Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/6/24 5:20 PM
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Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

Posts: 189 Join Date: 8/20/18 Recent Posts
This book explores the possibility of awakening by one's own wits. The main character is a child raised by animals on a deserted island. Having noticed the interconnectedness of everything he posits that "God" is the "Source", the "Ground" of everything.

just his name which is also the title of the "novel" says it all.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/6/24 5:38 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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By one's wits is definitely possible... but I often wonder why not go on retreat and test it? why not talk with a teacher and test it?

I know the answer is: I am so certain that I do not need testing... but I also think that this is an easy way to avoid testing.

I just hope that when people avoid testing, they are not on their death bed and regret not testing. 

This is a drunk post and so it is stupid. 
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/6/24 6:40 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Yes, indeed! Testing makes a huge difference.
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 12:18 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Ha! emoticon Your reply did have a twisted martini taste as I read it!!! 
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 3:53 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Shargol : "I often wonder why not go on retreat and test it?"

Did it ever occur to you that I couldn't go on retreat for purely material reasons? Did it ever occur to you that although I hold a PhD, my annual income is less than what most of you people here make in a month & that I am the sole breadwinner of a dozen people?

did you assume that because I post here I live in a democratic, free society where anyone can express any political or religious opinion without a 2nd thought?

​​​​​​​Just curious? 
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 4:37 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Shargol, Martin, Papa,

what about all these drinking references?
could you explain what you mean to someone who never drank a drop of any alcoholic beverage? 
​​​​​​​I certainly have seen drunk people and it's not a beautiful sight (usually).
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 4:39 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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I think Shargrol is pointing more at the necessity for diligent practice to test ones assertions, to test the practical application of certain paths. I'm sure, like myself, many people here have worked with a number of styles, disciplines and approaches to spirituality. Some of us have worked for years with teachers to find they actually didn't have the goods or at least the whole goods. 

You are also making certain assumptions in the above post about us. There are people here from all over the world. 

​​​​​​​You've posted a book about the possibility of Awakening by ones own wits. Can you speak phenomenologically about that experience in your own life? What that awakening is like as a lived experience?
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 4:46 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Forgive me father it has been many moons since my last quotation....

Myself when young did eagerly frequent Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument About it and about: but evermore Came out by the same door where in I went. 

With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow, And with mine own hand wrought to make it grow; And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd— "I came like Water, and like Wind I go." 

Into this Universe, and Why not knowing Nor Whence, like Water willy-nilly flowing; And out of it, as Wind along the Waste, I know not Whither, willy-nilly blowing. 

What, without asking, hither hurried Whence? And, without asking, Whither hurried hence! Oh, many a Cup of this forbidden Wine Must drown the memory of that insolence! 

Up from Earth's Center through the Seventh Gate I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate, And many a Knot unravel'd by the Road; But not the Master-knot of Human Fate. 

There was the Door to which I found no Key; There was the Veil through which I might not see: Some little talk awhile of ME and THEE There was—and then no more of THEE and ME. 

Earth could not answer; nor the Seas that mourn In flowing Purple, of their Lord Forlorn; Nor rolling Heaven, with all his Signs reveal'd And hidden by the sleeve of Night and Morn. 

Then of the THEE IN ME who works behind The Veil, I lifted up my hands to find A lamp amid the Darkness; and I heard, As from Without—"THE ME WITHIN THEE BLIND!" 

Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn I lean'd, the Secret of my Life to learn: And Lip to Lip it murmur'd—"While you live, "Drink!—for, once dead, you never shall return.
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 5:02 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Bahiya,

this is an old book originally written in Arabic and has been translated many many times in all European languages and has been a major influence on many western literary & philosophical classics. 

with regard to me, I have stated clearly in no ambiguous terms that I do NOT claim any attainments in terms of what is mostly talked about here: ie stages of awakening, maps & so on & so forth.

I don't claim having any shamata or vipassana jhanas, nanas..
i don't claim having had stream entry or nothing like it.
i don't claim having had any "cessation" experiences. Never, ever had i had knowingly had anything remotely similar to what is described in the MCTB.

I mostly speak from what I qualified as "intellectual understanding" or "book knowledge" if you will. I have struggled for a very long time just to understand what the "fuss is all about" and lately I found myself more & more nodding whenever I read dharma books or listen to talks. It just makes sense to me, at long last.

just the other day, someone was quoting the well known "form is Emptiness and Emptiness is form" and it was just clear to me as daylight.

this is in a nutshell my current understanding, please correct me if I am wrong:
the most fundamental cause of suffering is Delusion. The Delusion that there is a substantial, separate self, knoer, doer.
realizing that this sense of self is just another appearance in consciousness is the key to liberation. 
this realization can be made without going to retreats, without having face to face time with teachers, without having a formal practice. Training in shamata &/or vipassana is NOT necessary for this.
the latest philosophical & scientific research corroborates this millenia old understanding. 

i hereby claim having understood this on an intellectual level & tasted it with direct, immediate, Cognizance. Nothing more, nothing less.

i wanted to share in the hope that:
it might be useful to someone as it is a different take, perspective, life arc..
I might learn a thing or two and refine my understanding.

i hope I made myself clear. 

​​​​​​​thoughts?
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 5:20 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Yes, Bahiya

Khayyam and the Sufis in general have a lot of drinking references. However, I am NOT a sufi and found most of their writing/poetry unnecessarily obscure and not really helpful.

just also as a reminder many sufis do drink alcohol and do know from first person experience what being literally drunk feels like. ​​​​​​

i
don't! 

NOTA: I am a hardcore scientist and often find poetry confusing especially in English (this might be just my ignorance of many subtleties of the English tongue)..
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 12:27 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Mine wasn't a drinking reference.

Testing is finding out how a way of seeing holds up in practice. Sometimes you can test by doing a retreat, including a self-retreat, if you are lucky, or by passing through a challenge such as a tragedy, an illness, or an economic hardship, if you are unlucky. Tested insights play a different role (function differently) from untested hypothesis-based insights. 

I am not, by the way, suggesting that your insights have not been tested. I'm willing to bet that many of them have been. It's a normal part of practice, after all. Even the simple passage of time slowly tests our insights.

By the way, do you currently have, or did you have before, a formal practice, such as sitting meditation?
Martin, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 12:47 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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This answers my question above. Thanks!

My experience has been that it is very interesting to take up a daily sitting practice. I also have a science background and I believe that empirical observation of the reproducibility of predicted outcomes is a great way to test a hypothesis. 

Another analogy of why one might want to practice is this:
Imagine being from a planet on which there is no music, so you have never heard it. Now imagine reading about music and gaining an intellectual understanding, including things like frequency interference and reinforcement in chords, and the mathematical breakdown of rhythm. One could become very knowledgeable, but as long as you never hear music or play music, it would be impossible to truly understand how it is that a minor chord feels melancholic or how syncopation is cheerful. 

Another thing to keep in mind when approaching meditation practices is that these practices can, and often do, cause permanent shifts in understanding and experience which people having undergone these shifts believe cannot be conveyed, or even expressed, in conceptual terms. So it's not just learning. It can involve modification/transformation that might be considered to be akin how surgery can transform an organism in a way that no amount of training could. 
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Bahiya Baby, modified 1 Month ago at 4/7/24 3:52 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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In my experience there is no ultimately satisfying intellectual answer. Absolutely none. I have found no lasting wisdom in the intellect only shadows masquerading as a self. 

If you don't drink how can I explain drunkness to you? If you do not have a meditation practice how can I explain a world beyond intellect?

Now
"i hereby claim having understood this on an intellectual level & tasted it with direct, immediate, Cognizance. Nothing more, nothing less.

i wanted to share in the hope that:
it might be useful to someone as it is a different take, perspective, life arc..
I might learn a thing or two and refine my understanding."

How has tasting this intellectually changed your life on a raw phenomenological level? How has it changed your day to day experience? How has it changed the way you interact with others? What value does it have? How does it feel? Answering these kinds of questions is how we like to communicate. You could say this is our language. Without this information I can't speak with you about different paths or understandings. Your own journey and experience of suffering is the information needed to develop a common ground, a shared lexicon with which we can further discuss the merits of what You're offering. 

My intellect tasted this long ago and frankly left me prideful and cold until through diligent meditation practice it became a way of compassionate being, a way of giving, a way of healing and growing. 

Your take isn't for me a different take. I meet many people with this take in my day to day life. Yet their teaching never delivers me or others from suffering. It is often more philosophical than practical.

​​​​​​​I have seen fairly miraculous changes due to meditation practice. In my self and others. The reduction or even the end of suffering is the benchmark by which alternate paths are judged.  That being said, I am not here to judge paths I and most others are here to discuss the day to day experience of meditation practice with active meditators. 
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 7:40 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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With regard to practice, I might need here to clarify what I do although it may be a bit unconventional.

As I said I have no conventional "formal practice" defined as regular sitting doing say shamata & going through whatever jhanas one can go through & explore that Or do vipassana following the breath & noticing sensations & deconstructing reality & exploring the 3Cs & navigating that territory.

This it seems to me is what is mostly done here & detailed in the logs.
I do none of this.
So I have no practice whatsoever & never had.

ON THE OTHER HAND I do have lots & lots of practice for over fourty years now.

For what it's worth, this is how my "practice" look like:
1. Let's not be dismissive about intellectual "practice" as many traditions explicitly consider intellectual pondering of the teachings as practice. They also consider listening to talks & reading books as practice. This is why you have Dharma talks even during silent retreats (if I am not mistaken).
Even zen, the most anti-intellectual tradition, still has a lot of sastsangs & they do write books, etc.
Culadasa in his book discusses ways of "intellectual" Meditation.

So, as I do listen to a lot of dharma talks and videos and read books,  this IS practice.

2. I am the kind of person who doesn't fall asleep quickly or at least used to be. It was typical for me to take up to an hour to fall asleep. So what do I do during that time?
I often reflect & rehearse the latest teachings & conundrums I am grappling with but also do some other things:
I sometimes do some yoga before going to bed (asana) & try to be mindful to movement. Then in bed I would do some pranayama, progressive muscle relaxation and might do some body scanning and would also follow the breath or listen to the night sounds, etc.

If i wake up at night, I will simply resume doing more of the same.

Upon waking up, if I don't have to immediately get out of bed  (like on WE), I would do more of the same.

During the day I always try to be mindful even if it is just for a few seconds or minutes but this repeated many many times during the day.

Having been doing this for a very long time, I found lately that "Meditation" has become just part and parcel of who I am & what I do.

Presently the way i would describe it is as "being meditated" not meditating. If this makes sense. I am more pulled by something rather intentionally doing something. For example I would be dreaming and my dream would be interrupted by "moments of mindfulness" just like i do in the waking life.

Moreover I noticed something else: whatever i am doing there would be some "presence" unless what I am doing is specially challenging intellectually or involve others specially one on one interactions.
This is best described as "peripheral awarenes" like you would say "peripheral vision". Again,  Culadasa if I remember well says something along these lines. Also the psychiatrist Iain McGilchrist in his seminal book "the master & his emissary" devoted to the brain hemispheres difference deveops this and says this other silent presence is the signature of the right hemisphere while the left hemisphere is the "Author of the running commentary" we all know so well.

To sum up, phenomenologically my current situation is one of cultivating, in daily life, this quality of silent presence, this clear cognizance which I described as:
Silent ie non-discursive,
Open, spacious, not focused on anything in particular, yet taking in everything,
It's center-less, agency-less, self-less...
It's welcoming: whatever happens just happen. Not even good & evil are distinguished nor discriminated..
It's utterly "letting go", things are dissolving as they appear. Simultaneously!

This is what u claim could be experienced immediately, directly & for which Meditation is not necessary. No need for Concentration or jhanas or whatever. No need for deconstructing reality or Seeing the 3Cs or going up the stages of insight.
No need for stream entry. No need for cessations.

I once hinted at this in a post here on the DhO saying (my words):
"I thought "non-attachement" is something we develop, It's a property of cognizance."

And Daniel kindly replied:
"We develop an appreciation that fundamental non-attachment is a property of clear congnizance." (His words I've been keeping them & referring back to them for inspiration).
​​​​​​​
In this very short exchange i felt that he deeply understood me and where I come from & replied with something actionable, helpful, doable..

In a nutshell this short sentence has been my practice. This is why I continue to hang out here. This is why I consider Daniel to be "my teacher" although he certainly does not remember any of this.

So again, Daniel if you're reading this,  thank you. I am forever indebted & grateful & if you could see me right now you would see that my eyes are full of tears.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 9:05 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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I find that the best practice is a combination of meditation and intellectual contemplation; reading and discussing the dharma. The meditation and the intellectual tend to reinforce each other, creating a sort of symbiosis if you will allow me that word. A good example is when I found MCTB - reading the book put me off the first time, but the second and subsequent reads brought me real information that I put to work in meditation. I would suggest that some combination works for most people, too. I think all of one with nothing of the other is likely to be less effective but could still lead to great and wonderful things.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 5:06 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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I guess this leads back to Chris' question in a another thread: "Todo, what have you been looking for - seeking - these past 40 years? It seems that you're patient and yet driven toward a goal. What's the goal?"
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/8/24 7:06 PM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Shargol, Chris,

"What's the goal" is somewhat misleading as it frames the question as if "the goal" is unique & unchanging.

"The goal" for me has been shifting & changing & morphing. Also it's multiple, not single.

The prime mover for me has been the fear of death, then it was momentum,,then it became a pull.
Nowadays, i could say that there is no goal in that there is no drive. It's a "gravitational pull".

I don't know if I am making sense here or even unswerving the question.

Would you (both & also others) mind unpacking that question for me? Providing examples? What is "the goal" for you?

NOTA: i have to say that in conventional life, I don't think in terms of goals. I rather think in terms of systems & values. As I see it "a system" is like directions, say "North". When you go "North", you don't have the goal of reaching "North".
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 2:38 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Hello

I think people here are trying to share their opinion with you regarding the primacy of a daily seated meditation practice. 

I too share this opinion.

To elaborate a bit on my opinion, and it is only an opinion, its best if we define our current and desired state, and then flesh out the things that will take us to our desired state.

For example:

current state - sedentary, over weight, prediabetic
​​​​​​desired state - look good naked
Things to do - lift weights, flexibility training, cardio endurance training

​​​​​​​If this desired state is to be achieved then those things have to be done there is no choice. In order to educate one's self on how to do those things, in order to motivate one's self to be at it consistently, one may read books, watch interviews, build an understanding of sports science - muscle fibres, body hormones etc etc. But .... those things that lead to strength stamina flexibility have to be done. There is no replacement for it.
Adi Vader, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 3:04 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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When I began this project, I had a simple problem definition:

I felt like shit. I changed my professional environment, I improved physical health, I changed my social circle, I took psychiatric medication - tweaked them under care of an MD, did therapy ... I continued to feel like shit.

My goal was I dont want to feel like shit any more.

This project taught me the following

1. Develop observational abilities using planned structured meditation practice
2. Live life in a way that supports those observational abilities
3. Use those observational abilities to scrutinize the mind looking for how the shittiness comes about and what can be done to eliminate it - this to be done using meditation practices designed to do this

Framed in this way, to me, and only to me, for my own sake mind you, tropes like 'form is emptiness and emptiness is form' sounds like the playful babbling of rambunctious toddlers emoticon emoticon
kettu, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 5:10 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Just to take Adi Vaders metaphors (out of his context) and connect the heads and tails: playful toddlers don’t usually feel like shit, and though they may not be able to tell intellectually and/or phenomenologically how playfulness happens, something of the quality may be   translated and shared through co-playing.
Todo, modified 1 Month ago at 4/9/24 5:35 AM
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RE: Hayy ibn yaqdhan (alive son of awake)

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Good Day Adi, Kettu,

Adi, I like your metaphor, so let me play along.

You:
The goal: look good naked.
What to do: lift weights, etc.

Me:
The goat: no goal because I don't care how i look naked
What to do: exercise is good for health, science tells me so. But I hate lifting weights. i walk, I run, I climb mountains because these things pull me in. They feel good in & of themselves regardless of anything else.

Besides, where the metaphor breaks is that psychological phenomena are information unlike physical things obviously. So reading about exercising doesn't exercise you. They are different categories. While reading about & reflecting on psychological phenomena 'exercises' you in that domain.

Moreover in this realm, one can take the goal as the path. But that's maybe just toddlers babbling.

Am I making sense? 

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