Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

Posts: 255 Join Date: 9/8/12 Recent Posts
I find myself going through a series of "phases" when it comes to my intellectual reasons for getting into Buddhism.

PHASE ONE was simply me first becoming interested in Buddhism because I thought it offered a way to be less stressed. Like a hot bath.

PHASE TWO saw a change from that, for two reasons. First, I found (and still find) practice hard -- not relaxing at all (yet). Second, as I read about samatha vs vipassana and so on, I learned that The Point is not to relax per se but rather to come to a true understanding of reality. That sounded very cool, but mysterious, and very grand and unattainable.

PHASE THREE was where I stumbled on DhO and MCTB. That had two effects. First, The Point seemed to become more attainable. Conversely, it became less grand. I guess I began to wonder if Buddhism was to the brain (sic) nothing more than what working out or learning gymnastics is to the body.

But I find myself now entering PHASE FOUR. Among other things I've been reading B. Alan Wallace's "Meditations of a Buddhist Skeptic", and I recently watched Bob Thurman and Deepak Chopra comparing Buddhism and Vedanta here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD_dZ4pc3vA [**]. The result is a combination of the prior phases TWO and THREE in that the splendour of what may be on offer has grown again, but it remains attainable.

The effect is really quite breathtaking. As I finally intellectually get to grips (I think) with what this stuff is all about, I am flabbergasted. If it's true, it's *spectacular*. It's like an alchemist has just found what may be the recipe for the elixir of life. I am torn between on the one hand continuing to read and ponder and discuss, thereby feeding my already gobsmacked awe at the prospect of what may be possible, and on the other hand accepting the fact that "knowing" this stuff is not the same as "doing" or "experiencing" and therefore just putting all the books and videos and *thinking* away and just get sitting; the more the better.

But I do have a question -- one little nag in my head. It's primarily for the advanced practitioners and arhats among us.
Why aren't you guys simply beside yourselves with joy and excitement? emoticon

I mean, if it were me I'd be dancing on the roof. Or does seeing the true nature of reality make roof dancing mundane and ordinary?

Robert

** I cannot stress how much of a change it represents in me, that I would *ever* cite Deepak Chopra except to call him an idiot. But I'm not calling him an idiot now. emoticon
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nice question.

You do realize that for you to ask that question, you need to have a good deal of ideas and judgement about what being an a*ha*t is like, and that other people might not agree to these ideas and judgements?

"You get what you optimize for" is a phrase that get's thrown around here a lot. That, and the fact that the stated goal of several people here is "the end of suffering", with no particular mention of joy and excitement, might have something to do with the lack of "guys simply beside [themselves] with joy and excitement".
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John P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
You do realize that for you to ask that question, you need to have a good deal of ideas and judgement about what being an a*ha*t is like, and that other people might not agree to these ideas and judgements?

"You get what you optimize for" is a phrase that get's thrown around here a lot. That, and the fact that the stated goal of several people here is "the end of suffering", with no particular mention of joy and excitement, might have something to do with the lack of "guys simply beside [themselves] with joy and excitement".


This makes me remember something. I remember once I read this Mahayana Teacher saying how important happiness was in his tradition, how they didn't lose their sense of humor and that in his tradition in the end you became an arahahahahat
XD


Also, Robert, think about this: Suppose you get enlightened and then dance on the roof, and then, after that what? Just dancing until you die?

From my point of view, you are just have too "shiny" visions of enlightenment.
In my own progress, I am seeing that enlightenment isn't "shiny", it is as great as it is said to be, but it is just what it is, not the "shiny" thing I think it is.
I'm not sure it may make sense to other people, but what I mean as "shiny it's some "tone" or quality glued on a thought and/or desire, like using colored glasses to see.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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John P:
From my point of view, you are just have too "shiny" visions of enlightenment.

Well I don't know about "shiny", but I'm simply going by what I hear people saying. A way of life (or whatever it is -- again, I'm trying to avoid people focusing on any specific irrelevant or phrase) that leads to "understanding the true nature of reality" or "an end of suffering" do seem slightly more interesting than one that promises a poke in the eye with sharp stick. Despite that fact, most people seem to talk about it either in highly technical terms that convey nothing about the overall point of the exercise, or in fluffy psycho-moral terms that are equally useless for these purposes.

But in fact I have seen a similar phenomenon before, in Christianity.

In the New Testament, in John 14:14, we read "Ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!" Now a small subset of Christians actually believe that is true, just as you read it. So if someone is sick, they'll ask God to cure them, fully expecting it to happen. And if it doesn't happen, they'll conclude that they didn't ask right (i.e. in his name). Succeed or fail, however, they believe what the words say. But the majority don't really. They demythologize it, with phrases like, "God answers all prayers but not always the way you expect", or simply "God works in mysterious ways".

It sounds the same in Buddhism. The promise is vast. But in practice, it looks like most people don't really buy the literal message. I happen to have been reading a few who actually do seem to back up the original idea. But I can't tell for sure.

P.S. The above is a comment on how many Christians and Buddhists communicate. It says nothing about the truth/effectiveness or otherwise of Christianity or Buddhism. Maybe both do exactly what each says on the can. Maybe only one does. Or maybe both are nice little hobbies with nothing of significance to offer anyone. Either way, shininess doesn't come into it for me.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Nice question.

You do realize that for you to ask that question, you need to have a good deal of ideas and judgement about what being an a*ha*t is like, and that other people might not agree to these ideas and judgements?

Or my question was really a way of asking precisely that -- what *is* it like?

...the stated goal of several people here is "the end of suffering", with no particular mention of joy and excitement, might have something to do with the lack of "guys simply beside [themselves] with joy and excitement".

Yeah, my "joy and excitement" were simply proxies for <whatever it is about "getting there" that's worthwhile>. The point is, *whatever* the result is -- "end of suffering", whatever -- it sounds, from what I'm reading, like it ranks very high on the Coolness And Awesomeness scale.

I guess my core point is, am I wrong? Is the reason our friendly neighbourhood arhats aren't swinging from the rafters and having a big party is simply that the "end of suffering" isn't as big a deal as I think it is?

I mean, I once thought that getting my PhD would be awesome. Then I got it and it was all a bit "meh". Surely there's more to enlightenment than a man smacking you on the head with a floppy hat and saying "tu quoque" (which is how they conferred the doctorate at my university).
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D Z, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:

Or my question was really a way of asking precisely that -- what *is* it like?


Try to think of an exceptionally peaceful and worry free moment you have had. Perhaps on vacation somewhere, maybe at this moment you noticed the sun shone a little brighter, the sounds were a bit crisper. The mind was clear and free of worry. The body felt light and unburdened. You were at peace.

Now imagine that sense of peace you felt, and amplify it to an unimaginable level. All the time. That is kind of what it is like at the early stages.

Further progress then makes even these early stages seem like they are quite full of suffering by comparison.

(Edit: Not claiming to be an 'arhat', because it is a very loaded term.)
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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D Z:
Robert McLune:

Or my question was really a way of asking precisely that -- what *is* it like?


Try to think of an exceptionally peaceful and worry free moment you have had. Perhaps on vacation somewhere, maybe at this moment you noticed the sun shone a little brighter, the sounds were a bit crisper. The mind was clear and free of worry. The body felt light and unburdened. You were at peace.

Now imagine that sense of peace you felt, and amplify it to an unimaginable level. All the time. That is kind of what it is like at the early stages.

Further progress then makes even these early stages seem like they are quite full of suffering by comparison.


What he said. It's worth all the effort, and I don't even consider myself 'done' yet.
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Blue ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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I want to add something important

I don't know about other enlightened people on this forum. But I experience karma on a day to day basis. I experience small karmas, medium karmas, and some large karmas. I've also seen exactly how good karmas can interact with and help deal with bad karmas.

I see exactly what things are happening in real time because of karma. For whatever reason, just like some people can see auras... I get a certain visual when things are happening because of karma.

I might also say that I've communicated with devas/gods/fallen arahants. (the interaction happens in what is called "language of the heart")

These things imply that...

HELL EXISTS

Please work so you don't go to hell. Work so others don't go to hell. This is why buddha says to work as if your head were on fire.

Go read some of the descriptions of hell

Now is the Buddha Sassana, now is the time to work.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Blue .:


I might also say that I've communicated with devas/gods/fallen arahants. (the interaction happens in what is called "language of the heart")



What is 'karma' as you are using it above? How does the 'visual' stuff manifest? How's this play out in experience? What is a 'fallen arahant'?

Seriously curious,

Nick
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Blue ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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"I'm not sure I understand, how do they imply that?"


Angels imply hell
Karma implies hell


"What is 'karma' as you are using it above?"


I'm referring to good actions causing good results and vice versa.


"How does the 'visual' stuff manifest? How's this play out in experience?"


I occasionally get a picture of the karma sensation along with a feeling of it. From the visual and feeling information I can sometimes derive things like the relative size of the karma, whether it's good or bad, and what type of karma it is (relationship karma, car karma ect). I've also seen how we can douse the bad karma in merit before it comes up.

Fallen arahant.. I read about dead arahants contacting Acariya Mun in his autobiography. They came and told him what posture to die in.

I should have not used the word to describe who is talking to me, it could have been a living arahant or a god or a buddha... all I know is that some of the beings feel like they have much stronger vibrations and mettta than others
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Blue .:


"How does the 'visual' stuff manifest? How's this play out in experience?"


I occasionally get a picture of the karma sensation along with a feeling of it. From the visual and feeling information I can sometimes derive things like the relative size of the karma, whether it's good or bad, and what type of karma it is (relationship karma, car karma ect). I've also seen how we can douse the bad karma in merit before it comes up.


What is a 'karma sensation' exactly? What is the 'feeling'? Are you talking about just the arising of vedana or of a full blown compounding emotion? What is 'car karma'? How can one "douse the bad karma in merit before it comes up"? How does one 'douse'? What are you referring to when you say 'merit'?

Fallen arahant.. I read about dead arahants contacting Acariya Mun in his autobiography. They came and told him what posture to die in.

I should have not used the word to describe who is talking to me, it could have been a living arahant or a god or a buddha... all I know is that some of the beings feel like they have much stronger vibrations and mettta than others


Do you think sharing such info on a public forum regardless of its validity in your own experience will make people read your posts in a different light, positive or negative? Do you think it is wise to talk about such things regardless of validity in one's own experience? Could there be any chance it is all in one' own head fabricated by one's own mind? Could there be the unconsidered possibility you are assigning meaning to experiences with an evaluation conditioned by what was once read or told previously? How can you be so sure you are chatting with actual angelic-like beings or 'devas' and not with the fabrications of one's own mind? I knew a bloke who sat a goenka long course and during it, he heard voices. Had to leave early or perhaps was asked to leave. He thought and was convinced they were devas. His life was from then on dictated by those voices. It was not clear whether he had experienced the onset of a mental illness or not though those around close to him reacted as if he did. His life was, as far as I know, affected in not the most positive of ways because of it. It seemed to lead to quite a mental imbalance. Not that I'm saying your experience is the same. But it does seem 'strange'. Regardless of 'personal truth' of one's own experience, is it skillful means to talk about it like so without much in the way of shareable nor demonstrable validity? Seriously curious. And if it is the case you are exploring such 'realms' how did it first occur? What do you do to enhance/make it easier to do? What is your concentration and jhana access like? You brought it up as a means to convey info to others, so please be prepared to queried extensively on it.

I am open to possibilities not experienced by myself yet, so curiosity still arise. But I am also aware (due to a family all working in mental health) that hearing voices isn't a good sign. What do the voices say? If you wish, PM me the answer.
Edit: a relevant old thread of the old DhO by triplethink.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nikolai .:
Do you think sharing such info on a public forum regardless of its validity in your own experience will make people read your posts in a different light, positive or negative? Do you think it is wise to talk about such things regardless of validity in one's own experience? Could there be any chance it is all in one' own head fabricated by one's own mind? Could there be the unconsidered possibility you are assigning meaning to experiences with an evaluation conditioned by what was once read or told previously? ... Seriously curious.

Nik, Do you think that presenting as socratic questioning what is really simple counter statements is likely to be the optimal way to help someone? Is it possible that while you think you are softening your guidance for this person that you are actually making your point *harder* for them to accept? Could there be the unconsidered possibility (I almost laughed out loud at that one :-) ) that when you claim to be "seriously curious", that instead you are actually "seriously concerned"?

C'mon dude. You clearly know your meditation stuff (I wouldn't be pointing this out if you didn't and, as a result, had nothing to offer anyway). As I've said to my kids many times (and still do, even though they're grown): speaking the truth is not sufficient; if one cares about the listener understanding, one needs to work to make sure they *hear* the truth too. Loading questions (to the hilt in this case!) rarely if ever helps someone hear.

Alternatively, if you really are "seriously curious", I don't think any objective and reasonable minded person would say that that's how you came across.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
Nikolai .:
Do you think sharing such info on a public forum regardless of its validity in your own experience will make people read your posts in a different light, positive or negative? Do you think it is wise to talk about such things regardless of validity in one's own experience? Could there be any chance it is all in one' own head fabricated by one's own mind? Could there be the unconsidered possibility you are assigning meaning to experiences with an evaluation conditioned by what was once read or told previously? ... Seriously curious.

Nik, Do you think that presenting as socratic questioning what is really simple counter statements is likely to be the optimal way to help someone? Is it possible that while you think you are softening your guidance for this person that you are actually making your point *harder* for them to accept? Could there be the unconsidered possibility (I almost laughed out loud at that one :-) ) that when you claim to be "seriously curious", that instead you are actually "seriously concerned"?

C'mon dude. You clearly know your meditation stuff (I wouldn't be pointing this out if you didn't and, as a result, had nothing to offer anyway). As I've said to my kids many times (and still do, even though they're grown): speaking the truth is not sufficient; if one cares about the listener understanding, one needs to work to make sure they *hear* the truth too. Loading questions (to the hilt in this case!) rarely if ever helps someone hear.

Alternatively, if you really are "seriously curious", I don't think any objective and reasonable minded person would say that that's how you came across.


Hello Robert,

Blue has claimed 'arahat' and offers advice under such a title. My questions are out of shear curiosity and yes, perhaps discussing the other possible explanations for such experiences will be helpful for both reader and contributor. You and anyone else can project on to my posts what you will. I'm sure Blue will be ok with the questioning as well as posted link to another valuable discussion on such a theme and can choose to avoid answering here in this thread if he wishes. At least I think reading that link will be helpful for anyone claiming to speak to 'devas'. Claim the title of 'arahat' and start talking about communicating with non-human angelic like beings to add to advice given to others and expect to be questioned and queried extensively on the DhO. If it's real, it real. If it is a fabrication of mind, then being asked to consider that possibility would be quite helpful for someone to investigate, especially someone having claimed such an attainment.

Nick
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nikolai .:
My questions are out of shear curiosity and yes, perhaps discussing the other possible explanations for such experiences will be helpful for both reader and contributor. You and anyone else can project on to my posts what you will.

Hi Nick,

I'm not questioning your *content*. Discussing this stuff is good. The link is useful. Onlookers may well find it all useful too.

All I'm saying is, your words are conveying something other than the "interest" you say you want to convey. It's not a matter of me projecting, it's just how English idioms work.

If I said, "Nick, Holy Mother of F*ck, what are you *talking* about man?", few if any would accept that I am actually asking about what you are saying. Few if any would doubt that what I'm actually doing is *asserting*, "Nick, you are talking crap." Again, it's not projection, it's idiom.

If I took what you wrote as a reply, in the context of the original, and showed it to 100 disinterested English speakers, I bet you $1000 they'd all tell you exactly what I'm telling you. Again, not projection, idiom. If you care about getting your message across, I strongly suggest you tweak your style. *Especially* on the internet where no one has body langage and tone to modulate the words being used.

Look, 'nuff said. I've pointed this out to you a couple of times now. If I'm off the mark, ignore me.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
Nikolai .:
My questions are out of shear curiosity and yes, perhaps discussing the other possible explanations for such experiences will be helpful for both reader and contributor. You and anyone else can project on to my posts what you will.

Hi Nick,

I'm not questioning your *content*. Discussing this stuff is good. The link is useful. Onlookers may well find it all useful too.

All I'm saying is, your words are conveying something other than the "interest" you say you want to convey. It's not a matter of me projecting, it's just how English idioms work.

If I said, "Nick, Holy Mother of F*ck, what are you *talking* about man?", few if any would accept that I am actually asking about what you are saying. Few if any would doubt that what I'm actually doing is *asserting*, "Nick, you are talking crap." Again, it's not projection, it's idiom.

If I took what you wrote as a reply, in the context of the original, and showed it to 100 disinterested English speakers, I bet you $1000 they'd all tell you exactly what I'm telling you. Again, not projection, idiom. If you care about getting your message across, I strongly suggest you tweak your style. *Especially* on the internet where no one has body langage and tone to modulate the words being used.

Look, 'nuff said. I've pointed this out to you a couple of times now. If I'm off the mark, ignore me.


As I have had others seem to read into things I've written before, i will take on what you have said and consider it when I post in future. Though it is also good practice and quite progressive to continuously become aware of how much of our 'selves' and the mentally projected affective overlays we add to what we read even if triggered by a shared cultural or linguistic 'idiom' or an affective relationship the mind is subtly establishing with the perceived 'object' such as the 'person' one is reading. How much of it is just 'idiom' and how much is it me perceiving what 'I' feel or the mental qualities the sense of 'me-ness' manifests as due to past conditioning? Fertile soil for exploration and insight if one is so inclined.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nikolai .:
Though it is also good practice and quite progressive to continuously become aware of how much of our 'selves' and the mentally projected affective overlays we add to what we read ...

I can't disagree with that. I myself made an error in that very area with you only a few posts back. (BTW, the fact that you graciously let that pass uncommented and unpunished didn't go unnoticed or unappreciated by me emoticon )
Kalyan MitraG, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert,

If you are not familiar with what Blue is talking about Supernatural powers- Siddhis, you can read about them in detail in Chapter 6, here in Bhante G's PhD thesis:
http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/scrnguna.pdf

and also in Daniel's MCTB Page 144 - The Psychic powers
Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha, http://www.interactivebuddha.com/Mastering%20Adobe%20Version.pdf

Any one with mastery over 4 + 4 Jhanas can attain them with enough practice, enlightenment not required.

Metta
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Kalyan MitraG:
Robert,

If you are not familiar with what Blue is talking about

Hey Kalyan, are you sure you're replying to the right person? I don't think I made any comment to Blue.

That said, thanks for the dissertation reference.
R.
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Simon E, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Hi Blue,

Blue .:

These things imply that...

HELL EXISTS


I'm not sure I understand, how do they imply that?

Simon
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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D Z:

Try to think of an exceptionally peaceful and worry free moment you have had. Perhaps on vacation somewhere, maybe at this moment you noticed the sun shone a little brighter, the sounds were a bit crisper. The mind was clear and free of worry. The body felt light and unburdened. You were at peace.
Now imagine that sense of peace you felt, and amplify it to an unimaginable level. All the time. That is kind of what it is like at the early stages.
Further progress then makes even these early stages seem like they are quite full of suffering by comparison.

OK, so there's language there that I can begin to understand somewhat (I think).

And, the experiences you describe; do they happen only "on the cushion", or are do they go beyond that and affect your daily life?

Do you think other people notice it about you; have they noticed a change in you? Nikolai, same question in the context of the changes you describe.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way) (Answer)

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Robert McLune:
D Z:

Try to think of an exceptionally peaceful and worry free moment you have had. Perhaps on vacation somewhere, maybe at this moment you noticed the sun shone a little brighter, the sounds were a bit crisper. The mind was clear and free of worry. The body felt light and unburdened. You were at peace.
Now imagine that sense of peace you felt, and amplify it to an unimaginable level. All the time. That is kind of what it is like at the early stages.
Further progress then makes even these early stages seem like they are quite full of suffering by comparison.

OK, so there's language there that I can begin to understand somewhat (I think).

And, the experiences you describe; do they happen only "on the cushion", or are do they go beyond that and affect your daily life?

Do you think other people notice it about you; have they noticed a change in you? Nikolai, same question in the context of the changes you describe.


They can happen ' on the cushion' but with continued practice 'off the cushion' too. Eventually, there ceases to be a difference between off and on the cushion. Think about all your negative habits/moods/reactions. At certain baselines, it will be much easier to see them arise and pass without being 'sticky'. At other baselines, they may not arise as they once arose. Perhaps partially fragmented, somewhat muted forms. At other baselines, they may cease arising all together. Daily life will unavoidably be affected by these changes. One still understands the 'norm' of behaviour in society and may choose to act 'normal' because the new 'normal' is the new baseline (one's adapts quite quickly to the new way of perceiving in my experience) and those who have not spent a long tme getting to know your past habits may not think the wiser of what has happened to your brain. Those who have known you a long time, and know of such habits, may recognise changes in your behaviour if such habits have been affected. My wife knew me beforehand, and she recognses the changes. I've always been somewhat of an introvert and a dharma bum for over a decade, so others may not recognize major differences. I often wonder what it would be like to have a machine that recorded a minute fo experiencing this brain, which would then be able to transfer that experience to someone else's brain. Would it make them drop everything and start practicing like their hair was on fire? I don't know. If it were me years back before such changes, I think I would drop everything to get here.
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Blue ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Sorry I have not replied, maybe when I get some more time and the correct volition
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Steph S, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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I'm not claiming to be an arahat, but I've gone pretty deep into this thing and there is definitely tons of joy and laughter here. Constantly cracking jokes and being playful and having an all around excellent time.

It's possible some of the people here might not seem all brimming with joy because stuff like that is hard to discern in text. Some of the most dry/technical writers that I've talked with via skype or met in person are wayyyy different than what might come across here. Far more light, goofy, and humorous.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Steph S:
I'm not claiming to be an arahat, but I've gone pretty deep into this thing and there is definitely tons of joy and laughter here. Constantly cracking jokes and being playful and having an all around excellent time.

Yeah sorry I've confused things with my specific wording.

It's not the precise nature of <whatever happens> but rather its immensity. Whether it's joy, bliss, deep calm, or <something I can't talk about because I've never experienced it> it sounds like it should be -- again, risking a specific word -- awesome.

Isn't it awe-some? Or wonder-ful?
If so, could someone please send us all a postcard with a hint of what's to come.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:


But I do have a question -- one little nag in my head. It's primarily for the advanced practitioners and arhats among us.
Why aren't you guys simply beside yourselves with joy and excitement? emoticon

I mean, if it were me I'd be dancing on the roof. Or does seeing the true nature of reality make roof dancing mundane and ordinary?


What grade/type/degree of the affective compounding fabrication/mind state of 'joy' or 'excitement' are you talking about?
Though 'joy' or a sense of 'wellbeing' is a vital factor for developing the skills of discernment and calm, at a certain baseline shift, 'joy' ' as an overly excited emotion or even a subtle sense of emotive wellbeing ceased to compound like before. Though one may wonder, what of a life without such 'joy'? The absence of such a fabrication and the absence of any compounding 'mood' trumps their very arising manifold. It is a path of 'loss', and what one loses (which may be what one is very attached to at the moment and can't see living without) is so very, very much more preferable to its arising.

Would 'joy' compound as it usually does for most people if the ongoing experience shifted to 'just the seen in the seen, just the heard in the heard, just the cognised in the cognised, just the sensed in the sensed a la bahiya? I'm sure people will interpret such descriptions to fit their view of things. I also do the same which works for me. I don't think 'emotion' nor any fabrication will be given shape if such was the ongoing experience. Back of the eyelids!

Disclaimer: I am one of those pesky yogis who does not wish to refer to the following criteria as 'arahat' due to personal motivations/past conditioning still in play/practice reasons/view of what 'becoming/bhava' is/keeping the bar higher for myself thus conditioning what I do and don't do in life/practice. This is for my own personal reasons. Others may wish to call it what they will.

1) Utter centerlessness: no watcher, no sense of a watcher, no subtle watcher, no possibility of a watcher. This is immediately obvious just as color is to a man with good eyesight as the old saying goes. Thus, anything and everything simply and obviously manifest just where they are. No phenomena observe any others and never did or could.

2) Utter agencylessness: meaning no agency, no sense of doing, no sense of doer, no sense that there could be any agent or doer, no way to find anything that seems to be in control at all. Whatever effort or intent or anything like that that arises does so naturally, causally, inevitably, as it always actually did. This is immediately obvious, though not always the forefront of attention.

3) No cycles change or stages or states or anything else like that do anything to this direct comprehension of simple truths at all.

4) There is no deepening in it to do. The understanding stands on its own and holds up over cycles, moods, years, etc and doesn't change at all. I have nothing to add to my initial assessment of it from 9 years ago.

5) There is nothing subtle about it: anything and everything that arises exhibits these same qualities directly, clearly. When I was third path, particularly late in it, those things that didn't exhibit these qualities were exceedingly subtle, and trying to find the gaps in the thing was exceedingly difficult and took years and many cycles. I had periods from weeks to months where it felt done and then some subtle exception would show up and I would realize I was wrong yet again, so this is natural and understandable, and if someone claims 4th as I define it here and later says they got it wrong, have sympathy for them, as this territory is not easy and can easily fool people, as it did me many, many times over about 5 years or so. However, 4th, as I term it, ended that and 9 years later that same thing holds, which is a very long time in this business.

There are other aspects that may be of value to discuss at some other time, but those are a great place to start for those who wish to claim this. If you truly have those, then perhaps we can talk about a few other points that are less central and essential.

Now, how there can still be affect (though quite modified in many ways) when there is centerlessness and agencylessness, this is a mystery to the AF kids and to me as well, and that brings me to my next point: there seems to be areas of development depending on what you look for and aim for that may arise independently, and not everything seems to come as a package necessarily. Those things are what I looked for really hard for about 7 years, and that is what I found. Now I find that the interest in the unraveling of what drives that residual affect is arising, and so that investigation happens on its own also.
Daniel Ingram
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
I mean, if it were me I'd be dancing on the roof. Or does seeing the true nature of reality make roof dancing mundane and ordinary?

Clearly I've confused things with that tricksy word "joy". It was kinda beside the point, so let me try once more.

Suppose someone came along and said you could become extremely successful in your job if you recited the alphabet backwards. And suppose this was credible -- maybe they'd made similar pronouncements in the past and had proven themselves to be legit. That would be pretty impressive, no?

Suppose someone else came along and described a cure for obesity. The cure involved reciting the alphabet backwards, and then counting in two from 2 to 100. Again, assume credibility. Now that would be *really* impressive. They'd get known pretty quickly, and fat people would love him.

Suppose a third person produced the cure for cancer. All cancer. Now we're hitting the big time. If you asked cancer sufferers the world over how they felt about this news, they'd be ecstatic.

But now enter Siddartha Gautama. He appears to be offering not a better career, or a cure for obesity, or a cue for cancer, but rather a cure for the Whole Shebang. His cure is the removal of the very thing that makes bad job, obesity, cancer, and every other shitty thing shitty. He appears to be offering the end of suffering.

Did you read what I just said?

This is mind blowing. The end of suffering. It's at the heart of every yearning of every human. It is the point of running the good race and fighting the good fight. It is the pearl of great price. Through attaining an true understanding of reality, thereby removing fear, greed, and delusion, the message seems to be Game Over, where the game is dukkha -- shitness-a-go-go. And to get this majestic attainment the central thing one must do is simply sit on one's ass on a cushion and train one's attention inwards. The words "impressive" or "ecstatic" don't seem to do it justice. But, to avoid going off on another tangent can we at least agree that the message of Gautama is somewhere north of "rather noteworthy"? :-)

So forget "joy" or "excitement" or whatever. But for something as "rather noteworthy" as the end of suffering, I would have expected *some* kind of reaction from those who had attained it or felt they were coming close. Or no. Let's not beat around the bush. This message -- the "end of suffering" -- is arguably the most important message ever heard by anyone in our species. It dwarfs *everything* else.

So when considering those who have made it all the way, or those approaching it, why aren't y'all doing the chicken dance, while wearing balloons, letting off fireworks, and singing "For Buddha's a Jolly Good Fellow"?

What, if anything, am I missing?
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:


So forget "joy" or "excitement" or whatever. But for something as "rather noteworthy" as the end of suffering, I would have expected *some* kind of reaction from those who had attained it or felt they were coming close. Or no. Let's not beat around the bush. This message -- the "end of suffering" -- is arguably the most important message ever heard by anyone in our species. It dwarfs *everything* else.

So when considering those who have made it all the way, or those approaching it, why aren't y'all doing the chicken dance, while wearing balloons, letting off fireworks, and singing "For Buddha's a Jolly Good Fellow"?

What, if anything, am I missing?


Conditioning and the dropping away of such urges. Though early baseline shifts 'stunk of enlightenment' and there was much trying to convince friends and family to follow suit, those 'urges' dwindled with further baseline shifts and were replaced with discernment of more cause and effect relationships and the conditioning of each person playing big roles in whether they wish to 'end suffering', as to do that, quite a lot of attachment needs to be investigated and dropped, including the big attachment to an illusory 'self'. That there is probably the biggest obstacle for most. To question and pry apart the very core of what makes me 'me' is far from easy. It is much easier to go to the pub and get tipsy. That momentary high is much easier to attain. Those who have the push to get what they optimise for, will do so. The DhO (and other sites/movements) is not enough for you?
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nikolai .:
Robert McLune:
What, if anything, am I missing?


Conditioning and the dropping away of such urges. ...

So are you saying that the attainment *is* as significant as I'm suspecting it is (as manifest in my descriptions), but that once attained, for various reasons people don't tend to make such a big deal about it?
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
Nikolai .:
Robert McLune:
What, if anything, am I missing?


Conditioning and the dropping away of such urges. ... The DhO (and other sites/movements) is not enough for you?

So are you saying -- in, unfortunately, the ad hominem style you seem to prefer -- that the attainment *is* as significant as I'm suspecting it is (as manifest in my descriptions), but that once attained, for various reasons people don't tend to make such a big deal about it?


Which attainment are you referring to? I'm talking more from post-4th path(as talked of here) baseline shifts, as I think i still was quite 'preachy' as a newly minted, just past the 'tipping point' 4th pather. The 'urges' decreased after the 'actual freedom' inspired practices I put into action resulted in further baseline shifts. Though it may be a more personality related thing, as it would appear that preaching to the world is certainly possible when someone claims actually free (or maybe they are just offering a viewpoint and not preaching), not that I'm claiming it to be the same shifts I have had.

I did see a spurt of writing blogposts and that could still be seen as 'preaching' and trying to 'spread the word', it became less about convincing and more about just putting out an opinion and description of experience for anyone conditioned to be interested in it. The 'urges' have really become quite sparse in the last 6 months though. There is not much of a tangibly felt sense of self in the ongoing experience to warrant making a bid deal about it. It's worth every effort put in, but unfortunately no 'you' will be seen to claim it and thus make a big deal of it. 'You' do something special, but 'you' don't become special. 'You' drop away.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nikolai .:
'You' drop away.

OK, you'll understand though that I don't understand that, yes? Or at least, I don't think I get it. Whatever. But how about this:

Are you glad you've practiced thus far? If my early experiences are anything to go by, there's hard work and patience involved. It doesn't come for free. I presume you've put in the effort, done the time. So are you glad? Or if "glad" is too loaded a word, would you do it again? Or, more to the point, would you recommend it?

Analogy again: if you had cancer, and I knew of a cure, and you said to me, "Robert, would you recommend I take that cure?", I'd reply "Hell yes! Absolutely!"

So, would you recommend this Buddhism cure? Based on what it has cost you -- time, effort, whatever -- and what you have attained, how much would you recommend it? Is it really worth practicing as if my "hair was on fire"?
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
Nikolai .:
'You' drop away.

OK, you'll understand though that I don't understand that, yes? Or at least, I don't think I get it. Whatever. But how about this:

Are you glad you've practiced thus far? If my early experiences are anything to go by, there's hard work and patience involved. It doesn't come for free. I presume you've put in the effort, done the time. So are you glad? Or if "glad" is too loaded a word, would you do it again? Or, more to the point, would you recommend it?

Analogy again: if you had cancer, and I knew of a cure, and you said to me, "Robert, would you recommend I take that cure?", I'd reply "Hell yes! Absolutely!"

So, would you recommend this Buddhism cure? Based on what it has cost you -- time, effort, whatever -- and what you have attained, how much would you recommend it? Is it really worth practicing is if my hair was on fire?


To quote Shinzen Young, I would not trade one day of this for a 100 years of being pre-all these brain changes. The life of tense restless unsatisfactory self-contraction has been gladly left behind. I would recommend actual non-stop practice of certain approaches and techniques as most conducive for achieving the desired objective based on my own experience (and that of others who profess to similar changes), as I have no experience outside of what I did myself. There may be much taught under the umbrella term of 'buddhism' which may or may not result in where I find myself. I highly recommend the route I took. It is worth practicing like your hair is on fire.
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Robert McLune:
Nikolai .:
'You' drop away.

OK, you'll understand though that I don't understand that, yes? Or at least, I don't think I get it. Whatever.


Then if you truly wish to understand it experientially, this is what I did to get the ball rolling in that direction.
Robert McLune, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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Nik,

Nikolai .:
Robert McLune:

-- in, unfortunately, the ad hominem style you seem to prefer --


You'll notice I removed the above barb from my original. Too late to avoid it getting to you obviously. I withdrew it not just because it was unnecessary but because, on re-reading your mail, it was simply unjustified. I apologize.

Robert
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Blue ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: Question for the arhats (and those heading that way)

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and on the other hand accepting the fact that "knowing" this stuff is not the same as "doing" or "experiencing" and therefore just putting all the books and videos and *thinking* away and just get sitting; the more the better.


YOU UNDERSTAND, VERY GOOD! DO IT

This is how the arahants roll

I dip, you dip, we dip (nibbana)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgk60nHCvcM

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