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43 minutes ago, TB said:

So maybe we kind of can agree afterall

 

Yeah, just making sure. Your logic seems pretty solid to me anyway. I couldn't trigger you with a little prodding and that's impressive. We disagree only in semantics and most of that was just because we both had a hard time explaining ourselves to each other, but the underlying ideals aren't all that different.

 

I've seen Bear be more delicate than I was here and the other party crumbled. You also seem to know enough to make good arguments.

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26 minutes ago, Ashley said:

I couldn't trigger you with a little prodding and that's impressive.

Oh lol, interesting, thanks

 

27 minutes ago, Ashley said:

You also seem to know enough to make good arguments.

Also thanks

 

Glad we could agree afterall, and maybe learn something from each other. You know a lot too. I had to look up words you posted I wasn't sure of or never heard before, mostly in the ontology answer

 

Have a good day!!

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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(edited)

I thought I might make a series of posts about things relating to Awakening or Enlightenment, the kind the Siddartha Gautama, the Buddha, aka Uncle Sid, taught people to achieve.

 

Awakening is knowing yourself at the deepest level, which is accomplished by seeing through the delusions we are all normally stuck in, such as the delusion that there is a stable, acasual, autonomous self that can control things, own things, and is separate from everything else.

 

Some of the benefits of achieving this is a massive reduction in suffering (dukkha) and the ability to see much clearer. We are all suffering all the time to some degree, and by suffering I mean dukkha, which is any kind of unpleasantness, to the most extreme or to the most minor. It is sometimes translated as dissatisfactoriness. There is even dukkha in pleasure.

 

We feel suffering when we desire things, resist things, or feel like ignoring things/boredom. (attraction, aversion, and ignorance). These are called kleshas, or the three defilements/corruptions/poisons. They can manifest in various emotional “flavors” of greed, hatred, and delusion. In the Abhidamma we find ten or fourteen kleshas emphasized as being the most dangerous for us, with a more complete list being: greed, wrong view, delusion, hatred, doubt, conceit, restlessness, sloth, worry, torpor, shamelessness, fearlessness (of wrongdoing), envy, and avarice. Kind of like Buddhism's Seven Deadly Sins, I suppose.

 

There is also an innate chronic suffering we each feel all the time through experiencing the illusion of a separate self, because the mind exhausts itself all the time performing this magic trick to maintain the illusion. It's like a dull headache that won't go away as long as we aren't fully awakened, but we are so used to it we barely notice it, and it becomes obvious once you experience full awakening with just how relieving it is.

 

To achieve awakening, you must follow the three trainings. The first one involves avoiding the kleshas and being a good person, which is sometimes translated as morality. See my post on Sila and the Relaxation of Thoughts.

Spoiler

 

 

The second training is concentration, so making your mind very powerful, sharp, precise, stable, and able to discern clearly and penetrate deeply. This is also called shamatha, which is peaceful abiding. Concentration leads to the 8 jhanas and beyond, which are very pleasurable states, each with different qualities. I'll make a post on jhanas in more detail later. You can also do some cool stuff with the powers, or siddhis, which are strange and curious experiences one has when they have incredibly high concentration. I may make a post on that later too, though it might be weird and unsavory to people who would be skeptical of it, but whatever is going on, know that these strange experiences do happen to people, though it could be psychological. In fact, creating a tulpa might be considered a power, though I'm not sure. It seems like it, especially if you are at the level of being able to see them indistinguishable from another person with full, realistic imposition of all senses. Btw if anyone wants to do this, it will likely be exponentially easier with high concentration, so I recommend meditating.

 

The third training is insight, so the part where you take your concentrated mind and discern clearly and penetrate deeply. It is usually done in meditation, but can be done as you experience life, too. What you want to do is see clearly the three characteristics in all sensate phenomena, (sensate phenomena being all your 6 senses, the all of the 5 traditional senses and the mind sense (so thoughts and emotions)). The three characteristics are impermanence, suffering, and no-self. You want to see clearly how each sensation does not last, does not satisfy, and is not self. I will go in more detail about this in a future post, as well.

 

To summarize, we are all suffering at an innate level, on the micro and macro, to some extent or another (I often hear people say "I'm not suffering. You're suffering?" when I say this, but that's probably a mixture of suffering sounding really dramatic, and them not noticing the much more subtle suffering.) There is a pretty good quote I like about waking up, "Suffering less, noticing it more". That's what meditation will do to you, and you will learn you were suffering in ways you did not initially notice, which often causes natural behavior changes because it is like realizing you were holding a hot coal and now you can finally drop it automatically.

 

To continue the summary, to alleviate this suffering, you become awakened through following the 3 trainings: morality, concentration, and insight. Morality cleans up your character, making you not have reasons to suffer from worry and remorse of wrong doing, so you can concentrate, which will get you a powerful mind able to do insight, so you can discern clearly and penetrate deeply experience, noticing that the sensations that make up your reality reveal the three characteristics, which when seen deeply enough for long enough, will finally drill it into your thick skull, causing something to flip over, and suddenly the illusion of a separate acasual self will disappear, and you will then enter your natural state. More to come!

Edited by TB

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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(edited)
7 hours ago, TB said:

We are all suffering all the time to some degree, and by suffering I mean dukkha, which is any kind of unpleasantness, to the most extreme or to the most minor. It is sometimes translated as dissatisfactoriness. There is even dukkha in pleasure.

 

What about ole Bear who claims to be content? Not dissatisfied or dissapointed at all, zero.

 

7 hours ago, TB said:

There is also an innate chronic suffering we each feel all the time through experiencing the illusion of a separate self, because the mind exhausts itself all the time performing this magic trick to maintain the illusion.

 

I think this no longer applies if you accept it's an illusion and choose to play along. In that choice, everything is different, there is freedom in the choice and it becomes arbitrary how and when you decide to play

 

The rest of what you wrote was interesting. It sounds like a good method to gain control, but what about those things holding you back? Do you think chakra work or shadow work can play a part to baby step your way to these techniques? I can tell you, we don't do these other techniques consiously and we don't suffer here, and I know because we used to, a lot.

 

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1 minute ago, Ashley said:

What about ole Bear who claims to be content? Not dissatisfied or dissapointed at all, zero.

There might still be subtle suffering that isn't noticed. Meditation makes it more obvious how you might be suffering. Though maybe Bear doesn't suffer somehow. If you suffer so little (or maybe somehow none) you don't notice it and can have a totally content life, that seems pretty good. It is common for people with a lot of mental issues to come to these spiritual practices. I believe eckart tolle (don't know much about him) was suicidally depressed before awakening. Sounds like bear would have been a good candidate. It seems he attenuated his suffering with other practices, though, which is good, and interesting. I don't know how someone could have literally 0 suffering, but if you guys do, that is very very good, and I'm happy for you. It's impressive, and it might be satisfying for you to teach others how to get to that point (though as you said they have to want that first).

 

13 minutes ago, Ashley said:

The rest of what you wrote was interesting. It sounds like a good method to gain control, but what about those things holding you back? Do you think chakra work or shadow work can play a part to baby step your way to these techniques? I can tell you, we don't fo these other techniques cobsiously and we don't suffer here, and I know because we used to, a lot.

Chakra work or shadow work might fall into the morality camp, actually. Morality isn't the best word for it, so it might be a little broader than it seems. Getting rid of your demons helps with being a better person, too. It will also make concentration easier, which thus makes insight easier, so yes. I'm glad you found it interesting. I have many more posts to elaborate on these things (I don't think I'll make another morality post because I have the sila post, even though it is very much not really covering it in total depth, but doing so is a bit out of my league as I'd have to learn a lot more, and don't expect any of these posts to cover these things in full depth. It is a taste and if you want to know more you should explore).

 

Also forgive me, I haven't read all of the chakra and shadow work stuff you guys put out, I procrastinate a lot, but does it involve any sort of concentration, or letting things be as they are? It maybe induced what I would call purifications, which going through is painful but in the end you will suffer a lot less, and that is without insight practices. Insight practices will get rid of any suffering related to the illusion of a separate self, but there can still be stuff to clean up. (Though I know you said you think you found another way around it). As for that statement, it is really hard to tell, because I don't even really notice the suffering caused by that illusion yet myself even, but I just have it on good faith I will eventually notice it once my concentration improves a lot and I start doing insight practices, because it seems it happens to a lot of other people. Maybe it is good to just stay at this not noticing it stage, because meditation can be like opening pandora's box kind of, but I'm just way to interested in everything about all the different practices, attainments, mental states, etc you can get with it, so I have to go for it. It might be a hellish road, but I think it will be worth it if I make it to the other side. It would be interesting to see your system take that plunge too and see what happens, but it is okay if you are still just content where you are and don't want to. If you don't perceive any suffering, then it effectively doesn't exist, I'd say.

 

I'm interested in your practices too, but I think I might do them after (nondual) awakening, because it is good to clean up your shadows, but without that, it can be easy to just gain new conditioning. Though I'm sure you've found a defense to that, though, so I wonder what it is. Actually, the best thing might be to do some before and some after. If I try to get it all cleaned up before going for awakening though, I might be stuck doing that forever and never actually get to it.

 

Omg my neighbors downstairs are cooking something good, it smells great in here, I want some, now I'm hungry. Oops, suffering now. At least this smell makes up for the cigarette smoke that came from them earlier while doing walking meditation... It is funny, my mind got excited because it thought it was going to eat something good until I realized what was going on, lol.

Creation for creation's sake.

 

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(edited)
1 hour ago, TB said:

There might still be subtle suffering that isn't noticed.

 

Gotta dig deep huh?

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

good to clean up your shadows

 

Bear just told someone else, depression is its own beast, you gotta starve that beast first before you even have energy to do shadow work. Shadow work can be painful and triggering, doing it while depressed seems backwards and especially difficult.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

it can be easy to just gain new conditioning

 

Yes, it's a maintenance thing. But depression is in itself traumatizing, so I don't think Bear could have done much then.

 

As far as what to do about the depression:

 

Quote

Bear Wrote:

 

Trying to reason [or will] your way out of depression is like trying to reason your way out of a cold. Depression is fed by something and by someone. Remove external stressors to the best of your ability, stop "helping others" and be a little more selfish. Stop blaming yourself, stop punishing yourself, stop trying to fix things outside your power. Then think deeply on what's feeding the depression. Find a small amount of time each week with someone or something where you don't think at all about depression, all distraction, this is an island of stability that will help you remember what it's like without depression. Next realize that not all the thoughts in your head need to be identified with. Depression is marked by many intrusive thoughts that are generated by the feeding and past trauma.

 

Once the beast [depression] is starved out, I guarantee it will suddenly cease one day then the real work begins. Right now you're at the bottom of an impossibly high hill on a tricycle. What can someone do against such an impressive obstacle?

 

After depression ends, now you worry about awareness and shadow work and the rest. Even drugs won't kill the beast, you can only starve it out. That's my opinion anyway.

 

Edited by Ashley
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16 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Yes, it's a maintenance thing. But depression is in itself traumatizing, so I don't think Bear could have done much then.

 

As far as what to do about the depression:

That's really interesting, thanks. I wish drawing was that island for me, but it is often the source unfortunately, lol. Trying to change that with visualization and practicing in a healthy mindset

 

20 minutes ago, Ashley said:

Gotta dig deep huh?

That's what I plan to do. I'm honestly scared, but perhaps that's normal

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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(edited)

Now I will talk about concentration, including the 8 shamatha jhanas, and some other things you can do with concentration.


I have yet to experience these, so I can't talk from that stand point, but here is some of what I've learned from reading and listening. It doesn't include all the detail possible about these states, if you want to know more about them get The Mind Illuminated or read Daniel's book Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha at mctb.org.


There are 4 formed jhanas and 4 formless jhanas. The 4 formed jhanas are the first, second, third, and fourth jhanas (they don't have interesting names that I'm aware of, unlike jhanas 5-8).


The first jhana happens after you've reached access concentration, which is basically a concentration where you are highly engrossed in what you are focusing on (it could be anything) and distractions are very subtle, whispy, and in the background barely there. This lack of distracting thoughts is a result of high concentration, not a result of willing thoughts to not happen, so if you just force yourself to not think, it won't be access concentration. Leigh Brasington recommends at this point switching your focus to a pleasurable spot in your body. When you are this concentrated, chances are, there is some place with at least a little pleasure, perhaps your hands. Then you want to just wait and do nothing, having your focus on it, and it will slowly grow. To enter, the Five Hindrances must subside (Desire, Aversion, Laziness/Lethargy, Worry/Remorse, and Doubt, but also things like anger can count). Once you enter the jhana, you are still efforting to concentrate to some degree, but you will be flooded with joy or rapture, known as piti in Pali. The degree of joy/rapture you feel will depend on how concentrated you are, as there are light jhanas and hard jhanas, hard being much higher concentration and more intense. If you are in the hard first jhana, you may see a bright light behind your closed eyelids called the nimitta. If you were focusing on the breath or something else, you can switch your focus to the nimitta.


I've had experiences of piti before but they were so shocking I lost focus because they were distracting. It felt like an explosion of pleasurable energy shooting up my spine and it was honestly kind of scary since I didn't expect it, but it felt good. This has happened to me twice. Once you start to see the drawbacks of the first jhana, the piti will calm down and you will enter...


The second jhana. The second jhana is known for its sukkha, which is the exact opposite of dukkha, and usually is translated as happiness. You will feel a pervading happiness, and all effort to focus on the meditation object will be dropped. This feeling can be super healing to trauma, as can the other jhanas as well. Once you start to lose interest in the second jhana, your mind will incline towards...


The third jhana. The third jhana is known for its tranquility and peaceful nature. The happiness will subside and things will be pervading with peacefulness and a different kind of pleasure than happiness. Everything will feel like it is okay in this state. Once you become dispassionate of the third jhana, the tranquility will transform into...


The fourth jhana. The fourth jhana is known for its upekkha, translated as equanimity. You will feel very neutral. You won't be attracted to pleasure or aversive to pain. There is an inherit pleasantness to the reduction of suffering, though, and it is also very peaceful, more than the third jhana. These are the four formed jhanas. Once you pass these, you will enter...


The formless jhanas, also known as the formless realms. The first formless jhana is Boundless Space. My descriptions of these jhanas will be brief and not very detailed as I can't really comprehend them, but by this point the sense of you having a body will cease and you will basically be in a different world. (You can lose the feeling of your body in the formed jhanas too if the concentration is strong enough, but by this point it is guaranteed to happen, as far as I understand.) In boundless space, you have a sense of a vast, wide-open and boundaryless quality. It is very unitive. Sometimes this jhana is called infinite space. Boundaryless is a better descriptions of how it feels, though.


The 6th jhana is called Boundless Consciousness, or sometimes infinite consciousness. You will realize the boundless space you are experiencing is filled with consciousness, and it is even more unitive, and luminous. Consciousness will seem to fill the entire universe, though really is just fills the field of experience. There is still a lot of equanimity.


The 7th jhana is called Nothingness. It is like having all the lights out, and no vastness, and almost no sensations other than those that imply nothingness. You aren't attending to anything now. This nothingness is different than the nothingness of a cessation (we'll talk about those later) because there is an actual experience of nothingness, instead of the kind of nothingness that has no experience or perceived time.


The 8th jhana has the coolest name, and it is Neither Perception Nor Non-Perception. This state can't really be described well and you'd have to experience it. Your focus is so narrow that you don't even get the sense of Nothingness in the 7th jhana, but there it is still a mind state and there is some experience. It is like the exact edge of something being there and not being there. This is the highest of the ordinary states of concentration that can be attained.


There is a thing called the 8th jhana junction point, which once you've reached this, you can move on to other interesting things. One of those things is NIrodha Samapatti, something I am extremely interested in and want to achieve some day. It is said you must be at least 3rd path to attain this (I'll talk about the paths in a future post) so almost fully enlightened. This is also called "The Cessation of Perception and Feeling". It is true nothingness, like one that has no experience, not even an experience of nothingness, and no experience of time passing. It is like having several frames of your life cut out. The only experience is the systematic shutdown of your mind, then the systematic reboot of your mind. I believe it is body sensations, thoughts, then consciousness shutting down in that order, then they reboot in the reverse order. This state apparently has the best afterglow you will ever feel from any sort of meditation practice, even better than the afterglow of a Fruition, or a normal cessation, which is similar but at the same time totally different things (I will talk about later). The cessations of perception and feeling can last anywhere from a moment to, it is said people have stayed in it for days. The longer you stay in it the stronger the afterglow.


Another thing you can do beyond the jhanas is enter the pure lands. They are very pleasant states of being, more so than jhanas as far as I can tell, and there is an unknown number of them (you can discover your own). Related to this, is making custom jhanas that have fusion combinations of the qualities of the jhanas I described, or even qualities not found in jhanas, such as numbness, or feelings of infatuation but with no one you are infatuated with. This takes an extremely skilled meditator to do. Another thing an extremely skilled meditator can do is enter the jhanas out of order and skip jhanas. Usually you rise through them, but if you are good you can do whatever you want, it seems.


Something very cool a highly concentrated mind can do is, just about whatever you want. Anything you incline your mind towards, it will effortlessly do. If you want to see a beautiful image of your tulpa, just ask your mind and it will produce an amazing image of them at a vision like quality, and potentially even manifested in front of you. The things you can do will be fun and crazy, it is like an adventure. This kind of concentration requires extensive hours of meditation, usually in a retreat setting. 100-150 hours in a short amount of time, like 12-16 hours a day for about a week, or maybe 5-8 hours if you are willing to wait longer, but you can't do things that will destroy your concentration you are building up, like interacting with people or using the internet for an extensive amount of time, and after you stop meditating your concentration will rapidly decline and you will lose these abilities. There are some who are apparently able to just be like this all the time, however, so what a lucky bunch. Savants, I guess.


This is also where the powers become available, and performing magick becomes a lot more easy and effective. That will be a separate post (maybe).


On the lower end of concentration, like back to access concentration level or a little lower, a thing your mind will do is purifications. I made a post on this before. (https://community.tulpa.info/topic/16353-tbnrbs-meditation-powwow/?do=findComment&comment=307924) This can be very healing as well, even before you get to jhanas. Your increased mindfulness will also make you transform bad habits into good ones a lot easier, as your mind is unified and agreeing on things instead of having internal conflict, resistance, and doubt. Some bad habits will be dropped like hot coals, because your unconscious mind will realize it doesn't serve you and naturally not want to do it anymore. This is one of the reasons why mindfulness can help people quit drugs or smoking.


Anyway, getting your concentration high is cool, I recommend it. Mine isn't very high yet (I'm at the threshold of being considered a skilled meditator in The Mind Illuminated's system, which would be mastery of stage 4, which can be achieved in a couple months or less), but even then I get benefits. Once you reach stage 10 you have what is called an "Unsurpassable Mind", which is super cool. Also I recommend that book if you want to try and improve your concentration with clear systematic instructions and goals. The next post will be about insight meditation, which I just recently decided to start trying to do a little every day.

 

I feel I forgot something, but oh well. Hope this post is okay. Stuff sounds kind of crazy but people do it, apparently. If I do it, I'll let you all know.

 

Bard AI summary:

Quote
This post dives into the world of concentration in meditation, specifically focusing on the eight shamatha jhanas, blissful states achievable through intense focus. While the author hasn't experienced them directly, they share their learnings:

The 8 Shamatha Jhanas:

  • 4 Formed Jhanas:
    • First: Intense rapture/joy (piti) through focusing on a pleasant bodily sensation.
    • Second: Pervading happiness and effortless focus.
    • Third: Tranquility and peacefulness.
    • Fourth: Equanimity and neutral awareness.
  • 4 Formless Jhanas:
    • Fifth: Boundless Space - vastness and unity without a body.
    • Sixth: Boundless Consciousness - space filled with radiant consciousness.
    • Seventh: Nothingness - absence of perception and vastness.
    • Eighth: Neither Perception Nor Non-Perception - narrow focus beyond nothingness.

Beyond the Jhanas:

  • Nirodha Samapatti: True nothingness, cessation of perception and feeling, with powerful afterglow.
  • Pure Lands: Pleasant states of being beyond jhanas, potentially self-discoverable.
  • Custom Jhanas: Combining Jhana qualities or adding new ones like numbness.
  • Jhana Skipping: Entering higher Jhanas directly by skilled meditators.

Benefits of High Concentration:

  • Effortless manifestation of desired visions and experiences.
  • Increased effectiveness of magical practices (potential future post).
  • Mental purification and transformation of bad habits.
  • Access to an "Unsurpassable Mind" (stage 10 in The Mind Illuminated).

Call to Action:

The author encourages trying to improve concentration, recommending The Mind Illuminated for its systematic approach. They even plan to explore insight meditation next!

Note: This is a summary of the main points. The original post has more details and personal anecdotes.

Hope this helps!

 

Edited by TB

Creation for creation's sake.

 

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Resident Dojikko

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This post will be about the third training, insight. As I said a couple posts ago, meditating on the 3 characteristics can bring about insight that leads to a no-self realization and awakening. A common way to do this is through noting everything in your experience dilligently, as much as you can. Somehow, knowledge of the three characteristics can arise on its own from doing this, however I will give other advice on seeing them as well. Doing these practices will lead you through the 16 stages of the progress of insight, which I'll talk about in another post.

 

Some people might meditate for stability, happiness, and control, but that is literally the exact opposite of the three characteristics, lol. Buckle up buttercup, because insight practices aren't for the feint of heart.

 

Impermanence, or anicca, is the insight that all things without exception come to an end. These insights don't work if they are just at the intellectual level though, so being aware of this, or believing in this, won't do anything. It has to be experiential on a deep level, a realization.

 

By everything coming to an end, I mean literally all sensations. They aren't stable or continuous like they might seem. They are always coming into existence from nothing, doing there thing, then instantly going back out of existence into nothing. That means all sensations basically vibrate or shimmer, like tv snow. When your concentration is powerful enough, you can start seeing the beginning, middle, and end of individual sensations, meaning you can basically see the framerate of reality (which will vary). And by sensations I mean all the senses as well as thoughts and emotions. This characteristic will lead to insights into emptiness, which might be hard to understand, but that things don't have an inherent existence, at least on an experiential level, which is all there is for us. When you do insight practice you want to take your bare sensate reality as the end all be all of reality, so if you don't experience something, it effectively doesn't exist (don't do insight practices while driving). But basically, try to see how reality is always changing and vibrates.

 

Suffering, or dukkha, is insight that no sensation has lasting satisfaction. You can also observe your own suffering, though do so without getting caught in stories. If you feel anxiety or pain or depression, really examine those feelings and see why you don't like it. Don't just think "because it sucks!" Really know how you know it isn't good. As your perception increases, you'll start seeing dukkha even in pleasurable sensations, including jhanas. "Suffering less, noticing it more."

 

No-self, or anatta, is insight that there is no stable, continuous, autonomous doer or thinker. A way to see no-self is to notice how things just happen naturally, on their own, without your help. This is easy to see when you try to meditate and you get derailed in thoughts or distractions. Your mind has a mind of its own, out of your control. It just so happens to be that even the things that feel like it was your control, wasn't your control. This sense of doing stuff is an illusion.

 

If you ask, "what am I?", there are many answers you might give. One you might say you are your body, but you'll figure out that isn't really true. Is your fingernail you? If it gets clipped off is it still you? What about if we cut off a finger? Then it isn't the same body anymore. Another answer might be you're your thoughts. But as I said in the last paragraph, many thoughts of yours you don't have control over, and they come in and out of existence on their own. Also I've heard it be said that, "if you can observe it, then it isn't you." Then you might say, you are the watcher/knower of sensations. Well, when your perceptual threshold reaches a certain point, you'll realize this sensation of being in your head, knowing things outside of this zone from this vantage point, goes away. You'll realize sensations are actually aware of themselves, where they are.

 

These insights can be destabilizing, anxiety inducing, depressing, and can cause existential terror (knowing them at an experiential level does, reading them might creep you out if you think its true or it might not, but it isn't the same as KNOWING to the core of your being) so be warned. The goal is to not become nihilistic, though, and to keep a strong practice of morality so you can maintain a decent life. People who get to the other side of this generally find it worth it and are thankful for their experiences that lead to it.

 

Happy noting!

 

Here is a tl;dr made by Bard the AI

Quote

This post dives into "insight," the third type of Buddhist training, which leads to a deeper understanding of reality and potentially, awakening. By diligently noting all aspects of your experience, you can gain insights into the three characteristics of existence: impermanence, suffering, and non-self.

  • Impermanence (anicca): All things, including sensations, thoughts, and emotions, constantly change and are not stable. This leads to emptiness, meaning things lack inherent existence.
  • Suffering (dukkha): No sensation brings lasting satisfaction. By observing our own suffering without getting caught up in stories, we see it even in pleasurable experiences.
  • Non-self (anatta): There is no permanent, independent "self" controlling experience. Our thoughts and actions arise naturally, and even feelings of control are an illusion.

These insights can be challenging and even destabilizing, potentially leading to anxiety, depression, or existential crises. However, the goal is not nihilism, but rather a profound understanding of reality and liberation from suffering. Those who persevere often find it ultimately rewarding.

Key points:

  • Noting experiences can lead to deep insights into the three characteristics.
  • These insights challenge our usual understanding of reality and can be unsettling.
  • The goal is not to become nihilistic, but to gain liberation from suffering.

Remember, experiencing these insights is different from just reading about them. If you're interested in exploring further, be prepared for potential challenges but also the potential for a profound transformation.

 

I make it sound really bad, and it can be for people, but some people do really well with this and it isn't a problem for them, so don't think you're definitely doomed if you wanted to do these practices. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones. I'm not totally sure how to predict how you will react to this, but it might have to do with how well you handle existential questions and the idea that you may not exist. That probably doesn't go over well for most people, but some don't care. Some people actually find it fun.

 

I'm probably the camp that won't react to it well, but I guess I'm a masochist, or just too curious. I've started insight practices recently, so we'll see where that goes. My biggest fear actually is nothing happening at all, since I have a history of stagnating in things and not making progress, so I'd actually like to experience some destabilization, because that means something is happening, lol. I just hope I can hold my life together if it does. GLHF

Creation for creation's sake.

 

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1 hour ago, TB said:

No-self, or anatta, is insight that there is no stable, continuous, autonomous doer or thinker. A way to see no-self is to notice how things just happen naturally, on their own, without your help. This is easy to see when you try to meditate and you get derailed in thoughts or distractions. Your mind has a mind of its own, out of your control. It just so happens to be that even the things that feel like it was your control, wasn't your control. This sense of doing stuff is an illusion.

 

There is no [consious] doer or thinker. The doer or thinker, decision maker isn't observable. So if you draw the line "I am, my self is, my consious mindspace" then above is correct. It requires a little belief or faith that the doer or thinker is who you really are rather than just an arbitrary pawn personality that associates with a thought or not after the fact. I gotta say though that it's no less valid of a model. If you attack it from a materialist standpoint you don't possibly have free will and everything you've ever done wasn't you doing it. We find this to be dangerous thinking as it can let the ego run wild without remorse,  repentance or accountability. Imagine if a society outlawed criminal prosecution because the criminals are purely an outcome of society and not personally responsible. It's not as rediculous as it sounds living in California.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

Non-self (anatta): There is no permanent, independent "self" controlling experience. Our thoughts and actions arise naturally, and even feelings of control are an illusion.

 

"arise naturally" 

"control is an illusion"

 

It's not great imo to follow this logic. It's dehumanizing and demoralizing to me. No, I don't take it well because clearly it's a possibility as models go and that's strongly nihilistic leaning. If you have to say it's not nihilistic in your description of a philosophy, you also have to admit it sounds a heck of a lot like nihilism.

 

How do you "have [or choose] a strong practice of morality" if "thoughts arise out of your control"? That's paradoxical.

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