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Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/19/19 8:00 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser David 5/19/19 11:13 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/20/19 4:47 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/22/19 1:31 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Chris Marti 5/22/19 3:19 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 5/23/19 12:53 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 9:27 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/23/19 6:32 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Chris Marti 5/23/19 6:37 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/23/19 5:02 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 9:35 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/29/19 5:44 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/31/19 4:04 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Chris Marti 5/31/19 4:12 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/31/19 4:24 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Chris Marti 5/31/19 4:30 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 6:39 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 6/3/19 7:12 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 6/4/19 5:12 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 6/6/19 3:42 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/1/19 6:36 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 6/1/19 2:11 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 6/1/19 1:12 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 6/1/19 4:29 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 9:19 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 9:21 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser neko 5/24/19 1:05 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/24/19 5:00 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 10:14 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/29/19 8:56 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Bianca 5/25/19 3:31 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stickman2 5/25/19 7:47 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Chris Marti 5/25/19 7:57 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stirling Campbell 5/26/19 12:48 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 10:40 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stirling Campbell 5/29/19 2:54 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/29/19 9:29 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/29/19 9:44 PM
RE: Looking at the chooser Stirling Campbell 5/30/19 10:28 AM
RE: Looking at the chooser terry 5/28/19 10:18 PM
Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/19/19 8:00 PM
So, Dan's recent podcast in which he pointed out that becoming aware of the uncontrolled nature of our experience is insight has made me want to look at the thing that seems to be the chooser.
I mean there is a thing that seems to want to experience this or that jhana, develop this or that level of concentration, think thsis or that aversive thought, calm the wandering mind to whatever degree - or at least that's what it seems.
I feel like rather than develop concentration more, I'd rather examine the thing that appears to be a chooser in me.
Examining the I that chooses isn't new, but I seem drawn to it at the moment.

Any tips?

When I do this it tends to seem like a journey through the mandelbrot set as I repeatedly step out of one thought pattern that seems to be I, and into another that flowers again.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/19/19 11:13 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Carefully regard the sensations of what one interprets to be one's own thoughts and actions in the terms of the three characteristics, particularly the senstion of the initiation of action.  This seems to happen naturally in late equanimity.

An exercise I stumbled on accidentally and found interesting is to carefully examine the initiation of each breath and try to distinguish intentional from non-intentional breaths.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/20/19 4:47 AM as a reply to David.
Yeah I've found that it's not always an obvious distinction, yet we use our breath to underpin every word of ignorance we say and every ignorant action so it could be an interesting exercise to watch the difference.
But really I'm more interested in the thing that thinks it knows the difference, that says "this is the way, more of that, less of that".
If I set to watch my I then I find there's an inner voice saying
"yeah, let's look for the I. I'm really looking for the I now! Keep watching! I'm watching the for the I. It's gonna be great when we realise there's no I! Hey it went quiet for a moment, let's see if we can find the I again to examine it! We'll see that there's no I any minute now! At least I will, I don't know what you will do! That was a nice feeling, but it's not the nothingness of no I, I just know it!"

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/22/19 1:31 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
So, Dan's recent podcast in which he pointed out that becoming aware of the uncontrolled nature of our experience is insight has made me want to look at the thing that seems to be the chooser.
I mean there is a thing that seems to want to experience this or that jhana, develop this or that level of concentration, think thsis or that aversive thought, calm the wandering mind to whatever degree - or at least that's what it seems.
I feel like rather than develop concentration more, I'd rather examine the thing that appears to be a chooser in me.
Examining the I that chooses isn't new, but I seem drawn to it at the moment.

Any tips?

When I do this it tends to seem like a journey through the mandelbrot set as I repeatedly step out of one thought pattern that seems to be I, and into another that flowers again.


aloha stick,

   In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

   The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.

   So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

terry



from the hsinhsinming, trans waley


Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. 
Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; 
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. 
The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease; 
While the deep meaning is misunderstood, it is useless to meditate on Rest. 

. . .

Do not try to drive pain away by pretending that it is not real; 
Pain, if you seek serenity in Oneness, will vanish of its own accord. 
Stop all movement in order to get rest, and rest will itself be restless; 
Linger over either extreme, and Oneness is for ever lost. 

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/22/19 3:19 PM as a reply to terry.
In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.


So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

Hi, terry.

This is the Yoda version: "No-choice there is. Choice there is not. Choose no choice, you must."



RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/23/19 12:53 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.


So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

Hi, terry.

This is the Yoda version: "No-choice there is. Choice there is not. Choose no choice, you must."



I love this.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/23/19 6:32 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Stickman2:
So, Dan's recent podcast in which he pointed out that becoming aware of the uncontrolled nature of our experience is insight has made me want to look at the thing that seems to be the chooser.
I mean there is a thing that seems to want to experience this or that jhana, develop this or that level of concentration, think thsis or that aversive thought, calm the wandering mind to whatever degree - or at least that's what it seems.
I feel like rather than develop concentration more, I'd rather examine the thing that appears to be a chooser in me.
Examining the I that chooses isn't new, but I seem drawn to it at the moment.

Any tips?

When I do this it tends to seem like a journey through the mandelbrot set as I repeatedly step out of one thought pattern that seems to be I, and into another that flowers again.


aloha stick,

   In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

   The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.

   So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

terry



from the hsinhsinming, trans waley


Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. 
Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; 
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. 
The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease; 
While the deep meaning is misunderstood, it is useless to meditate on Rest. 

. . .

Do not try to drive pain away by pretending that it is not real; 
Pain, if you seek serenity in Oneness, will vanish of its own accord. 
Stop all movement in order to get rest, and rest will itself be restless; 
Linger over either extreme, and Oneness is for ever lost. 

Indeed. Science approaches this conclusion from other ways too. But I do still see a chooser thing within me, so theory doesn't meet reality yet. I've got my eye on it. I've got the idea that you can observe the thing in action years and years ago, but still I haven't really got the fruition of that recognition, not in a permanent way. It's perhaps because I've leaned towards concentration, so maybe I just need more time looking for the I.

Any tips for direct self inquiry ?

I was recapping on Shinzen Young's self inquiry success here

https://youtu.be/_sCj9PDyPsg

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/23/19 6:37 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman, finding the lack of a controller, seeing the narrative that makes you believe there is a controller, is really about sequencing. You can observe the process in real time. Harder to find using concentration practices. Maybe vipassana will get you there faster. If that's what you want to do, of course.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/23/19 5:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Stickman, finding the lack of a controller, seeing the narrative that makes you believe there is a controller, is really about sequencing. You can observe the process in real time. Harder to find using concentration practices. Maybe vipassana will get you there faster. If that's what you want to do, of course.


Ah yes I meant more time with a non-concentration practice. I'm not mega sure what the difference is between vipassana and direct self inquiry. Both involve investigating the self but I guess self inquiry is a certain type in which you can ask things like where did a thought come from, where did it go - anything that comes up with a zero as the answer, basically.

BTW can anyone tell me if Shinzen's third thing in his video counts as stream entry ?

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/24/19 1:05 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
There's a at least two main component that go into "who chooses X": The feeling of agency vs. agencylessness, and some form of self-inquiry.

When it comes to agency, Shinzen, has a fairly systematic approach to it, and AFAIU he is the only who has attempted this:

1) Auto Walk
2) Auto Speak
3) Auto Think
4) Do Nothing or Auto Focus
5) Auto Everything

Notice that, for this category of techniques, Shinzen does not use the See / Hear / Feel taxonomy, which relates to "input", but a Do / Say / Think / Focus taxonomy, which is the one he uses for "output". This should give you a basic intro to the kind of things you might want to investigate: Moment by moment, is there someone who chooses how to move, speak, think, focus, is it all happening spontaneously, or a combination of the two? As with everything, I would recommend not setting out with the intellectual idea "there is no self, no chooser, no doer", but rather having a really honest and direct look at the thing, with no preconceptions.

For self-inqury there's a lot of different ways to do it, but while we are talking Shinzen, he happens to have his own specific approach to that too, which is interesting.

Shinzen's Self-Inquiry

If you have no idea where to start, these videos are as good as any. However, eventually, you will have to go intuitive and free-form with it, and integrate it with everything else. So once you have the basics down with Shinzen, I would integrate it with a long-term plan like my favourite map from Daniel, the Hierarchy of Vipassana Practice. At some point, you're gonna wanna investigate stuff like "is there even a difference between input and output in the first place?", or maybe this theme will come up spontaneously in your own practice.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/24/19 5:00 PM as a reply to neko.
"The words do and nothing don't go together"

Yes I like this point and this do nothing vid.

You know what, I got this stuff intellectually donkeys years ago, it's quite an obvious thing, really, but I didn't know how to go with it and it kind of gets lost in the quest for jhanas and such things.
Partly, I think, this is because contemplative tradition is full of the language of trying and not trying, achievements and not achieving, all at the same time. So for example here is a web site full of achievements, paths to achievement etc, while at the same time the whole enterprise is a non-achievement. It's something you just have to live with, I suppose, or dump the whole language of attainment stuff, which some people do.

Yeah I think a little bit of dzogchen might be happening over here.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/25/19 3:31 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I don't really agree with the idea that you can't control anything. That's misleading. You can control your fingers to type on this computer. You can control your thoughts to answer this question. That doesn't make any sense at all. Sure, you can control some things, but you can't control everything, at least not now on some things. Being able to realize what you can and cannot control is what allows you to accept things more.

If anything, it has more to do with how you can't control anything for the long term. Everything is changing. It's like touching smoke. You can move it along the air somewhat with your hands, but essentially you can't really control all of it. It's especially useful when trying to control people. You can guide people, but you can't make them actually change their mind on things willingly unless they give you that permission. You cannot help a person at all if they cannot help themselves.

People who believe they can control nothing often blame others. People who think they can control everything often blame themselves. There's a balance between the two, after all.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/25/19 7:47 AM as a reply to Bianca.
Modern science see your decision to type, or not to type, as one of a series of chemical reactions. Either there is enough dopamine to trigger typing, or there isn't. Tricky getting out of that.
Then there's the whole no-self business, which is what we're here for, so maybe you'll see differently after a while. Good luck Bianca emoticon

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/25/19 7:57 AM as a reply to Bianca.
Bianca --

You can control your fingers to type on this computer. You can control your thoughts to answer this question. That doesn't make any sense at all. 

Yes - but which "you" is doing all that controlling? Are you thinking your next step, every muscle movement, out in detail as you type?

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/26/19 12:48 PM as a reply to Bianca.
Bianca: "I don't really agree with the idea that you can't control anything. That's misleading. You can control your fingers to type on this computer. You can control your thoughts to answer this question."

https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

It is worth looking at this carefully. What if you could observe, in empty awareness, functioning happening WITHOUT your thought process? What if you could watch your thoughts arise of their own accord, without your illusory control? If you are not your thoughts, what is it that watches your thoughts arise?

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 9:19 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
terry:
Stickman2:
So, Dan's recent podcast in which he pointed out that becoming aware of the uncontrolled nature of our experience is insight has made me want to look at the thing that seems to be the chooser.
I mean there is a thing that seems to want to experience this or that jhana, develop this or that level of concentration, think thsis or that aversive thought, calm the wandering mind to whatever degree - or at least that's what it seems.
I feel like rather than develop concentration more, I'd rather examine the thing that appears to be a chooser in me.
Examining the I that chooses isn't new, but I seem drawn to it at the moment.

Any tips?

When I do this it tends to seem like a journey through the mandelbrot set as I repeatedly step out of one thought pattern that seems to be I, and into another that flowers again.


aloha stick,

   In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

   The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.

   So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

terry



from the hsinhsinming, trans waley


Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. 
Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; 
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. 
The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease; 
While the deep meaning is misunderstood, it is useless to meditate on Rest. 

. . .

Do not try to drive pain away by pretending that it is not real; 
Pain, if you seek serenity in Oneness, will vanish of its own accord. 
Stop all movement in order to get rest, and rest will itself be restless; 
Linger over either extreme, and Oneness is for ever lost. 

Indeed. Science approaches this conclusion from other ways too. But I do still see a chooser thing within me, so theory doesn't meet reality yet. I've got my eye on it. I've got the idea that you can observe the thing in action years and years ago, but still I haven't really got the fruition of that recognition, not in a permanent way. It's perhaps because I've leaned towards concentration, so maybe I just need more time looking for the I.

Any tips for direct self inquiry ?

I was recapping on Shinzen Young's self inquiry success here

https://youtu.be/_sCj9PDyPsg

aloha stick,

   I watched the sy video. I think it is unfortunate when "teachers" tell anecdotes about their samadhi and it involves significant asceticism and physical breakdown; contrary to the middle way. He says that the physical breakdown was unnecessary and not desirable or to be imitated, but then why tell the story? He also speaks of deepening samadhi in the context of intensive meditation and then says the meditation had nothing to do with it, that he got right up and walked around upon awakening. I generally avoid such interviews on the (rinzai zen) principle that, "If you meet a man of the way, don't talk to him about the way." His whole response to the (adoring) interviewer involves "I did this" and "this happened to me" as though samadhi involves an experiencer. One might enquire, "who is the person who thought the experience of samadhi would go away the next day?" There is a fundamental contradiction here, one involved in all teaching. The role of teacher mutually creates the role of student. As soon as authority is established, belief folows and real gnosis becomes impossible.

   Who is looking for the "I"? The act of looking for an I splits the self into fragments and makes actually knowing the (also illusory) unitary self impossible. Thus it is said that when looked for the self is driven away, and when forgotten about it emerges. What happens to the illusory unitary self in samadhi? Nirvana, annihilation; you can call it nonduality, or the tao, the way. Naming the nameless is the gateless gate, the last barrier: the tail of the ox.

   So - you asked for tips - forget the self. Meditation on emptiness starves the ego of its nourishment, the babble of its fragmented selves, the voices of all our toys.

   Shinzen Young, if he is to be believed (and why not?) no longer needs entertainment, or comfort, or acceptance. "What is" is perfectly sufficient. He isn't bored, and doesn't suffer. His self is whole and at peace. He doesn't strive any more, he has nothing to gain, or attain. This is the natural state, the mature state, of a human being. Rarely achieved and widely imitated.

   Quit enquiring, quit seeking what you already are and couldn't possibly not be. You are born free, it is your birthright. You are a swan among chickens, a lion among sheep, a gazelle in a stable.

   Don't worry about finding yourself, who was never lost, and in the end is illusory anyway. "Just cease cherishing opinions." Be present and mindful.

terry



from "birdsong," rumi/barks:



My memory of your face
prevents my seeing you.

Lightning veils your brow.
Recalling our kissing,
I can't kiss you now.

So strange, such sweetness
could keep us apart.


* * *

Flowers open every night
across the the sky as the peace

of keeping a vigil
kindles the emptiness.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 9:21 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Stickman2:
terry:
Stickman2:
So, Dan's recent podcast in which he pointed out that becoming aware of the uncontrolled nature of our experience is insight has made me want to look at the thing that seems to be the chooser.
I mean there is a thing that seems to want to experience this or that jhana, develop this or that level of concentration, think thsis or that aversive thought, calm the wandering mind to whatever degree - or at least that's what it seems.
I feel like rather than develop concentration more, I'd rather examine the thing that appears to be a chooser in me.
Examining the I that chooses isn't new, but I seem drawn to it at the moment.

Any tips?

When I do this it tends to seem like a journey through the mandelbrot set as I repeatedly step out of one thought pattern that seems to be I, and into another that flowers again.


aloha stick,

   In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

   The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.

   So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

terry



from the hsinhsinming, trans waley


Do not like, do not dislike; all will then be clear. 
Make a hairbreadth difference, and Heaven and Earth are set apart; 
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. 
The struggle between "for" and "against" is the mind's worst disease; 
While the deep meaning is misunderstood, it is useless to meditate on Rest. 

. . .

Do not try to drive pain away by pretending that it is not real; 
Pain, if you seek serenity in Oneness, will vanish of its own accord. 
Stop all movement in order to get rest, and rest will itself be restless; 
Linger over either extreme, and Oneness is for ever lost. 

Indeed. Science approaches this conclusion from other ways too. But I do still see a chooser thing within me, so theory doesn't meet reality yet. I've got my eye on it. I've got the idea that you can observe the thing in action years and years ago, but still I haven't really got the fruition of that recognition, not in a permanent way. It's perhaps because I've leaned towards concentration, so maybe I just need more time looking for the I.

Any tips for direct self inquiry ?

I was recapping on Shinzen Young's self inquiry success here

https://youtu.be/_sCj9PDyPsg

aloha stick,

   I watched the sy video. I think it is unfortunate when "teachers" tell anecdotes about their samadhi and it involves significant asceticism and physical breakdown; contrary to the middle way. He says that the physical breakdown was unnecessary and not desirable or to be imitated, but then why tell the story? He also speaks of deepening samadhi in the context of intensive meditation and then says the meditation had nothing to do with it, that he got right up and walked around upon awakening. I generally avoid such interviews on the (rinzai zen) principle that, "If you meet a man of the way, don't talk to him about the way." His whole response to the (adoring) interviewer involves "I did this" and "this happened to me" as though samadhi involves an experiencer. One might enquire, "who is the person who thought the experience of samadhi would go away the next day?" There is a fundamental contradiction here, one involved in all teaching. The role of teacher mutually creates the role of student. As soon as authority is established, belief folows and real gnosis becomes impossible.

   Who is looking for the "I"? The act of looking for an I splits the self into fragments and makes actually knowing the (also illusory) unitary self impossible. Thus it is said that when looked for the self is driven away, and when forgotten about it emerges. What happens to the illusory unitary self in samadhi? Nirvana, annihilation; you can call it nonduality, or the tao, the way. Naming the nameless is the gateless gate, the last barrier: the tail of the ox.

   So - you asked for tips - forget the self. Meditation on emptiness starves the ego of its nourishment, the babble of its fragmented selves, the voices of all our toys.

   Shinzen Young, if he is to be believed (and why not?) no longer needs entertainment, or comfort, or acceptance. "What is" is perfectly sufficient. He isn't bored, and doesn't suffer. His self is whole and at peace. He doesn't strive any more, he has nothing to gain, or attain. This is the natural state, the mature state, of a human being. Rarely achieved and widely imitated.

   Quit enquiring, quit seeking what you already are and couldn't possibly not be. You are born free, it is your birthright. You are a swan among chickens, a lion among sheep, a gazelle in a stable.

   Don't worry about finding yourself, who was never lost, and in the end is illusory anyway. "Just cease cherishing opinions." Be present and mindful.

terry



from "birdsong," rumi/barks:



My memory of your face
prevents my seeing you.

Lightning veils your brow.
Recalling our kissing,
I can't kiss you now.

So strange, such sweetness
could keep us apart.


* * *

Flowers open every night
across the the sky as the peace

of keeping a vigil
kindles the emptiness.


"Always remember, 'All a sufi needs is a crust of bread.'"

idries shah

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 9:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
In truth, there isn't any "controller," we only imagine we are controlling things. Stuff happens, and ego reacts, creating a series of loops we take for "time" and "agency."

The only true function of "choice" or "will" is to choose choicelessness, to will being a servant.


So, facing the (only real) present, we can choose to accept it, and will to work with it. As morgan used to say, "It may not be a perfect circle, but it is a perfect whatever it is."

Hi, terry.

This is the Yoda version: "No-choice there is. Choice there is not. Choose no choice, you must."



   Those without choice, the force is with, young skywalker.

(wink)

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 9:35 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
Chris Marti:
Stickman, finding the lack of a controller, seeing the narrative that makes you believe there is a controller, is really about sequencing. You can observe the process in real time. Harder to find using concentration practices. Maybe vipassana will get you there faster. If that's what you want to do, of course.


Ah yes I meant more time with a non-concentration practice. I'm not mega sure what the difference is between vipassana and direct self inquiry. Both involve investigating the self but I guess self inquiry is a certain type in which you can ask things like where did a thought come from, where did it go - anything that comes up with a zero as the answer, basically.

BTW can anyone tell me if Shinzen's third thing in his video counts as stream entry ?


    Coming "up with a zero" is the point, I think. There is a very simple trick, which is to say once you do it seems ridiculously simple and easy and you truly wonder why everyone (duh!) doesn't "get it." You have to side step the whole inquiry process, and realize that the "self" you take for granted unthinkingly as doing the inquiring is the very self you are looking for. The whole point to self inquiry, as I understand ramana maharshi, is to recognize the futility of the process, and just give up.

   If you fail to take this sidestep, try examining whether you are sincere in wanting to be free of ego, and truly want to give up all your desires for this freedom.

   "Stream entry" is purely notional.

terry

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 10:14 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
"The words do and nothing don't go together"

Yes I like this point and this do nothing vid.

You know what, I got this stuff intellectually donkeys years ago, it's quite an obvious thing, really, but I didn't know how to go with it and it kind of gets lost in the quest for jhanas and such things.
Partly, I think, this is because contemplative tradition is full of the language of trying and not trying, achievements and not achieving, all at the same time. So for example here is a web site full of achievements, paths to achievement etc, while at the same time the whole enterprise is a non-achievement. It's something you just have to live with, I suppose, or dump the whole language of attainment stuff, which some people do.

Yeah I think a little bit of dzogchen might be happening over here.

aloha stick,

   You are really close when you have realized the futility of intellectual knowledge of the way. "The whole enterprise" of seeking and following methods has one end, and that is a simple trick, which can be accomplished in an instant.

   Rumi says,

I run around looking for the Friend.
My life is almost over,
but I'm still asleep!

When it happens, if it happens,
that I meet the Friend,
will I get the lost years back?


   All the time and energy people invest in achieving something of spiritual significance seems like it must be worth something. Think of a child playing in the sandbox, having constructed tunnels and bridges and roads for his little cars, deeply involved. Suddenly,  mom calls "time for dinner" and at the same time the smells of corn on the cob and fried chicken waft to your nostrils. The whole involved little sand city is completely forgetten, instantly. All that thought, energy and effort amount to nothing. The child lets it go easily. The habits of years may be harder.

   Don't dump the language: forget it. Let words come to you. Think of it as art and not science.

terry


from merton's "the way of chuang tzu":


MEANS AND ENDS

The gatekeeper in the capital city of Sung became such an
expert mourner after his father's death, and so emaciated himself
with fasts and austerities, that he was promoted to high rank in order
that he might serve as a model of ritual observance.

As a result of this, his imitators so deprived themselves that half of them died.
The others were not promoted.

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the
fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.
When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words?
He is the one I would like to talk to.

   

   

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 10:18 PM as a reply to Bianca.
Bianca:
I don't really agree with the idea that you can't control anything. That's misleading. You can control your fingers to type on this computer. You can control your thoughts to answer this question. That doesn't make any sense at all. Sure, you can control some things, but you can't control everything, at least not now on some things. Being able to realize what you can and cannot control is what allows you to accept things more.

If anything, it has more to do with how you can't control anything for the long term. Everything is changing. It's like touching smoke. You can move it along the air somewhat with your hands, but essentially you can't really control all of it. It's especially useful when trying to control people. You can guide people, but you can't make them actually change their mind on things willingly unless they give you that permission. You cannot help a person at all if they cannot help themselves.

People who believe they can control nothing often blame others. People who think they can control everything often blame themselves. There's a balance between the two, after all.

aloha bianca,

   It's not that there is no control, it is that there is no you.

terry

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/28/19 10:40 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Bianca: "I don't really agree with the idea that you can't control anything. That's misleading. You can control your fingers to type on this computer. You can control your thoughts to answer this question."

https://www.wired.com/2008/04/mind-decision/

It is worth looking at this carefully. What if you could observe, in empty awareness, functioning happening WITHOUT your thought process? What if you could watch your thoughts arise of their own accord, without your illusory control? If you are not your thoughts, what is it that watches your thoughts arise?


aloha stirling,

   And who watches the watchers? The noter notes he is noting, and notes he is noting he is noting, and so on in infintite regress, the paradox where looking for the ego ("watching the self") creates infinite egos in a hall of mirrors. 

   In my meditations, mindfulness is not "watching". Reality is not a tv "out there" for watching while I am in here as perceiver and re-actor. Dogs bark, birds chirp, cars go by same as always in the texture of reality, but I don't note them as such. Or if I do, I note the noting as something to drop.

   All metaphors are awkward but perhaps an ocean of emptiness is sometimes topped with the foam of the five skandhas. The emphasis on "awareness" or "consciousness" necessarily implies real stuff to be aware of, whereas "things" are actually all ephemeral and essentially non-existent desire objects.

  "What watches?" What if you stop watching? And be empty...

terry


from "travelling the path of love; sayings of the sufi masters" ed vaughan-lee:


A man came to Abû ‘Alî ad-Daqqâq and said, “I have come to you from a very distant place.”

Abû ‘Alî ad-Daqqâq replied, “Attaining knowledge of the path has nothing to do with traversing
great distances and undergoing journeys. Separate from yourself even by one single step, and
your goal will be reached.”

ABÛ ‘ALÎ AD-DAQQÂQ

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/29/19 5:44 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Stickman2:
Chris Marti:
Stickman, finding the lack of a controller, seeing the narrative that makes you believe there is a controller, is really about sequencing. You can observe the process in real time. Harder to find using concentration practices. Maybe vipassana will get you there faster. If that's what you want to do, of course.


Ah yes I meant more time with a non-concentration practice. I'm not mega sure what the difference is between vipassana and direct self inquiry. Both involve investigating the self but I guess self inquiry is a certain type in which you can ask things like where did a thought come from, where did it go - anything that comes up with a zero as the answer, basically.

BTW can anyone tell me if Shinzen's third thing in his video counts as stream entry ?


    Coming "up with a zero" is the point, I think. There is a very simple trick, which is to say once you do it seems ridiculously simple and easy and you truly wonder why everyone (duh!) doesn't "get it." You have to side step the whole inquiry process, and realize that the "self" you take for granted unthinkingly as doing the inquiring is the very self you are looking for. The whole point to self inquiry, as I understand ramana maharshi, is to recognize the futility of the process, and just give up.

   If you fail to take this sidestep, try examining whether you are sincere in wanting to be free of ego, and truly want to give up all your desires for this freedom.

   "Stream entry" is purely notional.

terry

Yeah this thing that's looking at the thing that chooses.The thing that is sincere or not sincere is still the chooser, so I don't really fuss about sincerity too much.
I think that although I got this a long time ago it probably needs practice, which is why I'm nowhere near awakening, or at least that's what a thing inside says.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/29/19 2:54 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:

 "What watches?" What if you stop watching? And be empty...


100% agree, Terry. My experience, though, is that is it most skillful to help people realize that they are not their thoughts before venturing into the utterly foriegn idea that they might just be emptiness dancing. emoticon  A few have make that leapfrog by themselves, of course.

Utterly gratifying.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/29/19 8:56 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Stickman2:
"The words do and nothing don't go together"

Yes I like this point and this do nothing vid.

You know what, I got this stuff intellectually donkeys years ago, it's quite an obvious thing, really, but I didn't know how to go with it and it kind of gets lost in the quest for jhanas and such things.
Partly, I think, this is because contemplative tradition is full of the language of trying and not trying, achievements and not achieving, all at the same time. So for example here is a web site full of achievements, paths to achievement etc, while at the same time the whole enterprise is a non-achievement. It's something you just have to live with, I suppose, or dump the whole language of attainment stuff, which some people do.

Yeah I think a little bit of dzogchen might be happening over here.

aloha stick,

   You are really close when you have realized the futility of intellectual knowledge of the way. "The whole enterprise" of seeking and following methods has one end, and that is a simple trick, which can be accomplished in an instant.

   Rumi says,

I run around looking for the Friend.
My life is almost over,
but I'm still asleep!

When it happens, if it happens,
that I meet the Friend,
will I get the lost years back?


   All the time and energy people invest in achieving something of spiritual significance seems like it must be worth something. Think of a child playing in the sandbox, having constructed tunnels and bridges and roads for his little cars, deeply involved. Suddenly,  mom calls "time for dinner" and at the same time the smells of corn on the cob and fried chicken waft to your nostrils. The whole involved little sand city is completely forgetten, instantly. All that thought, energy and effort amount to nothing. The child lets it go easily. The habits of years may be harder.

   Don't dump the language: forget it. Let words come to you. Think of it as art and not science.

terry


from merton's "the way of chuang tzu":


MEANS AND ENDS

The gatekeeper in the capital city of Sung became such an
expert mourner after his father's death, and so emaciated himself
with fasts and austerities, that he was promoted to high rank in order
that he might serve as a model of ritual observance.

As a result of this, his imitators so deprived themselves that half of them died.
The others were not promoted.

The purpose of a fish trap is to catch fish, and when the
fish are caught, the trap is forgotten.
The purpose of a rabbit snare is to catch rabbits.
When the rabbits are caught, the snare is forgotten.
The purpose of words is to convey ideas.
When the ideas are grasped, the words are forgotten.
Where can I find a man who has forgotten words?
He is the one I would like to talk to.

   

   


from "knowing how to know" by idries shah


THREES AND ONES

If someone said to you,

   'Two plus two equals four, I know that. But why   
    should, and how can, three plus one also equal four?'

   You could answer - if it were a child - 'It is true, and I will show you.' Then you would demonstrate it, because you would be in a position to gain and hold his attention, and he would have already been conditioned to accept your assumptions. One of the assumptions is that he must be quiet while you tell him. Another is that he will be prepared to allow you to talk of threes and ones, or mark it down on the ground with a row of beans.
   But if you are dealing with a adult, he will not give you a chance. He says, in effect:
   'Yes, show me, but show me in "twos" - in his terms. And: 'Show me without those irrelevant and probably sinister beans...'
   That is why you can teach a child by a succession of demonstrations along one line of reasoning and illustration, and why you can hardly get an adult onto the line of reasoning at all.
   If that adult were a child, behaving in respect to ordinary understanding as grownups do to higher learning, you would unhesitatingly declare him delinquent or unteachable. He would have to have a course of preliminary corrective teaching...

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/29/19 9:29 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
terry:

 "What watches?" What if you stop watching? And be empty...


100% agree, Terry. My experience, though, is that is it most skillful to help people realize that they are not their thoughts before venturing into the utterly foriegn idea that they might just be emptiness dancing. emoticon  A few have make that leapfrog by themselves, of course.

Utterly gratifying.


   I was just thinking, that "skill in means"  in the mahayana sense is an art.

   Not "help." Few want help, no matter what they say. "Bait," perhaps.

   You could say that art is an attempt to communicate the ineffable. That could be helpful, I guess. But is that the Artist's intention?

    How about, "Jump off of this cliff" or  "Dive into this abyss?" Any takers? (laughs)

    As with death, each ego faces its absorption alone. A stark choice: the death which is life or the life which is death. Red pill or blue pill. I have little patience with sugar coatings or placebos.

   Milk for the milk drinker is one thing; wine for the wine drinker is another. One may be nurse and bartender by turns.


   Personally, I'm not leading anyone. I'm being led. Generally by one protuberance or another.

terry



from the rubaiyat of omar khayyam, trans fitzgerald:



XCIII 
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long 
Have done my credit in this World much wrong: 
Have drown'd my Glory in a shallow Cup 
And sold my Reputation for a Song. 


XCIV 
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before 
I swore--but was I sober when I swore? 
And then and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand 
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore. 


XCV 
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel, 
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honour--Well, 
I wonder often what the Vintners buy 
One half so precious as the stuff they sell. 

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/29/19 9:44 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
terry:

 "What watches?" What if you stop watching? And be empty...


100% agree, Terry. My experience, though, is that is it most skillful to help people realize that they are not their thoughts before venturing into the utterly foriegn idea that they might just be emptiness dancing. emoticon  A few have make that leapfrog by themselves, of course.

Utterly gratifying.


frtom merton's "the way of chuang tzu"      (which can be found here, btw  https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/MertonChuangTzu.pdf



THE EMPTY BOAT

He who rules men lives in confusion;
He who is ruled by men lives in sorrow.
Yao therefore desired
Neither to influence others
Nor to be influenced by them.
The way to get clear of confusion
And free of sorrow
Is to live with Tao
In the land of the great Void.

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.
If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.
[xx. 2.]

The straight tree is the first to be cut down,
The spring of clear water is the first to be drained dry.
If you wish to improve your wisdom
And shame the ignorant,
To cultivate your character
And outshine others;
A light will shine around you
As if you had swallowed the sun and the moon:
You will not avoid calamity.
A wise man has said:
"He who is content with himself
Has done a worthless work.
Achievement is the beginning of failure.
Fame is the beginning of disgrace."

Who can free himself from achievement
And from fame, descend and be lost
Amid the masses of men?
He will flow like Tao, unseen,
He will go about like Life itself
With no name and no home.
Simple is he, without distinction.
To all appearances he is a fool.
His steps leave no trace. He has no power.
He achieves nothing, has no reputation.
Since he judges no one
No one judges him.
Such is the perfect man:
His boat is empty.
[xx. 2, 4·]

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/30/19 10:28 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Such is the perfect man: 
His boat is empty.

Indeed.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/31/19 4:04 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
terry:
Stickman2:
Chris Marti:
Stickman, finding the lack of a controller, seeing the narrative that makes you believe there is a controller, is really about sequencing. You can observe the process in real time. Harder to find using concentration practices. Maybe vipassana will get you there faster. If that's what you want to do, of course.


Ah yes I meant more time with a non-concentration practice. I'm not mega sure what the difference is between vipassana and direct self inquiry. Both involve investigating the self but I guess self inquiry is a certain type in which you can ask things like where did a thought come from, where did it go - anything that comes up with a zero as the answer, basically.

BTW can anyone tell me if Shinzen's third thing in his video counts as stream entry ?


    Coming "up with a zero" is the point, I think. There is a very simple trick, which is to say once you do it seems ridiculously simple and easy and you truly wonder why everyone (duh!) doesn't "get it." You have to side step the whole inquiry process, and realize that the "self" you take for granted unthinkingly as doing the inquiring is the very self you are looking for. The whole point to self inquiry, as I understand ramana maharshi, is to recognize the futility of the process, and just give up.

   If you fail to take this sidestep, try examining whether you are sincere in wanting to be free of ego, and truly want to give up all your desires for this freedom.

   "Stream entry" is purely notional.

terry

Yeah this thing that's looking at the thing that chooses.The thing that is sincere or not sincere is still the chooser, so I don't really fuss about sincerity too much.
I think that although I got this a long time ago it probably needs practice, which is why I'm nowhere near awakening, or at least that's what a thing inside says.


aloha stick,

   The universe itself is sincere, nothing but. It is only our way of looking through the lens of self interest that creates insincerity. We see hidden agendas in others and practice to deceive. The more we distort our own sincere spirit, the more distorted the world seems.

   Every insincere person, every hypocrite, sees the world as deception and snares. One creates boundaries for self defense. The so-called chooser reinforces this paranoia and self-deceiving schizophrenia with every insincere act. Eventually the hypocrisy of others is taken for granted, with such formulations as "they know what I really mean" and "everyone knows this is all bs". Outright lying and bland conformity become entwined. At some point the idea of an actually sincere person becomes almost mythical. Something only children, idiots and the deranged actually are, or perhaps "the enlightened." At this point we are completely lost, and our most inferior elements can come to the fore without challenge: such as the voice which tells us we are "nowhere near awakening." Contrariwise, the voice which tells us, "I can drop such doubts wth ease and without residue, because I practice" is what you should listen to. You have the power. The power wants you to do this, and will help you with everything in the cosmos. God says, "And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than his own jugular vein." (quran 50:16).

   Sincerity = honesty. In the list of important virtues, it comes second only to courage. You have no chance in this game if you can't be honest with yourself. And how do you know yourself if not in how you express yourself to others? Whether you speak or not, the function of having a body is to see and be seen. According to the hadith, "God said, 'I was a hidden treasure, and I desired to be known.'" This is the whole ball of wax in a nutshell, to mix a metaphor.

   The spiritual requirement for honesty is what tongue-ties the would be adept, or the naturally honest. This is why silence is so widely practiced as a spiritual discipline. And why true spiritual speech is regarded by the sufis and zennists as "silence," while the insincere religious imitator's practice of being silent is regarded as "vanity."

   I want to mention that every sura in the quran is prefaced by the invocation, "in the name of god, the compassionate, the merciful." The good news of the Great Way is that the cosmos wants to forgive you your ignorance at every level in every way. Nothing in the cosmos wants to punish you for error, only correct you, perfect you, as an ongoing and sincere process. It is easy to be forgiven, to drop our karma, to be wholly sincere, real. It's like they say about quitting smoking: "I've done it a thousand times." So we practice, we pick ourselves up and soldier on. As dogen says, "practice is enlightenment." 

   The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.


terry



a song of innocence:

Simple Gifts
(Edgar Meyer)

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we will not be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come round right.



a song of experience


People are Strange
(jim morrison)

People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down
When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange
When you're strange
People are strange when you're a stranger
Faces look ugly when you're alone
Women seem wicked when you're unwanted
Streets are uneven when you're down
When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange
When you're strange
Alright, yeah
When you're strange
Faces come out of the rain
When you're strange
No one remembers your name
When you're strange
When you're strange
When you're strange

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/31/19 4:12 PM as a reply to terry.
The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.

This is a very, very good summary of how I see what I would call "authenticity." This is why the emphasis on training in morality and ethics exists - it's because being authentic (honest, sincere, etc.) will make your path far less complicated and far more amenable to a good life, let alone a  worthwhile meditation practice. You can see this as a religious thing, a philosophical thing or a practical thing. In any case, it works.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/31/19 4:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
"The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. "

Anne Frank's last words.... you have to be realistic too.

But yeah ok, it's the inner thing that counts.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
5/31/19 4:30 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Inner, outer, all the same.

emoticon

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/1/19 1:12 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:

BTW can anyone tell me if Shinzen's third thing in his video counts as stream entry ?


this whole text is wonderful: https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sok/index.htm


from "songs of kabir" trans rabindranath tagore


xx

To what shore would you cross, O my heart? there is no traveller before you, there is no road:
Where is the movement, where is the rest, on that shore?
There is no water; no boat, no boatman, is there;
There is not so much as a rope to tow the boat, nor a man to draw it.
No earth, no sky, no time, no thing, is there: no shore, no ford!
There, there is neither body nor mind: and where is the place that shall still the thirst of the soul?
You shall find naught in that emptiness.
Be strong, and enter into your own body: for there your foothold is firm.
Consider it well, O my heart! go not elsewhere,
Kabîr says: "Put all imaginations away, and stand fast in that which you are."



xxi

LAMPS burn in every house, O blind one! and you cannot see them.
One day your eyes shall suddenly be opened, and you shall see: and the fetters of death will fall from you.
There is nothing to say or to hear, there is nothing to do: it is he who is living, yet dead, who shall never die again.

Because he lives in solitude, therefore the Yogi says that his home is far away. 
Your Lord is near: yet you are climbing the palm-tree to seek Him.
The Brâhman priest goes from house to house and initiates people into faith:
Alas! the true fountain of life is beside you., and you have set up a stone to worship.
Kabîr says: "I may never express how sweet my Lord is.
Yoga and the telling of beads, virtue and vice--these are naught to Him."


xxii

O BROTHER, my heart yearns for that true Guru, who fills the cup of true love, and drinks of it himself, and offers it then to me.
He removes the veil from the eyes, and gives the true Vision of Brahma:
He reveals the worlds in Him, and makes me to hear the Unstruck Music:
He shows joy and sorrow to be one:
He fills all utterance with love.
Kabîr says: "Verily he has no fear, who has such a Guru to lead him to the shelter of safety!"

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/1/19 4:29 AM as a reply to terry.
Nice.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/1/19 6:36 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:

aloha stick,

   The universe itself is sincere, nothing but. It is only our way of looking through the lens of self interest that creates insincerity. We see hidden agendas in others and practice to deceive. The more we distort our own sincere spirit, the more distorted the world seems.

   Every insincere person, every hypocrite, sees the world as deception and snares. One creates boundaries for self defense. The so-called chooser reinforces this paranoia and self-deceiving schizophrenia with every insincere act. Eventually the hypocrisy of others is taken for granted, with such formulations as "they know what I really mean" and "everyone knows this is all bs". Outright lying and bland conformity become entwined. At some point the idea of an actually sincere person becomes almost mythical. Something only children, idiots and the deranged actually are, or perhaps "the enlightened." At this point we are completely lost, and our most inferior elements can come to the fore without challenge: such as the voice which tells us we are "nowhere near awakening." Contrariwise, the voice which tells us, "I can drop such doubts wth ease and without residue, because I practice" is what you should listen to. You have the power. The power wants you to do this, and will help you with everything in the cosmos. God says, "And We have already created man and know what his soul whispers to him, and We are closer to him than his own jugular vein." (quran 50:16).

   Sincerity = honesty. In the list of important virtues, it comes second only to courage. You have no chance in this game if you can't be honest with yourself. And how do you know yourself if not in how you express yourself to others? Whether you speak or not, the function of having a body is to see and be seen. According to the hadith, "God said, 'I was a hidden treasure, and I desired to be known.'" This is the whole ball of wax in a nutshell, to mix a metaphor.

   The spiritual requirement for honesty is what tongue-ties the would be adept, or the naturally honest. This is why silence is so widely practiced as a spiritual discipline. And why true spiritual speech is regarded by the sufis and zennists as "silence," while the insincere religious imitator's practice of being silent is regarded as "vanity."

   I want to mention that every sura in the quran is prefaced by the invocation, "in the name of god, the compassionate, the merciful." The good news of the Great Way is that the cosmos wants to forgive you your ignorance at every level in every way. Nothing in the cosmos wants to punish you for error, only correct you, perfect you, as an ongoing and sincere process. It is easy to be forgiven, to drop our karma, to be wholly sincere, real. It's like they say about quitting smoking: "I've done it a thousand times." So we practice, we pick ourselves up and soldier on. As dogen says, "practice is enlightenment." 

   The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.


terry


When I read this, I feel the emptiness stand out more clearly.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/1/19 6:39 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.

This is a very, very good summary of how I see what I would call "authenticity." This is why the emphasis on training in morality and ethics exists - it's because being authentic (honest, sincere, etc.) will make your path far less complicated and far more amenable to a good life, let alone a  worthwhile meditation practice. You can see this as a religious thing, a philosophical thing or a practical thing. In any case, it works.


This is basically what I meant when I brought up morality training in the other thread.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/1/19 2:11 PM as a reply to terry.

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/3/19 7:12 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Chris Marti:
The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.

This is a very, very good summary of how I see what I would call "authenticity." This is why the emphasis on training in morality and ethics exists - it's because being authentic (honest, sincere, etc.) will make your path far less complicated and far more amenable to a good life, let alone a  worthwhile meditation practice. You can see this as a religious thing, a philosophical thing or a practical thing. In any case, it works.


This is basically what I meant when I brought up morality training in the other thread.


aloha chris, polly,

   I don't think a person can be "trained" to be authentic; I don't think authenticity can be "practiced." No more than spontaneity or sincerity. Even practicing honesty is more of an art than a practice (what is truth? an art...). You have to let yourself be spontaneous, and sincere. It takes trust, and courage, to act without thinking. It takes practice to do it without hurting oneself and others. Even then, you just never know what will happen when people speak and act spontaneously. One expects to be surprised.

   Sila involves conformity to rules of conduct, and perhaps number one is self-restraint. The sincere and spontaneous are as unrestrained as children. How can people be uninhibited and free of restraint, without getting locked in, locked out or locked up? Morality, and practice, is involved but not directly. I liked malcolm's idea of "porous boundaries" as a intermediate stage, a bridge or "isthmus" in ibn arabi's term. Morals are boundaries. I shall not commit x y and z sins, nor associate with those who do. By doing thus I shall be right(eous). In this sense morality is just another form of greed. Thank god, says the pious, I am not like yonder sinner. Let me help you, brother, with that speck in your eye. On the other hand, without any sober ideals, we may make irretrievable errors. There is a balance, an intuitive judgment of when to break the rules. The classic example is antigone (sophocles), but any true martyr suffices. Joan of arc burned at the stake at 19, for cross-dressing, after being the youngest commander in chief of a major nation's armies in history. The highest form of morality is to break the rules in a spectacular manner that is not generally understood for some time, but eventually becomes a new standard.

   The ego thinks about what it will do, what it will say, and feels this protects it from unforeseen reactions. The spirit totally trusts the universe to make it all come out right. The soul mediates between the two, between earth and heaven, yin and yang. One practices to reduce ego to nothing, trusting what remains to be our best reflection of the mirror itself. In taoist terms, we are not trying to carve the perfect human being from its native wood; we are trying to return to the "uncarved block," our natural humanity. (How would we know what to carve? Who can tell a flower how to grow, or make a fruit develop?) A return to the goodness that animals who have never known man before seem to always expect of us.

   At some point morality and its practice must actually be discarded, as mere conventional behavior, insufficiently free to allow spirit play. The single commandment to love supersedes any ten other commandments.

   As the stoics used to say: "moderation in moderation."

terry
   

tao te ching, trans mitchell


19
Throw away holiness and wisdom, 
and people will be a hundred times happier. 
Throw away morality and justice, 
and people will do the right thing. 
Throw away industry and profit, 
and there won't be any thieves. If these three aren't enough, 
just stay at the center of the circle 
and let all things take their course. 

20 
Stop thinking, and end your problems. 
What difference between yes and no? 
What difference between success and failure? 
Must you value what others value, 
avoid what others avoid? 
How ridiculous! Other people are excited, 
as though they were at a parade. 
I alone don't care, 
I alone am expressionless, 
like an infant before it can smile.
Other people have what they need; 
I alone possess nothing. 
I alone drift about, 
like someone without a home. 
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.
Other people are bright; 
I alone am dark. 
Other people are sharper; 
I alone am dull. 
Other people have a purpose; 
I alone don't know. 
I drift like a wave on the ocean, 
I blow as aimless as the wind. I am different from ordinary people. 
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts. 

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/4/19 5:12 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Chris Marti:
The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.

This is a very, very good summary of how I see what I would call "authenticity." This is why the emphasis on training in morality and ethics exists - it's because being authentic (honest, sincere, etc.) will make your path far less complicated and far more amenable to a good life, let alone a  worthwhile meditation practice. You can see this as a religious thing, a philosophical thing or a practical thing. In any case, it works.


This is basically what I meant when I brought up morality training in the other thread.


aloha chris, polly,

   I don't think a person can be "trained" to be authentic; I don't think authenticity can be "practiced." No more than spontaneity or sincerity. Even practicing honesty is more of an art than a practice (what is truth? an art...). You have to let yourself be spontaneous, and sincere. It takes trust, and courage, to act without thinking. It takes practice to do it without hurting oneself and others. Even then, you just never know what will happen when people speak and act spontaneously. One expects to be surprised.

   Sila involves conformity to rules of conduct, and perhaps number one is self-restraint. The sincere and spontaneous are as unrestrained as children. How can people be uninhibited and free of restraint, without getting locked in, locked out or locked up? Morality, and practice, is involved but not directly. I liked malcolm's idea of "porous boundaries" as a intermediate stage, a bridge or "isthmus" in ibn arabi's term. Morals are boundaries. I shall not commit x y and z sins, nor associate with those who do. By doing thus I shall be right(eous). In this sense morality is just another form of greed. Thank god, says the pious, I am not like yonder sinner. Let me help you, brother, with that speck in your eye. On the other hand, without any sober ideals, we may make irretrievable errors. There is a balance, an intuitive judgment of when to break the rules. The classic example is antigone (sophocles), but any true martyr suffices. Joan of arc burned at the stake at 19, for cross-dressing, after being the youngest commander in chief of a major nation's armies in history. The highest form of morality is to break the rules in a spectacular manner that is not generally understood for some time, but eventually becomes a new standard.

   The ego thinks about what it will do, what it will say, and feels this protects it from unforeseen reactions. The spirit totally trusts the universe to make it all come out right. The soul mediates between the two, between earth and heaven, yin and yang. One practices to reduce ego to nothing, trusting what remains to be our best reflection of the mirror itself. In taoist terms, we are not trying to carve the perfect human being from its native wood; we are trying to return to the "uncarved block," our natural humanity. (How would we know what to carve? Who can tell a flower how to grow, or make a fruit develop?) A return to the goodness that animals who have never known man before seem to always expect of us.

   At some point morality and its practice must actually be discarded, as mere conventional behavior, insufficiently free to allow spirit play. The single commandment to love supersedes any ten other commandments.

   As the stoics used to say: "moderation in moderation."

terry
   

tao te ching, trans mitchell


19
Throw away holiness and wisdom, 
and people will be a hundred times happier. 
Throw away morality and justice, 
and people will do the right thing. 
Throw away industry and profit, 
and there won't be any thieves. If these three aren't enough, 
just stay at the center of the circle 
and let all things take their course. 

20 
Stop thinking, and end your problems. 
What difference between yes and no? 
What difference between success and failure? 
Must you value what others value, 
avoid what others avoid? 
How ridiculous! Other people are excited, 
as though they were at a parade. 
I alone don't care, 
I alone am expressionless, 
like an infant before it can smile.
Other people have what they need; 
I alone possess nothing. 
I alone drift about, 
like someone without a home. 
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.
Other people are bright; 
I alone am dark. 
Other people are sharper; 
I alone am dull. 
Other people have a purpose; 
I alone don't know. 
I drift like a wave on the ocean, 
I blow as aimless as the wind. I am different from ordinary people. 
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts. 


I don't remember breasts in the tao te ching ?! Have I been reading the clean version ?

RE: Looking at the chooser
Answer
6/6/19 3:42 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman2:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Chris Marti:
The universe will work with you on being sincere, and against you if you lie. The more sincere you are, the more the world is simple and clear and unconfused. The more you lie, the more you are deceived. There is a general rule here: the more you love god, the more god loves you. The more you see beauty, the more beauty you are shown. The more you trust, the more you are trusted. Who proves reliable in little things will be trusted in great matters.

This is a very, very good summary of how I see what I would call "authenticity." This is why the emphasis on training in morality and ethics exists - it's because being authentic (honest, sincere, etc.) will make your path far less complicated and far more amenable to a good life, let alone a  worthwhile meditation practice. You can see this as a religious thing, a philosophical thing or a practical thing. In any case, it works.


This is basically what I meant when I brought up morality training in the other thread.


aloha chris, polly,

   I don't think a person can be "trained" to be authentic; I don't think authenticity can be "practiced." No more than spontaneity or sincerity. Even practicing honesty is more of an art than a practice (what is truth? an art...). You have to let yourself be spontaneous, and sincere. It takes trust, and courage, to act without thinking. It takes practice to do it without hurting oneself and others. Even then, you just never know what will happen when people speak and act spontaneously. One expects to be surprised.

   Sila involves conformity to rules of conduct, and perhaps number one is self-restraint. The sincere and spontaneous are as unrestrained as children. How can people be uninhibited and free of restraint, without getting locked in, locked out or locked up? Morality, and practice, is involved but not directly. I liked malcolm's idea of "porous boundaries" as a intermediate stage, a bridge or "isthmus" in ibn arabi's term. Morals are boundaries. I shall not commit x y and z sins, nor associate with those who do. By doing thus I shall be right(eous). In this sense morality is just another form of greed. Thank god, says the pious, I am not like yonder sinner. Let me help you, brother, with that speck in your eye. On the other hand, without any sober ideals, we may make irretrievable errors. There is a balance, an intuitive judgment of when to break the rules. The classic example is antigone (sophocles), but any true martyr suffices. Joan of arc burned at the stake at 19, for cross-dressing, after being the youngest commander in chief of a major nation's armies in history. The highest form of morality is to break the rules in a spectacular manner that is not generally understood for some time, but eventually becomes a new standard.

   The ego thinks about what it will do, what it will say, and feels this protects it from unforeseen reactions. The spirit totally trusts the universe to make it all come out right. The soul mediates between the two, between earth and heaven, yin and yang. One practices to reduce ego to nothing, trusting what remains to be our best reflection of the mirror itself. In taoist terms, we are not trying to carve the perfect human being from its native wood; we are trying to return to the "uncarved block," our natural humanity. (How would we know what to carve? Who can tell a flower how to grow, or make a fruit develop?) A return to the goodness that animals who have never known man before seem to always expect of us.

   At some point morality and its practice must actually be discarded, as mere conventional behavior, insufficiently free to allow spirit play. The single commandment to love supersedes any ten other commandments.

   As the stoics used to say: "moderation in moderation."

terry
   

tao te ching, trans mitchell


19
Throw away holiness and wisdom, 
and people will be a hundred times happier. 
Throw away morality and justice, 
and people will do the right thing. 
Throw away industry and profit, 
and there won't be any thieves. If these three aren't enough, 
just stay at the center of the circle 
and let all things take their course. 

20 
Stop thinking, and end your problems. 
What difference between yes and no? 
What difference between success and failure? 
Must you value what others value, 
avoid what others avoid? 
How ridiculous! Other people are excited, 
as though they were at a parade. 
I alone don't care, 
I alone am expressionless, 
like an infant before it can smile.
Other people have what they need; 
I alone possess nothing. 
I alone drift about, 
like someone without a home. 
I am like an idiot, my mind is so empty.
Other people are bright; 
I alone am dark. 
Other people are sharper; 
I alone am dull. 
Other people have a purpose; 
I alone don't know. 
I drift like a wave on the ocean, 
I blow as aimless as the wind. I am different from ordinary people. 
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts. 


I don't remember breasts in the tao te ching ?! Have I been reading the clean version ?
hong kong city university's translation, given in chinese characters with a literal english translations says:


Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharper;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don't know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.

I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.




I suspect that the only translators who do not use the word "breasts" are those who find potential sexual connotations - probably not present in the original - a possible distraction...




some others


trans blakney:



Lazily, I drift 
As though I had no home. 
All others have enough to spare; 
I am the one left out. 
I have the mind of a fool, 
Muddled and confused! 
When common people scintillate 
I alone make shadows. 
Vulgar folks are sharp and knowing: 
Only I am melancholy. 
Restless like the ocean, 
Blown about, I cannot stop. 
Other men can find employment, 
But I am stubborn; I am mean.

Alone I am and different, 
Because I prize and seek 
My sustenance from the Mother! 

 

bynner:


Not grown enough to smile,
A homeless, worthless waif.
Men of the world have a surplus of goods,
While I am left out, owning nothing.
What a booby I must be
Not to know my way round,
What a fool!
The average man is so crisp and so confident
That I ought to be miserable
Going on and on like the sea,
Drifting nowhere.
All these people are making their mark in the world,
While I, pig-headed, awkward,
Different from the rest,
Am only a glorious infant still nursing at the breast.



cleary:


Ordinary people try to shine; I alone seem to be dark. Ordinary people try to be on the alert; I alone am unobtrusive, calm as the ocean depths, buoyant as if anchored nowhere.
Most people have ways and means; I alone am unsophisticated and simple. I alone am different from people in that I value seeking food from the mother.



feng:



I am a fool. Oh, yes! I am confused. 
Others are clear and bright, 
But I alone am dim and weak. 
Others are sharp and clever, 
But I alone am dull and stupid. 
Oh, I drift like the waves of the sea, 
Without direction, like the restless wind.

Everyone else is busy, 
But I alone am aimless and depressed. 
I am different. 
I am nourished by the great mother.



mair:



Other people are bright;
I alone am dark.
Other people are sharper;
I alone am dull.
Other people have a purpose;
I alone don't know.
I drift like a wave on the ocean,
I blow as aimless as the wind.

I am different from ordinary people.
I drink from the Great Mother's breasts.