Get me out of here...

Get me out of here... Andrew . 7/4/12 12:02 AM
RE: Get me out of here... steve d 10/16/11 6:02 AM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 10/16/11 8:10 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/16/11 9:27 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Jon T 10/17/11 1:52 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/17/11 2:52 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/17/11 2:38 AM
RE: Get me out of here... John Wilde 10/17/11 3:04 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/17/11 3:39 AM
RE: Get me out of here... John Wilde 10/17/11 5:10 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/17/11 6:49 AM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 10/17/11 5:37 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/17/11 8:07 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/18/11 11:59 PM
RE: Get me out of here... . . 10/19/11 3:11 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/19/11 3:30 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Nikolai . 10/19/11 4:23 AM
RE: Get me out of here... . . 10/19/11 5:43 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/19/11 5:16 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 10/23/11 10:05 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Jon T 10/31/11 2:06 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/3/11 2:21 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Jill Morana 11/3/11 12:36 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/3/11 7:35 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/3/11 7:34 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/3/11 7:52 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/3/11 8:44 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/3/11 9:20 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/3/11 9:50 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/3/11 10:02 PM
RE: Get me out of here... katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 11/4/11 5:04 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/4/11 8:22 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/4/11 8:48 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/4/11 8:56 PM
RE: Get me out of here... katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 11/5/11 4:33 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/5/11 9:13 PM
RE: Get me out of here... katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 11/4/11 5:11 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/4/11 12:09 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/5/11 8:14 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Brian Eleven 11/4/11 4:11 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/4/11 8:59 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/11/11 12:19 AM
RE: Get me out of here... katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 11/11/11 7:33 AM
RE: Get me out of here... katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 11/11/11 8:01 AM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/11/11 11:10 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/16/11 6:40 PM
RE: Get me out of here... Andrew . 11/23/11 9:14 PM
RE: Get me out of here... End in Sight 11/23/11 10:23 PM
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 7/4/12 12:02 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 2:26 AM

Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
4 July 2012

Before reading this thread you should know that nothing i say in it is what it seems. I have since realised that 'i' as a felt being 'climbed into my head' sometime before I was 6, (certainly I have no memory of being other that I am now), and because of that my main sources of pleasure have been mental and creative. what does this have to do with what follows? basically this; All of my demands, my objections, my points and logic all circle back to me gaining some sort of mental reassurance of my existence. In other words, I just like to hear to the sound of my own thoughts as they are the only 'subtle feelings' i ever had.

I sincerely suggest you skip this thread or read it clearly remembering the above, as it is likely to sully your thinking and otherwise put you off the Actual Freedom Trust which is actually a very sensible and down to earth method of becoming happy and enjoying ones all too brief life.

i will not edit the posts apart from this one, though I am not proud or pleased with many things I say in it. It should stand as yet another example of why one must do what one can while one has the opportunity to be free of ignorance and I highly recommend giving the Actual Freedom Trust an unbiased reading to the best of ones ability, and feel free to question me if that will help as to why I have changed my tune.

Being influenced by online opinions to otherwise object to things one hasn't even comprehended properly is an on going danger of reading material like what follows.

Andrew Jones






I'm not going to go into the 'how and why' I'm practicing AF. Even through all my objections I've basically been doing it anyway; watching my mood and questioning 'is it sensible or silly?'. Most of my objections aren't really objections but questions, and rhetorical ones at that.

What I realised though is, my current state of mind might be called 'normal', but the experience of it is sick.

So 'I' may as well get going.

I feel somehow incapable of expressing myself right now, I have a lot of thoughts about how I came back to this point, but the more I type the more it simply feels i'm building some sort of position, some sort of justification for what really is something 'I' have no real choice in.

As Ross said, who give a fork. Let's just get it done.

Andrew
steve d, modified 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 6:02 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 4:51 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 22 Join Date: 10/2/11 Recent Posts
"What I realised though is, my current state of mind might be called 'normal', but the experience of it is sick." - Andrew Jones

Same boat. Within my own day to day experience and actions I would appear completely normal. But inside I theres a vague feeling that something. Just. Aint. Right. Its a vague but omnipresent feeling. Even when enjoying myself there's alway an underlying sense of uneasiness or 'offness' for lack of a better term. I am beginning to understand that this feeling 'offness' is precisly what the self/being is. It is the seperation or veil which seems to always seperate me from people and the world around me. 'I' can never completely experience this world as it is. The self is always moving, constantly searching for something else, something interesting to distract it. Theres always 'something' missing. (but in actuality it seems to be precisly because something is NOT missing - me being here is causing this mess (haha the fecking tragic irony of it all)

And im fed up with it. Theres gotta be more to life than this.

My goal is to have a PCE and see what all the fuss is about. After i will make up my own conclusions....
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 8:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 7:13 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
What I realised though is, my current state of mind might be called 'normal', but the experience of it is sick.


I think it's a hard-and-fast rule that anyone with an interest in AF (even if it's an interest with many reservations) perceives something deeply and fundamentally wrong with their experience in some way.

No need to talk about the "why" of your practice if you don't want to, but the "how" might be helpful.

EDIT: I ask for an elaboration on "how" because feedback generally helps.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 9:27 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/16/11 9:27 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Ok, thanks Steve, EiS,

How indeed!

Waking up with the normal morning feeling, underneath is an uneasiness which is hard to fathom.

Sat for around 20 mins calm-abiding, lay back down, generally tried to be relaxed.

Staying with the breath, not striving, though sluggish feeling persists (3 hours later). Not happy. Plenty of doubt.

Hard to work out what is monday morningitis and what is emotion and what is driving either. And I got hayfever....

Feel like I need some more exercise maybe, blow the cobwebs out (I used to run alot, but stopped a couple of months ago). I'll have a go at that tomorrow....

Senses all feel like they are under a grey cloud. hopefully lunch time walk helps.

has anyone tried self-hypnosis in conjunction with this training? something to deal with doubts, to grease the wheels a bit more.

there is one belief that I have identified in operation though; messiah seeking. I think that is the basis of alot of my doubts, the persistent belief that 'enlightenment' is some sort of infallible state. I'm starting to see it more in terms of healing, de-fragmentation, reintegration and that disturbs the habitual escapism that has driven my quest so far. seeing the sickness in my own mind, the self-seeking, selfishness, sadness, grasping at the memories of loss, nostalgia, those who have died, grasping at grief in general...I think that might be what that uneasiness is, a general sadness, desperation that draws me away from 'right now'.
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Jon T, modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 1:52 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 1:52 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/30/10 Recent Posts
i had the messiah complex too. Can still come back at any moment. whenever the ordinary mode is present, any of my old ways can and do come back, sometimes just as strong as before. But at any moment, anyone can choose to be aware of how awesome it is having a human body and observing this ridiculously magical world. One can observe ones feelings and decide 'it's no so bad. Grief, anxiety - it isn't that unpleasant. in fact it's kind of interesting.'**, while in conjunction with observing the actual world too, of course. And one can become aware of ones thoughts and change them into positive or less greedy, while in conjunction with observing the actual world too, of course.

**this in turn changes the feeling and it's a good idea to let the feeling change rather than try to keep it around for study. often letting a feeling change after having just accepted it produces an uneasy feeling like one is loosing something. this feeling to can become pleasant with acceptance.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 2:38 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 2:38 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
(I thought I saw a response form John Wilde here somewhere, and then somehow made another thread when replying)

He said something like "It takes a lot of courage to be an ordinary person" to which i replied;


I would say then, I'm chickening out!

It really isn't about me anymore; I see so much of what I am being at cross purposes with what I aspire, namely being a good father, husband, friend, citizen. The maddening murk of my own thinking, the unending feeling of loss and regret, all clouding every new moment. Then seeing my children learning all this from me.

I've simply come to accept that what ever is going on with enlightenment it is not an attainment, or something I would have even a few months ago aspired too, but now I see it as a necessity. Like getting better from an illness, nothing to brag about, just something you most definitely want to do..

I vacillate back and forth, but the real clincher for me is seeing my 11 year old son struggling with everything I went through and thinking 'I have no good advice to give here'. I have 3 sons.

We had a chat about it and are both going to explore this together,

1) the investigating the source of unhappy mind states; fear, stress.
2) Stay present with the senses, being as happy right now as we can

To me it just seems like good advice, advice I think would have made a difference to my teenage years instead of the religious BS i was feed and the years of depression that followed.

As far as the AFT site and the claims and theories put forward I've just accepted that as a consequence of people thinking this is more than it is...namely a process of profound and deep healing which is so thorough that it goes beyond the state we have when born and heals wounds that we have had as a species for a long, long time. So it's very special, but not over and above normal humanity, it is there to heal divides not create them, so extremely skilful means are what are required.

One interesting thing that I read last night was Richard stating that conventional enlightenment only went half way. I can see others here agreeing with that, like it is like a 5th path or something, not the 180 degrees otherwise claimed. Hyperbole for effect, but not fact it would seem.

I think the take home lesson is; no matter how enlightened, actually free or whatever one becomes, one is not omniscient, and infallable and can quit simply get things wrong. Or deliberately make statements for effect, if not coming from affect. (roll eyes)

I haven't thrown out common sense, just not using it as an excuse not to check things out properly without my 'messiah' goggles on.

A
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 2:52 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 2:50 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Jon T:


**this in turn changes the feeling and it's a good idea to let the feeling change rather than try to keep it around for study. often letting a feeling change after having just accepted it produces an uneasy feeling like one is loosing something. this feeling to can become pleasant with acceptance.


There is definitely that 'after feeling' isn't there?! The feeling of liking or not liking but ultimately keeping the feeling around. It is bizarre, why would I want to hold onto remorse? The memory of sadness?

One thing that I'm aware of, is that emotions isn't some enemy to be vanquished. I think that sets up a sort of mental stance of superiority which i definitely don't want. I'm arrogant enough without creating more divisions.



So far today, I've felt pretty flat, but getting mentally comfortable with taking off the rose colour glasses and accepting the state of affairs as being what they are. Enlightenment/AF may increase ones perception of perfection, but not actually perfect one. This actually makes sense, but it is amazing how underneath all my objections that is really what I've been looking for, some perfect role model.

There isn't one. And that is as it should be. As far as I can tell anyway!
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 3:04 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 3:04 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
(I thought I saw a response form John Wilde here somewhere, and then somehow made another thread when replying)
He said something like "It takes a lot of courage to be an ordinary person" to which i replied;


Yes, you did Andrew. I wrote something like:

"It takes a lot of courage to be an ordinary person. Let alone more than that".

Then I edited it to add:

"Most 'messiahs', in my experience, are not even that".

After a bit of reflection I deleted the whole post because it seemed provocative and not practice related.

(I'm used to being in the "battleground" section, where the discussion can be more free ranging and less practical, and I respect the terms of the forum).

Sorry if this messed up the threading!

(Nice response too).
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 3:39 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 3:39 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Hi John,
you are more than welcome to post what seems right to you in this thread, I appreciate your thoughtfulness and perhaps we could have a great conversation about the 'messiah complex' in the battle ground. Or maybe here, I don't want to get moderate again so soon, but I think there is a lot of common sense things that at the moment aren't a part of 'enlightenment' in the way I perceive it, i.e. because of the nature of the people attracted to it (usually broken in some way, seeking escape, validation, often with some sub-clinical mental illness -and that is just talking about me...) it seems to be an 'elevated' position in society when it is rather the most normal of all states in reality.

As you pointed out, living as a normal person having to make moral decisions and function with the amount of existential pain that the average person has does indeed display an enormous amount of courage. I'm over it though, whatever glory, thanks, or reward that life has, I just don't want to keep living it like that. It is no longer a matter of courage, but illness, it feels sick. I feel sick, mentally unable to go forward in the 'normal' way. Never really could. Though I should point out, I'm not mentally sick in the conventional way. For the record...

rolleyes:

A
John Wilde, modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 5:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 5:04 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
I'm over it though, whatever glory, thanks, or reward that life has, I just don't want to keep living it like that. It is no longer a matter of courage, but illness, it feels sick. I feel sick, mentally unable to go forward in the 'normal' way. Never really could. Though I should point out, I'm not mentally sick in the conventional way. For the record...


Yeah, I know how that is. All of it. I guess most people hanging around forums like this would understand only too well.

What I'm wondering is do you have a taste of what you're looking for?

Is there any practice that gives you relief (to whatever degree), without compromising your integrity and common sense?

Is there something you remember that you'd like to get back to?

Is there an alternative way of experiencing reality, accessible to you with intent and effort, that you'd like to make permanent and effortless?

John
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 6:49 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 6:49 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
[

What I'm wondering is do you have a taste of what you're looking for?

Is there any practice that gives you relief (to whatever degree), without compromising your integrity and common sense?

Is there something you remember that you'd like to get back to?

Is there an alternative way of experiencing reality, accessible to you with intent and effort, that you'd like to make permanent and effortless?

John


In order;

Yes, a few brief moments, not much of a taste, but I can see if I learn to feel happy 'at will' that in itself is more than worth the effort, all other outcomes aside.

Yes, I sit everyday and do breath meditation as a basic practice and generally keep awareness with the breath, which has kept a greater level of calm in life.

Not really, no period of halcyon existence come to mind...I have no 'path' attainment, though I have had some experiences of what might be called EE around these parts. That would not be a bad way to live at all. Can't call it up at will though.

Not that I've cracked yet. Though that is the basic point of this training it would seem.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 5:37 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 5:37 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
As far as the AFT site and the claims and theories put forward I've just accepted that as a consequence of people thinking this is more than it is...namely a process of profound and deep healing which is so thorough that it goes beyond the state we have when born and heals wounds that we have had as a species for a long, long time. So it's very special, but not over and above normal humanity, it is there to heal divides not create them, so extremely skilful means are what are required.


From where I'm standing, that's as good a way to think about it as any.

You mentioned doing meditation each day...would you like to tell us more experiential details?

Also, it's interesting that you're including your son in this process. (There is an account of a 7-year old arahant in the suttas, I believe, so apparently one does not have to be beyond a certain age to benefit.) How that progresses would be a worthwhile datapoint to have, but perhaps only one that he would be able to share with us. Maybe a number of years from now, he will post his personal reflections.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 8:07 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/17/11 8:07 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for the reply EiS,

Sitting is more informal these days and I'm using it more to calm myself rather than to progress in insight or any such thing.

The experience of the last session was simply calming the mind by 'getting in time' with the impulse to breath. I think I've got my own style in this as I look for the actual impulse, the feeling of needing to breath (with all it's little emotional attachments and vibrations) and choose to breath in time with them, so it tends to be; long breath, cut short breath, shallow, deeper, longer, cut short, etc..After about 5 mins I'm quite still and concentrated as it takes alot of subtle concentration to harmonise with it. I came to this method after noticing that I would get relaxed and concentrated when day dreaming and not watching the breath at all. After a while I tend to focus on the texture of the air itself as the breathing calms down.

so generally I'm on the concentration path, though not putting in alot of duration so I don't get into jhana at all, just quite still and relaxed.

My son actually helped me with this as he gets into jhana territory in as little as 10 breath cycles. I don't push him to be dedicated with it as i don't want to spoil the memories for him, if it is useful to him he will use it.

Last night we were talking about the fun of being alive, all the cool 3D effects of being in a room, the air around us etc. We started joking about having a 'snack of air' which was making him laugh. I'm trying to help him get a bit more wonder into his day as he hates school (just like I did) so hence not having any experiential advice to give him, I'm making it up as I go....

This morning I dealt with the morning sluggishness better than yesterday, using a bit of exercise, and regarding the feelings as 'me', i.e. not me feeling them, but they are the 'me' thus not a permanent of stable entity, and generally stayed more mindful of the senses. Also spent a few moments with some positive thinking and building an intent to do what can be done.

A
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/18/11 11:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/18/11 11:59 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
A good couple of days, just staying as present and peaceful as I can. Really simplifying the instructions for myself, keeping a smile on my face, noticing my surroundings etc. Also doing some research into the brain and hypnosis which is really cool...

Biggest challenge is dealing with my children. Yesterday I was quite happy by the end of the day, but interacting with them brought alot of tension. Not really able to stay peaceful in the face of the constant noise. Though it did occur to me to question each thing I tell them for whether it is really needed and from where the requirement comes.

E.g. Telling them (repeatedly as they don't listen) not to go yelling and screaming when playing soccer outside. The actual feeling on my behalf is a concern for the neighbours and feelings from my own upbringing. Does anyone really care at that moment about the noise apart from me? Perhaps no one was listening, perhaps I should let them, the neighbours, speak up if it is bothering them and then do something; is it really worth getting 'bent out of shape' over something that may not be actually bothering anyone?

Same with at the dining table and repeatedly telling them things like to eat with their mouths closed, not to pick up all their food at once on the fork, not to dig in with both hands...Is there any real point to these conventions? So what if people (future potential girlfriends for example) find them disgusting and can't stand sitting at a table with them, what is that to me really? It would probably keep them out of trouble of the romantic kind anyway...

What is really needed? Perhaps I'm sheltering them by going on and on, just say it once, and if not listen too, let it go. Leave it to the missus...haha
, modified 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 3:11 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 3:11 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
Same with at the dining table and repeatedly telling them things like to eat with their mouths closed, not to pick up all their food at once on the fork, not to dig in with both hands...Is there any real point to these conventions? So what if people (future potential girlfriends for example) find them disgusting and can't stand sitting at a table with them, what is that to me really? It would probably keep them out of trouble of the romantic kind anyway...
: )

A teacher in the tibetan tradition,Tsoknyi, was visiting a few weeks ago and mentioned just this. He's sure that some day his kids will find reasons to pick up after themselves, so he keeps their actual well-being at the fore (not the other stuff, just as you're mentioning).
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 3:30 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 3:30 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I do need to learn a new way of relating to them, perhaps just explain the social conventions and leave it at that. letting it actually upset me, reacting from my own upbringing blindly isn't doing anyone any good.

On the subject of blind reactions, I'm pretty much over my 'Richard Reaction' and can read along quite nicely on the AFT site.

My how things change!

one thing I noticed is the way Richard explains the use of HAIETMOBA. He basically explains it as being aware of 'what is in the way' of experiencing this moment completely. I get the impression that I could easily spend hours and hours going through reason s.

When you started out did you spend alot of time in 'self analysis'? It seems that that is what I will end up doing if every moment I ask this question and follow Richards instructions..Or is it better to make a stab at it like "hmm, that is some silly convention from my childhood, or that is narciccism, or that is a fear of being run over.." and get back to the senses and felicity as quickly as possible? Or is it better to really nut it out more and let the return happen on it's own?

i know Nicks advice is more along the 'get back to feeling good quickly', and that is what I generally aim to do, but some issues, like this whole raising kids one seem to lend themselves to hours of inspection, which sounds like a whole lot of 'not fun' but perhaps, to start with profitable?.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 4:23 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 4:23 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:

i know Nicks advice is more along the 'get back to feeling good quickly', and that is what I generally aim to do, but some issues, like this whole raising kids one seem to lend themselves to hours of inspection, which sounds like a whole lot of 'not fun' but perhaps, to start with profitable?.


Why does it have to be hours? Look at the beliefs holding the conditioning in place and see them as unnecessary and let the go. Poof! The fun part is watching them go 'poof!' I would see a locked in thought loop (belief) which seemed to be triggering specific sensations in the body and then certain affect. I would just watch that negative thought loop and begin asking a ton of questions. Is it valid? Is it silly? Is it conducive for happiness? For my happiness? For others' happiness? Is it conducive to being happy and harmless? I would then notice the sensations seemingly associated as well as the mentally affective overlay. And I would consciously willingly let it go. 'I let this belief go'. I would then eventually see it go 'poof!' and I would feel lighter. If the belief repeatedly came back up, rinse and repeat till it had lost all footing.


Nick
, modified 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 5:43 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 4:32 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 385 Join Date: 8/11/10 Recent Posts
When you started out did you spend alot of time in 'self analysis'?
Yes and no. There are a lot of cultural norms into which I have never fit and have been more or less blind to, so there is less cultural stuff for me to unwind. On the other hand, I had a strong "Why? Whhhhhhhhy? Why, why, why, why?" about why cultures in which I have lived do some things that are just hypocritical, unfair, dishonest, mean, etc...despite their amazing good fortune.

I have had to see how I am attached to a relationship of separateness-from; this exhibits as a kind of bracing against. This may happen when a person is expressing their story in a self-promoting/unilateral way. I can feel that I brace against that. That's fine. I see that when I have started down the same lane, a finely tuned person will do the same with me - they shut down a little to what is essentially a manipulative, unilateral narrative. Another bracing may occur before I meet with a habitual group - there is a braced quality in approaching the meeting: useless and actually a waste of energy and rendering a staleness to what is a never-had-before experience. Another bracing may occur when I meet people - this is more physiological and brain-swamping, a brain rushing to pick up patterns and find the safe parameters within the new person's patterns; this is useful as well as an impediment - there are a number of safe people for whom this kind of pattern vigilance is not needed, and there are a few hotheads for whom this kind of pattern vigilance is very useful*. A day has only so much wakeful energy and little things like that add up easily into big expenditures. To get rid of the useless expenditures results in what seems like more energy (not to mention fresh, proximity-feeling) which can exhibit in needing less sleep or food.

Even tonight as I was driving somewhere I realized there was a sense of preserving some continuity and integrity in the meeting toward which I was driving - this is very akin to bracing. This was a fairly small sensation to feel, but its smallness can make it very pervasive and therefore "big". Seeing this makes it easy to release and re-release.


.Or is it better to make a stab at it like "hmm, that is some silly convention from my childhood, or that is narciccism, or that is a fear of being run over.." and get back to the senses and felicity as quickly as possible? Or is it better to really nut it out more and let the return happen on it's own?
In honestly persisting in the goal of self-erosion, sticky points will keep showing themselves. I find that the consequences of a particular self-expression dictate how quickly the self expression is addressed, dropped or returned to their useful application. Eventually, this is getting close to the root cause of such expressions: maintaining continuity selfhood. How is that necessary?

______________
Edit: * though not really. pattern vigilance is not really so useful for safety - not as much as just being alert at any moment. Pattern vigilance is more like trying to form equations (assert a future onto conditions, assert a form onto data), and equations are brilliant for housing known data...and also very boring and totally useless once the data expands to render the equation errant.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 5:16 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/19/11 5:16 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Thanks for the awesome replies. wow.

That 'litte sensation that is actually a big sensation' gets right to the core of what I'm dealing with, the feeling that I have no foot hold on this , no clear point of progress, but there is this 'little' thought holding things back.

Those replies really make it clear though, nut it out, spend the time I need to if required. Notice the pattern. Get it out, get back to the coal face...

The small 'big' thing for me is definitely messiah complex at the moment. The idea that I am the one/One, that the world is waiting for me, that I am / will be special. That the rules don't apply to me (to quote the matrix).

I am not special, only perhaps technically so, there is plenty more of me from where I came from!

The 'self-promoting /uni-lateral' posting is exactly what is buggin me, trying to get a crack in the wall of this persona, this emotional internet me, whammo, thanks for the insight.

I almost don't want to share my thoughts after that one...hahaha

I've started a manual journal to nut this stuff out in, as I feel like I can't in public without censoring myself, feeling like I'm just saying it to be 'part of whats going on' or 'that I get it'.

I (this conscious body thinking) doesn't want this shit going on anymore, no more 'shadow world' is required. It feels like I could do with the AF version of Ruthless Truth to get some leverage on these cracks in the wall.

Anyone willing to swing the sledge hammer? haha
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 10/23/11 10:05 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/23/11 10:05 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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A week is a long time when asking the same question over and over...!

This practice (investigating beliefs, emotions for causes etc) is very similar to cognitive therapy, which I've done in the past under the guidance of a professional.

It's been in my thinking that this practice has a strong hypnotic aspect to it, so I dusted off some of the old self hypnosis things my therapist from a while back had me doing and , low and behold, he is talking about the same things...

Makes everything far more relaxing to realise that the basics of 'getting and staying happy' are actually a very common therapy which I have seen results from before, I feel relaxed today in finding the co-relation.

What also helped get me relaxed was attempting to make some of my own hypnosis scripts yesterday. The first attempt was woeful, very cliched and corny, that's when I went back and found the psychologist's hypnosis recordings to see how he had done it. Basically he was just talking like a normal person! So I gave that a go and the exercise itself made me feel happy and relaxed.

While recording I was just spinning stuff about the internal chatter and emotional reverberation where no longer required, they had done there job, like Tarin said in the hurricane ranch recordings 'delivered their message' (paraphrased). It occurred to me that the act of recording was highlighting something about the futility of mind chatter and emotional 'mood'; they are not being recorded! If they were important in this very moment, then why do they not stick? Mind chatter, imagination, emotional reverberation, hardly ever stick around to provide anything useful, they don't get me anywhere...anyway you know the deal with them.

At one point in the recording I was joking about learning to feel happy without smiling, so I could do it all day long; no one would have to know what I was really doing internally at all...

The other sticking point this week was the issue of imagination and creativity. As I've always been an artist/musician this disturbed my motivation a lot. That is until I realised that nothing I had ever created in my head counted for anything, least of all happiness. The only time art or music I have created really brought happy moments was actually when it was recorded on the paper or CD. In other words, only when it entered the actual world does it bring anything close to happiness, or enjoyment. The rest of the time it has been a mind twisting source of suffering and 'Walt Disney Syndrome'* daydreaming.


Like Ross said the other day, it's hard to know what constitutes a practice journal post these days, and I can't help but hear katy's advice not to post one sided monologues (paraphrased)!


* Walt Disney Syndrome: The belief that my talents and gifting make me inherently destined for greatness and success, closely related to Narcissism; avoiding real world responsibility in the belief that the rules do not apply to someone as special as me.
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Jon T, modified 10 Years ago at 10/31/11 2:06 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 10/31/11 2:06 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

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* Walt Disney Syndrome: The belief that my talents and gifting make me inherently destined for greatness and success, closely related to Narcissism; avoiding real world responsibility in the belief that the rules do not apply to someone as special as me.



Cool. That was me in a nutshell.

This practice (investigating beliefs, emotions for causes etc) is very similar to cognitive therapy,


I agree.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 2:21 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 2:21 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

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This is a duplicate of my post on the Hamilton Project; there are some opinions here I would like to hear too!

...

i'm yet to find any trace of someone who hasn't gone the the ASC route first before hitting AF. Even Peter on AFT claims to have had achieved a stable ASC before starting with AF practice.

From Peter; "In my own case I had a substantive ASC towards the end of my spiritual years that was intentionally provoked by the diligent practice of dissociation. On the face of it, it would seem that those who teach that commitment, methodology and hard work are not required for success have a vested self-interest in maintaining their own hard-won position at the top of the spiritual hierarchy. Needless to say, the reason I have mentioned this is that anyone who holds to the Eastern wisdom of disregarding the need for commitment, rejecting any methodology and scorning the idea that any work needs to do be done will find the actualism process is not for them." source: http://actualfreedom.com.au/actualism/peter/selected-writings/pcetriggers.htm

Makes me think this is indeed 5th path.

there is some hesitancy to assume that straight attentiveness to sensuousness will do enough brain rewiring to get this done. Though Mindfulness is the enlightenment factor according to Bhante G et al, it is in the context of lots of serious meditation.

Opinions? Any precedent of someone not being a hardcore vipassana meditator first? I realise that the discussion at the moment is sorta like 'yeah, it could be possible to go all the way using the AFT method alone' but I fail to find any evidence of it...

current practice is 20-30 mins a day calm abiding, and as continuous awareness of the senses as possible. No fireworks, but if I push myself I can get into 3C territory. (I did a 2 day formal retreat last week, and it was pretty intense!)

Is there a AF precedence for not going Altered State paths first?

Obviously the day time practice stays, it works and is good, but how would i really know I'm getting somewhere? the AF map is pretty sparse and seems to be more like. Solid ASC>EE>PCE>more PCE and EE>VF>OFC VF> Early AF> Late AF.

I realise I'm thinking a bit much here,...hmm
Jill Morana, modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 12:36 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 12:36 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew Jones:

i'm yet to find any trace of someone who hasn't gone the ASC route first before hitting AF. Even Peter on AFT claims to have had achieved a stable ASC before starting with AF practice.
.........
Opinions? Any precedent of someone not being a hardcore vipassana meditator first? I realise that the discussion at the moment is sorta like 'yeah, it could be possible to go all the way using the AFT method alone' but I fail to find any evidence of it...

Is there a AF precedence for not going Altered State paths first?
.........
Obviously the day time practice stays, it works and is good, but how would i really know I'm getting somewhere? the AF map is pretty sparse and seems to be more like. Solid ASC>EE>PCE>more PCE and EE>VF>OFC VF> Early AF> Late AF.


i wouldn't lump "the ASC route" and "hardcore vipassana" together as if they're the same thing. my hardcore vipassana practice was very non-ASC (Altered State of Consciousness) from the start, as i saw altered states and jhanic absorptions to not be very fruitful, not what I was aiming for, and at best interesting accidents that would pop up very briefly from time to time due to shifts/changes/progress/adjustments of the mind. as i did not entertain or practice accessing them, ASC's happened less and less over the years as my baseline of equanimity increased. the way i see it, an ASC-heavy paths route would be 180% opposite of AF, but a non-ASC vipassana paths route is completely in line with progress towards actual freedom from sorrow/fear/irritation/malice, freedom from the affective base of personal stuff (identity). some meditators may find something in between the two to be the most satisfying way to go until the ASC aspect eventually gets seen (but possibly not) as something to let go of.

jill
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 7:35 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 5:36 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew, the answer to your question may depend on what you (or the AFT) counts as an ASC. In particular, is partial enlightenment necessarily an ASC?

I went through 1st-4th path without considering myself to be Awareness or the Unborn or the Source or whatever, and never indulged that kind of thinking for more than a short time (because it seemed silly to me).

(EDIT: To clarify, I had various perceptions that might have resulted in such a belief, but for various reasons, they never did. These perceptions are related to what remains as one hacks away at the various phenomena one considers to be oneself...when there are fewer such things, one perceives various nonstandard things as being more reasonable choices for an identity than standard things (e.g. "I am Awareness" vs. "I am a devoted husband, father of three, career-minded professional, grown up in Smalltown, USA..."). However, this seems to be me to be a less gross form of identification than what most people are inclined towards before they begin spiritual practice...i.e. perceiving an Awareness separate from phenomena is less gross than perceiving a ME that one is as a brute fact. So I would not count these perceptions as ASCs in themselves...but that's my personal definition only.)

So, if you make your question more specific, you may get an answer that's closer to what you want to know.

A counter-question to put to you...what, specifically, do you see to be problematic about the hardcore vipassana route?
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 7:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 7:34 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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End in Sight:
Andrew, the answer to your question may depend on what you (or the AFT) counts as an ASC. In particular, is partial enlightenment necessarily an ASC?


A counter-question to put to you...what, specifically, do you see to be problematic about the hardcore vipassana route?


Thanks for the replies Jill, EiS,

Yes that is an really good point, what is being defined by ASC?

So to answer what is problematic about HVR (!) -Dark Night! Can't afford it, pretty sure I would bottom out...

For the record here, I have really committed to going all out on a daily basis with attentiveness,felicity etc, as they fit within the daily grind of work and family without dramatic interruptions. This has been going well, and my default mood is now neutral to slightly pleasant, with the ability to stay away from diving into emotion.... 'I' still want out of here!

The main thrust of my question is that it seems that those landing AF have gone via some form of enlightenment first, then onto the AFT style practice. which makes me think, 'OK, yes it is good to be happy, check. Would be really good to know that the AFT method alone, which actually does fit with my life, works. Looking for confirming check mark'

Brian Eleven left a post on Hamilton Project about one of Tarin's friends perhaps landing it (AF) after two weeks without a history of meditation...does anyone know if that is true?

That would seem to make proximity a factor...and would really make this a true 'peace on earth' proposition.

It is always amazing what is possible once a precedent it set. Like you said EiS previously; we need more data points!
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 7:52 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 7:51 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew Jones:
So to answer what is problematic about HVR (!) -Dark Night! Can't afford it, pretty sure I would bottom out...


You could try the form of concentration (spreading pleasure through the body) that I have talked about on the DhO. I have found that it's much better than hardcore vipassana, even when judged according to hardcore vipassana's terms (i.e. the kinds of shifts that it produces after cessations). And I say this as a person who lived and died by hardcore vipassana, so I don't make such a claim lightly. Further, it probably doesn't produce any Dark Nights. (I have written about this practice in various places but haven't written anything definitive.)

It seems like a fair option, if you can figure out how to do it.

Andrew Jones:
Brian Eleven left a post on Hamilton Project about one of Tarin's friends perhaps landing it (AF) after two weeks without a history of meditation...does anyone know if that is true?


No clue, but it's a pretty cool thing if true. My guess would be that it could be true, but it probably takes a rare mind / brain configuration for that to happen.

On the other hand, the suttas claim that such things are possible and that they happened rather frequently, and I personally believe that with very high concentration abilities and right view, the process could play out very rapidly.

Andrew Jones:
That would seem to make proximity a factor...and would really make this a true 'peace on earth' proposition.


Indian spiritual guru types have long practiced darshan, perhaps for some practical reason emoticon
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 8:44 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 8:42 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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End in Sight:


On the other hand, the suttas claim that such things are possible and that they happened rather frequently, and I personally believe that with very high concentration abilities and right view, the process could play out very rapidly.

Andrew Jones:
That would seem to make proximity a factor...and would really make this a true 'peace on earth' proposition.


Indian spiritual guru types have long practiced darshan, perhaps for some practical reason emoticon



that the suttas talk about instant enlightenment in some cases came to mind as well. and then I saw a scary picture of a floating AF convivium ship and snapped right out of it!

I still suspect a strong hypnotic element in the whole process, with the pops and clicks and and whatever else being psychosomatic, neither of which is necessarily a bad thing, but it would make sense of any such case of extremely quick shifts.

It would be the mental equivalent of winning Mr Universe after 2 weeks of pumping iron if it is purely physical brain rewiring...

Hopefully Tarin can shed some light on that one, as I also remember reading Richard claim that AF can even result just from the decision to go that way...

As far as practice goes, the calm-abiding I do is basically pleasant, though landing concentration states of bliss or such just doesn't happen in the time I have. Pleasant though.

OK, back to attentiveness to sensuousness with me..emoticon
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 9:20 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 9:16 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew Jones:
I still suspect a strong hypnotic element in the whole process, with the pops and clicks and and whatever else being psychosomatic, neither of which is necessarily a bad thing, but it would make sense of any such case of extremely quick shifts.


Maybe, but I suspect this suspicion makes sense only for some forms of practice. The vast majority of my practice, for instance, did not involve trying to feel any particular way...in fact, I decided that how I felt was irrelevant, and just kept paying attention to my experience. (This stuff about concentration is a more recent discovery for me.)

Given that just paying attention and disregarding my feelings worked and given that (I think) it's not so different in principle from people who cultivate felicity and pay attention, I suspect that what you call the hypnotic element is not fundamental to the process.

Andrew Jones:
It would be the mental equivalent of winning Mr Universe after 2 weeks of pumping iron if it is purely physical brain rewiring...


Yes, I can't easily reconcile some of my beliefs (that it can be done quickly) with others (that the brain needs to rewire over time).

I wonder if certain states (e.g. intense concentration) produce lots of neurochemicals that result in very rapid rewiring being possible. Clearly pleasant experiences have some effect in terms of being able to rewire the brain quickly, in the sense that the brain learns about things associated with pleasure, and can change its functioning radically in the face of such experiences. (Consider drug addiction.)

Andrew Jones:
As far as practice goes, the calm-abiding I do is basically pleasant, though landing concentration states of bliss or such just doesn't happen in the time I have. Pleasant though.


If you think of what I'm describing as a concentration state, you are likely to misunderstand the practice.

I am literally suggesting finding a way to breathe so as to spread pleasant feelings throughout the body, as much as possible, period.

The qualities of the experience don't match the qualities of "concentration" experiences that I have heard described here and on KFD. When one is having such an experience, it doesn't seem like one is concentrating at all. (Actual concentration is when the mind doesn't move; affective concentration is when there is the distinct impression that the mind doesn't move.) Phenomenologically, one breathes, and pleasant sensations increase, and that's (basically) it.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 9:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 9:49 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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End in Sight:
Phenomenologically, one breathes, and pleasant sensations increase, and that's (basically) it.


Ah, yes that is what I do all day then. this is my tag line from vipassanaforum at the moment;

"the air is soft and clean (mostly), it surrounds us, it permeates through us, it is gentle, better than any hug we could ever get. there is a pleasant feeling there which can bloom into a pleasant mood"

Basically sticking with the air as much as possible.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 10:02 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/3/11 10:02 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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I've been posting in a 3 journals at the moment, as there are people on three forums I want to hear their thoughts, this is from Hamilton Project today;


I've been more or less attentive most of the day lately, and I've started to notice a pattern,a cycle happening perhaps every 20mins or so.
There is a pleasant feeling of tightness in the head, which I try to observe rather than cling to by staying with the senses and rather 'ground' the feeling by just noticing it. Then perhaps 20 mins later there with be a harshness to the feeling of the air on my skin, and a negative feeling tone. Again I try not to avert it, but notice it and keep looking for the pleasant touch of the air.

I have been reading about brain cycles, but now I think that I can actually see the process of peaks and troughs...

I'm staying with the scientific mindset about all this at the moment, surprisingly for me as I've always been a mystic of sorts.

Other thing I've noticed is how much mental pleasure I get out of thinking , and how the suttas talk about 6 sense doors with thinking being 6th. When I come back to the other senses I can see how I have learnt over the years to derive pleasure mentally in preference to enjoying any of the other senses.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 12:09 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 12:09 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew Jones:
End in Sight:
Phenomenologically, one breathes, and pleasant sensations increase, and that's (basically) it.


Ah, yes that is what I do all day then. this is my tag line from vipassanaforum at the moment;

"the air is soft and clean (mostly), it surrounds us, it permeates through us, it is gentle, better than any hug we could ever get. there is a pleasant feeling there which can bloom into a pleasant mood"

Basically sticking with the air as much as possible.


If you want to pursue the practice that I've described, max out the pleasure, as much as possible. Think, "MOAR!"
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Brian Eleven, modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 4:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 4:11 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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OK, found it. The post is actually Daniel saying that Trent said that someone he know's became AF in 2 weeks. Not exactly as I remember it, but pretty damn quick! The quote:

"I believe that Steph Dunning got it a few weeks after Stream Entry, so it can be really fast. Trent was talking about someone who he knew maybe doing it in 2 weeks total straight off the line."

The Link:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1587442
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 5:04 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 5:04 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Other thing I've noticed is how much mental pleasure I get out of thinking , and how the suttas talk about 6 sense doors with thinking being 6th. When I come back to the other senses I can see how I have learnt over the years to derive pleasure mentally in preference to enjoying any of the other senses.
This is my situation as well. After stream-entry, insight, concentration of its own accord, and a sort of blissful open awareness-to-PCE would go on for several days. Then, and I'm paying more attention to this transition, I take up a thought (or there is a preceding physical change in the brain followed by a personal ownership of the mental formations) and I then find myself in some degree of restlessness and invested self, no matter the usually equanimous oversight of it all.

I keep considering the advice from Practical Insight Meditation to press on with contemplating the body and mind (which is effected by apperception in actualism), and I keep having to realize logically that when thoughts start landing as "owned" formations (versus formations which can be put to practical use) then I have brought myself into being again. Further, by entering a personal pleasure for an idea, I am fairly certain I lose the idea's full range - that more comprehensive and connected "information" is available in the abeyant state (but that could also be a tempting and grandiose mental formation of me at the moment - this is one of those days wherein "owned" mental formations are slipping away and I try not to undermine that). Almost every activity gets its sensory immersion truncated by a sort of "wow" thought that is trying to explain what it is intercepting. Whereas PCE/absorption lacks that wow interruption.

So, I cycle between batches of days that are in an abeyant state and then shift out of this generally in pursuing a thought (which is both pleasurable and unsatisfactory/restless) which thought is usually arising from something apperceived during abeyance state. I intend to paying closer attention to the moments of exit should exit happen again.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 5:11 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 5:11 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Brian Eleven left a post on Hamilton Project about one of Tarin's friends perhaps landing it (AF) after two weeks without a history of meditation...does anyone know if that is true?
Andrew - I think I remember that he did a lot of tai chi. Tai chi, when not being applied in a wrestle, or as mere rote exercise, is meditation and causes a lot of interesting energy shifting. Like meditation, 2 consecutive hours a day seems to be the bare minimum a person can put in to start seeing changes to the senses.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:22 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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katy steger:
Almost every activity gets its sensory immersion truncated by a sort of "wow" thought that is trying to explain what it is intercepting.


Geeking out on it! I get all excited that everything lines up; this make sense because of that, patterns with patterns, and so I get my geek on...

Thought is fractal in nature. Once one part of the pattern is seen, the rest starts to unfold. My mind loves all the pretty patterns and can't help but want to grasp them, write them down and thoroughly own the bejesus out of them. Been doing it all my life. Doing it now.

Makes writing a post a little indulgence. One thing I've learnt though is there is not point developing Ill-Will towards Sensory Desire!

Or put other wise, having Aversion to Aversion, or get restless and worried about Restlessness and Worry...

That is indeed the mother of all loops.

I comfort myself in seeing that Investigation of Dhamma is a factor of enlightenment, so choose to put these thoughts under that heading sometimes rather than shoot them all down as Sensory Desire.

Now I will sit back an bathe in the beauty of this insight. My Insight. Ha!
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:48 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:48 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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From the thread Brian linked too,


Daniel Ingram
More importantly, the atemporality of the thing is a key point of the practice in some ways: that this is what is happening, that it is found here somehow, in this infinitude, and thus, when practicing and thinking of it as in some future, realize how you are experiencing those thoughts of future now in this continuously changing, aperceptive field of stuff happening on its own, as this universe experiencing itself now. Identify the emotional thing behind that question of how long it takes: expectation? doubt? fear? jealousy? self-nurturing? something else? Find that and sincerely work to resolve the tension in that such that this moment itself is seen as perfect in its own direct sensual aspects now.


I've been running a similar thought, "The answer to this emotion is being here and now, right here and now."

Basically still feeling drawn to insight practice because of the similarities in the mindfulness aspects, but I wonder if it is simply an apparent convergence, not a real one. When I read the progress of insight by Ven. Mahasi Sayadaw ;

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html#ch7.17


there is nothing about getting as happy as one damn well can first...


While the AFT method is basically take as much sensory input in as one can, with as much wonder and innocence as can be mustered, ruthlessly questioning any emotion that gets in the way. While being your own best friend.

EiS's suggestion is a natural next step for me, to start focusing on rapture when sitting......

Back to the senses with me...
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:56 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:56 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.'[3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.'[5][a] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.'[4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'


I can do 1 to 3 OK, 4 is shaky, I don't really get to 5b. although I've started doing it with the air on the skin during the day, looking for the pleasure in it.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:59 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/4/11 8:59 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Brian Eleven:
OK, found it. The post is actually Daniel saying that Trent said that someone he know's became AF in 2 weeks. Not exactly as I remember it, but pretty damn quick! The quote:

"I believe that Steph Dunning got it a few weeks after Stream Entry, so it can be really fast. Trent was talking about someone who he knew maybe doing it in 2 weeks total straight off the line."

The Link:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/1587442


thanks Brian..emoticon
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 8:14 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 8:14 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Andrew Jones:
That would seem to make proximity a factor...and would really make this a true 'peace on earth' proposition.


Indian spiritual guru types have long practiced darshan, perhaps for some practical reason emoticon

Hehe, I think I meant satsang...I don't know very much about Indian spiritual traditions after all. emoticon

I do think it's an interesting question to ask whether people can pass on their attainment in some more efficient way through direct contact...if for no other reason than the standard advantages that come from knowing and communicating with someone in person.

On the other hand, I don't think I ever passed 4th path on to others in this way (or if I did, I wouldn't know).
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 4:33 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 4:33 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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My mind loves all the pretty patterns and can't help but want to grasp them, write them down and thoroughly own the bejesus out of them. Been doing it all my life. Doing it now.
I smiled at your expressions here.

Here is Khajjaniya Sutta, transl. Thanissaro, on one being "chewed up" by own's own hold on thought formations for the sake of one's own feeling-ness, perception-hood, etc. I found it useful in regards to the personal attraction to following/holding a thought (different from apperceiving thinking and concepts).
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 9:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/5/11 9:10 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

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Cool sutta, Katy. It is interesting to read it from an actual freedom doctrinal mindset, as I see that there is still a monk once all of this is done, all of the pulling down and not building up.

There is still a monk after 'done what needs to be done'!


Practice notes:

Woke up this morning and the first mindful breath was an out breath. Started to look for the pleasant sensation in the nasal cavity of the cool morning air. lay in (it is sunday after all) and didn't get out of bed until I was in a pleasant mood.

Been finding that happiness (whether a neutral type, or a more mildly stirring variety) has it's own momentum. All I have to do is remember that I am allowed to be happy. Being happy is OK right now. The mind comes back to the air and the breath and the mild soft pleasantness that can be subtly found there and the mood drifts back towards happy (ish).

Even telling the kids off is not really bothering me for long, infact there is a authority in my voice and a tendency not to get emotionally upset as a deep level. I can get back to happy (ish) within a few minutes. Even disagreements with the Mrs only knock me sideways for perhaps 20 mins, and don't last as I quickly judge that NOTHING is worth getting upset about, and if it's too late for that, NOTHING is worth staying upset about.

Which brings me to my big revelation; I think the key to making the progress of insight work with this AF stuff (for a pre path noob like me) is all about adding HAPPY to the first line of all the instructions.

HAPPILY observe all the myriad of sensations that make up the bodymind

HAPPILY notice to all again now

HAPPILY go through what ever unpleasantness that arises

HAPPILY keep doing that.

EiS's suggestion is really good; work at spreading the pleasant feeling through out the awareness, keeping the happy going all the time, not just on the cushion.

I've been contemplating (via a sticky note on my computer!) the seven factors of enlightenment.

Mindfulness

Investigation of truth

Energy

Happiness

Relaxation

Concentration

Equanimity.

And summarise them like this into an AF manifesto/creed;

When we are aware of our sensate experience (mindful) we detect pleasurable aspects of it (happiness-for me it is triggered by the touch of the air on the skin). When something disturbs us we investigate why and what has dragged us away from the pleasant feelings (investigation of truth), we find out as quickly as possible and do what we can (energy) to get back to the sense of happiness. As we built the neural pathways that form this into a habit, when chill out (relaxation) and don't stress about stuff in life (equanimity), we become really good at being in the here and now (concentration). Do this enough and we have got our shit together (enlightenment)

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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 12:19 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 12:10 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
End in Sight:

You mentioned doing meditation each day...would you like to tell us more experiential details?



katy steger :

2 consecutive hours a day seems to be the bare minimum a person can put in to start seeing changes to the senses.


I've drifted a bit away from putting in effort the last 2 days, and realise that I cannot forget why this needs to be done.

To that end I can see that without some more cushion time over what I'm managing now, I'll continue to drift back to speculation and daydreaming.

it is very clear to me that there is an elastic type of gravity to making efforts with getting this done, it always springs back to something like it was before. actually cutting the pull seems to be such a impossible task, even though the logic of it and the method of it is understood, somehow, though I hate to admit it, I get the impression that unless I crack this wide open (read smash out some nanas!) there is not enough escape velocity in just what I'm doing now.

Breaking down beliefs, check, added to toolbox. Good Stuff.

Cushion time, Bah Baow. Not really doing much at all.

total outcome; 2 steps forward, 2 steps back and 2 days better at touch typing shit in journals.

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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 7:33 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 7:33 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Hi Andrew - let me correct myself here: meditation and tai chi definitely do not need a hefty two hours consecutively to show changes to the senses. It is very clear in academic studies that 20-30 minutes a day of meditation will give brain changes (see, for example, University of Wisconsin compassion meditation with newbies, 2007-ish). And starting at two hours could just result in an injury derived from being harsh and ignorant with one's self.

Two (to three) hours in meditation is often referred to for testing one's jhana mastery. And in tai chi (depending on the purpose of the tai chi) to build and sustain certain energies with instinctual form, then 2-hours for numerous days is generally a minimum recommended.
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 8:01 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 7:38 AM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
It is easy to create injuries when one does things with a purely rote intention. It is much better to build up small amounts of sincere, careful practice than to say, "I need to do two hours here". Injuries and poor form arise from this. It would be like saying, I must just sew for two hours a day to become a master tailor. The result would be weird, thoughtless, ill-fitting clothes. Whereas just tracing the material thoughtfully one sees and feels the material's bias and, from only a few minutes sincere investigation, will forever may build (or look for) more comfortable, moving garments.

[edit: grammar and strike through "will forever"; some people love non-bias fit.]
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 11:10 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/11/11 11:10 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Thanks for the clarification Katy.
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 6:40 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/16/11 6:39 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
I've been sitting twice a day for the last few, only 20 mins at a time, but it has made a difference. scopare. scopare.

Still noting in Mahasi style, attending to the senses, noticing the cyclic nature of how I feel. (Right now I seem to be in a weird itching phase!)

Cool dhamma thoughts keep coming, and the desire to own them is still strong, but I've been letting them go. It is a challenge to have a really cool thought which I would normally turn into an internal conversation or sermonette monologue, but I can see that the only thing that is happening when I do that is an increase in mental pleasure and the sense of self being somehow smarter.

Like Tarin said to Simon recently (paraphrased); 'practice like you are too dumb or ignorant to know better'

Basically, whatever is true will still be true tomorrow, it doesn't need me to own it. It is there for that moment, should be appreciated for a moment, noted, and the mind moved back to the practice.

Even the dhamma can be idle chatter if it is not being put into constant practice. (just read that line from a Ṭhānissaro Bhikkhu translation of his teachers talks)
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Andrew , modified 10 Years ago at 11/23/11 9:14 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/23/11 9:14 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 336 Join Date: 5/23/11 Recent Posts
Alrighty.

Today's little dhamma thought.

Driving this morning seeing some attractive women and then following a bus with a provocative swim wear ad pasted over the back, I was amazed at how immediate the 'swell of passions' appearing the the chest area.

After an internal rant about how advertisers are exploiting us, telling myself to shut up and get attentive again, it occured to me that the feelings that appeared in the centre of the chest are directly arising out of the visual cues 'quick and dirty' instinctual parts of the brain, hence why they can appear immediately in the chest area.

So any way, watching the feelings, they go away after a while.

Reading Claudiu's post here;

Hey paia,

When you mentioned 'being' you reminded me of this exercise. Does it do anything for you? When I have been able to do it it has been very conducive to well-being. Try doing it while reading it.

Richard:
Reach down inside of yourself intuitively (aka feeling it out) and go past the rather superficial emotions/ feelings (generally in the chest area) into the deeper, more profound passions/ feelings (generally in the solar plexus area) until you come to a place (generally about four-finger widths below the navel) where you intuitively feel you elementarily have existence as a feeling being (as in ‘me’ at the core of ‘my’ being ... which is ‘being’ itself).
Now, having located ‘being’ itself, gently and tenderly sense out the area immediately below that (just above/just before and almost touching on the sex centre).
Here you will find yourself both likeable and liking (for here lies sincerity/ naiveté).
Here is where you can, finally, like yourself (very important) no matter what.
Here is the nearest a ‘self’ can get to innocence whilst remaining a ‘self’.
Here lies tenderness/ sweetness and togetherness/ closeness.
Here is where it is possible to be the key.[1]

[link]

[1] To give it a little context: the goal of this exercise is to 'be' naivete, which is a way of 'being' conducive to looking at the world without looking for any outcomes:

Richard:
Given that it is, plainly and simply, always ‘my’ choice as to how ‘I’ experience this moment then the optimum manner in which to do so is, of course, sincerely/ naïvely.
Thus the part-sentence in that previous post of mine " ‘and to be sincere is to be the key which unlocks naiveté’ " is worth expanding upon.
The operative words in that part-sentence are " ‘... to be the key ...’ " and with particular emphasis on the word ‘be’ (rather than ‘have’ for instance).
In other words, to be sincerity (not only have sincerity) is to be the key (not merely have the key) to be naiveté (not just have naiveté).
(Bear in mind that, at root, ‘I’ am ‘my’ feelings and ‘my’ feelings are ‘me’ and it will all become clear).



I did this at lunch and it seems to me that it works because it it 'out of reach' of the 'quick and dirty' instinctual reaction. i literally focused on walking being centred in the sweet spot 'leading with the hips' as a dancer might call it (actually works for gettgin a chuckle or two going as well), and it really makes a big difference to how attention is perceived and how much verbal chatter goes on. i.e. more of the former less of the later.

I remember Matthew on Vippassanaforum talking about the vagus nerve terminating (for want of a better word) in the chest, as a basis for why focusing on the belly rise and fall in meditation is more effective than on the nose, it gets deeper into the source of that feeling.

It would seem, and perhaps the medical amongst us would know, but the sweet spot in not on the 'quick and dirty' train line.

i also was considering how much of my development as a male has focused on the genital region from birth, from the first moment it was apparent to my parents I was male (from that obvious visual cue down there!) the conditioning started. Refocusing on the sweet spot and reconditioning the mind/chest response in relation to it makes sense somehow. Getting back to that moment of innocence and literally bi-passing the instinctual/conditioned responses in the chest.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 11/23/11 10:23 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 11/23/11 10:23 PM

RE: Get me out of here...

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Andrew Jones:
Alrighty.

Today's little dhamma thought.

Driving this morning seeing some attractive women and then following a bus with a provocative swim wear ad pasted over the back, I was amazed at how immediate the 'swell of passions' appearing the the chest area.

After an internal rant about how advertisers are exploiting us, telling myself to shut up and get attentive again, it occured to me that the feelings that appeared in the centre of the chest are directly arising out of the visual cues 'quick and dirty' instinctual parts of the brain, hence why they can appear immediately in the chest area.


At one point in my practice, I found that the mere act of looking at a woman's face (rather than a man's face) would produce a split-second absence of visual experience, as the mind would instantly generate 'being' in response to that. Even in the absence of any obvious desire, lust, passion, or even vague half-assed interest, some primal thing would still act up, instinctively and unfailingly...

It gave me a strong appreciation for why there is gender segregation in monasteries.