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4th and the Whole Thing

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4th and the Whole Thing Daniel M. Ingram 1/9/15 2:01 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Pål 1/9/15 5:21 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Pål 1/10/15 2:47 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/9/15 5:25 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/9/15 5:52 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Chris Marti 1/9/15 8:57 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/9/15 10:30 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Change A. 1/9/15 12:45 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Not Tao 1/10/15 3:05 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/10/15 7:51 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Not Tao 1/11/15 12:10 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Bill F. 1/11/15 12:43 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing x x 1/11/15 6:16 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 1/11/15 8:55 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing x x 1/11/15 7:41 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/11/15 12:29 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Dada Kind 1/11/15 4:08 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/11/15 5:56 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Dada Kind 1/11/15 7:57 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/12/15 2:31 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 1/11/15 9:02 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Richard Zen 1/11/15 10:00 AM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/11/15 12:22 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Richard Zen 1/11/15 5:28 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/11/15 6:32 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Dream Walker 1/11/15 2:41 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/11/15 6:48 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Dream Walker 1/12/15 4:33 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Jenny 1/14/15 9:06 PM
RE: 4th and the Whole Thing Sleeping Buddha Syndrome 1/14/15 8:06 PM
4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 2:01 AM
I had three dharma exchanges with people in the last 24 hours that all shared one common theme: it has to be about everything in a total way.

What do I mean everything? Space and everything "in" it, or you could say the textures and qualities of space, or just the field of manifestation, or however you want to say it.

Don't leave anything out. You awaken that which you bring attention to. Bring attention to everything. Realize the attention in everything. Realize that everything is it, right now.

It must be immediate. It must be perfectly inclusive.

Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, sights, sounds, and all the rest. They must be included in this space, this volume, this moment, this practice.

This sounds on re-reading like some of the worst New Age fru-fru, but still, it is what I mean.

When every single asect of experience naturally is it, that's the good stuff.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 5:21 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Could that be the meaning of sabba kaya in the anapanasati instructions of the Buddha?

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 5:25 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Pawel:
I would also like to add that space and its volume, textures, qualities, and all properties things in it can appear as something that is known. Acknowledge this knowledge as being your knowledge, something from its own side valid and helpful to operate in harsh world and that it won't leave you even for a moment, it is so embedded in you that it will always be there should you really need it. And then leave it for a moment, do not fight it, just let it fade away on its own and just feel space and everything in it without any knowledge at all, about what space is, what things are, what is an even concepts of things or being, person, life, etc. See world with totally empty mind and that include being empty of anything that would suggest emptiness of mind.

I'm nowhere near the level of practice going toward 4th, but what you have shared resonates on some level--I mean, it brings tears to my eyes, really. I'm so happy for you, Pawel.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 5:52 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel:
Don't leave anything out. You awaken that which you bring attention to. Bring attention to everything. Realize the attention in everything. Realize that everything is it, right now.

As far from "worst New Age fru-fru" as could be. Truly.

The stark stripped-down way you point out "right now" quickens everything. My heart and breath rush out into it.

No one is your student. That doesn't stop you from being a truly great teacher.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 8:57 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Yep.

The way I think of this is that you have to see verything to see everything. There can be no un-examined phenomena. There can be no un-examined assumptions (which arise naturally from the ignorance we have about un-examined pehnomena. Some of this stuff is very, very subtle and very, very powerful as a result, but when that last veil falls away the nature of experience becomes exceedingly beautiful, mysterious and grand. The room your are in is still the room you are in. Mountains are mountains, rivers are rivers - again. But at the same time  --- they're not  :-)

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 10:30 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Reality displays itself in a variety of forms:
Noble and foolish, grand and minute, gaudy and plain.
However you interpret it, Reality is the way it is.
However you rate it, It is the way it is.
However you paint or sculpt or record or foresee it,
Reality keeps generating itself.

Including and excluding your biases,
Inside and outside of your awareness,
Incorporating logic and illogic,
Dancing and cuffing and leaping and dragging
The show goes on.

You have those dreams.
You have your preferences.
You have aversions.
Or they have you.
Eddies in the stream
Streaming.
Who chooses self-improvement?
Who decides to proceed?
Who moves you to tears?
Who celebrates success?
Who comes to your senses?
Who commits to commit?

You can't make it on your own.
You never have.
Everything was given to you.
Including you.
Don't you agree?
Who agrees or disagrees?
Assent happens.
Or not.
Both gifts. 

--Opening verses from the Genjo Koan, written by the founder of the Soto Zen, Dogen
  (via my friend Barry's missive to me this bright winter morning in North Carolina)

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/9/15 12:45 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Along with Space and Knowledge, Time should also be included. MMC guide has very good exercises about Time, Space and Knowledge starting on page 117.

Tarthang Tulku's book Time, Space and Knowledge is very good as well.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/10/15 2:47 PM as a reply to Pål.
Guys?
I'm trying to decode what you're talking about but maybe I should just give up and go meditate haha

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/10/15 3:05 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hey Daniel,

I've been thinking about this idea of cycling after the 4th path attainment.  Do you think it's possible that you've left more conventional reality out of this "everything?"  For example, you speak mostly about perceptual attainment, like seeing things as empty at a very low level, or in a very immediate way.  You're looking at the sense of space and time, raw feelings, the sense door, etc.  But, what about reality at an emergent level - like getting a new car, getting angry at someone for insulting you, being afraid of a tiger, that kind of thing? Maybe the low level doesn't translate into the higher levels, and emergent things need to be dealt with in a different way - perhaps by applying the concept of dependant origination and emptiness to the world outside of what is seen as "self."  (EDIT: Or rather, the sense of self that exists outside of the immediate perception of "I am."  I am not my car, but I take is as a self when someone scratches the door, for example.)

Maybe this is why the perceptual attainments discussed in Theravada don't equally translate into kindness or the relaxation of conventional beliefs and values.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/10/15 7:51 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
But, what about reality at an emergent level - like getting a new car, getting angry at someone for insulting you, being afraid of a tiger, that kind of thing? Maybe the low level doesn't translate into the higher levels, and emergent things need to be dealt with in a different way - perhaps by applying the concept of dependant origination and emptiness to the world outside of what is seen as "self."  (EDIT: Or rather, the sense of self that exists outside of the immediate perception of "I am."  I am not my car, but I take is as a self when someone scratches the door, for example.)

Maybe this is why the perceptual attainments discussed in Theravada don't equally translate into kindness or the relaxation of conventional beliefs and values.

The persistence of suffering isn't a matter of avoidable shortcomings of the "Theravada." The separation of the Three Trainings is taught in Tibetan Buddhism, as well, and by the historical Buddha himself.

It is interesting how resistant so many people here on the DhO are to this absolutely necessary separation of the Three Trainings. In fact, when I read MCTB1, Daniel's teaching on this was one of the most profound takeaways for this reader.

The Buddha promised the end of only one of the three kinds of suffering: fundamental, All-Pervasive Suffering, which is duality, which is phenomenologically pervasive misperception. The other types of suffering are of the relative, conventional reality realm; they cannot be eliminated while a body lives. This is why there can be no "package" models of enligtenment that hold up to reality testing. 

I suggest that anyone still not getting this central teaching on which the others depend reread Chapter 1 of MCTB2. The later section on the Twelve Links of Dependent Origination will probably help, too, but it was too difficult to include in Part I.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 12:10 AM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny, my question doesn't come from a misunderstanding of dogma.  I just know that I won't be satisfied until I'm completely satisfied.  I'm suprised so many people here are always saying this is impossible considering the movement is "pragmatic" dharma.  It isn't impossible to have a perfect experience, so why can't every moment be a perfect experience?  If this perceptual attainment only brings you part of the way, there is something else to work on, no?  Why not figure out what it is instead of saying it's impossible.

My position is, if Buddhism can't solve the puzzle, the flaw is within Buddhism, not the goal.

EDIT: By the way, I don't really understand why you are saying the three trainings are related to this limitation.  If the perceptual attainment is, say, the culmination of the "view" training, is there also a concentration attainment and an ethical attainment?  Is that what you mean?

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 12:43 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
The "why not" may be the result of seeing "perfection" as a construct, the pursuit of which obscures the immediate experience of reality, in which ideas like perfect or imperfect, don't apply. But yes, always more to deepen and explore in my experience. 

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 6:16 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
It isn't impossible to have a perfect experience, so why can't every moment be a perfect experience?  If this perceptual attainment only brings you part of the way, there is something else to work on, no?


What would be the criteria for "every moment being a perfect experience"?

Would it be the way we thought about the previous moment? Probably not.

Would it be something that we experience within the moment? Maybe.

But is that something a particular feeling or emotion or sensation? No, those would be more objects of experience. And we would probably just question those in the next moment. Was that feeling of freedom/no-suffering/bliss/not-self it? Will that feeling last? Is there a better feeling than that? Etc.

Would it be a particular thought about experience? No that would be yet another object that we would probably just question after it happened.


The perceptual attainment has something to do with understanding the whole context of experience itself, regardless of it's perfection and imperfection. Just finally understanding what experience is. Accepting that in a way that is beyond the ignoring/defensive urge or the self-improvement urge or even the getting-perfect-awareness urge (which is the last urge before simply seeing it). So the perceptual attainment is really beyond the kind of categories of sensation, mood, emotion, and thought, which is our normal way of judging something as 'only being part of the way there'.

Concentration is about rarefied states of sensation and reduced thought, Ethics is very much about our shared conventional reality of sensations, mood, emotions, and discursive thought... so these are all different domains. But in the same way that concentration ability informs insights, insights inform ethics. And interestingly, ethics is a platform for insight because being ethical results in a state of less defensiveness and reactivity, so it is easier to see the actual nature of experience.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 7:41 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Well said... and a lot shorter than my post! emoticon

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 8:55 AM as a reply to x x.
x x:
Not Tao:
It isn't impossible to have a perfect experience, so why can't every moment be a perfect experience?  If this perceptual attainment only brings you part of the way, there is something else to work on, no?


What would be the criteria for "every moment being a perfect experience"?

Would it be the way we thought about the previous moment? Probably not.

Would it be something that we experience within the moment? Maybe.

But is that something a particular feeling or emotion or sensation? No, those would be more objects of experience. And we would probably just question those in the next moment. Was that feeling of freedom/no-suffering/bliss/not-self it? Will that feeling last? Is there a better feeling than that? Etc.

Would it be a particular thought about experience? No that would be yet another object that we would probably just question after it happened.


The perceptual attainment has something to do with understanding the whole context of experience itself, regardless of it's perfection and imperfection. Just finally understanding what experience is. Accepting that in a way that is beyond the ignoring/defensive urge or the self-improvement urge or even the getting-perfect-awareness urge (which is the last urge before simply seeing it). So the perceptual attainment is really beyond the kind of categories of sensation, mood, emotion, and thought, which is our normal way of judging something as 'only being part of the way there'.

Concentration is about rarefied states of sensation and reduced thought, Ethics is very much about our shared conventional reality of sensations, mood, emotions, and discursive thought... so these are all different domains. But in the same way that concentration ability informs insights, insights inform ethics. And interestingly, ethics is a platform for insight because being ethical results in a state of less defensiveness and reactivity, so it is easier to see the actual nature of experience.

I like what you posted here. I am kind of stuck in a point where progress is no longer very apparent, yet the idea of being done is not pleasant either.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 9:02 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I had three dharma exchanges with people in the last 24 hours that all shared one common theme: it has to be about everything in a total way.

What do I mean everything? Space and everything "in" it, or you could say the textures and qualities of space, or just the field of manifestation, or however you want to say it.

Don't leave anything out. You awaken that which you bring attention to. Bring attention to everything. Realize the attention in everything. Realize that everything is it, right now.

It must be immediate. It must be perfectly inclusive.

Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, sights, sounds, and all the rest. They must be included in this space, this volume, this moment, this practice.

This sounds on re-reading like some of the worst New Age fru-fru, but still, it is what I mean.

When every single asect of experience naturally is it, that's the good stuff.


Daniel,

Why is it that so few people are talking about the possibility of ending suffering? Please don't tell me that they are circling in samsara, because I have been around the block enough to know that my decisions are largely based on the desires of others.

Why is it that my mother hates me getting on this site?

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 10:00 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
I had three dharma exchanges with people in the last 24 hours that all shared one common theme: it has to be about everything in a total way.

What do I mean everything? Space and everything "in" it, or you could say the textures and qualities of space, or just the field of manifestation, or however you want to say it.

Don't leave anything out. You awaken that which you bring attention to. Bring attention to everything. Realize the attention in everything. Realize that everything is it, right now.

It must be immediate. It must be perfectly inclusive.

Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, sights, sounds, and all the rest. They must be included in this space, this volume, this moment, this practice.

This sounds on re-reading like some of the worst New Age fru-fru, but still, it is what I mean.

When every single asect of experience naturally is it, that's the good stuff.

I like this, but "everything" has to have some pointing instructions like the intention to pay attention where all our habits are manifesting so we can enact Right Effort and move intentions in a better direction. Also include Time as Short-Term Memory, and space as more textures and qualities. Any kind of meditation is included in the intention to pay attention so that meditation isn't a more holy preference to cling to but simply a different cause and effect because more attention means less stressful ruminating.  I'm sure you mean this as well but many people reading won't have a clue. They'll be with "everything" including their old habits, beliefs and nothing changes.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 12:29 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
Jenny, my question doesn't come from a misunderstanding of dogma.  I just know that I won't be satisfied until I'm completely satisfied.  I'm suprised so many people here are always saying this is impossible considering the movement is "pragmatic" dharma. 
What is "pragmatic" is realizing things as they are through insight practice; this alone is liberation. You won't find liberation by chasing down ideals of emotional perfection, period. Perfection of any kind is a construct. Liberation undoes contructs and the need for them. Focusing on ideals of emotional perfection actually hinders insight at the level of perception, meaning it is not insight practice but hindrance.
It isn't impossible to have a perfect experience, so why can't every moment be a perfect experience?  If this perceptual attainment only brings you part of the way, there is something else to work on, no?  Why not figure out what it is instead of saying it's impossible.

Because in the yearning, fantasy, and demand for perfection, you are fundamentally asking for things to be other than they are. That is suffering. And when you travel far enough into that Ignorance, you will find yourself on the very dark end of all seeking.
My position is, if Buddhism can't solve the puzzle, the flaw is within Buddhism, not the goal.

"Buddhism" isn't going to solve a puzzle that consists of a question whose imagined answers are hindrances to insight. It doesn't exist to maintain your "position" or any "position." What you call "flawed" is reality, things as they are. Seeing reality as it is forms the wider context XX refers to, within which the relative/conventional training becomes much more doable but without a final attainment.
EDIT: By the way, I don't really understand why you are saying the three trainings are related to this limitation.  If the perceptual attainment is, say, the culmination of the "view" training, is there also a concentration attainment and an ethical attainment?  Is that what you mean?

The Three Trainings each correspond to one of the Three Sufferings. Training in Insight is the only Training that reaches an endpoint, a radical permanent shift, which is at the level of perception, the deconstruction of the self, the awakening of things in and of themselves. Concentration involves attainments, plural, meaning interesting, comfortable states to explore and relieve stress and conventional pain. Morality Training is every single thing you do in the conventional sense to increase conventional happiness.

I've not ever heard of achievements in Morality being called "attainments," and that is an interesting something to notice. Chapter 1, first section, of MCTB2 calls Morality "the first and last training," because it never ends. There is no moral-emotional perfection endpoint that anyone can produce an exemplar of, for starters. Seeking an endpoint to Morality Training is avoidance of the ethical in favor of short-cut ideals of perfection, wheres ethical responsiveness requires presence and engagement with what is.

Have you actually carefully read Chapter 1 of MCTB2?

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 12:22 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard:
I like this, but "everything" has to have some pointing instructions like the intention to pay attention where all our habits are manifesting so we can enact Right Effort and move intentions in a better direction.

Richard, I'm not sure I understand this sentence. Are you talking about attaining 4th Path, specifically, as work on/with intention, habits, and improvements thereof? I'm not sure what you mean by an intentional direction that is "better," which sounds like a judgment, which I think of as something to investigate and see through. 

Daniel, You entitled this post "4th and the Whole Thing," and I assume that you did so mindfully. Could you please confirm that what you are teaching in your original post is advice that is path-specific, meaning specifically for those practitioners who are far past 3rd Path and working toward 4th? If you meant that advice for anyone at whatever level of attained insight, then why did you title this post as if it were for late 3rd Path people only? What exactly drove you to log in and write that message out to everyone here?

Richard:
Any kind of meditation is included in the intention to pay attention so that meditation isn't a more holy preference to cling to but simply a different cause and effect because more attention means less stressful ruminating.  

Okay, Richard, are you here talking specifically about gaining 4th? Isn't the very end of the Path where one lets go of meditation practice itself? Is that what you are hinting at? Isn't the usual doctrine that attachment to meditation practice is a fine thing up until the very end? You are talking about seeing through the Meditator and the Meditation, right? Everything has to be 24/7 and real. Is there a stage of enlightenment at which this part is better to do? Or should we all practice seeing through the Meditator Meditating, regardless of where we are in some enlightenment model? Should we really worry about cultivating too much attachment to meditation, ever--let alone way before 3rd Path? 

Richard to Daniel:
I'm sure you mean this as well but many people reading won't have a clue. They'll be with "everything" including their old habits, beliefs and nothing changes.

Daniel, Now Richard seems to be talking about relative novices to meditation. Please talk to us all about Paths and whether or not practices are path-specific. As you know, this is an ongoing source of practice confusion for me, because sometimes I'm told there is no such thing as path-specific "magic" practices; other times you clearly care where people are before you give advice, no? You titled this advice up thread as being for 4th attainment. I assume that the three people you conversed with attained or were moving toward attaining the final unknotting. Please clarify.



RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 2:41 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
What do I mean everything? Space and everything "in" it, or you could say the textures and qualities of space, or just the field of manifestation, or however you want to say it.

Don't leave anything out. You awaken that which you bring attention to. Bring attention to everything. Realize the attention in everything. Realize that everything is it, right now.

It must be immediate. It must be perfectly inclusive.

Thoughts, feelings, physical sensations, sights, sounds, and all the rest. They must be included in this space, this volume, this moment, this practice.

So I was wondering how to create exercises the can integrate the field...I have been doing a bit of if but Pawel was ahead of me - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5651189
I was looking for the boundries that keeps things seperate but the converse of this is to violate the boundries with impunity and just shove them all in the same space kicking and screaming...(feeling of creepyness or violation) Or you could say "integrate the field"...lol....let the boundries drop away by just holding everything together in the same space and then add the holding to that space too.
Got some work to do...
~D

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 4:08 PM as a reply to Jenny.
The persistence of suffering isn't a matter of avoidable shortcomings of the "Theravada." The separation of the Three Trainings is taught in Tibetan Buddhism, as well, and by the historical Buddha himself.

It is interesting how resistant so many people here on the DhO are to this absolutely necessary separation of the Three Trainings. In fact, when I read MCTB1, Daniel's teaching on this was one of the most profound takeaways for this reader.

With all due respect to the tradition and participants who identify with that label, there are also people here who don't blindlessly obey ostensible historical precedent.

"Absolutely necessary separation of the Three Trainings" absolutely doesn't correspond precisely to anything in reality or experience. As you can't point to a 'Training', that statement must be taken as a metaphor until it corresponds to something concrete in experience. One can say, for example, "Never indulge in content while in formal meditation". That's a far more concrete statement, though one with which I don't completely agree. One can also say, "Don't assume profound states of concentration will necessarily produce lasting insight into the nature of experience.", which is far more concrete and I agree with completely. Etc

It's possible to make such statements without introducing the idea of "Three Trainings". Conceptualizing in terms of "Three Trainings" has consequences just like any other way of conceptualizing. It's interesting to me how you and Daniel are resistant to acknowledging this.

Though, I suppose this disagreement relates to our positions on linguistic relativity, i.e. the Sapir-Whorf-Korzybski hypothesis. Interestingly, in that "My Story of Awakening" SoundCloud clip that Vince Horn posted on AN a few weeks ago he acknowledges a similar understanding at the end (after, I believe, claiming 'MCTB 4th' for awhile).

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 5:28 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Richard:
I like this, but "everything" has to have some pointing instructions like the intention to pay attention where all our habits are manifesting so we can enact Right Effort and move intentions in a better direction.

Richard, I'm not sure I understand this sentence. Are you talking about attaining 4th Path, specifically, as work on/with intention, habits, and improvements thereof? I'm not sure what you mean by an intentional direction that is "better," which sounds like a judgment, which I think of as something to investigate and see through. 

I'm more talking about nihilism. People like Shinzen have expressed dismay at how some can see emptiness but still have bad behaviour. Buddhism has many other teachings beyond wisdom like virtue. I'm sure this is in Daniel's book.

Daniel, You entitled this post "4th and the Whole Thing," and I assume that you did so mindfully. Could you please confirm that what you are teaching in your original post is advice that is path-specific, meaning specifically for those practitioners who are far past 3rd Path and working toward 4th? If you meant that advice for anyone at whatever level of attained insight, then why did you title this post as if it were for late 3rd Path people only? What exactly drove you to log in and write that message out to everyone here?

Richard:
Any kind of meditation is included in the intention to pay attention so that meditation isn't a more holy preference to cling to but simply a different cause and effect because more attention means less stressful ruminating.  

Okay, Richard, are you here talking specifically about gaining 4th? Isn't the very end of the Path where one lets go of meditation practice itself? Is that what you are hinting at? Isn't the usual doctrine that attachment to meditation practice is a fine thing up until the very end? You are talking about seeing through the Meditator and the Meditation, right? Everything has to be 24/7 and real. Is there a stage of enlightenment at which this part is better to do? Or should we all practice seeing through the Meditator Meditating, regardless of where we are in some enlightenment model? Should we really worry about cultivating too much attachment to meditation, ever--let alone way before 3rd Path? 

Yes we can be attached to meditation and seeing through the meditator and meditation itself can help people not make a dualistic view of meditating vs. not meditating. Otherwise there can be aversion to normal life. This is especially so when people start meditation and only stay mindful on the cushion. There could be a long period of time before they start to note in daily life. I really enjoyed the noting practice when done in real life because presence when things are rough is the best practice.

The 4th path I'm looking at as more a stopping point, an "off the ride" feeling but since emotions are still intact it's debatable that 4th path actually exists in the strict sense. I'm certainly not as strict as some are so that's totally fine. Nothing excluded to me means to see everything as non-inherent existence and always was this way.


Richard to Daniel:
I'm sure you mean this as well but many people reading won't have a clue. They'll be with "everything" including their old habits, beliefs and nothing changes.

Daniel, Now Richard seems to be talking about relative novices to meditation. Please talk to us all about Paths and whether or not practices are path-specific. As you know, this is an ongoing source of practice confusion for me, because sometimes I'm told there is no such thing as path-specific "magic" practices; other times you clearly care where people are before you give advice, no? You titled this advice up thread as being for 4th attainment. I assume that the three people you conversed with attained or were moving toward attaining the final unknotting. Please clarify.



RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 5:56 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll:
With all due respect to the tradition and participants who identify with that label, there are also people here who don't blindlessly obey ostensible historical precedent.

"Absolutely necessary separation of the Three Trainings" absolutely doesn't correspond precisely to anything in reality or experience. As you can't point to a 'Training', that statement must be taken as a metaphor until it corresponds to something concrete in experience. One can say, for example, "Never indulge in content while in formal meditation". That's a far more concrete statement, though one with which I don't completely agree. 

Droll, honestly, as I wrote on the longer reply that I accidentally lost, I don't know why you hang out on a forum whose core basis you reject: dharma. Moreover, this community kinda-sorta began around The Core Teachings of the Buddha: A Hardcore Dharma Book, no? You repeatedly have taken issue with Daniel, the site owner and author, for remaining so darned "Buddhist" in his book and on this site. Isn't that a little strange to you? Nobody who can navigate these teachings and practices with any insight and skill is going to be imaginatively constrained in the way you seem to suggest. It suggests to me that you haven't really studied or long experimented from within the paradox you, very constructionist-ly, reject. You seem to like to reject tradition because it is tradition, even when it is a tradition leading away from its own constraints.

As for linguistic theories, when you've studied literary theory as long and as deeply as I happen to have, you will likely encounter the experiential realization that all language is pure metaphor, equally so. That one construct has "more of" a referent in "reality" than another doesn't jibe with the past 50 years of literary theory and linguistic philosophy. I think you would find it fun to look into this domain in earnest. You are certainly the type of intellectual who would enjoy it.

The Buddhist path is a construct. It is a construct that leads to the "unconstructed," so to speak; until I arrive there, I'm running the experiement that says not to sink the "boat" until on the other shore. I look to those who've run the experiement and reported and evinced results, as is pragmatic for me to do. The tradition these people followed is for me a matter of efficiency, as well as effectiveness, also pragmatic.

One of the conventional, artificial, constructed conveniences of "buying into" a certain time-tested tradition is that it gives us a common set of assumptions and terms with which to track experiences and attempt to line up data points within the same experimental conditions, approximately. Does my "buying in" mean I don't acknowledge the metaphoricity of all such constructs and axiomatic systems and therefore their already always deconstructedness? No. There's actually a beautifull Buddhist paradox performed in readings known as "deconstruction." Study post-structuralism as the correlate of Buddhism, read some koans, and then perhaps these postitions will seem more tenable and pragmatic for community purposes and practice efficacy than your current take finds them.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 6:32 PM as a reply to Richard Zen.
Richard,

Thanks for unpacking all that. 
I'm more talking about nihilism. People like Shinzen have expressed dismay at how some can see emptiness but still have bad behaviour. Buddhism has many other teachings beyond wisdom like virtue. I'm sure this is in Daniel's book.

Nihilism? I am not sure I see what the original post has to do with nihilism. Dependent co-arising and luminosity of manifestation-awareness isn't nothingness. Nihilism is a pretty novice mistaken view, no? 

As for virtue's being in MCTB2--yes, page 1 is where it begins, in fact. Have you read Part I yet? It's posted.

You are correct, of course, that Buddhism has many other teachings beyond wisdom, but those aren't what the original post is addressing. It is addressing, apparently, attaining 4th path (I assume of MCTB's revised four-path model). So this thread is about the Wisdom Trainings, whose assumptions need to kept separate from Morality Training. This is not at all, even remotely, to say that MCTB2 implies or states that Morality Training is dispensible. It is precisely that Wisdom does not guarantee automatic virtue, that virtue must (should) be trained in, long past attainment of 4th path, or whatever wisdom. 

The danger of executing bad behavior lies in the assumption that gaining 4th will automatically deliver virtue. 

Richard:

Yes we can be attached to meditation and seeing through the meditator and meditation itself can help people not make a dualistic view of meditating vs. not meditating. Otherwise there can be aversion to normal life. This is especially so when people start meditation and only stay mindful on the cushion. There could be a long period of time before they start to note in daily life. I really enjoyed the noting practice when done in real life because presence when things are rough is the best practice. 

I believe I put more overt "effort" into "being mindful in daily life" before I had a strong meditation practice. Then as the meditation practice really took off, I really paid much less consciously effortful "remembering-to-be" type of mindfulness attention in daily life. I do think it can be productive, on the cushion, to see through the meditator/meditating. I'm less sure that, at least where I myself currently am, I'm noticing that meditation = aversion to normal life. It seems to me that meditation practice is causing noticing in daily life to be more automatic as a habit. I'm guessing that changes later, for people in 3rd path, or at least some people. I wouldn't know.

The 4th path I'm looking at as more a stopping point, an "off the ride" feeling but since emotions are still intact it's debatable that 4th path actually exists in the strict sense. I'm certainly not as strict as some are so that's totally fine. Nothing excluded to me means to see everything as non-inherent existence and always was this way.

If I'm reading you correctly, then, you are saying here that you aren't after the 10-fetter model 4th. And, yes, "nothing excluded" means "everything as noninherent existence and always was this way." This is the Emptiness aspect. Daniel seems to emphasize another aspect: luminosity, which I understand to be the lucid awareness that is not separate from, is intrinsic to, manifestation. 


RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 6:48 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Dream Walker,

Is "Thought-Space" Jhana 6? So Spaciousness-Space is Jhana 5? Otherwise, I've no freakin' clue. Or if I were to try this, might Jhana 6 at least be a clue of a platform?

I need to finish reading Clarifying the Natural State, although I understand from Jake that that practice is different from the kind of insight on jhanas that MCTB models. Alas so little time. . . .

Remember: You promised to leave breadcrumbs. Glad to see you are baking and not already mixing up the kool-aid. emoticon

Daniel, 

You often write in your posts of "going wide" and "through." I think I go "wide" quite readily but only understood recently what you possibly meant by going "through." You are talking about through that doughnut-hole center, right? That's what the forthcoming Twirling Swords practice is about, right? I had this kind of a-ha moment when DW pointed out that I'm identifying with this newfound spaciousness. It is my spaciousnes; I attained it. This is when it hit home that maybe this is why "through" has to be part of it. All this is murkily trying to make some kind of sense on the far edge of my understanding.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/11/15 7:57 PM as a reply to Jenny.
I agree with most of what Daniel writes. I could spend my time complimenting him for that portion but seeing as how that's been done here repeatedly I feel criticism is a better use of everyone's time.

Daniel implores the reader of MCTB to regard it with due skepticism,

In that same vein, this chapter is very much a situation in which I claim a very high level of realization, write as if what I have achieved is sufficient authority to write a chapter such as this one, and then present it as if this is a definitive text on the subject, sufficient to contradict significant portions of 2,500 years of tradition and the teachings and writings of countless previous and current commentators. While it is hard from my current vantage point to not believe this to be true, anyone with sense will read this chapter with appropriate skepticism, and this, as I see it, is one of the strengths of properly applied Buddhism and rational thought in general. The Buddha was forever asking people to not take his word at face value, but instead to do the experiment and see if they come to the same conclusions. I recommend the same. If you are able to achieve something beyond what I state is possible, more power to you, and please let me know how you did it! I would feel real regret if I thought that this work had hindered anyone from achieving their full human potential, and am always looking for practices and concepts that are useful.

and that's what I'm doing.

As for linguistic theories, when you've studied literary theory as long and as deeply as I happen to have, you will likely encounter the experiential realization that all language is pure metaphor, equally so.
I disagree. It's useful to distinguish between layers of abstraction. Have you read Whorf, Korzybski, or at least one of Korzybski's popularizations? While literary theory or even linguistic philosophy is probably an excellent primer for this material, it doesn't guarantee its understanding. The idea of linguistic relativity cuts across too many fields to be necessarily groked fully by any philosopher, mathematician, scientist, author, linguist, literary theorist, etc. In fact, the primary proponents of Korzybski's work were virtually all polymaths. Funny.
One of the conventional, artificial, constructed conveniences of "buying into" a certain time-tested tradition is that it gives us a common set of assumptions and terms with which to track experiences and attempt to line up data points within the same experimental conditions, approximately. Does my "buying in" mean I don't acknowledge the metaphoricity of all such constructs and axiomatic systems and therefore their already always deconstructedness? No. There's actually a beautifull Buddhist paradox performed in readings known as "deconstruction." Study post-structuralism as the correlate of Buddhism, read some koans, and then perhaps these postitions will seem more tenable and pragmatic for community purposes and practice efficacy than your current take finds them.
Yes, 'buying into' one tradition is certainly one way to go. Another is to study several spiritual traditions, test several different practices, compare, contrast, collate, synthesize, etc. I can think of several advantages and disadvantages for both approaches.

I'm simply pointing out that the disadvantages of using a certain model ("Three Trainings", in this case) should be acknowledged.

Tomorrow I'll create a new thread for this so that I don't keep derailing threads with what may seem like useless philosophizing (it's not). We can continue this there.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/12/15 2:31 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll,

What I'm talking about surpasses and supercedes general semantics from that time frame. Things are way more sophistocated than that these days. So disagree as you please, but you are discounting many decades of broader, more relavent work. All of language is metaphorical. There are no referents. Constructions are conveniences.

As for your remarks about tradition--I cited the tradational authority precisely because you took issue with Daniel for being arbitrary, or idiosyncratic (ie, making stuff up) with regard to the Three Trainings.

Peace.

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/12/15 4:33 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Dream Walker,

Is "Thought-Space" Jhana 6? So Spaciousness-Space is Jhana 5? Otherwise, I've no freakin' clue. Or if I were to try this, might Jhana 6 at least be a clue of a platform?

I need to finish reading Clarifying the Natural State, although I understand from Jake that that practice is different from the kind of insight on jhanas that MCTB models. Alas so little time. . . .

Remember: You promised to leave breadcrumbs. Glad to see you are baking and not already mixing up the kool-aid. emoticon

Thought space is just where thoughts happen. Feel into the space where it seems thoughts are; are they in your head? In front of you?
Imagine a big white circle....where is it? now move it into the distance....now reach out and grab it with your imaginary hand. Was it really way out "there" or did you grab it with your finger and thumb? So where is this imagination space? Is it linked to your visual system? did you move your eyes when moving the circle? change the focus of your eyes? why? Does it help trick yourself into thinking the thought space has depth? Count and look where the counting is, sing a song....where is it? Feel out into thought space ad try to move it to the left or right....move it back to behind the head....does it violate something? Or are you imagining the back of your head....in front of you? Lastly think about awareness....what happens?
Everything in the near feild ends up being lumped into the subject and all that out there gets lumped into objects....violate the boundries between these seemingly seperate things.
Clearer?
~D

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/14/15 8:06 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
What happens if your in one of these "it" moments, and you find yourself limited in some way that makes you feel like you are special somehow?

RE: 4th and the Whole Thing
Answer
1/14/15 9:06 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
DW:
Thought space is just where thoughts happen. Feel into the space where it seems thoughts are; are they in your head? In front of you? 

Imagine a big white circle....where is it? now move it into the distance....now reach out and grab it with your imaginary hand. Was it really way out "there" or did you grab it with your finger and thumb? So where is this imagination space? Is it linked to your visual system? did you move your eyes when moving the circle? change the focus of your eyes? why?

I don't think of "thoughts" as happening anywhere. But I see what you mean--objects imagined is what you mean? So all imaginary objects ("thoughts") take on the characteristics of at least one of the 5 senses, and this is what you are talking about in terms of a "where" that happens, the once-removed-from-the senses "space." A lot of my thoughts seem verbal. So I would ask where I'm hearing that voice? 

This is really difficult practice, likely too difficult for me at this stage. I'm much more comfortable dealing with the space-space, rather than than the thought-space. 

If you need an edtior for your book, I should be free come 2017 at this rate!