RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu has written about how to attain full awakening without formal practice.

He says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening.

There are several stages in the process: spiritual joy -> tranquility -> insight into the true nature of things (the 3 characteristics) -> disenchantment -> disentanglement -> emancipation -> purification -> nirvana. 

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu says generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration produces spiritual joy. This leads to tranquility of mind. This tranquility of mind results in insight into the three characteristics arising naturally. When one see all things are inconstant, unsatisfactory, and not-self, disenchantment results and clinging begins to come undone. As clinging loosens disentanglement occurs which culminates in emancipation from the objects of clinging. This results in final elimination of mental defilements or purity that produces nirvana.

He sums up by saying:

".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."

https://dhammaratoblog.wordpress.com/insight-by-the-nature-method/
Insight by the Nature Method
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

In the Tipitaka there are numerous references to people attaining naturally all stages of path and fruit. This generally came about in the presence of the Buddha himself but also happened later with other teachers. These people did not go into the forest and sit, assiduously practising concentration on certain objects in the way described in later manuals. No systematic effort was involved when arahantship was attained by the first five disciples of the Buddha on hearing the Discourse on Non-selfhood, or by the one thousand hermits on hearing the Fire Sermon. In these cases keen, penetrating insight came about quite naturally. These examples clearly show that natural concentration is liable to develop of its own accord while one is attempting to understand clearly some question; and that the resulting insight, as long as it is firmly established, is sure to be quite intense and stable. It happens naturally, automatically, in just the same way that the mind becomes concentrated the moment we set about doing arithmetic. The same happens when firing a gun. When we take aim the mind automatically becomes concentrated and steady.
...
Normally we completely overlook this naturally occurring concentration because it does not appear the least bit magical, miraculous, or awe-inspiring. But through the power of just such concentration, most of us could actually attain liberation. We could attain the path, the fruit, nirvana, and arahantship, just by means of natural concentration.
...

Now we shall see how concentration can come about, naturally
...
Now let us look at the nature of the stages of inner awareness leading to full insight into the world, that is, into the five aggregates (khandhas).

The first stage is joy (piti), mental happiness, or spiritual well-being. Doing good in some way, even giving alms, considered the most basic form of merit-making, can be a source of joy. Higher up, at the level of morality, completely blameless conduct by way of word and deed brings an increase of joy. We also discover that joy of a definite kind is associated with the lower stages of concentration.
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This joy or rapture has in itself the power to induce tranquillity. Normally the mind is quite unrestrained, continually falling slave to all sort of thoughts and feelings associated with enticing things outside. It is normally restless, not calm. But as spiritual joy becomes established, calm and steadiness are bound to increase in proportion. When steadiness has been perfected, the result is full concentration. The mind becomes tranquil, steady, flexible, manageable, and at ease. It is then ready to be used for any chosen purpose, in particular for the elimination of the defilements.
It is not a case of the mind’s being rendered silent, hard, and rocklike. Nothing like that happens at all. The body feels normal, but the mind is especially calm and suitable for use in reflection and introspection. It is perfectly clear, cool, still, and restrained. This is quite unlike sitting in deep concentration. A deeply concentrated mind is in no position to investigate anything. It cannot practise introspection at all; it is in a state of unawareness and is of no use for insight.
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The expression “insight into the true nature of things” refers to realizing transience (anicca), unsatisfactoriness or suffering (dukkha), and non-selfhood (anatta). It means seeing that nothing is worth getting, that no object whatsoever should be grasped at and clung to as being a self or as belonging to a self, as being good or bad, attractive or repulsive. Liking or disliking anything, even an idea or a memory, is clinging. To say that nothing is worth getting or being is the same as saying that nothing is worth clinging to. “Getting” refers to setting one’s heart on properly, position, wealth, or any attractive object. “Being” refers to the awareness of one’s status as husband, wife, rich man, poor man, winner, loser, or even the awareness of being oneself. If one can completely give up clinging to the idea of being oneself, then being oneself will no longer be subject to suffering.
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When we have really come to perceive clearly that nothing is worth getting or being, disenchantment (nibbida) develops in proportion to the intensity of the insight. This is a sign that the clinging has become less firm and is starting to give way. It is a sign that we have been slaves for so long that the idea of trying to escape has at last occurred to us. This is the onset of disenchantment and disillusionment, when one becomes fed up with one’s own stupidity in grasping and clinging to things, believing things to be worth having and being.
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As soon as disenchantment has set in, there is bound to come about a natural, automatic process of disentanglement (viraga), as if a rope with which one had been tightly bound were being untied, or a rinsing out, as when the dye that had been firmly fixed in a piece of cloth is removed by soaking it in the appropriate substances.
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This process, whereby clinging gives way to a breaking free or a dissolving out from the world or from the objects of that clinging, was called by the Buddha emancipation (vimutti). This stage is most important. Though not the final stage, it is an essential step toward complete liberation. When one has broken free to this extent, complete liberation from suffering is assured.
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Once broken free from slavery, one need never again be a slave to the world. One becomes pure and uncontaminated where previously one was defiled in every way. To be enslaved to things is to be defiled in body, speech, and mind. To break free from slavery to the delightful tastes of the world is to achieve a condition of purity and never be defiled again. This purity (visuddhi), once it has been attained, will give rise to a genuine calm and coolness free from all turbulence, strife, and torment. This state of freedom from oppression and turbulence was called by the Buddha simply Peace (santi), that is, stillness, coolness in all situations. It is virtually the same thing as nirvana.
...
... we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve.
...
We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana.

Other articles by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu:

NIBBANA FOR EVERYONE
https://www.dhammatalks.net/Articles/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_NIBBANA_FOR_EVERYONE.htm

THE NATURAL CURE FOR SPIRITUAL DISEASE
https://dhammaratoblog.wordpress.com/the-natural-cure-for-spiritual-disease/
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu has written about how to attain full awakening without formal practice.

He says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening.

There are several stages in the process: spiritual joy -> tranquility -> insight into the true nature of things (the 3 characteristics) -> disenchantment -> disentanglement -> emancipation -> purification -> nirvana. 
...
He sums up by saying:

".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."

This article describes a path taught by a qualified expert which is the most similar to my own form of practice that I have found up to now. I have an affinity to practicing in daily life rather than at a retreat center and my interest in Buddhism is more about how it can help the average person, rather than how a dedicated practitioner who meditates for hours a day and goes on retreats every year should practice.

Since I follow a similar path, I think I can add some information that might be helpful to others who might want to try it. 

The state of tranquility, I believe, can be experienced by most people through samatha meditation, metta meditation, or even relaxation exercises (which are a form of meditation) including relaxing forms of tai-chi, qigong, and yoga. This state is a pleasant relaxed mood and can have associated various spiritual feelings such as goodwill, compassion, humility, surrender, etc. If you have felt relaxed and calm after a yoga class, a guided meditation, or a guided relaxation exercise, this I believe is what Buddhadasa Bhikkhu is referring to. I don't believe the intense joy or rapture is strictly necessary if you can find another way to the relaxed calm mood. One advantage to including relaxation exercises is that in addition to producing spiritual well-being, they also can turn off the body's stress response which in my experience is equivalent to letting go of unpleasant emotions (clinging to the aggregates). Relaxation exercises reduce suffering and give you practice letting go in addition to spiritual well-being.

What is described as "developing, day and night" is the effort to maintain throughout the day the pleasant relaxed mood that arises from meditation. I do this by trying to notice what things cause the mood to dissipate and what things help to produce it and maintain it. Over time one is able to maintain the state for longer and longer periods.

Also the "all day" practice can be enhanced by 1) noticing when unpleasant emotions (dukkha, craving, aversion) arise by learning to notice the physical sensations in your body that accompany emotions, 2) trying to see how the three characteristics and clinging to the aggregates are involved in the arising of unpleasant emotions, and 3) also noticing what causes unpleasant emotions to dissipate. 4) Allowing yourself to feel emotional pain to help let go of it. (If you find emotions are too intense, you don't have to push this too hard.) This excerpt by Thanissaro Bhikkhu can be helpful for emotions that are hard to let go of. 5) Learning how diet can affect your mood. I find a diet lower in carbohydrates is most helpful.

(What I mean by "unpleasant emotions that arise" is emotions that are caused by thinking or external circumstances, I distinguish these from some forms of emotions (for example, anxiety or depression) that are produced by biological factors that might not be influenced by mental techniques like meditation and mindfulness.)

I believe the stages do not have to be mastered in order, rather they are more like a pipeline where once you start to experience some aspect of one stage you begin to experience its effect of producing the next stage. Because of this I think it is a truly gradual path where you begin to experience some level of nirvana before you experience full awakening. This is possible because of the way Buddhadasa Bhikkhu understands nirvana.
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 1563 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Yup, this is entirely possible, but it takes a saint-like dedication to actually doing it. And notice that it still involves practice, just that sitting practice is de-emphasized. Most people like the idea of "no formal practice" but don't read the fine print to see that this is still practice, just not _sitting_ practice. To make progress, there is still a need do the 5 steps you mention.

Unfortunately, most people aren't able to keep it up and/or decieve themselves about their actual progress. Ironically, the best way to test the effectiveness of the non-sitting practice is to add in periods of formal sitting practice and formal retreats. This is guaranteed to give the feedback needed to assess progress and identify weak links. There is no better way to see if there is truly a reduction in greed, aversion, and indifference than by going on a retreat where there is nothing in particular to do except sit and walk and eat and pee and poop and bathe and sleep. 
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
shargrol:
Yup, this is entirely possible, but it takes a saint-like dedication to actually doing it. And notice that it still involves practice, just that sitting practice is de-emphasized. Most people like the idea of "no formal practice" but don't read the fine print to see that this is still practice, just not _sitting_ practice. To make progress, there is still a need do the 5 steps you mention.

Unfortunately, most people aren't able to keep it up and/or decieve themselves about their actual progress. Ironically, the best way to test the effectiveness of the non-sitting practice is to add in periods of formal sitting practice and formal retreats. This is guaranteed to give the feedback needed to assess progress and identify weak links. There is no better way to see if there is truly a reduction in greed, aversion, and indifference than by going on a retreat where there is nothing in particular to do except sit and walk and eat and pee and poop and bathe and sleep. 

Shargrol,

I am not trying push this as a replacement for any other type of practice. The people I think will be helped by this information are unlikely to ever work with a teacher, or go on a retreat.

You wrote: "Most people aren't able to keep it up and/or decieve themselves"

This is not unique to the practice I posted about.

I know a lot of people who try any kind of meditation practice don't keep it up. I don't know which practices are most likely to be abandoned. Do you think it is worse for the practice I posted about? How do you know? Can you provide any supporting evidence?

And the progress of insight had traditionally been kept secret to prevent self deception and now that it is public information undoubtedly more practitioners are falling victim to that trap. 

My interest in posting this thread is to provide helpful information to the people who will never go on a retreat, find a good teacher, or undertake a formal practice. Based on my observations on the redit meditation forum, I think there are many many more such people than there are students working with a teacher and going on retreats. I suspect that there are even many more such people lurking on this forum than the number of people who post here. (Looking at the number of views I get on my practice log after I make a post, I can tell there are a large number of lurkers on this forum.)

I think that you can do more good for humanity helping the weak students because (I believe) there are many more of them than there are dedicated students. Part of what makes this good for weak students is that it seems to me to be a truly gradual process. You don't get an extra boost when you reach a milestone. You get results in proportion to your effort from the beginning. So the people who never reach a milestone benefit more than they would from other practices.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 5477 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I think Shargrol's point was that it isn't "weak students" that awaken that way, as it takes an enormous amount of dedication. But sure, it's a valid path, and if one beliefs in reincarnation, it might lead to better chances in next life. For those who are looking for a less effortful way, I'd guess that "just sitting" (with the ground of being) on a regular basis is more effective. Lama Lena says that it works perfectly for people with cognitive difficulties, for instance. It doesn't require any studying. Regardless, I have great respect for people who do services for others, whether or not they have chosen it as their path. May the fruits of my practice be shared with them. 
shargrol, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith:


The people I think will be helped by this information are unlikely to ever work with a teacher, or go on a retreat.

You wrote: "Most people aren't able to keep it up and/or decieve themselves"

This is not unique to the practice I posted about.

It's important to understand exactly what I'm saying.

In this context, "most people aren't able to keep it up" means that without the structure provided by more formal practice, it is very challenging to maintain the continuity of practice that is require to make progress with "Natural Awakening". That's what I mean by keeping it up, I mean keeping the continuity of practice.

You see, it's possible to make progress through about an hour or two of formal practice a day. To make progress through natural awakening, it takes never not practicing, day and night. So I would actually say that for most people, formal sitting practice is the most effective and easiest way to make progress. 


I know a lot of people who try any kind of meditation practice don't keep it up. I don't know which practices are most likely to be abandoned. Do you think it is worse for the practice I posted about? How do you know? Can you provide any supporting evidence?


My focus here isn't on abandoning practice. It is about effective practice.

I've obviously only had my experiences and conversations with others, but all I can say is that everyone I've worked with has made progress through consistent daily sitting and most have required periodic retreats to break through periods of stagnation. I have yet to meet someone who has made significant progress without sitting --- and I have met many people who _think_ they have made progress without sitting. 

Ultimately, I feel it is important to be clear about all of this. Meditation is a path that takes a lot of dedication. In many cases, it's better not to start rather than underestimate the amount of work and effort required. Again, the "natural awakening" path seems less effortful, but in many ways, it takes a deeper commitment and requires greater honesty.



My interest in posting this thread is to provide helpful information to the people who will never go on a retreat, find a good teacher, or undertake a formal practice.



I understand. My point is to provide some reasonable cautions, because although Buddhadasa is painting a fairly idealized series of outcomes, it simply rarely happens that way. It would probably be better for people who never go on retreat, never get direct advice from a teacher, and never undertake a formal practice to be told that a good life doesn't require any of these things. However, they should also understand that some aspects of meditation insight will simply not be available to them. It's okay. Not everyone needs to meditate. It's not less of a life. People do need to follow their interests and curiousities, however. I feel obligated to be clear about what is involved when people are interested and curious about meditation, so that this information can inform their decisions.


I think that you can do more good for humanity helping the weak students because (I believe) there are many more of them than there are dedicated students. Part of what makes this good for weak students is that it seems to me to be a truly gradual process. You don't get an extra boost when you reach a milestone. You get results in proportion to your effort from the beginning. So the people who never reach a milestone benefit more than they would from other practices.



I've actually thought a lot about this and I think you are wrong on several counts. First of all, I don't think meditation is helpful for everyone. Most so-called weak students may simply not be drawn to meditation, in the same way that many people take an art class but don't become artists or many people who learn an instrument in school but stop playing as they grow up. No big deal. 

Secondly, all of meditation is a gradual progress. It's very very strange that you seem to be confused about this. And you seem to not see the "boosts" that Buddhadasa is describing as someone using the Natural Awakening has as their progress develops. Look closely and you'll see a sequence of events that build on top of each other, each one boosting the next.

Thirdly, people who never reach a milestone but who are interested in doing so would probably benefit more from a detailed diagnosis of their practice to identify their blindspots, self-deceptions, and weak links rather than advocating a less-structured practice that provides minimal feedback. 

And finally, people who practice without teachers or retreats are severely handicapping themselves -- it's just that simple. It's nearly essential to have a teacher/senior meditator advise on practice. And second only to having a good teacher, having the experience of sustained practice via retreat is very very helpful.


Thank you for asking those questions. Hope my answers are helpful in some way.
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
shargrol:

...

I've actually thought a lot about this and I think you are wrong on several counts. First of all, I don't think meditation is helpful for everyone. Most so-called weak students may simply not be drawn to meditation, in the same way that many people take an art class but don't become artists or many people who learn an instrument in school but stop playing as they grow up. No big deal. 

This is where we disagree or are misunderstanding each other. I spend time on the reddit meditation forum. Have you interacted with a lot of ordinary rather than dedicated meditators, or are you speculating about them? What I see is many people struggling with meditation. They are drawn to it, they want it, they need the benefits. But they start, stop, and start again, because sitting meditation does not really work for them. They are never going to get stream entry from sitting meditation, but they could get a lot of benefit from spiritual well-being and relaxation produced by relaxation exercises (which are a form of meditation) and from trying to maintain these states after the session is over - noticing what causes dukkha that disturbs these states. It is quite a clear lesson when you feel warm and fuzzy after relaxation exercises, or yoga, or tai-chi and then something happens and you go back to normal stressed out state. It will get your attention and make you look deeper in to what is going on. And if it felt good, you will do more of it. That is psychology 101. Adding an understanding of the three characteristics and clinging to the aggregates will give them a framework to understand the suffering they experience on a daily basis. 


Secondly, all of meditation is a gradual progress. It's very very strange that you seem to be confused about this. And you seem to not see the "boosts" that Buddhadasa is describing as someone using the Natural Awakening has as their progress develops. Look closely and you'll see a sequence of events that build on top of each other, each one boosting the next.

I believe those stages Buddhadasa Bhikkhu describes are more of a pipeline where you start expiencing the benefits of a subsequent stage while you are still developing it's predecssor,  than a series of stages to be mastered sequentially. If you look at how Buddhadasa Bhikkhu understand nirvana  you will see that it is not a mystical state only for fully awakened beings, it is an ordinary state that ordinary people experience at times even every day. You can expreience more nirvana today, right now, by cultivating spiritual well-being. Following what Buddhadasa describes, you don't need to experice a discontinuous milestone (that may never happen) like stream entry or cessation to get a glimpse of nirvana.
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Nick O, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith :
I believe those stages Buddhadasa Bhikkhu describes are more of a pipeline where you start expiencing the benefits of a subsequent stage while you are still developing it's predecssor,  than a series of stages to be mastered sequentially. If you look at how Buddhadasa Bhikkhu understand nirvana  you will see that it is not a mystical state only for fully awakened beings, it is an ordinary state that ordinary people experience at times even every day. You can expreience more nirvana today, right now, by cultivating spiritual well-being. Following what Buddhadasa describes, you don't need to experice a discontinuous milestone (that may never happen) like stream entry or cessation to get a glimpse of nirvana.

Hey Jim,

FWIW, Buddhadasa explains the stages of insight in great detail in terms of one stage leading to the next in his book "Me and Mine" pages 41-45. He speaks in terms of lessening attachement to defilements through the "knowledge and vision of the progress of the path" which is broken down into:
 
(a) knowledge of the arising and passing away
(b) knowledge of decay and dissolution
(c) awareness of danger 
(d) disenchantment 
(e) Desire for freedom 
(g) Struggle to Escape

He says this leads to "indifference to all phenomena" stage (equanimity in MCTB ). Interestingly, he also mentions in the last stage as the "qualifying knowedge" that "lasts only and instant" (path moment/cessation) and direct understanding of the four noble truths as the fruit of this qualifying knowledge.   
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Nick O:
Jim Smith :
I believe those stages Buddhadasa Bhikkhu describes are more of a pipeline where you start expiencing the benefits of a subsequent stage while you are still developing it's predecssor,  than a series of stages to be mastered sequentially. If you look at how Buddhadasa Bhikkhu understand nirvana  you will see that it is not a mystical state only for fully awakened beings, it is an ordinary state that ordinary people experience at times even every day. You can expreience more nirvana today, right now, by cultivating spiritual well-being. Following what Buddhadasa describes, you don't need to experice a discontinuous milestone (that may never happen) like stream entry or cessation to get a glimpse of nirvana.

Hey Jim,

FWIW, Buddhadasa explains the stages of insight in great detail in terms of one stage leading to the next in his book "Me and Mine" pages 41-45. He speaks in terms of lessening attachement to defilements through the "knowledge and vision of the progress of the path" which is broken down into:
 
(a) knowledge of the arising and passing away
(b) knowledge of decay and dissolution
(c) awareness of danger 
(d) disenchantment 
(e) Desire for freedom 
(g) Struggle to Escape

He says this leads to "indifference to all phenomena" stage (equanimity in MCTB ). Interestingly, he also mentions in the last stage as the "qualifying knowedge" that "lasts only and instant" (path moment/cessation) and direct understanding of the four noble truths as the fruit of this qualifying knowledge.   
I would not expect him to contradict the conventional views of the progress of insight, but it looks to me that what Buddhadasa is writing about in the article I am discussing is not identical to the stages of insight. As far as I can tell he teaches conventional meditation but also teaches the nature method as something different. I really don't see how practicing generosity or virtue, which is all he says is needed for the nature method, will lead to cessation. I will try to find his book and see what he says there.


Thanks
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
shargrol:

 
Secondly, all of meditation is a gradual progress. It's very very strange that you seem to be confused about this. And you seem to not see the "boosts" that Buddhadasa is describing as someone using the Natural Awakening has as their progress develops. Look closely and you'll see a sequence of events that build on top of each other, each one boosting the next.

If all meditation is a gradual process why are people practicing the progress of insight so obsessed with stream entry? If the day before stream-entry was for them just about the same as the day after stream-entry people wouldn't be that concerned. People say they have permanent change in understanding of self that significantly reduces suffering after stream entry. That is a discontinuity, it is not "gradual".

In the pali canon it says progress like the the sea floor, it descends gradually until there is a steep drop off. That is not gradual, it is partly gradual.

When I say gradual, I mean gradual from the beginning to the end. Someone might disagree that that there are any paths that are truly gradual like that, but I don't see how the traditional model can be considered truly gradual.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 5477 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
So you are basically looking for the same kind of gradual that prevents frogs from leaving the water when it's boiling? Interesting. Does insight seem like boiling to you? 
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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If all meditation is a gradual process why are people practicing the progress of insight so obsessed with stream entry? If the day before stream-entry was for them just about the same as the day after stream-entry people wouldn't be that concerned. People say they have permanent change in understanding of self that significantly reduces suffering after stream entry. That is a discontinuity, it is not "gradual".

It's more gradual than you think. Let's use the example of boiling water. If you light a fire and put a pot of cold water on it, the fire increases the temperature of the pot of water slowly. Then, at sea level, when the water reaches about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it suddenly boils. In science, this is called a phase change. The water is turning into a vapor - steam. A phase change occurs only due to the previously gradual process of increasing the temperature of the water. The boiling water isn't possible without the slow rise in temperature. The same applies to the phase change of making ice from hot water in a freezer.

Like the water, a person who has been practicing diligently will traverse a series of experiences and qualities of mind over a period of time until there are phase changes at several junctures. This doesn't negate the gradual nature of the awakening process. There are many samller changes and realizations that occur over time during the practice that are required for the phase change of stream entry to occur. People like me who eperience these things over time tend to emphasize (talk about) the phase change of stream entry and other paths and not talk about all the gradual changes that occur in between. That doesn't mean those gradual changes are meaningless and it doesn't mean the phase changes of the paths don't require them.



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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 5477 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
If all meditation is a gradual process why are people practicing the progress of insight so obsessed with stream entry? If the day before stream-entry was for them just about the same as the day after stream-entry people wouldn't be that concerned. People say they have permanent change in understanding of self that significantly reduces suffering after stream entry. That is a discontinuity, it is not "gradual".

It's more gradual than you think. Let's use the example of boiling water. If you light a fire and put a pot of cold water on it, the fire increases the temperature of the pot of water slowly. Then, at sea level, when the water reaches about 212 degrees Fahrenheit, it suddenly boils. In science, this is called a phase change. The water is turning into a vapor - steam. A phase change occurs only due to the previously gradual process of increasing the temperature of the water. The boiling water isn't possible without the slow rise in temperature. The same applies to the phase change of making ice from hot water in a freezer.

Like the water, a person who has been practicing diligently will traverse a series of experiences and qualities of mind over a period of time until there are phase changes at several junctures. This doesn't negate the gradual nature of the awakening process. There are many samller changes and realizations that occur over time during the practice that are required for the phase change of stream entry to occur. People like me who eperience these things over time tend to emphasize (talk about) the phase change of stream entry and other paths and not talk about all the gradual changes that occur in between. That doesn't mean those gradual changes are meaningless and it doesn't mean the phase changes of the paths don't require them.




That's a great response! Please ignore my last comment, Jim, as the analogy is obviously much more fruitful than I was able to see. And when it comes to the phase changes (great concept!) I actually don't think of them as something to be obsessed with. For me personally the time leading up to stream entry is more of a landmark than the actual stream entry, because it was such an intense time in my practice. So much was happening on its own. I really loved the itensity of third vipassana jhana and all the little clues to insight that it brought about during the dukkha nanas as they were spiralling upwards into EQ. I have seen so many practitioners here describe the same territory as a terrifying experience, but I guess I'm just weird.

I would get drawn into intense meditation during the nights even though I was just trying to sleep. It felt like the process turned all my senses inside out, one at a time. I did freak out briefly, but I was met with kindness and normalizing insurance here, not least from Chris, and then I just enjoyed the ride. I get nostalgic about that period. There were so many first time experiences of stuff that now just feels normal. At that time it felt groundbreaking. It just turned everything upside down. Like seeing sacred geometry for the first time! I wasn't even able to remember stuff visually before that, and suddenly those amazing art works just popped up in my mind, rich with details! And having images like that warp around themselves in 3D (maybe that one happend after stream entry, though? I don't remember for sure.). I had no idea my mind could do stuff like that. And suddenly finding that I had a widened visal field that made it possible to not be a constant hazard in the traffic - that was a milestone. And being able to meditate myself into Equanimity in time for work in the morning, Gosh, that came in handy, even though I had to meditate again at lunch. Being able to notice dukkha nanas as they arose and just let go of them, passing through a number of them while in the shower and laughing out loud for taking all those thoughts and feelings so seriously for such a long time in my life. The joy of learning all the quirks of my mind and learning to recognize my own little landmarks both on and off the cushion. The best detective story ever! Finding my own ways of dealing with weird stuff that would happen and being amazed by the fact that they actually worked. All of that happened before stream entry (except probably the example with the flower of life toroid spinning around itself). This means so much more to me than the stream entry moment. It's just that stream entry is what people keep asking about, and I politely answer. 
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith :

He says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening. 

[...]

".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."


Hi Jim,

The part I put in bold sounds an aweful lot like an alternatively-worded description of... the progress of insight stages... emoticon

Also, I have trouble construing how "cultivating", "developing" and "making" these qualities "naturally" arise could be considered as "no formal practice".

Sincerely,

Olivier
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Olivier:
Jim Smith :

He says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening. 

[...]

".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."


Hi Jim,

The part I put in bold sounds an aweful lot like an alternatively-worded description of... the progress of insight stages... emoticon

Can you say which nanas they correspond to? I was interested in this and tried to make a comparison but I don't know the progress of insight that well.

Olivier:


Also, I have trouble construing how "cultivating", "developing" and "making" these qualities "naturally" arise could be considered as "no formal practice".

Sincerely,

Olivier
"Arise naturally" means you don't make any special effort to do it, it happens automatically. My second post was my own way of practicing. But according to Buddhadasa all you have to do is generate spiritual well-being by generosity or virtue or light meditation and try to live with that spiritual well-being all day. All those stages then happen by themselves without any other effort.

I included those stages in my post because I have an anlytical mind and I like to understand how things work. (I don't trust a technique if I don't understand how it works. That is my main objection to cessation.) The information on the stages explains how it works, but it is supposed to happen automatically.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith:
Olivier:
Jim Smith :

He says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening. 

[...]

".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."


Hi Jim,

The part I put in bold sounds an aweful lot like an alternatively-worded description of... the progress of insight stages... emoticon

Can you say which nanas they correspond to? I was interested in this and tried to make a comparison but I don't know the progress of insight that well.

Olivier:


Also, I have trouble construing how "cultivating", "developing" and "making" these qualities "naturally" arise could be considered as "no formal practice".

Sincerely,

Olivier
"Arise naturally" means you don't make any special effort to do it, it happens automatically. My second post was my own way of practicing. According to Buddhadasa all you have to do is generate spiritual well-being by generosity or virtue or light meditation and try to live with that spiritual well-being all day. All those stages happen by themselves without any attention.

I included those stage in my post because I have an anlytical mind and I like to understand how things work. That information explains how it works, but it is supposed to happen automatically.
Hi,

If you have an analytical mind, you are gonna LOVE the progress of insight maps :

(1, 2) The first two stages are Mind and Body, and Cause and effect. They come about when there is light concentration and are associated with joy and unified feelings (spiritual joy, calm)

(3, 4) The third nana is, insight into the three characteristics of existence; anicca, dukkha, anatta 
When this deepens and clarifies, it is the fourth nana, deep insight into the true nature of things. (insight into the true nature of things)

(5)This then brings about what is called dissolution. (disenchantment)

(6, 7, 8, 9, (10)) Followed by what is referred to as the knoledges of suffering : dukkha nana. Sometimes divided up into fear, misery, disgust (nibidda, disenchantment), desire for deliverance. Sometimes included in this DN group is the 10th nana, reobservation (that's how Bill Hamilton and then Daniel and Folk map it). Mahasi Sayadaw and, I believe, Sayadaw U pandita, map it as the beginning of the next stage (purification, deliverance). (disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements)

((10), 11)Then there is reobservation (escape), followed by a purification which is called Equanimity towards formations, the eleventh nana. Alternatively, we could say re_observation is the worst part of the Dhukka nanas; which lead on to escape, low-equanimity ; which feels like a purification; from there on the practicioner can establish and mature equanimity. ((purification from defilements), and finally peace, nirvana.)

... or not !...

Where Daniel Ingram's version comes in handy, is for when people don't experience things in this sequence, but in much more chaotic and confusing ways, however they practice or dont :p Sometimes you become purified, nibbanic. And then all falls apart ! Shit ! Why ?

As for arising naturally - from a certain perspective, everything arises causally and mechanically, whether you do anything about it or not emoticon But that is a more advanced notion, not necesarily helpful at all times.

Finally, I can testify from my experience that there is no need for any kind of formal practice in order to go through the natural unfolding of these insights arising, as I myself, being very sensitive, curious and inquisitive naturally with keen faculties, I went through all of it during my teens without trying at all :p

Now, as for a paranoid hypothesis - let's be open to the notion that there is a kind or re-branding or re-packaging going on in the passage you quote, destined to make it seem like no effort and no pain will happen if one just does this specific thing that only this one version can guarantee.

It sounds better to  gloss over the nasty parts, saying for instance "you're gonna develop joy and calm, and then experience disenchantment, and then be free." - than to go into the details of what that "disenchantment" actually entails, doesn't it ? 

Well let me tell you that at each retreat i've been to, the guy in charge made the same claims about their teaching. Except in the mahasi tradition; actually.

Why then, did I at times find myself having to explain to confused meditators why their formerly pristine, clear and joyful practice had suddenly turned to shitty and jarring,  while the teachers would not adress their report transparently, hmm ? Actually, one time, even the teacher came to us and listened to what I was saying, which I largely learned thanks to Daniel Ingram's book. hehe emoticon

These people need normalization of their experience. They are here, meditating, thinking that it's al gonna be up and up and up from there on. And then something which doesn't fit happens. It has to be adressed.

Best of luck with your practice, and sorry for snapping at you the other time - it was probably unhelpful, wasn't it ?

Olivier
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Btw, Jim, I think you would really enjoy reading René Guénon's stuff. Although there is no practical aspect and it won't get you anywhere except bring a very cool, extremely clear and easy to understand universalist traditionalist understanding of what spiritual realization is.

It will also help you understand what "cessation" is. It is a return to the non-manifest. Simple. Many other traditions mention it (Guénon was a great specialist of hinduism, as well as mystic Christianity, and lived the later part of his life in egypt as a sufi...)

You have to realize that dan ingram is like the world specialist in the details of what the path entails. Most people will never experience it in as much detail as him. This is why people like buddhadasa use much simpler and straightforward language.

It's the same difference between someone who is passionatly enamored with the specifics of harmonic motions listening to a piece of music and then being able to talk to you about its structure for two hours ; and then another guy who went to the same concert, and says : "yeah it was alright."

...

I think you could ask Ingram about his dinner last night and you would get somme extremely intricate and complex analytical phenomenology sounding like a trip to wonderland... and then his wife would be like : hey, that was a nice dinner with nice salad and desert.

Or, the difference between Newtonian physics, and relativist physics, if that speaks to you. For most people and purposes, Newtonian physics is much more intuitive and practical. But then...

This is why some people here are all into describing stages and specific things - not necesarily to boast about it, but because they're wired into that way of thinking. It's not for everyone. I have a brother who absolutely has no way of even starting to get into that technical mapping stuff. No way. I told him about the nanas and stages hundreds of time, and he just can't get it. Interestingly, he's also kind of math-handicapped emoticon To me there's a connection there. But then, he's superior in other kinds of thinking or experiencing.

But, he was CLEARLY going through the stages; which is why I was trying to tell him about it. And he still couldn't see how it related to his experience... Go figure.

Different people...

Also Sufi litterature.

Cheers
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith:

I included those stages in my post because I have an anlytical mind and I like to understand how things work. (I don't trust a technique if I don't understand how it works. That is my main objection to cessation.) The information on the stages explains how it works, but it is supposed to happen automatically.


Cessation is not a technique.

If cessation doesn’t happen, then awakening doesn’t happen. No worries, though, because cessation happens automatically and naturally as the fruition of the practice. I suspect that cessation is the same thing as Kundalini reaching the bindu and all other descriptions of awakening. It’s not a method. It’s how the awakening manifests thanks to the practice that foregoes it. It usually needs to happen many many times over a long period of time, as for the very most people it’s a gradual process. Cessation is not the way to awakenig, but the liberation that comes from it. The energetic rewiring that comes as a blessing. Most of us need all the help we can get, and so the energetic rewiring can only happen one small step at a time. I don’t think there is any point to focusing one’s practice on getting a many fruitions as possible, though, just like restarting the computer too often doesn’t do it any good. The system only gets a rewiring during the reboot if there has been a download first. I see the practice as a very gradual way of downloading the rewiring codes and eventually installing them. The cessation is just the restarting that allows the installation to manifest. And just like a new upgrade is rarely perfect, but takes many bug fixes, one installation and restart is rarely enough for awakening either.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö:

I suspect that cessation is the same thing as Kundalini reaching the bindu and all other descriptions of awakening.

Another wording for it is this: When in Tantric Sadhana you dissolve the seed syllable into a point and the point dissolves. Attention is led to Tawa by the dissolution of that tigle. It’s the completion phase of all Sadhanas, just before the end.

Different wordings, probably the same thing.
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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So, all you have to do is:

... try to live with that spiritual well-being all day.

The chances of this happening, without damned rigorous attention and formality behind it is, very, very small. Maybe infinitesimal.

Jim, I know you've placed your bet on a particular horse in this "race," but I think you're trying to turn sows' ears into silk purses to back it  emoticon
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 9 Months ago.

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The practice is what makes it possible for me to live with spiritual wellbeing at least parts of the day, as it makes it easier to have that kind of approach in challenging times. 

This reminds me of when people say to severely depressed people that they should just cheer up and go for a walk and meet friends and help others. If that is available, that's amazing. It really is. But with severe depression, even leaving your bed to get something to eat might just be impossible. Proper medication, if one responds to that, might just make it possible to gradually develop strategies that eventually enables one to take a walk and meet friends and help others. Meditation is like medication for me. (And I still need medication too.)
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Chris Marti:

Jim, I know you've placed your bet on a particular horse in this "race," but I think you're trying to turn sows' ears into silk purses to back it  emoticon


Which is ?
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Which is ?

Gradual awakening.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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No systematic effort was involved when arahantship was attained by the first five disciples of the Buddha on hearing the Discourse on Non-selfhood, or by the one thousand hermits on hearing the Fire Sermon.

A couple more remarks :

Those five disciples were his companions during the extreme asceticism period. They might already have been anagamis from their yeqrs of prior efforts, who knows. :p

The 1000 hermits were... hermits... doing what with their life up until this point ?

Kind regards,

Olivier
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Jim Smith:

...

[Buddhadasa Bhikkhu] says cultivating spiritual joy from generosity, good conduct, or the lower stages of concentration naturally leads to full awakening.

There are several stages in the process: spiritual joy -> tranquility -> insight into the true nature of things (the 3 characteristics) -> disenchantment -> disentanglement -> emancipation -> purification -> nirvana. 



In the article, Buddhadasa Bhikkhu uses spiritual well-being as synonym for spiritual joy. I think this state of spiritual well-being is another way of describing when the empathic network in the brain is active, and that having the empathic network active will enhance any type of Buddhist practice.

Research has shown that because of the structure of the brain, analytical thinking and empathic thinking are mutually exclusive.

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252241.php

Scientists have discovered that the brain circuits we engage when we think about social matters, such as considering other people’s views, or moral issues, inhibit the circuits that we use when we think about inanimate, analytical things, such as working on a physics problem or making sure the numbers add up when we balance our budget. And they say, the same happens the other way around: the analytic brain network inhibits the social network.
...
When not doing anything in particular, our brains switch between social and analytic networks. But, when working on a goal-directed task, healthy adults engage the appropriate neural pathways, say the researchers.

The analytical network has a tendency to produce callous thinking. This is believed to by why some economic and political policies fail because they ignore human realities. The policy makers were out of balance thinking only analytically and not empathically.

I think the best explanation for the term "spiritual well-being" used by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu is that it is describing a state where the empathic network is active.

In other posts I have described a "spiritual feeling",  or a "pleasant relaxed mood", where feelings of compassion, forgiveness, metta, humility, surrender are common. And where the jhanas are easily accessible.

I believe this is the same state Buddhasa Bhikkhu is referring to as spiritual well-being or spiritual joy. 

I am familiar with this state because the type of samatha meditation I do produces it readily so I think I can switch between the analytical network and the emathic network at will. 

Other people can probably do this too. Just knowing about the two networks might make sense of your own experiences and allow you to activate the empathic network whenever you want to.

If you are not sure what it feels like to have the empathic network active, try metta mediation, or samatha meditation, or jhana meditation, or relaxation exercises. As I said it is a pleasant relaxed mood with feelings of compassion, forgiveness, metta, humility, and surrender.

I think having the empathic network active will enhance any type of meditation practice.

I recommend meditating with the empathic network active. Analytical thinking is good for many things and I think both networks should be developed to be in balance. But I think it is more likely that the relief from suffering, the insights and the realizations people are seeking from meditation are more likely to come from the empathic network than the analytical network.

I have heard over and over again, intellectual understanding alone is not enough to trigger awakening.

And a lot of suffering comes from analytical thinking. We worry about the future, we over analyze things, we go over the past repeatedly, we obsess about status etc. This all seems to me to be analytical thinking. 

Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn is Professor of Medicine Emeritus and creator of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He explains, using slightly different terminology for the brain networks, how having the wrong network active in the brain causes suffering.

https://blogs.psychcentral.com/mindfulness/2010/10/living-as-if-it-mattered-an-interview-with-jon-kabat-zinn/
One pathway is a mid-line pathway, very akin to what is called a default mode, that seems to be functioning when nothing else is supposed to be happening — like being or mind wandering, or something like that, which is what they call the narrative network for self. So like what you tell yourself about who you are, where you’re going, how things are going, how stressed you are, how great it’s going to be in the future, how horrible it was in the past, or vice-versa, how wonderful it was in the past, or how horrible it is in the present. So it is a narrative ongoing story of me. And that occupies a certain kind of brain territory.

In a podcast, Dr Kabat-Zinn descrbes this kind of thinking as "the story of me."

What if you could reassign neurons away from the network that produces suffering and "the story of me" and reassign them to producing feelings of compassion, forgiveness, metta, and humility? This is possible because of neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity refers to the brain's tendency to rewire itself, assigning neurons to pathways that are used more heavily and reassigning neurons away from pathways that are used less.

That is exactly what Buddhadasa is saying to do when he says:
".. we simply encourage (nirvana) to come about of its own accord, naturally, by developing, day and night, the joy that results from mental purity, until the qualities we have described gradually evolve. ...We do it just by making our own way of daily living so pure and honest that there arise in succession spiritual joy, calm, insight into the true nature of things, disenchantment, disentanglement, escape, purification from defilements, and finally peace, nirvana."

Buddhadasa Bhikkhu says you can do this without a formal meditation practice. 

But you can also do it in conjunction with any formal meditation practice too. Try to learn to recognize when you empathic network is active, and how to activate it, and then live and meditate with your empathic network active.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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     I've followed this thread with interest and some amusement because I
remembered a Sufi teaching story:
A judge in a village court had gone on vacation. Nasrudin was asked to
be temporary judge for a day. Nasrudin sat on the Judge's chair with
a serious face, gazing around the public and ordered the first case
be brought-up for hearing. "You are right," said Nasrudin
after hearing one side. "You are right," he said after
hearing the other side. "But both cannot be right," said a
member of the public sitting in the audience. "You are right,
too" said Nasrudin. 
     I agree with you Jim, especially the second post. I can't debate the
theory put forward by Buddhadasa Bhikkhu, except to comment on
my experience. I had my first experience of ...? when I was 16 years
old without ever having practiced sitting meditation or knowing anything about
Buddhism or any other method. But I did have a “practice” which
was Hara breathing as a part of martial arts. As Shiva told Devi, “Radiant One, this
experience may dawn between two breaths. After breath comes in (down)
and just before turning up (out) -the beneficence.” I identify
with Ron Crouch's description, “As you reflect on it you see that there
was something truly amazing about that moment. In that instant everything 
disappeared, including you. It was a moment of complete non-occurrence,
the absolute opposite of everything that has ever happened in your life
up to this moment,” an undeniable, unshakable experience for me.  
     I identified the experience with the Hara breathing and stuck to it
fervently. When I hear talk about “not having thoughts” I
understand. There are years that when I look back I can't remember
how I decided to do the things I did. I now understand it to be the
effect of the reflective nature of awareness, and of concentrating
to strongly.  Not necessarily good. 
     But I also agree with Shargrol because I eventually had to do formal
practice to deepen (repeat) and steady the experience. Personally, I
can't identify with the step by step approach. Especially the
negative states described in the “Stages of the Progress of
Insight. I never went through a dark night. Any negative feelings
were just thoughts like any other, seen and let go. Just breeze. The
other stages I can recognize but not in any order. This
is not a criticism of the stages as described. Maybe for the
student that trains in this system, with a teacher, the guidance will
result in traversing the stages in the order described. I suppose
that these descriptions were created as a teaching manual. The effect
of having students measuring themselves with them is a subject that
deserves study.
I deeply appreciate all the wisdom found in these discussions. I have
learned so much from them. Maybe a fair conclusion would be to
consider that there are a lot of aspects of practice that are not
fully understood and that you both may be right. I certainly am
not qualified to decide.
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Jim Smith, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Angel Roberto Puente:
...
I deeply appreciate all the wisdom found in these discussions. I have
learned so much from them. Maybe a fair conclusion would be to
consider that there are a lot of aspects of practice that are not
fully understood and that you both may be right. I certainly am
not qualified to decide.

People who disagree with you can help you even if they are wrong because they can see your blind spots which you don't even know exist.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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Live a stress free life with Mindfulness(TM) !

Learn to let go of judgment and be in the present moment. You can start to rewire your brain networks with only 20h of practice, and enjoy increased well-being, as well as more work efficiency.

Week long sessions now going for only 5000$ with the special Covid-19 discount ! Yoga pants included in the price !
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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(SORRY !!! I couldn't resist !!!! emoticonemoticon  Just poking a bit of fun emoticon

Fun fact : I once had a short conversation with Jon Kabat Zinn in Strasbourg, and he apparently did not know what dependent origination is. True story.)
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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I met John Kabat Zinn in an elevator in San Francisco, CA once, but I didn't ask him about dependent origination. We did exchange pleasantries as I had just heard him speak at a conference.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

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What was the conferece about ?
Mine was the launch of mbsr in france, basically. They're now offering training in universities, and it actually does cost something like 3000 euros a week.
Well, that three day event had some interesting things, Michel Bitbol was there, a woman who had done the three year tibetan retreat was there... But globally it was a commercial thing. Here is the poster of the second edition of the thing emoticon 



Look at those curves emoticon
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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[quote=Look at those curves emoticon
]Yea, a little sexist but wholly appropriate as advertising goes. The training seems pretty straighforward until you get really into it and then, whooops there comes the curve.emoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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What was the conferece about ?

It was in Silicon Valley and it was a conference on what I'd call "corporate mindfulness," or "how to make employees productive by working hard but being happy." I went because I was there for work anyway and I had friends going. There were some pretty good speakers and panels, even though I didn't like the conference theme. Eckard Tolle and the Sakyong (now disgraced).spoke. Kabat Zinn was on a panel discussion.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

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I guess there's always something to take home, but the mindfulness business really makes me cringe.
Was JKZ saying interesting things ?
During those conferences he was really playing the role... I felt like he was the messiah honestly emoticon

Never heard of Sakyong before, another sexually disgraced master I see. Power and humans...
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Chris Marti, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Was JKZ saying interesting things ?

Not for me, but I'm sure the executive coaches who were there were on pins and needles  emoticon
Conor O'Higgins, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 46 Join Date: 3/8/11 Recent Posts
One of my pet peeves: stock photos of people meditating in this posture, with both knees off the ground.
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Olivier, modified 9 Months ago.

RE: Natural Awakening Without Systematic Practice - Buddhadasa Bhikkhu

Posts: 732 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
haha, I find it really funny ! It looks oh so comfortable :p

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