Mastering vs Awakening

3 weeks 13 hours ago - 3 weeks 13 hours ago #114846 by Dusko
Mastering vs Awakening was created by Dusko
I will copy-paste what Malcolm wrote on DhO in response to a thread of no interest here but his reply surely shows what it means to Master the mind and of course awaken 

However I would like us to touch on something Kenneth Folk calls Cosmic Joke. He had it first time when he attained to SE and he describes it something like “experience just is what it is no matter what I do” and there is a relief in that which never gets old. 
Then later he forgot about it and went on to attain other paths believing he needs them to awaken. Once he did attain to 4th he again got that same Cosmic Joke that experience is just what it is no matter what I do” and again he felt that “relief that never gets old” 

When I worked with Kenneth the very first thing he said to me is “you do not need these paths to awaken, however it’s good to attain them if you want to TEACH this stuff to others”. I find this very interesting. 

So, can we talk about what is Awakening and what is Mastering Awakening? As I was always jack of all trades and master of none, :D surely you understand why I ask this :D 

Here is Malcolms fine explanation of what it takes to Master Awakening in such fine detail; 

“   Malcolm and Chris, I have thought about the discussion regarding emotions arising after enlightenment vs not arising anymore at all. I said that when self ceases, for longer or shorter moments, there is nothing for emotions to hold on to and so they fade, diminish and stop existing, and there is neither any cause- a self- so they dont arise either. Point is to exhaust all parts of the self, so there is no longer any cause for new disturbing emotions to arise."

Then, can you explain why you still have a body and need to eat and drink, breathe and wear clothes? Whatever arguments you use to justify these remaining parts of the self, I can then apply to each of the other five aggregates. So the position you put forward is non-sensical. 

"In Mahayana compassion is seen differently, not as an absorbtion (though I guess thats one way it can be practices). Also its two ways to look at it, relative and absolute bodhicitta. So its loads of emphasis on generating compassion (relative), motivation and so forth, and then more and more intergrating it with the view of emptiness (absolute), that emptiness and compassion is the same thing."

Yes, compassion can be attached to many things.  But accordinng to the suttas, Karuna (compassion) is a practice that gives access to the ground of infinite space.  So it is easy to feel expanded and slightly non-dual as a result of compassionate practices.  But that is not emptiness.  Instead compassion is empty too - I'm not saying compassion is thereofore absent. No, I agree it tends to be a default state of awakening, as the natural corollary of overcoming ignorance. But it arises and passes away like everything else, and is empty of enduring separate essence like anything else.  It is just an overlay of a concept onto sense-data like everything else. Emptiness is not compassion; instead emptiness is none other than form. Not to be clung to.  It should be clearly seen as impermanent, not-self, and a potential source of unsatisfactroriness.  If you cannot clearly see the three characteristics of compassion, then you have a task ahead of you.

Nagarjuna quote - yes this is all material that accords with my understanding.  There is a passing comment that Nagarjuna's very nature is compassion, but that reads more like hagiography of the invidual than dharma about DO. 

Crystal Clear quote - couldn't see the source of this so unable to assess accuracy, or tranlsation. But the somewhat offhand comment that vipassana eliminates negative emotions is wrong.  

Now if you want to get rid of almost all negative emotions, you can get close by purifying almost all sankharas and living among acolytes who gently tend to your every whim.  But even then you still experience the occasional arising.  Osho is a great example - you can see in the video of Wild Wild Country how pissed off he was when he found out what Sheela had been doing!  However, if you are awakened these arisings do not stick, and you can choose how to react to them, and you can enjoy them (positive and negative emotions) without creating new karma/sahkhara/programming. You can maybe carry on and erase almost all social programming and biological drives if you really want to, in theory, but the people who do this are usually pretty humble and are prone to dropping dead (likely by choice) - e.g. Paramahansa Yogananda. If general, you are not done until you die and the worms eat your nervous system and there is no particular need to accelerate that process. It comes soon enough and you don't want to miss out on experience (including compassion)!  But I think it is a very common error across many versions of buddhism to confuse awakening during the lifetime with the characteristics of pari-nibbana.

So you may ask, what evidence would I accept?  Well that is a reasonable question, and I will tell you.  If somebody wants to say negative emotions no longer arise, then I expect they should be able to explain how they arose in the first place. They should also have direct experience of packets of sense data arising and passing away, solidifying into an overarching sensation within the body, that then interacts with biological drives or subconsious sankharas to create a broader feelling, with the feeling being observed in terms of pressure, location, movement, energy, followed by recognition of the overlaying of a concept on that feeling to become the emotion, and then seeing how a positive or negative evaluation is attached to that emotion, and how that leads to a momentary urge that in turn triggers some higher level sankhara, how that matures into a wallowing in desire, and then how the act of wallowing creates attachment that refinforces the subject/object distinction, leading to recreation of karma and becoming of the sensation of self, followed by pain, suffering, old age, misery and death. I would expect somebody to have direct knowlege of every part of that process (vipassana), and then to have observed how each part could be changed or renounced, and then what happens as a result. After that, I think they would have valuable evidence about the changes to emotion upon awakening. (P.S. don't go thinking you have to die at the last stage - rather you have to clearly see the fabrication of the concept of death).

Then I would want to them to say what part or parts of that process still operates, how the organism can continue to learn operate in daily life without emotion, and how it is they still experience pain from a hot element, adrelain from being chased by a dog, and enjoyment in sex or jhana.  And whether positive emotions endure and if so exactly how these differ from negative emotions, given the common practices of reversing vedana (e.g. cemetary contemplations or contemplations on the repulsiveness of the body) demonstrate that the distinction between negative and positive emotion is somewhat arbitrary.

You know, when Buddha became awakened he almost kept it all to himself.  At first he couldn't face the thought of teaching because it would just be too much trouble. How many open bhumis is that?  Doesn't sound like too many!  

May all beings be free from clinging, and to quote Linji Yixuan "If you see the Buddha on the road, Kill Him!"  But I repeat myself ... 

Hope you enjoyed the answer. I enjoyed the visit to the azuric realm!


Last edit: 3 weeks 13 hours ago by Dusko.

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3 weeks 13 hours ago #114847 by Dusko
Replied by Dusko on topic Mastering vs Awakening
I must add; 

When Kenneth Folk told me “you don’t need these paths to awaken” he did offer an alternative which in his experience was of much more benefit. The 6 Realms reflection! He said that it was happening to him on daily bases , this mind dropping from one realm into the next. Having freedom to commit to a realm or not is a good thing to have. Hence that practice. 

But let’s stick to that Cosmic Joke as the very thing to this day Kenneth values the most (his words) 

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2 weeks 6 days ago - 2 weeks 6 days ago #114865 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Mastering vs Awakening
Kenneth describes it pretty well. There are "tipping point" awakenings that change your perspective from that point onward. More of these means more mastery of awakening. But awakening basically always says: "don't take yourself so seriously and don't be an asshole and there is no future or past that you can rely on, and, by the way, you really are going to die again and again -- at least psychologically -- if you keep being so prideful. So pay attention." Or something like that :)

The myth is that awakenings are perfection -- you have an awakening and everything changes from that point forward. I just can't believe that based on what I've personally seen in myself and others. 

I think meditators and their awakenings are too often like teenagers realizing they need to get a summer job. Some go out looking for a job because that's obviously what's next, some complain and dawdle, others spend their time protesting how jobs are not a natural behavior and shouldn't exist and try to start some cult around the specialness of their insight (and then they try to borrow money for going to the movies a month into summer). 

Two of the highest teachings:

Ken McLeod 

Brad Warner

May all awaken!
Last edit: 2 weeks 6 days ago by Shargrol.

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2 weeks 5 days ago #114867 by microbuddha
Replied by microbuddha on topic Mastering vs Awakening
May all beings poop with ease and not be constipated!

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2 weeks 5 days ago #114868 by Shargrol
Replied by Shargrol on topic Mastering vs Awakening
Amen and halleluiah! :D

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2 weeks 5 days ago #114869 by Dusko
Replied by Dusko on topic Mastering vs Awakening

:D Nice reply Shargrol :D 

In Caca Veritas! 

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