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on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:01 AM
RE: on the Way Chris Marti 10/15/16 8:02 AM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 10/15/16 9:25 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:00 AM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 10/16/16 10:30 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:00 AM
RE: on the Way Abba 10/17/16 5:17 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:59 AM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 10/19/16 5:27 AM
RE: on the Way Abba 10/19/16 5:59 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:58 AM
RE: on the Way Mark 10/19/16 7:45 AM
RE: on the Way Daniel M. Ingram 10/24/16 2:02 AM
RE: on the Way Noah D 10/24/16 9:00 AM
RE: on the Way Dream Walker 10/16/16 9:14 PM
RE: on the Way Psi 10/17/16 9:45 AM
RE: on the Way Andreas Thef 10/18/16 10:18 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:59 AM
RE: on the Way Daniel M. Ingram 10/18/16 2:11 PM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:58 AM
RE: on the Way Abba 10/19/16 2:51 AM
RE: on the Way Stick Man 11/8/16 8:02 AM
RE: on the Way CJMacie 10/22/16 8:56 PM
RE: on the Way Incandescent Flower 10/21/16 10:02 PM
RE: on the Way svmonk 10/24/16 9:50 PM
RE: on the Way Noah D 10/24/16 12:02 AM
RE: on the Way CJMacie 10/24/16 6:36 AM
RE: on the Way CJMacie 10/24/16 6:38 AM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 11/9/16 1:13 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 7:57 AM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 11/8/16 8:49 AM
RE: on the Way Noah D 11/8/16 9:06 AM
RE: on the Way Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:11 AM
RE: on the Way CJMacie 11/8/16 4:12 PM
RE: on the Way bernd the broter 11/9/16 1:24 AM
RE: on the Way CJMacie 11/9/16 7:18 AM
on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 8:01 AM
Mahamudra:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvtUrjfnSnA

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/15/16 8:02 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
... before  I could muster up the courage to post.

After reading your post and looking through your links I have trouble believing this statement   emoticon


RE: on the Way
Answer
10/15/16 9:25 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
it took quite a long  before  I could muster up the courage to post.
No need to be scared, Bro.
After careful reflection, I'm still not sure what your post is all about, but I'm pretty sure your Bhumi is over 9000.

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 8:00 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
 

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/16/16 10:30 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
You see, what I'm after is a subtle but oh so delicious,  current of suppressed energy, that is anger, which I've noticed is a problem with many practitioners of these ancient arts. It's dealt with by Metta, but that is for most a wrong approach as I suspect it enforces dysfunctional behaviour through aforementioned suppression of ones shadow.
Do you have actual experience with this, or is that statement based on mere speculation?
Care to give an example?

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 8:00 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
 

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/16/16 9:14 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
This post was posted in the category -
The Dharma Battleground (Dho ) 

Please read and reply accordingly
~D

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/17/16 5:17 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Ah! nice to see I'm not the only one who's trying to tame this beast.
But in regards to your ad3: Generaly on this forum you won't find a big understanding for this kind of a tantric/jungian path or whatever you want to call it. This is quite strange and I cant't find a reason why is that. For me the notion of engaging with your shit is comming straight from the awerness of nonduality and the lack of "the dark stuff" on this forum is really striking. It's like the people here want to examin coins and speek a whole lot about "heads", then do some meta so the "tails" dissapear. I'm still a reader though, focusing on good stuff ;)

One of the recent discoveries, while engaging with our boiling friend, is that it is really dangerous to "be right" while heaving an emotional discussion. The gates of hell are really wide open then emoticon Righteousness is a bitch.

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 7:59 AM as a reply to Abba.
  

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/17/16 9:45 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
Mu



RE: on the Way
Answer
10/18/16 10:18 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Now that is quite an interesting discussion you started here. And although I can't go along with everything you said, you have brought up some very valid and important points. First I totally agree with your supposed and implicit notion that everything that triggers us emotionally is worth investigating and scrutinizing. Especially when it comes to such strong emotions as fear, anger, hatred, rage and the like. And the more I think about it and look at myself the more I agree: part of my spiritual endeavour has always been about covering up emotions, running away and hiding from conflicts, sweeping anger and rage under the rug... It shows itself in my subtle but very consistent aversion to all kinds of fluffy talk and supernice attitude that many people have when it comes to spirituality. For some people it is genuine and you can feel that, but a lot of people probably superimpose the idea of metta and kind-heartedness on themselves because they think it is spiritual and helps them to hide from fear and conflict. At least that is true for me, and I guess I am not the only one.

Eastern spirituality hit the west in a time of (resolving) conflicts and gained foothold in the love, peace and anti-authority movement. And as human beings we were so focused on the things that were in line with our goals, moral views etc. That may be one reason why metta, loving-kindness and compassion were so overemphasized and people are so obsessed with it as a cure-all when it comes to spirtuality. And I totally agree with you that metta meditation and its equivalents are pretty often nothing more than an attempt to cover up emotions that we'd rather not see and confront in ourselves. Whereas it should maybe rather be seen as (a) a tool and (b) a goal to achieve in its own genuine expression.

On the other hand I know enough about anger, rage and my own lone-wolf attitude to say that this can be an equally cozy cover-up for unwanted emotions (especially fear, loneliness and a feeling of underlying weakness) and an excuse not to deal with them in a truthful way. So I guess one has to be aware of both kinds of exaggeration to find one's own genuine being.

Anyway, thanks for pushing my buttons, SMB1000 (love the nickname BTW). At least it lead me to digging up some old hardcore records, thinking about finally getting tattooed and picking up my martial arts training again. : )

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 7:59 AM as a reply to Andreas Thef.
 

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/18/16 2:11 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
I spent 6 years working with rock bands, a year in some of the poorest parts of India doing health-care related activities, a year online working at the National AIDS Hotline, and now about 15 years of clinical medicine, most of it in a Level I Trauma center, so, after all that, and after having watched Fox News, I find that trying to be shocked takes more effort than I can easily muster and requires being in the physical presence of the most extreme and horrific circumstances.

I don't remember the gunshot victims the next day without effort or prompting, don't remember the torn limbs, domestic violence victims, the skeletal terminal cancer patients, the screaming and crying family members, and barely even remember the physically abused babies, but I do still remember the children who die, so there is some part that the traumas of this world can still reach some little part of me after all of that. When caring for patients in these circumstances, it is all just routine, another day at the office, like water off a ducks back, dead children still excepted, at least at this time.

It turns out this is common in my sort of profession, and it is common for ER workers to be calmly talking about mundane topics, making light jokes, and engaging in idle banter when dealing with circumstances that would cause many people to run vomiting out of the room.

I am not sure that this is an enviable state, as one arrives at by circumstances that are traumatic. My brain has clearly built some defense mechanisms that just basically shunt those memories and reactions to ground and they disappear. So, if you are still capable of being shocked, deeply touched and otherwise strongly affected by life's less savory or more outrageous elements, consider that perhaps this may be a good thing, as it means you have likely lead a pretty nice life and may have seen relatively little of the vast mass of suffering and crazy in the world.

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 7:58 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
 

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/19/16 2:51 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
From my perspective, this is just a prolonged exposure to particular signal - like when someone puts a hand on your shoulder, after some time you tend not to notice it. Given your workoholism I gather that most of your time you are exposed to those, so they became baseline.

Also the intelectualization can surpress your "primal" emotions. I had a dream some time ago, that I was lying on a bed and two ugly spirits apeared, picked me up and tried to fly me up. I woke up scared as shit, but when the dreamstate droped a bit and an intelect started, I was like "wait a second, I want to go back to those mofos, let me sleep again, we'll have a chat" - so my usual response of agression kicked in, it is just on a different level, so in a dream it doesn't work and for now i don't know how to get over fear in dreams.

Also a situation a bit related - I was watching a childbirth recently and it was an ugly one, with complications (and I'm not a doctor). I managed to stay calm the whole time (thosae sexy meditation skillz) but when it all finished and I let the floodgates finaly down, a tsunami of emotions came. They washed everything and now I'm left with some vague notions of what I felt. I'm not sure if I am now done with it, or they are still somewhere.

Anyway, what I'm trying to say is to take a break and let some fresh signals come in. Also if you happen to see Kali, this is my kind of a best wishes messanger emoticon

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/19/16 5:27 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
@DW: thanks for the info. Due to the title, I in fact thought this was a practice log.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
I base my claim on several different points. Some of them are speculation and some of them are based on my own experiences.

1. Simply put, I have had very negative imprinting ( or karma) since early childhood, which we can call C-PTSD for everyones convenience, but one might as well say I came from Hell ;). My main problem for a long time was the binary nature of my aggressive/assertive behaviour,  that is the incapability of moderating the emotion, so it was either nothing or an uncontrollable fit of rage. This obviously results in bad things, because if one is afraid of ones anger, other people start taking advantage of you, and the anger tends to bottle up, so you tend to release it in wrong situations.

So, one day I move to another country. My roommate is a passive aggressive asshole constantly making fun of me in front of other people. I note the aggression, try to feel compassionate towards him, but the behaviour continues. Actually, it escalates. I completely deny wanting to make him eat his teeth, and try to be "good buddhist". He ends up in hospital ( an infection), because assholes attract germs. We help him, he complains. He repays me by fucking my so called girlfriend.

This triggers a shitstorm. I try to calm down in various ways (anapanasati, vodka, talking to a friend etc.). Nothing can keep the beast at bay, and I stay up the whole night shaking with rage. There is not a single cell in me that feels anything but pure hatred, as the events previously described somehow push all the right buttons. The moment he returns home I go berzerk, lifting him up in the air, almost throwing him down the stairs, but luckily retaining control. He shits his pants, flees to his room, and starts avoiding me, until he finally moves out from the apartment.

He teased me, because he thought I was never going to do anything. He now avoids me, because he thinks I might kill him. Notice how this subtle aversion towards the emotion actually manifested as "practicing metta", like hiding shit with a carpet. Notice also the change in the behaviour of my roommate.


I'm still not sure what you actually did there.
Did you actually practice formal Metta (Mudita/Karuna) for a significant amount of time (say > 100 hours)?
In the course of this practice, did you observe that this practice led to the suppression of 'dark stuff'?
Or did you just (eventually unsuccessfully) try to suppress anger while being a doormat and then call this 'practicing Metta'?
If the latter, then your contention that "Metta is a wrong approach for most, because it suppresses stuff" is simply valueless.
If the former, I'd be quite surprised, since in my experience this is not what happens.
Instead, for me, the Metta practice actually uncovers lots of 'dark stuff' rather than suppressing it.

As to the killing and being killed: This is its own practice, called Maranasati or "awareness of death".
For some reason, this is basically never mentioned in pragmatic Dharma (In particular, Dan Ingram seems to be not a fan at all), although it is quite a thing in the eastern traditions.
Personally, I believe that this may be valuable. But pretending that it's actually a new thing is a bit ill-informed.

Generaly on this forum you won't find a big understanding for this kind of a tantric/jungian path or whatever you want to call it. This is quite strange and I cant't find a reason why is that. For me the notion of engaging with your shit is comming straight from the awerness of nonduality and the lack of "the dark stuff" on this forum is really striking. It's like the people here want to examin coins and speek a whole lot about "heads", then do some meta so the "tails" dissapear. I'm still a reader though, focusing on good stuff ;)
Personally, I find those notions quite intriguing.
Basically, I'd be willing to jump into such a practice this evening.
So why won't I do it?
Because I have no idea how (:
Look at this article from David Chapman, titled 'eating the shadow':
https://buddhism-for-vampires.com/eating-the-shadow
Nice article, nice ideas. I'm in. And then? Nothing.
As soon as it gets interesting (i.e. what are the actual instructions?), David Chapman fails to deliver.
Some "technical problem" has been keeping him from publishing the instructions in 7 years. C'mon. lol.
So I look at the web. If there is a whole school around this idea of 'eating the shadow' or something, then surely someone has practical meditation instructions which I can begin to follow this evening, right? RIGHT?
Well... after searching for a while, it doesn't look like it, lol.
For another example, look at the Berzerkergang thing above. Might be interesting, but on the front page, it says that you shouldn't do those exercises because there too dangerous, and might injure or kill you m(

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/19/16 5:59 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Ok, I see the problem now.
I know that there is some tantra in the west, but don't know anyone who actualy practice that.

For me it is a solo practice and it began when I was able to not be washed away with emotions. This is basically an emotional vipasana emoticon
After some time you start to notice paterns, then try to counter them or redirect or investigate. What is an emotion, how does it differ from thought?

You can't do this while sitting, so the practice is engaging yourself with the world. Start a forum post about something dear to you, let someone tell you, you're dumb. You resented catholicysm? Go to the church. Afraid of a height? Go bungee. Elders should all just die? Go hang with them in the park (ehem, netherlands). Greed? Give away 100$ to some random dude.

Basicaly find your biggest problem and go out and face it. Observe. Whatever floats your boat.
This is pure science, be a scientist emoticon

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 7:58 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
  

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/19/16 7:45 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
So I look at the web. If there is a whole school around this idea of 'eating the shadow' or something, then surely someone has practical meditation instructions which I can begin to follow this evening, right? RIGHT?
Well... after searching for a while, it doesn't look like it, lol.


If you are looking for unqualified advice then I'm your man ;) 

There is some practical stuff here:
http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/view_message/5738065#_19_message_5738065

Once you've identified some shadow traits there are a bunch of things you can do. I played around with meditation.

After getting into a concentrated and calm state bring one of the shadow traits into mind and use it as an object of concentration in mindfulness meditation. For example you might consider yourself honest and hate people who are dishonest/deceitful. That would be a strong sign dishonesty is part of the shadow. In meditation you might ask "Why am I dishonest?" and like a koan keep coming back to the question, various excuses, trains of thought, fantasies, memories etc will probably come up. After doing this for a while your relationship with dishonesty could change for the better.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/22/16 8:56 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
(I) The stuff about anger and metta is pretty much right-on, in my understanding. I've reserached the disparity between metta as taught in the Buddha's sutta-s and the way it's taught in the West today. Basically, the latter is not to be found in the sutta-s. It first appears in the commentarial works the Vimuttimagga (1st-century CE), and more famously as elaborated in the Visuddhimagga (5th-century). – Not that anyone needs to know the scholarship stuff.

BUT, in those two books, it's made very clear that anger / resentment must be dealt with BEFORE attempting metta practice. E.g., in the Visuddhimagga, there's about 32 pages on how to do metta, of which the first 18 pages are all about getting anger / resentment resolved FIRST. Otherwise, to be a bit colorful, it might be more like putting lipstick on a pig!


(II) Fascinated by your references to the traditional Chinese medical perspectives. *

The tidbits you've mentioned appear right-on from what I've learned. Allow me to elaborate on a s/w esoteric dimension that relates to all this here (the discussion thread).

Yes, the Liver (organ, or "sphere of functionality" or whatever) is the "general", the strategist; it thrives on smooth flow of everything (limbs, qi, emotions, spirit, …), and prefers to be "benevolent" towards all. BUT given the way things are, gets blocked, stuck, smolder, seethe, and eventually all hell breaks loose ("rising Liver Yang --> Liver Fire" – compare "road-rage", reaching for the AR-15 off the gun-rack in the pickup truck) – and much less benevolent. (btw: some --better, I would say –- teachers / scholars translate metta as "benevolence" or "good will", rather than "loving-kindness", as "love" tends to denote, in modern culture (at least the USA), situations rooted more in "want" or "need" than in altruistism.)

So the Liver, as a "zang", or inner, deeper organ, actually does its work through the "gall-bladder", the more external, active ("fu") organ that carries-out in tactical practice the directives of the master Liver; and one of the cardinal issues of the the gall-bladder's sphere of activity is the polarity courage-cowardice (as in the phrase "… muster up courage …" that's been a theme here).

I don't know if this will be pragmatically helpful – but it's fascinating: namely the gall-bladder is not only a "fu" organ, BUT also (and the one-and-only) fu-organ that's also listed as one of the "curious" or "weird" organs (aka the "7 extraordinary/curious organs", in the constitutional layer – others in this group are, for instance, the uterus and the brain). AND the gall-bladder "channel" (aka the "foot-shao-yang") merges into the "Dai channel" (aka the "belt-channel"), which is one of the "8 extraordinary" channels (ba-mai-qing-jing) representing functionality in the constitutional layer.

As a brilliant teacher I had the good fortune to learn from put it (and which one doesn't find in text-book "TCM"): the gall-bladder has two principle functions:
1) decision-making --face problems and resolve them – typical "shao-yang" issues things like "is it hot or cold?"; "is it inner or outer?" "up or down?"; "is it getting better or worse?" etc.
2) if it can't / won't be decided / resolved, then (Chinese medicine and philosophy in general always trys to cover all bases) the gall-bladder functions to put it away into storage, stuff it, suppress it, to deal with it "later". AND where does that go? into the Dai-channel – the garbage bin of all unsettled qi-blood issues, converting into yang-yin issues, and at the deepest level, afflicting the jing (life essence). Throws it all into the life-span determining constitution, which may not be that beneficial.

The Dai-channel comes to the fore in the closing phases of life-span (just as the gall-bladder's daily-cycle time is 11pm-1am – the final yang phase of the day). Dealing with the stuffed attic-basement-closet-cartrunk full of junk is the task of rounding out a lifetime, finally settling-up hanging issues. (Or not – but, as that same teacher quipped "If you think you can just pass it all by and deal with it better in the next lifetime, well, you're in for a big surprise!")

As fore-warned above, this all is not quite a how-to guide, but may give clues of directions to explore.

Clinically (blood-and-guts level medicine) the picture is something like this: inflammation, simmering problems are called "damp-heat" (as in modern medicine's current fad tracing everything back to "inflammation"). Damp-heat clearly as physical inflammation ("hot, swollen, painful, red, oozing" – the 5 textbook features in Western medicine). But also, at other levels of qi manifestation, "heat" can be understood as burning desire, wanting more and more, as if it will bring some final satisfaction; "damp" is collecting, clinging, holding on to everything gotten in pursuing that desire.(These are called tanha and upadana in Pali Buddhism.) Suppressing, stashing all the multitude of life's unresolved inflammatory issues pushes them into deeper layers, becoming "latent", "hidden" damp-heat (think herpes viruses, or malaria) that never go away, but hide out, smoldering away, and, when life-stress pushes the organism to the limit, breaking out again, big time – which happens more easily with advancing age, as constitutional life-force (jing) gets exhausted. Eventually damp-heat morphs into "hot-phelgm" – the worst possible situation, most untreatable sort of condition, and characteristic of many life-ending medical situations.

Leave it to the Chinese to come up with stuff like that …

* Disclosure: my current profession – about to be retired from – is acupuncture/AOM, and having gone through tons of historical scholarship about "classical Chinese medicine": all the ins-and-outs across 2000 years of historical writings and practices,…

Edited 20161022 -- couple of spellings and putting back in spaces between words that get swallowed when pasting in the Iiferay editor.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/21/16 10:02 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Thank you so much for that, CJM! That was an eye-opener.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 9:50 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
Hi CJM,

Interesting. I quickly skimmed that section of the Visudhimagga (IX15) about overcoming anger and there is a lot there about reasoning with yourself regarding the unskillful nature of anger, etc. Maybe that would work, but IME emotions are often not amieable to logic. I think the tantric approach might be more effective, transforming anger into wisdom. The wisdom side of anger is discriminating awareness. Not that I have any idea how to do this, but I suspect to be really effective it involves some kind of altered state of consciousness.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 12:02 AM as a reply to svmonk.
FWIW, I've been training myself to recognize instances in which negative thoughts and emotions are unskillful, which has significantly reduced them.  I also counter them with their opposites (via imagination), which has a strong Pali Canon basis.


RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 2:02 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
Actually, I am a big fan of meditation on death, which is why I spent hours watching bodies burn on the Ghats of Varanasi when I was in India and why I very much feel blessed and honored that I get to see real death and dying on a regular basis, as it very much puts things in perspective. The traditional meditations of charnel grounds, corpses, and the like are barely available to those in many places these days, unless you get to go to Medical School and dissect real corpses, or something similar. Otherwise, very hard to find these sorts of valuable exercises unless you travel to countries where death is much more out in the open.

I don't talk about it much, as it is not all that popular a topic, and I consider other meditations often to be more expedient towards the primary things I advocate for. Still, it is worthwhile, particularly if you find that you need that to counter certain fascinations or imbalances in your own practice.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 6:36 AM as a reply to svmonk.
svmonk:

[1] ... Visudhimagga (IX15) about overcoming anger and there is a lot there about reasoning with yourself regarding the unskillful nature of anger, etc...

[2] I think the tantric approach might be more effective, transforming anger into wisdom. The wisdom side of anger is discriminating awareness. ...

[1] That whole section ( §14-39) is remarkable, and colorful, going through some 10 cases of "Try this, if that doesn't work, then try this,…", yes, mostly mental exercises:
1) try jhana… [odd here, as that's the goal of metta, at least in this context]
2) "reflect upon the Saw…" (gruesome torture)
3) "remember some controlled and purified state in that person…"
4) (a variation on the two-dart idea)
5) reflect on kamma
6) review the Buddha's conduct…
7) review the sutta-s on the round of rebirths…
8) review the advantages of metta
9) try resolution into elements & body parts…
10) give a gift… [but not in the sense of the German word].

All interspersed with colorful myths – e.g. (under technique 6 in the list):
"And while he was the Royal Naga (serpent) Buridatta when he had undertaken the Uposatha precepts and was lying on the top of an ant-hill, though he was [caught and] sprinkled with medicinal charms resembling the fire that ushers in the end of an aeon, and was put into a box and treated as a plaything throughout the whole of Jambudipa, yet he had no trace of hate" emoticon

[2] Any sources or leads you can point out to further explore that?

Practicing equanimity is good, but s/tit doesn't shift in until after a bout of, even an eruption, of aversion plays itself out. Any additional methods of working towards avoiding that are worth investigating.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 6:38 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:

... in the Visuddhimagga, there's about 32 pages on how to do metta, of which the first 18 pages are all about getting anger / resentment resolved


Correction: The metta part is actually a total of 19 pages, and the subset dealing with anger / resentment takes 9 pages – about half.

RE: on the Way
Answer
10/24/16 9:00 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Awesome!  Thanks for sharing that.  I have no experience at charnel grounds and the like, thus no basis for comparison.  However, I would posit that meditations on death, repulsion, and other classic recollections need not be done either in hardcore circumstances with outer examples, or in deep concentration.  Momentary concentration (off cushion) in the form of a "trigger practice" (I.e. Shinzen) can have the desired, traditional effects of reducing the hindrances.

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/9/16 1:13 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
(I) The stuff about anger and metta is pretty much right-on, in my understanding. I've reserached the disparity between metta as taught in the Buddha's sutta-s and the way it's taught in the West today. Basically, the latter is not to be found in the sutta-s. It first appears in the commentarial works the Vimuttimagga (1st-century CE), and more famously as elaborated in the Visuddhimagga (5th-century). – Not that anyone needs to know the scholarship stuff.

BUT, in those two books, it's made very clear that anger / resentment must be dealt with BEFORE attempting metta practice. E.g., in the Visuddhimagga, there's about 32 pages on how to do metta, of which the first 18 pages are all about getting anger / resentment resolved FIRST. Otherwise, to be a bit colorful, it might be more like putting lipstick on a pig!
Yeah, the Visuddhimagga has quite some arbitrary ideas about Metta, especially about how not to do Metta.
According to my teacher and my own experience, the latter (edit) are rather nonsense.
(Or maybe useful for a very limited context, such as gaining deep concentration without distractions.)
Although the Visuddhimagga will advise against it, you really can do Metta for (and sometimes, to great effect):
  • dead persons.
  • those close persons, relations with which may be complicated.
  • those you are attracted to.
  • people to who you feel a lot of anger.
Arguably, you even should often do Metta for people in these categories.
Those 'prohibitive rules' simply don't hold up to reality testing.

@SHB1000:
I realized that on the one hand you advocate putting chili on places of your body which will definitely hate you for it.
On the other hand you are apparently scared of repeating the phrase "May I be happy" for some time.
I happen to find that somewhat amusing (:

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 7:57 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
 

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/8/16 8:02 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Alan Alda

I thought enlightenment was meant to put a person above all suffering and disurbance by mortality. Whole point of the story of Buddha seeing death and suffering for the first time, and overcoming his reactions - thought I.

I still don't get why enlightened people even feel emotions any more, though loads say they do, as these are all pretty much aspects of craving and aversion.

Not being subject to emotion, and not having a self to point to that can be said to be suffering them, are two different things, no ?

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
bernd the broter:


Yeah, the Visuddhimagga has quite some arbitrary ideas about Metta, especially about how not to do Metta.
According to my teacher and my own experience, all of them are rather nonsense.
(Or maybe useful for a very limited context, such as gaining deep concentration without distractions.)
Although the Visuddhimagga will advise against it, you really can do Metta for (and sometimes, to great effect):
  • dead persons.
  • those close persons, relations with which may be complicated.
  • those you are attracted to.
  • people to who you feel a lot of anger.
Arguably, you even should often do Metta for people in these categories.
Those 'prohibitive rules' simply don't hold up to reality testing.

@SHB1000:
I realized that on the one hand you advocate putting chili on places of your body which will definitely hate you for it.
On the other hand you are apparently scared of repeating the phrase "May I be happy" for some time.
I happen to find that somewhat amusing (:

You fail to see the underlying principles. You also consistently misinterpret what is written.
Not really: Note that I didn't address the underlying principles, nor what you wrote about them.
This was a reply specifically to CJMacie's comment about the Visuddhimagga.
As such, I confess, it may have been a bit off-topic.
But I thought it was still relevant to the discussion. It's a nice example for the fact that you are not the first person to suggest that Metta is a bad idea in some cases. It also reflects that this idea is not universally shared by the practitioners in this very tradition.

I replied earlier the following:

What I'm trying to express here is that with the wrong approach, the practice gets twisted, not that its useless

I'm not sure about the underlying principles. Your contention is that people can have bad attitudes (often unconsciously) about suppression of some energy, which is often referred to by the shadow-terminology.
In rare cases, this can go seriously wrong, as described by your impressive example.
Fair enough. I agree completely.

So, what does Metta (as well as the other Brahmaviharas) have to do with it?
Well, nothing, I guess.
Of course people can hear a description of the Brahmaviharas, and this can enforce their self-destructive feedback loop of suppression even more.
Listening to the 10-fetter model can have the same effect.

But I don't think this is the most important question.
What is really important to know is this:
What happens if someone with this suppression attitude actually practices the thing diligently?
The outcome may be one of the following:
1) Metta develops, Suppression becomes even worse.
2) Metta does not develop, Suppression becomes even worse.
3) The opposite of Metta (hate?) develops, Suppression becomes even worse.
4) Metta develops, Suppression remains unaffected.
5) Metta develops, Suppression diminishes.

So, which one is it? I don't know the answer.
For myself, it was definitely 5, but I was rather weak on the suppression side from the get-go, so this is not a particularly convincing example.
Neither do you, because you did not (by your own statement) seriously do the actual practice (which I define by: sit down and repeat Metta phrases.)

So, how robust is this practice? Can it actually be twisted to become a bad thing, if the basic instructions are followed for a longer time (say >100 hours)?
I contend that
  • no one knows the answer
  • your speculation do not add any weight to the assumption that it does
  • this would be really important to know
Someone really should do some sort of study with lots of participants to find this out.
I suppose that it should be possible to distinguish between low and high-suppression people to test this on only high-suppression participants.

Personally, I suspect that simply repeating the phrases for many enough hours will inevitably
  • develop the respective brahmavihara
  • evoke the adverse Parts (i.e. contradicting the brahmavihara) in the mind, and thus diminishing suppression
I believe that this practice is the most robust practice which the tradition has to offer. In contrast to dry insight practice, there is really little that can go wrong.

However, until the research I suggested (or similar) brings some definite result, I'll have to accept the possibility that your paranoid apprehension about Metta is in fact spot on.

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/8/16 9:06 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
"Could get worse, could get better, could stay the same."

          -Bill Hamilton, when asked about life after enlightenment

RE: on the Way
Answer
1/10/17 8:11 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
  

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/8/16 4:12 PM as a reply to bernd the broter.
bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 6:07 AM as a reply toCJMacie.)

Yeah, the Visuddhimagga has quite some arbitrary ideas about Metta, especially about how not to do Metta.
According to my teacher and my own experience, all of them are rather nonsense.

bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharashi Bhumi 1000.)

... the actual practice (which I define by: sit down and repeat Metta phrases.)

Speaking of "arbitrary ideas", you (and your teacher?) characterize Visuddhimagga statements re metta as"nonsense", and yet that which you define as metta practice ("…repeat Metta phrases…", presumably in the common form: for self, benefactors, friends, neutral persons, etc.?) comes from the Vissudhimagga (and the Vimuttimagga before it, not found earlier) -- was not taught by the Buddha (at least according to the sutta-s in the Pali Canon)."…

bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharashi Bhumi 1000.)

... I believe that this practice is the most robust practice which the tradition has to offer...
So, what then is meant here by "the tradition"?

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/9/16 1:24 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 6:07 AM as a reply toCJMacie.)

Yeah, the Visuddhimagga has quite some arbitrary ideas about Metta, especially about how not to do Metta.
According to my teacher and my own experience, the latter are rather nonsense.

bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharashi Bhumi 1000.)

... the actual practice (which I define by: sit down and repeat Metta phrases.)

Speaking of "arbitrary ideas", you (and your teacher?) characterize Visuddhimagga statements re metta as"nonsense", and yet that which you define as metta practice ("…repeat Metta phrases…", presumably in the common form: for self, benefactors, friends, neutral persons, etc.?) comes from the Vissudhimagga (and the Vimuttimagga before it, not found earlier) -- was not taught by the Buddha (at least according to the sutta-s in the Pali Canon)."…
I corrected the imprecise wording. Other than that, I don't see a contradiction in that statement.

bernd the broter:
(11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharashi Bhumi 1000.)

... I believe that this practice is the most robust practice which the tradition has to offer...
So, what then is meant here by "the tradition"?
... The greatest set of practices, such that the statement is still true?
The set of practices which are most often recommended on DhO?
All practices offered by the Suttas and derived traditions?
Hereby I decide that in this context, the word needn't be defined precisely for the statement to be meaningful m(

RE: on the Way
Answer
11/9/16 7:18 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.

re: bernd the broter (11/9/16 1:24 AM as a reply to CJMacie)
"…arbitrary ideas about … how not to do Metta… the latter are rather nonsense."
"I corrected the imprecise wording. Other than that, I don't see a contradiction in that statement."
"Arbitrary" isn't meant with the force of "contradiction" here. The Visuddhimagga, encyclopedic as it is, contains any number of places to quibble with from some viewpoint or another, and often choosing this or that to adopt or reject might be called "arbitrary". When reading through it, I for one tend to gloss over the many passages that seem strange, irrelevant, or even objectionable, and rather concentrate on the parts that are appealing. For some modernist interpreters, on the other hand, Buddhaghosa has become a favorite punching-bag (in which bag, so to speak, I don't think your views fall). Example: In a day-long talk once the scholar John Peacock voiced a general disparaging view about the book; but, curiously, most of the specific comments he made with reference to things in it were actually positive.

bernd the broter (11/8/16 8:49 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharashi Bhumi 1000.)
... I believe that this practice is the most robust practice which the tradition has to offer...
That makes good sense when adding "…in my practice", acknowledging your thread about metta practice. Interesting thing about Theravada tradition is that there's plenty there for everyone to select what's most useful for them. (Which point you also made in reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.) A shame when some (again, not pointing at you) feel a need to assert the superiority of just what they like, or put-down what others prefer.

Btw: "Suppression", or whatever the Pali term is, is a quite useful, potentially skillful tactic, as the Buddha recommends in a number of circumstances – as a temporary measure to reduce hindrance so that alternative practice / habits can have space to develop, and eventually just be able to supplant, be rid of the hindrance without the need for suppression.