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Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'

"It could be argued that third gear, in its purest form, is not really a practice at all; it is complete acknowledgement of and surrender to the situation as it is. Such is the intention behind the “justsitting” practice of Soto Zen as well as certain practices within the Tibetan Buddhist traditions ofDzogchen and Mahamudra.
 
Understanding that the best practice is the one that is most beneficial in this moment, we can leave behind a big bucket of unnecessary suffering. When a practitioner laments the fact that he is not able to sustain herself in third gear all the time, for example, a quick detour to second gear would call into question this “self” who needs to have a particular experience. And down shifting to first gear allows for the invaluable feedback loop of noting (labeling) in order to stay on track with minimal space-outs while also reducing experience to its bare components, devoid of unnecessary rumination and worry.” From Comtemplative Fitness (Kenneth Folk)”
 
Third Gear is where the effort and struggle of spiritual seeking stop. Every practitioner of any tradition needs to find their Third Gear. I’m not sure if K.Folk really understands this potential or what he is pointing to fully. In recent times he seems to have demoted Third Gear to ‘just one of the gears’ with no hierarchical or primary importance over the others.
 
Third Gear is the Realization itself; the other gears are the ones you use when you are not in the Realized state. They are the seeking and striving gears.
 
Third Gear in its most profound form comes with a paradox: “You can’t move directly from first or second gear to third gear.” How can this be? In despair of the failure of the first two gears to fully or ever end your suffering, you may surrender or let go completely and slip into ‘Overdrive’ or true Third Gear. This is the indirect way of reaching Third Gear.
 
So if you are reading this and Third Gear makes no sense, you may have to keep maxing out the first two gears, rev the motor to the redline, until all those attainments or lack of, reveal a profound insight : None of it was ever necessary. The Primordial State or Buddha Nature or Inherent Being cannot be attained or lost. That understanding or insight is Third Gear taken to its most radical and subversive position.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/15/16 5:02 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Yes, it's an interesting point, on how Kenneth regards 3rd gear currently.  I think it relates to the difference between Daniel and Kenneth's criteria.  Is enlightenment about how the mind is "like weather" and all states are relative, or is enlightenment about the removal of specific perceptual elements, which, in a sense produces a permanent special state?

The "weather"/relativity would be Kenneth's version and the special state would be Daniels version.  I suspect that most usage of the terms MCTB 3rd/4th Path are erroneously referring to Kenneth's version.

Just to loop back around to OP, your focus on the significance of 3rd gear remind me more of Daniels criteria.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/16/16 9:39 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:

So if you are reading this and Third Gear makes no sense, you may have to keep maxing out the first two gears


Alternatively .... the experience of the Dzogchen tradition is that the key to getting started on Third Gear is Direct Introduction from a teacher who is already there.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/16/16 4:17 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah do you have have links to this sort of dialogue? 

Is enlightenment about how the mind is "like weather" and all states are relative, or is enlightenment about the removal of specific perceptual elements, which, in a sense produces a permanent special state?

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/16/16 4:22 PM as a reply to Derek2.
"Alternatively .... the experience of the Dzogchen tradition is that the key to getting started on Third Gear is Direct Introduction from a teacher who is already there."

One of the Direct Paths..


“ ..by allowing your attention to turn naturally and gently towards the one who is aware of this state—the one who is not thinking—you discover the pure awareness of rigpa, free of any movement of thought, beyond any notion of outside or inside, unimpeded and open, like the clear sky.
Although there is no dualistic separation here between an experience and an experiencer, still the mind is certain about its own true nature, and there is a sense that, “There is nothing whatsoever beyond this.” When this occurs, because you can not conceptualize it or express it in words, it is acceptable to apply such terms as: “free from all extremes”, “beyond description”, “the fundamental state of clear light” and “the pure awareness of rigpa.As the wisdom of recognizing your own true nature dawns, it clears away the blinding darkness of confusion, and, just as you can see clearly the inside of your home once the sun has risen, you gain confident certainty in the true nature of your mind.” by Mipham Jampal Dorje  

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/17/16 2:51 PM as a reply to Marty G.
I think Third Gear when taken to the radical edge is the direct knowing of the True Nature ( no need to put an 'I' in it) . Kenneth has done a great job of bringing together disparate methods and insights into a wide view, available to many. I don't think it's quite finished yet. There may need to be another gear branching from the third, an 'Overdrive' of sorts--The truly subversive, or that which removes all need for practice to attain any state or path--that is not to say one would ever stop mind training as a useful execise ( for self and others) but the " need " to do it, is gone.

My own view ( and use) of the gear analogy, could be useful to others if we share sympathy along these lines :

Ist gear :  Any mind training, in any tradition (including vipassana)

2nd gear : The use of conscious mental  enquiry in intelligent and specific forms, not limited to "who am I"  but may be along any line related to furthering understanding or insight. 

3rd gear : Direct knowing or Intuiton of the True Nature, beyond "self", this is the intersection and fruition of the Direct Paths and ultimately all paths lead here, often 'kicking and screaming' against such a thing. This is the gear voiced by the spiritual subversives, radicals and heretics and crazywisdom teachers, freely available to all even now. It may be pointed to, but never fully contained or owned by any tradition. The ultimate, ''get out of jail free card".

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/16/16 5:28 PM as a reply to Marty G.
http://meaningoflife.tv/videos/35626

Recent interview with Kenneth where he talks about mindstates being like weather/ relative.

http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2715189#_19_message_2718243

Daniels description of 4th path criteria.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/17/16 3:50 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Haha are we reviving "the direct mode" in this thread?  https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6WiCXn87BF4

"Pragmatic Dharma Flashback Fridays" emoticon

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/18/16 3:31 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Third Gear in its most profound form comes with a paradox: “You can’t move directly from first or second gear to third gear.”

Is this why I keep seeig non-duality teachers saying "I meditated for thirty years, experienced every altered state there is, and in the end liberation had nothing to do with any of it ? Shinzen Young said that too. Head fucker.
But is it a coincidence that these people just happen to spend so much time as hardcore devotees of one sort or another ?

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/18/16 5:00 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
Hi John, Shinzen is a very compassionate and effective teacher and helpful to many, much respect to him. But, he is not really a Third Gear teacher or influence, as far as I can see. He teaches from a 1st and 2nd gear viewpoint. which is what people want, generally.

I quote a comment left by someone on that youtube video.

"Shinzen is also part of the 'contemplative technology' movement - the application of our powerful technologies to the process of awakening, to radically accelerate it.  He says that when he mentions it, "this is the point where everyone gets freaked out, and then they insult my intelligence by raising all these questions as if I hadn't thought of all of them a hundred times over."
 -
"I'm part of this movement as well, and I've seen enough evidence to think that the dharma path will look very different in 20 years than it does today.  People will think that struggling on the cushion (and all the philosophy devoted to equanimity with struggling on the cushion) is quaint".

So he moves through a mechanistic model, that's the future of the 1st/2nd Gear approach, perhaps.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/18/16 7:53 PM as a reply to Marty G.
Shinzen does teach 3rd Gear when he emphasizes staying in the state of Samadhi after meditation, and eventually all the time. See his audio book for reference.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/19/16 3:44 AM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah, I think we are talking about two different things, what you are calling 3rd Gear is not what I call it. It’s more than a nuance; it’s a big jump in different understandings of the term. To be fair, your understanding and usage is closer to how Kenneth uses it (I think).

I’m idealising somewhat and pushing it further than how it was intended to be used. So from your viewpoint when you say Shinzen teaches 3rd Gear, you may be correct.

I will try to use another analogy: There is story I heard that the (ancient) master rug weavers had a special thread in all their carpets, called an escape thread. If called upon they might simply pull this thread and unravel the whole rug. That’s how I view 3rd Gear, now does Shinzen teach something like that, or Kenneth? You tell me. There is a bit of Zen (in this parallel), for sure, but it’s more than that also. It’s the more than that, which puts it in the radical mode outside of the Traditions.

My root-teacher speculated for a time, that a man or woman could be in any formal spiritual tradition and still stand perfectly free of the dogma, ritual, striving, and methodology and even perceived attainments of any such path. He further speculated that there has been and always will be such people. To me it is a beautiful and naïve vision. He saw them as a special class of aspirants or adepts. If it is true, it would be rare. Here I’m pointing to the true radicals and subversives who have unzipped the rug in situ (you could say)<----Another attempt at clarification

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/19/16 4:49 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/2715189#_19_message_2718243

hai -

i do get it.  You are talking about rigpa/ the natural state/ awakened awareness/ pure citta etc.

Please refer to the above reference, where Daniel describes it vividly.  Also refer to the below reference, where Dream Walker explains how to get there:  http://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/5800908

its all on a scale, thus the Shinzen reference does apply:  degrees of recognition 

cheers!

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/20/16 5:48 AM as a reply to Noah D.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/20/16 10:54 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Marty G:
Hi John, Shinzen is a very compassionate and effective teacher and helpful to many, much respect to him. But, he is not really a Third Gear teacher or influence, as far as I can see. He teaches from a 1st and 2nd gear viewpoint. which is what people want, generally.

I quote a comment left by someone on that youtube video.

"Shinzen is also part of the 'contemplative technology' movement - the application of our powerful technologies to the process of awakening, to radically accelerate it.  He says that when he mentions it, "this is the point where everyone gets freaked out, and then they insult my intelligence by raising all these questions as if I hadn't thought of all of them a hundred times over."
 -
"I'm part of this movement as well, and I've seen enough evidence to think that the dharma path will look very different in 20 years than it does today.  People will think that struggling on the cushion (and all the philosophy devoted to equanimity with struggling on the cushion) is quaint".

So he moves through a mechanistic model, that's the future of the 1st/2nd Gear approach, perhaps.

Well, isn't stating that his enlightenment had nothing to do with the previous contemlative endeavours because it "just is" something of a problem for all the ideas of following a path ? I know this isn't a new thing, krishnamurti said something similar, as do non-duality teachers. I've watched a lot of Buddha at the Gas Pump, and the guy Archer notes the same thing, that a lot of the people who said it (liberation) had nothing really to do with all the practice - but it's common that they say this after decades of that practice. Correlation or causation ?

I get the idea that practice, the phenomena of practice and all that goes on as a phenomena in awareness, like the drama of life on a neutral screen, and in the end just recognising the screen is the realisation that was needed most. I've always got that idea, although sometimes it becomes extremely obvious as a moment of direct insight. I don't think it's that mysterious, and probably most people intuit it. Basically that there is a fundamental level of awareness that makes all the other stuff possible to be conscious of.

Not sure what Shinzen means by technology, because Americans tend to use that word in the same way British people say technique. For most Brits technology is gadgets and engineering products, and techniques are stuff like pranayama and mindfulness - skills.

If he means gadgets then there is a problem of right living because material acquisition for technology industries, often, isn't done in an "ask nicely" kind of way, and I doubt if Silicone Valley really cares enough to change that. But there may be positive changes ahead in technology development. Either that or resource wars and Imperial collapse emoticonemoticonemoticon
But it's OK, Wim Hof is here to show you how to survive without clothes and heating.

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/20/16 8:50 PM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Dada Kind:
Good find Dada, there is quite a lot of useful information in that video, You can see how Kenneth was inspired to his 3 speed from Shinzen. The comments give a lot away also : many people find this gear the hardest to 'get their head around' a lot of confusion expressed in the comments. Someone noted this, which I think is correct ( as an aside).
 "also, this is absolutely fundamentally different from the "Great Perfection" or dzogchen. although this style meditation is very often confused with it."

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/20/16 9:12 PM as a reply to Marty G.
I meant to add, I've been using the exact method described by Shizen in the video, all morning as a test to see exactly how useful it is ( it's not new to me by any means) and so far after 5/6 hours constant practice (in life) in a work situation, it leads to deep ease and equanamity and much less stressful reactivity.

Still think there is a deeper  gear shift linked from 3rd (perhaps hyperdrive), more like Sahaja, no effort whatsoever, or need for effort.


"Sahaja is free of them all. For there is neither desire nor absence of desire, nor a middle to be obtained"


 "There is then no sacred or profane, spiritual or sensual, but everything that lives is pure and void."

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/20/16 10:07 PM as a reply to Stick Man.
Hey John have you read Bankei ? This zen monk from the 17th century one of the geat subversives, he may make it clearer if you are interested ( or less clear, even) . Shinzen does mean meditation technology, such as apps, modern biofeedback devices, binaurel beats (I'm guessing) etc.

The Master addressed the assembly: "Among all you people here today there's not a single one who's an unenlightened being. Everyone here is a buddha. So listen carefully! What you all have from your parents innately is the Unborn Buddha Mind alone. There's nothing else you have innately. This Buddha Mind you have from your parents innately is truly unborn and marvelously illuminating. That which is unborn is the Buddha Mind; the Buddha Mind is unborn and marvelously illuminating, and, what's more, with this Unborn, everything is perfectly managed. The actual proof of this Unborn which perfectly manages is that, as you're all turned this way listening to me talk, if out back there's the cawing of crows, the chirping of sparrows or the rustling of the wind, even though you're not deliberately trying to hear each of these sounds, you recognize and distinguish each one. The voices of the crows and sparrows, the rustling of the wind—you hear them without making any mistake about them, and that's what's called hearing with the Unborn. In this way, all things are perfectly managed with the Unborn. This is the actual proof of the Unborn. Conclusively realize that what's unborn and marvelously illuminating is truly the Buddha Mind, straightaway abiding in the Unborn Buddha Mind just as it is, and you're a living tathagata from today forever after. Since, when you realize conclusively, you abide like this in the Buddha Mind from today on, my school is called the School of Buddha Mind."

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/21/16 5:13 AM as a reply to Marty G.
Hi Marty,

In the video I linked Shinzen does relate "Do Nothing" to Dzogchen. Why do you think they're fundamentally different? Don't you think that in time (as Shinzen emphasises) the 'technique', at least, most closely resembles Dzogchen?

RE: Cultivating K. Folk’s 3rd Gear ‘to the max'
Answer
11/21/16 5:41 AM as a reply to Dada Kind.
Dada Kind:
Hi Marty,

In the video I linked Shinzen does relate "Do Nothing" to Dzogchen. Why do you think they're fundamentally different? Don't you think that in time (as Shinzen emphasises) the 'technique', at least, most closely resembles Dzogchen?
Dada perhaps someone who really knows and practices Dzoghen could chime in, but just comparing this treatise to what Shinzen is saying it would only be at the periphery (at best) and may not lead to the depth described.