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What works, why, how, etc

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What works, why, how, etc
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3/9/16 9:12 PM
So YouTube recommended this video for me, and usually this sort of title presses the 'ignore' button for me. But I watched this video out of curiosity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfqLdOgoB98 

While it seems like nothing more than recycled Advaita, the video was good because it raised some questions -

Why did the Buddha feel his path, as he laid it out, was neccessary? It seems that his path was a bit different than the one he taught. From what I gather, his was simpler, more direct. I may be wrong.

Are there good, solid reasons for the eightfold path, and other components of the path? What purpose do they serve?

Are those who are using stripped down methods creating problems for themselves (Ex. It's been said the dark night phase isn't neccessary/cam be avoided, etc) the "mysticism and bullshit" that the fellow in the video refers to, could serve a valuable purpose?

How much of what the monastics adhere to in Buddhism is followed strictly because it is long held tradition? How much is followed because it works?

Is it really advantageous to strip away the moral aspects of the traditional Buddhist path? Am I cheating myself if I dispense with the eightfold path, the four noble truths and the three perceptions/characteristics? (I feel the answer is yes)

And lastly, the person in the video states that his method, while simple, still takes a great deal of work. The full results could appear in as little as three months, or as long as two years. And yet Gotama apparently stated that his path could be followed to the end withing as little as seven days. And some do it in as little as two years. Why not keep the valuable ethical and psychological facets of the path? Without a solid framework in place, sudden awakening could be shocking enough to really cause harm, it would seem. Enlightened, but institutionalized, not what anyone wants.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/9/16 9:30 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

Are there good, solid reasons for the eightfold path, and other components of the path? What purpose do they serve?


I've thought obsessively about this for a long time.  I didn't personally find satisfying answers until I started working with my current teacher.  Basically, the 'mundane' 8folds serve to do political things like protect the monkhood and the economy of alms, as well as to give people the rues of religion that ensure human decency.  The 'supramundane' 8folds, on the other hand, all have a purpose within the context of awakening.

Right View is to have no views.  Right Speech, Action, and Livelihood are all about how doing these things makes you feel (and less so about moralistic imperative).  Right Intention is to relieve yourself from all artificial rules.  The first five, in combination, are all about being increasingly devoted to relieving the artificial burdens you place on yourself, and others.  They are basically a form of psychological prep work.  In other words, the first five are about have less rules to live by, and to prepare oneself to face the raw chaos of the moment in skillful and adaptive ways.

Right Effort, in the meditation context, has to do with taking the mind that has been prepped to have less rules & burdens, and then removing the hindrances that remain, via gladdening it.  Right Mindfulness involves being mindful all the time, both on and off the cushion, and kicking the hindrances out whenever they arise.  Right Concentration refers to an open, relaxed, and natural state, rather than a tight focus.  Right Effort and Mindfulness refer to the achieving the first four of the seven factors of enlightenment, with the remaining three to unfold naturally as a result of ingrained Piti.  This unfolding would be Right Concentration.

These are the things I have gathered from listening to my current teacher.  They represent only one version of Buddhism, but it is also the only version I have encountered that explains the 8fold path in a way that makes sense and aligns with the Pali Canon.  I have personally benefited from massively different views, such as the modern interpretation of the Visuddhimagga that is popular in pragmatic dharma.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 12:43 AM as a reply to Noah.
I certainly have no issue with pragmatic dharma, as a whole. But how much is too much? What, when we strip it away is to our detriment? Those are the concerns I have. I have more or less come to value a more traditional approach, although I still have misgivings about some, but not all, of the monkhood and motivations found therein. I certainly have a great mistrust of the Goldstein/Kornfeild/Slazberg, etc Meditation Industrial Complex. But the more I study it, the more I see the reasoning, sense and value in the Buddha's path, specifically. But then there's the question - what can we safely trim away, in order to streamline this, and make the path more direct, but without causing any detriment?

This is still all new territory, pragmatic dharma has been around all that long thus far, and I don't think these questions have been adequately answered in their entirety yet.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 5:27 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell, the pragmatic dharma approach to answering your question would be to focus in on what specifically is giving you problems in your own practice and to specifically address them. The whole reason that the PD approach exists is that approaching practice theoretically or dogmatically tends to be more about pondering and less about getting it done.

At a framework level, every system or model or theory -- even the framework of pragmatic dharma -- has its strengths and weaknesses. But when a framework is applied >in practice< about 99% of the so-called problems and issues are irrelevant and the practioner can focus on the actual things that are causing challenges, seek feedback on ways to address them, learn something, and move on to the next challenge. 

Ultimately, I don't think the framework matters as much as people want to think. 30 minutes to an hour of practice a day will put someone face-to-face with their actual problems. Facing our actual problems and being able to experience that fully is what the practice is about. It's not about never having any problems. It's not about never having difficulty. It's about having the right kind of problems, the kind that come from seeing the way we habitually emotionally react to the world around us, rather than more fully experiencing the world and responding.

With dedicated practice, people move through both psychological and existential insights. Psychological, because we see our emotional reactivity and patterns of confused thinking. Existential, because a lot of our problems are defense mechanisms that try to protect something that really doesn't need to be defended.

All of this becomes more obvious when you practice. 

Hope this helps!

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 8:27 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
I certainly have no issue with pragmatic dharma, as a whole. But how much is too much? What, when we strip it away is to our detriment? Those are the concerns I have. I have more or less come to value a more traditional approach, although I still have misgivings about some, but not all, of the monkhood and motivations found therein. I certainly have a great mistrust of the Goldstein/Kornfeild/Slazberg, etc Meditation Industrial Complex. But the more I study it, the more I see the reasoning, sense and value in the Buddha's path, specifically. But then there's the question - what can we safely trim away, in order to streamline this, and make the path more direct, but without causing any detriment?

This is still all new territory, pragmatic dharma has been around all that long thus far, and I don't think these questions have been adequately answered in their entirety yet.

Just fyi, what I described is from Buddhadasa and the Thai monastic tradition, not pragmatic dharma.  Buddhadasa called it 'insight by the natural method.'  In this method, the attitudes and actions one takes in the world (that reduce stress) are not separatable from the insights one has from on-cushion vipassana.

There are other, more traditional meditative traditions that also combine morality and insight in pragmatic ways.  From what I have heard about Mahamudra, deleting perceptual duality is just one phase of the path.  It is then followed by the development of bodhicitta, which basically heals one's personal psychodynamics while simultaneously developing a directly and stably experienced, universal compassion.  Imo, this is an advanced stage of development that most folks in pragmatic dharma have not traversed.  I certainly have not.  

I am basically agreeing that the idea of separate axis' of development is unique to pragmatic dharma, and can be seen as a limitation, from one perspective.  That being said, it has also been tremendously helpful to scores of practitioners, and will continue to be, into the future.  

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 10:14 AM as a reply to Darrell.
DarrellSo YouTube recommended this video for me, and usually this sort of title presses the 'ignore' button for me. But I watched this video out of curiosity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfqLdOgoB98 

While it seems like nothing more than recycled Advaita, the video was good because it raised some questions -

Why did the Buddha feel his path, as he laid it out, was neccessary? It seems that his path was a bit different than the one he taught. From what I gather, his was simpler, more direct. I may be wrong.

Are there good, solid reasons for the eightfold path, and other components of the path? What purpose do they serve?

Are those who are using stripped down methods creating problems for themselves (Ex. It's been said the dark night phase isn't neccessary/cam be avoided, etc) the "mysticism and bullshit" that the fellow in the video refers to, could serve a valuable purpose?

How much of what the monastics adhere to in Buddhism is followed strictly because it is long held tradition? How much is followed because it works?

Is it really advantageous to strip away the moral aspects of the traditional Buddhist path? Am I cheating myself if I dispense with the eightfold path, the four noble truths and the three perceptions/characteristics? (I feel the answer is yes)

And lastly, the person in the video states that his method, while simple, still takes a great deal of work. The full results could appear in as little as three months, or as long as two years. And yet Gotama apparently stated that his path could be followed to the end withing as little as seven days. And some do it in as little as two years. Why not keep the valuable ethical and psychological facets of the path? Without a solid framework in place, sudden awakening could be shocking enough to really cause harm, it would seem. Enlightened, but institutionalized, not what anyone wants.

>So YouTube recommended this video for me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfqLdOgoB98
While it seems like nothing more than recycled Advaita, the video was good because it raised some questions

- Watched 25 minutes of it. Wonderful guy, so enthusiastic. I remember a martial artist friend of mine pulling a joke saying that "he was the toughtest when he was a blue belt" a long time ago. This guy being awakened (1st bhumi) has the same kind of twist but I totally get it. He so enthusiastic about his awakening that he wants to share it, get the word out. He knows this works and he's obviously right. Wonderful. I hope many seekers find his videos despite of the fact that he has a lot of maturing ahead.

>Are those who are using stripped down methods creating problems for themselves the "mysticism and bullshit" that the fellow in the video refers to, could serve a valuable purpose?

- If stripped down methods refer to stuff as the lad tells in the video, yeah maybe, probably. One thing I've noticed is that folks who are very insistent on the key points of what awakening or the spiritual path is, are often one sided and because they are one sided, they don't develop far nut rather get stuck, which can be for decades. Of neo-advaitists/advaitists, Papaji is a fine example of this. So yes, over simplification might create problems.

>(Ex. It's been said the dark night phase isn't neccessary/cam be avoided, etc)

- I'd like to know who exactly has been able to avoid dark night periods? Names please.

>the person in the video states that his method, while simple, still takes a great deal of work. The full results could appear in as little as three months, or as long as two years.

- The fellow in the video is 1st path, awakened, if you ask me. Therefore his view of what "enlightenment" is is quite limited. Does he have any other cases of his students/followers to back up his claims of how this enlightenment he has experienced is attained? If we are talking about mere awakening as enlightenment, this can be attained spontaneously (by few people), by accident through meditative methods such as shamatha by some, or purposefully in direct guidance with a specialised teacher by many. This is my own experience. Dare I mention that I've guided 48 people (out of 50) to this stage within the time span of 6 hours to a month. For most it took 2-5 days. I don't mean to do marketing here but just give some context to the time requirement. 3-24 months is actually quite slow for this achievement.



RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 10:36 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Dare I mention that I've guided 48 people (out of 50) to this stage within the time span of 6 hours to a month. For most it took 2-5 days. I don't mean to do marketing here but just give some context to the time requirement. 3-24 months is actually quite slow for this achievement.


You don't mean to be marketing?  But you do it blatantly almost daily.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 10:47 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

Why did the Buddha feel his path, as he laid it out, was neccessary? It seems that his path was a bit different than the one he taught. From what I gather, his was simpler, more direct. I may be wrong.
I've thought about this too but it's hard to say.  Our current version of the pali canon comes from a time around 1,000 years after Gautama's death and historians agree that it underwent changes through its history.  In the first few hundred years after Gautama's death, the teachings were transmitted orally only, no written record at all.  It's hard to say how accurate pali canon is of what really happened and was said by Gautama.
Are there good, solid reasons for the eightfold path, and other components of the path? What purpose do they serve?
I have thought about this too, how much is spiritual requirement and how much is him just wanting people to be good people and the Earth to be more civilized?  I don't think we can ever know for sure. 

Are those who are using stripped down methods creating problems for themselves (Ex. It's been said the dark night phase isn't neccessary/cam be avoided, etc) the "mysticism and bullshit" that the fellow in the video refers to, could serve a valuable purpose?
Those trappings may help sooth frayed nerves and give motivation and cohesion to the path for some people I would guess. 

How much of what the monastics adhere to in Buddhism is followed strictly because it is long held tradition? How much is followed because it works?
Again, hard to say, there are not exactly any double blind controlled studies on it!  ;-P

Is it really advantageous to strip away the moral aspects of the traditional Buddhist path? Am I cheating myself if I dispense with the eightfold path, the four noble truths and the three perceptions/characteristics? (I feel the answer is yes)
I personally just follow what i think is right, I don't care who did or did not say this or that.  But I also do think that those various Buddhist guidelines are likely useful tools and that the advice on morality is fairly on course overall, just as my personal opinion.

And lastly, the person in the video states that his method, while simple, still takes a great deal of work. The full results could appear in as little as three months, or as long as two years. And yet Gotama apparently stated that his path could be followed to the end withing as little as seven days. And some do it in as little as two years. Why not keep the valuable ethical and psychological facets of the path? Without a solid framework in place, sudden awakening could be shocking enough to really cause harm, it would seem. Enlightened, but institutionalized, not what anyone wants.
I don't know the answer to any of those questions.  When I think about them, I can see different answers according to what perspective I take and am not able to settle on any one answer.  Maybe enlightenment is worth it even if one is institionalized for a while.  Or maybe not.  Or maybe there is a better way or maybe some people just have to take harder ways due to personality.  Maybe some can do it fast and others can't and some ways are better for some and other ways are better for others.  Etc...

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 10:50 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
Eva Nie
Kim KatamiDare I mention that I've guided 48 people (out of 50) to this stage within the time span of 6 hours to a month. For most it took 2-5 days. I don't mean to do marketing here but just give some context to the time requirement. 3-24 months is actually quite slow for this achievement.
You don't mean to be marketing?  But you do it blatantly almost daily.

Any chance you could just chill out?



RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 1:57 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargol,

These questions weren't really about me, it was about the bigger picture (if there is such a thing) and developing, evoling and refining this new arrival in western dharma. It's about what works best for the most.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 2:12 PM as a reply to Darrell.
I think you will find that the bigger picture is... chaos. emoticon But I understand your desire to figure it all out, best wishes!

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 5:26 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Shargol, I'm not trying to figure out what the big picture is, as I don't think there is one. Thus far, it appears to be tightly interwoven interdependence. Everything causing everything, with no apparent beginning, point of origin or first cause.

My questions were simply about trying to get a sense of what, here in 2016, is still relevant and/or necessary with regards to the Buddhist practice as it applies to a pragmatic approach. Hence, these questions weren't for or about me, but everyone who comes to this. More people will find this, as I did, and I thought for those people, as well as those already on their way, what can we do to make this practice more productive, more practical and pragmatic. For example, I've seen many monks comment that they don't believe any real attainment in possible without taking up the monastic life. I disagree with that. How can we show this to be either true or false, for the sake of broadening the path, and providing hope to those who find this, and feel overwhelemed or confused by all of this.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 5:38 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Darrell:
I certainly have no issue with pragmatic dharma, as a whole. But how much is too much? What, when we strip it away is to our detriment? Those are the concerns I have. I have more or less come to value a more traditional approach, although I still have misgivings about some, but not all, of the monkhood and motivations found therein. I certainly have a great mistrust of the Goldstein/Kornfeild/Slazberg, etc Meditation Industrial Complex. But the more I study it, the more I see the reasoning, sense and value in the Buddha's path, specifically. But then there's the question - what can we safely trim away, in order to streamline this, and make the path more direct, but without causing any detriment?

This is still all new territory, pragmatic dharma has been around all that long thus far, and I don't think these questions have been adequately answered in their entirety yet.

Just fyi, what I described is from Buddhadasa and the Thai monastic tradition, not pragmatic dharma.  Buddhadasa called it 'insight by the natural method.'  In this method, the attitudes and actions one takes in the world (that reduce stress) are not separatable from the insights one has from on-cushion vipassana.

There are other, more traditional meditative traditions that also combine morality and insight in pragmatic ways.  From what I have heard about Mahamudra, deleting perceptual duality is just one phase of the path.  It is then followed by the development of bodhicitta, which basically heals one's personal psychodynamics while simultaneously developing a directly and stably experienced, universal compassion.  Imo, this is an advanced stage of development that most folks in pragmatic dharma have not traversed.  I certainly have not.  

I am basically agreeing that the idea of separate axis' of development is unique to pragmatic dharma, and can be seen as a limitation, from one perspective.  That being said, it has also been tremendously helpful to scores of practitioners, and will continue to be, into the future.  

I think you and I are approaching this in a similar fashion. I've been heavily influenced (taught?) by Than Geoff, having listened to hundreds of hours of his talks, and having read some of his books. While there's also a fair amount of Rob Burbea and Culadasa and a few others, I seem to really 'click' with the Thai Forest people (Ajahn Jayasaro, Sucitto and a few others). I haven't been able to connect with the pragmatic approach much, if at all, yet. And to some extent that's where I'm coming from. For those of us who aren't, and can't be monastics, what can we do to increase/improve the results, the effectiveness of the Path? I understand this is a difficult question for any of us to answer. But I feel it is worthwhile to try to answer, for ourselves, and everyone else.

Interesting about Mahamudra. I've never been attracted to the Tibetan strains of Buddhism, but that certainly piques my curiosity. I sometimes suspect that some strains of Buddhism are more direct, and more effective than others. This is also something I wonder if as a collective, here, and other forums (forii?) could be addressed, and possibly be answered, given some time.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 5:43 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
I'd like to know who exactly has been able to avoid dark night periods? Names please.

I am not able to go digging for you, but if you really want to know, I've heard this expressed by Culadasa, Shinzen Young and Adyashanti. I have doubts about Adyashanti, while not discounting him entirely. But I have confidence in the other two, and if they make a statement, I tend to think their experience lends credibility

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 8:06 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
...these questions weren't for or about me, but everyone who comes to this. More people will find this, as I did, and I thought for those people, as well as those already on their way, what can we do to make this practice more productive, more practical and pragmatic.  For example, I've seen many monks comment that they don't believe any real attainment in possible without taking up the monastic life. I disagree with that. How can we show this to be either true or false, for the sake of broadening the path, and providing hope to those who find this, and feel overwhelemed or confused by all of this.

No problem, it doesn't have to be about you. My point is that it will always be about someone. For example, the interesting thing about whether someone needs to become a monk/nun in order to reach an attainment, is that there isn't a universal answer. The actual answer is specific to a person. Some people absolutely do need to become a monastic to find their attainment. Many people do not. So the answer is "probably not, but maybe yes." The fundamental true or falseness of "I need to become a monastic to attain X" can only be interpreted relative to a specific person's situation.

What is overwhelming or confusion are all the options, all the methods, all the theories, all the antidotes to hindrances... Yet it is important to realize that all of these approaches exist for a reason, they simply work in certain contexts. And yet they don't work in other contexts. So the pragmatic approach is to be very specific about what is or isn't working for someone in their own personal context, i.e., what is pragmatic in their situation. 

Hopefully you get my rationale for all of this. It's not a big deal, so I won't belabor the point. It's simply that people often spend a long time trying to figure things out conceptually, whereas what probably would be the best approach is to simply sit some more and play close attention to their experience for a length of time. Then they can reflect upon the actual challenges they encounter.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 9:12 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
I'd like to know who exactly has been able to avoid dark night periods? Names please.

I am not able to go digging for you, but if you really want to know, I've heard this expressed by Culadasa, Shinzen Young and Adyashanti. I have doubts about Adyashanti, while not discounting him entirely. But I have confidence in the other two, and if they make a statement, I tend to think their experience lends credibility
Not so simple...The ability to be aware of the Nanas is on a wide spectrum. Some people none at all, some only on retreat, some only when meditating, some 24/7. Is Culidasa or Shinzen claiming they can change the spectrum? the effects of the Nana? or what? Do these methods, whatever they are, work 100% for all people?
"If you get concentrated enough you wont have any problems" - what of the majority that can not get to these elevated states, should they never do vipassana and skip progress in favor of however long of concentration practise?
Why is it that Knowledge of misery kicks my ass every time but disgust lasts 2 seconds? In contrast, why does a friend get trapped on disgust and loose 20 pounds?
Wish I had more answers, but questions veiled as blanket assumptions don’t help answer much, but do help enforce stereotypes.

~D

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 9:54 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
I'm not sure if the comment about questions veiled as blanket statements was meant for me, or not. If so, I can say the question was sincere, and not meant to be veiled, hidden etc. All I know is what I've come across, and that is that I've seen/heard it more than once, that a person is not condemned to a dark night stage. Or at the very least, not prolonged, crippling misery.

I wish I could cite specific sources, but I rad or heard these things, thought it was interesting, if not comforting to note such, and continued on. I have no desire to create contentious debate or stir controversy. I've also heard it said that repeated, endless cycling isn't something that one is condemned to either, yet many here clearly are experiencing that. Perhaps it is the methods employed? Perhaps that's a product of modern, pragmatic methods, and this brings us back to my original point, maybe.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/10/16 11:44 PM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:

For those of us who aren't, and can't be monastics, what can we do to increase/improve the results, the effectiveness of the Path?


I think Shargrol pretty much answered this.  It still comes down to pragmatics, even if its not Mahasi method.

Interesting about Mahamudra. I've never been attracted to the Tibetan strains of Buddhism, but that certainly piques my curiosity.


Unfortunately you won't find this type of deep stuff in most Tibetan traditions.  They keep it under lock and key.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/11/16 4:20 AM as a reply to Darrell.
Darrell:
I'm not sure if the comment about questions veiled as blanket statements was meant for me, or not. If so, I can say the question was sincere, and not meant to be veiled, hidden etc. All I know is what I've come across, and that is that I've seen/heard it more than once, that a person is not condemned to a dark night stage. Or at the very least, not prolonged, crippling misery.

I wish I could cite specific sources, but I rad or heard these things, thought it was interesting, if not comforting to note such, and continued on. I have no desire to create contentious debate or stir controversy. I've also heard it said that repeated, endless cycling isn't something that one is condemned to either, yet many here clearly are experiencing that. Perhaps it is the methods employed? Perhaps that's a product of modern, pragmatic methods, and this brings us back to my original point, maybe.
The whole question of 'can dark night be avoided?' is a red herring, entertained by folks with little understanding and experience.
Once you understand that the nanas simply describe all the ways of experiencing reality, the question becomes sort of stupid.
Guess what? The nanas were there before you could even read and write lol.

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/11/16 7:40 AM as a reply to Eva Nie.
I have thought about this too, howmuch is spiritual requirement and how much is him just wanting peopleto be good people and the Earth to be more civilized?  I don'tthink we can ever know for sure. 

This is something I’ve used to think about as well. When we look at different religion systems, there are clearly two main themes. One is being good, doing good, becoming more loving in our thought, speech and action. Second theme that is often present is some kind of practice leading to some superior realization like enlightenment, self-realization, etc.

One way to look at it is, to realize that the “do good” lifestyle results in a more peaceful state ofmind. If you ever helped somebody, not to get something, not to feed your ego, but just out of compassion then you know that this produces a good feeling. When you hurt somebody, it never feels right. You maybe blinded in your anger or lust for revenge, but it won’t take long until you will feel bad about yourself. Therefore I think doing good contributes to a calmer mind which makes meditation or different practice easier and more fruitful. This might be one of the reasons for the emphasis on working on your morality.

It’s also interesting that there are religions which only put emphasis only on one of those themes. Advaita is pretty much only about cutting through everything wordly straight to the juice, to the realization. Christianity is only about doing good. There are some interesting clues like “be still and know that I am god” or “the kingdom of god is within you” and plenty of others, but these are just hidden and without a clear context.

I personally suspect that both are important. The “big realization” is important because it is an end to our ignorance. An average man is to a large extent a slave to his fears and desires, and the workings of the complex human body-mind machine. The truth is supposed to be liberating, and you can’t be liberated being unless you are free of your impulses. Not necessarily that you don’t experience them, but you are aware of them, when and where they rise from so you don’t have to follow them. Being aware of all of that you are free to choose to act on them or not.

Working on morality might be also important, because there might be a much bigger picture of how the whole life works. Maybe we never really cease to exist. I doubt it’s about “you reincarnate here in this miserable world until you attain enlightenment and then poof, you will dissolve after death”.If that would be the case, then I think Buddha would just put emphasis only on attaining the enlightenment. And Buddha had at least decent knowledge and understanding of bigger picture, with it’s many different realms and entities.

But hey, due to the nature of the world we live in, we can never really know for sure as long as we’re here, so I think the only really important thing is, does what you’re doing contribute to a better life experience for you and people thatyou interact with? If yes, that’s a win-win and you can’t go wrong with that.

We have to get comfortable about living with uncertainty

RE: What works, why, how, etc
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3/11/16 10:29 AM as a reply to Darrell.
I've gone and searched for those sources I thought I've recalled. I haven't found them. While I've found much about mitigating or minimizing the DN stage, I haven't found anyhting beyond that.

It would appear I'm wrong. I regret stirring things up. I wish I hadn't said anything, and realize the wisdom of being careful about what is said, whether in actual speech, or on a forum.