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TOPIC: MCTB2 - Are You Reading This?

MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 30 Jul 2018 18:51 #109383

I started reading MCTB2 on the place ride today. I recall most of the first several chapters and with the exception of the explicit mentions of Kenneth Folk, I wasn't able to say that any of what I read there is new. It's bringing back a lot of memories - good ones - of my early practice, and making me hunger to practice more now. Funny how that works, eh?

Is anyone else working their way through MCT2?
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 30 Jul 2018 19:05 #109387

Absolutely, although I was just saying to Russell on another channel that I have Hardcover envy. I pulled the trigger on the book before it was released, and did not know a hardcover was available. I think it is "classic" enough to deserve a nice package (like Mahasi Sayadaw's Manual of Insight).

That said, I am also not reading it side-by-side with the original to identify changes, and am deliberately taking a Beginner's Mind approach. I really like the book a lot, and find it very readable. I was so blown away by v1 that I don't have that same excitement about it. The cat is out of the bag, enlightenment is real. But it is interesting reading it from a more "practiced" perspective, as well as noticing how some stuff is toned down, or more nuanced might be a better way to say it, based on the passage of time and Daniel's maturity. IIRC, the bulk of v1 was written shortly after *second path*, so a lot of water has gone under the bridge.

I am in Re-observation right now.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 30 Jul 2018 19:37 #109390

My first read of MCTB led to a "WTF???" reaction. I wasn't sure it was real and that DMI wasn't just a crackpot. It was an online book at the time. It was many months later, after flailing away at my pratice for that amount of time, that I decided to take it seriously and give the recommended MCTB insight practices a try.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 31 Jul 2018 06:13 #109398

I've ordered it and I'm looking forward to reading it. My hunch is that I will savor it this time, instead of binge reading it. :)
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 14:02 #109517

One of my frustrations with the book (both versions) is that there is not a clear description of a specific *practice* that would lead to stream entry. And by that I mean that it goes to great pains to be inclusive of all sorts of practices (including continue meditations on "sacred geometry", whatever the heck that is) without nailing down a solid "do this, get that" kind of practice that many people drawn to the book are probably looking for. I know I was, and still am to some extent.

Noting, yes, I get noting. But is the practice choiceness awareness, noting whatever arises, or is it breath meditation, noting all the sensations as well as interruptions in concentration? I know that no one practice is for everyone, but by not including a "canonical" practice approved and endorsed by Daniel Ingram it leaves people with a ton of information on what might happen, but no decent way to get started.

And the other frustration I have has to do with "fundamental insight". How can fundamental insight be completely agnostic to your choice of meditation object? Really? If I focus on my breath, I would have the same progress as if I were to meditation on sacred geometry (whatever the heck that is)? How can that be? And related to this, I find the new version is still vague on some details of the stages (ironic, given that some stages have a LOT of details on what may happen to some people while most will "just breeze through this stage"). In particular, there is repeated use of a variation of "what this stage has to teach you". What does that mean, exactly, and how does that relate to fundamental insight?

Generally, I am finding v2 a lot more readable, with good perspective and backfilling of information that Daniel acknowledges was missing or confusing in v1 (formations, anyone?). But some things are still leaving me hanging. I am not done yet but suspect, based on chapters titles, that I won't find joy later on.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 15:02 #109518

How can fundamental insight be completely agnostic to your choice of meditation object?

Tom, this universal agnosticism is true is because the practice is to observe the arising and passing (the actual process of perception) of ANY object. It doesn't matter what the object is. This is because all objects are processed the same way by our mind, and the thing we are trying to uncover is the process of arising and passing, not the object itself. Some objects are easier to observe, however. Example - for me the easiest to use in meditating were objects that arose from touching or from hearing.

EDIT: Fundamental insight is the realization/uncovering/seeing/grokking of the process of dependent origination - of how the mind creates our perceptions and experience from sensory inputs.
Last Edit: 08 Aug 2018 17:08 by Chris Marti.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 15:18 #109520

Tom, you're a developer. Maybe this will help:

What I explained in my last comment is analogous (I think) to what happens when you create a computer program. You, the developer, are creating a program which will manipulate data in order to create some end result, whatever result that may be. To understand the output we don't need to understand the computer program and how it works. That's analogous to our common, everyday way of interpreting the world (ignorance, in Buddhist terminology). If, however, we want to deeply understand the results of the program and how it creates the results we see, or if we want to change how the program works, we have to learn how to re-write the code, or at a minimum, to understand how the code works, line by line. That detailed understanding is analogous to understanding dependent origination, the way mind creates its output - the objects we observe. So, at least in my pea brain, learning how to code is analogous to meditating and figuring out on how objects are formed by the mind.
Last Edit: 08 Aug 2018 15:20 by Chris Marti.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 16:20 #109522

Chris Marti wrote:
How can fundamental insight be completely agnostic to your choice of meditation object?

Tom, this universal agnosticism is true is because the practice is to observe the arising and passing (the actual process of perception) of ANY object. It doesn't matter what the object is, This is because all objects are processed the same way by our mind, and the thing we are trying to uncover is the process of arising and passing, not the object itself. Some objects are easier to observe, however. Example - for me the easiest to use in meditating were objects that arose from touching or from hearing.

EDIT: Fundamental insight is the realization/uncovering/seeing/grokking of the process of dependent origination - of how the mind creates our perceptions and experience from sensory inputs.

Thanks, Chris. While I ponder your responses, I will say that I *think* that Daniel is not defining fundamental insight as DO, but rather as the 3Cs.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 17:07 #109524

... Daniel is not defining fundamental insight as DO, but rather as the 3Cs.

These are elements of the same thing, believe it or not. They are unalterably intertwined.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 17:25 #109525

Tom Otvos wrote:
Generally, I am finding v2 a lot more readable, with good perspective and backfilling of information that Daniel acknowledges was missing or confusing in v1 (formations, anyone?). But some things are still leaving me hanging. I am not done yet but suspect, based on chapters titles, that I won't find joy later on.
Post questions! More traffic!
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 19:45 #109527

Chris Marti wrote:
... Daniel is not defining fundamental insight as DO, but rather as the 3Cs.

These are elements of the same thing, believe it or not. They are unalterably intertwined.

So true.

The reason that unnecessary suffering can be released is due to seeing DO and therefore nothing is personal about 3C. And vice versa ... because awareness of 3C is so clear, the non-personal mechanism of DO becomes obvious.
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MCTB2 - Are You Reading This? 08 Aug 2018 20:06 #109528

The chapter structure is the same, but the contents are new. It is clear he is correcting critiques of v1 with more emphasis on balance, every other sentence.
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