Message Boards Message Boards

The Middle Paths (2nd and 3rd)

The Anagami's Dilemma

Toggle
The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/9/09 1:38 AM
I have seen a lot of controversy recently regarding the late paths and people who may be arahats, may be anagamis, may be something else, who knows, but one way or the other are still questing, still striving, still in it sometimes, out of it at others, splitting things this way, slicing it that way, in rigpa, out of rigpa, dealing with duality and non-duality, in no-dog, out of no-dog, searching for Actual Freedom and passion about everyone else doing is also.

I am not sure what to make of all this.

From this point of view, I have a hard time seeing the motivation, but then it is always possible I am missing something and just stopped short of what is possible. I think that there should be more careful discussion of exactly what is going on internally in people that they feel there is more to do and why they are pursuing various paths to do it.

let's do this with care

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/9/09 5:06 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Daniel M. Ingram:

I think that there should be more careful discussion of exactly what is going on internally in people that they feel there is more to do and why they are pursuing various paths to do it.

let's do this with care

Couldn't agree with you more, Daniel.

Actually, I think that you are quite "sure what to make of all this." You'd just rather not ruffle a few feathers.

Can't say that I disagree with that approach.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/9/09 10:32 PM as a reply to Ian And.
Actually, I think that you are quite "sure what to make of all this." You'd just rather not ruffle a few feathers.

Can't say that I disagree with that approach.


lol thats dan trying to practise diplomacy.. personally i preferred the snarling ogre approach, but to have friends in this world, it seems, on must be careful to not disagree with them too strongly.. alas.

the reason i am interested in actualism is two-fold:

1- my agenda is not understanding, my agenda is complete and unfettered peace and paradise on earth. the basic condition of malice and sorrow (characterised by the presence of any aggression, no matter how complicated, any fear, no matter how subtle, any sadness, no matter how 'appropriate', etc) is what, at root, inhibits this, and it is present in everyone i know who claims to be an arahat - including myself. i have yet to meet, nor hear of, nor hear a clear and detailed and uncontradictory claim made by, or of, anyone besides richard of the af trust website claiming to be free of these things completely. since my agenda is complete and unfettered peace and paradise on earth, then to this end, i will do whatever i can to accomplish it. and since there is only one human being i can bring into that condition, aiming to eliminate malice and sorrow for myself is the only worthy place to start. and so the training in 'morality' continues.. yet in a completely different manner.

2- the purity of the pure consciousness experience (pce) is not something dismissed by anyone who knows it and has reflected on it to any extent, and who hasn't conflated their own experience of it with a set of beliefs that belie the nature of the pce's direct experience due to an insidious identity still extant. pure consciousness experience is the total absence of the sqomatic charge, however subtle, that gives rise to the condition of malice and sorrow. it is something quite akin to the wholeness of the arahat's perspective (dubbed 'the wisdom eye') .. yet it is constant and complete, the perfection is genuinely consistent. it does not permit malice and sorrow for even a moment (and so does not require one to 'recognise wholeness', as alan chapman puts well on the 'Understanding 'Actual Freedom': a magical perspective' discussion on the old forum, in order to dispel them).. none of those so-called 'bad habits' arise whatsoever, and it is so clear in a pce why they do not: because there are no passions there to be triggered and to form as malicious or sorrowful feelings. these passions, which are the bedrock of malice and sorrow, do not exist at all in the actual world, experienced in a pce. they are, fundamentally, an illusion. and so the training in 'insight' continues.. yet in a completely different manner.

no anagami, no dilemma, and proceeding carefully.

tarin

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/10/09 9:41 AM as a reply to tarin greco.
Hi Tarin and all!

I thought I would share an alternative view or thesis to the one put forward by Tarin. I hope some thoughtful discussion can follow.

Thanks for sharing your perspective on your reasons behind your investigation of Actual Freedom. I have great sympathy for your position. What you describe is the 'classical', prototypical enlightenment, particularly as presented in the Indian Sanskrit traditions, and many other old traditions; as different as they are in their details. Variations on complete freedom, bliss, perfection, malice free ALL the time. Spiritual supermen. I have experienced the pce and do conclude there is complete and absolute freedom in it. I wonder if this could be a glimpse of the enlightened state proper, and if true or complete enlightenment - as a higher standard than ‘unqualified’ insight - is actually perfect realization of what we truly are (whatever that actually is, is beside the point -fullness, true-self, no-self, ordinary human self, emptiness - whatever!!). What is important is the realization of the full and complete non-dependent freedom, peace, satisfaction and perfection that we sense ourselves to be. Anything other than this, seems to beg the question, or at least it theoretically could.

However, pce may be simply a high state of Nirvikalpa samadhi and not permanent. An event is temporary by definition. (Note: There is a correlation between Samadhi as a system phenomenon and development of that system as I will speak to below.) As soon as we are embodied in a nervous system, instinct and biological functions will operate. And that is fine, because those functions serve a purpose, have utility, and do their own thing. More importantly and to the point, however, regardless of what is happening, we are the perfect unconditioned, unchanging awareness that sees those functions operate, and NOT those functions per se. Awareness does not suffer. Identification with a separate sense of self is what suffers. Enlightenment is to experientially realize that difference – to irrevocably realize oneself as awareness, and NOT self; that is insight, and the end to suffering and fulfilment of your drives for happiness and peace. That is enlightenment. That is the point. That is the thesis. The rest of this paper is an elaboration on this central point.

Samadhis may come and go, awareness sees them come and go; always remains and is cognizant 24 hours a day, whether the body is unconscious, asleep or hyper alert. 24 hour continuous awareness through our unconscious sleep state is a developmental phenomenon. It is not that awareness ceases, rather, RECALL of that continuity through sleep is related to development of the nervous system and energy bodies. This is because consciousness is developmental and dependent on our bio-energetic anatomy. Consciousness as part of the system changes, grows, develops; awareness as its base and source does not. We can see this in dementia and other neurological deterioration of that particular subsystem; consciousness may be dramatically altered in its phenomenal expression. However, it is awareness that sees this impairment, but is not touched in itself.

Thoughts come and go as part of the wider system, states of consciousness present, as do affective states and their absence; while awareness remains the same, unchanging, non-contingent, seeing these objects in awareness as they are, whatever they are, pure perfect and without the possibility of a value judgment. Hence there can be no suffering in the presence of anger as a system response to some environmental trigger. Clouds move in an empty sky, yet the sky remains unaffected. In the same way awareness is ever present, unchaining, formless, self-luminous, self-cognizant and perfect just Is-ness. Outside of a virtual, conditioned self, and a relative value system, thoughts, emotions and any kind of phenomena cannot have an intrinsic value; all is ascribed by the judgment of a self. Death is just dying, birth is just being born; waves crash and erode the rocks; wind blows and clouds move - it just is. The self says otherwise because it has a me to protect; an I to promote - this is just identification with survival sub-systems, and pleasure systems and self-actualization sub-systems which magically seem to come to life when connected with and operated through by awareness and life force. The grand empty puppeteer which generates a virtual 'separate' being who thinks it is alive, free and independent. Remove life-force, and it drops to the ground as dust. Awareness remains the same untouched. The puppet is nothing more than a kind of animated zombie - systems of cause and effect. But no one is home – there is only Awareness seeing the animation, the drives, the struggle, the pain and joy. In time the system breaks down, or transforms - reborn into something new, in the unending movement and processes of the cosmic system; but awareness is ever present, unchanging. Enlightenment is the full, experiential realization of THAT - of awareness. It is seeing through the self; thus, the end to suffering. No longer identifying with a self, and its grasping and seeking. Enlightenment is the end to that. Hence, the sense of having got it done, that has been spoken of. Not its partial realization which is ongoing and continued suffering, however subtle. No end to seeking, no having got it done, not enlightenment.

The suggested thesis goes, if you haven't realized THAT and you still suffer, then we are NOT enlightened. That is a proper definition and a proper standard for enlightened. Perhaps the problem is we have so divorced ourselves from tradition and are so desperate to eliminate our suffering that we have dumbed down enlightenment. We are just making it up as we go along. And then we say, but I am enlightened, however, I still suffer. I am enlightened, but I am not free. So, the question begs, are and were we ever actually enlightened? Not that enlightenment is left wanting, rather, we have failed to realize it and have effectively thrown in the towel too early. Jumped traditions before completing our stated goals. According to this thesis, suffering will remain as long as we continue to identify with the phenomena of self as composed by the virtual psychic entity arising from the animation of, and interaction with, various deterministic sub-systems resulting in identification with, and disturbance by, desire, aversion and dissatisfaction. If we don't identify, not as a choice we make, but as a genuine enlightenment breakthrough of what we previously held to be the self, we no longer suffer. This cannot be a philosophy espoused, but rather a genuine breakthrough. Real enlightenment. Actual freedom. No breakthrough, no enlightenment. No freedom, no enlightenment. Continued suffering, no enlightenment.

Necessarily, the world does not meet all our needs all the time. It does not meet much of our needs most of the time. The absence of emotion will not change that. The absence of thoughts will not change that; or imagination, as it were. As we have seen, I have argued only the complete and full penetration of a 'sense' of self will result in the freedom we seek. I have defined this self as a virtual entity resulting from awareness/life-force operating through the nervous system, generating consciousness, which identifies with various mechanical, deterministic sub-systems of information processing, creating a dependant and ever unstable complex system know as a person or me with drives, identity and self-awareness. Since it is contingent and not self-existent, it is in a constant state of decay and need, inexorably driven and unable to rest – it is the essence of suffering. As such, it is the self that is the experience and source of suffering; given its contingent nature, it can be no other way. See through the sense of self and there is just lived experience, pure and perfect as it always was/is. Just is; no judgment; because, no self. Simply awareness of what is and the intrinsic peace, perfection and bliss of being as our underlying nature. Pure cognizance. Everything else is the play of energy, crystallized and structured in an infinity of interdependent, yet discrete systems; which have taken on a life and animation of their own. They come and go, yet have no substance or permanence; no intrinsic value or worth - they just are the fractal play of light in awareness. To see THAT is to have true, real and liberating insight.

Level one enlightenment: ditching the split - seeing through the virtual self. A 'real' uncontrived shift in view - from identification with, and experience of, self as the puppet - the little virtual self that needs and suffers, strives and seeks, defends and promotes - to a realization of that which sees-what-is - the unchanging, ever pristine, perfectly peaceful and satisfied, empty sky-like awareness. Conditioning continues to arise at level one due to lack of development and purification of the 'whole system' that is the person. However, we are not the system. The shift has taken place, we 'experience' that we are not that system of cause and effect, we as awareness see it, but are not it. And if the shift is real and not some adopted intellectual philosophy or confusion of attainment, then we, like the open sky, remain free and untouched, simply aware of what is, but unaffected by it. True enough in the early stages of stabilization, we may be distracted and fall back into identification with phenomena. This is not a loss of enlightenment, or a true shift back as it were, far from it; it is merely a momentary distraction, like a day dream, at the psychoemotional level due to remnants of habit patterns yet to be purified. There was no suffering or craving, just an emergent - mechanical - ripple of cause and effect in the virtual systems-self. Awareness sees the ripple, and it is perfect and equal like every other movement of energy in awareness. Why? Because there is no self to judge the ripple. Just awareness of objects in awareness. Practice goes on and so does the personal body-mind system develop and purify, giving rise to all sorts of transformations of body, energy and conscious - not awareness, however. That just sees the movement in stillness; stillness in movement.

A final point. I do think there is progressive development that moves along an infinite trajectory, and as such, I think that what is considered enlightenment around here is enlightenment proper, but only basic or level one enlightenment or first of the higher spiritual initiations if you want to use that metaphor. There will be further progress in that development - growth and transformation of the system. And while awareness is pure and perfect now, as it always has been - before and after enlightenment - and never changes, just is, and is aware of what is, while everything else changes - the phenomena that is the objects of awareness, our lived experience and various systems - WILL change due to purification of the skandhas and development of the nervous system, and greater presence or embodiment of intelligent life-force - chi - and development of shen and higher bodies and such. Thus, further 'developmental' transformation of the system that is the person will result in ever greater, more comprehensive and more direct experience of infinity as we are, and always were, resulting in cosmic enlightenment or initiation; for want of better terms. At this level, such perfect stereotypical enlightenment, as you seek, and as previously detailed above may be found. Thus, here is where we might find at the systems level, a complete absence of conditioning and imperfection - by human standards.

So, I propose that any and all systems of authentic development will eventually result in what you seek, and that Actual Freedom is not unique in this. I think we will find some rare Buddhist, Taoist, Christian Mystics and those from all traditions who have found what you seek. It is rare because it is the peak of human/spiritual evolution, at least as we currently understand it. Not peak, according to greater standards we currently cannot comprehend, which reach beyond this speck of a universe. It's rare because it is no small feat, like the peak of ANY human endeavor - sports, music, art - and in the same way, cannot be done in brief amount of time, with minimal commitment. First level initiation or basic enlightenment isn't of such a high standard and may more easily be stumbled upon. Not so difficult to get High Distinctions at university, pretty bloody hard to win the Olympics. ;-P

Tarin, on a different matter. What is the definition for Arhat you are using? I wonder if you would take a moment to explain why you think you are one? And what are the changes in your experience prior to and after?

Thanks!

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for grammar, spelling and clarification.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 4:52 PM as a reply to Adam West.
Adam West:

I do think there is progressive development that moves along an infinite trajectory, and as such, I think that what is considered enlightenment around here is enlightenment proper, but only basic or level one enlightenment or first of the higher spiritual initiations if you want to use that metaphor. There will be further progress in that development - growth and transformation of the system. And while awareness is pure and perfect now, as it always has been - before and after enlightenment - and never changes, just is, and is aware of what is, while everything else changes - the phenomena that is the objects of awareness, our lived experience and various systems - WILL change due to purification of the skandhas and development of the nervous system, and greater presence or embodiment of intelligent life-force - chi - and development of shen and higher bodies and such. Thus, further 'developmental' transformation of the system that is the person will result in ever greater, more comprehensive and more direct experience of infinity as we are, and always were, resulting in cosmic enlightenment or initiation; for want of better terms. ...

So, I propose that any and all systems of authentic development will eventually result in what you seek, and that Actual Freedom is not unique in this.


Adam,
Eloquently put. (although I do remember Hokai saying as much in about 20 words :-)

Thanks,
-Chuck

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 7:29 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hi Chuck!

Thanks. emoticon Yeah, Hokai's the man!!! He was a great loss to this community. Poetic Iterations of a central theme is a common teaching method; however, I was just amusing myself emoticon:

Stay in contact!

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for spelling.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 6:37 PM as a reply to Adam West.
Adam West:
Yeah, Hokai's the man!!! He was a great loss to this community.


Yea, I miss him. I may have driven him crazy now and then but I sure learned allot from him. Can't find the Hokai quote I was looking for but here is another one that is relevant to this topic:

Fascination with one's personal reality easily becomes fascination with one's personal enlightening experience. With all that went on for the past 14 billion years, to say that "universe" is neutral, non-reactive, equal, is contrary to everything we now know without a shadow of a doubt, namely, that universe is *not* cyclic, that it is an incredibly, mysteriously creative, absolutely non-neutral, and definitely directed process, with a will to produce matter, time and space from virtual nothingness, life beyond matter, and mind beyond life itself. With the emergence of human mind, this very process gradually becomes self-aware and reflected in an evolutionary concern. Now to say that equalization remains the apex of human realization is to ignore the fact that we are also conscious embodiments of this very creative impulse, with so much to say, think, do, and - yes - feel, while simultaneously being that which never enters this wild stream of time and polarity and tension and novelty. And that pure being element is indeed the backdrop of this whole universe, in itself neutral, no-thing, non-reactive, supremely equal. This pure being is neither one nor other to the universe, and yet it is not to be confounded with anything manifest, much less universe itself. To embrace universe in its actuality and facticity, one must go beyond the withdrawing impulse itself and confront the existential predicament, while relinquishing the quietistic bias in favor of a passionate, full-spectrum embodiment, including social/cultural/linguistic participation to the hilt, and with gusto I might add.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 7:31 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
Hahaha... Yeah, that guy has some serious intellectual and spiritual rigor. Makes the shinanigans around here look rather piss-poor by comparison.

In kind regards,

Adam. Edited for grammar.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 9:41 PM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
Hi all

I can heartily recommend Adyashanti's The End of Your World which is a six cd set and now also a book. It covers the topic of progressing from awakening to enlightenment. Listening to it in January and again today, it has really shone a light on aspects of the path which become increasingly subtle and are typically difficult to find guidance on.

Here is a list of the topics for those who may be interested:

1. Introduction To Session One - The Dawn Of Awakening (0:37)
2. More And More People Are Having Authentic Glimpses Of Reality (4:42)
3. What Awakening Reveals (7:17)
4. There Is No Such Thing As A "Personal" Awakening (6:34)
5. The Validity And Significance Of Momentary Flashes (6:13)
6. What Happens After Awakening? (7:57)
7. The Disorientation That Occurs When Ego Drives Begin To Disappear (11:20)
8. The Energy Of Non-Division (3:31)
9. Introduction To Session Two - Non-Abiding Awakening Or "I Got It, I Lost It" (0:32)
10. The Metaphor Of The Rocket Ship (3:48)
11. "I'm Awake, But..." (12:33)
12. It Is The Ego That Fixates In The Absolute View (8:41)
13. The Technique Is Sincerity (4:56)
14. Introduction To Session Three - Coming Completely Out Of Hiding (0:34)
15. Telling Each Other The Truth (7:38)
16. Allowing Everyone To Be As They Are (7:00)
17. The Willingness To Be Crucified (3:12)
18. Are You Being Truthful With Yourself? (3:54)
19. Introduction To Session Four - No Center (0:26)
20. The Dissolution Of The Sense Of Self (6:09)
21. Conflict Keeps The Egoic Center In Tact (7:21)
22. Questioning The Reality Of The Thinking Mind (11:18)
23. Investigating The Thought Of "I" (5:49)
24. Will We Allow Ourselves To Be Indefinable? (11:36)
25. Each Of Us Is A Unique Expression Of The One (7:18)
26. Introduction To Session Five - We Come To Nirvana By Way Of Samsara (0:34)
27. Velcro Thoughts (3:55)
28. Investigating The Roots Of Identification (8:55)
29. Inquiring Into Beliefs Until They Fall Away (8:52)
30. Each Experience Is The Divine Invitation (5:37)
31. Introduction To Session Six - Common Delusions, Traps, And Points Of Fixation (0:32)
32. The Delusio Of Superiority (5:29)
33. How The Ego Uses Realization As A Way To Dismiss Unconscious Behavior (6:29)
34. Being "Drunk On Emptiness" (5:13)
35. The Trap Of Meaninglessness (7:50)
36. There Is Nothing For The Ego In Awakening (2:18)
37. Being Stuck In The Witness (7:41)
38. To Be Enlightened Is To Be Free Of All Points Of View (5:43)
39. Seeing An Untruth Begins Its Dissolution (4:45)
40. Introduction To Session Seven - Life Itself Holds Up A Mirror For Our Awakening (0:34)
41. How Physical Illness Can Dissolve Our Identity Structure (7:07)
42. Fierce Grace (7:35)
43. How Honesty About A Destructive Relationship Can Dissolve The Self-Image (10:38)
44. The Willingness To Face Everything Without Condition (6:26)
45. What Do You Know For Certain? (4:00)
46. Introduction To Session Eight - The Energetic Component Of Awakening (0:32)
47. When The Ego Dissolves, We Are Flooded With Energy (8:17)
48. The Rewiring Of The Mind (6:55)
49. Increased Sensitivity In The Visual Field And In Our Feelings (9:51)
50. Accepting That Energetic Unfoldings Accompany Spiritual Unfoldings (2:03)
51. Introduction To Session Nine - Letting Truth Penetrate All Of Our Life (0:32)
52. Transcendence As Avidance (6:56)
53. The Consequences Of Denial (3:17)
54. The Seamlessness Of Reaization And Expression (4:06)
55. Introduction To Session Ten - When Awakening Penetrates The Mind, Heart, And Gut (0:34)
56. What Does It Mean To Be Undivided? (4:34)
57. Non-Division At The Level Of The Mind (11:17)
58. Non-Division At The Level Of The Heart (8:33)
59. Non-Division At The Level Of The Gut (8:00)
60. Facing The Illusion Of Personal Will (5:32)
61. Navigating Through Flow (7:43)
62. Introduction To Session Eleven - Naturalness - The Undivided State (0:32)
63. The Maturation From Awakening Into Enlightenment (6:50)
64. Inhabiting Form Without Identification (4:54)
65. The Fullness Of The Ordinary (5:04)
66. Our Awakening Is Our Greatest Contribution To Humanity (8:07)
67. Introduction To Session Twelve - Life As It Is (0:37)
68. The Story Of The Wedding (5:10)
69. Introduction To Session Thirteen - An Interview With Adyashanti (0:44)
70. How Do I Know If A Genuine Awakening Has Occured? (5:38)
71. Not Believing The Next Thought (8:28)
72. Everything Happens In It Time (12:41)
73. Pure Perceptions (7:13)
74. Missionary Zeal, Spiritual Maturity, And The Still Small Voice Within (11:55)
75. Being Alone, Together (6:25)
76. Past Life Experiences (13:47)
77. The Experience Of Death (5:12)

Craig

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/11/09 9:55 PM as a reply to My Fragile Ego.
Thanks for that Graig!! emoticon

In kind regards,

Adam.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/14/09 5:35 PM as a reply to Adam West.
I finally got around to reading this! A lot of interesting things said, many good points made. Much I could nit pick to pieces and argue to the grave. But instead, another approach seems more appropriate.

First off, I will mention that I was skeptical and hard-headed about AF as well. It took Tarin a lot of pestering and ranting to finally convince me to try the practices. I trusted him because he's my good friend and dharma bro, and I knew he had to have found value in something, hence his persistence. Suffice to say, giving up my feelings, no matter how unidentified and perfect in awareness they happened to be, did not sound like a good idea; but I tried it anyway. I am glad I did.

Why do I mention this? Because if you feel that you are at the end, by whatever definition or assessment that is, then you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving an earnest poking around with the principles and specifically the practices. Whatever stage I was at, be it my self proclaimed Arhatship or perhaps just stream entry, I saw definite, undeniable, and pleasant shifts in perception and consciousness almost immediately after I gave the practices an earnest try. They were literally undeniable after only one week of half-hearted effort for about 30 minutes a day. Note also that the shifts happen in relation to practice and honesty, are relatively slow and steady, and so if they seem bad to you, you can just stop and you've not gained or lost anything.

So whether or not you're an Arhat or an Anagami, have entered the stream or have not, have been ordained in a monastery or given permission from teachers to teach, or any other combination of possible attainment credibility; none of that really matters here because anyone can doubt anyone and anyone can do the practices. Whether this is new or old news doesn't matter. Whether it's "right" or "wrong" by social standards doesn't matter. Whether you think AF is a cult or just another set of practices and ideas, it doesn't matter.

What matters is that you're willing to try something with an open mind (or not). What matters is giving something an earnest try because lots of real human beings are saying "this is truly amazing, we recommend it." If you can't do that, it does not matter if you're the most Arhatty-Arhat on the planet, you missed out on one of the most important, concrete lessons that Enlightenment has to offer: you don't know what can come next, you don't know just how much sense things can make, you might not be right about some things regardless of how self evident they seem, try it and see before judging, and so forth.

If you're not willing to do that honestly, or lack tolerance for those of us who are, then it may be worth while to find out why. I imagine that such an inquiry itself may yield liberating insight into the nature of the content of your self, whether that self is perceived to be small or large, empty or full, transient or permanent, causal or acausal, emotive or not, imaginative or purely sensate, sacred or demonized, credible or otherwise.

So with that said, I will probably post a little "practical AF practices" thread sometime soon for those interested, as wading through the philosophy, theory, propaganda and so forth on the AF website can be quite annoying, as can be Richard's writing.

Have fun,
Trent

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/14/09 6:54 PM as a reply to Trent ..
Hey Trent!

Great reply!! emoticon

Yes, please do post some specifics on the AF practices. The Buddha is said to have suggested that we not believe things because he said them or via the institution of authority; rather, test them for ourselves. So no one can fault your proposal to try and see. Perfectly reasonable!

Please would you post relevant practice quotes from Richard's site and a links too, so we can follow them up. I will personally test these practices for myself and look forward to the opportunity.

And yes Richard's site is terribly painful and annoying to read for all the reasons you mentioned and others. So your practice quotes may be quite a relief! emoticon

Thanks!

In kind regards,

Adam.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/14/09 10:50 PM as a reply to Adam West.
Taoists have a saying 'there are no heretics just different sects' :-)

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/15/09 10:42 PM as a reply to Chuck Kasmire.
This might be relevant to this thread:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptkH0uK1uXM&feature=related

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
9/15/09 11:25 PM as a reply to David Charles Greeson.
Hey Dave!

Nice link. Here is another posted by Craig on Ken's site that talks about how to recognize an enlightened person such as no-self expressing in body language and so on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tF96pTDYEAU

The suggestion seems to be there are clear markers across various domains of being/experience/expression in terms of degree of realization, stabilization and integration. But on the personal level, outside of descriptive theoretical frameworks, less of a clear demarcation.

In kind regards,

Adam.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
4/17/12 9:42 AM as a reply to Trent ..
Trent .:
I will probably post a little "practical AF practices" thread sometime soon for those interested, as wading through the philosophy, theory, propaganda and so forth on the AF website can be quite annoying, as can be Richard's writing.


Did this thread ever surface?

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
4/30/12 5:55 PM as a reply to Stian Gudmundsen Høiland.
"+1."
I'm sure there are others interested in such a thread.

RE: The Anagami's Dilemma
Answer
5/19/12 12:24 AM as a reply to Daniel M. Ingram.
I like how you put that, Daniel, about splitting things up this way and that.

By the way, I've enjoyed listening to Sayadaw U Tejaniyas talks and group interviews on dharmaseed.org from his recent retreat at IMS.

Basically, what I wanted to write is...

Practice is practice. Just that. By practice I mean non-clinging. If you aren't clinging, then there's freedom. Just that. There's life as well, and freedom interacts with life. However, that interaction is more akin to an orientation, or motivation, and is not anything more. So there are still all other skills contained within life waiting to be developed.

Whatever happens in life when it's met with freedom is to be trusted, even if it doesn't look so special right away. Conversely, I think whatever happens in life when it's met with less-than-freedom is suspect. Non-clinging is letting go into a clear awareness of oneself, others, and situation, and that is where compassion comes in. Natural care for oneself and others, seeing that it's interconnected.

I think that there are plenty of skills in life that require stress to achieve. Worthwhile skills. A good life doesn't avoid stress, because some stress leads to the end of stress, if it means building skills that support the maturation in the dharma for oneself or for others.

I think it's just important to make the clear distinction between dharma practice and everything else. First step: dharma practice-- and do it thoroughly so there is only freedom and compassion. That freedom is lost as soon as life is not met with it. Of course. But final freedom does stay, and infuse one's life, including all those other skills of life to work with. This infusion means that one is living based on wise care. Whatever that looks like, I think there's nothing better.