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Not to suppress his sense of self

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Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 5:29 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self sawfoot _ 8/25/14 6:14 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 8:33 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self sawfoot _ 8/25/14 9:33 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Richard Zen 8/25/14 9:28 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 10:05 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Richard Zen 8/25/14 11:01 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 1:37 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Richard Zen 8/25/14 2:46 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 3:21 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Richard Zen 8/25/14 3:44 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 4:15 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/25/14 11:11 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 1:12 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/25/14 1:58 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 4:18 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/25/14 4:40 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/26/14 3:05 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self . Jake . 8/26/14 9:10 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/26/14 9:39 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/26/14 10:49 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self . Jake . 8/26/14 11:29 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/26/14 11:58 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self . Jake . 8/27/14 10:04 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/27/14 10:42 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/27/14 11:19 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/27/14 1:38 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self . Jake . 8/27/14 12:21 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/27/14 3:08 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self PP 10/9/14 5:40 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 10/10/14 2:07 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/26/14 11:33 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/27/14 10:47 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Dream Walker 8/27/14 10:49 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/27/14 10:58 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/27/14 5:29 AM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Mark 8/25/14 3:16 PM
RE: Not to suppress his sense of self Jason Snyder 10/10/14 12:28 PM
Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 5:29 AM
In this interview (2009) Shinzen says he learned not to suppress his sense of self.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CdP1gQBlvAE

I assume this is part of what he teaches too. It seems a little different from hte explanations I've heard of a non-dual "enlightened" for example as described by Daniel.

Would be great to hear more about Shinzen's take on this. Thanks.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 6:14 AM as a reply to Mark.
Interesting advice there from Joshu Sasaki Roshi. I am presuming he wasn't suppressing his sense of self with all that sexual abuse of his students that liked to engage in. Or was it expression of his enlightened nature?

http://www.sasakiarchive.com/

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 8:33 AM as a reply to sawfoot _.
sawfoot _:
Interesting advice there from Joshu Sasaki Roshi. I am presuming he wasn't suppressing his sense of self with all that sexual abuse of his students that liked to engage in. Or was it expression of his enlightened nature?

http://www.sasakiarchive.com/
Sawfoot can we please have this thread focus on the question in regards to Shinzen. This was posted in the sub-forum for Shinzen not Sasaki. Have you worked with Shinzen's methods ?

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 9:28 AM as a reply to Mark.
There are debates in Buddhism but suppressing a sense of self is aversion which should also feel like a self.  You need a sense of likes and dislikes but to cling to them less.  It's hard to say that Daniel is against a sense of self when his book talks about how emotions are still apart of you even if you're an arhat.  He also posted that all the meditation masters he's met have signs of emotions on their faces.

The main goal that teachers look at is whether greed, hate and delusion are greatly attenuated.  Shinzen's interview in batgap talks about preparation for extreme things like Syrian torture.  This shows there's a gradation and most people (including masters) aren't anywhere near a Syrian jail and if they were suprised without prepration they would fail.  I think desire and ill will continue on in all people but it's reduced enough so that they can pursue higher values and in some people it's not gone far enough and they are living hypocritically.

This makes sense in myself in that I have gradually more disenchantment but it's nowhere near 100% and I don't believe I'll achieve that or even want that.

In the same interview Shinzen talks about how despite the blissfulness of awakening, people still have sexual relations.  These are big flags to show people what awakening is and what it is not.

I personally like the idea of monks who have strong sexual desires to disrobe and live a layman's life.  They should shack up with someone like Stephen and Martine Batchelor did.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 9:33 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
sawfoot _:
Interesting advice there from Joshu Sasaki Roshi. I am presuming he wasn't suppressing his sense of self with all that sexual abuse of his students that liked to engage in. Or was it expression of his enlightened nature?

http://www.sasakiarchive.com/
Sawfoot can we please have this thread focus on the question in regards to Shinzen. This was posted in the sub-forum for Shinzen not Sasaki. Have you worked with Shinzen's methods ?
Not in any substantive way.

It seems relevant to me - Shinzen says he learned not to suppress his sense of self from the teachings of Joshu Sasaki Roshi. So if he teaches it, it is a teaching of this teacher. Though from what I know it isn't a main feature of Shinzen's public teachings.  


RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 10:05 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
There are debates in Buddhism but suppressing a sense of self is aversion which should also feel like a self.  You need a sense of likes and dislikes but to cling to them less.  It's hard to say that Daniel is against a sense of self when his book talks about how emotions are still apart of you even if you're an arhat.  He also posted that all the meditation masters he's met have signs of emotions on their faces.

The main goal that teachers look at is whether greed, hate and delusion are greatly attenuated.  Shinzen's interview in batgap talks about preparation for extreme things like Syrian torture.  This shows there's a gradation and most people (including masters) aren't anywhere near a Syrian jail and if they were suprised without prepration they would fail.  I think desire and ill will continue on in all people but it's reduced enough so that they can pursue higher values and in some people it's not gone far enough and they are living hypocritically.

This makes sense in myself in that I have gradually more disenchantment but it's nowhere near 100% and I don't believe I'll achieve that or even want that.

In the same interview Shinzen talks about how despite the blissfulness of awakening, people still have sexual relations.  These are big flags to show people what awakening is and what it is not.

I personally like the idea of monks who have strong sexual desires to disrobe and live a layman's life.  They should shack up with someone like Stephen and Martine Batchelor did.

Hi Richard,

It makes sense to me that suppressing the self is not a good thing. But I seem to have heard the idea of the self "dissolving" many times. 

Maybe I'm reading into it too much. I guess a "sense of self" does not require a dual perspective. Someone with a dual perspective can appreciate the self is an illusion and I guess someone with a non-dual perspective could appreciate the notion of their self.

I was surprised by Shinzen's explanation in that interview as it seemed more than a "sense of self". He spoke of an oscillation between absolutely no self and full on self. It is the first time I've heard that type of description.

I suspect that the experience of awakening is largely influenced by the goals and techniques used. So if suppression of self (e.g. Gary Weber) is the goal then that might be quite radical. 

In BATGAP Shinzen talks about his "sain grandiosity" and I guess this makes a lot of sense if the self is still there.

I like the idea of stopping the second dart. Which seems to be a driver for my initial interest in meditation. Is Shinzen proposing a sort of reformatting of the ego as opposed to getting "rid" of it ?

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 11:01 AM as a reply to Mark.
This is Buddhism.  What people call a self is a thinking-self-referencing habit related to likes and dislikes.  When you deconstruct objects and see that things are more interdependent and seamless then "thing-ness" including "self-ness" becomes something that isn't actually true.  This can teach the brain to self-reference less but I'm sure Shinzen has favourite meals and preferences like anyone else.  Self becomes a seamless dependent arising.  It's the clinging that's the problem.  Have preferences but don't HOLD them tightly.  The batgap interview with Joseph Goldstein points out that greed, hate and delusion needs to go, not anything else. Having a stream entry or kensho experience is just a taste.  One needs to keep weaning (probably for the rest of your life).

To be scientific, the amygdala shrinks but it's not completely removed.  I think there will always be something residual.  Secondly the amygdala has other uses which involve compassion so we don't want it to shrink to zero.  There are also other practices that mirror cognitive therapy which is to use your imagination and to act out in your mind realistically getting your desire satisfied but not permanently satisified.  It's kind of asking "what next, what next, what next?"  As you renounce you get a sense of relief that is enjoyable and more disenchantment.  This is a part of the practice and can be included in mindfulness.  In fact if you renounced and liked to live more simply, despite a sense of self, that could be enough.

These talks might help you:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/210/10028.html
Especially 35:25
http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/210/9553.html

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 11:11 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
I assume this is part of what he teaches too. It seems a little different from hte explanations I've heard of a non-dual "enlightened" for example as described by Daniel.

Would be great to hear more about Shinzen's take on this. Thanks.


Here is my take on it -
Duality means there are sensations perceived wherein some of them are a much higher priority than others as well as some implying that there is a permanent "self" as a thing/object/doer.
In non-duality sensations get the same priority and there is no longer the possessive difference between certain internal vs external sensations(as well as the elimination of stress that is associated with this). The particular identification of some sensations that imply a "self-object" are gone but sensations that imply a self as "process" continue. (there is no thing/object/doer that is "me" but the process of existence continues) Choosing to suppress certain sensations are then forcing an artificial low priority to achieve an egoistic goal of supposed awakening to "no self never in anyway" (no pain or emotions etc.)
Good luck
~D

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 1:12 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi D,

This is new territory to me so please excuse the questions if they are not very clear.

I've heard (mainly a few BATGAP interviews) a notion of living purely in the present. I assume that means being unable to imagine consequences of potential actions. It seems the creative process is often not about running with the first idea but playing out the ideas and throwing most of them away. Not being able to perform that type of activity seems more handicap than advantage.

I've also heard reports of sensations getting the same priority, so for example loosing the ability to concentrate (obviously not everyone on BATGAP reports that). Again it is hard to see the advantage of that - I mean sensations are not equivalent in the real world - admire the big wall painting or notice the small flicker which is the shadow of a saber tooth tiger emoticon Another example, I like being able to reach a state of flow in an activity to the point of not hearing/seeing things around me, I suspect it is more effective for the particular activity.

When Shinzen states "sane grandiosity" that seems to suggest a real ego at work - but maybe not an ego functioning on fear ?

I should have framed the subject better. I don't think suppressing the sense of self is a good thing. The way Shinzen explains how the self is experienced is like a wave function. This seems very different from the way it is typically described on this forum (your description aligns with what I woulds have expected). Have you watched the video?
 

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 1:37 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
This is Buddhism.  What people call a self is a thinking-self-referencing habit related to likes and dislikes.  When you deconstruct objects and see that things are more interdependent and seamless then "thing-ness" including "self-ness" becomes something that isn't actually true.  This can teach the brain to self-reference less but I'm sure Shinzen has favourite meals and preferences like anyone else.  



I imagine so. But you could imagine seeing those behaviours as arising without owning them. Things "unfolding" in the only way they can etc...

The character and behaviours could be perceived as conditioned arisings - nothing to own, nobody to own them.

I get the impression some people experience that extreme and Shinzen is talking about a very different experience. Where the self is "oscillating" between being fully present and not present. Have you watched that video ?


Self becomes a seamless dependent arising.  It's the clinging that's the problem.  Have preferences but don't HOLD them tightly.  The batgap interview with Joseph Goldstein points out that greed, hate and delusion needs to go, not anything else.



People seem to report many other things going - like thoughts for example (and not just self referential thoughts).



Having a stream entry or kensho experience is just a taste.  One needs to keep weaning (probably for the rest of your life).

To be scientific, the amygdala shrinks but it's not completely removed.  I think there will always be something residual.  Secondly the amygdala has other uses which involve compassion so we don't want it to shrink to zero.  There are also other practices that mirror cognitive therapy which is to use your imagination and to act out in your mind realistically getting your desire satisfied but not permanently satisified.  It's kind of asking "what next, what next, what next?"  As you renounce you get a sense of relief that is enjoyable and more disenchantment.  This is a part of the practice and can be included in mindfulness.  In fact if you renounced and liked to live more simply, despite a sense of self, that could be enough.

These talks might help you:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/210/10028.html
Especially 35:25



That was very interesting thanks. And thanks so much for pointing out the time! Do you think that the cycling of self that Shizen talks about equates with the cycling in that talk i.e. Shinzen had not progressed beyond that point ?


RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 1:58 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Hi D,

This is new territory to me so please excuse the questions if they are not very clear.
I see comments and two question marks one of which is a comment and then "did I watch the video?" answer - Yes, been a while but yes, I went thru a Shinzen video phase where I watched most of them.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 2:46 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Richard Zen:
This is Buddhism.  What people call a self is a thinking-self-referencing habit related to likes and dislikes.  When you deconstruct objects and see that things are more interdependent and seamless then "thing-ness" including "self-ness" becomes something that isn't actually true.  This can teach the brain to self-reference less but I'm sure Shinzen has favourite meals and preferences like anyone else.  



I imagine so. But you could imagine seeing those behaviours as arising without owning them. Things "unfolding" in the only way they can etc...

The character and behaviours could be perceived as conditioned arisings - nothing to own, nobody to own them.

I get the impression some people experience that extreme and Shinzen is talking about a very different experience. Where the self is "oscillating" between being fully present and not present. Have you watched that video ?


Self becomes a seamless dependent arising.  It's the clinging that's the problem.  Have preferences but don't HOLD them tightly.  The batgap interview with Joseph Goldstein points out that greed, hate and delusion needs to go, not anything else.



People seem to report many other things going - like thoughts for example (and not just self referential thoughts).



Having a stream entry or kensho experience is just a taste.  One needs to keep weaning (probably for the rest of your life).

To be scientific, the amygdala shrinks but it's not completely removed.  I think there will always be something residual.  Secondly the amygdala has other uses which involve compassion so we don't want it to shrink to zero.  There are also other practices that mirror cognitive therapy which is to use your imagination and to act out in your mind realistically getting your desire satisfied but not permanently satisified.  It's kind of asking "what next, what next, what next?"  As you renounce you get a sense of relief that is enjoyable and more disenchantment.  This is a part of the practice and can be included in mindfulness.  In fact if you renounced and liked to live more simply, despite a sense of self, that could be enough.

These talks might help you:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/talks/audio_player/210/10028.html
Especially 35:25



That was very interesting thanks. And thanks so much for pointing out the time! Do you think that the cycling of self that Shizen talks about equates with the cycling in that talk i.e. Shinzen had not progressed beyond that point ?

I do imagine people get this.  When I stay present I could think lust for something or someone and the dependent arising consequences of that happens.  Due to being present and welcoming the sensations (to avoid repression), I can let it drop and then get rewarded with a relief.  I could then wonder how it got started and realize that the conditioned thought came out of nowhere and is not located anywhere now.

It's debatable if these cycles really die down for good.  Ron Crouch said to me that he doesn't meditate much anymore and rarely out of the blue he might get angry in traffic and feel "wow I haven't seen that for a long time?"  Desire and Ill Will are weakened but not completely eradicated. All the awakened instructors are cagey in saying they are fully enlightened because nobody is.  Maybe a person is fully enlightened if they are secluded from temptations and not given the chance to fail.

The best prescription is to keep relaxing the push and pull of likes and dislikes and be ready for them no matter how many years you've meditated.  Having no illusions that they may come back is the right attitude.  Look at Philip Seymour Hoffmann.  He stopped drugs for decades and fell back into them from a weak impulse.  I don't think anyone should feel safe.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 3:16 PM as a reply to Mark.
Not really an answer but this helped explain more about what Shinzen thinks of enlightenment. 

http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2010/06/on-enlightenment-an-interview-with-shinzen-young/

One difference it seems is on DhO enlightenment seems reserved for 4th path whereas Shinzen considers Stream-Entry as enlightenment (only to a much lesser extent).

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 3:21 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks Richard. You are right that these are not big issues for my own practise at this stage. I was wondering about exploring Shinzen's instruction more and I think there is some truth to - the expectations and methods influencing the results. So I wanted to get a better understanding of the results Shinzen believes he has achieved and what he thinks of them. So far I've found his attitude reassuring for exampel absolutes don't seem to play a big part in his communication. 

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 3:44 PM as a reply to Mark.
I would look at these interviews if you haven't already:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoAbCgmhqdM
Enlightenment "Downsides"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N7A5kAESTQ
How Shinzen Broke Through an Addiction
1:45 "You spend the rest of your life refining yourself"

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 4:15 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Nice, thanks Richard!

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 4:18 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Mark:
Hi D,

This is new territory to me so please excuse the questions if they are not very clear.
I see comments and two question marks one of which is a comment and then "did I watch the video?" answer - Yes, been a while but yes, I went thru a Shinzen video phase where I watched most of them.

I'll try to rephrase:

What do you think Shinzen is meaning by "sane grandiosity" in regards to ego ?

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/25/14 4:40 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Dream Walker:
Mark:
Hi D,

This is new territory to me so please excuse the questions if they are not very clear.
I see comments and two question marks one of which is a comment and then "did I watch the video?" answer - Yes, been a while but yes, I went thru a Shinzen video phase where I watched most of them.

I'll try to rephrase:

What do you think Shinzen is meaning by "sane grandiosity" in regards to ego ?
Link/time? I just watched it again and couldn't find the reference..

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 3:05 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Mark:
Dream Walker:
Mark:
Hi D,

This is new territory to me so please excuse the questions if they are not very clear.
I see comments and two question marks one of which is a comment and then "did I watch the video?" answer - Yes, been a while but yes, I went thru a Shinzen video phase where I watched most of them.

I'll try to rephrase:

What do you think Shinzen is meaning by "sane grandiosity" in regards to ego ?
Link/time? I just watched it again and couldn't find the reference..

Oops, sorry I got confused. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CdP1gQBlvAE 5:28 is the cycling of self & no self

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbznm2NLais 2:14:30 is the sane grandiosity

He mentions the "sane grandiosity" is not to be taken too seriously (I am probably doing that). But the lead up to that remark seems to imply enlightened people using insights to bring about more effective change in the relative world (e.g. new medative technologies). That level of planning and projection seems to be different from the "in the now" attitude of some other interviews on BATGAP.

I've since learned that Shinzen considers stream entry to be enlightenment (he seems to have a gradual scale) so maybe the cycling of self is related to experience prior to 4th path ?

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 9:10 AM as a reply to Mark.
Hi!
I think Shinzen's definiteion of Stream Entry includes more advanced realizations per this community's standards. his descriptions sound similar to descriptions of 4th path. He appears to be using the 10-fetters model in which 2nd and 3rd path are marked by emotional transformation culminating in the dissapearence of attachment and aversion and 4th path is marked by the dissapearence of the last subtle illusions. So totally different standards.

Also, in regards to living in the present vs. being able to think about the future, my sense from personal experience and conversations with people is that the only people who think there is a dichotomy there at all are not very awakened, if at all. It is self evident from the point of view of equalizing sensations that sensations that make up thoughts of the past and future are happening spontaneously right now.

**People who are trying to imagine what awakening looks like might imagine it involves no thoughts of future or past, no ability to plan, etc. but I don't know of anyone who claims to be awakened and also claims to be incapable of those things emoticon**

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 9:39 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
Hi!
I think Shinzen's definiteion of Stream Entry includes more advanced realizations per this community's standards. his descriptions sound similar to descriptions of 4th path. He appears to be using the 10-fetters model in which 2nd and 3rd path are marked by emotional transformation culminating in the dissapearence of attachment and aversion and 4th path is marked by the dissapearence of the last subtle illusions. So totally different standards.

Also, in regards to living in the present vs. being able to think about the future, my sense from personal experience and conversations with people is that the only people who think there is a dichotomy there at all are not very awakened, if at all. It is self evident from the point of view of equalizing sensations that sensations that make up thoughts of the past and future are happening spontaneously right now.

**People who are trying to imagine what awakening looks like might imagine it involves no thoughts of future or past, no ability to plan, etc. but I don't know of anyone who claims to be awakened and also claims to be incapable of those things emoticon**

Hi Jake,

It can seem a bit surprising, one person who stands out in that regard (claiming practically no thoughts at all) is Gary Weber https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvQ-QvWsu_o  If you watch some of the BATGAP interviews you'll see a wide range of views. http://batgap.com/linda-clair/ was another one that is surprising regarding ability to concentrate.

Strangely it does not mean "no ability to plan" more an inability to think about it. So it is a different type of planning than what I experience!

In regards to stream-entry what is different between Shinzen's model and whta peolpe refer to here ? I think Daniel alse refers to the 10 fetters model.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 10:49 AM as a reply to Mark.
HMmm...awakening is a complecated concept. When you watch BATGAP and get a wide exposure to many many very different types of awakening experiences and different vocabulary and different practices and different cultural backgrounds with an interviewer who consistently doesn't dig into the deep end of this very deep pool you are going to have some problems. Picking a few comments out of context and then feeding your ego fear of becoming your limited understanding of what is going on, does you no favors. Perhaps you might consider finding a teacher who expresses an awakening that you do wish to experience and stick to those practices and ignore the rest of the so called "dangers" that you do not wish to experience.
Just a thought,
~D

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 11:29 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I agree that the Batgap interviewer really seems to reduce what every guest is saying back to his own paradigm of 'what awakening is'. And DW may be on to something in suggesting you pick a teacher who exhibits the qualities you aspire to embodying and then just dig into the practice.

Gary Weber when pressed (if I remember correctly) seems to clarify that the lack of thoughts he reports/espouses is actually a lack of a very specific category of thoughts (self-referencing narrative thoughts). So that is an important distinction. But even taking that into account, my response to him and those who like him talk about basic features of experiencing and functioning dropping out as a requirement or natural consequence of awakening, is that they may be misinterpreting what they have accomplished (if they aren't merely misreporting it). 

But let's say what they are reporting in their own case is true. What of it? Yes, if you keep getting flat tires, you can take all the wheels off your car. Then you will have no more flat tires. That doesn't mean that the best way to avoid flat tires is to take the wheels off your car. If there are inner functions like thinking and feeling, the combining of which in specific ways seems to contribute to the arising of suffering and delusion-- and this certainly seems to be the case-- then it doesn't follow that removing thinking and/or feeling is the (one and only, best, etc....) way to end suffering. Just see how they combine skillfully and unskillfully and cultivate the former and let go of the latter. no need to eliminate a basic function.

So with the 'self' issue, you can eliminate the basic building blocks that add up to the illusion of a solid seperate self-- or you can just see, thoroughly enough, enough times over, that those building blocks don't add up to anything but an illusion!!

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 11:33 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
HMmm...awakening is a complecated concept. When you watch BATGAP and get a wide exposure to many many very different types of awakening experiences and different vocabulary and different practices and different cultural backgrounds with an interviewer who consistently doesn't dig into the deep end of this very deep pool you are going to have some problems. Picking a few comments out of context and then feeding your ego fear of becoming your limited understanding of what is going on, does you no favors. Perhaps you might consider finding a teacher who expresses an awakening that you do wish to experience and stick to those practices and ignore the rest of the so called "dangers" that you do not wish to experience.
Just a thought,
~D
Hi DW,

I think you might be auto-biographing a bit there. I referenced three interviews on BATGAP - all used buddhist practices.

You seem to be suggesting to not try understanding awakening but to choose a teacher based on it.

I'm trying to get some clarity on what Shinzen has said regarding awakening. If he was sitting next to me I'd ask him emoticon  I don't think I've implied a judgement on Shinzen but I get a feeling you've read one.

Shinzen mentions awakening as something that can lead to more effective impact in the relative world and implies some sense of "full-on" self. That is inspiring and seems a different take on the topic. Maybe it is impossible to get a handle on this...

Is it a vocabulary issue or is Shinzen describing something different compared, for example, to what Daniel means by stream-entry and any remarks on the experience of an oscillating no-self/full-on self ?

Thanks

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/26/14 11:58 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
I agree that the Batgap interviewer really seems to reduce what every guest is saying back to his own paradigm of 'what awakening is'. And DW may be on to something in suggesting you pick a teacher who exhibits the qualities you aspire to embodying and then just dig into the practice.

Gary Weber when pressed (if I remember correctly) seems to clarify that the lack of thoughts he reports/espouses is actually a lack of a very specific category of thoughts (self-referencing narrative thoughts). So that is an important distinction. But even taking that into account, my response to him and those who like him talk about basic features of experiencing and functioning dropping out as a requirement or natural consequence of awakening, is that they may be misinterpreting what they have accomplished (if they aren't merely misreporting it). 

But let's say what they are reporting in their own case is true. What of it? Yes, if you keep getting flat tires, you can take all the wheels off your car. Then you will have no more flat tires. That doesn't mean that the best way to avoid flat tires is to take the wheels off your car. If there are inner functions like thinking and feeling, the combining of which in specific ways seems to contribute to the arising of suffering and delusion-- and this certainly seems to be the case-- then it doesn't follow that removing thinking and/or feeling is the (one and only, best, etc....) way to end suffering. Just see how they combine skillfully and unskillfully and cultivate the former and let go of the latter. no need to eliminate a basic function.

So with the 'self' issue, you can eliminate the basic building blocks that add up to the illusion of a solid seperate self-- or you can just see, thoroughly enough, enough times over, that those building blocks don't add up to anything but an illusion!!

The Batgap with Daniel was quite interesting  - they really seem to be talking past each other for most of the interview. The interviews do seem to highlight the variety of individual experiences (ignoring the interviewers reinterpretations).

I suspect most people have spent some time "shopping" before making a serious committment to a teacher/practise. Getting some understanding of what the teacher proposes (in this case Shinzen) seems reasonable to me.

As I recall the thing that motivated Gary Weber to get on the path was a full-on chattering mind that was disturbing to him. So I think it might make sense that this became a major focus in his practise. The practices are basically rewiring the brain and it would make a huge difference which techniques/intentions were used over a period of decades.

There seem to be a bunch of different litmus tests but a permanent shift in experience to the non-dual seems a good one. This is different from being absolutely convinced the self is an illusion.

To bring this full circle, you are proposing a certain type of practise is that based on Shinzen Young or someone else ?

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 10:47 AM as a reply to Mark.
Dream Walker:
HMmm...awakening is a complecated concept. When you watch BATGAP and get a wide exposure to many many very different types of awakening experiences and different vocabulary and different practices and different cultural backgrounds with an interviewer who consistently doesn't dig into the deep end of this very deep pool you are going to have some problems. Picking a few comments out of context and then feeding your ego fear of becoming your limited understanding of what is going on, does you no favors. Perhaps you might consider finding a teacher who expresses an awakening that you do wish to experience and stick to those practices and ignore the rest of the so called "dangers" that you do not wish to experience.
Just a thought,
~D

Sorry I was not being very clear. I was refering to this -
Mark:
I've heard (mainly a few BATGAP interviews) a notion of living purely in the present. I assume that means being unable to imagine consequences of potential actions. It seems the creative process is often not about running with the first idea but playing out the ideas and throwing most of them away. Not being able to perform that type of activity seems more handicap than advantage.

Your assumption of a handicap based off of what?
Mark:
I've also heard reports of sensations getting the same priority, so for example loosing the ability to concentrate (obviously not everyone on BATGAP reports that). Again it is hard to see the advantage of that - I mean sensations are not equivalent in the real world - admire the big wall painting or notice the small flicker which is the shadow of a saber tooth tiger emoticon Another example, I like being able to reach a state of flow in an activity to the point of not hearing/seeing things around me, I suspect it is more effective for the particular activity.
A negative report about concentration followed by sensations are not equivalent (is this positive or negitive?) and something about flow state (is this positive or negitive?)
Mark:
You seem to be suggesting to not try understanding awakening but to choose a teacher based on it.

Nope...I say go ahead and figure out awakening but you seemed to be focusing on the negative. I'm saying focus on the positive and go get some.
Good luck,
~D

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 5:29 AM as a reply to Mark.
Hi DW,

I received a reply from you to this thread by email but I can't see it in the thread. You might have deleted it or maybe a quirk with the forum.

Shinzen has a model of Appreciate Transcend Improve. My concern is that different meothds for transcending have different consequences for improving. Some experiences in the transcending might limit people in the improving. My asssumption is partly based on strange attitudes of some enlightened people - sex scandals, grandiosity, close mindedness, poor communication skills etc

That particular example I gave in regard to concentration was about concentration on sensations e.g. focus on the tomato while cutting it. Not the meditative concentration. I can see that was misleading, sorry.

Shinzen speaks about using concentration to appreciate everyday activities more, this sounds like flow but I'm not sure.

It is understandable I could seem focused on the negative. But it is with a positive intention emoticon

The little bit of reading/listening I've done indicates Shinzen's experience of awakening addreses many of my concerns. I was trying to sound out if some of those aspects are unique to Shinzen or not. If they are common interpretations then it is reassuring, if on a tangent then it probably deserves more investigating.

The idea of the no-self helping "clean up" the self allowing a "full-on self" is appealing. That is my current understanding of what Shinzen means. It reminds me a bit of a confucian saying something along the lines of: At 70 I followed my heart’s desire

I'm sure there are a huge amount of positive things to say about Shinzen. I don't want a thread discrediting him but in the spirirt of DhO I was thinking it would be good to understand where Shinzen adds his own unique sauce (if he does). 

There is very little support for how to choose a teacher/method. There is just way too much information to wade through. I suspect that means a lot of people end up choosing the wrong teacher/method but that is probably still better than no teacher/method.

Maybe at the early stage it is not so important but I imagine once we are invested in a method it may take a vey long time before we prove it is not effective - even the buddha took 6 years!

It would be great to see a sort of meta-guide to the various teachers/practices. But probably unrealstic given the human condition! 

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 10:04 AM as a reply to Mark.
Hey Mark, those are some insightful reflections. I like how you are going about this. Personally i really agree that different views and methods will condition a different style of outcome based on what we know about neuroplasticity. Personally, I have found it useful to practice with multiple different views and methods in order to kind of cross-reference and see what holds up across multiple approaches, with the sense that there seem to be deep structures to the path that are similar across traditions. So I guess I am kind of a both/and when it comes to perrenialism vs. a more post-modern, neuroplastic take on these things. I think these issues probably become more significant at higher levels of practice when, as you allude, the choices in cultivation we make start to restrict possible future outcomes (potentially) as different high-level outcomes may be mutually exclusive. 

You wrote: "There seem to be a bunch of different litmus tests but a permanent shift in experience to the non-dual seems a good one. This is different from being absolutely convinced the self is an illusion."

I totally agree. 'Convinced' has an intellectual connotation; that's why I wrote "seeing that [solid seperate] self is an illusion" rather than 'believing' or being 'convinced'. In actually phenomenologically seeing that this illusion is an illusion there is vivid nonduality, in my experience, as duality is synonymous with solid seperate self. That 'self' could be a personal level identity- our ordinary sense of being 'Mark' or 'Jake', a pre-personal instinctual identity (being anger, jealousy, etc on a pre-verbal level), or a transpersonal, spiritual 'Self' identity, but what they all have in common is seperating one side of the experiential continuum off and calling it 'me' and calling the rest 'it' or 'you'. Seeing that these constructs are just that and that the experiential continuum is undivided is to see nonduality (of one kind anyway). Seeing this again and again shifts the baseline until it becomes the new norm to see these identities (personal, pre-personal, transpersonal) as mere constructs which arise and pass without substance-- to see that 'identity' is a fiction abstracted from an always shifting process of identification which has no solidity or permanence. Practicing this way also results, in my experience, in glimpsing modes of experiencing in which identification doesn't arise at all. So when I talk about 'practice', based on my experience of implementing multiple different methods, I would say one thing they have in common is this seeing through the illusory solidity and permanence of identification (which implies, at least glimpsing moments free of identification altogether). My sense is that practicing as Shinzen describes would be a great way to experience both these kinds of insights as would practicing according to MCTB or Mahamudra or Zen or whatever.

ETA: IMO the best practice to choose at the beginning is the one you will actually do emoticon Later I personally think it is good to try out various different systems so you can start to see what 'results' of practice are artifacts of certain methods and views, and what results are deeper and more lasting or more universal. This helps in preventing a 'my Path is the best' dogmatism.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 10:42 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
Hi Jake,

Largely agree with what you wrote. I remember a podcast on Buddhist Geeks that touched on this 9:28 on http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2007/07/bg-029-mass-producing-meditators/

Complimenting our point of view at 2:40 there is a discusison about traits produced in Goenka http://www.buddhistgeeks.com/2007/07/bg-029-mass-producing-meditators/

I'm not sure if it is that podcast but I've also heard convincing arguments that the teacher relationship is critcal. I've not watched many videos on Batgap (they are long!) maybe 4. Multiple times the importance of a surrendering to a teacher was pointed out as part of a critical "break through". Not a big issue early on but could be challenging for a system like Goenka later on. It is perhaps also helps with the humility to have a teacher who is revered as being far more enlightened - it seems people who have "the" answer also don't have teachers.

Shinzen seems to be humble, open minded, humorous, results orientated, the list could go on... He does seem to have introduced his own vocabulary and I'd like to understand the lineage of the methods he uses. Would also be good to know of students that have pursued his techniques to enlightenment. I guess it will take some digging to find that type of info.

It would be awesome if some would post about their experiences following Shinzen's method - maybe I should create that subject. 

 

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 10:49 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Sometimes the server gets locked up and the post gets screwed up on posting....sorry bout that. This was somehow saved as a draft that I could see but not public.
~D

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 10:58 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi DW,

The thread is a little out of order but I hope my reply covered what you raised. I wasn't sure if it had been deleted so I didn't include what you wrote. I've seen a few glitches with the forum software too. Thanks for sorting that out.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 11:19 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Shinzen seems to be humble, open minded, humorous, results orientated, the list could go on... He does seem to have introduced his own vocabulary and I'd like to understand the lineage of the methods he uses. Would also be good to know of students that have pursued his techniques to enlightenment. I guess it will take some digging to find that type of info.

It would be awesome if some would post about their experiences following Shinzen's method - maybe I should create that subject. 

I think Shinzen is pretty awesome....If I was near where he is at I'd totally follow his teachings. As it is I have really only got where I got following MCTB mostly. 
Here is a thought that was a game changer for me...There is nothing you "get" from awakening. Awakening is a deletion process that is very specific. See if that helps in your understanding of people's different definitions. As much as we wish that we could pick and choose to gain certain perfections it doesn't nessisarily end up that way. If I have a personality of a total asshole and I make it to awakening somehow...I might still be mostly a non-dual asshole as perceived by my surounding peers. I can choose to work on personality/morality at any time I see a need. The problem is in seeing a need. Where the danger is with awakening is that with much less stress the need might not be as apparent. Thus you get awakened people doing stuff just like non awakened people. Thank goodness I have a wife that is more than happy to point out my faults and keeps me in check...Teachers can do the same thing.

"I have taught one thing and one thing only, dukkha and the cessation of dukkha." ~Buddha
Sounds pretty easy put that way?
Good luck,
~D
 (edit - fixed quote and stuff)
(edit 2 - Me: Wife dear, can you come look at this post and see if I'm coming across as an asshole? Wife: If you have to ask me you probably already know the answer, but I would be happy to read it. Me: nevermind....I'll rewrite it. emoticon )

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 12:21 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:

It would be awesome if some would post about their experiences following Shinzen's method - maybe I should create that subject. 

 

That's a great idea. i think there are a couple folks around here who have experience with his teachings. I think he lives around me actually; I've been meaning to attend some of his stuff. If I get around to it I'll let you know.

R.E. surrendering to a teacher: well that is a pretty big thing in some traditions, but not so much in a lot of Buddhism (though of course, in some forms of Buddhism it is deemed essential!). Also, I have noticed that many of the Buddhist teachers who most revere their teachers are actually the most dogmatic about their 'way'. This isn't necessarily a problem as there is a whole checks and balances thing that is to be said for that, but just to say, if one is more eclectic, one may have to be kind of under the radar about this.

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 1:38 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi DW,

I'm not near teachers either but Shinzen offers a sort of home based retreat and seems technology friendly. One concern is his focus in the US, I'm in Europe.

I like your analogy with a deletion process! Buddhism does seem to focus on getting rid of aversion/greed/ignorance so that sort of fits too.

Yeah the buddha does have a way with words emoticon

Thanks for your efforts!

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
8/27/14 3:08 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Would be awesome if you get to attend one one of his sessions - I think he has trained people who help so you might want to time the session.

Interesting perspective on the teacher relationship, so what we want is someone who revers their teacher who is not dogmatic! 

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
10/9/14 5:40 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
It would be awesome if some would post about their experiences following Shinzen's method - maybe I should create that subject. 

Hey, I follow Shinzen's approach. I had to suspend practice for the time being due to time/family constraints. You can have a look at my practice log http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4620018, it's just basic beginners stuff, around noting vanishings. Have a look at Shinzen's 10 stept to enlightenment   http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5080083 , or better here with diagrams in pages 40-45  http://www.shinzen.org/Articles/WhatIsMindfulness_SY_Public.pdf. Also, 4 ways enligtenment can arise  http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5571885

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
10/10/14 2:07 AM as a reply to PP.
Hi Pablo,

Thanks very much for picking that up. I'm impressed with what I've read on Shinzen and plan to follow his method. Have done the background reading now need to get in sync with his teleconference program.

I hope you get back on the horse and we'll have the opportunity to trade notes!

RE: Not to suppress his sense of self
Answer
10/10/14 12:28 PM as a reply to Mark.
Just listened to the most recent Batgap interview by Judith Blackstone, a "non-dual, embodyment" teacher. She really warned against trying to eradicate the self, saying that it can lead to a form of dissassociation that can have harmful consequences. She talked a lot about tapping into "fundamental consciousness" and getting deep in the body to let go of harmful patterns acquired in childhood. On the self aspect, she gave an anecdote of a Zen monk asking her: "if you feel pain in your knee, is it your pain, or is it just pain?", to which she answered "it is my pain". I am not really sure how she can be "non-dual" and still believe in a separate self. Her position is kind of confusing.