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ATTENTION!: It appears that our server has been hacked through this version of Liferay, meaning it is no longer secure, and so expect instability as we deal with this and attempt to upgrade to Liferay 7, which we failed to be able to do last year the last time the team attempted it, but we have no choice at this point, so bear with us as we try again. Save any long posts in a text file before posting them. You can follow me on Twitter at @danielmingram for updates if the site is down. Apologies for any complexity this causes. We will work as fast as we can. We have backups of the database, so hopefully nothing will be lost. Thanks to all helping with this complex process.

 

 

 

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Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?

I have finally got my setup together to create some videos (in case any tech geeks care: iMac, Logitech C910 1080p camera, PreSonus Project FireWire Mic-Preamp/AtoD coverter, CAD M179 condenser mic, ScreenFlow 4, an iPad 3 with iKlip stand and Apogee MiC for recording videos that the C910 is not as good for (as its autofocus can get really annoying in certain settings), iMovie, etc., and a Vimeo account to post them to) and I obviously had some ideas of things I wanted to cover, but thought that it would be way more interesting to create some that people were interested in, so, if you have anything you are interested in me creating a video about, let me know. Otherwise I will will ramble on about whatever...

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/17/13 9:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Can't think of anything atm but thanks for doing this!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/17/13 10:54 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I'm not sure whether this is something that has been thoroughly addressed and picked to pieces on message boards over the years - but on the other hand I'm not sure it's happened anywhere as something directly addressed, in one place, out of the context of disagreements about different teachings and techniques -

I'd love to see a discussion of the relationship between the Mahasi and MCTB path models to Fourth, and the Buddhist canonical idea of enlightenment/awakening/nibbana/nirvana as 'the end of suffering.' For me this is the main question that interests me when hearing people talk about their awakening experiences, and it's not always one that's directly and/or personally addressed (which may be related to the nature of any individual's experience of awakening, I imagine)

- Is 'the end of suffering' a realistic goal?

- What is the relationship between clear comprehension of 'reality,' and suffering?

- How are changes to experienced suffering as a result of practice generalisable or how do they differ between practitioners?

- How does that relate to the perspective that there is (possibly much) more to do after Fourth Path?

- How should 'suffering' even be defined in these types of discussions? (for example in the canon the Buddha obviously both experiences physical pain, and experiences some activities as tiresome - how does this relate to the nature of suffering and its reduction or elimination that modern-day PD yogis may experience?)

- Should yogis expect that their suffering will become progressively less over the course of the four-path model, or not, how does this relate to the ever-controversial DN and cycling, and what does it mean for people making decisions about starting out?

- What does your own exploration post-Fourth lead to in terms of suffering reduction as a/the primary aim of contemplative practice?

- Etc.

Thanks!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/17/13 11:20 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Guided meditations with examples of good practice.

An FAQ on meditation and what to avoid when meditating.

I would also like a rundown of your pathways meditation map (especially from equanimity up to the top of the map):

Pathways

Post it on youtube emoticon

EDIT: Also your views on how different meditation practices and the where they may end up for people. Do different practices of insight lead to different results or do they all do the same thing?

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/17/13 11:29 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi Daniel,
It appears that an area of significant confusion is the variety of experiences etc pre-stream entry. This is probably since people in this region are most often new to the whole path concept and practice in many cases experiencing phenomena before they actually develop interest in a practice. Describing how the process pre-stream unfolds (generally with a few broader exceptions described) would be helpful. MCTB does this too but the idea of how this occurs is not well described other than the generic phenomenological signposts along the way - which can be on a scale that is more subtle than they are described - such descriptions often being heavily influenced by the more 'explosive' examples (understandable) such as the descriptions of A&P and DN. Videos in bite size grabs on a range of topics in this area would be great - just some thoughts.

Regards
Roc

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 7:23 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Well, I strongly subscribe Richard's list... something about subjhanas stuff might be interesting... and maybe a discussion on wich are the factors that allow some guy do the thing very quickly, while others seems to have much more trouble in achieving paths... what is that is different between the guy that gets stream entry in a few months of practice off-retreat and thoose who spend years meditating consistently before they get it?

However, it's always nice to hear you rambling... bye!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 8:48 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel, a few days ago I saw your fantastic conference "It’s a Jungle in There" emoticon

- I would love a sequel where you chart those 6 categories, point out their connections, give some (sketchy) examples of profiles of meditators in the different Buddhist traditions, and if possible non-Buddhist too. Each category could be "valued" not in a numeric or "strong-weak" way, but in the wideness of practices or in a dimension where two different qualities are emphasized ***

- It would be interesting if you could show a chart with an X dimension for Jhanas and a Y dimension for Sub-Jhanas, give some reference on the most common experiences and how could one avoid wrong assertions (eg say 4th Jhana instead of 1st Jh - 4th sub-Jh). Also, where (if possible) would the 5 Pure Land Jhanas, PCEs and the like be charted.

- You already gave a lot of help in MCTB regarding the DN trap. But, nowadays it seems from pre-StreamEnterers practice logs in DhO and KFD that most people get stuck more in EQ than in DN. Most of what your wrote about EQ is about formations, it's an amazing subject but probably way too advanced for pre-Stream Enterers. Could you expand more on EQ and how to avoid getting stuck there?

- Where in the insight ladder/wave/cycle/paths do you see that fast-noting is best suited? And other kind of noting methods like out-loud/silent noting, Shinzen's "gone", Mahasi detailed noting?

- Is there any difference between the Theravada's No-Self door your wrote about in MCTB and what I understand is Mahayana's The Witness/Emptiness? Is the later a pure No-Self only door, or also bundled with either Impermanence or Suffering?


*** If may I give a suggestion, I would like to see the Powers included as a separate 7th category, aside from Concentration, as many people have developed them without any formal practice, or relate them to the other category Energetics. Also, because the Powers are main aim for many yogis (say China).

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 8:24 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
What Richard Zen said emoticon

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 2:44 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
A basic but developed explanation of noting practice. So many folks have discovered noting practice as a result of your book, and it would be nice for practioners to have an additional resource they can turn to on this technique. There isn't a whole lot of material out there in the US meditative practice community [beyond websites and blogs] -- for example, published books -- which really explain the technique. It is still kinda obscure. A primer on the mechanics of the practice, basic pitfalls, signposts of success with the technique, a discussion of the pros and cons of fast noting v slow noting vs verbal noting vs multi-part noting vs anchored noting vs choiceless awareness noting vs directed noting vs foreground noting, etc., would be enormously useful. To some degree, I've struggled with noting in the past, since sometimes it's hard to tell if you are "doing it right" [how many times have folks posted that kind of question on the DhO?]. I'd love to be able to link people to a video which explains the technique, especially if I'm trying to turn them onto the practice, or help them develop the efficency of their practice, etc.

Also, as I happen to be stewing around in EQ territory myself, and like Pablo suggested, any addition suggestions on navigating this territory would be great [although I love the EQ chapter in MCToB, and think it is pretty amazing. I think the stuff about formations is pretty clear and lucid and insightful.]. A fair number of people end up in that EQ place where it is hard to know how to proceed. It can feel like a wall, etc. Anything on this subject would be great for us chronic EQ yogis.

I'd also be interested to hear a discussion of vipassana jhanas vs samatha jhanas, or just vipassana jhanas in general. There is a fair amount of confusion out there amongst new practioners about whether or not they need to develop "1st jhana" [hard jhana] before starting vipassana [with the nimitta, becoming absorbed into it, etc.]. Some clarifying words on this subject would be helpful, I'd wager. There is a lot of neurosis out there about how much concentration is necessary, or the relationship between vipassana practice and the development of concentration, etc. From my own experience, after making great progress on a 10-day retreat, I stopped meditating for six months because I thought "what's the point?," I'll never be able to develop as much concentration at home as I did while on retreat, etc., but once I started practicing again I quickly found that I could still progress through the stages of insight, and even make it into High EQ territory, in a daily practice.

Obviously, one can focus on really advanced subjects [since a certain contingent of DhO practioner has really progressed a long way], and that stuff is necessary and important and just plain fascinating, but don't forget to get down and dirty with some basics to help all the newbies and intermediate practioners who are working their way to 1st path. Back to basics!

I have to say, I'm really excited about the project of yours! Whatever you end up doing, I'm sure it will be a great contribution. Thanks for all you do!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 9:34 AM as a reply to Alan Smithee.
Alan Smithee:
A basic but developed explanation of noting practice. So many folks have discovered noting practice as a result of your book, and it would be nice for practioners to have an additional resource they can turn to on this technique. There isn't a whole lot of material out there in the US meditative practice community [beyond websites and blogs] -- for example, published books -- which really explain the technique. It is still kinda obscure. A primer on the mechanics of the practice, basic pitfalls, signposts of success with the technique, a discussion of the pros and cons of fast noting v slow noting vs verbal noting vs multi-part noting vs anchored noting vs choiceless awareness noting vs directed noting vs foreground noting, etc., would be enormously useful. To some degree, I've struggled with noting in the past, since sometimes it's hard to tell if you are "doing it right" [how many times have folks posted that kind of question on the DhO?]. I'd love to be able to link people to a video which explains the technique, especially if I'm trying to turn them onto the practice, or help them develop the efficency of their practice, etc.


As a relative newbie to both DhO and noting practice, I would echo this request for a developed explanation of noting practice, as you see it. Maybe something along the lines of "Noting from 0.5-40 Hz" ;-).

I spent (part of) the weekend watching your Cheetah House talks. I normally don't like watching videos: I have more time and opportunities to read something than I do to watch something. Even though I've read the relevant sections in MCTB several times, I was surprised how helpful I found the explanation of the path of insight in the videos. It clarified a number of things that I'm going through right now and made me much more comfortable with dissolution.

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 9:40 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I take it you are usually one to focus on practical aspects, but I would be interested in a video on how your view on consciousness/mind/matter has changed.

Did you start out a materialist, like so many of us, believing elementary particles exist independently and are in fact the only true ultimate reality; and when arranged into a brain, they can create consciousness and mind as byproducts? How did your views change as you started finding out more about the nature of reality?

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 5:54 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Maybe something like a breakdown and analysis of one sensation, a rough overview of the general patterns involved in observing any given sensation and some examples of the range of observable sub-modalities, e.g. Noting "hearing, hearing" we can break it down further into stuff like pressure, volume, location, size and all those subtle, unquestioned concepts we've built up around the bare point of sense contact. I think that if people were more aware that each sensation needs to be deconstructed down to this level and beyond, they might be able to make that final push in High Equanimity; a lot of people seem to focus on just the 'whole' sensations and get complacent rather than really going deep into the mental aspects of it and seeing the formations that create a sense of solidity.

By the way, if you need any work done with post-production on your video then give me a shout. iMovie should have plenty of stuff in it for sorting out contrast and brightness issues, fades and all that jazz but I can knock up an introductory ident for you to use if you want.

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/18/13 9:06 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
It would be great if you could discuss third path and what to look for at that level. I'm still confused by what is meant by "emptiness" and whether the definition practitioners use on the DhO for emptiness corresponds to definitions used elsewhere.

Also reviews of books that would be useful to those working on 3rd/4th path, how to read them and what to get out of them would be great.

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/19/13 1:55 AM as a reply to super fox.
+1 for YouTube. Make this as accessible as possible. See Shinzen Young's Youtube channel. He's done some great work there and it would be marvellous to see something similarly well done.

For content: A simple and short video that describes why anyone would do this in the first place. Why meditate? Why seek enlightenment?

Under 5mins, under 3mins if possible so it can be used as an introduction to the entire thing.

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/19/13 4:01 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Having access to tuition from only books and forums, I’d love to see some videos on what Richard, Pablo, and Tommy have suggested. As Tommy stated, something with the nuances explained as much as is possible – also vibrations explained; frequency variations, overlaying/coalescing/coming apart, and how they relate to other sensations.

With so many people having learnt so much from your books, this would another great learning resource!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/20/13 12:31 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Great idea. I'd be interested to see some basic things covered: concentration, access concentration, dhyana. How to avoid dark night/insight. Also could you say more about metta and metta practices?
The time limit of 20 mins that was given for some of those Buddhist Geek conference talks worked well I thought.

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/20/13 12:47 PM as a reply to Martin Sokolski.
Martin Sokolski:
Great idea. I'd be interested to see some basic things covered: concentration, access concentration, dhyana. How to avoid dark night/insight. Also could you say more about metta and metta practices?
The time limit of 20 mins that was given for some of those Buddhist Geek conference talks worked well I thought.


Just as a counterpoint opinion: the long, rambly Cheetah House discussions go WAY longer than 20 minutes and are enormously valuable. I'd prefer to let Dan take as much time as he pleases, and if that means hours, FINE BY ME!! Go for it! The more material, the better!

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/21/13 7:43 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
GR8 Idea.

I would like to see a longer Video from you breaking down to a practice level a point you made a while back where you helped a yogi who had LOTS (maybe too much) of determination to see awareness / space / phenomena as already synchronized and from there move on to SE...

mille grazie

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/21/13 2:28 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I agree with an earlier comment. A talk on breaking through equanimity would be very useful.

Or more broadly, if one is coming out of a dark night and into equanimity, what can be said about moving progressively and efficiently through EQ into stream entry? What would help yogis avoid falling back into dark night, repeatedly?

RE: Creating a Series of Videos: anything you want to see?
Answer
2/22/13 5:52 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Nice project!

I'd love to hear you talk about the interrelated themes of "morality training section of the noble eightfold path" / integration of new levels of insight into mundane life and its challenges / compassion / "heart stuff" / Bodhisattva ideals.

Another juicy theme complex is that of talking about enlightenment with practitioners of other traditions. How can we speak with an enlightened Wiccan? Philosopher? Catholic? Materialist / atheist? Muslim? New-Ager? and so on. One solution I know interests you is the development of unencumbered scientific language for enlightenment - but would that be appealing for an Indigo Child in full A&P mode to learn in order to talk about their experience?

Anyway, looking forward to the series! Also, if possible, make it available as an audio podcast - that's my main mode of multimedia reception, because I can listen on my commute.

Cheers,
Florian