Message Boards Message Boards

The Middle Paths (2nd and 3rd)

Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths

Toggle
Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/16/18 9:17 AM
Hi all, there's an issue that has been confusing me and causing doubt. I have seeked online for answers but nothing seems to answer it.

I'm fully aware of the delusory nature of my query, how it is dependant on causes unrelated to a self, but it is pernicious and difficult to uproot completely.

I believe I hit third path recently a few weeks back which consisted of a ridiculously up and down  blissful review, however things have now just been solid for the last week or 2, and due to lack of practice, things arise that I thought should have been 'wiped out'.

Out of compassion, I am temporarily still living with my girlfriend though she is set to move out. We argue lots and she lives an unskillful life and this hits my concentration bigtime and prevents any accumulation, meditation feels like a maintenance dose rather than a vehicle with which to explore reality, which is much finer and clearer since path.

My issue is that centerlessness is not the case during times of narrow focus that arise from clinging, and as soon as some of these programs go on, they cause suffering. Such as "X is going to happen" or "I desire to do Y". As I haven't been fostering mindfulness as much as I would like, these thoughts and feelings have already happened before I "have the choice" to do anything about them, and there can be much rumination directly after as a result. I know this is because the 3 characteristics aren't automatically seen during these times.

When things are calm and I am by myself long enough for my mind to calm with it, there is no problem just experiencing things as they are, comfortably aware that there is more to be done in terms of letting these perceptions sink in, which is noted just fine.

In short, I thought that third path eliminated the unconscious succuming to mental formations and desires but it either doesn't seem that simple and I have been deluding myself about 3rd (or even 2nd, 1st etc says the unsentient thoughts...). 

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/16/18 9:29 AM as a reply to Dom Stone.
Bloody hell this post is ridiculous lol, what needy self is causing twisted problems that never truely existed to fix a different problem that never existed. I'm complaining about what??? Needless ego games, think I'm just going to meditate more and keep things cool. (Though will keep this up for the next time my ego needs a massage and my doubt paradigmatic circuit is activated). Joking aside, legitimate cause of suffering here :p

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/20/18 9:40 AM as a reply to Dom Stone.
How do you define the paths and can you tell us more about the story of how you feel you met the specific criteria you are using to define paths?

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/20/18 12:27 PM as a reply to Dom Stone.
Don't be so hard on yourself, problems and feelings are "real". Why do you expect all your karma to vanish complety though after an insight of some sort?

I can relate to the girlfriend thing emoticon It was really difficult since she had a hard time with herself and in no way any connection to the cessation of suffering through dharma, so she couldn't understand what I "was doing", it was very disconnecting. I finally realized I could not take any suffering from her, just clear my own quirks. So I wish you the skills to manage the last time together peacefully as it can be emoticon

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/23/18 6:19 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Previously, I had believed I had a good enough conceptual understanding of paths but lately the last couple of weeks such criteria has lost much of its meaning. It is as if attempts to solidify any frame of reference is too uncomfortable to hold which confuses things.

I view 1st path as dropping the automatic additional sensations relating to the senses, such as ownership. My eyes move of their own accord etc.

2nd path turned down the volume control of my mind. Additional sensations that created the illusion of me actually being the voice in question have stopped being created, though the idea that I am the one that has the thoughts still remains. This has made things much quieter.

There was a lot that has happened since, such as feeling the body as one object (in actuality, I sense this as a lack of auto classification of sense information. When a physical sensation is experienced, there is like a package deal of sensations such as location, whether it feels pleasant or not, pain, all seperate impressions that are bundled together for convenience. So a sensation in my hand is not much different to a sensation in my leg in terms of just 'being aware', and that pain and unpleasant sensations could not be the same thing.

I believed that knowledge around 3rd path should debunk the ownership of the senses altogether, though not all the time. Like the dream lifts at times, but not for long before old patterns of behaviour start causing problems again. 

Currently, things have been hard. I'm unsure whether it is due to just life stuff, or practice, it has become almost impossible to tell the difference. There is a huge lack of continuity in life as if it is a collection of stories that only have meaning because I want it to (though the meaning seems to have lost its real). Currently out of a regular practice due to the stress it currently has against the other things going on right now, though no longer have many irrational beliefs that I need to do 'anything', it's mainly just a need to look after myself and others, and the occasional desires that are often seen as just that, desire, and not any self.

I know that I am deluding myself with attainment, heck, I feel that belief of attainment itself is misguided and full of sticky self crap. As such, there isn't anything I can hold onto that I can comfortably say, "I am this"... In short, mapping is past its use by date and may not help anymore.

3rd was significant(if it was 3rd), in that it took the ground away, it no longer being a valid pointer for other arguments. There is an underlying serve that nothing could harm me "except death", however that doesn't mean to say that there aren't a gut load of sensations that suggest otherwise. It's these sensations that cause me confusion, though having not meditated properly in a couple of weeks, this is understandable.

Finally, my sense of free will has changed. There is an intuitive sense that I don't cause anything to change, but it feels immature, such as that I feel like I'm not in control of when something happens. Agency happens afterwards but it doesn't need to anymore, just when certain causes mean it is inevitable.

Stream surfer:
It is a crazy situation! I think the hardest part is not having a define sense of "right and wrong" which causes me to lack conviction. Truth is, I am weak/scared and I love her so I have been playing a "wait and see" approach. It is definitely making me unhappy and less skillful with my life, though I no longer feel that I need to be HAPPY for life to have its proper meaning, though there is certainly a longing for this to be over!

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/23/18 7:38 AM as a reply to Dom Stone.
I feel ya emoticon

Previously, I had believed I had a good enough conceptual understanding of paths but lately the last couple of weeks such criteria has lost much of its meaning. It is as if attempts to solidify any frame of reference is too uncomfortable to hold which confuses things.

--> Good - framing your experience is helpful for orientation, but disturbing during the practice

Currently, things have been hard. I'm unsure whether it is due to just life stuff, or practice, it has become almost impossible to tell the difference. There is a huge lack of continuity in life as if it is a collection of stories that only have meaning because I want it to (though the meaning seems to have lost its real). Currently out of a regular practice due to the stress it currently has against the other things going on right now, though no longer have many irrational beliefs that I need to do 'anything', it's mainly just a need to look after myself and others, and the occasional desires that are often seen as just that, desire, and not any self.

Resistance may be an indicator for making progress now emoticon One step at a time, untangling the mass of confusion further and further...


I know that I am deluding myself with attainment, heck, I feel that belief of attainment itself is misguided and full of sticky self crap. As such, there isn't anything I can hold onto that I can comfortably say, "I am this"... In short, mapping is past its use by date and may not help anymore.

The attainment loop in your head is a mindf*** like any else -  make it your zen koan

There is an underlying serve that nothing could harm me "except death", however that doesn't mean to say that there aren't a gut load of sensations that suggest otherwise. It's these sensations that cause me confusion

Embrace that serve/ground/voidness, use it as your refuge. Sensations passing like clouds...

RE: Lack of Mindfulness and higher paths
Answer
3/24/18 7:05 AM as a reply to streamsurfer.
This is encouraging thank you. I'm not sure that it debunks my doubts, but it does give me material to do the work myself.

I have noticed some sort of subtle change with regards to things, and can consequently see that much of this stuff I'm struggling with are things that have been previously ignored and buried, but which are no longer possible to do so. I'm still confused, but see that this is not a bad thing, and much refinement can be made out of acceptance of confusion.

Yea you totally get the girlfriend thing lol. What makes it harder than anything for me is the assumption (based upon patterns similar to which I am familiar) that it may take her quite a few years where she will be in a place where she can comfortably and happily look after herself.