Recent Posts - Awakenetwork - awakenetwork.org - awakenetwork.org http://awakenetwork.org Fri, 18 Jan 2019 10:15:29 -0500 Kunena Forum (Joomla) /components/com_kunena/template/blue_eagle/images/icons/rss.png Recent Posts - Awakenetwork - awakenetwork.org en-gb awakening: WTF? - by: Chris Marti http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf?start=25#110232 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf?start=25#110232 General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:38:03 -0500 Blog - by: Laurel Carrington http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110231 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110231 General Forum Topics Tue, 08 Jan 2019 15:24:53 -0500 awakening: WTF? - by: Noah http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf?start=25#110228 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf?start=25#110228
As a proud member of the "striving camp" I want to posit that causes lead to effects. Good practice leads to good results. Conscious cultivation of clarity on what those results are leads to happiness & satisfaction with practice. Stream entry events don't matter. What matters is:
-Awakening (baseline direct understanding of perceptual process)
-Therapy (emotional softening, mental hygeine & cognitive deconstruction of psychodynamics)
-Ego Development (greater breadth & depth of conceptual paradigms)
-Behavior Mod (the ability to choose one's words & actions appropriately)

Awakening doesn't matter that much more than the other 3 axes, in my opinion. Clearly it is possible to make consistent progress on all of these axes by trying hard & surrendering - in a balance over months & years - while being generally healthy, living a balanced lifestyle, regular formal meditation, off cushion mindfulness, talking to a teacher, having a supportive sangha, etc.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:33:14 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110227 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110227 shargrol wrote:
Thanks Tom for taking my question in the way I intended: genuine curiosity and interest.

For what it's worth, I personally do not believe any one specific experience is diagnostic for various stages of awakening --- but I do think I can take in people's experience and make a good assessment of where they are at. I agree many people do not report cessations and are at "stream entry" and other people report cessations/non-experience-events and are not at "stream entry". It is confusing and gets even more confusing for later stages/paths... but I think there is a broad developmental arc that can be seen. For example, if someone is unable to cultivate a fairly radical equanimity -- extended hours of feeling radically OK and easy access when the mind is inclined that way -- then any cessation is beyond the point. So it is usually quite clear if someone has gone through a purification of the neurotic aspects of being a pre SE meditator.

"Extended hours of feeling radically OK." When this first started happening I assumed it was some developmental milestone I'd hit late (or something) because most "normal" people seemed to be OK to me and I'd spent 10 years as a neurotic mess. It was such a huge and complete transformation that I didn't question it, just immediately focused my efforts on getting my life together and moved on. I thought I had gotten more "normal"! Someone had to explain to me (embarrassingly recently) that those "normal" people are pre-A&P and that's why they seem so OK. It made me really sad to learn this. :( That's what I get for having mostly ignored the insight models.

But I think "hours of feeling radically OK" is a much more useful benchmark than "stream entry" which is obviously a hotly contested thing.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:27:09 -0500
Blog - by: shargrol http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110226 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110226 ]]> General Forum Topics Tue, 08 Jan 2019 13:17:24 -0500 awakening: WTF? - by: Eric http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110225 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110225 Andromeda wrote:
What if it's all just randomness, freak accidents? Of course, this is also another story...
All things considered, everything kind of comes from randomness. Including incredibly complicated technology that is not random. And awakening is something that is more suddenly stumble-in-able than many things. But people also stumble into the desire to go down the path and train the mind to be more aware and relaxed, and that seems to make one considerably luckier at stumbling into it. I could be wrong but the old KFD forum crowd seemed to have had a substantially better than average track record as near as I can figure.

Andromeda wrote:
he felt that no more than a few thousand out of the billions of people on this planet would ever touch it.
My guess is more like one out of hundreds. And perhaps all have touched it on the way into life, and many will touch it on the way out. You have to let go eventually.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 11:30:52 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110224 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110224
Tom--I'm glad shargrol nudged you on that comment because I'd like to hear more on that as well. It was certainly not my intention to dissuade anyone from practice.

To answer your question--no remembered cessation from 18 years ago, just clear memories of first getting into equanimity because the spaciousness was such a relief. So still not clear when SE happened, just making a guess based on conversations with knowledgeable friends. First noticed a clear cessation years after that--locked onto a sudden noise, mind clearly went totally offline and rebooted and so I thought it was a stroke (the little bliss wave after had me extra convinced death was imminent). Interesting conversation with the Shinheads you had--any idea what Shinzen's take on it is?

Also, I managed to articulate an awakening story for you: it took 10 years of chronic dark night yogi desperate seeking and practicing hard but in mostly the wrong ways or with too much effort because I didn't know what I was doing. Like lifting weights with bad form and then dropping them on my foot. So there was practice, a LOT of it, it just wasn't very good practice. It was spurred by a deep longing for clarity of the unvarnished truth, but I kept retraumatizing myself and making a mess of things. So maybe the real lightning strike was the moment of, "Duh, I shouldn't do that" which came prior to equanimity. I had to learn to stop stuffing crap in the hole and just stare into it instead. Come to think of it, this is a lesson I've had to keep learning again and again in different ways...]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 11:23:19 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: shargrol http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110223 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110223
For what it's worth, I personally do not believe any one specific experience is diagnostic for various stages of awakening --- but I do think I can take in people's experience and make a good assessment of where they are at. I agree many people do not report cessations and are at "stream entry" and other people report cessations/non-experience-events and are not at "stream entry". It is confusing and gets even more confusing for later stages/paths... but I think there is a broad developmental arc that can be seen. For example, if someone is unable to cultivate a fairly radical equanimity -- extended hours of feeling radically OK and easy access when the mind is inclined that way -- then any cessation is beyond the point. So it is usually quite clear if someone has gone through a purification of the neurotic aspects of being a pre SE meditator.

Yeah, it's interesting, having a goal like SE is both empowering (hey, this shit is real) and deflating (great, another thing i don't have). For me, MCTB put all of the weird enlightenment porn that I read over several decades into perspective and gave me a very clear path as a classic dark night yogi. Just hearing about dark night empowered me not to be afraid of my own mind and go deep. Frankly for me, living a life of low- to medium-grade depression was unfun and exhausting. Knowing that some of my spiritual experiences weren't mental illness was very helpful and it also gave me confidence that my instinct on meditation being healing and helpful was valid... And it really was clear that sitting daily cleaned up my mind and made me a better person. My wife noticed and my business colleagues noticed. But it was Equanimity that really changed me. One way to think about it is SE was more like an event that sent me into the next stage of practice, rather than being the end of the first stage of practice.

For what it is worth, I do think that good home practice is more than enough for SE, but it means full heartedly sitting each day. There are lots of techniques and advice that can help someone connect with what is really motivating their practice --- that's the most important piece. If someone doesn't want to practice, they simply shouldn't. But if someone wants to sit and make the most of it, then there are ways of really becoming an awesome sitting machine. My own thought is that if someone is fairly intelligent and healthy, daily sitting plus a couple of half-day home retreats (3 to 4 hours of sit-walk-sit-walk-sit) every few months is more than enough. Of course a teacher helps a lot, if that teacher is in sync with the yogi's personality and intentions.

Not to say this lightly because being frustrated does suck, but ultimately frustration is a good thing and I would absolutely place my bet on a yogi that was frustrated and practicing over a yogi that was content and practicing.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 10:50:44 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Tom Otvos http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110221 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110221 shargrol wrote:
Tom Otvos wrote:
...and so I am totally deflated that I have no ability to practice my way to awakening.

Frustrating business, this.

hmm... I'm finding hard to just this comment stand. So I'll just ask, for reals?

Well, let's see. In part, that response was a bit of a riff on the comment before. It would, indeed, be frustrating business if there was no way to merely practice my way to awakening. In some sense it explains a lot, but then there is your comment about practice and time, with either variant of them ringing true with me. There is the fear of not practicing correctly for "thousands of hours" (as a mutual friend used to say), or doing the practice correctly but not having it front-burnered enough to make a difference.

But I will also call back to what I said above, with very senior meditators, whom I would consider "awake", not actually having a stream-entry event. The frustrating thing (for me) there is that if there is no marker for "awake", how do you know, and how do you know you are not simply fooling yourself with a story? I guess you might say that *wanting* to be awake is another story, as is the story of the frustrated meditator. Stories all the way down.

To your question, for real I am frustrated, but no more so than I have been for several years. "Totally deflated"...not. I move in and out of practice in waves, not really knowing if it is helping anything. But I have given up on being bent out of shape not getting stream entry. At least until I can dedicate to one retreat, I am done with banging my head against that wall.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Tue, 08 Jan 2019 09:37:50 -0500
Blog - by: Laurel Carrington http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110220 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/2-general-forum-topics/13662-blog#110220 lightgettingin-wp.com/2019/01/07/update-and-dharma-talk/]]> General Forum Topics Mon, 07 Jan 2019 21:11:05 -0500 awakening: WTF? - by: shargrol http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110219 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110219 Tom Otvos wrote:
...and so I am totally deflated that I have no ability to practice my way to awakening.

Frustrating business, this.

hmm... I'm finding hard to just this comment stand. So I'll just ask, for reals?]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 19:01:17 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Tom Otvos http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110218 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110218 General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:45:47 -0500 awakening: WTF? - by: matthew sexton http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110217 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110217
I like Culadasa's simple description of the brain as a zillion little sub minds, each composed of neurons that are wired up to take data and spit out an answer, each answer then combined with other answers and somehow the inputs and the process and the outputs all flash in place and it looks like a simple cause-effect thing happened but really there's a holographic summation that no-one can really understand.

The 'student' is in the middle of a circular flow, the circle including history, culture, internet, books, conversations, a conglomeration of what might as well be random flux of information and the instant she thinks or twitches, feedback is already changing the supposedly linear response.

I guess I'm saying that cause and effect is happening, but since each of us is unique, complex and in flux, it' hopeless to understand the cause and effect.

That said, surely we agree that intention, investigation, practice does lead somewhere, usually in a good direction.

[File Attachment: IMG_20190107_085458.jpg]

For some reason, as I was walking around the house, I noticed this picture my son drew as part of an exercise: complete the picture (of half of his face). Some how this picture fits into my investigation of self/mind/brain/etc.

What I see in that is that what he drew came mostly from his *conceptual* understanding of himself and his understanding of the *concept* that he should draw half his face. It's as if he had little connection with the photo of half his face in front of him as he drew. For example, he did not continue his real smile line into the blank half of the page and the nose from the picture was not connected to the nose he drew. At some point he remembered that there was supposed to be something 'half-ish' about his drawing, so he cut off part of his head.

I took all of this to show that the depth to which his perceptions of the world are mediated through conceptual mind. The kid was only 5 when he drew that! But what I see in the picture is how we all are slaves to our conceptual/symbolic brains.

Another though: DI and JY and KF are kvetching about each other's understanding of dharma. Crap, if they don't agree completely on stuff, then the rest of us sure should not expect to agree, or agreement about 'the facts' is by agreement not by fundamental obviousness.

Sorry for the randomness of my post, take it as an expression of appreciation that you guys are still here.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 15:15:34 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110216 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110216
And going back to the original post, just to clarify--I'm not questioning the value of teachers/guides/mentors in practice, as the good ones are worth their weight in gold. I'm just questioning what's really going on in such relationships when it's working well, and when it isn't.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 14:35:38 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Tom Otvos http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110215 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110215 Andromeda wrote:
Honestly, I think that first random lightning strike happened for me because I finally surrendered totally to despair. I let go of any hope that things would improve but also let go of my death wish and accepted life--and myself, including the ugliest parts--as it was. And did a lot of walking just to get out of my head. Zero attachment to outcome. No idea what awakening was, that it was even a possibility to suffer less. I just walked, and kept walking. So that probably does count as practice even if I didn't understand that I was walking around with a lightning rod. If someone had tried to give me proper walking meditation instructions I probably would have screwed it up (or more likely just told them off).

Not appropriate on this public discussion thread, but have you got an awakening story you would be willing to share, Andromeda?]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 13:46:09 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Chris Marti http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110214 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110214 General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 07:49:32 -0500 Paulo Freire - Pedagogy of Freedom - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13681-paulo-freire-pedagogy-of-freedom#110213 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13681-paulo-freire-pedagogy-of-freedom#110213
So in the context of meditation, a teacher might fill a student up with all Buddhist theory, technical terms, etc. (banking model) but that won't do anything to wake them up and might just further oppress them. The student actually has to do the practice, while the teacher is there to guide/provide feedback/etc.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 05:04:37 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110212 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110212
Active/passive, participate/don't participate, left/right pinball flipper... At the end of the day any lip flapping we do on this subject is just bullshit anyway because there is just *this*.

But if we didn't do any lip flapping, we'd probably get lonely.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Mon, 07 Jan 2019 04:50:05 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Chris Marti http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110211 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110211
:P]]>
General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 17:37:22 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110210 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110210
All of this sounds really bleak but once it's really sunk in, actually the fact that we get to choose to pay attention is fantastically liberating.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 17:30:03 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: shargrol http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110209 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110209
Many people put in the time, but don't really practice.
Many people practice, but don't really put in the time.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 16:29:14 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Andromeda http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110208 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110208
...awakening is just what tends to happen when people DON'T do the things that reinforce the sense of a separate self. So "practice" is simply giving it the opportunity to happen and so the more practice, the greater the odds. This is actually what I suspect is the case, or something to this effect. That practice is hugely important even though we can't really understand exactly how it works. I heard an analogy that it's like getting struck by lightning: you can't make the lightning happen, but you can spend a lot of time on the top of a mountain with a lightning rod.

Honestly, I think that first random lightning strike happened for me because I finally surrendered totally to despair. I let go of any hope that things would improve but also let go of my death wish and accepted life--and myself, including the ugliest parts--as it was. And did a lot of walking just to get out of my head. Zero attachment to outcome. No idea what awakening was, that it was even a possibility to suffer less. I just walked, and kept walking. So that probably does count as practice even if I didn't understand that I was walking around with a lightning rod. If someone had tried to give me proper walking meditation instructions I probably would have screwed it up (or more likely just told them off).

So don't give up practicing, Tom!]]>
General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 15:00:57 -0500
awakening: WTF? - by: Chris Marti http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110207 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110207 General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 13:19:22 -0500 Paulo Freire - Pedagogy of Freedom - by: Chris Marti http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13681-paulo-freire-pedagogy-of-freedom#110206 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13681-paulo-freire-pedagogy-of-freedom#110206 General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 13:14:42 -0500 awakening: WTF? - by: Tom Otvos http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110205 http://awakenetwork.org/forum/103-general-dharma-discussions/13680-awakening-wtf#110205
Frustrating business, this.]]>
General Dharma Discussions Sun, 06 Jan 2019 13:07:50 -0500