Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

matthew sexton, modified 6 Years ago.

Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 313 Join Date: 1/14/14 Recent Posts
The title says it all.  I feel that the true value and indicator of fidelity of my practice is best judged by what follows me off of the cushion, into daily life, without much choice on my part.

I guess it's great to have new choices, new options about how to participate in life, but to the degree that there is a choice, there is also the chance that the better new thing gets lost.

For example, I'm happily surprised still (the surprise is lessening) when I don't automatically react in a bad way to lots of surprising events.  No choice about that.  I can always choose to do something rash, but I usually don't. emoticon

I'm happy that I notice more about what's going on around me.  That can be a problem in that it puts me in a different head space than others, when my attention is not where theirs is, but I do have a choice about trying to be aware of their attention focus.

Just wondering what 'integration' means to everyone else.

Matt
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Not Tao, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 997 Join Date: 4/5/14 Recent Posts
This is how I judge my practice as well. emoticon
Small Steps, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 249 Join Date: 2/12/14 Recent Posts
Matt,
To me integration has been an ever evolving process. The first big "revelations" were how much choice became apparent. I almost got into a car wreck a few years ago, and was shocked by how quickly my focus shifted to compassion: for myself, for the poor woman who almost caused the accident, to the other drivers around us, to the pedestrians near by. I could feel how unnerved I was in my body, but I made the choice not to blame. This was pretty major. I also could let the event and the adrenaline pass out of my system very naturally. It happened more quickly than if I had decided to hold onto it and indulge in papanca.

Skip forward a bit, and now the feeling is that when I'm in the proper frame of mind, I can just quiet down and let everything happening around me be a moment of experiencing, learning, life. My thinking is that this is what is meant by the saying, "Dharma doors are countless. I vow to enter them all." I'm also well aware of the fact that I'm living a privileged western existence, so perhaps it's easy to wax on like this. Nevertheless, whatever compassion and understanding I'm cultivating, I can only hope it becomes of greater use in this existence.

In closing, at the moment I think integration is an automatic process. When your eyes are open, if only the tiniest bit, to let some light in, it would be very very hard to close them again.
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
If you integrate everything automatically you're one lucky (#)*$*#)

Anyway, here's my understanding. I think it's true that some behavior changes happen automatically, unconsciously. Shinzen mentions giving up pot spontaneously after feeling something in his lungs during meditation. I've noticed some stuff like this. On the other hand.... Many immature defense mechanisms rely on unconsciousness. When you practice hardcore it tends to bring up stuff, and simultaneously many immature defense mechanisms that thrive on unconsciousness stop working. So, integration in this sense is dealing with your stuff and learning more mature defense mechanisms. If you're totally psychologically together and totally rely on mature defense mechanisms, I suppose you wouldn't need this level of integration.

There are other aspects of integration -- coping with model divergence, learning to bring concentrated states into different activities, learning to bring metta into different activities, learning to bring mindfulness into different activities, posture changing, all the rest of the bodywork stuff, standard human development, standard human maturation, etc.
matthew sexton, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 313 Join Date: 1/14/14 Recent Posts
Droll Dedekind:
If you integrate everything automatically you're one lucky (#)*$*#)

Sadly, I didn't mean I integrate everything in sight. Just that my ability/tendency is more now to switch focus to drop the old thing and switch to the new thing very quickly.  Hopefully it's not just ADD creeping in.

Your defense mechanism example seems to me to be of the 'automatic benefit' catagory.

The other group of examples seem more like options, or desired changes, as opposed to a transformation that has happened and seems effortless and permanent.

So I guess I'm thinking that transformation is different than new possibilities.
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
That primitive defense mechanisms stop working is a benefit in the long-run. In the short-run it creates instability if there isn't a mature defense mechanism to take its place. That may require purposeful integration.
matthew sexton, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 313 Join Date: 1/14/14 Recent Posts
Droll Dedekind:
That primitive defense mechanisms stop working is a benefit in the long-run. In the short-run it creates instability if there isn't a mature defense mechanism to take its place. That may require purposeful integration.
When I walked out of my first retreat, a Goenka 10-day, I felt events impinge on my nervous system and was shocked at the lack of response.  I felt lilke I'd had a lobotomy.  So yeah, I do see that there is a catagory of change that requires nursing along to help come to the best fruition.

Now that I think about it, I'm still not sure I liked the way that body scanning worked.  It seemed like I had to undo some of the changes the retreat gave me so that I could get along in the world.

I'm hoping the Mahasi path, insight, enlightenment is less ambiguous in how benefits come to rise.  Maybe meditation practice should come with a thin piece of paper with lots of warnings in small writing. emoticon
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Droll Dedekind, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 634 Join Date: 11/15/13 Recent Posts
The other group of examples seem more like options, or desired changes, as opposed to a transformation that has happened and seems effortless and permanent.

@ this, it seems to me that with increased mindfulness, 'enlightenment', and so on the individual responsibility for development along the other axes increases. Or, at the very least, lack of development along other axes becomes harder to ignore.

Bodywork stuff is an easy example. Most people walk around with poor posture and unnecessary tension that becomes hard to ignore when your body awareness is highly developed. Of course, one's free to ignore this and all the rest of the axes, it just becomes more difficult.

EDIT:
Oh, yeah I should mention that it can go the other way. Shinzen said in his BATGAP interview that some liberated folk use the liberation to justify not developing because they believe reality is, after all, an 'illusion'. He said that view isn't totally bullshit, but he called it 'despicable' iirc
matthew sexton, modified 6 Years ago.

RE: Integration of insight, it's not automatic?

Posts: 313 Join Date: 1/14/14 Recent Posts
Paweł K:
Integrating of what type of 'insight' are we talking here?


Yes, that's my question.  I think this thread is clarifying things: there's transformation that just happens, and there's understandings that you have to figure out what to do with.

I simile occurs to me: after a big muscular strength training program, your arms are stronger.  Stronger arms makes some problems go away, never to return.  For example, lifting groceries used to be hard, occasionaly causing rotator cuff injury.  But now, after the exercise program, problems with grocery bags never come up.

Stronger arms also make new things possible, things that you never thought about doing and you're not sure how the new arm strength fits in.  For example maybe now I can try rock climbing.  Or now I can fight the neighborhood bully instead of running away.

I guess, when people say 'integration is a mystery', they're talking about this second catagory.

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