The Affective Path and the Maps - EDIT: "AF" and Maps

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Janusz Welin, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 8:12 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/7/13 3:44 PM

The Affective Path and the Maps - EDIT: "AF" and Maps

Posts: 18 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
EDIT: After getting some answers, I realized that my question was related the relationship between Insight path and the "Actual Freedom" material and how emotion relates to maps. That said, I'm still interested in input. ;)

(First, I'm new, so if I mess up some protocol, just let me know. I'm somewhere between the dark-night and equanimity so please forgive the ramble. I'll try to be concise.)

My teachers, George Haas and Shinzen Young (both in the lineage of Bill Hamilton) have had me working towards stream entry, along with other goals along the way.

What is interesting is that they both emphasize noting and exploring affect as an integral part of the practice.

So, here is my 'question:' I find that I am somewhere between the dark-night and equanimity (I fell into what seemed very much like equanimity after a retreat but i was only able to stay there for an hour or so.)

Shinzen's version of noting arisings and passings is actually to really nail arisings in every sense gate and then just note passings. He calls it 'Just Note Gone,' and he speaks about getting a sense of the 'flavor' of Gone (passing), to find it in everything and to follow that all the way to stream entry.

So what's the issue? I find that as I do this, I can create this giant field of "Gone" throughout my whole experience. In fact, arising itself seems to hold a tear-drop of passing within it even form when I fist perceive it. Ok... fine. No issue there. But at some point, emotion seems to kind of, stand in the way of everything being Gone (cessation)...

Another Shinzen technical note: he has pointed out that emotion in response to the current experience of the world tends to take place on the surface of the body and has a Jhanic flow/ quality. (My theory is that current emotion rides Jhanic energy like a surfboard...) However, old emotions (current emotions from the past that we suppressed and which have accumulated) tend to be experienced deeper in the body, they tend to hold a consistent location. They tend to organize around the central meridian of the body and at first, they tend to have a contractive quality, like a charlie-horse.

So, when I refer to emotions seeming to stand in the way, it's old contractive emotion.

"So just note it's arising and passing" you say... Well, first, it does not seem to operate by the same vibratory rules that most senses seem to go by where you can detect the frequency of the perception of arising and passing.

But, being familiar with the "flavor" of Gone, I am able to detect their quality of passing, even if it is below conscious awareness. If I do this consistently enough, the experience of the contrastive emotion seems to become lighter and lighter until the old emotion feels like it has slowly become feather light and paper thin, like a very light shell of the shape of the old emotion... Yet these strands also seem to restrain this broad downward movement somehow...

Anyway, I'm aware that this is the zone where confusion reigns, so I'm happy to hear if I should ignore this and move in a different direction or just keep going or whatever.

I suppose my broader question is for another section of DhO, but Daniel described two different axes of insight, one along the perceptual path (vibrational perception etc.) and one that he is more recently working on along the affective axis. Is there a discussion about the similarities and differences between these two courses?
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sawfoot _, modified 8 Years ago at 12/7/13 4:08 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/7/13 4:08 PM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 507 Join Date: 3/11/13 Recent Posts
welcome, janusz.

What is affect anyway? What is an emotion? Is it just a learned perception of the state of body? If so, I don't obviously see how those paths are distinct.
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Janusz Welin, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 12:05 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 12:05 AM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 18 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
Well, I would have thought the same thing. However, in Daniel's video talk at the Cheetah House he talks about them being two distinct directions of inquiry. It is also my experience that, at least what I'm calling old emotion seems to operate by some kind of different rules than other sense phenomenon. From what I have experienced, vision, internal imagery, audio, internal audio, body sensation and current emotion are all trackable the way one can track a ball tossed up and returning down, although the vibrational rates seem to be at differing frequencies.

Despite my paltry skills, I keep finding that the work very differently around somatically held emotion.

That said, if Daniel I. is on the line, I am totally down to hear any thoughts you might have on the subject. (I know you're loath to respond when not directly summoned. emoticon )
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(D Z) Dhru Val, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 3:17 AM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 3:16 AM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 346 Join Date: 9/18/11 Recent Posts
Janusz Welin:

Another Shinzen technical note: he has pointed out that emotion in response to the current experience of the world tends to take place on the surface of the body and has a Jhanic flow/ quality. (My theory is that current emotion rides Jhanic energy like a surfboard...) However, old emotions (current emotions from the past that we suppressed and which have accumulated) tend to be experienced deeper in the body, they tend to hold a consistent location. They tend to organize around the central meridian of the body and at first, they tend to have a contractive quality, like a charlie-horse.

So, when I refer to emotions seeming to stand in the way, it's old contractive emotion.

"So just note it's arising and passing" you say... Well, first, it does not seem to operate by the same vibratory rules that most senses seem to go by where you can detect the frequency of the perception of arising and passing.


The contractive feeling in the central median of the body, can persist without surface affective emotion. In my experience it can just be pain with no grasping.

It does tie into past emotional issues somehow. But at a more basic level it is just grasping at a reference point and imputation of self.


Janusz Welin:

"So just note it's arising and passing" you say... Well, first, it does not seem to operate by the same vibratory rules that most senses seem to go by where you can detect the frequency of the perception of arising and passing.


If we are talking about the same thing, then it seems a little odd that you can perceive this at all pre-stream entry.

It is too 'fast' to investigate with noting, but insight can be had.

The trick is to understand that sensations are self-perceiving. One sensation doesn't perceive another.

Once you get to a certain point, noting or other activity is just adding more sensations.

The new sensations are distracting you from realizing that insight is implicit in all sensation.

Here is a more detailed article...
http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.ca/2011/10/yogi-experiment-riding-wave.html

This one is also related...

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.ca/2012/10/appreciation-khemaka-sutta.html
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Janusz Welin, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 12:23 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 11:26 AM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 18 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
D Z:

If we are talking about the same thing, then it seems a little odd that you can perceive this at all pre-stream entry.


I guess that might be a big "if..." But I'll guess that time and more conversation may tell...

D Z:
The contractive feeling in the central median of the body, can persist without surface affective emotion. In my experience it can just be pain with no grasping.


I was hit with a lot of 'life stuff' recently so I've had a greater chance to explore these interactions in detail. I'm starting to feel that these emotional centers are literally physical contractions which are developed over time by physical aversion to surface/ current emotion. Like a muscle held tight for years, they are unlikely to release simply by relaxing. This is less of a metaphor than precisely what seems to be occurring.

D Z:

If we are talking about the same thing, then it seems a little odd that you can perceive this at all pre-stream entry.


Mainly through process of elimination and following hunches after the A/P, I realized that these experiences are vibrating so fast that even machine-gun speed noting is too slow:


So, it was by looking for the 'flavor of Gone' that has made noting these experiences possible, and has made these experiences transform under the weight of the awareness.

*Assuming that Daniel Ingram's concept of there being numerous different axes of growth and emotion being one of them, does anyone know what the name of the affective path and if there are maps for that. From what I gathered from DI's talk, these two are as different as samatha and vipassana jhanas, but I could be mistaken.

Thanks for the links. I'll check them out. HamiltonProject looks interesting too.

PS - Does anyone know how to set up email notifications so I know when there are responses to posts? I'm missing something.

EDIT: Ok, after a bit of hunting I realize that my above question* is simply about the "Actual Freedom" movement. So, that question is answered. Thx
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Dream Walker, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 4:08 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 4:08 PM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 1448 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Janusz Welin:
So, here is my 'question:'

Shinzen's version of noting arisings and passings is actually to really nail arisings in every sense gate and then just note passings. He calls it 'Just Note Gone,' and he speaks about getting a sense of the 'flavor' of Gone (passing), to find it in everything and to follow that all the way to stream entry.

So what's the issue? I find that as I do this, I can create this giant field of "Gone" throughout my whole experience. In fact, arising itself seems to hold a tear-drop of passing within it even form when I fist perceive it. Ok... fine. No issue there. But at some point, emotion seems to kind of, stand in the way of everything being Gone (cessation)...

First of all stop "I can create this giant field of "Gone"....stop creating anything.Notice what is already happening. Notice that everything/sensation has a distinct starting point of when you first notice them, then they get slightly clearer before they pass away and the next sensation starts. The whole point of this is that they are NOT Permanent. Have you been creating a perminate gone? Well stop it if so. Between each moment of the fading of one sensation and the start of the next is the place you will find the cessation....you can't create it. You will attend with dilligence and focus and see the moments after the fading and into the gone and then BAM.

Janusz Welin:

Another Shinzen technical note: he has pointed out that emotion in response to the current experience of the world tends to take place on the surface of the body and has a Jhanic flow/ quality. (My theory is that current emotion rides Jhanic energy like a surfboard...) However, old emotions (current emotions from the past that we suppressed and which have accumulated) tend to be experienced deeper in the body, they tend to hold a consistent location. They tend to organize around the central meridian of the body and at first, they tend to have a contractive quality, like a charlie-horse.

So, when I refer to emotions seeming to stand in the way, it's old contractive emotion.

"So just note it's arising and passing" you say... Well, first, it does not seem to operate by the same vibratory rules that most senses seem to go by where you can detect the frequency of the perception of arising and passing.

But, being familiar with the "flavor" of Gone, I am able to detect their quality of passing, even if it is below conscious awareness. If I do this consistently enough, the experience of the contrastive emotion seems to become lighter and lighter until the old emotion feels like it has slowly become feather light and paper thin, like a very light shell of the shape of the old emotion... Yet these strands also seem to restrain this broad downward movement somehow...

Anyway, I'm aware that this is the zone where confusion reigns, so I'm happy to hear if I should ignore this and move in a different direction or just keep going or whatever.

I suppose my broader question is for another section of DhO, but Daniel described two different axes of insight, one along the perceptual path (vibrational perception etc.) and one that he is more recently working on along the affective axis. Is there a discussion about the similarities and differences between these two courses?

This emotional stuff is very interesting and it sounds like you are experiencing some interesting stuff. On the body vs. in the body for depth of emotion, vibratory rules, lightening the emotions, movement of emotions etc. I think it's fantastic...is it helping you in any way? I hope so as I too would like to find an emotional practice to add to my metta practice especially how to deal with negative emotions beside just stop feeding them of course.
Here is the link to Daniels experiments with Actual Freedom If you have not found it so far.
I would say that Insite/vipassana practice and emotional/affect practises are on different axis of development. They of course touch in places and affect each other as with anything in the mind. I would recommend that you seperate the two practices and work on Insite clearly and cleanly. I would also work on the Brahma Viharas Get your ability to love/kindness/happiness to increase in size, speed, volume, throughput etc.
Good luck
~D
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Janusz Welin, modified 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 5:56 PM
Created 8 Years ago at 12/8/13 5:56 PM

RE: The Affective Path and the Maps

Posts: 18 Join Date: 12/7/13 Recent Posts
Thanks DW.
Dream Walker:
First of all stop "I can create this giant field of "Gone"....stop creating anything.


Yeah, "creating" is the wrong word. I would say that by perceiving the passing of each experience instant by instant, the degree to which these make up self is zero, or close to zero (I'm assuming that if any of them reached true-zero, I would cease utterly.) So it is almost like a negative field of not, or all that is not. It feels like "not" is pouring through my existence, or existence is pouring away and the pouring is "not". Like "not" has an epic gravity and the "field of Gone" I mentioned is the degree to which I experience this.

The "creating" I spoke of is referring to my efforting to not effort; to not cling in each instance, everywhere across my experience.

While full of contradiction, I hope that makes a bit more sense.

Dream Walker:
I too would like to find an emotional practice to add to my metta practice especially how to deal with negative emotions


George Haas has a pretty amazing course called "A Meaningful Life." He uses insight and metta (he does an insight/ metta hybrid too.)

For Metta:
• Internal Imaging: the body in it's current position
• Internal Talk: metta phrase, or adjusted metta phrase which has more "juice" for you.
* Emotionally: hold awareness in current emotion (effervescent/ on surface of body). Create positive affect if you can.

This changes a fair amount if you are doing metta for self of others etc. but that is a basic formulation.

Insight:
There are too many to detail here. Drop him a line. Metta Group

But, he uses two main themes: 1. using objective labels and measures for old emotion (held deeper in the body, often contractive flavor). 2. he uses themes from Attachment Theory to help students unpack their afflictive emotion. His whole program is about how to best integrate the warm/ fuzzy side of Dharma with the hardcore side. If you're interested, let me know and I'll go on or PM you. Don't want to go too far down tangent street.

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