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Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/20/20 9:25 AM
RE: Flatlining Eric G 6/20/20 12:15 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/20/20 4:19 PM
RE: Flatlining Siavash 6/20/20 12:26 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/20/20 4:24 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/20/20 2:07 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/20/20 4:35 PM
RE: Flatlining Jim Smith 6/20/20 3:13 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/20/20 3:46 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/20/20 4:43 PM
RE: Flatlining Jim Smith 6/20/20 5:05 PM
RE: Flatlining Papa Che Dusko 6/20/20 5:50 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/21/20 8:52 AM
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RE: Flatlining Papa Che Dusko 6/21/20 2:19 PM
RE: Flatlining Olivier 6/20/20 6:06 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/21/20 8:48 AM
RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/20/20 6:31 PM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/21/20 12:51 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/21/20 8:30 AM
RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/21/20 9:02 AM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/21/20 2:17 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/22/20 3:36 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/22/20 3:13 PM
RE: Flatlining Nick O 6/21/20 8:54 AM
RE: Flatlining Dustin 6/21/20 1:51 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/21/20 6:06 PM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/22/20 2:15 AM
RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/22/20 7:11 AM
RE: Flatlining Jim Smith 6/21/20 7:57 PM
RE: Flatlining Jim Smith 6/22/20 1:44 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/22/20 3:54 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/22/20 4:39 PM
RE: Flatlining JohnM 6/23/20 1:40 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 10:00 AM
RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/23/20 7:13 AM
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RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/23/20 8:08 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 1:31 PM
RE: Flatlining Noah D 6/23/20 8:12 AM
RE: Flatlining shargrol 6/23/20 8:56 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 9:20 AM
RE: Flatlining Olivier 6/23/20 9:36 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 9:56 AM
RE: Flatlining Olivier 6/23/20 9:44 AM
RE: Flatlining Hibiscus Kid 6/23/20 9:50 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 9:55 AM
RE: Flatlining Hibiscus Kid 6/23/20 1:22 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 10:07 AM
RE: Flatlining Hibiscus Kid 6/23/20 10:50 AM
RE: Flatlining shargrol 6/23/20 9:59 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 10:06 AM
RE: Flatlining shargrol 6/23/20 10:40 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/23/20 10:37 AM
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RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 2:06 PM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/23/20 9:02 PM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/24/20 7:45 AM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/24/20 8:25 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/24/20 1:39 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/24/20 1:37 PM
RE: Flatlining Siavash 6/23/20 11:26 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/26/20 2:01 PM
RE: Flatlining Siavash 6/26/20 2:12 PM
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RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 1:54 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 2:37 PM
RE: Flatlining Siavash 6/23/20 6:21 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 8:33 PM
RE: Flatlining Tim Farrington 6/24/20 8:28 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/24/20 9:30 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/24/20 1:41 PM
RE: Flatlining Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 6/23/20 12:11 PM
RE: Flatlining Olivier 6/23/20 12:37 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/23/20 1:45 PM
RE: Flatlining Noah D 6/23/20 7:42 PM
RE: Flatlining Noah D 6/22/20 3:33 PM
RE: Flatlining terry 6/25/20 4:53 AM
RE: Flatlining Chris Marti 6/25/20 7:37 AM
RE: Flatlining Laurel Carrington 6/25/20 7:51 AM
RE: Flatlining terry 7/1/20 2:56 PM
RE: Flatlining A. DIetrich Ringle 7/1/20 3:10 PM
RE: Flatlining Derek2 7/1/20 4:11 PM
RE: Flatlining Chris André 7/1/20 6:18 PM
Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 9:25 AM
I had, let's say, an awakening experience in October 2013 that has drastically changed my inner life. It may or may not be third path, although it resembles Daniel's description of his third path moment in the second edition of MCTB. While I do not consider myself to be done or an arahat or any of that, there was a sense of finality about it, a "this is it" kind of moment. 

Some deeper background: I started meditating and hanging out here at the tail end of 2010, got stream entry a little over a year later, got second path six months after that, doing Mahasi style noting. Worked with jhana and just sitting leading up to the breakthrough moment, which knocked out my chronic anxiety and anger. My practice threads are on Kenneth Folk Dharma and Awakenetwork. 

Life became terribly complicated immediately after, and has only recently settled down. In less than seven years I've had multiple arthritis surgeries, my mother's dementia and eventual death, my son's substance abuse and suicide attempts, and the deaths of my husband's parents, as well as a premature retirement as a result of the sudden escalation of my fibromyalgia symptoms. It's been a prolonged clusterf*ck, but the fruits of the practice supported me throughout, and now my son has been sober for over a year and is headed in good directions, and my physical condition has improved through exercise. 

I have benefited from the equanimity that the practice has conferred, although I have also been able to experience profound grief and to access and express emotions. I am dismayed by the current state of the world, but not rageful, panicked, or overwhelmed. This has been a great blessing in the Trump era. 

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. A good dharma friend has told me that Shinzen describes such a state as "flatlining," so it's not unheard of. I can generate motivation for awhile and make headway in one or another practice or activity, but there is no passion. I realize that I have been through a lot and am probably burnt out, but I also think that a lot of my drive in the past must have come from suffering, and when that ended my motivation disappeared. For awhile post-awakening, if I can call it that, I couldn't practice much at all, and then as the various sh*tstorms began to hit my practice dropped off to almost nothing. Still, I have been doggedly working on it, but it is a struggle a lot of the time.

I gather that this path is littered with potholes and cul-de-sacs from the beginning to very advanced stages, and apparently I am stuck in one, although at present things are much improved over what they have been. My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base. Thanks for reading. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 12:15 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I hear you, although I haven't been through the difficulties that you have.  I think a lot of the things I was doing back in the day had some kind of expectation of outcome, status or whatever, or were based on some kind of external experience, and those kinds of thing seem to now fall flat, seem unimportant or irrelevant.  Chop wood, carry water is nothing special, although every moment can be new.  Not sure there is anything to be done about it.  Seems to be the tradeoff for peace.  My take is any resistance to this is more to let go of.  More old conditioning that we should be "doing" stuff.  But I'm interested in hearing other views.

I would say about ~8 years past SE there has been a plausible shift towards more nondual type experience, so it just kind of flows, it all is what it is.  Seems hard to argue with.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 12:26 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Glad about your son.


I've had similar problem, not as a result of practice though -- That while there is a problem, I am going forward, and when things settle down, it becomes flat and boring, which there is in my family too, my mother is like that. Which has created this mentality of looking for problems, that now has almost paralyzed my life. I find that the workaround (at least for me) is to look more for positives and joy and enjoy little things, instead of being driven by aversion.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 2:07 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I had, let's say, an awakening experience in October 2013 that has drastically changed my inner life. It may or may not be third path, although it resembles Daniel's description of his third path moment in the second edition of MCTB. While I do not consider myself to be done or an arahat or any of that, there was a sense of finality about it, a "this is it" kind of moment. 

Some deeper background: I started meditating and hanging out here at the tail end of 2010, got stream entry a little over a year later, got second path six months after that, doing Mahasi style noting. Worked with jhana and just sitting leading up to the breakthrough moment, which knocked out my chronic anxiety and anger. My practice threads are on Kenneth Folk Dharma and Awakenetwork. 

Life became terribly complicated immediately after, and has only recently settled down. In less than seven years I've had multiple arthritis surgeries, my mother's dementia and eventual death, my son's substance abuse and suicide attempts, and the deaths of my husband's parents, as well as a premature retirement as a result of the sudden escalation of my fibromyalgia symptoms. It's been a prolonged clusterf*ck, but the fruits of the practice supported me throughout, and now my son has been sober for over a year and is headed in good directions, and my physical condition has improved through exercise. 

I have benefited from the equanimity that the practice has conferred, although I have also been able to experience profound grief and to access and express emotions. I am dismayed by the current state of the world, but not rageful, panicked, or overwhelmed. This has been a great blessing in the Trump era. 

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. A good dharma friend has told me that Shinzen describes such a state as "flatlining," so it's not unheard of. I can generate motivation for awhile and make headway in one or another practice or activity, but there is no passion. I realize that I have been through a lot and am probably burnt out, but I also think that a lot of my drive in the past must have come from suffering, and when that ended my motivation disappeared. For awhile post-awakening, if I can call it that, I couldn't practice much at all, and then as the various sh*tstorms began to hit my practice dropped off to almost nothing. Still, I have been doggedly working on it, but it is a struggle a lot of the time.

I gather that this path is littered with potholes and cul-de-sacs from the beginning to very advanced stages, and apparently I am stuck in one, although at present things are much improved over what they have been. My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base. Thanks for reading. 


   It's easy to miss the role desire has played in our lives when we get what we want. It's the same old dukkha, but we thought we would be happy when our problems were resolved, and we aren't. 

   "Motivation" is desire, and despite our practices, when we don't have it we think we need it to be real, to feel ourselves be. This is indeed another pitfall, another attempt by ego to reassert its domination.

   Resistance is futile. Without motivation, without passion and desire, we flounder. What to do?

   We are familiar with the brahmaviharas, and as practices they are just another technique, another pacifier. But when the ego is basically under control, it is because we find motivation in unselfishness, in the exercise of compassion. 

   So, I suggest - hoping not to insult your intelligence or practice seniority - that you embrace the pain of others and desire their relief. You are a dharma expert and wonderful speaker, do what you do best and encourage others in the dharma as you know it.


with love and respect,
always your friend,
terry

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 3:13 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I have a theory that people who practice meditation may have some of the same kinds of issues with emotional and mental disorders that non meditators have. But when meditators have them, they give them special names and blame it on meditation. LIke "dark night" and "flatlining". Unfortunately, because they blame it on meditation they may overlook the real cause of their difficulties.

I would suggest you see a doctor if you haven't already done so. I am not a medical professional and if I were it would probably be wrong to make a diagnosis from an internet post, but I think you should consider the possibility that your problems might have nothing to do with meditation.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 3:46 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I have a theory that people who practice meditation may have some of the same kinds of issues with emotional and mental disorders that non meditators have. But when meditators have them, they give them special names and blame it on meditation. LIke "dark night" and "flatlining". Unfortunately, because they blame it on meditation they may overlook the real cause of their difficulties.

I would suggest you see a doctor if you haven't already done so. I am not a medical professional and if I were it would probably be wrong to make a diagnosis from an internet post, but I think you should consider the possibility that your problems might have nothing to do with meditation.

   I was thinking along these lines as well when the discussion was about a website for spiritual adversity. I have never personally known any thing I could remotely call spiritual adversity - maybe, pre-spiritual adversity, but that was long ago and ill-remembered.

   Many people have problems rooted in organic malfunction or lifestyle choices or plain bad luck (karma). It is more than a waste of time dealing with such people as though their problems were due to some misapplied "spiritual" technique. If you are open to all comers triage would be a critical first step. Clinging could be a problem. I personally have enough trouble with the sane, to whom I am generally the crazy one.

   I think that medical professionals can only do so much. Rarely will they tell you 'I can't help you' and they often offer drugs or other misguided and transient palliatives as diversions. The patient is usually at a disavantage and is systemically and systematically exploited by insitutions and people whose motivation is profit. I think blindly recommending an encounter with the health care system as though it would necessarily be useful or at least harmless is naive and potentially dangerous. An easy way to pass on responsibility, though.

   I can't imagine a visit to a health care professional who has a waiting room and bills insurance would be much help with motivation. Hello, I need treatment for existential angst. Sure, you're insured, how much treatment would you like? Let me show you our treatment plans...

   There is a role for dharma professionals, if only in undoing what other dharma professionals have done. 

   In laurel's case, I would say, "Physician, heal thyself."


terry


 Luke 4:23 (King James Version): And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 4:19 PM as a reply to Eric G.
Eric G:
I hear you, although I haven't been through the difficulties that you have.  I think a lot of the things I was doing back in the day had some kind of expectation of outcome, status or whatever, or were based on some kind of external experience, and those kinds of thing seem to now fall flat, seem unimportant or irrelevant.  Chop wood, carry water is nothing special, although every moment can be new.  Not sure there is anything to be done about it.  Seems to be the tradeoff for peace.  My take is any resistance to this is more to let go of.  More old conditioning that we should be "doing" stuff.  But I'm interested in hearing other views.

I would say about ~8 years past SE there has been a plausible shift towards more nondual type experience, so it just kind of flows, it all is what it is.  Seems hard to argue with.
Thanks for this, Eric. Oddly enough, it's the small things that bring pleasure and satisfaction, and there is in fact a lot of both, despite my recital of woes. Even a brief walk around my neighborhood, which I've taken hundreds of times, can be lovely. There's a lot to be said for putting one foot in front of the other. And the shift to nondual type experience is something I've noticed as well.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 4:24 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
Glad about your son.


I've had similar problem, not as a result of practice though -- That while there is a problem, I am going forward, and when things settle down, it becomes flat and boring, which there is in my family too, my mother is like that. Which has created this mentality of looking for problems, that now has almost paralyzed my life. I find that the workaround (at least for me) is to look more for positives and joy and enjoy little things, instead of being driven by aversion.

Thank you for caring about my son. As for the pattern you describe: I do in fact think that in my case it also predates my practice, and has persisted to this day. Your remedy seems sound to me. Also, no reason not to just look on it as part of my own way of being, without essentializing it, if that makes sense. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 4:35 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Laurel Carrington:


I gather that this path is littered with potholes and cul-de-sacs from the beginning to very advanced stages, and apparently I am stuck in one, although at present things are much improved over what they have been. My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base. Thanks for reading. 


   It's easy to miss the role desire has played in our lives when we get what we want. It's the same old dukkha, but we thought we would be happy when our problems were resolved, and we aren't. 

   "Motivation" is desire, and despite our practices, when we don't have it we think we need it to be real, to feel ourselves be. This is indeed another pitfall, another attempt by ego to reassert its domination.

   Resistance is futile. Without motivation, without passion and desire, we flounder. What to do?

   We are familiar with the brahmaviharas, and as practices they are just another technique, another pacifier. But when the ego is basically under control, it is because we find motivation in unselfishness, in the exercise of compassion. 

   So, I suggest - hoping not to insult your intelligence or practice seniority - that you embrace the pain of others and desire their relief. You are a dharma expert and wonderful speaker, do what you do best and encourage others in the dharma as you know it.


with love and respect,
always your friend,
terry
This is wonderfully helpful, especially the reminder that motivation is in fact desire. I'm wondering whether my own personal cul-de-sac may be trying to find it again because I haven't figured out how to be without it. I have been busy putting out fires for the past several years, and my attainments, such as they are, have served me well, but I still don't recognize life with ego basically under control, as you say. I have, however, been exercising compassion in many ways, and realize that that must be the way forward. Thank you.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 4:43 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
I have a theory that people who practice meditation may have some of the same kinds of issues with emotional and mental disorders that non meditators have. But when meditators have them, they give them special names and blame it on meditation. LIke "dark night" and "flatlining". Unfortunately, because they blame it on meditation they may overlook the real cause of their difficulties.

I would suggest you see a doctor if you haven't already done so. I am not a medical professional and if I were it would probably be wrong to make a diagnosis from an internet post, but I think you should consider the possibility that your problems might have nothing to do with meditation.

Hello, Jim: as I said earlier, I do believe some of my patterns predate meditation practice and have persisted to the present. I have done a lot of therapy over the years and am also in frequent touch with doctors. 

I tend to think, though, that part of what is going on these days is a continuing resistance to the human condition, which I originally began meditating in the hopes of escaping (sounds silly, I know). So here I am, wanting my delusions back! Time to let go of that project, maybe?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 5:05 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Jim Smith:
I have a theory that people who practice meditation may have some of the same kinds of issues with emotional and mental disorders that non meditators have. But when meditators have them, they give them special names and blame it on meditation. LIke "dark night" and "flatlining". Unfortunately, because they blame it on meditation they may overlook the real cause of their difficulties.

I would suggest you see a doctor if you haven't already done so. I am not a medical professional and if I were it would probably be wrong to make a diagnosis from an internet post, but I think you should consider the possibility that your problems might have nothing to do with meditation.

Hello, Jim: as I said earlier, I do believe some of my patterns predate meditation practice and have persisted to the present. I have done a lot of therapy over the years and am also in frequent touch with doctors. 

I tend to think, though, that part of what is going on these days is a continuing resistance to the human condition, which I originally began meditating in the hopes of escaping (sounds silly, I know). So here I am, wanting my delusions back! Time to let go of that project, maybe?

Are you meditating a lot? If so, have you tried stopping for a while?

I have no qualifications or experience to justify an opinion on this, but anyway, just as a general principle, I think it is not a good strategy to try to use reason to find your way out of a situation when there is a possibility your brain might not be working correctly.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 5:50 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
What about "learning" to integrate yourself into the human you are, in this world you are part off? 
We all learn well to dismantle ourselves but what about that Chariot that is dismantled now? We see it is not a Chariot anymore as all we see is the bits and pieces that we believed to be a solid Chariot. 

What if we as humans need that Chariot to journey with? Can we not learn to assemble it again? 

I would suggest plunging oneself into something like a pottery course or any other skill that speaks to you. Mingle amongst people utterly oblivious to Dharma, people that still have dreams and passions. Let them inspire you. 

I can relate to this flatlining (never heard of it before) as I find it difficult to find my old passion for making music and visual art. This practice develops strong Dispassion for objectified arisings. 
I'm learning again to function as a human amongst humans. Working, pursuing passions, not immediately Vipassanising my entire Chariot to bits and pieces emoticon instead let it breath a little. Let it fly. 

I wish you and your son all the best! 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 6:06 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I had, let's say, an awakening experience in October 2013 that has drastically changed my inner life. It may or may not be third path, although it resembles Daniel's description of his third path moment in the second edition of MCTB. While I do not consider myself to be done or an arahat or any of that, there was a sense of finality about it, a "this is it" kind of moment. 

Some deeper background: I started meditating and hanging out here at the tail end of 2010, got stream entry a little over a year later, got second path six months after that, doing Mahasi style noting. Worked with jhana and just sitting leading up to the breakthrough moment, which knocked out my chronic anxiety and anger. My practice threads are on Kenneth Folk Dharma and Awakenetwork. 

Life became terribly complicated immediately after, and has only recently settled down. In less than seven years I've had multiple arthritis surgeries, my mother's dementia and eventual death, my son's substance abuse and suicide attempts, and the deaths of my husband's parents, as well as a premature retirement as a result of the sudden escalation of my fibromyalgia symptoms. It's been a prolonged clusterf*ck, but the fruits of the practice supported me throughout, and now my son has been sober for over a year and is headed in good directions, and my physical condition has improved through exercise. 

I have benefited from the equanimity that the practice has conferred, although I have also been able to experience profound grief and to access and express emotions. I am dismayed by the current state of the world, but not rageful, panicked, or overwhelmed. This has been a great blessing in the Trump era. 

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. A good dharma friend has told me that Shinzen describes such a state as "flatlining," so it's not unheard of. I can generate motivation for awhile and make headway in one or another practice or activity, but there is no passion. I realize that I have been through a lot and am probably burnt out, but I also think that a lot of my drive in the past must have come from suffering, and when that ended my motivation disappeared. For awhile post-awakening, if I can call it that, I couldn't practice much at all, and then as the various sh*tstorms began to hit my practice dropped off to almost nothing. Still, I have been doggedly working on it, but it is a struggle a lot of the time.

I gather that this path is littered with potholes and cul-de-sacs from the beginning to very advanced stages, and apparently I am stuck in one, although at present things are much improved over what they have been. My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base. Thanks for reading. 
Hi Laurel,

Funny, I wanted to start a thread which adressed the issue of motivation, but I couldn't find the motivation to do it. ;)

I can relate to what you say, although I definitely haven't "done it", whatever that means, but I guess I have achieved some degree of realization. Well in any case, it does seem to me, like you, that there is a very natural okayness about everything in my life, which is almost surprising at times ; there are strong emotions indeed, and I can't say I've had any terrible series of events happen so I can't say how much I would hold up in the face of the possibility. But it's all good. I don't know, it feels like there's just very little suffering. 

But at the same time, there seems to be a kind of lessening of passion, like you've said. Although I'm very active, very interested in certain things. But comparatively to what could have been the case before, it seems there is much less "intense drive" to do things. And it's almost a problem, I'm kind of procrastinating on things, etc. I feel more disorganised than before, in fact. And I can actually see how it's because I don't worry about it emoticon And since I don't worry about not worrying about it... Etc.

Although, in fact, it seems that I'm for some magical reason, more effective on certain levels. Weird stuff.

Anyways ; it's not at your level, but I recognized something when I read you, and wanted to let you know. I also can find extreme satisfaction from extremely simple things (that insubstantial and colorful flux of the chips I'm eating... <3), and it seems like many things which used to turn me on/interest me etc., have just stopped interesting me. It's like, the high experiences, the openness and freshness of epxerience, and vividness, and emotionality, which what I used to look for in art, music, paintings, etc., is actually much more readily "available" now without any need to look for it anywhere special. I don't know if that's the same for you.

So it's definitely not "dispassion", as in lack of affect, on the contrary : it's just dispassion about certain "objects" ; the experience itself, is more deeply emotional, in many ways, more raw and open, more affective, more intimate, more beautiful.

However, it also seems that I have an increased capacity to get absorbed in things for hours, and the things which prompt that might not be exactly what I would expect, but it does happen. I have this whole thing around clarifying exactly what it is that triggers that, ie, making conscious what, we could say, constitutes my own personal daimon. Yes, that. My purpose, my destiny, etc. Don't laugh emoticon 

That thing which I will always keep desiring, and actually, perhaps desire more and more. Which is not driven by fear/worry/comparison but by genuine care and love. I think that remains, and gets stronger.

There are DEFINITELY things like that in my existence. The more I deepen, the more I shed what I don't need/care about, and the more space there is for the true love. It's a process of inquiry of a very different kind (or is it ?) than the types of practice advocated in buddhism... But complementary I think. And it demands real honesty. 

In fact, I feel more connected than ever with a sense of purpose, which is almost independant of what I'm doing ; and yet, there are certain things, which seem to be "what I need to be doing", which seem to be getting clearer and clearer.

So, it's a strange mix. I don't think the "floating" which I experience a times (and I'm not sure it's what you're describing, but again, I have to say I felt a real resonance reading you), I don't think that that's linked with an actual lack of motivation or desire.

Isn't it, rather, lack of desire for what you don't actually desire ? I.e., more integrity... ?

Absence of desire = absence of experience, sensory fields, space and time, according to Rob Burbea. If you experience something, such as sensations, it means that many different things are going on, including but not limited to : beliefs about what is real or not, beliefs about what is true or false, beliefs about what the world is, and linked with all that, notions of what is of value or not, and with this, desires and objetcs of desires and fantasies which drive these desires. I don't think it's negotiable... Like having eyes and there being sights... Can't really turn that off. Except by entering the unfabricated, cessation.

So there might be something to explore there, I know that I strongly feel the calling to explore that whole desire thing, and I think Burbea is an amazing person for that kind of inquiry. After all, he called his stuff, the Dharma of desire. I just listened to the first three talks of the series "Between icon and eidos" and found it quite nourishing...

Just my 2cts...

WHo knows, perhaps it will be the same for me after all. Perhaps you have accomplished your life's purpose. Do you feel like that ? Does it do anything for you to picture yourself dying, and asking : what should I have done ? Or was it good the way it happened ?

All the best to you

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/20/20 6:31 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel, why pursue something that doesn't interest you? What do you believe will come from a practice you don't want? Why not just stop?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 12:51 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
What Chris said, +1.

If it ain't fun, it won't get done.

love, tim

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 8:30 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Laurel, why pursue something that doesn't interest you? What do you believe will come from a practice you don't want? Why not just stop?

Hm. Well, I did just stop for awhile and then realized that I wanted to bring it back, but it's like taking up a musical instrument again after having stopped practicing: there's a diminution of skill to overcome. Plus the original motivation is gone. Yet your question reminds me that I do in fact value my practice and want to continue.

My original question, though, has to do with whether it's typical for a loss of drive to accompany awakening. Emotions are reorganized, energy is different, and maybe it takes awhile to figure it all out. I do agree with whoever said a person can't just think her way through all of that. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 8:48 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Hey, Olivier, thanks for the post, and I do very much like your 2 cents. In particular, I have just recently become a big fan of Rob Burbea, having spent three weeks in May doing a home retreat according to his jhana retreat talks (available free on Dharmaseed, beginning onDec 17 of last year). It was the best experience I've had practicing in quite some time. I am looking into his stuff on desire and soulmaking, but haven't gotten too far yet. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 9:02 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I did just stop for awhile and then realized that I wanted to bring it back

Why?

I was being very serious and I think you owe it to yourself to be serious about your motivation, or lack thereof. This malaise has been going on for a long time, right? So it strikes me as a copout to look for someone like Shinzen, who has a way to describe your symptoms and little to add to the cure. I'm worried that you'll diagnose yourself this way... and then stop. Again.

Sorry to be blunt, Laurel, but I've watched you go through this for some time now and I think you need to face it more directly. If a practice isn't pleasing, and if you can find no deep, abiding reason to continue, even after years of struggling with it, then look deeper, or seriously consider quitting.

EDIT: This is not something I would suggest to just anyone, but I know you well enough, and what you've been through, that I think the burden of thinking you need to keep practicing even though your motivation isn't really supporting it, leads you into spirals of, well, spirals that aren't helping you just live your life. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 8:52 AM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
Papa Che Dusko:
What about "learning" to integrate yourself into the human you are, in this world you are part off? 
We all learn well to dismantle ourselves but what about that Chariot that is dismantled now? We see it is not a Chariot anymore as all we see is the bits and pieces that we believed to be a solid Chariot. 

What if we as humans need that Chariot to journey with? Can we not learn to assemble it again? 

I would suggest plunging oneself into something like a pottery course or any other skill that speaks to you. Mingle amongst people utterly oblivious to Dharma, people that still have dreams and passions. Let them inspire you. 

I can relate to this flatlining (never heard of it before) as I find it difficult to find my old passion for making music and visual art. This practice develops strong Dispassion for objectified arisings. 
I'm learning again to function as a human amongst humans. Working, pursuing passions, not immediately Vipassanising my entire Chariot to bits and pieces emoticon instead let it breath a little. Let it fly. 

I wish you and your son all the best! 

It's interesting because Rob Burbea is saying something similar--that breaking things down isn't the best place to end, that finding a way to build one's chariot, as you put it, is the real focus. It is harder in the world of coronavirus to take up something new, but not impossible. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 8:54 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
HI Laurel,

I had found myself in a similar way. Then the pandemic and following social turmoil unearthed a lot of trauma and old bad habits; The likes of which I hadn’t seen since before starting meditation much to my surprise. It’s been a fascinating learning experience and showed that deep hidden in the dark corners of the mind there was still some cleaning up and growing up to do. Basically I fell into a nasty bout of cynical nihilism. I have been on the mend in recent weeks, recovering from delusion, autopilot obsessions with philosophical/political musings and substance abuse.  

Motivation for serious perception-shifting meditation practice is still low, however and that seems to be the result of having enough insight into emptiness and non-self to see where it’s going, yet not being totally "done”. I’m sure that sometime in the next year or two I’ll find myself on another retreat on a mission to get the thing done, but I feel no haste whatsoever. 

What I have found is a renewed interest in is the bare bones of the Dhamma, the small handful of leaves that is the Buddha’s teaching. Suffering and not suffering. That nothing whatsoever should be clung to. Gladdening the mind, cultivating joy, peace and clearing out the garbage of idle mental ramblings. Approaching daily life with beginners mind.

Best wishes to you! 


RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 2:17 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I did just stop for awhile and then realized that I wanted to bring it back

Why?

I was being very serious and I think you owe it to yourself to be serious about your motivation, or lack thereof. This malaise has been going on for a long time, right? So it strikes me as a copout to look for someone like Shinzen, who has a way to describe your symptoms and little to add to the cure. I'm worried that you'll diagnose yourself this way... and then stop. Again.

Sorry to be blunt, Laurel, but I've watched you go through this for some time now and I think you need to face it more directly. If a practice isn't pleasing, and if you can find no deep, abiding reason to continue, even after years of struggling with it, then look deeper, or seriously consider quitting.

EDIT: This is not something I would suggest to just anyone, but I know you well enough, and what you've been through, that I think the burden of thinking you need to keep practicing even though your motivation isn't really supporting it, leads you into spirals of, well, spirals that aren't helping you just live your life. 

Laurel, you don't know me. There are a lot of people who not only know you, for a long time, through a lot of stuuf, but who clearly love you and want to help you through the empty spot of cluelessness you feel you are stuck i.

What i do know is nothingness unto void and the horror of meaninglessness, the specter of nada, zlich, zippo meaning: no love, no joy, no fruit of all these labors. Suffering, and then, nada. A tale told by us idiots, full of painful sound and aspiring fury, signifying nothing.

In the dark of that, I will say, honestly, that Chris is telling you hard truth, in my reading. Accept your lack of motivation. It is face on into the worst fear, of never having been motivated ENOUGH, and now, so close to paydirt, coming up short from within. A loser, an ABNQ (almost but not quite, a wannabe failure without the right stuff). 

So you fear. But your are just at the limit of human effort. You don't to do more labor because your deepest whatever knows its pointless. What is not pintless will either show, or not. Accept the void, and the unmoved condition, this dead zone, until something else moves, like the breath, that in-breath you never asked for and could never fake. It's either real air or it's not. If it's an airless universe, better to find that out now, when you will never be more prepared to accept it.

love, tim

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 1:51 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Hey, Laurel, thanks for sharing your story. I had an experience after 1st path where I lost a good amount of anxiety, stopped praying and reading or trying to study any kind of practice stuff. It was real good for a while then life really hit and realized I was pretty much in aversion to so many things because I felt good or just didn't want or care to do it. It took about 6 months for me to kind of see what was going on. I was talking to Kenneth Folk and he asked if I had ever done therapy while on the path. I said no and he seemed surprised, like most people on the path seek it out. I had no clue at the time what he was talking about. I figured out that what I was going through was just an enhanced version of my aversion and passive nature to life. Still took a few weeks to realize I had been flattening as you called. I started working with a therapist on inner child work and she help me to recognize areas I was stuck in. I'm not saying that's what anyone else needs I'm just saying I get the flattening part. Also something I've done lately is walking, yoga and fishing. I also started taking pictures for an Instagram account I have. Ultimately I had no motivation for this stuff. I want to sit and practice and live and not be bothered. Ha but once I started reaching out to life it's like I was pulled into it. Anyway good luck on the journey ahead and congratulations to your sons sobriety. It s big deal!

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 2:08 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Papa Che Dusko:
What about "learning" to integrate yourself into the human you are, in this world you are part off? 
We all learn well to dismantle ourselves but what about that Chariot that is dismantled now? We see it is not a Chariot anymore as all we see is the bits and pieces that we believed to be a solid Chariot. 

What if we as humans need that Chariot to journey with? Can we not learn to assemble it again? 

I would suggest plunging oneself into something like a pottery course or any other skill that speaks to you. Mingle amongst people utterly oblivious to Dharma, people that still have dreams and passions. Let them inspire you. 

I can relate to this flatlining (never heard of it before) as I find it difficult to find my old passion for making music and visual art. This practice develops strong Dispassion for objectified arisings. 
I'm learning again to function as a human amongst humans. Working, pursuing passions, not immediately Vipassanising my entire Chariot to bits and pieces emoticon instead let it breath a little. Let it fly. 

I wish you and your son all the best! 

It's interesting because Rob Burbea is saying something similar--that breaking things down isn't the best place to end, that finding a way to build one's chariot, as you put it, is the real focus. It is harder in the world of coronavirus to take up something new, but not impossible. 


Im not familiar with Rob Burbea but I do remember someone here writing about his recent death I think. I will look him up.

One thing monks/nuns have is that constant "brainwashing" preparing them for their "new self" so they dont really get into this space many of us pragmatics do fall into emoticon we just keep dismantling without really building something new as we go down the path.

Im certainly having issues with allowing my passion to flare up as its a wild energy, this passion of mine is, like a burning Comet! Burns very intensive and burns out very fast leaving me totally exhausted. This is how I did paintings for 12 years (this was before my practice started).
Instead of letting my self now go into making music or just plunging into the witeness of a new canvas I just Vipassanise these feelings and basically see them arise and pass away. Thast cool in the practice but in life maybe good to let the tree grow out new leaves and flowers so bees can visit them for pollination emoticon 

We need to learn to grow like that tree. Naturally, let it grow, and stop vipassanising it all into nothingness.

This woman helped me find my way back into painting. OK, I did just one large painting since I saw this video but still she gave me the idea how not to "give up" and keep going when you feel you have stuck in your work. I like her gardening too emoticon 
I dont know if your interest is visual art and it matters little but she really talks about how she allows her self to have that initial "playfull stage, everything goes" wthout being too hard on her self. This really works so well I must say emoticon
You tube is full of good stuff for any kind of craft or interest;

https://youtu.be/U3_RT8PP_QA

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 2:19 PM as a reply to Papa Che Dusko.
sorry for all links pointing towards paintings emoticon but I love this guy always dancing and listening to music and painting the rhythm he feels emoticon 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q37bemoticonnNZJ4

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 6:06 PM as a reply to Dustin.
Thank you so much, Dustin, and in fact, thanks everyone--all good testimony that the path is not a self-improvement project! Tim and Chris, I really don't know what to say, so I'll just let things settle in my mind and see what happens. I have been in a malais for a long time, not all of it practice-related by any means. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/21/20 7:57 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
...

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. 

You don't give a lot of details but it sounds like this could be a kind of a thing a lot of people incuding those who don't meditate go through.

Sometimes it is called a mid-life crisis.

I am in pretty much the same situation, I am retired. I have no ambition, no goals, but I don't see it as a problem. To me it is the solution to the suffering caused by too much striving. We are brainwashed from childhood to think we have to be striving to be fulfilled. In my opinion that is a disease for which Buddhist practices are the cure. I enjoy the little things in life. Food, taking a walk, nature, reading a book, watching a video, solving puzzles etc. It is possible to enjoy a thing without being attached. (If people weren't getting sick, dying, going broke, and obsessively hoarding toilet paper I would have thought the pandemic lockdowns were funny because they forced everyone else to live the way I do). My spiritual beliefs give me some purpose too. I am here in this world of dukkha for a time because it helps the spirit to devleop, to mature, to grow. It's like being in an incubator in a way - passing the time is what produces the result. You don't need to do anything, life brings you plenty of dukkha to learn from.

The source and the solution as I see it, to the problem of dukkha is to recognize that the actual circumstances of my life are not the cause or solution to suffering. The cause and solution to suffering is in my own mind. Also I found it very important to understand which unpleasant emotions were caused by thinking and which were due to biochemistry. The former could be eased by meditation practice, the latter I found diet and other physical means helped. (I put that in bold for emphasis because those two sentances deserve equal weight to everything else in this post).

Do you ever do samatha meditation? If not, it might help. Maybe you just need to learn to enjoy the simple things in life. Did you lose that ability from your meditation practice? Maybe that was itself a wrong turn? 

I made a few posts to the thread on "Removal of Suffering & Happiness" which might be of interest to you, 

The posts are quotes from sturas and other Buddhist writings on the subject of pleasure and happiness:

Vesali Sutta:
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16039323#_19_message_16060053

Maha-Saccaka Sutta
https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16039323#_19_message_16064357
I entered & remained in the first jhana: rapture & pleasure born from seclusion, accompanied by directed thought & evaluation. Could that be the path to Awakening?' Then following on that memory came the realization: 'That is the path to Awakening.' I thought: 'So why am I afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities?' I thought: 'I am no longer afraid of that pleasure that has nothing to do with sensuality, nothing to do with unskillful mental qualities

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16039323#_19_message_16065952
"The purpose of his teachings was to help people find true happiness."

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/16039323#_19_message_16065960
"Nibbana is described as the highest happiness, the supreme state of bliss.
...
Once Saariputta was asked what happiness there can be when there is no feeling/sensation.[12] He explained that the absence of feeling/sensation itself is happiness."

There is a phrase that occurs occasionally in the sutras, "pleasant abiding". We are stuck in a world of dukkha, why not make the best of it? You have navigated many difficulties in life, maybe the lesson for you now is to learn to enjoy a peaceful quiet life?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 1:44 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. 

Do you think you could be attached to purpose and meaning? 

Maybe that is something you could work on. Why do you feel you need purpose and meaning?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 2:15 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Thank you so much, Dustin, and in fact, thanks everyone--all good testimony that the path is not a self-improvement project! Tim and Chris, I really don't know what to say, so I'll just let things settle in my mind and see what happens. I have been in a malais for a long time, not all of it practice-related by any means. 

The malais, as i read it in my own experience and subsequently project upon you and your own necessarily inscrutable experience, truly read in the end by no one but you, my malais, then, as the broom handler at the shit factory: 2 cents, in inflated currency.

Practice sees through everything. So, nothing holds up. It hurts, but the self that owns the hurt goes too. And here you are. but "you" ain't nothing, got nothin. So what do "you" do? This is, forgive me everyone, where I think Buddhism comes up short in offering a clear way forward. Nirvana, or Bodhisattva? gate gate gate, or suffer here with all sentient beings and teach the dharma that frees them?

and the seemingly deadly question at this point is: frees them for what? where is the beef? stuck in this body for the duration, til the real freedom of dying physically: 

I think your funk is the "where's the beef funk" (aka, WTBF, in the othodox, or WTFBF, where's the fucking beef funk, among the uh, rowdies, a technical term from my tradition). Call it what you will, the only thing to do here, in my tradition, is . . . nothing. Shargrol Of Course may well tell you the same thing. fine.

but here's the mystery: wanting nothing, completely gate gate gate where you sit, hoping for nothing, seeing Nothing, wanting Nothing, seeing thrugh everything as it comes and goes according to the 3 characteristics, there is eventually, in deep enough acceptance of the astounding nothingness of existence itself . . . something. Like at the bottom of the sea, without any current: easy as pie, literally out of nowhere, for no damn reason, a perceptible current.

What does it mean? where does it go? what good could could possibly come from following this weightless, substance-less, meaningless  movement. Nothing, nowhere, and none, are the answers. But it is perceptibly something, not nothing: to that degree, it is INTERESTING.

So what the fuck, let's see what happens with the interesting somethihg; the nothing is not going anywhere, but this mysterius, sourceless, motiveless, substance-less, meaningless, beyond good and ill, movement: it moves. what the fuck, go with this flow.

that's all. but without true deep complete acceptance of 0, the mystery of that 1 will always be lost in the static of the last shreds of noisy resistance to the nothing.

my two cents, my idiosyncratic language. But you're right where you wanted to be all along, in my view. Go nowhere, kid. til some unfathomable something draws you, out of nowhere, going nowhere, for nothing.

love, tim

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 7:11 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I really don't know what to say, so I'll just let things settle in my mind and see what happens. I have been in a malais for a long time, not all of it practice-related by any means. 

Perfect reply from the malaise!   emoticon





RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 3:13 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Laurel, why pursue something that doesn't interest you? What do you believe will come from a practice you don't want? Why not just stop?


tao te ching, trans stan rosenthal:


35. THE BENEVOLENT HOST

The wise man acts at one with the Tao, 
for he knows it is here that peace is found. 
It is for this reason that he is sought.

Whilst guests enjoy good music and food, 
as these are supplied by a benevolent host, 
a description of Tao seems without form, 
for it cannot be heard and cannot be seen. 
But when the music and food are all ended, 
the taste of the Tao still remains.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 3:33 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel:
My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base.

I have not heard of this.  I think the reason is because in SPUDS, people just naturally stop coming to the group when this happens, so I don't get to hear accounts of flatlining because it's not part of our "hows your practice?" conversation. 

For me, my practice in meditation is not separate from my general improvements to my life.  I think this is partially a life stage thing, since the 20's & 30's are more about defining yourself in the world.  But that integration emphasis certainly helps keep things spicy.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 3:36 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Chris Marti:
Laurel, why pursue something that doesn't interest you? What do you believe will come from a practice you don't want? Why not just stop?

Hm. Well, I did just stop for awhile and then realized that I wanted to bring it back, but it's like taking up a musical instrument again after having stopped practicing: there's a diminution of skill to overcome. Plus the original motivation is gone. Yet your question reminds me that I do in fact value my practice and want to continue.

My original question, though, has to do with whether it's typical for a loss of drive to accompany awakening. Emotions are reorganized, energy is different, and maybe it takes awhile to figure it all out. I do agree with whoever said a person can't just think her way through all of that. 

    If you take a path to end desire, then desire is diminished. Yes it is absolutely typical to crave desire when you have made progress in ending it. Like being happily married but craving romance, and the chase, with its ups and downs, heartbreaks and elations. 

   They are just more cravings. More delusion, more karma.

   Schopenauer spoke of the end of desire being ennui. He recommended art as a palliative, ascetiicism as a cure, but never took his own advice. But ennui is just another form of desire.

   The buddha might call ennui, "sloth and torpor." Something to be recognized as transient, and not something to feed energy.

   I regret every single day I don't meditaite. It's always a setback, my ready access to the ocean of bliss is impaired if I don't sit every day. Not to sit is imagine other things are important, or to wallow in depression. Kick yourself in the butt, or find a teacher who will do so.

   One can find motivation in a lack of motivation.

   To end desire completely is to be dead. The hadith says, "die before you die." This means to die to self-interest. As long as you are seeking what is best for you, you are on the wrong path, and in your own way. Even what is best for the human race is selfish. Hug a tree; spare an insect. Give metta to the clouds.

   Be Life.

terry



"How can you get a hit and think at the same time?"
~yogi berra

   

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 3:54 PM as a reply to Jim Smith.
Jim Smith:
Laurel Carrington:

Okay, so what's the problem? I have lost motivation for just about anything, and am drifting. Life has neither purpose nor meaning. 

Do you think you could be attached to purpose and meaning? 

Maybe that is something you could work on. Why do you feel you need purpose and meaning?

   In other words, what is the purpose and meaning of purpose and meaning?

   What is it that thus comes? What this lone brightness here listening to the dharma? (Tyger Tyger, burning bright)

   Joy & Liberation!


--------the one mind is rootless and foundationless--------

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/22/20 4:39 PM as a reply to terry.
Thanks many times again to all of you. Jim, you have pointed out the way forward, which is jhana, as has Terry. There is a garden of beauty and delight within our minds, if we can just get there. I took three weeks in May to go through a home jhana retreat, using Rob Burbea's talks on Dharmaseed. He gave the retreat last winter when he was approaching death, and died during the period when I was listening to his beautiful voice and practicing according to his teachings. He exerted himself at a time when he was at the end of his life so that I, Laurel, and others like me could benefit, the most selfless thing he could possibly have done. 

After it was over I found it difficult to maintain momentum, and felt the flatness closing in on me yet again. It's necessary to remind myself over and over that this resource is available, even though I am still learning to access it. I strongly recommend that others listen to these freely-offered talks, beginning on December 17. 

It is hard to stay in touch with that desire because often it seems so faint in me, but I do not want to let it go. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 1:40 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Hi Laurel!

 I've also been working with Rob Burbea's Jhāna retreat recordings during this same period and have been similarly moved by his sensitivity and depth in the midst of arguably the worst form of cancer to die from. His legacy is such a blessing. It has felt as if he has been there guiding us even as he passed away in considerable distress.

 Have you listened to his soulmaking series? He delves into the problem of bringing creativity and beauty into our lives after what can seem like a lot of liberating yet via negativa-style negation. Very counterintuitive but welcome, and a stunningly gorgeous vision. There are transcripts as well as recordings of all his talks for quicker access to such a wealth of material.

Wishing you and your family ongoing joy and celebration to go with all your wisdom,

John in Tokyo :-) 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 7:13 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
After it was over I found it difficult to maintain momentum, and felt the flatness closing in on me yet again. It's necessary to remind myself over and over that this resource is available, 

I'm back with my question, which I have to ask one more time, Laurel: why are you fighting so hard to fight so hard? What's motivating you to re-motivate? It seems to me you keep having to push yourself for some reason but you never seem to articulate the reason you feel the need to push yourself. What is it? 

<ducking>

EDIT: I'm not expecting you to answer, just hoping you'll think about it.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 8:44 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Thanks many times again to all of you. Jim, you have pointed out the way forward, which is jhana, as has Terry. There is a garden of beauty and delight within our minds, if we can just get there.

For what it's worth, I really don't agree with this statement. Jhana is fine but only as a temporary tool. The real goal is making peace with normal, everyday, non-jhana experience. There is a danger for advanced meditators to seek a kind of refuge in jhana -- but that is just a very advanced form of aversion. It's okay to condition the mind with jhana, if that arises fairly naturally, but the way forward is by going into the experiences that we would rather push away or avoid.

Anytime we aren't at least "including" and ideally "going into" a hindrance to learn from it, chances are we're doing a form of spiritual bypassing. This really seems to be the case here. Many times it's things in everyday life that drive spiritual bypassing, some sin of commission or sin of ommission that needs correcting.



I took three weeks in May to go through a home jhana retreat, using Rob Burbea's talks on Dharmaseed. He gave the retreat last winter when he was approaching death, and died during the period when I was listening to his beautiful voice and practicing according to his teachings. He exerted himself at a time when he was at the end of his life so that I, Laurel, and others like me could benefit, the most selfless thing he could possibly have done. 

After it was over I found it difficult to maintain momentum, and felt the flatness closing in on me yet again. It's necessary to remind myself over and over that this resource is available, even though I am still learning to access it. I strongly recommend that others listen to these freely-offered talks, beginning on December 17. 

It is hard to stay in touch with that desire because often it seems so faint in me, but I do not want to let it go. 

This is like being given a huge gift. That flatness is your teacher. You need to figure out what it is telling you. Don't avoid it, don't "fix" it. What _IS_ the flatness?  What thoughts are associated with it? What emotions? What urges? What imagery? What beliefs? What fears? What hopes?

The flatness is obviously a state. What _you_ are obviously not a state. So why do you fall into an assumption that you are flatness? Chance are it confirms some limited view of yourself. What is that limited view?

We secretly love having limited views of ourself because then we have an excuse for ourself. We can't do X because Y. We can only do Q because of P. Etc.

When we get confused with a state, it usually means we are trying to avoid one aspect of it's truth. We lock onto the tone of it -- and either wallow in it or run away from it -- but we don't really allow ourselves to look at it directly. It's like the fear of looking at someone directly in the eyes. 

Invite flatness to come visit and talk with you.

The only way to find peace is to see subtle greed, aversion, and fantasy for what it is. At this stage, you're beyond just labeling it and moving on to something else. That's fine for beginning practice, but it is aversion in advanced practice. If you want to untie this knot, you're going to have to start pulling on strings and figuring it out.

What if all of creation created this flatness so that you would finally look and see what you are not seeing about yourself?

Obviously this advice might not be right for you -- worth what you paid for it. emoticon  Hope it helps someone in some way!

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 8:08 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargrol is so much nicer about this than I am but we're both telling you the same thing, really  emoticon

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 8:12 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel:
After it was over I found it difficult to maintain momentum, and felt the flatness closing in on me yet again.

This isn't your original question, but do you think this could just be depression?  

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 8:56 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
Laurel:
After it was over I found it difficult to maintain momentum, and felt the flatness closing in on me yet again.

This isn't your original question, but do you think this could just be depression?  

Agree, this has to be part of the consideration.

Whatever it is... it isn't going to be a simple "meditation insight" that's behind all of this. It's going to be a mixture of insight, psychology, and normal life worries/obligations.

A big part of some of the latter stages of awakening involve seeing through some of the fantasies that meditation was "supposed to" provide to us. Immortality, fame, painless existence, complete rest, love, safety, respect, etc etc.  And when we don't face this sort of stuff, it can invert into a kind of depression... or a legitimate full-scale depression. Also mania. Also anxiety. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:20 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Forget about immortality, fame, etc.; I'd settle happily for functionality.

Yes, I've dealt with depression for years. I have to admit that my insight meditation got rid of a lot of nasty stuff for me, and I've been thinking that further practice will take care of a lot more. I've come by this belief honestly, since it is so often the case that enlightened beings talk about how wonderful their experience is (Daniel, I'm looking at YOU). And if you listen to what Rob Burbea says about jhana in his introductory talks, you'll see why his approach in particular is appealing. It doesn't solve the human condition, but it is a wonderful resource. 

I have faced up to my situation, in and out of therapy, extensively. I have grieved my losses and continue to do so. My everyday affect has definitely flattened, but there is still great pleasure to be found in daily life. A lot of my troubles stem from mundane conditions such as inadequate sleep and exercise, and I am finally addressing these things seriously. It takes a lot of sheer doggedness to pull oneself up out of inertia, and I am doing that. I have seen the alternative and it is not pretty. 

I don't think stopping practice is the answer, but I do think it makes sense to scale back my expectations for how much I can do at the moment. I began this thread out of curiosity about the phenomenon of flattening and whether others had experienced it as well. I do think there's at least something to it, because reorganizing one's emotional life will affect one's energy. We as a community have talked extensively about the Dark Night, and perhaps this phenomenon as well is worth a look.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:36 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Hi all,

Laurel, just as an aside since you seem to resonate with Burbea, I just wanted to share this one talk, which to me, adresses a lot of questions about what meditation is, does, hmm, and I just thought of you and this general discussion several times while listening to it. There's so much stuff worth exploring in his talks IMO ; this particular one is from a series, "The mirrored gates", from 2018, which explores a lot of themes and contains several sub-series in it, one of them being "What is awakening ?", in four parts - i haven't listened to it yet so can't say anything there, but I'm pretty certain it's worth listening to... This one here is from a sub-series called "Between ikon and eidos", where he draws a lot of inspiration from more contemporary thinkers/philosophy to draw a totally different picture of what meditation can be conceived as. As always, very, very thought provoking for me : Between Ikon and Eidos: Image & Hermeneutics in Meditation (Part 4 - The Three Characteristics)


RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:44 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I've come by this belief honestly, since it is so often the case that enlightened beings talk about how wonderful their experience is (Daniel, I'm looking at YOU).
Ps : can we expand on this please ? 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:50 AM as a reply to Olivier.
For starters, Daniel likes to say that he wouldn't trade his realization for anything except maybe world peace - even then he'd do so reluctantly.

That's a pretty strong endorsement.  

I have also started a thread on this: https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/13067630

Some folks in the above linked thread are very convinced that this is wonderful and worth pursuing. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:55 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Yes; and I've spent time with Daniel both on retreat and at Buddhist Geeks gatherings, and he has spoken with great enthusiasm about what life is like, about the precision with which he is able to observe phenomena, and about the excitement he feels over his current explorations with the siddhis and such. I can also say that Burbea speaks of the great benefits of his realizations, and even in my own case I am deeply grateful for and appreciative of the changes my realizations have brought me. If you want to hear more from Daniel in particular you can ask him. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:56 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Thanks for this tip, Olivier. There is an abundance of riches there, and it's impossible to overstate the importance of his perspective. We need a new thread to do it justice.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:59 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I hear you. I actually think that this sort of stuff _is_ the Dark Night. 

Many people have a kind of dark night associated with the general domain of 3rd path. It can show up as depression. "Flattening" sounds very similar, to me.

In contrast, "flatlining" sounds to me kind of like a plateau without progress or big problems -- I don't know if that is how Shinzen uses the term?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:00 AM as a reply to JohnM.
JohnM:
Hi Laurel!

 I've also been working with Rob Burbea's Jhāna retreat recordings during this same period and have been similarly moved by his sensitivity and depth in the midst of arguably the worst form of cancer to die from. His legacy is such a blessing. It has felt as if he has been there guiding us even as he passed away in considerable distress.

 Have you listened to his soulmaking series? He delves into the problem of bringing creativity and beauty into our lives after what can seem like a lot of liberating yet via negativa-style negation. Very counterintuitive but welcome, and a stunningly gorgeous vision. There are transcripts as well as recordings of all his talks for quicker access to such a wealth of material.

Wishing you and your family ongoing joy and celebration to go with all your wisdom,

John in Tokyo :-) 

Thank you, John. I am finally in the process of beginning to crack open his soulmaking series. Catherine McGee is doing a soulmaking course through the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in the fall, and applications are open. I'm not sure whether I am going to apply, because it may not be the right time for me to take on such a commitment. But I want others here to know about it.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 1:22 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Yes, I've heard him mention sensory clarity on a few podcasts and, on "The Monk on a Motorbike" podcast specifically, what he describes as 'synchrony'.  

If you have watched the Frank Yang videos recently, he describes the realization similarly to Daniel. Basically it is
"One integrated field with all the sense modalities and thoughts and the rest all together in one fluxing 3D shifting self-illuminating space".

Absolutely sounds compelling to me. Why not go for it?  

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:06 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
I hear you. I actually think that this sort of stuff _is_ the Dark Night. 

Many people have a kind of dark night associated with the general domain of 3rd path. It can show up as depression. "Flattening" sounds very similar, to me.

In contrast, "flatlining" sounds to me kind of like a plateau without progress or big problems -- I don't know if that is how Shinzen uses the term?

I don't know for sure, because I couldn't find anything specifically from him. A lot of his material is behind a paywall, and tbh I've been reluctant to dig into his system much because it is so overwhelming, and I've got enough going on working through Burbea's talks and book. In my case, though, experience resembles your definition of flattening more than a plateau. There has been progress, and there have been plenty of big problems. 

I have to say that talking this through with all of you is tremendously motivating! The Buddha's recommendation for just about everything includes "noble friends and noble conversation," which is absolutely what we have here. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:07 AM as a reply to Hibiscus Kid.
Hibiscus Kid:
Yes, I've heard him mention sensory clarity on a few pdcasts and, on "The Monk on a Motorbike" podcast specifically, what he dsecribes as 'synchrony'.  

If you have watched the Frank Yang videos recently, he describes the realization similarly to Daniel. Basically it is
"One integrated field with all the sense modalities and thoughts and the rest all together in one fluxing 3D shifting self-illuminating space".

Absolutely sounds compelling to me. Why not go for it?  
Why not? My thoughts exactly! I haven't listened to Frank Yang yet, but plan to.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:40 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
When hunting down this last stuff, it can be helpful to look at the last few fetters --- and to look at them poetically and practically as things that really do effect our mood and basic sanity:

  • material-rebirth desire - obession for the good things in life, food, shelter, clothing, family, friends, education, occupation, entertainment and the first four jhanas.
  • immaterial-rebirth desire - obsession for the good stuff in meditation like the last four jhanas as well as other advance mental states.
  • conceit - the desire to be somebody, respected, but also the desire to feel "I AM" as a sense of security and comfort, this includes the desire to feel "I am enlightened".
  • restlessness - subtle seeking and doing, spiritual ambitiousness, never quite being able to find peace in the present moment.
  • ignorance - a very subtle avoiding of the truth of the nature of experience. a very subtle feeling that this moment is somehow wrong or not good enough. There can be a realization about the nature of time (present self vs. a future self) that can help reveal this ignorance as well.
I found it very important to find and "be with" any form of subtle ill will that was still present. Finding and being with Ill will is the way. Anything we avoid will wind up haunting us.

Hope this helps!

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:37 AM as a reply to shargrol.
Yes, yes, yes, all of the above! I must say that looking on my experience as a third-path phenomenon is more helpful than the simple term "flatlining." 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 10:50 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Fair warning about Frank: he definitely blows any notion about how an enlightened person should behave out of the water. Might be a turn off for many, or maybe you'll find it inspiring (like me!).  

I think if you want to go for it, you should! Keep it simple. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 11:04 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Hi Laurel. 

Why is "bad" feeling flatlining and desmotivated? 

I said that becouse I feel that way a lot of time in the past and trying to change my emotional state give me more pain that the desmotivation it self. 

I think there is time for everything and everything comes and go, even desmotivation. At some point you will be motivated again. But usually we try to force things happen becouse is what is expected from us. 

"Be active, do things, achive goals, make progress, etc" welcome to our modern era! These ideas are deep in our pysche and it can have some kind of wierd feeling of guilty if we dont sync with it. 

Meditation help me to undrrstand that Im bigger than myself, that there are a big big empty space and that thoughts and all the things I think I am are very little, so I incline to surrender and flow, let things happen. 

If I need to deep in flatlining I will deep, If I need to do nothing for a while its OK. Take it easy, relax, enjoy the more simple and mundane things, you know what I mean! You deserve it emoticon

Good journey! 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 11:26 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
shargrol:
I hear you. I actually think that this sort of stuff _is_ the Dark Night. 

Many people have a kind of dark night associated with the general domain of 3rd path. It can show up as depression. "Flattening" sounds very similar, to me.

In contrast, "flatlining" sounds to me kind of like a plateau without progress or big problems -- I don't know if that is how Shinzen uses the term?

I don't know for sure, because I couldn't find anything specifically from him. A lot of his material is behind a paywall, and tbh I've been reluctant to dig into his system much because it is so overwhelming, and I've got enough going on working through Burbea's talks and book. In my case, though, experience resembles your definition of flattening more than a plateau. There has been progress, and there have been plenty of big problems. 

I have to say that talking this through with all of you is tremendously motivating! The Buddha's recommendation for just about everything includes "noble friends and noble conversation," which is absolutely what we have here. 


Actually most of Shinzen's material is free, otherwise I couldn't access them!

In the end of this short video he mentions this, and gives a suggestion about it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyRaFN3TKYM&fbclid=IwAR0gsHD8R48nbHjidX8lGHl-RH1fGPZNEdOLEydj-YkdJtVJPXoWwtOrqDo


And in this video he talks in detail about it and also his view about Dark Night in detail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqA74RpHzzo

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 12:11 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Forget about immortality, fame, etc.; I'd settle happily for functionality.

Me too! Not that I have yet reached any plateau yet, but functionality - hell yeah!


Yes, I've dealt with depression for years. I have to admit that my insight meditation got rid of a lot of nasty stuff for me, and I've been thinking that further practice will take care of a lot more. I've come by this belief honestly, since it is so often the case that enlightened beings talk about how wonderful their experience is (Daniel, I'm looking at YOU). And if you listen to what Rob Burbea says about jhana in his introductory talks, you'll see why his approach in particular is appealing. It doesn't solve the human condition, but it is a wonderful resource. 

Nothing wrong with some skillful resources for dealing with challenges when one doesn’t have any margins to cut from.


I have faced up to my situation, in and out of therapy, extensively. I have grieved my losses and continue to do so. My everyday affect has definitely flattened, but there is still great pleasure to be found in daily life. A lot of my troubles stem from mundane conditions such as inadequate sleep and exercise, and I am finally addressing these things seriously. It takes a lot of sheer doggedness to pull oneself up out of inertia, and I am doing that. I have seen the alternative and it is not pretty. 

I can relate to that.


I don't think stopping practice is the answer, but I do think it makes sense to scale back my expectations for how much I can do at the moment. I began this thread out of curiosity about the phenomenon of flattening and whether others had experienced it as well. I do think there's at least something to it, because reorganizing one's emotional life will affect one's energy. We as a community have talked extensively about the Dark Night, and perhaps this phenomenon as well is worth a look.

I have been thinking, too, that this is the "real" dark night of the soul rather than the dukkha nanas. I have a friend who has experienced this for several years now. I have heard Adyashanti talk about it too. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 12:37 PM as a reply to Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 1:31 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Laurel Carrington:
Thanks many times again to all of you. Jim, you have pointed out the way forward, which is jhana, as has Terry. There is a garden of beauty and delight within our minds, if we can just get there.

For what it's worth, I really don't agree with this statement. Jhana is fine but only as a temporary tool. The real goal is making peace with normal, everyday, non-jhana experience. There is a danger for advanced meditators to seek a kind of refuge in jhana -- but that is just a very advanced form of aversion. It's okay to condition the mind with jhana, if that arises fairly naturally, but the way forward is by going into the experiences that we would rather push away or avoid.

   "I take refuge in the buddha, the dharma and the sangha." I say that every day, every meditation session.

   Your statement here amounts to avoiding avoidance. The way forward, the real goal, is not trying to make peace, as though we were at war. It's more like finding peace, discovering peace. In-venting peace.

   Here we are dealing with finding peace and craving the excitement and involvement of conflict. The addicted gambler, the alcoholic, the serial philanderer. Broke, hungover, disgraced, repentant...renewed dedication to sobriety, frugality, constancy...renewed temptation, fall. Samsara.

   Repeating the same steps seems ever more fruitless, pointless, futile. Thre is nothing one can do.

   The gateless gateway to nirvana

terry



from the hsinhsinming, sosan, trans clarke:


When you try to stop activity to achieve passivity
your very effort fills you with activity.
As long as you remain in one extreme or the other,
you will never know Oneness.

Those who do not live in the single Way
fail in both activity and passivity,
assertion and denial.
To deny the reality of things is to miss their reality;
to assert the emptiness of things
is to miss their reality.

The more you talk and think about it,
the further astray you wander from the truth.
Stop talking and thinking
and there is nothing you will not be able to know.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 1:45 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Forget about immortality, fame, etc.; I'd settle happily for functionality.

Yes, I've dealt with depression for years. I have to admit that my insight meditation got rid of a lot of nasty stuff for me, and I've been thinking that further practice will take care of a lot more. I've come by this belief honestly, since it is so often the case that enlightened beings talk about how wonderful their experience is (Daniel, I'm looking at YOU). And if you listen to what Rob Burbea says about jhana in his introductory talks, you'll see why his approach in particular is appealing. It doesn't solve the human condition, but it is a wonderful resource. 

I have faced up to my situation, in and out of therapy, extensively. I have grieved my losses and continue to do so. My everyday affect has definitely flattened, but there is still great pleasure to be found in daily life. A lot of my troubles stem from mundane conditions such as inadequate sleep and exercise, and I am finally addressing these things seriously. It takes a lot of sheer doggedness to pull oneself up out of inertia, and I am doing that. I have seen the alternative and it is not pretty. 

I don't think stopping practice is the answer, but I do think it makes sense to scale back my expectations for how much I can do at the moment. I began this thread out of curiosity about the phenomenon of flattening and whether others had experienced it as well. I do think there's at least something to it, because reorganizing one's emotional life will affect one's energy. We as a community have talked extensively about the Dark Night, and perhaps this phenomenon as well is worth a look.

   Doggedness, absolutely! We're human, all too human in whining when we're actually in good health and have no problems we have to address. Bore me! Just keep them blues away. Old age, sickness and death are enough.

   If you don't have a dog, you should get one. Don't go for a rescue dog from the pound, either: it's you that needs rescue, not her. Read about dog breeds, find one you think would suit you as a companion for the next ten years, and go spend real money on the puppy. Be with her all the time her first year. You'll never have a better friend. I recommend brittany spaniels, my favorite dog (big smile).


terry



The more I know people, the better I understand why noah only let animals onto the boat....

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 1:54 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
shargrol:
I hear you. I actually think that this sort of stuff _is_ the Dark Night. 

Many people have a kind of dark night associated with the general domain of 3rd path. It can show up as depression. "Flattening" sounds very similar, to me.

In contrast, "flatlining" sounds to me kind of like a plateau without progress or big problems -- I don't know if that is how Shinzen uses the term?

I don't know for sure, because I couldn't find anything specifically from him. A lot of his material is behind a paywall, and tbh I've been reluctant to dig into his system much because it is so overwhelming, and I've got enough going on working through Burbea's talks and book. In my case, though, experience resembles your definition of flattening more than a plateau. There has been progress, and there have been plenty of big problems. 

I have to say that talking this through with all of you is tremendously motivating! The Buddha's recommendation for just about everything includes "noble friends and noble conversation," which is absolutely what we have here. 

  Behind a paywall!    Sheesh.  Welcome to babylon.

   Nothing aint worth nothing but its free.

   I wouldn't buy a used car from a guy like that. He probably works for the cia.

terry



RAT RACE
(bob marley)


Uh! Eh! OH What a rat race!
Oh, what a rat race!
Oh, what a rat race!
Oh, what a rat race!
This is the rat race! Rat race! (Rat race!)

Some a lawful, some a bastard, some a jacket:
Oh, what a rat race, yeah! Rat race!

Some a gorgon-a, some a hooligan-a, some a guine-gog-a
In this 'ere rat race, yeah!
Rat race!
I'm singin' that
When the cat's away,
The mice will play.
Political voilence fill ya city, ye-ah!
Don't involve Rasta in your say say;
Rasta don't work for no C.I.A.
Rat race, rat race, rat race! Rat race, I'm sayin':
When you think is peace and safety:
A sudden destruction.
Collective security for surety, ye-ah!

Don't forget your history;
Know your destiny:
In the abundance of water,
The fool is thirsty.
Rat race, rat race, rat race!

Rat race!
Oh, it's a disgrace
To see the human-race
In a rat race, rat race!
You got the horse race;
You got the dog race;
You got the human-race;
But this is a rat race, rat race!

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 2:06 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Yes, yes, yes, all of the above! I must say that looking on my experience as a third-path phenomenon is more helpful than the simple term "flatlining." 


  Flatlining implies ego death. Very positive, in a sort of negative way (via negativa). You should embrace it, as shargol seems to be trying to say. Die before you die. What do you have to lose? (wink)

t

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 2:37 PM as a reply to terry.
SATISFY MY SOUL
(Bob Marley and the Wailers)

Oh please, don't you rock my boat
'Cause I don't want my boat to be rockin'
Oh please, don't you rock my boat, no no
'Cause I don't want my boat to be rockin'
I'm telling you that, oh, whoh-whoh-whoh
I like it, like it like this, so keep it steady like this
And you should know, you should know by now
I like it, I like it like this, I like it like this, ooh yeah
Satisfy my soul, oh yeah, satisfy my soul
Every little action, there's a reaction
Oh, can't you see what you've done for me? oh yeah
I'm happy inside all, all of the time, ohh
When we bend a new corner
I'll feel like a sweepstake winner
When I meet you around the corner
You make me feel like a sweepstakes winner, watch out
Can't you see, you must believe me
Oh, darling, darling, I'm callin', callin'
Can't you see, why won't you believe me?
Oh, darlin' darlin', I'm callin', callin'
When I meet you around the corner
Oh I said, baby, never let me be a loner
And then you hold me tight, you make me feel alright
Yes, when you hold me tight, you make me feel alright, whoa honey
Can't you see, don't you believe me?
Oh, darlin' darlin', I'm callin', callin'
Can't you see? Why won't you believe me?
Oh, darlin', darlin', I'm callin', callin'
Satisfy my soul
Satisfy my soul
Satisfy my soul
Satisfy my soul
That's all I want you to do
That's all I'll take from you

Songwriters: Bob Marley

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 6:21 PM as a reply to terry.
aloha terry,

 I wouldn't buy a used car from a guy like that. He probably works for the cia.


You have said before that once you watched a little of one of videos from Shinzen, and you disliked it, and you wouldn't do that again.
So you probably don't know much about him.

Also you have said before, that you don't have respect for such teachers.

But you still make statement like the one above, about a person that you don't care to know them better first.
Just saddening.

Not trying to start a debate, but I wanted to give some context for people that read your comment, if they haven't had that context.

Best wishes to you.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 7:42 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
Forget about immortality, fame, etc.; I'd settle happily for functionality.

Yes, I've dealt with depression for years. I have to admit that my insight meditation got rid of a lot of nasty stuff for me, and I've been thinking that further practice will take care of a lot more. I've come by this belief honestly, since it is so often the case that enlightened beings talk about how wonderful their experience is (Daniel, I'm looking at YOU). And if you listen to what Rob Burbea says about jhana in his introductory talks, you'll see why his approach in particular is appealing. It doesn't solve the human condition, but it is a wonderful resource. 

I have faced up to my situation, in and out of therapy, extensively. I have grieved my losses and continue to do so. My everyday affect has definitely flattened, but there is still great pleasure to be found in daily life. A lot of my troubles stem from mundane conditions such as inadequate sleep and exercise, and I am finally addressing these things seriously. It takes a lot of sheer doggedness to pull oneself up out of inertia, and I am doing that. I have seen the alternative and it is not pretty. 

I don't think stopping practice is the answer, but I do think it makes sense to scale back my expectations for how much I can do at the moment. I began this thread out of curiosity about the phenomenon of flattening and whether others had experienced it as well. I do think there's at least something to it, because reorganizing one's emotional life will affect one's energy. We as a community have talked extensively about the Dark Night, and perhaps this phenomenon as well is worth a look.


Since we're on the topic anyway... my experience (which you may know) is that insight gave me the space to make corrective behavioral changes around diet, exercise, sleep hygeine, socializing, supplementation (meaning high quality amino acid therapy for seratonin, dopamine, et al), etc.  This in turn has caused me to curb the effects of depression seemingly long term (so far).  I am hoping it will lead to deepening insight synergistically, which has been the pattern, a never ending see-saw of deeping morality & meditation.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 8:33 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
aloha terry,

 I wouldn't buy a used car from a guy like that. He probably works for the cia.


You have said before that once you watched a little of one of videos from Shinzen, and you disliked it, and you wouldn't do that again.
So you probably don't know much about him.

Also you have said before, that you don't have respect for such teachers.

But you still make statement like the one above, about a person that you don't care to know them better first.
Just saddening.

Not trying to start a debate, but I wanted to give some context for people that read your comment, if they haven't had that context.

Best wishes to you.

was that shinzen young I was dissing, or ron burbea?

whichever has the paywall...maybe both...imagine toll boths on the Great Way...

and it was a joke, bra...among other things...

I don't like shinzen young because he bragged that he could be tortured for a month and not mind...I wouldn't give him thirty seconds...even then I could be wrong...I saw an interview of him one time and he reminded me of richard nixon...I refused to watch any interviews with enlightened people after that...basically I only use sources that are free, in the public domain, or easily stolen...at least I give them all back free...


anyhows, I would readily buy a car from stephen damon, ancient forest zen...

here he is on taking refuge...all his dharma talks are good...I think he is even alive...maybe he'll hear about me and come see me...lol...


http://www.ancientforestzen.org/uploads/TAKING_REFUGE.pdf

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/23/20 9:02 PM as a reply to terry.
terry:
Laurel Carrington:
Yes, yes, yes, all of the above! I must say that looking on my experience as a third-path phenomenon is more helpful than the simple term "flatlining." 


  Flatlining implies ego death. Very positive, in a sort of negative way (via negativa). You should embrace it, as shargol seems to be trying to say. Die before you die. What do you have to lose? (wink)

t

I prefer to look at my anticipated transcendence of all paths as flatlining in the most basic and orthodox, traditional sense of simply ceasing to breathe (the breathe ceasing, technically, i can't do that shit on purpose) and then, with regard to the heart beat, flatlining, the spiky sine curve flat. buh-bye, as we call it. meat cart called. outtahere. gate gate gate big fucking total fucking gate gone motherfucker.

easy. it's comedy in samsara that's tough.

nothing to lose at all, you winky ass piece of shit. That's just the price of sitting at the table at all. you still got to play the cards you were dealt. "Postive" or "negative"? fuck you and your fucking table talk. You in, or not?

love, tim


p.s. If Shagrol Of Course is trying to say something, you better know that shit's gonna get said just fine without your lame ass paraphrases.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 7:45 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
emoticon You're funny! 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 8:25 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
emoticon

You're funnier! The great minds of DhO are telling you to be a lazy bum, and you keep coming up with new work-harder to feel-worse agendas anyway! That's hilarious! You're yanking everyone's chain, i've got you spoted, Sri Laurel. You're in the Caribbean with a 24 year old Rasta lover and an endless supply of mai-tais, under a pink and blue umbrella on a white sand beach with the green lagoon beyond. And another 24 year old lover available for massages. Did I mention that the resort kitchen staff is on call 24/7, to address your every whim?

nice work, if you can get it!

if you really don't want to take these uber-arahants' advice to slack off, please forward their wisdom to me, and i will get it all typed up and certified in my name, and notarized, to give to the authorities to excuse my absences from, um, . . . uh, well . . .everything.

love, tim

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 8:28 AM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
aloha terry,

 I wouldn't buy a used car from a guy like that. He probably works for the cia.


You have said before that once you watched a little of one of videos from Shinzen, and you disliked it, and you wouldn't do that again.
So you probably don't know much about him.

Also you have said before, that you don't have respect for such teachers.

But you still make statement like the one above, about a person that you don't care to know them better first.
Just saddening.

Not trying to start a debate, but I wanted to give some context for people that read your comment, if they haven't had that context.

Best wishes to you.
 Siavash, stay on his ass. That he would blunder inmmentioning the cia, in a context that clearly suggests the guy would be FBI or some other Homeland organization, to operate on US soil . . . well, as you note, Terry's credibility here is for shit. You get him, tiger.

But compassionately, above all. Nobody does it better than you, srouwb.

love tim

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 9:30 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
I started this by claiming most of Shinzen's stuff is behind a paywall, when in fact only some of it is, and there are a lot of great videos out there for free. So, my bad (although the bit about Shinzen's beliefs re pain is not from me). Rob Burbea's talks are all completely free, and there are a lot of them. 

Tim, no I'm here in Minnesota where it is rather warm outside, but no sandy beach or lagoon, and instead of a couple of 24-year-old lovers I have a 66-year-old husband--though I must point out that he cooks for me, every day. 

Terry, I already have a dog, a 13-year-old toy poodle who is blind, deaf, and like any other aging male mammal, needing to pee often, including at night. I have him in doggie diapers, which helps a lot. Old age isn't for sissies. 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 1:37 PM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
terry:
Laurel Carrington:
Yes, yes, yes, all of the above! I must say that looking on my experience as a third-path phenomenon is more helpful than the simple term "flatlining." 


  Flatlining implies ego death. Very positive, in a sort of negative way (via negativa). You should embrace it, as shargol seems to be trying to say. Die before you die. What do you have to lose? (wink)

t

I prefer to look at my anticipated transcendence of all paths as flatlining in the most basic and orthodox, traditional sense of simply ceasing to breathe (the breathe ceasing, technically, i can't do that shit on purpose) and then, with regard to the heart beat, flatlining, the spiky sine curve flat. buh-bye, as we call it. meat cart called. outtahere. gate gate gate big fucking total fucking gate gone motherfucker.

easy. it's comedy in samsara that's tough.

nothing to lose at all, you winky ass piece of shit. That's just the price of sitting at the table at all. you still got to play the cards you were dealt. "Postive" or "negative"? fuck you and your fucking table talk. You in, or not?

love, tim


p.s. If Shagrol Of Course is trying to say something, you better know that shit's gonna get said just fine without your lame ass paraphrases.


over time, anyone who consistently draws three to a low pair will lose big...

call me a piece of shit once more and I'll stop reading your input...

hell dwellers love contempt, it's the air they breathe...

t

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 1:39 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
emoticon You're funny! 

seriously?

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/24/20 1:41 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I started this by claiming most of Shinzen's stuff is behind a paywall, when in fact only some of it is, and there are a lot of great videos out there for free. So, my bad (although the bit about Shinzen's beliefs re pain is not from me). Rob Burbea's talks are all completely free, and there are a lot of them. 

Tim, no I'm here in Minnesota where it is rather warm outside, but no sandy beach or lagoon, and instead of a couple of 24-year-old lovers I have a 66-year-old husband--though I must point out that he cooks for me, every day. 

Terry, I already have a dog, a 13-year-old toy poodle who is blind, deaf, and like any other aging male mammal, needing to pee often, including at night. I have him in doggie diapers, which helps a lot. Old age isn't for sissies. 

I have an old dog to but I am looking for another puppy...I'd like to get a female brittany and breed him one more time...

t

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/25/20 4:53 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
from "twilight of the idols" by friedrich nietzsche...




37
You run ahead? Are you doing it as a shepherd? Or as an exception? A third case would be the fugitive. First question of conscience.
 
38
Are you genuine? Or merely an actor? A representative? Or that which is represented? In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor. Second question of conscience.
 
39
The disappointed one speaks. I searched for great human beings; I always found only the apes of their ideals.
 
40
Are you one who looks on? Or one who lends a hand? Or one who looks away and walks off? Third question of conscience.
 
41
Do you want to walk along? Or walk ahead? Or walk by yourself? One must know what one wants and that one wants. Fourth question of conscience.
 
42
Those were steps for me, and I have climbed up over them: to that end I had to pass over them. Yet they thought that I wanted to retire on them.
 
43
What does it matter if I remain right. I am much too right. And he who laughs best today will also laugh last.
 

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/25/20 7:37 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I've removed two posts from this thread (June 25th @ 7:30 AM CDT). One post was inappropriate and the other was a reaction to the inappropriate comment that, if left standing, would seem odd and out of place.


- DhO Moderator

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/25/20 7:51 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Thank you.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/26/20 2:01 PM as a reply to Siavash.
just for you, siavash, to try to make you feel less sad
:


from the zen teachings of huang po, trans blofeld:


34. Once, when our Master had just dismissed the first of the daily assemblies at the K' ai Yuan Monastery near Hung Chou, I (Pei Hsiu) happened to enter its precincts. Presently I noticed a wall-painting and, by questioning the monk in charge of the monastery's administration, learnt that it portrayed a certain famous monk.

'Indeed?' I said. 'Yes, I can see his likeness before me, but where is the man himself?' My question was received in silence.

So I remarked: 'But surely there are Zen monks here in this temple, aren' t there?'

'Yes,' replied the monastery administrator, 'there is one.'

After that, I requested an audience with the Master and repeated to him my recent conversation.

'Pei Hsiu!' cried the Master.

' Sir!' I answered respectfully.

'Where are you?'

Realizing that no reply was possible to such a question, I hastened to ask our Master to re-enter the hall and continue his sermon.



35. When the Master had taken his place in the assembly hall, he began:

'You people are just like drunkards. I don't know how you manage lo keep on your feet in such a sodden condition. Why, everyone will die of laughing at you. It all seems so easy, so why do we have to live to see a day like this? Can't you understand that in the whole Empire of Tang there are no "teachers skilled in Zen?'

At this point, one of the monks present asked: 'How can you say that? At this very moment, as all can see, we are sitting face to face with one who has appeared in the world to be a teacher of monks and a leader of men!'

'Please note I did not say there is no ZEN,' our Master said. '! merely pointed out that there are no teachers!'

Later, Wei Shan reported this conversation to Yang Shan and asked what it implied.

Said Yang Shan: 'That swan is able to extract the pure milk from the adulterated mixture. It is very clear that he is not just an ordinary duck!'

' Ah,' responded the other. 'Yes, the point he made was very subtle.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/26/20 2:12 PM as a reply to terry.
Thank you terry.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/26/20 4:14 PM as a reply to Siavash.
Siavash:
Thank you terry.



She said,

when from the depth
of our being,
we need, we seek a sound

which does mean
something: when we cry out
for an answer

and it is not granted, then,
we touch the silence of God---

Some begin to talk,
to themselves, as do the mad;
some give

their hearts to silence.


~simone weil

RE: Flatlining
Answer
6/26/20 4:19 PM as a reply to terry.
""

RE: Flatlining
Answer
7/1/20 2:56 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
from "gravity and grace," simone weil:





Suffering is nothing, apart from the relationship between the past and the future, but what is more real for man than this relationship? It is reality itself.


* * *



By nature we fly from suffering and seek pleasure. It is for this reason alone that joy serves as an image for good and pain for evil. Hence the imagery of paradise and hell. But as a matter of fact pleasure and pain are inseparable companions.


* * *


To say that the world is not worth anything, that this life is of no value and to give evil as the proof is absurd, for if these things are worthless what does evil take from us?

Thus the better we are able to conceive of the fullness of joy, the purer and more intense will be our suffering in affliction and our compassion for others. What does suffering take from him who is without joy?

And if we conceive the fullness of joy, suffering is still to joy what hunger is to food.

It is necessary to have had a revelation of reality through joy in order to find reality through suffering. Otherwise life is nothing but a more or less evil dream.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
7/1/20 3:10 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
I or maybe the ego wants desparately to be an expert in something. So there is a series of ups and downs as I search the internet for things that might be a clue to my own intellegence. Really it is wanting immortality and then wanting more than that. But what is it> This doesn't sound like what you said so I haven't a clue really.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
7/1/20 4:11 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
My question to this group is, have other people either heard of this phenomenon or experienced it? It would be great to hear about it, and expand everyone's knowledge base. Thanks for reading. 


Hi, Laurel, Sorry to be late to the party, but I don't check DhO very often.

Yes, this phenomenon is relatively well known. Adyashanti talks about it. He calls it the "spiritual shipwreck" stage. In one of his published phone calls, there is a dialog with "Kevin from California" that discusses this very point. Also the Bernadette Roberts books discuss this stage, which she calls the loss of the personal will.

RE: Flatlining
Answer
7/1/20 6:18 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Sorry, somebody has probably already suggested something similar to this a long time ago, but it was too much to read through it all, but your experience reminds me of something I'm going through myself these days, so while I've been working on a reply to your question for a couple of days, your question has inspired me to look closer at my own experience of "flatlining."

I wouldn't exactly call my own experience for flatlining - but to me it is a sense of total directionlessness. My career feels wrong (but nothing else stands out as the right path), the city I live in feels wrong, everything about how my psyche is put together feels wrong - like the way I'm put together is not in any way whatsoever destinated for worldly success.

So I just decided to really note this sense of directionless really heavily in my meditation for the last two days. There is just some really strong aversion to my current situation in life going on. And today, at work, after doing this this morning, everything suddenly felt very right again. My connection with my co-workers were so much better, and everything just seemed so much more meaningful, and I just felt safe and comfortable in my current situation. I'm sure I will have to go more rounds with this thing, because I've experienced a release like this several times, and still it seems to come back.

But I guess my advice would just be to just really dig deeply, through vipassana, into whatever resistance you have towards your current situation in life. There is probably something somewhere that is flying under the radar that could be penetrated through your vipassana-technique.