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Interview with Vinay Gupta

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Interview with Vinay Gupta Scott 5/23/18 7:52 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/23/18 8:46 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta rik 5/23/18 9:37 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/24/18 5:31 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Andrew S 5/24/18 6:19 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/24/18 8:34 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/24/18 9:02 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/24/18 10:53 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/24/18 11:49 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta rik 5/24/18 5:09 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/24/18 7:06 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/24/18 9:42 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/24/18 11:57 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/29/18 4:13 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Lars 5/25/18 3:07 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/29/18 4:18 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Noah D 5/24/18 2:32 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/24/18 3:53 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Nick O 5/25/18 10:14 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/26/18 1:00 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/28/18 5:56 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/28/18 6:39 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/28/18 7:38 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/29/18 7:47 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/29/18 11:53 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/29/18 2:18 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/29/18 2:54 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/29/18 3:00 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/29/18 3:36 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/29/18 4:10 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/30/18 1:35 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 7:12 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/30/18 7:29 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 7:48 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/31/18 6:48 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/31/18 8:11 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/31/18 8:44 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 6/1/18 6:33 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 6/1/18 7:09 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 6/1/18 7:26 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/29/18 4:35 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 7:25 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 7:42 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 8:03 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta jonjohn 5/30/18 8:12 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/31/18 7:11 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/31/18 7:13 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stickman2 5/31/18 8:43 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 8:27 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 10:33 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 11:05 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 11:04 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 11:35 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 11:59 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 12:33 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 2:28 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 12:34 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 1:53 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta seth tapper 5/30/18 3:27 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 3:46 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/30/18 12:56 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 2:03 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Chris Marti 5/30/18 2:20 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Stirling Campbell 5/30/18 3:01 PM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Nicolas G. 5/31/18 8:56 AM
RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta Nicolas G. 5/30/18 2:31 PM
Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/23/18 7:52 PM
[url=] I did another interview that ties in with meditation and enlightenment that might interest the DhO community.

This one is with Vinay Gupta, designer of the hexayurt, disaster planner, blockchain/cryptocurrency guy with Ethereum, and enlightened person trained "to the guru level" in the Hindu Nath tradition.

He took strong exception to some descriptions of enlightened people on the SlateStarCodex blog, and went at them hammer and tongs, or "fangs bared" as he put it. He definitely throws some thunderbolts in the interview. Lots of fun.  

http://bottlerocketscience.blogspot.com/2018/05/ep-043-vinay-gupta-on-technologies-of.html


SlateStarCodex blog: http://slatestarcodex.com/2018/04/19/gupta-on-enlightenment/

A talk he gave that explains his perspective on enlightenment: http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/other/my-thoughtmenu-on-enlightenment-3644


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/23/18 8:46 PM as a reply to Scott.
Cool I think he talks some interesting stuff.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/23/18 9:37 PM as a reply to Scott.
Very cool stuff, he's the one that first put me on to a structured pragmatic meditation path.

I'd be curious to hear what others here think of his views on spirituality.  Recently on twitter he's expressed feelings that western usage of these techniques is screwing people up and that there aren't enough teachers to keep up with the amount of people damaging themselves.  One tweet specifically:

Let me say this very clearly: the last stages of the approach towards enlightenment are lethally dangerous. People go mad, people die, people break in ways which ruin the remainder of their lives and stay just subclinical. Even with skilled instructors, this stuff is COMMONPLACE.

What do you all think?  Compared to the viewpoint I've seen from this crowd it would seem that he's overreacting, but he's another voice that has a large amount of credibility behind him given his life's work.  Here's a link to the beginning of his twitter thread on this topic:

Link

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 5:31 AM as a reply to rik.
Great interview thanks.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 6:19 AM as a reply to rik.
rik:
Very cool stuff, he's the one that first put me on to a structured pragmatic meditation path.

I'd be curious to hear what others here think of his views on spirituality.  Recently on twitter he's expressed feelings that western usage of these techniques is screwing people up and that there aren't enough teachers to keep up with the amount of people damaging themselves.  One tweet specifically:

Let me say this very clearly: the last stages of the approach towards enlightenment are lethally dangerous. People go mad, people die, people break in ways which ruin the remainder of their lives and stay just subclinical. Even with skilled instructors, this stuff is COMMONPLACE.

What do you all think?  Compared to the viewpoint I've seen from this crowd it would seem that he's overreacting, but he's another voice that has a large amount of credibility behind him given his life's work.  Here's a link to the beginning of his twitter thread on this topic:

Link


Not sure if what he's saying is an overreaction since in "this crowd" it seems common knowledge that DN phases can screw up your life, lead people to make awful permanent decisions (divorces/job loss/not pursuing self actualisation/suicide). So if early DN stuff is bad I don't see why warning about the late stages is an overreaction since there are clearly always fewer people who can give us data about it. He obviously has a different data set than other people too, coming from a different tradition and different part of the world, so to me his comments are just more validating of what we already know, and a breath of fresh air to the love and light bypassing rhetoric that i detest and find extremely dangerous and uncompassionate.

Having said that I haven't listened to more than an hour of his material and have no informed opinion of his views and would be curious to hear more from others.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 8:34 AM as a reply to Andrew S.
I think that in a structured western setting in which one practices grounded in householder duties, getting to freer mind states is harder, but it also keeps your feet on the ground.  In say India, where anything might go and Yogis attack their minds with a lot more total dedication and fearlessness, I imagine lots and lots of folks go nuts.  It is kind of the difference between smoking pot and dropping acid. 

In the west, we also have many folks who have pre existing mental instability who see meditation as an alternative to medication and even hospitalization.  I think it can work like that, but exposing an unstable mind to destabilizing influences will often lead to more instability and not less. 

The answer is therapy dogs at every meditation center! 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 9:02 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Could it be that Gupta's own awakening experiences are guiding his opinion?

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 10:53 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
In my personal view, the trouble all comes from the mystification of it all.  Arhats and reincarnation and magik and Jhanas and stuff.  People get disconnected from their rational minds and are set to sea in a whole new metaphysical universe.  Grounding it all in just meat on planet earth has really worked for me to harness my everyday rational mind to undertsand what is happening and accept the simple truth that isnt that hard to accept when you can see it clearly.  I am just meat, all the rest is conditioned delusions.  Being just meat, I am not in anway seperate from everything and the contents of my mind are nonsense.  Accepting that, the mind can drop the fabrication of the world and just let it be as it is - perfect.   

Do you think such a grounded Dhama would avoid some of these issues and do you think it would work for others? 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 11:49 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
JMHO --

I think the trouble lies in the process of deeply investigating the nature of mind. It may have indeed something to do with the metaphors we use to do that but the bulk of the problems people encounter are due to the former, not the latter.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 2:32 PM as a reply to Scott.
Listened, thank you!

I am a fan of Vinay.  I'll first share that I really liked the conversation. 

I do think the conversation was affected by a lack of precision of language & maps, as almost all enlightenment podcasts are.  It would take far too long to drill down to common language & concepts to truly get at that.  In general, I think direct-perceptual-wisdom is not the same thing as integration/embodiment of that wisdom.  Furthermore that the sainthood models are a small subset of integration/embodiment options that are only possible if someone is already awakened & spends decades optimizing for saint-like characteristics.  However, it is not complete BS - it is a real option.  The West did not make it up.  

I completely disagree with Vinay's idea that the Buddhist perceptual shifts are different from Hindu (Hindu see all people as God, Buddhist's see all people as empty - There's a fundamental difference, really??).  It seems that the overall color of the conversation was influenced by forum participants on the Slate Star Codex, which makes sense, as that website is not principally concerned with spiritual transformation.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 3:53 PM as a reply to Noah D.
In my opinion, Hindu practitioners and Buddhist practictioners and Pychonauts and Mystics of all shapes and sizes through out history come to the same conclusion.  The whole grand Opera of meaning that surrounds all this stuff is different but they all discover- whoa, its all just This.  When they are lost in some delusional state of mind- as we all are almost all of the time - they may describe the approach to that insight differently, but its the only conclusion any mind can come to.  I would love to dig into this if some one disagrees! 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 5:09 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
In my personal view, the trouble all comes from the mystification of it all.  Arhats and reincarnation and magik and Jhanas and stuff.  People get disconnected from their rational minds and are set to sea in a whole new metaphysical universe.  Grounding it all in just meat on planet earth has really worked for me to harness my everyday rational mind to undertsand what is happening and accept the simple truth that isnt that hard to accept when you can see it clearly.  I am just meat, all the rest is conditioned delusions.  Being just meat, I am not in anway seperate from everything and the contents of my mind are nonsense.  Accepting that, the mind can drop the fabrication of the world and just let it be as it is - perfect.   

Do you think such a grounded Dhama would avoid some of these issues and do you think it would work for others? 

I think that this is helpful for in certain cases and not in others.  Some people get stuck with nihilistic tendencies or depression from too much focus on our "meat machine" nature.  Also it seems that spiritual practices can have negative effects on a person's perception in ways that won't be improved through intellectual grounding by getting away from the mystical aspects.  I'm thinking of those who develop depersonalization and derealization or even psychosis.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 7:06 PM as a reply to rik.
I think the nihilism thing is a big issue.  Any ideas? 

In my personal experience, all the depersonalization and other funky mind states stopped arising much after I gave up solipsism and a sense of the supernatural and just accepted that I was meat.  Not even a machine, just quivering meaty nonsense.  Boy - when free of my delusional baggage, the mind sees only being/love and nihilism is the farthest from it - more like allism  or usism.   When grounded in consenual reality, when funky mind states do arise, the mind can use simple reason and any grounding in consenual reality to return to equanimity.  Before I grounded it, when lost in some delusion the mind would become confused and not know how to get back to the clear states it had once enjoyed.  This is what leads to real trouble, I think, the effort to get back to what seemed like better states.  It filled me with all kinds of longing and pain even though I knew better.  

It is also something i can explain to a cab driver in 5 minutes and they completely understand it.   Any one reading this - please throw some darts at the concept because it will help me refine my thinking - thanks! 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 9:42 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
I think the nihilism thing is a big issue.  Any ideas? 


Is it though, my friend? I find it hard to see how anyone who saw what "I" saw could come to the nihilism conclusion. My feeling is that for it to happen there still has to be clinging to some shade, or semblance of "self", some leftover conviction or belief in your intrinsic nature or separateness as a "doer". If you have been utterly convinced that all of that is a fiction that never existed, who is there to be nihilistic.

The SE criteria in the four path model are being free of:

1. Identity view
2. Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Doubt about the teachings

Seeing nonduality must surely be the end of the idea that there is someone who has things to do, or the idea that there is someone who would do them, or even that there are ultimately others to do them with or to?
This is what leads to real trouble, I think, the effort to get back to what seemed like better states.  It filled me with all kinds of longing and pain even though I knew better.
I have found that the awakened quality of now can always be present. One of the obscurations is that experiencing emptiness is a state special in comparison to the thinking mind. One can be awakened and see both "self" talk and act, or deep meditation. In both cases, all actions, words, or spaciousness is empty, which is a relief. : )  Didn't you say something like this to me a few months back?!? Haha!

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/24/18 11:57 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Hey Stirling, 

Maybe we crossed meaning here?  

A Summary as I understand it: The thread was discussing Vinay's contention that lots of people have bad mental outcomes from exploring later stages of enlightenment.  I suggested that a really grounded dhama that focuses on accepting that you are just meaningless meat - like literally lion food - can lead to full awakening and might avoid the kind of metaphysical confusion that can cause people on the path to lose it.  The counter was that this suggests nihilism and will be too terrifying for folks as a metaphor for emptiness.  I think this is a valid concern.   I also think that not having a metaphysical model that makes sense to the rational mind makes it harder for the mind to understand as it goes from pleasant states to unpleasant states that nothing is actually happening.  One can always remind themselves that they are meat.  So I proposed a dhama based on this idea as an accessable and safe path.  It is what I have been using and it makes movement from deep meditative states to regular life very smooth as being meat makes perfect sense in both contexts.  

My question was what do you think of such a method?  

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/25/18 3:07 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling Campbell:
Is it though, my friend? I find it hard to see how anyone who saw what "I" saw could come to the nihilism conclusion. My feeling is that for it to happen there still has to be clinging to some shade, or semblance of "self", some leftover conviction or belief in your intrinsic nature or separateness as a "doer". If you have been utterly convinced that all of that is a fiction that never existed, who is there to be nihilistic.

The SE criteria in the four path model are being free of:

1. Identity view
2. Attachment to rites and rituals
3. Doubt about the teachings


Not claiming any particular path, but personally it wasn't a light switch type insight which turned identity view from ON to OFF. After seeing quite clearly that intentions "just happen" like everything else, there was a following period which could easily be described as depersonalization/derealization disorder. It was as if the mind saw through self, but still had the tendency to construct identity views, so it constructed one around "no self". Once I realized i'd jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire, I then became attached to "bare awareness" as if it was something special I should build an identity around, or a sense of stability. Eventually that was seen through as well, and now there's an interesting sort of stability in no longer seeking stability (or identity views) lol.

My point is, sometimes it takes a while to integrate insights, and even when something is seen clearly the mind still falls back into its old habits if given half a chance. Also entirely possible i'm pre-SE and talking out of my ass, I have no idea anymore and that's fine. emoticon

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/25/18 10:14 PM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:

A talk he gave that explains his perspective on enlightenment: http://vinay.howtolivewiki.com/blog/other/my-thoughtmenu-on-enlightenment-3644


I find it a bit odd that he claims to have turned off his internal dialog, but then goes on to say, "For the first couple weeks I thought I'd gone completely mad. Oh my god I've totally broken myself. I'm fucked," basically stating that he had an internal dialog reflecting on his lack of internal dialog. Hmm... Thoughts?


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/26/18 1:00 AM as a reply to Nick O.
Sharp.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/28/18 5:56 PM as a reply to Scott.
OK so Gupta says that the point at which he became enlightened was when his internal dialogue shut down. Does this correspond to the buddhist view ?
There are a few different sources that say that awakening is pretty much an internal quieting, and this gives a sense of emptiness and peace and a type of bliss even.
This seems to me a dead simple description, so simple it seems to be missing from much spiritual discourse.
When I look up enlightenment, it never seems such a simple definition, there are usually a bunch of other qualities such as oneness or non duality.
So my questions are
- is a permanent quieting of the internal dialogue also necessarily acompanied by a sense of oneness ?
- there are other times when the internal dialogue is quiet, ie in absorption states, jhanas, sedation, other life events - so what's the difference between Gupta's quieted mind and all those other moments of peace (I know this may be a question for him not for people here)
- can you have a silent internal space and also a sense of separate self concurrently ?
- where does Gupta's moment of truth figure on the map popular among DO folk ?

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/28/18 6:39 PM as a reply to Stickman2.
Having a quiet mind is side effect of not having a lot of stories about yourself and the world that the mind feels like it has to rehash and recalculate over and over.   As the mind lets go of its belief in itself as a supernatural character in a variety of critically important narratives, the number, volume and seeming importance of the background voices of the mind diminish.  It is the dropping of the delusional belief in a seperate self with agency and responsibility and which has emotions with meaning - that is enlightenment.   


In a nice cafe
I eat my meatballs with lots of sauce
Cannibalism

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/28/18 7:38 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Yeah, I suppose this relates to the long thread I was reading here with a guy call Jeff Brooks, who maintained that 3 hours of jhana a day was equivalent to enlightenment as it kept people happy and peaceful. As contrasted with a post awakening mental quietitude that requires no practice. PNSE as it's called elsewhere.

Given that either being happy or being enlightened both involve a quiet mind, then it's no wonder it's confusing.
I suppose it's also the contrast between a therapy approach and a contemplative approach, with therapy or emotional healing of whatever type taking the fuel out of the inner dialogue, rather than transforming the sense of self itself.
Many post awakening people say there is in fact an internal dialogue, in a reduced way, and emotion can remain as a fuel for it - maybe for a period of time. So it's not really clear cut. I guess Vinay Gupta experienced that - a reduction not an absolute stop - hence the self questioning about whether he'd broken himself which happens to other people I think too.

My own awakening is dragging out like a mofo... I have too many questions and doubts about it. I'm going round in circles a bit on this now. Hmm.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 7:47 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
It is kind of more radical- way more radical - than just a quiet mind.   Me, you, This, Trump and Hitler are all just mental foam of an ocean of perfect being and every little thing is gonna be all right.  It isnt even supernatural, it is just looking at what has always been with out the lense of a seperate self.   The mind gets quiet cause there is really nothing to think about. 

 What is getting you mixed up these days? 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 11:53 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Me, you, This, Trump and Hitler are all just mental foam of an ocean of perfect being and every little thing is gonna be all right.

It was likely not meant this way but this comment appears on the surface to be a false promise. Awakening is not going to save anyone from outcomes that occur because they live in this world: natural disasters, political failures, economic failures, and so on. While an awakened person may be better able to handle the ramifications of being caught up in these events, they'll still be caught up in these events. Thich Nhat Hahn comes to mind. Though awakened, he had to endure the war in Vietnam.

emoticon


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 2:18 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
While physically, of course an awakened mind would get smashed against a rock like any other, the states of mind that are arising for me these days are often beyond getting caught up in nonsense.  I can see that a fully awake mind would be equaniminous and perfectly happy even in the midst of war, famine or tragedy.  It is more like stopping playing the game altogether.  Still not stable for me, but trending steadily and rapidly in that direction.  Whether rapidly means tomorrow or 40 years, I am not sure.  In that state, the way the mind fabricates a self and its concern about the world is apparent and mundane.  I know it the way I know how a car works.  It feels stable and permanent, like I could never be so deluded to fall back into thinking I am a character in one of my self created stories, and then eventually I am back inside a character.  The mind is getting better and better at seeing the triggers and sensation that cause the mind to fabricate a self and is doing it less and less.   What do you experience? 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 2:54 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
I can see that a fully awake mind would be equaniminous and perfectly happy even in the midst of war, famine or tragedy. 

Shark jumped.

emoticon

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 3:00 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Well, I guess you could go that way.  I reject what i dont understand.  That seems like out of step with this board, however.  I am just being honest and explaining what is happening in my mind, I can dig in as deep and in as much detail as you want to go.  Remember, I have been doing this full time - 12+ hours day - for more than 4 years.  I am not kidding around.   Why not share what you experience and how negative emotions arise in your mind and why you think that it is impossible to be rational in the face of them?  

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 3:36 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
An awakened person, when confronted with severe tragedy, death in the family, famine, war, and so on, is going to have feelings about those events, especially when personally caught up in them. Those feelings might be well modulated and non-reactive, but feelings they would be.

Didn't this recently come up in another topic? Didn't a bunch of folks weigh in on the same issue? Yes, it did, and they did:

https://www.dharmaoverground.org/discussion/-/message_boards/message/8209658 

I expressed my experience there as did a number of others, including Daniel Ingram, who said:

Heck, I cry when I watch the TV show Glee.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 4:10 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Yes, we all agree that the human nervous  system continues to produce responses to stimuli.  The question is whether the mind believes that these sensation streams are 1.  Theirs. 2.  Have meaning.  3. Is averse to them.   Each of these beliefs is a delusion and if the mind experiences a reaction to stimuli and fails to produce any one of these three delusions then it does not experience disatisfaction, no matter what the stimuli and the reation might be.

It is not supernatural or fancy, it is just being rational in the face of sensations from the nervous system.  With enough practice, you can learn to play the violin or sit through nonsense from your conditioning with out reacting delusionally.  

In my own mind, I have mapped the sensations of the mind to my body so when I sit and let the meat quiver, it quivers with out meaning and there is no concern or distaisfaction in the mind.  It is all literally love.  Sometimes the meat quivers in a way that the mind has been conditioned to think means "suffering" and if the mind loses attention it can get wrapped up in the story and the suffering.  As I have shifted my working model of reality away from seperate actors in meat suits to just meat, the mind enters a story less and less and exits faster and faster.  If today I was faced with tragedy, I would likely get lost in suffering for some time and then eventually the mind would work its way back to a just meat perspective.  If I were fully awake and tragedy struck, the meat would quiver as it always does and I would never lose awareness that it isnt really mine, that it has any real meaning or that there is any actual reason to be averse to it. 

What would happen in your mind ? 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
Answer
5/29/18 4:13 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:

The thread was discussing Vinay's contention that lots of people have bad mental outcomes from exploring later stages of enlightenment.  I suggested that a really grounded dhama that focuses on accepting that you are just meaningless meat - like literally lion food - can lead to full awakening and might avoid the kind of metaphysical confusion that can cause people on the path to lose it.  The counter was that this suggests nihilism and will be too terrifying for folks as a metaphor for emptiness.  I think this is a valid concern.   I also think that not having a metaphysical model that makes sense to the rational mind makes it harder for the mind to understand as it goes from pleasant states to unpleasant states that nothing is actually happening.  One can always remind themselves that they are meat.  So I proposed a dhama based on this idea as an accessable and safe path.  It is what I have been using and it makes movement from deep meditative states to regular life very smooth as being meat makes perfect sense in both contexts.  

My question was what do you think of such a method?  
Hello Seth. Sorry this took so long. I have been away from the internet tubes.

Looking at this freshly:
...contention that lots of people have bad mental outcomes from exploring later stages of enlightenment.

I can't speak on this topic with any deep experience, but I suspect that most difficulty with enlightenment and nihilism stems from some remaining clinging to the idea of self, since completely seeing non-duality should alleviate any ideas about nihilism. I want to say I heard Shinzen Young speaking on this topic fairly eloquently at some point. Maybe I'll find it and post it later.
I suggested that a really grounded dhama that focuses on accepting that you are just meaningless meat - like literally lion food - can lead to full awakening and might avoid the kind of metaphysical confusion that can cause people on the path to lose it.


At what level of student would you pitch this teaching, or is it also intended to alleviate nihilsim in the post non-dual student? Is the idea of meat intended to be along the lines of, "you are transient", i.e. someone elses dinner?

The counter was that this suggests nihilism and will be too terrifying for folks as a metaphor for emptiness.

It's tricky, since pre-SE, all ideas of "empty of intrinsic reality" tend to lead the mind into terrible scenarios, since it implies the end of "self", though it is rarely implicitly stated in a way that most seem to totally get. I was always told not to worry much about what it actually means, but to be intellectually familiar with the concept, which I was in the limited way most are.

I think the meat metaphor is fine, though could be scary itself, from the impermanence angle. emoticon

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/29/18 4:18 PM as a reply to Lars.
Lars:

My point is, sometimes it takes a while to integrate insights, and even when something is seen clearly the mind still falls back into its old habits if given half a chance. Also entirely possible i'm pre-SE and talking out of my ass, I have no idea anymore and that's fine. emoticon

A fine point it is. I see where you are coming from. The implications of the initial seeing just keep deepening and opening up, whether you are ready or not. My discovery was that the initial understanding was what alleviated any fear or alien feelings. Remembering what it was to see that the separateness was an illusion, and how strangely familiar and calming that was ending up always being the antidote.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/29/18 4:35 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
I can see that a fully awake mind would be equaniminous and perfectly happy even in the midst of war, famine or tragedy. 

Shark jumped.

emoticon

How far can equanimity go? At least THIS far:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Th%C3%ADch_Quảng_Đức

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 1:35 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
This is where the idea that buddhism is about freedom from suffering becomes very confusing because those things you mentioned are definitely sufferings, however they are experienced post awakening. I know it may be all in the translation of the word suffering/dukka etc. The story of the buddha that I have (maybe incorrectly) fixed in my head is of someone who saw all that tragedy you mentioned and found a way to not be affected by it any more, and it's a hard story to shift from in there.

Buddhist renunciates don't don't make it clearer because they just reinforce the idea of totally ditching emotions rather than transforming the experience of them.

Aren't there further developments of awakening in which emotions disappear ? ie Gary Weber who I saw on a youtube vid saying he'd dropped attachment to his family including children. There are people who say they have no attachments, implying nothing to cry about in the tragedies of the world.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 7:12 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Aren't there further developments of awakening in which emotions disappear ? ie Gary Weber who I saw on a youtube vid saying he'd dropped attachment to his family including children. There are people who say they have no attachments, implying nothing to cry about in the tragedies of the world.

I've spent time with Gary Weber in person on several occasions. Sat next to him, ate with him and talked one-on-one at length. He expressed joy, laughed, even expressed some amount of sadness about a few topics. If Gary Weber is not experiencing any kind of feelings he's a damn good actor.

This is only a confusing area if you buy into the hype that awakening somehow creates other-than-human beings. Lots and lots of evidence supports the fact that it does not. I have yet to meet anyone who meets that description.

The story of the buddha that I have (maybe incorrectly) fixed in my head is of someone who saw all that tragedy you mentioned and found a way to not be affected by it any more, and it's a hard story to shift from in there.

I admit it - this story being told about awakening is tempting, mainly because it promised something that would appear to be the answer to many of our human dilemmas. Do you really think the Buddha was not affected by any of the tragedies he witnessed, the pain of dying from a horrible gastric disease, seeing other human beings suffer and dedicating the rest of his life to his teachings? And even assuming that's what the suttas say with absolutely no contradiction, do you really think we should take a 3,000-year-old oral tradition at face value over what we can observe in the here and now?


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 7:25 AM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
How far can equanimity go? At least THIS far:

Is that Vietnamese monk setting himself on fire an example of equanimity, or is it an example of self-immolation as a protest in the face of political and military oppression? I think the latter. I think that act was more likely based on very deeply held emotions and beliefs surrounding the situation in South Vietnam at that time.


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 7:29 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris thanks for the reply, as someone with first hand and personal insight into these obscure things this is great!
But see thing is, when Gary says he has overcome attachment to his family, which I'm sure he said on video, what does that mean if it doesn't mean he won't suffer when they're parted ? Does it just mean there is no central ego attachment, but that emotional pain will arise in some non-local awakened way ?

Also, what about those further deepenings of awakening that we're told of, let's say by Jeffrey Martin, in which no emotion seems to be there ? OK you're a Jeffrey Martin skeptic to some degree, but there are others who have said emotion is something they don't have any more - are they simply deluded or dishonest ?

The story of the buddha certainly is super tempting. Scriptures are such slippery, unreliable, things, and I suppose the modern world offers such a plethora of awakened people that I find it daunting to get into the scriptures of just one of them that died thousands of years ago, and might not be the most accomplished in history. So what can we observe in the here and now ?
If someone says they went further than the buddha, would buddhists believe it ?

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5/30/18 7:42 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, man, you keep ducking and weaving rather than addressing the issue head on with analyses.  Why hang onto this need for suffering to be a real thing that humans cannot simply see through?  

I am telling you that I have first hand experience of the states of mind and the degree of both mindfulness and realization that needs to happen to sit through negative emotions with out being averse to them at all - which is pretty low hanging fruit - and here is a  guy who sat in full composure while his skin burned off his body.   It is apparently your contention that we are both faking it as are all the other folks who have gone down the path and reported the same thing.  Is it possible you are just wrong and have some more work to do? 

It would be fruitful for the community for you to engage the topic with details about how a 4th path mind can both know there is no seperate self and suffer.  The two seem mutually exclusive to me both logically and from experience.  In my own mind, suffering is only done by selves and if my mind isnt making a self, suffering is just sensation.  What happens in yours? 

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5/30/18 7:48 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
But see thing is, when Gary says he has overcome attachment to his family, which I'm sure he said on video, what does that mean if it doesn't mean he won't suffer when they're parted ? Does it just mean there is no central ego attachment, but that emotional pain will arise in some non-local awakened way ?

I have no idea what Gary means but I suspect it is that he has no central ego-like attachment to anything. Gary makes claims that have been discussed in places like this for years. He claims not to have any idle, random, non-purposeful thoughts - none. All I can report on are my first-hand interactions with Gary. 

Also, what about those further deepenings of awakening that we're told of, let's say by Jeffrey Martin, in which no emotion seems to be there ? OK you're a Jeffrey Martin skeptic to some degree, but there are others who have said emotion is something they don't have any more - are they simply deluded or dishonest ?

I am very skeptical of Jeffery Martin. I have met, and have been interviewed by, Jeffery. What I will say about "no emotions" claims is that those folks have a different definition of emotion than I do, that they are in a temporary affectless state (this does happen to people) or that they are seeking something that making this claim provides. You may further hypothesize about what that thing might be.

If someone says they went further than the buddha, would buddhists believe it ?

Oh, no doubt some would, and thus ignore the Buddha's own teaching (more suttas, right?) that one should not believe anything without having experienced it for themselves, and would thus believe. As I said before, this is a tempting claim that provides the over-promise of relief from what is the human condition. That would, in my estimation, be relief from being human, too, but people will believe all manner of things.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 8:03 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Chris, man, you keep ducking and weaving rather than addressing the issue head on with analyses.  Why hang onto this need for suffering to be a real thing that humans cannot simply see through?  


Are we talking about suffering now, seth, or not having emotions at all? If we're talking about the end of suffering that includes having all the attributes we human beings have, including emotions, then I'm down with that. If we're talking about not having emotions at all as a way not to suffer then it's a fool's game, IMHO.

I'm using my experience and that of others I know first hand as my guide. You are free to believe what you want.

I will say, seth, that I suspect this is about language, not anything else.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 8:12 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper  :

I am telling you that I have first hand experience of the states of mind and the degree of both mindfulness and realization that needs to happen to sit through negative emotions with out being averse to them at all - which is pretty low hanging fruit - and here is a  guy who sat in full composure while his skin burned off his body.  

I think that cases like the self immolated monk are not real, in the sense that, as i speculate, they were mostly senseless at the time due to deep concentration state (with asphyxiation from smoke kicking in before pain is felt to the deegree that it is supposed). Therefore i think that self immolation is impossible to be endured so peacefully and withought movement in a awaken (walking) state. 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 8:27 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
It would be fruitful for the community for you to engage the topic with details about how a 4th path mind can both know there is no seperate self and suffer.  The two seem mutually exclusive to me both logically and from experience.  In my own mind, suffering is only done by selves and if my mind isnt making a self, suffering is just sensation.  What happens in yours? 
 It is apparently your contention that we are both faking it as are all the other folks who have gone down the path and reported the same thing.  Is it possible you are just wrong and have some more work to do?


You can decide for yourself, seth:  [url=]http://awakenetwork.org/magazine/cmarti/70#more-70[url=]

Can you point me to the part where I said you were faking it? Isn't it more likely we're talking in circles because we're using words differently? I think so.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 10:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hey Chris, 

A few thoughts: 

1.  It is interesting how much of a trigger this conversation has been for my mind.  I have been having thought trains about it arise all morning, which is something that hasnt happened in a long time.  Thank you for kicking open some subconscious doors  and apparent Yogi character identification for me! (not the bear, I wish!) 

2. The conversation started when you suggested I was over promising what awakening does to the mind.  I think this is an "important" point in the context of a message board full of nuts trying to become fully awake.  I have three apparent motives for wanting to dig in on it.      

a.   The first is compassion - my mind really is getting past the nonsense and the other side is perfect and amazing.  In my view, I am under promising - the human mind can exist in Nirvana all of the time because reality is nirvana.  Telling people otherwise seems objectionable to me because I instinctively do not want people to suffer - even though I know it is nonsense. 

b.   The second is an itch to express my inner voice on the subject.  I do not have a teacher, tradition or sangha so I have a huge store house of thoughts and concepts and insights that exist only in my mind and no one is interested in them or can really comprehend them except  some folks here.  Kind of sad, but there you go.  Expressing them and ripping into my thinking is a way for me to bring these understandings into the reach of my everyday walking around mind and so I was hoping for a more vigorous and rational debate!  I challenge all comers - 

c.   I am here in this community of Vipassana experts, but I do not really understand what is happening in your minds.  I keep hearing about cessation events and paths, but it has no meaning to me.  Love is manifest and you guys never talk about it, so I am trying to wrap my mind around what it is that is happening to you and how it relates to what is happening to me. 

I do not think we are disagreeing only on words.  Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant.  In my experience, This is God.  I am that I am and the rest I made up. 

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5/30/18 11:05 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I do not think we are disagreeing only on words.  Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant.  In my experience, This is God.  I am that I am and the rest I made up. 

I'll leave it to you to define your terms, seth. From my perspective, reading what you posted here, you seem to use some terms interchangeably and that is what's leading to confusion and what appears to be disagreement, and I truly suspect that the disagreement is mostly about those terms' meaning and not the fruits of meditation practice.

If you really want to learn about the process a vipassana practitioner goes through over the course of time and where that path might lead please read the meditation diary of mine that I linked you to, or read the diary of others who've posted theirs. I'd expect you to read mine given your comments earlier, frankly, but that's your call.

I would define being awake as the ability to experience the human condition, all of it with no exclusions, without the attachments (suffering and attachment) that a permanently existing self helps create. It is the condition of not being conditioned. Of being able to see one's experience as just experience, not as "my" experience. It is the ability to see ones experience without "self" and "other." It is the ability to see and truly know and understand the process of perception and how that process leads to ignorance an habitual reactions - in other words, suffering and attachment. This ability allows an awakened person to eliminate the suffering caused by ignorance. It does not allow an awakened person to eliminate or overcome their humanity.

There's more but it's not germane to this discussion.





RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 11:04 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant.  In my experience, This is God.  I am that I am and the rest I made up. 

To my point about terms - I truly have no idea what this comment means. I especially wonder what you actually mean by saying:

"Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant."

If I ask you to elaborate please don't respond by telling me you're just a piece of meat because that's no more explicable, either.


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RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 2:31 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
seth tapper:
Hey Chris, 

A few thoughts: 

1.  It is interesting how much of a trigger this conversation has been for my mind.  I have been having thought trains about it arise all morning, which is something that hasnt happened in a long time.  Thank you for kicking open some subconscious doors  and apparent Yogi character identification for me! (not the bear, I wish!) 

2. The conversation started when you suggested I was over promising what awakening does to the mind.  I think this is an "important" point in the context of a message board full of nuts trying to become fully awake.  I have three apparent motives for wanting to dig in on it.      

a.   The first is compassion - my mind really is getting past the nonsense and the other side is perfect and amazing.  In my view, I am under promising - the human mind can exist in Nirvana all of the time because reality is nirvana.  Telling people otherwise seems objectionable to me because I instinctively do not want people to suffer - even though I know it is nonsense. 

b.   The second is an itch to express my inner voice on the subject.  I do not have a teacher, tradition or sangha so I have a huge store house of thoughts and concepts and insights that exist only in my mind and no one is interested in them or can really comprehend them except  some folks here.  Kind of sad, but there you go.  Expressing them and ripping into my thinking is a way for me to bring these understandings into the reach of my everyday walking around mind and so I was hoping for a more vigorous and rational debate!  I challenge all comers - 

c.   I am here in this community of Vipassana experts, but I do not really understand what is happening in your minds.  I keep hearing about cessation events and paths, but it has no meaning to me.  Love is manifest and you guys never talk about it, so I am trying to wrap my mind around what it is that is happening to you and how it relates to what is happening to me. 

I do not think we are disagreeing only on words.  Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant.  In my experience, This is God.  I am that I am and the rest I made up.
I may be wrong, and please, I don't want to offend nobody. but sometimes I'd the same impression about alot people in this forum too goal oriented in technics/methodologies/wow experiences/maps but forgetting about love & compassion.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 11:35 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
First, I did read some of your meditation diary, but I couldnt relate to it very well which is partly what lead to my question above.   It is interesting how coming at something from different directions changes the way it is experienced.   Is your mind filled with bliss and love ?  If not, why not? 

"Once free, emotions and the movement and condition of people, places and things are all irrelevant."

This is what emptiness really points at.  My mind has fabricated the entire reality that I experience and - what ever metaphor you choose - it can stop.  When it stops making stuff up, there is no seperation or distinction or aversion or agency or change.  That state is always available and is the one that isnt pretend.  The hard part is letting the mind fabricate the world and yet not fabricate a self with a pretend interior life of feeling, thoughts and suffering.  When that does occur, when the mind is free and in the world,  a chair is a chair but there is no seperation or distinction or aversion or agency or change.   It is just love man, just love.  This isnt a sprititual or supernatural thing - that is what reality really is and our fantasy of meaning and selves and agency is complete nonsense.   

There is a level even farther out, where "is" itself is seen through, but I cannot yet hold that concept in my mind long enough to express it in words. 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 11:59 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
I did read some of your meditation diary, but I couldnt relate to it very well which is partly what lead to my question above.

I'm confused, seth. You expressed a desire to know how vipassana practice goes, right? So you stopped reading the diary because it wasn't immediately relatable? Isn't that the point of reading about vipassana practice from at least one longtime practitioner's perspective?

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 2:28 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Did you read what I posted a little while ago, seth:

I would define being awake as the ability to experience the human condition, all of it with no exclusions, without the attachments (suffering and attachment) that a permanently existing self helps create. It is the condition of not being conditioned. Of being able to see one's experience as just experience, not as "my" experience. It is the ability to see ones experience without "self" and "other." It is the ability to see and truly know and understand the process of perception and how that process leads to ignorance an habitual reactions - in other words, suffering and attachment. This ability allows an awakened person to eliminate the suffering caused by ignorance. It does not allow an awakened person to eliminate or overcome their humanity.

It seems to me that's quite similar to aspects of what you just posted except that it uses different language:

The hard part is letting the mind fabricate the world and yet not fabricate a self with a pretend interior life of feeling, thoughts and suffering.  When that does occur, when the mind is free and in the world,  a chair is a chair but there is no seperation or distinction or aversion or agency or change.

Thoughts?

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 12:33 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Hey Chris, 

My bad.  Somehow I missed the Part II and then Part II etc.  I read part one and thought that was it.  I am digging in and it is very intersting, thanks. 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 12:34 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
I am glad we agree! I am not trying to pick a fight, I must have just misunderstood your earlier posts, sorry. 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 12:56 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Did you read what I posted a little while ago, seth:

I would define being awake as the ability to experience the human condition, all of it with no exclusions, without the attachments (suffering and attachment) that a permanently existing self helps create. It is the condition of not being conditioned. Of being able to see one's experience as just experience, not as "my" experience. It is the ability to see ones experience without "self" and "other." It is the ability to see and truly know and understand the process of perception and how that process leads to ignorance an habitual reactions - in other words, suffering and attachment. This ability allows an awakened person to eliminate the suffering caused by ignorance. It does not allow an awakened person to eliminate or overcome their humanity.


Hello Chris,

I'm not Seth, but I wanted to weigh in on this:

I would define awake as being able to see the non-dual nature of reality in any moment. That seeing, from my perspective, includes seeing through the reality of a "self", "human", or "things", described as any conditioned, partitioned or separateness in reality. It includes seeing all appearances as empty of any intrinsic qualities. What exists is an awareness (that is empty of separatness also) that is the fabric of this quiet panoramic now, happening in this moment, everywhere.

Emotions, sensation, etc. happen moment by moment, but are not "done" or felt by a "person" with any agency or locality.

It seems fairly similar to your statement, but perhaps a little different? Is any or all of it what you are getting at? My background is 

When I say that the sufficiently realized monk can sit in equanimity while burning to death, I am suggesting that this "person" is resting in some depth of this understanding. Does that make sense?

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 1:53 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
Seth -- 

I must have just misunderstood your earlier posts, sorry. 

There is no need to apologize, seth. It's all for the good and the advancement of a viable, worthwhile practice.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 2:03 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
Stirling --

I would define awake as being able to see the non-dual nature of reality in any moment. That seeing, from my perspective, includes seeing through the reality of a "self", "human", or "things", described as any conditioned, partitioned or separateness in reality. It includes seeing all appearances as empty of any intrinsic qualities. What exists is an awareness (that is empty of separatness also) that is the fabric of this quiet panoramic now, happening in this moment, everywhere.

Yes, that's very similar to what I posted.


RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 2:20 PM as a reply to Stirling Campbell.
When I say that the sufficiently realized monk can sit in equanimity while burning to death, I am suggesting that this "person" is resting in some depth of this understanding. Does that make sense?

I don't know what would push a person to self-immolate. Maybe it is some very deep desire to bring about a certain result. Maybe a deep compassion for those who suffer under the same conditions. There are religious and political ends that seem to foster acts like that and some appear to me to be "evil" and some "good." I have no experience with this so I can't really say anything about the monk and what he was feeling or what mind state he was experiencing when the other monks lit the fire that consumed him.

I would offer that using an extreme example like self-immolation to find a purpose or an explanation of the fruits of our meditation practice may not be a great idea.

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RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 3:01 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:

I don't know what would push a person to self-immolate. 
I would suggest that the conditions for the monk to self-immolate were present, so that is what happened. I can't imagine that a monk able to sit through that pain likely had any self-cherishing or belief in self, and so probably didn't suffer as one. Just conjecture.
I would offer that using an extreme example like self-immolation to find a purpose or an explanation of the fruits of our meditation practice may not be a great idea.

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Not sure it matters one way or the other if it happens, but I get your drift. Very few appearances in consciousness are likely to end that way, at least that I have observed. The pursuit of purpose is a dead end, as far as I can tell, but it makes for great drama. I like to think if there is a moment where experiencing stops, it doesn't coincide with flames or anything. emoticon

Thanks for your posts, Chris.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 3:27 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, 

I read the thread you posted.  On the way to 4th path you had almost exactly the sorts of experiences I have had and used almost exactly the same language to describe them.  Pretty compelling reading for me in many ways.  

In my experience, I have had to go through a huge and very extreme amount of purification - releasing all of my psychological baggage and nervous tension, in order to maintain states of clarity in the face of things - in particular feelings of responability towards my children and work triggers.  The initial understanding of no - self happened for me on retreat and I could not hold that understanding in the face of the emotion and anxiety of daily life.  I thought that I could let go in a few months of full time practice and be a buddha, but I was delusional.  It has been 4 years and I have gone from an extreme state of nervous tension to almost none.  Even then, when confronted with triggers I would get lost in suffering, though in the back of my mind I knew it wasnt "real", it still sucked.  Only now am I able to integrate the personality that understands emptiness and cares for my kids and gets letters from the IRS.  If anyone is still carrying around substantial muscle tension, it means that subconsious subminds are still stressed out about something and those subminds will emerge when triggered.  If some one who sees This is still finding negative emotional states arising, that is the reason.   Spending long periods in Jhana is probably the fastest way to move through that shit. 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/30/18 3:46 PM as a reply to seth tapper.
That's interesting, seth. Thanks for the detailed explanation of your practice.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 6:48 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
"I am very skeptical of Jeffery Martin. I have met, and have
been interviewed by, Jeffery. What I will say about "no emotions" claims
is that those folks have a different definition of emotion than I do,
that they are in a temporary affectless state (this does happen to
people) or that they are seeking something that making this claim
provides. You may further hypothesize about what that thing might be."

Well, people could claim that for many reasons. I still think it's possible. We know that there is a wide spectrum of emotional propensity from empathic, autistic, psychopathic. So it's possible to live without a big chunk of emotion.
Which also prompts the question of what the difference is between that and psychopathy. I would guess that post awakening people still retain social skills and empathy, just in a decentalised way - but surely that would still involve emotion.
I found it interesting that JM claims to have found people giving objective signs of emotion when subjectively not experiencing them.
I wonder if it's possible that they (emotions) are simply put out of consciousness awareness for some people, but still active - a little like the phenomenon of blind sight. There are a lot of ways that the brain can mask it's own activity to itself, or divide it's awareness of itself. Just a speculation.
I wonder also if that is what is happening with awakening and loss of self - do we know whether it has just been made unconscious ?  ie, post awakening the self is still working like the vision in blind sight, it just is hidden.
I know there's now a body of work on what happens to the brain during spiritual experience and I haven't seen that particular possiblity mentioned so maybe it's been ruled out already.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 7:11 AM as a reply to jonjohn.
You can have surgery with hypnosis instead of anaesthetic and feel nothing.
So why not self immolation ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNf21qf9dHY

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 7:13 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
I can cite hundreds of examples of extremes in human behavior and capabilities across a very broad spectrum. But that's not really the issue. The real question is how a dedicated meditation practice changes the vast majority of us after years of introspection. There is, and this is conjecture, a bell curve-like pattern that reflects the typical results. It might be that at the very, very, very far right tail of the curve, where there are people who've dedicated their entire life to meditation in isolation from normal social interaction, we may see what appear to be super-human results. That's not why I practice, however. I wanted to know WTF was going on and why "I" seemed out of sync with "other stuff", not to be able to do things like self-immolate with equanimity, have an appendectomy without anaesthesia or survive ten hours in 0-degree weather while naked. What's possible is different than what's probable.

Or, you can hang onto the s meditator-as-superman stories and just go for it!

JMHO, of course.

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RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 8:11 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Hey stickman, 

In my practice one of the things I am doing is attaining states of disconnection with sensations from my body - no matter how painful.  For instance, I began the training by having more and more intense massages by a very strong masseur until there was no pain that he could generate - doing massage! - that I could not let arise and pass with out it moving me from contentment.  It just becomes waves of sensation.  I have moved on to being stretched out very intensely and it generates a level of pain that would be unbearable for most people.  I can lie contentedly through it for hours on end.  My body and face writhe with pain sometimes and onlookers at the gym are concerned for my well being, but inside it is just meat being pushed around and has no effect on me.  It took thousands and thousands of hours of practice to develop the skill, but it is just a skill like making a jump shot or playing a video game.   There is no question in my mind, that with enough practice I could eventually get to a place where someone could light me on fire and it wouldnt bother me.  The level and the degree of the pain really make no difference.  The states I am talking about occur not by enduring pain, but by seeing that it has no intrinsic meaning.  What triggers identification and aversion- for me - is fear and I am not afraid of being massaged or being stretched - I am still afraid of being burned alive - so please no one test it out on me!  The path towards being as baddass as this guy is to have so little self myth left deluding the mind that being burnt alive carries no fear with it for you.  May we all be that honest with ourselves one day! 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 8:43 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Well, hypnosurgery and cold endurance are probably more possible than people think. It takes a few weeks of hypnosis work to make an appendectomy possible for a Joe Public, not to mention dental hypnosis which friends have had work within half an hour off the street. The Wim Hof stuff gives super powers quite quickly to Joanne Public too. I don't think we're talking far end of the bell curve for these at all.
But OK the point at hand is meditation.

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 8:44 AM as a reply to seth tapper.
There are special clubs with gothic decor for folk like you emoticon

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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5/31/18 8:56 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Today I was reading the book: "The Hundred Verses of Advice" of Dilgo Khyentse & Padmpa Sangye, and found this wonderful part:


"In a state of emptiness, whirl the spear of pure awarness.

Your view should be as high and vast as the sky.
Pure awarness, once it manifests within the mind's empty nature, can no longer be obscured by the negative emotions, which become it's ornaments instead. The changeless state that is the realization of the view is not something that comes into existence, remains, or cease, within it, awarness observes the movement of thoughts like a serene old man watching children at play. Confused thoughts cannot affect pure awarness any more than a sword can pierce the sky.

Lady Peddarbum said to Jetsun Milarepa:

When I meditate on the ocean,
My mind was very confortable.
When I meditate on the waves,
My mind was troubled,
Teach me to meditate on the waves!

The great yogi responded:

The waves are the movements of the ocean.
Leave them to subside by themselves in it's vastness.

Thoughts are the play of pure awareness. They arise within it and dissolve back into it. To recognize pure awareness as where your thoughts come from its to recognize that your thoughts have never come into existence, remained, or ceased. At this point, thoughts can no longer trouble your mind.

When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick: every time a stick thrown, you run after it. But if, instead, you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arise and disolves within the space of that awareness, without engendering other thoughts. Be like a lion - who, rather than chasing after the stick, turn to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.

To take the uncreated stronghold of the nature of mind, you have to go to the source and recognize the very origin of your thoughts, Otherwise, one thought will give rise to a second, then a third, and so on. In a no time, you will be assailed by memories of the past and anticipations of the future, and the pure awarness of the present moment will be complete obscured.

There is a story about a practitioner who was feeding the pigeons outside with the rice he had offered on his altar, when he suddenly remembered the numerous enemies he had had before devoting himself to Dharma. The thought came to him, "There are so many pigeons at my door now; if I had had that many soldiers then, I could easily have wiped out my enemies".

The idea obsessed him until he could no longer control his hostility, and he left his hermitage, assembed a band of mercenaries, and went to fight his former enemies. The negative actions he then committed all began with one simple, deluded thought.

If you recongnize the emptiness of your thoughts instead of solidifying them, the arising and subsiding of each thought will clarify and strengthen your realization of emptiness"

 

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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6/1/18 6:33 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris, this is from Jeffrey Martin's paper. http://nonsymbolic.org/PNSE-Article.pdf
I'm not saying you have a dogmatic view point, and I don't want to know who these people are or be identified here (I'm not for gossip), I just want to show an example of why I wonder if there may be people who experience no emotion. 

"Participants with dogmatic tendencies felt like theirs was the correct and true version of the experience. When asked to contrast their experience with the data collected from one or more other participants, these participants would often definitively state that I was obviously having difficulty understanding what was and was not a valid PNSE experience. On the other hand, those who were knowledgeable of one or more spiritual system often had specific examples of where my analysis was failing.For example, when I asked one well known Theravada Buddhist teacher about a specific participant who had no emotions or sense of agency (on the latter end of the continuum), he strongly argued that the participant was ‘stuck’ in a certain Jhana, which was considered different from PNSE in his tradition. At the time, he was a well-known ‘Jhana Master’ who was able to enter these various states at will. His certainty was so strong that he actually entered into the Jhana he was referring to so that I could interview him in that state of consciousness and compare his responses to the other participant. I later introduced this Buddhist teacher to the other participant, and they formed a friendly relationship. Over the course of the research Ioften networked subjects in this way and the exchanges between them substantially increased my understanding of what each was sharing. In this case, the Buddhist teacher also had one of his most advanced students (also a participant in the study) shift on the continuum from a location that the teacher considered Enlightened to this location that he thought of as being stuck in a Jhana. The reports from this student as well as the other participant he had become friends with caused him to reconsider his position and accept the possibility that the location of no emotion or agency could also beconsidered a valid form of PNSE."

RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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6/1/18 7:09 AM as a reply to Stickman2.
Stickman, I'd love to have a dollar for every time I've had this discussion over the last 15 years. I think you should go for the version of awakening that seems right to you. And I do mean GO for it. Practice like your hair is on fire.

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RE: Interview with Vinay Gupta
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6/1/18 7:26 AM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
Stickman, I'd love to have a dollar for every time I've had this discussion over the last 15 years. I think you should go for the version of awakening that seems right to you. And I do mean GO for it. Practice like your hair is on fire.

emoticon

Chris, it's already a beautiful flame red...

You know, looking at Martin's paper again, some of it seems a bit on the unscientific side - like assessing someone's stress level by asking the wife or a yoga teacher.

Your advice seems sound. I wonder if I'll take it ? I suppose I'll see what my illusiory sense of free will decides to do.