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Go Back   Spiritual Forums > Spirituality & Beliefs > Meditation

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  #51  
Old 17-12-2022, 07:43 PM
In Flux In Flux is offline
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Originally Posted by Gem
Spiritualists generally like ambiguity and and vacuous terms like 'surrender', but I like precision, detail, elaboration and specificity.

I think there is a potential problem here that is related to the difference between precise instruction and precise understanding. If a teacher gives me a precise instruction, then that makes it easier to follow the instruction. But if I try to have a precise understanding of my experience, then afaict I'm just looking at my experience through the lense of what I already know.

So the concept of surrender might be imprecise, but maybe that imprecision is a good thing, because it means that we're not trying to put a new experience into a familiar box. It reminds me of Jac O'Keefe saying "vague is good" (in a conversation with a student, who was using the word "vague" to describe a certain experience). I don't think she meant that we should not strive for clarity, but rather that interesting possibilities (for exploration) will probably not make immediate sense, so we should be okay with them feeling "vague" (and with time, they will make more and more sense).
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Last edited by In Flux : 17-12-2022 at 08:31 PM.
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  #52  
Old 18-12-2022, 01:45 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by In Flux
If a teacher gives me a precise instruction, then that makes it easier to follow the instruction. I'm just looking at my experience through the lens of what I already know.
If a teacher gives an instruction, then why? If there has to be a reason why we do the thing in this particular way. A good teacher understands both the value and the difficulty of self determination. They won't allow blind faith and obedience. You do it because it makes sense to you. Not because you obey anyone else. That comes with the discomfort of uncertainty and doubt, so people don't like it, and that enables the majority of spiritual organisations that depend on power, blind faith and obedience.

I know I'm pedantic with the whole precision thing, but on the other hand I don't abide by saying flowery things and passing them off as wisdom. I prefer people who can unpack things in elaborate detail, and that's how things go naturally if there's no pomp and pretension. It starts with an umbrella concept, and then the discussion about that. If it is a reasonable one, the conversation unpacks 'surrender' into to the actual things it refers. You surrender your will. Be willing rather that willful. As it happens, this is the essence of other spiritual slogans like 'just be' and 'let go'

Then we have the counter. Clinging, resisting, avoiding, pursuing, all references the exertion of will... in opposition to willingness

If people don't want detail and think a more whimsical reference is better. I don't understand that at all. My view is the wise with understanding can express nuance through in depth discussion. I assume the ambiguous either don't understand the nuances or they aren't eloquent enough to articulate them. For me personally, it's a preference for the people that can explain a bit more deeply and elaborate on minor details, but as I say. I have a more pedantic personality than average, and that's just a trait of mine. I'm not claiming to be right and everyone else needs to be more like me... wait... I mean, that would be nice and they'd be so much better off, so I really do try, but it's not easy!
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  #53  
Old 18-12-2022, 01:27 PM
In Flux In Flux is offline
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Originally Posted by Gem
I prefer people who can unpack things in elaborate detail, and that's how things go naturally if there's no pomp and pretension.

And have you found any good teachers who can explain their teachings with detail and precision?

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Originally Posted by Gem
You surrender your will.

I think it would make more sense to surrender your views, or your likes and dislikes. By "surrender your views" I mean that one consciously disinvests (at least for the time of the meditation) from the views that one has built up over time. One way to do this is to reflect on the fact that many people have had many views that turned out to be wrong, and there is no reason to believe that my views could not be wrong as well.

ps By the way, no harm done, but if you quote me, please don't edit the text (the quote you added was not what I wrote :-) )
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  #54  
Old 19-12-2022, 03:45 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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Originally Posted by In Flux
And have you found any good teachers who can explain their teachings with detail and precision. I think it would make more sense to surrender your views,
I didn't alter the boxed quote, but had to remove context. We have to cut, apparently because the forum's a bit screwy. You also cut posts. We all do, which sux.

I was trained in a formal setting where there is precision of practice technique and the philosophy behind it. My teachers explain everything because they want us to discern for ourselves rather than obey them. This doesn't mean the exaction of the particular technique is the only way, but it means technique is guided by the philosophy behind it.

Then of course the meditation we now call 'mindfulness' is specific to purposes of purification, truth, insight, and liberation, and other modes such as pranayama, mantras, visualations might be better for different skills... I don't know anything about that, because I only practice mindfulness.

I'm really glad you specified a particular thing to surrender, and I have to agree with that. Some of the Buddhist schools emphasise views (It's one of the 8 path), and I'm on board because I can't find any contradictions in that principle. In my school we refer to wrong-view/right-view in terms of 'insight, and one of my all-time favorite videos is on the subject of views

I'm not a big fan of Thich Naht Hanh, but that's just personal preference. Objectively I rate him pretty highly, and he has discourses that go into detail. My favorite video isn't detailed, but It makes a makes a powerful impression https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odWIPhj-ivo. I recently caught another one about staying in the moment when the moments is unbearable. I'm guessing it entails a more detailed explanation, and I'm going to watch it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N93IvR45D80

There are others, like Jiddu Krishnamurti who does whole series of talks on meditation. Very different to the Buddhist voice, but I can always remember this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-dFPWqLIqM&t=1732s and I like JK very much

I happened on this a while ago, and even though it's way off my own background, I thought it was pretty farrout and interesting, and good for adepts. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIYFetpc_gA&t=908s. It kinda alludes to the fable that meditation is a raft to cross the river and then is no longer useful or something. Not really true. I usually say that there is a very subtle point of balance, and that's the 'thing'.

There's more, and I guess I'll post them occasionally...
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  #55  
Old 19-12-2022, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Gem
It kinda alludes to the fable that meditation is a raft to cross the river and then is no longer useful or something.

I personally have never heard of the fable you have mentioned above but The Buddha did teach The Raft Parable which you can read yourself here,
https://www.wayofbodhi.org/diamond-s...ddupama-sutta/
If anyone is not interested in following the link I would recommend that you read 'The Water Snake Simile' before the 'Raft Parable' as it ties them both together...
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  #56  
Old 20-12-2022, 07:47 AM
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I watched the Thich Naht Hahn video on being in the moment when the moment is unbearable, and thought it was quite brilliant over all. He explains things well, and though I think he somewhat contradicts some finer points (and his darling smiley stuff is not to my taste), it is quite a detailed explanation and probably worth a look!
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  #57  
Old 20-12-2022, 10:06 PM
ThatMan ThatMan is offline
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Quote:
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I watched the Thich Naht Hahn video on being in the moment when the moment is unbearable, and thought it was quite brilliant over all.

What about when the "moment" itself is no more, when the sense of time is no more? There will be no such things as unbearable or pleasant, there will only be consciousness, only yourself, pure awareness and this in itself and by itself is pure joy.
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  #58  
Old 21-12-2022, 04:50 AM
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What about when the "moment" itself is no more, when the sense of time is no more? There will be no such things as unbearable or pleasant, there will only be consciousness, only yourself, pure awareness and this in itself and by itself is pure joy.
If you are asking literally, then this is my reply. If the question is rhetorical, then just ignore the below.

The moment is without a sense of time and there's no duration of experience, but that's still a state of sense consciousness, and not a state which is oblivious all content. Generally speaking, a practitioner will go into 'oblivious states' (which I think people call 'pure consciousness'), but their attention soon returns to dense physicality including hard discomforts and impurities in general.

Pure awareness, I feel, is often misconstrued as a state without content, but I think 'pure awareness' is regardless of content, no content or the nature of content, be it mundane or exquisite.

In the first instance we are tested mostly by hard, dense discomforts, which elicit adverse reactions that incite the avoid/resist volitions that generate misery and perpetuate ego from one moment to the next, thus creating the illusion of an enduring being in time. The idea is to cease reaction, thus volitions, and thus undermine the delusion of the enduring self. At this stage it's unlikely that a practitioner will see the 'one who reacts', but they will start to subdue the reactive tendency that causes their suffering.

It doesn't take long to overcome psychological reaction to physical discomfort, so the practitioner can be still and see quite intense sensations coming and going without being disturbed. Having that improved stability brings on a slightly more difficult emotional phase depending on the severity of ones trauma. At this point one can start to feel some parts of the body becoming light and dynamic while other parts are still dense and blocked up, and other parts still painful, and yet other parts remain dull and hard to feel at all. But the process continues: just watch, don't react with craving or aversions, don't give special preference to particular kinds of feeling, and since old emotions that were once unbearable can now enter conscious awareness without any revolt, no reaction at all, they resolve themselves in your conscious awareness of dissolving blocks and dense areas of the body.

Then the something starts moving and the feelings which used to be solidified are more like vibrations, waves or flows, and rather than the body feeling different in different places like it used to, with some places having little to no feeling, it starts to feel light and vibrant and pretty much the same all over, and that's usually when the big-love starts rising in the heart. We generally consider this to be a risky stage because we tend to become enamored by pleasures and lose our ability for neutral observation. However we can realise a bit of impatience happening in us, with that desire to have a bit more, and thereby continue to be vigilant about maintaining our equanimity. If we don't balance things out properly the next phase (if it happens) can be rough.

When everything speeds up it's hard to keep level-headed. It gets intense and it won't let up, which is rough on anyone, but especially people who don't have stable equanimity.

Awareness with equanimity is pure awareness...

Once the intensity subsides, we might start to have momentary experience, wherein there is no pain, though I wouldn't say it isn't pleasurable. It's very pleasant, but I don't know if we can live a life there, or, do we have to resume a denser level to survive in the physical. I don't know that answer. I know that I have always come back to hard physical with its density and pain, and I think it is because the purification is not complete.

Here it becomes a more obscure part of the process, but I'm going to say there is an awakening when you see that 'the one that reacts' is 'not me' - and I am the one aware. The one aware is free, so not preoccupied with purification in the sense that it is the only thing to do, but we understand that we don't make that happen... though we can be deliberate about it... which sounds paradoxical... but 'just observe' and let dhamma do the rest.

I think the advanced stage is purely balance. You are conscious of a very subtle and delicate tipping point that is unbalanced by even the slightest psychological disturbance.. and the stability of that fulcrum is the essence of equanimity. The middle way.

On a side note, There's what I call 'the great outpouring' - the source of bliss - but that's not pertinent or related to this process as if that's the end game. That's more like you just the way you you are now. From that perspective, which is this one, I get the sense that the purification removes the obstacles and opens the channel for the love of the universe to flow from the great outpouring through the life-form to manifest in every expression of our lives - but that's only the sense I have. I'm not saying it's true.
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Last edited by Gem : 22-12-2022 at 01:05 AM.
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  #59  
Old 21-12-2022, 10:10 AM
ThatMan ThatMan is offline
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@Gem Interesting words!! What I can say is that in my experience, so to say, the very "moment", itself, is me, consciousness, and expanding my awareness to this point, now allows me to realize this again and again. Not a state, states come and go, that which is, simply is.

Well, there is as process but to me this is a process of revelation, a revelation of one's deeper nature.

Yes, I get the idea with the stages but I know as you do probably know that, that which is, it is already here, and nothing can be done to attain it and nothing can be done to lose it. So when I meditate I look closer and closer into my own nature and so there appear these inner realizations that expand my awareness and reveal more of the nature of Self.

For the waking mind it seems that time is needed but I do not think this is fixed in stone, ultimately it is us who decide everything about ourselves, consciously or not.
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Old 22-12-2022, 12:48 AM
Gem Gem is offline
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the very "moment", itself, is me, that which is, simply is. a process of revelation, a revelation of one's deeper nature. nothing can be done to attain it. I look closer and closer into my own nature and reveal more of the nature of Self.
It is already here. We tend to think something is in the future and I have to become 'a certain way', so we chase enlightenment being propelled by desire and start running away. We never stop to just notice, 'this is it'. I am as I as am.

I think looking closer and closer is the best way.

Stages are pertinent to the purification process (which the purpose of mindfulness), and my inkling is people who think they have gone passed it should re-rank themselves as novices and commence breath meditation... my sense is they will soon realise that their bodies are dull and dense and aches remain associated with old trauma attachments.

We touch the Gods for 'no reason', and for no reason the attention returns to the body and mind with its density, solidity, discomfort, and old traumas. But remain in the mode of looking closely. The only skill in the mundane is the same only skill in the ultimate. Conscious awareness with balance of equanimity. The stabler you are, the deeper you look, and more you can take.

Again, just thinking out loud... not truth statements.
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