Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Nervous Bee 2/2/24 2:15 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Papa Che Dusko 2/1/24 6:55 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Bahiya Baby 2/1/24 8:21 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Papa Che Dusko 2/2/24 8:57 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/1/24 7:51 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Jim Smith 2/1/24 11:11 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 6:07 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Papa Che Dusko 2/2/24 8:59 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 9:46 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Adi Vader 2/2/24 6:48 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Freya . 2/2/24 6:52 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 7:24 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 8:32 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 10:01 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 10:14 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Martin 2/2/24 10:16 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 10:31 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Nervous Bee 2/2/24 10:29 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 10:38 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Nervous Bee 2/6/24 12:09 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/6/24 12:50 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 11:11 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sam N 2/2/24 11:29 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 10:21 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 10:54 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model T DC 2/2/24 11:20 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 2:26 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Freya . 2/2/24 11:50 AM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 2:29 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model B B 2/2/24 1:02 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 2:33 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 3:21 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 2:18 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 2:31 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Chris M 2/2/24 2:51 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model T DC 2/2/24 4:36 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Sha-Man! Geoffrey 2/2/24 6:15 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Stirling Campbell 2/2/24 4:53 PM
RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Papa Che Dusko 2/3/24 12:59 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Ni Nurta 2/3/24 5:13 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model Adi Vader 2/8/24 10:59 PM
Nervous Bee, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:15 AM
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Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Hey there, 

I was wondering if some of the practitioners here have experiences "beyond" the pragmatic 4th path model. By that I mean archetypal realms of consciousness, or working with/recognizing clear light. Mahayana texts like the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra for example seem to give rise to a lot of wisdom that is not often really talked about. It all reminds me of the workings of CG Jung or Sufi stuff, eg. Henry Corbin and the imaginal. 
Just curious what others here think about that. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/1/24 6:55 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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When awakened no bad things can happen to you (unless you are the unfortunate Bahiya)! Only bright light is there to be experienced! Purple light is for the dark night yogis, the losers of the lot! Bright light, and of certain shape and size, as well as duration, is for the winners! Those who will sit on the Moon overlooking the wheel of samsaric realms! Some say, always know where your towel is and hope you don't fall victim to Vogon poetry reading! 
Oh and there was this thing Sid once said in the country of Sravasti and stayed at the Anathapindada's Park in Jeta's Grove! 

​​​​​​​“It’s like a person who tosses a couple salt rocks into a little water wanting to make the water too salty to drink. What do you think? Can those salt rocks make the water too salty to drink?”The monks answered, “Yes, Bhagavān. Why is that? Those salt rocks are larger, and the water is smaller, so they can make the water too salty to drink.”
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/1/24 7:51 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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"Beyond"

​​​​​​​emoticon
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Bahiya Baby, modified 2 Months ago at 2/1/24 8:21 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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(unless you are the unfortunate Bahiya)!

I'm the fortunate one right?
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Jim Smith, modified 2 Months ago at 2/1/24 11:11 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I'm not sure if you are interested in this aspect ... but dukkha, in my opinion, limits how suffering is defined to reactive emotions. Dukkha refers to emotions that are a response to a situation or thought. Other kinds of suffering, pain, or biologically caused emotions (for example some kinds of anxiety and depression) are not "ended" by Buddhist practice, (although the secondary reactive emotions they produce might be helped. - pain and non-reactive emotions are much easier to bear when attachments and aversions are diminished: when the mental chatter about how awful things are is quiet, and when the reactive emotions like fear are diminished).

So I consider any practice that helps to deal with those kinds of things, non-dukkha suffering, to be outside Buddhism, but those kinds of practices are related to Buddhist practices, and can also reduce dukkha and can be part of Buddhist practice. 

For biologically based emotions I find, at least for myself, that diet has a huge influence. Also, I find that relaxation helps pretty much everything. So I consider diet and relaxation to be part of my Buddhist practice but also extend benefits beyond what I expect from Buddhism.

People are correct to say that Buddhism doesn't completely end suffering, but that is not an excuse to accept the limits of Buddhism as the limits of what is humanly attainable. There are practices outside Buddhism that can help with suffering Buddhism cannot end. From that point of view, arhat is not really the end point. Nirvana is - whether it is really attainable 100% or not, in my opinion, is the end point for which "practice" should be designed.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 6:07 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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You know, back in my more psychedelic days, one on of my trips I saw God. While magnificent and highly recommended, it turns out in the end the whole thing was unsatisfactory, impermanent, and subject to causes and conditions. 
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 6:48 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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The path to awakening requires establishing mindfulness on and developing wisdom about various different categories of experiences and experiencing.

We develop an understanding of:
1. Emptiness - the construct nature of experience and experiencing
2. Anicca - The unreliable nature of experience and experiencing
3. Dukkha - The unsatisfactory nature of experience and experiencing
4. Anatta - The 'on its own' nature of experience and experiencing
5. Specific conditionality - The hierarchy of dependency between various different kinds of experiences and experiencing

The shining light of clear awareness is just one particular experience.

A 'realm' of consciousness is also one particular experience.
Freya , modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 6:52 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Hi

Clear light is a term used in Mayhana Buddhism, it's the subtlest form of mind there is, completely non duel, with all the qualities of the heart present. It is the most beautiful, tranquil, sublime state I have every experienced. The Mayhana practices, such as the first series of the 6 Yogas of Naropa teachings are for bringing the mind to clear light, which is the most powerful place to reflect on emptiness. What would you like to know about it. I don't hear anyone talking about it here either, but this is largely a forum where people have trained in Theravaden Buddhism. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 7:24 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I think most people here are trying to point out, in there own way, once you're really an arhant, you've done what has to be done, you've laid down the burden. There is not really more do to or achieve. You can talk about achieving agecilessness or centerlessness but the doneness is another factor.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 8:32 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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There's a funny (odd funny) thing in western Buddhism (like in a lot of western things) that asks us to pit "this" against "that" - as if everything is a contest. As if there is always some "one best thing" to use, to say, to do. Somehow Mahayana vs Theravada Buddism has become one of those odd/funny things. I doubt either Mahayana or Theravada asked for this, wants this, or is okay with this.

They both lead to the same kinds of insights. They will both provide you with a wonderful practice if you really and truly dedicate yourself to that. They will both get you to amazing insights and bring you to the profane and the beautiful.

There's no contest, there's just a practice that's right for you. The contest, the concepts and urges that lead you to say things like "beyond" the 4th path model, that's all just fucked up. Don't buy into that stuff, even subliminally.

​​​​​​​emoticon
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 8:57 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Bahiya Baby
(unless you are the unfortunate Bahiya)!

I'm the fortunate one right?

There is always fool's hope! emoticon 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 8:59 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Sha-Man! Geoffrey
You know, back in my more psychedelic days, one on of my trips I saw God. While magnificent and highly recommended, it turns out in the end the whole thing was unsatisfactory, impermanent, and subject to causes and conditions. 

Did he have long beard??? 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 9:46 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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No! The funny part is it was my friends lamp! Surely this was because the fairly lights already turned into angels...
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:01 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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There's a funny (odd funny) thing in western Buddhism (like in a lot of western things) that asks us to pit "this" against "that"

have you read the parable of the burning house? Or the story of the sixth zen patriarch?

​​​​​​​Those Mahayana guys started it dad! I didn't do nothing!!!

(great stories by the way!)
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:14 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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This ain't my first rodeo. emoticon

The timing and history is important. Theravada is considered to be "older" than Mahayana. Remember what Boddhidharma brought to China? 

But yes, I've read those things. I have a stupidly gigantic dharma library that I hardly ever use any more, but there was a time when that stuff was all I ever read.
Martin, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:16 AM
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I don't think this is a particularly Western thing. Besides, we don't need to pit West against East :-) 

Also, even universalism/perennialism is often a type of claim to being "the one best thing" ("all those things are also just versions of what I do"). It is healthy for people to ask whether proposed frameworks are a good fit for them, and part of that asking is likely to involve some comparison. 
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:21 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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BTW, if anyone wants to read some of the seminal works in Mahayana Buddhism, I recommend "Moon in a Dewdrop" which is an anthology of Zen Master Dogen's works.

​​​​​​​Or, if you want to explore how Theravada and Mahayana can be almost indistinguishable, read "Small Boat, Great Mountain - Reflections on the Great Perfection" by Theravada teacher Ajahn Amaro.
Nervous Bee, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:29 AM
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I think the phenomenological aspect should not be dismissed. I don't want to argue that one tradition is superior - rigorous training in any kind of philosophical tradition will most likely bring about a enlightenment if the conditions are right. The point I want to make is that there is a mythopoetic aspect to human experience that is not talked about here and I wonder why? Sure it is all just transient phenomena with no inherent substance but where is the personal meaning or value coming from? In running around and perceiving the world as substanceless? The Sufi traditions talk about the wisdom of the heart - one that cannot be described by words but by metaphors. Therefore my reference to CG Jung.  
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:31 AM
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It is healthy for people to ask whether proposed frameworks are a good fit for them, and part of that asking is likely to involve some comparison. 

Heavens yes! Just better without the  "beyond" inference. I do doubt the OP meant what I used as leverage to make point, though.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:38 AM
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Bee, that's true of DhO. And kinda sad. It wasn't always true, though.

​​​​​​​There were, way back when, lots of conversations covering mythopoetic themes. I would offer that the leaning into the pragmatic aspects of meditation practice here stem from Daniel's book MCTB, and then from the contests that used to grace this place centering around Actual Freedom and the claims of the literal elimination of human emotions by some of the early participants here. It caused a number of us to vacate DhO for a long time.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 10:54 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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The MMK is good as well! It's probably best to start with a commentary of it. I personally loved westeroffs "an introduction to Madhyamaka philosophy"
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 11:11 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I think the phenomenological aspect should not be dismissed.

I would actually love to hear a phenomenalogical report to what exactly clear light is. Same with rainbow body 
T DC, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 11:20 AM
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Bee - to answer your question more directly, it's helpful to differentiate between models.  The original Theravadan 4 Path model was based on the fetters overcome at each stage.  In the vimutti / visuddhimaggas, these four stages are presented as intertwined with the progress of insight stages.  Mahasi promoted this POI / Four Path scheme, and MCTB further expanded on it.

What I see in the MCTB four Path model is four stages of progressive attainment, correlating variously with poi cycles and the jhanas, the fourth attainment of which is a real big one / doozy.  What I don't see is any clear correlation with fetter model aspects beyond possible interpretations for First and Second paths.

Personally the idea of fetter elimination itself is quite suspect for me - the original four paths thus seem more like a symbolic explanatory framework rather than a specific map of attainment.  But because that model exists, Theravadan conceptions of attainment are seemingly chained to the number Four - "four progressive paths only to the end of ignorance". 

Whereas in my experience, progressive attainment on the path is basically limitless.  I've had some truly earthshattering insight experiences and I can tell you first hand they didn't conveniently stop at the number four.

Beyond my experience of what i would call MCTB Fourth Path, progression involved a significant turn to progressive stages of emptiness perception, the union of emptiness and form, luminous perceptual arisings reminiscent of the togal visions, clear light meditative experiences, experiences of significant and ongoing energetic transmutation, etc.

As long as you don't get hung up on any specific endpoint, remain inspired on the fruits of continued meditative and spiritual progression, and continue to find practices that allow you make that progress, in my experience the path is limitless, ever evolving, and can come to truly evoke the full range of spiritual experiences described in unique traditions the world over.  Hope that helps (and didn't offend any Fourth Pathers too much).  ;)
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Sam N, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 11:29 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Nervous Bee
...rigorous training in any kind of philosophical tradition will most likely bring about a enlightenment

Not sure about that. Your statement seems to presume one "enlightenment" for everyone. At the very least, such experiences would be interpreted (or shoe-horned) in the tradition of the practitioner. So I have to wonder if a Sufi gets / sees enlightenment the same way a Buddhist would.


... where is the personal meaning or value coming from?

For me it's dukkha and dukkha-nirodha. I've had wild phenomenological experience on and off the cushion, from other traditions, and without any tradition or practice whatsoever. They kept me questioning my received reality and guided the way forward. In hindsight they were just really good movies (for their time), like The Matrix.


The Sufi traditions talk about the wisdom of the heart - one that cannot be described by words but by metaphors

Based and interpreted in Islamic theology and practice.
Freya , modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 11:50 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Does anyone know where 'clear light' is on the 4th path maps? 
B B, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 1:02 PM
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Nervous Bee:
Hey there,  I was wondering if some of the practitioners here have experiences "beyond" the pragmatic 4th path model. By that I mean archetypal realms of consciousness, or working with/recognizing clear light. Mahayana texts like the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra for example seem to give rise to a lot of wisdom that is not often really talked about. It all reminds me of the workings of CG Jung or Sufi stuff, eg. Henry Corbin and the imaginal.  Just curious what others here think about that. 


In theory, the Pragmatic 4th path should be the end. However in practice, I'm doubtful that most practitioners who believe themselves to have achieved it are actually done. Primarily this is because the Theravada system, which is largely what DhO practitioners abide by, is founded on relative truths which turn out (eventually) to be false. Vajrayana and Dzogchen are founded on subtler relative truth and ultimate truth. If one is interested in achieving the most profound awakening, one must go beyond the relative truths. In theory, one could achieve this with the Theravada/early Mahana methods typically espoused on the DhO. But in practice, pragmatically speaking, I'm inclined to believe the Vajrayana texts which say it will take 3 incalculable eons to achieve complete awakening using these methods.

I've practiced in both the Pragmatic Dharma style, i.e. goal-oriented, jhanas, insight stages, 3 characteristics, dependent origination, etc., and later in the Vajrayana and Dzogchen styles working with a guru. This involved practices incorporating bodhicitta, deity yoga, guru yoga, tummo-like heat yoga, and Mahamudra. There is also an aspect of contemplating the clear light level of mind at the heart center. I would certainly say it has helped me achieve a stability of mind and equanimity which I found impossible to achieve within the prior Pragmatic Dharma framework. Previously, although the effects of cycling through the insight stages were beginning to diminish, there was still a degree of subtle reactivity, a kind of doubt and restlessness present in my mind. This was despite the fact that I felt the sense of I-making or dualistic perception had greatly diminished. One could easily convince oneself at this point that one had achieved 4th path without a very pure motivation.

The trouble with an awakening model based around deepening levels of non-dual perception, such as the Pragmatic 4 path model, is that ultimately our perception is and always has been completely non-dual. So even as one seems to make progress according to this model, which can feel extremely compelling, as long as one adheres to this model as being truly valid, one is arguably not fully awakened, because one is still clinging to the illusion of there being actual progress to make. And yet, merely convincing oneself intellectually, or with little meditation practice, that there is nothing to do, is a dead end too. One must tread this extremely fine line between falling into these extreme views.

There is a level of self acceptance possible through Vajrayana practices such as deity yoga and guru yoga for which I don't see equivalently powerful methods in Theravada or even early Mahayana texts. Certainly I don't see any equivalent methods popular among DhO practitioners. I'm talking about a "self" acceptance on the level of ultimate reality, so that one settles into a non-meditation where all one's actions are spontaneously perfected. In fact one could easily over-emphasize the dukkha characteristic in one's Pragmatic Dharma-style practice and wind up feeling a profound distrust for oneself and the entire world, as I have done in the past.

Ultimately, the whole notion of being done is seen to be an illusion because we've never departed from Buddha nature. If one's mind reifies for an instant some thought such as "yes, but there's a difference between realizing and not realizing this", then one is back in illusion. The Pragmatic 4 path model is founded on this illusion and so must eventually be discarded while one continues to practice.
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:18 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I think the MCTB four path model claims only that seeking is done at 4th path. That doesn't mean there isn't more insight yet to come.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:26 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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So to add a bit of nuance here. My understanding is that the first time you go through the 16 stages of insight, that is one cycle and you are a stream enter. However then you start to cycle more rapidly, and you can complete additional cycles but these additional cycles don't necessarily correspond to "paths". But occasionally you get "a big one" and that corresponds to the next path (so you're going to cycle way more than 4 times before you are finished...). I say all this, because the following sounds a lot of third path according to Daniel...

progression involved a significant turn to progressive stages of emptiness perception, the union of emptiness and form, luminous perceptual arisings reminiscent of the togal visions, clear light meditative experiences, experiences of significant and ongoing energetic transmutation, etc.

see Daniel's third path blog posts where he mentions luminosity, rigpa, emptiness, etc

https://danielpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html?m=1#jump-to-third-path
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:33 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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... the Theravada system, which is largely what DhO practitioners abide by, is founded on relative truths which turn out (eventually) to be false. 
 
It's as if people are frozen into one practice and the narrow confines that others imagine define their practice. Assumptions made, conclusions drawn, constraints applied. I used to practice in different ways a lot, which to me is the foundation of pragmatic dharma. Why be hide bound in a narrow lane? Explore! It's all good.

And yes, all manner of realizations can and do occur along the path. There is nothing that restricts a practitioner from experiencing any type of insight. 
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:29 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I'd probably wager around 3rd. That's when you see stuff like rigpa, emptiness, luminosity, etc. At least according to people more advanced than me emoticon

​​​​​​​https://danielpostscompilation.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html?m=1#jump-to-third-path
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:31 PM
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Have you had any good ones you want to share with the class? emoticon
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 2:51 PM
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Have you had any good ones you want to share with the class? emoticon

Well, I can offer my practice logs (not on DhO):

https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/15-chris-journal-part-1
https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/16-chris-journal-part-2
https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/17-chris-journal-part-3
https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/18-chris-journal-part-4
https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/19-chris-journal-part-5
https://www.awakenetwork.org/magazine/10-on-the-cushion/20-chris-journal-part-6

From stream-entry to the post-4th path. My teacher for most of this time was Kenneth Folk.

​​​​​​​EDIT to add: There are lots of practice journals on DhO you can read, too, and over on Awakenetwork, there are many more, but you might have to join to gain access. All of Kenneth Folk Dharma (KFD) is preserved there. It's as much of a treasure trove of dharma as DhO, in my opinion.
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 3:21 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I'm inclined to believe the Vajrayana texts which say it will take 3 incalculable eons to achieve complete awakening using these methods.

That's quitters talk. Do it in this lifetime. The Buddha did it. Sariputta did it. Daniel did it. Delson Armstrong did it. 

What's the tiny bit of sensory reality holding you back from knowing you are "done done done"? What part of the duality illusion is still there sneaking it's way through the back door?
T DC, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 4:36 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 4:33 PM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

Posts: 516 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Shaman-Geoffrery, thanks for your thoughts.  

Sha-Man! Geoffrey
I'd probably wager around 3rd. That's when you see stuff like rigpa, emptiness, luminosity, etc. At least according to people more advanced than me emoticon

Gotta love drive-by dharma diagnosis by people with minimal knowledge of your personal practice history or apparently personal experience with the territory they're describing lol.


Sha-Man! Geoffrey
So to add a bit of nuance here. My understanding is that the first time you go through the 16 stages of insight, that is one cycle and you are a stream enter. However then you start to cycle more rapidly, and you can complete additional cycles but these additional cycles don't necessarily correspond to "paths". But occasionally you get "a big one" and that corresponds to the next path (so you're going to cycle way more than 4 times before you are finished...). I say all this, because the following sounds a lot of third path according to Daniel...

TDC
progression involved a significant turn to progressive stages of emptiness perception, the union of emptiness and form, luminous perceptual arisings reminiscent of the togal visions, clear light meditative experiences, experiences of significant and ongoing energetic transmutation, etc.

see Daniel's third path blog posts where he mentions luminosity, rigpa, emptiness, etc
/quote]

Clearly you know the MCTB model well. I am aware that Daniel mentions emptiness and luminosity in a Third Path context. Likewise, I am aware of the so called "12th path" phenomenon where post 3rd path territory involves numerous successive insights and cycle completions before the major breakthrough of Fourth Path. 

And for me, progression after third path was basically textbook: it involved numerous successive cycle completions, some more major than others, until a focus on the cycles fell away. Newfound experiences of "empty mind" likewise conveniently cropped up at this time. The fourth path insight occurred as wholly unrelated to any prior insight experience, cycles or otherwise, and was hugely significant as a permanent entrance to deep non-dual experience.

So I understand what you're saying and where you're coming from and I disagree lol. To give us both some credit, it's just not possible to sum up 10+ years of diverse meditation and spiritual experience - post fourth path - in a single sentence, even one as chock full of juicy dharma buzzwords as the one you quoted from me. The reason I mentioned it at all was to qualify my statement that progression beyond MCTB Fourth path can actually be a major thing. I get that that goes against prevailing attitudes on here, but life's boring if we all have the same opinion / experience right?
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Stirling Campbell, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 4:53 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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T DCWhereas in my experience, progressive attainment on the path is basically limitless.  I've had some truly earthshattering insight experiences and I can tell you first hand they didn't conveniently stop at the number four. Beyond my experience of what i would call MCTB Fourth Path, progression involved a significant turn to progressive stages of emptiness perception, the union of emptiness and form, luminous perceptual arisings reminiscent of the togal visions, clear light meditative experiences, experiences of significant and ongoing energetic transmutation, etc. As long as you don't get hung up on any specific endpoint, remain inspired on the fruits of continued meditative and spiritual progression, and continue to find practices that allow you make that progress, in my experience the path is limitless, ever evolving, and can come to truly evoke the full range of spiritual experiences described in unique traditions the world over.  Hope that helps (and didn't offend any Fourth Pathers too much).  ;)

​​​​​​​This! Thanks Chris.

Complete dropping off of the self IS a huge moment, but not the last one where there are shifts in understanding by a longshot. I've had a continued slow dropping away of dualities in experience and the world, some of which are inexpressible (by ME anyway), continued dropping away of old patterns and minor obscurations, numerous strange visions including monks with swords, continued dissolving of time/space/self, meditation experiences of dissolving form, color and space, and much more too hippy and embarrasing to share. emoticon

Awakening truly seems like something that will never end, but that is a GOOD thing, and the slow unraveling of the dharmakaya's twisted karma seems like permanent feature in the long procession of the ornaments of emptiness.

I was talking to my teacher last week and we were agreeing that it would be nice to have some kind of almanac of these types of post "self" experiences, as it seems (at least in the Soto Zen tradition) that there are some common ones that people get. Anyone else seen the monks? 
T DC, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 4:56 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I'm glad it resonates!  My name is actually Tim just fyi, TDC is my initials.  emoticon
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Sha-Man! Geoffrey, modified 2 Months ago at 2/2/24 6:15 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Gotta love drive-by dharma diagnosis by people with minimal knowledge of your personal practice history or apparently personal experience with the territory they're describing lol.
It's my specialty!
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/3/24 12:59 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Im no post anything but I've got a few times the same "vision" arising of a monk sitting in the forest and meditating. There is a hungry tiger approaching him. They stared at one another. Monk could feel fear but was mindfull of it all. Tiger was hungry but uncertain. 
I never know what happens next. 

Did tiger eat the monk?
Did tiger decide to leave and let the monk be? 
Was the tiger even real? Was the monk real? 
Was I both the tiger and the monk? 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 2/3/24 5:13 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/3/24 5:13 PM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Nope, no awakening after 4th path.
In fact no new awakening after Stream Entry.
More like trying out ideas, mostly mine but at times for fun or inspiration also whatever new/old hot (or cold ;)) thing people were excited about in the so called internets.

One of the main aspects of these ideas always have been refactoring/rephrasing the issues.
And to rephrase issue of what 4th path should be I just went with simplest 'whatever unsurpassed solution which works'. Unsurpassed here means that it is valid for all systems with laws which do not make issue for the solution moot.

In other words the same definition imho Buddha used.
The pragmatic dharma's 4th path - or more precisely solution which is 4th path - fits this definition. The definition of issue is however woefully unsatisfactory. Also given many people don't really spend even on brain cycle on trying to figure what the issue they want resolution to is or how this resolution is supposed to operate (which would require previous step...) and rather at most what actions to undertake and if they did them correctly then it is safe to assume such people did not attain 4th path for the issues other than when the issue at hand is having few shifts or good enough impressions of attainment to be no longer having this issue something has to be attained. In this light then if we add paths above paths then even this virtual issue was not resolved.

Anyways, the solution to issue with awakening after 4th path is in fact super simple: just rescale your path. Say divide it by ten and see if resulting number fits better ;)
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 2 Months ago at 2/4/24 12:45 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/4/24 12:45 AM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Oh I see now!!! emoticon 


(upon hearing Ni's words, Papa Che awakened instantly just to realise there is no awakening at all, even though he now shall know his divides and divisions as such and as such shall no more cause him heartburn of the mind-that-is-gone-gone-gone and shan't come back again. Upon this realisation Papa went to look for Bahiya but only found a cow protecting her calf). 
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 2/5/24 3:57 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/5/24 3:57 PM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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There is no awakening but unbinding - and it is not 4th path but Stream Entry.
Imho 4th path is just being skillful in implementing wholesome ideas.
Any ideas, if they are own ideas or if they come from other people need to be purged from all the bs they contain to get the working essence - distilled - and then they can be wholesome. It is this very skill which is 4th path. Otherwise lots and lots of ideas can be pulled from the internets ;)
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/5/24 6:12 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Ni Nurta
Imho 4th path is just being skillful in implementing wholesome ideas.


Wow, okay that's interesting. Ideas?
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 7:47 AM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 7:47 AM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Ideas I am talking about are the same concept as "dharmas", just written in Engrish.
Imho Arhat is not bound by any dharma and can take any dharma, fix it and improve upon it quickly by taking their essence, decompiling it and compiling it again with certain flawed local implementations being replaced by calls to more universal libraries. The difference between 4th and 1st path being only the ability to process said dharmas in real-time, otherwise at raw 1st path to some degree there will be some struggle to do this step as it requires developing skills to do it first. That's said its important to mention this is only about processing dharmas and not just taking them as they are which should be pretty straightforward. If dharma in question is like Buddha's dharma - already nice and tidy - there is no need to do anything with it - no real difference between 1st and 4th path as far as Nibbana is concerned.

In this sense 4th path isn't at all about specific dharma - that said this ability itself is also a dharma and the one designed to both take dharma and in effect being able to give it back dharmas of better quality but still distinctly being the same as originals. Stated like this it might sound like I am coming up with this stuff out of the blue (note: this is literally how it went emoticon) but it is there somewhere in Buddha's teachings, when read "between the lines". 

That is to say Buddha didn't bother himself with things like if there is a self and it also isn't the point of 4th path. No amazing meditation induced 'aha' realizations, awakenings or other such things. It all is about leaving the place you enter in the better shape than you entered it. If you can improve dharmas which are existing in the place you enter by making for people versions of their dharmas which are an improvement then people might pick them up. It is a skill of art to do it right - it cannot feel like just replacing large chunks of what make dharma this specific dharma or it won't be improved dharma but something else. It only is "worthy of praise" when dharma out is the same as dharma in but better because all the bad dharmas are yanked out of it.

So that is the basic gist of it.
Not really sure what one can improve upon that. Even Buddha couldn't improve this idea further and why he proclaimed supreme unsurpassed enlightenment. Rightfully so if I say so myself.

BTW. This is also why I have issue with people calling 4th path as "awakening". At most we could call Stream Entry as awakening if someone really didn't have any idea what we are, how it all works, what is the purpose of all of this is, etc. etc.
That said the idea someone doesn't know is absolutely ridiculous - it is rather there are willing and deliberate active preventive actions people take to forbid themselves from going anywhere the "stream". There are reasons for it and why the first goal of spiritual path is called 'unbinding' and not 'awakening'.
Of course unbinding is apparently stated as the last goal and not the first. If only we lived in world where all people who claim SE were actually SE we wouldn't have this issue. The best way to protect the system of oppression is to make illusion of freedom from it - it is literally the oldest trick from the proverbial book. And because I am not trying to make illusions of freedom from self-inflicted issues which only purpose for them being there is to get free from them seem like another self-inflicted illusion and with it generate recursive and self-conflicting vibe that will be an excuse to mark all my arguments moot I'll end this thought right here only hinting that SE is about not abilities but willingness and Arhathip is not about willingness but skills - which like an echo cause willingness arise but then its strictly non-local phenomena... whatever I mean by it with all of reality being non-dual and therefore in this sense also local emoticon
shargrol, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 11:43 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Any particular buddhist tradition or teacher you agree with?
Nervous Bee, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 12:09 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Chris M:
Bee, that's true of DhO. And kinda sad. It wasn't always true, though. There were, way back when, lots of conversations covering mythopoetic themes. I would offer that the leaning into the pragmatic aspects of meditation practice here stem from Daniel's book MCTB, and then from the contests that used to grace this place centering around Actual Freedom and the claims of the literal elimination of human emotions by some of the early participants here. It caused a number of us to vacate DhO for a long time.
<br /><br />Thank you for clarifying that. I would be interested to see what the practice looks like from a certain point onwards. In your experience, are most people drawn towards Tantra or Dzogchen then?
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Chris M, modified 2 Months ago at 2/6/24 12:50 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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People on DhO are a sample biased away from Mahayana practices. That said, there is something about Dzogchen that draws people's curiosity. It seems to me it's a romanticized practice, maybe because it is reportedly a very advanced practice, and kind of "hush-hush" in the past.
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Ni Nurta, modified 2 Months ago at 2/7/24 11:07 AM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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I think Buddha's dharma would be vastly better quality-wise if he would just say how he saw things rather than employing course correction approach to teaching. It would then yield worse results overall and in this sense I can agree with his course of action. Also its not like people with little dust in their eyes really require his support. It is just very helpful and it is greatly appreciated.

So there, I do agree with my buddy Buddha emoticon

Major Buddhist traditions I could rate from: "did you guys knew there is a difference between good idea that has results and actually good execution of said idea?", "kinda ok but do not really seeing anyone moving anywhere... are we?", "does this tradition have Buddha nature?" and lastly "should I burn it with fire or better throw in to the abyss?!"

Then there is something less formalized like the so called pragmatic dharma... does it make any sense for an adu...

...sorry, need to go before I write something someone might get offended with emoticon
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Dream Walker, modified 2 Months ago at 2/8/24 9:04 PM
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RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

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Nervous Bee
Hey there, 
  1. I was wondering if some of the practitioners here have experiences "beyond" the pragmatic 4th path model.
  2. By that I mean archetypal realms of consciousness,
  3. or working with/recognizing clear light.
  4. Mahayana texts like the Heart Sutra and Diamond Sutra for example seem to give rise to a lot of wisdom that is not often really talked about.
  5. It all reminds me of the workings of CG Jung or Sufi stuff, eg. Henry Corbin and the imaginal. 
  6. Just curious what others here think about that. 
  1. Whatever that is....
  2. Ah, archetypal blah blah stufff and words......WTF?
  3. What the F*ck again? Clear what??? ah light....what might you mean by that? compared to unclear light? dark light? black light and neon practice?
  4. Seems....yep....seems..
  5. Reminds are fun
  6. I'm totally curious about what others here think about vagueness in realms of wisdom with Jung archetypewriters that imaginal "beyond" word salad models.
 I'm just jamming to the chaff. emoticon emoticon emoticon
If anyone knew anything about the "stuff" you want to know, would they be compelled to share? Just curious what others here think about that. 

~D
Adi Vader, modified 2 Months ago at 2/8/24 10:59 PM
Created 2 Months ago at 2/8/24 10:59 PM

RE: Awakening beyond the pragmatic 4th path model

Posts: 291 Join Date: 6/29/20 Recent Posts
I wouldnt be compelled to share. No. But if I see some way of sharing something that might be useful to the OP, then I would probably write in response to their questions/comments.

​​​​​​​Generally I get enthused to respond when I see enthusiasm, dedication, and a very structured methodical approach to practice in the original post.

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