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A general apology for rudeness

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A general apology for rudeness Not Tao 2/7/15 11:30 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Bill F. 2/7/15 11:52 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/7/15 12:30 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness C P M 2/7/15 2:49 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Pål 2/8/15 11:54 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Nikolai . 2/8/15 2:28 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Pål 2/8/15 4:05 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Jenny 2/10/15 5:27 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/8/15 5:22 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Ryan J 2/8/15 7:13 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 7:20 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Ryan J 2/8/15 11:59 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/8/15 8:23 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Ryan J 2/9/15 12:13 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/9/15 1:07 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Nikolai . 2/9/15 3:29 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/9/15 9:43 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Not Tao 2/9/15 11:27 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Pål 2/9/15 2:10 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/9/15 11:23 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Nikolai . 2/10/15 2:33 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/10/15 3:08 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness CJMacie 2/10/15 6:32 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Not Tao 2/10/15 11:09 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/10/15 1:23 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness . Jake . 2/10/15 1:38 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/10/15 2:53 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness CJMacie 2/11/15 12:25 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Nikolai . 2/9/15 4:35 AM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Daniel - san 2/9/15 11:44 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Eric M W 2/8/15 10:02 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 10:21 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Eric M W 2/8/15 10:52 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 2/8/15 10:58 PM
RE: A general apology for rudeness Psi 2/9/15 6:56 PM
A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/7/15 11:30 AM
Hi everyone,

I'd just like to take a moment to apologize for any bad feeling I may have created in the past and offer a short explanation for why I've been confrontational on here.

When I first came here a year or so ago, I was in the middle of a very turbulent time, emotionally.  I've always had very bad anxiety problems and I was dealing with a lot of anger at the time as well.  I had started meditating to try to deal with these things, which have always been very crippling just in terms of my daily quality of life, and I was starting to see some incredible states of being that I never even comprehended could exist before.  In an effort to figure out what these states were, and what part of my meditation was working for me, I spent a lot of time surfing the internet and looking for resources.  Eventually, I ended up here - mostly because of all the actual freedom threads from 4/5 years ago.

After a bit of posting, I developed a complex.  Everyone kept telling me that jhanas were impermanent states, and enlightenment would never be emotional freedom, and AF practices had been debunked.  All of this was in spite of the fact that my experiences were quite different - meditation seemed to be making me feel much better.  Things became very good for a while, and I think I toned down my rhetoric after leaving for a time to clear my head.

But then I made the mistake of stopping my daily meditation, and things got bad for me again.  I didn't stop sitting, but I changed what I was doing.  I stopped concentration practice.  My old anxiety came back.  I had more doubts than ever, and this caused me to spend the last half of 2014 jumping from method to method of emotional or psychological examination and grasping at whatever seemed to bring a little bit of relief.  I  became dogmatic to cushion my doubts.  Luckily, I turned back to concentration pracice again around the end of last December and now I am back to that trajectory I was on last year - a steady calming of the mind in general, and lovely states of emotional freedom in specific.

So, I think that now I've cleared up my doubts about my own practice and what I really want, I won't have such strong opinions about what other people are doing or what other people say is possible.  If I am clinging to these positive experiences, I think that's okay - even if it requires me to keep meditating for the rest of my life.  I am not really a spiritual person, and I don't have much interest in philosophy or the nature of reality - I've always just wanted to find peace of mind and relief from my mental instability.  I am willing to embrace the fact that this stability isn't a permanent mental change (so far as I've seen, anyway, who knows with time) but I don't think the maintentance of tranquility is a stressful or difficult pursuit, and it seems more worthwhile for me, personally, as a practice than how Daniel has explained the traditional Theravada path - at least for the time being.

Lastly, I think a big part of my confrontational stance came from indignation and fear.  Like I said before, I saw a lot of people saying they were enlightened, and emotional stability was not the result.  In many places, people said the opposite - that enlightenment (or the process of becoming enlightened) made emotions stronger, or brought up new, difficult emotions that they hadn't experienced before.  This was something I had no desire to experience or be a part of - especially considering the incredible freedom I was feeling for the first time in my life.  I can see now, though, that there isn't much danger of this happening.  Whatever this practice is that I'm doing now, buddhist or not, leading to enlightenment or not, it's given me what I was looking for.  I think with this I can be more confident in myself and I won't feel such a need to prove people wrong or be so challenging.  I was planning to leave the forum again for a while, but I think instead I'll just refrain from posting on threads I don't know much about from experience (like vissudhimagga related mapping and noting practice) and just try to help other people who might be in my own situation or who want to learn a tranquility practice.  I think I still have something to offer here, even though it's clear now that I'm not really aiming for stream entry or paths like other people are, and I do enjoy reading the threads other people post - even when I disagree.  With this post, I'm hoping I can start to disagree without being disagreable. emoticon

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/7/15 11:52 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
All good. We've all made mistakes. I challenged you once in a really inappropriate way for which I apologized publicly and sent you a prviate apology. Though your dogmatism has at times rubbed me the wrong way, which is mine and I own that, I do think the fact that you have been willing to look at these things, and acknowledge the need for change is comendable.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/7/15 12:30 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao,

I'd like to join you in this.

You wrote:
Lastly, I think a big part of my confrontational stance came from indignation and fear.

In actual life and here on this site, I am the same: I have a pet peeve (arrogance, conceit) and I am confrontational style if percieved conceit goes on too long without some self-check or apology. I say to friends/people, "My arrogance is coming up to meet yours." And I'm sincere about the "my arrogance" part, not being magnanimous or disengenous. 

Yesterday Sawfoot wrote this in another thread,
The bigger picture point, which find fascinating, is about what people are capable of doing when fuelled with the fires of righteous indignation. I sort of see it as the root of evil - I mean, genocides happen from the stance of moral justification, that given the actions of others, their response is appropriate.

I am a person who studies buddhist science of mind to remove or reduce my contribution to what Sawfoot has aptly called the root of evil, in myself and in community, even when it is just growing mere troublesomeness; and in this science of mind this means finding another way to engage without clinging to anything, including righteous indignation in the face of some really hard abuses in the world. It is not easy to celebrate a person's new water well installation in XYZ-country when, for example, and not confront their investment in uranimium harvesting and its slave conditions has built the person's house. "So would XYZ-village need your blessed well had you not invested in their brutal uranium mining for ten years?"

 Very hard. 

This is one reason I think people come here, including myself; just open blogging here helps me see defended urges in others and myself and how to try again. Success is not permant and failure is not final, as they say.

Thank you.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/7/15 2:49 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Hi Not Tao

I just wanted to mention that I enjoy reading your posts and value your contribution to the community. Another thing,  I've been impressed with your ability to defuse some confrontational posts.  There has been a couple of times when I thought to myself, wow, you handled that much better than I could have.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 11:54 AM as a reply to Not Tao.
Guys, keep in mind how much of a beginner I am when reading this, so that you crush my opinions gently rather than hard:

Not Tao, you should continue posting here imo so you can keep the forum from turning into a vipassana forum. Because if some vipassana "arahants" haven't ended suffering, they can't be arahants, right?
Remember:
"I teach only suffering and the end of suffering" and "the dhamma is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end"
I think you might be on a path that is closer to what the Buddha taught than the new "vipassana meditation" path. emoticon

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 2:28 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Guys, keep in mind how much of a beginner I am when reading this, so that you crush my opinions gently rather than hard:

Not Tao, you should continue posting here imo so you can keep the forum from turning into a vipassana forum. Because if some vipassana "arahants" haven't ended suffering, they can't be arahants, right?
Remember:
"I teach only suffering and the end of suffering" and "the dhamma is good in the beginning, good in the middle and good in the end"
I think you might be on a path that is closer to what the Buddha taught than the new "vipassana meditation" path. emoticon
Hi Pal,

I can see you are into the suttas and certain leanings. Good for you. 

Concerning the use of the term 'vipassana' and you calling this place possibly becoming a '"vipassana forum": This place firstly was based on Daniel's MCTB and the practices talked about in it but of course not excluding other practices, approaches and views over the years.  Please see  this thread in which you also posted, so I'm assuming you read it. Please read it again to get an idea of how that term 'vipassana' may vary from one person to the next. And in fact the definition I gave  for it is from the Khemaka Sutta, who also eventually is said to become an 'arahat' using that tecnique, a "sutta arahat" if that is your cup of tea. 

By the way, 'vipassana' just means discerning in a certain way literally. Discerning in a certain way may be different from approach to approach. In the suttas there are many examples of 'discerning in a certain way'.


Not everyone here on the DhO (which in my opinion is what makes this place great) holds the same view about approaches and end results. Just like yourself. 

Edit: And until Not Tao or yourself become "arahats" as you profess should be like, it's all dogmatic belief. It will not shift from the realm of belief until you actually experience the professed 'end result' for yourselves. So remember that when arguing it with others here. This is not to say I disagree with you. It is just to say arguments that are simply based on belief don't hold as much weight. 

Nick

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 4:05 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Every thing I say is going to be based on dogma until I get those Jhanas or something, but here we go:

Ok I'll be more clear: I mean dry vipassana. Those who become arahants in the story of tye Khemaka sutta must have been practicing lots of jhana, because you can't attain paths w/o following the eightfold path, right?

the word vipassana is used a lot in the suttas, but never as the name of a meditation technique or as a cathegory of meditation techniques, as far as I know.  The split of meditation methods into two "cathegories" is just not in the suttas. 

And it seems like people attain the same things through these new (150 or so years old) burmese methods. The stages of insight. I'm sure they're cool, but if they where important on the path to the end of suffering, the Buddha would have at least mentioned them, right? 

I think, from my dogmatic point of view, that it could be the case that people here focus to much on methods that generate the nanas, if their goal is the end of suffering, the state the Buddha talked about. I like it that there are active members doing other stuff too. Maybe their "arahantship" will be different. 

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 5:22 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai :
Edit: And until Not Tao or yourself become "arahats" as you profess should be like, it's all dogmatic belief. It will not shift from the realm of belief until you actually experience the professed 'end result' for yourselves. So remember that when arguing it with others here. This is not to say I disagree with you. It is just to say arguments that are simply based on belief don't hold as much weight. 

Hi Nikolai,
I would say that those here that profess to be Arahats or even first or second path are also relying on some beliefs that are not really inline with the Buddhist teachings on the ten fetters. I know I am not the first to point this out. For example, at second path, one is meant to lose all doubt in the teachings of the Buddha, such as the ten fetters model itself, as well as teachings on karma and rebirth 
At fourth path a practitioner is meant to be totally free from restlessness, ill will and sense desire. Although MCTB practioners here use Buddha's language to describe themselves (Arahat) they pick and choose between Buddha's own definitions of what that word actually means. IMO it would either be incumbant upon those practitioners to not use Buddhist terms at all and not claim Buddhist paths, if their attainments don't fit the definitions, or, if keeping to Buddha's terminology and using a Buddhist framework, to be more realistic and intellectually honest about their attainments. I know some people have said MCTB 4th path to distinguish, but I am suggesting something more like either sticking to the definitions of the words themselves, or creating new frameworks ala Ekhart Tolle or Richard Actualist dude. Being an Ingram-ist or MCTB-ist instead of a Buddhist for instance, and also not using words like Stream Entry and Arahat if they mean different things. I think this contributes to the confusion

@Pal: I agree with you about different results from different practices and your characterization of the difference between Burmese Buddhism of the last century and the teachings most closely ascribed to the Buddha of the Pali Cannon (leaving out Mahayana mystical dispensations of course). I think everyone here is relying on views and beliefs at least to a certain extent and no one knows for sure if they are really a stream enterer or an Arahat. IME honest practitioners will say as much themselves

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 7:13 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Not Tao,

It takes courage to be so honest about your life, and this topic made this forum a lot more real. I appreciate it. I was gonna write in your other thread that I took some things for improving my concentration that benefitted my practice. Thanks.


Daniel,

For the record, I do not label myself Buddhist. 

That said, Buddhism is a major religion. Many forms of Buddhism exist. You do not get to decide who is Buddhist or not. Your dismissal of other's interpretations and variations of Buddhism is quite frankly insulting.

Because most Christians don't literally follow all the rules of the bible (Thank God), should they not be considered Christians? What if Buddhism is essentially about awakening, and that this essentialist interpretation of Buddhism is what Buddhism is all about, these people who mostly follow Buddhism are not allowed to call the selves Buddhist?

This is soft trolling, and this dismissiveness towards others in this underhanded way is part of what has people being upset. I'm not going to let this slide because this is an important turning point for the DhO. You are the one who needs to be honest, speak as if you are talking about YOUR perspective of what Buddhism means and your interpretations of the Suttas. You have not met the Buddha in person, physically, and talked to him in your native tongue, so don't write as if you have, which you do. We meet half way in discussion, not 100% to your expectations of Buddhism, which is limited to what you can conventionally know.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 7:20 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
This is soft trolling, and this dismissiveness towards others in this underhanded way is part of what has people being upset. I'm not going to let this slide because this is an important turning point for the DhO.

As a reminder: if people feel there is some forum misuse happening or that a post needs to be edited or removed, use the flags.

There is absolutely no way users let alone mods can read every post and adjudicate, in my opinion. The flagging system sends out an email to mods and posters, who can then act. 

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 11:59 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
Katy,

A post like this is in my gray area of regulation. It isn't really that mean or rude, but it's like a backhanded compliment, "Your cool glasses (MCTB path) totally hide your saggy face and wrinkles! (Lack of Buddhist Path/Behaviors)" It's so perfectly obtuse it's hard to pin down, although my example isn't subtle, I'm too lazy right now to create something better! :p I don't think moderation needs to step in for this post.

For something like this I imagine we need months and years to develop a strong ethos on this website to bring strong restraint in the community to have the notion, "Oh, I feel really strongly about this system, my perceptions say this is true, but I restraint myself expecting others to accept my system of awakening as the default because this restraint of my demand of my interpretation as the default allows for precisely the flourishing of discussion that most enables awakening across many factors like age, gender, language, culture, temperments, happenstance, and so on. I acknowledge failure to do so will break down communication with people who see things differently." 

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 8:23 PM as a reply to Ryan J.
Ryan Kenneth Johnson:
This is soft trolling, and this dismissiveness towards others in this underhanded way is part of what has people being upset. I'm not going to let this slide because this is an important turning point for the DhO. You are the one who needs to be honest, speak as if you are talking about YOUR perspective of what Buddhism means and your interpretations of the Suttas. You have not met the Buddha in person, physically, and talked to him in your native tongue, so don't write as if you have, which you do. We meet half way in discussion, not 100% to your expectations of Buddhism, which is limited to what you can conventionally know.

Hello Ryan,
Please show me a quote of what I said that would be considered soft trolling as I do not understand the term or what you were offended by. I would assume that every statement made by every individual on this site is their own opinion and their own perspective and that would go without a disclaimer attached to every sentence
My main point was that Buddhists texts are clear about what a Stream Enterer is and what an Arahat is, at least as far as the ten fetter model is concerned, and IMO those Buddhist terms should not be used if the Buddhist definition of the four path model (what they refer to) is adhered to
I think this causes confusion
For the record, I am neither Buddhist, nor do I claim to have special knowledge of Buddha's teachings. But words have definitions, and re-defining them can be problematic. 
Best

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 10:02 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao,

I appreciate your honesty.

I am in no position to give you advice, since I have stopped meditating lately and have been positively wallowing in anxiety. I'm starting a new overnight job, my 3yo daughter is quite a handful, my 4yo son with autism is developing aggressive tendencies, my wife and I yell at each other all the time, the puking bug has made multiple passes through my house, and today our main water line froze, so we have no running water possibly till spring. Shit is pretty fucking hard right now.

That said, I would like to throw a bit of Theravada theory at you. There are three kinds of defilements that torment the ignorant mind-- transgressive, obsessive, and dormant.

Transgressive defilements are unskillful actions that harm other beings and inflame the mind, they are countered by morality practice. Obsessive defilements are inner torments-- rumination, anxiety, disruptive thoughts, and so on. They are countered by concentration practice. Dormant defilements haven't arisen yet, but may very well explode forth in the future. They are uprooted by Nibbana.

The obsessive defilements arose in your mind when you ceased concentration practice. Now that you are back on track, they are being suppressed once more, at least temporarily. If you really apply vipassana practice to every waking moment, you will move up the progress of insight and touch Nibbana, which is a more permanent solution. You are obviously a skilled practitioner and I think you are more than capable of attaining stream-entry sooner rather than later.

Best wishes!

Eric

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 10:21 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
I am in no position to give you advice, since I have stopped meditating lately and have been positively wallowing in anxiety. I'm starting a new overnight job, my 3yo daughter is quite a handful, my 4yo son with autism is developing aggressive tendencies, my wife and I yell at each other all the time, the puking bug has made multiple passes through my house, and today our main water line froze, so we have no running water possibly till spring. Shit is pretty fucking hard right now.

Eric, this sounds really, really hard. Do you need a gofundme set up? No water, puking, kids-- extremely hard. I don't want to affront your dignity and sometimes these campaigns are personally invasive (you recount your situation, provide your zip code and things like this) and result in little more than coffee change, but if you think that could help, check out gofundme, and and see what you think. I have never set one up, but could try. Also, let me know if you'd like this post removed.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 10:52 PM as a reply to katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks.
katy, I am touched by your kind words and your compassion.

Yes, it is hard, and we are rather poor. I am not opposed to receiving help in the event that I find it necessary. However, we have everything we need-- a roof over our heads, plenty of food, clothes and toys. Your money would be better spent at places like charities, monasteries, and so on.

Don't worry too much about me, I am the heir of my karma. The best anyone can do is wish my situation to unfold for the benefit for all beings.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/8/15 10:58 PM as a reply to Eric M W.
Okay, Eric. Well, I'm moved that you would show this. Your issues raised in each post I can personally relate to. If you change your mind, please PM (if you like). I can't think of more pragmatic dharma or more the point of it.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 12:13 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel,

You are making the assumption that your interpretation of Buddhism is THE Buddhism and then asking others to not call themselves Buddhist or use such terminology because they don't align with your interpretation. Then you claim those that don't do this and change their terminology are being intellectually dishonest. I find it mildly insulting.

The idea that your understanding and perspective of Buddhism may not be totally inclusive to other possibilities entirely outside your conceptual worldview doesn't seem to exist in your mental landscape. The mere possibility it could be any other way doesn't even exist for you, because, as you say, "The texts are clear and they say blah blah blah" not once realizing that that 'aha' moment of understanding in your mind is full of many cultural, language, psychological biases, among many other countless factors that simply cannot be accounted for. If you realized this, you would be more hesitant to make such black and white comparisons to THE Buddhism in your mind. This dismissiveness for anything that isn't 'original' and 'authentic' is what I'd like to aptly say is a hindrance to the richness and diversity that sets the DhO a part from any other place in the entire world, online and off. There is no other place.

Ajahn Chah and Mahasi Sayadaw couldn't agree on awakening. Maybe they should have not have called themselves Buddhists. Maybe, Mahasians and Chastifarians?

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 1:07 AM as a reply to Ryan J.
Hi Ryan,
Ha! I am a Chahstifarian myself, not a Mahasian. Original Zen practitioners actually didn't self identify as 'Buddhists', probably they had too much wisdom
Obviously you're mildly insulted, hopefully it has changed now and you're feeling quite alright. I'm mildly annoyed and mildly bored with people taking other people's viewpoints so personally
But it seems to be going around these days, noting, mildly annoying...wow, it's gone now. Still, I don't blame you for my fleeting emotions, these are my sankharas, perhaps from innumerable past lives, that's what the Buddha taught anyway (don't get mildly insulted by that too please).
With the honesty thing, I didn't mean people were being consciously intellectually dishonest, but I can see how I was not clear and may have been misinterpreted. I meant honesty in the same way that Kenneth Folk did when he said that after some time, if he was honest with himself, an itch was the same as the experience of awakening, and no particular experience was to be priviledged over any other. This is Kenneth's experience however, so there is no need to be offended, even mildly. He was speaking from his own viewpoint and perspective, though I have considered that fact to be inferred for my entire adult life, please assume it with anything I say moving forward and I will do the same for you. I'd actually prefer you not take any of my personal views personally yourself, but you are certainly free to do so if it supports your practice
I'll start a new thread stating my ideas more clearly so as not to continue to hijack Not Tao's very heartfelt and honest thread here
I'd like you to discuss and contribute in an open fashion, and I'd like no one to get offended. Perfect world maybe
Daniel

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 3:29 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Daniel Leffler:
Nikolai :
Edit: And until Not Tao or yourself become "arahats" as you profess should be like, it's all dogmatic belief. It will not shift from the realm of belief until you actually experience the professed 'end result' for yourselves. So remember that when arguing it with others here. This is not to say I disagree with you. It is just to say arguments that are simply based on belief don't hold as much weight. 

Hi Nikolai,
I would say that those here that profess to be Arahats or even first or second path are also relying on some beliefs that are not really inline with the Buddhist teachings on the ten fetters.
Yes, the fetter model. But then you have to try and define for example 'ill will'. Is it the Dipa Ma version? The Actual freedom-like version? The my ideal version? The your ideal version? Well, my ideal is the SUTTA version!! Well, what does the sutta version entail? Does it entail sensations that 'used' to be associated with ill will still arising but no longer reacted to? Or is there a complete absence of anything that was part and parcel of that compounding?

I tired of all the defining a while ago. I was even quite vocal about it like you seem to be headed at the moment. I think I even helped introduce the term 'asshat' on the Hamilton Project way back. But these days, I don't care much where yogis assign weight in their practice concerning terms and concepts. As long as it moves them along in their practice. We are always free to re-assess concepts and views when we have spent the previous ones or not.  For specifically practice reasons, the fetter model for me is a loosely held goad to keep exploring and experimenting. Not for arguing over terminology.

I am not arguing for any attainment myself. I don't care to call myself those Buddhist terms, though I identify wth the criteria Daniel has talked about concerning what he has called 4th path as well as beyond in further shifts. I just don't assign weight to it being this or that sutta reference.

I know I am not the first to point this out. For example, at second path, one is meant to lose all doubt in the teachings of the Buddha, such as the ten fetters model itself, as well as teachings on karma and rebirth 
If I'm not mustaken, i think its Stream Entry when doubt goes. 
For the stream-enterer, the arising of the Dhamma eye — with its insight into the causal principles underlying the origination and cessation of stress — is what cuts through the first three fetters."He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: self-identity view, doubt, and grasping at habits & practices." Sabbasava Sutta

At fourth path a practitioner is meant to be totally free from restlessness, ill will and sense desire.
Yes, defining those compoundings (ill will, restless, sense desire) and what constitues them and what does not is tricky. As it doesn't seem so clear in the suttas, though I'd love to be shown the sutta references for exact defintions. It is ultimately why I stopped defining and shyed away from claiming this and that. I've just stuck with whatever is seen as 'stress' and explored how to see it drop. If there is still mental stress then there is more to explore and experiment with in my own practice. But then define 'stress'? How sublte can it get? Hehe it is an ongoing shifting defintion. Though lately for some reason, the whole notion that any movement and any standing still is 'stress' is at the forefront of practice.

Although MCTB practioners here use Buddha's language to describe themselves (Arahat) they pick and choose between Buddha's own definitions of what that word actually means. IMO it would either be incumbant upon those practitioners to not use Buddhist terms at all and not claim Buddhist paths, if their attainments don't fit the definitions, or, if keeping to Buddha's terminology and using a Buddhist framework, to be more realistic and intellectually honest about their attainments.
Yes, been there. I just feel a bigger picture at play in my own mind. I see yogis benefiting from both sides of the fence. As I said, we are always free to re-assess conceptual overlays when they are spent or not conducive for practice reasons, or not feel a reassessment is neccessary. 


I know some people have said MCTB 4th path to distinguish, but I am suggesting something more like either sticking to the definitions of the words themselves, or creating new frameworks ala Ekhart Tolle or Richard Actualist dude. Being an Ingram-ist or MCTB-ist instead of a Buddhist for instance, and also not using words like Stream Entry and Arahat if they mean different things. I think this contributes to the confusion
There are 4 specific baseline shifts that  MCTB talks about and that many of us here have experienced. I think a term like 'MCTB 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th' , though it may irk Daniel and others, is something I can comfortably use to define the baseline shifts as I shy away from labelling it anything else, for practice reasons mostly. I don't feel self-righteous about it like I once did. A product of post MCTB 4th shifts perhaps. I don't see a need to change this terminolgy at least. Though there is talk of Kenneth's and Daniel's "4th path" not being the same thing. It is endless. I'd just focus on getting what you want and then sharing how you got it rather than trying to convince the small world of DhO that they should use this and that termnology instead. I think it is enough to know that there are differing opinons.

There has been great benefit in Daniel calling it what he did. I would never have had my interest peeked. But again, we are all free to explore it,  get it done as they talk about around here, and actualy re-assess or not from the actual place of actual real time ongoing exprience, as opposed to the  sidelines....or not. Up to you. Though please do share your viewpoints and actual experiences to the pool. 

Edited for typos while a 9month year old jumped on my lap. Never type with an awake baby on your lap, thought stream constantly interrupted. 

Edited to add: In th spirit of Not Tao's O/P, I apologise for pushing this thread in a different direction. Not Tao, do you want it split into two threads? I can split it from my comment to Pal.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 4:35 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Why are you posting the same post again pawel?

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 9:43 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Edited to add: In th spirit of Not Tao's O/P, I apologise for pushing this thread in a different direction. Not Tao, do you want it split into two threads? I can split it from my comment to Pal.

Hi Nikolai - I'd like to split this one off and keep the conversation going, good stuff here
Maybe call it 'Paths and Fetters'?
Seems more than a little off topic from Not Tao's OP and I don't want to sully his thing up
damn, gotta go to work. noting aversion...

blue EDIT

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 11:27 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
I don't think you guys are off topic, actually.  The reason I posted this threads was because I'd been too involved in this very subject, haha.  I think it's part of the zeitgeist of the DhO.  People claim attainments, and then other people challenge them.  It's inevitable that anyone who isn't a perfected emotional master will eventually crack under the pressure, and this is probably why there's such an air of hostility here.  I think there is an endless temptation to claim some kind of authority, even in a subtle way, and then once that's happened there's always that weight to carry and defend.  People turn into predators in this situation, looking for any opportunity to asscend the pecking order.

So, my main purpose here was to say, "I have no authority on anything," and let go of that weight.  Another part of that weight is "buddha defense" and frustration with ignorant people.  Daniel, maybe this is why you were accused of soft trolling.  Truth is, people who skew the teachings probably aren't doing it on purpose (which is to say, they will probably see you as skewing the teachings if you point it out to them).  It's impossible to make everyone agree with you (simply because they will be trying to make you agree with them the whole time) and it's impossible to "purify" the truth as you see it by forcing other people to be humble (because they won't see you as humble).  It's the Oroboros.

That's not to say that people shouldn't debate things, but as long as anyone debating is basing their happiness on the idea that the other person will change their mind, then it will never go anywhere.  I had to rexamine why I was actually here, and I realized that, under my own desire to prove people wrong and point out other people's flaws, I really wanted to be part of a community.  I felt like I had something important to share.

Anyway, I don't mind if you guys keep posting here.  If you want to move it, though, that's fine too. emoticon

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 2:10 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
I was going to tell you once agian not to stop posting here but then I saw that you've made exactly 666 posts haha

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 6:56 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
You are a cool cat.

Psi

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 11:23 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
Daniel Leffler:
Nikolai :
Edit: And until Not Tao or yourself become "arahats" as you profess should be like, it's all dogmatic belief. It will not shift from the realm of belief until you actually experience the professed 'end result' for yourselves. So remember that when arguing it with others here. This is not to say I disagree with you. It is just to say arguments that are simply based on belief don't hold as much weight. 

Hi Nikolai,
I would say that those here that profess to be Arahats or even first or second path are also relying on some beliefs that are not really inline with the Buddhist teachings on the ten fetters.
Yes, the fetter model. But then you have to try and define for example 'ill will'. Is it the Dipa Ma version? The Actual freedom-like version? The my ideal version? The your ideal version? Well, my ideal is the SUTTA version!! Well, what does the sutta version entail? Does it entail sensations that 'used' to be associated with ill will still arising but no longer reacted to? Or is there a complete absence of anything that was part and parcel of that compounding?

I would say the sutta version, though I am interested in the Dipa Ma version if there's a link or something? AF version not so much : )

I tired of all the defining a while ago. I was even quite vocal about it like you seem to be headed at the moment. I think I even helped introduce the term 'asshat' on the Hamilton Project way back. But these days, I don't care much where yogis assign weight in their practice concerning terms and concepts. As long as it moves them along in their practice. We are always free to re-assess concepts and views when we have spent the previous ones or not.  For specifically practice reasons, the fetter model for me is a loosely held goad to keep exploring and experimenting. Not for arguing over terminology.

I am not arguing for any attainment myself. I don't care to call myself those Buddhist terms, though I identify wth the criteria Daniel has talked about concerning what he has called 4th path as well as beyond in further shifts. I just don't assign weight to it being this or that sutta reference.

Everything you say here makes a lot of sense to me as well Nikolai - though I don't think I'm headed in the 'you're an asshat!' direction haha (though I do line sawfoot's avatar : )
I guess what gets me is that in my experience, the 'afflictive emotions' are certainly attenuated through practice, which is pretty much why I started in the first place, to be happy and more at peace
For a few years I experienced no anger, though I would still get mildly frustrated sometimes
At that time I was doing a ten day retreat at least once a year and meditating two to three hours per day
Many times I felt I was dwelling in/as Buddha Nature, or my inner 'higher' totally fearless and contented self, sometimes it felt like I was 'possessed' by this inner self
I'll make a thread on it in the future as I'd love to hear how other's experiences line up with mine
So I guess you could say, I am the most interested in the 'emotional perfection' aspect of the path/fetter model and that was one reason why I found Not Tao's earlier posts and his take on Actualism so compelling. It was my view that many people started insight practice just because they wanted to be happier and more at peace and they ended up having kundalini awakenings (me) or finding themselves in the dukkha nanas. I may have been projecting my intentions for starting practice on others though


I know I am not the first to point this out. For example, at second path, one is meant to lose all doubt in the teachings of the Buddha, such as the ten fetters model itself, as well as teachings on karma and rebirth 
If I'm not mustaken, i think its Stream Entry when doubt goes. 

Yes you are correct about that. Besides emotional perfection I do find it problematic that some use Buddha's terminology as in the four math model - Theravada terminology and teachings, and yet throw out the definitions of what Buddha meant by those words - according to Theravada Pali texts of course. So, some people call themselves Stream Enterers (much less Arahats) but they don't have enough faith in the Buddha's teachings to at least lean toward the ideas that karma and rebirth are valid. I am not doubting anyone's insight or the actual facts of rebirth versus one-life-to-live (I don't know the answer to that question) but a Stream Enterer is defined as one who does not doubt the buddhadharma. I'd think just calling oneself awakened without all the Buddhist baggage ala Eckart Tolle would do. If you're not a Buddhist (you don't have faith in the Buddha's full teaching) why even use the language?
It's not my intention to offend anyone by saying this, unfortunately some find it insulting for some reason, maybe religion? Not sure, I was raised confused (mixed religion parents)

For the stream-enterer, the arising of the Dhamma eye — with its insight into the causal principles underlying the origination and cessation of stress — is what cuts through the first three fetters."He attends appropriately, This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the way leading to the cessation of stress. As he attends appropriately in this way, three fetters are abandoned in him: self-identity view, doubt, and grasping at habits & practices." Sabbasava Sutta
At fourth path a practitioner is meant to be totally free from restlessness, ill will and sense desire.
Yes, defining those compoundings (ill will, restless, sense desire) and what constitues them and what does not is tricky. As it doesn't seem so clear in the suttas, though I'd love to be shown the sutta references for exact defintions.

yes me too, I'm sure you searched long and hard

It is ultimately why I stopped defining and shyed away from claiming this and that. I've just stuck with whatever is seen as 'stress' and explored how to see it drop. If there is still mental stress then there is more to explore and experiment with in my own practice. But then define 'stress'? How sublte can it get? Hehe it is an ongoing shifting defintion. Though lately for some reason, the whole notion that any movement and any standing still is 'stress' is at the forefront of practice.

I experienced the movement portion of that in a very deep sensate way on retreat once. All of my bodily formations were pretty well stilled and I was in some jhana - I believe fourth. I still felt a slight movement in the center of my chest - extremely subtle, like a little lazy grub worm. My insight was that even the most subtlest of movements (life itself) is stressful, by it's nature. After that it seemed like there was no rest for the weary : )

Although MCTB practioners here use Buddha's language to describe themselves (Arahat) they pick and choose between Buddha's own definitions of what that word actually means. IMO it would either be incumbant upon those practitioners to not use Buddhist terms at all and not claim Buddhist paths, if their attainments don't fit the definitions, or, if keeping to Buddha's terminology and using a Buddhist framework, to be more realistic and intellectually honest about their attainments.
Yes, been there. I just feel a bigger picture at play in my own mind. I see yogis benefiting from both sides of the fence. As I said, we are always free to re-assess conceptual overlays when they are spent or not conducive for practice reasons, or not feel a reassessment is neccessary. 

Yeah, I guess in the grand scheme it really isn't that important, and the reason for terms like 'MCTB 4th Path'
It just gets a bit confusing is all, but that's probably just the nature of maps

I know some people have said MCTB 4th path to distinguish, but I am suggesting something more like either sticking to the definitions of the words themselves, or creating new frameworks ala Ekhart Tolle or Richard Actualist dude. Being an Ingram-ist or MCTB-ist instead of a Buddhist for instance, and also not using words like Stream Entry and Arahat if they mean different things. I think this contributes to the confusion
There are 4 specific baseline shifts that  MCTB talks about and that many of us here have experienced. I think a term like 'MCTB 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th' , though it may irk Daniel and others, is something I can comfortably use to define the baseline shifts as I shy away from labelling it anything else, for practice reasons mostly. I don't feel self-righteous about it like I once did. A product of post MCTB 4th shifts perhaps. I don't see a need to change this terminolgy at least. Though there is talk of Kenneth's and Daniel's "4th path" not being the same thing. It is endless. I'd just focus on getting what you want and then sharing how you got it rather than trying to convince the small world of DhO that they should use this and that termnology instead. I think it is enough to know that there are differing opinons.

Good advice thanks

There has been great benefit in Daniel calling it what he did. I would never have had my interest peeked. But again, we are all free to explore it,  get it done as they talk about around here, and actualy re-assess or not from the actual place of actual real time ongoing exprience, as opposed to the  sidelines....or not. Up to you. Though please do share your viewpoints and actual experiences to the pool. 

Edited for typos while a 9month year old jumped on my lap. Never type with an awake baby on your lap, thought stream constantly interrupted. 

Edited to add: In th spirit of Not Tao's O/P, I apologise for pushing this thread in a different direction. Not Tao, do you want it split into two threads? I can split it from my comment to Pal.

Thanks for taking the time Nikolai
Out of curiosity, do you believe in rebirth yourself, or lean one way or the other?
That's always been an interesting subject to me as well, since I was a little kid

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/9/15 11:44 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
Paweł K:
@Daniel Leffler
I am pretty much convinced that 4th MCTB path is analogous to 2nd ten-fetter path

Interesting stuff Pawel and a lot to digest - thanks for writing it up. But don't some MCTB 4th pathers not believe in rebirth and karma? Does that make a difference in your eyes?

2. doubt or uncertainty, especially about the teachings (vicikicchā)
I do not know about other SE claimants but I have no doubt in Buddha teaching. It comes from fact my own deductions/delusions match Buddha deductions/delusions, not necessarily dogmatic people interpretation. Still I believe in rebirth and other stuff, though not in silly way dogmatic people often represent. It is part of greater process and how much rebirth is happening and how much so called 'previous lives' (which are only called that) are realized depend on various conditions like desire for that to be so, from both sides. It have nothing to do with something that happen because it is so and all with desires.

So like a make-your-own-reality type scenario? If you believe in oblivion at death you get it?


4. sensual desire (kāmacchando)
All sensual pleasure is seen as something that on itself is pretty much worthless. Satisfaction value of those things is equal 0, yes, zero, and even any meditative experience are seen as worthless. Still they all are craved upon, in attenuated way but still. Once Returner knows damn well that nothing of this which is craved or even experienced will give any lasting satisfaction. Main point is always practice of cessation of mind that is craving, even if not actually stopping it from going at objects it so desire while doing so. Unless they fall for...

Would you consider the pleasures of jhana to be a part of that? It has become more relevant to me that samadhi is one spoke of the eightfold path, after reading some of Not Tao' stuff on concentration practice and acknowledging that I leaned toward the dry end of Vipassana training, though I've cultivated through the fourth jhana, I don't fixate objects as part of my meditation practice, I just let things unfold as they are with a (relatively) free floating awareness of bodily sensations and mental talk (or lack thereof)

5. ill will (vyāpādo or byāpādo)
... in which case they are stopped immediately when recognizer. Or at least mind does everything to stop ill will, even if there being dynamics in mind that make it not always so easy. Here I concetrate more on causes of ill will than it itself. If anger have cause then it have to be seen throught, even if it means diving deep into unpleasant parts of mind that unevitably cause suffering when trying to see through them. At 2nd path this is clumsy and inefficient but effort is made because mind have now right tools and effort to do that. At 3rd it should be stopped before it happen to arise.

I believe 3rd path to be burning all anger and ill will and desires that is inside so that make it to not arise because effort at not having it alone will be enough to stop any seeds of it from having its fruits. I am not there yet, and I do not think any 'technical' 3d pather or even 4th pather can say that about him/herself that ill will does not arise. Stopping it, when it arise is not enough. 4th path is when there is nothing for desire and anger to arise from.

Interesting - I experienced this burning of anger from the inside for years. I experienced it as energetic phenomenon. On my second retreat my body started doing all sorts of kundalini movements and my crown chakra opened like a flap and energy would pour out and in. I was established in a 'hard' fourth jhana much of the time and the fearlessness and rapid insight cycles continued for years after
The last few years I'd been really financially stressed, working all the time, and my 'energy body' got totally clogged and backed up. Anger came up in some cases, though now it is much less sticky and it hardly lasts
Before I would feel a heavy/unwholesome emotion form and before I knew it, it would shoot out my body through my crown chakra and be gone, before it could root at all.
I never experienced unconscious blips so I never considered I had entered any path, though all kinds of mystical shh happened to me, I figured it was just A&P
I guess the Buddha never said anything about blips and losing consciousness as a prerequisite for stream entry so that's an interesting subject to me as well

Continuing this, by 'technical' I mean having some skills and insight but not realizing them to their full potential. Technical paths mark shift from not knowing something to knowing it but not mean realizing it fully. It takes time and effort, a lot of it. It is hard because mind is not opened and not showing itself fully all the times. It is like iceberd, small on surface and enormous inside. Having perfect perception and knowledge of phenomena doesn't mean being totally transformed into diamond-berg, merely that whatever surface is transformed. Which also means change of lineage from someone who look enlightenment to someone practicing it. 

Dude you just blew my mind (as usual : )

That said, it is silly for some people to obsess about Daniel's suffering, like it matter at all for them. I do not imagine Daniel to worry about his suffering as much as some people here do. They think they can find some 'pure Buddha technique' which will like one move of magic wand make them 100% perfect and suffering-less in one act of effort. Ok, I do not deny it to be possible to find better methods, just cannot imagine being hostile and trying to prove Daniel's method is wrong was crucial to finding those better methods. So why does some people obsess so much about disproving Mahasi Noting? Is there any purpose to that? Where does it comes from? Not ill-will perhaps?

(edited 2x)

I can't say, I don't have anything bad to say about Mahasi noting
For myself I think I'm relatively skilled in concentration so the monkey-mind portion of practice for me was relatively short lived (maybe six months or a year of intense practice)
When I read that one is meant to verbally note to oneself until 'noticing' occurs and you can drop the verbal notes, I realized I had been practicing Mahasi method all along and it wasn't so special (and very special at the same time of course)
I'm not in the category of obsessing about anyone's levels of dukkha, though many people do claim paths on here and they seem pretty miserable to me some of the time
More practice I guess
Btw Pawel (curiosity) where are you on the emotional perfection models?
Would you expect that practice will erase all negative emotions?
I remember you made a comment to Not Tao sometime ago questioning why he was so obsessed with emotions. It's why he started practice for one thing, and my view was it's why most people start spiritual practice, because they're not happy. I have no data to back this up, just my experience with retreatants and spiritual seekers that I've met over time. 

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 6:32 AM as a reply to Nikolai ..
If you'll all forgive following a subtopic here rather than the main topic...

Appears to be some here some here well-informed, even if not necessarily believers in, the "10-fetter" model.

Curious if anyone has a take on the 'conceit' fetter (Māna)? Said to be one of the last 3 to go at (Therevadan) 4th path.

Aka arogance, pride... the Pali/Sanskrit etymology and/or usage also has, if memory serves, an aspect of 'honor' to it.

It seems noticeably absent in related DhO discussions. A while back in some thread it did come up, and Daniel (M. Ingram) voiced some thoughts there. I also chimed-in with some research into the philology -- citing PTS Dictionary entries on the Pali and Sanskrit related terms, and a long quotation from a footnote in Nyanamoli's translation of the Visudhimagga --  the usual stuff I come up with, most of which I've forgotten and it's too late at night right now to go hunt it down... And my interest here is not in what I know or don't know.

Is it considered significant in 'pragmatic' circles?

If/when "overcome", what is that like?

Any other comments?

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 11:09 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi Chris,

This is actually one of the main attractions I have to the PCE (or, I should say, the thing I've been calling the PCE).  When I am in that state, the complete absence of tension erases any need for pride/honor/conceit/etc.  It's very freeing - like suddenly letting go of the need to protect yourself.  There is no humility involved, either, it's just complete relaxation of fear.  I tested it a number of times last year and came on here and read some old arguments, haha.  No reactions at all.

A large part of getting there involves removing any negative associations I have with people.  You could call this metta practice, maybe.  I just look for any way that I'm trying to be better than someone, or feeling less than someone, and I let go of that.  I also examine any tensions I'm feeling, because I've noticed that, for myself, a lot of these are related to a kind of mental preparation for war.  A lot of the thinking that happens is rehersal, and when that's gone, thinking hardly arises at all.

Conceit also seems to be related to ownership of things.  Not just items, but also ideas.  Like, if I think I know better than someone, that means I have a higher value item in my head.  There's a need to defend that value as long as the worth is important.

The PCE state I'm referring to is actually very conventional, in a way.  It's just a complete relaxation.  Like, during my drifting period I spent a lot of time looking at suppression and expression (often unintentionally) - but the thing I was looking for is just what happens when I can fully embrace a "nothing matters" attitude.  That isn't an aversive "noting matters" either - just a devaluation (or re-evaluation) of everything onto an equal plain of existance.

EDIT: Humility was often very helpful it getting there, I should mention.  By apologizing even when I didn't feel I was wrong, I could devalue myself enough to lose interest in defending my ideas - then I was suddenly freed from them.  L ike losing intentionally to break yourself down.  I'm sure this worked for me because I tend to hold myself in high esteem rather than self-hatred or depression.  Maybe some assertive action or confidence boosting would work the same way for a person with those kinds of issues.  Conceit isn't just an inflated ego, but also things like guilt, or feeling ugly, or feeling sorry for yourself.  To be completely free from conceit is to hold no view of yourself at all, I think.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 1:23 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie
Is it [Māna] considered significant in 'pragmatic' circles?

Hi Chris, I think it's a worthwhile question, especially considering all the seemingly prideful and conceited behavior of some 'pragmatic' 4th path attainers that pops up here from time to time. I don't mean that as a slight, I'm just as guilty, though I do not claim any enlightenment, much less any particular 'stage'. While I can't speak to what's in pragmatic circles (I'm decidedly outside of that circle, at least in a social context) I think the question tends to be overlooked - though I would love to see what Daniel (M. Ingram) says on the subject if you're able to dig it up. I forget who said it (maybe Ajahn Chah) but I like the definition very much (paraphrased): morality is non-virtue in that it is practiced and therefore false by being unnatural. True virtue, on the other hand, arises naturally and needs no support, rules or practice. Many people refer to māna as 'ego', in that we can either have too much (pride) or not enough (humility). Then there is the dissolution of the ego, which I'm not sure is discussed in 'pragmatic' circles at all, but somethig that I have my own experience with

If/when "overcome", what is that like?

For me I experienced it energetically. Through bare awareness practice on retreat I became very diffuse and aware at the same time. The heart center produced no unpleasant sensations and I experienced very few 'unwholesome' emotions 'personally' for years after. By that I mean, if someone attacked me, I simply saw anger, the human emotion of anger that I, and so many others, have experienced before. I didn't think even in a subtle way, 'that's your anger'
Another example, on retreat (it was a big New Years Goenka one with hundreds of people in the hall) I was awaiting the bell to ring between sits because I had an important question on my mind that I really wanted to ask the teacher, because I wasn't sure if I was practicing correctly and I didn't want to go another sit if that turned out to be the case. As soon as the ten minute break bell rang I hopped up from the floor with the intention to run to the front of the room (I was in the back) to be able to ask the teacher the question before other students lined up in front of me. Unfortunately my legs had fallen asleep and as soon as I stood up, my big 200# 6'2" body fell flat on the ground in the walkway between about 300 men and women just arising from their (maybe) contented meditative states. As I fell I exclaimed (in a calm manner) 'oh shit' breaking the noble silence throughout the large hall. As I looked to my left and right everyone was staring at me, with both looks of utter compassion as well as trying to suppress ignoble laughter at my obvious oafishness. I laughed internally along with them, 'ha! That's so funny what happened to that idiot'. I knew it was me, it wasn't a mystical experience, but I wasn't embarrassed in the slightest. Normally, for me, it would have been a pretty embarrassing moment. During these periods of (sometimes lasting months, maybe years) of non-ego I also experienced fearlessness, really no boredom and very little frustration. When I did get frustrated I experienced it as a sensation that arose in the heart area and dissipated rather quickly through the body (or transmuted or ??, can't say I really know the mechanism involved, just what various teachings say)

Edited for grammar 


RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 1:38 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
That's cool, Daniel!

1) What do you think led to such protracted states of (apparent) non-reactivity and why do you think they go away eventually?

2) What  mechanisms do you have in place for getting feedback from others as to the veracity of your first hand experience? For instance, are you checking in with mates and other significant others about how you appear from the outside and whether you appear reactive, non-reactive? Are you actively investigating both within your experience and through relationship/communication whether it is actual non-reactivity or else a form of aloofness? I ask because in my own experience there have been periods (one notable one) wherein I experienced no overt reactivity yet I eventually concluded that I was spiritually bypassing a lot of life by exchanging my ordinary biographical personal identity for a transpersonal identity which had been 'acheived' through 'practice'.

It may be interesting to note in this connection that some of the folks who were very interested in and apparently accomplished in actualism-inspired practices at DhO experienced prolonged periods of no-subjective-reactivity yet later concluded they had been fooling themselves (my words) or something to that effect.

ETA: I am open to emotional transformation models and find that, in restrospect especially, I can look back and see how gradually I have become less reactive over time with the synergy of practice and maturity including both meditative practices and psychological/behavioral practices, so I'm not knocking 'traditional' goals from a 'pragmatic' perspective. If anything I tend to be kind of traditional in my personal practice goals. That said, I just think it's worth pointing out that the issue may not be as simple as 'some folks believe awakening doesn't entail emotional transformation' vs. 'some folks do'.

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 2:33 PM as a reply to Daniel - san.
[quote=
]I would say the sutta version, though I am interested in the Dipa Ma version if there's a link or something? AF version not so much : )
Dipa Ma was a supposed anagami when she gave this interview. In it she talks about 'anger' and how it is not the same anymore.



I'll make a thread on it in the future as I'd love to hear how other's experiences line up with mine
So I guess you could say, I am the most interested in the 'emotional perfection' aspect of the path/fetter model and that was one reason why I found Not Tao's earlier posts and his take on Actualism so compelling.
At the end of 2010 I think there were a few of us who got attracted to Actualism pracitce due to the promised result. You might want to check out threads on the old KFD, or here. I think i talk about some shifts in my HP journal too. Not Tao was preceded by many others experimenting with the notion of seeing emtional compoundings cease. It died down after awhile though. Nothing new. People will hold their ideals in the forefront  of the mind as carrots to push them to experiment. i'm all for it. As long as the ideals don't blind them into being dogmatic bible sutta thumpers with no actual real time experience to discuss /back up their ideas with.

Thanks for taking the time Nikolai
Out of curiosity, do you believe in rebirth yourself, or lean one way or the other?
That's always been an interesting subject to me as well, since I was a little kid

As I have never had a "past life" experience that I can't term a 'dream', I can't speak from the notion that this flow of consciousness has lit certain candles in the past. I was a Goenka practioner for 8 years, did the whole package, lived in Dhamma Giri India, studied Pali, became a monk for a very short time in Myanmar to test the waters, so my contemplative upbringing had been immersed in all things 'tradiaitonal' and so the notion of rebirth and karma (action-cause and effect) was engrained into my 'practicing yogi' psyche. Hard to erase completely. There are echos of beliefs that crop up, beliefs in the deva realms, furutre rebirths, etc that are part and parcel of hanging out for years with other Goenka followers, listening to supposed Goenka stories that contained all of that. I cleaned his personal library with a fellow pali student one time and coming across old Mynamr books on U Ba Khin and him dealing with other "beings" etc added to conditioning.


So...hehe....these days I focus more on what I can actually experience and of course it is influenced by my time with the Goenka tradition. At the time of death, the flow of consciousness keeps flowing, taking that notion back a bit to where I can experiecne it...which is only right now. It does appear to take rebirth continuously, constant shifting about, the "becoming" echos of felt sense of 'self' still manifesting /compounding from moment to moment, sometimes not, sometimes yes, but all of it seeming like an ever flowing process of 'rebirth'. This is what I can comfortably talk about as "rebirth" without it being belief about past and furutre lives. I can make the jump to the assumption that this flow of moment to moment rebirth will cntonue right up to the death of the body and perhaps keep 'moving' in a different vehicle. But it is enough for me to stick with this moment and see how rebirth operates while this body is alive. 


Concerning the notion of 'karma', If I act from negativity, more negativity results. This I see right now in practice. And viceversa, act from the base of positivity, positivity results. i could make the jump to the assumption that it may result in an occurence a little further down the track, but it is enough for me in practice to stick with the immediate present to know that suffering arises due to causes and suffering drops due to the absence of causes. 


So I do take on board the notions of 'rebirth' and 'karma'. I just might shy away from holding certain conceptual overlays concenring them. I'm open to the other versions, just not holding them tightly. 


Nick

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 2:53 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
That's cool, Daniel!

1) What do you think led to such protracted states of (apparent) non-reactivity and why do you think they go away eventually?

I've thought about this a lot Jake. I think it's an energetic thing, at least that is the perspective I view it through since my entire mediation practice has been mostly focused around awareness of bodily sensations. I think (in New Agey terms) when we raise our vibrations through intense samadhi practice, the 'bodily formations' become clear. Having so much clear light energy as your body (I never saw lots of light but I have my own experiences with that) makes it very difficult for unwholesome states (as actual sensation) to take up root and stick in the body. It is like you are tephlon inside and the buttery anger just slides right out of you as soon as it is generated.
This all started eight years ago after my second mediation retreat and lots of troubling and intense mystical and psychological experiences were all occurring at the same time, and I had no good mentors or teachers to turn to that knew anything about this (though Daniel Ingram many years ago was one of the first through email - he responded to my sent question in a very compassionate and wise way, which always left me feeling indebted and grateful to him and his community) I would experience anxiety say, around thinking I was losing my mind and grip on reality, and the sensation of anxiety would just zip up out of my body, through my crown. So I was just left with just thoughts, but no fear or anxiety whatsoever, totally cool and my heart rate was slow and steady. It was strange indeed, plus I could feel it all in a deep sensate way, while walking or whatever. It was like my awareness was fused to my inner body, and just went there on it's own naturally. I could also just observe sensation and drop thoughts and 'abide as awareness'
I think it eventually went away due to lack of formal practice and life getting extremely hectic/working too much. I think if my easy life of two to three hours of sitting per day, working part time and going on a 10-day plus retreat at least once a year were kept up I may have been able to maintain that vibration. Other practices like diet (eating light and fasting), pranayama, hatha yoga inversions and metta, plus having good spiritual friends, loved ones, and a good life in general all contribute to maintaining that calm fearless peace - I didn't have much of that in the intervening years. Back on track now though : )

2) What  mechanisms do you have in place for getting feedback from others as to the veracity of your first hand experience?

Well, it has changed so much over the years but I have had friends and family tell me how I've changed a lot. The biggest change I've heard is that I am a much better listener and more patient and calm. Though the changes that occurred back then have slowed down quite a bit so everyone is used to me. I met my current girlfriend right when these changes happened so she doesn't know how big a prick I used to be : ) 

Are you actively investigating both within your experience and through relationship/communication whether it is actual non-reactivity or else a form of aloofness? I ask because in my own experience there have been periods (one notable one) wherein I experienced no overt reactivity yet I eventually concluded that I was spiritually bypassing a lot of life by exchanging my ordinary biographical personal identity for a transpersonal identity which had been 'acheived' through 'practice'.

This is a very good point and something I definitely went through as I got oh-so-spiritual. I've always had a cheeky sense of humor (as has been demonstrated with the recent DhO clusterfuck) and I got pretty serious for awhile, maybe it was dark night stuff, but I think it's just general insight into dukkha that did it. My mom was afraid I was losing my sense of humor for awhile, 'are you not going to be funny any more?!'
Luckily for all of us that was not the case ;)

It may be interesting to note in this connection that some of the folks who were very interested in and apparently accomplished in actualism-inspired practices at DhO experienced prolonged periods of no-subjective-reactivity yet later concluded they had been fooling themselves (my words) or something to that effect.

Yes I am aware of that and find the subject fascinating. I wasn't actively participating when that whole mess went down but I found Daniel's write up on Actualism pretty cool as well as Tarin's old posts and what happened there. I think that's a whole psychological ball of wax however, though not as disconnected from Buddhist/spiritual practice as Actualists like to think (ok, let's not start that whole thing again : )

ETA: I am open to emotional transformation models and find that, in restrospect especially, I can look back and see how gradually I have become less reactive over time with the synergy of practice and maturity including both meditative practices and psychological/behavioral practices, so I'm not knocking 'traditional' goals from a 'pragmatic' perspective. If anything I tend to be kind of traditional in my personal practice goals. That said, I just think it's worth pointing out that the issue may not be as simple as 'some folks believe awakening doesn't entail emotional transformation' vs. 'some folks do'.

Yes I think you are right Jake. My experience is the same that unwholesome emotional attenuation is the result of practice and the right side of my brain says that more practice will lead to more attenuation, though I'm not sure if anything ever gets 'perfected'. For instance, I don't experience much anger ever (though I have many challenges it was never one of them), I do experience sadness, but I've never had a thing with jealousy. Some people are much more advanced than others emotionally (EI, not saying I am) and that may be through many lifetimes of cultivation or evolution, there are some actually saintly people out there that act in selfless ways most if not all of the time. Granted they're pretty rare.
I think Not Tao is actually on to something with samatha practice. Samadhi is one of the eightfold path and I think it's in there to foster wholesome states and reduce negativities, raising our vibrations as it were.
IMO rapid noting and the like ('efforting') can really speed things up and leave one a bit frazzled and burnt out. My own practice moved in a different direction. Because I am restless by nature, I found I needed to relax, the awareness was already there. I know some people deal with drousiness and noting may be best for them. I found that 'resting' in awareness and letting things present themselves was less stressful and left me with a positive afterglow to my sittings that could be maintained throughout time, if practice was kept up of course. I think some here err too hard on the dry vipassana side (I did) and don't get the satisfying effects of meditation that samatha provides. I am also of the mind however that vipassana and samatha can be practiced simultaneously by sinking into the moment as it is, I know others feel, err, otherwise
I am definitely interested in other theories on the subject tho!

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 3:08 PM as a reply to Nikolai ..
Nikolai .:
At the end of 2010 I think there were a few of us who got attracted to Actualism pracitce due to the promised result. You might want to check out threads on the old KFD, or here.

Yes I've read a bunch of that old stuff Nick, pretty interesting
Funny too how everyone (even so called non-spiritual people aka Atheists, materialists or Actualists) want to make a religion out of everything
We keep building golden calfs down here even though Moses specifically told us not to! : )
Whether we put it in an Actualist box, a Buddhist box or an Atheist or Christian box makes no difference. Wisdom is just wisdom, but we all forget
I'd say it's human evolution, a natural process that obviously has many varients. My view is the best one can do is support the natural unfolding of that inner human/life process, trying to speed it up may create shadows, but it's just an idea

As I have never had a "past life" experience that I can't term a 'dream', I can't speak from the notion that this flow of consciousness has lit certain candles in the past. I was a Goenka practioner for 8 years, did the whole package, lived in Dhamma Giri India, studied Pali, became a monk for a very short time in Myanmar to test the waters, so my contemplative upbringing had been immersed in all things 'tradiaitonal' and so the notion of rebirth and karma (action-cause and effect) was engrained into my 'practicing yogi' psyche. Hard to erase completely. There are echos of beliefs that crop up, beliefs in the deva realms, furutre rebirths, etc that are part and parcel of hanging out for years with other Goenka followers, listening to supposed Goenka stories that contained all of that. I cleaned his personal library with a fellow pali student one time and coming across old Mynamr books on U Ba Khin and him dealing with other "beings" etc added to conditioning.

I read your post about that some time ago. Pretty awesome I'd say. I can't speak for sure about these things either, but I have experienced mystical things like communing with entities, but I can't say they weren't dreams either. Still, I can't say this here meatspace isn't a dream, and I don't mean that in a woo-woo way (sounds like a good name for a chinese kid : )

So I do take on board the notions of 'rebirth' and 'karma'. I just might shy away from holding certain conceptual overlays concenring them. I'm open to the other versions, just not holding them tightly. 

thanks Nick for your thoughts, I'd have to say I'm in the same boat now, though I do find value in knowing the answers if that's ever possible, as Goenka seemed to, as he beamed with a huge smile saying we should be happy at death, 'it's a graduation!' I think if we knew we were continuing on to a better place filled with love and puppy dogs and rainbows it would make it easier to comfort our loved ones as they 'cross over'. At the very least by making us joyful and calm, in the moment

RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/10/15 5:27 PM as a reply to Pål.
I think, from my dogmatic point of view, that it could be the case that people here focus to much on methods that generate the nanas, if their goal is the end of suffering, the state the Buddha talked about. I like it that there are active members doing other stuff too. Maybe their "arahantship" will be different. 

Not true, if my case is evidence. I followed Tibetan Buddhist introductions to basic samatha and then followed Thai Forest jhana practice that sees samatha and vipassana as two in-tandem aspects of the same mediation practice (ie, "jhana").

Nonetheless, when I discovered MCTB, I had just had a very clear A&P stage and had entered a by-the-book (MCTB being the book) Knowledges of Suffering stage in the progress. MCTB was therefore the piece that I was missing that allowed me to tweak my practice effectively in terms of what stage I was in, which is absolutely necessary at the Equanimity stage, which is tricky. I spent about a month in each suffering stage before gaining Equanimity and eventually path. The progress of insight is for real, crystal clear in sequence, and, at least for me, it didn't matter one iota that I'd never done "noting" or dry vipassana.

Practice well.


RE: A general apology for rudeness
Answer
2/11/15 12:25 AM as a reply to Daniel - san.
[quote=Daniel Leffler]Chris J Macie
Is it [Māna] considered significant in 'pragmatic' circles?

... I would love to see what Daniel (M. Ingram) says on the subject if you're able to dig it up....

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5639221#_19_message_5638873

In a thread called, oddly enough, "10 Fetters"