general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Tom Wright 6/9/24 8:25 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate 6/9/24 11:44 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/10/24 2:49 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Dream Walker 6/10/24 5:11 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/10/24 3:02 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Tom Wright 6/10/24 6:51 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Brian 6/12/24 5:55 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/12/24 7:34 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Brian 6/15/24 7:12 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/15/24 7:15 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/14/24 1:58 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/14/24 5:56 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/14/24 2:45 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/15/24 2:27 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/16/24 9:38 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/19/24 12:31 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/21/24 1:23 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/21/24 1:22 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/21/24 4:09 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Dream Walker 6/14/24 5:03 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/15/24 3:36 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/15/24 1:46 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/16/24 4:11 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Dream Walker 6/19/24 6:19 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/14/24 6:43 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Dream Walker 6/15/24 9:55 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) shargrol 6/15/24 3:34 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Brian 6/15/24 7:15 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/15/24 7:18 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Brian 6/16/24 12:06 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) shargrol 6/16/24 3:44 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/16/24 1:55 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) shargrol 6/15/24 3:37 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/16/24 1:13 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/17/24 3:33 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/17/24 10:17 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/18/24 3:47 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/18/24 7:29 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/18/24 12:52 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/18/24 4:15 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Conal 6/19/24 12:23 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Bahiya Baby 6/18/24 5:11 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Martin 6/18/24 10:18 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/18/24 11:22 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Tom Wright 6/16/24 1:52 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/16/24 2:29 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Not two, not one 6/16/24 3:52 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Papa Che Dusko 6/16/24 7:11 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/17/24 8:29 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 6/21/24 12:54 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Smiling Stone 6/17/24 2:07 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Matt Jon Rousseau 6/17/24 4:22 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate 6/18/24 12:25 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Papa Che Dusko 6/18/24 8:57 PM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Not two, not one 6/19/24 6:14 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Chris M 6/19/24 9:28 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Not two, not one 6/20/24 2:57 AM
RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi) Jim Smith 7/15/24 7:52 PM
Tom Wright, modified 1 Month ago at 6/9/24 8:25 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/9/24 8:25 PM

general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 28 Join Date: 4/30/24 Recent Posts
Someone on another thread mentioned this method. I've downloaded the book and read a bit. But I haven't read anything by those who have used the method, apart from the quotes from students in the book. 

Is there anyone here who's made use (good use) of this method at any point in their practice?
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Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate, modified 1 Month ago at 6/9/24 11:44 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/9/24 11:44 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 415 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
Yeah I did a TWIM retreat under Delson Armstrong, and their method of metta then doing the sphere expansion visualization works well for me to get jhanas (when my concentration is better than day to day but not necessarily on-retreat levels), and that method worked really well for me to be able to get to J5 and J6 for the first time.
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 5:11 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 5:11 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Tom Wright
Hi!
Someone on another thread
Who? What thread?
mentioned this method.
oh, method. what method?
I've downloaded the book
woot!
and read a bit.
a bit? great. maybe read more, then try it out?
But I haven't read anything by those who have used the method
I have so far not read anything BY you that makes me believe you have bothered to try anything first hand.
apart from the quotes from students in the book.
well, quoting you would be kinda silly too
  Is there anyone here who's made use (good use)
GOOD USE? WTF does that mean?
of this method at any point in their practice?
Any Point? What does that mean?

Aha, I get it finally, Let me condense it a little - 

I also did stuff from a book about things but just a bit and wondered if others have gotten stuff with it anywhere along all practices with everyone in all lengths of time.
So amazingly curious like everyone is, thoughts of those who love to....
Good Luck,
~D
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 2:49 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 2:49 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
I have done an online retreat and an in person retreat with Delson Armstrong too. I very much like the way they combine vipassana and shamatha and Delson is an excellent teacher.

​​​​​​​Conal
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 3:02 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 3:02 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
There has been a recent discussion of TWIM on this forum, by the way:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/27638684
Tom Wright, modified 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 6:51 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/10/24 6:51 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 28 Join Date: 4/30/24 Recent Posts
Aha, thanks for the report and the link.
Brian, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 5:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 5:55 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 114 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
Hi, I attribute almost all of my progress to TWIM. In my view, it simply works. And it's a radical departure in strategy from the usual stuff about extreme concentration. There's no striving. Rather, it mostly involves patience.

Ask the mind to sit on something wholesome, like the feeling of gratitute, or kind feelings for the staff at the local gas station or whatever. You know the mind won't stay there, but you put it on the feeling and ask it to stay there like you would a puppy.

When the mind wanders and you realize it, relax. Feel some tension drain away. You know what concern pulled your attention away, but you relax in its presence, which seems to weaken it. When you know you've relaxed, turn mind back to the wholesome object. That's pretty much all there is to it. It works (it decreases craving). Decreasing craving is pretty much the same thing as increasing happiness.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 7:34 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/12/24 7:34 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
... the usual stuff about extreme concentration.

I'm curious - what's this?
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 1:58 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/13/24 11:12 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I got a lot of mileage out of something very similar to the 6r's that I developed myself, so I have a favorable opinion of the 6r's.

The relax step I think is very important and is missing from most mediation instructions. I give relaxation even more importance that it has in TWIM. I made progress faster once I added relaxation to my practice. In my opinion, letting go = relaxation. If you are clinging to a rope you let go of it by relaxing your grip. From a neurological point of view, mindfulness deactivates the default network in the brain and activates the experiential network. Relaxation deactivates the sympathetic nervous system and activates the sympathetic nervous system. When I have the default network deactivated and the parasympathetic nervous system activated, when I am "relaxed in the present moment", nothing bothers me. 

At that point I start doing vipassana, when an unpleasant emotion or thought or feeling arises I stay with it observing any mental resistance and trying to let go of (relax) the mental resistance. Letting emotions flow without pushing away: judging, rejecting, or suppressing it, and not getting drawn in: lost in thought or carried away by emotions.  It is the mental resistance that is the cause of suffering, it is the ego objecting to some fact of reality.  Relaxing that resistance is disengaging the ego. When you get this right, letting the emotions flow without mental objection it's like they are not yours, it's ... nice.

I'm not an expert on TWIM but from glancing through the book: 
https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
it looks to me (despite the I in TWIM) like it is heavy on samatha and light on insight.

So the 6r's are good for quieting the mind and putting you in a good state to do vipassana, but when the mind is quiet enough, I think it is helpful to work on developing insight.

So I would say TWIM is great but I would also do something else to cultivate vipassana.

There are many ways to wake up so I am not saying samatha doesn't work by itself. I just prefer to balance samatha and vipassana. Not everyone will have the same preference I'm just pointing it out because others might want to consider it.
​​​​​​​
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/thanissaro/onetool.html
The Place of Vipassana in Buddhist Practice
...
In the few instances where they do mention vipassana, they almost always pair it with samatha — not as two alternative methods, but as two qualities of mind that a person may "gain" or "be endowed with," and that should be developed together.

https://inquiringmind.com/article/2701_w_kornfield-enlightenments/
As Ajahn Chah described them, meditative states are not important in themselves. Meditation is a way to quiet the mind so you can practice all day long wherever you are; see when there is grasping or aversion, clinging or suffering; and then let it go.


When the buddha taught meditation in the anapanasati sutta, he included samatha and vipassana techniques.

https://www.themindingcentre.org/dharmafarer/wp-content/uploads/7.13-Anapanasati-S-m118-piya.pdf
The 16 steps of ānâpāna,sati as satipaṭṭhāna

the 12 steps for getting into dhyana (mental absorption)—samatha

1. contemplation of the body [§24]
step 1—knowing a long breath
step 2—knowing a short breath
step 3—experiencing the whole breath (or whole “body”)
step 4—calming the breath (bodily formations)

2. contemplation of feelings: Entry into dhyana [§25]

step 5—experiencing zest [joy]
step 6—experiencing happiness
step 7—experiencing mental formation (zest and happiness)
step 8—calming both mental formations

3. contemplation of the mind [§26]

step 9—experiencing the mind
step 10—gladdening the mind (shining the meditation sign, nimitta)
step 11—concentrating the mind (sustaining the sign)
step 12—freeing the mind

the 4 steps to take after emerging from dhyana—vipassanā

4. contemplation of dharmas [§27]

step 13—contemplating impermanence (anicca)
step 14—contemplating fading away (of lust) (virāga)
step 15—contemplating cessation (of suffering) (nirodha)
step 16—contemplating letting go (of defilements) (paṭinissagga)
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:03 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:03 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
 Thanks Jim Smith for a bit of a breakdown

I'm not against TWIMers but I find that those people are pimping it quite hard without saying much about it.
How is TWIM special enough in any way to differentiate it from basic Buddhist stuff?
There seems to be a marketing campaign going on. ---   (WOOOT to (Bhante Vimalaramsi) as is verily always mentioned.)
Just my opinion.

Is there a clear goal?
Is there a clear method to attain it?
Is there a clear way to know you got it?

My pragmatic ethos that I go by.
Just wondering if it feels a bit culty.

~D 
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:56 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 5:56 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Jim,

It's great that you've adopted a similar style to TWIM. I agree that the relax step is very important and actually you just do the relax step when you get to the quiet mind stage of TWIM.

 I am surprised that you consider that TWIM doesn't do much vipassana though. Your description of how you do vipassana is pretty much exactly what you do with TWIM! Your "unpleasant emotion or thought" would be a hindrance and therefore you would apply the 6rs to them.  By the way, you can consider the hindrances as anything that takes your mind away from the object of meditation.

Best regards,

Conal
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 2:45 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 6:21 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Conal
Hi Jim,

It's great that you've adopted a similar style to TWIM. I agree that the relax step is very important and actually you just do the relax step when you get to the quiet mind stage of TWIM.

 I am surprised that you consider that TWIM doesn't do much vipassana though. Your description of how you do vipassana is pretty much exactly what you do with TWIM! Your "unpleasant emotion or thought" would be a hindrance and therefore you would apply the 6rs to them.  By the way, you can consider the hindrances as anything that takes your mind away from the object of meditation.

Best regards,

Conal


When I am doing vipassana I don't do the 6 r's. I recognize but I don't go on to release.


https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
Release
When a thought about something arises, release it. Let it be there without giving any more attention to it. The content of the distraction is not important at all, but the mechanics of how it arose are important! Don’t analyze it or try to figure out why it is there; let it be without keeping mind’s attention on it. Without your mind’s attention, the distraction loses energy and passes away. When you do not keep your attention on it, a distraction and the mental chatter about it ceases. Mindfulness then reminds the meditator to…

When I am doing vipassana, in meditation and daily life, I don't do this release step for unpleasant emotions and thoughts. The content is important to me because it shows how the ego is involved when suffering arises. (Right there you have all of the three characteristics if you are willing to look). I stay with the unpleasant thoughts and emotions, letting them flow without pushing away or getting drawn in, and I dig through layers to get to to bottom of them. There are often many related thoughts and emotions, I let them all flow, and I work through them all (if I can) as they get subtler and subtler, until I have relaxed every gross and subtle tension/unpleasantness in my mind. I've endured the suffering to bring all this up into consciousness I want face as much of it as I can while it I am aware of it.  I'm starting from a very peaceful state (default network deactivated, parasympathetic network activated) and I try to get back to it.  It has worked for me where the 6r's type technique didn't - on hot button triggers, and in on-going situations where I am constantly triggered.
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Jim Smith, modified 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 6:43 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/14/24 6:41 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Also, about the 6 r's, I think the resmile step has value, it is certainly consistent with the anapanasati sutta. However I find that relaxation has an effect that produces a kind of tranquil happiness (sukha) which I prefer. The smile technique feels like it is messing with my neurotransimitters and I don't really like it - maybe it's an individual thing - I just like the default network deactivated / parasympathetic nervous system activated kind of sukha better. When you quiet the mind and take away stress, there is a natural pleasant tranquil happiness that remains.
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 2:27 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 2:27 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Jim,

thanks for the explanation.  I think my practice is similar to yours actually. The release/relax steps can take me a long time because I need to understand the mechanics of the hindrance before I can move on. This is actually consistent with TWIM too. This quote is taken from the Dhamma Sukha website where they explain the 6rs "When you are practicing TWIM, you do not suppress anything. Suppression means we would push down or push away or not allow certain types of experience. This would temporarily stop hindrances from arising. Instead, when a hindrance arises, you must work to open your mind by seeing clearly anicca (impermanence, it wasn't there and now it is), dukkha (suffering or unsatisfactoriness, you see that when these distractions arise they are painful), and anattā (not taking it personally, seeing the hindrances in the true way as being an impersonal process that you have no control over and not taking these hindrances as “I am that”).".

Your starting "peaceful state" seems to be what TWIM calls the "quiet mind".  See chapter 14 of David Johnson's book "The Path to Nibbana" available at:

https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/the_path_to_nibbana__d_johnson_f18.pdf

best regards,

​​​​​​​Conal
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:36 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:34 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Dream Walker,

I thought I would jump in here to try to answer your questions.
 

"How is TWIM special enough in any way to differentiate it from basic Buddhist stuff?"

It's about as basic as you can get really, as it is based squarely on the sutras.  They reckon that the commentaries such as the Visuddhimagga in particular have led people astray by separating vipassana and shamatha (as Jim has explained above).


"Is there a clear goal?"

Absolutely, full enlightenment or, in other words, the state of arahant. They define it according to the traditional manner with regard to abandoning the ten fetters. It differs from the MCTB goal in that respect, as Daniel doesn't consider abandonment of the ten fetters to be a realistic goal.

"Is there a clear method to attain it?"

Yes, I think so. There's lots of information available on the Dharma Sukha website and in the freely available books on it (see the links above , for example). Their online retreats are very good too.

"Is there a clear way to know you got it?"

You reach the end of suffering!

Conal 
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Dream Walker, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 9:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 9:55 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Tom Wright
Is there anyone here who's made use (good use) of this method at any point in their practice?
This is a great question. Did you get any answers that you were looking for?
I guess I would look to those who can report results, as they might measure such a thing.
​​​​​​​~D
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 1:46 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 1:08 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Absolutely, full enlightenment or, in other words, the state of arahant. They define it according to the traditional manner with regard to abandoning the ten fetters. It differs from the MCTB goal in that respect, as Daniel doesn't consider abandonment of the ten fetters to be a realistic goal.

I can understand why this appears to be a laudable goal for one's practice, but I'm compelled by experience to be honest and blunt: 

Many here on DhO and elsewhere have tried this shedding of their human qualities, thus claiming what they believe to be perfection, only to have to recant later or disappear in shame, having claimed such a ridiculous impossibility. It's based on a misunderstanding of the true fruits of meditation and spiritual practice. I don't care who pushes this stuff - it's unwise and, literally, an abandonment of what it is to be human.
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:34 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:32 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 2565 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Well, and just to say it another way:

How many arhats has TWIM produced, etc. etc. 

or

Is there anyone that practices TWIM that is "free from suffering"?

(The classic answer to this is "yes, but they're dead so you can't see the evidence".) I think the non-perfection traditions are at least honest. emoticon 

But who knows, maybe there is a bunch of perfect, suffering-free people running around that I'm not aware of.  


May all beings awaken
May all beings be free from suffering
May all beings be happy

​​​​​​​
shargrol, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:37 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 3:37 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

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Brian, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:12 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:12 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 114 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
Chris M:
... the usual stuff about extreme concentration.
I'm curious - what's this?
<br /><br />Anything about focusing on nimittas to the extent that a meditator can't hear what's going on around them, etc.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:13 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Is that inherently a bad thing? Or... ?
Brian, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:15 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:15 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 114 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
shargrol:
Well, and just to say it another way: How many arhats has TWIM produced, etc. etc.&nbsp; or Is there anyone that practices TWIM that is "free from suffering"?
<br /><br />Buddhism probably went a slightly wrong direction around the time of the Vissuddhimagga, and TWIM started being taught (again), what, ten years ago? But yes, I've decreased my craving quite a lot, and I distinctly notice myself not wanting anything in the world, and setbacks don't hurt, etc. I'm not perfect, but I definitely seem to be on my way.
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Chris M, modified 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:18 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/15/24 7:18 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Everybody's buddhism is the one and only right Buddhism. emoticon
Brian, modified 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 12:06 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 12:06 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 114 Join Date: 1/21/19 Recent Posts
I don't claim it's the "one and only right" Buddhism, I just claim it's probably closer to what happened to the Buddha-to-be under the rose apple tree.
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 1:55 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 1:50 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
I distinctly notice myself not wanting anything in the world, and setbacks don't hurt, etc. I'm not perfect, but I definitely seem to be on my way.
Same here. 

​​​​​​​By the way, Delson Armstrong seems to be an example of an arahant who got there using TWIM and he isn't dead! This is in response to Shargol's comment above.
Conal, modified 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 4:11 AM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 2:46 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Chris,



Many here on DhO and elsewhere have tried this shedding of their human qualities, thus claiming what they believe to be perfection, only to have to recant later or disappear in shame, having claimed such a ridiculous impossibility. It's based on a misunderstanding of the true fruits of meditation and spiritual practice. I don't care who pushes this stuff - it's unwise and, literally, an abandonment of what it is to be human.

It is however, what the Buddha taught and seems to have accomplished!  If being human means that you are stuck with having ill will, conceit and ignorance, then it seems like a worthwhile endeavour to become supra human.

Also, those who have really accomplished it don't tend to come on fora such as this and boast about it, as that's rather a conceited thing to do.  I too have noticed over the years quite advanced people who disappear from here. Maybe they no longer feel the need to engage in this manner. 

​​​​​​​Conal
shargrol, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 3:44 PM
Created 1 Month ago at 6/16/24 6:06 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 2565 Join Date: 2/8/16 Recent Posts
Chris M
Everybody's buddhism is the one and only right Buddhism. emoticon

Well, my buddhism IS the one and only right buddhism... because it explains why there are so many different buddhisms and psychological models and physical therapies and religions and beliefs and ideals and wars and insanities and cultures and drug-accesses domains and medical treatments and visions and ghosts and ufos and aliens and concentration states and clothing styles and genres of music and different languages and types of shoes and different types of pottery and styles of architecture.

EDIT: I realize that this post is likely to be misunderstood. Maybe Chris gets my humor, but obviously words on a screen are easily misinterpreted...

My point is that reality is a very complicated place, but that's not any problem if you honor reality above any belief/worldview. Idealism/worldview is a helpful tool but every ideal and worldview ultimately falls apart in the face of reality. But that's not because ideals and worldviews are wrong, it's because they are ideals and worldviews. And ideals and worldviews behaving like ideals and worldviews is not a problem, that's what they are. There are a lot of approaches to meditation because... there are a lot of approaches to meditation. And it's not a problem. There are a lot of buddhisms and it's not a problem. There is a lot of realities and it's not a problem.

Even suffering is not a problem, because it is also our teacher. It sucks, for sure, but it's also possible to honor it as a teacher. It's all very interesting when pondered deeply.

But I also know that none of this will be resolved during an online forum discussion, because it hasn't been resolved in 2500 years of buddhism itself. emoticon  But my buddhism includes that reality too. 

And I can predict with 100% accuracy that when this next generation of TWIM meditators each awakens, they will have their own style of teaching and emphasis. No teacher is a carbon copy of their teacher. It's a beautiful thing. 


May all beings be calm and at ease
May all beings be healthy, rested, and whole
May all beings be safe and free from any form of danger
May all beings bravely and intimately experience this present moment
And may all beings wisely notice any reactive patterns that arise
May all beings awaken
May all beings be free from suffering
May all beings be happy

​​​​​​​
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Chris M, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 1:13 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 1:13 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
I'll say this - any practice, lineage or belief system that aspires to anything beyond being a kind, compassionate, and reality-based (nod to shargrol) *human being* is not for me. If folks feel a need or desire to become what was called here "supra-human" you should absolutely do it. Many do try.
Tom Wright, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 1:52 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 1:52 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 28 Join Date: 4/30/24 Recent Posts
Replying to Dream Walker: I got some answers, yes, and I'm grateful for the responses on this thread. What I've learned is that there are very different takes on TWIM and that, since I'm unable to judge what went into forming these takes, for now I'm not going to give it a concerted try. I imagine there's something useful there, but also maybe some material and expectations that I wouldn't do much with skillfully at present. 

Still just getting my feet wet in all this, still barely establishing a concentration and insight practice, so every little thing helps. 
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Jim Smith, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 2:29 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 2:11 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I view perfection as the goal but I don't expect to attain perfection myself. Like a sprinter tries to go as fast as they can, they don't limit themselves with preconceived constraints, but they know there are physical limits. In the case of awakening, whether or not any human can attain perfect enlightenment is not something I have any certainty about one way or the other, maybe it's impossible maybe it's possible. I don't know. Dedicated people are capable of amazing things, there are all sorts of outliers in any field of human endeavour, and there are all sorts of unusual types of brain disorders.

Also there might be some misunderstanding what nibbana means according to the Pali Canon. For a living person, perfection is not considered possible, that can only occur after death.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nirvana_(Buddhism)#Nirvana_with_and_without_remainder_of_fuel
Sa-upādisesa-nibbāna (Pali; Sanskrit sopadhiśeṣa-nirvāṇa), "nirvana with remainder", "nirvana with residue." Nirvana is attained during one's life, when the fires are extinguished. There is still the "residue" of the five skandhas, and a "residue of fuel", which however is not "burning". Nirvana-in-this-life is believed to result in a transformed mind with qualities such as happiness, freedom of negative mental states, peacefulness and non-reactiveness.

An-up ādisesa-nibbāna (Pali; Sanskrit nir-upadhiśeṣa-nirvāṇa), "nirvana without remainder," "nirvana without residue". This is the final nirvana, or parinirvana or "blowing out" at the moment of death, when there is no fuel left.


And there are various understandings of the term in ordinary usage:

https://www.dhammatalks.net/Articles/Bhikkhu_Buddhadasa_NIBBANA_FOR_EVERYONE.htm
Any reactive emotion that arises ceases when its causes and conditions are finished. Although it may be a temporary quenching, merely a temporary coolness, it still means Nibbana, even if only temporarily.
...
Whenever there is freedom from defilement, then there is the value and meaning of Nibbana. This must occur fairly often for living things to survive. That we have some time to relax both bodily and mentally provides us with the freshness and vitality needed to live.


And I think there are different interpretations of Buddhism in general, some people think the advanced stages are mystical or vastly different from ordinary consciousness, and other people think they are not really very unusual:

https://enlightenmentward.wordpress.com/2010/03/22/man-on-cloud-mountain-shodo-harada-roshi-segment-4-of-7-transcript/
Often enlightenment or kensho or satori is considered to be some kind of unusual experience or something external or some kind of special phenomenon. But it’s not like that. There may be some kind of sudden revelation or some kind of sudden perception, but its not something that is that unusual or that strange or foreign that we come upon or that comes upon us. What it is, is the ability to see without any interruption of the ego, without any filtering of the ego. And since we are all walking around seeing things through our ego filter almost all the time, to suddenly be able to see without that filter is a surprise. But it is nothing that we have ever not had.



https://www.lionsroar.com/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/
The only difference between an enlightened person and a non-enlightened person is that when the feel-image-talk self doesn’t arise during the day, the enlightened person notices that and knows that to be a clear experience of no-self. The non-enlightened person actually has that experience hundreds of times a day, when they’re briefly pulled to a physical-type touch or an external sight or sound. For just a moment there is just the world of touch-sight-sound. For just a moment there is no self inside that person but they don’t notice it! But just because they don’t notice it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened.
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Not two, not one, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 3:52 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 3:52 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1047 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Well, I think perfection is a trap. The search for the last drop of perfect practice becomes a clinging, a complex, a source of karma. A striving that is the opposite of cessation, the opposite of letting go, the opposite of relinquishment.

Love, Malcolm
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 7:11 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 7:11 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 2926 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
Not two, not one
Well, I think perfection is a trap. The search for the last drop of perfect practice becomes a clinging, a complex, a source of karma. A striving that is the opposite of cessation, the opposite of letting go, the opposite of relinquishment.

Love, Malcolm

Aww emoticon so good to see you post again! Your words are like poetry to my ears! 
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Jim Smith, modified 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 9:38 PM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/16/24 9:38 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
...

When I am doing vipassana I don't do the 6 r's. I recognize but I don't go on to release.

https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
Release When a thought about something arises, release it. Let it be there without giving any more attention to it. The content of the distraction is not important at all, but the mechanics of how it arose are important! Don’t analyze it or try to figure out why it is there; let it be without keeping mind’s attention on it. Without your mind’s attention, the distraction loses energy and passes away. When you do not keep your attention on it, a distraction and the mental chatter about it ceases. Mindfulness then reminds the meditator to…
When I am doing vipassana, in meditation and daily life, I don't do this release step for unpleasant emotions and thoughts. The content is important to me because it shows how the ego is involved when suffering arises. (Right there you have all of the three characteristics if you are willing to look). I stay with the unpleasant thoughts and emotions, letting them flow without pushing away or getting drawn in, and I dig through layers to get to to bottom of them. There are often many related thoughts and emotions, I let them all flow, and I work through them all (if I can) as they get subtler and subtler, until I have relaxed every gross and subtle tension/unpleasantness in my mind. I've endured the suffering to bring all this up into consciousness I want face as much of it as I can while it I am aware of it.  I'm starting from a very peaceful state (default network deactivated, parasympathetic network activated) and I try to get back to it.  It has worked for me where the 6r's type technique didn't - on hot button triggers, and in on-going situations where I am constantly triggered.


Shinzen Young says there are three aspects to mindfulness, concentration, clarity, and equanimity.

You need concentration, a quiet mind, or your mind will be wandering so much you can't do the technique, you will be thinking about other things.
Equanimity means you don't push away or judge emotions and you don't get lost in thought trying to solve the problem or carried away by emotions either.
Clarity means you understand what you are experiencing.

The explanation of release from the 6 r's which I quoted doesn't give you an opportunity to develop sufficient clarity, in my opinion. Emotions are often multi-layered, we react with emotions to other emotions sometimes to mask other emotions, and emotions can trigger other emotions from related situations. When you are feeling an emotion, to get good clarity, you have to take it apart, dig through layers, identify related emotions, and feel them all to their full depth, distinctly and consciously with equanimity -  not pushing away, not judging, not getting carried away.  
Conal, modified 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 3:33 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 3:33 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Hi Chris,
I'll say this - any practice, lineage or belief system that aspires to anything beyond being a kind, compassionate, and reality-based (nod to shargrol) *human being* is not for me. If folks feel a need or desire to become what was called here "supra-human" you should absolutely do it. Many do try.
Well, we seem to have become caught up in semantics here, as is often the case with discussions like this.  Just to clarify, I consider enlightenment of the ten fetters kind to be within the range of "ordinary" human experience. My "supra human" comment above was just to distinguish it from how you seemed to be defining humanity.

Your aspiration to be "a kind, compassionate, and reality-based being"  is commendable and I am sure that you have gone a long way towards achieving it. My feeling is that it's not fully achievable without also dropping sensual desire, as that is what sets us apart from other people.

best regards,

​​​​​​​Conal
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Chris M, modified 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 10:17 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 8:27 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
My feeling is that it's not fully achievable without also dropping sensual desire, as that is what sets us apart from other people.

This leaves me with two questions:

- Who is "us" referring to in this sentence?
- Why would sensual desire be a distinguishing factor? Isn't it a human (mammalian, animal) attribute?

Also: "... sets us apart from other people."  Hmm.

Curious...

Anyway, selecting some human attributes but not others to eliminate seems odd to me, not only because of the "eliminate" part but because, well, who is choosing which things to get rid of as not worthy of those who are spiritually perfect?
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Chris M, modified 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 8:29 AM
Created 29 Days ago at 6/17/24 8:29 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Well, I think perfection is a trap. The search for the last drop of perfect practice becomes a clinging, a complex, a source of karma. A striving that is the opposite of cessation, the opposite of letting go, the opposite of relinquishment.


This is stated better than I've been saying it. And, of course, this is also how I perceive the issue of perfection in practice.
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Smiling Stone, modified 28 Days ago at 6/17/24 2:07 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/17/24 2:07 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 342 Join Date: 5/10/16 Recent Posts
Hello everyone !
Coming back to topic : have you heard of Oleg Pavlov ? (see his bio below)
He issued some strong criticism about TWIM, which seem valid to me although he seems to have had some unreasonable expectancies around the technique.There's a reddit feed about a long article he wrote with another ex-practicioner (which goes into the discrepancies with the suttas, mainly, but also gives some details about NA and Vimalaramsi - I took the bio from there), and two youtube videos, one in russian and one in english (the russian one is more thorough, You can put subtitles).
Personnaly, I was rubbed the wrong way by Delson Armstrong talking about the passing of Bhante. I felt like I was fed (bull)sh*t (look at how I was as/more advanced as/than the master, look where my wisdom eye told me he's reborn etc...) ! (which of course is just my feeling. If you like it go for it!)

Oleg Pavlov

He studied at Suttavada from 2015 to 2021, studied with such Suttavada teachers as Bhante
Vimalaramsi, David Johnson (BV's closest assistant), Khanti Khema. Assisted Bhante
Vimalaramsi at one of the retreats. Since 2017, he has been teaching meditation according to
the Suttavada method (he is a certified teacher), led six live and four online retreats, and also
taught and advised many students privately. In addition, all this time he constantly
communicated with Suttavadin teachers and students from other countries.
Before the Suttavada, starting in 1995, he got acquainted with various methods of practice
from Christianity to Zen Buddhism. The methods of "single-point concentration" at one time
caused him a migraine status, then he "earned" the same status by practicing the Suttavada
when he tried to find something else out from the subtle sleeping of NPNNP and suttavada-
nirodha.
In Suttavada Oleg has reached the degree of "suttavada-anagami", but at the same time he
notes phenomena that cannot be characteristic of anagami, and, in general, he does not see
any noticeable difference in this regard with his pre-Suttavadin period. At the same time, Oleg
easily enters the Suttavadin nirodha. However, this state, according to Oleg's observations, has
more to do with entering the deep dreamless sleeping and does not have an effect that would
be beneficial in terms of Dhamma. When Oleg tried to bypass this condition by continuing to
work with the methods of the Suttavada, as a result, he again entered the migraine status. In
other words, he was faced with a choice: either entering the deep dreamless sleeping, or the
migraine status. Both are dead ends. In addition, the very fact of the resumption of migraine
status in the framework of TWIM, just as it was in the framework of the methods of "single-point
concentration", which Suttavada strongly opposes, made us think about whether the difference
between these two methods is so fundamental. However, until recently Oleg attributed this fact
to the possible physiological defects of his own brain.
In addition, communicating with his students and with students of other teachers, as well as with
the teachers themselves, Oleg had the opportunity to observe the development of TWIM
practice on the example of many hundreds if not thousands of people, that is, he had the
opportunity to look at the situation statistically. The results of these observations were
depressing: practice inevitably came to a dead end for everyone. In fact, not a single person
who is in the Suttavada and known to Oleg escaped this fate.
In addition, he had the opportunity for quite long periods of time to observe those who,
according to the criteria of the Suttavada, became a Noble Person. Here, too, there were no
fundamental differences between the state of a person before and after enlightenment, and
sometimes it even happened that the state became noticeably less balanced. Even at the
retreat, where he assisted Bhante Vimalaramsi, he had the opportunity to observe from the
inside the process of "giving out the marks of Excellence", and this already caused him
skepticism. After that, when conducting his own retreats, he tried not to do it as rudely as it was
in the case of Bhante Vimalaramsi, but nevertheless, he had to do it, since the "distribution of
the marks" in the form of degrees of enlightenment and jhanas is part of the Suttavada doctrine.
Hope this helps !
metta
smiling stone
Matt Jon Rousseau, modified 28 Days ago at 6/17/24 4:22 PM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/17/24 4:22 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 203 Join Date: 5/1/22 Recent Posts
I think the claims by Armstrong  are outlandish.  The TWIM technique itself doesn't seem thar bad. It's not crazy, or out of line with typical samatha/vipassana practice. I imagine it would show results if somebody put hours a day Into it. 
Conal, modified 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 3:47 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 3:42 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
This leaves me with two questions:

- Who is "us" referring to in this sentence?
- Why would sensual desire be a distinguishing factor? Isn't it a human (mammalian, animal) attribute?

Also: "... sets us apart from other people."  Hmm.

Curious...

Anyway, selecting some human attributes but not others to eliminate seems odd to me, not only because of the "eliminate" part but because, well, who is choosing which things to get rid of as not worthy of those who are spiritually perfect?

Well, it's pretty basic Buddhism. Do you really need me to give you a tutorial on the second noble truth and dependent origination?

I'm guessing that your questions are more rhetorical than actual. I do understand your position and have quite a bit of sympathy for it. I feel compelled to go further though.  It probably comes down to how tired one is of samsara.  Anyway I shall continue on my path and see where it takes me and I wish you luck with yours.

​​​​​​​Conal
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Bahiya Baby, modified 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 5:11 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 4:58 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 563 Join Date: 5/26/23 Recent Posts
 I think the questions Chris is posing are really quite poignant and point towards pretty deep practice.

For whom is it that sensual desire is a problem?

Sensual desire in many respects is not that big a deal, it's just how mammals carry on. It's not sensual desires fault that the self can't let go of obsession. There's an entire complex of reaction and entrenched neuroticism that unfolds as we experience the sensuality of our lives. It's that complex that seems to be the cause of all our problems. It is also that complex which thoroughly refuses rigorous examination. Thus we must endeavour to be subtle and honest in our investigations when we look to see how much of that complex dictates our ideas about what awakening is, what traditions offer, what good practice consists of and so on. Further, how we idly see our selves in relation to others, in relation to teachers, in relation to spirituality etc. 

As Shargrol points out these are worldviews and worldviews are ultimately transient. The crazy thing about prolonged meditative practice is one starts to see so many worldviews come and go that it becomes harder and harder to choose any specific hill to die on. In addition to this one reaches an escape velocity with the dharma where the best teacher is just some dude(or dudette) who did a hike you're interested in a few summers back and can offer some helpful pointers on the terrain. At that point a lot of the palaver of the traditions can seem excessive, or certainly does so for me.

The last thing I'll say and something I often want to say when these types of discussions come up...

There are two basic stages to learning meditation... Dialling in the launch sequence and flying the ship. Transmitting the launch codes to people is I think the most difficult aspect of guiding someone toward good practice. I do suspect the TWIM approach provides a decent means to get your ass off the ground. Once you're flying the ship the pressure is off in some respects. If you're trying to get to a Galaxy in Turiya but you keep ending up in some back alley in Zeta Reticuli then obviously you got the wrong damn directions. It's on us as individuals to figure that out, our worldviews can prevent us from seeing what obstructs us, but as long as we're honest with ourselves and our spiritual amigos then it shouldn't be too much of a problem. Then in time worldviews start falling away. Galaxies of meaning arise and are gone, vanished in the mind stream and every dusky back alley becomes just another track through the stars. 
 
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Chris M, modified 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 7:29 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 7:26 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Well, it's pretty basic Buddhism. Do you really need me to give you a tutorial on the second noble truth and dependent origination? I'm guessing that your questions are more rhetorical than actual. I do understand your position and have quite a bit of sympathy for it. I feel compelled to go further though.  It probably comes down to how tired one is of samsara.  Anyway I shall continue on my path and see where it takes me and I wish you luck with yours. ​​​​​​​Conal


My questions, admittedly a bit nuanced, were serious and not rhetorical, Conal, but you seem to be either avoiding answering or you've just missed my points of curiosity. If you don't want to answer that's fine. I wish you well in your practice, too. 
Martin, modified 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 10:18 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 10:18 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 907 Join Date: 4/25/20 Recent Posts
Damn, Bahiya, this is one of the most best things I've ever seen written here. You are spot on! 

Ultimately, flying the ship is often more important than the coordinates on the star chart. Success in meditation can be measured in terms of the handling of the ship and the number of options one has in approaching a constellation. The names and shapes of the individual constellations people chart their courses around matter less. 
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Chris M, modified 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 11:22 AM
Created 28 Days ago at 6/18/24 11:22 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
IOW, the journey itself is the destination. It's a never-ending journey. If you get to a place that seems to be the end, reconsider, give it more time, wait, and reconnoiter.
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Geoffrey Gatekeeper of the Gateless Gate, modified 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 12:25 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 12:25 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 415 Join Date: 10/30/23 Recent Posts
I've met the guy and I don't think his claims are too outlandish. I think the real orthodox v MTCB debate over what an arhant is blah blah blah is basically people not really agreeing on what it means to uproot fetters (Im mean, what does unshakable faith in the buddha really mean???). I trained under a super orthodox monk on retreat for a few months (who i suspect was an arhant), and I remember asking him "so if an arhant drinks 10 cups of coffee or goes 10 days without sleep is there really going to be no restlessness or sloth? Is it just the physical thing happens but the mental component isnt there?", and he explained that "its not like that, these things just become so neutral they dont really have an impact".
Conal, modified 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 12:52 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 12:49 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
My questions, admittedly a bit nuanced, were serious and not rhetorical, Conal, but you seem to be either avoiding answering or you've just missed my points of curiosity. If you don't want to answer that's fine. I wish you well in your practice, too. 

Ok then, here goes:
Who is "us" referring to in this sentence?


Human beings 
Why would sensual desire be a distinguishing factor? Isn't it a human (mammalian, animal) attribute?


 I mentioned sensual desire because it is one of the ten fetters (number 4 in the usual list) and we had been discussing the ten fetter model in relation to TWIM. Of course it is a human attribute. It is also what keeps us from being enlightened as per the second noble truth.

 Conal
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Chris M, modified 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 4:15 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 4:15 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
Conal, I note that your answers are basically, "Things are this way because someone else said so." As your practice matures, you will very likely find yourself less prone to take the word of others, even the suttas, as gospel. The more mature the practice, the more investigation and personal experience guide our thoughts on the dharma. This is maybe the most profound part of Buddhist practice - testing every last thing, from top to bottom, for ourselves. 
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Papa Che Dusko, modified 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 8:57 PM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 8:56 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 2926 Join Date: 3/1/20 Recent Posts
There is a thing called a "pOwEr rEaLm" and stuff can happen thats like awesome and vivid and ...s hit. emoticon One can go down that "path" and see the 3 C's of it or go more and more believing in it and get utterly lost. Any and all arise-passings are just that. Nothing more, and nothing less. 
Conal, modified 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 12:23 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/18/24 11:36 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 79 Join Date: 6/3/17 Recent Posts
Chris M
Conal, I note that your answers are basically, "Things are this way because someone else said so." As your practice matures, you will very likely find yourself less prone to take the word of others, even the suttas, as gospel. The more mature the practice, the more investigation and personal experience guide our thoughts on the dharma. This is maybe the most profound part of Buddhist practice - testing every last thing, from top to bottom, for ourselves. 
Hi Chris,

That may be true for the conversation we were having above but it is not at all true of me in general. I have tried several different approaches to meditation and moved on because they weren't what I was looking for.  I have done two Mahasi noting retreats, for example, but I really didn't like it. Having done that I can quite understand why Daniel doesn't consider the ten fetters model to be achievable. Noting leads to a very active mind which is diametrically opposed to the quiet mind that you eventually get to with TWIM practice. Your comments on "eliminating human attributes" above misses the point entirely, I have to say. As your mind quietens down you become disenchanted with the material world and worldly desires simply begin to dissipate or not arise any more. I am far from being a ten fetter arahant, but Daniel's famous "hottie in a hot tub" test seems laughable to me now and I'm sure I would pass with flying colours!

What is interesting too is how this practice aligns so well with what the Buddha taught. Dependent origination never made much sense to me before, but you begin to see the links for yourself and see how it all fits together exactly as described.  It's pretty amazing that the descriptions that have come to us from two and a half thousand years ago hold up so well in practice.

​​​​​​​Conal
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Not two, not one, modified 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 6:14 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 5:52 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1047 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Sensual desire and ill will, lust and hatred, movement towards and movement away, positive valence and negative valence. All manifestations of the same thing. The fetter model is more or less right I think, but it has been corrupted. For those two fetters, it means being their master rather than their slave.  It doesn't mean you never get lusty, or hungry, or pained, or annoyed . :-)

Love, Malcolm

edit: although I agree that certain lifestyles and practices promote tranquility, and this occurs with great strength at some stages of the path of purification, but my opinion is that you can have internal equanimity without needing extreme levels of tranquility
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Dream Walker, modified 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 6:19 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 6:19 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1759 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Conal
Hi Chris,



Many here on DhO and elsewhere have tried this shedding of their human qualities, thus claiming what they believe to be perfection, only to have to recant later or disappear in shame, having claimed such a ridiculous impossibility. It's based on a misunderstanding of the true fruits of meditation and spiritual practice. I don't care who pushes this stuff - it's unwise and, literally, an abandonment of what it is to be human.

It is however, what the Buddha taught
AHHhhhhh, thanks Conal for pointing out what the tru be
and seems to have accomplished!
Oh, thanks again for sharing that.
If being human means that you are stuck with having ill will, conceit and ignorance, then it seems like a worthwhile endeavour to become supra human.
I don't wanna be stuck! Can I join your unstuckness supra dupra belief? If its true, based off the overwhelming evidence....worthwhile

Also, those who have really accomplished it don't tend to come on fora such as this and boast about it,
You know that they don't boast? Great. You also know they don't tend to come on a fora?
as that's rather a conceited thing to do.
True, conceited, rather, as defined, things such as being so knowledgeable about things that are and are not the way they are.

I too have noticed over the years quite advanced people who disappear from here.
You have? Noticed? Advanced in what way? Please elaborate.
Maybe they no longer feel the need to engage in this manner. 
Maybe, whoever they are, no longer wish to engage with certain people in any manner...I can imagine that being true.....
​​​​​​
Conal
Thanks for your opinions Conal,
So glad we all have the freedom here to freely have a voice,
I hope you feel happy expressing yours and reading mine.
~D
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Chris M, modified 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 9:28 AM
Created 27 Days ago at 6/19/24 9:26 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 5331 Join Date: 1/26/13 Recent Posts
... it means being their master rather than their slave.  It doesn't mean you never get lusty, or hungry, or pained, or annoyed 

It's called "wisdom" - the deep, seeped-in, in-the-bones knowing of how the human mind operates. Ignorance is the opposite. We master the defilements by investigating, through meditation, how this process works (dependent origination). We don't eliminate our emotions, our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, or our drives. They remain part of who and what we are, but we can eventually see through them. Mastery, yes.
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Jim Smith, modified 26 Days ago at 6/19/24 12:31 PM
Created 26 Days ago at 6/19/24 12:29 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
...

When I am doing vipassana I don't do the 6 r's. I recognize but I don't go on to release.


https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
Release
When a thought about something arises, release it. Let it be there without giving any more attention to it. The content of the distraction is not important at all, but the mechanics of how it arose are important! Don’t analyze it or try to figure out why it is there; let it be without keeping mind’s attention on it. Without your mind’s attention, the distraction loses energy and passes away. When you do not keep your attention on it, a distraction and the mental chatter about it ceases. Mindfulness then reminds the meditator to…

When I am doing vipassana, in meditation and daily life, I don't do this release step for unpleasant emotions and thoughts. The content is important to me because it shows how the ego is involved when suffering arises. (Right there you have all of the three characteristics if you are willing to look). I stay with the unpleasant thoughts and emotions, letting them flow without pushing away or getting drawn in, and I dig through layers to get to to bottom of them. There are often many related thoughts and emotions, I let them all flow, and I work through them all (if I can) as they get subtler and subtler, until I have relaxed every gross and subtle tension/unpleasantness in my mind. I've endured the suffering to bring all this up into consciousness I want face as much of it as I can while it I am aware of it.  I'm starting from a very peaceful state (default network deactivated, parasympathetic network activated) and I try to get back to it.  It has worked for me where the 6r's type technique didn't - on hot button triggers, and in on-going situations where I am constantly triggered.


Because of my post in the another thread I started looking around an found MN 20 Vitakkasanthana Sutta https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

Part of which says:
"If evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. As he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it. Just as the thought would occur to a man walking quickly, 'Why am I walking quickly? Why don't I walk slowly?' So he walks slowly. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I walking slowly? Why don't I stand?' So he stands. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I standing? Why don't I sit down?' So he sits down. The thought occurs to him, 'Why am I sitting? Why don't I lie down?' So he lies down. In this way, giving up the grosser posture, he takes up the more refined one. In the same way, if evil, unskillful thoughts — imbued with desire, aversion or delusion — still arise in the monk while he is paying no mind and paying no attention to those thoughts, he should attend to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts. As he is attending to the relaxing of thought-fabrication with regard to those thoughts, those evil, unskillful thoughts are abandoned and subside. With their abandoning, he steadies his mind right within, settles it, unifies it, and concentrates it.


And is interpreted to mean...
#4. Stilling the thought-formation of the thoughts: ex: breaking down the whole process of lust into smaller more manageable chunks to make it easier to investigate, contemplate, and relinquish

Which I think is the basis for this (digging through layers of emotions and examining related emotions):

https://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2020/09/when-you-cant-find-tranquility.html
The Path of Concentration & Mindfulness
by
Thanissaro Bhikkhu...One technique I like to use — when anger is present and you're in a situation where you don't immediately have to react to people — is simply to ask yourself in a good-natured way, "Okay, why are you angry?" Listen to what the mind has to say. Then pursue the matter: "But why are you angry at that? " "Of course, I'm angry. After all..." "Well, why are you angry at that?" If you keep this up, the mind will eventually admit to something stupid, like the assumption that people shouldn't be that way — even though they blatantly are that way — or that people should act in line with your standards, or whatever the mind is so embarrassed about that it tries to hide from you. But finally, if you keep probing, it'll fess up. You gain a lot of understanding of the anger that way, and this can really weaken its power over you.
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Not two, not one, modified 26 Days ago at 6/20/24 2:57 AM
Created 26 Days ago at 6/20/24 2:57 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1047 Join Date: 7/13/17 Recent Posts
Chris M
... it means being their master rather than their slave.  It doesn't mean you never get lusty, or hungry, or pained, or annoyed 

It's called "wisdom" - the deep, seeped-in, in-the-bones knowing of how the human mind operates. Ignorance is the opposite. We master the defilements by investigating, through meditation, how this process works (dependent origination). We don't eliminate our emotions, our likes and dislikes, our thoughts, or our drives. They remain part of who and what we are, but we can eventually see through them. Mastery, yes.

​​​​​​​Nicely put Chris!
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Jim Smith, modified 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 1:23 PM
Created 25 Days ago at 6/21/24 12:45 AM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
When I notice dukkha arising, I try to sort through layers of emotions and related emotions if there are any and see how the ego is involved.
It might take a second to do that or it might take many triggerings over years.

If I've sorted through everything or done as much as I care to at the time I am ready to let go. There are three factors I find help letting go:

Being relaxed.

Being in the present moment (aware of what you are doing as you are doing it, not pushing anything away, not getting drawn in, not rejecting or judging emotions, not getting lost in thought or carried away by emotions), particularly not judging emotions.

And having an "it's not a big deal" attitude. This is like the smiling step in the 6r's. You can get this attitude from the jhana's, it's there in the first jhana - in intense bliss, little things don't matter, but it's also there when you just do the first mental effort to go into the jhanas (so I am not saying to go all out with intense bliss to let go, I'm saying you just need that little bit of attitude you get when you just have the intention to half smile), and it's in the 7th and 8th jhanas in the nothingness aspect. You can get it just from doing relaxing samatha that makes you feel calm and serene. Things that seem like a big deal when you are carried away by emotions are not a big deal when you are calm and serene. [This attitude is also in metta.] If you can notice this attitude you can re-instantiate it by remembering it - when you remember an emotion you re-feel it.

So it might sound like a contradiction, but I think it is necessary to fully feel your emotions and understand them and also to let go of them like it says in the Vitakkasanthana Sutta. That sutta pretty much says the same thing.

Also in the anapanasati sutta the second four steps are about calming the emotions and include producing piti and sukha, and the third four steps are about calming the mind and include what is sometimes translated as gladdening the mind. Gladdening the mind is different from producing piti and sukha. Piti and sukha are emotions. Gladdening the mind is a cognitive process mentioned in another thread and described the Vitakkasanthana Sutta. When an unwholesome mental formation arises you replace it with a wholesome mental formation. That's what I am describing above when I explain letting go.

Watch for dukkha arising, when you find it, examine it in a relaxed and mindful way to find all the ways the ego is involved remembering it's not a big deal. When you are ready to let go, understanding "ego clinging causes suffering", stay relaxed and mindful not judging the emotion remembering it's not a big deal.
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Jim Smith, modified 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 12:54 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 12:45 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Chris M
Well, I think perfection is a trap. The search for the last drop of perfect practice becomes a clinging, a complex, a source of karma. A striving that is the opposite of cessation, the opposite of letting go, the opposite of relinquishment.


This is stated better than I've been saying it. And, of course, this is also how I perceive the issue of perfection in practice.

I think what type of perfection is possible and useful  is an individual opinion. 

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-vi-my-spiritual-quest/70-around-the-world-and-finding-home/the-second-mbmc-retreat/

After about a week of not impressing Sayadaw U Pandita Jr. at all with reports of all my various dharma experiences, he finally said, in so many words, “Yeah, okay, but at some point you are going to have to get your concentration strong.”

I was taken aback a bit, since, for all my frustration and sense of failure, I was still pretty impressed with myself and my abilities. Reluctantly, however, I took his advice to heart with my standard macho bravado, yet a bit humbled at the same time, and began a project of going back to extremely simple assumptions, trying to go for one hundred percent capture, not letting a single sensation anywhere in the entirety of experience go by without perceiving the three characteristics clearly. I did this from the moment I woke up in the morning to the moment I fell asleep at night. This was real Vipassana 101, just six sense doors and three characteristics, but with the seemingly preposterous goal of the true and final perfection of momentary concentration and investigation.

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/
All these years later the field has never destabilized again, the wobble never recurred, and things never un-synced. I knew when it happened that my vipassana quest was over. I had the answer I sought, and it has held up, event after event, challenge after challenge, cycle after cycle.

https://www.mctb.org/mctb2/table-of-contents/part-v-awakening/37-models-of-the-stages-of-awakening/the-theravada-four-path-model/
The Theravada Four Path Model
...
And yet, its maps of enlightenment still contain a hefty helping of scary market-driven propaganda and so much garbage that is life-denying, dangerously out of touch with what happens, and an impediment to practice for millions of people.
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Jim Smith, modified 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 1:22 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 1:22 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
...
And having an "it's not a big deal" attitude. This is like the smiling step in the 6r's. You can get this attitude from the jhana's, it's there in the first jhana - in intense bliss, little things don't matter, but it's also there when you just do the first mental effort to go into the jhanas (so I am not saying to go all out with intense bliss to let go, I'm saying you just need that little bit of attitude you get when you just have the intention to half smile), and it's in the 7th and 8th jhanas in the nothingness aspect. You can get it just from doing relaxing samatha that makes you feel calm and serene. Things that seem like a big deal when you are carried away by emotions are not a big deal when you are calm and serene. If you can notice this attitude you can re-instantiate it by remembering it - when you remember an emotion you re-feel it.




That attitude is also in metta. That might be why metta in daily is part of TWIM. Practicing metta in daily life you have that attitude whenever you need it, it becomes permanent - you are always ready to let go, always ready to be non-attached.

https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
Again, when you are outside moving around in daily life, remember to smile and radiate Mettā to all beings.
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Jim Smith, modified 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 4:09 PM
Created 24 Days ago at 6/21/24 4:09 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
Jim Smith
...

That attitude is also in metta. That might be why metta in daily is part of TWIM. Practicing metta in daily life you have that attitude whenever you need it, it becomes permanent - you are always ready to let go, always ready to be non-attached.

https://library.dhammasukha.org/uploads/1/2/8/6/12865490/a_guide_to_twim.pdf
Again, when you are outside moving around in daily life, remember to smile and radiate Mettā to all beings.


Over on the Shinzen Young facebook group someone recommended the book "The Magic of Awareness" by Anam Thubten.

The first sentence is:
THERE IS A DIMENSION of reality in which we are nobody and we don’t have anything; so there is nothing to lose. It sounds like a total failure since our ego is always trying to be somebody and to have this and that. Yet this turns out to be the highest truth, what is intrinsically so. This benevolent, extraordinary truth, the moment we see it and surrender to it, destroys literally every chain binding us.

This expresses what I mean by the attitude.

The book discusses very simple ways to find this dimension. One way is to open the heart (metta).
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Jim Smith, modified 15 Hours ago at 7/15/24 7:52 PM
Created 15 Hours ago at 7/15/24 7:52 PM

RE: general question about TWIM (Bhante Vimalaramsi)

Posts: 1767 Join Date: 1/17/15 Recent Posts
I would add a step to the 6r's. When you notice a distraction, ask yourself, "Where did that come from?" Take a moment to see the anatta characteristic.

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