Stream Entry

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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

Stream Entry

Posts: 53 Join Date: 7/4/11 Recent Posts
First of all thank you for establishing this wonderful site. Although I don't need validation I nonetheless feel isolated. I feel that I know a secret that is impossible to convey.

The subject I chose is just a phrase. Given I don't know what to call my current state of consciousness I will use 'Stream Entry' since the definitions I have read seem to correspond to what is being experienced. I've read some of the other threads regarding this apparent state of consciousness. Many discuss various states that have been experienced. I will mention some of those states even though they seem to me to be of relative little importance. Wondering why I have arrived at this particular place I've come to the conclusion that I have 'been in the oven long enough'. Yet there are still experiences that may be of some use to others so I will relate those too.

I'm thinking that my background may provide some insight.

Up until last November I have had a recurring dream that I have had for decades. In the dream I'm trying to get somewhere, possibly some notion of 'home' but can never reach it. Various obstacles always were in the way. But more importantly I can see now that 'home' was never clear. I haven't had that dream since.

I had a childhood that was somewhat tumultuous. My parents were abusive. My dad died when I was in high school so I was suddenly thrust out on my own without the skills that were necessary to make a living. The first ten years after high school were particularly difficult and I thought about suicide on more than one occasion. The result of all this was I learned to doubt just about everything. I would see others succeeding and gaining various things and always ask myself then what? I evolved into a dragon slayer, going out and attempting to do everything that I thought I was incapable of. I then projected myself on to the world in an effort to change it.

After about 30 years of that, in 2004 various events made me realize that there was something fundamentally wrong with the world. I know that sounds like a given but I'm talking about something more profound. What the hell is going on? I noticed that people in general were acting stupidly and in a way that did not seem to make sense. Whatever it was I suddenly realized that I may not be able to help change it. I started to meditate at that time. I can't remember right now why I turned inward.

I started to read all of the Buddhist literature I could get my hands on. I've probably read 100 books. I had been meditating for about 7 years doing a tranquility practice that lasted about an hour a day. About a year ago I kicked it into high gear. A vipassana instructor I had been following for awhile started offering phone retreats. I started feeling the need to integrate my practice into life and out of the tranquility zone I had created for myself. I started sitting on the front porch late in the evening. By that time I had learned to pacify my thoughts to a very great extent. I would occasionally get to a point where an extremely high state of awareness would manifest, similar to the gain being turned up on an amplifier. Everything would appear extremely vivid and three dimensional. But that was just a state. It would come and go.

Although my mind was extremely quiet I couldn't help but notice something else was going on, some sort of intention lied underneath. I asked the vipassana instructor about it. He said to do hard determination practice. Then I began sitting without moving and my sits were lasted for periods of about 2 hours. I also started to attempt to meditate during my daily activities. During those times my mind was extremely active. It was then I noticed I was planning everything and I mean everything. I even had a plan for the way I walked through my house. I began to realize I was a frigging robot. The vipassana instructor told me to sit for longer periods. By then I was up to three hours and I was doing it every day. I then realized that my incessant thinking during the day and my planning was based on fear. I started to devise strategies to become more present off the cushion. Then unusual things began to manifest on the cushion, the most noteworthy of which was the sense that parts of my body, particularly my hands weren't mine. Yet I had the feeling they were at the same time.

In November of 2010 we enrolled in a silent retreat with the same vipassana instructor in Colorado. There were many very nice people there and we liked the group. But after a few days something seemed amiss. There were people servicing the retreat serving food and doing other things. They were very kind and would speak to me but it being a silent retreat I wasn't supposed to speak back. That bothered me quite a bit. We were also supposed to be mindful at all times in everything from the way we walked to the way we chewed our food. Then gradually I began to notice something. Everybody started to look to me like robots. I began to ask myself what was not mindful about thanking someone for doing a kind thing? Why do people always have to act like everyone else? Why does walking mindfully have to look so dire? I began to see the difference between doing something versus being something. In retrospect I'm thinking that compassion may have been the liberating force. By that time both my wife and I were experiencing headaches from the altitude so we were forced to leave early. It was on the way home that I had a kensho, an aha! experience.

While listening to an Adyashanti CD about surrender I suddenly realized what I had been doing, what this driving intention was. For years I had been trying to fix myself, make myself a better person. What I realized was that my attempts to fix myself wasn't a problem, it was the problem. There was never anything to fix. Suddenly the notion that we are all already enlightened made sense. We spent the night in a hotel and nothing seemed out of the ordinary. It was when I got home I started to notice some powerful changes in my field of perception.

Now when I sat I decided to do so without any sort of intention. It was then I noticed that time went completely askew. I could sit for 90 minutes, completely lucid and present yet thinking that I had only been there for a few minutes. That happens to me quite often now. On other occasions I would also notice a complete loss of any sense of time. One time I was talking to my wife in bed and would not know if my last comment was 5 minutes or 5 seconds prior. Also on a few occasions I would lose consciousness during sitting. It was like going to sleep but I wasn't at all sleepy. That doesn't happen anymore.

I also began to notice powerful changes in my tactile field. On one occasion while I was mindfully washing the dishes I would get disoriented not knowing where my hands ended and the dishes started. It was then I would start having these euphoric body rushes, goose bumps from the top of my head to my toes. What the hell is this?

I then seemed to get into the habit of sitting in bed late at night staring into a dimly hit wall, not thinking anything, just sort of satisfied. It was like I was meditating automatically. It was then I began to notice something else. It seemed like I could trigger it with a combination of some external sound and vision. At first I couldn't describe it. Things looked the same but different. It was then I realized I was perceiving perception itself. There was also a change in the tactile sensations that felt like that juxtaposition of the body where its limits or boundaries seemed different. It gives the distinct impression that the body is both mine and is not. Now I know that my awareness, the essence of me is driving this body around and this body is not me. It has a very subtle joy in it.

After about a week or so I called the vipassana instructor, not for validation as there did not seem to be a need for any but to find out how to make what was happening last. His words were basically "Congratulations, you have gotten to where very few people end up, including those on the path. What you are experiencing is enlightenment. You've seen the tail end of the ox. All you need to do is to continue what you have been doing. You will go through periods were it will seem as if everything has reverted to what it was. The key is to meet those times with equanimity."

Since November the body rushes have quieted down for the most part. Its funny but everything seems the same yet different. Its like awareness has completely taken charge. I take that back. Awareness is what I am. Its like I'm watching everything like I would during a sit but its gone on automatic. I don't think its possible to turn it off. The irony is that I can't remember what it was like the other way. And I can get caught up in stuff but it doesn't last. Conflict looks like bait. When its abandoned there's an influx of joy. It's like the game is up, despite what anyone tells you resistance is futile. All that you are resisting is yourself. I can see everyone playing identity games everywhere. That's mostly all that everybody seems to be doing. Making up alliances and enemies. At times its so overwhelming I feel like I'm in some sort of surrealistic dream. When you watch people its like you're watching robots. And everything is starting to look like a paradox. Its like you don't understand anything, yet knowing that you don't is in fact understanding everything. I would say that would all add up to bliss if I did not feel so isolated. I know that all of this is words and very few people know what I'm talking about.

The other thing is that I feel an affinity for people I never had before. Talking about 'love' used to make me squirm. I still don't like talking about it but I can't think of any other word for it. There also seems to be some sort of clairvoyance going on. Ridiculous coincidences keep happening on a regular basis. The common thread is that they always seem to involve helping or connecting with other people. I'm really beginning to suspect that there are entities or something else walking around. Its not like a message in my head, stuff just happens. But the ideas for these connections don't seem to be manifesting as thought, it just seems to show up in my consciousness.

As far as sitting goes, up until just recently I haven't really felt there was a need. There's just no intention left. That been said, lately my mind has become a bit active so I've started to sit again. No clocks though. The sits have had a transcendental quality. The only way I could describe them is when thought stops perception appears phenomenological. Sounds and even the darkness behind the eyes are just mystical. That said, every now and then sitting seems pedestrian.

The other thing is that dreaming is often both mystical as well as lucid. I've had some visions there that have been both horrific, pit of the void stuff as well as transcendental.

I don't really need any validation. I would say that intuition tells me that its very important to have a question. The question for me is 'what is true in this world?'. And that seems to be known through subtraction, not addition. I would also enjoy hearing anyone's comments or insights as I don't think my goose is done being cooked.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:

I don't really need any validation. I would say that intuition tells me that its very important to have a question. The question for me is 'what is true in this world?'. And that seems to be known through subtraction, not addition. I would also enjoy hearing anyone's comments or insights as I don't think my goose is done being cooked.


Several people in this forum, after attaining what is most commonly called "enlightenment" in this day and age, have also concluded that their "goose isn't done" just yet. And then they turned to a practice called "actualism" the goal of which is to completely and permanently remove the instinctive passions of malice, sorrow, nurture, fear, etc.

You might have had, in your experience, moments of complete sensory clarity when "you" (the affective identity, your feelings) were entirely absent, and the world is seen as the wonderful and perfect place it actually is. This is called a Pure Consciousness Experience (PCE). Actualism aims at making such a mode of perception permanent, and it achieves this by elimination of the affective identity, of the feeling of "being" itself, after the subtraction of which one is said to be "actually free".

Here is a link to the actual freedom section of the DhO wiki.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Hi Bruno

Thank you for your thoughtful input. That's also a fascinating article. It's funny how differently people experience (for lack of a better term) this 'process' or this striipping away. Frankly this approach left me doing a bit of head scratching. For instance, this section:

As one knows from the pure consciousness experiences (PCE’s), which are moments of perfection everybody has at some stage in their life, that it is possible to experience this moment in time and this place in space as perfection personified, ‘I’ set the minimum standard of experience for myself: feeling good. If ‘I’ am not feeling good then ‘I’ have something to look at to find out why. What has happened, between the last time ‘I’ felt good and now? When did ‘I’ feel good last? Five minutes ago? Five hours ago? What happened to end those felicitous feelings? Ahh ... yes: ‘He said that and I ...’. Or: ‘She didn’t do this and I ...’. Or: ‘What I wanted was ...’. Or: ‘I didn’t do ...’. And so on and so on ... one does not have to trace back into one’s childhood ... usually no more than yesterday afternoon at the most (‘feeling good’ is an unambiguous term – it is a general sense of well-being – and if anyone wants to argue about what feeling good means ... then do not even bother trying to do this at all).

The two terms "I" and "good" seem to be somewhat ambiguous as they relate to the state of awareness that is being experienced. That is because this "I" seems to be manifesting as awareness itself . My best guess is that awareness has broken free. The 'experience' that is being referenced in the article seems to be in reference to perception. What is being percieved is no longer relevant to happiness because perception itself is being witnessed, not identified with. It's like you have been installed in a human body like a driver operating a car. I'm not my car. I just rented it. Correspondingly 'feeling good' is no longer subject to the tumultuous world presented through the sense gates. You see most people are endlessly looking to fix the objects of perception (the environment) in an attempt to be happy. But when awareness abides outside of perception happiness manifests itself quite differently. So again, paradoxically there is a sense of peace and joy all the time, even during periods of sorrow. The notion in the article about transcending sorrow actually caught my atention first. It is extremely important that we do not confuse pain with suffering as they are quite distinct.

Yes, there are periods when time comes to a stop. There is no way I could ever describe that. I would just call that truth. There seems to be a bit of comparison shopping going on in the article. It has been my experience that when this desire for preferences or conditions are abandoned, truth seems to appear. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the vipassana term for that is equanimity.

I hope that doesn't sound too mystical shmystical but that's the best I can describe it.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:

That is because this "I" seems to be manifesting as awareness itself .


That feeling of being awareness itself goes away during the moments of perfection, when all that remains is this actual physical world (the feeling of "being" is in abeyance).

David:

Yes, there are periods when time comes to a stop. There is no way I could ever describe that. I would just call that truth. There seems to be a bit of comparison shopping going on in the article. It has been my experience that when this desire for preferences or conditions are abandoned, truth seems to appear. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe the vipassana term for that is equanimity.

I hope that doesn't sound too mystical shmystical but that's the best I can describe it.


If you have these moments of crystal clear perfection, what is preventing you from living that way all the time? In one word: the identity (which is currently cleverly disguised as being "awareness itself") The identity is made of the passions [1], and can be eradicated by the actualism method.

The method is summarized in the page This moment of being alive.

There is also a brilliant explanation of the qualities of perception that one seeks to vitalize, in the article Attentiveness and Sensuousness and Apperceptiveness.

[1] Questions pointing to this could be — if there is sadness, what is the problem? If there is fear, what is endangered? If there is anger, what is at stake? and so on...
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Bruno

Thanks again for offering up your experiences. This is a wonderful discussion that has created some interesting insights. Correspondingly, some additional clarification is in order.

Your comments:

That feeling of being awareness itself goes away during the moments of perfection, when all that remains is this actual physical world (the feeling of "being" is in abeyance).

I never mentioned anything about a feeling. Feelings would come in the form of body sensations, possibly connected through thoughts. Awareness is neither related to feeling nor is it related to thought. It stands outside and before both.

If you have these moments of crystal clear perfection, what is preventing you from living that way all the time?

Absolutely nothing. Intuition (if you can call it that) also suggests to me that the notion of enlightenment as some sort of endpoint is a mistake. I also don't suffer anymore while driving the car, simply because I can get in and out whenever I want.


In one word: the identity (which is currently cleverly disguised as being "awareness itself") The identity is made of the passions

and

[1] Questions pointing to this could be — if there is sadness, what is the problem? If there is fear, what is endangered? If there is anger, what is at stake? and so on...

This line of reasoning seems to be begging its own question. Sadness no longer presents itself as a problem. 'Problem' to me would be represented by unresolved conflict. That modality seems to be gone. In retrospect it seems that sadness is now only manifesting for others, its not about 'me'. It doesn't take intention (or possibly volition?) or an ego to move in an effort to rescue a puppy from being run over by a car. That comes from the natural state. That realization is a lovely thing. True Compassion is not an emotion whereas compassion based on thought and feeling is nothing more than vanity. As far as fear or anger is concerned those would be like honking the horn or swerving out of the way. Neither create an issue for me anymore. The impulse to avoid death is not a delusion.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:

Thanks again for offering up your experiences.


Thank you for your candidness. I'm not speaking out of direct experience — although I have experienced the moments of perfection we are speaking about (PCEs), I have not made them into a permanent condition (called 'actual freedom'). However, this is the goal of my practice, and I am well-informed on how to bring about such a condition, both thanks to the actual freedom website and to exchanges with actually free members of this forum (e.g. Tarin, Trent, Stefanie K. Dunning).

From my understanding of the way things typically progress (and there are several possibilities), I conjecture that you are enlightened in the way enlightenment is understood currently in western mainstream buddhist/zen/etc culture. As I mentioned before, many practitioners in this forum have concluded that such a condition is not enough, to paraphrase, that their goose is still not done, and are or have (successfully) been engaged in becoming actually free.

David Patton:

Absolutely nothing. Intuition (if you can call it that) also suggests to me that the notion of enlightenment as some sort of endpoint is a mistake. I also don't suffer anymore while driving the car, simply because I can get in and out whenever I want.


The view of enlightenment as "the endless path" is, in my opinion, a fallacy fueled by the identity: who would profit from traveling an endless path more than that which fears its own extinction? If there is truly no end-point, then maybe "I" can continue to "exist" forever.

David Patton:

This line of reasoning seems to be begging its own question. Sadness no longer presents itself as a problem. 'Problem' to me would be represented by unresolved conflict. That modality seems to be gone. In retrospect it seems that sadness is now only manifesting for others, its not about 'me'. It doesn't take intention (or possibly volition?) or an ego to move in an effort to rescue a puppy from being run over by a car. That comes from the natural state. That realization is a lovely thing. True Compassion is not an emotion whereas compassion based on thought and feeling is nothing more than vanity. As far as fear or anger is concerned those would be like honking the horn or swerving out of the way. Neither create an issue for me anymore.


I'm happy to hear you have come upon a condition of being virtually free of malice and sorrow, so that these passions are no longer a problem. If indeed malice and sorrow, though they may arise, are never potent enough influence your actions and cause problems, you are indeed doing well! emoticon

But unless you are fully interested and invested in completely eradicating these passions (and hence your identity — for "you" are "your feelings" and "your feelings" are "you"), then it will likely never happen. The way to do it, from the vantage point of being virtually free, is to cultivate PCEs until they happen more and more often, to the point that "you" can "slip out of control," and eventually become extinct.

David Patton:

The impulse to avoid death is not a delusion.


The impulse to avoid death, do you mean the fear-fueled compulsion, or the passionless, sensible decision?

Edit: I think the use of the term virtual freedom was inappropriate, and have marked it with a strikethrough.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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I can't tell you how much I'm enjoying this. One of the other members created a thread about how difficult it was to speak to family members about this stuff. That's just the start. Be careful what you wish for.

My epiphany was the realization that goals were taking me in the opposite direction. I was doing with 'spirituality' the same thing that most people do with life in general. I was trying to get something. If that's the case how is this 'path' of spirituality different than being a materialist? That is a very difficult question to answer. In some ways it's no different but in other ways what is being done here may set the stage for realization.

Here's a possible way around ths enigma. My guess is that the form that the practice takes is important but not central. As you know, enlightenment is not a 'thing', its a clearing away. That been known it becomes obvious that making it a goal is more delusion. Was is more important is arriving at the fundamental doubt of the sanity of common existence. What is needed is a central, burning question. That question is based on a fundamental sense of dissatisfaction. At the same time adopt a practice that looks closely at the nature of your own perception. The more things non-essential to this investigation, including TV, that you can turn off the faster you're going to cook. When you go back and look at that stuff later you will see how mundane and primitive it is. For there to be an answer there must be a question, wouldn't you say?

As far as cooked goose goes I wouldn't equate that with a desire in myself. And I did not mean to imply that enlightenment is a path. Its more like this. Everything is starting to look like a paradox to me. For instance, you mentioned freedom. That caught my attention and held it up like empty space. What is that? Doesn't freedom require bondage? What if neither made any difference? See how the rat keeps hitting the button to get the sugar to come out?

Your kind comments about malice and sorrow have that same taste. Actually malice seems to have receded but sorrow has not and heaven help me if it ever does. It just doesn't cause suffering. Ever had a narcotic that didn't take the pain away but you didn't care if it did? It's vaguely like that.

As far as 'feelings' go it may not be possible to communicate how that works. I would say again that this really has no relevance. There is no where "I" need to get. Think of it this way. For instance, if the two of us changed places you might make the comment I have a headache. Conversely, "I" would say this head has a pain in it.

And "I" don't mean that metaphorically.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Bruno

Sorry I missed your last question.

David Patton:

The impulse to avoid death is not a delusion.

Bruno Loff:

The impulse to avoid death, do you mean the fear-fueled compulsion, or the passionless, sensible decision?


Any other options? Interesting choices, one driven by emotion, the other purely cerebral, both locked in the paradigm of the sense objects. Are they not?

I'm just guessing but maybe the way a squirrel wants to get out of the way of a car?

My guess is that after the event he doesn't dwell on it.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:

Actually malice seems to have receded but sorrow has not and heaven help me if it ever does. It just doesn't cause suffering. Ever had a narcotic that didn't take the pain away but you didn't care if it did? It's vaguely like that.



I think my earlier use of the term virtual freedom was inappropriate, and have marked it with a strikethrough. Indeed it is different to live happy and harmless 99% of the time (meaning sorrow and malice hardly ever arise), and having transcended malice and sorrow (which, I think, is what you are describing).

David Patton:

Sadness no longer presents itself as a problem.

In retrospect it seems that sadness is now only manifesting for others, its not about 'me'.

As far as fear or anger is concerned those would be like honking the horn or swerving out of the way. Neither create an issue for me anymore.


Regardless of you thinking or feeling that sadness, anger, etc is a problem or not, I would like to ask the following question: does the feeling of sadness, anger/irritation, fear, or compassion (or etc), when they arise, ever lead to the action they compel you to do?

David Patton:

Any other options? Interesting choices, one driven by emotion, the other purely cerebral, both locked in the paradigm of the sense objects. Are they not?


Hmm I can think of four forces governing action — habitual response, bodily reflexes, feeling-fueled compulsion, and cognitive will ("I decide to raise my hand").

My question is whether the third is still present in your experience? To wit:

Do you get angry and act in the way anger compels you?

Do you get sad and act in the way sadness compels you?

Do you get frightened and act in the way fear compels you?

Do you get compassionate and act in the way love compels you?

---

And if this ever indeed happens, how would you judge the actual outcome of such passionate actions, in your day-to-day life. Are they always beneficial? For instance, does the feeling of sadness for others change the way you interact with them in a beneficial way?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Bruno

Your questions about intention and the general notion of motivation is what I find the most interesting. There is something going on here that I have never understood before. I've heard realized individuals speak of it.

This is the most insightful statement/question:

Bruno Loff:

Hmm I can think of four forces governing action — habitual response, bodily reflexes, feeling-fueled compulsion, and cognitive will ("I decide to raise my hand").


You know that action does not just include things that are governed by emotion, right? What makes anyone want to do anything? Why would a realized individual get out of bed in the morning? The answer is that I don't know. Like I said before, there seems to be the ability to go in and out of that natural state. In retrospect I'm thinking that is not quite accurate and if you are interested I can tell you why that's the case.

Anyway, I can tell you that when thought is abandoned during activities other than sitting still there seems to be something that resembles floating. On one occasion I was walking with friends in a mall and was just going along with things. There was a definite experience of being carried along, almost like being in a dream. Its actually very nice.

There's a term that was used by the Greeks that was used to describe a way of knowing that transcended the way of thinking we have become used to. They called it nous. The type of mental activity we are used to in the western world they would have described as logos. You have probably heard nous expressed as noetic.

What I do know that everything you listed regarding actions revolve around the sense objects (the human body). In the Buddhist tradition they include the conceptual thinking process as a sense organ and I think they were right to do so. All I can say is that the impression I get is that the basis of who I have become is outside of the corporeal.

I believe that if one's meditation practice is focused on simple observation of the sense objects (that includes the observation of thoughts) and if that is done so with equanimity one will begin to see how awareness stands outside of that. For some reason that process has gone on automatic. The implications of that are immense. For different people this is experienced in different ways. Or maybe it's experienced in the same way and the conceptual mind interprets it differently? I don't know.

By the way, I've thought a bit more about this notion of endpoints and enlightenment. My impression is that my ability to not know seems to be expanding all the time. It almost like experience seems to be reaching into infinity. Its like the more you don't know the more possibilities seem to come into existence. Maybe it would be analogous to orbiting the earth. I've read that has the taste of dumbfounded awe. They may be no limit to that. Sorry if that sounds outrageous but that's the best analogy I can come up with. What is being experienced is actually quite subtle.
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:

(a) You know that action does not just include things that are governed by emotion, right?

(b) What makes anyone want to do anything?

(c) Why would a realized individual get out of bed in the morning? The answer is that I don't know. Like I said before, there seems to be the ability to go in and out of that natural state. In retrospect I'm thinking that is not quite accurate and if you are interested I can tell you why that's the case.


(a) Yes, that is why I mentioned habitual response, bodily reflexes, and cognitive will (which arises from intelligence). Am I missing some other mechanism?

(b) There are two wants: emotional compulsion and cognitive will.

(c) A mix of habit and will, and if this individual still has an identity, the passions (at least that is the case for me). What do you mean "you don't know"? You can easily check by noticing in the morning. The precise mechanisms of how it comes to pass are studied by psychologists and neuroscientists.

David Patton:

What I do know that everything you listed regarding actions revolve around the sense objects (the human body). In the Buddhist tradition they include the conceptual thinking process as a sense organ and I think they were right to do so. All I can say is that the impression I get is that the basis of who I have become is outside of the corporeal.

I believe that if one's meditation practice is focused on simple observation of the sense objects (that includes the observation of thoughts) and if that is done so with equanimity one will begin to see how awareness stands outside of that. For some reason that process has gone on automatic. The implications of that are immense. For different people this is experienced in different ways. Or maybe it's experienced in the same way and the conceptual mind interprets it differently? I don't know.


No need to believe, there is an experiment which you can do, in order to scientifically answer the following question: this impression that you have (that the basis of who you have become is outside of the corporeal), is it a fact? Which exactly is the case:

(1) you are actually not your body, an awareness or emptiness or absolute of sorts, which is not corporeal?

(2) you "feel" that you are not your body, through a mental mechanism that actually just functions in your body?

The experience is simple: you do the practice required to bring about a PCE, and notice how the impression that the basis of who you have become is outside of the corporeal is completely absent, and yet that your body (which is what you actually are), is still here.

If you initially dislike the actualfreedom.com.au texts I've linked to above, you could try Kenneth's "direct mode" practice, which has led a few yogis to PCEs (although it isn't entirely clear if it did so for everyone).
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Hi David,

What you're describing sounds like stream entry.

Since you came to the DhO to talk about your experience, you presumably think that people here understand what you're talking about and have also attained it through whatever practices they've done.

If you believe that, then you must also believe that what you're saying is old hat to some of the people who are reading this thread, in the sense that they've had this experience, reflected similarly to the way you have, and perhaps typed out similar paragraphs or make similar claims out loud. The difference is that they continued their practices and eventually came to believe that what you're describing, what they experienced as well, is not a complete understanding of the whole picture.

If you are interested in the possibility of deepening your understanding, please keep an open mind and consider the claims you're making to be provisional and subject to change based on future contemplative practice.

If you don't think that deepening your understanding is possible or don't care to entertain the possibility, that's fine too, but you *are* posting at the DhO, where the possibility of understanding beyond that which arises at stream entry is taken to be a bedrock, obvious fact.

Good luck to you in your future practice or non-practice.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Your post caught my attention but I didn't comprehend the last paragraph.

Where is your practice now? I did look at your practice blog on Kenneth Folk. I'd like to hear a bit more as a couple of your comments above reflected like a mirror. I'd also like to know what Ken is telling you to do. I spent some time with Shinzen Young. I'm endebted to him but he's the first to tell you they all make mistakes. And as you know the truth cannot come from outside.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

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Before I respond, I'd like to you to look at a post I just wrote in Owen's practice thread on KfD, which sums up some thoughts that will be relevant to this conversation. I've been thinking about those things for awhile, but reading your posts probably brought it to the fore.

All the last paragraph meant is, lots of people who have your perspective seem to be inclined to think that practice is unnecessary, everything is fine the way it is, no effort needed, etc. It's OK if you believe that. But if you do, there seems to be some kind of conflict between believing that and believing that the DhO has people who have also had experiences like yours and understand what those experiences are about, because a cornerstone of what people believe here is that stream entry is only the beginning, practice is necessary, everything is not fine at stream entry, and effort (sometimes outrageous amounts) is needed...beliefs which they came to, perhaps, DESPITE having had the same inclination as you at one point.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

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(starts at #469)
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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I see a problem. After looking through this site I'm seeing it everywhere. Do you know what it is? I think I'm seeing it on KFolk too. Also Shinzen...

It's not a problem with technique. Its a matter of emphasis. Look at the overall approach and how it reconciles with the desired result. Tell me what you know about time.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
I see a problem. After looking through this site I'm seeing it everywhere. Do you know what it is? I think I'm seeing it on KFolk too. Also Shinzen...

That you think everyone is wrong?

;-)
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

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Anyway, I can tell you that when thought is abandoned during activities other than sitting still there seems to be something that resembles floating. On one occasion I was walking with friends in a mall and was just going along with things. There was a definite experience of being carried along, almost like being in a dream. Its actually very nice.

There's a term that was used by the Greeks that was used to describe a way of knowing that transcended the way of thinking we have become used to. They called it nous. The type of mental activity we are used to in the western world they would have described as logos. You have probably heard nous expressed as noetic.


What I do know that everything you listed regarding actions revolve around the sense objects (the human body). In the Buddhist tradition they include the conceptual thinking process as a sense organ and I think they were right to do so. All I can say is that the impression I get is that the basis of who I have become is outside of the corporeal.

I believe that if one's meditation practice is focused on simple observation of the sense objects (that includes the observation of thoughts) and if that is done so with equanimity one will begin to see how awareness stands outside of that. For some reason that process has gone on automatic. The implications of that are immense. For different people this is experienced in different ways. Or maybe it's experienced in the same way and the conceptual mind interprets it differently? I don't know.

By the way, I've thought a bit more about this notion of endpoints and enlightenment. My impression is that my ability to not know seems to be expanding all the time. It almost like experience seems to be reaching into infinity. Its like the more you don't know the more possibilities seem to come into existence. Maybe it would be analogous to orbiting the earth. I've read that has the taste of dumbfounded awe. They may be no limit to that. Sorry if that sounds outrageous but that's the best analogy I can come up with. What is being experienced is actually quite subtle.


What is the use of the emphasized bold? Was anyone born (or hooked; shenpa in tibetan buddhism) is writing this? Was anyone born or hooked (was there a David Patton vested in David Patton) to introduce the greek concept of nous?


Same questions for the below quote. Did a you upwell and desire to introduce mathematics, physics, chemistry and engineering for you's own purposes? If so, what hooks you to do so? If not, how can it be explained that these ideas were not here before your introduction/did these introductions arise from ego-less association?

I studied mathematics in college. Then I went back and studied physics, chemistry and engineering. That's good for doing stuff. But if you look closely you will see that all it does is manipulate representations. It's of liitle use here.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hello Katy

I was quite surprised when I read your post. Frankly I didn't understand it as I was responding to Bruno's post regarding an issue. One of which included a suggestion about a science based test of some sort. My response to Bruno was that the scientific mind of which I am quite familiar, (logos, concptualization) is not applicable here.

When I went back to refer you to those statements I now see that they have been editted out.

Frankly I have little interest in science anymore.

I'm not sure if accusations or apologies are in order here. So since the original suggestion is gone I'll delete the post that answered it.
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi David -

When I went back to refer you to those statements I now see that they have been editted out.

What comments?
I posted to Bruno by accident, deleted and reposted to you.

Rephrased: you introduced a greek concept (nous) and your previous studies (chem, phys, etc). Why? What sensations caused those introductions?

[edit: spelling correction]
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi Katy

Frankly your first question leaves me feeling like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole. Text/email can be a very un-nuanced way to convey meaning. At this point I'm completely lost.

As far as your second question goes I honestly don't remember the feelings that arose at the time. For some reason my memory seems to work best with images and language. The conceptual part is what I would remember. It's a terrific question though. Like many things maybe it will come back if I don't probe for it.

[edit Your question sounds like something related to Vipassana. Is it my experiences within that context you are interested in or the notion that I have been attempting to convey to Bruno?]
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Your efforting is tremendous. I got a view of that on Ken Folk.
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago.

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Did you read the post I asked you to?

David, you talk as if you know some kind of secret that you don't think people here do. If you took a survey, I imagine the vast majority of people here would say that they know *from direct experience* that there is no self, no perceiver, no sufferer, no one trying, no one deciding, experience is just happening effortlessly, enlightenment is this moment, "enlightenment" is just a word, no one gets enlightened, etc. etc. Everything you seem to be interested in saying.

AND THEN, that stream entry is just the beginning, and none of those things are fully understood at that point.

In other words, you're on a very high horse, and if you don't come down you won't be able to hear anything that anyone is saying. (And we're not going to travel up there to talk with you, because the air is too thin and we'd get dizzy.)
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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End in sight?

I'm sorry I don't know your name.

Did I miss something? I remember paying you a compliment about your intensity, you seem to have a ton of energy. I'm also noticing something and am wondering if you see the same. Given the strength of your practice I thought you might.

I'm truly sorry for whatever I've said to offend you.
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Your efforting is tremendous. I got a view of that on Ken Folk.


Efforting?

Is this the problem you are seeing?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi Nikolai

I'm really sorry if I'm sounding cryptic. There's something I saw on a retreat a long time ago and I've been seeing it ever since. To me it seems obvious but it completely escaped me a year ago..

Pardon me for letting this out slowly. If I just dump this I suspect it will go cerebral. You probably already know this. Would you mind helping me illustrate a point?

Here's the notion: Regarding the nature of direct experience, does it seem clear by what everybody professes that reality is present, here now?
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Hi Nikolai

I'm really sorry if I'm sounding cryptic. There's something I saw on a retreat a long time ago and I've been seeing it ever since. To me it seems obvious but it completely escaped me a year ago..

Pardon me for letting this out slowly. If I just dump this I suspect it will go cerebral. You probably already know this. Would you mind helping me illustrate a point?

Here's the notion: Regarding the nature of direct experience, does it seem clear by what everybody professes that reality is present, here now?


Still not completely clear. Are you tying to point to the idea of different outcomes depending on approach? Just let it all out in the next post. Unless it's you who wants to avoid going "cerebral", I think people here can handle it. It's good to voice criticism or concerns or lightbulbs clearly and succinctly. There is no room then for wondering what the hell you might be pointing at.
;-)

Nick

Edited to add a guess: You think people putting so much effort into a "future" outcome is missing something, the direct experience of the present? If so, the 5 hinderances cause people to do that. The effort to subdue those hinderances and remain with what is arising in the present moment does take effort for many. Habitual patterns to not be aware of what is directly arising can be difficult habits to break.

Not really sure what you want me to see. Your post on futurity makes me think the guess I just gave. You think the problem is effort. Sometimes it takes effort to be present. Having the habit pattern of never being aware of the present is a common ailment for humanity. The developmental process towards awakening entails putting in some effort in order to directly experience the moment without interruption. Am I close?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Step back away from process. You already seem to have that down. Do you think that being present is a fundamental skill, one apparently so difficult that people spend years getting their monkey mind to stop? Isn't that a culmination, no past, no future, completely present? Is that correct?

Is that not the fundamental axhievement or at least a necessary aspect of it?
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Step back away from process. You already seem to have that down. Do you think that being present is a fundamental skill, one apparently so difficult that people spend years getting their monkey mind to stop? Isn't that a culmination, no past, no future, completely present? Is that correct?

Is that not the fundamental axhievement or at least a necessary aspect of it?


Who are you talking to, david? You are still being cryptic.

being present is something that can be difficult to do. The skill is subduing or thinning out the hinderances enough for the ability to just be with what is arising in the moment. No hinderances means the mind naturally rest in the moment with whatever is manifesting. Not sure I get what you are aiming to prove/make a point of/criticize. Please just say what you think.

:-)

Nick
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Is there something I'm saying that's incorrect? This is not a trap. Can you take a leap? Revisions or clarifications are always possible. We're talking about the end result, not what it takes... yet.

Since yes doesn't seem to be in my future let's move forward with the assumption that you agree with my assessment of what constitutes a necessary element of fruition.

Outside of this arena, do you see how everyone futurizes their whole life? If I get this job, this car, this retirement, this weekend, ......... then I'll be happy? Do you see the antithesis of this to the path?

Any clues yet?
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Is there something I'm saying that's incorrect? This is not a trap. Can you take a leap? Revisions or clarifications are always possible. We're talking about the end result, not what it takes... yet.

Since yes doesn't seem to be in my future let's move forward with the assumption that you agree with my assessment of what constitutes a necessary element of fruition.

Outside of this arena, do you see how everyone futurizes their whole life? If I get this job, this car, this retirement, this weekend, ......... then I'll be happy? Do you see the antithesis of this to the path?

Any clues yet?


Hi David,

What is your agenda?

Get over yourself and just speak plainly or this ends here.

:-)

p.s. Ruthless Truther?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Nick

My agenda is to try to have a conversation with you outside the realm of procedure. Getting back to what is fundamental. It sounds like you know a lot about the practice. It's all probably correct. But I'm trying to turn your attention just a little bit to the side.

This point took me seven years because my 'practice mind' couldn't see it. This has to come to you. Saying it directly won't work.

Sorry
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:

And everything is starting to look like a paradox. Its like you don't understand anything, yet knowing that you don't is in fact understanding everything. I would say that would all add up to bliss if I did not feel so isolated. I know that all of this is words and very few people know what I'm talking about.

(...)

This point took me seven years because my 'practice mind' couldn't see it. This has to come to you. Saying it directly won't work.


That is because your experience of being non corporeal is essentially a belief, based on faith and most likely due to the fear of death. Such belief might possibly be traced to specific affective sensations (a belief is an emotionally supported thought), which may be fueled by a fear (of death) from which "you" have perhaps dissociated.

Belief is paradoxical, faith is divisive (so you feel isolated). Facts are clear and in plain sight for everyone to see, they bring people together.

By the way, the post that you mentioned wasn't edited out at all, it is still up there. And by scientifically I didn't mean conceptually. The core of the scientific approach is the scientific method --- the possibility of carrying out experiments that confirm or deny hypothesis. If something "simply has to come to you", then the approach isn't scientific. But if something can be "shown to be fact by means of an experiment," then the approach is scientific. In the context we're discussing, this has nothing to do with maths or physics, so your (now deleted) objection is null and void.

As long as there is something, a belief or a fear or a disinterest, which prevents you from carrying out the experiment I mentioned (of inducing a PCE and seeing for yourself), then you will never see for yourself what I am talking about, and you will persist in believing that you are somehow uncorporeal (and hence immortal). And what I am talking about is not conceptual, but neither is it ineffable, it is what is being shown to your senses, right under your own nose.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Nick

My agenda is to try to have a conversation with you outside the realm of procedure. Getting back to what is fundamental. It sounds like you know a lot about the practice. It's all probably correct. But I'm trying to turn your attention just a little bit to the side.

This point took me seven years because my 'practice mind' couldn't see it. This has to come to you. Saying it directly won't work.

Sorry

let me spell out the confusion: i, in any case, have no idea what "the practice", is. you haven't pointed to any particular practice threads to show which ones you refer to, in particular, and different people are practicing different things, some pre-stream entry, some post-stream entry but not 4th path, some post-4th path but going for AF, some post-4th path but not going for AF, etc. different things going on. maybe it all seems similar to you?

from what i can tell, the practice you're talking about is "staying in the present". what is the problem with that (if that's what it is)?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

I love that picture.

I read a quote somewhere by a Zen master. It went something like this:

For some people a practice is like a man that who initially decides to use a boat to get across the river but during the journey ends up falling in love with the boat.

As you know people attain realization in many ways. For Eckhart Tolle it came through a total disgust in life. For Suzane Segal it came when she stepped on a bus. In the Rinzai Zen tradition it comes through Koans and the attainment of 'don't know mind'. For many many people it has come through NDEs. For John Wren-Lewis it came through poison candy. The list is endless.

You know I just realized that in just about all those examples everyone hated the boat. Interesting.

Anyway, I started to wonder, what do they have in common. Then I began to see that there were things that needed to be eliminated. In the months leading to the kensho I was spending 2-3 hours a day on the cushion. Then things began to accelerate when I started to watch myself during the other 20+ hours.

Just about every realized person I've ever read or heard speak says the same thing, that realization is so simple and in fact you already have it. More enigmatic talk! I've now had that same realization.

If whatever has happened to me happens to you, you will plainly see the way in which other people can spin. Some are obvious some aren't. This particular notion has nothing to do with technique. Its coming from that other 20+ hours. I never saw it.

Nicholas of Cusa said that for a man the face of God is like a night owl staring into the sun. The enigmatic thing about truth is its utter simplicity. Reason does not reveal it, it hides it.

I'm not looking for a complicated answer, just simple affirmations based on your intuition and experience. 'Knowing' something is not in the mind, its not conceptual, you just know it. Can we agree on that point?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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hehe yes i like the pic too =).

David Patton:
If whatever has happened to me happens to you, you will plainly see the way in which other people can spin. Some are obvious some aren't. This particular notion has nothing to do with technique. Its coming from that other 20+ hours. I never saw it.

that 'you' don't have to 'do' anything to get a realization?

David Patton:
I'm not looking for a complicated answer, just simple affirmations based on your intuition and experience. 'Knowing' something is not in the mind, its not conceptual, you just know it. Can we agree on that point?

yes, i agree it's not conceptual. but it is in the mind - the mind is what knows. might just be a difference in terms, though.

can you perhaps ask a series of questions, socratic-style, which will lead me/nick/anyone else to your answer? there's too little to go on, here.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

Goose bumps.

Thank you for putting up with my idiosyncracies. Socratic style? Awesome. Maybe you attended law school, or maybe a student of philosophy? Tell me it all later.

I'll do two at once to speed this up.

1. Going back again. Is not absolute presence, being here now, both the effortless fruition of the practice as well as a necessary element of the practice itself?

2. Do most people (or yourself if you like) have a reason to practice? If so, in either your case or in the most common case what is it?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Beoman

Goose bumps.

Thank you for putting up with my idiosyncracies. Socratic style? Awesome. Maybe you attended law school, or maybe a student of philosophy? Tell me it all later.

hehe no, just a turn of phrase i heard recently that i liked.

David Patton:
1. Going back again. Is not absolute presence, being here now, both the effortless fruition of the practice as well as a necessary element of the practice itself?

yes

David Patton:
Do most people (or yourself if you like) have a reason to practice? If so, in either your case or in the most common case what is it?

yes - there is suffering, and what is sought is the end of suffering.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

Your response to (2) is an interesting one. Frankly I'm not seeing that notion advanced very often. The notion I do see, one advertised by some of the popular dharma teachers is how to get enlightened. You may already know where I'm headed. We'll proceed anyway.

1a. Have you had the experience during practice or subscibe to the notion where the perception of the passage of time becomes distorted? Similarly, can the notion of distance, the notion of here to there become skewed? If so, do you believe or have you heard that the distortions experienced are not distortions at all but the process of reality being uncovered? That our inability to live smack dab right now creates the illusion of the passage of time? That there is no past, no future, that reality is here now and that a similar reality is true for from here to there that in essence there is only here?

2a. In either case, either for you or for others, do you see the motivation as a goal, or an underlying intention that drives some if not many of us to practice?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
1a. Have you had the experience during practice or subscibe to the notion where the perception of the passage of time becomes distorted? Similarly, can the notion of distance, the notion of here to there become skewed? If so, do you believe or have you heard that the distortions experienced are not distortions at all but the process of reality being uncovered? That our inability to live smack dab right now creates the illusion of the passage of time? That there is no past, no future, that reality is here now and that a similar reality is true for from here to there that in essence there is only here?

yup! =).

Richard:
Sensuousness is the wondrous awareness of the marvel of being here now at this moment in time and this place in space. Attentiveness is the fascination of the reflective contemplation that this moment is one’s only moment of being alive – and one is never alive at any other time than now. Wherever one is ... now ... one is always here ... now ... even if one starts walking over to ‘there’ ... now ... along the way to ‘there’ ... now ... one is always here ... now ... and when one arrives ‘there’ ... now ... it too is here ... now. Thus attentiveness is an attraction to the fact that one is always here – and it is already now – and as one is already here and it is always now then one has arrived before one starts. This delicious wonder fosters the innate condition of naiveté (which is the closest one can get to innocence) the nourishing of which is essential if the charm of it all is to occur. The potent combination of attentiveness – fascinated reflective contemplation – and sensuousness produces apperception, which happens when the mind becomes aware of itself. One is intimately aware that this physical space of this universe is infinite and its time is eternal ... thus the infinitude of this very material universe has no beginning and no ending and therefore no middle. There are no edges to this universe, which means that there is no centre, either. We are all coming from nowhere and are not going anywhere for there is nowhere to come from nor anywhere to go too. We are nowhere in particular ... which means we are anywhere at all. In the infinitude of the universe one finds oneself to be already here, and as it is always now, one can not get away from this place in space and this moment in time. By being here as-this-body one finds that this moment in time has no duration as in now and then – because the immediate is the ultimate – and that this place in space has no distance as in here and there – for the relative is the absolute.
In other words: One is already here as it is always now.

[link]

David Patton:
Your response to (2) is an interesting one. Frankly I'm not seeing that notion advanced very often. The notion I do see, one advertised by some of the popular dharma teachers is how to get enlightened. You may already know where I'm headed. We'll proceed anyway.

2a. In either case, either for you or for others, do you see the motivation as a goal, or an underlying intention that drives some if not many of us to practice?

oh, i see. you're saying, you see a lot of people's goal as "to get enlightened," instead of, say, "to end suffering". and that is the problem, no?

i see your point. the thing is, the pragmatic dharma movement has found that having goals really helps, if used properly. maps help because they show you what is possible. seeing others do it helps because it shows you what it possible. it motivates one to practice.

i do think people often forget what the point is - 'to end suffering' - and maybe get caught up in the goal too much. luckily, achieving this goal does help to reduce suffering =).
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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3. Do not both goals and intentions require as their underpinning the apparent necessity of getting from here to there, from now until then?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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If ever during this conversation you need to stop feel free to do so. If at some point confusion arises let it burn in. Go sit. Don't think.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
3. Do not both goals and intentions require as their underpinning the apparent necessity of getting from here to there, from now until then?

it depends on what the goal or intention is. if the goal is to get enlightened, then yes. and that's not really a good goal. if the goal is to observe every single possible aspect of reality during a meditation sit, then that's a very in-the-present goal.

likewise, if your intention is to be happy and free from suffering tomorrow, that is not a very present-oriented. if your intention is to be happy and free from suffering right now, for the next hour (or whatever), then that is a very present-oriented intention.

the latter type of each can be quite beneficial, and even necessary.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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How can a goal be present? Since you don't have it, isn't it out there, not here, not present? Isn't the next moment, a second away, a day away, a year away all the same in a world where reality can only be present? Can you see it? Is it tangible, or is it another idea?

For the reasons we have just explored many realized people have come to the conclusion that meditation leads you away from the source. Personally I don't agree. I'm thinking that quiessence clears the way for wisdom to arise. After 7 years I saw that the cushion had become an island. I still sit but now its without intention, without goals. Craning your neck, straining your eyes to probe for the truth is no more a goal than helping an elderly person on to a bus or pausing to watch a child play. Something tells me that's what you are about to find out.
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Yadid dee, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi David,

Here's a great article by Daniel Ingram which I think is suitable here, its called "Why The Notion That You Cannot Become What You Already Are is Such Bullshit"

Here's the link:
http://www.interactivebuddha.com/bullshit.shtml

And an excerpt:
Essay:
Regardless of any kind intentions, the teachings that you perpetuate take a half-truth that seems so very nice and seductive to us neurotic Americans who just can barely stand another achievement trip and have such a hard time with self-acceptance and turn it into sugary poison.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi Yadid

He's right in many ways. Words are very slippery and blunt objects. But there seems to be a misconception here. He objects to the notion of doing nothing, a notion which I have never advocated. Must doing something be an act of acquiring? Can it not be the act of identifying something and correcting it? Could delusion be nothing more than an obstruction?

When I was studying mathematics sometimes I would get hung up on one line of a proof, often for days. On more than one occasion when I would finally see it, what was revealed was elegantly simple. So simple I just couldn't see it. Too many preconceptions. This experience was much like that.

Look at the world, the television, look at politics. What is the problem? What's driving it? Go to the very bottom.
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Yadid dee, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Hi Yadid

He's right in many ways. Words are very slippery and blunt objects. But there seems to be a misconception here. He objects to the notion of doing nothing, a notion which I have never advocated. Must doing something be an act of acquiring? Can it not be the act of identifying something and correcting it? Could delusion be nothing more than an obstruction?

When I was studying mathematics sometimes I would get hung up on one line of a proof, often for days. On more than one occasion when I would finally see it, what was revealed was elegantly simple. So simple I just couldn't see it. Too many preconceptions. This experience was much like that.

Look at the world, the television, look at politics. What is the problem? What's driving it? Go to the very bottom.


Hi David,

I just re-read your first post. Fascinating stuff, thanks for sharing, and also your latest post to Claudio about seeing through the duality of non-sitting and sitting-time.

Anyway, I've got a question for you: What is your intention in posting on the DhO?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Yadid

I suppose its the endless drive to know. That's a large part. You look for clues, additional insights.

Is it Claudio? He seems to be on a similar track.

You also think that the sitting versus non sitting reveals something important? In a way it reminds me of church on Sunday. Then the rest of the week it's something else we do. It sort of keeps us stuck in the idea phase, do you think?
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Yadid dee, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Yadid

I suppose its the endless drive to know. That's a large part. You look for clues, additional insights.


I was asking because most of your posts give me the opposite impression..
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Bruno Loff, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:

Nicholas of Cusa said that for a man the face of God is like a night owl staring into the sun. The enigmatic thing about truth is its utter simplicity. Reason does not reveal it, it hides it.
(...)
For the reasons we have just explored many realized people have come to the conclusion that meditation leads you away from the source. Personally I don't agree. (...)


Some food for thought:

Richard:

For many years I sought genuine exploration and discovery of what it means to live a fully human life, and in October 1992 I discovered, once and for all, what I was looking for. Since then I have been consistently living an incomparable condition which I choose to call actual freedom – and I use the word ‘actual’ because this freedom is located here in this very world, this actual world of the senses. It is not an affective, cerebral or psychic state of being; it is a physical condition that ensues when one goes beyond Spiritual Enlightenment. In September 1981 I underwent a monumental transformation into an Altered State Of Consciousness which can only be described as Spiritual Enlightenment. I became Enlightened as the result of an earnest and intense process which commenced in the January of that year. At approximately six o’clock on the morning of Sunday the sixth of September 1981, my ‘ego’ disappeared entirely in an edifying moment of awakening to an ‘Absolute Reality’. I lived in the Enlightened State for eleven years, so I have an intimate understanding of the marked difference between Spiritual Enlightenment and actual freedom.

(...)

Over the eleven years I had numerous experiences of a condition that seemed so extreme that one must surely die to attain to it. To go beyond Enlightenment seemed to be an impossibility whilst still alive and breathing. Then at midday on Friday the thirtieth of October 1992 a curious event occurred, due to my intense conviction that it was imperative that someone evince a final and complete condition that would ‘deliver the goods’ so longed for by humanity for millennia. Just like my ego had dissolved, back in 1981, my ‘soul’ disappeared. I was no longer a ‘Self’ existing for all Eternity and transcending Time and Space. I no longer had a feeling of being – or ‘Being’ – and I could no longer detect the presence of The Absolute. There was no ‘Presence’ at all. Since that date I have continued to live in a condition of complete emancipation and utter autonomy ... the condition is both permanent and actual. This is different from Enlightenment in that it is most definitely substantial: there is no longer a transcendence, for I have neither sorrow nor malice anywhere at all to rise above.

They have vanished entirely, leaving me both blithesome and benign – carefree and harmless – which leads to a most remarkable state of affairs. The chief characteristics of Enlightenment – The Presence of The Absolute, Union with the Divine, Universal Compassion, Love Agapé, Rapturous Bliss, Ineffable Ecstasy, Exalted Euphoria, The Truth, Timelessness, Spacelessness, Immortality, Aloneness, Oneness, Pacifism, Surrender, Trust, Beauty, and Goodness – being redundant in this totally new condition, are no longer extant. (...)

Thus, after The Altered State Of Consciousness has manifested itself, the soul is still present as ‘The Self’. No matter how Enlightened or Liberated one may be, an ‘I’ is still in existence ... Timeless maybe, but still an ‘I’, still in the body. The soul, as ‘The Self’, is a psychological entity identifying as being an Enlightened Master. The ego is only half of one’s identity; the other half is the soul. When the ego dies, one has dispelled an illusion – the illusion of a personal self – only to wind up living in a delusion – the delusion of an impersonal Self. To take oneself to be ‘The Self’, the ‘Immortal Soul’, ‘The Supreme’, ‘The Absolute’, or ‘God On Earth’ [1], is nothing short of institutionalised insanity. The delusion must be dispelled in order to be actually free: along with the ‘death of the ego’ there must be a corresponding ‘death of the soul’. Then ‘I’ – the self or ‘The Self’ – do not exist, psychologically speaking, in any way at all. Then the Eternal Present also vanishes – along with all that other capitalised nonsense. Surpassing the Altered State Of Consciousness is the third alternative ... an actual freedom.

[1] This god goes under a many and a varied disguise: The Truth, The Absolute, The Supreme, The Source, The Origin, The Greatest, The Sublime, The Essence, The Most High, The Highest Good, The Self, The Higher Self, The True Self, The Soul, The Over-Soul, The Divine Presence, The Tao, The Breath Of Life, The Greater Reality, The Ground Of Being, Cosmic Consciousness, Mind, Intelligence, Existence, Spirit, Presence, Being, Nirvana, Satori, Samadhi, Thatness, Suchness, Isness ...


(the footnote is my editing main text link, footnote link)

The source can be eliminated, just like the ego. The experiment Richard undertook, and which anyone is free to repeat, shows The Source is not God after all.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
How can a goal be present? Since you don't have it, isn't it out there, not here, not present? Isn't the next moment, a second away, a day away, a year away all the same in a world where reality can only be present? Can you see it? Is it tangible, or is it another idea?

hmm. perhaps 'goal's are not present. but i believe intention is. the intention to observe everything that is happening, every moment. you don't think about the next moment, the next second, or the next hour, but every moment that you are mindful, you observe what is happening, and you see whether it's suffering, and if so, how to end it. that is quite a powerful intention, and one that is required to either become enlightened (stream entry requires quite the push, and it's easy to flounder around equanimity) or actually free (pure intent is one of the most important factors of that attainment).

David Patton:
Craning your neck, straining your eyes to probe for the truth is no more a goal than helping an elderly person on to a bus or pausing to watch a child play. Something tells me that's what you are about to find out.

the fact is, delusion abounds. it won't go away by not looking for its cause. incidentally, a good way to eliminate suffering or delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away from the perfection of this moment, and figure it out why it arose, so that it no longer keeps you away from the perfection of this moment. if, every moment, you apply that technique, now you have a powerful practice. and, a practice it is, with strong intention backing it, until the perfection of this moment is the default experience requiring no 'effort' or intention to maintain.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

I'm not trying to jerk the legs out from under your or anyone else's practice. As a matter of fact I don't believe I would be where I am now without mine. But don't you think that in a way the fruition of the practice is in many ways nothing more than the effortless fruition of the practice itself?

[edit - sorry if that last line seems redundant... but do you know what I mean?]

What I'm telling you (as well as many others that have experienced the same) is that intention will fall away.

When I read your posts I get the impression that you have either been at this for quite awhile and/or you have used your time well. One of the things that gives me that impression is that your responses seem to be nuanced, you seem to be detecting subtle differences. What may be happening here is that what seems to be intention in your case is actually something else.

Let's come at this from a different perspective.

My teacher, Shinzen Young told a story about an interview he gave with two other Shingon monks on Japanese television. The interviewer asked Shinzen "After all, what is Satori? What is Enlightenment?"

Shinzen then deferred to the next most senior monk and he in turn deferred to the master who said very slowly "Ah..... Enlightenment is..... the loss of distinction..... between enlightenment.... and non-enlightenment..."

When I heard that I thought What's that supposed to mean?

Here's another question. You don't need to answer because I'm sure you already know it.

4. Isn't equanimity both the effortless fruition of the 'path' as well as a necessary element of the 'path' itself?

That been said then

4a. Doesn't equanimity entail the dropping of all preferences?

5. What relative importance do you give to that 20+ hours off the cushion?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
4a. Doesn't equanimity entail the dropping of all preferences?

yes, that it does.

David Patton:
5. What relative importance do you give to that 20+ hours off the cushion?

i've actually been lax with my on the cushion time. i guess my most intense 'practice' time is when i go
on long walks. outside of those, i often get distracted. not at 100% mindfulness during the day, yet.
but i figure any moment i remember to be mindful is as important as any other moment. the more the
better.

a question for you: what do you call doing your very best to drop all preferences and to be mindful
during all your waking hours?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

What is enough mindfulness? Who could say? For some reason what some practice a few hours a day becomes a transformation that includes the entire rest of the day, and it continues itself without effort. Is that based on quantity or quality? My intuition says no.

Has the cushion (or your walking) become an island separate from what you consider normal? Don't we always return to what we consider normal? Is mindfulness an exception in the apparent reality of what we consider normal? You said something very important. You said:

a good way to eliminate suffering or delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away from the perfection of this moment

Let me suggest a minor modification. Let's change the perfection of this moment to the direct perception of reality. When you look around does it seem to you that the majority of people in this world are behaving in a sane, non-delusional way? Are we? I came to the conclusion that I could not see reality directly. Something was blocking my view, a series or system of preconceptions. What would happen if you began to doubt your own ability to see what is true?

I'll tell you what happened to me. It introduced a fundamental sense of doubt in my daily, off the cushion motivations and habituations. Even a small amount of mindfulness began to reveal my incessant internal talk. Completely out of control. My actions began to look highly robotic. What are these habits, what is this talk? What is driving it? You talked about 100% mindfulness. See how that's not the central point? Does that mean stopping the talk? Isn't that just aversion? Isn't delusion among other things driven by aversion? You said yourself delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away.

Your practice should then begin to take on a different paradigm. What the hell am I doing? Since there is the practice the other time is becoming penetrated with that stillness and with that comes insight. For me that insight always appears off the cushion. What is this constant intention? Why am I rehearsing everything? Don't let your mind answer it. Let it cook.

Go back to the other paradigm. The paradigm that says I am a person who knows what he wants and what is true. Bliss and happiness (or whatever) would make my life complete. You may not be saying that but is that not quite common?

Again, what is equanimity? Its the abandonment of preferences. Happiness independent of conditions. Can you see how higher states have no relevance? Your quote was dead on. Mind states are no longer an issue.

Here's another one that will undoubtedly cause a frenzy: Samsara is Nirvana and Nirvana is Samsara. Ever heard that? In other words, equanimity is everything, stop trying to fix anything. There's nothing to fix. Find the obstruction. Find what's driving the desire to fix. Keep your practice, its absolutely necessary. Just don't isolate it. Don't give it a life of its own. See how it can become a wheel? Always out there?

Ever seen a dog chase its tail? Don't put your hand in there or you're going to get bit. Ever watch a hamster spinning in that little wheel? Funny little critter, where's he think he's going? What's your conflict? How does it arise? It happens during the day. Look at it closely, accept it but don't engage.

Sometimes it's just a minor tweak and you're gone...
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
What is enough mindfulness? Who could say? For some reason what some practice a few hours a day becomes a transformation that includes the entire rest of the day, and it continues itself without effort. Is that based on quantity or quality? My intuition says no.

Has the cushion (or your walking) become an island separate from what you consider normal? Don't we always return to what we consider normal? Is mindfulness an exception in the apparent reality of what we consider normal?

i've noticed this, too. pre-stream-entry, and i guess up to 3rd path, it was about: "i'm feeling bad now. must get home to get on the cushion to figure some stuff out." but practice has definitely taken a 24/7 flavor to it.

at first, mindfulness is an exception, since we're so used to not being mindful. but as one progresses i think being mindful becomes the norm, and gaps in mindfulness are quickly noticed and remedied.

David Patton:
You said something very important. You said:

a good way to eliminate suffering or delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away from the perfection of this moment

Let me suggest a minor modification. Let's change the perfection of this moment to the direct perception of reality.

yep, it just happens that the direct perception of reality shows the perfection of this moment - i say, use whichever phrasing helps you best.

David Patton:
When you look around does it seem to you that the majority of people in this world are behaving in a sane, non-delusional way? Are we? I came to the conclusion that I could not see reality directly. Something was blocking my view, a series or system of preconceptions. What would happen if you began to doubt your own ability to see what is true?

no, people are crazy =P. there is something blocking my way, too. it's especially obvious when i can walk around and have my visual acuteness/richness vary drastically within a few seconds.

David Patton:
I'll tell you what happened to me. It introduced a fundamental sense of doubt in my daily, off the cushion motivations and habituations. Even a small amount of mindfulness began to reveal my incessant internal talk. Completely out of control. My actions began to look highly robotic. What are these habits, what is this talk? What is driving it? You talked about 100% mindfulness. See how that's not the central point? Does that mean stopping the talk? Isn't that just aversion? Isn't delusion among other things driven by aversion? You said yourself delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away.

depends how you define mindfulness. i define it as being aware of what exactly is happening each moment. stopping the talk might happen as a result of mindfulness, of course. mindfulness isn't about being averse, it's about knowing what's happening.

David Patton:
Your practice should then begin to take on a different paradigm. What the hell am I doing? Since there is the practice the other time is becoming penetrated with that stillness and with that comes insight. For me that insight always appears off the cushion. What is this constant intention? Why am I rehearsing everything? Don't let your mind answer it. Let it cook.

yeah it is amazing how easily the mind wanders into old thinking patterns that cause suffering. each time it happens, if you're attentive when it happens, you'll learn a little bit more about why it does. learning the causes will help break the cycle.

David Patton:
Here's another one that will undoubtedly cause a frenzy: Samsara is Nirvana and Nirvana is Samsara. Ever heard that? In other words, equanimity is everything, stop trying to fix anything. There's nothing to fix. Find the obstruction. Find what's driving the desire to fix. Keep your practice, its absolutely necessary. Just don't isolate it. Don't give it a life of its own. See how it can become a wheel? Always out there?

hmm. i will admit that my immediate reaction was, "well equanimity is necessary, but the negative stuff does have to be 'fixed'!" and it is true that, in actuality, there is nothing to fix...

that being said, there's being in a PCE, and not. there's being AF, and not. the two are not the same...

David Patton:
Sometimes it's just a minor tweak and you're gone...

can you expand on what you're referring to here?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

We're headed back into technique here, back into conceptualization.

Again, you alluded to something in your statement above. Something insightful. Just trying to tweak your attention towards something you may already know, something quite subtle. Let me ask you another question.

Have you ever had the experience, possibly after a period of intense practice, where you would be doing something, maybe driving the car, or just looking around, where there was a shift? A shift where everything looked the same yet totally different, possibly like you had just woken up from a sleep? Maybe it lasted only a fraction of a second, but left a remarkable and unforgettable impression nonetheless? Ever had that happen? (Preferably something that happened off the cushion, during everyday life.)
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Beoman

We're headed back into technique here, back into conceptualization.

Again, you alluded to something in your statement above. Something insightful. Just trying to tweak your attention towards something you may already know, something quite subtle. Let me ask you another question.

Have you ever had the experience, possibly after a period of intense practice, where you would be doing something, maybe driving the car, or just looking around, where there was a shift? A shift where everything looked the same yet totally different, possibly like you had just woken up from a sleep? Maybe it lasted only a fraction of a second, but left a remarkable and unforgettable impression nonetheless? Ever had that happen? (Preferably something that happened off the cushion, during everyday life.)


You might be pointing to the PCE, David, with the above description. Check the wiki

and here and here and here.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi Nick

Have you lost your head? emoticon

I've seen that description. To me it seems true in some respects, in others a bit off track.

But for this illustration it doesn't matter and what I'm looking for is the spontaneous experience.

[edit: Yes, I see in the subsequent link a reference to a spontaneous version]

[edit: Yes, Part 1 of the first supplemental link is approaching the target.]
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Nikolai ., modified 9 Years ago.

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Are you trying to coach people into soemthing? And why have I lost my head? The PCE can be spontaneous. Does the experience you seem to want everyone to understand have any tinge of affect? And rather than make people jump through your hoops, why not just say what you mean straight up? What is off track?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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I don't see no head. No I'm not trying to coach people into something. My discussion is with Beoman.
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

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David's thesis:
I would also enjoy hearing anyone's comments or insights as I don't think my goose is done being cooked.

A response with samples of posts without regard to the order of David's posting them.

Intentions and motivations:
David to Yadid (who asked "What is your intention in posting on the DhO?"):
I suppose its the endless drive to know...


David to Nick:
...and what I'm looking for is the spontaneous experience.


David to Bruno (the order in which these were written is reversed):
Why would a realized individual get out of bed in the morning? The answer is that I don't know.
...

Your questions about intention and the general notion of motivation is what I find the most interesting.
Why do you find questions about intention and the general notion of motivation most interesting?
Do you know your motivations? Are you motivated to get out of bed in the morning?


Most people and everyone:
David's first post:
I can see everyone playing identity games everywhere. That's mostly all that everybody seems to be doing. Making up alliances and enemies.
Are you making up this observation? Who can tell what all everybody seems to be doing?


David to Bruno:
You see most people are endlessly looking to fix the objects of perception (the environment) in an attempt to be happy.
Who sees? Do you mean to say "I see most people are endlessly..."?

What is your ability to endlessly see most people: i) who knows most people, ii) who lives long enough to adjudicate most people's "endlessly looking to fix the objects of perception", and iii) who determines what is an "attempt to be happy" versus what is happy, and who can distinguish this for "most people" (or even one other person)?


David to Bruno:
I was doing with 'spirituality' the same thing that most people do with life in general. I was trying to get something.
What can you know about most people's doings, and what is life in general?
Why not say, "I was doing 'spirituality. I was trying to get something." Why speak for most people and life in general?


David to Beoman:
People think this 'path' results in some exalted metaphysical state. The fact is that most people are in a state.
Where are the people thinking of an exalted metaphysical state?

Is the assumption of knowing most people's/everyone's doings, thinkings, attempts, fixings a metaphysical state or a delusional state?


David to Beoman:
For the reasons we have just explored many realized people have come to the conclusion that meditation leads you away from the source. Personally I don't agree. I'm thinking that quiessence clears the way for wisdom to arise
Again, how do you know the conclusion of "many realized people"?

Does "you" want to disagree with its assumptions of many realized people?


David to Beoman:
When you look around does it seem to you that the majority of people in this world are behaving in a sane, non-delusional way?
Can you, David, see the majority of people in this world?

David's first post:
I noticed that people in general were acting stupidly and in a way that did not seem to make sense.
...
When you watch people its like you're watching robots.
...
I know that all of this is words and very few people know what I'm talking about.


David to Dauphin:
I may be completely delusional. But whatever this is I highly recommend it.

Well, the key is to meet those times with equanimity.*


David to Bruno:
The more things non-essential to this investigation, including TV, that you can turn off the faster you're going to cook.


David, can there be "spontaneous experience" with all of these you-facets (excerpted above) and governing, or can there be only endlessly driving?



______________
*Words cited from David's vipassana teacher

[edits: typos, format]
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Hi Katy

Honestly I don't see either of those things in your post. All I can see is conflict.
katy s, modified 9 Years ago.

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Where is the conflict? The excerpted words come from your posts and have questions posited about your chosen words. Why is conflict all you see in that quote/questioning? Is only conflict to be seen in the asking of questions about your statements?

You mention looking for spontaneous experience. What is the spontaneous experience for which you are looking?

You mention the endless drive to know to reply to the query about the source of your posts. What is this endless drive to know? What do you endlessly want to know?

If there is stream-entry, then are you still in the stream? If not, what triggers stepping out of the stream?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Have you ever had the experience, possibly after a period of intense practice, where you would be doing something, maybe driving the car, or just looking around, where there was a shift? A shift where everything looked the same yet totally different, possibly like you had just woken up from a sleep? Maybe it lasted only a fraction of a second, but left a remarkable and unforgettable impression nonetheless? Ever had that happen? (Preferably something that happened off the cushion, during everyday life.)

like Nick, i think you're pointing to a PCE here - are you? a state devoid of any 'i' or 'me' or 'being', being nowhere in particular, everything being extraordinarily ordinary, etc. this state (or lack of state) is both 'the perfection of this moment' and 'the direct perception of reality'.

i think i have entered it for a few seconds ~18 months ago, though it was too short to do much. i think it happened again more recently for a longer period, and that did indeed change my practice.

my practice now is essentially to stay as close to that state as possible. i can usually get really close, incredible sensual clarity, but still some 'me' hanging around.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Beoman

I too think it's quite possible you are close. I found somebody else that's discussed the exact same point I've been trying to expound on. Its Ken Folk. He talks about this enigma in The Controversy.

Pay particular attention to the part about the Chief of Police.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Beoman

I too think it's quite possible you are close. I found somebody else that's discussed the exact same point I've been trying to expound on. Its Ken Folk. He talks about this enigma in The Controversy.

Pay particular attention to the part about the Chief of Police.


Kenneth Folk:
If you believe, as do the conservative Theravada Buddhists, that everything must be investigated for the three characteristics of suffering, impermanence, and no-self, you will not find primordial awareness. You will find only suffering, impermanence, and no-self.

If, on the other hand, you believe that nothing you can do will reveal the truth and that the best thing to do is to surrender completely to this moment, you will discover Primordial Awareness.

better not to believe one thing or another. (or any thing)

Kenneth Folk:
This awkward situation of using the fabricated mind to seek out the truth of the un-fabricated has been likened to sending the chief of police to investigate an arson, when the chief of police is himself the arsonist.

best to get rid of the 'chief of police' altogether.

from what i understand, though a PCE is not stable, thus making it hard to fully investigate the state, that problem does not arise when actually free.

Kenneth Folk:
I don't believe that "I" can find out anything true, given that "I" am a fiction.

if kenneth knows that 'i' am a fiction what is he still doing being one? =P.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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What is the Chief of Police?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
What is the Chief of Police?

'being' in its entirety.

Richard:
Often people who do not read what I have to say with both eyes gain the impression that I am suggesting that people are to stop feeling ... which I am not. My whole point is to cease ‘being’ – psychologically and psychically self-immolate – which means that the entire psyche itself is extirpated. That is, the biological instinctual package handed out by blind nature is deleted like a computer software programme (but with no ‘Recycle Bin’ to retrieve it from) so that the affective faculty is no more. Then – and only then – are there no feelings ... as in a pure consciousness experience (PCE) where, with the self in abeyance, the feelings play no part at all. However, in a PCE the feelings – passion and calenture – can come rushing in, if one is not alert, resulting in the PCE devolving into an altered state of consciousness (ASC) ... complete with a super-self. Indeed, this demonstrates that it is impossible for there to be no feelings whilst there is a self – in this case a Self – thus it is the ‘being’ that has to go first ... not the feelings.
[link]

i looked up 'fabricated mind' and found this quote:
The mind has 2 faces: the nature of the mind and the illusion or deluded mind and the deluded mind is contaminated by the fabrications and the natural face of the mind is not fabricated not contaminated. The fabricated mind prefabricates all the phenomena around you such as good and bad long and short, all these dualistic characters are a creation of your fabricated mind. We are always putting labels on all phenomena.
[link]

so you could also say, the 'fabricated mind'. there is no 'fabricated mind' (using what the quotes points to as its meaning) when actually free. so this problem of investigating an arson doesn't even arise.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Look what Ken said in the same paragraph. What does he say is the Chief of Police? In essence its the same thing that I told you before. It created a point of contention between us.

Investigate the investigator. What in this case is the investigator?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Investigate the investigator. What in this case is the investigator?

oh - the thing that is looking for the peace?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

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Looking for 'peace' is a symptom. A lack of equanimity.

Look at Ken's words. Who does he say is the Chief of Police?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

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David Patton:
Looking for 'peace' is a symptom. A lack of equanimity.

Look at Ken's words. Who does he say is the Chief of Police?


Kenneth:
This is actually quite a good joke on all of us, so let's take a moment to enjoy it. It isn't even complicated. Because the recognition of Primordial Awareness is "uncompounded," anything you can do will distract you from recognizing it. "Anything you can do" includes investigating your experience through an act of will. The very act of investigation is compounding the situation and preventing the recognition of Primordial Awareness. This awkward situation of using the fabricated mind to seek out the truth of the un-fabricated has been likened to sending the chief of police to investigate an arson, when the chief of police is himself the arsonist. The culprit will never be found.

choices are:
- 'you'
- the thing investigating
- the thing whose experience it is
- the fabricated mind
- the thing using the fabricated mind to seek out the truth

? not sure which you mean.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Kenneth:
This is actually quite a good joke on all of us, so let's take a moment to enjoy it. It isn't even complicated. Because the recognition of Primordial Awareness is "uncompounded," anything you can do will distract you from recognizing it. "Anything you can do" includes investigating your experience through an act of will. The very act of investigation is compounding the situation and preventing the recognition of Primordial Awareness. This awkward situation of using the fabricated mind to seek out the truth of the un-fabricated has been likened to sending the chief of police to investigate an arson, when the chief of police is himself the arsonist. The culprit will never be found.


Look again. What is the mechanism in you that is driving the investigation? What do you insist that is necessary that I told you is just another obstruction? What phraseology is Ken using for the same phenomenon?
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:
Look again.

'the very act of investigation'?

David Patton:
What is the mechanism in you that is driving the investigation?

there's an understanding that there is suffering that is being experienced, and there's the intention that there be no more suffering. so you mean that understanding/intention?

David Patton:
What do you insist that is necessary that I told you is just another obstruction?

investigation?

David Patton:
What phraseology is Ken using for the same phenomenon?

he's saying the act of investigating compounds the situation and takes you out of Primordial Awareness. that's what you mean - that doing anything to 'fix' the situation is itself the problem?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Ken says that anything that comes from an act of will (I would say an intention) can never work. In fact, that will, that intention, is in itself the culprit. The intention is the arson. It's lighting the fire that it pretends it wants to put out.

What are your intentions? They're with you all day long. They've been the same your entire life. Its very, very likely you have brought those same intentions into spirituality.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:
Ken says that anything that comes from an act of will (I would say an intention) can never work. In fact, that will, that intention, is in itself the culprit. The intention is the arson. It's lighting the fire that it pretends it wants to put out.

What are your intentions? They're with you all day long. They've been the same your entire life. Its very, very likely you have brought those same intentions into spirituality.


I see what you're getting at. Let me ask you: would you be where you are without intention? How many people become enlightened without intending to? Did the Buddha become enlightened via lack of intention? Or was it because he sought the end of suffering with every fiber of his being until he reached it for himself?

you said my responses seem to be nuanced. i will say there is a difference between desire and intention. there is no way one will succeed in not expressing all the desires that come about because of habitual tendencies, in not having 'the culprit' (as you put it) manifest, without the intention to do so. Kenneth called it surrendering, in that essay. is the act of surrendering not preceded by the intention to surrender?

---

What do you think of the concept of pure intent, as explained on the site the link points to?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I see what you're getting at. Let me ask you: would you be where you are without intention? How many people become enlightened without intending to? Did the Buddha become enlightened via lack of intention? Or was it because he sought the end of suffering with every fiber of his being until he reached it for himself?


I see what you are driving at. That is actually the question of the ages. Everyone is talking about it.

I practiced for seven years, toward the end with great intensity. All of that was with a great deal of intention. Was that necessary. Probably. But it must be transcended. This exact realization is what sent me over the edge. What created that realization? What made me see it? For many people it seems to be driven by a profound sense of self-inquiry. Many with a sense of deep dissatisfaction.

Eckhart Tolle - Absolutely disgusted with existence. Surrender
St John of the Cross - Imprisoned in a box. Surrender
Adyashanti - Self Inquiry followed by surrender
Shinzen Young - Self Inquiry
Ken Folk - Surrender
Suzane Segal - Practiced TM for years then abandoned it because of disallusionment

I watched a very interesting video two days ago given by a woman named Ananta. She had her breakthrough in a Japanese prison. But she meditated for years leading up to that point.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:
If you want to have an ongoing discussion contact me: <redacted>

sure thing. i guess this is no longer about 'stream entry' anyway =P. will email you in a bit.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Thank you.

Here's a fun video. Same subject.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Kenneth Folk:
I don't believe that "I" can find out anything true, given that "I" am a fiction.
if kenneth knows that 'i' am a fiction what is he still doing being one? =P.


Being a fiction is like being a stage actor. Nothing wrong with that, as a matter of fact it's fun. The problem occurs when you start to believe that you are the character in the role.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:
Kenneth Folk:
I don't believe that "I" can find out anything true, given that "I" am a fiction.
if kenneth knows that 'i' am a fiction what is he still doing being one? =P.


Being a fiction is like being a stage actor. Nothing wrong with that, as a matter of fact it's fun. The problem occurs when you start to believe that you are the character in the role.

the fact that the 'i' arises in any way or any form (e.g. a feeling) is the belief that you are a character in a role.

it's fun if the play is going well for the character. it's not so fun if it's not. that is to say: happiness dependent on conditions. i look for happiness independent of conditions.

and there is no play at all, anyway, so why continue to believe there is one?
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:


and there is no play at all, anyway, so why continue to believe there is one?


I don't understand this line of reasoning. I don't understand what existence would be without a play.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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David Patton:
I don't understand this line of reasoning. I don't understand what existence would be without a play.

to clarify: there are no identities anywhere. there's trees, clouds, matter, flesh + blood bodies, consciousness + volition + sensory input pertaining to each flesh + blood body. but no 'selves', no 'identities', not even ones that 'aren't you'.
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David Patton, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Stream Entry

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

the fact is, delusion abounds. it won't go away by not looking for its cause. incidentally, a good way to eliminate suffering or delusion is to figure out whatever it is that is keeping you away from the perfection of this moment, and figure it out why it arose, so that it no longer keeps you away from the perfection of this moment. if, every moment, you apply that technique, now you have a powerful practice. and, a practice it is, with strong intention backing it,

until the perfection of this moment is the default experience requiring no 'effort' or intention to maintain.


YES

Shinzen calls that the figure/ground reversal. Meditation is no longer something you do in life, life becomes something you do in meditation.

What creates the flip? My answer would be I don't know. My experience has been that the process is subtractive, not achieving but removing.