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Second half of the territory Bardo 1/2/20 3:25 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 11/24/19 3:26 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/24/19 6:44 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 11/24/19 7:58 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/24/19 8:03 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/24/19 9:15 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/24/19 9:24 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/24/19 10:23 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/24/19 10:53 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/24/19 1:44 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/24/19 3:53 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/24/19 8:53 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/26/19 5:39 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/26/19 6:53 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/26/19 10:30 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/26/19 11:23 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/26/19 1:24 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/29/19 2:32 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 11/29/19 3:25 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 4:55 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 11/29/19 5:03 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 5:41 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/29/19 4:18 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 4:26 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/29/19 4:41 PM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 11/29/19 10:42 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 12/1/19 5:29 AM
RE: Second half of the territory T 12/6/19 7:39 PM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/7/19 12:36 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Chris Marti 12/7/19 1:00 PM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 12/7/19 1:07 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Chris Marti 12/7/19 1:10 PM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/7/19 1:27 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Matthew 12/7/19 1:26 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Chris Marti 12/7/19 1:29 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 12/7/19 3:16 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Matthew 12/7/19 5:27 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Chris Marti 12/8/19 11:21 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/9/19 3:12 PM
RE: Second half of the territory T 12/9/19 3:33 PM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/10/19 11:18 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/19 4:58 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Matthew 12/10/19 7:00 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/19 7:08 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 12/10/19 12:19 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/19 12:50 PM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 12/24/19 6:46 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 2:15 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 1/1/20 10:49 PM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/10/19 11:31 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/11/19 12:50 AM
RE: Second half of the territory curious 12/7/19 1:11 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/8/19 4:55 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 4:55 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 11/25/19 1:38 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/25/19 6:35 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/26/19 5:17 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 11/28/19 7:35 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/28/19 11:27 PM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 11/29/19 12:31 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Bardo 11/29/19 4:08 PM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 12:27 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 11/29/19 12:43 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 11/29/19 12:57 AM
RE: Second half of the territory Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/5/19 7:16 AM
RE: Second half of the territory spatial 12/5/19 9:10 PM
Second half of the territory
Answer
1/2/20 3:25 AM
It has been a while since my last major shift. You can read a shortened version of that here. Afterwards, things have taken on a cluster of complete nonsense. My ability to retrospectively lay out and conceptualize those nonsensical events into a coherent frame of reference through the medium of time is disjointed to such a degree that it creates confusion. In fact, recently I have experienced confusion like I never have before. There are two pertinent points in this: 1) my ability to conceptualize is not present or no longer meaningful. 2) My ability to form a cognitive time frame is not present or no longer meaningful. Time can be placed under the 'concept' umbrella but I felt it important to highlight time for ease of this reporting. I suspect that this is part of the process in some dukkha/3C's type way? Interestingly, I'm continuing to lose the ability to see the three characteristics along with dependant origination. Things seem unrelated and pop-up in their own position for no particular reason. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 3:26 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo Cruiser:

Occasionally, everything becomes mirror-like. I see myself in everything and everything in myself. It has a certain luminosity to it. It almost appears that suchness is winking at back at me. When this happens, there is great profundity coupled with a sense of normalcy. My mind cannot hold those two and so there is complete emotional and mental silence and gazing around in some sort of semi-sedated awe with a felt sense of continually falling. I would describe my sense clarity as astonishingly bright, pristine and clear. I appear to be with, inside, or somehow a part of wherever I place my attention. However, I cannot assume that 'I am' that thing I place my attention on. I could write more about this.

The other thing that is happening is I appear to be shifting into the space that surrounds me. This often involves the complete disappearance of me including my body. This was most apparent recently in which I was walking down the road eating a mint. Suddenly I vanished. There was no sense of a body. There was awareness of my surroundings. All that remained of a reference to myself was a minty fragrance moving down the road.  


Great!  Keep going. Try not to recoil from this. My journey involved dwelling in stabilising and dwelling in these states for as much of the day as I could, for several weeks/a couple of months. You are starting to see the truth. But it is not yet the endpoint - you can feel the bits that are still not empty, right? So try dwell in this non-dual brightness for a while, let this state rewire your brain. Later you will see the last pieces of the puzzle.

There are some others on this forum who can give good guidance here - they really really know their stuff, much more so than I do.

Malcolm

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 6:44 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:
you can feel the bits that are still not empty, right? :

Yes, for sure. Those parts make themselves known. It is predominantly suffering through feeling and mental proliferation. The thing that occurs within these areas is that they often appear to have no defined container, that they are the same as a passing car or a noise in the distance. Furthermore, a thought cannot be distinguished from external phenomena and inversely so. Also, there appears to be no particular place in space where thoughts occur. This is only a subtle thing though. Daniel had given me some guidance on this recently which I'm finding helpful but any other guidance is greatly appreciated. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 7:58 AM as a reply to Bardo.
My responses below - your comments in bold, mind in italics.

* Yes, for sure. Those parts make themselves known. It is predominantly suffering through feeling and mental proliferation.

The feelings and the mental proliferations are not the cause of suffering. It is passion obsession and resistance obsession that are the cause of suffering.  Let go of the worry, and just watch them float on by whenever they want to.

* The thing that occurs within these areas is that they often appear to have no defined container, that they are the same as a passing car or a noise in the distance.

Part of you is recoiling against the insight. You have glimpsed the truth - it is the 'defined container' that is the false idea.

* Furthermore, a thought cannot be distinguished from external phenomena and inversely so.

That is because there is no distinction. We create a false distinction and grab at the suffering that results. There may be a distinction in some external physical world, but we are living in a world of perceptions and perceptual processing.  To borrow Daniel's terms - there are just clusters of perceptions and relationships between them.

* Also, there appears to be no particular place in space where thoughts occur. This is only a subtle thing though.

They occur in everyspace. Perception and thought and all the rest of it is a single cognitive field that we falsely order into 'self' and 'other' and 'mind' and 'body' and all the rest.  We impose concepts, and this leads to contact and craving.  Stop trying to order the field into pieces, and just accept living in the whole thing simultaneously.

* Daniel had given me some guidance on this recently which I'm finding helpful but any other guidance is greatly appreciated. 

Daniel's guidance is excellent. Keep on deconstructing your perception of reality until you see the truth in real time, continuously.  Burn that in. Dwell in the whole cognitive field, all at once.  Let the concepts of 'objects' fade, and just be in the perceptions.  Go with the flow!   Enjoy the bliss.

I'm catching a plane shortly, but will try to check in tomorrow.

Malcolm

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 8:03 AM as a reply to curious.
Wow, reading your dialogue I suddenly felt nauseous. Interesting. That says something about the resistance I need to deal with. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 8:53 AM as a reply to curious.
Malcolm, this is gold! It's resonating on every dharmic level possible.

I'll continue to look further into these. Thank you.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 9:15 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Wow, reading your dialogue I suddenly felt nauseous. Interesting. That says something about the resistance I need to deal with. 

Why nauseous, Linda?

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 9:24 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Probably the ego fearing the truth. I often somatize feelings.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 10:23 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Probably the ego fearing the truth. I often somatize feelings.

Of course. You mentioned it as resistance. I often find it amazing how, after so many glimpses of truth or reality, the self hangs on in there.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 10:53 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Yup. That's one persistent bastard.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 1:44 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Yup. That's one persistent bastard.

For sure! and yet it is a phantom, as empty as a bubble.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/24/19 3:53 PM as a reply to Bardo.
It's a whole bubble factory over here.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/25/19 1:38 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo Cruiser:
The thing that occurs within these areas is that they often appear to have no defined container, that they are the same as a passing car or a noise in the distance.

If you're referring to what I think you're referring to, then I will say that this has been the most hellishly painful part of the path for me. I think I'm past the worst of it, but time will tell. So, I'll just write some thoughts that seem to be related to what helped me. I really like Malcolm's advice, too.

What causes the pain is the desire to separate things into objects. Three months ago, I was in a place where I felt like things were fine as long as my experiences had clearly-defined borders. As long as I "knew" what was happening. Even if I couldn't put it into words, if my mind was able to "lock on" to an object, I felt relieved. When it couldn't, I felt agitated.

I did a lot of noting "see, hear, feel" while walking outside. Sometimes it was fine, but I got increasingly bothered by the fact that there were larger and larger intervals of time when I couldn't identify which sense door an object was in. It made me feel like my mindfulness was getting weaker and weaker, and so I tried harder and harder to grab on to things. 

At some point, I just started resting in those intervals. Enjoying the fact that I couldn't label what was happening. The journey from one object to another is non-verbal, and yet it is quite interesting, and needs to be explored. Notice how it takes you from gross physical sensations, to the subtlest thoughts, mental echoes, through the past/future, etc. It's that space before words or even clear mental impressions have time to form.

For me, the ability to note had to stop being a measure of meditation success. The intention to note encourages mindfulness all on its own, rather than the noting itself being the goal.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/25/19 6:35 PM as a reply to spatial.
Hm... I have had experiences matching that description occasionally as far back as I can remember. I go there to rest (although sometimes the rest was forced upon me because of overwhelm, and that could be unsettling). I used to think it was an autistic thing. In fact, an autistic autism-researcher who presented his doctoral thesis a couple of days ago claims that autistic cognitive processing takes place to a greater extent at a pre-conceptual level compared to neurotypical cognitive processing which is generally more integrated with language. There are probably some differences to the experience, but I find it interesting to consider the possibility that neurodivergence may imply a different relationship to the aggregates. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 5:39 AM as a reply to curious.
Malcolm,

The feelings and the mental proliferations are not the cause of suffering. It is passion obsession and resistance obsession that are the cause of suffering.  Let go of the worry, and just watch them float on by whenever they want to.

I've been working with the feelings and thoughts through Daniels method, picking them apart to the point that they appear to be fragmented particles. However, sometimes thoughts have such ferociousness, such momentum that I'm caught in the narrative of its content. When awareness has gathered those thoughts stop, however, I seem to be left holding a sort of residual energy which assesses what just occurred thus keeping me trapped in mind. This is what I call the subtle self; it seems to create a tenuous trail from what it previously perceived. When I notice this trailing stream, that noticing also becomes yet another trailing stream. This trail is what seems to make up human consciousness because it creates time and thus cause and effect. Could you say something about this?

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 5:17 AM as a reply to spatial.
If you're referring to what I think you're referring to, then I will say that this has been the most hellishly painful part of the path for me. I think I'm past the worst of it, but time will tell. So, I'll just write some thoughts that seem to be related to what helped me. I really like Malcolm's advice, too.

At some point, I just started resting in those intervals. Enjoying the fact that I couldn't label what was happening. The journey from one object to another is non-verbal, and yet it is quite interesting, and needs to be explored. Notice how it takes you from gross physical sensations, to the subtlest thoughts, mental echoes, through the past/future, etc. It's that space before words or even clear mental impressions have time to form.

Thank you Spatial.

Yes, it seems to be quite a painful part of the territory for me too.

I'm very interested in the second paragraph above. Could you expand further on this? How did you approach the resting? Can you describe the journey from one object to another? I'm guessing you are referring to sense objects?

For me, sense objects often have no relationship to each other. For instance, my in-breath bares no relation to my out-breath. They are two completely separate events. Is this what you mean?

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 6:53 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Interesting thoughts. So, basically it's through these absurd infinity loops we continue to be trapped. Like when two mirrors mirror each other, creating infinite possibilities for meta levels. That thought has crossed my mind from time to time. It can be really frustrating. I guess It's a matter of letting go of the identification with the noticing.

But what happens to the noticing that is let go of? Does it just continue to add levels in some background programme? Like those simple Basic programmes one could play with back in the eighties, getting the computor to just go on printing the same name over and over again until one stopped the programme? Does it ever stop? I guess those subroutines eventually get distracted or go into screensaver mode or run into some bug in the programme, before the plug is finally pulled out for good. 

There is one theory about autism that suggests that for autistic people (like me) there are more background programmes running with unfinished processes, occypying capacity, because they didn't just naturally end. It certainly feels like it sometimes. 

Edited to add: I acknowledge that it is probably the case that I'm missing important aspects and nuances of what all of you are talking about because I just don't yet see what I don't see. Sorry if that gets awkward. It is totally okay to tell me to shut up if needed. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 10:30 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
But what happens to the noticing that is let go of? Does it just continue to add levels in some background programme? Like those simple Basic programmes one could play with back in the eighties, getting the computor to just go on printing the same name over and over again until one stopped the programme? Does it ever stop? I guess those subroutines eventually get distracted or go into screensaver mode or run into some bug in the programme, before the plug is finally pulled out for good. 

Edited to add: I acknowledge that it is probably the case that I'm missing important aspects and nuances of what all of you are talking about because I just don't yet see what I don't see. Sorry if that gets awkward. It is totally okay to tell me to shut up if needed. 

Linda, I find your input valuable (that's not a psychological stroke, just merely a fact). I should probably explain what a psychological stroke is but I can't be bothered. On the surface it's Eric Berne's Transactional Analysis, a theory of the human condition with emphasis on the nuances of verbal and non-verbal transactions and roles.

I used to have a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. The one with the annoying tape deck. I used to program that little squeak into oblivion. I understand entirely what you mean with this excellent analogy. If I let go of the noticing, I cannot be certain that it still occurs unconsciously because my attention is not there, it is somewhere else. So, is my attention the creator of this stream of consciousness? It must be. Therefore, it must be creating other streams from other sources. I think I'm looking for the empty source but I just don't know any more. I'm tired and my head is full of kundalini-type energy.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 11:23 AM as a reply to Bardo.
You are basically asking the classical question "If a tree falls in the forest with nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?", or rather, I was. At least I suspect that's what we are doing. Because those subprocesses going on, they are just sensations occurring somewhere by themseleves too, right? We are just deluded into thinking that they are ours. We don't have to pay attention to them.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/26/19 1:24 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
You are basically asking the classical question "If a tree falls in the forest with nobody there to hear it, does it make a sound?", or rather, I was. At least I suspect that's what we are doing. Because those subprocesses going on, they are just sensations occurring somewhere by themseleves too, right? We are just deluded into thinking that they are ours. We don't have to pay attention to them.

Yes, you're right. I think I'm looking too hard. I seem to be contracting inside quite a lot at the moment. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/28/19 7:35 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo Cruiser:

I'm very interested in the second paragraph above. Could you expand further on this? How did you approach the resting? Can you describe the journey from one object to another? I'm guessing you are referring to sense objects?

For me, sense objects often have no relationship to each other. For instance, my in-breath bares no relation to my out-breath. They are two completely separate events. Is this what you mean?


Yes...that's the idea. It seems to me that this issue exists on multiple levels, and I'm not sure if we're talking about the same level or not, or if it even matters.

What I was really bothered by was the senses themselves. Let me try to give an example.

Let's say I'm walking down the street, and a car drives by. I know that there's the image of the car as it approaches, I know that there's a sound, I know that there's a mental image of what the car will look like as it drives past me, I know that there's a mental image of the driver, I know that there's a brief feeling of anxiety as I imagine the car hitting me. The car drives past me, and I know the sound, I know the mental image of the car driving away, those images echo in my mind a few times.

So basically, there's a whole lot of different sensory events in this experience. No problem, because I know what's an image, what's a sound, what's a feeling, etc.

I spent a lot of time walking down the street, noting stuff like this. The feeling of my feet, the images of the grass and trees, and sounds of crickets, etc.

Then, things become a little difficult, because I start taking in broader experiences, and my attention is wider than just "crickets". But, I can still note "hearing", to account for whatever I happen to be hearing, because I know I'm hearing.

Then, the words start to disappear. I know the crickets, and I know the image of the grass, and I know that the senses are different, but I can't quite remember that one is called "hearing" and one is called "seeing". Still not a huge problem, because I know the objects, and I know the senses, even though the knowing is happening faster than I can recall the words.

But then, it broke down after that. It got really stressful when I knew there were crickets, and I knew there was grass, but I couldn't tell if they were the same sense or not. I was very attached to the senses as objects.

So, I would be noting "seeing seeing seeing", "hearing hearing hearing", and then suddenly, I knew that I was aware of something, but I had no clue what sense it was. So the noting would stop, and I would be struggling for several seconds trying to distinguish between seeing and hearing. This was agonizing.

It's especially confusing when "thoughts" consist of lots of "seeing" and "feeling", patterns which change depending on whether we're dealing with past/present/future, etc.

I think that suffering through this helped, and I don't know how else I would have made progress. Eventually, my mind realized that it simply didn't need to distinguish between the senses. That the construction of distinct senses is something that happens "once in a while", and isn't necessary in order for mindfulness to be present. Then, it became fun to reside in those intervals where the mind just couldn't be bothered to sort things out to that high of a degree. There's a rhythm to it...sometimes the mind is on it's way to resolving objects clearly, and sometimes it's falling away from that, swinging back and forth.

There are several counter-intuitive things going on here. All of this agony changed the way I think about how I see myself in relation to other people, and how I understand "mental images", and probably several other things, in ways that would have seemed obviously wrong before.

I hope this makes some kind of sense, and that it is helpful in some way.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/28/19 11:27 PM as a reply to spatial.
Thank you.

This is resonating quite deeply. My senses seem to have become very prominent at the moment. It often feels like my senses are exaggerated like one of those caricature drawings where certain facial features are overstated. It's almost as if something is directing me towards deeper examination of the senses, but like you say, as I cycle through them in precisely the way you describe, it can be agonizing. The main senses I focus on are mind, eyes, ears, and body, because they appear to be receiving the most stimulus, however, nose and tongue are still requesting my attention.

With my ears, I hear an approaching car. With my eye, I see the car approaching. With my mind, I form an image of the person driving with the possibility of knowing that person. As everything comes together there's a pre-emptive feeling-tone in the body; a sort of priming for a reaction to the car event which is born from: if I know this person driving the car I should wave to acknowledge them.

Now, here's the curious thing, sometimes those separate sense events cannot be found to have meaning in relation to each other despite occurring in sequential order to produce what appears to be a meaningful response and this is exactly the agonizing struggle for me. My mind cannot reconcile with any other form of processing, but if I'm reading your response correctly I must look further at the senses in this way to understand that this process is not needed to view my environment. It is a localized reference of spacial phenomena, meaning that there is me observing that, including the me observing the various senses. This highlights that I remain separate from everything else. There's probably a simpler way the delivery that last part!

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 12:27 AM as a reply to spatial.
This isn't agonizing to me. Should it be?  I just accepted from the beginning that noting only works for a while and then I can't access the words and then not even the concepts. I was used to operating within that mode already, because it happens now and then. Always has. I guess in my case it never entirely stopped happening when concepts and language took form. I know many autistic people who share the same experience. 

In my mix of a car driving past me there are mental kinesthetic sensations of the rubber on my wheels touching the ground, but I usually don't think of a driver. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 12:31 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo Cruiser:

Now, here's the curious thing, sometimes those separate sense events cannot be found to have meaning in relation to each other despite occurring in sequential order to produce what appears to be a meaningful response and this is exactly the agonizing struggle for me. My mind cannot reconcile with any other form of processing
Are you saying that there are times when you "know" that the events should make sense as a sequence, but you just can't see it in those moments? 

Notice how there's a wave:

- you're going about your day normally
- you have the sense that there's something happening
- you start trying to see what it is
- there are flashes of recognition that encourage you to keep looking
- you look but can't find anything
- you start to get frustrated
- you start thinking about how good/bad of a meditator you are
- you decide to try another technique to solve this problem

Something like that. Maybe it's different for you. But you can follow it as it happens. Each one of those steps provokes a whole bunch of interesting sensations.

Notice how they happen on their own. Each one feels good as you surrender to it, and each one is an escape from something that feels bad.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 12:43 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This isn't agonizing to me. Should it be?  I just accepted from the beginning that noting only works for a while and then I can't access the words and then not even the concepts. I was used to operating within that mode already, because it happens now and then. Always has. I guess in my case it never entirely stopped happening when concepts and language took form. I know many autistic people who share the same experience. 

In my mix of a car driving past me there are mental kinesthetic sensations of the rubber on my wheels touching the ground, but I usually don't think of a driver. 

Haha, I have no idea if it should be agonizing to you... Do you want it to be?

What I'm talking about here is not merely the inability to put things into words. That's part of it, but it gets much subtler than that. I might guess that if you look at whatever you do find agonizing, it might be related to this.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 12:57 AM as a reply to spatial.
Nah, I'm fine with it not being agonizing. 

It goes beyond being non-verbal for me too. 

edited to add: I'm used to the confusion of not accessing experiences at a level that makes sense conceptually, and what is happening now is that the clarity of that confusion increases. I find that de-agonizing.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 2:32 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Interesting thoughts. So, basically it's through these absurd infinity loops we continue to be trapped. Like when two mirrors mirror each other, creating infinite possibilities for meta levels. That thought has crossed my mind from time to time. It can be really frustrating. I guess It's a matter of letting go of the identification with the noticing.

Apologies, I wasn't in the best frame of mind when I originally read your reply. Having read it again, this has struck home...

I've relied heavily on noting to such a degree that the noting words are now replaced with plain non-conceptual awareness. I now find I have an attachment to this. Consciousness has formed itself around this image of the one who is aware of those things to be aware of. It feels like I need to let go of this somehow and move into a more expansive frame of reference. When I refer to consciousness, I'm coming from the definition of how consciousness is described within the five aggregates structure. In a nutshell, the observer has now become a self.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 3:25 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Hmn. This is what I am trying to get at in my clumsy comments on Linda/Polly's practice thread. It's the dharma karma. The process of deconstructing the self can leave behind a dharmic shade - a ghost in the machine. That's ok for a long time. Rather than getting rid of it, it is more important to burn in the rigpa and non-dual flow of bright perception and true understanding of reality. Get that really really well established - Daniel's prevously stated critera for third and fourth are heavily descriptive of this permanent state, first growing then being fully established. Utter centreless, utter non-agency, utter non-duality etc etc (I am probably misquoting slightly, but you get the drift).

Some people will seek to stabilise this state by moving the dharmic ghost out from the body into the emptiness of the void, and merging the sense of self with a universial consciousness / base awareness / the ground / godhead / brahman / holy spirit. For other people, they may do that somewhat, but then they also find a way to deconstruct the dharmic ghost. To evaporate the residue of the clinging to the dharma. To blow out the flame of self. To completely end the taints.

So for now, I would say just embrace the non-dual non-conceptual flow. Labelling is no longer needed. Discrete non-verbal noting is no longer needed. What is needed now is to just swim in the flow of reality, totally absorbed into it, bright and fluid. No words, no concepts. Just appreciation of the arising and passing away of tens of thousands of sense-data packets across all six sense doors. Being present in a single fluxing field of cognition.

Then when that state is thoroughly burnt in, and dominates your waking states for weeks on end, you can take the penultimate steps.

Just my 2c worth. 

Malcolm
  

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 4:55 AM as a reply to curious.
I get to be in that restful state as the default mode eventually? Awsome! (Without the "I", but you get the drift. Language. Bah.)

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 4:55 AM as a reply to Bardo.
No need to apologize, Bardo Cruiser.

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 5:03 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I get to be in that restful state as the default mode eventually? Awsome! (Without the "I", but you get the drift. Language. Bah.)

Well, strictly speaking, in my experience the default mode is a bit variable, and depends on what the five aggregates and residue remaining are engaging in, what your diet is, and how you are cycling. But otherwise, yes. You can dwell in it whenever you want, maybe with some required minimal preparation or base practice (about 2 hours a week for me). emoticon 

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 5:41 AM as a reply to curious.
That makes sense. I like it.

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 4:08 PM as a reply to spatial.
Are you saying that there are times when you "know" that the events should make sense as a sequence, but you just can't see it in those moments?

Yes, precisely. I wonder if this helps... when I'm watching or talking to people they are a new and interesting person in every single moment. Complete unconditional acceptance occurs from this. It's a lovely way to view people. Sometimes the resolution becomes fine-grained and it seems as though they are flickering extremely quickly and that each flicker is a new person. It reminds me of rising and falling particles at astonishing speed. However, the frequency of these changes to something more coarse like the in-breath and out-breath.

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 4:18 PM as a reply to curious.
Having this perspective is very informative. I realize that I have become attached to this watcher. I seem to have an undercurrent of void-awareness but I can't be sure if it's a developing concept through retrospective recalling of previous experiences of void. I'll just head on over there and see what occurs.

Daniel's prevously stated critera for third and fourth are heavily descriptive of this permanent state, first growing then being fully established. Utter centreless, utter non-agency, utter non-duality

I'm trying to recall the part of this in Daniel's book. Do you remember where the chapter is?

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 4:26 PM as a reply to Bardo.
This is so interesting. I feel like we are heading towards the same thing but we are coming from different directions, and so the challenges differ. Amazing. 

RE: Second half of the territory
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11/29/19 4:41 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This is so interesting. I feel like we are heading towards the same thing but we are coming from different directions, and so the challenges differ. Amazing. 

Yes, I think that there are universal convergences common along the path but that the paths themselves are wildly different. We wander in our own directions but occasionally tread through the same territory. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
11/29/19 10:42 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Bardo Cruiser:
Having this perspective is very informative. I realize that I have become attached to this watcher. I seem to have an undercurrent of void-awareness but I can't be sure if it's a developing concept through retrospective recalling of previous experiences of void. I'll just head on over there and see what occurs.

Daniel's prevously stated critera for third and fourth are heavily descriptive of this permanent state, first growing then being fully established. Utter centreless, utter non-agency, utter non-duality

I'm trying to recall the part of this in Daniel's book. Do you remember where the chapter is?

Ah, it's various posts on the DhO over the years. I've extracted the bit that should be useful at the moment. Don't worry about the rest as it is better to wait until you have the right context to properly appreciate it.  So I recommend concentrating on dwelling in the luminous brightness of the empty sensations to get to the state that Daniel describes below.

"Waking, walking-around reality should be very, very different from how it was before, with specific changes realted to the following:

"i) Things should mostly seem to be happening on their own: that includes thoughts, actions, perception, intentions, feelings, movements, everything. This should be the dominant waking experience, with portions of experience that are not naturally known as being that way being the minority. The natural causality and self-lessness of action should be clear most of the time and for most things.   ...

"ii) One's waking experience of awareness should be very different. There are lots of ways to say this, but I tend towards the following descriptions: the basic light/luminosity/awareness/manifestation in phenomena should mostly be known directly as being where the objects are. Said another way, manifest objects and sensations should be largely known to contain their own awareness in them, with them, as them, being the same thing. In short, the sense that this side is perceiving that side should be markedly diminished, and the sense that that side and substantial parts of this side are just stuff that knows itself where it is should predominate, with these exceptions becoming more and more subtle as insight deepens, until exceptions are very hard to find."


As a further tip - when it comes to things happening on their own, there seem to be two levels of this.  One is total automaticity, which I found to be a weird experience - like you become an oberver in your own body.  The lower level is non-conceptual intuitive reaction - where you don't need to observe or decide or think anything, you just do. Views may differ on which is needed, but I found the second version adequate.

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/1/19 5:29 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:

As a further tip - when it comes to things happening on their own, there seem to be two levels of this.  One is total automaticity, which I found to be a weird experience - like you become an oberver in your own body.  The lower level is non-conceptual intuitive reaction - where you don't need to observe or decide or think anything, you just do. Views may differ on which is needed, but I found the second version adequate.


Thank you for this. I seem to be gravitating towards non-conceptual intuitive reaction. Would you be able to say a little more about the former in the paragraph above? Specifically, the automaticity part?

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/5/19 7:16 AM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This isn't agonizing to me. Should it be?  I just accepted from the beginning that noting only works for a while and then I can't access the words and then not even the concepts. I was used to operating within that mode already, because it happens now and then. Always has. I guess in my case it never entirely stopped happening when concepts and language took form. I know many autistic people who share the same experience. 

In my mix of a car driving past me there are mental kinesthetic sensations of the rubber on my wheels touching the ground, but I usually don't think of a driver. 

Haha, I have no idea if it should be agonizing to you... Do you want it to be?

What I'm talking about here is not merely the inability to put things into words. That's part of it, but it gets much subtler than that. I might guess that if you look at whatever you do find agonizing, it might be related to this.

Still not agonizing, but I think I see your point now. New levels are starting to show up (both zooming in and zooming out), and I can very well imagine that it would be unsettling if I hadn't read what you and Bardo Cruiser and others have shared on this forum. So thanks! It is very helpful. I'm also grateful that you respond with such patience when you can see that I'm not yet ready to see your point although I think I am. And just so you know: if it does annoy you, that's okay too. It would be (or is) very understandable. 

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/5/19 9:10 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
spatial:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This isn't agonizing to me. Should it be?  I just accepted from the beginning that noting only works for a while and then I can't access the words and then not even the concepts. I was used to operating within that mode already, because it happens now and then. Always has. I guess in my case it never entirely stopped happening when concepts and language took form. I know many autistic people who share the same experience. 

In my mix of a car driving past me there are mental kinesthetic sensations of the rubber on my wheels touching the ground, but I usually don't think of a driver. 

Haha, I have no idea if it should be agonizing to you... Do you want it to be?

What I'm talking about here is not merely the inability to put things into words. That's part of it, but it gets much subtler than that. I might guess that if you look at whatever you do find agonizing, it might be related to this.

Still not agonizing, but I think I see your point now. New levels are starting to show up (both zooming in and zooming out), and I can very well imagine that it would be unsettling if I hadn't read what you and Bardo Cruiser and others have shared on this forum. So thanks! It is very helpful. I'm also grateful that you respond with such patience when you can see that I'm not yet ready to see your point although I think I am. And just so you know: if it does annoy you, that's okay too. It would be (or is) very understandable. 

I'm glad you find it helpful!

This reply of yours provokes a lot of interesting sensations for me.

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/6/19 7:39 PM as a reply to curious.
[quote=curious
]
 One is total automaticity, which I found to be a weird experience - like you become an oberver in your own body.  :
I am nowhere near the territory y'all are traversing, but I had this happen to me for a couple of hours once after watching a number of direct pointing videos and it was so incredibly freeing, if slightly eerie. 

Is what you both are describing arrived at (in your experiences) from an intense amount of noting everything possible to note during every waking hour?

Thank you

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 12:36 PM as a reply to T.
 One is total automaticity, which I found to be a weird experience - like you become an oberver in your own body.  :
"I am nowhere near the territory y'all are traversing, but I had this happen to me for a couple of hours once after watching a number of direct pointing videos and it was so incredibly freeing, if slightly eerie. 

Is what you both are describing arrived at (in your experiences) from an intense amount of noting everything possible to note during every waking hour?

Thank you"


I've been thinking about this, and conscious that I didn't answer Bardo Cruiser's question before. Having reflected a little, I would say that when the mind becomes very concentrated and starts to see through the old default mode illusory construction of perceptions, then weird things start to happen.  My best take on it is that, having shaken up the old default mode of perception, the mind tries on new ways of operating in the world to see if they work. For me, these included everything just being my mind. And my mind being just everything. And I think the experience of automatcity was similar - that it arose from trying out the mode of operation where the perception of body (and its operating mechniams) was totally separate from the perception of the mind. In all these cases, the experiences only arose after really extensive concenttration work. In my case it was The Mind Illuminated concentration work, but yes I think constant noting is just as good an approach.

However, none of these states are quite right, as they all involve a duality.  In the case of automaticity, the duality is really strong; this is my mind, and that is the body, and they are separate.  So after some thought, I have reached the conclusion that automaticity is a side effect of practice, and probably indicative of some really good progress. However, if it arises, it should just be observed, and then let go of.

Another interesting aspect of those experiences - the two types of semi-non duality and the automaticity - is that they didn't last long. At the time, I was disappointed not to be able to keep accessing them.  However, now I think they didn't last long because my subconscious tried them out, and then discarded them as incomplete or incorrect answers to the problem of perception. 

As a final point, again following on from my recent reflection, I would say even the concept of centrelessness involves a subtle duality - being centred versus being centreless.  The actual experience is very slightly different from this.  It is not so much centrelessness, as that the concept of a centre doesn't apply.  

Malcolm


Where water, earth, fire, & wind have no footing:
There the stars do not shine, the sun is not visible,
The moon does not appear, darkness is not found.
And when a sage, a brahman through sagacity,
Has known for himself, then from form & formless,
From bliss & pain, he is freed.

Bahiya Sutta


RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/7/19 1:00 PM as a reply to curious.
I would say even the concept of centrelessness involves a subtle duality - being centred versus being centreless.

The issue here lies in having to use language to describe anything, including experiences of centerlessness. Language uses dualities and concepts all the time by default, and so the word "centerlessness" can't be used without implying a duality. The word is not the experience.


emoticon

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 1:07 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Is it that there is no center at all, or that the center is allowed to shift freely as needed?

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 1:10 PM as a reply to spatial.
Both, kind of - there is no center because objects appear where they are without a referencing point for comparison (which used to be an indistinct sense of the center of everything just behind the eyes).

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/7/19 1:11 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I would say even the concept of centrelessness involves a subtle duality - being centred versus being centreless.

The issue here lies in having to use language to describe anything, including experiences of centerlessness. Language uses dualities and concepts all the time by default, and so the word "centerlessness" can't be used without implying a duality. The word is not the experience.


emoticon

Yep !  emoticon

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 1:26 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Is it that there is no center at all, or that the center is allowed to shift freely as needed?
Descriptions seem to vary by person. My take on it would be: ultimately liberation means being free from identifying with fabricated things, things which arise and pass, and thus cause suffering when clung to.

Having or not having a center is a condition. Centerlessness can arise and pass. So ultimately “shifting freely as needed” would be a more accurate description than the need to be in some circumscribed conditional state.

But centerlessness is still a useful milestone within the realm of relative truth. Because we are usually very “centerful” in how we relate to phenomena, being able to relate centerlessly is a sign or proof that we have overcome the normal conditioning there.

As an analogy, imagine you believe there’s a tiger in the middle of your kitchen. This makes you very afraid, and you only ever walk around the edge of the kitchen so you can avoid the tiger in the middle. One day, you realize there’s no tiger there, never has been, and you never needed to cling to the edges of the kitchen. At first it will be helpful and liberating to waltz right through the center of the kitchen just to prove there is no tiger there. But ultimately, there’s no reason you have to keep doing that forever. Maybe the edge of the kitchen has nice tiles, or crossing between sides and the center is the most helpful route. 

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 1:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Both, kind of - there is no center because objects appear where they are without a referencing point for comparison (which used to be an indistinct sense of the center of everything just behind the eyes).

And just to add to Chris's comments. The experience is both weaker and stronger than you might think. It is so hard to describe with words that it is sounds like something incredibly weird and unusual.  But most of the time it feels just really normal and great and the default that always underlay everything, if only we could have seen it. Although, the experience can also strengthen into absoprtions that are more intense, and don't feel quite so normal. Some choose to live most of the time in those absorptions, but it's optional.

Also, you can still contract (as opposed to being expanded)  This might be required for some tasks (e.g. threading a needle, doing calligraphy, puzzling over a concept).  Contraction can feel slightly like a centre, but it really isn't.  It's just single pointed attention.  And you can be dualistic if you want, but you know that it is just fabrication you are overlaying on experience for some purpose, rather than being any kind of true state.  Non-dualism is the same - just a framework you can overlay on experience.  

Edit:  And I agree with Matthew too.  Some of our comments might sound contradictory, but they really aren't.  They are pointing to the same thing.

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 1:29 PM as a reply to Matthew.
My take on it would be: ultimately liberation means being free from identifying with fabricated things, things which arise and pass, and thus cause suffering when clung to.

Yes, and given that all experiences are fabricated and arise and pass, you can see how all of these descriptions tend to orbit around the same nebulous concept we're calling "centerlessness."

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 3:16 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, Curious, Spatial and Matthew - that is a very interesting discussion. I'm not over in that place but I understand completely that using language immediately fragments your experience and that this causes confusion when trying to relay that realm to others. I recall the Buddha encountering the same issue when he finally realized something significant about his perception of reality - whether his perception fell away or just changed in some profound way. His struggle was: how could he teach this to people because language seemed incompatible with the experience.

If I'm wrong in the following please correct me. It seems like you are all referring to something I can only call void - having no shape, edges, time, space, centre, location and so on. I'm using the word void as a figure of speech not pointing to anything specifically. Now, I've been sensing a distant haze of void-ness. Forms make no sense there but it is wholly complete in that void seems to be centred at every location. That's more noticeable when moving through space as it seems like not moving. Here is another way to explain: I am here, you are there. In-between us there is space. You are form, I am form and the space that separates us is form. For these forms to coexist like this there needs to be void. Void is everywhere at once, always has been and always will be but one cannot say that because it doesn't have the properties of location, time, and space. I don't know how I know this, I just do. It seems obvious. However, this experience leaves a cognizant impression of void; an echo that can be recalled in the psyche and now my memory of this becomes form. This is why we cannot think our way into void because thoughts are forms. Forms create more forms, then space, an environment, a world, and a universe with us at the centre.

I'm not a fan of the 'not thinking squad', as I like to think, but consciously directed thinking, evaluating and assessing my reality based on dharma concepts mostly dependant co-arising and the five aggregates.

I may be way off track here with the way I have delivered this. It's all unfamiliar territory for me so any challenges, criticisms or deliberately ambiguous Zen phrases are all welcome. 

My concern lies with not so much the way in which you describe your current experiences (it's a fascinating read, for sure!) but more in how you approached that experience. Did you have the sense of voidness appearing before you entered your current experience and if so, how did you work with that?

Great compassion

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/7/19 5:27 PM as a reply to Bardo.
Very well said. Void is a good and common verbal approximation. And, like you said, many describe it (in the form of emptiness/shunyata) as the very relativity that allows form to exist. 

Recently, I had a bit of an insight that I think may word it a little more clearly than void or emptiness. Both of those words imply an absence of form within a space, which isn’t quite accurate here, since this “absence” is emphatically present when there is form. So the wording I’m coming to prefer now is “potential.” The void is potentiality. It’s the quality of being able to be different than it is now, which is why no actually-existent form can ever be it. It’s also why the void cannot have location or duration, but seem omnipresent and omnitemporal; in what location do possibilities reside? 

Seeing it this way can add a positive spin on the negative-sounding three characteristics. Impermanence and selflessness, in the context of this field of potential, are actually a recipe for creativity.

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/8/19 4:55 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:

My best take on it is that, having shaken up the old default mode of perception, the mind tries on new ways of operating in the world to see if they work. For me, these included everything just being my mind. And my mind being just everything.

Ah! I remember reading about such experiences in Spatial's practice log. Very interesting to have that put into context.

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/8/19 11:21 AM as a reply to Bardo.
Hmmm... maybe "void" is that which has not been touched by mind.

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12/9/19 3:12 PM as a reply to Bardo.
I really like Matthew's suggestion of possibilities. And also Chris's point, which is marvellously cryptic as usual. We do run up against the issue of people using words in different ways; however, this doesn't matter as long as the experiential referent is clear. Anyway, reflecting on these issues, I would suggest there are several layers of mind at play here.

1. A field of possibility - the constant arising and passing away of the base quanta of existence, or awareness
2. A field of sensation - the flow of sensate formations, with some kind of relationship constructed between them
3. A field of concepts - an overlay of name and form to create the world of thought and action

And then there is the cessation of it all, which should probably come first in the list.

To me the sutta version of emptiness refers to deconstructing the field of concepts (I perceive no people here, just as I perceive no elephants here). Void could be seen as either cessation, or the field of possibility. But emptiness and void often seem to be used to refer to the field of sensations, and particularly to reconfiguring sensations into some kind of non-dual not-self experience. In such experiences the field of possibility may be dimly perceived, as if hiding behind a gauze curtain, but it does not really stand out, as it is still obscured by karmic formations and a busy mind.

Of course all this 'knowledge' is moderately useless, compared to simply following right concentration and right mindfulness, calming the chain of dependent arising, and then quenching the fire of the illusory self that generates the karmic formations.

Nonethless, directly contacting the field of sensations and reconstructing it into new ways of perceptions is a very useful practice (as well as being intensely blissful and satisfying) so should definitely be pursued once it is accessible. We can call it non-duality, or void, or humpty dumpty. It doesn't really matter, as long as it is clearly perceived. And actually, it comes in many many different flavours. You don't have to experience all the flavours, just as you don't have to eat every kind of ice-cream. 

Just my 2c worth

Malcolm

P.S. I recall reading that the Buddha got annoyed at some monks for spending too much time socialising, as this made it hard to meditate on voidness (not sure of the original Pali word used here). My experience is also that socialising reduces contact with the non-dual flow of sensation. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/9/19 3:33 PM as a reply to curious.
curious:
Nonethless, directly contacting the field of sensations and reconstructing it into new ways of perceptions is a very useful practice... so should definitely be pursued once it is accessible.  
1. I really enjoy your breakdown of this and complete lack of anything cryptic.
2. Specifically when you say "once it is accessible" is....? Once you have had some insights into these things or accessible meaning being able to reliably access jhanic levels (certain level - formless realms)?

Thank you, curious. I'm very curious. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/10/19 4:58 AM as a reply to curious.
curious:


P.S. I recall reading that the Buddha got annoyed at some monks for spending too much time socialising, as this made it hard to meditate on voidness (not sure of the original Pali word used here). My experience is also that socialising reduces contact with the non-dual flow of sensation. 



I get annoyed when I spend too much time socialising, for the very same reason as well as due to autistic overwhelm. I don't expect meditation to take away this brain's autistic wiring and wouldn't want it to, but how can I do something about this meditation-related crankiness? I care about people and don't want them to feel like they are an obstacle to me. It seems very counterproductive to get annoyed for the sake of meditation, and a very unawakened quality for that matter (maybe it manifested in a more dignified way in the Buddha, but as it manifests in me it is very evidently reactive and psychologically immature). How do I find a better balance here? Somehow I need the space to work through it, because in the midst of it I'm too overwhelmed to see that there is no me to be overwhelmed, and when it comes to that sort of thing, the combination of being autistic and having ADHD and Tourette's really does not help. I think I really need to work on this now, because otherwise there is cognitive dissonance building up. Maybe this is off topic, I don't know. Maybe it is more about the growing up part than the waking up part, but my feeling about it is that it is related and that this immaturity holds me back awakeningwise as well. Also, I want growing up to be integrated with my waking up. So what do I do? Do I turn to Tibetan Buddhism for this? 

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/10/19 7:00 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
One thing the Tibetans get right is bodhicitta, bodhicitta, bodhicitta. In brief, bodhicitta is the motivation to achieve enlightenment yourself so you can find the enlightenment in all beings.

In one sense this is about compassion: when you no longer suffer, you are better equipped to go out into the suffering world and show compassion without being harmed. In another sense this is about wisdom: when you see the nature of phenomena for yourself, you also see the nature of phenomena for all beings. You connect with their reality by connecting to your side.

You can do the exact same meditation you usually do, but if you begin by reflecting on this motivation, the insight automatically becomes more easily integrated. A shorthand version of the proper attitude is, “how can I use this wisdom to be kind?”

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/10/19 7:08 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Thanks, I already do that. It doesn't really solve the paradox of "shut up and leave me alone so I can learn how to be a more compassionate person". I think I need to do more shadowwork. I'm hoping that some elements practice could be helpful, for instance. 

RE: Second half of the territory
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12/10/19 12:19 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thanks, I already do that. It doesn't really solve the paradox of "shut up and leave me alone so I can learn how to be a more compassionate person". I think I need to do more shadowwork. I'm hoping that some elements practice could be helpful, for instance. 

I spent most of this summer hating other people largely because I viewed them as obstacles to my practice. I'm still working on this, but I have made some interesting progress. Thank you for bringing this up, because this helped me to consolidate a lot of my recent insights. I'm just going to list insights, thoughts, and exercises that I've found useful:

People are not obstacles to your practice. They are your practice. (Sanford Meisner, the acting teacher, said "That which hinders your task is your task.")

Whenever you have abstract, intellectual thoughts about other people, can you find some emotional element to it? Where in your body do you feel the emotions? Where in your body do you feel the thoughts? Is there any visual element? Where in space is the visual element located?

I found it useful to become more aware of anger, embarrassment, loneliness. Any sense of being irritated by any slight demands that someone else might be placing on you. Any sense of obligation, a feeling of needing to do the right thing.  Envy, jealousy.

Asking myself, "who does this person remind me of?" We don't react to the people in front of us; we react to people from our past.

Notice any sense of superiority. Any sense of guilt related to feeling superior. Any sense of frustration over being an advanced meditator and still having an ego.

Notice any sense of discomfort that you feel when you witness the mistreatment of others.

When you feel angry, let yourself imagine hurting the person. Be as violent as you want, in your mind. Notice how good this feels.

Notice what all of these emotions do to your facial muscles. Let those reactions happen.

Any sense of "I'm glad I'm not that person. I'm glad I can distance myself from that mess." Don't distance yourself. Deliberately pull that mess into your system, and push all your equanimity into theirs. You will generate more.

Other people are only a projection in your mind. You will purify yourself if you stop reacting to them and instead allow them to exist.

You are only a projection in their mind. They will purify themselves if they stop reacting to you and instead allow you to exist. You will purify them if you stop giving them something to react to.

You are only a projection in your own mind. You will purify yourself if you stop reacting to yourself and instead allow yourself to exist.

Defending yourself has to stop. Blaming others has to stop. Apologizing (in the sense of "I did something wrong") has to stop.

People are not trying to hurt you. They are acting out patterns from their past. You can help them by giving them a safe space in which to burn off that karma. Keep in mind that you have the same need.

Try to take on the other person's point of view. Try to feel their emotions. Let yourself become them. Even if you don't understand them completely, speak their words while feeling their feelings. Get mad at YOU from their point of view.

Learn about Nonviolent Communication.

Think about how great the world would be (for you) if everyone else were enlightened. Is there anything you want more than that? 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/10/19 12:50 PM as a reply to spatial.
This is great stuff. I'm familiar with some of it but definitely need to integrate it more, and this was a very systematic and tangible list of how to work with it. Exactly what I needed. Also, I was very relieved to find out that I'm not the only one going through a phase like this, and that there is a way to come out on the other side of it. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/10/19 11:18 PM as a reply to T.
T:
curious:
Nonethless, directly contacting the field of sensations and reconstructing it into new ways of perceptions is a very useful practice... so should definitely be pursued once it is accessible.  
1. I really enjoy your breakdown of this and complete lack of anything cryptic.
2. Specifically when you say "once it is accessible" is....? Once you have had some insights into these things or accessible meaning being able to reliably access jhanic levels (certain level - formless realms)?

Thank you, curious. I'm very curious. 

Sorry for the late reply.  Here is what I wrote earlier.

I wouldn't underestimate the cyptic style though. Being slightly puzzled but inquiring is a key requisite for insight.
 
Anyway, the non-dual not-self stuff can be accessed in lots of different ways. You can get rare glimpses long before stream entry, and in fact such glimpses sometimes lead people on to the path. Some Tibetan techniques will start by trying to directly contact non-dual flow of perceptions. In those styles, it first gets noticed occasionally, then increases, then reaches its full measure, and then you go beyond it. For Theravada, I would say that is a key feature of third path. You can get hints of it in equanimity too, and also in my experience in a type of spatial shamatha where the consciousness is to the fore occupying the dimension of space, gladenning the mind. I can't speak for the formless realms as I do not access those reliably.

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/10/19 11:31 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thanks, I already do that. It doesn't really solve the paradox of "shut up and leave me alone so I can learn how to be a more compassionate person". I think I need to do more shadowwork. I'm hoping that some elements practice could be helpful, for instance. 
Nice responses from Spatial. When I was getting stuck with some mixed up striving/ego/frustration, I went and asked a Geshe for some advice. He pointed me towards mind training, as promoted by the Dalai Lama. I read what was easily available online, but also found a little second hand book that really helped.

The book was "The Great Path of Awakening: A Commentary on the Mahayana Teaching of the Seven Points of Mind Training" by Jamon Kongtrul. Translated by Ken McLeod in 1987 and published by Shambala. 

And weirdly, I never noticed Ken McLeod's involvement until just now.

Malcolm 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/11/19 12:50 AM as a reply to curious.
Thanks! Maybe I should start with re-listening to Tashi Nyima's teachings on the seven points mind training then, available on youtube.  I like them a lot. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/24/19 6:46 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
This is great stuff. I'm familiar with some of it but definitely need to integrate it more, and this was a very systematic and tangible list of how to work with it. Exactly what I needed. Also, I was very relieved to find out that I'm not the only one going through a phase like this, and that there is a way to come out on the other side of it. 



I've been compiling a list of videos which I have found inspiring on the subject of dealing with other people. Here's what I have so far:

Shinzen Young:


Eckhart Tolle:


Nonviolent Communication:


RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
12/25/19 2:15 AM as a reply to spatial.
Thankyou! That's very helpful.

And I highly recommend the book Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton and Heen (1999). Not a dharma book, but very compatible, and also very easy to read. I should read it more often. 

You have probably figured that stuff out already, though. Still, it's a really good book. 

RE: Second half of the territory
Answer
1/1/20 10:49 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Thankyou! That's very helpful.

And I highly recommend the book Difficult Conversations by Stone, Patton and Heen (1999). Not a dharma book, but very compatible, and also very easy to read. I should read it more often. 

You have probably figured that stuff out already, though. Still, it's a really good book. 


That looks like an interesting book. I'll try to find a copy of it. Thanks for the recommendation!

Also, I haven't figured out anything yet. There's a difference between intellectual understanding and having the experiences needed to integrate that knowledge. As I'm typing this, I'm thinking that this is what I would really like: a set of exercises that would really train someone in all this stuff...