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TOPIC: Kenneth's notes

Kenneth's notes 13 Sep 2015 19:56 #100429

I do think it makes it sound all or nothing, which it definitely isn't. Shinzen Young is fairly honest about this in his "batgap" interview, when he says that only a few of the awakened people he knows has practiced enough that they could pass the "Syria Test"



EDIT: I'm relistening.. 41:30 I think is where the discussion begins... but clicking through I couldn't find the mention of syria test, unfortunately... but it is in there.
Last Edit: 13 Sep 2015 20:16 by shargrol.
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Kenneth's notes 13 Sep 2015 22:49 #100430

Chris Marti wrote:
Yes, that's generally what people mean, I think, by, "There is pain but no suffering." But isn't that a rather confusing way to express the underlying process and result?

I guess it's a matter of what people find clarifying. It was clarifying for me, but it is confusing if we think of "suffering" from the vantage point of the term's usual meaning in English. So I'd rather call it dukkha. Dukkha is, to me, that paralyzingly gripping of the gut, that sense of suffocation I get when my belief in self is under attack, real or imagined. It can be very subtle, or it can be overwhelming. It's what shame and embarrassment are made of. I can remember years ago reading a review of another scholar's work and feeling the heart rate accelerating, my breathing getting jagged, and a distinct feeling of being threatened at the very fact that another scholar in my field was being praised. It took me a moment to figure it out, because she wasn't in direct competition with me.

I used to get this feeling when people I liked or supported were being undermined. It really wreaked havoc in my married life, because I would identify with what I thought my husband might be feeling, and engage in this huge emotional reaction, which was the opposite of helpful. Once when my then 10-year-old son was disinvited from a birthday party I got upset, yet my son just sort of shrugged it off, and felt uncomfortable with my reaction.

Since waking up I have had none of this, even though I have experienced grief, physical pain, and even depression. It's not simply that I accept these things, it's that I experience them in their purity, without the overlay of me, mine, myself. The depression is a feeling of listlessness, but there is no corresponding thought process that starts in saying stuff like "this is awful, I'll never feel better, I'm a big failure, blah, blah blah." I sometimes feel curious about the way certain things have turned out. I also wonder where things will go from here. The wife of an acquaintance is dying of cancer, and I know that could just as easily be me. She was full of hope and high spirits, ready to take on the challenge of beating this thing, and now she's in hospice. I say this not to denigrate her spirit, but rather to recognize that we all live for awhile, and then at some point we die. We don't know how or when. We thus can hold up and support one another as best we can.

When I look back on my relationship with dukkha, it's as if I was insane. Now the insanity has lifted and I can see it as such. I don't know if everyone else is or has been as insane as I was, but I know I was, and while I am not perfect in any sense of that word, I am now able to tell the difference between being insane and not being insane. So that is what dukkha means to this yogi.
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Kenneth's notes 14 Sep 2015 08:51 #100434

Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Laurel.

I'm not trying to denigrate anyone's experience but I am thinking about what I see as language that is accepted by many practitioners but that is very confusing without having been acculturated to the club. I see this language as being powerful, so powerful that it generates misunderstanding, leading to people taking formulations like "there is pain but no suffering" literally. Maybe there's a different way to describe what we now know?

Another similar formulation is this one: "There is no self."

Please feel free to ignore.
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2015 08:52 by Chris Marti.
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Kenneth's notes 14 Sep 2015 09:34 #100437

When I look back on my relationship with dukkha, it's as if I was insane. Now the insanity has lifted and I can see it as such. I don't know if everyone else is or has been as insane as I was, but I know I was, and while I am not perfect in any sense of that word, I am now able to tell the difference between being insane and not being insane. So that is what dukkha means to this yogi.

I'm reasonably certain that my understanding of dukkha is similar. I personally define dukkha as the process of artificially sectioning off a portion of the dancing, flickering field of sensate reality as a separate "entity" or "self." It is an illusion, a shadow, and yet it seems very real. Since reality is always in flux, this self is constantly threatened by change and fear of annihilation. It's as if a small ripple in the ocean has tried to prop itself up as separate from the waves.

How did this happen? A natural process of brain chemistry and human development? Or is it an illusion that we have carried across the worlds for eons? Or perhaps a quirk of quantum physics? I don't think there's any easy answer to these questions, nor do I think that it really matters what the answer is, as long as one practices well.

Vipassana debunks the illusion of a separate self.
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2015 09:35 by Eric.
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Kenneth's notes 14 Sep 2015 09:58 #100438

Yes; I don't know how any of this happens, or why. I've quit needing to know. My no longer needing to know is in some respects problematic, because I teach intellectual history, which concerns needing to know, striving to know, making assertions (or limning out probabilities) about what gives. And now I have little interest in "the life of the mind." That part of my life is drawing to a close.

I'm waiting to find out what to do with myself next. In the meantime, I still have a job, for awhile longer, and I am committed to doing it well.
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Kenneth's notes 14 Sep 2015 09:59 #100439

I don't need or want to ignore your concerns here. I think maybe the matter must be described experientially,, again and again, rather than encapsulated in a phrase. Thanks for caring for the community in this way.
Last Edit: 14 Sep 2015 10:00 by Laurel Carrington.
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Kenneth's notes 17 Sep 2015 14:49 #100498

Today's practice phrase:

This is happening, and Kenneth within it.
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Kenneth's notes 18 Sep 2015 12:48 #100507

I don't know how this should be.
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Kenneth's notes 23 Sep 2015 14:29 #100558

The little kid in the back seat with the blue plastic steering wheel. Does he panic when he finds out the wheel isn't hooked up?
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Kenneth's notes 23 Sep 2015 14:29 #100559

The little kid in the back seat with the blue plastic steering wheel. Does he panic when he finds out the wheel isn't hooked up?
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Kenneth's notes 23 Sep 2015 14:48 #100560

Or does he feel relief that he is not in control?
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Kenneth's notes 29 Sep 2015 22:52 #100628

"You want it to be one way. But it's the other way."

-Marlo Stanfield (Character)
The Wire by David Simon
Last Edit: 29 Sep 2015 22:54 by Kenneth Folk.
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Kenneth's notes 30 Sep 2015 22:13 #100644

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiet!
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Kenneth's notes 01 Oct 2015 01:10 #100645

So how does the parent feel when he realizes he isn't in control? :lol:
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Kenneth's notes 04 Oct 2015 12:53 #100687

"Our perception of reality has less to do with what's happening 'out there,' and more to do with what's happening 'in here.'" (pointing to his own head)

-David Eagleman

David Eagleman is a neuroscientist.

www.pbs.org/the-brain-with-david-eaglema...des/what-is-reality/
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Kenneth's notes 06 Oct 2015 23:41 #100697

May you awaken in this lifetime.
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Kenneth's notes 09 Oct 2015 12:15 #100724

This Kennething is an eddy in a stream.
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Kenneth's notes 09 Oct 2015 13:06 #100727

I am not what is seen. I am not the seer.
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Kenneth's notes 09 Oct 2015 21:02 #100736

It's OK. I love you.
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Kenneth's notes 09 Oct 2015 22:40 #100738

It rubs the lotion on its skin. It watches German instructional videos.

It laughs at its own jokes.
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Kenneth's notes 10 Oct 2015 09:25 #100740

Kenneth Folk wrote:
This Kennething is an eddy in a stream.

Yes! >joy<
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Kenneth's notes 10 Oct 2015 09:53 #100743

Kenneth Folk wrote:
It rubs the lotion on its skin. It watches German instructional videos.

It laughs at its own jokes.

I thought this was a "Silence of the Lambs" reference at first. :lol:
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Kenneth's notes 10 Oct 2015 14:46 #100746

Jake Yeager wrote:
Kenneth Folk wrote:
It rubs the lotion on its skin. It watches German instructional videos.

It laughs at its own jokes.

I thought this was a "Silence of the Lambs" reference at first. :lol:

It is a Silence of the Lambs Reference. That's why it was laughing at its own joke. :)
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Kenneth's notes 10 Oct 2015 15:57 #100747

How does a bird know what to do, or a flower?

No one would think to ask.
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Kenneth's notes 10 Oct 2015 16:19 #100748

Sure, human beings have asked, for millennia. Birds and flowers, not so much-- as far as we know. :cheer:
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