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Post 4th Path Practices

Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/5/14 9:18 PM
Hello,

        I am curious about those who feel they have reached 4th path as defined in MCTB and gone on to see further developmental shifts. Specifically, what method/s were most useful or what resources were most useful? What did those shifts entail?
       For example, for myself I can say that somatic practices and paying attention to the way that thoughts/feelings bounce off the body creating a sense of dissaosiciation has brought about dramatic changes in the way that reality is recieved and processed so that even post mctb 4th path there has been a signifigant reduction in the tension associated with the process of dissaosicating through thinking/feeling. This had all been described in my journal at kfd which may be lost to the wind for the second time now, not entirely sure.
      I believe my own process is not uniquely better but was just suited to my own particular history/personality, so I am just interested in what others have found most useful: continued noting? Dzogchen? Concentration? Metta? AF inspired practice? Something else entirely? Thank you.

Bill
        
       

RE: Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/5/14 9:45 PM as a reply to Bill F..
Well, it has been 11 years, which is a pretty long time-span to try to describe, starting after medical school, spanning residency and 8 years of post-residency work, which has involved all sorts of changes. It is hard to really sum up.

First point: the implications of this space are the primary thing, obviously, that being now the reality, not that it wasn't always the reality, but this it's different when the thing knows it is the thing all the way through. So, anything about the field trying to somehow optimize itself really is the practice, such that "practice" really seems to be everything, and that happens on its own.

However, I take it that this was not your question, and you mean formal practices, techniques, and the like.

I really doubt that it is going to be something that one person could answer and have that answer mean a whole lot to anyone else, as at that point (as as every other point, but it is not known the same way), conditioning and circumstances will determine what happens, and those are obviously extremely individually variable.

That said, my formal practice has been all over the place, everything from samatha to magick to Brahma Viharas to AF-inspired stuff to very Dzogchen-inspired stuff to lots of things that are really hard to describe, as I don't see a lot of people talking about that territory, such as what to do with the waves of subtle unrightness that can slowly move through the body (did have a brief conversation with Chuck Kasmire about that years ago), and things like energy work, cognitive restructuring, and things that are very vipassana: noticing very fine points of subtle parts of feelings and the like, as well as dream-work, things that are very zazen (practice-enlightenment, which, from a certain point of view encompasses all of this), and on and on...

More specifically, and to paraphrase Chi Nul, just because the Sun is shining brightly, that doesn't mean all the snow will melt at once, and the implications of the field integrating this understanding into all sorts of brain regions, patterns, feelings, old habits, constructs, and things has been totally fascinating. That has been the most remarkable thing, as the fundamental insight runs into parts of the brain that might not have been used for years, feelings that might not have been felt since decades ago, ways of thinking about the world that are clearly out-dated and yet didn't get reworked until some very specific situation brought them to light in some way, and all of that, now being perceived in this totally different way, can transform itself into something better

That basically goes along with my very brief blurb on integration in MCTB, which says basically: get the insight, and reality will integrate itself.

Overall, it has been fascinating to explore old things in a new light, as well as get into new things in that same new light, and so the key really is the new light.

RE: Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/6/14 2:10 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
That said, my formal practice has been all over the place, everything from samatha to magick to Brahma Viharas to AF-inspired stuff to very Dzogchen-inspired stuff to lots of things that are really hard to describe, as I don't see a lot of people talking about that territory, such as what to do with the waves of subtle unrightness that can slowly move through the body (did have a brief conversation with Chuck Kasmire about that years ago), and things like energy work, cognitive restructuring, and things that are very vipassana: noticing very fine points of subtle parts of feelings and the like, as well as dream-work, things that are very zazen (practice-enlightenment, which, from a certain point of view encompasses all of this), and on and on...
Daniel,
I am a bit surprised that you do not mention elimination of time stress (Chronoception?) more often. It sounds like some kind of attainment to me post 4th.

Daniel M. Ingram:
It felt like some part of things directly related to time and some perception of time synchronized in some way that I found totally surprising. The analogy that always comes most readily to mind is that of an engine with its timing belt off one notch: it will run, but it will shake just a bit, or perhaps a lot, depending on the engine. Yet, strangely, this was a shaking I never really noticed until suddenly it was as if the timing belt of the mind jumped back into the right alignment and suddenly the subtle shaking stopped. The entrance to this was not during a Fruition, making this the first of two major shifts that would involve some seemingly somewhat permanent (who though who knows, really) transition into an alternate and better way of perceiving reality that didn't involve that entrance into it.
After that, time pressure was suddenly really different and seemed nearly totally eliminated. Further, the perception of time itself was totally different. Whereas before I could clearly see that time was constructed of thoughts of past and future happening now, and that was something that I could notice when attention turned that way it had taken that sort of attention to that specific aspect of things to receive that benefit of seeing through time creation itself. Now it seemed that those benefits were now hard-wired into my baseline way of being, and those benefits were immediately obvious.
I felt better, clearer, more easy. The Dark Night of my Actualism phase seemed to have vanished. Suddenly I felt that I had gotten what I was looking for, that some new window had been opened, that something was now activated and working through old structures again, a feeling I hadn't had since April, 2003. What was interesting is that this was not at all what my friends were talking about, though they had mentioned things about time effects that were similar, and yet it seemed to be where those practices lead for me. I must assume that some aspect of this is idiosyncratic, though I have a few friends who have described the elimination of time pressure also, just at a totally different phase of their practice and by slightly different methods.

Any more advice on the various practices that lead you to more PCE's?
Thanks,
~D

RE: Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/6/14 1:38 PM as a reply to Bill F..
William Golden Finch:
Hello,
        I am curious about those who feel they have reached 4th path as defined in MCTB and gone on to see further developmental shifts. Specifically, what method/s were most useful or what resources were most useful? What did those shifts entail?
 Bill      
Though I am not 4th path I have thought a bit about this so take it as you will. The list of derived material qualities relate to the selfing processes.  I have found some correlation from the list of these "Derived material qualities" in the vimuttimagga and path moments. There are additional ones on the list that may not be associated to Path moments that still need to be addressed. Here is an old thread that I diagram some of the correlations I saw....but it is incomplete and I need to rework some things -http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4415915
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

See if there are anything here that might be useful to work on, or that you think you may have disentangled from selfing processes. At fourth path everything should be untangled but these possibly. Some or all might be done during third path though....I just don'thave the data yet myself.

Femininity
Masculinity
Life-principle
Body-intimation
Speech-intimation
element of space
solid food
The basis of the material element
The material quality of torpor
Good Luck.
~D

RE: Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/6/14 1:23 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
So what I am saying is look to the stress center of your brain and see what is still hooked up to it.
Here are some thoughts...definitely not Buddhist explanations but just some thoughts about what might be a cause of stress.
Femininity/Masculinity -Does stress arise around gender identification or your own possible sexual diversity?
Life-principle - Does stress arise around your thoughts of sickness and death? check out death meditations and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_anxiety_%28psychology%29
Body-intimation - Does stress arise about your body image? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_image
Speech-intimation - Does stress arise around fear of public speaking http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossophobia
element of space - Does stress arise around space? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claustrophobiahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agoraphobia
solid food - Does stress arise around food? Scarcity, preferences, or when your blood sugar is low?
The basis of the material element - Does stress arise around ????
The material quality of torpor - Does stress arise around procrastination or time stress?

There are many subtle stressors that only arise conditionally that can be vipasannaized. In review after 1st path I spent 3-4 days on retreat noticing every possible combination of sexual thoughts nonstop until it popped. I was then able to get back to the program. I have not had this problem since. I think there can be some good work to be done with these things and anything else that you are aware of that still has a connection to the stress center....Hacking the brain and rewiring as needed.
Good Luck,
~D

RE: Post 4th Path Practices
Answer
6/6/14 5:29 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Daniel: Thank you for the response. Always interesting.

Dream Walker: Thank you for your response. Those ideas are not really resonating with where I'm at now, but deifnitely somw interesting stuff to think about,