RE: Space & Knowing

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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Space & Knowing

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear Hala,

Well, good to hear from you again.

You ask a zillion very good questions, but I will give my best shot at this in summary form:

Basically, there are sensations, and sensations arise and vanish. All things that can be experienced are formed of transient sensations from the point of view of vipassana, and that includes anything you think could know anything, any sensations that imply knowing, and every and all of the many fresh sensations that imply space and awareness, all of which change and are utterly impermanent.

Emptiness as a word can imply many things, so in that context you should ask, but I can think of a few:
Sensations are empty of a self, which is what emptiness is usually shorthand for when used to describe phenomena: all sensations are manifest where they are, are utterly transient, are known by nothing, arise from nothing and return to nothing, except this is not a nothing you can find or know or experience, it really is the utterly gone nothing, the nothing without any time or experience, such that it is utterly not known at all as there would be nothing there to know it and nothing there to know and no time during which knowing could occur, this is the other way emptiness is sometimes meant, and refers to Fruitions.

You sound like you are really, really good at the 5th and 6th samatha jhanas, and, as you like and are impressed by those experiences, continue to cultivate those in your practice, and even if you cultivate some vipassana practice within them, if you don't really go for those jhanas themselves, they will just stick around, meaning you will cultivate the illusion of a stable space and not violate it by seeing the individual sensations that make up the broad, wide background as they are, while doing vipassana on your central objects. Without seeing both the background (everything that seems to be space, awareness, subject, self) and the foreground (your central objects) arise and vanish, stream entry will not arise, as for it to arise, awareness of the Three Characteristics must encompass the full field simultaneously, including all of space and awareness within its comprehension.

That's my best guess, anyway.

Other possibility: anagamis can describe stuff like this, where everything seems panoramic, aware, etc., and they can have their own problems fixating on not completely penetrating this more refined, complete, and compelling sense of space/awareness as something that is the ultimate thing and stable and some sort of a self.

Thoughts?

Daniel
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Space & Knowing

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Getting up to Equanimity, falling back to Dark Night: this is a classic pattern, and many will repeat this again and again on retreat before they (hopefully) finally get it.

Get stream entry. It is remarkable. For me and for many, there is a very high sense of coming home, or of that being the thing the mind had most wanted to do or understand. It really helps and opens doors to all sorts of other stuff.

Again, the formless realms are great fun, but just for a little while, try to see that even space and awareness and consciousness and oneness and anything and everything else that makes up those and everything else you could possibly know or conceive of is just more fluxing, utterly transient sensations that arise from perfect nothing (not even a space, not even anything to do with time, just utterly gone, the perfect gapless gap, the complete and utter discontinuity) and vanish to that also, so realize this, just allow things to sync, allow things all to vanish, all of it. Allow the mind to just gently, teasingly, carefully incorporate everything such that nothing escapes that degree of natural, complete penetration into the Three Characteristics, not even space, not even awareness, not even nothingness as a jhana, as that leads to the doors that show you the answer, or at least the first part of the answer.

Stream entry is a great foundation for whatever you want to do next.

I am glad you are enjoying and getting a lot out of your time there. Since you find yourself in vipassana land, you might as well really give a shot at mastering what they are talking about, so get stream entry and then, if you wish and still feel inclined, go check out Vedanta or whatever and see how it seems to you from that new and enhanced point of view and insights.

Daniel