Message Boards Message Boards

Tips

Toggle
Tips
Answer
10/20/11 1:15 PM
Hey everyone.
Use this thread to post tips and tricks for PCE / AF you happen to come up with. Try to be as succinct as possible.

==========

• Contemplate complete desirelessness. Become it.
• You and you alone are the final arbiter of your own experience. You are the expert, you are the authority, you come first and you leave last. You are alone in this journey.
• Act as if the end goal is already here. (It is, by the way.)
• Once you have no future, the future becomes NOW. Once you have no past, the past becomes NOW.
• All "problems" are thought-forms, in space. Make them as equivalent to everything else.
• This moment has infinite potential. It can be anything, it can change at any time. Even your breaths are numbered.
• Patterns are identification, distinction is truth. A thousand grains of sand, each is totally distinct, yet totally equal.
• Don't make this into a "trip". Don't make this into a "process", with freedom at the "end". End it now. The further I get, the more pointless the conceptual overlay seems to make things.
• Delight is HERE if becoming delight is your only goal.


Please add your own!

RE: Tips
Answer
10/20/11 7:57 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
#1 - 0:

• Don't make this into a "trip". Don't make this into a "process", with freedom at the "end". End it now. The further I get, the more pointless the conceptual overlay seems to make things.



There is alot in that one. End it Now! indeed.

RE: Tips
Answer
10/21/11 11:50 AM as a reply to #1 - 0.
If thinking about AFers as robots, contemplate: is it more robotic to be totally independent and free or is it to behave and react predictably according to a series of programmed instructions where the inputs {sensory experiences} turn into automatic outputs {moods, passions, emotions and their respective mental, verbal and physical actions}? Read and understand the lines of code, cut the circuits between inputs and outputs, and exit the matrix!

Shantideva said, "Where would I possibly find enough leather with which to cover the surface of the earth? But (just) leather on the soles of my shoes, is equivalent to covering the earth with it..." My dissatisfaction is the size of every attractive woman alive, of every delicious pizza and every single dollar in the world. Keep this in mind when becoming attentive to the ways of perception. Am I experiencing this moment of being alive objectively {contemplatively, noninterventionally} or subjectively {by trying to privatize its elements}? Ask if the universe cares about your impressions or only "you" care. Try to be the universe experiencing itself.

See yourself as a gradation and a flux, not as a concrete object. When the self thermometer is in high levels, note the correlation between this and your responses to the world around you. As 'I' am more present, 'I' will be more radical and polar in feelings and reactions. Do your best effort to lower the degrees of your self {felicity, sensuousness, investigation, etc.}. When the self is in low levels, test for yourself applying the same sensory inputs or thoughts you had when self was high, and notice the big differences in your feelings and reactions.

Keep it up emoticon

EDIT to add even more text. oops.

RE: Tips
Answer
10/21/11 7:53 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Felipe Cavazos:
If thinking about AFers as robots, contemplate: is it more robotic to be totally independent and free or is it to behave and react predictably according to a series of programmed instructions where the inputs {sensory experiences} turn into automatic outputs {moods, passions, emotions and their respective mental, verbal and physical actions}?


Assuming that one would form such a belief due to an impression derived from on-line communication, one could also question the extent to which one's on-line observations make a fair basis for a belief about this subject.

However, your reasoning is likely to be more helpful along the path.

RE: Tips
Answer
10/22/11 12:47 AM as a reply to End in Sight.
No effort. None.

RE: Tips
Answer
10/22/11 1:16 AM as a reply to #1 - 0.
- there's nothing except what sensations, volitions, perceptions, and thoughts you pay attention to. that's your input into here and now. your choice repeated over time will change your brain.

do you pay attention to perceptions of silly or sensible?
do you pay attention to malicious volition or investigative volition?
affective or actual?
daydreams or present moment experience?

at first the preferable neural pathways are weak and so it takes relatively more will power to attend to them. over time this shifts and it becomes easier and easier.

RE: Tips
Answer
10/22/11 1:31 AM as a reply to josh r s.
josh r s:
-

at first the preferable neural pathways are weak and so it takes relatively more will power to attend to them. over time this shifts and it becomes easier and easier.


thanks josh, just what i needed to hear right now...

RE: Tips
Answer
10/22/11 1:35 AM as a reply to Andrew ..
All is aflame. Attentiveness is the smoke detector; sensuousness is the extinguisher.

RE: Tips
Answer
11/3/11 5:27 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
1. When at a crossroads and the decision is important, step away from your emotions and look at the bare facts. While doing so witness your values and beliefs and see the emotions that prop them up.

2. When deciding 'what should I do now?' or 'i really should....(walk the dog, go to the gym, etc)' forcefully terror yourself away from that thought and put all your energy into this moment and watch watch happens.

3. Let go of the fabrication process and see how many voices pop up and how they interact.

4. There will be times when the process seems so heavy. Realize that the process is moving forward on it's own volition. There really is nothing that you need to do.

5. There will be other times when you get in a mental rut and then wonder why you aren't making any progress. Attend to your senses with a joyful appreciation.

RE: Tips
Answer
12/27/11 2:42 PM as a reply to Jon T.
Hey guys, after some practice I've got some more stuff for ya...

- Felicity and sensuousness are inextricably linked. No, screw that, they're actually THE SAME THING once you really dig into it.

- Simplifying the question can help a lot. This is a matter of sincerity. Often times I'll just ask, "How do I feel about being here, right now?"

- Just don't let up, dedicate yourself to this completely and it will get easier. I know they actively discourage belief and trust, but if you have to, take all that belief and trust and BELIEVE that AF is possible, obv, trust that you will get there, I know sometimes it seems so far away but forget that, how do you feel about being HERE? This is not a complicated matter at all. It's extremely simple. Do you want to be HERE or not? If not, why not? If so, then WISH GRANTED BABY! Here you are! What is this around me? What's going on here? "I" DON'T KNOW! "I" can never know... wow, how wondrous! Since "I" don't know, maybe this flesh-and-blood body can find out! The eyes widen easily and naturally as the senses tingle. The feel of the clothes on my skin, the sound of the rain pattering on the window.... there's SO MUCH going on right now if you really want to be here.

RE: Tips
Answer
12/27/11 3:02 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
#1 - 0:
- Just don't let up, dedicate yourself to this completely and it will get easier. I know they actively discourage belief and trust, but if you have to, take all that belief and trust and BELIEVE that AF is possible, obv, trust that you will get there


I wondered about this too, recently. Though they do discourage belief and trust and faith, it seems to me that having faith in the actual world might be helpful. Richard says:

Richard:
One needs to be naïve to consider that this universe has an inherent imperative for well-being to flourish...
[link]

It seems that simply having faith that the universe has an inherent imperative for well-being to flourish, might be a more direct/easily accessible direction, even if it points to the same thing. Whereas, what I've often run into, is thinking "Oh I shouldn't believe in anything", then why should I take it without a rational backing that the universe is benign? I could look for myself, but there is the wall of skepticism/defensiveness to make sure I don't accidentally 'believe' it is.

But I tried once just having faith that the actual world is benign and that all will go well, and that seemed to lead to an easier state of mind which made it easier to see that all is indeed benign (given no ill will is forming, anyway). Makes me wonder what the relationship is between naivete in Actualism and the faculty of faith in Buddhism.

RE: Tips
Answer
12/27/11 7:24 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hi thought I'd add an observation re faith,

What is fairly clear, is that in the universe is obliging regardless of whether one has ill intent or not. Hence the onus for change is initially on the individual and not the universe. I never really equated naivete with faith but a failure to conclude that it (freedom) is not possible.

Regards

RE: Tips
Answer
2/10/12 11:58 AM as a reply to J A M.
Hey all, here are some more tips I've scrounged up. The thing is winding down at this point, progressing like crazy and insights are coming down the pipeline hard and fast.

- Ultimately, HAIETMOBA is the most important part of the whole thing. Keep it running constantly, even if you're not "hearing" it, just keep it floating around up there and come to it as clearly as possible as often as possible. This is what works.
- What you're trying to do is tip a scale, so to speak. When you start, you have a bunch of desires and AF is sort of placed in the middle of them - but it's a viral desire in that it, by its very nature, weakens and eventually eliminates all the other ones.
- How would you look at this moment if this is it - if this was literally the last moment, the last thing you ever saw? Before you ask this, summon pure intent - think of the goal, the constant PCE, the perfection, the purity. You have to have some sort of vague idea what you're aiming at before you ask this question.
- Feelings seem to be "problems" in the beginning. Later on they just become there - they're still YOU, but YOU know that YOU are "going" and HERE is "staying".

HAIETMOBA: Notice the progression of attention as you ask the question sincerely. At the front end the focus is on YOU, and at the back end it's focused on "this moment of being alive". This draws your attention to the illusory duality between YOU and the actual. Noticing this "gap", so to speak, is important. It's funny because YOU are ultimately an illusion, a phantasm back-referenced by the feelings themselves, which are what you really are, but they seem to be referring to "something else". Realizing that "you" are "your" feelings, while at the same time keeping your eyes on the prize (the actual), brings attention to the right place.

If you have a tendency to objectify inner space in a dissociative way, as in through meditative practice, you will not understand this last point. This is the prime distinction between AF and other practices.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/10/12 1:29 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
#1 - 0:
If you have a tendency to objectify inner space in a dissociative way, as in through meditative practice, you will not understand this last point. This is the prime distinction between AF and other practices.

Can you expand on this a bit more? What would prevent understanding that point? (What's the distinction?)

RE: Tips
Answer
2/10/12 10:51 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
A very basic thing Richard says. "I" am "My" feelings and "My" feelings are "ME". If you turn them into object, you become the subject. But "You" aren't a thing to begin with so it is just another extension of illusion.

If you keep the whole thing subjective it's basically a lot easier, because then instead of being a mission to chase shadows around, trying to dissect them in the hope of understanding them, all you really have to do is convince yourself to be here when they are around (or just in general). The understanding of them comes on its own as a natural outcome of doing this.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/21/12 8:25 AM as a reply to #1 - 0.
The more clearly you see, not only does everything become perfect and pristine, but it also becomes very... ordinary. This ordinary-ness is part of it. Just stay here, don't go anywhere, settle down, be satisfied, dammit. What are you trying to get anyways? IF you know it's right here, there's really nothing to work through. There's nothing to "get", there's no actual freedom or PCE or anything, just what's here. Don't chase anything, just stop chasing. Live this moment like it was your last - because it is.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/27/12 12:51 AM as a reply to #1 - 0.
Utterly down-to-earth, normal and anonymous.


worth mulling over imo

RE: Tips
Answer
2/27/12 12:02 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
Hi, #1 - 0,

How about tips to cultivate felicity? Do you (or anyone else) have some?

Specifically, a few challenges for me are:
how to get more energized and more excited in/about life,
how to get motivation to get up in the morning and go to work,
how to overcome the resentment of even having to cultivate felicity in the first place, when in a bad or neutral mood.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/27/12 9:47 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Just keep asking HAIETMOBA. Let me put it this way: If there isn't a pleasureable naive sensuousity going on, you have something to investigate. It really literally is the way things are the less "you" are there.

One helpful thing to keep in mind is that "This moment of being alive" is always actually the same moment, no matter what. It's just one moment. That's all. If you can just relax and see that clearly then the desires and things will start dropping like flies. And of course, the less I'm here the better it gets. Just makes sense.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 11:06 AM as a reply to Felipe C..
how to get motivation to get up in the morning and go to work,

Well, for starters you can stop thinking of it "going to work." Don't think of it as morning, don't think of yourself as a worker, don't think of yourself as "going" somewhere. All of these things are slightly removed from actuality, figure out what is actual and then add as little to it as possible. You have to really, really come into this moment, and really, really know that it is the only one which exists at all, the future and past are where problems happen, and have you noticed they (the past and future) only exist in your heart?

how to overcome the resentment of even having to cultivate felicity in the first place, when in a bad or neutral mood.


Remember this: it takes more energy and effort to perpetuate misery than it does felicity. The choice you are making is simply where you apply your efforts, do you apply them based on what is silly/sensible or do you apply them to places where you've been conditioned to apply them? The moment you truly believe you are doing something silly you won't do it, truly seeing silliness/sensibleness automatically changes your actions. It is possible to delude yourself into thinking that you sincerely believe feeling bad is silly but that you are feeling bad regardless, trust that it works this way until you've seen it for yourself, you have 100% control of your feelings, the moment you are sincere (either in malice and sorrow or in happiness and harmlessness) your feelings will change. To see the silliness you simply have to do some sincere naive unassuming reflection, you can't even assume that feeling bad is silly, you have to really openly reflect with no protective assumptions, be totally naked, when you see something as silly in this way you stop doing it.

Some other random things I've noticed in the last couple weeks of felicity practice
- Don't ask any "progress" of the method, if your intent is pure, you will not need anything other than happiness and harmlessness here and now, if you are desiring a final goal check out why
- All you have to do is turn the direction (towards sensibleness, which through pure reflection is the obvious path, as it is sensible) in which "you" are moving, "you" provide the fuel through simply existing
- All you have to do is enjoy the ride that this body and mind are giving you, they will take care of themselves
- The most important thing is to fully realize that this is the only moment
- This isn't like other paths because you aren't working towards a goal, the goal is to relax and enjoy yourself and the path is relaxing and enjoying yourself, the only way to move away from the goal is to try and work to make progress in any direction

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 12:55 PM as a reply to josh r s.
Also, I might add that if you are just feeling hopelessly lost (it's happened to me a LOT) go back and read AF site for encouragement. I've come to understand that Richard has really nailed this stuff down tight, pretty much every single sentence he types has a valid insight into AF if you read it clearly, hell, even the webpage design is made specifically to stimulate sensuousness as well as contemplation, so if you get stuck, check that out. Although it's not necessary, it's here now, once you see that there really literally is no where to go and no thing to do, you've hit the top of the slope and are ready for the real downhill adventure.



Just caress the slopes, nice and easy...

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 1:39 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
the snowboarding picture reminds me of the best tip ever.

MORE NATURE!

do you hang out in nature often enough? i know lots of us live in metropolis. so i don't mean going down to the local park or looking at trees & flowers amidst the concrete jungle (even though that's still pretty nice). i mean strictly nature areas, nature reserves, protected areas... forest, ocean, mountains, lakes, rivers, wide open grassy fields, desert, etc.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 1:52 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:

do you hang out in nature often enough? i know lots of us live in metropolis. so i don't mean going down to the local park or looking at trees & flowers amidst the concrete jungle (even though that's still pretty nice). i mean strictly nature areas, nature reserves, protected areas... forest, ocean, mountains, lakes, rivers, wide open grassy fields, desert, etc.


This is an idea that I haven't do it yet: to fully be in a natural area for awhile.

My idea is to go alone to a cabin in the mountains, for 2 or 3 days, to cultivate felicity and sensuousness, without distractions.

Anyone have had this kind of "Actualist retreat"? What are the suggestions and results?

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 2:03 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
yea i've done this plenty of times since i live within close driving distance of lots of natural areas. i won't tell you specifics of what to do or what results to expect... why spoil the fun or set up expectations? just go out there with an adventurer's mind and be amazed!


another tip cuz i'm on a roll right now:

when feeling good or great for a time period, don't start slacking off and stop paying attention just cuz it seems like everything is fine. when things are going well for a while, use it as a chance to take it to the next level of happiness and keep raising the bar - mainly, be curious enough to see what else is possible.

RE: Tips
Answer
2/28/12 9:20 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Everything is nature. But yeah, going outside is probably a good idea. I don't know, that stuff makes more of a difference when you're getting a handle on the method at first, things that are already PCE-prone, but then you start seeing it in everything... especially when the "NO TIME" thing kicks in, it's just already everywhere.

Cabin sounds cool though. Once everyone's AF let's set up a woodsy reserve and live like wild forest children forever.

RE: Tips
Answer
3/28/12 1:46 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
Before, everything was "Here" or "There", but now everything is HERE.

RE: Tips
Answer
3/28/12 2:04 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
#1 - 0:
Before, everything was "Here" or "There", but now everything is HERE.


can you describe it in more detail please?

here is what i have noticed deepening within about the past month: there is not really a sense that i am going anywhere. it doesn't seem like i'm going from place to place or comparing where i just was to where i am now. i also don't really have any concrete sense of location (or if i do have some sense of location it's vague and panoramic.. more like a broad brushed thin filter). seems really similar to what the aft folks talk about with "being nowhere in particular".

RE: Tips
Answer
3/29/12 9:50 AM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
#1 - 0:
Before, everything was "Here" or "There", but now everything is HERE.


can you describe it in more detail please?



Sure. I noticed after a while that no matter what I did, what I read, where I went, what I thought or what I felt, I was always HERE, at the beginning, the middle, and the end, and essentially everything I was doing was an escape method - I was always trying to escape being HERE. But it is impossible to escape being HERE because it's the only thing there is, so my advice would be to focus on the here-ness of everything.

Go outside, look at trees in the distance, and try to see them as being here rather than "over there" and this will give you some of the flavor of what i'm talking about.

RE: Tips
Answer
4/17/12 2:12 PM as a reply to #1 - 0.
Ask yourself "how am I experiencing this moment of being alive?" to check the quality of your experience; and ask yourself "for what am I experiencing this moment of being alive?" to check the intent and sincerity behind it.

EDIT: ESL here with a doubt: is "for what am I experiencing this moment of being alive?" correct or is there other way to ask more appropriately? "what for am i experiencing this moment of being alive?" "what am i experiencing this moment of being alive for"?

EDIT2: Thanks, fivebells . I'll stick with the original then.

RE: Tips
Answer
4/17/12 2:03 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
1 and 3 are correct. 1 will protect you from the disapproval of a few pedants, but sounds more awkward. :-)

RE: Tips
Answer
4/17/12 2:52 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
The process of being happy and harmless is vastly important as opposed to the outcome. Focusing on the process allows me to focus on this moment of being alive and experiencing delight/pleasure/happiness and harmlessness.

RE: Tips
Answer
4/17/12 4:13 PM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
That's true but there are times when you need to check that what are you doing (your actualist practice) lines up with the desired outcome (AF). That's part of the process.

For example, there are subtle occasions where one has to ask if one is being really harmless as opposed to feeling harmless:

Let's say I get away from a person for a while... am I doing this for provoking jealousy (and that jealousy is the source of a potential happiness)? am I doing this out of fear? am I doing it because I am renouncing to harm myself and the other?

Other case may be trying to elucidate the difference between "good" and "felicitous" feelings. Am I having pure intent or am I falling into a trap?

So, if you realize that you are feeling excellent and then you check that you are being sincere in feeling that way and that's a product of a skillful intent, the result is a virtuous circle.

RE: Tips
Answer
4/18/12 8:46 PM as a reply to Felipe C..
Intent is still a bit confusing to me. People on this forum and even peter talk about intent being more like a motivation of being toward being happy and harmless but when I read Richard's writing, pure intent seems more like a palpable universal life force. When I am out in the world, I can sometimes, more and more lately, experience this delightful background life force that doesn't seem to have anything to do with affect and is perfect and pure. This life force is very guiding to what awesome experience should and is like, which is what Richard says pure intent does. So, is this pure intent,a non-affectice life force or is pure intent just an intent in the basic definition of the word?

Edit: By being process oriented, I am really talking about exploring this moment as it is and its inherent joys/pleasures/ delights without thinking about any specific future event, thing to do, or place to go. This is the process of living this moment as it is right now.

RE: Tips
Answer
4/19/12 12:05 AM as a reply to Adam Bieber.
Adam
Intent is still a bit confusing to me. People on this forum and even peter talk about intent being more like a motivation of being toward being happy and harmless but when I read Richard's writing, pure intent seems more like a palpable universal life force. When I am out in the world, I can sometimes, more and more lately, experience this delightful background life force that doesn't seem to have anything to do with affect and is perfect and pure. This life force is very guiding to what awesome experience should and is like, which is what Richard says pure intent does. So, is this pure intent,a non-affectice life force or is pure intent just an intent in the basic definition of the word?


Yes, the intent part is complicated and a matter of controversy even between the AFers. To me, it's part of a strong and sincere desire to become happy and harmless but also a taste given by the PCE that works like an anchor and as a unit of measure. What I was talking about specifically is that comparing your affective experience with your memory of the PCE gives you a good perspective to examine if you are in the right track. How far is my experience {and my intent of it} to resemble that of a PCE? Does my intention match my goal right now or am I just wasting my time or caught in a delusion? If I am wasting my time or caught in a delusion, am I being really sincere in wanting to pursue this AF thing?

Adam
Edit: By being process oriented, I am really talking about exploring this moment as it is and its inherent joys/pleasures/ delights without thinking about any specific future event, thing to do, or place to go. This is the process of living this moment as it is right now.


This is looking a lot like the gradual vs instant enlightenment debate, mentioned by Kenneth Folk. The Theravada dudes more prone to the first, and the Zen ones to the second.

In my experience, I take advantage of both visions practicing actualism. As I mentioned in my thread, for example, I find it useful for my confidence in the method to contemplate my progress trough time, but also I'm not at all obsessed by how that progress is sufficient or not at the moment. Let's say that I operate the majority of time on the instant AF mode {practicing now for the sake of now, like you said} and use the developmental model to assess my practice, my motivations and inspiration, from time to time.