Message Boards Message Boards

Zen

Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment

Toggle
Shinzen Young, in his own words.

In order to see the text with diagrams, check pages 40-45.

--&--&--&--&--&--&--&--

I’m going to describe a series of experiences that you might go through as your mindfulness skills deepen over time. Not everyone will pass through all or only these stages. I’m just using them to give you the general idea. Also, although it’s presented as a single linear progression, people typically cycle through these stages many, many times, with the process becoming clearer at each iteration. Finally, when I use phrases like “Absolute Now,” I’m not implying that you are literally experiencing a mathematical point on the continuum of time. I only mean that sensorially you seem to abide in an Eternal Present.

1. Just starting
2. Got the form
3. Detect coarse impermanence
4. Detect subtle impermanence
5. Detect underlying wavelets
6. Rhythmic arising and passing
7. Passing becomes rich
8. Arising becomes rich
9. Time begins to warp
10. Dance at the Source

1. Just Starting
You attempt to keep track of what’s going on but spend a lot of time wondering what you’re supposed to be doing. You get lost in thoughts and preoccupied with bodily discomforts. You do a lot of thinking about thinking about thinking about….

2. Got the Form
You’re familiar with the form of the technique. You can settle in and just do it. You track the sequence of
sensory experiences in a matter-of-fact way without “tripping out” on the process too much.

3. Detect Coarse Impermanence
You start to get a sense that experiences come and go.

4. Detect Subtle Impermanence
The individual sensory events are themselves ripply and vibratory.

5. Detect Underlying Wavelets
Each vibration and ripple has its own arising and passing. Sensory events are a sort of “Fourier Synthesis” of component frequencies.

6. Rhythmic Arising and Passing
Preconsciousness experience becomes conscious at this stage. Nothingness is noted, from which each wavelet arises and to which it returns.

7. Passings Become Rich
The Nothing to which each wave and wavelet returns becomes rich, providing: tranquility, safety, fulfillment, love. Notice also that less and less does experience need to be “born,” i.e., arise into surface events. Ordinary surface experience is less salient. Subtle preconscious experience now dominates awareness.

8. Arising Becomes Rich
Nothingness polarizes into expansive and contractive forces. Experiences arise when Nothing divides into future (expansion, yáng) and past (contraction, yīn). They disappear when that cleft collapses, reuniting future and past into the Absolute Present of Nothing. This special Nothing is known to contemplative traditions around the world (eg. śunyatā (Buddhism), xū (Daoism), etc).

9. Time Begins to Warp
All arisings tend to coalesce into a single polarization. All passings tend to coalesce into a single neutralization. Subjective time begins to feel less like a linear extension. Very little is happening and everything is happening.

10. Dance at the Source
One abides in a metaphoric black hole outside time and space, participating in the pure flow of the Source. The One Nothing is metaphorically a gravitational singularity. The boundary between surface and deep consciousness (represented by the dotted line) is metaphorically the Event Horizon.

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
12/27/13 10:14 AM as a reply to PP.
Thanks. Really good PDF, but I still have to note "seeing" in order to not attach to the concept of enlightenment while reading it. LOL!

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
12/27/13 9:35 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Ha ha, it's probably his best article, summing up in a concise wording most of his video talks. Actually, most of the article is about equanimity and positive change of behavior, which I think resonates with your quest, as I get from your practice thread, isn't it? In fact, there's little room in the article about maps, stages and what perceptual changes occur when going deep in the practice. I thought that it get lost in the +70 pages and it would be of interest to DhO fellows, in order to trace similarities and differences with other maps exposed in MCTB, the Taoist map added at the Wiki section, and Hokai Sobol explanation of his Zen map Japanese Vajrayana map.

For a comparative perspective, as far as I understand, this SY Zen Map it's heavy sided on Impermanence, which goes deep into the nature and arising & passing of Formations (polarizations) and recognize the use of concentration to sew a string of Fruitions (Nothingness), focusing in its just before & after moments (creation and cancellation), which finally coalesce into a single polarization (Time begins to Warp), ending in a full No-Self participating in the flow of the Source. Interesting isn't it?

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
12/27/13 11:30 PM as a reply to PP.
Pablo . P:
Ha ha, it's probably his best article, summing up in a concise wording most of his video talks. Actually, most of the article is about equanimity and positive change of behavior, which I think resonates with your quest, as I get from your practice thread, isn't it? In fact, there's little room in the article about maps, stages and what perceptual changes occur when going deep in the practice. I thought that it get lost in the +70 pages and it would be of interest to DhO fellows, in order to trace similarities and differences with other maps exposed in MCTB, the Taoist map added at the Wiki section, and Hokai Sobol explanation of his Zen map Japanese Vajrayana map.

For a comparative perspective, as far as I understand, this SY Zen Map it's heavy sided on Impermanence, which goes deep into the nature and arising & passing of Formations (polarizations) and recognize the use of concentration to sew a string of Fruitions (Nothingness), focusing in its just before & after moments (creation and cancellation), which finally coalesce into a single polarization (Time begins to Warp), ending in a full No-Self participating in the flow of the Source. Interesting isn't it?


It may be long but it's worth a read.

Without an improvement in behaviour it's useless so I'd be interested in how mindfulness can help. Despite seeing the no-self Shinzen still needed psychotherapy to let go of drug addiction so that's an eye-opener on how developing the right beliefs is very important while doing this practice.

How Shinzen Broke Through Addiction

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
4/19/15 11:32 AM as a reply to PP.
Pablo . P:
For a comparative perspective, as far as I understand, this SY Zen Map it's heavy sided on Impermanence, which goes deep into the nature and arising & passing of Formations (polarizations) and recognize the use of concentration to sew a string of Fruitions (Nothingness), focusing in its just before & after moments (creation and cancellation), which finally coalesce into a single polarization (Time begins to Warp), ending in a full No-Self participating in the flow of the Source. Interesting isn't it?

Today I saw another of his videos, where he explained that actually the Gone Noting method is related to Self Inquiry, which points towards things comes from, whereas Gone points towards things go to and then (else things) emerges from. ADDED: He catalogues "Flow" as an Impermanence method. I guess my mistake is that coming from standard Mahasi noting, where I initially saw Impermanence before Dukkha and No-Self, when switched to Gone Noting, I thought it was the same method, just different object of attention. However, later in the video, SY says (as far as I understand) that it's not just seeing where things come from (the Void) like in Self-Inquiry, but see the process of simultaneous creation and extintion. Kind of Dependent Origination in other words. 

See from 15:24 onwards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zL-oEF2lQRI
"Description of Paths to Liberated Experience"

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
4/22/15 1:48 PM as a reply to PP.
Here's another video explaining much the same, perhaps clearer. 

How does mindfulness meditation relate to self-enquiry?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHUajtPXPDw



RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/12/15 7:56 AM as a reply to PP.
Pablo P:
Here's another video explaining much the same, perhaps clearer. 

How does mindfulness meditation relate to self-enquiry?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHUajtPXPDw



Thanks for posting this vid! Answered a few questions bubbling in my head.

As someone who's been doing self-inquiry (atma-vichara) long before Insight meditation, I can really relate to it in new terms.

Also, I've recently finished MCTB, and was trying to map or check how some practices that I'm very familiar with, fit into the 3 Trainings.. and self-inquiry was under the "Wisdom" category (although there are ways in which it could be done as a Concentration prac).. and I was trying to see how that fitted in with it being 'Insight'.

Cheers,
Dean.

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/12/15 8:39 AM as a reply to PP.
It seems to be just a rephrasing of the Visudhimagga nanas:


1. Just starting 
2. Got the form = access concentration
3. Detect coarse impermanence
4. Detect subtle impermanence 
5. Detect underlying wavelets 
6. Rhythmic arising and passing = A&P
7. Passing becomes rich = dissolution
8. Arising becomes rich = DN / low equanimity
9. Time begins to warp = high equanimity
10. Dance at the Source = fruition

It is interesting how he glosses over the dark night, but he de-emphasises it a lot in his teachings in general, so I am not surprised.

It is also noteworthy that he remaps the first three nanas into something new. Anyone care to comment how this relates to their practice?

I really like how he split away the synaesthetic time-warping effects of hi eq in its own stage.

Nice modern map of the vipassana territory in my opinion. Thanks for sharing this emoticon

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/12/15 6:03 PM as a reply to Dean P.
Dean P:
Also, I've recently finished MCTB, and was trying to map or check how some practices that I'm very familiar with, fit into the 3 Trainings.. and self-inquiry was under the "Wisdom" category (although there are ways in which it could be done as a Concentration prac).. and I was trying to see how that fitted in with it being 'Insight'.


Hi Dean, I'm Pablo P. For some unknown reason, I can no longer answer with my previous username.

Comparing with other "similar" models, my working hypothesis is that Inquiry practices (including SY's Gone Noting) are related to Middle & High Equanimity and Arupa Jhanas. So this SY practice is not strictly an Inquiry model but a mix of Impermanence & Concentration & Inquiry, with a heavier emphasis in the first two in earlier insight stages.

Best,
Pablo

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/12/15 7:41 PM as a reply to neko.
Hi Neko, this is how I see it:

1. Just starting 
2. Got the form = access concentration
3. Detect coarse impermanence = early A&P
4. Detect subtle impermanence  = late A&P
5. Detect underlying wavelets = Dukkha Ñanas
6. Rhythmic arising and passing = Low EQ
7. Passing becomes rich = Middle EQ
8. Arising becomes rich = High EQ I
9. Time begins to warp = High EQ II
10. Dance at the Source = Fruition

Nevertheless, trying to fit SY's model (or any other) into Visudhimagga ñanas is good only in order to have some reference. I used to do that, but lately I noted that I was loosing the chance to fully appreciate the flavour of the model. 

Dukkha Ñanas is all about diving into the subsconcious. Check # 5 in the OP. Beware of the term Dark Night, because we have an unique use of the term in DhO. In other sanghas is related to a time when Unitive experiences fade and No-Self hasn't kicked in fully. 

Best,
Pablo

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/13/15 1:45 AM as a reply to Pablo CEG.
Interesting that you break eq down into so many subnanas, I only recognise a low phase and a high phase in my current practice. I wonder if the correspondence between the SZY stages and nanas might be partially subjective, since SZY says that his stages do not necessarily come up in a strict succession?

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/13/15 8:09 AM as a reply to neko.
Actually it's quite common in other models breaking down EQ in subnanas. In MCTB1 it's divided en three: low, middle and high. Plus, Daniel added lately a Ñana - Jhana Mind Map, where he matched Arupa Jhanas with EQ. Check it out at https://vimeo.com/69475208 .

RE: Shinzen Young's 10 steps towards Enlightenment
Answer
7/13/15 10:08 AM as a reply to Pablo CEG.
Thanks Pablo, I knew that map but I had never listened to the video actually, will do it now emoticon

Indeed, I do spend some time the "7th jhana" aspect of Equanimity right after High Equanimity generally. All the other ones I don't really recognise during my Vipassana practice though. Might be that I pass through them without realising, of course.