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Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step

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Over the last few weeks, after a startling episode of "being along for the ride" as "I" drove to work, watching my hands go about their business and basically feeling like it was all happening of it's own accord, I have been able to edge into this space using a sort of "flip" of perspective and gain much of it back. This follows the ability to often summon enhanced "clarity" and "luminosity" in things, as well as (I think) sometimes percieve something like an underlying "silence" under everything - even the sound of my ears ringing. Since this is Daniels site, I'll use a description from it about the rough area I believe I am in:

When one appreciates the cycles of the process of awakening and has completed at least one more new progress cycle, this is the next stage. When one begins to appreciate the emptiness, luminosity, centerlessness, agentlessness, etc. of phenomena in real-time and this becomes the focus of practice rather than Fruition, this is the next stage. When the sense of the watcher, observer, subject, controller, doer, etc. is seen completely as it is and the knot of perception untangles, that simple, fundamental way of perceiving things is the next stage of awakening. When that untangling stays untangled, that is the next stage. As that understanding is integrated into our lives, that is the next phase, though it is more an ongoing process than a stage. P.284, MCTB

​​​​​​​I'd love some feedback on this, as well as some help, if anyone has any, on moving through this process. Intuitively, my practice, aside from daily Zazen has been to "stop struggling" and look for subtle areas where I might be holding on to anything, mentally or physically and trying to ever more subtlely just let this occur and accept them as they are. This is not difficult, but I'm working with it at a very subtle level most of the time.

​​​​​​​Thanks as usual for any advice any feels ready to proffer. emoticon

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/9/16 7:57 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Sounds really good!!

Many of us worked with a teacher to get past the final stage of untangling, because it really is a subtle thing. I highly recommend Hokai. You will see on his twitter account that he currently has openings for mentoring: https://twitter.com/hokaisobol

That said, I can give you a sense of progression and see if it makes sense to you. I'm glad to help out in any way that I can. I've helped one other person past this threshold. They were pretty ripe, ready to go.

Basically, this last bit of territory is about opening into that last bit of dropping resistance and reliquishing control. In other words, it's right into the physical sensations of being an "I", that sense of wanting to get something and hold on to it. 

It involves continuing to practice and continuing to investigate, but with less and less and less method or manipulation. What is simply so? What subtle ill will exists that somehow rejects what is occuring?

It involves looking at how, when things are very calm and non reactive, we still take on a very subtle orientation of either "I'm inadequate" or "I've got what is important and I'm superior".

For me, this lead me to seeing a very fundamental sense of woundedness and a very fundamental way of see how I was always saying either "no!" or "more!" to the present moment. 

Eventually, that dropped away and I had pretty much instant access to non-dual experience, to experience without greed, hatred, or delusion.

But then even that was noticed as a state that "I" accessed.

The last knot was feeling into that sense of being a limited "I" in the heart. 

And then I fully experienced that knot as a knot -- as an "experience" -- and it was done. In that moment, I fully understood what an experience was and what mind was and there was nothing more that I sought from "meditation" or "spirituality" or "practice" --- but life leads on and there is still plenty of interesting things to investigate and practice.



Hope that helps in some way! Keep going until it's done!

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/10/16 6:02 AM as a reply to shargrol.
yep, when you just sit then the ascending force starts to descend and the descending force start to ascend. As like opposing the worldy way. And realising the greed spot in back of the head upper region or top of the head will then let you get into central channel, what allows now to use intent as to get pass the mouth to the centrer spot what Daniel I speaks of 4th path attainment, i think.

This is an orbit or circling so even you do 4th path you need to continue. We can read from the accounts of Daniel I, continiueing shifts.

Imho MCTB is more mahayana vibe than its theravada. Theravada to me is a set in stone approach, as strickt following the rules and it works superb if you know why you do them.

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/10/16 8:38 PM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol,

I appreciate your posting. You, amongst others, have been SO supportive and patient with my questions here and I want you to know that it is greatly appreciated. It's been almost a year and a half since my big first path fruition and about a year since I found this font of kindness and knowledge; this place and those that share their experiences here are a true gem.  

I'm going to check out Hokai, though I feel like I'm still progressing slowly. Yesterday I had most of a day in a sort of glowing, radiant non-doer state, just laughing at the beauty if it all and watching things move along and events dovetail without effort. It's gone this morning, but it's these moments when I see what's coming that I must temper my excitement. It's so hard not to be able to talk about it - I wish I could find a way to show my students (I teach beginning meditation at the university where I work at the behest of my teacher) what practice brings if they are driven to continue. As I said, I don't think I've mentioned, I DO have a teacher that I greatly value, but her experience is working in Zen, and her suggestions that I get out of my own way and let things happen, while definitely correct, lack the sort of detail and interest level I have in the process.

I intuitively know you are absolutely correct about what is next, and feel that is where I am drawn to working. It's interesting that at this point practice seems to increasingly be about THIS process... not about the sitting or anything else for me, though I continue with it and want to do it.

Being able to summon the non-dual is not exactly something I can do. I can lose the "I" but I still feel a watcher in there, or... something.

Noticing that there is still some "I" in there IS one of the fundamentally annoying things I still see. Like a stain on the stainless. Who would have thought that one would ever say such a thing, eh? I can't seem to shake it. 

Thank you so much for your input and the very personal description of your experience. I appreciate your offer to continue helping, and would love to continue recieving it. 

It all feels inevitable now, like it's unstoppable. emoticon

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/11/16 7:22 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
You can increase changes by reading pranaparamita sutra. The im going to do that have a taste, cultivating these states. Seeing emptiness in real time, body gives out tastes, The block has location in body you can do them manually.

The nondoership glow, it still could be ordinary, because of your age and maturity you naturally notice the shift on certain days, because you are doing "meditation" you have awareness to notice them, its like an extra layer, same like cooks notice things about cooking and think about cooking.

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/11/16 11:52 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
One other thing I should add... A lot of people get sidetracked with "getting rid of" sensations of doership and sensations of identity and judge their progress by how rare those occur. While there is an element of truth to the notion, the real quest is to see the nature of sensations of doership and the sensation of the "I" (and how we needlessly complicate the experience of those sensations by reifying them). Thank goodness that awakening does not require the kind of perfection we think it does!


Anyway, keep doing what you are doing and be sure to explore the practices that interest you. Usually our "practice pursuit" instincts are pretty good. 

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/11/16 4:09 PM as a reply to shargrol.
If I may be so bold as to rework Shargrols excellent advice into a practice-

shargrol:
Basically, this last bit of territory is about opening into that last bit of dropping resistance and reliquishing control. In other words, it's right into the physical sensations of being an "I", that sense of wanting to get something and hold on to it.

The key is to be able to tune into tension at the most subtle levels. Feeling into the way the body feels, the way chakras feel, the way we create the aspects of boundaries.

shargrol:
It involves continuing to practice and continuing to investigate, but with less and less and less method or manipulation. What is simply so? What subtle ill will exists that somehow rejects what is occuring?

Any rejection of what is occuring or enforcement of artificial boundaries is what to directly investigate but without any need to do anything about them. Let attention just stay on the tension and it will melt itself.

shargrol:
It involves looking at how, when things are very calm and non reactive, we still take on a very subtle orientation of either "I'm inadequate" or "I've got what is important and I'm superior".

The subtle orientation is a boundary/tension.
shargrol:
For me, this lead me to seeing a very fundamental sense of woundedness and a very fundamental way of see how I was always saying either "no!" or "more!" to the present moment.

We have trauma stored in the body. The tensions/trauma can be opened up with practise and cleaned up, this lets the energy to move as it needs to without getting stuck.
shargrol:
Eventually, that dropped away and I had pretty much instant access to non-dual experience, to experience without greed, hatred, or delusion.

This shift is where you want to get to next. Nonduallity at this level is great but there is still a subtle orientation problem - The nonduality is still being observed from a subjective perspective.

shargrol:
But then even that was noticed as a state that "I" accessed.

Tuning into this last little tension is the key, if you have been able to tune into other tensions and let them melt away, this too can be done, there is the last one tension.
shargrol:
The last knot was feeling into that sense of being a limited "I" in the heart.


shargrol:
And then I fully experienced that knot as a knot -- as an "experience" -- and it was done.


Practise -
1) Get concentrated jhana 2+ by following the breath in the body cavity from stomach to chest
2) Focus on any body tensions and let them release/open by gently resting attention upon them and letting them just undo themselves with no extra effort than noticing them.
3) Focus on the heart area
4) Expand the Heart area outwards into the bubble of spaciousness/panoramic sensory field.
5) Move up the 4th jhana and allow the spaciousness to be the area wherein your heart chakra is expanding into, let the heart grow out into spaciousness and merge and blend the boundaries until they melt away.
6) Move up to the 5th jhana or whatever level of formlessness that arises reguarding the body and let the other aspects of the body fade away to whatever extent it will while remaining with the heart and spaceousness.
7) Allow love to flow at anytime that it does and continue to feel into the space and recognise the love, calmness, quiteness, feeling of being held, vastness. Whatever way it expresses itself.
8) Notice any tension from trying to "do" any of these instructions anymore, let up on any trying in little amounts until there is no trying to hold anything like practice anymore.
9) Space is space, tensions are tensions, quiet is quiet, vastness is vast, being held is that, calm is calm, whatever happens at this point is just an experience followed by another.

Good luck,
~D

edit- This is bacically a list of what I do and have been doing. Each step can take as long as it takes to really nail it. Though I usually move thru some variation of all this in a sit anymore.

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/12/16 1:55 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
Rist Ei:

You can increase changes by reading pranaparamita sutra. The im going to do that have a taste, cultivating these states. Seeing emptiness in real time, body gives out tastes, The block has location in body you can do them manually.


Rist Ei, I do find I can remove/melt the tensions/blocks by putting meditative attention on them. I actually started doing it intuitively, in the same manner as I was relieving muscle tensions or discomfort while sitting.

Shargrol:

One other thing I should add... A lot of people get sidetracked with "getting rid of" sensations of doership and sensations of identity and judge their progress by how rare those occur. While there is an element of truth to the notion, the real quest is to see the nature of sensations of doership and the sensation of the "I" (and how we needlessly complicate the experience of those sensations by reifying them). Thank goodness that awakening does not require the kind of perfection we think it does!



Anyway, keep doing what you are doing and be sure to explore the practices that interest you. Usually our "practice pursuit" instincts are pretty good. 

Shargrol, It's funny you say that it does not require the level of perfection. I keep expecting that the work to clear something will be akin to what it takes to work through an issue in therapy, and am pleasantly surprised to see it doesn't require anything like that. I agree that direction for practice seems to keep arising of it's own accord, and seems to be just the thing to keep things progressing. It sure is a strange process when looked at abstractly. About a month ago I started going for walks on our largely empty university campus, for long periods with my eyes closed and in some level of light jhana state. It led to my first big realization of no "I" present. Luckily no-one I know ever saw me doing this, to the best of my knowledge.emoticon Just another strange practice.


Dreamwalker:

If I may be so bold as to rework Shargrols excellent advice into a practice- 



shargrol:
Basically, this last bit of territory is about opening into that last bit of dropping resistance and reliquishing control. In other words, it's right into the physical sensations of being an "I", that sense of wanting to get something and hold on to it. 

The key is to be able to tune into tension at the most subtle levels. Feeling into the way the body feels, the way chakras feel, the way we create the aspects of boundaries.



shargrol:
It involves continuing to practice and continuing to investigate, but with less and less and less method or manipulation. What is simply so? What subtle ill will exists that somehow rejects what is occuring?

Any rejection of what is occuring or enforcement of artificial boundaries is what to directly investigate but without any need to do anything about them. Let attention just stay on the tension and it will melt itself.


shargrol:
It involves looking at how, when things are very calm and non reactive, we still take on a very subtle orientation of either "I'm inadequate" or "I've got what is important and I'm superior".

The subtle orientation is a boundary/tension.


shargrol:
For me, this lead me to seeing a very fundamental sense of woundedness and a very fundamental way of see how I was always saying either "no!" or "more!" to the present moment. 

We have trauma stored in the body. The tensions/trauma can be opened up with practise and cleaned up, this lets the energy to move as it needs to without getting stuck.



shargrol:
Eventually, that dropped away and I had pretty much instant access to non-dual experience, to experience without greed, hatred, or delusion.

This shift is where you want to get to next. Nonduallity at this level is great but there is still a subtle orientation problem - The nonduality is still being observed from a subjective perspective.


shargrol:
But then even that was noticed as a state that "I" accessed.

Tuning into this last little tension is the key, if you have been able to tune into other tensions and let them melt away, this too can be done, there is the last one tension.


shargrol:
The last knot was feeling into that sense of being a limited "I" in the heart. 


shargrol:
And then I fully experienced that knot as a knot -- as an "experience" -- and it was done. 


Practise - 
1) Get concentrated jhana 2+ by following the breath in the body cavity from stomach to chest
2) Focus on any body tensions and let them release/open by gently resting attention upon them and letting them just undo themselves with no extra effort than noticing them.
3) Focus on the heart area
4) Expand the Heart area outwards into the bubble of spaciousness/panoramic sensory field.
5) Move up the 4th jhana and allow the spaciousness to be the area wherein your heart chakra is expanding into, let the heart grow out into spaciousness and merge and blend the boundaries until they melt away.
6) Move up to the 5th jhana or whatever level of formlessness that arises reguarding the body and let the other aspects of the body fade away to whatever extent it will while remaining with the heart and spaceousness.
7) Allow love to flow at anytime that it does and continue to feel into the space and recognise the love, calmness, quiteness, feeling of being held, vastness. Whatever way it expresses itself.
8) Notice any tension from trying to "do" any of these instructions anymore, let up on any trying in little amounts until there is no trying to hold anything like practice anymore.
9) Space is space, tensions are tensions, quiet is quiet, vastness is vast, being held is that, calm is calm, whatever happens at this point is just an experience followed by another.

Good luck,
~D

edit- This is bacically a list of what I do and have been doing. Each step can take as long as it takes to really nail it. Though I usually move thru some variation of all this in a sit anymore.
It's so great to hear the advice to put attention on tensions and make them melt away from multiple sources, since it's what I'm compelled to do. It really seems like putting attention on that last "I" when I can identify it is next big shift. How do you go about separating it, or does it just reveal itself at some point for you to work with?

There are some things here I confess my knowledge is a bit shaky on. Coming from a Dzogchen background, a lot of the Vipassana jargon, and practices are not something I have spent much  time with aside from basic noting, and body scanning. I started years ago by watching my breath, but was always taught to "drop the method and rest in Rigpa" so I haven't done that (except experimentally) in years. Instruction from all of my teachers was always not to get hung up on experiences. I can see now how that has served me well in some cases, but it highlights a fundamental difference in practice from what many here have done, I think.

I can't say that I have any awareness of my chakras, and while I don't have any issues getting deep in jhana states, I don't have a lot of awareness of their specific edges, beyond when jhana 3 pops up and the "cool breeze" feeling kicks in (this happens very quickly when I sit), and jhana 4's thickness and body awareness loss. I usually let it all find it's own place to rest, or work intuitively at finding resistance and letting go to move them along. Jhana 1 and 2 seem to breeze by me. I didn't begin to trying to recognize them until after Stream Entry. If I am going further than 4, I am not sure what the shape or feel of those states are like, so working in jhana 2 might take some work to identify and stop at. I like to think of my learned tendency to let things find their own balance, and stay out of their way, etc. as a feature rather than a defect. emoticon

I'll give your practice procedure a whirl this evening and see how far I get. Thanks again, all of you, for your insights and experience.

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/12/16 7:05 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:


 I started years ago by watching my breath, but was always taught to "drop the method and rest in Rigpa" so I haven't done that (except experimentally) in years.

One thing that I worked with a teacher on was "adding energy" to open awareness. (We didn't use the expression rigpa, but I suspect it's equivalent.) After stablizing awareness over ~20 minutes or so, I would go through several cycles of adding intensity into perception, by sitting straighter and investigating harder, and then watch what happened when that intensity naturally fell apart. The falling apart of that higher energy level is important, because it's a loss of control and intention and the investigator. You can only do this about 6 to 10 times over ten minutes, it's oddly exhausting. 

Sometimes I think that when people get stuck in sort of a blah flavor of rigpa, they don't have the level of energy/investigation high enough and are stagnating. Obviously, there are lots of potential goofy side effects whenever you "add energy" into meditation, so I can't advise this practice unless you have a strong support group and/or access to a teacher. This is also a practice that is for post stream entry. It really makes no sense to try and manipulate experience unless you have had the very deep experience of noting experience all the way into a cessation. Use appropriate caution. When you want to make things go faster, that's usually a sign that you actually should lessen effort and relax into the meditation experience! 

RE: Non-Doership and Help Toward the Next Step
Answer
9/13/16 1:15 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Very good advice in this thread.

It may not belong to "the best of the Dho" but, maybe a "very good practice advice" category?

At least, it's useful for me.