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TOPIC: Awakenetwork Participation

Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 10:26 #109650

... fruitless arguments, flakiness, and insults; people stomped off in disgust and there was bad blood aplenty...

Please be aware - that is one way, quite a powerful way, to draw a ton of message board traffic. And, at least in this dialog, I'm hearing some people liked that "edgy" quality.

EDIT: it's a sort of Internet rule that one thing <active message boards> more or less guarantees the other thing <arguments, flakiness, insults, etc.>
Last Edit: 15 Aug 2018 10:28 by Chris Marti.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 11:44 #109652

Laurel Carrington wrote:
Daniel is posting much more actively on DhO these days.

I'm pretty sure Daniel retired from emergency medicine recently.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 12:11 #109653

Yes, Daniel recently retired.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 13:22 #109654

Well, I can try to flake out or start an argument, or maybe you should give it a try? :P The trouble is, I’ve mellowed out since those days, although I suppose I could be prodded into getting my edge back.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 14:24 #109655

Go for it!

:woohoo:
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 17:47 #109660

Laurel Carrington wrote:
Well, I can try to flake out or start an argument, or maybe you should give it a try? :P The trouble is, I’ve mellowed out since those days, although I suppose I could be prodded into getting my edge back.

I tried to kick up some traffic with starting a controversial "final awakening" topic. :cheer:

Its funny though, instead of pushing the envelop hard and keeping intense dialog going, I became more and more introspective about my own practice... Either I will now end up participating more here, or I may shrink away again and focus on a solo journey... Im not sure what will happen yet
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 18:14 #109661

Chris Marti wrote:
It's interesting how often people cite the energy of the old KFD and DhO message boards as being a catalyst for their practice. Any theories on why there was so much energy back then? Yes, a bunch of people found each other on those boards. Yes, it was early in the MCTB Era (I just made that up, btw), and that was exciting. And yes, there were a number of prolific posters in all those places. One thing I can think of that made a difference is the nature of some people who were actively posting at the time: Vincent Horn, Hokai Sobol, Kenneth Folk, Daniel Ingram. There was a confluence of things going on: MCTB popularity on the rise, the emergence of the Buddhist Geeks podcast featuring all the people, and more, who I mentioned. These were well-known Buddhism "celebrities." Having celebrities active on your message boards is a different maker. We don't have that here, do we?

Any thoughts?

My thoughts: I would agree with all of your points and add a few more. It was also the shared journey that gave me energy at KFD. You, Nikolai, Antero, and many others were celebrities to me. I had the great fortune of watching you, as students, go through the path territory that I would go through next. This gave me a sense of validity in what I was doing that you just can't get from trying to awaken from reading a book about it. It is one thing to believe that great masters could attain awakening, and it is a brilliant and inspiring other thing to watch regular folk go through the process in real time. That, like many eras, was special in its first generations. Even if KFD was still running today, I don't imagine it would still have that same twinkle. We, ourselves made it too fractal and the pursuit of all things infinite-development dulled the cutting edge. Remember when everyone was just simply hair on fire trying to get to 4th path? Having witnessed that era of KFD, to me, gives me a sense of specialness and pride similar to someone who got to live their 20s in San Francisco in the 1960s.

I also got great advice from other students that helped me: a) see things from other perspectives, not just a teacher's, and b) validated my experiences as similar to what they went through, which let me know I was on the right track, which gives you huge energy to keep going through rough stages.

We can still do that here, we just don't have the hype that early KFD had that seemed to bring in masses. But with the masses also came tons of arguments and funny stuff (which I didn't' mind).

To be honest, and to continue the same narrative that I have been on all week, its all the post-4th path mystery that probably takes the wind out of newcomers sails (given that they have read enough about all this stuff to be up to date). What is it exactly that our online dharma community can offer?
How about this:
1)Read MCTB2
2)Practice the hell out of the 3 trainings and report your progress here in a Practice Journal so we can help to get to 4th path
3)Get to 4th path and you can be stuck and unsure about what comes next like the rest of the refugees...

Not so inspiring, nothin to set hair on fire. Granted, we all know that it is worth it. We just don't collectively know enough about what we are selling to sell it well. Also, we use too damn much soft dharma voice to explain it all in airy-fairy ways that don't intrigue a new-person who isn't at that stage where post-awakening-dharma-poetry-paradox is the only language you now speak.
Last Edit: 15 Aug 2018 18:54 by Anthony Yeshe.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 20:04 #109665

Anthony, you know of this thing called "impermanence" right? Nothing says the same. Everything changes. Can't we make the most of what we now have and not spend time yearning for what once was? I'm being quite serious. We have something here, maybe many things, few message boards have. So let's go for it!
Last Edit: 15 Aug 2018 20:04 by Chris Marti.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 20:24 #109667

I was just giving my theory. :(

I also didn't mean to sound like I was lamenting the past. Just giving my thoughts about what was so unique about that time. I think this site could have a lot to offer and it requires that we press the edge a bit more. Right now it feels like an after thought site, not its own thing. Its people like me who come in and out without much to offer that holds things back. I hope we can talk honestly about our needs and address them with vigor!
Last Edit: 15 Aug 2018 20:38 by Anthony Yeshe.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 15 Aug 2018 21:21 #109669

Anthony Yeshe wrote:
Its people like me who come in and out without much to offer that holds things back.

Your "Final Awakening" thread is already quite awesome and still growing. Not a bad contribution IMHO.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 16 Aug 2018 07:56 #109673

Anthony, if only more people here would start topics like you did!
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Awakenwtwork Participation 16 Aug 2018 09:02 #109677

Anthony Yeshe wrote:
Laurel Carrington wrote:
Well, I can try to flake out or start an argument, or maybe you should give it a try? :P The trouble is, I’ve mellowed out since those days, although I suppose I could be prodded into getting my edge back.

I tried to kick up some traffic with starting a controversial "final awakening" topic. :cheer:

Its funny though, instead of pushing the envelop hard and keeping intense dialog going, I became more and more introspective about my own practice... Either I will now end up participating more here, or I may shrink away again and focus on a solo journey... Im not sure what will happen yet

Does "solo" imply not documenting that journey? I am grateful for you stirring things up, and hope you continue to post something, anything, whichever way to go.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 16 Aug 2018 09:55 #109679

On the matter of the dharma celebrities of the past: it would be wonderful if as many of us as possible could think in terms of what we can offer other people, both newer practitioners and experienced ones feeling stuck. This means accepting advice as well. Seeing others as celebrities isn’t necessarily the only, or the best, way to proceed. There is knowledge, experience, and willingness here, even without the thrill ride of the early days. People are getting help and moving through the practice.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 16 Aug 2018 15:01 #109684

A big strength of a smaller community like this is that you can get to know others well and develop better trust, based on knowing their journey. If this was a high traffic area, new people may be too shy to post their own thoughts/theories and not be sure what to do with the advice of 12 strangers that pop suddenly. I've never met anyone here personally but I have read thousands of your words. This gave me comfort enough to lay out my own bullshit and trust the feedback I have gotten.

I would like to start a practice journal soon. I did need some solo time in the past years, but a new, more open journey now feels necessary. I feel like I am already out in the open and I might as well continue. Keeping up with a practice log has the benefit of keeping you on track and checking in with others
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Awakenwtwork Participation 16 Aug 2018 18:57 #109689

I get the smaller community feeling. When Jackson Wilshire (AWoulbehipster on KFD) and I started Dharma Refugees, we were really just angry at Kenneth Folk, but it was also a refuge from the volume and cacophony of posts at KFD.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 19 Aug 2018 23:10 #109732

I was pretty active here for 3 or 4 years but have been kind of fading the last couple, as I'll explain below. I also often look back wistfully on the noting practice I had during the KFD hair-on-fire life-is-a-retreat days. The intensity of catching states in the act real-time on & off cushion, conscious falling asleep, noting on waking up, walking, driving, eating, talking. It felt so alive. When Kenneth started trying to steer me away from that I just couldn't let it go. In retrospect I think he did know what was better for me at that point but I've always had problems with being flexible about change - I guess that goes with being "on the (autism) spectrum". I've always had certain learning & cognitive challenges and have to read about things repeatedly, trying them out over time, running my fingers through the details of the trees before finally getting some insight into a bigger picture. So even though I'd been sitting often intensively for years, enthusiastically read MTCB and DhO, worked with Kenneth and had journals on KFD, I had a terrible time remembering all the nanas and jhanas, understanding how they applied to noting. I could experientially identify the 1st 3 nanas and strived to get A&P. But 1st Path and even 1st jhana sounded almost unattainable. I did eventually figure out that I'd been having A&P and spending time in the dukkha nanas for years. When Kenneth referred me to work with Owen Becker briefly, Owen pointed out that I was getting 3rd jhana and I realized I'd been doing that since my Zen days some years previously. But I thought I didn't have what it takes to get 1st path.

It wasn't until I started working productively with Chris for a couple of years and began a journal on AN that I turned a corner and became able to recognize jhanas 1-4 and equanimity. And then was stunned to discover that I had evidently passed 1st Path while still at KFD without realizing it. In part probably because I'd mythologized it and the experiences people reported on DhO and KFD sounded so earth-shaking, how could you not know when it happened. It was very difficult for me to let it sink in that it could have happened and I was still subject to life-long psychological (even psychiatric) and ethical challenges.

Fortunately Chris referred me to Abre who started me working with inquiry and that clicked again for 2 or 3 years. I think Abre said I had some affinity with inquiry and flow states, even though once again I was unclear on how to conceptualize what I was experiencing. It felt profound at times but hard to understand clearly. Evidently I even got 3rd path. Abre told me that some people get subsequent paths and the terrain is extremely clear while for others, even though they've experience the paths, the terrain is fuzzy.

Except when I was meeting very regularly with Abre, I started struggling with uncertainty about what to do. My motivating anxiety was significantly missing and it was hard to muster drive, it felt like kind of an arbitrary contraction. Sometimes I was just very happy and, even though I saw that my personality issues were still kind of latently noticable, they didn't look substantial and it was often easy not to identify with them. I could see that I was still socially inept and even clueless, but I could relax around that and not add on freaking out about it. So my reasons for pushing to new horizons were hard to summon, and I wasn't even sure what practice I should settle on in any case.

Then about 2 years ago my workplace started this ridiculously intense $30 billion dollar 2-year IT infrastructure roll-out that ruined the lives of a couple of thousand IT workers, including mine, with management-fantasy arbitrary deadlines. The intensity, relentless demands and overtime hours re-stimulated my traditional self-image as a learning and performance challenged sub-standard person and I started getting into extended times of de-facto identifying with that, even though I kind of knew it wasn't true. If I got a break and took a rare few hours for extra sitting or a walk in nature it was like, oh, right, that's not me. Shit, what am I doing to myself.

Just before this travail set in, I had a week long solo retreat that was like one relentless, unstoppable clarity and light A&P. I felt on top of the world. Then it all seemed to start a nose-dive at the same time as the work nightmare. Worse I got chronic often serial migraines 2 to 5 days every week much of the 2 years. Many of my coping mechanisms were overwhelmed, as I actually learned to work through migraine-with-aura episodes (but not real intense pain) as my almost normal experience. My brains felt fried, my personality and character (such as they were) demolished.

Every now and then I'd come up for air and remember that's not really me, but conceptualizing in front of a computer hour after hour made it hard to spend much time there. A couple of weeks ago, it all ended. Work apparently is back to normal and my migraines are pretty much better. I'm unwinding and starting to work with Abre again. Just took a look at AN and found out it's hopping lately. Writing this update means I'm not going to get enough sleep or sitting :-) so not sure how often I'd want to do this but I'm hoping to keep up some frequent if brief participation.
Last Edit: 19 Aug 2018 23:18 by Kacchapa.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 20 Aug 2018 13:21 #109735

Kacchapa wrote:
Then about 2 years ago my workplace started this ridiculously intense $30 billion dollar 2-year IT infrastructure roll-out that ruined the lives of a couple of thousand IT workers, including mine, with management-fantasy arbitrary deadlines. The intensity, relentless demands and overtime hours re-stimulated my traditional self-image as a learning and performance challenged sub-standard person and I started getting into extended times of de-facto identifying with that, even though I kind of knew it wasn't true. If I got a break and took a rare few hours for extra sitting or a walk in nature it was like, oh, right, that's not me. Shit, what am I doing to myself.

Effing management. I can’t overstate my disgust with such nightmare people. Other than that, it’s great to hear from you again. Hope you get to retire before too much longer.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 20 Aug 2018 21:03 #109740

Sincere thanks, Laurel!

Maybe that's why I've been reading some about cascading effects of mutually self-amplifying feedback loops of runaway climate and ecological change. So I can feel happily relieved if I get to work at Walmart until I'm 75. :cheer:
Last Edit: 20 Aug 2018 21:05 by Kacchapa.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 08:22 #109886

So you're all busy posting and starting topics, right?

:P
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 13:58 #109887

I tried to get something started with Daniel’s pronouncements on what being enlightened is all about, but only ended up with a bit of banter about map addiction. I’ll say here that I think Daniel sets the bar pretty high, and rejects a designation of technical fourth path. Years ago there was some discussion over whether the latter might be what more traditional types label stream entry. At the time, people were reluctant to muddy the waters, but I am wondering whether there is merit to the suggestion.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 15:42 #109889

I pretty much agree with Daniel that technical fourth path doesn't make much sense. Most of what gets called t4P sounds a lot like somewhere in the domain of 3rd Path.

That said, I also pretty much agree that most of the other perfection models are extremely conceptual and not based in evidence. (Ken Wilber jokingly said something similar, along the lines of no one can become a saint or start a religion in the modern era, because there is too much evidence of their imperfection these days -- emails, videos, etc. :) )
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 16:11 #109890

Where is the conversation that has been started about Daniel's take on awakening? I'd be happy to contribute to that one.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 19:10 #109892

It’s on the Let’s Get Clear About Final Awakening page. Daniel has posted two essays recently. The first had to do with awakening, the second with maps.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 20:13 #109893

Oh, okay - I know about that one. I thought you had started a new topic and I couldn't find one.
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Awakenwtwork Participation 14 Sep 2018 20:22 #109894

Shargrol --

I pretty much agree with Daniel that technical fourth path doesn't make much sense. Most of what gets called t4P sounds a lot like somewhere in the domain of 3rd Path.

I agree with this comment. The distinction between the later stages of 3rd Path and 4th Path, what Daniel calls arahatship, are quite subtle, and yet vast.
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2018 20:22 by Chris Marti.
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