Message Boards Message Boards

The Dharma Battleground (DhB)

Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?

Toggle
Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/9/19 1:26 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/9/19 3:14 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/9/19 3:48 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Michial N 12/10/19 1:19 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Not two, not one 12/9/19 4:56 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/10/19 7:11 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/10/19 7:46 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/10/19 8:46 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/19 8:56 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Ward Law 12/10/19 10:36 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? SigmaTropic 12/10/19 12:33 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/10/19 9:08 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/12/19 2:36 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/12/19 8:08 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Daniel M. Ingram 12/12/19 9:30 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Ben V. 12/12/19 10:16 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? shargrol 12/13/19 6:47 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 6:43 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? shargrol 12/13/19 6:48 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 6:53 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/16/19 7:19 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Hibiscus Kid 12/13/19 7:02 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/13/19 7:27 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/16/19 8:42 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Ben V. 12/13/19 8:18 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/13/19 2:07 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? spatial 12/13/19 7:26 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/13/19 9:46 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/16/19 8:27 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Ben Sulsky 12/15/19 12:25 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/18/19 12:55 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/14/19 5:28 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Ben V. 12/15/19 8:20 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/18/19 12:43 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/27/19 2:09 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/16/19 7:12 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/10/19 7:03 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? spatial 12/10/19 11:20 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/10/19 1:23 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/10/19 1:55 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Michial N 12/10/19 2:41 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/10/19 2:11 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/10/19 2:12 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Michial N 12/10/19 2:41 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/10/19 2:30 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? svmonk 12/11/19 1:33 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Henry wijaya 12/11/19 2:18 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/11/19 7:10 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? shargrol 12/11/19 6:19 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/17/19 12:59 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/17/19 6:58 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/17/19 2:33 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/17/19 2:55 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/17/19 5:57 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Not two, not one 12/17/19 6:47 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Siavash 12/17/19 6:49 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/17/19 7:15 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/17/19 8:33 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/18/19 2:53 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/18/19 3:54 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/18/19 6:44 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/19/19 9:57 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 5:49 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? svmonk 12/12/19 12:59 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/12/19 2:12 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/16/19 8:36 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/14/19 2:39 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Jim Smith 12/19/19 9:08 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/19/19 9:20 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 10:15 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Not two, not one 12/19/19 12:36 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Jim Smith 12/19/19 1:21 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 2:03 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Jim Smith 12/19/19 10:35 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 2:36 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/20/19 6:48 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/20/19 7:15 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? shargrol 12/20/19 8:49 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 9:06 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/20/19 10:51 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 11:24 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/20/19 3:29 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/21/19 8:32 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Daniel M. Ingram 12/21/19 11:20 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/21/19 10:57 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/22/19 7:22 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Daniel M. Ingram 12/23/19 2:11 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/23/19 4:05 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? T 12/23/19 7:09 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/23/19 11:04 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/24/19 10:10 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/25/19 4:11 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/20/19 3:24 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/20/19 4:34 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/21/19 3:38 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/22/19 1:48 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/23/19 3:05 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Mista Tibbs 12/20/19 11:55 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/21/19 3:44 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Mista Tibbs 12/21/19 10:19 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/23/19 2:54 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? svmonk 12/23/19 8:55 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/24/19 12:30 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/24/19 3:14 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/24/19 12:41 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Matthew 12/24/19 1:16 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/24/19 6:26 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Not two, not one 12/25/19 5:01 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/25/19 5:13 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/25/19 7:23 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/26/19 12:33 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/26/19 3:58 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? spatial 12/19/19 2:56 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 7:42 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? terry 12/20/19 12:55 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Milo 12/19/19 3:16 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Chris Marti 12/19/19 3:53 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Milo 12/19/19 5:18 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Mista Tibbs 12/20/19 12:35 AM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 12/19/19 9:34 PM
RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really? Mista Tibbs 12/19/19 9:47 PM
A couple days ago I saw a video where Daniel went on Michael Taft's YouTube and participated in a Q&A. He mentioned the "physiological" necessity of cessation for awakening. Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly. Since cessation is simply necessary for awakening, any awakening-producing tradition must include cessation.

I'd like to question this. It seems to me like this is only true if we use a broader definition of cessation than Daniel (and the Mahasi tradition as a whole) does. I'll call their strict definition "complete cessation." Based on the way the awakening process appears to unfold, I argue such a complete cessation is only necessary for fourth path, and the first three paths can be attained with less-than-complete cessation. To explain why I'll quickly summarize the gist of how the paths appear to work.

By default we are ignorant of the ungraspable, unrejectable nature of phenomena. This causes us to try to grasp and reject them, causing suffering. The strongest manifestation of this is grasping some phenomena as self and rejecting some as other.

The process of awakening is the process of shedding these habits and realizing the nature of phenomena as it's always been. The four paths are four levels of depth of that same fundamental realization.
- Stream-Enterers realize non-grasping ways of being are possible; this dissolves doubt in the dharma and personality belief
- Once-Returners infer the futility of grasping phenomena as objects; this weakens greed and hate
- Non-Returners realize the futility of grasping phenomena as objects and infer the futility of grasping phenomena as a subject; this dissolves greed and hate
- Arhats realize the futility of grasping both object and subject; done is what has to be done.

Path attainment occurs when the next level of depth of experience temporarily stops functioning. By watching it re-construct, or by watching what it's like to live without it, the meditator gains insight into its emptiness/impermanence/constructedness and peels away that overlay from their experience of phenomena.

These four levels of depth mean that each realization only needs to penetrate to the level required by its path. Complete cessation is a full reset of the entire system, without even bare sensory stimulus; but the first three paths don't need the reset to be so deep. They can withstand some subtle clinging to a reference point, and of course they can, because otherwise they would be no different from Arhatship. They only require a smaller, incomplete cessation, similar to Shinzen's "noting Gone." Only fourth path, where the depth of realization must be total and complete, makes complete cessation mandatory.

So my thesis is: complete cessation is not strictly necessary before Arhatship. It is helpful, but not required.

Thoughts?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/9/19 3:14 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew, is this based on your experience?

In my experience, you have it backward - the earth-shattering no-holds-barred all the lights went out cessation occurred at first path (stream entry) and the fourth path moment wasn't really a cessation unless we define cessation broadly. I know quite a few others who report the same thing. Maybe they'll weigh in here.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/9/19 3:48 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Matthew, is this based on your experience?

In my experience, you have it backward - the earth-shattering no-holds-barred all the lights went out cessation occurred at first path (stream entry) and the fourth path moment wasn't really a cessation unless we define cessation broadly. I know quite a few others who report the same thing. Maybe they'll weigh in here.

yup

first jump into the ocean, then describe it...

hmmm...wet...


t

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 1:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I agree with Chris on this. My experience matches cessation as the doorway into stream entry. One could say that the 4th path moment is almost the opposite of that experience.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/9/19 4:56 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes. I didn't notice the lights out at stream entry, but it was otherwise pretty obviously a cessation, with the mind shocked at the insight, twisting through the three doors and falling into a hole, before rebooting with insight and concentration, and many permanent changes. In constrast, the last path moment I experienced was more of a shimmer, or a ripple. Or like sitting down and cracking open a cold beer after two hours in the garden. The last bit of striving went blip, and the whole thing just relaxed.

It may be possible to progress without a cessation, but how would you know? The more likely explanation is that a cessation occured, but was not recognised as such. But it there is a different experience, I think we would all like to hear about it! 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 7:03 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes, this is based on my experience. I don’t want to claim attainments because I’m more Buddhist than botanist - I’m not here to get stuck in the weeds emoticon

But I will say that what I now know was SE occurred within the context of ritual magic back when I lacked any real knowledge of Buddhism. At the time it felt like a radical opening up to experience rather than a cessation of experience, but it’s possible that that opening was the reboot and I simply didn’t notice the cessation for lack of knowledge of what to look for. It’s also possible that the most recent event that felt like a path attainment was less cessation-y because that’s the natural progression, rather than because that’s the nature of all path attainments.

I still contend that it’s possible to release entirely new depths of clinging via insight without awareness disappearing, which will eventually lead to a path. But perhaps the mechanism I thought enabled that is wrong. 

I am well and truly not an Arhat, so I don’t know what it feels like to become one!

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 7:11 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
curious:
Yes. I didn't notice the lights out at stream entry, but it was otherwise pretty obviously a cessation, with the mind shocked at the insight, twisting through the three doors and falling into a hole, before rebooting with insight and concentration, and many permanent changes.
All of that is wonderful and spot-on, but without the total vanishing of awareness, is it a cessation? That’s what I’m disputing - if things don’t totally vanish and come back without a trace, and this vanishing is tied to awakening, why is it that insight seems to be produced without it? This seems like a crucial definitional distinction if such a thing is physiologically tied to awakening. 

And yet, what is indisputable is the sudden bolt that permanently shifts your relationship to everything. All I’m saying is, in the battle between insight and MCTB-style cessation events, insight wins. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 7:46 AM as a reply to Matthew.
All I’m saying is, in the battle between insight and MCTB-style cessation events, insight wins. 

Battle?

Matthew, I believe this is a false dichotomy. I'm guessing that unless you know what cessation is you won't be looking for it and you won't thus see it. Or, as in my case, it's a cessation occurs that is profound but you have no idea what it is and don't thus pay much attention to it, in favor of insight. These two things are manifestations of the path and can't be artificially separated - pretty much like everything else.

emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 8:46 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
"Battle" may be a bit dramatic, you got me. What I meant was, "In the assessment of attainment, the effortless presence of insight seems like a more important indicator than passing through a moment of lights-out-no-awareness." The battle was a battle of priorities.

What I'm really trying to get at here is a phenomenological disagreement. Daniel and Michael say "the moment of lights-out-no-awareness, followed by the lights turning back on, is the culminating event of awakening." Daniel then points out a number of phenomena that occur in quick succession before and after this complete experiential gap.

When I look back at the path-defining events in practice, this doesn't line up for me. I can point to all the peripheral events that occur before and after, with permanent changes in the basic resting state of mind from then on, and can even point to a sort of gap in the middle, but this gap is not lights-out-no-awareness. It's a luminous gap. The lights are on, the room is just empty. Then as the objects phase back into the room, the light shines off of them differently, so to speak. But the experience is continuous.

This is a real dichotomy. If cessation is the culmination, a path-defining event which is physiologically tied to awakening, it's important to have criteria for what "counts." I and others appear to have the experience of something that functions as a cessation even though some sense of luminosity is still present. According to Daniel and Michael's definitions, this is not a cessation, meaning it should not have resulted in a path; and yet it is not uncommon. Even the descriptions of paths 2-4 here seem to imply this type of experience. To hand-wave this away seems like a missed opportunity to really explore what's going on and interrogate the actual, lived, non-theoretical criteria we use.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 8:56 AM as a reply to Matthew.
I think I have heard Culadasa talking about, or maybe I read it in his book, how it is possible to have a cessation that is after the fact experienced as something continuous, and how even the experience of discontinuity the way we experience it (the silhouette of it, so to speak) is a similar construction. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 9:08 AM as a reply to Matthew.
I and others appear to have the experience of something that functions as a cessation even though some sense of luminosity is still present. According to Daniel and Michael's definitions, this is not a cessation, meaning it should not have resulted in a path; and yet it is not uncommon.
To hand-wave this away seems like a missed opportunity to really explore what's going on and interrogate the actual, lived, non-theoretical criteria we use.

I don't think there are definitive answers to any of this. Obviously there are meditative traditions and practices that do not include any references to, or descriptions of, cessation. Again, I'm not sure all cessations are obvious, especially if we're not looking for them because we know what they are. And it's possible that Daniel is likewise adding to the appearance of a dichotomy when none actually exists. In my version of this, it's okay to not know. Sometimes certainty is the enemy of accuracy.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 10:36 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
There is a thorough discussion of cessation, and its different ways of manifesting, in TMI on pages 284-287. I would love to hear it discussed here by people who have actually read it.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 11:20 AM as a reply to Matthew.
At the moment I believe was my first cessation, I did not experience anything like "lights out". I was standing in a room with my eyes open, facing the door, when I started to become lost in thought. Suddenly, I had the sense that I was seeing the door for the very first time, that things were going to be profoundly different from now on, and that everything was going to be OK. It was weird, and I had no clue what it was.

I believe I experienced cessations in meditation for a couple years without knowing what they were. Most of them did not involve "lights out". Instead, they felt like abrupt discontinuities, like getting engrossed in a TV show and then suddenly somebody comes along and changes the channel. For a long time, that really frustrated me, because I felt like my concentration was getting messed up. The worst part was that I knew it happened every time my concentration became really good, so I just couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing wrong.

I have also had experiences in meditation that felt like cessations, but had no obvious discontinuity. I'm not sure what to make of those.

The more I pay attention, the more my experience does seem to line up with what Daniel describes. His descriptions seem to be based on obsessive focus on specific moments in the process, which most people will simply not notice. And, it's also probably somewhat subjective that he (or Mahasi) chooses those specific moments to focus on.

I'm pretty sure I too went down the line of thinking that you outlined in your original post, but I think there's something not quite right about it. The way I see it is that cessation is simply the ceasing of consciousness. The mind has resolved every problem that it is currently working on, and just stops functioning until something new shows up. This does not necessarily mean that you have worked through every single issue at that layer of the mind, but only that there's nothing in the present environment that is a cause for concern. So, the cessation itself is a non-event. It's not the result of insight, or the cause of insight. However, getting to the point where you are able to consciously witness the mind shutting itself down (and starting itself back up) requires working through quite a lot of stuff, and that process is what produces insight.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 12:33 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think I have heard Culadasa talking about, or maybe I read it in his book, how it is possible to have a cessation that is after the fact experienced as something continuous, and how even the experience of discontinuity the way we experience it (the silhouette of it, so to speak) is a similar construction. 

I've had experiences where it seemed like the body disappeared and there was an inconrehensible "moment" where all that was recalled was a visual static or a bright white light, followed by a bliss wave and all the effects of a complete "gone" type cessation, along with a mental reset and everything else associated with it. I've also experienced the "frames edited out" kind of cessation, and they seemed to be pretty similar in terms of what the mind took away from the experience. I had read the section in TMI on "consciousness without an object" before having those types of moments, so it's possible that whatever constructing activity happens after the fact depends on what your preconceived notions of cessation happen to be. It's all mind. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 1:23 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
I believe I experienced cessations in meditation for a couple years without knowing what they were. Most of them did not involve "lights out". Instead, they felt like abrupt discontinuities, like getting engrossed in a TV show and then suddenly somebody comes along and changes the channel. For a long time, that really frustrated me, because I felt like my concentration was getting messed up. The worst part was that I knew it happened every time my concentration became really good, so I just couldn't figure out what the heck I was doing wrong.
This lines up exactly with my experiences in the last six months on a couple of occasions and really appreciate you sharing it. I am not tuned in/focused enough to understand/see what Daniel describes, or what you say you are starting to see. However, this description couldn't be more spot on from my meditation experiences.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 1:55 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
At the moment I believe was my first cessation, I did not experience anything like "lights out". I was standing in a room with my eyes open, facing the door, when I started to become lost in thought. Suddenly, I had the sense that I was seeing the door for the very first time, that things were going to be profoundly different from now on, and that everything was going to be OK. It was weird, and I had no clue what it was.

I believe I experienced cessations in meditation for a couple years without knowing what they were. Most of them did not involve "lights out". Instead, they felt like abrupt discontinuities, like getting engrossed in a TV show and then suddenly somebody comes along and changes the channel. 
I agree with T, this is an excellent description, and way, way more in line with what insight feels like to me than "lights out then back on again." It's almost like when someone turns off the air conditioning - you didn't notice the sound was there, but then suddenly you notice its absence.

If this "counts" as a cessation, perhaps the inspiration behind this thread is a non-issue. But if so, I wish the language that dharma educators use would reflect this! Many in the so-called pragmatic dharma world emphasize a moment of total absence of any experience as a necessary component. This is apparently not a noticeable aspect of the experiences of many here, not just myself. This clearly has the capacity to create confusion.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 2:41 PM as a reply to Matthew.
I agree with T, this is an excellent description, and way, way more in line with what insight feels like to me than "lights out then back on again." It's almost like when someone turns off the air conditioning - you didn't notice the sound was there, but then suddenly you notice its absence.

If this "counts" as a cessation, perhaps the inspiration behind this thread is a non-issue. But if so, I wish the language that dharma educators use would reflect this! Many in the so-called pragmatic dharma world emphasize a moment of total absence of any experience as a necessary component. This is apparently not a noticeable aspect of the experiences of many here, not just myself. This clearly has the capacity to create confusion.

Cessation and a moment of insight can be two diffrent things. You can have insight without a cessation. Just as you can have a cessation without a moment of insight after it. You cannot have "SE" without knowing what a real Cessation is like. They go hand in hand. There is a lot of things that sound like cessation. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 2:11 PM as a reply to Michial N.
Michial N:
I agree with T, this is an excellent description, and way, way more in line with what insight feels like to me than "lights out then back on again." It's almost like when someone turns off the air conditioning - you didn't notice the sound was there, but then suddenly you notice its absence.

If this "counts" as a cessation, perhaps the inspiration behind this thread is a non-issue. But if so, I wish the language that dharma educators use would reflect this! Many in the so-called pragmatic dharma world emphasize a moment of total absence of any experience as a necessary component. This is apparently not a noticeable aspect of the experiences of many here, not just myself. This clearly has the capacity to create confusion.

Cessation and a moment of insight are two diffrent things. You can have insight without a cessation. Just as you can have a cessation without a moment of insight after it. You cannot have "SE" without knowing what a real Cessation is like. They go hand in hand. There is a lot of things that sound like cessation. 
Regarding my initial take - I have no basis to know about SE, I don't believe. Seems like I'd know, but I honestly have no idea based on all the confusing takes I read. 

That said - I would tend to agree with you on the separation. I can point out specific things that are insights I have "discovered" throughout this process that hit me like "whoa!" at the moment my mind saw the puzzle(s) clearly. Those are distinct from the experiences I'm relating to in Spatial's post. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 2:12 PM as a reply to Michial N.
Once more from this particular peanut gallery - I wouldn't put such a fine point on this cessation issue because we know it varies by person and by practice.

JMHO

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 2:41 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
True True.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/10/19 2:30 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:
spatial:
At the moment I believe was my first cessation, I did not experience anything like "lights out". I was standing in a room with my eyes open, facing the door, when I started to become lost in thought. Suddenly, I had the sense that I was seeing the door for the very first time, that things were going to be profoundly different from now on, and that everything was going to be OK. It was weird, and I had no clue what it was.

I believe I experienced cessations in meditation for a couple years without knowing what they were. Most of them did not involve "lights out". Instead, they felt like abrupt discontinuities, like getting engrossed in a TV show and then suddenly somebody comes along and changes the channel. 
I agree with T, this is an excellent description, and way, way more in line with what insight feels like to me than "lights out then back on again." It's almost like when someone turns off the air conditioning - you didn't notice the sound was there, but then suddenly you notice its absence.

If this "counts" as a cessation, perhaps the inspiration behind this thread is a non-issue. But if so, I wish the language that dharma educators use would reflect this! Many in the so-called pragmatic dharma world emphasize a moment of total absence of any experience as a necessary component. This is apparently not a noticeable aspect of the experiences of many here, not just myself. This clearly has the capacity to create confusion.

The way I read it, what Spatial describes is a moment of total absense of any experience. It is a moment that is totally cut out from experience, like the seamless changing of scenes inbetween clips in a film or when somebody abruptly changes the TV channel. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/11/19 1:33 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Probably a bit late in the thread, but I agree with Daniel here, though I think the duration and nature of the cessation varies by individual, as always, as Chris says. With me, I had like 2 minor cessations, where experience just stopped for maybe a minute or so while I was walking around, then rebooted, before a major one 6 months later while I was sitting in meditation that lasted for, I don't know how long, maybe 30 minutes? an hour? I was in retreat at the time so it's hard to say. After that, I had occasional cessations while walking around for the next two days, before a major 4 week A&P event happened and ended them. Since then, nothing.

Hope that helps.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/11/19 2:18 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:

So my thesis is: complete cessation is not strictly necessary before Arhatship. It is helpful, but not required.

Thoughts?


Yes I agree, I had both, the cessation and the insights. But insights is most important and can definitely changed someone right  away without cessation, even in suttas agrees with your opinions, try and read early buddhist texts , mostly SE achieved on hearing dhammas.


Don't put such an importance to cessation, why? because it just another experience. Experience always in the past, is living in the past what Buddha taught?

The more outstanding experience the more it could make you feel like you're someone special, you will try hard for those new craving, next you'll be claiming attainments and talk shows.. While all your insights tells you that you are just a seeing, touching, hearing, no self. No one is here. Only activity, no existence.

From ordinary to "extra" ordinary

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/11/19 7:10 AM as a reply to Henry wijaya.
Beyond the endless and confusing definitions of cessation, my personal view is that the importance of cessation isn't in "how" it plays out for any given person. It happens however it happens - big, small, noticed, not noticed, whatever.

The importance of cessation lies in the insight it engenders:

1. Consciousness is impermanent
2. Consciousness is not "me"
3. Consciousness is conditional, being a product of mind
4. If not perceiving in a habitual way with subject/object, there is no consciousness
5. Etc.

That these insights occur and are adopted at an innate, deeply grokked level and without further doubt is what really matters to advance the realization of the nature of existence.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/11/19 6:19 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Agree. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 12:59 AM as a reply to Henry wijaya.
Hi Henry,

Actually cessation is the absence of experience. What we construct around it after coming out is the experience. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 2:12 AM as a reply to svmonk.
Yup. And as far as experiences goes, even the constructed ones are exetremely banal when it comes to cessations. In order to make something extraordinary out of it, one would need a very vivid imagination. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 2:36 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:
"Battle" may be a bit dramatic, you got me. What I meant was, "In the assessment of attainment, the effortless presence of insight seems like a more important indicator than passing through a moment of lights-out-no-awareness." The battle was a battle of priorities.

What I'm really trying to get at here is a phenomenological disagreement. Daniel and Michael say "the moment of lights-out-no-awareness, followed by the lights turning back on, is the culminating event of awakening." Daniel then points out a number of phenomena that occur in quick succession before and after this complete experiential gap.

When I look back at the path-defining events in practice, this doesn't line up for me. I can point to all the peripheral events that occur before and after, with permanent changes in the basic resting state of mind from then on, and can even point to a sort of gap in the middle, but this gap is not lights-out-no-awareness. It's a luminous gap. The lights are on, the room is just empty. Then as the objects phase back into the room, the light shines off of them differently, so to speak. But the experience is continuous.

This is a real dichotomy. If cessation is the culmination, a path-defining event which is physiologically tied to awakening, it's important to have criteria for what "counts." I and others appear to have the experience of something that functions as a cessation even though some sense of luminosity is still present. According to Daniel and Michael's definitions, this is not a cessation, meaning it should not have resulted in a path; and yet it is not uncommon. Even the descriptions of paths 2-4 here seem to imply this type of experience. To hand-wave this away seems like a missed opportunity to really explore what's going on and interrogate the actual, lived, non-theoretical criteria we use.
aloha matthew,

   If you think you have attained something, you haven't.

   "The assessment of attainment" involves false premises. The "steam enterer" has abandoned attainments. There are no attainments in cessation. The "rebooting" of consciousness is a fall from grace. The best we can do is be conscious of this.

   This is not to dismiss what you are saying, but more to follow it to its logical conclusion. "If the cessation is the culmination" then the mere "appearance" of insight and luminosity amount to the reappearance of duality and delusion.

   Have some tea.

terry




from "tales of the dervishes" collected by idries shah...



THE STORY OF TEA


IN ANCIENT times, tea was not known outside China. Rumours of its existence had reached the wise and the unwise of other countries, and each tried to find out what it was in accordance with what he wanted or what he thought it should be.

The King of Inja ('here') sent an embassy to China, and they were given tea by the Chinese Emperor. But, since they saw that the peasants drank it too, they concluded that it was not fit for their royal master: and, furthermore, that the Chinese Emperor was trying to deceive them, passing off some other substance for the celestial drink.

The greatest philosopher of Anja ('there') collected all the information he could about tea, and concluded that it must be a substance which existed but rarely, and was of another order than anything then known. For was it not referred to as being a herb, a water, green, black, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet?

In the countries of Koshish and Bebinem, for centuries the people tested all the herbs they could find. Many were poisoned, all were disappointed. For nobody had brought the tea-plant to their lands, and thus they could not find it. They also drank all the liquids which they could find, but to no avail.

In the territory of Mazhab ('Sectarianism') a small bag of tea was carried in procession before the people as they went on their religious observances. Nobody thought of tasting it: indeed, nobody knew how. All were convinced that the tea itself had a magical quality. A wise man said: 'Pour upon it boiling water, ye ignorant ones!' They hanged him and nailed him up, because to do this, according to their belief, would mean the destruction of their tea. This showed that he was an enemy of their religion.

Before he died, he had told his secret to a few, and they managed to obtain some tea and drink it secretly. When anyone said: 'What
are you doing?' they answered: 'It is but medicine which we take for a certain disease.'

And so it was throughout the world. Tea had actually been seen growing by some, who did not recognize it. It had been given to others to drink, but they thought it the beverage of the common people. It had been in the possession of others, and they worshipped it. Outside China, only a few people actually drank it, and those covertly.

Then came a man of knowledge, who said to the merchants of tea, and the drinkers of tea, and to others: 'He who tastes, knows. He who tastes not, knows not. Instead of talking about the celestial beverage, say nothing, but offer it at your banquets. Those who like it will ask for more. Those who do not, will show that they are not fitted to be tea-drinkers. Close the shop of argument and mystery. Open the teahouse of experience.'

The tea was brought from one stage to another along the Silk Road, and whenever a merchant carrying jade or gems or silk would pause to rest, he would make tea, and offer it to such people as were near him, whether they were aware of the repute of tea or not. This was the beginning of the Chaikhanas, the teahouses which were established all the way from Peking to Bokhara and Samarkand. And those who tasted, knew.

At first, mark well, it was only the great and the pretended men of wisdom who sought the celestial drink and who also exclaimed: 'But this is only dried leaves!' or: 'Why do you boil water, stranger, when all I want is the celestial drink?', or yet again: 'How do I know what this is? Prove it to me. Besides the colour of the liquid is not golden, but ochre!'

When the truth was known, and when the tea was brought for all who would taste, the roles were reversed, and the only people who said things like the great and intelligent had said were the absolute fools. And such is the case to this day.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 8:08 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
If you think you have attained something, you haven't.
On very rare occasions, I get a glimpse of what you are talking about, terry. I don't mean that to be rude, it just seems beyond my grasp frequently.  I'm very confused here.

Is the key word here 'think' versus knowing it beyond all doubt based on whatever it is that changes for one who hits SE/Anagami/Arahant or what-have-you? Or just the idea of "attaining" which is a bit silly when considering how very normal it is when seen? I always get annoyed with that because a mind-shattering insight absolutely does appear totally normal after-the-fact (like the rope vs. snake) but is alien to the mind functioning prior.

I enjoy your poems and excerpts, by the way. It astounds me how many you have accessible to you for so many given situations. 

As I sit here... I expect I'm so far out in left field on this. It makes me laugh. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 9:30 PM as a reply to T.
Might find this video I made recently interesting: https://vimeo.com/user13532867 [see top video].

There really is this thing called Cessation, aka Fruition, and it really does do what it is supposed to do.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/12/19 10:16 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I really appreciate this video.

The first entrance you mention where you say reality goes "bah dat dat dat" is very familiar for me, except for the cessation that follows (never had cessations).

Is it possible for someone to get conformity knowledge but then fall back to equanimity, without getting cessation?

I think I read somewhere the analogy of a bird on a boat flying away seeking land but coming back to the boat everytime land is not found. I don't remember if this was about falling back from conformity when not finding cessation.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 6:47 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V., the tricky thing is aspects of A&P events can very closely resemble the three main styles of cessation. Many times there will be an A&P event when someone isn't able to rest in EQ with enough centering. It's like the mind knows it wants to go higher but can't, so it grabs onto the closest equivalent. Very very common. That's why people need to know there will probably be 500 A&P events before first path. If most of this is off retreat, then maybe that number is 1000 or 2000 times. Calling A&P event streamentry is soooo common, when actually it's just another trip through the A&P nana..

It's very similar to how towards the end of second path there can be a "first-path-like cessation" instead of a "second path fruition" --- this happens all the time. Many times people will call it second instead of a repeat of first.

a good natured rant follows... emoticon

This problem is _rampant_ on this board and others. Many people claim first and don't have it. Many people claim second and don't have it. For a number of years there was a lot more "policing" on DhO an /r/streamentry, but now I feel like the quality of diagnosis is lost and probably not able to "put the toothpaste back in the tube."  It falls under the "it takes more energy to correct a untruth than to claim an untruth" and so I personally just let these things be for the most part...

I will say though that it's very clear to experienced meditators who is really practicing, trying to maintain high standards, holding these claims provisionally while talking with other experienced meditators and trying to figure out the truth, etc.

I personally had basically a >perfect< psuedo-cessation event following a week on retreat as a dark night yogi. Looking back, I was clearly not centered in EQ, but WOW, it was a complete unknowing event without experience and my perceptual experience changed (much more sensitive by a factor of 5). But it didn't hold up in terms of other aspects of first path. Even after truly getting first with a teacher, I secretly debated whether my teacher was wrong and it was second. Even after getting third, I debated whether I had actually gotten 4th...  But this was all fine because I kept practicing and kept questioning. It fueled my actual practice.

(And it becomes clear that overcalling is just one aspect of somewhat inevitiable narcissism that gets more clearly seen in practice... and then it's kinda embarassing but excusable because, duh we're competitive mammals that do a lot of social status signalling... )

I think over-calling is somewhat fine if there is also doubt and ongoing practice. It's is totally normal. But I get creeped out when people have a moment of not-knowing and are sure they are first path -- they really haven't thought critically about all the criteria for truly having mature knowledge of the nanas and for first path. And it's scary how quickly they start trying to _teach_ getting to first path! I also get creeped out if someone is claiming a later path and doesn't think they have had cessations. By 3rd path, someone should have had 1000s of small cessations. Could there be outliers? Sure. But it's sort of like clamining to have climbed Everest and saying "you know, I actually found there to be plenty of oxygen, but I'm sure it was Everest because the view is exactly how everyone described" --- well, maybe you weren't really on the right mountain, that seems more likely.

So anyway, I really appreciate people that hold high standards even in the midst of a community of people that are apparently "making more progress". It's important not to lie to oneself and keep working on what still creates reactions and areas of the psyche that are still opaque. That's where any value is derived. Paths mean almost nothing (and are probably over-calling) without being built on a foundation of consistent daily practice. As it obvious, even talking in terms of path can be dangerous because there is always the hidden demon of spiritual pride and all the culty pathologies that pride can create. But I'm grateful for the honest discussion of paths in MCTB, it made a big difference in my life.

end good natured rant emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 6:43 AM as a reply to shargrol.
About those repeat first path cessations at the end of second... How does one know the difference for sure? I haven't come across much information about how path moments beyond SE manifest. Is there a review phase and signs of a new path starting after those fake path moments as well? 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 6:48 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
None of this stuff comes with a label on it. None of it is sure, and I'm not even sure about that. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 6:53 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Right. That will have to be okay. I'll just keep practicing, regardless. I'm having some minor issues with motivation for the first time since I started my daily practice, but not enough to keep me from practicing. I guess I should invite Mara over for some tea, like some teachers suggest. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 7:02 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Having been one of those practitioners who was questioning whether an experience I had was a cessation, I owe you big time for inserting doubt into 'my' attainment and stressing the need for a consistent practice. I had to be honest with myself - my practice wasn't consistent at the time, I wasn't able to access any jhanas or lite samatha states after the fact and I was shrinking away from difficult territory instead of letting it in and really learning equanimity (basically just trying to spiritually by-pass). At this point, I'm 95% sure that the experience wasn't it and it doesn't matter - it's the consistent practice that has been putting me in touch with the material that leads to growth.

Your rant is pretty spot-on. I see a lot of people claiming various paths (without teacher supervision or quality control) on different forums. There seems to be a lot of speculation amongst folks, lots of philosophy, people seem to try new techniques every week instead of sticking with one for a few months, lots of admissions to sloppy practice, people arguing about definitions and experiences, ways to avoid the dark night instead of learning from it, etc. Just an observation from another person.     
 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 7:27 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol --

This problem is _rampant_ on this board and others. Many people claim first and don't have it. Many people claim second and don't have it. For a number of years there was a lot more "policing" on DhO an /r/streamentry, but now I feel like the quality of diagnosis is lost and probably not able to "put the toothpaste back in the tube."  It falls under the "it takes more energy to correct a untruth than to claim an untruth" and so I personally just let these things be for the most part...

+1,  and yes frankly, who has the time to respond to the flood of misinformation?

I get creeped out when people have a moment of not-knowing and are sure they are first path -- they really haven't thought critically about all the criteria for truly having mature knowledge of the nanas and for first path. And it's scary how quickly they start trying to _teach_ getting to first path!

+2

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 8:18 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Thanks Shargrol! Very much appreciated.

What you describe in your first paragraph makes a lot of sense to me, reflecting on what goes on in my practice! 

To be clear, I've never had cessations, so nothing to claim about that. But I do have a consistent daily practice ranging between 45 min. to around 2 hours a day. 

1000 to 2000 A&P events before having a 1st cessation is reassuring to me, actually. Seems what I'm going through is a normal standard emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 2:07 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Thank you Daniel, for the video! Even though it is mostly a reiteration of what you had already made available in MCTB, something about the direct verbal presentation, being able to see the emphasis that comes in speech more than in writing, gave a clearer picture to me. Hearing Conformity knowledge described as "badapbap" is always a favorite.

Thank you shargrol, for the good-natured rant! That type of candidness and BS-less-ness is what I appreciate about this community.

I will admit that my dharmic journey (after a beginning in magick, which continues but has its woeful incompleteness supplemented by dharma) has been in the Maha- and Vajrayana side of things, where the maps and methods of traversing them are different. A lot of my dumb questions are attempts to try and find how to re-map things into the language used here at DhO to be able to communicate correctly. With that context, I can see how some playful antinomianism might come off as annoying, overly-theoretical, or uneducated. In future I'll stick to phenomenological descriptions of practice, since that's something we can all share regardless of tradition or conceptual labels.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 7:26 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Here's a personal rant of sorts:

I consider myself a skeptic, and I hope that if anyone believes that I am over-calling my own attainments, they will challenge me on it. All of this vocabulary is still really new to me, and I have considerable doubt as to how to accurately line up my experiences with what I have read about.

The discussions about paths have motivated me to practice harder. I think that seems to be a good thing. It has also led to an unbelievable amount of striving. Maybe that's not a good thing, but I have a hard time imagining how things would have gone otherwise.

shargrol:

I think over-calling is somewhat fine if there is also doubt and ongoing practice. It's is totally normal. But I get creeped out when people have a moment of not-knowing and are sure they are first path -- they really haven't thought critically about all the criteria for truly having mature knowledge of the nanas and for first path. And it's scary how quickly they start trying to _teach_ getting to first path!


This is what scares me. I have an urge to teach what I feel like I know, and I find myself giving out advice here and elsewhere. Yet, my personal life is a mess and my practice is often nothing but confusion to me.

shargrol:
I will say though that it's very clear to experienced meditators who is really practicing, trying to maintain high standards, holding these claims provisionally while talking with other experienced meditators and trying to figure out the truth, etc.


I am wondering if it's a good idea to try harder to get to the truth. I don't know how I would do that. I just read books like MCTB and posts on this forum and try to match up descriptions of subjective experience. This stuff really does sound like Dungeons & Dragons... I have a hard time believing so much of it...and yet, my reality has changed in ways that are simply outside the understanding of normal society. I don't know what to do with that. And even if I'm making progress on the path outlined by Daniel, is that really the same path as that outlined by Buddha???

shargrol:

(And it becomes clear that overcalling is just one aspect of somewhat inevitiable narcissism that gets more clearly seen in practice... and then it's kinda embarassing but excusable because, duh we're competitive mammals that do a lot of social status signalling... )

I am very aware of narcissism that seems to be showing up around my practice. I'm not sure what to do about it other than watch it happen.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/13/19 9:46 PM as a reply to spatial.
I was thinking that this was unfortunately exactly the kind of thing that would make those who already question themselves too much to do so even more. My impression of you, Spatial, is that you are a very diligent practitioner who always seeks out the truth and has very high standards for your practice together with a great amount of humble skepticism. I'm pretty sure you were not the target here, as it is clear to me that you are very well respected by both Shargrol and Chris, and for good reasons. (Just to be clear, I do not consider myself to be one of those experienced meditators who can tell who qualifies and who does not, as I'm still pretty much a newbie, but I think this particular case is as clear as they come, so I'm saying it anyway.) I have learned so much from you, and I'm very grateful for that. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/14/19 5:28 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
I really appreciate this video.

The first entrance you mention where you say reality goes "bah dat dat dat" is very familiar for me, except for the cessation that follows (never had cessations).

Is it possible for someone to get conformity knowledge but then fall back to equanimity, without getting cessation?

I think I read somewhere the analogy of a bird on a boat flying away seeking land but coming back to the boat everytime land is not found. I don't remember if this was about falling back from conformity when not finding cessation.


That video got me thinking, too. The gesture describing how "this side" and "that side" change places was such an exact illustration of something that I was experiencing almost a month before my assumed stream entry. I had to go back to my log to check the context of it. I hadn't been able to verbalize it very well, but it was a very clear experience. Just not clearly verbalized. I can't use gestures in my log, but if I could, I would have made that exact gesture, because that's what happened. However, I did not notice any cessation afterwards. Thus I wonder, too, if it is possible to have conformity knowledge appear without being followed by a cessation. I also wonder if there was a cessation but I just didn't notice it. I was surprised that so much time had passed, because subjectively, it hadn't (and I wasn't sleepy or dull) but I seriously doubt that it was a cessation long enough to cause that. There was a tangible change in sensory experiences after this, most of which did however not last, and right after it I started to drop into something formless. Still, I doubt that was a cessation because it didn't feel finished. I think that may have been the sort of near miss that brought me to the post 8th junction point for the first time. Ben V, does that sound familiar to you?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/14/19 2:39 PM as a reply to Matthew.
There is something wrong with the coding of this thread. After I replied to it yesterday, with difficulties, the thread was listed as an old thread with the latest post marked as the one I had replied to (it was my reply to Ben V, so his post was marked as the latest post). Now I tested to see if I could post today. That worked, so I deleted my test posts (I did one as a reply to Matthew's original post and one as a reply with quote to my latest post). Then the thread was marked as even older, with Matthew's original post as the lates post. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/15/19 8:20 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
"There was a tangible change in sensory experiences after this, most of which did however not last, and right after it I started to drop into something formless. Still, I doubt that was a cessation because it didn't feel finished. I think that may have been the sort of near miss that brought me to the post 8th junction point for the first time. Ben V, does that sound familiar to you?"

Some of it yes. It all started some 3 years ago. I was in a solitary retreat and had a skype session with Kenneth Folk in the middle of it. He felt I was in re-observation and taught me how to expand my awareness in a more paronamic way. This made me go into a very new territory for me I had never been in before. In this expanded awareness it seemed that experiences were known immediately, without the need for mind movements to go after an experience.  It's after that retreat that I began to have moments, when I was in this more expanded state, where very quick, sudden, vibrations would be felt "in the background of my awareness", if that makes sense. It really was like the background was going "badatdatdat" real fast but for a short moment, like maybe for half a second. Right after that, nothing special, except sometimes some pang of fear.

One thing for sure is the feeling that I was not finished! So that part is very familiar to me! As for change in sensory experience, since then sometimes I feel more intimacy with experience, and the "sense that all experiences arise in awareness". Related to that, a sense that a part of the mind never moves around any experience. There is mind movement, and a sense that a part of the mind is always unmoving. This is not a 24h experience though. Even sometimes when walking outside, I would have, and still have at times, the funny feeling that although my body is moving, something in me is not moving. 

Sorry if this sounds overly mystical. But there is a sense of mild frustration that all this is close to something which could happen but is not happening: the cessation of mind. Before all this, cessation of mind seemed like something I could not fathom why people would meditate for that; it seemed painfully nihilistic. But since I've had these experiences (presumably equanimity related), cessation of mind seems the most attractive thing ever. Reflecting on it, it's probably because these is more clear seeing around the fact that all mind-movements contain subtle frustrations. 



RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/15/19 12:25 PM as a reply to shargrol.
As a relative beginner meditator and poster on DhO, it's tremendously helpful to me (and I imagine many others like me) to have people with 1k+ posts and lots of experience continuing to spend their time on here.  I can imagine it's frustrating to hear the same overcalls/mistakes/pitfalls again and again for years on end and feel like you're shouting into the wind.  On the other hand, for the person on the receiving end, a response in a thread or a piece of advice can feel personal and empowering even if similar information in the purely logical sense is available elsewhere.  

Best,
Ben

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/16/19 7:12 PM as a reply to T.
T:
terry:
If you think you have attained something, you haven't.
On very rare occasions, I get a glimpse of what you are talking about, terry. I don't mean that to be rude, it just seems beyond my grasp frequently.  I'm very confused here.

Is the key word here 'think' versus knowing it beyond all doubt based on whatever it is that changes for one who hits SE/Anagami/Arahant or what-have-you? Or just the idea of "attaining" which is a bit silly when considering how very normal it is when seen? I always get annoyed with that because a mind-shattering insight absolutely does appear totally normal after-the-fact (like the rope vs. snake) but is alien to the mind functioning prior.

I enjoy your poems and excerpts, by the way. It astounds me how many you have accessible to you for so many given situations. 

As I sit here... I expect I'm so far out in left field on this. It makes me laugh. 


aloha t,

   On very rare occasions, I get a glimpse of what I am talking about too.

   Lots of people, myself included, speak very knowledgeably and even glibly about enlightenment, stream entry, nirvana, buddhadharma and the like. No one really knows what any of these notions actually mean. Think about it: we define words using other words, we find meaning in words which depend on other words, and there is no real basis for any of it. All of this talk is suggestive only, it is art and poetry, if not mere gas.

   There is practice leading to enlightenment, but no one to practice, no one to be enlightened. The entire universe including yourself is One Pearl. Enlightenment is the condition of having overcome the notion of self, having no point of attachment to any passing phenomena.

   Perhaps when one meditates a lot, one comes to a point where all of our thinking is just background noise, to be ignored. We may find that none of it is worth paying any attention to, that we don't miss it at all. Our thinking becomes speech, our speech becomes action. Our action becomes non-action, our speech becomes silence. I can see how this sort of talk can be confusing, but nonduality can't be revealed to dualistic consciousness. It is like swimming in the ocean and scheming to get a hold of some of this water everyone talks about.

   As you say, if you "think" you don't "know." We don't have to think what we know, and if we do "think" we open up to debate and inner or outer dialog, and thus to doubt. 

   The idea of attaining, as you say, is silly in light of the ubiquity of one's "true nature." To be fair, these terms can be (and often are) used in a more technical sense. Talk of "cessation" and "gaps" makes sense in terms of dialog about meditation experiences and the like. Even such phrases as "stream entry," while notional, may refer to a particular set of experiences that those of similar background and practice may understand. Some of these experiences are universally human, and as such have "no dependence on words and letters" as in the zen tenet. So, it may be even more confusing that some can speak of these things in a particular, technical way, and others may brush this aside to get to the heart of the matter. One may speak of attainment and be entirely unattached to any personal sense of accomplishment. Another may speak of non-attainment in much the same way. Hopefully we respect each other's viewpoints and don't take sides and defend our "selves."

   There is no right answer here, no sure way of looking at it. It is your confusion that is at issue here, from seeing and respecting viewpoints that do not seem to coincide. Number one, it is your view that matters, and by this I mean it is no good to "believe in" what you don't understand just because you respect the author. As omar khayyam says, "Take the Cash and let the Credit go." See what is in front of you and don't be fooled. Stick to what you know, and don't stray from that for pie in the sky.  This is "pragmatic dharma," not religion.

   If I seem to be saying, like the fatuous polonius, "to thine own self be true," that is not it at all. It is absolutely not a matter of a reinforced self "navigating" or resolving issues. The taoist metaphor for dealing with confusion is "letting the mud settle." It is not about grasping, it is about letting go. About trusting your nature, letting yourself be as spontaneous, innocent, and sincere as all of the rest of nature. Being present, flowing with what is natural here and now, a part of all and at the same time all - this has nothing to do with attainment.

   The whole idea of attainment, for most people, involves the achievement of a desirable goal, for the sake of personal gain. Most people pursuing spiritual goals are actually further behind than "normal" people who don't even try. It is precisely people pursung spiritual goals who need elementary remedial training in simply being human. In getting in touch with their shadow side and their inner child, that sort of thing. Thus ironical long technical discussions with guys whose wives may be highly attained with no apparent effort at all, and whose kids already know what a lifetime has not yet taught dad.

   It is not about effort, there is no reward for long service, and suffering racks up no bonus. "Attainment" as a valid technical term refers to realizing what is always and ever apparent. That "one attains nothing" has a technical meaning as well. Cessation is a black hole.

   The sufis find all the time that some people know exactly what they are talking about in its technical senses, having "tasted" and having the experience, while others look at the same material and know it is significant, but only "get it" occasionally, or not at all. (The wise fish, the half wise fish, and the unwise fish.)

   I could post lots of excerpts related to these ideas, but I want to leave this with lao tzu's advice on "ruling the kingdom."

terry


from the tao te ching, trans lin yutang:


60. Ruling a Big Country

Rule a big country as you would fry small fish. 
Who rules the world in accord with Tao 
   Shall find that the spirits lose their power. 
It is not that the spirits lose their power, 
   But that they cease to do people harm. 
It is not (only) that they cease to do people harm, 
   The Sage (himself) also does no harm to the people. 
When both do not do each other harm, 
   The original character is restored.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/16/19 7:19 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
None of this stuff comes with a label on it. None of it is sure, and I'm not even sure about that. emoticon


absolutely!
(grin)

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/16/19 8:42 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Shargrol --

This problem is _rampant_ on this board and others. Many people claim first and don't have it. Many people claim second and don't have it. For a number of years there was a lot more "policing" on DhO an /r/streamentry, but now I feel like the quality of diagnosis is lost and probably not able to "put the toothpaste back in the tube."  It falls under the "it takes more energy to correct a untruth than to claim an untruth" and so I personally just let these things be for the most part...

+1,  and yes frankly, who has the time to respond to the flood of misinformation?

I get creeped out when people have a moment of not-knowing and are sure they are first path -- they really haven't thought critically about all the criteria for truly having mature knowledge of the nanas and for first path. And it's scary how quickly they start trying to _teach_ getting to first path!

+2

   All these technical terms remind me of the physicist who didn't want to be bothered with the "subatomic zoo." He said, "If I wanted to learn the names of all those particles, I would have been a botanist."

t

nana
nana nana
nanana
nanana

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 12:59 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Beyond the endless and confusing definitions of cessation, my personal view is that the importance of cessation isn't in "how" it plays out for any given person. It happens however it happens - big, small, noticed, not noticed, whatever.

The importance of cessation lies in the insight it engenders:

1. Consciousness is impermanent
2. Consciousness is not "me"
3. Consciousness is conditional, being a product of mind
4. If not perceiving in a habitual way with subject/object, there is no consciousness
5. Etc.

That these insights occur and are adopted at an innate, deeply grokked level and without further doubt is what really matters to advance the realization of the nature of existence.


aloha chris,

   I watched pbs nova's show on black holes last night on netflix. Physicists obviously can't see black holes, so they study them by seeing how things around them are affected. The first black hole was detected by looking for binary stars in which one of the pair was invisible.

   There is a theoretical "event horizon" to a black hole where true voidness begins. And theoretically the mass of the black hole is infintiely great and the point of its concentration infinitely small. But what we can actually "see" is the "accretion disk," where objects seem to surround the black hole as they approach it.

   This reminds me of the insights associated with cessation.

terry

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/16/19 8:27 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:
Here's a personal rant of sorts:

I consider myself a skeptic, and I hope that if anyone believes that I am over-calling my own attainments, they will challenge me on it. All of this vocabulary is still really new to me, and I have considerable doubt as to how to accurately line up my experiences with what I have read about.

The discussions about paths have motivated me to practice harder. I think that seems to be a good thing. It has also led to an unbelievable amount of striving. Maybe that's not a good thing, but I have a hard time imagining how things would have gone otherwise.

shargrol:

I think over-calling is somewhat fine if there is also doubt and ongoing practice. It's is totally normal. But I get creeped out when people have a moment of not-knowing and are sure they are first path -- they really haven't thought critically about all the criteria for truly having mature knowledge of the nanas and for first path. And it's scary how quickly they start trying to _teach_ getting to first path!


This is what scares me. I have an urge to teach what I feel like I know, and I find myself giving out advice here and elsewhere. Yet, my personal life is a mess and my practice is often nothing but confusion to me.

shargrol:
I will say though that it's very clear to experienced meditators who is really practicing, trying to maintain high standards, holding these claims provisionally while talking with other experienced meditators and trying to figure out the truth, etc.


I am wondering if it's a good idea to try harder to get to the truth. I don't know how I would do that. I just read books like MCTB and posts on this forum and try to match up descriptions of subjective experience. This stuff really does sound like Dungeons & Dragons... I have a hard time believing so much of it...and yet, my reality has changed in ways that are simply outside the understanding of normal society. I don't know what to do with that. And even if I'm making progress on the path outlined by Daniel, is that really the same path as that outlined by Buddha???

shargrol:

(And it becomes clear that overcalling is just one aspect of somewhat inevitiable narcissism that gets more clearly seen in practice... and then it's kinda embarassing but excusable because, duh we're competitive mammals that do a lot of social status signalling... )

I am very aware of narcissism that seems to be showing up around my practice. I'm not sure what to do about it other than watch it happen.

aloha spatial,

   You are overthinking it, bra.

terry




T. P. Kasulis, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Hawaii.

Philosophy East and West Volume 28, no. 3, July 1978,
p. 353-373 © by University Press of Hawaii



"Fundamentally, our experience as experienced is not different from the Zen master's. Where we differ is that we place a particular kind of conceptual overlay onto that experience and then proceed to make an emotional investment in that overlay, taking it to be 'real' in and of itself."

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/16/19 8:36 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Henry,

Actually cessation is the absence of experience. What we construct around it after coming out is the experience. emoticon


the following is more a comment on this whole thread...aloha svm nonetheless...

t



See KOAN: Chih-huang, Tai-yung, Samadhi at http://wanderling.tripod.com/tai_yung.html.



Zen master Tai-yung, passing by the retreat of another Zen master named Chih-huang, stopped and during his visit respectfully asked, "I am told that you frequently enter into Samadhi. At the time of such entrances, does your consciousness continue or are you in a state of unconsciousness? If your consciousness continues, all sentient beings are endowed with consciousness and can enter into Samadhi like yourself. If, on the other hand, you are in a state of unconsciousness, plants and rocks can enter into Samadhi." Huang replied, "When I enter into a Samadhi, I am not conscious of either condition." Yung said, "If you are not conscious of either condition, this is abiding in eternal Samadhi, and there can be neither entering into a Samadhi nor rising out of it."

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 6:58 AM as a reply to terry.
terry --

This reminds me of the insights associated with cessation.

Me, too. That is not a bad analogy.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 2:33 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
terry --

This reminds me of the insights associated with cessation.

Me, too. That is not a bad analogy.


metaphor

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 2:55 PM as a reply to terry.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 5:57 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:


   I know the difference, obviously, or I wouldn't have made the distinction.

  Is the cessation of human consciousness analogous to the death of a star? or a gravity well? Are the processes analogous? Or is "a black hole" a metaphor for cessation? Is consciousness analogous to light, or is light a metaphor for consciousness? Can any conception or image provide an analogy to cessation? Particularly one from subject-object oriented "science"?

   First a massive star fuses all its hydrogen, then helium, creating heavier elements which fuse, going through silicon, then carbon and finally iron, past which elements no longer fuse. In the absence of fusion, the resulting neutron star's contents collapse inward, forming a concentration of matter so dense even photons cannot escape its gravitational force. At the center of each galaxy is a super-massive black hole, around which stars rotate, and into whose maw stars expire.

   It might be interesting to see this spun into an analogy, but I'll settle for metaphor.

t

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 6:47 PM as a reply to terry.
Ooooh!  Can I play too?  The black hole is a metaphor, but the process of inference from observed to unobserved is an analogy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAvcGcEc0k


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 6:49 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
curious:
Ooooh!  Can I play too?  The black hole is a metaphor, but the process of inference from observed to unobserved is an analogy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAvcGcEc0k


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

emoticon


Glad you said it! I wanted to mention that too, but since I am not a native speaker, I did hesitate :-D .

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 7:15 PM as a reply to Siavash.
The debated text chunk - just like its referent - is the elephant being observed by different blind men.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/17/19 8:33 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
curious:
Ooooh!  Can I play too?  The black hole is a metaphor, but the process of inference from observed to unobserved is an analogy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAvcGcEc0k


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

emoticon

aloha malcolm,

   I agree that a black hole is a metaphor for cessation. I understand that an analogy is between processes. I don't agree that cessation is inferred from the presence of insight. Nor that insight is processual.

   The fallacy is as simple as: some s is p, therefore all s is p. Some insight is associated with cessation, but all insight is not. And association is not process.

   The point could be argued. In the end it depends on experience.

   The video was entertaining.

terry



In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus -
A lovely sunset

~basho

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/18/19 12:43 AM as a reply to Ben V..
Ben V.:
"There was a tangible change in sensory experiences after this, most of which did however not last, and right after it I started to drop into something formless. Still, I doubt that was a cessation because it didn't feel finished. I think that may have been the sort of near miss that brought me to the post 8th junction point for the first time. Ben V, does that sound familiar to you?"

Some of it yes. It all started some 3 years ago. I was in a solitary retreat and had a skype session with Kenneth Folk in the middle of it. He felt I was in re-observation and taught me how to expand my awareness in a more paronamic way. This made me go into a very new territory for me I had never been in before. In this expanded awareness it seemed that experiences were known immediately, without the need for mind movements to go after an experience.  It's after that retreat that I began to have moments, when I was in this more expanded state, where very quick, sudden, vibrations would be felt "in the background of my awareness", if that makes sense. It really was like the background was going "badatdatdat" real fast but for a short moment, like maybe for half a second. Right after that, nothing special, except sometimes some pang of fear.

One thing for sure is the feeling that I was not finished! So that part is very familiar to me! As for change in sensory experience, since then sometimes I feel more intimacy with experience, and the "sense that all experiences arise in awareness". Related to that, a sense that a part of the mind never moves around any experience. There is mind movement, and a sense that a part of the mind is always unmoving. This is not a 24h experience though. Even sometimes when walking outside, I would have, and still have at times, the funny feeling that although my body is moving, something in me is not moving. 

Sorry if this sounds overly mystical. But there is a sense of mild frustration that all this is close to something which could happen but is not happening: the cessation of mind. Before all this, cessation of mind seemed like something I could not fathom why people would meditate for that; it seemed painfully nihilistic. But since I've had these experiences (presumably equanimity related), cessation of mind seems the most attractive thing ever. Reflecting on it, it's probably because these is more clear seeing around the fact that all mind-movements contain subtle frustrations. 



I don't think this sounds overly mystical. It doesn't sound like the post 8th junction point either, though, so that leaves my hypothesis in the dark. 

I used to sometimes feel that cessation of the mind sounded painfully nihilistic, too, and the word emptiness even more so, even though I was often longing for the sense of a separate self to dissolve. I was so endlessly tired of me. I was also endlessly tired of the repetitiveness of sociality, having to tell stories about myself over and over again, present myself, position myself... Ugh... I used to joke about wanting to joining the Borg collective. Compared to that, not-self and emptiness are so very far from being painfully nihilistic. Now I have a hard time understanding what it was that felt so scary not that long ago. 

May you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.
May you embrace happiness and the causes of happiness.
May you abide in peace, free from self-grasping.
May you attain the union of wisdom and compassion.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/18/19 12:55 AM as a reply to Ben Sulsky.
Ben Sulsky:
As a relative beginner meditator and poster on DhO, it's tremendously helpful to me (and I imagine many others like me) to have people with 1k+ posts and lots of experience continuing to spend their time on here.  I can imagine it's frustrating to hear the same overcalls/mistakes/pitfalls again and again for years on end and feel like you're shouting into the wind.  On the other hand, for the person on the receiving end, a response in a thread or a piece of advice can feel personal and empowering even if similar information in the purely logical sense is available elsewhere.  

Best,
Ben
I agree with this, but I want to add the caveat that just because someone has 1k+ posts here, it doesn't necessarily mean that they are an experienced practitioner. I'm one of the members with most posts, and I'm a relative beginner meditator too. I may very well be one of the persons that are oversharing advice too early. I want to be very clear that I'm not doing that from the position of a teacher, because I'm not qualified for that. I'm a huge fan of peer support, though, and something of an action researcher in the field of mutual support, and that is my take on it. I find that it is in many different cases, meditation included, so much easier to make the journey together with others who are on a similar journey. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/18/19 2:53 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
curious:
Ooooh!  Can I play too?  The black hole is a metaphor, but the process of inference from observed to unobserved is an analogy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAvcGcEc0k


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

emoticon

aloha malcolm,

   I agree that a black hole is a metaphor for cessation. I understand that an analogy is between processes. I don't agree that cessation is inferred from the presence of insight. Nor that insight is processual.

   The fallacy is as simple as: some s is p, therefore all s is p. Some insight is associated with cessation, but all insight is not. And association is not process.

   The point could be argued. In the end it depends on experience.

   The video was entertaining.

terry



In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus -
A lovely sunset

~basho

Metaphors
by Sylvia Plath

I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/18/19 3:54 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
curious:
Ooooh!  Can I play too?  The black hole is a metaphor, but the process of inference from observed to unobserved is an analogy. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpAvcGcEc0k


emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

emoticon

aloha malcolm,

   I agree that a black hole is a metaphor for cessation. I understand that an analogy is between processes. I don't agree that cessation is inferred from the presence of insight. Nor that insight is processual.

   The fallacy is as simple as: some s is p, therefore all s is p. Some insight is associated with cessation, but all insight is not. And association is not process.

   The point could be argued. In the end it depends on experience.

   The video was entertaining.

terry



In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus -
A lovely sunset

~basho

 from "the essential rumi," trans coleman barks


16. Rough Metaphors: More Teaching Stories

On Roughness

Some of Rumi’s metaphors are rough, raw, and unacceptable to refined tastes. When Reynold Nicholson translated the Mathnawi into English in the 19205, he chose to render some passages into Latin, supposing that anyone who knew enough Latin to read them would be properly shielded from taint. Rumi uses anything human beings do, no matter how scandalous or cruel or silly, as a lens to examine soul growth. A gourd crafted to serve as a flange, allowing a donkey’s penis to enter a woman’s vagina just to the point of her pleasure but not far enough to harm her, becomes a metaphor for a device a sheikh might use to put limits on a disciple. After another graphic, outrageously elaborated comparison of breadmaking with lovemaking, he concludes, “Remember. The way you make love is the way God will be with you.” For Rumi, the bread of every experience offers nourishment.


ROUGH METAPHORS

Someone said, “there is no dervish,
or if there is a dervish, that dervish
is not there.”

Look at a candle flame in bright
noon sunlight.
  If you put cotton next to it, the cot-
ton will burn,
   but its light has become com-
pletely mixed
     with the sun.
   That candlelight you can’t find is
what’s left of a dervish.

If you sprinkle one ounce of vinegar
over
  two hundred tons of sugar,
   no one will ever taste the vinegar.

A deer faints in the paws of a lion.
The deer becomes
   another glazed expression on the
face of the lion.

These are rough metaphors for
what happens to the lover.

There’s no one more openly irrever-
ent than a lover. He, or she,
   jumps up on the scale opposite
eternity
    and claims to balance it.

And no one more secretly reverent.

A grammar lesson: “The lover
died.”
   “Lover” is subject and agent, but
that can’t be!
     The “lover” is defunct.

Only grammatically is the dervish-
lover a doer.

In reality, with he or she so over-
come,
   so dissolved into love,
    all qualities of doingness
     disappear.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/18/19 6:44 AM as a reply to terry.
I'm just happy for the lesson, ya'll.

emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 9:57 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:


some analogies, from ajahn chah, trans thanisarro bhikkhu, from the access to insight website: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/thai/chah/insimpleterms.html


THE SPITTOON

About anatta: In simple terms this means "not-self." But it depends on there being a sense of self; it depends on there being a sense of atta. That's why there's anatta. And it's a correct anatta, too. When there's no atta, anatta doesn't appear. For example: You don't have this spittoon in your house, so the affairs of this spittoon don't bother you. Whether it breaks or gets cracked or gets stolen by thieves, none of these things bother your heart — because there's no cause, no condition. How is that? Because there's no spittoon in your house.

If there's a spittoon in your house, that's a sense of self arising. When the spittoon breaks, it hits you. When it gets lost, it hits you — because the spittoon now has an owner. That's called atta. That's the state it has. As for the state of anatta, it means that there's no spittoon in your house, so there's no mind state that has to keep watch over the spittoon and protect it, no fear that thieves will steal it. Those states are no longer there.

These things are called state-phenomena (sabhava-dhamma). There are causes and conditions, but they're simply there, that's all.



CARRYING A ROCK

"Letting go" actually means this: It's as if we're carrying a heavy rock. As we carry it, we feel weighed down but we don't know what to do with it, so we keep on carrying it. As soon as someone tells us to throw it away, we think, "Eh? If I throw it away, I won't have anything left." So we keep on carrying it. We aren't willing to throw it away.

Even if someone tells us, "Come on. Throw it away. It'll be good like this, and you'll benefit like that," we're still not willing to throw it away because we're afraid we won't have anything left. So we keep on carrying it until we're so thoroughly weak and tired that we can't carry it anymore. That's when we let it go.

Only when we let it go do we understand letting go. We feel at ease. And we can sense within ourselves how heavy it felt to carry the rock. But while we were carrying it, we didn't know at all how useful letting go could be.



A SENSE THAT YOUR ARM IS SHORT

The Buddha's teachings are direct, straightforward, and simple, but hard for someone who's starting to practice them because his knowledge can't reach them. It's like a hole: People by the hundreds and thousands complain that the hole is deep because they can't reach to its bottom. There's hardly anybody who will say that the problem is that his arm is short.

The Buddha taught us to abandon evil of every kind. We skip over this part and go straight to making merit without abandoning evil. It's the same as saying the hole is deep. Those who say their arms are short are rare.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 5:49 AM as a reply to terry.
Those are really good ones. Thanks for sharing!

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 9:08 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:
A couple days ago I saw a video where Daniel went on Michael Taft's YouTube and participated in a Q&A. He mentioned the "physiological" necessity of cessation for awakening. Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly. Since cessation is simply necessary for awakening, any awakening-producing tradition must include cessation.

..

Thoughts?


What is evidence of "the 'physiological' necessity of cessation for awakening"? Has this been proven empricially? Scientifically? Objecively? I don't know, I'm just asking ... because it seems to me that saying something is a "physiological necessity"  is not like saying, "It's raining outside", you can't just say it and expect everyone to accept it as self evident. You have to prove somthing like that scientifically with controlled, blinded, studies where  you can objectively identify enlightenment and measure physiological events. Just basing my opinion on the OP I can't take the statement seriously. If there is actually good reason to believe, it I hope someone will explain what it is. 

The statement "Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly." seems to me to trivialize cessation. It can happen and no one recognizes it. The theory fails emperically so he invents invisible gremlins that fulfill the requirements. That reduces it to an unfalsifiability and makes it useless except as a superstitious gate monitored by elite preists who decide who they will allow to pass through based on their own subjective criterion.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 9:20 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Matthew:
A couple days ago I saw a video where Daniel went on Michael Taft's YouTube and participated in a Q&A. He mentioned the "physiological" necessity of cessation for awakening. Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly. Since cessation is simply necessary for awakening, any awakening-producing tradition must include cessation.

..

Thoughts?


What is evidence of "the 'physiological' necessity of cessation for awakening"? Has this been proven empricially? Scientifically? Objecively? I don't know, I'm just asking ... because it seems to me that saying something is a "physiological necessity"  is not like saying, "It's raining outside", you can't just say it and expect everyone to accept it as self evident. You have to prove somthing like that scientifically with controlled, blinded, studies where  you can objectively identify enlightenment and measure physiological events. Just basing my opinion on the OP I can't take the statement seriously. If there is actually good reason to believe, it I hope someone will explain what it is. 

The statement "Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly." seems to me to trivialize cessation. It can happen and no one recognizes it. The theory fails emperically so he invents invisible gremlins that fulfill the requirements. That reduces it to an unfalsifiability and makes it useless except as a superstitious gate monitored by elite preists who decide who they will allow to pass through based on their own subjective criterion.
yes.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 10:15 AM as a reply to T.
In that case, those who claim to be awakened without having had any cessations need to prove their case scientifically as well. Good luck with that. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 12:36 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
In that case, those who claim to be awakened without having had any cessations need to prove their case scientifically as well. Good luck with that. 

And just to add to this conversation ... I know someone who just reported a little blip and didn't seem to realise what it was at the time. But the set up and after effects of the blip kind of gave it away. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 1:21 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
In that case, those who claim to be awakened without having had any cessations need to prove their case scientifically as well. Good luck with that. 

They would prove their awakening the same way people who have cessation prove they have awakening. I don't know how either do it. Simply saying, "I had cessation" doesn't prove anything. A parrot could do that. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 2:03 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
In that case, those who claim to be awakened without having had any cessations need to prove their case scientifically as well. Good luck with that. 

They would prove their awakening the same way people who have cessation prove they have awakening. I don't know how either do it. Simply saying, "I had cessation" doesn't prove anything. A parrot could do that. 

I wasn't talking about proving their awakening. I was talking about proving that they did not have a single cessation. 

When people take for granted that everyone would be aware that they had a cessation if they had one, that just tells me that they are not speaking from their own experience but from erroneous assumptions about what cessations should be like. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 2:56 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Matthew:
A couple days ago I saw a video where Daniel went on Michael Taft's YouTube and participated in a Q&A. He mentioned the "physiological" necessity of cessation for awakening. Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly. Since cessation is simply necessary for awakening, any awakening-producing tradition must include cessation.

..

Thoughts?


What is evidence of "the 'physiological' necessity of cessation for awakening"? Has this been proven empricially? Scientifically? Objecively? I don't know, I'm just asking ... because it seems to me that saying something is a "physiological necessity"  is not like saying, "It's raining outside", you can't just say it and expect everyone to accept it as self evident. You have to prove somthing like that scientifically with controlled, blinded, studies where  you can objectively identify enlightenment and measure physiological events. Just basing my opinion on the OP I can't take the statement seriously. If there is actually good reason to believe, it I hope someone will explain what it is. 

The statement "Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly." seems to me to trivialize cessation. It can happen and no one recognizes it. The theory fails emperically so he invents invisible gremlins that fulfill the requirements. That reduces it to an unfalsifiability and makes it useless except as a superstitious gate monitored by elite preists who decide who they will allow to pass through based on their own subjective criterion.

I don't want to speak for Daniel, but I seriously doubt that he expects anyone to simply accept this. My intuition agrees with his: that this is a physiological thing, and that any practice that produces awakening is going to lead to the same phenomenon, even if no one notices it. I don't know this for certain; it just feels like it must be true. The alternative makes no sense to me. I also don't see the point in arguing about it. There's no reason to "believe it". In my opinion, it's useful to contemplate this kind of thing because it takes your attention away from your content, and puts it on the basic experience of being a conscious entity.

As I see it, you are free to claim any kind of awakening you want for yourself, even if the elite priests disagree with you. How do you feel about that?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 3:16 PM as a reply to Matthew.
For me it certainly seems like I'm experiencing the same thing as described in MCTB when I have cessations, but they don't seem as critical and central to my dharma experience as they are described by many others though. The insights basically all come in the build up to a cessation. The cessation itself is generally just something that happens at the end of that process- best analogy I can think of is dipping my head under water for a second in the tub and them coming back up, repeated a couple times. It's never seemed to add much except releasing some fear/resistance. Maybe that IS the tough part of internalizing insights, but it's subtle rather than impressive.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 3:53 PM as a reply to Milo.
Viewing this video will make what Daniel Ingram believes about cessation and what it is quite clear

 Diagnosing Cessation, aka Fruition.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 5:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
That mostly matches my experience - just without so much exclamation on the 'yeah!' part. It's more like stepping off the roller coaster than going down the hill if you know what I mean. Like all the insights are already there during the build up but some of the subtle residual tension gives away rather than snapping back, so there's not so much reversion over time. To give an engineering analogy, it's like bending a material past its plasticity limit - the material has been stressed to the point where it does not go fully back to the shape it held before. It's very subtle rather than a huge 'Yeah!' moment though.

I'm certainly open to your opinion if you think I have something wrong, but it may be best to take it to PM to avoid derailing the thread.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 7:42 PM as a reply to spatial.
spatial:

I don't want to speak for Daniel, but I seriously doubt that he expects anyone to simply accept this. My intuition agrees with his: that this is a physiological thing, and that any practice that produces awakening is going to lead to the same phenomenon, even if no one notices it. I don't know this for certain; it just feels like it must be true. The alternative makes no sense to me. I also don't see the point in arguing about it. There's no reason to "believe it". In my opinion, it's useful to contemplate this kind of thing because it takes your attention away from your content, and puts it on the basic experience of being a conscious entity.

As I see it, you are free to claim any kind of awakening you want for yourself, even if the elite priests disagree with you. How do you feel about that?

Thankyou for putting into words what I wanted to say but failed to express!

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 12:35 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Would it be sensible to say that; every enlightened being has experienced cessation, but not all those who have experienced cessation are enlightened beings?

Whether it's necessary to "awaken" or not, I don't believe so. It is possible to "awaken" to the truth of this reality through pure insight and their own experience of this life without ever stumbling upon meditation or its brother & sister practices, but without a meditative grasp, progress from there would just come to a halt. But when we speak about this as a physiological connection, I cannot argue that this nonphysical tether can only be seen through that experience which you call as a cessation. The phenomenon of the mind's cyclical patterns being recognized, from what I gather, is what you are calling a "cessation". Now the delusion stems from the attachment to this phenomenon and the training that allows one to perceive it experientially as a "gap". The mind is cyclical in nature. The cessation is the gap between loops. That is it!

We need to understand something fundamental, that time is a consequence of consciousness. What you call as a second is only an increment we have agreed upon because it is important in our humanocentric vision. This "labeling" precedes a cause beyond any one of our opinions. In our immediate lives... seconds, minutes, and hours, are how we use to gauge our world, just as we had done so for millions of years for survival purposes; because darkness was outside of our bounds. Ask yourself this one simple question, for how long do you think light has been under our control considering our species occupancy of this earth? You will find that all this light surrounding us, pervading us, is still a brand new happening. For millions of years, the sun & the moon were our clocks and the stars were our dials. within our own physiology is a mechanism which consolidates with nature called the circadian rhythm. Seconds, minutes, and hours, as we know them by labels are integrated into this system of operations within us. What we know as a second, can be broken down further past milliseconds, endlessly. Time is just a consequence of consciousness. That cessation or "gap" you are orbiting can be experienced as a million years if you keep practicing, but so what? As long as you keep fiending over this you will never escape the realm of the mind. To be a Buddha means to be above the mind.

This is being purported as an abrupt and momentary break or lapse in "consciousness". And that is where another wall is met. Because when we talk about "the mind" and "consciousness" we are talking about two different dimensions. When we say dimension we don't mean a portal to star system whatever, we mean two different aspects within our own experience of this existence. 

We have 5 bodies. 

The first is Mind & Body. Your physical body is here. That means the brain, and with the brain, the mind. Your four noble truths have their bases here. Your Jhanas, every single one of them is contained within this scope. Almost the whole of Buddhism is captured under this paradigm. This is the essence of your human nature.

The second body, is not relevant to this conversation.

The third body, also can be saved for a later date.

The fourth body, can too be disregarded for now.

The fifth body, is known as pure consciousness, pure intelligence. Consciousness is not a fabrication of the mind and it is not generated by the brain. The physical matter's dependence lies in the subatomic particle's elements. Those subatomic elements are dependant on electromagnetic vibrations. Those electromagnetic frequencies are dependant on pure consciousness. Everything in this creation is evidently exhibiting consciousness. This is the nature of the universe.

Sure, cessation is a black hole as a neuron firing is a quasar exploding hahaha... NO! Your mind is your mind and when this realization has hit you as a tangible insight through your own experience, you have awoken to the truth of this reality. You have just barely stepped up to the plate, and the long journey to enlightenment has only now begun. Unless you keep from drudging the mind, you will go in circles for eternity.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 9:34 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
I don't recall anyone arguing that it is necessary to actually experience this as a gap? What Daniel says in the recording at SF Dharma Collective is that awakening is just as possible in those traditions where this is not emphasized. However, he argues that the blip of the consciousness, whatever we decide to call it, happens there as well. And apparently it still does its job regardless of whether one notices it as a gap or not.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 9:47 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I don't recall anyone arguing that it is necessary to actually experience this as a gap? What Daniel says in the recording at SF Dharma Collective is that awakening is just as possible in those traditions where this is not emphasized. However, he argues that the blip of the consciousness, whatever we decide to call it, happens there as well. And apparently it still does its job regardless of whether one notices it as a gap or not.
Its a cycle on constant repetition. Rather than a gap, it can be a skip, a pop, a break, but these are different ways of perceiving the moment. The moment itself can be separated from experiencing only it's beginning or only its end or only its blip in between point A and point B.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/19/19 10:35 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
In that case, those who claim to be awakened without having had any cessations need to prove their case scientifically as well. Good luck with that. 

They would prove their awakening the same way people who have cessation prove they have awakening. I don't know how either do it. Simply saying, "I had cessation" doesn't prove anything. A parrot could do that. 

When people describe their experiences I tend to accept what they say. I don't mean to cast doubt on anybody's claims of attainments.

But, in one of the threads on the sex scandals in Buddhism I brought up the point that one possible explanation is that enlightenment cannot be measured objectively. That means you can't really know if someone else is enlightened. This explanation preserves the belief that an enlightened person should be compassionate. It's not that those teachers were not fully enlightened, it's that they were not enlightened at all. 

Cessation seems to be a common experience that people have and it procudes similar aftereffects in many people. But how does anyone know those effects are stream entry or that those people are awakened?

There was another thread where a video was mentioned in which Daniel says the definition of stream entry is when you have the experiences that are attributed to cessation. That seems to me to be circular reasoning. He wants to say cessation causes enlightenment but he defines enlightenment as being the effects of cessation. 

Here is a quote from the video:

https://twitter.com/danielmingram/status/1193610152865402880
2:36
... stream entry is a question of function. If it doesn't function like stream entry, well, then pragmatically or practically it's not stream entry. Just like a burned out shell of a car is not a car. And so if whatever you think of as stream entry is not performing like stream entry should perform: with natual cycling, with rapid access to states, with hopefully repeat fruitions and maybe even multiple, maybe if you're lucky duration, clear presentation of doors that eventually become easily distinguishable from random state shifts or radom formeless realms, then there's no point in calling that stream entry becaues it's not doing what stream entry should do.

He is defining stream entry based on the phenomenon of meditation. This is a parochial definition of stream entry. The correct definition of stream entry is:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_stages_of_enlightenment#Path_and_Fruit
A Stream-enterer (Sotāpanna) is free from:

1. Identity view (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi), the belief that there is an unchanging self or soul in the five impermanent skandhas[4][5]
2. Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Doubt about the teachings

How do we know those phenomena Daniel describe correlate with freedom from fetters?
I think everyone of those sex scandals argue that they don't.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 2:36 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
The fetters' model is discarded in the MCTB2 because it dosn't match empirical experience. That is my wording, though, not Daniel's. In more pragmatic movements, or whatever one wants to call them, distinctions are made between the so called awakening process that leads to insight into the three characteristics on the deepest levels, and morality or growing up. Waking up and growing up may walk hand in hand, and personally I think that is the way to go, but there are no such guarantees. You don't have to believe this, of course. I think it is beneficial to approach awakening that way, personally, because it reminds me not to neglect other aspects of human development and prevents me from very dangerous assumptions about being somehow on the safe side because of my meditation practice. Also, it prevents "no true scotsman" arguments which I think are very tiresome because they make excuses for people not to do the necessary work to keep bad things from happening in their community.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 6:48 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
How do we know those phenomena Daniel describe correlate with freedom from fetters?
I think everyone of those sex scandals argue that they don't.

I reiterate my desire to get a dollar for every time this issue arises on DhO. I could retire!  emoticon


RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 7:15 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
But, in one of the threads on the sex scandals in Buddhism I brought up the point that one possible explanation is that enlightenment cannot be measured objectively. That means you can't really know if someone else is enlightened. This explanation preserves the belief that an enlightened person should be compassionate. It's not that those teachers were not fully enlightened, it's that they were not enlightened at all. 

You might at least consider thinking in other than binary terms. Human beings are complex organisms and awakening is a complex process. It's not linear and it's not causal in the way you're assuming it is, especially in regard to the differences between insight (wisdom in the Buddhist sense) and emotional maturity. These are sort of related but not causal. All the evidence I have at my disposal, from personal experience to the experience of the many people I know who've gone through the same or similar process, seems to agree. Applying binary logic to it (if this, then only that) isn't the way it plays out, and the examples you've been using about spiritual gurus who transgress in various ways is evidence of that. Some of those people are no doubt awake and emotionally immature. Some are no doubt not awake and emotionally immature. Some are somewhere along that spectrum.

So, in my humble opinion, gurus who transgress are evidence of the complex nature of humans and the awakening process, not of the binary assumption that awakened people simply cannot be human.

emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 8:49 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yeah, it's not so strange that these meat machines... with their triune brains, plastic neurological pathways, and touchy homonal systems... who are social organisms overly prone to survival and status concerns... while impinged upon by the psychological projections of others and vulnerable to emotional trauma... while constantly threatened by the possibility of physical trauma beyond our immediate control... while existing in a sea of chemicals and radiation... in an oxidizing environment that constantly degrades organic tissue... are sloppy at computing and performance.  emoticon 

And yet, despite all of this, awakening!!! Pretty neat. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 9:06 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I like that miracle approach. It puts things into perspective. I need that in order not to get cynical (which I'm more prone to than shows in my posts, because, yeah, it's not a binary thing. I choose to remain an idealist when I can, because the cynical version of me is not fun to be around, or to host within the body for that matter). 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 10:51 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
It's not a miracle, though. It's part of us - it's built-in. It's kind of like getting a really great toy for your birthday when you turn eight years old and finding out that the batteries are included.

emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 11:24 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
That's even better. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 12:55 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Matthew:
A couple days ago I saw a video where Daniel went on Michael Taft's YouTube and participated in a Q&A. He mentioned the "physiological" necessity of cessation for awakening. Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly. Since cessation is simply necessary for awakening, any awakening-producing tradition must include cessation.

..

Thoughts?


What is evidence of "the 'physiological' necessity of cessation for awakening"? Has this been proven empricially? Scientifically? Objecively? I don't know, I'm just asking ... because it seems to me that saying something is a "physiological necessity"  is not like saying, "It's raining outside", you can't just say it and expect everyone to accept it as self evident. You have to prove somthing like that scientifically with controlled, blinded, studies where  you can objectively identify enlightenment and measure physiological events. Just basing my opinion on the OP I can't take the statement seriously. If there is actually good reason to believe, it I hope someone will explain what it is. 

The statement "Traditions that don't emphasize cessations, he hypothesized, actually do produce them but don't language it properly." seems to me to trivialize cessation. It can happen and no one recognizes it. The theory fails emperically so he invents invisible gremlins that fulfill the requirements. That reduces it to an unfalsifiability and makes it useless except as a superstitious gate monitored by elite preists who decide who they will allow to pass through based on their own subjective criterion.

(poetry as antidote)


according to john gray (in "the silence of animals"), jeffers wrote this poem subsequent to a visit with jiddu krishnamurti


CREDO
(by robinson jeffers)

My friend from Asia has powers and magic, he plucks a blue leaf from the young
   blue-gum
And gazing upon it, gathering and quieting
The God in his mind, creates an ocean more real than the ocean, the salt, the actual
Appalling presence, the power of the waters.
He believes that nothing is real except as we make it. I humbler have found in my
   blood
Bred west of Caucasus a harder mysticism.
Multitude stands in my mind but I think that the ocean in the bone vault is only
The bone vault’s ocean: out there is the ocean’s;
The water is the water, the cliff is the rock, come shocks and flashes of reality. The 
   mind
Passes, the eye closes, the spirit is a passage;
The beauty of things was born before eyes and sufficient to itself; the heartbreaking
beauty
Will remain when there is no heart to break for it.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 3:24 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I like that miracle approach. It puts things into perspective. I need that in order not to get cynical (which I'm more prone to than shows in my posts, because, yeah, it's not a binary thing. I choose to remain an idealist when I can, because the cynical version of me is not fun to be around, or to host within the body for that matter). 


aloha linda,

    Oscillating between idealism and cynicism is a binary thing. And choosing implies one is better than the other.

   The way  I like to think of it is that I am a confucian in good times and a taoist in bad; the two roughly correspond to idealism and cynicism.

   To be an idealist is not to be a fool. To be a cynic is not to be fooled. Two sides of the same metaphor.

   I think it is possible to talk to a sentient being who is in the midst of (a) cessation. Such a being might legitimately be called enlightened, and may call themselves enlightened. Thus the litany of sufi saints who exclaimed "I am the Truth" and hundred ohter things, at times when their egos ceased their domination.

   Few people who have "experienced" cessation call themselves "enlightened." Even the "stream-enterer" traditionally has another rebirth before "enlightenment." Anyone who claims to be "enlightened" is either the buddha or is not.

   Where there is a market, products will be provided. Want a splinter of the true cross? I have a whole box of them right here, each one guaranteed to have atoms of carbon that were once part of the cross on which jesus was executed. All suitable for framing, or for picking teeth. Binary.

   Even if you were to meet an "enlightened" being, you would only see another person like yourself...

...smiling at you.
terry




Time and again
You, too,
Must long for
Your old nest
Deep in the mountain.

~ryokan

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 3:29 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It's not a miracle, though. It's part of us - it's built-in. It's kind of like getting a really great toy for your birthday when you turn eight years old and finding out that the batteries are included.

emoticon


*some assemby required

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 4:34 PM as a reply to terry.
Well, I only choose it when I can, and I can only speak for those behavioral and thought patterns that are currently engaged. Whichever aspect is voiced will always be partial, I guess. 

"Binary" for me means that there are only two possible modes. I'm not sure how you use the word, so I don't know to what extent we agree or disagree. I have a hunch that you mean to say that the one cannot be separated from the other, or something like that? That the opposites are attached to the other like the two poles of a magnet? Or am I just confusing things now? 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/20/19 11:55 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Edit: was a response to Chris

Absolutely, fifteen hundred percent. This stigma that meditation makes one a kinder, more patient, less toxic person needs to be squashed. It's like saying as you get older, you get wiser... you really only get older. Causality doesn't advertently equal causation. Meditating only makes you better at... meditating emoticon If our vision of this world is vulgar and corrosive then meditation may perhaps vapidly misappropriate the love even more. It seems to me that meditation should be about so much more than our individual pursuit to end suffering, we should be challenging ourselves to come together with our knowledge and understanding to realize the inter-connectedness of this universe at every level of organization and to live with an expression of that truth. But these notions are overlooked to meditate for temporary calls of happiness as if suffering and sadness are unnatural or deviate from the normal human condition. This is an enchanting but dangerous fallacy. It is only by this crucible that we can truly feel rewarded at the culmination of this life... We are grey creatures because we are capable of great acts of compassion and great acts of cruelty. If we followed this and took a step back to analyze ourselves impartially, unattached from our ideals and our cultures, we would see ourselves fragmenting our societies into smaller communities losing touch with our perspective even more. Nature is a deep well of informational knowledge and we evolved within this complexity to be able to delve into that knowledge. Thankfully we have an edge over our ancestors in this current era, the internet! A person can spend their entire life researching a certain field and accumulating information every day and refining that knowledge their entire life and then just share it all emoticon wow 

Thank you Daniel, thank you Mckenna brothers, Jaggi, Rhonda, the DhO community and honestly everyone 

But how advanced are we actually?
As I'm writing this all that is left of me is my fingertips,
The mother ship is calling
Peace be with you
I'm flying now

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 8:32 AM as a reply to terry.
*some assemby required

Ha!  emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 11:20 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Regarding proving Fruition/Cessation as a thing, I am working on that exact question with a top team at Harvard using the best tech we currently have for brain imaging. Funding is secured, at least for the first two phases of the pilot study.

If you, dear reader, or someone you know are in a financial place to provide meaningful financial support for Phase III, which will cost a few hundred thousand dollars, let me know, and I will put you in touch with the Harvard/McLean Medical School funding office with instructions for how to contribute to the specific PI, Lab, and study involved. Basically, if you want to see this dream actually happen, now is your chance to put your money where your mouth is.

First phases of the study should get going this Spring if all is well. More details will follow when it makes sense to disclose them.

The question we will really be answering is not, "Are Fruitions real?" but actually, "Do we currently have sufficiently sophisticated methods to measure and differentiate them properly as top microphenomenologically-skilled meditators have been doing for at least 2,500 years?"

If the answer is, "No, we don't currently have the tech to match great, well-trained microphenomenologist-meditators," then those skeptics who want to wait to pull the poisoned arrow out until technology is up to the task of measuring them will, unfortunately, have to wait and suffer needlessly in the meantime. Your call.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 10:57 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
*giggles* That was the coolest answer ever. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 3:38 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, I only choose it when I can, and I can only speak for those behavioral and thought patterns that are currently engaged. Whichever aspect is voiced will always be partial, I guess. 

"Binary" for me means that there are only two possible modes. I'm not sure how you use the word, so I don't know to what extent we agree or disagree. I have a hunch that you mean to say that the one cannot be separated from the other, or something like that? That the opposites are attached to the other like the two poles of a magnet? Or am I just confusing things now? 

   I use the word "binary" in the sense of dualistic. Dualisms can generally be reduced to a binary pair, like tall and short, high and low. My thesis above was that cynicism and idealism are a polar dualism, as you say.

   Heraclitus used the image of a bow being drawn to illustrate the power produced by drawing together polar opposites.

   Diogenes (of sinope) was called "the cynic" - meaning, "the dog" - but he was actually an idealistic philosopher. (You've heard the one about the dyslexic atheist who didn't believe in dogs?)

terry



some sayings of diogenes...


“Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, 'The great thieves are leading away the little thief.'” 


“The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man.” 


“Cuanto más conozco a la gente, más quiero a mi perro.” 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 3:44 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
Mista Tibbs:
Edit: was a response to Chris

Absolutely, fifteen hundred percent. This stigma that meditation makes one a kinder, more patient, less toxic person needs to be squashed. It's like saying as you get older, you get wiser... you really only get older. Causality doesn't advertently equal causation. Meditating only makes you better at... meditating emoticon If our vision of this world is vulgar and corrosive then meditation may perhaps vapidly misappropriate the love even more. It seems to me that meditation should be about so much more than our individual pursuit to end suffering, we should be challenging ourselves to come together with our knowledge and understanding to realize the inter-connectedness of this universe at every level of organization and to live with an expression of that truth. But these notions are overlooked to meditate for temporary calls of happiness as if suffering and sadness are unnatural or deviate from the normal human condition. This is an enchanting but dangerous fallacy. It is only by this crucible that we can truly feel rewarded at the culmination of this life... We are grey creatures because we are capable of great acts of compassion and great acts of cruelty. If we followed this and took a step back to analyze ourselves impartially, unattached from our ideals and our cultures, we would see ourselves fragmenting our societies into smaller communities losing touch with our perspective even more. Nature is a deep well of informational knowledge and we evolved within this complexity to be able to delve into that knowledge. Thankfully we have an edge over our ancestors in this current era, the internet! A person can spend their entire life researching a certain field and accumulating information every day and refining that knowledge their entire life and then just share it all emoticon wow 

Thank you Daniel, thank you Mckenna brothers, Jaggi, Rhonda, the DhO community and honestly everyone 

But how advanced are we actually?
As I'm writing this all that is left of me is my fingertips,
The mother ship is calling
Peace be with you
I'm flying now

   I think that meditation, done properly, doesn't hurt anyone. And that is a real advance.

t

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/21/19 10:19 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:

   I think that meditation, done properly, doesn't hurt anyone. And that is a real advance.

t

Absolutely, but I would rather say if approached properly. Meditation can be done properly with bad intentions to reinforce a hedonist. Maybe a more relatable case would be that of the "jhana junkie". I've had the privilege of knowing a few such faces and I've seen happy relationships turn. But I understand your point, it could also be said of them that they are not practicing properly... It's all pretty lame and vanilla and reminds of another common platitude by Mike Tyson's coach. 
Fear is like fire, it can cook your food, keep you warm, and light your house or it can kill you and burn everything you love -Cus D'Amato
The same can be said about meditation, it's just a tool. And just as any other tool it can be used for good or bad, It all depends on the person wielding that tool.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/22/19 1:48 AM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, I only choose it when I can, and I can only speak for those behavioral and thought patterns that are currently engaged. Whichever aspect is voiced will always be partial, I guess. 

"Binary" for me means that there are only two possible modes. I'm not sure how you use the word, so I don't know to what extent we agree or disagree. I have a hunch that you mean to say that the one cannot be separated from the other, or something like that? That the opposites are attached to the other like the two poles of a magnet? Or am I just confusing things now? 

   I use the word "binary" in the sense of dualistic. Dualisms can generally be reduced to a binary pair, like tall and short, high and low. My thesis above was that cynicism and idealism are a polar dualism, as you say.

   Heraclitus used the image of a bow being drawn to illustrate the power produced by drawing together polar opposites.

   Diogenes (of sinope) was called "the cynic" - meaning, "the dog" - but he was actually an idealistic philosopher. (You've heard the one about the dyslexic atheist who didn't believe in dogs?)

terry



some sayings of diogenes...


“Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, 'The great thieves are leading away the little thief.'” 


“The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man.” 


“Cuanto más conozco a la gente, más quiero a mi perro.” 
Okay, in that sense of course it's a binary thing, but your examples from Diogenes illustrate exactly why it isn't a binary thing in the sense of being either black or white with no nuances or intricate black and white patterns. It is more complex than that. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/22/19 7:22 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
What if I'm not a skeptic, but instead just can't get that shit to happen?!?!

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 2:11 PM as a reply to T.
The standard advice is to practice all three trainings well, go on retreats, hopefully with skilled teachers, follow instructions well, etc.

Best wishes!

Daniel

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 2:54 PM as a reply to Mista Tibbs.
Mista Tibbs:
terry:

   I think that meditation, done properly, doesn't hurt anyone. And that is a real advance.

t

Absolutely, but I would rather say if approached properly. Meditation can be done properly with bad intentions to reinforce a hedonist. Maybe a more relatable case would be that of the "jhana junkie". I've had the privilege of knowing a few such faces and I've seen happy relationships turn. But I understand your point, it could also be said of them that they are not practicing properly... It's all pretty lame and vanilla and reminds of another common platitude by Mike Tyson's coach. 
Fear is like fire, it can cook your food, keep you warm, and light your house or it can kill you and burn everything you love -Cus D'Amato
The same can be said about meditation, it's just a tool. And just as any other tool it can be used for good or bad, It all depends on the person wielding that tool.

aloha mr t,

   Ok, bra, it is true that "done properly" begs the question and amounts to self-validation. My idea of meditation is similar to that of dogen, involving what is called "just sitting." Thinking of not-thinking. Counting sheep or other exercises are not actually meditation in my sense of "done properly." You might say it is the direct approach to cessation.

   As for meditation being a "tool," if it is done properly it doesn't matter if the putative tool user thinks it is a tool or attempts to use it as a means of attaining something. A mind at rest is a mind at peace. The buddha tells us that if you practice meditation for fifteen minutes a day for seven days you will know its value. In essence, a subtle but marked improvement in well-being. The taoist metaphor is "returning to the state of the uncarved block." The practice of meditation is the very opposite of tool-using. One removes tool-marks from one's being. Heals and is made whole. (It's a miracle.)

   Approaching meditation with a sincere desire to "do good" or some such claptrap generally offers a poorer prognosis for actual "attainment" than the selfishly-motivated but determined "proper"meditator. As blake said, "A fool who persists in his folly will become wise."

terry

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 3:05 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
terry:
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Well, I only choose it when I can, and I can only speak for those behavioral and thought patterns that are currently engaged. Whichever aspect is voiced will always be partial, I guess. 

"Binary" for me means that there are only two possible modes. I'm not sure how you use the word, so I don't know to what extent we agree or disagree. I have a hunch that you mean to say that the one cannot be separated from the other, or something like that? That the opposites are attached to the other like the two poles of a magnet? Or am I just confusing things now? 

   I use the word "binary" in the sense of dualistic. Dualisms can generally be reduced to a binary pair, like tall and short, high and low. My thesis above was that cynicism and idealism are a polar dualism, as you say.

   Heraclitus used the image of a bow being drawn to illustrate the power produced by drawing together polar opposites.

   Diogenes (of sinope) was called "the cynic" - meaning, "the dog" - but he was actually an idealistic philosopher. (You've heard the one about the dyslexic atheist who didn't believe in dogs?)

terry



some sayings of diogenes...


“Once he saw the officials of a temple leading away some one who had stolen a bowl belonging to the treasurers, and said, 'The great thieves are leading away the little thief.'” 


“The only way to gall and fret effectively is for yourself to be a good and honest man.” 


“Cuanto más conozco a la gente, más quiero a mi perro.” 
Okay, in that sense of course it's a binary thing, but your examples from Diogenes illustrate exactly why it isn't a binary thing in the sense of being either black or white with no nuances or intricate black and white patterns. It is more complex than that. 

   Of course. That's why I said, things can be reduced to dualisms. The above examples were meant to show that the "good and honest man" who holds to ideals can be cynical, and perhaps must be cynical. The times make us what we are.

   There are no "good and honest" men. People are more complex than that. Even their dogs have complexes.

terry


thoreau, from walden:

 “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.”

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 4:05 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Regarding proving Fruition/Cessation as a thing, I am working on that exact question with a top team at Harvard using the best tech we currently have for brain imaging. Funding is secured, at least for the first two phases of the pilot study.

If you, dear reader, or someone you know are in a financial place to provide meaningful financial support for Phase III, which will cost a few hundred thousand dollars, let me know, and I will put you in touch with the Harvard/McLean Medical School funding office with instructions for how to contribute to the specific PI, Lab, and study involved. Basically, if you want to see this dream actually happen, now is your chance to put your money where your mouth is.

First phases of the study should get going this Spring if all is well. More details will follow when it makes sense to disclose them.

The question we will really be answering is not, "Are Fruitions real?" but actually, "Do we currently have sufficiently sophisticated methods to measure and differentiate them properly as top microphenomenologically-skilled meditators have been doing for at least 2,500 years?"

If the answer is, "No, we don't currently have the tech to match great, well-trained microphenomenologist-meditators," then those skeptics who want to wait to pull the poisoned arrow out until technology is up to the task of measuring them will, unfortunately, have to wait and suffer needlessly in the meantime. Your call.

aloha dan,

   Perhaps someday science will be able to produce enlightenment via brain surgery. Or implanted electrodes, batteries included.

   Pursuing this, what would a community of artificially enlightened being be like? Would resistors be compelled, for their own good, to take the cure? Can one's "true nature" be artificially induced? Perhaps we could use drug cocktails instead? Or a combination of surgery and drugs?

   What are the implications  of an unenelightened "top team" of "harvard"-types enlightening "subjects"? Would the scientists, like leary and alpert, insist on their right to be subjects? "I will be data!" said alpert, "study me."

   I am visualizing "cessaton parlors" where you plug in for a refresher. Perhaps some will be able to afford enlightenment and others not.

   
   Perhaps it is just me who thinks that proving cessation is a "thing" involves a fundamental misunderstanding, that "cessation" means the cessation of things?


terry



a parable by ramakrishna:


COUNT NOT LEAVES, EAT MANGOES

Two friends went into an orchard. One of them possessing much worldly wisdom, immediately began to count the mango trees there and the number of leaves and mangoes each tree bore, to estimate what might be the approximate value of the whole orchard. His companion however went to the owner, made friendship with him, and then, quietly going to a tree, began, at his host’s desire, to pluck the fruits and eat them. Whom do you consider to be the wiser of the two? Eat mangoes! It will satisfy your hunger. What is the good of counting the trees and leaves and making calculations?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 7:09 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Daniel M. Ingram:
...
If the answer is, "No, we don't currently have the tech to match great, well-trained microphenomenologist-meditators," then those skeptics who want to wait to pull the poisoned arrow out until technology is up to the task of measuring them will, unfortunately, have to wait and suffer needlessly in the meantime. Your call.
...

   Pursuing this, what would a community of artificially enlightened being be like?
...

   I am visualizing "cessaton parlors" where you plug in for a refresher. Perhaps some will be able to afford enlightenment and others not.

   
   Perhaps it is just me who thinks that proving cessation is a "thing" involves a fundamental misunderstanding, that "cessation" means the cessation of things?


Terry -

I guess I thought it was one's brain rebooting like a Macbook Pro... or at least how I interpreted it from reading about others' descriptions. The longer the little circle spins before coming back online, the more achieved. (my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.) ANyway, that would mean a cessation of your processor and not any of the things, right?

Along with you, I wonder about the utility in "proof" and where that could lead. Though you were possibly being hyperbolic, if cessation is a brain reboot after some new software tinkering... that could probably be accomplished through minimal effort once they find the right button. 
 
How well do you suppose a one spoke wheel functions?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 8:55 PM as a reply to terry.
Hi Terry,

If I am not mistaken, actually, Dogen's view is that shikantaza, "sitting with empty mind", is, in and of itself, "Enlightenment".  I believe that is what he says in Shobogenzo, right?

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/23/19 11:04 PM as a reply to T.
T:
terry:
Daniel M. Ingram:
...
If the answer is, "No, we don't currently have the tech to match great, well-trained microphenomenologist-meditators," then those skeptics who want to wait to pull the poisoned arrow out until technology is up to the task of measuring them will, unfortunately, have to wait and suffer needlessly in the meantime. Your call.
...

   Pursuing this, what would a community of artificially enlightened being be like?
...

   I am visualizing "cessaton parlors" where you plug in for a refresher. Perhaps some will be able to afford enlightenment and others not.

   
   Perhaps it is just me who thinks that proving cessation is a "thing" involves a fundamental misunderstanding, that "cessation" means the cessation of things?


Terry -

I guess I thought it was one's brain rebooting like a Macbook Pro... or at least how I interpreted it from reading about others' descriptions. The longer the little circle spins before coming back online, the more achieved. (my tongue is firmly planted in my cheek.) ANyway, that would mean a cessation of your processor and not any of the things, right?

Along with you, I wonder about the utility in "proof" and where that could lead. Though you were possibly being hyperbolic, if cessation is a brain reboot after some new software tinkering... that could probably be accomplished through minimal effort once they find the right button. 
 
How well do you suppose a one spoke wheel functions?

aloha t,

   Finding "the right button" could be difficult. Consciousness is global. Pinpointing mental functioning in the brain had been a dismal failure. None of our models are even remotely close to what actually happens. Though the words "mind" and "brain" are often used interchangeably, no sort of functional map has been developed. Nonetheless, the attractiveness of the idea that the mind can be mapped onto the brain is great and people keep trying.

   I suspect the success of cybernetics and computer logic has greatly skewed thinking on the nature of the mind, leading to current dead ends.

   The mixing of science and wisdom traditions is like trying to explain ocean currents by analyzing the froth on the surface. 

   Science is a tool. Wisdom is not.


terry

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 12:30 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Terry,

If I am not mistaken, actually, Dogen's view is that shikantaza, "sitting with empty mind", is, in and of itself, "Enlightenment".  I believe that is what he says in Shobogenzo, right?

aloha svm,

   One of dogen's catch phrases is "practice is enlightenment." If just sitting was not enlightenment, it would not be "the direct approach to cessation," or nirvana. Done properly, that is.

terry



this is the first paragraph in the shobogenzo:

All Buddhas, without exception, confirm Their having realized the state of enlightenment by demonstrating Their ability to directly Transmit the wondrous Dharma. As embodiments of the Truth, They have employed an unsurpassed, inconceivably marvelous method which functions effortlessly. It is simply this method that Buddhas impart to Buddhas, without deviation or distortion, and Their meditative state of delight in the Truth is its standard and measure. As They take pleasure wherever They go to spiritually aid others while in such a state, They treat this method of Theirs—namely, the practice of seated meditation—as the proper and most straightforward Gate for entering the Way.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 3:14 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Terry,

If I am not mistaken, actually, Dogen's view is that shikantaza, "sitting with empty mind", is, in and of itself, "Enlightenment".  I believe that is what he says in Shobogenzo, right?


from the shasta abbey shobogenzo, p14:

“Surely you have heard what Masters have said: ‘It is not that practice and enlightenment do not exist. It is just that they cannot be taken hold of and defiled,’ and ‘The one who clearly sees what the Way is, is the one who practices the Way.’ Understand that you must do your training and practice amidst the realizing of the Way.”

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 10:10 AM as a reply to terry.
Cessation as cessation of “things”, and the subsequent discussion of Dogen’s Zen, is a better-said way to get at what I was originally trying to get at in the OP. The reason the OP is so theory-laden is because I was trying to reframe why cessations produce path-defining insight: because they make the need to perceive “things,” even broad things like subject and object, cease. Seeing those things cease proves the truth of the three C’s. 

Defining cessation narrowly as a specific type of phenomenon has the danger of turning it into yet another thing, an object to attain, rather than emphasizing the ultimate point that all such objectified things are merely provisional, temporary, and unfulfilling. 

It is not that such a phenomenon doesn’t produce insight. Clearly and obviously it does. But I question whether this specific phenomenological presentation of it is the one and only presentation possible, independent of practice or tradition or conceptual framing.

The broader scope of the word cessation, meaning simply the cessation of things, is what is unquestionably in common between traditions. If we are doing the phenomenology of specifically Mahasi Theravada practice, the criteria of reality going clickclickclick - silence - whoosh is a very astute standard. But to say that that circumscribed experience is what produces the path-insight in any meditative context at all, if we are to take other traditions seriously, seems like a stretch, ime. If we wanted to onomatopoeia-ize shikantaza it might be more like drip....drip.....drip....drop.....silence....hum. Rather, the thing about cessation that does the trick seems to be simply that all things that arise cease, and meditation proves it by giving us a chance to watch.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 12:41 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
svmonk:
Hi Terry,

If I am not mistaken, actually, Dogen's view is that shikantaza, "sitting with empty mind", is, in and of itself, "Enlightenment".  I believe that is what he says in Shobogenzo, right?


from the shasta abbey shobogenzo, p14:

“Surely you have heard what Masters have said: ‘It is not that practice and enlightenment do not exist. It is just that they cannot be taken hold of and defiled,’ and ‘The one who clearly sees what the Way is, is the one who practices the Way.’ Understand that you must do your training and practice amidst the realizing of the Way.”

the shasta abbey shobogenzo is truly a treasury of the dharma...
 https://www.shastaabbey.org/pdf/shoboAll.pdf


from dogen's wonderful essay, "On the Everyday Behavior of a Buddha Doing His Practice"

p280-281


All Buddhas, without exception, make full use of Their everyday behavior for Their practice. This is what is meant by ‘a Buddha doing His practice’. ‘A Buddha doing His practice’ does not refer to a Buddha’s realizing enlightenment or to a Buddha’s transforming Himself for the sake of helping others. Nor does it refer to a Buddha as the embodiment of the Dharma or to a Buddha as others see Him embodied. It is beyond the state of a Buddha at His initial realization or at His fundamental realization, and it is beyond the state of a Buddha in His inherent enlightenment or in His going ‘beyond being enlightened’. A Buddha who is equivalent to any of these can never stand shoulder-to-shoulder with a Buddha who is doing His practice. Keep in mind that Buddhas, being within the Buddha’s Way, do not go looking for realization. Becoming proficient in one’s daily conduct whilst on the path towards Buddhahood is what is meant by ‘a Buddha just doing His practice’. It is not something that is even dreamt of by those who are, say, Buddhas as embodiments of the Dharma.

Because this Buddha who is doing His practice manifests the four modes of behavior in everything He does, He manifests these modes right out in the open. Before He speaks, He gives a hint of His spiritual activity, which is woven into whatever He does. This activity goes beyond time, or place, or ‘being Buddha’, or ‘doing some practice’. If you are not a Buddha doing your practice, you will not let go of your attachment to ‘Buddha’ or your attachment to ‘Dharma’, and you will be grouped with those poor devils who deny that Buddha and Dharma can be found within themselves.

What being attached to ‘Buddha’ means is that a person has formed an intellectual concept of ‘enlightenment’ and then becomes attached to this concept and his understanding of it. Because this view accompanies him through each moment, he does not look for an opportunity to let go of this concept and understanding, and so he uselessly holds onto his mistaken views. On the other hand, to view and explain enlightenment as ‘just being enlightenment’ may well be a perspective that accords with enlightenment, for who could call this a false view? I recall my own indulgence in conceptualization as my tying myself up without a rope. It was a fetter at every moment, for the tree of self had not fallen and the wisteria vines of my entanglements had not withered away. This was simply my passing through life whilst meaninglessly imprisoned in a cave of ignorance on the periphery of Buddhism. I did not realize that my Dharma Body was ill nor did I recognize that my Reward Body was in distress.


p282-283

...(D)oing one’s training and realizing the Truth are beyond a matter of existing or not existing, for training and realizing the Truth are beyond any stain. There are hundreds of thousands of myriad places where there are no Buddhas or human beings, yet this does not sully a Buddha who is doing His practice. Thus it is that someone who does the practice of a Buddha is not sullied by notions of ‘doing one’s training’ or ‘realizing the Truth’. This does not mean that one’s training to realize the Truth is necessarily untainted. And, at the same time, this state of ‘being untainted’ really does exist.



As Enō of Mount Sōkei once said to his disciple Nangaku:

This Immaculacy is simply what all Buddhas protect and keep in mind. It is the same for you too, and it is the same for me too. And it is the same for all our Indian Ancestors too.

So, because you are also like this, you are all the Buddhas, and because I am also like this, I am all the Buddhas. Truly, It is beyond ‘me’ and beyond ‘you’. Within this Immaculacy, the me that is the real Me—which all the Buddhas protect and keep in mind—is what the everyday behavior of a Buddha doing His practice is, and the you that is the real You—which all the Buddhas protect and keep in mind—is what the everyday behavior of a Buddha doing His practice is. Due to the ‘me too’, Enō’s everyday behavior is what constituted his excellence as a Master, and due to the ‘you too’, Nangaku’s everyday behavior is what constituted his strength as a disciple, because the excellence of a Master and the strength of a disciple are what comprise the perfect knowledge and conduct of a Buddha doing His practice. You need to realize that what we call ‘what is protected and kept in mind by all Buddhas’ is ‘me too’ and ‘you too’. Even though the explanation by the former Buddha of Mount Sōkei is beyond ‘me’, how could it possibly not refer to ‘you’? What is protected and kept in mind by Buddhas who are doing Their practice is no different from That which thoroughly penetrates a Buddha who is doing His practice.

From the preceding it should be evident that doing one’s training and realizing the Truth are beyond such things as one’s innate nature and the forms it takes, or what the root is and what the branches are. In that the mental attitude of a Buddha doing His training is, as might be expected, what causes a Buddha to train, Buddhas willingly train Themselves accordingly. There are those who put aside their body for the sake of the Teaching as well as those who put aside the Teaching for the sake of their body, and there are those who do not begrudge their own lives as well as those who do begrudge their own lives. And not only are there instances of putting aside ‘Dharma’ for the sake of the Dharma, there is also the everyday behavior in which someone may put aside the ‘Teaching’ for the sake of his Mind. Do not lose sight of the fact that the ways of letting go are incalculable. 




p289

Now, such notions as ‘thinking’ and ‘not thinking’, ‘having realized enlightenment’ and ‘not having realized enlightenment’, and ‘awakening to enlightenment’ and ‘being innately enlightened’, which common, worldly-minded people are avidly concerned with, are simply the avid concerns of common, worldly-minded people, for they are not what Buddha after Buddha has received and passed on. Do not make comparisons between the thinking of common, worldly-minded people and the thinking of the Buddhas, for they are vastly different. Common, worldly people’s being avidly concerned with their innate enlightenment and all the Buddhas’ actually realizing Their innate enlightenment are as different from each other as heaven and earth, for innate enlightenment is something beyond the reach of comparative discussions. The avid concerns of the thrice wise and ten times saintly have still not reached the Way of the Buddhas. How could the useless, ‘grain by grain’ calculations of common, worldly people possibly yield the measure of It? Even so, many are the folks who avidly concern themselves with false views on cause and effect and on ends and means, views which are held by common, worldly people and others who are outside the Way— and they suppose these views to be within the bounds of the Buddha’s Teachings. All the Buddhas have asserted that the roots of wrong-doing of these folks are deep and serious, and that such persons are to be pitied. And even though the deep and serious roots of their wrong-doing know no bounds, they are a heavy burden which these folks themselves must bear. They should just let go of this heavy burden, fix their gaze upon it, and look at it. And even though they may later take it up again and obstruct themselves with it, this burden will not then be the same as when it first arose.

Now, the everyday behavior of a Buddha doing His practice is unobstructed. And to the extent that He is constrained by being a Buddha due to His having thoroughly mastered the path of ‘dragging oneself through mud and drowning oneself in water for the sake of others’, He is still beyond hindrances and obstructions. When in some lofty realm, He gives instruction for the lofty, and when in the world of ordinary human beings, He gives instruction for ordinary people. There is benefit in both the blossoming of a single flower and in the blossoming forth of the whole world, without there being even the slightest gap between them. As a result, He goes far beyond self and other, and there is a unique excellence in His comings and goings.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 1:16 PM as a reply to terry.
Thank you for sharing these excerpts. You have a vast library of quotes and a good eye for which fits where.

“Buddhahood is as Buddhahood does, so do your practice,” says Dogen.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/24/19 6:26 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:
Thank you for sharing these excerpts. You have a vast library of quotes and a good eye for which fits where.

“Buddhahood is as Buddhahood does, so do your practice,” says Dogen.


de nada

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/25/19 4:11 AM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew:
Cessation as cessation of “things”, and the subsequent discussion of Dogen’s Zen, is a better-said way to get at what I was originally trying to get at in the OP. The reason the OP is so theory-laden is because I was trying to reframe why cessations produce path-defining insight: because they make the need to perceive “things,” even broad things like subject and object, cease. Seeing those things cease proves the truth of the three C’s. 

Defining cessation narrowly as a specific type of phenomenon has the danger of turning it into yet another thing, an object to attain, rather than emphasizing the ultimate point that all such objectified things are merely provisional, temporary, and unfulfilling. 

It is not that such a phenomenon doesn’t produce insight. Clearly and obviously it does. But I question whether this specific phenomenological presentation of it is the one and only presentation possible, independent of practice or tradition or conceptual framing.

The broader scope of the word cessation, meaning simply the cessation of things, is what is unquestionably in common between traditions. If we are doing the phenomenology of specifically Mahasi Theravada practice, the criteria of reality going clickclickclick - silence - whoosh is a very astute standard. But to say that that circumscribed experience is what produces the path-insight in any meditative context at all, if we are to take other traditions seriously, seems like a stretch, ime. If we wanted to onomatopoeia-ize shikantaza it might be more like drip....drip.....drip....drop.....silence....hum. Rather, the thing about cessation that does the trick seems to be simply that all things that arise cease, and meditation proves it by giving us a chance to watch.



tao te ching, trans carol deppe



1.
The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao.
The name that can be named is not the eternal name.
Unnamable is the essence.
Naming is the beginning of ten thousand particular things.
Named are the manifestations.
Nameless is the Mystery.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/25/19 5:01 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Matthew:
Thank you for sharing these excerpts. You have a vast library of quotes and a good eye for which fits where.

“Buddhahood is as Buddhahood does, so do your practice,” says Dogen.


de nada
Lol.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/25/19 5:13 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
curious:
terry:
Matthew:
Thank you for sharing these excerpts. You have a vast library of quotes and a good eye for which fits where.

“Buddhahood is as Buddhahood does, so do your practice,” says Dogen.


de nada
Lol.
The dharma sure allows for some pretty subtle ingroup humor alongside with the more absurdistic variants. I find myself enjoying it, I hope mainly because of the artwork of its wittiness, but I suspect that there is selfing built in the enjoyment as well. 

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/25/19 7:23 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
curious:
terry:
Matthew:
Thank you for sharing these excerpts. You have a vast library of quotes and a good eye for which fits where.

“Buddhahood is as Buddhahood does, so do your practice,” says Dogen.


de nada
Lol.
The dharma sure allows for some pretty subtle ingroup humor alongside with the more absurdistic variants. I find myself enjoying it, I hope mainly because of the artwork of its wittiness, but I suspect that there is selfing built in the enjoyment as well. 

As with sufi stories, jokes are not just funny, they express truth.

I hope it is not merely wit.
There is a meaningful ambiguity to most plays on words. 
One tries to evoke the pearl by illuminating both sides.

t



from "learning how to learn" by idries shah


TALE OF HATIM

When Hatim al-Asamm, of Balkh (now in Afghanistan) went to Baghdad, people surrounded him, saying:
'You are a non-Arab of halting speech, yet you silence everyone.'
He answered: 'Three things enable me to overcome my opponent. I am happy when he is right, and I am sad when he is wrong, and I try not to behave foolishly towards him.'
Ibn Hanbal asked Hatim what things would save humanity from the world. He said:
'There are four things. Accept the ignorance of others and spare them yours; spare for them from your substance, and do not expect any of theirs.'
The posture of honesty is not the same as its reality, as everyone knows. But how many people can tell whether they are honest or behaving as if they were honest?
A certain tale has been coined to give this important subject expression. In order to illustrate, it has been put into the mouth of two lunatics; which should not really make any of us feel that its
equivalence could not occur among us marvellously normal people:
First lunatic religionist: 'God spoke to me!' Second ditto: 'I did no such thing!'

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/26/19 12:33 AM as a reply to terry.
That's a good point. emoticon

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/26/19 3:58 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
That's a good point. emoticon
aloha linda,

   Humor is often traumatic, as well as funny. As mel brooks once said, “Tragedy is when I stub my toe. Comedy is when you fall into an open manhole and die.” You might say, humor is a way of dealing with tragedy. A way to turn it around, make it palatable enough to digest it.

   Teachers also may be traumatized when their work is misused and misapplied.

terry


   Here is some more about sufi materials, from shah, op cit:


Sufi materials, of necessity, are designed to be perceptible in real meaning to those who are at a stage or in a condition to profit from them. If people are not, they accept shallow, emotional or misguided 'meanings' from Sufic materials.

This tendency is paralleled in the behaviour of animals and people at different stages of understanding and states of mind. You can find such examples, showing the failure to use one's mind correctly, every day in equivalent situations in ordinary life. Many Sufi jokes reproduce such situations, but the newspapers are also full of them. Consider the following:

THE PROTECTED MONUMENT
'Councillors at Ryde, Isle of Wight, burst into laughter last night on hearing from [a Government Department in] Whitehall that Seaview Pier was officially listed as a building of historic or architectural interest. The pier was demolished in 1952.'

Lack of accurate information and the underlying failure to seek it, coupled with the assumption that things were in the condition imagined by whoever drafted that scheduling order provided the protection of the non-existent pier. The same kind of thinking is involved when many people deal with ideas, literature and personalities rather than buildings. The same kind of mental equipment approaches a different proposition in the same kind of way.

You do not even have to be a human being to assume things about something resulting in harm and uselessness to yourself. Look at this:

THE MONKEY AND THE HEAD
'A man had to be given hospital treatment for a sprained neck in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia, when a monkey trained to pluck coconuts from high trees jumped on to his shoulders and began twisting his head.'

That monkey, no doubt, if trained, would have scheduled a non-existing building as 'of interest'.

Communication has to take into account the person to whom something is to be communicated. Consider this and compare it with someone buying a book and reading it according to his own conceptions of what it is trying to convey:

DOG AND DINNER
A Swiss couple told the newspaper Blick that they had taken their pet poodle into a Hong Kong restaurant and signalled to the waiter that they wanted it fed, making eating signs. The poodle was taken away. When the waiter came back with a dish under a
silver lid, they found their dog roasted inside, garnished with pepper sauce and bamboo shoots.

The couple were reported to be traumatised and to be suffering from emotional shock. Many Sufi teachers, such as Rumi, reflecting in his Fihi Ma Fihi and the Masnavi on how people behave with spiritual materials, have almost an equal air of traumatisation.

RE: Cessation: How Necessary Is It Really?
Answer
12/27/19 2:09 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
Ben V.:
I really appreciate this video.

The first entrance you mention where you say reality goes "bah dat dat dat" is very familiar for me, except for the cessation that follows (never had cessations).

Is it possible for someone to get conformity knowledge but then fall back to equanimity, without getting cessation?

I think I read somewhere the analogy of a bird on a boat flying away seeking land but coming back to the boat everytime land is not found. I don't remember if this was about falling back from conformity when not finding cessation.


That video got me thinking, too. The gesture describing how "this side" and "that side" change places was such an exact illustration of something that I was experiencing almost a month before my assumed stream entry. I had to go back to my log to check the context of it. I hadn't been able to verbalize it very well, but it was a very clear experience. Just not clearly verbalized. I can't use gestures in my log, but if I could, I would have made that exact gesture, because that's what happened. However, I did not notice any cessation afterwards. Thus I wonder, too, if it is possible to have conformity knowledge appear without being followed by a cessation. I also wonder if there was a cessation but I just didn't notice it. I was surprised that so much time had passed, because subjectively, it hadn't (and I wasn't sleepy or dull) but I seriously doubt that it was a cessation long enough to cause that. There was a tangible change in sensory experiences after this, most of which did however not last, and right after it I started to drop into something formless. Still, I doubt that was a cessation because it didn't feel finished. I think that may have been the sort of near miss that brought me to the post 8th junction point for the first time. Ben V, does that sound familiar to you?
After looking at this chart, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5037f52d84ae1e87f694cfda/t/5475825de4b0ac156d2453a4/1416987229931/Nanas+and+jhanas+tablep1.pdf, I'm thinking that those instances were A&P events, and now when I went back to this thread I see that Shargrol mentions that possibility too. I have been wondering about those instances of door mimicks without cessations and never knew before that they can occur during A&P events. That clarifies a lot.