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TOPIC: Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly

Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 02 Oct 2016 04:59 #104501

Do you think there are certain things that happen with advanced Samatha practice that do not happen with dry insight, even after paths? In TMI, Culadasa says that getting to the final stage of the elephant path is equivalent to years of therapy. There are other passages where he describes equivalent benefits that I'm sure I haven't had with less stabilizing techniques. These are more mundane than awakening yet obviously major in their effect. I'd be especially curious to hear if anyone has run both experiments separately,
Last Edit: 02 Oct 2016 05:00 by Noah.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 02 Oct 2016 20:59 #104518

Those kinds of general statements (this approach is equal to years of therapy) really can't be taken seriously. There are just too many variables and, if someone is invested in the idea, there is too great a temptation to explain away the outliers. Anyway, it's kind of an unprovable statement since there is no way to take a single person, split them in two, and have them both run the experiment. :)
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 02 Oct 2016 22:14 #104522

Interesting. My understanding of Culadasa's 10 stages was that the effects listed are taken from 1000's of students who have engaged in Asanga's 9 stage elephant path over the centuries, similar to how we can generalize about the Nanas. In other words, a pattern that remains statistically significant despite individual variables.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 03 Oct 2016 07:01 #104523

All of the systems that survive do work, that's for sure. But these systems also survive by self-selection of students. So if you are not someone prone to jhana, then noting --for example-- works. If you are prone to concentration, but not strong visual nimittas, then certain practices work. If you get strong nimittas then another style of concentration works. You can have the "creeping normalicy" of some forms of zen, which works. You can have the visualizations of tibetian and shingon practice, which works. What typically happens is a student will flounder until they find a system (or series of systems) that actually works, then that student succeeds in that system and the system can say, look it works! :)

What seems to happen is people find a system that works for them and then extrapolated it out to it working for everyone, and then they blame the student if it doesn't work for the student. Obviously this is a big generalization too, but if you look for it, you'll see more and more of it. I was surprised once I realized that many teachers have this blind spot.

I think the problem is reinforced within these systems, there is a whole narrative about the "reality" of different phenomenon that is encountered as the body re-wires itself. Then if the student doesn't experience the phenomenon, they aren't experiencing reality. But the big insights are really independent of any type of particular phenomenon and everyone re-wires slightly differently.

Of course my thoughts are worth what you are paying for them! :P
Last Edit: 03 Oct 2016 07:03 by shargrol.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 03 Oct 2016 10:32 #104525

Ok that makes sense. I left my check book in the car. Can you bill me, Dr. Shargrol?

Seriously though, I think what I'm wondering about is whether there are some crazy mind mods waiting around the corner of "attention stability and continuity development," that have not been found in mostly dry insight.

I know, I know: stop wanting, look at the craving, whatever comes up comes up, etc :P
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 03 Oct 2016 16:53 #104527

No worries. I like these questions and the sense of exploration behind it! :) I think it's okay to wonder and question, nothing wrong with it at all.

I'm just saying that the whole concentration makes you sane but noting does not... that doesn't seem quite right to me.

No doubt there are probably future ways of training "attention stability and continuity". And those will yield attention stability and continuity, which could be good, or it could be bad, who knows? People like to take some aspect of mind and make it more important than others... but the value of anything is in context. Some situations probably call for spontaneous creativity and radical task switching, for example.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 03 Oct 2016 19:46 #104530

Good points. Meditate on this, I will.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 04 Oct 2016 00:17 #104531

shargrol wrote:
All of the systems that survive do work, that's for sure. But these systems also survive by self-selection of students. So if you are not someone prone to jhana, then noting --for example-- works. If you are prone to concentration, but not strong visual nimittas, then certain practices work. If you get strong nimittas then another style of concentration works. You can have the "creeping normalicy" of some forms of zen, which works. You can have the visualizations of tibetian and shingon practice, which works. What typically happens is a student will flounder until they find a system (or series of systems) that actually works, then that student succeeds in that system and the system can say, look it works! :)

What seems to happen is people find a system that works for them and then extrapolated it out to it working for everyone, and then they blame the student if it doesn't work for the student. Obviously this is a big generalization too, but if you look for it, you'll see more and more of it. I was surprised once I realized that many teachers have this blind spot.

I think the problem is reinforced within these systems, there is a whole narrative about the "reality" of different phenomenon that is encountered as the body re-wires itself. Then if the student doesn't experience the phenomenon, they aren't experiencing reality. But the big insights are really independent of any type of particular phenomenon and everyone re-wires slightly differently.

Of course my thoughts are worth what you are paying for them! :P

That's some awesome perspective Shargrol. It sounds like there's a road map there, a map that could help lots of people pick the route that's best for them. Wait, not a road map, a flow chart! It's a graphic!
Last Edit: 04 Oct 2016 01:48 by matthew sexton.
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Positive Effects of Concentration Done Properly 05 Oct 2016 17:58 #104542

shargrol wrote:
Of course my thoughts are worth what you are paying for them! :P

lucy-the-doctor-is-in.jpg
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