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Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"

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Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/25/14 11:34 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Tom O. 8/24/14 3:33 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Eric M W 8/24/14 4:49 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dream Walker 8/24/14 5:01 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 8/24/14 6:30 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dream Walker 8/24/14 11:24 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 8/26/14 9:11 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dream Walker 8/24/14 5:16 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 8/24/14 6:01 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 8/24/14 6:50 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/5/14 2:21 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" A. Dietrich Ringle 8/24/14 9:02 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dauphin Supple Chirp 8/25/14 10:08 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 8/26/14 9:21 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/5/14 11:17 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Small Steps 9/5/14 12:10 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/5/14 1:06 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dream Walker 9/5/14 2:05 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/5/14 6:05 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/5/14 7:32 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Dream Walker 9/6/14 11:46 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" sawfoot _ 9/13/14 2:13 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Florian 9/13/14 10:38 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/13/14 10:53 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Florian 9/13/14 11:26 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/5/14 7:53 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/5/14 8:07 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" x x 9/5/14 9:04 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/5/14 9:52 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/5/14 11:23 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/5/14 11:57 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/6/14 2:38 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/6/14 3:07 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/6/14 8:53 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/6/14 10:57 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" dat Buddha-field 9/6/14 11:08 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/7/14 6:03 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/7/14 10:46 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Eva Nie 9/8/14 12:00 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/8/14 11:04 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Jenny 9/9/14 11:31 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/9/14 11:45 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Eva Nie 9/7/14 11:07 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/8/14 10:55 AM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Eva Nie 9/13/14 1:44 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/13/14 2:22 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Eva Nie 9/13/14 6:59 PM
RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations" Psi 9/6/14 12:10 AM
Dear all,

As I mentioned on a thread soliciting descriptions of the Three Doors, editing of draft MCTB2 has begun. Another chapter that I expect that I will heavily query is the one that discusses "formations" in High Equanimity. I feel that High Equanimity deserves considerable close attention and maybe expansion. After all, this is the stage out of which cessation and fruition arise, and navigating it, in my experience, is tricky. 

One controversial description with a controversial label in MCTB1 is Daniel's "formations." I think he's even considered removing that word from the book altogether, because of the seemingly interminable questions about what one is actually looking for in the stage called High Equanimity Concerning Formations.

I have several thoughts of my own on this topic. First of all, when I read MCTB1 I got the impression that "formations" where somehow first clearly experienced only in High EQ, even though Daniel does write that "from a high dharma point of view, formations are always what is occurring"--or something like that. When I looked up the Progress of Insight online, I noticed that the "knowledges" include the word "formations" much earlier, down in the A&P stage or even earlier, I believe. These "formations" are the concept of Saṅkhāras, correct? I believe Thanissaro Bhikkhu and others call them "fabrications" to emphasize that they are temporary conglomerations of conditions and sensations, "that which is put together." We apply labels to these fabrications in order to confer on them a stable reality that they don't "really" have.

Our so-called consciousness ("constructed consciousness") is also a fabrication intimately tied in with karma and the 12 links of becoming, such that even an Arahat displays the karmic traces of personality, suffering, and imperfect actions by virtue of having been born. In other words, an Arahat, as a contructive consciousness has stopped constructing, stopped fabricating, stopped creating karma, but as constructed consciousness, he or she still plays out a psycho-physical substrate, a personality, the traces of a karmic heritage. I've seen Daniel explain this in several threads on the DhO to counter continuing expectations that an Arahat be a perfectly pain-free saint. See [url=]this.

Anyway, to me Daniel's introducing "formations" all of a sudden in that late EQ chapter seemed to imply that maybe he was talking about a category of experience unique to EQ--despite his breezy disclaimer to the contrary, despite his saying that formations are always what is occurring. So my takeaway was, "Oh, they are always occurring, but we can't see them until High EQ." So I thought MCTB "formations" were a category of experience like "vibrations," and I looked for something that would replace "vibrations" in high EQ. Oddly, I found it, and I actually saw, every night for 2 months, what I thought were formations--and I saw them as distinct things, in the way that vibrations are things.

At any rate, if you have experienced "formations" of whatever definition in High EQ, would you please describe the experience to the best of your ability below? And feel free to comment on Daniel's use of the term formations in MCTB2.

With gratitude for your help,

Jenny



RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 3:33 PM as a reply to Jenny.
I was always confused by the MCTB description of formations. Like you, I felt that their presentation there gave them some mystical quality that only applied to EQ. My current take, though, is that formations...fabrications...are what the mind does all the time, and that the real point of that nana is that you have equanimity towards them. You don't get engaged, trapped, or seduced by them. They just form, and go away, while you dispassionately watch.

I am also finding (since EQ is where I am currently at) that in higher EQ, the formations themselves slow down in the sense that they present themselves to be more easily inspected.

Just my 0.02.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 4:49 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Here's an old thread that sums up some of the difficulties surrounding the discussion of "formations." Tommy M's post is particularly helpful, I will paste it below.

thread
It's not a hopeless request, it's actually something which is worth asking about as formations are notoriously difficult to discuss. Dan's descriptions of formations in MCTB are very difficult to follow since he's had a lot of experience with this and has examined formations at a level which is difficult to fully understand so I think, and no disrespect to Daniel, that it's easy to get confused by this. I know 3rd & 4th Path yogis who say that they've got no idea what he's describing but I think much of this has to do with Daniel's technical approach and efforts to give as much detail as possible. 

So, my (quite possibly incorrect) understanding and experience of formations is this: Formations contain all sensory information (at the six sense doors) of a single moment of experience. They're like the building blocks or basic templates of dualistic experience since they contain all sensation from space and time, to the breath in the body. They occur constantly but this dualistic perception sees a "break" between each formation which creates the sense that each moment is somehow seperate from the last. Basically, formations are what occur all the time and contain all potential sensations which you could possibly note. Examining them closer allowed me to experience a gestalt of the moment i.e. all sensation at once in a unified sense field.

He was a great contributor, it is unfortunate that he is no longer active online. Perhaps this will be of assistance when it comes to trying to sort out exactly how one experiences formations, and how this can be addressed in MCTB2.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 5:01 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jen Pearly:
At any rate, if you have experienced "formations" of whatever definition in High EQ, would you please describe the experience to the best of your ability below? And feel free to comment on Daniel's use of the term formations in MCTB2.
With gratitude for your help,
Jenny

Lemme give it a shot and see what people think. -

Formations - Discrete units of sensory data packets that make up all perceived reality. These packets are usually overlayed such that the arising and passing away and discreteness is blurred into a continuous experienced reality. During the A&P phase the discreteness of each packet is perceived with greater clarity and the Arising and passing away phase is seen clearly. In high EQ the packets are seen with even greater clarity and the gaps between each passing away and the next arising is perceived making them completely discrete. The gap is then observed in such a way that consciousness is sucked into the gap and cessation occurs.

For an extremely geeky analogy see page 40- of Shinzen Young's PDF - http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/WhatIsMindfulness_SY_Public.pdf
From thread - Formations - clarification / confirmation / question
Dream Walker:
Here is my take on formations. It can be anything experienced with the 6 senses only it is seen very clearly right before a fruition. So it is no help to identifying when you see one except hindsight. I spent 2 years in review and did the fruition thing several times a week...here is how it went...
Description-
I would be sitting in the sauna and get to EQ then I would feel the heat arise and pass away; get more intense then peak and fade more quickly than the build up (This was slow for me, it builds for like 2 - 3 seconds then passes away quicker like 1-2 seconds). at the bottom of the pass away it would hit bottom with a *thump* into a barrier that was solid but had some give to it like packed dirt. Then consciousness would fade slowly to almost gone and then fade back and this would happen again - Heat arises and passes away again, *thump* , fadeout again, on the last one the *thump* would be a breaking through the barrier into cessation, nothing, totally gone. The experience coming back was instant, consciousness was back, moment to notice, strong in breath and the bliss wave would roll over me.
So the formation pre-cessation that was presenting itself was heat. It was slow and methodical and very clear. If this is not it I totally missed what a formation is....many times emoticon

for additional threads Google ---> site:www.dharmaoverground.org formations
Hope this helps,
~D

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 5:16 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jen Pearly:
And feel free to comment on Daniel's use of the term formations in MCTB2.
Did I miss something??? Where might I read MBCT2?
Thanks,
~D

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 6:01 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hey, DW, I meant Daniel's possible retention of "formations" in the future MCTB2. He has started giving me pieces to edit. In my private communications with him regarding the editorial project and my (sychronicity!) recent probable stream entry, he and I discussed this issue of MCTB formations a bit. MCTB2 isn't posted anywhere. Maybe that will happen after a basic cleanup on the sentence level--I don't know, up to Daniel. If Daniel wants to put it out there for community critique, I will advise him to wait till he and I finish basic editing so that you all are encountering a clean, clarified version.

I'm doing a lot of work on it right now, though, and do need some quiet time and space, without a lot of commentary surrounding it, at this first-pass stage. One main consideration is version control, too, so it is not a good idea to have several simultaneous versions going on that later need to be reconciled. That is a disaster I encounter more times than I like to remember in my day job. This said, I will be throwing questions out here as I make my first pass, as I'm doing now--so long as Daniel is okay with my doing so. Daniel still has some big decisions to finalize. I'm not sure how he wants to go about making those decisions, with how much commentary invited and from whom. I guess we'll find out.

I think Daniel said he mainly expanded on what was in MCTB1, especially in the part on concentration. And he's planning to add a bunch of geeky tables and figures.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 6:30 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks, DW. Wow--pp. 44 and 45 of that Young document!!! That's it!!! When I have tried to explain to people what I was seeing (mine was chiefly a visual phenomenon), as yours was chiefly heat, I have said that until right before the cessation, the A&Ps were overlapping in time, making my seeing clear beginnings and endings an impossible task. Then, suddenly, they all synced up, as in the Young figures, and I saw them arise and pass as distinct "packets" of experience, beginnings and endings extremely clear. I remembered what people here said about really paying attention to "gone." I did for three or four more of those packets, and then BAM--cessation.

When I was talking to Daniel, he asked me to reproduce the speed/slowness of those three or four moments of distinct passings-away, as if that were diagnostic. Mine were pretty slow. He said that was correct for formations in EQ: they are fairly slow. My experience was as if time itself had warped down to a crawl, so I could see.

Thanks for clarifying that the ability to see these "formations" begin and end so clearly is confined to just before fruitions. That helps a lot, because I'm not sure that is emphasized in MCTB1.

[Edited for typo. Wish we had a spell checker, too.]

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 6:50 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Here's my description of "formations" from my recent High EQ:

People tend to say that formations are more about process and are not really "things." I experience them pretty much as things, I think, in the same way that vibrations are on some level perceived as things and not simply process. It makes no sense to me that a process can be directly perceived in a single moment if it is simply the measure of change in X from moment to moment (ie, process). 

So the things I sensed in Equanimity are like three-dimensional Rorschach blots that "bloom" into view (these are visual for me) and then unbloom--sort of go concave and blank or even black. For instance, I often sit on a cushion on my bedroom floor to meditate, There, if I open my eyes at least slightly when I'm about 15 minutes into a sit, the fine vibrational particles will recede from notice while these bigger swirls and even LSD-type "breathings" start up in the carpet. The carpet fibers will look "alive" and moving like seaweed.

If I remain still and keep watching, whole constellations of these start becoming more organized and more 3D and unfold like big blooms of the carpet (or wall, or bedpost, or whatever I gaze on). Until the day of my supposed stream entry, I really could not see the beginnings and endings of these blooms. For one thing, they overlap in space-time with many other blooms at various points in the blooming or dying, and many blooms occur wherever I look.

On the day of stream entry, either my mind sped up, or the formations slowed way, way, down and synchronized, because I could suddenly see an isolated one from beginning to end, like a series of still shots, and then another, and then a another. They became very slow and regular, like a calm heartbeat given in still frames. Right before stream entry, I was paying intense attention to the dying off of each bloom. When I realized that what I was seeing in the moment of die-off wasn't really a true "nothing," that's when reality stopped cold, after three or four more views of these passing away.

Now, during sits in High Equanimity, I also experience "meditative tinnitus" and could hear many layers of sound vibrations of different duration and pitches. These mixed nicely with the sound of tree frogs and cicadas outside at night, which I also tuned into. Quite a symphony! I guess all the layers could be thought of as a 3D aural thing, too, but they didn't blend with the visual phenomena. I never did get any kind of synesthesia--the experience of one sense for another, or all blended so that the senses weren't separate. I have no idea what people may mean by that, unless that it is just that you get so focused on the formation that you forget about which sense organ is involved. That much does make sense to me.


RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 9:02 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Formations in my experience can be discovered in situations outside of formal meditative practices as are done here.

My first encounter with such phenomena was while in the midst of an intense DMT trip.

The whole of reality was fluxing, time was spiraling into itself, the visual field flashing a livid non-self entity that expressed itself in vortexing, voluptous patterns in space.

I have never experienced a high EQ higher than that one.

While here, I might as well describe what I am currently experiencing:

A distinction is made between the emotive content of the mind, represented in circular fashion, and the orgasmic ultimate potential that is contained within more of a drop like motif. Where the triangular junctures make themselves known, I know not.


Edit. It seems that it is quite a possibility that all that I said here was a lie. I don't know why, but as soon as I post something on this website, I find myself beginning to see things differently.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/24/14 11:24 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jen Pearly:
Wish we had a spell checker, too.
Press the <Source> button on the button area where bold and the rest of the buttons are and then click into the text area and the spell checker will underline in red and words it does not know....annoyingly it doesn't know vipasanna and several other well used words....better than nothing though...note nothing...note nothing.
~D

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/25/14 10:08 AM as a reply to Jenny.
In my experience of EQ, formations are often interpreted (visually) to be somewhat similar to blocks of glass, often the kind of orange-yellow color lots of people experience in A&P, but more crystalline I guess. Existence then seems like a rapid succession of these blocks, one after another. It's all really quite beautiful, but at that stage, the meditator apparently doesn't care about beauty. You just sit and pay attention because it's the only thing you're doing right now, sort of out of habit, not appreciation for the beauty of it, or any sort of conscious motivation.

In the weeks after SE, I was of the opinion that viññāṇa is saṅkhāra. (I now believe what I had actually seen was simply the link between them: "Saṅkhārapaccayā viññāṇaṃ." I also mistakenly interpreted the word saṅkhāra to mean "put together," when it really means "putting together," i.e. "fabrication" in the sense of "the act or process of fabricating," not "something fabricated.")

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/26/14 9:11 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Awesome! Thanks for the spell-checking tip, DW!

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
8/26/14 9:21 PM as a reply to Dauphin Supple Chirp.
I had to run over to Access to Insight to look all that up! emoticon

Someone emailed me recently with the news that her experience of formations is like mine: these blooming nimittas that fold and bloom, fold and bloom. Interesting, huh?

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 11:17 AM as a reply to Jenny.
I prefer Thanissaro Bhikku's translation, as 'fabrications'.  It seems to really capture that our experience of reality is created out of action, karma, intentness, or fabrication.  It is profound how much of reality is fabricated.  The work of insight is to unravel all these incredibly habituated patterns of doing that conceal what lies underneath.  

You will notice that Daniel equates the nana of equanimity to the 4th vipassana jhana.  Recall that 4th jhana is the jhana where the factor of equanimity is present.  Thus, the 'point' of this stage of insight is to see how even equanimity is something that we do.  Even a state as pure and as clear as 4th jhana is fabricated.  In this stage of insight we are noticing how the mind 'does' equanimity, and thus how even some small amount of stress is present due to this unecessary level of doing.  When we are able to discern this stress or doing, we can incline towards release from it and cessation occurs.  For the first time, we taste 'not doing'.  

If we are experiencing some sort of visual phenomena, then certainly there is an element of fabrication present.  Being able to discern this is a matter of seeing the mind's involvement in the process.  The visual phenomena itself is not the formation, it is the result of what the mind is 'doing' which is the formation.  Similarly, the EQ of fourth jhana is not nana of EQ.  

  

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 12:10 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-field:

You will notice that Daniel equates the nana of equanimity to the 4th vipassana jhana.  Recall that 4th jhana is the jhana where the factor of equanimity is present.  Thus, the 'point' of this stage of insight is to see how even equanimity is something that we do.  Even a state as pure and as clear as 4th jhana is fabricated.  In this stage of insight we are noticing how the mind 'does' equanimity, and thus how even some small amount of stress is present due to this unecessary level of doing.  When we are able to discern this stress or doing, we can incline towards release from it and cessation occurs.  For the first time, we taste 'not doing'.  


Could inclining towards release lead to jhana of boundless space rather than cessation? Or does the movement to this take on a different 'flavor' of inclination than for release? (I can't see why this wouldn't be the case)

dat Buddha-field:

If we are experiencing some sort of visual phenomena, then certainly there is an element of fabrication present.  Being able to discern this is a matter of seeing the mind's involvement in the process.  The visual phenomena itself is not the formation, it is the result of what the mind is 'doing' which is the formation.  Similarly, the EQ of fourth jhana is not nana of EQ.     


How about the EQ that arises from Brahmavihara practice? Similar in fabrication to EQ of fourth jhana?

Your point above is a good one. The nana of any stage is not the same as the felt sense (or fabrication) of being in that stage.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 1:06 PM as a reply to Small Steps.
Small Steps:

Could inclining towards release lead to jhana of boundless space rather than cessation? Or does the movement to this take on a different 'flavor' of inclination than for release? (I can't see why this wouldn't be the case)
I think if we're clear about what we're doing then there isn't really risk of accidental 5th jhana.  At that level of absorption, even very subtle movements of mind feel huge and thus accidents don't really happen.

But there is a fundamental difference in the two activities.  In moving from 4th to 5th jhana, we are content with our experience of EQ.  We let go of EQ and allow absorption into the dimension of boundless space to take its place.  Yet we are too fully abosrbed into our object (whether EQ or boundless space) to engage investigation into fabrications.  

Let's say alternatively, we take Pa Auk Sayadaw's advice and rise up to 4th jhana for the purpose of doing insight practice.  First, we must pull ourselves out of the absorption just enough to create space for investigation, but not too much such that we lose the state.  With this space we begin to investigate the equanimity itself, eventually see how it is being fabricated, look for the stress present in the fabrication, and incline towards release.    
How about the EQ that arises from Brahmavihara practice? Similar in fabrication to EQ of fourth jhana?
There will definitely be some similarities, but as to how much is for you to investigate.  I think there are too many factors at play, and thus you might find that they have slightly different flavors.  Also, if you are focusing on EQ prior to even entering 1st jhana then it is certainly a much grosser fabrication.

That sounds like it could be a very cool, albiet very challenging practice.  Can you cultivate EQ as your nimitta and then pull back just enough to do insight on it as you bring it up through the jhanas?  Wow, now there's something to try!!   

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 2:05 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-field:
I prefer Thanissaro Bhikku's translation, as 'fabrications'.  It seems to really capture that our experience of reality is created out of action, karma, intentness, or fabrication.  It is profound how much of reality is fabricated.  The work of insight is to unravel all these incredibly habituated patterns of doing that conceal what lies underneath.  

You will notice that Daniel equates the nana of equanimity to the 4th vipassana jhana.  Recall that 4th jhana is the jhana where the factor of equanimity is present.  Thus, the 'point' of this stage of insight is to see how even equanimity is something that we do.  Even a state as pure and as clear as 4th jhana is fabricated.  In this stage of insight we are noticing how the mind 'does' equanimity, and thus how even some small amount of stress is present due to this unecessary level of doing.  When we are able to discern this stress or doing, we can incline towards release from it and cessation occurs.  For the first time, we taste 'not doing'.  

If we are experiencing some sort of visual phenomena, then certainly there is an element of fabrication present.  Being able to discern this is a matter of seeing the mind's involvement in the process.  The visual phenomena itself is not the formation, it is the result of what the mind is 'doing' which is the formation.  Similarly, the EQ of fourth jhana is not nana of EQ.  

dat Buddha-field,
The topic is "Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
If you have been in High EQ and expereinced formations would you please be so kind as to describe the expereince phenomenologically.
Though you are very well read, direct expereince not an intelectual understanding of a subject is what is being asked here.
Thanks,
D

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 6:05 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:

dat Buddha-field,
The topic is "Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
If you have been in High EQ and expereinced formations would you please be so kind as to describe the expereince phenomenologically.
Though you are very well read, direct expereince not an intelectual understanding of a subject is what is being asked here.
Thanks,
D

Hi D, 

I responded in the way I did due the fact that it seemed like people were describing how they experience equanimity itself.  My point was that one's experience of EQ is not an experience of the formations surrounding consciousness of equanimity.

So to directly answer your question, I experience formations as stress.  The stress around equanimity is extremeley subtle!    

Here is what I hope is a relatable example...

 Imagine being in a really bad mood, everything in the world is pissing you off today.  Someone sneezes on you and you just lose it, telling them what a gross horrible jerk they are.  Normally, you be a little grossed out, maybe even a bit ticked, but not today, you straight up lose it.  

So what was different today?  What is this thing we call a 'bad mood'?  A bad mood is gross formations on the level of mind and body.  Being sneezed on was not a different physical event than on a day when it would have just grossed you out, right?  But something about you was different.  You were holding tension and stress in your body that caused you to perceive things more aggressively.  Events in your day were more colored by your bad mood, independent of the events themselves.  The tension that colors your experience of having a bad mood are the formations.  The formations were not 'the being sneezed on', nor were they even the anger.  They were what led you to react with anger.  AKA Your Karma, your intent, your volitional formations.  

Later that oh-so-shitty day, you sit down to meditate.  At first your mind is still in a tizzy about what a shitty day it was, but all of a sudden something relaxes.  Your mind slows down and even your body feels lighter.  Your shitty day seems to matter less all of a sudden and you're no longer in a bad mood.  What just happened?  You released from those formations that were coloring your day.  You let go of the stress you were holding in your bodymind.   This is what the Buddha means when he says to 'calm bodily fabrications'.  Let go of the stress you are holding.  

The point is that this still occurs all the way up through experiences as pure as equanimity, and THAT is what we are trying to discern.  Am I making sense?  Do you see why it's a weird question to ask how you experience formations?  Formations are always experienced as stress in the mind, no matter how subtle.  Obviously there is a lot of nuance, flavor, and difference to how they occur... but it's like asking 'how do you experience the nature of your bad mood?'  You're pissed!  That's how.  

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 7:32 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-Field,

As on the other thread where we went 'round, you seem to be locating formation/fabrication before and outside of sensate experience. In other words, you seem to be saying that all this action (formation, dicernment, release) is a matter of a priori intention, and the actual insight stage is just a separate object of this outsider manipulation perspective.

With respect, this seems to be, as DreamWalker suggested, an intellectualization--experience twice removed. Thanisarro, as well as Daniel, makes clear that "release" happens automatically, not by fiat of will power, once the practitioner penetrates (discerns) the phenomena as phenomena.

When I was in High EQ, for example, I was trying at one point to search for a "self." This search was exhausting and fruitless, but the point is that, as soon as I turned my concentration on something "over there" as my object, I suddenly knew a sense of self! X X on here gave me the hint that this was exactly right, that there is something profound and earth-shattering about the fact that object and subject create each other. If you persist in believing in radical subjectivism, then you are missing formation.

As for Daniel's "equating" fourth jhana and the nana of Equanimity, that statement is not accurate. He draws a parallel, but that differs from equating them. Your follow-on statement is a strange distortion of what Daniel says. Daniel talks a lot about higher awakening being agency-less, centerless, and so on. You are talking about the agent and the agent's stubborn moods as some kind of prime mover. This sounds like a misunderstanding.

High EQ and formations are more like subsumptions or envelopments of yourself rather than something "you" manipulate from an outside perspective. You seem to have things somehow backward.

Jenny

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 7:53 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-Field:
Thus, the 'point' of this stage of insight [Knowledge of Equanimity Concerning Formations] is to see how even equanimity is something that we do.  Even a state as pure and as clear as 4th jhana is fabricated.  In this stage of insight we are noticing how the mind 'does' equanimity, and thus how even some small amount of stress is present due to this unecessary level of doing.  When we are able to discern this stress or doing, we can incline towards release from it and cessation occurs.  For the first time, we taste 'not doing'. 

Yes, fourth-jhana factors are something we fabricate, and "dropping" certain factors, which is also something we do, opens us to the next higher jhana. However, the insight nana Equanimity (as with all the insight stages) is not an object of distancing, outside perspective, and objectification. You seem to be confusing states with stages, thinking that the latter is a matter of wilfully distancing the former. When you speak of "inclining toward release" (cessation), are you saying that you attain to nondoing by inclining? Isn't inclining doing? Isn't inclining, by your definition, more fabrication? What is so special about this fabrication that it occasions relief from its very self, its very action-orientation?

Jenny

Let's return this thread to its purpose: describing actual experience of formations rather than weaving intellections around them.

Thanks!

This is kind of simplistic, but normal perception is experienced as either "I'm looking out from here" or "experience is coming in from there". High EQ formations are when both of those viewpoints arise seemingly together in a snap-shot of time.

Oddly, internal self-sensations and external object sensations are arising within the same space sensation and with a time sensation --- which really suggests that normal perception is some kind of contructed experience. It also makes you wonder where this sense of "I" could be positioned to have this experience. The sense of "I" feels really unteathered and untrustworthy.

Since you cannot hear me, maybe you will be more inclined to hear Thanissaro Bhikku. 

Here's a short, 9 min clip of him talking about 'Fabricating the Present':  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTR63OwzEpE 

Please watch this video for the sake of all beings.  It's short.  You might notice that his talk of fabrications isn't about 'visual blooms', but it's about watching what the mind does and calming it.  

To answer one of your questions, yes, we indeed use fabrications to attain release from 'doing' altogether.  This is why the Buddha was a genius.  You replace unskillful 'doing', with skillful 'doing', and eventually you release from 'doing' altogether.  That's the hope anyway.   
In other words, you seem to be saying that all this action (formation, dicernment, release) is a matter of a priori intention, and the actual insight stage is just a separate object of this outsider manipulation perspective.

'A priori' and 'outsider manipulation perspective' is really not a good way to understand what I'm saying.  But I'll do you the favor of not saying another word and will leave your thread if you just assure me you'll watch that Thanissaro Bhikku video... and just the first few minutes of this one too while you're at it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--3nl2ZaL0Y

 

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/5/14 11:23 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-field:
Since you cannot hear me, maybe you will be more inclined to hear Thanissaro Bhikku. 

Here's a short, 9 min clip of him talking about 'Fabricating the Present':  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mTR63OwzEpE 

Please watch this video for the sake of all beings.  It's short.  You might notice that his talk of fabrications isn't about 'visual blooms', but it's about watching what the mind does and calming it.  

To answer one of your questions, yes, we indeed use fabrications to attain release from 'doing' altogether.  This is why the Buddha was a genius.  You replace unskillful 'doing', with skillful 'doing', and eventually you release from 'doing' altogether.  That's the hope anyway.   
In other words, you seem to be saying that all this action (formation, dicernment, release) is a matter of a priori intention, and the actual insight stage is just a separate object of this outsider manipulation perspective.

'A priori' and 'outsider manipulation perspective' is really not a good way to understand what I'm saying.  But I'll do you the favor of not saying another word and will leave your thread if you just assure me you'll watch that Thanissaro Bhikku video... and just the first few minutes of this one too while you're at it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--3nl2ZaL0Y

 
Hey all, 

Okay, I started the second link for a couple of minutes, Thannissaro Bhikku talks about how the mind requires effort to think and fabricate, etc,
Not really buying it myself, from my view the mind is there, and thinks happen pretty much due to cause and effect, impersonally and on there own, it might seem like there is an effort involved, but, again from my view it is like saying a car engine is using effort to keep running, doesn't make sense or really match up with reality , when reality is cross-examined and investigated.  Kind of seems like more of the dancing around the Ego/me delusion.

I'll check more into the link and the first link posted, because I might be just making a hasty, impulsive post, based on the other numerous hours of Thannissaro's views.  And, it could be he is "baby-Stepping" practicioners towards anatta, You know, investigate what you think is the self, find out it's not, wash , rinse, repeat.

I do apologize for being so blunt lately, guess I am feeling that sense of urgency, (what if I die tomorrow), and am tired of beating around the bush so much, that coupled with not having mastered Right Speech, etc.  Well, it is what it is.

I'll look at first link, interested in fabrications, and formations views.

Psi Phi

Okay, so the first link is about training to get to access concentration, being aware of sensations as they arise, and letting them be, and letting them dissolve away without feeding them, if one feeds them they turn into fabrications/formations, then on down the chain we go.

This is same as in informal mindfulness, mindfulness while not on the cushion, being aware of what arises in the mind and not letting the mind cling and stick to sensations as they arise, thus letting the mind reside in "bare attention".

Anyway, that's what I got out of his talk.  I'm not sure how or if this relates to High EQ, and if it is the same or not ?  

Plus, I do still hear a little of the mind creating reality talk, maybe this is just semantics.  To me the mind is aware of waht has already happened, already occurred..  For insatnce, there is an organ called the Eye, then there is lightwaves hitting the Eye, and there is (almost simutaneously the eye consciousness,   Shortened to Eye, Eye Contact, and Eye Consciousness.  What exactly fabricated what?

Same with thoughts, there is Thought Stimuli, Thought contact, and Thought Consciousness.  If there is a fabrication, that supposes a fabricator, there is no fabricator in the equation.   

Though the fabricator delusion comes in later, and that is where dukkha starts.  Then again this may be just semantics in the talking, as we have to use some form of concepts to communicate.

And a big Sorry to Jen if this is off-topic....

Psi Phi

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/6/14 12:10 AM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
Okay, here's my view again, and yeah ya didn't ask for it, I was watching the second link video, and to me, it makes more sense to replace the use of his word effort with the word energy, it just makes more sense to me, guess I'm a strange one.

Basically instead of saying "The mind requires effort to think and react."
  
It makes more sense to me to say "The mind requires energy to think and react."

But, I'm no scholar....

Okay, so the first link is about training to get to access concentration, being aware of sensations as they arise, and letting them be, and letting them dissolve away without feeding them, if one feeds them they turn into fabrications/formations, then on down the chain we go.

So it is about developing access concentration, but an important instruction in the Anapanasati Sutta is to 'calm bodily fabrications'.  Fabrications don't suddenly arise from nowhere because you feed them, they're there already.  They are what you are letting go of as you relax into jhana.  So instead of saying 'calm bodily fabrications' the Buddha could also have just said relax the body.  But he didn't.  He said 'calm bodily fabrications' which does mean relax, but he's also saying something a lot deeper at the same time.  
Plus, I do still hear a little of the mind creating reality talk, maybe this is just semantics.

It's not semantics.  It's the point!  The video is called 'Fabricating the Present' for a reason.  Though slightly more subtlety would be useful. How about saying the mind fabricates our experience of reality?  
To me the mind is aware of waht has already happened, already occurred..  For insatnce, there is an organ called the Eye, then there is lightwaves hitting the Eye, and there is (almost simutaneously the eye consciousness,   Shortened to Eye, Eye Contact, and Eye Consciousness.  What exactly fabricated what?

If you look at the 12 nidanas, you will see that fabrication comes before consciousness.  This means your experience is already colored before you have objects of consciousness.  This is what I was trying to say in my story about getting sneezed on.  Dukkha is present in your eye consciousness before eye consciousness has an object.  
If there is a fabrication, that supposes a fabricator, there is no fabricator in the equation.   

It doesn't.  Taking fabrication as self, along with any of the other five aggregates is the thing we do out of ignorance.  Why is the concept of fabrication or intention a concept you feel the need to attach a self to?  

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/6/14 3:07 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-field:

It doesn't.  Taking fabrication as self, along with any of the other five aggregates is the thing we do out of ignorance.  Why is the concept of fabrication or intention a concept you feel the need to attach a self to?  

Because, the concept of fabrication arises out of ignorance, ignoring the origination of dukkha, the origination of dukkha being greed, hatred, and delusion, the core root of which is delusion, the delusion of not seeing anicca, dukkha ,and anatta in phenomenon, and when one does not see this, one fabricates concepts, of which the self is also a concept or fabrication.  I do not feel the need to attach the concept of a self to the concept of fabrication, they are both formations/fabrications.  When one uses Vipassana (Insight) one trains to be aware of phenomenon as it is.

So , you seem to be asking a tricky, entrapping ,  or mis-leading question , implying that I feel craving to attach self to fabrications and what-not.  When actually what I was pointing to was that the self concept and the fabrication concept both stem from not seeing the true impersonal nature of phenomenon.  So I was basically refuting the teaching that the mind requires effort to think and fabricate,  for , from my view thinking and fabrication is due to cause and effect of an impersonal nature, and that , from my view:

The mind does not require effort to fabricate, but does require delusion(ignorance) to fabricate, as you have also stated earlier, that fabrications do arise from ignorance.  And to sum up, the self, if taken as a concept that stems from ignorance and delusion, is also just a fabrication.  And if it is just a fabrication, why all the fuss and bother of taking a mere fabrication so seriously, as we mostly do as humanity.  In essence we are the fabricators of our own suffering.  Let go of the fabrications, let go of dukkha.

Who watches the Watchmen?

Psi Phi

Hi Psi Phi and dat Buddha-field:

It so happens that I've currently been reading Thanissaro Bhikkhu's The Wings to Awakening, which is one of the most brilliant dharma books I've ever laid eyes on. It is extremely clear, but it is also not an easy read, simply because the Buddha's system is complex, with many layers of subtlety and feedback loops. In fact TB incorporates not only the ancient analogies in this work, which is both a translation of and commentary on core teachings from the Pali Canon, but postmodern analogies with chaos theory, among other things.

Anyway, I'm not only a fan of TB, but a devotee of his meditation methods. His body of work on how to meditate basically is my meditation practice. I do not "note" after the Burmese tradition and never have. Interestingly, TB, in this work I'm currently reading talks about noting practice as one currently popular in the West, and he sees it as a fine practice. He talks about investigating the Three Characteristics, and there are a number of meditation methods, or "themes," for doing so. I happen to follow TB's breath meditation instructions. I also do not treat samatha and insight as completely separate practices; instead, after the manner of TB, in my practice I enter jhana and then pull a bit out and above whatever jhana I enter to "investigate" the three characteristics of its factors, those characteristics being (1) inconstancy/instability, (2) unsatisfactoriness, and (3) insubstantiality (not self).

What I have been trying, so far without success, to convey to dat Buddha-field is that, despite the way jhana and vipassana can be combined in a single sit, and really should be according to the Thai Forest teachers, there remains a difference between states of jhana and stages of insight. This difference exists just as much according to TB as according to Daniel M. Ingram. Your apparent confusion, dat Buddha-field (Zach), is in thinking that each separate stage of insight progess involves a will-to-release, or else one remains "stuck." This is simply not so. When release really does come, it comes automatically. And it comes in a specific stage, at the end of the path: High Equanimity nana.

So, dat Buddha-field, when on your other thread you say that people stay stuck in the Dark Night because they don't  learn its lesson, and you say its lesson is that they should incline toward release right then and there, I say this: No, that is not at all the "lesson" of the Dark Night. The knowledge of suffering is simply discernment of the phenomenology of suffering, its three characteristics. Release is not possible in DN territory. If it were, then it would not be the DN at all, and you would have moved on without learning the knowledge of suffering--which is to say, you would not have moved on at all. 

Psi Phi to dat Buddha-field:
So , you seem to be asking a tricky, entrapping,  or mis-leading question, implying that I feel craving to attach self to fabrications and what-not.  When actually what I was pointing to was that the self concept and the fabrication concept both stem from not seeing the true impersonal nature of phenomenon.  So I was basically refuting the teaching that the mind requires effort to think and fabricate, for, from my view thinking and fabrication is due to cause and effect of an impersonal nature, and that, from my view:

The mind does not require effort to fabricate, but does require delusion(ignorance) to fabricate, as you have also stated earlier, that fabrications do arise from ignorance.  And to sum up, the self, if taken as a concept that stems from ignorance and delusion, is also just a fabrication.  And if it is just a fabrication, why all the fuss and bother of taking a mere fabrication so seriously, as we mostly do as humanity.  In essence we are the fabricators of our own suffering.  Let go of the fabrications, let go of dukkha.

Now this discussion is going to get wild. Psi Phi, yes, fabrications/formations are, as MCTB1 says, "what, from a high dharma point of view, is happening all the time." In other words, where there is dependent co-arising, there is fabrication/formations. What is very subtle and complex about TB's--which is to say, the Buddha's--treatment of all this is that, while dependent co-arising involves the entire cosmos, phenomenology, and all of time, in addition to involving our individual personalities and wills, so to speak, the noble path does consist of Right Fabrication, if you will. So long as we have to participate in fabrication, and we do, we should do so skillfully. And here is a tasty morsel of things to come: Daniel connects insight in this way, in MCTB2, with the Four Bases of the Powers (ie, Magick)--meaning that, as I read him, much like Thanissaro, he addresses the necessity of the individual will (Power) into arriving at release!

Now, problematically, Dat Buddha-field, on the thread he started about how people remain stuck in the Dark Night because they are not inclining to release while there, seems to be mistaking path (stages) for the end of the path (release). When one is in the Dark Night, for example, one is discerning the characteristics of suffering in its many combinations of the aggregates. But "release" absolutely does not occur in the stage of the path known as Dark Night, Knowledges of Suffering, dukka nanas. On this level of path, release from fabrication/formation is not available at each moment; only discernment of the three characteristics of phenomena of that stage is available in the present moment of the stages. 

When discernment of the three characteristics of the sufferings (Fear, Misery, Disgust) is sufficiently thorough, EQ emerges, and when discernment of the three characteristics is discerned even in EQ--thence cessation. Cessation is automatic. It is not fabricated--not by any self or otherwise. It cannot be willed from the place of Equanimity. It certainly cannot be willed from the place of the Dark Night. In fact, it is an oft-repeated truism on this forum that cessation/path/fruition comes during moments in High EQ that one is not even on the lookout for release. It arises from a kind of forgetfulness of all except the formation/fabrication one is currently investigating from within it.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu, from The Wings to Awakening:
Thus, for instance, in the practice of meditation, as with any skill, it is important not to focus desire too strongly on the results one hopes to get , for that would interfere with the minds' ability to to focus on giving rise to the causes leading to those results. If, instead, one focuses desire on putting the causes in proper order in the present moment, desire becomes an indispensable part of the process of mastery.

These qualities [of desire, exertion, effortful/skillful fabrication] are necessary for anyone who pursues a path, but are automatically abandoned on reaching the goal at the path's end. The image of the path [incremental stages of insight] is important here, for it carries important implications. First, the path is not the goal; it is simply the way there, just as the road to the Grand Canyon should not be confused with the Grand Canyon itself. Even though many stretches of the road bear no resemblance to the Grand Canyon, that does not mean that the road does not lead there, just as neither the road to the Grand Canyon nor the act of walking to the Grand Canyon can cause the Grand Canyon to be. The goal at the end of the Buddhist path is unfabricated, so no amount of desire or effort can bring it into being. Nevertheless, the path to the goal is a fabricated process, and in that process desire, effort, intent, and discrimination all have an important role to play, just as the effort of walkng plays a role in arriving at the Grand Canyon.

Here is TB again, and this is pretty heavy-duty stuff; everyone should read this book:
The fluid complexity of dependent co-arising means that it is inherently unstable, and thus stressful and not-self. Although some non-Theravadin Buddhist texts insist that happiness can be found by abandoning one's smaller, separate identity and embracing the interconnected identity of all interdependent things, this teaching cannot be found in the Pali Canon. The instability of conditioned processes means that they can never provide a dependable basis for happiness. The only true basis for happiness is the Unfabricated. The Pali discourses are quite clear on the point that the fabricated and Unfabricated realms are radically separate. In MN 1 the Buddha strongly criticizes a group of monks who tried to develop a theory whereby the fabricated was derived out of the Unfabricated or somehow lay within it. Stress, he says, is inherent in the interdependent nature of conditioned phenomena, while the Unfabricated is totally free from stress. Stress could not possibly be produced by absolute freedom from stress. Because the nature of conditioning is such that causes are in turn influenced by their effects, the Unfabricated could not itself funtion as a cause for anything. The only way the Unfabricated can be experienced is by skillfully using fabricated, condition processes . . . to unravel the network of fabricated, conditioned processes (dependent co-arising) from within.

The entire pattern of dependent co-arising is a map showing how the different aggregates group, disband, and regroup in one another's presence in a variety of configurations, giving rise to stress and to the cosmos at large. . . . One of the the most basic features of the Buddha's teachings is his confirmation that the knowable cosmos, composed of old kamma, is made up of the same factors that make up the personality; and that the interaction of the aggregates, as immediately present to awareness in the here and now, is the same process that underlies the functioning of the knowable cosmos as a whole. As a result, descriptions of dependent co-arising slip easily back and forth between two time scales--events in the present moment and events over the vast cycle of time.

This is where I think dat Buddha-field is coming from, but with the one mistaken notion that release is available before the end of the path; again from TB's text right after the passage quoted just above:
It is important to remember, though, that the Buddha discovered the principle by observing events in the immediate present, which is where the individual meditator will have to discover them as well, Thus the practice takes the same approach as phenomenology: exploring the processes of conditioning from the inside as they are immediately experienced in the present moment. This is why the pattern of dependent co-arising lists factors of consciousness--such as ignorance, attention, and intention--as prior conditions for the experience of the physical world, for if we take as our frame of reference the world as it is directly experienced--rather than a world conceived somehow as separate from our experience of it--we have to see the processes of the mind as prior to the objects they process.
Whew! And thus I have contributed to the hijacking of my own thread!

Jenny

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/6/14 10:57 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Hi Jen,

Yes, your post I can agree with, and TB, (he is kinda sly) basically, skillfully using the fabrications(since as humans that's all we got) to set up the causes and conditions for the un-fabricated to unfold.  (letting go of fabrications = unfabricated, unfabricated = no dukkha) .  Also as the Buddha put it, we HAVE to use the raft (skillful use of fabrications) to get across the river, but once on the other side, we don't need to carry around the raft, for even the raft (the path) was fabrications.  Paradox.  But, cool.

Sorry to have hijacked your thread, (with you) haha,  But, for me this is all needed for me to understand What High-EQ formations actually are.

I have been looking, it seems that Formations are synomonous with Samskaras, sanskara, fabrications.  And can be Mental Formation, Physical Formations, and/or Verbal Formations.  Or as The High-EQ formations , as maybe a new definition is needed, a new class of formation, being a formation of all six sense bases at once?  If that is true, a High-Eq formation would be akin to : Meditating along, in High EQ, and one "pops" into a 3d (six sense base "scene") like a quick lucid dream, then views it with detached High Equanimity.  Which also could be rightly or wrongly viewed as Past life experiences, OOBE's, Lucid dreams, Unconscious archetypical dreams, Remote viewing, mental formations from the Universal Consciousness, etc.  Or simply labeled as Formations, become aware of, and let go of, thus unravelling and dissipating their grasp upon the individual's mind.

I guess I am having trouble with your question, about High EQ formations, because it is hard to get a definition for High EQ formations, maybe it's big secret or something....  Shhhhhh......

Maybe there are many more layers to the mind that have to be delved into and rescued from ignorance, maybe layers of mind that aren't even aware there is a consciousness, or an external reality beside the mind's internal formations.  Kind of an unconscious and unaware situation of mind.  Where's Carl Jung now??

Anyway thanks for clarifying TB's stuff, maybe I should pull the stick out of my keester now, and learn to be nicer.....

Metta, (to all)

Psi Phi

p.s. (if I can't be nicer I'll probably need to ramp up time breathing my feets)

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/6/14 11:08 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Hi Jen, 

Nice post, I'm glad to see your understanding of formations/fabrications is quickly evolving.  Thanissaro Bhikku and Pa Auk Sayadaw are two of the teachers who have been extremely influential for me.  I think we're in a better position to hear each other now, so let's just clear up a few last things.  I hope this won't be too painful... 
What I have been trying, so far without success, to convey to dat Buddha-field is that, despite the way jhana and vipassana can be combined in a single sit, and really should be according to the Thai Forest teachers, there remains a difference between states of jhana and stages of insight. This difference exists just as much according to TB as according to Daniel M. Ingram. Your apparent confusion, dat Buddha-field (Zach), is in thinking that each separate stage of insight progess involves a will-to-release, or else one remains "stuck." This is simply not so. When release really does come, it comes automatically. And it comes in a specific stage, at the end of the path: High Equanimity nana.  

Yes there is a difference between states of jhana and stages of insight.  That's why you can just be in 1st or 4th jhana, OR you can go through the stages of insight while being in a soft 4th samatha jhana.   I wasn't saying people get stuck in Dukkha nanas because they don't incline towards release.  I was saying they get stuck because they start identifying with their suffering and not looking at the formations present in it.  By your logic, they could never have got past mind&body if they had never inclined towards release, and that wasn't what I was saying.   The main point was stop identifying with the suffering and look at your mind.  Then we started getting really technical about formations.  

Being technical pre-supposes that we're doing actual mindfulness of dukkhanana fabrications and not just sitting there suffering, or not even meditating at all.  So, if we take that assumption, inclining the mind toward release is helpful.  But it's just a small little subtle thing we do to help look for the stress.  TB says a million times and one look for the stress, look for the stress.  Is that not inclining the mind?  Then you discern it and release occurs.  Was that then automatic, or were you trying in looking for the stress?  It seems semantic at that point.  Well here's Pa Auk Sayadaw on the issue (Knowing & Seeing, Pg. 235).  If you think TB contradicts this, then I would be really interested in seeing a source or quote...

After these insight-knowledges, as you continue to discern the passing-away and vanishing of each formation, with a wish for release from them, you will find that eventually all formations cease. Your mind sees directly, and is fully aware of the unformed Nibbàna as object. 

Jen:
So, dat Buddha-field, when on your other thread you say that people stay stuck in the Dark Night because they don't  learn its lesson, and you say its lesson is that they should incline toward release right then and there, I say this: No, that is not at all the "lesson" of the Dark Night. The knowledge of suffering is simply discernment of the phenomenology of suffering, its three characteristics. Release is not possible in DN territory. If it were, then it would not be the DN at all, and you would have moved on without learning the knowledge of suffering--which is to say, you would not have moved on at all.      

The lesson is to see how your mind fabricates fear, misery, disgust, etc.  You're not going to get this until you get over the notion that the only point of the dark night is to sit there suffering for a while.  That's our impasse.  You're just dead wrong.  Sorry.    

In thinking about this, you might ask yourself why doesn't Thanissaro Bhikku warn everyone about the dark night?  Thanissaro Bhikku teaches discernment around all the usual sutric stuff.  The Burmese insight tradition teaches from the Visuddhimagga.  In the Vissudhimagga they added all this extra stuff.  Concentration practice piled on 1000 different kasina practices, body parts meditation, etc.  Insight practice got all these new exercises in addition to the usual sutric stuff.  They added a bunch of practices for discernment around formations, called the stages of insight.  These contemplations are designed with a very specific purpose in mind, to help "Purify Knowledge & Vision" as the Visuddhimagga states.  Yet these stages of insight don't exist in the Thai Forest tradition.  Why not?  They're not essential.  Yea if you do it right it leads to release, but so does TB's instruction. 

And just to reiterate one last time, people get stuck in the DN because they lose track of insight practice.  Insight practice is not the practice of sitting there wallowing.   

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/6/14 11:46 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
dat Buddha-field:
Dream Walker:

dat Buddha-field,
The topic is "Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
If you have been in High EQ and expereinced formations would you please be so kind as to describe the expereince phenomenologically.
Though you are very well read, direct expereince not an intelectual understanding of a subject is what is being asked here.
Thanks,
D

Hi D, 
So to directly answer your question, I experience formations as stress.  The stress around equanimity is extremeley subtle!    
Thank you so much for finally answering the question from your direct experience. I find your phenomenological breakdown somewhat lacking.
Perhaps if I bold the next word you could continue your breakdown.
"Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Thanks for your contributions to the thread. You seem to have so much to share intelectually.
~D

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/7/14 6:03 PM as a reply to dat Buddha-field.
Okay, hey, everyone. I'm getting a little dizzy from moving back and forth between these two threads. So as DreamWalker has valiantly been trying to do, I hereby return this thread to its original topic: Please describe your experience of your High-EQ "formations."

It is not that the other conversation is somehow an unproductive one necessarily; it is just that this same conversation is going on over in dat Buddha-field's thread already. This current thread is dedicated to discussion around the phenomenology that Daniel Ingram, in MCTB, calls "formations" and brings up as a topic only within the chapter on the insight stage called Knowledge of Equanimity Concerning Formations, specifically where he talks about High EQ, specifically right before one of the Three Doors to cessation presents.

My goal in starting this thread was to gain some advanced practictioners' experiences in their own words so that, to the extent that their experiences seem to match Daniel's, I can query or edit to make Daniel's descriptions as clear as possible (although about such a difficult topic). And to the extent that no one's experience seems to match Daniel's descriptions at all, I can discuss that fact with Daniel, too.

You see, in my view, it wasn't always clear in MCTB when Daniel was describing an experience that was required to be just so to be an attainment, and when he was describing simply his own way of experiencing "formations" or the "Three Doors" or whatever. It is his book, and I'm fine with his apparent view that he simply happens to be very talented at seeing all the fine details of presentations that others at least partially miss, but I think it would help readers if he at least said that much and accounted somehow for all the missed perceptions of quite advanced practitioners. And since he dwells on what he has perceived for so long of a stretch in MCTB1, there is the tacit implication that his perceptions are the way it "really" is. Prepathers will take his description to heart that way. I just want him to unpack all this a bit and explain what's behind his going on so long about the details of those perceptions, especially if not a single other person known to any of us has perceived things similarly.

BTW, glancing ahead a bit in the draft MCTB2, I see what I think is Daniel's new discussion along these lines, saying that he doesn't know why he sees the phenomena so clearly, that is seems to be just a trait of his.

Make sense? Concerning this thread, the goal is to help make MCTB2 as forthcoming and clear as possible.

Love,
Jenny

PS: For those who want to continue to discuss the "lessons" of the Dark Night and the fabrication/formation ontologies, please jump over to dat Buddha-field's original post and thread, where I'm there with bells and whistles, if not Wings, quite on, ha.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/7/14 10:46 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Hey everyone:

I guess what is perplexing me with "Please describe your high-eq "formations", is that I thought the goal is be free from the burden of these formations, so I always have practiced to let go and abandon formations if they arose, and kept letting go and abandoning formations earlier and earlier, both within meditation and during daily activities.  What comes into the mind is just dismissed forthright, why give any of it special attention?  So all I can really say is it is much more pleasant to be without mental formations.  To be sure, the mind can make all kinds of pleasant and unpleasant formations but to become involved with the formations is opposite of letting them go.

 I can understand equanimity towards all formations, but I guess I don't get what is a High- EQ Formation?  Can anyone explain this, or is it needed?  Is it not better to abandon them all?

Metta

Psi Phi

Psi Phi:


The mind does not require effort to fabricate, but does require delusion(ignorance) to fabricate, as you have also stated earlier, that fabrications do arise from ignorance.  And to sum up, the self, if taken as a concept that stems from ignorance and delusion, is also just a fabrication.  And if it is just a fabrication, why all the fuss and bother of taking a mere fabrication so seriously, as we mostly do as humanity.  In essence we are the fabricators of our own suffering.  Let go of the fabrications, let go of dukkha.

Who watches the Watchmen?

Psi Phi
Seems to me if fabrications always contain unsatisfactoriness/dukkha, then instinct would suggest there is an element of effort/tiringness to them. 
-Eva

Psi Phi:
Hey everyone:

I guess what is perplexing me with "Please describe your high-eq "formations", is that I thought the goal is be free from the burden of these formations, so I always have practiced to let go and abandon formations if they arose, and kept letting go and abandoning formations earlier and earlier, both within meditation and during daily activities.  What comes into the mind is just dismissed forthright, why give any of it special attention? 
Well for starters, it's hard to practice abandoning something if you don't know what it is that you are supposed to be abandoning.  Therefore a description of the thing to be abandoned would be helpful.  And I have to say, after reading this thread, I feel only slightly closer to understanding.  But so far, this is what I have gotten out of it, feel free to correct any inaccurate parts.  There was some talk of formations being actions instead of things.  IMO if there is an act of fabricating, then there would also be a thing/experience fabricated.  I still have some confusion as to if the action of fabricating and the outcome of the fabrication are all the same unit known as 'formations.'  And speaking of 'fabrications,' apparently that is a synonym for 'formations,' yes? 

Now for the phenomenology aspect (look see see, here I am getting on topic for once!), I do sometimes see something like the 'blooming nimittas' mentioned when I am in a certain kind of relaxed mood.  Although I have been curious about them and suspected it has something to do with brain activity, I had not considered them visual representations of 'formations.'  They take several seconds to bloom and then pass. I have sometimes seen those while sitting in a room looking at a wall as others walked around, so I know that they really take seconds, not that my perception of time has slowed or anything.  I am a little suspicious about those being formations, but could potentially be convinced otherwise.   

I can also see a kind of visual flickering in my visual field if I think about it for a sec.  That one doesn't take much concentration and is reliable for me to produce.  But those are super fast flickers, milliseconds instead of seconds.  Is each flicker supposed to be a formation?  I think I've asked this before but no one answered.  What, no one wants to go out on a limb?  I can also notice if I concentrate, a sort of graininess to perception.  I can see the gappiness, like if you concentrate on breath, it can feel sort of choppy or gappy, as if you were not actually breathing smoothly but had choppy breath, which I have read is kind of the thing we are talking about, yes?  Those are also really fast paced like milliseconds.  It's about the same flicker rate as preOBE vibrations, although I think with those as my mind travels into inner space (or whatever you want to call it), they seem to slow down but I think there what happens is perception of elapsed time changes, similar to how you can dream an hour's worth of dream and then wake up to to find only 60 seconds of time have passed.  But anyway, so with the pre OBE vibrations, I've noticed that as I journey back towards waking state, the rate of the vibrations speeds and seems to recede from easy perception at the same time, but if you are in the right mood, you can still kind of feel it down in there as a kind of a buzz feeling deep inside even after you wake up.  The flicker of the waking state OBE vibrations and the visual flickers and the gap rate of the breathing, seem a similar rate, so I was thinking those are ways fo seeing the formations, but can't be sure seeing as how no one seems to agree on much!  ;-P
-Eva  

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/8/14 10:55 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
Psi Phi:


The mind does not require effort to fabricate, but does require delusion(ignorance) to fabricate, as you have also stated earlier, that fabrications do arise from ignorance.  And to sum up, the self, if taken as a concept that stems from ignorance and delusion, is also just a fabrication.  And if it is just a fabrication, why all the fuss and bother of taking a mere fabrication so seriously, as we mostly do as humanity.  In essence we are the fabricators of our own suffering.  Let go of the fabrications, let go of dukkha.

Who watches the Watchmen?

Psi Phi
Seems to me if fabrications always contain unsatisfactoriness/dukkha, then instinct would suggest there is an element of effort/tiringness to them. 
-Eva

Hiya, Eva and all, 

Fabricatons and effort:  Merriam Webster, To Fabricate is to invent or create something.  Effort as something produced by work, produced by serious trying.

So I will stand my ground and say this is an incorrect view, perhaps contrary to any other humans who profess otherwise, famous or not.

To further explain, Formations, when observed arise on their own, they are tiring and do require energy to deal with them , and/or to sustain them.

To view Formations as Fabrications that require effort, is to say that Formations arise due to Effort, and this is just not so, not only not so, but mis-leading to see reality as it is.

For example when one meditates, a mental formation will arise, did you "create" the thought through effort, or did the thought arise and then "you" were aware of it.  This is something everyone has to see for themselves.

Many thoughts "pop" into the mind that we do not even remotely ask for, much less intend to create, by effort , to fabricate.  I can't even dare say they were pre-fabricated, since this is all an impersonal process going on before and/or below the threshhold of consciousness.

So to reply to earlier post, upon further review, in my opinion, Fabricate is not synonymous with Formation, and in fact, might very well be mis-leading and detrimental to one's spiritual progress to think in this fashion.  It seems that it will lead one to think they are the owner of their thoughts and thus one might cling to these mental formations, and perhaps even devlop cravings for more and more wilder, lucrative, and bizarre formations, which are simply mental phenomenon.  And as such , it seems, that Mental Formations, in the end are no more that imperfections of insight.  And if mental formations are developed and cultivated will only lead to supporting the ego.  

So yes, there is an element of tiringness to them , but when watching the mind formations seem to arise effortlessly, of their own accord, once they are there , I suppose, then one could maintain the formation which requires effort, striving and energy.  Which sounds more like the sustaining of dukkha as comapred to the cessation of dukkha.

Anyway, thanks for discussing this with me, please don't think I am lecturing, I am just trying to share my experience, and have learned and continue to learn from everyone's posts.

Wishing everyone an awesome day!  Even if we have to fabricate it....

Psi Phi

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/8/14 11:04 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Hi Eva, 

Yes, are these the types of High-EQ formations looking to be described??  I am about to give up, there really are too many formations to list, each mind moment is a different formation, and each mind has different mind moment, this combined with that there are the six sense base, and millions of combinations and complexiteies for those, there would literally be billions and billions of individual formations.

Perhaps, one can only suspect that a High-EQ formation is a more complex type of formation?(quantum event consciousness)  Or the more simple type, (binary event consciousness).  

I still don't know the definition of High-EQ formations, thus can not describe any, and perhaps, I just don't have them.  Perhaps I am way out of my league here and am better off and more peaceful not trying to figure this one out.

May you have peace, 

Psi Phi

No. Sorry it is confusing. It is a difficult topic that even Daniel struggles to convey (although I think you all are going to be really, really happy to read his expanded treatment of this topic when the new book appears). Anyway, no, there is no such thing as formations that happen only in High Equanimity. It is simply that in this stage they often become observable as such. You observe them from within them. Really, formations/fabrications are always what is occurring, always. So you cannot "abandon" them, either, unless you think you can just decide to abandon reality. The only time they stop is during fruition, because that is when all of reality stops. High EQ is just when they become clear as such, but not all people notice them at all. It is okay if you don't. You can "do" Equanimity, or it can do you, anyway.

They aren't just an object "over there." Rather, they involve the space that encompasses any object you observe, plus the observer. So when you observe them, it is as if you are observing objects and observer as objects "over there," which raises the question who or what is still observing even that. They are huge swaths of all-inclusive "reality." So, really, my blooming nimattas are incomplete considerations because a formation involves them, the senses, the space in and outside the blooms, time, and the "me" who is supposedly observing. At least, this is pretty much how Daniel describes them. You experience them as one flowing whole rather than a collection of disparate parts. 

Here is an interesting discussion that says there isn't a good English translation for sankaras

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/9/14 11:45 PM as a reply to Jenny.
You are a blessing...

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/13/14 2:13 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Thank you so much for finally answering the question from your direct experience. I find your phenomenological breakdown somewhat lacking. 
Perhaps if I bold the next word you could continue your breakdown.
"Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Thanks for your contributions to the thread. You seem to have so much to share intelectually.


~Dna na na na na na na, watch out, here comes the Dharma Police!

In light of your valiancy, and in recognition of your excellence in proponency of the great art of sarcasm, I doth proclaim you Sir Dream Walker, Protector of the Realm of Non-Lacking Non-Intellectual Phenomenological Experience Sharing. 

Sir Dream walker, I suggest you apply for a DhO moderator postition forthwith. 

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/13/14 10:38 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
Dream Walker:
Thank you so much for finally answering the question from your direct experience. I find your phenomenological breakdown somewhat lacking. 
Perhaps if I bold the next word you could continue your breakdown.
"Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Thanks for your contributions to the thread. You seem to have so much to share intelectually.


~Dna na na na na na na, watch out, here comes the Dharma Police!

In light of your valiancy, and in recognition of your excellence in proponency of the great art of sarcasm, I doth proclaim you Sir Dream Walker, Protector of the Realm of Non-Lacking Non-Intellectual Phenomenological Experience Sharing. 

Sir Dream walker, I suggest you apply for a DhO moderator postition forthwith. 


sawfoot_, you're not living up to your own standards with this trolling attempt, even if you got my attention.

Thing is, you'll bring the grammar constables down on us if you can't keep your archaic English straight! It's I do - thou dost (or doest) - he doth (or doeth).

Take a break, please.

Cheers
Florian, the DhOguttika

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/13/14 10:53 AM as a reply to Florian.
Florian to Sawfoot:
sawfoot_, you're not living up to your own standards with this trolling attempt, even if you got my attention.

Thing is, you'll bring the grammar constables down on us if you can't keep your archaic English straight! It's I do - thou dost (or doest) - he doth (or doeth).
Besides, Sir Dream Walker is out beyond yon wine country, walking the panoramic perspective of more luminous planes with fairy-catching network well in hand. In short, he won't bite Sawfoot's line.

RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/13/14 11:26 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jen Pearly:
Besides, Sir Dream Walker is out beyond yon wine country, walking the panoramic perspective of more luminous planes with fairy-catching network well in hand. In short, he won't bite Sawfoot's line.


What remains is the moderator warning to sawfoot_.

He presents good counter-balance points of view, in an often funny way, which is fine.

He also contributes attention-seeking jibes, which will not be tolerated, regardless of how often he tests whether this is still true.

Any further discussion of this particular DhO Sheriff's intervention will go into its own thread, or into a PM to me. Thank you all for your attention.

Cheers,
Florian

Psi Phi:
Eva M Nie:

Seems to me if fabrications always contain unsatisfactoriness/dukkha, then instinct would suggest there is an element of effort/tiringness to them. 
-Eva

Hiya, Eva and all, 

Fabricatons and effort:  Merriam Webster, To Fabricate is to invent or create something.  Effort as something produced by work, produced by serious trying.
I don't think you can convince me by going to the dictionary definition of 'effort' when I said that I thought fabrications contain an ELEMENT of effort AND dukkha.  The English language does not have accurate words for this so of course I will have to bend the currently used words to try to make them fit. Also, 'fabricate' is a verb and 'formations' is a noun, they are not good synonyms in that way.  However, I used the words 'fabrications' which is also a noun.  Anyway, feels like I am getting off what feels important to me and into less important semantics, but here I go anyway.  If there are formations, somehow they got formed, also I could say that fabrications somehow also got fabricated.  By whom or what?   I'll leave that to the experts.  But so far I've seen nothing to suggest the terms are used any differently when nouns are compared to nouns and verbs compared to verbs. 

To further explain, Formations, when observed arise on their own, they are tiring and do require energy to deal with them , and/or to sustain them.

To view Formations as Fabrications that require effort, is to say that Formations arise due to Effort, and this is just not so, not only not so, but mis-leading to see reality as it is.
I did not say it required effort to form them.  I have little clear idea what it requires to form them or how that happens.  But sometimes or often there is effort and pressure that you don't realize is there until it's gone.  If you have lived under pressure your whole life, you are not aware of it, it is the status quo, until suddenly it is gone, only then do you notice it.  Does a deep sea fish notice the pressure of all that ocean crushing down on it, pressure that would instantly kill a regular human?  Probably, not, it just swims along happily not noticing because it has never known different even though it's body must constantly push back against all that amazing pressure.  Just because you don't notice something does not mean it is not there.  So yes, would not surprise me of creating formations requires effort but that was not my argument.  My statement was that at least OBSERVING formations involves unsatisfactoriness and so an ELEMENT of being tiring/work. 

Many thoughts "pop" into the mind that we do not even remotely ask for, much less intend to create, by effort , to fabricate.  I can't even dare say they were pre-fabricated, since this is all an impersonal process going on before and/or below the threshhold of consciousness.
You can be sure then that you had NOTHING to do with those formations, did not ask for them in any way and were not involved in any way, assuming also that you also have a clear definition of what is 'you?'  Seems to me, if you were to make a statement that you are not involved, you would need to know two things, both what is NOT you but also what IS you.  Do you know what is you and what that you is doing at all times?  I hear a lot of Buddhist statements about what is not you but I don't hear much about what is you.  ;-)
So to reply to earlier post, upon further review, in my opinion, Fabricate is not synonymous with Formation, and in fact, might very well be mis-leading and detrimental to one's spiritual progress to think in this fashion.  It seems that it will lead one to think they are the owner of their thoughts and thus one might cling to these mental formations,
I would argue that thinking you are the owner and clinging are two separate issues that are often but not always associated.  I am the owner of that pebble on my doorstep but I am not clinging to it as far as I can tell, and even if you do not consider yourself the owner, you can still have attachment to something and want it.

So yes, there is an element of tiringness to them , but when watching the mind formations seem to arise effortlessly, of their own accord, once they are there ,
SEEM to is the word used.  But I am not ready to put that down as an assumption that I will take as fact.  Lots of things seem one way from one perspective and another way from another perspective.  Therefore, it seems easier for me to not get too attached to any one perspective if I want to be able to look at things from more than one perspective.  ;-)
-Eva 



RE: From the MCTB2 Editor: Please Describe Your High-EQ "Formations"
Answer
9/13/14 2:22 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Hi Eva!

Yes, I agree to the point that these words are just words, and my only point was, that in my view, the word fabrications is not a good choice in describing, Formations (Mental, verbal, and physical), it just seems...mis-leading, sorry

But , maybe due to the restrictions of English language, and that uses of the English language do not usually communicate about topics such as this, it is not at all surprising that the words with which we discuss these subjects are limited.  We are at the mercy of the poverty of our spirtual language.

If one would use the word fabrications in this way I can agree:

A plant, fabricates leaves.

A mind, fabricates thoughts.

But, can one say, I am fabricating thoughts?  I say, yes, it does seem so, but under close scrutiny, one finds that the thingy we call an I is nothing more than a collection of thoughts itself.  

Wait, interuption, I get it.

Oops, I get what you are saying, I am a dummy, sorry!!

I guess I could also have a dis-agreement with the use of Formations as is supposes a Former, or one who forms, haha, 

Sorry, maybe the entire language is encapsulated in delusion.

Anyway, thank you for openening "my" mind a little,  maybe I have a problem with words to describe what is wordless.

Sorry if I upset you or anything, I do enjoy your posts, whether you fabricate them or not. emoticon

Psi phi


A plant, fabricates leaves.

A mind, fabricates thoughts.
Where it gets tricky is that both a plant and a mind and thoughts are part of the reality we know but how does that reality come to pass?  How did the plant come to pass?  And the thoughts?  And the sense of self?  Scientists still don't understand how plants without even a brain are able to function as they do, for instance.  A lot (or all?) of our beliefs about our reality are really just assumptions not based on full knowledge.  I don't fully know how my sense of 'I' comes into existence nor how formations or reality do.  And I don't know much about any potential interrelations between the two or if there is or is not a creator in the generally used sense.  
But, can one say, I am fabricating thoughts?  I say, yes, it does seem so, but under close scrutiny, one finds that the thingy we call an I is nothing more than a collection of thoughts itself.
Yes that does seem so from what I can see from my current perspective.  But it's a circular kind of logic, I create thoughts and my thoughts create I.  What comes first the chicken or the egg!  ;-)  Seems likely there is some or a lot of data missing which I assume is what we are working at here..

Wait, interuption, I get it.

Oops, I get what you are saying, I am a dummy, sorry!!
I'm glad you do, I don't always get myself sometimes or often!  ;-)
I guess I could also have a dis-agreement with the use of Formations as is supposes a Former, or one who forms, haha, 
Yep, that was what I was thinking.
Sorry, maybe the entire language is encapsulated in delusion.
Would make sense.
Anyway, thank you for openening "my" mind a little,  maybe I have a problem with words to describe what is wordless.
Talking about things makes me think about it and look inside more, which helps me think in different ways.  I think I do it more for myself than any others so no need to thank me in any way, that is for sure.  ;-P
Sorry if I upset you or anything, I do enjoy your posts, whether you fabricate them or not. emoticon
I'm not upset at all.  I tend to speak very directly so that might make a false impression along that direction though, sorry!  :-)
-Eva

Psi phi