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Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?

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Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/13/19 6:48 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/13/19 9:06 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/13/19 8:49 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/13/19 8:53 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/13/19 9:05 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/13/19 9:34 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/13/19 9:50 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/13/19 10:08 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/14/19 9:49 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/16/19 9:50 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/13/19 9:04 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/20/19 10:27 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 10:46 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/19 12:12 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 10:59 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 12:15 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/20/19 1:22 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/20/19 12:30 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 1:09 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/19 1:15 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/20/19 5:37 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/21/19 12:17 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 9:09 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/21/19 10:37 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/20/19 1:46 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 12:50 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/14/19 11:40 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/14/19 12:06 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/14/19 3:42 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/16/19 8:12 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/18/19 2:40 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/14/19 4:04 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/14/19 4:27 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/14/19 4:58 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Ryan 9/14/19 5:24 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/14/19 5:38 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 7:27 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/15/19 8:40 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 8:47 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/15/19 8:51 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/15/19 8:53 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 10:21 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/15/19 10:31 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 11:29 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/15/19 2:04 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 3:39 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/15/19 4:08 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 4:22 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/15/19 9:23 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/15/19 11:36 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jordi 9/16/19 3:00 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Monsoon Frog 9/17/19 6:50 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/17/19 7:05 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/15/19 10:08 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/16/19 3:37 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/16/19 3:39 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/16/19 4:01 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 7:43 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/16/19 7:56 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 9:59 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/16/19 8:44 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Shaun Steelgrave 9/16/19 9:23 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/16/19 10:28 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 11:07 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/16/19 11:37 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 11:57 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/16/19 2:23 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/16/19 3:49 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/16/19 12:37 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Siavash Mahmoudpour 9/16/19 1:50 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/16/19 2:21 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/16/19 2:37 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/16/19 2:53 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Ryan 9/17/19 8:11 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Ryan 9/17/19 8:25 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 3:16 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/16/19 4:25 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/16/19 7:55 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 5:57 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/18/19 8:00 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/18/19 9:52 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/19/19 12:33 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 12:45 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/19/19 1:00 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/19/19 1:14 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 2:37 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 6:50 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/19/19 1:14 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/19/19 12:02 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/19/19 1:21 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jens Theisen 9/19/19 1:48 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stirling Campbell 9/19/19 4:42 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 2:49 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 3:14 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 11:25 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 7:11 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 7:20 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Jim Smith 9/20/19 1:17 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/20/19 2:41 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Ben V. 9/19/19 9:21 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 9:32 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/20/19 12:09 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/19 2:08 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/19/19 1:20 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 2:32 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/19/19 6:03 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/19/19 2:08 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 6:56 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/19/19 12:20 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 2:29 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/19/19 5:02 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 6:41 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/19 9:07 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/20/19 9:24 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/20/19 12:05 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/19/19 6:37 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/14/19 12:18 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/14/19 1:25 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stephen McClard 9/15/19 8:04 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stephen McClard 9/15/19 8:32 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Stephen McClard 9/17/19 9:42 AM
asdasasdasd John 9/17/19 8:52 PM
RE: asdasasdasd Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/18/19 2:37 AM
butterflies are free Jim Smith 9/18/19 3:15 AM
RE: butterflies are free John 9/18/19 10:08 AM
RE: butterflies are free Jim Smith 9/18/19 10:57 AM
RE: butterflies are free John 9/18/19 10:11 AM
RE: butterflies are free Stirling Campbell 9/18/19 7:15 PM
RE: butterflies are free John 9/18/19 11:05 PM
RE: butterflies are free Jim Smith 9/19/19 11:02 PM
RE: butterflies are free John 9/22/19 2:28 AM
RE: butterflies are free Jim Smith 9/19/19 11:03 PM
RE: asdasasdasd Jens Theisen 9/22/19 7:23 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/21/19 12:03 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 12:38 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:05 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 1:17 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:25 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 1:30 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:36 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 1:51 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:59 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 2:18 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? shargrol 9/21/19 3:20 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/21/19 3:42 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 4:21 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/22/19 5:23 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? shargrol 9/22/19 6:34 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/22/19 7:23 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? shargrol 9/22/19 9:07 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/22/19 1:00 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? shargrol 9/22/19 4:16 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 9/22/19 10:13 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/22/19 7:45 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 9/22/19 2:42 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Kim Katami 9/23/19 8:40 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 10/3/19 11:11 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/21/19 1:47 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:47 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/21/19 1:54 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? shargrol 9/21/19 3:21 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 1:49 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/21/19 2:29 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Laurel Carrington 9/21/19 3:00 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/21/19 3:48 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 4:30 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/21/19 4:27 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Chris Marti 9/21/19 4:31 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Milo 9/22/19 1:57 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Gunnar Johansson 9/25/19 5:58 PM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 10/3/19 10:41 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Gunnar Johansson 9/27/19 9:18 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Santiago Jimenez 10/3/19 10:47 AM
RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment? Ben V. 10/16/19 12:02 PM
Anyone here interested in the relationship between Waking up (seeing no - self) and Growing up (how the mind developes in its meaning making)?

I recently found the work of Terri O'Fallon, she describes this as the relationship between states of consciousness and stages/structures of consciousness. This stuff is very ground breaking and leading edge. Is sort of putting the Buddhist / Hindu / Mystical (Eastern) approach  together with the Psychological / Developmental (Western) approach of looking at the mind. 

This brings a totally new understanding on what "full awakening" could mean. We know that there are some supposedly "awakened" beings that are just a f'n mess. But by understending their "developmental" level (in western psychological terms) we can start to see what the hell is going on in there.

If anyone is interested, her model is called STAGES (praised by guys like Ken Wilber) and you can find it here https://www.stagesinternational.com/

If anyone knows about similiar research, I'd love ot hear about it.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 9:06 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Re-stating my contrarian argument from the Culadasa thread:

I'm going to maintain the contrarian position, at least for argument's sake, that awakening is not related to morality, ethics and societal norms. There are extraordinary, exemplary human beings who don't have any kind of spiritual practice. I further assert that being an exemplary human being is completely unrelated to having a spiritual practice. I'm also going to assert that people with spiritual practices, even those who are awakened, have the same incidence of moral and ethical misbehavior that other human beings have. Of course, I can't prove any of these assertions but I think it's helpful, even healthy, to maintain this kind of skepticism. Neither, however, can the claim that awakened people have some leg up on morality be proven. I suspect it's all in how you look at it, and in what you believe.

Simply put, the unexplained hole in our perspective doesn't actually exist unless and until we place a specialness on awakening or spirituality.

YMMV

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 8:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
There’s some support for Chris’s position in Buddhism, based on the fact that morality is a separate training from either concentration or insight; so a person could train in the latter two and not bother with morality. OTOH, one purpose for the precepts is to quiet the mind and free it of the turmoil that immoral behavior creates, thus making the other two trainings easier to manage. I think it would be difficult to carry on an elaborate subterfuge of the sort that Yates managed without a significant expenditure of energy, that energy being unavailable for concentration. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 8:53 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Interesting. So I'll go out on a limb here and guess that you view morality as a safeguard to awakening rather than a result of it?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 9:04 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
" I suspect it's all in how you look at it, and in what you believe." Yup, that's how I look at it also. It all dependes on what someone means by awakening.

For example, in the Mahayana lineages, awakening includes "returning to the market place with gift bestowing hands". That's not evident on the Theravada perpective (not to make a superiority judgement, just an observation). However, morality and ethical behavior has always been a part of both teachings.

Hopefully, the beliefes, practices and communities related to this kind of stuff can help (at least a little bit) in the reduction of suffering (or at least not increase it).

Thanks for the comment.

... you view morality as a safeguard to awakening rather than a result of it?

What I'm saying is that there isn't cause and effect at work - people can be awake and immoral, awake and moral, not awake and moral, and not awake and immoral. We can observe this in our real lives. I would say that telling people that "being awake is going to make you moral" is a recipe for disaster... of Richard Baker Roshi or Sakyong Mipham proportions.

emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 9:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Sure. Otherwise you have to engage in a lot of 'no true scotsman'ing' about who is or isn't awakened I suppose.

Which would be pretty certain to lead to those kind of disasters : )

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/13/19 10:08 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
A big part of the problem here is that examples of awakened, immoral individuals tend to be teachers with large numbers of students, who look on their teachers as having the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Spiritual practice is, after all, something people tend to get into because they are becoming aware of the suffering in their lives, not because things are going well. Spiritual leaders appear to their students as having beaten the system, gotten the answer, and students want to be close to them, to have something of what these guys have. That level of mass admiration, even adoration, isn’t something most humans deal with very well. In addition, a major spiritual teacher may have no one in his (or her, but not as frequently) life who will tell him when he’s out of line, who can provide a reality check. So they fail spectacularly, get caught, and everyone is traumatized and people’s faith in the practice is shaken. 

This story is repeated over over with nauseating frequency. But what about those like Bill Hamilton, who stay out of the public eye; who are good, kind, moral people who happen also to be awake? Can we imagine that there are in fact plenty of such people, some on this forum, even, but others all over the world who just live their lives, do good in the world, and who wouldn’t dream of exploiting or abusing anyone, financially, sexually, or otherwise? What makes us think that awakened people are all teachers with large followings? These are the ones we see, obviously, but I should hope there are other people waking up who are moved by compassion and a desire to help others.  
I have no way of knowing whether this is the case, but I am suggesting that the bad examples everyone has seen are not representative.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 12:50 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
I see them as separate trainings that may facilitate each other if used that way.

I see working with one’s own defense mechanisms and reactive patterns as essential to human development regardless of spiritual aspirations. I haven’t got any research to refer to, though. Sorry. But I know that Michael Taft embraces the notion of waking up and growing up.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 9:49 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
In addition, a major spiritual teacher may have no one in his (or her, but not as frequently) life who will tell him when he’s out of line, who can provide a reality check.

I've been a member of Association for Spiritual Integrity since it was founded. I haven't watched but few of these discussions but it gives some idea: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC96ilFf5rxosgCWIY7pSj6w

I can say from my own exp that it is crucial for a teacher to have someone, in singular or plural, that one can be totally open and honest with. Reality checking is essential.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 11:40 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I see them as separate trainings that may facilitate each other if used that way.

I see working with one’s own defense mechanisms and reactive patterns as essential to human development regardless of spiritual aspirations. I haven’t got any research to refer to, though. Sorry. But I know that Michael Taft embraces the notion of waking up and growing up.

That's exactly what I mean. In the original Buddhist training there's a notion of morality, but the approach is ridiculosly primitive compared to the advances that humanity has made regarding human development, specially in the modern west. So, the possibility of putting together the super sophisticated training of Buddhism (WAKING UP) with the super sophisticated training of western psychology (and other approaches) that's available today (GROWING UP) is an unprecedented opportunity for humanity.

If you look at it this way, then all this debate about Awakening vs Morality gets pretty clear, then we can transcend the apparent confusion, and understand why so many "awakened" beings screw up so much.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 12:06 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
On the other hand, the temptations, challenges and demands from society have also evolved. I think there are great risks to being too cocky about how outstanding and sophisticated western approaches are. I think therapy can be superhelpful, but I also know lots of people who have really bad experiences from therapeutic treatment. But sure, if one can find and afford a good therapist with solid competence and experience and a methodology that suits one’s needs, I think it is excellent to use that as a complement to meditation. One has to be willing to see one’s own junk, too.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 12:18 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:
Anyone here interested in the relationship between Waking up (seeing no - self) and Growing up (how the mind developes in its meaning making)?

I recently found the work of Terri O'Fallon, she describes this as the relationship between states of consciousness and stages/structures of consciousness. This stuff is very ground breaking and leading edge. Is sort of putting the Buddhist / Hindu / Mystical (Eastern) approach  together with the Psychological / Developmental (Western) approach of looking at the mind. 

This brings a totally new understanding on what "full awakening" could mean. We know that there are some supposedly "awakened" beings that are just a f'n mess. But by understending their "developmental" level (in western psychological terms) we can start to see what the hell is going on in there.

If anyone is interested, her model is called STAGES (praised by guys like Ken Wilber) and you can find it here https://www.stagesinternational.com/

If anyone knows about similiar research, I'd love ot hear about it.
Or you'd just replace 'awakened' beings with 'highly developed' ones in this conversation. I'll go out on a limb here and guess that after a while we'd find examples of 'highly developed' beings involved in the same behaviors.

I think that would happen if the disctintion is not clearly made, and "awakened" is equated with "developed". They are not the same thing in this conversation (that's actually the purpose of starting the conversation, to carify such disctintion).

A "developed" person, or better yet a "relatively balanced developed" person (there are many lines of development, one of them is morals) would be much less likely to behave in such ways. Of course it could always happen since we live in a probabilistic and not deterministic universe.

So then the question is, how do we lower as much as we can the probabilities of people behaving in such ways? Maybe a first step is to establish a distinction between Waking up and Growing up.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 3:42 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:

That's exactly what I mean. In the original Buddhist training there's a notion of morality, but the approach is ridiculosly primitive compared to the advances that humanity has made regarding human development, specially in the modern west. So, the possibility of putting together the super sophisticated training of Buddhism (WAKING UP) with the super sophisticated training of western psychology (and other approaches) that's available today (GROWING UP) is an unprecedented opportunity for humanity.

If you look at it this way, then all this debate about Awakening vs Morality gets pretty clear, then we can transcend the apparent confusion, and understand why so many "awakened" beings screw up so much.

I have no problem with combining dharma practice and psychology but I think that most "masters" of any branch of buddhism are actually more or less far from being fully enlightened, even if they were masters of their particular training systems/meditation techniques. The percentage of buddhists who attain any type of buddhahood per generation is ridiculously low. Hence, all the problems and confusions, f. ex. about attainments and morality.

I personally do not think buddhist dharma lacks anything else except a new understanding and methods in how to effect deeper waking up. Folks just aren't waking up quickly and deeply enough. The rest; growing up, cleaning up and showing up, follows from there.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 4:04 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago --

In the original Buddhist training there's a notion of morality, but the approach is ridiculosly primitive compared to the advances that humanity has made regarding human development, specially in the modern west. So, the possibility of putting together the super sophisticated training of Buddhism (WAKING UP) with the super sophisticated training of western psychology (and other approaches) that's available today (GROWING UP) is an unprecedented opportunity for humanity.

If you look at it this way, then all this debate about Awakening vs Morality gets pretty clear, then we can transcend the apparent confusion, and understand why so many "awakened" beings screw up so much.

Nice. (The italics in your quote were added by me.)

As is no doubt obvious from my previous comments, this is how I think of this. Awakening is one dimension and maturity (ethics and morality) is another. People can be developed and/or not developed on either spectrum. They are not necessarily related. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 4:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

Awakening is one dimension and maturity (ethics and morality) is another. People can be developed and/or not developed on either spectrum. They are not necessarily related. 


Ethics in dharma are not merely preliminaries or something on the side. For a confused mind, they are pointers and direct means to access and recognise the enlightened mind. From enlightened mind itself, ethical actions come into being. They are one and the same thing, not separate things. This is exactly what I mean with shallowness of awakening.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 4:58 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim, how do you explain unawakened people who are ethically and morally advanced? I know some. They are beyond reproach. True, highly evolved human adults. How do they get there without being enlightened?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/14/19 5:24 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Morality-enhancing drugs? 

But seriously, I agree with Chris. While there are edge cases where one of the three trainings will support/interfere with another, most would find it hard to concentrate while torturing animals on a regular basis for example, they are in essence orthogonal to each other. 

Ryan:
Morality-enhancing drugs? 

But seriously, I agree with Chris. While there are edge cases where one of the three trainings will support/interfere with another, most would find it hard to concentrate while torturing animals on a regular basis for example, they are in essence orthogonal to each other. 

Huh? Isn't he arguing exactly the opposite? That morality and dharma are more or less decoupled from each other?

Edit: Misunderstood your point on the first read. You are saying the same.

As an aside, I will put out there for me at least, morality and deep concentration are highly, highly correlated. I go sustematically through these things and address them in the early parts of my meditation sessions and the difference is impossible to gloss over.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 7:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Kim, how do you explain unawakened people who are ethically and morally advanced? I know some. They are beyond reproach. True, highly evolved human adults. How do they get there without being enlightened?

They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. There is no chance for success in practice if one's inner values aren't made of uncorrupt steel. You can see from the faces of all those bad boys and girls that there is some dirt, dirtyness, in their eyes and general demeanor.

I've met a bunch of people who are as you describe "beyond reproach". Some of them who are not practitioners, don't quite understand the point of practice because by having clear values they don't have as much need for it, as they already rest in true being a lot but they live in a dualistic state nonetheless. I've also guided a people like this to the first shift and even when they experience a shift that changes the way their mind works and increases clarity, it isn't as much of a surprise as it can be for others.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:04 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Very Old Understanding

In Buddhism, there are three Jewels marking the reception of wisdom well done (Prajñāpāramitā).  The marker for the three jewels are said to be the refuge we each take in the seed of all mind.

1.  BUDH (Awake)
2. DHARMA (Nature of BUDH)
3. SANGHA (Relatives to the Absolute, or Assembly)

Within the three jewels are all aspects of the jewels.  It is said that all are Buddha, all have buddha nature and all are all.  In other words, these three in one. 

1. Identity (what it means to be awake to who you are)
2. Nature (what it means to find original innate nature of love and compassion)
3. Unity (who I am in others / who they are in me)

Unity (yoga) implies Equality, which is the central meaning of the highest truths found in, for instance, the Bluecliff record Case 1.  

Three Stages of Practice

mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers.

At the moment of enlightenment,
mountains are no longer mountains, nor are rivers rivers.

But after accomplishing enlightenment,
mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers."

When equality and unity are achieved, BUDH (ONE).  Before, when asleep to this, the higher mind is the relative below.  Once both eyes are open (above and below), the absolute is seen clearly by the relative.  Both.  

Of the three jewels, which is the only state that can change, is impermanent and must be cultivated in order to see with Absolute nature refined?  Once known, the Bodhisattva is realized.  Identity must return to impart this strength to others.  

In many Koans, you find the three Buffalo (each representative of the three jewels as they appear). 

Buffalo 1 is the mud buffalo, wallowing around in its anger, ill will and ego, horns rising from the mud, covered in the filth of the underworld in which it lives.
  
Buffalo 2 is the water buffalo, washing itself (baptism from the Christian perspective) in the waters of the stream it has entered.

Buffalo 3 is the Domesticated Buffalo, or the white buffalo.  This is the Aleph (ox) who has washed its animal nature away, learning to serve the family, plowing fields and providing all that the family needs in a harsh wilderness (samsara).  In Hebrew, the word Truth is Aleph (ox), Mem (water) and Tav (plowman's mark), which is the Hebrew word Emet.  Taking away the Aleph is Mem Tav (Hebrew word Met), or Hebrew word death.  How do we serve the orphan and widow (Mem and Tav)?  By adding in the strength (refined ox).  
The buffalo’s head sprouts horns
As he emerges from the weeds (relatives),
In a dream, he tries to speak
Of the valley of the timeless spring.
Although he has bathed in the fragrant waters,
I hit, saying, “Not Good Enough!
How will you impart strength to others?”

In Buddhism, the words parallel to the Jewels are Body, Speech and Mind.  Speech is how we express our breath (spirit).  This is our mind building the world.  He tries to speak.  Not good enough.  Speaking is what you do with practice once refined.  Meditation is finding your identity, nature and unity.  Performance is how you refine and cultivate nature.  Realization of Identity and Unity is only half enlightenment.  The rest is what you do with practice to perform in life.  Nirvana and Samsara are the same.  

Love recognizes itself.  Once it is fully expressed, we become the light inside.   Everything else was the boat crossing the stream.  This is refuge while we cross.  

See the 10 Ox Herding Pictures.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Bulls

Compare to the 10 Worlds of Buddhism.  https://www.sgi.org/about-us/buddhist-concepts/ten-worlds.html

End Transmission



RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. 

So, in other words in your version of this, one can be "better aligned with one's nature" and still not be enlightened. Ergo, there is obviously a different dimension of moral development (being aligned with one's nature) that is outside of the dharma. Dharma and moral development are not one and the same.

That's what I said, Kim.

One can be highly evolved in a moral sense without being awake in the dharma sense (as you just stated) and conversely one can be awake in the dharma sense but not evolved in the moral sense (as many recent examples would show, although I'm quite sure you'll once again tell us Buddhist teachers like Baker Roshi and the Sakyong were not enlightened. Mileage varies on that front, as it always does.)

The idea that awakened teachers can't transgress in any way is dangerous, IMHO, leading to the kind of effect that Laurel eloquently described up above in this thread. It encourages people to accept any behavior from them, because enlightenment. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:32 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Deeper Meaning

In the Bluecliff Record Case 1 (parallel to MU / Gateless Gate), BodhiDharma (Tree of Nature) is asked, "What is the meaning of the holy truths?"

Bodhidharma said, "Empty, without holiness."  [ Empty, outside of holiness].  Holiness is the cultivation of itself (becoming).  Being is Holiness, or empty of impermanance.  In physics, this is invariant symmetry and translational symmetry.  Translation of invariance keeps thet invariance unchanged.  Translation ends when the two are equal.  

Tao 1

Unnamed and Unmanifest (Empty and without existence).  In other words, outside of existence and empty, which is Tao 11 (usefulness and unlimited potentiality).  

Named is the Mother of 10,000 (infinite) things.  In other words, the empty is outside of holiness (relatives to absolute).  Holiness is what is accomplished by the relatives in creation.  Creation itself is the stream to cross back to unlimited potential.  Emptiness is outside of what is given (all things).    

Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 1

The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth.
The named is the mother of ten thousand things.
Ever desireless, one can see the mystery.
Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations.
These two spring from the same source but differ in name;
     this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery.

Tao Te Ching - Lao Tzu - chapter 11

Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the center hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.

Being empty is being full.  Striving to fill the bucket keeps us from holding it all, which we already possess.  Action by non-action (Wu Wei) is realization of the Emptiness holding Holiness (named things).  If you are no thing, but all things, how are you nothing?  No thing is the one thing.  Not good enough unless we also realize our nature to give all things away to receive the same.  

MU - Does a Dog have Buddha Nature?  MU is not a thing (none).  In other words, all things are Buddha Nature.  This is enlightenment, or the Gateless Gate.  One and All as the Unity of Equality.  The part contains the whole and the whole contains the part.  Nature is what we do with this knowledge.  Practice is how we realize.  Performance is what we do to speak the Dharma to others.  



  



  

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:47 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. 

So, in other words in your version of this, one can be "better aligned with one's nature" and still not be enlightened. So there is a different dimension of moral development (being aligned with one's nature) that is outside of the dharma. 

That's what I said, Kim.

One can be highly evolved in a moral sense without being awake in the dharma sense (as you just stated) and conversely one can be awake in the dharma sense but not evolved in the moral sense (as many recent examples would show, although I'm quite sure you'll once again tell us Buddhist teachers like Baker Roshi and the Sakyong were not enlightened. Mileage varies on that front, as it always does.)

The idea that awakened teachers can't transgress in any way is dangerous, IMHO, leading to the kind of effect that Laurel eloquently described up above in this thread. It encourages people to accept any behavior from them, because enlightenment. 
Aha, OK. I get your point now.

Thanks for saying it for me. I could add that all those bad apples don't/didn't seem like true practitioners. Mileage varies because merit does.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:51 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. 

So, in other words in your version of this, one can be "better aligned with one's nature" and still not be enlightened. So there is a different dimension of moral development (being aligned with one's nature) that is outside of the dharma. 

That's what I said, Kim.

One can be highly evolved in a moral sense without being awake in the dharma sense (as you just stated) and conversely one can be awake in the dharma sense but not evolved in the moral sense (as many recent examples would show, although I'm quite sure you'll once again tell us Buddhist teachers like Baker Roshi and the Sakyong were not enlightened. Mileage varies on that front, as it always does.)

The idea that awakened teachers can't transgress in any way is dangerous, IMHO, leading to the kind of effect that Laurel eloquently described up above in this thread. It encourages people to accept any behavior from them, because enlightenment. 
Aha, OK. I get your point now.

Thanks for saying it for me. I could add that all those bad apples don't/didn't seem like true practitioners. Mileage varies because merit does.
Sasaki Roshi, after 90+ years of practice wasn't a true practitioner. I wonder what Shinzen would say about that.
Who wants to define a true practitioner?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 8:53 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Sasaki Roshi, after 90+ years of practice wasn't a true practitioner. I wonder what Shinzen would say about that.
Who wants to define a true practitioner?

emoticon


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 10:21 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. 

So, in other words in your version of this, one can be "better aligned with one's nature" and still not be enlightened. So there is a different dimension of moral development (being aligned with one's nature) that is outside of the dharma. 

That's what I said, Kim.

One can be highly evolved in a moral sense without being awake in the dharma sense (as you just stated) and conversely one can be awake in the dharma sense but not evolved in the moral sense (as many recent examples would show, although I'm quite sure you'll once again tell us Buddhist teachers like Baker Roshi and the Sakyong were not enlightened. Mileage varies on that front, as it always does.)

The idea that awakened teachers can't transgress in any way is dangerous, IMHO, leading to the kind of effect that Laurel eloquently described up above in this thread. It encourages people to accept any behavior from them, because enlightenment. 
Aha, OK. I get your point now.

Thanks for saying it for me. I could add that all those bad apples don't/didn't seem like true practitioners. Mileage varies because merit does.
Sasaki Roshi, after 90+ years of practice wasn't a true practitioner. I wonder what Shinzen would say about that.
Who wants to define a true practitioner?
Some yogis spend literally years in samadhis of different types, sitting in meditation posture. A lot of folks sit for decades and decades. Do they all recognise their nature of mind and advance in emptiness meditation? No, they do not. A lot of folks bark at the wrong tree most of the time. It's a complex problem that I've talked about here a lot.

A true practitioner is someone who keeps practicing, i.e. recognises her or his nature of mind and advances in emptiness meditation while remembering that until they are buddhas they are samsaric beings, and therefore take refuge in the three jewels, incl. ethics.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 10:31 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I don't blame him. He didn't have the right teacher!

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 11:29 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I don't blame him. He didn't have the right teacher!

You're being sarcastic but no, apparently he didn't. A lot of folks become fans of their traditions and it prevents them from seeing some obvious issues. My zen teacher did the whole thing and got dharma transmission from one of the greatest Japanese zen masters of the last century but never taught according to the tradition because he felt it was not that effective. I could go on.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 2:04 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I don't blame him. He didn't have the right teacher!

You're being sarcastic but no, apparently he didn't. A lot of folks become fans of their traditions and it prevents them from seeing some obvious issues. My zen teacher did the whole thing and got dharma transmission from one of the greatest Japanese zen masters of the last century but never taught according to the tradition because he felt it was not that effective. I could go on.


I am not a follower of him, actually I don't like him, but you just say that they all are wrong, or not deep, and etc, based on what?
Shinzen says that among all the teachers and masters that I've seen, Sasaki Roshi had the most vibrant and dynamic expression of emptiness. I don't know anything about emptiness and I am just a beginner, but I guess Shinzen should know something, otherwise he has wasted his 50 years of practice and study. I don't know how you evaluate that they are not true practitioners? Based on what? Because you have a model in your mind, and they don't fit in that model? How could you assess Sasaki Roshi's understanding of emptiness? And how could you know that his teachers were not good teachers? I am really curious to know your method.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 3:39 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Kim Katami:
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
I don't blame him. He didn't have the right teacher!

You're being sarcastic but no, apparently he didn't. A lot of folks become fans of their traditions and it prevents them from seeing some obvious issues. My zen teacher did the whole thing and got dharma transmission from one of the greatest Japanese zen masters of the last century but never taught according to the tradition because he felt it was not that effective. I could go on.


I am not a follower of him, actually I don't like him, but you just say that they all are wrong, or not deep, and etc, based on what?
Shinzen says that among all the teachers and masters that I've seen, Sasaki Roshi had the most vibrant and dynamic expression of emptiness. I don't know anything about emptiness and I am just a beginner, but I guess Shinzen should know something, otherwise he has wasted his 50 years of practice and study. I don't know how you evaluate that they are not true practitioners? Based on what? Because you have a model in your mind, and they don't fit in that model? How could you assess Sasaki Roshi's understanding of emptiness? And how could you know that his teachers were not good teachers? I am really curious to know your method.
I have not said that they are all wrong, just that most teachers, masters etc. have insufficient realisation. People seem to have no clue about their teacher's true cards until something scandalous happens. Also, there are few of those who have gone all the way to buddhahood, alive even as we speak, but they are very few. My point is that very few go all the way. Those who don't are still samsaric beings by definition.

Based on what? Their vibe. When I say vibe, I don't mean in some superficial manner but in a very exact way. I have written a book about this. Everyone fits in this model, it is not particular to any tradition or even religion.

I do not belittle Shinzen in any way or his long career in dharma. However the fact that Sasaki behaved from dualistic and harmful state of mind by serially harrassing his female students, shows that his realisation was incomplete, that he was not a fully liberated buddha, not a master apart from being appointed one by his teacher. Mere recognition of a lineage doesn't make anyone liberated. Shinzen might have felt that Sasaki "had the most vibrant and dynamic expression of emptiness" , and good for him that he found a teacher who motivated him and showed him the way, but based on my expertise on OHBM and being able to read what has been told of Sasaki by his victims, I can draw a conclusion that this man had limited realisation. I don't know if Shinzen thought Sasaki to be fully realised, I doubt he did, but even if he did, it doesn't make his long career all spoiled.

Reg. Joten Miura Roshi, Sasaki's teacher. In my above linked book I have discussed about the roots of OHBM which coincidentally has relation to Japanese rinzai zen and especially zen calligraphy which I have long studied. I own few of Joten Miura's calligraphic works and have studied them in detail. His energy/mind state is typical to Japanese rinzai roshis. To be honest, there is not much depth there.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 4:08 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Thanks for the info, I'll try to read your book later.

Shinzen has said that Sasaki Roshi could've been an arhat if he wanted, but at that level of enlightment, it doesn't matter so much, something like that (He talks about it in one of his youtubes.). As far as I know, Shinzen has only named two teachers that he thinks were arhats, with his definition of arhatship, which seems to be different from what Daniel has.

About the other things that you said, I don't have enough knowledge and experience to say anything, but I think to draw strong conclusions and judgements like the ones in these comments, there should be very strong basis and evidence and arguments, which I don't see it here, at least in these comments. I guess you'd disagree with this.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 4:22 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Thanks for the info, I'll try to read your book later.

Shinzen has said that Sasaki Roshi could've been an arhat if he wanted, but at that level of enlightment, it doesn't matter so much, something like that (He talks about it in one of his youtubes.). As far as I know, Shinzen has only named two teachers that he thinks were arhats, with his definition of arhatship, which seems to be different from what Daniel has.

About the other things that you said, I don't have enough knowledge and experience to say anything, but I think to draw strong conclusions and judgements like the ones in these comments, there should be very strong basis and evidence and arguments, which I don't see it here, at least in these comments. I guess you'd disagree with this.
I don't disagree with there not being much meat on my comments in this thread. I have written and talked about these things, with plenty of evidence, for a lot in the internet as well as this forum. I'm just not repeating everything I've said before.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 9:23 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim, have you considered that you might be setting people up to have problems with teachers who they believe are enlightened, or worse, who make the claim that they're enlightened?

What you seem to be asserting is that teachers who are enlightened are morally and/or ethically infallible. Who's to say whether a teacher is fully enlightened or not (besides you, I suppose)? Can we expect new practitioners to have the ability to make this determination?

Even assuming the stuff you say here about full enlightenment is even close to being reasonable and true, people already tend to associate claims of enlightenment with infallibility - that enlightened teachers can do no wrong. A strong argument can be made that this is what gets people into trouble with so-called gurus and other spiritual charlatans who tend to claim to be enlightened and are then sometimes assumed to be infallible. When they ask students or followers to do things that don't usually pass the common-sense smell test, common sense has long been dropped. It can't be wrong if the enlightened teacher asks me to do it, right?

Have you thought this through? Do you see any potential personal liability in regard to your comments?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 10:08 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:


Some yogis spend literally years in samadhis of different types, sitting in meditation posture. A lot of folks sit for decades and decades. Do they all recognise their nature of mind and advance in emptiness meditation? No, they do not. A lot of folks bark at the wrong tree most of the time. It's a complex problem that I've talked about here a lot.

A true practitioner is someone who keeps practicing, i.e. recognises her or his nature of mind and advances in emptiness meditation while remembering that until they are buddhas they are samsaric beings, and therefore take refuge in the three jewels, incl. ethics.


Kim,

What is emptiness meditation?


Thanks

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/15/19 11:36 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Kim, have you considered that you might be setting people up to have problems with teachers who they believe are enlightened, or worse, who make the claim that they're enlightened?

What you seem to be asserting is that teachers who are enlightened are morally and/or ethically infallible. Who's to say whether a teacher is fully enlightened or not (besides you, I suppose)? Can we expect new practitioners to have the ability to make this determination?

Even assuming the stuff you say here about full enlightenment is even close to being reasonable and true, people already tend to associate claims of enlightenment with infallibility - that enlightened teachers can do no wrong. A strong argument can be made that this is what gets people into trouble with so-called gurus and other spiritual charlatans who tend to claim to be enlightened and are then sometimes assumed to be infallible. When they ask students or followers to do things that don't usually pass the common-sense smell test, common sense has long been dropped. It can't be wrong if the enlightened teacher asks me to do it, right?

Have you thought this through? Do you see any potential personal liability in regard to your comments?
The point of OHBM is to indicate where anyone is in terms of attainments. It is applicable to anyone, teachers, students... The genius of it is that it does measure depth (bhumi openings) and comprehensiveness (bhumi perfections) of emptiness insight, no matter who you are, regardless of tradition. The downside of it is that it requires quite a bit of training to perform bhumi analyses well but like all yogic study, it is a pleasant learning. We are just about to launch a bhumi training app for our community members.

I can personally say that OHBM has ruined a lot for me. Being able to see folk's stage, has removed a lot of fascination about the whole endeavour and especially the prevailing culture of dharma. Yes, I am aware that OHBM can ruin things for others as well but personally, and I know I can speak for others, I prefer to have a clear understanding rather than unclear one. I hope that through my work people don't need to go through the same swamp of bad and irrelevant dharma I did. This is a long and winding answer to your question that I have never intended to belittle anyone or any path, even when being critical. The worry of my comments doing harm is not current, though. I have seen over the years that my posts are meaningless to those who are not seeing the cracks themselves.

To be able to discern enlightenment in binary fashion (ON/OFF) is impossible for new practitioners. Like I said, learning OHBM takes a lot of time because it takes time to develop sensory sensitivity. Perhaps after few thousand analyses one knows it well enough to make the distinction.

Yeah, because the mind is abstract claims are difficult to measure, except with OHBM. It makes sense too or at least has so far. I am not aware that any of those who I consider to be or having been fully enlightened have asked their followers to abandon common sense.

Jim Smith:
Kim Katami:


Some
yogis spend literally years in samadhis of different types, sitting in
meditation posture. A lot of folks sit for decades and decades. Do they
all recognise their nature of mind and advance in emptiness meditation?
No, they do not. A lot of folks bark at the wrong tree most of the time.
It's a complex problem that I've talked about here a lot.

A true
practitioner is someone who keeps practicing, i.e. recognises her or
his nature of mind and advances in emptiness meditation while
remembering that until they are buddhas they are samsaric beings, and
therefore take refuge in the three jewels, incl. ethics.


Kim,

What is emptiness meditation?


Thanks

Vipashyana, sutric or tantric.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 3:00 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
For me Vipassana and Samatha are TOOLS.

A very usefull ones, developing these tools in the past years help me tremendously and made my life more easy and understable. But these tools are need to be used in a practical and down to earth way if we want to take profit of their full potential.

As some people say, sila is the frist and last trainning, there is no end on it, is life work and is very 
bounded at our physcological and emotional areas that need some work to improve, like we improved or samatha and vipassana techinque.

In a daily life practical level...

Samatha can help me to release stress and make things softy and easy.
Vipassana give me the awerness to see my life and my behavior and put distance to observe it objectively.
Realizing diferent insights and seen the true nature of things, that in the deep level there is no self, just phenomena arrising and passing away, that who I am I just a bunch of concept and ideas, a pack of beliefs that I been feeding all my life. Seeing that I can have more compassion about myself and others, see how we are conditioned and not taking things to personal. Learning to space out inner and out expirence... Freedom.

If Samatha and Vipassana is more like inner work, Sila tends to be more outside work, and also works with concepts and ideas that need to be developed and refined. For my expirence for working on Sila needs honesty and humbleness to accept our character defects (dark areas) and have the energy and motivation to slowly change, reformulate and integrate these patterns, so...compassion and kindess (love) is also a keys factors on that process. Having reasonable desires (?)

At the end for what I saw, is not trying to be perfect, is just trying to walk the line the better we can, finding that middle path that buddha talk. Peace emoticon!

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 3:37 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
From "The Science of Enlightenment" by Shinzen Young:
[Sasaki Roshi] was without a doubt the senior Zen master living in the United States, and arguably the sinior living Buddhist master in the world at that time. He started his practice in a monastery at the age of thirteen and died at the age of 107. You do the math.
...
I was shocked to discover that Sasaki Roshi had engaged in some questionalble behaviors. People have been terribly confused and understandably upset by those revelations.

How cold a highly enlightened person do such things?

We would like to think that enlightenment is a unity that grows in a uniform way. But actually, it is a many-dimensional process. Usually growth in one dimension facilitates growth in the others, but not inevitably. 


I am pretty sure what he is saying is that enlightenment doesn't necessarily make you a nice person.

(I think he uses the word "senior" to refer to age not level of attainment ... based on the context which I quoted.)

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 3:39 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
From "The Science of Enlightenment" by Shinzen Young:
[Sasaki Roshi] was without a doubt the senior Zen master living in the United States, and arguably the sinior living Buddhist master in the world at that time.
...
I was shocked to discover that Sasaki Roshi had engaged in some questionalble behaviors. People have been terribly confused and understandably upset by those revelations.

How cold a highly enlightened person do such things?

We would like to think that enlightenment is a unity that grows in a uniform way. But actually, it is a many-dimensional process. Usually growth in one dimension facilitates growth in the others, but not inevitably. 


I am pretty sure what he is saying is that enlightenment doesn't necessarily make you a nice person.

(I think he uses the word "senior" to refer to age not level of attainment ... based on the context.)

Apparently based on what Kim said, all of these teachers including Shinzen are deluded and don't understand what they are talking about. As he pointed out, mind is abstract and all others fail to understand the mind and do measurements on it, since they are not a follower of OHBM:

Kim Katami:
Yeah, because the mind is abstract claims are difficult to measure, except with OHBM.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 3:49 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

(I think he uses the word "senior" to refer to age not level of attainment ... based on the context which I quoted.)


He uses senior to refer to his level of attainments not only his age. If it was for his age, it wasn't needed to say without a doubt.
And he says the senior Zen master, not a senior Zen master.


[Sasaki Roshi] was without a doubt the senior Zen master

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 4:01 AM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Put a leash on it Siavash.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 7:43 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Yeah, because the mind is abstract claims are difficult to measure, except with OHBM. It makes sense too or at least has so far. I am not aware that any of those who I consider to be or having been fully enlightened have asked their followers to abandon common sense.

Put a leash on it Siavash.

So it's only your teaching that can reveal who's truly enlighted and who's not. I added the bolded italics in the top quote above because they're telling of what's going on in this conversation. This is the "get out of jail free" card I mentioned before.

As for the second quote, I'm surprised you still come here and make these comments because you get the same skeptical questions every time. It shouldn't surprise you at this point. People are rightly curious and often dubious about your claims. They should be. Your claims are extraordinary and you're setting yourself up for that kind of response.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 7:56 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Yeah, because the mind is abstract claims are difficult to measure, except with OHBM. It makes sense too or at least has so far. I am not aware that any of those who I consider to be or having been fully enlightened have asked their followers to abandon common sense.

Put a leash on it Siavash.

So it's only your teaching that can reveal who's truly enlighted and who's not. I added the bolded italics in the top quote above because they're telling of what's going on in this conversation. This is the "get out of jail free" card I mentioned before.

As for the second quote, I'm surprised you still come here and make these comments because you get the same skeptical questions every time. It shouldn't surprise you at this point. People are rightly curious and often dubious about your claims. They should be. Your claims are extraordinary and you're setting yourself up for this kind of response.
As far as I know, yes, it seems to be the case that no other system available does exactly the same, although OHBM has distant relatives.

Siavash started interpreting my comments in a very black and white fashion which is what I replied to, right after when he had said that he is a beginner and hadn't even read my book. People get emotional about it, as have others. So few here have even read my book and are just displaying hurtful reactions. Sorry folks, I'm just trying to bring something useful to the table. For a moment I actually thought that you showed interest Chris which is what you haven't done before.

I've said this before this being a pragmatic dharma forum and all, that I have been repeatedly negatively surprised about the spirit here. Folks here are not really interested in "using what works best" but hey, that's the name of the game.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 9:59 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
For a moment I actually thought that you showed interest Chris which is what you haven't done before.

I've purchased and have read both your books, Kim. I remain skeptical of your claims and your methods, and to say that being skeptical of your extraordinary claims is anything but reasonable seems misguided given the exceptional nature of the claims you're making. And "hurtful" is your own interpretation. I get that. OHBM is, clearly, your baby. Maybe you can think of OBHM as but one of the many useful methods practitioners can employ. We all exercise choice of practice methods according to our own wants and needs, right? Maybe you can try not to take the skepticism personally.

Finally, let's not turn this thread, which started out as an exploration of the relationship between morality and awakening, into an OHBM thread. There are already a number of those. Let's move this discussion the on the merits of your OHBM there.

Fair?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 8:44 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Fair. I neither want another thread like that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 9:23 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
did he really call his own book "genius"?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 10:28 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
So are we saying Sasaki Roshi was enlightened or not? Or rather, is it okay for at least some of us to say he wasn’t? The problem concerning guys like that is that people are so dazzled by what they believe about their idols’ attainments that they enable all sorts of criminal behavior. I reread a column in Tricycle at the time of his death, quoting all these people praising him to the skies for the wonderful things he did to spread the dharma. I call bullshit. Those who never suffered from his abuse have no business brushing aside the harm this man did to his female students in private. I’d be perfectly happy to say this to Shinzen’s face. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 11:07 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
So are we saying Sasaki Roshi was enlightened or not? Or rather, is it okay for at least some of us to say he wasn’t?

If you need permission to make a decision on this, I hereby grant you the power  emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 11:37 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So are we saying Sasaki Roshi was enlightened or not? Or rather, is it okay for at least some of us to say he wasn’t?

If you need permission to make a decision on this, I hereby grant you the power  emoticon

Hey, dude, I’m taking back my own power to flip the bird to all those saying this man was just too holy for this world, etc., etc. emoticon And that includes Shinzen, not that he gives a rat’s patoot what I think. The point is, I care what I think. 

Seriously (not that I’ve been kidding), I think a person can have spiritual gifts without being fully enlightened. This makes him even more dangerous than your ordinary narcissist, and that’s saying a lot. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 11:57 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Hey, dude...

Wasn't that a Beatles song?

I'm with you on this stuff, in case you haven't noticed my comments here.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 12:37 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Siavash Mahmoudpour:
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
They haven't had emptiness insight and aren't enlightened as defined in dharma but nevertheless they are better aligned with their nature of mind than people with poor morals. 

So, in other words in your version of this, one can be "better aligned with one's nature" and still not be enlightened. So there is a different dimension of moral development (being aligned with one's nature) that is outside of the dharma. 

That's what I said, Kim.

One can be highly evolved in a moral sense without being awake in the dharma sense (as you just stated) and conversely one can be awake in the dharma sense but not evolved in the moral sense (as many recent examples would show, although I'm quite sure you'll once again tell us Buddhist teachers like Baker Roshi and the Sakyong were not enlightened. Mileage varies on that front, as it always does.)

The idea that awakened teachers can't transgress in any way is dangerous, IMHO, leading to the kind of effect that Laurel eloquently described up above in this thread. It encourages people to accept any behavior from them, because enlightenment. 
Aha, OK. I get your point now.

Thanks for saying it for me. I could add that all those bad apples don't/didn't seem like true practitioners. Mileage varies because merit does.
Sasaki Roshi, after 90+ years of practice wasn't a true practitioner. I wonder what Shinzen would say about that.
Who wants to define a true practitioner?

Okay, this is at least part of what I was reacting to. The whole discussion got derailed into a back and forth about Kim’s practice, but the question, who wants to define a true practitioner, or What Would Shinzen Say, pisses me off. I’ve heard what Shinzen has to say, and I call bullshit. He says that the man was such an embodiment of love, and saw every human around him in the same rarified light, that his actions don’t mean what they would if performed by another, I suppose less exalted, man. Ask the women who were abused whether they felt loved or not. Oh, and let me specify: women are perfectly capable of narcissism, abusive behavior, and the rest; I’ve known plenty of harmful, abusive, narcissistic women during my time on earth. But there are fewer of them in the public eye because they are less likely to find themselves in such positions of power, at least so far. That could change. And to be clear: often men and boys are the targets of abusive behaviors as well as women; just ask the many damaged men whose Catholic priests had a go at them back in the day. 

Now, to the real issue, of different axes of development: I will repeat what I indicated earlier, that people can have significant spiritual gifts and attainments, reach heights of concentration or visionary experience, but not be fully enlightened. My humble opinion is that full enlightenment includes compassion and, if not empathy (which is an entirely different thing), an awareness of the potential for harm in certain actions and a determination not to perform such actions. Do you really think this Roshi had no idea that the women he abused were unhappy with his behavior? As for the monks who covered it up, they’re on a par with the bishops who moved known abusive priests from parish to parish. My wish for them is that they become fully enlightened to the harm they caused. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 1:50 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Don't get me wrong Laurel, I was pointing to something else.
1. As I said above, I personally don't like Sasaki Roshi, for whatever reason,

2. I don't agree with Shinzen on his position about compassion of Sasaki Roshi,

3. No one said Sasaki Roshi was fully enlightened.

4. True practitioner, in short, for me means someone that practices and practice is an important part of their life, since Kim said that they are not true practitioners, refering to Sasaki Roshi and Shinzen was a response to that claim. If someone has a different definition for true practitioner, that would lead to other conclusions. I don't take it to mean moral, enlightened, not at all. Personaly I think meditation and morality are two different dimensions, that are developing in the camps very far from each other. In general, I think terms like full enlightment are meaningless from a pragmatic point of view. This was a response to a general statement that makes a big claim, and I meant it to say that, not everybody thinks that way, not all meditation teachers think that way, and by this claim, you are ignoring opinions of other teachers. I guess it should be clear now. 

5. As my personal guideline, I think any general statement like someone is good, bad, moral, immoral, enlightened, not enlightened, are misleading. I think we can talk about an action or a thought and say that it's moral or not, but attaching these words to a very big scope like a human being is not clear and helpful.

And let's add that, I don't care who of these teachers are "enlightened" or not, the whole point of my comments was to say that, different people and different teachers have different opinions, and without giving very detailed info, you can't make general statements. Of course you can, but I think it's misleading.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 2:23 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
So are we saying Sasaki Roshi was enlightened or not? Or rather, is it okay for at least some of us to say he wasn’t? The problem concerning guys like that is that people are so dazzled by what they believe about their idols’ attainments that they enable all sorts of criminal behavior. I reread a column in Tricycle at the time of his death, quoting all these people praising him to the skies for the wonderful things he did to spread the dharma. I call bullshit. Those who never suffered from his abuse have no business brushing aside the harm this man did to his female students in private. I’d be perfectly happy to say this to Shinzen’s face. 

You can say he wasn't enlightened, but as a practical matter, I think it is better for everyone to recognize that enlightenment doesn't necessarily make you a nice person. That view will do more protect vulnerable students from enlightened creeps by ending tolerance for misbehavior on the grounds that if an enlightened master does it, it must be okay.

My opinion is that he was a creep but also that enlightenment doesn't mean you are necessarily a nice person. So even though he was a creep he was enlightened. I think you are going to find different opinions on this. That is my opinion. My opnion is based on all the other scandals and my own experience with an "enlightened master" on a retreat who was ... not ... er ...  um ... nice, and general interactions with people who are enlightened - they are just people who suffer less, but enlightenment didn't rewrite their personality.

There is a saying: Before enlightenment: chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment: chop wood, carry water.

It could just as easily be: Before enlightenment: creepy, sociopathic, narcissistic, jerk. After enlightenment: creepy sociopathic, narcissistic, jerk.

If they were a creep before enlightenment, they will be a creep after enlightenment.

When I hear people saying any enlightened master who is a creep is not a true enlightened master, I ... er ... um ... I am not convinced. What is the point of saying we have 100 enlightened masters but 50 of them aren't really enlightened we just don't know which? Orthodox doctrine does't protect vulnerable students, as a practical matter any person who is called "enlightened" can be a creep and it is the responsiblility of teachers to make sure students are aware of this.

Its my opinion that enlightenment is not what most people think it is and the data is in plain view. I also think to a large extent all those "good guys", teachers who are not creeps but perpetuate the myth that enightenment=nice person which makes student vulnerable have a lot of responsiblity for the suffering they make possible in order to keep the $tatus, presteige, follower$, book $ales, retreat attendance, etc. that myth gives to them.  If people knew what enlightenment really was, there would be fewer people seeking (buying) it.

I don't know if there are any Scott Adams fans here, but besides being the author of the Dilbert comic strip, he is also a trained hypnotist and wirites on the subject of persuasion and mass hysteria. He argues that mass delusion is the ordinary state of humankind. I think he is right and we have a lot of deluded students and teachers in the spiritual community. A majority opinion is not necessarily right.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 2:21 PM as a reply to Siavash Mahmoudpour.
Personaly I think meditation and morality are two different dimensions, that are developing in the camps very far from each other.
And yet they both happen in the same mind or psyche, if you will.
Jim Smith:

... for everyone to recognize that enlightenment doesn't necessarily make you a nice person.

My opinion is that he was a creep but also that enlightenment doesn't mean you are necessarily a nice person. So even though he was a creep he was enlightened. I think you are going to find different opinions on this. That is my opinion... they are just people who suffer less, but enlightenment didn't rewrite their personality.

It could just as easily be: Before enlightenment: creepy, sociopathic, narcissistic, jerk. After enlightenment: creepy sociopathic, narcissistic, jerk.

If they were a creep before enlightenment, they will be a creep after enlightenment.
I understand that it's your opinion but it just crossed my mind that if dharma practice didn't or doesn't make you a nicer, more balanced, and more clearminded person, what is the point? If a practitioner remained samsaric=creepy, sociopathic, narcissistic and jerk, what would be the point? How does such a person suffer less?

Basic sanity and basic goodness are common translations from Tibetan vajrayana terms to English. Both suggest alignment with one's nature of mind.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 2:37 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

I understand that it's your opinion but it just crossed my mind that if dharma practice didn't or doesn't make you a nicer, more balanced, and more clearminded person, what is the point? If a practitioner remained samsaric=creepy, sociopathic, narcissistic and jerk, what would be the point? How does such a person suffer less?

Basic sanity and basic goodness are common translations from Tibetan vajrayana terms to English. Both suggest alignment with one's nature of mind.

The point for some people is to end suffering for themselves. 

A nasty person might not suffer from guilt but they can suffer from shame, inferiority, and other unpleasant emotions.

You can claim all the theory you want, i am not really disputing the theory, but as a practical matter, it is a fact that people who are called enlightened act like creeps every day of the week. I am saying all teachers ought recognize and teach this - for the good of their students.

If you can never know who is a fake master, then for safety's stake students should stop worshiping masters because any master you meet could be a fake. And you should never accept from a master anything that you wold not accept from any normal person.

If you want to be a nicer person, meditation can help. But some people don't want to be a nice person. And if you don't recignize your behavior is a problem, meditation won't help. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 2:53 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Power corrupts. Stop giving them power and fewer will be corrupt.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 3:16 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel, I'm going to disagree with you only to the extent that you seem to believe in something you're calling "full enlightenment." Maybe you can enlighten me (pun intended) on just what this is? I don't know what that phrase means or what it might entail. Help!

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 4:25 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I don’t believe anyone is ever completely done, or that anyone escapes from the pains of being in a body or needing to navigate through the world. But “full enlightenment,” or maybe I should just call it “enlightenment,” is to my mind more than just a perceptual shift. As others have pointed out on this and the Culadasa thread, there is a deepening of compassion as one’s attachment to ego diminishes. This development leads to a wholesome desire to help and not to hurt. It is not fully identified with the shift, but I can’t call someone enlightened when such an impulse is absent. A balanced practice must encompass all three of the trainings, not just one or two. 

Empathy, the ability to feel what another is feeling, is something else again. It is the basis for the moral life in many people who feel another’s pain as their own, but identifying too much with another person’s pain can lead to other problems like a loss of perspective. Yet someone who has limited empathy needs to be particularly clear about morality in order to avoid harm. A complete lack of empathy is one of the markers of a psychopath. 

Daniel quoted from the literature on psychopathy in the Culadasa thread, suggesting that at least some of the traits listed apply. The one thing that strikes me about John Yates’s apology is an embedded comment to the effect that his relationships were consensual and not with students. When you’re in the process of apologizing for the harm you have caused, you probably should avoid adding disclaimers suggesting that what you did wasn’t quite that bad. This to me is a “tell” that the apology isn’t fully sincere, that he’s mostly sorry he got caught, although I can’t see all the way inside his head, of course.

Sasaki Roshi as far as I know made no apology or statement of any kind; feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. If he went into a monastery at 13, it’s likely that his psychological and social development were limited, especially in regards to sexuality. Coming to the west would add a thick layer of culture shock, and then of course he lacked anyone in his life who could speak frankly to him and give him perspective. Still, I have trouble imagining that he was ignorant that he was doing anything harmful. Either way, I have trouble calling such a person enlightened in any but a very narrow sense. 

From a standpoint of pragmatism: what we’re doing here is arguing about terms and their definition. Does it help to use the term enlightened, fully enlightened, good, bad, moral, or immoral? Are these just generalizations? In a sense all language deals in generalizations, to the extent that any word at all is recognizable to us by the fact that it denotes multiple phenomena with agreed-upon common features. When we start picking these agreements apart we often find there is in fact not as much agreement as we had originally assumed; disagreements about the languages of race and gender are examples of what happens when we start reevaluating our terminology. Is it then better, as Jim suggests, to say someone is an enlightened creep, so let the public be on warning that enlightenment doesn’t eliminate bad behavior? Or is it better to say someone who repeatedly and systematically violates ethical norms and harms people isn’t enlightened? Or should we drop the term altogether, along with its synonym “awakened”? 

I think we need further study of what goes on as people advance in spiritual practice. Is it in fact true that less identification with one’s ego leads to compassion? What practices might be particularly dangerous? (My candidate would be “crazy wisdom.”) Daniel has used the term “co-adventuring” as a good way to describe people with a variety of capabilities and practices coming together to work on dharma. Certainly guru worship needs to go, but there will always be subtle forms of it that survive in the most egalitarian groups. 

I’ll end with this point: I taught college students for over 30 years, beginning in my mid-twenties. Humans between the ages of 18 and 22 are about as beautiful as they will ever be, and I was surrounded by them daily for that entire time, through the transitions into middle age and menopause, through disappointments in myself and my personal life. There were students who looked on me as their ideal, the person they wanted to be, and in some cases the kind of person they would want to marry. I saw this kind of regard as a developmental stage because I had gone through it with my own teachers and then moved beyond it. Above all, it was not at all personal. Students of the dharma are no different. For a time, it probably serves them to look on their teachers as having all the answers, until they begin to take charge of their own practice. Teachers don’t need to make a big issue of disabusing their students of hero-worship, but just take it in stride with detachment and allow it to drop away on its own. Still, we as a community need to be as open as possible about the dangers of abuse, and be as transparent as we can about it. Above all, no one should ever make excuses for a much-revered teacher. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 9:50 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
... you viewmorality as a safeguard to awakening rather than a result of it?


What I'm saying is that there isn't cause and effect at work - people can be awake and immoral, awake and moral, not awake and moral, and not awake and immoral. We can observe this in our real lives. I would say that telling people that "being awake is going to make you moral" is a recipe for disaster... of Richard Baker Roshi or Sakyong Mipham proportions.

emoticon

Some additional thoughts to sum up my thoughts on this since the thread has already been hijacked/absorbed into the Culadassa discussion...I think there are a couple things to unpack out of this:

1) Is there really such a thing as being done/fully awakened/completely enlightened?


2) Assuming 1 is true, is morality a cause of, an effect of, unrelated to, or correlated but neither causal or caused by that attainment?

3) Assuming there is no relation in 2, how to account for morality being considered an enlightenment factor, as attested by many teachers, claimed in all kinds of materials, and experienced by many practitioners in their own practice (Myself included). Is it a delusion? If so, it should be corrected, because it's everywhere in Buddhist teaching and a dangerous misunderstanding. In fact it changes the whole nature of the project for many people.


4) Assuming 1 is true, but the relation is not an effect of attainment, we should not expect morality from enlightened individuals. It might actually be immoral to help such a person pursue enlightenment to begin with, especially if it might put them in a position to abuse their influence or ignore ethics altogether.


5) Assuming 1 is true, and that there is a causal (Necessary but not sufficient) or an effective relationship between morality and awakening, then teachers who are unethical must not be actually awakened. But as a practical matter, we have no widely agreed upon and effective way to decide who is not 'really' awakened before they commit unethical acts (Yes I know OHBM claims this and I will leave that to your judgement). If that's the case, setting any teacher up on a pedestal as being truly enlightened and therefore infallible invites abuse and is unethical. Furthermore, it absolves the entire community of practitioners from any responsibility for the actions of these people as they can always be deemed 'not truly enlightened' (i.e. no true scotsman fallacy). This is obviously grossly ethically unacceptable for the dharma community as a whole.


6) If 1 is true and there is a correlation, but not a causation, between morality and awakening, we should not expect teachers to be above ethical abuse, even if gross violations were statistically less likely, but again you run into the issues in 5.

Based on all of this and regardless of your position on 1-6, unless you are A.) 100% sure it is possible to ID who is enlightened and who is not, and B.) that whoever is enlightened is perfectly moral, the most ethical thing is to consider all teachers as capable of committing ethics violations just like anyone else, and to take precautions against abuse.

Edit: fixed the mangled formatting due to trying to write this on mobile, and clarified a few points : )

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 7:55 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
... “enlightenment,” is to my mind more than just a perceptual shift. As others have pointed out on this and the Culadasa thread, there is a deepening of compassion as one’s attachment to ego diminishes. This development leads to a wholesome desire to help and not to hurt. It is not fully identified with the shift, but I can’t call someone enlightened when such an impulse is absent. A balanced practice must encompass all three of the trainings, not just one or two. 

So... why can't an awakened person behave badly?


About Sasaki Roshi --

I have trouble calling such a person enlightened in any but a very narrow sense. 

Why is being awake so commonly pinned to behavior, even though we really don't seem to have an accurate window into either insight or behavior? 


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/16/19 8:12 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I'm not 100% sure that people should always try to wake up as fast as they can first, and then grow up. The path for someone with deep shadow issues can be so destabilizing that they might just end up in a mental institution.

It's probably a good idea to have a somewhat healthy and stable ego before embarching on the trip. Or at least work on it, as they simultanesuly keep following the wake up trail (and have a clear disctintion of the two, so as not to think they are the same thing, that's how waking up and growing up can be very useful disstiontions). The original purpose of this thread is to explore how western modern wisdom can contribute with this. In fact, I belive that western modern understanding of psychological development con actually help folks wake up faster and in healthier ways!

On the one hand, I don't think Buddhist Dharma is lacking something, on the other hand, I think everything can be improved.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/17/19 8:11 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Power corrupts. Stop giving them power and fewer will be corrupt.

This phrase, that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” gets repeated a lot because it’s catchy and has some explanatory power, but I don’t think it is, strictly speaking, true. I think a truer way to put it is that “power reveals, and absolute power reveals everything.” Tellingly, Lord Acton, who originally coined the phrase although the idea certainly predates him, followed that sentence immediately with “Great men are almost always bad men.” That’s just not true. Those in power are a subset of humanity and they display all the various good/bad sides of humanity. Think of some of the rulers in the Iron and Bronze ages that had truly absolute power, they weren’t all tyrannical despots, e.g., Cyrus the Great. Closer to our own time, Gandhi might be a good example of power not necessarily corrupting. More typically, I think we get people like LBJ. People who, while they had serious flaws which power revealed, also displayed some of the better angels of our nature through their wielding of power.

Now, historically we have seen instances where the various societal sticks & carrots arrange themselves such that the only people that can gain power are those willing to do awful things, but in those cases the power itself isn't typically the proximate cause of that issue. It's also worth pointing out also that the situation where willingness to do awful things becomes a prerequisite to power tends to exhibit as a matter of degree rather than a binary condition, but I digress...

Anyway, I say that just to point out that while a person giving up their own power/judgement to an “enlightened master” might be a recipe for trouble, I don’t think it is the case that power must always change the person wielding it, rather, it tends to reveal some of their true motives/beliefs, at least insofar as actions speak louder than words. And the more power they have, the more likely they are to let it all hang out so to speak. To put it another way, harmful cults couldn’t exist without the leader having this unique form of power, but it’s usually not the case that the power currupts the leader and this leads to harm, but that the leader him/herself was not what they claimed from the get go. The authority the followers give him/her (power) is ultimately just a tool that can be wielded for good or ill.

Just to clarify, the prospective cult leader may or may not be "enlightened", but their motives and real beliefs are not typically what they claim. Those with self-less motives seem less likely to find themselves in such elevated positions, or at the very least are willing to honestly express discomfort with that position if it is thrust upon them.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/17/19 9:42 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Keep centered on the point: "True realization is not something you learn, but enlightenment to who you are by nature and unity with others."  Both Absolute and relatives share the same identity.  One.  This is the only word you need for realization.  Nature cultivation is what we need from practice to find unity.  Meditation is practice for the performance of self to self yoga until unity is all there is left within each individual image of the one.  All in All taking refuge in this:  

REFUGE

BUDH - Awakened to One Mind
DHARMA - Truth of the mind's nature
SANGHA - Relative Minds in Unity

Disunity is the symptom of the opposite to the three above. 

1.  Wrong View (Who am I asleep)
3.  Wrong Nature (Ill will and anger)
4.  Wrong Desire (Disunity caused by wrong nature, which is wrong view and wrong desire)

The first of 10 non-virtues must first be conquered in practice, then performed with mastery in life as the refuges.  If the first three non-virtues of wrong view, wrong nature and wrong desire are overcome, the other seven vanish.  Ideally, if you recognize yourself in others (namaste), then you have already begun the process to cultivate nature.  This is the only point of all forms of practice.  When the student (you) is ready, the Master (YOU) arrives to perform.  Practice gets you to mastery.  Over what?  Ego (you asleep).  

"True realization is not something you learn, but enlightenment to who you are by nature and unity with others." 

All three refuges are one thing: Love and Compassion for others (YOU)

Keep returning to the point.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/17/19 6:50 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
What appears to be often operative on this thread and others regarding the Culadasa scandal is slippage away from Pragmatic Dharma into a more orthodox ideology, for example models based on the expectation of perfection commensurate with the higher/highest paths. If our model of awakening demands perfection then any deviance from that is going to be problematic. And following along with that logic … if we really are honest what degree of ‘deviance’ would bepermissible in a higher path individual? Lie? Cheat? Steal? Kill? Sexual infidelity? Drug habits? Profound divergance from the precepts? The perfection model does not allow for, nor can it accept, any deviance. 


From MCTB2, The Action Models:

"The action models tend to involve certain actions that awakened beings cannot commit or must commit. Both types of models are completely ridiculous, and so we come now to the first of the models that simply have no basis in reality. The traditional Theravada models contain numerous statements that are simply wrong about what an awakened being cannot do or will do. My favorite examples of this include statements that arahants cannot break the precepts (including killing, lying, stealing, having sex, doing drugs, or drinking), cannot become sexually aroused, cannot have jobs, cannot be married, and cannot say they are arahants.”


Partway Up the Mountain School

“The partway up the mountain school” essentially believes, “Those who screwed up and caused a scandal were only halfway up the mountain, only partially awakened, as anyone who is really awakened couldn’t possibly have done those terrible things.” While clearly some were only partially enlightened, or perhaps not enlightened at all in the technical sense, a number who screwed up clearly knew and know ultimate reality inside and out, and so this model misses many important points.”


It  might be that orthodoxy addresses an emotional need and/or rescues ideals that may be too painful to relinquish or that cannot survive the brute conditions of reality. I’ve been all over the map during the Culadasa scandal. I’ve witnessed myself veer from one extreme to the other, lol. This scandal is a useful and deep lesson which continuously rotates to display another facet. It has inspired a lot of valuable reflection and fascinating posts. Everything is unsatisfactory including Buddhism, enlightenment, arhants, ideals, honesty, models, expectations, MCTB2, requirements, dependability, hopes, dreams, aspirations, appology, trust.

emoticon


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/17/19 7:05 PM as a reply to Monsoon Frog.
I feel that often (or always?) the ideas of perfection come from a place of desperate insecurity. Life has become much more easier for me since abandoning those ideas and expectations from life, and accepting life with its complexities.

asdasasdasd
Answer
9/17/19 8:52 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Seeing no-self shouldn't qualify as "waking up" because it can be done in at most a week.
Having access to constant happiness though should be defined as waking up or the pursuit of waking up is useless.

In addition to this by the above definition any person that has woken up will be of course morally superior because
the visceral sense of lack in the body level has been overcome therefore they wouldn't need to act from the sense
being incomplete. 

In addition to this people that I've met whcih I've considred awake literally emanate bliss.
Like the poet in the past had said: "A sage is an empty sky that pours light" or when Rumi said
whenever you feel a quiet joy moving in you, you are near truth.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/18/19 2:40 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:
I'm not 100% sure that people should always try to wake up as fast as they can first, and then grow up. The path for someone with deep shadow issues can be so destabilizing that they might just end up in a mental institution.

It's probably a good idea to have a somewhat healthy and stable ego before embarching on the trip. Or at least work on it, as they simultanesuly keep following the wake up trail (and have a clear disctintion of the two, so as not to think they are the same thing, that's how waking up and growing up can be very useful disstiontions). The original purpose of this thread is to explore how western modern wisdom can contribute with this. In fact, I belive that western modern understanding of psychological development con actually help folks wake up faster and in healthier ways!

On the one hand, I don't think Buddhist Dharma is lacking something, on the other hand, I think everything can be improved.


I agree with your sentiment that it’s helpful to start growing up before waking up, and to maintain that aspiration and keep it a separate thing. I do think that the growing up work can be used for insight as well (I find it a goldmine for vipassana and a facilitator for shamatha), and that insight can be helpful for the work, but it doesn’t even have to be related for it to be a good idea. It’s good for its own purposes. Also, I think it’s an important balancing factor as the path can be destabilizing and entails new temptations. The balancing part requires it to be seen as separate. Otherwise one’s bad behavior can be legitimized, as we have seen. And I do think that psychological maturing is important for morality training.

...

I think that maybe people are using words differently. Those who include moral behavior in awakening need not necessarily see it as belonging to insight, but may define awakening as following the eightfold path, which contains morality training as a separate training. I can’t see how anyone could list what morality would qualify as fully enlightened, though. I think the very notion of being able to be done with morality training is misleading.

RE: asdasasdasd
Answer
9/18/19 2:37 AM as a reply to John.
John:

Having access to constant happiness though should be defined as waking up or the pursuit of waking up is useless.


Good luck with that one... You might need it.

Personally I find the practice fascinating because of the insights per se.

butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 3:15 AM as a reply to John.
John:
Seeing no-self shouldn't qualify as "waking up" because it can be done in at most a week.

Could you please explain what you mean by this more fully.

What is "seeing no-self"?

How is it done in at most a week?

Shenzen Young defines enlightenment as "a kind of permanent shift in perspective that comes about through direct realization that there is no thing called "self" inside you." 

Is that what you mean?


Thanks

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 10:08 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
John:
Seeing no-self shouldn't qualify as "waking up" because it can be done in at most a week.

Could you please explain what you mean by this more fully.

What is "seeing no-self"?

How is it done in at most a week?

Shenzen Young defines enlightenment as "a kind of permanent shift in perspective that comes about through direct realization that there is no thing called "self" inside you." 

Is that what you mean?


Thanks

By seeing no-self I mean coming to the recognition that there's no fixed separete entity which does observing, seeking, doing, etc.
I am talking about the very first significant insight which comes with bells and whistles. 

And yes it does come with a change of perspective and with a lot of stupidity.

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 10:11 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
John:
Seeing no-self shouldn't qualify as "waking up" because it can be done in at most a week.

Could you please explain what you mean by this more fully.

What is "seeing no-self"?

How is it done in at most a week?

Shenzen Young defines enlightenment as "a kind of permanent shift in perspective that comes about through direct realization that there is no thing called "self" inside you." 

Is that what you mean?


Thanks

A person with some meditative practice that has done a little bit of contemplation can realize no-self in a week. Check out the pointers of Liberation Unleashed.  I mean even if not in a one week it will definitely not be years. The razor sharp pointers are there. They just work.

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 10:57 AM as a reply to John.
John:

By seeing no-self I mean coming to the recognition that there's no fixed separete entity which does observing, seeking, doing, etc.
I am talking about the very first significant insight which comes with bells and whistles. 

And yes it does come with a change of perspective and with a lot of stupidity.
What are the bells and whistles?

What is the stupidity?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/18/19 5:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, I’ve explained my position in as much detail as I can. If you disagree then say so; don’t ask questions that seem to suggest you haven’t heard me. It’s getting frustrating. In my lengthy post I talk about the indeterminacy of language, the fact that we really need to learn more about this stuff, and so on. 

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 7:15 PM as a reply to John.
John:

A person with some meditative practice that has done a little bit of contemplation can realize no-self in a week. Check out the pointers of Liberation Unleashed.  I mean even if not in a one week it will definitely not be years. The razor sharp pointers are there. They just work.

I've got a whole discussion group that could separately describe no-self conceptually after a year or so - that doesn't make them stream-enterers. Is this what you are referencing?

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/PDF/Direct_Pointing.pdf

I don't see anything there more clear than the source material I have presented, honestly, but it is certainly up to the task. However, bird call, a pebble hitting a pot, a charlie horse on the knee, or a sunset could work just as well. Either way, a week is seems ridiculously ambitious.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/18/19 8:00 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Chris, I’ve explained my position in as much detail as I can. If you disagree then say so; don’t ask questions that seem to suggest you haven’t heard me. It’s getting frustrating. In my lengthy post I talk about the indeterminacy of language, the fact that we really need to learn more about this stuff, and so on. 

I wasn't disagreeing with you. If I did disagree I'd say so. I read your lengthy comment, which actually prompted my questions. Anyway, I'll stop asking you anything, Laurel. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/18/19 9:52 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I think we do in fact disagree about the meaning of enlightenment, and about whether morality is a part of it or something separate (a separate axis of development). In any case, though, I seem to have missed the point of your question about whether someone who is enlightened could do something wrong—yes, I certainly think any human can make a mistake, but I can’t see a pattern of egregious misconduct that harms others as being consistent with enlightenment. 

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/18/19 11:05 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
John:

A person with some meditative practice that has done a little bit of contemplation can realize no-self in a week. Check out the pointers of Liberation Unleashed.  I mean even if not in a one week it will definitely not be years. The razor sharp pointers are there. They just work.

I've got a whole discussion group that could separately describe no-self conceptually after a year or so - that doesn't make them stream-enterers. Is this what you are referencing?

http://www.liberationunleashed.com/PDF/Direct_Pointing.pdf

I don't see anything there more clear than the source material I have presented, honestly, but it is certainly up to the task. However, bird call, a pebble hitting a pot, a charlie horse on the knee, or a sunset could work just as well. Either way, a week is seems ridiculously ambitious.

Yes, I did that 5 years go.

Needs to be done with a guide that's why they have the forum. It's not about conceptually describing it it was a really major shift for me.  It took like 2-3 days and I had some meditative practice before and had done some contemplation before like very little and without a guide but some contemplation nontheless. Also the source material is useless you need to be guided into it.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 12:33 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I think we do in fact disagree about the meaning of enlightenment, and about whether morality is a part of it or something separate (a separate axis of development). In any case, though, I seem to have missed the point of your question about whether someone who is enlightened could do something wrong—yes, I certainly think any human can make a mistake, but I can’t see a pattern of egregious misconduct that harms others as being consistent with enlightenment. 


Is this discussion about Buddhist awakening? Stream-entry? Arahant? Or something else? That would at least narrow down the definition somewhat. 

Because I don't see where in the definition of Buddhist awakening it says an Arahant is a nice person.

My opinion is that people are misinformed about what Buddhist awakening is and that is a large part of the problem. If students would know that awakened teachers are not morally superior they would know to avoid situations where they are vulnerable. So many awakened teachers are involved in scandals, I think the facts speak for themselves. How does it help students to tell them after the fact that their abuser wasn't really awakened if he did that? I want to prevent problems. Striping away titles after the fact doesn't prevent problems from occuring.

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

A Stream-enterer (Sotāpanna) is free from:

1. Identity view
2. Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Doubt about the teachings
A Once-returner (Sakadāgāmin) has greatly attenuated:

4. Sensual desire
5. Ill will

A Non-returner (Anāgāmi) is free from:

4. Sensual desire
5. Ill will

An Arahant is free from all of the five lower fetters and the five higher fetters, which are:

6. Attachment to the four meditative absorptions, which have form (rupa jhana)
7. Attachment to the four formless absorptions (ārupa jhana)
8. Conceit
9. Restlessness
10. Ignorance


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 12:45 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.

Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here,



Suppose you were raised surrounded by a bunch of jerks, your parents and siblings, and you thought it was normal and funny to do cruel things to other people.

I don't see what that has to do with conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various forms of attachment.

It is culture. It is social customs. It is good vs bad manners. These things are not objective. They are learned early in childhood and get hard wired into a devleoping brain, or in some cases (sociopathy where you have no sense of empathy) are genetic.

Meditation can help you to be nice if you want to be nice. It wont make you nice if you have no desire for it or don't know what it is.

If you were born without the capability to feel empathy (and have no concept of other people having feelings), how will enlightenment change that?

I am trying to be honest. If you disagree please spell it out in detail.


for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.


I don't understand what this means or how it relates to the discussion.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 1:14 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Consider the examples of people who were sexually or physically abused as children. They know how harmful it is. But they often do to their own children what was done to them. It is not something they think about rationally and decide to do - it is somehow wired into their nervous system when they experience it. It is why some locations have a sex offender registry - it is impossible to control.

Do you think enlightenment would change that? I don't see how it could.

I think the facts of so many scandals speak for themselves.


How could a teacher teach other highly enlightened people if he was faking enlightenment? They would catch him out in a second.

Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.



It doesn’t require that one follows the eightfold path for it to count, so in that sense yes. The bar for insight per se is probably the same or similar, though. It justs makes clearer distinctions.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 2:37 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here,



Suppose you were raised surrounded by a bunch of jerks, your parents and siblings, and you thought it was normal and funny to do cruel things to other people.

I don't see what that has to do with conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various forms of attachment.

It is culture. It is social customs. It is good vs bad manners. These things are not objective. They are learned early in childhood and get hard wired into a devleoping brain, or in some cases (sociopathy where you have no sense of empathy) are genetic.

Meditation can help you to be nice if you want to be nice. It wont make you nice if you have no desire for it or don't know what it is.

If you were born without the capability to feel empathy (and have no concept of other people having feelings), how will enlightenment change that?

I am trying to be honest. If you disagree please spell it out in detail.


for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.


I don't understand what this means or how it relates to the discussion.


Doing cruel things to people pretty clearly falls under ill-will, regardless of whether it's been normalized by culture or not.

Even psychopaths understand what actions of theirs will negatively impact others, it just doesn't bother them to do so because they don't feel others' pain viscerally. Those same actions are typically motivated and abetted by conceit and sensual desire, obviously, which can fully be experienced even by a psychopath.

If our hypothetical psychopath became enlightened by the classical definition, they'd lack a motivation to harm others whether they experienced empathy or not.

As far as how my comment about a lower bar for pragmatic dharma relates, this was in context of the conversation you were having with Laurel in that post, and about the broader discussion about whether enlightenment and morality are on seperate axises or not. You said you don't see how an arahant would be a nice person. I'm contending here that that is probably true by the pragmatic dharma definition, but not by the classical definition (Unless you want to split hairs about 'nice' people versus 'moral' people)?

Personally I'm open to pragmatic dharma's diagnosis that the classical definitions of enlightenment and arahantship are unrealistically idealistic, and you can see from my previous posts on this thread that I do agree it would be highly irresponsible, unethical, and dangerous to assume any teacher is morally perfected, pretty much regardless of one's position on these definitions. However, I think it's important to also aknowledge the tradeoff that pragmatic dharma makes in that it sets the bar lower for being 'done,' because that has pretty radical implications about the ceiling for practice and what it means for the practitioner and the community and whether someone should pursue the whole project in the first place for that matter.

To be clear, this is not meant to be an attack, just thought provoking. IMO, at the end of the day we're done simply when there is no more narrative fuel for our practice and suffering has ceased. We should, however, be honest about our yardstick and what we aim to achieve relative to what the source material describes. A lot of the misunderstandings and confusion and semanticism in this thread and the Culadassa one have to do with dancing around this issue in my opinion. Why not confront it head on?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 2:32 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.



It doesn’t require that one follows the eightfold path for it to count, so in that sense yes. The bar for insight per se is probably the same or similar, though. It justs makes clearer distinctions.


How so?

Milo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.



It doesn’t require that one follows the eightfold path for it to count, so in that sense yes. The bar for insight per se is probably the same or similar, though. It justs makes clearer distinctions.


How so?


It doesn’t mix in the moral qualifications with the insight qualifications. It doesn’t claim that it is automatically impossible to break precepts.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 6:37 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I think we do in fact disagree about the meaning of enlightenment, and about whether morality is a part of it or something separate (a separate axis of development). In any case, though, I seem to have missed the point of your question about whether someone who is enlightened could do something wrong—yes, I certainly think any human can make a mistake, but I can’t see a pattern of egregious misconduct that harms others as being consistent with enlightenment. 

To provide full disclosure, Laurel, I believe there are numerous axes of human development. They're not completely independent of each other and they do intersect and affect one another. But... the relationship between knowing how the mind operates (awakening) and moral development is not causal, in my personal experience. And again, the word "enlightenment" has a thousand and one meanings, so if you're willing to elaborate on what that word means to you I'm all ears.

I have some theories on why Buddhists have historically mingled insight and morality but that's best left for another time.

 ... I think it's important to also aknowledge the tradeoff that pragmatic dharma makes in that it sets the bar lower for being 'done,' because that has pretty radical implications about the ceiling for practice and what it means for the practitioner and the community and whether someone should pursue the whole project in the first place for that matter.

This is the ultimate question - why do we engage in a meditation practice? My journey has shown me that the reason to pursue this path changed as the path was transversed. I started knowing absolutely nothing and thought I was on a quest for full-on human perfection. Then, over time, reality set in and it became obvious that perfection wasn't possible. My goals became more realistic, more about what Buddhism calls "wisdom", which is also called insight, which is about the mind's capabilities. Over time my personal reasons to maintain a practice have become less idealistic and more practical. Setting high goals is a good thing but, as they say to the cadets at West Point, no plan survives first contact with the reality one eventually encounters.

Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.

Milo, let me make sure I get what you're saying here - it's possible for a human being to free themselves of those things that are embedded in the very nature of being human? That's not just a high bar. That's an impossible bar. 

As for what you're calling the "source material" are you sure that's the hill you want to die on?  emoticon

Given that source materials are being mentioned here and I studied them (Pali texts) I thought I'd jump in in say a few things I've discovered, especially about morality and awakening. If any other geeky/"scholars"  find mistakes here feel free to correct. What's for sure is that both suttas and commentaries make links between morality and awakening, but not to the same degree. And it's often not so clear cut as we may imagine.

One important thing to distinguish is Suttas vs commentaries. In Asia they are taught as basically one and the same doctrine, and it seems it's only recently that contradictions between both have been pointed out. For what I know, commentaries are full of practical advice about meditation practice, but also additions on what it means to be awakened that are not in suttas. A lot of what passes for Buddhism in Burmese Theravada lineages is actually mostly commentarial material,

Here we go:

In the commentaries, a stream-entrer is said to be incapable to break any of the five precepts. This is standard accepted doctrine amongst Burmese teachers, including the late Mahasi Sayadaw, as well as U Pandita and others.

But the suttas do not say so in regard to the Stream-entrer. What the suttas say is more vague. They say that a stream-entrer is "endowed with the virtues dear to the noble ones". But they don't say what  these virtues are. 

One sutta also says that when a stream-winner "misbehaves in body, speech and mind" they are incapable of keeping it to themselves, and they will confess their mistake (this seems to apply to monks and nuns only who have a rule about confessing breaches of the monastic code, and confession here has nothing to do with the Christian notion of it). 

This is interesting here because that sutta says that a stream-entrer can misbehave morally. But they do not say to what degree. The part about confessing, I have come to understand it that after SE, what arises in one's mind is more clear and there is less potential for self-deception. If greed arises, for instance, one is clear about it, and one will not rationalise it. One sees greed as greed, aversion as aversion, etc.

We also have interesting stories in the Pali scriptures around awakened people. One SE woman falls in love with a hunter, marries him, and helps him each morning to collect wood for him to fabricate his arrows for hunting.

And we have Sarakani the drunkard, who after dying the Buddha declares a stream-winner. The commentary says he attained SE before dying and taking the precept, but this is not so clear in the sutta story, from what I remember at least.

The once-returner. The suttas say they diminished the strength of greed, aversion and delusion, but says nothing about how that translates into action (or non-action). The commentaries have in them contradictions about whether a once-returner can have sex or not. Some passages sort of say yes, others sort of say no. The commentaries seemed to have struggled with that question.

But let's look at the sutta. Mahamana, the once-returner cousin of the Buddha, tells the latter he feels lust when he passes through the royal harem. To be fair, I think it's only in the commentary that Mahamana is said to be a once-returner. The suttas only seem to point to that. But hey, that's an interesting point: a commentarial-approved once-returner feels lust when passing through a harem.

One of the daughters of Anatapindika, the rich stream-winner lay supporter of the Buddha, is a once-returner in the suttas. Yet she succombs to intense depression for not being able to find a husband. She dies from her depression (seemingly from staying in bed and not eating). The suttas make it clear she is at a higher stage of her father, who is a stream-entrer. 

For the non-returner, both the suttas and commentaries say they cannot have sex and are natural celibates. Sense desire (and ill-will) is gone)

The sutta arahants are incapable of breaking the five precepts, the third precept here meaning no sex at all in this case. That's what the suttas say. 

It's interesting though that the commentaries say that though the arahants have overcome all defilements, they can still have behaviors that are residues of their former un-awakened status. One arahant who was a king in many previous lives maintained bossy and harsh language after arahantship, for example. In the suttas, arahants can make mistakes in how they guide others. The BUddha pointed out to Sariputta how he did not guide a dying Brahmin properly, guiding him to the Brahma realm when he, according to the Buddha, had the capacity for higher wisdom. 

In the Dipavamsa (or Mahavamsa?), the chronicles of Buddhist history in SRi Lanka and  highly respected texts, we have a king killing numerous HIndus in a war. Feeling guilty, he approaches arahant monks, who reassure him that he had no choice to do it, for they were bent on destroying Buddhism, or something like that. For certain I do remember that the arahants in this story reassured the kind about his killings. 

So here we go, in source materials, it is also not that easy to pionpoint a clear overall picture about what the link between morality and awakening is. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 9:32 AM as a reply to Ben V..
emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 1:14 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

My journey has shown me that the reason to pursue this path changed as the path was transversed. I started knowing absolutely nothing and thought I was on a quest for full-on human perfection. Then, over time, reality set in and it became obvious that perfection wasn't possible. My goals became more realistic, more about what Buddhism calls "wisdom", which is also called insight, which is about the mind's capabilities. Over time my personal reasons to maintain a practice have become less idealistic and more practical. Setting high goals is a good thing but, as they say to the cadets at West Point, no plan survives first contact with the reality one eventually encounters.

100% agree, though it is a point that won't make much sense to most. Wisdom/Insight/No-Self changes entirely what it is you thought you were doing or working on.

From my perspective, the "loss" of agency means that there is just "what is happening" and no-one doing it. The fetters are broken not because a human is perfected, but because there is no longer a self/person to own them or experience them. This will make zero sense vis a vis the teachings until it makes ABSOLUTE sense.

https://www.lionsroar.com/what-are-the-two-truths/

Morality, when seen for what it is, is just another play of conceptualization in the mind and has nothing to do with whether a "teacher" has insight into the non-dual nature of reality.

Right, wrong; good, evil; important, unimportant; according to whom? From whose perspective? It is the way of all the earth for most people to feel that those things that are closest to them are most important. From your perspective, you will most likely feel more distraught over the death of one family member than you will over the death of thousands in a foreign country you have never seen. From one perspective, an act of terror is evidence of evil; from another, it is evidence that God is great. It is neither; it just is. It all simply arises in the wholeness of Consciousness, which is totally impersonal, and entirely neutral. Right or wrong, important or not, are only your projections, from your perspective. - David Carse, Perfect Brilliant Stillness

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 12:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

This is the ultimate question - why do we engage in a meditation practice? My journey has shown me that the reason to pursue this path changed as the path was transversed. I started knowing absolutely nothing and thought I was on a quest for full-on human perfection.


I think a lot of people fell for that scam too. There is a lot wrong with the way Buddhism is "advertised". It borders on malfeasance. 

I think the meditation and mindfulness practices of Buddhism are great. I took the five precepts and have no regrets. But I think a lot about Buddhism is a $cam and that is just more evidence that enlightenment doesn't make you a nice person.  But to be fair, a lot of religions are a $cam so I don't mean to single Buddhism out for criticism, I mean it is not superior in that regard.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 12:20 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.

Milo, let me make sure I get what you're saying here - it's possible for a human being to free themselves of those things that are embedded in the very nature of being human? That's not just a high bar. That's an impossible bar. 

As for what you're calling the "source material" are you sure that's the hill you want to die on?  emoticon


How do you know that all those traits are ”embedded in the very nature of being human”? Is there an essence to human beings that is permanent?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 1:21 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:

I think a lot of people fell for that scam too. There is a lot wrong with the way Buddhism is "advertised". It borders on malfeasance. 

There isn't really a way to describe the full non-dual understanding. It's not that it is a scam, there are conceptual descriptions of what enlightenment is throughout the traditions, it is more that what is being pointed toward is (as it is commonly acknowledged) ineffable. No description of enlightenment can describe it, because the understanding is not expressible in subject/object language, it is the loss of the subject.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 1:48 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Even if I'm inclined to believe that there is something about this "non-dualism" that is genuinely profound and remarkable, and I'm seriously entertaining the notion, then clearly there is also a lot in Buddhism that's laughable at the face of it.

Reincarnation is the most obvious one, but also the fascination of the Buddhist community with weird Hindu imagery specifically and touchy-feely arbitrariness in general. (The latter being a hallmark of those with sloppy thinking.)

So I second that there's at least partly (self-)deception going on, but maybe it's muddled up with some genuine treasure - perhaps even within the same individuals.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 2:08 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Milo:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Milo:
Being free of conceit, ill will, sensual desire, and various other forms of attachment wouldn't make you a better person morally? Let's at least be honest here, for better or worse, pragmatic dharma has a lower bar than what's described in the classical source material.



It doesn’t require that one follows the eightfold path for it to count, so in that sense yes. The bar for insight per se is probably the same or similar, though. It justs makes clearer distinctions.


How so?


It doesn’t mix in the moral qualifications with the insight qualifications. It doesn’t claim that it is automatically impossible to break precepts.


Ah ok. No disagreement from me.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 2:29 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Is there an essence to human beings that is permanent?

I think maybe you're confusing attributes and essences. Nothing is permanent, but the attributes that make us human do change on an evolutionary time scale, not within one lifetime.

Nice try at a "Gotcha!" though  emoticon
  


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 2:49 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 ... I think it's important to also aknowledge the tradeoff that pragmatic dharma makes in that it sets the bar lower for being 'done,' because that has pretty radical implications about the ceiling for practice and what it means for the practitioner and the community and whether someone should pursue the whole project in the first place for that matter.

This is the ultimate question - why do we engage in a meditation practice? My journey has shown me that the reason to pursue this path changed as the path was transversed. I started knowing absolutely nothing and thought I was on a quest for full-on human perfection. Then, over time, reality set in and it became obvious that perfection wasn't possible. My goals became more realistic, more about what Buddhism calls "wisdom", which is also called insight, which is about the mind's capabilities. Over time my personal reasons to maintain a practice have become less idealistic and more practical. Setting high goals is a good thing but, as they say to the cadets at West Point, no plan survives first contact with the reality one eventually encounters.


That's an interesting and very candid description of the arc of your meditation experience. Thanks for sharing openly. Now don't hate me for what I'm going to say next emoticon

Buddhism has even historically provided a very wide scope to ambitions for practice, everything from better well being in the here and now to full blown arahantship or buddhahood.To be clear, I'm not unsympathetic with what you are describing here. What I do think is that if we want to embrace that concept of practice we should probably just come out of the closet about it and, at the risk of further stirring up the beehive and stepping on toes, stop claiming titles like arahant for ourselves. Perhaps better to just out with it and say we are continually practicing pragmatically and will never be 'done.' Claims to attainments just become intellectual stumbling blocks in such a system, or worse, like starting a marathon and deciding finishing is impossible, but taking the shortcut off the course to get to the end and call ourselves marathon finishers anyway. Let me stress again because I feel I will be misunderstood, I bring this up not as some kind of trollish attack, but because it is possible and healthy to embrace an idea yet entertain arguments about the potential flaws of that idea at the same time.  I'm really arguing here for intellectual honesty.

Buddhism has even historically provided a very wide scope to ambitions for practice, everything from better well being in the here and now to full blown arahantship or buddhahood.To be clear, I'm not unsympathetic with what you are describing here. What I do think is that if we want to embrace that concept of practice we should probably just come out of the closet about it and, at the risk of further stirring up the beehive and stepping on toes, stop claiming titles like arahant for ourselves. Perhaps better to just out with it and say we are continually practicing pragmatically and will never be 'done.' Claims to attainments just become intellectual stumbling blocks in such a system, or worse, like starting a marathon and deciding finishing is impossible, but taking the shortcut off the course to get to the end and call ourselves marathon finishers anyway. Let me stress again because I feel I will be misunderstood, I bring this up not as some kind of trollish attack, but because it is possible and healthy to embrace an idea yet entertain arguments about the potential flaws of that idea at the same time.  I'm really arguing here for intellectual honesty.

Absolutely.

But we must also be willing to practice what we preach, brother Milo.

So let's not stop at just those measures. Let's be honest about all of this "stuff." Let's stop using terminology from 3,500 years ago to describe what we experience. And let's be willing to dispell all the myths that the terminology and the unrequited hopes it inspires encourage. I think the terminology and romantic notions of "enlightenment" (again, a loaded term if there ever was one) are used intentionally and often for less than honorable purposes.

And let's be willing to suspend our hopes and dreams of perfection, states of enlightened bliss, masters who can't commit immoral acts, and all the other nonsense that gets tossed around in this melee of Buddhist bullshit. Let's be willing to listen to people who are being honest and open about their experiences and stop comparing them to unrealistic, idealistic and romantic notions based on an oral record that is at best suspect and at worst counterproductive.

So... yeah  emoticon

BTW - I would never hate anyone for doing their best to understand and communicate openly. I commend you for being willing to go there.


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 4:42 PM as a reply to Jens Theisen.
Jens Theisen:
Even if I'm inclined to believe that there is something about this "non-dualism" that is genuinely profound and remarkable, and I'm seriously entertaining the notion, then clearly there is also a lot in Buddhism that's laughable at the face of it.

Upaya, or skillful means, embodies a number of teaching approaches that might resonate (or not) with any number of cultural profiles, though usually poorly with the West. This doesn't invalidate what lies underneath, or especially what is being pointed to.

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

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 5:02 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Is there an essence to human beings that is permanent?

I think maybe you're confusing attributes and essences. Nothing is permanent, but the attributes that make us human do change on an evolutionary time scale, not within one lifetime.

Nice try at a "Gotcha!" though  emoticon
  



In previous discussions it hasn’t been clear whether you believe change is possible even on an evolutionary time scale. That’s part of why I was asking. The other part is that you seem to think of these attributes as fixed rather than conditioned. I don’t believe ill will is in human nature, but a result from fear and the view that resources are scarce. Not trying at a ”Gotcha!”, just trying to understand how you are thinking och how it adds up for you.

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/19/19 11:02 PM as a reply to John.
John:

Yes, I did that 5 years go.

Needs to be done with a guide that's why they have the forum. It's not about conceptually describing it it was a really major shift for me.  It took like 2-3 days and I had some meditative practice before and had done some contemplation before like very little and without a guide but some contemplation nontheless. Also the source material is useless you need to be guided into it.

John,

Could you describe how the processes with the guide worked, what did they say, what did you experience?


Thanks,

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/19/19 11:03 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

I've got a whole discussion group that could separately describe no-self conceptually after a year or so - that doesn't make them stream-enterers. 

...
Stirling,

Is it an open group? What is the url?


Thanks

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/19/19 11:25 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Buddhism has even historically provided a very wide scope to ambitions for practice, everything from better well being in the here and now to full blown arahantship or buddhahood.To be clear, I'm not unsympathetic with what you are describing here. What I do think is that if we want to embrace that concept of practice we should probably just come out of the closet about it and, at the risk of further stirring up the beehive and stepping on toes, stop claiming titles like arahant for ourselves. Perhaps better to just out with it and say we are continually practicing pragmatically and will never be 'done.' Claims to attainments just become intellectual stumbling blocks in such a system, or worse, like starting a marathon and deciding finishing is impossible, but taking the shortcut off the course to get to the end and call ourselves marathon finishers anyway. Let me stress again because I feel I will be misunderstood, I bring this up not as some kind of trollish attack, but because it is possible and healthy to embrace an idea yet entertain arguments about the potential flaws of that idea at the same time.  I'm really arguing here for intellectual honesty.

Absolutely.

But we must also be willing to practice what we preach, brother Milo.

So let's not stop at just those measures. Let's be honest about all of this "stuff." Let's stop using terminology from 3,500 years ago to describe what we experience. And let's be willing to dispell all the myths that the terminology and the unrequited hopes it inspires encourage. I think the terminology and romantic notions of "enlightenment" (again, a loaded term if there ever was one) are used intentionally and often for less than honorable purposes.

And let's be willing to suspend our hopes and dreams of perfection, states of enlightened bliss, masters who can't commit immoral acts, and all the other nonsense that gets tossed around in this melee of Buddhist bullshit. Let's be willing to listen to people who are being honest and open about their experiences and stop comparing them to unrealistic, idealistic and romantic notions based on an oral record that is at best suspect and at worst counterproductive.

So... yeah  emoticon

BTW - I would never hate anyone for doing their best to understand and communicate openly. I commend you for being willing to go there.


I can largely agree with that, Chris, but let me make an amendment: within reason, we will collectively make attempts to verify things based on personal experience before dogmatically accepting or rejecting them, whether old or new. I don't see too many people stepping forward on the forums to say 'I am a morally flawless enlightened being who can do no wrong,' or 'I dwell in constant bliss,' but the waters do get a bit murkier when we start talking about, for example, specific meditation experiences. Shall we also be open to the possibility that while they have obvious flaws, those old materials may also have gotten some things right? (Or at least gotten them useful)? emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 12:09 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
Given that source materials are being mentioned here and I studied them (Pali texts) I thought I'd jump in in say a few things I've discovered, especially about morality and awakening. If any other geeky/"scholars"  find mistakes here feel free to correct. What's for sure is that both suttas and commentaries make links between morality and awakening, but not to the same degree. And it's often not so clear cut as we may imagine.

One important thing to distinguish is Suttas vs commentaries. In Asia they are taught as basically one and the same doctrine, and it seems it's only recently that contradictions between both have been pointed out. For what I know, commentaries are full of practical advice about meditation practice, but also additions on what it means to be awakened that are not in suttas. A lot of what passes for Buddhism in Burmese Theravada lineages is actually mostly commentarial material,

Here we go:

In the commentaries, a stream-entrer is said to be incapable to break any of the five precepts. This is standard accepted doctrine amongst Burmese teachers, including the late Mahasi Sayadaw, as well as U Pandita and others.

But the suttas do not say so in regard to the Stream-entrer. What the suttas say is more vague. They say that a stream-entrer is "endowed with the virtues dear to the noble ones". But they don't say what  these virtues are. 

One sutta also says that when a stream-winner "misbehaves in body, speech and mind" they are incapable of keeping it to themselves, and they will confess their mistake (this seems to apply to monks and nuns only who have a rule about confessing breaches of the monastic code, and confession here has nothing to do with the Christian notion of it). 

This is interesting here because that sutta says that a stream-entrer can misbehave morally. But they do not say to what degree. The part about confessing, I have come to understand it that after SE, what arises in one's mind is more clear and there is less potential for self-deception. If greed arises, for instance, one is clear about it, and one will not rationalise it. One sees greed as greed, aversion as aversion, etc.

We also have interesting stories in the Pali scriptures around awakened people. One SE woman falls in love with a hunter, marries him, and helps him each morning to collect wood for him to fabricate his arrows for hunting.

And we have Sarakani the drunkard, who after dying the Buddha declares a stream-winner. The commentary says he attained SE before dying and taking the precept, but this is not so clear in the sutta story, from what I remember at least.

The once-returner. The suttas say they diminished the strength of greed, aversion and delusion, but says nothing about how that translates into action (or non-action). The commentaries have in them contradictions about whether a once-returner can have sex or not. Some passages sort of say yes, others sort of say no. The commentaries seemed to have struggled with that question.

But let's look at the sutta. Mahamana, the once-returner cousin of the Buddha, tells the latter he feels lust when he passes through the royal harem. To be fair, I think it's only in the commentary that Mahamana is said to be a once-returner. The suttas only seem to point to that. But hey, that's an interesting point: a commentarial-approved once-returner feels lust when passing through a harem.

One of the daughters of Anatapindika, the rich stream-winner lay supporter of the Buddha, is a once-returner in the suttas. Yet she succombs to intense depression for not being able to find a husband. She dies from her depression (seemingly from staying in bed and not eating). The suttas make it clear she is at a higher stage of her father, who is a stream-entrer. 

For the non-returner, both the suttas and commentaries say they cannot have sex and are natural celibates. Sense desire (and ill-will) is gone)

The sutta arahants are incapable of breaking the five precepts, the third precept here meaning no sex at all in this case. That's what the suttas say. 

It's interesting though that the commentaries say that though the arahants have overcome all defilements, they can still have behaviors that are residues of their former un-awakened status. One arahant who was a king in many previous lives maintained bossy and harsh language after arahantship, for example. In the suttas, arahants can make mistakes in how they guide others. The BUddha pointed out to Sariputta how he did not guide a dying Brahmin properly, guiding him to the Brahma realm when he, according to the Buddha, had the capacity for higher wisdom. 

In the Dipavamsa (or Mahavamsa?), the chronicles of Buddhist history in SRi Lanka and  highly respected texts, we have a king killing numerous HIndus in a war. Feeling guilty, he approaches arahant monks, who reassure him that he had no choice to do it, for they were bent on destroying Buddhism, or something like that. For certain I do remember that the arahants in this story reassured the kind about his killings. 

So here we go, in source materials, it is also not that easy to pionpoint a clear overall picture about what the link between morality and awakening is. 

Where these models start to really struggle to match up with the reality of the teacherverse is at the non-returner and arahant levels.

A thought that popped up just now (I haven’t thought it through) is whether there could be possible synergy effects of doing all three trainings and following the eightfold path that would give results beyond what would be the sum of each training and part of the path separately. I’m not saying that it would lead to perfection, just thinking that maybe it’s worth considering that there could possibly be attainments that can only be unlocked that way. Not that I think that it would be possible to be done with that once and for all. I think it would be something that one has to choose every single moment.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 6:41 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
 The other part is that you seem to think of these attributes as fixed rather than conditioned.

I can see why people might think this, but no.

I don't see too many people stepping forward on the forums to say 'I am a morally flawless enlightened being who can do no wrong,' or 'I dwell in constant bliss,' but the waters do get a bit murkier when we start talking about, for example, specific meditation experiences.

Well, sure. I was actually referring to the propensity of people on forums to hold an idealistic perspective of some kind of perfection and compare their ideal to real experiences being recounted by others.

It makes one want to ask them to suspend their disbelief  emoticon


Shall we also be open to the possibility that while they have obvious flaws, those old materials may also have gotten some things right? (Or at least gotten them useful)?

Sure we can. Which things did they get right?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 9:07 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 The other part is that you seem to think of these attributes as fixed rather than conditioned.

I can see why people might think this, but no.



I believe you.

You emphasize the limitations rather than the possibilities for the purpose of balancing up the discussion, I assume. I can see why you need to do that. I see a need to balance up the nihilism, too, and I know that you have been very clear with regard to that as well. Balancing between misleading ideals and nihilism is tricky indeed. Both ditches can cause a lot of harm. I see you persistently taking on the guiding role to keep people from getting lost in the ditches as they/we try to navigate this difficult terrain in the mist, and I respect that. Deeply.

I will do my very best to stay away from both ditches.

Sometimes the directions can be a bit confusing (for me anyway) when they point away from two opposite ditches, and sometimes one more than the other, but I think I understand where you are coming from, and especially with the recent discussions.

In my life history, nihilism has been a larger threat than the other ditch. That’s why I tend to emphasize other nuances than you. I do see the dangers of both ditches, though. Probably not all nuances of them, but enough to know that I need to watch my steps.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 9:24 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
You emphasize the limitations rather than the possibilities for the purpose of balancing up the discussion, I assume.

Sure. But I'm not saying things just to balance a discussion. I'm saying things that come from personal experience in my practice.

Balancing between misleading ideals and nihilism is tricky indeed.

That's why they call this the "Middle Way."



RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 10:27 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Re-stating my contrarian argument from the Culadasa thread:

I'm going to maintain the contrarian position, at least for argument's sake, that awakening is not related to morality, ethics and societal norms. There are extraordinary, exemplary human beings who don't have any kind of spiritual practice. I further assert that being an exemplary human being is completely unrelated to having a spiritual practice. I'm also going to assert that people with spiritual practices, even those who are awakened, have the same incidence of moral and ethical misbehavior that other human beings have. Of course, I can't prove any of these assertions but I think it's helpful, even healthy, to maintain this kind of skepticism. Neither, however, can the claim that awakened people have some leg up on morality be proven. I suspect it's all in how you look at it, and in what you believe.

Simply put, the unexplained hole in our perspective doesn't actually exist unless and until we place a specialness on awakening or spirituality.

YMMV

I’m throwing in the towel. I’ve been arguing about what enlightened, or awakened, people should or should not be doing (they should not be using their status to abuse their students, and yes, I know the word “should” is a no-no). I’ve argued that the terms themselves, “enlightened,” “awakened,” should be defined to include morality. I’ve read and thought about everyone’s contributions here and been reminded that the experience of an awakened being, of which I’ve had a taste, has nothing to do with social norms. I’ve also read lots of discussion about what the foundational texts have to say, which some people find more relevant than others, and have been reminded that not everyone here, or who has something to say about these matters, is Buddhist, and not all Buddhists teach the same things (duh). Finally, I’ve been reminded that the terminology is treacherous and slippery. 

I am recognizing that what I want to be true just plain is not true. I would like to think that the people who live in Perfect Brilliant Stillness do not commit the abuses that so many teachers have been shown to have committed, but then David Carse himself, the author of that mostly excellent book, breaks into a rant towards the end against women who have accused his teacher (I forget who that was, but bear with me) of sexual abuse. He unabashedly tells them to suck it up, that none of this stuff matters in the context of Perfect Brilliant Stillness, and orders them to do a spiritual bypass if they don’t like it. So David Carse, who so eloquently speaks of that which cannot be put into words, is an asshat. Maybe he isn’t a perfect asshat all the time, but he certainly let his asshat nature out of the bag with that bit of verbiage. 

We have here not just a problem with abusive teachers, but with all their apologists and enablers, some of whom have realizations of their own. So it’s time to stop dithering around about who’s enlightened and who’s not, and ask, what do we do about the problem of abusive teachers in Buddhist communities? (Not to exclude other spiritual traditions, but that is my primary focus.) There’ve been some excellent suggestions here so far. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 10:46 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
We have here not just a problem with abusive teachers, but with all their apologists and enablers, some of whom have realizations of their own. So it’s time to stop dithering around about who’s enlightened and who’s not, and ask, what do we do about the problem of abusive teachers in Buddhist communities? 

This.

This is a problem, period. It's not about who is what or who knows what. Whatever and whoever these people are, they're wrong.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 10:59 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel, is this what you're referring to in re David Carse?

https://archive.org/details/PerfectBrilliantStillnessDavidCarseEbookPDF/page/n343

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 12:05 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
You emphasize the limitations rather than the possibilities for the purpose of balancing up the discussion, I assume.

Sure. But I'm not saying things just to balance a discussion. I'm saying things that come from personal experience in my practice.

Balancing between misleading ideals and nihilism is tricky indeed.

That's why they call this the "Middle Way."




I don’t doubt that. But don’t you have experience of insights helping with the challenges of daily life as well, including some moral ones? I have only started and I do already - definitely not in any automatic and reliable way, but it helps when I have access to a tool and am mindful enough to actually use it, which is not often enough but probably more often than before (and I try to work on applying it more, well aware that I will still make many mistakes). Maybe you are just way more humble than I am, or wise enough to know that acknowledging positive development is a recipe for being more sloppy for a while.

I did know that. emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 12:12 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
We have here not just a problem with abusive teachers, but with all their apologists and enablers, some of whom have realizations of their own. So it’s time to stop dithering around about who’s enlightened and who’s not, and ask, what do we do about the problem of abusive teachers in Buddhist communities? 

This.

This is a problem, period. It's not about who is what or who knows what. Whatever and whoever these people are, they're wrong.



Agreed. And it’s very important not to forget this focus in discussions like this. Making sure that abuse is not allowed to continue is way more important than discussing the abusers’ attainments.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 12:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Based on what I just read in that book, I'd be of the mind to ask David Carse if he would stand in busy traffic on the freeway at rush hour, or maybe jump out of the next jetliner he flies in but without a parachute. As he says, it's all just a dream, you know.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 12:30 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:

I’m throwing in the towel. I’ve been arguing about what enlightened, or awakened, people should or should not be doing (they should not be using their status to abuse their students, and yes, I know the word “should” is a no-no). I’ve argued that the terms themselves, “enlightened,” “awakened,” should be defined to include morality. I’ve read and thought about everyone’s contributions here and been reminded that the experience of an awakened being, of which I’ve had a taste, has nothing to do with social norms. I’ve also read lots of discussion about what the foundational texts have to say, which some people find more relevant than others, and have been reminded that not everyone here, or who has something to say about these matters, is Buddhist, and not all Buddhists teach the same things (duh). Finally, I’ve been reminded that the terminology is treacherous and slippery. 

I am recognizing that what I want to be true just plain is not true. I would like to think that the people who live in Perfect Brilliant Stillness do not commit the abuses that so many teachers have been shown to have committed, but then David Carse himself, the author of that mostly excellent book, breaks into a rant towards the end against women who have accused his teacher (I forget who that was, but bear with me) of sexual abuse. He unabashedly tells them to suck it up, that none of this stuff matters in the context of Perfect Brilliant Stillness, and orders them to do a spiritual bypass if they don’t like it. So David Carse, who so eloquently speaks of that which cannot be put into words, is an asshat. Maybe he isn’t a perfect asshat all the time, but he certainly let his asshat nature out of the bag with that bit of verbiage. 

We have here not just a problem with abusive teachers, but with all their apologists and enablers, some of whom have realizations of their own. So it’s time to stop dithering around about who’s enlightened and who’s not, and ask, what do we do about the problem of abusive teachers in Buddhist communities? (Not to exclude other spiritual traditions, but that is my primary focus.) There’ve been some excellent suggestions here so far. 

Since it was I who quoted him, I went back and read that passage of Carse's book.

Let's just establish that Carse is an unsympathetic character, both with himself or anyone else. While he adopts a condescending attitude, and some parts in particular are aimed at the women who were part of the scandal, I just don't read it the same way. He's pretty equal opportunity from my perspective. It's clear to me that what he is suggesting is that those who felt betrayed should examine how they got mixed up with it in the first place - this is surely an excellent idea... there is attachment and aversion there. This isn't spiritual bypassing, IMHO, this is hard, fruitful work. 

As Carse takes pains to point out frequently in the book with analogies about his own character, anyone with insight into the non-dual nature still acts like a person, with some or many of the flaws they started with. At a certain point that person is now just aware that in absolute terms there has never been a separate person who has any real agency - should or shouldn't do doesn't enter into it, but this does not absolve them of the apparent consequences of their actions. My experience is that some teachers with realization are soft and sweet, and others not - but any good one will point out what is in your way unflinchingly, and sometimes intentionally with "triggering" language. (Someone please kill that term...  emoticon )

If there is a problem I agree that it is not only the teachers who take advantage and the enablers, but it is also the attitudes of the students that these actions or situations could ever be appropriate. An educated public certainly seems as important as holding a misbehaving gurus feet to the fire, IMHO. The reality is that these things happen, and will continue to happen as long as the teacher is expected to be more than human, or that people think they can somehow "catch" enlightenment from a teacher. Trusting in the morality of ANY human is folly, plain and simple.

Definitely, if this is important to you and you have the motivation to do something about this, or speak out you absolutely should. I doubt anyone here would argue that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 1:09 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
It's all well and good to dive into the nature of not-self and the non-dual, but people are suffering and maybe that isn't a good focus under the circumstances. Rather than risking the appearance of justifying the wrongdoing by sort of seeming to say it isn't really wrongdoing, you see, because non-dual, we should be there first for the people to whom some form of wrong was done. And the idea that the wronged should have just run away, thus avoiding any kind of inconvenient issue, is clueless about how these things seem to typically play out.

It just comes across as tone-deaf.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 1:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It's all well and good to dive into the nature of not-self and the non-dual, but people are suffering and maybe that isn't a good focus under the circumstances. Rather than risking the appearance of justifying the wrongdoing by sort of seeming to say it isn't really wrongdoing, you see, because non-dual, we should be there first for the people to whom some form of wrong was done. And the idea that the wronged should have just run away, thus avoiding any kind of inconvenient issue, is clueless about how these things seem to typically play out.

It just comes across as tone-deaf.



This! Yes!

Milo:

I can largely agree with that, Chris, but let me make an amendment: within reason, we will collectively make attempts to verify things based on personal experience before dogmatically accepting or rejecting them, whether old or new. I don't see too many people stepping forward on the forums to say 'I am a morally flawless enlightened being who can do no wrong,' or 'I dwell in constant bliss,' but the waters do get a bit murkier when we start talking about, for example, specific meditation experiences. Shall we also be open to the possibility that while they have obvious flaws, those old materials may also have gotten some things right? (Or at least gotten them useful)? emoticon
I don't think you will find anyone who will honestly say "I dwell in constant bliss" (or happiness). Anyone with the ability would not do it. It would be tedious and not at all pleasant.  I think people who practice the soft jhanas would agree.  For others the best explanation I can give is it would be like having an constant orgasm. 

What I find most pleasant is what I call a pleasant relaxed state. It's that calm relaxed, feeling with no unpleasant undercurrents or mental turbulence, (okay maybe with a slight tinge of happiness), you get from meditation (but not muddled headed from too much meditation). I don't think it is possible to get too much of that. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 1:22 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Laurel, is this what you're referring to in re David Carse?

https://archive.org/details/PerfectBrilliantStillnessDavidCarseEbookPDF/page/n343
Yes, that’s the one.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 1:46 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:


...
As Carse takes pains to point out frequently in the book with analogies about his own character, anyone with insight into the non-dual nature still acts like a person, with some or many of the flaws they started with. At a certain point that person is now just aware that in absolute terms there has never been a separate person who has any real agency - should or shouldn't do doesn't enter into it, but this does not absolve them of the apparent consequences of their actions. 
...

The fact that so few people understand this leads to another problem in addition to its making people vulnerable to abusive teachers. The other problem is that people start on the path and end up spending a lot ot time and some money without a correct undersanding where they are going. Honest teachers would be make certain their students knew what the results of their teaching is. As far as I can tell there are not many honest teachers. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 2:41 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Milo:

I can largely agree with that, Chris, but let me make an amendment: within reason, we will collectively make attempts to verify things based on persoaexprience before dogmatically accepting or rejecting them, whether old or new. I don't see too many people stepping forward othe forums to sy 'I am a morally flawless enlightened being who can do no wrong,' or 'I dwell in constant bliss,' but the waters do get bit murkiewhen we start talking about, for example, specific meditation experiences. Shall we also be open to the possibility that while they hve obvious flaw, those olmaterials may also have gotten some things right? (Or at least gotten them useful)? emoticon
I don't think you will find anyone who will honestly say "I dwell in constant bliss" (or happiness). Anyone with the ability would not do it. It would be tedious and not at all pleasant.  I think people who practice the soft jhanas would agree.  For others the best explanation I can give is it would be like having an constant orgasm. 

What I find most pleasant is what I call a pleasant relaxed state. It's that calm relaxed, feeling with no unpleasant undercurrents or mental turbulence, (okay maybe with a slight tinge of happiness), you get from meditation (but not muddled headed from too much meditation). I don't think it is possible to get too much of that. 


Yes I'm aware, but a state of constant bliss is less esoteric and easier to grasp  for people who haven't mastered some form of concentration practice than saying 'The composite formally known as 'me' is reordered in a state of highly refined non-dualistic ur-consciousness whereupon constant bliss would be coarse and tiresome' or some other ponderous word salad that nonetheless fails to capture the state anyway : )

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/20/19 5:37 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It's all well and good to dive into the nature of not-self and the non-dual, but people are suffering and maybe that isn't a good focus under the circumstances. Rather than risking the appearance of justifying the wrongdoing by sort of seeming to say it isn't really wrongdoing, you see, because non-dual, we should be there first for the people to whom some form of wrong was done. And the idea that the wronged should have just run away, thus avoiding any kind of inconvenient issue, is clueless about how these things seem to typically play out.

It just comes across as tone-deaf.

I'm honestly fine with however you wish to characterize me, but in reference to the original first statement of the post:

Anyone here interested in the relationship between Waking up (seeing no - self) and Growing up (how the mind developes in its meaning making)? 

...I think the post you are referencing fits perfectly. I'm all for constructive feedback and appreciate your efforts toward that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 12:17 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
I didn’t see the tonedeaf thing as directed against you, Stirling, but against the author that chose to focus on that in the midst of sexual abuse. I did not have you in mind at all when I agreed with the post. But if you too really think that’s how sexual abuse generally plays out, then it might be a good idea to educate yourself about it.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
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9/21/19 9:09 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
I'm honestly fine with however you wish to characterize me... 

I wasn't characterizing anyone in particular. I was just making a point about the order of concern I observed in reading Carse's comments.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 10:37 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'm honestly fine with however you wish to characterize me... 

I wasn't characterizing anyone in particular. I was just making a point about the order of concern I observed in reading Carse's comments.

Fair enough. Thanks, Chris.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 12:03 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Interesting discussion that has arisen, I see also lots of us just trying to prove our point (what a surprise!). As an effort to move the original theme of the conversation forward (and maybe prove my own point hehe) I paste this here, originally posted on the "Books and Websites" category.

Anyone interested in the work of Daniel P Brown?

I started reading Pointing Out the Great Way. Really recommended. He's a Harvard psychology professor and Mahamudra teacher (authorized to teach by the Dalai Lama). I see this kind of practioner as a way to the flourishing of a new expression of the Dharma, one that is more suited to our current day and age.

Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 12:38 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:

Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:05 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.

So, Kim, do you mean to say that medicine hasn't advanced beyond the ancient Buddhist understanding of the physiology of the brain, it's chemistry and the like? Why does the Dalai Lama favor studying that same "stoopid shit?" Is he stoopid, too? And... in an earlier reply to Santiago you said:

I have no problem with combining dharma practice and psychology...

So why were you in favor of stoopid shit a week ago but not now?

Just curious...

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:17 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.

So, Kim, do you mean to say that medicine hasn't advanced beyond the ancient Buddhist understanding of the physiology of the brain, it's chemistry and the like? Why does the Dalai Lama favor studying that same "stoopid shit?" Is he stoopid, too? And... in an earlier reply to Santiago you said:

I have no problem with combining dharma practice and psychology...

So why were you in favor of stoopid shit a week ago but not now?

Just curious...
Huh? What does my comment have to do with criticising the development of medicine? Can't speak for Dalai Lama or his interest towards science but you ever heard him mention his psychotherapist?

No, I did not say that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:25 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
So you aren't opposed to combining the practices of Buddhism and the discoveries and practices of modern psychiatry, neuroscience and medicine, Kim?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
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9/21/19 1:30 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
No. Did you get that impression?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
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9/21/19 1:36 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Yes, I got that impression from this exchange:

Santiago:
Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.

Kim Katami:
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:47 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:
Interesting discussion that has arisen, I see also lots of us just trying to prove our point (what a surprise!). As an effort to move the original theme of the conversation forward (and maybe prove my own point hehe) I paste this here, originally posted on the "Books and Websites" category.

Anyone interested in the work of Daniel P Brown?

I started reading Pointing Out the Great Way. Really recommended. He's a Harvard psychology professor and Mahamudra teacher (authorized to teach by the Dalai Lama). I see this kind of practioner as a way to the flourishing of a new expression of the Dharma, one that is more suited to our current day and age.

Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.


A lot of things have become clear to me as a result of these discussions. Going forward I am indeed going to draw a distinction between awakening (Or the results of mindfullness alone) and enlightenment (The goal of the historical practice of the eightfold path, of which mindfullness is but one part). Sidenote: not sure I particularly like the terms, but I'll just stick with the convention that seems to be developing here organically.

So here is what I have come to understand. Awakening involves seeing and integrating the non-dual nature of reality. It is a necessary but not sufficient part of Buddhism, and can be abstracted as a standalone practice. It can be divorced from any morality or concentration components and any related cultural/religious 'baggage.' It can be fit into any ethical/religious framework, or lack thereof. It can be used to reduce stress, improve one's performance as a corporate drone, or increase one's killing efficiency as a sniper... On its own it has a chameleonic nature, is unoffensive due to making minimal verifiable truth claims, and has high utilitarian value, which makes it well suited to Western culture.

I think what you are suggesting here is to try and graft some of the morality parts of the eightfold path back onto bare awakening using psychology as an acceptible substitute framework for the dharmic religious one of the historical eightfold path. Some of the truth claims made by psychology would probably be more palitable for a Western audience, but no matter the framework, creating expectations and status for people in authority premised on morally perfected behavior is likely going to set you up for a fall. As we've already painfully learned from our modern teachers, less then morally perfected beings will inevitably co-opt those lofty positions, and many of their supporters will become invested enablers of the teachers' abuse. That's nothing new to the eightfold path either. Even in the Buddha's time, he spent a huge amount of effort dealing with discord in the Sangha and human imperfections - a big part of the reason there is a vinaya with hundreds of rules for the Sid's followers.

So here is what I have come to understand. Awakening involves seeing and integrating the non-dual nature of reality. It is a necessary but not sufficient part of Buddhism, and can be abstracted as a standalone practice. It can be divorced from any morality or concentration components and any related culture/religious 'baggage.' It can be fit into any ethical/religious framework, or lack thereof. It can be used to reduce stress, improve one's performance as a corporate drone, or increase one's killing efficiency as a sniper... On its own it has a chameleonic nature, is unoffensive due to making minimal verifiable truth claims, and has high utilitarian value, which makes it well suited to Western culture.

I have used awakening to become a much better consumer of grilled cheese sandwiches and green chili burritos.

Going forward I am indeed going to draw a distinction between awakening (Or the results of mindfullness alone) and enlightenment (The goal of the historical practice of the eightfold path, of which mindfullness is but one part). Sidenote: not sure I particularly like the terms, but I'll just stick with the convention that seems to be developing here organically.

Milo, can you define what you mean when you use the word "enlightenment?"

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:51 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Yes, I got that impression from this exchange:

Santiago:
Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.
Kim Katami:
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.
Things can always be improved but the mahayana/vajrayana path doesn't lack anything as it has delivered innumerable sentient beings to the other shore. I got no problem with folks combining psychology and buddhist practice but it seems to me that their 1. understanding of buddhism and 2. practice of it has severe shortcomings. That this is their understanding and that they come to this conclusion that buddhism can be bettered with the findings of Western psychology, is not the fault of buddhism and what it has to offer.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:54 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
So here is what I have come to understand. Awakening involves seeing and integrating the non-dual nature of reality. It is a necessary but not sufficient part of Buddhism, and can be abstracted as a standalone practice. It can be divorced from any morality or concentration components and any related culture/religious 'baggage.' It can be fit into any ethical/religious framework, or lack thereof. It can be used to reduce stress, improve one's performance as a corporate drone, or increase one's killing efficiency as a sniper... On its own it has a chameleonic nature, is unoffensive due to making minimal verifiable truth claims, and has high utilitarian value, which makes it well suited to Western culture.

I have used awakening to become a much better consumer of grilled cheese sandwiches and green chili burritos.


Surely the pinnacle of human development emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 1:59 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I got no problem with folks combining psychology and buddhist practice but it seems to me that their 1. understanding of buddhism and 2. practice of it has severe shortcomings. That this is their understanding and that they come to this conclusion that buddhism can be bettered with the findings of Western psychology, is not the fault of buddhism and what it has to offer.

Then I'm a "stoopid" one because I firmly believe that the combination of Buddhism and psychiatry/psychology/etc. is more powerful than either one by itself.


RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 2:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I got no problem with folks combining psychology and buddhist practice but it seems to me that their 1. understanding of buddhism and 2. practice of it has severe shortcomings. That this is their understanding and that they come to this conclusion that buddhism can be bettered with the findings of Western psychology, is not the fault of buddhism and what it has to offer.
Then I'm a "stoopid" one because I firmly believe that the combination of Buddhism and psychiatry/psychology/etc. is more powerful than either one by itself.

Suit yourself. I'm just saying that even though combination of the two, sutrayana and psychology, go farther together than they go alone, it is an unproved hypothesis when it comes to anuttara samyak sambodhi.

I haven't seen a tantric lama speak of combining vajrayana and psychology but if anyone has references, please let me know. I'll then be happy to tell what is wrong with them and their bhumis, just kidding.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 2:29 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Going forward I am indeed going to draw a distinction between awakening (Or the results of mindfullness alone) and enlightenment (The goal of the historical practice of the eightfold path, of which mindfullness is but one part). Sidenote: not sure I particularly like the terms, but I'll just stick with the convention that seems to be developing here organically.

Milo, can you define what you mean when you use the word "enlightenment?"


Chris, you're really dogged about this aren't you? I mean by enlightenment, the integrated aim of the eightfold path to develop a person along the non-dualism axis, the morality axis, and the concentration axis, to a place of non-suffering, as expressed to varying degrees in the suttas and commentaries of various Buddhist traditions. Per our previous discussions, I grant that any given source (Suttas, commentaries, etc.) is likely not a fully accurate reflection of Siddharta Gotama's historical oral teachings and methods, and that the expectation of moral infallibility claimed for arahants via the fetters model sets up an unrealistic and ethically fraught teacher/student relationship at the very least. Cross my heart and hope to die. Two day returns. Void where prohibited. Sufficient, dear interlocutor? emoticon

Watch out, Milo, this guy is dangerous, especially on this subject emoticon I got caught in a similar meat grinder a couple of days ago. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 3:20 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
I got no problem with folks combining psychology and buddhist practice but it seems to me that their 1. understanding of buddhism and 2. practice of it has severe shortcomings. That this is their understanding and that they come to this conclusion that buddhism can be bettered with the findings of Western psychology, is not the fault of buddhism and what it has to offer.
Then I'm a "stoopid" one because I firmly believe that the combination of Buddhism and psychiatry/psychology/etc. is more powerful than either one by itself.

Suit yourself. I'm just saying that even though combination of the two, sutrayana and psychology, go farther together than they go alone, it is an unproved hypothesis when it comes to anuttara samyak sambodhi.

I haven't seen a tantric lama speak of combining vajrayana and psychology but if anyone has references, please let me know. I'll then be happy to tell what is wrong with them and their bhumis, just kidding.

As an example of psychology and tantra, I recalled reading this, but technically it's hearsay/secondary reference because I don't have an original reference...

"In 1993 His Holiness the Dala’i Lama said that he no longer believed in the existence of the six realms as actual locations. Maybe now we can all relax. Maybe now we can explore this subject in terms of our own patterns and projections. "

http://aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/text/r/realms_ar_eng.php

Milo:
Chris Marti:
So here is what I have come to understand. Awakening involves seeing and integrating the non-dual nature of reality. It is a necessary but not sufficient part of Buddhism, and can be abstracted as a standalone practice. It can be divorced from any morality or concentration components and any related culture/religious 'baggage.' It can be fit into any ethical/religious framework, or lack thereof. It can be used to reduce stress, improve one's performance as a corporate drone, or increase one's killing efficiency as a sniper... On its own it has a chameleonic nature, is unoffensive due to making minimal verifiable truth claims, and has high utilitarian value, which makes it well suited to Western culture.

I have used awakening to become a much better consumer of grilled cheese sandwiches and green chili burritos.


Surely the pinnacle of human development emoticon

Before enlightenment, grilled cheese sandwiches and green chili breakfast burritos. After enlightenment, grilled cheese sandwiches and green chili breakfast burritos.  emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 3:42 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Kim Katami:
Chris Marti:
I got no problem with folks combining psychology and buddhist practice but it seems to me that their 1. understanding of buddhism and 2. practice of it has severe shortcomings. That this is their understanding and that they come to this conclusion that buddhism can be bettered with the findings of Western psychology, is not the fault of buddhism and what it has to offer.
Then I'm a "stoopid" one because I firmly believe that the combination of Buddhism and psychiatry/psychology/etc. is more powerful than either one by itself.

Suit yourself. I'm just saying that even though combination of the two, sutrayana and psychology, go farther together than they go alone, it is an unproved hypothesis when it comes to anuttara samyak sambodhi.

I haven't seen a tantric lama speak of combining vajrayana and psychology but if anyone has references, please let me know. I'll then be happy to tell what is wrong with them and their bhumis, just kidding.

As an example of psychology and tantra, I recalled reading this, but technically it's hearsay/secondary reference because I don't have an original reference...

"In 1993 His Holiness the Dala’i Lama said that he no longer believed in the existence of the six realms as actual locations. Maybe now we can all relax. Maybe now we can explore this subject in terms of our own patterns and projections. "

http://aroencyclopaedia.org/shared/text/r/realms_ar_eng.php
OK, right, I've seen that before. To be clear, I was/am looking for tantric lamas who speak in favour for combining tantra and Western psy and consider that the tantric path is doesn't go far enough.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 3:48 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Watch out, Milo, this guy is dangerous, especially on this subject emoticon I got caught in a similar meat grinder a couple of days ago. 
Know any good dharma lawyers? ; )

Chris, you're really dogged about this aren't you? 

Well... yes. I think it's worth thinking very carefully about this "stuff" because it turns out it actually matters. It's easy to head down box canyons and dead ends and waste time chasing the useless, the baseless and the impossible to achieve.

Cross my heart and hope to die. Two day returns. Void where prohibited. Sufficient, dear interlocutor? emoticon

I prefer dear interlocutor, SIR.  emoticon

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 4:21 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
To be clear, I was/am looking for tantric lamas who speak in favour for combining tantra and Western psy and consider that the tantric path is doesn't go far enough.

Kim, I don't think anyone is saying quite this - that the path doesn't go far enough. What I'm asserting is that Buddhism and the science of the mind are congruent. They support and enhance each other.

Have you seen:

https://www.mindandlife.org/mission/

And:

https://www.dalailama.com/messages/buddhism/science-at-the-crossroads

Buddhism has long argued for the tremendous potential for transformation that exists naturally in the human mind. To this end, the tradition has developed a wide range of contemplative techniques, or meditation practices, aimed specifically at two principal objectives - the cultivation of a compassionate heart and the cultivation of deep insights into the nature of reality, which are referred to as the union of compassion and wisdom. At the heart of these meditation practices lie two key techniques, the refinement of attention and its sustained application on the one hand, and the regulation and transformation of emotions on the other. In both of these cases, I feel, there might be great potential for collaborative research between the Buddhist contemplative tradition and neuroscience. For example, modern neuroscience has developed a rich understanding of the brain mechanisms that are associated with both attention and emotion. Buddhist contemplative tradition, given its long history of interest in the practice of mental training, offers on the other hand practical techniques for refining attention and regulating and transforming emotion. The meeting of modern neuroscience and Buddhist contemplative discipline, therefore, could lead to the possibility of studying the impact of intentional mental activity on the brain circuits that have been identified as critical for specific mental processes. In the least such an interdisciplinary encounter could help raise critical questions in many key areas. For example, do individuals have a fixed capacity to regulate their emotions and attention or, as Buddhist tradition argues, their capacity for regulating these processes are greatly amenable to change suggesting similar degree of amenability of the behavioral and brain systems associated with these functions? One area where Buddhist contemplative tradition may have important contribution to make is the practical techniques it has developed for training in compassion. With regard to mental training both in attention and emotional regulation it also becomes crucial to raise the question of whether any specific techniques have time-sensitivity in terms of their effectiveness, so that new methods can be tailored to suit the needs of age, health, and other variable factors.


Shall I post more? There is much, much more to post.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/21/19 4:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Chris, you're really doged about this aren't you? 

Well... yes. I think it's worth thinking very carefully about this "stuff" because it turns out it actually matters. It's easy to head down box canyons and dead ends and waste time chasing the useless, the baseless and the impossible to achieve.

Cross my heart and hope to die. Two day returns. Void where prohibited. Suffiient, deainterlocutor? emoticon

I prefer dear interlocutor, SIR.  emoticon

...And what do you find objectionable here, aside from some slightly uncharitable jabs at Western civ?

...And what do you find objectionable here, aside from some slightly uncharitable jabs at Western civ?

Where is "here?"  emoticon


EDIT: Milo, just so you know, in-person I sound like Church Lady. You can ask Laurel. She knows.

RE: butterflies are free
Answer
9/22/19 2:28 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Well first I saw that there's no controller or chooser of thoughts and then I started considering the vast implications of that, no free-will if there's no I then "I" literally have no control over my life at all. And in that instant I recognized that since "I" is a thought then there's neither accepting nor relinquishing any sort of control and then the infamous blank. My heart was pounding there was terrifying fear all over my body and I went outside and it felt like my body appears within this space within which everything appears and of course it was 7/11 so I think I grabbed a free large slurpee to try to relax. Came back home and I noticed thoughts were bubbling up in my head like completely without control it was first time I was seeing it like that and of course fear persisted for some time. Afterwards it was really quiet for a couple of days and the original insight I'd go over it and this time something was getting unlocked like this perpetual peace. Like all I had to do was close my eyes and tune in to the happiness which I was. Then stressful situations would again lock me into person-mode and I'd inquiry again and regain that beautiful happiness until one day I couldn't go back to it anymore and afterwards started the hellfish journey of sifting thousands of online posts, ceremonies, religions, debates etc.  

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 5:23 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
To be clear, I was/am looking for tantric lamas who speak in favour for combining tantra and Western psy and consider that the tantric path is doesn't go far enough.
Kim, I don't think anyone is saying quite this - that the path doesn't go far enough. What I'm asserting is that Buddhism and the science of the mind are congruent. They support and enhance each other.

Have you seen:

https://www.mindandlife.org/mission/

And:

https://www.dalailama.com/messages/buddhism/science-at-the-crossroads

Buddhism has long argued for the tremendous potential for transformation that exists naturally in the human mind. To this end, the tradition has developed a wide range of contemplative techniques, or meditation practices, aimed specifically at two principal objectives - the cultivation of a compassionate heart and the cultivation of deep insights into the nature of reality, which are referred to as the union of compassion and wisdom. At the heart of these meditation practices lie two key techniques, the refinement of attention and its sustained application on the one hand, and the regulation and transformation of emotions on the other. In both of these cases, I feel, there might be great potential for collaborative research between the Buddhist contemplative tradition and neuroscience. For example, modern neuroscience has developed a rich understanding of the brain mechanisms that are associated with both attention and emotion. Buddhist contemplative tradition, given its long history of interest in the practice of mental training, offers on the other hand practical techniques for refining attention and regulating and transforming emotion. The meeting of modern neuroscience and Buddhist contemplative discipline, therefore, could lead to the possibility of studying the impact of intentional mental activity on the brain circuits that have been identified as critical for specific mental processes. In the least such an interdisciplinary encounter could help raise critical questions in many key areas. For example, do individuals have a fixed capacity to regulate their emotions and attention or, as Buddhist tradition argues, their capacity for regulating these processes are greatly amenable to change suggesting similar degree of amenability of the behavioral and brain systems associated with these functions? One area where Buddhist contemplative tradition may have important contribution to make is the practical techniques it has developed for training in compassion. With regard to mental training both in attention and emotional regulation it also becomes crucial to raise the question of whether any specific techniques have time-sensitivity in terms of their effectiveness, so that new methods can be tailored to suit the needs of age, health, and other variable factors.
Shall I post more? There is much, much more to post.
Yes, I understood what you're saying. I have never had much interest in scientific or psychological findings in relation to dharma practice but I am not against it, either. Each to her or his own but I just don't agree with a lot of folks who say that the buddhist system as a whole lacks anything in terms of comprehensive development. I am however highly critical about a lot of things in buddhism, buddhist paths and buddhists, and admit that for a lot of buddhists, therapy along the noble 8-fold path or paramitas, is a very smart choice. A lot of buddhist practice leaves so much untapped and rather enforces samsaric habits than releases them. A lot depends on the teacher too.

Among teachers who have turned out to be mess, there are tantrics as well but as far as I am aware none of these bad apples were practitioners which is what I mentioned in some of my prev posts. There is no way anyone, incl. a tantric lama will be able to do her or his work well, without hassles and scandals, without making sure of one's personal practice. So, I don't know of tantric lamas who were practitioners, who screwed up. All of them were nonpractitioners and therefore not actual examples or embodiments of vajrayana buddhism.

I am yet to finish the vajrayana path but maybe, when I finish the cleaning process in some distant future, I come to agree that the path of vajrayana lacks something. However, so far, I do not see the slightest indication that this would be the case.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 6:34 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:


Yes, I understood what you're saying. I have never had much interest in scientific or psychological findings in relation to dharma practice but I am not against it, either. Each to her or his own but I just don't agree with a lot of folks who say that the buddhist system as a whole lacks anything in terms of comprehensive development. I am however highly critical about a lot of things in buddhism, buddhist paths and buddhists, and admit that for a lot of buddhists, therapy along the noble 8-fold path or paramitas, is a very smart choice. A lot of buddhist practice leaves so much untapped and rather enforces samsaric habits than releases them. A lot depends on the teacher too.

Among teachers who have turned out to be mess, there are tantrics as well but as far as I am aware none of these bad apples were practitioners which is what I mentioned in some of my prev posts. There is no way anyone, incl. a tantric lama will be able to do her or his work well, without hassles and scandals, without making sure of one's personal practice. So, I don't know of tantric lamas who were practitioners, who screwed up. All of them were nonpractitioners and therefore not actual examples or embodiments of vajrayana buddhism.

I am yet to finish the vajrayana path but maybe, when I finish the cleaning process in some distant future, I come to agree that the path of vajrayana lacks something. However, so far, I do not see the slightest indication that this would be the case.

It's interesting to me that I've mostly agreed with some of your statements about many of the scandal teachers not being very advanced as practioners and I've also mostly agree with statements like people who still have emotional/psychological baggage haven't gone far enough... but I've held of agreeing because I couldn't quite figure something out...

But this last post made me realize what it is: it really is more about the practioner's attitude than the practice. 

If someone is honest with themselves and continues to see their blind spots, the ways they are not finished, and owns that fact and works on it --- well, then there isn't going to be much of a problem and the practice won't matter much either. If someone is doing mindfulness meditation, tantra, therapy, or centering prayer... if they stay humble and honest, they will keep seeing their imperfections. And if they stay motivated and aware of their imperfections, they will improve.

In fact, I would put my money on a dedicated non-meditator (in therapy or doing religious centering prayer, for example) over a half-motivated vajrayana practioner -- you know what I mean? 

I have no idea to inspire people to have high-ideals for themeselves and their practice. It's really the only way to live, but there is no external reward. No one will give you a reward for your practice. And what having high-ideals really means, if you are doing it right, is that almost every moment and every day and every week and every year will feel like a failure. You mostly see and feel the imperfections. But every moment, day, week, year, you continue to refine yourself because you can see and feel your imperfections. That's what it means to really pursue excellence. 

Unfortunately, it's clear that these scandal teachers would much rather rest on their past successes and create a mental framework where they are at a kind of pinnacle that can't be surpassed (or they might humble brag and say they are near the top) and then project any remaining shadow sides on the people around them - distancing themselves from awareness of their imperfections... until the whole thing comes crashing down.


Anyway, ultimately I don't think people can rely on any particular framework for waking up and growing up. But the path is obvious and right under our nose. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 7:23 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Kim Katami:


Yes, I understood what you're saying. I have never had much interest in scientific or psychological findings in relation to dharma practice but I am not against it, either. Each to her or his own but I just don't agree with a lot of folks who say that the buddhist system as a whole lacks anything in terms of comprehensive development. I am however highly critical about a lot of things in buddhism, buddhist paths and buddhists, and admit that for a lot of buddhists, therapy along the noble 8-fold path or paramitas, is a very smart choice. A lot of buddhist practice leaves so much untapped and rather enforces samsaric habits than releases them. A lot depends on the teacher too.

Among teachers who have turned out to be mess, there are tantrics as well but as far as I am aware none of these bad apples were practitioners which is what I mentioned in some of my prev posts. There is no way anyone, incl. a tantric lama will be able to do her or his work well, without hassles and scandals, without making sure of one's personal practice. So, I don't know of tantric lamas who were practitioners, who screwed up. All of them were nonpractitioners and therefore not actual examples or embodiments of vajrayana buddhism.

I am yet to finish the vajrayana path but maybe, when I finish the cleaning process in some distant future, I come to agree that the path of vajrayana lacks something. However, so far, I do not see the slightest indication that this would be the case.

It's interesting to me that I've mostly agreed with some of your statements about many of the scandal teachers not being very advanced as practioners and I've also mostly agree with statements like people who still have emotional/psychological baggage haven't gone far enough... but I've held of agreeing because I couldn't quite figure something out...

But this last post made me realize what it is: it really is more about the practioner's attitude than the practice. 

If someone is honest with themselves and continues to see their blind spots, the ways they are not finished, and owns that fact and works on it --- well, then there isn't going to be much of a problem and the practice won't matter much either. If someone is doing mindfulness meditation, tantra, therapy, or centering prayer... if they stay humble and honest, they will keep seeing their imperfections. And if they stay motivated and aware of their imperfections, they will improve.

In fact, I would put my money on a dedicated non-meditator (in therapy or doing religious centering prayer, for example) over a half-motivated vajrayana practioner -- you know what I mean? 

I have no idea to inspire people to have high-ideals for themeselves and their practice. It's really the only way to live, but there is no external reward. No one will give you a reward for your practice. And what having high-ideals really means, if you are doing it right, is that almost every moment and every day and every week and every year will feel like a failure. You mostly see and feel the imperfections. But every moment, day, week, year, you continue to refine yourself because you can see and feel your imperfections. That's what it means to really pursue excellence. 

Unfortunately, it's clear that these scandal teachers would much rather rest on their past successes and create a mental framework where they are at a kind of pinnacle that can't be surpassed (or they might humble brag and say they are near the top) and then project any remaining shadow sides on the people around them - distancing themselves from awareness of their imperfections... until the whole thing comes crashing down.


Anyway, ultimately I don't think people can rely on any particular framework for waking up and growing up. But the path is obvious and right under our nose. 
I think that attitude is very much part of the practice. It is spoken very widely about by masters of the past. Obviously, "practice" is not only sitting practice.

You hit the nail on the head with, "what having high-ideals really means, if you are doing it right, is that almost every moment and every day and every week and every year will feel like a failure. You mostly see and feel the imperfections. But every moment, day, week, year, you continue to refine yourself because you can see and feel your imperfections.".

I can identify with that. It is not "fun", if you do it right.

Remaining vulnerable and open to have one's faults pointed out is an absolute necessity. It is easy to plateau and become self-confident in a dualistic fashion without it. I'm sorry if I get on people's nerves but still, I agree with Culadasa when soon before his case broke out said that the path (sutrayana) he has followed "doesn't go far enough" and that, "As you progress on the paths of awakening, the changes of you recognising them (parts of our pscyhe) as something that needs to be purified, diminishes."  It is a striking statement coming from him. From what I have seen, sincerity or bad attitude never seemed Culadasa's weak point. Actually, to me he seemed to have an admirable character which obviously had a lot to do with what he accomplished/s in his life.

A tantric would never say what Culadasa did for the simple fact that if you practice deities, archetypes of enlightened mind, there is no way for becoming blind to one's own blindspots. It is impossible because the deity doesn't allow it. One simply keeps feeling bad as long as there is something wrong with one's view or attitude.





RE: asdasasdasd
Answer
9/22/19 7:23 AM as a reply to John.
John:
Seeing no-self shouldn't qualify as "waking up" because it can be done in at most a week.
That quick? How? In a retreat?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 9:07 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:


I think that attitude is very much part of the practice. It is spoken very widely about by masters of the past. Obviously, "practice" is not only sitting practice.

You hit the nail on the head with, "what having high-ideals really means, if you are doing it right, is that almost every moment and every day and every week and every year will feel like a failure. You mostly see and feel the imperfections. But every moment, day, week, year, you continue to refine yourself because you can see and feel your imperfections.".

I can identify with that. It is not "fun", if you do it right.

Remaining vulnerable and open to have one's faults pointed out is an absolute necessity. It is easy to plateau and become self-confident in a dualistic fashion without it. I'm sorry if I get on people's nerves but still, I agree with Culadasa when soon before his case broke out said that the path (sutrayana) he has followed "doesn't go far enough" and that, "As you progress on the paths of awakening, the changes of you recognising them (parts of our pscyhe) as something that needs to be purified, diminishes."  It is a striking statement coming from him. From what I have seen, sincerity or bad attitude never seemed Culadasa's weak point. Actually, to me he seemed to have an admirable character which obviously had a lot to do with what he accomplished/s in his life.

A tantric would never say what Culadasa did for the simple fact that if you practice deities, archetypes of enlightened mind, there is no way for becoming blind to one's own blindspots. It is impossible because the deity doesn't allow it. One simply keeps feeling bad as long as there is something wrong with one's view or attitude.





Again, I mostly agree, but I'm a little less definitive about it.

For myself, more tantric/mahayana practices became more applicable to my life than more old sutta practices -- but I don't think that the practices are the important thing. Frankly, it sounds like Culadasa was blaming the sutrayana practice instead of owning his own character flaws.  

Ultimately, I would say that I really don't think the weak link is the practice, but the practioner. But again, I do think the mahayana practices offer better methods for some aspects of practice, especially for subtle greed, aversion, and fantasy.



Adding on... and it's funny, sometimes it seems like mahayana practioners are advanced in some aspects of practice (dealing with shadow sides and not repressing urges/emotions) and yet don't have the kind of simple maturity/humility that sutra people have. It's almost a true-ism that Theravadians are repressed and Tibetian's are vain. It's really interesting the more I think about it...

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 10:13 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

it really is more about the practioner's attitude than the practice. 

If someone is honest with themselves and continues to see their blind spots, the ways they are not finished, and owns that fact and works on it --- well, then there isn't going to be much of a problem and the practice won't matter much either. If someone is doing mindfulness meditation, tantra, therapy, or centering prayer... if they stay humble and honest, they will keep seeing their imperfections. And if they stay motivated and aware of their imperfections, they will improve.

In fact, I would put my money on a dedicated non-meditator (in therapy or doing religious centering prayer, for example) over a half-motivated vajrayana practioner -- you know what I mean? 


This! So much this! And at least in the beginning it’s not like it is particularly hard to find imperfections to work with. The subtler reaction patterns are trickier (and even more so the subtler they get, I imagine), but also fascinating to learn about.


shargrol:
I have no idea to inspire people to have high-ideals for themeselves and their practice. It's really the only way to live, but there is no external reward. No one will give you a reward for your practice. And what having high-ideals really means, if you are doing it right, is that almost every moment and every day and every week and every year will feel like a failure. You mostly see and feel the imperfections. But every moment, day, week, year, you continue to refine yourself because you can see and feel your imperfections. That's what it means to really pursue excellence. 

Unfortunately, it's clear that these scandal teachers would much rather rest on their past successes and create a mental framework where they are at a kind of pinnacle that can't be surpassed (or they might humble brag and say they are near the top) and then project any remaining shadow sides on the people around them - distancing themselves from awareness of their imperfections... until the whole thing comes crashing down.


Anyway, ultimately I don't think people can rely on any particular framework for waking up and growing up. But the path is obvious and right under our nose. 


I have a hard time understanding why ”it makes the world a better place” isn’t enough of a reward, but apparently it isn’t.

I don’t know how far it will take me, but at this early stage it is helpful for me to remind myself that I wouldn’t want the kind of world that judges people very hard for not being perfect. That would be a very ableistic world, for one thing. If I can be compassionate about my own imperfection, it is easier to be compassionate about others’ imperfection as well. However, I need to be mindful enough to see when I use that as an excuse not to grow. That can be a trap.

Who is the failure? Who is it that feels like a failure? That might be worth investigating, right?

I enjoy working with my imperfections now that I feel less trapped by shame. I used to feel guilty and ashamed all the time. That was horrible. But somewhere down the line (with great help from therapy among other things) I came to realize that I am part of the world too. The world isn’t separate from the beings populating it. If I can feel accepted with my imperfections, that probably means that others can too, and I wouldn’t want anyone to hate themselves, because I know the feeling. It isn’t a constructive one. It doesn’t make anything better. But compassion does. Paradoxically, being compassionate with regard to one’s imperfections releases the energy required for further development.

Maybe the fact that I enjoy it (not as in finding it fun, but I find it meaningful and rewarding in its own way) means that I’m not doing it right. That’s a possibility. Still, at least I keep doing it. Not doing it would be a catastrophy. I’d rather do it poorly than not at all. Overwhelming feelings of guilt and shame can be paralyzing, so that’s not a valid option.

Discovering and understanding and working with shadow sides is fascinating when one gets nerdy about it. That can be a motivating factor.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 1:00 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:


Again, I mostly agree, but I'm a little less definitive about it.

For myself, more tantric/mahayana practices became more applicable to my life than more old sutta practices -- but I don't think that the practices are the important thing. Frankly, it sounds like Culadasa was blaming the sutrayana practice instead of owning his own character flaws.  

Ultimately, I would say that I really don't think the weak link is the practice, but the practioner. But again, I do think the mahayana practices offer better methods for some aspects of practice, especially for subtle greed, aversion, and fantasy.

Adding on... and it's funny, sometimes it seems like mahayana practioners are advanced in some aspects of practice (dealing with shadow sides and not repressing urges/emotions) and yet don't have the kind of simple maturity/humility that sutra people have. It's almost a true-ism that Theravadians are repressed and Tibetian's are vain. It's really interesting the more I think about it...
I have the impression that Culadasa has been a sincere and devoted practitioner for all those decades. Just few years ago he published his book which gives the idea that he is still enthusiastic and motivated about practice. To me he always came across as someone who has put in the thousands and thousands of hours. I cannot speak for him but I don't see what he said as blaming his method. I found it rather pragmatic, like "All right folks, I've done this for a long time and it doesn't work like I thought it would". Then he went on to suggest supporting sutric meditation with shamanistic practices, briefly mentioning Tibetan vajrayana (in a critical light).

Practitioner, right. It is all built on one's motivation... I often say that if someone doesn't suffer, there's no need to practice but if one suffers and understands how the path works, then one progresses swiftly.

When meeting zen people, I love that grounded embodiment feel they have. Amma devotees in turn have their hearts and minds open in a beautiful manner... So many examples and yet so few people who transcend superficial differences between paths.

What path do you follow Shargrol?

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 1:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
...And what do you find objectionable here, aside from some slightly uncharitable jabs at Western civ?

Where is "here?"  emoticon 


EDIT: Milo, just so you know, in-person I sound like Church Lady. You can ask Laurel. She knows.


Haha. Well I'm sure if you got us all together in a room, we'd all seem like pretty weird individuals to each other. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 2:42 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Santiago Jimenez:

Approaching the understanding of mind from these two sides that humanity has developed: The ancient teachings of awakening (the Wake up line of development) and the modern western discoveries that the ancient masters didn't have access to (the Grow up line of the development), understanding how they support and compliment each other, can help solve sooo many problems, giving us a better framework for understanding why "awakened people" are such a mess sometimes, and possibly help us move counsciousness towards a more inclusive, compassionate and integrated space.
So how did ancient master become masters if they didn't have access to the modern Western discoveries of psychology? Nothing personal Santiago but this whole idea is utterly ridiculous. I'm going to offend a lot of people but I'm going to say it anyway. It is a misconception of those who are 1. poor practitioners and 2. practitioners of sutrayana. Combine the two and you end up saying stoopid shit like that.
No offense on my part Kim, I'm grateful that we live in times where anyone has a right to express their opinion (although that's also a pain in the ass sometimes :grinemoticon. I just wonder, what is your expertice on modern Western psychological discoveries? Is it big enough to make the claim that the ancient Masters understood what this science has discovered? Did they also know about quantum physics, or even general newtonian physics? I'd just say that whenever someone thinks they have the Dharma all figured out (or figured out enough to deny new approaches that they themselves don't understand well), then THAT'S an utterly ridiculous, ignorant, shitty idea. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 4:16 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
What path do you follow Shargrol?

For the last few years, I haven't followed a path. It's been interesting, no where to escape to. Time will tell if I find a formal practice again. 

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/22/19 7:45 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/23/19 8:40 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:
No offense on my part Kim, I'm grateful that we live in times where anyone has a right to express their opinion (although that's also a pain in the ass sometimes :grinemoticon. I just wonder, what is your expertice on modern Western psychological discoveries? Is it big enough to make the claim that the ancient Masters understood what this science has discovered? Did they also know about quantum physics, or even general newtonian physics? I'd just say that whenever someone thinks they have the Dharma all figured out (or figured out enough to deny new approaches that they themselves don't understand well), then THAT'S an utterly ridiculous, ignorant, shitty idea. 
Hi Santiago.

I am not an expert of Western psychology or sciences but if I may, perhaps a bit of an expert of meditative yoga. Yogis, such as Shakyamuni Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and numerous others sought to find a solution to remove dualistic suffering through the doctrine of emptiness and practice of various yogas. They succeeded and that's how the whole thing got started, which is why there are people who attain the same what the ancient masters did, to this date. I do not know quantum physics but I doubt anyone has ever diminished or removed their self-based confusion (dukkha) through it. Reg. healing through psychology, I am sure it happens but whether this outcome is valid as buddhist practice, is a good question. Actually, it probably is an entirely irrelevant question to a lot of people who just wish to remove their knots in one way or the other.

Dharma doesn't seek to explain all possible things, just those of our mind. It adresses a very specific problem, that of self-delusion, and I know that through these means full enlightenment can be attained. Tantric guru yoga, in which one tunes in with some enlightened master such as those mentioned above or some other, reveals this. When one spends sufficient time in guru yoga it explains a lot of the tantric path in comparison to other paths, of one's own buddhanature and about the concerned mahasiddha guru. I can agree with what the tantric tradition says that this is an extremely valuable and unique experience that cannot be acquired by any other means. From that experience I can testify that perfect enlightenment is possible and that real masters do not have shadows or unresolved psychological issues, and that they do not behave in ways like samsaric beings do. If you wish to see one in person, Amma the hugging saint is one, though not a buddhist. I'd say Rana Rinpoche is another one, though I haven't yet met him in person. Their energetic radiation is completely different from others, incl. very experienced meditators.

Sutric buddhism doesn't have tantric guru yoga, so consequentially practitioners of those paths generally do not gain this experience. It is actually possible to get the same "transmission", if you will, from chanting of the Refuge of the Three Jewels or Bodhisattva Vows, but then it is very common for sutrics to not realise that there is an element of transmission or energetic charge related to these prayers. I have actually never seen this being pointed out by any teacher of sutra but nevertheless, the same potential is there. This is a common problem in established tantric buddhism as well, although the probability is higher since the energetic charges from lineage masters, deities and prayers are more.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/25/19 5:58 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
The first and last illusion to go is that any perfect men exist anywhere. Not only is there no absolute perfection to be found, but not even does a moderate perfection exist among the most spiritual of human beings. Hence, the atmosphere of personal idolatry is not a healthy one. It is right that the impact of an unusually outstanding personality should produce an unforgettable intellectual or emotional experience. But it is wrong to believe him a god rather than a man, or to lead others to believe it, for that is an excess which can only lead to the reaction of disappointment in the end, as sooner or later he will be reduced by further knowledge to human proportions. To ask that a spiritual master or a loved mate shall be perfect in every respect is to ask the impossible and the non-existent. In the case of a seeker, it is likely to result in missing the very opportunity he is seeking. In the case of one who is already associated with a master or mate, experimental straying away is likely to result in disappointment and a retracing of steps. Let us not turn them into what they are not. They are human, they make mistakes; they are not gods.

Paul Brunton.



RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
9/27/19 9:18 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Hi Santiago!

Is there any intro youtube video? Where you can get a feel for the system? 
I had an Integral/Wilberean period some years ago. But kind of fell out of awe. My main problem is that one taste is available at any stage of the development. So basically you'll get fulcrum 3,4,5,6,7 nonduality. It certainly explains a lot of strange things about Enlightened people. But not how to get them clinically standardized, grown-up and ethically impeccable. Psychotherapy doesn't seem to cut it. Its strong suits are probably alleviating anxiety and depression. Not deep personality change. Whatever they think. 
Right now I find Tara Springett's Nine Steps of Consciousness in The Stairway to Heaven to be the closest to a solution I've come across. But not all the way yet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVbc6kE1wNo&t=6s

http://www.taraspringett.com/bliss/introduction-stairway-heaven/



RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
10/3/19 10:41 AM as a reply to Gunnar Johansson.
Beautifully said

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
10/3/19 10:47 AM as a reply to Gunnar Johansson.
Hi Gunnar, you can look up "The Ken Show" on Youtube. That's his latest material. I don't think we humans have the system all figured out yet (probably will never do), but we are moving forward. Besides Ken, I recommend the work of Terri O'Fallon and Kim Barta. They are definitively leading edge in robust research around states (waking up/enlightenment) and stages (growing up/development) and how they relate to each other. Really fascinating stuff.

https://www.stagesinternational.com/

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
10/3/19 11:11 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Santiago Jimenez:
No offense on my part Kim, I'm grateful that we live in times where anyone has a right to express their opinion (although that's also a pain in the ass sometimes :grinemoticon. I just wonder, what is your expertice on modern Western psychological discoveries? Is it big enough to make the claim that the ancient Masters understood what this science has discovered? Did they also know about quantum physics, or even general newtonian physics? I'd just say that whenever someone thinks they have the Dharma all figured out (or figured out enough to deny new approaches that they themselves don't understand well), then THAT'S an utterly ridiculous, ignorant, shitty idea. 
Hi Santiago.

I am not an expert of Western psychology or sciences but if I may, perhaps a bit of an expert of meditative yoga. Yogis, such as Shakyamuni Buddha, Guru Rinpoche and numerous others sought to find a solution to remove dualistic suffering through the doctrine of emptiness and practice of various yogas. They succeeded and that's how the whole thing got started, which is why there are people who attain the same what the ancient masters did, to this date. I do not know quantum physics but I doubt anyone has ever diminished or removed their self-based confusion (dukkha) through it. Reg. healing through psychology, I am sure it happens but whether this outcome is valid as buddhist practice, is a good question. Actually, it probably is an entirely irrelevant question to a lot of people who just wish to remove their knots in one way or the other.

Dharma doesn't seek to explain all possible things, just those of our mind. It adresses a very specific problem, that of self-delusion, and I know that through these means full enlightenment can be attained. Tantric guru yoga, in which one tunes in with some enlightened master such as those mentioned above or some other, reveals this. When one spends sufficient time in guru yoga it explains a lot of the tantric path in comparison to other paths, of one's own buddhanature and about the concerned mahasiddha guru. I can agree with what the tantric tradition says that this is an extremely valuable and unique experience that cannot be acquired by any other means. From that experience I can testify that perfect enlightenment is possible and that real masters do not have shadows or unresolved psychological issues, and that they do not behave in ways like samsaric beings do. If you wish to see one in person, Amma the hugging saint is one, though not a buddhist. I'd say Rana Rinpoche is another one, though I haven't yet met him in person. Their energetic radiation is completely different from others, incl. very experienced meditators.

Sutric buddhism doesn't have tantric guru yoga, so consequentially practitioners of those paths generally do not gain this experience. It is actually possible to get the same "transmission", if you will, from chanting of the Refuge of the Three Jewels or Bodhisattva Vows, but then it is very common for sutrics to not realise that there is an element of transmission or energetic charge related to these prayers. I have actually never seen this being pointed out by any teacher of sutra but nevertheless, the same potential is there. This is a common problem in established tantric buddhism as well, although the probability is higher since the energetic charges from lineage masters, deities and prayers are more.

Hi Kim,

I agree that the traditional paths are the means to eliminate the delusion of a separate self. This is waking up, and traditional psychological understanding won't get a person there. However, that is not the only perspective on the mind. There's also the perspective of development (growing up). You could say that in a certain way, one deals with the absolute and the other with the relative sides of reality.

I believe that the eightenment of the Buddha is somehow the same today than 2.500 years ago. Fundamentally seeing that reality has no self existence (there are no self existing beings). Form that perspective, consciousnes is experience pretty much like a movie. However, the content/story of the movie is also important (the relative reality), and the movie that Shakyamuni woke up to 2.500 years ago is very different from the movie that someone who gets enlightened today experiences.

So, from that perspective, saying that someone has attained "perfect enlightenment" is like saying that someone is "perfectly educated". No such thing is possible. In my view, that is an idealistic understanding, that could grow into a more realistic and down to earth understanding of enlightenment, a more mature understanding if you will.

I also believe in the posibility thet very rare beings could have eliminated their psychological bagagge, but to install the belief that there are perfect gurus just creates more trouble (people just going fucking nuts, producing lots of suffering before some sense gets introduced into the whole situation). I would leave that in the healty skepticism domain, since our minds are always projecting our wishes on others (I want to be perfect, so if SOMEONE is, then I have a chance). Besides, "perfection" is just another empty construct of mind anyway. In that sense, I rather rest in don't know mind for now.

I hope this made some sense.

RE: Waking up and Growing up - The new understanding of Enlightenment?
Answer
10/16/19 12:02 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Just read an interview of Rodney Smith (Author of Awakening: A Paradign Shift of the Heart) in Shambala. In one question he is asked about the relationship of awakening to morality. Some of hat he says has been said in some ways already here but I found interesting the way he explains it:

S: One hears of spiritual teachers who are enlightened, but who then go on to create a lot of suffering around themselves. How does awakening relate to morality?

RS: We awaken out of ourselves and our self-centered position, but awakening is often incomplete. The awakened state offers such power of position and mind that if it is incomplete any residual ego will be forced to the surface. Then, all hell may break loose. If the ego refuses to acknowledge the tension that remains, it can rationalize everything it does as "crazy wisdom," a very dangerous term. If, however, ethical behavior has been a central theme throughout our spiritual journey, we will continue to reference our conduct during the uprooting of the sense-of-self. The egoic state is a conditioned state, which means it draws from its storehouse of responses. When not harming ourselves and others becomes the conditioned way we live, then this theme will also be played out as our conditioning is being surmounted. As our conditioning decreases and wakefulness increases our innate response not to harm begins to take over. When our spiritual journey is tied tightly to nonharm, we are less likely to harm in the beginning, middle, and the end. Another component of this is the understanding that awakening is the journey to complete sanity. We know sanity when we see it, and we should encourage that intuitive response forward rather than succumbing to the power and influence of any teacher. If it feels off, it probably is. We are such a doubting culture that we think. "Who am I to doubt someone as wise as my teacher." Dropping the doubt, who are we not to? It should be noted that awakening does not carry the skill of personal interactions along with it. Just the contrary, if we were untrained in personal relationships in the beginning we will be untrained when we awaken. We ascribe so much to awakening that we believe everything that is uttered, every interaction undertaken, all arise from some pristine state of being, when it is more likely occurring because we have not learned the competencies of how to live.