Knowthing

What are the types of methods?

Recommended Posts

3 hours ago, anshino23 said:

The instant everything culture. Instant mastery. Instant rich. Instant pleasure.

 

I get this a lot with acupuncture patients also for some reason. They might have had back pain for 20 years, eaten horribly that entire time, and not exercised at all and they expect one acupuncture session take care all their problems in two minutes. I always wondered where this totally unrealistic expectation comes from.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, anshino23 said:

 

I've mentioned this before, but the Mahayana understanding of an Arhat compared to a Bodhisattva on the 10 stages towards Buddhahood (through the bhumis) is that an Arhat has subtle clinging to the phenomenal realm of emptiness. With such a subtle attachment to the emptiness side of existence (see: heart sutra) they will return after eons of a "restful peace" ("extinction"/nirvana) to eradicate the subtle traces and are not freed from samsara fully. How it all plays out in reality and whether all these descriptions and stages described by the Mahayanists and Theravadans are just "expedient means" and not the full story... Who knows. :) 

 

I guess at this point it's mostly a matter of deciding whose sutras one believes are correct. I used to be somewhat hardcore Theravada but I don't know anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, anshino23 said:

This is it! I've reached it.

 

The acquired mind is an insidious little thing :)

 

The problem is that despite awakening experiences (even the prolonged ones!) the acquired identity is still there, in the background, slowly fabricating 'self' and creating layers of distortion...

 

One issue is language. When someone gets used to non-dual type speak, their 'self' will co-opt it into its arsenal of 'self-making' tools... It will use the slippery nature of 'non-dual' talk to obfuscate the fact that the self is slowly co-opting the 'awakening' into its identity...

 

3dp18w.gif

 

It's a kind of ignorance shield... where the mind will use ignorance as a way to hide its own machinations.

 

This ignorance shield means that skill acquired from meditative practice can be used as construction material for 'self' without the cultivator even knowing it's happening. In effect the very tools that are meant to be used to gently dismantle the self are used to create it :lol:

 

The goal posts will be moved to match experience... the ignorance shield will be used to detract any evidence to the contrary... and language will divert attention away from truth to some metaperspective that feels nice.

 

It's funny... but sad. It happens to all of us.

 

12 minutes ago, Wilhelm said:

The problem is that it's quite evident that SOMETHING significant has happened to the people who worked through this method.

 

That's the biggest issue. What @anshino23 and I discussed in a recent thread. Something significant may well happen - which gives the 'self' extra ammunition... and the co-opting of spiritual experiences into the fabric of the self is strengthened... And this evidence is enough to stop one looking for the inherent self-deception going on... it's that ignorance shield again!

 

Having a genuine teacher and some peers helps a bunch - because they'll be able to see the process happening and use skillful means to put an end to it.

 

Daoist teachers rarely use 'non-dual' talk... which was interesting to me because I came to it from a non-dual teacher.

 

Some prefer almost no talk at all... Some communicate abstractly - through calligraphy, musical instruments, mind-to-mind transmissions or the Yi Jing... Others prefer a direct, precise use of 'plain' speaking. No clever 'metaphrases'... no riddle type questions... no koans. Just normal, every day talk - but precise use of terminology. And a good dose of teasing and joking. Talking is talking - the big shifts happen as a result of correct causes being put into place (which is done in training) - words are very rarely used as the cause.

 

 

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Sounds a bit like brain damage :unsure:

 

I don't think I articulated that very well. Because yes someone with brain damage could achieve that state and it's not considered a desirable thing. What I should have said more accurately is an Arhat let's go of all false notions of self.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, anshino23 said:

@freeform

 

You're right of course, but what surprises me again and again is that even those very dedicated and even those with high titles like calling themselves Agami's, Arhat's or Upaka's just reach a point where they're like... Alright I spent the last twenty years (or 40+) of my life dedicated to near-full time practice. This is it! I've reached it. And all they have to show for it (which to be fair, compared to the "normal" (unhealthy!) human being is pretty incredible) are things like super mind-stability, sharpness of mind, overall calmness, reduced tendency for anxiety (depression a bit more gnarly and insidious in most cases) and general sense of joy/vibrance during practice. But many of these never experience a lick of the potential of Qi energy - many of them do not even believe it exists. I've especially noticed this tendency in Buddhist (especially Theravadan, and traditions that use Mahasi-noting), Ch'an/Zen groups and then the whole "non-denominational" non-dual group. 

 

When I then saw these types of practictioners and compared them to say people very dedicated to sports and health optimization, I didn't see much of a difference. In fact in some cases I saw that the sport practictioners were generally happier and healthier - even though they hadn't seen through "the nature of self" and "the illusory reality of all compounded things" that the aforementioned then keep talking about as if it's the be-it-end-all cognitive realization of the Path. 

 

Then of course we have those that do end up feeling energy and working with it and thinking they've reached the full stages of kundalini awakening that then go out and claim all sorts of things.

 

But I'm not even sure which group is worse - arguably, you could say the latter group is worse because they're mostly deluded, ungroudned and are usually very involved in guru-worship type sanghas, but at the same time you could say that the former group ends up making meditation seem pretty limited in its scope. 

 

Excuse my rambling, but I'm sure you get what I mean. :lol:

 

It's interesting that you've made this observation because I made a similar one myself. 

 

I'll listen to these guys that spent the past 20 to 40 years pretty much meditating non-stop in the forest and yes they seem calm and peaceful I think but they never really say anything that wows me. and yes most of the ones I'm speaking about are from the Theravada forest tradition. 

  And then all see the health and fitness people who also seem pretty happy and I wonder about a lot of things. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, dmattwads said:

It's interesting that you've made this observation because I made a similar one myself. 

 

I'll listen to these guys that spent the past 20 to 40 years pretty much meditating non-stop in the forest and yes they seem calm and peaceful I think but they never really say anything that wows me. and yes most of the ones I'm speaking about are from the Theravada forest tradition. 

  And then all see the health and fitness people who also seem pretty happy and I wonder about a lot of things. 

 

Exactly :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, freeform said:

I don't think this is for everyone... and I kinda wish that there was more emphasis on the reality of the matter. This would quickly sort out the ones who are really dedicated to this path from the ones that want to improve their quality of life.

 

Interesting that you say that. When I originally got into all of this I was depressed from being in a bad relationship and just wanted to feel better without pharmaceuticals. I didn't even know what enlightenment was, if anything I thought it was a girl in a swim suit sitting on a beach in lotus since that's what all the memes showed.

  • Haha 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Judging another's inner state is always fraught with peril. And people can seem calm or happy in some situations, but quickly fall apart in other situations. A lot of strong practitioners had a hard time handling, for example, incarceration and torture. Most of us will face the challenge of old age, sickness, and death, and it is here we find whether our practice has been in vain. In Tibet, there are always stories of the seemingly normal person who displayed great power at death. And keep in mind that for many of us, this is not a one lifetime sort of practice. 

 

Also, we don't know how people would have been without practice. Although I am a very lazy practitioner (not being modest), I have no doubt that without dharma, I would be dead or a drug addict/alcoholic. So it is hard to judge without seeing the big picture.

 

Having said that, the big issue with Taoist/qi practices is that it is so difficult to find even a competent teacher. I agree that a mind-based practice is incomplete, but they are easier to transmit and generally less likely to cause harm (not to say that they are harmless, of course). 

 

My own speculation re: the Mahasi method is that it tends to quickly give rise to meditative experiences, which of course people mistake for enlightenment. The issue with many DIY arhats is that their enlightenment is too small. I've heard too many so-proclaimed arhats carry on like jerks, complain about their lack of money, their depression, their numerous and unending psychological issues, etc. 

 

Just rambling, like Anshino :lol:

 

28 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

I'll listen to these guys that spent the past 20 to 40 years pretty much meditating non-stop in the forest and yes they seem calm and peaceful I think but they never really say anything that wows me. and yes most of the ones I'm speaking about are from the Theravada forest tradition. 

  And then all see the health and fitness people who also seem pretty happy and I wonder about a lot of things. 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

if anything I thought it was a girl in a swim suit sitting on a beach in lotus since that's what all the memes showed

 

Sounds just like me :ph34r:

 

14 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

When I originally got into all of this I was depressed from being in a bad relationship

 

Being 'wounded' in some way is generally how people get into this stuff...

 

I think the 'un-wounded' generally get into sports, cars, make up, relationships, money, possessions - just normal, everyday stuff most healthy people are into. Not like us weirdos :)

Edited by freeform
  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, freeform said:

I think the 'un-wounded' generally get into sports, cars, make up, relationships, money, possessions - just normal, everyday stuff most healthy people are into. Not like us weirdos :)

 

So true. :lol:

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Sounds just like me :ph34r:

 

 

Being 'wounded' in some way is generally how people get into this stuff...

 

I think the 'un-wounded' generally get into sports, cars, make up, relationships, money, possessions - just normal, everyday stuff most healthy people are into. Not like us weirdos :)

 

This might be the most profound thing I've read for a long time!!! 🤔

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

 

My own speculation re: the Mahasi method is that it tends to quickly give rise to meditative experiences, which of course people mistake for enlightenment.

 

There is a monk on YouTube that promotes this method. He typically looks chronically depressed. I tried this method he taught for a few years and began to understand why he looks so depressed.

 

 

tenor.gif

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, freeform said:

I find the majority who look for power tend to shift their views eventually. Usually as a result of being humbled by the ‘bitterness’ of training.

 

The bitterness of authentic training is a great leveller... the haughty ‘already enlightened’ ones, the ‘book smart’ ones, the teacher’s pet types, the seeking power types, the love and equality types - it works for everyone.

 

Great way to develop humility.


(Or if it’s too painful to the identity they simply quit.)

 

The love, equality and compassion types tend to misunderstand ‘strength’... but so do the power seekers... once the meaning of true strength emerges, they both find its very different to what they thought it is.

 

In Acupuncture school there were a lot of hippie types that were all peace and love but would quickly get a sour expression if you mentioned renunciation.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, freeform said:

 

Sounds just like me :ph34r:

 

 

Being 'wounded' in some way is generally how people get into this stuff...

 

I think the 'un-wounded' generally get into sports, cars, make up, relationships, money, possessions - just normal, everyday stuff most healthy people are into. Not like us weirdos :)

 

I think this is why even when I was in the church world I took it much more seriously than the average church goer. It became a lifestyle for me, not just a Sunday morning thing.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dmattwads said:

I'll listen to these guys that spent the past 20 to 40 years pretty much meditating non-stop in the forest and yes they seem calm and peaceful I think but they never really say anything that wows me. and yes most of the ones I'm speaking about are from the Theravada forest tradition. 

 

If you're still interested in Theravada, I don't think you can go wrong with Adam Mizner. You can sign up for free on his discovermind.com website and listen to the interview and read his free ebook to see if it's anything you'd be interested in. 

 

There's also an interview on YouTube that's pretty great. The one on discoverMind is about the course and teachings themselves. 

 

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, anshino23 said:

 

If you're still interested in Theravada, I don't think you can go wrong with Adam Mizner. You can sign up for free on his discovermind.com website and listen to the interview and read his free ebook to see if it's anything you'd be interested in. 

 

There's also an interview on YouTube that's pretty great. The one on discoverMind is about the course and teachings themselves. 

 

 

 

At the moment I find myself in a void of not knowing what to think 🤔

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dmattwads said:

At the moment I find myself in a void of not knowing what to think 🤔

 

Perfectly fine. Not knowing is a great place to be - even though it can be scary it has huge potential :) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say that people who appear normal and healthy are just better at hiding it. 

 

I remember one of Damo's talks where he said that in traditional Chinese medicine, healthy meant basically you were enlightened. We're all unhealthy in various ways. 

 

51 minutes ago, freeform said:

I think the 'un-wounded' generally get into sports, cars, make up, relationships, money, possessions - just normal, everyday stuff most healthy people are into. Not like us weirdos :)

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, anshino23 said:

 

Perfectly fine. Not knowing is a great place to be - even though it can be scary it has huge potential :) 

 

It is a bit disconcerting to someone like me that likes to know. 🤓

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, dmattwads said:

I think this is why even when I was in the church world I took it much more seriously than the average church goer. It became a lifestyle for me, not just a Sunday morning thing.

 

Well you're a weirdo by nature then :) (as am I!)

 

10 minutes ago, forestofemptiness said:

I would say that people who appear normal and healthy are just better at hiding it.

 

Yes - certainly... By 'healthy' - I probably mean socially acceptably healthy :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, anshino23 said:

 

Perfectly fine. Not knowing is a great place to be - even though it can be scary it has huge potential :) 

 

I periodically find myself here. 

 

 First in Christianity I found the devotion fulfilling initially but the theory didn't make sense which is one of the reasons I eventually left it.

  

Then for a while I didn't know what to think so did nothing really, but wound up depressed so that didn't seem to be working for me either.

 

Then I got into Taoism somewhat but I couldn't even figure out what the theory was.

 

Wanting to understand things better this eventually led me to Theravada Buddhism. The theory is very clear and systematic which I liked a lot, but in practice it did not seem to help me much, or in some cases make me feel worse. The fact that it didn't help me much in practice has made me question it and here I am now, unsure. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, dmattwads said:

 

I think that the suttas teach that an Arhat has no concept of self at all anymore. So I don't think there'd be patterns of selfhood.

 

The illusion of being a "self" is dropped. Arhats are no longer "selves" but the patterns (favorite flavor of ice cream, etc.) linked with the story of the self still play out, they are just not chosen by a "self", or owned by an "I". 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, freeform said:

 

Sounds a bit like brain damage :unsure:

 

This is because of a misunderstanding about what the "self" is and its importance in experiencing. You are ALREADY always operating without a "self". The "self" is just a mistaken perspective on how things are or happen. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, freeform said:

 

That sounds sensible - but it's always worth being loose with these things - it doesn't matter how things map really... and I'm sure experientially there are many different possibilities.

 

For Daoists the 'byproducts' of attainment are somewhat important to recognise. In the sense that any attainment will have very specific physical, physiological and rather 'woo woo' byproducts that indicate the true achievement of whatever stage.

 

For instance hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) think they've awoken the kundalini... (it exists in alchemical Daoism too) - but how many of them achieve the sort of things that are reported to happen as a byproduct of this? I assume not many - otherwise we'd have thousands of yogis levitating, teleporting and bi-locating.

 

Maps are generally an impediment in Buddhism, and I'm sure anywhere. I'm not curious because I am trying to track my progress, I am more interested in how different non-dual traditions identify and label themselves. There are expressions, and metaphors in Advaita Vedanta, for example, that I think have great usefulness and clarity. 

 

I'd be interested in hearing about the byproducts too. Some things that are thought of as "woo woo" make perfect sense seen from a different perspective... and some of them are folklore, no doubt intended to separate the pretenders from those that gnow (gnosis). Real enlightenment famously ordinary in its strange way.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, stirling said:

I'd be interested in hearing about the byproducts too.


There’s quite an in-depth discussion of this stuff in this thread:

 

2 hours ago, stirling said:

Some things that are thought of as "woo woo" make perfect sense seen from a different perspective...


Yes - you’re totally right - the (not so) old adage of “any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic” is pretty accurate.

 

2 hours ago, stirling said:

and some of them are folklore


Much of what I thought was folklore or metaphor when I first got on the path has proven to be surprisingly real.

 

2 hours ago, stirling said:

Real enlightenment famously ordinary in its strange way.


That’s the standard advaita vedanta view - but from my experience, at least in the Daoist tradition (and within some Buddhist lines) - enlightenment is anything but ‘normal’ or ordinary :) 

 

(all discussed at length in the thread linked to above)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites