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Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book

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Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/2/14 2:01 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/2/14 2:02 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/2/14 2:09 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/2/14 3:38 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 12/2/14 4:00 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/2/14 5:10 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/3/14 11:02 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jenny 12/14/14 9:37 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/15/14 8:00 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jenny 12/15/14 3:22 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jenny 12/3/14 12:04 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Nikolai . 12/3/14 5:31 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Laurel Carrington 12/3/14 9:08 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Alan Smithee 12/3/14 10:32 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/3/14 2:25 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/3/14 2:33 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Nikolai . 12/4/14 6:42 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/4/14 5:46 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book PP 12/3/14 12:41 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Blue Jay 12/15/14 2:11 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/15/14 2:17 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Blue Jay 12/15/14 4:14 PM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/16/14 8:42 AM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 1/5/15 4:52 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Blue Jay 12/16/14 8:53 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dada Kind 12/3/14 1:16 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/3/14 2:20 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dada Kind 12/3/14 5:04 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 12/3/14 5:54 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/3/14 6:52 PM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 12/5/14 6:39 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/5/14 6:41 PM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/7/14 6:15 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 12/12/14 12:15 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Psi 12/12/14 12:41 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Mark 1/30/15 5:04 AM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jean B. 2/10/15 6:12 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 12/13/14 12:32 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book C P M 12/13/14 9:45 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 12/16/14 2:33 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/16/14 3:14 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Simon T. 12/16/14 3:45 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 12/16/14 4:14 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 12/16/14 6:33 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 12/16/14 5:04 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dada Kind 12/18/14 10:18 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Simon T. 12/19/14 9:28 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dada Kind 12/19/14 12:36 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 12/19/14 12:36 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Simon T. 12/19/14 1:21 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book b man 3/5/15 6:15 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 3/13/15 5:08 PM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 12/19/14 3:19 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dada Kind 12/19/14 3:35 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 12/19/14 4:10 PM
where? chris mc 12/29/14 5:55 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 12/19/14 10:12 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 1/2/15 7:16 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 1/5/15 11:04 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book C P M 1/6/15 1:38 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 1/6/15 6:53 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jenny 1/30/15 7:26 AM
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RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book John Wilde 2/27/15 2:24 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jenny 3/16/15 1:20 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Steph S 3/17/15 8:16 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 3/17/15 8:50 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Steph S 3/18/15 10:54 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 3/18/15 1:50 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Bill F. 3/28/15 1:47 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 3/29/15 2:46 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Mark 3/29/15 6:46 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book J Ahn 3/29/15 12:46 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book . Jake . 3/29/15 1:07 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book J Ahn 3/29/15 2:06 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Andreas 3/29/15 2:27 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book J Ahn 3/29/15 4:05 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 3/29/15 3:20 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book J Ahn 3/29/15 4:12 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Jason Snyder 3/30/15 3:42 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book J Ahn 3/30/15 10:38 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Mark 4/1/15 4:48 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Psi 3/30/15 3:56 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Psi 3/30/15 8:42 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Dream Walker 4/1/15 12:18 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 5/7/20 8:17 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Olivier 5/7/20 9:01 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 5/7/20 9:08 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Brandon Dayton 5/7/20 9:22 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Sam Gentile 5/19/20 1:43 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book JohnM 5/19/20 2:45 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Pepe 5/7/20 10:32 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 5/7/20 11:44 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Pepe 5/7/20 1:53 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Richard Zen 5/7/20 4:48 PM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Chris Marti 5/7/20 11:40 AM
RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book Pepe 8/14/20 10:27 AM
Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 2:01 PM
Seeing That Frees http://books.google.com/books?id=RS_uBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q&f=false at google preview...it lets you read most of the book to see if you want to buy it.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 2:02 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Richard Zen:
I just would like to add a blurb from Rob Burbea's book Seeing that frees on the dark night:
...the
anicca  practice, although enormously helpful, actually has limits
built into it, since through its very view it tends to reinforce a
subtle degree of reification - at least at levels of elemental,
momentary phenomena and of time. Such reification has significant
consequences. It will operate in this way of looking as one of the
factors that will keep fabricating, solidifying, and holding in place,
these particular levels of perception. And it will probably
contribute to delivering feelings like dread and disgust with regard to
things. Then for as long as they are being unwittingly fabricated thus,
these feelings, which are clearly dukkha, will without doubt continue to
arise.


It turns out, though, that the emptiness
practices which are not so based on anicca - for instance, the anatta
[not-self] way of looking and the second dukkha method , as well as many
others - for the most part do not issue in such emotions and
experiences. One of the main reasons for this is that since, as we shall
see, they more easily reveal the emptiness, the unreality, of all
phenomena, the fear and horror of endlessly losing seemingly real things is significantly undermined. Whether it is the self, a particular thing, or fleeting momentary phenomena in general, when we know that, really, nothing truly existent is being lost,
neither their apparent impermanence nor their dissolving in meditation
is felt as a problem. And when through practice we understand more just
how perceptions are fabricated, this too punctures the delusion that
keeps us in the grip of its spells that keep the recycling of this or
that experience in motion.

For insight, as we have defined it,
includes an understanding of how experience in general is fabricated.
Deep insight eventually reveals that all ways of looking are involved in
the fabrication of perception, and it comprehends well how different
ways of looking fabricate different perceptions and fabricate to
differing degrees. This, therefore, is what must be investigated. If the
way of looking or practicing itself is actually fabricating certain
perceptions and feelings, such as repeating cycles of difficult
experiences, a practitioner needs to find way sof realizing that this
fabricating is happening, and of understanding how it happens. Any map
of the progress of insight that does not address and include an
understanding of the dependent arising and fabrication of all experience
- and in particular an understanding of its own ways of looking as
fabrications that fabricate - is grossly incomplete.

Examples of other practices that can be done beyond just seeing vibrating impermanence:
  • Welcoming/allowing/relaxing subject and object relationships
  • Sustaining a view of 'not me, not mine, not myself' for the 5 aggregates
  • 7 fold reasonings
  • Seeing emptiness in space, time, and the intention to pay attention
  • Developing samadhi and metta to cushion fears as they arise
Of
course reading the book will give you scores of practice guidelines to
work with. It's nice to succinctly see how the dark night arises and
what I was doing wrong for so long, and that we don't have to get stuck
with poorly understood practices.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 2:09 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I moved the post here so as to not muddy the sticky thread.

The problem with his DN advice as well as others is thus - Stop practising what effectively moves you thru the DN stages and do something else that will stop your distress.....then they give no promises of getting thru any nanas cause they are so Mushroom culture.
I do not understand his reification comment

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 3:38 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
I moved the post here so as to not muddy the sticky thread.

The problem with his DN advice as well as others is thus - Stop practising what effectively moves you thru the DN stages and do something else that will stop your distress.....then they give no promises of getting thru any nanas cause they are so Mushroom culture.
I do not understand his reification comment

If you let go of seemingly real things then the brain will have trouble parting with it. If you understand the unrealness of things it's easier to let go. Secondly if your senses are fading with the practicing of letting go then you are gaining the knowledge you need. If it fades all the way then you've gotten to stream-entry. You still need the understanding of course that consciousness is a consciousness-object and not a separate thing. Without that knowledge then fading is pointless. Even the Bahiya Sutta is not going to make much sense but when you have the description that consciousness doesn't have color, shape, or location and then read the Bahiya Sutta it makes much more sense.

Reification of time is what he's talking about. Learn more here:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/
Time and emptiness of time - which is similar to watching "gones" in Shinzen's system but watching gones isn't good without the understanding of the lack of inherentness of time.

For the mushroom culture comment: He gives more practices for the 3 Cs and he's right that just looking at things vibrating doesn't give enough freedom. By being good at impermanence but also the dukkha welcoming practice and the anatta practice of the 7 fold reasonings the brain gets a better understanding. Then he says that after being good at all three you can let go easier with the knowledge of all three. This is before getting to higher level practices of letting go of space, time, the intention to pay attention and then letting go of insight practice itself. I'm sure he's seen lots of students get very little out of certain practices like watching vibrations for years or getting stuck at the mirror consciousness. He wants students to attack the problem from multiple angles. He even allows for those who don't fade their senses all the way (meaning those who don't want to meditate for huge stretches of time) to notice the freedom that is there which includes direct path practioners.

The best you can get by seeing gaps in vibrations is how the mind likes to cover over the gaps and solidify things. He uses an example of connecting the dots. Then this reification increases all the way up to temper tantrums and the like. The sense of self can be as small as "subject, object and time" up to rage.

Going through the book here's the list of practices from beginner to advanced so people can decide if they want the book as a reference or not:
  • Challenge beliefs
  • Investigating hindrances
  • Notice contractions of space when clinging
  • Staying at contact
  • Questioning abstractions and generalizations
  • Bare attention
  • Choosing a simpler object of attention
  • Dot-to-dot
  • Ending blame through recognizing the confluence of conditions
  • Examining, and loosening, self-definitions
  • A skillful tolerating of craving
  • Focusing on vedana to temper the force of craving
  • Noticing the sense of self
  • Awareness of change at an everyday level
  • Attending to anicca moment to moment
  • Viewing experience from the perspective of death and vast time
  • Viewing phenomena as dukkha from moment to moment
  • Relaxing the relationship with phenomena
  • Seeing what is external as 'not mine'
  • Regarding the aggregates as anatta, moment to moment
  • A vastness of awareness
  • No difference in substance
  • Attitudes to using thought and concepts in meditation
  • Sevenfold reasoning in meditation
  • No preferences
  • Seeing dualities as empty because fabricated
  • Seeing dualities as empty because mutually dependent
  • Viewing phenomena as 'empty' because they fade dependently
  • Directing love towards phenomena
  • Contemplating the emptiness of clinging
  • The emptiness of parts and wholes
  • Neither one nor many
  • Analysing walking and finding it empty
  • Deepening metta and compassion by fabricating less self
  • Searching for the object of negative feeling
  • Using the aggregate to recognize commonality
  • Viewing the object of love and compassion in different ways
  • Exchanging self and other
  • Meditating on the mutual emptiness of consciousness and perception
  • This moment is neither one nor many
  • Diamond slivers - this moment does not truly arise
  • Approaches to emptiness of time
  • Meditating on the voidness of attention and of the elements of mind
  • Meditating on the mutual emptiness of subject, object, and time
  • Contemplating the dependencies of sankhara and consciousness
  • Meditating on the emptiness of insight
  • Viewing appearances, knowing that avijja is void
  • Meditating on the emptiness of fabricating
Now some of you may be arhat aces and have done all this but it's easily many more practices than I have been using. I find the book so useful that I donated that crappy pedantic tome of Shaila Catherine's Wisdom Wide and Deep. emoticon There's enough up above for years of fine tuning practice. Like the Kornfield blurb on the back it can help practioners deepen their practice. I could easily do Shikantaza for years and get nowhere. I can easily note everything and still attach to noting (all stuff I've done before) so I'm grateful I can reduce my dharma book collection down to something smaller. Rob's book isn't much of a jhana book but I'm sure there are others that can fit along side it. My dependent origination book is pretty much unintelligible for most westerners so I can get rid of that. I still like Analayo, Moonlight Mahamudra, and Clarifying the Natural State for helping me with Right Effort and working with thoughts on top of many great practice ideas from posters on this forum.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 4:00 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
I have listened to a bunch of his talks - I think he's brilliant - I have not heard anybody talk about insight practice and theory in such a comprehensive yet precise and skillful way. Thanks Richard for the practice points above - I also recently ordered the book. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/2/14 5:10 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Alright, I gotta finish my fiction book and go back to plowing thru that one....By the list it looks like Rob isn't really leaving any stone unturned for anyone else to write about...lol

The advice I look for dealing with the Dark night nanas is not things that suppress it and stop progress. I look for things that make it faster and easier to get thru step by step. Avoiding it or accentuating it seems unskillful...just move thru each nana as elegantly as possible and quickly preferably thru the uncomfortable ones; and hopefully keep it from spilling off the cushion and into your life.. If that is what he is doing...then awesome. I'll have to read it....but if he knows about the progress of insite and is hiding this....more mushroom culture...sigh
~D

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 12:04 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard:
Time and emptiness of time - which is similar to watching "gones" in Shinzen's system but watching gones isn't good without the understanding of the lack of inherentness of time.

Well, this would explain why I was so sure, though without being about to articulate why, that my entry into cessation was emptiness, not impermanence. I was watching arisings and "gones," and I suddenly realized that those "gones" weren't "really" gones but a type of reification (via time). Four moments of seeing that clearly . . . and poof, as if I collapsed into whatever was not there and was not merely-by-contrast-across-time "gone"! Wow. Makes sense now.

One of my friends at work has been on mahamudra retreats that featured Emptiness-of-Time practices. I've been meaning to look into what that was about.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 5:31 AM as a reply to Jenny.
I bought it a week or so ago and am half way through it. It is my current opinion that it is the best dharma book I've read in a very long time and a must read for anyone post-path, definitely post 4th, as talked around here. 

Nick

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 9:08 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
I just put it on my wish list over on Amazon, and gave it my highest priority, above the long underwear (and that's saying a lot for someone in Minnesota!). emoticon

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 10:32 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
I bought it a week or so ago and am half way through it. It is my current opinion that it is the best dharma book I've read in a very long time and a must read for anyone post-path, definitely post 4th, as talked around here. 

Nick


My copy is set to arrive tomorrow.  Hopefully it also has a lot to offer post-A+P/Equanimity residents.  I wanna try to make it happen this summer during my school break.  I'm pretty excited to give this thing a read.  It is suprising, for all the meditation manuals out there, how few are actually helpful. Mushroom culture ain't dead yet, but there are some cracks in its stem...

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 11:02 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Alright, I gotta finish my fiction book and go back to plowing thru that one....By the list it looks like Rob isn't really leaving any stone unturned for anyone else to write about...lol

This is pretty much how I felt reading it. Looking at my dharma book collection it's almost like other books don't explain much about how the word emptiness is used in an ultimate vs. conventional way. Rob's book reduced the confusion better than other books I've read. 

The advice I look for dealing with the Dark night nanas is not things that suppress it and stop progress. I look for things that make it faster and easier to get thru step by step. Avoiding it or accentuating it seems unskillful...just move thru each nana as elegantly as possible and quickly preferably thru the uncomfortable ones; and hopefully keep it from spilling off the cushion and into your life.. If that is what he is doing...then awesome. I'll have to read it....but if he knows about the progress of insite and is hiding this....more mushroom culture...sigh
~D

His advice on the dark night is similar in that developing concentration and metta help to reduce the fear. Ultimately if people start off in the practice believing in inherent existence of objects and then see their impermanance even in a slight way (through fast noting) they will go into that fear. This is because they are letting go of their favorite things. With this book they can read it to the end and see where it's heading (non-inherent existence), understand the non-inherence of their favorite things, and then do other practices (beyond concentration and metta) like welcoming and the 7 fold reasonings to to balance their 3Cs practices. It's very easy to do vibrating impermanence in a lopsided way and go into fear and disgust and develop little wisdom. I never understood what time meant ultimately to Buddhists until I listened to Rob's dharma talks and got unstuck. Even just looking at the present moment and realizing the brain is clinging subtly to subject, object and time was enough to reduce some hidden stress.

Having strong equanimity can really make you stop the practice and not look further. His descriptions of intentions to pay attention were better than anyone elses's nama-rupa explanations. To see consciousness as not a static, placid, and a peaceful mirror or container but instead an active process really helped. Because the intention to pay attention includes the practice itself it feels wholistic and complete. I know Dan has been talking about this in many posts but the way Rob explains it, it becomes much easier to understand. I'm sure you've seen many posters on here asking "do I note the note?" The answer in a way is yes but not literally. You want to see the insight practice itself as empty so you don't attach to it.

The best part is that the right views are supported in the practice instructions which improve the quality of the meditation but believing in those insights are shown to be not enough. The experience and views support each other. This makes the practice instructions so much better, than let's say a Joseph Goldstein book (sorry Joe!), or a typical Dalai Lama insight book. Pointing instructions by themselves aren't good enough but if you practice with the knowledge of pointing instructions you can keep practicing until the view is supported.

You can even use the book to supplement your nana focus without it doing harm. I'm sure Dan's new book will go over it in more detail

To Jenny: The next book I'm anticipating is MCTB 2"The HARDCORE User Friendly Dharma book" to see how instructions can improve in the new addition. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 12:41 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
Time and emptiness of time - which is similar to watching "gones" in Shinzen's system but watching gones isn't good without the understanding of the lack of inherentness of time.

Thanks Richard! I'll order the book.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 1:16 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Looks interesting.. going on my wishlist. I have a few criticisms, but I don't know if they're valid without reading the whole book. So, I'll just put them out there and maybe someone with the book can comment --

It makes sense to me that understanding (to some extent) the lack of inherent existence of any phenomena could help one minimize the DN. It also makes sense to me that overly forceful, anicca-focused practice could exacerbate the DN. But, I'm skeptical that the DN can be avoided entirely. When you factor in the nice, friendly tone of the book I could see people getting unrealistic expectations about the path. Maybe this is my own stuff showing, but I prefer the Ingram, Jed McKenna approach.

Is there any mention of any other tradition besides Buddhism? Is it really the case that traditional Buddhist frameworks are ideal for enlightenment? Seems unlikely to me.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/3/14 2:20 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Looks interesting.. going on my wishlist. I have a few criticisms, but I don't know if they're valid without reading the whole book. So, I'll just put them out there and maybe someone with the book can comment --

It makes sense to me that understanding (to some extent) the lack of inherent existence of any phenomena could help one minimize the DN. It also makes sense to me that overly forceful, anicca-focused practice could exacerbate the DN. But, I'm skeptical that the DN can be avoided entirely. When you factor in the nice, friendly tone of the book I could see people getting unrealistic expectations about the path. Maybe this is my own stuff showing, but I prefer the Ingram, Jed McKenna approach.

Is there any mention of any other tradition besides Buddhism? Is it really the case that traditional Buddhist frameworks are ideal for enlightenment? Seems unlikely to me.
This is less framework dependent. It's more practicing to get you to let go more and see deeper levels of insight. It's like taking dependent arising seriously and using it in practice. It doesn't have other approaches beyond Buddhism and dependent arising, but to me dependent arising is the weakest link of most dharma books so it's refreshing.

I think his approaches (which really aren't his but his communication style explains it well) will reduce the DN for people. I can't say it will reduce it to zero since I've been through the DN many, many times already. I think his approach feels smoother to me because view and pointing is included in each instruction so any practice you follow has a point to it. It looks very cause and effect based. I'm going to update my jhana thread because I'm already getting some benefits. I think the book is a wonderful guide that can be used like a ladder. You would look at each practice and see "Did I do this practice and did I understand the point of it?" If someone wants the Ingram approach (which is still Buddhism) I don't see how the book couldn't supplement it. I can easily say that MCTB in it's current form is woeful for Dependent Arising descriptions compared to Rob's book and I wouldn't be exaggerating. I'm very eager to see MCTB 2 and will include whatever added insights because it's not really a competition. It's just that some books explain things better than others because of their writing skills. It's all Buddhism and the same territory but whatever speaks to you and gets you to practice better will be what you respond to.

MCTB got me to early equanimity, and I still use some noting to this day. Shinzen's descriptions of Shikantaza got me to let go of the "meditator", Greg Goode got me to the mirror consciousness and Rob is getting me to understand dependent arising and introduced me to Nagarjuna and helped me to understand how Buddhists treat Time.

Try things out but if it doesn't resonate then let it go and use what works for you. I abandoned Shaila Catherine with a giggle. I'm sure these Dharma gurus can take it.emoticon

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12/3/14 2:25 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
a must read for anyone post-path, definitely post 4th, as talked around here.
I was thinking the same stuff....Looking at the list I was excited to read about exercises that I thought to myself would be useful post 4th. I then started to question which practises were valid for which path level; which would help and what would be a waste of time or beyond the abilities of practitioners. You have given me advice several times that was frankly just beyond where I was at the time. When I stumble upon them again later I kinda laugh and go ...oh ya....
So I wonder about peoples opinions on instructions tapered to the audiences' path level and abilities.....This book seems to have a lot of this....whatcha think?
~D

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12/3/14 2:33 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
There's plenty of beginner practices at the beginning of the book even to the level of basic cognitive therapy. It's made with the attitude that you can skip parts you already understand and then start to where you are at.

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12/3/14 5:04 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks for the detailed response.

Btw, by the Ingram, Jed McKenna approach I meant frank, frank disclosure about how painful the path can be. I agree with Ingram and McKenna that most spiritual books are too flowery and friendly. Idk about other people, but my path has been flowery and friendly maybe 5%-20% of the time (though it's been compelling, fascinating, and engaging 70%+ of the time). And, I imagine that if people have the impression it should only be flowery and friendly, and that this is all about avoiding suffering and blissing out then they'll never be able to realistically face the harsher side of life, their shadowside, etc.

Dependent Arising never really struck me as essential, and the skandhas always struck me as unwieldy. I always saw DA as just a corollary of the admittedly complex topic of causality. How does DA help practice for you?

Also, Shaile Catherine and Pa-Auk Sayadaw's jhana standards are absurdly high. One could get SE with a fraction of those mad jhana skillz, and get an instant boost to their concentration practice. Seems the better strategy to me.

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12/3/14 5:54 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll, never heard of jed before but when reading the negative reviews for his books I fail to see whats good about him. He seems egodriven selfish, uncompassionate. Why anyone would strive towards what he describes is beyound me. He doesnt seem to make to compelling case for enlightenment. Epicurianism seems more promising.

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12/3/14 6:52 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Thanks for the detailed response.

Btw, by the Ingram, Jed McKenna approach I meant frank, frank disclosure about how painful the path can be. I agree with Ingram and McKenna that most spiritual books are too flowery and friendly. Idk about other people, but my path has been flowery and friendly maybe 5%-20% of the time (though it's been compelling, fascinating, and engaging 70%+ of the time). And, I imagine that if people have the impression it should only be flowery and friendly, and that this is all about avoiding suffering and blissing out then they'll never be able to realistically face the harsher side of life, their shadowside, etc.

Dependent Arising never really struck me as essential, and the skandhas always struck me as unwieldy. I always saw DA as just a corollary of the admittedly complex topic of causality. How does DA help practice for you?

Also, Shaile Catherine and Pa-Auk Sayadaw's jhana standards are absurdly high. One could get SE with a fraction of those mad jhana skillz, and get an instant boost to their concentration practice. Seems the better strategy to me.

Well each to their own. I did also have a harsh path along the way as well and some wicked dark nights but I also knew lots of people who didn't so I'm open to the possibility that my concentration practice wasn't up to snuff. Dependent origination is difficult because it's treated as linear conventionally and then we have to abandon that as not even arising but instead treat it as scaffolding that's supporting experience. To simplify: The demarcation between vedana and clinging doesn't inherently exist. How it's helped me is to look at everything as very quick cause and effect which makes dealing with difficult mind-states with more skill. I don't have to wrestle with things (what you resist persists) but I can start putting transcendental DA in place to start moving in the right direction.

Rob's way of practicing is more about getting the consciousness to fade and to see dependence + the relief so that dependent origination is understood in experience. There's also an emphasis on the unfindability of consciousness which is a common practice. Until I finish all the main practices I'll probably still be working with DA.

I think the best way to look at Rob's book is to see for yourself if he's trying to avoid pain. To me it's more like each practice points to a certain insight and you have to keep practicing until you experience that insight. If you succeed and it hurts less along the way there should be no guilt. Also the letting go should create some renunciation or it's not working.

I'm aware that the amygdala does shrink with people who have a long-term practice and it's possible that new wiring might hurt and certainly I did go through that but I was also doing a dry noting practice during this time.

The one area that Rob would agree with you on is that you can use insight practices to boost your jhanas. In fact that's what happens to many insight practioners when they see new strata of mind by accident and then they solidify it into a jhana.

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12/4/14 6:42 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Nikolai .:
a must read for anyone post-path, definitely post 4th, as talked around here.
I was thinking the same stuff....Looking at the list I was excited to read about exercises that I thought to myself would be useful post 4th. I then started to question which practises were valid for which path level; which would help and what would be a waste of time or beyond the abilities of practitioners. You have given me advice several times that was frankly just beyond where I was at the time. When I stumble upon them again later I kinda laugh and go ...oh ya....
So I wonder about peoples opinions on instructions tapered to the audiences' path level and abilities.....This book seems to have a lot of this....whatcha think?
~D
Save from actually hearing and knowing all your experiences from each sit, your conditioning factors, leanings, personality strengths and weaknesses, life situation, way of being, understanding and thus practicing, I can only give advice that I relate to myself, not being a professional meditation teacher with all the mentioned knowledge. All we can do here is share and hope that someone gets benefit, if not you then someone reading your thread and my advice. And later on, it made sense to you, so it may well have added to progress in someway, who knows, perhaps it acted as a trigger to drop asking for advice and just sit with what is arising? I know this happened to me many times before.

As I see it, it all comes down to experimenting for ourselves with what works and what doesn't for our own conditioning. Each of us is conditioned differently by a lifetime of habit, even when we claim the same contemplative/meditative territories. Hit and miss advice is what you get without the up close and personal one on ones, unless you get lucky and someone can read your mind like an open book.

Same goes for reading this thread's book reccomendation. Insight matures when it's ready to. Better to read/experiment as much as possible to up the odds of baselines shifting even if it seems not to make sense. The exploring leads to lots of 'giving up' and 'letting go' which is usually when the good stuff happens.

Nick
Edited x 2

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12/4/14 5:46 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Just cracking my copy. Amazon Prime rules (says my inner materialist lol). Looks like an excellent practice manual; I'm looking forward to trying some experiments. 

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12/5/14 4:24 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
For me I was tremendously helped by Rob Burbea's gentleness, his lack of pushiness in presentation (until this book i have been listening/re-listening to his dharma talks so most of my vibe on him is from that), and the gradated levels he teaches on (which i see in his book thus far).  My conditioning has set me up so that it isn't lack of clarity in perception, or drive, or concentration… instead it has been fear.  I have benefited from some instances of "pushing through" both driven by teachers and my own gut… but a lot of my grunt work has been coaxing, embracing, stabilizing, and soothing my "self" along as needed.  I don't have a flowery, mushroomy agenda - its just that my most frequent limiting factor has been fear so soothing is on the table.  When i work with that - either through samatha practice, or in ways that might seem even baroquely mushroomy and psychological to some (yeah, i will do journaling) I can release and push on again.  At many points in dark night phases I really have just needed to hear "it's ok" from someone who has gone further.

There is a big difference between saying the end-game is a soothed, peaceful, blissed-out self and saying that ripping the bandage off is the only viable approach.

Another point that I think is relevant is that you can't see it until you can see it, nor want it until you want it. The way that Rob Burbea teaches seems to me to be that he offers truth, but often gives an "out" at the same time.  Not to accommodate, but to be realistic about what a given mind/ego can even hear.  This seems very skillful to me - here i really am speaking to his talks. An example is when he teaches about the subtle body he says something  like "Now, you may or may not find this paradigm helpful… " as a preface.  If I had no context for working/experiencing the subtle body, I could sort of drop what he was going on about and tune back in later, but stay in the room, so to speak.  And down the line, there is crumb dropped in the trail of one's mind, and one can come back and go deeper. .  I feel like he kind of "invites" one out of the fuzzy haze of the mushroom culture when one is able, and I find that quite refreshing. The "hardcore" I seek relates to the over-arching trajectory.  Regarding pitch and intensity, I think it falls into different strokes for different conditioning.

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12/5/14 6:39 PM as a reply to : ladyfrog :.
Still waiting for the book in the mail but have started reading the google preview. He sets up the book by making a strong case for using insight as a means, a strategy, and not just a hoped for result. For those who say that this is fabrication, that one should just be mindful of 'things as they are', he says this:

(note I skipped a lot - whole paragraphs, I highly recommend reading it directly starting on page 32 http://books.google.com/books?id=RS_uBAAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false

"To some, this second mode of insight practice, where liberating ways of looking are intentionally cultivated and sustained, may initially sound unattractive... may involve a belief that 'being' and 'doing' are really different...'just being' is regarded as preferable or somehow more authentic...it turns out, though, that whenever there is any experience at all, there is always some fabricating, which is a kind of 'doing'...in states of 'just being' which we might image are devoid of self, a subtle self is actually being constructed anyway...What seems like 'just being with things as they appear' will undoubtedly involve all kinds of views and assumptions, mostly unrecognized, about what is perceived. Thus it is actually a way of looking; or, more likely, it will subsume, at different times, relatively diverse ways of looking...My experience in my own practice, in teaching, and in talking and listening to others, is that meditations using only the first mode of insight - that is, relying mostly on insight as a 'result' - will very probably not be enough on their own to overcome the force of deeply engrained habitual delusion that perceives and intuitively feels things to have inherent existence. As we have said, some element or aspect of a phenomenon will remain reified if it is not consciously and profoundly seen into. The overwhelming tendency is to unconsciously impute inherent existence to things, not to see emptiness. We need, therefore, to practice views that actually dissolve or remove this illusion of inherent existence."

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12/5/14 6:41 PM as a reply to : ladyfrog :.
: ladyfrog ::
The "hardcore" I seek relates to the over-arching trajectory.  Regarding pitch and intensity, I think it falls into different strokes for different conditioning.

That's really well put! Reading your response that was exactly what I was thinking when you semi-self-deprecatingly admitted to journalling. In the context of a clear purpose towards awakening (and then deepening and stabilizing awakening) all tools can be of use. Hardcore is for me more of a mindset of being committed to awakening and liberation, and isn't tied to a particular tool like noting or whatever.

It isn't even tied to breaking experience down into tiny vibrating bits-- there are many approaches, and my sense is different approaches produce results with different aesthetics.

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12/6/14 9:21 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Thanks Jake!  Sorry to be off topic but I'd like to add that, despite my take on what might be some differing approaches appropriate for some, that I am very grateful to Daniel, his book, and the many sage posts and posters I have been helped by on this board (particular thanks to Nikolai).  It has been a great resource for me over the past few years, and I have gotten a ton of crucial info and insight that have really helped me sort things out over time.

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12/7/14 6:15 PM as a reply to : ladyfrog :.
I agree, me too!
I think there are lots of folks who participate here who appreciate a variety of methods, including Daniel and Nick emoticon
I'm enjoying the book, it really seems to be chock full of solid practice approaches. Good stuff! I needed an injection of fresh perspectives.

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12/12/14 12:15 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
I am surprised that this book hasn't gotten more attention in the pragmatic Buddhist universe. There are no interviews with the author online, no book reviews (except for 1 on Amazon), etc. This seems to be a very well kept secret, unfortunately. What's going on?

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12/12/14 12:41 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
I am surprised that this book hasn't gotten more attention in the pragmatic Buddhist universe. There are no interviews with the author online, no book reviews (except for 1 on Amazon), etc. This seems to be a very well kept secret, unfortunately. What's going on?


Few and far between Jason, few and far between.......

Psi

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12/13/14 12:32 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Is it just me or did google shut off the preview?
~D

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12/13/14 9:45 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker:
Is it just me or did google shut off the preview?
~D

Yes, looks like the preview is gone. My order is going to take a while to arrive to.  emoticon

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12/14/14 9:37 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
To Jenny: The next book I'm anticipating is MCTB 2"The HARDCORE User Friendly Dharma book" to see how instructions can improve in the new addition. 

Richard, Part I is author-approved, printed out, and on my lap now for final quick proofread. emoticon 

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12/15/14 8:00 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
To Jenny: The next book I'm anticipating is MCTB 2"The HARDCORE User Friendly Dharma book" to see how instructions can improve in the new addition. 

Richard, Part I is author-approved, printed out, and on my lap now for final quick proofread. emoticon 


Thanks for donating your editing skills! It takes so long doesn't it?

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12/15/14 2:11 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Hi.

I recently discovered that if I focus on the arising aspect of impermanence, its impact is a lot less painful. When we see impermanence we tend to see the end of every thing. And this causes a lot of pain. But if we watch the arising of everything what this causes is a sense of futility. Both these aspects are necessary for insight, as they are aspects of the true nature of reality. But observing the constant arising in addition to the constant fall, is much more ballanced. And if someone is too troubled by impermanence I would suggest that it's best to focus on the arising part.

(I hope I'm not saying something already discussed. I did not read the whole thread.)

Best wishes.

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12/15/14 2:17 PM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Hmm, I find focusing on the arising aspect of impermanence to give rise to a sort of effervescent quality along with a sense of abundance, like phenomena bubbling up or overflowing. Why futility out of curiosity?

On the thread topic, I have my copy and it's great. I am finding some really interesting stuff about the emptiness of awareness and time towards the end of the book. I finally zipped back to the beginning of the book for the first time and I can see that there is stuff there that folks who have maybe never meditated once could relate to and work with. It's a really comprehensive book. Also enjoying the sound files from the Emptiness retreat (which it appears cover very similar territory to the book?)

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12/15/14 3:22 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard:

Thanks for donating your editing skills! It takes so long doesn't it?

Yes. It has taken almost precisely the amount of time I predicted, but it takes authors a while to see and accept the amount of time and back-and-forth required if the edit is going to be a thoroughgoing revision and not merely a copyedit. And scheduling around our jobs, families, and other duties has, of course, been challenging, but well worth the effort and challenges, I feel.

The work has been intense but really my pleasure and my privilege to have been able to enjoy these conversations with Daniel in the margins and around the edges. I learned a lot. I hope what I learned as a stand-in for the community of readers, as well as an editor, will increase the book's benefit for everyone. The working relationship has been extremely positive, I'm happy to say, at least from my point of view.

More specifics soon, from Daniel, I'm sure. Now to return this thread to that other author. . . . 

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12/15/14 4:14 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
Hmm, I find focusing on the arising aspect of impermanence to give rise to a sort of effervescent quality along with a sense of abundance, like phenomena bubbling up or overflowing. Why futility out of curiosity?

Because, even though the constant arising seems like a very positive experience, the things that arise will end anyway. So the constant arising assures us that there will always be something new and fresh. But it's futile to pursue it anyway because, in the back of our minds, we know it will end. I find it's a matter of emphasis. But, in my experience, it's a very different feeling. And it's a lot more tolerable.

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12/16/14 5:50 AM as a reply to Blue Jay.
Blue Jay:
Hi.

I recently discovered that if I focus on the arising aspect of impermanence, its impact is a lot less painful. When we see impermanence we tend to see the end of every thing. And this causes a lot of pain. But if we watch the arising of everything what this causes is a sense of futility. Both these aspects are necessary for insight, as they are aspects of the true nature of reality. But observing the constant arising in addition to the constant fall, is much more ballanced. And if someone is too troubled by impermanence I would suggest that it's best to focus on the arising part.


I would say just the opposite. I first tried focusing with arisings, and that brought lots of trouble. Then, I focused on passings, and that ended the problems. Passings have a restful quality that allows to deal with craving/aversion. It simply let things go. On the contrary, arisings boost the craving/aversion, unless you're able already to laid back and watch all that mental fermentation happen. IME, focusing on arisings are handy only when I'm drowsy or obsesive with a though/emotion.

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12/16/14 8:42 AM as a reply to PP.
So, this little mini-convo about impermanence and what it 'means' ties in nicely with a lot of what Rob Burbea is talking about as 'emptiness'.

What phenomena (or their arising, or their passing) 'means' is not objective but rather dependant on the mind that apprehends that arising and passing.  The bare arising and passing have no inherant meaning. On a deeper level 'arising' and 'passing' themselves are fabrications, are projections, are meanings, and are similarly dependant on a mind operating from the basis of many assumptions to project them. 

Conventionally a  meditator sees impermanence as a phenomenon (say a sound) arising, interacting with other phenomena, and passing. On a deeper level a meditator can see how each of those phases is itself marked by flux (i.e., arising, functioning and passing are each fluxing). Thus 'arising' arises, functions, and passes. Functioning arises, functions and passes. Passing arises, functions and passes.

Oh wait.... !?!  

So arising and passing are empty and dependantly arisen? Huh, cool.

Which is all to say how arising or passing 'feels' to 'me' is an incredibly flexible thing evidently.

ETA: personally I find the experience of clearly seeing that 'arising' and 'passing' are concepts projected onto (?)  really fascinating. Emptiness applies to the three characteristics, according to this insight, which is pretty far out, huh?

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12/16/14 8:53 AM as a reply to PP.
Pablo . P:

I would say just the opposite. I first tried focusing with arisings, and that brought lots of trouble. Then, I focused on passings, and that ended the problems. Passings have a restful quality that allows to deal with craving/aversion. It simply let things go. On the contrary, arisings boost the craving/aversion, unless you're able already to laid back and watch all that mental fermentation happen. IME, focusing on arisings are handy only when I'm drowsy or obsesive with a though/emotion.


I wasn't expecting that! emoticon

I guess each person will have to focus on the perspective that helps the most. To me, impermanence causes too much despair. I found that shifting more towards the aspect of arising, instead of passing, smoothes the negative impact in the DN.

Nevertheless, I think it's useful if people realise that even within impermanence there are different strategies that may ease the DN pain.

And with this I leave this thread. I thought this was entirely on topic, but it isn't. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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12/16/14 1:24 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
So, this little mini-convo about impermanence and what it 'means' ties in nicely with a lot of what Rob Burbea is talking about as 'emptiness'... Emptiness applies to the three characteristics, according to this insight, which is pretty far out, huh?
Thanks Jake! That's fascinating, though I'm far from being close to grasp that insight. I'll re-read your words in the future!

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12/16/14 2:33 PM as a reply to C P M.
I just read the section on seeing from the perspective of impermanence, and one of the things he suggest is noting "impermanence" directly (e.g. noting "anicca" instead of noting "itching"). He also recommends using the noting sparingly to keep rapid noticing on track, but without getting distracted by the noting itself. This seems to be rather different then what MCTB recommends for noticing impermanence- noting as quickly as possible the objects in consciousness, while at the same time keeping in mind their impermanence.

For a while now, I have found the MCTB approach difficult. Trying to note very quickly and, kind of as a separate task, keeping any of the 3 characteristics in mind, has always seemed to be too complicated. But by noting the 3 characteristics directly and more sparingly in order to facilitate rapid noticing seems to be more streamlined - like "cutting out the middle man". Thoughts?

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12/16/14 3:14 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
As long as there is clear knowing I think his approach is better. Of course noting what something is can help when dealing with subtle movements of the intention to pay attention, and rehearsing, analyzing and strategizing. Some people note slower but also note the detail. I think you could incorporate anicca into the noting practice but instead of noting "anicca" all the time you might do it once in a while. The idea is to get good at the 3 C's (noting, welcoming, 7 fold reasonings etc) and then note only "empty" with those understandings. Eventually you want to note "space" and see how time can't be measured as having inherent existence. 

Subject, object and time needs to fade towards cessation. Anicca might reify time without those understandings.

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/

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12/16/14 3:45 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
As long as there is clear knowing I think his approach is better. Of course noting what something is can help when dealing with subtle movements of the intention to pay attention, and rehearsing, analyzing and strategizing. Some people note slower but also note the detail. I think you could incorporate anicca into the noting practice but instead of noting "anicca" all the time you might do it once in a while. The idea is to get good at the 3 C's (noting, welcoming, 7 fold reasonings etc) and then note only "empty" with those understandings. Eventually you want to note "space" and see how time can't be measured as having inherent existence. 

Subject, object and time needs to fade towards cessation. Anicca might reify time without those understandings.

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/

I find this avenue interesting, and the similar "gone" noting from Shinzen Young. If I note the sensation itself, the mind tend to stay on that sensation, make it solid, even if I use fast noting with "beep". If I take a main sensation and note every time this sensation isn't there, things are more free flowing. On the other hand, I find it hard to maintain the practice for a long time and integrate it in everyday life. Still, this point to something unsettling. It point to that that we refuses to accept. I cannot say that it make me progress in anyway and it has more the effect of making me feel dizzy than anything so far but maybe I should persist with the practice. I also wonder how of the usefulness of the practice related to the stages of insights. I also wonder how it relate to dzogchen practice, which is said to be more about saying emptiness. Joseph Golstein and Sam Harris recently posted a conversation their had on the matter. Harris was making the point tht Dzogchen was pointing directly at what need to be pointed, while Vipassana has the drawback of doing somewhat the opposite.

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12/16/14 4:14 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Dzogchen do a pointing practice so that you know the ultimate as best as you can in a conventional way, and you continue with a gradual practice further (because habits are still there).

Ultimate: Because time has no permanent unit and any measurement can be broken down into fractions to infinity there is no inherent existence of time. If things are interdependent on time then everything lacks inherent existence. Remember inherent existence is a belief that things exist without a cause and effect and that they can't be broken down into smaller parts. Eg. A car versus all the subatomic particles that make it up. Consciousness/knowing has no inherent existence because it's interdependent to objects.

This is why it's good to read the book to the end before practicing because doing practice involves the intention to pay attention so practice itself lacks inherent existence. Any Buddhist concepts also lack inherent existence. Delusion as a concept lacks inherent existence. The concepts point to something non-conceptual. The book even shows subtle clingings like clinging to cessation and being dualistic about experience vs. cessation. I guess that could be a kind of "insight disease" trying to go out into cessation for longer and longer periods of time to avoid experience. The goal is to let go of attachment while still having experience. He's really in line with the nirvana and samsara being two sides of the same coin Nargajuna style. He of course still wants people to fade senses to see the fabrication of subject, object, and time but doesn't want people to attach to it and reify the "unconditioned."

He's really tough on disenchantment and just looks at that as aversion. That was probably the biggest shake up for me from the book. I always was under the impression that disenchantment and dark night withdrawal symptoms as a sign of success. lol!

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12/16/14 5:04 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I have now also ordered this book. Might get it on christmas eve, which is when we celebrate christmas here in sweden.

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12/16/14 6:33 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard Zen:
As long as there is clear knowing I think his approach is better. Of course noting what something is can help when dealing with subtle movements of the intention to pay attention, and rehearsing, analyzing and strategizing. Some people note slower but also note the detail. I think you could incorporate anicca into the noting practice but instead of noting "anicca" all the time you might do it once in a while. The idea is to get good at the 3 C's (noting, welcoming, 7 fold reasonings etc) and then note only "empty" with those understandings. Eventually you want to note "space" and see how time can't be measured as having inherent existence. 

Subject, object and time needs to fade towards cessation. Anicca might reify time without those understandings.

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/
Thanks Richard, this is really helpful. 

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12/18/14 10:18 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
My copy is in. The hype is forreal, ya'll.

+'s
Thorough, comprehensive, detailed, profound. Many pointed instructions.

-'s
I haven't seen mention of any other spiritual tradition. Unrealistic expectations presented about balancing practice. Bit bloated.

My impression from above stands so far. Except, "flowery and friendly" is an overstatement for this book. He moreso is unrealistically reassuring that there's always some way to balance our practice to avoid extremes. While it's probably true, it's not very practical. No one is an ideal practitioner. Anyway, I think the extremes of practice are a great way, (if not necessary way) to learn. I personally learned a lot from being snappy in 3Cs, being a DN yogi, in being manic and evangelical during the A&P, in being obsessed with powers, in undervaluing metta, in being overly neutral in EQ, in being under-concentrated and edgy, in being over-concentrated and blissful.

In other words, it seems on the subtle dualities of Buddhism-nonBuddhism, Balance-Imbalance, and Moderation-Extremism Burbea is an extremist. It's realizations like this that make me wonder whether Crowley, Leary, Trungpa, Watts, and other rascal/scandalous gurus had it right all along.

Anyway, this is enough to keep me busy until MCTB2 comes out, and probably for years after

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/19/14 9:28 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
My copy is in. The hype is forreal, ya'll.

+'s
Thorough, comprehensive, detailed, profound. Many pointed instructions.

-'s
I haven't seen mention of any other spiritual tradition. Unrealistic expectations presented about balancing practice. Bit bloated.

My impression from above stands so far. Except, "flowery and friendly" is an overstatement for this book. He moreso is unrealistically reassuring that there's always some way to balance our practice to avoid extremes. While it's probably true, it's not very practical. No one is an ideal practitioner. Anyway, I think the extremes of practice are a great way, (if not necessary way) to learn. I personally learned a lot from being snappy in 3Cs, being a DN yogi, in being manic and evangelical during the A&P, in being obsessed with powers, in undervaluing metta, in being overly neutral in EQ, in being under-concentrated and edgy, in being over-concentrated and blissful.

In other words, it seems on the subtle dualities of Buddhism-nonBuddhism, Balance-Imbalance, and Moderation-Extremism Burbea is an extremist. It's realizations like this that make me wonder whether Crowley, Leary, Trungpa, Watts, and other rascal/scandalous gurus had it right all along.

Anyway, this is enough to keep me busy until MCTB2 comes out, and probably for years after

I haven't read the book but I get what you say while still being on the fence on this one. It really seems sometimes that it have to happen the way it happens. Actually, from the point of view of fundamental reality, this is what it is. Stil, we don't want to fall into a fatalistic vision of the process. I know for instance that if I do certain practices, it will lead to certain phenomena or results different from some other practices.

But when it comes to practice the direct path as a layperson, balance become a very tricky word. For instance, I had a burst of rage toward a member of my family recently, something I have almost never done before, and something good came out of it. Something has been freed, both on my side and the side of the other person. But it wasn't blind rage. It was really something that needed to be expressed, in a context that allowed it to be expressed, and I choose to let it being expressed.

For instance, if someone as a lot of emotional healing to do, simply cycling for a while in the 3C territory might be was it the most beneficial, as opposed to trying have breakthrough and move to higher path. In MCTB Daniel express the view that getting the thing done and dealing with this stuff after is a better approach but I'm skeptical that it's a realistic way for some. If my psychological makeup could handle a monastic life, I would choose that path, but too often the roadblock I meet on retreats are better processed, or at leas more gently, by being exposed to the range of experience and emotions of the laylife, by experiencing real grief, sufferings rooted in social context, disagreements, judgements and so forth.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 10:12 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
In other words, it seems on the subtle dualities of Buddhism-nonBuddhism, Balance-Imbalance, and Moderation-Extremism Burbea is an extremist. It's realizations like this that make me wonder whether Crowley, Leary, Trungpa, Watts, and other rascal/scandalous gurus had it right all along.

Anyway, this is enough to keep me busy until MCTB2 comes out, and probably for years after
Could you elaborate on what you mean "had it right all along"? You mean better to go all out party, alcoholic and drug usage etc? 
(Never really understood peoples fascination with Watts. He never seems to talk from experience just from intellectual discourse, book smart. He had a nice voice in the recordings)

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 12:36 PM as a reply to Simon T..
For instance, if someone as a lot of emotional healing to do, simply cycling for a while in the 3C territory might be was it the most beneficial, as opposed to trying have breakthrough and move to higher path. In MCTB Daniel express the view that getting the thing done and dealing with this stuff after is a better approach but I'm skeptical that it's a realistic way for some. If my psychological makeup could handle a monastic life, I would choose that path, but too often the roadblock I meet on retreats are better processed, or at leas more gently, by being exposed to the range of experience and emotions of the laylife, by experiencing real grief, sufferings rooted in social context, disagreements, judgements and so forth.
Constrasting the different opinions on emotional/psychological healing between Burbea, Ingram, and Shinzen is what's really screwing with me.

Here's an excerpt from Burbea (p.s. why does Liferay always cut off the first and last paragraph I paste emoticon )

In the absence of any immediately discernible cause in the present, it is frequently tempting to assume that something must be 'coming up' from the past or perhaps that old 'stuff' or karma is being purified. And since, when difficulty subsides we feel lighter, and as if something had been released, the interpretation that something was stored inside, came up, and has now been released is quite understandable.

There are numerous variations of this view that can be adopted. With some of them, the associated task might be to patiently allow the storehouse of such imprints from the past to be emptied, perhaps simply to create a space for this process to happen without impediment, or these hidden wounds and knots might actively be sought out somehow. Perhaps fully feeling the difficulty is seen to be what is required for healing. And it may be that identifying an incident or situation in the past that was the cause for this dukkha in the present is regarded as necessary. Whatever the variations, in this view the release of such difficulties is seen as a basic aspect of the path. Though challenging, it is a good thing that they come ‘up and out’.

Such assumptions and views may certainly be helpful at times, and at a relative level may possess a degree of truth. But they might also now be critiqued from the perspective of the understanding we have gained of the fabricated nature of phenomena. We notice that abiding in meditation in a state of reduced clinging - for instance in the anatta or dukkha practices — such difficult experiences arise less. Less ‘stuff’ comes up. As skill in such practices develops further, we find that generally no difficult experiences arise while these ways of looking are engaged. And as described, eventually less and less of anything arises at these times. Difficult experiences are usually central to a sense or notion of purification though, so their non-arising would need to be explained.

One might want to assert that practices such as those we have introduced are somehow repressing what is difficult, doing something to block the process of its arising and release. But as has already been discussed, in relinquishing clinging these practices involve a relinquishment of doing. It is clinging that is actually a doing. Less clinging is less doing. And if, additionally, we consider that seeing not in terms of self is actually more true than, or at least as valid as, seeing in terms of self, it becomes clear that notions of purification cannot be ultimately true.

It turns out that I only experience a sense of purification when there is aversion or grasping or self-view; and the more of these, the more 'purification' I seem to experience. We could, then, also ask again: "How much is stored within?" But of course there is no answer to this question. We can find nothing that exists inherently as this or that stored inside us. Without being fabricated by clinging in the present, this difficult experience cannot arise. In fact, nothing at all from the past is anything in itself because it needs fabricating in the present to make it any thing in particular.

This all strikes me as plausible, but something about it seems off, especially the bolded part. I think it's true that an attitude that practice will 'purify' us will tend to cause that, because that's just the nature of belief/intent, or 'view' as he says; observation can't be separated from assumptions and models. But, I think 'purification' is happening whether we conceptualize with that model or not, and that making an effort to conceptualize in this way can expedite the process. Or, it can cause us to get mired in content and unable to see experience as experience, as Daniel emphasizes. But, both Daniel and Shinzen seem to agree that difficult 'purification' can happen regardless of our view.

This is just my own interpretation, but it seems that Daniel is in the middle between the two extremes of Burbea and Shinzen on the topic of purification. Shinzen uses the purification, 'excavation model' (as Burbea calls it) more than Daniel. Daniel seem to present purification as a side effect of practice. And Burbea seems to imply that difficult purification experiences only happen because of our view, if I'm interpreting him correctly.

@Andreas
No, excessive partying would be just as extreme as no partying. None of the people I listed spent all of their time partying.

I'm fairly convinced Watts was 'enlightened'. His teaching and body language seems strongly suggestive to me. Also, he talks about practicing in his autobiography.

EDIT:
Oh yeah, does the 'malleability of perceptions' on p262 sound like Nik's Hacking Vedana to anyone else?

EDIT2:
And, from a Reichian/bioenergetic/Tai Chi/Hatha Yoga POV, purification is physio-energetically based. Fabrications or not, empty or not, the body is an undeniable limiting factor. I'd like to put Burbea in some basic bioenergetic postures and see how fabricated purification really is emoticon

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 12:36 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
This is really interesting about purification. It certainly seems that 'purification' as an experience is dependant on other things, like either a coarse belief in/felt sense of a solid seperate self who has accumulated the negative experiences or a subtler belief/felt sense of something like an alaya vijnana or impersonal karmic storehouse in order to arise. And his point that suffering as such arises in the present coemergent with ignorance seems phenomenologically sound.

But it sure is an intense way of looking at it! The View that there is no one to be purified, no one to cling, that time is empty, that things and selves are empty, etc, as a lived/felt/embodied experience is a pretty high bar. Personally I find it useful to engage in all manner of practices in order to support the arising of that high-level view and this seems to be the MO of even hard-core direct path teachings like Dzogchen for instance.

But the cool thing is that the more one returns to/glimpses that deep profound view of emptiness the more the felt sense of being a self in a world of things lightens up and becomes translucent. If the ultimate View of emptiness if like being unequivocally awake, and the view of being a seperate self (whether personal, impersonal, transpersonal, whatever) in a world of real things and others is like being unequivocally dreaming, then in my experience through repeatedly relaxing into the highest view of awakeness the return to the dream is different; it becomes miore and more lucid, karma becomes more translucent, suffering becomes more translucent, practices for purification/transformation etc. become more translucent.

The oscilation becomes less between awake and dreaming and more between awake and lucid dreaming.
ETA: and while 'manipulating' the dream is fun when you first start becoming lucid, later it seems more appropriate to just shrug and get back to the dreamt activities as they arise, without losing the lucidity that renders the dreaming itself apparent. At least that's been my experience.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 1:21 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I'm doing my best to make sense of what he is saying, I find his way of writing convulted in a way that remind me Western philosophers. If we see the difficulties has manifestation of the 5 hindrances, overcoming those hindrances, having them released by releasing tension physical, experiencing grief, coming to term with aspect of our psychological makup or overcoming them with strong concentration, isn't understanding nibbana-wise. It is just that, make in it easier to practice in a way that lead to right knowledge. Someone can practice in a way that lead to the release of psychological baggage but never get any insight into the emptiness of phenomenas. Someone would develop great equanimity, become a sane and balanced human being, and still have no insight of the nature of reality.

My focus of the last two years has been of developing such equanimity, greatly lowering my social anxiety, for instance, and this is indeed welcomed progress, even if it didn't come with insight into emptiness. I can not live and practice from a place that is less torturing. I can pay attention to characteristics of attention that were more elusive before. It might be a double-edge sword. The will to practice and get the thing done can get lower, suffering might get so low that there is little motivation in attacking the problem up-front, getting into practices that would get me out of this new-found comfort zone. But cycles and getting back into dreadful stages or meditating on old age and death serve as a reminder that only nibbana is a worthy liberation.

I think it's John Peacock that said in one of his talk that the goal of Buddhism was equanimity. I asked a bhikkunis the question last winter. I asked "Is there a difference between developing equanimity and getting the thing done?". Her answer was that the releasing of tension is only temporary improvement. There are indeed teachers that come out as somewhat febrile, for a lack of better word. And while some other might come out as immovable stones, it might more have to do with the kind of practice they involved in, the time it took them to get there and the psychological makeup they started with.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
12/19/14 3:19 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
@Andreas
No, excessive partying would be just as extreme as no partying. None of the people I listed spent all of their time partying.

I'm fairly convinced Watts was 'enlightened'. His teaching and body language seems strongly suggestive to me. Also, he talks about practicing in his autobiography.
Could you then elaborate here or in a message what you meant by referencing those other people? I do not follow. (Werent trungpa that dude that went to west and got alienated by his fellow tibetans? The one that Sam Harris mentions ridiculed and shamed people at parties by ordering his bodyguards to rip peoples cloths etc when he was drunk?)
Anyway this is OT This post mentions a little my concerns with Watts http://forum.grasscity.com/philosophy/499862-alan-watts-master-philosopher.html#entry6125365

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 3:35 PM as a reply to Andreas.
I was musing about the extent to which the Middle Way should be taken. The point being that saintly behavior is an extreme.

Debating Watts's enlightenment is a whole other topic. But, if you're really interested in finding out try watching these videos in sequence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF96pTDYEAU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LXiSPpfM54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiEzxNqw6_0

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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12/19/14 4:10 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
I was musing about the extent to which the Middle Way should be taken. The point being that saintly behavior is an extreme.

Debating Watts's enlightenment is a whole other topic. But, if you're really interested in finding out try watching these videos in sequence
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF96pTDYEAU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LXiSPpfM54
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiEzxNqw6_0
Aha ok. Well there is the story of the retired realized zen abott that went on a spree with hookers and booze =). One should ones part beatifully and with conviction. Whatever the part may be.
About videos hrm. Just standard 60-70s stuff. But each to their own as they say.

where?
Answer
12/29/14 5:55 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Hi,

From where did you all purchase your copy?

I'm looking for the trade paperback, my local bookseller doesn't have any and can't tell me if/when they'll ever get any copies in.  Amazon is saying "usually ships within 1-2 months"  which seems vague and unpromising.

Thanks,


***  edit, nevermind, I was on amazon.ca, I have found the book in stock in paperback on amazon.com.  Peace,

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/2/15 7:16 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I got a copy for christmas, woo hoo.....emptyness here I come....then again maybe it's already here.....

"Emptyness is like palmolive...You're soaking in it" ~D

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/5/15 4:52 PM as a reply to PP.
Pablo . P:

. Jake .:
So, this little mini-convo about impermanence and what it 'means' ties in nicely with a lot of what Rob Burbea is talking about as 'emptiness'... Emptiness applies to the three characteristics, according to this insight, which is pretty far out, huh?
Thanks Jake! That's fascinating, though I'm far from being close to grasp that insight. I'll re-read your words in the future!



Cool!
Actually I think what I'm pointing to comes clear in lots of circumstances many folks may experience.... High EQ for instance seems to lend itself to seeing clearly the emptiness of the three characteristics, suchness, or whatever you want to call 'it' when 'it' explicitly exceeds characterization.

The operation of mind to encapsulate this glimpse of emptiness into a story, theory, structure, whatever is like the swift instinctual darting of an attacking snake; the trick is 'catching the snake by the neck', which requires discovering and developing an alertness that SEES this existentially predatory gesture of mind

(predatory? because this aspect of mind wants to 'eat' whatever it sees, metabolize experience into something it can use to perpetuate itself...)

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/5/15 11:04 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I basically have to stop every couple of pages due to insight overload. This book is f'ing incredible. If I only had this and MCTB2 to last me the rest of my life, I think I would be set. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/6/15 1:38 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
I basically have to stop every couple of pages due to insight overload. This book is f'ing incredible. If I only had this and MCTB2 to last me the rest of my life, I think I would be set. 

I agree, this book is awesome.  It has really helped my practice. Chapter 10 on dependent origination stands out for me. I haven't seen it described in such practical terms before. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/6/15 6:53 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
There's a nice satisfaction with it that it makes you let go further because it's demystified. It's also not so extreme that one has to have aversion to pleasure which would disqualify the practice for the 99% of the population.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/30/15 5:04 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
I am surprised that this book hasn't gotten more attention in the pragmatic Buddhist universe. There are no interviews with the author online, no book reviews (except for 1 on Amazon), etc. This seems to be a very well kept secret, unfortunately. What's going on?

Hi Jason. Could I ask where in the Buddhist universe you might normally expect to find info on new books? I've been helping Rob to get this book published, and we're still working on getting reviews into the various Buddhist magazines etc, but might you have other suggestions? We didn't go down usual publicity routes I guess just because this is a bit of a niche book, not your usual bedside-table dharma..

And thanks for your review on Amazon - you capture the book perfectly!

Kindly,
Mark

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/31/15 12:58 AM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Could I ask where in the Buddhist universe you might normally expect to find info on new books? I've been helping Rob to get this book published, and we're still working on getting reviews into the various Buddhist magazines etc, but might you have other suggestions? We didn't go down usual publicity routes I guess just because this is a bit of a niche book, not your usual bedside-table dharma...


Maybe you've already considered it ,but you should try advertising on social networks (Facebook?) and other ads networks like Google Adwords. You can target very specific audiences which might be very potent for a niche approach.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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1/30/15 7:26 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
MCTB2 is pretty clear on the nonnecessity (harm?) of renouncing pleasure, so long as the pleasure doesn't harm others. The only "desire" that we are cutting, and practicing to cut, is specifically the desire for a separate, permanent, continuous, controlling self. So it is specifically Fundamental Attraction and Aversion that are cut, and in the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination, these Links depend down the chain on Fundamental Ignorance, the topmost Link.

When Fundamental Ignorance is destroyed by our seeing completely through the Three Illusions, then the entire Chain of Becoming, the Twelve Links, collapses. Regular greed/hatred/delusion can and will still arise until the arahat dies, "because a body was born": this is why training in morality is necessary for the rest of one's life, regardless of ultimate wisdom attainment. This is not to say that the wisdom that results doesn't promote and render efficient skillfulness in the moral training, but it is to say that it is very dangerous to assume that wisdom ends the need to practice morality deliberately, as a separate practice. Never ending is the need to practice being ever more kind, compassionate, and skillful with body, speech, and mind.

Daniel and I worked on a new little section to MCTB2, that on the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination. I feel that this new content is absolutely crucial to understanding Daniel's entire take on the separation of the trainings and the strong likelihood of mere repression in those who assume enlightment leads to emotional, action-oriented, or moral perfection. We extracted that piece from Part I because it is so subtle and complex. I'm not sure yet where it will go, but I think where arahatship is defined or described is probably the place for it, somewhere in the the path models chapter.

Sorry for the MCTB2 digression here (it is continually on my mind, as it can't help but be). I just meant to point out that, from Daniel's point of view in his book, it isn't just any or all desire that we are working on in the Wisdom training; it is specifically the Fundamental Attraction and Aversion, which convince us of a self, continously redefine a self. These fundamentals are cut by cutting Fundamental Ignorance, meaning seeing the Three Characteristics of all experience, seeing all the way through the Three Illusions (satisfaction, permanence, self/essence).

The one of the Three Characteristics that is not "ultimate" and therefore not really a "characteristic" is All-Pervasive Suffering. So enlightenment means Two Characteristics remain--impermanence and not-self/emptiness. Those two chacteristics are what Daniel means by "Ultimate Reality." The third characteristic isn't really a "characteristic" at all when wisdom is fully attained. This was a huge insight for me this week, triggered by Daniel's explaining this exceptionality of Suffering. This is why the Buddha talked so much about Suffering: There is a path to its end. There is no path to the end of impermanence and emptiness, nothing "beyond" them, no superspace, source, or ground of being.

EDITED

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1/30/15 7:38 AM as a reply to Jenny.
My understanding, too, is that all that I say above is why Daniel tends to reject and correct practice emphasis on "letting go." Letting go is not method: Seeing the truth of the Three Characteristics is. Letting go happens to the the fundamental illusions automatically, after our seeing through them is attained. There is no "letting go" shortcut around fundamental insight into reality.

Which is again to say, we are not working on cutting desire per se.

Jenny

EDITED

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2/10/15 7:49 AM as a reply to Jean B..
Jean B.:

Maybe you've already considered it ,but you should try advertising on social networks (Facebook?) and other ads networks like Google Adwords. You can target very specific audiences which might be very potent for a niche approach.

Thank you Jean, that's really helpful. I quit FB a number of years ago so I'll have to ask someone else to look into that. I'll take a look at Adwords etc though, that's great.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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2/10/15 6:12 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:
Jean B.:

Maybe you've already considered it ,but you should try advertising on social networks (Facebook?) and other ads networks like Google Adwords. You can target very specific audiences which might be very potent for a niche approach.

Thank you Jean, that's really helpful. I quit FB a number of years ago so I'll have to ask someone else to look into that. I'll take a look at Adwords etc though, that's great.

My pleasure. If you need any help or support, let me know.
(sorry for digression)

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2/27/15 2:24 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thanks for the recommendation. I bought a copy today, and love it.

When it was first available on Amazon there wasn't a kindle version. Now there is.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/5/15 6:15 PM as a reply to Simon T..
Simon T.:
I'm doing my best to make sense of what he is saying, I find his way of writing convulted in a way that remind me Western philosophers. ...................



A friend just lent this to me and this is my feeling too, from first impressions, but given the large amounts of excitement expressed in this thread I will perserve for a while.

How are you getting on now Simon? Any better?

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3/13/15 5:08 PM as a reply to b man.
I notice he writes longish sentences with multiple clauses; I recommend reading at a leisurely pace to get the gist, then applying in practice. You really want to balance careful reading of short passages with meditative experience and slow, careful reflection with this sort of material. You can even apply that threefold process while reading a short section: read a few sentences, check in with your experience meditatively to try and experientially 'taste' what those sentences are pointing to, reflect for a few moments, then return to the short section. Then when finished with that section, try out the investigation in a longer formal sit. Then reflect on that sit, maybe writing a little, then repeat this process with the next section. 

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3/14/15 3:47 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
For those that noticed the free sample is gone on Amazon.... Barnes & Noble has a free preview.  

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/sample/read/2940150296800

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3/16/15 1:20 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I received this book as a birthday gift. Now if I only had time to read it--and the 6 other books on my list of must-reads.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/17/15 8:16 PM as a reply to Jenny.
I foresee Burbea practice chats.  Got the book the other day after reading through the preview.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/17/15 8:50 PM as a reply to Steph S.
They've been starting for a while now based on his dharmaseed talks, but to give due where it's deserved it should be Nagarjuna and Chandrakirti practice chats. ;)

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/18/15 10:54 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard - do you mean in this and other threads on DhO there's already been talks on the dhammaseed talks?  Maybe I missed them.

Nagarjuna, ftw.  There's been lots of Nagarjuna dropping posts back and forth about him in Soh's Facebook group... though I don't check FB much anymore.  I have a copy of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way that I've been slowly working my way through.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/18/15 1:50 PM as a reply to Steph S.
Steph S:
Richard - do you mean in this and other threads on DhO there's already been talks on the dhammaseed talks?  Maybe I missed them.

Nagarjuna, ftw.  There's been lots of Nagarjuna dropping posts back and forth about him in Soh's Facebook group... though I don't check FB much anymore.  I have a copy of Fundamental Wisdom of the Middle Way that I've been slowly working my way through.

Yeah you were gone for a while. I'm glad you're back. I particularly like these talks which will supplement your reading:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9553/
Subtlety of dependent origination

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/9813/
Welcoming

http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11929/
http://www.dharmaseed.org/teacher/210/talk/11120/
Time

Try out this emptiness retreat with also John Peacock and others:

http://www.dharmaseed.org/retreats/1044

Rob also did a recent talk in December about imagery which fits in well with the CBT imagery stuff I'm working on. It's fun seeing Buddhism and modern psychology competing in the same territory.

http://www.londoninsight.org/resources/audio-downloads/

What I find interesting is that many of these audio talks are so dense I have to listen to them several times and include things in practice order to understand them properly.

There's some more I posted before when I was acting all fanboy then:

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5031205

Nargajuna should be read slowly and ported into your meditation practice. Basically when the clinging in the perception lets go from the insights you can tell it's working.

Have fun!



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3/28/15 1:47 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
John Ahn posted the following in facebook group Dharma Connection about Burbea's book. Thought it might be useful or an interesting catalyst for further conversation here:


"Before I write this, I want to emphasize that it is merely my opinion. I don't have any authority on this subject, and tomorrow if I see better sense, I am willing to swiftly correct my views. Sorry, it might be quite long.
I finished reading through Rob Burbea's book Seeing that Frees (http://seeingthatfrees.com/) on dependent origination and found it disappointing. Rob is undoubtedly well versed in the teachings. My disagreement with him is actually subtle yet the difference has heavy consequences. And it is because of those consequences that I feel compelled to write this, and in a timely way it relates a lot to what Stian and I debated last night.
Rob takes dependent origination and its conventionality to be how things are. So for Rob, the relative is what is experienced and the ultimate is its nature. The principle behind appearances is the relative arising of consciousness and appearance, subject-object, which are always in fabrication with one other: "There cannot be such a thing as a perceiving consciousness with no object of perception, just as there cannot be such a thing as a perceived object without a perceiving consciousness."
For Rob there is no such thing as correct perception or experience. It is whether or not there is knowledge of fabrication or not. And of course, this is also fabricated: it is relativity from top to bottom. So cessation for Rob is the dissipation of this duality into a sphere of nothingness, which is also relative and fabricated. So we can return to appearances again just knowing that they are fabricated, and this is freedom.
In my opinion, this is a huge error.
The reason is, relativity is total bullshit. Relativity is a lie, especially co-dependent relativity. Dependent co-arising is to show that the conceptual perception of how things habitually appear to the mind--in cause/condition, things, relations, places, time etc.-- only makes sense in its own context.
They seem valid, but they are actually like this: monkeys because dragons, and dragons because monkeys, therefore monkeys and dragons. It's nonsense because the justifications co-arise, and that's why things conceived in this manner are unarisen. Nagarjuna's madhyamaka is simply to show the nonsense this is when we try to apply it to how appearances may happen. Conventional conception of how we think our experience is only makes sense on its own. It's "right" only in its own context.
Delusion (and the depth of this delusion goes to our very bones. In fact the 12 links of delusion is describing this) is when we think our conventional relative conception is what actual experience is. Which is what Rob is doing. It gets you no where other than to a no man's land of forever fabricated perceptions. It is regression into infinite relativity. The danger is precisely this freedom to perceive, since it closes the door to delving straight into the taste of what experience is. This view already assures that is an impossibility. And at every corner of interpretation it justifies onto itself. Like falling into a hall of mirrors, you are really really lost believing it is freedom.
So what is the right way? It is first and foremost seeing that awareness is not dependently originated with objects, that the co-arising of subject-object is merely an imputation that has no bearing on direct experience. True nature of our awareness can only be experienced directly and that is the purpose of meditation. This sounds like a cop out and the mind may demand an answer, but what dependent origination is showing is that the conventional mind cannot perceive the way things are because it can only formulate experiences via relative notions (is, is not, both, neither) within its own matrix.T
his doesn't mean we should abandon the conceptual mind. It can serve as a useful tool to understand its own falsity and navigating the relative world of human existence. But it does mean we must abandon the conventional that has seeped into every facet of awareness as if they point to how things actually are. All practice is just this unbinding. But Rob has unfortunately gone the other direction and has given reality to the relative.
It's a big big mistake."

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/29/15 2:46 AM as a reply to Bill F..
"So what is the right way? It is first and foremost seeing that awareness is not dependently originated with objects, that the co-arising of subject-object is merely an imputation that has no bearing on direct experience. True nature of our awareness can only be experienced directly and that is the purpose of meditation."

So this speaks to the fundamental split in spiritual circles, something that Kenneth Folk and Rick Archer argued about on the BATGAP interview, or something that Sam Harris and Deepok Chopra might argue about. Either you believe in a "True" fundamental awareness independent of human perception but that can be tapped into (you are an idealist), or you don't (you are a naturalist). Myself, I have no idea, but I find it more burdensome to maintain a belief in "cosmic consciousness" than to just not assume anything. That is why Burbea's approach is attractive to me. There are no sacred cows. Everything in experience can be seen as a fabrication, including beliefs and peak transcendental experiences. I find this liberating, but I understand how others may see it is as nihilistic or threatening. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 6:46 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
I see Rob is closer to the idealist. Whether it is called "universal consciousness", "god" or "emptiness" there is the assumption of some ultimate truth. Regarding god I'm referring to how mystics describe god as opposed to the personified god of religion. Likewise there are people like Rich Archer that seem to personify the concept of universal consciousness, almost as if it is something they can dialog with.

I don't think Kenneth Folk in that interview is defending a naturalist position, he seems to be agnostic. Which seems close to the position Buddha took (maybe he was being ignostic)

I think subjective experience gives us a map of reality. We may be able to understand it is a map because it leaves a bunch of unanswerable questions. The mistake Rob seems to make is in realizing the map is only a map, he assumes what is left when you take away the map is emptiness. Others substitute god or unversal consciousness.

I think there are two camps - those that are comfortable with not having answers (e.g. Buddha) and those that need "the truth". For me the weight of evidence is more for "don't know" than any of the numerous absolute truths.

Throwing away the map may give a moment of liberation but we quickly get lost without a map!

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 12:46 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Hey Jason, 

This is John Ahn. 

So to me, spirituality is not about beliefs.  But breaking down beliefs to see what remains.  All beliefs and opinions are sort of convenient lies.  

It is burdensome to chase something not in one's experience, because that goes against our habits and ways of perceiving.  The sacred cow here is duality which Rob has made into a fundamental relationship.  It is obviously attractive, because it justifies current perception. 

You can't be enmeshed in duality and think something about non-dual. So people who talk about "cosmic consciousness" are also just trying to point to something outside the realm of language, which is a realm of duality.  (They are wrong, since consciousness is also established via duality).

What is wrong with dualities? They are self justifying and have no relevanace to anything besides itself.  Like monkeys have six arms because dolphins can fly.  Dolphins can fly because monkeys have six arms.  Great, makes perfect sense.  But at the same time what nonsense! 

The realm of dualities extends to all contents of experience except for the very fact of experiencing.  That is what we are trying to reach to a place of something real and true.  Because if there wasn't something real or true besides these nonsense dualities, experiencing would be impossible!  This is what Nagarjuna is trying to do in MMK, to show that if dependent relations were true, they would make everything impossible.  Hence they are just dependent.  In the end of the MMK, Nagarjuna wrote that the purpose of all this is the relinquish all views (which is different from Rob who merely wants to play with views).  Nagarjuna then wrote In Praise of Dharmadhatu to that which is true and real, revealed after the false is dropped.  

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 1:07 PM as a reply to J Ahn.
John, are you basically just saying that Rob is emphasizing emptiness at the expense of buddha nature? 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 2:06 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
"Buddha nature" depends on interpretation and usage.  Most people's use of buddha nature is dependent on one's experience.  And usually it refers to experience of pure subject which is not what I'm saying.  

But Rob has sabotaged himself by thinking dependent origination points to reality.  When it's precisely taught to show it cannot point to anything but itself. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 2:27 PM as a reply to J Ahn.
J Ahn: So to me, spirituality is not about beliefs.  But breaking down beliefs to see what remains.
So to you there is no fundamental difference between philosophy and spirituality?
All beliefs and opinions are sort of convenient lies.
Beliefs and opinions are not lies. Often they are in use when the there is no hard facts behind them. Assuming that ones spouse loves you is not a lie.
 (They are wrong, since consciousness is also established via duality).
What is duality in this context? subject object, matter->counscioussness etc? I would say awareness is by definition dual. consciousness is not.

..Jake.. 
John, are you basically just saying that Rob is emphasizing emptiness at the expense of buddha nature? 
No I dont think he is since buddha nature is a belief and therefor a lie, where as emptiness is in essence a logical concept. Nagarjunas Fundamental Verses on the Middle Way is "basically" just a philosophical essay. Cant find my copy of the tibetan version at the moment. It was years since I read it.
EDIT
When I read it years ago I was not sure on the rigour of the philosophical arguments. THey felt a bit iffy. Been thinking of rereading it. I have the version that Jay Garfield published.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/29/15 3:20 PM as a reply to J Ahn.
Hey Jason, 

This is John Ahn. 

So to me, spirituality is not about beliefs.  But breaking down beliefs to see what remains.  All beliefs and opinions are sort of convenient lies.  

I agree

It is burdensome to chase something not in one's experience, because that goes against our habits and ways of perceiving.  The sacred cow here is duality which Rob has made into a fundamental relationship.  It is obviously attractive, because it justifies current perception. 

I'm not sure I follow. I interpret Rob as arguing that each pole of a duality is empty because it is dependently co-arisen. So then wouldn't emptiness be more fundamental than duality in Rob's worldview (even if the notion of emptiness is also empty, ha!)? 

You can't be enmeshed in duality and think something about non-dual. So people who talk about "cosmic consciousness" are also just trying to point to something outside the realm of language, which is a realm of duality.  (They are wrong, since consciousness is also established via duality).

I agree, but would add that even the non-dual experience is just an experience. Why do you assume that it is fundamental or that it is "not dependently originated with objects" (such as the brain processing the experience)? 

What is wrong with dualities? They are self justifying and have no relevanace to anything besides itself.  Like monkeys have six arms because dolphins can fly.  Dolphins can fly because monkeys have six arms.  Great, makes perfect sense.  But at the same time what nonsense! 

The realm of dualities extends to all contents of experience except for the very fact of experiencing.  That is what we are trying to reach to a place of something real and true.  Because if there wasn't something real or true besides these nonsense dualities, experiencing would be impossible!  This is what Nagarjuna is trying to do in MMK, to show that if dependent relations were true, they would make everything impossible.  Hence they are just dependent.  In the end of the MMK, Nagarjuna wrote that the purpose of all this is the relinquish all views (which is different from Rob who merely wants to play with views).  Nagarjuna then wrote In Praise of Dharmadhatu to that which is true and real, revealed after the false is dropped.  

So are you saying that the fact of experiencing itself is not dependently co-arisen?

I don't think Rob would necessarily disagree about the ultimate purpose of relinquishing all views. But Rob is talking in instrumental terms, how to utilize relative viewpoints in order to make progress along the path. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 4:05 PM as a reply to Andreas.
Hi Andreas, 

Spirituality begins where philosophy ends.  Philsophy ends when views are relinquished, hence Nagarjuna's MMK ends the way it does.

But to get to that point we have to understand exactly how views and the mind function.  Or else it will continually impede progress.

By consciousness I mean the dichotomy of perceiver-perceived.

If we take Buddha Nature to mean a ground of all potential experiences, a no-thingness, the dharmadhatu, then it does indeed exist.  The purpose of MMK breakdown is not the rejection of everything, but a rejection of falsities so that one's experience becomes based on truth.  

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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3/29/15 4:12 PM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
Hey Jason, 

This is John Ahn. 

So to me, spirituality is not about beliefs.  But breaking down beliefs to see what remains.  All beliefs and opinions are sort of convenient lies.  

I agree

It is burdensome to chase something not in one's experience, because that goes against our habits and ways of perceiving.  The sacred cow here is duality which Rob has made into a fundamental relationship.  It is obviously attractive, because it justifies current perception. 

I'm not sure I follow. I interpret Rob as arguing that each pole of a duality is empty because it is dependently co-arisen. So then wouldn't emptiness be more fundamental than duality in Rob's worldview (even if the notion of emptiness is also empty, ha!)? 

You can't be enmeshed in duality and think something about non-dual. So people who talk about "cosmic consciousness" are also just trying to point to something outside the realm of language, which is a realm of duality.  (They are wrong, since consciousness is also established via duality).

I agree, but would add that even the non-dual experience is just an experience. Why do you assume that it is fundamental or that it is "not dependently originated with objects" (such as the brain processing the experience)? 

What is wrong with dualities? They are self justifying and have no relevanace to anything besides itself.  Like monkeys have six arms because dolphins can fly.  Dolphins can fly because monkeys have six arms.  Great, makes perfect sense.  But at the same time what nonsense! 

The realm of dualities extends to all contents of experience except for the very fact of experiencing.  That is what we are trying to reach to a place of something real and true.  Because if there wasn't something real or true besides these nonsense dualities, experiencing would be impossible!  This is what Nagarjuna is trying to do in MMK, to show that if dependent relations were true, they would make everything impossible.  Hence they are just dependent.  In the end of the MMK, Nagarjuna wrote that the purpose of all this is the relinquish all views (which is different from Rob who merely wants to play with views).  Nagarjuna then wrote In Praise of Dharmadhatu to that which is true and real, revealed after the false is dropped.  

So are you saying that the fact of experiencing itself is not dependently co-arisen?

I don't think Rob would necessarily disagree about the ultimate purpose of relinquishing all views. But Rob is talking in instrumental terms, how to utilize relative viewpoints in order to make progress along the path. 

For Rob, dependent duality shows their emptiness.  I don't have a problem with this, but he reifies this relationship as something both true and fabricated.  He doesn't see nondual.  

"I agree, but would add that even the non-dual experience is just an experience. Why do you assume that it is fundamental or that it is "not dependently originated with objects" (such as the brain processing the experience)? "

Nondual is fundamental because dual is fabricated.  Dependent origination shows this.  A because B, B because A is a self contained loop of fabrication.  As for the brain, the brain does not process experience because it is within experience.  That is like saying the projector of the movie is in the movie but somehow projecting it too. 

Rob's method in the end cannot relinquish itself because he takes the perceiver-perceived to be fundamental to experience.  So he is very rooted in this dual fabricated relationship.  For him, the freedom is to just be able to play with flexible views to pacify suffering.  The book end the end can only just say everything is a fabrication.  If everything is a fabrication, wouldn't that be the reality?   

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/30/15 3:42 AM as a reply to J Ahn.
J Ahn,

So far you seem to be making a logical argument that non-dual is fundamental. But I am interested in the experience of non-dual. Is the experience of non-dual fundamental, or is it just another experience? What makes the experiencing "not dependently originated with objects"? Or in other words, what proof do you have that the brain is not processing the experience, while simulataneously modeling itself as contained within the experience? Have you read the Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger? The brain is capable of all sorts of "self" reifying tricks. 

You seem to be faulting Rob's book for not directly pointing to or naming the non-dual. But I would argue that this is a good thing, he is using a Socratic-like approach of: instead of stating what is true, he is pointing to what is not true (or perhaps better stated, instead of stating what is full, he is pointing to what is empty). By directly recognizing that convential perceptions are actually empty of inherent existence, attachment to them dissolves (however briefly - although these recognitions can stabilize with practice). In my experience practicing his techniques, the dissolution of conventional dualistic perceptions leads to the non-dual experience - it kind of sneaks from behind. 



Jason

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/30/15 3:56 AM as a reply to J Ahn.
J Ahn:
[quote=
]
Rob's method in the end cannot relinquish itself because he takes the perceiver-perceived to be fundamental to experience.  So he is very rooted in this dual fabricated relationship.  For him, the freedom is to just be able to play with flexible views to pacify suffering.  The book end the end can only just say everything is a fabrication.  If everything is a fabrication, wouldn't that be the reality?  

 Hi J Ahn,

 Have the book, but have only read a few pages.  On what page or pages does Rob state that everything is a fabrication?

 Also,  where does Rob take the perceiver-perceived to be fundamental, and/or does he mention just seeing in the seen, and the heard in the heard?  

And what pages, or chapter?


Thanks

Psi

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/30/15 8:42 AM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
J Ahn:
[quote=
]
Rob's method in the end cannot relinquish itself because he takes the perceiver-perceived to be fundamental to experience.  So he is very rooted in this dual fabricated relationship.  For him, the freedom is to just be able to play with flexible views to pacify suffering.  The book end the end can only just say everything is a fabrication.  If everything is a fabrication, wouldn't that be the reality?  

 Hi J Ahn,

 Have the book, but have only read a few pages.  On what page or pages does Rob state that everything is a fabrication?

 Also,  where does Rob take the perceiver-perceived to be fundamental, and/or does he mention just seeing in the seen, and the heard in the heard?  

And what pages, or chapter?


Thanks

Psi
Seeing That Frees

Page 336

Statments that outer objects are 'mind only' may be taken at different levels.  Some practioners may feel comfortable with the insight described in Chapter 15 -- that all things are of the same substance or nature as awareness.  Others may feel more comfortable with the more sophisticated insight that objects do not exist in themselves without being fabricated by the mind, as explained in other chapters.  Here, is what is actually of greater significance is the next step -- recognizing also that the mind has no inherent existence.  For then clinging to awareness dissolves as well as clinging to objects.  And realizing that awareness is empty, one can not cling to a notion of a substance of awareness.  Thus, despite the reservations expressed, insights such as those around the vastness of awareness can prove very useful and need not be limiting, as long as it is eventually recognized that awareness too is thoroughly empty.


dadada....

For example, Santideva wrote:

Mind has not been seen by anyone.

End of typing...  Errors and typos my bad...


So perhaps, Dual and Non-Dual are two sides of the same coin, except, there is no coin...

I suppose Dual and Non-Dual views have their function, but eventually one could drop those also...  But, unfortunately one does have to come back to use them as communication tools, for when we drop the words and concepts there is no verbalization.  There just is.

emoticon

Anyway, Hope everyone has a peaceful day

Psi Out

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
3/30/15 10:38 AM as a reply to Jason Snyder.
Jason Snyder:
J Ahn,

So far you seem to be making a logical argument that non-dual is fundamental. But I am interested in the experience of non-dual. Is the experience of non-dual fundamental, or is it just another experience? What makes the experiencing "not dependently originated with objects"? Or in other words, what proof do you have that the brain is not processing the experience, while simulataneously modeling itself as contained within the experience? Have you read the Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger? The brain is capable of all sorts of "self" reifying tricks. 

You seem to be faulting Rob's book for not directly pointing to or naming the non-dual. But I would argue that this is a good thing, he is using a Socratic-like approach of: instead of stating what is true, he is pointing to what is not true (or perhaps better stated, instead of stating what is full, he is pointing to what is empty). By directly recognizing that convential perceptions are actually empty of inherent existence, attachment to them dissolves (however briefly - although these recognitions can stabilize with practice). In my experience practicing his techniques, the dissolution of conventional dualistic perceptions leads to the non-dual experience - it kind of sneaks from behind. 



Jason

If you think the brain is processing experience and has also projected itself into the experience, there is no reason for you to assume that this brain doing the projecting looks or behaves anything like the brain that is experienced.  In fact it is unknowable and unexperienceable. It is like believing in God, in that you have merely projected n entity and then said everything is happening due to it and it is also unknowable.  The burden of the proof is on you when you do this. 

Furthermore, if the brain is separate from experience this way, then how does it interact with experience at all? How does it project space and time? The projector can project the movie because the screen, the images, and itself are all in the room.  But you're saying this "brain" is projecting consciousness from somewhere outside of it.  This is due to the belief in space being outside of experience.  

Space is actually part of your mind conception.  This can be shown this way.

Space is understood as distance between two points.  Here and there.  How is "here" established? Relative to "there" (not-here).  How is "there" (not-here) established? Relative to "here."  So the arising of space hinges on the dependent relaltive relationship between here and not-here.  Now when you are saying that space actually exists apart from the conception of these dependent variables, what you are saying is that here and not-here exist simultaenously.  Which is...a contradiction.  (don't point to space in your experience and say, but here is here and there is there! because we are looking at the very mechanism of how space is perceived.  

So space is only conceived via mutual dependencies that defined and oppose one another.  It is not real, only a conception.  If space isn't truly real, how can there be an objective "outside" where something called a "brain" is projecting experience? 

I have shared some of my experiences in another section of the board under insight titled emptiness and dependent origination.  

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
4/1/15 4:48 AM as a reply to J Ahn.
J Ahn:
Jason Snyder:
J Ahn,

So far you seem to be making a logical argument that non-dual is fundamental. But I am interested in the experience of non-dual. Is the experience of non-dual fundamental, or is it just another experience? What makes the experiencing "not dependently originated with objects"? Or in other words, what proof do you have that the brain is not processing the experience, while simulataneously modeling itself as contained within the experience? Have you read the Ego Tunnel by Thomas Metzinger? The brain is capable of all sorts of "self" reifying tricks. 

You seem to be faulting Rob's book for not directly pointing to or naming the non-dual. But I would argue that this is a good thing, he is using a Socratic-like approach of: instead of stating what is true, he is pointing to what is not true (or perhaps better stated, instead of stating what is full, he is pointing to what is empty). By directly recognizing that convential perceptions are actually empty of inherent existence, attachment to them dissolves (however briefly - although these recognitions can stabilize with practice). In my experience practicing his techniques, the dissolution of conventional dualistic perceptions leads to the non-dual experience - it kind of sneaks from behind. 



Jason

If you think the brain is processing experience and has also projected itself into the experience, there is no reason for you to assume that this brain doing the projecting looks or behaves anything like the brain that is experienced.  In fact it is unknowable and unexperienceable. It is like believing in God, in that you have merely projected n entity and then said everything is happening due to it and it is also unknowable.  The burden of the proof is on you when you do this. 

Furthermore, if the brain is separate from experience this way, then how does it interact with experience at all? How does it project space and time? The projector can project the movie because the screen, the images, and itself are all in the room.  But you're saying this "brain" is projecting consciousness from somewhere outside of it.  This is due to the belief in space being outside of experience.  

Space is actually part of your mind conception.  This can be shown this way.

Space is understood as distance between two points.  Here and there.  How is "here" established? Relative to "there" (not-here).  How is "there" (not-here) established? Relative to "here."  So the arising of space hinges on the dependent relaltive relationship between here and not-here.  Now when you are saying that space actually exists apart from the conception of these dependent variables, what you are saying is that here and not-here exist simultaenously.  Which is...a contradiction.  (don't point to space in your experience and say, but here is here and there is there! because we are looking at the very mechanism of how space is perceived.  

So space is only conceived via mutual dependencies that defined and oppose one another.  It is not real, only a conception.  If space isn't truly real, how can there be an objective "outside" where something called a "brain" is projecting experience? 

I have shared some of my experiences in another section of the board under insight titled emptiness and dependent origination.  
John, I've been puzzling over this. The idea of space and "here" vs "not-here" seems a solid demonstration of your point. I think we develop a concept of space in two ways - through acting with our bodies and observing with our senses (eyes & ears mainly). We know that what we see and hear is a simulation dependent on the brain, if certain parts of the brain are damaged we can loose the experience of sight and/or sound. After developing the concept of space, language is learnt and language is itself (as you've mentioned) limited and not reality. Language does not create space, language tries to communicate the experience of space. When you write about "here" vs "not-here" you are demonstrating limitations of langauge. You are making an incorrect assumption that because you have a concept that is not well expressed in language then the concept must not exist. Consider the color blue, you can't describe this in language either but I assume you still experience blue. There are concepts in quantum physics (like something being there and here at the same time) which do not map well to english but map to the language of mathematics.

But I think your example of here and not-here points to more than just the limitations of langauge. It points to the experience of here and not-here being a "simulation". We have an experience of something "out there" but all of that is going on inside our skull. In this regard when we point to something "over there" we are pointing to something that appears to be over there in the simulation inside our head. That simulation works quite well as most times others will find something we described when they move "over there".

Realizing that experience is a simulation and not a physical reality does not make the things being simulated change their nature. So for example if one person has brain damage that causes them not to see this does not impact the vision of other people. This is where I think you are taking a similar leap as you do with language - because the map is a map you are surpised. That it is a map and you were assuming it was not a map does not mean you have insight into what reality is (you know more about what it is not).

Regarding how experience relates to the brain I think you are misunderstanding Jason's point. You are right that the brain can't have an accurate experience of itself. We know that it does not because there are plenty of things going on that we are not aware of and can't be conscious of. We also know that the self is not something solid/constant yet the brain manages to give that impression to most people. 

The word "space", the concept of space and the experience of space are not space. If you reach a state of non-dual experience the "subject" or "you" will not be present but your body will still be there taking up space. 

Humans will never be able to experience space "directly" our experience is always dependent on a brain and the brain is limited and it simulates using information coming from our senses. We can find different maps for "pointing at" what space is but those maps are always maps not the thing being mapped.

When you say something is not "real" you could try to define what "real" means. If you can't define what that means then you should not be drawing any conclusions on what "real" is. Where I think you and Rob are making mistakes is in claiming an absolute truth about the nature of reality without defining what reality is. If you can't define what reality is then "don't know" is a safer bet. I think we can say what reality is not - it is not ANY experience that can be had with a brain. Whether it is a non-dual experience or a dual experience or deep meditation or a shroom trip.

A human trying to explain what reality is might be similar to a monkey trying to explain what human society is. The human and the monkey would be incapable of coming up with even a definition of the respective topics.

I perceive some danger in the type of argumentation you present because it gives an impression of a rational argument and the tricks of language are quite subtle (maybe you are not even aware of using them). Some people might "buy" these arguments thinking they have found someone who can teach them but then we would have sleep walkers leading sleep walkers!

There is a concept of emergence that might be appropriate. The basic idea is that there are hierarchies and when parts form a whole then the whole constrains the parts but the whole's behavior cannot be derived from the parts. For example traffic jams are made from cars but you can't understand traffic jams by analyzing cars in more depth.

In regards to our experience there is a physical body and the mind emerges from that, minds interact and society emerges from that. By trying to reduce mind to space/time/quantity you are using the wrong level of absraction to understand what is going on (like trying to understand the traffic based on car parts). Also by limiting your concerns to your personal experience (ruminations, emotions etc) you are missing things that can only be understood from a social/cultural level.

Insights into the behavior of the mind do not need to (and probably can't) lead to insights into physics. They are two distinct abstractions and each should be understood in relative terms. I think neither can be grounded in something absolute. There is a mistake in trying to ground a level of abstraction by deconstructing it to a lower level of abstraction because the lower level of abstraction does not explain the behaviors at the higher level. This can lead to errors like your statement "morality is stupid" (form the thread you pointed to)

It is great to have these exchanges - it is helping me change my point of view. The emergence concept became much clearer for me, thanks.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Answer
4/1/15 12:18 PM as a reply to J Ahn.
Alright, J Ahn, the points you are making is spilling over from your thread -Emptiness, Dependent Origination, Contemplation
Can you take the conversation back there? Thanks.

To everyone: I reread the points people are trying to make and find no cohesive topic or direction....point, counterpoint, no defining of concepts, subject change, repeat. This is spagetti conversation with almost no mention of any personal expereinces.

If you wish to talk about breaking down beliefs, start a thread
If you wish to talk about nondual, start a thread
If you wish to talk about nagarjuna, start a thread
If you wish to talk about dependent co-arisen, start a thread
If you wish to talk about Buddha Nature, start a thread
If you wish to talk about space, start a thread
If you wish to talk about time, start a thread

If you wish to try to sew all these concepts into one cohesive conversation great....please do so but while staying on the topic of this thread which is - Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
Thanks everyone,
~D

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 8:17 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Thank you Rob for all your work and I'm glad you passed away in peace. You live on in your talks, which we will still be absorbing for years to come, and you live on in our better lives you helped to create!

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 9:01 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
How do you know ?

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 9:08 AM as a reply to Olivier.
Some us signed up for Rob Burbea updates and they have been updating his health for sometime. I got this, this morning:

Dear friends,


It is with tenderness and love that we are writing to inform you that dear Rob
died this morning at around 5am, just before sunrise and as the birds were
waking up.


In the last days Rob was very very still, his breath just got quieter and
quieter, and his life was let go of, ever so gently.


Go well beloved friend and teacher.


It is clear that Rob was very deeply loved by many people, and will be sorely
missed. We hope you, like us here at the Mill, will find the ways that are
right for you, to honour and celebrate the unique beauty of his life, to
cherish the particular ways he has touched you and to care for the sense of
loss that Rob’s death may leave for you.

 

In time there will be a funeral for Rob, and we will let you know how you might
participate in that. But meanwhile dear friends, here are two invitations for
this immediate period of time.


RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 9:22 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
It's through his passing that I am now learning about his work. I just got the ereader version of Seeing that Frees and am looking forward to reading it.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 10:32 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
 
 My deep condolences to his family, friends and sangha. Got his book, it's so big (31 chapters) and packed with stuff that many of his statements & insights fly under the radar. There's a link with a few updates (included in the 2016 revised edition) to his book (published in 2014). Burbea is seldom mentioned here in DhO (Chris Marti recommended his book recently), don't know his relationship with the Pragmatic Dharma scene. 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 11:40 AM as a reply to Richard Zen.
 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 11:44 AM as a reply to Pepe.
What's pragmatic about him is his latter teachings on The Imaginal, from what I gather, where mindfulness turns more into a dream practice where archetypes are listened to more, without acting on them, and allowed to relax and satisfy on their own. This is a practice for people who feel too repressed with standard vipassana. Though I have a feeling that a lot of standard dharma practice is a foundation to be able to do these practices. Many people will take imagos in their mind and act on them just the same. emoticon

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 1:53 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Thanks Richard. I found a transcript of his talks about The Imaginal at this link. In fact, the first downloadable file contains all of his transcripted talks ... and that's a 5700 pages PDF!

 

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/7/20 4:48 PM as a reply to Pepe.
Wow! Thanks! Lots for me to work on with Freud, Jung, Castaneda!

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/19/20 1:43 PM as a reply to Brandon Dayton.
Brandon Dayton:
It's through his passing that I am now learning about his work. I just got the ereader version of Seeing that Frees and am looking forward to reading it.
This gem of a book arrived today in paperback and after spending a few hours already with it, I have to thank Chirs Marti for suggesring it to me and this is the best dharma book I have read in years! Focuing on experiencing through meditation is so valuable.

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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5/19/20 2:45 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I am loving working through his talks on practising the jhānas. One of the best presentations of this material I have ever encountered. Such a beautiful being, still teaching through his words.
https://dharmaseed.org/retreats/4496/

RE: Rob Burbea - Seeing That Frees -book
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8/14/20 10:27 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Here's some nice review of Seeing that Frees posted in Reddit , with some comparisons to MCTB and TMI: https://www.reddit.com/r/streamentry/comments/55vryt/insight_rob_burbea_seeing_that_frees/