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I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 12/21/13 12:45 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 1:28 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 1:31 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 3:45 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 3:08 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 3:39 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 5:18 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 5:27 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 5:35 PM
RE: I-making Daniel M. Ingram 1/13/14 12:30 AM
RE: I-making Banned For waht? 1/13/14 6:47 AM
RE: I-making Felipe C. 12/22/13 10:53 AM
RE: I-making sawfoot _ 12/21/13 1:45 PM
RE: I-making Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/21/13 3:36 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 3:48 PM
RE: I-making sawfoot _ 12/21/13 4:09 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 4:44 PM
RE: I-making Nikolai . 12/21/13 5:07 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 1:46 PM
RE: I-making Richard Zen 12/21/13 2:45 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 12/21/13 4:33 PM
RE: I-making Ian And 12/22/13 9:00 PM
RE: I-making Dream Walker 12/22/13 3:33 AM
RE: I-making sawfoot _ 12/22/13 11:08 AM
RE: I-making Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 12/22/13 11:47 AM
RE: I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 12/22/13 5:07 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 12/22/13 6:18 PM
RE: I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 12/22/13 9:03 PM
RE: I-making Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/22/13 6:12 PM
RE: I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 12/25/13 2:13 PM
RE: I-making Psi 12/22/13 11:39 PM
RE: I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 1/8/14 4:07 AM
RE: I-making . Jake . 1/8/14 9:34 AM
RE: I-making Stian Gudmundsen Høiland 1/12/14 1:57 AM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/12/14 2:43 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/12/14 5:10 PM
RE: I-making Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/12/14 10:12 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/13/14 4:34 AM
RE: I-making Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/14 11:05 AM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/13/14 1:16 PM
RE: I-making Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 1/13/14 2:05 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/13/14 3:31 PM
RE: I-making Pål S. 1/14/14 4:34 AM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/14/14 7:53 PM
RE: I-making Jane Laurel Carrington 1/15/14 10:20 AM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/16/14 10:30 PM
RE: I-making J C 1/27/14 5:28 PM
RE: I-making John Wilde 1/13/14 4:16 PM
I-making
Answer
12/21/13 12:45 PM
Friends,

I would like to ask for help.

For the benefit of myself, those who participate and anyone else who may read this thread,

I would like to initiate this discussion with the explicit intent of devising or uncovering empowering and useful methods directly related to the abeyance and cessation of the subject of this thread.

I do not know for certain to what extent fulfilling the above intent may provide relief, release.

Maybe the subject is quite idiosyncratic and therefor quite useless for most people.

Maybe the subject is quite novice and therefor quite useless for advanced practitioners.

In any case, may the discussion proceed with heedful avoidance of the unnecessary problems of fixedly identifying the referents of words, beliefs and concepts, and instead encourage speech that is relaxed, open, fluid and playful—free from the style of expression of intellect called papañca.

Having thus suggesting the tone for this inquiry, let's get this party started!

Pervasiveness of the subject

I try to be wary of the recurrence of themes in my mind. I do this in an attempt to diminish confirmation bias.

But the subject of this thread has become enormously encompassing for me, to the point where I suspect that it is directly embedded in the totality of ignorance-as-the-primary-cause-of-dukkha.

Because of this pervasiveness, it is not trivial to find a starting point for discussing it.

I encourage full-on brainstorming. Please share your experiences and related methods pertaining to the subject.

Below are some tentative headers that I endeavour to expand. Hopefully they will help to clarify the subject so that efficient methods leading to its swift abeyance and cessation may be discussed.


Attention: an entry point

Small mind: a prism

Ignore-ance: bias & selectiveness

Objectification & inherent existence

Grasping & clinging: sustenance, food

Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing

Perception & mental signs

Contextualization & measurement: where Quantum Mechanics meets the Dhamma?

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 1:28 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

Attention: an entry point

This helps cut off the narratives but the attention itself and consciousness can be an object of narrative as well.

Small mind: a prism

Not sure what you mean about this. The "little self" as in self-referencing?

Ignore-ance: bias & selectiveness

John Peacock - Dependent Origination Part I

I like how John Peacock points out that ignorance isn't just lack of knowledge but also not wanting to know.

Objectification & inherent existence

Anatta explains this well. The fact that the 5 aggregates are impermanent means nothing can be kept so no "I".

Grasping & clinging: sustenance, food

Relax the body and the mental fabrications.

Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing

Notice the pain when this is happening.

Perception & mental signs

The Five Aggregates book by Boisvert links the aggregates to dependent origination with perception.

Consciousness
Mind and matter
Sense doors
Contact
Vedana
Perception
Craving
Clinging
Becoming

This is why hanging out in vedana is quite good in Advaita practice. To go further you have to have lots of momentum of letting go of clinging so consciousness has nothing to rest on.

Contextualization & measurement: where Quantum Mechanics meets the Dhamma?

I have no idea about this and wonder about what we can do about this if we can even do anything. If I can't sense let alone manipulate sub-atomic particles then we are on the realm of speculation and I don't think this is needed to get results but more to satisfy curiosity.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 1:31 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 3:45 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?


I like to look at everything i post and see any tendency that may be trying to represent some aspect of 'me' . What is trying to be conveyed to other assumed i-makers so that there is support for this sense of i-making here. I also like to read and see what aspect that 'me' lunges onto, whether it is in liking or not liking what i read and why. There are a plethora of very obvious i-making moments in action when such situations crop up. Here above is one example of my own. And maybe some folllow up responses to what i posted by other i-makers will follow.

First step is to recognise there is i-making. Then to recognise the cause for the arising of i-making and then recognition of the cause for cessation of i-making. But first step is recognising i-making, which i assume can be extremely obvious and/or extremely refined and subtle for many of us.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/ptf/dhamma/sacca/


Edit: the first was an agenda driven post to bring up I-making right then and now.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 1:45 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?


Way to second off this thread with a negative stab Nikolai. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did if feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?

I think we all need some time and space to heal...

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 1:46 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

Attention: an entry point

This helps cut off the narratives but the attention itself and consciousness can be an object of narrative as well.

Small mind: a prism

Not sure what you mean about this. The "little self" as in self-referencing?

Ignore-ance: bias & selectiveness

John Peacock - Dependent Origination Part I

I like how John Peacock points out that ignorance isn't just lack of knowledge but also not wanting to know.

Objectification & inherent existence

Anatta explains this well. The fact that the 5 aggregates are impermanent means nothing can be kept so no "I".

Grasping & clinging: sustenance, food

Relax the body and the mental fabrications.

Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing

Notice the pain when this is happening.

Perception & mental signs

The Five Aggregates book by Boisvert links the aggregates to dependent origination with perception.

Consciousness
Mind and matter
Sense doors
Contact
Vedana
Perception
Craving
Clinging
Becoming

This is why hanging out in vedana is quite good in Advaita practice. To go further you have to have lots of momentum of letting go of clinging so consciousness has nothing to rest on.

Contextualization & measurement: where Quantum Mechanics meets the Dhamma?

This I have no idea and worry about what we can do about this if we can even do anything. If I can't sense let alone manipulate sub-atomic particles then we are on the realm of speculation and I don't think this is needed to get results but more to satisfy curiosity.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I dont want to participate in it now. Cause and effect?


It's well deserved and you know it. I don't want that Jared Loughner wannabe with gun talk back here again. Your defence of him is simply because he's your friend but ultimately it just poisoned things further because you're a mod with power to banish.

BTW cause and effect extends to Triplethink so don't skip him as a cause and posit a cause for me. Also pointing out what is skillful versus unskillful as a negative stab reminds me of what Thanissaro was talking about in political correctness. Triplethink's posts SUCKED. Get over it. I actually like your posts much better. Is that too much aversion?

It's okay to say "this is unskillful". It may ruffle your feathers but it's with good intention. I do wish Triplethink well but his stubborness was obvious. He had NO intention to change and doubled down on it more and more.

If he came back and started posting as most people wanted him to, you know the cause and effect would be much better.

Go back and look at his first post that I responded to and see how eager I was to hear from him. Don't think I didn't try.

I want to like him!

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 2:45 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian,

I would like to add one more thing. Views and beliefs:

I think it was Steph S who posted about her Actualism experience (I can't seem to find this post). She talked about how many people still had beliefs and some of them were beliefs about moving from place to place and not keeping a job etc.

How does one not cling to beliefs and still make discernments? When talking to a psychologist about meditation he said to me "Go for it Richard. We like all of that. But don't be a doormat!". So there's this caveat that niggles in the practice. How to be a political Left Wing or Right Wing or Moderate meditator? How to be a Religious vs. Scientific materialist meditator? Some of the dharma talks I listened to where some students were wanting to fight injustice while still practicing, and the advice was to do so with compassion but there must be aversion to the current state of the world before one embarks on activism.

Compassionate Wrath

These all feed into identities of "I-making" and when the discernment necessary comes up (the desire to exercise these beliefs) how does one do this without "I-making"? There must be a solution better than no opinion.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 3:08 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
I understand what you're saying but there's something repressive in not pointing out what one doesn't like.

And yes it did feel good and I have no problem with that once in a while. Earlier on in my practice I was what you could call a door-mat and in society it generally made people walk all over me. I had to speak up and point out what wasn't kosher for me because it did have some positive impact. By saying "I don't like this because...." (because being the most important part)I got a lot more results than "I'm Buddhist therefore I shouldn't complain". I had people literally tempting physical threats because I was an easy target. I then exploded in anger to get them to back off. It worked and was necessary in those instances. Most importantly it was less hypocritical.

So right now for me Compassionate Wrath/Heart Anger along with admitting I have views while at the same time not adding an "I" to it is the only solution I have so far until something better comes along. It's the practicality that's important to me. Nobody in this forum is without views precisely because they vote, make choices and discernments, have theories, have preferences, and spread influence.

There's a point where that motto: "Help ever, hurt never" doesn't ring true. If I help a person with bad behaviour I'm hurting people and if I hurt a person with bad behaviour I'm helping people.

The "happy and harmless" goal of Actualism was another thing that got my craw because how manipulated will you be if you are truly harmless? Sure you won't harm other people but how will you exert your rights? How will you defend yourself? What kind of freedom is that?

I don't expect you have an answer to this question because the article I posted pretty much does. I did hear Shinzen Young say that "you can be pushy" with the practice but I don't have a detailed article from him elaborating on what that means.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 3:36 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?


Way to second off this thread with a negative stab Nikolai. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did if feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?

YES. Thank you. And thanks to Richard Zen also, for "BTW cause and effect extends to Triplethink so don't skip him as a cause and posit a cause for me." Nikolai's post here also reminds me of this post where he posted a quote which he modified to suit his agenda while saying "NOTE: Edited out a word and a sentence to avoid agenda driven posts. Nick" and "Leave agendas at the door or better yet put a question mark above them and ask why?" Indeed if he had only followed his own advice. I fully support any and all efforts to confront hypocrisy and double-standards like this.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 3:39 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
There is no need to justify anything, Richard. I'm experimenting with a different approach today. I don't have any strong feelings about it at all. I saw an opening to bring up a way of starting to recognise I-making seeing as this thread's initial intention is not to justify it but to have

the explicit intent of devising or uncovering empowering and useful methods directly related to the abeyance and cessation of the subject of this thread.


We are all I-makers, and there are many triggers for I-making in daily life let alone reading and interacting in this forum. First step is recognising it.

Apologies for the approach.
Nick

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 3:48 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
sawfoot _:
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?


Way to second off this thread with a negative stab Nikolai. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did if feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?

YES. Thank you. And thanks to Richard Zen also, for "BTW cause and effect extends to Triplethink so don't skip him as a cause and posit a cause for me." Nikolai's post here also reminds me of this post where he posted a quote which he modified to suit his agenda while saying "NOTE: Edited out a word and a sentence to avoid agenda driven posts. Nick" and "Leave agendas at the door or better yet put a question mark above them and ask why?" Indeed if he had only followed his own advice. I fully support any and all efforts to confront hypocrisy and double-standards like this.


As you do obviously have a bone to pick with me perhaps you should start a thread to express why your own views aren't holier than everyone else's.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 4:09 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
sawfoot _:
Nikolai .:
Richard Zen:
First, thanks for making a coherent thread instead of this:

Transporter Deck

I think I-making directly has to do with "Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing".

.


Way to start this thread off with a negative stab richard. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did it feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?


Way to second off this thread with a negative stab Nikolai. I see little urge now to participate in this thread. Cause and effect? And why even post it? Did if feel good? Did it create a sense of something for you?

YES. Thank you. And thanks to Richard Zen also, for "BTW cause and effect extends to Triplethink so don't skip him as a cause and posit a cause for me." Nikolai's post here also reminds me of this post where he posted a quote which he modified to suit his agenda while saying "NOTE: Edited out a word and a sentence to avoid agenda driven posts. Nick" and "Leave agendas at the door or better yet put a question mark above them and ask why?" Indeed if he had only followed his own advice. I fully support any and all efforts to confront hypocrisy and double-standards like this.


As you do obviously have a bone to pick with me perhaps you should start a thread to express why your own views aren't holier than everyone else's.


YES. And let's have a thread complaining about all the people complaining about how horrible it to be around the DhO these days. Oh what fun is heavy dharma.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 4:33 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:

Below are some tentative headers that I endeavour to expand. Hopefully they will help to clarify the subject so that efficient methods leading to its swift abeyance and cessation may be discussed.

Attention: an entry point

Small mind: a prism

Ignore-ance: bias & selectiveness

Objectification & inherent existence

Grasping & clinging: sustenance, food

Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing

Perception & mental signs

Contextualization & measurement: where Quantum Mechanics meets the Dhamma?



Allegiances and animosities. It isn't much of a factor when we look at ourselves in isolation, but it quickly becomes a factor when we interact. It's hard for people to see each other, other than through complex networks of allegiances (to people and/or ideas). I guess that could reasonably be described as I-making... or we-making, or them-making.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 4:44 PM as a reply to sawfoot _.
And now that we have all given good examples of I-making, let's get back to ways too see its collapse. This is one way that works though I don't think I have taken it as far as it could possible go so cannot comment on how far it can go. Worthy of experimentation though.

http://thehamiltonproject.blogspot.com.au/2011/07/
yogi-toolbox-actualizing-jhanas.html?m=1


Posted at same time as john's post above which I'm nodding my head at.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 5:07 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
And then there is the khemaka sutta approach.

And approaches that focus on refining the I-making till the I-making itself is conducively pointed at its own collapse.

And other approaches in looking at what the cause of I-making is which if paid attention to long enough shows its cessation which then leads to the absence of the cause for I-making and thus the absence of I-making.

And perhaps an approach which lends attention to aspects of experience that are nothing to do with I-making in a sense ignoring the I-making processes in favor of that which is not I-making till those I-making processes simply don't have any form to arise.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 5:18 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Is access to the arupa jhanas necessary for stream-entry. I get conflicting answers.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 5:27 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Is access to the arupa jhanas necessary for stream-entry. I get conflicting answers.
my opinion and mine alone

High e = 4th jhana territory
High e has elements of the arupa aspects to disembed or disentangle from such as space, the witness, spacing out in nothingness. Though not full blown samatha jhana, those aspects that leap from 4th jhana territory, if clung to in high e, will present as obstacles to what occurs next. And they can and do occur in high e in my own experience.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/21/13 5:35 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Thanks!

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 9:00 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
You might want to just slow down, relax, and just contemplate the following, which I found quoted a few years ago in a Yahoo Jhanas group. It seemed to me then, as it does now, to hit the nail on the head quite nicely. I've used this guideline in my own practice and have found it to be very accurate. Try it out yourself and SEE if you agree!

"Gelassenheit" <gruenig@t...> wrote:

(1) for the person of little dharma wisdom, the word of criticism cuts
and leaves an impression like a dagger carving into stone. Long
standing pain and resentment ensue, and the pattern is hard to erase.

(2) For the person of moderate wisdom, the word of criticism cuts and
leaves and impression like a dagger carving into wet sand. It is painful
but easier to erase.

(3) For the person of higher wisdom, the word of criticism cuts and
leaves an impression like a dagger cutting through water. It meets
little resistance, hurts less and erases itself.

(4) For the person of highest wisdom, the word of criticism cuts and
leaves an impression like a dagger moving through empty space. It
makes no impact and leaves no trace.

There is no single method, nor anything magical, for seeing and being able to diffuse the I-Me-My-making. It just depends upon how one has set up their mind to perceive things.

Are you watching your reactions directly to see the arising of vedana, mind states, and dhammas, as it asks in the Satipatthana Suttas? Are you aware of the ego raising its head when someone makes mention of you?

Each individual mind makes its own associations and reactions to associations. Are you aware of the associations your mind makes?

The only thing that all these diverse ways of perceiving seem to have in common toward their dissolution is the practice of mindfulness, in order to spot and then let go of the reaction before it overtakes the mind and becomes expressed in word, thought, or deed.

Also, contemplate the meaning of the word "wisdom" mentioned in the quotation. Wisdom. . . in the sense of knowledge and knowingness (in this case, self knowledge). Apply wisdom directly to your experience of knowing the processes (the arising and cessation of mental phenomena) of your own mind in each and every moment, and you will have found the key that you have been seeking.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 3:33 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:

I encourage full-on brainstorming. Please share your experiences and related methods pertaining to the subject.

Below are some tentative headers that I endeavour to expand. Hopefully they will help to clarify the subject so that efficient methods leading to its swift abeyance and cessation may be discussed.

I-making to me brings up the following from the Vimuttimagga list from page 234
They subcatagorize pretty good. Did a little of it here -Skandas
Dunno if this is what you were interested in
DERIVED MATERIAL QUALITIES
Eye
Ear
Nose
Tongue
Body
Matter as sense-object
Sound as sense-object
Odour as sense-object
Taste as sense-object
Femininity
Masculinity
Life-principle
Body-intimation
Speech-intimation
element of space
buoyancy of matter
impressibility of matter
adaptibility of matter
integration of matter
Continuity of matter
Decay of matter
Impermanency of matter
solid food
The basis of the material element
The material quality of torpor

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 10:53 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
The "happy and harmless" goal of Actualism was another thing that got my craw because how manipulated will you be if you are truly harmless? Sure you won't harm other people but how will you exert your rights? How will you defend yourself? What kind of freedom is that?


I don't know if you were referring to this in past tense and you later realized something different about the 'happy and harmless goal', but just in case that that is still your view on that, a clarification:

Vineeto:

Whenever people ‘test my harmlessness’ they often do so in order that they can then judge my behaviour according to their idea of harmlessness – being meek (in religious terms) or being a pacifist (in secular terms). Many a time I have seen discussions on this mailing list where correspondents demanded of Richard that he should not defend himself, so much so that when he takes the time to address their allegations he is often accused of being defensive, nitpicking or arrogant.

The idea of having to be meek became obsolete when I eliminated my spiritual/religious beliefs and by doing so I was able to see clearly that there are none so sanctimonious as the meek and mild. As far as pacifism was concerned I had to take a close look at the unliveable ideals of pacifism in general – law and order is ultimately only maintained at the point of a gun, be it locally or globally and to not see this and understand it is to have one’s head in the sand (or in the clouds). (See also Richard’s links to discussions on pacifism)


Richard:

And then there is the matter of one’s fellow human beings. Some of them – in fact at times a lot of them – are desirous of invading the country that one is living peacefully in, with the avowed intent of killing, torturing, raping, pillaging and subjugating oneself and one’s fellow citizens. If one holds a strong and passionate belief in not causing any pain and suffering to other sentient beings then one must be more than a fruitarian ... one must be a pacifist as well. This amounts to hanging out a sign – if everybody else in the country one lives in adopts this specific belief – which says, in effect: ‘Please feel free to invade us, we will not fight back, for we hold firmly to the principle of not causing pain and suffering to any sentient being whatsoever’ (the Tibetan situation is a particular case in point.) Thus anarchy would rule the world – all because of a belief system handed down by the Saints and the Sages, the Messiahs and the Avatars, the Redeemers and the Saviours, the Prophets and the Priests, century after century.


Harmlessness is just the absence of malice, in actualist terms. It is never the absence of intelligence and pragmaticality. It is never compassion nor any other spiritual or humanistic ideal.

PS. Maybe this part of the discussion {involving the role of participants and moderators in this forum, and the values and rights around them} should be moved to another thread, in order to avoid the hijacking of this one.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 11:08 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian, after engagement in my terrible predilection for intellectual masturbation, I come to the antagonistic conclusion that there is no hope for abeyance and cessation.

Of this list, I agree with Richard of Becoming as the core one. And I would also add Aversion (to complement the presence of Grasping). And scratch the rest.

Strategies: recognition of the harm/suffering that grasping to becoming does to yourself to others, and to the world. Recognition how aversion leads to becoming, and the harm that does. And therein lies the motivation to try your best to manage it.

This seems the safest and best strategy to manage I-making, though not fool proof. Other strategies can be dangerous. As I-making is insidious.

(Nikolai - you might want to engage your "sawfoot_ is being a troll" filter right about now)

Most strategies talked about here in the world of "heavy dharma" just seem to be engagement in a predilection for consciousness masturbation. And whenever you see somebody going around using that word "enlightenment", you probe a little, and what you find is just the substitution of one I for another I.

There are some that are far too far down the rabbit hole to ever see it. An example that springs to mind is our remarkable role model and leader of hardcore dharma, the former-gigantic-gelatinous-multi-tentacled-very alien being known as Daniel M. Ingram, Arahat . What about everyone else?

Best of luck in your practice!

Black squiggle

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 11:47 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Hey Stian

One thing I would add to this list which is tremendously important IMO for removal of I-making, is belief, faith and agreement with the subconscious to totally remove I-making.

There are many MCTB 4th pathers (or equivalent level other traditions) who believe that removal of all types of identification, eradication of all forms of self attaching to phenomena is simply impossible, and a nice idea to shoot for, but not attainable. These people will not attain it. If you don't believe that a place called Spain exists, it is unlikely you will end up in Spain.

There are other who believe it's possible to do but hugely unlikely, like maybe by Longchenpa, The Buddha, and like 1 other guy. Also unlikely to do it.

Then there are other people who say they believe it can be done, and they say they are trying to do it, but their subconscious is holding them back, through fear, through God knows what. These people will not be able to do it until their subconscious comes into alignment.

My personal belief is that something very very much like it can be done. My other belief is that once the conscious mind makes a believable model of it, and the subconscious then "agrees" to do it, it will unfold like magic no matter what method you use. (It will be some simple method of just clearly seeing/investigating I-making, or some method of re-coding I-making patterns (e.g. deity yoga).

As a question - are there any people who you guys have met or heard of that you think have done some form of cessation of I-making? This is a lynchpin of faith I think.

Basically - if there is any part of the mind which believes the "I" cannot be un-made, then that is an "I" that cannot be unmade....

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 5:07 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
In the spirit of this being a work-in-progress for me, and because I'm overwhelmed by the task of converting spurious notes and intuitions into a coherent narrative, yet also overwhelmed by a wish to share and get feedback, I will post some raw notes here, to be reformatted later.

Instantiates a being based on a role and course-of-action with a intention, an agenda, a goal, a desired outcome

A being is a provisional nexus, a reference point for a map or network of relevancy. A being is a filter that, by a web of association, provides focus and meaning. A being immediately instantiates and contextualizes a world.
___

In samsara we always assume the role of a limited, bounded being

In samsara the basic currency of these limited beings are aversion, attraction and delusion.

Without the currency there is no incentive to instatiate a being to pursue resolution of/fulfill the specified desires.

It's the mechanisms by which beings subsist.
___

In business, we instantiate or incorporate a legal entity, a company, to be the nexus of our business-related activities and transactions. The company is a handle or reference point by which we abstract or encapsulate our business.

The company immediately spawns a 'world' of business. It acts as a filter through which we limit our focus to only what is relevant to the company.

When we 'enter' the world of business defined and spawned by way of the legal entity called our company, automatically irrelevant aspects of other worlds are deemphasized and fall away. The mind becomes insensitive to information that is deemed unrelated to the business and oversensitive to relevant information. This is a contraction, a shrinking (and possibly an alternative definition of dukkha which can mean "contracted space").
___

The entity contexualizes the world and the world contexualizes the entity.
___

I don't think we have "a self", and that's not meant as a metaphysical statement. Instead, I think we "do selfing", and we do it a lot. We create many, many "I"s—centers, handles, nexuses, references for navigating, manipulating worlds based on agendas, drives, our desires. It's the basic mechanism by which we fabricate existence.

In different terms, we create "I"'s to manage roles.

A role specifies a self—an I—and its agenda.
___

Teachings on "illusion" are meant to bring about a total disengagement of objects. Objectification is required for *progress*, onwards-leaning, grasping, and when it ends there can be no more "becoming" or continuation of a limited, bounded sentient being. "Aimlessness".

Emphasizing dukkha does the same.

Anatta cuts at another requisite of samsara, the entity-as-nexus-of-volitional-activity. Without such a reference point, no being with an agenda can arise and there is no need for a mutually dependent (contextualized) world for it to inhabit.

Attention is a necessary function for creating/fabricating a being-and-its-world. Denying the movement of attention stops fabrication dead in its tracks.

These are seemingly different methods of liberation. What unites them is that they target key processes involved in the fabrication of dukkha.
___

The word "person" comes from the greek word "persona" which means "mask, character played by an actor" and stems from theatrical Ancient Greece.
___

Owing to the consequent complexity of samsara (delusion, confusion, ignorance) there exist many vectors of wisdom capable of resolving the issue.


small mind = dispersion
A configurable prism (tinker with the prism’s internal structure such that the colours come out with differing emphasis)
boundary limits / filter / conceptual overlay
all what small mind (sems) touches is conditioned
there is no “the small mind” entity. It is a convenient label for conditioned phenomena (i.e. phenomena that arises due to I-making/bias/becoming, etc)

attention wave
becoming = role+world making ("I, me, mine”-making?) / selfing
being = role
different I’s as reference point for different roles/beings
I-making (not necessarily “identification”)
selectiveness, bias

what are the causes of this bias-faculty?

attention seem involved, i.e. attention bounce/wave
objectification, categorical abstraction & ontological thinking (being, essence), dualistic thinking (dualities), i.e. papanca
grasping for sustenance/“food” (greed/pull, hatred/push, delusion/ignore-ance)
conceiving of inherent existence (identity, unit, object, thing)
(maybe these (and more) are different levels of subtlety?)

“seeing through” objects, inducing dream/illusion/insubstantiality-perception (radical phenomenology?) (ends papanca?)
continual dropping of mental signs (signs = dualities???), inducing transiency/impermanence-perception (is this the peg/linchpin that traps the senses?)
dropping the “self”/“I” reference cuts at a requisite condition for bias/selectiveness

dukkha = contracted space (wave-function collapse?)

ignore-ance = selectiveness/bias
“Awakened/Big Mind” + ignorance = small/contracted mind (prism), i.e. dukkha
___

prominence, emphasis, selectiveness, bias
Is “emphasis” not really “emphasis” but diminishing of the REST of the field? So it is more like “focus” where focus is not so much an actual emphasis but instead a relative prominence brought on by unfocusing the rest?

contextualization
___

No “I” = no perception. Perception is only a “sentient being” thing. Only sentient beings need/have perception. Awakened mind is not a being (spatiotemporal or otherwise) and as such has/experiences no perception.
Perception is conditioned. Awakened mind is not conditioned (unarisen).
Perception = object/thing-ness
___

cease being a “sentient being”, become a/the “buddha”

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 6:18 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
In the spirit of this being a work-in-progress for me, and because I'm overwhelmed by the task of converting spurious notes and intuitions into a coherent narrative, yet also overwhelmed by a wish to share and get feedback, I will post some raw notes here, to be reformatted later.


These are fascinating ideas.... and, as you said, it would be quite a job to work them into ONE coherent and sufficiently inclusive narrative..... because there are so many possible ways to frame all this.

To help clarify the scope of what you're attempting, do you have a definite idea of what {not-I-making / opposite of I-making / absence of I-making} would consist of? For example, is it....

- Something you see as an abstract possibility but don't currently experience?
- Something you've experienced a few times and perhaps hope to make permanent?
- Something that happens many times a day?
- Something that's actually the rule rather than the exception (ie. I-making is not the default)?
- Something that's always the case but frequently seems not to be?

I'm not necessarily asking you for an answer, but I was just thinking that, considering how wide-ranging your reflections and intuitions seem to be, it would be useful to know if you DO have a clear idea of the above.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 6:12 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
In the spirit of this being a work-in-progress for me, and because I'm overwhelmed by the task of converting spurious notes and intuitions into a coherent narrative, yet also overwhelmed by a wish to share and get feedback, I will post some raw notes here, to be reformatted later.

I'll provide my reactions by modifying your text in blue to the point where it accurately reflects my understanding

Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Instantiates a A being shapes itself in various ways based on a role and course-of-action with a intention, an agenda, a goal, a desired outcome

A being is, among other things, a provisional nexus, a reference point for a map or network of relevancy. A being is, among other things, a filter that, by a web of association, provides a focus and a meaning that is different than what is otherwise already there. A being immediately instantiates and contextualizes a world. Part and parcel of a being is its concomitant world.
___

In samsara we always assume the role of are a limited, bounded being

In samsara the basic currency composition of these limited beings are aversion (stemming from fear and aggression), attraction (stemming from nurture and desire) and delusion.

Without the currency there is no incentive to instatiate a being to pursue resolution of/fulfill the specified desires. There is no being outside of that which it is composed of, and without a being there are no desires whose resolution one must pursue or fulfill

It's the mechanisms by which beings subsist.
___

In business, we instantiate or incorporate a legal entity, a company, to be the nexus of our business-related activities and transactions. The company is a handle or reference point by which we abstract or encapsulate our business. This is a useful and beneficial application of intelligence's capacity for abstraction which allows many beneficial things to happen that wouldn't be able to otherwise.

The company immediately spawns focuses on a particular part of the 'world' of business. It acts as a filter through which we limit our focus to only what is relevant to the company. This is a sensible application of intelligence as there is no point in focusing on that which is not relevant to the company when doing business as that company.

When we 'enter' the world of business defined and spawned by way of the legal entity called our company, automatically irrelevant aspects of other worlds are deemphasized and fall away. The mind becomes insensitive to information that is deemed unrelated to the business and oversensitive to relevant information. This is a contraction, a shrinking (and possibly an alternative definition of dukkha which can mean "contracted space"). This is beneficial when one accurately assesses what is irrelevant to the business, yet detrimental when important details are omitted because they are deemed unimportant due to unrecognized ignorance or refusal to face the facts.

___

The entity contexualizes the world and the world contexualizes the entity.
___

I don't think we have "a self", and that's not meant as a metaphysical statement. I also don't think we "do selfing". Instead, I think we are selves, and we do it a lot are always selves. We create manifest as many, many "I"s—centers, handles, nexuses, references for navigating, manipulating worlds based on agendas, drives, our desires. It's the basic mechanism by which we fabricate existence exist as selves, as 'beings'.

In different terms, we create manifest as different "I"'s according to the circumstances, usually subconsciously as per our predilections, but sometimes consciously to manage roles.

A role specifies a self—an I—and its agenda.

I'm going to stop here. I did the next section as well but it is just me disagreeing in ways which you have already heard or read before which I don't think will lead to anything beneficial if they haven't already. But put succinctly: disengaging with objects will never lead to the extinguishing of being, because being comes before objectification. So: no being, no objectification; no objectification, still maybe being. What also won't work is what you called "anatta", which I take to mean observing that everything is not-self, since everything actually is being or is tinged-by-being when 'you' are currently being, which is most of the time - so you (as being) end up labeling that which is you (being) as "not-self", and then you're really on the wrong track.

Cheers
- Claudiu

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 9:03 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
These are fascinating ideas.... and, as you said, it would be quite a job to work them into ONE coherent and sufficiently inclusive narrative..... because there are so many possible ways to frame all this.


Hey John, long time.

These reflections and intuitions all stem from the same insight. My problem is indeed the enormous range of expression available.

I have experienced differing degrees of abeyance and temporary maybe complete absence of volitional formations, at least aborting perception of self and world (I don't mean cessation of perception and feeling). That's where this current brainstorm is coming from.

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I'll provide my reactions by modifying your text in blue to the point where it accurately reflects my understanding


Hey Claudiu, again, long time.

Thanks for your thoughts, I appreciate it.

I detect a fundamentally different orientation in your comments. Many of your doubts are, in my experience, experientially verifiable.

Ian And:
Apply wisdom to directly to your experience of knowing the processes (the arising and cessation of mental phenomena) of your own mind in each and every moment, and you will have found the key that you have been seeking.


Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
My personal belief is that something very very much like it can be done. My other belief is that once the conscious mind makes a believable model of it, and the subconscious then "agrees" to do it, it will unfold like magic no matter what method you use. (It will be some simple method of just clearly seeing/investigating I-making, or some method of re-coding I-making patterns (e.g. deity yoga).


Nice.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/22/13 11:39 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Stian Gudmundsen Høiland:
Friends,

I would like to ask for help.

For the benefit of myself, those who participate and anyone else who may read this thread,

I would like to initiate this discussion with the explicit intent of devising or uncovering empowering and useful methods directly related to the abeyance and cessation of the subject of this thread.

I do not know for certain to what extent fulfilling the above intent may provide relief, release.

Maybe the subject is quite idiosyncratic and therefor quite useless for most people.

Maybe the subject is quite novice and therefor quite useless for advanced practitioners.

In any case, may the discussion proceed with heedful avoidance of the unnecessary problems of fixedly identifying the referents of words, beliefs and concepts, and instead encourage speech that is relaxed, open, fluid and playful—free from the style of expression of intellect called papañca.

Having thus suggesting the tone for this inquiry, let's get this party started!

Pervasiveness of the subject

I try to be wary of the recurrence of themes in my mind. I do this in an attempt to diminish confirmation bias.

But the subject of this thread has become enormously encompassing for me, to the point where I suspect that it is directly embedded in the totality of ignorance-as-the-primary-cause-of-dukkha.

Because of this pervasiveness, it is not trivial to find a starting point for discussing it.

I encourage full-on brainstorming. Please share your experiences and related methods pertaining to the subject.

Below are some tentative headers that I endeavour to expand. Hopefully they will help to clarify the subject so that efficient methods leading to its swift abeyance and cessation may be discussed.


Attention: an entry point

Small mind: a prism

Ignore-ance: bias & selectiveness

Objectification & inherent existence

Grasping & clinging: sustenance, food

Becoming & being: world-making & role-playing

Perception & mental signs

Contextualization & measurement: where Quantum Mechanics meets the Dhamma?


This should be useful, covers the above topics, if need be the post can be edited down to just a link, or deleted entirely if this does not hit your mark, the advice just seemed rather insightful...Especially hits home for "me" with the insight of earth and/or water section ,

"Rahula, develop the meditation in tune with earth. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people throw what is clean or unclean on the earth — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the earth is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind."

as that is basically what we are made of and it is the judging mind formation that makes more of phenomenon (creates the stories) than what is really going on at the universal level. Speaking of which, it seems that our senses, of which we are so proud of (as the whole of humanity), Anyway the senses actually do a poor job of recognizing the majority of what is happening, even in the most refined and highly trained of senses.

Well, here it is,

B

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.062.than.html



MN 62 PTS: M i 420

Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula


translated from the Pali by

Thanissaro Bhikkhu

© 2006





I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying at Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's Monastery. Then the Blessed One, early in the morning, put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms. And Ven. Rahula, early in the morning, put on his robes and, carrying his bowl and outer robe, went into Savatthi for alms following right behind the Blessed One.[1] Then the Blessed One, looking back at Rahula, addressed him: "Rahula, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'"

"Just form, O Blessed One? Just form, O One Well-gone?"

"Form, Rahula, & feeling & perception & fabrications & consciousness."

Then the thought occurred to Ven. Rahula, "Who, having been exhorted face-to-face by the Blessed One, would go into the town for alms today?" So he turned back and sat down at the foot of a tree, folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, & setting mindfulness to the fore.

Ven. Sariputta saw Ven. Rahula sitting at the foot of a tree, his legs folded crosswise, his body held erect, & with mindfulness set to the fore. On seeing him, he said to him, "Rahula, develop the meditation[2] of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing. The meditation of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit."

Then Ven. Rahula, emerging from his seclusion in the late afternoon, went to the Blessed One and, having bowed down, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to him, "How, lord, is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing to be developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?"

"Rahula, {any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.' There are these five properties, Rahula. Which five? The earth property, the water property, the fire property, the wind property, & the space property.

"And what is the earth property? The earth property can be either internal or external. What is the internal earth property?}[3] Anything internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, & sustained [by craving]: head hairs, body hairs, nails, teeth, skin, flesh, tendons, bones, bone marrow, kidneys, heart, liver, membranes, spleen, lungs, large intestines, small intestines, contents of the stomach, feces, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's hard, solid, and sustained: This is called the internal earth property. Now both the internal earth property & the external earth property are simply earth property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the earth property and makes the earth property fade from the mind.

"And what is the water property? The water property may be either internal or external. What is the internal water property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's water, watery, & sustained: bile, phlegm, pus, blood, sweat, fat, tears, oil, saliva, mucus, oil-of-the-joints, urine, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's water, watery, & sustained: This is called the internal water property. Now both the internal water property & the external water property are simply water property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the water property and makes the water property fade from the mind.

"And what is the fire property? The fire property may be either internal or external. What is the internal fire property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: that by which [the body] is warmed, aged, & consumed with fever; and that by which what is eaten, drunk, chewed, & savored gets properly digested; or anything else internal, within oneself, that's fire, fiery, & sustained: This is called the internal fire property. Now both the internal fire property & the external fire property are simply fire property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the fire property and makes the fire property fade from the mind.

"And what is the wind property? The wind property may be either internal or external. What is the internal wind property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: up-going winds, down-going winds, winds in the stomach, winds in the intestines, winds that course through the body, in-and-out breathing, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's wind, windy, & sustained: This is called the internal wind property. Now both the internal wind property & the external wind property are simply wind property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the wind property and makes the wind property fade from the mind.

"And what is the space property? The space property may be either internal or external. What is the internal space property? Anything internal, belonging to oneself, that's space, spatial, & sustained: the holes of the ears, the nostrils, the mouth, the whereby what is eaten, drunk, consumed, & tasted gets swallowed, and where it collects, and whereby it is excreted from below, or anything else internal, within oneself, that's space, spatial, & sustained: This is called the internal space property. Now both the internal space property & the external space property are simply space property. And that should be seen as it actually is present with right discernment: 'This is not mine, this is not me, this is not my self.' When one sees it thus as it actually is present with right discernment, one becomes disenchanted with the space property and makes the space property fade from the mind.

"Rahula, develop the meditation in tune with earth. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people throw what is clean or unclean on the earth — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the earth is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with earth, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with water. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with water, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when people wash what is clean or unclean in water — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — the water is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with water, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with fire. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with fire, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when fire burns what is clean or unclean — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — it is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with fire, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with wind. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as when wind blows what is clean or unclean — feces, urine, saliva, pus, or blood — it is not horrified, humiliated, or disgusted by it; in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with wind, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation in tune with space. For when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind. Just as space is not established anywhere, in the same way, when you are developing the meditation in tune with space, agreeable & disagreeable sensory impressions that have arisen will not stay in charge of your mind.

"Develop the meditation of good will. For when you are developing the meditation of good will, ill-will will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of compassion. For when you are developing the meditation of compassion, cruelty will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of appreciation. For when you are developing the meditation of appreciation, resentment will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of equanimity. For when you are developing the meditation of equanimity, irritation will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of the unattractive. For when you are developing the meditation of the unattractive, passion will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of the perception of inconstancy. For when you are developing the meditation of the perception of inconstancy, the conceit 'I am' will be abandoned.

"Develop the meditation of mindfulness of in-&-out breathing. Mindfulness of in-&-out breathing, when developed & pursued, is of great fruit, of great benefit.

"And how, Rahula, is mindfulness of in-&-out breathing developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit?

"There is the case where a monk, having gone to the wilderness, to the shade of a tree, or to an empty building, sits down folding his legs crosswise, holding his body erect, and setting mindfulness to the fore.[4] Always mindful, he breathes in; mindful he breathes out.

"[1] Breathing in long, he discerns, 'I am breathing in long'; or breathing out long, he discerns, 'I am breathing out long.' [2] Or breathing in short, he discerns, 'I am breathing in short'; or breathing out short, he discerns, 'I am breathing out short.' [3] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the entire body.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the entire body.' [4] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'

"[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to rapture.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to rapture.' [6] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to pleasure.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to pleasure.' [7] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to mental fabrication.' [8] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming mental fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming mental fabrication.'

"[9] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in sensitive to the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out sensitive to the mind.' [10] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in satisfying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out satisfying the mind.' [11] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in steadying the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out steadying the mind.' [12] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in releasing the mind.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out releasing the mind.'

"[13] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on inconstancy.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on inconstancy.' [14] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on dispassion.'[5] He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on dispassion.' [15] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on cessation.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on cessation.' [16] He trains himself, 'I will breathe in focusing on relinquishment.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out focusing on relinquishment.'

"This, Rahula, is how mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued so as to be of great fruit, of great benefit.

"When mindfulness of in-&-out breathing is developed & pursued in this way, even one's final in-breaths & out-breaths are known as they cease, not unknown."[6]

That is what the Blessed One said. Gratified, Ven. Rahula delighted in the Blessed One's words.


Notes
1.According to the Commentary, Ven. Rahula was 18 years old when this discourse took place.2.Bhavana. 3.The preceding passage in braces is missing from the editions on which both The Middle Length Sayings and The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha are based.4.For notes on these sixteen steps, see MN 118.5.Literally, "fading."6.I.e., one dies fully alert.

See also: MN 28; MN 61; MN 140; MN 147.



Creative Commons License ©2006 Thanissaro Bhikkhu. The text of this page ("Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula", by Thanissaro Bhikkhu) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. To view a copy of the license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/. Documents linked from this page may be subject to other restrictions. Transcribed from a file provided by the translator. Last revised for Access to Insight on 2 December 2013.


How to cite this document (a suggested style): "Maha-Rahulovada Sutta: The Greater Exhortation to Rahula" (MN 62), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (version ati-legacy-2013.12.17.18), 2 December 2013, http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.062.than.html . Retrieved on 22 December 2013.

RE: I-making
Answer
12/25/13 2:13 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Contextualization


Becoming is a filtering and appropriation of experience into a "meaningful", formulaic, pre-determined, agendic pattern. It fundamentally needs a being, the being's world and the intention, agenda, drive, reason-for-existing, fulfillment-goal (craving).

Sounds a lot like "the basic questions of humanity": Who/what are we? What is the universe? Why are we here?

The field of experience, around these parts conceptualized as "sensations", are run through a contextualizing function that highlights relevant aspects (fabricates priority and meaning) and deemphasizes irrelevant aspects. The specification for what is emphasized and what is deemphasized lies in the current web of associations, the becoming-specification (a being in a world with an intent, aim, a wish).

When the "field of experience" is totally de-contextualized, that is Awakening. Such an occurrence has no (fabricated) notion of time, and as such is not an occurrence. It does not take place in time, space, has no cause and is not an effect, is not an object nor a subject, and is/is not does not apply. It is Unbinding in that anything by which delineation or context would be made, that is not there. By virtue of lack of definition, it is unmeasured and limit-less.


Intentionally counteracting habitual self-contextualization (i.e. framing everything in terms of self, being) cuts at a fundamental requisite for maintaining a becoming-pattern/map/specification (heads up though: this entails a catch-22).

- Without becoming, there is no context or filter for experience—Awakening occurs.
- Without attention, experience can not be subjected to/appropriated/filtered through the context specified by a becoming-pattern/map—Awakening occurs (this is related to the last point).
- Without a self—a central reference point, a being—contextualization is rendered inoperable, breaks down, collapses—Awakening occurs.
- The same goes for absence of grasping, intent.
- Signlessness, impermanence-perception, dukkha-perception, illusion-perception disables world-making fabrication, leads to dispassion-cessation, bringing down becoming and contextualization—Awakening occurs.

Any of these bring the whole mass of suffering to a halt, at least temporarily.

___

Contextualization. Sentient beings do it and they do it in linguistic, dualistic and social terms. Subject-verb/action-object, existence-non-existence, self-other, being-intention/influence-world, I-me-mine.

Stop contextualization and bodhi is revealed.

Context = bias

RE: I-making
Answer
1/8/14 4:07 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Here is a fine work by Elias-Manuel Capriles-Arias called

BUDDHISM AND DZOGCHEN:
THE DOCTRINE OF THE BUDDHA AND THE SUPREME VEHICLE OF TIBETAN BUDDHISM

PART ONE
BUDDHISM: A DZOGCHEN OUTLOOK

I would divide this book into four themes
  • basic buddhism (4NT)
  • history, schools & lineages
  • comparison of tantric methods
  • interspersed technical explainations

I found the stuff on the 4 Noble Truths very good.

The history, schools, lineages and comparison of tantric methods was only vaguely interesting to me.

But interspersed throughout the book, and especially in the notes, are some fantastic gems—possibly worth reading the whole book for (didn't take me that long—two evenings?). Many of these gems are related to the subject of this thread, which is why I'm posting it here.

Go get it!

RE: I-making
Answer
1/8/14 9:34 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Wow, that looks good. Thanks for linking emoticon

RE: I-making
Answer
1/12/14 1:57 AM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Tension (stress, 1st noble truth) and intention carve or eke out significance, attributing weight and value to the field and the field thereby assumes a figure-ground configuration.

Greed is positive-valuation (pull) and hatred is negative-valuation (push).

Neutralization, equanimity


Breaking tension alà trekcho cancel the subsequent fabrication of samsara. Interestingly (and undisputingly) the breaking of tension must happen before intention.



Objectification, hypostatization crystallize and coagulate the field according to conceptual categories. (Note that conceptual categories are not delusory, but their absolutization is.) Like pockets of ice in the ocean.

This abstractification yields hard-limit (contrastable) duality-continuums, the most fundamental: being-and-non-being (aka. existence-and-non-existence, is-and-is-not, presence-and-absence).

This hard-absolutization is part of delusion.

Emptiness

"Illusion", "dream-like" is a whole-field value-equalization/neutralization (which brings down samsara-ing for many reasons, but notably by totally preventing objectification).



Greed, hatred and delusion are the underlying framework for the construction of samsara.




Becoming is the mechanism for the continuation of samsara.

Becoming is a schema, specification or map with three variables: agent-volitional action-world, or I-grasping-aggregates.

Craving (and grasping) is the raw fuel for the maintenance of becoming.



(What about the bifurcation of internal and external? Is it simply another duality-continuum?)



From the null-state, tension and intention arise by habit/karmic force (quantum Darwinism, Zeno effect, etc., i.e. "quantum plasticity"). The consequence is fabrication of the above structures and immediate dimming of the unrelated or irrelevant parts of the field.

The field is intrinsically partless, a totality-whole (gestalt), never actually divided or dimmed. Instead this selectiveness or ignore-ance is like a constructed shape that is overlaid and covers parts that are deemed insignificant thereby creating the appearance of highlight or emphasis.




Self-consciousness or reflective consciousness (knowing an object as an-object-distinct-from-its-knowing)
Division of mind and body
Sensory modalities
Sensation
Emotions

Are all samsaric phenomena





Bodymind (namarupa [which interestingly includes attention], sankhara-skandha, skandhas) is the ultimate context of samsara, that which samsara spins around. It is (almost?) the complete totality of samsaric assets. "Dropping off of bodymind", alà Dogen, is the spontaneous non-fabrication of bodymind, i.e. samsaric context.

Doctrinally, only reflective consciousness, sankhara (quantum will/participation-interaction, wave-collapse, nature of Mind, volitionality) and ignorance "precede" bodymind.





Volitional schemes (becoming)

We inherit, learn and create new specifications for observation-participation-interaction. Each of us individually are actively engaged in ongoing filtration or dispersion according to the current union of our set of inherited, learned and created becoming-specifications.

Like how a prism or crystal disperses invisible (white) light, producing a display of colors.

Vedana (value fabrication) is always a relative measure in context of the present volitional scheme(s). The (e)valuation requires an agent with an agenda (both of which requires volitionality) by which to measure significance, value, desirability.

(Actualizing the absence of an agent [one among many vectors of cessation] brings the process to a halt.)

This is the old adage of how a mountain is different to a miner, a painter, a climber and a shepherd (or whatever).

Novel combinations of existing volitional schemes, or the creation of new ones, is the imperative behind becoming. It is how meaning and significance is explored.

The currently active volitional schemes [is self, personality, individuality, persona. Reservoir of volitional schemes = archetypes + mammal, lizard, etc. programs/filters]

Volition (observation-participation-interaction) literally creates the world. Primarily by a habitual process of "coming into being" as an aspect of the nature of Mind, our "birth right" so to speak to project individual ("virtual"-) existence. Secondarily by a form of lag, echo or reverberation which sustains patterns, strengthened by the invocation of a pattern (like neuro-plasticity, but for quantum processes. I call it "quantum plasticity".). This last aspect is part of karmic imprintation (see quantum Darwinism), as a 'social' arena or shared canvas. The vivid manifestation of this 'reverberation' (i.e. the "shared canvas") coupled with deep delusion is what we call the external universe.

This process of "coming into being" is not limited to the lifespan of a physical substrate. It is a process occurring ceaselessly both within the lifespan of a body, but is also the mechanism behind the incentive for "taking up a new birth" beyond the expiration or death of a body. "Taking up a new birth" is identical to "coming into being", except in the context of obtaining a new physical substrate, in which case there are additional specific mechanisms.

Deactivate the whole mode of volitional-being (becoming)

RE: I-making
Answer
1/12/14 2:43 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
Craving and aversion born of ignorance.

But ignorance of what?

If you're not tied to Buddhist notions of dependent origination, consider this:

Is there anything here that is already fine, already without suffering, already without I-making, never under threat, never lacking anything, never needing any maintenance? Is there anything like that here? And is it ever absent?

You've heard all that before, no doubt... but is there really something like that?

If so.... why do we opt to go on with the activity that you call I-making? Because we can't help it? Because the alternative isn't clear and convincing enough? Because the quest to end I-making has been co-opted by and become an integral part of our I-making?

RE: I-making
Answer
1/12/14 5:10 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
There's also a huge and very uncomfortable ethical dilemma at the heart of this whole I-making business.

That is: giving up your own I-making (and I-preserving) entails giving up on everyone else's as well.

If you derealise and depersonalise yourself, you inevitably derealise and depersonalise other people; i.e., you derealise what they believe themselves to be, how they experience themselves, what they value in/as themselves.

There are various ways of justifying / explaining / rationalising this, but I think it's a dilemma that has to be faced full-on at some stage.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/12/14 10:12 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
There's also a huge and very uncomfortable ethical dilemma at the heart of this whole I-making business.

That is: giving up your own I-making (and I-preserving) entails giving up on everyone else's as well.

If you derealise and depersonalise yourself, you inevitably derealise and depersonalise other people; i.e., you derealise what they believe themselves to be, how they experience themselves, what they value in/as themselves.

How do you figure? My I-making is what I do, someone else's I-making is what they do. I can remove mine with the other person still continuing to do theirs. True I will react differently to his I-making, and he will react differently to me for not having any I-making, but that doesn't mean I've done anything to them per se.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 4:34 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
There's also a huge and very uncomfortable ethical dilemma at the heart of this whole I-making business.

That is: giving up your own I-making (and I-preserving) entails giving up on everyone else's as well.

If you derealise and depersonalise yourself, you inevitably derealise and depersonalise other people; i.e., you derealise what they believe themselves to be, how they experience themselves, what they value in/as themselves.


How do you figure? My I-making is what I do, someone else's I-making is what they do. I can remove mine with the other person still continuing to do theirs. True I will react differently to his I-making, and he will react differently to me for not having any I-making, but that doesn't mean I've done anything to them per se.


Suppose I could make myself feel better by thinking the world is an illusion: there are really no people here, there are only appearances, no things-in-themselves, no persons, no inner selves, no feeling beings, no agents, all ephemera with nothing 'behind' them and nothing 'in' them.

As long as I behave properly -- consistently with law, custom and civility -- I'm not acting unethically in the usual sense. I'm not doing anything to these 'people' per se. I'm just exercising my own freedom.

True as far as it goes. But I'd still consider this a violation of something, and the choice not to violate it would feel more like an ethical one than a purely practical one.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 12:30 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Access to the formless realms and jhanas is not necessary for stream entry.

As to "MCTB 4th pathers", one should be careful about generalizing, as there is considerable speculation and debate surrounding the degree to which this informal group of people may have attained to similar or the same thing(s).

Definitions of MCTB 4th path vary widely, even among those who claim it, as any cursory perusal of, say, KFD, will reveal, as well as some previous discussions on this forum.

As has been discussed here numerous times, the irony of the term "MCTB 4th path" is that most of the definitions people use do not strictly correspond to what you actually find in MCTB.

As to "I-making", very careful phenomenological discrimination and finely nuanced terminology is required to get a clear sense of what we are really talking about and what it means to "I-make".

Cutting to the main point, there never has been an "I" and there never will be an "I", so by "I-making" we really mean misperception.

The end of this form of misperception of this is truly possible and has been attained by numerous people, though how many of the self-proclaimed "MCTB 4th-pathers" have attained to its total elimination is not precisely known, as there has never been any formal and careful investigation of the question, no survey or conclave where they have discussed this to help sort this out, not that those would provide perfectly definitive answers.

That reality is too transient, too causal, to interdependent to be able to produce a stable, continuous, independent "I" is very obvious in theory and at least superficially obvious in practice even to relatively inexperienced meditators, so it is really just a process of clearly perceiving layer upon layer of sensations until none are not perceived well and then making this the default mode of attention.

Thus, rather than worry too much about who has "MCTB 4th path", apply simple and straightforward assumptions about obvious truths to your own practice and see how far you can take that.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 6:47 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Does MCTB final goal is to see through self?

Lets do it!
There is no self-nature in dharma. Never has been and never will be. There is nothing else to say.

Emptiness. Everything whatever we see, taste etc has no self, and is impermanent.

There is no center point. Of course not. The self what we have, we create from scratch everytime, it will dissappear when we let go of it(or just forget).

There is no doer- This is a concept that car is driving or someone is digging a hole, in truth this is just appearances. We can't say that person is digging a hole but we can say it because it is agreed collectively that this is named hole digging for example.
If someone get killed then it seems so but in truth nobody did got killed.

This knowlege will bring liberaton or enlightenment, no doubt. And it can't go deeper. This is dry enlightenment. Insight based. By investigation.

But there is a self that self what discover this truth that I exists. True life force. That's all different angle. Its possible to create/born undestructible self, that you won't need to create from scratch anymore but will survive even the death of the flesh body. I think eventually Arahants will be need to follow this path, to create the body what can enjoy life, permanent bliss, this body is beyond dharma

How long can you stay in no self state(in nirodha, it gets boring there pretty quick)? eventualy you will come down from there but where you go? you will need to create the body to enjoy whatever there is in offer..but you have start from the flesh body..

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 11:05 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Suppose I could make myself feel better by thinking the world is an illusion: there are really no people here, there are only appearances, no things-in-themselves, no persons, no inner selves, no feeling beings, no agents, all ephemera with nothing 'behind' them and nothing 'in' them.

As long as I behave properly -- consistently with law, custom and civility -- I'm not acting unethically in the usual sense. I'm not doing anything to these 'people' per se. I'm just exercising my own freedom.

Agreed.

John Wilde:
True as far as it goes. But I'd still consider this a violation of something, and the choice not to violate it would feel more like an ethical one than a purely practical one.

Hmm. I disagree this is a bad thing, as in something not beneficial. Maybe it is a violation of some forms of ethics or morality (which vary from culture to culture and person to person) or even social conventions. For example, if someone tells you a sad story about something that happened to them, you're expected to commiserate, empathize with them, agree how awful it was, etc., basically feel a little bad for them. If you don't feel a little bad then the other person might think you don't care and get even more upset. So in that society's ethics or code of behavior, it would be a violation to not feel bad for them/with them. But I think that code of behavior itself is the problem, not violating that code of ethics.

Likewise with your example. I value autonomy. I think the only way the world will be peaceful is by having everybody be autonomous individuals. At least not having people that rely on others for emotional (or acknowledging-their-i-making) support. Of course it'd be more efficient for one group of people to 'rely' on another to grow food, for example.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 1:16 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Hmm. I disagree this is a bad thing, as in something not beneficial. Maybe it is a violation of some forms of ethics or morality (which vary from culture to culture and person to person) or even social conventions. For example, if someone tells you a sad story about something that happened to them, you're expected to commiserate, empathize with them, agree how awful it was, etc., basically feel a little bad for them. If you don't feel a little bad then the other person might think you don't care...


In terms of our example, it's not just that the other person might think that you don't care; you actually don't care, because their experience doesn't feature in your world at all. They're an appearance only.

To then treat that appearance with courtesy and civility wouldn't, in my view, make up for the wrong that has been done 'to' them, by de-realising / depersonalising them thus. (Regardless of whether they even know what I've done).

I wouldn't argue that this, or anything for that matter, is ethically wrong in any absolute sense, just that it's something I would not be okay with, and the not-okayness isn't purely practical (or purely a matter of convention for that matter).

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 2:05 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Hmm. I disagree this is a bad thing, as in something not beneficial. Maybe it is a violation of some forms of ethics or morality (which vary from culture to culture and person to person) or even social conventions. For example, if someone tells you a sad story about something that happened to them, you're expected to commiserate, empathize with them, agree how awful it was, etc., basically feel a little bad for them. If you don't feel a little bad then the other person might think you don't care...


In terms of our example, it's not just that the other person might think that you don't care; you actually don't care, because their experience doesn't feature in your world at all. They're an appearance only.

I was speaking in a general sense. In terms of your example, I agree, that's why it might be considered quite selfish to experience everything as an illusion, which can lead to non-benevolent behaviors. In the general sense, it's only true if caring is defined as feeling bad for somebody when they want you to, or even more generally in doing things that other people want you to do when they want you to do them, which I don't think is a good definition of caring.

John Wilde:
To then treat that appearance with courtesy and civility wouldn't, in my view, make up for the wrong that has been done 'to' them, by de-realising / depersonalising them thus. (Regardless of whether they even know what I've done).

I disagree - see my last sentence.

John Wilde:
I wouldn't argue that this, or anything for that matter, is ethically wrong in any absolute sense, just that it's something I would not be okay with, and the not-okayness isn't purely practical (or purely a matter of convention for that matter).

Why wouldn't you be ok with it?

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 3:31 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Why wouldn't you be ok with it?


Whatever principle holds other people's reality more highly than a solipsistic bubble of peace.... that's the one I'm looking for. Not sure what its name is.... or if it has one.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/13/14 4:16 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

I value autonomy. I think the only way the world will be peaceful is by having everybody be autonomous individuals. At least not having people that rely on others for emotional (or acknowledging-their-i-making) support.


I get that. To mutually 'be' entails a complex web of relationships that's fraught with many difficulties. I know what your preferred option is, and why. Mine, for the moment, is more complicated.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/14/14 4:34 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Why wouldn't you be ok with it?


Whatever principle holds other people's reality more highly than a solipsistic bubble of peace.... that's the one I'm looking for. Not sure what its name is.... or if it has one.


Can you give more details about your view? Are you aiming at reducing the self with its unskillful qualities out of respect for other people's reality? But not so much that your reality deviates from whatever is most common?

RE: I-making
Answer
1/14/14 7:53 PM as a reply to Pål S..
Pål S.:

Can you give more details about your view? Are you aiming at reducing the self with its unskillful qualities out of respect for other people's reality? But not so much that your reality deviates from whatever is most common?


Hi Pål. I'll post an answer in this thread over here:

http://dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5128959

RE: I-making
Answer
1/15/14 10:20 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
First of all, my thanks to Stian for starting this thread, and for everyone who has participated. Every post, from the very beginning, has been valuable to me.

Several points:

In regards to the exchange between Claudiu and John Wilde: of the four brahmaviharas, compassion, well-wishing, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, it seems to me that Claudiu emphasizes equanimity to the exclusion of the other three. And yes, I am well aware that Claudiu is not operating in that framework at all; however, I think it's a helpful framework as I try to get to the source of John's and my unease with what Claudiu is saying. I personally (yes, I) hold the view that all four reflect the most desirable way of being with others. Equanimity is not indifference, and perhaps John is concerned that Claudiu is suggesting indifference as his approach. I don't really know. But for me, whenever I start to fret that losing too much of the I illusion will land me in solipsism, I go back to the brahmaviharas.

Next, no one yet has mentioned the body as a source of insight, unless I have been reading sloppily, which is always a possibility. But conceptualizing about the "I" and feeling it are two different things. Right now I am focusing on sensations of boredom, the "I" desiring a special kind of stimulation. There's a kind of stale taste to it in the mouth, a mild nausea, a feeling of jumpiness (limbs wanting to move in one or another direction towards something, anything, to break up the feeling of negativity). Where does the mind try to go to escape these sensations? In the head, a tightening, a grinding feeling. Feet wanting to run, twitching.

Finally, something on my mind lately: dementia. My father went downhill with it over a five year period. Now my mother has started her decline. How do I respond to it? How does any one of us respond? Where is the "person" I knew? Is she going, going, gone? Grief setting in. Fear of it's happening to "me"? Could it happen to "me"? Actually, no, because there is no solid me, but then how do we respond to this particular form of disintegration? What is left as the decline continues? We can conceptualize about dementia, and some of that is truly helpful to do. But dealing with it directly, opening to it, is a formidable challenge to "I-making."

RE: I-making
Answer
1/16/14 10:30 PM as a reply to Jane Laurel Carrington.
Jane Laurel Carrington:

In regards to the exchange between Claudiu and John Wilde: of the four brahmaviharas, compassion, well-wishing, sympathetic joy, and equanimity, it seems to me that Claudiu emphasizes equanimity to the exclusion of the other three. And yes, I am well aware that Claudiu is not operating in that framework at all; however, I think it's a helpful framework as I try to get to the source of John's and my unease with what Claudiu is saying. I personally (yes, I) hold the view that all four reflect the most desirable way of being with others. Equanimity is not indifference, and perhaps John is concerned that Claudiu is suggesting indifference as his approach. I don't really know.


Hi Laurel. I think the only thing Claudiu is actually advocating here is autonomy: as long as we act with due respect for law, custom and civility, we're under no obligation to view each other in any particular way. We might have a problem with some of the possibilities that it allows -- and I do -- but that's a matter of individual conscience within that framework, not really a problem with the framework itself.

I agree that the brahmaviharas -- or, at least, the basic attitudes or dispositions underlying them -- are a good basis for mutual well-being, especially when our understanding / experience of self [and other] might be in flux. I'm currently trying to work out a practice framework for the next few years, and I think these will be central to it.

RE: I-making
Answer
1/27/14 5:28 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Hmm. I disagree this is a bad thing, as in something not beneficial. Maybe it is a violation of some forms of ethics or morality (which vary from culture to culture and person to person) or even social conventions. For example, if someone tells you a sad story about something that happened to them, you're expected to commiserate, empathize with them, agree how awful it was, etc., basically feel a little bad for them. If you don't feel a little bad then the other person might think you don't care...


In terms of our example, it's not just that the other person might think that you don't care; you actually don't care, because their experience doesn't feature in your world at all. They're an appearance only.

To then treat that appearance with courtesy and civility wouldn't, in my view, make up for the wrong that has been done 'to' them, by de-realising / depersonalising them thus. (Regardless of whether they even know what I've done).

I wouldn't argue that this, or anything for that matter, is ethically wrong in any absolute sense, just that it's something I would not be okay with, and the not-okayness isn't purely practical (or purely a matter of convention for that matter).


I'm a little confused about this, for two reasons:

1. You seem to be talking about some extreme form of solipsism, but it's perfectly possible to accept that selves don't exist as permanent, separate entities that can control things, and still recognize that other people exist as biological organisms that experience things. If I stop the I-making (heh), I still care about their experience and their suffering. Compassion and anatta are not incompatible, quite the contrary.

2. What about truth? I can't believe that seeking the truth or believing something true could ever be unethical. That's absurd. Ethics can't be based on lies or false beliefs.

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