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no - self experience ?
10/16/10 2:39 AM
Hi all !

Yesterday while sitting ín the back-seat of a car, travelling to work, I practised choiseless awareness and my attention came to rest on the 'head-support' (don't know the proper word) of the seat in front of me when there suddenly was this radical shift in perspective - there was no longer anyone watching/commenting on the experience and 'I' wasn't even aware of what 'I' was watching. There was just 'that and awareness of that.

I've had similar experiences before but then I always knew what I was watching although the commenting had stopped but this time there was just that and awareness of that.

I have been hanging around in equanimity/high equanimity for maybe two months with the occasional back-slide into dark night but equanimity has been really solid and steadey the last month and I have even stopped sitting and still things just continue unfolding. I write that as to give a context to the above experience.

Also another question.
I asked Tarin about this in another thread but probably should have started a new thread for that question so this is the new thead...
I've been thinking about what is most important to cross the border into stream entry and having recently finished reading '
the three pillars of zen' and all the accounts of people getting kensho of various depth when sitting with a koan such as 'MU' it is obvious that there is no insight or attention or looking for this or that; it is all about raising enough energy/friction/ till one pops.

I would be really interested in hearing some views on this - insight/precision vs. desperation/brute force.



RE: no - self experience ?
10/16/10 4:54 AM as a reply to p m c.
Hey man,

It sounds like an experience of no-self alright, congratulations :-)

As for what gives a path, it appears that a huge number of approaches do the trick, for me stream entry came with time and practice, second path with a lot of effort and noting 24-7, third path with a more easy and intuitive, open and targeted approach (really looking out for an understanding of the three characteristics, suffering in particular, searching for what it was that was not being perceived clearly enough).

The only thing that has been constant is that practice has been necessary, but all of the paths happened of their own accord, usually at unexpected times and more or less out of nowhere (even if, I was in equanimity at the time).

As for the best approach or attitude, it seems that this changes frequently. Now I am at a point where surrender is just about the only thing that makes sense but I remember making a lot of progress (even if it was a bit unpleasant at times) with a more aggressive approach earlier on. I suspect that really going for it (despite not being able to tell what it is that one is going for) early on is a good way to go if one is strong enough to do it. And at the end the only thing that matters for the first three paths is to apply the technique well, to understand what it means, what it is, to meditate (and to do it well and frequently); to experientially know and to learn how to perceive reality as it happens moment-to-moment. Practice does it.

All the best and happy popping.


RE: no - self experience ?
10/17/10 4:12 AM as a reply to Pavel _.
Thanks for your reply, Pavel.

I guess it's time to get back to sitting again after some lazy vacation in this wonderful equanimity which, relative to the very long horrorshow of the dark night, feels like an awakening.
And probably the best method to break through is to use as much precision as one has and put all the force one can gather behind it.

thanks again


RE: no - self experience ?
10/18/10 9:17 PM as a reply to p m c.
Force and precision are good, but also consider inclusiveness and naturalness as well as noticing what is happening in the space where you are in some integrated way. The mix of those two sides of the thing helps.

RE: no - self experience ?
10/19/10 2:17 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel and thanks for replying.

As it happens I recently joined a local Zen Centre and discovered Shikantaza wich seems to be all about 'inclusiveness and naturalness' and it is the perfect complementary 'practice' to effort and precision (vipassana) as you suggest.
Off cushion my practice is choiseless awareness / awareness of awareness which is really the same as shikantaza if I have understood things correctly.

It is funny and ironic that the closer I get to actually land a path, the more advise I start seeking from 'outside' instead of trusting the process that has been unfolding quite rapidly since I started practicing. It is not really doubt but some subtle fear of actually achieving what I have been almost obsessed about achieving.
Well, listening to 'The Hurricane Ranch Discussions' over and over again has been almost as valuable and useful as reading MCTB and I realize that this subtle fear of landing a path is me not allowing myself to do this and I am quite surprised to feel that way.

Anyhow, I have a 10 day retreat coming up in 70 days so I have plenty of time allowing,forcing,including and relaxing before then.

Thanks for an awesome community.