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What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happens?

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What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happens? J C 10/23/14 3:41 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Howard Maxwell Clegg 10/23/14 4:32 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Dream Walker 10/23/14 1:23 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Dada Kind 10/23/14 4:40 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/23/14 5:26 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/23/14 6:45 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/23/14 6:49 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/23/14 7:04 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/23/14 7:05 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/23/14 7:23 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/23/14 7:25 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/23/14 7:45 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/23/14 8:44 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/24/14 5:13 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Christian Calamus 10/24/14 4:42 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Not Tao 10/24/14 1:55 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen J C 10/24/14 11:13 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/24/14 6:07 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/25/14 1:12 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/25/14 9:15 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 10/26/14 10:56 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Dada Kind 10/23/14 8:06 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Not Tao 10/23/14 7:47 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/23/14 8:05 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Daniel - san 10/23/14 11:06 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen John Wilde 10/24/14 2:00 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen J C 10/24/14 11:09 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Daniel - san 10/26/14 1:16 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Not Tao 10/29/14 5:13 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Howard Maxwell Clegg 10/30/14 8:52 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Howard Maxwell Clegg 10/26/14 1:52 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen J C 10/24/14 11:18 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Richard Zen 10/26/14 11:35 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen grant 1/20/15 1:53 PM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Richard Zen 1/24/15 12:47 AM
RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen Jenny 10/31/14 11:05 AM
Daniel Ingram:

Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. See how those patterns occur. Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous, but when you try it, there are patterns that arise, patterns of illusion, patterns of pretending, patterns that if you start to look at them you will see are ludicrous, laughable, like a kid's fantasies, and yet that is how you believe you are controlling things, so try again and again to do something other than what occurs and watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something. This is an unusually profound point.
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I like this a lot. I'm curious what are some patterns that come up, specifically? All that happens when I try is "I could have done that."

Life pushes back. Hilarity ensues.

J C:
Daniel Ingram:

Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. See how those patterns occur. Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous, but when you try it, there are patterns that arise, patterns of illusion, patterns of pretending, patterns that if you start to look at them you will see are ludicrous, laughable, like a kid's fantasies, and yet that is how you believe you are controlling things, so try again and again to do something other than what occurs and watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something. This is an unusually profound point.
1


http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/3529941#_19_message_3530353


I like this a lot. I'm curious what are some patterns that come up, specifically? All that happens when I try is "I could have done that."
Patterns pointed out -
illusion
pretending
fantasies
controlling things
confusion
I speculate that we are engaging the Mirror neurons to activate based off of visualization.

Sense of identification with intent; sense of being the 'author' of the intent

I'm a bit lost. I can not be moving my hand, then I instead try to move my hand and - it moves. It's true that what then happens is what happens, but it was a direct result of me trying to do something other than what is happening. To that degree, I do have control, essentially over certain parts of my own body. I can also choose to think thoughts that I wouldn't otherwise think. I can also choose to direct my attention in one place vs. in another place. There's probably other stuff. I can't affect anything that isn't a result of my body though, like I can't make the brick wall I'm facing fall apart just by looking at it.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 6:45 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I'm a bit lost. I can not be moving my hand, then I instead try to move my hand and - it moves. It's true that what then happens is what happens, but it was a direct result of me trying to do something other than what is happening. To that degree, I do have control, essentially over certain parts of my own body. I can also choose to think thoughts that I wouldn't otherwise think. I can also choose to direct my attention in one place vs. in another place. There's probably other stuff. I can't affect anything that isn't a result of my body though, like I can't make the brick wall I'm facing fall apart just by looking at it.


Do you experience intentions as sponetaneous uncaused prime movers, or are they part of "what's happening" as well?

To put it another way, how are your intentions -- whatever they are -- not part of "what's happening"?

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 6:49 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I'm a bit lost. I can not be moving my hand, then I instead try to move my hand and - it moves. It's true that what then happens is what happens, but it was a direct result of me trying to do something other than what is happening. To that degree, I do have control, essentially over certain parts of my own body. I can also choose to think thoughts that I wouldn't otherwise think. I can also choose to direct my attention in one place vs. in another place. There's probably other stuff. I can't affect anything that isn't a result of my body though, like I can't make the brick wall I'm facing fall apart just by looking at it.


Do you experience intentions as sponetaneous uncaused prime movers, or are they part of "what's happening" as well?

To put it another way, how are your intentions -- whatever they are -- not part of "what's happening"?
I'm drawing a distinction between, say, a rock, and conscious life. A rock has no choice, whereas a human being does. So while a human being's intentions are part of what's happening, said human being has a choice over those intentions - so it's not "what's happening" in the same sense as a rock rolling down a hill is "what's happening". There's more to it than just that, although of course a human being's choices are heavily influenced by his or her environment and don't arise in a vacuum.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:04 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I'm a bit lost. I can not be moving my hand, then I instead try to move my hand and - it moves. It's true that what then happens is what happens, but it was a direct result of me trying to do something other than what is happening. To that degree, I do have control, essentially over certain parts of my own body. I can also choose to think thoughts that I wouldn't otherwise think. I can also choose to direct my attention in one place vs. in another place. There's probably other stuff. I can't affect anything that isn't a result of my body though, like I can't make the brick wall I'm facing fall apart just by looking at it.


Do you experience intentions as sponetaneous uncaused prime movers, or are they part of "what's happening" as well?

To put it another way, how are your intentions -- whatever they are -- not part of "what's happening"?
I'm drawing a distinction between, say, a rock, and conscious life. A rock has no choice, whereas a human being does. So while a human being's intentions are part of what's happening, said human being has a choice over those intentions - so it's not "what's happening" in the same sense as a rock rolling down a hill is "what's happening". There's more to it than just that, although of course a human being's choices are heavily influenced by his or her environment and don't arise in a vacuum.

Okay, but are there choices (or choosing processes) happening outside the total system of "what's happening" -- operating on what's happening without being part of it? Or are the intentions and choosing processes a part of what's happening? I think the only way we can treat intentions and choosing processes as distinct from the totality of "what's happening" is if we arbitrarily narrow the system boundaries of "what's happening" to exclude those intentions and choices.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:05 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
I'm drawing a distinction between, say, a rock, and conscious life. A rock has no choice, whereas a human being does. So while a human being's intentions are part of what's happening, said human being has a choice over those intentions - so it's not "what's happening" in the same sense as a rock rolling down a hill is "what's happening". There's more to it than just that, although of course a human being's choices are heavily influenced by his or her environment and don't arise in a vacuum.

Okay, but are there choices (or choosing processes) happening outside the total system of "what's happening" -- operating on what's happening without being part of it? Or are the intentions and choosing processes a part of what's happening? I think the only way we can treat intentions and choosing processes as distinct from the totality of "what's happening" is if we arbitrarily narrow the system boundaries of "what's happening" to exclude those intentions and choices.
Of course, the choices are part of the total system of "what's happening". However, Daniel Ingram seemed to be saying that we have no control over "what's happening":

Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. [...] Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous [...] watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something.

Note the phrase "pretending to be in control".

However, I do have control over what's happening. I can choose to do this or to do that. Daniel Ingram actually defeats his point by giving advice, because by giving advice, he is implicitly accepting that the person he's giving advice to can choose to follow his advice instead of not, that the person can choose to keep doing what they are doing, or choose to do something else (e.g. to "watch those patterns of confusion").

Do I have control over having control over what's happening? Again, yes. I can choose to decide whether to choose, or not.

The only way to deny this is to claim that everything is 100% deterministic, that human beings are precisely the same as rocks, that there is in fact no choice to do anything. Which claim is, again, denied simply by giving people advice.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:23 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Of course, the choices are part of the total system of "what's happening". However, Daniel Ingram seemed to be saying that we have no control over "what's happening":

Daniel:
"Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. [...] Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous [...] watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something."

Claudiu:
Note the phrase "pretending to be in control".

Okay, I get you. I'd say control isn't a pretence... it's real, and has executive power... but it's very much a part of the total system of "what's happening"... not sitting outside it somehow acting upon it.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:25 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Of course, the choices are part of the total system of "what's happening". However, Daniel Ingram seemed to be saying that we have no control over "what's happening":

Daniel:
"Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. [...] Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous [...] watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something."

Claudiu:
Note the phrase "pretending to be in control".

Okay, I get you. I'd say control isn't a pretence... it's real, and has executive power... but it's very much a part of the total system of "what's happening"... not sitting outside it somehow acting upon it.
Yea, we are in agreement there. But do you see how if you do have some sort of control, it is false that you can't do anything other than what happens? You can take actions to set events in motion that otherwise would not have happened if you hadn't made the choice to take those actions.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:45 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Yea, we are in agreement there. But do you see how if you do have some sort of control, it is false that you can't do anything other than what happens? You can take actions to set events in motion that otherwise would not have happened if you hadn't made the choice to take those actions.

Granted that there is choosing, it would be false to claim that one can't do anything other than what would have otherwise happened had there been no choosing (eg. the rock). But when choosing is seen as part of what's happening, one is never doing anything other than what is happening.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 7:47 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Howard Maxwell Clegg:
Life pushes back. Hilarity ensues.


Droll Dedekind:
Sense of identification with intent; sense of being the 'author' of the intent


Ok, but in this model isn't it life that's pushing in the first place. If life is pushing, and life is also pushing back, then why am "I" suffering? I don't seem to have any part of it from the beginning. If, however, I am pushing, and life is pushing back, then there is an I there to push and also to suffer. You could say that, at 4th path, the part of the sense field that was "I" is no longer identifying itself that way, but that doesn't mean the I is gone, or that it's an illusion, or that it never was. It means that the various pieces of the "I" have been disconnected intentionally by its own efforts.

It also means that, if that part of the sense field experiences suffering, it's really no different from the suffering it experienced before.

If I'm not the author, how can I sense that I am? What senses that it is the author and is separate if there is no I?

Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Note the phrase "pretending to be in control".

However, I do have control over what's happening. I can choose to do this or to do that. Daniel Ingram actually defeats his point by giving advice, because by giving advice, he is implicitly accepting that the person he's giving advice to can choose to follow his advice instead of not, that the person can choose to keep doing what they are doing, or choose to do something else (e.g. to "watch those patterns of confusion").


That's a good point, actually.

If the "I" - being identified with the mind - can cause the mind to examine itself, then this "I" is identified with an actual part of existence. This I isn't outside of experience, but it is a specific thing that can exercise control.

I think a lot of this simply comes down to, "This is the way my experience feels" - which doesn't actually seem that profound to me, considering the fact that it doesn't stop suffering from arising, it just takes away identification. The suffering is still there, end of the day.

Not Tao:
I think a lot of this simply comes down to, "This is the way my experience feels" - which doesn't actually seem that profound to me, considering the fact that it doesn't stop suffering from arising, it just takes away identification. The suffering is still there, end of the day.

Unless suffering is identification or is contingent upon identification...

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 8:06 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Does a cat have free will? Does a monkey have free will? Does a sperm have free will? Does a fetus have free will? If not, when does it get it?

Intention and action are both part of what's happening. Daniel feeling inclined to give advice was just part of what was happening. At some point you decided to make this post. Did you also decide to decide to make the post? Did you also decide to decide to decide to make the post? And so on.

If you're still interested in this I'd recommend this

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 8:44 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Yea, we are in agreement there. But do you see how if you do have some sort of control, it is false that you can't do anything other than what happens? You can take actions to set events in motion that otherwise would not have happened if you hadn't made the choice to take those actions.

Granted that there is choosing, it would be false to claim that one can't do anything other than what would have otherwise happened had there been no choosing (eg. the rock). But when choosing is seen as part of what's happening, one is never doing anything other than what is happening.
Hmm okay, maybe I'm not grasping the significance of this at the moment. Assuming that it's true, what's the practical significance of knowing/realizing this? At this point it seems like it's just something to recognize but that then has no practical effect. It having no practical effect wouldn't make it false, but maybe if it has one I could grasp the idea better.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 5:13 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Hmm okay, maybe I'm not grasping the significance of this at the moment. Assuming that it's true, what's the practical significance of knowing/realizing this? At this point it seems like it's just something to recognize but that then has no practical effect. It having no practical effect wouldn't make it false, but maybe if it has one I could grasp the idea better.

For someone whose practice revolves around inquiring into the idea (and associated feelings) of being an enduring separate identity through time -- a doer, a thinker, a chooser, an enjoyer, a sufferer that is separate from the totality -- it could trigger a shift toward a sense of open happeningness in which the apparent first person seership/doership is contingently embedded. (And for those into Advaita, what's seeing that?)

For me personally, I'm not that much into a deterministic billiard ball model except for commonsense practical and scientific purposes. I don't like to think of this moment as being put together by the past. I prefer to think of it as an infinitely spontaneous, open freedom that trails a past behind it in its wake, as it were. (Not as a philosophical position but as a psychological outlook. Moment ever fresh, ever new, infinitely creative, uncaused (as a totality), etc...)

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/23/14 11:06 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Not Tao:
I think a lot of this simply comes down to, "This is the way my experience feels" - which doesn't actually seem that profound to me, considering the fact that it doesn't stop suffering from arising, it just takes away identification. The suffering is still there, end of the day.

Unless suffering is identification or is contingent upon identification...

But hasn't it been sufficiently demonstrated that this is not the case? That cessation of suffering and full realization of not-self are not the same thing and sometimes not even well correlated?
Actually, this is the reason I became interested in the idea of Actual Freedom and the stuff Not Tao was writing about last month
Here’s why: Daniel has stated (if I’m not mistaken, maybe in the batgap interview and/or elsewhere?) that the perfection of panna had an endpoint, a final stage of perfection - Arahat. That one of the three trainings is seemingly different from samadhi or sila in that respect, which (I would agree) are endless in their potential for perfection. I believe Daniel (maybe others?) equates panna with a full realization of not-self, and abiding in that realization as a permanent un-changeable shift in life – making one a capital ‘A’ Arahat once and for all.
4th-Pathers have explained this incongruity (with the Buddha’s teachings at least) by saying that emotions such as grumpiness or boredom or anger are severely attenuated and become ‘less sticky’ to someone who is fully realized. I’ve experienced this ‘less stickiness’ to a very high degree myself for long periods of time in the past and I have not had any Big Blips at all.
Shinzen Young takes a more measured approach (again in a batgap interview) where he uses the Syrian torture prison example (complete with the ubiquitous blowtorch and pliers) as a real test to see how non-identified one really is with their body and mind that one finds ‘themselves’ in. Incidentally Shinzen says he could maybe pass that test but he would need a few months of preparation first – to get into some serious deep level jhanas I presume, which is another topic all together - having much more to do with samadhi states
I guess I find this subject so fascinating (and the whole AF inquisition I took part in last month) because it’s my intuition that most people got into Buddhist meditation technology mainly to deal with dukkha, and wanting to get rid of it once and for all. That’s the goal as taught by the Buddha (in one sutta at least), and the one sold at Goenka retreats (how would you like to be even happier than you are now?) but how much of that goal plays out with the (supposedly) full realization of anatta in real world practice? On a related tangent, how is transcending dukkha ever even possible if it is one of the unchanging Holy Three Characteristics of reality? Isn’t that like trying to transcend not-self or impermanence?
More to the point, how many people really got into meditation to escape dukkha and how many got into it because they wanted to understand the meaning of life or to crack the not-self nut? How many along the way got sucked into the idea that fully realizing not-self (if anyone here has actually even done that to an abiding degree – I’d guess no one at least going by the Shinzen Young standard) is the way to end suffering completely?
How has that process to end suffering by fully realizing anatta finally worked out for eveyone? 4th pathers? 

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 2:00 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:

More to the point, how many people really got into meditation to escape dukkha and how many got into it because they wanted to understand the meaning of life or to crack the not-self nut? How many along the way got sucked into the idea that fully realizing not-self (if anyone here has actually even done that to an abiding degree – I’d guess no one at least going by the Shinzen Young standard) is the way to end suffering completely?

Dunno. Speaking for myself, meaning of life has a higher priority than ending suffering. But deep down I'm pretty convinced that they're one and the same, or at least not separate.

IOW, for me, the ultimate understanding implies the end of suffering (the kind of suffering that I'm interested in ending), but the ending of suffering per se doesn't necessarily imply the ultimate understanding.

I don't want the bottle of valium to ease the pain; I want to see through the whole fucking mess, through and through, and if it still hurts, then it still hurts. (But deep down I'm convinced that the whole structure of 'hurting' is a misunderstanding).

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 4:42 AM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Two things I find significant about this: 
A philosophical point: who decides what intention should come up next? Say you decide to raise your left hand, and then you do. Who decided that that particular intention should come up, instead of, say, the intention to raise the right hand? This seems to be an infinite logical regress.

A more practical point: there seem to be "islands of control", as with deciding to move the body in some specific way or deciding to think a specific thought. But these islands swim in an ocean of non-control, habit and conditioning. To see this, try to exert conscious control over everything you think, say and do for some extended period of time.

The significant point for me is that subjective control does not perform as advertised, it is quite rare, quite exhausting and by no means some baseline that can be always effortlessly tapped into. Identification with the impersonal, conditioned ability to control leads to dukkha.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 1:55 PM as a reply to Christian Calamus.
Here's the thing for me: if I am just a field of experience, this field of experience still understands that it can change itself to be more in line with the pattern it wants to be - it has even seen times where it is perfectly in line with what it wants to be.  The idea of control isn't as important as where this field that I am wants to go.  It makes perfect sense to say there is no free will in a cause and effect sort of way, but it also makes perfect sense to say I can get rid of anger, sadness, struggle, etc.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 6:07 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Hmm okay, maybe I'm not grasping the significance of this at the moment. Assuming that it's true, what's the practical significance of knowing/realizing this? At this point it seems like it's just something to recognize but that then has no practical effect. It having no practical effect wouldn't make it false, but maybe if it has one I could grasp the idea better.

Here's one way I think you could relate to it. What happens when you contemplate something that's an inescapable fact of your daily reality but seems somehow counterintuitive? (E.g., it's never not now; it's always this moment). In contemplating something inescapable, what I usually find is: there's initial alarm, then it opens up into acceptance, then it really relaxes and has a laugh at itself, because it's always been the case anyway.

For example, when I was on the houseboat with Peter and Vineeto on the last day of my last stay, it was the notion of finding myself desperately "trying to be here" (in the actual world) that actually made me discover that I was. The notion of trying to be in a time, place, condition that I've never actually left and can't actually leave just made all the mental efforting and affective squirming redundant. (And it sounds trivially simple, but living it is the thing).

(Edit: How's inescapable freedom for a paradox?)

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 11:18 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:

Of course, the choices are part of the total system of "what's happening". However, Daniel Ingram seemed to be saying that we have no control over "what's happening":

Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. [...] Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous [...] watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something.

Note the phrase "pretending to be in control".

However, I do have control over what's happening. I can choose to do this or to do that. Daniel Ingram actually defeats his point by giving advice, because by giving advice, he is implicitly accepting that the person he's giving advice to can choose to follow his advice instead of not, that the person can choose to keep doing what they are doing, or choose to do something else (e.g. to "watch those patterns of confusion").

Do I have control over having control over what's happening? Again, yes. I can choose to decide whether to choose, or not.

The only way to deny this is to claim that everything is 100% deterministic, that human beings are precisely the same as rocks, that there is in fact no choice to do anything. Which claim is, again, denied simply by giving people advice.


Everything is 100% deterministic. Choices are made, but those choices are determined by the previous conditions. "You" can't change that - in fact, there is no "you" to change anything.

This claim is not denied by giving people advice. Whether or not you choose to keep doing what you're doing or do something else will be determined by past conditions, which includes any advice you may have received - and that advice was similarly determined by past conditions.

Anyway, the point here is that you can't do anything other than what happens. You move your hand, you stop moving it, whatever -- notice *you're always doing what happens*. The intentions to move your hand or not move it arise causally based on the past, just as everything else does.

Edit: Oh, and in response to your "human beings are precisely the same as rocks": the difference is that human beings are constantly, deterministically, looking at their surroundings, reflecting on the past, and taking actions.

Here's a way of looking at it that I find helpful. Consider the word "weigh" as in to weigh two different choices. When a balance scale weighs two different weights, it can't choose which is heavier. Similarly, you can't choose which of two different choices is the one that you will make. You'll make the one that fits your goals, values, beliefs, and so forth best at that moment, and while it may take some thought and reflection to determine this, it's governed and determined by who you are - otherwise it'd just be random.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 11:09 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
John Wilde:
Not Tao:
I think a lot of this simply comes down to, "This is the way my experience feels" - which doesn't actually seem that profound to me, considering the fact that it doesn't stop suffering from arising, it just takes away identification. The suffering is still there, end of the day.

Unless suffering is identification or is contingent upon identification...

But hasn't it been sufficiently demonstrated that this is not the case? That cessation of suffering and full realization of not-self are not the same thing and sometimes not even well correlated?


Not to me, no, I don't think that has been sufficiently demonstrated.

But then my goal is full realization of not-self. I confess I don't see how suffering can persist without self and identification. What's there to suffer? Yes, you may still experience pain - no one said that full realization of not-self means your life is total bliss at all times - but there couldn't be any suffering.

How many along the way got sucked into the idea that fully realizing not-self (if anyone here has actually even done that to an abiding degree – I’d guess no one at least going by the Shinzen Young standard) is the way to end suffering completely?
How has that process to end suffering by fully realizing anatta finally worked out for eveyone? 4th pathers? 


What exactly is the Shinzen Young standard? How is one supposed to respond to the torture you described and what does that show?
Daniel has written a lot about his realization of anatta and how that worked out for him.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/24/14 11:13 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Here's the thing for me: if I am just a field of experience, this field of experience still understands that it can change itself to be more in line with the pattern it wants to be - it has even seen times where it is perfectly in line with what it wants to be.  The idea of control isn't as important as where this field that I am wants to go.  It makes perfect sense to say there is no free will in a cause and effect sort of way, but it also makes perfect sense to say I can get rid of anger, sadness, struggle, etc.


I'd phrase that slightly differently: this biological organism *is always* changing itself to be more in line with its goals and values, just like it's always breathing. That's part of how the mind works - part of what it means to be an intelligent and reflective human being. There's no one in control making choices or decisions, and as you say, there doesn't need to be in order to get rid of struggle or make any other changes. The changes just happen. You are always changing in a way that is determined by your current state and your environment.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/25/14 1:12 PM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Hmm okay, maybe I'm not grasping the significance of this at the moment. Assuming that it's true, what's the practical significance of knowing/realizing this? At this point it seems like it's just something to recognize but that then has no practical effect. It having no practical effect wouldn't make it false, but maybe if it has one I could grasp the idea better.

Here's one way I think you could relate to it. What happens when you contemplate something that's an inescapable fact of your daily reality but seems somehow counterintuitive? (E.g., it's never not now; it's always this moment). In contemplating something inescapable, what I usually find is: there's initial alarm, then it opens up into acceptance, then it really relaxes and has a laugh at itself, because it's always been the case anyway.

For example, when I was on the houseboat with Peter and Vineeto on the last day of my last stay, it was the notion of finding myself desperately "trying to be here" (in the actual world) that actually made me discover that I was. The notion of trying to be in a time, place, condition that I've never actually left and can't actually leave just made all the mental efforting and affective squirming redundant. (And it sounds trivially simple, but living it is the thing).

(Edit: How's inescapable freedom for a paradox?)
Actually that's interesting. I wonder, is saying that you can't do anything other than what is happening just another way of phrasing that it is always now/that it is never not now?

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/25/14 9:15 PM as a reply to Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem.
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Actually that's interesting. I wonder, is saying that you can't do anything other than what is happening just another way of phrasing that it is always now/that it is never not now?

Yeah, it makes sense to me that all the true inescapables are deeply related or identical. And whichever aspect of inescapability we pay attention to, there's at least one common consequence: something which at first seemed like an alarming or frustrating constraint can open up and bottom out into something much more open and free, something that's always already the case, prior to our attempts to find or become it.

I like these kinds of contemplation. Others I know find them paralysing... I suspect because they mistake inescapability for fatalism. Not the same thing at all. (Humans aren't rocks!)

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/26/14 10:56 AM as a reply to John Wilde.
John Wilde:
Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Actually that's interesting. I wonder, is saying that you can't do anything other than what is happening just another way of phrasing that it is always now/that it is never not now?

Yeah, it makes sense to me that all the true inescapables are deeply related or identical. And whichever aspect of inescapability we pay attention to, there's at least one common consequence: something which at first seemed like an alarming or frustrating constraint can open up and bottom out into something much more open and free, something that's always already the case, prior to our attempts to find or become it.

I like these kinds of contemplation. Others I know find them paralysing... I suspect because they mistake inescapability for fatalism. Not the same thing at all. (Humans aren't rocks!)
Right, at first I wasn't sure what it was saying. I thought it was saying that there is no free will, in that everything is 100% deterministic. But if it is saying the same thing as "it is always now"/"it is never not now", then I don't think it is saying that at all. I don't particularly want to get into the free will vs. determinism debate right now, though.

In any case, the practical benefit of contemplating that it is always now, is that a lot of my efforts are spent trying to be elsewhere but now, e.g. remembering the past and fantasizing about the future. Those things also happen now, but they take away from my enjoyment and appreciation of what is going on right now. So I see that particular one as a useful thing to contemplate. As to how it differs from not being able to do anything other than what is happening, I'm not sure.

Your amygdala controls most of your conditioning. It releases stress hormones if you actually do something different than your current habits because it's an older part of the brain and it thinks that habits are always right. This is why you feel uncomfortable when learning something new. The mind likes to daydream about your potential but to inact your potential you have to go beyond your habitual preferences. Mindfulness makes it less uncomfortable when you get more advanced in the practice but there will always be some uncomfortableness if you do a public speech for the first time or if you haven't in a long time. If you skydive for the first time I'm sure there will be some uncomfortable sensations no matter how mindful you are.

J C:
Daniel Leffler:
John Wilde:
Not Tao:
I think a lot of this simply comes down to, "This is the way my experience feels" - which doesn't actually seem that profound to me, considering the fact that it doesn't stop suffering from arising, it just takes away identification. The suffering is still there, end of the day.

Unless suffering is identification or is contingent upon identification...

But hasn't it been sufficiently demonstrated that this is not the case? That cessation of suffering and full realization of not-self are not the same thing and sometimes not even well correlated?


Not to me, no, I don't think that has been sufficiently demonstrated.


Maybe I should have qualified my statement some more and said that according to the MCTB model of arahatship it has been sufficiently demonstrated that suffering is not eradicated with 'full realization'. To illustrate what I mean, I would point to the Buddha's analogy of the two arrows. You are correct that pain is a part of life, the Buddha never taught that full awakening would eradicate pain - but the completion of the process is meant to fully eradicate the second arrow of one's reaction to pain - to me this means no more frustration, fear, anger, depression and certainly a fully awakened person would never get offended. All those reactions have to do with taking things personally and telling stories to oneself. I have witnessed self-proclaimed arahats seemingly get frustrated and offended more than a few times on these boards - and no one here that I know of has claimed any kind of emotional freedom, which from some perspectives is the main point of it all - and what freedom really means.
I have heard many say that the process of awakening (some might argue with that term) or at least the process of purification (I'm sure others would argue with that one) attenuates negative mindstates to a large degree, even eliminating depression in many cases, though not getting rid of all the nitty gritty for some reason that is unclear to me. If the realization of anatta can be perfected (according to Daniel) and suffering is the same thing as misidentifying with a sense of separate self, then suffering would be totally eliminated by that perfection, negative reactions would be gone. I don't hear anyone claiming that one on these boards or anywhere else aside from Richard et all at AF, and that's another can of worms

But then my goal is full realization of not-self. I confess I don't see how suffering can persist without self and identification. What's there to suffer? Yes, you may still experience pain - no one said that full realization of not-self means your life is total bliss at all times - but there couldn't be any suffering.

That makes sense to me as well, and that's a big reason why I began practice - but isn't frustration and anger suffering? Do you know of any self-proclaimed arahats that do not experience these mindstates? Or anyone else? I've heard the explanation that no one is there to get angry, even if anger and fear and depression arise - and I would say to that, what's the point then? (I think Not Tao made the same statement before). If that is the argument then I would submit that suffering is being redefined to fit the model - something that I think the AF practioners do themselves with many words - like wonder and a natural inclination toward harmlessness not being emotional states


How many along the way got sucked into the idea that fully realizing not-self (if anyone here has actually even done that to an abiding degree – I’d guess no one at least going by the Shinzen Young standard) is the way to end suffering completely?
How has that process to end suffering by fully realizing anatta finally worked out for eveyone? 4th pathers? 


What exactly is the Shinzen Young standard? How is one supposed to respond to the torture you described and what does that show?

Shinzen explains his take in that Buddha at the Gas Pump interview. He is pushing back on claims made by Daniel and others that they are totally non-identified with body and mind, once and for all. How should one respond to torture? Very badly I'd say - unless there is no 'one' there - then it's just heavy piercing sensations existing in an open field with no story attached I guess - can't say for sure, I don't claim arahatship


Daniel has written a lot about his realization of anatta and how that worked out for him.

Yes I have read Daniel's take but he is very reluctant to say exactly how it helped, it's the one place where he gets wishy washy in descriptions. I respect Daniel and his teaching very much, but being totally free of identification with mind and body means nothing can hurt you (emotionally). Certainly no fear or anxiousness in regards to future events - perhaps left-over sensations (not sure) but I think the yogic path of karmic purification is meant to clear those old sankharas/vasanas up totally - I've experienced something very close to this myself but it was in the context of many hours a day of meditation - a place where the sensations just couldn't get a foothold - they would develop, and before you know it, they would shoot out of the body - and I was left fearless and clear most of the time. It was a similar thing to how many AF practitioners describe their experiences with PCEs. I thought arahatship made that feeling of an open field permanent 

Sorry guys I've not read the whole thread but do feel moved to respond to this specific comment.

Howard Maxwell Clegg

"Life pushes back. Hilarity ensues."


Not Tao:
Ok, but in this model isn't it life that's pushing in the first place. If life is pushing, and life is also pushing back, then why am "I" suffering? I don't seem to have any part of it from the beginning.

Identification with "push," probably. Understanding this theoretically is great  and very important, but it needs to be experienced as good old fashioned insight to be truely liberating. I appologise if you already get this but the question appeared to need clarification.

If, however, I am pushing, and life is pushing back, then there is an I there to push and also to suffer.

Yes, in my experience, the sense of "I" and suffering are connected, although I am aware that others experience it differently.

You could say that, at 4th path, the part of the sense field that was "I" is no longer identifying itself that way, but that doesn't mean the I is gone, or that it's an illusion, or that it never was. It means that the various pieces of the "I" have been disconnected intentionally by its own efforts.

I'm not 4th path so I can't commment on what arahats experience, but you get a strong dose of no-self at stream entry. The "I" comes and goes at this point in practice. One consequece is that the mind stops doing all kinds of unhelpful stuff for periods of time and when it starts again it's much more muted and less irritating. There can be a sense of bits not being present anymore, but in my experience its much more dynamic than that. Its a conversation, a process, not a done-deal.

It also means that, if that part of the sense field experiences suffering, it's really no different from the suffering it experienced before.

Yes and no. I have found that it's more about "imbeddedness." The less an experience is objectified the more I suffer. This has held true for me pre and post SE; but also up to and after 2nd path. It appears to be a fairly persistant experience.

If I'm not the author, how can I sense that I am? What senses that it is the author and is separate if there is no I?

An excelent question! And one that is well worth investigating. The sense of self is so strong, it must reside somewhere, right? But where? I don't want to ruin the fun by giving away spoilers, but if I was to recomend any practice to DN yogis, this would be it.

One more thing, you have focused exclusively on the the first 3 words "life pushes back," but not the second 2 "hilarity ensues." Yes I was being ironic, but I found this whole period of my practice very interesting and rewarding. I spent so long in the DN that I got quite good at playing with the perception of self and other experimentally. My mindset was rather like that of a small child poking an ants nest with a stick to see what it did. The boundary between self and other took on almost physical charactaristics and at times looked like a meniscus with its own laws and behaviour patterns. I was aware that this was probably a mental contruction as it was too unstable to be anything else. But it was a lot of fun just the same, hence "hilarity ensues." It saddens me sometimes that people don't seem to be having much fun with their practice. We are the heirs of Wittgenstein and Descartes as well as of Mahasi Sayadaw et al. We have to tools to investigate the issues that vexed the great philosophers, in real time, with an excelent chance of actually anwering some of their questions. I find this very exhilerating I hope others do too.

RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
10/29/14 5:13 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
Maybe I should have qualified my statement some more and said that according to the MCTB model of arahatship it has been sufficiently demonstrated that suffering is not eradicated with 'full realization'. To illustrate what I mean, I would point to the Buddha's analogy of the two arrows. You are correct that pain is a part of life, the Buddha never taught that full awakening would eradicate pain - but the completion of the process is meant to fully eradicate the second arrow of one's reaction to pain - to me this means no more frustration, fear, anger, depression and certainly a fully awakened person would never get offended. All those reactions have to do with taking things personally and telling stories to oneself. I have witnessed self-proclaimed arahats seemingly get frustrated and offended more than a few times on these boards - and no one here that I know of has claimed any kind of emotional freedom, which from some perspectives is the main point of it all - and what freedom really means.


This is my position as well. I can understand getting caught up in petty emotional squabbles, but that's the whole reason I'm practicing - because I'd like to stop actually feeling those things. Fourth path does not seem to bring this about, though.

Daniel Leffler:
I have heard many say that the process of awakening (some might argue with that term) or at least the process of purification (I'm sure others would argue with that one) attenuates negative mindstates to a large degree, even eliminating depression in many cases, though not getting rid of all the nitty gritty for some reason that is unclear to me. If the realization of anatta can be perfected (according to Daniel) and suffering is the same thing as misidentifying with a sense of separate self, then suffering would be totally eliminated by that perfection, negative reactions would be gone. I don't hear anyone claiming that one on these boards or anywhere else aside from Richard et all at AF, and that's another can of worms


There are quite a lot of people today who make the claim, actually. It's very difficult to sort through it all - which is another reason to look at how each teacher behaves and treats other people. It's the only way we have to judge someone's state of mind. In the end, it will always be unsatisfying because no one is perfect (or, at least, no one matches our idea of perfect). So you just have to guide yourself based on your own intuition - all while 100 people tell you not to trust your intuition because they all have a insight into why our intuitions are wrong, haha.

Daniel Leffler:
But then my goal is full realization of not-self. I confess I don't see how suffering can persist without self and identification. What's there to suffer? Yes, you may still experience pain - no one said that full realization of not-self means your life is total bliss at all times - but there couldn't be any suffering.

That makes sense to me as well, and that's a big reason why I began practice - but isn't frustration and anger suffering? Do you know of any self-proclaimed arahats that do not experience these mindstates? Or anyone else? I've heard the explanation that no one is there to get angry, even if anger and fear and depression arise - and I would say to that, what's the point then? (I think Not Tao made the same statement before). If that is the argument then I would submit that suffering is being redefined to fit the model - something that I think the AF practioners do themselves with many words - like wonder and a natural inclination toward harmlessness not being emotional states


Yes, this is my problem as well. One of the reasons I like Richard's writing on Actual Freedom, though, is because they're logically consistent. He doesn't say wonder is part of the PCE, but rather a way to move towards one, as feelings of happiness and harmlessness are closer to the PCE than feelings of sadness, anger, or malice. Once one is in the PCE, there are no feelings of wonder or harmlessness, as there are no emotions at all.

Daniel Leffler:

Daniel has written a lot about his realization of anatta and how that worked out for him.

Yes I have read Daniel's take but he is very reluctant to say exactly how it helped, it's the one place where he gets wishy washy in descriptions. I respect Daniel and his teaching very much, but being totally free of identification with mind and body means nothing can hurt you (emotionally). Certainly no fear or anxiousness in regards to future events - perhaps left-over sensations (not sure) but I think the yogic path of karmic purification is meant to clear those old sankharas/vasanas up totally - I've experienced something very close to this myself but it was in the context of many hours a day of meditation - a place where the sensations just couldn't get a foothold - they would develop, and before you know it, they would shoot out of the body - and I was left fearless and clear most of the time. It was a similar thing to how many AF practitioners describe their experiences with PCEs. I thought arahatship made that feeling of an open field permanent 


Daniel wrote a long response to me about his current experience after I posed these kinds of arguments. Let me see if I can find it for you.

Here we are: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5527449 a little over halfway down.

He says he, essentially, assumes he feels the same things/same way as other people do with the key difference being that emotions don't last or get "stuck" but flow right through. This is how Kenneth Folk describes things too. So the idea is that, say someone insults you, you might feel a flash of anger, and then, because there is nothing identifying with that anger, it goes away. If we consider the practice, this actually makes sense as an outcome - by noting everything in a way that turns it into a specimen to be examined, you are not doing anything to adjust whether the emotions arise, you are only adjusting how you react to them.

Also noteworthy: he says emotions became more visceral, full-range, and stronger - "like the heart infuses the body, pervades the body, colors the body's portion of space with its its textures, its qualities."

The main problem I've always had is this idea of cycling. It's not just that the fruition of Burmese insight meditation allows the regular emotional life to continue, but it actually adds in a whole mess of emotions that, apparently, happen for no good reason at all. This just never struck me as a solution to suffering, or even close to what the Buddha was talking about.

From Daniel's post:
"For example, as Re-Observation rotates through may times per day, sometimes a few times per hour, and that band is basically related to whatever your deepest, most sticky, most important dark stuff is at that time, then, as your key issues arise with that force so clearly, and then you get to see them and then flip to Equanimity shortly therafter on them, that does something really good. It is like some sort of purgative, some sort of cathartic: feel the worst and most compelling of your current crap, make peace with it shortly thereafter, be ok, repeat again and again and again."

I guess I don't see it the same way. What would be really good would be if we were able to learn the lessons this re-observation was trying to teach us once and for all, and finally be rid of the whole problem completely. To be really frank, I often wonder if Daniel isn't just bipolar and has found a way to deal with it - or maybe his job is just so emotionally intense he had to find a way to deal with that.

Howard Maxwell Clegg:
One more thing, you have focused exclusively on the the first 3 words "life pushes back," but not the second 2 "hilarity ensues." Yes I was being ironic, but I found this whole period of my practice very interesting and rewarding. I spent so long in the DN that I got quite good at playing with the perception of self and other experimentally. My mindset was rather like that of a small child poking an ants nest with a stick to see what it did. The boundary between self and other took on almost physical charactaristics and at times looked like a meniscus with its own laws and behaviour patterns. I was aware that this was probably a mental contruction as it was too unstable to be anything else. But it was a lot of fun just the same, hence "hilarity ensues." It saddens me sometimes that people don't seem to be having much fun with their practice. We are the heirs of Wittgenstein and Descartes as well as of Mahasi Sayadaw et al. We have to tools to investigate the issues that vexed the great philosophers, in real time, with an excelent chance of actually anwering some of their questions. I find this very exhilerating I hope others do too.


A question that comes to mind when you say this - do you think there's a possibility that you're simply training yourself to see the answer you're looking for? Is insight truth, or is it a set of feelings arising from deliberate deconstruction and re-framing of reality?

For me, I got into all this because I had horrible anxiety problems. I think a lot of people (most?) who come to meditation are also trying to figure out some kind of difficult suffering. This is why I have trouble relating to your excitement. Frankly, I don't care much about the problems that vexed the great philosophers, I just want to understand my own suffering and get rid of it. I assume once I've gotten rid of it, I will want to help other people get rid of theirs - which is what Buddhas seem to do. emoticon

The Buddha spent a lot of time telling people not to spend time on philosophy while they're still suffering. In one sutta he says it's like a wounded man refusing to get an arrow removed from his thigh because he wanted to know who shot it, what it was made of, how fast it was traveling, etc. None of that changes the fact that there is an arrow in the thigh, and if you keep asking questions like that, you'll die before the arrow is removed. In another sutta, after a monk from another order asks him all the typical questions of the day - "is there a self or not or both or neither, does time and space exist or not or both or neither" etc - he responds that he only teaches two things - stress, and the end of stress.

Practice can be fun, of course, but it's fun because suffering is understood and removed! It's fun because I feel better and I can see real changes in my personality and the way I see the world around me. I'm not sure I could ever see suffering as fun (though, your meniscus sounds rather interesting, haha).

Okay, you're not into my thing and that's cool.

Peace

Notice that you can't do anything other than what happens. Try. See how those patterns occur. Try to do something other than what happens. It is preposterous, but when you try it, there are patterns that arise, patterns of illusion, patterns of pretending, patterns that if you start to look at them you will see are ludicrous, laughable, like a kid's fantasies, and yet that is how you believe you are controlling things, so try again and again to do something other than what occurs and watch those patterns of confusion and pretending to be in control that arise and you will learn something. This is an unusually profound point.

What a great thread! I'm in a turbulent second path and just two nights ago experienced what seems to be a huge "just dropping" of all the turbulence and the immediate coming-into the highest, clearest, most refined Equanimity I've ever experienced. And it was BAM! and skipped Low and Mid Equanimity. Did "I" do this? That back-to-back experience of intense chaos/confustion pattern proliferation and this instantly available High EQ has brought me to exactly what this thread and Daniel's passage here is addressing. For whatever it may be worth in this regard, below are some select passages from my practice journal past few nights.

High Equanimity

I'm in the highest, most refined Equanimity I've ever experienced. Just like that, beginning sometime last night during that new little meditation advice Daniel gives, which I'm going to call the 3% Solution because he said to use only that amount of effort, and my doing so solved some kind of major meditation problem I've been having since stream entry. Just awareness: Equanimity.

The sit I just finished was the first time ever that I have had a decently strong sense what people mean by a fractal sense of nanas. While sitting in exceedingly clear high equanimity, I felt the rolling in of A&P as fairly intense tingling up my thighs and little bursts of light, then exhilaration/fear, then longing bordering on misery, then disgust as nausea, then feelings of wonder and desire, and then peace like cradling. I was sitting upright, legs crossed, perfectly poised, zero pain or discomfort, with sense of body mostly gone and sometimes frankly gone. I was also aware of jhanas, and 4th kept slipping into Boundless Space, which I kind of have to fight off a bit these days if I want to go elsewhere. So felt into that effort to pull up out of that jhana, which was an odd twisting sensation of effort.

Last night, while trying this new meditation advice, the 3% Solution, there were huge swaths and vortexes of flowing longing-toward and recoiling-from--around and around and around. Less of that tonight and more little moments of feeling that awareness is syncing up with space, except that there is indeed this subtle fear. That subtle fear is almost what it is to be alive. Yes, what it is to become.

I think that the meditation barrier I couldn't bust my head through before all this consisted of thinking that (1) I needed to attend to the teeny-tiny particulate vibratory sensations and (2) I needed to attend to the Three Characteristics as such. I made this same sort of categorical error at the beginning of my last Equanimity stage, back in July. So I think this 3% Solution is part of the tool box expansion set for second path:

  • To "get to" Equanimity, practice as if already in Equanimity.
  • To practice as if already in Equanimity, incline the mind slightly toward the goal and then give no more than 3% meditative effort to the sit.
  • Broaden considerably what you habitually have been thinking a proper meditation "object" is. This is supposedly second path; so the objects are likely going to be psychological/emotional, which is an observation that does match what most clearly has been arising for me the past few months.
  • Widen considerably the scale on which you observe these new objects such as aversion and attraction: Forget about "vibrations"; attend to much larger swaths of movement and flux.
  • Notice, when opportunities for such noticing present themselves, that awareness and space are intrinsic to each other.
  • Relax the notion that you need to look for the Three Characteristics in an effortful way: that work has been done already in some sense; therefore, just as you stopped noting early on, in preference for just noticing the Three Characteristics, so now don't be afraid to let go of the Three Characteristics conceptually.
Last Night

Definitely High Equanimity--all day at work, and then indescribable in meditation (though that won't quite stop me from trying to describe). What comes into relief is more a matter of what isn't the thing. No big swaths of attraction and aversion whipping around tonight. There is more all-one space and no interiority. No interiority. There seem to be near misses and some remaining tiny swirl of attraction-aversion that seems like a subtle curved blade of fear, but just letting go is also too effortful. It has to forget. It occurs to me that I will need to just be in no hurry, just enjoy the EQ. Noticing attention is kind of weird--paying attention to the paying attention? Hrmmm. And space. I do notice all the bother and shifting involved, but the alternative is not yet the ripe heavy peach falling into my palm.


RE: What patterns arise when you try to do something other than what happen
Answer
1/20/15 1:53 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
IM experiencing this too "life pushes back" kinda thing with trying to abide with emptiness and alll this stuff just comes in waves all the worlds problems just coming to me like they want to be solved and some are very distressing I try to go back to emptiness but the phenomena isnt having it.

grant:
IM experiencing this too "life pushes back" kinda thing with trying to abide with emptiness and alll this stuff just comes in waves all the worlds problems just coming to me like they want to be solved and some are very distressing I try to go back to emptiness but the phenomena isnt having it.

Look at the phenomenon as empty. Having aversion to aversion is just more aversion. Welcome it in fact!