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Tentative Third Path

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Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 9/30/19 9:19 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/1/19 3:09 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path Shaun Steelgrave 10/1/19 1:38 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 10/3/19 3:12 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 10/3/19 3:11 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path spatial 10/1/19 3:59 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 10/3/19 3:31 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path spatial 10/9/19 12:29 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Chris Marti 10/9/19 3:03 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path spatial 10/9/19 5:15 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Chris Marti 10/9/19 6:07 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path spatial 10/11/19 9:48 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/12/19 2:10 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/1/19 9:58 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/8/19 11:24 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/1/19 9:57 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Kim Katami 10/3/19 9:00 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/6/19 1:06 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/6/19 1:11 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/6/19 4:49 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path An Eternal Now 10/2/19 1:47 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path Griffin 10/3/19 2:52 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 10/3/19 3:55 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Griffin 10/4/19 11:22 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path Christopher Kerr 10/4/19 3:42 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Griffin 10/4/19 4:47 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/5/19 1:33 AM
RE: Tentative Third Path Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/5/19 1:53 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Griffin 10/7/19 4:25 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 10/7/19 5:35 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Adam 10/6/19 7:42 PM
RE: Tentative Third Path Henry wijaya 11/19/19 11:28 PM
Tentative Third Path
Answer
9/30/19 9:19 PM
Hello, I'm 30 years old and I didn't really know where else to post this. I know that third path is an odd territory that doesn't exactly have an agreed upon definition. This isn't a claim of third path so much as a "here is where I currently am, and I would love some feedback" post. The first few paragraphs will be a little background, feel free to skip it. I'll probably ramble a bit. 

I have been following this forum for easily five years. Been lurking a long time. I've been reading about the path for a decade. Obsessing would be a better word for it, if I'm being honest. I wasted too many years on searching for the "perfect" technique. It wouldn't be until many years later I would get diagnosed with ADHD.  That was a real eye opener for me. 

One of the way ADHD shows up for me is obsessive research. I can spend weeks researching something interesting before losing interest and moving on to the next new-shiny-thing. It was very gratifying at first. After developing some mindfulness, it became apparent that this pattern was in fact very painful. 

I have researched every religion under the sun. The big ones, at least. Christianity, Judaism, and Islam interested me for a while. Their mystical sides, least. Taoism held my attention for a while. Buddhism has always been my home base, though. Theravada, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Zen. Thai Forest, Mahasi, Tejaniya, Mun. Chan, Son, Soto Rinzai. You get the picture. 

There's something to be said about the Chinese proverb about digging too many wells. I did that for a while. It came with positive notes. I attribute it to ADHD, but I have this strange ability to take large amounts of contradicting (seemingly contradicting) data and synthesize it into something coherent and understandable. 

I am rambling. After some time, I finally decided to just do Mahasi in a serious way. This was five years ago. 

I hit Ñ4 before my 20th birthday thanks to psychedelics. Naturally, this led to the dukkha ñanas, where I was stuck until 26. Had I practiced in any kind of meaningful way, I'm sure I wouldn't have had to do that...but due to causes and conditions (lots of pot and ADHD), I never committed to anything for more than a day or two. 

Fast forward to 26, after having made the decision to really dedicate to a regular practice. I practiced a lot, and it sucked. It was awkward and unpleasant and confusing. My ADHD brain really took to noting, though, and after a week or two of trial and error, I felt like I had some competency. 

There were days when I would sit in a lawn chair outside for 45 minutes at a time, stopping only to put in a bit of dip and to walk off the icky feelings that my mind thought I was an idiot for subjecting myself to. 

I spoke with Kenneth around the time I was in ñ10, and he gave me some great advice. He suggested that I notice if it gets worse when I fight it. The answer was a resounding yes, so I let the suck wash over me. In no time I hit EQ, and meandered through that territory for about eight months before hitting first path. A little under a year later, I hit second. I was a hard case. It was confusing to take so long to hit second when all these posts talked about how easy it was to his second. 

Fast forward to today. Since hitting second path, I've gone through three or four cycles. I have stopped paying much attention to the cycles. I can say that I'm currently in ñ3, and have been for over a month. I stopped sitting for months. The focus moved to "I need to get my muggle life together". I got my diet right, saw a therapist, got on adderall, started lifting, improved my relationship ship. Worthwhile pursuit. I wasn't good at people-ing, and it felt really nice to become a person for the first time in my adult life. 

The desire to begin to sit again coincided with the start of a new cycle, but due to life stuff, it just wasn't high on my priority list to sit. Despite having a tension headache for a month, I'm happier than I've ever been. 

So, I'm in ñ3 currently, and I'm relearning how to do samatha. I would guess that J1 is a week away, maybe a little more, maybe a little less. The mind knows what to do, it just needs to remember the little subtle tweaks that it needs to do in order to do the thing. 

From a sense door perspective, the sensations in my body arise where they do, and they're known as they arise. I don't focus on them from inside my head. The felt sense of the body is global, and the idea of inside my body vs outside my body isn't really a thing. It all feels the same. Such is a good way to describe it. 

Sounds don't typically refer back to the bodily sensations over here. The ears aren't hearing the sounds, the sounds are over there doing their own things. There's a great silence that underlies all the sound, a silence that isn't quite the ground, source or background. I can also describe sounds as such. The nada sound is constantly going. 

Thoughts don't have a thinker so much as they spontaneously arise from nothing for a moment before vanishing. For a while I focused on the idea of thought space, but dropped it. Thoughts don't have a location, they seem to arise in the head, but that's just another thought. 

Seeing is panoramic, and it has been the last to open, but I believe I'm seeing luminosity. The facial sensations and eyes were a huge problem for me, and I got stuck on them. What did it, or what was a part of it, was seeing the ears as translating devices instead of the instrument that heard the sounds. The eyes translate, the eyes don't see. When I had that thought, there was a feeling of pushing out that occured, and I suddenly didn't feel like I was trapped behind my eyes, receiving this information. 

The background hasn't shattered or anything, but it has gone away tremendously. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be one. I feel very much, out of my head. 

Emptiness is coming along. I find it hard to talk about, but things are definitely empty. The mind fabricates stuff, it just gives stuff meaning that isn't there. Somebody cuts me off or says something mean, the anger or hurt that arises is a construct that is fortified by concepts generated by the mind. The very car in front of me that cut me off is mind generated. In actuality, it's the visual field doing what it does, and simultaneous with its doing arises knowing. 

I still suffer. My job is high stress, and I find that my body gets so incredibly tense throughout the day. I would like to find different work, because I'm working 55 hours a week, and it's just not worth it. But despite any suffering that's present, I find that everything is fundamentally okay, and that nothing needs to change. 

That was a lot more than I anticipated writing. To anyone that read all this I thank you. Thoughts are very much appreciated. 

My current plan is to keep doing what I've been doing. I've never really developed samatha in a meaningful way. I've developed the jhanas, but they've always been pretty unstable, and I haven't been able to access them with any kind of regularity. We'll see what develops over the last couple months left in this year. 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/1/19 3:09 AM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/1/19 1:38 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Accessing Nirodha Samapatti seems to be a good way to stake a claim in anagami territory.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/1/19 3:59 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
When I read that part about "the eyes translate", something opened up for me. Not completely, but I can tell that this is hitting on something important for me. I feel like a lot of what I've been going through over the past few months has been developing the ability to "look at my own eyes" in one way or another.

You don't feel trapped behind your eyes. What does it feel like for you? That the visual sense data is just existing in the atmosphere around you? Do your eyes have anything to do with it?

Can you say anything more about how you dealt with facial sensations?

Thought space seems important to me right now, in that the images have a location in physical space (and I can feel them in my face). Did you move past this point?

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/1/19 9:58 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
From Awakening to Reality: A Guide to the Nature of Mind

Two Stanzas of Anatta and the Metaphors and Practices that Trigger Experiential Insight
 
When both stanzas are completely realized as always already so, that is John Stage 5.
 
“To me anatta stanza is still the best trigger… lol.  It allows us to clearly see anatta is the natural state. Always is and effortlessly so. It shows "how ignorance" blinds and creates misconceptions of separation and substantiality of what we called "things and phenomena".
 
And realising the view is all pointing to this truth of anatta from top to bottom of how the mind confuses and mistakens conventional existence as true and real.  Dependent origination and emptiness are the raft to balance and neutralize all mind-made conventionalities, so that the mind can rest in natural ease and balance, seeing all arising as spontaneously perfected.” - John Tan, 2019
 
“Insight that 'anatta' is a seal and not a stage must arise to further progress into the 'effortless' mode. That is, anatta is the ground of all experiences and has always been so, no I. In seeing, always only seen, in hearing always only sound and in thinking, always only thoughts. No effort required and never was there an 'I'.” - John Tan, 2009
 
“The 2 stanzas below are pivotal in leading me to the direct experience of no-self. Although they appear to convey the same stuff about anatta, meditating on these 2 stanzas can yield 2 very different experiential insights -- one on the emptiness aspect and the other, the non-dual luminosity aspect. The insights that arise from these experiences are very illuminating as they contradict so much our ordinary understanding of what awareness is.” - John Tan, 2009
 
~ Stanza one
There is thinking, no thinker
There is hearing, no hearer
There is seeing, no seer
 
  1. The lack of doership that links and coordinates experiences
“Without the 'I' that links, phenomena (thoughts, sound, feelings and so on and so forth) appear bubble-like, floating and manifesting freely, spontaneously and boundlessly. With the absence of the doer-ship also comes a deep sense of freedom and transparency. Ironical as it may sound but it's true experientially. We will not have the right understanding when we hold too tightly 'inherent' view. It is amazing how 'inherent' view prevents us from seeing freedom as no-doership, interdependence and interconnectedness, luminosity and non-dual presence.” - John Tan, 2009
 
“A thought is "Unsupported" because it does not arise in dependence upon anything else, not "caused" by another thought ("mind-objects") and of course not "produced" by a thinker, which the Bodhisattva realizes does, not exist. Such an "unsupported thought", then, is prajña, arising by itself nondually… ...He began by drawing the following diagram:

Each oval represents a thought, he said; normally, we leave one thought only when we have another one to go to (as the arrows indicate), but to think in this way constitutes ignorance. Instead, we should realize that thinking is actually like this:

Then we will understand the true nature of thoughts: that thoughts do not arise from each other but by themselves.” ~ Zen teacher David Loy, Nondual Thinking
 
“Is there in you an entity which you call the 'I' or the 'mind' or the 'self'? Is there a co- ordinator who is co-ordinating what you are looking at with what you are listening to, what you are smelling with what you are tasting, and so on? Or is there anything which links together the various sensations originating from a single sense -- the flow of impulses from the eyes, for example? Actually, there is always a gap between any two sensations. The co-ordinator bridges that gap: he establishes himself as an illusion of continuity.
 
In the natural state there is no entity who is coordinating the messages from the different senses. Each sense is functioning independently in its own way. When there is a demand from outside which makes it necessary to coordinate one or two or all of the senses and come up with a response, still there is no co-ordinator, but there is a temporary state of coordination. There is no continuity; when the demand has been met, again there is only the uncoordinated, disconnected, disjointed functioning of the senses. This is always the case. Once the continuity is blown apart -- not that it was ever there; but the illusory continuity -- it's finished once and for all.
 
Can this make any sense to you? It cannot. All that you know lies within the framework of your experience, which is of thought. This state is not an experience. I am only trying to give you a 'feel' of it, which is, unfortunately, misleading.
 
When there is no co-ordinator, there is no linking of sensations, there is no translating of sensations; they stay pure and simple sensations. I don't even know that they are sensations. I may look at you as you are talking. The eyes will focus on your mouth because that is what is moving, and the ears will receive the sound vibrations. There is nothing inside which links up the two and says that it is you talking. I may be looking at a spring bubbling out of the earth and hear the water, but there is nothing to say that the noise being heard is the sound of water, or that that sound is in any way connected with what I am seeing. I may be looking at my foot, but nothing says that this is my foot. When I am walking, I see my feet moving -- it is such a funny thing: "What is that which is moving?"
 
What functions is a primordial consciousness, untouched by thought.” - U.G. Krishnamurti, U.G. Krishnamurti: The Mystique of Enlightenment

“Let's say it will be noticed that the body is out of shape. A thought may arise that the body could do with some exercise. Next a decision to go to the gym could come up. Nowhere in this 'chain of events' is there the need for an entity that takes the decision. If there was such an entity, it first would have to decide to take such a decision to be able to claim 'authorship.' It also would have to decide to decide to decide ad infinitum, thus creating an infinite regress.
 
What I always say is that non-doership does not mean that you are helpless, but that the 'you-agent' is fictitious. We say "I live, I think, I breathe" and so on but living, thinking and breathing is not done by someone; it happens by itself.
 
Let's have a look at thinking: Is there really a 'thinker of thoughts' independent of thought? Does this 'thinker' know what the next thought will be? Or is the thought only known when it comes along? This thought may get claimed in the next thought, which could goes something like "Oh, I just thought about such and such". But is the 'I' claiming to be the thinker of the thought- not itself part of the thought?
 
Do not take this too literally please, as there actually isn't even a 'next thought'; only this thought right now. There is no past, which has led up to this moment. There is only THIS; including memories and other apparent evidence for such a past.
 
Nevertheless, there is the unfolding of this dream in which "the Tao, without doing anything, leaves nothing undone." As such there may be the appearance of doing exercises, making decisions, planning your day, falling asleep, waking up, gazing at the stars, reading these words, or registering the sounds around you. It all happens by itself. As the Zen saying goes:
 
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” - Leo Hartong
 
“What Leo said is experientially there but in terms of understanding there is a great difference from that of Buddhism.  You must go deeper and arise the insight of anatta and dependent origination.
 
"There is no thinker, just thoughts".  A practitioner must not only see that there is "no agent", he must also see the "just thoughts".  'Thought' not as a passing phenomenon and nothing to care about but thought as pristine, luminous, non-dual, emptiness, its dependent originated nature and powerful imprints it can cause leading to the understanding of actions and tendencies rolling on.  The best part is when 'tendency' is experienced in conventional sense it appears 'so solidly real'. Only when emptiness nature is directly experienced does reality becomes dream-like.
 
There are 4 important insights a practitioner must have on the experience of anatta:
 
  1. The no doership leading to a spontaneous arising experience. Though spontaneous, it is not by 'nature' or 'haphazard'; with the presence of conditions, the arising is spontaneous.
  2. The absence of an agent leading to a 'direct' experience of phenomena.  A non-dual experience that dissolve the subject/object split.
  3. No doer but there is doing and leading to the understanding of imprints and actions.
  4. The impermanence and manifestation that leads to the understanding of arising due to conditions.  The no-self nature of dependent origination that is free from the view based on who, where and when.
Buddhism is not exactly the union or co-arising of subjective witness and objective phenomena but rather the inseparability of luminosity and emptiness, appearances and conditions.
 
Do not take this too literally please, as there actually isn't even a 'next thought'; only this thought right now. There is no past, which has led up to this moment. There is only THIS; including memories and other apparent evidence for such a past.
 
This is an experiential glimpse of non-arising in Buddhism, try to go beyond the 'now' teaching and understand the emptiness nature even this moment of Presence.
 
There is just this actual moment, which is a thought.  Not arising from anywhere or going anywhere.  There is even no “right now”, no timeline; free from the dream of the 3 times and resting entirely in this actual phenomena which is, a thought.  Arising and ceasing is an appearance, the nature of clarity is non-arising, always just this: a moment, a thought, a witnessing, an action, yet empty!
 
Nevertheless, there is the unfolding of this dream in which "the Tao, without doing anything, leaves nothing undone." As such there may be the appearance of doing exercises, making decisions, planning your day, falling asleep, waking up, gazing at the stars, reading these words, or registering the sounds around you. It all happens by itself. As the Zen saying goes:
 
Sitting quietly, doing nothing,
Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.
 
Although there is no authorship, it is also not 'helplessness'.  There is no doer but there is doing.  Free from the 2 extremes, karma and dependent origination are taught.
 
To progress further, you must understand the differences and experience it directly.” - John Tan, 2009, in response to Leo’s statement above
 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/8/19 11:24 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
 
“In this case, there is a direct recognition that there is “no agent”. Just one thought then another thought. So it is always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought. However the gist of this realization is skewed towards a spontaneous liberating experience and a vague glimpse of the empty nature of phenomena -- that is, the transient phenomena being bubble-like and ephemeral, nothing substantial or solid. At this phase we should not misunderstand that we have experienced thoroughly the ‘empty’ nature of phenomena and awareness, although there is this temptation to think we have. -
 
Depending on the conditions of an individual, it may not be obvious that it is “always thought watching thought rather than a watcher watching thought.” or "the watcher is that thought."” - John Tan, 2009
 
“In the article on http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2009/03/on-anatta-emptiness-and-spontaneous.html, I mentioned about the 2 stanza. There is the no-agent aspect and there is the intensity of luminosity aspect. I find that your present experience is still centered on the luminosity aspect. You are directly experiencing seamlessness of any happening where no clear line of demarcation can be drawn between the subject-object split. You realized the boundary is purely illusionary and is clear about the cause that resulted in such
 
division but still, that is not the ‘essence’ of an experiential insight of anatta in my opinion. There is a difference in saying "there is no split between thinking and thinker, the thinking itself is 'me'" and "there is thinking, no thinker". You must be aware that having immediate and direct experience but with dualistic framework intact and complete replacement of the dualistic framework entirely with DO (dependent origination) yields very different experiential insight; you may want to investigate further and move from "they are all flowing independently" to "manifesting in seamless inter-dependencies." - John Tan, 2010



“In the Vajrayana there is the direct path to examining mind. In everyday life we are habituated to thinking, "I have a mind and I perceive these things." Ordinarily, we do not directly look at the mind and therefore do not see the mind. This is very strange because we see things and we know that we are seeing visual phenomena. But who is seeing? We can look directly at the mind and find that there is no one seeing; there is no seer, and yet we are seeing phenomena. The same is true for the mental consciousness. We think various thoughts, but where is that thinking taking place? Who or what is thinking? However, when we look directly at the mind, we discover that there is nobody there; there is no thinker and yet thinking is going on. This approach of directly looking in a state of meditation isn't one of reasoning, but of directly looking at the mind to see what is there.” - Thrangu Rinpoche, Thrangu Rinpoche on Nature of Mind

“Alan Watts: ...Upon reflection, there seems to be nothing unreasonable in seeing the world in this way. The agent behind every action is itself action. If a mat can be called matting, a cat can be called catting. We do not actually need to ask who or what "cats," just as we do not need to ask what is the basic stuff or substance out of which the world is formed---for there is no way of describing this substance except in terms of form, of structure, order, and operation…
 
André A. Pais "The agent behind every action is itself action".
 
Great insight.
 
John Tan Therefore it is the action that knows, no knower.
 
Manage” - Alan Watts: Agent and Action


 ~ Stanza two


In thinking, just thoughts
In hearing, just sounds
In seeing, just forms, shapes and colors.

Direct realization of luminosity/radiance as the very vividness of forms and textures
of transience beyond subject/object division.

“Division of subject and object is merely an assumption.
Thus someone giving up and something to be given up is an illusion.
When self becomes more and more transparent,
Likewise phenomena become more and more luminous.
In thorough transparency all happening are pristinely and vividly clear.
Obviousness throughout, aliveness everywhere!” - John Tan, 2009

“(9:14 PM) Thusness:    when we talk about Buddha’s teachings, the essence should be so: the electricity [analogy used to represent consciousness] should not be taken as an entity. The organs are part of the conditions for manifestations. When condition arises, it is the luminosity of the appearances that you must know. You never see or know what awareness is unless through conditions where appearances manifest, that vividness of appearance is awareness in real time and life… ...not what i see glows, it is the seeing is the object is the awareness” - John Tan, 2007

“In the seen, there is just the seen! It is completely non-dual... there is no 'the seen + a perceiver here seeing the seen'.... The seen is precisely the seeing! There is not two or three things: seer, seeing, and the seen. That split is entirely conceptual (though taken to be reality)... it is a conclusion due to a referencing back of a direct experience (like a sight or a sound) to a centerpoint.” - Soh Wei Yu, 2010, My commentary on Bahiya Sutta

“...We don’t need to bring our awareness anywhere -
awareness is always within the arising
of the experience itself.

We don’t need to make any separation
between bodily sensations and awareness.
Bodily sensations are already awareness.

Thought is already awareness.
We don’t need to bring
awareness to the thought.

What we’re exploring
is not the body
but the body’s awareness.

We’re just exploring
the body of awareness…” - Charles Genoud, Gesture of Awareness

“...have adequate experience of the vividness, realness and presence of Awareness and the full experience of these qualities in the transience. Without which it will not be easy to realize that "the arising and passing sensations are the very awareness itself." A balance is therefore needed, otherwise practitioners may experience equanimity but skew towards dispassion and lack realization.“  - John Tan, 2009, Emptiness as Viewless View and Embracing the Transience

"The key towards pure knowingness is to bring the taste of presence into the 6 entries and exits. So that what is seen, heard, touched, tasted are pervaded by a deep sense of crystal, radiance and transparency. This requires seeing through the center." - John Tan

“...Similarly, regarding whatever is in the field of the tactile sense organ, such things as fabrics that are soft or rough to the touch, this tactile sensation itself is your own mind. Avoid slipping into grasping or rejecting. Whether soft or rough, do not try to find the mind anywhere apart from the softness or roughness itself, but rest at ease right there without distraction. If a pleasant or an unpleasant feeling arises, recognize it and rest mindfully.




Lord Gotsangpa said:

"In general, the apparent myriad of phenomena is one’s own mind. Since phenomena and emptiness have never been abiding as two separate entities, there is no need to restrain cognizance within."

Also:

"When there is an appearance of a form in the field of the eyes, that appearance of form itself is one’s mind; the apparent form and emptiness are not two. By resting gently right on the form without grasping, subject and object become naturally liberated. The same applies to sounds, smells, tastes, textures, as well as mental occurrences: by resting on the occurrence itself, it becomes self-liberated. That is to say, instead of meditating on cognizance, by meditating without grasping right on the outer objects of the six sense perceptions, the six senses arise as meditation and enhancement will ensue."” - Self-Liberation by Khamtrul Rinpoche III

“When you look into a thought's identity, without having to dissolve the thought and without having to force it out by meditation, the vividness of the thought is itself the indescribable and naked state of aware emptiness. We call this seeing the natural face of innate thought or thought dawns as dharmakaya.



"When you vividly perceive a mountain or a house, no matter how this perception appears, it does not need to disappear or be stopped. Rather, while this perception is experienced, it is itself an intangible, empty awareness. This is called seeing the identity of perception."

"Previously you cleared up uncertainties when you looked into the identity of a perception and resolved that perceptions are mind. Accordingly, the perception is not outside and the mind is not inside…” - Resolving That Thoughts and Perceptions are Buddha-Mind

“Hi Mr. J, Despite all differences we may have about lower yanas, no practices needed, Absolute…I really appreciate your zealous attempt to bring this message into view and I agree with you wholeheartedly on this aspect of “transmission”. If one truly wants this essence to be “transmitted”, how can it be otherwise? For what that is to be passed is truly of different dimension, how can it be adulterated with words and forms? The ancient teachers are extremely serious observing and waiting for the right condition to pass the essence unreservedly and wholeheartedly. So much so that when the essence is transmitted, it must boil the blood and penetrate deep into the bone marrow. The entire body-mind must become one opening eye. Once open, everything turns “spirit”, mind intellect drops and what’s left is aliveness and intelligence everywhere! Mr. J, I sincerely hope you well, just don’t leave trace in the Absolute. Gone! emoticon” - John Tan, 2013

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/1/19 9:57 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
“Ok... I am seeing your point as "awareness" outside of conditioned experience is an imputation.  When could one ever have such an experience outside of experience?  The "knowing" of being would also be an experience, as opposed to the "not knowing".  And if there was "not knowing", then how you could prove there was "awareness" in such a "not knowing"?  Very interesting.

Well, its not really new... it is just clear now how there is an imputation we put on Awareness as being "separate' from experience, as some sort of "stand alone" awareness".  I have always experienced awareness as experience inseparably so, but didn't notice the subtle imputation that gives still a separate implication of being a remainder, when all things are absent.  Being wouldn't know itself outside of experience.  If being did know itself in total voidness, that very "knowing" would itself be an experience, hence the void would not be void.  God cannot be separated from creation, because the potential for creation is already Known.” - Mr. J, 2012

“What is presence now? Everything... Taste saliva, smell, think, what is that? Snap of a finger, sing.  All ordinary activity, zero effort therefore nothing attained. Yet is full accomplishment. In esoteric terms, eat God, taste God, see God, hear God...lol. That is the first thing I told Mr. J few years back when he first messaged me  If a mirror is there, this is not possible. If clarity isn't empty, this isn't possible. Not even slightest effort is needed. Do you feel it? Grabbing of my legs as if I am grabbing presence! Do you have this experience already? When there is no mirror, then entire existence is just lights-sounds-sensations as single presence. Presence is grabbing presence. The movement to grab legs is Presence.. the sensation of grabbing legs is Presence.. For me even typing or blinking my eyes. For fear that it is misunderstood, don't talk about it. Right understanding is no presence, for every single sense of knowingness is different. Otherwise Mr. J will say nonsense... lol. When there is a mirror, this is not possible. Think I wrote to longchen (Sim Pern Chong) about 10 years ago.” - John Tan

“An interesting comment Jax. After realization… Just eat God, breathe God, smell God and see God… Lastly be fully unestablished and liberate God.” - John Tan, 2012
 
(Soh: Lest readers misinterpret that John is affirming a substantialist notion of a ‘God’, it should be noted that by the phase of Anatta realization, there is simply no more reifications or conceivings of a metaphysical ‘God’ or ‘Creator’ of any kind, and John was simply using the lingo of Mr. J to convey the complete absence of a background substratum of Presence and the total luminosity of Presencing-as-manifestation to Mr. J using Mr. J’s ‘esoteric lingo’. Even the word ‘Presence’ is not referring to some static entity here - ‘Presencing’ is perhaps a better term, for as James M. Corrigan wrote, “...Awareness is not something other than the “presencing” (i.e. naturing) of appearances. It is not a thing. It is not part of a thing. It is not an “aspect” of a process… ...it is the process—not some aspect of it”
 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/2/19 1:47 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

 
“A thought is "Unsupported" because it does not arise in dependence upon anything else, not "caused" by another thought ("mind-objects") and of course not "produced" by a thinker, which the Bodhisattva realizes does, not exist. Such an "unsupported thought", then, is prajña, arising by itself nondually… ...He began by drawing the following diagram:

Each oval represents a thought, he said; normally, we leave one thought only when we have another one to go to (as the arrows indicate), but to think in this way constitutes ignorance. Instead, we should realize that thinking is actually like this:

Then we will understand the true nature of thoughts: that thoughts do not arise from each other but by themselves.” ~ Zen teacher David Loy, Nondual Thinking
 
 
Rather than saying thought is "not dependent", I think it is better to put it this way:

[1:20 PM, 10/2/2019] John Tan: DO [dependent origination] and the idea of substantist cause and effect is different.  Arise in dependence cannot b said to b causeless/uncaused or caused.  That is y it is the middle path.
[1:21 PM, 10/2/2019] John Tan: So we say arise in dependence.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 9:00 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:

“What is presence now? Everything... Taste saliva, smell, think, what is that? Snap of a finger, sing.  All ordinary activity, zero effort therefore nothing attained. Yet is full accomplishment. In esoteric terms, eat God, taste God, see God, hear God...lol. That is the first thing I told Mr. J few years back when he first messaged me  If a mirror is there, this is not possible. If clarity isn't empty, this isn't possible. Not even slightest effort is needed. Do you feel it? Grabbing of my legs as if I am grabbing presence! Do you have this experience already? When there is no mirror, then entire existence is just lights-sounds-sensations as single presence. Presence is grabbing presence. The movement to grab legs is Presence.. the sensation of grabbing legs is Presence.. For me even typing or blinking my eyes. For fear that it is misunderstood, don't talk about it. Right understanding is no presence, for every single sense of knowingness is different. Otherwise Mr. J will say nonsense... lol. When there is a mirror, this is not possible. Think I wrote to longchen (Sim Pern Chong) about 10 years ago.” - John Tan

“An interesting comment Jax. After realization… Just eat God, breathe God, smell God and see God… Lastly be fully unestablished and liberate God.” - John Tan, 2012
 
(Soh: Lest readers misinterpret that John is affirming a substantialist notion of a ‘God’, it should be noted that by the phase of Anatta realization, there is simply no more reifications or conceivings of a metaphysical ‘God’ or ‘Creator’ of any kind, and John was simply using the lingo of Mr. J to convey the complete absence of a background substratum of Presence and the total luminosity of Presencing-as-manifestation to Mr. J using Mr. J’s ‘esoteric lingo’. Even the word ‘Presence’ is not referring to some static entity here - ‘Presencing’ is perhaps a better term, for as James M. Corrigan wrote, “...Awareness is not something other than the “presencing” (i.e. naturing) of appearances. It is not a thing. It is not part of a thing. It is not an “aspect” of a process… ...it is the process—not some aspect of it”
 
Hi Wei Yu,

I am very positively surprised by this bit by John, and that you posted it. I got the impression from our previous exchange that you (guys) didn't think this was possible, that one wouldn't use language like that with anatta realisation.

I searched your blog but couldn't find other Christian references except Bernadette Roberts. Have you come across others?

Cheers

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 2:52 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
I wasted too many years on searching for the "perfect" technique. (...) One of the way ADHD shows up for me is obsessive research. I can spend weeks researching something interesting before losing interest and moving on to the next new-shiny-thing.

Wow, this is 100% me. The fact that you succeeded in your meditation practice, having the same problem, instantly makes you my hero.

What would be your most important advice to someone with same problems? Is it dedicating to one technique (noting) as soon as possible? Do you have any specific practice-related advice for people with this type of personality?

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 3:11 PM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
An Eternal Now:
Thank you, I've given it a read, and it resonated with me in the best way ;)

Based off of Thusness here, it sounds like I am experiencing the second half of stage four. 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 3:12 PM as a reply to Shaun Steelgrave.
Shaun Steelgrave:
Accessing Nirodha Samapatti seems to be a good way to stake a claim in anagami territory.

Yes, this is true. I have not given a ton of time over to developing samatha, it's something I'm working on now. 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 3:31 PM as a reply to spatial.
"You don't feel trapped behind your eyes. What does it feel like for you? That the visual sense data is just existing in the atmosphere around you? Do your eyes have anything to do with it?"

Not the way I thought it would be. This probably unfolded over a many month period, but it happened in a couple obvious shifts. First off, it started with the visual field, and not allowing the periphery to collapse whenever the centrepoint was focused on something. Using The Mind Illuminated's terminology (I realize this isn't strictly TMI's ideas), when attention is in an object in the visual field, awareness has to be maintained. 

Once that's locked in, the spaciousness of the visual field became very apparent, which led to a micro shift. 

The key moment was investigating the idea of feeling trapped behind my eyes. It's not true. It never was. If you directly investigate the sensations of your head and face, you'll find that you can't feel anything beyind your eyes...except the back of your head. That led to a sense of immediacy in the visual field. 

There's no inside and outside, no distance between the visual field and some phantom seer. 

"Can you say anything more about how you dealt with facial sensations?"

They're just there, and they have nothing to do with the visual field. I saw that I'm not trapped in my head. I can sink back into thought space (not really) at times, which amounts to living in thought and mental proliferation. Which this occurs the idea comes up that I've lost it, that I'm trapped again. As soon as I "push" out of that space and into what is seen, that idea is gone. It's about feeling into, and embracing the visual field. Just fall into it, lean into it. I'm looking at a phone right now, and it's as if I'm pressing into the phone. I'm embracing the phone and the phone is embracing me. 

Said simply, it's cutting out the background or any gap. It's seamless. 

"Thought space seems important to me right now, in that the images have a location in physical space (and I can feel them in my face). Did you move past this point?"

Yes. It can start with thought. It kind of seems like thought arises somewhere in the head. But is that actually true? Really look. Thoughts are here, they're somewhere, but can you actually pinpoint where they are? Between the ears? Behind the eyes? In the crown? Can you actually locate thought? Can you locate the mind? 

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/3/19 3:55 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
I wasted too many years on searching for the "perfect" technique. (...) One of the way ADHD shows up for me is obsessive research. I can spend weeks researching something interesting before losing interest and moving on to the next new-shiny-thing.

Wow, this is 100% me. The fact that you succeeded in your meditation practice, having the same problem, instantly makes you my hero.

What would be your most important advice to someone with same problems? Is it dedicating to one technique (noting) as soon as possible? Do you have any specific practice-related advice for people with this type of personality?
 I started to see my ADHD as a strength and not a weakness. The way I understand it is that ADHD super charges awareness and gives us an inherent upper hand against dullness, though we do have a disadvantage when it comes to...wait for it...attention. 

So I pretty much made no attempt to control attention until after 2nd path. I did what I consider awareness based stuff. Noting, shikantaza, and inquiry mostly. 

Make the practice your own. Use it as a loose guideline, and mash all that you know together into a big cohesive map. But when you sit, me simple, and forget about all of it. 

Using awareness, just track attention moving through the field. It doesn't matter what attention does, just track it in a very wide open and inclusive way. At times you'll feel inclined to investigate one object, like tension, or the breath. Do that. Just let attention does what it wants to. As long as you're tracking what it's doing you are doing it correctly. 

Lastly, tension is huge. Huuuuuge. If you spent an entire sit just letting go of tension in the body by paying attention in a global way, you'd be spending your time well. 

 Let me know if you have any further questions

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/4/19 11:22 AM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
Thak you very much. What you described sounds very similar to the type of practice I am doing in the last month or so.
I am focusing on the whole body, with wide attention. Usually I add a light attention on the breath, relaxation, on some tense aeria or something else that appears. There is often a lot of discomfort, but when enough awareness/relaxation is established, meditation becomes pleasant (samatha-like).

However, if I try noting, for some reason the use of mental notes causes problems, mainly it makes me overthink the technique:

1. Doubt/confusion: I start overthinking whether "I am doing it correctly", there is anxiety that I am "doing it wrong". Papanca: many questions appear, such as: how much emphasis should I put on the note, am I noting the present experience or remembering something that already passed, etc. etc.

2. It feels like I am not really very mindful, grounded and it direct contact with reality, it feels more like I am repeating some words in my mind (mantra-like repetition). Noting interferes with "pure"/direct sensate experience.

3. Noting feels like "I" am "doing" something with effort (it doesn't feel like I am just playfully and effortlessly allowing body and reality to exist).

What do you recommend?

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/4/19 3:42 PM as a reply to Griffin.
What you describe in the first paragraph really sounds great. That can take you far. I don't really like creating a large rift in between samatha a vipassana, so if you can, just think of it as practice. In your practice you are developing samadhi, mindfulness, equanimity, clear seeing, etc. As the bodymind settles down and relaxes, it grows calmer, stabler, perception becomes subtler and finer.

That's what you're doing currently, I believe. So, the idea of the labels is to assist with the process that you're already engaged in! They're designed to keep you honest, to ensure that you're not spacing out and setting the timer like you're a crock pot. 

With that in mind, the way I have always done labeling, is to label whatever the attention is currently focused on. This can be something that feels like you're intentionally staying with, like the breath, or a knot of tension, or whatever it moves to seemingly by itself. I would label once every 1-6 seconds, usually. Speed isn't needed, do what feels right. Label quietly and gently, with an equanimous tone. 

"1. Doubt/confusion: I start overthinking whether "I am doing it correctly", there is anxiety that I am "doing it wrong". Papanca: many questions appear, such as: how much emphasis should I put on the note, am I noting the present experience or remembering something that already passed, etc. etc."

Label thinking, wondering, confusion. 
Label anxiety, worry, questioning. 
Label planning, mapping, strategizing. 

In short, you're describing what happens when someone isn't skilled with noting.

It happens, and it just needs to be worked with. Don't worry about all that stuff. Note whatever the attention is on, and give most of your mental power to the object. The label is there to aid the mindfulness, that is all. You can even drop the labeling from time to time and see how that works. 

2. It feels like I am not really very mindful, grounded and it direct contact with reality, it feels more like I am repeating some words in my mind (mantra-like repetition). Noting interferes with "pure"/direct sensate experience.

Be with reality more and the labels less. Stop repeating them like a mantra and use them as if they were pokes, of a kind. But at the same time, know that there isn't pure, direct experience, or just being. The mind always fabricates. Not trying to split hairs, but this is something height up a lot. 

3. Noting feels like "I" am "doing" something with effort (it doesn't feel like I am just playfully and effortlessly allowing body and reality to exist).

Then relax and stop trying so hard. 

These perceptions of yours are valid. Listen to them and adjust accordingly! Your intuition is trying to talk to you. 

Edit: added stuff to response 2 and 3.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/4/19 4:47 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
Thank you for your kind and wise words!

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/5/19 1:33 AM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
I have ADHD too and I have been thinking the very same thing: that it entails attention deficit but rather the opposite of an awareness deficit.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/5/19 1:53 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
If I may ask... Since the two of you, Christopher and Griffin, also have ADHD, do you find that your minds tend to skip ahead instead of deepening stuff as much as you would like? My mind seems to have that bad habit. I’m trying now to learn to realize when it happens and resolve to go back to deepen the practice. I think I may have caught it in the act this time, because it certainly feels like it is working. It may be too soon to tell, though.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/6/19 1:06 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
An Eternal Now:

“What is presence now? Everything... Taste saliva, smell, think, what is that? Snap of a finger, sing.  All ordinary activity, zero effort therefore nothing attained. Yet is full accomplishment. In esoteric terms, eat God, taste God, see God, hear God...lol. That is the first thing I told Mr. J few years back when he first messaged me  If a mirror is there, this is not possible. If clarity isn't empty, this isn't possible. Not even slightest effort is needed. Do you feel it? Grabbing of my legs as if I am grabbing presence! Do you have this experience already? When there is no mirror, then entire existence is just lights-sounds-sensations as single presence. Presence is grabbing presence. The movement to grab legs is Presence.. the sensation of grabbing legs is Presence.. For me even typing or blinking my eyes. For fear that it is misunderstood, don't talk about it. Right understanding is no presence, for every single sense of knowingness is different. Otherwise Mr. J will say nonsense... lol. When there is a mirror, this is not possible. Think I wrote to longchen (Sim Pern Chong) about 10 years ago.” - John Tan

“An interesting comment Jax. After realization… Just eat God, breathe God, smell God and see God… Lastly be fully unestablished and liberate God.” - John Tan, 2012
 
(Soh: Lest readers misinterpret that John is affirming a substantialist notion of a ‘God’, it should be noted that by the phase of Anatta realization, there is simply no more reifications or conceivings of a metaphysical ‘God’ or ‘Creator’ of any kind, and John was simply using the lingo of Mr. J to convey the complete absence of a background substratum of Presence and the total luminosity of Presencing-as-manifestation to Mr. J using Mr. J’s ‘esoteric lingo’. Even the word ‘Presence’ is not referring to some static entity here - ‘Presencing’ is perhaps a better term, for as James M. Corrigan wrote, “...Awareness is not something other than the “presencing” (i.e. naturing) of appearances. It is not a thing. It is not part of a thing. It is not an “aspect” of a process… ...it is the process—not some aspect of it”
 
Hi Wei Yu,

I am very positively surprised by this bit by John, and that you posted it. I got the impression from our previous exchange that you (guys) didn't think this was possible, that one wouldn't use language like that with anatta realisation.

I searched your blog but couldn't find other Christian references except Bernadette Roberts. Have you come across others?

Cheers


Usually we never use the word God unless it is to talk in other people's lingo.

After anatta and emptiness for us, our understanding is completely without essence, substantiality, and the creator/creation paradigm does not apply, nor do we have a paradigm of a source/substratum of phenomena.

Even at the I AM level of Thusness Stage 1, it is seeing 'God' but its empty nature is not seen.

As John Tan said here http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/mistaken-reality-of-amness.html -

Like a river flowing into the ocean, the self dissolves into nothingness. When a practitioner becomes thoroughly clear about the illusionary nature of the individuality, subject-object division does not take place. A person experiencing “AMness” will find “AMness in everything”. What is it like?

Being freed from individuality -- coming and going, life and death, all phenomenon merely pop in and out from the background of the AMness. The AMness is not experienced as an ‘entity’ residing anywhere, neither within nor without; rather it is experienced as the ground reality for all phenomenon to take place. Even in the moment of subsiding (death), the yogi is thoroughly authenticated with that reality; experiencing the ‘Real’ as clear as it can be. We cannot lose that AMness; rather all things can only dissolve and re-emerges from it. The AMness has not moved, there is no coming and going. This "AMness" is God.

Practitioners should never mistake this as the true Buddha Mind! "I AMness" is the pristine awareness. That is why it is so overwhelming. Just that there is no 'insight' into its emptiness nature. Nothing stays and nothing to hold on to. What is real, is pristine and flows, what stays is illusion.
etc

Actually it is just Presence. The nature of Presence is non-dual and empty, that taste must fully mature into a natural state, non-dual, full-blown, effortless and spontaneous, in all manifestations and situations Presence is tasted. But yet all kinds of views (based on subject/object duality and inherent existences) are thrown out, including the source/substratum paradigm, or any kind of metaphysical and ontological existence, or apophatic absolute.

In fact after anatta we do not need it anymore since Presence as being an ultimate background is seen through, it is just moment to moment powerful Presence is tasted as simply the very manifestation of colors, sounds, smells, tastes, touch, thought.


I am not very impressed with Bernadette Roberts, although her experience comes closer to anatta than most other Christian mystics so far. Most Christian mystics get to the I AM, but Bernadette Roberts dissolve the centricity of I AM into nondual experience, yet it is still not anatta realization.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/6/19 1:11 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Full, effortless, total Presence without contrivity, artificial constructs, center, division is not only possible, it will happen after anatta realization and Only with anatta realization, although what I mean by anatta realization here is quite specific and different from other kind of no-self insights.

But if one still holds onto a paradigm of an underlying source and substratum (a view based on duality and inherent existence), that is not anatta and the full, effortless and liberating total Presence will not occur with that paradigm.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/6/19 4:49 AM as a reply to An Eternal Now.
Was reminded of something I wrote last year:

The Transient Universe has a Heart

I mentioned earlier that I will write something about dull nondual experience and realising the Presence or the Heart.There is something tremendously alive, intelligent, a quality of pure Presence and that is nothing inert but intensely luminous (not in the sutric definition of purity and emptiness) but in the sense that the intensity of our cognizant mind evokes the sense of powerful radiance and illumination but without any separation between an illuminator and the illuminated, with absolutely no agent/perceiver/doer involved. It can evoke the sense of a radiance that is so intense that it completely outshines all visual darkness of night and brightness of the sun. This Presence is mystically alive, wondrous and magnificent, “more real than real”, and the complete opposite of an inert or merely some dull state of non conceptuality and absorption.This outshining of Presence-Awareness is not about some hidden invisible background existing behind manifestation (which will be perceived this way at the I AM stage) but is vividly manifest or “Presencing” (Presencing is a better word than Presence as it is not a static background or entity and none other than the dynamic stuff of transience) as the very “realness” or “vividness” of any appearance/display, color, sound, scent, touch, taste, thought, as if everything comes alive and there is something very wonderful and beautiful about it. The brilliant light of Presence-Awareness is none other than the body-mind-universe which when deconstructed and freed from self/Self/physicality is experienced as spheres of vivid light, colors, sounds, and sensations.This luminosity is also not merely a heightened state of clarity as I explained:

http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/…/luminosity-vs-clar…
“Someone asked me about luminosity. I said it is not simply a state of heightened clarity or mindfulness, but like touching the very heart of your being, your reality, your very essence without a shadow of doubt. It is a radiant, shining core of Presence-Awareness, or Existence itself. It is the More Real than Real. It can be from a question of "Who am I?" followed by a sudden realization. And then with further insights you touch the very life, the very heart, of everything. Everything comes alive. First as the innermost 'You', then later when the centerpoint is dropped (seen through -- there is no 'The Center') every 'point' is equally so, every point is A 'center', in every encounter, form, sound and activity.”There is a wide variety of methods to bring oneself to an abrupt stoppage of concepts and a face to face encounter of Pure Presence. All sorts of ways actually, some are safer and some are a bit more risky. For example Thusness, I, Ramana Maharshi, Ch'an Master Hsu Yun and many others have awakened through self-enquiry and we are exponents of the method of self-enquiry. Sim Pern Chong awakened to the I AM through breath meditation. Some get awakened through a mere pointing out by a teacher. Some awakened through yogic, tantric, kundalini paths. Ram Dass, David Carse and others have had their initial realization of the Heart-essence through the use of psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms, ayahuasca, 5-MEO-DMT, LSD, and so on. (I am not advocating the use of drugs here, just stating that some people have used them with such results) There are many other methods and koans I did not mention.And yet, many have awakened through a simple shout by a Zen Master or a Dzogchen Master. A sudden unexpected KATZ! or a PHAT! of a Zen and Dzogchen master brings one into the immediate thoughtless face-to-face encounter of the luminous heart-essence. At that moment, you just shift out from all that nonsense and garbage in your head into just that instance of being blanked out into Presence. It is not an inert trance but an alert, alive and yet thoughtless state of Presence. Try it!But whatever method one uses to introduce that initial glimpse and taste of Presence, it is always through the deepening of insight into non-dual anatta that brings that taste to effortless uncontrivance and full-blown maturity in all encounters and manifestations.So when one has access to a state of nondual, one should ask whether it is dull and inert or suffused with a powerful sense of Presence. After anatta this Presence is no longer seen as a background but vividly shining forth as the manifold dynamic and seamlessly interconnected display, and the play of dharma and dependent origination is something which is alive, not just inert and mechanistic as someone wrote. All the qualities of I AM - infinite like space, powerful Presence, Luminosity, Clarity, Vitality and Intelligence are effortlessly experienced without contrivance, and furthermore no longer seen as something hidden behind but fully manifested from moment to moment activity and the sense of cosmic Impersonality which was once experienced as being lived through a reified cosmic intelligence is now experienced as the total exertion where a single activity is the exertion of the Whole - an activity that is seamlessly connected and coordinated with the entire Whole, a spontaneous exertion of the Whole of seamless dependencies. In other words all the taste of Presence similar to the I AM, including all the four aspects of I AM and the experience of anatta as requisites are fully present in the experience of Maha suchness, which is an experience of greatness beyond measure, where even a single breath feels cosmic and limitless."The purpose of anatta is to have full blown experience of the heart -- boundlessly, completely, non-dually and non-locally. Re-read what I wrote to Jax.In every situations, in all conditions, in all events. It is to eliminate unnecessary contrivity so that our essence can be expressed without obscuration.Jax wants to point to the heart but is unable to express in a non-dual way... for in duality, the essence cannot be realized. All dualistic interpretation are mind made. You know the smile of Mahākāśyapa? Can you touch the heart of that smile even 2500 yrs later?One must lose all mind and body by feeling with entire mind and body this essence which is 心 (Mind). Yet 心 (Mind) too is 不可得 (ungraspable/unobtainable).. The purpose is not to deny 心 (Mind) but rather not to place any limitations or duality so that 心 (Mind) can fully manifest.Therefore without understanding 缘 (conditions),is to limit 心 (Mind). without understanding 缘 (conditions),is to place limitation in its manifestations. You must fully experience 心 (Mind) by realizing 无心 (No-Mind) and fully embrace the wisdom of 不可得 (ungraspable/unobtainable)." - John Tan/Thusness, 2014


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RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/6/19 7:42 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
Sounds like a lot of great practice emoticon

Your story and this territory are quite familiar to me, what I've found most valuable has been working to strengthen mindfulness & concentration throughout the day and making time for retreats. Hope that helps!

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/7/19 4:25 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
I don't have a diagnozed ADHD, but it seems like I have some symptoms emoticon Yea, definitely, my mind always wants to try new different things, instead of commiting to one.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/7/19 5:35 PM as a reply to Griffin.
Griffin:
I don't have a diagnozed ADHD, but it seems like I have some symptoms emoticon Yea, definitely, my mind always wants to try new different things, instead of commiting to one.



Right. I’m not sure we are talking about the same thing. I meant that there is a rushed progress, for good and for bad. A tendency not to wait for insights and skills to deepen and integrate. I’m not talking about conscious choices, but probably unconscious intensions that rush things. I think I may finally be learning to calm that down now, though, which I believe may be crucial to avoiding backlashes as things get more complex.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/9/19 12:29 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
Christopher Kerr:
Not the way I thought it would be. This probably unfolded over a many month period, but it happened in a couple obvious shifts. First off, it started with the visual field, and not allowing the periphery to collapse whenever the centrepoint was focused on something. Using The Mind Illuminated's terminology (I realize this isn't strictly TMI's ideas), when attention is in an object in the visual field, awareness has to be maintained. 

Once that's locked in, the spaciousness of the visual field became very apparent, which led to a micro shift. 


I think I've gotten a lot of this down. Not sure if it's locked in or not. I feel like I'm usually aware of the tendency for the periphery to want to collapse, and I am usually able to stop it from doing that. Sometimes it feels like I can't stay fixed on the center. The most remarkable thing for, which happened several months ago, was a shift where I realized I could focus on any point in space, not just on places where there are discernible objects.


The key moment was investigating the idea of feeling trapped behind my eyes. It's not true. It never was. If you directly investigate the sensations of your head and face, you'll find that you can't feel anything beyind your eyes...except the back of your head. That led to a sense of immediacy in the visual field. 

There's no inside and outside, no distance between the visual field and some phantom seer. 


This isn't there for me, certainly not with any consistency. When I try to investigate what's behind my eyes, my attention suddenly ends up elsewhere in my face...inside my mouth, or on the side of my head, or in back of my head. But I still sense that I'm trapped here. It just feels like "I" am off-limits to my investigation. Maybe this is worth exploring more.


"Can you say anything more about how you dealt with facial sensations?"

They're just there, and they have nothing to do with the visual field. I saw that I'm not trapped in my head. I can sink back into thought space (not really) at times, which amounts to living in thought and mental proliferation. Which this occurs the idea comes up that I've lost it, that I'm trapped again. As soon as I "push" out of that space and into what is seen, that idea is gone. It's about feeling into, and embracing the visual field. Just fall into it, lean into it. I'm looking at a phone right now, and it's as if I'm pressing into the phone. I'm embracing the phone and the phone is embracing me. 

Said simply, it's cutting out the background or any gap. It's seamless. 


I think I get what you're saying, but I wish this happened to me more than it does. Often, what happens instead is that I'm here in my body wishing that I could just melt into the rest of the world, but I can't, because I'm just here suffering for some reason that I can't even describe with words. Like, I try leaning into the computer screen...but it just mocks me because it then feels like the computer screen is just an image, and the sensations in my body are what's REAL at the moment. So I try leaning into those sensations...and they mock me because it feels like I can't sync up with them...like I need to abandon my fixed static images of body and attention in order to be able to get in touch with the realness of the sensations...but I can't figure out how to do that, because the more I focus on subtle fluxing sensations, the more my ability to use language seems to dissolve, and I'm just left with a horrible feeling that "this is wrong", and I snap out of it and feel like I'm back where I started.

You can ignore the above paragraph if you want. I was basically meditating while I wrote it, pausing every 30 seconds or so to describe what I was experiencing.


"Thought space seems important to me right now, in that the images have a location in physical space (and I can feel them in my face). Did you move past this point?"

Yes. It can start with thought. It kind of seems like thought arises somewhere in the head. But is that actually true? Really look. Thoughts are here, they're somewhere, but can you actually pinpoint where they are? Between the ears? Behind the eyes? In the crown? Can you actually locate thought? Can you locate the mind? 

I don't have the sense that they are in the head. I think maybe I used to. I can't remember too well. What it feels like now is that the thoughts are "out there" somewhere. If I imagine an object in a distant place, for example, I will either have the sense that (a) the image is in front of my face (but that I have to use something other than my eyes in order to perceive it), or (b) that the image is way off in the distance, wherever the thing itself is, but that space itself is small enough for me to perceive it as being in my vicinity. In both cases, I can feel sensations in the face that seem to correspond to these images. This is all really hard to explain. 

Thanks for the descriptions of your experience. They are inspiring for me to read.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/9/19 3:03 PM as a reply to spatial.
 But I still sense that I'm trapped here. It just feels like "I" am off-limits to my investigation. Maybe this is worth exploring more.

Yes, it is.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/9/19 5:15 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
 But I still sense that I'm trapped here. It just feels like "I" am off-limits to my investigation. Maybe this is worth exploring more.

Yes, it is.

Here's a problem I have:

Sometimes I'm in a state where I can investigate something like this. I can say something like "where am I located?", and I immediately get an answer, and I can put my attention there and see what happens.

Other times (such as right now), it just doesn't work. I ask the question "where am I?", and it's just meaningless words. It feels like my attention is too wide and spaced out to be able to make sense of the question. I hear the sounds, feel the muscles in my mouth and throat moving in order to produce the words, but it feels like a tremendous amount of effort will be required to extract a meaningful concept related to meditation from the words, let alone actually investigate the sense of self.

Yet other times, it feels like I can't even tell which of the above two states I'm in.

Is it worth expending the energy needed to "downshift"? Or, is this just causing unnecessary stress? Is there a tradeoff here between faster progress and smoother progress?

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/9/19 6:07 PM as a reply to spatial.
Sometimes I'm in a state where I can investigate something like this. I can say something like "where am I located?", and I immediately get an answer, and I can put my attention there and see what happens.

I know. I've been there. This is a stage-specific thing, so don't get caught up in figuring it out using direct investigation. At some point, the inability to find your self will become your primary quest. You'll feel like you're missing something "in there" somewhere and it'll just resolve itself, almost as if by magic. But you have to get to that point through continued practice. What feels to be off-limits now won't then.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/11/19 9:48 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Sometimes I'm in a state where I can investigate something like this. I can say something like "where am I located?", and I immediately get an answer, and I can put my attention there and see what happens.

I know. I've been there. This is a stage-specific thing, so don't get caught up in figuring it out using direct investigation. At some point, the inability to find your self will become your primary quest. You'll feel like you're missing something "in there" somewhere and it'll just resolve itself, almost as if by magic. But you have to get to that point through continued practice. What feels to be off-limits now won't then.

Alright, thank you. I guess I just need to keep working at it... emoticon

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
10/12/19 2:10 AM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Chris Marti:
 But I still sense that I'm trapped here. It just feels like "I" am off-limits to my investigation. Maybe this is worth exploring more.

Yes, it is.

Here's a problem I have:

Sometimes I'm in a state where I can investigate something like this. I can say something like "where am I located?", and I immediately get an answer, and I can put my attention there and see what happens.

Other times (such as right now), it just doesn't work. I ask the question "where am I?", and it's just meaningless words. It feels like my attention is too wide and spaced out to be able to make sense of the question. I hear the sounds, feel the muscles in my mouth and throat moving in order to produce the words, but it feels like a tremendous amount of effort will be required to extract a meaningful concept related to meditation from the words, let alone actually investigate the sense of self.

Yet other times, it feels like I can't even tell which of the above two states I'm in.

Is it worth expending the energy needed to "downshift"? Or, is this just causing unnecessary stress? Is there a tradeoff here between faster progress and smoother progress?


This is interesting. Right before stream entry I had the distinct feeling of subjective points (the observer) arising and passing inside my head, but since then I rarely do. Of course the illusion of a self is still there. Sometimes I enter states of centerlessness, and they differ from other states. Thus, the illusion of having a center must still be there most of the time. I don’t worry much about it, though. I don’t think inquiry with words would work that well for me. I feel that when I have the most clarity, words don’t come naturally. I trust that it will solve itself without words if needed.

RE: Tentative Third Path
Answer
11/19/19 11:28 PM as a reply to Christopher Kerr.
Are you reffering third path to anagami? Then who is the one who practice the jhanas? Is there a self still want to achieve and attain, moving in time?

Anagami is the one who realized that it is so easy to move and a self is born everytime, thats why they'd take brahmacariya, 10 precepts etc, to protect.

How can one still suffers so much from outside situation? Only those who still has a self, caught in feeling, cannot comprehend the truth, but think that they can. Who is the one who thinking anyway when they already walk the path and see there is no "I" that existing.

Though one practice any methods, dig any knowledge , been to any caves, mountaines, but still not living in the truth, he is not even a stream enterer, but just somebody who lives in the past because all he just seeking are experiences