AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/29/12 3:42 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/29/12 3:42 PM

AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
Hi there,

im practising Af since a while now and found it similar to what Eckhart Tolle is writing about connecting to the sences and listenig to silence, which i was practicing since years. Im not sure if im getting PCEs, but the states im experiencing while practicing are very pleasant, light, and having a sense of beeing free.

There are 3 questions running through my head over and over so i thought it may be a good idea to ask for some wise oppinion ;)


1) the first thing is concerning my Vipassana Practice. Im concerned that with practicing AF i will not be able to make it to Stream Entry which is my goal since years. Im practicing 1-2hours of Mahasi noting each day and go on retreats irregulary. my AF practice goes on over the whole day, always trying to stay connected with my senses, especially in the evening and night hours im often sitting on the balcony devoting my time to tuning into the sensory and happy states. I was already reading on this site that AF and Vipassana go hand in hand, but also that AF practice will stop the cycles to occour.
Whats ur oppinion on it? will the AF practice delay or even stopping me from getting stream entry or will it help to accomplish the task?

2) the second question is concerning the attention wave. i was reading what Tarin and Daniel wrote about it and my understanding goes so far that i would rephrase it like that : the attention wave is the "doer" being there and claiming to experiencing what is going on. Whereelse while in PCE mode the doer is abscent and only the experience of the senses is there which causes a feeling of deep relieve. Would u say that this sounds right?

3) Whats ur Oppinion on what Eckhart tolle is writing about? Do u think it could also be seen as AF practice, i also read something on Kenneth Page about it. That Kenneth i considering ET Stuff as AF related. (http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/3rd+Gear%2C+The+Direct+Path%2C+Eckhart+Tolle%2C+and+the+PCE)


Thaks a lot in advance. I hope when i got these questions solved i will spend less time with doubts and thinking and more time in cycles or senses ;)
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Nikolai , modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 1:39 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/29/12 4:48 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Stefan F:
Hi there,

im practising Af since a while now and found it similar to what Eckhart Tolle is writing about connecting to the sences and listenig to silence, which i was practicing since years. Im not sure if im getting PCEs, but the states im experiencing while practicing are very pleasant, light, and having a sense of beeing free.

There are 3 questions running through my head over and over so i thought it may be a good idea to ask for some wise oppinion ;)


1) the first thing is concerning my Vipassana Practice. Im concerned that with practicing AF i will not be able to make it to Stream Entry which is my goal since years. Im practicing 1-2hours of Mahasi noting each day and go on retreats irregulary. my AF practice goes on over the whole day, always trying to stay connected with my senses, especially in the evening and night hours im often sitting on the balcony devoting my time to tuning into the sensory and happy states. I was already reading on this site that AF and Vipassana go hand in hand, but also that AF practice will stop the cycles to occour.
Whats ur oppinion on it? will the AF practice delay or even stopping me from getting stream entry or will it help to accomplish the task?

2) the second question is concerning the attention wave. i was reading what Tarin and Daniel wrote about it and my understanding goes so far that i would rephrase it like that : the attention wave is the "doer" being there and claiming to experiencing what is going on. Whereelse while in PCE mode the doer is abscent and only the experience of the senses is there which causes a feeling of deep relieve. Would u say that this sounds right?

3) Whats ur Oppinion on what Eckhart tolle is writing about? Do u think it could also be seen as AF practice, i also read something on Kenneth Page about it. That Kenneth i considering ET Stuff as AF related. (http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/3rd+Gear%2C+The+Direct+Path%2C+Eckhart+Tolle%2C+and+the+PCE)


Thaks a lot in advance. I hope when i got these questions solved i will spend less time with doubts and thinking and more time in cycles or senses ;)


If wanting to practice to get actually free, I would simply advise dropping everything that has not been advertised as resulting in actually free (and sanctioned by Richard) and simply follow what is provided here, 100%. As if it is only 80% or even 99% dedication to exaclty what is explained here, it will be a diluted practice that may lead one with a tendency to be confused (as is indicated by your post), then one may flip flop about for years as others here have done, as their attention was not on 100% getting it done, but perhaps simply 99% trying to get it done, but 1% doubting what they where doing. Any doubt that arises has the possibility of simply delaying progress and making one drift about.

Either, choose stream entry (as talked of in MCTB.) and note your arse off and drop the actual freedom pull for now, (as that may be leading one to give only 90% to that objective and 10% is all that is needed to drift and flip flop in my opinion) or drop that idea and objective all together and dedicate 100% of your will and energy to the set of instructions in the link above and forget all other ideas and objectives, doubts, confusions, and simply move one's whole being in that direction, not part of one's being in one direction, and other parts looking in other directions (whether they be different directions or not the confusion is there, the doubt is there and this impedes one giving 100% to one's desired objective).

Whatever objective/path/approach you choose, choose it fully and with 100% of your whole entire being, will, intent behind it. Try not to divide/split up your will and intent to achieve multiple objectives that may be different directions altogether. This simply breaks up momentum and seems more than not to promote conceptual confusion, frustration, and delay. There is no need to think about 'getting stream entry' or 'getting af' or 'getting a PCE'. There is just this. I would also drop any interest in the 'attention wave' if the actualist path is the one chosen as becoming very interested in it, looking for it, in my experience actually led to re-inforcing it as part and parcel of experience, if one does not practice appropriately. I advise you, due to obvious apparent confusion, not to practice any hybrid approaches and rather drop the fascination and confusion for an 'attention wave'. It will be dealt with without the need to investigate it if you simply follow the set instructions in the link above. Also, recognize any 'comparing tendencies' arising and also let them drop away as they may lead one to 99% here, and 1% attracted to someone else's take there, which seems the same, but there may be slight differences, and then eventually you are 60% here and 40% there. Where is the 100%?

Edit: Our minds react to the concepts they themselves create. When there are all these conceptual ideas and notions competing for the mind's attention, our abilities to exert the appropriate effort in the desired direction can be hindered, diluted and lose efficacy. I believe it best to choose one conceptual overlay (such as the pure actualist practice as described in the link above OR as laid out in MCTB or Pali Canon, etc.) and allow it to inform and motivate all acts of body, speech and mind in the advertised direction, and if any other conceptual overlays start to invade its place and dominance in the mind, then learn and train the mind to drop such invading paradigms (conceptual overlays) quickly and return again to the original chosen conceptual overlay and give it 100% of attention and resultant acts of body, speech and mind. Thus one is triggering 100% effort towards the desired and advertised objective. If the conceptual overlays do not trigger 100% effort in a desired direction (100%!!!!!), then I doubt progress will be clean, fun, happy, frustration and confusion-free.

My 2 cents.
An Eternal Now, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 12:21 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 12:21 AM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 638 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
Stefan F:
3) Whats ur Oppinion on what Eckhart tolle is writing about?
Eckhart Tolle is mostly concerned about leading the reader to his I AM Realization*, but he does teach basic mindfulness as well.

*I AM Realization, see first two stages: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 7:55 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 7:55 AM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Hey Stefan,

As far as your first question goes, I think Nick has provided more than enough info and I completely agree with what he says. I'll see if there's anything I can add to the other questions, but I also think AEN's comment on Tolle and the realization of the "I AM" is spot on and the link he's provided there is well worth a read.

2) the second question is concerning the attention wave. i was reading what Tarin and Daniel wrote about it and my understanding goes so far that i would rephrase it like that : the attention wave is the "doer" being there and claiming to experiencing what is going on. Whereelse while in PCE mode the doer is abscent and only the experience of the senses is there which causes a feeling of deep relieve. Would u say that this sounds right?

3) Whats ur Oppinion on what Eckhart tolle is writing about? Do u think it could also be seen as AF practice, i also read something on Kenneth Page about it. That Kenneth i considering ET Stuff as AF related. (http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/page/3rd+Gear%2C+The+Direct+Path%2C+Eckhart+Tolle%2C+and+the+PCE)


What's referred to around here as the "attention wave" is basically like a subtle 'bouncing' of attention between the object perceived and the sense of an observer, so your comment about how it continues to imply a "doer" is heading in the right direction. When there's no longer any distinction between subject and object in direct experience, there's no need for that 'bounce' because things are known immediately as the are; the sense of seperation, or of division between subject and object is only implied by certain sensations which aren't seen clearly, but if they can be observed as they are - as empty, transient and inherently unsatisfactory - then the imagined split can dissolve.

As I said, I agree with what AEN said about Tolle; Tolle's descriptions of what happened to him are actually very similar to the way things changed for me after 1st Path, although I didn't spend a year sitting on a park bench. Based on that, I can confirm that what Eckhart Tolle describes is not the same thing as what's described as "an actual freedom".
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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 10:59 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 10:59 AM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
hey Nikolai,

thanks a lot for ur advice of doing things 100%. sounds very true, but its a hard choice for me at the moment. I think i will need some time to really make this 100%choice.
For me the AF Method is more fun, more supportive in daily life, and it seems that i can do it more easyly.
I was struggeling a lot with vipassana stuff in the past, but at the same time im afraid that i will miss how it is to get Stream entry, Jahnas and the other Stuff the guys in robes or in the DhO are talking about.
I would like to get Stream Entry first, but have a lot of concerns that it will take years (or centuries) of struggeling, where i could have a nice and pleasent time with AF stuff.

which Technique would be ur advice to someone who is seeking a life free from suffering and some nice amount of happiness
?!
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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 11:09 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 11:09 AM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
Hey Tommy,


if they can be observed as they are - as empty, transient and inherently unsatisfactory - then the imagined split can dissolve


So why is it that Arahats here at the Forum are saying that there still is the attention wave going on when they have seen through the 3 caracteristics? or is it that only in the moment of fruitrition arahats (or other path winners) are free from the attention wave, and that it comes back after a while (maybee weaker)?


Thanks a lot!
End in Sight, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 2:59 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 2:59 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
Stefan F:
1) the first thing is concerning my Vipassana Practice. Im concerned that with practicing AF i will not be able to make it to Stream Entry which is my goal since years. Im practicing 1-2hours of Mahasi noting each day and go on retreats irregulary. my AF practice goes on over the whole day, always trying to stay connected with my senses, especially in the evening and night hours im often sitting on the balcony devoting my time to tuning into the sensory and happy states. I was already reading on this site that AF and Vipassana go hand in hand, but also that AF practice will stop the cycles to occour.
Whats ur oppinion on it? will the AF practice delay or even stopping me from getting stream entry or will it help to accomplish the task?


I don't see that paying attention to your senses in an enjoyable way would impede your vipassana practice in any way. However, you should be realistic as to how much of that time is tuned into the senses, and how much is tuned into a separate, sort of blurry emotional state of happiness that excludes the senses.

2) the second question is concerning the attention wave. i was reading what Tarin and Daniel wrote about it and my understanding goes so far that i would rephrase it like that : the attention wave is the "doer" being there and claiming to experiencing what is going on. Whereelse while in PCE mode the doer is abscent and only the experience of the senses is there which causes a feeling of deep relieve. Would u say that this sounds right?


I understood it thus: pay attention to something, and notice that there is a sense of attention that flickers, flutters, and waves around. Sometimes it's clear that attention seems to be moving between discrete objects, other times it's not really clear where it's going (the objects are subtle) but the waviness continues...

As for whether it's the "doer", well, the attention wave is a lot of things...
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 3:23 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 3:23 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
So why is it that Arahats here at the Forum are saying that there still is the attention wave going on when they have seen through the 3 caracteristics? or is it that only in the moment of fruitrition arahats (or other path winners) are free from the attention wave, and that it comes back after a while (maybee weaker)?

To be honest, most of us on here who thought we'd attained Arahatship have subsequently dropped those claims, mainly due to how our various practices have developed and how further dropping away of the fetters has occurred. The continued perceptual shifts which seem to happen if you continue to investigate experience do weaken the "attention wave", although it can be eliminated entirely when seen clearly.
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Nikolai , modified 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 10:40 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/30/12 5:03 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
Stefan F:
hey Nikolai,

thanks a lot for ur advice of doing things 100%. sounds very true, but its a hard choice for me at the moment. I think i will need some time to really make this 100%choice.
For me the AF Method is more fun, more supportive in daily life, and it seems that i can do it more easyly.
I was struggeling a lot with vipassana stuff in the past, but at the same time im afraid that i will miss how it is to get Stream entry, Jahnas and the other Stuff the guys in robes or in the DhO are talking about.
I would like to get Stream Entry first, but have a lot of concerns that it will take years (or centuries) of struggeling, where i could have a nice and pleasent time with AF stuff.

which Technique would be ur advice to someone who is seeking a life free from suffering and some nice amount of happiness
?!


You have 4 choices as I see it. The first three entail giving 100% preference and dominance within the mind to one conceptual overlay (mental objective) so that there is continuous movement in the desired direction.

1/ drop the desire for and conceptually dominating overlays of 'getting AF' and related stuff and simply focus all efforts and directed mind 100% on the route to SE as talked of at the DhO with the advertised and proven techniques. The technique of choice is purely noting as talked of here. I would also investigate the belief that you have in place, locked in a loop within the mind, that SE is far away, years or whatnot. This does not seem the case for those who pull their fingers out of their arses and simply do the practice leaving behind the confusion and doubt. When in doubt, note it. when confused, note it. Note it all as it takes centre stage in the field of experience.

2/ drop the desire for and conceptually dominating overlays of 'getting SE' and related stuff and simply focus all efforts and directed mind 100% on the route to actual freedom as talked of at the AFT website with the advertised and proven technques. The technique of choice for this route is here. Stick to it. Don't mix. Don't get caught up in the trying to compare or trying to disprove or prove conceptually to everyone. Simply do the practice at all times of being alive.

3/ If the above two are not possible because one's mind, due to the unfortunate confusion generated by the past few years of 'the clash of the paradigms/conceptual overlays/approaches/objectives' of the DhO, then I would seriously consider melding the approaches to suit or rather put to rest this apparent unmoving confusion and frustration with it. This means taking the conceptual overlays of actual freedom and SE and beyond and conceptualising them as the same direction, one being further along the same path that one is taking. This would be a hybrid approach. It has been seen to bring results, whether others believe them to be the same as other paths and paradigm shifts it doesn't matter as we are working to get around the apparent unmoving confusion and frustration you feel (due to desiring two things, SE and AF related stuff and the division between them held in one's mind).

If you can do 1/ or 2/, I recommend doing either over 3/. 3/ entails truly dedicating 100% to the singular melded conceptual overlay. This is to get the mind onboard a practice 100% so as to make the desire for multiple things actually doesn't become a hindrance and source of confusion. Make an effort to conceptualize and start believing in the melding and joining of conceptual objectives and then simply forget that there was ever a division and go for it 100% with all your energy, effort and practice.

Go for SE first and then keep going onto to AF. According to pali suttas, a factor of awakening is 'joy'. It allows for the cultivation of a pliant, malleable and luminous mind, coupled with the other 6 factors of awakening, it leads one to the end of suffering. The joy or sense of wellbeing that comes about via actualist practices can be seen as developing this factor of 'joy'. See it like so. Here we are melding the practice associated with an actualist path via seeing it as conducive for the path that is calling us to walk it i.e. to SE. Where possible, see the division between the paths drop away, regardless of what others say about such a division. This is primarily so you put all effort into 'one direction' as opposed to multiple directions due to multiple conceptual overlays/objectives/ideas/notions/beliefs competing for attention within the mind, which only seems to result in confusion and frustration.

The technique of choice for route 3/ is simply combining what one is doing now into a conceptual and practical meld, where the objective, the end of all mental suffering, is something in common. One simply drops any concepts that divide and create separation/division of practices, and one intends with all mental effort that whatever one is practicing in combination (i.e. actualist practices during the day, noting practice at other times), is pointing in the one direction i.e SE and beyond nd the end of suffering.

Later on you can always switch to 2/ exclusively. Option 3/ is only if you experience continuous confusion and doing 1/ or 2/ is impossible for your mind to consider, unable to drop the division.

4/ Your other option: Continue to create the conceptual confusion within your own mind over and over and over thus influencing how you practice, as that is the point. The views and conceptual overlays that we hold onto within our mind mold and condition our practices, progress, results, happiness, suffering etc. etc. It is how you practice that leads to progress. This entails momentum and other factors, which can be hindered by a mind full of doubt and confusion. Deal with the conceptual doubt and confusion first, then knowing that the mind is 100% onboard with the direction it wishes to go, move continuously in that direction unhindered by doubt about such a direction. That only impedes progress.

Don't delay. Make your choice. Pure MCTB SE path OR Pure actualist path OR a conceptual and practical hybrid mix.

nick

Edit: I second what Tommy said above.
Edit: Most people I have talked with or read about got SE as talked of here via purely a noting practice. There are other examples of other practices being successful, but the majority have been pure noting perhaps coupled with some concentration practice like kasina.
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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 11:59 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 11:45 AM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
Hey EIS,

I don't see that paying attention to your senses in an enjoyable way would impede your vipassana practice in any way.


My concern is that the AF practice and only paying attention to the senses in an enjoyable way is not paying much attention to the 3Cs, the passing show and the dissatisfying nature of things - and as much as i know about SE this is what is needed to make it happen ! ? would be nice if u could write ur opinion on this one! and also if u think if AF practice is helping in getting to SE or if its just not impeding it.


However, you should be realistic as to how much of that time is tuned into the senses, and how much is tuned into a separate, sort of blurry emotional state of happiness that excludes the senses.


most time of the day when i pay attention to the senses i only feel some mental relaxation and groundedness in the real world, no blurry happiness. but im getting ur point.
Most time its in the evening hours when i dedicate the time to only doing AF practice that im getting in happy states. But also then it seems to be that the only way of staying in the happy states is to keep the attention to the senses and not to let the mind drift away.
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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 12:57 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 12:21 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
Hey Nick,

u really put it to the point, the confusion of which approach to follow is a big hindrance to my practice and it always was : ( , even before i tryed AF. I have to contemplate of what u wrote here and then make a decision the next days. But im feeling a strong motivation now to make that decision and continue my way in the Dharma Battelfield or/and AF Wonderland ;) not sure at the moment whichchone to take!


Noting practice is just kind of hard to keep up when at work or especially in sozial situations! im feeling often really seperated from the world when doing noting all the time, where else the AF fits much better to sozial situations or generally to a life off the cushion. Of course an other option would be to cut sozial life and dedicate all free time to noting practice, but i dont know if this would be a good idea at the moment. im sure there will be a time again when i go on retreat for some weeks/month where i can do noting all day long, but at the moment im involved in sozial life a lot and therefore have to concider that too.
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Squirrel Master, modified 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 2:04 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 2:04 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 28 Join Date: 7/8/11 Recent Posts
Hey Tommy,

The continued perceptual shifts which seem to happen if you continue to investigate experience do weaken the "attention wave", although it can be eliminated entirely when seen clearly.


Do u mean that the attention wave also could be eliminated entirely with vipassana techniques?
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Tommy M, modified 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 3:28 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 8/31/12 3:27 PM

RE: AF Questions, Attention wave, Vipassana, Eckhardt Tolle

Posts: 1199 Join Date: 11/12/10 Recent Posts
Do u mean that the attention wave also could be eliminated entirely with vipassana techniques?

Yes, as long as by "vipassana" we're talking about moment-by-moment attentiveness to bare sensation, classical insight practice rather than just 'noting' which, while very useful, can become somewhat cumbersome.

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