking past each other as we continue to try to interpret your perception of what happened to you using Theravada terms for OH experiences. What do you think?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 4:24 PM as a reply to Jason Wong.
I may be misunderstanding things, as I’m new to this framework, but isn’t knowledge of and glimpses of no self/not self a requirement for even beginning vipassana beyond preparatory stages?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/28/18 8:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
The fruition (also called cessation) experience is totally lacking any consciousness or awareness what-so-ever. That's certainly not the ongoing experience of someone who has attained 4th path in the Theravada system.

Yes, my point was that the way fruition is defined in Theravadan scriptures can be taken to mean two different things depending on the translation: either cessation, or non dual awareness (buddha nature), which is the state that an arahant lives from permanently. Of course the arahant's experience must be not only permanent but also their experience of buddha nature would include the entire world, whereas in the fruition experience I am describing one is narrowing one's focus to one pointedness and only experiencing the emptiness of one's object (in 2PF's case, the gross sense of self), thus gaining understanding that that object is the same as buddha nature.

The word having two different translations makes a lot more sense if you consider that the multiple translations refer to different ways to experience fruition.
I think we're talking past each other as we continue to try to interpret your perception of what happened to you using Theravada terms for OH experiences. What do you think?

I agree we are talking past each other but I think the issue is not an incompatibility of Theravadan terms with OH, but instead an incompatibility of the MCTB interpretation of Theravadan terms with OH. Additionally, this incompatibility is not limited to OH, since other schools such as Zen and Dzogchen describe awakening in terms much closer to OH than to MCTB. For example in Zen, kensho is the initial awakening which is equivalent to stream entry. Kensho translates as "seeing one's (true) nature", aka buddha-nature. 
This is what I am describing, the deep recognition that one is awareness itself, not the identity view. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/29/18 5:44 AM as a reply to Jason Wong.
I think at this point it's clear to everyone the problems that arise when we use terms without specifying their intended meaning. Rather than turning this thread into a debate about whose definition of stream entry is the best or most correct or whatever (it's definitely been done before many times and frequently leads to unhappiness all around), perhaps we can agree that it would be helpful if Kim were to specify exactly what he means by the term when he uses it in statistics to promote his sangha? This would at least reduce confusion, if not eliminate it entirely.

Whether we can agree on that or not, at least everyone seems to be on board with the idea that initial awakening experiences are just the beginning of a very long journey. I hope that those who are at this stage or within a few years of it are refining and deepening whatever skills they have learned, practicing consistently on a daily basis, working on morality and basic sanity, cultivating healthy relationships with sane and balanced practitioners with more experience who encourage their independence, and generally getting ready to continue on this trajectory for the rest of their lives. When we're feeling very awake and powerful, it can be easy to forget that the path ahead will surely test us and our skills in ways we could not possibly imagine, that may bring us painfully to our knees--such is life and the ways it helps us to grow. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/29/18 11:33 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
... perhaps we can agree that it would be helpful if Kim were to specify exactly what he means by the term when he uses it in statistics to promote his sangha? This would at least reduce confusion, if not eliminate it entirely.

To be fair, I think there are several publications that we can read and obtain a better idea of what OH is. One is a book "Awake!" which I think covers the territory we've been talking about here. The next is a lengthy PDF document called "What's Next?" If I can find the time I think I'll at least skim through both. 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/30/18 4:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I read all of the book "Awake" today.

The thing that most stands out is the claims, first of an unbelievably high rate of "awakening" of 98%. Second, these awakenings are said to occur after short periods of time, from a few days to a few weeks. This timing appears to be independent of the practitioner's mediation background and history if any. The claim is that the method being used is an invention of the author but it's also a secret, old 
vajrayana practice that only a few people know of because they've been sworn to secrecy. The practice itself is extraordinarily simple, being a hybrid of finding one's "natural state" and then applying affirmations of "I" and "me" to find one's sense of self. So the "awakening" spoken of in the book appears to be a realization of the impermanent self.

There are a number of negative comments about other Buddhist traditions and meditation practices, though despite that the author goes out of his way to emphasize multiple times how he is accomplished in Zen, Zen Calligraphy, Dzogchen, several related energy practices, and the like. The negative comments seem to stem from the fact that these traditions can't claim a high success rate - like OH does. 

Unfortunately, I'm still in the dark as to how what OH and its one practice 
offers relates to what I know from my own practice over the years. The book is written without much detail as compared to the way that MCTB is full of minute details about the various states and stages in Theravada Buddhism, its practices and the effects of practices, both good and bad. There's no mention of "stream entry" but numerous mentions of "awakening." We aren't presented with any detailed maps, just that one is either "awake" or not, in a binary fashion. The book focuses only on the greatness of the OH practice, as simply described. There are many pages of testimonials, interactions between the author and students and some more before and after pictures.

I would offer this: if you truly wish to understand the OH movement and evaluate it for yourself, read this book.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/31/18 1:45 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thanks for reading the book and sharing your thoughts on it, Chris--I'll try to read it myself when time permits. 

I would like to know more about this secret old Vajrayana practice. Where was it learned and why has it supposedly been kept a secret? And if it was supposed to be kept secret, why is it now being taught for a pretty hefty sum of Euros?

I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours chatting with a Vajrayana teacher, an old Rinpoche. One of the things he said about Vajrayana is that often people want to skip the foundational ngondro (100,000+ prostrations, mantras, etc. that take months to years of committed daily practice to complete) in order to get to the "good stuff" but what they don't realize is that ngondro IS the good stuff. Ngondro is called foundational for a reason and it is an awakening practice. He is of the opinion (and another Vajrayana teacher friend of mine says the same thing) that most people simply aren't driven enough and don't want to put in the effort to really practice well. So if there's a secret, it's that people need to be extremely dedicated and work very hard, but of course that's not what people want to hear.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/31/18 2:54 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

Just as he says he gets a lot out of photos, I get a lot out of meeting people in the flesh, and, as Kim has been a topic of discussion on this and other forums, wanted to know more for myself about him. Sorry for any confusion on that point.

More to post later, but holiday travels to see my family call, as it is Christmas Eve, and I have a Christian candle light service with my family to go to this evening, as is their tradition every year, and have about 4 hours of driving to do totday.

Joyous Saturnalia, everyone.

Hi everyone

I guess I am like many other persons here on Dho practicing since a couple of years (Noting / Mahasi), with a serious daily practice and still not knowing where I am regarding SE... 

I keep reading various reports regarding attainments here on Dho but there are so many different opinions, or even contradictory points of view that it is very hard to understand who is right and to grasp when someone has reached SE or is on 2nd or 3rd path.... at least for me.

So first, I find it very helpful when Daniel steps in to bring some insight like here (thank you) and maybe would be able to tell how realiable a practice/other teacher/claim is (like for Open heart here or some other posts like that one: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7146949).

However, I was wondering if some even more organised system would be possible where an open organised guidance from serious practitionners could be provided to more junior members (and them avoiding getting lost with "fake" teachers/scamms/desilusioned claimants/self-proclaimed gurus) :

1. Daniel, having reached the 4th path should be able to tell who is 3rd or 2nd path among the many serious and experienced practitionners here on Dho
2. He could then maybe organise a group with these serious practitionners (2nd or 3rd path) then discuss&set some standards as to how recoginise someone having reached SE 
3. Then disclose openly these members willing to give guidance
4. These senior practitionners could then be safely approach to give guidance to more junior members striving for SE and give better answers for those before SE or on 1st path

This could be of benefit for everyone as Daniel will not be overwhelemd with queries, the senior practitionners could be helping others and the more junior would get proper advice as based on a trust system derived directly from the most senior member.

It is just an idea.... what do you think? Would such a system be possible?

Happy New Year to Everyone & Metta
 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/31/18 8:41 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
I would like to know more about this secret old Vajrayana practice. Where was it learned and why has it supposedly been kept a secret? And if it was supposed to be kept secret, why is it now being taught for a pretty hefty sum of Euros?

I don't think this secret vajrayana practice is really a secret. I think it's useful to present it that way, however.  emoticon


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/31/18 10:03 AM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.
Chris In Dhamma:
Daniel M. Ingram:

Just as he says he gets a lot out of photos, I get a lot out of meeting people in the flesh, and, as Kim has been a topic of discussion on this and other forums, wanted to know more for myself about him. Sorry for any confusion on that point.

More to post later, but holiday travels to see my family call, as it is Christmas Eve, and I have a Christian candle light service with my family to go to this evening, as is their tradition every year, and have about 4 hours of driving to do totday.

Joyous Saturnalia, everyone.

Hi everyone

I guess I am like many other persons here on Dho practicing since a couple of years (Noting / Mahasi), with a serious daily practice and still not knowing where I am regarding SE... 

I keep reading various reports regarding attainments here on Dho but there are so many different opinions, or even contradictory points of view that it is very hard to understand who is right and to grasp when someone has reached SE or is on 2nd or 3rd path.... at least for me.

So first, I find it very helpful when Daniel steps in to bring some insight like here (thank you) and maybe would be able to tell how realiable a practice/other teacher/claim is (like for Open heart here or some other posts like that one: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/7146949).

However, I was wondering if some even more organised system would be possible where an open organised guidance from serious practitionners could be provided to more junior members (and them avoiding getting lost with "fake" teachers/scamms/desilusioned claimants/self-proclaimed gurus) :

1. Daniel, having reached the 4th path should be able to tell who is 3rd or 2nd path among the many serious and experienced practitionners here on Dho
2. He could then maybe organise a group with these serious practitionners (2nd or 3rd path) then discuss&set some standards as to how recoginise someone having reached SE 
3. Then disclose openly these members willing to give guidance
4. These senior practitionners could then be safely approach to give guidance to more junior members striving for SE and give better answers for those before SE or on 1st path

This could be of benefit for everyone as Daniel will not be overwhelemd with queries, the senior practitionners could be helping others and the more junior would get proper advice as based on a trust system derived directly from the most senior member.

It is just an idea.... what do you think? Would such a system be possible?

Happy New Year to Everyone & Metta
 

Hi Chris,

You might check out a really great essay that Daniel wrote a few months ago called Overcalling Attainments: A Shadow Side of Map-Based Dharma. In it he discusses some of the problems inherent in dharma diagnosis such as

Dharma diagnosis is easy to get wrong. Events must be taken in context. Criteria must be carefully applied, realizing that clear dharma diagnosis is challenging even for people with decades of experience in it who have helped thousands of people try to sort these things out. Models are imperfect, but that is no excuse for throwing them out, as they are based on millennia of expertise and experimentation.
Dharma misdiagnosis can have significant consequences for practice, fooling people into settling for events, occurrences, and attainments that are significantly below what they might have been capable of without falling into the traps of the maps.

The bold is mine, to highlight just two major obstacles to a system such as you propose. Dharma diagnosis is a complex thing!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
12/31/18 11:22 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris. Apologies about that, I couldn't get the software to work and I had to go away for a few days. I'm currently away in a camper van on Dartmoor with a friend but will be back on Wednesday so I'll write a shorter response when I get back.

Happy New Year!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 3:25 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Andromeda:

Where was it learned and why has it supposedly been kept a secret? And if it was supposed to be kept secret, why is it now being taught for a pretty hefty sum of Euros?
The instructions themselves are given free of charge. There are plenty of free videoed practice sessions available free of charge. As a westerner it is completely acceptable to me that personal coaching from the teacher is monetarily compensated. The suggested sums on the website do not seem over the top to me. I can easily afford to pay for the suggested amount for a service I find beneficial. There are also cultural factors at play: Kim is finnish and in my estimation we finns lack tipping/donation culture alltogether. It is very uncomfortable to try to determine how much would be a correct amount to give. I rather appreciate the fact that there is some suggestion already in place. Also, it is stated clearly that if a person cannot afford that, it is ok to say so and negotiate for a smaller sum. I don't think people take this seriously, they just focus on critiquing in the "dharma should be free" spirit. Do you realize that it's probably possible to get the guidance and become awakened for 1 euro? But yes you do need to work for it, write the email and make your case.

Having a price tag for the coaching also has other positive aspects. I personally consider it as dana. It can be seen as a practise itself, reducing greed and attachment and helping dharma to flourish by enabling the teacher to focus on that instead of working shifts in a bar for example. Also having a price ensures that the person taking up the effort is serious. If you've ever had twelve hamster babies you'd know that selling them for a nominal amount of money makes it less likely that they will end up in shady circumstances. Giving them for free is just asking for trouble.


Andromeda:

I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours chatting with a Vajrayana teacher, an old Rinpoche. One of the things he said about Vajrayana is that often people want to skip the foundational ngondro (100,000+ prostrations, mantras, etc. that take months to years of committed daily practice to complete) in order to get to the "good stuff" but what they don't realize is that ngondro IS the good stuff. Ngondro is called foundational for a reason and it is an awakening practice. He is of the opinion (and another Vajrayana teacher friend of mine says the same thing) that most people simply aren't driven enough and don't want to put in the effort to really practice well. So if there's a secret, it's that people need to be extremely dedicated and work very hard, but of course that's not what people want to hear.
I personally do not like the ngondro practise. It requires space to do the prostatrations and is difficult to memorise the long mantra. I much rather prefer other methods of practice. Also, when I was involved in a vajrayana lineage, nobody ever even mentioned that the goal of ngondro was awakening. Moreover, all talk about your practice was forbidden. It didn't suite me, but it will probably suit other people. There were tens of happy people in the vajrayana sangha, and any practise you do sincerely and thoroughly is a good one. People's inclinations wary, and so do the methods and ways of communication that they find valuable. I agree with you on the fact that most people are not driven enough and do not want to put in the effort to practise well. The 2PF is not an effortless way, mind you. But I do worry that it might eventually start to attract people who will not benefit due to lack of correct motivation, thinking instead that it is an easy way to anchieve something fancy.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 7:03 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
The 2PF is not an effortless way, mind you. But I do worry that it might eventually start to attract people who will not benefit due to lack of correct motivation, thinking instead that it is an easy way to anchieve something fancy.

Jehanne, surely you know that the book "Awake" appears to have been written to attract people who are looking for a fast sure-fire way to "awaken." Otherwise, why would it present the claims of a 98% success achievable within just days or weeks? Read these message boards and others on the Net focused on meditation practices - they are filled with people who are seeking easy, fast and fancy.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 7:06 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne S Peacock:

I agree with you on the fact that most people are not driven enough and do not want to put in the effort to practise well. The 2PF is not an effortless way, mind you. But I do worry that it might eventually start to attract people who will not benefit due to lack of correct motivation, thinking instead that it is an easy way to anchieve something fancy.

Exactly. There probably are plenty of people who just want to achieve something fancy, but there are also a lot of suffering people who are quite understandably desperate for a reduction in pain and existential angst. Hence my comment about hefty sums of Euros--implying that a secret teaching is what is for sale strikes me as a red flag. I don't think it's wrong to charge for dharma teachings, but I do think in that case we should pay close attention to the business models teachers use. I worry that the combination of "secret" teachings plus high statistics of ill-defined success will target not just people who want a quick fix for suffering and people who want a quick achievement of something fancy, but also sincere seekers who will wind up settling for less than they could have otherwise accomplished.

I purchased and tried to read the Awake! ebook to see if there were more specific criteria for Kim's definition of stream entry, but must confess that the large number of typos turned me off and I did not get very far in reading it. Of course, English is not Kim's first language, but he could have found an editor or capable friend to correct these things which would have made a much better impression. Instead, the result is quite sloppy and just like when purchasing anything else the sloppiness makes me wonder what other things the producer doesn't put care and attention into. If a bottle of vitamins has typos on the label, do I really want to put them in my body? No. Again, these are just my own personal criteria and because spiritual practice is so important to me I take a lot of care in choosing my sources.

Sorry to hear things didn't work out for you in your Vajrayana sangha--not being able to talk about your practice sounds pretty awful. I've never been much of one for spiritual groups, myself. Too much drama and distractions with not enough substance to make it worthwhile, at least for my very introverted and driven temperament. I'm all for taking a pragamatic approach to Vajrayana just like with any other spiritual practice--we have to listen very carefully to our own internal compasses in order to make our way.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 7:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I trust that people actually read it and understand what it says. I had no foolish ideas about it being "TV-shop quick&easy" when I enrolled in the process. I guess it depends alot how you and others see these terms and I probably have trouble understanding how the text is viewed by others. The material in the book is composed of the material I read from the blog 2,5 years ago. I've also read the book and didn't get the vibe of you seem to me to discribe.

I was doing MCTB style noting at the time, so I was not foreign to the idea of serious practise. It didn't strike me as some magical easy trick or a scam at the time. It seemed to be offering a lot of sound reasoning, much like Daniel did in MCTB, plus offer a new method (for me) that appeared to be working according to the stories told (back then there weren't testimonial videos available on youtube).

I just read Shargrol write this about Kenneth Folk on this thread

That said, Kenneth said to me: When I was growing up, there was a piano teacher who told all of their students "the students that practice with me go to the state competition". It was simply an expectation that the teacher and the student had and all of her students practiced hard and went to the state competition. I think the same way about stream entery. All of my students reach SE. So Kenneth was (is?) one of the few people that would say things like that at the time. And I think hearing that made it seem like a reasonable goal.



Now I see that he doesn't mention of how long it takes for his students to reach SE. However he does have a 100% success rate! I'm not sure if this is better or worse than claiming 98% though...
It would maybe be an option to stop talking about any duration with regards to 2PF. It does however seem that we are not talking about years or decades here.  Imagine if someone would do the practise but be sloppy with it in much the same way as Daniel talks about participants in mushroom culture meditation retreats. Even if somebody was exchanging emails with the teacher, getting support with the practise, if you're not doing the practise as you should, it ain't gonna happen.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 7:54 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne, I think you are missing the important points in Kenneth's quote. (And I should emphasize it is my memory of what he said, not a literal quote). 

The reason Kenneth was talking about having confidence was that he wanted me to understand that 1) SE was possible with 2) appropriate work. He wasn't saying he had some special method for getting people to SE, nor was he giving any guarantee. He was saying that he only took on serious students that were willing to practice seriously. That's why his students got to SE. It was clear from context that what made SE likely was not the teacher, but the student's intention. 

(And his standard for SE was progression through the nanas, occasional access to jhana, and cessation/path, followed by a review cycle with much greater access to jhana.)

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/2/19 7:57 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
 I've also read the book and didn't get the vibe of you seem to me to discribe.

It's not a vibe I'm getting. I'll post quotes directly from the book to show what I mean:

Awakening Statistics:

People who awakened in this guidance 98/100
Percentage of people who attained awakening in this guidance: 98%"
I have kept statistics since people started to ask me to be guided. Now when 88 people have undertaken guidance, 86 of them ahav (sic) awoken (sic) by using it in 5 days of average (sic) .... The shortest duration of guidance was 6 hours and the longest was 5 weeks of continuous exchange.

There are multiple dialogues (guidances) in the book and before each account, the duration the guidance for each person's "awakening" is shown. They are all days or, at most, a few weeks long. So with all due respect, this is not just a "vibe" that I got. It's an integral part of the promise of the practice presented in the book "Awake."


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 8:45 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Sorry Chris, I should have clarified what I was referring to to with the vibe! It is not the statistics of 98% success I was referring to, I know that stuff reads in the book plain and clear.

I was referring to the general I attitude I thought I saw in this:
Jehanne, surely you know that the book
"Awake" appears to have been written to attract people who are looking
for a fast sure-fire way to "awaken.
" Otherwise, why would it present
the claims of a 98% success achievable within just days or weeks? Read
these message boards and others on the Net focused on meditation
practices - they are filled with people who are seeking easy, fast and fancy.


It semed to me, from reading your text quoted above, that you consider the book to be a hoax written with questionable motives specifically targeting a certain group of people whose motives are also questionable and who are looking for the easy way out in life. Not the admirable, noble eight fold path type of thing.

I don't personally care for the speed of the process. A week or a year, whatever is fine with me. But mind you, there are several people in our sangha who have had from years to up tp 20 years of diligent meditation going for them, attending retreats, doing practise at home. I don't think it is reasonable to suggest that they should have just continued with the tradition for another 20 years until they get the first permanent reduction in their suffering. Awakening through 2PF has been huge to these people.

I have no idea how it's like with people who've been meditating mindfullness for a week after having read about in a cereal box and then find out the 2PF after googling...

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 8:59 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Jehanne, I think you are missing the important points in Kenneth's quote. (And I should emphasize it is my memory of what he said, not a literal quote). 

The reason Kenneth was talking about having confidence was that he wanted me to understand that 1) SE was possible with 2) appropriate work. He wasn't saying he had some special method for getting people to SE, nor was he giving any guarantee. He was saying that he only took on serious students that were willing to practice seriously. That's why his students got to SE. It was clear from context that what made SE likely was not the teacher, but the student's intention. 

(And his standard for SE was progression through the nanas, occasional access to jhana, and cessation/path, followed by a review cycle with much greater access to jhana.)

Shargol, I think I got it. I appreciate exactly the same points. That it is possible. And work needs to be done. Like I mentioned in my response to Chris just now, I'm not sure what will happen if people who are not serious in their attempts try the formula or guidance.Also here, the awakening through 2PF doesn't happen due to the teacher. It happens due to student's own effort. Anyone can try the formula. It is up to them to make sure they are not just goofing around with the formula.

I don't take there to be a guarantee for the 2PF. That is why it is called statistics, and not a promise. So far it is looking good. So far apparently there have not been many guidances that would last for 20 years. I would imagine that would be rather difficult to deal with. It is entirely possible tha 2PF only attracts serious students. Has anybody heard otherwise?

Thanks for summing up Kenneth Folk's criteria for SE! I'm considering booking a session with him to see whether he considers me to be a stream enterer.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 9:01 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I’m on a retreat atm and will adress some of the questions once I get back, but just a quick note that it looks like some of you are reading the old version of the book, that had 1. many typos and 2. wasn’t very clear in meaning. The newest version is available at the website, free of charge. Cheers.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 10:11 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Jehanne --

It semed to me, from reading your text quoted above, that you consider the book to be a hoax written with questionable motives specifically targeting a certain group of people whose motives are also questionable and who are looking for the easy way out in life. Not the admirable, noble eight fold path type of thing.


I was actually replying to your comments this morning in regard to the 2PF practice and your fear that it would ultimately draw a lot of people just looking for a quick fix. That said, I do find the overwhelmingly positive rate of "success" and the obtaining of those results after just a few days or weeks to be dubious. I find the term "awakening" not well defined. Is it stream entry? Is it something else? All I can get out of reading "Awake" is that it has something to do with recognizing the ephemeral nature of our sense of self. But these concerns aren't new.


Kim --

I purchased the book "Awake" on Amazon.com within the last week. It was, as described by Andromeda, full of misspellings and typos. If you make a new version available you should replace what's on Amazon now.



RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 12:22 PM as a reply to Samvega.
I’m not so sure I would want a miraculous shortcut. If that’s possible, it’s probably not the awakening itself that makes the difference, but the road to get there. I would want to be able to handle the responsibility well.

When it comes to finding a teacher, I would want one who I know is able to say what I need to hear even if that’s not what I would like to hear. I wouldn’t send my child to a school where everybody gets top grades easily, because that probably means that the standard is set too low. School is for learning, not getting the credit. It is probably possible to get good results with most methods under the right circumstances, but if my practice or motivations or personal hang-ups or defence mechanisms or whatever is a hindrance for my development, I would want a teacher to tell me. Even if it’s bad publicity. From Kim Katami’s responses here, so far, I would not be confident that I would get that kind of feed-back. I could be wrong, of course. I don’t know him, and I’m not familiar with his teachings. A few weeks ago I had never heard of him or his method.

Too bad, though. Finland is pretty close for me. I would be able to go there without destroying the environment too much.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 12:59 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi, I'll keep this relatively brief to make sure I'm posting correctly and we can expand on anything you want to know if you'd like.

A brief background, I've practiced mainly Goenka vipassana for the last twenty years, although only seriously for a few years in my twenties. Last ten years or so I've dabbled in other vipassana traditions but always come back to Goenka's Burmese style, although I would not say I've practiced seriously during that time, more like ticking over, regular short retreats and getting significant benefit but never really making real 'progress'. All that changed when Kim took over an old Dharma group I used to attend and I did the 2PF guidance with him back in March 2018. Like many on this forum I was extremely sceptical but a number of the old group spoke of their significant awakenings and since I trusted their opinions I decided to keep an open mind and give it a go. It looked too simple, as like so many practitioners I had been brought up on the images of enlightenment being reserved for super serious practitioners in distant Himalayan caves (and Goenka's teaching of a long, hard path, lol).

I have to say I had a very strong intuition at the time that my time had come and something special was about to happen. A kind of right place, right time sort of feeling. I knew nothing of Kim as a person or a teacher but we exchanged emails for a few days to help clarify the practice. I still wasn't too sure what to think but I carried on practicing as instructed. Then overnight, something gave way. Not a flash of clarity, no 'dropping out' of consciousness', no fireworks. It was more like sliding down a muddy river bank into a river of jewels and beauty. I knew this was it, there was no doubt at all in my mind of the authenticity of the experience. This was what we all seek, a stunning prescence and the end of seeking, it was amazing. I had no interest in anything beyond the cupboard doors in my kitchen, the clicking of the boiler or the folds in my blanket. Even the desire for awakening was gone, why seek what you have found?

The experience was so simple, so utterly obvious that I was actually embarrassed I had not seen it before. What had I been thinking all those years? Why had nobody pointed out the bleeding obvious to me before? It was absolutely marvellous. Now I can't say what elements of the 2PF caused this awakening, was it the method, the teacher, a strange energetic transmission, who knows? But for me it was a wonderful experience after so many years of seeking, practice and confusion. Something about Kim and the technique had definitely broken through, and I was profoundly grateful. This was definitely the real thing. 

I'll continue on the next post ...

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 1:31 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Continued ...

this clarity remained very strong for many months after the 2PF, and despite the egoic mind returning somewhat I can still sense this clarity wherever I go and whatever I do. Something has definitely been seen that cannot be forgotten and now operates as a baseline for my daily life. It feels like I've stepped into a room and cannot return to my old perception so I would say it is a permanent shift. Even in times of strong delusion that clarity remains close to the surface.

back to your original question, 'would you call this stream entry?', I would say I am not sure. I'm not that familiar with different definitions of the term, and I would say for myself I prefer to use the term 'breakthrough'. Stream entry seems to have quite a few different definitions, and honestly I don't think anyone will pin it down to a definitive experience, but maybe I'm wrong. But I can definitely say that doing the 2PF brought me a very significant breakthrough and a depth of clarity I had never experienced before. One of the difficult elements of talking about all of this is that the experience has the nature of unknowing, kind of like falling into a sense of the unexplainable. How can we talk about the indescribable, especially in terms of progress, levels etc. I think there is a great danger of 1) thinking we know what we're talking about when we don't  2) ego using these experiences to puff itself up (I'm right, I'm better than you, I know) and 3) using these experiences to compete with others rather than helping them. Nothing wrong with trying to define it all I guess but ultimately all these ideas often seem to separate people rather than uniting us, all this mind stuff will have to collapse into a stunning love sooner or later.

I'm not suggesting things shouldn't be questioned, far from it. I think one of the problems Kim has come up against is that he has used a lot of Buddhist concepts in his teachings, and understandably people have reacted against that because they often have different ideas about what is being said. If he had used secular language and concepts, he would have received a lot less grief from the establishment, but as it stands I can understand why people have got upset about some of the stuff in Open Heart. That's one thing.

The other problem of course are the claims of attainment. I don't really have a great deal to say on that subject as honestly I don't know. My feeling is that any attainments will manifest in qualities of clarity, humility and just as importantly a warm heart to all beings. It seems that simple warmth and heartfullness often get left behind in the rather scientific, logical, driven, individualistic and competitive world of some meditation cultures (often dominated by men). That's a great shame because to my mind if you can't reach out to suffering beings with warmth, love and simplicity then all your bhumis and fourth paths or whatever look a bit hollow and lopsided.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 2:53 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Thanks for all the information, Matt. 

One of the reasons these things need to be discussed openly is so people can get information on which to think about them, evaluate them, maybe try them out. It's only fair that the purveyors of meditation information and instruction, Daniel Ingram., Kim Katami, Jack Kornfield, the Dalai Lama, whoever, be asked to explain their methods. There are indeed many ways to practice meditation. When something or someone comes along with what appears to be a radical "new" way to practice, making claims of near 100% success in very short time frames, it would be foolish not to at least ask questions.



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1/2/19 4:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Of course, questioning is strongly encouraged. To be fair to Kim, he is one of the most open and approachable teachers I have encountered. Look at the flak he has taken in this forum, yet still he sticks around and answers questions as best he can, so fair play to him for that. Most Dharma teachers I speak with tend to quite dogmatic, or psycotheraputic or rather general in their advice. 

There seems to be a lot of folks here who are keen to dissect every part of Kim's teaching with a view to shooting him down. Which I supppose is fair enough, but is only one side of a complex picture. Open Heart is one of the few groups I've experienced that have a strong group energy going on, practitioners seem to feed off each other and much insight occurs in clusters of people who practice together. It's weird, I've never experienced that before but this much more intuitive, energetic way of practicing doesn't seem that common. Sure, some things intellectually on the surface look odd or frankly bizarre but once you get into it and actually try stuff it can be remarkably effective. I feel the 2PF is like that, there has to be a commitment and a certain level of surrender to see the results. If you just think, 'it can't work, it's not possible, it's too quick etc etc' then guess what, it's unlikely to help. And one thing I've learnt from the experience is that awakening is most definitely available, simple and possible emoticon

Ultimately, people need to try it for themselves with an open mind. All this intellectualising won't help, just like it doesn't really help in opening the heart. It's a letting go into the mystery, how can arguing and disagreeing with everything lead to that? Of course we should use our intellect to reduce the potential for harm and we should always maintain our ultimate autonomy, but at some point our head and heart must come together and we need to jump. It just comes across often on this forum that people have no desire to even entertain the possibility that was Kim offers has genuine worth, usually based on a fairly superficial intellectual understanding of what he is saying. I suspect basically every single one of these critics has never even met Kim let alone really practiced with him or his Sangha. Just my opinion.

On the question of stream entry, how do you define the term and most importantly the experience? 

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1/2/19 4:37 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
This was interesting. If it’s very intuitive I can understand why it’s difficult to talk about it. I do believe in the power of surrender. Is it like an energy body practice?

I certainly have no intention of shooting anyone down. It’s the general notion of looking for or promising shortcuts that I believe needs some problematizing. I don’t know how much of this is a language barrier or cultural difference, though. What comes through as selling and making promises for some people may come out as empowering and enabling to others.

I don’t know what to believe about diagnosing awakening by looking at pictures. I have seen the book A kind of rapture, though, that is, the one that Shinzen Young talked about. The photos are amazing. I love them. I don’t have the ability to see what Shinzen saw, of course, but I can sort of imagine that it’s possible. Also, I have had intuitive moments when I have known things about people just by seeing something that they have written on the internet, even though the words weren’t that informative per se. Sometimes there is something else there that is hard to pinpoint. I do believe in intuition.

I’m still not sure if we are all talking about the same thing. How do the maps correlate to each other and do they have the same end point? How do the mile stones correlate?

I agree that meeting suffering people and other beings with love, respect and compassion is essential. Anything that genuinely leads to that is a good thing, regardless of what it’s called.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 5:46 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Hi Linda. I wanted to reply with quotes but I can't seem to get the function to work at my end so apologies, I'll run through your points as best I can using paragraphs.

By intuitive, I mean that it is very much something felt in the body as a kind of gut instinct, rather than solely based on thinking and reasoning. Logic and reason has always played a very important part in my practice and life but ultimately it has proved rather one dimensional and unsatisfying. Now I've moved much more into my body things have become simpler, more direct and frankly more real. When I started the 2PF I had a strong feeling something good was happening and I found the practice pretty straightforward and got quick, amazing results. I was very surprised myself by its power but there you go, that's what happened. I think one of the blocks to all this is the minds story of 'how it is', usually built around stories, thinking and conditioning. The awakening was unexpected in its ease and irs depth, but that was only because my expectations were false and overly pessimistic. I liken it to those optical illusions where you can see two things depending on your point of view, you know like the face/vase or the duck/rabbit illusion. Like most people, I was conditioned that awakening was the rabbit and not the duck, and what I had to do was just 'work' on the rabbit and the light would shine. Well, it turns out that the 2PF twisted my perception sufficiently to see the duck and then everything changed so easily. Oh, it's a duck! So simple, so effortless, so easy, so profound!! Lol ! And now I've seen the duck I can't unsee it. Sure, I can still see the rabbit, but now I see the duck and everything has changed forever. It's not a perfect analogy but I hope it expresses the experience of what that 'shift' felt like and how it's much more about how you see things than putting in great efforts to achieve a result.

As for the photos, I don't want to talk for Kim but he describes it as kind of 'tuning in' to a persons energy and sensing their clarity or how 'muddy' their vibrations are. It sounds kind of woo woo but I have a friend with clairvoyant abilities and she's really quite amazing so I can definitely appreciate that there is something to those people who can sense subtle energies and so called alternate realities.

As for how maps correlate, I'm really not confident about that knowledge at the moment. As I touched on in the last post, my experience is much more about awakening manifesting as the light of the unknown, so I don't know how you can put stages and levels and maps onto that experience. To me it just feels like I know less and less and I'm unlearning to love more and more. It's a big mad paradox so I'm not really sure how to express all that stuff emoticon What I do know is that somehow the heart rests and knows this unknown experience and finds great ease in its impermanence, totally at odds with the mind that just fights for control.

Sorry if that sounds a bit crazy or patronising, I'm working through it all myself at the moment.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/2/19 10:38 PM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Matt Perry Clark:
Then overnight, something gave way. Not a flash of clarity, no 'dropping out' of consciousness', no fireworks. It was more like sliding down a muddy river bank into a river of jewels and beauty. I knew this was it, there was no doubt at all in my mind of the authenticity of the experience. This was what we all seek, a stunning prescence and the end of seeking, it was amazing. I had no interest in anything beyond the cupboard doors in my kitchen, the clicking of the boiler or the folds in my blanket. Even the desire for awakening was gone, why seek what you have found?

The experience was so simple, so utterly obvious that I was actually embarrassed I had not seen it before. What had I been thinking all those years? Why had nobody pointed out the bleeding obvious to me before? It was absolutely marvellous. Now I can't say what elements of the 2PF caused this awakening, was it the method, the teacher, a strange energetic transmission, who knows? But for me it was a wonderful experience after so many years of seeking, practice and confusion. Something about Kim and the technique had definitely broken through, and I was profoundly grateful. This was definitely the real thing. 
I've mentioned this here before, but I once had the intuition to investigate the sense of "I" in a manner much like what I've recently read of 2PF during the first three nanas of first path. Two years before this, I'd already peaked at what I believed to be an A&P with a sudden experience much like what you describe above and a resulting permanent change in perspective. In the first few months of discovering MCTB and insight practice (two years later), I recognised the phenomenological characteristics (as described in MCTB ) of the first three nanas into and over the A&P. Afterwards, the intuition to investigate the sense of "I" disappeared as it didn't seem workable to furthering progress in the resulting state. This is why my going theory is that OH's "awakenings" are mostly, at best, crests of the A&P. It appears that many people who find the maps of nanas relatable with their experiences mention of permanent changes in perspective after the A&P. Dreamwalker's model is an example of this as he calls the A&P "half-path" and lays out some permanent shifts. 

The painfully obvious issue here to all of us is the the subjective definition of awakening. For me personally, at this point, I'd call my first big A&P my real awakening. It was NOT stream entry or a higher path, but it was the experience that shifted my values, destroyed much of my suffering and set me on a path of well being and higher moral standards for myself and all beings. It might have as well saved my life. Perhaps I'll experience a more suitable moment to define as "awakening" down the road but it most certainly was not the attainment of first or second path or any experiences within those.           

Because a practice much similar to Kim's worked for me, I'd consider it a valid practice to a certain point in spiritual development. The big problem is that peoples' subjective "awakenings" seem to occur or be symbolically placed at different points along the path. Not only does it seem dubious, but wouldn't it also therefore be impossible to claim that 98% (or whatever it is) of people's each subjective "awakening" happens with 100% certainty mostly within a few months with the use of one practice? Claiming this using the impossible to define "state" or "experience" called "awakening" seems highly misleading and irresponsible at best without a better defined framework. The Bhumi model falls short.

While it's understandable that debating and categorizing definitions is far from the point of all this, I think it's utterly important to uphold our best models of the path until it becomes logical to make changes. People must be led to find the true fruits of hard work with sincere and diligent practice. Thank you all for contributing! emoticon 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/3/19 3:16 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Hi and thank you for replying! I don’t think you sound crazy or patronizing at all. You seem like a good person wanting to humbly share something helpful. I sincerely hope that your experience lasts (or gets better, if possible). From my perspective, what you describe sounds a lot like what I experienced during what I believe to be my A&P, which didn’t last as a state but has the quality of ”what has been seen cannot be unseen”. Then again, I haven’t yet reached beyond that so naturally it is difficult for me to imagine what is beyond it.

Anyway, moving into my body and sensory experiences and dropping the stories of my life was what I did, and I still believe that to be a good approach, even though the years after that has been pretty much about finding the balance with regard to suffering still going on in the world due to oppression and environmental abuse. I needed to integrate my experience of suffering as unnecessary (because conflicts leading to it are illusions based on false beliefs) with the fact that they are still going on (because most people don’t realize what they would need to realize to save the world). I’m working on attaining a balance now. I think it involves dealing with and being compassionate with the fact that many other people’s lives evolve around stories and need to do that until they don’t. Forcing that development only leads to further conflicts and suffering. The tricky part is being compassionate with regard to all these stories without being caught up in them myself and frustrated by people’s difficulties in seeing each other’s perspectives and how they are creating suffering. The bitterness about that - and the insight that my ”revolutionary” new way of looking at things, with compassion also with regard to abusers, risked adding to the gaslighting of victims when shared inappropriately - was my dark night. This is why I now keep reminding myself of the responsibility that comes with insight. It has very little to do with intellectual reasoning. In fact, I consider intellectual reasoning with regard to suffering to be a huge trap. I stand by this conviction even as a researcher.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
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1/3/19 3:14 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Excellent points, Nick!

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1/3/19 5:01 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Matt Perry Clark:

On the question of stream entry, how do you define the term and most importantly the experience? 

Thanks for all the information, Matt. I don't have any doubts at all that people in Kim's sangha are having deeply meaningful spiritual experiences; it's how to classify those experiences that is the issue. Why is that even important? It might seem superficial and crass, but actually this is extremely valuable information for practitioners who are trying to make the best decisions for themselves when choosing teachings/practices to follow.

My understanding is that Kim has started his own new lineage of Buddhism and so it's not surprising that he is using Buddhist terms. But it's problematic for him to say he gets 98% of people to "stream entry" on a board where most people understand the term to mean (basically) progression through the nanas followed by cessation, a review cycle, and subsequent increased access to the jhanas (you can find lots more information about this in Daniel's MCTB2, plus lots of info on other models as well). As Nick O and others have pointed out, what is being described as stream entry via 2PF sounds a lot more like the A&P which is a very important and often life-changing milestone on the way to stream entry but NOT stream entry as would be described in any Theravada source I'm aware of. 

I think it's also important to keep in mind that all of these models are teaching tools and having gotten to stream entry or beyond doesn't make anyone special or better than other people. It's just another way of being human. And yet we humans really like to compare ourselves to others, don't we? I've long had very mixed feelings about the maps for this reason and have generally not been a very mappy practitioner myself, and yet I can't totally disregard them because they do have their uses. The mind becomes more powerful with stream entry and subsequent paths, which means there are both risks and rewards to navigate. The maps can potentially help us avoid some of the traps and make the most out of our skills. But maps and models can also be traps themselves, and so if we're going to use them we need to do so very carefully and responsibly.

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1/3/19 6:37 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Matt, out of curiousity, how do you respond to something like what is described in this short article?


http://unfetteredmind.org/a-light-in-the-dark/


(Of course, no obligation to reply, I'm just curious if it seems similar.)

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1/3/19 6:44 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
On the question of stream entry, how do you define the term and most importantly the experience? 

Matt, I posted my stream entry experience years ago at Kenneth Fok Dharma. It's now published on AwakeNetwork, so my practice diary is there, posted publicly:

http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70#more-70

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1/3/19 7:12 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Nick O. --
Because a practice much similar to Kim's worked for me, I'd consider it a valid practice to a certain point in spiritual development. The big problem is that peoples' subjective "awakenings" seem to occur or be symbolically placed at different points along the path. Not only does it seem dubious, but wouldn't it also therefore be impossible to claim that 98% (or whatever it is) of people's each subjective "awakening" happens with 100% certainty mostly within a few months with the use of one practice? Claiming this using the impossible to define "state" or "experience" called "awakening" seems highly misleading and irresponsible at best without a better defined framework. The Bhumi model falls short.

Yes, the 2PF practice is very simple and intuitive. So intuitive that it's hard to believe, as Kim says in his book "Awake" that he's the only person outside of some very serious Vajrayana practitioners who use it. (Kim says in the book that he recalled the 2PF practice from his former life.)

To be fair, Kim doesn't use the words "stream entry" in his book. He uses the word "awakening" which, like Nick O. says, is the issue many people have with OH/2PF. I think it is plausible that the real experiences folks using the 2PF practice are more like A&P than anything else. The examples and the descriptions of the experiences map better to that than they do stream-entry. Note that the folks describing their experiences using the 2PF practice are using very poetic language that is not at all phenomenological in describing their "awakening". I believe this is one of the main causes of the reaction OH gets on DhO (and in other places) - practitioners are using language that doesn't speak in the same terms we're used to seeing.


I do agree that creating a better framework, a map, of how this "awakening" fits into the deeper and more detailed versions of awakening that are available from multiple sources would be a good idea. That would go a long way toward clearing up many of the misunderstandings OH has encountered over the past few years.





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1/3/19 10:12 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

To be fair, Kim doesn't use the words "stream entry" in his book. He uses the word "awakening" which, like Nick O. says, is the issue many people have with OH/2PF.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkoaVh6q4fE&feature=youtu.be

At 36:20 he equates Theravadan stream entry to the opening of first bhumi, by which he defines these awakenings, no?

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1/3/19 10:14 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Afterwards, the intuition to investigate the sense of "I" disappeared as it didn't seem workable to furthering progress in the resulting state. This is why my going theory is that OH's "awakenings" are mostly, at best, crests of the A&P.

I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a universal experience across practitioners.  I've had my own moments of investigating the sense of self across a wide variety of self-diagnosed nanas, and both pre- and post-stream entry.  All of the practice journals from people using "The Witness" as a concentration object seem to be doing something quite similar as well, and in many cases they were using it to go up through all the jhanas/nanas to fruition, and it seemed helpful for many of them to get up into MCTB third path territory.

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1/3/19 10:17 AM as a reply to Nick O.
At 36:20 he equates Theravadan stream entry to the opening of first bhumi, by which he defines these awakenings, no?

Nick, I was referring only to the book "Awake" where I don't recall seeing the term "stream-entry." I may be wrong but it's clearly being used in the audio with Daniel Ingram that you posted.

Thanks for the correction.

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1/3/19 10:32 AM as a reply to JP.
Agreed. 

But to be more specific, this sense of "I" pre-first path-A&P was a knot of tension to be investigated much like what the 2PF describes. After A&P I could no longer find a knot of tension associated with the sense of self. There is still a sense of self to be investigated but it generally isn't location specifc. It now manifiests as a mental construct of which attention makes very rapid flashes of reference to. The more practice matures, the more I find myself metcognitively aware of it. Like zooming out on a movie set to see the constructs of the periphery.  

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1/3/19 3:17 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Great stuff Chris, thanks for the link. I got through the first two pages for now, it was very articulate and it looks like you’ve had quite a ride!

It’s so useful for people like me to read these practice logs, really very inspiring and clarifying. I also find the interactions you have with various people really useful as you can receive feedback and check that you are not going off on one. I have asked a few times for practitioners in Open Heart to contribute their experience of the bhumis but so far they have remained pretty quiet on the subject. It’s disappointing because it would not only help those in the Open Heart Sangha to clarify the practice but if they presented their experience and wisdom to forums like this then we could all have a better communication about Open Heart in general. I don’t really see a good reason why people would be quiet on the subject, but obviously that’s their choice. For now it is up to the foot soldiers like me to stick their head above the parapet  emoticon haha

On the substance of stream entry, I didn’t get that far in your log but some of your experiences resonate with me but also my current views see some things somewhat differently. This ‘blinking out’ of consciousness seems like quite a theme for people. As I said before, I’ve not experienced that myself so I guess I wouldn’t fit into that definition. What I am certain of though is that the 2PF has given me a first big, stable view of Rigpa that has really changed things for me significantly. I’d love to sit down with you and talk face to face over all you wrote, tapping away on a screen doesn’t seem to do the discussion justice, but still grateful for that at least. I’ll read the rest of it in the next day or two.

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1/3/19 3:52 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Wonderful, this really captures the essence with great beauty and clarity.

A couple of things spring to mind. Firstly is the mysterious nature of this awareness. It keeps striking me again and again, what is this experience? What is this moment? It doesn’t make sense, I’m completely at home but my mind is totally vexed. I’m lost and I’m found, it’s just bizarre. That definitely needs to be emphasised.

The other thing that comes up after reading the text is the effortless nature of it. It’s so utterly simple, that’s what confounds the mind. Where is it? I want it! Lol! Mind just basically wants to be something and to get somewhere, but it doesn’t like this nowhere and nothing. Damn!

A beautiful text though, a very sweet pointing to the true nature. I’ve only become aware of these kind of direct path teachings recently after years of vipassana slog, it’s such a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the link, I’ll have a look around this site some more. 

Is this this a teacher that you follow?

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1/3/19 11:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, thanks for linking you practice log. I just started to have a look and immediately have a question! If this is answered later on, please just let me know, but I was wondering: Do you experience the "cessation" or "blinking out" with all the related giddiness that you described in the first post when you're doing the more surrender-based practice? I'm referring to this bit in particular (haven't read much further yet):

As I said today in Nicole’s “surrender” thread, I practice twice daily with one sitting being focused on choice-less awareness and the other sitting being focused on some form of concentration. However, I’ve been wonderfully sidetracked of late with the unbelievable lightness of being (now I really get that movie title) that is just letting go and surrenduring. It’s VASTLY more interesting and compelling than what I described above. If ever forced to choose just one practice I would give up the Lights Out in favor of surrender every time, and for the ten thousand eons. Still, what should I be doing now?

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1/4/19 4:55 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
Thanks for that, I'm really enjoying these replies and discussions and am glad I've found this forum. 

I think my next move is to read the MCBT2 book and get clearer on what people round here are up to and how they perceive Dharma practice. 

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1/4/19 5:24 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
I've had a similar question when I read Chris' log a while ago.  Chris, in addition to answering Jehanne's question, could you also explain what difference you see between non-dual awareness and a path moment?

Thanks,

Benoit

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1/4/19 6:30 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Matt Perry Clark:
Wonderful, this really captures the essence with great beauty and clarity.

A couple of things spring to mind. Firstly is the mysterious nature of this awareness. It keeps striking me again and again, what is this experience? What is this moment? It doesn’t make sense, I’m completely at home but my mind is totally vexed. I’m lost and I’m found, it’s just bizarre. That definitely needs to be emphasised.

The other thing that comes up after reading the text is the effortless nature of it. It’s so utterly simple, that’s what confounds the mind. Where is it? I want it! Lol! Mind just basically wants to be something and to get somewhere, but it doesn’t like this nowhere and nothing. Damn!

A beautiful text though, a very sweet pointing to the true nature. I’ve only become aware of these kind of direct path teachings recently after years of vipassana slog, it’s such a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the link, I’ll have a look around this site some more. 

Is this this a teacher that you follow?

Okay, now we're getting somewhere!  emoticon


So here's the deal. When we have an experience of "Presence" or "Natural Mind" or "The absense of greed, aversion, and indifference" --- oh whatever words are used --- it is so strikingly different than the narrow, petty, clastrophobic experience that we normally have. It is wonderfully open, luminous, clear, free, joyful, compassionate, appreciative, caring, friendly, accepting... it really is good.

This state is basically the completion of all spirituality.... and also, very very very ironically, the beginning. 

This is the best way I can speak about it after 30 years of beating my head against the wall trying to figure it out and say it clearly... 

The deep paradox is that Presence is always available, we simply turn our mind to it; however, we never "have it" and so it can seem to slip away even though it is always available.

For many people, myself included, we can remember a moments in time in childhood or teenage years where there was a moment of everything being so simple and so intimate and so direct --- this glimpse of presence --- that it served as a mirror to how we felt about the nature of our own Self, simple and good. But it doesn't last long, we go back to the sense of being a struggling and divided self, on one hand being proud (and self centered) and on the other hand feeling inadequate (and wanting to learn and be of service). This dichotomy seems to create the necessary tension to go out and explore the world and develop... 

Later in life, usually around the mid teens/early 20s, the sense of being a divided self can be quite strong. The ways of adapting to the world that we inherted without thinking (values/habits) are full of contradictions and are limiting, we're becoming adults but are very confused. During this time we can remember the simple sense of presence and want to figure out "a way" to get back to it. This is when people try different spiritual practices or drugs or extreme ritualistic stuff or therapy to get into an altered state that can access this basic state of present... And we do have moments where we drop into Presence again. And yes this can even come from someone pointing us to this basic "state" (which isn't a state, but let's call it a state for now.)

And we see the paradox: Presence is always available, yet always elusive if we get caught up in the verbal thinking mind and the sensual/emotional body. And the verbal thinking mind has momentum, is a habit, and the sensual/emotional body is so beguiling. So how on earth do we get out of this trap?

This is where the >process< of true meditation occurs. Unfortunately, while we can quickly jump to presence, it is a very unstable state unless we have done a lot of "cleaning up" through different therapeutic/meditative/investigative modalities. Basically, the mind is full of partially completed thoughts, feelings, battles and romances, and all of that stuff is floating around deep in our mind. We also have not fully developed as a psychological adult -- there are also basic patterns of repression and defense that are on autopilot.  

So the big temptation is to say "I know Rigpa, I know the non-dual perspective, I know Grace, I know Presence" and therefore I don't have to do any work.

But here's the test: can you sit for a half hour a day and be Present? No problem, no tension, no frustration, no boredom, no claustrophobia, no fantasizing of being somewhere else? It doesn't mean we're bad people if not, it just points to the reality that there is more that can be done developmentally. (And remember, some people can kind of "turn off" for a half hour and they think they are spiritually advanced, but what do their friends and colleagues think? Does this person bring presence and compassion into the real world?Many "spiritual" people convince themselves of being far more perfect than the person everyone else sees in real life! emoticon )   

Meditation provides a context for seeing the vividness and intimacy of experience (Presence) and the tension/resistance (Dukka) of the mind. In ideal practice, we are attentive to how these states come and go and we develop a very primal, pre-verbal appreciation for the openness and freedom of presence. Ironically, if we "try" to "have" presence, that's the function of the clinging mind and we fail. So we have to learn to >allow< the clear vividness of experience to arise. Also, ironically, eventually we see the non-Dukka nature of thoughts and feelings so they are no longer a problem, but in practice it feels like we are being bounced in and out of Presence, in and out of Dukka...

Which sound very simple, but it becomes complicated because whenever there is a relaxing, some part of our "self" feels vulnerable, and all this psychological stuff will come up. So the process is as much psychological --- in all of it's complexities --- as it is about Presence.

The conclusion of spirituality is an untarnished understanding of Presence. Early in practice, it feels like a "state", but when we look at it closely, the characteristics of state-ness cannot be found. Similar to mind: show me your Mind. Everything that you show me will be the contents of your mind, not your Mind. Show me your Self. 

There are many statements about the nature of Presence or what is Mind or who I Am. No one says we have to figure it for ourselves. But if people want to explore it, through meditation or some other practice, we have to be prepared to have the rug pulled out from under us, time and time again, as our confused thoughts about Presence or Mind or I or Self are seen through. 

This seeing though process that un-confuses Presence is mappable (e.g. progress of insight to stream entry, 4 paths for awakening -- and of course there are others) even though no map is needed to access Presence.



Hope this helps in some way!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 6:32 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
I see that shargrol has already pointed you in the direction of Ken McLeod--I'll second that recommendation with enthusiasm as he's my favorite resource for Tibetan Buddhism. His newsletters are great (you can sign up on Unfettered Mind) and so are his books, especially Wake Up to Your Life (full of great practices) and A Trackless Path, which is his translation and commentary on an 18th century Dzogchen poem by a Tibetan mystic. I love Ken's emphasis on the mystery of it all and his willingness to question dogma despite having been deeply immersed in traditional practice. He started off his training with two back-to-back 3-year retreats with Kalu Rinpoche in the 70s(?).

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 6:50 AM as a reply to Ben V..
This reply is to both Ben and Jehanne --

I'm sorry to say this but it would be best for you both to read the practice diary in its entirety before we dig into too much of the detail. The path is long and arduous and many of the feelings, states and stages we go through along the way are ephemeral. They don't hang around long, even though in the moment we're wildly enthusiastic about them. The only experiences that seem to last are the path moments that provide us with more permanent changes to our view of experience and perception. If all you have read in the diary is the first segment you're seeing only a very small part of the whole, and the changes reflected as the path is revealed over time are more important than any one segment of commentary.

That said, I'm happy to answer further questions as they come up.

Ben -- 

Chris, in addition to answering Jehanne's question, could you also explain what difference you see between non-dual awareness and a path moment?

A path moment is a brief, fleeting event. The very first post in the journal describes a path moment. Non-dual awareness is a view, a way to see the world that we can gain access to by using various meditation techniques.

Jehanne --

Do you experience the "cessation" or "blinking out" with all the related giddiness that you described in the first post when you're doing the more surrender-based practice?

This is a complicated question - part of the experience of cessation is surrendering to just what is, so in a way, all cessation experiences are based on surrender. That said, there seem to be some important pre-conditions that need to exist before a cessation occurs, primarily a pretty solidly "grokked" experience of the three characteristics of existence: impermanence, suffering/dissatisfaction, and not-self.

Hope his all helps.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 6:58 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol --

The conclusion of spirituality is an untarnished understanding of Presence. Early in practice, it feels like a "state", but when we look at it closely, the characteristics of state-ness cannot be found. Similar to mind: show me your Mind. Everything that you show me will be the contents of your mind, not your Mind. Show me your Self. 


Your post is truly wonderful!

One way I think about this presence or the natural state or the "true nature of the mind" is how Korean Zen teacher once described it. He would ask his students "What is your mind?" over and over and over again. There were offers of descriptions, definitions - lots of words. After a while, the teacher picked up a large book and SLAMMED the book to the floor. making a huge noise, and said, "THAT is your mind."

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 7:35 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks for such a great response. I hope I've not given the impression that I think I am stabilised in rigpa, or claim to be a stream entrant or anything like that, I certainly don't. But I am now sure that I have had a very clear view of this rigpa and that it is becoming a foundation to all my experiences now. Certainly that foundation is still weak and hazy, but it is definitely true. It does very much feel like the beginning of the true path of Buddhadharma which is very exciting after a couple of decades of semi serious practice and plenty of glimpses and insights. I definitely have a strong sense of how far I have to go to clear up my delusion as I try to unravel this paradoxical magical mystery tour!

One thing struck me in your reply, and that was our relationship with thought and emotion. You mentioned that a test for rigpa was whether we could sit for half an hour in calmness and clarity, but went on to say that even thought and emotion were just rigpa and as such are also not be part of the resistance/judging process. It seems that 'allowing' as you mentioned is at the heart of that non resistance, as well as understanding the empty nature of those thoughts and feelings. It's a kind of 'is thought the enemy and a sign of delusion' type question. This is something I'm really focussing on at the moment, to process a lot of my repressed emotion and clear the way to deepen the experience of awareness. Its probably a big subject so feel free to ignore me emoticon

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 7:20 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Just a quick additional comment about the maps and the Open Heart bhumi model in particular. My understanding of this model is that the process is opening and perfecting bhumis. Each bhumi opening leads to a significant shift in the depth and permanence of rigpa until the natural state becomes the constant view. 

Im not sure at all how this fits in with the models that have been discussed here but that is the basic Open Heart view. I'll leave any details for Kim to describe if he wants to but just thought I'd mention that if anyone wasn't aware.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 7:49 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

One way I think about this presence or the natural state or the "true nature of the mind" is how Korean Zen teacher once described it. He would ask his students "What is your mind?" over and over and over again. There were offers of descriptions, definitions - lots of words. After a while, the teacher picked up a large book and SLAMMED the book to the floor. making a huge noise, and said, "THAT is your mind."
How cool! This is exactly how the nature of mind is taught/shown (not sure about what word to use here in order not to create confusion) in Open heart after the 2PF has done it's thing. Kim has called it dynamic concentration lately. It's basically a sharp shout after which the nature of mind reveals itself.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 8:00 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

I'm sorry to say this but it would be best for you both to read the practice diary in its entirety before we dig into too much of the detail.

Ok, fair enough!
Chris Marti:

Do you experience the "cessation" or "blinking out" with all the related giddiness that you described in the first post when you're doing the more surrender-based practice?

This is a complicated question - part of the experience of cessation is surrendering to just what is, so in a way, all cessation experiences are based on surrender. That said, there seem to be some important pre-conditions that need to exist before a cessation occurs, primarily a pretty solidly "grokked" experience of the three characteristics of existence: impermanence, suffering/dissatisfaction, and not-self.

The reason I asked is that my practice for the past two-three years has been very much devotional/surrender based/just being, instead of heavily concentrating and emphasizing the three characteristics. I was wondering if that affects how one experiences or interprets/is able to see a cessation.

I'm thinking of writing more stuff in my log inspired by what has been said here. What my day to day life and meditation sits are phenomenologically is difficult for me to write about. Now that some of it has taken written form in this thread I see what sort of things actually could be useful to state explicitly.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 8:45 AM as a reply to Matt Perry Clark.
Matt Perry Clark:
 I hope I've not given the impression that I think I am stabilised in rigpa, or claim to be a stream entrant or anything like that, I certainly don't.
No worries, sorry if my general statements seemed to suggest I was assuming/talking about where you are at. I meant it all in a very general/universal way, not specific to you or anyone in particular.

 One thing struck me in your reply, and that was our relationship with thought and emotion. You mentioned that a test for rigpa was whether we could sit for half an hour in calmness and clarity, but went on to say that even thought and emotion were just rigpa and as such are also not be part of the resistance/judging process. It seems that 'allowing' as you mentioned is at the heart of that non resistance, as well as understanding the empty nature of those thoughts and feelings. It's a kind of 'is thought the enemy and a sign of delusion' type question. This is something I'm really focussing on at the moment, to process a lot of my repressed emotion and clear the way to deepen the experience of awareness. Its probably a big subject so feel free to ignore me emoticon

Right, all of this is the very heart of practice. Is thinking intelligence or is it delusion? Is emotion a problem or is it useful information? Does morality enhance awareness or is it just a socializing mechanism? Does faith help or hinder progress? There isn't an easy binary/verbal answer, because there are many dimensions, levels of development, degrees of clarity, and personal style that come into play. The answers you find are your own.

My own experience is that no one can deliver the solution to you and it takes many different approaches over time to find your way through the confusion. It can be very tempting to lock yourself into a belief or practice or tradition or lack-of-tradition, but I encourage everyone to own their own practice, don't give away your personal power, explore many different traditions and teachers, and fully become the unique sane person that you are. With a big perspective it becomes clear that this is what everyone is doing. That's why students never teach exactly the same way their teachers/gurus did. That's why new "systems" pop up all the time. The important thing is to fine the useful sanity within a given approach and wisely disregard all the rest of the baggage.

For example, here's a list of different modalities (which I quickly wrote a while ago, but have never rewritten/edited etc., so take it for what it is) that have helped me over a few decades: http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/shargrol/253


Hope this helps!


p.s. Matt you might like Fenner's "Natural Release/Presence" model

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 8:55 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
 It's basically a sharp shout after which the nature of mind reveals itself.

Sort of, yes - I think the sharp sound itself IS the nature of mind. Nothing more, nothing less. It's our experience unfettered and un-interfered with by narration, evaluation, revision, doubt, fear, joy, etc.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 11:22 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol, that was lovely! This turned out to be a wonderful thread.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 12:14 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
As I read through this thread and think about it from the 20-year internet dharma forum veteran, 30,000 ft viewpoint, it has the basic ring of earlier debates between more narrow, effortful, structured practices (Goenka, Noting, Vipassana in general) and those of Dzogchen/Mahamudra/Just Sitting/etc. It has been noticed again and again that when people move from one that they have been doing for a long time to the other (basically regardless of direction), they suddenly notice something they hadn’t seen before. There are hundreds of reports in this vein found on the DhO, Tao Bums, etc. One can search for Rigpa and read threads from 8 or so years ago and find posts that could be transposed to this discussion almost entirely unedited and seem to be part of the conversation.

It is very common for those, particularly who have done narrow-only focused traditions (breath, whatever), and never been given any instructions to gradually expand out their awareness and finally just rest in what occurs (like what I would call more third and fourth vipassana jhana approaches), then, given that instruction, many will suddenly bloom.

One thing I would add to the dDx (differential diagnosis, aka possible things that people are getting into) is Equanimity, which, for some, particularly those who have done more narrow, structured traditions for a long time, can be an amazing breath of fresh air, and ñ11.j2 as I would call it can be mind-blowingly profound, with vistas of unity, Buddha Nature, the Divine, Luminosity, True Self, and the like becoming extremely powerful.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 12:17 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I also really like Ken McLeod and his work and that specific article, which I will relink to here just to future readers don’t have to scroll up through this hog of a thread to find: http://unfetteredmind.org/a-light-in-the-dark/

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 1:54 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hello everyone,

In the following, I adress some questions that have been raised in this thread about awakening and it's possible relation or similarity
with theravada stream entry, Two-Part Formula and others. Other questions have also been raised in the thread but as I have posted
many messages on this forum, I'd suggest reading some of them.

Andromeda
:
I agree that the root problem is essentially semantics, but semantics is important if we're going to talk seriously about maps and models.

It's perfectly fine for Kim to say that students have opened the first bhumi in the model he created as that has a very specific meaning for him. Self-inquiry practices are great, time-tested traditional practices and so it's no surprise that people are finding openings via 2PF. But to say that opening the first bhumi is equivalent to stream entry (a Theravada term) is a big problem because it isn't clear that this is the case at all. Already in this thread, we're discussing two primarily Theravada systems with different criteria for stream entry--Daniel and Culadasa apparently don't totally line up on this one. As far as I can see, Kim hasn't made clear which definition of stream entry he is using nor made any attempt to verify that it is actually equivalent by discussing it with either of these teachers. So why use the term at all?

Kim:
I have discussed it on few occasion with Daniel but due to the nature of my exposition, which isn't theoretically very eloborate, it seems
difficult for people to specifically understand what awakening through 2PF is about. I do not think that my exposition of awakening is unclear, it just isn't the usual. I'll continue on this further below, in ref. to Ten Fetters model.

Quoting Daniel from MCTB: ”I actually like a few aspects of the bhumi model, such as the idea of directly realizing shunyata or emptiness and deeply integrating that into our perception, paradigm, practice, ethical conduct, and personality. It is a model that addresses many axes of development simultaneously... I am very comfortable associating the first bhumi with stream entry...

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-bodhisattva-bhumi-model/


Chris quoted MCTB.org
: ”...In fact, most stream enterers have a very hard time describing how their minds have changed in terms of
their everyday perception except that they cycle and can understand the dharma in ways they never could before.”

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/a-revised-four-path-model/

Kim:
Those who woke up through 2PF commonly do not have this problem since the technique adresses and gives insight of a very specific and
clearly defined area of the self, that is, the subject self. With 2PF we are looking at awakening in a very definite manner. To many people I have worked with or who woke up through 2PF, it was a game changer when they realised the difference between subject-self and object-selves. Many of these people practiced diligently from 20 years up to 40 years. The difference of the two modes has been described in detail in the book.

Andromeda
:
I think at this point it's clear to everyone the problems that arise when we use terms without specifying their intended meaning. Rather than turning this thread into a debate about whose definition of stream entry is the best or most correct or whatever (it's definitely been done before many times and frequently leads to unhappiness all around), perhaps we can agree that it would be helpful if Kim were to specify exactly what he means by the term when he uses it in statistics to promote his sangha? This would at least reduce confusion, if not eliminate it entirely.

Kim
:
Again, what awakening in OH means has in fact been described in a very detailed way. The ”problem” is that people used to common
expositions, don't/didn't understand it. In a way, it is my bad, but on the other hand this doesn't seem to be a problem for many who use the technique and drill through with it.

Here is what Erik Pema Kunsang says in his endorsement of the technique:

As far as I know at present, the Two-Part Formula is as old and timeless as the teachings of the Buddha. The steps are a simple and
experiential way of combining shamatha and vipashyana to reveal a timeless fact: that there never was any real ego: I, me or myself. Calling it awakening is fine. According to what I have learned from Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, he calls it dakme tokpey sherab, the insight of seeing egolessness, in the context of personal identity. It corresponds to the awakening of a hinayana practitioner.


Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is the son of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche (one of the foremost vajrayana buddhist and dzogchen masters of the last century) and a renown teacher on his own right. Erik Pema Kunsang, who with nearly 50 years of practice history, can see well what the technique is and leads to, says that according to Chokyi Nyima, this practice leads to what can be called ”awakening”, or ”insight of seeing egolessness, in the context of personal identity”, that ”corresponds to the awakening of the hinayana practitioner”.

That's pretty clear, as well as from a very reliable source.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 1:44 PM as a reply to Samvega.
Chris: I read all of the book "Awake" today. The thing that most stands out is the claims, first of an unbelievably high rate of "awakening" of 98%. Second, these awakenings are said to occur after short periods of time, from a few days to a few weeks. This timing appears to be independent of the practitioner's mediation background and history if any. The claim is that the method being used is an invention of the author but it's also a secret, old vajrayana practice that only a few people know of because they've been sworn to secrecy. The practice itself is extraordinarily simple, being a hybrid of finding one's "natural state" and then applying affirmations of "I" and "me" to find one's sense of self. So the "awakening" spoken of in the book appears to be a realization of the impermanent self.

Kim: Chris, first of all, I am glad that you read all of it. Usually sceptics just flip it through and think they know what it's talking about, when they actually don't. To myself, in turn, it is a continuing surprise how hard it is for people to take this claim or the statistics seriously. I discussed this in my earlier posts in this thread, as well as in other posts here. On the other hand, I didn't believe the efficacy of it myself until after 35 cases, so don't blame anyone of being sceptic.

What awakening here means is seeing that the subject-self is empty of independent entity. That is just a rendition of describing a specific kind of emptiness insight. See below.

Chris: There are a number of negative comments about other Buddhist traditions and meditation practices, though despite that the author goes out of his way to emphasize multiple times how he is accomplished in Zen, Zen Calligraphy, Dzogchen, several related energy practices, and the like. The negative comments seem to stem from the fact that these traditions can't claim a high success rate - like OH does.

Kim: I wonder why you and others see my remarks and observations of other buddhist traditions, as ”negative”, instead of constructive. Do you feel that with many of his criticisms Daniel was being ”negative”? And no, as far as I know, no other buddhist tradition can or does claim or present even nearly as high success rate. I have started here a thread called Statistics of Sudden Awakenings where I gathered some data that was available, but so little, almost non-existent data is offered by the prevailing dharma community.

Chris: Unfortunately, I'm still in the dark as to how what OH and its one practice offers relates to what I know from my own practice over the years. The book is written without much detail as compared to the way that MCTB is full of minute details about the various states and stages in Theravada Buddhism, its practices and the effects of practices, both good and bad. There's no mention of "stream entry" but numerous mentions of "awakening." We aren't presented with any detailed maps, just that one is either "awake" or not, in a binary fashion. The book focuses only on the greatness of the OH practice, as simply described. There are many pages of testimonials, interactions between the author and students and some more before and after pictures.

Kim: I haven't yet read your dairy from Awakenetwork but noticed from the first lines of introduction that you have familiarity with zen buddhism. You probably clarify your connection to zen in the notes but I wonder how it didn't become clear to what awakening in OH means, through reading the dialogues, if you know zen? If your familiarity comes from soto zen, and especially American soto zen, that might explain why. One student of mine who woke up through 2PF met a chan teacher who could detect and verify the kensho after 1 day of observing him at retreat. For clarity: I have used awakening, kensho and stream entry interchangeably. More below.

Andromeda: I recently had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours chatting with a Vajrayana teacher, an old Rinpoche. One of the things he said about Vajrayana is that often people want to skip the foundational ngondro (100,000+ prostrations, mantras, etc. that take months to years of committed daily practice to complete) in order to get to the "good stuff" but what they don't realize is that ngondro IS the good stuff. Ngondro is called foundational for a reason and it is an awakening practice. He is of the opinion (and another Vajrayana teacher friend of mine says the same thing) that most people simply aren't driven enough and don't want to put in the effort to really practice well. So if there's a secret, it's that people need to be extremely dedicated and work very hard, but of course that's not what people want to hear.

Kim: I'm glad every time tantric buddhism is mentioned on this forum, which is not very often. The potential of vajrayana is immense, including to those who have gone through the theravada stages, but due to the lack of openness and pragmatic values, the traditional system isn't very attractive to many, nor to myself.

The old rinpoche says that ngondro is an ”awakening practice” and the ”good stuff”. Sure but it all depends how it is taught and that varies a lot. Some lamas teach ngondro from the point of view of nonduality, but many or most don't. Many lamas tell their students to just accumulate the amounts of repetitions and don't give the slightest hint of nondual mind, if they know it themselves. In this case, ngondro can largely be a waste of time. I know many who have had this experience.

Chris: I don't think this secret vajrayana practice is really a secret. I think it's useful to present it that way, however.

Kim: Chris, you clearly do not have enough familiarity with vajrayana. If you think I am wrong by saying that 2PF or practices from dzogchen or mahamudra that generate awakening or what in Tibetan is called dakme thokpe sherab or semngo tropa are secret, prove me wrong and find a description of a technique from a public source. The only one I found is the one from Daniel Brown I posted in the thread before.

A short quote from a student of Namkhai Norbu:”There are practices that are nearly identical to... "self-inquiry", in the practice of khordas rushan (korde rushen). But I'm a fairly hard-line traditionalist when it comes to practices and transmission and cannot discuss the specifics of rushan here publicly.”

Vajrayana buddhists take samaya and vow of secrecy very seriously. If you go to DharmaWheel, for example, which is full of traditionalists, they never talk practices and practicing of practices publicly. Never. That's just one example.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 1:50 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Chris: Jehanne, surely you know that the book "Awake" appears to have been written to attract people who are looking for a fast sure-fire way to "awaken." Otherwise, why would it present the claims of a 98% success achievable within just days or weeks? Read these message boards and others on the Net focused on meditation practices - they are filled with people who are seeking easy, fast and fancy.

Kim: If it is possible to have a real shift quickly, I say go for it. Yes, I have published the book and other resources to tell people that there is a quicker and as effective way but just as it has been repeatedly said here by me and others from OH, this doesn't make it easy.

I have presented statistics. That is the data from the first 100 cases I worked with. The success rate there is 98 cases out of 100. Now the total number is up to 138 and I hadn't had a miss in 120 cases. This is data.

It has also been said loud and clear that awakening is just the first step, a small piece in a big puzzle, though a very meaningful one.

Andromeda: There probably are plenty of people who just want to achieve something fancy, but there are also a lot of suffering people who are quite understandably desperate for a reduction in pain and existential angst.

Kim: There are loads of people in the larger yoga and meditation scene who are after an easy fix. However, awakening or opening of the 1st bhumi is not something ”fancy”, for it is an insight and therefore makes the reality more accessible in one's daily life. Reduction of pain and existential angst? Read the book or see these video testimonials:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDi4D-Yo3Xc&list=PLhXmXZzfWLc9w4LiJi3-GdvbTwBESPtgQ

I'm just saying that this is possible.

Andromeda: I purchased and tried to read the Awake! ebook to see if there were more specific criteria for Kim's definition of stream entry, but must confess that the large number of typos turned me off and I did not get very far in reading it.

Chris: I purchased the book "Awake" on Amazon.com within the last week. It was, as described by Andromeda, full of misspellings and typos. If you make a new version available you should replace what's on Amazon now.

Kim: It is the newest version in Amazon. I asked some native English speakers yesterday if they felt there were too many typos to make it an uncomfortable reading and none of them felt that way. They had positive view about it, though.

Chris: Yes, the 2PF practice is very simple and intuitive. So intuitive that it's hard to believe, as Kim says in his book "Awake" that he's the only person outside of some very serious Vajrayana practitioners who use it.

Kim: That's not exactly what I've said. There might be thousands and thousands of vajrayana practitioners, in the above mentioned Norbu's group for example who use a similar technique. Open Heart is the only one that teaches it openly, without secrecy. Maybe you can say that of Daniel Brown's group too (quote earlier), although he has just the audio recording among others at his website, that is, not clear exposition.

Chris: I do agree that creating a better framework, a map, of how this "awakening" fits into the deeper and more detailed versions of awakening that are available from multiple sources would be a good idea. That would go a long way toward clearing up many of the misunderstandings OH has encountered over the past few years.

Kim: Hmm. I believe that my expositions are clear enough already but OK, I see what you're saying. Some of the practitioners in our sangha have mentioned that other models have more detail but one they start having awakening, one after the other, they get how it works and what the whole system is about. We, like other buddhists, train in emptiness meditation, and what has been discussed in Awake! and What's Next? describe in a lot of detail what we do and how it feels from the inside, in common language. I have made a conscious effort to use as little as possible technical terms from any traditions, to make it more accessible and relevant to not just buddhists out there but to common people.

It was asked in this thread whether those who wake up with 2PF have cessations or not. I don't think many of them do, if some of them do. Some who know to keep an eye on kundalini, have stated the permanent dissolution of it, which is mentioned by some buddhist and hindu sources.

I've had many cessations since I was a kid, and none of them generated anything that would have helped in my self-based confusion. It was just a momentary halt with no lasting effect.

The 2PF has a very clear target, the subjective sense of self, the me or I that sits inside the head, looking out the eyes. As I referred above, if one hasn't made the connection that the word ”I/me/mine” makes this type of self pop up and makes it available for vipashyana, one will probably neither understand how seeing through that particular knot could be useful, but it is, greatly so. This is the sharpest peak of our self-based confusion and once one sees through that, it makes a huge difference. To quote Andromeda, there is significant ”reduction in pain and existential angst”.

The difference between a cessation and insight of the subject-self is this: Cessation covers the whole mind complex and for a moment one doesn't have a mind, while insight of the subject-self ”only” makes one see through the subjective sense of self. Both cessation and this type of insight are of same nature, that of emptiness.

Based on accounts of cessation and my own experiences, I wonder why cessation doesn't always effect a lasting change. The 2PF has a clear target which is why it always does.

From MCTB:

However, the core of the Theravada four-path model is the dogma that enlightenment involves progressively eliminating the ten defilements (also often called the ten fetters, and so this is sometimes called the “Ten Fetter Model”). In this model, stream entry eliminates the first three defilements: 1) skeptical doubt; 2) attachment to rites and rituals; and 3) “personality belief”, meaning belief in a separate, independently existing self...

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-theravada-four-path-model/

Kim: Awakening as described in OH certainly does eliminate the first three fetters, for it greatly reduces being confused, helps one to see what dharma of enlightenment is, instead of being stuck on ways and forms, and it shatters permanently the belief in ”me” as an independent entity. I wonder how all this doesn't become clear from Awake...

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/4/19 3:19 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Hi, Kim. Thanks for your detailed replies.

I don't want to rehash the same territory we've already covered in this topic. I'm happy with my previous comments here and I'm sure folks can evaluate all the dialog for themselves. I'm even happier that this topic has taken a different, more collaborative turn in the past day or so and want to continue in that spirit.

I hope you don't mind.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 4:25 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Hi Kim,

Thanks for taking the time to write such detailed replies, but like Chris I do not want to rehash territory we've already covered in this thread. People can read the full dialogue with my comments in context and make up their own minds.

I'm also very happy with the new direction this thread has been heading in the last couple of days. People have been posting details about their experiences and getting some very good feedback, which allows us all to learn. Mudita! This kind of collaboration is what keeps me coming back to this forum. emoticon

May we all practice well,

A

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 5:01 AM as a reply to Andromeda.
I took your, Chris and Andromeda, several suggestions of me clarifying the connection of SE and OH awakening as an invitation to join in, so I did. You two especially expressed all kinds of views and ideas, even mistakes in your posts, so I hoped you'd be open for further exchange but hey, it's a free world.

May all beings be free.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 9:50 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
One thing I would add to the dDx (differential diagnosis, aka possible things that people are getting into) is Equanimity, which, for some, particularly those who have done more narrow, structured traditions for a long time, can be an amazing breath of fresh air, and ñ11.j2 as I would call it can be mind-blowingly profound, with vistas of unity, Buddha Nature, the Divine, Luminosity, True Self, and the like becoming extremely powerful.

Yes, n11.j2 makes a lot of sense. (And I just re-read your write up in MCTB2, good stuff!) 

Just to be clear, is this a dDx in your mind (i.e. Rigpa/Presence is different than the second jhana aspect of EQ) or is do you tend to think that the Rigpa/Presence >is< the n11.j2 experience?

Boy, I wonder if "pointing out" could ever lead to SE if the student was able to handle the j3 and j4 aspects of n11? Hmm... thinking about it more, it's probably a one in a trillion odds. My guess is it necessarily takes many times through EQ before anyone could proceed seamlessly to SE. The j3, dissolution-ish, aspect would probably be interepreted as "losing EQ" by the first time EQ meditator and especially the j4, normalicy, aspect would be interpreted as "it's gone now". 

Curious what you/others think!

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 9:58 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I think you're speaking in code  emoticon

How about a translation for those who don't follow the jargon?

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 10:05 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel --

It has been noticed again and again that when people move from one that they have been doing for a long time to the other (basically regardless of direction), they suddenly notice something they hadn’t seen before. There are hundreds of reports in this vein found on the DhO, Tao Bums, etc. One can search for Rigpa and read threads from 8 or so years ago and find posts that could be transposed to this discussion almost entirely unedited and seem to be part of the conversation

I find this to be a very valuable perspective. My practice took off after I switched from Zen to vipassana. I think it's also true that there are practices that fit individual practioners' personalities, mental proclivities and preferences. We could call this non-denominational or non-traditional practice. That's what attracted me to pragmatic dharma since I stumbled on it here many years ago, so maybe we just call it pragmatic.


RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 12:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I think you're speaking in code  emoticon

How about a translation for those who don't follow the jargon?

n11 = 11th nana = EQ
j2 = second jhana

n11.j2 = second jhana aspect of the 11th nana = a very impressive and beguiling state-like EQ

and my question is

nn11.j2 = or does not = presence (as a state)

?

I suppose what I should have done is say "page 242 of hardcover MCTB2" to help sell the book and get my kickback? emoticon
 


p.s. I'm not fully literate with these annotations yet, for example is vj4= n11.j1 through n11.j4? 

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 1:41 PM as a reply to shargrol.
I cant' speak to a kickback but I can see that I need a code map to interpret the path map.

emoticon

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/5/19 4:01 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Daniel M. Ingram:
One thing I would add to the dDx (differential diagnosis, aka possible things that people are getting into) is Equanimity, which, for some, particularly those who have done more narrow, structured traditions for a long time, can be an amazing breath of fresh air, and ñ11.j2 as I would call it can be mind-blowingly profound, with vistas of unity, Buddha Nature, the Divine, Luminosity, True Self, and the like becoming extremely powerful.

Yes, n11.j2 makes a lot of sense. (And I just re-read your write up in MCTB2, good stuff!) 

Just to be clear, is this a dDx in your mind (i.e. Rigpa/Presence is different than the second jhana aspect of EQ) or is do you tend to think that the Rigpa/Presence >is< the n11.j2 experience?

Boy, I wonder if "pointing out" could ever lead to SE if the student was able to handle the j3 and j4 aspects of n11? Hmm... thinking about it more, it's probably a one in a trillion odds. My guess is it necessarily takes many times through EQ before anyone could proceed seamlessly to SE. The j3, dissolution-ish, aspect would probably be interepreted as "losing EQ" by the first time EQ meditator and especially the j4, normalicy, aspect would be interpreted as "it's gone now". 

Curious what you/others think!

I'm not fluent in the annotations either but n11.j2 does make a lot of sense and I'm very curious to hear Daniel's reply here as well.
I was trying to figure out this stuff out awhile back because they all do seem to be in the same neighborhood, but are they the SAME? Hrm... I eventually got frustrated and decided comparing systems/terminology just wasn't worth the effort.

As for "pointing out" leading to SE--hard to imagine how except as a freak accident. How could one possibly point to the particular letting go that is required? That collapse is quite a mysterious piece of the puzzle.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/7/19 8:15 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 It's basically a sharp shout after which the nature of mind reveals itself.

Sort of, yes - I think the sharp sound itself IS the nature of mind. Nothing more, nothing less. It's our experience unfettered and un-interfered with by narration, evaluation, revision, doubt, fear, joy, etc.
Ok, I can see it works also when it is described like this, that the sound IS the nature of mind.
Not sure how to use words to make the case properly philosophically speaking, so I will just offer the following observation I have made when using the shouts:
If there is a fragment of me, I, Self present when I make the shout it comes off very weak and not powerful. It's a bad sounding shout, not the clearcut sharp shout it should be. If I have no self-based things going on that I'm aware of, the shout comes of nice and sharp. It is a good indicator of what is going on, I've found so far.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/7/19 8:25 AM as a reply to Jehanne S Peacock.
Hi, Jehanne.

The scenario I described with the Korean Zen master is oriented toward hearing a sound. I think it works either way, though.

RE: Is there a short cut? (Open heart meditation)
Answer
1/7/19 9:05 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:


One way I think about this presence or the natural state or the "true nature of the mind" is how Korean Zen teacher once described it. He would ask his students "What is your mind?" over and over and over again. There were offers of descriptions, definitions - lots of words. After a while, the teacher picked up a large book and SLAMMED the book to the floor. making a huge noise, and said, "THAT is your mind."
Chris Marti:


The scenario I described with the Korean Zen master is oriented toward hearing a sound. I think it works either way, though.

Zen teachers use sudden and unexpected actions, such as shouts, to cut through the concept-based minds of their students to their buddhamind. In zen practice, samadhi or one-pointed immersion is cultivated first, either through concentration practice or koans, such as the one mentioned above by Chris. This samadhi is then shattered by a deliberate samadhi shattering action by one's teacher or some spontaneous event. My teachers's teacher whoke up after 8 years on working on a koan, when hearing piss hit the urinal.

Wrote a short blog about this last month: http://openheartopenheart.blogspot.com/2018/12/rethinking-zen-and-kensho.html