Message Boards Message Boards

Teachers

Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?

Toggle
Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
auckland new zealand
Answer
2/24/13 1:07 PM
I'm basically a meditation newbie. I've dabbled in the past but with no real skill or focus. My lack of enlightenment is possibly apparent by how often I start sentences with "I", and "my". The Buddhist Geeks podcast has been giving me heaps of good info though, and I recently started reading Dan Ingrams Hardcore Dharma book... it resonates like a gong in my head. Prior to that it was just a confusing mess.

It's finally time to get serious, but I don't want to waste my effort and time going down a cul-de-sac. I'm in Auckland, New Zealand and am wondering if anyone knows of any no nonsense teachers here. Dan is coming from a Theravada p.o.v right? If so, that seems a good way to go. Ultimately I'm looking for the big E, but I know I need to nail concentration first.

We probably have an economies of scale issue here, being quite a small country, so maybe I need to consider online teachers. If anyone knows of any particularly great online teachers, please let me know.

Thanks y'all!

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
3/16/13 3:56 PM as a reply to Andrew Young.
This post has been here a while, but I'm still waiting. Any advice appreciated.

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
3/16/13 7:47 PM as a reply to Andrew Young.
Online teachers - check out this page- Kenneth Folk dharma
Ron crouch is in Hawaii...pretty close to your time zone...
I got a lot out of MCTB and practicing. So don't let it stop you that you have no teacher yet....
Good luck
~D

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
4/13/13 5:42 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks DW. I haven't let it stop me. MCTB is what I had been looking for before restarting my meditation practice. I say restarting, but previously it was very haphazard and unfocused. For me, MCTB was like the magic key that makes one of those ancient devices from an Indiana Jones movie unlock itself. I worked out what "right mind" is (or at least I think so), and understood the framework that the different types of practice fit into. Thank you Dan!

Since then I have been working on concentration practices and am very happy with how things are progressing. In the beginning I was totally restless after 15 minutes, now I'm sitting for 45 and being aware of the breath the whole time. Also, feeling disappointed when the alarm goes off! Now I'm working on fine tuning my attention by focussing on the anapanasati spot.

Yesterday that went really well, and I was in a pretty damn good space for a long time. Today it was not so easy - I live by a main road, and people were moving around the house a lot. So instead I opened my field of awareness. Something pretty cool happened. When I was a child, I'd occasionally get a sensation like my tongue was enormous - indeterminate size really. It was fascinating. Today I gt that feeling over my whole body. It was pretty sweet! I'd describe it as feeling like the Stay Puft marshmallow man in Ghost Busters, but not angry (another movie reference... interesting). I dunno if it was a type of jhana or what - is there a marshmallow man jhana? Ha ha ha... That's one reason I'd like to find a decent teacher.

Online is an option, but I'd really prefer to find someone I could meet in person. Online is good in many ways, but there are things that only come across when you're meeting someone face to face I think. Skype is better than just a phone line, but still not quite the same.

And I'll say THANK YOU DAN!! one more time. I can't express my gratitude enough. Getting a little tear in my eye just thinking about it. He did a very good thing in writing that book. Big ups!

emoticon

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
4/14/13 12:35 AM as a reply to Andrew Young.
Stay Puft marshmallow man ...lol....very nice description...
I describe it as my hands feel like two balloons....and arms are like big as logs and my body like a big ol tree trunk....I usually do not feel the effect below my belly button it just disappears....as well as my head...
There is usually a really intense energy feeling that goes with it...
This happened the other day and the arms went totally big until they went out to everywhere.....
This has to do with the Selfing process that becomes unstable as you continue to meditate...Proprioception is what it is called...
I also wonder exactly where in the jhanas this is but since it is transitory (as well as many, many other things) I don't worry about it as much (though still fascinated) I try to focus more on the permanent changes and getting to the next one.

Perhaps someone will be able to explain this better....
Anyone?

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
4/14/13 8:21 AM as a reply to Andrew Young.
If you are still looking for an online teacher, perhaps I could be of service. I totally share your gratitude to Dan Ingram, whose MCTB made it clear to me that "this" wasn't going to take more lifetimes than I had at my disposal. I would extend that gratitude to include two others in Bill Hamilton's lineage (or perhaps better, circle): Shinzen, whose specific techniques have been superlatively valuable to me, and Kenneth Folk whose example of how to go about being a teacher I am striving to emulate in my own unique way. http://tarverator.wordpress.com/teaching/

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
5/4/13 7:23 PM as a reply to Tarver .
Hey Tarver, thanks for the offer. I'm gonna hold out for now. Still work to do on access concentration, but I feel I'm making progress so all is well. Ultimately I would like to find someone in my area. It's a city of 1 million people (then some), so I reckon the odds are reasonable... we'll see!

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
6/1/13 5:06 PM as a reply to Andrew Young.
Stay puft marshmallow man visited again today. Then he morphed into The Thing from the fantastic four (more movie metaphors). This lasted about 15 minutes, until my alarm went off. I felt my whole body as if it was made of rock, or glass. Something completely hard with a brittle flavor/texture. The texture was like really jagged rocks, or glass shards... more like dark jagged rocks though. That sensation could be quite frightening if met with the wrong state of mind. It got to the point where it felt like breathing might not be possible, but I knew that wasn't going to happen. Like stay puft, it is a sensation I recall from when I was a child.

There's a visual aspect to that I got a little of - used to get more of then I was a child. A pure white space transforms into a gritty, jagged, space - kind of reminds me of a seismograph readout.

Fun times! emoticon

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
6/2/13 12:43 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I also wonder exactly where in the jhanas this is but since it is transitory (as well as many, many other things) I don't worry about it as much (though still fascinated) I try to focus more on the permanent changes and getting to the next one.


For myself, this kind of blobular change in feeling precedes and is a sign of pending fourth jhana, single-pointed equanimity. Fourth jhana does not always follow from this for me. When this kind of bodily sensation occurs --particularly when it turns rock-like-- the sit can become apparently "long" in duration.

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
6/2/13 4:31 PM as a reply to Andrew Young.
I've been working on a model based off of trying to tease apart the totality of the no-self concept to it's component parts. I am attempting to explain the selfing processes that are deleted step by step as the stages of enlightenment unfold. link to discussion
I have experienced the marshmallow man three or four times and mostly they were at times of stress where I felt the ego was being attacked. I currently think that the selfing process that is entangled with proprioception creates the sense of Center Point, Soul, Agent and duality of self and other. When the marshmallow man feeling swelled out and "popped" into everything I momentarily lost the duality experience and shifted to non-dual for a few minutes. I stroked the couch to feel what it felt like while nondual....of course it was the same. It's merely a perspective change. I think this is a preview of what 3rd path will be like and this is a test to see if it freaks you totally out....like WHOA EGO DEATH...or just cool...looky at non-dual...nice.
The energy that comes along with the marshmallow man feeling tends to encourage this. Super intense and not comfortable which if taken the wrong way could again freak you out. I too recognize the overloaded feeling from when I was young...too much energy that was not comfortable. I try to cultivate this non-dual focus throughout the day in hopes that it will help me move to 3rd path.
I have not gotten the feeling of the swelling as anything but expansion....check and see if you're not mixing the energy feeling with the impression of marshmallow man feeling. I could explain the energy as jagged kinda but they are two things to me.
Good luck
~D

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
7/31/13 1:36 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
wanted to link these threads together....Marshmallow man and Homunculus
Homunculus
Daniel M. Ingram:
The homunculus feeling is standard 1st jhana stuff, and, if there is interest, can be developed into a very strong feeling of it just by attending more to it.

It is part of the gereral category of felt body geometry distortion stuff that can occur in that terrotory through concentration or insight practice, and it used to show up often for me on my early retreats.

Daniel

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
8/4/13 3:03 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
That's good stuff to hear! Thank you.

I've since started working on insight meditation. Working with Jill Shepherd who is local, at least some of the time. Good to be able to get face to face with someone to discuss things occasionally. Just completed a weekend retreat with her, which was my first retreat of any kind. Baby steps. Great to spend some full days practicing finally. Was on the back of a couple of difficult weeks. Still keeping up the daily practice, but mind feeling more scattered. Still, swings and roundabouts. After the bad, comes the good. The weekend was a good boost though, hopefully it will get me back on track.

I have had two notable experiences of extreme clarity since I started sitting vipassana. One occasion where I perceived what seemed like a single molecule of smell. Another where I had a sublime feeling of it being only the breath and the knowing. That certainly 'felt' like there was no self, and it didn't freak me out. It was more like a sense of relief. I have normalized the idea intellectually, so hopefully that might reduce the freak out factor when it happens more significantly.

Maybe I'll dabble with concentration again a little... see if I can conjure up marshmallow man again. He is amusing.

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
8/4/13 12:12 PM as a reply to Andrew Young.
In April in Melbourne Australia they have a retreat for one month at dhammasukha, they do ask for $750 donation (or $25 a day) at the start of the retreat, which they give back to you at the end if you really can't afford it. Sayadaw U Pandita Jr. is the teacher.

RE: Teacher in Auckland NZ, or online?
Answer
8/4/13 6:56 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
In my experience, marshmallow man and homunculus effects are produced when somewhere along the spine, muscles get tense and that stops the sensations from some parts of the body getting to the brain. This makes some parts of the body to appear distorted. The reason for this can either be physical (for eg. sleeping on one side of the body can cause muscles on that side to get compressed) or it can be mental as well (for eg. some fear may creep up during sitting and which in turn can cause neck muscles to stiffen up).

If the reason is physical, doing stretching exercises before the sit will lessen the likelihood of marshmallow man/homunculus effect occuring. If it is mental, then being aware of the fear creeping up and noting it may not produce the marshmallow man/homunculus effect. In either case, one should not go for marshmallow man/homunculus effect just because it is cool. There is no real value to it.