Message Boards Message Boards

Insight and Wisdom

Applicability of the Four Path Model

Toggle
Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 4:55 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/22/15 5:26 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/22/15 6:37 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 6/22/15 8:10 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/22/15 9:06 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 6/22/15 9:18 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/23/15 12:43 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/22/15 10:26 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 5:55 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 5:51 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Small Steps 6/23/15 1:57 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/23/15 3:12 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model CJMacie 6/24/15 8:12 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Jenny 6/24/15 11:05 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/25/15 12:29 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 4:53 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/23/15 12:28 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 5:06 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Mark 6/23/15 6:05 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 6/23/15 10:46 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Laurel Carrington 6/23/15 11:09 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 6/23/15 11:19 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Eva Nie 6/23/15 12:10 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/23/15 3:19 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Chris Marti 6/24/15 8:07 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Eva Nie 6/23/15 7:59 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/26/15 7:33 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model CJMacie 6/24/15 8:02 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/24/15 8:45 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model CJMacie 6/24/15 8:35 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/24/15 11:27 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 12/11/15 7:31 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 12/11/15 1:42 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 12/11/15 2:47 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model svmonk 12/12/15 11:09 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 12/13/15 12:02 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 12/13/15 12:29 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model svmonk 12/13/15 9:30 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model svmonk 12/13/15 10:03 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 12/14/15 12:54 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model svmonk 12/14/15 10:38 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 12/14/15 11:47 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 12/13/15 8:23 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model svmonk 12/13/15 9:46 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model CJMacie 12/14/15 8:29 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 12/11/15 1:55 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 12/11/15 2:50 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 12/11/15 4:05 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Eva Nie 12/11/15 5:04 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Matt Lorean 6/28/15 12:41 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/28/15 5:15 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/28/15 5:25 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 6/23/15 12:26 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ 6/23/15 12:38 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Psi 6/23/15 12:54 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model (D Z) Dhru Val 6/25/15 1:34 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Dada Kind 6/25/15 12:56 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model (D Z) Dhru Val 6/26/15 9:01 AM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Jenny 6/26/15 2:00 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Derek 6/26/15 3:44 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model Noah 6/26/15 3:49 PM
RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model (D Z) Dhru Val 6/26/15 10:18 PM
Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 4:55 AM
I have some questions. I hope Daniel will not mind if I begin by copying and pasting some material from his book. This is with my subheadings added for clarity:

First Path
In the Revised Four Path Model, Stream Enterers have discovered the complete discontinuity that is called Fruition and sometimes called Nirvana or Nibbana (Sanskrit vs. Pali). This is the first of two meanings of Nirvana, with the other being Fourth Path. Stream enterers cycle through the ñanas, know that awakening or some different understanding from the norm is possible, and yet they do not have all that different an experience of most sensations from those who are not yet stream enterers. They may correctly extrapolate a lot of good dharma insights from momentary experiences, particularly high up in High Equanimity and the three moments before a Fruition, but this is not the same as living there all the time. In fact, most stream enterers have a very hard time describing how things have changed in terms of their daily life except that they cycle and can understand the dharma in ways they never could before.

Second Path
Those of Second Path have now completed a new insight cycle. They understand the process by which enlightened beings make further progress and equate progress with further cycles of insight, which is partially true. More model-obsessed or intellectual practitioners at second path may get very into fractal models, consciousness models, enlightenment models, various integrative theories, and that sort of thing at this stage of practice. Psychological issues tend to be a bit more of a big deal during this phase, and psychological development become interesting to them in some way. By this point most people, though certainly not everyone, also have a pretty good understanding of the basics of the samatha jhanas, and these can be very fascinating. What they may be most bothered by is that cycle after cycle of practice, duality remains the predominant experience most of the time.

Third Path
Those of Third Path have shifted their understanding of what progress is from those of Second Path, and have begun to see that it is about perceiving the emptiness, selflessness, impermanence, luminosity etc. of sensations in daily life and begin to see that they have the ability to do this. This can be a long, developmental process from the first time they notice this to it becoming a nearly complete experience. Thus, Third Path tends to be a long path, though it doesn’t have to be. At the beginning of Third Path, most practitioners think: “I’ll just complete more cycles of insight, like I did before, and this will do the trick.” They don’t tend to understand what it is they have attained all that well yet, nor its deeper implications. By the mature stage of Third Path, which can take months to years to show up, the practitioner is more and more able to see the emptiness, selfless, centerlessness, luminosity, etc. of phenomena in real-time, so much so that it can be very difficult to notice what artificial perceptual dualities remain. As they cycle, they will enter new territory, possibly causing some uncertainty or instability, and with each Review phase they tend to really feel that they have done it until they begin to notice the limits of their practice. There can be this nagging something in the background that things aren’t done, and yet figuring out exactly what the problem is can be very slippery. It is a bit like being in the stages before stream entry, trying to figure out what exactly needs to be done. They need to notice something that has nothing to do with the cycles, to finally untangle the knot of perception at its core, but doing this can be a real trick. It is a very strange place, as one seems to know the dharma all the way to the end and yet somehow it just isn’t quite enough. In that vein, it is interesting to note that I wrote the vast majority of this book while I was some sort of anagami, and on reflection I got just about everything right. My emphases are slightly different now, but the basics are all the same. As things progress, anagamis begin to tire of the cycles to a small or large degree and begin to look to something outside of them or not related to them for the answer to the final question. Finally, the cycles of insight, the states of concentration, the powers, and all the other perks and prerogatives of their stage of awakening or concentration abilities (if they developed them) hold no appeal and only lead to more unsatisfying cycles.

Digression on 27 Cycles
I completed around 27 full, complete insight cycles with mindblowing A&P Events, Ass-kicking Dark Nights, Equanimity phases, and what seemed to be brand new, fresh Fruitions and Review phases between third and fourth path. There is nothing special about that number, both because it is just a guess and because of the reasons I stated when describing the phenomena of Twelfth Path. The later cycles got faster and faster, so that by the end it seemed I was whipping one out every few weeks or even every few days, but they still seemed to be leading nowhere. It was only when I had gotten so sick of the cycles and realized that they were leading nowhere that I was able to see what has nothing to do with the cycles, which also wasn’t anything except a strange untangling of the knot of perception of them. The cycles, for better or worse, have continued just the same. Thus, there is not much point in counting cycles or paths, as they don’t necessarily correlate well with anything past the first two or three, and issues of backsliding can really make things complex, as I explained earlier.

Fourth Path
Finishing up my Revised Four Path Model, arahats have finally untangled the knot of perception, dissolved the sense of the center point actually being the center point, no longer fundamentally make a separate Self out of the patterns of sensations that they used to, even though those same patterns of sensations continue. This is a different understanding from those of Third Path in some subtle way, and makes this path about something that is beyond the paths. This is also poetically called the opening of the Wisdom Eye. What is interesting is that I could write about this stage quite well when I was an anagami, but that is a whole different world from knowing it like arahats know it. The Wisdom Eye may seem to blink initially. It may go through cycles of flashing open just after a Fruition and then slowly fading over a few hours (at least on retreat) as each round of physical sensations, then mental sensations, then complex emotional formations, then lastly fundamental formations such as inquiry itself move through and become integrated into this new, correct and direct perception of reality as it is. Review cycles may occur many times during each flash, but when the eye is open they seem rather irrelevant in comparison to keeping the level of clarity and acceptance high enough to keep the eye open. When the eye fades and the knot of perception seems to retie itself, the familiar insight cycles may seem like pure drudgery, with the focus drifting back to getting lost in the cycles and then gradually shifting again to getting clear enough to get the eye to open again. The themes that occupy center stage go through a cycle that is very much like a progress cycle. Finally, the Wisdom Eye cycles and insight cycles all converge, and the thing stays open from then on, which is to say that at that point it all seems the same whether or not the eye is open, which it actually was. That being seen, nothing can erode or disturb the centerlessness of perspective. Done is what is to be done, and life goes on. That there are arahats who have opened the Wisdom Eye but had it fade and those who have opened it and had it stay open is rarely mentioned but worth knowing.

Arahat Cycling
For the arahat who has kept the thing open, there is nothing more to be gained on the ultimate front from insight practices, as “done is what is to be done”. That said, insight practices can still be of great benefit to them for a whole host of reasons, there is a ton they can learn just like everyone else about everything else there is to learn. They can grow, develop, change, work and participate in this strange human drama just like everyone else. Practicing being mindful and the rest still helps. They also cycle through the stages of insight, as with everyone above stream entry, so doing insight practices can move those cycles along.  

Now here are my questions:

1. Is the path model intended to apply to every form of human spirituality, or only to people who practice in the Visuddhimagga / Mahasi / Bill Hamilton style?

2. If it's intended to be universally applicable, where do people like Adyashanti, Mooji, and Eckhart Tolle fit? They never seem to mention the way they relate to or perceive sensations?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 5:26 PM as a reply to Derek.
I posted another topic about Stephen Jourdain, who basically really never meditated and was simply a prodigy beyond prodigies. So I ask, how does Stephen Jourdan fit in this model? (I present him as the best example as to your second question.) While it may be a language issue, whatever Jourdain talks about sounds almost more akin to legendary accounts of awakening in its intensity, omniscience, infinite value, etc. Etc. He doesn't seem to mention anything about cycles and there is no real progression of gradual development. His pre-awakening states at least from how I read them, sound better than many written accounts of 4th path MCTB claims. Now, I acknowledge this may be a language issue, but nevertheless, it is something I notice.

For someone who basically never meditated how does this approach reconcile with cycles and four stages? Here are some excerpts about Jourdain.  (GF means Gilles Farcet, SJ mens Stephen Jourdain.)

GF: Is reading the great authors a requisite of the awakening?

SJ: In any case, it can’t do any harm. Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not saying it’s absolutely essential to read these authors-and there are others-nor even that it’s indispensable in itself to be interested in literature. Yet the terrain must be prepared, the garden cultivated, the sensibility refined . . . One cannot misinterpret the importance of culture in the profoundest sense of the word. Of course, literature, Rimbaud, Proust, and all the others also participate in hallucination and sleep, but it’s a good way to dream. And it’s hard to wake up when you’ve dreamed badly. In my humble opinion-which is,to be sure, highly pretentious-for a Westerner, reading Rimbaud is more practical than reading I don’t know which “Sri Whatshisname.”

GF: I see you then as a sensitive, curious, cultivated adolescent-And then the awakening is sprung on you, if I can put it that way. Would you be kind enough to try to describe this non-event one more time?

SJ: I’ll try to put it another way-for my own ears if for no one else’s. The psychological circumstances were very precise. It “produced” itself one evening. Several days earlier, I had discovered Descartes’ famous statement: “I think, therefore I am,” and I had the intuition that it concealed-at least for me-a secret of enormous importance. I felt I was directly, in my very essence, involved in this formula. On this “great evening,” then, I was trying to extract the secret from this statement. Apparently, I approached it in the same manner as one does with koans-a word I wouldn’t discover until I was fifty years old. My approach was very realistic-let me mention in passing that one of the characteristics of my dream is to be extremely pragmatic: when I want to kill a fly, I grab a newspaper and swat it. Most people act that way, you say. As to material things, yes, but not when it concerns the spiritual. By that, I mean that when they encounter the “illusion,” they try to suppress the “Illusion,” in general, rather than confront themselves with their illusion. It’s like trying to liquidate the entire species of flies when swatting the one that’s bothering you. In short, I came to grips with my problem in a practical manner. “I think, therefore I am”: instead of examining the question of “Being,” “Thought,” and their relationships, I made myself the subject of the sentence, referring to the living reality of these words in me. I tried to grasp that formula, not intellectually, but with my very life. I pursued this effort for half an hour, an hour, until exhaustion. My intellectual faculties cried for mercy, I felt as if I were dragging myself along on bloodied knees and said to myself, “You’re crazy! Give it up! In the state you’re in, you don’t have the slightest chance of penetrating the mystery of that sentence.”

Yet, I did persist beyond good sense, showing a considerable aptitude for folly. Nevertheless, it would appear that this inner capacity to drive myself on like a madman was not without its virtues, for, all of a sudden, everything exploded. How can I describe the sudden nature, the total abruptness of the “event”? I detest using the word “supernatural,” but it’s the only one I can find that properly describes the suddenness of the awakening. With indescribable rapidity, I passed through to the other side of the mirror and found myself waking to an infinite wakefulness in my very center, in the center of that wakefulness which, itself, wasn’t an object but an intemporal act I was able to perform. I knew that I knew all there was to be known, that I had attained the infinite value, touched the essence of the essence of all things and of myself. . . I knew.

What did I know? Impossible to say. Let’s try nonetheless to define the phenomenon more precisely. That indivisible unity which is the awakening has, despite everything, several names: me, being, consciousness, infinite value. But, to cap that indivisible unity, there is something more important and that relates to knowledge. Not only I am but I know. In a sense, “I know” precedes “I am.” Knowledge is the strongest piece on the chessboard of the absolute and it’s irreversible: it’s as impossible to unlearn this intimate act as to unlearn riding a bicycle. I’ve insisted on the indivisible nature of the awakening. Still, and here again we must come upon a paradox: as soon as this other, interior light flashes, it rapidly gives birth to a certain number of “powers.”


SJ: "It’s true that the great joys susceptible of being generated by that infinite, inexplicable, unjustifiable value are completely unheard of. Compared to these joys, the greatest pleasure accessible on earth in the usual conscious state is nothing but straw and dust. But these joys are themselves nothing but straw and dust in relation to the unjustifiable, supreme quality, the inexplicable infinite value. Seeing this value supplies nothing; one doesn’t approach it in the hope of any gain. One could speak of lack of involvement as with moral value. One doesn’t do good in order to be rewarded; one does it for goodness’ sake."

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 6:37 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

I ask, how does Stephen Jourdan fit in this model? (I present him as the best example as to your second question.) While it may be a language issue, whatever Jourdain talks about sounds almost more akin to legendary accounts of awakening in its intensity, omniscience, infinite value, etc. Etc. He doesn't seem to mention anything about cycles and there is no real progression of gradual development.

Yes, this is what puzzles me.

I've heard that if you train for 5-10 years in Jungian psychotherapy, you'll end up seeing your clients through a Jungian mindset. Are the four paths just the same -- a natural consequence of 5-10 years' noting, but nothing more universal?

Even here, other threads on DhO indicate that there's so much individual variation that there isn't even any consensus on the path definitions.

I'm reminded of something Bernadette Roberts once said in an interview with Stephan Bodian: "I don't think we should get locked into any stage theory: it is always someone else's retrospective view of his or her own journey, which may not include our own experiences or insights."

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 8:10 PM as a reply to Derek.
I am also really curious about it since it has been very clean-cut and obvious for me.  The after-effects of fruition-cessation specifically have stopped bipolar symptoms that didn't go away with years of quality therapy and meds.  Its specifically cycle and path completion though, not a gradual training in increasing patience or equanimity.  What are the implications of this, assuming it could be the same for others with axis I disorders?  Is it just working because I have a lot of faith?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:28 AM as a reply to Derek.
While we're on this topic, here's an old thread by An Eternal Now describing a more mahayana? approach and he has a disagreement with the MCTB models (Obviously by the title). I want to say that Jourdain falls more under this model, perhaps not quite. But anyways, having known about Jourdain for 2 years, never once have I looked at this guy and not thought, "This is plainly unlike anything that I see elsewhere." I also don't quite count him because he's clearly a natural born mystical super genius, but as a proof of concept he so blatently violates these maps.

An Eternal Now in this thread also approaches this from his own experience: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4226400

Here is one of his posts, but the whole thread is worth reading: "Wow, thanks for the long and detailed analysis...

I'm having another class soon so I'll keep this short and maybe come back with more details later.

First of all, when reading through nanas, only A&P is quite clear to me as I have experienced those many years ago (say, 2008), but I don't experience much of any other nanas nor fruition as an unconscious event (and yes I'm aware its "more than just an unconscious event" but there never was, as I recall, any kind of 'unconscious' event in my practice - on the other hand for Thusness there was a Stage 3 that I'm not sure if it is related to nirodha samapatti). I don't seem to experience nanas nowadays. What I experience is: centerless, boundless, direct, immediate, gapless, radiant, blissful, wonderful, illusory perception of 'everything'.

Second of all, in this forum, I find that I can better recognize much of Actual Freedom's descriptions than the 16 nanas - PCE and so on. I would say my path from the point between August 2010 to Anatta was more close to AF form of practice than noting. I can recognize more similarities with AF than 16 nanas path. It's not that I intentionally followed the practice of AF, it's just that after an experience I had, my whole practice shifted in a way that sort of resembles AF practice to certain degree (as expressed in my e-book). But foreground practice is not my 'final shift'. Also, I do not necessarily agree with every point that AF makes. What I find however is that without deep and clear PCE kind of experience, it is not as easy to realize anatta. When you practice vipassana, there is this direct mode of sensing reality, this is important and becomes a basis for contemplation (say, on Bahiya Sutta) until insight of anatta arises, then naturally that mode of perception becomes effortless."

---

My current guess is this: Out of the world population, 1% of people would ever be inclined to meditate. Of this 1%, 5-10% are compatable with the Mahasi maps, and then 10% for some other map, 10% for some other map, 15% for some other map, 5% for some other map, etc. Shinzen is somewhat open about this, I don't think he avoids maps because he wants to keep people in the dark, but rather because the practitioner distribution is something like this. I wrote about how the discourse centered around the Mahasi maps are by nature exclusitory in Noah's inclusivity thread, that this discourse creates a survivorship bias that selects a demographic that vibes with Mahasi maps somewhat. I've read several accounts of people who outright didn't go with the style of discourse here, some extremely talented practitioners on blogs or reddit or whatever. To not follow the mahasi maps isn't to buy into mushroom culture, I think its the realization that we need more maps and then meta-maps, and super maps and so on and so on.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 9:06 PM as a reply to Noah.
I simply don't know, I don't have the experience to say much, other than if what you're doing works, I certainly wouldn't fix something that isn't broken!

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 9:18 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
Sweet, I'm down with super-maps.

And yeah, I don't know if my experience says anything.  I guess what I'm trying to hint at is that if paths cure psych disorders, then there is something objective about them.  There's the whole KF example with it curing his depression, plus other examples I've heard from Ron.  And then there are counter-examples, blah.....

edit: I feel like this is a dangerous subject that is either gonna piss people off or they're just gonna think I"m an idiot for trying to generalize my experience... idk, maybe the path shouldn't be measured by mental health

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:43 AM as a reply to Noah.
This is definitely a very political topic! I think on the one hand, it isn't completely arbitrary, there aren't 10,000 different enlightenment paths, but  probably like 5-12, with some variation within those categories, and those 5-12 also probably have a significant crossover in some ways, mutual exclusion in other ways.

Here's a reddit post by an ex-DhO poster who has a concentration emphasized path, more yoga styled than anything who uses a strong concentration practice to mold his life and mind to large degrees: http://www.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/2ggqkj/ama_ive_been_doing_concentration_meditation_daily/

Here is what he has to say about the relationship between concentration and vipassana. I know Daniel says the exact opposite. I posit this person's perspective as simply another data point with respect to the topic:

"The concentration pathways are infinitely more rapid and effect inducing than strictly vipassana. I do incorporate some vipassana/insight philosophies INTO my concentration meditation (as the Buddha did), simply because if a person does not practice some degree of insight/discrimination delusions/beliefs in concentration practice can become overwhelmingly strong and misleading to the individual. I think of the vipassana component as more of an intellectual modification, where as concentration practices are directly modifying the underlying functioning of the mind with regard to its energies, emotions, and concentrative ability. Practicing vipassana by itself can and will eventually lead to concentration states, but waiting for them in this way is not as reliable as practicing concentration out right. The two go hand in hand in my opinion, with concentration being the more important component. I say concentration is the more important component because the better your concentrative abilities, the faster your meditation progress - it's like an exponential learning curve because the mind is getting intimately more powerful as you go, where as this does not exist as much with vipassana.

The Yoga traditions primarily focus on the concentrative aspects because it is recognized that the strength of ones concentration is a direct aspect of higher cognitive functioning, and in accessing very subtle yet powerful natural abilities in the mind. Vipassana is not as much concerned with accessing these abilities, as it is with "right seeing". Some traditions totally neglect concentration in favor of vipassana because they do not believe mental strength/ability in this regard is relevant to the path, which, I personally disagree with.

Though, I don't mean to totally bash vipassana, it, like all forms of meditation, can transform the mind in great ways."


"As far as applying a particular mental frame, I would say, yes. My frame being that I am constantly attempting to improve myself and thinking of how I will get to my goals. I actually just went into this in a previous response, you can see linked here: https://pay.reddit.com/r/Meditation/comments/2ggqkj/ama_ive_been_doing_concentration_meditation_daily/ckj43uw

We essentially become our thoughts. If we have a goal in life and want to achieve something, we can't do it "part time". It must become who we are. All of the great people are like this. They do not do their various skills as "hobbies", these professionals live and breathe what they do. People who have this 9-5, get home, watch tv, go to sleep, wake up mind set, will never get anywhere, with that mind set. We must learn that we have it within our capability to operate 100% of the time within our mental frame and constantly be trying to achieve our goals, whether it be in meditation, skill sets, or in business. We must BE who we want to become."

----

He doesn't talk too much about enlightenment, but the way he talks about practice is very different than what I ususally read, I have a hard time fitting him into different models, but what he talks about is very interesting in terms of utilizing jhana's to basically totally rewire the mind and be very happy off the cushion/

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/22/15 10:26 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
Since we're in the realm of controversial topics, we might as well go all the way in terms of data. Here is another account of something that explicitly doesn't fall in the MCTB model (Insofar it was a correct interpretation of the MCTB models!) Reading from Fitter's thread, I get the sense that this direction is where Laurel would like to go, but simultaneously perhaps not for all practitioners, aka, different strokes, different folks.

http://oeith.co.uk/2014/08/05/on-retreat-with-alan-chapman/

Duncan Barford on what Alan Chapman has been working on:

"At awakening (Edit: He's referring to MCTB 4th path), God manifested as a radical nothingness transcending consciousness, on the threshold of which comprehension failed. But, last week, this changed in a totally unexpected way. What specifically had changed was the nature of my longing for God, the longing for the Beloved. Where, formerly, the sense of radical nothingness had appeared, as something impersonal and foreign from the nature of my being, in its place was now the longing. The longing itself had transformed into something impersonal and absolute. As such, there was no longer any distinction between my longing for God and God’s longing for me. This absolute love, a love in which loving is indistinguishable from being loved, meant that there were no longer two distinct natures. God and I were unified in a single awareness.

I could not have dreamt in a million years that this was remotely possible. In subjective terms, it feels like my heart has expanded infinitely. But this infinite heart is God’s as much as mine. My heart is encompassed within the heart of God, even as God raises mine to the dimensions of Its heart.

Why had it taken five crappy years to come home to this? Alan had guided me to a place where I could understand. Sick of the apparent disconnect between my nature and God’s, I had decided that the disconnect was not real and had come to regard the experience of God as an appearance only, as merely a sensation. This was in effect a denial of the Beloved, an attempt prematurely to terminate the disconnect, rather than entering more deeply into relationship and resolving the seeming problem through genuine understanding"

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:26 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:

Applicability of the Four Path Model.

Maybe it is like this.  We create a model in our minds, follow another already prefabricated model, or some combination thereof.

Then we practice the model.  By practicing a model, the mind adapts and changes to fit the model, slowly or quickly, dependent on effort, and how well the individual mind was already preconditioned to a specifice model.

So, we mold the mind into whatever Model it is that we practice.  The mind being open and pliable, it , perhaps can be shaped and formed into whatever, within genetic limitations.

So, what I am seeing is at least two ways to look at this.

Firts possibility , there is an Ultimate Truth and Models will help one towards that Ultimate Truth, though some may have dead ends and some may spiral off into never never land. Ultimate Truth Model, or I hope this is the Ultimate Truth Model.

Second possibility, There is no Ulitimate Truth, and the Model becomes the new Reality for the Mind, the Mind being Molded, like a Clay Model.

Well, okay third possibility, the Mind just becomes whatever it becomes as one meanders through life, directionless, Like a Jellyfish Model.

Just some thoughts, kind of hit me at once about Models.

 Like Model Car Kits, this is like Model Mind Kits.

Pick out a Model Kit, Follow the instructions, put it together, check it out.

Psi

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:38 AM as a reply to Psi.
I would like to say that Jourdain is an example of a fully awakend person that found the ultimate truth, infinite value, infinite wakefuless, and that it simply isn't arbitrary and that also models + many hours of meditation = profound nervous system transformation in the direction of the imagined models.

That's purely a guess, but if it is true, my thought is, "Choose a cool and useful model then!"

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:54 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:
I would like to say that Jourdain is an example of a fully awakend person that found the ultimate truth, infinite value, infinite wakefuless, and that it simply isn't arbitrary and that also models + many hours of meditation = profound nervous system transformation in the direction of the imagined models.

That's purely a guess, but if it is true, my thought is, "Choose a cool and useful model then!"
Haha, Syncronicity?  I went to your recent post on Stephen Jourdain, and read this, 
 It would seem that I was more or less born fully assembled which, I came to realize later, is not the case with most people.
Models.  His was more or less fully assembeled, how neat is that?

Psi

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 4:53 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
I am also really curious about it since it has been very clean-cut and obvious for me.  The after-effects of fruition-cessation specifically have stopped bipolar symptoms that didn't go away with years of quality therapy and meds.  Its specifically cycle and path completion though, not a gradual training in increasing patience or equanimity.  What are the implications of this, assuming it could be the same for others with axis I disorders?  Is it just working because I have a lot of faith?

Hey, Noah, that's great that you got such good results. As I understand it, you had a lot more going for you than faith. You went at this almost like a full-time job, and you had one-on-one coaching from a teacher. Congratulations!

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 5:06 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

An Eternal Now in this thread also approaches this from his own experience: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4226400

Here is one of his posts, but the whole thread is worth reading: "Wow, thanks for the long and detailed analysis...

Oh, I see this topic has already been discussed, and in a very sophisticated way.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4226400

I liked this quote from Kenneth:

"I would not evaluate the enlightenment of people from other traditions based on whether they mention cessation, as to do so would lead to the mistaken impression that only Theravada Buddhists get enlightened. In fact, I used to read J. Krishnamurti and imagine that he was talking about cessation when he described his no-self experiences. He wasn't. I was just 'shoehorning,' i.e. trying to force other people's experience into the narrow framework of my own limited belief system."

Elsewhere on that same thread, this quote from An Eternal Now puts it succinctly:

"Nobody said Daniel's MCTB phenomenology and instructions are incorrect. I am only saying that MCTB phenomenology and instructions only apply to a particular type/group of practitioners and do not apply universally across traditions, even within Theravada Buddhism, needless to speak of Mahayana and Vajrayana."

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 5:51 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

Here's a reddit post by an ex-DhO poster who has a concentration emphasized path

Richard Shankman says a similar thing in The Experience of Samādhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation. Sorry, I don't have that book with me to quote from. But he says something like samma-samādhi (i.e., jhāna) is his only practice, and the required degree of sati just arises naturally out of that. There's no need to do a separate thing called "mindfulness meditation."

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 5:55 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

As such, there was no longer any distinction between my longing for God and God’s longing for me. This absolute love, a love in which loving is indistinguishable from being loved, meant that there were no longer two distinct natures. God and I were unified in a single awareness.

That sounds very much like St. Teresa of Avila's description of the fifth mansion in her Interior Castle.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 6:05 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

An Eternal Now in this thread also approaches this from his own experience: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4226400

Here is one of his posts, but the whole thread is worth reading: "Wow, thanks for the long and detailed analysis...

Oh, I see this topic has already been discussed, and in a very sophisticated way.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/4226400

I liked this quote from Kenneth:

"I would not evaluate the enlightenment of people from other traditions based on whether they mention cessation, as to do so would lead to the mistaken impression that only Theravada Buddhists get enlightened. In fact, I used to read J. Krishnamurti and imagine that he was talking about cessation when he described his no-self experiences. He wasn't. I was just 'shoehorning,' i.e. trying to force other people's experience into the narrow framework of my own limited belief system."

Elsewhere on that same thread, this quote from An Eternal Now puts it succinctly:

"Nobody said Daniel's MCTB phenomenology and instructions are incorrect. I am only saying that MCTB phenomenology and instructions only apply to a particular type/group of practitioners and do not apply universally across traditions, even within Theravada Buddhism, needless to speak of Mahayana and Vajrayana."

I wonder how many people on DhO followed strictly the approach described in MCTB. I'm guessing that even follow a different approach to noting (e.g. Shinzen Young's method) and the experience could be different.

Beyond the meditation there is also many other aspects of life that I'd suspect are just as important as the meditation in influencing the experience. For example how much weight someone gives to embodiment, relationships, morality, physical fitness & health, shadow work, continual learning, changing views/perspectives etc. Then there is culture, environment, profession, upbringing etc. 

I'd suspect maps can work very well in a very controlled environment. A monestary might be ideal.

With a lot of people guiding their own practise and leveraging multiple teachers/teachings I'm impressed with any similarities in reports. It also seems inevitable that people will have different focus in practise. If two people are have a different focus then I'd expect them to have different experiences. Even more so when people are not necessarily aiming for the same goals e.g. no-self or embodiment.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 10:46 AM as a reply to Mark.
Haha there are some very good points here.  Definitely shifting my views, as I tend to emphasize "shoehorning" all maps into the idea that there is one, ultimate map possible, and all traditions are just doing equavalent efforts/stages to get the final goal.  But, especially if there are different final goals, then that idea goes to shit.

For me, this ambiguity is a lesson in the three characteristics, lol.  I can't depend on reality to provide me with a static, neat, underlying organization that I will easily identify with.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 11:09 AM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:
Haha there are some very good points here.  Definitely shifting my views, as I tend to emphasize "shoehorning" all maps into the idea that there is one, ultimate map possible, and all traditions are just doing equavalent efforts/stages to get the final goal.  But, especially if there are different final goals, then that idea goes to shit.

For me, this ambiguity is a lesson in the three characteristics, lol.  I can't depend on reality to provide me with a static, neat, underlying organization that I will easily identify with.

Damn. I wonder, then, are we just playing with ourselves? emoticon I suppose we can make ourselves happier. That's good news. We can also make ourselves more compassionate and so forth. Every time I go around in this circle (and it happens ever year or so) I arrive at a place where I just need to keep practicing and see what happens.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 11:19 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Well, for me its not play because its working better than everything else to quiet my mind and actually increase mental health.

When you arrive at the place where you need to keep practicing, is there a more concrete goal in my mind?  It seems that there are a ton of cool areas to explore that involve specific goals: jhanas, brahma-viharas, emotional-deconstruction (my politically correct way of hinting at the actualism method), siddhis/magick/intentionality, vajrayana-advanced-posturing, etc.

Edit: by "not play" I mean, there is something more ultimately fulfilling and more important than figuring out if what I am doing is actually enlightenment.  Even if it turned out that what I was doing actually wasn't buddhist meditation, that would be okay because the practice is framed by its fruits for me.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 12:10 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:


Beyond the meditation there is also many other aspects of life that I'd suspect are just as important as the meditation in influencing the experience. For example how much weight someone gives to embodiment, relationships, morality, physical fitness & health, shadow work, continual learning, changing views/perspectives etc. Then there is culture, environment, profession, upbringing etc. 
And even more specifically, IMO there is little that is advocated for on the cushion that can't be done at other times like while eating, taking a shower, walking down the street, etc.  At core, the process involves curiosity and self analysis and open minded looking for knowledge about consciouness and nature of self.  You don't need to be sitting down to do that.  If your mind has an inclination to be often probing those areas every day for years and years, IMO, it's not surprising if those curious people tend to funnel into similar territory as the meditators. 

But at the same time, having no knowledge of maps and special stages, nor looking for particular landmarks, many of those landmarks would probably be missed in the shuffle.  Take cessation, it's a very short term event that can easily take a far back seat to the many wacky things that can happen in A&P.  I bet many people don't take much note of it if they aren't trained in advance that it is supposed to be important.  As for descriptions of nondualism, if you are not trained to look for the watcher/witness all along and are not paying attention to it, then if perspective changes, will you couch it in those terms?  You may know something changed but it may be hard to describe. 

I would not be surprised if many find that it is like a long path of development, with many starts and stops and backtracks, punctuated by some super amazing experiences, and then when you hit nonduality, that is when you really feel something has changed, so emphasis probably tends to center around that part of the path for those who reach it.  I don't think the divisions between the other paths are strong enough to be always noted by those who are not looking for them, even those who ARE looking for them often are not sure about the transition points.

Taken from that perspective, I don't see anything in these nonmeditators stories that are incompatible with the paths, they probably just did not take note of the landmarks as they went along as well as are using different terminology and different world views to couch their experience in.  I also am not surprised that people make it without meditation.  Gautama was probably not the the first to be enlightened, he just made the biggest historical splash.  But in places where meditation is not or was not known, I bet some people still manage to travel the path using their own curiosity.  Meditation is the only organized method that I currently know of but I find it highly unlikely that it is the only way.
-Eva     

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 1:57 PM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:

Richard Shankman says a similar thing in The Experience of Samādhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation. Sorry, I don't have that book with me to quote from. But he says something like samma-samādhi (i.e., jhāna) is his only practice, and the required degree of sati just arises naturally out of that. There's no need to do a separate thing called "mindfulness meditation."

I recently had this insight. I already had started going down the road of doing "awareness practice" some time ago, but still maintained a (false) distinction between concentration and insight. Now, however, as I do a concentration exercise, I just view it as "focused and sustained awareness" practice. It all then rests on motivation and intention how the particular practice emerges. Flowing from focused/sustained awareness to object recognition and tracking with awareness, to examination of 3Cs of phenomena, e.g., back and forth and through becomes more and more natural.

More importantly I feel, it allows me to see how a knowing awareness can lead to mindfulness and meditation existing in real life, in real time. This reminds me of Noah's practice on "note everything in real life all the time" as a means. My experience feels less complicated (to me) as I don't have to take the extra effort to apply a note to everything. I just notice it.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 3:12 PM as a reply to Small Steps.
"Flowing from focused/sustained awareness to object recognition and tracking with awareness, to examination of 3Cs of phenomena, e.g., back and forth and through becomes more and more natural."

I've been making up terminology like loving-playfulness as a sort of Taoist wu-wei translation, this really seems in the spirit of exactly that, and kinda gets at Noah mentioning in another thread talking about the potential of instintively driven meditation, which to me seems like that kind of direction, and from a naturalness comes greater effectiveness than a more robotic approach.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 3:19 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
Taken from that perspective, I don't see anything in these nonmeditators stories that are incompatible with the paths, they probably just did not take note of the landmarks as they went along as well as are using different terminology and different world views to couch their experience in.  

Ok, I went and looked up Mahāsi Sayādaw's Progress of Insight.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html

Mahāsi Sayādaw takes his major grouping of "seven stages of purification" from the Visuddimagga. He substantiates minor points with scattered quotations from the Visuddimagga, from Buddhaghosa's commentaries on the Sutta Piṭaka, and from even more obscure works, such as sub-commentaries on the Abhidhamma. However, the definitions of the individual ñānas seem to be original to Mahāsi Sayādaw.

Mahāsi Sayādaw is quite clear that his path model is intended to be applicable only to people doing his form of meditation:

"It is meant for those who, in their practice of insight, have taken up as their main subject either the tactile bodily process of motion, evident in the rising and falling movement of the abdomen, or the tactile bodily process based on three of the primary elements of matter evident in the sensation of touch (bodily impact)."

So I don't think he ever claimed that the paths would apply to every possible form of human spiritual development.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 8:07 AM as a reply to Derek.
With all due respect and high regard for all of you here:

The MCTB way is but one of many, many paths. The idea that we have to somehow arrive at a universal map or that we have to "prove" that other methods and traditions somehow map to the MCTB way is - to be blunt - a waste of time. It may be fun to debate and discuss but in the end, not such a good use of our resources.

So there   emoticon

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/23/15 7:59 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
With all due respect and high regard for all of you here:

The MCTB way is but one of many, many paths. The idea that we have to somehow arrive at a universal map or that we have to "prove" that other methods and traditions somehow map to the MCTB way is - to be blunt - a waste of time. It may be fun to debate and discuss but in the end, not a such good use of our resources.

So there   emoticon
For those who followed a particular path or game plan and assumedly got far enough along to have some familiarity, if you look at descriptions of experiences in other described path game plans, how much of it looks familiar?
-Eva

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 8:02 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:

...


Mahāsi Sayādaw is quite clear that his path model is intended to be applicable only to people doing his form of meditation:


"It is meant for those who, in their practice of insight, have taken up as their main subject either the tactile bodily process of motion, evident in the rising and falling movement of the abdomen, or the tactile bodily process based on three of the primary elements of matter evident in the sensation of touch (bodily impact)."



Derek, that 2nd description here (after the "or") – do you get the sense of that? Is it alternative or a restatement at further depth (mahadhatu 'Great Primaries' perspective)? I ask because if 'alternative', it could refer to the meditation object as perception of the touch of air to the openings of the nostrils or the upper lip – the anapanasati object. Explanation of breath object, if I recall also somewhere in the Visudhimagga, is also mentioned as a special mode of sensation, as it's proprioceptive (as distinct from stimuli from external sources – light, sound, smell, taste), and is understood as consisting of the 3 mahadhatu (minus the 'water' element).

Given the emphasis on noting belly-movement of the breath in Mahasi instruction, it could well be just the restatement.

However, in recently attending week-end retreats at a nearby Mahasi monastery, I once asked the teacher (Sayadaw Thuzana) whether it'd be ok if I used the anapanasati object rather then the abdomen, as I'd just spent 6-7 years (1-2 retreats per year with Shaila Catherine, trained by PaAuk Sayadaw) laboring to master that technique, and wasn't eager to start again from scratch. He said that's ok. Apparently, as rigorously as Mahasi teachers insist on sticking to the regimen for beginners, they (at least some of them) allow individual students to use variant techniques which they find in some sense respectable (PaAuk lineageis, after all, also Burmese).

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 8:12 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:

Here's a reddit post by an ex-DhO poster who has a concentration emphasized path

Richard Shankman says a similar thing in The Experience of Samādhi: An In-depth Exploration of Buddhist Meditation. Sorry, I don't have that book with me to quote from. But he says something like samma-samādhi (i.e., jhāna) is his only practice, and the required degree of sati just arises naturally out of that. There's no need to do a separate thing called "mindfulness meditation."

I have copy of Shankman at hand, so I tried to tract that down. Closest I could find (using the index) :

(p.90)
"Neither tranquillity nor insight unaccompanied by the other constitute right concentration [samma-samādhi]… Both are necessary, and both should be cultivated and brought into balance. Tranquillity is the calm and serenity achieved through one-pointedness and unification of mind, but mental calm alone does not constitute right concentration. This is why the development of insight needs to be specifically emphasized if the meditator develops pure tranquility alone. On the other hand, is right concentration is developed, then tranquillity and insight can arise together."

Was curious since not recalling him mentioning "only practice." Back when the book came out, I attended a promotional day-long talk by Shankman, and book-signing, at IMC (Redwood City, CA). I wasn't too impressed with the talk (especially the guided meditations), or with the book (except for the 6 interviews with various 'experts'). I really should re-read the book one of these days.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 8:35 AM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
Eva M Nie:
Taken from that perspective, I don't see anything in these nonmeditators stories that are incompatible with the paths, they probably just did not take note of the landmarks as they went along as well as are using different terminology and different world views to couch their experience in.  

Ok, I went and looked up Mahāsi Sayādaw's Progress of Insight.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/mahasi/progress.html

Mahāsi Sayādaw takes his major grouping of "seven stages of purification" from the Visuddimagga. He substantiates minor points with scattered quotations from the Visuddimagga, from Buddhaghosa's commentaries on the Sutta Piṭaka, and from even more obscure works, such as sub-commentaries on the Abhidhamma. However, the definitions of the individual ñānas seem to be original to Mahāsi Sayādaw.


From what I find, Mahāsi uses the Visudhimagga scheme whole-hog, but massages it in at least two ways: 1) calling more 'stages' 'knowledge' (nyana) than in Vism., and 2) renaming some of the stages of 'Purification' (at least relative to Nanamoli's translations in the Vism.), and shifting some of the knowledges across the boundaries of the 'purification' stages. So, via renaming, Mahasi comes up with 15 (or 16) 'knowledges' where the Vism. appears to specify only 8 (or 9). In the sense that he defines 15 (16), he might be original; but he does define the 8 (9) that the Vism. also calls 'knowledges' in a similar way as does the Vism.*

Here are the tables-of-contents showing these differences: Mahasi names 15 'Knowledges' (16 if the strange use of 'Awareness of Fearfulness' counts as a 'knowledge'), where the Visudhimagga names only 8 (plus 1)' knowledges' (nyanas).

Progress of Insight:

III. Purification of View
1. Analytical Knowledge of Body and Mind

IV. Purification by Overcoming Doubt
2. Knowledge by Discerning Conditionality
3. Knowledge of Comprehension
4. Knowledge of Arising and Passing Away: The Ten Corruptions of Insight

V. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of What is Path and Not path

VI. Purification by Knowledge and Vision of the Course of Practice
5. Knowledge of Dissolution
6. Awareness [???] of Fearfulness
7. Knowledge of Misery
8. Knowledge of Disgust
9. Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance
10. Knowledge of Re-observation
11. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations
12. Insight Leading to Emergence
13. Knowledge of Adaptation
14. Maturity Knowledge

VII. Purification by Knowledge and Vision
15. Path Knowledge
16. Fruition Knowledge
17. Knowledge of Reviewing


Visudhimagga:
(note: 'Knowledge of Rise and Fall' appears to be split across two different Chapters)

CH. XVIII PURIFICATION OF VIEW [Defining of Mentality-Materiality]

CH. XX PURIFICATION BY KNOWLEDGE AND VISION OF WHAT IS THE PATH AND WHAT IS NOT THE PATH
[Knowledge of Rise and Fall—I] -- [The Ten Imperfections of Insight]

CH. XXI PURIFICATION BY KNOWLEDGE AND VISION OF THE WAY
[Insight: The Eight Knowledges]
[1. Knowledge of Rise and Fall—II]
[2. Knowledge of Dissolution]
[3. Knowledge of Appearance as Terror] {'Appearance' is what Mahasi calls 'Awareness'?}
[4. Knowledge of Danger]
[5. Knowledge of Dispassion]
[6. Knowledge of Desire for Deliverance]
[7. Knowledge of Reflection]
[8. Knowledge of Equanimity about Formations] …
[9. Conformity Knowledge] [the 9th]

CH. XXII PURIFICATION BY KNOWLEDGE AND VISION
[I. Change-of-Lineage, Paths, and Fruits]


Here's the opening text of Chapter XXI,an introductory summary list showing the use of Pali 'nyana' where the English uses 'Knowledge':
Aṭṭhanna
n [these are the 8] ti cettha upakkilesavimuttaṃ vīthipaṭipannavipassanāsaṅkhātaṃ udayabbayānupassanāñāṇaṃ, bhaṅgānupassanāñāṇaṃ, bhayatupaṭṭhānañāṇaṃ, ādīnavānupassanāñāṇaṃ, nibbidānupassanāñāṇaṃ, muñcitukamyatāñāṇaṃ, paṭisaṅkhānupassanāñāṇaṃ, saṅkhārupekkhāñāṇanti imāni aṭṭha ñāṇāni veditabbāni.
Navamaṃ
[and adding the 9th] saccānulomikañāṇanti anulomassetaṃ adhivacanaṃ.


* This thing about 15 or 16, 8 or 9…doesn't phase me much, after a couple of decades (earlier) studying the history of classical Chinese medicine – which was formulated over about the same period as the Pali Canon. The medicine is replete with lists, just like Buddhism, but in some cases, where one learns, for example, the list of the classical '10 <whatnots>', when one actually looks into various different sources (from different periods), one typically finds listed 8, or 9, or 10, or 11, or 12 items… Apparently, across the ancient Asian world, the fascination with numerology (as memory aid in oral transmission) didn't always necessarily imply consistency.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 8:45 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Derek, that 2nd description here (after the "or") – do you get the sense of that? Is it alternative or a restatement at further depth (mahadhatu 'Great Primaries' perspective)?

I think we'd need to consult the original Pāli. It looks like the Buddhist Publication Society published The Progress of Insight in 1973, in an edition that contained Nyānaponika Thera's English translation along with the original Pāli (titled Visuddhi-Ñāṇa-Katha). Unfortunately, the transcriptions available on the Internet have stripped out the Pāli.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 11:05 AM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
Ryan:
He doesn't talk too much about enlightenment, but the way he talks about practice is very different than what I ususally read, I have a hard time fitting him into different models, but what he talks about is very interesting in terms of utilizing jhana's to basically totally rewire the mind and be very happy off the cushion.

MCTB2 promotes the jhanas to the beginning of the section on meditation (both samatha and vipassana aspects). So the jhanas are now actually presented as the framework for meditation as a whole--although I hasten to add that this does not translate to a samatha-only or samatha-first version of the way to awakening. However, my own reading is that, especially in middle paths, it is more like the Thai Forest mixture of vipassana and samatha. Of course, Daniel might well shoot me for even mentioning Thai Forest in the context of his book, haha. You'll have to read and judge for yourself.

After stream entry, there is basically no way to keep insight/vipassana from "leaking into" even the most steadfast samatha jhana practice. I'm super happy about this change in MCTB2.

Jhana Jenny

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/24/15 11:27 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Chris J Macie:
Here are the tables-of-contents showing these differences: Mahasi names 15 'Knowledges' (16 if the strange use of 'Awareness of Fearfulness' counts as a 'knowledge'), where the Visudhimagga names only 8 (plus 1)' knowledges' (nyanas).


Wow, that's a great piece of investigation. Presumably each author reworks earlier material in the light of his experience -- again, a survey with a sample size of 1.

Chris J Macie:

Apparently, across the ancient Asian world, the fascination with numerology (as memory aid in oral transmission) didn't always necessarily imply consistency.


And the authority of the "science" derives from the authority of the author, along with his having culled material from antique sources.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/25/15 1:34 AM as a reply to Derek.
1. Is the path model intended to apply to every form of human spirituality, or only to people who practice in the Visuddhimagga / Mahasi / Bill Hamilton style?

I think the gross* cycling is an artefact of how noting disrupts the energetic pattern of self-creation. (by creating interference with using its own paterns). Other types of Vipassana eg. body scanning that goenka does is probably creating similar interference patterns so would have the same results.

The way people doing vipassana describe 4th path, it seem the insight into Annata is pretty good. But it is like looking at the insight in a room where the light is constantly flickering on and off. (due to energetic interference patterns).

Interference patters can only get you so far. Later through relaxing these patterns it is possible to swith to a mode where the experience there are no more frutions / gorss cycling.

*The more subtle sort of cycling where people go through a cycles of having fun and then less fun, or excited and then less excited are probably quite universal. Kind of like going through cycles of being energetic and then tired and then energetic again. Or hungry, then full, then satieated. 

2. If it's intended to be universally applicable, where do people like Adyashanti, Mooji, and Eckhart Tolle fit? They never seem to mention the way they relate to or perceive sensations?


It is also possible to disrupt the pattern of selfing in other ways. I suspect in the case of the early "I AM"  realization, non-conceputal thought is discovered and latched onto as a true Self or awareness. It is this awareness that is priviledged as being more real than perception.

When neither awareness and perception are seen to be the same thing. That is insight into Annata. Due to different developmental path the people following this route will not have energetic interference patterns of the same sort. And will never experience the frution as momentary cessation type of devleopment.


RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/25/15 12:29 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Sounds interesting, the second version appears to becoming far more robust in the face of years of experience. Keep up the good work!

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/25/15 12:56 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Can you precisely define the boundary between subtle and gross cycling?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 7:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I think what confused me was a statement (bolded below) on page 167 of the MCTB1 PDF:

"These maps, Buddhist or otherwise, are talking about something inherent in how our minds progress in fundamental wisdom that has little to do with any tradition and lots to do with the mysteries of the human mind and body. These stages are not Buddhist but universal, and Buddhism is merely one of the traditions that describes them, albeit unusually well."

It sounds like Daniel is one of the few people who subscribe to this view.

Most practitioners don't believe the stages are universal.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 9:01 AM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Gordo . .:
So i dont misunderstand. Are you saying that the noting, or the process of going back and forth between the object and the mental factor is like trying to look at something in a dark room while the lights are flicking on and off. This could be a cause for the gross cycling that comes with these practices.
With thanks.

So the way I think of it : The illusion of subject / object is a sustained by sort of attention / bioenergetic pattern.

Noting is not merely labeling of phenomenon. There is an energetic component to the 'noting mind', that comes from the constant 'refreshing' of attention. This energetic noting disrupts / interferes with the pre-existing subject / object attention pattern. What I call gross cycling results from this interference pattern.

The insight from noting into annata is complete. But at the end, you are still left with what people on this forum sometimes call the 'attention wave'.  It is an unessary distraction and suffering.

In a bit of a time crunch right now, but will post more when I get back.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 2:00 PM as a reply to (D Z) Dhru Val.
Just an additional data point here, for whatever it may be worth--I've never been a noter. I practiced in a "calm abiding" Tibetan tradition and then in a Thai Forest style that emphasized samatha jhana first and insight in tandem with that.

I nonetheless definitely cycle, and cycle hard, in exactly the way MCTB lays out, with stages in exactly that order and with most of the "symptoms" of each stage totally "in my face." That, and not Mahasi noting or body scanning options, was my draw to MCTB.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 3:44 PM as a reply to Jenny.
That is indeed an interesting data point, Jenny.

(I personally do not give away my data point for free, but sell it for 99 cents a pop on Amazon emoticon )

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 3:49 PM as a reply to Derek.
Derek Cameron:
That is indeed an interesting data point, Jenny.

(I personally do not give away my data point for free, but sell it for 99 cents a pop on Amazon emoticon )
Lmao true.  I seem to remember buying your data :p

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/26/15 10:18 PM as a reply to Jenny.
Jenny:
Just an additional data point here, for whatever it may be worth--I've never been a noter. I practiced in a "calm abiding" Tibetan tradition and then in a Thai Forest style that emphasized samatha jhana first and insight in tandem with that.

I nonetheless definitely cycle, and cycle hard, in exactly the way MCTB lays out, with stages in exactly that order and with most of the "symptoms" of each stage totally "in my face." That, and not Mahasi noting or body scanning options, was my draw to MCTB.

Thats interesting ideed. Did you / do you experience fruitions as cessations / blackout ?

To answer Droll's question I think this is the main way of differentiating the regular sort of 'subtle' cylcing from the noting 'gross' cycling. (In hindsight I regret calling it 'gross and subtle).

For me it was like as follows:

1. Pre-vipssana, pre-meditation. I would 'cycle' through all the stages except for frution and perhaps also not proper equinimity. I think this is more or less universal.
2. After vipassana stream entry cycle + frution as describe in the MCTB. I could also call up cessations.
3. After that when something fixed the attention wave problem - no more frutions. Subtle cycles. Similar to pre-stream cycles in that there is no frution. Percepually, ofcourse it is a very different waking reality with a lot less suffering etc. But maybe not enough energetic buildup possible for frution maybe ?

I talked to Daniel on video chat once a couple of years ago. He said I might be missing the frutions but they are still happening. But I have been looking and I don't think I am.

-------

To add another point, against my theory there was a lady a long time ago on the forums who practiced some African shamanism but experience frutions as blackouts as well. 

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/28/15 12:41 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ:
Second of all, in this forum, I find that I can better recognize much of Actual Freedom's descriptions than the 16 nanas - PCE and so on. I would say my path from the point between August 2010 to Anatta was more close to AF form of practice than noting. I can recognize more similarities with AF than 16 nanas path. It's not that I intentionally followed the practice of AF, it's just that after an experience I had, my whole practice shifted in a way that sort of resembles AF practice to certain degree (as expressed in my e-book). 
This e-book of yours sounds interesting! Where can I find it?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/28/15 5:15 PM as a reply to Matt Lorean.
That isn't my ebook, that's the ebook by An Eternal Now. Here is his blog:  http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.com/?m=0

Don't have my computer but his ebook might be in the post I linked. (My ebook will be released in 75 years, 15 years after Pawel K's ebook. It's sheer awesomeness will grant instantaneous full enlightenment of the level super saiyan level 12 upon reading)


RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
6/28/15 5:25 PM as a reply to The Poster Formerly Known As RyanJ.
The e-book (actually a PDF) is linked to from this blog entry: http://awakeningtoreality.blogspot.ca/2010/12/my-e-booke-journal.html

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 7:31 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
Back to the question of defining the four paths, then ...

This is Daniel's definition of the third path, from above:
Those of Third Path have shifted their understanding of what progress is from those of Second Path, and have begun to see that it is about perceiving the emptiness, selflessness, impermanence, luminosity etc. of sensations in daily life and begin to see that they have the ability to do this. -- MCTB

And this is the Visuddhimagga definition, or at least implies the Visuddhimagga definition:

Now, after reviewing in this way, either while sitting in the same session or on another occasion, this noble disciple who is a once-returner makes it his task to reach the third plane by abandoning, without remainder, both greed for the sense desires and ill-will. -- Visuddhimagga XXII.25.

So the Visuddhimagga uses the ten-fetter definition of the paths; MCTB doesn't.

Given Chris's detective work shows that the model is adapted in stages:

Visuddhimagga -> Mahasi Sayadaw -> Bill Hamilton -> MCTB

Who was it who ditched the importance of freedom from the ten fetters? Was it Mahasi Sayadaw? Bill Hamilton? Daniel?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 1:42 PM as a reply to Derek.
Bill talks about the fetter-uprooting as a serious prospect in his book, no?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 1:55 PM as a reply to Derek.
Derek:
Back to the question of defining the four paths, then ...

This is Daniel's definition of the third path, from above:
Those of Third Path have shifted their understanding of what progress is from those of Second Path, and have begun to see that it is about perceiving the emptiness, selflessness, impermanence, luminosity etc. of sensations in daily life and begin to see that they have the ability to do this. -- MCTB

And this is the Visuddhimagga definition, or at least implies the Visuddhimagga definition:

Now, after reviewing in this way, either while sitting in the same session or on another occasion, this noble disciple who is a once-returner makes it his task to reach the third plane by abandoning, without remainder, both greed for the sense desires and ill-will. -- Visuddhimagga XXII.25.

So the Visuddhimagga uses the ten-fetter definition of the paths; MCTB doesn't.

Given Chris's detective work shows that the model is adapted in stages:

Visuddhimagga -> Mahasi Sayadaw -> Bill Hamilton -> MCTB

Who was it who ditched the importance of freedom from the ten fetters? Was it Mahasi Sayadaw? Bill Hamilton? Daniel?
Hi Derek, 

Here is a link and excerpt from Mahasi Sayadaw, tht should clear up what Mahasi Sayadaw was teaching in regards to the ten fetters and the traditional four stages model.

And yes, this does seem very important, for if we do not know exactly what to practice, what to abandon, what to cultivate, then what is what?

I really only see the rebirth as being rebirthed in each stage, not really a reincarnation rebirth as if a new embryo, but that is probably just my current view on things.just throwing that point in there, I could be wrong, who knows?

From glossary of Anattalakkhana Sutta , The Great Discourse on Not-Self, 

Venerable Mahasi Sayadaw

Noble One: One who has experienced transcendent insight and thus removed defilements. There are four main classes of Noble One:
The first stage of transcendent insight is known as sotāpatti magga, attainment of Stream Entry. One who attains this level of insight is called a sotapanna (Stream Enterer) as he has "entered the stream to Nibbāna" and is assured of final enlightenment in no more than seven lifetimes. Three of the ten fetters (saṁyojana) are removed: sakkāyadiṭṭhi, personality belief; sīlabbataparāmāsa, attachment to rites and rituals; and vicikicchā, doubt.

The second stage of transcendent insight is known as sakadāgāmimagga, attainment of "Once Returning." One who reaches this stage is called a sakadāgāmi, a "Once Returner" as he is said to be assured of full enlightenment in no more than one more birth. A Once Returner removes no further fetters, but mitigates the power of greed, hatred and delusion in the mind.

The third stage of transcendent insight is known as anāgāmi magga, attainment of "Non-Returning." One who reaches this stage is called an anāgāmi, a Non Returner, and is assured of full enlightenment without returning to the sensual realm. A Non-Returner gives up two more fetters, kāmarāga, sensual desire and paṭigha, aversion.

The fourth and final stage of transcendent insight is known as Arahatship, full enlightenment.An Arahat is fully enlightened, having given up all ten fetters that bind the mind tosaṁsāraIn addition to the first fivethis includes rūparāga, desire for states of form (i.e., jhāna), arūparāga, desire for states of formlessness (i.e., the formless jhānas),uddhacca, restlessness, māna, conceit and avijjā, ignorance.
http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-anat/anat09.htm



Psi

http://www.budsas.org/ebud/mahasi-anat/anat00.htm

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 2:47 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Bill talks about the fetter-uprooting as a serious prospect in his book, no?


Great recall, Noah!

Bill does indeed say:

"According to the Commentaries, with the attainment of each level certain defilements of mind are uprooted, but more deeply rooted defilements remain." (Saints and Psychopaths, p. 67).

So he is mixing up defilements (kilesas) and fetters (samyojanas). As a result, he misattributes the ten-fetter model to the commentaries, whereas in fact it comes from the Pali canon's Sutta Pitaka itself.

He then goes on to say:

"The classic descriptions in the Commentaries don't hold up very well to Western standards of scientific quantifiable definition, for example, the uprooting of the belief of self. I have yet to meet anyone who believes that they do not exist as a result of becoming enlightened."

So Bill Hamilton is the one who jettisoned the ten-fetter model. Daniel and Kenneth are just repeating Bill, along with Bill's opinion that the ten-fetter model wasn't scientific enough for his liking.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 2:50 PM as a reply to Psi.
Psi:
Here is a link and excerpt from Mahasi Sayadaw, tht should clear up what Mahasi Sayadaw was teaching in regards to the ten fetters and the traditional four stages model.

And yes, this does seem very important, for if we do not know exactly what to practice, what to abandon, what to cultivate, then what is what?

I really only see the rebirth as being rebirthed in each stage, not really a reincarnation rebirth as if a new embryo, but that is probably just my current view on things.just throwing that point in there, I could be wrong, who knows?

Excellent! So now we know for sure that the ten fetters were in the tradition all the way from the Sutta Pitaka to the Visuddhimagga to the Mahasi Sayadaw. 

And yes, like you, I also see "rebirth" as an internal event.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 4:05 PM as a reply to Derek.
A couple more interesting sources of info, sort of related to this discussion:

-In the now-defunct 'Chuck's Corner', on the wiki of this website, Chuck expressed an interesting view of the limited-emotional or limited-action range models of enlightenment, which is that an arahant could still break the precepts, but she would because she has enough spaciousness of mind to avoid things that would get her kicked out of the sangha.  The basic theme is that it isn't black & white, but a gradual improvement of conduct, perhaps towards a certain critical mass of wisdom and training, which may or may not suggest a point of no return in regards to the avoidance of certain impulsive behaviors.

-In the Than-Geoff interview that someone recently posted from the Oberlin college website, he talks about how he has worked with and weakened the sex drive over decades of training.  He does not claim to have eliminated it, but rather that it never could overcome him (probably partially because he wouldn't put himself in a situation where that would be a risk).

The message I get from such viewpoints is that it not right to mythologize the superman-enlightenment, but it is also not right to completely separate the fundamental insight/ wisdom from things like conduct and personality.... In the case of the many Western, spiritual teachers who have been caught with their pants down, they simply had more work to do regarding technical sila training.  Perhaps the Sutta-definitions of the path attainments should be understood as interfaced and advanced thresholds of skill in both morality and wisdom.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/11/15 5:04 PM as a reply to Mark.
Mark:


I'd suspect maps can work very well in a very controlled environment. A monestary might be ideal.


Just the controlled ideas might also control how the process unfolds.  If everyone is expecting certain things to happen, encouraging them, looking for them, etc, the entire time, seems to me that those things are more likely to happen.  Reminds me of this time I had been given a map to a campsite.  But the one who made the map left off one of the turns, hence I did not take that turn and then was looking for a dirt road in a different area that was a certain number of miles from another point on the map.  But since one part of the steps was left off, I was looking in the wrong place.  Well that area has a lot of trails so turns out there was a trail really close to place I expected to find one (even though it was the wrong one).  There are so many trails if you look hard, you will find one of them eventually.

But the point I think I am trying to make is that if the land has many trails leading in various directions, if you expect to find a trail in a certain place, then you probably will find one thereabouts if you look really hard.  The more people following that map and finding that trail and reporting back will subtantiate that map more and more in the mind of the group.  But other groups might have different maps and the territory it describes may have a number of areas that look quite different.  And the points of interest they like to use might be quite different too, one might like to use the shapes of trees, another might like to use the kind of rocks in the area.  One guy might be looking down at the rocks mostly but if asked might vaguely realize that there were some interesting trees there I think also maybe.  I still suspect that most of the trails wander in the same general direction though..
-Eva 

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/12/15 11:09 PM as a reply to Derek.
Hi Derek,

Thanx for bringing this up, it is an important question in my opinion.

My recollection is that the two intermediate enlightenment states, sakadagami (once returner) and anagami (non-returner) are not mentioned in the suttas. I think the suttas only mention arhant and sotapanna. Typically the pattern is that a person, usually a monk but sometimes a lay person, hears a discourse by the Buddha and becomes a stream-enterer. Sometimes if they are monks they practice meditation to get to sotapanna. Then after that, practicing meditation further usually with mastering jhana, they experience the dissolution of the roots of the kilesas and become arhants, but usually only monks become arhants in the suttas. I believe the suttas don't go into a lot of detail about the process of liberation like the Visuddhimagga does, unlike jhana where they actually do give quite a bit of detail. I also don't think the suttas map the fetters to the enlightenment process, though they do discuss them in general. In the suttas, the kilesas (greed, hatred, and delusion) which are mentioned as the roots of the fetters, are said to be completely uprooted at full enlightenment (i.e. in an arhant). Since, from a cosmological standpoint, the kilesas are the energy behind rebirth, that would be necessary in order for an arhant not to be reborn.

It is of course not possible to be sure, but maybe Bill Hamilton's approach, and by extension Daniel's and Kenneth's, was informed by the "crazy wisdom" tradition of Tibet. For example, most people who met him agree that Choem Trugpa Rimpoche was, if not enlightened, then deeply developed spiritually. Yet on an ethical and moral level, he was pretty sleazy, to say the least. I think this can happen when the view of the 3Cs becomes unbalanced, and no-self begins to predominate, and, in particular, when the view of existence as dukkha is minimized.

As for scientific or not, well, I think the whole idea of enlightenment, i.e. a permanent and lasting change in cognitive, ethical, and emotional state, as a result of achieving an altered state of consciousness would have been quite controversial if published at a conference on cognitive psychology when Bill Hamilton was alive. Maybe not so much now, there are some folks looking into the topic in a round about way. So I personally don't think minimizing the ethical dimension of enlightenment in favor of the cognitive one is any more or less scientific, though it seems from what you and Noah have come up with maybe Bill saw it that way.

Maybe I'm missing something here?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 12:02 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Derek,

Thanx for bringing this up, it is an important question in my opinion.

My recollection is that the two intermediate enlightenment states, sakadagami (once returner) and anagami (non-returner) are not mentioned in the suttas. I think the suttas only mention arhant and sotapanna
I recollect it is mentioned many ,many times in the Suttas, here is one mentioning, in the second section, the first section is to explain the ten fetters, for anyone interested in exactly what are the fetters, just FYI.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an10/an10.013.than.html

"There are these ten fetters. Which ten? Five lower fetters & five higher fetters. And which are the five lower fetters? Self-identity views, uncertainty, grasping at precepts & practices, sensual desire, & ill will. These are the five lower fetters. And which are the five higher fetters? Passion for form, passion for what is formless, conceit, restlessness, & ignorance. These are the five higher fetters. And these are the ten fetters."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.022.nypo.html
The Explicit Teaching and Its Fruit

42. "Monks, this Teaching so well proclaimed by me, is plain, open, explicit, free of patchwork. In this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork; for those who are arahants, free of taints, who have accomplished and completed their task, have laid down the burden, achieved their aim, severed the fetters binding to existence, who are liberated by full knowledge, there is no (future) round of existence that can be ascribed to them.

43. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned the five lower fetters will all be reborn spontaneously (in the Pure Abodes) and there they will pass away finally, no more returning from that world.

44. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned three fetters and have reduced greed, hatred and delusion, are all once-returners, and, returning only once to this world, will then make an end of suffering.

45. "Monks, in this Teaching that is so well proclaimed by me and is plain, open, explicit and free of patchwork, those monks who have abandoned three fetters, are all stream-enterers, no more liable to downfall, assured, and headed for full Enlightenment.


RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 12:29 AM as a reply to Psi.
Just in general,

Something else I think is strange, is that actually all this talk about eliminating hatred and greed , and how it is not possible etc, and then comparing that idea to the ideas presented by the Buddha, and that actually hatred and greed are eliminated at the third stage, not the fourth stage.  

More bluntly, It is not just the Arahant that has eliminated hatred and greed , but also the Non-Returner.  A point that seems often overlooked??

And even beyond that , there is also an issue with the amount of hatred and greed, which is diminished and a good chunk of that is abandoned by the second stage.  Another point that is often overlooked??

Personally, I do not see what the big deal is with the diminshing and eventual abandonment of hatred and greed.  If one trains to eliminate or diminish hatred and greed, they will eliminate hatred and greed.  If not, well then that is clinging to hatred and greed.  I do not know why anyone wants to hang on to such habitual tendencies??  It is perplexing, maybe we are just stubborn in our views?  Maybe it is just the way things are worded, and the actual results are the same.  Maybe there is confusion in describing painful sensations, and not separating them from the aftermath of the hatred response, same with the pleasant sensations and not separating them from their aftermath of the greed response.  Being mindful and intentionally separating the two, continuously and with practice should give rise to a different response system.  Which in the least will eventually enable a practioner to diminsh the effects of hatred and greed, and in many instances eliminate the response entirely.  It does not seem mythological or out of the realm of normal human possibilities for this to be so.But if we are not at least trying to reduce the amount of hatred and greed in the world, starting with what we can actually have the greatest impact upon, namely ourselves, what is the point to practicing anyway?

I really do not want to argue or offend anyone,  Right now, I just want peace, I think I am world weary, or just dispassionate, I dunno, maybe I am just tired tonight.

Many blessings...  emoticon

Psi

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 8:23 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:

I personally don't think minimizing the ethical dimension of enlightenment in favor of the cognitive one is any more or less scientific, though it seems from what you and Noah have come up with maybe Bill saw it that way.


Yes, this business of criticizing the fetter model on the grounds that its definitions "don't hold up very well to Western standards of scientific quantifiable definition" is just an attempt to conceal the fact that he's making a value judgment.

What he's basically saying is that his own form of spirituality is the apex of human development; anyone else's is at best a poor imitation.

He wants to legitimate this claim by making out that he has canonical support for it. Where the canonical texts agree with him, he applauds their "scientific" accuracy. Where the canonical texts disagree with him, he dismisses them as myth, error, and superstition.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 10:03 PM as a reply to Psi.
Hi Psi,

Yes, you're right about that.

Edit: But I don't recall if there is ever a story of a person actually realizing anagami or sakadagami like there is with sotapanna and arhant. Where the monk/nun, usally cited by name goes off, practices diligently, realizes one of the two, then comes back and the Buddha proclaims that he or she has in fact realized the state? Do you know of one?

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 9:30 PM as a reply to Psi.
Hi Psi,
Personally, I do not see what the big deal is with the diminshing and eventual abandonment of hatred and greed.  If one trains to eliminate or diminish hatred and greed, they will eliminate hatred and greed.  If not, well then that is clinging to hatred and greed.  I do not know why anyone wants to hang on to such habitual tendencies??
This is something I've wondered about as well. I can't see why anyone would want to hang onto greed and hatred. Maybe its because they simply don't believe its possible?

 

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/13/15 9:46 PM as a reply to Derek.
Derek,

I don't think the problem is trying to take a scientific approach per se, I think it is clinging to a pendantic view of what that means. And, as you say, substituting a value judgement for what the tradition holds is possible. There are other folks, for example Richie Davidson at U. Wisconsin who have been working with the Dali Lama for a number of years to measure the effects of meditation, and there's a group at Stanford, the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research, that are using scientific methods to measure how to develop more compassion. Probably when Bill Hamilton was alive, there were less cognitive psychologists interested in meditation, now it's much more common. Science is really just about measurement, and you can measure anything that manifests as a sensory event or for which a sensory event is a side effect.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/14/15 12:54 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Hi Psi,

Yes, you're right about that.

Edit: But I don't recall if there is ever a story of a person actually realizing anagami or sakadagami like there is with sotapanna and arhant. Where the monk/nun, usally cited by name goes off, practices diligently, realizes one of the two, then comes back and the Buddha proclaims that he or she has in fact realized the state? Do you know of one?
Whew!!  No, I do not know about an exact sutta.  But , I did find this on Wiki, it lists how many of each stage for Lay Followers listed in the Suttas.  Which is kinda cool, as it pushes back the misconception and delusion that lay people can not become enlightened.

Unfortunately , the link does not really tell which Suttas say what and where... Except of the mentioning of DN 16 and MN 73. Maybe that is it, I do not know.

Also,  I did not look into the Anagami or Sakagami cases that were Monk Practioners.

http://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=Lay_arahant#Sakadagami_Lay_followers

Also DN 16 
"The layman Kakudha, Ananda, through the destruction of the five lower fetters (that bind beings to the world of the senses), has arisen spontaneously (among the Suddhavasa deities), and will come to final cessation in that very place, not liable to return from that world."So it is with Kalinga, Nikata, Katissabha, Tuttha, Santuttha, Bhadda, and Subhadda, and with more than fifty laymen in Nadika. More than ninety laymen who have passed away in Nadika, Ananda, through the destruction of the three fetters, and the lessening of lust, hatred, and delusion, have become once-returners and are bound to make an end of suffering after having returned but once more to this world.
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/dn/dn.16.1-6.vaji.html


I do not really know what good looking at this is, excepting it may free someone from a blockage to Enlightenment if they formerly believed only monks could be enlightened.  And for Monks, it may lessen the grip of conceit that may have hold of their mind thinking they were special or sumthin'...  I am saying that in a nice way, with compassion.  emoticon, some things are hard to abandon.  Even the view of being either a Monk or a Layperson has to be abandoned, eventually.  

But if anyone does find more specific Suttas to help answer the question by svmonk, I would like to read that also...

I am rephrasing your question , a little.
Is there a  story of a person actually realizing anagami or sakadagami , where the monk/nun, usally cited by name goes off, practices diligently, realizes one of the two, then comes back and the Buddha proclaims that he or she has in fact realized the state? 
Psi

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/14/15 8:29 AM as a reply to svmonk.
re: svmonk (12/12/15 11:09 PM as a reply to Derek.)

"My recollection is that the two intermediate enlightenment states, sakadagami (once returner) and anagami (non-returner) are not mentioned in the suttas… I also don't think the suttas map the fetters to the enlightenment process…"

(12/13/15 10:03 PM as a reply to Psi.)
"But I don't recall if there is ever a story of a person actually realizing anagami or sakadagami like there is with sotapanna and arhant. Where the monk/nun, usally cited by name goes off, practices diligently, realizes one of the two, then comes back and the Buddha proclaims that he or she has in fact realized the state? Do you know of one?"

There are also some associations of the 4 stages with the fetter scheme in the Samyutta Nikaya:

1) Two mentions of particular" householders" (Sirivaddha and Manadinna), who, with abandonment of the lower fetters, the "Blessed One" declares as "the fruit of non-returning." (SN p. 1655 Satipatthanasamyutta: 29 (9) Sirivaddha + 30 (10)Manadinna)

2) Sotapattisamyutta pp.1811-13, outlines the 4 stages, in reverse order, with reference to the fetter scheme, using the term "some person", and some curious variations on the terms to name the stages:

a) "… has attained liberationdwells in the taintless liberation of mind…"
b) "… with utter destruction ofthe 5 lower fetters he has become one of spontaneous birth, due to attain Nibbana there without returning from that world."
c) "…with the utter destruction of 3 fetters and diminishing greed, hatred, and delusion, he is aonce returner…"
d) "…with the utter destruction of 3 fetters he is a stream-enterer…"

On pp 1814-15 a similar outline,

a) "… has attained liberationdwells in the taintless liberation of mind…"
b) "… with utter destruction ofthe 5 lower fetters he has become one who attains final knowledge early in this very life, or one who attains final knowledge at the time of death, or an attainer of Nibbana in the interval, or an attainer of Nibbana upon landing, or an attainer without exertion, or an attainer of Nibbana with exertion, or one bound upstream, heading towards the Akanittha realm…"
(B.Bodhi footnote: "a fivefold elaboration on the nonreturner" [but there are 7 characterizations there with the "or"???])
c) "…with the utter destruction of 3 fetters and diminishing greed, hatred, and delusion, he is a once returner…"
d) "…with the utter destruction of 3 fetters he is a stream-enterer…"

The terms we now routinely use for the stages are apparently a traditional simplification of what was originally (in the sutta-s) more a jumble of descriptive characterizations. Another question would be where these citations (and others there maybe) fall in the various historical "stratifications" of the sutta-s, e.g. the work of Analayo, Sujato and others – i.e. EBT or more later compositions.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/14/15 10:38 PM as a reply to Psi.
Thanx Psi (and Chris)!

With respect to:
I do not really know what good looking at this is, excepting it may free someone from a blockage to Enlightenment if they formerly believed only monks could be enlightened.  And for Monks, it may lessen the grip of conceit that

Well, I always find the stories in the suttas inspiring, actually moreso than the bits about doctrine or the meditation instructions. I can just imagine the Buddha as a young man sitting around on a warm summer night with his monks gathered round in the Bamboo Grove giving a discourse, or as an old man sitting high on Vulture Peak, Saraputra and Moggdalena both dead and only Ananda around to keep him company, when Ajatasatru's minister comes and asks him about how to subvert the Vajjan Republic, which is how the Mahaparanibbana Sutta begins.

RE: Applicability of the Four Path Model
Answer
12/14/15 11:47 PM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:
Thanx Psi (and Chris)!

With respect to:
I do not really know what good looking at this is, excepting it may free someone from a blockage to Enlightenment if they formerly believed only monks could be enlightened.  And for Monks, it may lessen the grip of conceit that

Well, I always find the stories in the suttas inspiring, actually moreso than the bits about doctrine or the meditation instructions. I can just imagine the Buddha as a young man sitting around on a warm summer night with his monks gathered round in the Bamboo Grove giving a discourse, or as an old man sitting high on Vulture Peak, Saraputra and Moggdalena both dead and only Ananda around to keep him company, when Ajatasatru's minister comes and asks him about how to subvert the Vajjan Republic, which is how the Mahaparanibbana Sutta begins.
Ha!  Sorry, by not knowing what good looking at this is, I meant not knowing what good it is looking for the second and and third stage of enlightment in the Suttas.  Looking for a sutta specific to those stages, anagami or sakadagami.  But, I see the error of my previous thinking.  Indeed, it would be excellent to see the suttas directly pointing to and explaining specifically the stages and specific trainings pertaining to the stages of development with the anagami and the sakagami.

By no means did I mean to say that I did not know what good it is to Investigate the Suttas.  I see I may have communicated poorly. Sorry.

But, also, after a days further reflection, it does seem that the Suttas do give full instructions to those practioners within all stages of training, but maybe it does not explicitly break it down that way.  Like, if you are a Sakadagami, focus more of your training upon such and such.  But, it is probably in there.   

I think part of the problem is that , as humans, then and now, it may be hard to look and examine the stages of development objectively, i.e. with equanimity and clear comprehension.  This mainly being because humans are so competitive by nature, and fall for jealousy reactive patterns, plus, humans lie alot, so it is hard to build trust, and a host of other factors.  Thus, I think Monks and practioners have a taboo against talking about attaiments, powers etc.  At least in Public.  Kind of a Spiritual Materialism thing.  And for good reason, for example, say one did have Xray vision, or had experienced the phenomenon of Xray vision, people would think they were crazy, so why mention it?

I will have to contemplate about what you said earlier, imagining the Buddha sitting around on a warm summer night and such.  I think I have gotten the mind so wrapped up in the Dharma, that I forget there was an actual historical person, flesh and blood, totally human, that realized all this stuff.  Not Myths , but reality, normal crap, everyday training that accumulates into real changes.  Want less dukkha?  Practice Right Livelihood, and that brings cessation to certain forms of dukkha.  Want less dukkha?  Practice Right Action, and that brings to cessation certain forms of dukkha.

If one saw a Buddha today,  would one really know?  Maybe there is one sitting on a hillside somewhere pointing his or her finger at the moon.  Or in some restaurant sipping some tea.  Or walking a dog, who knows?  emoticon

Psi