Zen and Vipassana : Identification and non-Identification

Tomer Boyarski, modified 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 4:01 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 4:01 AM

Zen and Vipassana : Identification and non-Identification

Posts: 31 Join Date: 10/10/13 Recent Posts
these are two posts from my practice log in 'awakenetwork'. sorry If it's a little unedited and messy:

it's been well over a year now since I first heard of people doing practices like looking at candle flames and experiencing things like becoming the candle flame and it was a few monthes ago that i really started to wonder how it is that i didn't get such experiences in spite of what i thought was good quality high quantity practice. The answer was that long after i started expanding my practice from my original Mahasi background and even after the newer influences, like Shinzen, seemed to become more or at least equally dominant, there was still a trate of non-indentification (or NoSelf, to use a more common term) wraped up inside my mindfulness. This idea, that 'whatever i observe is not me, is not the observer', was a big part of my Mahasi training and became a centeral part in the way I intuited or 'felt' what mindfulness is, when was I really doing it right and when I was not. realizing all of this, I also realized the flip side, that I could integrate mindfulness with identification, eso I started have cool, fun, interesting, deep experiences of becoming stuff: apples, walls, emotions, the sky... everything I wanted! Certainly this is bringing flexibility into the sense of self. I believe this is also leading me in the direction of nonDual awareness. this is sort of 'mini nonDuality'. Not the great nonDuality of myself with everything at once, but rather only one thing at a time, but it's a start, and it feels like I'm going in the right direction. More theoretically, and with the risk of sounding grand, I believe this is the difference between Vipassana and Tao~Zen style mindfulness: identifying vs. non-indentifying.


here is what i'm interested in: when you focus on an object, be it for a very long or very short period of time, do you experience 'becoming' that object, 'unbecoming' that object, neither, or this whole terminology just doesn't mean a thing to you? other possible wording: identification increasing/decreasing/not changing. typical vipassana example: I am in Pain (physical or emotional) -> I have Pain -> there is Pain = process of identification reducing. typical Zen example: There is me and there is a wall -> I am connected to the wall -> I am the wall = process of identification reducing.
M N, modified 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 4:48 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 4:30 AM

RE: Zen and Vipassana : Identification and non-Identification

Posts: 210 Join Date: 3/3/12 Recent Posts

I've come to similar conclusions, as far as the differences between vipassana and zen are concerned.

I think that what you call mini-non duality is what in MCTB is called a unitive experience, except that Daniel uses it mostly to refer to hightly concentrated formless states. So, zen unity, mahasi duality and enlightnment non-duality.

There has also been a time where I used to play with unification with different things, with some kind of bent towards the observation of impermanence, as in, "Let's see if I can detect how every moemnt I'm unified with some slightly different object in a slightly different way". This used to lead in a very short time to wonderful experiences of deep well-being; I still can do that, but for some reason I'm not so interested, in this period I'm inclined toward different things.

As far as the question goes: if I focus on an object, it might happen that there are sensations around the third eye that seems to imply "me becoming that object"; if I observe them there is classical duality between me vs object and third eye sensations, if I don't there is a plaesent, mildly concentrated unitive state.



If you are playing around with these things, you might try to look for Kenneth Folk's second gear, where you get identified with the witness and wait there until you drop into non-duality
Tomer Boyarski, modified 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 10:32 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 10/14/13 10:32 PM

RE: Zen and Vipassana : Identification and non-Identification

Posts: 31 Join Date: 10/10/13 Recent Posts
dear mario,
you don't know how happy I am to read your reply.
It is quite hard for me to find people who can understand me and are interested in similar things. what you wrote about: 'play with unification with different things' - I did that too.
I'd love to share with you some more of my explorations.
if you're interested, feel free to contact me:
skype: tomer.boyarski
email: tomer_b_t@yahoo.com
with metta from israel emoticon