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Practices Inspired by Actualism

ManZ's awesome practice notes and stuff

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ManZ's awesome practice notes and stuff
Answer
9/20/11 12:20 AM
Well I just wanted to make one since I don't have one and since it's the kool thing to do and everything xD (jk). But I also don't wanna spend too much time trying to think of stuff and posting. Mainly because I don't have the time to nowadays and I don't think I have much to contribute.

But let's start off with what was started on Claudiu's thread with a reply from End in Sight

End in Sight:
ManZ A:

As for felicitous feelings, I've just found they make it easier to remain sensuous. If one is felicitous it becomes easier to notice the "arupa" qualities of experience as felicitous feelings (e.g. naivete) are the lightest forms of "being".



To be precise, I'm talking about the qualities that one has as a focus of experience in the 4 arupa jhanas (space, consciousness, nothing, signlessness). (The names are not very informative, but the experiences of them clarify things.) Is that what you mean?

Do you have a practice thread that we can move this to?


Well I mean something else based on my experience.

First off, I should mention that I have never entered a jhana (at most I will say access concentration) and I have never experienced what are here called "vibrations" doing vipassana (aside from one drug induced experience and some when waking up from sleep, but I don't know if I can count those). So I'm just guessing what the arupa qualities are based off a PCE and EE.

The easiest one to see is infinite space (imo). Since in the suttas it mentions that one enters the base of infinite space after going beyond perception of forms. My interpretation of it is that this perception of form is the form that "I" possess in this body and the forms that "I" see in others' bodies. It is "my" body and "my" perception of others' bodies (and objects). In my experience it's felt as if certain parts of the body are clinged to and "zoomed into" (this is not actual). When one is attentive and one is sensuous then this perception of form disappears and then there is infinite space (where only forms that are actual are seen with the eye) and my location cannot be felt or "seen" (or it'll go in that direction). When "my" perception of form is not there, then what becomes apparent is infinite space. So I assume this is like an experience of the base of infinite space. I can't say too much about the others as I don't know what consciousness or nothingness would be like. But since some here have mentioned that the formless jhanas have qualities that are in the actual world I assume those become more apparent as one gets more sensuous as well.

RE: ManZ's awesome practice notes and stuff
Answer
9/20/11 8:12 AM as a reply to ManZ A.
What you're noticing is very important, but from your description I'm not sure if it's space or not.

First off, your idea to figure out what the arupa qualities are from examining PCEs / EEs is very clever, and very good, and perhaps a much better way (in terms of straightforwardness) than trying to build up some meditative attainments if you think you're far away from those attainments.

When the suttas talk about the formless jhanas, they are talking about a level of concentration that's very, very high, where (in this case) the experience of space is crowding out all other experiences. But one can discern space and still discern forms...one merely discerns actual forms, as you're describing. However, one can also discern actual forms without necessarily discerning space, too. The two are separate issues, except that if one finds a way to minimize the perception of affective forms, space will probably be easy to find if looked for.

If you go outside to a natural environment (say a wide open area) where you can see the sky all around, you might get the impression "there is a lot of space here!". Outside of a PCE, that perception has an actual version and an affective version, and in that case you should expect to have both. How to describe the two it may be idiosyncratic...my idiosyncratic explanation is something like external space vs. internal space. (One "sees" external space or sees that the external environment is big or unbounded in some way, but "feels" a sense of spaciousness or feels space on their skin or notices space inside of them or reacts to a sense of space.) The perception of space isn't limited to such an environment, but such an environment can make it more prominent. If you try this, does it make sense to you?

If you get this, I can try to explain ways to see other arupa qualities, either in or out of a PCE.