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    Thread: Enlightenment - Quick Guide

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      Enlightenment - Quick Guide

      Anyone want to take a shot at compiling, in a nutshell, the path to enlightenment? I've been thinking of this for some time and decided it's the sort of thing that works best with many different minds adding in to get the particular signposts that will resonate with the largest audience.

      But here's my attempt:

      There is absolutely no reason to agree with any of the judgments one has in their head. Begin by neither agreeing nor disagreeing with all beliefs and thoughts you have, whether they're about yourself or the world. Disidentify with yourself and use your awareness to view your mind and body as part of the world around you. Disidentification is the release of one's "self" from all the labels they cast upon themselves. Being male or female, old or young and gay or straight may help other people in their judgments of someone but it is not something people need to apply to their awareness. One's will and emotions already convey their personal bias and genuine personality to the world in the moment. The identity is for the non-existent hypothetical. By holding on to it, one is losing some of the attention they could retain for themselves. The worst false identity we give ourselves is that we are our minds. Step outside and watch your mind from yourself. It may help pivot your awareness to imagine yourself as the star of life's movie. One is after the novel, expectant sensation like life is new and refreshed.

      If you followed that correctly, you should now be centered. You may have been centered before, you may have been centered while reading this. Hopefully you're there now. I sort of went in and out while writing it P:

      Anyway, this state is referred to as mindfulness or the zone. One is not involuntarily thoughtless but from this state one sees their thoughts as barriers that serve no purpose except to interrupt experience with reality .Since you've learned to think, how often has it felt like your thoughts are actually voluntary?

      I've isolated three essential steps to retaining this state:

      Remember: Remind yourself to remember. Be in this state whenever you remember to. Use reminders just like you do with Reality Checks. Don't get down on yourself for forgetting. Never do any more or any less than your best.

      Detach: Be attached to no particular outcome. Results are never what you intend. Even when you get what you want, it's impermanent and serves nothing except the moments it provides you with which are best enjoyed by being Mindful. This state of heightened alertness also ensures you are your most capable self rather than floundering in panic or worry.

      Be honest: The mind is a world of fabrication and distraction that constantly wants more and more of our attention, thoughts become alive and self-sustaining simply through our addiction to them. When one is centered the only way to retain that state is relate it honestly with great care over one's words and actions.

      That's it so go ahead and explain what I'm missing or could phrase differently, or just write your own quick guide!
      Last edited by Omnis Dei; 08-16-2011 at 04:51 PM.

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      8 fold path. Written years ago by some dude.

      But I'll play.
      I realised basically what you're saying today. I realised that it would probably work to just keep remembering the facts of it.
      Keep remembering you are not what people say you are, that is an image people push on you.
      Keep remembering you are not separate from the world.
      Keep remembering you have no control over basically everything.
      Keep remembering to be in the moment.
      etc.

      Eventually it will become obvious in one's every day life.

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      Spiritual Awakening/Enlightenment is simply waking up from the dream of thought. Lost in thought is the normal human condition. You'll be amazed at the things you can say, come up with, or even how you feel if your just simply "awake"..out of the ego
      Last edited by Majestic; 08-17-2011 at 08:51 PM.
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      I'm not trying to define it. For practical purposes, I'm defining enlightenment as a state of mindfulness.

      This state of mindfulness is achieved by neither agreeing nor disagreeing with all of your judgments about yourself and the world. In what other words or other strategies can you describe the means to achieve this state of mind?

      I'm looking for a compilation of tips and ideas that are practical and broadly recognizable to help people find and retain this state.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      And what happens after you reach that state of mindfullness? End game?

      Enlightenment to me means evolution. Simply put, its the next state of expanded consciousness that you can experience, and is entirely dependent on the state of consciousness that you are in. For a human, there is no end to our own personal enlightenment.

      Our conscious awareness is fleeting and flickers to and fro. Even if you have a moment where you realize who you truly are, the next moment you can forget. Reaching enlightenment means getting to that plateau of a new consciousness, whatever it is for you, where there is no turning back. Where its not just a moment but a new state of awareness that defines you.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Omnis Dei View Post
      I'm not trying to define it. For practical purposes, I'm defining enlightenment as a state of mindfulness.

      This state of mindfulness is achieved by neither agreeing nor disagreeing with all of your judgments about yourself and the world. In what other words or other strategies can you describe the means to achieve this state of mind?

      I'm looking for a compilation of tips and ideas that are practical and broadly recognizable to help people find and retain this state.
      Did I not do that, or were you not responding to me?

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      I don't think there is an "end"..in mindfulness..you just exist in each moment...an "end" is linear thinking...stillness is timeless. I think once you've reached complete enlightenment time won't even exist to you....time is just an illusion..subjective...

      We perceive time because we don't live fully in each moment..each moment is infinite..it's like a person's lifetime is made up of many moments....in a day, there are several "present moments".....even within every second there are infinite "present moments"...the point is to dwell in the infinite present moments within each second...This is life....this is where God lives, this is where physical, spiritual, and mental healing takes place. I get very close to this "point of infinity", I feel it...you can literally feel the energy start to surge through you. I don't remain in this state for long, usually about 5 to 8 seconds, the most i was able to stay still was probably around 15 seconds. It's hard and the only reason I got it that long because I was practicing. We as human beings are truly sleeping...spiritually.

      Concentration meditation is a mental discipline..not a state of bliss.....bliss is just a side effect of it. When your meditating, bliss is just a distraction..enjoy the bliss when your done with meditation.
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      Enlightenment can be defined in slightly different ways in the different traditions, as they accentuate different aspects of awakeness in their tradition. In vipassana, the practice involves seeing the 3 characteristics, as taught by the Buddha. We investigate or examine phenomena with direct perception very closely until we gain insight into their nature.

      The three characteristics are impermanence, unsatisfactoriness, and no-self. What this means is that all sensations, all phenomena, are impermanent, they arise and then pass away, seeing this directly is like observing 3-d tv static or snow. It could be compared to physics, where particles pop in and out of existence, they are not permanent. Most people see the world and phenomena as solid, that solidity is an illusion. When we look closely things are always changing, in flux.

      Unsatisfactoriness refers to the inherent suffering in the fact that nothing is permanent, so when we try to grasp or become attached to things we like, inevitably that phenomena will change, decay, pass away.. no-self refers to the characteristic that when we examine closely, we can find no permanent self, soul, atman, whatever u wish to call it, within phenomenon. So the first part of becoming enlightened is about seeing these characteristics in the practice of vipassana.

      Eventually, the practice of vipassana leads to fruition.. or breakthrough into nibbana ( nirvana ) .. the ultimate reality, that which is unconditioned, beyond .... this is a kind of unbinding from samsara, and with this unbinding comes release from the suffering inherent in being bound and tied up in impermanent phenomena. This is the definition of Enlightenment in the Theravadan tradition, when practicing insight meditaiton or vipassana, when one first attains fruition, or nibbana, then one is a stream enterer, the first rank of the noble enlightened ones. :]

      Then there are other traditions, that aim their practices towards embodying constant wakefulness, mindfulness.. being fully present every moment. This factor of mindfulness is important in vipassana as well. But some traditions emphasize dwelling as rigpa, or primordial awareness, buddha nature, they take a direct path by practicing this, instead of going through the developmental enlightenment process of vipassana.

      Such practices are known as direct path, or non-dual practices / traditions. They all aim to see the truth of reality in the present moment exactly as it is, without obscuration, they all aim to free oneself of the wrong view of a self in the aggregates or phenomena / samsara. There is a good writeup about what enlightenment is and isn't, in the theravada tradition in the following free ebook:

      Interactive Buddha - Mastering the Core Teachings of the Buddha
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      Quote Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
      Concentration meditation is a mental discipline..not a state of bliss.....bliss is just a side effect of it. When your meditating, bliss is just a distraction..enjoy the bliss when your done with meditation.
      When practicing samatha jhana, or concentration practice, we will experience raptures, including bliss. One method of deepening concentration, is to turn our attention to the bliss itself, and become absorbed in this. So I would not say bliss is a distraction in concentration practice. I frequently turn attention to blissful sensations in the 1st and 2nd jhana, and it allows me to become absorbed more deeply into these jhanas. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the bliss of jhana, if one is doing strictly concentration practice. Of course we should remain alert, and not become distracted .. where we are not resting attention on the object. Bliss is one factor of concentration that actually aids the meditator in not becoming distracted by thoughts and other phenomena.

      Concentration is simply resting attention on an object. It can be done in different phases, from very directed and narrow to all encompassing. The first jhana is a very narrow focus, it widens in the second with the sense of effort dropping away. In the third jhana bliss is much less pronounced and isntead there is a great stillness and equanimity is more noticeable. In the fourth Equanimity is the dominant factor.

      P.S. Majestic, I can share instruction with you that will allow you to remain more fully present for longer, if you're interested. ^__^
      Last edited by enso; 09-05-2011 at 07:16 AM. Reason: P.S.

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      Very interesting discussion going on here, glad I ran across this.

      Enso (or whoever) do you think that the Buddhist teachings about the 4 sublime states of mind are like a path to enlightenment? They are such a path of Heart, and I'm not sure if enlightenment is about the Heart. The 4 states being Love, Compassion, sympathetic joy, and equanimity. Also, may these four states be related to the 4 Jhana states?

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      Hello DreamVail, excellent question. The four bramaviharas, arise during non-dual practice. They are actually even more subtle, than what arises during the grosser jhanic states of absorption. The four bramaviharas are known as the immeasurables, because they can be cultivated without limit. Some might argue that they arise as inherent aspects of rigpa, our primordial awareness or buddha nature.

      What I can tell you is that the bramaviharas ( metta, karuna, uppekha, and mudita ) arise for me when I do non-dual practice, such as mahamudra / dzogchen. They are natural and pure and arise from the absence of obscurations or delusional factors that have been either temporarily or permanently stilled. Non-dual practice does involve some element of concentration / samadhi / jhana.. so it would be misleading to state that there is no relation, however it is worth making a distinction between them and the typical jhanic factors. metta!

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      Quote Originally Posted by enso View Post
      Concentration is simply resting attention on an object. It can be done in different phases, from very directed and narrow to all encompassing. The first jhana is a very narrow focus, it widens in the second with the sense of effort dropping away. In the third jhana bliss is much less pronounced and isntead there is a great stillness and equanimity is more noticeable. In the fourth Equanimity is the dominant factor.

      P.S. Majestic, I can share instruction with you that will allow you to remain more fully present for longer, if you're interested. ^__^
      You definitely know what your talking about, I've heard of jhana before and I know it has something to do with concentration. I didn't get taught this exercise nor did I read about it, I simply started concentrating on something for a long enough time to fall asleep...I had sleep problems

      I didn't know there was more than one stage after the very narrow focus....this is interesting...have you ever noticed imagery coming up while doing concentration exercises? Like visual images, that just come out of nowhere?

      Also, yes I would like to hear your instruction for remaining present longer.

      I usually use sounds for concentration practices...like I use the sound of the central air cooling system coming out of the vent..or the sound from a window air conditioner..or sometimes the oscillating fan, and put a very narrow focus at the "root" or the "source" of the sound if that makes any sense, and keep it there for as long as possible, but it's not easy at all...any musicians out there this is "very" helpful for music, you start hearing music in your sleep...VERY vivid..and very creative and original, and it's so clear like you have headphones on, but it's pretty hard to remember it upon wakening..that's why it's so good to be consistent with these concentration exercises

      Anyone who is interested in these exercises you should definitely start doing it, the benefits are incredible..even for lucid dreams, if you are persistence long enough you notice your consciousness start creeping into your dream life...you "wake up" in dreams so to speak...your mind and all your energy will be unified so you might be unaware in dreams as usual, then all of a sudden you "wake up" in a dream out of nowhere with intense control and lucidity....and fall back asleep not much later

      My biggest problem is the motivation to get up and do these exercises every day, I usually only do them every now and then

      Enso, how often do you practice concentration meditations?
      Last edited by Majestic; 09-05-2011 at 08:06 PM.
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      Hi Majestic,

      I didn't know there was more than one stage after the very narrow focus....this is interesting...have you ever noticed imagery coming up while doing concentration exercises? Like visual images, that just come out of nowhere?
      There are actually 8 traditionally recognized samatha jhanas, or attainments, as well as a further 5 pure land jhanas, but this is getting rather technical to go into such detail. Having access to the pureland jhanas by definition requires one to have anagami attainment. If I remember correctly, I think the first 8 jhanas are described probably better than I can describe them in the book I linked earlier. It sounds like you may have developed "access concentration" or even perhaps had some encounter with factors of the first jhana. In the visuddhimagga, which is a large collection of very detailed commentary on the traditional texts and practices, there are visual factors mentioned regarding jhana, and they are usually referred to as a nimitta, or jhana-nimitta. These are recognized as common visualizations that occur during strong concentration while absorbed in jhana. I have encountered these in my practice, and they range from a simple sort of dot early on, to complex, dynamic geometric patterns, or sometimes stable patterns / colors. It is important to distinguish that jhana-nimitta are not to be confused with hypnogagic imagery, as one sees when falling asleep, before WILDing, etc... These are very wakeful, alert concentrated states where we see stable visual phenomena presenting within the deep stillness of concentration.

      I will share two traditional concentration techniques for you to experiment with here, that I have found to be very effective in my practice. The first one is "counting breaths". It involves placing one's attention upon the abdomen, and observing the entirety of the breathing cycle, being sure not to miss a single moment of that process. So, we rest the attention gently but keep steady and continuous contact with the object, in this case the rising and falling of the abdomen. We count each in/out breath cycle, until we reach ten. If you reach ten, you start again from the beginning. If at any point your attention falters, you become distracted, or you lose count, you begin again from zero. If you can observe 10 breaths 3 times through, you are likely in access concentration. This technique applies attention to bodily sensations, which is at the very core of both samatha jhana and vipassana insight meditation.

      The other traditional concentration technique I suggest, is called Kasina practice. The Kasina can be a number of different objects, but I happen to prefer a simple 8-10" disk.. say you cut one out of thin cardboard.. it's best if it a dull earth tone or pastel color. Another good kasina object is a candle flame. Basically, you just stare at the kasina, experiment to find a good distance, perhaps a few feet away... and you allow the mind to collect and rest on that object. As your skill improves you will begin to notice various factors of concentration, shifts in the visual field and pattern recognition, and also the bodily factors of concentration such as bliss, etc.

      A simple mindfulness practice can help with remaining present. All this requires is that you make a mental note "distraction" each time you realize that you have become distracted throughout each day.. once you make this mental note you return your attention to the present moment until it has stabilized there. This does not require setting aside any special time for formal sitting meditation, it can be integrated throughout your daily life, and it is a strong support for formal sitting practice. Once you have gained some proficiency with mindfulness, concentration, and insight, then you will have the most success with a non-dual technique. I will include some basic non-dual instruction here as well, give it a go and see how you do. The best results doing non-dual practices come when one has already become adept with concentration and insight.

      These practices are their own motivation for me, they always increase the quality of my day when I include them, they bring stability, peace, serenity, bliss to each day where they are included, and they support our mindfulness so that we may do our best at daily tasks and make the best choices we can. They help guard against distraction which helps us avoid mistakes / accidents. Mindfulness can be incorporated into daily life to great effect, without having to set aside any special time just to sit and meditate.

      Enso, how often do you practice concentration meditations?
      Because I've integrated these practices so thoroughly into my life, they have become second nature. That and because of the lasting effects of previous practice, I naturally shift into concentrated states effortlessly throughout each day. Meditation can be used to remove unskillful conditioning and tendencies, which then allows one to shift their baseline state to being mindful, focused, relaxed, and concentrated effortlessly. I like to do 2 hours of formal practice each day when I can, but this is an ideal that is not always compatible with a busy schedule.

      I will provide a link to the non-dual practice below, you may skip the introduction and go straight to "the technique" part of the text if you wish.

      Private Paste - Pastie

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      wow 2 hours a day, that's dedication man, have you noticed an increase in dream lucidity also? Do you WILD easier from doing concentration practices? I'm still not convinced that the imagery from concentration exercises are different than hypnagogic imagery. . .to me it seems like they both come from the same place..the subconscious, concentration just allows that "focus beam" to penetrate into subconscious

      sort of like that iceberg analogy,

      the "narrow focus" being like a beam, penetrating the subconscious down to the universal-conscious or source ( the ocean ), which is similar to the "lightening rod" and the "sun spot" analogy in the text you posted

      I also noticed the second-nature effect of concentration when not meditating, you notice things you wouldn't have other wise paid any attention to, it's like it's automatic

      I've tried the "staring at the candle" technique, It's good, I had a very vivid dream one time, that didn't seem like a normal dream, way different from an ordinary dream..it was like you could literally "feel" everything being connected..I don't know if this was from the "staring at the candle" technique or what, but it was amazing

      I'll try the candle technique again, but my main exercise will still be the sound meditations, I've had good success and history with this type

      It's just the technology though, it's addicting lol..it's really hard to do these exercises when we have so much out, internet, television, video games constantly occupying our mind, In the near future I want to take a trip sometime somewhere in solitude or with very few people and meditate for a week straight
      Last edited by Majestic; 09-06-2011 at 02:58 AM.
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      First of all, I think that escaping all desires, is unrealistic. The fact that you eat warm food and sleep in a bed show that you have desire.

      Instead, do to much thought, I think we should embrace and do what we desire, while accepting that bad things happen and learn from them. There is no true escape from desire, for it is the drive that keeps all of us from curling up and dieing.

      That is only a step I believe is wrong. For enlightenment, we should enjoy the things we like to do and not let the bad drag us down. Also we should treat others like we our selvs like to be treated. Enjoying life and striving to be the best, most loving caring person you can be, is the key to enlightenment.
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      This is a very good viewpoint. And doubly important because you arrived at it yourself rather than parroting things you've read somewhere.

      I think you're slightly misunderstanding the basic concept though.

      I haven't read this whole thread. I tried but I keep running into too many words I can't understand, and I'm not prepared to learn a new language just so I can read a few posts on a message board. I've downloaded the PDF though and am planning to dig into it... hopefully it's written in clear English!

      I only have a very basic layman's understanding - if even that really - but I think the idea isn't to completely free yourself of all desire - which would be an impossible goal anyway. I think the point is to simply separate yourself from attachment to those desires. Which is really pretty close to what you said.

      Go ahead and feel the desire (you can't help it after all) - do what you want to do (after determining if it's worthwhile) but just don't become too attached to it. Example warm food and a bed. These are very simple and realistic desires, no reason not to want them. And doing without them wouldn't improve your life in any way unless you're going through some purification ritual and fasting in a cave. So by all means, go ahead... pop that tortilla in the microwave and take it to bed while you watch the Stooges (or whatever). But if you suddenly experience some change in your life that takes one or more of these desires away from you... your house burns down say and you have to sleep on a blanket on somebody's basement floor and eat nothing but cold roots and berries for a while, the idea is to accept this condition. Realize it's something you can't change and don't waste energy complaining or mourning for something you can't presently have - accept it and find the good in it. At least you still have a roof over your head and food in your belly.

      At least I think this is the point... somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      This is a very good viewpoint. And doubly important because you arrived at it yourself rather than parroting things you've read somewhere.

      I think you're slightly misunderstanding the basic concept though.

      I haven't read this whole thread. I tried but I keep running into too many words I can't understand, and I'm not prepared to learn a new language just so I can read a few posts on a message board. I've downloaded the PDF though and am planning to dig into it... hopefully it's written in clear English!

      I only have a very basic layman's understanding - if even that really - but I think the idea isn't to completely free yourself of all desire - which would be an impossible goal anyway. I think the point is to simply separate yourself from attachment to those desires. Which is really pretty close to what you said.

      Go ahead and feel the desire (you can't help it after all) - do what you want to do (after determining if it's worthwhile) but just don't become too attached to it. Example warm food and a bed. These are very simple and realistic desires, no reason not to want them. And doing without them wouldn't improve your life in any way unless you're going through some purification ritual and fasting in a cave. So by all means, go ahead... pop that tortilla in the microwave and take it to bed while you watch the Stooges (or whatever). But if you suddenly experience some change in your life that takes one or more of these desires away from you... your house burns down say and you have to sleep on a blanket on somebody's basement floor and eat nothing but cold roots and berries for a while, the idea is to accept this condition. Realize it's something you can't change and don't waste energy complaining or mourning for something you can't presently have - accept it and find the good in it. At least you still have a roof over your head and food in your belly.

      At least I think this is the point... somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.
      Thats exactly what I meant. Accept what life gives you and enjoy what you can, don't try to escape desire. I think that trying to escape desire isnt really accepting the problem, but as you said I might miss interpret the escapeing desire thing. Ill research it more.
      Last edited by Fredfredburger; 09-06-2011 at 03:57 AM.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Majestic View Post
      It's just the technology though, it's addicting lol..it's really hard to do these exercises when we have so much out, internet, television, video games constantly occupying our mind, In the near future I want to take a trip sometime somewhere in solitude or with very few people and meditate for a week straight
      So true!!!

      I think it would be fun to take the batteries out of all your handheld devices or lock them in a cabinet and promise yourself not to open it till the next day (or week) and then go trip the breaker in the basement. Live like the power is out, essentially camping in your dark house using nothing but candles and maybe a camp stove out on the porch to cook or something.

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      Hey everyone, thanks for the responses!

      have you noticed an increase in dream lucidity also? Do you WILD easier from doing concentration practices? I'm still not convinced that the imagery from concentration exercises are different than hypnagogic imagery. . .to me it seems like they both come from the same place..the subconscious, concentration just allows that "focus beam" to penetrate into subconscious
      Yes, my meditation has affected my dream lucidity more than anything else I do. It really supercharges lucidity to a point not possible without meditation imo. There are entire books on the Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep, and I have practiced Tibetan Dream Yoga for a few years now. It is an exceptionally powerful practice and is obviously empowering towards lucid dreams. Yes concentration makes it easier to wild. More specifically, by getting concentrated, and working with the subtle energy systems directly, this is very much connected to astral projection.

      WILD's and AP's are actually quite similar, except that in a WILD I will generally allow the mind to grab onto some aspect of the hypnogagic imagery that streams through the minds eye, and then will be pulled into a WILD. When AP'ing, it is more of a vibrational loosening, then rolling or rising out of the physical body, but remaining in the physical realm unless one projects directly to the higher realms.

      I have substantial experience in both dreaming practices and concentration, and I maintain that the imagery during jhana is quite distinct from the streaming hypnogagic imagery. Hypnogagic imagery for me is like flipping through many channels of random imagery and sensation, wheras the jhana-nimitta is very stable and clear in the mind during jhana. I maintain that a distinction between the two should be made, otherwise less experienced practitioners will get confused and be easily misled by hypnogagic imagery.

      First of all, I think that escaping all desires, is unrealistic. The fact that you eat warm food and sleep in a bed show that you have desire.
      My interpretation of buddhism is that desire is not to be eliminated per se, buddhism sees some types of desire as skillful or useful, and others as not so skillful or useful. The distinction to make here is that, what we aim to cut off is aversion and craving. This means, aversion to the present.. desiring for things to be other than they are... and craving for things to change or be other than they are in the future. These two mental patterns, aversion and craving, inevitably lead to suffering.

      As has been pointed out, it is pivotal in spiritual practice to first hone ones perceptual abilities so that we can see reality very clearly and directly in it's entirety, and then, we must accept reality fully as it is in the present, and surrender to this. It is in this moment of surrender and acceptance of what IS, that we reach unbinding, the cessation of suffering, nibbana. These techniques simply develop the necessary dexterity of the mind, and remove obscurations so that we may be capable of seeing reality directly, and clearly as it is.

      Without this kind of training, our minds are too burdened and obscured by all of our negative conditioning, emotional turmoil, and discursive thought to be calm enough to allow for clear insight into the nature of reality. Concentration is what gives us the clarity.. like allowing murky water to settle until it has become clear.. then we can see things clearly as they are... Insight is when we make contact with an object and penetrate it, seeing it's true nature once we have attained this initial clarity through concentration.

      I understand that it can be frustrating to not be familiar with a lot of the jargon or terms associated with buddhist traditions. However these terms have been used and passed on for generations, many of them are the Pali terms themselves, and they are the most accurate way of describing technical aspects of meditation practice to date. It is not that I am simply parroting these terms, I am speaking from personal experience here, it is just that I find the terms I am using to be the most accurate. It is a better approach to use an excellent system that is already in place, than to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.

      That being said, it does mean an initial learning curve in figuring out these terms. The book I linked, luckily is explained in common English terms, it is however still quite a lengthy book. Most importantly, it is dedicated meditation practice that truely clarifies, and gives rise to real insight. There is only one way to attain enlightenment, and that is through doing the experiment yourself, seeing the truth directly yourself, through dedicated practice. These meditation technologies / techniques are very powerful and effective methods for doing so. May you all awaken!

      metta!

      enso
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    20. #20
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      Ooops!! I better explain my meaning a little better! When I said that about Parroting, I wasn't directing it at you at all!!! I was just using it as the counter of thinking for oneself. I don't think you're parroting - you're actually doing a great job of explaining things here. Sorry if that came across differently... I actually like what you're writing here... and I also apologize for my frustration with the terminology. I do understand you're using the correct jargon and that it's good to learn it. I already know some of the terms... I just don't think I have good concentration today and was getting frustrated with constantly running into groupings of unfamiliar words.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      Ooops!! I better explain my meaning a little better! When I said that about Parroting, I wasn't directing it at you at all!!! I was just using it as the counter of thinking for oneself. I don't think you're parroting - you're actually doing a great job of explaining things here. Sorry if that came across differently... I actually like what you're writing here... and I also apologize for my frustration with the terminology. I do understand you're using the correct jargon and that it's good to learn it. I already know some of the terms... I just don't think I have good concentration today and was getting frustrated with constantly running into groupings of unfamiliar words.
      Hey there Darkmatters,

      I guess I wasn't quite sure how to interpret your post, and I was just covering all the bases. :] No worries tho, thanks for clarifying. Please feel free to share further here, without undue concern for your wording. =] Be sure to let us know what you think of the book, and if you have any questions lets hear em! I am idling on dreamviews IRC btw, so if anyone wants to discuss things in a more real time fashion, feel free to message me on IRC, and if I'm not around I'll get back to you.

      metta!

      enso
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      Quote Originally Posted by Darkmatters View Post
      So true!!!

      I think it would be fun to take the batteries out of all your handheld devices or lock them in a cabinet and promise yourself not to open it till the next day (or week) and then go trip the breaker in the basement. Live like the power is out, essentially camping in your dark house using nothing but candles and maybe a camp stove out on the porch to cook or something.
      Yea, or maybe a meditation hall or something. I was thinking more along the lines of somewhere in the mountains..like in California or another country..I've always wanted to go to Cali, beautiful out there I've heard of things called meditation retreats but don't know much about them
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      Hey guys, retreats are great for a variety of reasons, and they do often provide the ideal setting for meditation, where you can develop very strong concentration. However you don't need to go to a retreat to meditate well, and I even know of people who got enlightened ( stream-entry ) without going to any retreats. ( This requires dedicated practice at home, 2hrs + per day ... ) In the US some good retreats are held by IMS.

      It's my opinion that while doing any retreat would be beneficial, one would best serve oneself by doing a retreat once one had developed some proficiency in meditation. Many people reach the arising and passing away stage of the progress of insight at home, and I would say at this point a retreat would probably be more beneficial and appropriate. Of course another good thing you can do, if you are lucky to have a good environment at home, is to do a retreat-at-home.

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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      And what happens after you reach that state of mindfullness? End game?

      Enlightenment to me means evolution. Simply put, its the next state of expanded consciousness that you can experience, and is entirely dependent on the state of consciousness that you are in. For a human, there is no end to our own personal enlightenment.

      Our conscious awareness is fleeting and flickers to and fro. Even if you have a moment where you realize who you truly are, the next moment you can forget. Reaching enlightenment means getting to that plateau of a new consciousness, whatever it is for you, where there is no turning back. Where its not just a moment but a new state of awareness that defines you.
      Right that all sounds wonderful but you're not speaking in an achievable, practical and broadly recognizable way.

      Can we stop with the mystical bullshit for once and just help people understand how they can keep a clear mind?

      For instance, another tip to retaining mindfulness: Lose time. Drop your sense of time and with it you regain all the extra attention being used for illusory criteria.

      Everything works out in the end, sometimes even badly.


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      Quote Originally Posted by juroara View Post
      And what happens after you reach that state of mindfullness? End game?

      Enlightenment to me means evolution. Simply put, its the next state of expanded consciousness that you can experience, and is entirely dependent on the state of consciousness that you are in. For a human, there is no end to our own personal enlightenment.

      Our conscious awareness is fleeting and flickers to and fro. Even if you have a moment where you realize who you truly are, the next moment you can forget. Reaching enlightenment means getting to that plateau of a new consciousness, whatever it is for you, where there is no turning back. Where its not just a moment but a new state of awareness that defines you.
      From the perspective of practicing morality, this is an endless refinement / practice. From the perspective of Insight Meditation, and developing our energy system, there is a process with definable attainments, which culminate in 4th path, or arhatship. So the particular tradition of Vipassana meditation has very specific stages and does in fact end. Each plateau, which we could describe as a path, is a deeper and permanent realization.. it is a permanent uprooting of certain undesirable mental conditioning, the causes of suffering, certain illusions are seen through and abandoned, certain types of clinging dropped, etc.

      The first permanent change occurs at stream-entry, the first cessation, realization of nibbana, unbinding. The final one from the standpoint of having seen through the illusion of a permanent self, and having completed our energetic / subtle body development, is 4th path, or arhatship. However, this is not the full story, because even once we reach arhatship, we can develop further with non-dual practices. Concerning development on the non-dual axis.. I am not in a position to say or speculate if there is an end to this aspect of awakening.

      So, in a way juroara is on to something here, however depending on your tradition and what specific practices / axis you are developing, the process can be either quite physio-energetic.. with definable stages and a final goal, or in other aspects there is not necessarily any end but infinite refinement. There are various approaches to this but the one I subscribe to is that we tackle the well laid out and goal oriented practices first, which puts us in the ideal place to work from on the other axes.

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