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unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/30/10 5:03 PM
Has anybody been unsure about getting 4th path? Most posts seem to be like "yep, done!!" But I can relate to some aspects of this [url=http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4316698/Mark's+2nd+Practice+Journal]more diminished 4th path coming-out thread.

Here is why I ask...

Things that feel like 4th path about my experience now:
  • noting seems really excessive... like pretty unnecessary.
  • I definitely had a blip on the 21st, see here.
  • have not felt a pressing need to sit down and note recently...
  • recent meditations (see here) feel really really intense, intense fear, but it didn't bother me at all, it was kind of fun really.
  • i feel like i can look at anything and understand ... know... that it is not me. anatta ??


Things that don't:
  • still don't feel done in the sense of ending all suffering, that's for sure. lots of suffering... even right after the blip i was so happy for 20 minutes, then so intensely sad when i felt i wasn't done. but maybe it's just mental conditioning and i'm getting caught up in it?
  • not feeling like i have, lol, but as you can see it's uncertain
  • still don't seem to have accessed very hard (if at all) 6, 7, 8th jhana, pure lands, NS. i also haven't really tried, recently... so perhaps I will do that and see what happens. i haven't felt the need.
  • unclear 2nd and 3rd path attainments... i felt the blip was 3rd path if anything
  • self-contracted states still arise. seems like i have no control over them at some point.... or maybe i just haven't tried? heh.


So yeah just curious... would be silly for me to sit and try getting 4th path if i have it, lol. any way to tell for sure?

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/30/10 5:21 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Boeman, seriously, do you feel off the ride? Doesn't sound like it. You will know when you are. Hehe! You can have many many many many "blips", and sometimes those blips arent fruitions, and not have gotten another path yet. Having no feelings to practice can occur after a path though or can be stage specific, liek in the 11th low to mid maybe high equanimity. Desire to sit can dwindle in my experience. Certainly not a sign of 4th path. After each path you might feel like you are temporarily off the ride till another cycle starts up. Things not bothering you is also not a tell tale sign of 4th could occur pre or post path depending on how equanimous you've become. Although i don't agree these days that 4th path as talked of here and KFD is exactly arhatship, read this thread again:

http://bit.ly/gWvl4s

Nick

emoticon

P.S. The yogi who you refer to in the above link is very immersed in a specific traditon which is not buddhist and thus he has a seemingly different end goal which according to him is "Only people with unbroken identification with God-consciousness and who have embodied that understanding to a significant degree deserve the term enlightened."
http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4409783/Is+4th+path+really+%22enlightenment%22%3F

and here he elaborates on what the end goal or "enlightenment" is to him in the link you provided. It seems to have shaped his expectations of what elightenment is all about. I would agree that initial 4th path does not seem to be some unbroken identification with god-conciousness.


"From Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami's "Merging with Shiva" This quote is all contiguous; it doesn't jump from page to page.

"As you unfold spiritually, it is difficult to explain what you find... At first you feel light shining within, and that you think you have created with your mind, and yet you will find that, as you quiet your mind, you can see that light again and again, and it becomes brighter and brighter, and then you begin to wonder what is in the center of that light. "If it is the light of my True Being, why does it not quiet the mind?"

Then, as you live the so-called good life," a life that treats your conscience right, that light does get brighter and brighter, and as you contemplate it, you pierce through into the center of that light, and you begin to see various beautiful forms, forms more beautiful than the physical world has to offer, beautiful colors, in that fourth-dimensional realm. And then you say to yourself "Why forms? Why color, when the scriptures tell me that I am timeless, causeless, and formless?" And you seek only for the colorless color and the formless form. But the mind in its various and varied happenings, like a perpetual cinema play, pulls you down and keeps you hidden within it ramifications."

"In your constant striving to control that mind, your soul comes into action as a manifestation of will, and you quiet more and more of that mind and enter into a deeper state of contemplation where you see a scintillating light more radiant than the sun, and as it bursts within you, you begin to know that you are the cause of that light which you apparently see. And in that knowing, you cling to it as a drowning man clings to a stick of woods floating upon the ocean. You cling to it and the will grows stronger; the mind becomes calm through your understanding of experience and how experience is created. As your mind releases its hold on you of its desires and cravings, you dive deeper, fearlessly, into the center of this blazing avalanche of light, losing your consciousness in That which is beyond consciousness.

And as you come back into the mind, you not only see the mind for what it is; you see the mind for what it isn't. You are free, and you find men and women bound, and what you find you are not attached to, because binder and bound are one. You become the path. You become the way. You are the light...

As you watch and wonder, your wondering is in itself a contemplation of the universe, and on the brink of the Absolute you look into the mind, and one tiny atom magnifies itself greater than the entire universe, and you see, at a glance, evolution from beginning to end, inside and outside, in that one small atom.

Again, as you leave external form and dive into that light which you become, you realize beyond realization a knowing deeper than thinking, a knowing deeper than understanding... You realize immortality, that you are immortal--this body but a shell, when it fades; this mind but an encasement, when it fades. Even in their fading there is no reality.

And as you come out of that samadhi, you realize you are the spirit, consciously, if you could say that spirit has a consciousness. You are that spirit in every living soul. You realize you are That which everyone, in their intelligent state or their ignorant state, everyone is striving for--a realization of that spirit that you are.

And then again for brief interludes you come into the conscious mind and relate life to a past and a future and tarry there for a while. But in a moment of concentration, your eye resting on a single line of scripture or anything that holds the interest of the mind, the illusion of past and future fades, and again you become that light, that life deep within every living form--timeless, causeless, spaceless."

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/30/10 5:19 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai H.:
Boeman, seriously, do you feel off the ride? Doesn't sound like it. You will know when you are. Hehe! You can have many many many many "blips", and sometimes those blips arent fruitions, and not have gotten another path yet. Having no feelings to practice can occur after a path though or can be stage specific, liek in the 11th low to mid maybe high equanimity. Desire to sit can dwindle in my experience. Certainly not a sign of 4th path. After each path you might feel like you are temporarily off the ride till another cycle starts up. Things not bothering you is also not a tell tale sign of 4th could occur pre or post path depending on how equanimous you've become. Although i don't agree these days that 4th path as talked of here and KFD is exactly arhatship, read this thread again:

http://bit.ly/gWvl4s

Nick

emoticon


True true, I guess if I am unsure whether I feel off the ride I do not feel off the ride =). my daily experience does seem different, though... so perhaps a new path if anything. or maybe not.

can you describe your feeling of being off the ride yet still more work to be done?

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/30/10 5:35 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Trying to remember that incessant urge to end the incessant urge to get enlightened or whatever it was is hard to do these days. I have no urge to get enlightened that is for sure. I could just rest my laurels here and be done with it and get on to living a normal life. But I hang around with too many people who talk of more things that can be done, so curiosity gets the best of me, makes me investigate more and wala! There is more that can be done.

I now have a relaxed desire to clean house cos it seems like the next step. But insight dis-ease has been done away with. You'll know it when its done. That insight disease seemed to be linked to the way the centre point of the illusory self was put up on a pedestal and warped perception of things. That aint there anymore. It's a great feeling to not have that incessant urge that something is needed to be done. But there is a desire to take it further. There is a difference and I think it is that I am in no rush and I dont feel pushed by some force of nature to progress like pre-4th. I take it as it comes. I see what can be done to liberate this body and mind from certain habitual tendencies and purify view though and in some ways it feels quite a natural progression as I cant seem to turn off awareness of phenomena.

I'm talking about myself only. I have no idea how it is for others.

emoticon

Nick

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/20/11 10:12 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai H.:
Boeman, seriously, do you feel off the ride? Doesn't sound like it. You will know when you are. Hehe!


Ah also wanted to say thanks for a very rapid, concise, and precise answer!

Just confused is all. I think my daily experience has changed since the 21st, more so than after stream entry... so could have been something nummy, or not, time will tell.

UPDATE: heh and on the 8th it has changed more so than on the 21st.. i imagine this will continue until i am done

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/31/10 8:39 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I've had similar thoughts, particularly since whichever Path was attained this year I've had the feeling of being "off the ride" or that the circuit had been completed but I can't bring myself to accept that, even after getting Nirodha Samapatti, I could be anything other than an anagami at most.

You're right though, time will tell and at least we know we're working towards Arahatship however long it takes to get there! Keep going mate, you're on your way already.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
12/31/10 3:31 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Daniel:

"The arahat has seen through the sense that there is a continuous, separate, or special controller, doer, observer, or centerpoint that is "who they are" in a very direct perceptual way that is not merely an intellectual or conceptual understanding.
They know the sensations that seemed to imply these to be just more sensations arising and vanishing according to conditions as they always have been.
This is not something they have to work to maintain, but instead is something that has stopped.
The arahat knows in real time and directly what is meant by such phrases and concepts as:
"in the thinking is only the thought, in the seeing is only the seen, etc."
intrinsic luminosity
the emptiness of phenomena
that Nibbana is found in Samsara
and a whole host of other poetic metaphors and attempts as description."


"arahats have finally untangled the knot of perception, dissolved the sense of the center point actually being the center point, no longer fundamentally make a separate Self out of the patterns of sensations that they used to, even though those same patterns of sensations continue"


Do these resonate with your experience?

Where do you think you are:


The first understanding is that sensations are sensations, thoughts are thoughts, and this forms the basis of further inquiry. When the universal characteristics of these sensations begin to be seen, this represents growth in understanding. When the whole sense field is known directly and completely as it is, this can cause an entrance into Fruition through one of the Three Doors, and represents the first stage of awakening. (mctb sotapanna)

When one appreciates the cycles of the process of awakening and has completed at least one more cycle, this is the next stage. (mctb sakadagami) When one begins to appreciate the emptiness, luminosity, centerlessness, agentlessness, etc. of phenomena in real-time and this becomes the focus of practice rather than Fruition, this is the next stage. (mctb anagami) When the sense of the watcher, observer, subject, controller, doer, etc. is seen completely as it is and the knot of perception untangles, that simple, fundamental way of perceiving things is the next stage of awakening. (mctb arahat) When that untangling stays untangled, that is the next stage. When that understanding is integrated into our lives, that is the next phase, though I am not sure it can be defined as a stage rather than as a process.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/5/11 12:56 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Thanks for bringing up those passages again.

A side note: I heard someone saying that Arahat here understands "There is thinking, but no thinker," but doesn't yet understand "In the thinking, is only the thought." Anyone have comments on that?

As to my experience.. I'm definitely sure I'm not done. generally when I'm in a "good mood" I might think I am, then I get in a "bad mood" and I realize I'm not.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/5/11 2:28 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I remember Daniel commenting somewhere about having the feeling that things are done, and then having it fade away only to uncover another layer of stuff that needs to be investigated.

By the way, I know exactly how that feels...

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/5/11 2:55 PM as a reply to Bernardo V..
I think we should start calling that point when the Wisdom Eye opens, only to close again, Arahat-Lite.

Arahat-Lite: Now with reduced enlightenment & only HALF the self! emoticon

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/5/11 3:03 PM as a reply to Bernardo V..
Bernardo Vasconcelos:
I remember Daniel commenting somewhere about having the feeling that things are done, and then having it fade away only to uncover another layer of stuff that needs to be investigated.

By the way, I know exactly how that feels...


This made me re-read "Beyond First Path" in MCTB, and this paragraph seemed applicable:

MCTB:

I have come to the conclusion that fear, anxiety, confusion, indecision and even certainty about these issues [new progress cycles, cycles within cycles, frustration with where you are, etc] are clear markers of what needs to be investigated, i.e. those things themselves. In this way, these aspects of suffering have become trusted friends, clear signposts and red flags, as well as aspects of the goal, which is the path in the end. The more we realize that those very processes are it, those very sensations are it, the closer reality is to understanding itself. The closer reality is to understanding itself, the less fundamental suffering there is.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/5/11 3:11 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Thanks for bringing that up again. These things can cause a lot of suffering when not seen for what they really are.

Bernardo

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/20/11 1:01 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Yeah, from early 1997 to 2003 I had probably 30+ cycles complete, each of which seemed so utterly convincing, until the next A&P would show up and the next Dark Night and then I would think, "Gosh darn it, those pesky cycles!" (Actually that is the sanitized, 50's TV show version of what I actually thought).

Anyway, very familiar with that annoying phenomena and it is not uncommon, so don't worry about it and just look at what is happening and see it is it is and keep doing that again and again and it will keep sinking in in its own way.

Nice to even be in a place where you are asking these questions, eh?

Daniel

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/20/11 10:10 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Yeah, from early 1997 to 2003 I had probably 30+ cycles complete, each of which seemed so utterly convincing, until the next A&P would show up and the next Dark Night and then I would think, "Gosh darn it, those pesky cycles!" (Actually that is the sanitized, 50's TV show version of what I actually thought).

Anyway, very familiar with that annoying phenomena and it is not uncommon, so don't worry about it and just look at what is happening and see it is it is and keep doing that again and again and it will keep sinking in in its own way.


Hehe ya I had another blip Dec 8th where for a whole 30 minutes I was absolutely convinced, then a sense of unease crept in, now here i am in a similar state as when i wrote this message (although caring less and less about this and more and more about AF.. UPDATE: although i think i just got into a new dark night so now i am caring more about finishing up, hehe. there seems to be a correlation with being satisfied with insight progress and wanting to do AF, such that when i felt i was done, AF was obviously the thing to do, but now when i feel not done at all, the obvious thing is to get done).

What was it that was different about that final cycle? What were you doing differently leading up to it? What did those 30+ cycles tell you that finally clicked in the final one?

Daniel M. Ingram:
Nice to even be in a place where you are asking these questions, eh?


Yeah it's kind of funny. Like imagine sitting around in a room, going "hmm you know, I'm not quite enlightened enough! gosh darn it.."

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/20/11 5:44 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
It's somewhere in MCTB, so just look there.

Since then vipassana doesn't seem to do anything in particular and there is no sense of some new vipassana thing to finish or work on and any cycles that do occur are relatively trivial and don't seem to lead anywhere on that front.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/21/11 12:48 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
It's somewhere in MCTB, so just look there.

Since then vipassana doesn't seem to do anything in particular and there is no sense of some new vipassana thing to finish or work on and any cycles that do occur are relatively trivial and don't seem to lead anywhere on that front.


Relevant section (emphasis added):

MCTB:

I decided that I would allow no sensation anywhere in the entire wide sense field to go by without it being clearly known as it was during every single second of the day. It was a high standard, but strangely enough can actually be very closely approximated. It was sufficient to do the trick after about a week of doing that some 20+ hours per day. I remember attaining to a Fruition, and a few seconds later I noticed something about the entrance to it and the re-forming of the sense of a perceiver on the back side of it, and then suddenly the knot of perception flipped open, everything was the same and yet the perspective on it was completely different, and my vipassana problem, once I had stabilized in that understanding, was solved.


Can you go into more detail about that little phrase that I missed on my first few readings of it? I had the impression that as soon as the thing happened, you were like "wow I'm unequivocally done!"

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/21/11 11:44 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
I thought it went on from there. Maybe not.

Anyway, there was about a week of this odd oscillation between two modes of perception maybe every few hours or so: knotted and unknotted, and then, after going through this a while with the focus actually having the practice rise in stages through something very like the 4 foundations of mindfulness in sequence (no idea why that part, but was obvious at the time), there was this convergence of experience in about 2 seconds and then both seemed like the same thing regardless of anything in some fundamental way, and that was that.

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/23/11 12:25 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I thought it went on from there. Maybe not.


the next bit talks about starting to teach.. maybe should update the MCTB wiki?

Anyway, there was about a week of this odd oscillation between two modes of perception maybe every few hours or so: knotted and unknotted, and then, after going through this a while with the focus actually having the practice rise in stages through something very like the 4 foundations of mindfulness in sequence (no idea why that part, but was obvious at the time), there was this convergence of experience in about 2 seconds and then both seemed like the same thing regardless of anything in some fundamental way, and that was that.


ah very interesting. were they the same in that.. you could look at it one way or another but it was the same regardless? what was your default mode of perception from after those 2 seconds on (and i guess now) - fully unknotted? or is it like you can get 'caught up' in stuff but if you bring attention to it in an unknotted way you can see it for what it is?

RE: unsure about 4th path?
Answer
1/24/11 1:06 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Either could arise and it didn't seem to matter from some fundamental point of view.

Knotted and unknotted after that seemed like a false dichotomy in some ways, or you could say unknotted in some more complete way that was more inclusive of whatever occurred. Either way seems the same.

As to getting caught in stuff, this is a tricky question. I would have answered it differently before I started AF practice, and now my default assumption is that if there is no AF there is some subtle thing that is still caught in some subtle thing somehow even if it isn't yet perceived as being that way.

As to always recognizing the unknotted quality: don't always notice it, like I don't always notice the sensations of the back of my head, but they are always there if attention turns to them, and it is like that just global.

Helpful?

D