RE: This moment

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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 14 Days ago.

This moment

Posts: 3185 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I talk to lots of people about meditation, sometimes up to 15 per week, sometimes as few as 1-2.

They talk about memories and plans mostly, hopes and fears, and occasionally sensations going on that moment, but rarely.

Almost none of them get that THIS IS IT.

Even the ones that are so impressed with their attainements, the powerful insight cycles, the magical experiences, the deep formless stuff, the very strange experiences that can arise in the far fusions of insight and concentration, nearly all of them fail to appreciate the simple point of these sensations, right now, right here, being it.

By "it", I mean:

1) The only thing going on in experience.
2) Utterly transient.
3) Utterly natural.
4) Utterly ungraspable and unstopable.
5) Utterly without anything that could even attempt to grasp or stop them.
6) Utterly immediate.
7) Utterly just as they are.
8) Utterly the immediate and perfect solution to their insight quest.

Then, every now and then, someone comes along that get it.

They say things like:

"The experience of the memories of meditation experiences are themselves the answer to the question of vipassana."

"The experience of the koan is the answer to the koan."

"Everything has the same nature all the way through. How utterly obvious this is in all things now. How could this possibly have been missed?"

"Thought and the things that thought appears to be operating on all satisfy, in that they cannot be grasped, cannot be stopped, cannot occur other than they do: what freedom!"

Those sound like things from a stylized book, but, on rare occasions, people actually do declare that their experience is like that.

When that quality of natural, inevitable, non-negotiable knowing is known to apply to all experiences immediately, automatically, naturally, without any other option, and even when not obviously payed attention to, and that holds up over all states, all stages, all shifts, all highs, all lows, all qualities of experiencce, that's really it.

If you find yourself reflecting on your past or future, and you don't notice that something in those reflections are equally of the same nature as everything else, or you are sure that some specific experience was it or closer to it and some other experiences are farther from it or less it, rather than appreciating those moments themselves as they occur then as simply, straightforwardly, easily, naturally it, however they are, consider tuning to that aspect, and see if it helps.

Best wishes,

Daniel
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Jim Smith, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 972 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram
...

Almost none of them get that THIS IS IT.
...


Very nice!

Is it your book?

Maybe you should make "THIS IS IT" the title of your next book so it shows up as the header on every other page and people will read it over and over.

Many people don't get that "THIS IS IT" because they read in a book that something has to happen during meditation and they think "THAT IS IT" so they look for something to happen in meditation, their mind becomes filled with "THAT", and it becomes just another distraction from "THIS".

Right?
Soh Wei Yu, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 11 Join Date: 2/13/21 Recent Posts
Jim Smith:
Daniel M. Ingram ... Almost none of them get that THIS IS IT. ...
Very nice! Is it your book? Maybe you should make "THIS IS IT" the title of your next book so it shows up as the header on every other page and people will read it over and over. Many people don't get that "THIS IS IT" because they read in a book that something has to happen during meditation and they think "THAT IS IT" so they look for something to happen in meditation, their mind becomes filled with "THAT", and it becomes just another distraction from "THIS". Right?

I like this book:



An excerpt:
Alan Watts: Agent and Action


Just now I was reading an Alan Watts forum and noticed people were talking about anatta/anatman and it occurred to me that Alan Watts must have realised it himself. So I searched online and found a very clear description - beautiful description. Alan Watts does not see substance but formations, events, actions, operations, processes, relations and interconnectedness.

Quote from his book “This is It: and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience“ :

The general impression of these optical sensations is that the eyes, without losing the normal area of vision, have become microscopes, and that the texture of the visual field is infinitely rich and complex. I do not know whether this is actual awareness of the multiplicity of nerve-endings in the retina, or, for that matter, in the fingers, for the same grainy feeling arose in the sense of touch. But the effect of feeling that this is or may be so is, as it were, to turn the senses back upon themselves, and so to realize that seeing the external world is also seeing the eyes. In other words, I became vividly aware of the fact that what I call shapes, colors, and textures in the outside world are also states of my nervous system, that is, of me. In knowing them I also know my self. But the strange part of this apparent sensation of my own senses was that I did not appear to be inspecting them from outside or from a distance, as if they were objects. I can say only that the awareness of grain or structure in the senses seemed to be awareness of awareness, of myself from inside myself. Because of this, it followed that the distance or separation between myself and my senses, on the one hand, and the external world, on the other, seemed to disappear I was no longer a detached observer, a little man inside my own head, having sensations. I was the sensations, so much so that there was nothing left of me, the observing ego, except the series of sensations which happened---not to me, but just happened---moment by moment, one after another.

To become the sensations, as distinct from having them, engenders the most astonishing sense of freedom and release. For it implies that experience is not something in which one is trapped or by which one is pushed around, or against which one must fight. The conventional duality of subject and object, knower and known, feeler and feeling, is changed into a polarity: the knower and the known become the poles, terms, or phases of a single event which happens, not to me or from me, but of itself. The experiencer and the experience become a single, ever-changing self-forming process, complete and fulfilled at every moment of its unfolding, and of infinite complexity and subtlety. It is like, not watching, but being, a coiling arabesque of smoke patterns in the air, or of ink dropped in water, or of a dancing snake which seems to move from every part of its body at once. This may be a "drug-induced hallucination," but it corresponds exactly to what Dewey and Bentley have called the transactional relationship of the organism to its environment. This is to say that all our actions and experiences arise mutually from the organism and from the environment at the same time. The eyes can see light because of the sun, but the sun is light because of the eyes. Ordinarily, under the hypnosis of social conditioning, we feel quite distinct from our physical surroundings, facing them rather than belonging in them. Yet in this way we ignore and screen out the physical fact of our total interdependence with the natural world. We are as embodied in it as our own cells and molecules are embodied in us. Our neglect and repression of this interrelationship gives special urgency to all the new sciences of ecology, studying the interplay of organisms with their environments, and warning us against ignorant interference with the balances of nature.

The sensation that events are happening of themselves, and that nothing is making them happen and that they are not happening to anything, has always been a major feature of my experiences with LSD. It is possible that the chemical is simply giving me a vivid realization of my own philosophy, though there have been times when the experience has suggested modifications of my previousthinking. (1) But just as the sensation of subject-object polarity is confirmed by the transactional psychology of Dewey and Bentley, so the sensation of events happening "of themselves" is just how one would expect to perceive a world consisting entirely of process. Now the language of science is increasingly a language of process---a description of events, relations, operations, and forms rather than of things and substances. The world so described is a world of actions rather than agents, verbs rather than nouns, going against the common-sense idea that an action is the behavior of some thing, some solid entity of "stuff." But the commonsense idea that action is always the function of an agent is so deeply rooted, so bound up with our sense of order and security, that seeing the world to be otherwise can be seriously disturbing. Without agents, actions do not seem to come from anywhere, to have any dependable origin, and at first sight this spontaneity can be alarming. In one experiment it seemed that whenever I tried to put my (metaphorical) foot upon some solid ground, the ground collapsed into empty space. I could find no substantial basis from which to act: my will was a whim, and my past, as a causal conditioning force, had simply vanished. There was only the present conformation of events, happening. For a while I felt lost in a void, frightened, baseless, insecure through and through Yet soon I became accustomed to the feeling, strange as it was. There was simply a pattern of action, of process, and this was at one and the same time the universe and myself with nothing outside it either to trust or mistrust. And there seemed to be no meaning in the idea of its trusting or mistrusting itself, just as there is no possibility of a finger's touching its own tip.

Upon reflection, there seems to be nothing unreasonable in seeing the world in this way. The agent behind every action is itself action. If a mat can be called matting, a cat can be called catting. We do not actually need to ask who or what "cats," just as we do not need to ask what is the basic stuff or substance out of which the world is formed---for there is no way of describing this substance except in terms of form, of structure, order, and operation. The world is not formed as if it were inert clay responding to the touch of a potter's hand; the world is form, or better, formation, for upon examination every substance turns out to be closely knit pattern. The fixed notion that every pattern or form must be made of some basic material which is in itself formless is based on a superficial analogy between natural formation and manufacture, as if the stars and rocks had been made out of something as a carpenter makes tables out of wood. Thus what we call the agent behind the action is simply the prior or relatively more constant state of the same action: when a man runs we have a "manning-running" over and above a simple "manning." Furthermore, it is only a somewhat clumsy convenience to say that present events are moved or caused by past events, for we are actually talking about earlier and later stages of the same event. We can establish regularities of rhythm and pattern in the course of an event, and so predict its future configurations, but its past states do not "push" its present and future states as if they were a row of dominoes stood on end so that knocking over the first collapses all the others in series. The fallen dominoes lie where they fall, but past events vanish into the present, which is just another way of saying that the world is a self-moving pattern which, when its successive states are remembered, can be shown to have a certain order. Its motion, its energy, issues from itself now, not from the past, which simply falls behind it in memory like the wake from a ship.

When we ask the "why" of this moving pattern, we usually try to answer the question in terms of its original, past impulse or of its future goal. I had realized for a long time that if there is in any sense a reason for the world's existence it must be sought in the present, as the reason for the wake must be sought in the engine of the moving ship. I have already mentioned that LSD makes me peculiarly aware of the musical or dance-like character of the world, bringing my attention to rest upon its present flowing and seeing this as its ultimate point. Yet I have also been able to see that this point has depths, that the present wells up from within itself with an energy which is something much richer than simple exuberance.

One of these experiments was conducted late at night. Some five or six hours from its start the doctor had to go home, and I was left alone in the garden. For me, this stage of the experiment is always the most rewarding in terms of insight, after some of its more unusual and bizarre sensory effects have worn off. The garden was a lawn surrounded by shrubs and high trees---Pine and eucalyptus---and floodlit from the house which enclosed it on one side. As I stood on the lawn I noticed that the rough patches where the grass was thin or mottled with weeds no longer seemed to be blemishes. Scattered at random as they were, they appeared to constitute an ordered design, giving the whole area the texture of velvet damask, the rough patches being the parts where the pile of the velvet is cut. In sheer delight I began to dance on this enchanted carpet, and through the thin soles of my moccasins I could feel the ground becoming alive under my feet, connecting me with the earth and the trees and the sky in such a way that I seemed to become one body with my whole surroundings.

Looking up, I saw that the stars were colored with the same reds, greens, and blues that one sees in iridescent glass, and passing across them was the single light of a jet plane taking forever to streak over the sky. At the same time, the trees, shrubs, and flowers seemed to be living jewelry, inwardly luminous like intricate structures of jade, alabaster, or coral, and yet breathing and flowing with the same life that was in me. Every plant became a kind of musical utterance, a play of variations on a theme repeated from the main branches, through the stalks and twigs, to the leaves, the veins in the leaves, and to the fine capillary network between the veins. Each new bursting of growth from a center repeated or amplified the basic design with increasing complexity and delight, finally exulting in a flower.

From my description it will seem that the garden acquired an atmosphere that was distinctly exotic, like the gardens of precious stones in the Arabian Nights, or like scenes in a Persian miniature. This struck me at the time, and I began to wonder just why it is that the glowingly articulated landscapes of those miniatures seem exotic, as do also many Chinese and Japanese paintings. Were the artists recording what they, too, had seen under the influence of drugs? I knew enough of the lives and techniques of Far Eastern painters to doubt this. I asked, too, whether what I was seeing was "drugged." In other words, was the effect of the LSD in my nervous system the addition to my senses of some chemical screen which distorted all that I saw to preternatural loveliness? Or was its effect rather to remove certain habitual and normal inhibitions of the mind and senses, enabling us to see things as they would appear to us if we were not so chronically repressed? Little is known of the exact neurological effects of LSD, but what is known suggests the latter possibility. If this be so, it is possible that the art forms of other cultures appear exotic---that is, unfamiliarly enchanting---because we are seeing the world through the eyes of artists whose repressions are not the same as ours. The blocks in their view of the world may not coincide with ours, so that in their representations of life we see areas that we normally ignore. I am inclined to some such solution because there have been times when I have seen the world in this magical aspect without benefit of LSD, and they were times when I was profoundly relaxed within, my senses unguardedly open to their surroundings.

Feeling, then, not that I was drugged but that I was in an unusual degree open to reality, I tried to discern the meaning, the inner character of the dancing pattern which constituted both myself and the garden, and the whole dome of the night with its colored stars. All at once it became obvious that the whole thing was love-play, where love means everything that the word can mean, a spectrum ranging from the red of erotic delight, through the green of human endearment, to the violet of divine charity, from Freud's libido to Dante's "love that moves the sun and other stars." All were so many colors issuing from a single white light, and, what was more, this single source was not just love as we ordinarily understand it: it was also intelligence, not only Eros and Agape but also Logos. I could see that the intricate organization both of the plants and of my own nervous system, like symphonies of branching complexity, were not just manifestations of intelligence---as if things like intelligence and love were in themselves substances or formless forces. It was rather that the pattern itself is intelligence and is love, and this somehow in spite of all its outwardly stupid and cruel distortions.


André A. PaisAndré A. Pais "The agent behind every action is itself action".

Great insight.5ManageLikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2wJohn TanJohn Tan Therefore it is the action that knows, no knower.9ManageLikeShow more reactions · Reply · 2w

Labels: Alan Watts, Anatta, Books and Websites Recommendations, Maha 0 comments | |

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Papa Che Dusko, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Right?"

Wrong emoticon I would add "as per usual" emoticon you seem chasing ghosts in a ghost town. I would suggest you let go of your view on "relaxing" meditation and go full on Mahasi noting. Might do you good emoticon 

"This is It" is also in that "looking for something to happen in meditation".
emoticon 

Issue is when teachers and awakened beings say stuff like 
"this is it BUT only if you can Appreciate it" emoticon or
"this is It BUT only if your face is melting into non-duality" emoticon (sorry Linda but that one will stick for a while) or
"this is it BUT only if you are having relaxed time"
or
"this is it BUT only if it's the way Shargrol explained it in Pepe's blog" emoticon (no disrespect of curse). 

This Is It in all shape and form. Appreciate it or not appreciate it it still will ever be just as it is. 

We can now go "BUT" emoticon This is It is not the same for someone just starting on the path and an Arahat. I say bullshit emoticon This is It always. Unless there is no consciousness and This Is Nothing, zilch, nada, lights out. 

Now let's go back to Daniel "complaining" about folks talking to him more often than not, frustrated with their experience emoticon I mean if a person "gets the joke" that This Is It then why oh why would they even consider contacting you? emoticon So we could hold hands together in appreciation of "it" and sing kumbaya emoticon 

If folks reach out to you it's because they are likely suffering and having strong desire to get out of it and hope you have the tip on how to. 
Sure thing it is what you say This Is It but practically speaking it's more helpful to frame it as Satipatthana or even Noting/Labeling. With these I can do something about it while with This Is It can only piss me off emoticon 
So dear dear folks, practice will reduce that ignorant density that can't simply see that This Is It which I feel also gets ripped a new hole by Anicca anyway emoticon Can't hold onto shit in this game. 

I will publish this now in hope these words cause more good than bad (fools hope I guess, shit, I keep forgetting Noble Silence). 

Much love to all of you emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Well, I never said that anyone had to have their face melt. I was just describing what those particular moments felt like in my experience. Of course it's no requirement for anything. I just happen to like it. That's allowed, right? Preferences also just occur, after all. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
My apologies Linda emoticon It was not my intent to ridicule you or anyone I mentioned but rather laugh at how we all (me most certainly included) seem to get into this mode of placing certain experiences higher or more desired, better etc. either gross or subtle. 
I kind of pictured a beginner reading into your experience and thinking "jeez that must be It, I gotta get That melting face non-duality" emoticon I do apologize again, to Jim also, I was too harsh. 

However this also ain't an issue as it really just Is This in its selfing mode. This is a human (animal) being after all not really wanting to be hurt etc ... It will do stuff and think stuff to stay in good shape and dandy emoticon 

Im sorry emoticon something told me not to post that but I did it anyway as I stated above emoticon Noble Silence ain't my forte emoticon 
As far as my wisdom goes I'm but a dumb fart in the samsaric wind of change! 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
It's okay. It IS comical. Honestly I'm not sure how much of my reply was mere face-saving and how much was trying to clarify in order to avoid confusing readings of my log, but I do know that both elements were involved. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Much love to you min svenska vän emoticon 

I ought to keep my blabbing mouth shut more often emoticon In face to face life you would however see my rather joking facial expression emoticon emoticon 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
To be clear, I don't recommend anyone to use my practice log as any indication of what anything is supposed to be like. It's just a personal log, you know, and also, I'm far from done.

It's funny how this thread, like so many other threads, sparks that old fight about which methods are best. I don't see any of that in the original post. What I see is confirmation that I'm still not getting it most of the time, which is probably a projection too, but an illustrative one. I suspect that any projections point to things that we still need to work on. I'll keep working until there is no sense of working to be found. Meanwhile, I'll allow myself to feel comfort in melting sensations and other phenomena, whatever it takes to stay sane.
George S, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1771 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
With these I can do something about it while with This Is It can only piss me off emoticon 

The interesting question is ... why does it piss us off?

Because on some level we want or expect IT to be MORE than THIS!

So instead we focus on what we think we can do, rather than what we can't do. emoticon
​​​
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
G me man! It's easy to "get the joke" when the current state or stage of mind is not under Dukkha attack emoticon 

Wait and see in 6-12 months when stuff might change at large and either bodily or mindily agony and misery comes to arise. See then how this "This is It" hold up emoticon 

In my case there was run for cover, get some tools out of the yogi box , hide, run, fight ... emoticon however even in such stage/state there will be likely realizing "oh, no matter what I try to do about all this, this will always and ever be just what it is". 

It's hard to just say "ok, me being reactive towards my kid is just This being It" emoticon right? 
There will be desire to be a better parent, a better human being towards self and others. 

In this case "This" was it but there will be resistance to it in retrospect (which again is but this in another form). 

So, personality modes seem to be shifting depending on situations and past karma and stuff is going into action or not. 

This sure is It but when is It not of benefit for my self and others? And when is It of benefit for all?

I mean It just Is, and it gives no shit if it hurts or not. 
I have listened to Ingram in that Viking video about that Analayo monk attacking him saying something "I have never heard anyone talk like that to me before unless they are ... what ever" (he stopped him self from saying likely something like mentally ill emoticon and I agree) So that It was there unfolding into action but it was not the It that stopped those harmful words! emoticon right? 

we can certainly agree that there is more to This unfolding than just This is It. If we choose to reflect after the facts of This being It. 

I think Chris said about something how Zen helped him realize This is It and how Vipassana helped him realize Dependent Origination. 
So what does at the end realize Wisdom as in Moral Wisdom. Action (and not action) of benefit to all. 

​​​​​​​ok emoticon I will again post this even though I almost deleted it. Please excuse my bullshit and please do laugh at it instead emoticon I know I do emoticon 
shargrol, modified 14 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1559 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
For me, it was sort of like: "Oh shit, there will never be a future self." That was the emotional tone that sparked. And then, "this is all there IS, ever. no other past or future world" was the bone-deep realization.

There was no way of knowing if I would even be alive in two minutes, much less if all my thoughts, strategies, plans, would have any traction or influence on making my preferences happen in an impossible-to-know future.  "Thoughts of self, strategies, plans", which seemed so powerful and important and needed, were see as wisps of air with almost no real influence on the moment.  A very deep and appropriate sense of uncertainty and ego/will became right-sized.

And yet life goes on. Still many thoughts, strategies, and plans... but I know what they are and I know what I am, so to speak. 

The difference between philosophical thinking this and realizing this is the body. That is why training is necessary, why insights into our own heavy-handed reactivity is necessary. The emotional body is allow to relax, there is greater sensitivity to reactivity, there is a bubbling up of previously ignoring or repressed fear, there is an insight into reactivity, and this allows the body to relax even more... repeat for days and days... on the cushion, off cushion, on retreat, at home, at work for years and years... Every so often there are quantum jumps, but mostly it is low-intensity, high repetition training. 

The fractal refinement nature of this process is such that it is possible to have a flavor of "this is it" type realization many many times, but if we're honest with ourself, our body will tell us how superficial this realization was and if there is more practicing, more retreats, more sensitivity, more training to do, more depth to explore.

Eventually there is such sensitivity that the core kernal of selfing in itself can be seen clearly. And the last bit of ignorance or repressed fear goes away. The great matter of life and death has been solved, so to speak.

The reactivity to thought and emotional content and fear of annihilation is "right-sized" by enlightenment. And this is it.
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terry, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1676 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
not this, not this
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Chris Marti, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I don't want to disagree strongly with my friend shargrol, so I will disagree just a little bit to remind us that the body and the mind are the same, and are inextricably inseparable. We can't feel without both, together. I know, I know, we all like to talk about the body and its sensations versus the mind and its thoughts, but all of these are just things, no hierarchies, no specialness.

emoticon
shargrol, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1559 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
I don't want to disagree strongly with my friend shargrol, so I will disagree just a little bit to remind us that the body and the mind are the same, and are inextricably inseparable. We can't feel without both, together. I know, I know, we all like to talk about the body and its sensations versus the mind and its thoughts, but all of these are just things, no hierarchies, no specialness.

emoticon
No worries and ironically: I almost used body-mind or body/mind in what I wrote! But I didn't want it to sound too woo-woo (body-mind) or too interchangable (body/mind)... and since most people tend to be over-intellectual, I went with body.  But I agree with your disagreement. emoticon
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terry, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1676 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
responding to shargrol:


​​​​​​​the path is the goal
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Daniel IngramWhen that quality of natural, inevitable, non-negotiable knowing is known to apply to all experiences immediately, automatically, naturally, without any other option, and even when not obviously payed attention to, and that holds up over all states, all stages, all shifts, all highs, all lows, all qualities of experience, that's really it.”
     
My comments are only a statement about my experience. I am not a Dharma teacher nor want to be one. What Daniel describes is exactly what I discovered in my first insight. It had the quality of a vast, clear, selfless awareness. I immediately identified with this way of knowing and from that moment had the intention of living from it. I'll let Shargrol continue:
The difference between philosophical thinking this and realizing this is the body. That is why training is necessary, why insights into our own heavy-handed reactivity is necessary. The emotional body is allow to relax, there is greater sensitivity to reactivity, there is a bubbling up of previously ignoring or repressed fear, there is an insight into reactivity, and this allows the body to relax even more... repeat for days and days... on the cushion, off cushion, on retreat, at home, at work for years and years... Every so often there are quantum jumps, but mostly it is low-intensity, high repetition training.
The fractal refinement nature of this process is such that it is possible to have a flavor of "this is it" type realization many many times, but if we're honest with ourself, our body will tell us how superficial this realization was and if there is more practicing, more retreats, more sensitivity, more training to do, more depth to explore.”
​​​​​​​
This has been exactly right in my experience. The body/mind is the great truth-teller. There has to be congruence between thoughts and feeling. Only complete honesty with ourselves can achieve this.  Then it doesn't matter what the experience is, good or bad THIS IS IT, it lasts as long as it has to and leaves without leaving footsteps to follow.  All this is a skillset we are refining day to day and have to continuously apply.  
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
In my (limited) experience, listening to the body is extremely helpful because body and mind is one, something that we tend to neglect in many modern sociocultural contexts. I may intellectualize my(not)self into believing that I have thoroughly grocked something (which should be a tell in itself), but as long as there are remaining tensions emmanating from conceptual traps, those tensions will also manifest physically at varying degrees of subtlety. 
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
You are correct Linda. The tension in the muscle system is sometimes even more subtle than the thought process that brings it about. Only deep relaxation techniques in a prone position can reach this type of "bracing". It's like waiting to be hit. I've heard actual popping sounds when a muscle group distends suddenly. Before this, there was no awareness that the tension existed. 
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Yep. I call it disentangling, and it certainly involves lots of popping. My body-mind does it intuitively when I lie down and surrender to the awakening process. Sometimes it moves into different restorative yoga poses. I also find it helpful to notice subtler and subtler layers of positionings that come together with any subtle sense of a doing. Lots to uncover there before I can honestly say that "This is it" is my default mode. 
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Ni Nurta, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 697 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
@Daniel
Is this THIS IT the same as Nibbana?
If it isn't then I have no idea what you are talking about.
And if it is then I have no idea why not call it using the proper dharmic name.

Either way your post confuses me emoticon
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Ni Nurta
@Daniel
Is this THIS IT the same as Nibbana?
If it isn't then I have no idea what you are talking about.
And if it is then I have no idea why not call it using the proper dharmic name.

Either way your post confuses me emoticon
"A rose by any other name would smell as sweet"  -William Shakespeare
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 13 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"Is this THIS IT the same as Nibbana?"

Nope. Nibbana would be the opposite like "This isn't". 
shargrol, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1559 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
"Is this THIS IT the same as Nibbana?"

Nope. Nibbana would be the opposite like "This isn't". 

There is another kind of nibbana where experiences "extinquish" as soon as they happen without karmic trace. nibbana = extinquishing in Pali language. 

You might say, don't all experiences extinquish as soon as they happen? Why yes, yes they do. But we act as if our thoughts and emotions persist and have future meaning/influence. If you deeply "know" that all thoughts and emotions arise from nowhere, stay nowhere, and go nowhere... that is another kind of nibbana, consistent with Daniel's "this moment is it".


A fun game to play is to look at all tough emotions as they are the "ending" not the "beginning". So for example, let's say I'm using my coffee addiction as practice domain. I could look at each coffee craving as the beginning of a problem, something that will in the future get worse and worse, until I either snap or succeed. That's a lot of pressure to put oneself through on the arising of a single craving. Alternative I could look at each coffee craving as the release or ending of one craving in merely a finite number of cravings. Then each hard craving feeling is a good thing, a great thing to happen because it means I'm getting closer to my goal. It's just a change in mindset but it significantly reduces the interim suffering.

A more global understanding of this worldview results in a more global and more significant overall reduction in  suffering (and selfing emoticon ).
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
+1 for shargrol's comment!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
"There is another kind of nibbana where experiences "extinquish" as soon as they happen without karmic trace. nibbana = extinquishing in Pali language. "

emoticon funny how Kenneth Folk doesn't see that as Nibbana emoticon but instead only calls Nibbana the utter absence of consciousness AKA Cessation. 

Could it be that Kenneth haven't yet experienced that which you and Ingram
describe as another kind of Nibbana aka This is It? 
Shame he doesn't post here anymore. 

KF seems to see This Is It as exactly that in its simplest form; Meaning whatever that is; just an itch, just a worry, just an abosorption, just a touch, just relaxed, just pain ...
Basic Satipatthana really. 

No requirement to have an attainment either. Or special states. Or have equanimity not appreciation or acceptance either. 

In that moment of realisation of This Is It there is no pondering really but just pure naked Satipatthana seeing/feeling/sensing/smelling/touching/tasting/thinking. And it can have any feeling flavor, which also "is" (to use Chris's term as I can relate to that one as well and might describe it better than "it"). 

Howevet I do thank you shargrol for sharing your other meaning of Nibbana. Seems like a conscious experience non the less. Right? 

It certainly seem like a good experience to get/develop as an intervention to suffering. Big question though; Is it permanent? 

You see KF admits that he "gets the joke" (aka this is it) from time to time then looses it. In that case if there is struggle he would go back to good plain old Satipatthana. Mindfulness to the fore and ... lemme see ... what is going on here ... seeing, touching, tension, etc ... 
KF talks about Awakening not being free from the law of Anicca. It ain't permanent. Can't have it, can't own it. 


emoticon 
"That's a lot of pressure to put oneself through on the arising of a single craving. Alternative I could look at each coffee craving as the release or ending of one craving in merely a finite number of cravings. Then each hard craving feeling is a good thing, a great thing to happen because it means I'm getting closer to my goal. It's just a change in mindset but it significantly reduces the interim suffering. "

Ha! emoticon I like this one!!! emoticon Thank you , will try use it from now on! 
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Ni Nurta, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 697 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
 @ shargrol
Good one. You get +1 dharma karma points for this post emoticon
And -1 normal karma points for violation of basic human rights by denying your neurons (who technically are human beings cause they have human DNA) their morning coffee!

@ Papa
Nibbana I am referring to is something you have to focus on and technicality of it aside for the moment (rest assured it will happen, and soon... very soon. Neurons will come emoticon) it does exactly what blip cessation does, just on lesser scale not causing any large scale effects but otherwise feels and is the same. I mean it feels like fruition afterglow, just one which can be experienced any time you want. It is not permanent in sense that it happens on its own but you can always focus on it and cause it. In all life situations and it makes everything better. Also improves clarity and cognition, especially later revision from further than 1st paths.

And technically if you focus on experience you just had and it is already done you actually bother (at least some of) these neurons which were responsible for creating this perception and if anything can be told about neurons is that they get tired very fast. I tested it both ways and dukkha can be had so quickly by repeatedly activating neurons you would not believe. In normal operation neurons work in turns but how much they change depends on many factors. To improve this change rate you can focus (it has to be specific focus, one which increase action potential but not enough to on its own trigger them, just a little) on resting neurons instead of perception and then from within these when there will be need to have active neurons the neurons will get active. If you always focus on these resting neurons you completely avoid dukkha caused by abusing neurons, especially since there cannot be too much active neurons in the nervous system at the same time (power limits, activation of parts which activate other parts for given type of task (though it can be actually override, the trick I learned last year emoticon), etc.)

Now cessation/fruition is an event where consciousness falls on to Nibbana and this resets all sort of active pathways and for path fruitions also creates/opens new pathways. Imho it is enough similar to what focusing on Nibbana already does. This is the best candidate to THIS that people talk about.

Also it is not focusing on end of sensations as in shargrol's example though I do not think he meant this second type of Nibbana is about focusing at the end of sensations specifically but merely used this type of focus as an easy (relatively emoticon) to follow example. Hopefully. End of sensation kinda works but actually it is more focusing on... IT... I guess. I call this Nibbana though in spirit of Buddhadharma.

That said as I mentioned focus is rather special. Worth mentioning is that this focus pre-programs activity cycle of neurons so there are differences in how Nibbana feels like when I use focus from 1st path vs. something like focus from 4th with different behavior or nervous system parts which undergo 'passing away' which can also affects cognitive performance and hence increased trust we have in using Nibbana over falling back to older ways. Even at fist path it always worked to eliminate dukkha and the only dukkha I did experience was those cases I was doubting it. After my doubt fell away I do not remember much if any dukkha.

Also THIS that Daniel points to when he says THIS IS IT probably has as much his own mind in it as any THIS or IT or Nibbana that anyone says when they point to these things despite technically it being the same kind of thing and it imho has name Nibbana. The whole paths are like revision of software during which we also get required trust in these things. It at first is always like "yeah, this thing feels so good but look, there comes action which require high focus so I will do it the old way because I am not sure if I even can complete such complex activity being blessed out by focusing on THIS" and this is the main issue why enlightenment of first paths is not bulletproof. If I was completely and utterly trusting Nibbana I had after I got 1st path always in 100% situations then it might not be as cognitively efficient as what I later on revised it to become but it would still eliminate all dukkha. This would be as good as being done when it comes to dukkha. It would be already IT. This is of course in ideal world and in real world things like trust take time and improvements. 4th path versions (literally 4th version of this algorithm, note: it might take a lot of insight/refinement cycles) are simply more efficient and more trustworthy hence the typical case is that once you get to something you feel you can trust even your life with (like you do not consider "the way I always did it in the past" but trust Nibbana even when it comes to matters related to your life, health or life/health of your family/friends) which is around 4th version then you just use it at all times.

BTW. Where is Kenneth anyway? Last time he posted from what I remember was when people sent him to Buddhist hell. Did he actually take the challenge? emoticon
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Linda --

In my (limited) experience, listening to the body is extremely helpful because body and mind is one, something that we tend to neglect in many modern sociocultural contexts.

Yes, I agree (as stated in my comment), I wanted to emphasize that the more we talk as if the mind and body are separate the more we reinforce that paradigm. 
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Shargrol
A fun game to play is to look at all tough emotions as they are the "ending" not the "beginning". So for example, let's say I'm using my coffee addiction as practice domain. I could look at each coffee craving as the beginning of a problem, something that will in the future get worse and worse, until I either snap or succeed. That's a lot of pressure to put oneself through on the arising of a single craving. Alternative I could look at each coffee craving as the release or ending of one craving in merely a finite number of cravings. Then each hard craving feeling is a good thing, a great thing to happen because it means I'm getting closer to my goal. It's just a change in mindset but it significantly reduces the interim suffering.
     Long before I had names for what I was doing, ( my time on this forum has expanded my vocabulary immensely), I broke habits and addictions using the breathing technique. I realize now that there was a lot of noting involved also. The first addiction was to cigarettes and later to marijuana. The process was to calmly observe the progression of the appearance of the urge, its development in the body/mind (anxiety, fidgeting etc.), and the release when I gave in. After long practice it was like watching an old movie. I knew exactly what the plot was. The next step was to allow the urge to pass away. It's been decades since I smoked either substance. The concept of “this moment is it” is the important ingredient. Then there is no struggle involved. When this is known, it's all a process of looking at what is and accepting it. This is the source of our power over circumstances, the ability to act right. And by the way, I wouldn't trade the high of THIS IS IT for any kind of intoxication.
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
... the high of THIS IS IT...

Again I have a small quibble with language. The realization of "this is it" or what I call "is" is not a high unless it has just been uncovered, and that feeling of elation fades pretty quickly. It's basic sanity, a way of perceiving the universe, of seeing how the mind works.

Sorry, Angel, but I think the way we describe these things matters. Feel free to think I'm nit-picking.

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
... the high of THIS IS IT...

Again I have a small quibble with language. The realization of "this is it" or what I call "is" is not a high unless it has just been uncovered, and that feeling of elation fades pretty quickly. It's basic sanity, a way of perceiving the universe, of seeing how the mind works.

Sorry, Angel, but I think the way we describe these things matters. Feel free to think I'm nit-picking.

emoticon
What I call "high" is the natural gladness, joy, and happiness that arises from being in the moment. What  Daniel has called "it" in this tread. This is an ongoing reality.  Getting it, the recognition that this is true is what causes the awe inspiring impression that people think is THE GREAT EVENT.  This great event comes and goes like everything else. What remains is practice inspired and fueled by the certainty,( if the recognition is true) of a different way of being in the world.
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'm quite certain we agree on the fundamentals. 
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Chris Marti
I'm quite certain we agree on the fundamentals. 

I'm sure we do, as anyone that practices well should. I surmise that Daniel had this same intention of clarifying language when he started this post. We can only hope for a future where there is a definitive language, perhaps based on science, that is unequivocal.
Stickman3, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 59 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
Is the dark night it, or does the dark night recede once it is seen ? Or neither because it is now and I'm not feeling very dark ?
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1843 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Stickman3
Is the dark night it, or does the dark night recede once it is seen ? Or neither because it is now and I'm not feeling very dark ?


Papa Che replies; 
Yes, dark night is also This is It. This is It is really not limited by anything. It's like staring at myriads of things popping in-out and all in the very same infinite small spot emoticon 

DN doesn't have to recede or it might. Beauty of This Is It is the fact that "I can't win this fight, I'm loosing it big time emoticon as no matter what I might think or do This had already arise-passed as if "I" don't exist at all" emoticon emoticon oops! 

However "this is it" realization does not last, ain't permanent for me. There are times when bodily and mental agony and anguish is just plain hard and there is resistance to it and trying to remedy the suffering aspect. This trying would be the opposite to This Is It. Unless also realized as This is plain It emoticon 

All this being said practice leads to all this funky realization stuff so ya! Practice is the shit! 

P.s. take anything I say with a grain of salt! 
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terry, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1676 Join Date: 8/7/17 Recent Posts
   I drink coffee and smoke marijuana all the time (cheers!) but I am not aware of any cravings. Perhaps I extinguish them each sip and toke. One day perhaps I can no longer toke and sip and that will extinguish them too.

   Yes, this is nibbana, pawel. Each moment arises, rests momentarily, and passes away. Spark, flame, puff of smoke. Now you see it, now you don't. Form precedes and follows emptiness, emptiness precedes and follows form. Beating heart, breathing lungs. The living god. Resurrection; oblivion.

"Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, there are indeed signs for men of understanding." Qu'ran 3:190

   Listening to the body only goes so far. The body loves its endorphins and in pursuit of happiness likes to eat, have sex, and sleep. The mind is capable of discipline and restraint, imposing them on the body. A healthy body responds to its rider with willing loyalty and the steadiness of long training.  Lay down, beast. Sit, roll over, play dead. Smile and give welcome to brothers and sisters.

   Yes, this is it. Alan Watts wrote a book called, "This Is It." Recently the paris review said of this book, quoting watts:

The title essay is about a spiritual but concrete experience that Watts calls “cosmic consciousness,” something that has happened in varying degrees to people since the beginning of time. It’s basically a “vivid and overwhelming certainty that the universe, precisely as it is at this moment, as a whole and in every one of its parts, is so completely right as to need no explanation or justification beyond what it simply is … The experience has a tendency to arise in situations of total extremity or despair, when the individual finds himself without any alternative but to surrender himself entirely.” 

   The experiencer disappears, cosmic consciousness arises. Cosmic consciousness disappears, the experiencer arises. Ya just can't have your cake and eat it too. As omar khayyam has it, "Take the Cash and let the Credit go."

   The focus on the body in meditation is just a technique, a trick to keep the mind from wandering off in fantasy, that is memory and its attendants, past and future.

   Ultimately it is about control, as in you don't have any. Accept that and be free.

terry


​​​​​​​
“Imagine that the keeper of a huge, strong beast notices what makes it angry, what it desires, how it has to be approached and handled, the circumstances and the conditions under which it becomes particularly fierce or calm, what provokes its typical cries, and what tones of voice make it gentle or wild. Once he's spent enough time in the creature's company to acquire all this information, he calls it knowledge, forms it into a systematic branch of expertise, and starts to teach it, despite total ignorance, in fact, about which of the creature's attitudes and desires is commendable or deplorable, good or bad, moral or immoral. His usage of all these terms simply conforms to the great beast's attitudes, and he describes things as good or bad according to its likes and dislikes, and can't justify his usage of the terms any further, but describes as right and good the things which are merely indispensable, since he hasn't realised and can't explain to anyone else how vast a gulf there is between necessity and goodness.”


― Plato, The Republic
   
   
Stickman3, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 59 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
Terry wrote

"I drink coffee and smoke marijuana all the time (cheers!) but I am not aware of any cravings."

..then..

"The body loves its endorphins and in pursuit of happiness likes to eat, have sex, and sleep."

Other people would get upset about this, but I'm OK with it.
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 223 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
Hey Terry, nothing wrong with your choices. I wouldn't mind taking a puff of marijuana now that it's decriminalized.  In my times, when I was a full blown pothead I would buy it by the pound. That meant going into violent high-crime areas. I would strap on my gun and take the chances.  One curious thing I discovered was that if I really concentrated and my thinking stopped all that was left was a humming vibration like I was standing under high voltage lines. No fun in that. The Looney Toons of my mind were much more interesting.
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Chris Marti, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 3931 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
In regard to Kenneth Folk: he's still doing his thing, but mainly on Twitter these days. His dharma continues to evolve. When I think of Kenneth, I think of change - as in "the many dharmas of Kenneth Folk."
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ps i love you, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
I can tell from all the banter going on that you all have been having an ongoing conversation for a long time. For a noob like me, though, can someone perhaps share some clarification on what seems like a sudden about-face?

To me, "this is it" is precisely the language and teaching that I am most familiar with from the neo-advaita circles I've been running in. The technique that people are most commonly teaching to facilitate that kind of realization (when they teach a technique at all) is some kind of relaxation in to the present moment in a very open, receptive, and non-doing kind of way.

On the contrary, the vibe I get from @danielmingram and this whole forum — with all of the noting and maps and stages and progress — is the complete opposite of "this is it." It seems there's very much a "somewhere else" to strive to get to, or least a "some of other way of seeing this in order to know that it's it" that need to be cultivated.  

I am a big fan of "this is it" and know very little about MCTB-style practice. Please help me to understand your position on this: are these two paths leading to the same goal? And is there any clear advantage to one type of technique over the other? I'm asking this out of genuine curiosity. Thanks!
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Ni Nurta, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 697 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
Having basic understanding/experience of True-Self/non-duality that Ramana Maharshi spoke of I would say that this THIS IS IT is somewhere between True-Self and Nibbana while all of these are still exactly the same realization/enlightenment and the differences being rather superficial and mostly in entry point and certain algorithms or patterns nervous system uses as the result of carrying them from the entry points.

I mentioned in post I made yesterday describing this from nervous system perspective that it is all about scheduling new pathways to do work instead of old ones and this can be done in many ways with many and the same issues will be happening at first regardless of which school or tradition or background you come from and the same basic changes and trust in it has to happen in all of them in order for us to be comfortable in using these enlightened mindsets instead of old already tested unenlightened ones.

THIS IS IT when Daniel describes it I imagine is a kind of extract of common characteristics of this whole thing. Nibbana in its basic form is result of Buddha trying to find some solution that is beyond Samsara through technical practices and True-Self is penetrating true nature of sense of self, of own inner being. On the same note I would describe experiences of St. John of the Cross when he spoke about experiences of God, it is again the same thing while being in some ways completely different.

BTW. In my posts I concentrate on mundane part of all of this. For all intents and purposes it is enough. It however naturally extends in mysterious ways to super-mundane reality but truth be told the issues there are exactly the same. In other words the universe's own vajra threads of reality (or chains of connections between tensor networks if you will) are as much able to be bothered with too much activity as their physical manifestations in form of neurons tend to be and the same rules of engagement apply and the same changes in handling nervous system apply as well. It is however not very pragmatic and not very Buddhist to clump and confuse various aspects of our experiential reality so I tend to keep these separate in order to not lead myself or anyone else to needless confusion. I mention this because not mentioning this might in fact lead to confusion. Most people feel or even know there is something to super-mundane and might find 100% nervous system interpretation hard to swallow. But as I said, this is just one of the parts of equation and being its own separate system with easy to study (thus also known) issues it is perfect sandbox to understand the essence of enlightenment.
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 11 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 5461 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
It seems like the opposite of "this is it" until it doesn't. 
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ps i love you, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
 I can tell from all the banter going on that you all have been having an ongoing conversation for a long time. For a noob like me, though, can someone perhaps share some clarification on what seems like a sudden about-face?

To me, "this is it" is precisely the language that I am most familiar with from the neo-advaita and eclectic spirituality circles I've been running in. The technique that people are most commonly teaching to facilitate that kind of realization (when they teach a technique at all) is some kind of relaxation into the present moment in a very open, receptive, and non-doing kind of way.

On the contrary, the vibe I get from @danielmingram's work and this whole forum — with all of the noting and maps and stages and progress — is the complete opposite of "this is it." It seems there's very much a "somewhere else" to get to, or least a "some of other way of seeing this in order to know that it's it" that needs to be cultivated.  

My own experience has been all about "this is it" and I know very little about MCTB-style meditation practice. Please help me to understand your position on this: are doing and non-doing two paths leading to the same goal? And is there any clear advantage to one type of technique over the other? I'm asking this out of genuine curiosity, and in the interests of conversation. Thanks!
 
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Pepe ·, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 381 Join Date: 9/26/18 Recent Posts
Hi PS,

What you ask about the end goal is a huge topic, but a much more approachable conversation is about the tools involved. Probably, Kenneth Folk's Three Speed Transmition is still the implicit pragmatic model regarding meditative tools, where you can see how and when each of them are most useful. Once you read that (it's a very short text), in the following paragraphs you can see what is/used to be the standard progression & interplay of meditation techniques/strategies, related to the MCTB/KF 1st to 4th Paths.

Mumuwu (awakenetwork.org): 

- 1st Gear will take you through all of the insight stages. It can also be used to develop jhanas via shamatha in order to reach higher jhanas for third path. Generally, the first 2 paths are attained via 1st gear practices alone.

- 2nd Gear is often used post 2nd path in order to flush out the higher jhanas (using the riding the jhanic arc via the witness technique). This will help in attaining 3rd path.

- 3rd Gear can be used at any stage, and I think it's a big part of attaining 4th path (as it's all about "realizing that the happiness you seek is your own true nature and it is only your attempt to become or to create or to investigate that distracts you from seeing this.") 

Here, Shargrol suggesting different tools for 1st Path. See how they related to KF's 3GT. Also check the next two entries, as they are on topic.

More on the Three Speed Transmition, and in particular about Kenneth's take on "This is it".

Also, Kenneth Folk's old website texts, where you can find an expanded version of the three gears and much more. 

Finally, some of Daniel Ingram's entries on the topic:

- Pros and Cons of goal-oriented and non goal-oriented traditions
Vajrayana and Theravadan perspectives can work nicely together, with some caveats though
For the vast majority of people, the teachings of the immediate, spontaneous realizers don't do it
Direct Pointing work for very few, without years of practice
Downsides and Benefits of a Number of Traditions: Daniel long response to Omega Point
About an Ultimate Reality  
- By 'Ultimate' I mean the Three Characteristics 
- An Ultimate Reality: an historical report on the evolution of my understanding on the subject



 
Stickman3, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 59 Join Date: 1/15/21 Recent Posts
"I was driving home at 2am or so after a brief late-night post-work workout at a little 24-hour gym on my way home, and, just after I pulled out of the parking lot and onto the rural highway, it suddenly felt like this veil that I had never noticed was pulled off of my head, and suddenly the full field of experience shown in all its unbridled, direct glory, the glory I had seen in the best of the PCEs, but this time with no obvious going back, at least so far, with this being written in September of 2013. Remember how there was that thing I called the Attention Wave? It seemed totally gone, so far as I could tell. Remember the pristine clarity of field that had so called to me? It shone in everything and still does."

Still going strong ?
Also, is there any sense (for peoples trying it) in which AF is a return to childhood simplicity and freshness ?
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MuMuWu MuMuMuMu, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/12/10 Recent Posts
Neat to see something I posted brought up these days! I still tend to work my practices into these frameworks and It's neat to find new techniques and try to place them in one of these categories.

"Mumuwu (awakenetwork.org): 

- 1st Gear will take you through all of the insight stages. It can also be used to develop jhanas via shamatha in order to reach higher jhanas for third path. Generally, the first 2 paths are attained via 1st gear practices alone.

- 2nd Gear is often used post 2nd path in order to flush out the higher jhanas (using the riding the jhanic arc via the witness technique). This will help in attaining 3rd path.

- 3rd Gear can be used at any stage, and I think it's a big part of attaining 4th path (as it's all about "realizing that the happiness you seek is your own true nature and it is only your attempt to become or to create or to investigate that distracts you from seeing this.") "


 
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MuMuWu MuMuMuMu, modified 1 Day ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 17 Join Date: 6/12/10 Recent Posts
Neat to see something I posted brought up these days! I still tend to work my practices into these frameworks and It's neat to find new techniques and try to place them in one of these categories.
George S, modified 12 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1771 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
[Replying to ps, didn't read Pepe's post first.]

My take: there's a quite well-established set of mental states/experiences/events you need to go through which you expect/hope/think/try to convince yourself are it. These include but are not limited to A&P/ecstatic states, deity stuff maybe, equanimity, cessations, spaciousness, awareness/consciousness, emptiness, simplistic non-duality, simplistic rigpa/natural mind/ground of being. Likely I've missed some and not everyone needs to go through all of them (or maybe they do but they don't realize they did). But anyway, each time they think this is it and then some time passes and they realize they are still dissatisfied, still looking for something, that wasn't it. That's the kind of path/stages/maps thing.

​​​​​​​Eventually you've run through enough of these states and expectation-elation-disappointment cycles that the mind gives up on craving for imagined future states to solve its fundamental problem, and then the true realization hits - 'oh shit this really is already it, always was, always will be, no alternatives, nowhere else to go, what an idiot I've been overlooking this for so long in favor of shiny looking substitutes!'

​​​​​​The problem is ... anyone can say 'this is it' at any point and it sells well and there's no way of telling if they had the true realization or not. Because while it seeing it changes everything, it doesn't necessarily change anything externally (immediately at least) ... because this is already it! Obviously there are changes in morality and concentration over time which tend to be correlated with insight, but it's by no means perfect because they can be developed independently or outright faked and are hard to verify.

The most reliable indicator is dukkha. If someone is still dissatisfied with this or still has doubts about it then eventually it will show up. But that can take a long time if they are in denial about it or heavily invested in the business of selling water by the bank of the river. So it's a kind of waiting game to see who fucks up. And then even when they do fuck up, they say it was just thisness manifesting and their disciples still cling to them.

So there's no point having views about 'this is it' based on other people's reported experiences. It's something that only you can know and experience for yourself, and you will know for sure when it's the real thing. If someone looks like they might know what they are talking about and has some practical tips, then no harm giving it a try, but caveat emptor!

To answer your question specifically, a certain amount of neo-advaita looks to me like "simplistic non-duality" (shargrol's term, with apologies), where someone is clinging to non-duality and it's impossible to even have a reasonable conversation with them about anything (I was one of those for a while). When they start preaching in strenuous tones about oneness or wholeness or whatever, alarm bells should start ringing. "True non-duality" recognizes that apparent duality is already non-dual, so this is it as well :-) There's no overriding need to relax into the present moment once you are secure and content in the knowledge that this is no less it even when you are not relaxed and distracted as well ... 
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ps i love you, modified 10 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
Thanks George. These two replies of yours are super helpful.

​​​​​​​This comment is pretty much where I've been and why I'm here:

But anyway, each time they think this is it and then some time passes and they realize they are still dissatisfied, still looking for something, that wasn't it. That's the kind of path/stages/maps thing.
shargrol, modified 9 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 1559 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
ps i love you
 I can tell from all the banter going on that you all have been having an ongoing conversation for a long time. For a noob like me, though, can someone perhaps share some clarification on what seems like a sudden about-face?

To me, "this is it" is precisely the language that I am most familiar with from the neo-advaita and eclectic spirituality circles I've been running in. The technique that people are most commonly teaching to facilitate that kind of realization (when they teach a technique at all) is some kind of relaxation into the present moment in a very open, receptive, and non-doing kind of way.
On the contrary, the vibe I get from @danielmingram's work and this whole forum — with all of the noting and maps and stages and progress — is the complete opposite of "this is it." It seems there's very much a "somewhere else" to get to, or least a "some of other way of seeing this in order to know that it's it" that needs to be cultivated.  


Daniel's post is about the end of the map. The end of the map is "this is it". A correlary is that until someone is honestly at the end of the map, "this isn't quite it, there is something else to notice".  emoticon

The whole neo-advaita thing is often confusing/pretending that someone is already done when they are not, giving them rote pointers, telling them to give up any effort, etc etc.

That said, really smart neo-advaita is a strategic pointing out when it's appropriate for the student and by a teacher that isn't working a scam.  (Unfortunately, one of those two conditions often fails to be met.)
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ps i love you, modified 4 Days ago.

RE: This moment

Posts: 32 Join Date: 12/16/12 Recent Posts
I've actually gotten a tremendous amount from the neo-advaita kind of pointing. I spent 5 years doing intensive Goenka retreats and 2 hours daily with no results, and then walked away from meditation altogether. 20 years later, the very first time I heard a nondual pointer, I had a huge opening (described here). 

I've definitely seen "this is it" and even sat in that place for a while. But it does seem to require some kind of effort to maintain that perspective, like it's a process of addition rather than the subtraction that takes place with the kind of fine-grained meditation you all discuss here. In the end, it seems to me that it's working sort of top-down, while just paying attention to sensate experience is more bottom-up. Recently, I've been doing both, an hour each per day.

It feels more integrative, though maybe some would say it was a waste of time mixing like this...