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Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 7:55 AM
I have started practicing shi-nè meditation from Aro gTér tradition.
(Instructions: "When thoughts come – let them come. When thoughts go – let them go. If you find yourself involved in a stream of thoughts, let go of your involvement with them. Keep letting go of involvement. Remain uninvolved. Just let go. Whatever happens – let it be as it is.")
 
Questions for anyone familiar:

1) Do you have any special advice or warning in regards to Aro gTér practices?

2) Is this the same technique as Shinzen's "Do nothing" (“Let whatever happens happen, but as soon as you are aware of an intention to control your attention, drop that intention.”)? Do you know any other names for this purely "do nothing" practice? E.g. Adyashanti's "True meditation" and Shikantaza (although Shikantaza usualy involves additional awareness of posture).

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 8:06 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Names of things aren’t my strongest suit, but isn’t this also called open awareness or choiceless awareness?

And yeah, seems like the same thing. As far as I understand, it is a common technique in different traditions.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 8:12 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin, I have several friends who are long term Aro practitioners. I have read several of the Aro books and subscribe to the Aro podcast, which I would urge you to do as it will help inform you about the Aro practices:

http://arobuddhism.org/

http://aroaudio.blogspot.com/



RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 8:18 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
People often treat those as synonyms, but here is where I see the difference:

In choiceless awareness, you have the intention to be aware of the movement of your attention. We may say that the movement of attention is the meditation object.

In "doing nothing", there is no object, and the technique is formulated in negative terms: drop, give up, let go etc. It's a "non-dual" approach (Adyashanti - "being awareness instead of being aware").

So, there is an overlap, but the emphasis is different.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 11:30 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
I have started practicing shi-nè meditation from Aro gTér tradition.
(Instructions: "When thoughts come – let them come. When thoughts go – let them go. If you find yourself involved in a stream of thoughts, let go of your involvement with them. Keep letting go of involvement. Remain uninvolved. Just let go. Whatever happens – let it be as it is.")
 
Questions for anyone familiar:

1) Do you have any special advice or warning in regards to Aro gTér practices?

2) Is this the same technique as Shinzen's "Do nothing" (“Let whatever happens happen, but as soon as you are aware of an intention to control your attention, drop that intention.”)? Do you know any other names for this purely "do nothing" practice? E.g. Adyashanti's "True meditation" and Shikantaza (although Shikantaza usualy involves additional awareness of posture).

This is where I started out in the late 80's, working with Ngakpa Chogyam, and then continued through most of my dharma education, mostly in Nyingma (with some Gelug) afterward. 

The advice you have is fine. The only thing I would add is that you will have "experiences" as you continue. It is good to have a teacher to bring these to. For the most part, it is best to notice experiences and let them go without clinging to them as pleasant or unpleasant (craving/aversion). One teacher suggested putting a smile on when something particularly interesting or pleasant happens, but without dropping into some conceptual thought about what it is that is occurring. I got some mileage out of that, I think.

I am finishing my ordination in Soto Zen (because when Stream Entry occurred most of the way through the Ngondro process, my teacher, Lama Tharchin had passed on, so I just found the nearest transmitted teacher to where I live (which worked out great). I now sit Zazen theoretically, but nothing has changed about my practice, and honestly I think the small variations in open awareness practices aren't really worth discussing or having concern about. Resting in the "view" is what is important. I do my walking meditation "wrong" and my mudra "wrong" too... my teacher thinks it is funny. emoticon

Have you done, or are you considering the Ngondro? Has your teacher introduced you the "nature of mind" yet?

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/23/19 11:45 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
People often treat those as synonyms, but here is where I see the difference:

In choiceless awareness, you have the intention to be aware of the movement of your attention. We may say that the movement of attention is the meditation object.

In "doing nothing", there is no object, and the technique is formulated in negative terms: drop, give up, let go etc. It's a "non-dual" approach (Adyashanti - "being awareness instead of being aware").

So, there is an overlap, but the emphasis is different.


Oh, yeah, that’s true. Although, if one has to do something actively to abandon the thought or sensations, then that’s not doing nothing. Likewise, if one really lets the mind move freely, then one doesn’t engage in thoughts or sensations as a doer. So the results should be pretty much the same, right? One just starts out differently before one learns the techniques fully. Or have I misunderstood that?

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 3:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
@Chris
Great, thanks!
I have been mainly using the book "Roaring silence". The reason I am drawn to Shi-ne in particular is because this type of meditation counters my obsessive over-thinking controlling attitude in meditation. In the beginning of the book there is a strong emphasis on the fact that people are "thinking addicts". During shi-ne, they must give up their addiction, which causes aversion and anxiety. I like this framework very much because I feel that it addresses my main issue. The classical samatha framework didn't work for me because it expects nice tranquil experience, which leads to disappointment. (Also, the complicity of numerous TMI instructions has turned out to be counterproductive for me in the long run, because it gives the "excuse" to overthink.) On the other hand, shi-ne frameworks expects discomfort (during withdrawal from "thought addiction"). This way, I except the pain and accept my experience.
If you have any additional advice for me, please let me know.

@Campbell
Thank you. I don't have a teacher yet emoticon
Please see my response to Chris for details about my practice, let me know if you have some advice.

@ Linda
I assume that the end states are similar emoticon However, since the ephasis in instructions is different, the effects are probably different also, e.g. choicess awareness emphasisez mindfulness while "doing nothing" emphasizes equanimity / letting go.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 6:33 AM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:

@ Linda
I assume that the end states are similar emoticon However, since the ephasis in instructions is different, the effects are probably different also, e.g. choicess awareness emphasisez mindfulness while "doing nothing" emphasizes equanimity / letting go.


Initially, sure, I guess that’s reasonable. Or maybe they are just different instructions because people tend to understand one better than the other and it’s easier to focus on one side of the coin.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 6:43 AM as a reply to Griffin.
In the latest episode of Deconstructing Yourself, Michael Taft interviews a practitioner of this traditions, and they discuss some aspects of that practice. In case you haven't listened to that.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 7:08 AM as a reply to Siavash.
That's where I heard about Aro gTér emoticon

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 3:06 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:

@Campbell
Thank you. I don't have a teacher yet emoticon
Please see my response to Chris for details about my practice, let me know you have some advice.

I would only add that, IMHO, the Nyingma and Dzogchen tradition as a whole has a lot to offer, but that it is pointing to a perspective on mind and insights that don't always jibe with other Buddhist traditions, so know that incoporating other traditions can be confusing and difficult.

You'll want a teacher for sure, especially a local one if you can. If you can't, I'd find a Nyingma/Dzogchen one nearby.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/19 3:21 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Nyingma and Dzogchen tradition as a whole has a lot to offer, but that it is pointing to a perspective on mind and insights that don't always jibe with other Buddhist traditions, so know that incoporating other traditions can be confusing and difficult. 

Thanks. I have been reading David Chapman's blog recently and realized exactly what you said. 

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/30/19 10:08 AM as a reply to Griffin.
My friends all have the same teacher:


Steven Tainer

http://www.thefullwiki.org/Steven_Tainer

http://www.berkeleymonastery.org/teachers.html


I
 don't know how to contact him but would be willing to find out if you're interested, Griffin.

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/26/20 8:36 PM as a reply to Griffin.
www.vajrayananow.com

David Chapman's signficant other Charlie Awbery is starting these "classes" up.  The concept is to take make the vajrayana more accessible to Westerners.  Jared Janes is helping the effort.  He comes from a TMI and Shinzen background.  Charlie and Jared were just interviewed on the latest Deconstructing yourself podcast.  Interesting take.  

If anyone knows how to get access to Journey into Vastness: A Handbook of Tibetan Meditation Techniques (Tibetan mystic path)  please let me know.  It is out of print and I don't have $62.00 laying around!

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/20 5:19 AM as a reply to Griffin.
I just published an interview with an Aro gTer teacher in which she discusses their approach to shiné - https://www.guruviking.com/ep59-sang-gye-a-tsal-santeria-to-sang-gye/

And in my video interview with the founders of this school (at their home), shiné is also discussed around 1:22:25 - https://www.guruviking.com/ep16-ngapka-chogyam-and-khandro-dechen-guru-viking-interviews/

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/20 7:56 AM as a reply to Steve James.
Thanks for the info. Steve.  I noticed the new episode today.


How much experience do you personally have with their meditation system?

RE: Shi-nè meditation (Aro gTér)
Answer
8/29/20 2:23 PM as a reply to This very moment.
This very moment:
Thanks for the info. Steve.  I noticed the new episode today.


How much experience do you personally have with their meditation system?

You're welcome!

I don't have any personal experience of the Aro gTer meditation system.