RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
On Chris's suggestion, I've started a continuation of this thread.  Without the comment tree we had before, the "more messages" button has to be used continuously. Despite the heavy thinking, I didn't know what to do. I suppose this is the only solution for now. After all, Chris knows best, ( just like Papa).
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 3934 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Someone, hopefully, is busy thinking heavily about how to fix the DhO's "More Messages" conundrum.

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
This is a recap of the last entries to the previous thread:

 How does a particular form of practice become dominant and established as a “lineage”? Even in recent times, the view of one man has been enough to create a whole new school of practice. Probably, the offer of results that are sought after, and the enticement of quick results have a lot to do with the growth and permanence of these schools. Some of the older cases of this phenomenon have persisted for centuries. Die-hard enthusiasts of any particular school keep the flame alive, sometimes downplaying the evident failures in morality and outright despicable behavior of the founder. These schools become closed loops where the sanctioning of “experiences” has to come from within the hierarchy, perpetuating a dedicated and loyal following.      Recent scientific studies suggest that the functioning of individual brains are, like fingerprints, unique.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCymeuQECOs Also, that the technique used in practice leaves a distinctive neural pattern that is distinguishable from others. It may be too early to know how this information will be applied but it has been suggested that it can be used to tailor practices suitable for particular types of brain functioning. I suppose it can also be used to weed out practices that cause ill effects in the brain, such as those that have been reported with some of the newer modalities (lineages) that are spreading.

​​​​​​​     Just food for thought.

Pepe: 
Shinzen Young speculates that AI would be the great breakthrough (at least regarding concentration), as its software would detect the specifics of each brain and so be the Zen monk with the stick in hand ready to remind you to get back to your object of preference.  

Angel:
There's no doubt that technology will play a big role in the future dissemination of meditation. The proliferation of apps is a sign of what will come. As more information about the workings of the brain is available, machines will probably be devised that can take a reading of individuals and recommend a suitable practice. There's already a precedent for such interventions with the use of the EEG machines that started being used in meditation studies in the 1960's https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnsys.2020.00053/full.     The more problematic issue, that I see, is that the push is to eventually medicalize meditation. As touched on in the article I posted above (Robert Shaff), What will be the result of removing practices from the religious context in which they were created? How will you explain, or put in context, the experiences that are sure to occur?  We'll see.
George S:
I don't think that medicine is necessarily a more problematic context for meditation than religion. For every fault I can find with medicine, I can find an equally compelling fault with religion!
Angel:
I agree that religion has caused its own set of problems. Especially in the authoritarianism and secretiveness that Pragmatic Dharma rebels against.  I much prefer a scientific approach to practice.  But the problem remains, that the insights have to be put in a cohesive context, otherwise the problems that can arise will not be properly addressed.  The "spiritual" emergencies are real and psychology is not broadly prepared to handle them. There is also concern about the role ethics will take in this new situation.  But, at the moment, it's just wait-and-see. 

The question is open, What's the future of meditation?​​​​​​​
George S, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 1774 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
This article says that 14% of American adults had tried meditation in 2017, up from 4% in 2012. 

I did a google trends search on "meditation" which showed a similar trend (and interestingly "buddhism" dropped over the same period)


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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
It's interesting to see that the secularization of meditation moves it away from exclusive identification with Buddhism. Also that there is a kind of lumping together of different modalities:The CDC survey considered meditation to be “the act of engaging in mental exercise to reach a heightened level of spiritual awareness or mindfulness.” This could include: transcendental meditation or other forms of mantra meditation; mindfulness meditation, such as Zen Buddhist meditation or mindfulness-based cognitive therapy; and spiritual meditation based on prayer or other contemplative thoughts.” Surprise! The CDC involved with meditation? The study was done in 2017, I bet the numbers are higher now. Especially with people trying to cope with the effects of the pandemic.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
     From the early contacts with the meditative traditions, there has been an effort to understand the essential principle of all practices. A Rosetta stone of sorts. I think an argument can be made that this principle is so simple that it is lost in the observation of the effects that are caused by applying it. Furthermore, that no matter how many effects are experienced or insights had, it's only the ongoing application of this principle that keeps the practitioner “fit for life”.
     I'll use the work of two psychiatrists and a refrain from the Buddha to make my point.
     The first psychiatrist is Arthur J. Deikman who theorized that the “psychological structures that organize, limit, select, and interpret perceptual stimuli” are automatic as a way of conserving energy. What he called “mystic practice” led to a “de-automatization”, “conceptualized as the undoing of automatization, presumably by reinvesting actions and percepts with attention.”
     The other is Hubert Benoit, for him, it is “a state of pure voluntary attention” that stops the “automatisms on the image-plane”. When you tell the mind “speak I am listening” the screen comes up blank. When the voluntary pure attention is relaxed, thoughts and images make their appearance.
​​​​​​​     Buddha said it clearly right at the start, “bring mindfulness to the front” and then he elaborated. This is the operating principle. After all is seen and done, this is what remains. Pay attention, this is the same at the beginning, the middle, and the continuation of practice. It just seems too simple. Singing odes to the sights seems more entertaining.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
    I had a teacher that always gave the same answer when presented with theories about practice, What does it mean? It was his way of keeping things down to earth. People are always asking about the meaning of their experiences. There is an effort on the part of science to create instruments that can measure the religious experience. I general, the conclusion so far is that "what counts as a religious experience is highly dependent on the interpretive frame that the individual, group, or tradition brings to it.”      
     There are two questionnaires that have been developed to gauge the “mystical” experience. One is the MEQ30, a refinement of the Pahnke-Richards Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ). This test was originally formulated for studies about the use of psilocybin. It has been validated for use in other types of experiences. www.academia.edu/16569534/Validation_of_the_revised_Mystical_Experience_Questionnaire_in_experimental_sessions_with_psilocybin    Of course, the Buddhist were not to be outdone, they came up with the Nondual Awareness Dimensional Assessment (NADA) based on Buddhist philosophical teachings, Hanley, Nakamura, & Garland (2018)    psyarxiv.com/4h9m5/download?format=pdf   
     There are a lot of cool charts and lists in these two articles. Gauge ahead!  As for me, I still remember, What does it mean? In my daily life, with my family, with the strange people on the road, with those who antagonize without cause? Is my practice any help?
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: BEWARE: Heavy Thinking Ahead 2

Posts: 225 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Emotions, authenticity. These are two difficult subjects from the phenomenological standpoint. Anyone who enters practice will have to deal with them. If you're interested, take a look at how being authentic can make you lose your job, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHr_Q5D-cNI or participate in this summit https://www.scienceandwisdomofemotions.com/ with the Dalai Lama and scientists. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it emoticon.

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