4th Path, am I having a laugh.

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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

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Angels part is quite interesting. Do your angels somehow are all women? =P
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 5756 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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+1 I was also confused by the jargon.
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Siavash, modified 10 Months ago.

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

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(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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 127 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 5756 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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)
Olivier, modified 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1979 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1979 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 31 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 10 Months ago.

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

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Not really. Please do point out. 
Georg S, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 31 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1979 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1979 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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.
Olivier, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 733 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1979 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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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[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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 Months ago.

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

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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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1348 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1148 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 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 10 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 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? 
Olivier, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 733 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 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 2470 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?
Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 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.
 
lol, you’ve got the chutzpah to claim fourth path, but you apologize for your title and grammar? Robbie, stick to your guns, mate, in for a penny in for a pound! It’s a great title, by the way, and grammar ain’t no thang, that’s why all the gurus have translators and editors. Except for the Brahmins, of course. The Brahmins’ grammar was exquisite and impeccable. The Buddha, it is said, would occasionally say something ungrammatical just to piss them off. Well, that, and the anatta doctrine. That pissed them off too.
 
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.
 
 
Admit it, man, you’re all revved up and want to stir the pot and get a sense of what’s what. But this is good, and you’re right that this sangha is a great place to do it. A lot of the most entertaining spiritual literature we have was written by people who didn’t wait a year and a day. I personally consider it a landmark if I can wait half an hour. Your sense of humor is a great sign, as is the fact that you have invited Angels into the discussion.
 
  
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 would love to hear more about you failing miserably, as this is one of my own strengths. And how did you get the boot?
 
I was depressed from age 15 until the 20th of August 2020. 

Lol, this is one you really should probably wait a year and a day on, though as a clinical bipolar guy with multiple hospitalizations, there are a lot of parts of me that applaud you declaring the end of your decades-long depression on the basis of two weeks experience. I have done the same thing at least 15 times. I have declared the end of mania 16 times as well.
 
I’m being humorous here, but this is a fascinating topic to me and I would love to talk more about it with you. There are definitely ways that long meditation practice and the Dharma have changed the way I relate to “depression,” and i can recognize a wide spectrum of biochemical moods and subpersonality modes under that general umbrella. The dynamics and realities of the dark nights are obviously germane here too, and for depressives, sorting the wheat from the chaff and the medicine from the poison are life and death issues. I am currently in what I would term a depressive phase, out of linguistic convenience, with distinct characteristics of processing speed and tone, initiative, social protocols, and other tells in my brain/mind’s workings. But it is arguably not “depression” per se. That’s a wonderful giant can of worms that would be fun to open with you. Also, I know that Leonard Cohen, a lifelong depressive, did declare himself depression free, in his 70s, I believe, but better late than never. So I am humble here. But seriously, mate, it’s only been a couple of weeks. I’ve had quarts of milk that lasted longer than that.
 
 
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!
 
I love this. You’re a poet. That’s also good trippy mystical shit, the play between sea and lighthouse. It's Rumi-esque. You have become the storm that makes me appreciate both the sea and the lighthouse! This thread has become the lightning flash that shows me the reality of the storm and sea and lighthouse! You have become the dolphin whose squeak language makes sense of the whole thing for me! I'm going down for the third time in the sea of bliss!! Shit!!! It was just getting interesting!!!!
 
 
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.
 
Oh, man, Chogyam Trungpa reincarnated? You’ve got some heavy ass karma, mate. I’ve got a few bones to pick with you, you drunken, stoned, sexually predatory asshole, and general abuser of power under the "crazy wisdom" rubric. But that can wait.
 
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
 
 
welcome, my friend, to the laboratory for discovering the shit we can't see. I appreciate your rashness and openness and headlong transparency, your sense of humor, and self-deprecation, and your delightful sense of the theatrical. I’m sure we’ll have fun with each and every can of worms you’ve opened here. You might want to stay out of the pantry for a while, though, and to put the can opener in a drawer, if not on a very high shelf. But by all indications, that kind of prudent stuff is probably the last thing you’ll do. This inclines me to like you even more. No can is safe! So be it.
 
love, tim
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
[quote=Tim Farrington


Hey, I spent ages just then trying to work out the quote function, still haven't got it! There were loads of cool points in your reply and I appreciate the poetry too.

When I say got the boot, I mean I went a bit AWOL and tried to reconnect on the basis of some insight. I felt like an alien with no support. I thought they were trying to create aliens but not the kind of alien I had become or something... I couldn't understand why they would go through all the effort of creating an effective Buddhist institution yet freak out and become distant when anyone made progress.

Although without them and their innate kindness I probably wouldn't be typing these little keys now, so I thank them.

I'd be interested to Chat but can't work the message thing or maybe my access is limited?

Best, Rob


Admit it, man, you’re all revved up and want to stir the pot and get a sense of what’s what. But this is good, and you’re right that this sangha is a great place to do it.
I personally consider it a landmark if I can wait half an hour.

I would love to hear more about you failing miserably, as this is one of my own strengths. And how did you get the boot?I was depressed from age 15 until the 20th of August 2020. 
Lol, this is one you really should probably wait a year and a day on, though as a clinical bipolar guy with multiple hospitalizations, there are a lot of parts of me that applaud you declaring the end of your decades-long depression on the basis of two weeks experience. I have done the same thing at least 15 times. I have declared the end of mania 16 times as well.
 
I’m being humorous here, but this is a fascinating topic to me and I would love to talk more about it with you. ...That’s a wonderful giant can of worms that would be fun to open with you.

...But seriously, mate, it’s only been a couple of weeks. I’ve had quarts of milk that lasted longer than that.
 
 
I love this. You’re a poet. That’s also good trippy mystical shit, the play between sea and lighthouse. It's Rumi-esque. You have become the storm that makes me appreciate both the sea and the lighthouse! This thread has become the lightning flash that shows me the reality of the storm and sea and lighthouse! You have become the dolphin whose squeak language makes sense of the whole thing for me! I'm going down for the third time in the sea of bliss!! Shit!!! It was just getting interesting!!!!
Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
Hey, I spent ages just then trying to work out the quote function, still haven't got it! There were loads of cool points in your reply and I appreciate the poetry too.

Yeah, there's a definite learning curve on using the DhO quote mechanism. But your curve is in progress, lol, and as my father liked to say, "Close enough for givernment work," meaning in the ballpark, if your standards are not too high. For things where the standards need to be higher, you'll find a way to get it said.
When I say got the boot, I mean I went a bit AWOL and tried to reconnect on the basis of some insight. I felt like an alien with no support. I thought they were trying to create aliens but not the kind of alien I had become or something... I couldn't understand why they would go through all the effort of creating an effective Buddhist institution yet freak out and become distant when anyone made progress.

I'm assuming this situation was either residential, or intense small-group/frequent-meeting stuff at a center. Those dynamics are often gnarly and ingrown. I've spent significant time in several spiritual/religious institutions that were intimate enough for the full force of small group dynamics to be experienced, a commune and an ashram, and that is an education in its own right. Doris Lessing wrote a great little book called "Prisons We Choose to Live Inside," based largely on her own experiences with small-group, ideologically-driven Communist groups during the 1940s and 50s, and her insights into small group dynamics are devastatingly right one. Humans are social animals, and the weight of peer pressure is extraordinarily shaping, in ways we cannot imagine or acknowledge until we experience the real thing in a high stakes, wholly-invested situation. It is deeply humbling, for starters. It sounds like you tried to get some distance from the most intense of the in-group pressure to conform, and that the group was threatened by that and reacted in group-survival fashion and made you a pariah. So you know the price of attending to your own sense of emerging truth, against an institutional grain. That knowledge is priceless. For everything else, there's MasterCard.
Although without them and their innate kindness I probably wouldn't be typing these little keys now, so I thank them.

exactly, i feel the same way. Those social test tubes, in their intensity, breed very deep relationships and a peculiarly strong bonding, like small combat units under frequent fire, us against the world in a just fight, and the guy beside you means everything. As time rolls over it all, I suspect you'll find that some of the people involved go through a similar cycle of experience to your own, and come around again as deeper friends.
I'd be interested to Chat but can't work the message thing or maybe my access is limited?

Best, Rob
I've never been able to use the message thing either, lol, no learning curve at all there for me. My email is tim_farrington@msn.com if you want to chat via that medium. We do seem to have overlapping insanities and aspirations, lol.

love, tim
agnostic, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 1879 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Hey Robbie me ol mucker (from one brit to another). I'm not qualified to say whether it's 4th path or not, but clearly you've got something good going on here. I think it's healthy that you come on here and open yourself up to criticism - much better than keeping it to yourself and walking around feeling smug. Have a laugh with it, why not emoticon I was pretty depressed for 10 years and knocked it on the head 2 years ago with meditation. Still depression free apart from the occasional blues which is amenable to meditation. Definitely interested to see how things progress for you.
All the best,
George
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
agnostic:
Hey Robbie me ol mucker (from one brit to another). I'm not qualified to say whether it's 4th path or not, but clearly you've got something good going on here. I think it's healthy that you come on here and open yourself up to criticism - much better than keeping it to yourself and walking around feeling smug. Have a laugh with it, why not emoticon I was pretty depressed for 10 years and knocked it on the head 2 years ago with meditation. Still depression free apart from the occasional blues which is amenable to meditation. Definitely interested to see how things progress for you.
All the best,
George

Hi George,

Thanks, much appreciated. I'll see if I can do a semi-regular update on this thread of how it pans out. Glad your depression free, thats bloody good stuff, long may it continue! 

Best, Rob
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Jano, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 53 Join Date: 11/6/17 Recent Posts
Just in case....so it does not get lost among all those well meaning (if a bit confused) comments and responses...


CONGRATULATIONS, ROBBIE!!!! GOOD GAME!!! 

and, now...just keep having that laugh...it's a good thing 
:-)))))))

bless you
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie,

I was wondering if you could help clarify for me the cause and effect relationships between meditation, letting go of attachments and aversions, correcting misperception of self, reduced suffering.

Presumably meditation is the first step in the causal chain.
And letting go of attachments and aversions seems to me to be the cause of reduced suffering. (This is also in the 4 noble truths, clinging to the aggregates causes suffering)

But 1) does meditation result in letting go of attachment and does that result in correcting the misperception of self?

Or 2) does meditation correct the mispercption of self and that is what results in letting go of attachments?

#1 seems like a huge amount of hard emotional work, while #2 seems like a shortcut, a kind of "magic bullet", to cut through a lot of mental baggage.

I am asking this because it has implications for how one should practice.

Should I focus on practices that lead to letting go of attachments and aversions? 

Or should I focus on practices that correct the misperception of self? 

Or do I eventually still have to do both, for example, even if I can correct the misperception of self, will I still have work to do to let go of attachments and aversions?

Or will focusing on letting go of attachment to self correct the misperception and then eliminate all other attachments?


Thanks
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Robbie,

I was wondering if you could help clarify for me the cause and effect relationships between meditation, letting go of attachments and aversions, correcting misperception of self, reduced suffering.

Presumably meditation is the first step in the causal chain.
And letting go of attachments and aversions seems to me to be the cause of reduced suffering. (This is also in the 4 noble truths, clinging to the aggregates causes suffering)

But 1) does meditation result in letting go of attachment and does that result in correcting the misperception of self?

Or 2) does meditation correct the mispercption of self and that is what results in letting go of attachments?

#1 seems like a huge amount of hard emotional work, while #2 seems like a shortcut, a kind of "magic bullet", to cut through a lot of mental baggage.

I am asking this because it has implications for how one should practice.

Should I focus on practices that lead to letting go of attachments and aversions? 

Or should I focus on practices that correct the misperception of self? 

Or do I eventually still have to do both, for example, even if I can correct the misperception of self, will I still have work to do to let go of attachments and aversions?

Or will focusing on letting go of attachment to self correct the misperception and then eliminate all other attachments?


Thanks
Hi Jim,

They are both the same and secondly, they are both the same, number 1 and number 2 are the same.

Its like a shortcut involving plenty of emotional work - if you have it (emotional baggage) which of course most do, I did as far as I can tell. Possibly do, who knows, not a Buddha yet!!!!!!!!! Just a guy on a Laptop.

The Important point to accept is that your life is practice, I recommend the Noble Eightfold Path for that. (Others that may work are available too I imagine)

I would hazard a guess that if you could do a ton of insight meditation under a proper actual buddhist master guy a couple times a year that would work, I never did, possibly would have been easier, not sure. 

Be careful to keep life on track though, keep being nice Jim! Daniel serves this topic much better in MCTB, if anyone, anyone fully got this book entirely they would be free of the need to read it again although they probably would anyway.

In short, just keep going, further, deeper, wider, smaller, nowhere, everywhere, find a solid bit of Jim in all that and Kaboom! (But nicely)

Good luck my friend.

Best, Rob
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

Be careful to keep life on track though, keep being nice Jim! Daniel serves this topic much better in MCTB, if anyone, anyone fully got this book entirely they would be free of the need to read it again although they probably would anyway.





Hi Robbie,

Yes, I know where to find Daniel's views. But I like to learn about other people's views too. 

Thanks
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

Hi Jim,
...
Daniel serves this topic much better in MCTB, if anyone, anyone fully got this book entirely they would be free of the need to read it again although they probably would anyway.
...

Best, Rob


Hi Robbie,

I hope you don't mind answering another question for me...

If someone has had many cycles through the progress of insight, how frequently might they have fruitions?

The reason I ask is because I found this in Daniel's book in the chapter on fruition
On subsequent passes through Fruition of that path, the mind tends to be refreshed, bright, quiet, and clear for a while, and milder forms of the above-listed phenomena may occur. The afterglow can seem to clear out all the junk for a little while. There is a nice bliss wave that tends to follow and may take a few seconds to develop. You can take that bliss wave as a shamatha object if you wish and intensify it, as a possible option. If you have not learned the concentration states yet, doing so in the afterglow of a Fruition can make them much easier to attain and master. The breath may change on the reappearance of “reality”, being a bit deeper, slower, easier, and more fluid.

Although I don't practice the progress of insight (I practice samatha sitting meditation and vipassana in daily life), I have had repeated experiences where I experience a "transition" after which I experience a "spiritual feeling" (metta, compassion, forgiveness, surrender, humility), the absence of unpleasant emotions ("junk cleared out"?), and the jhanas ("samatha concentration states") are easily accessible. I've mentioned this in a few posts in other threads. I am wondering if these transitions are fruitions and if this "spiritual feeling" is what Daniel calls the "afterglow". 

This transition is somewhat like how Daniel describes fruition:
Fruition (phala in Pali) is the fruit of all the meditator’s hard work, the first attainment of ultimate reality, emptiness, nirvana, nibbana, ultimate potential, or whatever extrapolative and relatively inaccurate name you wish to call something utterly non-sensate. In this non-state, there is absolutely no time, no space, no reference point, no experience, no mind, no consciousness, no awareness, no background, no foreground, no nothingness, no somethingness, no body, no this, no that, no unity, no duality, and no anything else. “Reality” stops cold and then reappears.

Thus, this is impossible to comprehend, as it goes completely and utterly beyond the rational mind and the universe. In “external time” (if we were observing the meditator) this stage typically lasts only an instant (though the question of “duration” will be addressed below). It is like an utter discontinuity of the space-time continuum with nothing in the unfindable gap, exactly like what happens when someone edits out a frame or sequence of frames of a movie. It is not that you see a blank screen for a while where they edited the frames out, instead that part of the movie is just not there.
...
All that said, there are those who won’t recognize it, particularly those who chance upon it outside of a meditative tradition that can recognize it. There will also be those for whom it happens within the context of their practice tradition, who can recognize it, but who fail to identify it as being what it is. Sometimes the afterglow is not so spectacular, though for most the series of insights, connections, syntheses, and the like that burgeon forth is impressive. Others will just go on practicing, not realizing what has just happened.


The first time I heard of fruitions was in a thread when someone said their's lasted for serveral mintues. I never had an experience like that and it left an impression in my mind. And it is very common to hear that there are many types of experiences that are confused with "stream entry" but are not really it. So I suppose I had a kind of mental block and it has taken me a while to realize that if I consider that Daniels says it "typically lasts only an instant" my own experiences then fit into the pattern.

I am trying to figure out if my experiences might be fruitions and I have not realized it

The first time I had this experience was a number of years ago - about the time I was discovering the jhanas on my own and trying to keep the bliss going in daily life. This was long before I heard of the progress of insight or fruitions or even the term jhanas - so I have no frame of reference to tell if I experienced the afterflow and access to the jhanas or just the jhanas. 

I have been having a kind of culture shock ever since I came to this fourm. Nothing people said seemed to make any sense to me. What they were talking about as stream entry seemed to me to the be what I experienced as the effects of regular meditation over a long period of time ("you still have emotions but you don't overreact", "they don't stick in your mind"). And what I was expecting awakening to be like was something different.  It begins to make more sense if I what I was experiencing was fruitions and didn't realize it.

What I am wondering, is if someone has had many cycles through the progress of insight, how frequently might they have fruitions?

Because at first I had these experiences infrequently but over time I have learned to produce them more frequently.

Another thing that makes me wonder if my experiences are fruitions is I have asked a few times on these forums how noting causes cessations (fruitions) or how cessation causes awakening and similar questions because I could never get my head around how that caused awakening. Then recently I read Daniels's chapter on his revised four path model where he gives a list of exercises to help go from 2nd path to third path. These are very similar to what I have worked out on my own and they are what I expected would be needed to trigger what I thought awakening should be.
Third path individuals have shifted their understanding of progress beyond those of second path, and begin to see that they can perceive the emptiness, selflessness, impermanence, luminosity, etc. of many sensations in daily life. Perception tends to get broader, more spacious, more expansive, more through and through, with awakening being now more of a waking, walking-around experience.
I don't claim any paths or awakening but this is very similar to the focus of my practice in daily life (after first I spend some time quieting my mind with sitting samatha meditation).

Is there anything you can think of that I could do to help figure out if my experiences are fruitions?


Thanks.
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:

Hi Jim,

...
Daniel serves this topic much better in MCTB, if anyone, anyone fully got this book entirely they would be free of the need to read it again although they probably would anyway.

...

Robbie, 

I suppose this (below) is a different part of the book, but I am wondering if this makes sense to you:

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-iv-insight/31-the-three-doors/
...
I must reluctantly admit that fine phenomenology expressed in clear writing seems to be a particular talent of mine ...
...
When the impermanence aspect predominates and is combined with the no-self aspect, the whole universe strobes three times quickly (possibly with something staring back at us as a minor aspect of that universe, if you are prone to visuals), and then it seems that awareness collapses into the space after the third gap, perhaps turning slightly towards what was staring back (if we noticed this occurring). When the impermanence aspect predominates and is combined with the suffering aspect, then the three strobing moments feel wrenching, and the plunge into the gap feels fundamentally violating and startling, like exactly the wrong thing to do, as we notice each pulse of the pulling away.

When the no-self aspect predominates and is combined with the impermanence door, there are three clear and discrete moments of moving towards or sideways to (or perhaps focusing on) an intelligent, seeing image staring back at us, except that there is nothing on this side. Again, not everyone will have the strength of visualization to notice an image on that side falling into this one and may just notice the falling-into part. After the third moment, the illusion collapses in a very natural and pleasant way.

When the no-self door predominates with suffering as its second aspect, then a very strange thing happens. There may be an image on one side staring back, but even if there isn’t, the universe becomes a toroid (doughnut-shaped), or occasionally a sphere, and the image and this side of the toroid switch places as the toroid universe spins. It may spin sideways (horizontally), or it may spin vertically (like head over heels), and may also feel like a hood of darkness suddenly being pulled over our heads as the whole thing synchronizes and disappears, or like everything twisting out of existence. The rarest no-self/suffering variant is hard to describe, and involves reality becoming like a doughnut whose whole outer edge rotates inwards such as to trade places with its inner edge (the edge that made the hole in the middle) that rotates to the outer edge position, and when they trade places reality vanishes. The spinning includes the whole background of space in all directions. Fruition occurs when the two have switched places and the whole thing vanishes.

For all the no-self door variants, there is not always an image of something staring back, as that typically involves stronger concentration. Some no-self variants can have sort of a swinging or rocking sensation that can occur for a few seconds before they occur, like space and attention were starting to swing together around us.

While from a certain point of view, we could say that concentration can’t get any stronger than it is in Conformity Knowledge or the entrances to the three doors, it is also true that those with stronger concentration in general will have clearer and more dramatic experiences of these doors. Some people also just seem to be more wired to appreciate the fine points of what is happening with the doors in general. Repetition and resolutions to perceive the doors clearly also may help practitioners appreciate these fine points.

When the suffering aspect predominates while combined with the no-self aspect, again, the moving toroid phenomenon happens, except that it can be quite distorted or cone-like. The universe can rotate up or down and away from us, so that the primary experience is of an image falling from this side, though with the hint that it might be coming back around to this side. When the suffering door aspect predominates with impermanence present, then the three moments in which the universe is ripped away from us are distinct. When the suffering aspect predominates, the experience always feels like something was violated or wrong with what happened, like something essential was torn from us, at least until there is finally no sense of a “me” from which to have something torn.



Thanks
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
I suppose this (below) is a different part of the book, but I am wondering if this makes sense to you:

I have read and re-read this part many a time, but find it a bit confusing and different to what I have found possible in practice.

Daniel has abilities in this regard and it may help some Directly, it helped me realise Indirectly it was possible but I never experienced knowingly any of these variations as they are written. Not to say that it isn't what happened though if that makes sense.

I have limited visulization skills, this could also be the reason. I may be able to give a clearer answer in due course as this area is very interesting and worthy of further exploration.

What does this passage mean to you in your practice?

Best, Rob



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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:
I suppose this (below) is a different part of the book, but I am wondering if this makes sense to you:

I have read and re-read this part many a time, but find it a bit confusing and different to what I have found possible in practice.

Daniel has abilities in this regard and it may help some Directly, it helped me realise Indirectly it was possible but I never experienced knowingly any of these variations as they are written. Not to say that it isn't what happened though if that makes sense.

I have limited visulization skills, this could also be the reason. I may be able to give a clearer answer in due course as this area is very interesting and worthy of further exploration.

What does this passage mean to you in your practice?

Best, Rob


Hi Rob,

My mind has a lot of trouble converting the words in that book into understanding. It puzzles me since so many people recommend the book. So I am interested in how other people interpret it. 

Thanks
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Jim Smith, modified 8 Months ago.

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

Posts: 982 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:
Jim Smith:

...

... 1) does meditation result in letting go of attachment and does that result in correcting the misperception of self?

Or 2) does meditation correct the mispercption of self and that is what results in letting go of attachments?

...
...

They are both the same and secondly, they are both the same, number 1 and number 2 are the same.

...

Because emotional pain is caused by attachment to self (attachment to body, opinions, social status, etc), letting go of emotional pain is equivalent to letting go of attachment to self.

ஃLetting go of emotional pain = letting go of attachment to self.

To accept that self is a mirage would mean giving up (letting go of) our attachment to self, which we are reluctant to do because letting go of self (letting go of body, opinions, social status etc) would be emotionally painful. The pain of letting go is like the pain of loss.

It seems to me the difficulty is not understanding intellectually that self is a mirage, most people can see that thoughts, emotions, and impulses arise from unconscious processes and that includes thoughts of being an observer and feelings of being a self.

The difficulty is accepting at an emotional level that self is a mirage because that is equivalent to letting go of attachment to self which we don't want to do, we are attached to it, it would be very painful to let go of our attachment to our bodies, our opinions, our social status, our self image, etc etc..

ஃAccepting that self is a mirage = letting go of attachment to self = letting go of emotional pain.

As I understand it meditation and mindfulness practices can ease this process of accepting self is a mirage / letting go of emotional pain:

  • Meditation can help us deconstruct our sense of self.  Noting shows us there is no entity to be found among the components that make up our sense of self.  Quieting mental chatter reduces the thinking about self that reinforces the mirage. Focusing on the environment around us has the same effect as quieting the mind. Focusing on our sense of self or asking "Who am I", eventually results in seeing through the mirage. Observing the activity of the mind also helps us to see through the mirage.


  • Meditation can help us let go of emotional pain. During meditation we observe unpleasant emotions arising. If we allow ourselves to feel these emotions without pushing them away, and without getting carried away by them, and without judging them we can examine the facts of reality that we don't want to accept that are at the root of the pain: failure, loss, fear, etc. And we can acknowledge those facts as realty - ie. we can surrender. Quieting the mind with meditation can give us the presence of mind in daily life to work with emotions this way whenever they come up.


  • Meditation can help ease emotional pain. There are many types of meditation and other techniques such as samatha, metta, jhana, mindfulness of the environment around us, relaxation exercises, that reduce stress, elevate our mood, and reduce the intensity of emotions. Using these techniques can help make it less painful to let go of emotions and accept that self is a mirage.
Monsoon Frog, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 58 Join Date: 3/16/14 Recent Posts
Robbie Downs-Levene:
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.

...

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...


RDL,
Congratulations with wherever you’re at by whatever definition feels right. It’s sounds wholesome and beneficial whatever it is whether it be 4th path, more, or less.

I’m not familiar (or I don’t think I am) with that specific practice.
How about a description and what’s more or less unique about the approach, condensed version.

What was your practice commitment and how much formal daily practice did you commit to?  Understandably 12 years contains a lot of variability ... what was the ebb and flow of practice like? Was practice your primary commitment and goal or was it subordinate to other goals and undertakings? How much did it consume your life? Was all else subordinate to the quest to awaken? The mention of ordination suggests a total dedication - or something close to it - at least for a spell.

How has your relationship to art in general and also your own art making changed during this journey and where is it at presently? Is art more or less vital to you now? Howso?

What do you offer as advice to someone seeking a quiet, low amp, small/medium sized room window air conditioner on the less expensive end of the spectrum, with widely adjustable vents sold in the North American market?



(Chop water, carry wood, sell air conditioners)
-Monsoon Frog
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Hi Friends,

Sorry for my absence got locked out by forgetting my password and security answers.

I was going to start by saying it wasn't fourth path but actually indigestion but decided against it! haha. (Belly gurgles)
...If someone has had many cycles through the progress of insight, how frequently might they have fruitions?

From experience not that often although my clear cut fruitions did fit the criteria, can only remember 2 clearly. If you are cycling then in some ways it is inevitable, look in to Intention and the so called Desire for Fruition, where in direct experience does this occur?
...I've mentioned this in a few posts in other threads. I am wondering if these transitions are fruitions and if this "spiritual feeling" is what Daniel calls the "afterglow". 

It is possible but doesn't sound quite the same to me, what are the perceptual changes like rather than the "spiritual feeling"? If you can really comprehend it then by default it was not a Fruition proper. The results are what matters here on earth!! Sounds really great what you having going on though.
...And what I was expecting awakening to be like was something different.

This I like, tell me more? Some goodies in this one Jim!
...Is there anything you can think of that I could do to help figure out if my experiences are fruitions?

A good question, I too still have some hang ups in this regard but they are whisping away quite nicely now. The main problem is wanting to experience them, as they are by definition not something that can be experienced. I would focus after a period of noting etc that these intentions and leanings arise, but where? Come back to sensate awareness of these moments as part of the whole. Hope this makes sense!

Best, Rob
Tim Farrington, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 2470 Join Date: 6/13/11 Recent Posts
What do you offer as advice to someone seeking a quiet, low amp, small/medium sized room window air conditioner on the less expensive end of the spectrum, with widely adjustable vents sold in the North American market?

(Chop water, carry wood, sell air conditioners)
-Monsoon Frog
 dear Frog,

my experience fails here. I lived in a 21-foot trailer for years and never found anything like this. It is too late for me, but save yourself, and, through that, all sentient beings! Break the endless wheel of sweat and rebirth!

love, tim

p.s. loving that chopping water siddhi of yours.
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Hey Monsoon Frog,

How about a description and what’s more or less unique about the approach, condensed version?

Ok, so. In the context I was doing it, there was an assumption that all people in my group so to speak were stream enterers. At least having the possibility of entertaining, kind of experientially, a lack of a permanently existing self/personality and the next 2 fetters of sceptical doubt and wrongful adherence to rites and rituals have dissipated somewhat or else gone.

The above was done viathe website Liberation Unleashed and life practice. I then became aware of Satyadhanas paper exploring the Fetters, I would share it but not sure as haven't asked him yet. I'm sure he wouldn't mind sharing but better see first.

It uses what's called Direct Pointing. All about becoming clearer on what is thought, what is touch, what is smell etc. Getting really good at telling when one is here and one of the others is not here (has passed).

So, the next 2 fetters of sensual desire and ill-will, the lessening of. The trick was to get stable, then introduce a thought/experience of a sensual desire or ill-will trigger and let it do its thing for a bit but with awareness, stability, context. Eventually it gets clearer that it is only a sensation arising and passing. For some this was amazeballs and for others it was like a little bit of flatulence. When the mind could steady on this for a prolonged period (I did maybe 3 hours a day over a week or something) it would eventually be seen what was going on and the fetters would begin to unravel together.

The remaining 5 Fetters, were the same but more subtle. The next 2 of attachment to form and formless realms was cool. I would sit and be precise for a period and then direct attention to an object, after some time I could experience a type of bounce-back recognition of a me here as receiving the so-called object. After some time (2 to 3 hours, Daily for 1 to 2 weeks), I could focus more clearly on the little ball of sensate mushiness inside my chest roughly and it just went (mostly).

I did the same thing with a radiator, trying to directly perceive why I/this/here was any more special than a radiator. I kept going, going, going, going until I could directly perceive the so-called spot of sensations inclusively and it went, again.

I was not free fully but it did do the damage! hahaha.

The same Direct Pointing method of perceiving precisely what was and what wasn't present was applied to the supposed response to conceit, Restlessness and Ignorance. Become Restless, where is Restlessness happening, be conceited, where this, thinking stuff was stuff, permanent and satisfying, how did I know!? The Answer was always to just Look, Look, Look.
I got free but wasn't Free, Free like now. It did a lot but left the heart out in my case... Horses for Courses. Others with a more developed Heart will experience it differently for sure.

Did that help explain it?

... what was the ebb and flow of practice like? Was practice your primary commitment and goal or was it subordinate to other goals and undertakings? How much did it consume your life? Was all else subordinate to the quest to awaken?

Always 100% committed, apart from the few times I tried to 100% give up practicing, it never lasted as it just kept happening (life).
It was my primary goal, probably since birth, at one stage 5 years in to the 12 years, I lost everything, all friends, my partner, my job, my physical and mental health, I lost trying to get ordained, my personality as a Buddhist all gone destroyed. It comes back though, just kind of different each time. (Beginners mind)

It consumed everything, this is not something to be proud of as it hurt others too much along the way, I'm just being honest... I thought about suicide for a long time and got very close a number of times. If it wasn't for some good friends at the right moments then who knows! I thank them all and thank you too.

ART, Art, art. This is Beauty, this is love. Life, has all always been art for me, whatever that means. Art is a safe environment to develop the heart as a friend put it quite succinctly. Art, happens more immediately now, its direct, automatic drawing is fun, my poetry is flowing nicely.The artists game is learning to appropriately share this with others. If I make something beautiful and you see ugliness, then I have actually made ugliness!

Free.

See what I see and be free said the Tree,
See a Tree and I'll be Me said me.
No Tree just free, no free no me.
Free. ree. re. r.
.


As to window AC units, this is not my bag, not a UK thing really. Mid-range quality, higher output than you need, will last longer and use less energy. I have only ever serviced one window rattler and it worked great, we (uk) are more concerned about aesthetics than cooling right now. Come on those greenhouse gases, get heating! Mo heat, mo money, ching ching $$. I only joke but that is  how it works.


Best, Rob




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Ni Nurta, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 728 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
What was the cause for your depression?
What are the "in your face" differences in sensual presentation? Let's say month before vs month after to exclude any instabilities that happen before and after the switch.
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Robbie Downs-Levene, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 36 Join Date: 10/31/15 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta:
What was the cause for your depression?
What are the "in your face" differences in sensual presentation? Let's say month before vs month after to exclude any instabilities that happen before and after the switch.

Hi Ni Nurta,

Cause is a tricky one, only best guesses I'm afraid. Probably something to do with my Father leaving when I was born, a deep sense of not being worthy of love, mixed with very high moral standards. Plus a combination of high concentration skills and being opposed in actions from a young age in regards what is conventional and normal behaviour. (This continues...)

Sensual presentation is similar in ways but the volume is now at 2 or 3 instead of 11! If the same/similar sensations and thoughts that arose before arise. That is all, (mostly) the Pull towards that 'object' felt here somewhere is just that. It was the belief that made the depression possible I reckon but still early days, patience is a virtue, as is insight in this case. All good so far though thank God. Namaste.

Best, Rob
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Ni Nurta, modified 10 Months ago.

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

Posts: 728 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Perceived reduction of volume of sensations is tricky to interpret because it is actually low activation in brain makes any specific sensation to be perceived as loud. Think about it as automatic gain control.

Dynamics of depression are pretty interesting. The "story" which you described as I understand was the reason why your brain choose to use sadness based mind states to reduce its activation to protect its parts from over activation over more healthy "blasting at high volume and switching used nervous pathways a lot" strategy which healthy (meaning: with no depression) people use.

Because now sensations seem quieter and you do not register depression anymore I would conclude that whatever happened caused your brain to actually increase its activation and started switching between used pathways more than before.

Can you elaborate on (mostly) the Pull towards that 'object' felt here somewhere is just that. as I did not quite get what you meant by that.

When brain starts to reduce activation to protect itself the side effect is that it reduce amount of brain resources that are readily available to do the work so most time critical tasks fall on the same parts of the brain which happen to be active even if they are already dead tired. Spinning up new brain resources would solve this is but the strategy is to not do that so it doesn't even come to mind to do it, especially because to do it the existing ones would need to be used quite a lot (there is internal training/calibration needed to do that) and when they are already tired it doesn't seem like the best idea because that hurts.

Fruition moment is a special mode of pre-activating brain resources without all the necessary verification checks which would abuse already tired part of the brain. It causes blank out of consciousness because the signals used there you can not decode by any parts of your brain other than those which are awoken by it which itself do not really have any saved memory so they do not really know what happened either. General memory continuity is maintained because previously used parts of the brain are not deactivated by it immediately but as soon as there is enough resources activated the one which is tired will go to sleep thus there will be the experience that somehow the core of you now is gone and what is left active are mostly those parts of the brain which were just activated and those which were not tired - which will keep you more or less feeling like you were.

Normally after fruition brain still uses the same strategies and only slowly changes them over time. What you describe might as well be usage of the proper strategy for what you claim. To be more sure you would need to write more about your experience so that certain key point can be picked up. There is also setting in period. After few years things calm down even more and things become more clear. In the big picture time period counted in days or even weeks is not enough to give good overview if any strategy that brain uses is the right one.

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