Message Boards Message Boards

Claims to Attainments

2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings

Toggle
2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/22/15 2:57 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Not Tao 9/22/15 5:51 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Oochdd 9/23/15 1:13 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/23/15 5:52 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jo Jo 9/23/15 2:06 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/23/15 5:05 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Noah 9/23/15 5:53 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jo Jo 9/23/15 2:49 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings J J 9/23/15 2:34 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/24/15 5:42 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jinxed P 9/24/15 7:48 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/26/15 4:39 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jinxed P 9/28/15 9:45 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Eva Nie 9/28/15 7:04 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Pål 9/24/15 11:20 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/26/15 4:47 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Pål 9/27/15 12:00 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/28/15 4:04 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Noah 9/28/15 6:06 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Dada Kind 9/28/15 7:08 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/29/15 4:00 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Eva Nie 9/28/15 7:11 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/30/15 4:10 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Eva Nie 10/5/15 3:16 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jinxed P 9/28/15 10:56 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/29/15 4:40 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Eva Nie 9/29/15 7:24 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jinxed P 9/29/15 11:42 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 9/30/15 3:57 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Noah 9/30/15 3:58 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii 10/5/15 12:32 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Noah 10/5/15 3:10 PM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Jinxed P 9/30/15 10:03 AM
RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings Eva Nie 9/28/15 6:58 PM
I am sitting in the car waiting to collect my mother so thought I would write a little for my own amusement and out of a desire to connect with DhO a bit, as I feel not a small amount of fondness and gratitude to Daniel Ingram and DhO.

Finding MCTB 2 years ago marked the start of my spiritual journey proper, that is, the journey of awakening, aka, miserable dismantlement of oneself emoticon
At that time I didn't know if any sort of enlightenment was real at all, hadn't met anyone who was "awake" or anyone who was pursuing enlightenment at all, I had never been to a satsang or met a spiritual teacher, didn't know any "spiritual seekers".

Since then I have had some fun on the spiritual scene rollercoaster, spent quite a lot of time on retreat, met some great people and some very enlightened teachers and learned and unlearned a lot. Met countless very misguided people too which is heartbreaking and also fine and amusing.

Life-wise, the content and direction of my life has totally fallen apart, in a good way. My circumstance were favourable (no kids, no ties, had let go ideas about career already, I am a pleasant, intelligent and hardworking type, so no worries with finding work etc) and so I have been lucky to be able to surrender nicely into the big whatever of Life.

On 4th path

I think one of the good things about this forum/MCTB is the motivation and transmission that the concept of 4th path allows. So yes, I identify with what Daniel calls 4th path. When I claimed it 2 years ago, I see now that was actually late 3rd, and 4th settled in a few months later. It is worth doing, and it is do-able quickly with good practice, good motivation, good conditions, and good surrender!

But aside from that I am now not so keen on the emphasis placed on it in this forum, and certainly I think that the way Dan presents it in MCTB is maybe not that good an idea, in the grander scheme of things. If we are doing models, I align much more with the traditional 4 path fetter model, or the 4 yogas of mahamudra.

after mctb 4th path

practice now is clearly effortless and all I can say is that the system (this bodymind) just reacts with disgust to any out-of-truth behaviour (karmic tendencies). This is any learned behaviour which was formed as a way of avoiding certain feelings, which I now 'automatically' do. The system has a taste for uprooting these things, and just won't let me have them. (I have a technical explanation of the nature of awareness and why this must be so, but it's too boring for now.)

So I can't even say that I have a goal, but I guess from my teacher who has been here, the goal is continual stripping away of all this kind of behaviour, until all action is fluid and original, and not "canned" responses.

the body and energetic system

for me, mctb 4th path meant finally being able to effortlessly rest the mind, all of it, by itself, in What Is, without it constantly splitting in two to watch itself, or doing some other deluded activity. With this, the attention started to settle by itself downwards, into the body, much more and more often. the subtle energy system of the body is having to purify and wake up. So a lot of weird effects in the body and the feeling of being in a body is changing a lot. I have a fascinating model relating to trigger points and kundalini etc about what is happening, but another time.

I believe that the body and subtle energetic system is where all the karmic tendencies (subconscious patterns) hide out. All the enlightened people who I feel have cleared out a lot of their habitual tendencies have emphasised the physical transformation of the body as the actual bulk of the journey, much more than the realisation of non-duality in the mind. One teacher I really rate for this is Igor Kufayev.

This is also another reason why this forum/pragmatic Dharma doesn't interest me much these days, it only really deals with the percecptual side, not the emotional (heart) or energy(sexual energy) system (gut/body).

Surrender and dedication (the heart of post MCTB 4th path practice)

As I see it, MCTB 4th path is the birth of true surrender, as Daniel says, it's obvious that there is no agency. You are officially totally adrift on a sea of karma with no sail, rudder or tiller. Some people, after this insight seem to quickly (a few years) wipe out all their conditioned behaviour, and others basically remain as rigid and opinionated as before.... why?

Resistance plays tricks like, say I know I have some murky karma relating to sex (who doesn't?), and everytime life offers me a chance to straighten it, the body resists it, and thoughts of the nature of "it will happen when it happens, I can't do anything" come up... it can be easy to start to very subtly believe these thoughts, and a block is created.

The offer from Life is to wipe clean your entire belief system, at the deepest subconscious level. And what is takes is just simply agreement, surrender, at each level, and Life will auto-wipe you clean. But there are various subconscious blocks & knots, which don't even manifest as thoughts or worded beliefs, just subtle behaviours which go unchecked. This is why I think it's a good idea important to connect with powerful, very enlightened people who can see these things for you. All it takes is the clear seeing, then your do-nothing will take care of the rest.
As you can't really 'do' much consciously, it seems the best tools to work with are devotion (praying to whatever to be fully erased), a teacher, pushing yourself in Life (situations, relationships, culturally) so that your stability is challenged, and somatic practice (energy work, bodywork, sexual work).

that's all for now, my mother has arrived emoticon
thanks for taking the time to read this.
gratitude to the community, and especially those who guided me and are still in my life now.
any questions /quibbles welcome

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/22/15 5:51 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
From your current perspective, do you think the 4 path progression that Daniel lays out is how all people are likely to begin, or is that more idosyncratic to the method and process of noting specifically?  Do you experience regular fruitions/jhanas/Nirodha?  I've seen some discussion about how this is never talked about in Zen literature, and there are long-time practitioners from non-theravada schools who can't relate to various technical concepts.  The Dalai Lama, for example, couldn't relate to the Dark Night when willoughby britton asked him about it - he said it was likely caused by improper understanding of the scriptures.

What are your thoughts on the perrenial philosophy?  Like, do you think all mysical experiences are the same thing playing out in different traditions, or are there different attianments to be had from different practices?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 1:13 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Great, thanks for the write-up!

It's always good to hear descriptions of advanced practitioners.

I have a question about your pre-4th path experience though: what was your main practice at the time? Did you stick with noting, or switch to some mahamudra type practices for example? 

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 2:06 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Would you care to elaborate on this a bit (the body and energetic system)?
What happened, how did you practice this?
Thank you in advance!

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii
the body and energetic system

for me, mctb 4th path meant finally being able to effortlessly rest the mind, all of it, by itself, in What Is (...) With this, the attention started to settle by itself downwards, into the body, much more and more often. the subtle energy system of the body is having to purify and wake up. So a lot of weird effects in the body and the feeling of being in a body is changing a lot. I have a fascinating model relating to trigger points and kundalini etc about what is happening, but another time.

I believe that the body and subtle energetic system is where all the karmic tendencies (subconscious patterns) hide out. All the enlightened people who I feel have cleared out a lot of their habitual tendencies have emphasised the physical transformation of the body as the actual bulk of the journey, much more than the realisation of non-duality in the mind. One teacher I really rate for this is Igor Kufayev.

This is also another reason why this forum/pragmatic Dharma doesn't interest me much these days, it only really deals with the percecptual side, not the emotional (heart) or energy(sexual energy) system (gut/body).

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 2:34 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Thanks.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 5:05 AM as a reply to Jo Jo.
Jo Jo:
Would you care to elaborate on this a bit (the body and energetic system)?
What happened, how did you practice this?
Thank you in advance!

Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii
the body and energetic system

for me, mctb 4th path meant finally being able to effortlessly rest the mind, all of it, by itself, in What Is (...) With this, the attention started to settle by itself downwards, into the body, much more and more often. the subtle energy system of the body is having to purify and wake up. So a lot of weird effects in the body and the feeling of being in a body is changing a lot. I have a fascinating model relating to trigger points and kundalini etc about what is happening, but another time.


Hi Jojo, I read your practice log.

I experienced and am still experiencing many of the things you describe and I would say that I am not qualified to answer your questions about any specifics about body energetics.

I can totally recommend this teacher Igor Kufayev (I am not a proper student of his, but I did an online meeting and he is great), he is doing a live online teaching this Saturday 26th Sept 2015, it's only 10 US Dollars to join, and there is the chance to ask questions.

http://www.igorkufayev-vamadeva.com/#!online-darshan/cjqq

he has great knowledge of everything you describe, shaking, kundalini, spontaneous yoga, and talks a lot about it in his teachings, I am finding a lot of value there. One of the few teachers who talks openly about the physical side of Awakening.



My own perspective is to keep surrendering but also be willing to take full responsibilty in my whole life for doing what needs to be done. For example, say some energy/tension pattern is just not changing, despite lots of sitting/lying, then maybe I need a physcial practice, maybe I need to change diet, maybe I need to leave a relationship. The ability to hold all of this in equanimity, so it's not about personal salvation, but the journey of aligning the whole body and subtle body with Life. The perspective of teachers like Igor and my own teacher, is that many people do not talk about the effects of awakening on the body enough, and see it is a mind thing, (which is clearly dualistic).

Mind, body, energy system, and the world we experience, are all not separate, you cannot talk about enlightenment if someone's energy system, or their relation to other people is out of whack (FOR THEM - not apparently "out of whack" by our own standards). Love

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 5:52 AM as a reply to Oochdd.
Oochdd:
I have a question about your pre-4th path experience though: what was your main practice at the time? Did you stick with noting, or switch to some mahamudra type practices for example? 

The practice to go from 3rd to 4th can be described as just giving up all hope.

1st path, you subconsciously glimpse the nothing, but you don't have access to it

2nd path you get a better glimpse and you sometimes have experiences of centrelessness, non-doership, illusoryness of world. at this point practice became more wide-field, relaxing back into what is, contemplation of emptiness.

3rd path/late 3rd, you experientially clearly know the nature of the "awakestate" and you are in it most the time, it's "on tap". But you still have this belief system, this ego that wants to stay alive by trying, or doubting, or grasping. This creates appearance that there can be 2 modes like awakemode, non-awake mode. Attention open vs contracted. It will invent different ways to come back again and again... like  some things are effortless, other things you are doing. Rigpa, non-rigpa. This is noting practice too, keeping the attention wide and open and noting when "something" as opposed to "wide open empty nothing" is happening.

What is required at this point is to see accurately how duality is birthed. Not the results of the illusion of duality, which is what you now have a good grasp on and can cut through, but how any future duality must be created. It's more about how, as soon as there is any hope/fear about enlightenment, consciousness starts to latch on to a fluid reality and starts to label it. You learn what it means at the microscopic level, to stop wanting/rejecting anything, aka give up, surrender.


Not Tao:
do you think the 4 path progression that Daniel lays out is how all people are likely to begin, or is that more idosyncratic to the method and process of noting specifically? Do you experience regular fruitions/jhanas/Nirodha?
@Not Tao - Daniel's 4 path - *very* roughly, yes, that is how everyone will go, some will skip paths, e.g. a friend of mine went 0 to 3rd and it seems to have stuck. It must go like that. But only roughly.

when I was practicing *fast* noting and jhanas exactly as per Ingram, I experienced fruitinos, DN exactly as he describes. Then later, no.

BUT I am convinced that fear and misery, go hand in hand with awakening. I don't believe it's possible to do awakening without experiencing these things in the body. But whether you recognise them as DN or, even as anything, is another story. For example, Jingme Lingpa, before having a colossal visionary enlightenment, had spent weeks crying in deep misery because Padmasambhava (semi-fictional Tibetan Jesus character) was no longer in this realm. It is deffo a letting go, and very familiar to anyone who does religious practice. But they may not call it a DN, maybe a just a beautiful poetic longing. It seems from my limited experience that the transmission of MCTB seems to yield bumpy DNs. But then the energy of MCTB is powerful, fast and bumpy emoticon

peace

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 5:53 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Hey SBA:

My own perspective is to keep surrendering but also be willing to take full responsibilty in my whole life for doing what needs to be done. For example, say some energy/tension pattern is just not changing, despite lots of sitting/lying, then maybe I need a physcial practice, maybe I need to change diet, maybe I need to leave a relationship. The ability to hold all of this in equanimity, so it's not about personal salvation, but the journey of aligning the whole body and subtle body with Life. The perspective of teachers like Igor and my own teacher, is that many people do not talk about the effects of awakening on the body enough, and see it is a mind thing, (which is clearly dualistic).


You read any Swami Rudrananda?  Spiritual Cannibalism?  Sounds like him a little.  Big fan, early influence of mine.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/23/15 2:49 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Thanks for your friendly reply, and thanks really for taking the time to read my posts before answering.
I came across Igor Kufayev before, but did not peek into his videos, for some reasons I do not recall; I think it was because he talked about devas and had this hippie hairdo.

Will definitely do so now.
May I ask who is your teacher?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/24/15 5:42 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Paweł K:
Personally I do not like words like "surrender". Not even not like them, I hate this word and imho all descriptions using resistance and surrender are inherently flawed. And imho thinking in those terms have limit as to how far you can go, how clear perception can become. I do not understand how can you claim 4th path and still use such atrocious and unfitting words...
wow, Pawel that is quite a strong opinion on the words surrender and resistance. Luckily I found I have some excellent writing on exactly what I mean. The editing is mine.

K Lewap:

relief is dukkha

Meditation-proper or otherwise known as supreme enlightenment is state that is completely devoid of any form of relief resistance

My insight is solid. It was tested thoroughly for many years. The clearer my perception the more prevalent significance of it seems to be while everything else including 3C, fruitions and other gimmincks seem to matter less and less. I am truly amazed how this connection is not realized and even worse whole dharma world seem to actually run on desire for relief resistance, in the form of hope and it is actively encouraged to cultivate it.... It is ridiculous and makes me sick.


Relief seeking resistance is done all the time, when doing everything. When it is stopped we surrender world is seen completely differently.
...

By relief seeking resistance I mean specific way mind reacts to what is happening, it can be very subtle but analyzing what arise in mind with what it can be found in lots of things including normal thinking processes. It gives specific taste to things, and once it is known for what it is it can be easily noticed surrendered should it ever arise.


Not giving in to it and operating completely without Surrendering it is in my humble opinion key practice. It is for example impossible to 'do noticing' without this specific taste of relief resistance. It is impossible to do anything at all or even see anything as done by me or not me. Normal mind break apart without it. Funny enough cognition needed to operate in this world does seem to work just fine without it. Relief resistance, in the form of hope,taste does present itself as something that is necessary and that is the main issue with it. It is the issue, not solution and it certainly is not needed for anything.

source: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5776846

beautifully expressed no? emoticon

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/24/15 7:48 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
You say you claimed 4th path two years ago. But also that you found MTCB two years ago. That means you got from 0 to 4th path on less than a year?

What was your practice schedule like? Did you do concentration and the noting, or just straight to noting?

Are you free of mental suffering now?

on a scale of 1 to 10, how enjoyable is your average moment of life?

How has all of this effected your relationships with people, things you like to do, etc..

If you are watching a movie, do you have -resistance- to something bad happening to the protaganist?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/24/15 11:20 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
How in your experience does mctb 4th path affect omes relationship to the 10 fetters? How is your relationship to the ten fetters now? Do they go away? Do they remain, as principles, but stop being fetters?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/26/15 4:39 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:
You say you claimed 4th path two years ago. But also that you found MTCB two years ago. That means you got from 0 to 4th path on less than a year?

What was your practice schedule like? Did you do concentration and the noting, or just straight to noting?
You can read my old stuff, it's posted on Herehere 4th (actually late 3rd) and here (SE)

Jinxed P:

Are you free of mental suffering now?

on a scale of 1 to 10, how enjoyable is your average moment of life?

How has all of this effected your relationships with people, things you like to do, etc..

If you are watching a movie, do you have -resistance- to something bad happening to the protaganist?
I don't wanna be awkward, but these questions are all about dedication and sacrifice, and I don't think me answering them directly is gonna help.
Put it this way.

Practicing from a point of view of wanting anything to be better for you is very limited, necessary, to get people into a postive life, but then limiting. So you want as soon as possible to change this for an attitude of something like "I am gonna pursue enlightenment because I need to know what's true, and I can see that now I am living from false beliefs, and I don't care what happens to me, happy, sad, whatever, I am willing to die for it, rather than live a lie". This is a bit dramatic, but also just how it is.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/26/15 4:47 PM as a reply to Pål.
Pål:
How in your experience does mctb 4th path affect omes relationship to the 10 fetters? How is your relationship to the ten fetters now? Do they go away? Do they remain, as principles, but stop being fetters?
i see mctb 3rd/4th path as the fetters 1,2 and 3, and the key which will allow the next ones to be fully undone. I currently am still fetter'd. Daniel describes it well. Karmic propensities still play out - e.g. relating to sense desires, but in a sense, there's nothing I can do about it, and I don't worry about them. However in the relative sense this bodymind is motivated towards total de-fettering.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/27/15 12:00 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sorry for the dogma but:
So from your perspective mctb 3rd is actually suttaic 1st emoticon Now I'm almost considering starting noting as soon as I can enter hard upacara samadhi. 

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 9:45 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:


Jinxed P:

Are you free of mental suffering now?

on a scale of 1 to 10, how enjoyable is your average moment of life?

How has all of this effected your relationships with people, things you like to do, etc..

If you are watching a movie, do you have -resistance- to something bad happening to the protaganist?
I don't wanna be awkward, but these questions are all about dedication and sacrifice, and I don't think me answering them directly is gonna help.
Put it this way.

Practicing from a point of view of wanting anything to be better for you is very limited, necessary, to get people into a postive life, but then limiting. So you want as soon as possible to change this for an attitude of something like "I am gonna pursue enlightenment because I need to know what's true, and I can see that now I am living from false beliefs, and I don't care what happens to me, happy, sad, whatever, I am willing to die for it, rather than live a lie". This is a bit dramatic, but also just how it is.


Don't try and help me then. Consider me an anthropologst and answer the questions please.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 4:04 PM as a reply to Pål.
Noah S:

You read any Swami Rudrananda? Spiritual Cannibalism? Sounds like him a little. Big fan, early influence of mine.

HEYNOAHYEAH IREADTHAT BOOK BUT IT WASLIKE APIRATE PDF OR SOMETHING SOITHAD BADFORMATTING OR NOCHAPTER BREAKSSO I NEVER KNEWHOW TOTAKEBREAKSFROM READINGAND IT WAS LIKETHISCONSTANT STREAM OF POWPOWSURRENDERDEDICATE EATEATPOWER ANDITWASROUGHMANLIKEAAAAH DROWNINGWAVEAFTERWAVEBUTYEAH IRESONATE ALOTWITHHE SAYS emoticon

Pål:
Sorry for the dogma but:
So from your perspective mctb 3rd is actually suttaic 1st emoticon Now I'm almost considering starting noting as soon as I can enter hard upacara samadhi.
Hey Pal, sorry, I don't get what you're saying. my knowledge of the traditions is not that great. I think a lot of ppl share the opinion that the path Daniel describes isn't directly the weakening/eradication of sense desire/ill will, therefore is not beyond the 1st suttaic path.

Jinxed P:

Don't try and help me then. Consider me an anthropologst and answer the questions please.

Haha. No, sorry, your words really don't sound straight to me. Answering anthropology questions that don't help anyone doesn't interest me. peace.

Pawel K:

BTW. you did not describe perception changes ^_^

hey Pawel.

re: perception changes. I am not sure exactly what you mean by this. in my old notes which I put links to above, there is stuff about my perceptions of the nature of the thing and how they came about. If you have very specific questions, sure.

re: surrender / non-relief

You seem to be saying that your words (relief etc) are better describing the state of purity, because they point to something deeper than surrender/resistance, and all I can say is, yeah ok then, great emoticon

to try and say something interesting, I will talk a bit more about experience.

Where I am at, there is no confusion at the level of thoughts about the nature of reality. There is no conceptual-level confusion about dualistic/non-dual things like subject-object, doer/non-doer, emptiness of the field, vs stuff in the field, here, there.

Prior to this, experience can confuse itself by a contraction to the head (e.g. due to thinking certain thoughts, e.g. ones which are grasping after non-duality), which causes the field to appear to have a discontinuity (- e.g. "it was like that, now it's like this"). In this contraction, this motion, which is the source of conceptual duality, fires up. It is the motion of what spirituality calls "believing thoughts" or "identifying with thoughts".

Normally when people say that (pre-path), they mean - a thought arises, then the attention contracts to notice it, and then something decides that it's not-me, and therefore not-identified-with.

Now we are talking about total non-movement. Which means. a thought arises. it's not "noticed" by anything. the thought passes. nothing notices that it passed. the attention doesn't even move at all. then nothing moves to check or analyse the whole process. more thoughts might come, of any kind, but the attention never settles on any one of them for "an answer" or as "the meditator" or "self". this is total disbelief.

to be free from the illusion of duality at the levels of thoughts, we first see through all our existing thougths about duality - e.g. the basic one of believing that we are the "I thought", then other ones. But then it requires that one sees how the system of desiring enlightenment/non-duality is constantly trying to find new objects/problems to make out of the unified field, and leap onto them in the name of non-duality. For example. For example, initially we see through the "thoughts about I". Then later maybe we are grasping after emptiness of the sense fields, and we start to make duality out of whether depth of the visual field appears in our perception, or not.

Eventually, we get good at seeing how, as soon as we start to notice or put value on anything relating to non-duality, it will spawn thoughts. So we give up (surrender), or have insight into, the way the duality-machine is constantly looking in the sense fields for something to nucleate around. Now at this point, we have seen how the concepts of duality are birthed. Not just what the concepts are that bound us, but how new ones are born.

So at this point, thoughts cannot really add to problems. This is an immense immense relief.

But, the big question, is this freedom from duality?


I would say actually no. Because due to our karmic conditioning, our awareness system is still moving and responding to things as if they were concepts.

Say we grew up in a racist family and we have prejudices against green people. In a crowd of many people, your awareness gathers on a green person, then the bodymind reacts in weird and conditioned ways. E.g. you have an emotion and then your awareness grasps or rejects the emotion, rather than letting the emotional body be fully experienced as part of the fluid unified field. In this way, your awareness, is treating things very dualistically.

This is why I think it can be unhelpful to put so much emphasis on perceptual non-duality as some kind of definite marker.

re: mctb VS suttaic paths

I had some small contact with Bhante Bodhidhamma (Masahi teacher in the UK) and Ajahn Amaro (thai forest abbot) and they were both of the opinion that non-duality of some level, is the gate, breakthrough, SE, and then real work is the karmic undoing which leads to the eradication of sense desire and ill will. So that is also my opinion.


Anyway just some ramblings. peace and love to all.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 6:06 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
HEYNOAHYEAH IREADTHAT BOOK BUT IT WASLIKE APIRATE PDF OR SOMETHING SOITHAD BADFORMATTING OR NOCHAPTER BREAKSSO I NEVER KNEWHOW TOTAKEBREAKSFROM READINGAND IT WAS LIKETHISCONSTANT STREAM OF POWPOWSURRENDERDEDICATE EATEATPOWER ANDITWASROUGHMANLIKEAAAAH DROWNINGWAVEAFTERWAVEBUTYEAH IRESONATE ALOTWITHHE SAYS emoticon


This is a funny inside joke because you have successfully imitated Rudi's voice as a speaker.  He's a shitty writer but was very innovative and real as a teacher.  Studied with his top student, Stuart Perrin, which was cool.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 6:58 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
I
the body and energetic system

for me, mctb 4th path meant finally being able to effortlessly rest the mind, all of it, by itself, in What Is, without it constantly splitting in two to watch itself, or doing some other deluded activity. With this, the attention started to settle by itself downwards, into the body, much more and more often. the subtle energy system of the body is having to purify and wake up. So a lot of weird effects in the body and the feeling of being in a body is changing a lot. I have a fascinating model relating to trigger points and kundalini etc about what is happening, but another time.

I believe that the body and subtle energetic system is where all the karmic tendencies (subconscious patterns) hide out. All the enlightened people who I feel have cleared out a lot of their habitual tendencies have emphasised the physical transformation of the body as the actual bulk of the journey, much more than the realisation of non-duality in the mind. One teacher I really rate for this is Igor Kufayev.

This is also another reason why this forum/pragmatic Dharma doesn't interest me much these days, it only really deals with the percecptual side, not the emotional (heart) or energy(sexual energy) system (gut/body).

I would love to see more info on this side of it.  We've got a number of path models for the mind, but I haven't seen much on the body and there certainly seems to be a lot of weird body responses.  Maybe it's because America is so mind centered in general that there is more focus on that aspect?  Are there any specific resources you could recommend or maybe start another thread?  Also, now that you are 4th path, do you have any specific goals from this point? 
-Eva

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 7:04 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:


Practicing from a point of view of wanting anything to be better for you is very limited, necessary, to get people into a postive life, but then limiting. So you want as soon as possible to change this for an attitude of something like "I am gonna pursue enlightenment because I need to know what's true, and I can see that now I am living from false beliefs, and I don't care what happens to me, happy, sad, whatever, I am willing to die for it, rather than live a lie". This is a bit dramatic, but also just how it is.
For me it was more like I am willing to feel whatever to get through the feeling and see what is on the other side.  So it was still motivated by relief seeking to a good extent, one of suffer more now but suffer less later over the long haul.  I felt like if I could get through to the other side, then I could suffer less in the futre.  And that did work so I have nothing against it.  But I was also very strongly curious about the truth (and still am).  So it wasn't just one motivation. 
-Eva

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 7:08 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Hi, this thread's been helpful for me. Thanks.

For another meditation teacher that emphasizes the body see Reggie Ray.

I'm wondering, how has your attainment changed your relationship to your own death?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 7:11 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:

re: mctb VS suttaic paths

I had some small contact with Bhante Bodhidhamma (Masahi teacher in the UK) and Ajahn Amaro (thai forest abbot) and they were both of the opinion that non-duality of some level, is the gate, breakthrough, SE, and then real work is the karmic undoing which leads to the eradication of sense desire and ill will. So that is also my opinion.


Anyway just some ramblings. peace and love to all.
So is that worked on in a similar way to that which came before? 
-Eva

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/28/15 10:56 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:


Jinxed P:

Don't try and help me then. Consider me an anthropologst and answer the questions please.

Haha. No, sorry, your words really don't sound straight to me. Answering anthropology questions that don't help anyone doesn't interest me. peace.

What? Do you think I have some nefarious hidden motive for asking if all this practice has improved your mental well-being?

I used to do research psychology and I worked in a lab that studied well-being, the questions that I asked you were similar in nature to questions we would ask all sorts of people from all walks of life. Despite your assertion that this doesn't help anyone, you'd be wrong, this kind of data is very useful.

There is not a lot of data out there with your level of meditative attainment and therefore to gather as much as possible is extremely beneficial. Daniel himself called for the need for this kind of data at a buddhist geeks conference.

I can't think of any good reason why someone who is supposed to be ridding themselves of ill will and developing compassion wouldn't help out a researcher with some questions that could lead to helping a lot of people.

As to your opinion that for pragmatic reasons thinking about how all this stuff improves your well-being is not beneficial, and instead it should be about finding the truth--well I believe that to be the minority opinion from those who have reached high attainments, and from what I have seen those that do have that view never truly make it as far as they could because once they see non-duality they think they 'got it.' Although the truth of the matter is that they have confused themselves about what the goal should have been all along. That of ending suffering. Instead they see nondual and quit.

I'm surprised that given your liking to the fetters model that you would take the view that one shouldn't keep your well-being in mind, as a large part of practices becomes seeing how desire causes suffering.  Anyway, if you have a change of heart, I would truly appreciate it.

I and a lot of other people are very curious as to how reaching stream entry (fetter model/mtcb 4) (1) improves one's well being - decreases suffering and (2) how this impacts daily life.

Again my questions were..

1)What is your general mood? If you could quantify how good you feel on average on a scale of 1-10 what would it be?
2)How much has your practice decreased your suffering?
3) When watching a movie, do you get upset when bad stuff happens to the protaganist? Do you root for him to do well?
4) How have your attainments impacted the way you interact and your relationships with people?

The point of this message board is to share our experiences with others, if not..what are we all doing here?

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/29/15 4:00 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Hi, this thread's been helpful for me. Thanks.

For another meditation teacher that emphasizes the body see Reggie Ray.

I'm wondering, how has your attainment changed your relationship to your own death?

Hey Droll yeah your thread on reichian, specially the Willis and Lowen was very helpful for me too, prob my fave thread on here. I like Reggie too, Mahamudra for the Modern world CD set was great and I met him in London 2 months ago.

Re: death - if you're talking specifically about the 4th path attainment, it hasn't. No magic switch flipped where suddenly I wouldn't be afraid of being eaten by a lion. The practices and life changes that led up to it probably have had some impact - f
ear has become much more spacious though since 2nd/3rd path, as like Reggie says, you open to the fear/space of the body, and this burns away karmic conditioning relating to fear.... I believe it is the further undoing of identification at the subconscious, embodied level which will allow/lead to the total non-manipulation of fear, even fear of annihilation.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/29/15 4:40 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:

I and a lot of other people are very curious as to how reaching stream entry (fetter model/mtcb 4) (1) improves one's well being - decreases suffering and (2) how this impacts daily life.

The point of this message board is to share our experiences with others, if not..what are we all doing here?
Hey. I am enjoying sharing my experiences here, I think I am polite and sharey. From my point of view, the purpose of the board is to help each other reach the end of suffering. I don't feel that me, answering you, asking those 4 questions right now serves that. Someone else asking the same questions, maybe it would. Sorry. I am trying to be helpful.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/29/15 7:24 PM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:


I can't think of any good reason why someone who is supposed to be ridding themselves of ill will and developing compassion wouldn't help out a researcher with some questions that could lead to helping a lot of people.
There is a strong tradition in some (many?) circles that giving important information before the hearer is ready to hear it can be detrimental, so that could be it.  This board is probably a bit unusual in the tendency to throw everything out on the table for everyone.  But whatever the reason, although I think you are correct that generally speaking, this board is set up for sharing information, on the flip side, the argument that any particular person is morally obligated to answer any and all questions posed to that person is considerably more open for debate.  (even if interest runs high..)  ;-P 
-Eva

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/29/15 11:42 PM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
Jinxed P:


I can't think of any good reason why someone who is supposed to be ridding themselves of ill will and developing compassion wouldn't help out a researcher with some questions that could lead to helping a lot of people.
There is a strong tradition in some (many?) circles that giving important information before the hearer is ready to hear it can be detrimental, so that could be it.  This board is probably a bit unusual in the tendency to throw everything out on the table for everyone.  But whatever the reason, although I think you are correct that generally speaking, this board is set up for sharing information, on the flip side, the argument that any particular person is morally obligated to answer any and all questions posed to that person is considerably more open for debate.  (even if interest runs high..)  ;-P 
-Eva
Regarding the hearer is ready to be heard--etc..he is not my teacher. I am not asking him for advice. I just wanted to know if his way 'worked', and how well it worked to reduce suffering. 


  What I think is going on is that he has not made great strides in emotional well-being and he doesn't want to admit it. That is my best guess and the only reason I can think of for him not wanting to answer these questions after starting a thread that placed him in a sort of position of authority(knowledge).  Which if true, is totally fine and something that would be useful for others to know. 

Right now, our conversation has this tone..

Him: Let me talk about a way to end suffering..yada..yada..
Me: Cool info. Has it worked? How much has your suffering ceased?
Him: I don't want to answer that question

I've asked Bhante G and other monks these questions, and they answered them without hesitation. 

Bhante G's answer by the way was.. "I never worry, I never feel fear, I never get angry..only sometimes a little irritated, but it never turns to anger" . 

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/30/15 3:57 AM as a reply to Jinxed P.
Jinxed P:

What I think is going on is that he has not made great strides in emotional well-being and he doesn't want to admit it. That is my best guess and the only reason I can think of for him not wanting to answer these questions after starting a thread that placed him in a sort of position of authority(knowledge).  Which if true, is totally fine and something that would be useful for others to know. 

OK, I don't think it's good if threads turn into accusations of dishonesty, because it distracts from the content. I will try and explain what I feel is going on here and try and make it helpful for other people.

Jinxed, I am honest when I say that I'm not answering the q's in the way you asked because I can't make a quick answer that I feel helps you, specifcally, you. I spent a few minutes reading your past posts before deciding this. Whether this makes me arrogant and assuming, maybe. But it's not out of shyness to talk about my emotional state, or dishonesty.
jinxed p:

1)What is your general mood? If you could quantify how good you feel on average on a scale of 1-10 what would it be?
2)How much has your practice decreased your suffering?
3) When watching a movie, do you get upset when bad stuff happens to the protaganist? Do you root for him to do well?
4) How have your attainments impacted the way you interact and your relationships with people?

I will try and say something useful. Daniel I think talks about "ditching your stuff" vs "ditching the split". In this thread, I am talking more from the point of view of ditching the split. Your questions are based on the other perspective. They are based on things like some moods being more preferable to other moods, which doesn't make any sense from this side. Your Q2 on suffering - the way we define suffering changes completely depending on which side we are talking from.

Now I guess to you it may sound dualistic to talk about sides, but they are just a framework for getting across things which are very hard to get across. It's like quantum mechanics VS being a vet. If you're a vet and people bring you their cat, you don't say it's in an infinite probability matrix superposition of both sick and well.

Sometimes these are called relative and ultimate.
The ability to know the difference clearly between relative and ultimate, to not confuse the relative game for the ultimate, to not hide in the ultimate from the relative, is essentially the whole journey which culminates in the 2 fluidly collapsing into each other.

Until then, we are confused, and we try to use the ultimate to fix our relative problems, like having hope mctb 4th path will make our lives any particular way. It's not completely wrong but it's not useful to think that way, and if we start to build systems of hope like this, it will block us. Relative problems, relative solutions. Existential problems, existential solutions.

I think I heard Daniel (via Bill Hamilton?) say on mctb 4th path - "Highly recommended. Can't say why."
and the Buddha - "I have gained nothing from perfect supreme enlightenment."

SO it's not just me that does things like this emoticon Maybe in another thread it would be helpful to go more into this. But in this thread I personally felt it would be distracting from the content. , with you coming from where you are coming, it doesn't seem right. Hope you understand.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/30/15 3:58 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
The ability to know the difference clearly between relative and ultimate, to not confuse the relative game for the ultimate, to not hide in the ultimate from the relative, is essentially the whole journey which culminates in the 2 fluidly collapsing into each other.


I would say that one good question is "what are the SIDE effects of the experience of ultimate truth that you have had?"  Meaning, how has your psycho-emotional content changed, purely as a side effect, and not at all as a causal, linear process?  This could be applied in the same way as any experience in life can have unrelated effects.  And, in my opinion, it has the added benefit of being interesting information, which I think is partially what Jinxed is looking for.

I can say for certain that I have become way more psycho-emotionally stable since getting a certain mental release as a result of many complete cycles of insight.  This might not happen for everyone, but I think its a cool success story nonetheless.

Would you please share some unrelated side effects, Sadalsuud?

If not, that is obviously your right.  And I do respect the care with which you chose to elaborate on Jinxed's points.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/30/15 4:10 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva M Nie:
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:

re: mctb VS suttaic paths

I had some small contact with Bhante Bodhidhamma (Masahi teacher in the UK) and Ajahn Amaro (thai forest abbot) and they were both of the opinion that non-duality of some level, is the gate, breakthrough, SE, and then real work is the karmic undoing which leads to the eradication of sense desire and ill will. So that is also my opinion.


Anyway just some ramblings. peace and love to all.
So is that worked on in a similar way to that which came before? 
-Eva
Hey Eva - re: goals - I mentioned on this thread, I am into undoing all the karmic patterns of rigidity/stuckness around the emotions and energy/sensation field of the body. though it's not so much of a goal as a choiceless distaste for the alternative, moment by moment.

re: your question above - I don't know about Bhante BD but the thai forest guys said, yeah, just keep doing awareness, noticing the I-making on subtler and subtler levels. But maybe they have other practices they didn't share with me cos I'm only a lunchtime visitor.

re: why the body is neglected in the models of spirituality in the west! I don't know why, we could about it for ages. Can be a christian "body is sinful hangup", who knows? emoticon

but there are many many paths that focus on the body and energetic system as the map, rather than perceptual insight. of which the most obvious are:

** yoga and the chakra/pranic system - the Pragmatic Dharma equivalent of these is AYP (Advanced Yogic Practices forum)

** various chinese based systems - based around the energy system of the body, qi, meridians, etc.

** the work of Reich, Lowen - bioenergetics - like on Droll's excellent thread on this site

** tibetan buddhism in the vajrayana (the tantras and even Dzogchen) is a totally embodied practice, but these teachings on anuyoga, atiyoga, the 6 yogas of naropa aren't accessible to the general public - so what we take so far in the west is the sitting meditation and philosophy.

** even Zen as taught by Hakuin - there was great emphasis on the energetic system, which people say has been lost today (don't know, not a zen expert, but certainly in my own experience of Zen, there is no emphasis on it).

** these days a lot of moden spiritual teachers are talking more about the body, just as in psychotherapy - the new buzzword is "embodied". Adyashanti (v popular modern teacher) talks about the difference between awakening at the head, heart and gut.

peace and love.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
9/30/15 10:03 AM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:



Whether this makes me arrogant and assuming, maybe. But it's not out of shyness to talk about my emotional state, or dishonesty.


I think I heard Daniel (via Bill Hamilton?) say on mctb 4th path - "Highly recommended. Can't say why."
and the Buddha - "I have gained nothing from perfect supreme enlightenment."

SO it's not just me that does things like this emoticon Maybe in another thread it would be helpful to go more into this. But in this thread I personally felt it would be distracting from the content. , with you coming from where you are coming, it doesn't seem right. Hope you understand.


1. I'd say you nailed it with the arrogance and assuming part. emoticon Again, I am not looking for your help, just data. And I am well aware of the ultimate vs relative etc, and all that. The reason I asked YOU those questions was because you said this...
another reason why this forum/pragmatic Dharma doesn't interest
me much these days, it only really deals with the percecptual side, not
the emotional
(heart) or energy(sexual energy) system (gut/body).

Which seems to me to be saying, getting 4th path really didn't help with your emotional well-being. Other members of this forum have claimed that after getting fourth path their stress levels, emotional well-being is fantastic. Others have not. So again, I was just looking for data (as a scientist) from you on your experience by asking you more specific questions on your emotional well-being..as again..it was you who brought it up as a criticism of the MTCB model.  I simply wanted you to elaborate on what you had already mentioned.

But if you insist on trying to 'help' me, and decide for me what is good for me to hear and what is not despite knowing nothing at all about me or my practice..then I give up..

2. That's a fake buddha quote, and the quote from Bill Hamilton was meant out of an inability to express why it was highly recommended. Not because expressing it wouldn't be useful.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
10/5/15 12:32 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah S:

I would say that one good question is "what are the SIDE effects of the experience of ultimate truth that you have had?"  
Would you please share some unrelated side effects, Sadalsuud?

If not, that is obviously your right.  And I do respect the care with which you chose to elaborate on Jinxed's points.
hey noah I really would like to as I love talking about myself emoticon but I can't think of any way to frame it that is not counterproductive or very very long right now. Perhaps a new thread when I have time to write. appreciate your care too. much love.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
10/5/15 3:10 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
hey noah I really would like to as I love talking about myself emoticon but I can't think of any way to frame it that is not counterproductive or very very long right now. Perhaps a new thread when I have time to write. appreciate your care too. much love.


Understood.  Some time soon.

RE: 2 years after claiming 4th path, some musings
Answer
10/5/15 3:16 PM as a reply to Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii.
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:
Eva M Nie:
Sadalsuud Beta Aquarii:

re: mctb VS suttaic paths

I had some small contact with Bhante Bodhidhamma (Masahi teacher in the UK) and Ajahn Amaro (thai forest abbot) and they were both of the opinion that non-duality of some level, is the gate, breakthrough, SE, and then real work is the karmic undoing which leads to the eradication of sense desire and ill will. So that is also my opinion.


Anyway just some ramblings. peace and love to all.
So is that worked on in a similar way to that which came before? 
-Eva
Hey Eva - re: goals - I mentioned on this thread, I am into undoing all the karmic patterns of rigidity/stuckness around the emotions and energy/sensation field of the body. though it's not so much of a goal as a choiceless distaste for the alternative, moment by moment.

re: your question above - I don't know about Bhante BD but the thai forest guys said, yeah, just keep doing awareness, noticing the I-making on subtler and subtler levels. But maybe they have other practices they didn't share with me cos I'm only a lunchtime visitor.
Ok, thanx.  I have noticed that along the way, some things that worked at some stages then didn't seem work at later stages, perhaps like the problems I was working on changed over time and the game plan had to be changed accordingly.  So I was curious if others found they needed new tactics after fourth, but from what you and a few others have said it seems like people after attaining 4th are not changing tactics greatly even though attitude does change.   
re: why the body is neglected in the models of spirituality in the west! I don't know why, we could about it for ages. Can be a christian "body is sinful hangup", who knows? emoticon
Hm, yeah, almost forgot about the Christians, although the whole sexual energy is bad thing seems common in Buddhism too, emphasis on celibacy, not having sinful thoughts, not wasting psychic energy, etc.   Humans are the only creatures that feel the need to hide their natural body appearance from vision of others, it's pretty strange when you think about it.  My dog and cat have never shown any desire to wear pants.  ;-P 
but there are many many paths that focus on the body and energetic system as the map, rather than perceptual insight. of which the most obvious are:

** yoga and the chakra/pranic system - the Pragmatic Dharma equivalent of these is AYP (Advanced Yogic Practices forum)

** various chinese based systems - based around the energy system of the body, qi, meridians, etc.
Ok so the well known systems then, it gets a bit confusing because they don't always agree so like Buddhist systems, one tends not know which flavor to pick.  ;-P 

** the work of Reich, Lowen - bioenergetics - like on Droll's excellent thread on this site
Some interesting stuff there, will continue to check it out. 



** these days a lot of moden spiritual teachers are talking more about the body, just as in psychotherapy - the new buzzword is "embodied". Adyashanti (v popular modern teacher) talks about the difference between awakening at the head, heart and gut.
I can see there are a lot of weird body symptoms that happen over time, I guess I am one of the jillions that is curious as to what they may indicate, how to make things work better, etc.  But when I search for info, generally the answer is it is 'blockages' if it is painful or 'flow' if it isn't.  If it's hot or cold, then it's a ying or yang imbalance.  That's probably the majority of my knowledge base at this time, other than that there are various chakras and it's good to open them and that various ones are associated with various colors and mental/emotional attributes.  ;-P

Anyway, thanx for the info, never know when another puzzle piece will fall into place.  :-)
-Eva 

peace and love.