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RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....

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Hi,

Some questions about goals (below). Of course, anything similarly related you wish to convey may also aid in my appropriating a practical response to your original questions.

What is it that you are wanting to accomplish, and why? Is there a motivation driving this goal which can be expressed in a fashion such as: "I must do (...) because of (X)"? If so, what is (X)?

What kind of value do you place on accomplishing that task; what sort of priority does it have? If it is not the top priority, can you explain why that is the case? Similarly, how much time do you currently devote to sorting out this issue (about "what to do"), and how are you going about that (other than by posting as you have done here)?

How much time do you spend practicing (meditating or engaging in attentiveness or doing qigong or whatever)?

Do you think it is valuable to think for oneself? If so, is there anything standing in the way of that?

Please be as specific as you can in your reply.

Trent

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/21/10 12:41 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hi Trent, thanks for your answer.

Trent H.:

What is it that you are wanting to accomplish, and why? Is there a motivation driving this goal which can be expressed in a fashion such as: "I must do (...) because of (X)"? If so, what is (X)?
Trent


I want to master these practices.The result of all them form what I once thought it was the so called "Enlightenment". Now there is the same end, but in different forums emoticon

I.e. I want to be free from fundamental suffering, don't have stupid and useless emotions, be present and healthy. And have fun.

Trent H.:


What kind of value do you place on accomplishing that task; what sort of priority does it have? If it is not the top priority, can you explain why that is the case?
How much time do you spend practicing (meditating or engaging in attentiveness or doing qigong or whatever)?
Trent


It goes up and own top priorities, depending on the day. The reason being that I need to finish studies/work and keep up my relationship with family and girlfriend. Other than that yes, top priority.

I practice from 5 minutes to 3 hours a day. It changes, but the norm is 1 hour and a half a day. Never less than 5 minutes. My practice is mainly gigong, concentration and vipassana.

Trent H.:

Similarly, how much time do you currently devote to sorting out this issue (about "what to do"), and how are you going about that (other than by posting as you have done here)?
Trent


I read and try to understand what leads to what exactly. I read people's opinions and resullts. I'm also investigating different traditions so that I find the one that suits me best. I have to say I sometimes feel guilty because this takes quite a bit of time, that I could be using more wisely doing vipassana and not giving a shit about other traditions that could be more 'me'.

The exact time also depends on the day. Could be 10 minutes of reading, nothing at all or 4 hours in front of the computer without blinking.

Trent H.:

Do you think it is valuable to think for oneself? If so, is there anything standing in the way of that?
Trent


Do you mean evaluating what I want to do myself, not caring about what others do? I tend to finally draw my own conclusions, but I follow the expert's advice, just as I do in any other field that I'm no expert in (cooking, physics, etc.)

Thanks a lot for your time!

Andy

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/21/10 4:42 PM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Hi,

Andres Coca Lopez:
Hi Trent, thanks for your answer.


No problem.

Andres Coca Lopez:
Trent H.:
What is it that you are wanting to accomplish, and why? Is there a motivation driving this goal which can be expressed in a fashion such as: "I must do (...) because of (X)"? If so, what is (X)?
Trent


I want to master these practices.The result of all them form what I once thought it was the so called "Enlightenment". Now there is the same end, but in different forums emoticon

I.e. I want to be free from fundamental suffering, don't have stupid and useless emotions, be present and healthy. And have fun.


Do you want to master these practices because you want to be free from fundamental suffering, or are there other reasons?

When you say "now there is the same end," are you stating that all of the practices you indicate an interest in will lead to the end of suffering but use different methods to achieve such?

Are you willing to eliminate all emotion (not just those you deem stupid and useless) to be free from fundamental suffering, to be present and healthy, and to have fun?


Andres Coca Lopez:
Trent H.:

What kind of value do you place on accomplishing that task; what sort of priority does it have? If it is not the top priority, can you explain why that is the case?
How much time do you spend practicing (meditating or engaging in attentiveness or doing qigong or whatever)?
Trent


It goes up and own top priorities, depending on the day. The reason being that I need to finish studies/work and keep up my relationship with family and girlfriend. Other than that yes, top priority.

I practice from 5 minutes to 3 hours a day. It changes, but the norm is 1 hour and a half a day. Never less than 5 minutes. My practice is mainly gigong, concentration and vipassana.


Just to ensure I understand, are you stating that relationship maintenance and studies/work are more important to you than eliminating your suffering? Do you think the two are at odds? Why does relationship maintenance/studies/work receive a higher priority?

Have you read about and/or attempted the methods put forth on the actual freedom trust website (and those of the same nature here on the DhO)?

Andres Coca Lopez:
Trent H.:

Similarly, how much time do you currently devote to sorting out this issue (about "what to do"), and how are you going about that (other than by posting as you have done here)?
Trent


I read and try to understand what leads to what exactly. I read people's opinions and resullts. I'm also investigating different traditions so that I find the one that suits me best. I have to say I sometimes feel guilty because this takes quite a bit of time, that I could be using more wisely doing vipassana and not giving a shit about other traditions that could be more 'me'.

The exact time also depends on the day. Could be 10 minutes of reading, nothing at all or 4 hours in front of the computer without blinking.


You may want to consider making this (picking a method) more of a priority. Until you've really committed to something, you're likely to see lackluster results, due largely to the lingering doubts which prompted this thread's creation.

Perhaps an approach like this would be useful: pick a specific method / type of practice and sincerely work with it for a month, excluding everything else. After that month is up, pick a new method and do the same. Rinse & repeat until you've gone through all that interest you, then pick one of the sampled practices to pursue further. Given your expressed interests, this will only take a few months and will likely give you a much better idea of what each has to offer. What are your thoughts about that idea?

Andres Coca Lopez:
Trent H.:

Do you think it is valuable to think for oneself? If so, is there anything standing in the way of that?
Trent


Do you mean evaluating what I want to do myself, not caring about what others do? I tend to finally draw my own conclusions, but I follow the expert's advice, just as I do in any other field that I'm no expert in (cooking, physics, etc.)


Okay. How do you go about discriminating between who is a charlatan, who is an expert, who is a well-meaning fool, etc.?

Trent

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/21/10 5:49 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Do you want to master these practices because you want to be free from fundamental suffering, or are there other reasons?


If I only wanted that I would stick to vipassana and that would be the end of the story. But because I also want to achieve the other goals (to be present,healthy, and to have fun) I also would need to do the other practices, although maybe it is best to leave AF or gears 2 and 3 until after stream entry or more?

When you say "now there is the same end," are you stating that all of the practices you indicate an interest in will lead to the end of suffering but use different methods to achieve such?


Sorry, that might have been my crappy English. What I mean is that, before I read MCTB, all these goals used to fall under the same roof: attaining enlightenment would provide me with all those goals at the same time. I.e. just as pretty much everybody outside DhO I was buying the emotional model etc.

Now I know that those different goals have to be addressed by committing to different practices that don't take place at the same time, so I'm wondering what is the best order: first get 4th path then work in AF? first stream entry then work in 2 and 3 geard, then get up to 4th path while working the gears and once you're don work in AF? etc.

Just to ensure I understand, are you stating that relationship maintenance and studies/work are more important to you than eliminating your suffering? Do you think the two are at odds? Why does relationship maintenance/studies/work receive a higher priority?


I'm assuming that my practice and my studies/relationships can both happen at the same time, so my true priority is to get both things going as much as I can.

Perhaps an approach like this would be useful: pick a specific method / type of practice and sincerely work with it for a month, excluding everything else [...] What are your thoughts about that idea?


It is what I have been doing with some traditions as zen, and taoism. But regarding Kenneth's gears and AF, my question is more about "when to do what" rather than "should I do it or not?"

Ah, and I haven't yet done much research in AF, so I haven't done any practice yet, I don't really know how it works.

Okay. How do you go about discriminating between who is a charlatan, who is an expert, who is a well-meaning fool, etc.?


I tend to give more credit to people that are trusted by people that I respect, and that I think know what they do or seem to get good results. If Daniel recommends something I assume it is good stuff. That's why I started reading Alan Chapman, and he also seems congruent and makes sense to me so I pay attention to what he says. I would also give some credit in the same way to people or books that Alan recomends. Of course, if I think that something is obviously bollocks I would have to do more research and not take in blind faith that that source is good, but generally I give it some credit.

If I find some book or school that looks good but I have no reference from someone like Daniel, I just go an ask. And if such stuff is worth knowing they usually know about it.

Thanks again for your answer.
Andy

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/21/10 6:06 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent H.:

What kind of value do you place on accomplishing that task; what sort of priority does it have? If it is not the top priority, can you explain why that is the case?
How much time do you spend practicing (meditating or engaging in attentiveness or doing qigong or whatever)?
Trent


Andres Coca Lopez:

It goes up and own top priorities, depending on the day. The reason being that I need to finish studies/work and keep up my relationship with family and girlfriend. Other than that yes, top priority.

I practice from 5 minutes to 3 hours a day. It changes, but the norm is 1 hour and a half a day. Never less than 5 minutes. My practice is mainly gigong, concentration and vipassana.


Trent H.:

Just to ensure I understand, are you stating that relationship maintenance and studies/work are more important to you than eliminating your suffering? Do you think the two are at odds? Why does relationship maintenance/studies/work receive a higher priority?


Adding to what Trent asked, what is preventing you from maintaining these simultaneously with practice? I'm constantly practicing actualism throughout the day. Literally all the time. The cool thing about this is that no one else is the wiser and it can be done anywhere. I'm at work right now, taking a short break to type this, and am still maintaining awareness of how I'm experiencing this moment of being alive (which, right now, consists of cheerful curiosity). When I was practicing Vipassana and doing Mahasi style noting, I would also practice often throughout the day, noting all the while in my head. I hold a 40+ hour a week job and active social life including friends, family, and dating all the while. I assure you it can be done without sacrificing the fun of these other endeavors. In fact, I'd say it's necessary to be able to practice while maintaining your "normal" life, as part of the challenge (and end goal, as it were) of this process is to function free of suffering regardless of situational occurrences. Don't fall into the trap of creating excuses for yourself which allow you to slack off. I've done that time and time again and it's caused many road blocks I now know were totally unnecessary. Do it like ya mean it. Do it like it's the most important thing you've ever undertaken, because really it is.

Steph

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/22/10 1:21 PM as a reply to Andy Coke.
Andres Coca Lopez:
Do you want to master these practices because you want to be free from fundamental suffering, or are there other reasons?


If I only wanted that I would stick to vipassana and that would be the end of the story. But because I also want to achieve the other goals (to be present,healthy, and to have fun) I also would need to do the other practices, although maybe it is best to leave AF or gears 2 and 3 until after stream entry or more?


If you are saying that you would stick only to vipassana so as to end the story, you would likely be disappointed, as vipassana will only end one kind of fundamental suffering (the struggle between who I think I am and of who I feel I am). I recommend ditching the whole mess (elimination of who I think I am and who I feel I am), as that is the only way to guarantee you are always present, healthy, and having fun. It is very nice to be alive; far better than 'I' / 'Me' ever thought possible.

Whether to pursue an actual freedom before or after stream entry is a point of stasis as of now; I don't think there is enough precedent so as to understand the situation well enough to say definitively one way or another. Although, I recommend just shooting straight for AF, as history has shown quite clearly that enlightenment can itself be quite a difficult nut to crack. In my opinion, this really boils down to how sensible / understandable each seems to you. If the material on the AFTrust website makes a lot of sense and employing the methods therein seems enjoyable, sensible, and doable, then one needs not bother with meditation. If, however, that is not the case, perhaps shooting for stream entry is a better idea.

Andres Coca Lopez:
I'm assuming that my practice and my studies/relationships can both happen at the same time, so my true priority is to get both things going as much as I can.


Well, in a sense they can, but in another sense, they cannot. It is pretty unlikely that you will attain stream entry while having a conversation about a television program you're watching with your family, regardless of how mindful you're trying to be at that time. Radically altering one's entire way of perceiving one's self and the world is not going to happen if one's dedication to it is akin to that of a hobby.

Also, if you do decide to pursue an AF, the relation part of your "relationships" will have to fall away completely if you are to achieve such a goal. This does not mean you cannot interact with the persons 'you' use to have a relationship with, but as all relating is a product of an impassioned imagination, it must fall away eventually; 'I' am 'my' relationships and 'my' relationships are 'me.' (And this is quite a favorable circumstance to bring about, regardless of how one may perceive it when imagining such).

Andres Coca Lopez:
Ah, and I haven't yet done much research in AF, so I haven't done any practice yet, I don't really know how it works.


If you don't really know how it works, having not yet done much research, how do you even know whether you want to do it? To wonder about "when" before "do I want to" is to put the cart before the horse. Try setting aside a few hours one day to really dig in, read closely, sincerely investigate, and later try the methods out for a while. At the very least, you will have more information so as to make your decisions.

Andres Coca Lopez:
I tend to give more credit to people that are trusted by people that I respect, and that I think know what they do or seem to get good results. If Daniel recommends something I assume it is good stuff. That's why I started reading Alan Chapman, and he also seems congruent and makes sense to me so I pay attention to what he says. I would also give some credit in the same way to people or books that Alan recomends. Of course, if I think that something is obviously bollocks I would have to do more research and not take in blind faith that that source is good, but generally I give it some credit.


Trust, eh? I once employed such a thing, too, and I recall being easily convinced of lunacies such as "Santa Claus" as a result.

I suspect much of your hesitation is due to trusting people whom seem to you to be presenting contradictory information. Whether that information is indeed contradictory or not, you will have to decide what the best course is for yourself. And further, if you want to see results, you will have to find conviction in your decision, whatever it may be.

Try, if you will, to think of these questions-about-life as if they're simple math problems. What is the answer to 2+2? To solve such a question, you don't need the input of Daniel or Kenneth or Alan or Trent or anyone else you correspond with. Consciousness is fundamentally a very simple process. You are here and the time is now; this perfect body perceiving this perfect universe; what a marvel!

Trent

RE: Arahatship, Kenneth's gears, AF, energy work....
Answer
10/22/10 6:16 PM as a reply to Trent ..
If you don't really know how it works, having not yet done much research, how do you even know whether you want to do it? To wonder about "when" before "do I want to" is to put the cart before the horse.


You are right. All I knew until now was that AF would help me get rid of useless emotions, and I was thinking of it as the last few touches of the whole enlightenment thing.

Now I have been reading a bit more, and I have discovered all the fuzz about AF.

So apologies for bringing in the hot topic. For now I will do some more reading and try to choose.

Thanks for your time and effort.
Andy