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The Dharma Experiment ....

ShoshinShoshin No one in particularNowhere Special Veteran
edited January 4 in General Banter

Each day I am like a mind scientist who is conducting an experiment of which "I am" also part of the experiment...
"Now stay still ...this won't hurt a bit"

And at times ....it 's like being on the verge of a scientific breakthrough...Going further than I have ever gone before and the results of each experiment becomes more promising....What exciting times to be living in....

Would you say that Dharma practice is like conducting an experiment ?

Further down the track there could be a Nobel prize in the making...Hmm or should that be a Noble Truth prize...

Or am I just a mental scientist ?...

Comments

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    the results of each experiment becomes more promising

    Perhaps beware the cycle of increasing positivity? That is not the way to Calm Abiding :)

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    the results of each experiment becomes more promising

    Perhaps beware the cycle of increasing positivity? That is not the way to Calm Abiding :)

    Something that is 'promising' shows signs that it is going to be successful or enjoyable:...Like a calm abiding state for example :)

  • FosdickFosdick in its eye are mirrored far off mountains Alaska, USA Veteran

    Sheesh, that second little video makes me think of a certain person, close to me, in the 2 or 3 weeks leading up to Christmas every year.

    But I shall try to stay on topic. I think I might more easily view the path as being like field work, rather than lab work - digging holes and sifting every grain of dirt in search of - what? Mani jewels perhaps? Or digging a hole to enlightenment? Or - as so often happens - just digging a hole?

    Where to dig is always the question, and that is one reason I like to lurk around this forum - but I suppose one could conduct thought experiments for the same purpose.

    Positivity, anticipation - Mara's work indeed. Dig and dig and - there's something there!
    It's what I seek, I know it! Oh, damn, it's just a rock. The entire hole collapses in a cloud of dust, but you still have to keep digging and digging until the digging becomes what you seek.

    Sorry, I'm getting carried away here. Excellent question, @Shoshin.

    Shoshin
  • herbieherbie Veteran

    @Shoshin said:
    Would you say that Dharma practice is like conducting an experiment ?

    Hi Shoshin,

    When there is no intended outcome then it is an experiment. When there is an intended outcome it is application of trial and error method.
    I'd say in most cases there is an intended outcome since interest in application of a method arises when hearing or reading about its alledged effects, i.e. outcomes. This then is when trial and error sets in because being taught the method does not guarantee that one is doing it right. Or - worst case - the method as such may be inappropriate considering one's conditioning.
    Nevertheless it is always possible that the first trial yields the intended outcome. But since this outcome as a rule is impermanent the question then is whether it can be successfully repeated.

    personShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited January 4

    @Shoshin said:

    @Kerome said:

    the results of each experiment becomes more promising

    Perhaps beware the cycle of increasing positivity? That is not the way to Calm Abiding :)

    Something that is 'promising' shows signs that it is going to be successful or enjoyable:...Like a calm abiding state for example :)

    Are all things that show progress in the dharma also enjoyable? Enjoyment can be a hard attachment to break.

    I’ve been reading about the process of using anatta skilfully, it becomes quite dense where Thanissaro Bhikkhu talks about letting go of lesser happinesses in order to reduce clinging further. It’s quite an insightful series of lectures, ill say that.

    personShoshin
  • @Kerome said:
    Perhaps beware the cycle of increasing positivity? That is not the way to Calm Abiding :)

    Could you elaborate on this? What is the cycle like? Why should we beware of it?

    Shoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran
    edited January 4

    Certainement. If you come across something that is just merely promising, you start to feel excitement and your anticipation is heightened. When there is a next step, it becomes more promising, your anticipation is fulfilled and there is pleasure. You start feeling progressively more pleased, excited and start seeking this feeling out. You become hooked on the pleasure of it, as long as the positivity keeps building. Eventually it peaks and ceases, but by then you may have already missed things in the pursuit of it. It’s just a distraction.

    It depends how much your practice involves playing games with your mind... it was something @Shoshin’s “mental scientist” picture brought to mind.

    Shoshin
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited January 4

    @Kerome said:
    Certainement. If you come across something that is just merely promising, you start to feel excitement and your anticipation is heightened.When there is a next step, it becomes more promising, your anticipation is fulfilled and there is pleasure. You start feeling progressively more pleased, excited and start seeking this feeling out. You become hooked on the pleasure of it, as long as the positivity keeps building. Eventually it peaks and ceases, but by then you may have already missed things in the pursuit of it. It’s just a distraction.

    t depends how much your practice involves playing games with your mind... it was something @Shoshin’s “mental scientist” picture brought to mind.

    Good point...an overly excited mind ( this includes overthinking) can get one into all kinds of strife...

    It's interesting when it comes to mind games...Thought itself being the thinker ( and charmer) is so it would seem, at the forefront of the games...However if one becomes more aware of the thoughts at play the less likely one will be drawn into the games...instead awareness becomes the spectator/observer...so "let the games begin"

    Why I started to practice the Dharma ....
    I guess for my self curiosity is one of the guilty parties... and it's this curiosity that prompted me to ask questions and then to see for my self "Ehipassiko" hence the start of the 'experiment' of seeing for my self ...if what the Buddha said holds any truth....

    So in the simple sense ...

    Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated...

    .....by skillful means

    At times the mind can overthink things eg what was meant to be a simple take on a word can for the overthinking mind becomes a major event ( a mountain out of a mole hill-some minds work overtime) and this overthinking can become an obstacle.......if it takes hold/clings...

    However from what I gather a calm abiding state has no surface for the clingy thoughts to stick...

    lobster
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