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My journey, current experience, etc.

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My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 9/5/19 3:31 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. . Jake . 4/15/15 1:48 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Derek 4/15/15 2:04 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/17/15 10:36 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Derek 5/17/15 4:59 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 5/28/15 10:42 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Not Tao 4/15/15 3:23 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Noah 4/15/15 9:01 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Psi 4/15/15 7:20 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Rednaxela 4/16/15 7:51 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/17/15 10:10 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Rednaxela 4/21/15 9:45 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Dada Kind 4/16/15 1:01 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/17/15 10:18 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. . Jake . 4/17/15 6:57 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/19/15 4:51 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. . Jake . 4/20/15 8:51 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Victor 4/17/15 7:50 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. svmonk 4/17/15 10:54 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/18/15 11:51 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Jigme Sengye 4/17/15 1:10 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/18/15 12:12 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. b man 4/18/15 4:42 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/19/15 4:01 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. John 5/17/15 8:36 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 5/22/15 3:09 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 5/28/15 10:30 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 5/31/15 1:01 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. C P M 5/31/15 12:02 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 6/1/15 2:20 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 6/2/15 3:04 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 6/3/15 3:53 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 6/5/15 2:16 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. CJMacie 6/3/15 9:13 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. b man 4/17/15 2:56 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/19/15 4:13 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 4/21/15 12:15 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/23/15 12:01 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Small Steps 4/23/15 12:25 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 4/23/15 1:14 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/28/15 1:13 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 4/28/15 3:33 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Small Steps 4/28/15 5:16 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 4/29/15 9:11 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. AugustLeo 4/23/15 1:31 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Pål 4/23/15 2:25 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 4/28/15 1:09 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. AugustLeo 5/4/15 11:27 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Rednaxela 5/4/15 3:12 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Matt 5/16/15 3:35 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Jinxed P 5/19/15 10:52 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 5/22/15 3:12 PM
Radio Story on journey through Dark Night ANNIE 6/22/15 7:58 PM
RE: Radio Story on journey through Dark Night Pål 6/30/15 9:52 AM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Aflatun 7/4/16 4:26 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. C P M 7/5/16 9:16 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Aflatun 7/5/16 11:18 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 7/13/16 12:26 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Matthew 7/13/16 2:07 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Chuck Kasmire 7/13/16 5:22 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Aflatun 7/13/16 8:59 PM
RE: My journey, current experience, etc. Shaun Steelgrave 9/5/19 8:15 PM
My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
9/5/19 3:31 AM
I am placing this under Claims to Attainments - though if there was a category It is What It Is I would have posted there. I don’t see what I have gone through as something that I attained - quite the opposite really. Anyway, a while ago I was asked if I could write up something about my experience and most recently Daniel asked if I could put something together on my understanding of what the fetters are about with respect to my own experience along with some other suggestions and so here is my attempt to do that. Both are works in progress.

My Journey of unfettering - my experience and how I understand the fetters model with respect to that.

My current experience - what things are like now and trying to address some of Daniels questions.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/15/15 1:48 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thanks very much for taking the time to do this and sharing it, Chuck

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/15/15 2:04 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Gratitude here, too. These are great write-ups, Chuck. Thanks for posting them. Your description of freedom from the first three fetters sounds good to me. I'm not advanced enough to comment on the fetters after that. Just one sentence I'll comment on: "Thingness is a projection of our own mind onto phenomena" -- Yes. The mind's habit of turning experience into things is called "object permanence," and it develops over the first four to six months after birth. You're obviously in touch with the free-flowing consciousness that we're all born with.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/15/15 3:23 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hey,

Thanks for writing this up.  I've been curious. emoticon

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/15/15 9:01 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thanks so much Chuck.  I am particularly interested with the direct psycho-emotional effects of insight because I experience various phobias/emotional-blocks (under the guise of "bipolar disorder") which have been a huge problem for me.  Having graduated from college in January, I feel a strong pressure to jump into the job market but am simultaneously bogged down by these emotions.  However, the path has already begun to break up my solidified phobic experiences into their component parts (external stimulus-initial perception-identification-emotion-etc), which is freeing.  Your writings, particularly the second one, reconfirm this process of insight (in particular its implications for daily life functioning) as a real and impactful one for me, providing hope and inspiration. 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/15/15 7:20 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire, 

The only reply thought that comes up is , 

Yay !!!!

Psi

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/16/15 7:51 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
thanks for this Chuck.  This made for good reading on the train ride home last nite. 

I note that you were able to focus yourself, inserting yourself into a demanding software role when it was required.  Later, as your enlightenment gained momentum, you seemed less compelled to work. 

I ask as i am a householder with professional job, wife and two daughters.  And though some (like Daniel) are able to hold down intense jobs, a large number seem to report a general indifference to work.  Seeing this, and realizing my own obligations, partially limits my faith in the dharma.

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Best, Alex 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/16/15 1:01 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Reading a straightforward account of another's meditation experience is always fun. Thanks. I have some questions...

Would you say your experience of your body has become more pleasurable over the years? There's a view that the 'enlightened' ought to live an ordinary live so as to be able to subtly or otherwise help relieve the suffering of others. What do you think about this view? Here's a Shinzen Young article that partially addresses this view, and also relates to your mic-feedback metaphor. Fwiw, I'm undecided on this myself and am just looking for some thoughts.

I also have some intrusive questions. Feel free to ignore some or all of them: How old were you in '93? How has your experience of sexuality changed? How do you manage to not work an ordinary job?

I ask the last because I relate to your simple-living preference and am torn on the issue. My current fantasy is close-to-nature and simple, just with technology emoticon

Thanks for anything you wanna answer

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 6:57 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
I've read and reflected on these reports and find them very compelling. For me, Chuck, they are bringing up questions about outcomes 

I wonder what you think about the ideals of the different yanas, how in some paths the goal is to eliminate reactivity and in others the goal is more of a transformation of emotional energy into a mode that while non-reactive is still juicy and full of human feelings. Is the latter something you feel you could cultivate if you wanted to from your current place?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 7:50 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thanks Chuck, I enjoyed reading those attachments.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 10:10 AM as a reply to Rednaxela.
Alex L.:
I note that you were able to focus yourself, inserting yourself into a demanding software role when it was required.  Later, as your enlightenment gained momentum, you seemed less compelled to work. 

I ask as i am a householder with professional job, wife and two daughters.  And though some (like Daniel) are able to hold down intense jobs, a large number seem to report a general indifference to work.  Seeing this, and realizing my own obligations, partially limits my faith in the dharma.

Do you have any thoughts on this?

Hi Alex,
I understand your concerns. All I can say is that I have come to trust this process. I don’t see it as becoming indifferent to work or family but rather the self-centered agenda comes to an end. Things that used to be very important lose their importance while very simple things take on much greater value. Obligations don’t cease but they are viewed in what needs to be done at the moment. It can be hard on relationships - just depends on the situation. We can’t predict what will happen to us awakened or not - but when awakened, how we experience and respond to those changes will be very different and much less stressful.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 10:18 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Reading a straightforward account of another's meditation experience is always fun. Thanks. I have some questions.

Hi Droll,

Would you say your experience of your body has become more pleasurable over the years?
In a sense. It seems to be slowly disappearing - sensation wise. When this last shift occurred the body became just a field of energy and at first it got pretty intense. The AF guy - Richard - describes going through a couple of years of feeling like he was on an overdose of caffeine - that is a pretty good description of my experience during that phase. Since then, it is like the frequency becomes more and more refined and different areas kind of open up or release - there seems to be a pattern to this.

There's a view that the 'enlightened' ought to live an ordinary live so as to be able to subtly or otherwise help relieve the suffering of others. What do you think about this view?
I think there is something to this - but not that it is something one should do but just that that is what happens. We interact with people all the time - even recluses interact with people some. I suspect even if a person is off in a cave somewhere they still have an effect on others. The field of consciousness thing.

Here's a Shinzen Young article that partially addresses this view, and also relates to your mic-feedback metaphor.
Thanks for the link - yes, he seems to be describing something similar if not the same phenomena.  There is very much a therapeutic quality to it and one definitely needs breaks from it. I have heard that Tibetan yogis would come out of their caves from time to time to go into the village and raise a ruckus to dig some stuff up to work with (in the sense of energy blockages) - this is how I have viewed it as it seems to kind of ‘light up’ specific areas within the body - and I have noticed over the years that those areas eventually kind of clear up and release. Shinzen could be describing the same phenomena.
 
I also have some intrusive questions. Feel free to ignore some or all of them:
How old were you in '93?

40.

How has your experience of sexuality changed?
A couple of years ago, there came a point where sexual energy would come up and then just start spreading out into the body and dissipating. This happened a few times and then it was pretty much gone. Since that time, it just isn’t a big deal any more. Interest falls away.

How do you manage to not work an ordinary job?
It was managed for me - about the same time I was finding it difficult to work, I had to start taking care of an elderly parent. I believe Rumi describes the world as a big stew pot where we are all getting cooked until we are done.

I ask the last because I relate to your simple-living preference and am torn on the issue. My current fantasy is close-to-nature and simple, just with technology emoticon
A cob house in the boonies with a satellite connection? sounds good to me. If I was still back in my programming days I would definitely consider van dwelling with 4g (or however many g’s they have now) and a laptop.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 10:36 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
Gratitude here, too. These are great write-ups, Chuck. Thanks for posting them. Your description of freedom from the first three fetters sounds good to me. I'm not advanced enough to comment on the fetters after that. Just one sentence I'll comment on: "Thingness is a projection of our own mind onto phenomena" -- Yes. The mind's habit of turning experience into things is called "object permanence," and it develops over the first four to six months after birth. You're obviously in touch with the free-flowing consciousness that we're all born with.
Hi Derek,
Thanks. Maybe this is why I relate so well with 2 year olds?

I have been reading about the Christian mystics on your site - good stuff. Over the years I have read some of Meister Eckhart, Pseudo-Dionysius, along with the Gnostics. I find in them a  dimension of this experience that Buddhism - at least as it has come to the west - kind of misses or dismisses - but one of those -isses. Maybe we are afraid of our own traditions?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/17/15 10:54 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Chuck,

A very beautiful and moving story, thanx for sharing your experience. I really enjoy reading about the experience of other practitioners, especially advanced ones such as yourself.

I'm somewhat curious about the role of chi gong and energy work. It seems first path occured through these, is that true? Maybe I'm misinterpreting. I had one period in the late 90's where I was getting a lot of energy flow (for want of a better way to describe it) but it settled down after a while.

Also, I would venture to say that what you describe about your relationship to work and family would probably be challenging to many people. Planning for example is a critical part of work and relationships. I know some advanced practitoners like Daniel manage high intensity jobs and I assume he needs to plan.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/21/15 9:45 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thanks for this clarification Chuck.  i would certainly welcome the reigning in of self-centered thought and greater engagement with the world.  Thanks again for sharing the story of your awakening.

edit: i also add that i found it inspiring that you got the ball rolling, so to speak, relatively late in life.  i have often felt that i began this trip too late as i did not begin in earnest before the age of 40.

best, Alex 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/17/15 1:10 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck, thank you for writing that. Could you describe the practices you were doing with the teacher you were working with between 2002 and 2006? Is that the Thai Forest tradition practice you've mentioned in other threads?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/17/15 2:56 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
this is wonderful to read. Its great to hear you are in such a great place of freedom, especially when you read how much your thoughts were tormenting you back in 1993. thats truely a journey. 

I really associated with what you wrote about the first big expeirnece and am wondering if that is always the expeirence for SE / first path? I dont want to derail your thread too much with this so have started one to discuss my experience of this here, but woudl appreicate your input greatly - http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5714942

thanks again for sharing.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/18/15 11:51 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
I'm somewhat curious about the role of chi gong and energy work. It seems first path occured through these, is that true? Maybe I'm misinterpreting. I had one period in the late 90's where I was getting a lot of energy flow (for want of a better way to describe it) but it settled down after a while.
Hi svmonk,
Yes, this is how it came about. Some details: The practices were largely internal - as opposed to movement type chi gong practices like the 8 pieces of brocade. They involved moving awareness within the body to become sensitive to the energy. They also involved body relaxation techniques as well as once one was sensitive to the energy sitting quietly and being present with the energy within. They were actually quite similar to some of the Thai Forest and Vajrayana practices. Also, I was never good at following directions and liked experimenting - so when those pea size bubbles started happening - I just followed that. What I think happened is that I accidentally fell into a jhana practice that just went deeper and deeper until stream entry. But there are so many different versions of jhana that saying that isn’t really useful - I never for example avoided moving if I felt uncomfortable. I remember someone asking my teacher if during the meditation they should not move even if they felt pain and he looked at them with a very odd look like “why would you do that?”. It seems to me that opening up the micro-cosmic orbit played a key role. I also feel that that there is a tendency when doing energy practices of focusing too much on the movement side and not balancing that with the stillness meditative side - I think that is important.

Also, I would venture to say that what you describe about your relationship to work and family would probably be challenging to many people. Planning for example is a critical part of work and relationships. I know some advanced practitoners like Daniel manage high intensity jobs and I assume he needs to plan.

It would certainly seem challenging - but that is a conceptual understanding from the egoic perspective. When that world ends - so does the challenge. Actually, most planning isn’t necessary and just gets in the way of simply doing what needs to be done. I would guess that most of Daniels work is simply responding to peoples immediate needs in the here and now.

In the west, the deeper teaching’s of Buddhism are rarely talked about if at all. Buddha doesn’t suggest arahats do high intensity jobs - his advice was to live in seclusion and practice jhana - for a calm abiding in the here and now. I don’t think what I have been through is going to happen to anyone who is not on some level ready for it - being ‘ripe’ as they say. I do feel that the jhana practices - in the sense of developing tranquility and giving the mind successively deeper experiences of awareness free of stress and worry - has a ripening effect.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/18/15 12:12 PM as a reply to Jigme Sengye.
Jigme Sengye:
Chuck, thank you for writing that. Could you describe the practices you were doing with the teacher you were working with between 2002 and 2006? Is that the Thai Forest tradition practice you've mentioned in other threads?

Hi Jigme,
That’s what I was moving towards. Practice wise - I was on my own - during that period I was reflecting allot on what I had gone through, the kinds of practices, what had worked and felt right, what had not. I was moving away from Vipassana and back toward my earlier chi gong practice and embracing the Thai Forest practices (mostly as taught by Thanissaro Bhikkhu).

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/18/15 4:42 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:

I was moving away from Vipassana and back toward my earlier chi gong practice and embracing the Thai Forest practices (mostly as taught by Thanissaro Bhikkhu).
Thats interesting as I thought Thai Forest practices were vipassana, but I must have misunderstood this. Would you briefly describe the kind of practices that Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches)? Do you think that there was any particular one of the practices which was predominantly more effective for you than the others Chuck, or was it a case of everything helped a little bit in the end?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/19/15 4:01 PM as a reply to b man.
b man:
Thats interesting as I thought Thai Forest practices were vipassana, but I must have misunderstood this. Would you briefly describe the kind of practices that Thanissaro Bhikkhu teaches)? Do you think that there was any particular one of the practices which was predominantly more effective for you than the others Chuck, or was it a case of everything helped a little bit in the end?

Not Vipassana - its a jhana practice using ‘breath energy’ as the object - insight and tranquility are developed together as qualities of the mind
Thansissaro has an abundance of material - books and talks at http://www.dhammatalks.org

The most important I believe was what triggered stream entry. At that point you know the nature of the problem - some disassembly required. So essentially calming and stilling the body and mind, and just keep going.

Not Tao’s Samatha Method:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5666656

has lots of useful tips as to approaching the practice with a good frame of mind.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/19/15 4:13 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Paweł K:
very interresting 

especially being aware during sleep part. Can you describe in more detail how it looks?
Hi Pawel,
When I lie down, the mind just quiets down and drops any attention on phenomena. Thoughts no longer directed toward anything kind of freewheel though often times I do think about things related to whats going on in my life - but it isn’t something directed. If somebody calls or I need to pee or something I just get up and respond - there is no sense of waking up. I might be snoring and at the same time aware of conversations around me. In the morning when I want to get up I just do it - again there is no transition - it is more like just changing the volume on the awareness knob. There is clearly a sense of continuity of awareness all night yet at the same time rested. It’s been like this for seven years.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/19/15 4:51 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:
I wonder what you think about the ideals of the different yanas, how in some paths the goal is to eliminate reactivity and in others the goal is more of a transformation of emotional energy into a mode that while non-reactive is still juicy and full of human feelings. Is the latter something you feel you could cultivate if you wanted to from your current place?

Hi Jake,
Sorry to take so long to respond. The yanas are something I have often thought about. Awakening as I see it - involves disengaging from the world. Here world being used in the sense that Buddha used it: a mind made world - that is samsara - the world of our mind that we project onto phenomena. This is the purpose of the not-self teaching and sense restraint and all that stuff. Then there is a period of integrating and stabilizing which is kind of like wandering around in the void for a while. And then re-engaging with what is left when the mind made world is gone - Such (as the Buddha called it).
It seems to me the Buddha focused more on the first stage - figuring that once you got there you can figure it out for yourself while the Mahayana and Vajrayana teachings focus more on the result of awakening and how that is deepened - and they incorporate this into their practices. I think there must be a good reason why they did this but those reasons stem from something that took place maybe 1,500 years ago or more. I have read some of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoches writings and spoken with teachers familiar with the Tibetan experience and I don’t think there is any difference at all between them and the Thai Forest (the only school I am familiar with) - it’s just terminology and what aspect you want to emphasize.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/20/15 8:51 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hmm, I like your big picture take. I can relate to that pattern of withdrawing (withdrawing my projections of self and world from phenomena) being in a free-floating wandering mode unmoored from old reference points and then re-engaging with things with a transformed sense of thingness.. so far it seems like a fractal kind of thing which repeats on different levels but you've been at this more intensely for a longer period of time.

Also it's not too surprising that Thai Forrest Tradition has some elements that are similar to Vajrayana; i think that Thailand was a hotbed of Vajrayana for a long time. My impression is that (unlike Mahasi Theravada for instance) Thai Theravada has elements that are close to Buddha Nature/nature of mind as well as energetic transformations perhaps?

There is a radical difference between a path that says we start in samsara and move towards nirvana, which seems to be a pretty standard view in many schools of buddhism, and a view which says we start each moment in awakeness and drift into samsara. Because with the latter (buddhanature) view there is an actually pure mind that is present in this and every moment with a pure view of 'world' (i.e., one informed by empty impermanence).

Practice based on discovering and expressing this nature of mind is very different in my experience because it doesn't require the disangagement in the same way as when practice is based on de-constructing all the samsaric movements of mind. I think these issues matter to me because while there is a part of me that is attracted to the outcome of stillness and freedom that you seem to describe, there is also a part of me that wants an intense kind of engagement with others and things and the world, but in the openness of having dropped all these naive notions of non-empty ways of being that samsaric mind projects onto phenomena.

Anyhow, just reflecting aloud here, thanks again for writing up these accounts- they are really valuable emoticon

Also with your answers upthread regarding your age etc. i think some of this outcome business may be affected by stage of life concerns; I may be engaging with society etc. very differently in twenty or thirty years (actually i am pretty sure I will be) so that alleviates some of my doubts/concerns too

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/21/15 12:15 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thank you so much. Excuse my exoteric reaction guys, but this seems sooo in line woth the suttas. Fetters cut! But Daniel (and many other MCTB arahants) do not think they've cut the ten fetters and consider that model unrealistic if I've understood them right... So reading this and reading the rant (with lack of a better word, I don't mean to be rude...) against the ten fetter model in MCTB makes me pretty confused and crushes all hopes for perrenialism to be true.

• Do you and Daniel think you've attained different kinds of enlightenment? Because your path descriptions seem very different to me.

• Was there any dark nights?

• what kind of dry vipassana did you practice? Goenka only?

• who is the Chi Gong teacher?

• I kind of dropped Thanissaro's method partly because I never managed to get full body awareness and because it was so hard feel breath energy. Also because I'm undure about if his interpretation of "sabba kaya patisamvedi" was correct and wanted to try other interpretations out. 
Do you have any tips on getting full body awareness and feeling breath energy?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/23/15 12:01 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Thank you so much. Excuse my exoteric reaction guys, but this seems sooo in line woth the suttas. Fetters cut! But Daniel (and many other MCTB arahants) do not think they've cut the ten fetters and consider that model unrealistic if I've understood them right... So reading this and reading the rant (with lack of a better word, I don't mean to be rude...) against the ten fetter model in MCTB makes me pretty confused and crushes all hopes for perrenialism to be true.

Hi Pal,
Keep in mind that when Daniel refers to the 10 fetters model - he is describing something quite different from me. Though we use the same term - we are actually talking about two different things.

Do you and Daniel think you've attained different kinds of enlightenment? Because your path descriptions seem very different to me.

I don’t know what Daniel thinks. I have been here for around 5 years saying ‘I don’t think we are talking about the same thing’. If people that have been through the stages that Daniel speaks of recognize their own experience in what I have written, then it seems likely we are talking about the same thing - I have pretty much done everything I can at this point to clarify my own experience.

Was there any dark nights?
I have never related to this terminology. I think if someone believes that I went through it they will find evidence. Confirmation bias has to be considered.

what kind of dry vipassana did you practice? Goenka only?
Spirit Rock/Jack Kornfield type. Goenka was just one retreat.

I kind of dropped Thanissaro's method partly because I never managed to get full body awareness and because it was so hard feel breath energy. Also because I'm undure about if his interpretation of "sabba kaya patisamvedi" was correct and wanted to try other interpretations out.
Do you have any tips on getting full body awareness and feeling breath energy?

Start by getting comfortable in the body. See if there is a local Qi Gong group where you can practice with others. This will help lots. Practice it every day and do this for a couple of months at least. I think this is a much easier way to learn breath energy than sitting. After you get a sense of the energy, then you can take that into a sitting practice.

For sitting: approach it with a sense of exploration, wonder, and curiosity. Don’t think about getting anything nor about interpretations. Have fun with it. When the body and mind relax, the energy will present itself - trying to do something or force something - to expect something - is not a relaxed mind. If you try to push forward, you block your way. When you sit, give the mind a chance to settle down - this can take 45 min or more. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t. When the mind is caught up in thoughts, that’s where you are at - so always need to attend to experience as it is happening and not trying to want it to be different. So how is it that thoughts are grabbing your attention such that you get sucked into them? You need to see what is going on here. You need to experience the feeling of ‘abandoning’ - that is a key skill.

Remember that the breath energy is like a set of training wheels on a bike - it gives you a pleasurable experience away from thoughts - a way for the mind to learn to be aware outside of attending to a flow of thoughts and it can carry you much deeper then that. If you are not aware of the breath energy then that is not the training wheels you should be using at that time. Find some sensation - could be just the sense of pressure on the bottom of your feet, or a sense of warmth in the body or coolness - something that you can use as an anchor for awareness to stay with in a relaxed way. It has to be something that you are aware of right now - not something sought after - which just creates tension in the mind. The breath energy will appear when it is ready. Attending to your experience in this way, eventually things will quiet down to the point where the stillness of the mind presents itself - explore it in silence. It’s a very personal journey - you just have to see where it leads for yourself. 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/23/15 12:25 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck writes:
For sitting: approach it with a sense of exploration, wonder, and curiosity. Don’t think about getting anything nor about interpretations. Have fun with it. When the body and mind relax, the energy will present itself - trying to do something or force something - to expect something - is not a relaxed mind. If you try to push forward, you block your way. When you sit, give the mind a chance to settle down - this can take 45 min or more. Sometimes the magic works and sometimes it doesn’t. When the mind is caught up in thoughts, that’s where you are at - so always need to attend to experience as it is happening and not trying to want it to be different. So how is it that thoughts are grabbing your attention such that you get sucked into them? You need to see what is going on here. You need to experience the feeling of ‘abandoning’ - that is a key skill.


This is the heart of it!

Thanks, Chuck, for sharing your experiences.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/23/15 1:14 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Thank you!
sorry for bombarding you with questions to which I realize there might be no answer but in case there is: 

Do you have any theory of why you got your thing with fetters cut while so many others get nana cycles and dark nights? Could it be because you started with energy work rather than dry vipassana? I've heard yoga people say that those who don't recognise their dark nights just have great karma.

Do you think you could have done it without energy work?

I'm currently using the breath at no spot in particular with the mantra "Buddho" as an anchor, if I combine it with energy stuff I hope I'll get into a process like yours soon enough emoticon

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/23/15 1:31 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck,

Thank you for posting your experiences.  I've been following your posts (here and elsewhere) for quite a while because I've sensed that your experience is similar to mine in many ways.  It was instructive to read the accounts you posted.  And like many others, I'd like to know more, whatever you're willing to share.

One question (for now):  how has age played a part in your interpretation of your experiences re the fetters?

Best wishes.

Michael+

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/23/15 2:25 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Have you posted your story anywhere? I'd love to read more about processes of fetter cutting!

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/28/15 1:09 PM as a reply to AugustLeo.
Michael+:
Chuck,
One question (for now):  how has age played a part in your interpretation of your experiences re the fetters?
Hi Michael+,
Is it possible to know? Seems like I would have to use some special powers voodoo time travel alternative reality stuff to nail that one down :-) Am I misunderstanding your question?

With regard to the later two stages, they happen quite suddenly but our habitual patters of behavior take time to adjust. It’s like those kinds of feelings - anger or hatred for example - they no longer find support or ground in which to grow and so they just fade away - they are not at all pleasant on the physical (sensate) level. It is not a process of  eradication - abandonment is much more like it.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/28/15 1:13 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Thank you!
sorry for bombarding you with questions to which I realize there might be no answer but in case there is: 

Do you have any theory of why you got your thing with fetters cut while so many others get nana cycles and dark nights? Could it be because you started with energy work rather than dry vipassana? I've heard yoga people say that those who don't recognise their dark nights just have great karma.

Do you think you could have done it without energy work?

I'm currently using the breath at no spot in particular with the mantra "Buddho" as an anchor, if I combine it with energy stuff I hope I'll get into a process like yours soon enough emoticon

Hi Pal,

The energy work was a gateway to jhana for me. I am not sure if there were other aspects that played a part. The sequence of events that led up to stream entry fit the descriptions in the suttas once I got into jhana. There are a number of techniques that can take one into jhana - metta is a common one, another is the breath energy that Than. Bhikkhu uses. Ajahn Brahm has his method. The energy work worked for me.

My current thinking as of today: It’s all about inputs and outputs. The path is fabricated - shaped by our view, intentions, perceptions, etc. This is a core teaching of the Buddha. Change the input and you change the output.

The suttas don’t mention kundalini phenomena, dark nights, mind blinks, energy channels, energy centers, cycling, multiple fruitions and much, much more. Why is none of this stuff mentioned? Were they totally out to lunch?

The reason none of this stuff is found there is because they did not encounter it due to a different type of practice.

Both the Mahasi and Goenka styles of practice are intense - involving long hours of meditation - often 10-12 hours a day or more on retreat. Neither include body relaxation or efforts to calm the mind - just the opposite. And both traditions describe strong kundalini like energetic phenomena as well as emotional upheavals - even breakdowns - as a side effect.

Energetic practices are all over the place - some equally intense while others much more calming and relaxing. What I have noticed is that people that got into intense energy work were the ones that ran into the really crazy psychological stuff.

My guess is that these phenomena - both physical and emotional - are essentially our own excess energy being reflected back at us. It has to go somewhere - it’s experienced either in the mind or body or both.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/28/15 3:33 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
That's what I've been suspecting, the meditation taught in the suttas have very little to di with dry insight, emwhich is why nana cycling is never mentioned! So if we just Jhana away into calm, DN-free awakening could be a result? Sounds nice, and very Thai forest emoticon 

many suttas actually describes the meditation process simply like the practotioner attaining the four Jhanas (which I think might be harder than most MCTB-variants) and then they just attain the 6 higher knowledges of which one is the ending of mental fermentations.

sidenote about what is mentioned in the suttas: some kind of other body is clearly mentioned in the suttas. It might be the astral body, or the Rainbow/diamond/sun body. So the suttas aren't completely boring ;)

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
4/28/15 5:16 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire writes:

My current thinking as of today: It’s all about inputs and outputs. The path is fabricated - shaped by our view, intentions, perceptions, etc. This is a core teaching of the Buddha. Change the input and you change the output.


I am thinking more along these lines also. Since most of us come into practice via a tradition of some sort, we are necessarily caught up in the language, exercises, practices, view, intentions, perceptions, etc. of said tradition. Furthermore, the suggestibility of the human experience makes me think that we are prone to conditioning results based on expectation.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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4/29/15 9:11 AM as a reply to Small Steps.
Do you guys think these different styles of practice give the same kind of awakening? 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/4/15 11:27 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Michael+:
Chuck,
One question (for now):  how has age played a part in your interpretation of your experiences re the fetters?
Hi Michael+,
Is it possible to know? Seems like I would have to use some special powers voodoo time travel alternative reality stuff to nail that one down :-) Am I misunderstanding your question?
Hi Chuck,

Thanks for your response.  I believe you understood my question correctly.  emoticon 

I think it is possible to know.  I believe I can notice the difference between practice related results as a young man and the results of practice as I've aged.  Rhetorical question - why else would you assume that your results are specifically a result of your practice - how would you know that they wouldn't have happened anyway or otherwise?  No need to answer. emoticon

As a long time, dedicated practitioner of a variety of practices (including qigong) who is beyond the mid-50s, I've noticed that age definitely has had an effect, not only on the outcome of my practice over time, but how I perceive that outcome.  I'm not trying to generalize my experience to a larger population.  I saw your post, noticed that your age is close to mine, and thought I'd ask.  I'm not trying to spark a discussion, so let's leave it at that.

A final thought.  For me, certainty has receded with age. I'm uncertain about everything I've practiced, about all of the results I've had.  That's not to say that my experience equates to anyone else's experience.

Best wishes to all.

Michael

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/4/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Michael+:
Chuck,
One question (for now):  how has age played a part in your interpretation of your experiences re the fetters?
Hi Michael+,
Is it possible to know? Seems like I would have to use some special powers voodoo time travel alternative reality stuff to nail that one down :-) Am I misunderstanding your question?



Hi, when i first read this story i asummed Chuck was in his 20s when he did started the awakening process.  So i was inspired to hear he started a bit later.  

I heard Jack Kornfield (i think) talking about young practioners: how they can acheive such great heights so quickly .Happy to hear that there was hope for me as i did not set off til the somewhat mature age of 41.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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5/16/15 3:35 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Chuck,

I'd just like to say thanks for taking the time to write and share these. They're very interesting and quite inspirational for me. I seem to have done things in the reverse order -- starting with some rapid noting (which I think led to stream entry a while back), and now more recently moving into some of the Daoist practices (microcosmic orbit, zhan zhuang etc.).

Your comment about the vipassana practices shattering experience and not replacing it with anything definitely resonates with me -- it was that initial disintegration that led me to an experience that in DhO/Visuddhimagga terms would be considered knowledge of the arising and passing and subsequently stream entry, but that experience has stayed with me since and is quite unpleasant at times. Since that time my practice has naturally inclined itself to be more relaxed and open, which is dovetailing nicely with the approach I've been taking to qigong, although I wonder if it's 'too late' to escape the shattering effects entirely -- I do seem to experience a form of 'cycling' as others describe here (in particular, there are times when my experience is particularly vibratory/disintegrative, usually followed by a period of having poor concentration, being tetchy etc., which all loosely fits with the Dark Night).

It helps a lot to see your process in such detail. It feels to me like I'm attempting to follow a similar approach these days, but every now and again I worry that maybe I won't make any 'progress' if I'm not doing rapid noting every day (especially since that was what led to some initial breakthroughs for me). My practice does in general make me relaxed and happy, but there's always the niggle at the back of my mind that I might just be deluding myself and wasting my time -- I was originally drawn to Daniel's book in part because of the refreshing openness with which he tackles the many spiritual folk out there who really don't seem to do anything of value for anyone, and some of that 'hardcore' attitude buried itself pretty deep in me. (I was that way inclined by nature anyway, so it was an easy fit.)

Thanks!
Matt

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/17/15 4:59 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:


Maybe we are afraid of our own traditions?

Most of this material has been hidden away in monasteries. I've heard that it's possible for a priest to go all the way through seminary and never encounter the Christian mystical tradition.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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5/17/15 8:36 PM as a reply to b man.
Hey Chuck,

Thank you so much for sharing your experience on the path.
I find it fascinating.

What would you say is the ultimate nature of reality/you?

Does it seem like things are made of awareness?

And what are your opinions regarding what happens after death?

Thank you.

May all beings attain liberation.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/19/15 10:52 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck,

So what do you do for money now? How do you pay for stuff? What do other people think of you when they meet you? Do they immediately notice you are different? What about your family? How do they take all this stuff? Do you still enjoy things like music, movies?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/22/15 3:09 PM as a reply to John.
John:

-What would you say is the ultimate nature of reality/you?
-Does it seem like things are made of awareness?
-And what are your opinions regarding what happens after death?
Hi John,

What would you say is the ultimate nature of reality/you?
I think to look for some ultimate reality is bound to fail. I don’t think it is possible to know the knower - which is kind of a show-stopper. It seems like we can trace this back to godhead, original mind, awareness, or whatever we want to call it - that this can be known as a direct experience - but ultimately? who knows, maybe we are just a dream of some bee mite somewhere.

Does it seem like things are made of awareness?
Perhaps, but define awareness! gets tricky -  we have absolutely no idea what awareness is - so it becomes a place holder for something like unknowable knowing suchness, allowing your question to be rephrased as “Does it seem like phenomena arise from something mysterious and ultimately unknowable?”.

And what are your opinions regarding what happens after death?
My experience is limited but from what I can make out, the identity that most people think they are is a one-off experience - each life is unique, shaped by unique conditions - but there is an endless string of these. Something like beads on a string: each bead is unique, the thread passing through them providing a kind of continuity - a soul, true self, awareness, or however you want to put it - this is the basic quality of knowing that you have right now that knows that you are reading this. So as long as we think we are the bead, when one comes to an end we grab onto another? Maybe. I feel their are other realms - hell realms and such - which are mind made and probably evolve over time according to our beliefs (just more beads really). There is quite a bit of interesting research going on now with respect to rebirth, death, non-physical realities and such.  Tom Campbell, Jim Tucker, Bruce Greyson

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/22/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
Chuck,

So what do you do for money now? How do you pay for stuff? What do other people think of you when they meet you? Do they immediately notice you are different? What about your family? How do they take all this stuff? Do you still enjoy things like music, movies?

Hi Jinxed P,

No idea what others think of me, you would have to ask them. I don’t talk to people about what I have been through unless they seem to have a genuine interest in investigating it for themselves.

With regard to music,  I usually prefer silence or rather the sound of whatever is going on around me.

movies: I have a fondness for post apocalyptic dystopian film and television. The kind of stuff where the world as we know it comes to an end and those that survive have to make a go of it.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/28/15 10:30 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Now that you're talkning about a True Self: how has your view of the 3C:s changed with practice and attainments?

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/28/15 10:42 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:

Most of this material has been hidden away in monasteries. I've heard that it's possible for a priest to go all the way through seminary and never encounter the Christian mystical tradition.
THE Christian mystical tradition?
There are so many! emoticon Ignatian (which is a lot like vipassana),  Hesychasm (more like mantra japa and samatha meditation), Rocicrucianism (alchemical and magickal, more like tibetan buddhism) to name a few. Some are mainly about meditation, like Theravada, and some have more ritualism and Magick, liks Vajrayana. 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
5/31/15 1:01 AM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
Now that you're talkning about a True Self: how has your view of the 3C:s changed with practice and attainments?

I was talking about “a soul, true self, awareness, or however you want to put it - this is the basic quality of knowing that you have right now that knows that you are reading this” - you self  selected (so to speak) True Self - just want to clarify that!

The 3C’s were never part of my practice. I guess in my vipassana days someone must have mentioned them but I never made it part of my practice - nor ever heard of them talked about as Daniel does. I can’t imagine how one could pay attention to 3 different aspects of experience at 10 times per second so I suspect it is not a very descriptive term of what people actually do.  Anyway, I can’t say I ever had a view of them such that it could change. I don’t use the term attainment myself - it doesn’t fit the experience - which is much more of a falling away or collapsing of a certain type of identity - it is not something that is done but rather something that is unexpectedly undone - to me the term attainments implies more identity making.

I find the whole 3C thing kind of interesting. I can kind of see how it was derived from the suttas but it is also quite different from how I understand them.

Just having some fun:
A vipassana practitioner (Vick) and a sutta practitioner (Samantha) are walking down a road - having gotten caught-up in a heated debate - they inadvertently step in some dog poop. Vick stops and starts noting the 3C’s of the poop until it is no longer present (at 10 times per second when possible) while Samantha looks for something to scrape it off with - noting (so to speak) to watch more carefully where she is going in the future.

Vick is interested in bare awareness of whatever is present (which he calls sati) and Samantha is interested in an awareness that learns to watch where she is going and knowing what to avoid  - there is memory involved - (and this is what she calls sati). It gives them something to argue about.

Of course, no one is going to mistaken dog poop for self unless it is a dog that hasn’t pooped yet I suppose. But what about a feeling of anger? - noting it at 10 times per second until it is no longer present is not the same as learning to detect the subtle sensations of tension in the body that arise and seeing how the mind then grasps hold of them and starts feeding them as well as how the mind can learn to abandon and relax around these sensations such that it no longer grasps and feeds them.

It's a bit of a tangent but do these different approaches ultimately lead to the same place? An interesting observation by Jack Kornfield: My teachers, Ajahn Chah in Thailand and Mahasi Sayadaw in Burma, were both considered among the most enlightened masters of Theravada Buddhism. While they both described the goal of practice as freedom from greed, hatred and delusion, they didn’t agree about how to attain enlightenment, nor how it is experienced.
source

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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5/31/15 12:02 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
...
But what about a feeling of anger? - noting it at 10 times per second until it is no longer present is not the same as learning to detect the subtle sensations of tension in the body that arise and seeing how the mind then grasps hold of them and starts feeding them as well as how the mind can learn to abandon and relax around these sensations such that it no longer grasps and feeds them.


This is what seems important to me.

It reminds me of a quote from the video both Pal and Pablo . P posted recently of Bhante Vimalaramsi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=USJPI7MP3Tw

At the 8:25 mark he says:

Craving always manifests as tension and tightness in your mind and in your body. Always! Anytime you feel any tension in your mind or in your body there is craving. Craving is the "I like it", "I don't like it mind".

But the problem is, as soon as that craving is touched, right after that you have clinging, and the clinging are all of your thoughts and all of your opinions and all your ideas and concepts and stories about why you don't like that feeling. Or why you do like that feeling.

Clinging are all of (what) the thoughts are about, and the clinging is where the real big idea of this is me, this is mine, this is who I am grabs on.  Right after the clinging then you have your habitual tendencies...


It seems, after some experimentation, that it is possible in real time to relax the mind and body as craving comes up, leading to much relief and ease.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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6/1/15 2:20 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
So you still have a feeling of self, it has just changed a lot?

Do you guys remember the thread where they let me complain about the lack of suttaic support for Mahasi noting? This, the simile with handling dog poop, is one of the things I wanted to say all the time but couldn't formulate very well emoticon

@C P M 
The only problem with Vimalaramsi's method is that he is convinced that his relaxation way of handling mental distraction is the only one that the Buddha taught. If my understanding of the Vitakkasanthana sutta is correct, the Buddha might very well have taught five different ways of dealing with disturbing mental crap (none of which is noting it until it goes away btw if one cares about authenticy). His relaxation thing is one of them, but the last method the Buddha presents, which is present in quite a few suttas if I remember it rightly, is surpressing the unskillfull thoughts woth violent willpower, something Vimalaramsi says is completely wrong. According to him, that's a late hindu inspired add-on to the suttas, which doesn't seem likely to me but I'm no scholar. I agree with him that it intuitively feels completely wrong, so I usually repeat relaxation which is the fourth step, instead of surpressing, but I could try it sometime. It would be very interesting to read an Agama version of the Vitakkasanthana sutta. A pali to english version: m

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

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
6/2/15 3:04 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
So you still have a feeling of self, it has just changed a lot?

Many people have already written entire books on this topic. You might try Nisargadatta’s I Am That, or have a listen to some of Adyashanti’s talks but basically you have to come to know this for yourself. Trying to nail it down with concepts will just have you running in circles.

“This, the simile with handling dog poop, is one of the things I wanted to say all the time but couldn't formulate very well “

Wish I could take credit for it but apparently Buddha told it to a Deva after he (Buddha) died who then told it to a Naga who then left it under a rock in an area that later became my backyard and I found it the other day while harvesting some carrots. Sujato is (as we speak) trying to figure out which Nikaya to put it in.

“It would be very interesting to read an Agama version of the Vitakkasanthana sutta”

Go here, click the little box in the top left corner to open the menu and select the ‘controls’ tab and then click on ‘Chinese to English Look up’ - which will enable the chinese to english popup dictionary. Then move the mouse over the second to last block of text in this sutta and you will find various words and phrases that do appear to describe the fifth option.

Personally, I don’t think it was an addition. Think about any sort of skill - there are the general, preferred methods and then there are exceptional techniques for certain cases. If you are working on a car, you would not normally take a hammer or cutting torch to it - but there are times when that becomes necessary. If you think of MN 20 like ‘how do I break loose a rusty bolt?’ then the last option is bound to be brutal. But how to break loose a rusty bolt is a completely separate issue from how should I maintain my car so it runs nicely.

So, while engaged in the general practice like: “He trains himself, 'I will breathe in calming bodily fabrication.' He trains himself, 'I will breathe out calming bodily fabrication.'” or  “ He discerns how there is the arising of unarisen sensual desire. And he discerns how there is the abandoning of sensual desire once it has arisen. ” (Satipathana) - Vimalaramsi’s 6Rs fit in nicely here - but what do you do if you happen to get stuck on a particular thought? - you get out the rest of the tools.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
6/3/15 9:13 AM as a reply to Pål.
re: Pål (6/1/15 2:20 AM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.)
(actually quoting C P M, apparently from that other thread)
"…something Vimalaramsi says is completely wrong. According to him, that's a late hindu inspired add-on to the suttas…"

Long story – the actual evidence as to what's early, what's later, and the relationship to other Indic writings – but a striking point I found in the studies by Alexander Wynne (and is surely documented also elsewhere) is that around the time of the Buddha, and into the period of the first writing-down of the Pali Canon, there was actually relatively little written record of Hindhu/Bramanic/Vedic matters. The bulk of that literature was first set down well after Buddhist teachings became quite well-known, and had had significant influence on the literatti of those traditions.

For instance, the Yoga Sutra-s of Patanjali, the whole Kriya / Raja Yoga system is obviously decisively influenced by Buddhist-style dhamma: the '8-limb path' echoes the 'Noble 8-fold Path' (and parts of Jainism); the Brahmaviharas were wholly borrowed; the jhana-system also – all "with just the inclusion of the mystical and divine interpretations" (Wikipedia on Yoga Sutras).

Vimalaramsi presents s/w paradoxically. His renditions of Theravada seem basically quite accurate, but his more radical interpretations ("this or that is totally wrong"), inseveral areas, appear to be ploys to attract attention (similar to how others, e.g. Leigh Brasington, present their 'radical' interpretations). Then there's his self-styled credentials as "Most Venerable", and "Mahathera", which strike me as overtly pretentious. His on-line bio lists an overly long list of prominent teachers, "12 or 15" 3-month retreats, etc. But no specific mention of a main lineage, nor even any specifics about his ordination.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
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6/3/15 3:53 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Actually, I don't think the 6r method is to be found in the satipatthana sutta. Calming the kaya sankhara means calming the breath, not calming some brain tension:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/sn/sn41/sn41.006.than.html#fn-1

the only place where thoughts are actually explicitly  taught to be overcome through relaxation is the Vitakka santhana sutta, and there it is recommended you try it after three other methods fail. So I think that Vimalaramsis narrow interpretation comes fron having only read the suttas in Bhikkhu Bodhi's english translation, and not the pali. Now I should be quiet since I've mostly read Thanissaros translations and a few more of suttas I find particulkary interesting. 

The Vitakka santhana sutta and Dvedhavitakka sutta are actually the only ones I know that tell in detail about HOW to get rid of thoughts while other suttas generally just tells us we should do it.

Now to practice:

Have you guys, OP especially, come up with any other useful ways to abandon thoughts other than the 5 suttaic ones we've brought up? Do you think they affect the mind in another way than the suttaic methods? To me it seems quite likely that the MN20 methods would have other results than for example noting something until it goes away, but I have very little experience with that. And why do you think the Buddha thaught five methods to be used in a certain order to deal with distractive thoughts rather than just  going back to the object as is traditional? Doesn't it seem like over complicating things from the Buddha's side? Or maybe just going back to the object over and over again like modern teachers say, has some unskillful result, which is why the Buddha said that if one method doesn't work, we should try another? What would that be? To me, one method that feels intuitively right is Pema Chödrön's where you note "thought" ONCE then go back to the object (which in her weird version of anapana is only the out breath emoticon). But I dropped that in favour of trying out MN20 quite a while back. Still feels like overcomplicating and thus slightly distracting, but it really makes me look out for greed and aversion in my mind and not just looking out for whether I'm focusing on my breath or not which might be better. Maybe the main point is to increase our skill at self evaluation first before we develope stronger, mind freezing concentration. 

OP, tell me if I'm wandering too far away. I find the topic to be quite wide, but I tend to overestimate what fits in a discussion.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
6/5/15 2:16 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Paweł K:
but what do you do if you happen to get stuck on a particular thought? - you get out the rest of the tools.

what is the strongest and most brutal 'tool' you ever used?
....
I wonder if advanced jogis like yourself know or used it. Or am I the only one here who was stupid enough to explore those obviously dangerous things?...

I don’t think I ever discovered the sword thing. I did once get into circulating energy much longer than I should have and spent about 10 hours in visions and out of body stuff before things settled down - it was a strange night.

Radio Story on journey through Dark Night
Answer
6/22/15 7:58 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi all, I'm a freelance radio producer and an alumni of Willoughby Britton's lab at Brown that studies the dark night. I'm doing a radio story on the dark night for a popular podcast. I'm looking for someone who would be willing to be interviewed about their experience going through the dark night. The focus of the story is how these really unpleasant experiences can actually be indicative of progress on the path. Because of the skepticism around this issue, I'm looking for an individual who had little mental illness history before going through the dark night. Often skeptics will say that the dark night is just a constellation of symptoms that only some people are predisposed to have based on their mental makeup. So I'm looking for someone relatable, with a story that includes the range of dark night experiences-- body hallucinations, lights, daily life dysfunction, etc. Please let me know if you or someone else you know is interested in speaking with me! Feel free to email me at annie.h.brown (at) gmail (dot) com.

Thanks!

Annie Brown

RE: Radio Story on journey through Dark Night
Answer
6/30/15 9:52 AM as a reply to ANNIE.
Just some thoughts:
Maybe you should take in account that Dark Night in western esoterism doesn't seem to mean the same thing as it does in a vipassana context and that it might not necessarily be an universal indicator of progress on "the path" (what path?) since OP seems to have gone through a "path" (the same path?) w/o dark nights.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/4/16 4:26 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Greetings all, wonderful thread 

I can't seem to access the PDFs in the first post, and have trouble accessing linked files on the forum in general. Can anyone help out? Thanks!

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/5/16 9:16 PM as a reply to Aflatun.
It looks like another problem with the recent server work, I couldn't get new links to work either.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/5/16 11:18 PM as a reply to C P M.
OK cool, I'll keep my eyes peeled, thanks for the response!

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/13/16 12:26 PM as a reply to Aflatun.
Aflatun:
Greetings all, wonderful thread 

I can't seem to access the PDFs in the first post, and have trouble accessing linked files on the forum in general. Can anyone help out? Thanks!

I tried uploading the files again but the links remain broken. Perhaps the upgrade broke the ability to upload files? Don't know. Hopefully the problem can be resolved.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/13/16 2:07 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Aflatun:
Greetings all, wonderful thread 

I can't seem to access the PDFs in the first post, and have trouble accessing linked files on the forum in general. Can anyone help out? Thanks!

I tried uploading the files again but the links remain broken. Perhaps the upgrade broke the ability to upload files? Don't know. Hopefully the problem can be resolved.
Can you post the PDF text directly into the thread? 

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/13/16 5:22 PM as a reply to Matthew.
Matthew Horn:
Can you post the PDF text directly into the thread?

Yes, I can certainly do that but I think Simon is currently working on the problem so maybe it will be fixed soon. If not, I will go ahead and post the content directly.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
7/13/16 8:59 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Chuck Kasmire:
Aflatun:
Greetings all, wonderful thread 

I can't seem to access the PDFs in the first post, and have trouble accessing linked files on the forum in general. Can anyone help out? Thanks!

I tried uploading the files again but the links remain broken. Perhaps the upgrade broke the ability to upload files? Don't know. Hopefully the problem can be resolved.

Thank you for trying good sir! Hopefully this will get sorted out.

RE: My journey, current experience, etc.
Answer
9/5/19 8:15 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Glad this was dug up as im new and hadn’t come across it.
Good stuff in these logs.