Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Sleeping Buddha Syndrome, modified 1 Year ago.

Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 780 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
When I first encountered this forum, there was a plethora of people who had read the meditation instructions in MCTB and we're following through with real results.
Now the forum is somewhat of a half homeless shelter half online marketplace with various people peddling their half-baked ideas. Where is the drive? Where is the enthusiasm?
I am not calling out any one in particular and yet I would love to get back on the pony.
Please let's all put our metaphorical heads together and get some stuff cooking.
This is not what I anticipated would happen to Dharma overground.org.
I am posting this rather than go to bed early and dream of using cocaine, something I have never done while awake. Proceed.
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Shaun Steelgrave, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I read MCTB AND MCTB2, which in and of itself is a Herculean feat, second only to enlightenment.
I do mahasi noting.
Practise 4-6 hours a day.
And now you’re stuck with me.
Hi.
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Ben V., modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I read MCTB and regularly skim through MCTB2. Highly recommended for those lurking here that have not read it. This and `Practical Insight Meditation` by Mahasi Sayadaw.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Dear SBS,

Thanks for your input.

As you point out, the DhO has gone in phases, some more productive, some less, some more full of those peddling wares, some less. Sometimes there is a lot of action, sometimes a lot of drama, sometimes a lot of practice reports, sometimes a lot of useless noise.

What is on your mind, specifically? What are your own needs? How can something useful arise from them? That's closer to where the rubber meets the road and traction occurs.
David Kyle Spencer, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 48 Join Date: 11/21/19 Recent Posts
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
When I first encountered this forum, there was a plethora of people who had read the meditation instructions in MCTB and we're following through with real results.
Now the forum is somewhat of a half homeless shelter half online marketplace with various people peddling their half-baked ideas. Where is the drive? Where is the enthusiasm?
I am not calling out any one in particular and yet I would love to get back on the pony.
Please let's all put our metaphorical heads together and get some stuff cooking.
This is not what I anticipated would happen to Dharma overground.org.
I am posting this rather than go to bed early and dream of using cocaine, something I have never done while awake. Proceed.

I've found DharmaOverground to be a breath of fresh air inasmuch as any group of advanced practitioners are reading MCTB and following though with real results. Have you seen how watered down the rest of Buddha-land is out there? It's Daniel and Michael Taft and that's about it. I consider MCTB to be one of the most important books written on Buddhism in the last 50 years. However, you've got to understand something: This is an elite society. 

You've got people here who regularly experience A&P events. It's the common denominator. A&P events are effectively
kensho/Satori, meaning that that nearly everyone here is qualified to write about and/or teach the subject. A good portion of them are aiming for Stream Entry. This is not r/buddhism filled with your Mindfulness/ hot yoga pants crowd.Daniel wrote the book that way.

In short, you've effectively created a new school of thought, you guys just haven't named it and don't wish to promote it as such. You refuse to codify it. Daniel, you're a Arahant. You have the authority to start your own lineage and transmit the Dharma. That would be the next logical step for the group you've put together here. You said so yourself: These days, finding Enlightenment is easier than finding a teacher who will give student their stamp of approval. Their stinginess provides you with an opportunity.

Yours, 
David 
An Eternal Now, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Generally agree with you there but A&P is not zen kensho or satori.
David Kyle Spencer, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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An Eternal Now:
Generally agree with you there but A&P is not zen kensho or satori.

I know, I'm just trying to make a broader point that this is a group of advanced practitioners. If this were a Zen site, then people would be objecting that A&P events are just makyō. For them, the big dividing line is satori. Here, it's A&P. For a Golden Dawn group, the dividing line would be KCHGA, which they may or may not equate with A&P. Either way, it's a winnowing process, and the result is a relatively small group of teachers in training.
Metta4, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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As a newer participant, I also feel DHO is a breath of fresh air. I enjoy the messy diversity of views and varied personalities who are part of the community. I would add that this site is valuable not just for advanced pactitioners, but advanced pactitioners wannbees like myself with less than a year of semi-intensive practice. There is so much here (including archives) that is so helpful. I am on it several times a week and wish I had more time to post (and more helpful things to say!) I have read MCTB2 all the way through and some parts again at least a half dozen times along with a bunch of other "dharma" books. What is fascinating it that I can read sections of MCTB2 or DHO posts again now, ones I read 3-4 months ago, and they are almost totally different because my own experience and perspective has changed. I live in a rural area with no one around to discuss this stuff, so I am grateful to benefit from the DHO sangha.
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Bardo Cruiser, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I warm to the idea of exploration and creativity. Yes, sometimes this can bring out our trial-and-error factors making us look like the floppy leaves of a cruciferous vegetable, namely a cabbage.

All in all, we have to swing our words to expel the faecal matter thus giving rise to some partial clarity.
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Kim Katami, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Over the years I've read parts of it but not the whole thing, not even nearly. I bought a physical copy of the 2nd edition recently and opened it a couple of times but just couldn't read it. It felt like trying to mix oil and water so I closed it and will probably never read it.

I'm sure it's a good book for those interested. If it was third or even half the size it's now, it'd surely be read more widely.
Ben Sulsky, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Imo because actually doing it is extremely difficult, time consuming, and has a real risk of severe trauma, and people are busy and stressed enough already.  I think you have to be pretty intense and not all that prudent to try this stuff.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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That book is my Bible. Just sayin'. 
Ben Sulsky, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Oh yea I'm a massive unrepentant fan of MCTB2 and am extremely grateful it's out there.  I just don't think it's a big mystery why few people do it even though it's fairly likely to work.
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curious, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Well, I read the first edition twice and the second edition once, cover to cover. I found that MCTB provided an incredibly valuable and in fact unique integrative view of the phenomenology of the dharma. And it is packed full of amazing information and examples. Hard? Risky? Maybe, but nothing worthwhile is easy.  My own practice skipped the first part of mahasi-style noting that infuses the book, and integrated with it later on. Yet MCTB was still essential to any progress that I have made.

And the title is Mastering the Core Teaching of the Buddha. Unforutnately, we are not yet at the stage where 'Mastery' can be achieved by reading an airport book or popping a pill.
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Lars, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I've been here a few years now and read MCTB one and two multiple times. There was an initial overly enthusiastic phase, there have been lazy periods, there have been more half baked theories and posts than i'd like to admit. I'm still grateful for the books and the forum which allows me to explore the practises and ideas in the books. If anything some of my half baked posts have allowed me to see just how half baked some of those ideas were, so it was useful (and hopefully not too annoying to the rest of you). Similarly, seeing others make mistakes has sometimes helped me work through the same issues.

I'd prefer a little chaos versus an overly moderated place of absolute decorum and strict definitions of wisdom and/or practise.
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Ricky Lee Nuthman, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I own the 2nd edition of the physical book, and read chunks of the original book online. In fact, I started reading the first edition on day 10 of my first Goenka retreat once we were allowed to start talking again. Someone that I met turned me on to it. 

I must admit, it was jarring to read after 10 days of Goenka style teaching. Lol! 

I am taking this path very seriously, and am working diligently toward my awakening. This site has been a godsend.

As for MCTB, I don't know if I am capable of reading it all the way through.  I get really bad eye fatigue and dyslexia.  I would love to see a concise, condensed version. Kind of like the mini Mahasi Sayadaw book which I was easily able to read through several times.

In fact, if I ever 'wake up', I will write an instruction manual that a 10 year old could follow.
Sam Gentile, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I've read MCTB2 multiple times and consult it regularly.
I do mahasi noting.
Practise 1 and 1/2 hours a day.

I also have a teacher who uses the book with me.

Check in here a lot. Trying my best.
John, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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That's because some of us don't think MCBT covers precisely all the stages of meditative practice. There may be related to results of noting and vipassana but doesn't mean Advaita and Sufis go through the same stages.

It's obviously a serious undertaking to help people see themselves but there's a lot of scripting involved as well and I really don't like the dark night fetish.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
When I first encountered this forum, there was a plethora of people who had read the meditation instructions in MCTB and we're following through with real results.
Now the forum is somewhat of a half homeless shelter half online marketplace with various people peddling their half-baked ideas. Where is the drive? Where is the enthusiasm?
I am not calling out any one in particular and yet I would love to get back on the pony.
Please let's all put our metaphorical heads together and get some stuff cooking.
This is not what I anticipated would happen to Dharma overground.org.
I am posting this rather than go to bed early and dream of using cocaine, something I have never done while awake. Proceed.

I thought, in 2011, that MCTB was the most electric, bullshit-free, authentic meditation book in a contemporary, libg vice that i had ever heard. I did tons of stupid shit,as befits a stupid shit on the Path, and eventually came across MCTB2, by recommending MCTB to a friend based on memeory. Once there, I read MCBT2 with the same sense of Holy Shit! I am a Roman Catholic, by birth and language, hard wiring and hardb work, but i will never be anything but a hybrid, and that is because i think Daniel, and this creation and gift of his, the Dharma Overground, is the state of the art on the planet. Ever. I think MCBT2 is budhist scripture, as I undestand the mergence of new scripture, as something coming from someone trying his or her best to not change a single fucking thing from the Tradition, and inevitably changing tons of fucking things, just by putting all the old language into contemporray words, and opening, inevitably, fresh avenues of exegesis in word and, weirdly but truly, in practice.

You sound a bit disgruntled, my friend. Watch that your old fart side doesn't f;op back into some good old days of DhO myth. every age is heaven and hell, every breath recapitulates the whole of the cosmos and all the worlds. Just practice. That was DhO is really about, that is the legacy of Daniel Ingram: a Buddha firld, here, and people who are fucking serious about their practice, who are all in. Just be all in, man. My your plot of ground, cultivate your seeds, pass them on in turn. By our fruits they shall know us, as they will know Daniel by us, his fruits.

love, tim
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ashmin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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How different is MCTB2 from MCTB?
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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ashmin:
How different is MCTB2 from MCTB?
hey ashmin,

It seems gentler, richer, and mellower all around to me, in general. There is a vast amount of seasoning, ripening, and experience woven into it now, plus a serious biolgraphical essay and other supplemental treats and appendices. I think specifically, and others may well not agree, that it is fairer and more balanced with regard to shamatha, though in my own take it still sells that short somewhat. This impression of the first edition's priveleging of vipassana may just be a function of where i was at when i read the first edition in 2011 and was deeply into the long term practice of what i thought fell under concentration practice, or shamatha. So maybe i got defensive, and maybe am still, lol. But sometimes these vipassana assholes just piss me off. emoticon

love, tim
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Dear Ashmin,

MCTB2 is about 40% longer, somewhat reorganized, and intentionally designed to address may of the reasonable critiques of MCTB1. It contains significantly increased sections on things about jhanas, magic, my personal journey (which is used as a springboard for a lot of other topics that were hard to organize coherently without some sort of narrative), and contains more counterbalancing tech to try to counter imbalanced practice throughout. It is toned down every so slightly but still packs a significant punch in comparison to most Dharma books. It is better edited.

There are other differences, but those are the main ones. Obviously, I think it is worth reading, and have read it a few times myself. ;)
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Sounds good.
I liked raw and very enhusiastic style of MCTB1. From your videos it doesn't seem enthusiasm left you so second book should a good read too emoticon

I wonder how it compares to MCTB1 with it being written few years after enlightenment. Core realization might be the same but as these things seem to progress new tricks are learned all the time.
Martin, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I read MCTB2, except for the parts that Daniel recommended that I skip. I'm a slow reader, so those recommendations were welcome. I will probably got back a read them at some point but there is a lot on my reading/listening list.

I like your enthusiasm for focused practice. At the same time, I enjoy the lack of imposed structure here. I am learning a lot from this forum and, for a newcomer, it's good to know that people are writing what they want to write, and not just repeating official church doctrine to show that they can. So hopefully stuff can be cooked and the randomness can be kept. 
punto, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I first read MCTB probably 4 years ago and straight away cranked up the dial to 11. 

That it's a powerful approach is undeniable, but it's also perilous (as Daniel so rightly communicates from the start). 300% increased sensitivity to 50% less suffering is just a tough road to follow, but it does work, rapidly.

What a lucky circumstance to have gone this route and stuck with it. Much gratitude DI.

I think practictioners tend to dismiss MCTB for a few reasons:

- The actual practice is somewhat self-limiting in the short term; it dredges up a lot of stuff, much of unpleasant.
- The title and tone make it somewhat difficult to recommend to practictioners established on a more 'gentle' trajectory
- Maps actually are detrimental to certain types of practioners
- Other dimensions of spiritual development beyond raw insight are important
- The biggie: Other teachers feel threatened by claims of attainment (when coupled with descriptions of realizations they haven't encountered) and actively undercut its credibility
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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I realize this is an old thread, it popped up again short time ago and I had some feelings on the subject which I have only now been able to explain in words.

When someone puts their thoughts in writing, the words they choose can tell you more than the literal meaning of the words. They can tell you the qualities of the author.

When I read MCTB I see qualities that I am not seeking from my practice and I do not find qualities that I am seeking. I am not saying there is anything wrong with the qualities I see in the book or that they are bad. They are in no way hypocritical, they are just different from what I am seeking.

For this reason I do not believe reading the book and following the author's advice will help me with my practice.

It may be that what I am seeking is not Buddhism, or will not produce awakening according some particular definition of awakening, I'm okay with that.
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Olivier, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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That sounds very good to me Jim.

As someone wise once told me, "we always have to own our practice". 

You are the one who knows what you want, and what inspires you.

Let me just add this question which popped into my mind while reading your post : have you given christianity any thought at all ?

Cheers
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Olivier:


Let me just add this question which popped into my mind while reading your post : have you given christianity any thought at all ?

Cheers

I believe in Christ's first two commandments, love God and neighbor. I consider myself a "sort of Christian" for this reason.

I don't believe in vicarious atonement, or eternal damnation, so I feel that most Christians would not recognize me as a member of their flock. However I believe that physicalism and methodological naturalism are harmful while Christianity is generally helpful so I consider Christians as spiritual and philosophical allies.

I get my spiritual beliefs from from Spiritualism which is a "religion" based on empirical evidence.

(As a Buddhist I get meditation and mindfulness practices from Buddhsim but not metaphysical beliefs though there is some overlap with Spiritualism.)

I have a generally positive view of Christianity (though I don't claim all Christians are perfect - but any ideology can be abused by those seeking power).

I have a lot of respect for the contribution to civilization and the development of science that Christianity has made and an appreciation for the help many individuals have found in its message of love, forgiveness and eternal life.
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Not two, not one, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Jim, you might be interested in the 10 paramis/perfections. 

If so, there is a summary at https://www.thebuddhistsociety.org/page/paramis-paramitas, Also, you can find online resources easily, for example https://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/theparamis/ 

Apologies if you are already aware of these.

Malcolm
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Dear Jim,

One of the reasons that MCTB2 has so many references to other texts (sometimes with radically different styles and emphases) is that it is definitely not everyone's cup of tea and very much was never designed to be, as it says at the outset. Yet, it can hopefully point people to books and other teachers and resources that are much more to their tastes and fitting with a style of practice that works for them. I hope you find things that work for you and your goals and personal style.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Daniel,

Could you clarify something you wrote in MCTB2? 

When you wote:

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-theravada-four-path-model/
That the enlightened lineage holders of the modern Theravada and their ex-monk and ex-nun Western counterparts don’t have the guts to stand up and say, “We are deeply sorry that for 2,500 years, many of our predecessors perpetuated this craziness to put food in their bowls and fool ignorant peasants so that they might be supported in their other useful work, and we vow to do better!” is a crying shame.

Are you accusing the Buddha of being a charlatan who fooled peasants in order to get food and other support? How do you know whether his earliest followers falsified his teaching or if they got the false teachings from him?

And how do you justify attributing ulterior motives to people whom you never met because they have a different interpretation of the teachings? Today there are many different interpretations of the teachings, is everyone who has a different interpretation than you also a charlatan?

Thanks
Brian, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Seems like you're reading it in the least charitable way possible. Here's what I think I know about some real Buddhist stuff in Thailand that I have experience with: many monks are sort of employed by the public to bless things, to chant spells to keep motorcycles and riders safe, they sell magical amulets at temples, all sort of things that in my mind, any genuine monk would refuse to do. And I remember hearing the nun on the recordings at Panditarama Lumbini report that the situation was similar if not worse in Myanmar -- people have no idea what the Buddha was getting at, but reflexively bow to monks, offer alms, etc., and the monks must know that the spirit of it all is very incorrect.
Ben Sulsky, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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To bring a different perspective, as someone who was raised as an agnostic humanist (and trained in analytic philosophy to boot!), it would have been almost impossible for me to extract the gems from Buddhist texts due to the religious language, dogma, contradiction and reality denying bits, which tend to really turn me off and make me lose interest.  So I'm extremely grateful MCTB2 gave me a conceptual framework to work with Buddhist theories of mind and make sense of the teachings while discarding large parts of them, or at least taking them much less seriously than is typical.  Once the conceptual framework stuck I got down to doing some good practice -- and then trying to choose the perfect conceptual framework becomes much less fraught.

.....Now whether this is "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha," or not seems like a question for scholars that doesn't particularly interest me. 
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Now whether this is "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha," or not seems like a question for scholars that doesn't particularly interest me. 

+1
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Ben Sulsky:
To bring a different perspective, as someone who was raised as an agnostic humanist (and trained in analytic philosophy to boot!), it would have been almost impossible for me to extract the gems from Buddhist texts due to the religious language, dogma, contradiction and reality denying bits, which tend to really turn me off and make me lose interest.  So I'm extremely grateful MCTB2 gave me a conceptual framework to work with Buddhist theories of mind and make sense of the teachings while discarding large parts of them, or at least taking them much less seriously than is typical.  Once the conceptual framework stuck I got down to doing some good practice -- and then trying to choose the perfect conceptual framework becomes much less fraught.

.....Now whether this is "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha," or not seems like a question for scholars that doesn't particularly interest me. 

Amen.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

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Alright, yes, that part has quite a bite, and that might be looked at from many angles.

Consider first the angle of the author who wrote it, a scientist, a clinician, something of a non-idealistic rebel who yet has practiced a lot, gotten to know a lot of very deep practitioners up close and personal, gotten to hear a lot and see a lot about how the ideals performance test, and gotten to think a lot about the neural pathways that might be involved, pondered religion and its survival strategies, the history of Buddhism in lots of places, the local Dharma Scandals, and the like.

After all of that, I find that statement generous for the following reasons:

1) It presumes that they all have enough wisdom to even be able to sort this out, meaning what I would call "arahantship", whereas most of them actually don't.
2) That, even if they had it, they might be able to be brutally honest about what it did and didn't actually do with themselves and how that compared to their religious ideals and the dogmas they had been raised on. I know arahants that, apparently out of habit or market forces, said things they knew in their hearts weren't true: very disappointing to witness.

The Buddha clearly talked on a lot of levels depending on the audience, clearly was playing to an audience that had various expectations, such as very long earlobes and 40 teeth and a penis in a sheath and all of that, and, it appears, basically had to say certain things to fit with the culture that was already in place. This closely parallels the history of the Jesus-like figures during Jesus' time who played to the standard canon of things you had to do and say you had done then to be considered a messiah, such as raising the dead and performing certain other miracles.

When I read the Canon, particularly the lives of the great disciplies (see the book of the same name, Great Disciples of the Buddha, highly recommended), it is wild to watch the conceptual hoops they clearly as those without any attachment grieve their friends, those without suffering kill themselves due to pain, etc. In short, they were human to a degree that they hardly own conceptually. The more I see of the world today of idealistic Buddhism colliding with actual humanity, the more I become convinced of my readings of the ancient texts.

Further, as a scientist and physician, it is nearly impossible to imagine any neurological pathways by which merely perceiving impermanence clearly might make one suddenly impotent, incapable of speaking certain very specific words or performing certain very specific actions or not feeling or manifesting certain very specific emotions.

You will also notice that the quote you quote comes after this quote, which I still stand by: "And yet, its maps of enlightenment still contain a hefty helping of scary market-driven propaganda and so much garbage that is life-denying, dangerously out of touch with what happens, and an impediment to practice for millions of people."

I am not the first nor will I be the last to point out some of the life and emotion-deying aspects of the Theravada doctrine as presented in certain texts and by certain teachers, and the massive traditions of the Mahayana and Vajrayana grew up due to that, among other things.

I will not be the first nor last to point out that idealism about not having bad emotions simply fucks up a lot of people as they try to practice and practice by shutting down and ignoring their emotions that don't fit with their ideals.

I will not be the last to notice that some teachers who by their own explicit and implicit claims to attainments yet throw rocks at dogs for no reason and yell meanly at their students, and it gets worse than that, as we all know.

It is not that everyone who has a different interpretation from me is a charlatan, it is that people who have ridiculous interpretations that they keep pedaling once they have deep realization are charlatans, and I have known a few who did this and knew they were doing it, and they are the tip of a very large iceberg.

Once one is willing to break out of the notion that this is all socially constructed, rejecting the illusion that whatever a group socially constructs is ok and equally as true as anything else, then one can start thinking and paying attention again.

It is a bit like MMA: in their natives settings, judo and karate and jujitsu and mui thai and the like all thought they were the best, and all that was taken basically as religious doctrine until they got in the ring with trained MMA fighters who had blended the best of a few major styles, boxing, kicking, grappling, etc., and the original, domatic, delusional traditions got their constructed ideals deconstructed by the MMA fighter's actual, non-constructed fist to their physically deconstructed faces.

In the same way, a reasonable portion of the ideals of the Theravada are delusional, not in accordance with reality, not in accordance with any plausable neurobiological pathways, not sensible, not withstanding reality testing. The same applies to nearly all the ideals from nearly all the traditions, unfortunately, so it really isn't fair to pick on the Theravada, when Zen and the Tibetans and the Vedanta kids and all of them have basically as many delusional ideals as well that nobody has really tested in hundreds of years in the way that MMA did to the fighting religions, but that's what's happening here, and I stand by my claims.

Here's my best advice:

1) Practice well without life-deying ideals, or, if you have them, watch them carefully, and avoid denial.

2) See for yourself through rigorous real-world preformance testing.

3) Don't step into a full-contact ring with an MMA fighter unless you have trained in MMA, as you will just get hurt and possibly killed.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 981 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
Alright, yes, that part has quite a bite, and that might be looked at from many angles.

...


Okay, but why do you call your book, "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha"? It seems to me you don't believe the core teachings of the Buddha. I don't find fault with you for this. I don't agree with everything in the Pali Canon either.  But I am wondering why you don't call your book, "Correcting the Core Teachings of the Buddha"?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 5735 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Daniel M. Ingram:
Alright, yes, that part has quite a bite, and that might be looked at from many angles.

...


Okay, but why do you call your book, "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha"? It seems to me you don't believe the core teachings of the Buddha. I don't find fault with you for this. I don't agree with everything in the Pali Canon either.  But I am wondering why you don't call your book, "Correcting the Core Teachings of the Buddha"?

My guess is, because of this:

Daniel M. Ingram:
The Buddha clearly talked on a lot of levels depending on the audience, clearly was playing to an audience that had various expectations, such as very long earlobes and 40 teeth and a penis in a sheath and all of that, and, it appears, basically had to say certain things to fit with the culture that was already in place. This closely parallels the history of the Jesus-like figures during Jesus' time who played to the standard canon of things you had to do and say you had done then to be considered a messiah, such as raising the dead and performing certain other miracles.


Everything the Buddha said wasn’t really his core teachings, but adaptations to contemporary audiences. I’d guess that if one reads it all and sees it in its context, it gets pretty clear that some things are more central than others. There will probably always be different interpretations on what is figure and what is ground, but saying that something is a correction is an interpretation too. Personally I don’t believe the Buddha was that stupid. Just sayin’.
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Nick O, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 317 Join Date: 11/5/17 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Daniel M. Ingram:
Alright, yes, that part has quite a bite, and that might be looked at from many angles.

...


Okay, but why do you call your book, "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha"? It seems to me you don't believe the core teachings of the Buddha. I don't find fault with you for this. I don't agree with everything in the Pali Canon either.  But I am wondering why you don't call your book, "Correcting the Core Teachings of the Buddha"?
"The saying of the Buddha that deals with the practice regarding shunyata (voidness) is the saying that is the heart of Buddhism. It requires our careful attention. “Nothing whatsoever should be clung to as ‘I’ or ‘mine.'” (Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya.) The Buddha himself declared that this is the summation of all the Tathagata’s [Buddha’s] teaching. He said that to have heard the phrase “Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya” is to have heard everything; to have put it into practice is to have practiced everything; and to have reaped its fruits is to have reaped every fruit." -Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Looking through this lens, I think Daniel's book is firmly based in this "core teaching" by way of careful moment to moment investigation of the three characteristics with additional caveats on avoiding attachments to views of what is attained or not attained through awakening. 
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Chris Marti, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 3992 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Daniel --

Here's my best advice:

1) Practice well without life-denying ideals, or, if you have them, watch them carefully, and avoid denial.

2) See for yourself through rigorous real-world performance testing.

3) Don't step into a full-contact ring with an MMA fighter unless you have trained in MMA, as you will just get hurt and possibly killed.

This is some of the best advice on the doing and the processing of meditation practice I've ever seen.


Solvo, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 10 Join Date: 7/15/20 Recent Posts
Sleeping Buddha Syndrome:
When I first encountered this forum, there was a plethora of people who had read the meditation instructions in MCTB and we're following through with real results.
Now the forum is somewhat of a half homeless shelter half online marketplace with various people peddling their half-baked ideas. Where is the drive? Where is the enthusiasm?
I am not calling out any one in particular and yet I would love to get back on the pony.
Please let's all put our metaphorical heads together and get some stuff cooking.
This is not what I anticipated would happen to Dharma overground.org.
I am posting this rather than go to bed early and dream of using cocaine, something I have never done while awake. Proceed.

Personaly, i was eager to read the book, but lost any desire to do it when i've read its review in SlateStarCodex, the part about constantly cycling through the dark night and other cycles sounds to me utterly horrible and it would totally discourage me from pursuing any practice, and i'm just a beginner, why would anyone want that ? (and i'm saying this as someone with already existential and clinical depression), if that's the end result, i'd rather just become a drug or sex addict or shoot myself. Why would i strive and keep a practice for such a horrible sounding result ? 

Some other authors like Rob Burbea thinks Dark Knight can be avoided or at least be reduced drastically by focusing more on meta meditation, developing samadhi and then from that base going gradually and serenely into vipassana, and it doesn't talk about any hellish cycling through it again and again (which seems like the definition of hell). And because this is contested and my mind is highly suggestive at the moment, i'd rather avoid a book where the "cure" seems to me as worse than the ill.
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Olivier, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 733 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Just so you know, this horrible dark night is what existentialist writers like JP Sartre wrote about in his book Nausea, if you've heard of that ; a lot of the angst you find as a common theme/place of expression in art is this horrible dark night ; many people go through it unknowingly and just think they're more lucid than others and see everything that's wrong with existence better than the rest (which is true, but actually, some people have even more lucidity and are just fine with it, as soon as they develop equanimity/acceptance) ; I myself was pretty existentially depressed, a darkly luminous depressed philosopher loner, for a few years, and only realized a long time after, that this was the horrible dark night.

When I read mctb, I thought, pretty naturally, just like you : "that sounds scary, I want to avoid getting in that territory off retreat and I'm gonna hold off from vipassana until I can afford to experience that shitshow !"

Little did I know that I had been in that DN for years before and had actually processed the whole thing unknowingly !

Vipassana is basically just a weird name for a formalized practice aimed at cultivating your natural observational skills.

It's like training for the 100 m VS just running to catch your bus. Everybody can and does run sometimes, but few cultivate their running skills at all, and fewer train to do 100 m under 10 seconds, right ? emoticon Mctb is more in the general area of athletic training. Which seems closer to the spirit of ancient buddhism to me (very much about ardent effort), than things like MBSR and other softer techniques.

So, just an idea : for all you know, your depression (I've read your other post) could be this horrible dark night. Maybe you are there already, maybe you have been stuck there for years. Or not. But it's worth finding out IMO.

The techniques described in mctb don't cause these experiences, they might accentuate the clarity of them though. Which can get intense, hence the recommendation that this is not for everyone (- not meaning to imply that it means everyone who doesn't like mctb is a softy. It's not true.)

Daniel's book is great, and what Jim was saying up there is basically that he doesn't like Daniel's "vibe" and therefore doesn't wish to read him - which is fine if he feels like it. After all, we humans should find and immitate models that inspire us. That's not exactly what you're saying here.

But it's an extremely empowering and high quality book with a treasure trove of information and perspectives you won't find anywhere else - partly because Daniel has no interest whatsoever in sugar coating things, as he gets financial independance from other sources, is not bound to a lineage which he has to defend, and has no position to secure at all based on people's reactions to what he teaches. Which is basically something no other dharma teachers that I know of can say... 

That includes Rob Burbea btw, however much I love this guy ;).

So, to conclude : the "dark night" can't be avoided for anyone who actually wakes up to the reality of existence, which has amazing and depressing aspects alike, it can't be avoided because it's part of the full range of human experience. Waking up to our human existence implies that you wake up to all aspects of it. And meditation is the practice through which human existence will be experienced in its entirety, in a safer than normal context, with more clarity than normal, giving you the chance to truly know and come to terms with who you are, potentially all the way.

For some it will be smoother, usually it won't be identified as anthing specific though, as it just seems, for someone who experiences this kind of dark knowledge, that it's just the truth of existence being seen (and it sucks). It's not true though. On the contrary, mctb provides key information and practices which can and do help MANY people move out of a dark rut which they might unknowingly have been stuck in for years.

All traditions have a name for these kinds of things (look up nyams for instance), they just don't thematize it as openly as theravada/Daniel.

Many other things could be said, but really, if you can, you should read it.

My 2cts emoticonemoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 3992 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
 Which is basically something no other dharma teachers that I know of can say... 

Others in that same vein:

Vincent and Emily Horn
Michael Taft
Kenneth Folk

There are more and more "interdisciplinary" or maybe "non-denominational" teachers out there.
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Olivier, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 733 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Right, right. Let me rephrase by saying he's one of the pioneers ;)

edit : the thing about money is still true though. All the teachers you've mentioned that I'know, depend financially on what people's reactions to what they teach will be. Not saying this necesarilly means they are less honest. But daniel's position is unique enough and I find that precious, as all rare things. Not saying either it means he's the absolute one and only ;)
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 3992 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Payment comes in many forms  emoticon
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Olivier, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 733 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
What is the payment method/currency with daniel ingram ? Prestige ?
What's yours for all the time you spend reading our silliness here ? 
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 3992 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Daniel gets notoriety, compliments like yours, and sometimes I would imagine self-satisfaction, even self-actualization.

I get less boredom.

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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 3192 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I delight in the opportunity to present one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, The Eyes of the Overworld (sometimes called Cugel the Clever), by Jack Vance. It occurs early on, and is spoken by Iucounu, The Laughing Magician, in Chapter 1, just before Iuconu is about to forcibly transport Cugel off on what appears to be a suicide mission after Cugel's failed attempt to rob Iuconu. After Cugel offers to describe his clearly negative appraisal of Iucounu's character, Iucounu states "I do not care to listen; obloquy injures my self-esteen and I am skeptical of praise."

For those unfamiliar with Vance's obscure lexicon, this from Wordnik regarding "obloquy":

"n.    Abusively detractive language or utterance; calumny.
n.    The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of abuse or vilification; ill repute.
n.    Contumelious or abusive language addressed to or aimed at another; calumny; abuse; reviling."

So, if anyone is thinking of obtaining praise as reward by following a similar path, and so that ethically you can assess the risks, benefits, and alternatives (RBA's) in accord with standard medical protocol of such an action, realize that praise will occur, yes, but it may come with at least an equal if not greater heap of obloquy, as in the recent article in the public journal Mindfulness, publicly diagnosing me as delusional and dissociated, among other things. You may also have psychotic people harrass you, threaten to kill you and rape your wife, have to call police departments multiple times on such people, have people threaten to sue you, to attempt to steal your work as their own, and have high-profile groups engage in dedicated, ongoing derogatory and slanderous campaigns against you in various public and private forms. This is not to dissuade anyone necessarily, but merely to present some balance to the decision making process through full disclosure. Even on this forum, which I own and fund, one can easily find hundreds if not of thousands that criticize me in various forums, and this is the forum with clearly the highest density of appreciation for my work that can be found online. One need only venture slightly out of the DhO to find forums that are vastly less kind.

May we all make good decisions and stay true to our convictions in the face of the Eight Worldly Winds of praise and blame, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and fame and ill repute. I personally am happy with my choices, and knew at least to some degree what I was getting myself into, though, at least at the beginning, couldn't really appreciate its full magnitude both good and bad, and so take responsibility for my actions to the relative degree that anyone can, but let's not kid ourselves about what taking these sorts of stands involves.
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Olivier, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 733 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Yeah it didn't seem to me like your position is a comfortable one, quite the contrary !

And we thank you deep in our hearts for all your integrity and risk taking.

Feeling like we're part of "the group" is one of the primary human motivations - deliberately going against that when it feels like the group is wrong, is sacrifice.

As Michel Henry would have said, true culture barely manages to survivre underground, nowadays... or Overground !

May we remember the 8 worldly winds indeed.

And thank you Chris too, for being bored, but not only :p emoticon
shargrol, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 1573 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Olivier:
8 worldly winds indeed.


The past is shame and pride, the future is hope and fear, the present can become self vs. other -- so watch out!"  I think this might have been a Hokai quote.

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Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
shargrol:
Olivier:
8 worldly winds indeed.


The past is shame and pride, the future is hope and fear, the present can become self vs. other -- so watch out!"  I think this might have been a Hokai quote.

emoticon

I wasn't counting them winds, but they'se some mighty strong ones. This here "watch out" thang sounds real fine to me.
Tim Farrington, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I delight in the opportunity to present one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite books, The Eyes of the Overworld (sometimes called Cugel the Clever), by Jack Vance. It occurs early on, and is spoken by Iucounu, The Laughing Magician, in Chapter 1, just before Iuconu is about to forcibly transport Cugel off on what appears to be a suicide mission after Cugel's failed attempt to rob Iuconu. After Cugel offers to describe his clearly negative appraisal of Iucounu's character, Iucounu states "I do not care to listen; obloquy injures my self-esteen and I am skeptical of praise."

For those unfamiliar with Vance's obscure lexicon, this from Wordnik regarding "obloquy":

"n.    Abusively detractive language or utterance; calumny.
n.    The condition of disgrace suffered as a result of abuse or vilification; ill repute.
n.    Contumelious or abusive language addressed to or aimed at another; calumny; abuse; reviling."

So, if anyone is thinking of obtaining praise as reward by following a similar path, and so that ethically you can assess the risks, benefits, and alternatives (RBA's) in accord with standard medical protocol of such an action, realize that praise will occur, yes, but it may come with at least an equal if not greater heap of obloquy, as in the recent article in the public journal Mindfulness, publicly diagnosing me as delusional and dissociated, among other things. You may also have psychotic people harrass you, threaten to kill you and rape your wife, have to call police departments multiple times on such people, have people threaten to sue you, to attempt to steal your work as their own, and have high-profile groups engage in dedicated, ongoing derogatory and slanderous campaigns against you in various public and private forms. This is not to dissuade anyone necessarily, but merely to present some balance to the decision making process through full disclosure. Even on this forum, which I own and fund, one can easily find hundreds if not of thousands that criticize me in various forums, and this is the forum with clearly the highest density of appreciation for my work that can be found online. One need only venture slightly out of the DhO to find forums that are vastly less kind.

May we all make good decisions and stay true to our convictions in the face of the Eight Worldly Winds of praise and blame, pleasure and pain, gain and loss, and fame and ill repute. I personally am happy with my choices, and knew at least to some degree what I was getting myself into, though, at least at the beginning, couldn't really appreciate its full magnitude both good and bad, and so take responsibility for my actions to the relative degree that anyone can, but let's not kid ourselves about what taking these sorts of stands involves.

No good deed goes unpunished. lol. No deed goes unpunished.

So no deed, indeed.

and no deed-er.

only the done, and some poor bastard getting his as kicked for it, lol.

love, tim
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Not two, not one, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 930 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Daniel gets notoriety, compliments like yours, and sometimes I would imagine self-satisfaction, even self-actualization.

I get less boredom.

emoticon

Sorry Chris, but you also get the admiration of the crowd, or at least some portions of it.

Also, I love the contrast:

Siddharta Gotama - you can wake up.
Daniel Ingram - you can wake up.
Sections of western buddhsim - no you can't.

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Stirling Campbell, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
MCTB's clear language about a number of aspects of insight were like cold, clean water at a time when I really needed it. I am very grateful. However, I think we would all be remiss in not validating what an amazing group of experienced and knowledgeable posters there are here. I am at least as greatful for the public and private counsel of Chris, Shargrol, and Dream Walker amongst many. This BOARD is also a great achievement and vehicle for insights in its own right.
Tim Farrington, modified 11 Months ago.

RE: Daniel's book and the lack of people who are reading it

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Stirling Campbell:
MCTB's clear language about a number of aspects of insight were like cold, clean water at a time when I really needed it. I am very grateful. However, I think we would all be remiss in not validating what an amazing group of experienced and knowledgeable posters there are here. I am at least as greatful for the public and private counsel of Chris, Shargrol, and Dream Walker amongst many. This BOARD is also a great achievement and vehicle for insights in its own right.

And amen.

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