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On measuring attainments

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On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:12 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Dream Walker 10/16/16 9:13 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Marty G 10/16/16 10:30 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:13 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Marty G 10/17/16 4:05 PM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/19/16 7:37 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Marty G 10/19/16 2:35 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Stirling Campbell 10/19/16 10:21 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Marty G 10/19/16 2:51 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Stirling Campbell 10/19/16 4:58 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Marty G 10/19/16 11:25 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Stirling Campbell 10/20/16 1:24 PM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/17/16 6:32 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:13 AM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/19/16 7:59 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:15 AM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/20/16 7:24 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:15 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:16 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:13 AM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/19/16 8:07 AM
RE: On measuring attainments bernd the broter 10/19/16 4:48 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 1/10/17 8:14 AM
RE: On measuring attainments Psi 10/19/16 8:57 AM
RE: On measuring attainments mla7 10/19/16 10:21 AM
RE: On measuring attainments CJMacie 10/20/16 6:57 AM
RE: On measuring attainments mla7 10/20/16 10:32 PM
RE: On measuring attainments Dada Kind 10/30/16 4:39 AM
RE: On measuring attainments C P M 10/30/16 12:10 PM
On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:12 AM
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/16/16 9:13 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 measuring attainments
Answer
10/16/16 10:30 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Have you heard of light jhana, heavy jhana ? One superficial , one very deep. J.Krishnamurti was the first 'light enlightenment' exponent possibly, and it moved on from there. The monk in question was no light attain-er, but he showed no signs of enlightenment (Theravadan maybe)  either, at least in the Tantric traditions. Incredible samadhi focus and perfect idealism, more in the Jain sense, a great exponent would fast to death. Why? The assumption was a big problem with life.

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:13 AM as a reply to Marty G.
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/17/16 4:05 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
That is why this seemingly insane experiment has its benefits. The intensity is directly proportional to your baseline level of understanding, which of course includes the default responses of the organism to this kind of stimuli. It shows that even though you "know" that the pain is not harmful, the so called knowing is not enough, which is direct insight into the implications of anatta.

I thought you were using a humorous analogy, you're serious! Now unless you are a school kid, in which case this is the sort of tough-guy experiment that is natural for that stage, more power to you. I would go to the dentist and get him to drill and pull, no anesthetic I think he was a sadist because he seemed to relish my bravado and kept on saying after twisting the pliers and drilling to the bone " Are you sure ??"

Mate, the ability to control or stand pain may indicate great self control  and therefore be seen as an 'attainment' even a siddhi of sorts, or perhaps sensory dullness ( no sense no feeling, type of thing) But it has nothing whatsoever to do with enlightenment, How do i know that? Because even though I make no claim to enlightenment in the classical sense I do know what it is not.And its presence is not indicated by extreme pain tolerance.

Now if a man or women comes to enlightenment through a path that develops great asceticism as with the more extreme methods of yoga and Buddhism ( e.g acariya mun ) then they may well show signs in this direction. But that in itself indicates more about mind training. The real test is in ordinary day to day living, that is testing enough and provides plenty of opportunity to show how deluded we may be.

The 'modern enlightenment school' as displayed by all the folks queuing up at Buddha-At-The-Gas-Pump with their claims of enlightenment (to different degrees) are generally not in the Acariya Mun class, more the 'western-softy' type. and their enlightenment in most cases would be classed as light-weight.  Though they may claim it to be heavy-weight ( going back to the light/heavy jhana analogy). We know it's light-weight because we have that comparison to traditional Realizers. Someone said : "Far,far better to know you are unenlightened and full of shit, than to be deluded about attaining it". This in itself is a sort of enlightened knowledge and stands the test of reality (ordinary life in its difficulties and suffering).

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/17/16 6:32 PM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
"I think the difference between heavy and light jhana is just a matter of degree."

That is to say, you don't really know...

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:13 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:13 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 4:48 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Why are people so much in love with pain? This thing is weird.

And don't underestimate chili.
http://www.greatfallstribune.com/story/news/2016/10/18/ghost-pepper-puts-hole-mans-esophagus/92350120/
(from r/nottheonion)

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:14 AM as a reply to bernd the broter.
RE: On measuring attainments

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 7:37 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:
I think he was a sadist because he seemed to relish my bravado and kept on saying after twisting the pliers and drilling to the bone " Are you sure ??"

You 're playing on the scene in the movie "Marathon Man", where Lawrence Olivier, as the crazed Nazi dentist, is drilling away on Dustin Hoffman, asking "Is it safe?"?

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 7:59 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000

Now, you tell me I don't really know, but fail to provide an proper reply to educate me. If I'm to learn anything, it would be nice if you could explain, with your own words, how this quote from MCTB and the content of my previous post fail to correlate?



Will give it a try...

Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 (10/17/16 9:04 AM as a reply to MartyG):
"I think the difference between heavy and light jhana is
just a matter of degree."

MTCB (quoted by SMB1000):
"In soft jhana, the qualities of that particular state are definitely
 recognizable  in a way that is different from the ordinary experience of those qualities  to the degree that we are confident we are in the altered state  defined by those qualities."

"
In really hard jhana, it feels as if our
mind has been fused to those qualities and the object with super glue, as if we were nothing but a solid block or field of those qualities or that object, as if they and the object were the whole world with nothing else remaining."

First, you actually used the terms "heavy" and "light", so all the following might not be relevant.

People working with, being instructed in "soft jhāna" (I call it " jhāna-lite") often – in this forum and others – aren't quite sure about it, ask for advice how to tell whether their experience is really jhāna or not. Ingram's quotation (above) hints at that s/w vaguely – "recognizable… difference… to the degree that we are confident…". Given that, IMO, what he describes could also be just "access" concentration – a state of relative calm wherein the mind is temporarily free of the "hindrances", though an important attainment on its own. The teachers of "jhāna-lite" could be said to use this basis and push it further into, typically, more depth of "rapture" / piti (mostly) and "peace/bliss" / sukha – but short of the distinctive quality of "hard jhāna".

His description of "hard jhāna" is quite distinct – "fused… super glue… solid… nothing else…". I take his descriptions as accurate, and havingpracticed with both these variants, it is clear in my experience that the difference is qualitative, a quantum shift, so to speak, and markedly so – one definitely knows – rather than a matter of degree. A key term here for this qualitative difference is "absorption", which is used to describe "hard- jhāna" but is often considered as unnecessary, even down-played / denied for the soft variety.

Historically, it's a distinction between
1) a traditional practice, based in the Buddha's descriptions, which are sketchy and largely metaphorical, and which is elaborated in greater practical detail by a large body of commentarial texts – this is often called "Visuddhimagga jhāna"– all of which rooted in a continuous line of teacher-student oral transmission; and
2) a modern Western theory, using modern academically fashionable "textual/contextual criticism" to claim that what the Buddha really taught was not that (1), but something simpler and easier – this is often called "sutta- jhāna".

The proponents of (2) cite commentarialmention that jhāna is very difficult ("only 1 in a million can do it"), created by s/w elitest monks, and that their hypothetic "original" version is what the Buddha really meant, and is much more accessible. (Making is easier for modern folk is in fact the stated goal in much of the "research" that attempts to justify the authenticity of "sutta- jhāna".)

(This whole issue/mess is affectionately known as "the jhāna wars", waged at great length in this and other popular forums, which might well be re-stimulated by my bringing it up.)

On the basis of extensive cultural-historical study, and personal practice, my view (anybody's position on all this is no more than a "view"  from an individual vantage point) is that the difficulty of "hard- jhāna" is exaggerated emphasis on isolated examples of a tendency towards hyperbole to express significance in the literary norms of 2 millennia ago; it is not at all so impossible but more or less accessible according to personality-type, cultural conditioning, and access to proper training. In particular, the ability to grasp the notion of hard "absorption", and willingness to undergo the discipline needed to achieve it, runs against the grain of Western cultural conditioning, and is in fact made more difficult by the helter-skelter stressful nature of Western lifestyles.

From another perspective, the popularity of the modernist Western simplification of Buddha-dhamma, in this case, jhāna-samadhi/ concentration practice extends to perhaps a few thousands of seriously practicing individuals, perhaps a couple of million counting the lighter "devotees", and in a context of continually change, of fashion (e.g. the "mindfulness" fad), over the past couple of decades – mostly in the West. On the other hand, the traditions and practice of the "harder" forms extend across 2+ millennia, millions of serious practioners, and today at least 10's of thousands of serious practioners and 100's of millions of lighter ("lay") devotees – mostly in Asia. From a s/w developed sense of history, I wouldn't bet on the modernist version having much chance of comparable historical longetivity or extent of impact. Not to say that it doesn't open doors for many individuals.

"… I described a very primitive model of the relation between "energetics" and jhanic states, which you didn't comment on…"

Frankly, your throwing together a hodge-podge of loosely related notions, while a worthwhile beginning in the right direction (which I recognize from my beginnings in the same direction not that long ago), re-enforces the perception that you in fact don't have the experiential basis – as yet – to be able to understand the soft/hard- jhāna issue. Quite possible to interpret as "a condescending attitude". There's also the possibility of taking encouragement– "alla Anfange sind schwer" (all beginnings are difficult) – German aphorism -- or "perseverance furthers"– key phrase from the Yi-Jing / I-Ching. (Given your references such as, paraphrased, "qi follows shen", and "horse stance", you're probably familiar with the later.)

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 8:07 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
...
My questions are:
a) how much control one's mind has over such reactions...


An extreme example – jhāna as hard as it gets –

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E37cMtCrKoA

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 8:57 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
I have devised my own system of measuring attainment. It is very easy and doesn't need years of expertise and special knowledge to be reliable. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY OF THIS.

THE SACRED RITE OF INFINITE BENEFIT FOR MEASURING IMMEASURABLE BUDDHA LEVELZ

1. Find the hottest chili around. Habanero is good, but the hotter the better.
2. Chop it and mix the pieces with water.
3. Pour the mixture on your genitalia, namely on the mucous membranes.
4. Have some milk around.
5. Almost pass out from pain as you realize the milk doesn't help that much after all.
7. (probably) realize you're not a Jivanmukta just yet.

This should give you a good picture of your current level of understanding, and a newfound sense of profound humility in the face of the attainments of people like Thich Quan Duc, who actually burned to death, instead of just playing around with capsaicin.

I didn't get permanent damage but I suppose it's good to be careful anyhow emoticon

With Wisdom one would know not to perform the above listed steps.  

If one were to perform the above listed steps, they would realize only that they were a fool.

That would give one a good picture of one's current level of understanding.

emoticon

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 10:21 AM as a reply to Psi.
CJ Macie,


For you personally, is it possible to get into hard jhana at home, or do you have to be on an intensive meditation retreat?



Just curious...


  Mike

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 10:21 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:
The 'modern enlightenment school' as displayed by all the folks queuing up at Buddha-At-The-Gas-Pump with their claims of enlightenment (to different degrees) are generally not in the Acariya Mun class, more the 'western-softy' type. and their enlightenment in most cases would be classed as light-weight.  Though they may claim it to be heavy-weight ( going back to the light/heavy jhana analogy). We know it's light-weight because we have that comparison to traditional Realizers. Someone said : "Far,far better to know you are unenlightened and full of shit, than to be deluded about attaining it". This in itself is a sort of enlightened knowledge and stands the test of reality (ordinary life in its difficulties and suffering).

Hope no-one minds a lickle sidebar here, but are we talking about people with "technical fourth" designations? That kinda thing? How does one categorize the differences between the "Western-Softy" enlightenment vs. "Traditional Realizer", and do we see this more as a function of enlightenment itself changing, or people merely miscategorizing themselves based on overselling their level of realization? I find it hard to imagine anyone that has attained Stream Entry needing, wanting, or seeing the value in doing this. 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:15 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
RE: On measuring attainments

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 2:35 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
CJMacie:
Marty G:
I think he was a sadist because he seemed to relish my bravado and kept on saying after twisting the pliers and drilling to the bone " Are you sure ??"

You 're playing on the scene in the movie "Marathon Man", where Lawrence Olivier, as the crazed Nazi dentist, is drilling away on Dustin Hoffman, asking "Is it safe?"?


Ha, ha, yes I did do this experiment, when I was about 15, it was probably limited to a filling, I think he did convince me to get a jab for the extraction.. emoticon

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 2:51 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Marty G:
The 'modern enlightenment school' as displayed by all the folks queuing up at Buddha-At-The-Gas-Pump with their claims of enlightenment (to different degrees) are generally not in the Acariya Mun class, more the 'western-softy' type. and their enlightenment in most cases would be classed as light-weight.  Though they may claim it to be heavy-weight ( going back to the light/heavy jhana analogy). We know it's light-weight because we have that comparison to traditional Realizers. Someone said : "Far,far better to know you are unenlightened and full of shit, than to be deluded about attaining it". This in itself is a sort of enlightened knowledge and stands the test of reality (ordinary life in its difficulties and suffering).

Hope no-one minds a lickle sidebar here, but are we talking about people with "technical fourth" designations? That kinda thing? How does one categorize the differences between the "Western-Softy" enlightenment vs. "Traditional Realizer", and do we see this more as a function of enlightenment itself changing, or people merely miscategorizing themselves based on overselling their level of realization? I find it hard to imagine anyone that has attained Stream Entry needing, wanting, or seeing the value in doing this. 
Hi Stirling, that was a response to the broad "modern enlightenment school" that covers a lot of ground and is not limited to those who claim paths or have a Buddhist perspective. You don't think egoity is still active ? By egoity meaning the subtle need to state your attainment (in this case ) in one form or other: "I've attained this state, condition, enlightenment etc"  not even nessacarily in public, and feel saved, special or relieved? worth considering?

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 4:58 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:
Hi Stirling, that was a response to the broad "modern enlightenment school" that covers a lot of ground and is not limited to those who claim paths or have a Buddhist perspective. You don't think egoity is still active ? By egoity meaning the subtle need to state your attainment (in this case ) in one form or other: "I've attained this state, condition, enlightenment etc"  not even nessacarily in public, and feel saved, special or relieved? worth considering?

Oh, I'm not saying anything like that. I just don't know the scene you are talking about. I was always trained to ignore "experiences" and let go of any ambition or progress, and am a relative newcomer to tracking the maps or attainment part of it, so I'm just asking for your (or anyone familiars) take on what you describe. My question is genuine:

are we talking about people with "technical fourth" designations? That kinda thing? How does one categorize the differences between the "Western-Softy" enlightenment vs. "Traditional Realizer", and do we see this more as a function of enlightenment itself changing, or people merely miscategorizing themselves based on overselling their level of realization?

I take it then you are specifically talking about people WITHOUT attainment that need to feel special by claiming it? 

edited to add: Speaking for myself, when SE happened to me I was, frankly, inappropriate. I was SO excited, and dying to find others I could talk to that I told several po-faced Zen roshis before I realized it wasn't really the "done" thing. That was a 6 month or so period.

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/19/16 11:25 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
are we talking about people with "technical fourth" designations? That kinda thing? How does one categorize the differences between the "Western-Softy" enlightenment vs. "Traditional Realizer", and do we see this more as a function of enlightenment itself changing, or people merely miscategorizing themselves based on overselling their level of realization?


Best to watch a few videos at https://batgap.com/ and use your own discriminative intelligence in regards to the guests presented and their claims. How do they measure up to your own realization in the sense of what you know with great clarity and certainty. Are they mostly self-deluded, half-baked or having experienced an expanded state and taking that for proof of enlightenment? Or is this a great break throughin the collective consciousness?

E.Tolle, for instance, believes in spiritual evolution (he tends to a romantic-mystical vision of an intelligent universe going somewhere) and there are many others who make similar claims. 

"Tolle:Yes. I see signs that it is already happening. For the first time there is a large scale awakening on our planet. Why now? Because if there is no change in human consciousness now, we will destroy ourselves and  perhaps the planet. The insanity of the collective egoic mind, amplified by science and technology, is rapidly taking our species to the brink of disaster. Evolve or die: that is our only choice now. Without considering the Eastern world, my estimate is that at this time about ten percent of people in North America are already awakening. That makes thirty million Americans alone, and in addition to those people in other North American countries, about ten percent of the population of Western European countries are also awakening. This is probably enough of a critical mass to bring about a new earth. So the  transformation of consciousness is truly happening even though they won't be reporting it on tonight's news. Is it happening fast enough? I am hopeful about humanity's future, much more so now than when I wrote The Power of Now. In fact that is why I wrote that book. I really wasn't sure that humanity was going to survive. Now I feel differently. I see many reasons to be hopeful."

https://www.eckharttolle.com/article/Awakening-Your-Spiritual-Lifes-Purpose


There are  a lot of people now who are awake to more than the American/ European western dream as it was laid out in school and our culture. This forum alone demonstrates something is going on. If you call that intuition  of something other or greater than the common view (including exoteric religions) 'an awakening' then he is just pointing it out. But he is putting a positive spin on it as if this alone will lead to a revolution. In a way he is perhaps unconsciously promoting the christian/utopian view of a heaven on earth. You would have to weigh that against ISIS ( for instance) and the all the current horrors of this realm. 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/20/16 6:57 AM as a reply to mla7.
mla7:

For you personally, is it possible to get into hard jhana at home, or do you have to be on an intensive meditation retreat?


At this point generally "yes", given the proper circumstances.

Accessibilty of jhana, as conditioned and transitory, seems to depend on several prerequisite factors – energy level, degree of momentary pressure from everyday crises (external or internal), etc. And "at home" qualified to mean when no-one else is around. e.g. watching TV or practicing the piano, the cats are sleeping, not waiting on a critical telephone call, etc.

Under good circumstances, access concentration becomes available within a few minutes (say 10-20), and the shift into absorption by about 30 minutes, almost invariably by 40 or 50 minutes. And, having taken a cue from an exceptional teacher (Ven. U. Jagara), when one practices reflecting on the experience just afterwards -- a vipassana exercise analyzing the briefly lingering echo of it, as spelled out, e.g., in Sariputta's method in MN-111, and in Chapter IV of the Visuddhimagga – one can develop a rather firm mental (and "feeling") image of that state, which becomes more easily invoked in the future to help re-enter it. In fact there are times, anywhere with relative quiet and no need to be active, when one can close the eyes, recall the nimitta, like the image of an old friend, and flow into it almost instantly; staying there and going deeper needing more solid seclusion.

Not to say there weren't a half-dozen or so 7-10 days retreats gone through over several years to get to this point. Actually, in hindsight, it could have been fewer such retreats. The standard vipassana retreat format – "alternate between walking and sitting … in chunks of, lets say, 45 minutes to 1 hour" as Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000 refers to further down here – is not, in my experience, ideal for samadhi development. But it's so standard that even "concentration" retreats are structured so, which is part of why, IMO, teaching it is relatively unsuccessful these days, and many students encounter frustration. With regimented periods of 45 minutes, even 60, with at first people coming in, setting up, adjusting; throughout occasionally coming and going; coughing or sniffling, creaking chairs,… and then the gong sounds and everyone, carefully but still relatively noisily, gets up and leaves. The Buddha suggested going into "seclusion", not hanging-out in a crowd.

It's a shame, because it's not that big a deal. Nothing extra-ordinary about my capabilities. Most anyone could learn it (Ayya Khema asserts that everyone can), but some are by temperment better able to pursue vipassana-khanika-samadhi (Mahasi-style concentration for insight). There's just a lot of historical inertia in the Western scene from the early days when jhana training wasn't available, and momentum of the attitudes (prejudices) built-up during that period.

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/20/16 7:24 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:
...you mean a sudden change, a noticeable change, rather than gradual,  linear-like progression? For example, having a stereo on, then turning  it off, as opposed to gradually decreasing the volume?
Exactly. Perhaps, to build from your analogy, having the stereo set on "mono" and then switchingto "stereo"; or a TV from mono-chrome to color. Not exactly like absorption, but a good example of unmistakeble qualitative change.

From your further descriptions, it could well be you have experienced absorption, but without the verbal/mental framework to be able to recognized it. "Theoretical" systems of conceptual understanding can be justifiably criticized as not the "real thing" (Mahasi Sayadaw often teachesunderstanding this clearly), but when a vivid experience takes place that triggers an association set-up by pre-known conceptual knowledge, then that conceptual framework "comes to life", so to speak, becomes useful in being able to help appreciate the event, and perhaps also providing clues as to further directions of exploring the experience.

Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:

...When I experimented with 10000 consecutive recitations of the mantra Nianfo (
only twice), with the same kind of absorption in mind, there was a
noticeable change, but more in the direction of what people call access
concentration...

Access (upacara) concentrationis an absolute necessity for deep path (samadhi and/orvipassana) development, as both Daniel Ingram and MahasiSayadaw repeatedly emphasize. Like a gateway, through which one cansteer into either absorption (appana) concentration, or intothe momentary (khanika) concentration that's necessary for genuine vipassana practice.

Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:

I'm still very far from sitting in absorption for months on end, which  would be nice to be able to do, but also, according to my understanding, counterproductive in long run.
That image, often associated with the Pa Auk Sayadaw teaching of hard-jhana – that one must be able to hold steady nimitta (in access concentration) for atleast an hour, better two or three…, and then likewise in each jhana… – is an ideal, an understandable upholding of the highest standards, and appropriate mostly for monastics whose lives are dedicated to it. I'm capable of nothing like that, but, on confirmation by two teachers certified by the Pa Auk, am confidentt hat my experience is "in the ball park", on the path, so to speak.

Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:

... lack of  expressive capability, not your fault. It also a matter of how one  perceives these things, as I need to translate pictures from my head  into concepts...

One aspect of Buddha's teachings, as also seen more focally in the Abhidhamma and commentarial elaborations, is that language altogether (even one's"first" language) is after all just verbal fabrication, conditioned approximation by the mind to represent and communicate its in vivo expereince. Getting over mistaking one's mental-verbal constructs for "reality" would seem a crucial step in getting the hang of what he was trying to teach.

Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000:

That being said, what is your opinion on the difference between the lack of structures of suffering ( whatever they in their totality may be), and  their temporary suppression ( through varying levels of concentration)?  Would the practice of nondoing, i.e as described in Vajrasamadhi sutra,  ultimately lead to a state where one's baseline reactivity to intense  pain would be comparable to the effects of hard jhana? If one attained  rainbow body, then the answer is  obvious, but there are many stages  before that.

Being only conceptually familiar with Tibetan variants, I can only say that what you suggest would seem logical. Probably any bone-fide emptiness (sunnata) practice, pursued correctly, persistently over time, and in so far as it borders on samatha or samadhi, would quite likely develop into, or perhaps stumble upon, a hard-jhana experience.

What I'm more confident about is the usefulness of practicing concentration to
1) yes, temporarily reduce, put aside blatant suffering; rest and refresh the mind -- short of nibbana, there's always some shadow of dukkha present somewhere in the mind; and
2) hone (they call it "purify") the mind to a stillness such that it's able to see distinctly what's really going on when it starts back up into reactive behavior; i.e.necessary for effective vipassana.

The difference you ask about is, IMO, amatter of practice, plus the grace, perhaps, of a certain, again, qualitative shift where the mind is able to just irreversibly drop using the mechanisms that perpetuate it's suffering. In the (Theravada) Abhidhamma, they discerned a mental micro-moment/movement in mental process which occurs only at jhana-absorption and at final liberation, calling it "change of lineage": at jhana a transformation from sensual-plane consciousness to "fine-material" – still temporary, transient; at final "unbinding" (nibbana), a decisive transformation from the mundane planes altogether to the "unconditioned". I think of that "change of lineage"as representing that unmistakable quantum shift that characterizes both those events.

Buddhaghosa, in the prolog to theVisuddhimagga, memorably puts it like this:
"[the pracitioner, ardent and persevering] … standing on the ground of virtue, and taking up with the hand of protective-understanding, exerted by the power of energy,
the knife of insight-understanding well-sharpened on the stone of concentration, might disentangle, cut away and demolish all the tangle of craving that had overgrown his own life's continuity."

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/20/16 1:24 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:

Best to watch a few videos at https://batgap.com/ and use your own discriminative intelligence in regards to the guests presented and their claims. How do they measure up to your own realization in the sense of what you know with great clarity and certainty. Are they mostly self-deluded, half-baked or having experienced an expanded state and taking that for proof of enlightenment? Or is this a great break throughin the collective consciousness?


Thanks Marty.

I watched Daniel's interview there. I'll check out some more. There ARE some people who have believably seen it, IMHO, but that doesn't get you all the way, and I don't consider myself qualified to judge the final attainment (YET!). I'm pretty sure there are "not two" as the Advaitans suggest. Nothing separate or collective about it. emoticon

Just curious about other views on this stuff.

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RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/20/16 10:32 PM as a reply to CJMacie.
[quote=
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At this point generally "yes", given the proper circumstances.

Accessibilty of jhana, as conditioned and transitory, seems to depend on several prerequisite factors – energy level, degree of momentary pressure from everyday crises (external or internal), etc. And "at home" qualified to mean when no-one else is around. e.g. watching TV or practicing the piano, the cats are sleeping, not waiting on a critical telephone call, etc.

Under good circumstances, access concentration becomes available within a few minutes (say 10-20), and the shift into absorption by about 30 minutes, almost invariably by 40 or 50 minutes. And, having taken a cue from an exceptional teacher (Ven. U. Jagara), when one practices reflecting on the experience just afterwards -- a vipassana exercise analyzing the briefly lingering echo of it, as spelled out, e.g., in Sariputta's method in MN-111, and in Chapter IV of the Visuddhimagga – one can develop a rather firm mental (and "feeling") image of that state, which becomes more easily invoked in the future to help re-enter it. In fact there are times, anywhere with relative quiet and no need to be active, when one can close the eyes, recall the nimitta, like the image of an old friend, and flow into it almost instantly; staying there and going deeper needing more solid seclusion.



   Cool!   I hope to be able to get there myself some day..

  Mike

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:15 AM as a reply to CJMacie.
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
1/10/17 8:16 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
 

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/30/16 4:39 AM as a reply to Supreme Maharishi Bhumi 1000.
Speaking of BATGAP, Shinzen Young proposes a not-so-different test in his interview -- the "Damascus Test". I assume Shinzen gets more respect here than SMB1000 beep boop

These explicitly argumentative threads are fun

RE: On measuring attainments
Answer
10/30/16 12:10 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Droll Dedekind:
Speaking of BATGAP, Shinzen Young proposes a not-so-different test in his interview -- the "Damascus Test". I assume Shinzen gets more respect here than SMB1000 beep boop

These explicitly argumentative threads are fun
Yes, that came to mind when reading the OP.  Here is the link, Shizen starts talking about it at the 1:05:50 mark.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xbznm2NLais

Wim Hoff was another person that came to mind.