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Enlightenment without meditation

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Enlightenment without meditation
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6/23/16 11:08 PM
Nisargadatta Maharj and Ramana Maharshi both claimed that self enquiry was the only thing neccesary for enlightenment, but is that honestly the case? Is their form of enlightenment the same which Daniel speaks about by obtaining the four paths through insight meditation?

The main reason why I'm asking is that I met one of Nisargadattas pupil's who teaches non-duality and who claims that meditation isn't mandatory, that you can have fully realised non-duality achieved through intellectual understanding alone, and there seem to be plenty of other people that support the same school of thought. Yet I'm extremely skeptical as to if they could really have the whole picture or not.

By the way, the pupil I'm refering to is Sailor Bob Adamson: http://www.sailorbobadamson.com/

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 3:40 AM as a reply to bluedevils.
This is quite possible imo. I said on this forum before, that extensive sitting is not such a great idea, as your wonderful insights have to be integrated with reality, when you actualy stand up from the cushion.

Lets take non-duality for example. Basicaly what that is, is the Einstein's theory of relativity and its implications.
What it says, is that everything you want to measure/examin/label, has to be in relation to something else, becouse without this something else you have no data to campare, therefore you cannot say anything about given object.
But this doesnt sount too appealing so in spiritual circles, you are pointed at relations such as good and evil, you and "the world" etc. and catchy frazes like "two sides of the same coin".
Also this implies that if you notice something, you can automaticaly assume there is an opposite of the thing you noticed, becouse if there was none, you wouldn't notice it at all. Having that in mind, you can have a go at spotting god ;) How you ask? Basically it's the meditation on "the void". If you happent to "get to" such a state, that implies there's an opposing state of "fullness"(having no good word here) - i'm not sure if that's even possible as im not that good at concentration, just got it intelectualy.

Also another "super tricky spiritual trick" is about stillness. One of "fundamental laws" is that everything is changing. The problem is how to keep still in that situation? Having this above relation thingy in mind, it's obvious, that you have to keep constatnly moving - to keep still(in relation to given object). I'm giving away all the secrets here ;)

Just one disclaimer here, about theory and practice. It's one thing to know how to do the split and other to actualy do it. So this knowledge, has to sink in, so you can work on it's fundation.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 4:06 AM as a reply to bluedevils.
howdy,
with the general proviso that "anything is posssible", for my money enlightenment does not happen without an act of will or desire.  in many circles it is declared that Maharsi's enlightenment fell on him like a bag of rocks.  Someone posted a link here a while back which challenged this meme and show a path of his progress which conforms much more to the gradual awakening model.

This is highly believable to me and mirrors my experience.  Spontaneous A&P events are extensively written about here and very well in MCTB but the later breakthroughs are generally achieved only through a mixture of intention, talent and dedication to some methodology.

There were many points of dogma and dharma which I could parrot intellectually but were not (or are not) fully realized.  I heard a scientist talk almost dismissively about non-duality, for example, but it was clear that he had only an intellectual understanding of it, perhaps even a  deep intellectual understanding, but his actual VIEW was wholly dualistic.

You wrote that these sages said that 'self enquiry' was the ONLY thing required for enlightenment.

What does ONLY mean here?  Is meditaion NOT self inquiry?  What is meditation?  Is self enquiry not meditation?  Do you think these sages had no concentration skills?  No other mindfulness skills?  Additionally self enquiry can happen at the shallow intellectual level or in deep quiet mind states?  Where is it optimal to do such investigation? 

I think simply that developing skills which allow a less distracted mode of exploration of self is a really good idea.

cheers

tom

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 4:34 AM as a reply to bluedevils.
Michael:
Nisargadatta Maharj and Ramana Maharshi both claimed that self enquiry was the only thing neccesary for enlightenment, but is that honestly the case? Is their form of enlightenment the same which Daniel speaks about by obtaining the four paths through insight meditation?

The main reason why I'm asking is that I met one of Nisargadattas pupil's who teaches non-duality and who claims that meditation isn't mandatory, that you can have fully realised non-duality achieved through intellectual understanding alone, and there seem to be plenty of other people that support the same school of thought. Yet I'm extremely skeptical as to if they could really have the whole picture or not.

By the way, the pupil I'm refering to is Sailor Bob Adamson: http://www.sailorbobadamson.com/
Hi Michael,

Here's my take on this. That ultimate view that these gentleman, Nisargadatta, Ramana and many others represent, in a way, is wonderful. It has many similarities to the view of dzogchen, which if you ask me is the essence of all other vehicles and paths. However, as you suspect, whether these men and women actually are fully enlightened (buddhas) or at least highly attained (bodhisattvas) and speak this view from their own experience, that simply is not the case. In fact, attainment-wise vedantists are beginners. Their attainment/living experience is far from their view.

When mapped with OHBM, I haven't yet found a vedantist/advaitist who would be higher in their attainment than the lower bhumis... which when compared to theravadan paths relate to paths 1-2, parhaps even 3. None of the vedantists out there, of whom I know of, have attained 6th bhumi which is the same as the 4th path of the pragmatic dharmins such as Daniel and Kenneth Folk.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 5:26 AM as a reply to bluedevils.
Full enlightenment cannot occur without meditation because there is a purification process that naturally results both in & from the mind plunging or being absorbed within the physical body & brain. 

I trust it was reported Ramana spent periods 'absorbed' in meditation. 

emoticon 

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 10:12 AM as a reply to bluedevils.
I think awakening (non-dual experience) can occur to anyone with very little experience - though I wonder if they DO have to be a seeker of some level. I think the "self" inquiry can get you there (It is used in a number of traditions, including Zen), but, like Kim, I think the chances of succes with it as the primary method are slim.

David Carse's book/audio book "Perfect Brilliant Stillness" is a fascinating recounting of this experience and what it all (probably?) means/is:

http://www.audible.com/pd/Science-Technology/Perfect-Brilliant-Stillness-Audiobook/B018SORM28

I got it for free with an Audible credit I was given for other purchases at Amazon. I'd imagine anyone that has shopped at Amazon probably has a free credit of their own.

I think meditation quiets the mind and creates space for clearing obscurations and clinging and that this is possibly one of the most valuable disciplines we have as a tool to refine the awakening experience, if we don't get it all at once. 

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 1:41 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:


I think meditation quiets the mind and creates space for clearing obscurations and clinging and that this is possibly one of the most valuable disciplines we have as a tool to refine the awakening experience, if we don't get it all at once
Get what all at once? Care to explain? You got me interested emoticon

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 2:12 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Stirling Campbell:


I think meditation quiets the mind and creates space for clearing obscurations and clinging and that this is possibly one of the most valuable disciplines we have as a tool to refine the awakening experience, if we don't get it all at once
Get what all at once? Care to explain? You got me interested emoticon

Hello Kim,

There are those that claim to get to arhat level or enlightenment all in one go. Some of the accounts are believable. The neo-advaita movement believes this is possible. I think David Carse (mentioned earlier in the thread) might really be one, for example. I believe the Cha'an schools had sudden enlightenment as well. While awakening might happen without much in the way of practice, I think it's probably rare and difficult that arhatship or enlightenment happens this way, compared to the gradual schools.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 3:18 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

Hello Kim,

There are those that claim to get to arhat level or enlightenment all in one go. Some of the accounts are believable. The neo-advaita movement believes this is possible. I think David Carse (mentioned earlier in the thread) might really be one, for example. I believe the Cha'an schools had sudden enlightenment as well. While awakening might happen without much in the way of practice, I think it's probably rare and difficult that arhatship or enlightenment happens this way, compared to the gradual schools.
This is just what I've been after, names of people who claim 4th path/6th bhumi OHBM in one blow. I really really really doubt it emoticon

Any idea what David Carse looks like? There's many photos with that name but couldn't find a pic of him to check his bhumi. Neo-advaitists... like who?

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/24/16 4:02 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:

This is just what I've been after, names of people who claim 4th path/6th bhumi OHBM in one blow. I really really really doubt it emoticon

Any idea what David Carse looks like? There's many photos with that name but couldn't find a pic of him to check his bhumi. Neo-advaitists... like who?

David Carse does not teach, has not republished his book, and is invisble on the internet as far as I can tell. He still works as a carpenter.

The other advaita teachers I'm most familiar with are Ramana Maharshi and Nisargadatta Maharaj. They have both passed. But there is a lot of understanding about the way things really are in their teachings, IMHO. 


RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/25/16 4:14 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:

David Carse does not teach, has not republished his book, and is invisble on the internet as far as I can tell. He still works as a carpenter.

I don't know about Carse, nor of his book but I envy him already. It'd be so easy and wonderful to do woodworks and not worry about dharmawork or the DhO anymore ;) I've studied welding and woodworks to the extent that I've several times thought of switching my profession. But sticked with dharma work emoticon

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/27/16 11:58 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Stirling Campbell:

David Carse does not teach, has not republished his book, and is invisble on the internet as far as I can tell. He still works as a carpenter.

I don't know about Carse, nor of his book but I envy him already. It'd be so easy and wonderful to do woodworks and not worry about dharmawork or the DhO anymore ;) I've studied welding and woodworks to the extent that I've several times thought of switching my profession. But sticked with dharma work emoticon


Carse actually argues that being a teacher should not be a vocation with the dharma - that we should all "chop wood, carry water" and when a student comes to ask you a question, you take a pause, answer, and get back to work. No payment accepted.

Teaching is what I am driven to do, and would love to do full time, but I can't help feeling like he is right.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/27/16 1:34 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:


Carse actually argues that being a teacher should not be a vocation with the dharma - that we should all "chop wood, carry water" and when a student comes to ask you a question, you take a pause, answer, and get back to work. No payment accepted.

Teaching is what I am driven to do, and would love to do full time, but I can't help feeling like he is right.
Both options are available, you know. Carse chose according to what he sees best. I have no idea what he teaches. What teachers teach, what their methods and techniques are and how they do it, varies a lot. There is not one right way to go about it. If you get your job done by answering a question among chopping fire wood, great. Like I said I have no idea what Carse teachers or who he is. However, I'm sure any professional teacher with several years of teaching experience, being committed to their students, knows that you don't become a great teacher overnight, you have to learn the skill of it and that it is a job with many facets and tones to it.

In my case I didn't see it reasonable or possible option to do two kinds of works full time at the same time. Some here might have trouble me talking about "teachers and students" but being a teacher, to more than one or two students, requires commitment, time and energy, and it is a relationship where know-how and experiences are passed on from a more experienced person to a less experienced person, like it or not. I get asked a lot of questions, everyday. All kinds of questions. It's not like you get asked one question a day or a week if you have more than a handful of students. It's hard work and sometimes you can't help thinking if the grass was greener on the other side of the fence (different job), just liek anyone thinks of their own jobs. 

Personally I feel that I can best contribute to the common good by doing what I do. I think about it every now and then. To me everything what is concerned with my job is chopping wood and carrying water. It's a tough job that allows no idealism when you really do it straighforwardly and honestly.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/27/16 4:05 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
As I said, Carse doesn't teach. There seems to be no way to reach him. He has zero internet presence, aside from articles about his out of print book. He's just a carpenter.

I do hear what you are saying. Just struggling myself with his opinion about it and my own instincts.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/27/16 4:57 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
In the book he said that he lacks the skill sets required to teach. Also I think since he became enlightened without having any sort of meditation practice or even being a seeker it may be hard to teach anyone else how to get there.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/28/16 1:42 AM as a reply to Christine.
So... What's so special about David Carse?

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/28/16 5:29 PM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Nothing.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/29/16 1:57 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Nothing.

Lol.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
6/29/16 11:23 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
emoticon

It just looks like "he" made it. It's not something we all can't do. His account of doing so, and how things look to him in the "now" is compelling. That's all.

RE: Enlightenment without meditation
Answer
7/1/16 2:34 AM as a reply to abba.
Alan Watts:


A preliminary study of the Pali Canon will certainly give the
impression that nirvana is to be realized only through rigorous
efort and self-control, and that the aspirant should lay aside all
other concerns for the pursuit of this ideal. Mahayanists may be
perfectly correct in assuming that the Buddha intended this
emphasis as an upaya, a skillful means of enabling one to realize,
concretely and vividly, the absurd vicious circle of desiring not to
desire, or of trying to get rid of selfshness by oneself. For this is
certainly the conclusion to which the practice of the Buddha’s
doctrine led. It may be attributed to laziness and loss of nerve, but it
seems more plausible to suggest that those who remained in the
path of self-deliverance were merely unconscious of the paradox
involved. For wherever the Mahayana continues to teach the way of
liberation by one’s own efort, it does so as an expedient for
bringing the individual to a vivid awareness of his own futility.