Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Daniel M. Ingram 10/20/09 4:31 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing J Adam G 10/21/09 12:53 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Tom O. 10/21/09 10:15 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/21/09 3:17 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing J Adam G 10/21/09 6:22 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Florian 10/22/09 2:13 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Alan Chapman 10/21/09 11:21 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing tarin greco 10/21/09 12:44 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Tom O. 10/21/09 1:03 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing tarin greco 10/21/09 1:37 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/21/09 1:18 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/22/09 11:59 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Daniel M. Ingram 10/22/09 12:18 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Julius P0pp 10/24/09 4:16 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/24/09 2:35 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/24/09 12:36 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Susan Law 10/24/09 1:08 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Kate Gowen 10/24/09 9:54 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Daniel M. Ingram 10/24/09 11:22 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/25/09 4:08 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Kate Gowen 10/25/09 11:24 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/26/09 1:53 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/27/09 2:18 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/27/09 12:28 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Trent . 10/27/09 8:31 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/25/09 1:37 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Kenneth Folk 10/25/09 8:25 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/26/09 4:20 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Trent . 10/26/09 11:07 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Kate Gowen 10/27/09 10:13 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/28/09 2:28 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/28/09 2:25 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/28/09 4:59 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Trent . 10/28/09 6:20 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/29/09 3:25 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Trent . 10/29/09 6:28 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/29/09 11:13 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Kate Gowen 10/29/09 9:35 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/29/09 5:20 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Trent . 10/28/09 8:38 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/30/09 5:23 AM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Adam West 10/30/09 12:07 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Chuck Kasmire 10/31/09 12:44 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Eric Alan Hansen 10/22/09 4:53 PM
RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing Florian 10/29/09 7:27 AM
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 10/20/09 4:31 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/20/09 4:31 AM

Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I was over at KennethFolkDharma posting about enlightenment, Rigpa, ultimate reality, with my attempt to simplify things in a section called The Controversy (see link here: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/3329416/Impermanence%2C+No-Self+and+Suffering?maxResults=20) and it lead to the standard complexities that arise around this perennially complex and difficult topic.

As I got nothing like the responses I wanted there, I thought I would post something back on home turf over here that explores some of this from my current point of view and practice, with a bit of history thrown in.

I remember the period in my practice from 1997 to 2003 April when I was a self-declaired anagami, could see emptiness in realtime, could get Nirodha Samapatti (Cessation of Perception and Feeling), had all 8 standard jhanas, chanced into the Pure Land jhanas but didn't know what to call them, and was really, really into dharma practice and my whole dharma trip.

I read book after book, poured through texts both for confirmation of what I was perceiving and also for pointers as to how to finish things up, including particular attention to Mahayana, Vajrayaha, Zen, and Vedantic texts, as well as Ceremonial Magick, Shamanistic texts. Most of the time things seemed pretty straightforward, empty, luminous, effortless, centerless, some very obvious mix of transcendence and intimacy, and I worked more and more to stay in a way of perceiving things that seemed right, clear, straightforward, direct, literal, non-dual, etc. By the end of that period, I would spend weeks thinking I had finished the thing up, very impressed with my insights, only to have a new A&P arise, and the thing would go round again with a new insight cycle, and during the Dark Night period doubts would set in as new, clearly not-that-well-illuminated territory would arise, I would see it the way I had learned to see layer after layer of experience, a new Fruition would arise, I would feel great, clear, like a spiritual superstar, and then around again.

During this period, luminosity was fascinating, emptiness was fascinating, centerlessness was fascinating, my jhanic abilities were fascinating, the whole grand quest, teachings, subtleties, and the like were amazing, so impressive to me, and it was a time of great profundity, arrogance, occasional confusion, rare humility, and lots of very clear, wonderful insights into the direct workings of experience and the mind. I relished my deep and profound understanding of very subtle concepts and teachings. It was during this period that I wrote most of MCTB, and these fascinations, perspectives, abilities and issues show through it clearly. Just so I am clear on this, I am not claiming not to be arrogant now, as that would be really delusional, but there is something about it that is different now, and seeing the last thing had this humbling quality to it in some ways.

I state all of this both to try to figure out what is happening with some of the people I see posting about various topics, as it is my nature to try to figure out where people are and what they may need, as well as to contrast it with what came next and to try to explain my current practice and reality as best I understand it, and explore how such apparently different visions of dharma practice and results can arise in people who have come up on what superficially appear to be so much the same traditions.

What came after April 2003 on that last retreat was something that was very different in most ways from what came before, and marked the largest shift in my practice since stream entry. It has taken years to try to get a sense of the full implications of the thing, but these are the highlights:

1) No longer does there seem to be any interest in the highest teachings, the rare texts, concepts like Rigpa, Maha Ati, True Self, Emptiness, and the like in the same way there is before. Before I was always seeking some concept to help me see something final, to verify something, fill some need, or provide a door to something even more amazing. Now, everything seems really literal, direct, obvious, clear, straightforward, and I can't come up with any ultimate concept that seems more profound than the obvious, basic, often relatively boring sensate world as it does its thing. The drive is gone. To pick up a dharma book and read it has to involve something related to my daily life practice or it has no appeal at all.

2) Before, I really liked the jhanas in a way that was beyond my like for most things. Now I look at them as something that I do to help heal, support and nourish this Daniel, as they do good things, and thus, whereas before they viewed more like someone would view a pleasurable drug, now I think of them as just another component of healthy living, like nutritious food, the vitamins I take, drinking enough water so I don't get more kidney stones, etc. In this way, something really different has arisen in my relationship to them, and, just like my vitamins, I find myself having to remember to use them for what they do rather than thinking, "First thing when I get home from work: Nirodha Samapatti, Baby!" as I used to do.

3) Before, there seemed to be options. Even at the best of my seeing emptiness and effortlessness in realtime, there seemed to be options. Now reality is this non-negotiable, complete, no-way-out sort of thing that simply does exactly what it does as it likes all the time, and whatever arises is simply it, however it is. This is a very different way of viewing things, and has profound implications, but the experience of the thing has taken years to get used to, and that getting used to it is just part of it, arising in its time and on its own, with this Daniel just being a part of that. Thus, whatever experience, rapture, perspective, state, stage, sense of non-duality, appreciation of emptiness, luminosity, degree of mindfulness, etc that arises is just that moment's thing as it is, nothing more, nothing less. This is something like the way things were before practicing at all, but with Fruitions, States, Stages and a whole host of previously unavailable ways that reality can present itself added to the mix.

4) No-Dog and Some-Dog seem fundamentally the same to me, whereas, for a brief period, No-Dog seemed like The Bomb, The Answer, The Ticket, and Some-Dog seemed so last week.

5) Training in Morality seems to be 90% of the practice at the moment, whereas for most of my dharma practice insight and concentrations seemed to be everything and morality was just something I did to support those most of the time. I say 90% due to the next point:

6) There are these energetic disturbances in the body-mind that arise sometimes and are unpleasant in varying degrees. Sometimes they are very short-lived, other times some aspect of the pattern morphs and changes and lingers for days to weeks. They are usually in the stomach, chest, neck or head, or some mix of these, and their frequencies, qualities, specifics, locations, and other aspects vary also. Sometimes they are clearly related to some issue or life-challenge, sometimes they seem completely random. These seem only superficially related to any sort of insight cycle and much more about something I have come to think of as an integrated psychological-emotional-energetic-body-mind field thing. The solution to these in general seems to involve patience, time, living well, honesty with myself in a relative way, healthy living, and mindfulness of the qualities of the thing as they arise and change. Most of my reading, practice, and interest these days has to do with these aspects of things, but as they seem to encompass my life in a broad way, this is a broad practice that is inherently integrated with daily life. In general, as they move through, I feel something good has happened and something has been learned or worked out. This seems to be my cutting edge of practice at the moment and it has been for years now, sort of a fusion various aspects of human growth and development. It is a very intuitive thing most of the time, and talking about it in more specifics is like talking about the qualities of light on water or the flight of a swarm of insects. I find most of my time going into things like work, building a straw-bale house, working on my relationships with people, helping my family, playing music, cooking food, thinking about how to help people coming up in this stuff, and some going to these energetic body-mind-emotional-psychology things. This is radically different emphasis from my practice before, where technical dharma practice came first, and the rest was seen as swirling around that for better or for worse.

I say all this as I see a number of people, most of whom have moved to KennethFolkDharma.org, who are fascinated with attaining to Rigpa, emptiness, joyful states, high concepts and rare teachings, plunging, debating, fascinated with all this, and it reminds me so much of my practice for those anagami years, and I so much want to try to tell them a skillful way to frame all this that at once brings it all back home and yet doesn't deny the beauty of all of that, and I am finding it really, really difficult to land this well with any of them, leading me to the conclusion that they will have to find it out for themselves.

There are lots of ways to interpret all this, and I am willing to play Devil's Advocate with myself as I make this list:

1) I have attained something that those who are still at what I call anagami haven't realized yet, with some of them calling "arahatship" what I called "anagram". As pointed out before by others including Kenneth, the irony of the title anagami being used in a pejorative way is clear and humorous and enviable. However, this clearly explains why they seem to be going through what I went through and have the same fascinations and difficulties that I did during that period I call "anagami" and yet can't seem to understand what I am saying as they are not there yet, just as I couldn't have understood what I am talking about now when I was in that territory either. This also explains why they have such strong reactions to Tarin and Trent, both of whom claim arahatship and describe things very much like what I describe, and when the three of us talk about this stuff, we are on similar pages much more than those over at KennethFolkDharma are. I am not sure how much of this rift is cultural, social or conceptual and how much is about divergent or disparate practice and attainments, but the effect is clear and real and worthy of serious consideration.

2) I have no idea what they are talking about. Haquan assumes that one must have had Rigpa pointed out in some specific way for one to find it. Kenneth, who says Rigpa and arahatship are two different phenomena, seems to think that with arahatship, one has the best platform to stabilize Rigpa, whereas I claim that arahatship is Rigpa, stabilized and done without other options. Either I have no idea what the Rigpa they are talking about is, having not run into it in 6.5 years since what I call arahatship, or they are thinking the emptiness and luminosity thing I saw on and off and worked to stabilize during my anagami period is Rigpa and they simply can't or don't want to understand my descriptions of that territory and make the connection.

3) We simply are both describing the same thing and using words really badly to do so, so we can't understand each other, but as the descriptions diverge so widely, and the attitudes and relationships to the thing are so different, it is hard to imagine this option.

4) There are parallel or divergent tracks of awakening. I loathe this argument with the whole of my being, but admit the possibility and my possible inability to see it.

5) Some other explanation I can't imagine at this point.

Some over there define Rigpa as precluding or excluding dualistic thought. I claim that Rigpa does not and cannot, with thoughts or any other experiences being just more things that arise in the clear light of wisdom, as thoughts clearly arose before the understanding of Rigpa, so how could something that is one definition of ultimate reality exclude any aspects of reality that could arise?

I put his out there realizing that I will probably be really frustrated with what follows, as this topic hits so close to people's senses of identities in multiple ways and aspects, and that tends to produce strong reactions, but perhaps something good will come out of the continued attempt to make sense of this apparently faction-producing and controversial issue and how our practice and good communication can help clarify these things.
J Adam G, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 12:53 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 12:39 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:

I read book after book, poured through texts both for confirmation of what I was perceiving and also for pointers as to how to finish things up, including particular attention to Mahayana, Vajrayaha, Zen, and Vedantic texts, as well as Ceremonial Magick, Shamanistic texts. Most of the time things seemed pretty straightforward, empty, luminous, effortless, centerless, some very obvious mix of transcendence and intimacy, and I worked more and more to stay in a way of perceiving things that seemed right, clear, straightforward, direct, literal, non-dual, etc. By the end of that period, I would spend weeks thinking I had finished the thing up, very impressed with my insights, only to have a new A&P arise, and the thing would go round again with a new insight cycle, and during the Dark Night period doubts would set in as new, clearly not-that-well-illuminated territory would arise, I would see it the way I had learned to see layer after layer of experience, a new Fruition would arise, I would feel great, clear, like a spiritual superstar, and then around again.

During this period, luminosity was fascinating, emptiness was fascinating, centerlessness was fascinating, my jhanic abilities were fascinating, the whole grand quest, teachings, subtleties, and the like were amazing, so impressive to me, and it was a time of great profundity, arrogance, occasional confusion, rare humility, and lots of very clear, wonderful insights into the direct workings of experience and the mind. I relished my deep and profound understanding of very subtle concepts and teachings. It was during this period that I wrote most of MCTB, and these fascinations, perspectives, abilities and issues show through it clearly. Just so I am clear on this, I am not claiming not to be arrogant now, as that would be really delusional, but there is something about it that is different now, and seeing the last thing had this humbling quality to it in some ways.

I say all this as I see a number of people, most of whom have moved to KennethFolkDharma.org, who are fascinated with attaining to Rigpa, emptiness, joyful states, high concepts and rare teachings, plunging, debating, fascinated with all this, and it reminds me so much of my practice for those anagami years, and I so much want to try to tell them a skillful way to frame all this that at once brings it all back home and yet doesn't deny the beauty of all of that, and I am finding it really, really difficult to land this well with any of them, leading me to the conclusion that they will have to find it out for themselves.



I had a really well-thought out and mindfully phrased post that got eaten by an internet burp. Like everyone else who has had 20 minutes of typing eaten by a computer, I refuse to retype all of it. The basic points I was trying to communicate were:
1.) I really think this post makes me understand more the undercurrent of "Everything the dhamma is about is right here in front of your face" in what you've been saying recently, and how that's in response to the types of discussion you've seen here recently
2.) I hear your frustration with how people talk about technical points, high states, things we're curious about, and other things that are not "paying attention to reality right now," but I do think that curiosity has its place. After all, were any of us raised as Buddhists? Without this curiosity I certainly wouldn't have tried to understand emptiness, done meditation, gotten Mind and Body, and subsequently found MCTB or this community, and without the discussion of things that I'm curious about, I wouldn't stay here and keep meditating. So I do think it serves a valuable purpose even if it frustrates those who realize how none of that will bring about any insight.
3.) I appreciate your desire to be compassionate and skillful in trying to communicate a point that seems impossible to hammer into peoples' heads, clearly including mine. This is not E-Sangha. We're supposed to be nice here and promote open discussion and be compassionate, so don't give up on finding more skillful ways to communicate important parts of the truth of enlightenment, whatever that is.
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Tom O, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 10:15 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 10:15 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 124 Join Date: 7/19/09 Recent Posts
I strongly debated against replying, partially because I am so new to all of this and therefore have little credibility, and partially because I don't want to get involved into an "us" vs. "them" debate. And I certainly don't want this to be the type of reply that frustrates you.

But precisely because I am new to all of this and look on both DhO and KFD as valuable resources, and have a big stake in the continued thriving of both communities, I have to say this "us" vs. "them" debate makes me f$!'n crazy.

I loved the first 80% of this essay, the big picture, because I want to understand where this is all heading. I need to know what I am in for, good and bad. I need to know what my life will be like when I attain these attainments. For example, I love how you note that now your practice is 90% morality, because that has been bugging me even now as I interact with other dharma friends who don't seem to be interested in the path to insight at all but are instead "metta this" and "tonglen that". I want to ask you more about that stuff.

But equally important for me (and I assume others that are drawn to these resources) it is guys like you, Kenneth, possibly others, that are exactly the people to figure out the answers to questions that you pose, such as how rigpa (whatever that is) fits into the insight paths, or whether "actual freedom" is real or just noise (ok, I am posing that one), etc. These topics are no doubt hard, and obviously emotional. But (and I'll say this as an outside observer that wants to be part of this community) it is kind of discouraging that dialog around these issues needs to be so personal. I can't see you all sitting down over a few beers and coming up with "the grand unified theory of enlightenment" any time soon as a result.

I am excited by the potential of where my practice might lead, but I need help. A lot. And I am a little nervous that counterproductive commentary on both sites will cause both wells to dry up.

My 0.02.
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Alan Chapman, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 11:21 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 11:21 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 3 Join Date: 9/10/09 Recent Posts
Hello Daniel,

I see much of myself – only last year - in your description of anagami-hood: technically proficient and a self-certified, dharma know-it-all. The cushion was where it was at, and although a teacher might be able to tell me my ‘position’ or what the latest mystical event might be, god help them if they might call my behaviour in to question (‘stick to the real, verifiable stuff; morality is my business, not anyone else’s, etc’).

And I see much of myself – presently - in your current description of arahatship: ordinary, untying the knots (they’re infinite, aren’t they?), concerned about how best to teach this stuff.

My views have changed considerably, and I fully believe that there is a much healthier and wiser approach to enlightenment than that fostered by the technical tick-box gung-ho goal mentality. Currently, I believe that the differences familiar to both of us between anagami-hood and arahatship are not necessarily stage specific; I think that the cocky, one dimensional, technically reductionist ‘expert’ morality – because that’s what it is, a behaviour or way of being in the world – is at serious odds with reality. Hence the transformation in viewpoint post-arahat, after enlightenment reveals just how conceited the tick-box morality is.

I’m willing to believe that we can talk openly and honestly about enlightenment, and other technical aspects, but within a more developed and informed framework. For starters, we can recognise that practice is a moral action, and that this moral action can be – and should be – applied off the cushion. I have seen people ‘diagnosed’ from a scant description given in a single e-mail/post, without the recognition that the student may be using a certain jargon to describe very different experiences to the experiences the jargon is intended to represent (I’ve actually experienced this first hand and face-to-face with a guy who only spoke in MCTB jargon, and it took me 2 hours to finally understand that what he really, really wanted to be 3rd path was just his first a&P), without appreciation for the state of mind or potential ‘character flaws’ of the recipient (if we tell an egomaniac that he has achieved all 8 jhanas and the pure land abodes (or whatever) within only a few sittings, based solely on a few e-mails, we are doing nobody any good, especially the ego-maniac), and finally without realising that there are people who don’t experience enlightenment in this way at all and that we might actually have a whole lot more to learn about practical dharma (of course, that renders the ‘expert’ (post-1st path seems to be the qualification for this status) a non-expert, which no expert likes).

I know a lot of people might say all of the above are things to keep in mind when ‘diagnosing’, but if we really kept these things in mind, a whole lot less ‘diagnosis’ would go on, wouldn’t it?

Practice isn’t a means to an end, it’s how we should live; if we fail to be mindful of the points I raise above, I believe it is a technical failure on our part. The dharma isn’t a technique, or an achievement, or a goal; it’s how we relate to ourselves and each other, period. What’s the point of enlightenment if we don’t practice it? Here’s the good news: you don’t have to wait for enlightenment to start practicing it!

Most of the time I see a catastrophic technical failure going on at the DhO, KFD and my own forum at the BH. I’m actually quite appalled at my own past behaviour on these forums too, and I wholeheartedly believe it could have been a very different story if I had access to my current technical view of practice.

Yes, I have the benefit of hindsight, as I believe you do Dan; and I would love it if others could benefit from that hindsight before they make a big ass out of themselves with this tick-box approach. (Note: this does not mean that using maps is bad; it means that how we view our practice is bad.)

So, as for Rigpa: ask yourself (anyone reading this) what exactly does your view and/or experience of it mean for how you relate to yourself and other people. Take your practice off the cushion and into your life.

All the best,

Alan.
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tarin greco, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 12:44 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 12:39 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I was over at KennethFolkDharma posting about enlightenment, Rigpa, ultimate reality, with my attempt to simplify things in a section called The Controversy (see link here: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/3329416/Impermanence%2C+No-Self+and+Suffering?maxResults=20) and it lead to the standard complexities that arise around this perennially complex and difficult topic.

As I got nothing like the responses I wanted there, I thought I would post something back on home turf over here that explores some of this from my current point of view and practice, with a bit of history thrown in.


as i was there too, and got even more rejected than you did (you were only 1- accused of not really getting rigpa by one member (whose experience of it he backs up by referring to some well-known teachers - clearly they must be authorities) and 2- called a wise man insincerely by another member, you lucky some-dog .. i got censored outright), i will chime in here.

the parts you broke up into numbers is most interesting to me so ill skip up to there and just respond, part by part, to that.

Daniel M. Ingram:

What came after April 2003 on that last retreat was something that was very different in most ways from what came before, and marked the largest shift in my practice since stream entry. It has taken years to try to get a sense of the full implications of the thing, but these are the highlights:

1) No longer does there seem to be any interest in the highest teachings, the rare texts, concepts like Rigpa, Maha Ati, True Self, Emptiness, and the like in the same way there is before. Before I was always seeking some concept to help me see something final, to verify something, fill some need, or provide a door to something even more amazing. Now, everything seems really literal, direct, obvious, clear, straightforward, and I can't come up with any ultimate concept that seems more profound than the obvious, basic, often relatively boring sensate world as it does its thing. The drive is gone. To pick up a dharma book and read it has to involve something related to my daily life practice or it has no appeal at all.


i relate to this except for the sentence 'the drive is gone' - for me, the drive is there as the exact same thing as the drive to anything else i am driven to - survival, lust/affection/love/connection, pain-avoidance, food/water (hunger/thirst), entertainment, felicity, the end of malice and sorrow. since all were ever only issues of the self to begin with, there's nothing to do outside of attending to these drives themselves (which leads to a reshaping of them).

Daniel M. Ingram:

2) Before, I really liked the jhanas in a way that was beyond my like for most things. Now I look at them as something that I do to help heal, support and nourish this Daniel, as they do good things, and thus, whereas before they viewed more like someone would view a pleasurable drug, now I think of them as just another component of healthy living, like nutritious food, the vitamins I take, drinking enough water so I don't get more kidney stones, etc. In this way, something really different has arisen in my relationship to them, and, just like my vitamins, I find myself having to remember to use them for what they do rather than thinking, "First thing when I get home from work: Nirodha Samapatti, Baby!" as I used to do.


seems like you got your druggie kicks in other ways. i indulged in most of that stuff as well, was eventually satisfied with how they did not satisfy, and moved on too. i now often need reminders to do mentally nourishing things in order to get them done.. and they often simply dont get done anyway.

Daniel M. Ingram:

3) Before, there seemed to be options. Even at the best of my seeing emptiness and effortlessness in realtime, there seemed to be options. Now reality is this non-negotiable, complete, no-way-out sort of thing that simply does exactly what it does as it likes all the time, and whatever arises is simply it, however it is. This is a very different way of viewing things, and has profound implications, but the experience of the thing has taken years to get used to, and that getting used to it is just part of it, arising in its time and on its own, with this Daniel just being a part of that. Thus, whatever experience, rapture, perspective, state, stage, sense of non-duality, appreciation of emptiness, luminosity, degree of mindfulness, etc that arises is just that moment's thing as it is, nothing more, nothing less. This is something like the way things were before practicing at all, but with Fruitions, States, Stages and a whole host of previously unavailable ways that reality can present itself added to the mix.


ditto. what particularly stands out is the 'getting used to it is part of it' part, as that is sometimes just pure comedy.

Daniel M. Ingram:

4) No-Dog and Some-Dog seem fundamentally the same to me, whereas, for a brief period, No-Dog seemed like The Bomb, The Answer, The Ticket, and Some-Dog seemed so last week.


they are quite different experiences, and in a way no-dog is cooler than some-dog, except you cant actually really control whether you're gonna no-dog or some-dog at any given point, so in a way either is ok, since they're actually fundamentally the same thing anyway, *which is what seeing this lack of control/choice revealed*.

Daniel M. Ingram:

5) Training in Morality seems to be 90% of the practice at the moment, whereas for most of my dharma practice insight and concentrations seemed to be everything and morality was just something I did to support those most of the time. I say 90% due to the next point:

6) There are these energetic disturbances in the body-mind that arise sometimes and are unpleasant in varying degrees. Sometimes they are very short-lived, other times some aspect of the pattern morphs and changes and lingers for days to weeks. They are usually in the stomach, chest, neck or head, or some mix of these, and their frequencies, qualities, specifics, locations, and other aspects vary also. Sometimes they are clearly related to some issue or life-challenge, sometimes they seem completely random. These seem only superficially related to any sort of insight cycle and much more about something I have come to think of as an integrated psychological-emotional-energetic-body-mind field thing. The solution to these in general seems to involve patience, time, living well, honesty with myself in a relative way, healthy living, and mindfulness of the qualities of the thing as they arise and change. Most of my reading, practice, and interest these days has to do with these aspects of things, but as they seem to encompass my life in a broad way, this is a broad practice that is inherently integrated with daily life. In general, as they move through, I feel something good has happened and something has been learned or worked out. This seems to be my cutting edge of practice at the moment and it has been for years now, sort of a fusion various aspects of human growth and development. It is a very intuitive thing most of the time, and talking about it in more specifics is like talking about the qualities of light on water or the flight of a swarm of insects. I find most of my time going into things like work, building a straw-bale house, working on my relationships with people, helping my family, playing music, cooking food, thinking about how to help people coming up in this stuff, and some going to these energetic body-mind-emotional-psychology things. This is radically different emphasis from my practice before, where technical dharma practice came first, and the rest was seen as swirling around that for better or for worse.


so check it out, i think that those energetic disturbances are actually what cause the need for training in morality, and if you can deal with them at that level 99.9% of the time, the training in morality becomes obsolete. peeling back the social identity (which is shaped by restraint) and diving into the stygian depths of the passions, as richard calls it. the way he advocates dealing with them is getting out of the focus on stomach, solar plexus, chest, etc centres, and unlocking them by unlocking naivete down just barely below/outside the hara centre. it works really well for me when i can remember to do it - the energetic disturbances dissipate and in their absence, the intrinsic peace of physical sensate ('of the senses') reality predominates again.

Daniel M. Ingram:

I say all this as I see a number of people, most of whom have moved to KennethFolkDharma.org, who are fascinated with attaining to Rigpa, emptiness, joyful states, high concepts and rare teachings, plunging, debating, fascinated with all this, and it reminds me so much of my practice for those anagami years, and I so much want to try to tell them a skillful way to frame all this that at once brings it all back home and yet doesn't deny the beauty of all of that, and I am finding it really, really difficult to land this well with any of them, leading me to the conclusion that they will have to find it out for themselves.


that, which was anagami territory for you, can probably happen elsewhere on the map too, especially for people who are into vague non-dualist practices and are thus prone to these kinds of indulgences regardless of where they are progress-wise. the question is, can it happen for some arahats as well? can they be done with the the thing - that is, arahatship, insight knot untied - and still be thus fascinated? i dont know the answer to this, but if the answer is yes, i dont suppose there's any harm in leaving them be to rigparigparigpa to their hearts' content, since they're not hurting themselves in any way, nor necessarily others, since it would follow that such fascination (if actually possible for those really done-dealy) isnt necessarily an impediment to others getting arahatship either ... and if the answer is no, arahatship might not be their cup of tea and there's no reason to force it.

tarin
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Tom O, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:03 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:03 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 124 Join Date: 7/19/09 Recent Posts
the prisoner greco:
Daniel M. Ingram:

2) Before, I really liked the jhanas in a way that was beyond my like for most things. Now I look at them as something that I do to help heal, support and nourish this Daniel, as they do good things, and thus, whereas before they viewed more like someone would view a pleasurable drug, now I think of them as just another component of healthy living, like nutritious food, the vitamins I take, drinking enough water so I don't get more kidney stones, etc. In this way, something really different has arisen in my relationship to them, and, just like my vitamins, I find myself having to remember to use them for what they do rather than thinking, "First thing when I get home from work: Nirodha Samapatti, Baby!" as I used to do.


seems like you got your druggie kicks in other ways. i indulged in most of that stuff as well, was eventually satisfied with how they did not satisfy, and moved on too. i now often need reminders to do mentally nourishing things in order to get them done.. and they often simply dont get done anyway.


So, may I ask you guys: do you still sit daily? It sounds like Daniel is a "no" except for an occasional jhanic recharging. I think I recall Trent saying to me a while back that he does not sit regularly anymore. Is this common?
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:18 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:18 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Daniel,

I read Kenneths post and your response (as well as the thread that followed). I think you and Adam – if you spent some time together – could probably make great headway on this. You and Kenneth seem to like to work out your differences using hammers and this one is more like untangling glass threads. Once you start mixing rigpa (as practice pre 4th path) and rigpa (as experience) you get way too many dynamics going. My sense is that you basically need to work through the terminology and that is best with just two of you.

In my opinion, the Visudhimagga sets out a narrower view than the Suttas. I think you will have a hard time if you try to fit rigpa into the Visudhimagga model – I don't think it would be hard from a Sutta approach.

Personally, I accept that there is this 'primordial awareness' – it more accurately describes my own experience - though I don't consider it the 'ultimate reality' (that would be yet another controversial topic). That being said, my practice (for lack of a better word) is more like yours most of the time.

I think the interest in all of this is around how to work (or not work) with this phenomena called 'remainder' (your #6). So another approach would be to focus on that part of our experience.

-Chuck
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tarin greco, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:37 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 1:37 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
Tom Otvos:
the prisoner greco:
Daniel M. Ingram:

2) Before, I really liked the jhanas in a way that was beyond my like for most things. Now I look at them as something that I do to help heal, support and nourish this Daniel, as they do good things, and thus, whereas before they viewed more like someone would view a pleasurable drug, now I think of them as just another component of healthy living, like nutritious food, the vitamins I take, drinking enough water so I don't get more kidney stones, etc. In this way, something really different has arisen in my relationship to them, and, just like my vitamins, I find myself having to remember to use them for what they do rather than thinking, "First thing when I get home from work: Nirodha Samapatti, Baby!" as I used to do.


seems like you got your druggie kicks in other ways. i indulged in most of that stuff as well, was eventually satisfied with how they did not satisfy, and moved on too. i now often need reminders to do mentally nourishing things in order to get them done.. and they often simply dont get done anyway.


So, may I ask you guys: do you still sit daily? It sounds like Daniel is a "no" except for an occasional jhanic recharging. I think I recall Trent saying to me a while back that he does not sit regularly anymore. Is this common?


hi tom,

i dont sit daily these days. my main mode of practice (as such) is now going for a walk, which i do usually every other day.

tarin
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 3:17 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 3:17 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Tom Otvos:
it is kind of discouraging that dialog around these issues needs to be so personal. I can't see you all sitting down over a few beers and coming up with "the grand unified theory of enlightenment" any time soon as a result.


My experience is that when we do sit around and talk about these things – in person – we make great progress. There is something about our 'humanness' that doesn't connect via text :-(no matter how many emoticons we use :-)
J Adam G, modified 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 6:22 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/21/09 6:22 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Hmmm.... video conference anyone? I'm not kidding. If people are interested, the results could certainly be worth their time.
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Florian, modified 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 2:13 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 2:11 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi John,

I forked off the "Lost in the Dharma Candy Store" thread to discuss your sentiment about being lost among choices, as I think it is an important subject in its own right.

Cheers,
Florian
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 11:59 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 11:59 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I say all this as I see a number of people, most of whom have moved to KennethFolkDharma.org, who are fascinated with attaining to Rigpa, emptiness, ... and it reminds me so much of my practice for those anagami years, and I so much want to try to tell them a skillful way to frame all this that at once brings it all back home and yet doesn't deny the beauty of all of that, and I am finding it really, really difficult to land this well with any of them, leading me to the conclusion that they will have to find it out for themselves


I realized that in my posts I never got to the heart of what you are looking for so I spent some time looking over more of Kenneths site to see what it was all about.

I think the differences (the split) is a manifestation of the ongoing lifelong debate between two friends: Daniel and Kenneth. I think Kenneth felt he needed more space to present his views than DhO provided him. Those that were interested in his approach or wanted to find out more have gone over to that site or at least spend time there.

Very briefly his view is:
recognize your Buddha Nature in this moment – if you can't do that then switch to self-enquiry – if that isn't working switch to concentration/insight.

I do not see that any of the proponents of this approach went through this process themselves so it seems to me to be a theory of Kenneths – maybe it will work and maybe not.

In my opinion, this approach contradicts a thousand years of Vajrayana experimentation, a couple thousand years of Taoist experimentation, and the Buddhas teachings. I am all for experimentation but one needs to keep this in mind. In any case, time will tell. I disagree with Kenneth but I applaud his effort.

The focus of DhO is more on being very open about practice, how it unfolds, and the result. It focuses heavily on the Burmese noting practice (which is not my practice and frustrates me at times) but Daniel makes the place open to opposing views – which I appreciate. The approach is very open – anyone can express their views, opinions, assess their attainments if they so desire. Disagreements are brought out into the open for debate. It gets very messy at times. It represents a different underlying culture from what Kenneth is looking to develop.

As far as the fascination with rigpa, etc. I think that is just a reflection of the primacy that it plays in Kenneths theory combined with the usual zealousness of those trying to achieve it. In a sense it is similar to our focus on vibrations.

I think if you try to frame his approach in terms of your own you will only meet frustration. If you create a big tent – create a space that transcends but includes both approaches – maybe that is possible – but you would have to be willing to drop many of your own views while hanging out in that tent.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 12:18 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 12:15 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Dear Chuck,

I think your analysis of the interactions, politics, cultures, frameworks, and the like are very insightful and spot on.

They have been helpful, and it is nice to have this sort of outside perspective to draw on.

If you have been frustrated by the noting or vibrational aspect here, I encourage you to help me create the space here for you to do your own thing if you wish it that drew on the community but presented its own take on things, as whatever you did, it clearly worked well, and the working well is what I care about most. Also, if you want a section of the wiki to lay out your own stuff so that others can draw on that terminology and methodology, please let me know.

Thanks,

Daniel
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 4:53 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/22/09 4:53 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 128 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Daniel, I can't deal with too much of this at once, so I just want to reply to the ambiguity that "Rigpa" seems to represent. This happens with a number of Buddhist terms. (one way I support my hardcore meditation practice is with a modicum of scholarly inquiry, probably having some connection to wisdom factor...)

Terms no one agrees on what they possibly mean: Dharma, Zen, Shikantaza, Vipassana, and now also Rigpa. Ask 100 meditators and what any of these terms mean and you'll get 100 answers. Rather than trashing Vipassana or Rigpa,which would be mean, I will pick on Zen. "Zen" could mean (1) a SCHOOL of esoteric Buddhism, outside the scriptures, and transmitted from mind to mind (2) Buddhist PRACTICE that emphasize Jhana/Dhyana/Cha'n na, Zen, Thein, Seon meditation teachings, it could also mean (3) one's level of ATTAINMENT (as in the phrase "your Zen is weak, old man"), or it certainly could mean the innundation of (4) Zen items in the marketplace which have a kind of wabi-sabi design AESTHETIC, and the combination of all above, (5) the OFFICIAL ZEN sanctioned marketing of "authentic" teaching, examinations, paperwork, transmissions, robes, lineages, and last but not least (6) NOTHING - none of the above. (6) None of the above is probably closer to what Zen "really" is, but the term refers to ALL of these. And t his ambiguity is mush, and not really useful. If it lacks articulation, it is probably not from the Buddha, since he was very articulate. And this goes for the Vinaya texts too. I'm not a fundamentalist. You could break our Rigpa in the same manner, in fact my initial search on the internet confirmed this.

Speaking of fundamentalism, Tibetan Buddhism does not enforce a belief system. So if one monk holds A, C, and E beliefs while his brother holds views B, D, and F, well that is okay. Unlike the Theravadan there is no system of enforced creed. Zen actually goes even farther in that often not much is actually taught, figure it out for yourself, you are on your own. There is a lot of freedom there. So I imagine what Rigpa means depends on who you are talking to.

I'm still trying to figure out with what Vipassana means, and it's not exactly clear, even looking at it in a purely Thervada context. If any one I know who can figure out what the "real" Rigpa that would probably be you Daniel.
p e a c e
h a n s e n
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Julius P0pp, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 4:16 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 4:16 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 50 Join Date: 8/17/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:

In my opinion, this approach contradicts a thousand years of Vajrayana experimentation, a couple thousand years of Taoist experimentation, and the Buddhas teachings. I am all for experimentation but one needs to keep this in mind. In any case, time will tell.

Could you explain this one a little more please? I don't have much background knowledge on the subject, but would like to understand it. What were the results of Vajrayana and Taoist experimentation with regards to vipassana/samatha/no-dog/simplest thing and the individual practitioner?
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 12:36 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 12:36 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 128 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Chuck says: "The focus of DhO is more on being very open about practice, how it unfolds, and the result. It focuses heavily on the Burmese noting practice (which is not my practice and frustrates me at times) but Daniel makes the place open to opposing views – which I appreciate. The approach is very open – anyone can express their views, opinions, assess their attainments if they so desire. Disagreements are brought out into the open for debate. It gets very messy at times. It represents a different underlying culture from what Kenneth is looking to develop."

It is difficult to establish that kind of open forum especially in the current atmosphere of schisms and recriminations (not just in eSangha but elsewhere too). One of the conferences I attended was an Interfaith movement in Kansas City, how it was organized and structured, and DhO certainly has that quality of broadmindedness which to me is a clear indicator of where it is coming from and who wants to be a part of it. You can't get that without understanding the necessity of it and setting things up that way intentionally. I have absolutely no idea what is going on over at KFD, and it doesn't matter. If I join that group, I join it, if I leave I leave. I'll be like all other phenomena that come and go. Right now I feel DhO is adequate but if I locate a real life sangha here, that would be just a bit better. I don't think that will happen however. I do appreciate Daniel's efforts here, and en joy this site.

p e a c e

h a n s e n
Susan Law, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 1:08 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 1:08 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 25 Join Date: 9/27/09 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
Daniel M. Ingram:
I say all this as I see a number of people, most of whom have moved to KennethFolkDharma.org, who are fascinated with attaining to Rigpa, emptiness, ... and it reminds me so much of my practice for those anagami years, and I so much want to try to tell them a skillful way to frame all this that at once brings it all back home and yet doesn't deny the beauty of all of that, and I am finding it really, really difficult to land this well with any of them, leading me to the conclusion that they will have to find it out for themselves


I realized that in my posts I never got to the heart of what you are looking for so I spent some time looking over more of Kenneths site to see what it was all about.

I think the differences (the split) is a manifestation of the ongoing lifelong debate between two friends: Daniel and Kenneth. I think Kenneth felt he needed more space to present his views than DhO provided him. Those that were interested in his approach or wanted to find out more have gone over to that site or at least spend time there.

Very briefly his view is:
recognize your Buddha Nature in this moment – if you can't do that then switch to self-enquiry – if that isn't working switch to concentration/insight.

I do not see that any of the proponents of this approach went through this process themselves so it seems to me to be a theory of Kenneths – maybe it will work and maybe not.

In my opinion, this approach contradicts a thousand years of Vajrayana experimentation, a couple thousand years of Taoist experimentation, and the Buddhas teachings. I am all for experimentation but one needs to keep this in mind. In any case, time will tell. I disagree with Kenneth but I applaud his effort.

The focus of DhO is more on being very open about practice, how it unfolds, and the result. It focuses heavily on the Burmese noting practice (which is not my practice and frustrates me at times) but Daniel makes the place open to opposing views – which I appreciate. The approach is very open – anyone can express their views, opinions, assess their attainments if they so desire. Disagreements are brought out into the open for debate. It gets very messy at times. It represents a different underlying culture from what Kenneth is looking to develop.

As far as the fascination with rigpa, etc. I think that is just a reflection of the primacy that it plays in Kenneths theory combined with the usual zealousness of those trying to achieve it. In a sense it is similar to our focus on vibrations.

I think if you try to frame his approach in terms of your own you will only meet frustration. If you create a big tent – create a space that transcends but includes both approaches – maybe that is possible – but you would have to be willing to drop many of your own views while hanging out in that tent.


My few cents on this -

First - definition of rigpa. There are clear and accepted definitions to be found in Tibetan Buddhist texts. Two important points. First, because the term is used is several different ways that are quite distinct from each other, context is essential. It's meanings range from "clear understanding" such as one gains thru study, in a scholarly context, all the way through Dzogchen's use of rigpa to indicate "the knower which is the facet of enlightened mind that all sentient beings have in them..." - potentially, full enlightenment itself. Second - experience is the real basis of understanding its meaning - true of just about everything, of course, but very important especially in the Dzogchen usage where the experience is rare. The word is used a lot these days, rather loosely, in my not-so-humble-opinion. And I think this leads to imprecision. In fact (again - my opinion) the experience of rigpa, in the Dzogchen sense, is rare - though attainable, and very much worth working toward.

Next - my own experience here - I was very much hit by the 'split' that Kenneth refers to. I've been mostly immersed in Vajrayana tradition for about 30 years. Recently I read MCTB and loved it - the clarity, simplicity, and openness. It resolved several issues for me. However - especially in the models of enlightenment section I got lost - a lot like some others have described. Now with a couple of more weeks of thrashing about and digging deeply into some Vajrayana texts, I've come to some sort of at least temporary resolution. In Vajrayana we have lists and lists... one of them is a description of the whole path as basis/ground, path, and fruit; within this, path is broken into view, meditation, and action or behavior. What is important is how the basis (which is understood through the view) determines the meditation and other methods, and thus governs behavior. All of this leads to the fruit. Ok - my thought is that what is presented in MCTB is a very different view from what I'm used to. This leads to very different concepts of meditation - and to some extent, a different understanding of (and experience of) the results. Daniel's view and methods (very well known and time-tested) clearly work. So do Vajrayana methods. But what is important for me is to see that these different methods don't necessarily all work at the same time. My teacher used to say that there're several boats going to the other shore - but you can't ride in all of them at once. On the other hand, knowing what happens in one of them may be very helpful toward making progress in another.

This gets me to why people like me blah blah on about all this stuff - I'm still working on refining my view. The Vajrayana method has some blank places in it - for me at least. Some of them have been filled in by what I read in MCTB. I end up reading, talking, reflecting - learning. For me the talk is a reflection of the fact that I'm not there yet - and a method to help me get there.

It's also really important to me that these different approaches can illuminate each other - I certainly intend to go back and read MCTB again from the start. Openness is really helpful. Finally, I appreciate the willingness of people here to discuss these issues.


Susan (haydenlaw)
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 2:35 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 2:33 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Julius Dodd:
Chuck Kasmire:

In my opinion, this approach contradicts a thousand years of Vajrayana experimentation, a couple thousand years of Taoist experimentation, and the Buddhas teachings. I am all for experimentation but one needs to keep this in mind. In any case, time will tell.

Could you explain this one a little more please? I don't have much background knowledge on the subject, but would like to understand it. What were the results of Vajrayana and Taoist experimentation with regards to vipassana/samatha/no-dog/simplest thing and the individual practitioner?


The issue is not really around 'vipassana/samatha/no-dog/simplest thing' but the order (and implied emphasis) in which they are presented: “recognize your Buddha Nature in this moment – if you can't do that then switch to self-enquiry – if that isn't working switch to concentration/insight”. How do you 'recognize your Buddha nature' if all you have ever recognized is your egoistic self? Both Vajrayana and Taoist approaches put a heavy emphasis on working at the developmental level (concentration/insight or a functional equivalent) from the start. Their practices may be quite different from the noting practice that Daniel emphasizes here – but the effect – to get down to the bare sensate level – is the same.

As an analogy: It is something like having traveled a long and winding road up the top of a high mountain – you look down and say 'hey, this isn't all that far away at all. There is a much shorter way to get here – just head straight for the peak'. Of course, the reason why the long winding road is there is because those that have traveled that route in the past built it as the most reliable and sure route.

With regards to Vajrayana and Taoist experimentation – both these traditions were very open to trying different practices, learning from one another, creating new techniques, etc. Taoists tended to practice individually or in small communities and seem to have been constantly coming up with new schools, teachings, etc. This, anyway, represents the sense that I get from reading about these traditions.

Because of this long history of openness to experimentation, you can find writings that support the 'direct approach' and instances where someone received pointing out instructions and with no other training instantly 'gets it'. But those individuals are few and far between. Our egos would love to see us as being one of the lucky ones. If you actually look at how a teacher of one of these traditions takes you through the process – it is very developmental, step by step – starting from where we are – at a content level – and progressively stripping away identification with content until a point where the direct approach may be pointed out without the ego grabbing onto it.

To paraphrase Reggie Ray, a Vajrayana teacher, 'Its easy to point out a persons basic awareness, but without the developmental work, that basic awareness is the size of a pea'. He speaks about the importance of the underlying work in a 5 minute talk here (“I am completely fucked up, nothing is changing, I can't get along with anybody but I can touch the basic nature so I feel good”). This gets right to the point that I am trying to make.
Kate Gowen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 9:54 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 9:54 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/27/09 Recent Posts
There's nothing like recourse to an authentic master, in this case, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, in his extremely concise, immensely instructive little book, *Vajra Speech*:

" RIGPA

In the case of stillness, occurence and noticing, the word rigpa is used for noticing. Self-existing awareness is also called rigpa. The word is the same but the meaning is different. The difference between these two practices is as vast as the distance between the sky and earth. In the case of stillness, occurrence and noticing, rigpa means observing and being aware of whether the mind is still or whether there is thought occurrence. Self-existing awareness, on the other hand, transcends both thinking and being still.

Dualistic mind is self-abandoned the moment awareness is recognized. Distinguish between these two because dualistic mind changes while awareness does not. It is like the example of the sky being unchanging and the clouds changeable....

As space pervades, awareness pervades. Like space, rigpa is all-encompassing; nothing is outside of it. Just as the world and beings are all pervaded by space, rigpa pervades the minds of all beings.

No one is without rigpa. It is only that it is not recognized. Rigpa is nonconceptual, free from conceptual thought, yet it is cognizant. Without cognizance, one could not know anything.

Unbound, free, naked, fresh-- rigpa is not something that we need to make. This is where we all must arrive.

Being flawless and endowed with all the perfect qualities, you cannot criticize rigpa even if you wanted to. Being indescribable, you cannot find a word, concept, or analogy-- it transcends conceptual knowledge. In other words, even scientists cannot figure it out. scientists always understand what they can grasp, but transcendent knowledge means what lies beyond the intellect's grasp. It is not formed in any way; it does not arise or come into being; it is like the essence of space. Yet, it is within the domain of our individual experience. We can experience it. You cannot recognize someone else's mind but you can know your own mind. It is right here, it is not some other place. In other words, it is the domain of self-cognizant wakefulness. This self-cognizant wakefulness is within our reach. You *can* know it."


-- a compendious exposition, assembled by his translator/students from a number of talks, I believe.

My continuing study has mostly been in the Dzogchen realm, with forays into various other modes of discussion of the same "Great Matter." So far, what I understand is this: no one "attains" rigpa, it is the very nature of mind. What happens-- or, more often, fails to happen-- is that one can recognize that this is the case. Sooner or later, the recognition changes the view of ourselves and everyone and everything else. All practices are methods for allowing for/encouraging this recognition.
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Daniel M Ingram, modified 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 11:22 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/24/09 11:22 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 3231 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I very much appreciate these clarifications from someone who has come up in that conceptual framework and is familiar with its various aspects and meanings, as well as references regarding them.

This is the sort of thing we need more of.
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 4:08 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 4:08 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Hey guys!

These links might bring further clarity to the Rigpa issue and the practice of Dzogchen.

http://innerrave.org/meditation.html

http://innerrave.org/books.html

May all know the end to striving, suffering and the intrinsic joy, satisfaction and fresh clarity of being as it is - to know this, is to know Rigpa.

In kind regards,

Adam.
Kate Gowen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 11:24 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 11:24 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/27/09 Recent Posts
I can hardly describe myself as any kind of exemplar of the Dzogchen tradition-- only as someone whose attention has been forged by those teachings from my first encounter some years ago. Nonetheless, I've made them my daily companion, and feel confident to say that there is a danger in an overly glib approach-- this is the case with all the Nondual teachings. To say that 'self-existent, luminous wakefulness is the nature of all beings' is not to say that enlightenment is simply a matter of having a conceptual understanding and making a bold declaration. [This part of the teachings doesn't sit too well with us purpose-driven, overprivileged westerners.] Based on a homonym in Tibetan, there is an aphorism: "Meditation ISN'T; getting used to IS."

I was pointed toward Dzogchen when I was looking for the answer to "what would post-enlightenment [or post-enlightenment-experience] practice look like?" It seems to be the tradition that deals with the issues of integration most comprehensively and explicitly. And poetically! For me, that's important.
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 1:37 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 1:37 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

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Daniel: My only question about the other group is this: Now that they have primordial awareness and Buddha-mind, what are they saying that they see with it? Are they teaching a doctrine that goes by the name Buddha-kaya (Buddha-body) or not? This is from rather elementary commentary on Prajnaparamita texts. I would consider that to be the acid test.
p e a c e
h a n s e n
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Kenneth Folk, modified 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 8:25 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/25/09 8:25 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

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Eric Alan Hansen:
Daniel: My only question about the other group is this: Now that they have primordial awareness and Buddha-mind, what are they saying that they see with it? Are they teaching a doctrine that goes by the name Buddha-kaya (Buddha-body) or not? This is from rather elementary commentary on Prajnaparamita texts. I would consider that to be the acid test.


Hi Hansen,

Let's ease up a little on the "us vs. them" talk. It's just "us." :-)

If you want to know what's going on "over there," here's the link:

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/Start+Here

Kenneth
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 4:20 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 4:20 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 128 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Kenneth, Daniel: My apologizes for the inappropriate language - it wasn't meant to be harsh -
p e a c e
h a n s e n
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 11:07 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 11:01 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
In reading the paragraphs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's, I find myself giggling at how similar the definition of Rigpa is to that of a definition of God in the Christian sense. Here are some questions I think are worth pondering:

(1) Is immortality really something to chase (read:imagine) so fervently? Is this putting an end to child abuse, war, etc?
(2) Is transcending into/recognizing one-ness with Rigpa/God really freedom? Personally speaking, I hold no dominion over anything and nothing holds dominion over me; that sounds more like freedom than shacking up in Awareness.
(3) I ask these questions because the entire concept seems to be socially constructed (although based upon real phenomena), and it doesn't seem to be helping the human dilemma a whole lot. What's the point of investing more time into this? Seriously, it's no coincidence that the definition itself promotes thought-retardation, which is not surprising since believers have a vested interested in not applying thought to it (eg: keeping Rigpa/God so ill-defined as to be unchallengeable).

I am not on a tirade to bash Enlightenment per se, I am simply wondering why we cannot (at the very least) look at topics like this with a bit more honesty. It amazes me that the definitions I've seen of Dharmakya/Rigpa/etc. could ever be considered "demystified" dharma. The whole schema flies in the face of common sensibility and the nihilistic underpinnings that result from the deranged interpretations of such things really makes me question whether there's even a small potential for sanity within the human condition.

Have you ever considered that Rigpa is not easily definable because "Pure Being" is analogous to "Pure Subject," and as such, the interpretation of it is as amorphous as each Being that tries to define it (define itself)? In other words, by the virtue of having an identity (Subject/Being) at all-- which is trying to define it's own state of pure existence-- you must by necessity derive a "definition" so widely encompassing as to include every possible permutation of the Self (of which we currently have 6+ billion unique combination of on this planet). With that in mind, trying to define something (Being) that has the ability to define itself is pretty silly, especially with human imagination involved. I wonder, is tail-chasing really the answer to human misery? Reflecting personally, I think Being has been hiding quietly in it's sacrosanct corner for too long; it does not seem to be as harmless as it's Transcendence implied. And with that said, I throw the burden right back onto questions 1-2 above.

With all that said, if any of you want to offer up a sensible definition of Rigpa (by whatever name), then I am all ears!

Trent
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 1:53 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 1:53 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

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Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche:
In the case of stillness, occurrence and noticing, the word rigpa is used for noticing. Self-existing awareness is also called rigpa. The word is the same but the meaning is different. The difference between these two practices is as vast as the distance between the sky and earth.


Tsoknyi Rinpoche (from InnerRave site as suggested by Adam West):
For a beginner in this practice, in the first moment we notice that we are carried away, that we are distracted. The second moment is to remind oneself to recognize the essence. In the third moment one arrives back in the innate state. That is the moment of recognizing......When there's a gap between two thoughts, the intrinsic nature is revealed as self-existing awareness. When the past thought has ceased and the future thought hasn't occurred yet there's a gap, and in that gap you can discover your intrinsic nature. But this gap is not necessarily very long


As a practice it seems to be a good mindfulness practice working at the 'thought door'. In the past there have been heated discussions around practices like this – where people felt that this would be suppressing thoughts. But I think it is clear that there is no suppression – there is just recognition of thought and then dropping it and returning to the 'self-existing awareness'. If you are aware of gaps between thoughts or are willing to make an effort to do so – than the practice is available. It is however a different practice from the noting practice.

@Adam: I think where I get confused in all of this is that it seems to me that what you are focusing on (given your link to the innerrave site) is the practice (rigpa as noticing) but the direction that you are giving is 'just see your self-existing awareness now' and not mentioning the 'distance between the sky and earth'. That is, not speaking about the developmental nature of this process. Thoughts?
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 2:18 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/26/09 7:51 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

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Chuck Kasmire:
As a practice it seems to be a good mindfulness practice working at the 'thought door'. In the past there have been heated discussions around practices like this – where people felt that this would be suppressing thoughts. But I think it is clear that there is no suppression – there is just recognition of thought and then dropping it and returning to the 'self-existing awareness'. If you are aware of gaps between thoughts or are willing to make an effort to do so – than the practice is available. It is however a different practice from the noting practice.


Hey Chuck!

Your right, it is indeed a mindfulness practice, insofar as we notice our basic state. It is a kind of non-doing practice that sets up conditions to notice / realize the very basic foundation of reality itself, which is none other than the basic self-luminous 'awake' 'space' of reality. Reality is not a thing, but a dimension of open, spacious awakeness - empty cognizance; and to realize Rigpa is to experience that spacious wakefulness that contains and apprehends the play or appearance of the energetic display of Dharamakaya - phenomena - as your very nature. It is this 'space' or emptiness of reality that is inherently cognizant in which 'all' phenomena are displayed. To realize Rigpa then, is to realize your natural state as basic awake space, in which all phenomena and sensations appear. So, experientially, there is a shift in angle of perception or experience. Instead of experiencing the play of phenomenon from the perspective of a subject / person / aware sensations, one sees it from the basic space of reality that contains subject, person, sensation and phenomena. The experiential shift is real; and that is what it is to realize Dharamakaya. It is utterly unmistakable once had and all concepts, points of view, and theory seem beside the point at that time; since it is a cutting through of conceptual-mind and clearly seeing for the first time the nature of reality as it is. That is why this 'clear seeing' as non-shamatha based vipassana is considered the real insight of enlightenment.


Chuck Kasmire:
@Adam: I think where I get confused in all of this is that it seems to me that what you are focusing on (given your link to the innerrave site) is the practice (rigpa as noticing) but the direction that you are giving is 'just see your self-existing awareness now' and not mentioning the 'distance between the sky and earth'. That is, not speaking about the developmental nature of this process. Thoughts?


Yes. Since the very fabric of the universe or reality itself is the basic awakeness of space itself, and all things are necessarily contained in this space, and necessarily apprehended by this space right 'NOW', in this context, there is no development per se. To set up the conditions through practice that may lead to 'noticing' or 'realizing' this basic condition of reality or self-nature, when successful, will bring about an instant experiential shift from personal experience of reality to the apersonal cognizant space of reality itself - one's perspective shifts from that which is contained, to the container itself - which is none other than self-luminous cognizant space. This was always the case, however, we just had not noticed it up to that point; and as such, there is no developmental process to speak of. It is literally realizing what always was the case, and is right now, regardless of whether or not we have or can 'experientially' see it for ourselves. This is why it is not about definitions or a conceptual understanding, as mentioned by Trent. When we know nothing of reality other than as the person contained by, or within reality, we cannot imagine what it might be like to experientially shift our perspective or realization of reality to that which contains and apprehends the display of phenomena, rather than as the phenomena contained by reality.

For others who find it a little non-sensical, which is completely understandable, I would suggest that it is impossible to get it until you realize it for yourself. You may get an intuition though. With practice, we may get glimpses. At any time we may realize a complete apprehension of the state of things - even if only for a few seconds. I usually get it for a few hours, then lose it. Permanent stabilization is Buddhahood. Then it will be clear and obvious. It really is the simplest thing, literally. And as such, no thinking about it can attain it. The force of doing so keeps us contained within the phenomenal display itself; whereas, we are attempting to set up conditions in practice that are optimal to notice that 'we' are the cognizant space of reality in which the display of phenomena appears and is contained - a shift from the inside-out.

With regard to the development question, see Alex's clarifications and metaphor of staring at the 3D image - eventually you just get it, no development to speak of - it is instant, and no thinking about it can allow us to grasp what we are speaking of. It is just like that. Also seek Kenneth's clarification on the developmental path of insight and its difference to realizing the Dharmakaya.

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/3397812/%22satori%2Fkensho%22+--+A+%26+P+events+or+something+else%3F?offset=0&maxResults=20

@ Trent: When you finally see the 3D image for yourself (see link), you'll see what all the fuss is about. It is that simple and obvious; and truly the end to all suffering, striving and all false perceptions that reality / human existence is incomplete and something needs to be changed, done or fixed. If you see the incomplete nature of 4th path and find AF to be the answer, then I recommend you consider Dzogchen, Mahamudra or authentic Zen and 'realize' the Dharmakaya for yourself - glimpsed at first, and progressively stabilized - and then it will be clear to you why you sense 4th path is incomplete and why AF contains so many irredeemably flawed and false premises. To be clear, you will see it for yourself on an experiential level - it is realized, not thought, defined or conceptualized.

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for typo.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 12:28 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 12:28 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Adam,
Thanks for the descriptions. Ken Wilber has written quite a bit about 'one taste' and he seems to link it to the term rigpa. Is this in your experience the same thing? He mentions in a book that he had been meditating for around 20 years when he started getting flashes of this and that after a year or so it became his steady state. Here are some quotes from an interview with him in Shambala:

Emptiness changes nothing whatsoever, for the simple reason that it is not one item among other items but the nature of all items, with no exceptions. Emptiness leaves everything exactly as it finds it, because it is already the suchness of everything exactly as it is.

Likewise, rigpa is a flashing (or seeing or recognizing) this primordial purity; ... Whatever relative manifestation there is, it is illumined or lit by rigpa, as the one intelligence in the entire universe, which is true enough. But within that absolute space of Emptiness/rigpa, there arise all sorts of relative truths and relative objects and relative knowledge, and Emptiness/rigpa lights them all equally. It does not choose sides, it doesn't "push" anything. It doesn't push against anything because nothing is outside it.

And rigpa is the flash, the recognition, of that nondual isness, the simplicity of your present, clear, ordinary awareness-the opening or clearing in which the entire universe arises, just so.

But of course that is not merely an abstract concept. "One taste" is a simple, direct, clear recognition in which it becomes perfectly obvious that you do not see the sky, you are the sky. You do not touch the earth, you are the earth. The wind does not blow on you, it blows within you.


What do you think? Is one taste considered the same as rigpa - or is there a relationship between them?

Thanks,
-Chuck
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 8:31 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 8:31 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hello Adam,

Adam West:
@ Trent: When you finally see the 3D image for yourself (see link), you'll see what all the fuss is about.


You have set up a classic straw-man argument, as I have clearly stated many times on the DhO that I know the state you're all "fussing about." Just because I raise objections does not mean I do not know what you're talking about.

Adam West:
If you see the incomplete nature of 4th path


As I have never said that 4th path is incomplete, your premise and the following arguments are null. To set the record straight: I think that 4th path is the clear end of a certain process of cognitive restructuring: the extinction of the ego/thinker/'I'. AF is, conceptually, a similar ballgame, but played in an entirely different stadium: the extinction of the soul/feeler/'Me'.

Adam West:
and why AF contains so many irredeemably flawed and false premises.


Although the intention of my original post was primarily to point out the non-sensibility and lack of utility I find in Rigpa, I would gladly discuss these "irredeemably flawed and false premises" in another post.

Adam West:
it is realized, not thought, defined or conceptualized.


Oh yes, I agree. May I ask? Did you actually read my post?

Trent
Kate Gowen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 10:13 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/27/09 10:13 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/27/09 Recent Posts
Trent H.:
In reading the paragraphs of Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche's, I find myself giggling at how similar the definition of Rigpa is to that of a definition of God in the Christian sense. Here are some questions I think are worth pondering:

(1) Is immortality really something to chase (read:imagine) so fervently? Is this putting an end to child abuse, war, etc?
(2) Is transcending into/recognizing one-ness with Rigpa/God really freedom? Personally speaking, I hold no dominion over anything and nothing holds dominion over me; that sounds more like freedom than shacking up in Awareness.
(3) I ask these questions because the entire concept seems to be socially constructed (although based upon real phenomena), and it doesn't seem to be helping the human dilemma a whole lot. What's the point of investing more time into this? Seriously, it's no coincidence that the definition itself promotes thought-retardation, which is not surprising since believers have a vested interested in not applying thought to it (eg: keeping Rigpa/God so ill-defined as to be unchallengeable).


Have you ever considered that Rigpa is not easily definable because "Pure Being" is analogous to "Pure Subject," and as such, the interpretation of it is as amorphous as each Being that tries to define it (define itself)? In other words, by the virtue of having an identity (Subject/Being) at all-- which is trying to define it's own state of pure existence-- you must by necessity derive a "definition" so widely encompassing as to include every possible permutation of the Self (of which we currently have 6+ billion unique combination of on this planet). With that in mind, trying to define something (Being) that has the ability to define itself is pretty silly, especially with human imagination involved. I wonder, is tail-chasing really the answer to human misery? Reflecting personally, I think Being has been hiding quietly in it's sacrosanct corner for too long; it does not seem to be as harmless as it's Transcendence implied. And with that said, I throw the burden right back onto questions 1-2 above.

With all that said, if any of you want to offer up a sensible definition of Rigpa (by whatever name), then I am all ears!

Trent



Any 'sensible definition of rigpa' [note: NOT synonymous with any of the terms you offer here] will have to begin with understanding that God, gods, supreme being(s), immortality, Heaven, Transcendental anything, Pure Being, Pure Subject, Prime Mover, etc. have NOTHING to do with it. These are concepts developed in the exoteric versions of Judaism/Christianity/Islam-- which have been grafted onto some readings of Buddhism by Western/westernized enthusiasts who can't think about religion/spirituality without them. This seems to be almost as true for 'scientific' western atheists as for religious persons. So the simplest definition of rigpa that I can think of-- and it's there in what Tulku Urgyen said, if you look-- is absolute clarity: practicing your innate capacity to understand without distortion. This is not something you have to attain, 'become one with', integrate, worship, etc.

It is what you are, how you naturally function when you STOP practicing confusion, distortion-- UNenlightenment. For most of us, the 'gradual path' involves noticing the numberless ways we practice unenlightenment: that is to say, gaining sufficient insight to have a real choice about what we do.
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 2:28 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 2:11 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Hey Chuck!

I wouldn't say Rigpa is like experiencing oneself to be the wind and the trees and so on, that sounds more like the 'temporary' super-conscious oneness experiences one comes across from time to time in meditation and those often described in the Indian Yogic traditions, sometimes referenced to as nirvikalpa samadhi, although, I take it that Wilber is referring to a less intense episode, and a more subtle sense of being than nirvikalpa samadhi per se. To be honest, I am a little skeptical that Wilber has much real attainment, mostly because he says such things as this. Don't get me wrong, he is a brilliant writer and philosopher, though there is much to criticize there too, but then that's what philosophers do. He endorses Big-Mind and other such obvious misrepresentations of Zen and realization of one's Original Face, too, which doesn't help him, in my mind. These are all factors that tell a story and formulate a question, thus, his actual meditation attainment remains a question in my mind.

We need to be clear that the natural state is always present here and now, and is this very ordinary awareness before us right now - the very same one reading this text. So Rigpa is not some ecstatic super-conscious state or a oneness experience with all that is, and so on. What it is more like is, as Kate pointed out, is a pristine clarity that simply sees what is, with the notable absence of a sense of self that does the seeing or doing. There is an amazing sense of just seeing, just doing, just hearing, just being. There is a realization of the dependently arising nature of phenomena - as an empty process or play that is neither separate from me, nor me per se - just is - There is a clarity, peace, subtle bliss and a sense of perfection and completeness that is literally the presence of all things, since all things seem to be just what they are - just arising and passing away like waves on an ocean - nether good nor bad, nor right or wrong - those are conceptual overlays that are not present during Rigpa, and are applied in hindsight. Which is not to say one cannot or does not think, as one can. But generally the 6th consciousness is at rest.

@Trent: your post, as pointed out by Kate, as with so many others, where you present ideas of your own, not directly out of Dan's book, speaks for itself as to your experience and understanding; enough said.

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for typo.
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 8:38 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 8:38 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Kate Gowen:
So the simplest definition of rigpa that I can think of-- and it's there in what Tulku Urgyen said, if you look-- is absolute clarity: practicing your innate capacity to understand without distortion. This is not something you have to attain, 'become one with', integrate, worship, etc.

It is what you are, how you naturally function when you STOP practicing confusion, distortion-- UNenlightenment. For most of us, the 'gradual path' involves noticing the numberless ways we practice unenlightenment: that is to say, gaining sufficient insight to have a real choice about what we do.


Hi Kate,

I have some questions about your definition. You say "absolute clarity" is the central theme. I wonder, what is the context of this clarity? Is this clarity of intellect? Clarity of the senses? Clarity of the Self? Clarity of something else? If it is not something to attain, then why is anyone meditating with a goal of "understanding ... absolute clarity?" If it is not something to be gained, then why does anyone have to "STOP" doing anything?

"What we are" as (potentially) subject (identity) and object (body) would appear to be many things and has changed many times (often quite radically in both cases). The body is a biological organism which is constantly evolving, and that includes the brain and any perceptions, views, interpretations, "absolute clarity" or whatever that it is self-aware of. In other words: it would seem this "clarity" would be relative, yes? And still more: who gets to define what confusion and distortion is? Is it your subjective interpretation, a Guru's, or is it something socially constructed and then presented as an objective fact? That aside, what exactly is being confused and distorted, anyway?

Lastly, with everything else aside: how is this "absolute clarity" helping to end war, crime, poverty, abuse, etc? Or their lesser forms, such as those exemplified by Corrupt Enlightened Ones in the cases of sexual exploitation and the like?

Hi Adam,

"Enough said," hum? Perhaps you could muster up the courage to venture out of the safety of your (socially constructed) "credibility" backed arguments and put forth an intelligent reply?

I will personally continue to do so by presenting ideas "of my own." I'm not here to parrot anyone, I stand on my own two feet. Does that invalidate my arguments? No. Quite the contrary, I know exactly what my stance is, where it comes from, and the ramifications of such a stance. Perhaps this is why you can't find the answers to my questions in any of the books you're reading? It seems to me that this is just a measly excuse to fortify one's cognitive dissonance.

Trent
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 2:25 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 2:25 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Adam,
Thanks for your response. With regard to Wilber – and anyone for that matter- the fact that we must communicate in conceptual terms always makes things difficult. I ask myself if from the conceptual terms used (conveyed in language) is this other person coming from a conceptual model or are they translating their own direct experience into the best language they can. After all, there are so many ways to describe our experiences. Especially here in the west, we are exposed to many different practices and teachings that come through years of cultural conditioning and evolution – not to mention the difficulties of translation - that it is very difficult to try and figure out what someones experience is from the language they use. People tend to communicate in one of three ways: first from a purely experiential level, secondly from a mix of experiential and belief system terminology (for example 'sutta terminology'), and thirdly from pure belief system terminology. The way a person communicates does not necessarily point to their level of development as it could relate to the audience they are trying to reach. When we start trying to communicate between belief systems, I feel it helps to describe our experience in plain English using contemporary experiential terms. Of course, to describe these states in contemporary terms has its difficulties as we are pointing to experience that is not the typical realm that our language was designed for. Still, it's what we have to work with.

So I would like to toss some things back to you and see what you think:

Vastness: non-local, awareness without location. This does not mean that awareness is out wandering around but that it is field like – a simple clear presence that simply is. Free of any subject/object separation.

Panoramic: As there is no sense of subject/object, each sense (seeing, hearing, etc) has a panoramic quality. For example, visual phenomena simply appear as a field – the eye takes in the entire field at once. This is not to say that one is not capable of focusing in on something or that I cannot separate the 't' key from the 'h' key on my keyboard. Experientially, the eye no longer darts from object to object but rather sees broadly. Same with sound, etc.

Immediacy: There is only now. Not to say one cannot make plans or think about past events. But they are experienced as thoughts – as they occur (which is an example of 'panoramic' with regard to thinking) and there is no sense of 'mine' – in the sense of defining who I am. Immediacy does not imply panic (as it sometimes does) but rather just that there is only this 'right now' moment which is ever present.

Beauty: Phenomena take on a difficult to define beauty. Vivid, bright, possessing a quality of 'aliveness' – almost as another dimension – a depth.

Free: Experience (awareness) is free of subject/object referencing. The result of this is something that could be called joy, happiness, peace, release, at ease, etc. Though none of these quite work.

Perfection: Everything just is. The other qualities, when taken together, may also be seen as a state of perfection. Some may see this as a denial of 'the world' (violence, hatred, etc) but perfection takes it all in – not only violence but responses to it – both mine and others. It all arises together – a totality that remains a mystery (yet another quality which is rather self-explanatory).

In my face: Raw. As there is no subject/object split – combined with immediacy, 'the world' (the pains and pleasures of a world of people lost in self and other, judgment, fear, etc) – is not avoidable – nor is the beauty and vividness and perfection in which this is experienced. This is the most difficult quality of all to describe. How can I be sad or frustrated while at the same time be at ease? It is the other qualities of 'freedom' and 'panoramic' that give sadness the space to just be.

Energy: What used to be a solid body that defined 'me' is now experienced as a field of energy that can have a quality of tension at times yet at other times is quite pleasant and soothing, and at other times is not noticed at all. The quality that it takes on is directly related to the 'In my face' aspect above. It is something like an antennae with which awareness connects with experience.

These are not separate qualities but rather an attempt to pull out some aspects of the experience so as to be able to better communicate the experiential – so now they are 'conceptualized'. Am I communicating my direct experience? Am I living in a deluded world of concepts and just imagining all this? Am I just sitting pondering all this from endless study and speaking purely in theoretical terms? Each reader will probably come to their own conclusion based on what they bring to the party.

Stephen Jourdain once said something like if he ever wrote a book he would fill one page with his thoughts and then on the next say 'everything on the other page is false!' - I can relate with that.

-Chuck
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 4:59 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 4:59 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Hey Chuck!

Yeah, I think your right about what you said regarding communication.

Chuck Kasmire:


Vastness: non-local, awareness without location. This does not mean that awareness is out wandering around but that it is field like – a simple clear presence that simply is. Free of any subject/object separation.



Wonderful!! emoticon This is exactly what I am talking about - exactly how it feels to me.

Chuck Kasmire:


Panoramic: As there is no sense of subject/object, each sense (seeing, hearing, etc) has a panoramic quality. For example, visual phenomena simply appear as a field – the eye takes in the entire field at once. This is not to say that one is not capable of focusing in on something or that I cannot separate the 't' key from the 'h' key on my keyboard. Experientially, the eye no longer darts from object to object but rather sees broadly. Same with sound, etc.



Same again!


Chuck Kasmire:


Immediacy: There is only now. Not to say one cannot make plans or think about past events. But they are experienced as thoughts – as they occur (which is an example of 'panoramic' with regard to thinking) and there is no sense of 'mine' – in the sense of defining who I am. Immediacy does not imply panic (as it sometimes does) but rather just that there is only this 'right now' moment which is ever present.



Incredible! The clarity and exactness of your descriptions are amazing to me - perfect!

Chuck Kasmire:


Beauty: Phenomena take on a difficult to define beauty. Vivid, bright, possessing a quality of 'aliveness' – almost as another dimension – a depth.



Amazing. And as such, it is a wonder to behold. Ordinary experience, is both utterly simple and normal and yet somehow very special. I find myself just sitting in awe of experience itself; very much like a new-born baby that sits in innocent wonder at the experience of her own hand and surroundings.


Chuck Kasmire:


Free: Experience (awareness) is free of subject/object referencing. The result of this is something that could be called joy, happiness, peace, release, at ease, etc. Though none of these quite work.



Yes, definitely.

Chuck Kasmire:


Perfection: Everything just is. The other qualities, when taken together, may also be seen as a state of perfection. Some may see this as a denial of 'the world' (violence, hatred, etc) but perfection takes it all in – not only violence but responses to it – both mine and others. It all arises together – a totality that remains a mystery (yet another quality which is rather self-explanatory).



Yes, the violence in the world and the corruption are just the natural play of phenomena - cause and effect. They are like the violent storm that washes away the ant hill killing thousands of ants - that is the natural world, neither good nor bad - just what is, and merely the natural condition and function of the world itself. On the human level karma and dependently arising phenomena are intimately linked - they are processes of mechanical cause and effect. In reality there is no one who dies or lives - enlightenment sees this for oneself - and yet the agonizing experience of ignorance - the non-enlightened ego experience of suffering - once seen through, leads to immense compassion for those not there yet. However, each of use have our own karma and each us us must live it out on the way to seeing through our ignorance and suffering; karma and awakening are intimately linked. Karma is both caused by ignorance and progressively erodes it - like the titanic pressure of the earth that forms the diamond or the gritty sand in an oysters throat that stimulates the growth of the pearl of infinite wisdom - karma is a great gift to the unenlightened.

Chuck Kasmire:


In my face: Raw. As there is no subject/object split – combined with immediacy, 'the world' (the pains and pleasures of a world of people lost in self and other, judgment, fear, etc) – is not avoidable – nor is the beauty and vividness and perfection in which this is experienced. This is the most difficult quality of all to describe. How can I be sad or frustrated while at the same time be at ease? It is the other qualities of 'freedom' and 'panoramic' that give sadness the space to just be.



Quite right.

Chuck Kasmire:


Energy: What used to be a solid body that defined 'me' is now experienced as a field of energy that can have a quality of tension at times yet at other times is quite pleasant and soothing, and at other times is not noticed at all. The quality that it takes on is directly related to the 'In my face' aspect above. It is something like an antennae with which awareness connects with experience.



Interesting. I would say this is right. Often I notice kundalini energy / heat moving at full force up the spine at this time also.

Chuck Kasmire:


These are not separate qualities but rather an attempt to pull out some aspects of the experience so as to be able to better communicate the experiential – so now they are 'conceptualized'. Am I communicating my direct experience? Am I living in a deluded world of concepts and just imagining all this? Am I just sitting pondering all this from endless study and speaking purely in theoretical terms? Each reader will probably come to their own conclusion based on what they bring to the party.



Indeed. However, I recognize in your writing subtly of original ideas that reveal your first-person experience in what you present. It is these original flavors and their permutations in conjunction with your profoundly clear synthesis of known texts and metaphors that is revealing. Their absence and being entirely off the mark is just as revealing also.


Chuck Kasmire:


Stephen Jourdain once said something like if he ever wrote a book he would fill one page with his thoughts and then on the next say 'everything on the other page is false!' - I can relate with that.



Indeed, the words are not the entities referred to, so they are representations at best, and not to be taken literally; for my representations are not it, nor are yours, when you read words, and believe you know what I mean by them.

Thanks Chuck, that was remarkable. You've done this community a great service.

Oh, by the way, the simplest definition of Rigpa is: the nature or natural state of the mind. Rigpa is to 'know' or realize the direct apprehension or experience of your own mind - to realize that is enlightenment right now - to stabilize it is Buddhahood. And it feels similar to what Chuck has just articulated. Bravo dear sir!!! emoticon

@Trent: All you questions have been answered in previous posts. If you understood what we were talking about and had seen it for yourself, they would be obviously null and void. Practice and all will be revealed to you. I wish you well to that end.

In kind regards,

Adam.
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 6:20 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/28/09 6:20 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Adam West:
@Trent: All you questions have been answered in previous posts. If you understood what we were talking about and had seen it for yourself, they would be obviously null and void. Practice and all will be revealed to you. I wish you well to that end.


You are so silly! You have not answered a single one of my clear-cut questions. They aren't vague at all. Man, between you and Kenneth, I am actually beginning to wonder if you fellas really are realizing something I have not. I would not say it's something to do with Reality or Actuality, but you've got to be tapping into something to be so neurotically narcissistic. Would you like to lay claim to the discovery of a new Siddhi, perhaps? We could even call up the current copyright holders of the Vissudhimagga and, of course, because your Wisdom is so "obvious," they would certainly have to include it for the benefit of all of us Lower Beings. Haha, now I'm being silly! I dunno how you dudes can be so over-the-top with the patronizing-mystic-talk and still be able to keep a straight face. Or perhaps you're not being serious after-all?

Ah well, regardless, it would seem I have failed again at elucidating intellectual coherency from a non-dualist!

Trent
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 3:25 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 2:31 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Dude, your falure is only at the level of communication - being SO hostile makes me lose all interest in communicating with you. If you were respectful and at least neutral we could talk to the cows came home. Which is a shame, because, as Dan has said, if we all chatted face to face, this would likely be the case. Somehow, the safety and anonymity of the internet encourages a more forceful reduction of personal inhibitions and need gratification, and it all goes pair shaped rather quickly.

It is true that the answers are there, however, many are implicit and implied, given understanding of what has been said, or seeing it for yourself. Of course misunderstanding may be due to ineffective communication on my part.

Could I make them explicit if I so chose? Of course.

Perhaps Chuck or Ken or Dan or any number of individuals are feeling charitable enough to indulge you. Me, not so much.

If you want to pick a quote from what has been said so far and address specifics, in a friendlier tone, then I'd be happy to try to further explain what I mean. Then, I'd be happy to hear what you think of that and what you think is a more appropriate presentation of what you take to be the nature of things to be.

Here's hoping for a friendlier dance next time round.

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for typos and clarity
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 5:20 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 5:20 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 128 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Chuck: My reservations, and it doesn't have much to do with the other discussions/dialogs going on here is this: Ken Wilbur aside, WHAT IF "rigpa" actually means getting Tibetan initiation, Tibetan transmission, then discovering which Tibetan lama, rinpoche, bodhisattva, etc., you are an incarnation of, and further, does it mean remembering all your past lives as incarnations of that lama, etc.?? This could easily be called by some "Primordial Awareness, Ultimate Reality, etc. (blah blah)" - does anyone really know what they are talking about on this subject? Or wishful thinking by Western-oriented Buddhists? Perhaps the Theravadan types are a bit naive on this one? I will have to check with some people I know and see what they say. I am only 2 degrees of separation from Donald Lopez, maybe he will want to weigh in on this.
h a n s e n
Trent , modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 6:28 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 6:28 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 361 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Hi Adam,

I am not sure why my comments are regarded as being hostile, I am simply being candid. I think it is appropriate to "let it all out" (so to speak) when discussing matters that require clear communication as opposed to "dancing" around the issue for the sake of cordiality. With that said, I have not a thing against you, have not lost an inhibition, nor am I looking for gratification. Perhaps these are qualities indicative of your recent posts? Just a thought, I have no idea where those sentiments would come from otherwise.

I am not looking for "charitable donations" of knowledge. As I have clearly stated that I do understand what is being spoken about, in both what is implied and implicit, I am simply asking folks like yourself to actually think through these issues and to address them. By doing so, I would hope that Rigpa and surrounding matters would actually be fleshed out in the spirit of demystification, which would help people decide whether the state is worth aiming, delivers what people are claiming it does, and the like. Those are right in line with the explicit mission statement of the DhO, so I don't think I'm being very unreasonable here. In that spirit, you're doing yourself and the others a favor, not me. Thus, I would prefer that exposition is done here, as I and others are quite interested in discussing (not "back-slapping") these topics; it's usually a lot of fun! I just can't imagine it any other way, as it is an opportunity for learning for someone, whereas the alternative is a dead end.

Trent
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Florian, modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 7:27 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 7:27 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
4) There are parallel or divergent tracks of awakening. I loathe this argument with the whole of my being, but admit the possibility and my possible inability to see it.


In the suttas, there are some oblique references to "discernment-release and awareness-release" - panna-vimutti and ceto-vimutti. They are usually mentioned together, in reference to persons who found both forms of release.

In the commentaries, IIRC, awareness-release is linked to things like the four divine abidings (loving-kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy, equanimity) and other states of samadhi where the defilements are absent, while discernment-release refers to the arahant. I've always been a bit confused by this distinction and the traditional explanation, and the "flavor" of this confusion is similar to the "flavor" of my reading the "two tracks of awakening" thing - a very subjective, intuitive perspective of mine, of course.

NB: finding something vaguely resembling the arahat/rigpa controversy in the suttas and then slapping Pali labels onto experiences for which I can't claim any first-hand knowledge is not what I intend with this post. I'm really just curious what people think of the "two awakenings/releases" possibility. Several ways of release, leading to the same freedom? Do the different tracks (assuming they're different) re-join further down or are they really divergent?

Cheers,
Florian
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 11:13 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 11:13 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
A stage oriented model:
Plant a mango seed.
  • Seed Germinates
  • Emerges from the ground
  • Developes first true leaves
  • Reaches Fruiting stage
It continues to grow and eventually becomes a mature tree – larger, producing many more fruit. But what constitutes maturity is not clearly definable in the way the earlier stages are.

A process oriented model:
  • Plant the mango seed, tend it, eventually you will have lots of fruit.

Clearly there is a difference between different stages. This is irrelevant to the process model – just keep tending it. The two models describe the same thing.

In the stage oriented model, the fourth stage marks the beginning of the fruiting stage. It is not a mature tree yet it does produce fruit. From a stage oriented view there is still more to come – but it is not another stage – just growth. The process model sees fruit but there may be the issue of what exactly constitutes 'lots of fruit'.

As Kate noted earlier, once a tree reaches the fruiting stage it can make a lot of sense to switch to the process model and just pay attention to 'tending' - as the final stage of a mature tree is not clearly defined. “I was pointed toward Dzogchen when I was looking for the answer to "what would post-enlightenment [or post-enlightenment-experience] practice look like?”

As Kara noted, someone using a process model may not see the difference between for example a cotyledon and a 'true leaf'. “sometimes these parallels are not so blatantly obvious because practitioners of the direct path paid little or no attention to these things, and didn't have these indicators of progress pointed out to them.” (KFD)

So Adam, how can a mango tree that has started fruiting be understood by someone who is looking for trees that have 'lots of fruit'?
Kate Gowen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 9:35 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/29/09 9:35 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 15 Join Date: 9/27/09 Recent Posts
Thanks, Chuck, for your cool head and friendly manner in this conversation. I was thinking today about how it could become so contentious; then I remembered about the 'four [a word I forget, something like 'obstacles'] which are most clearly described in this, from "Roaring Silence: Discovering the Mind of Dzogchen"--

"Dzogchen means 'utter totality'. Dzogchen also describes a body of teaching. It describes the fundamental nature of 'what we are' through simply opening the roof of our perception. Dzogchen encourages us to approach our essential nature directly-- because that essential nature is so close, so accessible, so present, and so simple. It is possible-- but that in itself is the major barrier. It is also 'too' close, 'too' accessible, 'too' present, and 'too' simple-- for people as complex as we find ourselves to be. The complexity of the 'unenlightenment' we appear to experience would seem to contradict these marvelous assertions of our closeness to the realized state.

So it would seem that we cannot approach Dzogchen directly. Or if we can, it is with a type of directness that is so different from what we understand by 'direct' that there is nothing direct about it. We have a paradox, and wherever there is a paradox, metaphors and symbols are apparently helpful. It would seem that we might need explanations that are as elaborate as we would appear to be. It should be possible simply to give this teaching in five words: 'remain in the natural state.' From the perspective of Dzogchen, that should be enough. It should be enough merely to hear that. Then, on hearing it, we should be able to allow everything to relax into its own condition.

... Often we are so immured within the relentless censorship of intellect that simplicity can become a complex matter. The complexity of intellect can impose such severe restraints on our perceptions that the instruction 'remain in the natural state' is rendered incomprehensible. Thinking about such a proposition does not help, so we have to abandon our attempts to understand on the basis of what we already comprehend, and that leaves us with the roaring silence of meditation."

-- I had intended to quote just the first paragraph, but then I saw hints about how the conversation sometimes could have become so snarly: Dzogchen 'has its reasons the reason knows not of.' Thus, it is profoundly upsetting to get wind of the implications. It seems quite possible that the most upset person in the room has the best gut-level grasp of the outrageousness of it all!

Among the really annoying things I've encountered along the way are the descriptions of 'the 84 mahasiddhas', including among their number, 'the enlightened moron' and 'the perfect housewife.' As Dan has pointed out in less frivolous language: "Enlightenment-- it's not what you think!"
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Eric Alan Hansen, modified 12 Years ago at 10/30/09 5:23 AM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/30/09 5:23 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 128 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
So which is it, Dharmakaya or Buddhakaya?
h a n s e n
Adam West, modified 12 Years ago at 10/30/09 12:07 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/30/09 11:55 AM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 24 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
Hey Chuck!

Nice post as always.

Before I take a swipe at your question, I want to address your below statement.

Chuck Kasmire:


Clearly there is a difference between different stages. This is irrelevant to the process model – just keep tending it. The two models describe the same thing.



This, I think speaks to the heart of this thread. Are the two models really presenting the same thing in terms of realization and process? Dan seems to suggest yes. I have sympathy for his position - same realization - different language. However, when you look closely at the language and the basic assumptions of the models, it starts to look like they are describing two different fruits and processes. However, again, when looking closely, it becomes, in my mind, unclear and inconclusive in terms of the ambiguous nature of the language used and the implicit assumptions that are not explicitly articulated, nor clearly understood by those who assume them. That is, there is much that is vague and the details just have not been teased out, and there appears to be no definitive traditional sources from which we can obtain these details. This means it is left to personal interpretation, which doesn't help too much.

If we take a step back and look to the oral traditions involved, which amounts to accepted interpretations of primary texts by key historical and present day monks and practitioners, they seem to fundamentally disagree - both denying the other as a false or incomplete view - which amounts to a rejection of what is considered the false assumptions of various propositions composing their models. So now we're digging around in incompatible metaphysics and ontology, which also doesn't help us much, since abstractions are not the point; rather, we want to answer the practical question of are these camps both realizing the same fruit - so it is a phenomenological and existential question, in my mind. Here I am primarily interested in the question of fruit or realization, and not so much the processes, which, as I will show below, is becoming increasingly clear as distinct, and thus, not the same. That being said, I think development will necessarily follow where practice takes place or where Rigpa is frequently realized, since both will have a causal effect on the body-mind energetic circuitry.

It may be that Dan has realized Rigpa, and thus, when he says it is the same fruit, different language and conceptual models, this may be true for him, but not the norm for others of that camp. So, that doesn't help us too much either.

Kenneth is clear when he says they are not the same fruit, and he says why. But that assumes his energetic/chakra model of enlightenment / 4th path completion. I too, have sympathy for this view. I have not completed 4th path, and yet I can access Rigpa fairly often these days. Furthermore, as a logical point, if 4th path is a permanent energetic completion, which I accept, in part, it is, for reasons I won't address right now, and we know that attainment of the permanent stabilization of Rigpa as a 24 hour, lucid, conscious realization through dreamless sleep is, for most, as stated by Kenneth, and the Dzogchen masters, not common, except by the rare great practitioners, and those who realize Buddhahood, then it follows Rigpa and 4th path are not the same thing; as one is phenomenologically permanent - in terms of completion of the circuit, cessation of suffering, and the elimination of seeking, and the other is not (until Buddhahood), in terms of stabilizing Rigpa through the 24 hour cycle.

Since I believe you have completed 4th path and know Rigpa also, you are well placed to speak of their experiential difference, if any; and even any metaphysical differences you might suppose.

Chuck Kasmire:


In the stage oriented model, the fourth stage marks the beginning of the fruiting stage. It is not a mature tree yet it does produce fruit. From a stage oriented view there is still more to come – but it is not another stage – just growth. The process model sees fruit but there may be the issue of what exactly constitutes 'lots of fruit'.



Could this 'lots of fruit' be Rigpa? Could Rigpa be a kind of 5th path - the path of instant enlightenment which is, by definition, not stage specific? That is, anyone can realize it at any time regardless of what path they are on, or even if they practice or not, since it is our natural condition, and nature of mind; nothing need be changed or developed - the infrastructure was there all along, just went unnoticed.

This is why Dogon spoke of Zazen as enlightenment itself - not some future attainment, and any 'thing' to get - since just sitting as is, is it - ordinary mind is it, right now - nature of mind; our natural state. Problem is, for most of us, ordinary mind is obscured by our attention being lost in the 6th consciousness, and associated energetic overlay.

When we examine the models in this way it appears that Kenneth is correct; insofar as, we are looking at two different, or parallel systems or metaphorical circuits - one progressive through time, with corresponding 'real' developmental processes and changes within the body-mind-energetic complex, and the other being atemporal and non-local, and in fact the basic self-existent, non-contingent, unchanging cognizant space of reality itself - which is causelessly or spontaneously realized, as ever present and yet outside of time as our very own mind/awareness.

Check out this link for further elaboration on the possible relationship of the metaphysics involved between the two fruits.

http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/3392446/The+Great+Freedom.

Clearly, as you have indicated, they are two different paths, but what of the fruits?

Chuck Kasmire:


So Adam, how can a mango tree that has started fruiting be understood by someone who is looking for trees that have 'lots of fruit'?


That's a question I hope we can answer together. Do you have a take so far?

In kind regards,

Adam.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 12 Years ago at 10/31/09 12:44 PM
Created 12 Years ago at 10/31/09 12:44 PM

RE: Again with the anagami, arahat, rigpa thing

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Adam West:

Chuck Kasmire:

So Adam, how can a mango tree that has started fruiting be understood by someone who is looking for trees that have 'lots of fruit'?


That's a question I hope we can answer together. Do you have a take so far?


Hi Adam,
This is getting to be a pretty long thread and this seems like a good point to split off this line of inquiry. So I did, over here

Will respond to the other questions here.

-Chuck

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