Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/24/21 9:36 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Papa Che Dusko 12/25/21 2:24 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/25/21 4:27 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Zero 12/25/21 8:07 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/25/21 9:26 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Zero 12/25/21 1:12 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 12/25/21 8:05 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/31/21 8:52 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Papa Che Dusko 12/31/21 2:11 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 12/31/21 6:29 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/31/21 10:34 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/31/21 10:36 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. George S 1/1/22 10:38 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/1/22 6:07 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. George S 1/1/22 7:14 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/1/22 8:44 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Zero 1/1/22 10:43 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 12/31/21 10:57 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 12/31/21 11:25 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 1/1/22 12:22 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/1/22 1:50 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 1/1/22 6:09 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/1/22 8:55 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 1/1/22 9:47 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Martin 1/2/22 11:09 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 1/4/22 2:13 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Jim Smith 1/5/22 3:35 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/2/22 5:13 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Zero 1/3/22 9:51 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/4/22 2:01 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Papa Che Dusko 1/4/22 2:23 AM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Stefan Stefan 1/4/22 5:48 PM
RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life. Zero 1/4/22 8:06 AM
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/24/21 9:36 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/24/21 9:16 PM

Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
In case anyone is interested, I have found that relaxation and mindfulness together seem to produce a state of sukha (tranquil happiness) that can be sustained during daily life. I can't say if this will work for anyone else but if you want to try it, I have published my routine of relaxation exercises on my blog. After you do the relaxation exercises try to stay relaxed as you go about your daily activities.

Mindfulness can be maintained in various ways. The simplest is just to be aware of what you are seeing as you go about daily life (what Shinzen Young calls "see out" - free ebook here). You can also be aware of other senses: seeing, hearing, feeling etc. And you can also add observing mental activity.  The main point is that you are observing what is coming into awareness in the present moment and not getting lost in thought. (I'm not saying you should never plan for the future or analyze the past etc but it can be tricky to do that mindfully so you should probably set aside a different time for those types of things. ) If you notice you are feeling a kind of tranquil happiness you can try to notice that too. I think maintaining awareness of sukha will help one learn how it is produced making it easier to maintain.

The relaxation exercises should help to calm mental turbulence that could interfere with mindfulness or sukha - if you find it hard to maintain mindfulness and you need something more to quiet the mind some type of samatha meditation (like counting the breath as you notice the pleasant feeling of relaxation as you breathe in a relaxed way) could help.

Maintaining sukha is nice, but it is also helpful on the path. Being mindful during daily activities is great practice, especially if you can mindfuly watch the activity of your mind. And it is easier to let go of attachments and aversions if you are in a good mood. Just don't become attached to sukha. If this techniques works for you, be aware it might not work all the time for various reasons, don't try to force it that will just create stress and will be counterproductive.

As I said I'm not sure if this will work for anyone else or if it is just a development due to how I practice, but I think if you can produce piti during meditation you should be able to do this. (I am not saying you have to be able to produce piti first before this will work, I think it could work for anyone.)

If there is a neurological basis for this phenomenon it might have something to do with relaxation exercises deactivating the sympathetic nervous system and mindfulness deactivating the default network in the brain.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 2:24 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 2:24 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Let me add; 

This certainly can work ... for a while ... months, years even. Just in case all this joy and gladness goes to hell one day please do not panic. If it all dissolved into misery, disgusts, fear ... just remember that there is a tool for such times called Noting Vipassana. This one relies not on joy or gladness but on matter of fact arising and passing experience no matter if pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. 

But yes I agree with J above that tranquility will seep into daily life and is a bit like walking around in a dream. Feels a bit detached from stuff which can be nice. 

May all beings be free from suffering, may all beings awaken, may all beings be happy. 
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 4:27 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 3:54 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Papa Che Dusko
Let me add; 

This certainly can work ... for a while ... months, years even. Just in case all this joy and gladness goes to hell one day please do not panic. If it all dissolved into misery, disgusts, fear ... just remember that there is a tool for such times called Noting Vipassana. This one relies not on joy or gladness but on matter of fact arising and passing experience no matter if pleasant, neutral or unpleasant. 

But yes I agree with J above that tranquility will seep into daily life and is a bit like walking around in a dream. Feels a bit detached from stuff which can be nice. 

May all beings be free from suffering, may all beings awaken, may all beings be happy. 

The kind of mindfulness I suggested, Shinzen Young's "see out", is a noting practice.

The book I linked to is about how to do noting, noting sensory experience including emotions of which sukha is an example etc.  The author is a student of Shinzen's and the book is about what Shinzen teaches. They don't use the term vipassana because they want to be independent of religous affiliations but as far as I can tell it is the same as noting vipassana. 
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Zero, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 8:07 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 8:07 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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This video where Angelo Dillulo says how he would choose impermanence over bliss and peace, similarly resonates.  https://youtu.be/CmnWJoAq_as
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 9:26 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 9:26 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Zero
This video where Angelo Dillulo says how he would choose impermanence over bliss and peace, similarly resonates.  https://youtu.be/CmnWJoAq_as



I don't think of impermanence as a choice. It is a characteristic of all conditioned things including sukha. You get it for free whether you want it or not, whether you have sukha or not.

There are certainly states that are neither pleasure nor pain (but not nihilistic and not numbness) which are nicer than happiness. I posted about sukha because I think it is accessible to a lot of people who might like it. Buddha recommended sukha in multiple places in the pali canon because it is beneficial for various reasons in various situations.
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Zero, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 1:12 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 1:12 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
Zero
This video where Angelo Dillulo says how he would choose impermanence over bliss and peace, similarly resonates.  https://youtu.be/CmnWJoAq_as



I don't think of impermanence as a choice. It is a characteristic of all conditioned things including sukha. You get it for free whether you want it or not, whether you have sukha or not.

There are certainly states that are neither pleasure nor pain (but not nihilistic and not numbness) which are nicer than happiness. I posted about sukha because I think it is accessible to a lot of people who might like it. Buddha recommended sukha in multiple places in the pali canon because it is beneficial for various reasons in various situations.


Would you say resisting impermanence is a choice? 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 8:05 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/25/21 8:05 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Great post. 

If we can condition ourselves to enjoy each and every breath without exception by clearing away hindrances that block that enjoyment, we're on our way to being happy/satisfied as much as possible. I.e., escaping the cyclic reaction patterns that typify samsara. 

Noting, boating, goating, whatever it takes to recognise how the hindrances work is good stuff. Whatever it takes, whatever works for you. And then, remember that happiness is choice. Not your choice, but choice nonetheless. The fear, misery, etc., are all just more textures and layers your mind has made as barriers to its own happiness; all we strive for is happiness. "If I help so-and-so I won't get anything in return", or "if I don't get to watch so-and-so show today I'll be pissed off". Fear of losing the patterns that made us happy, but trapped us into a loop; the more we need the thing to make us happy, the more unhappy we get when we don't have it, meaning we need more of the thing to make us happy again. A vicious cycle. Samsara. The misery of realising these previous cycles were attachments that kept us enslaved, but that were ultimately decisions we made. The disgust we feel is when we realise how utterly powerless we were, a fleshy automaton illuminated by neurotransmitters, hastily grabbing at anything to eek out a crumb of happiness. We then crave deliverance from this unhappy state of affairs. Then we try and put it all together to realise happiness is just here and now, no exceptions, childlike, free, engaged, and effervescent. No need for a this or a that. No cycles. No push or pull. Just freedom. 

I love that verse by Rumi: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
The Buddha then taught the fundamental truth of it all: “Your task is not to seek for happiness/satisfaction, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

And so as we learn to re-condition ourselves to enjoy the breath we're on our way to making friends with impermanence and conditionality. Impermanence means everything can change; oh you're unhappy now? It will change, don't worry. And conditionality; oh your mind-body is relating to itself in a way that produces unhappiness? This can be rearranged with time.

*Just FYI I realise "happiness" is a loaded term in western vernacular. But I guess it really depends on how you translate Dukkha. Dukkha means dissatisfaction/unhappiness/suffering, and for me, happiness is its opposite. Find your own word that works best. Some that I've spoken to like the word "content(ment)" far more. I like it too. 
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 8:52 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/30/21 3:27 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I don't know what the right words to use are but I want to explain something like: the purpose of mindfulness in daily life is not to help you achieve something nice in the future. The purpose of mindfulness is so that you can have it right now if you do the mindfulness thing in the right way. If you are thinking "I am doing mindfulness to further my practice", that is not really such a bad thing, but it is not really the point. The point is that if you are in the moment your mind is not doing all those other things that come between you and .. and, between you and ... you know, ... it. So if you are in the moment you have what you are seeking. But you have to let go of that wrong idea that the thing you want is some kind of mystical state that can only come to you in the future, that you have not attained it yet. Forget all those lessons about the stages you have to go through first. You have to allow it to be now. This is what brings out the sukha (tranquil happiness) I am talking about. Not some jhanic feedback loop, but the letting go of all those ideas about the future and ideas about the past etc. Letting go of everything except the present moment. (Not pushing away, tensing, "driving from your mind" or suppressing, but relaxing and letting go.) It takes a lot of stress off your shoulders, after getting rid of that burden, what remains seems like tranquil happiness (sukha). If you practice it in the right way with the right understanding, you will get better at it. If someone took you away from all your problems, wouldn't that make you happy?

(I am not saying this can cure all forms of emotional difficulties and I am not saying you should permanently ignore all those things in the past and future, think about them if you want, but when you are practicing mindfulness, relax and let go of them for a time and see what happens.)



https://enlightenmentward.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/man-on-cloud-mountain-shodo-harada-roshi-segment-4-of-7-transcript/
Man on Cloud Mountain-Shodo Harada Roshi-Segment 4 of 7 (transcript)
...
​​​​​​​Often enlightenment or kensho or satori is considered to be some kind of unusual experience or something external or some kind of special phenomenon. But it’s not like that. There may be some kind of sudden revelation or some kind of sudden perception, but its not something that is that unusual or that strange or foreign that we come upon or that comes upon us. What it is, is the ability to see without any interruption of the ego, without any filtering of the ego.  And since we are all walking around seeing things through our ego filter almost all the time, to suddenly be able to see without that filter is a surprise. But it is nothing that we have ever not had.They say that the mind of a baby is something that we can compare this to. A baby isn’t seeing things from an egoistic place. It is seeing directly and clear. It is the exact same kind of thing when we are seeing without the ego filter. We see that there is nothing to be analyzed in it. When you are seeing a flower you are not thinking that it is red or seeing a bird you are not thinking what its name is. You are just seeing directly. When we talk about enlightenment we are talking about that mind which is perceive at every moment without  the obstruction of an egoistic filter. The experience of that mind and realizing where it is and realizing where it is coming from is what is called enlightenment or kensho or satori. It is not some kind of supernatural state of mind that we are able to enter or that comes upon us.  It is not like some kind of altered state of consciousness to think that we are trying to do this practice for some kind of narrow experience for the individual. Thinking that we are going to come upon some big experience some day. This is a very low level understanding of what this enlightenment is.
...
That small narrow way in which I had been looking at my enlightenment, my thing to have to do. I have to do this for myself. That is what had been bothering me all along from the very beginning. Through that day on the mountain when I realized that there was no self to be bothered with it. I had been crushing myself and making myself miserable worrying about this problem of my enlightenment and realizing it for myself making my self come to a conclusion that was, in fact, found in the living of every single day. If I did nothing, if I didn’t even worry about my problems things always came to me. And those things that came to me in every single day, to accept those was my training and my way of expressing my enlightened mind. No matter what it was that came to me every day, the next thing that came, the next situation I found myself in, to live that totally as my training was what I had to do. Not to go isolate myself up on a mountain closed off from everyone, turning them all away and worrying about my own small state of mind. That wasn’t the point at all. But to go and be what every day brought to me that was my practice and my expression of my enlightenment. And ever since I realized that my whole life has been completely different. I know there is no problem for myself because there is no one there to feel that there is a problem. Just to take what every day brings and do that with my best, total, whole hearted effort as a person of practice. That was the way to live.
...
And then to live every moment without that egoistic filter on that inner eye, that is what has to be done, that is the real goal and that is the larger part of our training practice. Once we have recognized that new way of seeing, that new eye, an inner eye, once we have encountered that then we must nurture the ability to encounter every moment of our lives from that clear pure place. To live in that is the most important part of the practice. To be able to take that clear mind which is not covered by ego, to keep that going, to live in that place all the time that is what has to be done. Until we know what it is, we can’t keep it going. So that first understanding of where that clear place is, is often what people sometimes call enlightenment or kensho or satori. But to be able to come to every moment with that state of mind that is what’s most important.



https://www.dhammatalks.net/Articles/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_NIBBANA_FOR_EVERYONE.htm

NIBBANA FOR EVERYONE
by
Buddhadasa Bhikkhu
...
Any reactive emotion that arises ceases when its causes and conditions are finished. Although it may be a temporary quenching, merely a temporary coolness, it still means Nibbana, even if only temporarily. Thus, there's a temporary Nibbana for those who still can't avoid some defilements. This indeed is the temporary Nibbana that sustains the lives of beings who are still hanging onto defilement. Anyone can see that if the egoistic emotions exist night and day without any pause or rest, no life could endure it. If it didn't die, it would go crazy and then die in the end. You ought to consider carefully the fact that life can survive only because there are periods when the defilements don't roast it, which, in fact, outnumber the times when the defilements blaze.

These periodic Nibbanas sustain life for all of us, without excepting even animals, which have their levels of Nibbana, too. We are able to survive because this kind of Nibbana nurtures us, until it becomes the most ordinary habit of life and of the mind. Whenever there is freedom from defilement, then there is the value and meaning of Nibbana. This must occur fairly often for living things to survive. That we have some time to relax both bodily and mentally provides us with the freshness and vitality needed to live.

Why don't we understand and feel thankful for this kind of Nibbana at least a little bit?



https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
On Enlightenment – An Interview with Shinzen Young
...
The only difference between an enlightened person and a non-enlightened person is that when the feel-image-talk self doesn’t arise during the day, the enlightened person notices that and knows that to be a clear experience of no-self. The non-enlightened person actually has that experience hundreds of times a day, when they’re briefly pulled to a physical-type touch or an external sight or sound. For just a moment there is just the world of touch-sight-sound. For just a moment there is no self inside that person but they don’t notice it! But just because they don’t notice it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.


The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh:
​​​​​​​https://plumvillage.org/about/thich-nhat-hanh/key-books/#block_5d3dc2b18d1bf-1
You've got to practice meditation when you walk, stand, lie down, sit, and work, while washing your hands, washing the dishes, sweeping the floor, drinking tea, talking to friends, or what ever you are doing. While washing the dishes you might be thinking about the tea afterwards, and so try to get them out of the way as quickly as possible in order to sit and drink tea. But that means you are incapable of living during the time you are washing the dishes. When you are washing the dishes, washing the dishes must be the most important thing in your life. Just as when you're drinking the tea, drinking the tea must be the most important think in your life. ... Each act is a rite, a ceremony. Raising your cup of tea to your mouth is a rite.
...
​​​​​​​Whatever the tasks, do them slowly and with ease, in mindfulness. Don't do any task in order to get it over with. Resolve to do each job in a relaxed way, with all your attention.
...
​​​​​​​When a feeling or thought arises, your intention should not be to chase it away, even if I continuing to concentrate on the breath the feeling or thought passes naturally from the mind. The intention isn't to chase it away, hate it, worry about it, or be frightened by it. So what exactly should you be doing concerning such thoughts and feelings? Simply acknowledge their presence. For example, when a feeling of sadness arises, immediately recognize it: "A feeling of sadness has just arisen in me." If the feeling of sadness continues, continue to recognize "A feeling of sadness is still in me." If there is a thought like, "It's late but neighbors are surely making a lot of noise," recognize the thought has arisen. If the thought continues to exist, continue to recognize it. If a different feeling or thought arises, recognize it in the same manner. The essential thing is not to let any feeling or thought arise without recognizing it in mindfulness, like a palace guard who is aware of every face that passes through the front corridor. 

If there are no feelings or thoughts present, then recognize that there are no feelings or thoughts present.
...
​​​​​​​Whenever a wholesome thought arises, acknowledge it: "A wholesome thought has just arisen." And if an unwholesome thought arises, acknowledge it as well: "An unwholesome thought has just arisen." Don't dwell on it or try to get rid of it, however much you don't like it. To acknowledge it is enough.
...
In fact our thoughts and feelings are us. They are part of ourselves. There is a temptation to look upon them, or at least some of them, as an enemy force which is trying to disturb the concentration and understanding of your mind. But, in fact when we are angry we are ourselves are anger. When we are happy we ourselves are happiness. When we have certain thoughts, we are those thoughts. ... We are both the mind and the observer of the mind. Therefore chasing away or dwelling on any thought isn't the important thing. The important thing is to be aware of the thought. ... Mind can only observe itself. This observation isn't an observation of some object outside and independent of the observer. ... The mind experiences itself directly within itself. ... Mind contemplating mind is like an object and it's shadow - the object cannot shake the shadow off. The two are one.
...
Once you are able to quiet your mind, once your feelings and thoughts no longer disturb you, at that point your mind will begin to dwell in mind. Your mind will take hold of mind in a direct and wondrous way which no longer differentiates between subject an dobject. Drinking a cup of tea, the seeming distinction between the one who drinks and the tea being drunk evaporates. Drinking a cup of tea becomes a direct and wondrous experience in which the distinction between subject an object no longer exists. 

Dispersed mind is also mind, lust as waves rippling in water are also water. When mind has taken hold of mind, deluded mind becomes true mind. True mind is our real self, is the Buddha: the pure one-ness which cannot be cut up by the illusory divisions of separaet selves, created by concepts and language. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 2:11 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 2:08 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
I'm just thinking aloud here, brainstorming if you will emoticon

What about;
purpose of awakened mindfulness is to at some stage start working on dismantling reactive patterns aka Karma which does not subside with the "awakening moments, insight, non dual states, etc

IS IT POSSIBLE that Awakening is but a Start of Real Practice of cleansing of the unfolding karma? Which seems to only stop (big assumption) once we are dead (I don't mean the ego death, death of the Self but actual body gone rotten death)

I might be wrong of course and there could be that awake state when there is no need to work on anything. (To me such (not) state would be pari-nibbana)
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Stefan Stefan, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 6:29 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 6:26 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
Of course, there'll always be things to work on. All beings are works-in-progress. Everything is changing.

Being awakened means that whatever one is working on will be easier, less time-consuming, and just far more fun. And most importantly, of benefit to all. 

Gladdening the mind is training for an awakened mind because it helps the mind recognise and work to de-condition patterns that lead to dissatisfaction with the present moment. For example, suppose one cannot be glad when simply sitting and breathing. In that case, one should investigate what impediments block the way and gently, playfully, untangle the knot producing that dissatisfaction. 

Awakening should be undoing the previous conditioning. These are generally called fetters. They manifest as hindrances in our daily practice. When we learn about the hindrances in our practice, we are learning to let them go and eventually, with enough repetition, the fetter vanishes. 

This is why people get confused about the instructions of "gladden the mind", it's not to be happy all the time and be a rainbow sunshine guy epic mega extreme saint. It's about seeing what is standing in the way of your being a rainbow sunshine guy epic mega extreme saint in the present moment. Eventually, if you learn to recognise, de-construct, and release those barriers toward being happy, you will start to be happier in more moments. Eventually, one's karma becomes "recognise, de-construct, release", with enough practice, one's karma simply becomes "release", at which stage karma becomes a useless term for the individual. 
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 10:34 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 9:11 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Stefan Stefan
Of course, there'll always be things to work on. All beings are works-in-progress. Everything is changing.

Being awakened means that whatever one is working on will be easier, less time-consuming, and just far more fun. And most importantly, of benefit to all. 

Gladdening the mind is training for an awakened mind because it helps the mind recognise and work to de-condition patterns that lead to dissatisfaction with the present moment. For example, suppose one cannot be glad when simply sitting and breathing. In that case, one should investigate what impediments block the way and gently, playfully, untangle the knot producing that dissatisfaction. 

Awakening should be undoing the previous conditioning. These are generally called fetters. They manifest as hindrances in our daily practice. When we learn about the hindrances in our practice, we are learning to let them go and eventually, with enough repetition, the fetter vanishes. 

This is why people get confused about the instructions of "gladden the mind", it's not to be happy all the time and be a rainbow sunshine guy epic mega extreme saint. It's about seeing what is standing in the way of your being a rainbow sunshine guy epic mega extreme saint in the present moment. Eventually, if you learn to recognise, de-construct, and release those barriers toward being happy, you will start to be happier in more moments. Eventually, one's karma becomes "recognise, de-construct, release", with enough practice, one's karma simply becomes "release", at which stage karma becomes a useless term for the individual. 


Stefan,

Thanks, this is very interesting.

I am wondering if you can recommend books or websites that share your views, do you have a blog or any type of web presence (facebook, twitter, web site?) where you post about these subjects?

One question I have, when you write "of benefit to all" how do you explain the examples of teachers found to have engaged in misconduct?


Thanks
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 10:36 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 9:27 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Stefan Stefan

...
Awakening should be undoing the previous conditioning. These are generally called fetters. They manifest as hindrances in our daily practice. When we learn about the hindrances in our practice, we are learning to let them go and eventually, with enough repetition, the fetter vanishes. 
...



Stefan,

Would you explain more details of how learning about the hindrances leads to the vansihing of the fetter of identity view?

Most of the time I hear identity view mentioned, it is about how you need some kind of discontinuous involuntary experience like cessation or realization to become free from it, and it is a kind of non-dual experience. However once in a while I read something like what you wrote and it seems there is a gradual continuous, voluntary path also - what does it mean to lose the fetter of identity view according to your view? Can it happen gradually? Does it involve non-duality, oneness?

As far as I can tell Bhikkhu Bodi is the only one who says, "The teaching of the Buddha as found in the Pali canon does not endorse a philosophy of non-dualism of any variety, nor, I would add, can a non-dualistic perspective be found lying implicit within the Buddha's discourses."

I am interested in gradual models that avoid mystical states because I think they are more accessible to the average person who might meditate regularly over their lifetime but not be involved to the point of going on retreats or sitting in meditation for hours a day. I think they can get awakened but there is not a lot written for them at the advanced level. Some might be awakened and not know it and could practice more effectively if they had better information. (I think this forum is a good place to discuss this topic because there are usually many more people reading a forum than posting to it so posts with seemingly non-consensus views can sometimes be more popular and do more good than they appear to.)

Thanks
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Stefan Stefan, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 10:57 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 10:55 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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One question I have, when you write "of benefit to all" how do you explain the examples of teachers found to have engaged in misconduct?

People who haven't been true to their own self-analysis or deluded plus surrounded by sycophants equals a deadly combination ripe for abuse. Another warning sign is teachers with a financial motive. Anyone asking for money upfront is not teaching Dhamma. Nor people peddling books. If the book in question cannot be freely accessed, and purchased afterwards as a type of dana or "thank you" to the author, it's not a path worth following. Teachers who give their time freely are generally superior because there is no ulterior motive to their teaching. Money is a conduit for power, and power corrupts. It's just a cleaner and safer way of doing business. 

I am wondering if you can recommend books or websites that share your views, do you have a blog or any type of web presence (facebook, twitter, web site?) where you about these subjects?

Dhammarato is a pretty good teacher. I like Ingram too. I've enjoyed Michael Taft's videos. Some of my favourite books are:
  • Mindfulness with Breathing - Buddhadasa 
  • Path to Nibbana - Johnson
  • TMI - Culadasa
  • MCTB - Ingram
  • Seeing that Frees - Rob Burbea
  • The Zen Teachings of Bodhidharma
  • Training the Mind - Trungpa
  • Everything Arises, Everything Passes Away - Ajhan Chah
  • The Path of Serentiy and Insight - Guraratana 
  • Knowing and Seeing - Pa Auk Tawya
  • Welcoming the Unwelcome - Chodron
  • Shift Into Freedom - Kelly
  • Spectrum of Ecstacy - Chogyam 
  • Right Concentration - Brasington
  • Dependent Origination and Emptiness - Brasington 
  • Inner Work - Johnson
  • Owning Your Own Shadow - Johnson
  • Contentment - Johnson 
  • Wake Up To Your Life - McLeod
  • Shargrol's Writings
  • Ingram's Writings
  • Dhammarato's Videos on YouTube
I'm starting a blog, but it's not yet filled with my thoughts, I'm organising them at the moment. I'm trying to handle the Buddhist-y stuff, while trying to incorporate a lot of folksy wisdom and psychological self-therapeutic work into it, so that people can comprehensively flesh out their intra-psychic lives to full potential. Spoilers = The Buddha was 99% correct, but I feel a lot of his writings have been Chinese-whispered into obscurity, mystification, or outright obfuscation. And that's okay because as we've evolved as a species, we've found new ways to relate to our mind and environment, so obviously, the Buddha's original words need to be continually worked into modern metaphorical language to make sure our entire mind is engaged with the project of awakening (yeah, metaphors do that, they engage our rational and emotive brain simultaneously, it's why they're so magical and a basis for so much of our communication). 

Would you explain more details of how learning about the hindrances leads to the vanishing of the fetter of identity view?

For sure. The identity view doesn't manifest as an actual hindrance. What the identity view does is make our mind believe we are our hindrances. In our meditation we get distracted and we think "damn, I'm distracted" and we literally mean it. We think we are distracted. Our awareness becomes stuck and embedded into the hindrance, which causes suffering. What we do is learn to distinguish our entire experience as one continuous experience without the mind being embedded in any one aspect of the experience. So, as soon as one becomes distracted, one can notice that they are not only distracted, but their foot is itchy... So which is it? Are you one or the other? Or is it both? And if it's both, what does this say about who/what you are in that moment? Think of it this way, a guitar makes a sound. Now say as an inquisitive man you want to get the guitar's sound. So you try to get the sound from the strings alone, does the sound come from the strings? Nope. So now you go and try get the sound from the hollow body.. is it there? Nope. So now you try the wood itself, is there sound there? Nope. How about the neck? Perhaps if you shave off the wood into tiny little specs you can find the guitar's sound in there? So you keep on cutting and shaving and whittling away. Where's this cursed sound? Has the guitar played a trick on you? Now do this with your body-mind... Where is this self coming from? Can you see how it is like sound coming from the guitar? Is it in your mind? In your arms, your legs? Your feelings? Your emotions? Your urges? Where is this darn thing?

Most of the time I hear identity view mentioned, it is about how you need some kind of discontinuous involuntary experience like cessation or realization to become free from it, and it is a kind of non-dual experience. However once in a while I read something like what you wrote and it seems there is a gradual continuous, voluntary path also - what does it mean to lose the fetter of identity view according to your view? Can it happen gradually? Does it involve non-duality, oneness?

I think that Cessations come in many forms. I'm not fit to comment on people "should" be experiencing. I had a cessation as described by Ingram et al., a blip or cutaway scene in my experience followed by a very mellow, sublime, and wonderfully gorgeous appreciation for everything. But, let's be clear, "cessation" comes from the Pali word "Nirodha", which has many implications in the Pali language. It can be more of a cognitive shift or a pre-rational shift. Some people simply don't perceive the cessation because their mind isn't attuned to these kinds of things. It's not a bad thing. The most important thing is if you have attained some sort of substantial ongoing reduction in suffering and also some increase in goodwill toward self, others, and the world (that's how I'd term it). Nobody here's gonna be able to diagnose you 100%, it's something you need to be radically honest about. 

Non-duality, oneness, etc., are all just words. They're mirages. Don't trust them. They're all bullshit. The word "cessation" (Nirodha) says that two things go:
  1. Feeling = neutral, pleasant, unpleasant. There is no distinguishing, no conception, no way to have them. They recede. Gone. 
  2. Perception = grasping at the aggregates, at their continued existence. A ways of differentiating "this" from "that". Perception is where our minds are looking for concepts or tangible things to manifest and to cling to. This includes the self. Another way to translate perception is "recognition". Re (meaning "again") and Cognition (meaning a way of processing concepts/thoughts); to break the cycle of thinking thoughts as continuous, necessarily linked, and inherently themselves. Perception goes, so the mind relinquishes grasping towards reliability in forms, continuity of forms, non-changing of forms, etc... 
  3. I can see how these things could arise as a blip in consciousness, a blanking. I can also see how they could be more like just a big old release, like taking a giant brain-shit and releasing all the toxins. I honestly have nothing to say about what it "should" be like for anyone. Everyone will have their own way of saying (i.e., miraged) what they experienced. 
But to be clear. These are gradual events. There was a lead-up, work, conditioning, etc., towards the event. The event is merely a threshold. Like crafting an object, if we're building a guitar, we know it's done when it has a neck, body, strings, frets, bridge, tuners, etc... and we know it's a quality guitar by the sound it makes. There's a point of no return when our guitar (and attainment) are playable, reliable, executable skill that hold up in a variety of conditions. But it's definitely no mystical or other-worldly. Buddhist texts make it seem so because they had something to sell the societies in which they were preaching, The truth is far less mystical, but far more satisfying if we let go of the magic. It's incredibly freeing knowing that what we're after is very simple, humble, honest, and forgiving. 

So yeah, I would recommend looking at all meditation and contemplation as gradual. It's not a magical warp-drive jump on consciousness. It's all built on conditions and prerequisites. It's like going to the gym, some people just have bigger frames that can accommodate more muscle. Some people have fast metabolisms making building muscle slower. Some people have more slow-twitch fibres which will make them look scrawnier despite being just as strong as their fast-twitch dominant counterparts. But, rest assured, once we're good at swatting away fetters, these skills become ingrained into our psyche as means to squash them in an ongoing manner (I'm saying "ongoing" as opposed to "permanent", because nobody has lived long enough [all of time] to say fetters go permanently). It's all about reps and sets. And eventually, you get really good at being mindful, and that mindfulness just picks up on dukkha before you can consciously register it, and just swats it away. Kind of like driving a car, I can drive while talking. I can drive while thinking about what to make for dinner. I can drive while listening to music. I can drive when it's raining, dark, sunny, hot, cold, etc... None of these things make me a worse driver, my body-mind just adapts to the conditions because it's been there before! And to pre-empt responses here, fetters are not limited emotion models! Limited emotion models are what happens when people project their insecurities, their hangups, their psychological baggage when reading about the fetters. What about any of the fetters suggest that sadness, happiness, grief, etc., are gone? If I am sad, but then suffering due to thinking sadness is unpleasant, then yeah, that's definitely fettered sadness. They can all be present without clinging and/or craving. Fundamentally, I think Ingram really nailed down the phenomenological component of what it's like to eliminate fetters at a perceptual level. \

does this help?
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 11:25 PM
Created 11 Months ago at 12/31/21 11:25 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Stefan Stefan
...
does this help?


Yes, thanks.
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 12:22 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 12:17 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Stefan Stefan



Would you explain more details of how learning about the hindrances leads to the vanishing of the fetter of identity view?
'''
For sure. The identity view doesn't manifest as an actual hindrance. What the identity view does is make our mind believe we are our hindrances. In our meditation we get distracted and we think "damn, I'm distracted" and we literally mean it. We think we are distracted. Our awareness becomes stuck and embedded into the hindrance, which causes suffering. What we do is learn to distinguish our entire experience as one continuous experience without the mind being embedded in any one aspect of the experience. So, as soon as one becomes distracted, one can notice that they are not only distracted, but their foot is itchy... So which is it? Are you one or the other? Or is it both? And if it's both, what does this say about who/what you are in that moment? Think of it this way, a guitar makes a sound. Now say as an inquisitive man you want to get the guitar's sound. So you try to get the sound from the strings alone, does the sound come from the strings? Nope. So now you go and try get the sound from the hollow body.. is it there? Nope. So now you try the wood itself, is there sound there? Nope. How about the neck? Perhaps if you shave off the wood into tiny little specs you can find the guitar's sound in there? So you keep on cutting and shaving and whittling away. Where's this cursed sound? Has the guitar played a trick on you? Now do this with your body-mind... Where is this self coming from? Can you see how it is like sound coming from the guitar? Is it in your mind? In your arms, your legs? Your feelings? Your emotions? Your urges? Where is this darn thing?
...


My question about non-dual experiences is because I am wondering if freedom from identity view is at the conscious level or not. If you know you are free from identity view it might seem like a non-dual experience, but if you are free from identity view at the subconscious level you might not know anything is different except maybe you are less self centered, less selfish, less defensive, less irritable (and as a result kinder, more sympathetic, more compassionate). Which is what happens to a lot of people who meditate regularly. Someone observing you could tell the latter but not necessarily the former, the former could be an illusion or self hypnosis there is no way to measure it objectively. I think that is why some abusive people can rise to the level of teachers - people rely on subjective assessments that don't measure the right thing. 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 1:50 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 1:50 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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I think freedom from identity fetter permeates our entire mind. It's both conscious and subconscious. Conscious because it is a skill, and like any skill, there are ways I can see it still operating when I want to; I can look back at memories of me developing it, with signposted memories of what worked and didn't. It's unconscious because now that it is so practised, it's moved to sub-conscious processing in the mind. But it can be called back up to consciousness whenever. It straddles that thin line. 

One little test I like for the fetters is just seeing how the mind instantly reacts to some sort of stimulus. The other day my friend was talking about how they feel that some bad behaviour in their past makes them a bad person. He was suffering from identity view, he's not a meditator/contemplative either btw. Without any reflection or thinking I simply said, "is this behaviour you?" as in, can he actually boil down his selfhood to these behaviours? Immediately, he rationally saw how his thoughts were getting caught up in that narrative (i.e., this thought process was empty, it was not intrinsically the truth of the matter). Now,  with some gentle nudging from me, he was able to change (impermanence) the way he saw that particular narrative and not be so embedded in it. The fetters and all this mumbo jumbo Buddhist talk is very straightforward. It's actually very simple, quite rational, not at all a mystical thing. The cessation occurs when the mind stops trying to repeatedly cling to the feelings that it generates (feeling aspect) and the continuity of thought (the perception aspect).

Now with an un-fettered mind, the ideas and memories of his past may have arisen, but without the unwholesome thought of "I am bad", because now he can simply say, "my behaviour was bad but my behaviour is not me". Go back to the gym analogy, your muscles don't even get tired when bench pressing 80kgs, it's not a weight. Or your mind does not even strain when asked 8 multiplied by 8, it just knows; you've repeated the multiplication tables that much. So instead of lifting weights or repeating mathematical formulas, we are now doing the same with the emptiness and impermanence knowledge we have, and applying them to the sensations of our ongoing mind, disentangling them from one another, bit by bit. Identity view, break it down, where/how is the echo of "me" coming from in this hurried jumbled mess of sensations?

Does this make it unconscious? Yes, because it's done at a very instinctual level of a well-practised skill. Everything we do is practised, love, authenticity, generosity, hatred, greed, malice, spite, revenge, lust, envy, rage, etc... Does it being unconscious mean it's still not conscious? Well, I'm talking to you about this skill I have and how I developed it, so there is a degree to which it is still conscious, so yes. 
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Jim Smith, modified 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 6:09 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 5:31 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Stefan Stefan
I think freedom from identity fetter permeates our entire mind. It's both conscious and subconscious. Conscious because it is a skill, and like any skill, there are ways I can see it still operating when I want to; I can look back at memories of me developing it, with signposted memories of what worked and didn't. It's unconscious because now that it is so practised, it's moved to sub-conscious processing in the mind. But it can be called back up to consciousness whenever. It straddles that thin line. 

...


This is another point that confuses me. Is awakening an insight or a skill? It seems to me people say that first you have to have the insight, (cessation/stream entry), then you have to develop the skill to integrate the insight into life, is that right?

But do you practice differently after stream entry / cessation?

If someone has cessation but doesn't recognize it, are they going to get stuck, or will the same old practice carry them forward, (allow them to develop the skill) after an invisible cessation?

Does skill development only start after cessation or does it start at the beginning when someone first undertakes meditation?

Because this seems to me to be what Shinzen Young is talking about when he says some of his students become enlightened without knowing it. They have developed the skill but they are not conscious of having had any insight worthy of being called stream entry.

Also, can you say more about the skill? What is it? How do you do it?

Thanks
George S, modified 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 10:38 AM
Created 11 Months ago at 1/1/22 10:38 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Here’s another definition Jim: enlightenment is when you no longer have any questions or doubts about what enlightenment is, because you get it. Lots of people seem to report a definitive moment when everything became clear to them (this is it!) and the matter was resolved, but who knows if that’s necessary. Maybe some people never had a problem with it in the first place. Maybe for some people their doubts and questions gradually dwindle and enlightenment creeps up on them unnoticed. How would we know? The ones who talk about a definitive moment tend to be teacher types, so maybe they have something to sell. Maybe the gradualists just lose interest in the spiritual scene and stop talking about it. If you are satisfied with life, what does it matter what anyone else says about enlightenment? What are questions about enlightenment other than an expression of dissatisfaction with life as it is? Either enlightenment is already here or else it’s in an imagined future which never actually arrives …
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Why does it bother us so much if someone positions themselves as enlightened and then has sex with a student? It’s a shitty thing to do, but the world is full of shitty stuff. Maybe the reason we focus on this particular kind of shit is because we imagine that enlightenment is some kind of superhuman state. There are many more people in the world who don’t consider themselves to be enlightened and live decent lives and don’t have sex with their students. Isn’t “enlightened person” fundamentally self-identity view? Here’s another way to look at it - enlightened people only exist in the minds of unenlightened people, and enlightenment is when you realize that there is no difference!
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 6:07 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 6:03 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Why does it bother us so much if someone positions themselves as enlightened and then has sex with a student? It’s a shitty thing to do, but the world is full of shitty stuff.

If it's fully consensual, then that's fine. But I believe Jim was specifically talking about sexual abuse within communities. These things are unequivocally bad. 

Maybe the reason we focus on this particular kind of shit is because we imagine that enlightenment is some kind of superhuman state.
No, it's an abuse of power and an abuse of social standing. This goes for all sexual abuse. Abuses of power and social standing are not a really big moral hurdle, they're the baseline of basic human decency. So when someone says "hey, I've transcended the normal baseline of human decency and have enlightened consciousness" and then they do something which violates basic human decency, then yeah, it's a really shitty thing. It's a very bad thing. Made even worse by the fact that this person was surrounded by sycophants who had incentive to look the other way. We don't shrug our shoulders and say "Oh well, at least he didn't murder anyone... The world is full of really shitty stuff, so this is just one more thing we gotta accept." That's just a weak cheese response. I'll just say it once more: not sexually abusing people is not a special thing, it is basic human decency we extend to one another -- enlightenment or not. 

There are many more people in the world who don’t consider themselves to be enlightened and live decent lives and don’t have sex with their students.

Basic human decency. Saints vs Psychopaths. Etc. Etc... This isn't an issue of enlightenment. This is an issue of basic human decency. 

Isn’t “enlightened person” fundamentally self-identity view?

If one thinks that their enlightenment is the only thing that defines them, then yes. 

Here’s another way to look at it - enlightened people only exist in the minds of unenlightened people, and enlightenment is when you realize that there is no difference!

Indifference and Equanimity are near enemies. They look and operate similarly. Seem pretty similar too; laid back, relaxed, not bothered, But they differ in some very crucial aspects, such as skin in the game. Equanimity has skin in the game, it's there, open, naked and vulnerable. It does know when something is unwholesome and wholesome. It can work to disentangle the mess without getting caught up in the tangle itself. It is composure in the face of the winds of change, while indifference pulls away from the wind itself to protect itself. So yes, there are differences. If one looks at surface level properties of the seven factors of enlightenment, one can see there are near enemies for each, which are crude facsimiles of the thing in question. This is why one can fall into the trap of thinking people who do not practice any sort of self-reflection, contemplation, or meditation are also operating within these parameters, usually, they are not. I'm equanimous with the fact that sexual abuse happens in these communities which purport to represent my interests as someone who likes psychological-spiritual development (and works in the field), but the skin in the game is that for me to deny its importance is to deny the very basic human decency within myself and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. 
George S, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 7:14 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 7:14 PM

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Yeah, I would be wary of anyone claiming to have transcended the normal baseline of human decency and have enlightened consciousness.
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 8:44 PM
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And rightly so... But The Buddha says what about himself? lol. Plenty of good Buddhist teachers never abused anyone and helped advance The Buddha's teachings too. Boils down to my point about Saints vs Psychopaths and Equanimity vs Indifference; they're closely related opposites. 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 8:55 PM
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RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Is awakening an insight or a skill?
As you develop any skill, you'll have insights as to how to better execute said skill. They go hand in hand. 

But do you practice differently after stream entry / cessation?
Click on my post history and find my logs to see what I practised before/after stream entry. Although nowadays I mostly practice basic, plain-old Anapanasati with Metta/goodwill.

If someone has cessation but doesn't recognize it, are they going to get stuck,

Probably not. Do they wanna get stuck or do they wanna be free? Intentions are important. 

Also, can you say more about the skill? What is it? How do you do it?

The skill is learning to let go. Follow the steps of a meditation technique that you like (the booklist I outlined has at least a dozen or so techniques within), and you'll learn the skill. As you get better you find your own way to navigate your own mind. What works for me may not work for you. 

Does skill development only start after cessation or does it start at the beginning when someone first undertakes meditation?

The skill development progresses as soon as you're being mindful, any time, any place. 

Because this seems to me to be what Shinzen Young is talking about when he says some of his students become enlightened without knowing it. They have developed the skill but they are not conscious of having had any insight worthy of being called stream entry.

For some people, they may get it unconsciously or consciously. I think if Shinzen really pried into those students' mental lives with probing questions he'd flesh out the conscious aspects of it. Again, it's like a skill, I learned to drive through deliberate practice. One of my friends was a natural talent so his skills were very unconscious. Not sure why that is, we all have our aptitudes. Metacognitive and metaemotional awareness are still skills and I don't believe they're outside the purview of what normal scientific research says about skill development. 
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 9:47 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 9:37 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Stefan Stefan
Is awakening an insight or a skill?
As you develop any skill, you'll have insights as to how to better execute said skill. They go hand in hand. 

But do you practice differently after stream entry / cessation?
Click on my post history and find my logs to see what I practised before/after stream entry. Although nowadays I mostly practice basic, plain-old Anapanasati with Metta/goodwill.

If someone has cessation but doesn't recognize it, are they going to get stuck,

Probably not. Do they wanna get stuck or do they wanna be free? Intentions are important. 

Also, can you say more about the skill? What is it? How do you do it?

The skill is learning to let go. Follow the steps of a meditation technique that you like (the booklist I outlined has at least a dozen or so techniques within), and you'll learn the skill. As you get better you find your own way to navigate your own mind. What works for me may not work for you. 

Does skill development only start after cessation or does it start at the beginning when someone first undertakes meditation?

The skill development progresses as soon as you're being mindful, any time, any place. 

Because this seems to me to be what Shinzen Young is talking about when he says some of his students become enlightened without knowing it. They have developed the skill but they are not conscious of having had any insight worthy of being called stream entry.

For some people, they may get it unconsciously or consciously. I think if Shinzen really pried into those students' mental lives with probing questions he'd flesh out the conscious aspects of it. Again, it's like a skill, I learned to drive through deliberate practice. One of my friends was a natural talent so his skills were very unconscious. Not sure why that is, we all have our aptitudes. Metacognitive and metaemotional awareness are still skills and I don't believe they're outside the purview of what normal scientific research says about skill development. 


I think this is a very important point which doesn't get enough attention.

You can just practice "normal" meditation and you can wake up even if you never notice anything notable like cessation.

Awakening is a skill (letting go) you can practice before and after stream-entery even if you are not conscious of having had stream entry.

You don't need to be aware of having a stream-entry experience to make progress you only need "letting-go". 

Many people like to follow their progress through the nanas, through cessation, through the four paths. For many people it is helpful for them to do that. However there are people who don't like stages or levels or comparisons etc so for them I think it is helpful to know that in some cases all those stages can just feed your ego and can be a hindrance rather than a help. If you don't like stages, ignore them. Just meditate every day and try to live mindfully. 

In my opinion awakening without being conscious of stream-entry is the most common form of awkening. That's why I think it is unfortuante that the point gets so little attention. It is the most common experience and affects the most people, so teaching it will do the most good (help the most people). 

So if someone is really enthusiastic and wants to go on retreats and meditate hours a day, they should understand they can get awakened even if they don't notice anything like cessation. 

And if someone is interested in meditating every day but is not going to go on retreats etc, they should also understand they can get awakened even if they don't notice anything like cessation.
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Zero, modified 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 10:43 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/1/22 10:43 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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Stefan Stefan
And rightly so... But The Buddha says what about himself? lol. Plenty of good Buddhist teachers never abused anyone and helped advance The Buddha's teachings too. Boils down to my point about Saints vs Psychopaths and Equanimity vs Indifference; they're closely related opposites. 
Are you on r/streame try? May I ask what your Reddit handle is? I'd like to learn more from your writings.
Martin, modified 10 Months ago at 1/2/22 11:09 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/2/22 11:09 AM

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I think your wish has already been fulfilled. I never even heard of cessations until I read Daniel's book. There are tons of books and sangas and retreats that just tell you to meditate and be good. This is what the pragmatic dharma community often refers to as the mushroom factory. My sense is that most people are so far away from stream-entry that there is little point talking about it, so it's fine. Then you've got pretty much the whole Mahayana tradition who, while they might talk a bit about kensho and bhumis, don't seem to talk about cessations per se. Then you've got all the non-Buddhist meditative traditions, including Advita Vedanta. Basically, everyone but us is paying lots and lots of attention to the benefits of meditation without a focus on cessation. Some people might argue that everyone in these other traditions who makes real progress is having cessations without being aware of it, but in my opinion, inferring the resistance of diagnostic criteria that are not actually observed is just a mental exercise with little real-world impact. By and large, I think the situation is that there are lots of ways at looking at the changes brought about by meditation, and what we tend to talk about here is just one of these. In other words, the diversity of viewpoints is already out there, which is great. 
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/2/22 5:13 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/2/22 5:13 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

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I think this is a very important point which doesn't get enough attention.

Glad to have confirmed your priors

Now get meditating, contemplating or self-reflecting
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Zero, modified 10 Months ago at 1/3/22 9:51 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/3/22 9:51 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Stefan Stefan
I think this is a very important point which doesn't get enough attention.

Glad to have confirmed your priors

Now get meditating, contemplating or self-reflecting
Is there a way to PM you? I want to read more your writings on Reddit
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 2:13 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 1:20 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Martin
Then you've got pretty much the whole Mahayana tradition who, while they might talk a bit about kensho and bhumis, don't seem to talk about cessations per se. 


The fact that a lot of traditions don't recognize cessation is part of why I am skeptical about what it really means.

But I read in "The Three Pillars of Zen" that they would mark the first stage of awakening as when your mind stops during meditation. It seems to me to be the same as cessation. That is why I think there is not really the connection people think there is between noting and cessation. I don't think it is noting in itself or insight that causes cessation. It just happens sometimes to people who do a lot of meditation. Since some people don't notice it (or wake up without it) and some people have it and do not think it is remarkable, I'm not convinced it necessarily means anything with respect to awakening. Some people have it and aren't awakened, some people don't have it and are awakened. There should be some other way of marking stream entry. Daniel explains what stream entry means according to his views in this video:

https://vimeo.com/372228348
And so linguistically, I think of stream entry is a question of function. If it doesn't function like stream entry, well then pragmatically or practically, it's not stream entry, just like a burned out shell of a car is not a car. And so if whatever you think of a stream entry is not performing like stream entry should perform, with natural cycling, with rapid access to states, with hopefully repeat fruition, maybe even multiples, maybe even if you're lucky duration, and clear presentation of doors that eventually become easily distinguished from random state shifts or random formless realm things. Then, there's no point in calling that stream entry, because it's not doing what stream entry should do.
It makes a sort of sense if you are teaching a type of meditation, but personally I don't think stream entry should be defined by attainments in meditation. It's helpful to people who want to have the same meditative experience, but I don't see how you can call it stream entry if you don't relate it to reduced identity view (reduced selfishness and egocentrism in those who don't know they are awakened). 

I don't think it is correct to take terms particularly the definitions of the stages of awakening from ancient texts and give them updated definitions, it is misleading and confusing. So I don't see how a book titled "Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha", can redefine the definitions of the stages of awkaening from what they are in the Pali canon - what could be more central to the teachings of the Buddha than the definitions of the stages of awakening? The book has useful information it it for those who want to learn Daniel's style of meditation, but I think the title is misleading.

According to Shinzen Young, who teaches a form of noting, most of his students who have awakening, don't have a notable experience to mark the transition. I think that is probably the most common experience in all forms of meditation.  Noting may be a superior method of awakening, I have no reason to agree or disagree with that view, but in my opinion it is the inisght that comes from noting that produces awakening and that can happen without any notable event to mark the transition.
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 2:01 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 2:01 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
hey there, I don't use reddit any more
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 2:23 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 2:23 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 2459 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Are your practice journals still on Reddit? What was your user name there? 
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Zero, modified 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 8:06 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 8:06 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 68 Join Date: 2/21/18 Recent Posts
Stefan Stefan
hey there, I don't use reddit any more

Aw man, thanks for letting me know.
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Stefan Stefan, modified 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 5:48 PM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/4/22 5:48 PM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 238 Join Date: 3/28/21 Recent Posts
my practice journals are here I just posted bits n' pieces of advice on reddit, nothing really all that dramatic
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Jim Smith, modified 10 Months ago at 1/5/22 3:35 AM
Created 10 Months ago at 1/5/22 3:35 AM

RE: Sukha (tranquil happiness) in daily life.

Posts: 1212 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith


I don't think it is correct to take terms particularly the definitions of the stages of awakening from ancient texts and give them updated definitions,...


This blurb for Analyo's book is rather provocative:

https://www.buddhismuskunde.uni-hamburg.de/pdf/5-personen/analayo/direct-path.pdf
Satipatthana: The Direct Path to Realization is a gem. Ven. Analayo has done a superb
job of elucidating this core teaching of the Buddha
. His clarity of style, nuanced
observations, and depth of analysis opens many new doors of understanding. I
learned a lot from this wonderful book and highly recommend it to both experienced
meditators and those just beginning to explore the path.
Joseph Goldstein, author of ‘One Dharma: The Emerging Western Buddhism’
For those who may be interested, the entire book can be found at the link. 

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