Realisation and the mind

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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby snowheight » Fri Apr 01, 2016 8:43 am

runstrails wrote:
Fore wrote: Realization of ones true nature is simply the first frution stage. Insights are only part of this first stage.


This is a good point.

In the old day, students of Vedanta were first asked to develop qualifications such as dedication, discrimination, dispassion, karma yoga, bhakti etc.. and so when they achieved self-realization, those practices were already in place to deal with the unwieldy mind were already in place.

These days, self realization can come first, and may not necessarily mean moksha (freedom from suffering). The conditioning and old egoic tendencies can still be very strong.

Luckily, traditional vedanta provides the entire cosmology of awakening. Not only do you realize that you are the self (awareness). But you also understand the energies and the mind states (rajas, sattva and tamas) and how they work and how to balance them for a peaceful mind. Actually, it's kind of interesting--since it gives you something to do once the seeking is over!

Balancing the gunas to achieve a peaceful (sattvic) mind is a great way to occupy oneself in whatever one is doing in life. Following dharma, as you say, is essential to achieving a peaceful mind. And a peaceful mind is a great way to enjoy the bliss of self-realization.

And this feeling of moksha (freedom from suffering) can happen every day, again and again, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances, when the mind is focused on its true nature. When the focus is lost, then there can be suffering. But then the thought arises, "I am the self" and moksha is available again :D.


I like the Japanese Zen model of kensho/satori for the difference between transcendent experience and realization that doesn't come and go. I also agree with Andy that seeking done intellectually is seeking done unconsciously, and I've got the illusory path story to prove it. :D One afternoon 30 years ago I had a dorm room talk with a friend who'd gone on to major in Physics (mine was engineering). He was interested at the time in the topic of the Quantum Observer and said something to the effect "this changes everything and they shouldn't call it Physics anymore".

Me: "huh?"

Stefano: "If a measurement requires an observer then it's not a purely physical process."

Me: "What? Nah, there's an apparatus with power plugs and metal and glass and the whole dealio is a physical process."

Stefano: "But how do you account for yourself in that loop? How do you explain the physicality of the observer?"

Me: "It's my physicality, right?"

Stefano got a look across his face that I'll never forget. He was processing something and knowing me, he knew that any more talk would be useless. He gave me his chess set as a parting gift on our last days together 'cause I always kicked his ass. He nodded slightly and said "oh, so you think of yourself as a physical process then?"

Me: "well, yeah, duh, what else would I be?"

And that rationalization was a salvage of my sense of identity based on myself as walking stardust in a real material world, but something didn't quite sit right after that. The identity poker game was on, and it was 99% unconscious for 20+ years. I dunno, if someone had hit me over the head with changlessness back then I can't say how I would have reacted. Image

On this issue of the necessity of a teacher, if I admit that my opinion about it might be rooted in arrogance and laziness, would you consider the possibility that yours might be based on a self-serving institutional bias? I mean traditional AV is all about exploring that old conditioning, right? Image

On the issue of the permanent end of suffering, I think that's a cool discussion, but one inference I draw from what Gangajii says here, it can often be a disservice to onlooker peeps who are only imagining what's being discussed.

How's the runnin' habit these days? :D
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:54 pm

Fore wrote:Hi Rob you seem to be misunderstanding the Buddhist theory. To fully break free from the ego even the most subtlest can be a lifetimes work. Realization of ones true nature is simply the first frution stage. Insights are only part of this first stage.

Hi Fore

It's not a misunderstanding - it's an acknowledgement of the different schools of Buddhist thought. Yes, some forms of early Buddhism do talk about a lifetime's (or more) work - these are known as the gradual path approach. Later forms (post Nagarjuna) emphasise sudden awakening. As I acknowledge above, stabilising awakening (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.

The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment the limited self (ahamkara). Seeing through the limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation is awakening - but the phenomenal self remains intact (with many of its inclinations and characteristics) for practical and biological reasons. There is no requirement to spend a lifetime (or more) trying to be rid of this phenomenal self - not only would that be undesirable but, I would say, nigh on impossible.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby runstrails » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:13 pm

snowy said:
How's the runnin' habit these days? :D


HI snowy good to see you! Running is going really well. It's a bindng vasana that's worth keeping! Hope you are well too.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby rachMiel » Fri Apr 01, 2016 3:34 pm

Rob,

Thanks for the clarification. :-)

I wasn't aware of the sudden enlightenment approach in Buddhism, probably because I have steered clear of Chan/Zen (because I am not a fan of formal meditation).

When Dzogchen teachers talk about sudden enlightenment, they usually mean: within one lifetime. Which is not all that "sudden" ... but heckuva lot suddener than 1,000,000 lifetimes!
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:12 am

Hello RT,
I was doing some light reading on Vedanta terms. It seem some of the words are the same but carry different meanings.
Dharma for example is teachings of Buddha but in Hinduism it seems more in line with morality.
It sounds like your earlier practitioners were doing concentration exercises to to develop samadhi, then using this established samadhi to practice Vipassana(insight). I would not call this self realization or mokshu(which seems equivalent to Nirvana) this is merely seeing the apparent self with deeper clarity(insight) which will lead one to mokshu(Nirvana) experiencing the ultimate reality or self.
Satipatthana is another word for Vipassana practice sati means "to remember" and also means "awareness" to develop satipatthana is to develop in continuously remember to be aware.
I'm not sure if I would prefer to each thought of awareness as a mokshu or nirvanic experience. In my understanding this awareness would become so clear that this awareness would transcend this dimension and would be aware of aware. Impossible to understand but an experience that transcends mind and matter. It doesn't seem to do this term mokshu justice tobrefer to this when out witnessing thoughts recognize egoic behaviour. The experience is well within mind and body,
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:38 am

Rob X wrote:
It's not a misunderstanding - it's an acknowledgement of the different schools of Buddhist thought. Yes, some forms of early Buddhism do talk about a lifetime's (or more) work - these are known as the gradual path approach. Later forms (post Nagarjuna) emphasise sudden awakening. As I acknowledge above, stabilising awakening (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.

The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment the limited self (ahamkara). Seeing through the limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation is awakening - but the phenomenal self remains intact (with many of its inclinations and characteristics) for practical and biological reasons. There is no requirement to spend a lifetime (or more) trying to be rid of this phenomenal self - not only would that be undesirable but, I would say, nigh on impossible.

A flash of awakening is just that, after this experience self view may be eradicated but the deeper aspects of ego remain. One will still be subject to this egoic nature even though this experience of Nirvana will forever allow this being to understand that they are not this apparent self. Further insights will lead one to weaken greed, hatred, and ignorance even further then the next awakening occurs and then again one works with more refinement grinding the ego to dust until there is nothing left. No materials left to build a self, at this stage once the body exausts this life there will be no self remaining to give spark to another birth.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:45 am

rachMiel wrote:

When Dzogchen teachers talk about sudden enlightenment, they usually mean: within one lifetime. Which is not all that "sudden" ... but heckuva lot suddener than 1,000,000 lifetimes!

How fast must the mind travel to view a single lifetime? Faster than the speed of light.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby snowheight » Sat Apr 02, 2016 2:14 am

runstrails wrote:
snowy said:
How's the runnin' habit these days? :D


HI snowy good to see you! Running is going really well. It's a bindng vasana that's worth keeping! Hope you are well too.


Glad to hear it. :lol:

I'm more than fine, thank you for asking. I blunder through life one dubious choice after another and the babbling of the Sam Scaries is of an amusement that seems to find no end of depth. By some miracle of the Christian Man God of literal heaven on high I'm still married, but now Sue has a whole new vocabulary with words like "dharma" and "maya". Image

Now, you know, I wouldn't be much of an internet friend if I didn't ask the obvious question, what is bound by the running? And I get to ask it from the lofty perch of not having skii'd this year. Image

And how's Prof. 'Trails and Running Mom, how are they doin'? :)
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Sat Apr 02, 2016 3:19 pm

Fore wrote:
Rob X wrote:
It's not a misunderstanding - it's an acknowledgement of the different schools of Buddhist thought. Yes, some forms of early Buddhism do talk about a lifetime's (or more) work - these are known as the gradual path approach. Later forms (post Nagarjuna) emphasise sudden awakening. As I acknowledge above, stabilising awakening (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.

The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment the limited self (ahamkara). Seeing through the limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation is awakening - but the phenomenal self remains intact (with many of its inclinations and characteristics) for practical and biological reasons. There is no requirement to spend a lifetime (or more) trying to be rid of this phenomenal self - not only would that be undesirable but, I would say, nigh on impossible.

A flash of awakening is just that, after this experience self view may be eradicated but the deeper aspects of ego remain. One will still be subject to this egoic nature even though this experience of Nirvana will forever allow this being to understand that they are not this apparent self. Further insights will lead one to weaken greed, hatred, and ignorance even further then the next awakening occurs and then again one works with more refinement grinding the ego to dust until there is nothing left. No materials left to build a self, at this stage once the body exausts this life there will be no self remaining to give spark to another birth.


Yes, what you say here is more or less the gradualist approach consisting of a lifetime's purification. If you believe in that approach and it seems to be working for you then stick with it.

But there is really no requirement to grind the ego to dust. The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment to the limited self. This is about seeing through the ego/limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation. I acknowledge that the stabilising of this awakened 'state' (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Fore » Sat Apr 02, 2016 4:56 pm

Seeing through the ego is what I mean by grinding the ego to dust(or looking at refined ego) this is the path to freedom for everyone it is universal. Strong egoic tendencies that lead to great suffering are clearly seen and merely observed this breaks the grip we previously had on them and with this loosened grip(space) they are able to simply pass away without any creation of new self addedto them. These past lives(mental formations) begin a process of refinement. You are liberating them from their deep suffering. It is a gradual process, but can happen very quickly dependent on the grip one has on them or better how loosly we remain holding on to them. As refinement process occurs one may think oh I'm glad those old thought formations of anger are gone they were so painful but they are not gone they have simply refined, at this stage we may come to like these visitors and the grip tightens again, we are not liberated yet but may feel much better. Eventually these refined formations will cycle back and may become unpleasant due to this constant grip.
It is incredibly rare for someone to flash awaken and have no attachment to this self in the higher refined States.
We just seem to be discussing a different realization of ultimate truth.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:03 pm

Fore wrote:We just seem to be discussing a different realization of ultimate truth.

Probably.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Rob X » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:09 pm

rachMiel wrote:Rob,

Thanks for the clarification. :-)

I wasn't aware of the sudden enlightenment approach in Buddhism, probably because I have steered clear of Chan/Zen (because I am not a fan of formal meditation).

When Dzogchen teachers talk about sudden enlightenment, they usually mean: within one lifetime. Which is not all that "sudden" ... but heckuva lot suddener than 1,000,000 lifetimes!


But… I heard that it only happens NOW! :roll:
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby runstrails » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:13 pm

RobX wrote: But there is really no requirement to grind the ego to dust. The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment to the limited self. This is about seeing through the ego/limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation. I acknowledge that the stabilising of this awakened 'state' (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.


Nicely stated, Rob. The whole point of moksha (liberation) is to ultimately be able to enjoy one's life without attachment (to the limited self). When self-realization is firm, then the ego (jiva) is not a problem, since as Rob says, it is seen through. In fact, there is a lot of love for the jiva and for all of creation.
When you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are eternal, then you don't struggle with trying to get rid of something that you know to be apparent. It would be like striving to turn out the light bulb when the room is full of bright sunlight :D.

Snowy wrote: And how's Prof. 'Trails and Running Mom, how are they doin'?

All is well. Thanks for asking. I did my first ultramarathon distance last year. Pretty crazy. Kid is a pre-teen now. I've often thought that the acid test for a self-realized person would be to spend an hour with an American teenager :lol:.
Hope you get to ski next year :D.
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby rachMiel » Sat Apr 02, 2016 9:40 pm

Rob X wrote:
rachMiel wrote:When Dzogchen teachers talk about sudden enlightenment, they usually mean: within one lifetime. Which is not all that "sudden" ... but heckuva lot suddener than 1,000,000 lifetimes!

But… I heard that it only happens NOW! :roll:

I make the power of now look like the power of then!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=h5XnFAcjAJY
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily ...
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Re: Realisation and the mind

Postby Sighclone » Sun Apr 03, 2016 1:25 am

RobX wrote: But there is really no requirement to grind the ego to dust. The ego (in a spiritual context) means attachment to the limited self. This is about seeing through the ego/limited phenomenal self and having the realisation of the truth of our situation. I acknowledge that the stabilising of this awakened 'state' (what some refer to as liberation) can take years.


Nicely stated, Rob. The whole point of moksha (liberation) is to ultimately be able to enjoy one's life without attachment (to the limited self). When self-realization is firm, then the ego (jiva) is not a problem, since as Rob says, it is seen through. In fact, there is a lot of love for the jiva and for all of creation.
When you know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are eternal, then you don't struggle with trying to get rid of something that you know to be apparent. It would be like striving to turn out the light bulb when the room is full of bright sunlight :D.


Poor Eckhart. He is so right in railing against the ego, of course, and is perhaps fully aware of this subtle important distinction, gently and elegantly phrased here. It is about ego attachment, or Not.

What about the need for identity at all? Does that also dissolve? Is "Amness" closer to the truth than "I Am?"

Andy
A person is not a thing or a process, but an opening through which the universe manifests. - Martin Heidegger
There is not past, no future; everything flows in an eternal present. - James Joyce
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