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Daniel M. Ingram, Saturday, January 23, 2021

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Dear All, The remarkable Manish is about to backup and upgrade Liferay to Liferay 7. This is the fundamental platform on which the DhO runs. As such, anything posted from about now (January 23, Saturday, at around noon Central Time) will likely be lost until the upgrade is complete. Thus, stop posting anything you wish to last now until this is done! Thanks! -Daniel, Owner of the DhO

 

 

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4th Path, am I having a laugh.

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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Hi I'm Robbie and I apologise for the terrible title and lack of grammar.

I'm 33, live in Norwich (UK) and have been practicing the Dharma for 12 years. Naturally this is a bit weird but I am claiming 4th path in front of you, my friends.

I respect the year and a day thing but figured this site is here and it could be useful for others.

I'm not sure of Mastery but I am fluent in the 8 Jhanas and these are accessible any time or place.

I have had the got it and lost it moment so many times its like an old Tyre track imprinted on my being, it seems that even now the program is running and I'm OK with that.

I welcome all angles (and Angels) and all questions and will do my upmost to be as honest and clear in this discussion, you have my word.

I became a stream enterer sometime in November 2015 of the back of a dialogue on the website Liberation Unleashed, it's on one of my previous threads. Afterwords I practiced using the direct pointing method ("actual" sensations not content) in regards a systematic analysis of the Ten fetter model initiated by Satyadhana. I can explain more if needed...

I trained for ordination for 3 or 4 years with the Triratna dudes but failed miserably and got the boot! Although I still have some great friends in the order.

I was depressed from age 15 until the 20th of August 2020. 

I'm married and have a french bulldog called Moonshine or Munez, I run my own Air Conditioning Business and have a degree in Fine Art.

Centre point has gone, experience is effortless, immediate and glorious. Doubt has gone, questioning has been forgiven and my heart is wide. I offer thanks to all practitioners and to all those who aren't (they actually are).

I thank Daniel for MCTB, it became my lighthouse when I was lost at sea and the sea when I was stuck in that terrible and stifling lighthouse!

If I'm being honest part of the reason I'm posting here is because I seem to be quite convinced that I'm a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa, I joked with a friend recently that I'm going to play with the whole past lives thing after they suddenly became obviously true and this is what has happened! Please do help. 

As any serious practitioner will find, its the shit we can't see that hurts the most and is also the most difficult to uncover! Let the battle
begin. Be brutal, be kind, lets talk, if this turns out to be anything else I will be most grateful to find out.

Best, Rob
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Bismuth, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 5/26/18 Recent Posts
Angels part is quite interesting. Do your angels somehow are all women? =P
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 5185 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sounds promising! I'm not qualified to say yay or nay, but regardless, sounds great. Congratulations! I'm happy for you. 
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Zachary, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 195 Join Date: 3/16/18 Recent Posts
was depressed from age 15 until the 20th of August 2020. 

 If you'd like, I'm curious if you could describe more how depression has played out along your path and how it disappeared following 4th Path. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 5185 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:


[…] and the sea when I was stuck in that terrible and stifling lighthouse!


I'm curious about this part. In what ways were you stuck in a stifling lighthouse, and how did MCTB help you out from there? I love the sentence, by the way. 
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 3658 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Rob, can you please describe in detail the very moment you believe you acquired 4th path?

TIA
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Thanks for replies and congratulations, oddly good to hear.

Do your angels somehow are all women? -

No not all but some I think.

I'm curious if you could describe more how depression has played out along your path and how it disappeared following 4th Path. -

Looking back it actually matched the maps described in MCTB although at the time it was messy affair even with some knowledge of the maps. I would say it got progressively worse (re-observation) like a crescendo each time but unsure of how many to be honest. This last time got so far that I even asked in all seriousness for that electric brain shocking thing (actual words). This is in no way something to be proud of merely a response to this specific question. Cool question though. How it dissapeared was just simple straightforward practice, in truth I don't really know how how. The day before I had been practising relaxing with awareness on jhana type feelings in the heart area and had a really cool heart opening thing that was like a really hard arched back light out the chest jhana thing. It was cool and it passed but I was more full emotionally from then.

In what ways were you stuck in a stifling lighthouse, and how did MCTB help you out from there? I love the sentence, by the way. - 

Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it too! Again straightforward practice as described in MCTB, sensation huntin'.

Rob, can you please describe in detail the very moment you believe you acquired 4th path? - 

Sure, my wife came home from a party and I had been meditating hard that evening, she was a little drunk but sweet as always. We were just chatting and I noticed a thought beginning to emerge and I just knew it had something to do with something really cool, I did actually guess in that instant that it was the unveiling of the unconditioned.(spoiler)
I was then cut of mid-sentence by my wife talking about something to do with what she and her friends ate that evening.
Initially I noticed a sensation and a thought about how annoying that had been, then I noticed the thought was replaced by the previous (cut-off) thought and begun to talk.
I clasped my hands together in a proper spiritual manner and said something like this is it or more specifically this IS the unconditioned this is nirbana! (I had previously never really said Nirbana always Nirvana which was odd) haha!

Then I blinked out and bosh.

Best, Rob
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Chris Marti, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 3658 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Then I blinked out and bosh.

Help us out here - what was the realization that accompanied this moment? What made this one particular moment different than all the other moments? What was discovered or uncovered?
shargrol, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1454 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
+1 I was also confused by the jargon.
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
(Sorry Rob, not trying to offend you, just sharing the thought)

My negative side: If there was any profound realization, it should have been obvious by now in this thread. I am thinking about the irresponsibility in using terms like 4th path in the public space, without 100 percent certainty and confirmation of accoumplished practitioners.
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Siavash:
(Sorry Rob, not trying to offend you, just sharing the thought)

My negative side: If there was any profound realization, it should have been obvious by now in this thread. I am thinking about the irresponsibility in using terms like 4th path in the public space, without 100 percent certainty and confirmation of accoumplished practitioners.

Share away! I appreciate that very much though.

I totally agree, but it seemed appropriate. Why shouldn't we be more open about attainment, isn't this part of the problem? What if one practices without teachers? I mentioned my respect for the year and day perspective but I hope that this forum is a place of open hearted and pragmatic questing for freedom and laying my highest aspiration and apparent realization out here feels ok. I am extrememly tentative about sharing this experience generally. My wife,one close friend and you guys.

Best, Rob
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SushiK, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 92 Join Date: 6/11/20 Recent Posts
Highjacking the post for personal knowledge (Reminder that I'm very beginner in dharma):

Not an attack on you at all Siavash, just trying to understand: How is it irresponsible?

Jumping from a car on the highway is irresponsible.
Writing words on an internet forum (even if using real name) about personal accomplishment doesn't seem to fit irresponsibility.

What's the worst that can happen?

1 - He is 4th path and you confirm it = All good

2 - He is 4th path and you miss the diagnostic = If he is truly 4th path, he might be confused a bit, then find out by himself that you were wrong and go on with his life

3 - He isn't 4th path and you confirm it = Good, you did the job, up to him to accept it or not.

4 - He isn't 4th path and you miss the diagnostic by confirming his delusion = That's the worst outcome, but again in a while he should be able to figure out the journey is not finished yet.

Am I thinking it correctly or missing something?
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Well, a lot can happen. It can cause another practitioner to jump from a car.
Just think about it and I'll say more later.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 5185 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Well, a lot can happen. It can cause another practitioner to jump from a car.
Just think about it and I'll say more later.

Cause another practicioner to jump from a car? Seriously? Don't you think you're exaggerating just a tad? The guy welcomes questions and criticism. Nobody has to buy the claim, especially not if it makes them want to jump from a car (but if it does, they probably need professional help anyway). 
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Yes it's obviously exageration, just to say that there are consequences and it is not just words without actual effect in people's lives, so to make a big claim, I think the person at least should do part of thier homework to see what is it that they are claiming and what that could mean to different people. Without that, I think it's not fair and respectful to other people to make big claims. Of course that is not illegal.

Hey Papa Che,
I am talking about fairness and respect, it is much simpler than that.

Let's skip the rest of it since it is not related to my comments as far as I know.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Fairness and respect means different to different people. For example it's very fair in certain cultures to stone a woman to death if she was disrespectful to her husband. Also in certain tribes it is disrespectful to your tribe if you don't eat the heart and body of the enemy warrior you just killed. 

Fairness and respect is just views conditioned by our current culture and psychology/belief/philosophy. Our view on what is right fairness and respect might insult those who have opposing views on the same. Some old dude once said "people are drowning in the ocean of views" or something like that. 

Maybe next time leave such topics to Arahants to tackle. Unless you are an Arahat in which case I deeply bow emoticon (just kidding)
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Olivier, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 666 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
... For example it's very fair in certain cultures to stone a woman to death if she was disrespectful to her husband ...
I wonder which cultures you're talking about emoticon 

Just kidding...

I'm not a fan of this level of cultural relativism though. No, it's not respectful or fair to stone a woman to death for adultery, or to stone homosexuals or jews to death, and that's universal - doing so is barbarism, and the groups which hold these views are not "cultures" in my opinion, quite the opposite.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Olivier:
Papa Che Dusko:
... For example it's very fair in certain cultures to stone a woman to death if she was disrespectful to her husband ...
I wonder which cultures you're talking about emoticon 

Just kidding...

I'm not a fan of this level of cultural relativism though. No, it's not respectful or fair to stone a woman to death for adultery, or to stone homosexuals or jews to death, and that's universal - doing so is barbarism, and the groups which hold these views are not "cultures" in my opinion, quite the opposite.

My bad. I could have used any other example like KKK or else but it's easier for me to communicate in radical terms. Black and White. I always do this and some folks dislike this. My musician friend finds my poetry raw as I say it the way I see it (punk like attitude) while he uses so many metaphors that at the end I can't tell what the lyrics were about emoticon 

But yes, we can, instead of cultures, use word groups. Still they have their own vision of what is fairness and respect which might be opposing to other people's views on the same. "Ocean of views" good or bad, who decides what is ok and what not etc ... We all keep to our views until they change and we keep those, until they change, and so on ... "we all drown in the vast ocean of views". 

I guess we have no choice but take sides in these views. I'm sure even Arahat will choose sides (I think Ingram is "against" Trump for some unclear reason) emoticon just kidding! 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Well, a lot can happen. It can cause another practitioner to jump from a car.
Just think about it and I'll say more later.

Ok. 

emoticon First of all; Namaste Saivash emoticon 

Second; 
You certainly must be either 3rd Path or better yet an Arahat to be able to judge someone's 4th path claim! Are you an Arahat? 3rd Path? 2nd Path even? You must be as you certainly sound like an expert who knows these paths directly. 

You also seem to be setting up some moral codes here as to what can be said publicly here on the forum or not. 

Not sure what your role here on the forum is (I guess you are helping out in the software department) but you certainly feel as if you are the owner of this place. It must feel great to be part of the inner core of DhO ;) (if that not the case then sorry). 

However I did notice you getting more cocky after Shargrol gave you a well done comment of how good you are at giving advice to people here on the forum (me not having a daddy during my childhood knows how good this might feel). 

Sorry for being blunt mate emoticon I guess Namaste would be in order emoticon emoticon 

Oh, and by the way; I claim to have attained 1st Path and the earth is my witness! Now I'm off to jump out of the car emoticon lol 
Georg S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 16 Join Date: 12/8/19 Recent Posts
Second; 
You certainly must be either 3rd Path or better yet an Arahat to be able to judge someone's 4th path claim! Are you an Arahat? 3rd Path? 2nd Path even? You must be as you certainly sound like an expert who knows these paths directly. 

You also seem to be setting up some moral codes here as to what can be said publicly here on the forum or not. 

Not sure what your role here on the forum is (I guess you are helping out in the software department) but you certainly feel as if you are the owner of this place. It must feel great to be part of the inner core of DhO ;) (if that not the case then sorry). 

However I did notice you getting more cocky after Shargrol gave you a well done comment of how good you are at giving advice to people here on the forum (me not having a daddy during my childhood knows how good this might feel).


Hi Papa Che Dusko,

if you'd like, I invite you to reread your post and reflect on your reactions to Siavash's words, because in between your lines some treasure might be found.

Greetings


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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Not really. Please do point out. 
Georg S, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 16 Join Date: 12/8/19 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Not really. Please do point out. 
Your response seemed to be more like an "assault" on Siavash, than a response to his words. 

You certainly must be either 3rd Path or better yet an Arahat to be able to judge someone's 4th path claim! Are you an Arahat? 3rd Path? 2nd Path even? You must be as you certainly sound like an expert who knows these paths directly.

Who is judging, is it him, or is it you?

You also seem to be setting up some moral codes here as to what can be said publicly here on the forum or not.

Again, is he setting up moral codes here, or is it you?


Not sure what your role here on the forum is (I guess you are helping out in the software department) but you certainly feel as if you are the owner of this place. It must feel great to be part of the inner core of DhO ;) (if that not the case then sorry). 

However I did notice you getting more cocky after Shargrol gave you a well done comment of how good you are at giving advice to people here on the forum (me not having a daddy during my childhood knows how good this might feel).

Can you see, what your mind brought up, just of a few words of Siavash? Can't you see your own suffering in it?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Indeed. Totally an assault from my part. Was very conscious as well. 

At first I didn't know if you were pointing to treasure in psychological sense or dharmic. Now I see it's dharmic. 

Yes, total clinging on my minds part and letting proliferation rip it up. Nothing wrong with it as Im not fully awakened and yet still need to be part of the world of views. And yes, I can sense this clinging in the jaw, upper belly, upper chest and arms and legs as well as head scalp and face pulsating. Also feel it as unpleasant and even animal like urge to jump on the prey/excitement. 

By the way, I don't much care about seeing all the mind details off cushion. Otherwise I would not have a life at all in this current mind stage/state/understanding. However I do focus and train on cushion, hence choosing noting aloud as my main practice not to waste that precious practice time in dreamy proliferation. When in the gym, work out. When out of the gym relax and have a beer , let those newly excercised muscles grow emoticon 

But thank you for the heads up. I always appreciate talking about actual experience than views on what I think fareness and respect is in hope people follow my view on those. 

Dukkha is the great redeemer emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Off topic; 

my apologies to OP for cluttering up his thread. I will only say this and then remove my self from here emoticon 

I want to apologize in front of all to our member Siavash. I was very rude in my reply to him and he certainly doesn't deserve such replies. I hope he can forgive me. My sincere apologies to you Siavash. Best wishes to you.
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hi Papa Che,
You don't need to apologize. I didn't take it personal. Actually I appreciate this direct and honest way of communicating more than anything. I am sorry if my comments caused discomfort. That was not intended.

Best wishes to you and all readers here.
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Olivier, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 666 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts
Hey Papa Che,

Bravo for your humility here. 

Don't take this as a reproach, but I want to point out to you, and I hope this can be helpful somehow, that we're seeing a kind of pattern here ; it's not the first time that you overreact to something in a thread, get a bit over the top, and then apologize publicly later. Not judging or anything, there is nothing to feel bad or guilty about here, but I just want to point out that it feels to me like wasted energy, see what I mean ? Perhaps there is something worth investigating there, as Georg pointed out ?

emoticon

Cheers
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1492 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Indeed. Everything in This is worth of investigation. Dukkha is always the best teacher. Back to the cushion. 

Thank you Olivier and good man Siavash. 
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko:
Indeed. Everything in This is worth of investigation. Dukkha is always the best teacher. Back to the cushion. 

Thank you Olivier and good man Siavash. 


Thanks for your input and honesty in this discussion Papa Che Dusko and to everyone else who has read or contributed. I feel very fortunate and overcome all of a sudden. 

Best, Rob
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Chris Marti:
Then I blinked out and bosh.

Help us out here - what was the realization that accompanied this moment? What made this one particular moment different than all the other moments? What was discovered or uncovered?

Ah ok, you only asked for a description of the very moment it was aquired you see, thats what I tried to answer... Sorry I find it hard to read between the lines sometimes.

The realization was so simple, way simpler than before in the other moments. That this really is it, what is Seen, Heard, Thought is just that. Not even that no self could be found, even simpler that it was just this happening, there could be thought about this or that but that is all and that seemed so beautiful.

My experience of others has changed, a visceral appreciation of our mutual dependance. I now see how seperation is absurd, unnavailable, a misconception. I sort of feel like experience is very similar to the 8th Jhana now, neither percieved nor not percieved, this is new. I'm more direct, more available, more loving and way more confident, it was there before but wrapped in fear and thought. Even your words are beautiful, I can imagine them hurting something before but not now if that makes sense.

The best part by is that I don't mind going to work now and I can feel! My wife is very pleased so far. Also I have a very real awareness that death could take me any time and I better get living.

Best, Rob
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 5185 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

In what ways were you stuck in a stifling lighthouse, and how did MCTB help you out from there? I love the sentence, by the way. - 

Thanks I'm glad you enjoyed it, I enjoyed writing it too! Again straightforward practice as described in MCTB, sensation huntin'.

Rob, can you please describe in detail the very moment you believe you acquired 4th path? - 

Sure, my wife came home from a party and I had been meditating hard that evening, she was a little drunk but sweet as always. We were just chatting and I noticed a thought beginning to emerge and I just knew it had something to do with something really cool, I did actually guess in that instant that it was the unveiling of the unconditioned.(spoiler)
I was then cut of mid-sentence by my wife talking about something to do with what she and her friends ate that evening.
Initially I noticed a sensation and a thought about how annoying that had been, then I noticed the thought was replaced by the previous (cut-off) thought and begun to talk.
I clasped my hands together in a proper spiritual manner and said something like this is it or more specifically this IS the unconditioned this is nirbana! (I had previously never really said Nirbana always Nirvana which was odd) haha!

Then I blinked out and bosh.

Best, Rob
Hm, I would love to see more phenomenology in your responses to these two questions, and you still didn't answer in what way you were stuck in the lighthouse. 

Are you aware that there are many full insight cycles in the middle paths? And that cessations from previous path is something that happens? 
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
[quote=Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö

]Hm, I would love to see more phenomenology in your responses to these two questions, and you still didn't answer in what way you were stuck in the lighthouse. 

Are you aware that there are many full insight cycles in the middle paths? And that cessations from previous path is something that happens? 
Hi again sorry for tricky replies, this is not my usual habitat, but needs must and its already started!

The lighthouse: I was stuck in the lighthouse, I experienced endless suicidal thoughts ranging from 1 per hour to maybe 60 per minute depending on proliferation as opposed to just witnessing them pass. I was stuck, I had seemingly cut through all views and on the one hand was wise-ish but I just felt so shit. I hated work, I hated perception, I hated thought, I hated my inability to directly experience freedom in this lifetime. I hated myself yet it made no sense, how could suicide really be the answer yet it was all I had left and the thoughts just kept on coming. A permanent self was without basis, yet remained as a stain on my mind.I just wanted to be kinder and to experience more love and joy. 

What else would you like to know, its possible I'm trying to answer a different question?

Yes aware of that (middle paths) in theory, it can be quite vague in the middle especially without formal teaching and a single methodology. 

Best, Rob
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 5185 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
I appreciate your honesty and openness to this. I'm sorry about your suicidal thoughts and feelings and glad that they passed.

I thought that the lighthouse might be the "I AM" phase that some seem to go through, but it seems that it was something else. 

Wherever you are, I hope that the positive changes stick. Best wishes!
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Thanks Rob for the openness.

If your center has gone, then what convinces you that you are reincarnation of trungpa? What is that thread between you and trungpa? What are you and what is trungpa and what connects these two entities together? What is the nature of that connection?

Can you please explain at each stage, what convinced you that, now this is a&p, this is equanimity, this is 1st,  2nd, 3rd and 4th path?

Thanks.
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Thanks Rob for the openness.

If your center has gone, then what convinces you that you are reincarnation of trungpa? What is that thread between you and trungpa? What are you and what is trungpa and what connects these two entities together? What is the nature of that connection?

Can you please explain at each stage, what convinced you that, now this is a&p, this is equanimity, this is 1st,  2nd, 3rd and 4th path?

Thanks.
Your very welcome.

I'm not convinced perse, just curious why this perspective suddenly emerged. Although it couldn't accurately be described as a doubt either just a basic curiosity .I've actually never read about or really heard about him before.  As I mentioned in a previous post I was kind of joking with my friend that I would like to explore past lives as they suddenly seemed obvious (innate skills, leanings in thought and perception etc).
I did a quick google search of "buddhist obituary 1987" and he came up first. I saw that he died about 6 or 7 weeks before I was born. I'm an artist and an engineer, I love women, beer, weed, cigarettes and chatting Dharma. Admitedly it could be nonsense or some super clever scripting I'm doing but seems unlikely. I've always had a fascination of how Buddhist perspectives might be understood cleanly and clearly in a western culture. These are a few things.

In regards the second question, I never totally believed or understood the maps until about 2 weeks ago. I would have to spend some time looking back to give you a clearer answer on this one. I undertood maybe 95% that I had got stream entry in 2015 but never really believed it, believed it. The change in knowledge and understanding at this time was clear, insights arose naturally throughout the days following and I could all of a sudden access the Jhanas more easily. I doubted pretty sternly the whole way, never satisfied. Thats why this path whatever it may be seems different as it is free of a basis for doubt.

I realise now I'm not looking for confirmation, merely sharing as I believe its the right thing to do. This change is profound and it is possible, but will it last! Stay tuned!

Best, Rob
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:
Siavash:
Thanks Rob for the openness.

If your center has gone, then what convinces you that you are reincarnation of trungpa? What is that thread between you and trungpa? What are you and what is trungpa and what connects these two entities together? What is the nature of that connection?

Can you please explain at each stage, what convinced you that, now this is a&p, this is equanimity, this is 1st,  2nd, 3rd and 4th path?

Thanks.
Your very welcome.

I'm not convinced perse, just curious why this perspective suddenly emerged. Although it couldn't accurately be described as a doubt either just a basic curiosity .I've actually never read about or really heard about him before.  As I mentioned in a previous post I was kind of joking with my friend that I would like to explore past lives as they suddenly seemed obvious (innate skills, leanings in thought and perception etc).
I did a quick google search of "buddhist obituary 1987" and he came up first. I saw that he died about 6 or 7 weeks before I was born. I'm an artist and an engineer, I love women, beer, weed, cigarettes and chatting Dharma. Admitedly it could be nonsense or some super clever scripting I'm doing but seems unlikely. I've always had a fascination of how Buddhist perspectives might be understood cleanly and clearly in a western culture. These are a few things.

In regards the second question, I never totally believed or understood the maps until about 2 weeks ago. I would have to spend some time looking back to give you a clearer answer on this one. I undertood maybe 95% that I had got stream entry in 2015 but never really believed it, believed it. The change in knowledge and understanding at this time was clear, insights arose naturally throughout the days following and I could all of a sudden access the Jhanas more easily. I doubted pretty sternly the whole way, never satisfied. Thats why this path whatever it may be seems different as it is free of a basis for doubt.

I realise now I'm not looking for confirmation, merely sharing as I believe its the right thing to do. This change is profound and it is possible, but will it last! Stay tuned!

Best, Rob

So you really don't know what you are talking about. Do you?

(I prefer to be blunt than just confusing each other and then throwing some namaste on each other)
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Siavash:
Robbie Downs-Levene:
Siavash:
Thanks Rob for the openness.

If your center has gone, then what convinces you that you are reincarnation of trungpa? What is that thread between you and trungpa? What are you and what is trungpa and what connects these two entities together? What is the nature of that connection?

Can you please explain at each stage, what convinced you that, now this is a&p, this is equanimity, this is 1st,  2nd, 3rd and 4th path?

Thanks.
Your very welcome.

I'm not convinced perse, just curious why this perspective suddenly emerged. Although it couldn't accurately be described as a doubt either just a basic curiosity .I've actually never read about or really heard about him before.  As I mentioned in a previous post I was kind of joking with my friend that I would like to explore past lives as they suddenly seemed obvious (innate skills, leanings in thought and perception etc).
I did a quick google search of "buddhist obituary 1987" and he came up first. I saw that he died about 6 or 7 weeks before I was born. I'm an artist and an engineer, I love women, beer, weed, cigarettes and chatting Dharma. Admitedly it could be nonsense or some super clever scripting I'm doing but seems unlikely. I've always had a fascination of how Buddhist perspectives might be understood cleanly and clearly in a western culture. These are a few things.

In regards the second question, I never totally believed or understood the maps until about 2 weeks ago. I would have to spend some time looking back to give you a clearer answer on this one. I undertood maybe 95% that I had got stream entry in 2015 but never really believed it, believed it. The change in knowledge and understanding at this time was clear, insights arose naturally throughout the days following and I could all of a sudden access the Jhanas more easily. I doubted pretty sternly the whole way, never satisfied. Thats why this path whatever it may be seems different as it is free of a basis for doubt.

I realise now I'm not looking for confirmation, merely sharing as I believe its the right thing to do. This change is profound and it is possible, but will it last! Stay tuned!

Best, Rob

So you really don't know what you are talking about. Do you?

(I prefer to be blunt than just confusing each other and then throwing some namaste on each other)

I guess not, I think this communication is helping though.

Best, Rob
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Siavash, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 992 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
That is my hope, to help.
I appreciate your honesty, and I hope you find peace.
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Noah D, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 1072 Join Date: 9/1/16 Recent Posts
OP:
If I'm being honest part of the reason I'm posting here is because I seem to be quite convinced that I'm a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa, I joked with a friend recently that I'm going to play with the whole past lives thing after they suddenly became obviously true and this is what has happened! Please do help. 

Are you Choseng Trungpa?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choseng_Trungpa
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Noah D:
OP:
If I'm being honest part of the reason I'm posting here is because I seem to be quite convinced that I'm a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa, I joked with a friend recently that I'm going to play with the whole past lives thing after they suddenly became obviously true and this is what has happened! Please do help. 

Are you Choseng Trungpa?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choseng_Trungpa
He is still alive? Is this a thing, can it be two at once? Doesn't seem right though.

Best, Rob
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Jarrett, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 54 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:
Noah D:
OP:
If I'm being honest part of the reason I'm posting here is because I seem to be quite convinced that I'm a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa, I joked with a friend recently that I'm going to play with the whole past lives thing after they suddenly became obviously true and this is what has happened! Please do help. 

Are you Choseng Trungpa?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choseng_Trungpa
He is still alive? Is this a thing, can it be two at once? Doesn't seem right though.

Best, Rob
Ya there can be more than one at once. (Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro has two --  Dzongsar Khyentse and Jigme Khyentse)

No offense but I think many people claim to be reincarnation of Trungpa, just as many people claim to be reincarnation of Kerouac and William Blake and blah blah blah famous people blah blah blah.

That's cool if trungpa resonates with you! 
If you feel an affinity towards Trungpa, now that you're an arahat why not begin Vajrayana by taking  Bodhisattva vow and studying with a Kagyu master?

Best wishes !
Jarrett
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Jarrett:
Robbie Downs-Levene:
Noah D:
OP:
If I'm being honest part of the reason I'm posting here is because I seem to be quite convinced that I'm a reincarnation of Chogyam Trungpa, I joked with a friend recently that I'm going to play with the whole past lives thing after they suddenly became obviously true and this is what has happened! Please do help. 

Are you Choseng Trungpa?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choseng_Trungpa
He is still alive? Is this a thing, can it be two at once? Doesn't seem right though.

Best, Rob
Ya there can be more than one at once. (Jamyang Khyentse Chokyi Lodro has two --  Dzongsar Khyentse and Jigme Khyentse)

No offense but I think many people claim to be reincarnation of Trungpa, just as many people claim to be reincarnation of Kerouac and William Blake and blah blah blah famous people blah blah blah.

That's cool if trungpa resonates with you! 
If you feel an affinity towards Trungpa, now that you're an arahat why not begin Vajrayana by taking  Bodhisattva vow and studying with a Kagyu master?

Best wishes !
Jarrett
Wow, very interesting!
If 2 then why not 10 or 100, 7.5 billion, fascinating. Just Imagine what that would be like. Would make a cool film.

I'll have a look in to the Kagyu master study, I wonder what practice would be most beneficial at this stage?

Best, Rob
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Jarrett, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 54 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
the first retreat i did was with an arahat who is now practicing vajrayana. ven. dhammadipa thomas.
it's a very expedient system and if you are indeed an arhat, you're well on your way to buddhahood, and the strength of your relative bodhicitta must be incredibly strong, so you can benefit countless beings. 

if vajrayana resonates with you, PM me and i can send you a few links to learn more and recommendations of teachers.

best wishes,
jarrett
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Jarrett:
the first retreat i did was with an arahat who is now practicing vajrayana. ven. dhammadipa thomas.
it's a very expedient system and if you are indeed an arhat, you're well on your way to buddhahood, and the strength of your relative bodhicitta must be incredibly strong, so you can benefit countless beings. 

if vajrayana resonates with you, PM me and i can send you a few links to learn more and recommendations of teachers.

best wishes,
jarrett
Hi Jarrett,

I'm struggling with the PM part of this site, is there a guide any where, or can you tell me how to do it please?

Thanks for the message, sounds very intresting.

Best, Rob
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 938 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

As any serious practitioner will find, its the shit we can't see that hurts the most and is also the most difficult to uncover! Let the battle
begin. Be brutal, be kind, lets talk, if this turns out to be anything else I will be most grateful to find out.

Best, Rob

I don't want to test your claims. But I would like to know about your experiences.

Does it make you a good person? 

Does it make you a nice person? 

Do you still suffer (experience mental anguish, unpleasant emotions, anger, fear, hate)?

If you fail at a task, do you feel failure?

If someone criticizes you, do you feel defensive?

If someone insults you, does it hurt your feelings?

Do you ever feel stress or frustration?

Do you love people close to you the way unawakened people do?

If something bad happened to a love one, would you feel sorrow?

What do you think about old age, sickness, and death?

Do you believe in karma?

Do you believe in rebirth?
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Robbie Downs-Levene:

As any serious practitioner will find, its the shit we can't see that hurts the most and is also the most difficult to uncover! Let the battle
begin. Be brutal, be kind, lets talk, if this turns out to be anything else I will be most grateful to find out.

Best, Rob

I don't want to test your claims. But I would like to know about your experiences.

Does it make you a good person? 

Does it make you a nice person? 

Do you still suffer (experience mental anguish, unpleasant emotions, anger, fear, hate)?

If you fail at a task, do you feel failure?

If someone criticizes you, do you feel defensive?

If someone insults you, does it hurt your feelings?

Do you ever feel stress or frustration?

Do you love people close to you the way unawakened people do?

If something bad happened to a love one, would you feel sorrow?

What do you think about old age, sickness, and death?

Do you believe in karma?

Do you believe in rebirth?
Does it make you a good person?
Ask my wife! But, yes, goodness seems to be the predominant angle, more care and relatedness.


Does it make you a nice person?
Depends what you like, I try my best, I do trust my motives entirely although I make mistakes. (Telling my wife I feel ok with death now, very bad timing and delivery and really quite unkind but also kind in motive)


Do you still suffer (experience mental anguish, unpleasant emotions, anger, fear, hate)?
No, not yet. A kind of fear (thought pattern) has arisen though in regards the preciousness of my own life, this does make sense though. I want to help and share but I can't in the same way if I die suddenly. Unplesant sensations definetly persist, they alright though.


If you fail at a task, do you feel failure?
No, just sensations. How fowl!

If someone criticizes you, do you feel defensive?
No.

If someone insults you, does it hurt your feelings?
No I don't feel hurt by it, it is like an oppurtunity for something better.

Do you ever feel stress or frustration?
I felt stress today when fitting a vanity unit and sink, the water supply was off but It just kept on coming out. I cut the copper back to make room for a different style of tap and tail but the lower I went the water would travel down and I couldn't stop it happening. The familiar sensations of stress and frustration arose and the situation was a little tricky but there was no reaction only action. I wonder what the limit might be in fact but think this is just playing silly buggers. The install went ok in the end thankfully.

Do you love people close to you the way unawakened people do?
Good question, hard to know. I can only reference my experience and I love people more now, more than when I thought I was the bees knees and everyone else was was an idiot or else enlightened. I see their suffering now I reckon.

If something bad happened to a love one, would you feel sorrow?
I'm going to say a mixture of peace and sadness, not sorrow as its defined. Time will tell sadly.

What do you think about old age, sickness, and death?
Just the way it is, what you gonna do? (Practice)

Do you believe in karma?
Yes.

Do you believe in rebirth?
Yes.

Best, Rob
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 938 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

...

Do you believe in karma?
Yes.

Do you believe in rebirth?
Yes.

Best, Rob

Thanks for answering all those question! I have a few more I hope you don't mind...

Did any stage of awakening change your views on karma and rebirth?

After 4th path, do you still meditate? Why?

What are the effects of realization? What are the effects of meditation?

Does realization end suffering? Does meditation end suffering?


Thanks
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Robbie Downs-Levene:

...


Thanks for answering all those question! I have a few more I hope you don't mind...

Did any stage of awakening change your views on karma and rebirth?

After 4th path, do you still meditate? Why?

What are the effects of realization? What are the effects of meditation?

Does realization end suffering? Does meditation end suffering?


Thanks
Hi Jim, Loving the questions, very helpful!

Did any stage of awakening change your views on karma and rebirth?

Yes, the rebirth acceptance is very new although the Karma approach seemed a better fit pre whatever this stage is. Looking back they are one and the same but there you go, horses for courses.

After 4th path, do you still meditate? Why?

Yes I do, probably more so to be honest as I close my eyes and its like I'm meditating already. Why, why why, good question!
To explore, to develop mindfulness and concentration. To play, to have fun. It seems much more magical now.

What are the effects of realization? What are the effects of meditation?

The main one is wanting others to be free now, I'm currently trying to teach my dog so she might be reborn as a human and attain liberation in that lifetime. In regards effects I would say that its more holistic now, it has an effect but I find this a hard one to answer. Am I answering your question correctly? You could say this was the effect.

Does realization end suffering? Does meditation end suffering?

Yes it does end suffering but only "my own", suffering still abounds in the world and its mine now, ours! My family suffers and I walk free, how can I soothe those wounds. I open my arms and unsure of the effect let them in. How may I be of service my dears?
I'm going to say yes, meditation does end suffering (eventually).

Best, Rob
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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 938 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

Hi Jim, Loving the questions, very helpful!

Did any stage of awakening change your views on karma and rebirth?

Yes, the rebirth acceptance is very new although the Karma approach seemed a better fit pre whatever this stage is. Looking back they are one and the same but there you go, horses for courses.
Can you explain why awakening caused you to accept rebirth? 

You say karma and rebirth are the same, is that because a person's next life is influenced by this one?

What about karmic consequences of a person's actions in the same life?


After 4th path, do you still meditate? Why?

Yes I do, probably more so to be honest as I close my eyes and its like I'm meditating already. Why, why why, good question!
To explore, to develop mindfulness and concentration. To play, to have fun. It seems much more magical now.

What are the effects of realization? What are the effects of meditation?

The main one is wanting others to be free now, I'm currently trying to teach my dog so she might be reborn as a human and attain liberation in that lifetime. In regards effects I would say that its more holistic now, it has an effect but I find this a hard one to answer. Am I answering your question correctly? You could say this was the effect.
What I have heard is that dogs are the most spiritually advanced animals because of their association with humans - more advanced even than apes. But animals have a different spiritual evolution and will not incarnate as humans. I suppose there could be rare exceptions though. But leaning from you  can still help your dog even if it does not return as a human. (How do I know these things? I used to hang out with Spiritualists.)

Are you really trying to teach your dog? How? 

What I was trying to ask is, after 4th path, you experience some benefits. Which of those benefits are due to realization, and which are due to continued meditation practice. (I understand that realization is the result of prior mediation). In ordinary people, meditation quiets a lot of mental turbulence.  If you stopped meditating would you experience mental turbulence and would that affect the benefits you get from realization?


Does realization end suffering? Does meditation end suffering?

Yes it does end suffering but only "my own", suffering still abounds in the world and its mine now, ours! My family suffers and I walk free, how can I soothe those wounds. I open my arms and unsure of the effect let them in. How may I be of service my dears?
I'm going to say yes, meditation does end suffering (eventually).

Best, Rob

It sounds like it increased your compassion. I wondered if it would make a person callous (sociopathic) because if they do not suffer they might not have empathy for others' suffering. They would not feel other peoples emotional pain because they don't feel any emotional pain. I guess not.
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Can you explain why awakening caused you to accept rebirth?
It must have something to do with knowing this is it, this is what is, isn't it! If the constant interpretation of experience is now a non-interpretation then clarity will be the dominant force. If past conceptulisations no longer seem a legitimate reference to what IS, and that process regains its proper place as a tool and not what reality is then naturally the notion arises, why this,why that, but non-conceptually. It seems like the best fit to describe our worldy predicament.
You say karma and rebirth are the same, is that because a person's next life is influenced by this one?
Yes, providing they require another one or else commit in that way (bodhisattva).
What about karmic consequences of a person's actions in the same life?
Sorry, not getting the question entirely. All actions have consequences.
Are you really trying to teach your dog? How?
Yes, I reckon I have been for ages (most dog owners are too) but now it just seems clearer. How is a tricky one, I just relate to her as a friend who suffers. I give her affection when necessary and distance when necessary. I trust her, value her and appreciate her, thank her and love her. Sometimes I remind her of her qualites (in English) and try to promote a type of belief and confidence in herself. Else its just picking up poo and making dindins.
If you stopped meditating would you experience mental turbulence and would that affect the benefits you get from realization?
Yes probably, one would be less effective at communicating. A car will only perform well if its serviced, I wouldn't expect a car to go on and on being an effective transportation device without a service. Conditions, conditions, conditions. More meditation seems of value, I reckon doing none would be of less value.
Is it a question of meditator versus simply meditation?
Conditioned sensations would arise and pass like always but which ones, who knows. I trust the Dharma and it clearly reccomends meditation. I could do an experiment to give you a better answer but it seems a little unskillful so I probably won't and will just continue sitting. Again good question, really got the brain going that one. Thanks so much.

Best, Rob

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Jim Smith, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 938 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:


The main one is wanting others to be free now, ...

(UPDATE: You can disregard this post, I finally found the list of practices to go from 2nd path to 3rd path in mctb and that is what I have thought should exist. I don't know why they are put in that location but it clears up a lot of questions I had about noting, cessation, "stream entry", and truly gradual vs "BIG CHANGE" 
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/a-revised-four-path-model/ )


What I find hard to understand is: with all that time spent in meditation watching the activity of the mind, why don't people see how they produce suffering and learn not to do that? That is how I do vipassana: watching the way dukkha arises and ends. Samatha meditation calms the mind and reduces the amount of dukkha that arises, and I find realxing, letting go, ends the dukkha that does arise. This approach has helped me a lot. Theoretically, with enough practice I would like to be able to perfect ending dukkha. But I keep reading that I have to have cessations or realizations.

Why does ending dukkha require uncontrolable processes like cessation or realization? Why is awakening ultimately an unconscious process and not a conscious process? 
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Olivier, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 666 Join Date: 4/27/19 Recent Posts

Dear Jim, I'm assuming that you are sincerely wanting to discuss this, and not just hear what you want to hear emoticon Please don't let others think I'm naive...Let's say you got a stab wound. You watch it and understand how it arises. Does that mean you can garantee that (1) you're never gonna get stabbed again or (2) that you can prevent pain from arising if it does happen another time ? And (3) if you feel mental anguish because of the stabbing pain, but this mental anguish is seen for what it is, not self, impermanent, etc. etc., and not itself clung to with aversion, can it be said to be dukkha/fueled by clinging ? In that case, isn't this dukkha just what it is : a complete aspect of manifestation perfect as it is and not to be rejected or clung to ?Hence what is there to let go of ?Isn't it then closer to an actual end of dukkha, this not wanting to temper with what is, than wanting some parts of experience to disappear ?&&&Btw, There is a kind of suffering which is linked to unskilful mental habits and views, another kind which is like colors. You cannot stop a raspberry from being red just because you're mindful of it, or have seen the cause and effect behind it, or have let go of any clinging to redness, can you ?Learning to relax and let go is great. That can make a whole bunch of stress and unnecessary reactions end for good. But imo thinking that you're gonna be able to not feel grief if someone close to you dies because you understand the mechanics of grief is ... very, very optimistic, let's say.Which kind of dukkha is it that you want to end, then ?  I feel like it's really important to be clear with that. The clinging kind ? But then, isn't wanting that certain emotions don't arise, by definition, dukkha ?&&&About cessation being an uncontrolable process, here's a few thoughts : (1) Some people can get cessations on demand, can't they ? (2) In fact, you said you don't understand cessation - well one way to describe it is, if you let go of clinging FULLY, that is cessation right there. Cessation happens if you stop clinging 100%. So, from what you said you are looking for... 

letting go, ends the dukkha that does arise. [...] I would like to be able to perfect ending dukkha

... cessation seems to be a good candidate emoticon Think about this : Didn't the buddha say that dukkha is one of the three characteristic of compounded existence ? So, what could be the end of dukkha, is it an existing thing ? That's kind of absurd. What is free of dukkha must be that which is beyond existence as defined by the three characteristics. What is that ? What is that ? Well, the Buddha gave it a name : asankhata, nibbana, the un-fabricated, extinguishing... cessation. (3) If there is no self, who is controling ?

Incidentally : Is awakening a process ? What is an example of a conscious process ? What do you mean by "understand" ?A flurry of questions worth pondering seriously IMO emoticonI don't want to saturate your system with strange notions, so of course, ... take what vibes, but be open to those suggestions please.Tibi, Jim.Edit : Sorry for the blocks of text, I've tried several times to reformat it, but to no avail...

Tim Farrington, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: 4th Path, am I having a laugh.

Posts: 2257 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Robbie Downs-Levene:


The main one is wanting others to be free now, ...


What I find hard to understand is: with all that time spent in meditation watching the activity of the mind, why don't people see how they produce suffering and learn not to do that? That is how I do vipassana: watching the way dukkha arises and ends. Samatha meditation calms the mind and reduces the amount of dukkha that arises, and I find realxing, letting go, ends the dukkha that does arise. This approach has helped me a lot. Theoretically, with enough practice I would like to be able to perfect ending dukkha. But I keep reading that I have to have cessations or realizations.

Why does ending dukkha require uncontrolable processes like cessation or realization? Why is awakening ultimately an unconscious process and not a conscious process? 

Hi Jim,

"Uncontrollable processes" constitute most of reality, "inner" and "outer." To awaken to or realize peace with that reality is to
accept that control of it in most of its aspects, emotional and mental, physical and social and historical and natural, is far beyond the powers of the conscious mind. I would venture to formulate it that realization is the conscious recognition and acceptance of the vastness of what we are unconscious of and unable to control, and the trust that our always selective experience of that realization is paradoxically sufficient in its complete, demonstrable inadequacy to encompass the whole or secure any particular control of it. 
rumi says: 

Praise, the ocean. What we say, a little ship. So the journey goes on, and no one knows where. Just to be held by the ocean is the best luck we could have. It is a total waking up. Why should we grieve that we have been sleeping?

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