...is our inability to understand the exponential function."

I thought this series of videos could be of interest to some.

As Shinzen Young said, the progress of practice is exponential, too.

It can be a motivation to practice if one understands the exponential character of the practice:

The progress is first slow, which is very normal, then it gets suddenly very fast. If one understands that the slowness of progress is just taking place in the beginning of the practice, that's a good reason to keep the practice up, right?

So, here is the explanation of how exponential growth works (Notice that there are also parts 2 to 8 on youtube if you are interested):

I thought this series of videos could be of interest to some.

As Shinzen Young said, the progress of practice is exponential, too.

It can be a motivation to practice if one understands the exponential character of the practice:

The progress is first slow, which is very normal, then it gets suddenly very fast. If one understands that the slowness of progress is just taking place in the beginning of the practice, that's a good reason to keep the practice up, right?

So, here is the explanation of how exponential growth works (Notice that there are also parts 2 to 8 on youtube if you are interested):

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

Personal growth can never be measured exponentially.

(One: I haven't watched the videos.

Two: I had to confirm to myself what 'exponential' means.)

I still don't think personal growth is exponential.....

I should shut up.....

Edit note:

Ok. As a child at school, I suffered from Dyscalculia, which is the numerical equivalent of dyslexia. I kid you not, maths would make me break out in a cold sweat. I hated it, I feared it, I resisted it.

In time, thanks to sympathetic and considerate teachers (Yes, they exist!) I overcame most problems, but maths and I always had - and still have - an uneasy relationship. In fact, at times, I surprise myself at how well I do, even though I would term myself as really poor at maths. Forget physics, algebra and the rest of it.....

I began to listen to the tape, and listened to the definition of exponential... 7%....10 years, whatever.

I heard it, just a second ago. But I can't explain it.

All I know is that every 10 years, the figure doubles.

Exponential learning: Shinzen Young (like, apparently, many) has it wrong.

In my opinion.

He needs to see this tape.....

(One: I haven't watched the videos.

Two: I had to confirm to myself what 'exponential' means.)

I still don't think personal growth is exponential.....

I should shut up.....

Edit note:

Ok. As a child at school, I suffered from Dyscalculia, which is the numerical equivalent of dyslexia. I kid you not, maths would make me break out in a cold sweat. I hated it, I feared it, I resisted it.

In time, thanks to sympathetic and considerate teachers (Yes, they exist!) I overcame most problems, but maths and I always had - and still have - an uneasy relationship. In fact, at times, I surprise myself at how well I do, even though I would term myself as really poor at maths. Forget physics, algebra and the rest of it.....

I began to listen to the tape, and listened to the definition of exponential... 7%....10 years, whatever.

I heard it, just a second ago. But I can't explain it.

All I know is that every 10 years, the figure doubles.

Exponential learning: Shinzen Young (like, apparently, many) has it wrong.

In my opinion.

He needs to see this tape.....

Last edited by Fede on Thu Oct 20, 2011 2:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

Actually, in my experience, and perhaps in others' (because others have expressed like-minded views) I think I ran too fast in the beginning and had to slow down.... I really was taking too much in.... There seems to be an urgency in those new to Buddhism (who harbour the same kind of feelings as the first guy to discover the wheel!) to absorb as much as possible as fast as possible, because there's so much there to learn and practice.

I don't think any form of learning is exponential. Not just Buddhism.

I really don't think the words 'exponentially' and 'learning' fit together...

I don't think any form of learning is exponential. Not just Buddhism.

I really don't think the words 'exponentially' and 'learning' fit together...

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

Thought about it again, and I would say that progress in Buddhist practice, anything that you learn and any sport can be well described (of course simplified) by this function: 1/(1+e^(-t))

Lets take the example of running. Let's say we begin to run 3 times per week and have never done physical exercise in our live before.

1) (Here: about -8 to -4) We can't run very far, because we aren't fit. Maybe we can run a few hundred metres.

Progress is very slow, maybe we can run every week a few meters farther.

2) (About -4 to 0) Then comes the period of exponential growth: Progress gets very fast, suddenly we can run a few miles and add a mile every two weeks.

3) (About 0 to 3) We have reached a high level, progress starts to decrease (it becomes linear and finally less than linear) because we get closer to what is possible for a human.

4) (About 3+) We attain mastery. Progress is now very slow because we have nearly accomplished what is possible for a human.

What do you think?

Lets take the example of running. Let's say we begin to run 3 times per week and have never done physical exercise in our live before.

1) (Here: about -8 to -4) We can't run very far, because we aren't fit. Maybe we can run a few hundred metres.

Progress is very slow, maybe we can run every week a few meters farther.

2) (About -4 to 0) Then comes the period of exponential growth: Progress gets very fast, suddenly we can run a few miles and add a mile every two weeks.

3) (About 0 to 3) We have reached a high level, progress starts to decrease (it becomes linear and finally less than linear) because we get closer to what is possible for a human.

4) (About 3+) We attain mastery. Progress is now very slow because we have nearly accomplished what is possible for a human.

What do you think?

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

I think you're absolutely spot-on.

I also think that learning is completely different to running.

I also think that learning is completely different to running.

"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

Running is a physical activity, and what you describe is pretty much an accurate analysis of a runner's progress.

But again, maths is different to learning (Buddhism).

Maths is a very precise, clear-cut science. This added to this, equals this.

It's there, in black and white.

Buddhism is not so clear-cut.

Or rather, it is, but desire, attachment, clinging and overall suffering prevent us from being able to make a steadily measurable progress.

In maths, there is a mental faculty involved.

In Buddhism, there are more factors within the equation to consider.

But again, maths is different to learning (Buddhism).

Maths is a very precise, clear-cut science. This added to this, equals this.

It's there, in black and white.

Buddhism is not so clear-cut.

Or rather, it is, but desire, attachment, clinging and overall suffering prevent us from being able to make a steadily measurable progress.

In maths, there is a mental faculty involved.

In Buddhism, there are more factors within the equation to consider.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

I hate to rain on the parade, David2, but these examples you're using are logistic, not exponential.

(...and lends a certain irony to the thread title.)

(...and lends a certain irony to the thread title.)

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

That's not the nub of the discussion we were having.

The crux of the matter hinges on Shinzen Young's (in my view wholly inaccurate) assertion that the Progress of Practice is also exponentially measurable.

The crux of the matter hinges on Shinzen Young's (in my view wholly inaccurate) assertion that the Progress of Practice is also exponentially measurable.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

If we define x as the amount of time (or effort) we put into practice, and f(x) is the fruit of the practice, then the exponential function f(x) = be^x would seems to be a better model than the logistic curve f(x) = 1/(1+e^(-x)), simply because there's no upper-bound to the end goal. In term of math, the end goal is more like positive infinity instead of a very large positive number. Beside that, the Four Fruit seems to fit the exponential curve: Stream-Entry (delta x <= 7), Once-Return (delta x<=1), Non-Return ( delta x ~= 0), Arhant (delta x =0); so x is getting smaller while f(x) is getting bigger..Anyway, I don't know for sure 'cuz I don't think I've even been on the positive end of the x-axis yet. But since it's the Lounge and the beauty of Math is something worth treasured (second to the Buddha's Teaching of course), a little numerical indulgence won't hurt..

Great! Finally you gave me an idea for the topic of my diploma thesis which I have to start soon.

I'll find a method to calculate the exact point in time for me to reach Nibbana.

But what if I don't practice (yet), and it's uncertain at what point in time I'll finally start practicing meditation. How do I calculate the time when I will begin practicing? Any help appreciated.

I'll find a method to calculate the exact point in time for me to reach Nibbana.

But what if I don't practice (yet), and it's uncertain at what point in time I'll finally start practicing meditation. How do I calculate the time when I will begin practicing? Any help appreciated.

Last edited by daverupa on Thu Oct 20, 2011 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

I have experienced, and seen others experience, periods of amazing growth, periods of backsliding, and plateaus. Two of these variations are wholly unaccounted for in the graphs presented thus far. Therefore, I find the graph to be a poor representation of the learning process.

- Fede
**Posts:**1182**Joined:**Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm**Location:**The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...-
**Contact:**

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)

Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself.

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?!

http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/

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