Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

Posts: 166 Join Date: 11/18/11 Recent Posts
I recently came across a claim from someone that they permanently and completely rid themselves of fear in the space of a few weeks through visualisation. The person seemed to know a bit about the brain.
This may sound a little crazy but Dho has a nice balance of open mindedness and pragmatism.

If Im being honest Im nearly reluctant to write this in the fear of looking like Ive been completely duped into something ridiculous, but what the hell emoticon

Basically he said something along the lines of this...

The r-complex and the amygdalae are responsible for fear, and there is energy stored in these areas.




He said that by imagining something like a blackhole or a suction tube in front of these areas, you can rid these areas of their energy. Basically, imagine the black hole in front of your right amygdala for instance, and then picture it "turning on" as it begins to suck energy from that area. He said you can imagine the energy as something if it helps, like a colour or something. He said you will feel a sort of mild suction feeling , as it is being drained of energy. Do this to all the areas mentioned above.

He said do this for 5 - 10 mins. But more if you want, do it all day if you like. And keep doing for 2/3 weeks.

Would something like this hold any basis on a neuroscience level? Or even on a level of spiritual teaching?

If your imagination can induce fear or other physical feelings, then why cant something like this work?

I tried it , im on day 3 now, but the problem is Ive been going through so much change recently as a result of regular practice that Im not sure is it just a coincidence.

What do you think?
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Superkatze one, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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I don't know if this would work or not, but i would like to mention, that some people have a reversed "left handed" brain. In this case you would suck the bliss out of your bliss-generating amygdala (normally the one on the left side of the brain) which is now located on the right side. So if negative emotions come up during this practice one should try this exercise on left side. emoticon
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fivebells ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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Unless they've been subjected to some terrifying experience like water boarding, I don't see how they could claim to have been completely rid of fear with any confidence. Fear of some things (like water in the lungs or high blood carbon dioxide levels) runs very deep, and to claim to be rid of it through meditation is like claiming that you can remove a chip from a computer by running a piece of software on it.
Adam . ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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are you aware that multiple long-time members of the pragmatic dharma community and this forum claim that they are totally rid of fear? and all other forms of desire? i don't think it's a good idea to put limitations on how much suffering can be ended outside of what the buddha stated - i.e. that physical suffering remains.

also, i think what runs very deep might be the startle response to something like water in the lungs, but the fear aspect of it involves conceit, which can definitely be altered by software.
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fivebells ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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The culture around here is very modernist, and in that framework remarkable claims require remarkable evidence. I'm not calling for an experimental waterboarding of the Dalai Lama, but I'm also not going to take anyone's word for something which so conflicts with my own experience and neurological/evolutionary/Buddhist understanding. I accept that it may be possible to experience something like waterboarding and then release the resulting terror so that the karmic traces from it are minimal. But I don't think the experience of it would simply be a startle response.

Even the Buddha stated that he was still affected by karma following his enlightenment, if you believe the jataka tales ("The Buddha's Bad Back"), and the Hyakujo's Fox koan makes it clear that karma still arises in the midst of enlightened experience. What shifts with practice is the relationship to karma, not the very existence of it.
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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I'm not calling for an experimental waterboarding of the Dalai Lama, but I'm also not going to take anyone's word for something which so conflicts with my own experience and neurological/evolutionary/Buddhist understanding.

Hilariously well said.
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fivebells ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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If someone's really completely free of fear, they shouldn't mind, right?
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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Ok I know I used the words "completely rid themselves of fear"

Maybe it was bad use of language, i know people who claim to be completely rid of fear and as Adam says, there are practitioners here who make the same claim and I've no reason not to believe them.

HOWEVER, i wouldn't come down hard on any of these people's claims if they experienced fear during waterboarding.

Let's call a spade a spade, there is a huge difference between conditioned psychological fear in non life threatening situations and an adrenaline dump due to your life being about to be taken.


Even if people can transcend the latter, its not something I'm too bothered about tbh.

Picking extremes like that out is nitpicking.
Adam . ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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Exactly, the Buddha was still effected by past karma, i.e. physical suffering. Fear is a fabrication as defined by the buddha and thus classified as present karma which he no longer created. That's why i said that we shouldn't set the bar any lower than the Buddha did, at the level of physical suffering, that's the only kind we should be content with allowing to persist.

Dhammapada:
211. Therefore hold nothing dear, for separation from the dear is painful. There are no bonds for those who have nothing beloved or unloved.

212. From endearment springs grief, from endearment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from endearment there is no grief, whence then fear?

213. From affection springs grief, from affection springs fear. For one who is wholly free from affection there is no grief, whence then fear?

214. From attachment springs grief, from attachment springs fear. For one who is wholly free from attachment there is no grief, whence then fear?

215. From lust springs grief, from lust springs fear. For one who is wholly free from craving there is no grief; whence then fear?

216. From craving springs grief, from craving springs fear. For one who is wholly free from craving there is no grief; whence then fear?


AN 4.184
"And who is the person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death?

"There is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for sensuality. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, those beloved sensual pleasures will be taken from me, and I will be taken from them!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has abandoned passion, desire, fondness, thirst, fever, and craving for the body. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought does not occur to him, 'O, my beloved body will be taken from me, and I will be taken from my body!' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has done what is good, has done what is skillful, has given protection to those in fear, and has not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have done what is good, have done what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and I have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel. To the extent that there is a destination for those who have done what is good, what is skillful, have given protection to those in fear, and have not done what is evil, savage, or cruel, that's where I'm headed after death.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"Furthermore, there is the case of the person who has no doubt or perplexity, who has arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma. Then he comes down with a serious disease. As he comes down with a serious disease, the thought occurs to him, 'I have no doubt or perplexity. I have arrived at certainty with regard to the True Dhamma.' He does not grieve, is not tormented; does not weep, beat his breast, or grow delirious. This, too, is a person who, subject to death, is not afraid or in terror of death.

"These, brahman, are four people who, subject to death, are not afraid or in terror of death."


Fear is not a direct result of past Karma, fear *is* a way of relating to past Karma. If we are going to take the pali canon as an authority, there is no doubt whatsoever that the basic instinctual drives are included as craving. For more examples, see the 10 fetter model and the practices like recollection of the repulsiveness of the body, something clearly aimed at ending lust.

On an experiential level, it seems clear to me that it is quite possible to dismantle these basic drives, one can simply pay attention to them dispassionately and there is a steady decrease in their arising, I haven't come to their complete end but I see no reason why this trend won't continue. We don't need to be subject to every case that could potentially illicit fear to be sure that we are free from it, that would be kind of like going to each part of the world and seeing if gravity still works. Fear operates in exactly the same way regardless of what its object is, there is an attempt to get what is "me" or "mine" to avoid whatever the fearful object is. If there is no more "I am" conceit then there is no more fear.

Also, why not take the wager, why give yourself a lower standard for the end of suffering when a higher standard exists? Why make this clearly self-fulfilling prophecy? If you don't treat fear as something which will ultimately be regarded as unskillful (though it may have its uses on the path) then how can you ever know if it can be abandoned? At the very least don't spread those limitations unless you have more than absence of evidence to prove that they exist.
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fivebells ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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I don't think there's much point in continuing this argument, since we're not speaking from experience (at least I'm not.)
C C C, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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fivebells .:

Even the Buddha stated that he was still affected by karma following his enlightenment, if you believe the jataka tales ("The Buddha's Bad Back"), and the Hyakujo's Fox koan makes it clear that karma still arises in the midst of enlightened experience. What shifts with practice is the relationship to karma, not the very existence of it.


Adyashanti says his accrued karma hit him quite hard and in rapid fashion, after his enlightenment.

Back on topic: I like the idea of getting rid of fear. Saying "no" to it in every moment is the best practice I have found. I suspect it's a method that can take you all the way.
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Jeff Grove, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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wylo .:

What do you think?


the only way is to test it out and find out for yourself.

There are many visualisation techniques that if you attempted to analyse intellectually you would probably never attempt but are found to achieve results

who cares if it holds up on a on a neuroscience level if it works. the understanding in any science changes daily

these are tools for creating conditions for a favourable outcome, if they help with the momentum of investigation good

there are many great tools out there find something and stick with it for at least 6 - 12 months

I doubted noteing within 5 mins of sitting and trying it out, same thing fear of wasting time being duped into something ridiculous this is part of the process that makes up the self our beliefs
cheers

jeff
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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Jeff Grove:
wylo .:

What do you think?


the only way is to test it out and find out for yourself.

There are many visualisation techniques that if you attempted to analyse intellectually you would probably never attempt but are found to achieve results

who cares if it holds up on a on a neuroscience level if it works. the understanding in any science changes daily

these are tools for creating conditions for a favourable outcome, if they help with the momentum of investigation good

there are many great tools out there find something and stick with it for at least 6 - 12 months

I doubted noteing within 5 mins of sitting and trying it out, same thing fear of wasting time being duped into something ridiculous this is part of the process that makes up the self our beliefs
cheers

jeff


You're right Jeff, I guess my only reservation is that all my different practices up to now made sense to me logically and on a conventional scientific level, and because of that I was much more comfortable applying them.

Whereas this one is going out of that realm and into a more experimental "weird" direction that even a year ago I would have probably laughed off as some sort of new age crap. So thats where my concern came from. But like you say, science changes, not to mention , scientific theories come from experiential phenomenon so just because we dont understand whats happening doesnt mean its mystical and unscientific.

What have I got to lose!!
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D Z, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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wylo .:
]

He said that by imagining something like a blackhole or a suction tube in front of these areas, you can rid these areas of their energy. Basically, imagine the black hole in front of your right amygdala for instance, and then picture it "turning on" as it begins to suck energy from that area. He said you can imagine the energy as something if it helps, like a colour or something. He said you will feel a sort of mild suction feeling , as it is being drained of energy. Do this to all the areas mentioned above... What do you think?


You imagination of those parts of your brain is not those parts of the brain. The part of the brain responsible for 'mapping out' the self image of body in your is the parietal cortex. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parietal_lobe)

This doesn't mean that imagining a blackhole couldn't work or wouldn't work. There is usually a bit of slight of hand involved in any practice.

-------------------------------------

When people in the pragmatic dharma talk about being free from fear, it is mostly as a result of attentiveness.

If you breakdown a of a normal person's brain's response to stimulai that cause fear as something like this

Sensory Inputs -> Sub-conscrious Processing -> Seperate Body / Mind Response -> Pattern recognition of bodily sensations / and mental thougts / imagery -> Emotion of fear experienced -> Awareness -> Sensory Inputs

(This happens pretty quick so most people don't notice it)

But increased attention to the senses can make it into something more like this

Sensory Inputs -> Sub-conscious Processing -> Awareness -> Sensory Inputs

Hence the emotion of fear cannot arise.

(* This isn't something authoritative, just some fast and loose descriptions of how I think attention effects emotion.)
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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D Z:


When people in the pragmatic dharma talk about being free from fear, it is mostly as a result of attentiveness.

If you breakdown a of a normal person's brain's response to stimulai that cause fear as something like this

Sensory Inputs -> Sub-conscrious Processing -> Seperate Body / Mind Response -> Pattern recognition of bodily sensations / and mental thougts / imagery -> Emotion of fear experienced -> Awareness -> Sensory Inputs

(This happens pretty quick so most people don't notice it)

But increased attention to the senses can make it into something more like this

Sensory Inputs -> Sub-conscious Processing -> Awareness -> Sensory Inputs

Hence the emotion of fear cannot arise.

(* This isn't something authoritative, just some fast and loose descriptions of how I think attention effects emotion.)


It seems to happen so fast for me that even a very very close observation makes it feel like it is deeply deeply conditioned and almost on automatic.
Its a bit like this: sensory inputs -> sub-conscious processing -> emotion of fear in the gut -> awareness of that emotion,
All that in a split second. I see it in real time sometimes, like if Im approaching a personally fearful situation I feel it hit straight away. Now its gotten VERY subtle, but it still causes inhibitions.

What I mean by inhibitions is, I know what its like to be free of that even very very subtle fear, Ive touched on it, and its incredibly liberating, there is absolutely no reservation. And even a tiny amount keeps that reservation there and inhibits me from being totally free in the situation.

It feels like that no matter how aware I am of my senses , even over a long period of time, that the deeply conditioned stuff still instantly drops the adrenaline to my stomach.

Not that its not fading, but I guess if this method can work , what harm in speeding up the process?

PS, are you suggesting that the technique I laid out above should be done around the parietal cortex?
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D Z, modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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wylo .:

It sms to happen so fast for me that even a very very close observation makes it feel like it is deeply deeply conditioned and almost on automatic.ee
Its a bit like this: sensory inputs -> sub-conscious processing -> emotion of fear in the gut -> awareness of that emotion,
All that in a split second. I see it in real time sometimes, like if Im approaching a personally fearful situation I feel it hit straight away. Now its gotten VERY subtle, but it still causes inhibitions.

What I mean by inhibitions is, I know what its like to be free of that even very very subtle fear, Ive touched on it, and its incredibly liberating, there is absolutely no reservation. And even a tiny amount keeps that reservation there and inhibits me from being totally free in the situation.

It feels like that no matter how aware I am of my senses , even over a long period of time, that the deeply conditioned stuff still instantly drops the adrenaline to my stomach.



There are 2 seperate issues:

1) The bodily experiences of fear
2) Avoidance of things conditioned by past fear

In my experience there require different approaches.

1) I have had good results for ridding the bodily experience of fear through present moment awareness. And stuff that has been discussed on DhO, works pretty well.

2) Behavioral avoidance of specific things due to fears from the past requires a change of thought patterns. And DhO / pragmatic dharma community doesn't really talk about these things too much. I am trying out a bunch of stuff right to see what works best for fixing this, but haven't been at it long enough to comment on efficacy of the techniques yet.,


-----

wylo .:

Not that its not fading, but I guess if this method can work , what harm in speeding up the process?

PS, are you suggesting that the technique I laid out above should be done around the parietal cortex?



Yes I reccomend any method that works.

The problem is it seemed like you were trying to link the subjective experiences during meditation technique directly to intellectual knowledge of the brain's anatomy. Other people might link the same subjective experiences to their belief in a deity and practice different forms of visualization that lead to similar result.

Although it is true that the underlying structure of the brain changes in some way as a result of meditiaton, this doesn't mean that we can directly influence specific areas of the brain by visualization.

Initially it is helpful to have an intellectual understanding to frame these subjective experiences. Maybe you are now at a level where you need to start seeing how all of your intellectual understanding is merely a subset of your subjective experiences.
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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D Z:


There are 2 seperate issues:

1) The bodily experiences of fear
2) Avoidance of things conditioned by past fear

In my experience there require different approaches.

1) I have had good results for ridding the bodily experience of fear through present moment awareness. And stuff that has been discussed on DhO, works pretty well.

2) Behavioral avoidance of specific things due to fears from the past requires a change of thought patterns. And DhO / pragmatic dharma community doesn't really talk about these things too much. I am trying out a bunch of stuff right to see what works best for fixing this, but haven't been at it long enough to comment on efficacy of the techniques yet.,

You broke it down very nicely here, its something thats been on my mind for several months , the question "Why dont I feel fear here yet im still too afraid to do it?" Thats why I always use a combination of the words 'inhibitions' AND 'fear', as it seems to be becoming increasingly clear for me that they are 2 separate issues.


Itd be great if you shared what kind of stuff you can come up with for point 2.

I remember listening to an audiobook by adyashanti "end of your world", where he talked about regularly sitting down in a cafe with a pen and paper, writing out his beliefs and not leaving till he got to the bottom of whatever beleif he was trying to tackle.

Its obviously a massively egoic reaction , something set so deep that you have fundamentally told yourself it is completely wrong to do it, even though intellectually you know its ok.

I've often used a "walking on the street naked" hypothesis when discussing this with people. Why is it , that even the most liberated free enlightened beings in the world who have ridden themselves of fear and have minimal reaction to their egoic patterns would most likely not walk down the street naked if asked (leaving the legal issues aside and the argument "they dont have to prove themselves to anyone), even if it was just out of compassion to encourage people that it is real?
I could be wrong, maybe they would.




Although it is true that the underlying structure of the brain changes in some way as a result of meditiaton, this doesn't mean that we can directly influence specific areas of the brain by visualization.

Initially it is helpful to have an intellectual understanding to frame these subjective experiences. Maybe you are now at a level where you need to start seeing how all of your intellectual understanding is merely a subset of your subjective experiences.


I see what you mean, like I was tying the intellectual understanding of the brain etc FAR too into what the practice/visualisation actually does. Chances are it could be doing something completely different.

The practice is not always "what is actually happening", although I have to say , it is nice to have somewhat of an understanding, because it gives you more confidence in the practice (especially if its something new)

Regarding this practice, I think its working, its very hard to say, Ive been doing so much the past few weeks anyway that it would be naive to pin it on this. Fear is definitely subsiding, as for how much , well, I really still need to get myself into more fearful situations before I know.
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D Z, modified 9 Years ago.

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wylo .:

You broke it down very nicely here, its something thats been on my mind for several months , the question "Why dont I feel fear here yet im still too afraid to do it?" Thats why I always use a combination of the words 'inhibitions' AND 'fear', as it seems to be becoming increasingly clear for me that they are 2 separate issues.


Itd be great if you shared what kind of stuff you can come up with for point 2.


I remember listening to an audiobook by adyashanti "end of your world", where he talked about regularly sitting down in a cafe with a pen and paper, writing out his beliefs and not leaving till he got to the bottom of whatever beleif he was trying to tackle.



Really like the term inhibition to describe what we are discussing here. Broad enough to include all the unconscious conditioning, but narrow enough to exclude the bodily experience of fear itself.

Some stuff I am trying along with notes on my impressions so far:

1) Authenticity and Vulnerability.
Have a look at this TED talk to see the type of stuff I am talking about here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

- Works best for social inhibitions and shame.
- There is a pain period, where a lot of negative stuff comes forward. I am still in it.
- Helps uncover lots of hidden insecurities and inhibitions

I tend to see authenticity and vulnerability as an independent line of development from enlightenment. It is a means to inter-personal insight, the way enlightenment is a means to intrapersonal insights.

Meaning there are people who experience a great deal more suffering and afflictive emotions than I do, who are far better at this stuff than I am. That sort of realization is quite humbling.

2) Developing technical skill sets:

eg. I backed into my neighbour's car once while, I was learning to drive and since then I have a weird fear of parallel parking. So I just keep doing it till I get getter.

- Works best for impersonal stuff like managing finances, or learning software etc
- Though certain skill-sets like public speaking for instance might help with interpersonal issues as well. I don't think it is
as powerful a tool as authenticity in that regard.

3) Thought Inception

I figure since thoughts influence actions, why not try to plant the seeds for the sorts of actions I want in my thoughts. Using this as a method to overcome procrastination.

- Feel like my technique here isn't very good. Probably should take a look at some Chaos Magik stuff.

4) Seeing the Gift.

One thing that has become apparent is that I have a tendency to put a very negative or skeptical spin on things. Perhaps because I associate it with authenticity (we are all taught to be kind, and humble, but too often it is just faked on top of the normal affective layer. Whereas cynicism and negativity are usually more real).

- Starts with seeing life in a positive light.
- Then learning to see difficult experiences in the past as a gift that lead to your current place in life.
- Makes them easier to express and overcome.


Overall: I am enjoying this stuff and finding it challenging at the same time. A lot of spiritually enlightened people living lives that are very disconnected from reality, inspite having great insight into the subjective human experience of it. My belief is that this is mostly due to the culture around the pursuit of enlightenment in the east, rather than a direct result of it.

I used of have this subconscious view of enlightenment as some sort of end goal of life. This just seems silly to me now.

The good things about this sort of development is it forces me back down to earth every-time I get too caught up in some esoteric view of reality or some sort of delusion of grandeur (which happens more often than I care to admit).

wylo .:

Its obviously a massively egoic reaction , something set so deep that you have fundamentally told yourself it is completely wrong to do it, even though intellectually you know its ok.

I've often used a "walking on the street naked" hypothesis when discussing this with people. Why is it , that even the most liberated free enlightened beings in the world who have ridden themselves of fear and have minimal reaction to their egoic patterns would most likely not walk down the street naked if asked (leaving the legal issues aside and the argument "they dont have to prove themselves to anyone), even if it was just out of compassion to encourage people that it is real?
I could be wrong, maybe they would.


Jumping off a cliff doesn't prove someone to be enlightened.

There are people who live their give up their normal lives, to live completely naked with no possessions (see naga sadhu).

I was exposed to these sorts of people growing up, but attributed it to religious insanity not enlightenment (they also claim to have all sorts of magical powers). To be honest I still think only a very few of them are enlightened in terms of being having a permanently lowered level of suffering.

Not to mention streakers, PETA activists, exhibitionists and nudists.

As an aside, nudity isn't a big deal to me (though I do have my share of equally stupid insecurities), but I understand it is socially conditioned to be shameful. That you attach enough shame to it to think of it as a litmus test for enlightenment suggest that this might be an area for you to explore.in terms of overcoming inhibitions.
wylo ., modified 9 Years ago.

RE: Is there a name for this in the dharma world?

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1) Authenticity and Vulnerability.
Have a look at this TED talk to see the type of stuff I am talking about here
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCvmsMzlF7o

- Works best for social inhibitions and shame.
- There is a pain period, where a lot of negative stuff comes forward. I am still in it.
- Helps uncover lots of hidden insecurities and inhibitions

I tend to see authenticity and vulnerability as an independent line of development from enlightenment. It is a means to inter-personal insight, the way enlightenment is a means to intrapersonal insights.

Meaning there are people who experience a great deal more suffering and afflictive emotions than I do, who are far better at this stuff than I am. That sort of realization is quite humbling. This is without my key problem, social inhibitions. Not being the first to introduce myself, not being the first to approach someone else, not taking that chance.



Thanks, great video, treating vulnerability as a productive thing rather than simply not wanting to experience it. I guess I had done that at times, but for the most part , I avoid it.
I talk here as if im sort of shy recluse, im not at all, but i still constantly avoid so much stuff that it has smothered and hidden those insecurities very deep.
I guess we can all think we're a buddha if we choose to isolate ourselves and not expose ourselves.


2) Developing technical skill sets:

eg. I backed into my neighbour's car once while, I was learning to drive and since then I have a weird fear of parallel parking. So I just keep doing it till I get getter.

- Works best for impersonal stuff like managing finances, or learning software etc
- Though certain skill-sets like public speaking for instance might help with interpersonal issues as well. I don't think it is
as powerful a tool as authenticity in that regard.

I think im happy to say I dont have a problem on this end (leaving public speaking aside as I consider that a fear issue for me), what I mean by that is Im no longer afraid of screwing up when or not having a clue about something when its not personal or not about who "I am".


3) Thought Inception

I figure since thoughts influence actions, why not try to plant the seeds for the sorts of actions I want in my thoughts. Using this as a method to overcome procrastination.

- Feel like my technique here isn't very good. Probably should take a look at some Chaos Magik stuff.

When im excited about something, or really think something will work , very little stops me from trying it, however that doesnt happen often and rarely happens with social inhibitions. How the hell do you intentionally plant these kind of ideas in your head? Especially when your practice is aimed at destroying ideas and beleifs. I must look up chaos magik.


4) Seeing the Gift.

One thing that has become apparent is that I have a tendency to put a very negative or skeptical spin on things. Perhaps because I associate it with authenticity (we are all taught to be kind, and humble, but too often it is just faked on top of the normal affective layer. Whereas cynicism and negativity are usually more real).

- Starts with seeing life in a positive light.
- Then learning to see difficult experiences in the past as a gift that lead to your current place in life.
- Makes them easier to express and overcome.

Thanks, this is a great one, that I had never looked at before.


Overall: I am enjoying this stuff and finding it challenging at the same time. A lot of spiritually enlightened people living lives that are very disconnected from reality, inspite having great insight into the subjective human experience of it. My belief is that this is mostly due to the culture around the pursuit of enlightenment in the east, rather than a direct result of it.

I used of have this subconscious view of enlightenment as some sort of end goal of life. This just seems silly to me now.


For me , for the past year Ive wanted "enlightenment" to solve my issues, not to say make me rich or succesful or anything, but to solve any problems that I know are clearly derived from beliefs, thoughts and fear. And to be fair, the path has done so with alot of things , but hearing from someone else that stuff like inhibitions has nothing much to do with fear is after highlighting to me that meditation doesnt solve everything, just some stuff.
However, I find it difficult to COMPLETELY separate enlightenment or the path from what we are discussing here, mainly because I think the two are very intertwined. A dedicated forum would be great for this kind of stuff. Its the one thing I notice about here and MCTB etc, is that these issues never get discussed beyond calling it your "stuff", which I think is a little vague and dismissive.



The good things about this sort of development is it forces me back down to earth every-time I get too caught up in some esoteric view of reality or some sort of delusion of grandeur (which happens more often than I care to admit).

Sounds like me! emoticon


Jumping off a cliff doesn't prove someone to be enlightened.

There are people who live their give up their normal lives, to live completely naked with no possessions (see naga sadhu).

I was exposed to these sorts of people growing up, but attributed it to religious insanity not enlightenment (they also claim to have all sorts of magical powers). To be honest I still think only a very few of them are enlightened in terms of being having a permanently lowered level of suffering.

Not to mention streakers, PETA activists, exhibitionists and nudists.

As an aside, nudity isn't a big deal to me (though I do have my share of equally stupid insecurities), but I understand it is socially conditioned to be shameful. That you attach enough shame to it to think of it as a litmus test for enlightenment suggest that this might be an area for you to explore.in terms of overcoming inhibitions.

True, its something I should look at, it obviously goes back to the social vulnerability thing, why have I used that as my test whereas other people dont really care? Interesting!

Another issue though, its all well and good breaking down this stuff online behind a keyboard, unless we actually take action its of no use.
I think I may start looking your points 1 and 4 more.

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