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Stream Entry Mechanics II

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Stream Entry Mechanics II lukas lohr 12/28/18 7:05 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 12/28/18 9:14 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II alguidar 12/28/18 10:40 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Brato Ganibe 12/28/18 10:51 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II lukas lohr 12/30/18 3:55 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 12/30/18 5:04 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Andromeda 12/30/18 6:55 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris In Dhamma 12/31/18 12:51 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris Marti 12/31/18 8:52 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris In Dhamma 12/31/18 3:49 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris Marti 1/1/19 8:54 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris In Dhamma 1/6/19 10:03 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Chris Marti 1/6/19 11:11 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Dustin 11/14/19 11:03 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/15/19 8:17 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/16/19 6:45 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/16/19 8:17 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/16/19 10:06 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/16/19 4:14 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/16/19 8:51 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/17/19 10:10 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/17/19 5:34 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/17/19 11:05 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/18/19 12:39 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Bardo 11/18/19 2:03 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/18/19 2:07 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/18/19 9:00 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/14/19 5:29 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/14/19 6:35 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Jim Smith 11/14/19 10:54 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II shargrol 11/15/19 8:08 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Ben Sulsky 11/14/19 5:05 PM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Bardo 11/17/19 7:45 AM
RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II Niels Lyngsø 11/18/19 7:48 AM
Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/28/18 7:05 AM
Hello people,

I have a question concerning stream entry. Please correct me at any place when I am wrong. As I understand it, stream entry is depicted as being reached only through strengthening of one's concentration (as compared to the starting point of the meditative journey) to foster greater sensory perception of the three characteristics which, in turn, lead to liberating insights about conditioned phenomena.
My question now is, whether stream entry is always a specific moment in time or if this progress of insight is also possible to unfold over longer stretches of time and lead to the same realisations. 
I am asking because I have made it my goal to reach stream entry as soon as possible, and went on 5 Mahasi-retreats of 5-16 days this year, plus dedicated daily practice but I don’t seem to be able to “take the heat” of such intense practice. I get to a point at which I inevitably get lost in fear, confusion, doubt and exhaustion and practice seems to become futile, or at other times not even possible. However, I have come so far as to see that this practice is worthwhile and that there are useful insights to be had. I am now looking for other ways to reach my goal. 
Thank you for taking the time to read this.

With Metta

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/28/18 9:14 AM as a reply to lukas lohr.
I'll offer this...

The path to SE is an intresting blend of sensory clarity AND relaxing. We tend to use the word "concentration" to mean an effortful directing of attention, but almost a better word for meditatative concentration (jhana) is "centering". There is less and less effort the more and more centered you get.

Most people do not try hard enough in meditation, which is why most books/teachers emphasize effort. But the few people that are actually putting in the hours and retreat time tend to be the ones that try too hard. As a result, they kind of shoot past equanimity. That was my experience. I kept getting caught in a loop of good progress to my first A&P on retreat, some challenging dark night nanas which I pushed through with too much effort,  which lead to a strange A&P, then more suffering and too much effort, which kept me looping and didn't allow me to settle into EQ. It really messed up my body and mind. 

The good news is that a much more gentle approach will not only lessen the "heat", but it will also lead to a stable EQ and eventually SE. And much more importantly, the VERY VERY good news is learning how to do that is what provides the mental sanity and healing that we ultimately want out of practice. SE really doesn't change the person that much. It is all the work leading up to SE, learning to balance effort and relaxation, that really changes a person. 

So I'm very sorry you were unable to get their with 5 retreats -- but I can definitely say that you have learned what NOT to do. It is important to go slower and with patience and be much more accepting of how the mind naturally balences itself. You will find you have much more stable access to jhana and the dark night nanas become interesting rather than disturbing/"hot". It will still require effort/dedication, but a different kind of effort.

It's much more like sailing across an ocean. You need to learn to follow the wind and adjust the sails... and you will get there. If you start paddling really hard because you want to make quicker progress, you just burn too much energy, become exausted, and eat up all your food before you get across. 

As a final piece of good news, after I failed during my "try hard" phase of practice, I finally started working with a teacher... and I experienced SE at home my during normal sitting practice. 


Hope this helps!

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/28/18 10:40 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:


It's much more like sailing across an ocean. You need to learn to follow the wind and adjust the sails... and you will get there. If you start paddling really hard because you want to make quicker progress, you just burn too much energy, become exausted, and eat up all your food before you get across. 



Uau, very nice image.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/28/18 10:51 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol, thanks for your wonderful response! I too have been 'striving for stream entry' for about 18 months and only getting myself more and more wound up in frustration. I tend to eventually claw my way up and out of Reobservation, get a taste of Equanimity, and then quickly find myself slammed back down into some Dark Night pit.

It's really encouraging to hear that others have been there AND gotten through it. Getting the right balance of effort and equanimity is definitely not my forte, but knowing that there's still hope for even the most hard-headed of us is refreshing in a sense.

Thanks again shargrol, and good luck to you lukas!

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/30/18 3:55 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you for your account shargrol, it is really much appreciated!

It is easy for me to get lost in the specifics of practice and forget about the actual reason I got into it, thank you for reminding me! Also, knowing that someone else has managed to go through this phase of practice and come out the other side successfully. I noticed myself that my effort was somehow off but, as you mentioned, I only ever heard about insufficient effort, not so much about excessive effort. That’s why I thought that I would rather do too much than too little. I am looking forward to exploring this dimension of practice now! 


I have some questions regarding the process with your teacher; when you started working with your teacher, did you make it explicit that you wanted to reach stream entry? And how did you find your teacher? I live in Europe where I feel like there is a real scarcity of insight meditation teachers.

Again, thank you for your help!

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/30/18 5:04 AM as a reply to lukas lohr.
Well, the short answer is I found my teacher by saying to myself: I give myself 3 months to find a local teacher because talking with someone in person is going to be the best approach, but if I don't find anyone in 3 months, then I'll work with Kenneth Folk (who was just starting to teach at the time and was actively posting on DhO, AwakeNetwork, etc.). I looked around all of Chicago, looking for a teacher that I connected with, but didn't find any. So I started working with Kenneth using Skype. (I've also worked with two other teachers using video over internet and it works really well.)

I tend to agree teachers are scarce that will talk about SE. But now I have a much better understanding of the big picture... People can really mess themselves up with practice. They can push too hard and have psychological problems, or they can practice poorly and still expect a teacher to "give them" SE. There is almost no way a teacher can be 100% successful in protecting someone from having problems and almost no way to guarantee SE. In addition, focusing on SE is a classic way to have a sloppy practice. It is much more important to really focus on what is actually occuring, rather than imagining some goal in the future. So I understand why teachers do not want to talk about SE or suggest that SE is a reasonable expectation.

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. 

I personally enjoy helping people who already have a consistent daily practice. I have found that maybe out of the 10 times I'm contacted by someone, only 1 seems to want to really dive into the challenges of their practice. The other 9 are looking for someway to avoid having challenges or who underestimate the work it takes to practice daily and go on a few retreats a year. Meditation is a very serious activitity, almost like mountain climbing, where people need to be very dedicated and focused on working on weakness and turning those weaknesses into strengths.

It's also like mountain climbing in the sense that it is a personal accomplishment, but no one else really cares, so after you climb the mountain you are not a hero in everyone's eyes or if someone does idolize you for a while it doesn't last long. So it's important to be really personally curious rather than driven by ideas of power, riches, or fame. 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/30/18 6:55 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

I personally enjoy helping people who already have a consistent daily practice. I have found that maybe out of the 10 times I'm contacted by someone, only 1 seems to want to really dive into the challenges of their practice. The other 9 are looking for someway to avoid having challenges or who underestimate the work it takes to practice daily and go on a few retreats a year. Meditation is a very serious activitity, almost like mountain climbing, where people need to be very dedicated and focused on working on weakness and turning those weaknesses into strengths.


You have excellent coaching skills and I really appreciated your help when I was working on 5 dakinis/5 elements. I usually learn best by figuring things out on my own and only asking for help when really hitting a wall and had never gotten coaching for meditation before. Even on retreats my practice has been self-directed and teachers just helped me troubleshoot when necessary. So it was a fun and novel experience. 

My own coaching skills aren't very good, probably because I don't naturally work that way myself, and it makes me respect those skills all the more. It's always so nice to read what you and Chris Marti write on people's practice logs as you're both very good at it. That takes a lot of energy and patience, especially given the low percentage of people who are really willing to put in the necessary work over the long haul. 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/31/18 12:51 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

I personally enjoy helping people who already have a consistent daily practice. I have found that maybe out of the 10 times I'm contacted by someone, only 1 seems to want to really dive into the challenges of their practice. The other 9 are looking for someway to avoid having challenges or who underestimate the work it takes to practice daily and go on a few retreats a year. Meditation is a very serious activitity, almost like mountain climbing, where people need to be very dedicated and focused on working on weakness and turning those weaknesses into strengths.

It's also like mountain climbing in the sense that it is a personal accomplishment, but no one else really cares, so after you climb the mountain you are not a hero in everyone's eyes or if someone does idolize you for a while it doesn't last long. So it's important to be really personally curious rather than driven by ideas of power, riches, or fame. 

First thank you so much Lukas for starting this thread and describing so nicely where you are on the path towards SE.
Actually it seems to me that I'm kind of in the same situation like you:

>I have made more than a dozen 10-14 days Mahasi-retreats this last 2 years
>I meditate daily for one hour and I still don't know where I am regarding SE (currently it seems to me that I am cruising between "dark night" and EQ that I reach when I apply effort of concentration during daily life in order to keep the fear and angry feelings at bay).  
>I live in Europe/Paris and cannot find a proper teacher (currently my teacher seems to be the "the Mind Illuminated" from Culadasa and I have the feeling I have reached Stage 5)
>I have been looking for a teacher and have as well reached to Kenneth Folk which whom I had one skype interview but I could not afford paying 100 USD for one skype session everytime I had a question..

Secondly - thank you so much Shargrol for your answer and bringing so much clarity. I guess I would love to have some help from you.

And a last -a more general-question to the Sangha:

Do you guys find normal that someone charges 100 USD per skype session to help other walk on the Dhamma path?
I understand that everyone needs to make a living and that all is not free and whence donnations/dana is key in Buddhism but overcharging so much seems to me to go completly against any Buddha's teaching on morality or generosity... 
But maybe I am wrong or biaised and would love to read any other opinions.

Thanks again shargrol, and good luck to you lukas!

With metta


 


RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/31/18 8:52 AM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
12/31/18 3:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris

thanks for the links but I know these resoruces already emoticon

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
1/1/19 8:54 AM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.
Great. My question would then be - have you contacted any of the teachers at those links?

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
1/6/19 10:03 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hi Chris 

So from the links you've sent the only teacher I see I would be able to contact is Christopher Titmuss...
Or have I omitted something? 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
1/6/19 11:11 AM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.
There are contacts listed for all of the centers I linked to. If it were me, I'd contact all of those centers and ask who their teachers are and how I could communicate with them directly.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/14/19 5:05 PM as a reply to lukas lohr.
Hi Lukas,

Massive disclaimer: I think I went through SE about a month ago.  Impossible to know if that's accurate until I learn more.  Mahasi recommends 2nd path+ before teaching and I'm definitely not that-- please take anything I write with appropriate grains of salt because I'm not at all confident.  Here's where I think I recently was for context: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16860231

So, your level of effort and dedication is fantastic!  That's great and seems like a high percentage way to get to equanimity, but my experience was that equanimity through SE was incredibly tricky to navigate and no amount of effort alone could make it happen.  The feeling of being fried and exhausted seems like what accompanies highly effortful practice and might be good signal for trying new stuff, it was for me.  

I did some weird stuff that was helpful for reducing effort and ultimately beneficial.  At one point I'd just note "striving, striving", or "effort, effort" or "forcing, forcing", and where these sensations were in the body, mostly in the eyes, face and guts.  I'd also give myself cues, and just repeat key phrases like "still forest pool," to prime the brain to chill out a bit.  See, https://mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/30-the-progress-of-insight/11-equanimity/ , namely the analogy of the kazoo player that suggests how noting can join up with the six sense doors.  Gently investigate the 3Cs.  Another good Ingram quote I'll paraphrase is that in earlier parts of the path we get conditioned that sensations like excitement, speed, blazingness, intentisty etc accompany progress because they do up to the A&P, and energy also accelerates through DfD and into Reobservation... but equanimity just isn't like that and doesn't crescendo in the same way.  Another helpful analogy is the cycling analogy-- let yourself coast.  "However, Equanimity is like now coasting along on an easy, open, flat, straight road in a beautifully scenic area with no finish line to cross, no specific goal in mind, just effortlessly coasting and enjoying the scenery. If we employ a biking style from any earlier stage, such as totally powering it, as in the early stages, or if we are braking hard and swerving around imaginary obstacles, as in the Dark Night, we will likely miss the simple, easy, open beauty of the scenic area we have managed to get to after our long, hard ride, and instead just exhaust or frustrate ourselves instead of noticing what Equanimity is all about."

My (again low confidence) suggestion would be to feel really great about yourself for the striving you've done to get here, and make a formal resolution to chill out for some preset number of formal sitting hours, say 100 hours.  If it doesn't work or nothing interesting happens, go back to trying hard.  During this time use as little effort as possible.  By this point your brain has sufficient experience noting the 3Cs that I think it's likely you'll continue to do so without effort.  At first you might think this is totally weird and not meditating, and your sits will feel like cheating or something.  I think just continue to let all of these emotions and thoughts and daydreams and pointless associations come up and do their thing and good things will eventually happen.  If it helps, you can think of totally chilling out as a formal meditation technique that's appropriate for this part of the path.  You then execute said technique by just sitting there.  Try and be quite comfortable as well so that the body can also easily relax, I did a lot of reclining.  

It was very hard for me to completely change my meditating methodology from maximum effort to minimum effort when I hit equanimity.  I had developed a strong aversion for minimal effort because it seems dangerously close to pointlessly spinning in my stuff.  But paradoxically, it works awesome during equanimity when the mind needs that.  So, if you're fairly confident you're in equanimity (which seems very likely given your high dose of effortful practice), maybe give this a try.  It takes awhile.  Not really caring what happens seems to help.  Good luck!  Ben


RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/14/19 5:29 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
...
As a final piece of good news, after I failed during my "try hard" phase of practice, I finally started working with a teacher... and I experienced SE at home my during normal sitting practice. 

...


shargol,

What type of meditation do you do? 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/14/19 6:35 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I'm curious, why do you ask?

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/14/19 10:54 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
I'm curious, why do you ask?


I am interested in learning about the various techniques other people use. I like to know if people are doing something similar to what I do - it could confirm I am doing the right thing. And if they doing something different, I like to see if there is some aspect of their practice that I could benefit from adding to mine.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/14/19 11:03 PM as a reply to Chris In Dhamma.
Chris In Dhamma:
shargrol:

I personally enjoy helping people who already have a consistent daily practice. I have found that maybe out of the 10 times I'm contacted by someone, only 1 seems to want to really dive into the challenges of their practice. The other 9 are looking for someway to avoid having challenges or who underestimate the work it takes to practice daily and go on a few retreats a year. Meditation is a very serious activitity, almost like mountain climbing, where people need to be very dedicated and focused on working on weakness and turning those weaknesses into strengths.

It's also like mountain climbing in the sense that it is a personal accomplishment, but no one else really cares, so after you climb the mountain you are not a hero in everyone's eyes or if someone does idolize you for a while it doesn't last long. So it's important to be really personally curious rather than driven by ideas of power, riches, or fame. 

First thank you so much Lukas for starting this thread and describing so nicely where you are on the path towards SE.
Actually it seems to me that I'm kind of in the same situation like you:

>I have made more than a dozen 10-14 days Mahasi-retreats this last 2 years
>I meditate daily for one hour and I still don't know where I am regarding SE (currently it seems to me that I am cruising between "dark night" and EQ that I reach when I apply effort of concentration during daily life in order to keep the fear and angry feelings at bay).  
>I live in Europe/Paris and cannot find a proper teacher (currently my teacher seems to be the "the Mind Illuminated" from Culadasa and I have the feeling I have reached Stage 5)
>I have been looking for a teacher and have as well reached to Kenneth Folk which whom I had one skype interview but I could not afford paying 100 USD for one skype session everytime I had a question..

Secondly - thank you so much Shargrol for your answer and bringing so much clarity. I guess I would love to have some help from you.

And a last -a more general-question to the Sangha:

Do you guys find normal that someone charges 100 USD per skype session to help other walk on the Dhamma path?
I understand that everyone needs to make a living and that all is not free and whence donnations/dana is key in Buddhism but overcharging so much seems to me to go completly against any Buddha's teaching on morality or generosity... 
But maybe I am wrong or biaised and would love to read any other opinions.

Thanks again shargrol, and good luck to you lukas!

With metta


 


Hey Chris, I think It is normal that teachers charge $100 plus for a Skype session. The last one I asked about a session charges $150 which I think is really high. I think both of those prices are too steep. I've had a teacher for the last year and a half that charges $75. I saw her every other week for the first year and now see her every few months just to chat about progress and life. I also don't mind paying that because I really enjoy our talks and her knowledge.

Also to Lukas, I think SE is absolutely attainable with out pushing super hard or going on a bunch of retreats. I also think that pushing hard sometimes is a really good teacher but there has to be a balance and that's only learned by doing what you have been doing. 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/15/19 8:08 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
shargrol:
I'm curious, why do you ask?


I am interested in learning about the various techniques other people use. I like to know if people are doing something similar to what I do - it could confirm I am doing the right thing. And if they doing something different, I like to see if there is some aspect of their practice that I could benefit from adding to mine.

Ah, okay.

I've done a lot of stuff...  I have practical experience in noting practice, concentration practice, investigation of vedanā, dependent origination, six realms, 5 elements/5 dakinis, and mahamudra/dzogchen practices. I'm also a fan of western psychology (defense mechanisms, attachment theory), centering prayer, eastern orthodox christian theory, and western wisdom practices. 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/15/19 8:17 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
 So I started working with Kenneth using Skype. (I've also worked with two other teachers using video over internet and it works really well.)


shargrol,

After reading your post I found this page by Kenneth:

https://kennethfolkdharma.com/quick-start-guide/

I think it is very helpful.

But it seems to me that there could be something between 4 (objectify thoughts) and 5 (objectify the apparent subject) - which would be to note the instances where you notice ego attachments. What I mean by this is that when something bothers you, you can note what ego attachment is threatened: my status, my efficacy, my level of success, my control over ..., my opinions, my beliefs, my reputation, my intelligence, my property, my family, my friends, my political party, my nation, "my" favorite sports team, etc.

Doing this should help someone see that the ego, just like thoughts, emotions, and impulses, (steps 1-4) arises from the unconscious, exists for a time, then fades away. It is not permanent it is not me or mine it is an illusion. And there is a general effect that being more aware of emotional pain can help someone to let go of it.

Do you think it would be helpful? I'm not sure why it is not on the linked page. 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/16/19 6:45 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
My hunch is you are correct that Kenneth would say that "observing the experience of ego attachment being bothered" would be first gear practice, applying those four aspects of noting. 

The trick here, however, is that more advanced meditation also eventually notices/objectifies how the sense of being "an investigator of the experience of ego attachement" is another way that the ego creates an identity. So ideally pfurther ractice should really eat itself. This would be an aspect of second gear practice.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/16/19 8:17 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
My hunch is you are correct that Kenneth would say that "observing the experience of ego attachment being bothered" would be first gear practice, applying those four aspects of noting. 

The trick here, however, is that more advanced meditation also eventually notices/objectifies how the sense of being "an investigator of the experience of ego attachement" is another way that the ego creates an identity. So ideally pfurther ractice should really eat itself. This would be an aspect of second gear practice.


Is that what ends identity view: developing a sense of the self as an observer (of body, feelings, emotions and thoughts) and then pullilng the rug out from under it (popping the ballloon) by observing that the sense of self is just another thing that arises and passes away, is not controlled, is not me or mine, just like sensations, emotions, and thoughts?

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/16/19 10:06 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Basically yes, that's how it works.

Going through the first step builds the sensitivity and power of investigation... and then it naturally starts taking the sense of self as an object and continues until the "a ha" of realizing "this thing that I need to protect and get enlightened isn't quite what I think it is."

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/16/19 4:14 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Basically yes, that's how it works.

Going through the first step builds the sensitivity and power of investigation... and then it naturally starts taking the sense of self as an object and continues until the "a ha" of realizing "this thing that I need to protect and get enlightened isn't quite what I think it is."


Is there a name for this approach? Is it associated with any particular tradition(s)? It seems different than doing noting to produce cessation/fruition as described in "the stages of insight" (traditional vipassana), and also different from other forms self-enquiry where the only practice is to ask "Who am I (Ramana Maharshi  / Zen )?"


My impression is there are traditions that approach awakening from first gear only, and others that use second gear only. I am not trying to imply anything about relative merits, just trying to clarify things because different people might be more naturally suited to different approaches and get better results from the system that they are more naturally suited to.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/16/19 8:51 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I don't think there is a good name for this approach except for pragmatic dharma. Basically it's do what works in actual practice for the actual meditator, but if there is a general pattern for medittators it would be first gear emphasis for 1st and 2nd path, then second gear emphasis for 3rd, and third gear emphasis for 4th.--- it's an over simplification, but I hope this paints a general picture.  

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/17/19 10:10 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
I don't think there is a good name for this approach except for pragmatic dharma. Basically it's do what works in actual practice for the actual meditator, but if there is a general pattern for medittators it would be first gear emphasis for 1st and 2nd path, then second gear emphasis for 3rd, and third gear emphasis for 4th.--- it's an over simplification, but I hope this paints a general picture.  

This is actually a good answer to my question about observing ego-attachments because, evidently, I misunderstood how the paths mapped to Kenneth's gears.

And since I am not that familiar with the useage of the term "Path", please bear with me as I ask for verification ... by "four paths" do you mean the four stages of enlightenment?

That seems to be what Daniel is saying in MCTB.
https://mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-theravada-four-path-model/

The Theravada Four Path Model
...
The Theravada four-path model has four stages of awakening, namely first path: “stream enterer” or in Pali, sotapanna; second path: “once-returner” or sakadagami; third path: “non-returner” or anagami; and, finally, fourth path, which gets translated in various ways in various sources, with some including “perfected person”, “holy one”, “saint”, or “conqueror” (one who has conquered the defilements that prevented the realization of nibbana), or arhat, arahant, or arhant, pick your favorite spelling, but I will use arahant, realizing that I used arahat in the previous version.

So stream entry and once-returner are first gear.
Full enlightenment is after 3rd gear.

Just looking at this (below) I realize I am hopelessly confused about what stream entry is.

https://mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/36-beyond-first-path-what-next/

36. Beyond First Path (“What Next?”)
...
I t can be easy for meditators to think they have completed a full cycle of insight and gotten
stream entry when in fact they have not. It is also possible for meditators to have completed a cycle of insight and yet think otherwise, but this is much less common, at least in traditions that have good maps and in practitioners who have good dharma friends with whom to discuss their practice. Sometimes practitioners will be correct in thinking that they have achieved what they believe and say they have, but their friends and teachers may remain unconvinced. At times, a teacher or friend may think that the student has done it and yet be wrong.

Based on what you wrote here (below) and the context of my post you were replying to ...

shargrol:
Basically yes, that's how it works.

Going through the first step builds the sensitivity and power of investigation... and then it naturally starts taking the sense of self as an object and continues until the "a ha" of realizing "this thing that I need to protect and get enlightened isn't quite what I think it is."

... I thought "a ha" was stream entry and occurred after (at least) second gear (objectifying the observer).

Actually when I first read Kenneth Folk's quick start guide I assumed stream entry was after third gear because he just mentions "enligtenment" but doesn't discuss any of the stages or paths.

So your post which I quoted at the beginning of this post clarifies a lot. 

Thanks

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/17/19 7:45 AM as a reply to lukas lohr.
lukas lohr:
I get to a point at which I inevitably get lost in fear, confusion, doubt and exhaustion and practice seems to become futile, or at other times not even possible. However, I have come so far as to see that this practice is worthwhile and that there are useful insights to be had. I am now looking for other ways to reach my goal. 

Fear, confusion, doubt and exhaustion are, in my experience, typical signatures in gauging progress. However, exhaustion is something I would consider the biggest obstacle in that list. If it is a genuine whole-body/mind exhaustion the only remedy to remove it is to pull back and rest. Interestingly, when we meditate, sensory stimulus no longer gives impetus to the fast moving structure of 'self' and 'self' responds in some interesting ways. You described some of those responses above: fear, confusion and doubt - but self can also try to preserve its function through a phenomena called sloth and torpor. This can look a lot like exhaustion but here, it is a mind trick and when it engulfs it drops your levels of alertness and concentration. One could say mind or self doesn't want you to see what you may be on the cuff of seeing and that would make sense when grouped with fear, confusion and doubt. These three qualities - fear, confusion and doubt - are your mind writing the story of you from a non-experience into something you perceive as tangible. This type of exhaustion (sloth and torpor) is something that can be worked with but I cannot say for certain if this is what you are experiencing. Perhaps look more into that exhaustion. It has its own real-time undulating characteristics where one can see its ephemeral nature, (impermanent) how mind writes itself into the exhaustion (suffering) and, with good observation, perhaps even glimpse not-self in its comings and goings.

There are plenty of online resources about sloth and torpor. The Buddha felt it so important, he included it in his list of five hindrances that one must overcome before hitting a jhana. This was the method I followed but work out for yourself if it is helpful.

This is a good resource.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/17/19 5:34 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Ironically, while I mentioned it works for the four paths, I see your point and actually it could work the same way for SE. Really highlights the fractal nature of awakening! emoticon

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/17/19 11:05 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Ironically, while I mentioned it works for the four paths, I see your point and actually it could work the same way for SE. Really highlights the fractal nature of awakening! emoticon



Or maybe awakening cannot be measured objectively.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/18/19 12:39 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Objectively compared to what? 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
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11/18/19 2:03 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
emoticon

The conscious mind will find something to compare! This is how the great suchness likes to parade: through a diverse array of incredible forms. It fragments, separates, and divides then pitches those components against each other so that it can somehow try to experience itself from those fragments. This all happens through thought. Our brains are the vessel by which suchness fragments the universe and those thoughts become matter in motion. It's playful and it's truly spectacular.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
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11/18/19 2:07 AM as a reply to Bardo.
It sure is.

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/18/19 7:48 AM as a reply to lukas lohr.
Thank you for this thread, Lukas! It was very helpful for me since I have just had an experience of striving too much, which actually led to a psychotic episode (https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16879352). Especially the first answer from shargrol made a lot of sense to me, so thank you shargrol. emoticon 

RE: Stream Entry Mechanics II
Answer
11/18/19 9:00 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
shargrol:
Ironically, while I mentioned it works for the four paths, I see your point and actually it could work the same way for SE. Really highlights the fractal nature of awakening! emoticon



Or maybe awakening cannot be measured objectively.

I don't want to get into a battle of defintion about what "measured objectively" means... but I do want to say that awakening is fairly straightforward to diagnose if we are honest with ourself. It just means looking at what we reify as mind, self, practice/spirtuality, or time.