4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
Folks, I finished 4th path this weekend. For those interested, there’s a description of the path moment here.

There are about a hundred things I'd like to say about 4th path, ranging from what the aftermath is like to what I think this experience Really Is to what I think the best way to get there is. But since that would put me in the position of writing an extremely long treatise that most people aren't going to take the time to read in a public forum anyway, I thought it would be good to take it from the same point of view as the stream entry thread from a month or so back.

1) What was your meditative experience before and leading up to 4th Path?


I’ve been meditating regularly since November 2011. I took an 8-week MBSR course, transitioned that into a hardcore vipassana practice, got stream-entry in April 2012, second path in June of that year, and third path in October.

2) How would you describe your meditative style/technique which ultimately led to 4th Path [Goenka scanning, noting, choiceless awareness, etc., a combination of techniques, etc.]?


The week before getting 4th path, I switched from anapanasati back to straight-ahead Mahasi noting. I’d start out noting out loud, but once I got cooking, it was just pure observation of the three characteristics with the intention to develop total dispassion with existence, both physical and mental.

Before that? Tons of stuff. Open awareness, anapanasati, “jhana”, witness, self-inquiry. I’m not sure how that previous stuff influenced the final outcome.

3) How many hours were you practicing a day when you finally achieved 4th Path?


I usually practice anywhere from 30-45 mins/day, but the day I got 4th path, I did a 2 hour session.

4) Did you maintain continuity of practice throughout the day when you finally achieved 1st Path; meaning, did you maintain mindfulness throughout the day, how and when, etc.?


Not really.

5) What was your samatha vs vipassana balance when you finally achieved 4th Path [for example, did you do straight-up vipassana, did you do a combination of samatha and vipassana practices, did you achieve hard jhanas before starting vipassana, etc.]?


Dry vipassana. Pure, unadulterated, relentless – I want to stress relentless – insight, 360 degrees, all the way up, all the way down, all the way out, all the way in.

6) What was your retreat experience before and leading up to 4th Path?


I did one 9-day retreat last summer, and I’ve done a couple one-day retreats since.

7) What was your biggest stumbling block along the way to 4th Path? How did you ultimately overcome this?


If we’re talking only about the area between third path and fourth path, there were very few stumbling blocks. Once I decided I wanted to finish the thing up, there was almost nothing standing in my way. I just went at it like a machine until it was done.

If you consider the whole thing, from Joe Blow to 4th path, there were plenty of stumbling blocks, not all of which I’m sure were necessary. I had a very hard time with “jhanas” and with the middle paths. I have severe skepticism about the middle paths at this point. (more below) But since I went through those experiences before getting to where I am now, I can’t know for sure whether those experiences were unnecessary.

8) Besides Daniel's book MCToB, what texts, resources, etc., were truly useful for your practice and were instrumental in finally achieving 4th Path? Did you work with any meditation teachers?


I’ve worked with teachers since I started. This is because I am competent and precise, and I prefer to do things The Right Way.

Two documents made a huge difference for me. The first was the Anatta-lakkhana Sutta, which I read over and over again in the days leading up to 4th path, specifically this passage:

Gotama Buddha:
"And is it fitting to regard what is inconstant, stressful, subject to change as: 'This is mine. This is my self. This is what I am'?"

"No, lord."

"Thus, monks, any form whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every form is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Any feeling whatsoever...

"Any perception whatsoever...

"Any fabrications whatsoever...

"Any consciousness whatsoever that is past, future, or present; internal or external; blatant or subtle; common or sublime; far or near: every consciousness is to be seen as it actually is with right discernment as: 'This is not mine. This is not my self. This is not what I am.'

"Seeing thus, the well-instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with form, disenchanted with feeling, disenchanted with perception, disenchanted with fabrications, disenchanted with consciousness. Disenchanted, he becomes dispassionate. Through dispassion, he is fully released. With full release, there is the knowledge, 'Fully released.' He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"


Every time I read that, I’m blown away by how simple, how grounded, how straightforward, how clear the exposition and directions are. How people can get so twisted up on the meaning of “emptiness”, so tripped up on whether “there is really a self”, when there’s an elegant, comprehensive, hard-hitting formulation like this astonishes me.

If you perceive everything as impermanent, then it is not yours, it is not I, it is not self. Nothing can be controlled, so nothing can relieve your distress for long. Seeing this, one becomes disillusioned with existence, both within and without. Once one has become fully disillusioned, one then becomes dispassionate toward existence, both within and without. Once one is dispassionate toward existence, one becomes liberated. Once liberated, one knows they are liberated.

The second passage that really clicked for me was in Mahasi’s Progress of Insight:

Mahasi:
Seeing thus the misery in conditioned things (formations), his mind finds no delight in those miserable things but is entirely disgusted with them. At times, his mind becomes, as it were, discontented and listless. Even so he does not give up the practice of insight, but spends his time continuously engaging in it. He therefore should know that this state of mind is not dissatisfaction with meditation, but is precisely the "knowledge of disgust" that has the aspect of being disgusted with the formations. Even if he directs his thought to the happiest sort of life and existence, or to the most pleasant and desirable objects, his mind will not take delight in them, will find no satisfaction in them. On the contrary, his mind will incline and lean and tend only towards Nibbana. Therefore the following thought will arise in him between moments of noticing: "The ceasing of all formations that are dissolving from moment to moment — that alone is happiness."


People who say, “Oh, Mahasi is so gloomy, dark night is bullshit, quit listening to Kenneth Folk and The Cure, wipe off the black nail polish, cheer up emo kid” ought to take stock of the simple fact that what Mahasi is saying here is consonant with what the Buddha says in the above-quoted sutta. Insight, done right, shows you that nothing fabricated is an appropriate foundation upon which to stake one’s happiness. This necessarily causes disillusionment. It’s not something Mahasi or Daniel Ingram or Kenneth Folk made up. This goes for both physical and mental fabrications. Once I could perceive this clearly, totally, comprehensively, then the mind only wanted Nibbana, and Nibbana is what it got.

9) What do you most wish you'd known when you were working to achieve 4th Path that you know now?


Happiness can only come from within. But all the contents of the mind are also impermanent, stressful, and therefore best not viewed as self. But there is something “in” there that is not fabricated. It’s not a thing or a mental state or a mental action or desire. It reveals itself only once you are fully estranged from all existence. You have to let go of the idea that any thing or any deed can make you happy. Only then does the ultimate reveal itself. And when it does, the mind knows just what to do. But up until that moment, there’s actually a lot of work and effort involved.

Also, this is going to sound beside-the-point, but I’ve never seen anyone in the hardcore community say it, so I’m going to put it out there:

There are as many jhanas as there are teachers of jhana. They all describe them differently. They all give different directions for entering them. Therefore, the idea of pegging progress or any of the so-called “paths” to jhana is in my opinion absurd.

10) What is your best piece of advice to pre-4th Path practitioners?


Take the dhamma very seriously. Take it all the way. Really cultivate the perception that nothing in the world – be it money, true love, recognition, positive feelings, positive thoughts, winning arguments, losing 20 lbs, gaining 20 lbs, etc – can relieve your frustration for long.

Look hard – very hard – at the reasons you’re practicing. What do you think enlightenment will bring you? Make a list of them. Now look hard at the inconstancy in each of those things. They will not bring you happiness. They will not quench your thirst. If you’re doing meditation to get those things, you’ve got the situation perfectly upside-down and need to straighten it out before you can wake up.

Think of all your greatest “wins” and how fleeting the feeling of success was. See everything and anything whatsoever as impermanent and hence as an insufficient foundation upon which to stake a good life. Turn away from the arising and passing, turn within, and do not rest content until you have found the ultimate source, until you have hit rock bottom, until you have found the deathless, quite beyond the three characteristics. You will know it as soon as you encounter it.
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Joshua .., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 86 Join Date: 9/28/12 Recent Posts
Sounds sweet. It's very inspiring you've done so much so quickly since getting stream entry in april. I think I got second path the other day so your speed of progression seems to correlate well to mine. It is of course a little slippery to not wait a while before announcing, but I guess if you know, you know.

Insight, done right, shows you that nothing fabricated is an appropriate foundation upon which to stake one’s happiness. This necessarily causes disillusionment. It’s not something Mahasi or Daniel Ingram or Kenneth Folk made up.


Hehehehe...I don't suppose even they created the whole concept of suffering and impermanence.

There are as many jhanas as there are teachers of jhana. They all describe them differently. They all give different directions for entering them. Therefore, the idea of pegging progress or any of the so-called “paths” to jhana is in my opinion absurd.


I begin to feel this to be the case as well. I can look at descriptions of the eight jhanas and go through each as I imagine them in their classical description. However I can just as easily go through states picking and mixing factors of the jhanas. Like mixing the massive and gross pleasure in the thighs with the extreme cool of fourth jhana. It seems a fool's game to make maps of such things.

So where from here? Not to derail, but I have been looking at the text of Raja Yoga, Patanjali's sutras, recently, and I have considered that our fourth path may line up somewhere in the second chapter, which is the second quarter of the path to ultimate freedom. The third chapter, now that the mind is empty of hindrances, is about the use of three types of attention simultaneously in order to do supra-mundane things, like changing your form or materialization, from which understanding these things leads to subtler and subtler consciousness.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Joshua ..:
Sounds sweet. It's very inspiring you've done so much so quickly since getting stream entry in april. I think I got second path the other day so your speed of progression seems to correlate well to mine. It is of course a little slippery to not wait a while before announcing, but I guess if you know, you know.


If it turns out I'm wrong, then I was wrong. Nobody likes being wrong, but it's hardly the worst thing in the world.

I begin to feel this to be the case as well. I can look at descriptions of the eight jhanas and go through each as I imagine them in their classical description. However I can just as easily go through states picking and mixing factors of the jhanas. Like mixing the massive and gross pleasure in the thighs with the extreme cool of fourth jhana. It seems a fool's game to make maps of such things.


It seems to me like there may be better things to focus on. I don't know. My practice started doing a lot more for me once I concentrated more on my happiness and less on "getting jhana". YMMV.

So where from here? Not to derail, but I have been looking at the text of Raja Yoga, Patanjali's sutras, recently, and I have considered that our fourth path may line up somewhere in the second chapter, which is the second quarter of the path to ultimate freedom.


Yet another thing I'm uncertain of. My suspicion is that 4th path is somewhere in the territory of 2nd path in the 10 fetters model. Some say it's only stream-entry. That would be a surprising result.

It may be more fruitful to look at the outcomes of these things and what one has to do to get there rather than figuring out what things "really" are in some other sense. Again, I've spent a lot of time trying to piece this all together, but none of that speaks as loudly to me as what the actual experience is, which, admittedly, is damn impressive in its simplicity.
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Joshua .., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Yet another thing I'm uncertain of. My suspicion is that 4th path is somewhere in the territory of 2nd path in the 10 fetters model. Some say it's only stream-entry. That would be a surprising result.


I've noticed that when it is considered that there may be stuff after mctb fourth path, the same model is then blown up in scope, so that we could say our arahatship is classical stream entry or something. It is my feeling that this may be over-the-top, and that if we accept that there is still stuff to learn, or be free of after arahatship, then we can still literally equate the mctb stages to how it is classically understood.

For example, some several people on this forum who have claimed to be fourth pathers attacked the typical definitions of attainment, the fetters. But perhaps too much emphasis is laid upon these fetters, in that perhaps they shouldn't be taken absolutely strictly. Afterall, this goes rather deep but, maybe there is a use for some faculty of 'ill will', for example. Perhaps its complete annihilation doesn't matter all that much, I mean one could have brain surgery or a brain injury that could remove a functioning, perhaps even of ill will. Maybe it is too innately connected to biology and that's that.

The other day I was reading the text where the Buddha hints to Ananda three times to ask him to live in his body for thousands of years. By the time Ananda finally does ask him this, Buddha is like (I'm paraphrasing..) "No, I'm not having any of it, you had your chance, it's your fault! Everybody will know you're such a let-down for not asking me to live forever and now I will not and everybody will know you didn't catch my hint".

I mention this because if things such as ill will, conceit and desire of any kind was destroyed, the whole thing would be completely absurd. The referenced text and anything else conceivable. Desire for others to leave samsara is desire. Desire to teach people the dharma is desire, ill will towards Mara the evil one is ill will, and conceit about knowing the dharma intimately is inevitable due to it's very nature, it is better to know it than not to.
I am aware the way the previous paragraph is written will suggest something other than I actually mean, I know the difference between conceit and knowing the dharma is right for example, along with the others, but I feel the point still stands, that the completely eradication of certain fetters would be absurd and surely cannot be expected.

So if one were to say the texts on the results of paths (and destruction or weakening of cankers) should be taken as a guide rather than literally, and that arahatship may not be the end of advancement, then we can easily link the mtcb definitions to the old ones, right? Buddha made a big deal about how concentration can be expanded upon, as a separate discipline to enlightenment. (That would fit together great with the Raja Yoga map, first enlightenment of some sort, then concentration to greater freedom)

If one reads the actual sacred texts, one sees people became stream enterers easy around the time of Buddha. At least it certainly is not equivalent to our mtcb fourth path, or even third. Also, it was not considered unreasonable that laity could become anagamis. That would certainly be untrue if classical stream entry alone was our fourth path, I think.

Oftentimes new posters ask, "why do enlightened people meditate"? The answer is usually something like "because it is intrinsically good", and the Buddha meditated much also. If after enlightenment he still thought there was something in Jhana, then it is surely more than just a lubricant to enlightenment. When I paraphrased the Buddha earlier, part of what he really said was that using jhana, he perfected the technique of working with form, and could form his body to continue for millenia if he so wished. As patanjali said, maybe the further escape is in jhanic meditation.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Joshua ..:
Yet another thing I'm uncertain of. My suspicion is that 4th path is somewhere in the territory of 2nd path in the 10 fetters model. Some say it's only stream-entry. That would be a surprising result.


I've noticed that when it is considered that there may be stuff after mctb fourth path, the same model is then blown up in scope, so that we could say our arahatship is classical stream entry or something. It is my feeling that this may be over-the-top, and that if we accept that there is still stuff to learn, or be free of after arahatship, then we can still literally equate the mctb stages to how it is classically understood.


The most elegant solution seems to be that our 4th path is not Arahantship, neither as the Buddha described it, nor as practicing Theravada Buddhists understand it. But that's fine. There's more of value in MCTB and hardcore dharma generally than the understanding of the paths.

From what I've seen, and from what I've discussed with advanced practitioners, the fetters are real. But whether and how and to what extent they vanish is anyone's guess. In the Theravada community, where people are very hardcore about getting rid of the fetters, they simply won't talk about it past a certain point. But you can look at people's brains, and at some point in the near future, we'll have a better idea of what's going on. My guess is that it's going to turn out to be a lot more complicated than the fetters model. But that doesn't completely invalidate it.

I mention this because if things such as ill will, conceit and desire of any kind was destroyed, the whole thing would be completely absurd. The referenced text and anything else conceivable. Desire for others to leave samsara is desire. Desire to teach people the dharma is desire, ill will towards Mara the evil one is ill will, and conceit about knowing the dharma intimately is inevitable due to it's very nature, it is better to know it than not to.


Well, you're opening a whole can of worms here. Not all desire leads to becoming. It's the eradication of the fetter of becoming (which is really 5 fetters) that leads to total liberation. Also, full liberation does not lead to the chain of previous kamma completely ceasing. That only happens at death. So one could expect all kinds of desires and quirks to live on even after full awakening.

Thanissaro Bhikkhu writes a lot about this. Check out his essay, "The Paradox of Becoming".
Some Guy, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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My ego rejoices in the dissolution of yours. Thanks for the pointers.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Thanks, Jason.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Fitter Stoke:
Happiness can only come from within. But all the contents of the mind are also impermanent, stressful, and therefore best not viewed as self. But there is something “in” there that is not fabricated. It’s not a thing or a mental state or a mental action or desire. It reveals itself only once you are fully estranged from all existence. You have to let go of the idea that any thing or any deed can make you happy. Only then does the ultimate reveal itself. And when it does, the mind knows just what to do.
[...]
Turn away from the arising and passing, turn within, and do not rest content until you have found the ultimate source, until you have hit rock bottom, until you have found the deathless, quite beyond the three characteristics. You will know it as soon as you encounter it.

I read your sit report. When you talk about the deathless/the ultimate source, are you referring to this part that I have emphasized?

Fitter Stoke:
Soon there was just a sense of the observer and very little else. A sentence began to pass through my mind, a word every four or five seconds: “And … that’s … all … she …” I remember anticipating the last word (“wrote?”), but it never came. A bullet fired through the air slammed into sand. *It just stopped. Everything. I don’t think I lost consciousness. But the stillness was near-perfect, and all dukkha was gone.*

Some time later – I don’t know how long – I opened my eyes and observed the time. It was 10:07. I looked around the room. Everything seemed perfectly normal, but the mind and body were very still.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
When you talk about the deathless/the ultimate source, are you referring to this part that I have emphasized?


Yes. It's the I'm-not-sure-what that came between the two paragraphs.
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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Fitter Stoke:
Thank you for asking this question. To be clear, there is almost nothing about that experience in particular that leads me to think it was 4th path related. It sounds very NS-ish, and someone else also made that connection, but I doubt it was NS, because I was doing a pure insight practice, and I was nowhere near 7th or 8th jhana when it happened. Also, the two times I've entered NS-lite in the past, I had to press down on a spot behind the third eye, and the shutdown was correlated with how far I would sink into that hole. There was no activity like that this time. If anything, the progression brings to mind the Anapanasati Sutta: after calming bodily and mental fabrication, there's the perception of inconstancy, the cessation of it, and then relinquishment. But whether it was an anapanasati progression or NS, there's no reason to believe that experience on its own would cause a new path to arise.

What you wrote above makes me think we had the same experience. I don't equate it to either the pressing-down NS or the blank-out-NS-after-8th-jhana. To be honest it seems like something that could happen randomly, even to someone without any meditative experience, whereas the other ones require specific types of concentration. Although for both you and me it happened while meditating so perhaps that's not accurate. And like you said, I don't see it in particular as being related to any paths. Perhaps seeing things disappear & appear that way combined with the intent you had at the time (to get off the ride) made that latter intent come to fruition for you, though.

For me, after the experience, it seemed that that experience was the most ultimate sort of peace possible. It also seemed independent of any conditions, so no matter what happened in my life, I could always go back to that and be at peace. This did bring a certain dispassion for the world, but it wasn't a path-thing and didn't last as I never did manage to find my way back there again.

Nowadays I'm not looking for it anymore. Although it still has a certain intuitive appeal, ultimately I prefer the waking experience of pure intent and the PCE to that absolute objectless peace and stillness. Which to go after is certainly a personal choice, though.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Beoman Claudiu Dragon Emu Fire Golem:
Fitter Stoke:
Thank you for asking this question. To be clear, there is almost nothing about that experience in particular that leads me to think it was 4th path related. It sounds very NS-ish, and someone else also made that connection, but I doubt it was NS, because I was doing a pure insight practice, and I was nowhere near 7th or 8th jhana when it happened. Also, the two times I've entered NS-lite in the past, I had to press down on a spot behind the third eye, and the shutdown was correlated with how far I would sink into that hole. There was no activity like that this time. If anything, the progression brings to mind the Anapanasati Sutta: after calming bodily and mental fabrication, there's the perception of inconstancy, the cessation of it, and then relinquishment. But whether it was an anapanasati progression or NS, there's no reason to believe that experience on its own would cause a new path to arise.

What you wrote above makes me think we had the same experience. I don't equate it to either the pressing-down NS or the blank-out-NS-after-8th-jhana. To be honest it seems like something that could happen randomly, even to someone without any meditative experience, whereas the other ones require specific types of concentration. Although for both you and me it happened while meditating so perhaps that's not accurate. And like you said, I don't see it in particular as being related to any paths. Perhaps seeing things disappear & appear that way combined with the intent you had at the time (to get off the ride) made that latter intent come to fruition for you, though.

For me, after the experience, it seemed that that experience was the most ultimate sort of peace possible. It also seemed independent of any conditions, so no matter what happened in my life, I could always go back to that and be at peace. This did bring a certain dispassion for the world, but it wasn't a path-thing and didn't last as I never did manage to find my way back there again.

Nowadays I'm not looking for it anymore. Although it still has a certain intuitive appeal, ultimately I prefer the waking experience of pure intent and the PCE to that absolute objectless peace and stillness. Which to go after is certainly a personal choice, though.


Yeah. It'll be interesting to see what elements of this peak experience I've obviously been through make their way over into the plateau stage. I've given very little thought to that aspect of it, as I'm mostly preoccupied with what I'm experiencing right now.

Maybe you've noticed this too, but peak experiences are rarely just peak experiences when they're connected with a discipline (as opposed to dropping acid or whatever). Aspects of them tend to stabilize at some point down the road.

The only exception I've found to this has been, oddly enough, PCEs, which I've never been able to gain any kind of mastery over. I've had three PCEs that I remember, but I've never been able to conjure one. Vipassana Events, on the other hand, are pretty accessible to me and seem to follow a pattern of peaks and plateaus like I described.

Anyway, we'll see what happens! Just more data points in this weird experiment we're conducting.
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The Xzanth, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Thank-you, especially for reminding us (and this goes to the DharmaOverground community in general) that spiritual progress is possible, in the here and now, with the means and motivation available to us.
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Joshua .., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Interesting you feel it might be second path on the fetters model. In some texts like the Vimuttimagga, stream entry is broken down into three parts, so would you feel this has anything to it?

First path fruit - seven times at most-er / Second path fruit - five times at most-er / Third path fruit - three times at most-er / Fourth path - once-returner?

How dramatic is each attainment in relation to eachother? Are you still in review or is something else going on? Do you have momentum to carry on practice?
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Nikolai ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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"Always tread carefully during the honeymoon period (after any baseline shift). Post no absolutes, make no bold claims, as a month down the track, you may need to do some editing, backtracking and/or re-evaluating." Some anonymous yogi.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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It is sound advice to see how all this pans out.

I drew similar conclusions to yours about 27 times or so over about 6 years from somewhere in early 1997 to 2003, and some weeks or months later would be like, "Aw, man!" as some layer of mind that I had no idea was there bubbled up and suddenly the A&P would hit again and I would be back in some Dark Night, and things would clearly be other than I thought they were, not that this will necessarily happen to anyone else, but it is common, as many have reported, so just see how things settle out and let us know.

Daniel
Rotten Tomato, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Nikolai .:
"Always tread carefully during the honeymoon period (after any baseline shift). Post no absolutes, make no bold claims, as a month down the track, you may need to do some editing, backtracking and/or re-evaluating." Some anonymous yogi.


Anonymous? Isn't it Tommy? :-)
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The Xzanth, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Any result is success which must be investigated through and through.
Lack of result is the goal.

(no absolutes here just musing... insert: sheepish grin)
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Cedric ., modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Very, very Inspiring! Thank you!
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Pablo . P, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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That was fast! Congratulations!!!

Any plans for your a future horizontal development?

I would certainly like to hear more about Enneagram and further development of enlightened people.
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Pablo . P:
Any plans for your a future horizontal development?


No.
John Wilde, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

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Fitter Stoke:
Folks, I finished 4th path this weekend. For those interested, there’s a description of the path moment here.


What insight, if any, has this given you into the nature of physical death?

Is there anything -- or any non-'thing' such as Awareness or Being -- that is (and always was?) independent of the body's organic processes, so that it's unaffected by the life or death of the body?

How does "the deathless" differ from the materialist notion of death as the complete and permanent ending of all sentience, leaving nothing but a decomposing body?
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Fitter Stoke, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 487 Join Date: 1/23/12 Recent Posts
John Wilde:
Fitter Stoke:
Folks, I finished 4th path this weekend. For those interested, there’s a description of the path moment here.


What insight, if any, has this given you into the nature of physical death?

Is there anything -- or any non-'thing' such as Awareness or Being -- that is (and always was?) independent of the body's organic processes, so that it's unaffected by the life or death of the body?

How does "the deathless" differ from the materialist notion of death as the complete and permanent ending of all sentience, leaving nothing but a decomposing body?


Wow. Honestly, I haven't had ruminations of that sort, so I can't really answer these questions at this time.

One thing that does come to mind, though: according to the phenomenologist Martin Heidegger, all feelings of fear or dread are grounded in the original fear of death. Perhaps my (semi-)permanent cessation of dread is related to that? I feel a lot less pressure about the future.

I'll let you know if anything else comes up along these lines, though.
John Wilde, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 501 Join Date: 10/26/10 Recent Posts
Fitter Stoke:

Wow. Honestly, I haven't had ruminations of that sort, so I can't really answer these questions at this time.

One thing that does come to mind, though: according to the phenomenologist Martin Heidegger, all feelings of fear or dread are grounded in the original fear of death. Perhaps my (semi-)permanent cessation of dread is related to that? I feel a lot less pressure about the future.

I'll let you know if anything else comes up along these lines, though.


Sure, whatever and whenever. I'd appreciate it.

Cheers
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Florian Weps, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 1028 Join Date: 4/28/09 Recent Posts
Fitter Stoke:
Folks, I finished 4th path this weekend. For those interested, there’s a description of the path moment here.


Well, congratulations! It certainly sounds like a big shift. I don't feel it's my job to tell you what it was or wasn't - after all, you're the one having your experience.

Fitter Stoke:


9) What do you most wish you'd known when you were working to achieve 4th Path that you know now?


Happiness can only come from within. But all the contents of the mind are also impermanent, stressful, and therefore best not viewed as self. But there is something “in” there that is not fabricated. It’s not a thing or a mental state or a mental action or desire. It reveals itself only once you are fully estranged from all existence. You have to let go of the idea that any thing or any deed can make you happy. Only then does the ultimate reveal itself. And when it does, the mind knows just what to do. But up until that moment, there’s actually a lot of work and effort involved.


You mentioned self (i.e. something to measure experience up to). How about ownership and identification ("this is not me, this doesn't belong to me, this is not my self")?

Also, on the DhO jabber group chat yesterday, you mentioned "the source", which you describe as being within (along with happiness), and something like it seems to feature in your KFDh post, if I read it correctly. Fascinating stuff - do you wish to elaborate on that a bit?

Fitter Stoke:
There are as many jhanas as there are teachers of jhana. They all describe them differently. They all give different directions for entering them. Therefore, the idea of pegging progress or any of the so-called “paths” to jhana is in my opinion absurd.


Yeah... do you mean the four formed jhanas, or rather the formless stuff, pure land etc?

Because I discovered the first and second jhana (in a soft way, and not systematically) on my own as a child. These first four do seem to be very palpable, at least in my experience.

Cheers!
Florian
Be Free Now, modified 8 Years ago.

RE: 4th Path: Doing It vs. Getting It Done

Posts: 61 Join Date: 2/4/12 Recent Posts
I'm so very happy for you!

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