How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:57 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 12:54 AM

How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Daniel Ingram has said that after attaining Arhatship and No Dog he had a period when seemingly the knot of perception re-tangled and untangled multiple times for a period of week or so. Or in other words as I understand there was a period of No Dog fading back to Some Dog multiple times until some very strange convergence of things occurred and he attained to the Simplest Thing. 

​​​​​​​So my question is what exactly happens during that period and what can be done (or what did Daniel do) to get from experiencing No Dog for the first time to attaining to Simplest Thing. Do you just keep on doing Vipassana and notice emptiness (or no self),  impermance and suffering in both No Dog and Some Dog until stuff converges and Simplest Thing is attained? This is a really weird and confusing territory and it is very rarely and superficially discussed anywhere if at all. 
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 4:56 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 4:56 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Olav S
Daniel Ingram has said that after attaining Arhatship and No Dog he had a period when seemingly the knot of perception re-tangled and untangled multiple times for a period of week or so. Or in other words as I understand there was a period of No Dog fading back to Some Dog multiple times until some very strange convergence of things occurred and he attained to the Simplest Thing. So my question is what exactly happens during that period and what can be done (or what did Daniel do) to get from experiencing No Dog for the first time to attaining to Simplest Thing. Do you just keep on doing Vipassana and notice emptiness (or no self),  impermance and suffering in both No Dog and Some Dog until stuff converges and Simplest Thing is attained? This is a really weird and confusing territory and it is very rarely and superficially discussed anywhere if at all. 


I assume from his book he just kept practicing the way that led to the unstable condition and eventually it stabilized.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-vi-my-spiritual-quest/70-around-the-world-and-finding-home/wobble-and-fall/
https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-vi-my-spiritual-quest/70-around-the-world-and-finding-home/vimuttimagga-the-path-of-freedom/
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 8:13 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 8:13 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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It was pre-arhatship when there was the wobbling.  Thanks for providing the links Jim! 


And an interesting first post Olav S. (Welcome to DhO!) What motivated the question?
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 8:35 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 8:35 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thank you! Yes, I have read that part of MCTB and it seems to me as well that he just kept practicing through that stage. I just wish he or somebody else could tell a bit more about that stage since there's very little information about that specific part of the Path. Well, I guess there's not many people who have advanced that far and could talk about that from their own experience. 
B B, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:18 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:18 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Intriguing question. I have years of experience with this phenomenon of seemingly hitting the ground of enlightenment only to bounce off it, i.e. having a sudden shift in perception that might be described as expanded, non-dual, untangled, like a river reaching the ocean, only to experience a re-contracting after a few days/weeks. I don't wish to claim enlightenment, only offer some thoughts as a fellow practitioner navigating this territory.

We can extrapolate based on certain trends we can observe as our practice develops:
  • Our perception of dependent origination grows less and less obscured through practice, so we can infer that enlightenment would entail a totally unobscured perception. We might proceed by noticing any subtle resistance or blind areas in our experience and allowing our perception of dependent origination to encompass those areas so that it feels comprehensive.
  • Our tendency to assume enlightenment is something distant from us, something caused through great effort, grows less and less. So we can infer that enlightenment must entail a realization that this uncontrived innate ordinary awareness--vivid, unobstructed and non-dual--is the truth itself and aim to fully realize this, i.e. develop absolute confidence that "this is it". We might proceed by noticing and investigating the basis for any doubts we have about this.
    • Perhaps we feel there is a certain "emptiness view" that must somehow be maintained.
    • Daniel recommends devotion to an authentic teacher in MCTB and I can attest cultivating this can be very beneficial. Of course it can be challenging to truly embrace this. One's default tendency is to resist being played for a fool at all costs, and one sees countless reasons for cynicism in the world. One might be appalled by some perceived wrongdoing and be thrown into a crisis because one's ideals about enlightenment wither in the face of reality. So it forces one to go deeper, look beyond the mere appearance of things to the essential underlying nature, and then remain steadfast in one's confidence in that nature.
  • The tendency for our view and conduct to fall into extremes grows less and less, i.e. we tread an increasingly refined "middle way". Said another way, our tendency to reify aspects of experience, subtle concepts such as the perception of an external world etc., is reduced. So we can infer that enlightenment would entail a totally non-reifying mind, a kind of equilibrium beyond all extremes. We might proceed by noticing anything in our experience which we would invest great importance in or label as real or true and investigating the basis for that belief. Of course there are numerous methods aimed at addressing increasingly subtle reification/obscuration.
    • Related to this, our meditations grow increasingly effortless, and the objects of meditation--what we assume to exist--become increasingly subtle. So we can infer that enlightenment would entail achieving a continuous non-meditation where we have gone beyond all assumptions forming the basis of our prior meditations.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:22 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:22 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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This time in my practice was full of questioning what was different about my moment-to-moment experience versus those I knew who had made the transition.
Will G, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:44 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:43 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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One alternative way you can think about this is just in terms of degrees of equanimity. I always forget what exactly people mean when they talk about some dog, no dog and the simplest thing but to my mind it sounds like varying degrees of the sense of something needing to be fixed. One way I sometimes think about the POI is that when you get to equanimity, the mind is so permissive of its various states that it eventually cycles back to a place where thoughts about wanting to 'progress' come back into the foreground.

The 'stability' of 'the simplest thing' may have more to do with knowing at a deep level that those thoughts of progress aren't actually pointing to anything else, or beyond whatever is given in experience, that they too are just parts of a sensory field. On some level it is the exhaustion of the appeal of the thought of something else/better.
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 9:48 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thanks! Well I guess I’m just curious about that stage of the practise since there’s very little information about that in the MCTB and internet while other stages and paths are very well covered. I was just wondering maybe somebody here has a firsthand experience of that stage. I imagine that earlier attainments such as post Fruition afterglow followed by Dark Night or even Equanimity-Dark Night dichotomy can be confused by this No Dog - Some Dog stage. It seems to me that this phase deserves more clarity.
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Pepe ·, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 3:39 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 3:38 PM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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No Dog, Some Dog and The Simplest Thing
Hurricane Ranch Dialogue I 
Hurricane Ranch Dialogue II

There are other references in Daniel's Posts Compilation. Use Control F + "No Dog" 

In AtR dharma group (Mahayana/Zen/etc), you'll find more about it. There take is: 

No Dog -> "I AM" Realization (post 8th Jhana state)
The Simplest Thing -> "Anatta" Realization


 
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 6:42 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/13/24 6:42 PM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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I just wish he or somebody else could tell a bit more about that stage since there's very little information about that specific part of the Path. Well, I guess there's not many people who have advanced that far and could talk about that from their own experience.

Most people just use term emptiness to point to anything resembling lack of obvious sense self in the experiences. Technically they might just as well do it like that even if it not very specific.

Do you just keep on doing Vipassana and notice emptiness (or no self), impermance and suffering in both No Dog and Some Dog until stuff converges and Simplest Thing is attained?

How about upping your game and noticing how your mind operates to actually learn something about it?

If it comes to me if you wanted to make great first impressions you should say something that suggests you have attainment which you cannot find in books. For example "I moved root of main consciousness from corpus callosum to anterior commissure, what attainment is that?" expecting everyone who actually attained this so called technical 4th path to know what you are talking about and waiting for them to say what your path is for you. Worst scenario no one will know what you are referring to in which case after few more misses you claim path but at that time everyone will know you at least know your sheet so there might be some validity to it.

Instead you pop up and immediately showing degree of dissatisfaction with lack of discussions about some obscure unimportant topic like this was some poor's man attempt at saying you got 4th path without saying it openly and all while still using kindergarten dharma language and practices.

Stream Enterer Ni is not impressed.
Of course at my levels there is little dharma related things that can really impress me. I even know that Metteya Buddha will teach metta fruitions so you know, having actually attained genuine 1st path I have the best dhamma connections and everything that is super obvious already figured out emoticon

Welcome to DhO BTW
And yeah, what you really wanted by making this topic: very obvious. These things do not work how you think they do. These are subtle structures you should not force things that way if you cannot perceive objects you work with as its way too easy to overdo things while not doing enough elsewhere and in the process cause nasty routing issues within your mind!

Nibbana,
Ni
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:20 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:20 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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What’s with the aggressive response? This is purely a scholarly interest because there’s not a lot of information about that phase. I’m not claiming any attainments and I’m probably nowhere near your level - Stream Enterer - good for you!
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:21 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:21 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thanks! This is great info!
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:23 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:23 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thank you! That's really thought provoking!
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:26 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 1:26 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thank you for your interesting answer!
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 2:22 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 2:22 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thanks! That's an interesting approach. Did you do Vipassana up to that point?
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 2:50 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 2:50 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Olav S
What’s with the aggressive response? This is purely a scholarly interest because there’s not a lot of information about that phase. I’m not claiming any attainments and I’m probably nowhere near your level - Stream Enterer - good for you!



For what it's worth, I thought from your post, just like you say, you weren't trying to imply any attainments but were just curious about the subject. I assume most people see it like that too.
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 4:07 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 4:07 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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There is little informations because it is very obscure thing already covered by "emptiness".
Not that I believe most people claiming 4th path got the same degree of fitting because most people have very little personal contact with other practicioners, let alone ones called "Sayadaw" in which case they shouldn't get related experiences as strongly or clearly. And if it is not strong then its blurry and "emptiness" captures idea of No Dog just fine. That said I would not use lack of discussion about these topics by itself and proof of low path level amongst arhats.

Personally I analyzed those terms and recognized them as describing activity in default mind which is no longer the default but can still have the same kind of activity as it had before - this include all variations of said activity.

One thing to point out is that the kind of change that 4th path is isn't limited to 4th path. The difference is in what I call degree of fitting which at 4th path requires to pass certain threshold. And as you can imagine when you have floating point to integer conversion and don't even have good references and/or don't have good perception then issues can arise. And this is still gross oversimplification still!

Anyways, imho these specific things are not "attainments" but merely things which can happen and can be noticed. It is also assumed person will just optimize their mind further and arrive at where most of these things don't really matter and mind using faculties optimally for given configuration. Optimally == no mind. In the case of 4th path specifically there isn't constant impression of the kind that it happen shortly after the how Daniel puts it the thing gets untangled. That said it should be possible to easily shift parameters of how mind operates to get these effects. I would even say that its good practice to from time to time do it and while doing it do review and optimizations - or how I call it just do maintenance. I am talking scale of years here.
Olav S, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 7:08 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 7:08 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

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Thanks! Yes, that's the problem with text based communication - people are more prone to misinterpret what's being said based on their background and experience.
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Ni Nurta, modified 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 11:09 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 4/14/24 11:09 AM

RE: How do you get from No Dog to Simplest Thing?

Posts: 1150 Join Date: 2/22/20 Recent Posts
For what it's worth, I thought from your post, just like you say, you weren't trying to imply any attainments but were just curious about the subject.


This is a really weird and confusing territory


Summarizes this whole topic nicely emoticon

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