Message Boards Message Boards

Practices Inspired by Actualism

Goenka Yogi--> AF practitioner

Toggle
Goenka Yogi--> AF practitioner Nikolai . 6/7/11 11:36 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . Jake . 6/6/11 8:25 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/6/11 10:27 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Pål S. 6/6/11 11:02 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/13/11 12:26 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bruno Loff 6/6/11 11:31 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/6/11 12:05 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/6/11 12:29 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Villum (redacted) 6/6/11 1:09 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/6/11 3:14 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/6/11 4:36 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bruno Loff 6/6/11 1:57 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/6/11 2:03 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/6/11 2:25 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/6/11 2:41 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bruno Loff 6/6/11 2:58 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/6/11 3:35 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/7/11 2:01 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Yadid dee 6/7/11 6:35 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . Jake . 6/7/11 12:36 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Tommy M 6/8/11 4:18 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner nic s 6/8/11 6:26 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . Jake . 6/8/11 8:18 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . Jake . 6/8/11 8:10 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Alex Kyosti 6/8/11 4:15 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/10/11 8:32 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/10/11 8:33 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner nic s 6/12/11 2:08 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/10/11 12:40 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/23/11 7:03 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/24/11 12:39 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/24/11 12:46 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner fred flinstone 6/24/11 1:10 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/24/11 3:16 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . . 6/24/11 6:06 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner . . 6/24/11 6:12 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/27/11 11:00 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner richard weeden 6/28/11 4:45 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/28/11 8:42 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/28/11 8:28 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/28/11 11:04 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner tarin greco 6/28/11 11:53 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/28/11 12:38 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/28/11 12:10 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/15/13 3:18 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Daniel M. Ingram 6/15/13 4:57 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner do i know 6/18/13 3:36 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/18/13 6:12 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner do i know 6/18/13 6:41 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner do i know 6/18/13 8:30 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/18/13 12:35 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner End in Sight 6/18/13 4:37 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/18/13 5:54 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner End in Sight 6/18/13 7:18 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/18/13 7:53 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner End in Sight 6/18/13 8:03 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/18/13 8:21 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner (D Z) Dhru Val 6/18/13 9:00 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/18/13 10:54 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/18/13 11:40 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/19/13 12:30 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner (D Z) Dhru Val 6/19/13 2:07 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/19/13 1:51 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner do i know 6/19/13 1:26 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/20/13 12:33 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner End in Sight 6/20/13 3:34 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/21/13 1:18 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner End in Sight 6/21/13 7:50 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Pål S. 6/19/13 4:36 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/19/13 11:59 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/15/13 6:05 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bagpuss The Gnome 6/15/13 12:17 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Daniel M. Ingram 6/16/13 10:48 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner MuMuWu MuMuMuMu 6/16/13 5:29 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/16/13 11:54 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner MuMuWu MuMuMuMu 6/17/13 6:15 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Daniel M. Ingram 6/17/13 2:10 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bagpuss The Gnome 6/17/13 2:30 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 6/17/13 4:26 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner MuMuWu MuMuMuMu 6/17/13 6:16 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Brian Eleven 6/17/13 9:49 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/17/13 7:44 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Steph S 6/15/13 12:30 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Change A. 6/15/13 11:23 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Change A. 6/16/13 11:51 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Shashank Dixit 6/20/13 3:38 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/20/13 6:07 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Shashank Dixit 6/20/13 7:34 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/20/13 8:33 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Nikolai . 6/20/13 8:50 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Shashank Dixit 6/20/13 8:50 AM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Bruno Loff 6/20/13 12:56 PM
RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner Jill Morana 6/21/13 12:34 AM
Goenka Yogi--> AF practitioner
Answer
6/7/11 11:36 AM
Hi guys,

I was recently told about the idea that it seems that yogis who got established in a practice within the Goenka tradition of Vipassana were probably more inclined to become attracted to AF. This seems to be the case.

I was quite established in this tradition for many years. Only now do i see how a lot of what I took away from that tradition has made it that much easier to go for AF, even after an intial anti-af reaction I had while being immersed in a certain pragmatic dharma group and influenced by their ideas. But the ideals and ideas impressed on me by my many years immersed in this tradition die hard I guess. I know Tarin, a couple of friends, Stefanie, and others seem to have had a dose of Goenka beforehand and thus may have moved to the AF path without much in the way of objections.

Similarities

* Sweeping method is a very physical based practice and my experience of HAIETMOBA is very similar.

* Cultivating felicity , in my experience, has also cultivated the ability to "be equanimous" to a much higher degree than before. Felicity kind of acts like the equanimity Goenka wants to teach. I have much more choice over any given moment when the mind is pliant and malleable (felicitous).

*Be happy....and harmless. ;) He goes ona nd on about being happy and not to harming others.

*When I used to sweep in my practice, I would try and see negative sensations with great clarity until I stopped reading them as negative. This is what i thought "being equanimous was all about. This reminds me of apperception. Perhaps i was triggering moments of it.

* The ideas of Goenka and U ba Khin point to their idea of nibbana being the complete eradication of all sankharas. Sankharas here, are the mental defilements, perhaps the papanca (mental proliferation). I have read somewhere that Tarin said it is papanca which is eradicated completely on AF, and it certainly does not occur in a PCE. It is what ends one.
Here are some quotes

"To reach the final nibbāna where all the saṅkhāras are abolished is very far off, but wouldn’t you like to try and see for yourself the minor nibbāna?"
http://www.vridhamma.org/en2009-11


"Sayagyi pointed out that a meditator eliminates the forces feft behind by actions done in the past, the sankharas, by observing impermanence, anicca. The first thing to do is to eliminate the forces left behind by bad actions (akusala-sankharas) (CULTIVATING FELICITY TO VIRTUAL FREEDOM??). That is why there is so much discomfort and pain. Once the akusala-sankharas are eliminated, once their stock is exhausted, the meditator will be very tranquil and peaceful. Eventually, even the forces left behind by good actions are eliminated, and it is when all the forces coming from past actions are gone that Nibbana is reached."

Taken from an excerpt from the IMC Vipassana 10 day course (Mother Sayama offshoot)
http://www.abhidhamma.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=137&mode=threaded&pid=1082



I am not saying the sweeping method takes one to AF. Far from it. I'm just quite curious as to why this may be an influence in why people switch to AF with greater ease due to past influences. There is so much anti-af hysetria out there, that it may help others understand why certain people are attracted to the AF path and its final goal of an actual freedom from the human condition.

What do you think?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 8:25 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
This is an interesting pattern to notice, Nik. I'd be interested in hearing more from others as well. Jeff Grove comes to mind as someone pretty immersed in Taoist practices which are also quite different from Burmese vippasana, and Chuck Kasimir's descriptions of fourth path attained via Chah-style vipassana sounds like a hybrid between mctb 4th path and AF, perhaps something close to VF + 4th? his reports also describe what I suspect is the style of liberation experienced in many hard-core vajrayana and chan groups, although the taboos about open claims in these groups make it hard to say. I guess his descriptions just sound similar to what my impression was about the goal of my practice, derived from those sources.

And I am reminded of the times when more experienced Vajrayana practitioners have pointed out to me, when reporting an experience of affective compassion, that it is my actions which are compassionate or not, rather than my state of mind-- which led to my discovery of the etymological link between karuna and karma, and my sense that karuna is active not affective which predates my exposure to actualism by several years. This has been my interpretation of Trungpa's distinction between idiot compassion and actual compassion for instance: the former is sentimental and basically about co-dependency (making myself feel good by making another feel good), while the latter is about doing or saying whatever actually works to empower someone else to be free of suffering.

Perhaps the larger point is that, outside of the specific dogmas which arose in the hard-core / pragmatic dharma scene's presentation/appropriation of Burmese Vipassana, there is a big big world out there in which many kinds of Buddhist, Taoist and other contemplative traditions exist without those dogmas which seem to give rise to the anti-actualist hysteria and witch hunts. And I for one see how these approaches complement each other in my experience and practice, and while I agree that shoe-horning is counter productive and that AF as a goal might in fact be new, I think that both the anti-AF hysteria and the actualist 180 degrees doctrine are both too simplistic, in the context of my experience at least. In other words, while I get the theory and the objections on both 'sides', those sides don't seem to exist in my experience, nor the 180 degrees. There are just various methods aimed at various layers of suffering/selfing.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 10:27 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Well, one factor that probably contributes to this phenomena is that Goenka describes the goal as eradicating all sankharas, and not just 'seeing things as they are', so those who have practiced for a while in that tradition, are not scared of thinking in terms of eradicating stuff which is contributing to one's suffering, rather than just 'seeing through it'.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 11:02 AM as a reply to Yadid dee.
Do the Goenka tradition describe/recognize any intermediate attainments/goals?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 11:31 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Yeah, well, goenka's discourses were very caught up in morality and he mentioned love all the time, I'm sure he hasn't gotten AF. Not to mention the spell of megalomania when he implied, on one of these taped discourses, that he was the 2000 year prophesized disciple who brought the true teaching of the buddha back to india...

So given that he is quite obviously not experiencing an actual freedom, I wouldn't look for a parallel between his teachings and the actualism method.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 12:05 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Hi Bruno,

I think Nick was mainly pointing out a trend, in which several practitioners who have started off with the Goenka tradition are open to the AF method and goal, and was trying to perhaps point out why that is, not to imply that the Goenka method is the same as AF.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 12:29 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:


I am not saying the sweeping method takes one to AF. Far from it. I'm just quite curious as to why this may be an influence in why people switch to AF with greater ease due to past influences. There is so much anti-af hysetria out there, that it may help others understand why certain people are attracted to the AF path and its final goal of an actual freedom from the human condition.

What do you think?


Hey Bruno,

Yadid is right. This thread was not to compare the teachings and practice results of The Goenka tradition and AF. It was to talk about how those coming from a particular tradition where there are some ideas that seem similar to the AF path are more inclined to follow the AF path rather than rail against it. There may be a trend which helps explain how many are eager to switch from the "accept things as they are" ideal to the "lets end suffering completely" ideal.

:-)

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 1:09 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
My knowledge of the larger dharma world isn't very good at all, but it seems to me that it would be the generally Theravadan perspective that would be open to AF, and most mahayana variants that would be opposed.
Mahayana (and tibetan buddhism, whatever -yana you wanna call that) seems from my limited knowledge to have an emphasis on compassion that is not present to the same degree in theravada.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 1:57 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Well, I see what you are getting at, the talk about eliminating sankharas is about eliminating something, just like AF. It is just that from my single Goenka retreat I would say that the approach of AF is completely different. In goenka you'll find the vow of silence, and the feelings associated with keeping it, and the fact that the teacher was meditating in a higher platform, and the awe of the participants at that enlightened person (fostered by the way the retreat was conducted), both things pointing to a hierarchical structure, and the prohibition to do other practices, and the moralistic discourses (good and evil being painted everywhere), etc...

The differences (I should emphasize, the differences within my own experience of the Goenka tradition) seem to be far greater than the similarities.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 2:03 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Well, I see what you are getting at, the talk about eliminating sankharas is about eliminating something, just like AF.


Eliminating something.. yes, the causes of suffering.

I see the point of the rest of your post.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 2:25 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
Well, I see what you are getting at, the talk about eliminating sankharas is about eliminating something, just like AF. It is just that from my single Goenka retreat I would say that the approach of AF is completely different. In goenka you'll find the vow of silence, and the feelings associated with keeping it, and the fact that the teacher was meditating in a higher platform, and the awe of the participants at that enlightened person (fostered by the way the retreat was conducted), both things pointing to a hierarchical structure, and the prohibition to do other practices, and the moralistic discourses (good and evil being painted everywhere), etc...

The differences (I should emphasize, the differences within my own experience of the Goenka tradition) seem to be far greater than the similarities.


Yeh, obviously there is lot that doesn't correspond to the AF path but that wasn't the point. We are seeing a lot of people attracted to the AF ideal and goal and a lot of people totally opposed. I believe Tarin told you Yadid, that this trend seemed to be the case. Is this right? Cos I totally see it in myself. I have a stronger affiliation with the ideas spouted in that tradition concerning eradication of all suffering, than with the other traditions talking about "being ok with suffering" rather than eradicating it. Although I was anti AF initially, there was still some recognition of the goal. It rang some bells within. And that is kind of one of the factors that allowed me to explore some more, have some PCEs and get convinced. there are others, who maybe came from a zen tradition, or mahayana tradition or a tradition where the positive affective feelings are revered and they have had expericnes f the PCE, but were not convinced to take it all the way, choosing not to lose those affective feelings.

I see correlations here. Are you dark nighting it at the moment, Bruno? ;-)

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 2:41 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Yeah, tarin was the one who pointed this out to me.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 2:58 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:

I see correlations here. Are you dark nighting it at the moment, Bruno? ;-)


Heh wow not at all! Did it come off as if I was? Gosh, I think I have no stake in this matter at all, just typing out my opinion. I seem to be in equanimity of whichever path I'm on, at least for the last week or so. Here is a big, wet, and totally topic-unrelated kiss :-*

Although I do think it is important to understand why people are attracted and repulsed to AF. I think that the common feature is knowing that you want (either to end suffering, or that wonderful PCE thing), and being too honest to fool yourself into accepting anything else. But maybe I'm just smelling my own farts (Smug Alert, South Park).

How would Goenka practitioners (or Goenka himself) react if they were to be presented with the end of love, the elimination of compassion?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 3:14 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
TJ Broccoli:
an experienced goenka student, having been encouraged to work towards “perfect equanimity”, would be likely to accept that "learning to accept [my lack of equanimity towards some sensations] as it is" is not full liberation, although it sure helps along the way. that whole “transcending craving/aversion by no longer having craving/aversion(identification) towards craving/aversion(affective push-pull)” just doesn’t cut it.

yea i heard one person saying something like "i don't want to get rid of aversion - just to be accepting of it!" that made me wonder, what is aversion if not the lack of acceptance?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 3:35 PM as a reply to Bruno Loff.

But maybe I'm just smelling my own farts (Smug Alert, South Park).

How would Goenka practitioners (or Goenka himself) react if they were to be presented with the end of love, the elimination of compassion?


Hehe, well, if all sankharas are ultimately eradicated according to U Ba Khin, they'd probably accept it. Are all affective feelings considered sankharas? Wholesome and unwholesome? I think so, but I'm not sure. The word "sankhara" was always cause for confusion for me. Maybe metta and all that jazz are just a means to develop a malleable and peaceful mind in orderr to be more equanimous so that the eradication process occurs, kind of like cultivating felicity in order to perceive apperceptively without hinderance. Compassion may just be a means to an end. Explained within their tradition's way of seeing things, I don't think they'd have a problem with it.

My farts are the only farts that don't make me gag.

Hehe!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/6/11 4:36 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Jill,
Your post is very interesting and clear. Thank you.
whats your daily experience like these days, and what does your practice look like?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/7/11 2:01 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Compassion may just be a means to an end.


I clearly remember reading a series of Q&A of Goenka, in which he states that Metta practice is means to an end, so you're right there.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/7/11 6:35 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Jill,

Your practice history seems remarkable, interesting and inspiring.
I think it would be very helpful for many people if you could perhaps post a new thread, in which you describe your practice history from start to AF ?

Thanks!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/7/11 12:36 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
TJ Broccoli:

i'll leave that for another post, but this seems relevant to Nikolai's topic--for me it always made most sense to only use vipassana tools only to head straight to the pce. following my interpretation of goenka instructions, i only practiced moment-to-moment awareness and equanimity towards sensations and never developed any extra meditation “skills” such as control over fruitions or control over jhana shifts. now it seems that i can’t shift any state or quality at all. there is a constant non-reactivity towards all sensations at all times, while daily life is packed with activities.
jill


Very nice :-) Looking forward to the thread.

Especially interested in hearing your interpretation of the Paths (whatever path you're on) in relation to actualist practice, as it seems to me that if I had tried to apply pure intent prior to SE, for example, or understand the implications of "I" am my feelings, "my" feelings are "me" (as connected to pure intent), it would have been much much more difficult to begin in that direction, much less build any momentum.

Another example of how these two sets of methods-- assuming one selects carefully the Buddhist practices which stay with present six-sensate experience and pay little mind to jhanna, witness, and other such fabrications-- seem to dovetail nicely (to me).

My sense is that Path(s) liberate(s) a certain amount of affective attention from a given layer of formations/sankharas/identifications, and then there is a choice: form that freed attention into jhanna and other trans-personal formations, thus insulating the "me" from raw instinctual reactivity, or simply "reel it in" and let it rest in itself in a feeling of well-being-- felicity, innocuousness, naivete, the feeling-me thus becoming lighter and more transparent, enabling an easier investigation of the instinctual passions and deconstruction of the socialized identity (since it sure helps to see something as a construct if you want to de-construct it).

Don't know, just something I've been mulling over in this connection. It might be an explanation of why 4th path seems to make pce practice and felicity much easier to get up and running, for some folks anyway.
--Jake

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/8/11 4:18 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jake, I really like the way you discuss this stuff as you seem to genuinely look at the whole picture.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/8/11 6:26 AM as a reply to Tommy M.
There seems to be definite link between the two, and a fascinating topic to explore. For me personally whenever I bumped into Goenka Vipassana meditators I was really impressed. Just like the time when I found myself on the shores of India in one of those typical Dark Night yogis' congregational spots a couple of winters ago. I met a few that had completed a dozen or so courses and that had also served. I recognised a certain quality in them, a real genuineness and embodiment of something deep. What they were doing was obviously working for them and it inspired me to sit my first Goenka course. I didn't have any big insights on that course, apart from maybe the fact that I spent most of the time dreaming up some future reality where I would be a master meditator. It lead me to the realisation that I should really start paying attention to my experience now instead of later. I was very fortunate though to meet Mr. Goenka himself on the last day of the course and it inspired me further. Although he was in a wheelchair, and not in the best of health, he was cheerful, smiling and chatting away with the students. To me he looked like what I had imagined the Buddha to look like, a small man with a round belly, radiating happiness. I decided to sit another course only 6 weeks later at the major centre, where I had an epic A&P experience that lasted 3-4 days.

After that experience there was no doubt in my mind that Vipassana meditation would lead to something good, deep and profound. That it could provide a path to long-lasting freedom and happiness. I also realised that it takes no less than 100% commitment and effort. Just like the AF path. I don't think that anybody can become actually free by putting in less than a 100%. It is by no means an accident. Who knows what motivates some people to undertake practices with specific outcomes and put in the required efforts and some not. I can only ever be certain about my own motivations, efforts and goals. Intentions, motivations and paying attention to my experience in this very moment are key, not so much the practices, developmental stages (attainments) themselves. Although they might provide a suitable platform from which to develop these attributes more clearly, cleanly and discretely.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/8/11 8:10 AM as a reply to Tommy M.
Tommy M:
Jake, I really like the way you discuss this stuff as you seem to genuinely look at the whole picture.


thanks, Tommy ;-)

I'm cursed with a brain that makes me do that. I find it difficult not to consider the "other" side, and just assimilate what I can use while ignoring stuff that doesn't make sense. Sometimes things that didn't make sense begin to, and things that did make sense stop doing so, and so on. It can give the impression of being a fence-sitter but I don't mind. The central thing for me is: "what leads me forward"? not "what's right or wrong or true or false".

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/8/11 8:18 AM as a reply to nic s.
nicola sheldrick:
I also realised that it takes no less than 100% commitment and effort. Just like the AF path. I don't think that anybody can become actually free by putting in less than a 100%. It is by no means an accident. Who knows what motivates some people to undertake practices with specific outcomes and put in the required efforts and some not. I can only ever be certain about my own motivations, efforts and goals. Intentions, motivations and paying attention to my experience in this very moment are key, not so much the practices, developmental stages (attainments) themselves. Although they might provide a suitable platform from which to develop these attributes more clearly, cleanly and discretely.


This is what keeps coming to me too, Nicola. It's about ripeness and commitment, intentions and goals rather than techniques per se. Methods draw out certain experiences when applied correctly. But only when we are ready to assimilate the deeper implications--- which for me has always meant losing (chunks of self, of suffering, of beliefs, of habits) and never really gaining--- only then will those experiences "click" something into place. And applying the methods intensively without being ripe yet can indeed lead to developing those qualities, although sometimes that seems like a de-stabilizing path. Hot-house yogis? hehehe Vine-ripened yogis? I mean, once the sincerity's there, opportunities abound throughout life to wake up.
--Jake

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/8/11 4:15 PM as a reply to Yadid dee.
TJ Broccoli:

wha...what AF? what gives it away?


Jill, while your previous message wasn't an announcement of AF, this one seems to be .. or am I misunderstanding?

Alex

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/10/11 8:32 AM as a reply to Alex Kyosti.
Hi jill,

I love me some interesting controversy. It shakes people out of their mindsets, which can be a good thing sometimes. I'm leaning also to the idea that vipassana, if practiced in a certain way, will lead to AF.


When this was said, Ven. Ananda said to the Blessed One: "There is the case, lord, where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. Now, would this monk be totally unbound, or not?"

"A certain such monk might, Ananda, and another might not.'

"What is the cause, what is the reason, whereby one might and another might not?"

"There is the case, Ananda, where a monk, having practiced in this way — (thinking) 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it. As he relishes that equanimity, welcomes it, remains fastened to it, his consciousness is dependent on it, is sustained by it (clings to it). With clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is not totally unbound."

"Being sustained, where is that monk sustained?"

"The dimension of neither perception nor non-perception."

"Then, indeed, being sustained, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance."

"Being sustained, Ananda, he is sustained by the supreme sustenance; for this — the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — is the supreme sustenance. There is the case where a monk, having practiced in this way — 'It should not be, it should not occur to me; it will not be, it will not occur to me. What is, what has come to be, that I abandon' — obtains equanimity. He does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it. As he does not relish that equanimity, does not welcome it, does not remain fastened to it, his consciousness is not dependent on it, is not sustained by it (does not cling to it). Without clinging/sustenance, Ananda, a monk is totally unbound."
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.106.than.html



The first monk is continuing the flow of becoming (sense of "being"?) via clinging to a type of affective equanimity. Perhaps a formless one based off of the 4th jhana. Thus the buddha seems to insinuate that the 1st monk will be reborn in the realm of "neither perception nor non-perception", which is based off of the 8th jhana. According to buddhist cosmology and theory, if one cultivates a particular mode of becoming, such as anger, hatred, the sublime abodes and all other forms of becoming of the realm of sensuality (all affective feelings?), one may be reborn in a realm that corresponds to that mode of becoming.

But if one does not cling to even the affective equanimity that the 1st monk clings to, then one can see through "becoming" and starve it of sustenance. And what is its sustenance? Craving and clinging which leads to either three types of becoming: Sensuality-becoming, form-becoming or formless-becoming. Sensuality is the most common form of becoming born of desire for passion resolution (affective feelings?). For example, if you cultivate anger and hatred, you may end up in the demon realm (according to buddhist theory). Cultivate affective compassion to a great degree and you may end up in a brahma realm (according to buddhist theory). Same for the cultivation of the form and formless jhanas. You may end up in a deva or formless brahma realm according to Buddhist theory as the jhanas are also refined modes of becoming.

To end becoming, according to the Buddha, one must not cling to even the type of equanimity which may lead to disassociated states of becoming. This type of equanimity seems to be the type clung to and taught in many pragmatic dharma circles. For example, we are seeing that craving and aversion still arise even post-4th path yet there is the possiblity of cultivating equanimity towards that craving and aversion due to the sticky-free-ness of this attainment. But, IMO, it is just mode of becoming or being replaced by just another more "pleasant" refined mode of becoming or being. The flow of becoming remains unhindered and not abandoned.

How does one starve the flow of becoming of sustenance? I believe, due to my own experience, that apperception does, as it cuts off the flow of becoming and thus we have no affective feeling nor form or formless jhanas arising, the three forms of becoming. And eventually, perhaps, allowing the flow of becoming (sense of being?) to drop away for good
(self-immolation?).

Perhaps, if one practices like the first monk in the above sutta reference, one may risk becoming disassociated from feelings/sense of being and fall into the insight trap. One may also end up at 4th path and think: "Things are not sticky anymore, and I am able to watch the flow of this sticky-free phenomena with equanimity". This type of equanimity is still "born of sustenance" (becoming). The 2nd monk sees through even the affective flow of equanimity. The only way I see one doing that is via apperception.

If one practices the Goenka sweeping technique with the 2nd monk's approach and apperception in mind, AF could well result.

This is just a current theory. I could be wrong.

:-)

Nick

Edited for grammar, spelling and extra stuff!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/10/11 8:33 AM as a reply to Alex Kyosti.
TJ Broccoli:
hi Alex, that is exactly what I think to myself: "it seems to be .. or am I misunderstanding?"

very interesting jill! have you tried communicating with others who claim AF to compare notes, so to speak?

TJ Broccoli:
'm seeing more of a reason to talk about my practice now that i realize no one else has talked about doing ONLY vipassana to get af.

did you use only vipassana? i thought i saw some posts where you talked about the actualism method. was your application of vipassana influenced by actualism in some way?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/12/11 2:08 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Wow Jill what great news! Enjoying cupboard atmosphere exclusively seems to be missing the point at times, although it offers a respite from needless attacks (and attackers) when there are no threats (only imagined ones).

I revisited some of the Goenka/U Ba Kin material, but then quickly moved on to Shinzen Young's interpretations of it, because I find his descriptions clearer and more conducive. Especially his way of formulating things, e.g his definition of psycho-spiritual growth:

Psycho-spiritual Purification = (Pain x Equanimity) + (Pleasure x Equanimity)


He also analyses the role and definition of Equanimity in Christianity:

Early and Medieval Christianity placed a great value on equanimity. Indeed it was considered one of the primary Christian virtues. This is because Christianity viewed itself as a path of radical spiritual cleansing (catharsis), with equanimity as the main tool for achieving this goal. The church fathers, who wrote primarily in Greek, had three words for equanimity:

Nepsis: “Sober observation”
Ataraxia: “Freedom from upset”
Apathia: “Dispassion”(N.B. Apathia does not equal apathy!)


and in Judaism and Islam:

The Hebrew word for equanimity is hashlamah, which is directly related to the word for peace (shalom) and the word for completeness (shlemut). In a sense the entire spiritual path is contained within the three Hebrew letters shin-lamed-mem (sh-l-m): When one is fully present (shalem) and equanimous (hashlamah) with what is, then what is presents itself as God's peace (shalom).
The term Islam is usually interpreted to mean the peace that comes with surrender. It is the
Arabic cognate of the Hebrew word hashlamah. A Muslim is literally “one who has become
equanimous."


So there we have the thread and the role of Equanimity in the various spiritual traditions. It's importance clearly cannot be overstated on any spiritual path; yet somehow the failure to recognise it as such occurs frequently. Especially the misapplication of it, I have fallen into that trap numerous times. Succeeding at being equanimous towards unpleasant thoughts/feelings/sensations, but not so much when pleasant thoughts/feelings/sensations arose. I don't think it was until I encountered the actual freedom trust material that I reconsidered the cultivation of blissful feeling states, and my attachments towards them.

Equanimity -> pure intent ?

So back to the Goenka/U Ba Kin method. Development and refinement of the attentive faculties (concentration), de-emphasis of absorption in favour of Vipassana (deconstruction). Observation of very fine subtle phenomena on the sensate/ somatic level. Attention -> Sensuousness.

Of course when practising the actualism method there is an alternate route by observing emotions on the mental level, by examining their content and belief structure. I would argue that the somatic representations and mental representations of emotions are one and the same thing, the emotion itself, just different aspects of it. The aspect one chooses to examine (de-construct), mental or somatic or both in tandem, depends on one's own preferences of course. Although the examination on the somatic level has the benefit that it lends itself directly and to the cultivation of sensuousness, so may be more efficient.

Then there is the whole discussion of love, metta, and compassion. Jill, you pointed out that there are vast cultural differences in the understanding, meaning and purpose of these qualities. This is a whole another topic in itself. Clearly they are subject not only to cultural norms, but also to ever changing fashions. I can see profound differences in different cultures, especially in Eastern/ Western terms. Yet even in my own culture (German), the ideals and ideas of them have changed rapidly in the last couple of centuries or so. Especially if I think of them in terms of romantic love, marriage etc.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/10/11 12:40 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
TJ Broccoli:
but my pce was not quite long enough for me to really process everything fully, and i didn't have one again(i don't count pce-ish events) until life became one, so much of the time i had to rely on the memory of the pce as interpreted by that emotional identity long ago, which had its limitations.


quite interesting! can you talk about the days/hours/minutes/moments (whatever is appropriate) leading up to the day you think it happened, or the range of days if you're not sure? i find it interesting (and maybe will be helpful later on) to hear about how the path is finished (assuming that is what you got).

i have noticed my baseline becoming more+more PCE-like; i wonder if it's possible to finish it all without a PCE, heh. will see how it happens, i had my closest encounter to it yet, today, it was amazingly clear and simple.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/13/11 12:26 AM as a reply to Pål S..
TJ Broccoli:
Paul S.:
Do the Goenka tradition describe/recognize any intermediate attainments/goals?


i don't know what he talks about in the long courses because i've never taken one, but in the ten day courses he mentions the following:

-some progress marked by "ehipassiko", or the "come and see for yourself" attitude: once having figured out how to meditate effectively, you feel that vipassana really works and leads to real positive change at the experiential level and you feel like telling everyone you know about it. goenka expects everyone who follows instructions properly to experience this by the end of the first course (and the majority of new students seem to).

-gross unpleasant sensations getting "dissected" and "disintegrated" and turning into finer vibrations : sounds like approaching arising & passing territory

-"banganyana", or "total dissolution": matches up with MCTB dissolution.

-some stage at which you become convinced that "100% cause of all my misery lies inside"

-"the first dip of nibbhana" when you become a Totally Changed Person, also called "a noble person" or "a saintly person"

-he says "after you explore the entire field of mind and matter, you may start to experience something beyond the field of mind and matter"...not sure if that's the same or related to the stage above.

-"arahatship" = "the final goal" = "total eradication of all sankaras" or "total liberation from all the miseries"


On the 8-day Satipatthana course for old students, Goenka says one is working towards stream-entry, lists all 4 paths of enlightenment, etc.
But these stages are considered to be really out of the reach of ordinary people, and mythic, with U Ba Khin's teacher (Saya Thet) reputed to be an almighty Anagami ("it was widely believed in Burma that he was an anagami (person having achieved the last stage before final liberation), and he was known as Anagam Saya Thetgyi." - http://www.vridhamma.org/Teachers-1 )

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/23/11 7:03 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
TJ Broccoli:
the pce was what helped me know how to apply instructions and know if a technique was working for me or not. but my pce was not quite long enough for me to really process everything fully, and i didn't have one again(i don't count pce-ish events) until life became one, so much of the time i had to rely on the memory of the pce as interpreted by that emotional identity long ago, which had its limitations.


could you describe how the path developed for you as you approached its completion? from what i understand, one gets into a virtual freedom, where it becomes easy to have PCEs all the time. one hangs out as close to the PCE as possible. at some point it becomes out-from-control VF where you can't tell so easily whether you're in a PCE or not (and it seems not to matter), then the self finally leaves.

how did it work out for you?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 12:39 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
TJ Broccoli:


i think of the last week of changes as "seeing and dissolving the control-freak". whether it was the same thing as an "out-from-control" vf i'm not sure, but it seems possible. what i did as much as i could for a few days was scan the chest area for those sensations that seemed to be related to this control-freak fear identity and keep fusing them with the panoramic sensation soup of all other sensations. the way i practiced seemed like no-brainer vipassana, or the most obvious thing to do at the time, but i could not have come up with that practice or even see it as productive a few weeks or months before it became necessary. and had someone explained it to me earlier, it probably wouldn't have made sense to me. when that vipassana stretch was done and no more control-freak sensations could be found, i had a full-on pce for the first time in eleven years, but i knew that it wasn't going to be an in-and-out shifty thing that would come and go because my baseline of experience had slowly been approaching it over the years and had finally moved into it. everything in its way had been cleared. i was in this pce for about a day, and also had a clean and clear experience-gap (fruition) with no afterglow or after-effect noticed, and no "entry moment" or "exit moment" noticed. (i only assumed that there must have been a gap because i was watching a commercial on tv with pce-alertness and all of a sudden the next commercial started before the first one even revealed what product it was advertising.) at that point i didn't know if that pce experience lined up with af or not, but it didn't matter anyway because perception had cleared up the way i had always wanted it to.
l


Hi Jill,

Your approach to get AF lines up perfectly with my current approach to practice. Someone gave me the instructions to use the arupa jhanas as a door to AF. In each of the arupa jhanas there is an actual aspect. For example, the 5th jhana has the actual aspect of sensations of "space". There is some weird process of overlaying such sensations with the ideation of them being "being" or an identity. So when in the arupa jhana, the actual aspect is noticed, then the mind will focus on the grossest sensation being overlayed with the ideation of "being" and then I merge or mash the two aspects together allowing the two to blend almost. The actual aspect will always prevail and "being" drops away leaving only actual sensations. No "being" anywhere. I can do the same in all the arupa jhanas.

I only started doing this practice a number of days ago and think I've gone through another permanent shift on the way to AF. I was on a bus, and I was doing this practice and all of a sudden there was a sideswiping motion in the brain. Plop--> I was in the biggest and longest PCE I've experienced. It has since ended but it has left the brain changed once again. No craving nor aversion seem to be arising in any forms whatsoever, yet there is the sublest sense of "being" in the background. An immense amount of suffering seems absent. Yet there is a restlessness causes by that sublte sense of "being'. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it is there or not. A virtual freedom? Mental images are almost impossible to conjure up too. A stage before complete eradication of suffering?

What I am doing sounds identical to what you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

:-)

Nick

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 12:46 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
TJ Broccoli:


i think of the last week of changes as "seeing and dissolving the control-freak". whether it was the same thing as an "out-from-control" vf i'm not sure, but it seems possible. what i did as much as i could for a few days was scan the chest area for those sensations that seemed to be related to this control-freak fear identity and keep fusing them with the panoramic sensation soup of all other sensations. the way i practiced seemed like no-brainer vipassana, or the most obvious thing to do at the time, but i could not have come up with that practice or even see it as productive a few weeks or months before it became necessary. and had someone explained it to me earlier, it probably wouldn't have made sense to me. when that vipassana stretch was done and no more control-freak sensations could be found, i had a full-on pce for the first time in eleven years, but i knew that it wasn't going to be an in-and-out shifty thing that would come and go because my baseline of experience had slowly been approaching it over the years and had finally moved into it. everything in its way had been cleared. i was in this pce for about a day, and also had a clean and clear experience-gap (fruition) with no afterglow or after-effect noticed, and no "entry moment" or "exit moment" noticed. (i only assumed that there must have been a gap because i was watching a commercial on tv with pce-alertness and all of a sudden the next commercial started before the first one even revealed what product it was advertising.) at that point i didn't know if that pce experience lined up with af or not, but it didn't matter anyway because perception had cleared up the way i had always wanted it to.
l


Hi Jill,

Your approach to get AF lines up perfectly with my current approach to practice. Someone gave me the instructions to use the arupa jhanas as a door to AF. In each of the arupa jhanas there is an actual aspect. For example, the 5th jhana has the actual aspect of sensations of "space". There is some weird process of overlaying such sensations with the ideation of them being "being" or an identity. So when in the arupa jhana, the actual aspect is noticed, then the mind will focus on the grossest sensation being overlayed with the ideation of "being" and then I merge or mash the two aspects together allowing the two to blend almost. The actual aspect will always prevail and "being" drops away leaving only actual sensations. No "being" anywhere. I can do the same in all the arupa jhanas.
...
What I am doing sounds identical to what you did. Thanks for the inspiration!

thanks for posting that, nick. i just put two + two together:

* a bit ago i got the same advice to maintain panoramic sensuousness, then focus on the grossest sensation until it fades. i couldn't maintain it too long cause the grossest sensation would become grosser + more painful.
* jill seems to have done that same practice.
* nick compared it to what i heard (and practiced somewhat successfully a bit) about the actual vs. being aspect of arupa jhanas.

now it seems to make sense. by being attentive + sensuous (+ felicitous) you are lining up your being to be closer to actuality, allowing more sensual clarity, etc. then the 'grossest' sensation will always be a sensation of the self, as there is no grossest sensation at all in a PCE. by seeing the grossest sensation clearly, especially compared to the more actual aspects of experience that are shining through, you will see it as self and suffering and drop it, leaving actuality in place. before, when it didn't work to me, perhaps i just wasn't in-tune with actuality enough.. but now it seems to be easier + easier to be even clearer + purer (heh how many times will i say that? =P. it's true every time though!).

it seems to me the self is really just the blockage of clear seeing.. ignorance. like the self-sensations in my head - when walking around and feeling the wind blow on my body, i feel it evenly in most places, except on my face where those self-sensations are. it's like there's a gap of not-seeing there. same with affective sensations in the body...

great stuff.


Nikolai .:
I only started doing this practice a number of days ago and think I've gone through another permanent shift on the way to AF. I was on a bus, and I was doing this practice and all of a sudden there was a sideswiping motion in the brain. Plop--> I was in the biggest and longest PCE I've experienced. It has since ended but it has left the brain changed once again. No craving nor aversion seem to be arising in any forms whatsoever, yet there is the sublest sense of "being" in the background. An immense amount of suffering seems absent. Yet there is a restlessness causes by that sublte sense of "being'. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it is there or not. A virtual freedom? Mental images are almost impossible to conjure up too. A stage before complete eradication of suffering?


10-fetter anagami? =P.

seems like you just got a bit of rat poop left!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 1:10 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
jeez I have no idea what anyone is talking about lol. hopefully maximizing felicity/pure intent/sensuousness and minimizing good/bad feelings and beliefs will be enough!

I guess I'll have to have confidence in Richards claim:

Fully developed sensuous attention is a condition of total non-grandiosity and utter absence of longing for anything in any ‘other-world’. If one can maintain this condition, no other method is needed to keep oneself free of obstructions and to achieve freedom from the human condition via apperceptiveness.


Although I'm not totally sure what it means to have 'fully developed' sensuous attention.

edit: oh i forgot I'm not trying to get AF >.<

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 3:16 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:


Nikolai .:
I only started doing this practice a number of days ago and think I've gone through another permanent shift on the way to AF. I was on a bus, and I was doing this practice and all of a sudden there was a sideswiping motion in the brain. Plop--> I was in the biggest and longest PCE I've experienced. It has since ended but it has left the brain changed once again. No craving nor aversion seem to be arising in any forms whatsoever, yet there is the sublest sense of "being" in the background. An immense amount of suffering seems absent. Yet there is a restlessness causes by that sublte sense of "being'. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it is there or not. A virtual freedom? Mental images are almost impossible to conjure up too. A stage before complete eradication of suffering?


10-fetter anagami? =P.

seems like you just got a bit of rat poop left!


Hehe! Who knows? But the weird thing is, right before I got the first fruition on a 10 day geonka course, I had several moments of the very same practice that Jill did and what I am doing now. Here is an extract from when I got 1st path:


8am - 10.49am: I continue to work as above and the blipping in and out of the sensations of the illusory "Self" starts getting slower (or rather they are not being read as "Self") and about 4 seconds are seen of the "Self" as just a dance of sensations along with those sensations in the head that are in between blips, so it seems the subject is joining the object and just becoming one massive bare sensate experience.

Then at about 10.50, something clicks and that massive bare sensate experience of the sensations, previously known and seen as "Self", as "Nick", is seen so clearly. This simple insight felt so profound that this amazing feeling of happiness and pleasantness descended throughout the body. Nothing happens at this stage and the gong for lunch is sounded and I leave my cell to walk to the dining hall. All the while thinking of this mind-blowing insight which has been staring me in the face all along. I get there at about 11.05, sitting on a bench waiting to enter the dining hall.....and then the mind turns in on itself again onto that massive bare sensate experience of all these sensations just dancing about. No "Self" anymore.


Here, I was doing the same thing with mashing actual sensations with the sensations being read as "self" untill they just become one mass of sensations. No "Self/being" anywhere in that mass of sensations. Within 10 minutes of this occurrence a frution /cessation of the senses occured. The thing before the fruition was life-changing to say the least, I knew in that very moment it was vitally important and would change things forever for good.

And then when I got MCTB 4th path (sakadagami?):


Now this morning, I awake and feel rested. I am officially on holiday now for 3 weeks. So no worries or preoccupations, no responsibilities. I am not as agitated as yesterday. I feel the vibrations mainly at the third eye. No negativity on the body. I start to sit. I note it all, pressure, vibrations, neutral, image ...

I stop noting as the energy shifts to the crown. I feel the mind disperse. Ease, calm, OKness, perfectly equanimous with the arising phenomena. The mind starts to analyze what I was doing for years and years. Thoughts: Why am I giving priority to those sensations that prop up the sense of self? Why are they so special? What do they have over the other phenomena?

There IS no difference, they are the same, the mind observes the sense of self...nothing but sensations behind the eyeballs, a fleeting image.....the experience starts synching in line with these thoughts, the sensations of "I" are the same as all the rest. What is "better"?....there IS no "better". ....a fruition occurs, a beautiful one, unexpected, leaving the mind completely still, rebooting, the sensations of "I" are seen as just more phenomena, everything seems synched up, and then a blip or something, a shifting in the mind, thoughts of "What was that?" "Was that it?..."What was that?"...thoughts of doubt, thoughts of "Am I craving this?"...and each thought arising is no longer the same experience as before.


I was doing the same thing. Looking at the sense of "me", or "being" or "self" and then somehow seeing through that ideation and misperception to then see those sensations misread as self as just sensations merging with all the other sensations in that panoramic viewpoint. The two most important shifts in my practice have been these two. All other changes were subtle perceptual shifts and occurred after a cessation of the senses (fruition), not a massive reduction in suffering like these last two, and possibly this last recent one but I'm gonna give it a hell of a lot of time to see if it sticks or maybe no time, cos I'm going straight for AF anyways.

:-)

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 6:06 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai
An immense amount of suffering seems absent.

It occurred to me today that this is the "harmless" of AF (and its correlation in dhamma is cessation of suffering):
to render oneself unable to be harmed/to suffer, then one loses i-enforcement through defense. Hearing, seeing, feeling and the brain's aggregation of them become hearing, seeing, feeling what is actual without a warping filter.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/24/11 6:12 PM as a reply to . ..
Which is to say, not viewing others with a warped filter can be freeing to such others. As viewing others with a warped lens can be snaring.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/27/11 11:00 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
TJ Broccoli:

hi Nick,
that's great news that you're onto a new stretch of practice now! it makes sense that coming from the same retreat background, similar methods would work for us for pursuing the same goal. once you can separate actual sensing from the affective, as you're doing with the jhanas, then there is no longer such a thing as "180 degrees opposite", and you can use just about any healthy activity to help steer your actualism practice, whether it's yoga, painting, or swimming. and of all the different possible activities, the ones that demand the most concentration like (jhana practice) ought to be very effective. why not?


I'm in agreement here 100%. The only thing I think AF is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to is the flow of becoming or the flow of "being". It aims to end that flow. Any teaching that has as its aim to only refine states of "being" or becoming is 180 degrees in the opposite direction to this goal. In fact the original buddhdhamma in the pali canon is full of sutta after sutta expressing the same goal. The Buddha taught utilising mostly the jhanas as refined modes of "being" in order to dismantle and end the flow of all modes of "being" by seeing through the attachment to their actual aspects by the I AM obsession (which i would equate to the sense of "being". See the Khemaka sutta for more info).

The I AM obsession does not end at MCTB 4th path, which I think is wrongly called the arahat. The Buddha taught that the end of becoming was the end of suffering. Same as AF. He just taught it mostly via the jhana route. In my current opinion, any practice that, in a sense, "actualizes" the sensations being overlayed with the sense of being/feeling "me"/inner world/presence/feeling self/ the I AM obsession is a practice that could potentially lead to AF.



"A few months ago I would have said that jhanas were in the complete opposite direction of AF as well. I never had control over jhana shifts, never mastered any, was uninterested in exploring them, plus over the years, I found the occasional accidental jhanic occurrences increasingly subtle and rare. I attributed all this to the fact that my life was approaching the PCE more and more. Last week or so Tarin was explaining to me what each jhana was (as I never had their characteristics ordered into eight neat compartments in my head), and I found that they were all available here and now. As soon as he told me what counted as x jhana, all I had to do was pay attention to that characteristic of experience and go "oh, ok, that's what it is?" without having to "concentrate" or "meditate" or "go into" any sort of absorption or altered mind state. It seems that the act of "doing jhana" or any "mindstate-altering" is absurd and N/A because all jhanic characteristics (the actual, sensate ones) are already lived out and contained in every moment of a PCE, and "getting" a certain jhana is almost as easy as switching the eye focus from this keyboard to that chair across the room. So I can see how certain ways of saying (or ways of hearing) "no jhana in PCE or AF" could result in a total misconception of what actually happens. While phrases like "no absorption practice possible" or "no more going into jhanas" or "no altering of current mind state possible" are true, they are true only because every jhanic characteristic is already available right here as a part of actual experience, except for any emotional bliss stuff. I can't get any sort of hard jhana, in any sense of the word "get"--those ones where you can't hear a loud startling sound, when the senses are totally blocked off/hypnotized, etc, but I never did in the past, never tried, and still haven't tried after this new thing." [having never learned to do hard jhana before, i see no loss in not being able to do it now]


I just spent a good 45 minutes or so actualizing each jhana from 1st to 8th. It seems much easier to do in the arupa jhanas as their actual aspects seem much more juxtaposed to the aspect that is being read as a sense of "being". In the form realm jhanas, "being" seems to have less juxtaposition and it takes a little investigating and focusing on actual sensations to actualise the sense of "being" so that it drops away. 1st to 4th jhana seem to lose much more of what makes them absorptions when the sense of "being" drops away.

In the arupa jhanas the sensations of space, consciousness (sensations within the head), the sensations giving off the impression of "no-thingness" (all around the head within and all around the surface) and the weirdness happening at the third eye spot in the 8th jhana (sensations at third eye spot) are all easier to observe as actual, and the grosser sensations elsewhere, maybe at the chakra spots (heart, throat, solar plexus, etc) are much more obvious. "Being" seems easier to separate, see through and actualize (make drop away).

This is good to know about the final end result of AF. The jhanas are still accessed. They just have no "being" aspect there. Is this correct, Jill, Trent, Tarin, any other AFer?

looking back, i must have automatically used certain jhanic qualities of attention(developed as a result of vipassana) as a tool for progress, but i just never thought of it as "practicing jhana" because in my sits, state shifts were usually either irregular, vague, or not distinguished as being meaningful. but in both the pce and in the arupa jhanas alike, there seems to be some kind of recognition of all things being equal in value, whether big or small, near or far, gross or subtle, me or not. or maybe it's the stopping of judging things as not-equal?


Yes, there seems to be certain sensations being given the status of "sense of being" and each jhana has sensations that may be attached with this "sense of being". When this judgment ceases, and no "sense of being" is overlayed onto such sensations, then I am apperceiving those sensations. "Being's" lifeline is cut. This lifeline seems to be the clinging to certain sensations, like the one pointed sensations of the 1st, the rapturous sensations of the 2nd, blissful sensations of the 3rd, even equanimous sensations of the 4th, then the formless jhanas that give off the sense of space in the 5th, the sensations of infinite consciousness in the 6th, sensations that give off the impression of "no-thingness" in the 7th and even sensations of neither perception nor non perception in the 8th (this one is hard to describe). When this this clinging ceases, the sense of "being" drops away and just the actual aspects of those jhanas remain in my current experience.


Nick, since you have more experience with jhanas, do you think there's something valuable in looking at the shifts, or are you looking at all characteristics of the arupa jhanas in general?
do you see ways of fusing the actual sensate qualities of different jhanas together?
when you say you're "merging" and "mashing" the gross with the actual, are you doing it while sitting with closed eyes, or are you coupling the qualities or arupa jhanas with daily living (when there is panoramic seeing, hearing, touch)?


Yes, there is much value in looking at the shifts. It shows this mind/body organism what is not "being" in sequential order. For example, the sensations of space are not "being", not self, not "I AM", the sensations of infinite consciousness are not "being" , self, I AM etc. One can see all the aspects of the jhanas as not "being" quite easily. This leaves little to no more room for "being" to attach to. And it seems to have made the sense of "being" even subtler. There is still "being" attaching to actual experience though, so still working on it. But it seems to be working. I am seemingly right on the edge of EE and PCE territory all the time. And it's hard to tell if there is a sense of "being" at times.

I am looking at all aspects of the arupa jhanas to see what is actual and what is not. There seems to always be a gross sensations emanating from one of the chakra spots which seems to be overlayed with a sense of "being". From there is seems to spread out and cause the sense of something having a location or presence in the world.

JILL: do you see ways of fusing the actual sensate qualities of different jhanas together?

Hmmmm, possibly. Do you mean combining sensations of space for example with sensations of "infinite consciousness"? When i do this it feels more like the 7th arupa jhana then. Could you elaborate on this question, Jill?

when you say you're "merging" and "mashing" the gross with the actual, are you doing it while sitting with closed eyes, or are you coupling the qualities or arupa jhanas with daily living (when there is panoramic seeing, hearing, touch)?


I do it in both situations. I can do it while walking with eyes open. The visual field also gets included in the actual aspect. With eyes closed, the eyes and the visual field still seem to play a part. When "being" is arising, the back of the eyelids are seen through this filter. When "being" drops away, the back of the eyelids are seen with crisp clear clarity, with no "inner world" filter.

I am doing both practices coupled with felicity practice (which seems not to be too necessary nowadays as the new default mode is EE territory). When I go for a walk, I usually hang out as the 5th jhana and focus on the actual aspects of sensations of space and the way the eye sight becomes unfiltered and focusing on the space outside and around the body i.e. the landscape. The gross sensations overlayed with a sense of "being" are included within the awareness of actuality and the sense of "being" drops away.

When it arises, I either repeat the process, or I take the angle of observing dispassionately "what has become" i.e. sense of being, and "know" that it will drop away with no fuel given to it. It then does drop away and I'm back in PCE mode or the EE gets even more refined.

:-)

Nick

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 4:45 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
hi Nick,

This last post is very helpful and I have just spent an hour trying this out.
I have particularly found it helpful noticing what is happening at the chakras during the jhanas.

I have a question about this quote:

''There seems to always be a gross sensations emanating from one of the chakra spots which seems to be overlayed with a sense of "being". From there is seems to spread out and cause the sense of something having a location or presence in the world.'' (Nick)

1)Are you experiencing the gross sensations at the chakras as becoming/affect,
2) or are you suggesting that it is overlayed on them and they are always there?

if it was the second case are you actualising the sensations at the chakras the same as the qualities of space, nothingness etc?

I am also interested in what is going on in the first 4 jhanas.

are you saying the rapture of the 2nd and bliss of the 3rd jhana can be actualized? I've been trying this and finding it a murkier area than then in the arupas - it all feels thicker, and less clear - what seems to happen is that there is stronger awareness of flesh and blood - basic physical sensations, the aural field at the eardrum, awareness at the front of the eyes taking in the back of the eye-lids, and a shadowy or diminished experience of the rapture and bliss, and some sensations at 2nd and 3rd chakras.

I am also finding that there is not such a clear natural rise through the jhanic arc unless I consciously fall back into affect and becoming which seems then motors it.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 8:42 AM as a reply to richard weeden.
richard weeden:



''There seems to always be a gross sensations emanating from one of the chakra spots which seems to be overlayed with a sense of "being". From there is seems to spread out and cause the sense of something having a location or presence in the world.'' (Nick)

1)Are you experiencing the gross sensations at the chakras as becoming/affect,
2) or are you suggesting that it is overlayed on them and they are always there?


Hmmm, I would say that in my own experience, the gross sensations seem to be a factor or one of the conditions for the sense of "being" to arise. I use the word "overlayed" because that is how it "feels" like. The sense of "being", in my experience, is sensed in the head much of the time but "seemingly" emanating or condtioned by a flow of gross vibrations at one of the chakra spots. So sometimes it feels like "being" has as its core, sensations flowing at one of these spots like the heart, solar plexus, throat etc. But I don't know exactly what is going on. It just "feels" this way.

It seems enough to actualise those sensations becasue in my own experiecne, when I focus on the actual aspects of the jhanas or even out of jhanas, then widen the focus to include those gross sensations as part of the wide panormaic actual viewpoint, then the sense of "being" seems to lose one of its conditioning factors.... straight up ignorance of what is happening in the mind and body, which I would equate to NOT being attentive to sensuousness. The sense of "being" seems to lose key conditioning factors when for however long there is attentiveness to sensuousness.

I realised there are two ways I can cause the sense of "being" to drop away. By just being attenive to sensuousness continuously with any of the physical sense doors in particular. If the primary focus of the mind is sensuousness, then "being" is given no fuel to arise, thus this method can trigger PCE mode.

The second way is what I mentioned was "actualising" the gross sensations that seem to be a conditioning factor in the arising of "being". When one is not attentive to sensuousness, the sense of "being" arises, influenced and coloured by certain sensations. When those sensations are included in the attentiveness to sensuosuness, sañña, the part of the mind which places ideas, and concepts on things, seems not to ignorantly and automatically place the ideation of "being" onto those gross sensations, or even thoughts. Apperception cuts through and removes a link in the sequence that causes a sense of "being" to arise. THis is my current take on it.

if it was the second case are you actualising the sensations at the chakras the same as the qualities of space, nothingness etc?


I am indeed actualizing the gross sensations after being attentive to the sensuous actual aspects of the jhanas as well as out of jhanas. I widen the focus of awareness to include the gross sensations, maintaining the actual viewpoint. Thus and out of control ignorant sañña and resulting papañca are seemingly dealt with temporarily, and for enough time to trigger PCE mode in my experience.

I am also interested in what is going on in the first 4 jhanas.

are you saying the rapture of the 2nd and bliss of the 3rd jhana can be actualized? I've been trying this and finding it a murkier area than then in the arupas - it all feels thicker, and less clear - what seems to happen is that there is stronger awareness of flesh and blood - basic physical sensations, the aural field at the eardrum, awareness at the front of the eyes taking in the back of the eye-lids, and a shadowy or diminished experience of the rapture and bliss, and some sensations at 2nd and 3rd chakras.


When I try to actualize the first 4 rupa jhanas, the affective qualities that condition them drop away. The sensations that imply rapture are included in the attentiveness to sensuousness, and eventually the affective component of "rapture" drops away, and there are just sensations being paid attention to in certain areas of the body, which formely had the affective quality of rapture attached to them. Same for the other 3 jhanas. So yes, I do actualise sensations that imply rapture, bliss and even equanimity. They seem to lose a large chunk of conditioning factor when the affective factor (sense of being) drops away. It just seems like the mind is focused on specific vibrational content in specific areas of the body when the absorption (sense of being) quality drops away.

I am also finding that there is not such a clear natural rise through the jhanic arc unless I consciously fall back into affect and becoming which seems then motors it.


Try this method to move up through the realms of existence that are the nanas and jhanas. I stumbled on this method when I got to the 8th jhana via the notion that "I" am my feelings and my feelings are "me" trying to get the non-cessation of the senses kind of NS. In between the 8th and NS, there seemed to be a intermittent period where it felt like the sense of "being" would arise continuously as a different "voice" every split second, then be replaced by another possible version of "Nick", the sense of "being. It felt like past lives or rather past and possible potential current and future "Nicks" arising one after the other without any fuel given to them to stick around.

I get to this viewpoint via taking on the notion of impermanence of those sense of "beings". So they are watched as they arise, as they stay for a split second, then as they go into cessation. The arising of suffering and the passing away of suffering in an instant, continuously. Watch that sense of "being" with the idea that it will pass away, "knowing" it will pass away, not "wanting it to pass away, but "knowing" it will. I think when you take this viewpoint that it will pass away in an instant, the mind ceases giving the fuel of "clinging" to stick around. So it doesn't, but it gets replaced by another sense of "being" manifesting as god knows what, one after the other.

When i did this the first time, I saw some pretty nasty stuff come up, potential violent "Nicks", hatred, disgust, depressed, potential dark night versions of "Nick". Later when I did this continuously for 45 minutes or so, it started out negative and then moved through thousands of the potential versions of "Nick", and as I saw an endless parade of potential "Nicks" arise and pass away in an instant, they took on the qualities of dark night then the jhanas. And low and behold, up the jhanic arc I went. Each "Nick" higher up the ladder being a more refined, and pleasant sense of "being". I seemed to traverse all the realms of "becoming" as I was not adding fuel to any of the potential manifestations of "being" that arose. I ended up in the different non-cessation of the senses NS, which is like a jhanesque PCE-like experience.

I got the idea to continue doing this from this dhamma website from this short quote:

http://www.dhammaspread.org/Page436.htm

that of past lives, is rather an experience of past consciousness, which is said to be both an amazing and an unpleasant experience. Unpleasant due to the fact that one relives an earlier consciousness rather than simply remembering it, which is a great shock to one’s present consciousness and it takes a day or so to recover from it.


Although i my experience it wasn't such a shock, there were a few potential "Nicks" that seemed to come out of no-where, angry violent-like Nicks.

:-)

Nick

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 8:28 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
TJ Broccoli:
Nikolai .:

Yes, there is much value in looking at the shifts. It shows this mind/body organism what is not "being" in sequential order.

hmm, interesting...i wonder if my having trouble pinning down what exactly the being was in the final six to eight months had something to do with not having mastered the samatha jhanas. it took a long time to know what else i could do to weaken the identity when there was only a constant base of "me here" left that didn't cause any "trouble". and i still couldn't see that "me" clearly until i raised my standard for what "trouble" meant.


Interesting, the sense of "being" or "me" is easily seen by myself. Perhaps because of the easy access to all the jhanas. Hmm, interesting stuff.


JILL: do you see ways of fusing the actual sensate qualities of different jhanas together?

Hmmmm, possibly. Do you mean combining sensations of space for example with sensations of "infinite consciousness"? When i do this it feels more like the 7th arupa jhana then. Could you elaborate on this question, Jill?

well, i asked because i don't have enough experience with working on the jhanas to know what might be possible, especially in formal sitting, so the question is open-ended.

in a pce it seems like different jhana characteristics are there overlapping with the bare seeing, hearing, etc.: there is some sense of infinitude; there's equanimity; there's a sense that everything is of equal value; there could be a fluctuating sense of joy (meaning the recognition that life is cool); and sometimes while i'm just resting and doing nothing, but with open eyes in a busy environment, perception may rest in a way that seems like it's not actively perceiving at all, and yet it's not at all shut down either, but there's a panoramic quality in which the senses are on standby mode, resting but ready to actively perceive at any moment a need or interest arises.


I will experiment and get back to you on this one. When i try and remember how the PCE is like and keep the qualities of the jhanas that seem present in the PCE at all times, I seem to drop into jhanesque territory first, then after being attentive to sensuousness of those jhanic factors, I end up in PCE territory. Hmm, this might help trigger PCEs.


i understand that the above qualities are found in different jhanas but not all of them, so i'm wondering if the jhanas could be practiced in a way that brings their non-affective characteristics together more--for instance, trying to remember the sense of infinitude of the 5th and 6th and the quality of restfulness of neither perception nor non-perception while in a lower jhana? i don't really know what experience/concentration is like for a meditator who experiences clear shifts separating all the different jhanas because for me, after the first year of vipassana, the jhana characteristics seemed to bleed into each other(and into daily life) more and more, and i don't know what it's like to have control over the jhana shifts either. but it makes sense to me that they ought to be useful somehow. if you could sit in a certain jhana and move into a pce, what would that shift look like, and which jhana would best lend to this? and if you use the skills from jhana sittings as tools to trigger a pce, what would that be like?


Doing this again now, and it seem you may be on to something. i will continue experimenting with paying attention to a set of jhanic actual aspects from a variety of jhanas. I'll keep you posted.

I have been using the 8th jhana as a base to jump for PCE for the past week or so. But I will attemtp it now in each jhana and see if i can do so. In the 8th jhana, the sense of "being" can get so refined and "thin" that it is easy to generate dispassion for and it is let go of. It drops away to reveal the PCE if I am out walking with eyes open, and if i am deep in jhana while sitting, I will experience eventually, a non-cessation of the senses kind of NS. It is more a jhanaesque PCE-like experience, with no sense of "being".

[

and this seems key:
Nicolai .:
1st to 4th jhana seem to lose much more of what makes them absorptions when the sense of "being" drops away.

...when you no longer need to be "absorbed" to access them, they become automatically accessed all the time, here and now!



Yes, this is my current experience. The jhana factors are always here to pay attention to. The absorption qualities seemed linked to the sense of "being" as they are absent when there is no sense of "being".

:-)

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 11:04 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
DISCLAIMER: following are just my thoughts, might not be right =P.

TJ Broccoli:
in a pce it seems like different jhana characteristics are there overlapping with the bare seeing, hearing, etc.: there is some sense of infinitude; there's equanimity; there's a sense that everything is of equal value; there could be a fluctuating sense of joy (meaning the recognition that life is cool);

from my current understanding, the qualities of the arupa jhanas are actual.. so if one is in a PCE or AF, one can tune into space, consciousness, nothingness, and neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and have them arise. i think you might be tuning into those different aspects?

the sense of infinite space is just that sense of space. my current opinion is that the sense of joy, or delight, comes from the 6th jhana. 6th jhana, infinite consciousness, seems to me to be the 'mind seeing itself' quality of apperception, which is just inherently delightful. i'm not sure about nothingness, but maybe that's the 'vast stillness' aspect - the sense that nothing is going on, that we are nowhere going nowhen.

TJ Broccoli:
and sometimes while i'm just resting and doing nothing, but with open eyes in a busy environment, perception may rest in a way that seems like it's not actively perceiving at all, and yet it's not at all shut down either, but there's a panoramic quality in which the senses are on standby mode, resting but ready to actively perceive at any moment a need or interest arises.


and this might be neither-perception-nor-non-perception, or NS, the non-fruition-cessation kind.

NS, nirodha samapatti, just means 'attainment of cessation'. the full name is "sanna-vedayita-nirodha", or cessation of perception and feeling. note it doesn't say 'consciousness' or 'form' or 'formations'... i don't think sañña is the conceptualizing part of the mind, as nick said. i think it's the discerning ability of perception - when seeing a shape, to be able to discern it as a shape, e.g. here is an iphone. vedayita i think is another way to say 'vedana', which is the noticing of sensations as pleasant-unpleasant-neutral.

those definitions seem inline with the state i was able to get into, the 'jhanaesque pce' that nick talks about (i think). my eyes were open, but it's like the visual field was all blurred together. i could still see, but i couldn't really discern anything in particular, though i knew stuff was still going on (cessation of sañña). i don't think it was a matter of my eyes blurring, as i could blink and the image would stay the same. likewise there wasn't pleasant-unpleasant-neutralness of sensations, at least not as much (cessation of vedana). same was going on, though not as pronounced, with sound and touch. i don't think i was fully absorbed as i could have been as i think there was still a 'being' going on, but i'm not sure.

so neither-perception-nor-non-perception might just be when sañña is almost gone, sometimes it's there and discerning, sometimes it's fading away. focusing in on only the fading away aspect seems to lead to SVN (sañña-vedayita-nirodha).

what do y'all think?

UPDATE: (disclaimer again, these are just my thoughts)

i wonder if there is a PCE reference in the Kamabhu Sutta:

"Very good, venerable sir." And, delighting in and approving of Ven. Kamabhu's answer, Citta asked him a further question: "When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, how many contacts make contact?"

"When a monk has emerged from the cessation of perception & feeling, three contacts make contact: contact with emptiness, contact with the signless, & contact with the undirected."[3]
...
[3] Emptiness, the signless, & the undirected are names for a state of concentration that lies on the threshold of Unbinding. They differ only in how they are approached. According to the commentary, they color one's first apprehension of Unbinding: a meditator who has been focusing on the theme of inconstancy will first apprehend Unbinding as signless; one who has been focusing on the theme of stress will first apprehend it as undirected; one who has been focusing on the theme of not-self will first apprehend it as emptiness.


further elaboration from here:

Nibbana as itself 'signless', 'undirected' and 'emptiness' can be understood in the following way. It is 'signless' as it is devoid of signs indicative of anything graspable; it is the profound realm which is beyond all particular and limited phenomena, which are all subject to constant change. it is 'undirected' in that it lies beyond goal-directedness concerning conditioned phenomena, which are all dukkha: it is what is known when there is letting go of all these. It is 'emptiness' or 'void' in being free of all 'misinterpretation' (abhinivesa) of phenomena as 'Self' or 'permament' etc.... Nibbana can thus be seen to be void of any ground for notions of 'I'...

the words do seem to describe qualities of a PCE/of AF, and 'a state of concentration that lies on the threshold of Unbinding' sounds like a PCE in that it lies on the threshold of AF, although 'a state of concentration' doesn't seem entirely accurate, though those were the translator's words and not the words in the sutta.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 11:53 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
DISCLAIMER: following are just my thoughts, might not be right =P.

TJ Broccoli:
in a pce it seems like different jhana characteristics are there overlapping with the bare seeing, hearing, etc.: there is some sense of infinitude; there's equanimity; there's a sense that everything is of equal value; there could be a fluctuating sense of joy (meaning the recognition that life is cool);

from my current understanding, the qualities of the arupa jhanas are actual.. so if one is in a PCE or AF, one can tune into space, consciousness, nothingness, and neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and have them arise. i think you might be tuning into those different aspects?

the sense of infinite space is just that sense of space. my current opinion is that the sense of joy, or delight, comes from the 6th jhana. 6th jhana, infinite consciousness, seems to me to be the 'mind seeing itself' quality of apperception, which is just inherently delightful

if this were so, it would follow that anyone experiencing the sphere of infinite consciousness would also be having a pure consciousness experience. why, then, is that not the case?

i do appreciate that you put a disclaimer on this post..


*

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

so neither-perception-nor-non-perception might just be when sañña is almost gone, sometimes it's there and discerning, sometimes it's fading away. focusing in on only the fading away aspect seems to lead to SVN (sañña-vedayita-nirodha).

what do y'all think?

that the condition isn't effected as a matter of focusing (as an activity), but rather must come from attention being drawn that way of its own accord. what are the conditions through which attention is drawn that way of its own accord?

i also think that it might be worth paying attention to the whole experience of 'neither perception nor non-perception' rather than only 'the fading away aspect'. this would also include the experience's ending (the exit from the state).

tarin

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 12:10 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

i wonder if there is a PCE reference in the Kamabhu Sutta:



Here is another possible reference to the PCE in the Cula-suññata sutta



Theme-Less Concentration

"Further, Ananda, the monk — not attending to the perception of the dimension of nothingness, not attending to the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception — attends to the singleness based on the theme-less concentration of awareness. His mind takes pleasure, finds satisfaction, settles, & indulges in its theme-less concentration of awareness."

"He discerns that 'Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of the dimension of nothingness are not present. Whatever disturbances that would exist based on the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception, are not present. And there is only this modicum of disturbance: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' He discerns that 'This mode of perception is empty of the perception of the dimension of nothingness. This mode of perception is empty of the perception of the dimension of neither perception nor non-perception. There is only this non-emptiness: that connected with the six sensory spheres, dependent on this very body with life as its condition.' Thus he regards it as empty of whatever is not there. Whatever remains, he discerns as present: 'There is this.' And so this, his entry into emptiness, accords with actuality, is undistorted in meaning, & pure.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/28/11 12:38 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
from my current understanding, the qualities of the arupa jhanas are actual.. so if one is in a PCE or AF, one can tune into space, consciousness, nothingness, and neither-perception-nor-non-perception, and have them arise. i think you might be tuning into those different aspects?

the sense of infinite space is just that sense of space. my current opinion is that the sense of joy, or delight, comes from the 6th jhana. 6th jhana, infinite consciousness, seems to me to be the 'mind seeing itself' quality of apperception, which is just inherently delightful

if this were so, it would follow that anyone experiencing the sphere of infinite consciousness would also be having a pure consciousness experience. why, then, is that not the case?

i didn't mean to say that being in the 6th jhana automatically means you are apperceiving. my guess is that the actual quality that the sphere of infinite consciousness is based on is the mind-seeing-itself quality (which is delightful) - everything that is perceived, you are aware that there is awareness of the perception. one can shape one's 'being' to align with that quality, which results in an affectively overlaid 6th jhana, or one can drop the 'being' entirely, and be in a PCE with that quality predominating. (the same for the other arupa jhanas). further, my guess is that the 'sense that life is cool' that jill talked about is related to this quality somehow.

it's only a guess until i can get a stable enough PCE to see for myself.

tarin greco:
i do appreciate that you put a disclaimer on this post..
=)

tarin greco:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

so neither-perception-nor-non-perception might just be when sañña is almost gone, sometimes it's there and discerning, sometimes it's fading away. focusing in on only the fading away aspect seems to lead to SVN (sañña-vedayita-nirodha).

what do y'all think?

that the condition isn't effected as a matter of focusing (as an activity), but rather must come from attention being drawn that way of its own accord. what are the conditions through which attention is drawn that way of its own accord?


that's true - i didn't mean to say focusing as an activity is what leads to it. i meant to say the fading away aspect seems to have something to do with SVN.

i'm not sure yet what the conditions are through which attention is drawn that way of its own accord - it seems to happen on its own when i am inclining my mind in a certain way (which i don't know well enough to describe yet). tentatively: from the 8th jhana, something to do with unfocusing even more than the 8th jhana, allowing the mind to no longer differentiate (perceive), a certain amount of letting it happen, a positive feedback loop of letting it happen once it seems to start happening.

or, from the Kamabhu Sutta; "Two qualities are of great help in the attainment of the cessation of perception & feeling: tranquillity & insight."

could you expand on what the conditions are in a way which would prove useful to someone intending to enter that condition (unless you think it's better to find out for oneself)?

tarin greco:
i also think that it might be worth paying attention to the whole experience of 'neither perception nor non-perception' rather than only 'the fading away aspect'. this would also include the experience's ending (the exit from the state).

thanks for the tip! i hadn't been paying attention to the exit from the state so much (nor the exit from what i thought was SVN).

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 3:18 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
long overdue update:

it has become obvious that I'm not free of identity and affect, and so i really have no idea what AF is supposed to be like.

I don't want to go into the Actualism language too much because it still doesn't work for me in terms of tools to guide practice, and at this point I feel that I don't understand it enough to make meaningful statements about it.

I was hoping that after some time it would become clearer to me exactly what the identity consisted of and what affect-feelings-emotions-disturbances included, but still there are areas which remain too fuzzy or abstract or seem too much like a matter of labeling, like picking cut-off points on a graph that keeps approaching zero but never touches it. (I'm not saying there is no such thing as a zero craving-aversion point, but that so far I haven't seen what it is). There were times when I thought I was glimpsing or experiencing the condition of the zero point in daily living, but later it would become apparent that I had no way of knowing whether it really was or not--just because a 'pce' is apparently so, perceived to be so, or seen to be void of all disturbances known up to that point doesn't prove it technically, actually pure.

I can track the identity now, which means that it was there when I couldn't track it, which tells me that in a 'pce' with no perceivable movement of affect/disturbance/anything of self, there may very well be tons of movement of self that is too subtle to be tracked at the time and simply labeled as "stillness" or "emptiness" or "feeling alive" while the mind is busy paying attention to the absence of known disturbances up to that point. while i still think that having a pce is a valuable experience for the insight and direction that it provides, I can't assume it to be a model for what complete purity is like.

That is where my understanding of change (insight progress, attainment, sickness, growth, critical points, etc.) has evolved. Even the identity seems to have a fractal-like nature. Critical mass and critical momentum make sense when it comes to changes in the mind and body. like a colony of bioluminescent bacteria that only produces a glow when a critical number is reached and don't glow at all when they're more scarce even though they're still there. Craving and aversion often feel like that to me--containing both characteristics of dichotomy and gradient.

The recognition of self-stuff that had gone unobserved made me feel like I had turned down a dark alley by paying more attention to the quality of experience than the process of exercising awareness, or noting what was absent more than what was present. There is some sort of yuck feeling that's hard to describe in looking back at a kind of indulging in attainment, freedom, relief, which gradually led to less vigilance and more dullness. Looking through the Actualist lens did not end up helping my practice. Looking at experience in terms of freedom, being happy&harmless and enjoying the lack of previous disturbances, I gradually lost a good deal of clarity and concentration. I stopped doing sitting vipassana for over a year because I couldn't feel the difference it made to that end anymore. I had no reason to sit for hours to just observe subtle sensations of the mind-body that seemed to no longer be doing anything but staying alive. These days I'm doing exactly that, because there's always stuff it's doing that I haven't become aware of. I've rediscovered much value in Goenkaji's advice about making the mind sharper and perceiving subtler and subtler sensations.

jill

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 4:57 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
It is great to have you and your perspective back here. So interesting how points of view change and our practice changes and how the value of things may vary with time.

It is hard for me to tell sometimes how much we just move to deeper levels, how much is backsliding, how much was something we needed to go through that on retrospect after the benefits we got from it paradoxically seems like a blind alley or dead end or side track, but really we couldn't have come to that conclusion without going through it and may have gained something from the experiment, and how much we really should have just avoided.

It is interesting to see how many people who thought they might or did have AF now have some other take on it: seems to be a going trend... The recent chaos over at the Yahoo Actualism group has been beyond the best soap opera (is that a contradiction in terms?) I have ever seen: though how much of that chaos is coming from what is tricky to sort out.

I personally still hold that bare sensate investigation is key, though I did benefit from giving emotional patterns more bare investigative attention.

Anyway, glad you are around and lending your insights to this place,

Daniel

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 6:05 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
Hi Jill,

It's nice to read you again.

I've rediscovered much value in Goenkaji's advice about making the mind sharper and perceiving subtler and subtler sensations
You know, I've never done a Goenka retreat, but yesterday I got a wicked fever out of the blue and I just climbed in bed and went through the whole body scan thing based on what I've read here from others. Between that and sweet neighbors and friends, it turned into a kinda fun fever and sound sleep.

(I'm not saying there is no such thing as a zero craving-aversion point, but that so far I haven't seen what it is)
To me, this is a focus right now and I don't know how this looks ultimately, too. I think the midday dietary modification is very useful-- seeing surfeit meal cravings makes other cravings come into prominence...a kind of mental lurching, restlessness. It makes me think of the non-restlessness of long-term practitioners, those with suffusive calm, attention. I suspect they are sitting through many, many natural urges of mind, as natural as the so-called autonomic system that maintains breathing, but have become un-reactive to the urges, but may still need to regulate deliberately that non-reaction to the lurching of craving-aversion. Anyway, it's an ongoing experiment, seems like it could take quite some time.

These days I'm doing exactly that, because there's always stuff it's doing that I haven't become aware of.
Yeah, I agree. Well, if you decide to contribute more I look forward to reading.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 12:17 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Yay Jill!

Great to see you pop up emoticon The practice sounds very cool --back to sensations... Im still practicing accoriding to a lot of your advice, though my perception of sensations has changed much since we last spoke.

Jill:
I've rediscovered much value in Goenkaji's advice about making the mind sharper and perceiving subtler and subtler sensations.


Would you care to describe how you are going about that? Are you actively moving attention though the body or just resting in the whole body of sensations?

Daniel:

I personally still hold that bare sensate investigation is key


Hi Daniel. In your case do you mean with noting, or are you doing something else?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 12:30 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
Heya Jill,

TJ Broccoli:

I was hoping that after some time it would become clearer to me exactly what the identity consisted of and what affect-feelings-emotions-disturbances included, but still there are areas which remain too fuzzy or abstract or seem too much like a matter of labeling, like picking cut-off points on a graph that keeps approaching zero but never touches it. (I'm not saying there is no such thing as a zero craving-aversion point, but that so far I haven't seen what it is). There were times when I thought I was glimpsing or experiencing the condition of the zero point in daily living, but later it would become apparent that I had no way of knowing whether it really was or not--just because a 'pce' is apparently so, perceived to be so, or seen to be void of all disturbances known up to that point doesn't prove it technically, actually pure.


This is a really useful point. I found that a pitfall of my practice was that although I have had extended periods of what seemed as clear as it could get, I would start establishing that as a baseline of sorts too. Wrapped up with that came a leaning towards something to get back to (i.e. strive for), thereby aggravating craving (for that experience) and aversion (when it wasn't like that) further. Instead of paying enough attention to the bare sensations of that, the focus would be more like a greyscale of experience to measure its purity. I'm no longer sure that using a level of apparent clarity, vividness, directness, etc. is all that helpful of a measure. These things might be more like interesting side effects that ebb and flow, rather than indicative of genuine dismantling.

I can track the identity now, which means that it was there when I couldn't track it, which tells me that in a 'pce' with no perceivable movement of affect/disturbance/anything of self, there may very well be tons of movement of self that is too subtle to be tracked at the time and simply labeled as "stillness" or "emptiness" or "feeling alive" while the mind is busy paying attention to the absence of known disturbances up to that point.


What have you been doing to track the identity - or how did that come to pass that you were able to track it? Isn't the "tracking" itself also part of identity, though?

emoticon
Steph

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/15/13 11:23 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
I'm no longer sure that using a level of apparent clarity, vividness, directness, etc. is all that helpful of a measure. These things might be more like interesting side effects that ebb and flow, rather than indicative of genuine dismantling.


Right. Clarity, vividness, directness etc. are indeed side effects.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/16/13 10:48 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
[quote=Nick W (aka Bagpuss)]
Daniel:

I personally still hold that bare sensate investigation is key


Hi Daniel. In your case do you mean with noting, or are you doing something else?
Well, that would depend on the practitioner, but for myself, no, I haven't noted in many years except for a few unusual exceptions on the rarest of occasions for very brief periods.

Direct comprehension, the sensations speaking for themselves, as they are, where they are, on their own is what I personally meant, but each person must figure out what works for them in that moment.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/16/13 11:51 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
I've rediscovered much value in Goenkaji's advice about making the mind sharper and perceiving subtler and subtler sensations.


I find body scanning (to be precise, I do whole body scan rather than piece by piece) to be valuable as well more so now than before because now I can do something about the gross sensations and hence can perceive subtler sensations. Being able to make gross sensations go away has played a large part in me finding subtler sensations useful.

Did Actualism play any part in you rediscovering value in Goenkaji's advice?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/16/13 5:29 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Direct comprehension, the sensations speaking for themselves, as they are, where they are, on their own is what I personally meant, but each person must figure out what works for them in that moment.


Daniel,

Could you describe how to do this in more detail?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/16/13 11:54 PM as a reply to MuMuWu MuMuMuMu.
MuMuWu MuMuMuMu:
Daniel M. Ingram:
Direct comprehension, the sensations speaking for themselves, as they are, where they are, on their own is what I personally meant, but each person must figure out what works for them in that moment.


Daniel,

Could you describe how to do this in more detail?


Hey Mu,



Cat = momentum in current chosen practice??

Or something else?

:-)

Nick

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 2:10 AM as a reply to MuMuWu MuMuMuMu.
Alright:

There is so much data coming in all the time, sensations of the scalp, the nose, the face, the visual field, various points in the body: neck, chest, back, arms, hands, fingers, legs, toes. There are so many sounds, so many subtle and not-so-subtle smells, the air on our skin, the feel of our tongue in our mouths. There are so many mental images, subtle impulses, mental impressions, subtle feelings, stories going on, various subtle pains, tensions, subtly pleasant sensations, neutral sensations. So many things happening on their own, where they are, in this wide open, boundary-less field of textures, qualities, aspects.

If all of those just show themselves in all their natural, rich detail directly as and where they are: that is great practice on its own.

If paying attention to them helps using some technique, that is good also.

Figure out what helps with the direct experiences showing themselves everywhere and all throughout all the time in some way that the whole field integrates into this fluxing, ephemeral, luminous, just-as-it-s, just-where-it-is, just-on-its-own, known-by-itself sea of direct manifestation, including as part of that anything pretending to do something and anything pretending to know something else, as really everything is just where it is, doing its fluxing, fading, flashing dance.

Helpful?

Daniel

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 2:30 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Alright:

There is so much data coming in all the time, sensations of the scalp, the nose, the face, the visual field, various points in the body: neck, chest, back, arms, hands, fingers, legs, toes. There are so many sounds, so many subtle and not-so-subtle smells, the air on our skin, the feel of our tongue in our mouths. There are so many mental images, subtle impulses, mental impressions, subtle feelings, stories going on, various subtle pains, tensions, subtly pleasant sensations, neutral sensations. So many things happening on their own, where they are, in this wide open, boundary-less field of textures, qualities, aspects.

If all of those just show themselves in all their natural, rich detail directly as and where they are: that is great practice on its own.

If paying attention to them helps using some technique, that is good also.

Figure out what helps with the direct experiences showing themselves everywhere and all throughout all the time in some way that the whole field integrates into this fluxing, ephemeral, luminous, just-as-it-s, just-where-it-is, just-on-its-own, known-by-itself sea of direct manifestation, including as part of that anything pretending to do something and anything pretending to know something else, as really everything is just where it is, doing its fluxing, fading, flashing dance.

Helpful?

Daniel


Enormously. Thanks emoticon

This is exactly what I've been doing for a long time now. Maybe a year and a half or so. I use jhana-factors in this mix (it seems impossible not to have them come up) and just "bathe" in the impermanence of sensations. Noticing as much of the whole field as possible. Adding sight and sound and mind states as concentration allows. It seems like a powerful practice.

Added: I've also found noticing "vanishings", particularly with sound quite a useful addition to this.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 4:26 AM as a reply to Bagpuss The Gnome.
Nick W
...jhana-factors... (it seems impossible not to have them come up)
Agree! And it was actually the very basic, actualism practice of bare sensate attention with friendliness in daily life (as I learned in here in the DhO with a few chats with SDK and Tarin) that, after a few weeks, those factors-- the four jhanas arose, and from fourth a little bit of arupa terrain, too. I could not relate to satipatthana guidelines at the time, so the direct simple pointers to just sense actually/sense actuality from those two folks was immeasurable and their relative fluency with buddhist meditation, too. I got so blown away by fourth that I kind of figuratively shot myself in the jhana foot for several months after... :] Craving is almost a no-no for jhana arising (helps it pass though!), unless one pays direct and steady attention to the sensations of yearning.

I have to say meditation/attention has been one of the most fortunate, informative ways to spend fortunate life. A friend passed the following phrase on to me last night, that instead of "the grass is always greener on the other side," one of his friends told him, "the grass is greener where you water it." Honestly, I just don't think I could appreciate this contingent identity (aka: dependent origination) without carefully coming to see what is the brain constantly prone to doing and what is it to weed it, untangle those sensations and thoughts and feels, and just attend (versus believe) all those arisings and passings of thoughts, feelings, sensations. I suspect this practice gets way more informative in the presence of pain, so for me, all of this newbie insight still could be to some extent undermined by misfortune and aversion (meaning my depth of practice is probably not so penetrating as people who apply it under less fortunate conditions).

Anyway, it's exactly that time of the day when I need to intend to apply this stuff to work emoticon

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 6:15 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
LOL. No worries on that front Nick.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 6:16 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Yes Daniel, quite helpful.

So it's more of a getting out of the way of yourself so this stuff can present itself all at once rather than trying to hold it all together as it were.

Thanks

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 9:49 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Very similar to my current practice as well. My focus is more on the awareness of the sensations then the actual sensations. Although when the attention slips the way back to the "awareness of" is via the sensations . Two sides of the same coin I suspect. I also suspect the coin only has One side.

Brian.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/17/13 7:44 PM as a reply to Brian Eleven.
Brian Eleven:
Very similar to my current practice as well. My focus is more on the awareness of the sensations then the actual sensations. Although when the attention slips the way back to the "awareness of" is via the sensations . Two sides of the same coin I suspect. I also suspect the coin only has One side.

Brian.


The experience of the sensations is the awareness of them? If there is an experience of a side to a two sided coin, perhaps it's simply the experience of sensations and the experience of 'being aware of the sensations' sensations side by side by side by side by side and so on. Not two sides, but one long flat surface giving that impression. I suspect the coin is one side too. Sensed in sensed.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 3:36 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hello TJ.

Would you please describe what was your experience(or lack thereof ) of pure intent over the years and especially after you discovered that "omission" of sorts in you practice.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 6:12 AM as a reply to do i know.
do i know:
Hello TJ.

Would you please describe what was your experience(or lack thereof ) of pure intent over the years and especially after you discovered that "omission" of sorts in you practice.

could you describe what you mean by "pure intent" because I haven't come across that term in a long time. pure intent to/in/for...?

my intent to keep developing awareness and insight hasn't changed in nature, but there have been times when I didn't know how to proceed to make further progress, so I shifted my priorities to working and studying--would that be a dropping of intent? I wouldn't say I found "omissions" in my practice, but rather I omitted practice altogether when doing it no longer seemed to make any obvious difference.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 6:41 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.


Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).

If the answer is no that is very interesting because than (it seems to me) its possible to approach the elimination of being/affect in a totally different way with only slightly different results and that is pretty important.
According to the announcement on the AF trust homepage Tarin doesn't experience what they define as pure intent, which from my point of view does not make him an imposter or anything "bad" because the effect of eliminating affect is there at least with some pretty high fidelity(Tarin was a pretty accomplished Vipassana practitioner so he would probably nottice).
Given that you and Tarin have been farther along the Vipassana way than any other AF claimant i find that what the AF trust people pure call pure intent may be just residual affect which they cant detect as they didn't train there attention to the same highs as you and Tarin did.
My motivation for this is that what they call pure intent seems pretty incompatible(after one has claimed AF) with the objectivity of the method:
-a palpable life force, palpable with what sense
- which force, one of the fundamental interactions, if not maybe a new one??
-how is that force measurable?

What are your thoughts on this?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 8:30 AM as a reply to do i know.
P.S. Would you say that you are at least in Virtual Freedom <=> happy and harmless for basically all of awake time but some trivial amount(say a minute or so total per day).

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 12:35 PM as a reply to do i know.
do i know:
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.


Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).


if that's the definition, then it sounds like what any somewhat experienced vipassana meditator who has cleared away a good amount of mental disturbance should experience. I'm thinking of benevolence and benignity that develops after the not-self insight at stream entry gets integrated. once it is seen that this stuff (my body-mind) is not more 'mine' than that stuff (those people, those trees), that all of it is just stuff of the universe moving around, then there's less and less of a reason to want to beat people, to win, to survive first, to get the better end, hoard resources, etc. or it could be that I don't know what 'pure intent' is at all.

do i know:

P.S. Would you say that you are at least in Virtual Freedom <=> happy and harmless for basically all of awake time but some trivial amount(say a minute of so total per day).

No idea. I don't see a line between happy and unhappy that I may cross back and forth. same with harmlessness. I don't recall intending to harm anyone since elementary school, but that doesn't mean I don't end up doing harm due to ignorance, especially to myself. these days I feel about the same all waking hours, and I tend to see my well-being fluctuate in the sense of being energetic/alert/concentrated<>tired/sleepy/groggy rather than happy<>unhappy. I'm constantly 'happy' to the extent that I'm free and constantly 'unhappy' to the extent that I still have cravings and aversions, so what is relative peace and contentment all the time plus tension and suffering all the time? my mood has always been quite stable compared to most people, even back in the days when I had much more attachments and suffering than now. so I don't know if mood fluctuation or lack thereof is a good measure of freedom from suffering. circumstances also play a part: I feel pretty free of anxiety in my day to day life, but I'm sure if I went out biking all day between speeding trucks I would probably feel flashes of fear for hours.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 4:37 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
do i know:
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.


Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).


if that's the definition, then it sounds like what any somewhat experienced vipassana meditator who has cleared away a good amount of mental disturbance should experience. I'm thinking of benevolence and benignity that develops after the not-self insight at stream entry gets integrated. once it is seen that this stuff (my body-mind) is not more 'mine' than that stuff (those people, those trees), that all of it is just stuff of the universe moving around, then there's less and less of a reason to want to beat people, to win, to survive first, to get the better end, hoard resources, etc. or it could be that I don't know what 'pure intent' is at all.


Hi there,

I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?

I personally think of this experience of friendliness as the true opposite of anxiety (as opposed to the partial opposite, "relaxation"). When anxiety-related avoidance behavior lessens, this experience pokes out. Don't know if this helps make things clear, though.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 5:54 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
TJ Broccoli:
do i know:
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.


Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).


if that's the definition, then it sounds like what any somewhat experienced vipassana meditator who has cleared away a good amount of mental disturbance should experience. I'm thinking of benevolence and benignity that develops after the not-self insight at stream entry gets integrated. once it is seen that this stuff (my body-mind) is not more 'mine' than that stuff (those people, those trees), that all of it is just stuff of the universe moving around, then there's less and less of a reason to want to beat people, to win, to survive first, to get the better end, hoard resources, etc. or it could be that I don't know what 'pure intent' is at all.

It's a bit different than that. Hmm to put it a different (albeit related) way: have you ever had/do you currently have the ongoing experience that the universe actually does exist, and that you as a body that is a human being exist? Exist in an objective sense, as in, even if you were dead, the universe would continue to exist. (Likewise so would your body until it transformed into other stuff via decaying.) This being as part of your experience, not as a thought-out answer to "does the universe exist?" Yes, this could be considered childishly naive, and yes, this is the opposite of the 'world' part of twofold emptiness.

End in Sight:

Hi there,

I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?

I personally think of this experience of friendliness as the true opposite of anxiety (as opposed to the partial opposite, "relaxation"). When anxiety-related avoidance behavior lessens, this experience pokes out. Don't know if this helps make things clear, though.

And I ask the same of you!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 7:18 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
beoman:

End in Sight:

Hi there,

I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?

I personally think of this experience of friendliness as the true opposite of anxiety (as opposed to the partial opposite, "relaxation"). When anxiety-related avoidance behavior lessens, this experience pokes out. Don't know if this helps make things clear, though.

And I ask the same of you!


Yes (to what I explained), but not always. More often after I meditate a lot (as in: it suddenly strikes me as being so in these cases). And basically by default whenever I concentrate really well.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 7:53 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
beoman:

End in Sight:

Hi there,

I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?

I personally think of this experience of friendliness as the true opposite of anxiety (as opposed to the partial opposite, "relaxation"). When anxiety-related avoidance behavior lessens, this experience pokes out. Don't know if this helps make things clear, though.

And I ask the same of you!


Yes (to what I explained), but not always. More often after I meditate a lot (as in: it suddenly strikes me as being so in these cases). And basically by default whenever I concentrate really well.

Just to be clear - do you mean "yes" to experiencing that the universe does exist, or "yes" to experiencing the friendliness you explained in your self-quote?

If the latter, what about the universe existing? If the former then - neat, I'll wait for your reply then perhaps ask some more stuff.

(Not 100% sure what you were saying yes to cause of the "(to what I explained)" comment so I figured I'd ask to be sure.)

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 8:03 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
End in Sight:
beoman:

End in Sight:

Hi there,

I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?

I personally think of this experience of friendliness as the true opposite of anxiety (as opposed to the partial opposite, "relaxation"). When anxiety-related avoidance behavior lessens, this experience pokes out. Don't know if this helps make things clear, though.

And I ask the same of you!


Yes (to what I explained), but not always. More often after I meditate a lot (as in: it suddenly strikes me as being so in these cases). And basically by default whenever I concentrate really well.

Just to be clear - do you mean "yes" to experiencing that the universe does exist, or "yes" to experiencing the friendliness you explained in your self-quote?


The latter.

If the latter, what about the universe existing?


Direct realism (rather than inferential realism or antirealism or whatever) seems more intuitively obvious in the same contexts in which friendliness becomes apparent, plus some others.

(That's merely an observation about what seems experientially obvious, not a position about what theories I reflectively believe or don't believe.)

I don't really want to go much further down the road of talking about this stuff. I took a long break from the DhO because I started a discussion about some related things with you and then realized, as the reply count became extremely large, that I didn't really care to talk about any of it (because of the subject, not because of you).

(Not 100% sure what you were saying yes to cause of the "(to what I explained)" comment so I figured I'd ask to be sure.)


And I thought I added it to make things clear! emoticon

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 8:21 PM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
And I thought I added it to make things clear! emoticon

Hehe.

End in Sight:
I don't really want to go much further down the road of talking about this stuff. I took a long break from the DhO because I started a discussion about some related things with you and then realized, as the reply count became extremely large, that I didn't really care to talk about any of it (because of the subject, not because of you).

Ah yeah that one was quickly growing unwieldy. Alrighty, no worries.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 9:00 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Exist in an objective sense, as in, even if you were dead, the universe would continue to exist. (Likewise so would your body until it transformed into other stuff via decaying.) This being as part of your experience, not as a thought-out answer to "does the universe exist?" Yes, this could be considered childishly naive, and yes, this is the opposite of the 'world' part of twofold emptiness.


You misunderstand two-fold emptiness, what you are describing is something like a consciousness only or subjective only viewpoint.

This is completely refuted by Buddhist two-fold emptiness (more specifically Madhyamaka)...

For instance even if I die and attain pari-nirvana the rest of the universe would continue to appear to others. (I don't think any buddhist school would argue against this statement.)

Similarly if I don't look at a mountain, doesn't mean that the mountain ceases to exist. It just ceases to appear in my field of vision.

The differences between seeing a tree vs imagining a tree are also valid within 2-fold emptiness.

And so on...

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 10:54 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Alright, but - does the universe inherently exist? Do objects have their own existence outside of any other object's existence?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/18/13 11:40 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
uh oh...looming existential debate...

off to worship my god The Great Tennis Court. cheerio!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 12:30 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
uh oh...looming existential debate...

off to worship my god The Great Tennis Court. cheerio!

Hehe. Well I'm still curious about your experience re: actual universe (the questions in my "6/18/13 5:54 PM" post) cause that's directly relevant to being free of affect & identity.

As to the two-fold emptiness thing, nothing much came of going there last time so I doubt I will go there again this time.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 1:26 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hello Claudiu,
I think i have been misunderstood.

Let me give a brief history. I experienced something that fits the PCE pretty well(although i cant seem to use that effectively).
So after that,
on a several occasions, when walking in the nearly empty park near my apartment in the early morning and contemplating the
wobbling of the leaves in the gentle breeze and the accompanying rustling, the seemingly free flight of the birds, the freshness of the slightly chilly morning air i experienced the stillness of the universe, budding out of every point of space, but at the same time here, not in the distance, not separate.

This following experiences caused me (then) to experience exactly the overarching stream of benignity( i am not sure this is separately experience-able from the stillness) as if it had an actual existence, this benevolent(and impersonal) pull to come out of this unpleasant existance.
And to me that's OK for a feeling being. What i cannot fathom is that long after affect has "left the scene" this stream is still experienced (by Richard and co) as if it had an actual existence. But how can that be. To have an actual existence, something has to be physically measurable by a clearly defined method, independently by multiple parties.

So I was wondering are there other AF people like(apparently) Tarin who don't experience that after the (seemingly at least) final event. I just find that more plausible and think that a "pure intent census" among the AF claimants is a good idea, because at this point in time with so few AF people it is not automatically assumable that being different than the first few ones(who DO influence each other too much to be thought of as independent confirmations of the actualism experiment, non the less they are conformations, just not exactly independent) means that you are exactly less progressed then them, the possibility still remains that Tarin(possibly others) is
-just as developed as them but with some differences
-or even more(more time is not equal to more progress).

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 2:07 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Does Actualism really teach that objects have an existence outside of any other objects existence ?

Lets ignore consciousness / emptiness for a second and take a scientific materialist view...

A car, for example, is made up of atoms, which in turn are made up of sub-atomic particles.

So does a car inherently exist aside from the sub-atomic particles ?

It doesn't inherently exists aside from sub-atomic particles. But is it also incorrect to say that a car doesn't exist. (this is similar to the emptiness view).

Also we can start removing particles from a car one by one, without a clear cut point at where it stops being a car. Which also points to a lack of inherent existence.

The scientific-materialistic view doesn't really support the inherent existence of a universe aside from that of the most basic sub-atomic particle(s), that we cant see directly. (only modeled using some complex equations, that don't jive with intuitive notions of time and space, and objectivity)

Maybe I am interpreting you incorrectly, but what is the Actualist take on this ?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 4:36 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
TJ Broccoli:
It's easy to recognize disturbance when a feeling arises and it feels bad, but when things feel nice, still and quiet, it's hard to recognize the aspects of suffering/self-ing.

Hi Jill,
could you expand on this: how did the previously unrecognizable suffering become recognizable?

TJ Broccoli:
[...] I tend to see my well-being fluctuate in the sense of being energetic/alert/concentrated<>tired/sleepy/groggy rather than happy<>unhappy.

Do you think "tired/sleepy/groggy" is caused by ignorance?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 1:51 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Hmm, I don't really wanna go there. I foresee a long conversation, at the end of which we will both still disagree. Another time, perhaps!

EDIT: Ah but in the interests of being informative, here's the "Actualist take", briefly.

Essentially it's that time and space inherently exist, but they don't move - they're the arena in which things happen. Then you have matter and energy which also inherently exist and can be transformed into one another. Matter and energy, within space and time, are constantly moving, shifting, changing, etc.

A car isn't separate from the matter and energy that make it up, regardless of what that matter 'is', fundamentally, which scientists still don't know yet. So, no, the car doesn't exist outside of the matter making it up - it's just a collection of matter that can change, for example into a pile of rubble if you start taking it apart or a pile of gooey metal if you melt it. But the matter that makes it up does inherently exist.

Humans are also made up of matter and we can and do interact with other matter. Thus it's a matter of fundamentally inherently existing "things" (temporary configurations of matter) interacting with other fundamentally inherently existing "things", in an inherently existing arena. The fact that things always change and that there are gray areas in the process of said change (e.g. if you watch a plant rot away, when is it really 'dead'?) isn't a case against inherent existence of the universe, just the temporariness of its configurations. This definitely makes living more fun!

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/19/13 11:59 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Hi Paul,

Pål S.:
TJ Broccoli:
It's easy to recognize disturbance when a feeling arises and it feels bad, but when things feel nice, still and quiet, it's hard to recognize the aspects of suffering/self-ing.

Hi Jill,
could you expand on this: how did the previously unrecognizable suffering become recognizable?

because of the very gradual dulling and loss of concentration over a long period (a year). it gave me the chance to see which subtle conditions/symptoms were of the same nature as and led to more obvious disturbances (as in "I feel scared" or "I feel disappointed" or "I feel self-ing"+bodily sensations), and therefore those subtler conditions/symptoms are also disturbances or compounded ignorance. like connecting more pieces of a puzzle. thoughts of judgement and evaluation, certain patterns of (lack of) attention, thoughts that come from self-ing with corresponding bodily sensations I could not yet perceive or could not perceive due to lack of formal practice; recognizing more movements of tightening-tensing in the body; many "blissful" sensations on the body are also made up of tiny units of pain--they cannot be objective bliss if their absence feels better clearer than their presence--the "bliss" is nothing more than the next more subtle field of pain/suffering that feels blissful only relative to more familiar grosser pain. etc. etc. basically my Handbook of Symptoms of Suffering got fatter.

Pål S.:
TJ Broccoli:
[...] I tend to see my well-being fluctuate in the sense of being energetic/alert/concentrated<>tired/sleepy/groggy rather than happy<>unhappy.

Do you think "tired/sleepy/groggy" is caused by ignorance?

most certainly. at least part of it. I think there's some sort of avoidance pattern related to attention shutting down and getting drowsy (add to list above). I'm also affected by diet and exercise.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 12:33 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:
TJ Broccoli:
do i know:
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.

Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).

if that's the definition, then it sounds like what any somewhat experienced vipassana meditator who has cleared away a good amount of mental disturbance should experience. I'm thinking of benevolence and benignity that develops after the not-self insight at stream entry gets integrated. once it is seen that this stuff (my body-mind) is not more 'mine' than that stuff (those people, those trees), that all of it is just stuff of the universe moving around, then there's less and less of a reason to want to beat people, to win, to survive first, to get the better end, hoard resources, etc. or it could be that I don't know what 'pure intent' is at all. [added: i experience this "directness" of sense contact as a gradient depending on amount of self-ing present, not an on-off yes-no thing]

Hi there,
I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?


your question-clarification seems to assume that the human being in the picture is NOT stuff of the universe and therefore may experience benevolence and benignity while still feeling that the universe (outside or wherever it may be) is hostile or threatening? that the universe is all matter&energy&etc minus human beings?

if my response above [plus added part] doesn't connect to what actualists mean, then I probably don't have a clue what they're talking about.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 3:38 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
Hi Jill

I found it critical to first answer the question - Do I want to be here on earth ?

As a Buddhist practitioner, I never wanted to be here as the whole ceaseless arising and passing
show appeared pointless and we can incline our mind to see it that way.

As an actualist, however one appreciates this very dynamic, not-inert quality with a sort of
"scientific" look , though not so scientific probably so as to forget the goal of actualism - extinction
of "being".

It turned out a critical point for me when I understood that actualism is not the materialistic way of looking
at this universe - which means to see it as a "dead" and pointless, cold, selfless physical world.
As soon as I saw this and coupled with the memory of a few short pce's I realized that actualism
talks about an existential solution to life on earth and so off I've gone to actulaism emoticon

- Shashank

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 6:07 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Shashank Dixit:

I found it critical to first answer the question - Do I want to be here on earth ?

As a Buddhist practitioner, I never wanted to be here as the whole ceaseless arising and passing
show appeared pointless and we can incline our mind to see it that way.

that's interesting, by "Buddhist practitioner" do you mean you practiced a few hours a day of sitting or sitting+walking doing concentration&noting for a few months or years but it didn't produce any benefit?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 7:34 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Shashank Dixit:

I found it critical to first answer the question - Do I want to be here on earth ?

As a Buddhist practitioner, I never wanted to be here as the whole ceaseless arising and passing
show appeared pointless and we can incline our mind to see it that way.

that's interesting, by "Buddhist practitioner" do you mean you practiced a few hours a day of sitting or sitting+walking doing concentration&noting for a few months or years but it didn't produce any benefit?


I had meditated rigourously and non-stop with Mahasi noting for a year, besides attaining to a few lower rupa jhanas..so much so that even now, without any sits I can enter the first jhana with just a slight inclination of mind. Eventually I had hit the stream and
I wanted to take it further until I came across Actualism and got convinced(via extremely short duration pces and after
realizing what is this actual world) to take up actualism practise to it's end.

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

- Shashank

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 8:33 AM as a reply to Shashank Dixit.
Shashank Dixit:

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

the more I practice vipassana, the more I want to be here. it's pretty directly proportional. (I wouldn't say the same for shamata practice though) besides experience getting lighter, richer, more colorful, and life easier, understanding and perception keep changing and growing, which makes it far from pointless. when I go for a long time without practice and get duller, I get less inspired to be alive.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 8:50 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Shashank Dixit:

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

the more I practice vipassana, the more I want to be here. it's pretty directly proportional. (I wouldn't say the same for shamata practice though) besides experience getting lighter, richer, more colorful, and life easier, understanding and perception keep changing and growing, which makes it far from pointless. when I go for a long time without practice and get duller, I get less inspired to be alive.
Ditto. Shashank does not represent my own experience with buddhist practices.

Nick

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 8:50 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Shashank Dixit:

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

the more I practice vipassana, the more I want to be here. it's pretty directly proportional. (I wouldn't say the same for shamata practice though) besides experience getting lighter, richer, more colorful, and life easier, understanding and perception keep changing and growing, which makes it far from pointless. when I go for a long time without practice and get duller, I get less inspired to be alive.


yeah dullness has been an issue for me many a times, especially more when getting absorbed in all sorts of thought loops
, which happens as a result of not practicing hard enough or not being attentive enough...

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 12:56 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
Shashank Dixit:

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

the more I practice vipassana, the more I want to be here. it's pretty directly proportional. (I wouldn't say the same for shamata practice though) besides experience getting lighter, richer, more colorful, and life easier, understanding and perception keep changing and growing, which makes it far from pointless. when I go for a long time without practice and get duller, I get less inspired to be alive.


I'm curious, what _would_ you have to say about shamata practice?

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/20/13 3:34 PM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
End in Sight:
TJ Broccoli:
do i know:
To quote the AF trust article:
Pure intent is a manifest life-force; a genuinely occurring stream of benevolence and benignity that originates in the perfect and vast stillness that is the essential character of the infinitude of the universe.

Have you experienced exactly that and especially after you may have thought you did the whole thing(AF).

if that's the definition, then it sounds like what any somewhat experienced vipassana meditator who has cleared away a good amount of mental disturbance should experience. I'm thinking of benevolence and benignity that develops after the not-self insight at stream entry gets integrated. once it is seen that this stuff (my body-mind) is not more 'mine' than that stuff (those people, those trees), that all of it is just stuff of the universe moving around, then there's less and less of a reason to want to beat people, to win, to survive first, to get the better end, hoard resources, etc. or it could be that I don't know what 'pure intent' is at all. [added: i experience this "directness" of sense contact as a gradient depending on amount of self-ing present, not an on-off yes-no thing]

Hi there,
I think what the previous poster was asking was a little more akin to, have you ever experienced the universe as a friendly and benevolent place?


your question-clarification seems to assume that the human being in the picture is NOT stuff of the universe and therefore may experience benevolence and benignity while still feeling that the universe (outside or wherever it may be) is hostile or threatening? that the universe is all matter&energy&etc minus human beings?


I think my question-clarification assumes that there's a difference between behaviors ("beat people", "surviv first", "get the better end", "hoard resources, etc.") and experience ("experienc the universe as a friendly and benevolent place"). For it's quite possible to be very benevolent in behavioral terms and yet experience life in all kinds of ways, pleasant or unpleasant, benevolent or indifferent...

I think this is what the original poster was trying to ask you: what your experience is like and not what your behavioral dispositions are like.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/21/13 12:34 AM as a reply to Bruno Loff.
Bruno Loff:
TJ Broccoli:
Shashank Dixit:

Just curious here - As a vipassana practitioner, do you want to be here on earth ?

the more I practice vipassana, the more I want to be here. it's pretty directly proportional. (I wouldn't say the same for shamata practice though) besides experience getting lighter, richer, more colorful, and life easier, understanding and perception keep changing and growing, which makes it far from pointless. when I go for a long time without practice and get duller, I get less inspired to be alive.

I'm curious, what _would_ you have to say about shamata practice?

shamata practice makes me want to experience shamata, while vipassana puts the shamata in all other activities, making me want to experience life.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/21/13 1:18 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
End in Sight:


I think my question-clarification assumes that there's a difference between behaviors ("beat people", "surviv first", "get the better end", "hoard resources, etc.") and experience ("experienc the universe as a friendly and benevolent place"). For it's quite possible to be very benevolent in behavioral terms and yet experience life in all kinds of ways, pleasant or unpleasant, benevolent or indifferent...

I think this is what the original poster was trying to ask you: what your experience is like and not what your behavioral dispositions are like.

wow, I wasn't even thinking of outward actions, just using those concrete examples to describe what dispositions of the mind get crowded out or dropped as a result of what is happening in the experience of being alive--"reason to want to...". I'm definitely not talking about practicing sila from reasoning things out, nor about doing good deeds out of compassion. yes there's a difference between experience of being alive and actions that people observe, but I don't see experiencing alivedness and degrees of not-self-ing as disconnected from intention, disposition, urges, inclination of mind and behavior, especially in terms of quality and characteristics, craving and aversion.

RE: Goenka Yogi--> AF practioner
Answer
6/21/13 7:50 AM as a reply to Jill Morana.
TJ Broccoli:
End in Sight:


I think my question-clarification assumes that there's a difference between behaviors ("beat people", "surviv first", "get the better end", "hoard resources, etc.") and experience ("experienc the universe as a friendly and benevolent place"). For it's quite possible to be very benevolent in behavioral terms and yet experience life in all kinds of ways, pleasant or unpleasant, benevolent or indifferent...

I think this is what the original poster was trying to ask you: what your experience is like and not what your behavioral dispositions are like.

wow, I wasn't even thinking of outward actions, just using those concrete examples to describe what dispositions of the mind get crowded out or dropped as a result of what is happening in the experience of being alive--"reason to want to...". I'm definitely not talking about practicing sila from reasoning things out, nor about doing good deeds out of compassion. yes there's a difference between experience of being alive and actions that people observe, but I don't see experiencing alivedness and degrees of not-self-ing as disconnected from intention, disposition, urges, inclination of mind and behavior, especially in terms of quality and characteristics, craving and aversion.


Cool.