RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/11/15 8:29 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
Hi Daniel; I've read about your kundalini experience. I've had the same. Kundalini from the base chakra through the crown in a flash, so to speak. I have always wanted to cross reference this experience with someone else, but they are not all that common. Would you give me details of your experience? Please. Here are a few reference points to assist. 

Hello Gordon,
I’d be happy to dialogue with you about this subject. One thing I will say at the outset is that Kundalini awakenings are not all that uncommon (depending on your definition of both ‘uncommon’ and a Kundalini awakening). Ok, your Qs

1. Practice at that time?

I was on my second Goenka taught Vipassana retreat, six months into my meditation practice almost eight years ago. I took the practice very seriously all along. On my first retreat I did all my sittings in the hall (so I wouldn’t be lazy), I stuck to the schedule, and I worked hard. Probably too hard, intensity is in my nature. On that first retreat (pre-K awakening) I got to a hard stabilized fourth jhana (in retrospect) and had an incredible experience. I vowed to sit two hours per day after that (hour in the morning, hour at night) and I scheduled myself for my second Goenka retreat right away. One of Goenka’s teachings was that if one commits themselves to two hour daily practice and does at least one 10-day retreat once per year, after one year’s time, one will know enough of the benefits of the dharma so that practice will stay a habit for the rest of one’s life. I got so much out of my first retreat, and I believed what my teacher said about making practice a habit, so I scheduled that second retreat six months out to make sure I’d stick to it.
I know a lot of people complain about the Goenka tradition, well really the ‘assistant teachers’ (which are all the teachers other than Goenka and he has passed) and I would have to agree. I never practiced anything but awareness-of-sensation Vipassana as taught to me on those retreats, and yet when I had crazy A&P symptoms (which turned out to be kundalini – another subject) no one could relate or do anything to help me. My (assistant) teacher on later retreat thought I had mental problems because he was so unfamiliar with the territory. It scared him. And that scared me

2. State of body and mind, just prior to event? 

Ok, this is a good one. I will set the scene. I was about six days in to my second retreat and practicing very intently. The evening prior I had stayed up meditating the entire night and when I rose from my tent at 4am to begin the day’s practice I felt more refreshed and energized than I’d ever felt after a full night’s sleep – by a long shot.
The day before I noticed that there was a way for me to get into a very concentrated state that would eventually become stable – later I would realize it was a hard fourth jhana. The method involved breathing techniques (holding the breath) and being very concentrated so no thoughts would enter. The strange thing was I was discovering this stuff but it was also sort of happening to me, hard to explain. At a certain point in the day in a stabilized hard fourth jhana I had been sitting motionless for three hours, and my breathing would stop for fifteen or twenty minutes at a time (I am estimating as I never looked at a clock). The nostrils were sort of beating so a tiny bit of air may have been going in and out but it felt like there was none. I was very centered, content and (obviously) equanimous. I asked myself if I could send some good vibes to the new students seated behind me and my head tilted back and it felt like a flap opened up at the crown of my head, and tingly sensations moved through the body and splayed out toward the back, it felt like water gushing out of my head. With my head tilted back it started swaying from side to side and I had a Mona Lisa-like smile on my face
That same day my body started doing all these motions on their own, the most common and notable was a ritualistic bowing motion to six directions, three to the left (up, middle and down) and three to the right. I don’t know who/what I was bowing too but I felt very respectful as if I were bowing to many beings of high and low order. I should mention here that I am not a New Agey person at all, and I started meditating just to be calmer and happier, so these mystical occurrences were nothing that I was looking for at all. But at the time it was all very pleasant
That evening, while walking back to my tent, it occurred to me for the first time that the stuff happening to me that day was very strange and not normal, and I had the thought that I had screwed myself up in some way or become possessed or something. I should add that it seemed to me that I was in communion with my ‘Higher Self’ and I had started asking myself all sorts of questions, and my head would either nod up and down (for yes) or side to side (for no). On this walk I had all kinds of wild thoughts, one was that this was a very special and rare spiritual thing that was happening to me and I needed to dedicate my life to the dharma, maybe to become a monk. I asked myself if I would have to break up with my girlfriend now (due to the monk thing) and I nodded ‘yes’. This was what started me off in a downward spiral, I loved my girlfirend very much, and still do as (luckily for me) she stuck it out
Back in my tent, my spiritual schizophrenic break became more intense as I was vacillating between my Higher Self, that was totally calm and at peace with a slight contented smile, and a version of myself that was like a scared little boy, I thought I was going mad. And in a way, I was. One second I would be totally calm and at peace and my head would almost forcibly turn to the side as I was lying down and a very sleepy sensation would form around the front of my face. The next second my little boy side would freak out, ‘what the fuck?! Am I possessed? What if I did something wrong and screwed myself up for the rest of my life?!’. I went back and forth like this from calm to very agitated for a while until it reached a fever pitch and I had that very panicky deep ‘I’m dying now’ fear shoot through me. At that moment my body shot up into a seated position and I felt something shoot up my back. I fell back down again and the room (tent) sort of exploded to just a mundane gray and normal, like a normal night in a tent. Prior to that everything was colorful and wild and ‘mystical’.
A thought said, you just awakened your kundalini. Surely I had heard of kundalini somewhere before, but I honestly had no idea what it was, what that meant or why I thought it. Later, through my research, I would realize that I had been correct

3. Description of moment of kundalini release? 

I guess I answered this in the novel above. The moment prior was very energetic and the moment right after ‘it’ happened things became very mundane and settled down and I thought I was done with all the wild stuff, and I went peacefully to sleep. I was not done though, not by a long shot 

4. Kundalini going up?

Yes, it felt like something shot up from the base of my spine up to my head

5. Once through crown?

That is hard to say. I can’t remember feeling sensations in the crown, but on that retreat I would again experience my crown chakra opening (it felt literally like a flap peeling back) and ‘energy’ (felt watery) either coming in or going out

6. Moment you came back online, so to speak? 

Hmm, not sure what you mean by this? If you mean when things settled down and stopped being freaky and very mystical, that would be months. And I still have ‘symptoms’ to this day, seven and a half years later, though they have always changed and over the long term lowered in intensity

7. Visual effects?

I never had visual effects like many describe at least from anything that I would relate to the kundalini awakening. That and I’ve never heard celestial music, did any chanting in Sanskrit or felt loads of blissful sensations or anything sexual in nature, though I think all the other standard issue effects I’ve experienced. It’s weird really because I have an artistic background and I’m a visual person by nature
One visual story I would like to tell though happened on my first retreat while I was in the fourth jhana. This is an aside not related to the kundalini event. I was deep in meditation (at least for me) – something where if you even start to form a thought you lose the state, very concentrated. It was way past the stage where I would imagine my hand or something like that while scanning my hand, the bodily formations were stilled and I was very calm – I believe it was bhanga nana, though I may be totally wrong about that
At this point I had an image of a body of light sitting in meditation looking back at me. It didn’t feel like a normal picture that I would imagine (though it was just a mental image). The only way I could describe it is the body of light was imagined in the middle of my head and not in the front, so it felt very different. I also felt like it was me. As soon as a thought started to form the image disappeared, staying for all of a few seconds

8. After effects, for example. Did you have review and fruition type experiences, as described in MTCB?

I never had any Blips of consciousness that I am aware of, but the couple of times when I read MCTB (back in the day when it came out) everything made a lot of sense to me. But I am no where near as skilled at D Ingram at breaking down tiny little mind moments and I guess I never really tried. All that said, I am not a Stream Enterer by any MCTB definition. I do look forward to going on a three week self retreat hopefully later this year and we’ll see what happens. I haven’t done a retreat in about four years
One thing I described in another thread (here) is how I did go for years pretty much without anxiety or fear and really feeling like I was living as my Buddha Nature/Higher Self. This emotional ‘purification’ process is now my encouragement/goal for practice and not at all to experience moments of oblivion. I also went through periods of strong faith in the Buddha's teachings though that waned a bit in the least few years when I was smoking a lot of pot and working like a mad man. Now that I am back to spiritual practice and sane living I feel that same faith in the Buddhadharma again, and I am anti-religion, anti-group and something of a rebel by nature - so faith is a new one. It's not as strong as it used to be, but neither is my contentment, joy, equanimity or compassion. I'm sure that more practice will be the cure for that though

9. Any other details, you feel important?
 
I guess there’s a lot to talk about this subject. I have read a lot of books on kundalini and talked to a lot of people and many have their own definitions. Things that resonate with me that I have found in different places is that kundalini is energy. When we incarnate a certain amount of energy fills the body and a stock of that energy is contained dormant at the base of the spine. When that energy is awakened you now have everything moving through you, 220 volts in a 110 volt system. Also, many teachers say that Kundalini exits through the crown and that's it. But others say (and this matches my experience) that it exits the crown (Shakti to meet Shiva), makes a U-turn and comes back down the front side of the body, through the crown again, the throat and then enters the heart to open that chakra - our human middle-path-between-heaven-and-hell chakra. When kundalini has finished her job there, the process is done and you are an awakened noble being. K is (obviously) still working on me, pushing through the throat - which makes an audible clicking noise when I am in meditation and I feel a slight downward movement there

I would be happy to return the favor if you wish.
Regards,
Gordon. 
 
Trading war stories sounds good Gordon. What happened with you? When? How’s it going with your practice and process? What are some things that you think would benefit others that are going through a similar thing right now? Anything else you’d like to add I’d love to read 
Daniel
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/12/15 10:01 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Thanks Gordon, my reply just deleted as well emoticon
I should be typing this out on Word first to avoid that, should have learned my lesson by now, anyhoo -
I have a number of comments and questions for you, but for now the abridged version (headed off to work)
1.) When did all this go down for you, how long ago?
2.) Have you noticed many changed in the 'symptoms' over that time in daily life and, if so, how (in regards to type and intensity)?
3.) What is your experience/belief about the culmination of the K process and where do you see yourself now/the final goal/and how it all matches up with the various ideas about awakening in general, (if you consider these things)?
Thanks! Looking forward to hearing back
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/12/15 1:10 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
I mean common you go and do a 10day course in meditation, you get a lifetime contract in the dry insight club. Ingrams spot on when he makes some noise about this. Mahasi gives you more tools, but its the same club. 

Up until I read this, all you've written really makes me want to go to Goenka. But this sounds scary, like if you go there you get drawn into the dry vipassana cult. Is that what you mean?
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/12/15 8:56 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
Hi Daniel; thanks for your reply. I don't do war stories, the kundalini beat the crap out of me, so i learn to surrender these days. I more or less facilitate the process, even then it still knocks me around. I respond with more refined ways of letting go. The process itself has a kind of simplistic beauty, can't change your mind can't  go back. 

I hear you there. The snake in a pipe analogy hits home

The kundalini experience i am talking about is the merging into oneness. Details on symptoms of purification are common. There's  plenty of information out there. Kundalini release seems to come with the territory. A&P. Union seems to be something a little more interesting, although at the end of the day, just more stuff to let go of. If i hear someone mention kundalini through the crown i am inclined to inquire.

I never merged into oneness in the sense that I became the universe, or had that kind of awakening. I had a merging though with my 'Higher Self' which seemed like what they mean by Buddha Nature. It was an aspect of myself that was fearless, kind, content and at total peace. But I never looked at a bananna and felt, I am that bananna

Ok, i experienced union at Goenke. (Calling it union, for no specific reason.) Goenke does this sort of stuff. That is, if you generate good concentration, follow the directions to the letter and particularly you incline towards the body experience, your going to get a fireworks show. I went there to learn to meditate. By day 3 the only experience left, was a small patch of body under the nose. There were no other experiences. Hard jhana, i guess.

Yes, all of that was my experience as well. Focused on that spot only without wandering for an hour - that really brings one deep, I think the vast majority don't follow the instructions so intently or with such a strong work ethic

When we changed to bodily sensations, the elements arose, and the fireworks began. Mental state fine, nothing to do but enjoy the ride. 72 hours later, A&P then Union. This stage should be known as the UP SHIT CREEK  WITHOUT  A PADDLE NON REVERSIBLE  ATTAINMENT. I mean common you go and do a 10day course in meditation, you get a lifetime contract in the dry insight club. Ingrams spot on when he makes some noise about this. Mahasi gives you more tools, but its the same club. As for assistant teachers, the same thing happened to them. Show compassion; maybe? The irony is that it feels great at this point. 

I like happy endings Gordon

Got to go, will finish this later.
Regards,
Gordon. 
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/12/15 9:22 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
Hi Daniel; i use one finger to type, and have a habit of accidentally deleting so if i get a bit done. I post.
Investigation of the material aspect for me was just a case of sit there shut up and watch. Very exciting, very pleasurable. A&P was just as Ingram  described. For me it ended with no body, just vibrating particles. The clarity was amazing and i was getting sort of a visual experience as well. I was playing around, seeing how fast i could sweep on mass. As my attention line moved, it was like a breaking wave as it rag dolls the ocean floor. Vibrations would increase along with pleasure. So i just kept ramping it up. I was told later that people  thought i was having a fit. I could get a full sweep instantly with full clarity. A reenactment shows severe hyperventilation. That i presume is why the kundalini went ballistic. I can't believe that with all the people that do Goenke i am the only idiot to have done this. 

At a certain point I started circulating my awareness around my head, around the exterior of my skull, in an attempt to keep that area clear. I had discovered this, along with holding my breath and something like hyperventalating, as a good method to get into deep concentration. As I passed awareness around my head the area cleared out and became light (and remains that to this day, I don't get headaches). There were very loud whoohing noises, like I was standing under a 747 airplane. I think this is what opened my upper chakras and got me in touch with this other 'realm', so far permanently. Later, led by my Intuition/Higher Self that was communicating with me through nods and hand gestures (luckily I didn't hear voices) I learned that this method was very important and ancient and I needed to look at a old Taoist book called The Secret of the Golden Flower. The 'circumambulation of light' described in the book, outlines the same practice I had spontaneously stumbled upon in detail. Freaky

This next few moments is what i am interested in, and was the reason for contacting you. I realize that our experiences were very different, but i will finish the story as it may relate to others.
So i was moving attention up and down as fast as i could while still being  able to maintain clear comprehension. I'd do this half a dozen times, then stop and  observe  and enjoy. Eventually things would begin to settle. So I'd go again. I was having a ball. Then after one time, things started to settle and then this; massive increase in vibration, expansion. The whole visual field sort of did a freeze frame, and something seemed to get my attention. Feeling of falling, like the ground had gone.
Kundalini release; noisy like a jet engine, now the opposite of a feeling  of falling. Much i imagine a shuttle launch would feel like. 
Kundalini going up; energy and light in a twist or un twist. Unbelievable, oh my God moment, from a non religious person. 
Kundalini  through  crown;  absolutely nothing. No noise, vibration, or me, just awareness. Its seems that on the way up it just switches you off. You cant have a personal experience or response until your back, and even then its based more on a memory.
Coming back; this offered the most  insight. The whole vibratory machine powers back  up, mind and body come back online. Vibration, noise, then external senses hearing, sight.
Afterwards i sat up all night laughing. The vibration has decreased but never stopped. 
I am sure this is something, experienced by others. Feel free to post.
Regards,  
Gordon. 

Sounds like the path moment as described in MCTB for sure. I never had this loss of consciousness. At one point on my first retreat (pre kundalini) I was abiding in fourth jhana and I felt something kind of pulling the rug out of me, like I was going to disappear, but moving sort of upward. My mind said 'I'm not ready' and there was a tinge of fear, and I pulled back. Not sure if I was headed off to oblivion/nirvana, maybe I was just scared of the 5th jhana : )
Cool stuff Gordon, thanks for sharing!
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/12/15 9:32 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
The future is in cultivation of jhana and elimination of vedena. Dry insight is more of a mental illness than a path of liberation.
Regards, 
Gordon. 

Now these two sentences interest me very much, the second has been said by others here, and it sure seems to be the case for some. It's certainly a 'fire method' as opposed to a 'water method' in Taoist-speak
When you say 'elimination of vedana' do you mean those sensations that arise due to emotional reactions, as in some sort of emotional perfection model?
I'm not so thorough on my Abhidhamma but I do believe there are different classes of vedana, at least we'll never get rid of the ones that are associated with the body, er, until we lose that too
Years ago I was reading old texts and had found that in some schools of Buddhism it was taught that we have a finite amount of sankharas (manifesting as vedana?) that we can release, which seems to align with Goenka's teaching (we eliminate a stock of sankharas/defilements through every session of purification/Vipassana practice). I read there were other teachings that said the stocks of sankharas (karma manifesting as vedana) were limitless and never-ending. I tended to like the first option
Unfortuntely I don't have any sources for that, and I guess it doesn't matter as we'll never know for sure until we know for sure, but I'd love to hear more and your take on all that. It's very yogic and I don't think 'pragmatic dharma' at all
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 3:21 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordon Charles King:
Hi Pal; dry insight practice is insight without the lubrication  of jhanna. I had you in mind when i wrote that. There is nothing to be afraid of. Your stuff  with Ian And is the good stuff. I am busy now, but later i will throw some ideas your way and you can look into it, yourself. 
Regards, 
Gordon. 


Thanks!
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Nikolai , modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:31 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Hi Gordo,

Click on your name at the top right corner of the screen. Then click on 'My Account'.
To change your name just use the First name section to type what you want to be known by. The Last name section needs at least one symbol it would appear, so i just put a fullstop. The screen name doesn't show, only the First and Last name. So you can put whatever you want in those two sections. Then click Save on the bottom right corner. 

Which part of Australia you from?

I'm Melbourne

Nick (Mod)
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 9:50 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordo . .:
Hi Daniel; I bought a Samsung tablet 12 months ago so that i could examine dharma. I have little skills with it. Just enough to get by. I had never considered going on a public forum. When i joined DHO i applied using  my full name, which is the way i would fill out any application. Now in the culture where i come from having your full name displayed is considered big, bold, and loud, an act of wankerism, and the people that do it are called wankers. PLEASE.  This is a quirk that only appears in my  culture and does not apply to others. I am sure that there are more universal acts that cross cultures, and are seen by all as clear acts of wankerism. This is not one of them. It only applies to me.
Now i was under the impression that my screen name would be Gordo. Its a redneck name but i would rather be seen as a redneck  than a wanker, as a redneck  can still have humility, where a wanker clearly does not.
l want to change this but have no  skills. What do i do. Do i contact a moderator. What about Tommy  M, is he in control, can he make a change.? Please advise. 
Regards, 
Gordon. 

I'm glad Nick chimed in here Gordon, I had no idea
I actually had the same issue, fixed mine as well
Nothing about surname wankerness in the states AFAIK, but at least if I ever visit Australia I won't be one now! (bc of that anyway : )
Daniel-san
Small Steps, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 10:24 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordo . .:
Emotional perfection, i don't know. It  does seem to me that the problems start at the; i like it ; i dont like it moment and moments where there is no awareness of this continuous process. For me this feels like a continuous form of rebirth. At the suttle sensate level it seems this process contaminants every moment. I presume there must be a source. A program if your a tec man. 
You've hit the nail on the head. In contemplating vedana, you can create a deliberate moments of release from the chain of dependent co-arising. This is the critical moment:
"With contact (phassa) as condition, feeling (vedana) arises / With feeling as condition, craving (tanha) arises"

The classic (in the west as I've encountered it) training regarding vedana comes from the Satipatthana Sutta, I think (Thanissaro's translation follows):
"And how does a monk remain focused on feelings in & of themselves? There is the case where a monk, when feeling a painful feeling, discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling.' When feeling a pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling.'

When feeling a painful feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a painful feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a pleasant feeling not of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling of the flesh.' When feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh, he discerns, 'I am feeling a neither-painful-nor-pleasant feeling not of the flesh.'

In this way he remains focused internally on feelings in & of themselves, or externally on feelings in & of themselves, or both internally & externally on feelings in & of themselves. Or he remains focused on the phenomenon of origination with regard to feelings, on the phenomenon of passing away with regard to feelings, or on the phenomenon of origination & passing away with regard to feelings. Or his mindfulness that 'There are feelings' is maintained to the extent of knowledge & remembrance. And he remains independent, unsustained by (not clinging to) anything in the world. This is how a monk remains focused on feelings in & of themselves."


To run with your analogy, you are debugging your program, perhaps creating break points to examine the state of things emoticon

A lot of good discussion in this thread. I was going to post a long description of my own kundalini/'gross piti' experience, but decided not to. Suffice it to say, it was not at all what I expected. The highs are higher and the lows are inconvenient, to say the least. I live with it day to day.

edited: small add.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 3:23 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 3:23 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
Gordo . .:
Hi Pal; here are some ways to view dry insight practice. First of all its not a cult. A more traditional practice is to generate jhana skills then turn to insight and finish the job.  Dry insight drops most of preliminary stuff and gets straight into insight with techniques that are designed to develop the preliminary stuff along the way and finish the job. Enlightenment. Its pragmatic. Or is it? If the end results dont match, that is the Enlightenments are different, then its actually a mistake. I am not saying that it is mistake, but i will say that there are some very well practiced yogis who do.
The traditional method  jhana  is actually much more than that. Its the 8 fold path.  Sila to be perfected,  jhana perfected, and to do this right understanding, thought, action, speech, ect. The yogi works with mind states. Ive even been told, happiness to the maximum.  All this must be done before insight. 
I was at Boddhianna Monastery a while back and a guy turned up for lunch.  He was an ex monk. He had just done a 10 day Goenke. I asked  if he likes the technique. He said he only does samatha and knew to many people who had woken up the suttle body and now found  high levels of concentration, more difficult to achieve. He was not going to do that until he felt  his preparation was sufficient to finish the job skillfully. 
Regards,
Gordon. 

I don't believe that dry insight, nor the traditional "split routine" where you do jhana first then "vipassana meditation", is in line with what the Buddha taught as a meditation method. And I hear about so many crazy things happening to "vipassana"-meditators that aren't mentioned in the suttas, like the "dark nights". And I don't think that "vipassana enlightenment" is the same as the enlightenment of the Buddha, since so many "arahants" here seem to still suffer and do not fit into the ten fetter model.

But I'd like to go to Goenka still, since it's the only cheap retreat in Sweden that I know about and the fireworks seem cool. Then I plan to continue with their samatha stuff and see what happens. Do you guys think that would be safe?

What is the subtle body? How do you know if you've waken it up? Is it dangerous to do that? I fear or hope (don't know which) that I entered the ñanas or woke up some body or something with my old practice, since it gave me twitches and movements and stuff. Still get them but not as much nowadays. 

Btw, do you know anybody who has gotten (")arahantship(") in some way through the Goenka technique?
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:00 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:00 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
Gordo . .:
Hi Pal; yes the two are not two separate techniques, samatha and insight or vippassana if you want, they are aspects or qualities of experience during meditating. Jhanna is not a meditation technique. In anapanasati you have both experiences available, and you can also get jhanna's. Whats more important is 8 fold path, 8 fold path. Lock that in.
You don't believe certain things. Good, Buddha's instruction are to verify everything from your own experience, and to do that you are going to have to get on the cushion and start clocking up some hours. To understand you need to sit and sit and sit. And when you've clocked say 100 hours you must immediately sit and sit and sit. And if you have any dharma books use them as a cushion to sit on, removing one book a week, until your bum is on the floor. And then sit some more. Its that simple. Now Ian And will know suttas much better than myself, but you will need to get some hours up, before you can  understand him.
Now in regards to your Goenke questions, how  about i contact  Ajahn Brahm and we can here what he has to say? 
The Suttle body i will have to do later, so check 12 hours or so.
Regards, 
Gordo. 
That'd be completely awesome, thank you!!!

About sitting: Is there anything you recommend that I do while sitting, other than the sitting itself? I ususally focus on breath sensations, starting with counting them, then noting their length, then just feeling them.
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:23 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:15 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Pål:
I don't believe that dry insight, nor the traditional "split routine" where you do jhana first then "vipassana meditation", is in line with what the Buddha taught as a meditation method. And I hear about so many crazy things happening to "vipassana"-meditators that aren't mentioned in the suttas, like the "dark nights". And I don't think that "vipassana enlightenment" is the same as the enlightenment of the Buddha, since so many "arahants" here seem to still suffer and do not fit into the ten fetter model.

Hi Pal
Hope you don't mind me responding here, I see you were writing to Gordon so he may write you as well
I will agree with you about your skeptism of 'arahats' that still seem to take so many things personally and sometimes demonstrate a lack of patience and a tendency toward one upsmanship
From more of a yogic perspective the so-called 'dark night' (Shinzen Young for one tends to differ with how this word is defined here and how supposedly common it is) can be a result of jumping into intense meditation without the proper preparation. In yoga, this means a certain number of years doing hatha yoga before moving on to a certain number of years doing pranayama etc. In Buddhist terms it would be building a meditation practice on a long-time firm ground of sila and dana etc before attempting meditation. So, I wouldn't necessarily doubt the insights, just that 'dry' practice could be smoothed out a lot more and more compassion generated toward oneself. Taoists have the most comprehensive system (that I've found) for dealing with these issues, as energetic blockages) prior to starting intense meditation. I think that's why there's so much talk these days about qigong and the like. Diet, exercise, being truthful with oneself and the world and metta practice are also supports to either avoiding or 'smooth out the 'dark night'. But this cycling that is referred to is, IMO, just a part of the natural cycles of life, and the waves being bigger or more intense doesn't necessarily mean one is progressing any faster. I like to keep bringing it all back to awareness and equanimity. The practice is to lessen attachment, in every way

But I'd like to go to Goenka still, since it's the only cheap retreat in Sweden that I know about and the fireworks seem cool. Then I plan to continue with their samatha stuff and see what happens. Do you guys think that would be safe?

I think it is safe, I would say that if you do not tend toward laziness and you're a hard worker in general, to go easy on yourself. By that, I don't mean to sleep through the early morning sits, but not to forget to relax, over and over. This aspect of practice is highly underemphasized on Goenka retreats IMO and the reason why hard workers push too much there and can work up the energy body in a strong way

What is the subtle body? How do you know if you've waken it up? Is it dangerous to do that? I fear or hope (don't know which) that I entered the ñanas or woke up some body or something with my old practice, since it gave me twitches and movements and stuff. Still get them but not as much nowadays. 

This wiki page is a pretty good start. One thing it will tell you is it depends on who you talk to. Different traditions teach about different 'sheaths' or bodies that we possess, the physical being the most gross. The subtle body is in the 'middle' of other layers of being and may be associated with emotions or energies
You don't necessarily wake it up, it's already there, you wake up to it, you become aware of it or able to feel it in a sensate way. If you work diligently and follow the instructions on a Goenka course you will certainly feel it for yourself
As far as the safety question, no one can really say. Some people start insight cycles by doing longer meditation retreats, whether they are vipassana retreats or pure samatha ones. Others (like me) have kundalini awakenings. Many don't experience any of these side effects
Just be aware that (according to Goenka) you are performing surgery with your psyche and it's very deep and cathartic (paraphrase). No one can tell you how that will manifest in you, and in Buddhist terms that is determined by your karma and habit patterns, whether they're conscious or not. Usually not.

Btw, do you know anybody who has gotten (")arahantship(") in some way through the Goenka technique?

It's good you put that in quotes. Has anyone claimed arahantship and not recanted that is in line with the ten fetter model here? You won't get much teaching, or any teaching, on even Stream Entry at a Goenka retreats unless you get lucky and have an experienced teacher that knows about these things. I never met one in the Goenka community, though I only did a few retreats there. This is the biggest problem with the system, the teachers are not empowered or allowed to stray from the strict confines of the teaching parameters and they don't generally have the wisdom or knowledge of Buddhadharma to do so even if they were allowed

If you don't require a lot of hand holding in life in general, and you believe that you are your own guru, I would highly recommend doing a Goenka retreat. You will get a deep exposure to the dharma and have many different insights
Chuck Kasmire, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:41 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:35 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
Gordo . .:

Kundalini release; noisy like a jet engine, now the opposite of a feeling  of falling. Much i imagine a shuttle launch would feel like. 
Kundalini going up; energy and light in a twist or un twist. Unbelievable, oh my God moment, from a non religious person. 
Kundalini  through  crown;  absolutely nothing. No noise, vibration, or me, just awareness. Its seems that on the way up it just switches you off. You cant have a personal experience or response until your back, and even then its based more on a memory.
Coming back; this offered the most  insight. The whole vibratory machine powers back  up, mind and body come back online. Vibration, noise, then external senses hearing, sight.

Your description has some similarities with my own stream entry experience.

This was in 1994. I was doing Chi Gong practice religiously (so to speak) – practicing every day for an hour or two. It was an internal chi gong - focused on developing the micro-cosmic orbit. After a few weeks, I could feel energy moving up and down the spine. Different pieces of the channels were connecting – like connecting the dots. Very strange but it felt quite wonderful and exciting.

One day I was sitting on the couch in my living room doing my practice. I became aware of what felt like pea size bubbles percolating up my spine from the tail bone. They would slowly flow up and into my head where they would pop and there would be a rush of very pleasant sensation. I stopped the practice and just gave all my attention to these little bubbles – just enjoyed them. As I did this, I went deeper and deeper into the sense of well being and pleasure that filled my body. Eventually, I just completely got lost in it – no longer even aware of anything – but not lost in thought or day dreaming either. Just non-existent - consciousness meter at 0.

Then I sort of awoke out of that as a rushing/roaring sensation came over me – it felt as though my consciousness was being sucked up through the neck of a bottle. Only lasted a second or so and then consciousness just exploded into an infinite awareness outside of time and space. There was no me – no other – no thoughts – no world – just an infinite awareness – not something I was aware of – an infinite awareness knowing itself infinitely. I have no idea how long I was in this state - a millisecond or 30 minutes - impossible to say. A thought of ‘I’ arose, the universe appeared, and I knew I had identified with a body down inside it and wanted to get back - fear came up. Then there was a shift and I was back in the body. I was hardly breathing and my heart rate was very slow. I just kept saying to myself “What the hell was that” over and over.

I did not experience any of the intense vibratory stuff but that being said I was from that point on much more aware of the subtle body energy - but very pleasant.

First 15 months I was going through review and fruition cycles. If you follow MTCB. The amazing part of it, I was experiencing dark night reviews having never had a dark night

I never went through anything like that. I continued practicing my jhana/chi gong stuff and later went through the second path - which was kind of like that vast awareness of the first one but it infuses all time and space in a total bliss-out perfection kind of experience up above the head.

I have long theorized that the difference between what I and Daniel went through had something to do with the body-based energy practice I was doing - essentially jhana Thai Forest style. And it seemingly has led to very different experiences or at least ways of describing it. My guess is that the dry insight practice doesn't allow the comfortable release of locked-in energy in the body which then obscures the other aspects.

Thanks much for posting this.
Small Steps, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:40 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 5:40 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 246 Join Date: 2/12/14 Recent Posts
Gordo . .:
Hi Small Steps; I am not sure of the spelling or if I have the right person. General Patton said that nothing clears the mind better than a lack of all options. When you fully understand that you are locked into a process, lows are simply an inconvenience. To give them any more energy is just more work for later. 
When i get situations that clash with my conditioning, i get a this sucks moment. But its not so much the situation, its the conditioning that truly sucks because somewhere in suttle body there's a  restriction of flow, and the i like it or dont like sensations arise, but i can't give it to much energy or i get more work for later. If i falter and react, then its just an inconvenience because if i give it to much energy i get more work  for later. 
Regards, 
Gordo. 

Disentangling and disengaging are two words that come to mind for me in reading this. A situation presents itself (contact occurs), one's conditioning becomes activated, there is a golden moment to not get entangled with whatever arises and to just feel the vedana. If you are not triggered, you won't get engaged and there's no further becoming (due to arising of craving and then the rest). Maybe it's really non-entanglement and non-engagement, or perhaps just non-attachment at work. Good stuff.
T DC, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:13 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:13 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 446 Join Date: 9/29/11 Recent Posts
Hey Chuck,

Your first exerience there sounds like a very clear glimpse of enlightenment.  I had a very similar experience out of the blue in high school, which led me to pursue the path in order to get back to that state.  Personally I experienced stream entry very differently from what you described, and pretty much exactly as Daniel described it.  Do you experience the stages of insight?

I don't know if you still do Qi Gong, but have you heard of Robert Peng, or read his book 'The Master Key'?  Basically he trained under a qi gong master in China, who prompted such an experience (glimpse of enlightenment) in him using qi.  After this experience, Peng went on to achieve full enlightenment sometime later.

I bring this up because I think 'The Master Key' is great source for very genuine information on Qi Gong, and in essence solves the enlightenment vs emotional perfection debate (i.e. Buddhist enlightenement is the awakening of the higher center/upper Dantien, while emotional balance is achieved by awakening and balancing all three energy centers; upper middle and lower Dantiens).  

I would be interested to hear what you think!

Sorry for the thread jack, I could move this, super interesting conversation.
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:24 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:23 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
I have long theorized that the difference between what I and Daniel went through had something to do with the body-based energy practice I was doing - essentially jhana Thai Forest style. And it seemingly has led to very different experiences or at least ways of describing it. My guess is that the dry insight practice doesn't allow the comfortable release of locked-in energy in the body which then obscures the other aspects.

Thanks for sharing this Chuck
Though I've never experienced the infinite awareness knowing itself, and most likely never attained to path, many of your other descriptions line up with my experiences as well
It's helpful to me at least to see that different orientations in practice lead to different experiences and different flavors (at least) of awakenings. Your guess about the contrast in approach of dry vipassana to a more energy-based approach having different outcomes, especially in regards to cycling and the dark night, also line up with things I've been considering, and will inform my practice
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:31 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:29 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
btw (mods?) is there any way to change a title of a thread?
As more people join in and present their own perspectives it will be helpful
Not just to remove my name from the title (since there are many contributors) but also to make it easier to locate and even see at all for those that might otherwise skip over. If not, maybe we start a new thread to keep this going?
I'm finding the discussion pretty benficial and the more the merrier (hopefully : )
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:32 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:32 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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perhaps 'Kundalini, Energy Practice and Path' ?
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:57 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 6:57 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordo . .:
Sorry Daniel, let's change it or move it, whatever works best. Kundalini, Energy Practice and Path sounds good. 

No worries Gordon,
Let's see if any of the moderators reply tonight and if not I can create a new thread for everyone & back link to this one
It would be great to just change the title though so we can keep all this in one place!
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 7:06 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 7:06 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 11/22/13 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
Gordo . .:

Kundalini release; noisy like a jet engine, now the opposite of a feeling  of falling. Much i imagine a shuttle launch would feel like. 
Kundalini going up; energy and light in a twist or un twist. Unbelievable, oh my God moment, from a non religious person. 
Kundalini  through  crown;  absolutely nothing. No noise, vibration, or me, just awareness. Its seems that on the way up it just switches you off. You cant have a personal experience or response until your back, and even then its based more on a memory.
Coming back; this offered the most  insight. The whole vibratory machine powers back  up, mind and body come back online. Vibration, noise, then external senses hearing, sight.

Your description has some similarities with my own stream entry experience.

This was in 1994. I was doing Chi Gong practice religiously (so to speak) – practicing every day for an hour or two. It was an internal chi gong - focused on developing the micro-cosmic orbit. After a few weeks, I could feel energy moving up and down the spine. Different pieces of the channels were connecting – like connecting the dots. Very strange but it felt quite wonderful and exciting.

One day I was sitting on the couch in my living room doing my practice. I became aware of what felt like pea size bubbles percolating up my spine from the tail bone. They would slowly flow up and into my head where they would pop and there would be a rush of very pleasant sensation. I stopped the practice and just gave all my attention to these little bubbles – just enjoyed them. As I did this, I went deeper and deeper into the sense of well being and pleasure that filled my body. Eventually, I just completely got lost in it – no longer even aware of anything – but not lost in thought or day dreaming either. Just non-existent - consciousness meter at 0.

Then I sort of awoke out of that as a rushing/roaring sensation came over me – it felt as though my consciousness was being sucked up through the neck of a bottle. Only lasted a second or so and then consciousness just exploded into an infinite awareness outside of time and space. There was no me – no other – no thoughts – no world – just an infinite awareness – not something I was aware of – an infinite awareness knowing itself infinitely. I have no idea how long I was in this state - a millisecond or 30 minutes - impossible to say. A thought of ‘I’ arose, the universe appeared, and I knew I had identified with a body down inside it and wanted to get back - fear came up. Then there was a shift and I was back in the body. I was hardly breathing and my heart rate was very slow. I just kept saying to myself “What the hell was that” over and over.

I did not experience any of the intense vibratory stuff but that being said I was from that point on much more aware of the subtle body energy - but very pleasant.

First 15 months I was going through review and fruition cycles. If you follow MTCB. The amazing part of it, I was experiencing dark night reviews having never had a dark night

I never went through anything like that. I continued practicing my jhana/chi gong stuff and later went through the second path - which was kind of like that vast awareness of the first one but it infuses all time and space in a total bliss-out perfection kind of experience up above the head.

I have long theorized that the difference between what I and Daniel went through had something to do with the body-based energy practice I was doing - essentially jhana Thai Forest style. And it seemingly has led to very different experiences or at least ways of describing it. My guess is that the dry insight practice doesn't allow the comfortable release of locked-in energy in the body which then obscures the other aspects.

Thanks much for posting this.

Hey everyone, 

This was an experience: posted 1.6.2015, but happened months ago, and to be mor eopen about my practice, I do practice a moola bhanda lock that I coincide with the breathing and microcosmic orbit, So-Ham, 

When breathing out, I contract the Moola Bhanda, then when I start breathing in, I start to slowly release and let the energy jump like from the Moola Bhanda contraction point to the Coccyx, and allow it to come up though the spinal area , and to and or through the fontanelle spot, then breathing out, slowly start contracting the Moola Bhanda point to full contraction while moving the energy back downwards through the front of the chest , abdominal areas, and upon completion of the out breath, Moola Bhanda is at full contraction, then release , and repeat cycle....

So the experience:  Similarities, the loss of self identity, the infinite expansion, yet aware, then the thought of self, or where am I , and the oh shit moment, saw the pin point of light, recognized it was me , came back to the body.

Chuck, This time it happened to a fuller completion of the experience since the last time we discussed this,  which was at least a year or two ago...

I had been thinking this was Fifth Jhana, but I am never really sure as most do not describe Fifth Jhana this way.
Sounds? Nope, it  is like a giant glass bowl is set over the top  of you, cutting off all sounds, actually all of the six sensations, leaving only the sensation of infinite spacial expansion.  No thoughts, Not thinking, no sensations of air on the skin, no sounds internall or externally, on itches or body contact, no sense of gravity, no tastes or smells, no visuals.  But, that being said, there are probably various forms of 5th Jhana for various people, different minds perceive phenomenon in different ways.  Plus, there is always the spectrum factor, one may be within a range of 5th jhana, say one has a sense of open spaciousness, this may be a certain spectrum of 5th Jhana, or one may think of it as fractals, spiraling out to infinity.

So, my experience is this, no sensations other than infinite expansion, no sense of self, no ego.

It is as if one were the Millineum Falcon going into Hyperspace as a consciousness, sans visuals.

How often, and can I call up 5th Jhana at will?  40-50? times in my life so far, but who was counting?  And no not at will, I have to be very relaxed and have to intentionally move towards 5th Jhana, and I haven't figured out exactly what else needs to be a condition.

Except the last time it happened, several months ago,It was in the middle of the night, and I slipped into the Infinity of space, but instead of fear arising and ending the phenomenon, the mind reverted to Equanimity training and allowed the experience to unfold, and it did.  Until, a thought arose, Where am I ?  Then the ego came online, I saw a faint small speck of light a million miles away,  thought , There I am, and I zoomed back to the speck of light, and was back in normal conscious state.

So, to experiement, I went immediately back to 4th jhana state, and immediately slipped out again into 5th jhana, or expansion into Infinity of Space.  So, this replicated the experience a second time, confirming, for me anyway, this was not just a dream fluke accident.

But, this experience has not happened again, nor have I really set up the conditions for it to occur, and as a side note , afterwards, this last time felt like a finality of the phenomenon, there is or was no more fear of the experience, or is was no more craving for the experience, okay well a little, I need to investigate that.

But , I have often wondered about this experience, as it is often not described in this fashion.  


Anyway

Interesting discussions

Psi
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Psi, modified 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 7:21 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/13/15 7:13 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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To add, while in the experience, there is no self identity at all, it seems it is the self identity that seems to bring one back, back online so to speak.

Also, just before this happens, for me, there is usually an intensity of increasing sound vibration, i.e. the Nada sound, that gets higher and higher pitched, until, Whump.  Silence, and the Rush upward and outward.  Remembering all this gives me some slight scalp chills...


Edit:

The full post was the 1.6.15 post, which also basically describes progessive relaxation without tensing and releasing the muscles, which brought me to this experience as a child and later in life,  but also brought the feelings of terror,  fear , and horror, because, it feels like you are leaving your body, kinda scary.  By the way, Best to develop equanimity first, or one will just drop out of experience once the terror arises, if it does.

Psi
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 2:37 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 2:37 AM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
There is the Sankhitta Sutta, where the Buddha recommends one to first learn attaining the four jhanas through brahma vihara cultivation, and wgen they have been mastered, learn attaining the jhanas while focusing on the Satipatthanas. Preparation, then practice.
so maybe I should have started with metta. But the suttas are so damn unclear about metta practice. Used to follow instructions by the dalai lama on compassion cultivation, maybe I should pick them up again. 

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an08/an08.063.than.html

Ok, I'm not a hard-worker so I guess I'll have a safe and boring retreat.  

What do you mean with getting a deep exposure to the dhamma? I'm really suspicious to like all established traditions, especially the vipassana ones, since most of them seem to have very little to do with what the Buddha taught, technically. That makes the Goenka method pretty scary actually, since it seems so powerful, yet far away from the sutta instructions. They think it leads to enlightenment, but what does it do to you really? The surgery stuff, I've heard it before, if it's not the surgery the Buddha talked about then what is it? :/
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 2:51 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 2:51 AM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordo . .:
Hi Pal; the breath, just feel it, dont count, dont measure it. Any time you notice you are no longer feeling the breath, go back to it and feel. If the meditation is no going so well, dont get upset, and if its going really well don't get excited.


Thanks!
But the Buddha told us to measure the breath (see Anapanasati, Dipa, Arittha, Kayagatasati and Satipatthana suttas)? And when we get distracted and go back to the breath, if that doesn't work in eliminating the distracting thoughts, we should reflect on the drawbacks of the thoughts, if that doesn't work, we should ignore the thoughts, etc... (See the Vitakkasanthana sutta). Why is everyone overlooking these instructions? :0
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 3:36 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 3:23 AM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 308 Join Date: 9/9/14 Recent Posts
Pål:
What do you mean with getting a deep exposure to the dhamma?

Hi Pal. I mean dharma in a very broad sense - not Mahasi dharma or Goenka dharma, maybe even not completely Buddha dharma. In this context (especially for you) I mean dharma as reality or truth. At a certain point in practice many people get to the point where all these distinctions are meaningless and the particulars of your practice (where you focus your attention, how you move it etc etc) are unimportant. You may have intuited that the truth exists within yourself, the practice is very personal. What is important is awareness and equanimity. These two aspects combined lead to detachment, clarity and contentment. Keep Buddha's teaching simple

I'm really suspicious to like all established traditions, especially the vipassana ones, since most of them seem to have very little to do with what the Buddha taught, technically. That makes the Goenka method pretty scary actually, since it seems so powerful, yet far away from the sutta instructions. They think it leads to enlightenment, but what does it do to you really?

Pal - you are thinking too much. You know more about the dharma than you need for now - more knowledge is not needed at this point. Don't concern yourself with enlightenment. Follow your instinct. If you are suspicious of different traditions that's fine, if you have faith in the suttas that are most closely ascribed to the historical Buddha and you want to take Gotama as your primary teacher, I think that is very wise and skillful. But at this point in your practice I would say the most important thing is that you not make the teachings more complicated then they need to be. You must realize that you have a tendency to over intellectualize and that can be a hindrance for you in making progress
How to simplify? Keep coming back to the concept that the Buddha taught that the source of dukkha is attachment, focus on that as your main area of contemplation. Look for this attachment within yourself, feel it, get to know it, and apply awareness and equanimity toward it. Relax. Awareness is simply wakefulness, relaxed wakefulness, and equanimity is just dispassion. These are all the instructions you need. Go within. Feel attachment as a sensate phenomenon and allow it to drop. Include anything and everything in your field of awareness. It is helpful to bring oneself back to sensation however, this is what people are pointing to when they discuss energy practices - a central focus on sensation. Use the body sensations as an anchor and gently bring the mind back to them. There are different methods for doing this, but a good one for now is to allow awareness to move on it's own. Experiment with that for some time, no need to worry, it will only be beneficial. Remember to relax, continually
You don't need to accept entire teachings of either Mahasi, Goenka or even the Buddha at this point, maybe never. Better to find the dharma within yourself and follow the aspects of teachings that resonate with you. Simplify

The surgery stuff, I've heard it before, if it's not the surgery the Buddha talked about then what is it? :/

The path has been called a Path of Purification. We are purifying our views, our intentions, our emotions and our bodies. Keep in mind that the truth is within you. One day you will discover effortless effort and you won't drive yourself so crazy thinking that someone needs to be right or there is a correct way to practice and an incorrect one. Dispassionate Awareness is what matters. Follow your intuition and the teachings that speak to you, whether Buddhist or not. If you are applying awareness and dispassion and allowing things to be as they are in the moment, letting go happens naturally as a process. This non-attachment will lead to more and more peace and clarity. You will eventually see that you don't need to 'do' anything. Any time that you spend calming the mind or directing the dispassionate awareness toward thoughts, sensations, intentions and phenomenon in general is time well spent, you cannot go wrong. You will naturally grow in the dharma, in wisdom and in confidence, and confusion and doubt will subside slowly over time
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 6:58 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Thank you guys for bringing me down to earth...
But if the dhamma is so simple, then why did the Buddha give so detailed instructions? 
Maybe they are there for people like me. A shame there is no living tradition using those anymore...

@Gordon:
how would you put that without using the word "meditation"? It's a problematic word that means many different things.
And how do you mean I'm not walking the path? I get to hear this a lot. Does 15-50 mins of sitting a day not count?
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Thanks for the encouragement! emoticon
does Ajahn Brahmali know that I live in Sweden? I like that branch of the kammatthana forest tradition. Even though it has completely different opinions on what constitutes a Jhana than the Ajahn Lee/Fuang/Thanissaro Bhikkhu lineage that I started with. 

Anyway, I just sat for 30 min, concentration was ok, not great but it feels reeaally nice afterwards! But I noticed how distracting it was to try to note the length of the breath. Makes me wonder why the Buddha gave an instruction like that. But maybe if I just feel the breath process more carefully I'll notice it's length wothout actually noting it, so I'll just "feel on"!
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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A noticing that requires me evaluating whether the breath is long or short or noting as in making a mental verbalization "long"/"short"/"dunno". Haven't really decided, maybe that's what's distracting me.
stuart chas law, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 10:15 AM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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G'day Gordo and Daniel - san

Whilst i've no Kundalini experience, i have identified with you both on so many levels and have derived great joy in your conversation.

Regarding your advice to Pal.  Wow!  Pal, listen to what these guys are saying please.  In a practice sense it's pure gold.

Many thanks a.

Stu
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Yes it seems so. emoticon I'm kind of mentally processing their advice now and will hopefully get all of it in time. 
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Thanks, I'll try this emoticon The problem is that my parents would probably get worried if I sat 2-3 hour each weekend. But I've gotten this advice of doing a mini retreat in the weekends before, so I should probably try it. And that simplification of anapana sounds hard but nice. I'm going to try this method for at least a few weeks, we'll see if there'll be any mini retreats.

not that it's going to stop me from practicing like this but my inner exoteric has one lingering question (not aimed at anyone in particular):
Would just feeling the beginning middle and end of the breathing process be following the first tetrad (steps 1-4) of anapanasati? It's the "sabba kaya patisamvedi" controversy haunting me again. But I won't let that be a hindrance in practice.
Chuck Kasmire, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 12:12 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Daniel - san:
Thanks for sharing this Chuck
Though I've never experienced the infinite awareness knowing itself, and most likely never attained to path, many of your other descriptions line up with my experiences as well
It's helpful to me at least to see that different orientations in practice lead to different experiences and different flavors (at least) of awakenings.

My wording or anyones wording probably leads to lots of misconceptions. It is an experience that I had never had before and finding words to describe it is challenging. After it happened I started looking around for some account of this and eventually found one from Sri Aurobindo that described it really well - but if you read that you would probably think we were talking about something totally different.

Here is another description.Very different from mine, yet I believe is the functional equivalent. She had been practicing very deep samadhi for quite a while when this occurs and been working closely with a teacher.

http://comemeditate.webs.com/apps/blog/show/4704084-letter-no-49

Now I have had another experience extremly difficult to describe. I meditated for about 1 1/2 hours and had reached a good state of Samadhi. The next thing I realized was that I had got out of Samadhi, but not before I had experienced an extraordinary level of Peace and Rest, never before experienced. I had been transformed into the quality of Peace and completly unconscious of myself - It was a subtle and immaterial experience. All the other experiences I have had so far
( of dissolving and disappearing into a mist etc,) seemed gross and material in comparision. I was not sure if I was asleep when I experienced this, (but I never fall asleep)
Time did not seem to come into this experience (In earlier experiences I had always known roughly how long the experience lasted) Now time did not seem to function.

The Peace was of the quality of that found in sleep - Perhaps that was why I thought I had been asleep.
All other experiences I could describe clearly - but this was of a new order. Completely intangible to both senses and mind - Was I awake or asleep when it occurred and what was it?


(letter 50)
The Venerable Nayaka Thero is in receipt of your letter of the 19th. When I had translated it to him, he announced that at last you have reason to be happy that your endeavours are 'Fruite'-ful. That 'extraordinaty level of Peace and Rest never before experienced' in which you 'had been transformed into the quality of Peace' ....... etc. is the Fruit of Stream - winning ( Sotapattiphala) . It is the taste of Bliss of Nibbana - the true awakening ("was I awake of sleep?" you were more awake than asleep )
The fact that "Time did not seem to come into this experience" shows that it is a supermundade level. ("All other experiences I have had so far .... seemed gross and material in comparision").

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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 1:04 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Pål:
Thank you guys for bringing me down to earth...
But if the dhamma is so simple, then why did the Buddha give so detailed instructions? 
Maybe they are there for people like me. A shame there is no living tradition using those anymore...

Hi Pal
Welcome back to earth : )
I’m going to try to take a different tact here
Sometimes our greatest strengths can also be hindrances when not in balance. You are strong in your penetration and knowledge of the suttas and you have a precise discrimination that will serve you well. It can also be a hindrance
For an example of what I mean take a look at this, Christopher Titmuss’ article on what the Buddha did not teach. You, being a person that is immersed in sutta study and quite knowledgeable in that regard (way more than me), may agree with some of Chris’ points and you may strongly disagree with others. This is the way it goes. I would further say that if you are looking for someone to present a teaching to you that is without contradiction, without flaws, and one that leads in a straight direction toward wisdom and freedom, your search may never end. Even if you had the Buddha in the room with you, to ask him all the penetrating questions you have about his teaching and the nuances of Right View and Right Practice, you may still be left dissatisfied. Why is that?
For one thing, your truth is your truth. It is not my truth, Christopher Titmuss’ truth or Gotama’s truth. You will not advance on the path by trying to find the truth of the Buddha’s words in your own experience, that will lead to strain and confusion. Use the buddhadharma as a guide lamp, but use your strong discernment, honesty and internal truth that you find in the moment to advance yourself
Let’s say it went the other way. A teacher presented themselves as someone who had the complete teachings in hand without contradictions, and (so they say) the path they teach leads directly to freedom and ultimate realization. I would say, run the other direction. I think this is one thing that is meant by the koan, ‘if  you meet the Buddha in the road, kill him’. The Buddha is not in the road, the Buddha is within you, some have called it Buddha Nature
Funnily, I agree with many items on Titmuss’ list and disagree with some. One thing he specifically said is in contrast with what I am saying, #36, the Buddha did not teach that the truth is within. Then in his description of what he means by that I have more agreement, truth is what wakes us up (he says) not an entity within. True. I think Chris is saying many things on this list simply to be provocative and to challenge many long-held assumptions about what Buddhism is and what it isn’t. That’s a good thing, but nothing to believe or follow – it’s something to openly investigate without anxiety and doubt and see what is going on in you. How (on a sensate level) do your thoughts affect your body. How do sensations in your body affect your thoughts. What are emotions, where do they come from? These are questions that can be deeply penetrated on a Goenka Vipassana retreat. You don’t need to buy into Goenka’s (or the Buddha’s) entire teaching – if you did I would say that you were overly gullible or religious and you should find a nice guru to worship. At the same time there is a lot of straight buddhadharma (truth) presented in those retreats. Take what resonates with you, leave out the rest without getting caught up in the arguments. This is a natural process, evolution. It happens anyway, you are just becoming aware of it and (perhaps) giving it a nudge
I’ll leave with one more thing from Chris Titmuss’ article – I’m off the forum for a couple days as well – it’s Valentines Day in the states (thanks Hallmark), which means that lucky hitched up City folk like me and the missus, go off to some quaint old backwoods town to go antiquing and for romantic walks by the water – shit like that. Anyway, it’s Chris’ #19 on Metta Meditation. He states something that I intuited and figured out from my own experience without dissecting the suttas. Metta is a natural byproduct of practice. The good feeling you had after your sit was an aspect of it. When I said for you to keep it simple, maybe I kept it too simple – you have a complicated mind. Still, don’t make it any more difficult than the Noble Eightfold Path. Focus on only that for the next year. Look to develop yourself in the Three Trainings, develop metta through concentration, it’s a natural outcome of right practice. If you feel a bit less stressed, more at ease and contented, and more clear after your sittings, you are practicing correctly. Then take that into the world. Drop some of your effort. See how much of the dharma arises from within you naturally. Try to see dharma as a description of the reality of life that can never encompass the majesty or grandiosity of the actual thing. Keep questioning, it’s your nature, but ground yourself in the confidence of your practice. That will grow.  Intuit that you are not practicing wrong, if you are aware and dispassionate in the moment as life presents itself through you, it is correct. If there is too much effort you may be pushing too hard. Do your best to just settle in. Take care : )

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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/14/15 12:25 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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very cool Chuck
thank you for giving me something to contemplate as I head out of town for lover's weekend haha
I'm bringing the iPad anyway to read through your post again a couple of times, more slowly
This is sure to confound the missus, as usual - it can't all be dark chocolate and roses anyway : )
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Maybe it's because I just sat but now I see that what your writing about the relationship between body and thoughts and about how one should feel after a sit seems like the essence of satipatthana to me. Thanks!
Chuck Kasmire, modified 7 Years ago at 2/15/15 8:52 PM
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T DC:
Hey Chuck,
Do you experience the stages of insight?

I don't know if you still do Qi Gong, but have you heard of Robert Peng, or read his book 'The Master Key'?  Basically he trained under a qi gong master in China, who prompted such an experience (glimpse of enlightenment) in him using qi.  After this experience, Peng went on to achieve full enlightenment sometime later.

I bring this up because I think 'The Master Key' is great source for very genuine information on Qi Gong, and in essence solves the enlightenment vs emotional perfection debate (i.e. Buddhist enlightenement is the awakening of the higher center/upper Dantien, while emotional balance is achieved by awakening and balancing all three energy centers; upper middle and lower Dantiens).  

I would be interested to hear what you think!

Sorry for the thread jack, I could move this, super interesting conversation.

Hi TDC,

Do you experience the stages of insight?

The reason for my delayed response is that I wanted to answer this question but find it isn’t easy without quite a bit of clarification. As it is a bit tangential to this thread - not sure if Daniel and Gordo would want it to continue here or not.

I still practice Qi Gong. I really enjoy it. I guess you could loosely describe it as Goenka meets La-Z-boy - a very relaxed body sweeping kind of practice. I also do Tai Chi but not everyday. Hadn’t heard of Robert Peng - I’ll check that out.

Regarding the enlightenment vs emotional perfection debate - As I recall, in the Taoist schools there is this notion of mind first or body first approaches - but both are required. I don’t think this is necessarily a Buddhist vs Taoist issue as some of the Buddhist traditions have intermingled with Taoism for well over a thousand years. With Vajrayana and Thai Forest practices there is extensive work with the subtle body, centers, and channels and the results of these practices seem very similar to what is found in Taoism.

On the other hand, the Mahayana references to the Hinayana seem to suggest some kind of issue over what constitutes awakening - this reference goes back to maybe 4th century AD I believe - a time when Buddhism was deeply sectarian and the Buddha long gone. It seems to me a response of the forest yogis to the monastic institutions saying "wait there’s more". Round and round the wheel goes.  
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/15/15 10:04 PM
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Pål:
Maybe it's because I just sat but now I see that what your writing about the relationship between body and thoughts and about how one should feel after a sit seems like the essence of satipatthana to me. Thanks!

sure thing Pal! I am the most familiar with the Sattipatthana sutta than probably any other. It is presented by Goenka as the preeminent sutta for meditation instruction. Not sure how true that is but it certainly does seem to be one of the more comprehensive and inclusive in the suttas when it comes to actual meditation instruction
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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I don't think it's very comprehensive compared to, for example, the Vitakkasanthana sutta.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

I know I'm going completely OT now, so maybe I should be reviving my old thread about this, but do you guys think the Vitakkasanthana instructions and the Satipatthana instructions cover seperate methods or that Satipatthana methods can/should be practiced at the same time as vitakkasanthana?  
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Daniel - san, modified 7 Years ago at 2/16/15 10:28 AM
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Pål:
I don't think it's very comprehensive compared to, for example, the Vitakkasanthana sutta.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.020.than.html

I know I'm going completely OT now, so maybe I should be reviving my old thread about this, but do you guys think the Vitakkasanthana instructions and the Satipatthana instructions cover seperate methods or that Satipatthana methods can/should be practiced at the same time as vitakkasanthana?  

From Bhikkhu Bodhi (for whatever it's worth):

The Satipatthana Sutta, the Discourse on the Foundations of Mindfulness, is generally regarded as the canonical Buddhist text with the fullest instructions on the system of meditation unique to the Buddha's own dispensation

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/soma/wayof.html

I don't think the two suttas are in any sort of conflict, although the Buddha claims the Vitakkasanthana Sutta was presented for "when a monk is intent on the heightened mind" 
I also don't see any reason why these two suttas can't go side by side, although the Sattipatthana seems quite a bit more detailed and instructive. 
I think it's important to realize that the Buddha's path was simply a recognition that attachment is the source of suffering and to uproot that attachment we need to see it clearly and dispassionately. I think Pal that you sometimes needlessly complicate the teachings. The truth of the teachings must be found within or it stays an intellectual idea
Debates like these can go on forever and have spawned whole religions
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The satipatthana suttas seem to cover a lot of different methods of meditation, but does not go into them very deeply. The vitakkasanthana sutta however give very detailed instructions on just one method. The reason I thought Satipatthana and Vitakkasanthana might be different methods is because nobody seems to practice vitakkasanthana nowadays. When distracted they just go back to their object, again and again.

I think many modern teachers simplify the teachings to much. For example, ask any teacher how to practice anapanasati nowadays and they'll tell you to just focus on air sensations at the nose or movement of the abdomen. Then take a look at the anapanasati sutta. There is 4 x 4 steps.
And the concept of equanimity. Actually the Buddha says in the Potaliya sutta that there are kinds of equanimity that should be avoided (maybe the overlooking of this that is the reason of so many people aentering into dark nights...).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.054x.than.html
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Gordo . .:
Hi Pal; im having a meditation break. Your stuff is fine here as its about practice: sort of. My teacher says that all this head stuff, could jeopardize your chances of enlightenment. She said that this sort of investigation should be  done, only after one has done a reasonable amount of meditation, as then they will understand it with ease.
Now this is more important. Answer these questions.
What is the predominant experience in your meditation?  Breath, body or combinations of both. Describe in detail some of the observed  qualities of the experience.
If you're predominant experience is distraction, what is the most common distraction and at what cycle of breathing do you get distracted and how often in a sitting.
When say your distracted by a sound, how long have you got before the mental factor makes a primary distinction: eg a motorcycle,  and are you aware of the pleasant, unpleasant or neutral feeling that accompanies this moment, and are you aware how important this moment is, and if so why is it important. 
Regards, 
Gordo. 
Yes, but I'm trying to figure out how to meditate like the Buddha taught, right? How could that be harmful? This way, from tiral and error and sutta studies, methods like mahasi noting were developed from zero. 

My predominant experience is experience of movement and changes in pressure just outside and behind the nostrils, and sometimes movement of the chest and abdomen. The sound of breathing is very clear too, aswell as thoughts between the breath. There is less thinking when I'm breathing, but I usually have pretty long pauses between breaths, where thoughts move from the background to the foreground and then go back to the background or disappear when an in-breath comes. I'd say there are thoughts between most breaths but they are not distracting. How can they be if I'm still aware of the breath? Thoughts do not disappear completely before the second Jhana. Source: http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn21/sn21.001.than.html#fnt-1

Sorry, I didn't really understand your last question, I'm not a native english speaker/reader.
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Nikolai , modified 7 Years ago at 2/16/15 3:09 PM
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Hi Pal,

There is argument that the Buddha did instruct some form of noting.

https://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/iti-and-sallakkheti/

Nick
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Nikolai .:
Hi Pal,

There is argument that the Buddha did instruct some form of noting.

https://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/iti-and-sallakkheti/

Nick



That's a great article but I don't think it it "justifies mahasi noting. And if we where to practice in accordance with that sutta interpretation we should also note "I'm breathing in long/short" when doing anapanasati. I've actually been noting "long"/"short"/"dunno" during anapana to and from but stopped since startung to do nostril focus only. 
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Nikolai , modified 7 Years ago at 2/17/15 1:55 PM
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RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

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Pål:
Nikolai .:
Hi Pal,

There is argument that the Buddha did instruct some form of noting.

https://theravadin.wordpress.com/2008/03/28/iti-and-sallakkheti/

Nick



That's a great article but I don't think it it "justifies mahasi noting. And if we where to practice in accordance with that sutta interpretation we should also note "I'm breathing in long/short" when doing anapanasati. I've actually been noting "long"/"short"/"dunno" during anapana to and from but stopped since startung to do nostril focus only. 
Stick with what works for your own conditioned bundle of habitual movements and responses. But a sublte point I wanted to make was, we don't really know 100 percent what the Buddha taught. Which interpretation is best? Let our actual practices and experimentation do the convincing, I say. By the way, the nostril way is more or less the "Goenka approach" to anapanasati. 
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Yes but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to practice in line with his teachings. We don't know "what works" for us until we're awakened, right? 

Doing Goenka anapana I think is just right for me now since I'm preparing for a Goenka retreat. And recently I've given up trying to do proper sutta style anapana since I find it impossible to interpret "sabba kaya patisamvedi". So I do like Arittha: I just focus on the breath sensations in the present moment.  
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Pål:
Yes but that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to practice in line with his teachings. We don't know "what works" for us until we're awakened, right? 

Doing Goenka anapana I think is just right for me now since I'm preparing for a Goenka retreat. And recently I've given up trying to do proper sutta style anapana since I find it impossible to interpret "sabba kaya patisamvedi". So I do like Arittha: I just focus on the breath sensations in the present moment.  


You're perfectionist. I can tell. This can be a serious obstacle, trust me. ;-)
Set goal to do 500 or 1000 hours of anapanasati. Start with whatever technique seem reasonable
to you at this moment. You'll refine as you go. I believe answers to your questions will reveal 
trough practice.

Edit:
Btw, this is a great thread. One of the best lately. Thanks Gordon, Daniel, Chuck and others for sharing!
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I guess you mean anapanasati in the broad sense, just focusing on a air/movement sensation, like Arittha does in the Arittha sutta, not the complete 4 tetrad/16 step method. I hope I will understand the latter through practicing the former. Thanks for the advice, will start counting today.
edit: did you mean 500-1000 from today or from when I started?
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Seemed like they want you to donate in order to register and I don't think I have access to paying through the internet yet (and my parents would probably get pretty suspicious if I did, which does matter since I'm a teenager) :/
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Well, seems like they don't want me to get hard-core. How do you mean?
Chuck Kasmire, modified 7 Years ago at 2/19/15 7:03 PM
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T DC:
Hey Chuck,

Do you experience the stages of insight?

Ok, I’m back. Your seemingly simple question was anything but. First, when people on DhO talk about the progress of insight, they usually mean as it is described in MCTB. I have assumed that this was a representative description but have found that there are others that are pretty different. I think it represents the progress of insight for someone practicing dry vipassana (the Mahasi style). But in my investigation I find that traditional vipassana is very wet - what I mean by that is that the practitioner first uses samatha - focusing on calming and relaxing body and mind until they reach about the 3rd or 4th jhana and then they switch to vipassana - but not as a separate practice - they switch to vipassana and if they start dropping out of jhana then they switch back to samatha to regain the jhana and then switch back to vipassana - keeping samatha and vipassana in balance - a single practice with these two qualities kept supporting each other. My understanding of this comes from a dialog between a traditionally trained Vipassana meditation master and a student of his as she develops her practice through the first two paths and beyond (see Freed Freedom). Her experience of the first two paths is pretty similar to my own and clearly there is no dark night - just the opposite.

That being said, I have always been more a contemplative, recluse type. I just went through the experience and wasn’t into picking it apart.  The Theravadans like to annalize every little sensation - it’s kind of their thing. I experienced lots of interesting energy stuff - some these descriptions talk about and others they don’t - I think what you see often depends on what you are told you will notice and of course what is relevant to your style of practice.

Having come upon these two very different descriptions - I started looking at kundalini phenomena in general and experiences of those practicing that type of yoga. What I found was that the jarring sensations, mood swings, neck and jaw pains that Daniel describes are known symptoms of pushing kundalini too hard or spontaneous awakenings without any preparation- and the most common solution for such is: to relax and calm down more - to back off the intense practice.

Later, after second path I switched over to dry vipassana (not noting though) when my Chi Gong teacher left and I did go through some difficult emotional stuff. After a few years with that I switched over to Thai Forest practices and things were much better but by then I was already past third which is kind of a cake walk anyway.

I’ll be gone for a week or so and won’t be able to respond until then.
Pål, modified 7 Years ago at 2/20/15 3:32 AM
Created 7 Years ago at 2/20/15 3:32 AM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 778 Join Date: 9/30/14 Recent Posts
I mean what kind of organizing?
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b man, modified 7 Years ago at 3/6/15 4:43 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 3/6/15 4:16 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 199 Join Date: 11/25/11 Recent Posts
Chuck Kasmire:
......then consciousness just exploded into an infinite awareness outside of time and space. There was no me – no other – no thoughts – no world – just an infinite awareness – not something I was aware of – an infinite awareness knowing itself infinitely. I have no idea how long I was in this state - a millisecond or 30 minutes - impossible to say. A thought of ‘I’ arose, the universe appeared, and I knew I had identified with a body down inside it and wanted to get back - fear came up. Then there was a shift and I was back in the body. I was hardly breathing and my heart rate was very slow. I just kept saying to myself “What the hell was that” over and over. 


This is wonderful to read. I had what sounds like an almost identical experience that I didnt understand whilst very early in my meditation journey. Infact if I was to type it it would pretty much be word for word with your description except I didnt say “What the hell was that”, when I came back, I just wept for about 2 minutes in joy. I had felt like I was a part of god and the whole of everything and god and the universe  was a part of me. 

I tried to find out what this was on the internet and tried to speak to some people at the local dhamma centre but I quickly realised how unbelievable it was sounding (and to some people potentially pretty arrogant/offensive to say that you thought you were god!)  and I dont think people believed me anyhow, so I stopped asking, but I did realise that I wanted to get serious about meditation after that and looked into going back to do a retreat in Nepal where I had been trekking a few years before, but then discovered 10 day vipassana retreats and did one of those here in UK instead. 

I dont think it was SE for me however (and thats not to say it wasnt for you obviously), and my research led me to believe it was a "Satori" event - which gave me a glimpse of what could be. Its the most profound thing I have ever exeperienced and even after 4 years of vipassana practice since then, i havent experienced anything like it. 
Chuck Kasmire, modified 7 Years ago at 3/7/15 12:58 PM
Created 7 Years ago at 3/7/15 12:54 PM

RE: Question to Daniel Leffler.

Posts: 559 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
b man:
I had felt like I was a part of god and the whole of everything and god and the universe  was a part of me.

That sounds like it. Like you, I encountered this early on - about 6 weeks into practice. I know a woman that hit it in about a week. I think there is great value in having no idea what you are supposed to be doing. I also went asking around to find out about this experience and learned it was easiest not to talk about it. It wasn’t until 8 years later that I met up with a lineaged Thai Forest teacher and got things figured out.

I’m not a zen guy but from what I understand satori technically refers to the final stage - the functional equivalent of Arahat - while kensho refers to the earlier temporary experiences - which would include stream entry. But apparently, these days satori is sometimes used for the temporary ones as well and also quite mundane experiences.

I am curious as to why you think it wasn’t stream entry for you?

Here is how Ajahn Maha Bua describes his stream entry:
I saw with unequivocal clarity that the essential knowing nature of the‭ ‬citta‭ ‬could never possibly be annihilated.‭ ‬Even if everything else were completely destroyed, the‭ ‬citta‭ ‬would remain wholly unaffected.‭ ‬I realized this truth with absolute clarity the moment when the‭ ‬citta’s‭ ‬knowing essence stood alone on its own,‭ ‬completely uninvolved with anything whatsoever.‭ ‬There was only that knowing presence standing out prominently,‭ ‬awesome in its splendor.‭ ‬The‭ ‬citta‭ ‬lets go of the body,‭ ‬feeling,‭ ‬memory,‭ ‬thought and consciousness and enters a pure stillness of its very own,‭ ‬with absolutely no connection to the‭ ‬khandhas.‭ ‬In that moment,‭ ‬the five‭ ‬khandhas‭ ‬do not function in any way at all in relation to the‭ ‬citta.‭ ‬...That attainment brings a sense of wonder and amazement that no experience we’ve ever had could possibly equal.‭ ‬The‭ ‬citta‭ ‬stays suspended in a serene stillness for a long time before withdrawing to normal consciousness.‭ ‬Having withdrawn,‭ ‬it reconnects with the‭ ‬khandhas‭ ‬as before,‭ ‬but it remains absolutely convinced that the‭ ‬citta‭ ‬has just attained a state of extraordinary calm totally cut off from the five‭ ‬khandhas.‭ ‬It knows that it has experienced an extremely amazing spiritual state of being.‭ ‬That certainty will never be erased.‭ – ‬Arahattamagga pg‭ ‬31

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