I need motivation

I need motivation John Hooper 12/22/11 8:08 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/22/11 8:32 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/22/11 10:50 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/23/11 3:45 AM
RE: I need motivation John H 12/24/11 5:30 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/25/11 4:13 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/27/11 11:37 AM
RE: I need motivation End in Sight 12/27/11 5:06 PM
RE: I need motivation Martin M 12/27/11 6:19 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/27/11 8:51 PM
RE: I need motivation Bruno Loff 12/28/11 3:58 AM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/28/11 11:48 AM
RE: I need motivation Bruno Loff 12/28/11 5:24 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/28/11 6:15 PM
RE: I need motivation End in Sight 12/28/11 9:47 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/29/11 11:23 AM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/29/11 5:22 PM
RE: I need motivation End in Sight 12/29/11 6:31 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/31/11 12:28 PM
RE: I need motivation John H 12/28/11 7:10 AM
RE: I need motivation James Yen 12/23/11 4:50 PM
RE: I need motivation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/22/11 9:06 PM
RE: I need motivation James Yen 12/22/11 9:41 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/23/11 3:30 AM
RE: I need motivation James Yen 12/23/11 5:04 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/23/11 5:47 PM
RE: I need motivation James Yen 12/23/11 6:29 PM
RE: I need motivation Nikolai . 12/23/11 6:47 PM
RE: I need motivation Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem 12/23/11 6:42 PM
RE: I need motivation Celery D Head 12/23/11 9:25 PM
RE: I need motivation John Hooper 12/23/11 9:34 PM
RE: I need motivation katy steger,thru11.6.15 with thanks 12/22/11 9:38 PM
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 8:08 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 8:08 PM

I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Somebody tell me it is worth it to keep going. I can't focus, it all seems like a waste of time, and I'm feeling really down. I read stories about people who spent years and years and never really got anywhere. Am I wasting my time? I don't expect instant enlightenment and a perfect life, but tell me how your life has improved. Tell me why this is worth doing.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 8:32 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 8:29 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
Somebody tell me it is worth it to keep going. I can't focus, it all seems like a waste of time, and I'm feeling really down. I read stories about people who spent years and years and never really got anywhere. Am I wasting my time? I don't expect instant enlightenment and a perfect life, but tell me how your life has improved. Tell me why this is worth doing.


I was a miserable prick for many years. When I took up vipassana, my life improved, my relationship with my family improved. I gained a purpose to my life. I went through some rough patches though afterwards not having a clue as to what was happening (dark night). Eventually, found Daniel's book, this forum and went for 1st path 2 years ago. Amazing change. A big drop in existential suffering. MCTB 4th path, another big drop. Suffering became sticky-free. It wouldnt last long nor stack like before.

Then another shift due to AF practice. Now, a massive unimaginable reduction in suffering. Suffering was reduced to an affectless cognitive confusion due to residual shadow being experiences. Craving and clinging were still operating to a degree but were seen with greater clarity. Then another shift recently. There is now no suffering like before. No mental anguish, no mental sadness, no stressed out feelings, no agitation, no anger, no overwhelming desire, no depression, no 'lost feeling', no mood swings. There is however a subtle residual something that is still unsatisfactory, and thus I keep going.

But ultimately, my life in the past 2 years with these shifts has changed beyond anything I could have imagined, literally. My wife loves me more as well. I am no longer a miserable prick. I wouldn't know how to be a miserable prick. The factors that were in place before that caused a miserable prick to manifest are now permanently absent. Calm and peace rule. Still, there is more to still do.

Nick
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:06 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
Further to Nick's account, it is worth continuing, John Hooper, in my experience.

If it is any consolation, deep bleakness is sometimes followed by deep bliss. Master Gotama was met with the daughters then armies of Mara before his liberation, no?

It is worth doing, John. You can definitely do this. The world is beautiful and you are vital.

I am going to offer the following video of a girl (Marlie) from Haiti who, by way of the great care of many persons and her own willingness to survive, is successfully treated for a severe disorder. My point of this video is to propose that you care for yourself as if you are like this child and other people like her, that you are like her outstanding and lifesaving medical team, that you are like the two nurses who started the whole effort, that you are like the parents who can only watch their child die, then rejoice in a medical intervention, that you are like the whole country that is too disordered at present to help such citizens, that you are the ever-unknown of potentials and freedom. Perhaps this is too wild and invasive a comment to make to you, but, in my opinion, your effort is worthwhile, for you and for others.

In July 2010 Daniel I. replied quickly to my email and gave me access to the site during my worst dark night, Tarin somehow put up with my meager first efforts in becoming practice-oriented, Daniel Johnson, Trent, Stef and Steph, CCC, Martin, Ananda and several others somehow let me thrash about argumentatively for months...and more than a year later, I assure you that it has been worthwhile. What are your other options?
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:41 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:38 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
Somebody tell me it is worth it to keep going. I can't focus, it all seems like a waste of time, and I'm feeling really down. I read stories about people who spent years and years and never really got anywhere. Am I wasting my time? I don't expect instant enlightenment and a perfect life, but tell me how your life has improved. Tell me why this is worth doing.


True Story:

I was miserable for 2 years, horrible mood. Not sad, but just dirty. Everybody hated me, teachers, people I didn't even know, males etc.

My parents hated me.

The only thing I pulled was girls, but even then I didn't have sex with them.

Then one day I'm eating a sandwich in the courtyard at school, I have a moment of peace.

Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

Let me stress that I literally put in almost no effort the entire two years towards reaching enlightenment, all I did was pretty much beat myself up.

The healing period took several months, but now I'm happy and well adjusted.

It shouldn't be that hard for you.

:-D
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katy steger,thru11615 with thanks, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:38 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 9:38 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1740 Join Date: 10/1/11 Recent Posts
John - I also like to add that if you were raised in another tradition (e.g., a theistic one), there are such other paths that evidence liberation and capacity as well. The fundamentals of buddhism are not for everyone, but a person can take from buddhism that which may help them.

Best wishes.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 10:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/22/11 10:50 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Thanks Nick. That is exactly what I needed to hear. If you don't mind, could you please tell me exactly what practices you used, or better yet, how you would do it now, knowing what you know. I am pretty sure I've been through the whole A&P and Dark Night thing over and over, and the instability has hurt my relationships. I just want to be free of the mood swings, the suffering, the torture. Sometimes I am. It wasn't so long ago that I was happy and could not see a single thing wrong with the world, and I couldn't even imagine that it would be possible for me to feel down like this again. But here I am.

James, I would be interested in knowing what you did as well. How did you pull yourself out of that dark pit?

Katy, thanks for everything. You have always been there with kindness and support, and I appreciate it a lot. As far as traditions, I don't think I ever really settled on one thing. I seems like I get into something, like Zen, but then after a while I start learning that the vast majority are not making much progress at all. Then I get discouraged. Here and at Kenneth Folk, a lot of people seem to actually progress.

I don't really care what the method is any more. I need results. I don't just want results, I need them. It isn't about me becoming a Buddha or anything like that, it is about my relationships, and being able to give, to help, to stop spending all of my time and energy trying to manage myself, and never being happy, and thereby being a burden. I want to live. I want to be worth having a relationship with.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 3:30 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 3:28 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
James Yen:


Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

:-D


Can you elaborate on how this happened for yourself, James? How did it happen? What was your practice? What was different afterwards? From your past posts, it is hard to take you seriously.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 3:45 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 3:44 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
Thanks Nick. That is exactly what I needed to hear. If you don't mind, could you please tell me exactly what practices you used, or better yet, how you would do it now, knowing what you know. I am pretty sure I've been through the whole A&P and Dark Night thing over and over, and the instability has hurt my relationships. I just want to be free of the mood swings, the suffering, the torture. Sometimes I am. It wasn't so long ago that I was happy and could not see a single thing wrong with the world, and I couldn't even imagine that it would be possible for me to feel down like this again. But here I am.


I went through mood swings for 8 years not knowing what was wrong with me. Then I got exposed to the pragamtic dharma movement and changed my mindset. I was able to shift my practice to a singular goal--> stream entry as talked of here.

I had been praticing the Goenka sweeping method for 8 years. I switched to mahasi noting shooting aliens style as described by Daniel in his book. Started focusing on choiceless fast noting as my main practice as well as beefing up my concentration with kasina practice.

If the stream entry talked of here is what you are wishing to go for, what I know now is that fast noting worked for me very well. Something else I did whichI took fully on board was that I also was very much focused on seeing through the illusion of self. I explain it here

I focused on the mentally felt sense of self and broke it up when noting. So whatever was giving the impression fo a felt sense of self like a mental image, sensations, a mood, I would note it as 'image', 'sensations', 'mood'. THis would break the illusion of self down into what I was actually experiencing. Eventually, I had moments of seeing no self in any of the sensations previously being read as self. A path moment occured and things began to roll.
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 4:50 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 4:50 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
James, I would be interested in knowing what you did as well. How did you pull yourself out of that dark pit?


Well that's just it, it happened purely by accident. Although the healing period seemed to basically fix a lot of problems.

For ex:

I had no friends, so instead I started talking to people, now I'm relatively popular. I also started taking an SSRI and Abilify.

They seemed to work but then I stupidly stopped taking them for a long time. Regardless of having stopped taking them I was still relatively happy. But then I started taking them again.

Basically the point is, my E happened totally on accident. I had no practice at the time. Therefore it should not be difficult for you to get Enlightened and start fixing problems.

BUT, I must qualify, if there are certain things in your life that bother you, it would be best just to fix those problems AS IF you were already healed, instead of trying to heal yourself and then believing that by healing yourself you will fix these problems.

The first approach is more direct.
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 5:04 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 5:04 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
James Yen:


Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

:-D


Can you elaborate on how this happened for yourself, James? How did it happen? What was your practice? What was different afterwards? From your past posts, it is hard to take you seriously.


Hi Nikolai,

As you wish, here is the story:

I'm sitting in the courtyard at school eating a sandwich, I have a paranoia that people are watching me while I'm eating, lots of anxiety starts to buildup (I'm rather introverted at the time), I decide almost to run with it, knowing that the explosion of anxiety will result in some sort of spiritual realization.

BUT, I don't. Instead I decide to be real, no spiritual realization is going to happen, NOTHING is happening. I have a moment of peace.

The moment of peace is interesting. Later I try to replicate it.

Sometime later I have a suspicion that I crossed the A&P. But I brush it off, however keeping the belief.

Next day I'm watching How I Met Your Mother, I go to get a glass of water, on my way I experience a profound calm.

Later I decide to go to sleep, I'm anxious, so in an effort to help me sleep I try to call up the calm. But instead, First Path.

I'm thinking, WTF?

Later that night (or was it early in the morning), the universe bends, Second Path.

I decide to progress, Third Path.

Finally I finish it, Fourth Path.

5 Months later I'm healed, I'm relatively happy and well adjusted.

I had no practice at the time, my Enlightenment happened totally by accident.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 5:47 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 5:44 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
James Yen:
Nikolai .:
James Yen:


Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

:-D


Can you elaborate on how this happened for yourself, James? How did it happen? What was your practice? What was different afterwards? From your past posts, it is hard to take you seriously.


Hi Nikolai,

As you wish, here is the story:

I'm sitting in the courtyard at school eating a sandwich, I have a paranoia that people are watching me while I'm eating, lots of anxiety starts to buildup (I'm rather introverted at the time), I decide almost to run with it, knowing that the explosion of anxiety will result in some sort of spiritual realization.

BUT, I don't. Instead I decide to be real, no spiritual realization is going to happen, NOTHING is happening. I have a moment of peace.

The moment of peace is interesting. Later I try to replicate it.

Sometime later I have a suspicion that I crossed the A&P. But I brush it off, however keeping the belief.

Next day I'm watching How I Met Your Mother, I go to get a glass of water, on my way I experience a profound calm.

Later I decide to go to sleep, I'm anxious, so in an effort to help me sleep I try to call up the calm. But instead, First Path.

I'm thinking, WTF?

Later that night (or was it early in the morning), the universe bends, Second Path.

I decide to progress, Third Path.

Finally I finish it, Fourth Path.

5 Months later I'm healed, I'm relatively happy and well adjusted.

I had no practice at the time, my Enlightenment happened totally by accident.


Rather than ask you James for a phenomenological description of MCTB 4th path which you could copy from any number of threads, I am just going to call trollery on this one. If people wish to take James seriously, one might best check his past posts first.....and this one above.
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James Yen, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:29 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:18 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 270 Join Date: 9/6/09 Recent Posts
Nikolai .:
James Yen:
Nikolai .:
James Yen:


Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

:-D


Can you elaborate on how this happened for yourself, James? How did it happen? What was your practice? What was different afterwards? From your past posts, it is hard to take you seriously.


Hi Nikolai,

As you wish, here is the story:

I'm sitting in the courtyard at school eating a sandwich, I have a paranoia that people are watching me while I'm eating, lots of anxiety starts to buildup (I'm rather introverted at the time), I decide almost to run with it, knowing that the explosion of anxiety will result in some sort of spiritual realization.

BUT, I don't. Instead I decide to be real, no spiritual realization is going to happen, NOTHING is happening. I have a moment of peace.

The moment of peace is interesting. Later I try to replicate it.

Sometime later I have a suspicion that I crossed the A&P. But I brush it off, however keeping the belief.

Next day I'm watching How I Met Your Mother, I go to get a glass of water, on my way I experience a profound calm.

Later I decide to go to sleep, I'm anxious, so in an effort to help me sleep I try to call up the calm. But instead, First Path.

I'm thinking, WTF?

Later that night (or was it early in the morning), the universe bends, Second Path.

I decide to progress, Third Path.

Finally I finish it, Fourth Path.

5 Months later I'm healed, I'm relatively happy and well adjusted.

I had no practice at the time, my Enlightenment happened totally by accident.


Rather than ask you James for a phenomenological description of MCTB 4th path which you could copy from any number of threads, I am just going to call trollery on this one. If people wish to take James seriously, one might best check his past posts first.....and this one above.


Up to you I guess. Whatever, I could care less.

=p

Edit: Actually I was lying.

Ok, bye.
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:47 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:41 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
James Yen:
Nikolai .:
James Yen:
Nikolai .:
James Yen:


Less than 2 days later and I achieve MCTB 4th Path.

:-D


Can you elaborate on how this happened for yourself, James? How did it happen? What was your practice? What was different afterwards? From your past posts, it is hard to take you seriously.


Hi Nikolai,

As you wish, here is the story:

I'm sitting in the courtyard at school eating a sandwich, I have a paranoia that people are watching me while I'm eating, lots of anxiety starts to buildup (I'm rather introverted at the time), I decide almost to run with it, knowing that the explosion of anxiety will result in some sort of spiritual realization.

BUT, I don't. Instead I decide to be real, no spiritual realization is going to happen, NOTHING is happening. I have a moment of peace.

The moment of peace is interesting. Later I try to replicate it.

Sometime later I have a suspicion that I crossed the A&P. But I brush it off, however keeping the belief.

Next day I'm watching How I Met Your Mother, I go to get a glass of water, on my way I experience a profound calm.

Later I decide to go to sleep, I'm anxious, so in an effort to help me sleep I try to call up the calm. But instead, First Path.

I'm thinking, WTF?

Later that night (or was it early in the morning), the universe bends, Second Path.

I decide to progress, Third Path.

Finally I finish it, Fourth Path.

5 Months later I'm healed, I'm relatively happy and well adjusted.

I had no practice at the time, my Enlightenment happened totally by accident.


Rather than ask you James for a phenomenological description of MCTB 4th path which you could copy from any number of threads, I am just going to call trollery on this one. If people wish to take James seriously, one might best check his past posts first.....and this one above.


Up to you I guess. Whatever, I could care less.

=p

Edit: Actually I was lying.

Ok, bye.


Thanks for your eventual honesty, James. Yogis know now not to trust your posts.

Nick
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:42 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 6:42 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 2227 Join Date: 10/27/10 Recent Posts
James Yen:
Up to you I guess. Whatever, I could care less.

=p

Edit: Actually I was lying.

Ok, bye.


Do you think it is skillful behavior to reply to someone's sincere request for help by making up a story? Why potentially mislead somebody who is asking for help? I'd ask you to consider refraining from this behavior in the future as it doesn't seem to benefit anybody and might potentially harm somebody.
Celery D Head, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 9:25 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 9:25 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 2 Join Date: 10/14/11 Recent Posts
It's simple. James is a long time troll.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 9:34 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/23/11 9:34 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
There was no harm in his story. If he was enlightened and healed with no effort I would be very happy for him, like I am very happy for Eckhart Tolle, but obviously I can't wait around hoping to be so lucky. I consider his story far less harmful than unenlightened teachers who lead countless students to spend years on practices that have rarely, or never, produced results.

I'm practical, and so far it seems like those doing a lot of fast noting are getting the best and most reliable results. I am going to focus on noting for a while.
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John H, modified 10 Years ago at 12/24/11 5:30 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/24/11 5:30 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 34 Join Date: 10/8/10 Recent Posts
Hi Nick,

I was half expecting you to recommend AF techniques there. Did you recommend noting because John has already started the progress of insight and it would be best to finish up the path before attempting to achieve AF?

Would you still go for stream entry first if you had known about AF?

And merry Christmas everyone!

John
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Nikolai , modified 10 Years ago at 12/25/11 4:13 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/25/11 4:13 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1648 Join Date: 1/23/10 Recent Posts
John H:
Hi Nick,

I was half expecting you to recommend AF techniques there. Did you recommend noting because John has already started the progress of insight and it would be best to finish up the path before attempting to achieve AF?

Would you still go for stream entry first if you had known about AF?

And merry Christmas everyone!

John


Hi john,

As John Hooper asked for what techniques I put into action to good effect to make fast progress, I mentioned noting. There is far more data for yogis who went via stream entry at least to MCTB 4th path getting any other AF like shifts later on in fairly quick time. I do not know how quick the path would be straight off the bat without any MCTB paths under one's belt just doing actualist practices as I didn't do that and there are few who have (and it doesn't seem like a fast route, although i stand to be corrected hopefully). From stream entry to the af-like shift took about 20 months of very dedicated practice with 8 years of Goenka tradition as a base to jump from.

I have heard on the grapevine that Trent knows of someone who did it in hardly anytime without any paths. Weeks or months from zero to AF. But I don't know the details. Maybe trent could shed light on that.

I had no idea about AF before getting 1st path so i can;t really comment. I mean I would have bypassed them if I could, but I wouldn't have known how. Thus I advise the things I did myself as I can speak from direct experience, not speculation.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 11:37 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 11:37 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
I would try AF if I could figure it out. To me, repeating HAIETMOBA is a lot like noting -- staying grounded in the Now. Then again, even my kasina practice, which is supposed to be concentration meditation, keeps me grounding in the Now. I know I'm supposed to become absorbed with the object, but it doesn't happen. If anything, my awareness of my surroundings becomes even more acute. Lately I've taken to noting sometimes while I focus on the kasina.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 5:06 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 5:06 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
There is a lot more to actualism than HAIETMOBA...one of the most important additional aspects being the investigation and deconstruction of the social identity.

(Anyone have a link to the clearest explication of this on the AFT?)
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Martin M, modified 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 6:19 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 6:19 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 91 Join Date: 9/3/09 Recent Posts
Try this one: http://actualfreedom.com.au/library/topics/socialidentity.htm

Check the "related links/discussion" on the left for further hints.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 8:51 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/27/11 8:51 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
In AF, where are you supposed to start? How do you go from A to B? It seems to me that it could easily take a lifetime just to get through part of what has been deeply and often unconsciously ingrained since birth. How can you even examine all of the conditioning of which you aren't even aware?
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 3:58 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 3:58 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
In AF, where are you supposed to start? How do you go from A to B? It seems to me that it could easily take a lifetime just to get through part of what has been deeply and often unconsciously ingrained since birth. How can you even examine all of the conditioning of which you aren't even aware?


There is a distinct quality to the sensation of being pulled around by your identity, which you can learn to recognize.

Try to start with very obvious emotions: when you say something or do something compelled by a strong emotion, in fact anything that feels even slightly compulsive or passionate, there will be some conditioning there. Notice how being forced into saying or doing that feels like. There is a hard-to-catch decrease in awareness, you stop acting from intelligence and start acting from somewhere less intelligent. You might act defensively, or offensively, or from a sense of dullness (boredom, disinterest, indifference), or from a sense of euphoria (giddy anticipation, excitement with the future, jumping to conclusions, wishful thinking, love, ideology).

These are the passions. Along with the passions usually comes a story, a narrative. I like this because of this or that. I feel offended because of this or that. I feel embarrassed because I think I shouldn't bla bla bla. He makes me angry because of bla bla bla. These little stories are the very stuff your persona is made of, and as long as you believe they are true, you are more likely to act motivated by their content. This is the social identity.

By seeing in this way, you can become more and more aware, sometimes painfully aware, of your conditioning. You will find (at least I have) that a very large fraction of your a actions are compelled by motives which are complete utter bullshit, a psychological construction of an imagined theatrical world wherein you are the main character. Something really fake which just "feels true".

Examining these passions and narratives can be done by increasing your level of real-time awareness as they arise. Intelligence will do the rest (more accurately speaking, it is doing everything, including the search you have engaged in).

I have little understanding of the process, and unfortunately don't know how it can be accelerated. Also, this might be extremely dependent on the person. The guy who did it in two weeks/two months/a year/whatever isn't likely to be able to explain to the rest of us how to achieve the same result, and my guess is that if he did it that quick, he was close to getting it anyway. I don't think its likely that he was a depressive obsessive person beforehand. Getting it done reliably, quickly and comfortably is the biggest unsolved problem in this kind of endeavor.

I can offer at least two hints I am certain of: beware of making the path another one of your narratives (part of your identity), and, as much as you can, don't take your self seriously emoticon, because your own personal tragedy will feed off a "my suffering is very serious" attitude.

Take care & good luck.
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John H, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 7:10 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 7:09 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 34 Join Date: 10/8/10 Recent Posts
Nikolai:

I had no idea about AF before getting 1st path so i can;t really comment. I mean I would have bypassed them if I could, but I wouldn't have known how. Thus I advise the things I did myself as I can speak from direct experience, not speculation.

Thanks for the explanation, Nick. Seems prudent to only advise from direct experience. I'm pre path but am aiming straight for AF. I started a Direct Pointing thread over at Liberation Unleashed a few weeks ago and the practice method seems easier to apply since then, but early days so I will see how things progress.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 11:48 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 11:48 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Thank you for the explanation, Bruno.

Right now, it seems overwhelming to look at conditioning. I can't even focus or sit still. It is like I don't have a foundation to stand on, just daydreams and endless loops of music blaring inside my head. Even when I go back to simply counting breaths, my thoughts wander into a story and the counting becomes automated in the background. When I note everything I become very irritated and want to quit. The main feeling right now is wanting to quit, wanting to escape. Just last week my concentration was excellent and I was feeling great.

All I can do is try to grind past this, I suppose. Quitting will just mean that the suffering never ends.
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Bruno Loff, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 5:24 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 5:23 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1094 Join Date: 8/30/09 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
Thank you for the explanation, Bruno.

Right now, it seems overwhelming to look at conditioning. I can't even focus or sit still. It is like I don't have a foundation to stand on, just daydreams and endless loops of music blaring inside my head. Even when I go back to simply counting breaths, my thoughts wander into a story and the counting becomes automated in the background. When I note everything I become very irritated and want to quit. The main feeling right now is wanting to quit, wanting to escape. Just last week my concentration was excellent and I was feeling great.

All I can do is try to grind past this, I suppose. Quitting will just mean that the suffering never ends.


Dark night. It'll pass. If you haven't got stream entry yet, that's a goal worthy of pursuit, which will take (some of) the edge out of dark nighting.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 6:15 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 6:15 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Is there anything special I need to do for stream entry? It seems some people get it by doing a lot of fast noting.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 9:47 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/28/11 9:46 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
I suggest trying fast noting for a significant period of time, and see how that treats you. However, you will do better if you post precise descriptions of your experience, as people may be able to give you feedback about certain things that will help you to see.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 11:23 AM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 11:23 AM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
I have a question about fast noting. I read that it is best to note out loud, and that even when noting silently one should label whatever arises -- but I also read that fast noting should be 3 or 6 or even more notes per second! This seems impossible. Maybe it is just me. It takes me a second or more to even think "nose itching" or whatever. I can notice many things a second, but I could never find words that quickly. So what should I do? Noting out loud is slowest, followed by noting silently, and then just noticing everything without putting words to is much faster -- but is that really noting?

My practice thread is at: http://kennethfolkdharma.wetpaint.com/thread/4804906/John%27s+practice

I will make sure to be more detailed from now on.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 5:22 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 5:22 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Here's my sit from today:

I decided to spend an hour noting out loud while looking at my kasina. It went like this:

Looking at kasina, noticing tape, noticing diagonal line, noticing red spot and blue spot on wall, discoloration in paint, suits hanging nearby, shadows from suits, trim, paneling, electrical outlet, looking at kasina, feet on floor, pressure on back from chair, forearms on arm rests, looking at kasina, hearing furnace blower, hearing car outside, wondering if wife is home, thinking about what to make for dinner, wondering if daughter is with her, looking at kasina, noticing spots again, suits, shadows, trim, paneling, electrical outlet, feeling sleepy, feeling very sleepy, rocking forward to try and stay awake, looking at kasina, noticing tape and diagonal line, hearing the cat move around, wondering when my wife will be home, listening, feeling sad, wanting to stop, wanting to look at the time, noticing my hair, nodding off and jerking head back up, very sleepy, rocking to stay awake, trying hard to focus eyes, mouth getting dry, looking at kasina, noticing tape, line, spots, suits, shadows, trim, paneling, electrical outlet, wondering how long it has been, hearing car go by, wondering if it is my wife coming home, if my daughter is with her, what to make for dinner, feeling sleepy, thinking that this isn't working, thinking that I am getting nothing out of this, thinking I am doing it wrong, hearing furnace blower ... (and on and on for an hour).

I noted out loud, as fast as I could. It seemed very redundant and I wondered if I shouldn't just skip a lot of the repetitive visual stuff. It obviously isn't furthering my concentration practice, so maybe I should do it eyes closed. I just don't know what to do. Still, better than yesterday I guess.
End in Sight, modified 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 6:31 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/29/11 6:31 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 1251 Join Date: 7/6/11 Recent Posts
John Hooper:
I have a question about fast noting. I read that it is best to note out loud, and that even when noting silently one should label whatever arises -- but I also read that fast noting should be 3 or 6 or even more notes per second! This seems impossible. Maybe it is just me. It takes me a second or more to even think "nose itching" or whatever. I can notice many things a second, but I could never find words that quickly. So what should I do? Noting out loud is slowest, followed by noting silently, and then just noticing everything without putting words to is much faster -- but is that really noting?


Try using the word "that" (or any other monosyllable that you like) as your sole label.

If you're going to note fast, you almost certainly have to do it silently.
John Hooper, modified 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 12:28 PM
Created 10 Years ago at 12/31/11 12:28 PM

RE: I need motivation

Posts: 42 Join Date: 11/21/11 Recent Posts
Yes, silent fast noting seems to work. I can note all of the visual stuff and the usual minor physical things all at once, and so then the pangs in the heart and the chains of thought really stand out, so I can note and examine them, notice patterns and how one thing leads to another. Some thoughts just come out of nowhere, but a lot the thoughts, particularly when I get lost in some story, reveal a pattern. I noticed that the music playing in my mind is sometimes themed to these stories, like the emotional sad song going with all the pain in my heart area and the stories in my mind predicting an emotionally painful future full of loss. I didn't resist any of it, I just noted it when I became aware of being lost in thought. I noted the suffering my thoughts generated, and contemplated briefly how attachment/aversion was causing suffering. That didn't necessarily make it all go away, but it made it interesting just to watch the process, and the time passed quickly.

A few times in the hour I just tried to focus in on the kasina exclusively, but my mind wandered off even more than when I was fast noting. I can't seem to get that kind of tunnel focus on one thing, not at this time.