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Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?

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Hi all, first post here. I've been following this sangha since a no-self experience and a long dark night after, followed by a total distancing to spiritual stuff (really needed at the moment)

Various years later, I feel it's time to re-engage practice in a more sustained way.

I've been retaking my meditation practice since 1st january, sitting two times a day 30 minutes minimum (right now I'm expanding to two sits of 1 hour)

I've been noticing this tendency to like (craving) or dislike (aversion) perceptions arising in any of the six doors.

I realize too that I've been unconsciously trying to achieve some "better state" in the future in which I don't crave/averse anything, but I've found that this is precisely craving (lol). My meditation efforts have been powered by this "hope"/"crave", but now I see that this is just the wrong antidote. It's like trying to put out fire with a flamethrower.

This insight somehow made a click, now I feel/think that I don't need to change anything regarding to this craving & aversion I experience daily. Whenever I feel it, I repeat "this is just part of experience" and let it fade.

however, I still have doubts...

What if this is some kind of subtle spiritual bypassing?

Will this approach really propel me into equanimity? Or is this just some kind of lazy trick to not do the 'real work'?

I would really appreciate your take on this

Thank you!
 

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
3/30/20 11:42 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
I continue testing this approach of "this is just experience" whenever I feel craving/aversion... at the same time checking some related stuff on the site and I feel confident to answer my own question...:

This is not a lazy trick, but the exact adjustment I need to reduce effort. "Less vipasanna more samatha". Craving and effort seem to be two sides of the same coin.

To get closer to equanimity it seems I have to release this "need" to fix anything. Even this suffering existence. Equanimity is fruit of acceptance of the suffering. What opens up isn't less suffering, but a new perspective in which I don't escape suffering anymore... so suffering stops being a problem.

Meditation with this new taste seems to be more chaotic, with lots of mind rambling around, and then recognizing "it's just this" and coming back to breath on the nostrils. The movement of going back to nostrils is more gentlier than before, because there is no real need to do it. It's just something nice to do to chill things a bit.

If you are reading this and feel identified by this particular situation I've found this section of this compilation very enlightening...

https://shargrolpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html#transitiontoeq

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
4/2/20 5:07 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
Hi Bruno, and welcome to the Dharma Overground (DhO, as the shorthand here goes) sangha. I think you will be amazed at the range and depth of viewpoints on spiritual practice that you find here, and I see that you're already tapping into some of the best that I've found--- I hadn't been aware of the compilation of shargrol posts, and there's nothing better than that guy on Equanimity.

I notice that you don't mention the dark night with regard to this go-round. I'm not sure how up to speed you are on the specific vocabularies, although you seem fluent enough, and please forgive me if I belabor the obvious, until I'm more up to speed myself on your language and angles. Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha (MCT) by Daniel Ingram, which is sort of the common language here at the spiritual tower of Babel for a lot of us here in DhO, with its vocabulary of the stages of insight rooted in Theravadan teachings, has the dark night as the phase preceding Equanimity (EQ). The knowledge of suffering that comes in the dark night (usually despite our best efforts to avoid it) can bee seen as a kind of fire burning up the bullshit, and we are less propelled into EQ by the night than we find ourselves watching it gently come into focus when the flames have done their work. The noise in our heads has burned up enough for us to begin to explore the quiet exquisiteness of EQ that shargrol elucidates so well. You said you had a long dark night experience following a no-self experience, so intense you "rolled up your mat," as they say. Now you are back practicing, with EQ in your sights, so I just wondered how you relate to the dark night stuff at this point.

This may be unskillful means, but I was struck by seeing your post about returning to practice at the same time that I was following someone else's thread, a guy who has pretty much decided to roll up his own mat after twelve years. The thread is at:   https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19762950  

I'm not trying to stir anything with a stick, but he did ask for words of wisdom, and given that you are on the other extreme of the same sine wave, i thought you might be interested.

Again, glad to have you in the mix here, amigo.

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
4/2/20 5:31 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
I think it sounds like you are on a good track. 

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
4/3/20 8:11 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
Hi Bruno, and welcome to the Dharma Overground (DhO, as the shorthand here goes) sangha. I think you will be amazed at the range and depth of viewpoints on spiritual practice that you find here, and I see that you're already tapping into some of the best that I've found--- I hadn't been aware of the compilation of shargrol posts, and there's nothing better than that guy on Equanimity.

I notice that you don't mention the dark night with regard to this go-round. I'm not sure how up to speed you are on the specific vocabularies, although you seem fluent enough, and please forgive me if I belabor the obvious, until I'm more up to speed myself on your language and angles. Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha (MCT) by Daniel Ingram, which is sort of the common language here at the spiritual tower of Babel for a lot of us here in DhO, with its vocabulary of the stages of insight rooted in Theravadan teachings, has the dark night as the phase preceding Equanimity (EQ). The knowledge of suffering that comes in the dark night (usually despite our best efforts to avoid it) can bee seen as a kind of fire burning up the bullshit, and we are less propelled into EQ by the night than we find ourselves watching it gently come into focus when the flames have done their work. The noise in our heads has burned up enough for us to begin to explore the quiet exquisiteness of EQ that shargrol elucidates so well. You said you had a long dark night experience following a no-self experience, so intense you "rolled up your mat," as they say. Now you are back practicing, with EQ in your sights, so I just wondered how you relate to the dark night stuff at this point.

This may be unskillful means, but I was struck by seeing your post about returning to practice at the same time that I was following someone else's thread, a guy who has pretty much decided to roll up his own mat after twelve years. The thread is at:   https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/19762950  

I'm not trying to stir anything with a stick, but he did ask for words of wisdom, and given that you are on the other extreme of the same sine wave, i thought you might be interested.

Again, glad to have you in the mix here, amigo.

Hi Tim, thank you for your warm welcome. You're very kind.

To be honest, I wrote something for that thread before but deleted it because I thought that maybe I wasn't adding any value... but well, you encouraged me to do it so I wrote something and posted yesterday.

Yep, I read the book and I know generally the stages of insight so I'm able to speak in the same language.

Regarding Dark Night... I've been in the A&P + DN loop for a long time... I'm familiar with having spectacular no-self/unity/energetic/kundalini experiences and eventually after them feeling like shit because 'I lost' my awakening. Entering in loops of very dedicated practice, getting exhilarated by new findings and then periods of feeling worthless and depressive, sinking deep in meaninglessness.

But I think the step forward is learning not to grasp any more to any kind of experience.

I have to keep reminding me this every day and every night, because I'm so conditioned to project 'happiness' or 'enlightenment' (whatever you want to call the idealized state of consciousness) elsewhere but here & now. I now recognize all the ill will that was driving this conditioning... the ups and downs were even more agressive because of this... and now I'm into some kind of movement which is leading me to be more compassionate with myself, even with all the ups & downs and stupidity of chasing my own tail.

It's like seeing myself as a child, and being my own father, loving, kind and caring about my own faults. Restricting the child to stay quiet doesn't do any good, but letting the child wander way too far may be harmful.

So, I'm not really sure about how linear the Stages of Insight are... but I feel the time I wandered in this A&P / DN zone was way too long, and It's now moment to be more compassionate and learn to accept whatever is going on right here right now.

PD: I know my no-self experience wasn't stream entry because it wasn't preceded by equanimity. And after the no-self experience I had moments of equanimity, but generally it was just dark night and seeing how my "old self" and all my "ideas about the world" were completely fictitious and suffering like shit because of that. So yes, it was "knowledge of suffering" without any doubt.

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
4/3/20 8:12 AM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.
Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:
I think it sounds like you are on a good track. 

Thank you for your validation Linda, feels great.

RE: Craving & Aversion - Antidote or bypass?
Answer
4/4/20 9:57 AM as a reply to BrunoA.
It seems to me you've got your head on pretty straight right now, which is good as you settle into your practice, as it helps not getting neck cramps while you attend with ever deeper precision to the ever more fine-grained arising of the precisely just so. Or something. I have to humbly laugh and agree about the non-linearity of the path. I'm happy glimpsing, or projecting, the occasional image of a spiral. But even that will hurt to grab, as you point out. Meanwhile, to the mat.