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Question on centrelessness

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Question on centrelessness
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8/6/18 9:59 PM
So I had a glimpse of centrelessness which was a bit perceptually different from my other non-dual experiences.  I'm not completely sure how to interpret it.  So can anybody answer a couple of questions to help guide my practice intentions?  Here goes. 

1. Are non-duality and centrelessness different?  The same?  Or is centrelessness a progression of initial non-dual perceptions?  The progression would be going from everything being just your mind, to your mind just being another 'object' in the field of perceptions.  So instead of things being 'mind flavored' the mind would be just more perceptions - 'perception flavored'.

2. Does agencyless arise at the same time as centrelessness, or is it a progression of centrelessness?  And if it is a progression, is that from steadily integrating the mind sense into the overall field of perception, or is it from vipassinising the mental formation of your mind, or both?

Or am I completly off base about all of this? 

Metta

Malcolm

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/7/18 12:05 AM as a reply to curious.
Hi curious 

I’ll try answering from my point of view

1) with regards to question 1 : the next step is to not label anything at all. Meaning perception-less. When we live purely at contact door of all our senses, the mechanism of our mind can’t be trigger. That mean to live with no perceptions. It’s very hard, but try.

2) with regards to question 2 , I’m not familiar what you mean by centrelessness. But the ending of “self” is at nibana when all the fetters been severed and the 3 taints stopped flowing. In this experience, or “state” of existence is only possible in arahant. There is no person existing, only the 6 senses operating while this body is still alive. 

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/7/18 5:09 PM as a reply to curious.
What is your practice, and what sort of guidance are you hoping to bring to it?

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/7/18 9:32 PM as a reply to curious.
Thanks van lu - I think I understand what you mean.  I'm guessing that stopping perception/recognition/contact would promote Arising & Passing away moments, and maybe cessations, but would be impossible to maintain for an extended period ...

Adam - I practice through (i) anapanasati, (ii) pondering the dharma, and (iii) some mindfulness and investigation of phenomena in daily life.  My anapansati varies, and has breaks in practice.  It was initially 30 minutes most days, including some mild jhana.  Then after a disorienting insight I took up the The Mind Illuminated for several months, sitting 4 or 5 hours a week up to about Stage 7 (give or take). That was accompanied by some insights of emptiness, and a few non-dual experiences. Then I had a moment where I saw through the taints of jhana, and that led me to a lot of dwelling in the joy of space and now. That joy has been crowded out by other activities, but can still be summoned any time.  For the last six weeks my practice has been daily breathing from the wim hof method.  That is about 20 minutes of pranayama, followed by cultivation of nimitta.  I follow this with another 5 to 10 minutes of rupa jhana.  And cold showers! 

I hope for guidance on investigation of phenomena in daily life.  My goal is to mindfully notice, investigate and weaken the sense of a central 'me' in the field of perceptions. 

Thanks for asking!

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/7/18 10:05 PM as a reply to curious.
Expansive perspectives, widening attention, various insight stages (Mind and Body, The A&P, Dissolution, and Equanimity), various jhanas: all these can feel centerless, more open, more diffuse, more expansive, more free in some way, so the quality of centerlessness or non-duality to some degree itself isn't enough to get a sense of what some experience is, and so one must consider other qualities, what came before, what comes after, and context to sort this out, as well as repetition and eventually figuring out how these experiences fit into some larger context, as well as what holds up and what fades away.

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/8/18 2:23 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:
Expansive perspectives, widening attention, various insight stages (Mind and Body, The A&P, Dissolution, and Equanimity), various jhanas: all these can feel centerless, more open, more diffuse, more expansive, more free in some way, so the quality of centerlessness or non-duality to some degree itself isn't enough to get a sense of what some experience is, and so one must consider other qualities, what came before, what comes after, and context to sort this out, as well as repetition and eventually figuring out how these experiences fit into some larger context, as well as what holds up and what fades away.

Thanks Daniel. Yes there have been lots of things that fade away after a time, and who knows where I am.  I do seem to have a theme of things happening once, or briefly, and then progressing to something different rather than repeating.  Some of these things have had permanent and profound after effects, others just sandpaper off another small level of clinging, and others just seem to be weird passing events, or in retrospect I recognise them as nanas.

I do now have reliable access to openness / spaciousness, but this is based on the centre looking out.  Last year I had a mild experience of everything just being my mind, and looking around the world seemed to be looking around my mind (this came irregularly for a couple of weeks and then mostly left).  Also, I have moved my consciousness to briefly dwell in an exterior perception two or three times.  But the glimpse this week seemed a bit different, with the center not exactly dissolving or moving, but rather somehow becoming much less central.  Almost as if everything was the center.  I don't know whether that is a skilful direction, or just another weird shaking up of the mind system.

It might also help to know that my rupa jhanas are sutta rather than ahbidharma jhanas, but they are otherwise ok.  I can jump around them a bit, and summon the jhana factors independently of the jhanas.  But my arupa jhanas somewhere between very lite and totally imaginary.  emoticon

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/8/18 5:42 AM as a reply to curious.
Speaking just from my own experience, attempts to induce or understand centrelessness/agencyless only result in confusion and bad practice, works a lot better to let those qualities arise as a natural result of good practice e.g. developing awareness, consistent investigation of sensation (perhaps including spaciousness & sense of centre, but also everything else emoticon), shaping actions to be more conducive to awareness/investigation, cultivating a tranquil & open attitude etc. tl;dr you don't find centrelessness by looking for it, but by practicing well until nothing is left to get in the way

RE: Question on centrelessness
Answer
8/8/18 1:42 PM as a reply to Adam.
Adam:
Speaking just from my own experience, attempts to induce or understand centrelessness/agencyless only result in confusion and bad practice, works a lot better to let those qualities arise as a natural result of good practice e.g. developing awareness, consistent investigation of sensation (perhaps including spaciousness & sense of centre, but also everything else emoticon), shaping actions to be more conducive to awareness/investigation, cultivating a tranquil & open attitude etc. tl;dr you don't find centrelessness by looking for it, but by practicing well until nothing is left to get in the way
Thank you!  I've pinned that to my desktop to keep prodding my intentions.