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Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?

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Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/20/19 11:43 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? pieva 8/21/19 3:22 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 3:46 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 4:06 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 4:54 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Stirling Campbell 8/21/19 5:47 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 9:39 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/21/19 5:02 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/30/19 9:43 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/21/19 11:22 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 10:20 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 10:39 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/21/19 10:38 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Derek2 8/24/19 2:05 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 3:39 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/24/19 3:31 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Derek2 8/24/19 7:56 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Stirling Campbell 8/24/19 8:21 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 7:55 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Stirling Campbell 8/24/19 2:47 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 5:16 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/24/19 5:29 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/25/19 3:47 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Chris Marti 8/25/19 8:35 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 8/25/19 8:41 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/27/19 1:16 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/27/19 1:17 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Chris Marti 8/27/19 6:57 AM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Stirling Campbell 8/24/19 8:00 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 4:50 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/24/19 4:56 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 4:56 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/24/19 5:11 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? Jim Smith 8/24/19 5:25 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? spatial 8/24/19 5:41 PM
RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening? shargrol 8/27/19 8:40 AM
I have a question about something I read the book "The Untethered Soul" by Michael Singer.

In the book Singer says that feeling emotional pain (I think Buddhists would say "suffering") while relaxing, until the pain ceases naturally is how we let go of it.

Emotional pain happens when we are upset because reality does not match our expectations, when there are flaws in our mental model of reality: our ideas about who we are, what other people should do, what is right, what is wrong etc.

By letting go of emotional pain we are in effect acknowledging our mental model of reality was wrong.

The cumulative effects of this process eventually rids our understanding of reality of so many of its flaws that we begin to see things as they really are - which is awakening.

Is Singer right? If not, where does he go wrong?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 3:22 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I do not have a direct answer to your question. But some of my pre-meditation experience might be interesting to you.
I once had a big emotional trauma that I dealt with over a few months. I was very determined to get over it, felt positive about all the changes although the pain was enormous, and annoying thoughts were plentiful. 
It all resulted in a mind-blowing shift of my perspective, the way I felt about myself. I also obtained powers to influence my reality, and started attracting all kinds of people, although normally I am introverted and do not connect easily. The shift has been permanent, I have been much less miserable ever since. Powers faded away after a few months.

Singer might be right? I did not know back then but I tried to deal with my pain with equanimity, again and again and again. 

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 3:46 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I tried to look up "letting go" and I do not see this as a prominent concept in Buddhism.

In some of Thich Nhat Han's books he translates upekkha, the seventh of the seven factors of awakening, as "letting go", but upekkha is usually translated as equanimity.

I had this idea - I'm not sure where I got it - that "letting go of attachments and aversions" is an imporant part of awakening. But now I'm not sure that's even right.

Can anyone say if the concepts of  "lettting go"  or "letting go of attachments and aversions" are found in the pali canon or Therevada Buddhism? Or elsewhere in any form of Buddhism?


Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 4:06 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I tried to look up "letting go" and I do not see this as a prominent concept in Buddhism.

In some of Thich Nhat Han's books he translates upekkha, the seventh of the seven factors of awakening, as "letting go", but upekkha is usually translated as equanimity.

I had this idea - I'm not sure where I got it - that "letting go of attachments and aversions" is an imporant part of awakening. But now I'm not sure that's even right.

Can anyone say if the concepts of  "lettting go"  or "letting go of attachments and aversions" are found in the pali canon or Therevada Buddhism? Or elsewhere in any form of Buddhism?


Thanks

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_poisons

Singer's concept is a simple practice for letting go of attachment/aversion by bringing them up when the mind is quiet and empty. It works, in my experience, but you should see if this is true for you.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 4:54 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

Singer's concept is a simple practice for letting go of attachment/aversion by bringing them up when the mind is quiet and empty. ...
Stirling,

How do I do that? Just observe my emotions in meditation?

Are there any sources of information that give details about how Singer taught meditation etc.? Where did you get this information?

(All I could find was a Yoga Journal article where he says he meditated by obsrving thoughts.)

Maybe I misunderstood something but the impression I got from The Untethered Soul is that confronting emotions is something you practice by going out of your comfort zone in daily life. I've been trying it: staying an observer of toughts while allowing myself to feel the emotional pain - it seems to work but it's ... uh ... stressful.  Doing it in meditation sounds like a better approach. 

Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 5:02 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I tried to look up "letting go" and I do not see this as a prominent concept in Buddhism.

In some of Thich Nhat Han's books he translates upekkha, the seventh of the seven factors of awakening, as "letting go", but upekkha is usually translated as equanimity.

I had this idea - I'm not sure where I got it - that "letting go of attachments and aversions" is an imporant part of awakening. But now I'm not sure that's even right.

Can anyone say if the concepts of  "lettting go"  or "letting go of attachments and aversions" are found in the pali canon or Therevada Buddhism? Or elsewhere in any form of Buddhism?


Thanks

I'm a little bit confused about what you're asking. I'm not familiar with Singer, but the description you gave sounds to me like a passable description of vipassana meditation. It would depend on how you do it exactly, I guess. 

Is there a conflict you see somewhere? What is the difference in your mind between "equanimity", "letting go", and "letting go of attachments and aversions"?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 5:47 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

How do I do that? Just observe my emotions in meditation?

You are likely thinking it is more complicated than it is. Singer gives an account in "Untethered Soul" that is great, as a practice.  

It is something like:

If you can rest the mind for brief periods in open awareness, you can watch your thoughts come and go without grasping them. Either naturally, or by summoning one, you can have an uncomfortable thought or memory arise in this awareness and simply let it pass through your consciousness without getting lost in an internal dialog, or becoming attached or averse to it. When your thoughts/feelings are experienced this way they are less "sticky". Many painful ideas can be processed this way.

As always, if a thought/idea/memory is too painful to work with like this, it is always advisable to seek counseling, or medical help instead, or in conjunction with a practice like this.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/30/19 9:43 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Jim Smith:
I tried to look up "letting go" and I do not see this as a prominent concept in Buddhism.

In some of Thich Nhat Han's books he translates upekkha, the seventh of the seven factors of awakening, as "letting go", but upekkha is usually translated as equanimity.

I had this idea - I'm not sure where I got it - that "letting go of attachments and aversions" is an imporant part of awakening. But now I'm not sure that's even right.

Can anyone say if the concepts of  "lettting go"  or "letting go of attachments and aversions" are found in the pali canon or Therevada Buddhism? Or elsewhere in any form of Buddhism?


Thanks

I'm a little bit confused about what you're asking. I'm not familiar with Singer, but the description you gave sounds to me like a passable description of vipassana meditation. It would depend on how you do it exactly, I guess. 

Is there a conflict you see somewhere? What is the difference in your mind between "equanimity", "letting go", and "letting go of attachments and aversions"?


This bit you quoted is just a kind of side issue about terminology. My main question is the op.

Does relaxing and letting yourself experience emotional pain until it naturally ceases result in letting go of emotions and does that break down your mental model of reality by causing you to recognize flaws in it so you eventually see things as they really are and does that produce awakening? 


I want to know if this is true.  I am not saying I believe it is false, I am just looking for corroboration and conformation. I never heard it explained exactly like this before. I don't believe everything I read just becaue it is printied in a book. 

If you are saying that is vipassana meditation, then that answers my question.

What I was uncertain of is the following:

Letting go of emotions might make you a psychologically healthy person but never produce enlightenment by itself. Is that all that is necessary?  You could do that without ever doing sitting meditation. In fact I think it would be easier to do lying down. 

When you focus your attention on an emotion you might just reinforce it. Like teaching yourself how to be unhappy by practicing it. Or even like the jhanas do with pleasure - amplifiy it to intense levels, I think it is possible to do that with unpleasant emotions.

Do all unpleasant emotions naturally cease if you focus your attention on them? I think there could be exceptions like innate biochemically caused disorders like some kinds of anxiety or depression. (I know some people report cures of anxiety and depression from meditation - but a few reports don't mean it is possible for all causes and all people.). But besides explanable exceptions like that, I do no know if it is a fact that observing emotions causes them to eventually cease. Can someone say, yes that  is well recognized process?

Is it true that letting go of emotional pain really changes our mental model of reality? Maybe people keep bumping against the same issues all their lives and never change even if they learn to let go of emotional pain.

And can eliminating flaws in your mental model of reality really cause awakening? Can it rid you of self-view? Is having no flaws in your mental model of reality what is meant by seeing things as they are? 


Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 9:39 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Jim Smith:

How do I do that? Just observe my emotions in meditation?

You are likely thinking it is more complicated than it is. Singer gives an account in "Untethered Soul" that is great, as a practice.  

It is something like:

If you can rest the mind for brief periods in open awareness, you can watch your thoughts come and go without grasping them. Either naturally, or by summoning one, you can have an uncomfortable thought or memory arise in this awareness and simply let it pass through your consciousness without getting lost in an internal dialog, or becoming attached or averse to it. When your thoughts/feelings are experienced this way they are less "sticky". Many painful ideas can be processed this way.

As always, if a thought/idea/memory is too painful to work with like this, it is always advisable to seek counseling, or medical help instead, or in conjunction with a practice like this.
Okay I can try that. My naive interpretation of what I read was that you just relax and let yourself be aware of the feeling of an unpleasant emotion. 

Also, what exactly do you mean by "let it pass"? Should the emotion go away immediately or might it take multiple meditation sessions for some emotions?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 10:20 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Here is another question: What exactly does letting go mean? Does it mean you don't feel the emotion anymore? Or does it mean something else?

Because if you consider one of the most intense emotions I've heard of: when a parent loses a child. The grief can last the rest of their life, they may never stop feeling it. Does this prevent awakening? I'm not an expert but I wouldn't think so. So what does letting go really mean if it does not mean the emotioons goes away completely?


Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 10:39 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
In case anyone is wondering why I ask so many questions it is because I am educated as a scientist and I worked as an engineer. If I can understand how something works I might be able to figure out the best way for me to attain it. And I might be able to explain it in a way that can help other people too. This may sound egotictical but based on my experiences in life in other fields, doing what "experts" could not do in science and engineering, I think it is possible.

And please don't say: just do the meditation and find out what it is. I am doing the meditation.


Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 10:38 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I hear reports from experiencers that after stream entry they stop suffering - not necessarily completely but substatially.

So I thought awakening ends suffering.

But now I read in The Untethered Soul, that letting go of emotions, ie ending suffering, is what produces awakening.

So which is it? Does awakening end suffering or does ending suffering produce awakening?

Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/21/19 11:22 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

Does relaxing and letting yourself experience emotional pain until it naturally ceases result in letting go of emotions and does that break down your mental model of reality by causing you to recognize flaws in it so you eventually see things as they really are and does that produce awakening?


The bigger issue is not the "emotions" so much as the defense mechanisms you have put in place to protect you from having to feel the emotions. These mechanisms are what fuel the real suffering, because of the way they limit your behavior, even though they may deaden the pain somewhat. This is what we call "trauma". When you let yourself experience pain until it naturally passes, your mind will understand its true impermanent nature, and will thus be willing to drop the defense mechanisms. This is my understanding of how it works, on a conceptual level.


When you focus your attention on an emotion you might just reinforce it. Like teaching yourself how to be unhappy by practicing it. Or even like the jhanas do with pleasure - amplifiy it to intense levels, I think it is possible to do that with unpleasant emotions.


It depends on how you react to it. My understanding is that jhanas reinforce themselves because focusing on them is inherently pleasurable. If you focus on a negative emotion, that will be painful, and your instinct will be to block it out. Thus, you will be reinforcing the trauma response. However, if instead of blocking it out, you let yourself experience it, it will pass, as all things do, and you will reinforce mindfulness.


Do all unpleasant emotions naturally cease if you focus your attention on them?


They naturally cease whether or not you focus your attention on them. You might tell a story about how your anxiety lasted for months, but in reality these physiological responses don't last very long. It might be getting triggered over and over again, and you're just not noticing how it comes and goes.

The most important thing here, in my opinion, is that there is a big difference between noticing your pain and complaining about it, and noticing your pain and being willing to sit with it.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 7:55 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
I am seeing very clearly how letting myself feel emotional pain is the way to let go of it, and doing so helps get rid of the ego.

For example, if someone says something nasty and I relax and observe the emotional pain it, letting my self feel all of it without looking the other way, the pain lasts a short time and is gone and I don't feel any need to react defensively or vengefully because my feelings are not hurting me. Like if a child having a temper tantrum says "I hate you", the parent laughs it off. If there is no emotional pain, there is no ego.

The same applies if you lose in a game or in some competition, if someone makes you feel inferior, if you are embarrassed, in any situation where ego is normally involved. Ego is really a reaction to hurt feelings. If your emotions are not a problem for you, there will be no ego arising.

I'm still not convinced all emotional pain can be let go of, I think some may be due to biological factors that cannot be modified by cognitive processes. But when it is applicable letting go by observing seems to work well.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 2:05 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

So which is it? Does awakening end suffering or does ending suffering produce awakening?

Thanks


Jim, my take on it is that de-repression, awakening, and ending suffering are all different perspectives on the same thing. I haven’t read the author that started this thread, but it sounds very much like the philosophy of everyone from the ancient Stoics to modern, humanistic psychotherapy. If you’re interested, I attempted to explain this in chapter 14 of my short book, written several years ago https://archive.org/details/slackers-guide-to-stream-entry

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 2:47 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I am seeing very clearly how letting myself feel emotional pain is the way to let go of it, and doing so helps get rid of the ego.


Experimenting with different techniques is how you find what works for you. Seeing that it makes a difference is what becomes compelling. It isn't that emotions are bad, it is your identification with them, and the attachment to there being some other way things could be in this moment that is the problem. This is where surrender comes in.

And please don't say: just do the meditation and find out what it is. I am doing the meditation.

See above. NO-ONE can tell you how to see things as they are. NO PRACTICE precipitates awakening. This is going to sound like nonsense until you understand it for yourself.... and it isn't an intellectual understanding, any more than reading about jumping out of a plane is how it feels when your feet leave the plane.

So which is it? Does awakening end suffering or does ending suffering produce awakening

Neither.

Awakening is realizing that the self and the separateness of things , self and other are an illusion. There is no intrinsic "self" to be suffering. There isn't one practice that precipitates this. Choose a practice you are driven to pursue and do so wholeheartedly.

-
The Great Way is not difficult,for those who have no preferences.

Let go of longing and aversion,and it reveals itself.
Make the smallest distinction, however,
and you are as far from it as heaven is from earth.

If you want to realize the truth,
then hold no opinions for or against anything.
Like and dislike is the disease of the mind.
 
When the deep meaning (of the Way) is not understood
the intrinsic peace of mind is disturbed.
As vast as infinite space, it is perfect and lacks nothing.

Indeed, it is due to your grasping and repelling
that you do not see things as they are. - Tsin Tsin Ming, Sengcan

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 3:39 PM as a reply to Derek2.
Derek2:
Jim Smith:

So which is it? Does awakening end suffering or does ending suffering produce awakening?

Thanks


Jim, my take on it is that de-repression, awakening, and ending suffering are all different perspectives on the same thing. I haven’t read the author that started this thread, but it sounds very much like the philosophy of everyone from the ancient Stoics to modern, humanistic psychotherapy. If you’re interested, I attempted to explain this in chapter 14 of my short book, written several years ago https://archive.org/details/slackers-guide-to-stream-entry


I thought of an answer to my question which you quoted: if you accept enough flaws in your mental model of reality (let go of enough emotions - "ending suffering") eventually the whole thing is undermined and it comes crashing down (awakening) and without that flawed mental model of reality, unpleasant emotions are not produced as they once were (ending suffering). So the cause and effect question is not really a problem.

It seemed to me there are two seemingly different conceptual frameworks: one framework is that awakening is caused by realizing you are just awareness observing thoughts, emotions, impulses, and things around, the other framework is letting go of emotions undermines you mental model of reality so that you cans see things as they really are. 

I think what you are saying in the book is that they are two paths to the same thing: the source of unenlightenment is the mental model of self - and there are various ways to find out that model is fabricated.

Is that right? If there is anything else you can say to reconcile the two frameworks I would like to know what you think.

Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 3:31 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

It seemed to me there are two seemingly different conceptual frameworks: one framework is that awakening is caused by realizing you are just awareness observing thoughts, emotions, impulses, and things around, the other framework is letting go of emotions undermines you mental model of reality so that you cans see things as they really are.


I'm not sure these are two different conceptual frameworks. "Letting go of emotions" means "letting go of the truth behind the emotion". You do this by observing the thoughts, emotions, impulses, etc., so that you can see its true nature.

Well, that's what I take it to mean. I would personally never use a phrase like "letting go of emotions", because to me it suggests ignoring them, or suppressing them, or somehow denying that they are having an impact on you.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 4:50 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
All "suffering" (mental anguish) is cognitive dissonance?


(Emotional pain is caused when reality conflicts with our self concept or our mental model of reality?)

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 4:56 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
All "suffering" (mental anguish) is cognitive dissonance?


(Emotional pain is caused when reality conflicts with our self concept or our mental model of reality?)

Cognitive dissonance does not have to cause emotional pain (this was mind-blowing for me, when I realized it).

It seems to me that the problem is how attached you are to your self-concept, not just whether or not reality is conflicting with it.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 4:56 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
If awakening does not eliminate unpleasant emotions, how should dukkha be translated or explained in English?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 5:11 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
If awakening does not eliminate unpleasant emotions, how should dukkha be translated or explained in English?


I have no idea. It's a really complicated topic. You might read this: https://www.lionsroar.com/deep-dukkha-part-2-the-three-kinds-of-suffering/

One thing I can say is that what you call an "unpleasant emotion" is perhaps better seen as a fairly neutral emotion, to which you are adding a layer of unpleasantness. If you could see that you were doing this, and you could see exactly why and how you were doing this, you'd probably stop. That's the kind of suffering we're trying to get rid of. 

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 5:16 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

See above. NO-ONE can tell you how to see things as they are. NO PRACTICE precipitates awakening. This is going to sound like nonsense until you understand it for yourself.... and it isn't an intellectual understanding, any more than reading about jumping out of a plane is how it feels when your feet leave the plane.



Practice doesn't precipitate awakening.  You mean it can never be the last straw? Then what does practice do? Prepare the mind so that awakening can be triggered by something else?  What does precipitate awakening? What kinds of things precipitate awakening?

If the concept of self is like a mental filter, and awakening is removing that filter, why can't somone figure out a fool proof way to help people remove that filter? 

The intellectual understanding I want is not to make me awakened but to help me understand what can precipitate awakening and how a practice can help - then I can use that understanding to choose or develop a practice that I think will work best for me.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 5:25 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:


One thing I can say is that what you call an "unpleasant emotion" is perhaps better seen as a fairly neutral emotion, to which you are adding a layer of unpleasantness. If you could see that you were doing this, and you could see exactly why and how you were doing this, you'd probably stop. That's the kind of suffering we're trying to get rid of. 

Dukkha = attachments and aversions to emotions?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 5:29 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

If the concept of self is like a mental filter, and awakening is removing that filter, why can't somone figure out a fool proof way to help people remove that filter? 

You might get a better idea of the scope of the problem if you try doing exactly as you are suggesting. Think of what your "concept of self" entails, and try doing things that deliberately contradict it. 

Even just thinking about it helped me a lot. For example, take a bunch of random, contradictory adjectives, and for each one, write a (true) paragraph explaining how that adjective perfectly describes you. (I am lazy, I am hardworking, I am kind, I am cruel, etc.)

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 5:41 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
spatial:


One thing I can say is that what you call an "unpleasant emotion" is perhaps better seen as a fairly neutral emotion, to which you are adding a layer of unpleasantness. If you could see that you were doing this, and you could see exactly why and how you were doing this, you'd probably stop. That's the kind of suffering we're trying to get rid of. 

Dukkha = attachments and aversions to emotions?

I should leave it up to someone who is more knowledge than I to define "dukkha." My guess is that it's a catch-all term to refer to "things that suck." Saying "the path leads to the end of dukkha" seems to me to be a marketing strategy, to convey the idea that it will make your life quite a bit better. I would try not to get caught up in the semantics too much, since you might even say there's a bit of wordplay going on here. (Not that the Four Noble Truths are not true, just that the particular wording seems to me to be poetic rather than a clear description of what the path is).

Then there's "dukkha" as one of the three characteristics, which is a more technical concept, and which you can read about here: https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-i-the-fundamentals/5-the-three-characteristics/


RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 7:56 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

the source of unenlightenment is the mental model of self - and there are various ways to find out that model is fabricated.


Yes, that is a good way of putting it.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 8:00 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

Practice doesn't precipitate awakening.  You mean it can never be the last straw? Then what does practice do? Prepare the mind so that awakening can be triggered by something else?  What does precipitate awakening? What kinds of things precipitate awakening?

If the concept of self is like a mental filter, and awakening is removing that filter, why can't somone figure out a fool proof way to help people remove that filter? 

The intellectual understanding I want is not to make me awakened but to help me understand what can precipitate awakening and how a practice can help - then I can use that understanding to choose or develop a practice that I think will work best for me.

Stream Entry is a moment where the reality of there being a separate person who does practices that liberate themselves is seen through. Until you see through that illusion, the practice seems to chip away at this mistaken perception.

Your description of what "self" is (and it's a fine and useful description) only exists as a false conceptual pointer. All of these models of reality, or paths, or practices and how they work (including the ones science constructs) are merely conceptual and have no basis in reality. There IS no-one to figure out a way to liberate illusory separate people. The whole thing is hilarious when seen from the absolute perspective. 

Choose a practice that you are drawn to - that seems to work, and makes sense to you - and dedicate yourself to it, without clinging to results. That is my advice.

If awakening does not eliminate unpleasant emotions, how should dukkha be translated or explained in English?

Dukkha is a mistaken belief that the objects of our perception have any intrinsic (separate) reality.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/24/19 8:21 PM as a reply to Derek2.
Derek2:
Jim Smith:

the source of unenlightenment is the mental model of self - and there are various ways to find out that model is fabricated.


Yes, that is a good way of putting it.

Agree.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/25/19 3:47 AM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Jim Smith:

If the concept of self is like a mental filter, and awakening is removing that filter, why can't somone figure out a fool proof way to help people remove that filter? 

You might get a better idea of the scope of the problem if you try doing exactly as you are suggesting. Think of what your "concept of self" entails, and try doing things that deliberately contradict it. 

Even just thinking about it helped me a lot. For example, take a bunch of random, contradictory adjectives, and for each one, write a (true) paragraph explaining how that adjective perfectly describes you. (I am lazy, I am hardworking, I am kind, I am cruel, etc.)


Fear (of really experiencing "oneness", of losing your self) is also an obstacle.

Is that what makes the ego so "sensitive", subconsciously people are terrified of what it would mean to have no sense of self and not-self so they vehemently defend their sense of self?

And is that why awakening is precipitated so mysteriously - it can only be granted by the subconscious? Nothing you can do consciously can trigger it?

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/25/19 8:35 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
And is that why awakening is precipitated so mysteriously - it can only be granted by the subconscious? Nothing you can do consciously can trigger it?

This is not a simple thing to explain or to experience. We practice so that we can observe the way our minds construct reality, which obviously includes the sense there that our experience has a center and has a controller in the center, causing our interactions with the world around us. These observations have to made over and over and over because we've spent all our lives ignoring the mind-processing that creates this "reality" we experience. We find out that we have a serious self-delusion habit. Slowly, we gain insight into this mind process, and there is a deepening that takes place, usually starting with objects "outside" of ourselves as we perceive them and slowly moving to subtler, more personally important objects. One day, for whatever reason, we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience and eventually realize that there is, in fact, no permanent self, controller, or agent making all of "this" happen. It just happens on its own, no need for all the complication.

In my experience awakening is a confusing combination of intentional process and serendipity. There's no use in explaining it rationally.

Hope this helps.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/25/19 8:41 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
And is that why awakening is precipitated so mysteriously - it can only be granted by the subconscious? Nothing you can do consciously can trigger it?

This is not a simple thing to explain or to experience. We practice so that we can observe the way our minds construct reality, which obviously includes the sense there that our experience has a center and has a controller in the center, causing our interactions with the world around us. These observations have to made over and over and over because we've spent all our lives ignoring the mind-processing that creates this "reality" we experience. We find out that we have a serious self-delusion habit. Slowly, we gain insight into this mind process, and there is a deepening that takes place, usually starting with objects "outside" of ourselves as we perceive them and slowly moving to subtler, more personally important objects. One day, for whatever reason, we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience and eventually realize that there is, in fact, no permanent self, controller, or agent making all of "this" happen. It just happens on its own, no need for all the complication.

In my experience awakening is a confusing combination of intentional process and serendipity. There's no use in explaining it rationally.

Hope this helps.

That’s one of the best explanations I have seen, I believe.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/27/19 1:16 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Chris Marti:
And is that why awakening is precipitated so mysteriously - it can only be granted by the subconscious? Nothing you can do consciously can trigger it?

This is not a simple thing to explain or to experience. We practice so that we can observe the way our minds construct reality, which obviously includes the sense there that our experience has a center and has a controller in the center, causing our interactions with the world around us. These observations have to made over and over and over because we've spent all our lives ignoring the mind-processing that creates this "reality" we experience. We find out that we have a serious self-delusion habit. Slowly, we gain insight into this mind process, and there is a deepening that takes place, usually starting with objects "outside" of ourselves as we perceive them and slowly moving to subtler, more personally important objects. One day, for whatever reason, we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience and eventually realize that there is, in fact, no permanent self, controller, or agent making all of "this" happen. It just happens on its own, no need for all the complication.

In my experience awakening is a confusing combination of intentional process and serendipity. There's no use in explaining it rationally.

Hope this helps.

Can anyone give an example or a hypothetical example of what happens when you  "observe the way our minds construct reality".  What are you observing? Could you write down your observations? Are there serveral steps you observe occurring? What are they? 

And after "we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience"  is that the same thing? If not can anyone spell it out like I asked above?

How exactly does the mind construct reality and or create our experience? What parts of that do you observe?

------------------Update (see next post) ---------------------

Is this something that we see when we observe whatever appers in the mind: sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions, feelings, impulstes, intentions - just watch everything that appears to consciousness - and somehow you see it: the mind constructing reality / experience?

Is it something that you see when you watch how one thing leads to another - a sense perception - to recognition - to a thought - to an emotion - to an impulse - to an intention - to an action?

You see the cause and effect relationships - that cause and effect is controlling things not "you".

When you are immersed in it, you think you are in control, but when you step back and observe it, it seems like it goes by itself?

By contrast you see that only when you are immresed does the "self" comes into existence, when you just observe there is no self created.

That is how the illusion of self is produced.


Thanks

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/27/19 1:17 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Chris Marti:
And is that why awakening is precipitated so mysteriously - it can only be granted by the subconscious? Nothing you can do consciously can trigger it?

This is not a simple thing to explain or to experience. We practice so that we can observe the way our minds construct reality, which obviously includes the sense there that our experience has a center and has a controller in the center, causing our interactions with the world around us. These observations have to made over and over and over because we've spent all our lives ignoring the mind-processing that creates this "reality" we experience. We find out that we have a serious self-delusion habit. Slowly, we gain insight into this mind process, and there is a deepening that takes place, usually starting with objects "outside" of ourselves as we perceive them and slowly moving to subtler, more personally important objects. One day, for whatever reason, we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience and eventually realize that there is, in fact, no permanent self, controller, or agent making all of "this" happen. It just happens on its own, no need for all the complication.

In my experience awakening is a confusing combination of intentional process and serendipity. There's no use in explaining it rationally.

Hope this helps.

Can anyone give an example or a hypothetical example of what happens when you  "observe the way our minds construct reality".  What are you observing? Could you write down your observations? Are there serveral steps you observe occurring? What are they? 

And after "we wake up to what's actually happening as mind creates our experience"  is that the same thing? If not can anyone spell it out like I asked above?

How exactly does the mind construct reality and or create our experience? What parts of that do you observe?

Thanks

Is this something that we see when we observe whatever appers in the mind: sense perceptions, thoughts, emotions, feelings, impulstes, intentions - just watch everything that appears to consciousness - and somehow you see it: the mind constructing reality / experience?

Is it something that you see when you watch how one thing leads to another - a sense perception - to recognition - to a thought - to an emotion - to an impulse - to an intention - to an action?

You see the cause and effect relationships - that cause and effect is controlling things not "you".

When you are immersed in it, you think you are in control, but when you step back and observe it, it seems like it goes by itself?

By contrast you see that only when you are immresed does the "self" comes into existence, when you just observe there is no self created. 

That is how the illusion of self is produced.

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/27/19 6:57 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Nice - answering your own questions!

RE: Does feeling emotional pain cause awakening?
Answer
8/27/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
If awakening does not eliminate unpleasant emotions, how should dukkha be translated or explained in English?

how about "reinforced confusion"