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Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)

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Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) T DC 4/5/16 8:59 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Noah 4/5/16 11:18 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) shargrol 4/6/16 5:43 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Stirling Campbell 4/6/16 1:17 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Chris Marti 4/6/16 11:57 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) shargrol 4/6/16 7:44 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Eva Nie 4/7/16 7:32 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) T DC 4/7/16 10:13 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) bernd the broter 4/8/16 12:40 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) shargrol 4/8/16 8:52 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Andy R 4/8/16 9:00 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) shargrol 4/8/16 9:07 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) . Jake . 4/8/16 10:11 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Chris Marti 4/8/16 11:38 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) . Jake . 4/8/16 11:44 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) shargrol 4/9/16 7:15 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Chris Marti 4/9/16 11:44 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) . Jake . 4/11/16 11:42 AM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Noah 4/11/16 12:30 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Stirling Campbell 4/11/16 2:34 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) . Jake . 4/11/16 4:27 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) Eva Nie 4/9/16 6:58 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) bernd the broter 4/8/16 2:45 PM
RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models) T DC 4/12/16 3:22 PM
Hello DhOers!

It struck me as I read Noah's thread A Re-balanced View of Enlightenment Models that the basic problem in meditation today and especially on the DhO is the lack of a clear and comprehensive path that all can agree on.  People all seem to generally want the same thing, an end to our suffering however we may define it, but how we go about acomplishing this varies widely.

When I first came to the DhO, it was right before the great AF schism, and everyone did have a single map they were using as a basis of practice, the MCTB 4 path model.  At the time there were several people on here, Daniel, Tarin, and Trent, and maybe a few more who had clearly gained the attainments in the model, agreed upon them to (maybe) large extent, and were helping others through them.  This was a community united by a clear and singular purpose; a clear and singular model of attainment. 

After a time, numerous people got to 4th path, found it wasn't all that they were seeking and then pursued a variety of different avenue for continued progression.  This impluse to find a new and different way seems to have trickled down until many today are using their own system, and few seem to be practicing soley based on the MCTB 4 Path system (IMO).  As a result, a unity of purpose and practice in the DhO community was lost.  The question here as it is a pragmatic dharma forum is what has been the net result?  Has there been an increase or decrease in functional attainment?

I frankly believe that the net result has been a kind of degeneration; with few knowledgable attained meditatiors who agree on a clear path, there has been a movement towards everyone for themselves their own way.  If everyone blazes their own trail, the going is much slower than if we all just follow one trail that is already well established.  I think perhaps there was more progress being made in the early days than perhaps there is today.

In my view, the core of Buddhism itself is a clear path of attainment laid out with pinpoint acuracy by generations of masters.  Although this has been veiled thickly in religious dogmatism, nevertheless the path endures and may be encountered easily enough today if we know where to look and what we are looking for.

To come to my main point: in my experience, an attainment of final peace, a freedom from self-referential thought and painful emotion, a state of ultimate acomplishment is possible.  Such an acomplishment lies at the end of a long path, far beyond the attainment of full enlightenment itself, which in turn lies far beyond the attainment of 4th path.

My purpose in this thread is to ask us to consider the ramifications of following paths to each their own.  I aknowledge the great difficulty in describing attainment, and the confusion this inevitably causes.  I do believe however that a single well trod path is the key to maiking genuine progress in meditation a more widespread phenomena.  I also believe that the only hope for the flourishing of a united path that all can agree on is if several different people can gain and espouse the attainments in a single system as was done in the early days of MCTB.  This path very much still exists in the ancient teachings of Buddhism and may yet be encountered today.

How could we know the veracity of such a path without having trod it for ourselves, and how do we come to put our faith in one who espouses such a path such that we dedicate to it the time and energy nesseracy to gain results?

I apoligise this post was perhaps not more conclusive, but if it sparks a discussion than all the better!  Cheers!

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/5/16 11:18 PM as a reply to T DC.
I think these are all cool and valuable thoughts.  FWIW, I personally know of a map that I think could fit a variety of approaches, and it does incorporate what I consider to be 'technical 4th path' as a point along it.  Dreamwalker has a good thread about this: http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908  

The Tibetans seem to have some pretty precise ideas about the higher levels....

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/6/16 5:43 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
...To come to my main point: in my experience, an attainment of final peace, a freedom from self-referential thought and painful emotion, a state of ultimate acomplishment is possible.  Such an acomplishment lies at the end of a long path, far beyond the attainment of full enlightenment itself, which in turn lies far beyond the attainment of 4th path.


Really good post. I think it cuts to the heart of the desire to make some order out of the chaos and help people make progress. It will be interesting to see how the conversation goes. 

I think in your quote above, you say "experience" but I think you mean "opinion", right? Or are you at the end of a long path, far beyond the attainment of full enlightenment itself? It's important to be clear about how much you have directly experienced and how much is inferences from reading, talking with others, analysis, etc. That's really at the heart of things.

I would say the early days of DhO were as chaotic as now. Probably the only distinction was there was more of a "backlog" of frustrated yogis that had searched for some way to make sense of practice and events that they had experienced. Everyone had a dedicated daily practice and would pretty much honor the idea of being clear about what they had experienced vs. what they were trying to understand. So conversations were a little be more about practice and a little bit less about models. Basically, it was more about trying to understand the degree to which models could be reconciled with the realities of practice, rather than the other way around. 

The most important thing is that people don't give away their personal intelligence and power of practice over to someone else or their model. What happens in meditation >is< what is happening in meditation. Each of us have the truth of our experience, the results of thier practice method, and each of us have to be honest about what seems to work and what doesn't. There really isn't a perfect map or a perfect method, it has to be worked out individually. No one can teach or direct someone into enlightment. It's basically a lot of personal investigation of the mind on the cushion. Is there tension/suffering/ill-will? What causes it? What reduces it? 

If you read the biographies of past masters, you will find that each of them advocated different practices, used different language, taught their students differently, and were regarded differently by their peers/culture. Their path and results are uniquely theirs, no two masters are the same. So while the four path model generally can act as an umbrella for their path and results, when it comes to the details, the model is basically just a sketch.

Forums like this allow people to see more of the confusing events of people's practice. My guess is that if we sat with masters of old, we would find all of these same confusing events -- discussions about maps, about proper practice, about results, about proper behavior and cultural roles after obtaining results. What would it have been like when Buddha was trying to grow a community of practioners and had to establish lots of little rules to keep people practicing? It would probably be a lot like a messy internet forum.

Ultimately, meditation solves our own problem, the problem that lies right in the heart of our discontent. It doesn't do that by fitting our experience to a model or by giving us something called an attainment or path or enlightenment. It does it by going to the essence of discontent, which goes beyond any particular experience. When we see how the habit of discontenment can't be solved by any experience, but rather by seeing it as a habit that seems to be "I" -- then we see how all the attempts to systematize and organize chaos into order has been a source of our discontent since the beginning of this "I".

The main thing is to follow one's own path, really deal with the actual problems along the way, and don't abstract things to a point where the gritty reality is overlooked. Awakening is possible, but it means becoming intimate with every experience that seems like a problem in our own mind. 

(Hmm... that was kinda rant-y. Oh well, hope it helps in some way!)

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/6/16 1:17 PM as a reply to T DC.
This is a great thread idea. I wish I had more to add to it, but I'm happy to see it develop.

As I am trying to catch up on some of the commonly discussed material here, I increasingly see that there seem to be many competing models - and that's fine. I would guess that the experience of many here is the same as my own - some path models seem to best mirror my personal experience and results. I think that it's probably important to take into account the idea that different traditions and practices likely "present" with slightly different results at various stages - perhaps even enlightenment looks slightly different, as a recent thread suggests? Perhaps it also shapes "Fruition" experiences and which of the "3 Doors" one first emerges from at Stream Entry? 

Speaking personally, I would also like to see some maps based around well-known individual traditions and what the outcomes/judged results/ending experience levels might look like. 

Maybe this could be put together as some kind of poll, with experienced practitioners of individual paths choosing a canned set of qualitative results at different levels against their results?

Thoughts. Now they're gone. emoticon

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/6/16 11:57 AM as a reply to T DC.
JMHO, but trying to create the Holy Grail of Models given the variety of practice and experience that human beings can have on the way to awakening is a dubious undertaking. There is far too much variation, far too many branches on the tree of practice and result and far too much individual variation on a person by person basis. I also don't see why it actually matters, assuming we can agree that "good enough" is good enough as far as maps and models go (I believe that's the best standard to apply). Better to find a practice that suits one's natural tendencies, or find a teacher that suit's one's needs, and go with it, correcting for personal experience, encounters with one's experience, taste and value as one goes along.

I suspect a desire to codify everything in this manner is a reflection of the human desire to codify everything in this manner. In other words, we practice in part to see this tendency in ourselves and realize its folly  emoticon

I think shargrol is saying basically the same thing but I'm not sure.

You may take this with a grain of salt, of course.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/6/16 7:44 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Ladies and Gentleman, may I introduce the Yogi Berra of yogis:
Chris Marti:
I suspect a desire to codify everything in this manner is a reflection of the human desire to codify everything in this manner.


emoticon

I think shargrol is saying basically the same thing but I'm not sure.


Yes, but I think my reply made fewer people chuckle. emoticon

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/7/16 7:32 PM as a reply to T DC.
There are a number of assumptions to the subject, one is that having more people agreeing would result in a path that is easier and more efficient for others.  Kind of like if they agreed, then maybe they could give more simple and clear instructions for what works best.  That works for a lot of things in life like driving a car but I am not sure it holds true for mental development as much.  But reading MCTB, most of it is more like a description of common trends and stages of progression.  There is also some advice as to what seemed to work for Daniel personally and a few others that he knows but it's not exactly like a map of how to get places.  It's more like a map of what places look like for most once you get there, but it does not really tell you how to get there other than to meditate a lot and a few other tips.  In fact, there is some advice suggesting not to try to get there, let it happen by itself.  From my experience and from what I've read of other teachers, many say that you have to find your own individual way.  Even advice that I've read from other traditional teachers mostly consists of 'good job, just keep meditating' type advice.  It's not like other things in life where there is a set of instructions that you need only follow to get expected and predictable results like fixing a computer glitch or somesuch.  In the end, you HAVE to find your own way.  I would personally also venture so far as to say it's probably a mistake to be too attached and reliant on specific beliefs and methods.  They are just tools, the outcome of which tends to vary quite a bit among individuals.  I too tend to have an attachment for the easiest way, the clearest way, the exact right answer, etc, but what I've found along the path is that letting go of that has been greatly to my advantage because the answers I uncover IME are not easy, exact, clear, or simple themselves. 

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/7/16 10:13 PM as a reply to T DC.
Sorry about my last incomplete post (which I deleted), I tried to save it as a draft, but somehow published it.

A lot of people in this thread are saying we need to work out the path out for ourselves, which I think is fine and has some truth to it.  Clearly we do each need to figure the path out for ourselves to some degree.  Here are some examples of a united path, a path of attainment, leading to enlightenment that applies to all people.  I should first say that I am not proposing we, or I, just make such a map, I think such a map already exists in the teachings.

Here are some examples of univeral paths that apply to all meditators, both of which are very popular on this forum; the jhanas, and the stages of insight.  I do not think we can say that we all could have found these two sets of stages easily, in personal meditation, without some sort of external instruction or reference.  However we can also say that all may exprience these things, and everyone will expereince them in a very similar manner such that we can have a single description that instructs all meditators.  Do you agree here?

If we consider a united path of attainment, the stages of insight, leading to first path, is a great example.  People who genuinely work through these stages of insight, in their own experience, will come to a fruition and the attainment of stream entry.  The reliability of this is what has allowed such teachings to propegate, and allowed MCTB itself to be powerful force in the meditation community.  A detailed map, or description of a progressive experience leading to an ireversable attainment, was in my mind the core and defining feature of MCTB, and THE great idea or priciple that it introduced.

Now what I argue, and what I was getting at when I posted this thread, is that the MCTB system of progressive attainment is not unique.  Progressive attainment has a widespread basis in the teachings of Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism, with which I am most familiar.  What I am saying is that just as we do not dispute the legitamacy and eficacy of the jhanas and vipassina nanas, and we accept them to be a legitamate system that produces a universal result, there are other systems of progressive attainment, perhaps unfamiliar to this community, which are likewise revered in there repective traditions with the same attitude; as universal progressive attainments. 

Now the kicker here is that I do not think there are seperable tracks of insights.  While we each must stuggle alone with our minds, we all walk the same path of insight and attainment in our progression towards enlightenment.  In MCTB Daniel did not find and document a unique system, or path, he documented the begining of a much larger path of progressive attainment that has been being described in the Buddhist teachings for milenea.  THIS is the path we need to get to enlightenment in an expedient fasion.

Sorry for the rambling in the previous posts, I think I got the gist accross here.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/8/16 12:40 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
[...]
In MCTB Daniel did not find and document a unique system, or path, he documented the begining of a much larger path of progressive attainment that has been being described in the Buddhist teachings for milenea.  THIS is the path we need to get to enlightenment in an expedient fasion.

[citation needed]

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/8/16 8:52 AM as a reply to T DC.
T DC:
Here are some examples of univeral paths that apply to all meditators, both of which are very popular on this forum; the jhanas, and the stages of insight.  I do not think we can say that we all could have found these two sets of stages easily, in personal meditation, without some sort of external instruction or reference.  However we can also say that all may exprience these things, and everyone will expereince them in a very similar manner such that we can have a single description that instructs all meditators.  Do you agree here?

If we consider a united path of attainment, the stages of insight, leading to first path, is a great example.  People who genuinely work through these stages of insight, in their own experience, will come to a fruition and the attainment of stream entry.  The reliability of this is what has allowed such teachings to propegate, and allowed MCTB itself to be powerful force in the meditation community.  A detailed map, or description of a progressive experience leading to an ireversable attainment, was in my mind the core and defining feature of MCTB, and THE great idea or priciple that it introduced.



Just some thoughts...

The POI was not an original teaching of the buddha, but rather something that was developed over time and became formalized much later. In other words, it was the result of many people going through the awakening without that map, collecting reports, and only then coming out with that useful map.

Talking with a senior teacher in a Japanese/Tibetan school, he told me about 30% of students do not experience jhanas but still make progress and awaken. It seems to be something hard wired. So jhanas correlate to progress, but aren't necessary.

The idea of cessation being a reliable milestone is debatable. When it occurs very clearly, of course it's a clear marker. But there are many "near misses" that seem like cessations but are hard to diagnosis, and there are many people who do not report cessations yet clear have deep insight into the nature of mind.

Lastly, the using the phrase "all meditators" is really problematic. For example, there are entire groups of people who awaken without >any< unusual experiences. Alan Chapman describes it as "creeping normalcy" where progress is made but so seamlessly that the change isn't obvious.

From a video he had:
"Although I talked about methods and traditions as a means of supporting your expression of the responsibility to experience enlightenment, it’s important that we also recognize that the technique or the method of the tradition that we work with will determine a good deal of the superficial surface features, if you will, of the process of awakening. There are certain experiences or perspectives or views that you will only get with certain traditions. The difference between using centering prayer, say in a Christian mystic sense, compared to straight-up noting practice from the theravadan buddhist tradition are quite marked. There are certain things you will get from one tradition that you won’t get with another, and it’s very easy for someone who works with one tradition to dismiss any person’s experience from another tradition as not dealing with the same process of awakening based on these superficial features, and then its very easy for that person to give over the power and responsibility for enlightenment not only for themselves but for everyone else to the particular tradition they work with. So it’s important that we recognize that there are superficial differences; however, there are also deep features that are common to the process of awakening. I find it of great value to explore more than one tradition that you might resonate with and work with those traditions for a certain amount of time to recognize those differences, but also to gain a comprehensive view of the similarities of the deep features that are involved.

In terms of the deep features, we can say that there are three kinds of unfolding of the process of awakening, at least in terms of my experience. There are some people that might awaken in what we call a very wet sense, in that there are a lot of mystical experiences, staggered stages, peak, partial, and then full awakenings that are involved in the process. This was certainly the case for me. And then there are people who perhaps don’t have, we could say, is a completely dry process. They don’t have the mystical experiences, the peak and partial awakenings, they sit for a long time, it’s very dry, and then one day they are suddenly awakened. They experience the awakening moment. Now, how much of that is down to the actual technique or the tradition they work with is a matter of speculation, but it could play a part. And then there are those people who go through the process of awakening, but in such a way that creeping normalcy is the predominant factor. Creeping normalcy only mean that although things change, they change in such a slight and slow manner that you do not recognize any big leaps or changes, but at some point you look at things and recognize how vastly things have change, to the point that people are actually awakened. So there are these three types of deep features to the process of awakening, and again it’s important that we don’t dismiss our own practice or the practice of others, or our own process or the process of others, based on the idea that everyone’s experience must be staggered stages with lots of fireworks --- or that everyone’s experience must be so dry that there aren’t any experiences of awakening to the extent that we actually dismiss the idea of awakening, which is very common to zen practioners who have experienced this slow creeping normalcy of awakening."


But having said all of that, I agree the map in MCTB has been hugely important to many people, at least it was for me and was easily the most significant and helpful guidance in my early meditation practice.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/8/16 9:00 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
Alan Chapman describes it as "creeping normalcy" where progress is made but so seamlessly that the change isn't obvious.

From a video he had:
"Although I talked about methods and traditions as a means of supporting your expression of the responsibility to experience enlightenment, it’s important that we also recognize that the technique or the method of the tradition that we work with will determine a good deal of the superficial surface features, if you will, of the process of awakening....


Shargrol, can you provide a link to Alan's video?

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/8/16 9:07 AM as a reply to Andy R.
Unfortunately, I searched for it and couldn't find it online anymore.  emoticon

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/8/16 10:11 AM as a reply to shargrol.
I think Alan's quote is helpful for establishing what we could all potentially *actually* agree on. Namely, that there are deep similarities and huge surface variation between individuals and traditions (as Chris also pointed out well).

To me, finding one model that articulates the precise structure of awakening is straight up a fools errand, dismissing as it does 1) individual differences and 2) differences in view/method/outcome structures which are also evident between different traditions.

The closest you'll ever come to the Great Model to End All Models is to create a self-selecting group of people who will "agree" to it, and of those, some will actually have experience that is more or less similar to the Great Map and others will struggle and beat their heads against the wall thinking they are doing it wrong when really, they just aren't wired that way and will never experience things as layed out in that particular map.

When we zoom out to a high level of abstraction to get the features we can all 'agree' on there is very little that will be agreed on in detail. That's just the reality of it. If we can agree on THAT, then there could be a lot of value in looking at the variety of experiences and realizations that come from following different branches of the contemplative tree.

ETA and maybe also we will get some agreement on various lasting shifts that are possible, and start to correlate them with different view/method/daily life practice packages.

I think a non linear approach like this would be more fruitful than trying to find or advocate for or create a single Big Map that fits it all in. I'm pretty sure Goedell demonstrated the impossibility of that in any domain anyway. Or was it Escher, or Bach? lol

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/8/16 11:38 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
I'll have what Jake's having  emoticon

The variation potential among practices and human beings is enormous and the inclination to ignore that, or discount it, and continue on to make up a nice, neat story to make us feel comfortable amidst the chaos remains, for me, one of the reasons we need the practice.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/8/16 11:44 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I'll have what Jake's having  emoticon




... the impulse to avoid paperwork? emoticon

Yeah, I was thinking about that in response to Droll's current thread about minimal pragmatic dharma claims.

I wonder if we could go so far as to say some sort of visceral (i.e., transformative) insight into 'the map is not the territory' could be considered part of the pragmatic dharma package of 'attainments' that tend to be agreed upon. I'm not sure. But I can agree that for me personally, I find pretty much any insight I've had which resulted in transformation could be summed up by something like 'recognizing the way my felt compulsion to KNOW with certainty leads to suffering, and is an expression of avoiding suffering, which leads to suffering, and is an expression of the avoiding of suffering...' lol.
 
You can't get there from here, like the old farmer said. That's OK though cuz you never left. OK, back to work!!!!!

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/8/16 2:45 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:

I think a non linear approach like this would be more fruitful than trying to find or advocate for or create a single Big Map that fits it all in. I'm pretty sure Goedell demonstrated the impossibility of that in any domain anyway. Or was it Escher, or Bach? lol
Part of me now wants to open a new thread, debating if the MCTB model is recursively enumerable and can express arithmetics.
Part of me wants cookies.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/9/16 7:15 AM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:


I wonder if we could go so far as to say some sort of visceral (i.e., transformative) insight into 'the map is not the territory' could be considered part of the pragmatic dharma package of 'attainments' that tend to be agreed upon.

I personally tend to think so. 

Interestingly, that is one of the main diagnostic features that Cook-Greuter uses to distinuish between level 8 and level 9 of her adult development model. It's a "psychological" development model, but I personally don't think the last stage of her model is possible without awakening. 

http://www.cook-greuter.com/Cook-Greuter%209%20levels%20paper%20new%201.1'14%2097p[1].pdf

Anyway, it was certainly the case for me, as folks who watched my practice would attest. I very much thought I needed a map to interpret reality correctly, thinking the solution to more subtle problems was a better map (which is true to a degree). But then you see that interpretations themselves are as much a real experience as anything else.

So you begin to see interpretations as experiences, see all cognition as conditional interpretations, and see that they exist as momentary thoughts which come and go instantly --- which is basically like saying that at a certain point you begin to notice the luminosity, interdependence, and emptiness of all experiences including attempts to map reality.

Edit:

The practical application of all this is it is critically important to note "maping thoughts" and "assessing practice thoughts" and "planning meditation thoughts" and "judging practice thoughts" as different categories of thinking that arise and pass during meditation. All of these things are not-self, they arise without our control, hang around for a moment, and disappear completely. If we believe that these thoughts are "I", if we identify with them, then we will be caught by them and spend the next seconds or minutes thinking instead of noting.

Of course, it's normal to do some thinking during meditation. No big deal, especially at the beginning of practice. Progress happens anyway. But at a certain point, it becomes more and more obvious that the mind just exudes thoughts, in the same way that moisture just oozes out of the pores of your skin. It happens on it's own.

With that kind of insight, it becomes possible to eventually develop more space between thinking and awareness of thinking. During A&P and High Equanimity it's even possible to "look at" the mindstream and use it as yet another sensation (the sensation of thinking) that can be noted.

This is somewhat high-level practice, but definitely possible for anyone who has noticed "oh, look at all these thoughts in my head". That ability, for awareness to notice thinking itself, can definitely be developed through consistent practice. Let's say a half hour, twice a day... or a hour sit once a day. 

The important thing is to see this happening through practice. Reading about it is helpful, for sure, but having the insight into the process is what allows it to actually change the way we experience suffering and the extent that we are controlled by greed, aversion, and ignorance.  

Hope this helps!

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/9/16 11:44 AM as a reply to shargrol.
So you begin to see interpretations as experiences, see all cognition as conditional interpretations, and see that they exist as momentary thoughts which come and go instantly --- which is basically like saying that at a certain point you begin to notice the luminosity, interdependence, and emptiness of all experiences including attempts to map reality.


Well said, shargrol! That's exactly the issue, IMHO. There is nothing outside of experience, which is always interpretation. The problem many people get into with maps is that they begin to believe the map is somehow "outside." This is not a problem in the early stages of practice but it is a major problem when awakening requires that we see the nature of experience in all its chaos, subtlety and deep impermanence.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/9/16 6:58 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
. Jake .:

But I can agree that for me personally, I find pretty much any insight I've had which resulted in transformation could be summed up by something like 'recognizing the way my felt compulsion to KNOW with certainty leads to suffering, and is an expression of avoiding suffering, which leads to suffering, and is an expression of the avoiding of suffering...' lol.
Yes, that's been a big one for me to learn.  Seems  like it's typical for humans to want to have THE ANSWER and thus feel a bit safer having that one stable thing at least.  Certainty can yield a feeling of safeness and/or stability that one might like to hang on to.  But ultimately, it's still more clinging that has to be let go of.  When I read the initial post of this thread, it reminded me of that desire to have agreement, answers, and certainty, which long term I've found is a desire that was a problem for me. 

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
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4/11/16 11:42 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
. Jake .:


I wonder if we could go so far as to say some sort of visceral (i.e., transformative) insight into 'the map is not the territory' could be considered part of the pragmatic dharma package of 'attainments' that tend to be agreed upon.

I personally tend to think so. 

1) Interestingly, that is one of the main diagnostic features that Cook-Greuter uses to distinuish between level 8 and level 9 of her adult development model. It's a "psychological" development model, but I personally don't think the last stage of her model is possible without awakening. 


2) With that kind of insight, it becomes possible to eventually develop more space between thinking and awareness of thinking. During A&P and High Equanimity it's even possible to "look at" the mindstream and use it as yet another sensation (the sensation of thinking) that can be noted.

1) Yes, actually I think Cook-Greuter's work kind of implicitly builds awakening into her 9th stage. But that's another whole conversation about the INtegral/Wilberian family of maps. I have some serious questions about this topic, which could make a fascinating thread of its own (we've done it before, especially on AN, looking at the relationship betewen psychological and contemplative development, but it's perrenially interesting).

2) Huh, I would characterize the simultaneous objectification of mental-emotional events and physical events as elemental to the whole process beginning with M&B, but I'm not a big MCTB mapper. I agree with your comment to the extent that during a&p and high equaninimity it's kind of unavoidable to see things this way, but I think that's due to the greater concentration in those stages. So when I practice in a more disciplined way and spend the beginning of my sit cultivating stability, then I tend to shift very naturally into a kind of holistic impressionistic mode in which all phenomena are equal. So with higher concentration I tend to diagnose my rough position on the POI map more by bodily energetics and the kinds of mental emotional content that come up, rather than whether the mind stream is clearly just another source of sensations or not because it automoatically is in that case. At any rate it's also important to emphasize as I'm sure you'd agree the 'looking at the mindstream' or 'objectifying the mindstream' are really metaphors; what's really happening is more like we are dropping the assumption that there is an ontological difference between different kinds of phenomena so phenomena are equalized, but nothing outside of the flow of mental and physical impressions is 'looking at' them. Of course, it's pretty normal to reify that metaphor and take up a more transpersonal identity as 'that which is beyond experience' during certain stages of development too so, whatevs ;)

Either way, my experience has been that operationalizing this insight (TMINTT) in real time, resulting as it does in clearly seeing that impressions/interpretations/reactions are abstracted categories from a more open ended primal flow of experience is definitely related to awakening as a shift in how identification functions. But I can't discount that this is merely my interpretation because of the time and place I've grown up in and the kinds of philosophy I've been exposed to, leading me to retrocatively label awakening in these terms. I'm honestly just not sure!!

My favorite pet theory about this thataccounts for my experience of awakening and its relationship to TMINTT is a metaphor from information theory in developmental theory. Basically the idea is we have models of self-world which are based on various developmental paradigms, rigt? And according to info theory we have two responses to new info that contradicts our model. We can 'accomodate' it, that is, change the model. Or we can "assimilate" the new data to the old model. The latter results in cognitive dissonance/neurosis. The former leads to more resilient because more complex and nuanced self/world models.

Developmental changes that occur in growing up happen when the basic paradigm with which we are modeling/making meaning changes, and these changes seem to come in a fairly stable roll out from early childhood through early adulthood. So then there are now TWO ways that accomodation/assimilation could occur. One would be without a change in developemental level. The other would be when the new data that's arising corresponds to a new developmental paradigm, meaning if we assimilate at this point we have a developmental block, whereas if we accomodate this qualitatively new data we can transition to a new developmental center of gravity.

With awakening there is an insight into the fundamental limits of modeling/mapmaking/representational knowing. Here it is impossible to conceptually accomodate OR assimilate the 'new information' that experience is an open ended, groundless flow of impermanent centerless impressions. You simply can't plug that into a representational model of things because by their nature such models emphasize substantial existence of actual selves and things with lasting essences.

So what is required is an 'existential accomodation' in which the whole experiential continuum begins to accomodate the fundamental limits of modeling/representing, and this changes the tone of experiencing, because the default more then becomes more open-ended, more explicitly impermanent, with the various phenomena of life more equalized. This is the visceral insight into TMINTT.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/11/16 12:30 PM as a reply to . Jake ..
Jake:

So what is required is an 'existential accomodation' in which the whole experiential continuum begins to accomodate the fundamental limits of modeling/representing, and this changes the tone of experiencing, because the default more then becomes more open-ended, more explicitly impermanent, with the various phenomena of life more equalized. This is the visceral insight into TMINTT.


I like this way of saying it.  I have been imaging it as all of the attempts made to fill the bottomless pit inside of myself; it becomes almost fun to watch myself incessently playing this survival-fueled game.  Especially poignant given my tendency to build narrative around the "spiritual journey."  Personally, the important add-on, beyond equanimity & clarity, has been joy.

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/11/16 2:34 PM as a reply to Noah.
On retreat this week (Zen this time) we were talking about Stream Entry, as their seem to be a lot of Satori/Kensho victims (ha) in this group. In Dokusan (private talk with a teacher) I shared my personal experience, and the teacher said that HIS two experiences have been very similar in character. We both have had significant contact with Zen and Dzogchen lit and techniques.

This made me wonder if what might be really useful would be something like a multiple choice poll for the BAREST and most significant level of map experiences, with some of the common agreed on flavors of each and some questions about the practitioners and the primary traditions and techniques they have used to get them. Maybe it could be expanded to fill in the blanks after that?

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/11/16 4:27 PM as a reply to Noah.
Noah:
Jake:

Blah blah visceral  felt sense of the  limits of modeling as model of awakening blah blah 


 Personally, the important add-on, beyond equanimity & clarity, has been joy.
Totally buddy. This is something I've found myself very interested in lately. It feels like joy (and it's painfully beautiful  shadow, loss and sadness) is just such a natural response to life when we stop bottling up our response to life in constricted, layered identifications. Awakening minus the vulnerability and generosity of joy/sadness (same  thing right?) is really not worthy of the name, in a sense. 

RE: Complete Peace (re: enlightenment models)
Answer
4/12/16 3:22 PM as a reply to T DC.
Paweł K:
It is funny how you never say anything about mind, nothing which was really aimed at helping others get enlightened, not a single pointer to real understanding of anything. All you talk about is some fixed tibetan path, it is universality and superiority over MCTB model. I would understand it if it was device to get some enlightenment ideas through but you seem to be only interested in advertising your model which is imho dogmatic and not really in the spirit of this site...
Pawel K!  A clear path of attainment was what allowed me to attain enlightenment!  If you're interested read Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa.  This book was where I got the idea of the three yanas of Tibetan Buddhism as a progresive system of enlightenment.  And MCTB isn't inferior, it's the crucial first yana, or first step.  I know you post about 4th path, so if you are at that level you might find that book very interesting!  Cheers!

Eva Nie:
...But reading MCTB, most of it is more like a description of common trends and stages of progression.  There is also some advice as to what seemed to work for Daniel personally and a few others that he knows but it's not exactly like a map of how to get places.  It's more like a map of what places look like for most once you get there, but it does not really tell you how to get there other than to meditate a lot and a few other tips.  In fact, there is some advice suggesting not to try to get there, let it happen by itself.  From my experience and from what I've read of other teachers, many say that you have to find your own individual way.  ...  I too tend to have an attachment for the easiest way, the clearest way, the exact right answer, etc, but what I've found along the path is that letting go of that has been greatly to my advantage because the answers I uncover IME are not easy, exact, clear, or simple themselves.

I think, reading MCTB, Daniel definativly said that as far as insight was concerned MCTB 4th path was THE end insight.  I disagree, I think it's a major insight, not THE insight, but nevertheless, IMO Daniel was also espousing a single path of insight.  Of course we have to walk the path for ourself, but we don't need to throw away the map to do that!  The 4th path map in MCTB was what allowed me to gain these attainments!