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insight meditation for Dummies
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2/21/09 9:01 AM
Forum: Jhana and Ñana

Kenneth,

thanks for your post. love your chicken herding analogy. have you considered writing "Vipassana or Insight Meditation for Dummies"? i think you should write one emoticon
will keep this information handy as i continue with my practice.

btw, your "parlor trick" with your dharma friends reminded me of Ken Wilber's video wherein he played around with his brain waves. here's the link:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFFMtq5g8N4

instead of using fingers to signal what jhana you're in, i think it would be cool to have an EEG machine to take a "brain wave print" of each nana/jhana so that we could have an objective way of knowing that you're not just pulling our leg emoticon on a serious not, an EEG machine would be a cool teaching device since it could be used in conjunction with subjective reports to evaluate how a person is progressing in his/her practice.

thanks again and keep on demystifying the path.

~C

RE: insight meditation for Dummies
Answer
2/21/09 10:57 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
I love that "chicken herding" is now a keyword tag on DhO! Thanks Kenneth for both the laugh and the map!

RE: insight meditation for Dummies
Answer
2/24/09 9:42 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Dear Kenneth,

It really is great to have you here dishing out the good stuff with both barrels. I like the chicken analogy also.

Daniel

RE: insight meditation for Dummies
Answer
2/26/09 2:44 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Yes, excellent again, very helpful. I can't get enough straight talk on insight.

Would you be willing to shed light on how the four attitudes of appreciative joy, kindness, compassion and equanimity relate to jhana and nana. I see these four qualities as beneficial as refinements or adjustments of various kinds to bring stability to insight cycling. They typically improve other qualities of perception. With concentration the compatibility seems obvious to me. I would really appreciate your thinking on how they may function together with the nanas. I note good things but get concerned about benevolently creating blind spots, and then setting the dogs on the chickens.

RE: insight meditation for Dummies
Answer
2/28/09 4:30 PM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Triplethink, you have a way with words. Setting the dogs on the chickens, indeed. I want to acknowledge your question while I also acknowledge that I don't know what to say about it. I always hoped that when I became enlightened I would become the Universal Pundit. Alas, it did not happen that way, and I find myself as dull as ever. I believe there is a positive relationship between the Brahma Viharas and advancing ñana, but I cannot prove it, as it has been impossible to isolate the variables and conduct a proper experiment. As a practical matter, I recommend practicing all four of them, preferably in a systematic manner. It's worthwhile, for example, to take an entire week to focus on mudita (sympathetic joy at the good fortune of another) and see how deeply you can cultivate it. When the week is over, you can move on to metta (lovingkindness), etc., and cycle through all four with the intention of developing them deeply. My guess is that they will make it easier to do both samatha and vipassana, and as you say, bring stability to insight cycling. If we are wrong, the worst that can happen is that you will become a very lovely person.

Kenneth

RE: insight meditation for Dummies
Answer
5/21/09 4:48 AM as a reply to C4 Chaos.
Author: KristerHolmes

I'm SO glad you brought that up. I haven't read everything on this site, but so far I find that the emphasis is most definitely on the wisdom end with very little attention paid to loving kindness and compassion. As the Dali Lama says the bird needs both wings to be able to fly! We mustn't forget that emptiness is the womb of compassion!!