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link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry

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every time someone mentions this booklet (which i wrote early last year) in a discussion, i get a bunch of pm requests for it. so even though it's unfinished (and looks to remain that way for the foreseeable future), i have published it at:

http://docs.google.com/View?id=dc5p9v23_103gn9z8dg2

this thread can also be used to discuss, ask questions about, and suggest additions or corrections to the above document.

tarin

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 3:54 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin,

I just finished reading it. I like the 'imaginary' section, which I could understand only a little (for example, resolutions sound to me similar to suggestions in PNL). The tricky thing is "the 4th jhana is hella imaginary". I don't know if it relates to the fact that jhanas are fabrications of mind... A yogi just fabricates his own 4th jhana before reaching 1st Path?

I keep this view as related somehow to the fact that at that point even the practice instructions count less, and it is more important to be there, to stay there, and you're really on your own. Or I misinterpret?

In your hints about dealing with the equanimity stage you always (in the threads too) mention to pay attention to the framework/space/awareness itself/silence, and don't mention strictly the recognizance of formations.
Advertising formations is mandatory (I struggle with that right now) or you could miss that phase and hit fruition too?

I ask that because it seems (just reading the threads here and in KFD) that before Stream Entry a lot of things could go unnoticed (lower nanas 1-3, A&P Event, even Fruitions).

Umberto

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 4:26 AM as a reply to Umberto T..
Hi Umberto,

Umberto Trinchero:
I like the 'imaginary' section, which I could understand only a little (for example, resolutions sound to me similar to suggestions in PNL). The tricky thing is "the 4th jhana is hella imaginary". I don't know if it relates to the fact that jhanas are fabrications of mind... A yogi just fabricates his own 4th jhana before reaching 1st Path?


Here's my take on this: The 4th Jhana is the gateway to the "psychic powers" - in this sense, awakening is a psychic power. The Buddha even listed it as such, like in the the teachings on the "bases of power", Iddhipada. The iddhipada also spell out "procedural learning", something Tarin mentions right at the top of his guide.

Compare with the Western Magickal Tradition's emphasis on magical techniques such as "invocation of the Holy Guardian Angel" as a path to awakening.

Make of it what you like, but don't get too hung up on the issue of "reality" of outlandish things like "imaginary jhana", magical psychic powers, guardian angels: I really, really like the advice given in MCTB regarding the powers: "Much more interesting than the question of what is real is the question of what is causal, i.e. what leads to what."

Cheers,
Florian

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 4:29 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thanks, Tarin!

Would you agree if this were added to the Dharma Overground Wiki, where we could insert links to all the technical terms and concepts you use?

Cheers,
Florian

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 4:50 AM as a reply to Florian.
Hi Florian!

my take about the 'imaginary' wasn't about the powers or magickal stuff.
(he reference to PNL means only that resolutions appear to me a form of auto-hypnosis - not to attain powers, but nanas/jhanas/path)

It is more linked to the concept of compound jhana, if you like. I've read the Sheila Catherine book about jhanas and she said that jhanas are fabrications of mind... maybe the mind has different gauge-like qualities, and you can manipulate (unconsciously) and fabricate your own 4th jhana...

But I'm speculating too much now... let's stay close to Tarin's words.

Umberto

ps: monkeymind is my favorite nickname, very good choice emoticon

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 8:29 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Thank you for posting that link! I was looking around for the article here are elsewhere a couple of months ago and while I could find references to it, I couldn't find the original. I noticed you kept the text formatting REALLY simple. I like that as it is readable in my PDA now.

Thanks.

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 9:31 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Thanks, Tarin!

Would you agree if this were added to the Dharma Overground Wiki, where we could insert links to all the technical terms and concepts you use?

Cheers,
Florian


I would second that motion!

-- tomo

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 8:42 PM as a reply to Umberto T..
Umberto Trinchero:
Hi Tarin,

I just finished reading it. I like the 'imaginary' section, which I could understand only a little (for example, resolutions sound to me similar to suggestions in PNL). The tricky thing is "the 4th jhana is hella imaginary". I don't know if it relates to the fact that jhanas are fabrications of mind... A yogi just fabricates his own 4th jhana before reaching 1st Path?

I keep this view as related somehow to the fact that at that point even the practice instructions count less, and it is more important to be there, to stay there, and you're really on your own. Or I misinterpret?

In your hints about dealing with the equanimity stage you always (in the threads too) mention to pay attention to the framework/space/awareness itself/silence, and don't mention strictly the recognizance of formations.
Advertising formations is mandatory (I struggle with that right now) or you could miss that phase and hit fruition too?

I ask that because it seems (just reading the threads here and in KFD) that before Stream Entry a lot of things could go unnoticed (lower nanas 1-3, A&P Event, even Fruitions).

Umberto


hi umberto,

i wrote the paragraph containing the sentence from which the phrase you quoted came (the sentence in full reads, 'I have strong reservations saying this sort of stuff because it can be so easily misconstrued, but if you haven't gotten path yet, a fruition is what you're looking for, the entrance to a fruition arises out of the 4th vipassana jhana (equanimity regarding formations), and 4th jhana is hella imaginary.') with reservations about the way it could be construed or misconstrued, and yet i elected to retain it in the writing to serve as a transition to the conclusion in the paragraph following. that paragraph, and the one following, refer to the later parts of equanimity stage where the integration of physical and mental phenomena (as causal occurrences happening on their own) is nearing completion, the sense of which is of being lost in a very quiet daydream or of slowly falling asleep - as such, the quality of fabricating (via exertion) is completely absent. if you've ever been the last one to leave an empty office where, having stayed late into the evening to finish, you now find yourself in the quiet of closing up and shutting off the lights, appreciating the serenity and stillness of the once-familiar environs, you will know what i mean.. leaving the building is a matter of due course, and so there is no push, no hurry, to do so, as the drift through the motions carries a sense of the ordinary, with no extraneous awareness of its extraordinary nature (as there is, from that perspective, neither anything extraordinary nor any awareness extraneous).

regarding practice instructions, doing the practice is what carries forward the sequence of insight-knowledges, which unfold progressively with the shifts through the jhanas, and which progression cannot be fabricated from scratch but only given rise to by proper conditions, which conditions are brought about by the practice. if these conditions are there, then the intent to move through the knowledges (and thus the jhanas) bears the intended fruit (for example, it is due to the proper conditions that are now firmly in place that a stream-enterer is easily able to call up any of the knowledges at will). however, if the conditions are not there, then what will result from the intention to call up, say, 4th vipassana jhana (equanimity regarding formations) will at best be an emulation based on the nearest available approximation from another jhana, which rendition may look and to some extent even feel like the genuine article, but which, as causality continues to unfold, will be revealed as having been otherwise (as it, not having been 4th and not having been caused by what caused 4th, will not produce the effect that 4th produces.. which effect is, for the purposes of insight practice, the very point of reaching 4th). thus, if you want to do this thing properly, it is important to follow practice instructions diligently and scrupulously, building a strong foundation of attention and continuity, developing faculties of sensitivity and concentration that allow you to perceive vibrations and subtlety, discovering different widths of perspective that allow you to perceive the different ways and places in which phenomena occur, and enabling a sufficiently resolute clear intent that allows you to move so far forward into this thing you forget about ever looking back.

regarding formations, i say keep investigating the three characteristics of those things you mention that i mention ('the framework/space/awareness itself/silence') with clear continuity, not missing a single moment, along with investigating the sensations that imply anything and everything else.. and if you're not missing much formations will show up, and if you're really not missing anything fruition will soon happen.

tarin

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/13/10 8:46 PM as a reply to Florian.
Florian Weps:
Thanks, Tarin!

Would you agree if this were added to the Dharma Overground Wiki, where we could insert links to all the technical terms and concepts you use?

Cheers,
Florian


hi florian,

please feel free.

tarin

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/15/10 7:35 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Okay, it's been added to the Wiki: ReformedSlackersGuide

I was very enthusiastic adding links - many of them are still dangling. I'll be cleaning this up.

Cheers,
Florian

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/15/10 9:29 AM as a reply to Florian.
Awesome!!!

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/18/10 12:01 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
the prisoner greco:
if you've ever been the last one to leave an empty office where, having stayed late into the evening to finish, you now find yourself in the quiet of closing up and shutting off the lights, appreciating the serenity and stillness of the once-familiar environs, you will know what i mean.. leaving the building is a matter of due course, and so there is no push, no hurry, to do so, as the drift through the motions carries a sense of the ordinary, with no extraneous awareness of its extraordinary nature (as there is, from that perspective, neither anything extraordinary nor any awareness extraneous).


Absolutely golden. Fantastic analogy.

As to people missing stuff: people miss aspects of the stages all the time.

As to formations: even if you don't notice: "Ah, that was a formation," or, "Ah, these are formations," one who attains to stream entry will have perceived reality in the integrated way described by the word formations, regardless of whether or not they knew to call them that. This is a requirement, but it is not so onerous as one might think, and, if set up right in practice, is very natural.

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/19/10 2:05 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thank you guys. You are SO inspiring.

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
1/20/14 5:06 PM as a reply to tarin greco.
Just listening to Daniel's talk at Cheetah House. He was recommending your book. I've been teaching at a regional jail and have been looking for things to give them. Thought this might help. Thanks,
Don Wilson

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
12/4/15 7:10 PM as a reply to Florian.
The links all seem to be broken.  Can someone re-post?

RE: link to the reformed slacker's guide to stream entry
Answer
12/4/15 9:25 PM as a reply to Mike L.
ReformedSlackersGuide

Thanks to the way back machine...internet archive

ReformedSlackersGuide
A Reformed Slacker's Guide to Stream Entrywritten by
Tarin Greco
for Daniel and Carol
& Pete

(written February-April 09, unfinished draft. feedback welcome)
Welcome to my first, and possibly only (time will tell), Dharma
publication. The material I present here is drawn from my own
experience and from inferences made on its basis. It is written for a
readership already clued-in to the basic mental exercises that
constitute insight meditation, the maps and models designed to describe its progress (particularly the four-path model
derived from Theravadan Buddhism, to which this text will refer), as
well as some of the vocabulary that is commonly used to describe those
things, and its meaning and significance may elude readers outside this
group. For example, if you don't know what stream-entry (or first awakening)
is, or why you would want it, this text may only serve to pique your
curiosity, or it may be a boring or confusing read. On the other hand,
if you're part of an orthodoxy that holds,
in one way or another, that nirvana
is beyond a practitioner's realistic reach and may as well be mythical,
given its practical unattainability, this text may annoy you and you
probably wouldn't believe me anyway so, whatever, it doesn't matter.
This text is meant to be read as a companion volume to Daniel M. Ingram'sMastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha,
to which it will frequently refer, for while this essay may be
insightful as stand-alone writing, and may indeed prove to be key
reading for those whose temperaments and styles of practise (and habits
of shortcoming) are similar enough to my own, it does not offer a
thorough enough treatment of either the insight meditation
theory or practical instruction that a novice (or anyone sufficiently
doubting their skill) will need. What this text does offer is an
exposition on the way to hit a retreat properly and the right attitude to have in order to attain a path. Its primary functions are
  1. to serve as an exposition of how path can be achieved through insight practice by someone who is willing to give it all they've got (and how, if that's you, that means you can do it), as well as
  2. to offer a few tips on what you might be doing wrong if you've
    been working at it for a while already and it just hasn't happened yet.
As best I've been able to determine, most people who have completed at least one path of insight have done so while on intensive retreat, particularly that first path. First path, otherwise known as stream-entry,
is reputed to be particularly tricky in that it requires the mind's
entire field of experience to do something it's never done before: completely disappear.
To arise, and then pass totally, without remainder. What this takes in
order to happen for the first time is not entirely clear to me; perhaps
it's focus, perhaps concentration, perhaps timing; and in support of all
those things, perhaps a kind of sheer willingness at a deep, deep
level. These are my guesses. Regardless, whatever it is mostly tends to
occur on retreat, so I've heard, and that's been my personal experience
as well. Therefore, this book will be about going on retreat.
You can either retreat at a meditation centre
or you can retreat on your own. If doing the former, there will be
rules to follow and a schedule to keep up. If doing the latter, make
your own timetable and stick to it. If retreat at a centre,
the basic needs are taken care of. Someone cooks you food, there is a
place you can sleep when it's time to rest, and a bunch of people are
all doing the same thing at the same time around you to remind you to
stay disciplined. If doing a solo retreat,
you will have the benefit of stark isolation, which can turn into very
powerful focus, but you may have to prepare your own food and be your
own motivation, in which case it will greatly pay to keep food and other
routines simple. Both centre retreats and solo retreats have advantages
and drawbacks, but either way, you should have the same attitude, which
is to say a
hard-working and independent one. Don't drift through your retreat! Pay attention to each and every bit of it. Practise even when there doesn't seem to be any point.
I should probably mention, for those unfamiliar with Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, that my expectations of retreats and retreatants are heavily influenced by the Mahasi Sayadaw tradition. That means non-stop, second-by-second attention to, and utmost engagement with, the insight practice
from the moment you wake up to the moment you're out for the night...
and then some. Seriously, we aren't fooling around here. If you're not
sometimes buzzy and occasionally neurotic that you're not putting in
enough moment-to-moment effort, you probably really aren't. While insight practice requires a balance of effort and tranquillity, an arahant
friend of mine is convinced that 99% of meditators err on the side of
laxity. If you're convinced that you're in the other 1%, this probably
isn't the guide for you. And while there are traditions
that retreat in a more laid-back way, perhaps by not utilising all the minutes in a day for insight practice, or by alternating between periods of formal, heavily focused insight practice
and gently mindful 'rest periods' or 'activity periods', this book is
about what I know, and what I know is that working my ass off in a
non-stop way, as recommended, worked. Overkill? Perhaps, but see how
good you feel coming out of retreat, still unenlightened, and wondering if maybe you simply didn't try hard enough.
So, enough lead up. What is this all about, what is needed? Down to the heart of the matter.
If you would like a successful retreat, you should probably:
1- Start by believing that you can do it. This part is crucial. However you do it, make sure you know that your goal is possible.
Sceptical
that it's possible? Why? People have done it, people do it. Talk to
people who have done it, there's enough of them around. Don't know them
in person? Can't find some who will talk openly? Not meeting them at
your favourite health food store? Come online, there's a bunch of people
who get it on the Internet. A wiki-based web community called The Dharma Overground has a decent collection of practitioners from a variety of mystical traditions, Buddhist as well as otherwise, who are attained, insight and otherwise, and open about it.. a collection which is growing as more of the current members tune in and get it done,
and more people who've already done it, and so get it, find their way
to the group. Anyway, wherever you can find people willing to talk about
it, take advantage of it. Make sure it sinks in that
enlightenment,
where it occurs, is an everyday reality.. not divorced from the realm
of ordinary experience in which you are living right now.
It's important to know it's actually, seriously, possible so that you don't compartmentalise your expectation of enlightenment away from your direct experience of being alive here and now. Don't pigeonhole enlightenment into an 'it will magically drop out of the sky' mental category. You'd think that simply because you've been dogging it, retreat for retreat,
you wouldn't be treating the possibility of actually seriously getting
enlightened like fantasyland stuff, wouldn't you? Believe me, this is a
habit that's hard to not form and once formed, hard to break. 9 years
steady on the trail, with even some time in the monkhood, and I was
still doing it to no end. Are you assuming this yourself? Do you find
yourself thinking of enlightenment in the form of an unattached daydream, similar to winning the lottery? Investigate yourself
seriously and if you find that you are, take a good look at what you're doing. It is solidly disempowering for your mind to assume enlightenment
can only exist in the stories you tell about your future at best, your
maybe-future at worst. Start looking for it right here and now, right
around you and right through you. What does it mean to look for it? It
means to:
2- Follow the retreat instructions ruthlessly. Following retreat instructions means doing the exercises they tell you to. This should mean doing insight practices that cause you to pay attention to things as they are.
In the Mahasi tradition, and in much of the Theravadan Buddhist world, insight insight practice means paying attention to any or all of the Three Characteristics that can be found in any instance of sense experience; they are the characteristics of impermanence (momentariness), suffering (fundamental tension, displacement and discomfort), and no-self
(hardest to explain, it has to do with an illusion that never clearly
existed anyway, so perhaps best it's understood for now as the
spontaneous and out-of-anyone's-control aspect of how sensations just
happen on their own). Ingram
makes much fuss about this subject, which is a perspective I have
benefitted from to no end and heartily endorse but will also proceed to
contradict later on. For now, however, if you're going to take on noting practice, assume that seeing some aspect of the Three Characteristics at this very moment is the only way you're going to get anywhere. Keep at it! Remember, in general, you should:
3- Put more effort in than you think you need. It can feel unnatural to work so hard, but the progession of insight
can feel pretty unnatural too. Will you overshoot it by working too
hard? Theoretically I guess that's possible. Heck, it took me almost 9
days on retreat to do it.. maybe if I had mellowed out a bit, it wouldn't have taken so long! Haha, unlikely. Stream-entry
is essentially a shot in the dark.. it's your destiny to miss over and
over again until your mind finally lands its rhythm and figures out how
to rhyme on time (and disappear on time with the rhyme).
This is a trial and error process and a classic example of procedural
learning. While you're not going to be able to force it to happen, you
can pretty much take away all the other options. This is a gradual
process, and every moment of contribution helps tremendously. Therefore:
4- Keep going, don't stop. Not for a moment, not for a second, don't slack, don't allow
yourself to do things you think will cause you to unintentionally slack
in the next moment. The whole world in a grain of sand. The whole world
in this one moment. If you work like this, with this kind of intensity,
whether you land a path or not you will gain insight
like nothing else, which will heavily contribute to your life being
better. Work with the kind of immediacy that is focused on what is right
here, right now, and that highlights the relationship and engagement
you have with it. And at times you slip from it, and can't seem to find
your way back to the cutting edge:
5- Notice the times you're probably making things harder for yourself. Artificial dualities,
nonsensical problems. Should I do this, or should I try that? Will this
work, or will it only get in the way of that working? The
subject/object out-of-focus makes things that don't actually contradict
each other look like they do, and as you pay increasing attention to the
out-of-focus, you may become kind of loopy and start seeing problems
that wouldn't exist if you didn't think they did. The 3rd stage of insight (Comprehension of the Three Characteristics) and the late Dark Night
stages can magnify this tendency a great deal. The way to deal with it
is to keep practising as best you can. Sometimes, absolutely nothing
works. So note the suffering,
note the anxiety, note the confusion, note the discontent, note the
restlessness, etc. Get acquainted with the way your mind flinches
around to try and
avoid suffering, and get comfortable with it. Suffering is a part of your world and it does not have to be a hindrance, so pay attention to it. What is the experience of suffering?
This is a very real question, and the answer is something like 'the
whole world in this moment'. Nothing outside of this moment is going to
deliver this particular answer for you, because you are looking to
understand something about this moment itself. Suffering
is often a clear indicator about where to look in order to see this,
and as such, the hard times are some of the best opportunities to
internalise this very necessary understanding. So embrace them when they
arise and make best use of them. The more comfortable you are in your
own suffering, the more clearly you will see what you've got to work with, and there is no better position you can be in, in order to:
6- Figure it out for yourself. If you're halfway up a mountain and the way you think you're
supposed to be taking is blocked, it's up to you to figure out how to
get up the rest of it. At this point, it's purely between you and
reality.. and this isn't a point you can locate on a map,
this is a point that happens whenever you realise that it's got to be
this way. This is the sense that reality isn't something that's
happening in a story somewhere else, it's happening right here, right
now. You don't need an intermediary in order to perceive it, it's
something no technique, no teaching, no teacher, no matter how useful,
can do for you. The relevance of all those things waxes and wanes; what
remains relevant is the part you're experiencing it with. So get
comfortable with going it on your own! I can't stress enough how
important this is, and I conjecture that some lack in this spirit of the
solo adventurer may be what keeps many people from
attaining the greatness for which they have already cultivated the
faculties required. Don't be a lacker in this spirit, don't slack on
adventure. Therefore:
7- Learn to have fun. I know this may sound out-of-place given that the above
instructions are about working hard non-stop and through all
difficulties, but yeah, it's like that. Don't forget to have fun.
Things change, roll with the punches, especially since in a sense what
you're working with is all you've got at that moment. Make sure to have
a good time doing what you're doing.. since you're doing this for you!
Going on retreat is about coming out of needless suffering
and making a better life for yourself, so if there isn't a part of you
that's having a good time doing it, or at least that understands it as
good somehow, you might be missing something. Admittedly, there can be
times where it's no fun and you have no clue how anyone, least of all
yourself, could be benefitting from this process in any way. Those times
are good opportunities to just stay with the visceral experience of
things as they
are. They don't tend to last forever though, so you can get back to
having fun in no time if you so incline yourself... and I strongly
recommend that you do.
It is a wide, rich and varied territory
you are navigating and you may lose your purpose or direction often.
Getting it right and taking that next step forward will, in some ways,
always involve a trial and error process on the most primitive and most
basic levels. Your mind may do funny, seemingly unrelated and useless
stuff. This is a natural side effect of being alive and learning new
things. Stay engaged with reality, and learn to see the lighter side of
these things. Be comfortable with mood swings. Get used to conflicting urges. And start feeling at home in the bevy of mapping, theorising, predicting, wondering, wanting, etc, and all the other neurotic intellectual activity
that's gonna happen anyway whether or not you think it's useful. These
things are not signs of regress so don't be disheartened and take them
as signals that you lack focus
or control, or whatever seems to be the bad guy this time. Expectations
or attempts to predict the next step, or whatever else shows up, are
just part of the process your mind needs to go through, are part of this
same reality you are attempting to investigate, and are not at all hindrances when you have insight
into how they're being experienced. Just like any other sensations,
they are all causal, empty, happening on their own, and sufficient
material for penetrative insight to develop in. Keeping a sense of humour
to face the surprises that turn up along the way, and staying
inquisitive when the going gets dull and you've exhausted all known
options, will take you far.
On that front, here's something bizarre that, while it is not
necessary to see – indeed, some people may simply never see it this way –
I think may help some: understand that you can't imagine a fruition,
but don't exclude the parts of your experience you think of as
'imaginary' from practice. Indeed, there is something imaginary about
all this. I have strong reservations saying this sort of stuff because
it can be so easily misconstrued, but if you haven't gotten path yet, a fruition is what you're looking for, the entrance to a fruition arises out of the 4th vipassana jhana
(equanimity regarding formations), and 4th jhana is hella imaginary. I
personally thought I must be crazy thinking things like this until I
noticed that a quite-realised Dharma friend of mine's email address
contains the phrase 'imaginationrealization'. It sanks into place that
very moment. I'm
at a loss for a better way to explain what I mean and have considered
removing this section entirely, but opted to include it for people who
might benefit from having it addressed, however many or few there are.
If this paragraph seems strange or irrelevant to you, just skip it over.
Then again, if it strangely was just what you needed to hear.. there
you are.
Ok, so, remember how earlier I said that if you're doing this Mahasi-style you should cling to seeing the Three Characteristics
like it's the only thing that's going to get you anywhere? Well, here's
where I change my tune a bit. A time comes, deep enough into equanimity territory,
perhaps after having come up to it and fallen back countless times,
when it doesn't matter how you're practising, or labelling your
practice.. you are just seeing things as they are. This means you might
not be seeing things as characteristics, or vibrations,
or whatever else has indicated to you up to this point that you're on
the right track. You might not even be paying attention to anything in
particular about what you're seeing. Should such a time come, and you
realise that you're here, just keep staying with whatever you're staying
with, doing whatever it is you're doing. It won't really matter at this
point. No instruction is necessary here really.. anything can happen,
taking any length of time, or nothing could happen at all. From here
on, you're really on your own.. I mean, you've actually been on your own
all along, but this might be the part where you finally really notice
it. And on that note, the end. Practice well and good luck.
As a short appendix, I've attached some practical material that
may be useful to have for referring to and helpful for getting started.
A good example schedule to follow:
  • 4.30 awaken
  • 5.00 walk
  • 6.00 sit
  • 7.00 breakfast
  • 7.30 walk
  • 8.00 sit
  • 9.00 walk
  • 10.00 sit
  • 11.00 walk
  • 12.00 lunch, shower, rest, sit, etc
  • 13.00 walk
  • 14.00 sit
  • 15.00 walk
  • 16.00 sit
  • 17.00 walk
  • 18.00 sit
  • 19.00 walk
  • 20.00 sit
  • 21.00 walk
  • 22.00 sit
  • 22.30 recline
And an example set of reminders to have stuck on the wall:
  1. Don't indulge in your crap!
  2. When in doubt or struggling: note/hit and accept pain.
  3. If you have a question, the answer is in the Three Characteristics.
  4. Be mindful during transitions between activities.
  5. Analysis is not the same as practice.
  6. Practice at all times when awake.
  7. Stick to the schedule!
  8. Remember how precious these moments are and how much the Dark Night sucks.
  9. When alone, practice just as hard; this is for you.