Dharma maps and confirmation bias

Dharma maps and confirmation bias Gustavo de Souza 8/18/22 9:12 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Dream Walker 8/17/22 11:14 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Gustavo de Souza 8/17/22 11:23 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Dream Walker 8/17/22 12:04 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Gustavo de Souza 8/17/22 12:15 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Dream Walker 8/17/22 12:30 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Jim Smith 8/17/22 1:10 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Dream Walker 8/17/22 1:08 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Chris M 8/17/22 12:41 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias shargrol 8/17/22 12:52 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias T DC 8/17/22 11:23 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Dream Walker 8/28/22 3:31 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias shargrol 8/29/22 6:01 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Pepe · 8/29/22 9:34 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias shargrol 8/29/22 10:07 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Ben Sulsky 8/29/22 10:10 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Adi Vader 8/29/22 11:05 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Chris M 8/29/22 11:23 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Ben Sulsky 8/30/22 10:22 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Chris M 8/30/22 10:24 AM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Chris M 8/30/22 2:54 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Ben Sulsky 8/31/22 12:32 PM
RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias Chris M 8/31/22 1:21 PM
Gustavo de Souza, modified 1 Month ago at 8/18/22 9:12 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 10:25 AM

Dharma maps and confirmation bias

Posts: 9 Join Date: 7/10/22 Recent Posts
I've been meditating for about 2 months now, doing ~1 hour per day and 2-3 1-hr sessions on the weekends or when I have more time. I'm not sure at which stage I am on the map but it doesnt seem super important (apart from wanting stream entry lol).

My question is; would it be better to avoid reading stuff like the progress of insight so I dont bias my own understanding of where I am on these maps? Or is it good to familiarize myself. I should probably mention that I have some familiarity with the maps but havent looked super in depth into them.
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:14 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:14 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Confirmation bias or ignorance?
Well, if you have past experience of confirmation bias creating problems for yourself then you might judge accordingly. If you are just going off of others opinions then I would take that for what it is.
My opinion is that wisdom comes from knowledge not ignorance but that is just my opinion...

good luck,
~D
Gustavo de Souza, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:23 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:23 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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I'll rephrase the question. To make progress along the path, must one be familir with the path in advance? Additionally, is familiarity with the path likely to hinder or help one progress through the stages?
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:04 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:04 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Gustavo de Souza
I'll rephrase the question. To make progress along the path, must one be familiar with the path in advance? Additionally, is familiarity with the path likely to hinder or help one progress through the stages?
What do you mean by 'path'?
What do you mean by 'familiar'?
What do you mean by 'hinder'?
What do you mean by 'progress'?
What do you mean by 'stages'?

I did not know about 'The Progress of insight' and yet I got stream entry. I did not know about 'stream entry' either.
After SE I found MCTB and stopped being ignorant, I became knowledgeable of the POI, Jhanas, maps and models etc.
I then experienced/followed the stages of the POI and got second path.
Can you stay ignorant and still attain 1st path+, yes. Is there some hypothetical 'dangers' in being knowledgeable? sure. How dangerous? I would say ignorance has a lot more dangers or hindrances in my humble opinion.

I prefer knowledge over ignorance, as wisdom comes from knowledge but that is just my opinion.
Good luck,
~D
Gustavo de Souza, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:15 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Thanks for the reply. If you dont mind me asking what kind of practice did you follow to attain SE? Also how long did this process take (since being a novice to achieving SE)? If you already have a post detailing this info feel free to direct me there!
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:30 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:30 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Gustavo de Souza
Thanks for the reply. If you dont mind me asking what kind of practice did you follow to attain SE? Also how long did this process take (since being a novice to achieving SE)? If you already have a post detailing this info feel free to direct me there!
My practice to attain SE was to follow the breath very poorly after reading the book 'My Big Toe'. I would sit in my recliner and often fall asleep. I was extreamly unskillful and there is absolutly no good reason why i should have attained anything. I can only say that my karma was such that it happened anyway. I would not recommend this to anyone and would not expect results from anyone trying it this way.

Getting 2nd path was completely different, I had to get extremely knowledgeable and become extremely skillful of the jhanas and the POI as well as going on retreats and spending 45 minutes twice a day every day. This is what I recommend to anyone who wishes to attain SE+.
​​​​​​​
Confirmation bias will not keep you from getting SE but ignorance can and will.
~D
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 1:10 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:39 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Gustavo de Souza
I've been meditating for about 2 months now, doing ~1 hour per day and 2-3 1-hr sessions on the weekends ot when I have more time. I'm not sure at which stage I am on the map but it doesnt seem super important (apart from wanting stream entry lol).

My question is; would it be better to avoid reading stuff like the progress of insight so I dont bias my own understanding of where I am on these maps? Or is it good to familiarize myself. I should probably mention that I have some familiarity with the maps but havent looked super in depth into them.


Since you seem to be aware of confirmation bias, I would say it's okay to read about POI understanding you can confirm it or not based on your own experiences. I would read as much as possible about other systems as well.

My biggest concerns (by biggest biases) regarding confirmation bias and POI are the DN's, people have ups and downs whether they meditate or not but once they learn about POI they blame every unpleasant emotion on meditation. And being told to expect meditation to make them depressed and anxious is a good way to make it happen even if it otherwise would not. Also meditation is not consistent, some days are good some are bad, some days you have one type of experience, other days you other experiences. This can be influenced by stress, diet, amount of sleep, substances (alcohol, tobacco, etc), but once someone learns about POI they start thinking the variations mean they are going back and forth or cycling - seeing order in randomenss as the mind is prone to do.  They get obsessed with the POI rather than observing the arising and fading of dukkha  in their own mind which is what they should be focusing on. The other problem I have is that Daniel measures stream entry based on what happens during meditation (https://vimeo.com/372228348) that is good in a way because it is objective, but it's not the only way people experience awkening so someone devoted to POI might miss the fact that they are past stream entry but because they never had a stunning experience of cessation they get obsessed with trying to have cessation when they would be better off doing something else.

​​​​​​​After reading my biased view of POI, if you test it and if find you think it's right, that would be pretty good confirmation of it.

One interesting thing about cogntivie biases and cognitive dissonance etc is once you know about them you start recognizing them in your own mind. That is really interesting and helpful in lots of ways and I highly recommend it. It also makes you lose all respect for authorities because you know that most people including "experts" and even "the awakened" are still not living in "reality" - and there is very little you can do to help them.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:41 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:41 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Save us, Jim!

​​​​​​​emoticon
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:52 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 12:52 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

Posts: 1831 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
My only concern with knowing POI is that people can fall into a trap of "thinking about" meditation instead of meditating. Their minds can be so focused on what could, would, and should happen if they are practicing correctly... and forget to actually practice correctly. emoticon  

I also think that it can promote the idea that "anything less than stream entry is no good" and "the dark night is something to get through as quickly as possible". But really, every single sit can be a good thing and meditation difficulties have a lot to teach. 

So overall, the problem with maps is sometimes they encourage us to look too far ahead, and then we're stumbling on all the rocks that are right at our feet --- so to speak. Ironically, people like to blame the maps instead of where they are looking. emoticon
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 1:08 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 1:08 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Jim,
Where have you found all these screw ball people? How many of them have you found that are biasing to this extent? We must hang out in very different groups of people.

My biggest bias is upon people are those who had a super easy DN and therefor think that the DN is totally bullshit because they didn't experience it that way, the only 'right' way.

Anyway, I hope you get away from all of these multitudes of poeple that you have had direct experience with that ruin thier lives from believing in the DN and overreact to it.

Good luck,
~D
T DC, modified 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:23 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/17/22 11:20 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

Posts: 473 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Gustavo de Souza
I've been meditating for about 2 months now, doing ~1 hour per day and 2-3 1-hr sessions on the weekends ot when I have more time. I'm not sure at which stage I am on the map but it doesnt seem super important (apart from wanting stream entry lol).

My question is; would it be better to avoid reading stuff like the progress of insight so I dont bias my own understanding of where I am on these maps? Or is it good to familiarize myself. I should probably mention that I have some familiarity with the maps but havent looked super in depth into them.

-------------------------

I'll rephrase the question. To make progress along the path, must one be familir with the path in advance? Additionally, is familiarity with the path likely to hinder or help one progress through the stages?

A couple of thoughts.  One, you haven't been meditating all that long relatively speaking, although it sounds like you have a strong schedule.  Honestly my personal take is give it year to see how your practice develops, and if it's still even something you're interested in pursuing at that time, then get more serious about shooting for a particular goal such as stream entry.  No need to try and rush it, these things often unfold naturally at their own pace.

Of course you can optimise the process, such as; a dedicated meditation practice, as well as a strong emphasis on mindfulness throughout the day; and knowing the likely stages you may encounter on the path can also help give you some orientation and allow you to focus your practice in a more precise direction.

To answer your main question - it's certainly possible to make progress on the path without knowing the stages.  It's also possible to stagnate and become confused and lost while knowing the stages.  Generally speaking however, if you have some preview of the territory you're likely to encounter, it can make you a more informed and intentional meditator.  I actually posted about this recently.  

I recommend a kind of waiting period to really get into the practice of meditation before getting too into the stages because that gives you a chance to explore more the basics of what practice is really like, the experiences of which will give you more to go off when trying to map your personal practice.
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 8/28/22 3:31 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/28/22 3:31 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Daniel's Post from his website - 

Map obsession-hindrances in sheeps clothing
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 6:01 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 6:01 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

Posts: 1831 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Wow, I think I missed that article for all this time. That's a great one.

(I had a funny notion: to get a account on here, we should all have to read and be tested on the contents of that article! emoticon emoticon )
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 9:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 9:34 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Funny enough, you posted in that thread too emoticon . It's also in Daniel's compilation BTW if anyone's interested, just below "On the Utility and Futility of the Maps", another interesting post. 
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 10:07 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 10:07 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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ah, so i did... emoticon
Ben Sulsky, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 10:10 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 10:10 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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It's not necessarily a bad thing to get confused and think your practice is at one place on the maps when it's actually in a different place.  You'll learn that there's a difference between what's actually going on and the mental talk about what you think is going on.  With good practice it'll get worked out.

Key thing imo is to just practice with good focused noting technique through the early stages, A&P and DN, then ease off when you hit equanimity.  Pay attention to the standard pitfalls of the A&P (getting too high) and the DN (getting too low) and EQ (pushing too hard).  When you're too high ground yourself and when you're too low chill out and be extra kind to yourself and others, and when you're stuck from trying too hard just do whatever feels right and don't rush it. 
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 11:05 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 11:03 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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I like to think in terms of result maps and skill maps.

A result map example could be the PoI
A skill map example could be: labeling - moving on to noting - moving on to yoniko manasekara or wise attention (no unnecessary contrivance or break in simply knowing)
Another skill map example could be - familiarize with all six sense doors, learn to juxtapose sense doors, learn to see precedents and consequents of events between sense doors.

It makes a lot of sense to look at a result map once, figure out the skills that need to be developed, create a plan for a defined duration (say two weeks) and very patiently execute that plan. In every session look at the skill map to evaluate the session. Look at the result map only at the end of the defined duration. To do this gives the conceptual mind - the mind that likes to measure progress and compare against standards etc - enough opportunity to satisfy itself and also provides the assessment needed to debug the practice plan. On the flip side, such discipline of confining evaluation of results to once every two weeks, prevents scripting, feeling horrible because of ambition being thwarted etc.

​​​​​​​Be like a military field marshall once every two weeks. during the two weeks be a grunt.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 11:23 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/29/22 11:23 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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I suspect at least part of the issue with maps is that people sometimes think dharma maps are like Google maps. They're not. In mediation and its fruits, we're dealing with the mind. Mind is infinitely.... infinite. No two minds are alike. So we should think of dharma maps differently - they're fuzzy representations of what "most often" happens when one pursues the path, and the representation will differ by mind, by technique, by tradition, by expectation, and so on.
Ben Sulsky, modified 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 10:22 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 10:22 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Chris M
I suspect at least part of the issue with maps is that people sometimes think dharma maps are like Google maps. They're not. In mediation and its fruits, we're dealing with the mind. Mind is infinitely.... infinite. No two minds are alike. So we should think of dharma maps differently - they're fuzzy representations of what "most often" happens when one pursues the path, and the representation will differ by mind, by technique, by tradition, by expectation, and so on.

I agree that 'map' isn't the best metaphor, but I don't think it's as complicated as you do Chris.  There are a wide range of human skills that have the same properties.  Say you're learning how to cook.  First, the end state 'knowing how to cook,' isn't precise, so we can talk past each other about that.  There might be all kinds of useful resources that teach knife skills, and flavor combinations and yada yada, but you might just as easily learn from hanging out with your grandma and doing things in a totally different order with totally different terms.  
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 10:24 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 10:24 AM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Okay, Ben. We can agree to disagree.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 2:54 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/30/22 2:54 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Ben -- wanting tpo better understand your comment below:

There are a wide range of human skills that have the same properties.  Say you're learning how to cook. 


Are you saying that the operators (physical tools) and substrate (food) for cooking are as complicated and fuzzy as the mind operating on itself?
Ben Sulsky, modified 1 Month ago at 8/31/22 12:32 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/31/22 12:32 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Chris M
Ben -- wanting tpo better understand your comment below:

There are a wide range of human skills that have the same properties.  Say you're learning how to cook. 


Are you saying that the operators (physical tools) and substrate (food) for cooking are as complicated and fuzzy as the mind operating on itself?
'Course not!  I'm saying meditation is a "how-to" skill (like cooking), but feedback is extra tricky because the meditator's progress is hard to see for outsiders, and can also be hard to see for the meditator themselves. 
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 8/31/22 1:21 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 8/31/22 1:21 PM

RE: Dharma maps and confirmation bias

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Ok. It seemed that you were saying that learning cooking is as difficult as learning meditation. 

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