Awakening Is Easy... But

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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 281 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
     The new buzz is that awakening is easy. This point of view is not really new, anybody that has read Philip Kapleau's, "The Three Pillars of Zen" knows that back in the 1960's Yasutani-Roshi would really push people to awaken during one seven day retreat. Presently, Julian Daizan Skinner Roshi has said in various interviews that attaining kensho is easy. Skinner has developed a three-day (64 hours) retreat where he claims that 50% of people regardless of previous training achieve the goal. ”These retreats are designed specifically for you to find out your true nature – to find out who you really are (enlightenment or kensho in Japanese)”. Dr. Angelo Dilullo has caused quite a stir in this forum with his interview by Guru Viking. He also claims it is easy to awaken.     
     It's an accepted premise in all meditation circles that many people awaken without any previous training. It seems to be a given that what you awaken to is to your true nature. What is “true nature”?      
     The general consensus seems to be that our ordinary functioning is limited in providing wellbeing. Somehow this ordinary functioning has to be transcended. One point of view is that this transcendence reveals, IS, our true nature. Compare these statements, one from systems theory the other from a meditation teacher:
The systemic perspective argues that we are not able to fully comprehend a phenomenon simply by breaking it up into elementary parts and then reforming it; we instead need to apply a global vision to underline its functioning. Although we can start from the analysis of the elementary components of a phenomenon, in order to fully comprehend the phenomenon in its entirety we have to observe it also from a higher level: a holistic perspective”

The meaning is this: the meditator who wishes to realize Nibbana should repeatedly bring to mind, through the practice of noticing,
every bodily and mental process that appears at any of the six sense doors. When he brings them to mind thus, his consciousness engaged in noticing -- here called "bringing to mind" -- will, until adaptation knowledge is reached, fall at every moment upon the (conditioned) bodily and mental formations called here "continuous occurrence," because they go on occurring over and over again in an unbroken flow, like a river's current. But in the last phase, instead of falling upon that continuous occurrence, consciousness passes beyond it and alights upon "non-occurrence," which is the very opposite of the bodily and mental formations called here "occurrence." In other words, it arrives at non-occurrence, that is to say, it reaches as if it "alights upon," cessation, which is the stilling of the formations (or conditioned phenomena). When the meditator, having already before practiced correctly and without deviation by way of the knowledge of arising and passing away and the other knowledges (or by way of the purification of conduct, of mind, of view, etc.), has in this manner arrived at non-occurrence (by the consciousness alighting upon it), he is said to have "realized Nibbana." He is called one who has made Nibbana a direct experience and has actually seen it.”
     
     Three observations stand out, 1) there is a system of many observable body/mind functions, 2) the system can only be fully comprehended by attaining a higher perspective. 3) this higher perspective is in effect a going outside of the system.      
     But we should consider that even without our conscious understanding the organism functions and struggles to maintain its balance/health. The body/mind is carrying on with this function without our knowing. This organic higher perspective has always been functioning in the background. Awakening therefore can be defined as just becoming aware of this. In a sense, all we achieve is to be able to cooperate with this effort of balance/health. Nothing special, but potentially life-changing.
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References:  
THE PROGRESS OF INSIGHT
(Visuddhinana-katha)
A Modern Treatise on Buddhist Satipatthana Meditation
by The Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw

Cristina Mele, Jacqueline Pels, Francesco Polese, (2010) A Brief Review of Systems Theories and Their Managerial Applications. Service Science 2(1-2):126-135. https://doi.org/10.1287/serv.2.1_2.126
A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
One thing you left out is having a suitable place to meditate that won't interfere with your watching mind and body. Trusting your surroundings is apparently a prerequisite to having a unitive experience, which itself is a prerequisite for awakening.
Attaining stream entry is unique in that each jhana clearly has a different theme that must be learned. Seeing things on paper is one thing, accessing memory of effective teaching during the heat of battle is another. 
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Three observations stand out, 1) there is a system of many observable body/mind functions, 2) the system can only be fully comprehended by attaining a higher perspective. 3) this higher perspective is in effect a going outside of the system.      

"... outside the system?" What does that mean, do you think?
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Angel Roberto Puente, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 281 Join Date: 5/5/19 Recent Posts
The system everyone is accustomed to is the one where the "formations" mentioned are the norm.  The " non- occurance" of formations is going outside of this accustomed  norm. It's equivalent to the "holistic perspective" in systems theory. That's what makes it awe inspiring, it's beyond our known functioning.
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J W, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 521 Join Date: 2/11/20 Recent Posts
Is it really so controversial to say that 'anyone can awaken'? 

Whether or not it is "easy" I think is much harder to quantify and highly dependent on individual circumstances. I wouldn't say it was particularly "easy" for the Buddha, just as an example.  Though, perhaps it could have been.  Perhaps the moment of awakening itself is easy, but that doesn't mean everything leading up to it is.  I think what it comes down to is being honest with yourself and doing the best that you can, without being too hard on yourself.
A. Dietrich Ringle, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 882 Join Date: 12/4/11 Recent Posts
I think that it is possible to know how easy or how hard awakening is for anyone. It lurks in the background and can be animated. The question I often ask is if the process itself is an illusion or not. 
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Chris Marti, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 4073 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
The system everyone is accustomed to is the one where the "formations" mentioned are the norm.  The " non- occurance" of formations is going outside of this accustomed  norm. It's equivalent to the "holistic perspective" in systems theory. That's what makes it awe inspiring, it's beyond our known functioning.

So "norm" = "system"?
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Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 5922 Join Date: 12/8/18 Recent Posts
Sometimes the simplest thing can be the hardest. I think it's helpful to distinguish between easy and simple. It can be simple without necessarily being easy, and it can be extraordinarily difficult precisely because it is so simple. 
Monsoon Frog, modified 2 Months ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 59 Join Date: 3/16/14 Recent Posts
The classic view of the lay of the land was awakening would take between 7 days and 7 years with solid practice.

Further elaboration described 4 types of practitioners:
a.) the practice will be easy for them and they will awaken quickly.
b.) the practice will be easy for them and it will take them a long time to awaken.
c.) the practice will be difficult for them and they will awaken quickly.
d.) the practice will be difficult for them and it will take them a long time to awaken.

Is a new and improved model of awakening replacing all of that with verison 'a.' (i.e. 'easy and fast' for everyone)?
(With the added qualifier of "3 days ... tops!" for 50% of everyone that attempts it).
George S, modified 1 Month ago.

RE: Awakening Is Easy... But

Posts: 2064 Join Date: 2/26/19 Recent Posts
In a way you could say it's as easy or as hard as you want ... the variable being how deeply you are willing to enquire into what you really want!

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