Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago.

Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
It's funny that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area - a total mecca of spirituality... and before that I traveled through India, lived at a Vipassana center in the US, and more... and I still haven't found anyone who will talk very straight about having attained anything in meditation, and advise on how I could do the same. I've met some great teachers, but the 10 minute interview format makes for an awkward conversation, and most of them either don't want to talk about their attainments, or don't believe in talking about attainments in practice. The closest I've come is some good conversations with Goenka students about Banghanyana (diissolution or A&P) I've had some other good conversations with a few other friends who are completely unfamiliar and uninterested in the MCTB maps but are still willing to talk openly.

So, long story short. Is there anyone in the Santa Cruz area, or anywhere in the Bay Area who would want to get together and talk about this stuff. Preferably, someone who has already navigated the territory I'm in (equanimity to stream entry), or beyond.

Also, anyone who has gotten past stream entry want to talk on the phone or skype?

I can see how there would be some real value for me to actually see that there are real people who are doing these things, and not just a bunch of internet words on a discussion board.

I feel kinda embarrased to be posting this, like some kind of singles ad or something, but it's just so strange to me how this DhO seems so other-worldly from the people I meet in day to day life.


Send me a message.

Thanks emoticon
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 3180 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
I had a similar experience, and so founded the DhO to find those few, rare people who were into actually talking about insight. That it is so rare is freakish and beyond ironic, but that is clearly the case anyway.

I believe Chuck Kasmire is near you, and there must be a few others. I know that at Spirit Rock there must be a few, which is up in Marin. Hopefully others will chime in.

I am far away in Northern Alabama, where strangely enough two people who are above the A&P and into insight also live, so you never know where you may find people who are into this stuff. I have found that when I have been in places where there is tons of "spirituality" but no one who is into the sort of stuff I am into, I actually find that harder than being in a place where I have now expectations of anything like this.

If you want to skype some time, email or message me and I will send you my skype name.

Daniel
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tarin greco, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 658 Join Date: 5/14/09 Recent Posts
i also recommend that you try to find chuck kasmire, if only for the sake of meeting in person with someone who has a good deal of mastery of this stuff (and is willing to talk openly) and the confidence it (such meeting) may instill in your own ability to accomplish same without further stress or turmoil.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
tarin greco:
the confidence it (such meeting) may instill in your own ability to accomplish same without further stress or turmoil.


Thanks tarin, that's totally what I imagine. Back in my self-help days, I remember a story from Robert Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad) which I will paraphrase here:

He said he would go in front of an audience and ask them this question:
"Who are the five people with whom you spend most of your time?"

Then, he would give them time to think of the five people.

Then, he would say... "OK, now think about those five people. Imagine those five people.... Those five people are your future! You rise to the expectations of those around you, and whomever you spend the most time with is who you will become."

(or something like that...)

But, the ability to meet face to face with someone who's been there and knows the way has always been huge for me.

Antonio - I got your message and I'll send you an email soon.
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Mike Monson, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 37 Join Date: 8/22/09 Recent Posts
I live in Modesto but work all day in San Francisco if you want to meet me for lunch.
Face to face.
I recently got first path inspired by Daniel's work and using Kenneth Folk as my teacher.

email:
michaelmonson035@comcast.net
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Daniel M. Ingram:
I know that at Spirit Rock there must be a few, which is up in Marin.


Yes, I've met a number of people who go to Spirit Rock (including my step-mom)... so far my observation is that most of the people I've met who practice there are a bit psychologizing and attainment-shunning in attitude.

I also found a Dharma Punx gathering nearby me every Sunday at a good time for me - so I might check that out next week. I don't know anything about Dharma Punx as far as the teachings and whatnot, but I would think that they'd be the type of people who would be into a "unusually hardcore dharma book", etc.

Thanks, and I may take you up on a skype convo at some point.
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yana pets, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 667 Join Date: 3/24/10 Recent Posts
Daniel Johnson:

I also found a Dharma Punx gathering nearby me every Sunday at a good time for me - so I might check that out next week. I don't know anything about Dharma Punx as far as the teachings and whatnot, but I would think that they'd be the type of people who would be into a "unusually hardcore dharma book", etc.


The Against The Stream center that I go to on occasion in Los Angeles is pretty cool. It's run by Noah Levine, who wrote "Dharma Punx". Group sits there tend towards a combination of this: advice straight from Buddhist texts, frequent mention of Jack Kornfield and Shinzen Young, and they are stating they use insight practice as their basis. I'm not sure how open to attainment discussion they are, though. I haven't heard mention of stages or maps except for a sort of side note. This week a facilitator said his goal is to get the people who come to his group to "the point of no return" and made mention of a "first stage of awakening" (read: stream entry), but didn't dive into what that stage entails or how he plans to get anyone there. Perhaps next time I'll bring that up to him. Let me know what you think of the Northern CA center if you check it out.. curious to see how it's different or similar.

Steph
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Antonio Ramirez, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 55 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
I couldn't find a way to send you a private message (does it exist?). But, anyway, I live in SF, and I'd also be interested in talking to nearby people in person. I'm not a very active participant in the forum these days, but I tend to keep an eye on it.

I'll send you my email address by personal message as soon as I figure out how they work emoticon
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Eran G, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 182 Join Date: 1/5/10 Recent Posts
I can't offer the perspective of someone who's Done It (tm) but if you guys are setting up a unusually hardcore dharma meetup in the bay area, I'd love to be a part of that.
Thomas Allen Vitale, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
I'll just state here that I also live in San Francisco. I just moved here from Berkeley bout a month ago. Though I have yet to attain stream-entry and it has been somewhat complicated/delayed by my bipolar disorder (and life, jobs, preparing for grad school etc.). I did pass the A&P back in February, but I am more a pupil than a teacher. I have no problems talking about attainments, etc. Despite living in the bay area, I haven't been a long-term participant in any major dharma scene around here...yet (though there are plenty). Maybe we can form a club?
Thomas Allen Vitale, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
Also, I'm young (25) and the Berkeley insight/vipassana group tends to consist of almost completely people in their late 50s - 60s+ who have no interest in enlightenment, but are instead there for the community/emotional support and the social environment. I understand there are exceptions to this, but this seems to be the trend there. Due to my age (their kids and grandchildren's age), I usually have a hard time fitting in with their usual topics of conversation.

The two Zen centers in Berkeley tend to attract a more practitioner type crowd, but it's still Zen, not vipassana...Also, the shambala center is more dedicated as well, offering different "levels" to progress through.

I haven't checked out the SF insight community yet, but I will soon.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago.

Bay Area Hardcore Dharma Group

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Alright, cool. I'm calling this the official beginning of the Bay Area Hardcore Dharma Group. I'll email you all to get in touch, or if anyone else wants to be a part, let me know. I'm not sure if there's much chance of any meet up ever since we all seem to live in different places (ranging all the way from Santa Cruz to Sacramento). At any rate, I think it'd be fun to talk no matter where we all are on different parts of the insight path.

- Daniel J.
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Antonio Ramirez, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 55 Join Date: 9/9/09 Recent Posts
I'd be happy to be contacted by bay area people who may want to meet up, preferably in or near SF. I can be reached at postreptilian@gmail.com.
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boeuf f, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 60 Join Date: 2/4/10 Recent Posts
Put me on the list--I'm in SF. It would be good to meet. I'm not sure how far along I am....certainly not stream entry. But dharma friends are very important.

I would strongly suggest stopping in to IMC Redwood City to see Gil Fronsdal. He leads a half-day meditation retreat on Weds and you can have short interviews with him. He is not into "hardcore" or "goal oriented" practice--but it's clear he's attained the deathless (both from what he says and just...how he is) If you listen closely to his talks (also available on-line), the instructions are plainly there.

He will likely discourage "goal oriented" talk (ie: naming your stages--so just describe them, very specifically). He has real technical skill and information and he definitely knows the maps very, very well. But consistent with another response on this forum ("Mistakes, etc"....http://www.dharmaoverground.org/web/guest/discussion/-/message_boards/message/317925) he will discourage you from thinking Enlightenment is something "over there" or something to "get out of the way" or that it will solve all your problems. He will encourage you to take a broad approach to spiritual development. Finally, he's a scholar, (PhD from Stanford in religious studies) so he combines knowledge with experience in an unusually discerning way.
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Daniel Johnson, modified 10 Years ago.

RE: Looking to meet/talk with others more (Northern CA)

Posts: 401 Join Date: 12/16/09 Recent Posts
Hey there,

It's funny you mention IMC, because my step-mom actually gives dharma talks there occaisonally and Gil has been here teacher now for over a decade. I wasn't going to mention it because of protecting the privacy of my step-mom but part of my inquiry was actually because I wasn't able to talk frankly with her about the practice in a down to earth "let's get enlightened because it's a sensible thing to do" kind of way.

I think all of your comments about Gil are valid, but I've actually found quite a few very qualified teachers who offer very straight and very helpful advice. What I was specificaly looking for was someone who was willing to entertain "goal oriented talk" and the naming of stages (without having to "listen closely" to his talks).

Anyway, I haven't responded as much to this thread because for the last month or so I've switched my practice to actualism. And, although I feel a little like I've joined a cult... I don't have any desire to go back to the insight stuff right now. Navigating the emotional/imaginary world is just so unpleasant (even in it's best moments) compared to simply being happy and harmless.

I didn't suspect that I'd get so into the actualist thing, but perhaps now I'll have to post another thread about a Bay Area actualist group. lol!

Anyway, I'd still love to meet you all, and if anyone is in Berkeley on Saturdays - I work at the downtown farmer's market at the Happy Boy Farms stand and you can come find me and the delicious organic fruits and veggies that we sell! (Also in Montclaire on Sundays).

I still think it'd be fun to do a meet up at some point. Maybe we can even enjoy a heated debate about the dharma, or call each other out on false claims of attainment. emoticon

I'm going to try to send some emails and maybe we can figure something out.

Take care,

Daniel

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