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The Dharma Battleground (DhB)

wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?

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wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/4/13 9:12 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? (D Z) Dhru Val 6/4/13 9:48 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:34 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/4/13 9:51 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:40 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/5/13 9:15 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/4/13 9:54 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:46 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Sweet Nothing 6/5/13 11:55 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? . Jake . 6/5/13 12:05 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 12:34 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? . Jake . 6/5/13 3:40 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? . Jake . 6/5/13 3:45 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? rony fedrer 6/4/13 10:26 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:54 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Sweet Nothing 6/5/13 3:11 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? nicolas C 6/5/13 4:54 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Sweet Nothing 6/5/13 10:04 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:02 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Sweet Nothing 6/5/13 11:51 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 11:59 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Shel S 6/5/13 12:04 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? . Jake . 6/5/13 12:14 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 12:39 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Dream Walker 6/5/13 1:24 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Daniel M. Ingram 6/6/13 5:28 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/6/13 8:24 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/6/13 8:55 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/6/13 8:58 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? sawfoot _ 6/6/13 10:08 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Daniel M. Ingram 6/6/13 12:38 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/6/13 2:26 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Daniel M. Ingram 6/6/13 2:48 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/6/13 3:08 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Daniel M. Ingram 6/6/13 4:28 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/6/13 4:35 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? burgundian jew 6/6/13 3:50 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/6/13 4:16 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Adam . . 6/6/13 5:20 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/7/13 5:46 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/6/13 7:55 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Nikolai . 6/6/13 7:59 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? PP 6/7/13 4:20 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? This Good Self 6/6/13 11:01 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Daniel M. Ingram 6/7/13 3:19 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/7/13 5:35 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? sawfoot _ 6/7/13 5:40 AM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/5/13 12:38 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Sweet Nothing 6/5/13 12:43 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Adam . . 6/5/13 12:02 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Ray Mall 6/5/13 12:19 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Adam . . 6/5/13 12:37 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 6/5/13 2:12 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? fivebells . 6/5/13 4:22 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? John P 6/5/13 8:45 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Jeff Grove 6/6/13 5:44 PM
RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf? Tom Tom 6/6/13 10:35 PM
wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
psychic powers
Answer
6/4/13 9:12 PM
For a few months now I've been dabbling with mediation, and I started to get really excited about it all after "crossing the A&P." Anywho, it all seemed fairly plausible and somewhat consistent with my own experience, so I began to consider starting a more serious practice.

Until... I thumbed through MCTB and read the chapter on "psychic powers"

On the other hand, it does seem to be possible through powerful intent, strong concentration ability, appreciation of interdependence and careful experimentation to manipulate what we might call “this world”, as well as those in it, in very unusual and profound ways. Yes, I am referring to such things as telekinesis, mind-control, reading other people’s thoughts, pyromancy, and all of that. The more you get your concentration and insight trips together and the more you look into the magical aspect of things, the more you will learn about what I will call the magical laws of the universe and how to use “your will” to manipulate it.


WTF?

Hopefully I'm not coming off as rude, but do you people really think this shit is possible? Do any of you claim to be able to do it? Are you any different from any other faith based nutty religion? If you could do this sort of thing, why not make public demonstrations and attract more people towards "the path"?

I sort of assumed this was a bit more of a scientific experiment... As in: the way our brains operate isn't optimal because we think in self-referential ways. If you do these mindfulness mediations then eventually you will throw a major switch in your perception of the world (i.e., "enlightenment")

Please let me know if this is just a bunch of hippy-dippy, crunchy, BS. Again no harm intended, I'm just kind of floored that Daniel Ingram just casually drops: oh by the way, yeah, you also become an X-man no big deal or anything.

What am I missing?

Thanks.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/4/13 9:48 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
I sort of assumed this was a bit more of a scientific experiment... As in: the way our brains operate isn't optimal because we think in self-referential ways. If you do these mindfulness mediations then eventually you will throw a major switch in your perception of the world (i.e., "enlightenment")


That is the gist of it. Just ignore the magic airy-fairy stuff.

PS Developing really strong intention to do work via concentration and using it to becoming more productive would be a form of a psychic power according to the definition Daniel uses.

It is not necessarily about violating the laws of physics, but more about developing strong intentionality and bringing your attention to it.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/4/13 9:51 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Hi,

I don't know whether any of those things are possible. It's true not many people seem to demonstrate such things. Many gurus seem to say that they should be avoided since they are a huge temptation which are likely to distract one from enlightenment - that might be one explanation.

Energy can definitely be read and sensed at a distance and without words. Maybe the miraculous siddhis require stronger levels of consciousness.

This boy is interesting. Goes without food for very long stretches.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhMnSzOEe1E

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/4/13 9:54 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
The magical experiences I've seen Daniel describe here appear to have related to manipulation of personal perception (making bright lines appear in midair, for instance.) It may be he meant that he was making other people see these things, too, but that is not how I read it at the time.

My reaction was the same as you when I came across that. "An emergency department MD, a paragon of modernism, believes this?? Glad he's not treating me!"

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/4/13 10:26 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
As Ramana Maharshi Said,the super duper psychic power one should be aiming for must be self-realization,that is the No:1 psychic power of all available emoticon

These stuff are not so important,i have seen dozens of people who do stuff like "mind-reading" ,materialization blah blah etc

Here in India if any one demonstrate these kind of stuff publicly would be considered as so cheap and ugly ,and would give no value to it


In "Living With Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama" ,there is a chapter where swami rama meets a sanyasi who can create Fire from his mouth without using any fuels or such ,and swami rama himself verified this .

And he then introduces this swami to his self realized Master ,who recognize this Fire swami as one of his disciple who bunked from his monastery years back,and the master asked him ,how much time it took him to learn the skill of creating this Fire from his mouth ,and Fire swami replied that it took him 15 years to learn this skill

All of a sudden the master took a matchbox from his pocket and created the fire in the stick,and shouted at the fire swami

"Stupid you wasted your 15 years to do learn something which can be achieved by any one in a second or two,Go and Find your true nature"

So the story goes like this ... emoticon

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 3:11 AM as a reply to Ray Mall.
I completely agree with what Rony is stating.
However, for the average householder, developing anything such as this is near impossible.

The Buddha discouraged people to focus on these things because they can become obstacles in the way towards enlightenment. The Buddhist philosophy is to neither believe nor disbelieve in anything outside your direct experience.

Are you any different from any other faith based nutty religion? If you could do this sort of thing, why not make public demonstrations and attract more people towards "the path"?



On youtube there's a video of a Nepalese Monk levitating, and another video of a Thai Monk sitting/standing in a pot of heated/boiling oil without any discomfort. The levitation video was recorded by a magician who spent days trying to get to the monk and see if "real magic" is possible. He was finally able to see it, be amazed, but more than that he gained nothing else.

In the thai monk video, there are many spectators who are in awe. This may help develop faith, but again, does nothing in the way of transmitting the profound Dhamma. They may pay respects to the monk and provide more donations to whatever monastery he is from, and beyond that all they have is a good story to share.

A fully realized being will only show followers the way out of suffering.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 4:54 AM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Well i don't write often but i just want to let you know that the leading scientist in the cognitive neuroscience has just proven in an indisputable way that telepathy is possible.
His name is michael Persinger, you might have heard of him as the guy has almost created the whole field of cognitive research. He is also the one responsible for the creation of the "god helmet experiment" where he created a device which reproduced meeting god experiences just by triggering magnetically areas of the brains. Anyway i very strongly advises anyone who is a sceptic to watch this video for example :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l6VPpDublg

and do inquire to check if the guy is legit, you'll be amazed by the seriousness of his publications in peer reviewed magazines and other things.
So basically at least we know now that this supramundane power is indeed possible. For the other ones you just have to peek in quantum physics for example in quantic entanglement or intrication which keeps on baffling scientists. Have a look here :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LkSEOG6lbs

You can also have a look at the Tummo practices and the recent studies on it which shows how a well trained mind can control the autonomous nervous system:

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=130031&CultureCode=en

there is a lot to say about this, the trick is to avoid the new age garbage stuff and look for the facts. Do take the time to read and watch all the above.

Nicolas

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 10:04 AM as a reply to nicolas C.
I ran into Telepathy in my very first retreat. It was completely unintentional, and scary because I had no control over my thoughts or what I was broadcasting. Hopefully I stopped broadcasting after the retreat ended.

Personally, I dont give a hoot about what science proves or does not.

I also experienced some phenomena through which plants and birds in my field of view were involuntarily being manipulated which lasted for about 2 months. This strengthened my ego and made me feel as if I'm someone special, stalling me down on the path.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
daniel i'm calling you out punk daniel ingram
Answer
6/5/13 11:02 AM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Thanks for all of the responses everyone. I see your point about psychic powers not being the end-goal and their potential for corruption. My point is this: Why should I just "have faith" that enlightenment is a real thing or that meditating has the potential to move me along this path.

I should also say that I'm aware that you are not really proselytizing, and I'm not accusing anyone of that. I'm genuinely interested, but very annoyed that everyone seems to just believe that enlightenment is possible before ever experiencing it. For instance in the "Reformed Slacker's Guide to Stream Entry" the very first requirement is a belief that it is possible. This is ridiculous. How can I believe anything is possible without evidence?

This part is crucial. However you do it, make sure you know that your goal is possible.


Perhaps a better question is why do any of you who have yet to attain stream entry have faith that it is a real thing? OR, how did any of you who have attained stream-entry cultivate faith in something you had never seen. My hunch is that stream-entry is little more than the power of suggestion and expectations mixed with the bizarre mental effects of meditation. I certainly believe that hallucinations are possible outcomes of prolonged mediation. Sensory deprivation can also induce hallucinations, so it isn't that far-fetched. Mystical powers, however, is really too far-fetched. Do any of you even suspect that you are maybe reading too far in to your experiences on the mat?

There are many of you referencing all of the videos on YouTube of people supposedly doing supernatural things through mediation. Yes, I have seen them. There are also thousands of other videos providing "evidence" of big-foot's existence, or Christian's miraculously being healed by their spiritual leaders. I grew up Christian, and this sort-of implicit faith that supernatural things are happening is exactly what I'm calling out and trying to avoid. In fact, they had the same attitude that you do: i.e., yes miracles are still happening everyday. but they are not important, and it is not fruitful to explore them, or to look for proof, etc. The only thing you should worry about is developing a personal relationship with jesus christ and living without sin etc, etc.

The YouTube videos serve as an incredibly tenuous foundation for believing that any of this is worth while, and I sincerely hope that none of you are basing your faith in this system off of videos or anecdotes like this.

So finally, here is my question: Do all of you have faith that this is all definitely worth while? Why do you believe that it is? Do you ever think that you have just thrown away a month of your life on retreat and accomplished nothing?

These questions are critically important, because they are the greatest impediments for outsiders (like me) taking any of this seriously.

A final point. Some of you are saying things like demonstrating these powers are bad:

Here in India if any one demonstrate these kind of stuff publicly would be considered as so cheap and ugly ,and would give no value to it


Your argument seems to be that demonstrations are self-serving or build egos etc. Why should an Arahat worry about his ego, if he is no-longer self referential? (This is an honest question, not meant to be snarky). For instance, a lot of Buddhists argue that making claims to enlightenment is wrong too. Daniel Ingram decided that he would do it anyway in order to give people faith that it was actually possible.

So here is a question directed at Daniel Ingram. Why not make public demonstrations of supernatural powers? You've already made public claims that they are possible. You've already argued in favor of publicly claiming enlightenment, saying that it will give more people faith that it is possible. Don't you think that showing people supernatural powers will convince them even more?

Or, if none of this is acceptable, why not give me a private demonstration? After all, isn't your goal helping more people to become enlightened?

Or have I missed something else completely? Are these "powers" really only in your own mind? Not visible to other people, etc?

Hopefully, this isn't coming off as a personal attack. I'm not trying to call you out... well I sort of am, but I also suspect that you have an explanation, as you seem to be very intellectual about all of this.

Cheers

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:34 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
I realized I didn't do a good job of replying to each post in my last response. So here are some direct replies.

D Z,

Yeah, but why dedicate so much time without any real evidence that it will be worth while or yield any sort of results at all?
And if this magicy stuff is really happening, why not bring more attention to it?
Also, some of the stuff mentioned in MCTB is about violating the core laws of physics: telekinesis, pyromancy...

I can't just ignore this passage after seeing it, you know?

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:40 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C,

That YouTube video is interesting in the same way documentaries about crop circles are interesting.
I imagine gurus say such things should be avoided because they don't really exist, and are often lies.
If I somehow developed these "powers" I would be much more tempted to become enlightened, than abuse them. Wouldn't you?

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:46 AM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells,

He specifically says "telekinesis, mind-control, reading other people’s thoughts, pyromancy, and all of that." He isn't only talking about manipulating perception.

My reaction was the same as you when I came across that. "An emergency department MD, a paragon of modernism, believes this?? Glad he's not treating me!"


There are thousands of doctors who believe crazy things: Christianity, Reaganomics, all kinds of super natural BS. Never underestimate the human potential for stupidity.

I'm trying to figure out if this is all just another nutty religion or if there is any sort of truth to it all.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:51 AM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Nobody is going to give you a private demonstration.

Enlightenment is the only way out of suffering, and if some passage written by someone is proving a hindrance, then just discard it. Believe in what you have experienced, and experience will clear the rest of your doubts.

I dont understand why you are getting so worked up and preparing elaborate theories about what you dont have the slightest experience of. Maybe it is fear of the unknown.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:54 AM as a reply to rony fedrer.
Rony,

i have seen dozens of people who do stuff like "mind-reading" ,materialization blah blah etc


All I can really say is that I don't believe you. Why should I? People lie all the time about crazy things for various reasons. I don't believe anything based solely on anecdotal evidence.

In "Living With Himalayan Masters by Swami Rama" ,there is a chapter where swami rama meets a sanyasi who can create Fire from his mouth without using any fuels or such ,and swami rama himself verified this .

And he then introduces this swami to his self realized Master ,who recognize this Fire swami as one of his disciple who bunked from his monastery years back,and the master asked him ,how much time it took him to learn the skill of creating this Fire from his mouth ,and Fire swami replied that it took him 15 years to learn this skill

All of a sudden the master took a matchbox from his pocket and created the fire in the stick,and shouted at the fire swami

"Stupid you wasted your 15 years to do learn something which can be achieved by any one in a second or two,Go and Find your true nature"


If I saw a dude who could do this, I would begin seriously seeking enlightenment. It isn't a useless talent if it can show people that such things are possible. More people would be willing to dedicate the time to mediation, retreat, serious practice.

For whatever reason, India seams to be a hotbed of fanatical, nutty religions. My brother is currently living there as a Christian missionary and he regularly tells me stories about him seeing demons, curing the blind, healing the sick, performing miracles. These are lies. He is either psychotic, or he just has a serious God complex. Either way it's BS.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:55 AM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray Mall:


I'm trying to figure out if this is all just another nutty religion or if there is any sort of truth to it all.


This is more like a spiritual technology to realize the truth of our being.

Here's what the Buddha said :

Do not go by revelation;
Do not go by tradition;
Do not go by hearsay;
Do not go on the authority of sacred texts;
Do not go on the grounds of pure logic;
Do not go by a view that seems rational;
Do not go by reflecting on mere appearances;
Do not go along with a considered view because you agree with it;
Do not go along on the grounds that the person is competent;
Do not go along because "the recluse is our teacher."
Kalamas, when you yourselves know: These things are unwholesome, these things are blameworthy; these things are censured by the wise; and when undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill, abandon them...
Kalamas, when you know for yourselves: These are wholesome; these things are not blameworthy; these things are praised by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to benefit and happiness, having undertaken them, abide in them.
Kalama Sutta - Angutarra Nikaya 3.65



All the best.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 12:02 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Hello Ray,

I don't really care if you believe in these things and have no way of making you. For me the issue of believing in them was never a problem, I wanted to change the way my mind worked too much to waste mental energy worrying about that. Either I was/am going to free myself from suffering or I was going to die pursuing the end of suffering. If it is truly impossible for you to believe in something without conclusive evidence (which is itself ridiculous as you have to do it thousands of times every day to function) then you will probably never make a serious effort at awakening.

For me it is just about seeing what ways of mental functioning are suffering and which ways are suffering-free and moving towards the one's that are suffering free. Mostly this means turning attention away from concepts and thoughts about the past and future and towards the experience of pure consciousness/pure sensations in the present.

I have talked with awakening with various people in my life, some seem to not even begin to consider that it would be right for them or that it is possible. Others seem naturally very open to it. The ones who are very open to it are those whose minds have really descended into a lot of useless suffering at some point. They tend to sense that only part of their mind is responsible for suffering and another part is free of suffering. They already know at a deep level that awakening is possible because of this.

Turn doubt on itself and consider whether this type of thought is really, genuinely valuable. What does it feel like? Can you be certain that it is true?

p.s. with regard to the powers specifically I don't really know or care emoticon

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 11:59 AM as a reply to Sweet Nothing.
Typical,

Again no explanation, other than vague "it's a hindrance man"

Why. Explain why. It would be proof, or at least solid evidence. It would be a real reason to dedicate time to developing a serious practice.

I don't want access to these powers, I just want proof that all of this isn't BS.

Why do believe in any of it?

I understand that talking about this stuff (asking for demonstrations etc) is totally taboo. Why? I want a real explanation.

I'm getting worked up because this stuff matters. This is my life. People might be wasting their lives buying into to bullshit. I'm being reprimanded for asking question: one big sign that all of this is a crock of shit.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 12:04 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Why should anyone believe you crossed the A&P? Most people will think you a raving lunatic for talking such things.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 12:05 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
First let me see if I am hearing you... you seem t be interested in two points:

1) what's up with people believing in Powers and stuff like that?

2) Why meditate if one has no faith in the potential (and worth) of awakening, and why have faith in something that one has no experience for? In other words, if one needs 'faith' in order to attain SE, then how does one know the result is not merely that of suggestion, self-hypnosis, etc?

Hope I broke that down correctly.

My answers:
1) Who cares what others believe here? If you are reading MCTB, which I haven't read for a while but have read, did you get the impression that there is a logical connection between 'believing in the powers' and believing that awakening is possible? Because I didn't get that from MCTB. In fact, just in the portion you quoted, if you read it carefully, Daniel says 'it seems' to be 'possible'. Right? I take that to mean it's conceivable that such things occur. The phenomena which lead folks to believe they are occurring certainly do occur, but my take on what Dan has written is that there are multiple possible explanations for those subjective experiences. For ex: siddhi of flying, or astral/dream vision? The same phenomenon could be interpreted both ways depending on many factors. Is it possible you are bringing some personal viewpoints and strong emotions to your reading such that you are reading into references to the powers more than you need to? If that passage is really going to scare you off meditation, I'm not impressed with your critical thinking skills.

2) For me there was definite evidence in how I already could see that experience functions which led me to feel awakening (as in, sudden and lasting shift in baseline of how experience functions) was a very plausible thing. But honestly I was convinced of the plausability of it for decades before I actually became deeply motivated to practice and awaken. I can't tell you exactly what motivated me to shift into the gear to do what I needed to do in order to actually prove it to myself, but eventually it came to pass that I was so motivated and did get that proof for myself. As to the possibility of it all being autosuggestion, frankly the whole process leading to such shifts has been one of seeing how experience *actually already is* and de-bunking the many notions which I already held which were contrary to how experience actually is, so that doesn't make much sense from my own experience. Correct insight practice is the exact opposite of autosuggestion.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 12:14 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
You seem to be having a huge reaction to a bunch of notions you are bringing to the conversation, as well as stuff others are writing.

Insight practice is good for seeing how experience functions, which in turn is good for unlearning the habit of having huge reactions.

If how you are experiencing this thread is so filled with reactivity and suffering then you have direct evidence for a connection between reactivity (getting worked up) and suffering (not enjoying experience). The push and pull of wanting to change experience. You also have many moments in your life I bet which are characterized by way less reactivity, less push and pull, greater contentment and ease and during which it is easier to be kind.

You have all the evidence in your life as it is in this moment that it is worthwhile to pursue insight into how to be happier, more calm, more attentive, and more kind. Insight practice can help with that because it is all about learning how your experience functions. Either you find that on the face of it intriguing and significant or you don't.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
Answer
6/5/13 12:19 PM as a reply to Adam . ..
Why don't you care?

Are you already enlightened?

You haven't answered my question. Why don't people with these powers make public demonstrations?

Be more specific than "it's a hindrance to their spiritual progress"

Why would it be a hindrance?

It would certainly help me progress through my "spiritual progress"

I don't really care if you believe in these things and have no way of making you.


Well thanks for for your concern. If you aren't interested in answering my questions than there is no need to announce it, just don't enter the conversation.

For me the issue of believing in them was never a problem, I wanted to change the way my mind worked too much to waste mental energy worrying about that. Either I was/am going to free myself from suffering or I was going to die pursuing the end of suffering. If it is truly impossible for you to believe in something without conclusive evidence (which is itself ridiculous as you have to do it thousands of times every day to function) then you will probably never make a serious effort at awakening.


So you are saying you have to have some sort of faith or belief. Fine. You still haven't answered my question about demonstrating supernatural powers.

For me it is just about seeing what ways of mental functioning are suffering and which ways are suffering-free and moving towards the one's that are suffering free. Mostly this means turning attention away from concepts and thoughts about the past and future and towards the experience of pure consciousness/pure sensations in the present.


That's nice. I understand, more or less, the process. My bigger question is about these ridiculous claims about psychic powers.

I have talked with awakening with various people in my life, some seem to not even begin to consider that it would be right for them or that it is possible. Others seem naturally very open to it. The ones who are very open to it are those whose minds have really descended into a lot of useless suffering at some point. They tend to sense that only part of their mind is responsible for suffering and another part is free of suffering. They already know at a deep level that awakening is possible because of this.


I have considered whether or not it is possible. That is what I'm doing right now. That a general state of suffering exists is not proof that there must also be a general state without suffering.

Turn doubt on itself and consider whether this type of thought is really, genuinely valuable. What does it feel like? Can you be certain that it is true?


Yes, doubt is always useful. Without it I might still be a Chrsitain. Occults would rule the world. I refuse to feel guilty for having these questions. This is, again, a tactic used by many other major religions. Doubting the existence of God, questioning Christ's divinity - all sins. If inquiry is frowned upon than this is all a bunch of BS.

p.s. with regard to the powers specifically I don't really know or care


Thank you for that contribution. Very helpful. Why not go in depth a bit more? Don't you think more people would be drawn "the path" if they saw some evidence like x-man powers? Why don't you care? Doesn't it interest you? Or do you prefer to live comfortably in blind faith and ignorance?

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6/5/13 12:34 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Thanks for your response,

Who cares what others believe here?


Everybody in this forum. The point, unless I'm mistaken, is to exchange ideas and hear what other people think.

If you are reading MCTB, which I haven't read for a while but have read, did you get the impression that there is a logical connection between 'believing in the powers' and believing that awakening is possible? Because I didn't get that from MCTB.


Not exactly. I understand that belief in mystical powers isn't a requisite, but it is a lot easier to prove. If I had proof of powers then I would be able to "believe" in enlightenment. I certainly already think that it's possible, as anything else, but in order to attain stream entry I have to "Know" that it's possible. which is, for me, impossible. Do you see the distinction here? Knowing vs. curiously searching?


If that passage is really going to scare you off meditation, I'm not impressed with your critical thinking skills.


Again, your tactic seems to be making me feel guilty for bringing this up as in, "Wow you're going to stop mediating just because some people believe in psychic powers... What an idiot" Yes, well I may very well be an idiot. Who knows? I still have to get through these conversations in order to learn, progress, whatever.

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6/5/13 12:37 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Are you already enlightened?


no

You haven't answered my question. Why don't people with these powers make public demonstrations?


how would i know why they don't (assuming they exist)? why should I care?

If you aren't interested in answering my questions than there is no need to announce it, just don't enter the conversation.


Everything I wrote was meant to be helpful and although I didn't answer your question in your terms I did offer advice I think would be helpful if taken up.

That a general state of suffering exists is not proof that there must also be a general state without suffering.


I did not say that. I said that people who have experienced a lot of mental dissatisfaction tend to have the intuition that it can be avoided. The mechanics of how this intuition arises were put nicely by Jake.

Thank you for that contribution. Very helpful.


I assume you are being sarcastic. In my defense I am just stating how these issues play out in my own mind. Not knowing or caring (much) is definitely not the same as "blind faith" as you seem to suggest. That would be "knowing" without caring how you know.

Or do you prefer to live comfortably in blind faith and ignorance?


The only options are not intellectualizing about whether people can become "x-men" and living in blind faith and ignorance. There is the other option which is what i take, admitting that I don't know and devoting my energy to places other than inquiries regarding whether people can become "x-men."

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6/5/13 12:38 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray Mall:
I don't want access to these powers, I just want proof that all of this isn't BS.

Why do believe in any of it?

I understand that talking about this stuff (asking for demonstrations etc) is totally taboo. Why? I want a real explanation.

I'm getting worked up because this stuff matters. This is my life. People might be wasting their lives buying into to bullshit. I'm being reprimanded for asking question: one big sign that all of this is a crock of shit.


It's actually worse than you think: Everything you think you value about your life is a big crock of shit, too. emoticon

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6/5/13 12:39 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
You seem to be having a huge reaction to a bunch of notions you are bringing to the conversation, as well as stuff others are writing.


Not sure what exactly you mean by this?

Insight practice is good for seeing how experience functions, which in turn is good for unlearning the habit of having huge reactions.


Cool.

If how you are experiencing this thread is so filled with reactivity and suffering then you have direct evidence for a connection between reactivity (getting worked up) and suffering (not enjoying experience). The push and pull of wanting to change experience. You also have many moments in your life I bet which are characterized by way less reactivity, less push and pull, greater contentment and ease and during which it is easier to be kind.


I enjoy reactivity, asking tough questions, speaking my mind, even being disruptive. In other words I enjoy these types of somewhat intense exchanges. I'm not "suffering" through them. Yes, often I am less reactive. But (Right now) I am not concerned with talking about how to practice and the merits of meditation. I have a specific question, which everyone is all too happy to avoid, and I want a specific answer.

Can anyone actually show me xman powers? Why not? Specifically, why not?

You have all the evidence in your life as it is in this moment that it is worthwhile to pursue insight into how to be happier, more calm, more attentive, and more kind. Insight practice can help with that because it is all about learning how your experience functions. Either you find that on the face of it intriguing and significant or you don't.


Yeah, yeah I find it intriguing and significant. BUT I don't "know" that SE is possible.

See my problem?

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6/5/13 12:43 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Why are you connecting the entire path of self realization specifically with what Daniel has written ?

The entire path is about :

1) Morality
2) Concentration
3) Wisdom

Nothing wrong with Morality. Nothing wrong in strengthening Concentration. Nothing wrong in experiencing one's own true nature.
This path requires No God, No Faith, No Worship, No Ritual, No Miracles.

Q) Why do I believe in it ?
A) I neither believe nor disbelieve. It is taboo because it's a severe distraction of which you're the living example.

I have experienced some of it myself and I am inclined to believe in the rest of it. Whether everything lines up with my belief is no concern of mine. My only goal is to awaken and help others awaken out of suffering. For me this very moment is the ultimate miracle. The Big Bang was a miracle.

Mathematically, the probability of you experiencing this moment (life evolving so far) is much lesser than the probability of you winning the lottery jackpot each day of your life.

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6/5/13 1:24 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray Mall:

Can anyone actually show me xman powers? Why not? Specifically, why not?


If you really want to know why I will refer you to this discussion forum where your answer may be able to be answered....but it is not necessarily a simple answer to understand without the background....
My Big Toe

The simple answer is it is against the rule set of this reality to force everyone to experience this phenomenon. We get a choice to not believe.
Hope you are willing to look deeply at this issue and can find an answer you can live with.
Good luck
~D

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6/5/13 2:12 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray Mall:
Turn doubt on itself and consider whether this type of thought is really, genuinely valuable. What does it feel like? Can you be certain that it is true?


Yes, doubt is always useful. Without it I might still be a Chrsitain. Occults would rule the world. I refuse to feel guilty for having these questions. This is, again, a tactic used by many other major religions. Doubting the existence of God, questioning Christ's divinity - all sins. If inquiry is frowned upon than this is all a bunch of BS.

FWIW Buddhism, according to its scriptures (the Pali Canon), seems to suffer from the same issue (emphasis mine, from MN12):

21. "Sariputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: 'The recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma (merely) hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it occurs to him' — unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell. Just as a bhikkhu possessed of virtue, concentration and wisdom would here and now enjoy final knowledge, so it will happen in this case, I say, that unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell.

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6/5/13 3:40 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.

Thanks for your response,



Everybody in this forum [cares what others think about the powers]. The point, unless I'm mistaken, is to exchange ideas and hear what other people think.


No I wouldn't agree Ray, this is a practice forum so the point is more about sharing technique and the results of technique. There is certainly an exchange of ideas in that context, and View (as in one's theory of 'why practice' or 'what' practice is or means) is a part of that. But I don't get why you are conflating 'should I meditate' with 'do these people believe in powers etc'. Except that from your other responses I do understand that you seem hostile to anything you think is 'supernatural' which is fine. But what the hell has that got to do with whether you should meditate or not?



Not exactly. I understand that belief in mystical powers isn't a requisite, but it is a lot easier to prove. If I had proof of powers then I would be able to "believe" in enlightenment. I certainly already think that it's possible, as anything else, but in order to attain stream entry I have to "Know" that it's possible. which is, for me, impossible. Do you see the distinction here? Knowing vs. curiously searching?


Mystical powers are easier to prove than enlightenment? I'm feeling lost in this discussion. I would like to know what you are calling enlightenment. I mean, I get that you 'don't know' what it is and you believe this is a big problem-- I just mean, what ideas are you associating with the term that you assume it is hard to prove? There is plenty of scientific evidence that meditation itself produces beneficial changes in brain/experience over time, not even talking about awakening as a sudden shift in baseline that can be induced by meditation. So what's the issue? Are you just unaware of this research and evidence? You could easily google the topic and use reason to evaluate the sources you find.


If that passage is really going to scare you off meditation, I'm not impressed with your critical thinking skills.


Ray Mall:

Again, your tactic seems to be making me feel guilty for bringing this up as in, "Wow you're going to stop mediating just because some people believe in psychic powers... What an idiot" Yes, well I may very well be an idiot. Who knows? I still have to get through these conversations in order to learn, progress, whatever.


No, no tactic, I am not trying to make you feel any way, I meant the statement literally. If that passage scares you off meditation, particularly given all the scientific evidence for the benefits of meditation, I actually literally do not think you are thinking critically. I'm not trying to be an asshole either, but given the fact that your posts are laced with sarcasm and other 'tactics' I would hope you wouldn't get to worked up by someone being blunt! emoticon

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6/5/13 3:45 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Basically Ray, if you are worried based on past experience that you will have to espouse certain beliefs in order to meditate, I don't think that's the case. Any community (office, friend group, church, online forum) will have certain norms and conventions that most participants will expect (consciously or not) others to adhere to but that's no reason to not participate. And whether or not you agree with your mechanic's politics he/she can still fix your car; whether or not you agree with a teacher's beliefs about telepathy, you may still benefit from his/her meditation coaching. Right? What's the issue?

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6/5/13 4:22 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
FWIW Buddhism, according to its scriptures (the Pali Canon), seems to suffer from the same issue (emphasis mine, from MN12):

21. "Sariputta, when I know and see thus, should anyone say of me: 'The recluse Gotama does not have any superhuman states, any distinction in knowledge and vision worthy of the noble ones. The recluse Gotama teaches a Dhamma (merely) hammered out by reasoning, following his own line of inquiry as it occurs to him' — unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell. Just as a bhikkhu possessed of virtue, concentration and wisdom would here and now enjoy final knowledge, so it will happen in this case, I say, that unless he abandons that assertion and that state of mind and relinquishes that view, then as (surely as if he had been) carried off and put there he will wind up in hell.


One psychological interpretation of this is that Sunakkhatta had already demonstrated himself to be in hell here-and-now, just by the way he introduced these questions:

"Sariputta, the misguided man Sunakkhatta is angry, and his words are spoken out of anger. Thinking to discredit the Tathagata, he actually praises him; [69] for it is a praise of the Tathagata to say of him: 'When he teaches the Dhamma to anyone, it leads him when he practices it to the complete destruction of suffering.'


I.e., it is not the questions themselves that condition Sunakkhatta for hell, but the state of mind from which they arise.

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6/5/13 8:45 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Hey Ray Mall, it would be good for you to read about the parable of the Poison Arrow. I think it fits this situation quite nicely.

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6/5/13 9:15 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray Mall:
C C C,

If I somehow developed these "powers" I would be much more tempted to become enlightened, than abuse them. Wouldn't you?


No, I'd be playing with them and having a blast, seeing what I could do and how many people I could impress in order to gain attention to my self. emoticonemoticon

Nothing is static however, and I'd have to assume that at some point I'd become thoroughly bored with it all and decide to leave it alone...then get back to the question of freedom.

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6/6/13 5:28 AM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Dear Ray,

If you are interested in the powers and want to see for yourself, really see for yourself, as a proper scientific empiricist, meaning one who really wants to see what this is about, then go on a samatha retreat, such as a Pa Auk retreat, get your concentration really strong, probably would take a month or two if you really commit to it, then learn to visualize something well (a kasina, etc.), such that you can, on command, create that image in your mind as brightly and clearly and vividly as anything in reality. From that point, pick your favorite power or set of powers, rise to a decently high jhana, such as the 4th or 8th, come out, and let the intent to have that power manifest fly. See what happens. How you interpret that is up to you. Might take a few tries or even a few days, but if you do this well you will see what the rest of people who have done the experiment see: something that requires a somewhat augmented set of concepts to make any good sense of if you are a total materialist.

Interesting book I am currently reading you might like: The End of Materialism, by Charles Tart. It goes into the real science and data of related to some of the powers and it might surprise you, being as you seem to have have a religiously materialistic or scientistic view about things, which is hardly scientific, is it?

If you are interested in insight and stream entry, then go on a Mahasi Sayadaw retreat of 2-3 months duration. It is not that long a period of time and is way less time than we humans spend doing all sorts of things much less fundamentally beneficial to our happiness, clarity, and well-being. Further, you seem to at least have some small interest in these things. Plenty of centers are very affordable. The fundamental assumption that really learning to pay attention to what you are feeling and thinking, as well as what is happening on the other sense-door fronts, is a good idea is hard to argue against even from a total cynic's point of view. Follow the technique as prescribed all day long. Watch the stages of insight progress in a nearly mechanical fashion in order. Get stream entry and see what you think of it. Better yet, get at least third path-level territory: that is when things get really interesting. Plenty have done it. You very likely can also.

Otherwise, it is all just talk and more bullshit, as you like to term things. At some point people have to grow up, dive into the deep end, and learn to swim. Either become a proper empiricist or stop asking the question, as armchair quarterbacking the thing isn't anything like being on the field, just as reading abstracts of scientific papers is nothing like conducting your own research in the dark kitchen of the lab, just like reading accounts of people walking on the moon is nothing like actually doing it.

If you count yourself a sane rationalist and one who believes deeply in science, consider the disconnect between what science says about reality (such as total causality, total interdependence, no place for a separate, independent, continuous self in any of that, it being totally impossible from any physics, biology, chemistry, social science, etc. point of view), and your own perception that you exist, you have continuity, you are controlling anything, you exist separate from anything, you are observing anything, etc.: all totally at odds with the best science has to offer. I personally came from a deeply materialistic, scientific background, but studying science deeply, particularly things like particle physics, electro-magnetics, biology, and differential equations, convinced me I was totally living in a completely confused perceptual illusion. Funny that you haven't come to the same conclusion: must not know much about science.

Thus, while you seem to be standing on some pedestal of judgement casting aspersions about people who would claim that by paying attention carefully to reality you can follow a set of experiments that reproducibly cause a set sequence of extremely predictable and mappable insights that finally align your baseline perception of reality with what multiple scientific branches all teach, in doing so you actually seem the one who needs to look carefully at why you would doubt that enlightenment is possible, when science from numerous fronts comes to the exact same conclusions that the meditators do, as has been commented on by numerous very accomplished scientists. Pick up a good book like The Dancing Wu Li Masters and see what you think: that was the book that really started me in this direction and I am quite grateful for it.

Had you been at the Contemplative Development Mapping Project, in which numerous accomplished scientists from major universities (Yale, Brown, etc.) with major degrees (MDs, PhDs, MD PhDs, etc.), and been able to hear these real practitioner scientists, real empiricists with really smart, rational minds talk about these topics, you would conclude that the seemingly weird stuff that gets discussed in MCTB would seem like try toast by comparison.

The notion of a separate, continuous, independent self, meaning the way the unenlightened perceive reality, is obviously totally deluded and totally irrational to boot. It makes no sense whatsoever for countless obvious reasons. Why not realign your perception of things with the scientific point of view you so admire by following the standard methods of doing so that have been time-tested by literally 10's of thousands of practitioners? Why not follow the scientific method you so admire? Why not try to reproduce the experiment yourself to try to verify the claims of those who have done the experiment before? That is what science is about. That is what scientists actually do.

Remember, I have taken all the study design and analysis courses of a PhD epidemiologist (which got me a Masters of Science in Public Health in Epidemiology from one of the top tier epi methods schools in the US), as well as having an MD, as well as most of a degree in electrical engineering, and was taking particle physics and astrophysics with calculus in high-school (at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics), so the scientific method and science are things I feel pretty comfortable talking about.

Your scientific training and background is what again? Your review of the literature of the things you are talking about included what references, what journal articles, what texts? What actual personal experiments you tried to confirm or deny these claims? In short, anything real or practical to what you are talking about at all? Your rigorous scientific pursuit of the truth of these things has involved what again?

I personally did way over 10,000 hours of meditation practice in addition to extensive reading of 10's of thousands of pages about this stuff in addition to getting to hear literally hundreds of personal care reports of various peoples' experiences in these things.

You have done what again to feel you can legitimately critique these things in the way that you do?

You are the one who just claimed to have experiences (your post about standard A&P, well-mapped, predictable A&P to Dark Night experiences) that, were you to present to a regular, non-meditatively trained doctor would likely get you a psych consult, possibly anti-psychotics, perhaps an EEG and a CT of your head (i.e. a few thousand dollars blown and a solid dose of radiation), all due them now knowing much about meditation. The true rationalists here are who again?

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 8:24 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


Thus, while you seem to be standing on some pedestal of judgement casting aspersions about people who would claim that by paying attention carefully to reality you can follow a set of experiments that reproducibly cause a set sequence of extremely predictable and mappable insights that finally align your baseline perception of reality with what multiple scientific branches all teach, in doing so you actually seem the one who needs to look carefully at why you would doubt that enlightenment is possible, when science from numerous fronts comes to the exact same conclusions that the meditators do, as has been commented on by numerous very accomplished scientists.


Daniel, your grammar is terrible!! If you wrote this in a high school English literature class, it would come back with red ink right through it - commas, full stops, semi-colons and so on! The word "VERBOSE!" would be scrawled across the page!. Maybe it's just the way your mind works, but most people can't make head nor tails of a sentence like this. If you want your MCTB2 to sell well, please employ a good editor and take his suggestions regarding clarity and succinctness. MCTB1 was very hard to read for the same reasons. Your brain probably works at a higher speed than most, allowing it to process multiple threads of thought at once. Your readers can't do this!!

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6/6/13 8:55 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
FWIW, I found it perfectly comprehensible.

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6/6/13 8:58 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Daniel M. Ingram:


Thus, while you seem to be standing on some pedestal of judgement casting aspersions about people who would claim that by paying attention carefully to reality you can follow a set of experiments that reproducibly cause a set sequence of extremely predictable and mappable insights that finally align your baseline perception of reality with what multiple scientific branches all teach, in doing so you actually seem the one who needs to look carefully at why you would doubt that enlightenment is possible, when science from numerous fronts comes to the exact same conclusions that the meditators do, as has been commented on by numerous very accomplished scientists.


Daniel, your grammar is terrible!! If you wrote this in a high school English literature class, it would come back with red ink right through it - commas, full stops, semi-colons and so on! The word "VERBOSE!" would be scrawled across the page!. Maybe it's just the way your mind works, but most people can't make head nor tails of a sentence like this. If you want your MCTB2 to sell well, please employ a good editor and take his suggestions regarding clarity and succinctness. MCTB1 was very hard to read for the same reasons. Your brain probably works at a higher speed than most, allowing it to process multiple threads of thought at once. Your readers can't do this!!

Haha. I actually didn't notice the length of it when I read it the first time. I also notice I'm reading it to myself in Dan's fast-paced voice, which seems to help (check out some of his podcasts if you don't know what his voice sounds like).

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6/6/13 10:08 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
CCC - Daniel wrote a post on an internet forum. It isn't an excerpt from a book chapter. Personally I would prefer to have "no pause for breath" prose than no prose at all.

Ray: "If you could do this sort of thing, why not make public demonstrations and attract more people towards "the path"?"

Clearly people on this path consistently have some strange and compelling experiences, which causes them to fundamentally shift their view on reality. They can be so compelling that the world views of serious committed materialists get shaken, and lead them to believe things like psychokinesis as being "real".

But it seems that the simple and obvious answer to why there aren't public demonstrations of the powers is because they don't have any reality outside of the psychological.

People define science in different ways. Daniel has a broad definition such that personal experiences and anecdotal evidence can be part of the scientific process. On that definition, following a meditative path is doing science, and experiences on that path count as proper empiricism. In alternative conceptions of science, personal experience and anecdotal reports are given little value, and what counts much more is a balance of evidence based on repeatable experiments published in good peer reviewed journals. On that basis, people have been trying to scientifically study the paranormal for a long time, and the balance of evidence is pretty much zilch for any special powers.

For a long detailed sceptical review of that Tart book:
http://www.skepdic.com/refuge/tart.html

Faith doesn't come out a vacuum - it is grounded in experience. But if your faith is strong enough, you can believe whatever you want to believe - ever tried arguing the existence of God with a Christian?

Whatever your views, it shouldn't really make much difference for the spiritual path - as these weird experiences are just side effects and not the main goal.

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6/6/13 12:38 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
@sawfoot: How would you, the skeptical materialist, define the main goal? I actually agree with part of the skeptic's critique, as Tart does reject causality and biology, as he finds they lead to the notion of a mechanistic, causal, impersonal universe. I not only believe scientifically in a mechanistic, causal, impersonal universe, I experience this as my baseline way of perceiving reality, something that took following standard techniques for doing so. Thus, while I disagree with his notion that individual primacy must be maintained for meaning and for a good life, I agree with his notion that there simply are effects beyond what many scientific materialists would consider "real".

Fun book for scientific materialists: Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Consciousness and Physics. His brilliantly written historical and cultural critique of how that particular worldview became of such importance makes for hilarious reading.

@ CCC: Ok. Short sentences. Simple readers. Got it. Advice: Avoid Dickens. Read Hemingway.

All joking about your comprehension level aside, I went back through that sentence carefully and looked for places where the standard rules of American grammar would require commas, semicolons or full-stops (periods). I find none. I agree, the sentences is long. Please inform me of where you would add these additional marks of punctuation, as I don't find that the rules as I learned them dictate that it needs them. Oh, yes, BA in English Literature should be added to the list.

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6/6/13 2:26 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I'm a pretty die-hard Buddhist, so I don't really care about this debate. The Buddha's tendency to critique ontological positions purely in terms of their psychological/spiritual foundations and effects, as he does in MN 12, is my ideal when it comes to assessing matters of Buddhist practice.

But I'm curious about why someone with the statistical background needed for epidemiological analysis would be satisfied with the evidence for the powers you believe in, Daniel. Not that I'm saying your beliefs are wrong, just that if you really believe in these powers, why don't you use your yogi connections and scientific training to set up a repeatable, convincing experiment demonstrating these powers. It should be easy to do, right?

Please note, this is pure curiosity. The fact that there is no such evidence does not in any way invalidate your teachings in my eyes, as even if everyone concerned is deluded about what's happening, I view claims to these powers to at least constitute skillful means for establishing spiritual assistance for people who are attracted to such capabilities, But you must admit, the world would beat a path to your door if you could get together a group of yogis who could demonstrate these powers in a scientifically convincing way. If successful, the legitimacy this project would lend to your teachings and the enormous audience it would introduce them to makes it seem like just about the most meritorious project anyone on the planet could be working on at the moment.

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6/6/13 2:48 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
People beating a path to my door: what a nightmare...

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6/6/13 3:08 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Lame. What are you writing MCTB2 for? emoticon

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6/6/13 3:50 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Replies to a couple of posts..

Daniel M. Ingram:
@ CCC: Ok. Short sentences. Simple readers. Got it. Advice: Avoid Dickens. Read Hemingway.

All joking about your comprehension level aside, I went back through that sentence carefully and looked for places where the standard rules of American grammar would require commas, semicolons or full-stops (periods). I find none. I agree, the sentences is long. Please inform me of where you would add these additional marks of punctuation, as I don't find that the rules as I learned them dictate that it needs them. Oh, yes, BA in English Literature should be added to the list.


Christ alive, talk about acting like a prick. Your sentences running on forever is a sign of mania, rather than overwhelming intelligence. Please decide whether your authority is coming from your relationship with reality, or your degrees and diplomas, which confer nothing special but that fact you could memorise things for your exams.
The part of your post about sitting in jhana for three months and "letting your intention fly" leads where exactly? Because you convinced yourself you once moved a flickering flame in a dark room it is absurd to quote that as anything resembling a power. The buddhist texts say that after arahantship, with much work one can cultivate the powers of super-hearing, seeing and hearing other planes of existence and such. Turning invisible and the rest. It took buddha seven years after his enlightenment before he had any powers to show. Be humbled by your lack of powers, rather than build up nonsense of thinking you know where to scratch someone's back where its itchiest or flying in your dreams.

I'm a pretty die-hard Buddhist, so I don't really care about this debate.
But you must admit, the world would beat a path to your door if you could get together a group of yogis who could demonstrate these powers in a scientifically convincing way. If successful, the legitimacy this project would lend to your teachings and the enormous audience it would introduce them to makes it seem like just about the most meritorious project anyone on the planet could be working on at the moment.


You're not a very good die-hard buddhist if you think showing off powers would lead to enormous merit and would lead people to enlightenment. The gross nature of the desire for powers would not be a natural link to the right sort of practice that would destroy fetters. Imagine the person sitting on the ground cross legged, imagine what would be in their mind, "quick, come on, lets get some enlightenment, lets get some abilities...come on mind, quick, lets get some fruits and powers, this will be great! I can help all the starving people in the world, I can materialise a billion bananas a minute for all those starving africans, why has no one done this before, this is great!!!"

A few minutes later they would give up, not being able to attain any sort of concentration that could lead to jhana. That was only a practical evaluation of your scenario, and not to do with the buddhist texts. Why do you think gautum forbade his people to show powers? Why do you think you know better than him? In the tens of thousands of years of human civilisation, why has no god-man with amazing jhanic powers conquered the world? Because the kind of clearness approaching the level of powers would have a clearness regarding other things. It is not some lucky coincidence that powers exist and they are not wildly used and abused.

Anyway don't get excited, Daniel hasn't any supernormal powers to show. If he had powers he wouldnt be begging for money on his website,
That said, if you just happened to be completely loaded (say $10,000,000+ range), overwhelmed with gratitude for my book or some email, and can't be talked out of giving me some huge chunk of change that you can easily afford, alright, you win... ;)
Yeah, the arahant with superpowers who wants money. Why not materialise what you need? And no, his sleeping dreams surprisingly don't count.


To the OP, what were you looking to get out of the book? If you are still on the level of pure materialism, as the hindus say, the lowest chakra, then why are you even reading the book. You're a materialist remember? Just ink on a page. The mind is the brain cells. Existence is some kind of accident in the uncaring universe. You're a materialist right? Food and sex are good and then you die. Let's colonise the whole universe using science although there is no real meaning to it. Yeah, cool. Let's put nanomachines into our blood that provides constant heroin-like pleasure, but with a clear mind. Yeah, go materialism!! Aaah the wonders of science, the savior of mankind.

The answer is not on a plate for you in the conventional sense. But the big joke is, it is. Attain jhana. People on the a&p may well be very deluded but they have gone at least beyond materialism.




I have been doing jhana meditation for the last year and have attained many fruitions on deeper and deeper levels. Ones where the sky rains petals. In the last few months I have built up to six hours a day. I have not attained release from the final five fetters yet but I am close. I see people floundering here and on the kenneth folk forum. People who consider forty minutes a "long sit". These people are never going to attain arahantship in this lifetime. Buddha did not teach dry insight, it is extremely perverse and overly difficult, I would not be surprised if Buddha classified it as extreme asceticism.

THE FETTERS ARE REAL The seeds of sexual desire and ill will can be burned out! Then you are an anagamin. You can still have sex if you feel it is the right thing to do, and you can still go through the motions of anger because the body and the human realm is made out of gross karmas. The fetter system is extremely good and true.
It may seem I am upset with Daniel Ingram in this post but I have no ill will at all. ill will is a part of wrong view which, simply, I have seen through. The purpose of my writing on this forum is to lead people toward what is best, away from wrong view of which there is bucketloads on this and other websites and forums.

I am not some kind of saint though. An anagamin is scum, really. Gross desires such as a rebirth in extremely pleasant circumstances is disgusting, but I have not destroyed it yet. When one can see existence in context, after arahantship, and after attaining the powers, they will then be long past even wanting to display them, it's as simple as that.

Everything Daniel writes about wanting to combine the scientific method and enlightenment is purely and simply a wrong view which he will not relinquish. There would always be a 'can not follow' moment, between an enlightened man explaining something, and a regular person listening. Say there is some scientifically controlled experiment to take place. A fully enlightened man capable of conjuring a flame in the air and is going to do it infront of scientists.
Ok, the test happened, lets analyse the data. The flame appeared here.....consumed the resources of so and so...bla bla bla...

What comes next? Nothing can. A new theory maybe. But the materialist observer can never move beyond the effects and the results, they are always on the back foot. Buddha was a good talker and explainer, but he had limits. The 'unanswerable questions' are not really unanswerable, but would require the sort of mad speech that would never even evade the fact that every listener would fall into a trap someplace. I am not going to try and use the gross matter of language to do what buddha didnt bother doing.

I am just writing to counter the nonsense that is being said. If I was an arahant and destroyed the fetter of restlessness,I wouldnt bother. And when it happens, I wont.

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RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 4:16 PM as a reply to burgundian jew.
Burgundian, you are obviously way more die-hard than me. Serious concession, not sarcasm. I'm curious, have you ordained yet? If not, why?

That is a back foot which any materialist observer would love to be on. If the data inexorably led to arational practices as the route to power and control over the material universe, that would be totally wild and exciting. I don't think your speculation about how people would respond to convincing demonstrations has been properly tested. The closest analogy I can think of is martial arts, which does lead to a lot of self-aggrandizing BS, but also leads a lot of otherwise unreachable people into serious spiritual practice.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 4:28 PM as a reply to fivebells ..
fivebells .:
Lame. What are you writing MCTB2 for? emoticon


To hand them the better part of what I know so they can go do things elsewhere, as it clearly says in the Foreword and Warning of MCTB1 (and MCTB2), and to refer them to plenty of other good sources, good places to practice, good teachers, good techniques, good communities, and the like. I am writing MCTB2 so it will be even better at that, as people asked questions that I then had to answer, so clearly it would be better if the answer were there, and people gave feedback about parts of it they thought could accomplish those tasks better, so I am trying to work on that. I am actively trying to outsource myself.

Interestingly, when I came out of my little life down here in the Dharma Diaspora and went to BCBS at the Contemplative Development Mapping Project just recently, the overwhelming critique I got was that I was way too isolated, didn't show my head nearly enough, and should start being more available. I still see a lot of downsides to that, but perhaps they are right in some measure.

If I had any interest in having a great number of people beating a path to my door, I would have set my life up very, very differently, advertise very, very differently, live somewhere other than where I do, spend much of my time doing totally different things from what I do, etc.

@BJ: wow, there was a lot in that post. I am not sure where to start, but I was wondering if you might be interested in talking sometime, as I get the sense that something is getting lost in translation. Skype sometime? Skype name: daniel m ingram without the spaces. Let me know.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 4:35 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
And that's all fine, but the book would reach a much wider audience and hence help more people if its magickal claims were established on an irrefutable, repeatable empirical basis.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 5:20 PM as a reply to burgundian jew.
9/10 would skim again

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 5:44 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Ray,

Nearly everone that I have discussed the subject with has had some experience of precognition or clairvoyance in their life. Why does this have to be supernatural or mystical. If you search this site I have spoken of my experiences training in china and put up videos of my sigung demostrating telekonis and lighting fires with his mind. This was just a small sample of what I recorded among other things he demostrated. His training was well structured mapped out with milestones that you could map your progress with. But this type of training is monastic and your looking at 10 to 20 years of dedicated training. If you wanted public demostration search these people out like I did.

"violating the laws of physics"
I have degrees in Physics and Mathematical Science and do not know of any Laws of Physics that this type of activity is violating.

I suggest you believe nothing and discover the truth through your own investigations. Maps of the progression of Insight have been well defined for 2000yrs. If you put in the practice you will be able to discern for yourself whether there is more to the perceived reality then what is generally accepted

You've already started lining up your experience thru meditation with these maps, doesnt that start to validate them?

enjoy your day
Jeff

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 7:55 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:


@ CCC: Ok. Short sentences. Simple readers. Got it. Advice: Avoid Dickens. Read Hemingway.

All joking about your comprehension level aside, I went back through that sentence carefully and looked for places where the standard rules of American grammar would require commas, semicolons or full-stops (periods). I find none. I agree, the sentences is long. Please inform me of where you would add these additional marks of punctuation, as I don't find that the rules as I learned them dictate that it needs them. Oh, yes, BA in English Literature should be added to the list.


BA in English Lit from the Upstairs Hollywood Literature Studies Center!! Most respected editors would cringe at that sentence. emoticon

Here's my edited version:

You seem to be casting aspersions. There are people who have paid very careful attention to reality and have performed the necessary experiments. The result of such experimenting is the discovery of a set sequence of extremely predictable and mappable insights. Do the experiments yourself. You might find that your baseline perception of reality comes into alignment with what multiple scientific branches teach about the nature of reality. May I suggest looking into the question of why you would doubt that enlightenment is possible?

It's easy, it flows, it makes sense. Most of all it is free of that heaviness and rapid-fire density that is the hallmark of your writing style.

Your audience will shrink to a tiny fraction of what it might be otherwise if your stuff isn't edited. It took me a good 5 minutes to do that one paragraph without losing any meaning. Imagine a whole book!

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 7:59 PM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C:
Daniel M. Ingram:


@ CCC: Ok. Short sentences. Simple readers. Got it. Advice: Avoid Dickens. Read Hemingway.

All joking about your comprehension level aside, I went back through that sentence carefully and looked for places where the standard rules of American grammar would require commas, semicolons or full-stops (periods). I find none. I agree, the sentences is long. Please inform me of where you would add these additional marks of punctuation, as I don't find that the rules as I learned them dictate that it needs them. Oh, yes, BA in English Literature should be added to the list.


BA in English Lit from the Upstairs Hollywood Literature Studies Center!! Most respected editors would cringe at that sentence. emoticon

Here's my edited version:

You seem to be casting aspersions. There are people who have paid very careful attention to reality and have performed the necessary experiments. The result of such experimenting is the discovery of a set sequence of extremely predictable and mappable insights. Do the experiments yourself. You might find that your baseline perception of reality comes into alignment with what multiple scientific branches teach about the nature of reality. May I suggest looking into the question of why you would doubt that enlightenment is possible?

It's easy, it flows, it makes sense. Most of all it is free of that heaviness and rapid-fire density that is the hallmark of your writing style.

Your audience will shrink to a tiny fraction of what it might be otherwise if your stuff isn't edited. It took me a good 5 minutes to do that one paragraph without losing any meaning. Imagine a whole book!


As an english language teacher, i would have given you a lot of red marks too, daniel. It looks like a chilean wrote it (they seem to write never ending sentences seperated by commas only). No full stops to be seen for a whole paragraph. I think it is more acceptable in spanish (where i taught in chile at least). A nightmare to mark.
:-)

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/7/13 4:20 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
As an english language teacher, i would have given you a lot of red marks too, daniel. It looks like a chilean wrote it (they seem to write never ending sentences seperated by commas only). No full stops to be seen for a whole paragraph. I think it is more acceptable in spanish (where i taught in chile at least). A nightmare to mark. :-)


Sentences are a bit longer in spanish because of the language structure, in fact latin languages. Given a somewhat formal text (not slang), you can change (replace) word for word a sentence in spanish into portuguese, italian or french, with almost 100% accuracy.

I could say that long sentences are seen in my country as "manipulative", that you don't leave space/silence for the listeners to apply critical thinking. But Daniel's writing style is rather energetic, not emotional, he's speaking to a rational audience, so the manipulative label really doesn't apply.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 10:35 PM as a reply to Ray Mall.
Can anyone actually show me xman powers?


I've had some very bizarre experiences through meditation. The most reality-bending account of them is written in a post I wrote here.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3485413

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/6/13 11:01 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nik, you're perfectly placed to do some proof reading of the draft. You understand dharma in detail, so none of the subtleties of Daniel's work will be lost in editing (a non-dharma editor could ruin it if allowed). When that's completed, the work could be handed to a professional editor for the purpose of making it pleasant to read. Visual layout, chapter progression, sub-headings, comprehensive indexing...all useful things. Meaning gets lost without this extra work going into it.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/7/13 3:19 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
@CCC: your rewrite is quite good, actually. Nicely done. I am definitely up for someone helping to edit the book so long as they are not too heavy-handed. Let me know who is up for that and when I get close I will send a copy along.

I do recall my Dickens, however, who was not insane. He was considered a good writer, I believe.

I quote one of his more famous passages, the opening lines to Our Mutual Friend:

"In these times of ours, though concerning the exact year there is no need to be precise, a boat of dirty and disreputable appearance, with two figures in it, floated on the Thames, between Southwark bridge which is of iron, and London Bridge which is of stone, as an autumn evening was closing in. The figures in this boat were those of a strong man with ragged grizzled hair and a sun-browned face, and a dark girl of nineteen or twenty, sufficiently like him to be recognizable as his daughter. The girl rowed, pulling a pair of sculls very easily; the man, with the rudder-lines slack in his hands, and his hands loose in his waistband, kept an eager look out. He had no net, hook, or line, and he could not be a fisherman; his boat had no cushion for a sitter, no paint, no inscription, no appliance beyond a rusty boathook and a coil of rope, and he could not be a waterman; his boat was too crazy and too small to take in cargo for delivery, and he could not be a lighterman or river-carrier; there was no clue to what he looked for, but he looked for something, with a most intent and searching gaze."

Or this classic:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." Reminds me of this forum at times...

It is about as long as my sentence and it does convey that there are those who are thought to be masters of the craft that do go on and on and on in sentences and somehow got away with it.

I was hoping to hear from BJ, but perhaps he hasn't checked back in.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/7/13 5:35 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I would love to pick over an advance copy, and could definitely help improve its readability.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/7/13 5:40 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
@sawfoot: How would you, the skeptical materialist, define the main goal? I actually agree with part of the skeptic's critique, as Tart does reject causality and biology, as he finds they lead to the notion of a mechanistic, causal, impersonal universe. I not only believe scientifically in a mechanistic, causal, impersonal universe, I experience this as my baseline way of perceiving reality, something that took following standard techniques for doing so. Thus, while I disagree with his notion that individual primacy must be maintained for meaning and for a good life, I agree with his notion that there simply are effects beyond what many scientific materialists would consider "real".



I can't say very much about "the goal" but "my goal" is nebulous and shifting. If pushed, I would say something like a radical or substantial shift in my baseline experience of reality and my sense of self.

From what I recall the powers section in the MCTB 1 was well done - it discussed these experiences with brevity but made no greater claims to their reality. I am curious to see the new version, but my concern is that if you take them too seriously (in print) then you could come off as a kook, anti-scientific, risk alienating some readers and lead them to cast greater doubt on other things you say.

RE: wait wat? c'mon guys wtf?
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6/7/13 5:46 AM as a reply to burgundian jew.
Daniel, there will be someone somewhere in the World who is right for this job. I'd go for a journalist myself, maybe a science journalist. Journalists have to cut to the chase and make their writing easily digestible to a wide audience. Of course you'd need someone who also has a thorough understanding of all things dharma. Such a person would exist. You have the contacts - someone will come forward.

burgundian jew:

I have been doing jhana meditation for the last year and have attained many fruitions on deeper and deeper levels. Ones where the sky rains petals.


Can you expand on this please?

Also, I'd like to hear what steps you take to enter jhanas1-4. Do you use Kenneth's "chicken herding" method by any chance?