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accounting for relative lack of deep practice

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accounting for relative lack of deep practice Dada Kind 10/12/16 4:05 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Abba 10/12/16 5:09 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Noah D 10/12/16 10:34 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Mark 10/12/16 10:48 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Marty G 10/12/16 3:36 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Tacitus Eth 10/13/16 7:53 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Kim Katami 10/13/16 11:46 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice bernd the broter 10/14/16 2:36 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Kim Katami 10/15/16 1:10 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Banned For waht? 10/18/16 6:29 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Banned For waht? 10/15/16 7:38 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:23 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Dada Kind 10/15/16 3:54 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:24 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Abba 10/16/16 2:50 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Jo Jo 10/18/16 2:09 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Chris W 10/20/16 5:59 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Joe 1/11/17 9:38 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice chris mc 1/10/17 11:07 AM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice housecrow 1/10/17 3:22 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Stirling Campbell 1/10/17 6:04 PM
RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice Banned For waht? 1/14/17 9:58 AM
Given the benefits of deep practice, why isn't serious meditation more popular in the West? I'm curious to hear different theories on this.

As usual for this corner of meditation culture I've thought about this in comparison to exercise. The benefits of exercise are strongly associated with sexual attractiveness -- but still 2/3 of adults are considered obese in the US. How could the relatively intangible benefits of meditation compete?

Is our fast-paced culture just too biased against meditation? Are we too anxious on average to sit still and build sufficient concentration? Are there just too few exemplary people with strong meditation skills without religious agendas? Are the results of strong meditation so far out that secrecy becomes natural?

Will there ever be a large culture of strong meditators in the US?

How do you account for this?

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/12/16 5:09 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
- how can a flawed unit improve itself?
- what the benefits really are? or maybe even more important - what are the drawbacks
- for thousands of years we had a lot of religious guys around and here we are
- things like non-duality is a dangerous concept for general culture, probably shouldn't be promoted too hard
- what do you really want? You probably don't want to meditate, but there is something you want out of it. What's that? Is there no better way to get it?

Really, you won't be able to fly or walk on water so why really bother? Take big fishes of the scene - the benefit of thousands hours of practice is that you can write a book about it. Besides that, they work, eat sleep and do all the normal stuff. Sure they can go into those jhanas and what not, but you can watch a nice movie meanwhile, while eating a popcorn and drinking a beer, cuddling under a carpet.

To pick up meditation (or religion or decide to go to see a witch) you have to be in a really deep shit. This is an option of last resort and most people in the west are not put against a wall. Plus you have to be somewhat wealthy, becouse if you have trouble feeding yourself or family, you don't have time for this crap.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/12/16 10:34 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
In addition to all the opinions I've already read about this, I've recently thought of another possibility: that people aren't healing their psychodynamics quickly enough.  When I attend mainstream meditation groups with "shares" afterwards, people talk about psychodynamic issues, and self-doubt surrounding their ability to practice.  I no longer look down on this activity as somehow "lesser" than deep practice discussion. Instead, I see it as a necessary preliminary/integrative effort.  But, if one is going to heal and integrate their shadow sides, at least do it efficiently.

I'm sure some of them are going to psychotherapy, but even in that group, how many are asking their therapist "of your clients, how many of them are successful at 'healing,' and what is it that these people do differently from the others?"  The more someone can integrate their shadow side, the less they will need Buddist groups for feelings like security and belongingness, and the more they will be able to open up to the possibility of empowered, deep practice in themselves.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/12/16 10:48 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
I like Abba's angle, it is likely that someone in the west will be suffering a lot more than the average person before committing to serious meditation. 

For something to be widely adopted there has to be a social system that promotes it. For example mindfulness is benefitting from this. There is a dynamic between medical applications, scientific research, wellness markets, stress in the professional class etc. that has spread the concept like wild fire.

Funnily I think deep practise should make this obvious emoticon

I believe that when we realize anatman we also realize the self is a social construction. So naturally the society does not produce a large number of people who are awake, that is how the society continues to function. For example it would not surprise me if the mindfulness movement results in less people starting a deep practise. Religous institutions rely on keeping the masses asleep to support the institution.

Deep practise is a priviledged position, if everyone was engaged in deep practise then you would not have the infrastructure to support your deep practise (as Abba points out).

I believe there is an intersection between deep practise and acting on the social system. Basically bringing awareness to the social dynamics. 

I suspect most practitioners on DhO are still practising within ideologies they are not fully aware of. The belief that deep pactise is so beneficial can be blinding to criticism of that practise. 

On another angle studying any subject in depth often brings benefits. Perhaps we don't master a musical instrument or mathematics and people who do may feel sorry for our lack of insight.

Most importantly for me I'd say the lack of role models is an issue. One of the inspiring aspects of this site is Daniel's action in the world as a doctor. It was how I found his book, I was looking for people with a deep practise who were not monetizing it, I did not find many!

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/12/16 3:36 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
The westerner ( in us all ) loves life, the external, the forms, the people, creativity itself ( that which flows out in life). In spite of its suffering and difficulties, we want to notice what is pleasurable, joyful, positive about life (the external). To go within is felt as a 'useless' antisocial  act, unless it may have some utility in life itself. That's how meditation is promoted. It must have some connection with improving life circumstance. If science says it may be  therapeutic or makes us happier ( as social beings) then it may be considered. That's pretty much how 'mindfulness'  got its toe-hold in the west.You don't want to be moving to transcend the living event altogether. That's crazy shit, why would we do this? Consider this text which was put on another forum and all kudos to the OP. It is inherently repulsiveto the westerner ( meaning that part of us that is cultured to view life as the only  event). It's the antithesis of what we want to hear.

“Birth again and again is dukkha,

The breaking up of the body is dukkha,

To die in ignorance is dukkha.

Being Subject to birth, ageing and disease,

i will seek the peace That is unageing, undying, secure.Supposed, i, casting aside this putrid body filled with impurities,

Should go on wanting nothing, Worrying no more.

There must be a way, an unconditioned,

Where nobody has gone before. I shall seek that way for the utter release from becoming.”
~ Buddhavamsa Cariya pitakam

Dan Harris in this talk, video on page, sums up the western view.

http://www.mindful.org/dan-harris-the-new-ambassadors-of-mindfulness/

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/13/16 7:53 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Go 50 year back. How many did physical exercise then because of all the benefits. I figure in 50 years time (or more) they will look at us in 2015-2020 as "how the f... did they not undertand how important it is to train the brain", Kinda like we are in regards to physical exercise today. Worth noting that even though most of us do know the positve effects of excersise, a vast proportion of the population do not engage in it. Myself included untill recently...

Cheers

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/13/16 11:46 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Given the benefits of deep practice, why isn't serious meditation more popular in the West? I'm curious to hear different theories on this.

As usual for this corner of meditation culture I've thought about this in comparison to exercise. The benefits of exercise are strongly associated with sexual attractiveness -- but still 2/3 of adults are considered obese in the US. How could the relatively intangible benefits of meditation compete?

Is our fast-paced culture just too biased against meditation? Are we too anxious on average to sit still and build sufficient concentration? Are there just too few exemplary people with strong meditation skills without religious agendas? Are the results of strong meditation so far out that secrecy becomes natural?

Will there ever be a large culture of strong meditators in the US?

How do you account for this?
Hi,

"Deep practice... serious meditation... strong meditators".

This is man-stuff. It's a limited perspective. I'd never do such a serious meditation training that I did when I was a young guy at the peak of my vitality having a romantical crush to "hard training". I really don't think that is what the world needs and I think one of the reasons why people at large aren't interested in this stuff is because well, it's too demanding, boring as hell and doesn't producae that much fruit.

There will always be a need for retreats and in-depth training but the way it is done doesn't have to be as hard, strict and arduous as it is in many traditions. I think there is a connection with sitting strictly still for hours and years on end and emotional dissociation, as it's called in Western psychology. People freeze and while trying to meditate, be free of it, they actually become more bound by it on subtler levels that they are not taught to handle. It is sometimes also the case that teachings are not interested in emotions which is again a man-thing and a completely idiotic one.

On several posts that I've written here I've told about what I feel as great limitations of the lower vehicles of buddhist practice in comparison to the higher vehicles of tantra and atiyoga. I'm talking about hinayana, to some extent of mahayana traditions that are about this "hard training". I think it would be best to look at the hinayana paradigm from the perspective of the highest vehicles to break some of that masculine calculative hardness there. 

I didn't write it in the other thread where people have told about their feelings about this forum but I think that getting stuck with the hinayana view is also what keeps DhO from growing and maturing into something really useful and beautiful.




 

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/14/16 2:36 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim Katami:
Hi,

"Deep practice... serious meditation... strong meditators".

This is man-stuff.
I think it's time we dropped this sexist bullshit. C'mon, this is so last-century.
As if women wouldn't want to do this stuff.
Newsflash: they do.
Look at Goenka and Ajahn Tong traditions, some of the most demanding traditions. More women than men, such as basically everywhere else in meditation circles. No difference, really.

It's a limited perspective. I'd never do such a serious meditation training that I did when I was a young guy at the peak of my vitality having a romantical crush to "hard training". I really don't think that is what the world needs
Then what does the world need? Do we need to cut sitting times in meditation retreats in half, so a retreat is more relaxed? Does that make the world better than the current approach? If so, why?

and I think one of the reasons why people at large aren't interested in this stuff is because well, it's too demanding,
It's not too demanding. Proof: people are actually doing it, and it works. If it was too demanding, this would be impossible.
boring as hell
If your practice is boring as hell, maybe you are doing something wrong?
and doesn't producae that much fruit.
Are you hinting that practicing less will somehow produce more fruit?

There will always be a need for retreats and in-depth training but the way it is done doesn't have to be as hard, strict and arduous as it is in many traditions. I think there is a connection with sitting strictly still for hours and years on end and emotional dissociation, as it's called in Western psychology. People freeze and while trying to meditate, be free of it, they actually become more bound by it on subtler levels that they are not taught to handle.
What you describe is 'misguided practice without a good guide', not 'deep practice' which is the topic of the thread.

It is sometimes also the case that teachings are not interested in emotions which is again a man-thing
Ah, more sexism (:
and a completely idiotic one.
Not necessarily. If some people don't need teachings on emotions, so what?
Big news: People learn to deal with emotions since kindergarten age, and some do it so well, that they don't need any additional instructions on this by their meditation teacher.

On several posts that I've written here I've told about what I feel as great limitations of the lower vehicles of buddhist practice in comparison to the higher vehicles of tantra and atiyoga. I'm talking about hinayana, to some extent of mahayana traditions that are about this "hard training". I think it would be best to look at the hinayana paradigm from the perspective of the highest vehicles to break some of that masculine calculative hardness there. 

I didn't write it in the other thread where people have told about their feelings about this forum but I think that getting stuck with the hinayana view is also what keeps DhO from growing and maturing into something really useful and beautiful.
Lots of empty words. What are you even talking about? What's this 'hinayana paradigm/view' which we might break up? What does it mean to 'break masculine calculative hardness'? Who is actually stuck in the hinayana view, and what actually happens if people break out of it? How will DhO grow into something more useful and more beautiful?

So far, it seems that you enjoy to use the derogatory term 'hinayana', together with vague sexist accusations, but there's not actually so much content in your post m(

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/10/17 8:23 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
 

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/15/16 3:54 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Abba,

I think my question still applies if you disregard all the philosophy -- all ideas of enlightenment. That's to say: when you meditate seriously you can have remarkable experiences. Why aren't more people looking for this ride? Plenty try psychedelics.

Also, plenty of poor people have time to exercise I'm sure. A fit person could always grab a beer and watch a movie instead of exercise, but there are plenty of fit people.


Noah,

I'm not sure I understand your point. Do you think the underlying psychological issues prevent people from going deep? In what way?

The point about healing efficiency is interesting. Some psychologists I respect have said something similar. Unfortunately it seems to me it's too difficult to quantify, not to mention confidentiality, etc


Mark,

All of what you said about non-meditation supporting social structures I agree with with the caveat that it's at least true for existing social structures. As a micro-society monasteries seem to do alright. I could imagine there existing some potential utopia that could function with mass deep meditators.

To the point of every skill bringing benefits: there's an argument to be made that meditation, just like exercise, is a more universal skill. Every activity requires some degree of energy, concentration, and health. Exercise uniquely improves all three of these. Meditation uniquely improves concentration and arguably health.


Marty G,

That all makes sense to me. I think there's a strong case that meditation does have strong utility for life, though.


Tacitus,

That's partially the idea that motivated this post.


Kim,

Yes it's a limited perspective. I don't think intensive meditation is for everyone. Even accepting what I think you're saying, why aren't there far more macho meditators?

What about being accepting of different temperaments? Can't some of us be macho, analytical, precise, etc? Doesn't this understanding come from the "higher" vehicles:
https://chronicleproject.com/CTRlibrary/Journey-without-goal/talk10.html


SHB1000,
There are measurable benefits to meditation.


Thanks for the replies. I wanted to respond to everyone.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/10/17 8:24 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
 

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/15/16 7:38 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
The data from sixth consciousness is without real essence, it is just screened and its clinged to it as it is real.

Hinayana knows its not-real but still clings to it. Hence the stupidity.

Also you can't just switch to emotional or heart practice while you aren't crushed hinayana(yana is a vechile not a practice). The desire to see Dho something else is stupid(or outrageous).

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/15/16 1:10 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
Kim Katami:
Hi,

"Deep practice... serious meditation... strong meditators".

This is man-stuff.
I think it's time we dropped this sexist bullshit. C'mon, this is so last-century.
As if women wouldn't want to do this stuff.
Newsflash: they do.
Look at Goenka and Ajahn Tong traditions, some of the most demanding traditions. More women than men, such as basically everywhere else in meditation circles. No difference, really.

It's a limited perspective. I'd never do such a serious meditation training that I did when I was a young guy at the peak of my vitality having a romantical crush to "hard training". I really don't think that is what the world needs
Then what does the world need? Do we need to cut sitting times in meditation retreats in half, so a retreat is more relaxed? Does that make the world better than the current approach? If so, why?

and I think one of the reasons why people at large aren't interested in this stuff is because well, it's too demanding,
It's not too demanding. Proof: people are actually doing it, and it works. If it was too demanding, this would be impossible.
boring as hell
If your practice is boring as hell, maybe you are doing something wrong?
and doesn't producae that much fruit.
Are you hinting that practicing less will somehow produce more fruit?

There will always be a need for retreats and in-depth training but the way it is done doesn't have to be as hard, strict and arduous as it is in many traditions. I think there is a connection with sitting strictly still for hours and years on end and emotional dissociation, as it's called in Western psychology. People freeze and while trying to meditate, be free of it, they actually become more bound by it on subtler levels that they are not taught to handle.
What you describe is 'misguided practice without a good guide', not 'deep practice' which is the topic of the thread.

It is sometimes also the case that teachings are not interested in emotions which is again a man-thing
Ah, more sexism (:
and a completely idiotic one.
Not necessarily. If some people don't need teachings on emotions, so what?
Big news: People learn to deal with emotions since kindergarten age, and some do it so well, that they don't need any additional instructions on this by their meditation teacher.

On several posts that I've written here I've told about what I feel as great limitations of the lower vehicles of buddhist practice in comparison to the higher vehicles of tantra and atiyoga. I'm talking about hinayana, to some extent of mahayana traditions that are about this "hard training". I think it would be best to look at the hinayana paradigm from the perspective of the highest vehicles to break some of that masculine calculative hardness there. 

I didn't write it in the other thread where people have told about their feelings about this forum but I think that getting stuck with the hinayana view is also what keeps DhO from growing and maturing into something really useful and beautiful.
Lots of empty words. What are you even talking about? What's this 'hinayana paradigm/view' which we might break up? What does it mean to 'break masculine calculative hardness'? Who is actually stuck in the hinayana view, and what actually happens if people break out of it? How will DhO grow into something more useful and more beautiful?

So far, it seems that you enjoy to use the derogatory term 'hinayana', together with vague sexist accusations, but there's not actually so much content in your post m(

Hi,

I talked about "man-thing" but meant masculinity by it. Masculinity and femininity, not men and women.

I mentioned this type of training bearing not much fruit. As you mention Goenka, he is an example of this. I took a brief look at him, applied OHBM, and it seems he wasn't even an arhat. Sorry. If people want to train like that, perfectly fine with me but there are higher and more effective paths.

See also: http://christophertitmussblog.org/10-day-goenka-courses-in-vipassana-time-to-make-changes-12-firm-proposals

It's the same problem with hard training in zen buddhism. They sit a lot but unfortunately don't make much progress. It is common for authorised zen teachers be like 1-2-3 in their bhumis. They may have finished the training curriculum but depth-wise, it doesn't seem to mean much. This is very unfortunate considering their bone breaking effort.

There will always be need for committed training and effort. But the view and the practices of the lower vehicles are very limited. The attainment of arhat is still very limited. Arhats are far from buddhas, completely awakened men. It is like how small kids learn to use the potty instead of using diapers but even then they are still small kids learning simple things. What I think would be much more useful would be to put all those practices of concentration-shamatha and insight-vipashyana and do them in the light of open awareness (rigpa). You know, get the big picture first and then, if and when needed, take steps back.

With one-pointed concentration practice (without the context of open space, three dimensional) one is bound to get distracted. It softens up when you do this with open space, three-dimensional). From there it is easier to drop off one-pointed concentration and rest as the 3-dimensional space. From 3-dimensional open space one can chop off the support of it and enter rigpa, home awareness, which is zero-dimensional. The question is whether you wish to cultivate one-pointed concentration and get good in it with several years of hard training and constantly getting distracted or whether you wish to have glimpses of home since the beginning in growing amount. Vipashyana is also  different when practiced from open space.

My impression is that the theravadan/hinayana schools aren't doing that well in terms of producing arhats which is their fruit. I asked Daniel Ingram earlier this year how many arhats he knows. He said about 20 worldwide. During the last 4 months, I've seen 10 people get to this stage, (not through theravada practices but tantra nd atiyoga). It's so obvious that it is still an immature stage, in a sense wonderful turning point but on the other hand very uncooked and deluded.

So anyway, if you're going to do deep and hard training, get the instructions and do it from the sky-scraper view, not from the bottom floor. That is what I recommend. Sitting is good and I still like sitting myself but I would never do or teach a retreat of 12-15-18 hours of sitting anymore. Nowadays I like to have variety of postures in retreats, not silent retreats and so on, trying something fresh. It's much more relaxed, natural and beneficial for people.

To me hinayana is not an offensive term so I'm sorry if I offended anyone. DhO is place for people who are committed to dharma. What is the ultimate commitment of the path of buddha dharma? It is becoming buddha, fully enlightened, first hand. It is of course rare worldwide but there are living buddhas here and there. By saying that DhO could become something really useful and beautiful I meant that as there are many committed people here, potentially this could become a place where useful things, practices and instructions leading all the way to buddhahood could be shared. But so far it is untapped potential, I feel.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/16/16 2:50 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Consider this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tdih-UUJ3PA

ps. sorry for linking a video, I know this is a faux paux in a discussion, so I apologise for this, although I couldn't put it better.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/18/16 6:29 AM as a reply to Kim Katami.
Kim, arhants have conquered fetters.

Have you tried to do things knowing that you get nothing in return? That same pointless is to make donations for arhants from a wordly point of view.
When you pay(respect, homage, take refuge) for arhants then exchange you have concentration on you. Most simpler is to contemplate on emptiness and you get to know "what" concentrates on you. Bring flowers you get samadhi of beautiful or whatever is companied with flowers.

Nature likes balance, so whatever bothers you, do emptiness meditation and you get to know eventually what bothers you.

-------
What you think what or who streamentry is?

--------
You haven't gained something out of a day then you can't go to sleep. Unless you notice the fetter or afflicion that means you need to become arhant to get to sleep or you need gain something to be able to get sleep..

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/18/16 2:09 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Given the benefits of deep practice, why isn't serious meditation more popular in the West? I'm curious to hear different theories on this.

Meditation is way too closely associated with religious practice. I know plenty of people who would start meditating right away if standardized and secularized hands-on instruction on meditation was available in any next corner gym as easily as - lets say the usual cardio workout.

Completely secularized versions of meditation, like for instance "focusing", are also not appealing. Too close to therapy and healing.

We need more places that offer mental training as a kind of martial arts. I like Kenneth Folk´s attempt at this, coining the term "contemplative fitness".

The word "meditation" is off-putting. People think that "meditation" is elderly women´s stuff. When they hear the word "meditation", they imagine divorced middle aged women with high-pitched voices and false smiles hugging each other, decorating their rooms with plastic buddhas, burning incense sticks in front of them and singing "ommm". 

Style issues are a big obstacle. Many people are put off by the typical meditation center styles.

The technicalities are not clear. Even many meditation teachers seem to have no idea of the full range of existing techniques and how to apply them. This seems to be rapidly changing with the mindfulness movement.

If there was technology for measuring mental fitness, and compare levels after training (e.g. kind of bio-feedback), this would certainly help.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
10/20/16 5:59 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
What are you considering the benefits of deep practice? I'm mostly only familiar with insight practice so I can really only comment on that, and to be honest I'd be hard pressed to explain the benefits of insight at all to anyone who doesn't have any (not that I'm even claiming a great deal of it, which may be an important consideration in reference to what I'm saying), though for some reason I've tried....  I'd say the benefits of insight practice are insight, and like I said, try explaining to or convincing someone why in the world they would want insight into their own emptiness, impermanence, or suffering, haha.  I get the feeling that a lot of people who get into deep practice do so almost accidentally, or unwarily, by somehow or another passing through the a&p, the point of no return, and even then how many of those people can find their way to an insight teacher that will show them the progress of insight for instance? A lot of people who get into practice have had spontaneous 'kundalini' phenomenon, or some form of an altered state, or some weird/unique experience and wish to look into it more. The more I partake of the meditation culture, the more it seems like a lot of people are in it for vague reasons...so they either don't really know why they're doing it or they're evasive and unwilling to talk directly about their motives. And I feel like I'm starting to really personally see the "mushroom" culture that's been spoken of. A lot of "just be" and "you're already enlightened" kind of stuff. I wonder if there was more open talk about maps, specifically the progress of insight, how it applies, and more encouragement to really go for it because 'you can totally do it,' then maybe more people would have deep practice available to them. But then there's the issue of really understanding the maps and using them properly and all that, which may be easier for some than for others.

I remember reading someone, some gurdjieff guy from the 60's I think, talk about some people having "the need." I can't recall exactly how he put it, but if my memory serves me, the way he spoke about it seems to fit what I'm saying. I think those with "the need" tend to be the ones who develop a deeper practice to fullfil/get rid of that need.

Additiionally, this may have been said already, but the United States is an extremely outward oriented culture. Few really seem to have any desire whatsoever to cultivate any inner skills outside of traditional education, again because what would they do with said inner skills? What's the point? "What do I get out of it?" There's no carrot, no incentive really. And why bother trying to convince anyone? "Hey man, pssst, you wanna know your true nature? I got some real good emptiness over here, and the first hit's free."  Haha, I dunno.

...edited to change font size...um, is there no in between 12 and 16? 12 seems small, 16 seems big...

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/10/17 11:07 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
The benefits of meditation are too vague, and are too far away from the first day someone sits down to practice.

I can watch someone ski down a mountain on a nice sunny day and think "I want to do that, I'm going to take lessons and practice.."  There are registered ski instructors that all say pretty much the same thing regarding ski lessons.  After 30 days of skiing lessons and practice, I can now ski down an intermediate run.  I can see the benefits of my practice and I'm now enjoying my hobby.

I hear someone talk about meditation practice, someone says he entered the 4th jhana, and I think wtf is this guy talking about.  Everyone says something different about lessons; someone says "just sit.."  and another guy says I should do a retreat where I only eat twice a day and I have to sit on the floor.  Some people tell me that the end goal of deep meditation practice (enlightenment) isn't actually possible, that it's arrogant and misleading for people to say they reached it. 

For some strange reason, I convince myself that a serious meditation practice is worthwhile.  After 30 days of practicing one hour each day, I can't really see any difference, I don't have much to show for my efforts and if I ask someone online what's up they get snippity with me saying I shouldn't have any goals in meditation, I should just meditate for the sake of it.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/10/17 3:22 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Another perspective:

In order to seek truth beyond perception, one must think of truth as something other than what is resonant with the subjective self -- and subjectivity is highly honoured in current Western thought.

Among those who do conceive truth as something which can exist beyond one's own perspective, many are of a rationalist bent, and may be troubled by and suspicious of claims of wild experiences in meditation. What is to distinguish someone who claims to have experienced jhana, or even more so siddhis, from, say, a Snapewife? (google at your own risk)

These were my concerns. I only pushed past them because:

1) desire for very strong concentration skills in order to learn more and learn better

2) the Yoga sutras make meditation sound like the most sober, Vulcan activity possible

3) the novels of George Eliot, which are crafted to show the reader that true ethical engagement is made possible only when one can look entirely past the self in order to perceive others directly (hard to explain how she does this, but I recommend Middlemarch if you want to see it in action).

In other words because of very particular influences I was willing to try anyway. Many people don't have similar influences but rather might have a very classical scientific mindset.

Thanks to Bernd for his noting of the gender issues/language.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/10/17 6:04 PM as a reply to housecrow.
This may be an unusual perspective here, but the way I see it, people are driven to pursue certain things and not others. Many will never be interested in practices that are self-improvement. Many will never be interested in practices that are designed to TRANSCEND self. This, in my opinion, is why we aren't a race on the edge of becoming enlightened, and that enlightenment is not the birthright or future of all humans. We are not all driven to do so. "What is" does not need awakening for every person, or they would all be steadfastly pursuing it.

Speaking for myself, I have always felt like there was something wrong with reality as it appears, and adopted practice in my 20's as the only thing that I found aside from chemicals that altered consciousness in a way that seemed to change perspective permanently. It was ALWAYS hard to motivate myself to meditate until Stream Entry. Imagine how this would be for someone who isn't in the least bit curious about such things...

I have little belief now in a "persons" ability to choose to do ANYTHING. I'm not sure how much, if at all, we participate in what happens as NOW unfolds. At stream entry I saw that nothing was separate, and that it all moves as a piece. Over the last year, I have watched my "self" be driven, hands moving of their own accord more than once... as a witness... no-one doing it, least of all a "me". If this is true, what makes any "one" think that they have a choice... of whether to meditate, what path, what practice... anything. 

All of this striving, grasping to practices, or maps, or teachings... I dunno... I'm not sure it's actually productive. I have a friend that has achieved stream entry without any meditation or other techniques at all beyond an intense dark night and a load of surrender/acceptance... anecdotal of course, but it makes you think? I advise my beginning students to practice (zazen/shine'). I'm not sure what else to suggest, and it's the one discipline I still feel driven pursue.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/11/17 9:38 AM as a reply to Chris W.
Chris W:
I remember reading someone, some gurdjieff guy from the 60's I think, talk about some people having "the need." I can't recall exactly how he put it, but if my memory serves me, the way he spoke about it seems to fit what I'm saying. I think those with "the need" tend to be the ones who develop a deeper practice to fullfil/get rid of that need.
Relevant quote:
"All questions are good," said G., "and you can begin from any question if only it is sincere. You understand that what I mean is that this very question about ether or about progress or about the common good could be asked by a man simply in order to say something, or to repeat what someone else has said or what he has read in some book, and on the other hand he could ask it because this is the question with which he aches. If it is an aching question for him you can give him an answer and you can bring him to the system through any question whatever. But it is necessary for the question to be an aching one.
I've just come back from 10 months in Asia practicing in monasteries and some people have said 'wow you're really brave' or something to that effect, but really I was compelled to do it. If I didn't have that ache, that need, despite all of my interest and curiosity, I wouldn't have survived 5 months in Burma lol.

I think if you're looking for more than just basic stress reduction or self help the sort of time and effort people put into their physical excersie regiemes won't cut it. I think people come to mindfulness for different reasons than I come to Buddhism, but maybe I'm just trying to validate all those months sweating in oily Burmese monasteries lol.

RE: accounting for relative lack of deep practice
Answer
1/14/17 9:58 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
In west people like to do it when everyone is looking at them, publicly. So that is why there is no deep practice. West is same as east but in west you have what is inside is outside.

Other question is what shape Earth is, where is the west and where is east..?

By the way how buildings are built now is like the earth is flat, but how the pyramids are built then these people knew that earth is flat.