Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Discussion of meditation in the Mahayana and Vajrayana traditions.

Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:43 pm

How is it possible to validate one's own experience of insight, to decide that a given meditation experience is "real" rather than fanciful? I know the simple answer here is to ask a teacher, but i'm wondering outside of that simple answer. Should we trust our intuition, and to what degree?

Additionally, can these experiences be correctly remembered and described, or does that act alter them to the point that they are not the same animal?
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2882
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby kirtu » Fri Dec 28, 2012 9:31 pm

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How is it possible to validate one's own experience of insight, to decide that a given meditation experience is "real" rather than fanciful? I know the simple answer here is to ask a teacher, but i'm wondering outside of that simple answer. Should we trust our intuition, and to what degree?


Genuine insight changes you although the change may be too subtle for others to see. Genuine insight is also "permanent" - according to the sutras and tantras this is *NOT* actually the case but they are talking from lifetime to lifetime. Genuine insight does change you in this lifetime but until you reach the 1st bhumi, you can always regress (this is the point about the sutras and tantras I was making above). In fact until you reach the 8th bhumi in some teachings you can regress (Sakya always says 1st bhumi but both teachings may be true because they are talking about different things). HHDL says that meditative insight is permanent from lifetime to lifetime which is why he wants everyone to study "philosophy" - because you then take that into analytic meditation and gradually deepen realization on universal lovingkindness and compassion as a start.

However meditative insight is also dependent upon one's view. If one is a kind of theist, then you get a kind of theist insight. It's still valid but it's valid in their view and experience. Sometimes however people can get meditative insight and go off the deep end which is why we need to check our insight with teachers.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Additionally, can these experiences be correctly remembered and described, or does that act alter them to the point that they are not the same animal?


Genuine insight takes a while to digest. It can be remembered and remembered correctly but that is not the same thing as the experience itself (so they are not the same animal). And the actual realization is also not the experience of the insight. The insight occurs and you know it but you don't necessarily really know what the insight actually is (an idea suggests itself and this begins the process which can take a while). The actual experience of the insight could be a peak experience but that itself is not the actual insight or the realization (realization in these terms is sort of the digestion of the actual insight).

The insight itself may be very minor but can have far reaching consequences: something like "Oh I better not intentionally kill insects" or "I shouldn't physically harm beings". Both of these can be found in society (as well as the much stronger societal directive to kill insects or to physically harm beings) but the insight that these are true arises internally and is self-confirmatory. This self-confirmatory characteristic is why people can go off the deep end too. The self validation is correct but may need to be tempered.

Kirt
Kirt's Tibetan Translation Notes

"Only you can make your mind beautiful."
HH Chetsang Rinpoche
User avatar
kirtu
Former staff member
 
Posts: 4580
Joined: Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:29 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby 5heaps » Sat Dec 29, 2012 9:41 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How is it possible to validate one's own experience of insight, to decide that a given meditation experience is "real" rather than fanciful? I know the simple answer here is to ask a teacher, but i'm wondering outside of that simple answer. Should we trust our intuition, and to what degree?

Additionally, can these experiences be correctly remembered and described, or does that act alter them to the point that they are not the same animal?

a valid perception of an object functions to remove false thoughts and impositions we can place on that object.
it is simple to have a valid cognition with sensory consciousnesses ie. blob of white that represents a car but very difficult to have a meaningful valid cognition with the mental consciousness ie. does the car exist the way it appears, what exactly is a car, etc.

so, the more authoritative the valid cognition the greater the lack of doubt, confusion, naivety, etc. already by the time of real inference of thing there is a great reduction in doubt etc. obviously by the time of fullblown insight there is absolutely no doubt, confusion, etc with respect to that object

yes they can be clearly remembered, though not as authoritatively as fullblown valid cognition which is nonconceptual, and until permanent cessation with respect to something is reached insight must necessarily gradually decline
5heaps
 
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:09 am

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby undefineable » Sat Dec 29, 2012 11:44 pm

5heaps wrote:until permanent cessation with respect to something is reached insight must necessarily gradually decline

Whaat?
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby Jinzang » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:33 am

Johnny Dangerous wrote:How is it possible to validate one's own experience of insight, to decide that a given meditation experience is "real" rather than fanciful?


The test is how much these experiences reduce your egotism.

Johnny Dangerous wrote:Additionally, can these experiences be correctly remembered and described, or does that act alter them to the point that they are not the same animal?


Yes they can be remembered. But clinging to the experiences diminishes them.
Lamrim, lojong, and mahamudra are the unmistaken path.
Jinzang
 
Posts: 383
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:11 am

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:36 am

Thanks all, that hits home Jinzang.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
User avatar
Johnny Dangerous
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2882
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2012 10:58 pm
Location: Olympia WA

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby Sherab Dorje » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:15 pm

undefineable wrote:
5heaps wrote:until permanent cessation with respect to something is reached insight must necessarily gradually decline

Whaat?
I think you will find that they are trying to say that unless you completely erradicate the root of deisre (let's say) then any insight gained will gradually fade away or decline as new instances of desire leave their mark on consciousness. Metaphorically speaking: the mirror will get covered by dust again.
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
User avatar
Sherab Dorje
Former staff member
 
Posts: 10162
Joined: Fri May 14, 2010 9:27 pm
Location: Greece

Re: Can genuine insight be remembered, or only experienced?

Postby undefineable » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:45 am

gregkavarnos wrote:I think you will find that they are trying to say that unless you completely erradicate the root of deisre (let's say) then any insight gained will gradually fade away or decline as new instances of desire leave their mark on consciousness. Metaphorically speaking: the mirror will get covered by dust again.

That makes sense - After all, 'insight' in its weaker forms (inspiration etc.) is something that the most 'un-enlightened' people have been known to make lifetime careers of suffering (amongst other by-products) out of, e.g. (a bit new-agey but you get the drift):
http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=3WE1 ... lpg=PA355&
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
undefineable
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Fri Feb 03, 2012 1:34 am


Return to Meditation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests

>