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Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way

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Anyone here interested in Daniel P Brown's work?

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 and integrated space.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
9/21/19 6:29 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
I've read it. There are a lot of positives to it, so I don't want to come off as if I'm being overly critical, but I should point out to potential readers is it is written in a very dry, academic style with lots of quotes, and lots of tibetan words per page. Every concept introduced is provided with the tibetan language word, and an explanation of that word.  If you can make it through this style, there is a lot of great stuff here. 

He also did some great interviews on conscious.tv.. Here is a link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grBkn9fWD6Y

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
9/22/19 2:53 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Yes, it is pretty academical in style. It's mostly recomended for those interested in the historical and technical details of the subject, and those who want to go really deep.

He also has a nice podcast here

https://www.beyondawakeningseries.com/2013/05/brown-05-13b/

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
9/23/19 5:58 PM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
How fortuitious! I'm about halfway through Pointing Out the Great Way, so I was happy to see your post today.

The book is a commentary on a synthesis of Tibetan mahamudra texts. As you and Jinxed P mention, it's detailed, specific, and scholarly. So if that's what you're looking for, and you're ready to dig in, I recommend it. (I haven't seen any explicit attempt to bring together the Waking Up and Growing Up paradigms, though; perhaps the second half goes there? At this point, it's straight mahamudra.)

Some things I enjoy so far:
  • The section on one-pointedness is a great explication of the "elephant path" development of samatha from the mahamudra perspective. If you've read The Mind Illuminated, the outline of this material will be familiar! The presentation in this book is less clear, but if you've reached Stage 6–7, you might find it very helpful. What I've found most helpful is the source texts' shifts from the breath as object to the mind as object somewhere around Stage 5. For me, with attention stabilized on the mind, subtleties of dullness/agitation, craving/aversion, etc. are easier to spot. The transition from efforting to non-efforting comes more naturally when the time is right (when you realize that mental-events re: controlling attention are actually destabilizing attention). And perhaps most importantly, the stage is better set for a shift from the mind as object for one-pointedness to mind as object for vipassana.
  • The section on special insight (vipassana) clarifies the goal/function of directed analysis of the mind as object in this system: to lead the meditator to an understanding that all external appearances are mind, all internal appearances are mind, all feelings of self are mind—and that mind itself is empty. Then the house of cards falls.
For those who wish to put these ideas into practice, I recommend A Meditation Guide for Mahamudra by Peter Barth.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
9/30/19 10:01 AM as a reply to Miles Barger.
I think you might find this fairly recent interview of Dan on Sacred Sundays interesting as it provides a pretty comprehensive description of what Dan descibes as the 3 Maps of Awakening, Stabilization, and Fruition - Buddhahood.

As mentioned above, Dan, at the suggestion of HHDL, has developed a guided tour of pointing out instructions for western students that has a very high efficacy - practitioners having a significant meditation experience that leads to awaken awareness. His teaching focuses first on developing sufficient concentration to be then guided through the insight practices. His delivery of Pointing Out Instructions is rather exceptional. In the catagorization as described in Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche's the article Pointing Out Ordinary Mind, Dan Brown's instructions are more on the order of Essence Mahamudra. (If you were to attend a Level One Retreat with Dan he might suggest you not read his book in advance as it is very scholarly and detailed and one might develop conceptual attachments that would frustate the guided practice of going beyond ones condition view.) You can find more information about Dan and Pointing Out Instruction at the Pointing Out Way Meditation Website or Pointing out the Great Way Foundation where you will also find information regarding very precious advanced Bon Dzogchen Texts including the Kusum Rangshar.

Peter Barth, at the request of Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche has prepared a Sutra Mahamudra Meditation Manual that one can utilize in gradual practice to develop the awareness of and associated with the ordinary mind. I understand it is a very widely used Meditation Manual that has benefited very many students of Mahamudra.   (Ironically, Peter and I were friends 40 years ago working  in SF and looking back when he invited me to help build a stupa in the East Bay one weekend, I really wish I had taken him up on that offer-such is life)

In any event, whether introduction throught Sutra,Trantra or Essence Mahamudra Instruction it is very important to develop the understanding of the shifts in awareness and pliancy in moving between the various stages.

"I think that it is of far greater importance than the experience of dramatic instantaneous pointing out that
people be taught mahamudra as a full system of instruction that they can implement on their own gradually
through diligent application using any one of the three texts by the Ninth Gyalwang Karmapa -
An Ocean of the Ultimate Meaning, Eliminating the Darkness of Ignorance, or Pointing Out the Dharmakaya -
or one of the two texts by Dakpo Tashi Namgyal - Moonbeams of Mahamudra or Clarifyng the Natural State."

- Khyabje Khenchen Thrangu Rinpoche

So clearly as discussed by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche - through Sutra Tantra or Essence Mahamudra Pointing Out Instructions can certainly catalyze the introduction to the non-dual awareness of ordinary mind. 

Further,  the means by which awakened awareness is developed in the Tibetan traditions is generally via the Tantric Union of Bliss and Emptiness, Mahamudra, and/or  Dzogchen. Though realized through different means, the resulting awareness is fundamentally the same. (HHDL Dzogchen Heart Essence of Great Perfection p174)

wishing you all well in your practice!!

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
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10/3/19 10:40 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Thanks to all! great suggestions and info. I'm still at the beggining of the book, and I'm looking forward to see how it relates to TMI. I also intend to study with Dan (he's old, so I'll set that intention to manifest ASAP)

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/13/19 3:19 PM as a reply to Keith.
Keith:
I think you might find this fairly recent interview of Dan on Sacred Sundays interesting as it provides a pretty comprehensive description of what Dan descibes as the 3 Maps of Awakening, Stabilization, and Fruition - Buddhahood.
It is a really good presentation. Maybe best talk I've ever heard.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
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10/14/19 6:44 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I did see it, it is awesome. I intend to contact and study with him soon.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/15/19 3:38 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
I like Daniel Brown's book, and he shares some interesting stuff in the interview, however:

* Strong vibe of cultish adoration from the presenter and interviewer.

* Far too much emphasis on emotional and behavioural perfection.

I would tread carefully.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/15/19 7:34 AM as a reply to Santiago Jimenez.
Santiago Jimenez:
I did see it, it is awesome. I intend to contact and study with him soon.

I saw someone mention that Brown is ill and that it is uncertain how long he can continue to teach. You can see some mild signs of illness in the interview.
neko:
I like Daniel Brown's book, and he shares some interesting stuff in the interview, however:

* Strong vibe of cultish adoration from the presenter and interviewer.
Noticed the same. I've seen much worse cases, though, in mainstream tb.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/15/19 10:46 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
neko:
I like Daniel Brown's book, and he shares some interesting stuff in the interview, however:

* Strong vibe of cultish adoration from the presenter and interviewer.
Noticed the same. I've seen much worse cases, though, in mainstream tb.


Well, sure, we've seen worse. He wasn't drunk, giving a dharma talk, getting a blowjob, and torturing a cat all at the same time. emoticon

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
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10/15/19 11:03 AM as a reply to neko.
In 2016, I witnessed an elder lama, who is a very well known teacher on his own right, present the head of particular tb school in a manner that made me uncomfortable and embarrassed in ways I never knew. His overemotional whimpering still comes back to haunt me emoticon

Sometimes folks overdo it, like the lady in the video. Seeing that I actually came to think about hara, or gut, as it is spoken of in Japanese culture. Japanese people would have hard time trusting her.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/15/19 12:41 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

Sometimes folks overdo it, like the lady in the video. Seeing that I actually came to think about hara, or gut, as it is spoken of in Japanese culture. Japanese people would have hard time trusting her.

Interesting, yes, I saw your post on facebook.

I have never been to Japan, only been exposed to Japanese culture and people through some relatively close relationships with Japanese people living in the West, movies, and stuff like that. But based on my limited observation and experience, I think you are on to something.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/20/19 6:34 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
For all you Mahamudra afficianados out there, how can I learn more about the practice.  I want some pragmatic dharma Mahamudra/Dzogchen teachers that I might be able to work online, video, or audio.
*I have some of Loch Kelly's programs and these have been helpful
*Ken Mcleod has audio retreats.  not bad either.
Anyone tried or worked with Reggie Ray's Mahamudra program?

Any other suggestions?  


thanks. 

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/21/19 2:54 AM as a reply to This very moment.
This very moment:
For all you Mahamudra afficianados out there, how can I learn more about the practice.  I want some pragmatic dharma Mahamudra/Dzogchen teachers that I might be able to work online, video, or audio.
*I have some of Loch Kelly's programs and these have been helpful
*Ken Mcleod has audio retreats.  not bad either.
Anyone tried or worked with Reggie Ray's Mahamudra program?

Any other suggestions?  


thanks. 
I haven't checked McLeod's materials but Ray (Modern Mahamudra, Pure Awareness), Kelly (Shift Into Freedom, Effortless Mindfulness) and Wallace (Dzogchen courses at Wisdom Pubs) I have. They offer a selection of shamatha and vipashyana practices on their onlines courses that can be helpful. However, a common feature in all of them is that none of them actually points out beyond shamatha and vipashyana. In other words none of them teaches the actual mahamudra or dzogchen.

Leigh Brasington told me, "On a retreat at Spirit Rock, Tsoknyi Rinpoche took the many Spirit Rock teachers who were attending aside and told them explicitly not to try and teach Dzogchen. But they didn't listen; several times I sat in the back of the room while one of them attempted to teach Dzogchen - and watched waves of confusion envelope the room."

Even most authorised teachers/lamas from kagyu, nyingma or bon don't know rigpa. I've seen the same confusion spread at events that were taught by authorised teachers.

Try OpenHeart.fi-YouTube-channel. Hundreds of guided sessions and talks there free of charge.

RE: Daniel P Brown - Pointing out the Great Way
Answer
10/21/19 6:38 AM as a reply to This very moment.
This very moment:
For all you Mahamudra afficianados out there, how can I learn more about the practice.  I want some pragmatic dharma Mahamudra/Dzogchen teachers that I might be able to work online, video, or audio.
*I have some of Loch Kelly's programs and these have been helpful
*Ken Mcleod has audio retreats.  not bad either.
Anyone tried or worked with Reggie Ray's Mahamudra program?

Any other suggestions?  


thanks. 

I'm a big fan of Ken McLeod's book "Wake Up to your Life".  It is basically a description of the tibetian three year retreat and it is written without a lot of jargon or metaphysics. So far it's one of the best books I've read, maybe tied with Daniel Ingram's MCTB2.

WUTYL is very good because it presents a broad discussion of foundational practices before talking about Mahamudra, so the reader has a sense of what needs to be in place before getting the most out of MM. (There's no big problem with using MM before a foundation is in place, but the practice will be more like "mindfulness" than true MM. So no harm, but perhaps less benefit...)

I've found that when people are interested in this stuff, they'll use a book like WUTYL as a menu of different practices and will jump around doing what is interesting. And then eventually they reach a point where they realize they need to work with a teacher to figure out out what they are missing. It really is a great book.