The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I've been having so much fun lately! Things seem to be changing at a very fast pace, and I decided to start a little practice thread to have as a register which may prove useful later. I find it is useful to revisit previous "understandings," because after the event there is sometimes a period when one is "high" in some way, and during this period one is prone to mislead oneself on the content or relevance of a certain perceptual change. Then later, with a cool head no longer driven to blissful waking dreams, one is more sincere and sensible in understanding the extent of what has been transformed, and what else needs transforming.

In the last week days I've had some changes in perception, and after each such change I ended up with a verbal description of "what I think has just happened." I'm not certain they are entirely accurate, but here is how I have described them:
  • I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).
  • While investigating the feeling process, I found it to have a particular similarity with dreams. The whole feeling-process thing was seen to be illusory on some level, by recognizing in it a dream-like quality. This dream-like quality is not there when sensuousness is uncovered, and this has dispelled in me the previous subtle and mostly unconscious belief that life itself is an illusion. There is an actual world out there (and this is wonderful), and I'm wasting my time dreaming away!
  • After this episode, while walking in the park, I've experienced what I now think is an aspect of apperception. Richard was very correct when he wrote (my emphasis):
    Richard:

    Apperceptiveness is a word describing a condition which happens of its own accord and attentiveness depicts an activity that one vitalises with remarkable verve and vivacity which activates the quality that the word sensuousness specifies. What exactly they are will become clearer as one goes along ...

    So attentiveness is attention, sensuousness is that sense of sensory high-fidelity, and apperception is a sense of global integration happening by itself. In much better words:
    Richard:

    The word attentiveness articulates a cognitive probity and sensuousness is a word indicating a pre-emotional fidelity and the word apperceptiveness denotes a pre-identification integrity.

    I realize that although I've experienced sensuousness locally and momentarily [1], apperceptiveness, this integrity which puts everything together neatly, was never cleanly and completely established (that I can recall), but only partly approximated in various experiences. "I" am still very much in existence, an imagined dream-like existence wherein I inhabit, lost, confused and out-of-sync.
  • I've come to understand the vital importance of pure intent. It is the driving force behind the whole thing. It is only pure intent which allows me to return to sincerity. It is because of pure intent that I can be absolutely certain that I will not falter anywhere along the way to oblivion. Well, not for long anyway emoticon emoticon emoticon
  • I've had an episode, just prior to entering IKEA to buy some furniture, when the "happening by itself" aspect of apperceptiveness, was made clear, as well as apperceptiveness being "it's own attentiveness."
  • And finally, as my latest discovery, I think I have completely unraveled the mystery of my sexuality. While contemplating on the topic, suddenly, unbidden, arose the recollection of four specific episodes from my childhood (5-9 years old), and the whole sexuality thing seems to have been understood, as if the final pieces of an intricate puzzle had made it all click into place. I am curious about the practical consequences of this understanding.


And here we are, boy this is such an adventure!

Bruno

[1]
Bruno:
For instance just now I was eating brown rice stir-fried with red cabbage, trying to be attentive; my mind slips into a distraction for a while, and suddenly, by surprise, I notice how the light shines on the strip of red cabbage in my fork, I notice the beads of olive oil, the texture of the rice, and that amazing bright purple of the cabbage.
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Keep it up...great read!!

I have a question:
I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).



For me the exact opposite has happened. As I go deeper and deeper from emotions to feelings to the primal urge (my terminology) I experience myself as something over there. There is a divide between my anaffective conscious and the Feeling. And the Feeling is me and the conscious which is observing it is just this flesh and blood body. Perhaps you can help me understand this.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Jon T:
Keep it up...great read!!

I have a question:
I have concluded that the "sense of self" I was chasing was merely a belief. I think that this sense of self could be what is referred to as "I AM THAT" in the AYP writings (link), with which I have dabbled in the past. Because precisely, it was a sense of there "being something over there," which was supposed to be "me" somehow. This fizzled away, I am somehow more a "this" than a "that" (but still clearly in existence).



For me the exact opposite has happened. As I go deeper and deeper from emotions to feelings to the primal urge (my terminology) I experience myself as something over there. There is a divide between my anaffective conscious and the Feeling. And the Feeling is me and the conscious which is observing it is just this flesh and blood body. Perhaps you can help me understand this.


The sensation of me being "over there" all happened within the feeling process. It was not actual. I believe it was the product of insight practice, and might not have occurred at all otherwise. The feeling process ("I") believed that "I" was something ("a point") to be looked at, and it appeared (to "me") as if this point was "over there." In a PCE, neither "I" ("over here" or "over there") arises, the whole thing makes no sense at all. It was only after eliminating this "over there" sense that I realized that the following became clear:
Richard:

it is, plainly and simply, always ‘my’ choice as to how ‘I’ experience this moment


Before this belief dissolved, the way "I" experienced this moment seemed much harder to control. For the past week it has been very easy to change the way "I" feel about ongoing events and circumstances --- so that that while "I" sometimes feel bad due to unconscious habitual reactive responses, I can change this around very easily.
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Bruno Loff:
It was only after eliminating this "over there" sense that I realized that the following became clear:
Richard:

it is, plainly and simply, always ‘my’ choice as to how ‘I’ experience this moment


Before this belief dissolved, the way "I" experienced this moment seemed much harder to control. For the past week it has been very easy to change the way "I" feel about ongoing events and circumstances --- so that that while "I" sometimes feel bad due to unconscious habitual reactive responses, I can change this around very easily.


Could you go into that a bit more? I don't think Richard said anything about the need to firstly eliminate the "me over there" you're talking about in this thread in order to see how it is always 'my' choice. So since I also - like 99% of humanity - don't feel I am able to choose how I experience this moment, perhaps you can offer some further tips that Richard doesn't?
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Nad A.:

Could you go into that a bit more? I don't think Richard said anything about the need to firstly eliminate the "me over there" you're talking about in this thread in order to see how it is always 'my' choice. So since I also - like 99% of humanity - don't feel I am able to choose how I experience this moment, perhaps you can offer some further tips that Richard doesn't?


I can try. There is something about the feeling process which allows it to, ahem, torture itself (so to speak), while remaining oblivious to the fact that itself is the cause of this self-torture. So it is made to seem as if that is bothering me, when in fact it is just me bothering myself.

It is this something which prevents one from seeing that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me." (which was previously not at all clear to me either, but now is).

If it isn't clear to you that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me," you could try the following (this is merely a suggestion): ask yourself, "if I am not my feelings, then what am I?" Previously, when asking myself this question, there was an answer in the form of a "well, I am that," and this "that" was an intuitively felt place in the middle of the head, which I zealously seeked to uncover --- my attention would obsessively try to focus "there".

It was the intuitive answer to the question "who am I?," which at the time was not "my feelings".

Following Richard's hint that "I am a belief," and realizing that after many months of seeking for "that" (by feeling it out) I still hadn't come face to face with "it," I asked myself could it be that "that" is just a belief? and it seemed that this was the case, so I proceeded by trying not to believe "that," after which happened the perceptual shift I mentioned in another thread. "It" was made of belief (or so it seemed just prior to its disappearance).

From then on, it was clear that "I am my feelings and my feelings are me."

But maybe there are further tips on this in the AF-trust website?
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Well, if even you - after having read it and posted about it countless times - didn't see clearly that 'i am my feelings and my feelings are me' until this shift then I probably don't understand it clearly either.

What I have is a strong suspicion that what this 'I' in my consciousness is, is feeling. I find no other 'me' when I deliberately look carefully. If I am not my feelings then I don't know what I am. But I don't know for sure if I am my feelings either. It is a working assumption. I wouldn't say I believe in the 'I' behind my eyes in quite the same way you did. Though I naturally feel myself to be there, I don't go looking for it as if I think it is really something there. Upon inspection, the 'me' just shifts about and seems to be nothing that can be pinned down.

Since my PCE, my view has been that there is no 'me' - neither a personal me nor a grand united-consciousness 'Me'. It was the 'me' inside my head disappearing that was the most memorable thing about that experience.

How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Nad A.:

How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?


Gee, I guess I dunno emoticon They kind of came simultaneously. It seems to silly to torture myself.

Maybe it is just that the practice of doing it gained enough momentum?

Yesterday I investigated the compulsive movement in the neck region. It seemed to have something to do with wanting to "grab" perceptions to "know them." Beoman's post on intuition was helpful, that seemed to be what was happening. After realizing that, the movement diminished quite a lot, but was still there.

Later that day I had the impression that it was somehow related to desire for (the sensation of) control. The self wants to command, wants to believe it is in control. All the while the body just does its own impersonal thing. This need for control diminished a bit, and I remember having the distinct impression gosh, I thought I was in control, but I wasn't at all, all my meditation, dissolutions, insights, etc were all business as usual for the body. What a perfect machine!

This was followed by EEs.

Later that night, I found I was prone to irritation and petty agression. Which was surprising because I didn't "think of myself" as being an aggressive person. But as my self esteem has been going up lately (for no specific reason), and as I no longer feel like a shitty human being deserving contempt from others (a feeling I frequently indulged in for some reason), nor do I feel like a "do-gooder," and this seems to have uninhibited an undercurrent of aggression. I find it very interesting and new to investigate this aggression without the restraint of guilt. What am "I" really made of?
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Later that night, I found I was prone to irritation and petty agression. Which was surprising because I didn't "think of myself" as being an aggressive person. But as my self esteem has been going up lately (for no specific reason), and as I no longer feel like a shitty human being deserving contempt from others (a feeling I frequently indulged in for some reason), nor do I feel like a "do-gooder," and this seems to have uninhibited an undercurrent of aggression. I find it very interesting and new to investigate this aggression without the restraint of guilt. What am "I" really made of?



This is funny. First off, congratulations on no longer feeling like a shitty human being. And I loved the aside "(a feeling I frequently indulged in some reason)". Precisely how I feel.

food for thought...the aggression is similar to boredom? Is it an aversion to the self-immolation that is taking place?
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Shashank Dixit, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Hey Bruno...it seems like I'm somewhat at the same place as you are , though I'm not sure if its just a long EE ( which has been going on for quite some time ). I am increasingly able to see this actual world..it comes in glimpses sometimes..sometimes stays for a while and then a coarse feeling takes over. Sometimes it feels like I'm about to be AF soon..it feels as if there is just one last leap to take - to finally see that being AF will turn out just alright and its fine to let go of the real world.

So far I am still not sure that "I" am "my" feelings. However it seems to me that even if I don't know this is the case , I can still make very good progress and maybe all the way to end. What if I was not my feelings and that I was instead something seperate but only dependant on my feelings ? will that not lead to AF ?

However, like Bruno , recently I too had a big realization that this sense of "I" is just as much a feeling like any other (fear , anger) and infact I thank you Bruno for making me look into that direction from your recent post. I find Buddha's 12 links of DO ( from 'vedana' upto 'bhav' ) as a far better technical explanation of how vedana ( feelings ) leads to bhav ( becoming or "I" making or continuation of suffering...this is however just a guess because I see various definitions of bhav around).
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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How do you get from seeing that 'i am my feelings' to it being easier to choose how i experience this moment?



Insights for me seem to be coming pretty quick these days: Let me take a stab. I am my Feelings and my Feelings are Me. I observe my Feelings and Feeling tells me what to look for and how to process it. my Feelings control me trying to control my Feelings.

A few weeks ago, it occurred to me that I could control my Feelings. And it worked at keeping me happy for a few weeks until one particularly nasty day. By the end of that day I had regained control and came to realize that through a sincere logical investigation, I could understand those feelings. This was a week ago. So for the next week, I thought that I was my Feelings but that the observer was pure consciousness and not me. Now I think I see that I am the Consciousness, it is prompted by Feelings which is also completely Me and Consciousness is monitoring, analyzing and guiding Feeling. I can control Me and it has nothing to with willpower! Should Feeling cease to prompt Consciousness while Consciousness continues to monitor, understand and gently guide Feeling then that is being happy and harmless.
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Jacob Henry St. Onge Casavant, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Hi Bruno! I'm glad to hear you're doing so well and look forward to hearing how things progress. Thanks for starting a thread! Interesting about "integrity" and apperception.
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rich s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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6.And finally, as my latest discovery, I think I have completely unraveled the mystery of my sexuality. While contemplating on the topic, suddenly, unbidden, arose the recollection of four specific episodes from my childhood (5-9 years old), and the whole sexuality thing seems to have been understood, as if the final pieces of an intricate puzzle had made it all click into place. I am curious about the practical consequences of this understanding.


Can you elaborate, expand, and flesh out your complete unraveling? What part of the piece was missing? What is your current understanding of sexuality?
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Jon T:

food for thought...the aggression is similar to boredom? Is it an aversion to the self-immolation that is taking place?


No, it's more like irritation. It could well be aversion to the self-immolation process.

Shashank, we do seem to be in similar places.

rich s:

Can you elaborate, expand, and flesh out your complete unraveling? What part of the piece was missing? What is your current understanding of sexuality?


As this is a subject regarding whose details I do not wish to expose publicly, I will not post about it on the internet. If you wish we could talk through skype sometime and I can "elaborate, expand, and flesh out my complete unraveling."

My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.

Today was a very rough day. I am having horrific pain in my solar plexus, and terrific pain in my dan tien, chest, and throat. It seems that the whole feeling phantasm is being projected from the dan tien, with the cooperation of the other chakras (both in front and in the back of the body).

All of these points seem to be dry, stuck, sore, painful. I think this is grist for the mill, wood for the fire, par for the course, but any specific tips would be appreciated. Although I think I am experiencing what is described by Vaj in this thread.

As usual pain makes things a lot less fun. I feel tired.
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rich s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.


I am beginning to think maybe I misunderstood you. When you say you unraveled the mysteries of your sexuality -- do you mean in regards to sexual orientation (gay, hetero, bi)? Or are you referring to the whole human libido in action in general (whether gay, straight, or bi).
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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rich s:
My current understanding of sexuality remains to be tested :-) But I suspect that without the feeling process getting in the way, I will become quite more versatile (and much more unconcerned) in that regard.


I am beginning to think maybe I misunderstood you. When you say you unraveled the mysteries of your sexuality -- do you mean in regards to sexual orientation (gay, hetero, bi)? Or are you referring to the whole human libido in action in general (whether gay, straight, or bi).


Just my own specific preferences, which seem to have been instigated (at least partly) by specific episodes in my childhood which I felt as very erotic at the time (although I lacked that vocabulary). I was curious to know if anything would change regarding these preferences, but so far this hasn't been the case.

I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.

At least I've had a few good PCEs/EEs/whatever. Some of the understandings seem to be holding (importance of pure intent, imaginary nature of feeling). Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?

If I try to be naive, often instead I construct the self image of naivete "Oh, I am sooo naive." "I" am layer after layer after layer of bullshit and self-deception. Knowing what lies beneath, how can I keep selling myself short? Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better? Jeez, looking at the dirty ashtray at home, when under a PCE, is a gazillion times better than any love, bliss, ecstasy, insight, position, thrill, anything I've ever experienced. What am "I" waiting for?

Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.
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Shashank Dixit, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better?


Dunno why the same is happening with me too. When the "I" has already seen what is better(the actual world) , why does it keep getting back to the crap ? I guess its habituation of this "I" or some hidden concerns which "I" am not able to see or acknowledging them yet. Maybe I need to activate more sincerity and see them.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Bruno Loff:
Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?

i think i found the answer out for myself (in my 'the thinker' thread): simply stop doing that! remember when you focused solely on being relaxed for a while? try that again.

also i finally got the knack of not caring about the cycles. think of it this way - you're in a certain mood. you can bin it into "insight cycles" - A&P, dark night (fear, misery, desire for deliverance), Equanimity - or you can simply bin it into what it is, which is an emotion - "high, restless, afraid, anxious", etc. it doesnt matter if the anxiety is caused by an insight cycle, per se.. i think there's always some underlying reason for it. and if you really can't find one, then just focus on relaxing or ignore it until it goes away.

Bruno Loff:
Knowing what lies beneath, how can I keep selling myself short? Why do I choose, over and over again, to live in a pathetic imitation of what is right under my nose? Why cling to a dream when it is by now so evidently immediately obvious that the actual world is a gazillion times better? Jeez, looking at the dirty ashtray at home, when under a PCE, is a gazillion times better than any love, bliss, ecstasy, insight, position, thrill, anything I've ever experienced. What am "I" waiting for?

Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.

a lack of pure intent and/or sincerity. do you want to be happy at this moment, or caught in the strange loop? if you ask that and then continue in the loop, 'you' arent being sincere about wanting to be happy. and that's no reason to get angry at yourself! that's just what it is. muster up that pure intent by remembering the PCE, and be sincere about it.

as to hating your self, that happens a ton, and obviously gets one nowhere... maybe this might help: all your suffering is caused by 'you'. 'you' attacking 'you' doesnt really help. the whole thing will disappear anyway, so it might as well be in harmony. remember about intuition - it feels correct to keep hating and doubting, yet you know that really you shouldn't do that, so stop listening to your intuition. also remember the instruction to be happy and harmless. harmless includes being harmless to yourself. when you are stuck in a loop doubting yourself and hating yourself (hating something you are doing, which is the same thing), you are not being harmless. why feed those affective energies into hate?

or the short version is: all those questions you posed? just sit there, ask yourself that, and try to find an answer. for me i think a huge one has been lack of self-confidence in being able to get a PCE/4th path, and that caused all sorts of silly things like a focused drive that prevented progress.
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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B.C.D.Emu

Bruno
Why do I choose instead to be angry or sad that I'm not yet done? Is this very questioning just me fooling myself yet again? Gosh I hate it when doubt self loops into questioning the very questioning. Why do I hate it? I am a strange loop.

a lack of pure intent and/or sincerity. do you want to be happy at this moment, or caught in the strange loop?


Pure intent: Bruno, are "you' sure its bruno is completely ready/convinced to evaporate in order that the underlying being may move freely? Is there anything(s) the bruno is hungering for, would miss, may want, something your being does not need, but which the Bruno needs before going? Grossly put, sometimes a person must have nice things before they can give them away.

No pure intent: I can clearly see that yearnings in my earlier life would not have availed "me" to seek/intend no self, evaporation. That's fine, like inevitable stops on a road trip. I am grateful it's occurring now, and its acceleration has been a gift of the people here on DhO as well as people in my day-to-day life not some solo achivement. Intent is solo decision/realization, though.

"be" happy: just my experience here (and we're talking short window of time, a week or so) - that happiness/willingness/curiosity/engagement results from uncovering this being from hostile/ anxious attributes.

If "i" am having trouble with such uncovering/nipping in the bid/persistant feelings, then I find a moment to sit somewhere comfortably and look at the sky/outside/trees/sun/waterway and consider the "i" as its own belief, arisen through cultural shaping related to, but not in control of survival (survival involves as much luck as skill - of which can as easily be helped or hindered by an idenity). katy is no longer needed at all, what's left is still a unique individual, more like The Best of katy ($9.99, order now and you'll get a magic squeegee for FREE, yes that's a retail value of ...)

...but it is more like the "appropriateness of this ks-being" in any moment, given changing attributes (like fevers, pulled muscles, extra energy/well slept) that results (not a constructed or constructible perfection) - with which any other being can easily take umbrage regardless of the condition of "my" being). Seriously, even the Katy (if you will) is certain it's not needed, that the same unique entity is there (not hierarchically unique or special, just factually unique like anyone else), yet with less struggle.

[edits: clarity]
Nad A., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Bruno Loff:
I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.


Are things back to being harder to choose how you feel again?
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Nad A.:
Bruno Loff:
I'm also concluding that the last week and a half was yet another A&P, that I didn't solve my insight problem at all.


Are things back to being harder to choose how you feel again?


Yep. I think that greater feeling agility was a product of the A&P-induced high. Also I was slipping into a PCE at the subtlest hint of sunlight. We'll see what happens in the coming days.


----

I can take a guess at what is happening. I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.

However, I realized today that there isn't always a felt sincerity. For instance, while engaging in Claudiu's suggested exercise, of asking myself if I want to be happy and harmless right now, rather than into some projected future, my thinking process immediately says "yes," but my feeling process manifests resistance.

Upon investigation of this resistence, "I" don't want to be harmless, because "I" think I should/have the right to be really really angry at something. Furthermore, it seems that I was suppressing this anger to some extent (maybe still am!), so I let it vent (fortunately imagination can vent within its own imagined world, and I didn't hurt anyone or anything).

I really must and thus will investigate anger, particularly any suppression of any kind!

Thank you for your suggestions.
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Florian Weps, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Hi Bruno,

I appreciate your reports.

This struck me as very familiar:

Bruno Loff:
Why do A&Ps fool me over and over again? If I have decided that I want that simple peace more than any "insight" or "high" why do I ride those waves? Why this propensity to fooling myself? How can I keep that from happening?


And don't I know that place.

So far, the best advice I've received is "just relax".

I know it sounds too simple, but it is that simple. That which wants complexity is also that which tries to control circumstances ("How can I keep that from happening")

Whether viewed through the Buddhist framework ("ignorance is that which wants to understand, but can't") or through the Actualist framework ("resistance indicates that there is a choice"), it is the same old thing.

Regarding Ignorance vs Understanding, I love Duncan's way of putting it:

Duncan Barford:
Understanding is not a representation in the mind or brain but a penetration of consciousness by the thing understood. There’s a French proverb, tout comprendre c’est tout pardonner, which translates as ‘to understand all is to forgive all’. Understanding is a surrender of self, indistinguishable in many respects from compassion and love.

The world of spirit opens when we recognise our perception of the rose is a part of the rose, not a part of or a picture in our mind. No great artist ever painted a picture of anything. Instead they let the thing into themselves, accommodated it, aligned themselves with it, were penetrated by it. This is seeing.

So how do we learn to see?


The question, how do we learn to see is equally useful in Insight and Actualist terms. And the theme of surrender (or, more plainly, relaxing) is again applicable to both.

At least, that's how I practice at the moment. As I mentioned, I recognize that place.

Cheers,
Florian
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Upon investigation of this resistence, "I" don't want to be harmless, because "I" think I should/have the right to be really really angry at something. Furthermore, it seems that I was suppressing this anger to some extent (maybe still am!), so I let it vent (fortunately imagination can vent within its own imagined world, and I didn't hurt anyone or anything).

I really must and thus will investigate anger, particularly any suppression of any kind!


Florian Weps:
So far, the best advice I've received is "just relax".

I know it sounds too simple, but it is that simple. That which wants complexity is also that which tries to control circumstances ("How can I keep that from happening")

so so so true. seriously. next time you're angry, don't investigate it - just take a few deep breaths and relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax. just relax. focus on pleasant sensations if necessary. just chill out. i actually dont think the path must be as painful as we've been making it (or at least as i've been making it). "bust ass"-style enlightenment leads to painful things cause you are forcing your way through something you don't sincerely want to happen. but if you relaaaaaaaax... and gently investigate... or that might be just 3rd path stuff, but i finally understand it now.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Thank you both. I know that it is very important to relax. It seems very clear to me that all of the painful points I have in the body are caused by tension, which in turn seems to be caused by craving and aversion, and I conjecture these last two are themselves a result of the passions. The point then becomes "what is the best way to relax?"

After reading Richard Weeden's post (link), I've decided to practice the way he is describing it, since I realized this is actually what I do prior to getting PCEs:

Richard Weeden:

Gently rest the mind at the edges of the sense doors - looking at shapes, colours etc in their wholeness, noticing if the mind tend to fixate on any object particularly and enter cycling mode. If there any signs of this I let go of the fixation by shifting the awareness to another object or sense door.


In fact I have been arriving at the conclusion that it is this "fixation" which prevents the PCE from occurring. The more my PCE is "deep" (that is, the more my EE is PCE-ish), the less fixation happens in the perceptual field, the more panoramic perception is. I guess hence the importance of practicing with a panoramic attention.

Trent had a nice remark which I will keep in mind.

Trent:

try to neither express nor repress any feeling-- felicitous or otherwise. instead, be attentive of them while cultivating sensuousness-- that will allow for the magic of apperceptive awareness (the pce) to become one's experience.


It has repeatedly been made clear to me that sensuousness is the key that catalyses my PCEs. I still don't understand why naiveté is so important, because for me sensuousness always seems to happen first: I first notice the pre-emotional fidelity, and only after a while of consistently seeing it will wonder and naiveté appear. Since this is what seems to work for me, then this is what I'm going to do: cultivate sensuousness while being attentive of, and neither expressing nor repressing, feelings.

Gosh, I'm really glad DhO exists. There is so much to be gained by comparing practice notes.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Peter:

I was always wary that I may be kidding myself that some belief or moral or ethic had disappeared out of my life and I would often do what I described as sweeping out the cupboard. I would deliberately check over some issue, looking for deeper layers or something I had missed. But life is excellent at throwing up opportunities in the way of people, things and events that serve as a challenge to your happiness and as a prod to how harmless you really are. The only thing you have to be is sincere, but then again while it may be possible to fool others, to fool oneself is really silly.


I have a couple of issues that come up recurrently and insistently, and which no matter how much I've tried to dig into, they come up over and over again. These two make up about 80-90% of my mental chatter.

  • I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.
  • Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.


Also I am currently dark nighting, which confirms that I was previously A&P. And I definitely did not solve no insight disease. The clues were all there, I just chose to ignore them as typical of that stage. Here's a mental note for the next A&P:

"Don't fool yourself."
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hey i was/am in a similar place w/ those beliefs. they are quite related. it's no surprise you listed them together.

Bruno Loff:
Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate? i might bring your attention to:
Bruno Loff:
I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.
is that so? 'whom' were 'you' telling that when you wrote it? what is "the DhO"?

Bruno Loff:
I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.


if 'you' are an "actualist" is it surprising that 'you' want "others" to be "actualists" as well? who are the "others"?

do you think 'you' should be an "actualist"? before 'you' became an "actualist" was there a similar belief that took a similar shape (defending what 'you' are doing against "imaginary interlocutors" and imagining 'yourself' teaching what 'you' are doing to "imaginary others") that filled a similar gap?
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Jon T, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
tx u for your honesty bruno. I too have often imagined myself as a teacher and your phrase 'imaginary interlocutors' is poetic. beomans makes an interesting point about the interlocutors also being you.

fyi, the last couple of days I've been thinking about altruism and actualism. I agree with richard that one has to want to be free for the sake of humanity or else the self won't disolve itself. I believe this because as we are getting more and more happy there is less and less incentive to be free of ourselves. Only altruism can solve that riddle.

Only this actual world is worth anything. Whatever you value no matter how rationale it is is at best a half truth. The full truth is the wordless sensate Now. And this world deserves the full truth and nothing but the truth. e.g. I am of a political bend. My fantasies are often me arguing against the inane ideology of the Limbaughs and Becks. It occurred to me today that any truth I have to offer along those lines is at best a half truth. It has to be, because, I am so very ugly when I am warped up in disgust at others. And Truth is Beautiful.* Therefore, I, no matter how logical and precise, when in an imaginary argument must be only expressing, at best, a half-truth. And the world doesn't need more half truths. The world needs the whole truth and nothing but it. And the only way to give the world this whole truth is dissolve the ego and eject the soul.* It is a worthy sacrifice.

Logical clarifications:

*This can't be proved or even demonstrated.

Because this argument relies on an assumption that is not self-evident and because I enjoy this type of thing, I'll give a 2nd argument.


I am of a political bend. My fantasies are often me arguing against the inane idealogy of the Limbaughs and Becks. It occured to me today that any truth I have to offer along those lines is at best a half truth. It has to be, because, their idiocy disgusts me. It can be demonstrated that one persons disgust provokes an emotionally negative reaction towards the disgusted. And as emotions reach a higher and higher pitch, reason becomes more and more difficult to practice. Therefore my rationale opinion looses much if not all of its persuasiveness. Furthermore, my opinions are always based on what I believe is best for the human race. But the way I approach said opinions is usually emotional which distracts from reason and leads to conflict. Therefore taken as a whole my opinion is only a half truth. And the world doesn't need more half truths. The world needs the whole truth and nothing but it. And because it can be demonstrated that emotions lead to conflict, a very effective way of giving the world the whole truth and nothing but the truth is to discard the affective faculty. It is a worthy sacrifice.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
hey i was/am in a similar place w/ those beliefs. they are quite related. it's no surprise you listed them together.

Bruno Loff:
Actual freedom and meditation is an issue. I often imagine myself defending it against some imaginary interlocutor. My identity has been partially replaced with "meditator," "participant at DhO," "actualist," etc. I've elsewhere posted about actualist calenture.
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

Claudiu:
i might bring your attention to:
Bruno Loff:
I certainly do not lack sincerity --- I've never been so sincere about anything as much as my intention to attain actual freedom, and I am a very sincere person in general. My PCEs/EEs/whatever really convinced me to take this through to the end.
is that so? 'whom' were 'you' telling that when you wrote it? what is "the DhO"?

Bruno Loff:
I want to teach others. Quite a lot of my mental imaginations come in the form of me imagining myself teaching someone else about something; lately the content is, quite ironically, actual freedom. This comes up even when I'm practicing attentiveness. It is a mystery to me where this comes from.


if 'you' are an "actualist" is it surprising that 'you' want "others" to be "actualists" as well? who are the "others"?

do you think 'you' should be an "actualist"? before 'you' became an "actualist" was there a similar belief that took a similar shape (defending what 'you' are doing against "imaginary interlocutors" and imagining 'yourself' teaching what 'you' are doing to "imaginary others") that filled a similar gap?


It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?

sure, though i'll try to frame it as questions, but let me know what your answers are and we can keep going if there is more to clear up.

Bruno Loff:
Claudiu:
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

that's true, the general interaction was one of attacking yourself. now what about the content? you say 'you' are completely sincere about attaining actual freedom. yet here 'you' are finding arguments not to do AF (as an 'imaginary interlocutor'). what does that say about (part of) 'you'?

also not just an 'imaginary interlocutor' but also your 'friend's and 'mom' and 'dad' and whoever else may show up in your head is also 'you'. e.g. if you do something and hear your dad telling you that's bad... that's 'you' buying into authority, basically.

Bruno Loff:
It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

that's true, 'i' had/have the same feeling. like there's a standard and 'i' have to live by it or 'i' am not doing 'well'.

so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?

why do we follow a standard, generally? because we think its "good" (as in "correct" vs. "wrong" or "evil"). why is following the 'af standard' "good"? (why is it specifically recommended to avoid the words "good" and "bad" and use "silly" and "sensible" instead?)

more questions along this line: how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?

i do have my own answers but im not sure they cleared up everything so lemme know what you think, and i'll share mine later.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Bruno Loff:
Since you were in a similar place, could you share specifically what understandings caused these things to stop happening to you?

sure, though i'll try to frame it as questions, but let me know what your answers are and we can keep going if there is more to clear up.

Bruno Loff:
Claudiu:
as 'you' are both the "actualist" and the "imaginary interlocutor", what does 'you' defending AF against 'yourself' indicate?

That I was attacking myself? I actually cried a bit when I realized that, that was a good pointer, and maybe it will cause self-attack-defense thoughts to go away. Gosh I suffered so much at the hands of those imaginary judgemental attackers, it was good to finally realize they were actually me, since I want to be my own friend and I wasn't doing that in this instance.

that's true, the general interaction was one of attacking yourself. now what about the content? you say 'you' are completely sincere about attaining actual freedom. yet here 'you' are finding arguments not to do AF (as an 'imaginary interlocutor'). what does that say about (part of) 'you'?


It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this. Which has nothing to do with sincerity. I have pondered on your implied point: does the fact that the imaginary interlocutors are actually 'me,' together with them finding arguments not to do AF, imply that 'I' somehow am not sincere with regards to this goal?

The answer was no.

Claudiu:

Bruno Loff:
It all seems to have something to do with evaluating myself, trying to assure myself that I am "good." Although the precise causes and conditions are not unraveled yet: it is still happening, even when I realize it's all myself.

that's true, 'i' had/have the same feeling. like there's a standard and 'i' have to live by it or 'i' am not doing 'well'.

so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?


Various things from being a good PhD student to being a good friend etc.

Claudiu:

more questions along this line: (1) how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) (2) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? (3) why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? (4) why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?


(1) You can because of PCEs and EEs. They might not have been completely pure, but they were pure enough so that I see this path is worthwhile. More worthwhile, in fact, than anything else.
(2) I have not only read that many times, but I have pondered deeply about the meaning of each term, checked the dictionary to make sure I was getting it right, etc. My intent is pure: peace on earth as this flesh and blood body as evidenced by the PCE.
(3) Because they've done it themselves, because they manage to somehow spontaneously be incredibly helpful. I guess that just makes sense. I don't think it is a matter of authority, if that's what you're implying.
(4) I think because the change has to happen in the reader's mind, be the result of his own investigation. And a question points towards a direction to be investigated (rather than mapping out the territory that lies in that direction).

Trent:

what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?


Which was a terrifically useful question, and the issue seems to have been understood, we'll see if it gets solved. While wondering "am I insecure?" it turns out I was/am incredibly insecure. A mass of fear and nervous jitteriness was uncovered just below my solar plexus, which had yesterday night seen some terrific purification.

The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.

It seems 'I' feel alone (I'm a separate entity, go figure why? emoticon ), and 'I' am afraid to feel alone, and all the strife and mental discourses were about other people essentially casting me out from society, family and friendship ties, etc. Casting me out from DhO for not being a good actualist ha ha ha emoticon Gosh I had been looking forward to feeling silly exactly like this.

We'll see what happens, right now it's a sunny day and I'm off for a walk.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this. Which has nothing to do with sincerity. I have pondered on your implied point: does the fact that the imaginary interlocutors are actually 'me,' together with them finding arguments not to do AF, imply that 'I' somehow am not sincere with regards to this goal?

The answer was no.

ah ok. what i was getting at is that you have some doubts about AF, which you have partly figured out ("It seems that 'I' fear others will be angry at me for doing this.") there may be others!

btw, i dont doubt "Bruno"'s sincerity. but when "Bruno" sincerely wants to yet "others" (also "Bruno") don't, that's what i mean by not being sincere. i don't mean that "you" (the "you" that 'you' take yourself to be when saying that you are sincere) don't want it, just that there is some other part of you (that 'you' dont take yourself to be) not fully aligned with the goal.

Claudiu:
so evaluating yourself means there is some standard that you are comparing 'you' to. the standard is also just 'you', just part of your identity. what is the standard? where does it come from?

Bruno Loff:
Various things from being a good PhD student to being a good friend etc.

oh i meant "good" in terms of as an "actualist" - where does that standard come from?

Claudiu:

more questions along this line: (1) how can you be utterly sincere, more sincere than anything you have been in your life, about attaining something which you don't even know what it is? (the only way to know is once you're there. a really clear PCE does tell you all you need to know but i dont even have that, perhaps you do though.) (2) what does richard say the "intent is" (search for that phrase) in the attentiveness et. al. essay? (3) why do people request answers specifically from actually free people? (4) why do AF people not always just give the answer in full detail even if they probably know it?


Bruno Loff:
(1) You can because of PCEs and EEs. They might not have been completely pure, but they were pure enough so that I see this path is worthwhile. More worthwhile, in fact, than anything else.
(2) I have not only read that many times, but I have pondered deeply about the meaning of each term, checked the dictionary to make sure I was getting it right, etc. My intent is pure: peace on earth as this flesh and blood body as evidenced by the PCE.

ah ok. i think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.

Bruno Loff:
(3) Because they've done it themselves, because they manage to somehow spontaneously be incredibly helpful. I guess that just makes sense. I don't think it is a matter of authority, if that's what you're implying.

that is what i was implying. assume Trent replies to a question. now assume instead that RandomBonzo did, but with the same words (with a different tone and writing style, lets say, so to distinguish it a bit, but the same content). i think (maybe i am projecting) that someone asking for a reply from an AF person would not listen to RandomBonzo's words so closely as if it were Trent. i think its because you "know" that Trent's answer will be good, since he is AF and he must know this stuff!, but RandomBonzo's might not be cause who could he be? yet that doesn't reflect autonomous reasoning at all, it reflects believing people cause of who they are.
the credibility/belief doesnt come from nowhere cause they are indeed helpful answers. but tis still something to be investigated.

Bruno Loff:
(4) I think because the change has to happen in the reader's mind, be the result of his own investigation. And a question points towards a direction to be investigated (rather than mapping out the territory that lies in that direction).

yeah basically. to encourage the autonomous reasoning i was talking about (and not just believing people, whoever they may be).

let me know if this rings true at all. what i was trying to get at here was a belief in "Actual Freedom". orienting one part of yourself to believe and be faithful to AF, since it's obviously the way out to the ending of suffering. i think it explains a few of the things you've been mentioning:
  • having a standard of a "good actualist" (cf. good christian). there are things you must do, e.g. be happy and harmless (cf. be pious and don't sin), and when you're unable to you beat yourself up over it (which is encouraged in Christianity, e.g. by confessing your sins and such, but actively discouraged by those pursuing an Actual Freedom since it ain't something to believe in). this is you trying to live up to the standard your belief imposes.
  • defending your belief from others. just like when christians are questioned by atheists and become defensive (and that is encouraged), 'normal' people question AF and the 'actualist' becomes defensive (e.g. me defending the stance that emotions are hurtful and harmful against someone who thinks they are not only normal but good and beneficial). this is really you questioning your belief and you trying to convince yourself that your belief is good.
  • wanting to teach others, tell them about AF, 'show them the way' so to speak. this is really you wanting to believe more, reinforcing your belief, your piety =P.

actually you mention all this in the actualist calenture thread. and you summed it up really succinctly there:
Bruno Loff:
The actualist calenture happens when the ego and related processes identify with "actual freedom" as something to "be," and strive to imitate what they imagine actual freedom or a PCE is like.

so perhaps it is time to stop doing that? =). i recently realized i was doing it - or i suppose re-realized or re-re-realized, as tends to happen with some of these things - and i think that got me to stop a lot of self-berating i was doing.

---

Trent:
what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?


Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


ah i'm glad you have pinpointed a particular thing that was bothering you!

my answer was a more generic one: 'me'/'being' feeds on (and is made up of) insecurity/fear and doubt/delusion. as 'me'/'being' is the very thing being questioned, the resistance will manifest as insecurity/fear and doubt/delusion. thus as the self gets thinner and thinner and as one goes along more and more one can expect this to keep recurring until it's done away with for good. so: if you are feeling doubt and fear, take heart! you know there is an interesting issue to be investigated there, and perhaps you even know you're making progress. not to say you should cultivate fear, but if you feel it, maybe you can even be excited that there's something going on. hmm that's something i should try...
Trent ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


that was not what i was expecting as a response, but that’s alright … isn’t it neat that pure intent enables one’s innate ability to figure out one’s own self when provided even the slightest of hint (intended or otherwise)? by the way, this is one reason why i suggest people view and review the actual freedom trust material, regardless of whether it seems superfluous to do so.

i will answer the first two instead—so as to convey the meaning i originally sought to convey ... insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have everything in common with ‘me’ / ‘being’. after-all, ‘i’ am ‘the human condition’ and ‘the human condition’ is ‘me’. as ‘i’ am insecurity / doubt, ‘i’ may find that ‘i’ seek reassurance (perhaps from an ‘authority’ such as a ‘teacher’) … or perhaps ‘i’ seek to validate ‘my’ knowledge or ‘my’ direction or ‘my’ intent (or whatever) by demonstrating the behavior of a ‘proper actualist’. in other words, ‘i’ may (unintentionally) try to cope with the (internal) conflict (of ‘being’ insecurity) via disassociation-- projecting one side of it as/onto ‘others’-- and ‘i’ may thereby (having succumbed to the delusion) attempt to talk ‘them’ out of ‘their’ objections … which is, essentially, ‘me’ trying to talk ‘myself’ out of ‘my’ insecurity.

if this goes on unchecked, the root of the issue will also remain buried and unknown … one’s “nose” and “paws” are predisposed, lost in the fervor of trying to bite ‘my’ orectic tail. as soon as this is recognized as being the case, one may then cease going in circles, in favor of employing those tools which will allow one to find and eliminate the cause of the condition(ing).

with that said, how does this inform one's expectations of what (else) might arise until the process is completed?

trent
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
To add to what Trent said and happened to "me" today, I was in the actual world and it was perfect for the first several hours of my day and then something happened causing my identity to be overtly active for about the next 1-2 hours until I woke up and was like "what happened between perfection and now that caused me to feel badly." I figured it out and it cleared and I was back to the actual world.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

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Thanks Claudiu, you really had a point with that authority thing. Indeed, if RandomBonzo (ha ha ha emoticon!) were to ask me these questions, I might have the impulse not to pursue them honestly. In fact, at first this happened with the questions you made (I actually got irritated). I decided there was some stuff to investigate there, came to the same conclusion, and then asked myself the questions you suggested, one by one, as honestly as I could. It paid off emoticon

This makes me consider the utility of thought experiments to uncover the intricacies of identity (e.g. the RandomBonzo thought experiment you came up with).

As for the belief in actual freedom, this still happens to some degree. But for me it got a lot better (I think) after I've based my intent on the various EEs I've had. That defines the goal as a perceptual change for this body, which is completely different from fitting into some self-image, or arguing with others about anything at all. Furthermore, this particular change in perception is so drastic and unmistakeable, with such clearly defined criteria, that I am certain I could not possibly fool myself into believing I got actual freedom. But while the following sentence brings a smile of recognition:

Claudiu:

i recently realized i was doing it - or i suppose re-realized or re-re-realized, as tends to happen with some of these things.


in fact I really don't understand why you write:

Claudiu:

think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.


Why is this an issue at all? Sure I intend to have PCEs and AF, the only reason I am doing the whole thing is because of the various PCEs/EEs, that evidence peace on earth is both possible and fun.

---

Trent .:
Bruno Loff:
The answer to Trent's question, I tentatively concluded, was aloneness. There is this terrific article by Peter, really worth a read: The need to belong.


that was not what i was expecting as a response, but that’s alright … isn’t it neat that pure intent enables one’s innate ability to figure out one’s own self when provided even the slightest of hint (intended or otherwise)? by the way, this is one reason why i suggest people view and review the actual freedom trust material, regardless of whether it seems superfluous to do so.


Yeah, it's funny that I still haven't quite got the knack of getting it to happen as effectively without that push. I intend to collect a bunch of tips to make it happen more autonomously. Although it is really nice when someone gives you that one tip from their perspective, and it suddenly clicks, for I then often get: wow that was so obvious, why didn't I see that before?!. The self thrives on obscuration emoticon

Trent:

with that said, how does this inform one's expectations of what (else) might arise until the process is completed?


Are you referring to this dissociation possibly happening with the feeling of 'being' itself? It dissociating with itself trying to look at itself, dissolve itself by its own action just causing itself to remain in place that way?

I know this happens to me to some extent, as my attentiveness isn't just attentiveness, but also partially "me" trying to "change myself" (which is just part of the dream). But so far the distinction is a bit hard to make, and there seems to be enough attentiveness going on to keep the process going regardless.

---

Some ways of investigating feelings and calentures

(1) imagine the situation where such feelings might or might not be triggered. I.e., do a thought experiment.
(2) To investigate a calenture or belief, check one by one if the following passions could be the underlying cause (mostly just copied from the AF trust 'library of topics'):

Aggression, Beauty, Compassion, Conflict, Denial, Desire, Doubt, Fear (of death, of authority, ...), Female and Male Conditioning, Guilt, Hope, Humility, Intuition, Insecurity, Love, Malice, Moralisms, The Need to Belong, Nurture, Pride, Sex Issues, Sorrow, Superstition, Trust.

(3) Be mindful of dissociative process ("I am not this unpleasant experience, I am on the other side of it").

(do contribute any trick or procedure you know of, or particular hints or details for the procedures already listed)

Bruno
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
in fact I really don't understand why you write:

Claudiu:

think this was an issue specific to me, but i was intending to want a "PCE" and "AF" instead of intending to be happy and harmless.


Why is this an issue at all? Sure I intend to have PCEs and AF, the only reason I am doing the whole thing is because of the various PCEs/EEs, that evidence peace on earth is both possible and fun.

i put them in quotes to indicate that i was trying to get a "PCE", as in my mental image of what i thought a PCE would be like. the issue is/was that i dont have a clear recollection or experience of a PCE, so i really have no idea what it's like, and it is an unimaginable experience (can't imagine having it as imagination is affective) so any attempt to imagine what it's like and try to experience the world that way is doomed to fail (it's the opposite of naivete).

that's probably only true for those who can't remember or have a PCE yet. once i've had a few, inclining my mind in that fashion seems the most direct way (remember what a PCE is like and find it here and now). until then, what i really gotta focus on is naive attentiveness while activating felicitous feelings
Trent ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
what does insecurity / fear and doubt / delusion have in common with 'me' / 'being'? how might that manifest in one's experience? how does that inform one's expectations of what might arise until the process is completed?

trent
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Today in the park I had the distinct sensation that there was a feeling of space being projected onto the visual field. The visual field being perfectly clear except for this projected "reality." It seems the tension in the neck and back of the head is happening due to this projection: this tension is the "beamer", so to speak. And the crown and third eye chakras are playing a role in this fabrication, continuing the analogy they seem to work as the projector screen. Since these regions of the brain are supposedly where understanding and higher level cognition happen, this could well explain feeling that something is real, when it is not fact.

It also seems that the way to see through it, to dissolve this sense of space, is to be completely fully super engaged into what is happening right now. I mean super engaged, like the nerves are just sucking in everything.

This is, however, a tentative interpretation of some experience, and I often change my mind about these.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Over the past week or two, I've had a few quite difficult days. The harsh discomfort of existing has shown itself on numerous occasions; it felt pronouncedly unpleasant to "be." The sensation is of restlessness, agitation, the impulse of throwing an angry tantrum at having to do this trip locked in this vehicle. All the while, the trees and leaves dance magnificently "outside", but "I" hate looking "out the window."

I was repeatedly assaulted by discontentment and exasperation, and suffered through entire days when reality took on a bland, wearisome and oppressive flavor. If only I was not so adamantly convinced that the universe is perfect as-it-is, if the memory of my brightest Excellence Experience did not resurface to reinforce my intent, I would have surely bought into the foolish mental fabrications that relentlessly assaulted my resolve. I also snipped this quotation from Richard's Journal:

Richard:

However, a word of experiential advice: just prior to apperception occurring, ‘I’, the beholder – the one who wants to be in control – can view life as being bereft of depth. Everything can become flat, two-​dimensional, barren and stark. This is not actuality, although one may be inclined to feel it to be so. This is reality, stark reality, and is not to be confused with actuality. Actuality is never, ever, stark. This starkness can influence one to pull back, to retreat into ‘normal’ life. Courage of one’s conviction and confidence in the purity of the actual is essential if one is to proceed. All of one’s ‘being’ wants to back off and regain the once-​despised reality that looks so attractive now, from this extreme position. This stark reality is a barrier; it is a desert of monumental proportions that one can only traverse if supplied with the fortitude garnered from the peak experience. Then one is willing to endure the ghastly reality masquerading as the actual. The very ground beneath one’s feet can appear to shift, to disappear, and all seems to hang upon nothing. Unsupported and alone, one is in the outer-​most reaches of ‘being’. The feeling is that one cannot survive this appalling emptiness without going mad. To be in durance vile is not for the faint-​hearted, the weak of knee. Nerves of steel are essential if one is to meet one’s destiny. It is the adventure of a life-​time.


I still imagine myself teaching others about the most various subjects, from the right way to cook a pizza, to much more bold suggestions on how they should be living their lives. I still try to imagine what it will be like to be 'actually free.' My mental chatter box is so relentless...

I am happy to register, however, that the imaginations where someone would accuse me of wrongdoing, leading me to mentally defend myself against my own imaginary phantasms, have subdued considerably.

This weekend I've had a delicious visit from Clayton, a friendly asshat who most frequently posts over at KFD. His advice towards nailing 4th path: look at the sense of 'not being done' over and over again. I asked him if there was a specific location in the body where he experienced this sensation of 'not being done' before he got 4th, and he told me it was mostly related to the heart chakra, which went through a significant opening at the moment of path attainment.

So I proceeded to focus on the heart region, which at first seemed dead, but the deadness turned out to be tension; this tension became markedly sore as I investigated further, and then it started to twitch, tingle, pulsate and itch, all accompanied by an increase in pressure and a variation of the existential discomfort I mentioned earlier. And this is where things currently stand.

But we are having a long sequence of splendid sunny days here in Amsterdam, including even a balmy warm breeze so rare in these parts --- just this weekend, the emerald green grass looked so luscious that I was briefly taken by a herbivorous impulse (surely from the time of my previous reincarnation a cow).

Moo!
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
His advice towards nailing 4th path: look at the sense of 'not being done' over and over again.

aye i've recently (re)discovered this sense of 'not being done' to be such a huge painful source of painful pain. generally it seems i'm not very equanimous with negative sensations. that seemed to mean i was taking them to be me (as opposed to just more sensations), and realizing that took the bite out of them. but it seems the sense of not being done i had never even considered it might not be me.. so whenever it arose i'd immediately react to it (negatively). but yeah it really is just something else to investigate, isn't it?
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
Yea, the being can get pretty ruthless with the passions but the deeper you are attentive and investigate, the more pleasurable, engrained, and easy sensuousness becomes until you can get into a peak experience easily and those are just awesome and soooooooo satisfying. One has to figure everything out for themselves on how to make key actualizations. This is the way to improvement and satisfaction. Being on the edge of being is sometimes dull/bland but right now, for me, the daily and extremely fun/satisfying peak experience is worth all the trouble.

Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:
Yea, the being can get pretty ruthless with the passions but the deeper you are attentive and investigate, the more pleasurable, engrained, and easy sensuousness becomes until you can get into a peak experience easily and those are just awesome and soooooooo satisfying. One has to figure everything out for themselves on how to make key actualizations. This is the way to improvement and satisfaction. Being on the edge of being is sometimes dull/bland but right now, for me, the daily and extremely fun/satisfying peak experience is worth all the trouble.

hehe sounds like you're having fun. i'm also enjoying sensuousness more and more.

Adam Bieber:
Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."

i had given up on it, though it was still gripping me. then i gave up the gripping for a bit. that resulted in a really sweet shift where i could so easily be 'the doing of the moment'.. just it became so much easier to observe my movements and to look at everything in a panoramic way. so i was like "sweet there's still good stuff here". recently i had another one which now i can see that bodily sensations really obviously arise & fall at that very spot. e.g if i rub my hand on my leg, it's like there's the feeling of touch - on my hand and leg (as opposed to more of a 'me observing the hand and leg sensations from over here').

so i think there are goodies left there. attentiveness/sensuousness seems to be a good exercise for 3rd path anyway, so i guess there is progress on both fronts, there, and im finding it relaxing to close my eyes and meditate occasionally. particularly i realized i really dont feel many parts of my body.. there are like hot spots that draw the attention in and kind of muddled areas. the two sits ive gently brought the attention to all parts of the body have been really calming.

end goal is AF.. but this seems to be reducing suffering along the way.. which also incidentally helps with the actualist method!
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
sweet shifts are the actualizations that lead deeper into the actual and the diminishment of the self and passions. Like I said, these sweet shifts can only be found, understood, then implemented by you (with help from readings) and then will change the way you practice/the strategies. Sweet shifts are also like the strategies for you to consistently implement in order to progress. They do "feel" great and "feel" great for a reason. Because they are right. If a sweet shift makes you happier, more harmless, more attentive, more sensuous, then gently stay in the shift until you find more deeper shifts, which there will be that will take one deeper into the enjoyment of the actual. Sometimes a shift is found but has to be consciously implemented to take the shift from a working progress to automatic. Right now, my current shift, is "being" the mind. "I" see with the mind sort, take in all the senses, and investigate. Most of the time, there is a subtle feeling. Then after some time, i forget about investigating and just fully enjoy where I am.

I don't pay much attention to meditation anymore but if its fun and easy then have fun. I'm getting more and more into how actualism is the adventure of one's life because your investigating the being and the deeper you go with attentiveness, the deeper and more joyful sensuosness/peak experiences get. I also close my eyes and just relax. Its so enjoyable to just sit/walk around now and sink into the relaxation/happiness. Sometimes I just sink into the actual losing all drive to do but instead just enjoy.

I am still in school and not fully sure how I am going to "make a living" but "I" know "I" must be fully free. I am obsessed now. It is the most important thing in my life. Being in a peak experience/PCE is just so much better than not being in one. Some settings like the sunny outdoors are much easier to get into a peak experience/PCE. Also, when "I" am "going" for a peak experience, I put on my glasses to make everything look clearer and better. I have definitely gained a certain momentum to keep experiencing the actual. Who knows if theres more out there after a AF, doesn't seem so, but to get AF first is "my" way to go into the happy perfection of the actual. If you do the work, you get the vast rewards, plain and simple.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:
I also close my eyes and just relax. Its so enjoyable to just sit/walk around now and sink into the relaxation/happiness. Sometimes I just sink into the actual losing all drive to do but instead just enjoy.
that's part of my issue - it's hard for me to just relax. too much tensing from meditation, i think. i've been gradually working on that. it seems a large part of it has been that i haven't had much equanimity regarding negative sensations, so as soon as they'd arise i'd get all scrambled trying to do something about them. i find closed-eye meditation to be a good way to learn to be equanimous towards all sensations, and i think that equanimity is helping during non-meditation-sessions as well

Adam Bieber:
Also, when "I" am "going" for a peak experience, I put on my glasses to make everything look clearer and better.
recently i got contacts, and i find i am enjoying the lack of visual distortion that glasses provide (e.g. keep your eyes focused on one spot, then turn your head to the right - everything gets kinda compressed). makes it even easier to enjoy the visual field
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Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Adam Bieber:

Also, I don't really understand why both of you are still trying to "nail" 4th path. Focusing and obsessing on happy and harmlessness/sensuousness/PCE will bring greater satisfaction than mctb 4th path etc. focusing on path seems like a time waster. But thats just how I "feel."


4th path WILL make it much much easier if pure intent takes hold. I seem to have begun a dismantling process I can't stop as it seems too easy. And prolonging sensuousness is a piece of cake.

That grinding harsh insight disease goes away as well. So Claudiu may not have to deal with the "gripping".

Claudiu: "i had given up on it, though it was still gripping me."


If pure intent has already taken hold pre-4th path, I don't see why AF can't be taken as a sequential occurrence after 4th. Technically it seems MCTB 4th can be done quite quickly. Tarin, Trent, myself and a growing number of other yogis I think did it within 6 months to a year from 1st path to MCTB 4th path. Then seemingly very quickly (within a year) from 4th to AF for most of those admitting AF. It seems much quicker to go via that route to AF than no path and then AF or so the numbers so far tell us of those who haven't gotten at least 1st path then AF.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*:
If pure intent has already taken hold pre-4th path, I don't see why AF can't be taken as a sequential occurrence after 4th. Technically it seems MCTB 4th can be done quite quickly. Tarin, Trent, myself and a growing number of other yogis I think did it within 6 months to a year from 1st path to MCTB 4th path.
sweet only a month for me to go then! =)

i dont feel like "gunning for 4th path", since that approach didn't work for me (got me really wound up). from what i remember of reading about your 4th-path-sit, you were not-very-calmly wondering "what am i missing?!?" and then it clicked for you, but i just get caught up in circles. but calming down, feeling my whole body, light panoramic awareness while walking around, seems to be doing it. so maybe it will end up in 4th path before AF, i dnno. currently the two processes (if they are separate) seem intertwined, each one helping the other (vipassana shifts make it easier and more effortless to observe everything and increases sensual clarity[1].. that makes it easier to enjoy the senses and feel good, which makes attentiveness+sensuousness easier and removes the hold emotions have.. those processes lessen the importance of the 'self' which makes it easier to observe the sensations that make it up (it unsticks me from the circles/from mental squeezing), which seems like it leads to vipassana shifts).

[1] i like vipassana shifts cause i dont have to 'do' anything once they happen. its like sweet, this is now my baseline (unless im overwhelmed by an emotion). they move up the baseline in quanta - discrete steps. actualist method shifts is not really shifts but just a continuous process of slowly lifting the baseline, so it's harder to notice.. though any given day it seems like the senses are brighter than the week before. but by this point i dont even know what particularly im doing to make them brighter.. it seems like it has become automatic to a certain extent
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Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
YEh, I don't think "gunning it to 4th" will work. There seems to be a certain amount of "giving up" and "surrender" to the process. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that is what Tarin did throughout the paths. I also gave up at the last minute of wondering what the hell was there to do and just finally having the point rammed home that "I" had nothing to do with getting it done. But here's a question, are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations? That might be something to look at. The non-sacredness of all phenomena" was the phrase which finally did it for me. I looked carefully at the sensations of the centrepoint as they were being put up on an imaginary throne. When they were seen completely through, that is when the thing flipped, and things became less sticky, and the gripping insight disease dissapeared. I have called 4th path not so satisfactory and it isn't by my high ideals. But it sure beats 3rd path and seems ideal as a launching pad for AF.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*:
YEh, I don't think "gunning it to 4th" will work. There seems to be a certain amount of "giving up" and "surrender" to the process. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think that is what Tarin did throughout the paths. I also gave up at the last minute of wondering what the hell was there to do and just finally having the point rammed home that "I" had nothing to do with getting it done. But here's a question, are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations? That might be something to look at. The non-sacredness of all phenomena" was the phrase which finally did it for me. I looked carefully at the sensations of the centrepoint as they were being put up on an imaginary throne. When they were seen completely through, that is when the thing flipped, and things became less sticky, and the gripping insight disease dissapeared. I have called 4th path not so satisfactory and it isn't by my high ideals. But it sure beats 3rd path and seems ideal as a launching pad for AF.

hmm well i meditated ~4-5 hrs yesterday with 30 min breaks in between. i found that the (reclining) sits generally started with unpleasant sensations and states of mind, and then regardless of what i did - whether i was relaxing, or expanding the space in front of me, or seeing all sensations as selfless, or seeing them all as equally (un)important, or giving up control - i eventually get to a 4th jhana+equanimity state (i say equanimity cause there's light blue color in my vision which i've come to associate with that nyana). then i hang out there for a bit, faintly cycling (as i notice gaps, dimming of vision, brightening of vision, tingling, coming+going, so i think i am fruition+cycling) but the cycling doesn't disturb the equanimity much. then it's just like everything is totally ok.. i can move my head, and it doesn't affect the state. i can move my body around.. think whatever.. everything is just fine.

there are slight variations of the equanimous state.. like sometimes all sensations seem like they're in the same place, be it left foot or head. sometimes my body feels as one.

it's all quite nice.. yet after i get up, even with only 30 mins to the next sit, the next sit starts out unhappy, then leads there again.

i even resumed noting a bit and that seemed to budge it a bit but it ended up in an even 'deeper' version of the equanimity that also didn't budge.

it doesn't seem to be going anywhere.. hmm i guess that's the hallmark of equanimity, though..

what's also annoying is that it doesn't last. during the 30 minutes i was being attentive and such, but the following sit would still start off unpleasant.. and after the last (4th) sit, mood went quite down 1 hr/2 after that. though immediately after it's pretty nice. but i cant sit for ~20-30 minutes (about how long it takes) whenever i feel unhappy during the week
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Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
I think Tarin's advice can also apply to MCTB 4th path:

Tarin:


i'm writing this for stream-enterers, to suggest an alternate way of
doing 2nd path; alternate, that is, to what daniel ingram writes about
in 'mastering the core teachings of the buddha'. keep in mind as you
read this that the evidence behind this suggestion is mostly based on
the experiences of one person, me. i should also point out that in no
way am i knocking what worked so well for me for getting 1st path. i
would probably still be wandering around aimlessly, alternating
between getting oddly neurotic about my crap and spacing out into
equanimity and the formless strata, if it weren't for daniel, his
book, mahasi, and the maps. however, my rapid success at finishing 2nd
path makes me think this is worth putting out there because the method
i employed was so markedly different from how daniel portrays 2nd path
practice that i think other people should know about this alternative
as a possibility.

daniel recommends doing 2nd path like he recommends doing 1st path:
note note note, rise through the cycles, let it sync up, pop a
fruition. i did not do this. in fact, although i'd already dropped
into the next mind-and-body, i thought it might be better to not start
another path so soon and made no effort to cross the a&p. i went about
my daily life, making little or no time for formal practice, and
electing instead to, purely out of curiosity and fascination, watch
inclusively and in particular to see through the sensations that make
up the notions of 'inclusive', 'watching', and 'centre' whenever it
occurred to me to do so, or whenever it just happened on its own
(which, upon reflection, happened pretty often). the times i noticed
the cycles at all, i noticed them in a very basic and uninterested
way, made no effort to investigate them or the sensations that make
them up, and only recognised when i'd broken into a new stage after a
day or two had already passed. in retrospect, the a&p was inspiring
and energised, the dark night sucked, and equanimity was equanimity..
but i wouldn't have been able to tell you that while it was going on
(except by two days into the dark night, i knew it sucked).

here is the suggestion:
if, in working on 2nd path, you find yourself scrambling up the
insight ladder just because you think you're supposed to, but are not
sure why you're doing this, it might work for you to focus on seeing
the quality of the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive
way, keeping a clear eye on the so-called background to see if
anything's moving around back here. ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.

it didn't occur to me, for the most part, to try to move from one
stage to another, but while i was in the dark night, i got concerned
about making progress for a day or two. but when it occurred to me
that i was only doing that because of pain and worry, i resolved to
stop running away and promptly did. if you tune your eye in to the
here and now, all that stuff will just rush by like water going down
the drain. just keep re-tuning your eye to this, knowing that none of
it is the solution. scary, mildly yet deeply painful, but try to run
this process in the back of your mind again and again while you're
going about your day. that's all i did, and less than a week after
crossing the new a&p, i got a fruition that left the background
shattered thoroughly and in an entirely new way. i had no idea i was
that close. it took a few hours to be sure i'd really finished the
path (but that still beat the few days it took to be sure about the
first one), and when i'd answered that question to my own
satisfaction, the certainty did not come from having had another
fruition, but from the clear difference in my baseline (read: right
now) perception and the diminished level of solidity in it.

so, once again:

see the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive way, paying
careful attention to the totality of experience as well as what seems
to be 'outside' that totality. don't get caught up about what things
mean and if you do, don't give a shit that you're caught up cos you're
not really, you just think you are. just keep paying attention in such
a way that nothing will take it away. the cycles may, and probably
will, happen, but ignore them and basically just practise as if you're
already in equanimity regardless of what shows up.

you don't have to wait until going for 3rd path to do this if it makes
sense to you to do this here and now.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
hehe this is all getting really old.. reading stuff i read and did months ago, seeing that it still applies now, doing it again.. ty for re-iterating that, though..

a few minutes ago i noticed that i was actually feeling really really nice and calm and peaceful and everything was really nice, and that 5 hours of equanimity/4th jhana/whatnot seem to have been helpful.. then i noticed it again.. then i noticed it again.. and again.. then i noticed that i wasn't just noticing and enjoying it but i kept thinking about it and the latter was markedly disturbing me.. (and the baseline calmness really helped to make that clear and not get caught up in it). so:

don't get caught up about what things
mean and if you do, don't give a shit that you're caught up cos you're
not really, you just think you are. just keep paying attention in such
a way that nothing will take it away.

indeed.
k s, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: The disappearance of "Bruno" (practice thread)

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
Absolutely:

here is the suggestion:
if, in working on 2nd path, you find yourself scrambling up the
insight ladder just because you think you're supposed to, but are not
sure why you're doing this, it might work for you to focus on seeing
the quality of the sensations here and now in an open and inclusive
way, keeping a clear eye on the so-called background to see if
anything's moving around back here. ignore everything that is not
obviously the clear and direct answer of paying attention here and
now.


Noting has always reinforced for me "Observer", "Awareness", some central entity, ultimately a form of katy ever sans identity.

It is very very easy and straight forward to be the senses to the degree that self-interest allows its own abeyance (e.g., one's identity becomes really curious/needful to do this), even if only for a brief, albeit authentic, window of opportunity.

A person doesn't need to have constant intention to evaporate i-ness, just a single moment will do in which a person is sincere and willing to take advantage of that opportunity. At that moment, sense.

The "practice" of sensing is a great part of cross-training in dissolution, if there are no contra-indications (as with the other efforts/training).
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

Not my toilet

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon

haha awesome! i believe all these tips are pointing to the same thing...

Nick Yeti:
Are there any sensations which appear to be "more important" or of higher status than other sensations?

there certainly are. up until very recently, all the negative ones have been really important - like gah no not the negative one! no this sucks! fwiafeofa! im learning to calm down about those..

the tension in my head in particular has been really important..and i really haven't wanted to look at it, cause when i do i cramp up. but doing the body-feeling practice has diminished it greatly. basically i plan on calming down enough until i can look at it all equanimously.. and not seeing it as important or special or 'mine' is certainly a good tip that i'll keep in mind

it's not my toilet - haha. i'll remember that one.

the fear has been if i let 'it' do whatever it wants ('it' being the negative tension/sensations) then 'it' will eat me, or something. but it seems quite the opposite - being averse to it lets it eat me
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
It is not my toilet emoticon

also: the good sensations aren't mine, either. i was sticking to those, too. does something feel cool when meditating? do you think youre making progress? also not your sensations.

when yo'ure in an awkward place.. or waiting for sometihng to happen (like you feel an energy blockage is about to move so you watch it) - also not yours..

methinks there's just the awareness. awareness being aware of awareness. thats probably what the "turn the light of awareness on itself" line is getting at. there's no room for 'me' in awareness.. so being aware of awareness is a good way to automatically be equanimous and see sensations as selfless. that might also be why apperception seems to help in getting 4th path. hmm, i wonder if that's why that instruction worked particularly well for him, having had a PCE already (just a few hours of doing it and he finished), and why a PCE happened right when he succeeded.. though then i wonder why people don't get enlightened after their first PCE. EDT: or i just dont know what im talkin about

another thing: i noticed that i would try to see sensations as selfless. 'that is happening by itself', i'd tell myself. but that is different than just seeing the sensations as selfless. meaning.. i was trying to look at them a particular way, instead of just finding out how it actually is

EDIT: oh the other one i just tried is: do a reclining meditation where the back of your head is touching something. perceive the back of your head - it seems to be way behind you. perceive what youre looking at (closed eyes or not) - seems to be way in front. so using those two, looking back and looking forward, try to find exactly where you are...
Adam Bieber, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 88 Join Date: 6/1/10 Recent Posts
Just saying, although my last several days were great, today was a little dull/bland. couldn't seem to dissipate the being and was locked in the passions for most of the day. Just trying to be as happy as humanly possible and it works but for temporary periods, other wise I'm content. maybe I need to be more harmless. I am investigating hardcore, which might over express the being instead of becoming harmless.
Matt Lowrey, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
Bruno Loff:
I was discussing with Guilherme the yesterday, who got 4th very recently, and asked him if he had some tips or suggestions to nail 4th. He happened to have something to say, which was very funny. Below is an approximate translation of the dialogue from the original Portuguese.


Gui. You told me previously you had energy blockages.
Bruno. Yeah.
Gui. Well you have to stop seeing them as a problem, stop seeing them as important.
Bruno. How do I do that?!
Gui. Hmm... Well, suppose the toilet is clogged... Does this bother you?
Bruno. Heh emoticon well, I guess I'd prefer if the toilet wasn't clogged!
Gui. Ah, but here is the point: it's not your toilet! You think the energy blockages are yours.
Bruno. hmm...
Gui. There is an 'owner' there, isn't there?
Bruno. hmm...


I would like to say that I got enlightened then and there, for what better a koan than one involving a dirty toilet!

The koan had such an aesthetic appeal, that the past day I found myself thinking repeatedly:

It is not my toilet emoticon


hehe! That brought a chuckle.

I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 2198 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
Matt Lowrey:
I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?

something dan said on nick's blog may be relevant (emphasis mine):

Dan Bartlett:
Also I am moving away from the clarity and investigation aspects and seeing that it is all about me and my feelings, and all being together in this, all wanting this, so that there is nothing outside to get in my way.
...
I moved in this direction after some deeper clarity into 'I am my feelings..', such that I saw clearly that all I was afraid of – my fear and anxiety - was also me. That feeling of fear being 'out there' took a solid hit – it was just me scared of myself! If I am my feelings and my feelings are me then it is only inner conflict that corrupts pure intent, and the way to generate pure intent is to recognise the entirety of being (literally all that I am) and gently establish a unified intent. For me, this lead to a state that felt almost solipsistic. Everything was seen as me, yet the illusion of me was also apparent.

It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail. It is the energy of feelings that makes it feel as though what I am afraid of is 'out there', but it is just me battling myself due to the heart of the illusion: the apparent split between me and my feelings. Insight into this illusion reduces feelings of separation and 'out there's' – there are just many aspects of being that must agree on what they want.

(i think Dan is 4th path)

it seems like a contrast/contradiction.. but it's basically realizing that all the fear and anxiety and emotions as such (the things that even some 4th pathers might want to keep around) are all different aspects of 'me', which 'me' is just an illusion (it's not special, just another combination of sensations). you can see that it's all a combination of sensations without realizing the root cause or nature of the emotions (ignorance/desire)...

or something. if someone can say it better then please do as i hit my head against this sometimes too.
Matt Lowrey, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
Here is what I understand from reading dan's reply and yours, is this about right?

Its much nicer/easier to see everything as me (in a solipsistic unitive sense) and at the same time also see it as illusion than it is to have the dualistic split and see the small me as illusion.

Thats a hard one to grasp hehe. I can definitely understand that it would be much nicer with all the 'good' feelings being generated as a result of that state. I can also see that one would have to have a discerning eye on the illusion. I am just taking a punt here as my only time of 'seeing everything as me' in a 100% sense I was totally whisked away with it and only saw the illusion after I'd come back to earth.

This one has me fooled:

"It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail"

Who is sharing the intent? The intention of 'I' and 'me' ('my' intent as a result of a PCE)? I am confused on this point.




[tangential addendum: this stuff piqued my interest as yesterday on a walk by the park/lake/zoo I had a lot of wonder going on so much so that for the first time I was able to actually see that 'I' am 'my' feelings and 'my' feelings are 'me'. I was looking at the sensations that made up the sense of separation - this separation is almost comically an illusion at the moment. This made me observe the desire for unity that sustains the sense of separation, ta Bruno. This coupled with the clarity of wonder I was able to see the 'entity' for the first time. Aha! How cheeky the 'me' is to be hiding in plain sight! The 'me' that creates both the separation and the unity as well as all the other feelings that make me a 'me'! Amazing.]
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Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
This one has me fooled:

"It was this period of clarity that lead me to focus more on me and my feelings; on establishing a shared intent, and through that intent seeing that guilt, fear and desire are simply me chasing my own tail"

Who is sharing the intent? The intention of 'I' and 'me' ('my' intent as a result of a PCE)? I am confused on this point.


I am going through the same stage, it would seem, as Dan. And what he says makes perfect sense. It feels, as an insight meditator, that I have conditioned the mind to see feelings as separate from the notion of "self". They are "not-self". So there is awareness and then there are feelings that arise. "I" am not seen in those feelings.

But really, "I" am those feelings and those feelings are "me". A feeling "me" still persists regardless of seeing things as not-self or not. It is still illusory though. One may overlook this as I have for awhile now. So there seems to be two modes of perceiving that one decides to join together. Yes, the illusion of self is an illusion. There really is no self to be found in arising and passing away phenomena. That has not changed. But I also acknowledge that a illusory feeling "me" persists via affective feelings and I can now share the intent to end suffering, in a sense, with those two views.

We now use the illusion of a feeling "me" by making "me" happy and harmless (cultivating felicitous feelings) rather than seeing those feelings as purely not-self phenomena (which paradoxically is true or so it would seem). From a state of "me" being felicitous feelings, "I" don't struggle to keep existing and am less inclined to persist in keeping the illusion flowing continuously-->PCE mode and eventually AF.

We use the illusion of a feeling "me" as our raft to get from the fearful dangerous miserably rough deep ocean into the shallow and crystal clear waters just off the coast of our tropical island, where the coral and tropical fish are in abundance (felicitous feelings). Here, "I" am not fearful of being out in the deep dark sea as "I" am in the safe and happy waters close to the destination. "I" am relaxed and appreciating the wildlife and beauty of the shallow waters. The shore is in sight. I can now chose to jump into the water and swim to the beach (PCE) without any struggle. No fear-inducing sharks about.

Am I making sense? Sometimes i talk out my arse.
:-)
Matt Lowrey, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 41 Join Date: 11/4/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for clarifying NBMBY. It does make some more sense now. It is a curious approach to it that you have to take from where you are (in comparison to my approach).

At the risk of hijacking Bruno's thread, are there any other quirks of the 3 characteristics in your approach (for example the no-self being applied to feelings)?

And does one still try to use the 3 characteristics when in a PCE? Or can they not be applied then somehow? I ask because it seems (from my reading, not my experience) that while in a PCE it would not have the impermanence/sampling thing nor the not-satisfying/suffering thing? I have noted that while teetering along the edge of PCE without quite making it that the suffering seems to be localised to a 'me' and there is not the perspective of sampling (or rather I was dropping in and out of sampling, I think), hence my query.

Do you live in the Blue Mountains area out of curiosity? Are you actually a Yowie? It is a particularly nice part of aus for a Yowie.
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Nikolai Blue Mountains Bush Yowie*, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for clarifying NBMBY. It does make some more sense now. It is a curious approach to it that you have to take from where you are (in comparison to my approach).

At the risk of hijacking Bruno's thread, are there any other quirks of the 3 characteristics in your approach (for example the no-self being applied to feelings)?



I've been dealing with the three characteristics for over a decade of practice. It's a hard habit to break but it got me to 4th path. And it seems I've conditioned myself to see all phenomena as not-self, impermanent and unsatisfactory. So i speak from this situation.

But I am now not allowing this tendency to stop myself from ackowledging that the illusion of self continues as a feeling "me". I can either practice insight and see the feelings as not-self and let them arise and pass, arise and pass. But I do not wish to continue doing that. I'd like to put a stop to the whole fiasco. 4th path showed me that the brain can change drastically. PCE practice has showed me that it can change even further.

I do so via accepting that this illusory feeling "me" still persists, and still bites me on the arse. If I stop dis-identifying with with the phenomena that make it up and just accept that "I" am my feelings and my feelings are "me", I am then more able to put aside the whole notion of not-self (it was a good tool for getting to 4th path), and just get back to feeling happy and harmless in order to trigger PCE mode. I am not aiming to dis-identify with anything anymore but ride the raft of a feeling "me" into calmer waters so that I can jump to shore permanently (AF). I'm over training the alien monkey to behave. The goal changed and thus the strategy has too.

And does one still try to use the 3 characteristics when in a PCE? Or can they not be applied then somehow? I ask because it seems (from my reading, not my experience) that while in a PCE it would not have the impermanence/sampling thing nor the not-satisfying/suffering thing?


I have dropped all noting and paying attention to the three charactersitcs. The 3 C's are always there to see. Can't seem to turn that off which may be a 4th path thing. I am aiming to get back to PCE mode via the felicitous "me" route. While in a PCE, there is no need to use the three C's as tools because life is grand. If utilizing the 3 C's gets you back to felicitous feelings, then by all means use the method you use. But once in PCE mode, all tools are dropped. I can still pay attention to the way things change in PCE mode though. There is just nothing there that needs to dis-identify from phenomena. And because there is no "me" there at all, there is no need to make the distinction of "not-self".

Do you live in the Blue Mountains area out of curiosity? Are you actually a Yowie? It is a particularly nice part of aus for a Yowie.


Originally from there, but living in Santiago, Chile at the moment. Hope to get there this year sometime. It's a yowie hotspot. I wish i was a real yowie! :-)
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Not my toilet

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
Matt Lowrey:

I may be off base here but if there is a clogged toilet without an owner, the toilet is still clogged no? But its all good, it isn't my toilet?

Seems to contrast with 'my' feelings are 'me', no?


Yeah, but there is also an obsession with "changing" these blockages. There is a feeling that I must 'do something' to get them to go away: when I focus on the region, I can't avoid trying to manipulate the energetic sensations happening there, I try to 'do something' to dissolve the blockage. I took this to be what Guilherme was referring to.

During the past week I tried to observe in the most non-interfering way possible, waiting for these things to dissolve themselves, or no longer seem important. I don't know if that's what I should be doing, but a very nice side-result was that I got into high equanimity of whichever path or sub-path I'm currently traversing.

In high equanimity, I can be with unpleasant sensations with a very reduced level of reactivity.

This is a nice platform to investigate emotions. After reading a passage in Richard's Journal, I realized that the need for love was born out of, depended vitally upon, and fostered even further, a sense of separation (love is a bridge... between what?) . It seems that since that understanding I never again fantasized about a romantic relationship. Love lost its appeal, for it now seems to me as a completely misguided endeavor.

I'm currently interested in understanding sexual desire, which now manifests itself without the accompanying desire for romance. It would really be nice if that disappeared the same way, because for me it has always been a source of frustration and anguish (talk about not fulfilling expectations! talk about overly high expectations!). So I observe the associated sensations when they occur as equanimously as I can.

Bruno

PS. I think the other discussion happening here is interesting, but that it would be better if moved to a different thread. Also other people would benefit from having it in a separate thread with its own appropriate title (a forum admin could do this I think).

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