Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Hi all, 

I'm confused with some aspects of my practice. Specifically this: If I am walking and doing stuff in daily life with no thoughts at all and feel like I am not really located anywhere (maybe in the chest if i want it, but it kind of feels like "everywhere" without being very special in any way, or possibly just everywhere except in my body but including my body -- like, headless) where will this lead? 

And what is it that I am doing in the terms commonly used on this board?

And lastly... what, if anything does this have to do with learning to see luminosity/emptiness?

Thoughts much appreciated, 

~BTG
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 4009 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm confused with some aspects of my practice. Specifically this: If I am walking and doing stuff in daily life with no thoughts at all and feel like I am not really located anywhere (maybe in the chest if i want it, but it kind of feels like "everywhere" without being very special in any way, or possibly just everywhere except in my body but including my body -- like, headless) where will this lead? 

This is it, Bagpuss. This is what we practice for. This moment, right now, being fully immersed in it without distraction.

And lastly... what, if anything does this have to do with learning to see luminosity/emptiness?

This is a more complex issue - you are always experiencing both dual and non-dual. Once you've realized the nature of non-duality/emptiness, then you can develop a view that can be achieved at any time, but that will not change the basic nature of your experience at this moment. It will, however, change your interpretation of how this moment is constructed.

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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Hi Chris. Thanks for your reply, much appreciated!

So if I was to spend more and more time making the "non thinking awareness" my default (it feels like it almost is but needs a little nudge to get into it and a little effort to stay there, especially when cycling though dark night stuff) would that be the way to eventually tip the next path moment?

Im collating some relevant feeling advice right now and I came across this quote from Tarin from way back in 2010

Tarin Greco:

and forget the notion that you have to sit to do this, if you really want to get it you should be doing it in everyday life.. sufficient obsession is sufficient.


Here's the thread. The entire thing is an absolute gem. 


...and I am rather keen for this to be so as sitting more than once a day often ends up just giving me a headache emoticon

~BTG
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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I assume from your last comment you're thinking you're third path?
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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No not at all. I'm working under the assumption that I am 2nd path Chris. I spent 5 or 6yrs in the DN of 2nd and appeared to get that in October last year. All bets are off though. I'll have a better idea when the next one lands. The current territory is endless, and matches up pretty well with descriptions though I don't have anywhere near the phenomenological precision as many on here and I didn't get here with noting. It was all about the body scan up until it was obvious that was no longer needed. 
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Bagpuss The Gnome:

So if I was to spend more and more time making the "non thinking awareness" my default (it feels like it almost is but needs a little nudge to get into it and a little effort to stay there, especially when cycling though dark night stuff) would that be the way to eventually tip the next path moment?

This is one idea in the Soto Zen school (my current home), an aphorism that has it that "when the student is walking often in the sea mist of the beach it will eventually soak his robes", meaning that spending as much time as possible in the non-dual/open-awareness/beingness/this is it of this moment eventually pervades all moments. This is also true in Tibetan Buddhism, and would eventually precipitate more than just the "next path" but rather the whole enchilada.
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Hey Stirling. Thanks a lot for that. That's really interesting that Zen has this thing going on. I've been getting a lot of of reading / listening to Mahamudra stuff and even did a course with Loch Kelly and was surprised to find that I could just do it. He has some kind of advanced course coming up in November that I may do also. 

Curretly trying to listen to Reggie Ray's Mahamudra for the Modern World but Sounds True appear to be absolutely incapable of delivering the product I paid for so far emoticon They're probably doing me a great service by making me work on my equanimity hehe..

There's a Zen place not too far from me. Kind of keen on not going out much re Covid but it might be worth checking out next year.

Is there a name for this practice in Zen?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Hey Stirling. Thanks a lot for that. That's really interesting that Zen has this thing going on. I've been getting a lot of of reading / listening to Mahamudra stuff and even did a course with Loch Kelly and was surprised to find that I could just do it. He has some kind of advanced course coming up in November that I may do also. 

Curretly trying to listen to Reggie Ray's Mahamudra for the Modern World but Sounds True appear to be absolutely incapable of delivering the product I paid for so far emoticon They're probably doing me a great service by making me work on my equanimity hehe..

There's a Zen place not too far from me. Kind of keen on not going out much re Covid but it might be worth checking out next year.

Is there a name for this practice in Zen?

I like the Reggie Ray stuff, but find Loch Kelly's delivery hard to listen to. I also really love Ponlop Rinpoche and commonly share his basic instructions for Mahamudra:

https://www.lionsroar.com/how-to-meditate-dzogchen-ponlop-rinpoche-on-mahamudra/

His book, "Mind Beyond Death" is a favorite of his. 

In Zen, the practice of meditating in open awareness is called Zazen and is the central practice. It is both Shamatha and Vipassana in one, but without so much of the structure. I was personally drawn to shine' or calm abiding meditation immediately, on encountering it in the Dzogchen tradition. Zazen is essentially the same - meditation that is resting in pure clean awareness with no object.  
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Right. I knew of Zazen of course but had not realised it was as you say. I thought it was pretty much mindfulness of breathing emoticon

I too am drawn to awareness practices. Looking back I can now see that my meditation has always oriented toward such experience. 

Thanks Stirling. 

~BTG
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 602 Join Date: 3/13/16 Recent Posts
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Right. I knew of Zazen of course but had not realised it was as you say. I thought it was pretty much mindfulness of breathing emoticon

I too am drawn to awareness practices. Looking back I can now see that my meditation has always oriented toward such experience. 

Thanks Stirling. 

~BTG

Bagsie,

Zen practices often start the way many meditation practices do, with watching or counting the breath. It's when someone says that they keep forgetting their count and have mental pauses that they are encouraged to drop the method and just train to rest in open awareness.

I have also always been drawn to these practices. Even when I was given instruction for some of the Vajrajana visualization exercises, I was still more drawn to the clean simplicity of "just sitting".
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Stirling Campbell:
Bagpuss The Gnome:
Right. I knew of Zazen of course but had not realised it was as you say. I thought it was pretty much mindfulness of breathing emoticon

I too am drawn to awareness practices. Looking back I can now see that my meditation has always oriented toward such experience. 

Thanks Stirling. 

~BTG

Bagsie,

Zen practices often start the way many meditation practices do, with watching or counting the breath. It's when someone says that they keep forgetting their count and have mental pauses that they are encouraged to drop the method and just train to rest in open awareness.

I have also always been drawn to these practices. Even when I was given instruction for some of the Vajrajana visualization exercises, I was still more drawn to the clean simplicity of "just sitting".
Bagsie? Oh dear...


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Have you come agross any zen books that cover the deep end of the practice Stirling?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Bagpuss The Gnome:

Have you come agross any zen books that cover the deep end of the practice Stirling?

I'd recommend some Dogen. Almost all Dogen is "deep end".

https://www.amazon.com/Essential-Dogen-Writings-Great-Master/dp/1611800412

Also comes as a nice audiobook. If you message me, I'll share something with you gratis.
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Chris Marti, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Stirling Campbell, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Chris Marti:

That's the one I was trying to remember! emoticon

+1
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 737 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Since you are multi-cellurar organism it is very possible that *you* are there somewhere. By *you* I do not point to any cell in particular because we have like bazzilion cells and they all experience something unique and some of them, neurons, can click to communicate with the rest of the body or do otherwise each cell might have some other forms of communication eg. chemical, vibrate, even generate very small electro-magnetic waves. Should that be the case you could then practice in such a way to make each cell know where it is and/or to learn what it can do internally.

Just a happy though to keep you awake at night emoticon
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Ni:

Just a happy though to keep you awake at night emoticon

Fortunately I went to bed before you posted it Ni emoticon

There's certainly way too much energy going on in my experience (though Im always tired!) so if you'd like to say how this is done or point me to some resources I'm open to suggestion!




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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

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Bagpuss The Gnome:
Fortunately I went to bed before you posted it Ni emoticon

There's certainly way too much energy going on in my experience (though Im always tired!) so if you'd like to say how this is done or point me to some resources I'm open to suggestion!
There are many scientific publications describing how body and reality in general works. Not everything is understood yet or even discovered but actually we know quite a bit more than eg. was available at Gautama Buddha times. Instead of over-relying on old spiritual texts it is skillful to actually use science as source of knowledge and I believe Buddha would agree. I actually find most spiritual texts of low metaphoric quality and mostly good to read mind states of people who wrote them to maybe learn some tricks from them. After all people who developed these mind states put a lot o effort in to them. The how this reading is done doesn't matter if you do not realize it yet. It is just more skillful to not ignore things because you "know better" what is possible and what is not and some times hold your disbelief at bay and actiually check things out. Otherwise no siddhis for you.

Instead what I find truly valuable for getting enlightened are biology, chemistry, computer science, electronics, physics, mathematics and even music theory. Have to know how to properly tune and play these notes emoticon

In computer science you have classic algorithms, building and training neuron networks, how to build hardware, networks, databases, how operating systems work and even basics about quantum computers. If topic has word "network" in it then you can not get enough knowledge about it! Also good to know about tensor networks in quantum physics to get proper perspective. Also general relativity and quantum physics must be bashed for long enough to make it sink in and replace solid flat worldview otherwise some insights will miss you.

As for the how to practice. You need to improve your focus. I do it by imagining small point eg. black. When I more or less see small dot then put even smaller dot inside, rinse and repeat. It is actually the practice for improving eyesight from William Bates book about eyesight. He did not really say to put dot inside dot but it seemed to me like an obvious way to increase focus. The smaller dot might appear not really visually smaller but mind gets more focused never the less. To my rather action oriented mind it is the best Samatha meditation practice ever. It pretty much ends with 9th jhana of this part of brain which even is called "focus" after very short time after starting it and then all 9 jahanas are just a reality and can be used at will and mind is laser focused. At first the resolution won't be terribly high but when you do it from time to time mind will get more and more resolution each time.

When focus is sharp enough you can then point your focus to part of the body and interact with it. Each jhana is just natural function body have and these are related with growing, dealing with sickness, controlling activity, etc. It becomes quite clear when you can see its effect on single cells and then it becomes most useful. The thing about single cells is that you can interact with groups of cells at once and this is not the same as having diffused focus. The difference is like having many focused lasers hit multiple targets precisely where all energy is used efficiently and effects are exactly what you want them to be vs. having one giant diffused laser which wastes energy on heating up things and empty space and can not really do its function properly.

BTW. Resolution of the eye seems to be directly related to resolution of focus so when you do it properly your eyesight should naturally improve. Sight won't however improve if your Samatha practice is of the "wait them out" type in which case you get different set of the same 9 jhanas. Those are pleasant and having mind conditioned in patience is great and all but not exactly what I refer to as useful for investigating your body. I mostly practiced resolution and had restless mind until I learned how to use my sharp focus and jhanas to target individual places of body/mind and apply just enough stimulation in direction opposite to where mind seemed to "move" (there are kind of oscillators in the mind which oscillate between two states) in order to stop them. In normal jhanas mind does the same thing but automatically and not consciously so not really useful for insight.

The last idea I got from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2%80%93Einstein_condensate
Tensor networks are in both your brain and in underlying physical/material reality. Or in other words: physics is everything emoticon
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Bagpuss The Gnome, modified 1 Year ago.

RE: Non-Thinking Awareness & Luminosity

Posts: 704 Join Date: 11/2/11 Recent Posts
Ni, do forgive me. I seem to have ignored your kind and detailed reply. I hear what you are saying about eyesight but I'm afraid I lack the physical apparatus to benefit from such practice.
Ni:
Tensor networks are in both your brain and in underlying physical/material reality. Or in other words: physics is everything emoticon


I will spend a little time looking at this. I get your point about information now available that was not several thousand years ago emoticon

thanks,

~BTG

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