My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I used to post here, in the distant past, and I still gratefully refer to "best ofs" for technical fine points and inspiration.

I've been working on a meditation book for a few years. It's still in draft form, but it's complete and comprehensive enough (very high word count, for better and worse) that collaborators and some unknown number of additional people are working with the practices in it.

A possible key differentiator is that I believe in something like steelmanned "limited emotional/behavioral range" models for enlightenment, loosely speaking, to use terms in MCTB. (On a one-dimensional map, I'd put myself somewhere in mid-to-late third path, though (mostly uncontroversially!) I think this doesn't capture a huge amount of systematically achievable territory, etc., etc., etc.)

I also advocate for semi-explicit "error correction" and "wayfinding," which eventually eats itself with no remainder.

I've waited a while to post in spaces like here and /r/streamentry, because the priors on stuff that looks weird and new are sort of always "haha, nope." And the practices do look weird and may eventually undergo a lot of line editing. I'm still going to wait on /r/streamentry, but I figured an informal post, here, might be a good low-key place to start making contact with a wider circle of pragmatic practioners.

So!

If anyone is curious, here is a link to the always-current version:

http://meditationbook.page/

(Also, here is a link to a short story I recently wrote, that loosely fictionalizes and dramatizes something similar to my experience of meditation, in some regimes: https://twitter.com/meditationstuff/status/1393033834648715266 )

-Mark
genaro, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 84 Join Date: 11/23/19 Recent Posts
I just wondered what you had to say...

But now i wonder what the rather lengthy obfuscated script in the page does?

​​​​​​​Looks like it runs in the background, not really needed for a simple html document.
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
rather lengthy obfuscated script in the page does? ​​​​​​​Looks like it runs in the background, not really needed for a simple html document.

I'll look at the source when I'm off my phone, but I'm not sure what you're seeing. I'm proud that it's a single, 99.9999% static webpage! The only script is the bog standard copy/paste of a line of google analytics, to sanity-check traffic. I may add one more at some point to get a heat map of how people are engaging with the material.
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Josef C, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 72 Join Date: 6/16/20 Recent Posts
Hello Mark!

Thank you for sharing your work emoticon Here are my comments if I am  a newbie or just want to casually read the book  :I must admit that the draft / outline / formatting seems unfriendly to beginners. For example : 

A, a collaborator, says:>>>
My 30 second version for a[n...] introduction is:

The Ux and the order by the way that the book can be smoother  . I may sound negative , but believe me I am excited to  dive into your work emoticon Your section on  evil or the one about spotting the dark wizard are very interesting and a fun read . Keep up the work! 
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Thank you for your impressions! The formatting (and typos) used to be much worse, as I prioritized getting it comprehensively written; but people have still been steadily engaging throughout. :-)

It's very much a living document, and I'll continue to improve the formatting over time. Sidebars like the above may get better styling or will be integrated inline. There's sectional hyperlinking, and I'll continue to improve it, while seeking minimalist simplicity. Sections could use a bit of reordering and plenty of editing. Thanks again for your impressions, and thanks for the content-level interest and encouragement. :-)

I want to emphasize something about how complete it is, even though it's rough around the edges and could use so much polishing. 
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Kaloyan Stefanov, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 58 Join Date: 2/18/21 Recent Posts
Hi Mark, thanks for sharing and thanks for putting in the hard work to get this document to this level!

I came across your content on twitter (or maybe your blog first?) a few months ago, and was interested in the document. It was impossible to read back then, much more readable now, well done!!!

I am very intrigued by this guide because it somewhat mirrors a lot of what I was doing to progress rapidly on that single-insights-axis thing. In very simple terms, gather immence resolve to progress (very goal oriented) + in a very open, what is next-best-thing way let body-mind figure out specifics of what & how to do, incl. how to do dayily life mindfulness, when to sleep, when not to sleep, when to push, when to let go, how long, where and how long to practice, what to pay attention to, what content to consume etc. I am doing that same thing on these "other axes" now, as there is a lot of work still to do there. I am using a much less goal oriented approach, as cowboy-style goal oriented progress doesn't work as well there for me, or so it seems + it is quite difficult to define what these "other axes" actually entail, I am sure there are still a lot of unknown unknowns there for me. Your guide allows a lot for that goalless progress as well.

It is super difficult to generalize based on a sample of one (me), and I am still hesitant to tell people "do what I did and you will progress", hence why seeing something similar, as the backbone of a very thorough guide none the less, caught my interest. I have struggled a bit how to put that approach into words to share with others, including people who are looking for a bit more structure, and your guide is a very thorough attempt in that direction and provides me with some very good ideas & material. Although I must say I still find it mighty complicated for mass consumption. I am a hyper-intellectual male, and still find some sections daunting tbh.

​​​​​​​I am currently thinking of ways of how I would summarize in an even shorter way than your quick-start guide/partial guided tour.

Will be looking forward to futher itterations + happy to contribute in some way
Thanks and best regards
Kal
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
 
 I am doing that same thing on these "other axes" now, as there is a lot of work still to do there. [...] it is quite difficult to define what these "other axes" actually entail


Ah, yes, awesome. Exactly this. Part of the upcoming "marketing" challenge with my stuff (besides the formatting and messy analyticity) has been and will be a process of demonstrating/reassuring people that it's *not* too psychological, it's *not* too course grain, that it *is* meditation, that it still produces attainments, luminosity, etc., that it *does* eventually becomes as fluid and fine-grain as noting.

AND(!), it's not just for classical attainments, it ALSO works directly on psychology, morality, trauma, conditioning, preference, behavior, etc. (One also has to bop around in daily life, of course.)

I'm making claims about what meditation can potentially do that are maybe a bit at odds with "nondual-only," "turiya-only," "meditation doesn't make one a better person," etc.

​​​​​​​I've argued for this in a few places, in the document, but not yet in a way that's well-tailored for traditional and pragmatic dharma crowds.

I have a suspicion that Hindu Tantra as well as some of the maps of early Buddhism did have a vision of transformative practice and personal transformation that is in line with my sense of "it's all the same playing field, total deconditioning, work through ALL the samskaras [1], not just what incidentally comes up when pursuing nonduality."

This gets problematic, because without good tools and theory, one can get extreme self-suppression and behavioral rigidity, instead of deconditioning.

(Kal, re collaboration/contribution/anything, I'm always interested in chatting--there's a link to my calendly thing in my twitter pinned tweet, with more meeting types if you chop off the beginning of the URL.)

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samskara_(Indian_philosophy) 
 
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
​​​​​​​I am currently thinking of ways of how I would summarize in an even shorter way than your quick-start guide/partial guided tour.

A few people are taking inspiration from my stuff, and elsewhere, and are working on making versions with less analytical language, or designing approaches that preserve some of the deep/abstract "guarantees" of my formulations, but that look really structurally different. I'm interested in connecting people and including some of that work, inline with attribution, as well as linking out to it, depending on what each person wants.
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
WTF? Are you an idiot on meth or schizoaffective patient with mania?
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
WTF? Are you an idiot on meth or schizoaffective patient with mania?

Alesh, you have left measured and interesting comments, elsewhere on the DO, so I'm going to try replying to this--would you like to expand? I'm curious about the heart of what you're responding to.
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Alesh Vyhnal, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 127 Join Date: 2/14/13 Recent Posts
I appologize, I was overreacting. English isn't my native language and sincerely it is completely unintelligible text for me so I became angry.
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
No problem, thank you. On re-read, I was trying to do way too much with that paragraph. It's hard to parse, even for me, and I wrote it.. So that's helpful to see/realize--I apologize, too.
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Balint Pinczes, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 61 Join Date: 8/3/18 Recent Posts
Wow, impressive and rather overwhelming at first sight! You have put in some hours emoticon
Btw, thanx for the practical & technical book recommendations! (The two rather terse lists in the first place and the actual recommendations as well.) 
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Balint Pinczes, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 61 Join Date: 8/3/18 Recent Posts
Oh cool, there's a proper incomplete bibliography too!
Mark L, modified 4 Months ago.

RE: My very long meditation manual, with a novel approach

Posts: 90 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
It's pretty damn complete at this point. It might be time to remove that adjective. :-)

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