Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Cloud A Vitale, modified 8 Years ago.

Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Hi,

A couple weeks ago there was a fruition and something that now seems like a path moment. Does this look like 3rd or 4th path? I've had some trouble keeping track of where my path moments have been in practice, as my history is a bit chaotic in places.

-Reality consists entirely of sensations flickering on and off. Though the whether these sensations are suffering, self-less, or impermanent does vary with cycles. During typing this they are manifesting predominately as self-less;

-Little to no feeling of choice. Choice manifests only as sensations that indicate intentions/decisions which may or may not lead to the corresponding conceptual action they reference.

-Little to no sense of space or time other than sensations that indicate space that come and go. Time is only that concept inferred from the passage of the flickering of sensations/memories on and off, sort of... The concept of time seems somewhat not understandable and it seems difficult to try to go back and understand what I used to think time was from the old unelightened perspective.

-Luminosity is apparent when it is apparent. Though I couldn't pinpoint exactly what this is to tell you. Perhaps clearness, freeness, weightlessness?

-Little sense of an actual body other than sensations. There are a few lingering crude mental images left, for example, when feeling toe sensation there is a subtle mental impression of a conceptual toe, but this seems to only arise and pass as mental phenomena. Overall, there are very few of these happening as a few years ago there were many.

-Wholeness is apparent when it is apparent. Sensations can also be approached from the perspective of their "non-arising," without beginning or end. Meaning it seems apparent here that "nibbana is found in samsara."

-No desire for enlightenment. Though this has already been the case for about 6 months and there have been some shifts since then.

-As I understand one way to determine 3rd path is to try to get Nirodha Samapatti, but I don't like doing "straight-up" concentration practices anymore as I usually end up hearing quieter-like auditory "voices" for quite a while afterwards as I have a history of mental illness and concentration practice seems to exacerbate this (though this wasn't the case when starting practice in the beginning). This doesn't manifest as "I am hearing the voices," just voices arising and passing and therefore no dualistic response or interaction with them. This tends to get bad upon reaching the 6th jhana as this is the territory where the vast majority of the voices arise from.

-There does seem to be a slight sensation of a center-point of referencing left there when thoughts and the quiet-auditory voices occur (which almost always arise out of boundless space - and they manifest somewhat regularly). This is seen as a sensation arising and passing.

As I understand there needs to be an opening of the wisdom eye? What does this entail, exactly? There does seem to be some conceptual sense of a head left which is being examined right now. This seems to be associated with various pains in the forehead and head which seem to come and go Right now there is some intensity in the neck area (as well as signaling of neck concept). Perhaps I'll work on examining this.

Thanks,
Tom

Edit: Title edited for clarity
End in Sight, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Cloud A Vitale:
-No desire for enlightenment. Though this has already been the case for about 6 months and there have been some shifts since then.


But still a desire for feedback regarding your progress towards it? emoticon

It's hard for me to offer any definitive opinion on what you might have attained, especially without a detailed practice history leading up to the current moment.

What you're writing sounds consistent with MCTB 3rd path, at least, though in some sense the question of whether you attained that is irrelevant to practice...especially if you're not going to try for any attainment that has MCTB 3rd path as a prerequisite.

For MCTB 4th path, in my opinion the most definitive two features are that 1) you lack any substantive doubt that you reached the endpoint of a particular line of investigation with respect to no-self, and 2) progress beyond this apparent endpoint doesn't occur, even while progress in other respects may occur.

MCTB 4th path is not about the elimination of a centerpoint, but about the elimination of a way of seeing things which might be characterized thus: "If there is the perception of a centerpoint, then there is a centerpoint; if there is no perception of a centerpoint, then there is no centerpoint.", i.e. the perception of a "centerpoint", whether or not it arises, is seen at MCTB 4th path not to have ontological significance either way.

About the "wisdom eye", I never really had a clue what that meant (nor have I heard anyone but Dan Ingram talk about it in this sense he talks about it in MCTB ).

The only advice I have, which is fairly generic, is to mind this:

-Reality consists entirely of sensations flickering on and off.


MCTB:
We are typically quite sloppy about what are physical sensations and
what are mental sensations (memories, mental images, and mental
impressions of other sensations). These two kinds of sensations actually
oscillate back and forth, a back and forth interplay, one arising and
passing and then the other arising and passing, in a somewhat quick but
quite penetrable fashion. Being clear about exactly when the physical
sensations are there will begin to clarify their slippery counterpart that
helps create the illusion of continuity or solidity: flickering mental
impressions.


Make sure you see that the basic high level structure of these flickering sensations is

[sensory experience] [mental experience] [sensory experience] [mental experience]...

e.g. every time vision flickers on and off and back on, there is a mental experience in between. (It's possible to examine this in greater detail, but is apparently not necessary for MCTB paths.)

-Wholeness is apparent when it is apparent. Sensations can also be approached from the perspective of their "non-arising," without beginning or end.


What does this mean in purely experiential terms?
Cloud A Vitale, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
But still a desire for feedback regarding your progress towards it?


Desire might be a strong word for it.

My guess was also "mctb" 3rd path, despite not having much of a desire for enlightenment.

1) you lack any substantive doubt that you reached the endpoint of a particular line of investigation with respect to no-self, and 2) progress beyond this apparent endpoint doesn't occur, even while progress in other respects may occur.


Thanks, this is the kind of answer I was looking for. There is more to be done in this respect.

MCTB 4th path is not about the elimination of a centerpoint, but about the elimination of a way of seeing things which might be characterized thus: "If there is the perception of a centerpoint, then there is a centerpoint; if there is no perception of a centerpoint, then there is no centerpoint."


I don't see things this way. I see them more like: "The perception of a center point is a mental sensation that sometimes occurs as a result of other sensations mental or physical." Though the physical sensations that correspond to the head and the various sensations of space that are "around them" would be more accurate. I'll try to look closer at the [sensory][mental][sensory] to see how this works in more detail. This area sometimes feels clear and free, other times to a lesser degree, though the sensations are still seen as sensations.

About the "wisdom eye", I never really had a clue what that meant (nor have I heard anyone but Dan Ingram talk about it in this sense he talks about it in MCTB ).


Yeah, Alan Chapman also talks about it opening up and then closing again on baptistshead. I thought it may have something to do with recognition of the various sensations previously blocked off and designated as "me" in the head space area. Though I don't know, exactly, what the deal is about it closing again and still having 4th path (though a lesser variety, supposedly).

e.g. every time vision flickers on and off and back on, there is a mental experience in between./quote]

Is it possible to notice this with your eyes open? It seems to be by a brief 15 second experiment.
Cloud A Vitale, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Sorry the above post is so unreadable. Weird glitch going on.
End in Sight, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Cloud A Vitale:
1) you lack any substantive doubt that you reached the endpoint of a particular line of investigation with respect to no-self, and 2) progress beyond this apparent endpoint doesn't occur, even while progress in other respects may occur.


Thanks, this is the kind of answer I was looking for. There is more to be done in this respect.


OK. (Keep in mind that "substantive doubt" is different from "doubt".)

MCTB 4th path is not about the elimination of a centerpoint, but about the elimination of a way of seeing things which might be characterized thus: "If there is the perception of a centerpoint, then there is a centerpoint; if there is no perception of a centerpoint, then there is no centerpoint."


I don't see things this way. I see them more like: "The perception of a center point is a mental sensation that sometimes occurs as a result of other sensations mental or physical."


That sounds consistent with MCTB 3rd path (especially if you think there's more to be done).

Note that at MCTB 4th path you might be saying the exact same thing! The thing that remains to be seen is subtler than it may seem, and possibly different in some way than what you've investigated to get to this point.

Yeah, Alan Chapman also talks about it opening up and then closing again on baptistshead. I thought it may have something to do with recognition of the various sensations previously blocked off and designated as "me" in the head space area. Though I don't know, exactly, what the deal is about it closing again and still having 4th path (though a lesser variety, supposedly).


My experience is that attaining MCTB 4th path didn't have to do with a different relationship with head sensations...BUT, I wasn't pursuing a body-oriented style of practice at the time, so I possibly could have missed some connection here.

e.g. every time vision flickers on and off and back on, there is a mental experience in between.


Is it possible to notice this with your eyes open? It seems to be by a brief 15 second experiment.


It's possible to notice in any situation. If you're looking at your vision pulse, look for a "blank" spot in between two instances of seeing; the blank spot (especially: if you recognize it as "blank", "empty", etc. while you're experiencing it) is a mental phenomenon. Then do that for all your senses. ("Blank" or "empty" is not an especially accurate description of the experience, as it has other properties, but for me, it's as if the phenomenon has always wanted to be described that way in some sense.)

A deep analysis of this phenomenon into its constituent bits can lead to a lot of progress, but for MCTB 4th, at minimum you should make sure that it's completely objectified, whether you analyze it further or not.
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Tommy M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Reformatted reply for Cloud A Vitale:

Cloud A Vitale:
EIS:
But still a desire for feedback regarding your progress towards it?

Desire might be a strong word for it. My guess was also "mctb" 3rd path, despite not having much of a desire for enlightenment.

EIS:
1) you lack any substantive doubt that you reached the endpoint of a particular line of investigation with respect to no-self, and 2) progress beyond this apparent endpoint doesn't occur, even while progress in other respects may occur.

Thanks, this is the kind of answer I was looking for. There is more to be done in this respect.

EIS:
MCTB 4th path is not about the elimination of a centerpoint, but about the elimination of a way of seeing things which might be characterized thus: "If there is the perception of a centerpoint, then there is a centerpoint; if there is no perception of a centerpoint, then there is no centerpoint."

I don't see things this way. I see them more like: "The perception of a center point is a mental sensation that sometimes occurs as a result of other sensations mental or physical." Though the physical sensations that correspond to the head and the various sensations of space that are "around them" would be more accurate. I'll try to look closer at the [sensory][mental][sensory] to see how this works in more detail. This area sometimes feels clear and free, other times to a lesser degree, though the sensations are still seen as sensations.

EIS:
About the "wisdom eye", I never really had a clue what that meant (nor have I heard anyone but Dan Ingram talk about it in this sense he talks about it in MCTB ).

Yeah, Alan Chapman also talks about it opening up and then closing again on baptistshead. I thought it may have something to do with recognition of the various sensations previously blocked off and designated as "me" in the head space area. Though I don't know, exactly, what the deal is about it closing again and still having 4th path (though a lesser variety, supposedly).

EIS:
e.g. every time vision flickers on and off and back on, there is a mental experience in between.

Is it possible to notice this with your eyes open? It seems to be by a brief 15 second experiment.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
This following quote is very interesting. Perhaps the 'nothingness' referred to below has been called the 'void' by some around here?

BTW, the centre point can eventually cease to arise at all. At least it did for me. But that is another story (or perhaps following the instructions that follow the quoted passages will lead beyond such a 'void'?)


"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones, having gone into the wilderness, to the root of a tree, or into an empty dwelling, considers this: 'This is empty of self or of anything pertaining to self.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of nothingness. This is declared to be the second practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.

"Then again, the disciple of the noble ones considers this: 'I am not anyone's anything anywhere; nor is anything of mine in anyone anywhere.' Practicing & frequently abiding in this way, his mind acquires confidence in that dimension. There being full confidence, he either attains the dimension of nothingness now or else is committed to discernment. With the break-up of the body, after death, it's possible that this leading-on consciousness of his will go to the dimension of nothingness. This is declared to be the third practice conducive to the dimension of nothingness.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.106.than.html
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Florian Weps, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Nikolai

Nikolai .:
This following quote is very interesting. Perhaps the 'nothingness' referred to below has been called the 'void' by some around here?


Are you referring to my previous post in this thread? Regardless, in my understanding the passage you quote refers to the jhana of nothingness. By the words "gaping void" in my post, I meant the notion that the dispelling of the centerpoint, or absence of it, or non-arising of it, somehow leaves behind a noticeable hole. It was a non-technical use of the word "void". Replace it with "crater" if you like. emoticon You know, some wild romantic ruins in the landscape of the self, which it can point out, saying "see that? I did that! I ripped that big hole, all by myself! That's my big gaping void crater, all mine!"

BTW, the centre point can eventually cease to arise at all. At least it did for me. But that is another story (or perhaps following the instructions that follow the quoted passages will lead beyond such a 'void'?)


I for one would like to know that other story.

By the instructions, do you mean the following?

Aneñja-sappaya Sutta:
Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all.


I second that.

Cheers,
Florian
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Hey Florian,

Nikolai .:
This following quote is very interesting. Perhaps the 'nothingness' referred to below has been called the 'void' by some around here?


Are you referring to my previous post in this thread? Regardless, in my understanding the passage you quote refers to the jhana of nothingness. By the words "gaping void" in my post, I meant the notion that the dispelling of the centerpoint, or absence of it, or non-arising of it, somehow leaves behind a noticeable hole. It was a non-technical use of the word "void". Replace it with "crater" if you like. emoticon You know, some wild romantic ruins in the landscape of the self, which it can point out, saying "see that? I did that! I ripped that big hole, all by myself! That's my big gaping void crater, all mine!"


No, I wasn't singling out anyone in particular. In fact what crossed my mind first were the ruthless truth mob. Nothingness could be called a sort of 'void-ness' or at least I could see how it could appear like so. All the same, i thought it an interesting result of investigating not-self continuously. I hadn't really come across it at all even after reading the sutta in question.

BTW, the centre point can eventually cease to arise at all. At least it did for me. But that is another story (or perhaps following the instructions that follow the quoted passages will lead beyond such a 'void'?)


I for one would like to know that other story.

By the instructions, do you mean the following?

Aneñja-sappaya Sutta:
Whatever a teacher should do — seeking the welfare of his disciples, out of sympathy for them — that have I done for you. Over there are the roots of trees; over there, empty dwellings. Practice jhana, Ananda. Don't be heedless. Don't later fall into regret. This is our message to you all.


I second that.


More or less yeh, jhanas, but with some tweaks that might not be read in the quoted sutta.
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Florian Weps, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
... what crossed my mind first were the ruthless truth mob. Nothingness could be called a sort of 'void-ness' or at least I could see how it could appear like so. All the same, i thought it an interesting result of investigating not-self continuously. I hadn't really come across it at all even after reading the sutta in question.


Yeah. The various tribes of RTers really emphasize not-self investigation.

The two are often confused, jhana of nothingness and emptiness/the void. It doesn't help the distinction at all that jhanas, including the jhana of nothingness, can arise with eyes open, outside of formal meditation.

And anything at all can become a false refuge, or apparently safe place to stow away the self, or object for identification. Even emptiness/the void.

Nikolai .:
More or less yeh, jhanas, but with some tweaks that might not be read in the quoted sutta.


Sure. It's never a by-the-numbers thing.

That story you hinted at? Nudge, nudge

Cheers,
Florian
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1650 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Florian Weps:


That story you hinted at? Nudge, nudge


Hi Florian,

I essentially followed these instructions till there was an irreversible shift in baseline. In other words I simply when at it again and again and again while sitting, standing, walking and lying down in bed as much as I could. This led to actually two shifts of some sort. The first being quite a big one, the second being more a refinement of the first one. I don't know what to call the baseline shifts though they did lead to much less mental tension and suffering as well as no centrepoint and a big change in the way emotions compounded. Also it led to not being able to generate affective moods at will and a lot of stillness and lack of push and pull in the mind. However, there was some residual weirdness of an experience of 'almost affect' which I think was how the emotions were presenting after the brain change. Certain aspects of the mind became clearer.

Nick
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Florian Weps, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Hi Tom

Wow, good work. I like how you are taking stock, trying to survey the state of affairs. Maybe Adyashanti's "The End of Your World" will be useful to you. Up to a point, I couldn't stand his stuff, but nowadays I think he's describing more than teaching: don't emulate what he says, but if you can recognize it, that sense of recognition will be worth it.

And here's a checklist-type blog post I find useful:

Have you gone far enough?

Centerlessness as I use the term: The center doesn't drop out leaving a gaping void. Whatever is mistaken for a center remains where it is, it's just no longer mistaken for a center, or a refuge, or something special, or something precious, or something dependable, something holding us up, something to be established in, etc. A gaping hole as a center would be quite extraordinary and special, and identifying with the void can be subtly tempting. Surrendering to (intending to let go of) the void is a nice way to deal with that temptation.

The thing is, letting go is not an activity - it's a relaxation, a cessation. It's not possible to actively let go, to actively cease: but it is possible to do training, or gestures, or whatever, stating one's intention and inclination to let go. Various surrender-type practices can be used, and Vipassana has this surrender aspect built into it.

Wisdom eye: maybe it's something you knew all along and didn't think it was that? Have you considered that?

I'll stop rambling now. Relax and enjoy!

Cheers,
Florian
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Jeff Grove, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 310 Join Date: 8/24/09 Recent Posts
As I understand there needs to be an opening of the wisdom eye? What does this entail, exactly? There does seem to be some conceptual sense of a head left which is being examined right now. This seems to be associated with various pains in the forehead and head which seem to come and go Right now there is some intensity in the neck area (as well as signaling of neck concept). Perhaps I'll work on examining this


from what I understand in buddhism there are five eyes that the buddha spoke of. These five eyes where associated with insights or views. physical eye, Heavanly eye, wisdom eye, dharma eye, buddha eye

The physical eye our normal state of ignorance
Heavenly eye - this may line up with Thusness I am stage
The wisdom eye is associated with shunyata, everything is seen as impermanent, empty (3rd path or 4th path?). In dzogchen it is described as the reunion of a mother and son. but there can be an attachment to emptiness.
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Tommy M, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Progress Report - Centerlessness/Wisdom Eye

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Good stuff, Jeff. I had wondered about the symbolism involved with that at one time, but forgot about till this thread came up. That's a nice breakdown, thanks.

In dzogchen it is described as the reunion of a mother and son. but there can be an attachment to emptiness.

I wasn't aware of that, but it's an interesting symbol for it; I'm curious as to whether or not the symbolism involved in the "YHVH" formula - Father (Yod) Mother (Heh) - Son (Vau) - Daughter (Heh) - within the magickal models would line up with this, it seems quite possible but it's just a thought. I know you're probably not familiar with that particular approach, but I'll throw it out there anyway.

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