How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/19/13 12:23 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/19/13 12:23 PM

How a multipather experiences thoughts

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This question came up to me after my last sitting. Do meditators beyond stream entry have presence while thinking strong detailed thoughts? Do they get lost in thoughts less often?
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/19/13 12:59 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/19/13 12:59 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Richard Zen:
This question came up to me after my last sitting. Do meditators beyond stream entry have presence while thinking strong detailed thoughts? Do they get lost in thoughts less often?



I am not really sure what path I am on, as it got really murky beyond stream entry for me.

As far as your question:

As far as my experience goes, dealing with thoughts becomes even harder and requires more skill after stream entry. From my current vantage point, my 1st path dark night seems like a carefree walk in the park, although that was probably not my experience at the time.

To me the whole idea that stream entry as it is defined here clears up self view or any other fetter "once and for all" is somewhat misleading. Of course, what I consider fruitions may not actually be fruitions so this must be taken with a grain of salt. I would say I have the capacity to see things as non self if I am with my meditation object, but that is not always the case as of yet in my experience.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 7:05 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 7:05 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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A D R:
Richard Zen:
This question came up to me after my last sitting. Do meditators beyond stream entry have presence while thinking strong detailed thoughts? Do they get lost in thoughts less often?


As far as my experience goes, dealing with thoughts becomes even harder and requires more skill after stream entry.


Is it because thoughts appear faster or because repressed emotions are coming out?
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:22 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:16 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Oh man that's a tough one. The main thing that has been a constant in my practice the last several months is moving towards a more non-conceptual understanding of things. Such an unfolding has been complex, and I am having to really give my "left-brained" understanding of dharma. The only way I have been able to deal with thoughts is to investigate them... thinking or theorizing hasn't helped.

I guess one thing that has helped has been to develop an altruistic, non-conceptual intuition and try to follow that moment to moment. Another has been to stay with the breath and the body.
A Dietrich Ringle, modified 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:25 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:25 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Yeah and emotions can change really quickly, and thoughts are still repetitive as ever (although I would cautiously say perhaps they are slowing down a tiny bit the last couple of weeks)..something that I have not always handled skilfully.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:44 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/20/13 9:44 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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One thing similar to what you're saying is that getting more non-conceptual is becoming more normal for me. In the past I would have to aggressively stop thoughts and be mentally tired afterwards. Just watching thoughts like sensations has moved me in your direction. Sometimes I feel I'm right there with thoughts (like when meditating) but other times the I'm lost again, though I don't make a big deal out of it as I used to.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 8:38 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 8:38 AM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts (Answer)

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Richard Zen:
This question came up to me after my last sitting. Do meditators beyond stream entry have presence while thinking strong detailed thoughts? Do they get lost in thoughts less often?


The general trend for me has been to have thoughts be more like other phenomena-- just arising, functioning and departing. The more the habit of regarding thoughts and feelings as constituting an entity within the body looking out through the senses has been released, the more thoughts and feelings arise with some degree of clarity.

Yes there have been periods during which this relaxation of identification with thoughts and feelings has released repressed material, causing surface destabilization; but over time this alternation of surface calm and surface destabilization has trended towards more deep-level existential coherence of some kind, making authentic inter-personal presence arise more naturally. A huge part of this is seeing thoughts as thoughts, emotions as emotions, and perceptions as perceptions, and seeing these things in real time. Oh, but remember that thoughts/feelings exist on a spectrum of subtlety from coarse to very subtle. An example of the latter very subtle thought/feeling would be a transpersonal identity such as the witness, which is a very subtle thought being mis-perceived as self. Sometime soon after stream entry I fell into a pretty strong transpersonal identification, which at first I interpreted as merely having more 'presence' in the face of coarse thoughts and feelings. The takeaway lesson from seeing through that experience was that we don't need to 'disembed' from any level of mind function (into a subtler one) in order to awaken; all that is needed is letting go of the reference points by which we attempt to solidify experience into a concrete subjective experiencer in relation to a substantial experience. Disembedding results in a change in subjectivity, the potential value of which is simply to challenge subjectivity (the sense of being a subject having experiences) in general not to switch one form of subjectivity for another subtler one. The danger of a disembedding approach of shifting identity from coarse to subtle is getting stuck in a subtle identity.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 6:40 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 6:40 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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. Jake .:
Richard Zen:
This question came up to me after my last sitting. Do meditators beyond stream entry have presence while thinking strong detailed thoughts? Do they get lost in thoughts less often?


The general trend for me has been to have thoughts be more like other phenomena-- just arising, functioning and departing. The more the habit of regarding thoughts and feelings as constituting an entity within the body looking out through the senses has been released, the more thoughts and feelings arise with some degree of clarity.


I see what you mean. I'll just keep declinging from them so they can do what they are supposed to do. You still can get lost in thoughts but it's more like practical thinking as opposed to obsessive thoughts.

. Jake .:
The danger of a disembedding approach of shifting identity from coarse to subtle is getting stuck in a subtle identity.


This is the hard part for me. Now that I'm checking with what consciousness registers I can get stuck making that into "the true self". Because I'm mixing direct path practices which is just about declinging I'm worried that without cessation I won't see the consciousness being impermanent so easily. Though the direct path followers assert it's not needed.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 7:35 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/21/13 7:35 PM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Well, I think developing a 'transpersonal identity' is just something to be aware of as a possibility; for some folks it could be a totally valid transitional mode of being between the ordinary default personal identity and a more open-ended, less-identified in general way of being.

I think the thing to watch out for is if one is entering practice with subconscious blocks around experiencing the instinctual and emotional and relational aspects of life. The transpersonal identity can be a dissociative escape from earthly felt experiencing and relational complexities.

So if you feel committed to encountering and living your life fully, in a human and relational way, then you have little to fear about getting 'stuck' in a transpersonal identity emoticon

In the meantime understand that at some point, the process of awakening will overtake your ability to make sense of it, and "you" will be subsumed in that process. It makes a difference whether you set out on a path of investigating and becoming liberated from the identification tendency, on the one hand, or on the other set out on a path of shifting identity from the personal to the transpersonal level. It seems pretty clear that many direct path and nondual teachings are attempting the latter. The great value of the buddhist traditions with which I'm familiar, from Theravada to Vajrayana (both of which include direct path elements), is the emphasis on outgrowing the identification habit altogether.
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Richard Zen, modified 9 Years ago at 1/22/13 8:17 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/22/13 8:17 AM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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. Jake .:
So if you feel committed to encountering and living your life fully, in a human and relational way, then you have little to fear about getting 'stuck' in a transpersonal identity emoticon


I feel like this is happening quite slowly (which it probably should be) but the most beneficial thing for me is tuning out of thoughts of achievement and failure before doing a task. I just notice the vibrations everywhere and see how insidious the mental habit stream is in pushing for aversion and craving. If I don't feel like doing pushups in the morning I just look at what is and just do them and be curious how the muscles feel when I go to failure. The sensations don't have to be personal.

So the point I guess is I need to watch this "self" arise and pass away enough times to dawn on me that it's within the 3 Cs.
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Jake , modified 9 Years ago at 1/22/13 9:15 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 1/22/13 9:15 AM

RE: How a multipather experiences thoughts

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Nice!

Investigating this stuff in daily life is key to building momentum, for one thing. Transforming daily life is the point of practice, so there's that too. Sounds like good practice!

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