A question about ego death

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Spaciousness
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Spaciousness » Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:36 pm

mbattle78 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:34 pm

My problem with this is that { and forgive the seemingly juvenile question } while there is no 'self,' no 'me' here - why is it that whatever I am, { eternal vastness, consciousness, etc. } I am still 'separated' and experiencing 'reality' through this very specific perspective? Or simply, if there is no 'me' here, why is whatever 'I am' stuck in this particular human body, looking through this very specific set of eyes and not from anyone's else or everywhere else?

Can anyone explain this contradiction? This isn't about the illusion of the sense of self, but the concrete and matter-of-fact situation that we are experiencing reality through this particular physical vantage point / perspective - which is what makes the ego illusion incredibly effective.

If I am not 'me,' why and how is consciousness contained in this one specific body, looking through these specific eyes?


My perspective is the sense of self is really hard to shake off, it can still exist without the physical body. Take dreams, for example, one feels one exist without the physical body. The sense of self we believe as real is so overpowering that we created a dream body for the self to exist and created another false sense of eyes to interact in the dream world. In fact, the dream body feels even more real than real life as it does even stronger feel emotions (joy, sorrow, happiness etc). Worst still, we existed in dreams even without a memory of ourselves in waking life, and we have no problem believing it as real and take that as a permanent self.

I am not referring to daydreaming, I am referring to lucid dreaming where you "wake up" in deep sleep (REM) and suddenly realize that you are actually dreaming. In that state, one lost the feeling of physical body, can't even move the hands. In that state, I sometimes wonder about the sense of self, which is one is more real, dream or real life? I realize both do a have a strong sense of self with the exception the law of physics does not apply in dream life but Karma does since you can suffer more in dream life than real life or vice versa.

I have not come to the final conclusion that both are illusions of the mind as stated in books. If one propel to jhana states in real life or launch from lucid dream states, the entire sense of self collapsed and disappear into nothingness, with only a sense of pure awareness of nothingness, but there is still a sense of self there to witness the awareness of nothingness. I have also gone into unconscious states like a complete knock out from an accident. In that states, I do dream about another world or have flashes here and there - Still there is a sense of self LOL.

So I do join you in wanting to find out about this question, although I do believe what I read about non-self, but I do want to experience it to fully understand it.

Padipa
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Padipa » Fri Jan 11, 2019 8:42 pm

Spaciousness wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:36 pm

My perspective is the sense of self is really hard to shake off, it can still exist without the physical body. Take dreams, for example, one feels one exist without the physical body. The sense of self we believe as real is so overpowering that we created a dream body for the self to exist and created another false sense of eyes to interact in the dream world. In fact, the dream body feels even more real than real life as it does even stronger feel emotions (joy, sorrow, happiness etc). Worst still, we existed in dreams even without a memory of ourselves in waking life, and we have no problem believing it as real and take that as a permanent self.

I am not referring to daydreaming, I am referring to lucid dreaming where you "wake up" in deep sleep (REM) and suddenly realize that you are actually dreaming. In that state, one lost the feeling of physical body, can't even move the hands. In that state, I sometimes wonder about the sense of self, which is one is more real, dream or real life? I realize both do a have a strong sense of self with the exception the law of physics does not apply in dream life but Karma does since you can suffer more in dream life than real life or vice versa.

I have not come to the final conclusion that both are illusions of the mind as stated in books. If one propel to jhana states in real life or launch from lucid dream states, the entire sense of self collapsed and disappear into nothingness, with only a sense of pure awareness of nothingness, but there is still a sense of self there to witness the awareness of nothingness. I have also gone into unconscious states like a complete knock out from an accident. In that states, I do dream about another world or have flashes here and there - Still there is a sense of self LOL.

So I do join you in wanting to find out about this question, although I do believe what I read about non-self, but I do want to experience it to fully understand it.
Bringing lucid dreaming into this discussion is, I think, a good idea. Certainly, very far back Buddhists have used the skill of acquiring awareness in dream state as a tool with which to teach anatta. It's important to realize it's a skill, though various people have varying levels of innate ability when it comes to lucidity. But no matter how much we are born with, it takes work to make lucid dreaming a tool, something with which we can control the consciousness of the dream state. As it applies to us here, seeking understanding of complex Buddhist concepts, working for lucid dreaming skills can surely help to light our understanding of anatta.

If, for example, one can induce lucidity in a dream-state (and some can) then that level of consciousness is fundamentally altered--changed. This has profound implications for those of us trying to grasp anatta. Would anyone here like to comment on this?

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by paul » Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:08 am

Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation.

Padipa
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Padipa » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm

paul wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 5:08 am
Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation.
Hi Paul:

Lucid dreaming has a strong tradition in the Mahayana realm (goes back at least a thousand years). And its purpose there is to induce consciousness within the dream state. So, for the purpose of our discussion here (seeking insight into Anatta)--it has utility. Please understand: I did not and am not trying to say lucid dreaming is "officially" used in the Theravada tradition. However, I am a Theravada Buddhist and I use lucid dreaming in my sacitta'pariyodapanam (purification of my own consciouness).

What is so great about Theravada tradition, is that each person's path to nibbana (ultimate emancipation) is unique to that person ie., there is no dogmatic tradition! As long as we get "to the other side," it matters not how we construct our raft: what matters is that we do construct the raft, then ditch it once it serves its purpose. So, coming from this viewpoint, your statement: "Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation" implies a dichotomy of dogma/heresy. The Buddha did not adhere to any dogma & I'm confident he would be perfectly okay with this discussion here. What do you think? jt

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Zom » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:15 pm

If I am not 'me,' why and how is consciousness contained in this one specific body, looking through these specific eyes?
The answer isn't that hard as it might seem. Right now you are just identifying yourself with consciousness, and so you come with this contradiction. However, if you stop considering mind as Your Self, contradiction will be gone. There is just mind, it cognizes, that's it, it is its function and main feature - but it is not you. And again, there is just feeling - it feels, not you. There is volition, it intends, and it is not you. Perception perceives - not you. Body walks - not you. Every such phenomenon is conditioned, it appears and disappears according to causes, including cognition. "Self" just can't appear and disappear.

So mind deludes itself with "self idea", but this very mind has to understand that it does so. Then contradiction will be resolved.
What is so great about Theravada tradition, is that each person's path to nibbana (ultimate emancipation) is unique to that person ie., there is no dogmatic tradition! As long as we get "to the other side," it matters not how we construct our raft: what matters is that we do construct the raft, then ditch it once it serves its purpose. So, coming from this viewpoint, your statement: "Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation" implies a dichotomy of dogma/heresy. The Buddha did not adhere to any dogma & I'm confident he would be perfectly okay with this discussion here.
In Theravada we follow Buddha, and he didn't teach methods you speak about.
Just my opinion of course, but it's shared by Thanissaro Bhikku and others who have a strong understanding of early Buddhism and the Sutta Pitaka.
Thanissaro is terrible in explaining anatta. He is an eternalist who believes in True Self, unfortunately.
I would say that Buddhism's insistence (read: specific teachers' insistence) on teaching no-self as a fact of experience instead of a skillful perception is one of the worst things to happen to the dharma since the Buddha's time.
Theravada school has its own faults, but it is very fortunate that it didn't lose right anatta explanation, unlike other schools (like Mahayana) who slipped into eternalism with numerous Self-ideas. This is very fortunate that true Dhamma still persists among all those Self-followers, including those with wrong understanding in Theravada.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by budo » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:42 pm

There is no ego death because ego does not exist, there is only fabrications no longer arising, which would feel like a relief because you are no longer strenuous, just one less thing to worry about.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by cappuccino » Mon Jan 14, 2019 8:51 pm

Zom wrote:"Self" just can't appear and disappear.
Seeing impermanence of "self" is the teaching.
Zom wrote:Thanissaro is terrible in explaining anatta. He is an eternalist who believes in True Self, unfortunately.
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by paul » Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:25 pm

Padipa wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm
your statement: "Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation" implies a dichotomy of dogma/heresy. The Buddha did not adhere to any dogma & I'm confident he would be perfectly okay with this discussion here.
This thread is “Theravada for Beginners”, and ultimately it must come back to Theravada doctrine for the benefit of our beginners who read it. As a beginner yourself when you know more about T, there will come a realization that it does dogmatically adhere to the Buddha’s original teaching as recorded in the Pali Canon, the reason being that at some stage in the practice the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path must align for insight to occur, and that cannot happen if there are components from outside systems like Mahayana, which have a diametrical opposition in aim to the Ariyan Dhamma. One example of this is found in the components of right resolve, renunciation, non-ill will and harmlessness, where in Mahayana the emphasis is on the latter two to the detriment of renunciation, and that weakness has resulred in Tibetan teachers being vulnerable to sensual desire on a widespread scale. In the Ariyan Dhamma renunciation is the prominent feature, as any reading of the suttas will show.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_27.html

It is known that beginners have an eclectic practice:
“One approach to resolving this problem that is popular today is the eclectic one: to pick and choose from the various traditions whatever seems amenable to our needs, welding together different practices and techniques into a synthetic whole that is personally satisfying. Thus one may combine Buddhist mindfulness meditation with sessions of Hindu mantra recitation, Christian prayer with Sufi dancing, Jewish Kabbala with Tibetan visualization exercises. Eclecticism, however, though sometimes helpful in making a transition from a predominantly worldly and materialistic way of life to one that takes on a spiritual hue, eventually wears thin. While it makes a comfortable halfway house, it is not comfortable as a final vehicle.”—-“The Noble Eightfold Path”, Bikkhu Bodhi.

I would categorize the contributors on DW into 1) beginners- those who have an eclectic practice; 2) intermediate- those who have a linear understanding of the NEP; 3) advanced- those who have both a linear and cyclic understanding of the NEP.
Once a practitioner experiences the unification of path factors they begin to turn all their attention to consolidating their understanding and practice of the Ariyan Dhamma, and this work demands full attention motivated by the revelation of the hindrances preventing their total escape from suffering.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by paul » Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:36 pm

Padipa wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm
I am a Theravada Buddhist and I use lucid dreaming in my sacitta'pariyodapanam (purification of my own consciouness).
It is said the arahant doesn’t have dreams, as the source of dreaming has been destroyed. Dreaming is a compensation mechanism for samsaric events that happen during the day, and the cycles of samsara can never provide fulfilment so dreams are inevitable. When the fetters (based on the three unwholesome roots) binding to samsara have eventually been severed, then there is no longer a cause for dreams to arise:

"As for those passion/ aversion/ delusion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son/daughter would sleep miserably — that passion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease.”—-AN 3.34

Meditation can be done walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and if the practitioner wakes in the night, they can meditate fully conscious in the lying position.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by budo » Tue Jan 15, 2019 10:53 pm

paul wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:36 pm
Padipa wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm
I am a Theravada Buddhist and I use lucid dreaming in my sacitta'pariyodapanam (purification of my own consciouness).
It is said the arahant doesn’t have dreams, as the source of dreaming has been destroyed. Dreaming is a compensation mechanism for samsaric events that happen during the day, and the cycles of samsara can never provide fulfilment so dreams are inevitable. When the fetters (based on the three unwholesome roots) binding to samsara have eventually been severed, then there is no longer a cause for dreams to arise:

"As for those passion/ aversion/ delusion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son/daughter would sleep miserably — that passion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease.”—-AN 3.34

Meditation can be done walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and if the practitioner wakes in the night, they can meditate fully conscious in the lying position.
This is a good post. I have heard from a monk that when one is dying,between not breathing and the body still being warm, one is dreaming and it is that dreaming that can determine where the next rebirth will be.

Even before I heard this, I knew that my dreams were a reflection of my mind, sometimes I had good dreams, sometimes bad dreams, but they were always connected to my every day living, for example dreams of losing a beloved one is indeed a true fear I have. Ideally one would have no dreams and just pure consciousness, which is what I had during retreats and very long meditation sessions where I could no longer sleep.

Padipa
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Padipa » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:38 pm

paul wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 11:25 pm
Padipa wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm
your statement: "Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation" implies a dichotomy of dogma/heresy. The Buddha did not adhere to any dogma & I'm confident he would be perfectly okay with this discussion here.
This thread is “Theravada for Beginners”, and ultimately it must come back to Theravada doctrine for the benefit of our beginners who read it. As a beginner yourself when you know more about T, there will come a realization that it does dogmatically adhere to the Buddha’s original teaching as recorded in the Pali Canon, the reason being that at some stage in the practice the factors of the Noble Eightfold Path must align for insight to occur, and that cannot happen if there are components from outside systems like Mahayana, which have a diametrical opposition in aim to the Ariyan Dhamma. One example of this is found in the components of right resolve, renunciation, non-ill will and harmlessness, where in Mahayana the emphasis is on the latter two to the detriment of renunciation, and that weakness has resulred in Tibetan teachers being vulnerable to sensual desire on a widespread scale. In the Ariyan Dhamma renunciation is the prominent feature, as any reading of the suttas will show.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/aut ... ay_27.html

It is known that beginners have an eclectic practice:
“One approach to resolving this problem that is popular today is the eclectic one: to pick and choose from the various traditions whatever seems amenable to our needs, welding together different practices and techniques into a synthetic whole that is personally satisfying. Thus one may combine Buddhist mindfulness meditation with sessions of Hindu mantra recitation, Christian prayer with Sufi dancing, Jewish Kabbala with Tibetan visualization exercises. Eclecticism, however, though sometimes helpful in making a transition from a predominantly worldly and materialistic way of life to one that takes on a spiritual hue, eventually wears thin. While it makes a comfortable halfway house, it is not comfortable as a final vehicle.”—-“The Noble Eightfold Path”, Bikkhu Bodhi.

I would categorize the contributors on DW into 1) beginners- those who have an eclectic practice; 2) intermediate- those who have a linear understanding of the NEP; 3) advanced- those who have both a linear and cyclic understanding of the NEP.
Once a practitioner experiences the unification of path factors they begin to turn all their attention to consolidating their understanding and practice of the Ariyan Dhamma, and this work demands full attention motivated by the revelation of the hindrances preventing their total escape from suffering.
Paul, here is your first response to my post on Spaciousness’ comments on lucidity.

Theravada Buddhism does not use lucid dreaming or any kind of sleep state for meditation.

Paul, please show us, precisely where in the discussion, anybody mentions using lucid dreaming for “any kind of sleep state meditation”? Your writing is tendentiously driven; it’s governed by ideas which are not in the original discussion. I was not recommending the Mahayana practice itself as a means by which lucidity is utilized; rather, (please re-read my last paragraph in my first response) if one learns to raise awareness in dream state through development of lucidity, then one uplifts their level of consciousness in dream state. My point being: if we can transform our level of consciousness in the dream world, then imagine what we can do in our wakeful consciousness? When we uplift the mind, the veil of anatta starts to lift. Lucidity, as a tool, as a lamp which sheds light on anatta--that is practical Theravada use for lucidity and I’m sure the Buddha would be 100% cool with it--is this clear? That was my point and the crux of my response to Spaciousness--period.

Also, all of us in the thread can read: we know it’s for beginners. There are no restrictions at DW which declare that all people in a beginner’s thread must be beginners--right? You simply can’t assume everyone in this thread is a beginner. I’ve been a Theravada Buddhist for a long time, but do not feel that should keep me out of beginner’s discussions. And, while I do agree with you: the Ariya Aṭṭhaṅgika Magga (Noble Eightfold Path) is essential to centeredness--it does nothing to develop the discussion on lucid dreaming as a tool to unveil anatta--does it? I’m perfectly okay using lucid dreaming to uplift my Theravada Buddhist mind and accept that you see this as heresy: reasonable people can reasonably disagree.

Padipa
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Padipa » Wed Jan 16, 2019 6:39 pm

paul wrote:
Tue Jan 15, 2019 8:36 pm
Padipa wrote:
Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:27 pm
I am a Theravada Buddhist and I use lucid dreaming in my sacitta'pariyodapanam (purification of my own consciouness).
It is said the arahant doesn’t have dreams, as the source of dreaming has been destroyed. Dreaming is a compensation mechanism for samsaric events that happen during the day, and the cycles of samsara can never provide fulfilment so dreams are inevitable. When the fetters (based on the three unwholesome roots) binding to samsara have eventually been severed, then there is no longer a cause for dreams to arise:

"As for those passion/ aversion/ delusion-born fevers — burned with which the householder or householder's son/daughter would sleep miserably — that passion has been abandoned by the Tathagata, its root destroyed, made like a palmyra stump, deprived of the conditions of development, not destined for future arising. Therefore he sleeps in ease.”—-AN 3.34

Meditation can be done walking, standing, sitting or lying down, and if the practitioner wakes in the night, they can meditate fully conscious in the lying position.
Paul, once again your tendentiousness prevents us from going deeper: what has this to do with lucid dreaming as a tool with which to better grasp anatta? You have merely quoted, out of context, pieces from the Hatthaka Sutta: “On Sleeping Well in the Cold Forest.” The quality of one’s sleep, in a cold forest, sheds no utility on the subject of lucidity--does it? Finally, (sorry but my time for forums is very limited) if you are so concerned with sticking to discussion rightfully reserved for beginners, then why are you discussing the arahant? jt

Spaciousness
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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Spaciousness » Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:46 pm

Good post all of you. I am a beginner here, so what should we do when we are dreaming? Dreaming experience can be more vivid than actual life (all beginners know that). What can one do? - Thanks in advance.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by paul » Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:29 pm

Spaciousness wrote:
Mon Jan 21, 2019 7:46 pm
Good post all of you. I am a beginner here, so what should we do when we are dreaming? Dreaming experience can be more vivid than actual life (all beginners know that). What can one do? - Thanks in advance.
A practitioner should not attempt to stop their dreaming directly, the absence of dreaming is a result of the gradual Buddhist training, it occurs over time. For the practitioner who still experiences dreaming, it can be a mental exercise to relate dreams to the waking events which caused them and derive some direction from them, but this only relates to mundane matters. In Theravada there are two levels of right view, mundane right view pertains to those who have opted for rebirth in a higher realm, and transcendent right view to those who are pursuing nibbana. Most of the suttas are directed to the attainment of nibbana.

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Re: A question about ego death

Post by Sabbe_Dhamma_Anatta » Wed Jan 23, 2019 11:57 am

Excellent presentation on natural processes working together without the involvment of "self".

42 mins video. Easily digestible.



A video for accelerating ego death :-)

Metta,
𝗬𝗼𝘂 𝗺𝗮𝘆 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀: :candle: --->

"the one thing all the mistaken views have in common is the assump­tion that the self exists" ~ DN1
"It is an entirely and perfectly foolish idea" ~ MN22
⬤ The No-self doctrine is found only in the teaching of the Buddha.
⬤ No-self (anatta) means that there is no permanent, unchanging entity in anything animate or inanimate. ~ SN22.59

🅢🅐🅑🅑🅔 🅓🅗🅐🅜🅜🅐 🅐🅝🅐🅣🅣🅐

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