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The wild west of DhOverground

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The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/10/16 5:20 PM
This is a very strange place. On one hand there is access to lots of ideas about meditation. On the other hand, there are no guiderails, no guidelines, no guidance.

So be careful.  

Before beginning >any< practice, think about your intentions, goals and the means to the goals.

Why do I want to practice? What do I want to get out of this? Is meditation the best way to get what I want? Meditation isn't a silver bullet, it doesn't magically get you what you want.

What am I practicing? Do I understand the method, maps, and experiences that might happen? Do I really think I can handle it?

Do I have people I can talk with about practice? Are there people in my life that will support me in my practice? Do I have enough time to really do this? Does this fit into all the other things I want to do with my time?



One of the best things you can do is find a practice group with a senior student or teacher. In fact, I would say, it's better to spend two years looking for the right support group than it is to spend 10 years practicing. I know that sounds crazy from someone in the "practical dharma" world, but I truly believe it.

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/10/16 7:56 PM as a reply to shargrol.
Sticky post worthy?

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/10/16 9:32 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
This is a very strange place. On one hand there is access to lots of ideas about meditation. On the other hand, there are no guiderails, no guidelines, no guidance.




What about for someone who's intersted in energy healing?  I got one response, that's it.  There's nowhere, absolutely nowhere I can go for advice.  Not online, not in real life.  No one knows what I'm talking about.  If I was to join some sort of reiki group I'd be met with people who'd use it to define a certain lifestyle, rather than something which actually works. 

So I end up here...  one response. 

As for meditation, I've met a so-called enlightened person (well known), and she didn't help me at all.  I've got more help on here.

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 5:34 AM as a reply to This Good Self.
C C C, Who are your role models in the healing community? What paradigms interest you? What traditions? What healers have you talked to? What books have you read? What methods do you think you will use to track progress and effectiveness? Do propose to work for free or charge for service? What modality do you use? What modality to you want to learn? It can be very helpful to be much more specific about your history, interests, and specific information you are seeking. And frankly, a meditation board might not have the experts/interest that a healing board would have. 

Even on the ideal healing website, you might not get a lot of responses. That's normal. A lot of times it can seem like the world is empty of teachers, students, or information... but usually it means that the world is empty of perfect teachers, perfect students, or perfect information -- and that's true. Everyone has to "steal" their art/practice/skills from many different sources and put together something that works for themselves.

So simply explore what you can. Check out the Reiki group and take what is helpful and discard the rest. Talk to a business person and learn about running a business. Read some books that are outside what you normally read. Drop the whole thing for a couple months and contemplate what you want to be doing in 20 years with your skills. Spend time getting yourself in optimal health and document what workds and doesn't. Many possibilities!

There's always reasons why things aren't quite right... but there is always a next step you can take. And the next step leads to the next and to the next. 

Take the time to explore. There isn't a rush.

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 10:08 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:
This is a very strange place. On one hand there is access to lots of ideas about meditation. On the other hand, there are no guiderails, no guidelines, no guidance.

So be careful. 
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/dharma-wiki/-/wiki/Main/MCTB+Foreword+and+Warning
MCTB:
I should also mention that I consider myself and many of those who hail from the lineages from which I primarily draw to be dharma cowboys, mavericks, rogues, and outsiders. Really wanting to get somewhere is a sure ticket to feeling this way in most Western Buddhist circles. What is ironic is that I also see myself as an extreme traditionalist. The strange thing is that these days to be a Buddhist traditionalist, one who really tries to plunge the depths of the heart, mind and body as the Buddha so clearly admonished his followers to do, is to fly in the face of much of mainstream meditation culture.

In that same vein, I should further mention that the path I have followed has been dangerous, destabilizing more often than calm, excruciating more often than pleasant, harder to integrate than most other dharma paths I have heard of, and in general quite a rough ride. It has also been profound, amazing, and more glorious than most other paths I have heard tell of. Surfing the ragged edges of reality has been easier for me than slowing the thing down. In my explorations, accidents and adventures, I have learned a lot about not only how to make very fast progress in meditation but also a lot about how to do so without completely wiping out. I hope that I can pass on some of the knowledge of both in this book. This should be seen as another warning. This book and the path presented in it are not for the damaged and unstable spiritual seeker. You have to have your psychological trip fairly together to be able to handle the intense techniques, side effects and results I am about to discuss.
For those who have not crossed the A&P, consider well what it means to do so. For those of you who have, well, its a bit late to consider choices.
I have not had a choice in the matter and consider my meditative career some of the best times and by far the worst times of my life. C'est la vie.

Regarding the Dharma Overground, Its like hanging out in an unruly college bar. The bravado that accompanies those who hang out here spills out into their advice. There is a lot of noise here and that drives some away to places more like a tea shop or library.
Good stuff can be found here but buyer beware, esp. if someone is selling.
The better the question, the more likely you will attract a higher level response, as well as 20 low level responses....sift wisely.
Good luck all,
~D

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 10:40 AM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Much of what is written in this forum does not "ring true" for me and/or is dogmatic in tone. One should take it all with a grain of salt.

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 10:40 AM as a reply to shargrol.
My opinion about this site:

It's extremely useful to get 1st path. There's a lot of useful information for that. After that it's not that useful (nor are other sites).
About the warnings, if you read MCTB they're pretty clear.

About the methods, maps and experiences, they're clearly Mahasi-Theravada. While the site is open, the tendency is clear.

My opinion is that human communication is extremely difficult (via internet, text, skype or even personal). And many things can't be transmitted.

I used to think there was a ranking where talking to a person was better that to talk via skype which is turn was better that talking by text (forum).
I'm not so sure anymore.
Mostly because the amount and quality of information in internet is staggering. It's not structured, but I prefer it that way.
If you can't figure out good advice from internet forums, you will probably have the same problem with meditation groups.

While it's a good idea to find a teacher or a meditation group, I would still keep an eye on meditation forums.
They're pretty useful, and they're going to get better as time passes.
The tools to organize all this and give meaning to unstructured information are being developed as we speak (narrow AI).

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 12:11 PM as a reply to shargrol.
I've only been coming here for a little over a year. I say this as a non-Vipassana practitioner: There is NO place on the web with the level of knowledge through gnosis in this concentration, and with this level of compassionate helpfulness, that I am aware of. New posters get scepticism - but NOT condescension or ridicule, from those with real understanding, in my experience. 

In the confusion of becoming a Sotapanna, I tried other Buddhism boards, Reddit, blah blah blah - this is where I got some help with what had happened to me. Reading threads on different aspects, book recommendations and personal messaging with board members has greatly enriched my practice and probably the speed at which everything seems to be evolving.

I am very grateful to Daniel, the admins, and the more experienced practitioners here who have been nothing but encouraging and knowledgeable through what, as others have said above, can be a very confusing but incomparable series of events. 

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/11/16 5:19 PM as a reply to shargrol.
I only just read Bill Hamilton's book Saints and Psychopaths from whom this site and its lineage springs. Reading the second half of the book(the first section seems a comedy of errors, a horror story of sorts-I also noticed Ram Dass gave this book-on Amazon-a lukewarm endorsement. He came in for a few backhanded whacks in the book from Bill) I could clearly see where this site and its book-source grew its roots. Bill himself lived a 'dangerous' (with quite some suffering evident) life and from his own account achieved Buddhist Theravada enlightenment fully and his gift seemed to be that this is certainly possible and being done by many as I write- even though the book was written some time ago and the scene has changed to a degree. The books speaks with strong lucidity and certainty that  enlightenment,is  potentially  quickly, '7 days to 7 years'  attainable and he also spoke of Nirvana as a 'tangible' (though indescribable) rather than an evasive and impossible, nebulous 'never,never' . Or at best, an always future event to be only  attained in another time/ life/ realm. Anyway this book gives this site and it's advocates and teaching influences  an historical backstory. 

As for teachers, the future seems to be much more internet based where a seeker (everybody starts somewhere) will find a book, text or media of a particular influence. Comunication will most likely be internet based with personal retreats possible and if lucky, the student will not get fleeced or 'stuck' with time wasters or bullshitters (of who there are many but who still may be learned from). Point in fact, I spent 2 years in the personal  company of an Indian Yogi  and learned very little but picked up a lot of bad habits which took even more time to get rid of (he was a benign time waster more than anything else, though no regrets on my part, really). We may build a credible insight and experience  history over time and take careful note of everything and every influence, useful or otherwise that comes (and on some level be grateful for the blessing-but no need to be stupid either) our way. Just as Bill ( for instance ) did. He mentions in the book if we take a long time to attain anything we may have much more of a feast to share with others, and are more likely to be useful to others as a teaching source.

(edit format)

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/12/16 12:34 AM as a reply to Marty G.
There are plenty of more structured places on the web with much more coherent, cohesive and organized structures, but it is true that the collection of talent here is unusual and the degree of openenss about deep meditation experiences is rare.

If you want to help this place be something else, be the change you wish to see. Master practices that lead to good results through hard work and diligence. Post your experiences here. Help others learn to do what you did. Raise the level.

The Dharma Overground runs on a platform that is a pain in the ass but very powerful and flexible. It can accommodate lots of sub-aspects, such as whole communities, beyond just the thread categories found here, so, should you need something more structured, that can happen here in some way: just ask.

BTW: if anyone wonders what the DhO looks like in real life, the image is attached.


Enjoy

Daniel

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/12/16 8:16 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel I have a question about terminology. I went and read other websites about what they think of the Dharma Overground. 

I saw something said a few times that also made me wonder about it. It was posters writing why does he say say he has reached the 4th stage of enlightment but also then say it is different to the texts. Because I too could say I was at the 4th stage if I just redefine it too right?

Could you not have made a new word instead of the one from the texts to cause less misunderstanding and make it clear you mean your own 4th stage?

RE: The wild west of DhOverground
Answer
10/12/16 11:50 PM as a reply to shargrol.
I replied on the other thread shargol.