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Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
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5/22/15 12:12 PM
How does meditation on "Who am I?" relate to vipassana noting meditation? Can self-inquiry method take me all the way up to complete enlightenment? In what what this method differs from noting? Is it going to take me through the same progression as vipassana?

I ask these questions because the "Who am I?" method is the most attractive to me and it seems the most natural and logical. i'd love someone to elaborate on that

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 12:38 PM as a reply to Michał G..
Have you looked into Kenneth Folk's theory of three-speed transmission?

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 2:39 PM as a reply to Derek.
Your post made me look into it and I have to say it's an interesting point of view and that would answer my question, I feel satisfied with it. However if someone has anything to add on this subject, please do so! emoticon

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 2:51 PM as a reply to Michał G..
3 speed transmission says it all.  But remember that Kenneth recommends using 1st gear all the way up through 4th Path as the primary tool.  Switch around as you want doing what feels good at the time, using your meditator's intuition, of course.  I think if you could get statistics on this in some fantasy sandbox world, you would find that consistent 1st gear is what does the most damage to the sense of self for the most people.  I feel frustrated when I read people's higher-path practice logs and they are switching to different techniques.  I imagine that they are overcomplicating it and being to impatient.  I'm probably wrong though, since everyone's different.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 4:01 PM as a reply to Michał G..
I like this 3 speed thing too,

and it maps to similar ideas I've been playing with over the last few days that each of the '3 speeds' aim mostly towards one of the three characteristics:

Self-enquiry at non-self (this seems clear enough)

Vipassana at impermanence (I must admit my experience with this training is limited to a 10day goenke retreat, my main memory from which being "Anicca!  Anicca!  Anicca!" but, y'know, noticing how all observable phenomena is an endless stream of bubbling fizzing popping flowing of changingness - that's essentially what the whole practice is about, right!)

and that leaves Zen stuck with the only leftover option of Suffering! Hurray. Well, that's what you get for not trying!  ;)
This happened to be my personal experience with training in a Zen monastery - a lot of direct confrontation with suffering. fun...
But as for general surrender, which I often (happen to, nowadays, at least) experience as quite blissful... my little 3-speed to 3-characteristics theory still maps nicely enough:
Surrender aiming at breaking the illusion of satisfactoriness?  Yeah, 'nothing to attain/nothing to achieve' pre-supposes non-satisfactoriness.  Nothing will ever satisfy, so why try at all, you are already there.  


To come back to the original question, how does vipassana relate to self-enquiry?
I'm finding a lot of benefit from the two together.  
My personal experience is a bit like so:
Self-enquiry is like dynamite, blasting undiscriminatingly through everything and anything.  So you can make amazing progress getting through stuff really quick, but its quite coarse and you can also blast your own head off or take the ground right out from underneath you.  
I love it!  emoticon
Vipassana is more slow and steady. Going with the same kind of analogy of breaking through rock, it feels to me like an all-encompassing ray-gun that gradually, insidiously softens everything, like putting your whole world into a low level microwave over a long time! and you won't notice anything special for a long time until one day you realise that everything has gone just a little floppy  ....and so it continues.....
Hence the usefulness of both together.  With surrender sprinkled through the mix, the ego does a lot less of trying to stick things back together again, undoing all your good wrecking work.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 4:59 PM as a reply to cian.
cian:
I like this 3 speed thing too,

....


To come back to the original question, how does vipassana relate to self-enquiry?
I'm finding a lot of benefit from the two together.  
My personal experience is a bit like so:
Self-enquiry is like dynamite, blasting undiscriminatingly through everything and anything.  So you can make amazing progress getting through stuff really quick, but its quite coarse and you can also blast your own head off or take the ground right out from underneath you.  
I love it!  emoticon
Vipassana is more slow and steady. Going with the same kind of analogy of breaking through rock, it feels to me like an all-encompassing ray-gun that gradually, insidiously softens everything, like putting your whole world into a low level microwave over a long time! and you won't notice anything special for a long time until one day you realise that everything has gone just a little floppy  ....and so it continues.....
Hence the usefulness of both together.  With surrender sprinkled through the mix, the ego does a lot less of trying to stick things back together again, undoing all your good wrecking work.
I love this image.  I would also include energy work/kundalini yoga/shakitpat (when they work) as part of the wrecking ball group of practices.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 5:28 PM as a reply to Noah.
interesting.  i'm finding it tricky to integrate energy stuff into these maps...(then again i'm only halfway through dan's book, does he get on to this...?)

my experience with kundalini is from it being blasted open by self-enquiry work 
and my body doing these big spontaneous spasmic jolts quite a lot of the time
which got 'diagnosed' as "oh, that's kundalini" by some yogis who work a lot with energy
and eventually got smoothed out by a taoist master
(again, self enquiry is a wrecking ball)

Could we say that kundalini is the 'energy' of surrender?  
It seems to be an energy that almost 'forces' you into surrender...

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/22/15 6:10 PM as a reply to cian.
Okay, lots of 'idea-play' here, which is what I like to do.  Meaning, I'm not certain.  But I'll share thoughts.

Yeah, kundalini is the energy of surrender.  Its the energy of the spiritual process that happens to all meditators, across traditions. Its activated by some type of shifting of the usual activities of attention towards a focus on something greater than the self, or different than the self, or backwards onto the true nature of the self outside of filters.  It is always happening when you meditate, whether you sense it or not.  Psychic sensitivity is stressed to different degrees in different traditions and different people have different aptitudes for it.  

There seems to be a pattern of pragmatic dharma yogis experiencing kundalini during the a&p and also during equanimity.  I'm almost positive that kundalini awakening=a&p.

Kundalini travels up through the chakras.  To progress, the chakra has to open, which means relax enough to stop blocking the upwards energy flow.  The connections between the chakras are also important.  There is some way that the progress of kundalini purifies the channel up the spine.  There are also more details about ida and pingala and shushumna (3 separate channels the kundalini works through), which I don't fully understand.

Kundalini is not the same as Chi or Prana, which are lower level energies and are associated with chakras all over the body, not just the spine.  A person who knows 'no-self' has opened the 7 chakras along the spine, and worked with kundalini.  An internal martial arts master or energy worker works with those chakras but also lots more and intentionally moves Chi or Prana all over the body.  I think of them as on different, parallel levels, akin to the different systems of the body.

Also, while the development of Chi and its sub-energies or aspects (such as Pung and Jing) occurs through practicing certain physical motions and mental motions for a long time (internal martial arts).... the development of Shakti, which is the external emination of Kundalini (the 'vibes' that one gives off after becoming enlightened, and may or may not be percieved by anyone but are there nonetheless) is associated, not with any type of movement of mind or body, but with escaping these things entirely out to a level where they don't exist and are seen as relative (the level of Spirit or Emptiness).  Shaktipat is the conscious practice of projecting Shakti from one person to another to facilitate the progress of insight.

The 16 nanas are the same as opening the chakras are the same as the bhumis is the same as the ladder of love, etc.  Results might be different depending on what a given tradition chooses to focus on, i.e. psychic sensitivity or no, universal love/emotional purification or no, direct phenomonology of impermanence or no, etc.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/23/15 4:31 AM as a reply to Noah.
Thanks Noah,
lots of interesting stuff here!
You've given me more to go away and read about,
then I'll come back and comment.

PS i'm brand new to this forum...&i love it emoticon

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/23/15 10:43 AM as a reply to Michał G..
Michał G.:
How does meditation on "Who am I?" relate to vipassana noting meditation? Can self-inquiry method take me all the way up to complete enlightenment? In what what this method differs from noting? Is it going to take me through the same progression as vipassana?

I ask these questions because the "Who am I?" method is the most attractive to me and it seems the most natural and logical. i'd love someone to elaborate on that
I see them as two sides of the same coin, essentially the same thing. I don't understand why they aren't always taught together and done together. In order to do self inquiry, you have to be mindful of what you are questioning. For "who am I?" to be effective, there needs to be mindfulness of the sensations making up the sense of "somebody". In order for Vipassana to be effective, you not only need to notice phenomenon at a fine grain level, but you need to recognize that it is not self, one way to do this is to assert "this is not self", but to ask whether it is self is basically getting at the same thing, just going at it from a different angle. Getting at things from different angles is, IMO, the best way to break down and thwart all of the ego defenses that have been built up. 

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/23/15 2:03 PM as a reply to cian.
cian:
PS i'm brand new to this forum...&i love it emoticon
Yes I am new as well and this forum is just what I was looking for. emoticon

Thanks for all replies, I have no more questions. The three speed transmission approach looks great and this is what I will follow. Jason Snyder, your post match my feelings well about this subject

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/23/15 6:41 PM as a reply to cian.
and that leaves Zen stuck with the only leftover option of Suffering! Hurray. Well, that's what you get for not trying! ;)
This happened to be my personal experience with training in a Zen monastery - a lot of direct confrontation with suffering. fun...
But as for general surrender, which I often (happen to, nowadays, at least) experience as quite blissful... my little 3-speed to 3-characteristics theory still maps nicely enough:
Surrender aiming at breaking the illusion of satisfactoriness? Yeah, 'nothing to attain/nothing to achieve' pre-supposes non-satisfactoriness. Nothing will ever satisfy, so why try at all, you are already there.


In mahayana (which is what Zen is) the three characteristics are actually not-self, imperminance, and Nirvana. So, to be fair, Zen is actually stuck with Nirvana, not suffering. emoticon Dissatisfaction is the illusion. When all attempts to find satisfaction in things is dropped (like trying to become enlightened or work your way up a map of insight), Nirvana is just what's left - which is pure satisfaction. In Zen they are just saying, "let's not waste any time and just sit here in Nirvana instead. Ah, how nice. Look at that leaf over there...very nice...yes..."

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/23/15 8:34 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
and that leaves Zen stuck with the only leftover option of Suffering! Hurray. Well, that's what you get for not trying! ;)
This happened to be my personal experience with training in a Zen monastery - a lot of direct confrontation with suffering. fun...
But as for general surrender, which I often (happen to, nowadays, at least) experience as quite blissful... my little 3-speed to 3-characteristics theory still maps nicely enough:
Surrender aiming at breaking the illusion of satisfactoriness? Yeah, 'nothing to attain/nothing to achieve' pre-supposes non-satisfactoriness. Nothing will ever satisfy, so why try at all, you are already there.


In mahayana (which is what Zen is) the three characteristics are actually not-self, imperminance, and Nirvana. So, to be fair, Zen is actually stuck with Nirvana, not suffering. emoticon Dissatisfaction is the illusion. When all attempts to find satisfaction in things is dropped (like trying to become enlightened or work your way up a map of insight), Nirvana is just what's left - which is pure satisfaction. In Zen they are just saying, "let's not waste any time and just sit here in Nirvana instead. Ah, how nice. Look at that leaf over there...very nice...yes..."
<3
great emoticon

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/24/15 10:42 AM as a reply to Michał G..
(Posts by Thusness/PasserBy in 2009 DhO 1.0)

“Hi Gary,

It appears that there are two groups of practitioners in this forum, one adopting the gradual approach and the other, the direct path. I am quite new here so I may be wrong.

My take is that you are adopting a gradual approach yet you are experiencing something very significant in the direct path, that is, the ‘Watcher’. As what Kenneth said, “You're onto something very big here, Gary. This practice will set you free.” But what Kenneth said would require you to be awaken to this ‘I’. It requires you to have the ‘eureka!’ sort of realization. Awaken to this ‘I’, the path of spirituality becomes clear; it is simply the unfolding of this ‘I’.

On the other hand, what that is described by Yabaxoule is a gradual approach and therefore there is downplaying of the ‘I AM’. You have to gauge your own conditions, if you choose the direct path, you cannot downplay this ‘I’; contrary, you must fully and completely experience the whole of ‘YOU’ as ‘Existence’. Emptiness nature of our pristine nature will step in for the direct path practitioners when they come face to face to the ‘traceless’, ‘centerless’ and ‘effortless’ nature of non-dual awareness.

Perhaps a little on where the two approaches meet will be of help to you."



Also see: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/2007/03/thusnesss-six-stages-of-experience.html

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/25/15 8:29 PM as a reply to Michał G..
Yes.
Also look into direct pointing which is the fastest method there is toward no-self.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
5/26/15 6:37 AM as a reply to John.
John:
Yes.
Also look into direct pointing which is the fastest method there is toward no-self.

I'm finding such a windy rigmarole of stuff when I look up direct pointing.  
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/1985820
completehumanity.blogspot.ie/2011/11/direct-pointing-and-who-am-i-inquiry.html
http://liberationunleashed.com/articles/direct-pointing/
seems to all point here: http://ruthlesstruth.com/ - a fancy website without any actual content

"fastest method there is" ?  bold statement.  I think you mean the fastest you know of.
Tell me more. I'm very curious.  

And wondering if you know about this method:
http://www.enlightenment-intensives.org.uk/about.html
i may start a separate thread on this topic, but I'd really appreciate if you can point me more directly to where I can learn about, or better yet try out some direct pointing. 

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
6/15/15 10:33 PM as a reply to cian.
The guy who runs Ruthlesstruth.com, Ciaran Healy, recently put up that .com website so there's not much content yet, but apparently he's developed a new technique/approach/insight/something that he thinks is better than no-self (it sounds quite interesting but I don't have the money to pay for it). Some of his older writings are on http://ruthlesstruthdotcom.blogspot.com/, but a lot of the older content is gone. I thought his 'One Song' article was pretty interesting. http://ruthlesstruthdotcom.blogspot.com/2013/03/one-song.html

Anyway, there are a lot of affiliated blogs/writers from the 'ruthlesstruth' movement a few years ago. One of my favorites is http://www.burningtrue.net/ and a few of the others can be found on http://truthstrikeblogroll.blogspot.com/.

By the way, in regards to what the other guy said about Direct Pointing being the fastest method, I think that could definitely be true, but you have to be one of the lucky few who happens to 'get it'. Sadly I wasn't one of those few, but I'm pretty sure that two of my friends, who had no previous interest in meditation or Buddhism, had permanent no-self insights thanks to them (I'm definitely a bit envious haha). Their insights happened within a day of reading the content. Both described the insight as an extremely obvious fact of reality and probably the most important thing that has happened in their lives. I think one had sort of a minor, but important shift, whereas my other friend had an extremely intense experience. He described it as 'sinking Atlantis' and said that he felt like he was dying or something like that, that night. Pretty much has lived happily ever after since then, from what I've seen and how he describes it to me.

RE: Vipassana vs. Self-Inquiry
Answer
6/16/15 5:06 PM as a reply to Not Tao.
Not Tao:
emoticon Dissatisfaction is the illusion. When all attempts to find satisfaction in things is dropped (like trying to become enlightened or work your way up a map of insight), Nirvana is just what's left - which is pure satisfaction.

Yes!  Glad you said that right at this time, I think it actually clarifies what I need to work on right now.  Even if I know that I can't find satisfaction in things, I still have this habit of looking for it anyway and then being dissatisfied when I don't find it, as kind of an almost under the radar habit. It's another one of those darnable zen things, in order to get something (satisfaction via nirvana), you need to stop trying to get it (regular satisfaction). Maybe?  Anyway, feels right.  Could it be because to try to get satisfaction implies you don't already have it when you do/can already have it as a natural state?  (ouch my brain!)  Who invented this cotton picking system of existence anyway sheesh!  ;-P (joking!)
-Eva