Guidance Please!

  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94199 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
??? Because you think that after second path you will never have a tough time in meditation again??? Never heard of such a thing.
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  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94200 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Also, by this point the process just runs on its own. Who said "better not to start; if you start, finish the job" or words to that effect. Just make practice a part of your life.
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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 8 months ago #94201 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
It's definitely not that I don't expect more tough times, it's just that I hoped that beyond a certain point, the positives would start to outweigh the negatives? I don't seem to be able to depressively ruminate at the moment for instance. My brain just isn't doing it; I'd assumed maybe because it had seen there wasn't anyone to ruminate for?

Have I fundamentally got this wrong? Can third path DNs, in terms of their impact on day-to-day life - be worse than the earlier ones? That wasn't the impression I'd got from what 'd read?
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  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94202 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
I think it's less that the positives start to outweigh the negatives as that that distinction of putting things into boxes labeled "positives" and "negatives" starts to crumble. The relationship to stuff changes. I personally found the deep existential dread stuff that was characteristic later much harder to be with than the more physical tension and monsters stuff from earlier periods. I never had dark night stuff impact day to day life in a notable way, either, so your mileage may vary. (I did suffer depression earlier in life, which I treated with therapy and medication. It didn't overlap with my meditation practice.)

You do tend to gradually get better at recognizing how much of your "life drama" stuff is all your own stupid shit and don't just reactively sulk and lash out as much as those patterns become clearer. Compassion grows. But you still get to see all that shit up close and personal, and that can be humbling, scary and sad, depending on the moment. How you react to being humbled, scared or sad is going to depend on your personal history etc.
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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 8 months ago #94203 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Ok- thanks Ona- i'll look forward to deep existential dread stuff! It's funny cos this shift seems to have got rid of my 'existential' problems as I now feel part of the universe rather than just someone who doesn't even know why he's here.

Like you say earlier though - the mindfulness/noting has started to become habitual in daily life now so I'm not sure I could stop this process even if I tried.

Just out of interest- was the whole thing worth it?
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  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94204 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Hm. I suppose the glib answer is "Absolutely!"

In a more nuanced way, the idea of awakening being "worth it" seems irrelevant and inapplicable, as it implies getting a payoff for an investment or earning a diploma that cost a lot of tuition, and that whole transactional view just doesn't work for me (but I know what you mean). I don't really feel in hindsight like I had much choice in where things led (more like divine guidance and unexpected grace) and I feel less that anything has been gained, rather than a whole lot of useless stuff that I used to think was important gradually gotten shaken loose and fell away, which has turned out to be very liberating.

Also "the whole thing" doesn't seem a very useful concept anymore, since there seems to be no clear end to an ever changing relationship to self, reality, God, religious concepts, spiritual frameworks, practices, areas of interest and activity, and so on.
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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 8 months ago #94205 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Alright Guys - I'm more confused than ever now!

I just had a brief Skype with the very kind Ron Crouch and he seemed to agree with my diagnosis of 2nd path. BUT, he also seemed to think (based on my reports of the changes to my sense of self) that I'd ALSO had some degree of non-dual 'awakening'.

Are these two things independent of each other!? I've spent a lifetime on these boards and I had no idea!? I'd thought the non-dual mode I seem to have access to was [u:1pj5zjl4]the result of[/u:1pj5zjl4] 2nd path but apparently these variables operate independently of each other?! is this what Kenneth means by developmental enlightenment vs Timeless realisation?

To put it differently, when I sit to meditate now, I don't have any sense of whether 'self' sensations (internal images and touch) are somehow privileged over non-self sensations (e.g. 'external' sounds).

The whole thing has basically got me wondering whether this isn't the most profound passage in Daniel's book:

One of my teachers once wisely said, “If you are observing it, then it isn't you by definition!” Notice that the whole of reality seems to be observed. The hints don't get any better than this. Here are three more points of theory that are very useful for insight practices and one’s attempts to understand what is meant by no-self: 1.There are absolutely no sensations that can observe other sensations! (Notice that reality is made entirely of sensations.) 2.There are no special sensations that are uniquely in control of other sensations. 3.There are no sensations that are fundamentally split off from other sensations occurring at that moment.
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  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94206 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
That might be a good question for Ron? (or someone here who has studied with him and knows his approach?)
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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 8 months ago #94207 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Yeah - good point - sorry. I guess I was just looking for some external validation......

Maybe I should just enjoy the experience and go for a walk and 'turn into' the trees and walls and sky etc whilst this lasts. And not continue to post annoying questions to these forums....

Haha - I'm not even depressed for the first time in about 14 years!! thanks guys!! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
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  • Russell
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7 years 8 months ago #94208 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Re: Guidance Please!

&quot;joelchigliak&quot;:20ns5w5e wrote: Maybe I should just enjoy the experience and go for a walk and 'turn into' the trees and walls and sky etc whilst this lasts.[/quote:20ns5w5e]

That's more like it. What does validation change about the experience?

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  • Ona
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7 years 8 months ago #94209 by Ona
Replied by Ona on topic Re: Guidance Please!
I'd actually love to know what he meant, because I have no idea. I'm going to hazard a guess you might be recounting it differently than he intended, because you didn't quite understand what he meant. Does he post here? Russell do you know?
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  • Russell
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7 years 8 months ago #94210 by Russell
Replied by Russell on topic Re: Guidance Please!
I don't know. Non-dual 'states' and the no-self type realizations arise as a result of this practice, but I don't know what is meant by a non-dual awakening that is separate from the path.
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  • Robwynge
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7 years 8 months ago #94211 by Robwynge
Replied by Robwynge on topic Re: Guidance Please!

&quot;Ona&quot;:3du39ijt wrote: Who said &quot;better not to start; if you start, finish the job&quot; or words to that effect. [/quote:3du39ijt]

Chogyam Trungpa said that. See &quot;The Myth of Freedom.&quot;

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  • Robwynge
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7 years 8 months ago #94212 by Robwynge
Replied by Robwynge on topic Re: Guidance Please!

&quot;joelchigliak&quot;:2k5pozdl wrote: Haha - I'm not even depressed for the first time in about 14 years!! thanks guys!! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->[/quote:2k5pozdl]

Maybe this is heretical on a pragmatic Dharma site, but does it really matter that much whether you &quot;attained&quot; first path or second path or whether this is just A&amp;P? How about focusing on your life - is it getting better? If so, keep going. If not, investigate whether you have gone down a wrong path, whether you are on the correct path but perhaps working too intensely, or whether you are just processing long-repressed issues in a way that will lead to eventual healing and resolution rather than deeper into your old negativities. I understand the answer to that question may not be obvious at first, but imho it seems more fruitful than figuring out exactly where you are on the path.

Having said all that, if you're not depressed anymore, then keep going! Even if you're kidding yourself about your attainments, this is a real accomplishment! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

I wish you the best.

-Rob

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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 7 months ago #94213 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
alright guys - I'm sorry but I have no-one else to ask about this stuff....

I'm not really even sure when I'm meditating or not anymore and am wondering if I haven't had a further deepening of this thing?

This is really hard to put into words, but when I walk around now, it feels like 'world' is growing out of my shoulders. If that makes any sense? Please? It's not that I'm here and there's world 'out there.' Or that I'm the world 'over there.' There's just 'world' hovering in mid air. Is this my Original Face?

Is this what is meant by the 'in the seeing just the seen' thing? Is this a valid insight into non-duality? Or should I call my psychiatrist? My mind has become so quiet I've started to hear myself blink.

In my first attempt to meet some real-world Buddhists I just went to some kind of SGI cult thing and I value these communities more than ever now....
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  • cmarti
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7 years 7 months ago #94214 by cmarti
Replied by cmarti on topic Re: Guidance Please!
Maybe you should just relax into things and just go with what's presenting for a while. Give it a month. See where you &quot;are&quot; after that amount of time.
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  • Robwynge
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7 years 7 months ago #94215 by Robwynge
Replied by Robwynge on topic Re: Guidance Please!
I think you are twisting yourself into knots trying to figure out where you are on the path, what insights you have attained, etc. How about just watching the next breath? And then the next one...and the next one...

Read Tolle or Thich Nhat Hahn. Just now.

ps
Speaking of breathing, I have rediscovered yoga pranayama over the last 6 months after years of ignoring it because Buddhists usually advise that the breath should just be observed rather than manipulated. I find it very grounding and it helps manage anxiety greatky. Play with either alternate nostril breathing or just good ole' deep yogic breathing (also known as &quot;the 3-part yogic breath&quot;). But if you want more backgrond first, this is the best book on the subject, imo:

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href=" www.amazon.com/Prana-Pranayama-Swami-Nir...=prana+and+pranayama "> www.amazon.com/Prana-Pranayama-S ... +pranayama
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  • joelchigliak
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7 years 7 months ago #94216 by joelchigliak
Replied by joelchigliak on topic Re: Guidance Please!
haha - ok guys, thanks - points taken!

It's just that I've suffered from mental illness for so long, and the changes to my awareness this summer have been coming so thick and fast I just wanted some validation that I was at least heading in the right direction with these kinda perceptions (however clumsily described) and not further into la-la land.....

Off to dust off my Power of Now and keep my trap shut for a bit....
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  • Robwynge
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7 years 7 months ago #94217 by Robwynge
Replied by Robwynge on topic Re: Guidance Please!
I don't think we were advising you to keep your trap shut (I know I wasn't). I think reporting on your practice is helpful for the more senior people (I'm not one) to judge you situation better. My comment was directed at your focus and your great concern for figuring out your attainment levels. It just seems you would benefit from keeping thing simple for a bit, letting things stabilize, and then judging your practice.

I wish you all the best.
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