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Wide Disparity in Timeframes

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Wide Disparity in Timeframes Francis M. Crawford 12/4/17 5:10 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Laurel Carrington 12/4/17 11:11 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Daniel M. Ingram 12/5/17 2:02 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Francis M. Crawford 12/5/17 10:03 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Laurel Carrington 12/5/17 2:29 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Francis M. Crawford 12/5/17 3:54 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Laurel Carrington 12/5/17 5:14 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Dream Walker 12/5/17 3:59 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Not two, not one 12/5/17 12:09 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Dream Walker 12/5/17 3:46 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Francis M. Crawford 12/5/17 3:57 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Daniel M. Ingram 12/5/17 7:55 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Matt 12/5/17 4:04 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Dream Walker 12/5/17 4:35 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes seth tapper 12/5/17 4:51 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Noah D 12/5/17 10:14 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Yilun Ong 12/6/17 12:08 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Yilun Ong 12/6/17 2:02 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes jonjohn 12/6/17 5:26 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Stirling Campbell 12/7/17 12:10 PM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes shargrol 12/6/17 6:18 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Yilun Ong 12/6/17 7:28 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Laurel Carrington 12/6/17 9:52 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Yilun Ong 12/7/17 7:18 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes Dream Walker 12/6/17 10:28 AM
RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes baba ganoush 12/6/17 10:16 AM
Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/4/17 5:10 PM
As a relative newcomer devouoring this stuff for the first time, I notice what seems like a disconnect of an order of magnitude in terms of the speed with which insights/stages might occur in insight practice.

I realize of course that everyone is different and practice is different and generalizations are stupid and impossible.

Nonetheless:  Folks like Bhante HG, Stephen Levine and countless other pretty serious practitioners/authors seem to discuss even stream entry as a many years long and very gradual process.   Another recent example is Dan Harris (the 10% Happier guy and ABC news guy) who discusses his practice in his podcast fairly frequently.  He has been meditating for 7 years and for 2 hours a day for awhile and does not report anything sounding like even A&P.  And he seems to have a serious teacher and a serious practice.  Steve Armstrong was on his podcast and implied the same kind of thing (7+ years for stream entry) -- and Steve is certainly willing to discuss the Progress of Insight stages.

Likewise, one of Willoughy Britton's studies reported that her cohort of meditators (many of whom were teachers) first reported light and visual effects something like an average of 7-10 years into practice if I recall.

On the other hand, many in the pragramatic dharma community (especially practicing Mahasi style noting and including teachers and practitioners alike) describe A&P and dark night and cessastion as things that often happen in say a matter of months or a 1-2 year time frame, even without heroic hour of practice and with sporadic retreats only.

This makes me curious for two reasons:  

1) it would be nice to have some idea how soon on average one may have to deal with the dukkha nanas (again, just on an order of magnitude;

2) I wonder if hardcore Mahasi-style noting from the beginning (which he seems to have pioneered as a way to power laypeople to progress faster) and subsequent stream entry experiences are somehow different or miss some essential seasoning that you get with a slower path (not speaking about jhanas here).

I.e., is it like just memorizing the material for the final exam without reading the textbook?  (bad analogy I know).

Anyway, please be gentle.





 


 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/4/17 11:11 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
This is a question that just about anyone involved in these communities is likely to ask sooner or later. Some people conclude that this abbreviated version, so to speak, represents a big dumbing down of enlightenment, while other people disagree. My take: the Mahasi noting technique is indeed powerful, and gets more people farther along on the path than a lot of other approaches will do. (I haven’t been on a Goenka retreat, but I gather that his method also gets results.) While it looks as if everyone here is progressing rapidly, there is still more variation than might be apparent at first glance. Some people get discouraged and drift away, while others begin to get interested in other approaches or find that they are simply not suited to noting or body scanning techniques. 

Nonetheless, there are a lot of impressive testimonials to the effectiveness of these practices. I’ll throw out another point, however, that people who go more slowly often are doing a lot of integration of their insights into their lives, perhaps in concert with bodywork, psychotherapy, devotional practices, etc. Others who seem to zip through paths find themselves needing to figure things out after the fact. Just about everyone works with a number of different things, as you can see for yourself by reading on this site. Most people with complex lives and time constraints are going to encounter challenges. Then there’s the fact that the relative peace of a monastery or a long retreat allows a person to deepen their concentration in ways that are almost impossible in daily life, no matter how quickly a person can get through paths as a householder using these powerful methods. One final point: the feedback loop of a community like this one is unbelievably valuable. I used to think the lure of an online community, with its potential for drama and disruption, was a detrimental factor, and there are times when this can be the case. Still, the takeaway is that what we do here is remarkable. The best thing to do is plunge in and see how things go, post about it, get advice, and keep on with the practice. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 2:02 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
nice response.

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 10:03 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Thanks guys.

What's your opinion on starting a noting practice (under the guidance of a teacher) after one year into meditation and with a decent stability of attention (lose track of the breath maybe 4 or 5 times in a 45 minute sit)?

Or stick with just Shamata/concentration longer?

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 12:09 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Hi Francis,

This issue gave me a lot of trouble too. The point I eventually reached was that there are many different paths, and different starting points. There is commonality in that you need to (1) sort your shit and stop being mean to yourself and others, (2) explode some of your worst clinging (3) learn to concentrate and (4) investigate your delusion of self.  Some approaches are really highly structured, and so may be more predictable in progress.  But people can come to it from all sorts of different angles. 

My own experience was that I had done somthing in (1) and lots in (3) over the decades.  But then I had to start (2) from scratch and follow the Buddha's advice (well, Daniel's really) on (3) and (4) to make real progress in insight, which then occured within about 18 months.  My approach was concentration practice and weak jhanas followed by insight practices.  My insight practices were meditation on the mind and the three characteristics, rather than noting. 

So, 30 years, or 18 months?  

I would add that after a while my insight ran beyond my capability to cope. So I reverted to additional concentration practices and that helped a lot.

Please note that I am very junior member of this community and certfied by nobody, so take any comments on insight with a grain of salt. Also, your mileage may vary. 

Malcolm

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 2:29 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Francis M. Crawford:
Thanks guys.

What's your opinion on starting a noting practice (under the guidance of a teacher) after one year into meditation and with a decent stability of attention (lose track of the breath maybe 4 or 5 times in a 45 minute sit)?

Or stick with just Shamata/concentration longer?

I think you have excellent preparation for insight practices. As for dark night stuff, no one knows how long or how extreme a particular person’s will be. Malcom, aka curious, mentions one of the possible pitfalls of rapid progress. If you want to stay on the safe side, bring some samata into your practice along with the insight. I did samata for about 6 months and then dry insight for a year. It got pretty grim for awhile there. Adding jhana practice here and there helps a lot. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 3:46 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Francis M. Crawford:
I notice what seems like a disconnect of an order of magnitude in terms of the speed with which insights/stages might occur in insight practice...

...This makes me curious for two reasons:  

1) it would be nice to have some idea how soon on average one may have to deal with the dukkha nanas (again, just on an order of magnitude;
The key word here is average....the bell curve shows that most people will take longer to get to stream entry, I will posit that people who find themselves on the Dho and who post and who continue to post are in the tail end of "not average". We dont know much about the lurkers. So reading here will get you skewed ideas of what is "normal" time frames. Then again, you're on the Dho, check, you are posting, check....

This presuposes that we are even talking about the same definition of stream entry which may not be the case as i've read about very stringent definitions that seem to me to be the game of spiritual inflation. (My technique, guru, style, path is better than yours and gets you more)
Francis M. Crawford:

2) I wonder if hardcore Mahasi-style noting from the beginning (which he seems to have pioneered as a way to power laypeople to progress faster) and subsequent stream entry experiences are somehow different or miss some essential seasoning that you get with a slower path (not speaking about jhanas here).

I.e., is it like just memorizing the material for the final exam without reading the textbook?  (bad analogy I know).
Let me throw out something to think about, if and when you stop forward progress and get stuck and or "done" by substandard criterea, That seems to be the time to reflect back and wonder if you missed something.  When its full steam ahead, noone seems to care.

If your definition of SE includes morality shifts, that may take you much longer to do than the purely perceptual shifts. Especially if you start out as a dick or in some other way are more messed up than usual. Again, it depends on what your definition is of SE and what extra amazing magical goodies and frosting you want to put on top of it.

~D

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 3:54 PM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Thanks for your great replies Laurel.

I have been doing The Mind Illuminated for most of the past year (up to stage 4, which is still focusing on breath at the nose, but generally able to stay focused on the breath).  

I have not been anywhere close to jhana.  Nice relaxation-MBSR type benefits so far but nowhere near full absorption or bliss or anything like that.  I have not had any body/energy stuff yet at all (good or bad).  

Average sits are 45 minutes once a day with an hour on Saturdays.

I am in my mid 50s and have the usual mild mid-life blahs and neuroses (hence the interest in this stuff).  I have decent coping mechanisms (exercise, mild use of alcohol, good family and friend network).  Some mild childhood trauma that I suspect may pop out but has been well-suppressed for awhile.

I have spoken to two teachers, both of whom are widely recommended on this and other forums.  One teaches TMI/Samatha and one teaches Mahasi/Dan Ingram/KF/Bill Hamilton et. al. noting.  Trying to choose the approach.

The TMI/Samatha folks feel that that method is less likely to lead to difficult dark night stages.  On the other hand, the noting stuff seems more sure-fire.  And people seem to think if you make progress in Mahasi style, you can pick up the concentration jhana stuff easier after that.   

On the other hand, I ahve no real interest in spending years in the dark night, or having a psychotic break or seeing big spiders everywhere or thinking that everyone is a cartoon or whatever.  I would just stick with my regular American neurosis over that. 

It does seem as though DhO community is especially focused on dark night stuff.  You really don't hear about it from the gradualists like Gunaratana etc.  It may be the demographic on here, or the practice style, or both. 

Anyway, so the question is whether to stick with TMI approach or to start the noting practice with that teacher.  If I do start on the noting, I would continue to do some concentration practice at the beginning of sits and mix in some metta sessions (on the idea that these might help down the road).

 





  

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 3:57 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
"If your definition of SE includes morality shifts, that may take you much longer to do than the purely perceptual shifts. Especially if you start out as a dick or in some other way are more messed up than usual. Again, it depends on what your definition is of SE and what extra amazing magical goodies and frosting you want to put on top of it."


This makes a lot of sense.  Thanks.




RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 3:59 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Francis M. Crawford:
Thanks guys.

What's your opinion on starting a noting practice (under the guidance of a teacher) after one year into meditation and with a decent stability of attention (lose track of the breath maybe 4 or 5 times in a 45 minute sit)?

Or stick with just Shamata/concentration longer?
What jhana can you get to? If you are at EQ then by all means switch all ready. If not then it still sounds like you could make good progress. It really is up to you. You will endlessly hear various opinions about it. What is your clear goal?

I will say that if you can find a group of local pragmatic deep practitioners to hang out with and possibly meditate with, this seems to speed things along nicely. Even video chat helps with getting support that is needed for fast progress.
~D

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 4:04 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Francis M. Crawford:
...
1) it would be nice to have some idea how soon on average one may have to deal with the dukkha nanas (again, just on an order of magnitude;

2) I wonder if hardcore Mahasi-style noting from the beginning (which he seems to have pioneered as a way to power laypeople to progress faster) and subsequent stream entry experiences are somehow different or miss some essential seasoning that you get with a slower path (not speaking about jhanas here).
...
I went into my first Goenka 10 day retreat with essentially zero meditation experience.  Having missed out on boot camp, war, Mt Everest experience, I approached the retreat like my last chance to do something heroic.  I tried hard, (for me) meaning I sat full hour sessions, 7-11 per day, sitting still as possible after day 3.  Silent the whole time.  Not a big deal compared to 'real' meditators emoticon but it was intense for me.

On the first night I had some invigorating sensorial experiences.  Around day 5 the discomfort of sitting went to zero.  By the end of the retreat I'd had several freaky sensorial experiences, including one that months later made me wonder if I had a 'cessation'. (it probably was not cessation) My baseline of feeling had swung to highs and lows.  Within a couple weeks after the retreat I was sitting for an hour twice a day, I was on the ride.  That one retreat did it for me.

My friend describes his first retreat as having been 100% recall of his past life experiences.  Somehow, I think he had no idea how to follow the instructions.

I've heard people in the this community say, start with a good length retreat, practice a couple hours a day and you're good to go.  Of course, YMMV

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 4:35 PM as a reply to Matt.
matthew sexton:
I went into my first Goenka 10 day retreat with essentially zero meditation experience...
...Within a couple weeks after the retreat I was sitting for an hour twice a day, I was on the ride.  That one retreat did it for me.

I thought my Goenka retreat was great, really got me going too.
The only problem I had was his advice that only body sensations were TRUE vipassana.....somehow seeing and hearing are unworthy of investigation?

Other than that it was a great learning expereince.
~D

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 4:51 PM as a reply to Dream Walker.
In my experience, body sensations are what we mistake for aversion.  If you can map the entire body and hold that map then you literally (mentally!) step outside of the system of suffering evolution has gifted us with.  Once outside, it is easier to drop identification with the heroes in the inner monologues we all have.  That is why I think body sensations are more useful than other targets of investigation. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 5:14 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
You may want to check out Leigh Brasington’s recent book on concentration for a good approach to jhana. I did much better with jhana once I had a path or two, although I spent 6 months on it beforehand and reached some nice concentration states. After path 2 when I worked with Leigh’s system on a retreat with him I could tell the difference.  

I second the advice about retreats. A good 10-day retreat can do wonders, and back home, a qualified teacher can help you navigate dark night stuff. I had a few awful experiences, but not so bad in retrospect. The people who have the most trouble go into meditation without being prepared for it, then freak out. Still, it’s unpredictable how any one person will respond, so your caution is understandable. Culadasa is known for working toward a soft landing. 

One other thing I have tended to notice during my time on these forums (almost 7 years): the people who stay with the practice have a tendency to make it a major priority, if not the top priority. I don’t mean it gets to be more important than one’s job or family, but it makes an enormous difference in how you relate to both. So, whatever free time I had, I’d be at it, day in and day out. I got SE one wintery Thursday evening when my husband and son set off to Best Buy for a computer and I hit the cushion the minute they pulled out of the driveway. I had finished one 5-day retreat a couple weeks earlier and was headed to another one a week afterwards. I was obsessed.

Has it been worth it? I can point to the fact that the person I am now is nothing like the reactive bundle of anxiety I was before. Oh, and I’m about to turn 64. I have had one damn thing after another to deal with over the past several years, but the equanimity is inexpressible. So yeah, well worth it. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 7:55 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
Francis M. Crawford:
"If your definition of SE includes morality shifts, that may take you much longer to do than the purely perceptual shifts. Especially if you start out as a dick or in some other way are more messed up than usual. Again, it depends on what your definition is of SE and what extra amazing magical goodies and frosting you want to put on top of it."


This makes a lot of sense.  Thanks.



Friggin’ love that post!

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/5/17 10:14 PM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
@OP: In my opinion the distinction you bring up comes from there being 2 maps, but people are using the 1 set of terms for both maps.  One map only measures wisdom/knowledge-of-emptiness/perceptual-shifts/etc.  This is the map that is being discussed most commonly in the pragmatic dharma movement.  It is true that most people in traditional/mainstream/mushroom Buddhism are much slower to go through the progress of insight & attain the perceptual shifts.  This is probably because they don't understand the stages & desired outcomes & thus lack proper intention & expectation.

However, when Steve Levine, Dan Harris or Steve Armstrong talk about "stream entry," in many cases they are talking about the 2nd type of map.  This map does not measure wisdom; wisdom is actually the prerequisite for it.  It actually measures the integration/embodiement of the perceptual shifts in one's thought, speech & action.  This is not something that happens automatically in almost all cases, regardless of what is said in the pali canon & commentaries.  It must be purposely optimized for.  It has a lower success rate than the perceptual shifts, as far as I can tell.  It is hard to do.  Also, people who get the wisdom peice frequently don't care to do the integration peice.  Or you have mushroom culture, which is a bunch of people without the knowledge peice trying to go straight to embodiment.

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 12:08 AM as a reply to Noah D.
@OP: I have never understood why people find that progress through a course which does not prepare them for the real thing (LIFE) is a good thing. I do not see people signing up to learn how to play golf and attain mastery through Virtual Reality, being unable to deal with the physical pains involved with swinging an actual golf club. If the Progress of Insight is a bed of roses, those emerging from it will be worse off than those not trying. There are no fake thorns there, if anything they are nowhere as sharp as those off the cushion. I may be crazy, but I have the most appreciation for those difficult stuff that arise on the journey...

@Noah: This is a real problem I have: Having been living the "holy life" for 6 months, walking more than the pragmatic path to E, which is observing 227 monastic rules of the Vinaya, sniffing the fetters away like a hound dog, I see great benefits in Training in Morality but frankly I do not see the fetters going away in tandem with the pragmatic way of things. If anything, they seem like separate trainings to me; to fudge things further, shifts in perceptual abilities seem to happen when I am lax with morality. I must be doing something wrong here? Is there a way to merge these trainings that I am unaware of? Or am I the "start out as a dick" person that Dream Walker mentioned? emoticon

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 2:02 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Sorry, I forgot to address what seems to be your concern. Disclaimer that this is what I think, YMMV! 
 
Whatever method you use depends on what works best for your personality to notice the 3Cs. I note as well but only 3 words are used: Anicca/Dukkha/Anatta and they do not get fired off often at all. The rest of the time I am happily absorbed in whatever internal vibrations are going off.

But to answer what works? Hardcore! They seem to kick off well when you stick with the unpleasant stuff, I pushed myself in the beginning to watch pain/suffering and things just happened on their own. I am very sure from zero to the 1st nana took under 10 hours of meditation. And to confess, I did zero voluntary meditation in the beginning. All I did was fight (by NOT fighting) the suffering sitting crossed legged (I have bad flexibility problems) during the night sermons that I understood nothing of.

I think the taste for the unpleasant and a strong harnessed desire, are the keys to progress. I can imagine New Age meditators that avoid dukkha wondering what has gone wrong with their practice - the situation isn't much different from going to the gym working out to feel 'good', no? If muscles aren't worked to near-exhaustion, why would they bother to break and rejoin to meet greater tasks (since there doesn't seem to be any need)?

Now, if all I am getting is more peace and calm, I doubt if I am actually doing any Insight practice at all...

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 5:26 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I wonder who is closer to the goal of buddhism, one who is happy but "ignorant" or someone who "knows" but he is unhappy?  Cause what's the value of "truth" in the first place, if not as a means to transcend suffering? What's the point for example of knowing the 43546th telephone number of some city? There isn't any. In the same way, to the extend that does not relate to suffering, every truth is useless. In that sense, EVERYTHING that leads to happiness, from the Buddha's perspective,  is indeed INSIGHT into the natrure of things. The measure of wisdom is happiness (or peace, call it how you want) and this is a point that i think many forget. Wisdom doesn't taste like dukkha.  So there is no point in "knowing" advanced things about ultimate reality and the same time being surpassed in peace by someone (or your possible self) that practices and tastes the fruits of morality. 

 "I see great benefits in Training in Morality but frankly I do not see the fetters going away in tandem with the pragmatic way of things. If anything, they seem like separate trainings to me; to fudge things further, shifts in perceptual abilities seem to happen when I am lax with morality. I must be doing something wrong here? Is there a way to merge these trainings that I am unaware of? Or am I the "start out as a dick" person that Dream Walker mentioned?"

I think everything falls in to place by practicing the morality, concentration, wisdom, in the way of letting go and the Jhanas, the way Chah, Brahm or Sujato teach (and the way Buddha mostly seems to suggest). Morality's value becomes super clear seen through the calm meditation. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 6:18 AM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
I think people who make "quick" progress are the same people that become intimate with the actual physical experience of confusion and suffering/ill will in their bodies. To some extent thoughts are analyzed, but it doesn't become an intellectual exercise. There is an intuition that things currently are a confused tangle of sensations and urges and emotions which needs to be seen clearly at the level of sensation, urge, and emotion. And so actual sensations, urges, and emotions become objects of investigation.  

I think the people who are going slow -- which is totally fine and something worth considering as a good thing -- are easing into this non-verbal and semi-conscious territory of investigation. It can be terrifying to explore the primal, shadow, non-verbal side of experience. There is no benefit of just retraumatizing ourselves by going too quickly into this difficult stuff. If people are confused about why they might be so slow, they probably need to look at how they are using meditation techniques and maps of meditation... They are often using meditation to avoid experiencing their inner tensions. They are often using the maps of meditation to stay at level of the intellect.

The people who seem to combine morality and meditation well are generally those people who see the nature of urges and emotions very clearly. It becomes very clear how suffering is created when we adopt an orientation of anger, greed, desire, ambitition, and pride (5 realms). It becomes very clear how these orientations can seem like answers to our problems if we don't see the nature of primal defensiveness, evasion, stimulation, busyness, and confusion (5 elements). When you see how our own emotions and urges create suffering when we buy into them... then the alternative  -- which isn't quite definable except by saying it is the middle path -- becomes much clearer. Well, I guess you could say it is friendliness, caring, apprecation, and acceptance (4 bramaviharas).

At it's core, morality is mostly dropping our tendency to resist change, dropping our superficial quests for emotional satisfaction, and dropping the need to "be somebody". Having done that, it then opens up the entire space of being alive and responsive to whatever experience we meet.

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 7:28 AM as a reply to shargrol.
shargrol:

The people who seem to combine morality and meditation well are generally those people who see the nature of urges and emotions very clearly. It becomes very clear how suffering is created when we adopt an orientation of anger, greed, desire, ambitition, and pride (5 realms). It becomes very clear how these orientations can seem like answers to our problems if we don't see the nature of primal defensiveness, evasion, stimulation, busyness, and confusion (5 elements). When you see how our own emotions and urges create suffering when we buy into them... then the alternative  -- which isn't quite definable except by saying it is the middle path -- becomes much clearer. Well, I guess you could say it is friendliness, caring, apprecation, and acceptance (4 bramaviharas).

At it's core, morality is mostly dropping our tendency to resist change, dropping our superficial quests for emotional satisfaction, and dropping the need to "be somebody". Having done that, it then opens up the entire space of being alive and responsive to whatever experience we meet.

Thanks shargrol! I'll focus on the above. I suppose there are 3 ways of going at it. Perceptual with minimal morality, both together with focus on morality, and morality after completing perceptual? Any insight as to what is the difference in outcome? 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 9:52 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
I’m going to post a link to a wonderful interview with Culadasa that Michael Taft recently posted: http://deconstructingyourself.com/deconstructing-yourself-podcast. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find Culadasa there. He talks about how his system compares with Shinzen Young’s, and then about the role that practicing morality plays in his own approach. Oh, and there’s a good chunk devoted to the 10 fetters Model, which MCTB 1 trashes pretty thoroughly, although I don’t know how Daniel’s thinking about all of that may be different now. 

I had the wonderful luck, or whatever, to have my anger, fear, and reactivity greatly reduced after an experience that one of my teachers calls “fourth technical path” (I know, Daniel doesn’t relate to that terminology). I have only a faint clue about how my path compares to others’. But I can say that as your practice deepens, you can see many neurotic tendencies shrink or even disappear. 

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 10:16 AM as a reply to Francis M. Crawford.
this thread is a gold mine, i'll not comment on early posts that others have posted thanks for (except to say +1)
but thanks esp to Noah for how technical path and fetter free existance
interact (now where else was that explained in plain english??) and then
to shargol for:
If people are confused about why they might be so slow, they probably need
to look at how they are using meditation techniques and maps of
meditation... They are often using meditation to avoid experiencing
their inner tensions. They are often using the maps of meditation to
stay at level of the intellect.
However ... I'll choose to remain slow till I'm happy i have the skills/ tools to handle deep doo
doo when it comes knocking.  First port of call is how to get into solid
jhana == refuge from DN.  There's been some talk of vipassana jhanas,
didn't pick any of that up from MCTB, but even if... can you get into the first one before hitting DN ???

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/6/17 10:28 AM as a reply to Yilun Ong.
Yilun Ong:

Thanks shargrol! I'll focus on the above. I suppose there are 3 ways of going at it. Perceptual with minimal morality, both together with focus on morality, and morality after completing perceptual? Any insight as to what is the difference in outcome? 
Assuming you dont stall out somewhere I'd say the end point is the same, it's the ride that is different. 
Of course i really think it's where you stall out with what combination of shifts that create so called different end points.
~D

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/7/17 12:10 PM as a reply to Noah D.
Noah D:
@OP: In my opinion the distinction you bring up comes from there being 2 maps, but people are using the 1 set of terms for both maps.  One map only measures wisdom/knowledge-of-emptiness/perceptual-shifts/etc.  This is the map that is being discussed most commonly in the pragmatic dharma movement.  It is true that most people in traditional/mainstream/mushroom Buddhism are much slower to go through the progress of insight & attain the perceptual shifts.  This is probably because they don't understand the stages & desired outcomes & thus lack proper intention & expectation.

However, when Steve Levine, Dan Harris or Steve Armstrong talk about "stream entry," in many cases they are talking about the 2nd type of map.  This map does not measure wisdom; wisdom is actually the prerequisite for it.  It actually measures the integration/embodiement of the perceptual shifts in one's thought, speech & action.  This is not something that happens automatically in almost all cases, regardless of what is said in the pali canon & commentaries.  It must be purposely optimized for.  It has a lower success rate than the perceptual shifts, as far as I can tell.  It is hard to do.  Also, people who get the wisdom peice frequently don't care to do the integration peice.  Or you have mushroom culture, which is a bunch of people without the knowledge peice trying to go straight to embodiment.

I confess I have never completely understood the difference in terms of what each MEANS. My Stream Entry understanding seems to be the product of the old school 2nd map variety which wipes out the first 3 fetters because of a dramatic and deep non-dual "event". My experience in connecting with those that have similar understandings is that they ALL have had a "nondual" awakening "event". Is this also true of 1st map attainment? Maybe the idea is that the attainment is more piecemeal and gradual, or?

RE: Wide Disparity in Timeframes
Answer
12/7/17 7:18 AM as a reply to Laurel Carrington.
Laurel Carrington:
I’m going to post a link to a wonderful interview with Culadasa that Michael Taft recently posted: http://deconstructingyourself.com/deconstructing-yourself-podcast. Scroll down to the bottom and you’ll find Culadasa there. He talks about how his system compares with Shinzen Young’s, and then about the role that practicing morality plays in his own approach. Oh, and there’s a good chunk devoted to the 10 fetters Model, which MCTB 1 trashes pretty thoroughly, although I don’t know how Daniel’s thinking about all of that may be different now. 

I had the wonderful luck, or whatever, to have my anger, fear, and reactivity greatly reduced after an experience that one of my teachers calls “fourth technical path” (I know, Daniel doesn’t relate to that terminology). I have only a faint clue about how my path compares to others’. But I can say that as your practice deepens, you can see many neurotic tendencies shrink or even disappear. 
Thank you Laurel! Pretty illuminating on how Culadasa interprets the middle paths. He says that one can either focus on cravings or attachment to self. I am wondering what the trigger point is. It is somewhere in between intellectually understanding them and eliminating them, so what exactly does one need to see, experience or accept? Is this a very grey area that varies depending on individuals?

Or something specific to everyone e.g. seeing that special self-secure place of self-relevance/reliance on attachment and busting that tension? I oft see the hunter of gratification searching within awareness, is there anything to do other than to watch it, deny gratification and witness it's A&P?