Attachment to a form of practice?

General discussion, particularly exploring the Dharma in the modern world.
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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Tue Feb 25, 2020 6:18 pm

Ok, this is exhausting.

Either address the points brought up or don't. Personally I'm not participating in this wall of unnecessary verbiage, perceived personal sleights and meta discussion any more until you can whittle things down.

The subject is whether or not the Goldstein story represents an "attachment to practice". You've been given some reasonably informed opinions on why this isn't so. The rest of the stuff I could care less about, and you seem to be fixating on what people think of your practice personally, whether you are insulting Buddhism etc..that stuff is all your projection, and has little to nothing to do with subject.

Stop quoting people and telling them what they really mean, and focus on the subject.
crown wrote:Here you are simply reiterating what it is being pointed out.
That's because you continue to engage in meta-discussion about everything else, and won't address the specific points made on renunciation, revulsion with samsara, etc.
crown wrote:Now you are more or less repeating what you said but in a slightly different manner that is not really helpful and misses the point. You are phrasing it in a way I can only assume means that you are under the impression that what I said about ‘getting intimately familiar with one’s mind’ to mean the ‘complete purification of beings’. The latter one we can leave for another time.

There is a lot of room in between complete purification and being intimately familiar with one’s mind. In much the same way that a yogi can engage or have experience in the matters discussed but in an ultimate sense not being ‘complete’ or perhaps as you put it ’definitive’.
What? This is incomprehensible. Are you familiar with Buddhist meditation generally? I.e. have you practiced Buddhist Shamatha and Vipaysana (from any tradition)...that is the context. That is the context of the Goldstein story too, obviously.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Queequeg
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Queequeg » Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:10 pm

Crown, if you want a discussion, I think you're going to have to restate your argument fresh. Do not refer to anything you wrote before. Write a post as though it was the first in this thread.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by crown » Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:57 am

Queequeg wrote:
Tue Feb 25, 2020 7:10 pm
Crown, if you want a discussion, I think you're going to have to restate your argument fresh. Do not refer to anything you wrote before. Write a post as though it was the first in this thread.
That is probably better seeing how it was directed at you in the first place. Let’s give it another try then shall we.

Mr dangerous is under the impression that i did not focus on the subject and arguments made in regard to renunciation in the particular goldstein example. I have no idea what went wrong in his puzzling assessment of everything i wrote but alas I will try to make it abundantly clear now.

I agree with what you and everybody else is saying. Yes that is an example of renunciation. End of discussion. That's it. No need to pursue it any further.

The entire topic of discussion that was of interest to me which did not get addressed and was being misconstrued in various ways revolved around a single remark which was the following:
Its clear that you do not have much experience with contemplative practice. You will be enlightened on the subject if you undertake contemplative practice and gain some personal, subjective experience with it. To appreciate attachment at subtler levels of the mind that are very much at play in even the slightest activities of your mind'
My reply was that one should probably exercise a bit more caution in jumping to that conclusion because your assumption about what constitutes contemplative practice may differ quite a bit from mine plus there are more ways to explore and appreciate attachments at these subtler levels of awareness. I laid out my reasoning which I’ll repeat here but somewhat edited.

I understand fully why you would say what you did in this context considering that we already started off on the wrong foot with the whole misunderstanding about the 'attachment to practice' example and how it relates to renunciation etc. which again ultimately we are on the same page. But of course at the time that is the assumption you have including other things I may have said. I pointed out that if that misunderstanding had not come about in the first place we probably would not even have this discussion because you might have refrained from saying it although ultimately this is somewhat besides the point. The heart of the matter is as follows:

The concept of contemplative practice and the experience of appreciating attachment on these subtler levels is not exclusively tied to the buddhist framework.

Although there might be a lack of knowledge on the various viewpoints about renunciation, retreats and scripture etc within said buddhist framework it would not be wise to mistake that for a lack of intimate experience on my end and in general with the phenomenon of what is being called renunciation and insight into attachment on subtler levels of awareness. Like I mentioned earlier I also view contemplative practice in a broader sense then was most likely being assumed.

To further illustrate my point I said it could be analogous to a child that has no ‘knowledge’ about mindfulness but in all likelihood is ‘more mindful’ than your average practitioner of mindfulness. Other examples could include people that live in certain remote areas or have been through extreme ordeals often display a lot of similarities with buddhist practitioners without ‘meditating’ a day in their life.

If you think contemplative practice and insight into attachment at these subtler levels of mind can only occur in a buddhist context or a specific secluded type of meditation then I fundamentally disagree. There are various (other) ways to get intimately familiar with your own mind.

This is why I cautioned against jumping to conclusions about another one’s experience with these phenomena.

That’s it. Don't know how to phrase it any other way.

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Queequeg
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:27 am

:shrug:
Well. That's that then.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 5:36 am

I see no reason to not lock this thread at this point. You've been given some good responses and the conversation seems to have drawn to a close, since you are choosing not to engage with the responses themselves.

Feel free to PM if you (or anyone) wants it reopened or has something relevant to add.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Johnny Dangerous
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Wed Feb 26, 2020 4:41 pm

Reopening per request.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low

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Queequeg
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Re: Attachment to a form of practice?

Post by Queequeg » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:58 pm

crown wrote:
Wed Feb 26, 2020 12:57 am
The entire topic of discussion that was of interest to me which did not get addressed and was being misconstrued in various ways revolved around a single remark which was the following:
Its clear that you do not have much experience with contemplative practice. You will be enlightened on the subject if you undertake contemplative practice and gain some personal, subjective experience with it. To appreciate attachment at subtler levels of the mind that are very much at play in even the slightest activities of your mind'
I apologize for that. Let me back up.
The concept of contemplative practice and the experience of appreciating attachment on these subtler levels is not exclusively tied to the buddhist framework... Like I mentioned earlier I also view contemplative practice in a broader sense then was most likely being assumed.
This is a discussion forum for Buddhism. The practice you initially referred to is apparently being carried out within a Buddhist context. I didn't know that any other considerations applied. My remark only pertained to your apparent limited understanding of Buddhism which is apparent in your comments.

I don't think I am going out on a limb in stating that contemplation carried out unrelated to the aims taught in Buddhism does not register from a Buddhist perspective. Contemplation of the divine in one's self, for instance, is not Buddhism and I don't think there is much to say about it from a Buddhist perspective except that its pointless and possibly detrimental activity based on wrong view. There might be some common ground in terms of calming methods, but Buddhism makes no claim of exclusivity on such methods. Polite inter-traditional dialogue might be had on general terms, but that is likely as far as it goes. Basically, all contemplation is not equal.
Although there might be a lack of knowledge on the various viewpoints about renunciation, retreats and scripture etc within said buddhist framework it would not be wise to mistake that for a lack of intimate experience on my end and in general with the phenomenon of what is being called renunciation and insight into attachment on subtler levels of awareness.

To further illustrate my point I said it could be analogous to a child that has no ‘knowledge’ about mindfulness but in all likelihood is ‘more mindful’ than your average practitioner of mindfulness. Other examples could include people that live in certain remote areas or have been through extreme ordeals often display a lot of similarities with buddhist practitioners without ‘meditating’ a day in their life.

If you think contemplative practice and insight into attachment at these subtler levels of mind can only occur in a buddhist context or a specific secluded type of meditation then I fundamentally disagree. There are various (other) ways to get intimately familiar with your own mind.

This is why I cautioned against jumping to conclusions about another one’s experience with these phenomena.

That’s it. Don't know how to phrase it any other way.
That's all well and good. Your vague references are basically without any functional significance. There is not much to respond to.

I wrote before - I wasn't trying to critique you - ie, not a knock. I was pointing out that the assumptions you bring to your analysis might hinder you from understanding what you were looking at in the original podcast. The direction you steer the conversation simply doesn't invite much comment except to point out, you're reading the example wrong, probably because you don't understand what you are looking at.

That's all. Really. I apologize that I caused you stress.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta

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