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TBnRB's Meditation POWWOW


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6 hours ago, Ashley said:

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.

Yeah that's an issue I've had too. But on the relative level it doesn't work that way I guess. There are even non-buddhists who don't believe in free will but will still say you are personally responsible for your actions, even if your choice to do those actions was an illusion and was predestined to happen. It kind of sucks and is confusing, but even if we are at the mercy of causality, we still respond based on input from outside of us so we lean into trying to do good since that's what it seems we want generally for most people

 

6 hours ago, Ashley said:

It's not great imo to follow this logic. It's dehumanizing and demoralizing to me.

It is demoralizing to me too, which is why I think if I start seeing direct glimpses of it, I'll start having an existential crisis on the bad end of the spectrum of the spectrum of possibilities one could react to this with (but I've gotten better with it) I'm really just putting my hope in that it will all be okay in the end.

 

6 hours ago, Ashley said:

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.

Buddhism does sound pretty nihilistic to me, but the Buddha also says seeing things that way is wrong view and dangerous. These insights have seemingly nihilistic implications, but you still have to assume responsibility and not take it so negatively, which is hard for some people, but probably doable I guess. On one hand awakening will make you lose a sense of agency, but on the other hand for example, Culadasa says awakening is when the real fun of life begins

 

6 hours ago, Ashley said:

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

Yeah it's complicated. Things arise naturally without our control, but there is still a logic and order to it all. If someone you trust suggests practicing good morality as a good thing to do, you will naturally be more inclined to do that. Same if you just think it is a good idea on your own. Negative thoughts may arise out of your control, but you can still react to those thoughts with intentions to do things that will help subdue them and replace them with more positive ones. The choice to react to it in that way also happens on its own, but if you think of lack of agency in a certain way it seems okay, because, whether or not there is free will, you would have done what you wanted to do anyway. How can you choose anything other than the thing you decide you want to do? A reality with free will and without free will might look really similar actually, unless it is the kind of free will where everyone has infinite will power and so everyone chooses to be super healthy athletes with super human minds and super knowledge because they always make the best and healthiest decisions, and choose to never make mistakes so they will a perfect life into reality, always choosing to be happy. In that world there still would seem to be a predictable line of events though

 

To break casuality you'd have to have a world where people choose random things that don't make sense in the moment, like cut your arm off for no reason just to prove you have a choice or something, but why would you do that? The causes and conditions in your head are unlikely to lead to that decision unless you needed to to save your life, like if you were stuck under a boulder or something. It's a little hard to imagine what it would be like if we had selfs that stood outside of causality and did whatever they wanted, and there was nothing the came before that lead us to our decisions. As it is, we do what we think is right from our point of view in the moment. Sometimes we are conflicted and want to do the harder long term thing that gets gratification way down the line versus instant gratification that harms us later, but what you do has to do with how many subminds agree to a decision, and they choose based on the knowledge they have access too, which comes from your experiences or karma

 

Meditation lets you change these subminds when normally you don't have direct control or access to them, so it can make you feel like you have more control, but meditation is like a circle I guess. You start out feeling like you have little will, it gets stronger and stronger, then it shatters, but by the time it shatters you are fine with it and everything becomes nice and you don't really suffer anymore (you still feel pain, but relationship to it is very different)

 

Frank Yang says he doesn't really worry about the question of free will vs determinism anymore. To him both and neither are true at the same time. Doing things no longer feels like it is his will, but it feels like it is the universe's will, and you kind of feel like you are the universe (not in a megalomaniac way, there just isn't a separation between you and things outside of you anymore. You feel a part of the whole) When he walks it is the universe walking, when he eats it is the universe eating. And you still have all your conditioning you built up, hopefully in your favor from taking care of yourself, so you will naturally choose to do what matters to you, without any resistance anymore

 

 

Sorry for this long post, I just hope I could make you feel better about that idea. It's something that has caused me a lot of depression to think about in the past, but these new perspectives I've discovered helped make it not seem as bad and make more sense. Learning things arise on their own naturally kind of gives you an advantage, because now you kind of know how to game the system, even if it isn't you choosing to game it technically. You will just become better at figuring out how to make the things you want to arise arise, instead of being frustrated and not knowing why you can't get yourself to do or think the things you want, or worse, blaming yourself for it all and thinking you are a bad person for it. Now you can forgive yourself and realize you just have to train your mind, and that knowledge will lead to you doing it most likely

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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1 hour ago, TB said:

the kind of free will where everyone has infinite will power and so everyone chooses to be super healthy athletes with super human minds and super knowledge because they always make the best and healthiest decisions, and choose to never make mistakes so they will a perfect life into reality, always choosing to be happy.

 

Well, not everyone can be like me, but you know.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

It is demoralizing to me too, which is why I think if I start seeing direct glimpses of it, I'll start having an existential crisis on the bad end

 

This is why we choose not to follow non-duality. It's the same deal. We won't choose to interpret "glimpses" this way either. There's nothing to gain for us.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

To break casuality you'd have to have a world where people choose random things that don't make sense in the moment, like cut your arm off for no reason just to prove you have a choice or something, but why would you do that?

 

That wouldn't even break causality, it would simply mean you were meant to chop your arm off. In the wrong mind with incomplete understanding and poor interpretation, this would simply leave someone broken. I suppose any practice has this potential but this is one of those times SheShe wouldn't allow it.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

To him both and neither are true at the same time.

 

We have paradoxical beliefs but they take turns depending on what we need at the time. Taking paradoxical thinking simultaneously is certainly possible.

 

Grounding is the solution to ungrounded thinking, doubt is the issue with ungrounded thinking, they do the same thing, the difference is: one you use, the other is involuntary.

 

1 hour ago, TB said:

I just hope I could make you feel better about that idea. 

 

If there's one thing we do best, it's strong convictions. We do change our mind but it won't happen when we see something as potentially damaging.

 

So don't worry about us.

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  • 1 month later...
(edited)

Hi TB!

 

Misha was thinking about enlightenment and she put a bit of effort into it here. We'd like to hear your thoughts about this as it applies to your practices. And here's the trick question that Misha explored: Can you seek enlightenment? So if you just want to answer that than that's ok too.

 

 

So what is the goal if you can't seek "enlightenment"? You can attain very beneficial goals that will essentially bring you closer to enlightenment. One very important one is contentment. Why are you seeking contentment, doesn't that sound counterproductive? Your trying to attain something that accepts the lack of attainment. Simply accept the lack of attainment of it and you'll have it, whatever and all that 'it' is. Contentment is the lack of seeking. Two, acceptance, so why are you not accepting anyone's personal beliefs? Doesn't that make you a gatekeeper of the gateless gate? Why would it bother you if someone believes something isn't as you define it? It is what it is and that's all it needs to be. If you're desiring it to be something it's not, you're neither content nor accepting. Three, the lack of attachments. This may seem redundant but attachments bring suffering, so you could say enlightenment is without suffering, therefore it is without attachments such as desires or exclusionary thinking.

Dogma, doctrine, beliefs could never be enlightenment if enlightenment has the properties of contentment, acceptance and non-attachment. The very assertion that one way is better than another is counterproductive three fold.

I can't say I am enlightened, I can say I am content, I am accepting, and I am free from attachments. Because I'm content, that's enough. Because I'm accepting, others may disagree and I welcome that. Because I hold no attachments I accept that I may be wrong and better paths and states of being exist, thus I enjoy the exploration without holding my beliefs above others'.

You could say, but accepting things that others say that are clearly wrong is unproductive. Why should I care? How would I know? It doesn't bother me.

 

Edited by Autumn Ren
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

Hi TB!

 

Misha was thinking about enlightenment and she put a bit of effort into it here. We'd like to hear your thoughts about this as it applies to your practices. And here's the trick question that Misha explored: Can you seek enlightenment? So if you just want to answer that than that's ok too.

Hi! I'm so sorry, I'm just now seeing this. Thanks for taking interest in my thread

 

I think you can seek enlightenment. Such a person is even called a seeker and Frank Yang says you have to exhaust the seeker before you find realization

 

If you choose not to seek enlightenment because you think it is paradoxical and to attain it you just have to stop having desires so you try to choose to not desire anything, I don't think that would work. You still have conditions and desires and aversions ingrained in you that will arise and be reacted to without you wanting it to happen, you don't really have a choice over it. Consciously trying to desire less or not at all can help and is part of it but won't just instantly get you there in my opinion

 

People are kind of cursed to take things at least somewhat personally as long as they perceive there is a self here separate from everything else out there. At stream entry you lose the fetter of personality belief, so you have seen proof the sense of self is an illusion, but you still experience that illusion

 

At arhatship or full enlightenment, you lose the fetter of conceit, which as far as I understand, in Buddhism, means the actual experience of having a self. The illusion is gone and there is no "here" and "there" anymore. When you perceive reality in this way, you have no more desires or attachments because nothing exists to have desires or get attached in the first place. When someone is seeking enlightenment, this is what they are trying to do

 

You still might have preferences and do the things you like to do and gain joy from it, but if it was taken away you wouldn't experience agitation, and you don't experience fear of it being taken away. Maybe someone can learn or somehow choose to view or react to life in this way without dropping the fetter of conceit, but I don't think it would be the same experience. Actually dropping those fetters through clear perception is such a trip and mind F it is a highly difficult to explain, radically different way of being in the world, and anyone who has attained it would tell you it is a vastly better way of perceiving the world, so much so they say it is a no brainer to choose living only a single day in this state over living a whole life where you get everything you could possibly want

 

On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

Why are you seeking contentment, doesn't that sound counterproductive? Your trying to attain something that accepts the lack of attainment. Simply accept the lack of attainment of it and you'll have it, whatever and all that 'it' is. Contentment is the lack of seeking.

Sounds like the concept of having equanmity with the lack of equanmity, which is a useful thing to do and will get you closer to this goal, but isn't an immediate fulfillment of the true goal itself. It just gets you on your way and not doing so will make you go backwards

 

On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

Two, acceptance, so why are you not accepting anyone's personal beliefs? Doesn't that make you a gatekeeper of the gateless gate? Why would it bother you if someone believes something isn't as you define it? It is what it is and that's all it needs to be. If you're desiring it to be something it's not, you're neither content nor accepting.

I don't know if you are talking to me directly or just saying in general, but I usually try to accept other people may have different beliefs, and my own beliefs aren't so rigidly set in stone. I do have strong ideas of how I think things might be though, and if I see someone else having beliefs that are actively harmful to themselves or others, it can be upsetting

 

On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

Dogma, doctrine, beliefs could never be enlightenment if enlightenment has the properties of contentment, acceptance and non-attachment. The very assertion that one way is better than another is counterproductive three fold.

Certain dogma, doctrine, and beliefs do seem to harm both people's ability to get enlightenment or harm the quality of some people's actual enlightenment. As far as I've heard, you can still be enlightened but believe in problematic things and be capable of being triggered, but your experience of it is very different and you might use a lot of spiritual bypassing to get over it. I'm not sure that applies to a full arhat, but some people can achieve really lofty spiritual goals and still have problematic personality traits they didn't correct that are left over from their life before enlightenment. Now would be their chance to fix it without worrying about it coming back or being replaced with something else bad, which is the constant risk of trying to clean yourself up normally, but the ironic thing is since they can get triggered without actually suffering, they don't care they get triggered, it is just a response ingrained in their brain and they don't feel the motivation to get rid of it because it isn't causing them a problem. This isn't very good and is something to be careful of when trying to achieve these things

 

On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

I can't say I am enlightened, I can say I am content, I am accepting, and I am free from attachments. Because I'm content, that's enough. Because I'm accepting, others may disagree and I welcome that. Because I hold no attachments I accept that I may be wrong and better paths and states of being exist, thus I enjoy the exploration without holding my beliefs above others'.

Sounds good that you are content, a lot of people don't have that. Experiencing non duality might be a beneficial upgrade if you don't already have it, but not everyone wants to seek it out. It is extremely difficult and can cause tremendous pain to do so and has a lot of risks. Seeing the 3 characteristics of reality is not fun, or if it is fun it is an acquired taste. There are ways to make it a lot easier, like doing so from the ground of jhanas, though, but it can be hard to achieve, especially for some people, I seem to be one of them. If being content the way you are is enough for you, that's great and you don't need to do anything else

 

On 2/13/2024 at 1:14 PM, Autumn Ren said:

You could say, but accepting things that others say that are clearly wrong is unproductive. Why should I care? How would I know? It doesn't bother me.

Yeah, trying to change other people's beliefs is difficult and you can't really force that to happen on someone, and it is not something I feel I can or even should do. I just try to figure stuff out for myself, and if people want to hear it, I'll share what I know and think so far. Whether someone else accepts it or not isn't as important. Maybe for some, changing people's ideas is really important and those people may need to exist, but it isn't for me and I suppose you either

 

Thanks for the questions. I hope I made somewhat sense. Terribly sorry for being about 3 weeks late, I don't check my notifications and don't expect people to post in my threads after a while I guess... I hope I made somewhat sense

Creation for creation's sake.

 

More of my drawings

 

Resident Dojikko

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It wasn't just to you but in general and thank you for commenting on it. Misha and I appreciate the perspective.

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